Tag: Medical Marijuana News

Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Patients Find Relief in Medical Marijuana

(Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy Alliance)

FORT COLLINS, CO — Patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis report that cannabis effectively mitigates many of their symptoms, according to survey data published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Five hundred and ninety-five subjects responded to an online questionnaire hosted on the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society webpages.

Respondents reported that cannabis was highly effective (6.4 on a scale from zero to 7) at providing symptom management, and 59 percent of participants said that they had reduced their use of prescription drugs since initiating medical marijuana treatment.

Those respondents who identified themselves as medical cannabis users reported lower overall levels of disability compared to non-users, specifically in the domains of memory, mood, and fatigue.

Placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing the use of both whole-plant cannabis and/or cannabis-derived extracts in patients with MS have consistently shown efficacy in the mitigation of spasticity and other symptoms.

A plant cannabis-derived spray, Sativex, is available by prescription for the treatment of MS in Canada, the United Kingdom, and in several other countries.

Patients with PD consistently report subjective benefits from cannabis, particularly for the mitigation of tremors and bradykinsea (slowness of movement).

Full text of the study, “Cannabis use in people with Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis: A web-based investigation,” appears in Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

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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.

Utah Advocates Launch 2018 Medical Marijuana Signature Drive

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Advocates hoping to place an initiative on Utah’s midterm election ballot next year will officially launch their signature collection campaign on Thursday.

The Utah Patients Coalition, backed by the Marijuana Policy Project, will kick off the signature collection campaign at a Thursday morning event at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City.

Volunteers will begin collecting signatures in downtown Salt Lake City immediately following the event, which will include a press conference and speeches from campaign leaders, patients and suporters.

Last week, the group’s proposal, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, received approval from the state to begin collecting signatures.

The group needs to collect over 113,000 valid signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.

“We plan to gather the first signatures by next week and be finished prior to the 2018 legislative session in January,” said DJ Schanz, campaign co-director for Utah Patients Coalition. “Our volunteers—many of them patients or caregivers themselves—have been ready and eagerly waiting; it feels good to know we will have scheduled events in the coming weeks for those who have waited years for this.”

The proposed initiative would allow patients with certain qualifying conditions to legally and safely access medical cannabis with the recommendation of their doctor.

It limits the number of dispensaries and cultivators, allows local zoning for medical cannabis facilities, prohibits using medical cannabis in public view, maintains the illegality of driving while intoxicated, and closely mirrors the legislation passed by the Utah Senate in 2016.

Home cultivation of cannabis and smoking marijuana by patients would not be permitted.

Recent polling has found that an overwhelming majority of Utah voters support the proposal.

Information for those wishing to donate or help gather signatures will be posted at UtahPatients.org.

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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.

Court: Marijuana’s Schedule I Status Does Not Justify Workplace Discrimination Against State-Qualified Patients

HARTFORD, CT — A federal district court judge has determined that marijuana’s illicit status under federal law does not preempt statewide protections explicitly prohibiting qualified medical cannabis patients from facing discrimination in the workplace.

The defendant in the case, Bride Brook Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, argued that marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I drug under the US Controlled Substances Act provided a legal basis for its decision to rescind a job offer to a would-be employee after she failed a drug screen.

United States District Court Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer disagreed. He wrote:

“This lawsuit calls upon me to decide if federal law preempts Connecticut law. In particular, I must decide if federal law precludes enforcement of a Connecticut law that prohibits employers from firing or refusing to hire someone who uses marijuana for medicinal purposes. I conclude that the answer to that question is ‘no’ and that a plaintiff who uses marijuana for medicinal purposes in compliance with Connecticut law may maintain a cause of action against an employer who refuses to employ her for this reason.”

The ruling follows that of a similar decision in Massachusetts in July which determined that state-registered medical cannabis patients may sue a private employer for discrimination if they are fired for their off-the-job marijuana use.

The case is Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company, LLC.

