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Ohio plans to more than double number of medical marijuana dispensaries

4/19/21--Ohio plans to double the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the state in the next year. Under the plan, applicants would have to apply by the same rules as the initial 2017 application process, and applicants that meet the qualifications would be entered into a lottery to allocate licenses by dispensary district. Read

Colorado’s legal cannabis farms emit more carbon than its coal mines

3/8/21--Legal cannabis production in Colorado emits more greenhouse gases than the state’s coal mining industry, researchers analyzing the sector’s energy use have found. They found that emissions varied widely by state, from 2.3 to 5.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per kilogram of dried flower produced. Read

Dozen of companies apply for six Georgia medical marijuana licenses

2/22/21--From nearly 70 applicants, six companies will be chosen to begin manufacturing medical marijuana oil for Georgia patients. The winning companies will then have one year to begin operations, according to state law, providing medicine for 14,000 registered patients for conditions including seizures, terminal cancers and Parkinson’s disease. Read

Oral arguments granted in medical marijuana case

1/29/21--Oral arguments have been granted in Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler’s constitutional challenge to Initiative 65. The mayor filed suit because she is worried about the impact the legalization of medical marijuana would have on her city. She is particularly concerned that city zoning would not be able to prohibit dispensaries from popping up in residential areas. Read

NM judge invalidates medical cannabis rules

1/29/21--First Judicial District Court Judge Bryan Biedscheid ruled on Thursday that rules adopted by the state’s Medical Cannabis Program last year are effectively invalid. In his ruling, the New Mexico state district court judge repeatedly wrote that rule amendments promulgated by the Medical Cannabis Program last year lacked “substantial evidence” to support claims made by the program and the New Mexico Department of Health, which oversees the program. Read

Recreational marijuana done well.

1/19/21--Both the outgoing and incoming Rhode Island governors as well as the Senate President have indicated that marijuana for recreational use will likely be legalized this year, and they also believe legalization has been adequately studied and the time is right. However, House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi has expressed that he will convene a study commission before deciding whether to proceed. Read

What’s being done, needs to be done to make medical marijuana more accessible in Pa.

12/30/20--Efforts are underway to help the more than 275,000 Pennsylvanians who have active medical marijuana certifications afford treatments. Advocates are working to make sure those approved for medical marijuana don’t have to turn to the streets to find relief. Read

Marijuana delivery, social equity reform and other Colorado trends to watch in 2021

12/29/20--Colorado’s industry is hoping to ride the momentum of a banner year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and one such wave to watch is marijuana delivery. The Aurora City Council recently approved an ordinance to set up a delivery program that allows residents to order marijuana to their doorsteps. Likewise, Denver recently unveiled draft rules for medical and recreational delivery in hopes of accepting applications by July 1, though it’s unclear when the City Council will move on the proposal. Read

Hampton Roads’ first medical marijuana dispensary officially opens in Portsmouth

12/29/20--Hampton Roads’ first medical marijuana dispensary officially opened in Portsmouth Tuesday. Columbia Care dispensary is located on Seaboard Court in Portsmouth. Just those who had registered for the company’s email list were notified, but if you have the proper credentials the doors are open for your business. Read

High prices preventing Pa. patients from buying, benefiting from medical marijuana

12/29/20--Medical marijuana has been expensive since before the pandemic. Now as Pennsylvanians lose their jobs, they’re struggling to buy it even more. Prices vary depending on products. The advocate group NORML says some people can be spending up to $1,500 a month to get the treatments they need. The COVID crisis has made it all worse. Read

New Mexico inmates’ right to medical marijuana affirmed

12/31/20--A state district judge in Albuquerque ruled that Bernalillo County’s Metropolitan Detention Center must allow qualifying patients access to medical marijuana. Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, an attorney who represented a defendant in the DWI case that led to the decision, said the ruling issued Tuesday creates a clear precedent that patients — even those who are incarcerated — must be allowed access to medical cannabis regardless of whether they’re at home or in a prison cell. Read

Medical marijuana patients go to third-part websites for information

12/31/20--Patients in Ohio’s medical marijuana program say the information they find on legal marijuana dispensaries, cannabis products and prices come not from the state government or marijuana industry, but from a series of third-party websites run mostly by out-of-state companies. Sites such as WeedMaps, Leafly and IHeartJane boast directories of places to buy medicinal cannabis. Read

