Tag: Headlines

Oregon Collects $25.5M in Cannabis Taxes

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon has processed $25.5 million in tax payments from recreational marijuana from January through the end of July.

The state’s Department of Revenue says medical marijuana dispensaries were required to file their second-quarter returns for recreational marijuana by Aug. 1.

Oregonians legalized recreational marijuana in late 2014.

But it can only be sold by medical marijuana dispensaries until the Oregon Liquor Control Commission finalizes rules for the new industry. That’s expected to happen by next year.

Oregon Sees Consumption Rise, Arrests Plummet

Medical marijuana dispensaries started collecting a 25 percent tax on their recreational marijuana sales in January.

Anticipated state revenue from recreational marijuana through June 2017 was recently quadrupled by Oregon’s Legislative Revenue Office.

The expected amount rose from $8.4 million to $35 million.

 Los Angeles Poised to Ditch Proposed Cannabis Tax for Homeless Services


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.

New Mexico Extends Re-Enrollment Period for Cannabis Patients

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials are extending the enrollment period by up to 60 days for patients who need to renew their certification for the state’s medical marijuana program.

The announcement was made Friday with a posting on the Health Department’s website .

Officials say state and local law enforcement agencies have been alerted about the temporary change, which affects those patients whose cards expire between June 15 and December 31, 2016.

With the automatic extension, patients will still be able to purchase medical marijuana from licensed producers. They must still keep their registry card on them even if it has expired.

“The department is implementing this temporary change in an abundance of caution, to ensure that patients’ enrollments in the program do not lapse while applications are being processed,” the agency stated in its posting.

The move comes as the agency tries to whittle down a backlog of applications for both new patients and those seeking renewals. According to the department, it’s taking about 42 days to process applications, or about a week beyond normal.

Federal Court Bars Justice Department From Prosecuting Medical Cannabis

The medical marijuana program has grown exponentially in recent years, increasing from about 14,000 patients in 2015 to more than 29,000.

In early August, State Auditor Tim Keller called the backlog of applications a public health emergency and said it could lead to costly lawsuits. He had suggested the Health Department was treating the issue as a bureaucratic headache instead of an emergency.

Current state law requires the department to approve or deny applications for identification cards within 30 days. Cards expire after one year, so qualified patients must also apply for renewals.

Department spokesman David Morgan said the agency is hiring additional permanent and temporary employees and employees are working an average of 50 hours a week to address the backlog. The department is also buying more printers to help with the processing of applications.

“We hope to begin consistently approving and processing applications within 30 days within the next few weeks,” he said.

Which States are Most Likely to Legalize Cannabis in 2016?


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.

More Signatures Submitted on Arkansas Medical Marijuana Plan

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Supporters of a plan to legalize medical marijuana in Arkansas turned in additional signatures Friday in hopes of qualifying for the November ballot.

If enough signatures are validated, the proposal from Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana will be the second medical marijuana measure on the general election ballot this year. The group needs 84,859 valid signatures to make it onto the ballot, and Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office has already verified 72,309 signatures.

The proposal’s sponsor, David Couch, said he turned in 34,804 additional signatures Friday and that he’s confident the measure will qualify for a public vote.

The proposed constitutional amendment would allow patients with certain medical conditions and a doctor’s recommendation to buy marijuana from dispensaries. Arkansas voters narrowly rejected a medical marijuana proposal in 2012, but Couch said he believes voters are more open to the idea of legalizing medical marijuana than they were four years ago.

“I’ll be somewhat disappointed if we don’t hit 60 percent” of voter support on the ballot, he said. “People get it now. It’s different, it’s evolved.”

 Why Has Arkansas’ MMJ Initiative Been Rejected 7 Times?

Martin’s office earlier this year approved a competing medical marijuana proposal for the ballot. Unlike Couch’s proposal, the measure already approved would allow patients to grow their own marijuana if they don’t live near a dispensary.

Both medical marijuana measures face opposition from Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson — who is a former head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency — the Arkansas Department of Health and the conservative Family Council Action Committee, which has warned the measures could lead to the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state.