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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.

No One Has Applied to Grow or Sell Medical Marijuana in Arkansas (Yet)

LITTLE ROCK, AR — Arkansas is halfway through the application period for medical marijuana growers and dispensaries for their fledgling medical marijuana program, and so far the total number of applications received is zero.

While some naysayers could claim this shows little interest in the upcoming medical marijuana industry in Arkansas, a spokesperson for the state says they’re not concerned as applicants are most likely being diligent in navigating the complex application process.

“We are not concerned, as we understand the applications require detailed and specific information that will take time to complete,” Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin told The Associated Press.

“Applicants are likely performing their due diligence to provide quality applications,” Hardin says, noting that the applications are likely to be received closer to the September 18 deadline.

Meanwhile, over 400 completed patient applications have been approved to date, according to the Department of Health, who estimates approximately 30,000 residents will eventually participate in the program.

Medical marijuana identification cards will not be issued until 30 days prior to the first dispensaries opening.

Issue 6, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, was approved by voters on November 8, garnering over 53 percent of the vote.

More information on the Arkansas medical marijuana program is available from the Arkansas Department of Health.

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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.

New York Medical Marijuana Program Could Expand Under DOH Proposal

New York, NY (WikiMedia Commons)

NEW YORK, NY — The New York State Department of Health has announced the issuance of new proposed regulations that would make changes to the state’s medical marijuana program to improve access.

Among other things, they would reduce some of the onerous security requirements for registered organizations, shorten the length of the medical marijuana course certifying practitioners must take from four hours to two, and allow additional types of medical marijuana products to be sold.

“This is yet another positive step forward for New York State’s Medical Marijuana Program,” said New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “These regulations will continue to improve the program in several ways, including making new forms of medical marijuana available and improving the dispensing facility experience.”

New York’s medical marijuana program has been criticized by patient advocates as unnecessarily restrictive, and initial patient registration numbers were very low compared to other state medical marijuana programs.

The Department of Health has made several changes to the program since it issued a report in August 2016, including adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition and allowing registered nurses and physician’s assistants to recommended medical marijuana.

Lawmakers have also been working to improve the medical marijuana program this session. In June, the Legislature passed a bill to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition. Gov. Andrew Cuomo must still sign the bill in order for it to become law.

“Many of the patients I worked with to help pass New York’s medical marijuana law have been unable to benefit from the program due to high prices and the inability to find a medical professional who is participating,” said patient advocate Kate Hintz in a statement. “I’m hopeful that the reduction in burdens on practitioners will encourage more of them to participate, and that these regulatory changes will help registered organizations reduce their costs, with those savings then being passed on to patients.

“We are grateful to the Department of Health for listening to what patients need and working to expand the program and increase access to medical marijuana,” said Kate Bell, legislative counsel at the Marijuana Policy Project.  “Different patients benefit from different types of products, and we are glad that the new rules will allow a wider variety of choices. This is a great step toward reducing costs and improving patients’ options.”

Here are the proposed changes, as posed in a press release issued by the Department of Health:

Expanding the Variety of Medical Marijuana Products

Under the new regulations, registered organizations will be allowed to manufacture and distribute additional products including topicals such as lotions, ointments and patches, as well as solid and semi-solid products including chewable and effervescent tablets and lozenges. Certain non-smokable forms of ground plant material will also be permissible for manufacture and distribution. All products will be subject to rigorous testing and the Department will reserve the right to exclude inappropriate products or those which pose a threat to the public.

Improving the Dispensing Facility Experience

The new regulations will also allow prospective patients and practitioners to enter a dispensing facility to speak directly with an RO representative, learn about products, and get information about the medical marijuana program.In addition, these measures will allow people other than designated caregivers to accompany certified patients to the dispensing facility.

