Tag: Canada

Poll: Canadians Want Ottawa to Erase Cannabis Convictions

According to a poll by The Globe and Mail/Nanos Research, 62% of Canadians support or somewhat support a pardon for every person with a criminal record for cannabis possession. In comparison, 35% of respondents said they oppose or somewhat oppose the idea.

The Canadian federal government introduced legislation last month that aimed to legalize cannabis by July 2018. Despite widespread pressure, so far the government has refused to call on law enforcement to stop charging civilians with simple possession while the legislation makes its way through parliament.

In an interview last month with Vice Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the current system was unfair. He acknowledged that vulnerable and marginalized Canadians are more likely to end up with criminal records than those from more privileged backgrounds.

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“We’ll take steps to look at what we can do for those folks who have criminal records for something that would no longer be criminal,” Mr. Trudeau said.

Note that Mr. Trudeau stopped short of promising an amnesty in his comment.

Just last year, the C.D. Howe Institute released a report urging the government to pardon everyone who has been convicted of cannabis possession. The report pointed out that even a minor possession offense can severely limit a person’s ability to work and travel.

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Estimates vary on how many Canadians have simple possession convictions on their records. In 2015, police reported 49,000 cannabis possession offences, so it’s likely the number is in the tens of thousands every year since the 1970s.

The Nanos survey was conducted between April 29 and May 5, reaching a random survey of 1,000 Canadians.

The survey also found that 8% of Canadians said they currently do not consume cannabis, but would start once it becomes legal. Legislation would allow all Canadians 18 or older to buy cannabis in provincially regulated retail spaces, or to grow up to four plants at home.

The possession limit would be 30 grams of dried cannabis flower, while limits on edible products would be determined at a later date.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

How Many Prescriptions Are Replaced by Cannabis? Canada Study Explores an Answer

In the US, we’ve seen a marked drop in opioid overdoses in legal states, prodding the question of whether patients are replacing their prescription medicines with cannabis. Recent survey data collected from patients enrolled in Canada’s MMPR program indicates this may be more than just a correlation.

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Led by researchers Philippe Lucas and Zach Walsh, this investigation surveyed 271 patients purchasing medical cannabis from Canadian LP Tilray (which, like Leafly, is owned by Privateer Holdings). Seeking to understand who is using medical marijuana and why, they discovered some staggering statistics pertaining to substitution–63% of respondents reported using cannabis in place of prescription medications.

Breaking down the results by drug classes, Lucas and Walsh found that:

  • 30% of respondents replaced opioids with cannabis
  • 16% replaced benzodiazepines
  • 12% replaced antidepressants

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The reason? “Less adverse side effects,” said 39% of patients. Others responded that cannabis was safer (27%) and more effective in treating symptoms (16%).

“In light of the growing rate of morbidity and mortality associated with these prescription medications, cannabis could play a significant role in reducing the health burden of problematic prescription drug use,” the authors wrote.

Putting to rest concerns of cannabis dependence, the survey also established a strong tendency for recreational use to precede medicinal use, not the other way around as we see with many pharmaceutical medications. A transition from medical to recreational use was only reported by less than 3% of respondents, indicating a low risk potential.

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The substitution effect reaches beyond just the medicine cabinet; cannabis also helped patients curb other types of substance use:

  • 25% of respondents replaced alcohol with cannabis
  • 12% of respondents replaced cigarettes/tobacco with cannabis
  • 3% of respondents replaced illicit drugs with cannabis

Though widely supported by anecdotal evidence, this study is one of hopefully many to substantiate what patients have been experiencing for themselves when it comes to replacing other drugs and habits with cannabis. How might these statistics look in the US, where prescription medication use and abuse runs rampant? That’s a question for future research.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Who Is Rick Simpson and What Is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?

If you’re interested in medical marijuana, you’ll inevitably hear about a form of cannabis known as Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO. RSO is a concentrated form of cannabis oil known to have medical benefits, particularly for cancer, but where did RSO come from? And who is Rick Simpson?

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The Story of Rick Simpson

Rick Simpson stumbled upon his cannabis fame purely by accident. Long before “Rick Simpson Oil” was coined as a term, and long before cannabis was considered remotely mainstream, Rick Simpson was an engineer working in a Canadian hospital in 1997.

Simpson was working in the hospital boiler room covering the asbestos on the hospital’s pipes with potent aerosol glue. The boiler room was poorly ventilated and the toxic fumes caused a temporary nervous system shock, causing Simpson to collapse off his ladder and hit his head. He was knocked unconscious and when he awoke, he managed to contact his colleagues to take him to the emergency room.

He continued to suffer from dizzy spells and a ringing in his ears for years after the accident, but his prescribed medication had little effect, even making his symptoms worse.

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After seeing a documentary highlighting the positive benefits of using cannabis, Simpson inquired about medical marijuana but his doctor refused to consider it as a course of treatment. He ended up sourcing cannabis of his own accord and saw a significant improvement in his tinnitus and other symptoms.

In 2003, three suspicious bumps appeared on Simpson’s arm. The doctor agreed that the bumps appeared to be cancerous and took a sample for a biopsy. Sure enough, the bumps turned out to be basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer.

Simpson had successfully treated his symptoms with cannabis in the past, and he had heard about a study from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in which THC was found to kill cancer cells in mice. He made the decision to treat his skin cancer topically, applying concentrated cannabis oil to a bandage and leaving the cancerous spots covered for several days.

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After four days, he removed the bandages and the cancerous growths had disappeared. Although his physician refused to acknowledge cannabis as a treatment alternative, Simpson was now a true believer in the medicinal powers of cannabis.

From then on out, he began cultivating his own cannabis and harvesting the plants to create his own specialized form of cannabis concentrate, now known as Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO. It became his mission and goal to distribute cannabis oil to those who needed it, free of charge. He helped treat more than 5,000 patients with RSO, but his journey was not without its setbacks and struggles.

Simpson’s own doctor refused to acknowledge the benefits, and he faced arrest and persecution in his native Canada. His home was raided on multiple occasions and he had over 2,600 plants cut down and confiscated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but Simpson persevered and continued to distribute cannabis oil. To this day, he continues to spread the word of his findings.

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How to Make DIY Rick Simpson Oil at Home

Making your own RSO at home is not difficult, and the process isn’t all that different from making cannabutter or other kinds of infused cannabis oil. Rick Simpson recommends using indica cannabis strains for best results, although patients may prefer to use the cannabis strains that work best for their medical condition.

