Tag: Medical Marijuana News

Illinois Medical Marijuana Sales (Finally) Start Monday

Illinois Medical Marijuana Sales (Finally) Start Monday

The sale of medical cannabis to qualifying patients and caregivers will begin on Monday, November 9, 2015 at eight dispensaries located throughout the state.

SPRINGFIELD, IL — After years of delays, the first eight dispensaries in Illinois will begin selling medical marijuana as early as next Monday after state officials gave growers the green light Friday to begin shipping cannabis to dispensaries.

The eight dispensaries are located in Marion, Mundelein, Canton, Quincy, Addison, North Aurora, Schaumburg and Ottawa.  According to Joseph Wright, Director of Illinois Medical Cannabis Program, about a dozen dispensaries are expected to open by the end of November, and up to 25 by the end of the year. Illinois law allows for up to 60 dispensaries statewide, along with 21 cultivation sites.  Dispensary applications are approved on a rolling basis.

In order for patients to obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary, they must have a state-issued medical marijuana ID card and have designated a dispensary with the Illinois Department of Public Health. The DPH started mailing patients their official program ID cards last week.

For more than 3,300 registered medical marijuana patients in the state, access to cannabis is long overdue. Illinois first approved a medical marijuana pilot program in 2013. The bill took effect in early 2014,  and is set to expire at the end of 2017.

More information for medical marijuana patients in Illinois is available from the Department of Public Health’s website.


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.

Patients to Rally at New York Governor’s Office for Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana

Patients to Rally at New York Governor’s Office for Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana

Bill That Would Provide Faster Relief to Suffering Patients Passed NYS Legislature with Overwhelming Bipartisan Support But Needs Cuomo’s Signature to Become Law

NEW YORK, NY — One day before the deadline for Governor Cuomo to sign or veto a bill that would create emergency access to medical marijuana, patients and advocates will rally outside his office to demand action.

  • When: Tuesday, November 10th, 10:00 AM
  • Where: Outside Governor Cuomo’s NYC Offices; 633 Third Avenue, New York, NY

Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not one patient in New York has been able to access medical marijuana and at least four children, who could have likely benefited from it, have tragically died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine.

The emergency access bill was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support by the New York State legislature last June and delivered to Governor Cuomo on October 30th. He has ten days to sign or veto the bill, making the deadline for action November 11th.

Since last July, advocates have been pressuring the Cuomo Administration to create an interim emergency access program for patients who may not survive the eighteen months or longer that the Governor has said he needs to get the full medical marijuana program up and running. After the Governor’s Office failed to take action, advocates turned to the legislature.

“We’ve been waiting an outrageous 15 months for expedited access to medical marijuana,” said Missy Miller of Atlantic Beach, whose son Oliver suffers from life-threatening seizures. “Every day we wait is a day I watch my son lose ground. We can’t afford any more delays. And delays seem likely considering I have not heard even one word about how to register my son for this program and many of the dispensaries are having difficulties securing their sites. Governor Cuomo should finally do the right thing and sign the bill so families like mine can get long awaited help.”

In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), a bill that would direct the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible. It also instructs the state to issue patient cards to critically ill patients who qualify as soon as possible making it clear that they are medical marijuana patients and affording them some protection from law enforcement and child protective services.

On Tuesday, advocates will rally outside the Governor’s office to urge him to sign the bill or take other action to help patients in desperate need.

New York’s medical marijuana program is slated to become operational in January of 2016, but the state has yet to launch a system for patients to register and just unveiled the mandatory doctor training in mid-October. Advocates have expressed concern that too few doctors will be trained and too few patients able to register in time to take advantage of the program come January. The emergency access bill would afford the Department of Health additional tools to expedite access to the critically ill in case of delays.

“With less than three months to go before New York’s medical marijuana program is slated to roll out, I’m really concerned that there could be delays in the program,” said Maryanne Houser of Suffern. “My daughter Amanda has been waiting since July of 2014 when she stood next to Governor Cuomo at the bill signing and he promised to help her. He can help her now by signing the emergency access bill.”


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.