The secretary of state’s office is also in the process of validating signatures for a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize casino gambling in three Arkansas border counties.

 Arizona Judge Rejects Challenge to Legal Cannabis Initiative


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.

Cannabis Plants at Oregon State Fair Are a First for the U.S.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Nine living marijuana plants will be displayed at the Oregon State Fair in a first of its kind event for the United States starting next Friday.

The exhibit of the non-flowering, immature plants brings cannabis cultivation more into the agricultural mainstream less than two years after Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana. The Oregon Cannabis Business Council, which organized the exhibit, says it’s the first time live cannabis will be shown at a state fair anywhere in the U.S.

The group last year had an informational booth about marijuana at the fair and there were no complaints — a key factor in allowing them to go one step further and offer live plants for viewing this year, said Dan Cox, spokesman for the Oregon State Fair.

The specimens were selected by judges at a competition last weekend who chose three winners each in the sativa, indica and hybrid categories.

The entire exhibit will be housed in a translucent tent and extra security will be on hand to check identification so only people 21 and over can enter, Cox said.

None of the plants are allowed have buds, which are more potent than the leaves.

Growing Organic Cannabis at Home

That’s because the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which will regulate the recreational marijuana business, is still finalizing regulations for the nascent industry and it’s currently illegal to transport a flowering plant, said Donald Morse, director of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council.

Those regulations and a licensing process for recreational producers are expected by 2017. The industry hopes to have plants with buds at the fair next summer, Morse said.

The event has raised some eyebrows, but Cox said the Oregon State Fair has always played a role in displaying the latest and sometimes controversial fads in agriculture and state culture. Nearly 20 years ago, he said, the fair had an exhibit on tattoo body art that caused a similar sensation.

“It is a showcase for traditional things. And yet it’s always been a show place for the new, the different and the innovative,” he said.

Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana in a November 2014 ballot initiative after medical marijuana was legalized years earlier.

Recreational marijuana remains illegal in 46 states and under federal law. But in Oregon, the cannabis business has been booming.

Oregon Sees Consumption Rise, Arrests Plummet

Anticipated state revenue from recreational marijuana through June 2017 was recently quadrupled by Oregon’s Legislative Revenue Office, from $8.4 million to $35 million.

Cox said there aren’t plans to expand marijuana’s place at the fair beyond the small exhibit, which is in a space rented by industry proponents.

But for weed fans, just getting a place at the table is worth celebrating.

“It’s pretty awesome to be judging actual cannabis plants that are going to go into a state fair,” said Tom Lauerman, one of six judges and an organic marijuana grower who was once arrested in a law enforcement drug raid targeting cannabis. “It kind of gives me goose bumps even talking about it.”

The fair runs from Aug. 26 to Sept. 5 in Salem, Oregon.

Oregon’s New Teen Cannabis Prevention Campaign Isn’t Horrible. We Found 8 Others That Were Worse.


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.

Arizona Judge Rejects Challenge to Legal Cannabis Initiative

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge on Friday threw out a legal challenge to an initiative that will ask voters in November to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona.

The ruling by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry dismissing the challenge is expected to be appealed by opponents of the measure directly to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Gentry ruled that opponents of Proposition 205 can’t challenge the initiative because of changes to the law in 2015 limiting such lawsuits. She said the Legislature, “wittingly or not,” eliminated a part of the law allowing any citizen to challenge the legality of initiative petitions.

In case that interpretation is overturned by the Supreme Court, Gentry went on to reject all of the reasons opponents laid out for keeping the initiative off the ballot.

They had asked her to bar it from the ballot because the short description voters saw when signing petitions left off many major provisions. For instance, the 100-word legal description did not include details about changes to DUI laws, child custody issues, employment law and many others.

Gentry said in her ruling that there was “no ability to prepare a summary that would comply with the 100-word limit and with their objections.”

 Bill to Limit Police Property Seizures Sails Through California Assembly

The opponents, a group called Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy that includes two prominent county attorneys and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, also argued that the act failed to identify a revenue source to set up a new regulatory agency the act envisions, and that the title of the law was misleading.