Note: This recipe will produce the full 60 grams of oil for a 90-day treatment regimen. If you’re looking for a smaller treatment course, you can easily divide the recipe into smaller amounts. For example, one ounce of cannabis will produce 3-4 grams of RSO.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of dried cannabis material (indica strain)
  • 2 gallons of solvent – 99% isopropyl alcohol
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • A deep bowl
  • Wooden spoon for stirring
  • Cheesecloth
  • Rice cooker
  • Plastic catheter tip syringe (60ml)
  1. Place dry cannabis material into the 5-gallon bucket and pour in the solvent until the plant matter is covered.
  2. Stir and crush the plant material with your wooden spoon while adding the solvent to your mixture. Continue stirring the mixture for about three minutes while the THC dissolves into the solvent. This will dissolve about 80% of the THC into the solvent.
  3. Drain the solvent from the plant material into your bowl using the cheesecloth. Place the plant material back in the bucket and add more solvent. Continue stirring for another three minutes.
  4. Drain the solvent from your plant material into your bowl using the cheesecloth and discard the remaining plant material.
  5. Transfer your solvent to your rice cooker until it is about ¾ full and turn on your rice cooker.

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Note: While you don’t necessarily need a rice cooker, if you’ve never made RSO before, rice cookers are exceptionally useful in this instance for maintaining a slow, steady temperature. If your mixture heats above 300 degrees Fahrenheit (148 degrees Celsius), the cannabinoids will cook off and the RSO will be unusable. It is not recommended to use a Crockpot or slow cooker, as this may overheat your mixture.

  1. The rice cooker should maintain a steady temperature between 210 and 230 degrees Fahrenheit (100 to 110 degrees Celsius), which is the correct heat setting for decarboxylation to occur.
  2. As the rice cooker heats up, the solvent will slowly evaporate. Continue to add your mixture to the rice cooker gradually.

Note: Make sure your rice cooker is in an open, well-ventilated area, and avoid all flames, stovetops, sparks, and cigarettes, as the solvent is highly combustible.

  1. Once the solvent has evaporated, siphon the oil into your syringe for easy dosing. The RSO will be thick, so if you have trouble dispensing it, run the syringe under hot water and the RSO mixture should dispense with ease.

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How to Use RSO

For medical patients, it is always recommended to consult your physician before starting any new treatment regimen. However, as there are many physicians who refuse to discuss cannabis as a course of treatment, proceed with the Rick Simpson method at your own discretion.

For one patient, the goal is to gradually consume 60 grams of Rick Simpson Oil over the course of a 90-day period.

Week 1: Start with three doses every day

  • Each dose should be about the size of half a grain of rice and should be administered once every eight hours (in the morning, noon, and night). The first dose will be about ¼ of a drop of RSO.

Weeks 2 through 5: Double your dose every four days

  • The average person will take between three and five weeks to reach the full dosage of one gram of RSO per day.

Weeks 5 through 12: Take one gram of RSO daily until you’ve consumed the full 60 grams.

  • Eventually, the patient will be taking about 8-9 rice-sized drops of RSO every eight hours.

The taste of the RSO may be slightly bitter or unpleasant, so patients may prefer to ingest the oil by swallowing it directly or mixing it with other foods, such as bananas, to help mask the taste.

Note: Do not try to dab RSO, as it is made with high-proof alcohol and is highly combustible.

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Side effects mostly include sleepiness, which is a natural part of the healing process. Increasing the dose gradually will help minimize the psychoactive effects and keep your tolerance to a functional level. Daytime sleepiness should fade within three to four weeks.

After a 12-week regimen of RSO, the patient may want to continue the treatment but it should be at a significantly reduced rate. About one to two grams of RSO per month is enough for a regular maintenance dose.

Rick Simpson Oil should not be considered a cure-all for medical conditions, but many patients have experienced significant relief from their medical symptoms and conditions with the use of RSO.

Have you ever used RSO? How has it impacted your life? Let us know in the comments!


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

How Canadian Licensed Producers Are Driving Medical Marijuana Research

This article is sponsored by Tilray, one of the largest and most sophisticated producers of premium medical cannabis in the world. Tilray is dedicated to providing safe, consistent, and reliable products to patients and furthering clinical research.


Cannabis research is at an important point in history: While a growing number of people have embraced the plant’s potential to produce therapeutic effects, many of its potential medical applications remain anecdotal, and its potential to treat or alleviate the symptoms of a variety of diseases remains untapped. Canada, poised to become the first G7 nation to legalize cannabis for adult use, has already positioned itself as a global leader in medical cannabis research. Now, licensed producers (LPs) across Canada are working closely with renowned research institutions all over the world to conduct some of the first large-scale clinical trials investigating the potential medical benefits of cannabis.

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LP-Driven Medical Cannabis Studies on PTSD

How Canadian Licensed Producers Are Driving Global Medical Marijuana Research | Leafly

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have partnered with Canadian LP Tilray to conduct Canada’s first-ever clinical trial examining the potential of medical cannabis as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD, which can occur after a person experiences or witnesses a life-threatening event, is reported to affect over 9% of Canadian men and women. The study will examine the efficacy of medical cannabis in managing chronic PTSD symptoms that are resistant to other treatments. Patients, including veterans, first responders, police officers, and victims of assault, will be given various potencies of medical cannabis, including strains that have varying THC/CBD ratios, to determine how these potencies and ratios affect and treat their symptoms. “We know there continues to be significant unmet need in the treatment of PTSD in Canada and around the world,” says the study’s principal investigator, clinical psychologist Zach Walsh of UBC’s Okanagan campus. “This trial will allow us to build on the anecdotal evidence supporting the potential use of medical cannabis to treat PTSD and hopefully help those who struggle with this debilitating condition.”

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Large-scale studies that examine cannabis as a potential treatment for debilitating mental disorders like PTSD illustrate a shift in the public’s perception of cannabis. As quality, medical-grade cannabis becomes easier to access, scientists are finally able to study its potential applications on scales large and small. Led by Italian memory scientist Dr. Maria Morena, and in partnership with LP MedReleaf, the University of Calgary is also studying the potential of cannabis as a treatment for PTSD. In this particular study, Morena is focusing on whether cannabis can minimize the lasting impact of emotionally significant memories in the brain. While the study uses animal models and not humans, it has great potential to offer much-needed insight into cannabis’s potential to help combat the lasting effects of PTSD on the brain.

