Medicinal Cannabis

Nevada: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Offering Patient Orientation July 13

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With medical marijuana currently being a hot topic of discussion in Nevada, The+Source medical marijuana dispensary, located at 2550 S. Rainbow Blvd., will hold an educational orientation and seminar about the variety of benefits and uses of medical cannabis for patients at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13.

The dispensary is giving patients the opportunity to learn from its in-house director of medical education, Dr. William Troutt, who will lead the orientation to educate attendees both new and pre-existing about the benefits of medical cannabis.

The+Source invites the public, along with medical marijuana cardholders and non-holders, to learn more about the medical aspects of marijuana. The+Source will continue its mission to educate community residents with the opening of their second location this summer at 9480 S. Eastern Blvd..

More information about the upcoming orientation can be found online at www.thesourcenv.com.

U.S.: Derrick Morgan Becomes 2nd Active NFL Player To Support Marijuana Research

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Last week Derrick Morgan, starting outside linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, became the second active NFL player to call on the league to support cannabis research in order to see how specific compounds in the plant can help treat or prevent chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE.)

"If there's any evidence that this could help players, they owe it to us to explore it," Morgan told USA Today. "You hear about a lot of former players suffering from depression and dementia.

"Or the suicides," Morgan said. "[The NFL] could and should be a leader in this. If there's any evidence that this could help players, they owe it to us to explore it ... It's a legitimate ask."

Morgan went on to tell Katie Couric in an exclusive interview: "Given how much influence the NFL has on society, I think it would help the greater good. There's a lot of people suffering and a lot of people that can benefit from cannabis as a medical treatment."

U.S.: House Republicans Strip Veterans Of Equal Access To Marijuana In Dead Of Night

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"This isn't right for our veterans, or the American people."
~ Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Senator Jeff Merkley

On Wednesday, in the dead of night, as House Democrats held a sit-in for gun safety, House Republicans stripped language that would make it easier for qualified veterans to access state-legal medical marijuana from legislation to fund the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

With no transparency and little opportunity for Members to review, the House passed the legislation shortly after 3 a.m. local time Thursday. The Senate will vote on the legislation next.

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) released the following statement:

“Our language ensuring fair treatment for our veterans had broad, bipartisan support and passed both Chambers—it’s outrageous that it was removed. To add insult to injury, the legislation was released in the middle of the night, not even giving Members of the House an opportunity to review the language before voting on it. This isn’t right for our veterans, or the American people. We will keep fighting to make sure our wounded warriors have equal treatment and the ability to consult with their VA medical providers about medical marijuana as a treatment option.”

California: First Crop At Flowering Stage For Maple Leaf Green World

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Maple Leaf Green World on Monday announced that the plants at its California greenhouse facility have been flourishing and most have reached 7 feet in height. Accordingly, the company's greenhouse personnel have started the flowering process.

This crop has four different strains and each strain has a different time frame for flowering. Harvesting is expected to take place in July after flowering, which will be followed by drying and grinding to prepare the finished products for shipment.

The size of the plants is very significant, as the bigger the plant, the higher the yield. In addition, the demand for medical marijuana is expected to be quite high during the summer months as the usual harvest time for most producers is from September onward.

As such, the selling price of the company's product is expected to be considerably higher than the price customarily available for a later harvest.

Continued progress has been made in the effort to legalize recreational marijuana in California. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act has received more than double the required signatures to place the initiative on the ballot in the upcoming November elections.

For more information regarding Maple Leaf Green World Inc., visit www.mlgreenworld.com. The website has been updated with photos of the flowering plants of the California MJ project.

U.S.: House, Senate Bills Aim To Remove Barriers To Marijuana Research

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Bipartisan, Bicameral Medical Marijuana Research Legislation Introduced in House and Senate

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

There's a major development in federal cannabis legislation this week. Congressmen Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), and Sam Farr (D-CA) will be introducing the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2016. This bill heeds the calls of the medical research community to address the burdensome processes that currently impede legitimate medical research on marijuana.

The bill is a bipartisan and bicameral solution that removes barriers inhibiting medical marijuana research. Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) are introducing a similar bill in the Senate.

“As a physician who has conducted NIH sponsored research, I can’t stress enough how critical this legislation is to the scientific community," said Dr. Harris. "Our drug policy was never intended to act as an impediment to conducting legitimate medical research.

California: Care By Design Medical Marijuana Facilities Prepare to Resume Operations

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Early Wednesday morning the Care By Design (CBD Guild) production facilities in Santa Rosa, California and Sonoma County were searched and temporarily closed by the Santa Rosa Police Department and the DEA (Federal Drug Enforcement Administration). Law enforcement seized equipment, computers, product, payroll, payroll taxes and financial paperwork, and detained Dennis Franklin Hunter, a founding patient-member of CBD Guild.

