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Medical

Believe it or not, medical marijuana sales could fall

8/12/18--Based on the continued expansion of countries and states that allow legal medical marijuana, it may be assumed that global medical marijuana spending will keep on growing in 2018 like it has in previous years. However, Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics project that global medical marijuana spending will drop by more than 19% year over year in 2018. Yet, medical marijuana sales are expected to increase again, and the growth rate over the next four years should be nearly as impressive as the period between 2014 and 2017. Read

With marijuana legal, California flooded with dubious health claims about the drug

7/9/18--Marijuana is increasingly described online as a magical elixir for virtually every disease that afflicts humans. The claims are often unattributed and are rarely tied in a substantive way to mainstream science. Six months ago, it became legal in California to sell recreational marijuana in licensed pot shops, and many customers have been turning to the store’s “bud tenders” to tell them which strain of weed can alleviate their aches and pains or help them to sleep. Most bud tenders have no formal training in medicine or science. Read

Medical industry won’t rule out lawsuit on medical marijuana if smokables aren’t banned from dispensaries

7/9/18--The Oklahoma State Department of Health has kept intact proposed limits on the potency of medical marijuana in its most recent iteration of proposed rules regarding State Question 788, but medical industry leaders, in asking for additional restrictions, wouldn’t rule out a lawsuit in their mission to ban the sale of smokable products. Read

Autism, 10 other medical issues, now qualify patients for medical marijuana

7/9/18--People with autism may now legally use medical marijuana to treat their condition under new rules approved by a Michigan regulatory agency. Autism was one of the 11 new medical issues state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Shelly Edgerton approved Monday for inclusion on the list of debilitating medical conditions that can qualify someone for a medical marijuana license. Read

Medical marijuana a hit with seniors

7/5/18--Seniors are giving rave reviews for medical marijuana. In a new survey, those who turned to it for treating chronic pain reported it reduced pain and decreased the need for opiod painkillers. Nine out of 10 liked it so much they said they'd recommend medical pot to others. Read

Slow growing: North Louisiana’s first medical marijuana clinic preps for patients

7/3/18--Medical marijuana is still a risky, early stage business here in Louisiana, but a Shreveport counselor is teaming up with a group of doctors to open north Louisiana’s first medical marijuana clinic. Kathryn Thomas and five local doctors have launched The Healing Clinic. It hasn’t opened yet, but the clinic’s web site is encouraging people to pre-register for an appointment. Read

Ruling throws cold water on smokable marijuana case

7/3/18--An appellate court on Tuesday refused to allow smokable medical marijuana while a legal fight continues to play out. The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal came in a lawsuit initiated by Orlando trial attorney John Morgan and others who maintain that a Florida law barring patients from smoking their treatment runs afoul of a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. Read

Medical marijuana troubles Ohio doctors: ‘Although it’s natural, (it’s) not like a vitamin’

3/18/18--Doctors say they are bombarded with questions about medical marijuana and are concerned because they don’t have all the answers. There is an information gap on questions such as how effective marijuana is for specific disorders, how the compounds affect children, and how it interacts with other medications. Read

Colorado lawmakers consider allowing school nurses to distribute medical marijuana

3/13/18--The Colorado Legislature is considering allowing school nurses to administer doses of medical marijuana to students. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Eagle, said he believes there would be no negative consequences of allowing school nurses to administer the medical marijuana. Roberts’ amendment would give school nurses the authority to possess and administer cannabis in a “nonsmokeable form” to students with a prescription from a doctor. Read

Israel may be first country to approve marijuana vaporizer for medical use

3/13/18--The Ministry of Health recently gave its stamp of approval to an Israeli company producing marijuana vaporizers, possibly becoming the first country in the world to certify the piece of paraphernalia for medical purposes. Tel Aviv-based Kanabo Research, a medical cannabis R&D firm, announced that the ministry certified the company’s VapePod vaporizer product for the use of medical cannabis extracts and formulations, reportedly breaking international precedent. Read

Cedar Rapids to be site of medical marijuana manufacturing facility

6/29/18--Cedar Rapids will be the site of Iowa’s second medical marijuana manufacturing facility, officials confirmed Friday. The Iowa Department of Public Health announced it intends to award the license to Iowa Relief LLC. The company is a subsidiary of New Jersey-based Acreage Holdings, which already grows, processes, or dispenses medical marijuana in 12 states. Read

With new Deltona dispensary, medical marijuana coming to main street

3/10/18--Surterra Wellness is one of 28 medical dispensaries now operating under Florida’s legalized system to provide access to the drug. Early projections suggest there is a market of at least 500,000 Floridians who could benefit from medical marijuana. Surterra, like some other companies, has plotted out the goal of opening a location in every metro area in the state. Read