Refining the Training Program for Practitioners

Based on feedback from practitioners,the Department’s proposed regulations will allow for shortened versions of the practitioner’s course required to certify patients for medical marijuana, in addition to the currently available four-hour courses.The Department will work with course providers to offer a two-hour course, which is similar to other medical education courses.

Other Regulatory Actions

In addition, the proposed regulations also make a number of changes to help enhance the medical marijuana program. These changes include broadening the capability of registered organizations to advertise, streamlining the manufacturing requirements for medical marijuana products, amending security requirements, and clarifying laboratory testing methods, among other actions.

For more information on New York’s Medical Marijuana Program, visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/.

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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.

Utah 2018 Medical Marijuana Initiative Approved for Signature Gathering

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — Utah Patients Coalition has received approval from Lt. Governor Spencer Cox to begin gathering signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.

After holding 10 public hearings across the state and meeting with various state departments and stakeholders, Utah Patients Coalition will now proceed to collect the more than 113,000 required signatures to place doctor-approved access to medical cannabis on the ballot for Utah voters to approve.

In response to feedback from state officials, Utah Patients Coalition made two technical changes to the initiative language: (1) striking a short tax deduction provision that would have required federal tax law to be interpreted and implemented by state tax authorities, an issue that advocates plan to revisit with the State Tax Commission and the legislature after the initiative becomes law; and (2) establishing a limit on the amount of medical cannabis that a patient or caregiver can transport, bringing it in line with a common 30-day restriction on pharmacy drugs.

“We plan to gather the first signatures by next week and be finished prior to the 2018 legislative session in January,” said DJ Schanz, campaign co-director for Utah Patients Coalition. “Our volunteers—many of them patients or caregivers themselves—have been ready and eagerly waiting; it feels good to know we will have scheduled events in the coming weeks for those who have waited years for this.”

“Everyone involved worked efficiently and provided important input, helping us make sure that Utahns will vote on the best proposal possible,” said Schanz.

Utah Patients Coalition will now begin printing petition packets and organizing signature-gathering efforts. The campaign plans to announce volunteer training and petition events in the coming weeks.

Information for those wishing to donate or help gather signatures will be posted at UtahPatients.org.

Recent polling has found that an overwhelming majority of Utah voters support the proposal.

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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.

After 17 Years, Hawaii’s First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Finally Opens

It’s been 17 years since Hawaii first legalized medical marijuana, and now the Aloha State’s first dispensary is open for business.

Maui Grown Therapies, located in Kahului, began dispensing medical cannabis to patients on Tuesday, one day after receiving approval to open following their final onsite retail inspection by the Department of Health.

“Clearly this is a historic day not just for Maui but for the state of Hawaii,” said Teri Freitas Gorman, director of community relations and patient affairs for the dispensary. “This is the first time in Hawaii that patients will be able to buy lab-tested, quality-assured medical cannabis from a state-licensed dispensary. We’re so excited.”

The dispensary is easing into business, and is open only by appointment this week to pre-registered patients.  Regular operating hours begin August 14.

Maui Grown Therapies currently only offers a selection of dried cannabis flower. The company says they plan to offer a selection of products such as oils, lotions, concentrates and tinctures, but the Department of Health has not yet certified a lab to test manufactured cannabis products.

Hawaii first authorized the medical use of marijuana in 2000, but it wasn’t until 2015 that the state legislature passed a law allowing state-regulated marijuana sales through dispensaries.

“It’s been a long, winding road to get here and we’re extremely excited,” said Maui Grown Therapies co-founder Gregory Park, MD. “Getting to this day required hard work, cooperation and patience, but it’s worth it to be able to bring this alternative therapy to our Maui community.”

“This is an important day for qualified patients and caregivers on Maui who now have assurance the medical cannabis they purchase at Maui Grown Therapies has been thoroughly tested and is safe for them to use,” Department of Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler said in a statement. “Implementing a new health program is always challenging, and the dispensary program was no exception. With legal guidance from Department of the Attorney General, the DOH team paved the way for this new industry in Hawai‘i and has set a new standard for dispensary programs other states can emulate.”