Medical Cannabis Studies on Pediatric Epilepsy and Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea

How Canadian Licensed Producers Are Driving Global Medical Marijuana Research | Leafly

Beyond PTSD, Tilray has supported The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (SickKids) as it studies cannabis’s role in alleviating some of the symptoms of Dravet syndrome, a rare and debilitating form of pediatric epilepsy. Again the first of its kind, this clinical trial will use liquid cannabis extracts administered orally in order to identify and document a safe starting dose and titration schedule while uncovering any potential side effects, adverse drug interactions, or changes in brain activity for children suffering from Dravet syndrome. “We need to understand the safety of this novel formulation in order to proceed with larger clinical trials which will continue to advance the scientific research and understanding of the efficacy of cannabinoid treatment,” explains Dr. Catherine Jacobson, Director of Clinical Research at Tilray. Parents have been using cannabis to help their children with Dravet syndrome for some time, and this study marks an important step towards the eventual goal of minimizing the frequent and prolonged seizures that characterize this disease.

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A clinical trial will begin in Australia this year to determine whether cannabis is a safe and tolerable form of treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). For this study, Tilray will partner with the Government of New South Wales, the University of Sydney, and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in hopes of finding a promising form of relief for CINV, which affects up to 80% of patients undergoing chemotherapy. “Australia has some of the most forward-thinking investigators in the field of clinical research on cannabinoids,” says Brendan Kennedy, President of Tilray Global. “We are impressed with [New South Wales’s] promotion of research to inform treatment with cannabis-derived medications in a number of diseases for which these medications are thought to be helpful.” Tilray has created a proprietary capsule containing active THC and CBD to be used in the study.

Medical Cannabis Studies on Pain from Osteoarthritis and Other Sources

How Canadian Licensed Producers Are Driving Global Medical Marijuana Research | Leafly

There are several clinical trials that have been performed in the past few years that investigate cannabis’s ability to help patients manage pain. Recently, McGill University, Dalhousie University, and Canadian LP CanniMed have partnered to study the safety and efficacy of vaporized cannabis in helping adults over 50 manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee. The trial used a variety of cannabis strains, with varying concentrations of THC and CBD. Another clinical trial aimed at studying the long-term safety of medical cannabis in patients suffering from chronic, non-cancer pain found that those who used cannabis daily for one year saw no increase in serious adverse effects compared to those patients who didn’t use cannabis. The trial, which used flower containing 12% THC from CanniMed, was the first and largest study of its kind.

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There are unique benefits to studying the effects of cannabis in different forms, and particularly with raw flower, since it contains an array of cannabinoids and terpenes which are believed to work together in what’s known as an entourage effect. While whole-plant medicine can be beneficial, its efficacy is largely dependent on the quality of the plant. The United States government has recently fallen under scrutiny for providing subpar cannabis to researchers in the US in its first-ever clinical trial of cannabis as a potential treatment for PTSD; the incident led Johns Hopkins University to pull out of the study, a major setback. In order to fully study cannabis and its potential medical applications, scientists need to access high-quality cannabis—and that’s where Canada is leading the charge.

By providing quality medical cannabis in a variety of forms, strains, and concentrations and partnering with research institutions to drive groundbreaking studies, Canadian LPs like Tilray are uniquely positioned to help Canada lead the way in global medical cannabis research. Working closely with governments and esteemed university research centers around the world, LPs are actively driving the push to make medical cannabis accessible to those who need it most, in concentrations and doses that are formulated to advance the clinical applications of cannabinoids.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

In British Columbia, an Election to Set the Future of BC Bud

The future of BC Bud may be determined this coming Tuesday, May 9, when British Columbians go to the ballot box to elect a premier to lead the province through the process of cannabis legalization.

In a tight race, New Democratic Party leader John Horgan is hoping to unseat Christy Clark (above) of the BC Liberals, who has served as premier since 2011. The trailing third candidate, Dr. Andrew Weaver of the BC Green Party, is hopeful this election will give the Greens enough seats to raise the party to official status.

BC is the nation’s cannabis heartland: The province has 13% of Canada’s population, but 40% of its dispensaries.

The latest polls show the NDP winning in a very close race—but the polls have been wrong before. In 2013, pollsters miscalculated so poorly that one headline declared NDP leader Adrian Dix “could win if he kicked a dog.” Clark triumphed, and the story remains an embarrassment for the pollsters.

Why is this election so important for cannabis legalization? Because in the proposed regulation scheme tabled last month by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, the federal government gave the provinces jurisdiction over age limits and distribution rules. Distribution rights and licenses figure to be among the biggest battles that will set the future of the industry.

And make no doubt: BC remains Canada’s cannabis heartland. Of the estimated 500 medical cannabis dispensaries now operating in Canada, about 200 are in BC. That means that a province with 13 percent of Canada’s population has 40 percent of the nation’s dispensaries.

The province’s tolerant cities are partly responsible for the high per-capita dispensary rate. Vancouver and Victoria have issued municipal business licenses to applicants who meet the cities’ regulatory framework.

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Where Do the Parties Split on Cannabis?

It’s unclear how the parties differ on policies regarding the coming legalization scheme. Nobody seems to be opposing legalization outright. The BC Liberals haven’t provided a clear message, although Christy Clark has said “…we are going to make sure that we implement it safely in a way that protects children, in a way that protects users who want to know what they’re getting and in a way that makes sure that organized crime doesn’t see any benefit from it.” Clark has criticized Horgan for supporting the idea of distributing cannabis through liquor stores. “He’s taken over $100,000 from the BCGEU”—the British Columbia Government Employee’s Union—”and now he suddenly wants to put marijuana in our liquor stores, despite the fact that no one in North America is doing that,” she said.

Liquor stores are run both privately and by the government in BC. In Ontario, liquor is only distributed through government-owned retail stores. Government employee unions have been lobbying for cannabis distribution in both provinces.

john-horganNDP leader John Horgan: cannabis in liquor stores.

Former British Columbia NDP leader Carole James, who is running for a fourth term representing a district in downtown Victoria, said the “main consideration for marijuana legalization is getting rid of the black market and ensuring it doesn’t get into the hands of young people. Because marijuana is used for both medicinal and recreational purposes its distribution will be different than alcohol. A BC NDP government will consult widely on distribution and consider an array of avenues. The decision will be made by experts. We’ll have effective regulations that meet the law while ensuring communities and kids stay safe.”