Was Anchoring Medical Marijuana to Recreational in Ohio Bad for Patients?

Was Anchoring Medical Marijuana to Recreational in Ohio Bad for Patients?

By now, everyone in the medical marijuana reform movement has seen the results in Ohio, where the commingled recreational and medical cannabis voter initiative (Issue 3) put forth by ResponsibleOhio was defeated at the polls by a nearly 2:1 margin.

Aside from sanctimonious hand wringing from recreational proponents treating patient access as a political weapon against those who had concerns with the implications of Issue 3’s licensing structure (which has been talked about ad nauseam and won’t be discussed in detail here), nobody has yet asked the question,“is it fair to patients to anchor their safe and legal access to a measure that also includes non-medical use?”

Given the 2:1 failure of recreational couple with the fact that support for medical-only was 84%in at least one recent state poll (28 points higher than Issue 3 in the same poll), it seems like safe access was doomed more by the anchoring to recreational than the non-merit based oligopoly.

ASA has long maintained a position of neutrality on the issue on recreational cannabis reform, and only evaluates them based on their impact upon patients. As an organization, ASA did not come out for or against Issue 3 based largely on its recreational focus, but looking at the polling data, it seems extremely likely that the commingling of recreation held medical back from passing.

In a lot of ways, this is a shame. Despite the fact that you would have a non-merit based system deciding who would be in charge of the production of patient medicine, there were a lot of laudable features in the medical language of the measure. Qualifying conditions lists are restrictive by their very existence, but as far as those things go, the qualifying conditions list was better than most in recent memory, and home cultivation rights would be stronger than most east of the Mississippi programs.

In theory, there could have been a substantial number of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries (MMDs) under the plan, but there was no guarantee that business people would have sought out a sufficient number licences for the less lucrative medical market. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the specific types of products that patients rely on would be adequately produced by the oligopoly products and the rest of the commingled program. Even if MMDs were sufficient in number, patients shopping at them would be spared from the 5% tax imposed upon Retail Marijuana Stores, but would still have the two separate 15% cultivation and processor/manufacturer taxes passed along to them.

Beyond that, patients may have still been subject to discrimination in the areas of housing, child custody, and health care access such as organ transplants. On balance, the Issue 3 medical program probably would have served patients better than a number of state legislature approved programs in states that do not have ballot access provisions like Ohio, but the language was less than optimal.

Considering that support for Issue 3 dropped about 20 points from the pre-election polls to the polling booths, one can surmise that medical would have a had a similar drop in support. However, even if medical-only saw a 50% greater drop-off than Issue 3, it would have passed 56-44. Every state that has passed recreational cannabis laws approved medical access laws at least a dozen years before passing recreational. That’s the political reality, and the resounding defeat of recreational in Ohio confirms this, no matter how unjust it is to jail anyone for cannabis.

Now it seems that the Ohio legislature is considering a medical cannabis measure, but make no mistake, the legislature’s inaction on medical cannabis for over a decade has failed patients as badly, if not worse, than anchoring medical to the recreational initiative. At least Issue 3 came to a vote! While ASA is encouraged that legislators are now working on medical, there are legitimate concerns that whatever the legislature cobbles together will be worse for patients than the Issue 3 program. If lawmakers in Columbus try to placate voters with a New York/Minnesota-style program, activists should use the ballot measure process to create a better program.

Our takeaway is that if you truly are concerned with patients having safe and legal access to medical cannabis, you cannot anchor such measures to recreational ballot measures. Instead, running separate medical and recreational initiatives that can complement one another or stand independently (depending on election outcome) is the best thing that can be done by recreational proponents who also support medical access. The calculus on this may be different if the legislature has enacted a mediocre medical program that is in need of fixing, but wagering safe and legal access for patients on a measure that does not conform to current electoral realities does patients no favors.


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.

Minnesota: Panel Opposes Adding Intractable Pain as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana

Minnesota: Panel Opposes Adding Intractable Pain as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana

Majority of panel opposes adding intractable pain; recommendations include a variety of additional criteria be met in order for intractable pain patients to have access to medical marijuana, if commissioner decides to add

ST. PAUL, MN — The Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis Intractable Pain Advisory Committee posted its recommendations on the question of whether intractable pain should be a medical cannabis qualifying condition late Wednesday.