Gentry rejected those arguments as well.

Under the measure, adults age 21 and older could carry up to one ounce of marijuana and consume it privately. Adults could also cultivate up to six marijuana plants in an enclosed space and possess the marijuana produced by the plants. No more than a dozen plants would be allowed in a single residence.

The system would regulate pot in a way proponents say is similar to alcohol, with a 15 percent tax on all retail marijuana sales. Most of the new state revenue would go to Arizona public schools and education programs.

The group backing the initiative, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, issued a statement calling on Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to accept the court’s ruling and “focus on fighting serious crimes instead of citizen initiatives.”

 Arizona's Weird, Winding Journey Toward Legalization

“This was a frivolous and politically motivated lawsuit,” campaign Chairman J.P. Holyoak said. “If these county prosecutors dislike this ballot measure, they should take their arguments to the voters, not to our overburdened court system. We hope they will accept the court’s ruling and return to waging legal battles against dangerous criminals rather than citizen initiatives.”

Opponents vowed to continue fighting the measure.

“We would anticipate this going to appeal, and it is our hope that the courts look favorably on our challenge and that this ill-considered measure will not be sent to Arizona voters,” said Garrick Taylor, the Chamber’s spokesman. “It is potentially extremely damaging to Arizona’s economy and we will continue to oppose it vigorously.”

The Arizona Secretary of State has certified the measure for the November general election ballot after verifying backers had collected much more than the necessary 150,642 valid signatures.

Federal Court Bars Justice Department From Prosecuting Medical Cannabis


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.

Think Cannabis is ‘Essentially Legal’ in California? Think Again

With thousands of dispensaries and few obstacles to getting a medical recommendation, it can sometimes feel like cannabis is already legal in California. A sobering new report from the Drug Policy Alliance, however, reveals that’s hardly the case.

According to the advocacy group, law enforcement in the state made nearly half a million cannabis-related arrests during the past decade. And although arrests fell last year, some patterns remain disturbingly persistent. 

Perhaps most worrying is the significant racial disparity in arrest rates. Despite similar use rates across groups, authorities disproportionately took black and Latino people into custody. The DPA report found that black people are twice were likely as whites to be arrested for cannabis misdemeanors and nearly five times more likely to be arrested on felony charges.

“While many people believe that marijuana is essentially legal in California, data show us that thousands continue to be arrested annually for marijuana activities,” said DPA staff attorney Jolene Forman. “These arrests fall disproportionately on black and Latino Californians. The only way to begin to repair these disparities is to move marijuana into a fully regulated market and to reduce or eliminate criminal prohibitions for minor marijuana activities.”

 This One Chart Captures Everything Wrong With NYC Cannabis Arrests

The statistics might come as a surprise given California’s global reputation for cannabis tolerance. In 1996 the state become the first in the U.S. to legalize cannabis for medical use. Lawmakers further criminal penalties for cannabis in 2011, making possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for personal use a civil infraction rather than a misdemeanor. 

The change led to an 86-percent drop in misdemeanors, but felony arrests remained relatively stable at roughly 14,000 per year. In 2015 that number fell by a third, to just under 9,000, though the report doesn’t attempt to explain why.

Unfortunately, youth under 18 now account for the majority of cannabis misdemeanor arrests. Prior to 2011, when possession was decriminalized, minors accounted for only a quarter of misdemeanor cannabis arrests. As of 2015, youth account for two-thirds of misdemeanor cannabis arrests. 

California voters will have an opportunity to legalize cannabis for recreational use this fall. Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, contains sentencing reforms that would reduce or eliminate most criminal penalties around cannabis. Even better, the reductions would apply retroactively to past offenses.

 Federal Court Bars Justice Department From Prosecuting Medical Cannabis


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.

Montana Judge Denies Request to Delay Medical Marijuana Restrictions

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Helena judge has rejected an advocacy group’s request to delay enforcement of restrictions on Montana’s medical marijuana industry.

District Judge James Reynolds on Wednesday denied the Montana Cannabis Industry Association’s request to stay a state Supreme Court order implementing the restrictions on Aug. 31.