To prepare for the changes that legalization will bring, John Horgan recently sent James and Public Safety spokesperson Mike Farnworth to Washington state and Oregon to learn best practices, “so that a BC NDP government would be ready make this transition in a fair, orderly and safe way,” James said.

The Greens Want a Craft Industry

Dr. Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Greens, strongly supports an inclusive and diverse cannabis market. “ BC Greens will protect BC’s craft cannabis industry, ensure interprovincial trade barriers are not imposed, and support small business in the distrubution of cannabis,” Weaver said.

With its long history of cannabis cultivation and culture, British Columbia is the California of Canada. The province produces an estimated 70% of the cannabis distributed in Canada.

The province’s legacy of cultivation goes back to the late sixties. The Vietnam War was raging and young American men who were opposed to the war and the draft sought refuge in pockets of the often-rough Canadian landscape. Many of them landed in remote settlements with a notably off the grid, anti-establishment mindset, partially to avoid detection but in many cases because it was where they wanted to be.  The draft dodgers were opposed to war and held ideals very much in tune with the same ideals cannabis has evoked over decades of illegitimacy.  The BC Bud industry was born.

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Today the cannabis industry in British Columbia is estimated to range between $2 billion and $7 billion. At the $7 billion level, the industry would represent nearly 3% of provincial GDP and would account for more revenue than British Columbia’s forestry and fisheries sectors combined.

What Matters to Voters: Housing and Jobs

The focus of this election has been primarily on housing, jobs and the province’s ho-hum economy. Politicians have steered clear of any discussion of cannabis. BC Liberals lean to the right of the political spectrum, while the NDP have strong union ties and the Greens are focused on environmental issues. As important as cannabis is to the BC economy, political stigma still clings to the issue. As the media has been saturated with talk of legalization on the federal level in Canada, the usually loud and often assertive BC cannabis community has remained relatively quiet during this provincial campaign, perhaps because of uncertainty about which government they might have to work with.

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Sensible BC, a group out of Vancouver that attempted to hold a referendum to end cannabis arrests in British Columbia in 2013, released an overview of party positions to their members and most recently a group of advocates and business owners in Victoria endorsed several Green Party candidates and a Liberal candidate who support their vision for the southern Island.

If the Liberals win a majority, BC can expect a very corporatized and conservative approach to cannabis legalization.  If the NDP are elected, the unions will have some influence over the shape of the distribution system.  If the Greens are able to secure a few more seats, they’re expected to push for more responsible environmental regulatory policies based on the existing craft beer model.

The final chapters of the BC Bud saga are about to be written, and the results of tomorrow’s  election may determine just how happy the ending will be.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

State of the Leaf: Sacramento Sees 500% Drop in Cannabis Arrests

US News

Arkansas

It’s regulation by legislation in Arkansas as lawmakers cobble together the rules that will govern the state’s nascent medical cannabis program. There is a ton of new laws. Literally dozens of them.

“They did some crazy things, but it wasn’t anything that would affect the overall stability or the overall ability to get medicine, marijuana to the patients,” said David Couch, who led the campaign for the November ballot measure that legalized medical cannabis in the state.

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California

Cannabis arrests in the state capital of Sacramento are down a whopping 500% since state voters passed Proposition 64, to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state.

And just in time for Earth Day weekend, US Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA) made an environmentally minded pitch for ending prohibition.

District of Columbia

On 4/20, several high-profile DC cannabis advocates were arrested while carrying out an act of civil disobedience on Capitol Hill. Their motive was to highlight a soon-to-expire recurring budget amendment that protects legal medical cannabis operations from unwanted federal intrusion. It was a gutsy gesture that attracted heaps of media attention but not universal praise.

“I don’t think it is the best way forward,” cannabis stalwart US Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) told US News. “We’re going to have many advocates and business people on Capitol Hill making the case in a calm, thoughtful, rational basis.”

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Florida

In November, Sunshine State voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2 to legalize medical cannabis. Since then, Florida’s largest newspaper Tampa Bay Times has dropped a series of editorials skewering Tallahassee lawmakers for getting it all wrong—on, well, basically everything. The Times’ latest, a blistering admonition from Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Ruth, is the most derisive yet.

“Last year, Floridians approved by 71.3 percent an amendment that broadly legalizes the use of medical marijuana. That was huge. You’d have a hard time getting 71.3 percent of the state to agree on the color of an orange. Then it was left to the Legislature to craft the rules for implementing the amendment. That’s the way the system is supposed to work. It’s called democracy and it’s all the rage, except in Florida.”

You can almost hear the mic drop.

Massachusetts

Voters in Massachusetts ended prohibition last November after passing Question 4 at the polls. Since mid-December, it has been legal to grow and possess cannabis. Since then, we’ve watched a turf war play out over who has final regulatory authority over Massachusetts’s adult recreational market.

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New Hampshire

Mixed results on a mostly GOP-led effort to expand New Hampshire’s list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis: Chronic pain legislation, HB 157, passed the Senate and is expected to become law. But a similar, separate measure that would have included PTSD as a qualifying condition, HB 160, failed to clear the Senate hurdle and was sent back to the drawing board on committee.

New Jersey

Gov. Chris Christie is literally the most unpopular governor in America, and his notoriously anti-cannabis policies are partly to blame. But for cannabis advocates, there is light at the end of the tunnel: He’ll be gone in less than nine months, at which point NJ’s cannabis landscape should transform swiftly and dramatically.

Phil Murphy, a Democrat and former ambassador to Germany, is the odds-on favorite to replace Christie. His approach would be a dramatic departure from his predecessor’s.

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“By carefully watching what other states have already done, we can ensure a legalization and taxation program that learns from their experiences and which will work from the outset,” Murphy told Leafly. “This also is about social justice, and ending a failed prohibition that has served mainly to put countless people—predominantly young men of color—behind bars and behind a huge roadblock to their futures. New Jersey should choose to be a leader.”

Pennsylvania

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, the state’s chief fiscal officer, joined hundreds of cannabis advocates in Harrisburg to make the fiscal case for ending prohibition.