Initially, the court set Dennis’ bail at $5 million. However, he was released within 48 hours and no charges have been filed at this time. Employees were granted re-entry to the facilities this morning, where an all-employee meeting was held.

“The company will work closely with government officials and law enforcement to swiftly resolve the investigation and address any and all concerns regarding our operations," said Nick Caston, spokesman for CBD Guild. "We maintain our strong commitment to operating with full transparency.

"Our main focus is resuming operations and providing our thousands of patients with the medicine that they depend on," Caston said. "For some of our patients this is truly a matter of life or death.”

California: Santa Rosa Medical Marijuana Company Raided By Federal DEA Agents

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Care By Design (CBD Guild) production facilities in Santa Rosa, California and Sonoma County were searched and temporarily closed on Wednesday morning by local law enforcement and the federal DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). Law enforcement seized equipment, computers, product, payroll, and financial paperwork.

Care By Design produces an array of medical marijuana products for thousands of patients in California, including patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, PTSD and other intractable medical conditions.

Care By Design products are CBD-centric. CBD is a therapeutically beneficial compound that does not get people high, and can moderate the intoxicating effects of THC. Care By Design products are available in non-smokable formulations such as gel caps and oral sprays, and available in a variety of CBD:THC ratios so that patients can manage the psychoactive effects of medical marijuana.

Hawaii: Marijuana Activist Sues, Says Licensing Medical Pot Violates Federal Law

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A longtime activist in Hawaii who is facing criminal charges of selling pot for running a now-defunct medicinal cannabis collective is suing to try to stop the opening of state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.

The suit was filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court by Mike Ruggles of Mountain View, naming as defendants Hawaii Governor David Ige, state Health Director Virginia Pressler, state Attorney General Douglas Chin, and the four companies which have been awarded state licenses to grow and sell marijuana, along with those companies' owners, reports West Hawaii Today.

Ruggles' suit alleges that Hawaii's medical marijuana dispensary law is a violation of federal racketeering and drug laws.

“The state cannot license people to break federal law and that’s exactly what they’ve done with these dispensaries," Ruggles claimed. "How does California do it? You’ll notice Act 228 (Hawaii’s medical marijuana law passed in 2000) mirrors California’s medical marijuana law word for word. Dispensaries in California are not regulated, and that’s how they get around (federal law). You see, the state cannot give citizens a license to break federal law. What they can do is ignore federal law being broke.”

New York: Report Finds Too Few Patients Can Access Medical Marijuana

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77% of Patients and Caregivers Surveyed, Who Accessed the Program, Say They Cannot Afford the Medicine They Need

Advocates Call On New York Legislature to Pass Bills to Increase Patient Access to Medical Marijuana

The Drug Policy Alliance on Monday issued a report assessing the first four months on the state’s medical marijuana program. The report is in response to demand for information in the face of the absence of all but the most limited public information from the New York State Department of Health. The report, the first systematic assessment of the program so far and its impact on patient access, found patients and caregivers face significant barriers to accessing medical marijuana.

On January 7, New York became the 23rd state to rollout its medical marijuana program. The law, which was passed in June of 2014, took eighteen months to implement and has been criticized as being one of the most restrictive and burdensome programs in the country.

Since the program was launched, patients and advocates have been frustrated by numerous barriers to accessing the program, including difficulty finding participating physicians, trouble accessing dispensaries and medication, and affordability.

Arizona: Cannabis Legal Expert Earns Partnership At Top Law Firm

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The Rose Law Group of Arizona has named marijuana legal expert Laura Bianchi a partner in the firm. According to the firm, "the promotion was based on her demonstrated ability to navigate increasingly complex regulations as well as her pioneering legal efforts in the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry."

Along with her partner promotion, she will continue as director of the Business/Corporate Transactions and Estate Planning and Asset Protection departments.

Since Arizona’s medical marijuana legalization in 2010, Bianchi has been at the forefront, helping to transition the industry from illegality to legitimacy. As an integral part of Rose Law Group’s Medical Marijuana practice, Bianchi and her colleagues configured and instituted legal precedents where no prevailing template existed.

Bianchi’s innovative work and expertise in business transactions and administrative law have allowed her to establish a diverse and loyal client base throughout Arizona and across the country. Her continued success has lead to national recognition. In 2016, she was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, a rating service that selects and honors outstanding lawyers from across all 50 states.

Ohio: Governor Kasich Signs Medical Marijuana Law

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Ohio Governor John Kasich on Wednesday signed House Bill 523 into law, making Ohio the 25th medical marijuana state.