Marijuana company presents before Mashpee board ahead of recreational sales

1/1/21--On December 21, the Mashpee Board of Selectmen received an update from M3 Ventures, a marijuana company that plans to open a recreational dispensary adjacent to its existing medical dispensary on Echo Road. According to Lianne Ankner, president of M3 Ventures, the recreational facility could open as soon as April 1, and recreational sales will take place in temporary structures that will be attached to the existing medical facility until construction on a new recreational facility is completed. Read

Lobbyist Steve Tilley worked to steer marijuana money to Jason Kander tiny home project

12/30/20--Among former House Speaker Steve Tilley’s lengthy list of lobbying clients is the Kansas City-based Veterans Community Project. The president of national expansion for the Veterans Community Project, former Secretary of State Jason Kander, confirmed that his organization’s lobbying firm was present during meetings with Parson when they pitched their desire to use state funding for the St. Louis site to build 50 homes to help former military personnel. Read

Status of State Marijuana Legalization: November 2020

11/20/20--This brief provides an update to the status of state marijuana laws in the United States, following the November 2020 election. Although marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, 35 states and the District of Columbia have now legalized medical marijuana, with sixteen (16) of those jurisdictions also legalizing recreational marijuana use. Overall, nearly 69% of U.S. residents now live in a state with legalized medical or recreational marijuana use. Read

High prices, too few options: Ohio medical marijuana patients voice concerns in new survey

10/29/20--The first-ever survey from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, one of three agencies regulating Ohio's medical marijuana program, is the most extensive yet to measure patient satisfaction with the program. Although only about 1 in 10 registered patients responded, the survey indicates that Ohio medical marijuana patients are dissatisfied with what they see as high prices and too-few stores selling medical marijuana. Read

‘Egregious conduct’ in Missouri medical marijuana? What a key industry lawsuit might mean for the future

10/27/20--After not receiving a medical marijuana growing license from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Sarcoxie Nursery owned by the Callicoat family filed a lawsuit. They argued that Missouri’s selective medical marijuana licensing process violated Missourians’ right to farm. They also objected to “blind scoring” protocols that included bonuses awarded to applicants located in economically distressed ZIP codes. Missouri’s program has already prompted widely reported scrutiny from Missouri lawmakers and even the FBI. If the Callicoats win their suit, said two prominent Missouri attorneys with ties to the cannabis industry, it would change the playing field. Read

A look inside this year’s adult-use legalization campaigns

10/28/20--Activists working on measures in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota discussed voter education, COVID, legal challenges and more during the NORML 2020 Conference. Read

Initiative Brochure

9/14/20-- Presenting the Initiative Measure 65 and Initiative Alternative 65. Initiative Measure 65 Ballot Title: Should Mississippi allow qualified parents with debilitating medical conditions, as certified by Mississippi licensed physicians, to use medical marijuana? Alternative Initiative Ballot Title 65 A: Shall Mississippi establish a program to allow the medical use of marijuana products by qualified persons with debilitating medical conditions? Read
 

2020 Medical Marijuana Program Annual Report to the Rhode Island General Assembly

9/28/20--The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) submission of the annual report on applications for the use of medical marijuana for symptom relief. Read

Sen. Brass gives updates on budget, medical marijuana

9/4/20--Georgia state Sen. Matt Brass, R–Newnan updated Coweta Kiwanians on August 27th about state budget matters and the status of the state's "THC Medical Marijuana" law. Brass, who chaired the State Study Commission, informed Kiwanians about "THC Medical Marijuana Production" law, enacted in 2019. He emphasized that legislators specifically crafted the law to put THC Medical Marijuana directly in patient's hands. Read

As medical marijuana treatment grows, so does association of doctors

8/26/20--An association of medical marijuana-certified doctors is growing, and giving those physicians the chance to learn from one another about the development of treatment and best practices. Yet, marijuana remains illegal under federal law, which limits research. As a result, physicians who recommend cannabis have only anecdotal evidence of its efficacy. Read

States allow misleading claims that cannabis can treat opioid addiction

7/15/20--Though there's no evidence that cannabis can treat opioid use disorder, medical boards in four states -- Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and New Mexico -- include the disorder among conditions that qualify a person to access marijuana for medical purposes. Shover and her colleagues found that in the Northeastern states where that is the case, more dispensaries make advertising claims that cannabis can treat opioid addiction than they do in adjacent states. Read