A majority of the panel opposed adding intractable pain, despite marijuana’s relative safety when compared to commonly prescribed pain medications. The panel also listed a variety of conditions that it suggests be met if the Commissioner of Health were to ultimately decide to add intractable pain to the program.

The recommendations — which include a 21 and older age restriction and a requirement that “traditional” methods of treatment be exhausted — will now be considered by Minnesota Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger.

If he decides to add intractable pain, with or without added criteria, he must notify the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative health and public safety policy committees. Intractable pain would become a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, effective August 1, 2016, unless the legislature passes a law stating otherwise.

There are currently 18 other states that allow medical cannabis to be used to treat intractable, chronic, or debilitating pain. Multiple studies conducted in the University of California system showing the efficacy of medical cannabis at treating pain can be found here.

“It is unfortunate that a majority of the panel opposed recommending intractable pain, especially in light of the research done by the University of California system demonstrating marijuana’s efficacy at treating severe pain,” said Robert Capecchi, deputy director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Medical cannabis is a much safer alternative to prescription painkillers, and recent studies show those states that allow individuals to treat severe pain with medical marijuana experience lower rates of fatal prescription painkiller overdoses than states that don’t. I hope the commissioner listens to the science, overwhelming public support, and the experiences of the vast majority of medical marijuana states and ultimately decides to add intractable pain to the list of qualifying conditions.”


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.

Terminal Cancer Patient Seeking Medical Marijuana Files Lawsuit Against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services

Terminal Cancer Patient Seeking Medical Marijuana Files Lawsuit Against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services

Suit filed Thursday by Linda Horan of Alstead asks DHHS to take swift action so that she can immediately begin accessing medical marijuana to mitigate ‘intolerably painful side effects’ of stage IV lung cancer — ‘She does not wish to spend her last months in a narcotic haze from prescribed opiates’

CONCORD, NH — A terminal cancer patient seeking expedited access to medical marijuana filed a lawsuit Thursday in Merrimack County Superior Court against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicholas Toumpas.

The Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for administrating the state’s medical marijuana program, which has experienced several delays since Gov. Maggie Hassan signed it into law in July 2013. On Monday, DHHS began accepting applications from patients interested in participating in the program, but they remain at risk of arrest and prosecution until they receive program ID cards. DHHS is refusing to issue ID cards until dispensaries open, which is not expected until 2016.

“The state simply needs to issue me an ID card so that I can access the medicine that I need,” said the plaintiff, Linda Horan of Alstead. “It’s hard to imagine why it would take more than two years for that. There are seriously ill people throughout New Hampshire who are suffering every day they go without it.”

Horan suffers from stage IV lung cancer and filed an application with DHHS after receiving approval from all five of her physicians. Her lawsuit asks that DHHS expedite the process of issuing her an ID card so that she can immediately begin obtaining medical marijuana legally in Maine and using it without fear of arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire.

“Her prognosis is death within months, accompanied by intolerably painful side effects,” according to the lawsuit. “She does not wish to spend her last months in a narcotic haze from prescribed opiates, but rather wishes to mitigate her debilitating symptoms to the extent possible through use of therapeutic cannabis for as long as possible.”

“Our hope in filing this lawsuit is that it will cause the state to do what is morally, ethically, medically, and legally proper,” said Paul Twomey, attorney for Ms. Horan. “We hope that the state will do what the law passed by the legislature mandates, and stop denying critically ill and dying people medicine that has been deemed appropriate by their treating physicians.”

Gov. Maggie Hassan signed New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program into law on July 23, 2013, but patients are still at risk of arrest and prosecution because program ID cards have not been issued.

Horan pled her case directly to Gov. Hassan on September 7 after receiving a lifetime achievement award during the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast. A video of her statement follows the conclusion of this article.

“As a lawmaker who voted to treat patients with dignity and respect and allow therapeutic cannabis use, I am dismayed and outraged by the decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to withhold the issuance of patient registry cards that allow qualified New Hampshire patients to obtain and use medical marijuana,” said state Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton).

