Tag: Medical Marijuana News

Colorado Lawmakers Pass Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Approximately 8 million adults suffer from PTSD, including many military veterans. (WikiMedia Commons/USMC)

DENVER, CO — Lawmakers in the Colorado legislature have passed a measure to add post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in the state.

The measure, Senate Bill 17, will now be sent to the desk of Gov. John Hickenlooper for final approval.  It was approved

Previous attempts to add PTSD to the conditions that qualify a patient for medical marijuana in Colorado, most recently in 2015.

The Colorado Board of Health, which oversees the state medical marijuana program, has not added any new qualifying conditions since the program began in 2001.  Colorado voters approved medical marijuana in 2000,

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that is estimated to affect eight million Americans annually, including many military veterans returning from combat, as well as victims and witnesses of violent crimes, such as sexual assault.

Although adults 21 or older can purchase and possess up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado, allowing those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder access to the state’s medical marijuana program is beneficial for several reasons, including significantly lower taxes on medical marijuana versus recreational marijuana.

Medical marijuana patients can also possess up to two ounces of marijuana, double that of recreational users.

The bill will allow medical marijuana patients under 21 who suffer from PTSD legal access to marijuana for the first time.

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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.

Medical Marijuana Patient Registry Opens in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, MD — After lengthy delays, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has opened up the patient and caregiver registry for the state supervised medical marijuana program.

Starting Monday April 24, open enrollment for all patients and caregivers is available on the agency’s website.

The registry was opened in a three-phase roll-out earlier this month. Previously, patients and caregivers with last names starting A through L could only register in the week beginning April 10, and patients with last names M through Z could only register the week of April 17.

It is important to note that medical marijuana is not yet legally available in the state of Maryland.  The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission will make a public announcement once medical marijuana is available to the public, and dispensary locations will be posted on the agency’s website.

Dispensaries are expected to be open in Maryland by December.

Maryland lawmakers authorized medical marijuana in April 2014.

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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.

Texas Medical Marijuana Supporters Push for Hearings on Critical Legislation

AUSTIN, TX — A group of patients, caregivers, and medical professionals will hold a rally and news conference on the north steps of the Texas State Capitol on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. to urge lawmakers to allow hearings on critical medical marijuana legislation.

The group will call on House Public Health Committee Chairman Four Price and Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Charles Schwertner to schedule hearings on HB 2107 and SB 269, respectively.

HB 2107 and SB 269 would fix the currently unworkable and unnecessarily restrictive Texas Compassionate Use Program and make it more inclusive.

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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.

Just Say “No” to Taxpayer Funded Medical Marijuana Raids

Since 2014, the Department of Justice has been prohibited from using taxpayers’ funds to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in states that regulate its medical use.

But that could all change this week as Congress decides how to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. 

At issue is a provision known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which maintains that federal funds can not be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

In December, Congress re-authorized the amendment as part of a short term spending package through April 28, 2017, at which time the budget — and the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment — will expire.

With anti-cannabis zealot Jeff Sessions now heading the Department of Justice, we can’t leave patients across the country and those who supply their medicine vulnerable to a federal crackdown on medical marijuana.

Over 90% of all Americans support the legalization of medical marijuana, according to nationwide polling data published last week. Further, 73 percent of voters oppose federal interference in states that regulate its use.

Let’s ensure that these programs and the millions of patients who rely upon them are protected. 

Tell your member of Congress to get this right. Demand that they protect patients from Jeff Sessions and his Department of Justice. 

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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.

Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Linked to Lower Medicaid Costs

(Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy Alliance)

Patients use fewer prescription drugs in states where access to medical cannabis is legally regulated, according to data published in the journal Health Affairs.

Investigators at the University of Georgia assessed the association between medical cannabis regulations and the average number of prescriptions filled by Medicaid beneficiaries between the years 2007 and 2014.