In Hawaii, registered patients and their caregivers may purchase up to four ounces of medical marijuana during a 15 consecutive day period, up to a maximum of eight ounces over a 30 consecutive day period.

All use of medical cannabis must be on private property and may not be used in a car while on the road, at work, at the beach, on hiking trails, or in any other public space. It remains illegal to use or possess medical cannabis on any federally owned property such as military installations and national parks.

When transporting medical marijuana home after purchasing it from a dispensary, it must be in a sealed container and not visible to the public.

Eight dispensaries licences have been authorized in Hawaii, and are at different stages of the approval process.  Each dispensary may open up to two retail locations and one cultivation site.

Assuming the state’s dispensaries become fully operational in time, the current system of home cultivation by caregivers is expected to be phased out by the end of 2018.

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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.

Time Running Out on South Dakota’s 2018 Marijuana Signature Drives

Advocates hoping to place marijuana initiatives on the 2018 ballot in South Dakota have less than 90 days to collect the remaining signatures needed.

New Approach South Dakota is currently circulating two petitions they hope to place before voters in November 2018.

One of the petitions would legalize marijuana for medical purposes, while the other would legalize the possession of marijuana for adult use, as well as tax and regulate marijuana sales in the state.

Each petition needs at least 13,871 valid signatures by November 2017 in order to be placed before voters in 2018.

To read the petitions and for more information about volunteering or adding your signature to the petitions, check out New Approach South Dakota’s website.

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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.

New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Panel Recommends Adding 43 New Conditions

TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey could soon expand its pool of patients eligible to participate in the states’ medical marijuana program.

The New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel has recommended the addition of 43 new conditions to the list of ailments that are approved for medical marijuana use in the state.

Following several months of studying petitions from patients, physicians and advocates, the the Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel has recommended adding 43 new ailments, including variations of certain diseases and ailments, to the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.

The recommended additional qualifying conditions include migraines, anxiety, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease, opiate-use disorder, autism and Tourette syndrome.

The panel recommended against adding asthma and chronic fatigue as qualifying conditions, however.

The panel’s initial recommendations are now open for a 60-day comment period and will be addressed at a public hearing before being finalized and sent to the Health Commissioner who will make the final determination on petitions to add new conditions to the state’s medical marijuana program.

With the addition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) last year, the following conditions qualify for medical marijuana in New Jersey:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer (includes associated chronic pain and/or severe nausea)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS (includes associated chronic pain and/or severe nausea)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Seizure and/or spasticity disorders
  • Any terminal illness if a doctor has determined the patient will die within a year

An estimated 13,000 patients are currently registered to participate in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program, which also includes five operating medical marijuana dispensaries across the state.

The state’s sixth and final dispensary, which was granted initial approval in 2011, is expected to finally open later this year.

Patients are allowed to purchase and possess up to two ounces of medical marijuana per month.

Home cultivation of cannabis is not permitted.

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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.

PTSD Patients Can Now Access Medical Marijuana in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, MN — Minnesota residents who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are now eligible to participate in the state’s medical marijuana program.

Late last year state officials announced that PTSD would be added to the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana starting August 1, 2017.

To date, over 100 patients suffering from PTSD have completed the registration and certification process, state officials say, and many more are expected to register with the program.

In 2015, intractable pain was added to the list of qualifying conditions for Minnesota’s medical marijuana program, which now includes the following ailments and conditions:

  • Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea
    or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting.
  • Glaucoma.
  • HIV/AIDS.
  • Tourette Syndrome.
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of Epilepsy.
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including
    those characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease.
  • Terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of less
    than one year
  • Intractable pain
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Patient advocates continue to work with state officials add even more conditions like autism, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease to the program, which has been criticized as being one of the most limited medical marijuana programs in the country.

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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.