Association of state policies allowing medical cannabis for opioid use disorder with dispensary marketing for this indication

7/14/20--According to this study, state-level policies designating opioid use disorder (OUD) as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis were associated with more dispensaries claiming cannabis can treat OUD. Future studies linking dispensary advertisements to health outcomes in people with OUD (eg, use of MOUDs, overdose mortality) are warranted, as are investigations into advertising that addresses other conditions with major morbidity and mortality consequences. Read

FBI continues scrutiny of Independence, requests more records from city government

7/13/20--The FBI has once again requested records from Independence City Hall, the latest in a series of inquiries by federal authorities over the last year that appear to be focused on a pair of utilities contracts and medical marijuana regulations. Read

‘Fast and loose’: Fake medical marijuana patient certifications spotlight gaps in Missouri rules

7/6/20--WeedCerts says it approved thousands of medical marijuana patients. The St. Louis company is at the center of a state investigation into about 600 fake certifications. Officials with the Department of Health and Senior Services and the attorney general’s office haven’t said whether they believe Lou Moynihan, who was instrumental in the launch of the company WeedCerts last year, knew or participated in the fraudulent activity, which the state believes occurred through telemedicine visits. Read

Gov. Kim Reynolds signs bill to change THC cap for Iowa’s medical marijuana program

6/29/20--Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed into law a bill that changes the cap on THC in Iowa's medical marijuana program and allows patients with more conditions to access the program. Read

Lawsuit challenges changes in medical marijuana

6/28/20--Viridian Legal Services, a Tulsa law firm, has filed a class action lawsuit against the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority for rejecting license renewals of medical marijuana dispensaries because of changes in state law made after the entities were licensed. Read

Gov. Reynolds signs legislation into law, including key legislative priorities

6/29/20-- On Monday, June 29, Gov. Reynolds signed several bills into law, including HF2589: an Act concerning the medical cannabidiol Act and marijuana. Read

Medical marijuana company, representatives con St. Louis-area investors

6/22/20--Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division ordered Shawn Harrison, Kristie Harrison, Kevin Larson and their company Cannabis Plus Missouri LLC to cease and desist after they allegedly committed fraud in offering and selling unregistered securities. The division ordered the Harrisons, Larson and their company to show cause why they should not be ordered to pay restitution plus interest, civil penalties and investigation costs totaling at least $21,000. Read

DHSS: 600 medical marijuana patient cards were signed off by someone pretending to be a doctor

6/19/20--Missouri's medical marijuana program announced late Friday that it launched an investigation after it determined that patient medical marijuana cards have been issued to applicants whose doctor paperwork was sent in with an unauthorized signature. Read

Cannabis in Michigan: New report documents trends before recreational legalization

6/4/20--This report documents everything from who’s using cannabis in the state of Michigan for medical and recreational purposes, to downstream effects including motor vehicle crashes, emergency department visits and criminal justice cases. It aims to provide a baseline for future studies on the impact of state-level recreational cannabis legalization that occurred in late 2018, and to inform future policies and public health messaging. The report also includes a wide range of findings compiled from original research and official sources. Read

Report: Lobbyist’s ties to MO medical marijuana officials raises questions

6/8/20--Missouri lobbyist Steve Tilley, reportedly under state and federal scrutiny, had direct contact with state medical marijuana officials as they were developing the program’s regulations and taking business license applications. According to The Kansas City Star, medical marijuana license applicants raised the question of whether he received an unfair advantage in terms of access and influence. Read

Piqua City Commission to hold work session on medical marijuana dispensaries

6/3/20--The Piqua City Commission and Planning Commission of Piqua will be conducting a work session to learn about and discuss the topic of medical marijuana dispensaries on Wednesday, June 17, at 6 p.m, using the video conferencing application Zoom. Read

Sales of medical marijuana skyrocket amid Coronavirus pandemic

6/5/20--Data from the Oklahoma Tax Commission show sales of medical marijuana in the state are continuing to break records. Sales in May brought in over $11.6 million in sales tax revenue, with overall sales topping $73 million. Read

Missouri’s medical marijuana program publishes first annual report

6/5/20--The Department of Health and Senior Services has released the Missouri Medical Marijuana Regulatory Program’s annual report to Gov. Parson. Reported activities are based on the program year of December 6, 2018, through December 5, 2019. Read

