The rules, which head to the Oregon Health Authority for additional review, will be the subject of a series of public hearings around the state next year before they are finalized. The Oregon Legislature earlier this year approved a law, which for the first time regulates the robust marijuana retail industry that's has cropped up in parts of the state in recent years. While retailers will fall under a blizzard of regulations starting next spring, marijuana growers and the cottage industry of companies testing the drug for potency and impurities will continue to operate without state oversight even under the new law.
"I see a train wreck coming," said Rob Bovett, Lincoln County's district attorney and a member of the rules committee. He said the rules don't meet Gov. John Kitzhaber's demands for patient and public safety. Bovett said the program's low staffing – four people will ensure retailers are complying with the rules – is inadequate. "We are setting ourselves up for a failure," he said. Still, the committee on Wednesday clarified a handful of complex issues. For instance, the rules, which will be implemented by the Oregon Health Authority, make clear that registering with the state is "not a guarantee that a facility is permitted to operate." Retail outlets must be in areas zoned for commercial, industrial use or agricultural land.
The issue of local control is a major one for many Oregon communities, including Medford, where the city council has taken steps to prohibit dispensaries from opening in the city. Tom Burns, who oversees the state's pharmaceutical drug programs and serves as facilitator of the rules committee, said the panel didn't weigh in on whether local governments can legally regulate dispensaries. "Whether local government has the authority to do that or not is something (the Oregon Health Authority) is not a party to," he said.
Shannon O'Fallon, an attorney with the Oregon Department of Justice who helped craft the rules, said the health authority won't check on businesses to make sure they are in compliance with local rules. "The Oregon Health Authority cannot tell local governments that they have to allow these facilities to operate," she said. "It may be a legal fight that ends up happening between facilities and local government." The health authority will begin accepting registry applications on March 3. Medical marijuana establishments currently operating in Oregon – advocates and dispensary owners estimate there are as many as 200 – will have to apply and receive state approval to continue operating.
Burns said he expects a flurry of activity as soon as the state begins accepting applications. Oregon lawmakers planned for four employees to oversee the registry, which will require background checks of applicants and inspections of establishments. "We anticipate a rush," Burns said. "We will move as quickly as we can." He said the limited staff means marijuana businesses will be approved without initial inspections by the state. “We are going to do a paper approval, and then over the next 12 months” the agency will do an in-person inspection, he said.
Burns said he expects annual inspections to include checks on whether establishments are making sure customers have valid medical marijuana cards and audits of intake and outflow of marijuana. "The purpose of this is public safety," he said. "We want to make sure this product is not going out the door into the black market." The rules committee also opted to allow patients who work in these outlets to use marijuana while at work. Initially, the committee planned to ban marijuana consumption on premises, but Burns said he heard from dispensary owners who made a case for allowing their sick employees to use medical marijuana in the establishments.
That could mean employees end up smoking in these outlets, which Bovett said raises a host of employment and environmental law issues. Burns said employees will be allowed to use marijuana out of sight of others on the job. He said it will be up to employers to determine whether employees can smoke the drug or consume the drug in other ways, such as marijuana-infused products or oils. "As long as it's out of sight and in a separate room, away from the public areas," said Burns, "they can set up whatever they want."
News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Author: Noelle Crombie
Contact: Contact Us | Oregonian Media GroupOregonian Media Group
Website: Medical marijuana in Oregon: Retailers will have to register, ensure security under guidelines | OregonLive.com
In August, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department wouldn’t criminally prosecute recreational marijuana users and state-approved growers and vendors in Colorado and Washington, after the two states passed legalization referendums in 2012. However, marijuana is still illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Holder, in his memo, established new guidelines for federal prosecutors in all states to follow for federal marijuana cases.
His decision averted one constitutional issue for now, about states that pass laws that seemingly contradict federal laws. But another one remains unresolved. BSAAG is involved because approved marijuana cultivators, producers and vendors in Colorado and Washington can’t set up legal bank accounts, because banks believe they could be implicated as money launders, since marijuana sales are still illegal nationally. And pot vendors can’t process retail credit and debit card transactions, for the same reason.