“I hope the Superior Court will end what I see as cruel treatment of suffering people, uphold the law passed by the legislature 28 months ago and issue an order to the Commissioner of Health and Human Services to issue cards to Linda Horan and every other qualifying patient,” Rep. Cushing added.

“The legislature does not want Linda Horan or any other patient to die without access to medicinal marijuana.”

The lawsuit can be viewed at http://mpp.org/HoranLawsuit.


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.

NH Cancer Patient Sues Over Lack of Medical Marijuana Card

NH Cancer Patient Sues Over Lack of Medical Marijuana Card

Terminal Cancer Patient Seeking Expedited Access to Medical Marijuana to File Lawsuit Thursday Against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services

Linda Horan of Alstead wants a New Hampshire medical marijuana ID card, which would allow her to obtain medical marijuana legally in Maine and protect her from arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire

CONCORD, NH — A terminal cancer patient seeking access to medical marijuana will file a lawsuit Thursday in Merrimack County Superior Court against New Hampshire Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicholas Toumpas.

Linda Horan of Alstead, who is suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer, filed a pre-registration application to participate in New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program after receiving approval from all five of her physicians.

She wants to receive a medical marijuana ID card that will allow her to obtain medical marijuana legally in Maine and protect her from arrest and prosecution in New Hampshire.

“The state simply needs to issue me an ID card so that I can access the medicine that I need,” Horan said. “It’s hard to imagine why it would take more than two years for that. There are seriously ill people throughout New Hampshire who are suffering every day they go without it.”

Gov. Maggie Hassan signed New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program into law on July 23, 2013, but patients are still at risk of arrest and prosecution because program ID cards have not been issued.

Horan pled her case directly to Gov. Hassan on September 7 after receiving a lifetime achievement award during the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast.

A video of her statement appears below:


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 Emergency Access Bill Delivered to Governor’s Desk

New York: Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill Delivered to Governor’s Desk

Advocates: Not One Patient Has Yet Received Medical Marijuana and Four Children Have Died Waiting in the Past 15 Months; Cuomo Must Sign or Take Other Action to Provide Relief to Suffering Patients

ALBANY, NY — Friday, the New York State Assembly delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo a bill to expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients.  Cuomo now has ten days to sign or veto the bill.

In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.

“The law that created New York’s medical marijuana program was passed in 2014 and is supposed to be up and running by January 2016. But there remains a real danger that many seriously ill patients will not be able to access medical marijuana, and their conditions will deteriorate, potentially jeopardizing their lives,” said Assembly sponsor Richard N. Gottfried, who chairs the Assembly Health Committee. “Many of these patients are young children with severe forms of epilepsy who have been successfully treated with particular forms of medical marijuana in other states. I have been in discussions with the Cuomo administration about the bill for months and have answered every question raised by the Governor’s staff; I am not aware of any argument against the bill.”

The bill instructs the state to issue patient cards to qualified, critically ill patients as soon as possible, making it clear that they are medical marijuana patients and affording them protection from law enforcement and child protective services.

“We’ve been waiting an outrageous 15 months for expedited access to medical marijuana,” said Missy Miller of Atlantic Beach, whose son Oliver suffers from life-threatening seizures. “Every day we wait is a day I watch my son lose ground. We can’t afford any more delays. And delays seem likely considering I have not heard even one word about how to register my son for this program and many of the dispensaries are having difficulties securing their sites. Governor Cuomo should finally do the right thing and sign the bill so families like mine can get long awaited help.”

Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not one patient in New York has been able to access medical marijuana.  Tragically, at least four children who would have likely benefited from it have died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine. Just last month, longtime medical marijuana advocate Beverly McClain, who had metastatic cancer, passed away without ever benefiting from the law she helped pass.

“With less than three months to go before New York’s medical marijuana program is slated to roll out, I’m really concerned that there could be delays in the program,” said Maryanne Houser of Suffern. “My daughter Amanda has been waiting since July of 2014 when she stood next to Governor Cuomo at the bill signing and he promised to help her. He can help her now by signing the emergency access bill.”