Kasisch's communications team announced the signing without any comment, simply including in a list of other bills the governor also signed on Wednesday, reports Jackie Borchardt of Cleveland.com.

"This is a joyous day for the thousands of Ohioans who will finally be able to safely access much-needed medicine," said Ohioans for Medical Marijuana spokesman Aaron Marshall. "As we continue this movement to bring medical marijuana to all Buckeyes who need it, we will remember today as a huge step forward."

The new law goes into effect 90 days after the bill is officially filed with the Ohio Secretary of State, making medical marijuana legal sometime in early September. Patients will then have an "affirmative defense" against prosecution for marijuana possession charges if they have written authorization from their doctor to use marijuana in a form allowed under the law.

It could be a year or more until Ohioans can actually walk into a storefront dispensary and buy medical marijuana. The program must be operational within two years, according to the law, but lawmakers said it will probably be up and running sooner than that.

Kansas: August Hearing Set In Cancer Patient's Felony Medical Marijuana Case

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A motions hearing for a Kansas cancer patient facing felony marijuana charges has been scheduled for August to provide more time for review of his medical history.

Retired science teacher Terry Lynn Rugg, 64, of Ottawa, Kansas, is charged with marijuana cultivation, possession with intent to distribute, and possession of drug paraphernalia, all of which are felonies, reports Doug Carder at the Ottawa Herald. He was arrested on October 29, 2015.

Rugg's attorney, John Boyd, had already said he would provide the Franklin County Attorney's Office with Rugg's medical history, in hopes of reaching a plea bargain.

The prosecutor's office has indicated it wants to review Rugg's full medical records, which would require more time, Boyd said at his client's status conference on Monday morning.

Rugg has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, bladder cancer and urethral cancer, according to Boyd.

Montana: Medical Marijuana Initiative 182 Surpasses 30,000 Signatures

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A whopping 64 percent majority of Montana voters in 2004 approved Initiative 148, creating a state medical marijuana program, but in 2011 the conservative GOP-controlled Legislature repealed that law in a fit of reefer madness.

Initiative 182, currently gathering signatures and with just two weeks to go, aims to create a new medical marijuana program to assist the 12,000 Montanans who will lose safe access to cannabis on August 31 following the spring ruling by the Montana Supreme Court to uphold the 2011 repeal, reports Dustin Klemann at KPAX.

Organizers on Monday said they've gathered 30,000 signatures, more than enough to qualify for the November ballot.

"We want to take that law they passed in 2011, and the intention behind that law was to create a program that didn't work," said Kate Cholewa, spokesperson for the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, which is funding the effort. "We've been able to just function due to the court case that has enjoined several provisions of the law passed in 2011."

Arizona: Judge Rules DHS Wrongly Denied Hearing On Medical Marijuana For Parkinson's

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Arizona judge has ruled that the state Department of Health Services wrongly denied a hearing to petitioners who want people with Parkinson's disease to qualify for medical marijuana.

"In a desire for professionalism, the department has utilized a standard of proof that is higher than the rules call for," Administrative Law Judge Dorinda Lang wrote in an eight-page ruling signed May 24 and released publicly on Tuesday, reports Ray Stern at Phoenix New Times.

Arizona voters in 2010 approved a list of ailments that qualify state residents to legally use cannabis. Last year, the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association submitted eight petitions to add new qualifying ailments to the state's medical marijuana law, all of which were denied.

The group, led by Heather Manus, a registered nurse, appealed the denials for patients suffering from Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. They got the pro bono help of San Diego attorney and former Tucson dispensary owner Ken Sobel.

Pennsylvania: Some Patients Could Get Medical Marijuana This Summer

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana is one step closer for patients in Pennsylvania. Some will be able to gain access to cannabis this summer, but others will have to wait a lot longer.

The wait will be over soon for patients under age 18, reports Mark Roper at Fox 43.

"The mothers are the ones who fought for this law, so their kids should come first," said medical marijuana attorney Gabe Chorno. "I have no problem with that. Unfortunately for vets and adult patients, we have to continue to wait."

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy on Wednesday morning announced the details on the first phase of regulations. Once the first temporary regulations are established, parents will be able to get medicinal cannabis for their children in other states before it is grown and available in Pennsylvania.

Parents will be required to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and receive an identification card for their child.

"The drafters of the legislation, as well as the governor, as well as the Department of Health, wanted to be sure that we assisted these parents that really were instrumental in supporting this legislation," said Dr. Murphy.

California: Santa Catalina Island To Vote On Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A real estate broker hopes to turn his office into the first medical marijuana dispensary on Santa Catalina Island, off the Southern California coast near Long Beach.