Legalized pot sales are set to become a reality next month in two states. Since the legally approved growers and vendors are forced to do business on a cash-only basis, some politicians believe criminal elements will enter the states’ marijuana business. “Forcing legitimate businesses to operate on a cash-only basis without bank accounts is an invitation for robbery, tax evasion and organized crime. With 21 states and D.C. now allowing for some form of legal adult marijuana usage, federal law needs to be updated to reflect the reality of the situation in the states,” said two Representatives, Denny Heck and Earl Perlmutter, in July, when they introduced banking legislation to protect legal marijuana growers from federal charges.
The Seattle Times says the Thursday meeting is behind closed doors and not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, so some frank talk is expected. In November, a top federal fraud enforcement official said in a public speech that the state-federal law conflict about marijuana would be discussed at Thursday’s meeting.
“We understand that [the banking] industry is calling for additional clarity on how DOJ’s policy pertains to the federal regulatory oversight of depository institutions providing banking services to duly operating, state regulated marijuana dispensaries,” said Jennifer Shasky Calvery, the director of the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (or FinCEN). “The issue is a complicated one given that federal law still applies in those states. We have already initiated discussions with our DOJ colleagues,” she said.
What happens after Thursday’s meeting is a guessing game at this point. The Seattle Times says the banking industry wants Congress to amend the Controlled Substances Act to make it clear that banks can’t be punished for doing business with marijuana producers who are operating under state laws. But Congress is unlikely to act in the short term, and with the majority of states not allowing legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, it could be some time before the Controlled Substances Act comes up for debate.
Marijuana supporters have pointed out that the President also has the power under the Controlled Substance Act to change the law, and remove pot from the Schedule 1 list of drugs, without consulting Congress.Under the Federal Code, under Section 811 of Title 21, the U.S. attorney general, after a lengthy petition and consultation process with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, can move a drug to a less-restrictive schedule. It would need to approve a review petition first. But efforts to get the Obama administration to consider a petition have gained little traction in five years.
That puts the ball back in the Treasury Department’s court with BSAAG, which could issue favorable guidelines to banks, or possibly work with the Justice Department to issue guidelines in the way Holder approached the problem in August. FinCEN’s Shasky Calvery told Reuters in November that she might ask the Justice Department to clarify how its policies about marijuana and banking would work in the context of Holder’s memo about prosecution.
Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole told a Senate committee in September that the Justice Department was working on the issue of banks and marijuana producers. “Obviously there is a public safety concern when businesses have a lot of cash sitting around,” Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole told a Senate subcommittee. “There is a tendency that there are guns associated with that, so it’s important to deal with that issue.” But for now, without public assurances from the federal government, industry observers believe bank will remain in a wait-and-see mode.
News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Author: Scott Bomboy
Contact: Philadelphia local news, sports, jobs, cars, homes - Philly.com
Website: Legal marijuana states bank on secret meeting
The Michigan House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed two important bills today. HB 4271, sponsored by Rep. Mike Callton, would allow local governments to license and regulate dispensaries. HB 5104, sponsored by Rep. Eileen Kowall, would extend the protections currently in place for smoked forms of marijuana to marijuana extracts, a key ingredient in topical emollients, edibles, and tinctures.
The dispensary bill received a landslide vote of 94-14, while the vote for the extracts bill was an even more lopsided 100-9 in favor. We wish to thank both Rep. Callton and Rep. Kowall for sponsoring these important pieces of legislation, and thanks to the many groups, lobbyists, and patients who supported this effort. Great work!
The bills will now be transmitted to the Senate. Stay tuned for more alerts as progress on these bills continues.
Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said while the crop was not particularly sophisticated in set-up, the number of plants located represented a good haul. "We will allege the plants, which ranged from small to medium, were grown from seedlings," Supt Wacker said "Detectives also discovered a basic irrigation system had been established to water the crop via a buried pipe which was pumping water from a nearby dam. "In total, 8702 were discovered, most of which have now been destroyed." A 54-year-old man is being questioned by police.
News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Contact: Ipswich Times
Website: Crop of 8000 cannabis plants seized in raid
These are the sorts of questions the state of Colorado has been struggling with since its voters passed Amendment 64 in November 2012, putting the state on a fast track to doing something no polity has ever done before. On Jan. 1, Colorado will become the first state in the modern world to legalize marijuana from seed to sale. (Uruguay voted on Tuesday to legalize pot, but the law won't be implemented for 120 days. In the Netherlands, marijuana is simply decriminalized, not legal. While Washington state legalized marijuana at the same time Colorado passed Amendment 64, its regulatory system likely won’t be up and running until next summer.) That means Colorado’s lawmakers, businesses, and citizens are facing issues no one has tackled before. How do you legally produce marijuana? What procedures should be put in place for its packaging, transportation, sale, and taxation? How do you keep track of all that pot, and how do you discipline those who run afoul of your regulations? How do you regulate the financing of pot operations, the development of peripheral businesses, the marketing of marijuana to tourists? And how do you keep the whole thing from falling apart? In short, how do you build an entire industry from scratch?