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“The state’s now looking for revenues and also looking to where they can save money,” DePasquale said, adding that “the most failed war in the history of the United States is the war of drugs, specifically when it comes to marijuana.”

Activists were thrilled to have backup.

“It was an unexpected surprise when Auditor General DePasquale added his voice to the call for legalization via a ‘tax and regulate’ model,” Pittsburg NORML’s Patrick Nightingale told Leafly. “PA is facing a huge budget deficit, projected by some to be as high as $3 billion. Mr. DePasquale knows we must find additional sources of funding, and he pointed out the most obvious source of potential revenue: cannabis. My only criticism is that I think he projected revenue is far too low, especially when the $200 million to $300 million PA spends annually on marijuana-related law enforcement, courts, and corrections is factored in.”

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South Dakota

Legalization advocates in South Dakota hope the third time’s a charm as they again circulate petitions to put cannabis reform on next year’s ballot. One ballot measure would legalize medical cannabis, while another would OK adult use. Advocates have until November to gather the requisite signatures—17,000 each—to qualify for the November 2018 election.

” We’re embracing this showdown,” advocate Melissa Mentele told Leafly. “When we get these measures on the ballot, that sets up an intriguing showdown with our notoriously anti-cannabis Attorney General Marty Jackley, who already announced his campaign for governor in 2018.

“The prospect of a showdown with South Dakota’s most notorious anti-cannabis villain,” she added, “makes my heart go pitter pat.”

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Utah

A surgeon in Utah refused to perform a life-saving double-lung transplant on 20-year-old Ryan Hancey because he had THC metabolites in his blood.

“We do not transplant organs in patients with active alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drug use or dependencies until these issues are addressed,” Utah Health System explained in a written statement. Despite a frantic last-minute crowd-sourced effort to fly him to Philadelphia’s Penn Hospital for his transplant, Hancey died over the weekend.

West Virginia

Just in time for 4/20, West Virginia became the 29th state to adopt medical cannabis legislation. “This legislation is going to benefit countless West Virginia patients and families for years to come,” said MPP’s Matt Simon.

That’s common refrain in WV, where advocates are upbeat after such a heady win. And it’s definitely a huge step forward. But this glass is also half-empty. No homegrown, no smokable flowers, no out-of-state reciprocity. Nothing before mid-2019 at the earliest. And with this flawed legislation now officially on the books, many activists fear politicians will think their work on the issue is done.

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“This was done without much outside help,” Reverend John Wires told Leafly. He’s one of several unpaid lobbyists who, with nothing more than “gas money and shoe leather” helped make medical marijuana a reality in West Virginia.

“Imagine what we could have accomplished if we had the financial backing that has been thrown into other states,” he said. “It was the calls from the public that brought us over the top. All those in office know West Virginia citizens vote with their temper.”

International

Canada

Medical cannabis and job-related drug testing—it’s a common dilemma anywhere that medicinal cannabis is legal. Including Canada.

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“There’s nothing wrong in saying you can’t be stoned at work,” said Canadian employment lawyer Peter Straszynski.

But is there something wrong with discriminating against legal medical patients who medicate responsibly?

France

Four of the top-five finishers in the first round of France’s presidential election support decriminalizing cannabis, including Emmanuel Macron who finished first. The only opponent is Marine Le Pen, who finished second. Macron and Le Pen will face off May 8 to determine France’s next head of state.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

5 Things Trudeau’s Cannabis Interview Made Clear

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down Monday with reporters and staffers from Vice for a live interview about the recently introduced legislation to legalize cannabis. Over the course of an hour, he fielded questions—including from celebrities like Seth Rogan and cannabis activists like Jodie Emery—about what the changes will mean for the country.

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Here are five key takeaways from the discussion: 

Medical Isn’t Going Anywhere—For Now

Trudeau told the audience that Canada learned a lot from legal-cannabis states in the US, which may be part of the reason he’s pledged to leave the country’s medical cannabis program untouched, at least for the time being. Patients in some US states have seen medical markets dry up as adult-use legalization took over, forcing them to pay more for different products.

Trudeau says that won’t happen—at least not anytime soon. “The medical marijuana system that exists in Canada will stay as-is for the coming years,” he told the Vice audience.

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Trudeau said he even believes nonmedical legalization could help federal lawmakers to “make better determinations” about how to regulate the medical market. Currently “a lot of people” use the medical system to purchase cannabis for recreational purposes, he said. As those people transition to the adult-use market, it will “radically transform the environment in which the medical marijuana system currently works,” allowing regulators to respond accordingly.

Don’t Expect the Raids to Stop Soon

While nationwide cannabis legalization is only about a year away in Canada, Trudeau insisted on the importance of enforcing current cannabis laws. He shot down ideas like a moratorium on new criminal charges or the possibility of nationwide decriminalization in the interim.

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“Until we have a system in place that is a better system than our current system, our system has to stand,” he said. “If you decriminalize, the only people who will be growing and selling are going to be criminals themselves.”

Trudeau faced some pushback for staying the course, at least from the Vice audience. A big point of contention was the degree to which a criminal conviction can affect a person’s life for years down the road. A recent Vice poll found that 56% of Canadians support a blanket pardon for past cannabis offenses, and 35% support pardons for possession. Only 9% percent opposed pardons of any kind.

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Edibles: A Lot to Chew On

Sales of cannabis-infused edibles won’t be permitted in Canada, meaning consumers who want to skip smoking and eat a brownie instead will have to buy cannabis flower or concentrate and make edibles at home. That’s irked some consumers—especially following a Canadian Supreme Court decision saying medical edibles are OK—but Trudeau on Monday stood by the policy.

“We don’t yet have full confidence that we know what a regulated framework around edibles will look like,” he acknowledged, pointing to anecdotes of overconsumption-by-edibles in states like Colorado. “We have to get it right.”

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Asked how he expected to make a dent in the illegal market without allowing edibles, Trudeau acknowledged that was a problem for another day. “That next step, we’re going to be working on it,” he said. “It’s in the future.”

Under the Banner of Safety

Nearly all of Trudeau’s talking points on legalization stressed public safety as the legislation’s driving principle. It’s the reason he stood by the edibles ban, the explanation behind continuing to enforce the country’s cannabis laws, and the motivation behind trying to keep the industry in check.

“I’m more of a beer and bourbon guy.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

US states, Trudeau said, have approached cannabis legalization “very much with a commercial mindset and already thinking about profits and revenue,” he said. “We’re approaching it purely from a health and safety standpoint.”

