Archive for the ‘medical marijuana’ category

Virginia Governor McAuliffe Expresses Support For Medical Marijuana

August 29th, 2014
McAuliffe
Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Earlier this week, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe took a question about legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, as Colorado has done. While he is not “yet” supportive of this sensible policy change, he did use the question as an opportunity to express his support for medical marijuana. The Virginia General Assembly should follow suit by sending Gov. McAuliffe a comprehensive medical marijuana bill in 2015.

Virginia law already recognizes marijuana’s medicinal benefits, but, because of the way the law is written, patients are left without a legal way to access, possess, or even use their medicine without a change in federal policy. Virginia can and should enact a law similar to the laws in 23 states and D.C. that allow the terribly ill to use, possess, and access medical marijuana in state despite the failed and draconian federal prohibition.

If you are a Virginia resident, please email your lawmakers urging them to pass compassionate legislation.

California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Dies On Suspended Session

August 18th, 2014

Thursday marked the end of SB 1262 in California, as the Assembly Appropriations Committee failed to take a vote on the measure before deadline. Unfortunately, this means that another legislative session has passed without the enactment of sensible statewide regulations and clearer legal protections for medical marijuana providers. However, while SB 1262 was ostensibly written to address this widely agreed upon issue, the most recent version had a number of flaws that ultimately led to MPP opposing passage.

Perhaps the most glaring flaw of the legislation was ceding regulatory power to the Department of Consumer Protection, an agency that never expressed any interest in being entrusted with this important task. In fact, the department failed to take part in a single stakeholder meeting. While we are certainly disappointed that the legislature failed to pass a regulatory bill, we are relieved that they did not pass one that would have caused more harm than good.

MPP Submits Initial Comments On Draft Manufacturer Rules

August 14th, 2014

The Marijuana Policy Project has submitted our initial comments on the partial draft rules regulating medical marijuana manufacturers in Minnesota. The Department of Health is accepting public comments on these and other medical marijuana rules until further notice is published in the State Register. MPP will keep you appraised of timeline updates as we know more. If you are interested in commenting, please visit the Department’s site for instructions on how to do so.

Jeff Johnson
Jeff Johnson

Also, in case you missed it, Jeff Johnson won Tuesday’s GOP primary, defeating Scott Honour, Marty Seifert, and Kurt Zellers. Jeff Johnson, who has stated that he supports allowing medical marijuana, will be facing Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) in November’s general election.

Delaware Officials Announce First Medical Marijuana Compassion Center

August 13th, 2014

After more than three years and numerous delays, Delaware’s first pilot medical marijuana dispensary has finally been approved! On Monday, August 11, the Department of Health and Social Services finalized a two-year agreement with the aptly named First State Compassion Center. The center will be located at an industrial park on the outskirts of Wilmington, and will begin growing medical marijuana this fall.

This is great news for patients who have been patiently waiting for legal access to their medicine. But a single dispensary, limited to growing 150 plants, will not be able to serve all of Delaware’s patients. If you are a Delaware resident, please remind the governor that more compassion centers are needed to provide reasonable access to the state’s most seriously ill residents.

Markell
Gov. Jack Markell

Medical marijuana was legalized in the First State in 2011, when Gov. Jack Markell signed S.B. 17 into law. The law required one dispensary per county. However, implementation was stalled in early 2012 when Gov. Markell received a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s office threatening federal intervention. In 2013, the governor finally agreed to move forward with a single pilot center, and a limit of 150 plants per dispensary. Shortly afterwards, federal policy relaxed, meaning there is no reason not to fully implement Delaware’s compassionate medical marijuana law.

Illinois Medical Marijuana Applications Now Available

August 11th, 2014

The three departments that oversee the Illinois medical cannabis program posted several important documents online on Friday, including cannabis patient applications, which are available here.

Additional forms were also made available, including documents for physicians to use for recommendations, fingerprint consent forms, caregiver applications, frequently asked questions, and preliminary versions of applications for both dispensaries and cultivation centers. All those documents and other information are available here.

While they are available now, the department will not accept patient applications until later this year. Applicants whose last names begin with the letters A through L may apply between September 2 and October 31. Applicants with last names that start with M through Z may apply between November 1 and December 31. Beginning January 1, 2015, applications for registry identification cards will be accepted year-round.

The Department of Public HealthIDPH also announced town hall meetings to answer questions from those who want to apply for patient registry IDs. Meetings are schedule to take place in Collinsville on August 14, Peoria on August 18, and Chicago on August 20.