Over the next two months, as Colorado’s legal pot industry opens for business, the two of us—Sam Kamin, a University of Denver law professor, and Joel Warner, a local writer—will look at how Colorado is answering these questions, with the world watching and possibly billions of dollars at stake—not to mention the federal government keeping a close eye on everything. Marijuana, after all, remains a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, alongside LSD and heroin. That means Colorado has to figure out a way to abide by its voters’ wish to authorize marijuana’s possession, manufacture, and sale without causing the feds to act on the fact that all of these actions are still punishable by up to life in prison.
We’re beginning our coverage with the most important issue Colorado has had to wrestle with so far: How do you build a regulatory framework for pot? All other decisions on legalized marijuana derive from this one. Pretty much every legal good and service is regulated in one way or another—restaurants are inspected, plumbers are licensed, sodas have to list their ingredients—and marijuana is a psychoactive substance, like cocaine, alcohol, and sleeping pills, so clearly there have to be rules about how it’s used. Even marijuana’s most ardent proponents concede there have to be limits on its sale and usage—children shouldn’t have access to it, people shouldn’t drive under its influence. But the biggest argument of all for marijuana regulation, from the government’s perspective, is taxation. If the state doesn’t know who is selling it, where they are selling it, or who’s buying it and at what price, Colorado can’t make any money off it.
To determine the best way to regulate this new market, a week after the law passed, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper formed the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force comprised of elected officials, stakeholders in the state’s existing medical marijuana industry, and various experts (including one of us—the University of Denver’s Sam Kamin). It was no easy task, especially since Colorado had just over a year to pick a regulatory model, pass legislation implementing it, conduct rulemaking around it, and go through all the licensing and inspections required to implement it by Jan. 1. Compared to how long most governmental processes take, that was a blink of an eye. Given such pressures, the state’s best bet, the task force decided, was to borrow from existing regulatory models. But which set of rules were the right fit? What legal substance does pot most resemble?
The most obvious parallel was alcohol. Amendment 64, after all, explicitly invoked alcohol regulation as its inspiration, and its supporters built their campaign around a simple, catchy idea: Marijuana is safer than booze. When the measure passed, many people compared the moment to the end of Prohibition in 1933. But do we really want marijuana to be treated like alcohol? On the one hand, alcohol is carefully controlled, which would prove helpful for marijuana. Sellers have to be licensed, manufacturers must list their products’ potency, and rules are in place to prohibit sales to minors. On the other hand, there’s no single alcohol distribution model for marijuana to emulate. For example, liquor stores operate independently of alcohol manufacturers, and shoppers aren’t allowed to consume purchases on site. But at some breweries, the opposite is true—the beer is produced, sold, and consumed at a single location. So which should it be: pot package stores or pot brewpubs?
And there’s a larger concern with modeling marijuana legalization after alcohol. While Prohibition failed to snuff out drinking and helped fuel organize crime, there’s no denying that in the free-market system that’s flourished since then alcohol use has surged. According to health statistics, today more than half of American adults are regular drinkers, and there are more than 80,000 alcohol-related deaths a year. While there’s no evidence marijuana legalization will produce any sort of similar mortality rate, do we want a free-for-all system that could encourage so many people to regularly smoke pot?
In light of these concerns, Colorado policymakers briefly considered a state-run program, similar to systems in New Hampshire and other states that manage their own liquor stores. This approach had several benefits. For one thing, studies show that state-run alcohol programs, thanks to their lack of targeted advertising and price competition, lead to significantly less spirit and wine consumption than free-market programs. For another, a state-run dispensary model would allow the state to reap the profits of marijuana sales, rather than just levying taxes and fees.
But even if a state-run marijuana program were theoretically the best approach, it came with a major problem: It would put Colorado in direct conflict with the federal government. It’s one thing to permit and even license a substance that’s against federal law; it’s something else entirely to require state employees, as part of their job, to violate that law.