Public safety was Trudeau’s justification for a number of policies, such as the need for strict federal oversight of cannabis production and why it’s important to keep shutting down storefront dispensaries that are operating illegally. It’s also been the official justification for setting the legal age for cannabis at 18 under the new law and for imposing strict limits on advertising.

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Trudeau: Not Exactly a Cannabis Guy

The first question to the prime minister was about the last time he tried cannabis. His response? “My high-school friends, everyone who’s known me a long time, thinks it’s just really, really funny that I’m the one in charge of legalizing marijuana” he said, describing himself as “the boringest.”

“Convincing me to move toward legalization was very much done on a policy basis,” he explained.

In other words, he’s no Barry Obama, whose affinity for cannabis during his college years is widely known. He’s pragmatic, policy-minded, and, well…  not all that interested in consuming cannabis.

“I’m more of a beer and bourbon guy,” he said in response to a question about how he planned to celebrate legalization’s success.

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Canadian Craft Cannabis?

Federal officials will oversee cannabis cultivation under the new law. That’s worried some consumers, who fear a small number of large companies could control the entire supply—as so-called “licensed producers” do in the country’s medical market. But Trudeau assured the Vice audience that the adult-use market will offer more choices.

“We are very, very much focused on making sure there’s a market that’s going to meet the needs and interests of consumers,” he said, noting that consumers have already expressed interest in organic or pesticide-free growing methods.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

It’s Showtime for 420 Toronto Impresario Chris Goodwin

Thousands will pack a public square in the heart of Canada’s biggest city today for its annual cannabis festival, 420 Toronto. The 11th annual smoke-out starts at around noon and will feature live music, more than two dozen vendors, food trucks, speakers such as Abi Roach and Marc Emery and, of course, the ceremonial smoking of the joints at 4:20 p.m.

Coming just one week after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government tabled legislation legalizing marijuana, the mood in Yonge-Dundas Square is expected to be especially jubilant.

‘So long as they treat us as second class citizens, we will respond with civil disobedience.’

Chris Goodwin, 420 Toronto Festival Director

But the man at the center of it all won’t be rejoicing.

Chris Goodwin, who organized Toronto’s first 420 celebration ten years ago, isn’t actively opposing the Liberal government’s proposal. But he’s not tossing roses in Trudeau’s direction either.

Goodwin says there’s much more work to be done to ensure that cannabis is fully accepted in Canada —  “normalized” in his words. “So long as [authorities] continue to treat the cannabis culture as second class citizens, we will respond with civil disobedience,” he says. “I can be relentless.”

 A Teenage Entrepreneur

April 11, 2010. Christopher Goodwin smokes cannabis outside police headquarters on College St. to protest a recent raid on their medical marijuana club. (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star/Getty Images)April 11, 2010. Christopher Goodwin smokes cannabis outside police headquarters on College St. to protest a medical marijuana raid. (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star/Getty Images)

A few weeks before the legislation was tabled, Goodwin sat down for a conversation with Leafly at a coffee shop in downtown Toronto. He was dressed casually, in jeans and a baggy top, but he was all business. Less than a minute into the conversation it was clear that he’s clear-thinking, motivated, and dedicated to a cause he believes in.

Goodwin’s first business venture: Selling candles to mask the smell of cannabis.

The 36-year-old Canadian traces his interest in cannabis back to his days as a high school student in Hamilton, Ontario, a port city 38 miles southwest of Toronto. That’s when he started smoking marijuana and using scented candles to cover the pungent smell.

Aware that countless other teenagers were doing the same thing, the 15-year-old student saw a business opportunity. He started a company that sold scented candles to variety stores around the city. Within two years, the business had contracts with thousands of stores. Goodwin and his partners sold the business to the Canadian Candle Company — and the budding entrepreneur never looked back.

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In 2003, he opened a cannabis cafe in Hamilton called Up in Smoke. In addition to offering bong rentals, rolling trays and other wares, the cafe had a private membership-based vapor lounge replete with leather couches.

In a stroke of genius, he created rolling papers with an image of future Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In 2007, he moved to Toronto and opened Vapor Central, a cannabis smoking lounge. In a stroke of retail genius, he created rolling papers bearing an image of future Prime Minister Justin Trudeau smoking a joint — and sold more than 100 packs within 36 hours.

In January 2016, he his wife Erin opened Good Weeds, a cannabis lounge and dispensary in the east end of Toronto. It sold cannabis flower, resin, and extracts that could be used in vaporizers at the cafe.

Later that year the couple took over a franchise of Cannabis Culture, a national chain of marijuana dispensaries owned by Marc and Jodie Emery, Canada’s “Prince and Princess of Pot.”

Arrested More Than a Dozen Times

JUNE 23: Police removed marijuana and cannabis oil following a raid where three people were arrested at Cannabis Culture on Queen Street West in Toronto Thursday afternoon. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)June 23, 2016. Police removed marijuana and cannabis oil following a raid where three people were arrested at Cannabis Culture on Queen Street West in Toronto. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star/Getty Images)

Goodwin has dealt with a lot of adversity on his path as an entrepreneur — and not in the form of poor sales or personnel problems. We’re talking about arrest and incarceration.

His businesses have been raided repeatedly, and he has been arrested 14 times, not including the time the cops showed up at his door after his mother called them, allegedly to ask for advice on what to do about her pot-smoking teenager. He has faced dozens of charges and spent time behind bars, including one stretch of six months.

During the three years that Up in Smoke was open, for example, police paid the cafe hundreds of visits and raided it four times. Goodwin faced a series of criminal charges and ended up being sentenced to $3,000 in fines and jail time.

A few weeks after Good Weeds opened its doors in 2016, police raided it and arrested Goodwin. The next day the shop reopened as a lounge where customers had to bring their own cannabis.

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Last month Goodwin’s Cannabis Culture franchise in downtown Toronto was raided as part of Project Gator, a sweeping series of raids by the Toronto police. He and Erin were arrested and charged with a number of offenses, including trafficking and conspiracy. The Goodwins and three others who were charged — including Marc and Jodie Emery — were released on $30,000 bail with instructions not to have contact with each other, with drugs, or the dispensaries. They were also prohibited from leaving the province.

The arrests have never upset Goodwin. Quite the opposite.

