Tag: medical marijuana

Cautious Texas Among Last States to OK Medical Marijuana

MANCHACA, Texas (AP) — When California rings in the new year with the sale of recreational pot for the first time, Texas will be tiptoeing into its own marijuana milestone: a medical cannabis program so restrictive that doubts swirl over who will even use it.

Texas is the last big state to allow some form of medical marijuana, albeit an oil extract so low in the psychoactive component, THC, that it couldn’t get a person high. Though it might seem that Texas policymakers have softened their attitude toward the drug, bringing them more in line with the U.S. population as a whole, they have not. A joint could still land you in jail in Texas, and the state’s embrace of medical marijuana comes with a heavy dose of caution.

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Among the concerns are the license fees to grow marijuana in Texas — which are the highest in the U.S., at nearly $500,000 — and that the program is rolling out with just eight participating doctors in a state of 27 million people. And, like other states, access is limited to a small pool of patients who have been diagnosed with intractable epilepsy and tried at least two other treatments first.

“They didn’t belong in jail, but that’s what happens in Texas.”

Dr. Paul Van Ness, Baylor College of Medicine neurologist

“It’s heartbreaking. Being able to say, ‘Yes, you can get it,’ but reading over the whole law there is still some things we have to jump over,” said Cristina Ollervidez, 31, who lives near the Texas-Mexico border and is three hours from the closest participating doctor. Her 7-year-old daughter, Lailah, has a type of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and is in a wheelchair.

Her daughter isn’t listed as having intractable epilepsy but still has days when she gets several seizures.

“Seeing Texas put limitations, I do get that part,” Ollervidez said. “But I don’t think they did their exact research.”

The frustration over access is similar in other states that have also passed restrictive medical marijuana laws. One Georgia legislator goes so far as to have low-dose cannabis oil shipped to his office from Colorado as a workaround to his own bill, which allows people to possess marijuana but doesn’t give them a legal way to obtain it.

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Texas is similar to more than a dozen states that restrict access to a low-THC cannabis oil. However, Texas — which is 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) wide — licensed just three dispensaries, none of which are in the western half of the state or in fast-growing cities along the border with Mexico. And the Republican who won over skeptical conservatives to pass her law in 2015 is noncommittal about expanding the program.

That leaves Morris Denton, who runs the Compassionate Cultivation dispensary near Austin, looking far down the road.

“If you’re willing to take a long-term view and you’re willing to suffer a few scars along the way, that success will come,” Denton said. “The lessons themselves represent a barrier to entry for others who may come in. But I think it’s hard to pinpoint how, where and when to start a legal medical cannabis industry.”

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Texas has also placed tighter control on marijuana growers. The licensing fee is 80 times more than originally recommended. The Texas Department of Public Safety once proposed a fee as high as $1.3 million to help offset the costs of state troopers patrolling the dispensaries, although that recommendation was later dropped.

Growers are required to have surveillance video of every square foot of their facility and to preserve recordings for two years, which is longer than some police dashcam footage must be retained in Texas. They also aren’t allowed to bring in a third-party to test the quality of their product.

The driver behind the Texas law is Republican Stephanie Klick, a Christian conservative who strongly opposes the recreational use of drugs and who didn’t support expanding her law this spring. She said it took her 18 months to round up enough votes in the Legislature and convince skeptics that patients weren’t going to abuse the cannabis oil.

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“There was one sheriff that thought these kids were going to be juvenile delinquents and end up in his jail. And these are really sick kids,” Klick said, noting that lawmakers will consider expansion only after they’ve seen the results of the current framework.

Only four states — Kansas, South Dakota, Nebraska and Idaho — have no form of medical marijuana on the books. Seventeen others, including Texas, allow only low-THC medical cannabis, according to research from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Kristen Hanson, a program director for NCSL, said Texas is unusual for requiring that a doctor “prescribe” the cannabis oil instead of using the word “referral” like most states. The distinction is blamed for dissuading more Texas doctors from signing up, because under federal law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug with no medical use and therefore can’t be prescribed.