That’s why the Amendment 64 task force ultimately recommended—and the Colorado legislature eventually passed in a 136-page set of rules—a regulatory model for pot that requires a vertically integrated supply chain. For at least the first nine months of 2014, Colorado pot stores will have to grow at least 70 percent of what they sell, while the rest can come from other producers. Similarly, Colorado marijuana producers will have to retail 70 percent of what they grow; the rest can be sold to other retailers. Under such a closed-loop system—retailers have to grow and vice versa—there is less concern that producers will grow as much as they can and then sell to any buyer they can find, lawfully or unlawfully. Plus, the high cost of vertical integration—leasing, equipping, staffing, and licensing both a grow facility and a retail store doesn’t come cheap—means the number of market participants will likely be limited, at least at the outset. Finally, Colorado would accomplish all of this without federally problematic state control.
But the vertical integration model is far from perfect. The system discourages competition and creates barriers to entry, which means less consumer choice and higher prices. Imagine if your local liquor store sold primarily Budweiser, with only a handful of other beers, as opposed to all the brands shoppers actually wanted. This is why Washington state’s marijuana program is going the opposite route, forbidding vertical integration. And it’s why since the end of Prohibition, the government has outlawed alcohol monopolies.
Still, vertical integration had one other important thing going for it in Colorado: The system was already in place. In 2010, Colorado had taken steps to rein in a booming medical marijuana industry that was largely unregulated. There was little control over who was growing pot, where it was being sold, and who was buying it. In response, the legislature passed extensive new medical marijuana rules that required dispensaries to grow 70 percent of their own product. All across the state, dispensaries and grow operations were forced to merge. Some of these shotgun weddings panned out, and some didn’t, leading to a more consolidated and stable medical marijuana scene. Suddenly, Colorado had the most robust regulatory regime in the country, allowing it to skirt federal busts that crippled medical marijuana operations elsewhere.
That’s why for the first nine months of 2014, the only Colorado businesses that will be selling recreational pot are those that were previously vertically integrated medical marijuana operations. (The city of Denver has extended its moratorium on new pot-shop licensees through February 2016). In other words, the state’s new pot regime will look much like the old one: the same people selling it, the same rules for how it’s produced, the same Department of Revenue regulators overseeing it all. The state policymakers ultimately decided if the system isn’t broke, perhaps it doesn’t need fixing. But even with Colorado’s regulatory system nailed down, there are still plenty of wrinkles to be ironed. Among the more perplexing conundrums:
Consider the marijuana lollipop, part of the smorgasbord of pot-infused candies, granola bars, and even sodas currently sold at Colorado marijuana dispensaries. How do you distinguish these pops from a run-of the-mill sucker? While a pot lollipop’s THC content isn’t going to cause anyone serious harm, no one wants the headlines that would come with a bunch of kids getting marijuana highs along with their sugar rush. That’s why, along with other labeling requirements such as usage instructions, ingredient lists, pesticides and chemicals used, and various warnings, marijuana products will be required to display a marijuana-related “universal symbol” that children who can’t yet read will understand.
But what should that symbol be? While adults the world over recognize the seven-pointed leaf as a symbol for pot, little kids aren’t likely to do so—and the image might even be enticing to them. The now-iconic “Mr. Yuk” poison symbol was created in the 1970s, because children associated the old symbol—a skull and crossbones—with fun stuff like pirates and adventure. So what’s the marijuana version of Mr. Yuk? That has yet to be determined, but the state’s new Marijuana Enforcement Division will need to come up with it soon.