Researchers reported, “[T]he use of prescription drugs in fee-for-service Medicaid was lower in states with medical marijuana laws than in states without such laws in five of the nine broad clinical areas we studied.”

They added, “If all states had had a medical marijuana law in 2014, we estimated that total savings for fee-for-service Medicaid could have been $1.01 billion.”

The findings are similar to those previously published by the team which reported that medical cannabis access was associated with significantly reduced spending by patients on Medicare Part D approved prescription drugs.

Separate studies have reported that patients with legal access to medical marijuana reduce their intake of opioids, benzodiazepines, anti-depressants, migraine-related medications, and sleep aids, among other substances.

An abstract of the study, “Medical marijuana laws may be associated with a decline in the number of prescriptions for medicaid enrollees,” appears here.

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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 Runs Out on Compromise to Fix Maryland Medical Cannabis Program

ANNAPOLIS, MD — After long and difficult negotiations and consultation with advocates, industry stakeholders, and the Attorney General, legislators agreed on a compromise bill, HB 1443, to address the lack of diversity in the Maryland medical cannabis industry without delaying the program.

Unfortunately, the clock ran out on the last night of session and the final vote occurred at 12:02 a.m. — just after the end of session.

This is really unfortunate for two reasons. First, because two lawsuits that would have been dismissed if the bill had passed will continue; they could derail the entire program.

Second, even though African-Americans have borne the brunt of marijuana prohibition, being almost three times more likely than whites to be arrested for possession, no African-American-owned companies received pre-approval to grow or process cannabis.  This unfairness is why the legislative Black Caucus championed the bill.

Under Maryland law, the Governor is required to call a special session if a majority of legislators in both chambers of the General Assembly petition him to do so.

It appears the speaker of the House of Delegates, Mike Busch, is the primary obstacle to this happening. If you are a Maryland resident, please call the speaker’s office and ask him to do the right thing. A good bill with overwhelming support should not fail just because the clock ran out before the final shot hit the basket.

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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.

Governor Signs Bill Making West Virginia the 29th Medical Marijuana State

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (D) signs Senate Bill 386, the Medical Cannabis Act, on April 19, 2017. The Governor was joined for the bill signing by two of the initiative’s primary supporters, Senator Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha), as well as Senator Mike Woelfel (D-Cabell) and Dr. Rahul Gupta the State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health. (image/Office of the Governor)

CHARLESTON, WV. — Governor Jim Justice signed SB 386 into law on Wednesday, making West Virginia the 29th state in the nation to enact legislation allowing seriously ill patients to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

Senate Bill 386, titled the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, was introduced by Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and substantially amended in the House before receiving final legislative approval on April 6.

The bill charges the Bureau of Public Health with regulating medical marijuana growers, processors, and dispensaries. Patients with specifically listed qualifying medical conditions will be allowed to use extracts, tinctures, and other preparations of marijuana, but not marijuana in flower or leaf form. A summary of the bill is available here.

“West Virginians are compassionate people and this law will help our neighbors who are struggling with illness,” said Governor Justice. “How could you turn your back on a loved one who is suffering? This is a vehicle for our doctors to help the people.”

“This legislation is going to benefit countless West Virginia patients and families for years to come,” said Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project, who is a West Virginia native and graduate of West Virginia University. “Medical marijuana can be effective in treating a variety of debilitating conditions and symptoms. It is a proven pain reliever, and it is far less toxic and less addictive than a lot of prescription drugs. Providing patients with a safer alternative to opioids could turn out to be a godsend for this state.”

Six states have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws in the past 12 months. Three of those laws, including West Virginia’s, passed through Republican-controlled legislatures.

Lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Ohio approved them last April and June, respectively. The other three were approved by voters in November in states won by Donald Trump — Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota.

“Intensifying public support and a growing body of evidence are driving the rapid growth in the number of states adopting medical marijuana laws,” Simon said. “Lawmakers are also learning about marijuana’s medical benefits from friends, family members, and constituents who have experienced them firsthand in other states. More than nine out of 10 American voters think marijuana should be legal for medical purposes. In light of this near universal support, it is shocking that some legislatures still have not adopted effective medical marijuana laws.”