“[Cannabis activist] David Malmo-Levine says it’s better to get arrested in public with the cameras rolling than in the middle of the night when no one is looking,” he says. “The attention is good. It’s earned media for the cause.”

Inspired by Jack Herer

Chris and Erin Goodwin (Courtesy of Cannabis Culture)

Goodwin’s dedication to civil disobedience can be traced back to the 1990s, when he read the book The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Author Jack Herer focused on the war on drugs in the United States, arguing that it was a fraud, and examined its roots in the reefer madness era of the 1930s. Emboldened by Herer’s work, Goodwin started on his own journey as an activist.

Six months later, Goodwin organized his first 420 event in Hamilton. A few dozen people showed up. He got arrested but wasn’t deterred; he continued to organize the annual event and moved it to Toronto when he took up residence there.

The Start of Something Big

April 20, 2016: Hundreds attend the 420 Toronto cannabis rally at Yonge-Dundas Square.

In 2007, he held the first 420 smoke out in Yonge-Dundas Square. Only about 100 people marched through the streets and into the square that year.

The event grew steadily, though, and finally hit the big time in 2013, when a man named Bob Erb won $25 million in a lottery and used some of it to bankroll 4/20 events across Canada.

Erb gave $15,000 to Toronto organizers, who used it to stage a celebration that featured live bands, stand-up comedy, and rousing speeches by marijuana activists. For the first time ever, the city actually issued Goodwin a permit.

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A number of politicians, government officials, and even some law enforcement agencies are coming around to Goodwin’s way of thinking on cannabis. It’s still a fight, though, and one that Goodwin is eager to continue taking to his opponents.

“Jodie [Emery] has cited an adage that says the oppressor never gives up voluntarily. Change has to be demanded by the oppressed,” he says before taking the final sip of his hot chocolate. “Authorities aren’t going to change the status quo on their own initiative. They have to be pressured.”

420 Toronto: Thursday, April 20, in Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto. Festivities begin at noon, culminating in the ceremonial joint lighting at 4:20pm, and wrapping up around 7pm. This is the final year for the festival at Yonge-Dundas Square; it’s reportedly moving to a new location in 2018. The event is free.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

State of the Leaf: Congressman Urges Trump to Respect State Cannabis

US News

California

Assembly Bill 1578 successfully cleared a committee vote, 5-2, and will now move to the full Assembly floor. The bill, authored by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), is designed to protect Californians who are operating lawfully under California cannabis laws. Absent a court order, it says, local and state agencies, including regulators and law enforcement, shall not assist in any federal enforcement actions against state-authorized cannabis activity.

“AB 1578 is intended to prevent federal government overreach in the era of Trump,” said Lynne Lyman, Drug Policy Alliance’s California director, testified at Tuesday’s committee hearing. “We do not want the federal government harassing, intimidating, or prosecuting people who are operating lawfully under state law.”

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Also having its first hearing Tuesday was Senate Bill 180, by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), which cleared the Senate Public Safety Committee on a 5-2 vote. Dubbed the RISE (Repeal of Ineffective Sentencing Enhancements) Act, Mitchell’s bill would repeal the three-year sentencing enhancements that are tacked onto new drug-possession convictions for past drug convictions. These enhancements are the leading cause of long sentences that create crisis-level overcrowding in county jails.

Meanwhile, as the state gears up to open adult-use markets next year, a California Supreme Court committee is advising judges in the Golden State to stay away from investments in cannabis businesses. The court’s Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions said Wednesday that maintaining any interest in a business that involves medical or adult-use cannabis is incompatible with a judge’s obligation to follow the law. That’s because marijuana remains illegal under federal law despite its growing acceptance among states. According to its opinion, Maryland, Washington and Colorado also prohibit judicial involvement with marijuana.

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Colorado

Three months in and the Trump administration has yet to articulate even a cursory cannabis policy. That’s frustrating to many in legal states, and one lawmaker is now addressing the president personally. “It’s about time our president tells us where exactly he stands on marijuana,” Congressman Jared Polis (D-Boulder) writes in a Denver Post op-ed. In it, Polis urges the White House to, for starters, “leave cannabis regulation to the states.” He makes a mostly dollars-and-cents argument in an apparent effort to appeal to Trump’s business background.

“Colorado has proven that allowing responsible adults to legally purchase marijuana gives money to classrooms rather than cartels; creates jobs rather than addicts; and boosts the economy rather than the prison population,” writes Polis, a member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

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Also in Colorado: DUI arrests fell by a third during the first quarter of the year! But the Colorado Department of Transportation is still singing a Reefer Madness tune.

Delaware

Delaware’s new Gov. John Carney can’t make it through a town hall meeting without someone raising the legalization question. He’s been peppered with questions about ending cannabis prohibition during a tour the state to discuss this year’s budget priorities. The questions ultimately prompted him to host a legalization roundtable with advocates and reform-minded legislators on April 19.

“We need our governor to do the right thing and legalize.”

Kim Petters, advocate

“I’m glad it’s not on 4/20, because we have an event planned that day,” Delaware NORML executive director Cynthia Ferguson quipped.

Jokes aside, advocates are pressing hard. “I’m grateful the governor is willing to come on out and listen to what 61% of his constituents want to see happen,” one advocate, Kim Petters, told Leafly. “I just hope this isn’t a way to appease activists to keep us at bay another year. Legalization must happen in 2017. The cost and human toll of prohibition is just too high to wait any longer. We need our governor to do the right thing and legalize.”

District of Columbia

Advocates in the nation’s capital are gearing up for 4/20 in the most hospitable way possible: by rolling thousands of free—free!—joints to be passed out on Capitol Hill on the high holiday. It’s a repeat of the group’s widely publicized joint giveaway on the National Mall during Donald Trump’s inauguration. That stunt, meant as a gesture of resistance, was a global media sensation.

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Advocates hope to generate a similar buzz on 4/20, but there’s a serious side of the demonstration, too. A recurring federal budget amendment that protects legitimate medical cannabis businesses from DOJ enforcement actions is set to expire at the end of the month. And nothing draws attention to that deadline quite like free joints on Capitol Hill.

Florida

Cannabis decriminalization in Florida? There’s a bill for that. Given the legislation’s dim prospects, however, it’s largely symbolic, timed to drive the debate as Florida lawmakers scramble to implement the state’s young medical cannabis program.

