Tag: Medical Marijuana States

SMART Bill Reintroduced in Congress to Protect State Marijuana Laws

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) has reintroduced the State Marijuana And Regulatory Tolerance (SMART) Enforcement Act (H.R. 3534).

This bill prohibits state-sanctioned marijuana consumers and businesses from being prosecuted by the federal government.

By a margin of more than 6 to 1, Americans say that individual states should be able to make their own laws governing the use and sale of marijuana.

The SMART Enforcement Act acknowledges this voter sentiment while also ensuring states are operating in a safe and responsible manner.

In a prepared statement, Congresswoman DelBene says that her legislation “will fix the conflict between state and federal law by giving states effectively regulating marijuana themselves, such as Washington, a waiver from the Controlled Substances Act. It also resolves the banking issues currently forcing dispensaries to operate on an unsafe, all-cash basis. These waivers will ensure people in states that have different laws than the federal government on marijuana are protected from prosecution, provided they meet certain requirements, as more and more states work to regulate marijuana within their own borders.”

Legislation similar to this is pending in California, Assembly Bill 1578, to try and limit potential federal interference in the state’s marijuana regulatory laws.

As Congresswoman DelBene said, “People in these states should not live in fear of the unpredictable actions of the Attorney General and Department of Justice.”

Click here to urge your Representatives to support this legislation.

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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.

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.

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.

Massachusetts High Court: Patient Fired for Medical Marijuana Use Can Sue for Discrimination

BOSTON, MA — Massachusetts’ highest court ruled on Monday that a medical marijuana patient could sue her former employer for discrimination after being fired for testing positive for the substance in a drug test.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rejected the argument made by Advantage Sales and Marketing that the patient, Christina Barbuto, could not sue for discrimination because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, even though it is authorized in Massachusetts.

According to attorneys, Barbuto was fired after her first day on the job because she tested positive for marijuana, for which she was an authorized patient under Massachusetts’ medical marijuana program.

Barbuto’s doctor had certified her for medical marijuana use as an appetite stimulant.  Barbuto suffers from Chron’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome, and suffers from a loss of appetite as a side effect of the two ailments.

In the unanimous 6-0 decision, the court ruled that if a doctor determines that medical marijuana is the most effective treatment for a debilitating condition, employers must make an exemption to their drug policy to provide “reasonable accommodation” to the employee.

“The fact that the employee’s possession of medical marijuana is in violation of federal law does not make it per se unreasonable as an accommodation,” Chief Justice Ralph Gants wrote in the decision.

The court noted that while marijuana is still illegal under federal law, only the employee, not the company, would be at risk for prosecution under federal law for her marijuana use.

“This is the highest court in Massachusetts recognizing that the use of medically prescribed marijuana is just as lawful as the use of any prescribed medication,” said attorney Matthew Fogelman, who represented Barbuto.

Medical marijuana has been authorized in Massachusetts since a 2012 voter approved referendum.  In 2016, voters went one step further, legalizing the adult use of marijuana for anyone 21 years old or older.  Marijuana possession is a decriminalized civil offense for those under 21 who do not possess a medical marijuana authorization.

Medical marijuana advocates hailed the decision, saying the ruling represents a major win for patients rights and could set a precedent for those in other states where medical marijuana is authorized under state law.

“Patients should never have to choose between their heath and their job and for the first time, a court has acknowledged that they shouldn’t have to,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said.

“It is our hope that courts in other jurisdictions begin to apply this same rationale to patients as well as to all adults who are using cannabis responsibly off-the-job in compliance with the laws of their states.”

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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.

Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Patients’ Afforded Workplace Protections, High Court Rules

BOSTON, MA — State-registered medical cannabis patients may sue a private employer for discrimination if they are fired for their off-the-job marijuana use, according to a first in the nation ruling issued Monday by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Opining for the court, Chief Justice Ralph Gants determined that it is “not facially unreasonable” for employers to make exceptions to their substance abuse policies in instances where employees are using cannabis at home to treat a debilitating condition.

“The fact that the employee’s possession of medical marijuana is in violation of federal law does not make it per se unreasonable as an accommodation,” he wrote.

The defendant in the case was fired on her first day on the job for testing positive for carboxy-THC on a company drug test. The former employee possessed a doctor’s recommendation to use cannabis to treat symptoms of Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

Qualified patients may legally obtain cannabis in Massachusetts under a 2012 voter-initiated law.

The unanimous verdict reverses a lower court decision and is contrary to rulings in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. In each of those states, the supreme courts ruled that employees had no legal protections if they were fired without cause for their state-sanctioned use of medical cannabis.

“Patients should never have to choose between their heath and their job and for the first time, a court has acknowledged that they shouldn’t have to,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said. “It is our hope that courts in other jurisdictions begin to apply this same rationale to patients as well as to all adults who are using cannabis responsibly off-the-job in compliance with the laws of their states.”

The case is Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing 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.

Delaware Governor Signs Bill Making it Easier to Get Medical Marijuana for PTSD

DOVER, DE — Delaware residents suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, will now have an easier time obtaining medical marijuana to treat their symptoms.

While PTSD was already a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Delaware, Senate Bill 24, which was signed into law Wednesday by Governor John Carney, removes a requirement that patients needed to visit a psychiatrist in order to be certified for medical marijuana use.

Now, like patients suffering from other qualifying conditions, patients suffering from PTSD can now get their medical marijuana certification from any physician.

Senate Bill 24, also known as the Bravery Bill, was sponsored by Sen. Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington).  As introduced, the will would have also allowed patients suffering from anxiety disorders access to medical marijuana, but that language was removed from the final bill.

The change to Delaware’s medical marijuana law takes effect immediately.

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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 Hampshire Adds New Conditions to Medical Marijuana Program

New Hampshire Adds New Conditions to Medical Marijuana Program | NORML

CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has signed legislation, House Bill 160, to expand the pool of patients eligible to engage in cannabis therapy. The new law, which takes effect August 27, 2017, permits physicians to recommend medical marijuana to patients with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and/or moderate to severe post-traumatic stress. The Governor had previously signed legislation […]

New Hampshire Adds New Conditions to Medical Marijuana Program | The Daily Chronic


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.