A February 2017 Quinnipiac University Poll found 93% of U.S. voters think marijuana should be legal for medical purposes.

Effective medical marijuana laws have now been enacted in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico. An additional 18 states have adopted medical marijuana laws that are ineffective because they are either unworkable or exceptionally restrictive.

Only three states — Idaho, Indiana, and Kansas — have not approved any form of medical marijuana law.

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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.

North Dakota Governor Signs Bill Amending Voter-Approved Medical Marijuana Initiative

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (North Dakota Office of the Governor)

BISMARK, ND — North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R) signed legislation on Tuesday amending provisions of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act – a voter-initiated measure approved by 65 percent of voters last November.

Senate Bill 2344 makes several significant changes to the law. Specifically, it removes provisions permitting patients the option to home cultivate their own cannabis if they do not reside within proximity to an operating dispensary.

It allows for the establishment of no more than two state-licensed cannabis producers and eight total dispensaries.

The law permits qualified patients to possess and inhale herbal forms of cannabis, but only if such preparations are explicitly authorized by the recommending physician.

Otherwise, patients must obtain cannabis-based medicines via tinctures, capsules, patches, or topical formulations.

Edibles and concentrates are not defined as “medical cannabinoid products” under the law.

Patients will be permitted to possess up to three ounces of cannabis or cannabis-infused products, but no more than 2,000 milligrams of THC, over a 30-day period.

The program is anticipated to be operational within a year.

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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.

West Virginia Lawmakers Approve Amended Medical Marijuana Measure

“Welcome to West Virginia” sign along westbound U.S. Route 48 and West Virginia Route 55 east of Wardensville in Hardy County, West Virginia (Wikimedia/Famartin)

CHARLESTON, WV — Lawmakers in both chambers of the West Virginia legislature have approved a significantly amended version of Senate Bill 386, which seeks to establish a state-regulated medical cannabis program.

The measure now awaits action from Democrat Gov. Jim Justice, who has previously expressed support for permitting qualified patients to access cannabis therapy. If the governor fails to sign SB 386, it will become law without his signature.

West Virginia will become the 30th state to authorize by statute the physicians-recommended use of cannabis or cannabis-infused products.

Under the amended measure, qualified patients will be permitted to obtain cannabis-infused oils, pills, tinctures, or creams from a limited number of state-authorized dispensaries. Cannabis-based preparations will be produced by state-licensed growers and processors. Patients will not be permitted to grow their own cannabis, nor will they be able to legally access or smoke herbal formulations of the plant. Similar restrictive programs are presently in place in Minnesota and New York, and are awaiting implementation in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

To participate in the proposed program, both patients and physicians would need to be registered with the state. The Bureau of Public Health is mandated under the legislation to begin issuing patient identification cards by July 1, 2019.

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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.

Arizona Appellate Court Strikes Medical Marijuana Campus Ban

PHOENIX, AZ — An Arizona appellate court has ruled that a 2012 law amending the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) to prohibit the use of medical cannabis on college campuses is unconstitutional.

“By enacting A.R.S. § 15-108(A), the Legislature modified the AMMA to re-criminalize cardholders’ marijuana possession on college and university campuses,” the Court opined. “The statute does not further the purposes of the AMMA; to the contrary, it eliminates some of its protections.”

The Court argued that campuses and universities possess the authority to enact their own individual policies restricting medical cannabis use, but that lawmakers cannot do so.

The decision overturned a medical-marijuana cardholder’s 2015 felony conviction for the possession of a small quantity of cannabis while attending Arizona State University.

Lifetime NORML Legal Committee member Tom Dean represented the patient-defendant in the case pro bono, and NORML Legal Committee attorney Tom Holtz filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of NORML.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has not yet publicly stated whether they intend to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

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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.