“There have been many, many bills proposed, but it’s never had a hearing. So this is a major step forward to end prohibition,” NORML Tallahassee’s Melissa Villar told reporters. “There have been many, many bills proposed, but it’s never had a hearing. So this is a major step forward to end prohibition.”

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Iowa

A wide-ranging medical cannabis bill breezed through the Iowa Senate on Monday on a vote of 45-5. That got folks wondering if Iowa’s might become the 30th next state to legalize medical marijuana. But despite the near-unanimous vote, that doesn’t look likely. The Republican-dominated House of Representatives simply isn’t there yet. Many lawmakers view the Senate legislation as too flexible and overbroad in terms of qualifying conditions.

Maryland

“The rollout so far is going well.”

Patrick Jameson, executive director, Medical Cannabis Commission

Patient registration for Maryland’s medical marijuana program has begun. Roughly 1,200 patients signed up the first week, during which anyone whose last name begins with letters A-L was permitted to apply. The number of registered physicians spiked as well, and currently sits at 250. Those numbers should double quickly as registration opens the entire state on April 24.

“We are having some good numbers that are coming in,” said Patrick Jameson, executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. “The rollout so far is going well.”

But as the program ramps up, Maryland’s Legislative Black Caucus has issued an ultimatum to Maryland’s General Assembly: Either address the lack of diversity in Maryland’s cannabis industry or say goodbye to the support of the caucus’s 51 members.

“How can the Democratic Party pass anything in the legislature without us? How can they be successful in the next election without us?” asked Del. Cheryl Glenn, who chairs the caucus. “They won’t, unless they resolve this.”

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New Hampshire

Bipartisan legislation to grant access to medical marijuana to patients with PTSD (House Bill 160) and chronic pain (HB 157) cleared important hurdles in Concord. Both bills sailed through the state’s powerful Senate Heath Committee. The PTSD bill advanced unanimously, 5-0, while the chronic pain bill legislation passed by a vote of 4-1. Both bills are sponsored primarily by Republican legislators.

Meanwhile, a measure to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis is gaining support in Concord. Even GOP Gov. Chris Sununu is on board.

Nebraska

Nebraska lawmakers should approve a measure allowing and regulating medical marijuana before voters bypass them, senators who support the bill said Wednesday. Legislators debated the bill for two hours without voting, the AP reports, and are unlikely to return to the issue this year unless supporters prove they have the 33 votes necessary to end a filibuster. Senators who oppose the measure should work on making it better because they may be running out of time to regulate medical cannabis, said Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln. Voters are now circulating two petitions for cannabis-related initiatives that could appear on the 2018 ballot. One would amend the state’s constitution to give residents the right to use, buy and sell cannabis and prohibit any laws restricting it, while the other would decriminalize possession of one ounce or less of the drug.

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North Dakota

A bill legalizing medical marijuana in North Dakota is on Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk. North Dakota voters overwhelmingly passed a medical cannabis referendum last November, but according to the governor, additional legislation was required.

“Without additional legislation, this would have been extremely problematic,” said Burgum, a Republican. “We’re committed to moving as quickly as we can.”

For now, North Dakota’s medical cannabis legislation does not include a home-grow component, and patients are required to take extra steps to obtain smokable cannabis.

Some advocates are giving legislators a regulators a year to get the show on the road. “If that doesn’t happen, there is going to be hell to be paid,” said Rilie Ray Morgan, who led the state’s recent referendum battle. “If it’s not available in a year, we will take people to court then. No ifs ands or buts about that.”

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“If this program isn’t running smoothy and properly by then, we’ll start another petition process to address the (onerous) licensing fees the legislature added,” Ray told Leafly. He estimates it could take a prospective business as much as $2 million in initial investment just to get its doors open. “The costs of production and selling to patients will be so far out of line, that’s my fear, that patients will be priced out of the program.”

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo isn’t ready to legalize cannabis. Not quite yet anyway. She’d rather study it first.

Tennessee

Last fall, Democratic leaders in Nashville and Memphis voted to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis. It was a widely regarded huge step forward for Tennessee’s two largest cities. That progress, however, was summarily undone by Republican lawmakers at the state level. Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Haslam last week signed a bill to strike down the reforms, putting an end to Nashville’s and Memphis’s seven-month experiment.

Texas

A very limited cannabis decriminalization measure passed through the Dallas City Council last week. The law, which makes cannabis possession in Texas’s third-largest city a civil offense punishable by a citation, goes into effect Oct. 1—unless, of course, lawmakers follow Tennessee’s lead and undo the local policy.

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Vermont

Ending prohibition in Vermont has been on and off the table numerous times this year. This time last week, things looked very bleak indeed. Then suddenly Twitter’s abuzz with chatter there may be a Senate legalization vote this Friday in Montpelier. Good news. The bill would then advance to the House where it would (almost certainly) languish to death. Again.

Meanwhile, one by one, Vermont’s neighbors are ending prohibition. First Massachusetts, then Maine. What’s next? Quebec? Oh wait…

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West Virginia

West Virginia on Wednesday became the 29th US state to legalize medical cannabis. Give a listen to Gov. Jim Justice’s speech on the matter.

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International News

Canada

The long-awaited legislation to legalize cannabis for adult use throughout Canada landed in Parliament last week, sparking mixed reactions among legalization advocates. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has directed Liberal MP Bill Blair, who’s also Toronto’s former police chief, to shepherd the reform to fruition.

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Best ETA for legal cannabis in Canada? Mid-2018. Hopefully in time for Canada Day.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Canada Lawmakers Introduce Marijuana Regulation Measures

OTTAWA, ON — Liberal Party members introduced legislation late last week to legalize and regulate the possession, use, and sale of cannabis by those age 18 and older.

The legislation follows through on a 2015 campaign pledge by the Party, which has promised to regulate the marijuana market by mid-2018.

The proposed measures establish a legal framework for the commercial production and retail sale of herbal cannabis, germinating seeds, immature plants, and cannabis-infused oils.

Under the plan, those over the age of 18 may obtain up to 30 grams of cannabis at one time, or home cultivate up to four plants for non-commercial purposes.

The measures also grant various regulatory powers to individual provinces and expands police powers to target and prosecute driving under the influence, including the use of oral fluid detection technology and the imposition of per se thresholds for the presence of THC in blood.

If enacted, Canada would become only the second country to regulate the nationwide production and distribution of cannabis.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.