New York’s medical marijuana program is slated to become operational in January of 2016, but the state has yet to launch a system for patients to register and just unveiled the mandatory doctor training in mid-October. Advocates have expressed concern that too few doctors will be trained and too few patients able to register in time to take advantage of the program come January.

“As a doctor and the parent of a child with a seizure disorder, I’m disappointed the state hasn’t acted sooner to get medicine to the critically ill,” said Amy Piperato, M.D., of Thiells. “With the physician training just coming online a few weeks ago and still no system for registering patients, I’m convinced the program won’t be operational in January. The Governor should sign this bill so critically ill patients can get access as soon as possible.”

In addition, recent media accounts suggest that several of the planned dispensaries are having trouble finalizing sites. With only 20 dispensaries statewide for almost 20 million people across 54,000 square miles, the failure of even one dispensary to open is significant, especially to those who are critically ill.

“If one of the twenty dispensaries fails to open in January, that could pose a real hardship for patients who may already be facing drives over an hour to access the medicine,” said Kathy Annable of Marcellus whose daughter suffers from severe seizures. “My daughter Kaylie cannot keep waiting. We need an emergency access system so that people in life-threatening situations, like my daughter, can get medicine immediately.”

Since July, advocates have been pressuring the Cuomo administration to create an interim emergency access program for patients who may not survive the eighteen months or longer that the Governor has said is needed to get the full medical marijuana program up and running. The original version of New York’s medical marijuana bill included a provision to provide emergency access to medical marijuana for patients too ill to wait for the full program to become operational, but the Administration removed it during bill negotiations, leaving critically ill patients vulnerable.

Currently, those with terminal or critical illnesses and their families are forced to break the law, move to a state where medical marijuana is legally available, or watch their loved ones suffer knowing that there is a medication that could help them.

“It’s unconscionable that patients in life and death situations are still waiting to access medical marijuana,” said Julie Netherland, deputy state director at the Drug Policy Alliance. “We’re not confident that the program will be fully operational in January, and critically ill patients cannot afford additional delays. Governor Cuomo should stick by his promise to do everything in his power to get medical marijuana to children suffering from life-threatening forms of epilepsy.”


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.

Survey: Majority of Pharmacy Students Say Legalize Marijuana for Medical Purposes

Survey: Majority of Pharmacy Students Say Legalize Marijuana for Medical Purposes

LAWRENCE, KS — Nearly six out of ten pharmacy students believe that the therapeutic use of cannabis should be legal, according to survey data published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.

Investigators at the University of Kansas assessed students’ knowledge and attitudes toward the medical use of cannabis. Three hundred and eleven UK pharmacy students completed the survey.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents said, “[M]arijuana should be legalized for medicinal uses.” Respondents who acknowledged having previously consumed marijuana themselves were far more likely to support legalizing cannabis therapy as compared to those with no prior history of use.

However, the majority of respondents also acknowledged that they felt uncomfortable answering consumers’ questions specific to the plant’s safety and efficacy. Few respondents reported receiving any school instruction specific to cannabis, and 90 percent of those surveyed indicated that more instruction on medical marijuana should be incorporated into their curriculum.


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 House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Mixed Views on Medical Cannabis

New House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Mixed Views on Medical Cannabis

WASHINGTON, DC — Wisconsin Congressman and former Vice Presidential Candidate, Paul Ryan, was elected as the 54th Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday. The question that may be on the minds of patient activists is how the new Speaker will act on the issue of medical cannabis.

Outgoing Speaker John Boehner may not have been a genuine champion, but his relative indifference to the subject was helpful in the successful budget of several amendment votes on medical cannabis over the past two years. Ryan’s record on the subject is cause for concern and guarded optimism, as he has taken multiple stances on medical cannabis over the years.

First, let’s examine his voting record on medical cannabis. Simply put, it’s bad.

Since 2012, Ryan has voted against medical cannabis patients during every budget amendment vote on the subject. While there are some medical cannabis supporters in the House, such as Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA), who have voted against the budget amendment approach due to technical or philosophical reasons, Ryan has not cosponsored any medical cannabis legislation, such as Griffith’s Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act (H.R. 2373) or the bipartisan CARERS Act (H.R. 1538).