D.C. Mayor Signs Bill to Expand Medical Marijuana Program

August 5th, 2014

On July 29, D.C. Mayor Vince Gray signed the Medical Marijuana Expansion Emergency Amendment Act of 2014. The ordinance takes effect immediately, but it is only temporary, so another measure and Congressional approval are needed to make the compassionate changes permanent.

This temporary law allows physicians to recommend marijuana for any debilitating condition they think would respond favorably to the therapeutic use of marijuana and increases the number of plants D.C.’s licensed cultivators may possess from 95 to 500. This new law will automatically expire on October 27 unless the Council makes passes new legislation.

D.C. physicians participating in the medical marijuana program may now recommend medical marijuana to those suffering from PTSD, chronic pain, and a host of other conditions that were not previously included on a list of qualifying conditions, but whose symptoms have been shown to relent with marijuana use. Increasing the number of plants that cultivators may possess ensures that our seriously ill friends and neighbors have access to the medicine their physicians think will work best for them.

Enactment of temporary legislation gave the Council the time it needs to debate and pass a permanent fix. If you are a District resident, please ask your councilmember to continue to support compassionate legislation and then send this to our fellow Washingtonians who support medical marijuana.

Minnesota Issues Draft Medical Marijuana Rules

August 4th, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health has issued draft rules governing applications and oversight for two medical marijuana manufacturers. These rules are provisional, and may be revised before becoming final. Anyone interested in commenting on these proposed rules may do so by following the department’s instructions.

In addition to publishing draft manufacturer rules, the department will be hosting a public meeting for parties interested in the medical marijuana manufacturing process. There will be an overview of the new law, a discussion of potential rules necessary to implement that law, available information pertaining to the manufacturer selection process, and an overall timeline for the program.

Gov. Dayton signed the medical marijuana program, which is one of the most limited and restrictive in the country, in May after a lengthy struggle with patients, supporters, and law enforcement.

 

Maryland Medical Marijuana Draft Regulations Now Available

August 1st, 2014

The Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission is working hard to implement Maryland’s medical marijuana program. And it wants your help! The commission has already released draft regulations for informal feedback. Check out the proposed rules for cultivators and physicians.

MPP has already submitted comments on the physician regulations and comments on the cultivator regulations, and there are several concerning areas that need revision. But we want Maryland residents to tell the commission what you think, too. Please email your feedback to dhmh.medicalmarijuanacommission@maryland.gov by Tuesday, August 5.

Among our concerns are:

* An unnecessary training course on medical marijuana for all certifying physicians;
* Mandatory random drug testing for patients; and
* A requirement for physicians to specify dosage and strain type, which may put them at legal risk.

Please keep in mind that these are draft regulations, so they are not final. If you are a Maryland resident, this is a great opportunity to help shape Maryland’s medical marijuana program. Your comments should be specific, respectful, and helpful. Remember to email the commission by August 5.

 

Study: Legalized Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Impact Teen Use Rates

July 31st, 2014

The passage of state laws legalizing the physician-recommended possession and consumption of cannabis by qualified patients has not led to an increase in adolescents’ use of the plant, according to a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research – a non-partisan research organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Investigators from the University of Colorado at Denver, the University of Oregon, and Montana State University assessed federal data on youth marijuana use and treatment episodes for the years 1993 to 2011 – a time period when 16 states authorized medical cannabis use.

Authors reported, “Our results are not consistent with the hypothesis that the legalization of medical marijuana caused an increase in the use of marijuana among high school students. In fact, estimates from our preferred specification are small, consistently negative, and are never statistically distinguishable from zero.”

A separate analysis published in April in the Journal of Adolescent Health similarly determined, “This study did not find increases in adolescent marijuana use related to legalization of medical marijuana. … This suggests that concerns about ‘sending the wrong message’ may have been overblown.”

Full text of the study, “Medical marijuana laws and teen marijuana use,” is available online here.

GOP Congressman Introduces CBD Oil Bill

July 28th, 2014
GOP Congressman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania introduced a bill today that would make CBD oil legal under federal law.

Scott Perry
Rep. Scott Perry

If passed, the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014″ would allow states to permit patients suffering from epilepsy and related conditions to use an oil that is extremely low in THC but high in cannabidiol, or CBD. Under current federal law, any product made from marijuana is illegal.

It is great to see growing recognition of marijuana’s medical benefits, but this proposal would not help most of the seriously ill people who could benefit from them.