The group on its website urges medical marijuana supporters to now focus on passing a ballot initiative that would roll back the restrictions.

After Aug. 31, medical marijuana providers will be barred from selling the drug to more than three patients. The state Supreme Court earlier this year upheld that provision of a 2011 state law passed after the Montana Cannabis Industry Association sued to block it.

The association has said the rollbacks would force the closure of dispensaries and leave patients without a legal way to obtain the drug.

 MMJ Backers Seek Further Delay of Montana Court Decision


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 an Ailing Artist Helped Unite Italians Around Cannabis

Fabrizio Pellegrini is a 47-year-old street artist, pianist, and painter from Chieti, a small town central Italy’s Abruzzi region. For years he’s treated his fibromyalgia with cannabis and yoga. But while medical cannabis has been legal in Italy since 2007, Pellegrini and thousands like him are still suffering under political indifference. The artist’s case has garnered an unprecedented wave of solidarity and support — and it could mark a turning point for the country.

Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease that causes headaches, fatigue, mood and sleep disorders, and severe pain in a person’s muscles and joints. Long before medical cannabis was legalized in 2007, Pellegrini made medicine himself and saw benefits from his homemade therapy. But despite the fact the Abruzzi region has a medical cannabis law on the books that’s considered quite user friendly, local authorities have long delayed its implementation.

The grim reality is that Pellegrini could obtain legal medical cannabis if only he were able pay for it at the pharmacy, but he can’t afford it. Living in a small, extremely conservative provincial town (nicknamed the city of chamomile), doesn’t help Pellegrini’s situation. He could get his medicine for free if a specialist from a public hospital would prescribe it to him, but none will. 

Is Legalization Coming to Naples, Home of Mafia-Controlled Cannabis?

Pellegrini has been arrested numerous times for growing his own medicine, most recently on June 8. Because of earlier convictions for cannabis cultivation, he was locked up. The case seemed quite desperate, with no real possibility of appeal or referral to the European Court of Justice. Pellegrini’s former lawyers hardly communicated with each other. The local press branded him as a commercial grower, claiming “he was cultivating in order to sell” and was arrested in “an operation specifically aimed at the prevention and combat of drug dealing.”

In a European country where medical cannabis is legal but still largely inaccessable, it should have been easy for a decent lawyer to prove that being in prison is incompatible not only with Pellegrini’s health situation but also with common sense. His circumstances parallel those on a recent German case in which the court ruled that patients who depend on medical cannabis in some cases have the right to cultivate their own plants. 

 German Medical Legalization Would Curb Home Grows, Keep Cannabis in Pharmacies

Pellegrini’s situation is also strikingly similar to the case of Huanito Luksetic, a Croatian multiple scleroses patient who was arrested in 2014 and brought to court for cultivating cannabis to treat his condition. The story was widely covered in Croatian media. It was considered a travesty of justice and led to an outpouring of support that pushed the country to enact a law last year allowing the use and sale medical cannabis — a law that was swiftly implemented. 

Fabrizio Pellegrini is sick and poor. Whether it is because or in spite of this, his story spoke to the Italian people and fueled an unprecedented wave of solidarity throughout the country. In early August, Justice Minister Andrea Orlando intervened: Pellegrini was released from prison, and his sentence was changed to house arrest pending a review of his case. The times seem ready for a change, and Pellegrini is helping drive it.

It’s Time to Treat Medical Cannabis Like Medicine


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: Michigan Asks, ‘What Counts as a Cannabis Plant?’

U.S. News Updates

Arizona

Anti-legalization group Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy went to court last week seeking to bar Proposition 205, an upcoming legalization initiative, from appearing on November’s ballot. The leaders of the group include Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, two prominent prohibitionists in the state. The suit claims that the 100-word summary on the petition sheets does not fully explain the proposal. “This is about the integrity of the initiative process,” Polk said/ Advocates see the move as a desperate attempt to keep voters from making the final decision on legalization.