According to Colorado’s new pot rules, marijuana ads can only run in media outlets like periodicals and local television channels where there’s evidence that no more than 30 percent of the audience is under 21 (finally, an upside to print media’s growing unpopularity among young people). Outdoor ads like billboards and taxi decals are also prohibited. It’s a well-meaning idea, and it signals to the federal government that Colorado isn’t planning on becoming a stoner’s paradise. But the regulations likely won’t hold up in court, since less onerous restrictions on alcohol and tobacco ads have previously been overturned for violating the First Amendment. Does that mean Colorado will soon be plastered with pot-leaf billboards? Not necessarily, since it’s in the marijuana industry’s best interest to rein in excessive advertising, just as the tobacco and spirits industries have in the past adopted self-imposed advertising restrictions for public-relations reasons. No marijuana marketing effort, after all, is worth drawing the attention of the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Last summer, Colorado lawmakers passed a marijuana DUI rule, setting the legal THC-blood limit for drivers at 5 nanograms per milliliter. The thing is, everyone involved knew the rule made no sense. Unlike with alcohol, marijuana impairment can vary widely from one person to the next. As even the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration concedes, “It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person's THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects. Concentrations of parent drug and metabolite are very dependent on pattern of use as well as dose.” As William Breathes, the venerable pot critic at the Denver alt-weekly Westword, has demonstrated, long-standing marijuana users can refrain from using marijuana for much of a day and still have THC levels several times over the 5-nanogram limit. Plus there’s the fact that there’s little consistency in marijuana dosing—how much THC are you getting from that hand-rolled joint or those two bites of pot brownie? Yes, intoxication is always a bit of a guessing game with alcohol, too—but it’s far more of a guessing game with weed.
Still, with the world and the feds watching, Colorado had to demonstrate it was taking stoned driving seriously; hence the need for the marijuana DUI law. But lawmakers hedged their bets by making it a “permissible inference measure,” meaning it comes with a potential get-out-of-jail-free card. Getting caught driving over the 5-nanogram limit means you’re presumed to be guilty, but you’re allowed to argue in court that you weren’t impaired. (Washington state’s 5-nanogram limit, on the other hand, is a “per-se measure,” meaning you have no defense if you’re busted over the limit.)
Is Colorado’s marijuana DUI rule flawless? Far from it. But as the state’s policymakers have come to realize, the world’s first legal pot rules aren’t going to be perfect. They just have to be good enough. Good enough to keep the feds away, good enough to keep marijuana stakeholders happy, good enough to keep Coloradans from worrying they’ve made a horrible mistake. Is Colorado’s regulated pot system good enough? In the coming weeks, we’re going to find out.
News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Author: Sam Kamin and Joel Warner
Contact: Where-To Find Slate Staff
Website: Colorado pot legalization: How much can the state learn from the end of Prohibition?
Is Gov. Mark Dayton – thankfully – softening his irrational opposition to medical marijuana? It appears as though that might be the case. Yesterday, ECM reported that Gov. Dayton will allow staff to work with patients and advocates on the issue of medical marijuana. He even expressed interest in researching the issue himself. While we still “don’t know where he stands,” according to Heather Azzi, political director for Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, with your help, we can educate the governor’s staff and demonstrate just how ridiculous law enforcement’s “blanket opposition” to medical marijuana really is.
Twenty states and Washington, D.C. all have workable medical marijuana laws protecting seriously ill patients from arrest and prosecution for using medical marijuana with a physician’s recommendation. Why should Minnesotans suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, Dravet syndrome, PTSD, ALS, MS, and other enumerated conditions be forced to break the law in order to have a better quality of life? Ask the governor to listen to patients and providers and be skeptical of the “chicken little” opposition with which certain members of law enforcement provide him.
A proposed rule to limit the amount of wattage for indoor grows to 1,200 watts was removed after cannabis growers at the public hearing on Tuesday voiced opposition, noting the wattage would not be enough to cover 100 square feet. As a compromise, wattage usage more than 1,200 watts would require inspection from a licensed contractor. To address the risk of fire, the ordinance includes the prohibition of flammable liquids in cultivation practices.
The ordinance, which Supervisor John Leopold said was “close to the cutting edge” but would most likely need to be “recalibrated” over time, addresses commercial cultivation of medical marijuana for the first time. Leopold, who consulted with traditional agriculture groups including the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau and the county agriculture commissioner in developing his recommendations, said using agriculture zoning designations as a “template” when developing the ordinance was the right way to go.
To help keep grows from entering residential areas, commercial cultivation is limited to zones designated as SU (Special Use), TP (Timber Production), CA (Commercial Agriculture), A (Agriculture), AP (Agriculture Preserve) or RA (Residential Agriculture) by the county zoning ordinance and outside of the urban area defined by the Urban Services and Rural Services Lines. Commercial medical marijuana growers have to ensure their crop is grown collectively or cooperatively for its members or a Santa Cruz County medical marijuana business and is used for medical purposes only.