Mark Malan is trying to sweeten the pot, so to speak, by promising to share a small portion of the revenue with local schools and city government, reports Louis Sahagun at the Los Angeles Times.

"It's going to create wheelbarrows of money," Malan said confidently.

A petition drive led by Malan has enough signatures to put an initiative on the ballot that would repeal Santa Catalina's current ban on cannabis dispensaries and allow at least two of them in the three-square-mile resort community with a population of about 3,800.

The Avalon Medical Cannabis Facility Act of 2016 would impose an annual license tax of $10,000 per dispensary and direct half of that amount to Avalon Schools, a K-12 complex of 750 students operated by the Long Beach Unified School District.

The initiative would also put a 12 percent transaction fee on all medicinal cannabis purchases, which would be divvied up one-third to drug and alcohol education for local students; one-third to Avalon's general fund; and one-third to its parks and recreation department.

Illinois: Medical Marijuana Advocates Cheer Governor's About-Face On Expanding Program

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana advocates are applauding Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's about-face on expanding the state's medicinal cannabis pilot program, saying it will allow time to show the program is working and help more suffering patients.

Democratic Rep. Lou Lang on Friday announced an agreement with the Republican governor to extend the state's four-year medical marijuana pilot program to 2020, reports the Associated Press.

The program had been set to expire in 2018, but advocates said more time is needed because medicinal cannabis sales only began in November 2015.

The agreement, which still must be approved by the Illinois Legislature, adds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and terminal illness to the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.

Governor Rauner had previously balked at adding any conditions, despite recommendations from the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.

Chairwoman Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple of the board said she's "thrilled" that more patients will now benefit from the program.

Photo of Gov. Bruce Rauner: Chicago Now

Ohio: Medical Marijuana Signature Drive Suspended

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Ohioans for Medical Marijuana on Friday evening, "after considerable discussion," suspended a drive to place an issue on the November 2016 Ohio ballot.

"We make this decision with a heavy heart as we will surely disappoint our many volunteers, supporters and patient-advocates who invested considerable time and effort in our movement," said Brandon Lynaugh, campaign manager for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. "It had become increasingly clear following the state legislature’s passage of a medical marijuana law on Wednesday that our ballot issue campaign had arrived at a critical juncture.

"With several hundred thousand signatures collected thus far, one option for our movement would have been to continue to pour our resources into obtaining the additional signatures needed to put the issue before voters," Lynaugh said. "But the reality is that raising funds for medical marijuana policy changes is incredibly difficult, especially given the improvements made to the proposed program by the Ohio General Assembly and the fact that the Governor is expected to sign the bill.

Ohio: Legislature's Embrace of Medical Marijuana Bolsters Amendment Prospects

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With the approval of H.B. 523 by the Ohio Senate and expected concurrence by the Ohio House of Representatives, Ohioans for Medical Marijuana on Thursday announced it will move toward the November ballot with the issue of patient’s rights to medical marijuana supported by the Ohio General Assembly.

"This General Assembly has taken a step forward on this issue,” said Aaron Marshall, spokesman for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. “Their support for medical marijuana speaks volumes for eliminating any remaining biases against allowing doctors to recommend this life-enhancing treatment to patients in need.”

"Our Constitutional amendment builds on the legislature’s work by incorporating national best practices and offers voters an opportunity to enact a law free of the horse-trading inherent in the legislative process," Marshall said. "Our amendment also protects the rights of patients in the Ohio Constitution, not leaving this important issue vulnerable to the reach of special interests."

While the legislative bill clears several important societal and policy-making hurdles, it omits a number of critical issues. They include:

Ohio: Senate Panel Votes For Medical Marijuana Bill; May Fall Short In Full Senate

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Ohio Senate committee voted 7-5 on Wednesday morning for House Bill 523, legislation that would legalize medical marijuana for certain conditions, but the bill may not have enough support to pass in the full Senate.

About a dozen of 23 Senate Republicans and two or three or 10 Democrats said they are willing to vote for the bill, with 17 votes needed for passage, report Alan Johnson and Jim Siegel at The Columbus Dispatch.

In Wednesday's Government Oversight Committee hearing, four Republicans joined Democratic Sen. Michael Skindell in opposing the medical marijuana bill.

If the Senate does pass HB 523, the House must then go along with amendments made to the legislation; it had passed a pre-amended version. Assuming both chambers come to an agreement -- with lawmakers not due back for session until after the November election -- the bill would then go to GOP Gov. John Kasich, who said on Tuesday that he "favors the concept" of medical marijuana. As for this specific bill, "I have to look at it," the Governor said.

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