Missouri medical cannabis program moves forward amid wide-ranging probe into possible misconduct

5/29/20--Scrutiny of Missouri’s medical cannabis licensing recently escalated to Gov. Mike Parson’s office and a close adviser, apparently making the investigation among the first MMJ licensing probes to extend to the highest levels of state government. Read

Federal mental health grants canceled because Maine has legal marijuana

5/16/20--Due to Maine allowing the medical use of marijuana by students, the federal government is cutting off $3.3 million in already approved funding to support mental health programs for youngsters. Read

Shortened by COVID-19, legislative session leaves key issues unresolved

5/15/20--Republican lawmakers in Missouri, who had projected confidence in meeting their goals at the beginning of the session, were forced to downsize their ambitions to fit a COVID-19-shortened time frame. The 2020 session saw lawmakers divided not just by party lines but by 6 feet of social distance. Read

Marijuana Laws, Rules, and Regulations

5/18/20--The Denver Department of Excise and Licenses has formed a Marijuana Licensing Work Group (MLWG) to gather community input regarding the new marijuana licenses created by the State of Colorado in 2019, Denver’s Cannabis Equity Program, and the City’s 2020 Marijuana Workplan. Read

Lack of research clouds medical marijuana

5/2/20--Researchers haven’t conducted enough large-scale clinical trials that show that the benefits of the marijuana plant (as opposed to its cannabinoid ingredients) outweigh its risks in patients it’s meant to treat. Long-term studies are necessary. Due to the lack of research, Westview emphasizes the importance of an educated community, especially young people and their parents, about the dangers and potentially addictive dynamics of all drugs, including marijuana. Read

Cannabis Science and Operations, Certificate (Beginning Fall 2020)

5/1/20--Saint Louis University is offering its first online certificate in Cannabis Science and Operations. This certificate will educate students in all aspects of the cannabis industry, including cultivating, growing, and production as well as dispensing and understanding the pharmacological properties of cannabis. Graduates of this certificate will be prepared to pursue positions in sales and marketing, dispensary management, quality assurance and laboratory technology, to name a few. Read

A dispensary’s ex-staffers claim it ignored concerns, violated laws in Arizona

5/1/20--Two former employees of the multistate dispensary operator Harvest Health and Recreation are suing the company, accusing it of engaging in a slew of compliance violations and asking them to break Arizona law. Read

Marijuana companies say Ohio test data is trade secret; experts disagree

4/21/20--Marijuana companies don’t want competitors seeing anything that reveals their growing methods, but several experts in chemistry and botany reviewed the publicly available testing data and saw no potential issues. Read

An Arkansas weed scholar’s lab notes

3/30/20--Stephanie Smittle, culture editor for the Arkansas Times, interviews Micah Reynolds, a 28-year-old Camden native and self-described cannabis nerd who works as an “herbologist” at Little Rock’s Herbology dispensary, to uncover the contents of what is included in marijuana provided by Arkansas’s medical marijuana dispensaries and how transactions are handled with patients. Read

Getting a medical marijuana card is easier than you think

4/1/20--Due to some recent regulatory changes, getting a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts is an easy process. For starters, the temporary Cannabis Control Commission process meant to support social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak, offers initial appointments (and required annual certification renewals) that can now be conducted over the phone. The agency also recently eliminated state fees for medical patients. Read

Medical Cannabis Patient Program

4/2/20--The Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP) was launched by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on January 31, 2019. The OAPP provides access to medical cannabis for individuals who have or could receive a prescription for opioids as certified by a physician licensed in Illinois. Read

Coronavirus in Ohio: Medical marijuana dispensaries want rules eased, to be treated like pharmacies

4/5/20--Ohio’s medical marijuana industry is required to follow stringent rules that prevent it from taking some of the same precautions as pharmacies during the coronavirus outbreak. Some in the industry would like those rules eased. The list of essential businesses allowed to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic includes medical marijuana dispensaries, which are in the same category as pharmacies because they provide what is considered medicine under Ohio law. Read

COVID-19 woes: Fargo medical marijuana dispensary shut down

4/3/20--New York-based Acreage Holdings said it's temporarily closing The Botanist in Fargo, medical marijuana dispensary, that opened a year ago was shut down Friday because of slow sales and regulatory delays due to the coronavirus, the facility's operators said in a statement. Read