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Dr. Paul Van Ness, a neurologist at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, is one of the few doctors who have registered with state to participate in the program. He said he supports the restrictive nature of the Texas program, though he concedes the downside is limited access.

He said he already has patients smoking marijuana, some of whom have been arrested because of it.

“They didn’t belong in jail, but that’s what happens in Texas,” Van Ness said. “So if they can do it legally, that’s a lot safer.”


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.

California Issues First Round of Cannabis Licenses

Roughly two weeks ahead of the Jan. 1 launch of California’s legal cannabis market, state regulators have granted the first batch of temporary cannabis business licenses.

On Thursday, the Bureau of Cannabis Control issued 20 licenses for medical and adult-use operations, including retailers, distributors, microbusinesses, and a testing laboratory. Though the licenses have now been granted, they won’t be valid until Jan. 1.

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The companies that received licenses stretch from San Diego to Shasta County and include:

  • Pure CA (Lynwood) — distributor, medical and adult-use
  • Buddy’s Cannabis (San Jose) — microbusiness, medical and adult-use
  • HERBL Distribution Solutions (Santa Rosa) — distributor, medical
  • Golden State Sciences (King City) — distributor, medical
  • Yes (Monrovia) — laboratory testing
  • Torrey Holistics (San Diego) — retailer, medical and adult-use
  • KindPeoples (Santa Cruz) — retailer, medical and adult-use (x2, for two separate locations); distributor, medical and adult-use; microbusiness, medical and adult-use
  • Hueneme Patient Consumer Co-op (Port Hueneme) — retailer, medical
  • 530 Cannabis (Shasta Lake) — retailer, medical and adult-use

To date, more than 200 applications have been submitted through the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s online system, according to a bureau press release, with many more expected to roll in during the coming months. So far more than 1,900 users have registered with the system, the bureau said.

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Products manufacturers, meanwhile, are licensed by the state Department of Public Health’s, which began accepting applications through its website last week. The a department spokesperson told Leafly via email that so far eight temporary licenses have been issued.

“As of December 14, 2017, the California Department of Public Health has received 55 requests for temporary licenses for manufactured cannabis, and has issued 8 temporary licenses with an effective date of January 1, 2018,” the department said. “These numbers are changing daily as we work with manufacturers and local jurisdictions to finalize the license applications.”

To apply for a temporary permit, applicants must register and fill out a short form. Applicants must also show proof of a valid permit or authorization from their local government. Once awarded, each temporary license is good for 120 days and can be extended if the operator has applied for an annual license.

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Absent from the new list of licensees are cannabis growers. That’s because the distribution of cultivation licenses is overseen by the state Department of Food and Agriculture, and applications forms won’t be available until later this month.


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.

Canada’s Cannabis Tax Plan: Good for Provinces, Bad for Patients

The new deal between the federal and provincial governments on sharing cannabis tax revenue has been applauded by some stakeholders and criticized by others.

Under the terms of the two-year deal, announced earlier this week, the 13 provinces and territories will get 75% of federal excise tax revenues from the sale of legal cannabis, some of which will be distributed to municipalities. Ottawa will keep the other 25%, up to a maximum of $100 million a year. Any balance above that will go to the provinces and territories.

Recreational and medicinal cannabis will be taxed at the same level—and that has drawn heavy criticism from some politicians, physicians, and patient advocates.

In hopes of keeping prices low enough to draw customers away from the black market, the per-gram price of legal cannabis will be $10 or lower. Each gram of marijuana will have a tax of one dollar on sales as much as $10 and a 10-percent tax on sales above that.

This final deal is sweeter for the provinces than the proposed deal, unveiled in November, which called for a 50-50 split. That plan drew fierce criticism from the provinces and territories, which insisted they should be given a bigger piece of the pie because they will be footing the bill for costs related to distribution, regulation, policing, and public health.

The finance ministers and various stakeholders gave the new deal a thumbs-up.