California

A bill to limit property seizures by law enforcement passed through the Assembly with a bipartisan 66–8 vote. The measure, Senate Bill 443, would restrict police from seizing less than $40,000 unless the owner is has been convicted of a crime. Civil asset forfeiture is a controversial tool for law enforcement, in no small part due to the fact that a portion of assets seized are allotted to local agencies. However, the average value of a state seizure in California in 2013 was $5,145 and many of the targets of these seizures are small-time, low-level offenders who can’t afford to fight the seizure in court. The bill still requires approval from the state Senate and the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown to become law.

 Federal Court Bars Justice Department From Prosecuting Medical Cannabis

Maryland

After more than two years, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission finally took a big step toward implementing the state’s long-awaited medical marijuana program. The commission announced the top applicants for 15 cultivation licenses and 15 processor licenses. The applicants have not quite won the battle yet, however; they’ll still to win final approval. Applicants have 365 days to complete all of the necessary next steps, including raising capital, acquiring real estate, securing local zoning approval, constructing facilities, installing equipment, and hiring and training staff. Stage two reviews and final inspection will continue on a rolling basis before the licenses will be officially issued. The top applicants for dispensary licenses are expected to be announced later this year.

Michigan

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in a Kent County case that marijuana cuttings, no matter how small, still count as plants so long as the roots are attached. The case arose out of the arrest of Lorenzo Ventura, a medical marijuana caregiver who was licensed to have up to 24 plants. In May 2014, law enforcement raided the house of Ventura and seized 21 plants as well as 22 clones. Under Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act, caregivers may grow up to 12 plants per patient, with no more than five clients per caregiver. Ventura was a registered caregiver for one patient, as well as a patient himself, which means that he could legally possess no more than 24 plants. Ventura was convicted of the charges and sentenced to two years of probation and 120 hours of community service.

 Montana Cannabis Opponents Push for Initiative to Undo Medical Marijuana Law

Montana

Legalization opposition group Safe Montana is claiming that thousands of signatures in support of an initiative that would undo the state’s medical marijuana law were lost or wrongly rejected by county officials. The initiative would repeal Montana’s MMJ law and align Montana’s drug policy with that of the federal government. The change would effectively ban cannabis possession and use, even for the 13,170 registered medical marijuana patients in the state. Safe Montana, led by Billings used car salesman Steve Zabawa, is planning to present Secretary of State Linda McCulloch with more than 3,500 signatures that the group says were wrongfully rejected, plus an addition 2,588 signatures that they claim were lost by Flathead County officials. The ballot measure came up 4,137 signatures short after officials rejected 8,000 signatures as invalid.

Nevada

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid expressed doubts about Nevada’s upcoming ballot proposal to legalize marijuana for adult use, saying he would not support it if he had to vote today. Reid told reporters after an event in Las Vegas that, although he supports medical marijuana because he has had friends who have benefited greatly from it, he’s still unsure about legalizing cannabis outright. He said he would like to see more debate on the topic before making any decisions come November.

Will NJ Gov. Chris Christie Approve Cannabis for PTSD? He Might Not Have To

New Jersey

A bill to expand New Jersey’s medical marijuana program to include PTSD as a qualifying condition has been sitting on the desk of Gov. Chris Christie since it passed through the House and Senate with flying colors on Aug. 1. Unfortunately, Christie’s reputation as a staunch prohibitionist makes it unlikely he will sign the bill into law — but as it turns out, he may not have to. The New Jersey Department of Health has the authority to make changes to the state’s medical marijuana law, including oversight on which illnesses are considered qualifying conditions. The bill gained massive support from the Legislature on both sides of the aisle, including a strong show of support from New Jersey Republicans. Will it be enough?

North Dakota

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger announced this week that the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act had garnered enough signatures to qualify for the 2016 ballot. The measure needed 13,452 signatures in order to qualify, and Jaeger said the group behind the campaign submitted more than 17,200 valid signatures. The act would allow qualified patients to possess up to three ounces of cannabis for medicinal use and would create a state-licensed system of dispensaries and allowing home cultivation.