A guide to buying cannabis in Missouri

3/13/20--While neither the Department of Health and Senior Services or any of the dispensaries they've licensed have confirmed opening dates, online sources speculate a mid-2020 launch of Missouri's legal cannabis industry. Keep an eye on the DHSS website for the latest updates and regulatory news. Weedmaps outlines information about what should be known about purchasing cannabis in Missouri. Read

Amid FBI inquiry, controversial figures in play for another huge city power project

3/15/20--Two individuals involved in controversial energy projects in Independence that have drawn FBI scrutiny submitted a formal proposal to help repurpose a separate, soon-to-be shuttered Blue Valley Municipal Power Generating Plant into a biofuels production facility “to provide alternative fuels for the future.” Read

Move to cap THC in medical marijuana stalls in Florida Senate

3/2/20--A proposed cap on the level of euphoria-inducing THC in medical marijuana has hit a snag in the Florida Senate, leaving a priority of the House in jeopardy as time runs down on the legislative session. Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, introduced a proposal Monday that would have capped THC levels in medical marijuana for patients under age 21. Read

Buzz kill? Missouri lawmakers have their own ideas for medical marijuana program

3/3/20--Lawmakers have begun digging through the constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana, and in some cases, they don’t like what they see — and they’re intent on making changes. Read

800-plus appeals filed in Missouri; Claims of medical marijuana licensing process being unfair

3/3/20--More than 800 appeals have been filed by people who were denied state permits to grow, sell or distribute medical marijuana in Missouri. According to Joe Ingrande of Troy, Mo., who thought he had a good chance to open a dispensary in Bowling Green, says there was "something funny about the test, and there was too much ambiguity." Ingrade also states he was told priority would be given to pick local people, but he says many of the winners appear to be corporations from out-of-state. Read

THC cap on medical marijuana progresses in the House

3/5/20--An amendment that establishes a potency cap of 10% THC for medical marijuana patients under 21 has made its way back to the Florida House floor, where it was tacked onto a larger healthcare bill during a floor session Thursday. Capping THC is a priority of House Speaker José Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, who said Wednesday the chemical in medical marijuana could “possibly be detrimental to a young brain.” Read

House bill makes changes in Iowa’s medical marijuana program

2/15/20--A bill to let more potent medical marijuana products be sold in Iowa has cleared initial review in the Iowa House, but the bill also would limit the total amount of THC patients could be sold over a 90 day period. Under the state’s medical cannabis program, there are licensed growers, producers and sellers of medical marijuana to Iowans with a limited number of medical condition like Multiple Sclerosis and chronic epilepsy. Read

See AZ’s average price for marijuana flowers, edibles and concentrates

2/2/20--According to a new cannabis industry pricing guide, Arizona has some of the least expensive marijuana products in America. The pricing guide also reveals that many Arizona dispensaries see the highest profit margin from pre-rolls and the lowest from flowers. The lowest prices in the state appear to be for edibles such as foods and drinks. Read

Louisiana medical marijuana maker planning major expansions, launch of hemp-derived CBD products

1/20/20--Wellcana Group has big expansion plans for its LSU-licensed medical marijuana operations in Louisiana and is separately courting farmers to grow hemp to support the company's launch soon into CBD products. Currently, Wellcana's Baton Rouge facility can grow a limited number of marijuana plants and manufactures tinctures for patients suffering from specific ailments outlined in state law. Read

Louisiana medical marijuana program shows accessibility, pricing issues

1/11/20--After a bill in 2016 regulating growing facilities and allowing for the licensing of doctors and pharmacies that the use of medical marijuana became viable in the state, it took two and a half years before medical marijuana became available to the public in Louisiana. The program still continues to have problems. Health insurance does not cover medical marijuana, and the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, which licenses and regulates the pharmacies that dispense marijuana products, has received complaints about potential patients’ lack of access to the treatment. Read

Purple haze: Marijuana farm causes purple glow over Snowflake after snow storm

1/11/20--A bright purple sky appeared over Snowflake, Arizona due to the lights from nearby marijuana farm Copperstate Farms. The landscape, with shades of pink and purple across clouds in the sky and a blanket of white snow on the ground, looked more like a video game than real life, and it was visible for miles, according to a Facebook post on Friday. Read