Maine bill would make it easier to qualify for medical marijuana

3/9/18--A bill to make it easier for Mainers to qualify as medical marijuana patients is getting some legislative backing. Maine Public reports that the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee voted Wednesday to support a bill that allows caregivers to expand while accepting tighter regulations. The bill now faces House and Senate votes. Read

New studies show that legal cannabis access reduces opioid abuse

3/4/18--Scientific data is growing nearly by the day in support of the notion that legalized cannabis can mitigate opioid use and abuse. For instance, among states where medical cannabis access is permitted, patients routinely lessen their opioid intake. According to data published this week by the Minnesota Department of Health, among those patients known to be taking opiate painkillers upon their enrollment into the program, 63 percent “were able to reduce or eliminate opioid usage after six months.” Read

Increasing study data indicates medical cannabis Can reduce opioid use, deaths

3/4/18--Libertarian think tank The Cato Institute last week posted an article citing a study report issued by the Minnesota Department of Health. Study results, which surveyed data from 2,000 first-time medical marijuana users with intractable pain, said 42 percent of those patients reported a 30 percent decrease or more in their level of pain. Perhaps, more importantly, the study also found that of those patients taking opioid medications for pain, 63 percent were able to reduce or curtail their opioid use, once treated with medical cannabis. Read

Federal health official says “There is no such thing as medical marijuana”

3/5/18--As health officials, law enforcement, and politicians carve a path forward through interdiction, treatment, and opioid alternatives, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar has already dismissed medical cannabis as an option, even in the face of continued research showing the controversial plant's immense ability to wean users off pain pills and heroin. According to Azar, there is no such thing as medical marijuana, and there is no FDA approved use of marijuana. Read

Fox 16 anchor announces participation in marijuana application

2/28/18--Donna Terrell, anchor on Fox 16, disclosed on last night's news broadcast that she was one of the members of a group seeking a medical marijuana cultivation permit. She's reportedly a part of the top-ranked application from Natural States Medicinal Cultivation, but she didn't reveal that on-air. Terrell said she'd decided to get involved because of the death of her daughter seven years ago from colon cancer. She said the availability of medical marijuana then would have made her last days "much more tolerable." Read

Arkansas names 5 companies picked to grow medical marijuana

2/28/18--Arkansas took the first step toward launching its medical marijuana program, as state regulators named the five businesses they intend to license to grow the drug. The companies are Natural State Medicinals Cultivation in Jefferson County, Bold Team LLC in Woodruff County, Natural State Wellness Enterprises in Jefferson or Jackson County, Osage Creek Cultivation in Carroll County, and Delta Medical Cannabis Company Inc. in Jackson County. Read

New group forms to help set medical marijuana regulations

6/29/18--The members who make up the Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association pushed for the passage of State Question 788, allowing medical marijuana to be used in Oklahoma. They now want to continue their push for the proper use of marijuana when it becomes legal. The trade organization is made of groups like Oklahomans for Health, Green the Vote, and CanTek Labs. Read

First medical marijuana grower gets green light to start planting in Ohio

6/29/18--The state of Ohio has issued its first certificate of operation to a medical marijuana cultivator in Ravenna in Portage County, according to a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Commerce. FN Group Holdings, one 25 cultivators to receive provisional licenses to grow medical marijuana in Ohio, is one of 12 so-called "Level 2" growers that received provisional licenses from the state to grow medical marijuana in up to 3,000 square feet of space. Read

Board to consider adding opioid addiction to medical marijuana conditions list

2/23/18--On Monday, a board of Connecticut doctors will hear appeals to add four more conditions to the list of diagnosed conditions that can qualify someone for a medical marijuana card has grown from 11 to 22, including one not allowed in any other states with medical marijuana programs: opioid addiction. Read

Experts challenge claims about medical marijuana’s impact on teen recreational use and opioid deaths

2/22/18--Two papers published today look at the current evidence of the effects of medical marijuana laws and conclude there is little support that such laws increase recreational marijuana use among adolescents or reduce opioid overdose deaths. Read

Maine lawmaker wants kids to have more access to medical marijuana

1/9/18--According to the Associated Press, Republican politician Deborah Sanderson has proposed a bill that would allow children to be prescribed medical marijuana. Sanderson’s perceived bill mentioned the child would need to have a strong relationship with the medical provider in order to receive the plant as treatment. The incumbent law permits the child’s  caregiver to possess and supervise the allocation of medicinal cannabis at the child’s school, provided that it remains in a non-smokable form. Read