The ordinance also includes rules on advertising to keep a market for spaces for cultivation from flourishing in the county, a 600-foot buffer from schools and parks and language that requires cultivators adhere to county policies on environmental protection, resource conservation and water use. The proposed ordinance also sets new, graded canopy and setback limits depending on parcel size.
For a parcel in size between one acre and five, a garden canopy is limited to 1,000 square feet, with a setback of 100 feet from any habitable structure on an adjacent parcel. A parcel greater than five acres and less than 10 acres in size is limited to a garden canopy of 2,000 square feet, with a setback of 200 feet, while parcels greater than 10 acres would be limited to a garden canopy of 3,000 square feet with a required setback of 300 feet. Yet, regardless of parcel size, a limit of 99 plants per parcel is included in the ordinance. The draft ordinance passed by a vote of 4-1, with District 2 Supervisor Zach Friend offering the sole dissenting vote. The ordinance will return to the board for further consideration in six months.
News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Author: Roseann Hernandez
Website: Register-Pajaronian County board moves forward on marijuana cultivation rules
During the stop, officers smelled marijuana in the Volkswagen Rabbit and asked McHugh about it, according to Police Chief Peter Wack. McHugh then told officers he was certified to use medical marijuana and showed them a photocopy of a one-page sheet from CannaMed, a clinic in Framingham, authorizing him to carry and grow up to a 60-day supply. On the back was a message to police that they have "no power to refuse to enforce the medical marijuana statute."
McHugh's medical condition was redacted from the certificate. His and the officers' stories differ about what happened during the traffic stop. McHugh said he told officers he had about 14 grams of marijuana in the trunk and possibly some in the glove box. He said he let them search the car. "I had nothing to hide," he said Wednesday. Wack said that McHugh admitted to the marijuana in the glove compartment, but officers found more pot and paraphernalia during the search of the car.
Officers asked McHugh why his medical condition was redacted on the form, Wack said. McHugh told them the marijuana was for back pain — an answer they questioned. Under federal health privacy laws, McHugh said, he is under no obligation to tell police or anyone else why he needs the medical marijuana. On Wednesday, he acknowledged it's not for back pain, but declined to name the diagnosis.
"It's very personal," he said. The officers issued citations for a total of $250 for driving 45 mph in a 30-mph zone and for failing to yield to the ambulance, Wack said. They also issued a $100 ticket for possession of marijuana, and confiscated the drug and paraphernalia as evidence. McHugh can appeal to the town clerk. There is no allegation that McHugh was under the influence of drugs at the time of the stop.
The medical marijuana law was approved by ballot initiative in 2012 and went into effect Jan. 1. Nearly a year later, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is still working out the kinks, including a way to issue a state ID card that will certify an individual is legally authorized to possess marijuana. Under frequently asked questions on the state's website, the DPH says the card system hinges on technology to "receive and process registrations" that is not yet in place.
Anne Roach, a spokeswoman for DPH, said medical marijuana registration cards will be issued "sometime next year," but could not pinpoint a date. Right now, there is no state guideline for what should be included on a certification form, she said. Police departments are waiting for clear direction from DPH and a registration card would be a big step, Wack said. Meanwhile, officers have to make decisions in the field, particularly in the early morning hours, and in this case the officers did the best they could under the circumstances, he said.
"(McHugh's) document had been altered and came into question," Wack said. McHugh said he was mistreated by officers who forced him to stand outside in frigid temperatures for nearly 45 minutes while they searched his car and conducted an investigation. He was 22 minutes late opening the Hess store for the day, he said.
Dr. Harold Altvater, an anesthesiologist now with Delta9 Medical Consulting in Methuen, said physicians have been advised they could lose federal funding for prescribing marijuana. That forces patients seeking medical marijuana to turn to places like his firm or CannaMed, or to what he describes as "clearinghouses" — larger organizations that link patients to doctors. Despite being authorized to grow his own, McHugh said he travels to Lawrence to get his marijuana from what the DPH categorizes as a "personal caregiver" because no dispensaries have been licensed yet.
Along with the potential fines, McHugh said he is out the $200 value of the seized marijuana. The bowl, grinder, scale and mason jars police took as evidence are worth another $200, he said. McHugh said he is consulting with an attorney and is planning to file a formal complaint against the officers. "This should have never happened," he said.
News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Author: George Brennan
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Sandwich man caught in middle of new medical marijuana law | CapeCodOnline.com