While Ryan’s voting record on medical cannabis is undeniably bleak, his true feelings may be more in line with the states’ rights basis that most Republicans in the House relied upon when deciding to vote in favor of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. During the 2012 campaign, Ryan was asked by a reporter what he thought about state medical cannabis programs.

KRDO: “In Colorado we have medical marijuana. Under a Romney Ryan ticket, what happens?”

Ryan: “It’s up to Coloradans to decide.”

KRDO: “So even if federal law says marijuana is illegal, you’re saying?”

Ryan: “My personal positions on this issue have been let the states decide what to do with these things. This is something that is not a high priority of ours as to whether or not we go down the road on this issue. What I’ve always believed is the states should decide. I personally don’t agree with it, but this is something Coloradans have to decide for themselves.”

This “I don’t like it, but it should be left to states to decide” mantra has been becoming a more mainstream position within the GOP ranks. Several Republican presidential candidates have echoes the same views. While the Romney campaign walked back Ryan’s statements in support of letting states decide, it seems clear that his supports that view, at least in theory.

It remains to be seen if Ryan will remain an affirmative opponent to medical cannabis or if he was follow his gut instincts to allow states to decide. Ideally, Ryan just won’t be like Boehner’s shoulder shrug approach and will push committee chairs such as Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chair Joe Pitts to hold hearings on medical cannabis bills, but that seems unlikely. Ryan will likely not use his Speaker power to thwart medical cannabis legislation, but unless he pushes for a more open floor amendment process, he will likely be similar to Boehner on this subject. That’s not great, but it’s a workable situation for citizen lobbyists.


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.

Constitutionality of California’s New Medical Marijuana Law Challenged in Court

Constitutionality of California’s New Medical Marijuana Law Challenged in Court

SAN JOSE, CA — California’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, signed into law this month to regulate the state’s medical marijuana industry, violates the state’s constitution, a medical marijuana collective operator claims in court.

Governor Jerry Brown signed the law on Oct. 9, to establish a comprehensive legislative framework for the production, transportation and sale of medical marijuana in California.

The bipartisan group of legislators who drafted the laws says they will provide a licensing structure for the industry, establish security, worker and safety standards and protect patient access, under a combination of state and local control.

But David Armstrong claims the law violates the California Constitution because it amended a voter initiative- the 1996 Compassionate Use Act, which legalized doctor-recommended medical marijuana – without voter approval.

The Oct. 21 complaint also says federal law pre-empts the act in prohibiting possession of marijuana for any purpose. Armstrong made that claim, seemingly at odds with his job, to prevent federal complications should the state law stand, his attorney said.

Armstrong objects to the act’s restrictions on the amount of marijuana a person can grow for medical purposes, the amount of marijuana a patient’s primary caregiver can grow for medical use, and restrictions on the number of patients to whom a physician can recommend marijuana for medical use, among other things.

He also says the federal Controlled Substances Act conflicts with and pre-empts the act.

Armstrong’s attorney Nicholas Emanuel said in an interview that the full effects of the new legislation on medical marijuana dispensary operators are not yet clear, but his client thought it best to go ahead and file suit to “get a jump on things.”

“The law essentially changes everything [the operators] do,” Armstrong said. “It’s going to require the state government’s OK to participate in this activity at all, and it’s going to be up to the state’s discretion to determine who’s allowed to distribute.”

Emanuel said his client is not anti-regulation – in fact, he favors it – but he believes the act is “not the most effective way to do things,” since the act is “completely illegal under federal law.”

“To develop a coherent and realistic policy we need to have all levels of government working together, rather than this sort of patchwork regulation that we have now,” Armstrong said.

Assemblyman Rob Bonta, one of the act’s primary authors, was traveling Friday and not available for comment, but his spokesman said he would be able to soon.

Armstrong seeks declaratory judgment that the law violates the California Constitution and its Business and Profession Code, that it is pre-empted by federal law, and attorney’s fees.


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.