Medical marijuana dispensary opens joint in Harvard Square

12/31/17--Healthy Pharms Inc., a registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary, is the first medical marijuana dispensary ever to hit Harvard Square. The Cambridge location marks the second dispensary run by Healthy Pharms, a Georgetown, Mass.-based business that cultivates and processes its own marijuana. Read

Philly hospitals, medical schools jockey for marijuana partners

12/19/17--Six Pennsylvania medical schools have struck deals to partner with marijuana growers, according to industry insiders. Those include Drexel, Temple, and Thomas Jefferson Universities, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). The potential revenues, and opportunities for research, have spurred smaller schools and independent hospitals to jockey for arrangements of their own. Read

Helping settle the marijuana and alcohol debate

12/11/17--Data on purchases of alcoholic beverages in grocery, convenience, drug, or mass distribution stores in US counties for 2006-2015 was gathered to study the link between medical marijuana laws and alcohol consumption, in addition to focusing on settling the debate between the substitutability or complementarity between marijuana and alcohol. Read

Could Ohio, other states lose exemption from marijuana prosecution?

12/10/17--A little-known federal budget amendment that protects growers, processors, sellers, and the professionals who work with them might expire this year at the behest of the Trump administration. Now known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, the measure prohibits the U.S. Justice Department from enforcing federal law against medical marijuana in places where it's legal, as it's been in Ohio since last year. Read

Medical marijuana providers, patients raise concerns about proposed Montana regulations

12/1/17--More than 100 medical marijuana patients and providers from around Montana attended a public hearing on the proposed rules at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services offices to raise concerns about proposed new regulations for their industry. Many said the rules will put too great a burden on providers, especially those serving fewer patients. Read

Friday appears to be the day medical marijuana will go on sale in Maryland

12/2/17--Maryland’s medical marijuana is set to go on sale bringing relief to patients who have waited nearly five years for access to the drug — and have hundreds of dollars available to pay for it. Dispensaries were scheduled to receive the first pot shipment on Friday, and at least two out of 10 licensed stores planned to open their doors to patients later that day. They are Potomac Holistics in Rockville and Allegany Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Cumberland, near the Pennsylvania border. Read

Who won Ohio’s big medical marijuana grow licenses? 5 things to know

12/1/17--The last of Ohio's 24, highly sought-after medical marijuana cultivation licenses were awarded Thursday, ending months of anticipation but leaving many applicants and industry observers with more questions about the process. The Ohio Department of Commerce winnowed 185 applicants down to 24 winners -- 12 level I licenses for up to 25,000 square feet of grow space and 12 level II licenses for up to 3,000 square feet. Read

Hawaii medical school cannabis seminar includes doctor’s advice about who shouldn’t use MMJ

11/24/17--The medical school at the University of Hawaii held its first seminar on medical marijuana with a panel of doctors and lawyers discussing the drug and the regulations governing its use. At the recent event, the panel shared highlights of research on the topic to an audience of about 150 people consisting mostly of health professionals. Read

Does medical marijuana really work? The truth behind the buzz.

11/21/17--More research is needed to determine if medical marijuana really works. However, there is a possibility that more research may not provide all of the highly sought-after answers. Some—or maybe all—of the benefits found in randomized controlled trials of marijuana could be nothing more the product of expectations and the placebo effect. It may not work as well as studies suggest. In fact, it may not work at all. Read

Cuomo signs off on medical marijuana use for PTSD on Veterans Day

11/11/17--In honor of Veterans Day, Gov. Cuomo signed legislation allowing medicinal marijuana to be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. The bill allows military veterans, police officers, and firefighters, as well as survivors of domestic violence, access to the state’s burgeoning marijuana dispensary system. Read

State to move forward with new medical marijuana rules

10/24/17--After a yearlong delay, Governor Charlie Baker’s administration said it will move forward with a series of improvements to the state’s medical marijuana program, drawing praise from dispensaries and patients who said the changes are overdue. The new rules are meant to ease the regulatory burden on dispensaries and make it easier for patients to get access to medical marijuana. Read

Beavercreek Twp. OKs medical marijuana cultivation

11/6/17--Beavercreek Twp. Trustees approved growing and processing medical marijuana. Knox Medical has applied to the state for a level 1 cultivation facility. If Knox Medical’s license application is approved, they will be the only cultivation and processing facility in the township, as trustees have approved no more than one such facility to be built. Read

Here are the first 11 sites approved for growing medical marijuana

11/3/17--Ohio has chosen its first 11 growers for its medical marijuana program. These companies will get provisional licenses but can't immediately begin growing marijuana. They must first get their businesses operational and have a state team visit their facilities. Read