 Ohio Board Says Attorneys Can't Help Cannabis Businesses, Use MMJ

Ohio

The Ohio Supreme Court is hoping to clarify whether or not attorneys may provide services to clients seeking to enter the new medical marijuana industry. The court’s Board of Professional Conduct recently said that attorneys could neither provide services to the fledgling businesses nor use medical cannabis themselves, as the plant is still illegal under federal law. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said that the court is hoping to address concerns and possibly amend ethics rules to clarify the role of attorneys.

International News Updates

Canada

Health Canada has announced new revisions to the country’s medical marijuana program, which take effect Aug. 24. Under the new program, patients may cultivate a limited number of plants for personal, medical use. That’s in addition to the option of purchasing cannabis through Health Canada’s mail-order system of licensed producers. Dispensaries and compassion clubs, however, will remain illegal despite protest from advocates.

 Canada's New Medical Cannabis Regulations Allow Patients to Grow at Home

United Kingdom

The National Health Service has been consulting pharmacists and production specialists in evaluating a new vaporizer known as the MediPen, which contains cannabidiol (CBD) extracts. MediPen has been on the market for about a year now, with positive reviews from patients who have used it to treat a variety of medical ailments, including pain, depression, anxiety, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. MediPen is the first consumer cannabis product to be tested by the NHS and, with an endorsement from the leading healthcare system, could help break the stigma of cannabis use and solidify the use of CBD as medicine in the U.K.

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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.

Montana Cannabis Opponents Push for Initiative to Undo Medical Marijuana Law

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Sponsors of an anti-marijuana initiative that failed to qualify for November’s ballot are claiming they submitted enough signatures to put the measure before the voters, but that thousands of names were lost or wrongly rejected by county officials.

The sponsors, a group called Safe Montana that is led by Billings car dealer Steve Zabawa, planned to present Secretary of State Linda McCulloch on Wednesday with a list of more than 3,500 voter signatures they say are valid, but were rejected by county officials across the state. The group separately filed a lawsuit asking a state judge to count those rejected signatures plus an additional 2,588 signatures they say Flathead County election officials lost.

The measure seeks to repeal Montana’s medical marijuana law and declare that any drug that is illegal under federal law is also illegal under state law. The effect would be to completely ban marijuana use and possession in the state, even for the 13,170 medical marijuana patients on Montana’s registry.

The proposed initiative fell 4,137 signatures and one county short of qualifying for the ballot, after county officials rejected 8,000 signatures as invalid. The lost and rejected signatures that the sponsors say are valid, about 6,000, would put the measure over the top, Zabawa said.

MMJ Backers Seek Further Delay of Montana Court Decision

“Linda should do the right thing,” he said, referring to his appeal to McCulloch to accept the rejected signatures. “Then the judge will have to rule on the lost signatures.”

McCulloch spokeswoman Emily Dean declined to comment, citing the Safe Montana lawsuit in which McCulloch is a defendant. The lawsuit also names Flathead County Clerk and Recorder Debbie Pierson and Pierson’s recording manager, Monica Eisenzimer, as defendants.

Pierson did not return a call for comment.

To qualify for the ballot, initiative sponsors must gather signatures from 5 percent of state voters, including at least 5 percent of voters in 34 of Montana’s 100 House districts. The total number of signatures required is 24,175, and 20,038 signatures were certified for the anti-marijuana proposal.

In pressing his argument, Zabawa cited a state law that says the secretary of state may “consider and tabulate any signature not certified by the county official that is certified by a notary public of the county in which the signer resides.”

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Zabawa said the measure’s sponsors have spent three weeks notarizing 3,500 rejected signatures from across the state. The rejected signatures included voters who signed the petition outside of the county where they are registered and those in which some information was omitted but the signatures were still valid, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit includes a sworn statement by signature gatherer Jordan Loyda that says 2,588 signatures he turned in to Flathead County went missing and did not appear in state totals. The lawsuit seeks a judge’s order for the county offices to be searched, and if the signatures aren’t found, that they be counted toward the initiative’s total, anyway.

The suit also asks for a judge’s order directing McCulloch to place the measure on the 2016 or the 2018 ballot.

Federal Court Bars Justice Department From Prosecuting Medical Cannabis


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.