More than 2,000 people sign up for Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program in the first week

11/3/17--The Pennsylvania Department of Health says more than 2,000 people signed up for the state's new medical marijuana program just days after launching. A health department spokesman said that the registrations include patients and caregivers. Qualifying conditions include AIDS, autism, cancer, chronic pain, and Crohn's disease. Read

Marijuana farms approved for Akron and Canton

11/4/17--The state of Ohio has approved two small-scale marijuana farms in Akron: Galenas LLC and Fire Rock Ltd. The companies were the first in line to apply under the city’s new regulatory rules for the budding medical marijuana business. Elsewhere in Northeast Ohio, the Ohio Department of Commerce approved future grow sites in Ravenna, Canton, and Oberlin. Read

Oberlin chosen for marijuana cultivation site

11/3/17--A marijuana cultivator from Cleveland has been awarded a license to grow medical pot in Oberlin. In May, Oberlin Councilman Kelley Singleton, who is very excited about the news, pushed the Council to pass a resolution supporting medical marijuana businesses in the city’s industrial park, the zoning of which is compatible with the cultivation, testing, and processing of marijuana. Read

Men bombard Pennsylvania gynecologist for medical marijuana

11/3/17--Dr. Liang Bartkowiak, a Pennsylvania gynecologist, says she has been inundated with calls from men trying to set up appointments after hearing she was permitted to prescribe medical marijuana. Based on the calls she's been getting, Bartkowiak said she thinks many people misunderstand what the law allows. Read

Laid-back Hawaii’s strict approach to marijuana

11/3/17--After 16 years, medical cannabis patients in the state can finally buy pot from dispensaries. But there’s a lot of fine print. The litany of restrictions might seem odd for a state that’s solidly Democratic and is known—or at least stereotyped—as being easygoing and fun. As more and more states legalize marijuana, Hawaii’s cautious attitude shows just how much the definitions of “legal” can vary. Read

This is where Southwest Ohio’s only pot farm will be

11/3/17--Ohio officials released a list of cultivators who received a license to grow medical marijuana, and the only place in Greater Cincinnati that made the cut is in Monroe. Hemma LLC will be located on Edison Drive near Rivertown Brewery & Barrell House in the Butler County city, according to documents filed with the state. Up to a dozen larger grow sites are expected to be announced later this month. Read

Medical use of cannabis officially legal in Poland

11/2/17--Under the new regulations, cannabis from imported plants can be used to make prescription drugs at Polish pharmacies. This kind of medicine will, however, have to be first registered with the Office for Registration of Medicinal Products. The Polish Pharmaceutical Chamber said that pharmacists are ready to make cannabis-based prescription drugs, and they will also have access to special courses if they require further training. Read

Senate proposal would allow smoking medical marijuana

11/2/17--Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, filed the bill (SB 726) for consideration during the 2018 legislative session, which starts in January. Lawmakers in June passed a measure to carry out a November 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. The measure bars smoking marijuana while allowing patients to use cannabis through other means, including vamping. Read

Pennsylvania launches medical marijuana patient registry

11/2/17--Pennsylvania launches medical marijuana patient registry with an easy sign-up process, but patients will still have to wait six months for their medicine. The launch of the patient registry is part of the state’s steady implementation of the 2016 law. Read

Arkansas marijuana regulators face lawsuits over biz license rejections

10/31/17--Applicants seeking to open medical marijuana businesses in Arkansas are suing the commission overseeing the proposals. The lawsuits were filed last week and placed under seal in Pulaski County. They allege the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission wrongly assessed hundreds of applications last month when it rejected bids for failing to meet minimum requirements. Read

Michigan welcomes mega medical pot growers, but Legislature wants more limits

10/30/17--While the state of MIchigan has given the green light to mega growers of medical marijuana, a bi-partisan group of lawmakers wants to put the brakes on big grow operations. A bill introduced last week would limit growers to only two licenses at a single medical marijuana facility and only allow one grower to operate a facility. Read

University of Pittsburgh researchers hope to participate in medical marijuana clinical research studies

10/23/17--Pennsylvania is angling to become a national leader in medical marijuana research in conjunction with offering treatment to patients in need. Some patients will be asked to participate in clinical trials once Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program becomes fully operational, and there's also a good chance the University of Pittsburgh will conduct some of the research. Read

State collects about $380,000 from medical marijuana tax

10/21/17--State leaders say they have collected about $380,000 in the first three months of a new tax on medical marijuana providers. The new tax took effect July 1 as part of Senate Bill 333, a major medical marijuana reform state lawmakers approved earlier this year. The money raised will be used to operate a marijuana tracking system and other new regulatory programs for the industry. The tax will drop from 4% on all providers’ gross sales to 2% on July 1, 2018. Read

Peru passes bill to legalize medical marijuana

10/20/17--President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski proposed a new measure to legalize medical marijuana in Peru. The bill was passed with a 68-5 vote in favor of allowing cannabis oil, not flowers, to be grown and distributed for medical purposes. Ruling party lawmaker Alberto Belaunde said that the regulations would be written within 60 days. The new rules will establish how cannabis oil should be produced and commercialized. Read

Two companies will pitch efforts to sell medical marijuana in Youngstown

10/14/17--Holistic Health Partners LLC and another unnamed company are seeking licenses to sell medical marijuana in Youngstown, Ohio. The decision will ultimately be made by state officials. The law permits 12 Level 1 growers statewide for up to 25,000 square feet of growing space with a potential expansion up to 75,000 square feet, and 12 Level 2 growers in Ohio to cultivate up to 3,000 square feet. Read

Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana industry takes a hit from hurricane

10/14/17--Puerto Rico’s fledgling legal marijuana industry is struggling to recover as the devastation delivered by Hurricane Maria may have crippled what could have been a potential economic savior for an island $74 billion in debt. Yet, despite millions of dollars in damage, the island’s medical marijuana companies are starting to make a comeback; 20 of 29 medical marijuana dispensaries have reopened. In the first two weeks after the storm, only four dispensaries could fill prescriptions. Read

Florida health clinics not signing up to approve medical cannabis

10/13/17--More than 1,000 doctors are qualified to treat patients with marijuana, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use. However, while the number of Polk County doctors qualified to treat with marijuana is slowly rising, the county’s largest medical centers seem to be opting out. According to Renee Petro, co-founder of CannaMoms, the shortage of doctors eligible to recommend marijuana statewide allows some doctors to charge unreasonable fees to patients. Read

How a 12-year-old girl could help end weed prohibition in America

10/10/17--Twelve-year-old Alexis Bortell uses a cannabis oil called Haleigh's Hope to prevent life-threatening epileptic seizures. Wise and articulate beyond her years, Bortell is one of five plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the federal government, and her attorneys argue that the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which classifies cannabis as illegal, infringes upon various constitutional rights. Read

Lawsuit targets medical marijuana expansion

9/21/17--Three companies that got state approval last month to produce medical marijuana in Orange and Ulster counties face a legal hurdle as they develop their plans: a lawsuit by five existing medical-marijuana businesses that aims to stop the expansion of their fledgling industry. Read

State moves toward more medical marijuana licenses

9/20/17--State health officials have issued an emergency rule outlining the application process for new medical-marijuana vendors seeking to receive licenses in two weeks. The new rule, effective immediately, outsources the evaluation of the applications to “subject matter experts,” requires “blind testing” of the applications, and includes a detailed application form — all departures from the Department of Health's previous medical-marijuana regulations that spawned a series of legal and administrative challenges. Read

How long will it take Pa. to respond to medical marijuana request? Years, state says

9/20/17--Pennsylvania took about three months to process, review, and award medical marijuana permits earlier this year. However, in a legal filing, the Department of Health requested two years to review the records again and respond to PennLive's public records appeal seeking unredacted copies of several of the most heavily redacted applications. According to the department, the initial review "took far less time because there was more staff involved in the reviews and the information reviewed was only that not already redacted by the applicants." Read

All-in-one medical marijuana facilities to be allowed under new rules

9/21/17--A new medical marijuana facility licensed by the state will be able to grow, process, and sell medical marijuana at the same location, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs announced. The legislature last year passed legislation to legalize and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, but left some particulars up to the departmental rulemaking process. Read

Tight deadline, flood plain pose problems for marijuana dispensary

9/18/17--Bay LLC, operating as Cure PA, plans to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in the Fort Washington Office Park. However, a main concern is that the property sits in the floodplain conservation district and would need zoning relief. At the street, the property is 9 feet under water, but it slopes up to 4.5 feet under water in the back. The existing structure, which sits at the rear of the property, will be renovated and raised 4.5 feet. Although this is a major undertaking, significant improvements would be made to the street front, including hardscaping and benches. Read

University of Maryland pharmacy school cancels plans to train medical marijuana workers

9/18/17--After consulting with the Maryland attorney general’s office, the University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy canceled plans to offer training for those who work in the medical marijuana industry amid legal concerns. The classes, initially scheduled to start in August, offered basic and advanced certifications in areas including cultivation, manufacturing, dispensing, laboratory standards, and assessment. It’s unclear whether the courses might be offered in the future. Read