“It is encouraging to see the federal government move quickly on reaching an arrangement with the provinces, that more equitably reflects the relative contributions provided by each government entity,” Michael Garbuz, legal counsel at the investment firm CannaRoyalty, told Leafly. “As full-adult use legalization approaches rapidly in Canada, it remains imperative for regulators and other stakeholders to continue making decisions that help achieve the core objectives of legalization including driving out the illicit market, harm reduction, public safety, and establishing a safe and responsible supply chain.”

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Nick Dean, CEO of Emblem Corp, an Ontario-based licensed producer, described the deal as “a wise move for the federal government. It’s critical that the provinces are motivated and compensated to build the greatest cannabis customer experience possible including public education, public safety, product awareness, and ultimately controlled distribution,” he told Leafly.

“The government’s proposal to apply excise tax to medical cannabis demonstrates a careless disregard for the health of Canadians.”

Jonathan Zaid, Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana

Recreational and medicinal cannabis will be taxed at the same level—and that has drawn heavy criticism from some politicians, physicians, and patient advocates.

“The government’s proposal to apply excise tax to medical cannabis demonstrates a careless disregard for the health of Canadians,” Jonathan Zaid, executive director of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, told Leafly. He urged the federal government to “address the concerns voiced by medical cannabis patients and the over 15,000 Canadians who have written their MP via [CFAMM’s] Don’t Tax Medicine campaign. Medical cannabis must be treated like all other prescription medications and be exempt from tax.”

A group of more than 50 physicians joined in the chorus of opposition. Just hours after the deal was announced on Monday, the group released a statement urging Ottawa to withdraw its plan to charge tax on medicinal cannabis “or risk having an adverse effect on patients.” The doctors, who prescribe cannabis for their patients, say a tax would impose a financial barrier for those who rely on cannabis for medical purposes.

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“The new taxes being proposed on medical cannabis [are] discriminatory towards patients,” said Dr. Michael Verbona. “All medications prescribed have zero tax. At a time when we are suffering from an opiate crisis the last thing we should do is introduce financial barriers to patients accessing a safer alternative.”

Alexandre Boulerice, the NDP’s finance critic, echoed those words. He said taxing medical cannabis could end up keeping it out of the hands of those who need it.

“The imposition of sales tax and excise tax on medical marijuana is unfair, it is stupid and potentially dangerous,” Boulerice said. “If the price of medical marijuana goes too high … it will potentially incite people to buy some cheaper drugs like opioids as painkillers.”

Last month, Bill Blair, the federal government’s point man on the legal cannabis program, said recreational and medicinal cannabis would be taxed at the same rate to ensure that recreational users don’t seek medicinal cannabis simply because it’s less expensive.


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.

Improving Medical Marijuana Programs Will Help Combat Opioid Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC — Americans for Safe Access has released “Medical Cannabis as a Tool to Combat Pain and the Opioid Crisis: A Blueprint for State Policy.

Released Thursday, the blueprint outlines legislative and regulatory solutions related to medical cannabis that states can utilize to combat the opioid epidemic.

Medical cannabis is a proven alternative to treat chronic pain. Medical professionals and researchers have released studies demonstrating its positive effects and overall benefits to public health. However, medical cannabis programs are serving just 2 percent of the population in most of the thirty states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam that have so far passed laws (another sixteen have passed more limited laws). One-third of the U.S. population is living with chronic pain, and they all deserve access to medical cannabis.

The blueprint lays out the specific barriers to access contributing to this disparity and provides lawmakers with the legislative means to reduce those barriers.

“I am excited to introduce this book to potential bill sponsors in my state,” said Jamie Lowell, a medical cannabis advocate and organizer in Michigan. “Medical cannabis allowed me to wean myself off of opiates, and I’m hopeful that by introducing this model legislation, we can reduce some of the barriers to medical cannabis and help even more Michigan patients.”

The report features model legislation, an emergency proclamation, and flow charts that help lawmakers identify barriers to access that medical cannabis patients in their states are facing. It also highlights the state of Michigan as a case study to illustrate how many individuals are potentially excluded from state medical cannabis programs. Michigan filed emergency regulations December 4th, which will improve product safety standards through testing and security. However, as the state develops legislation to manage the program for the longer term, it should look to the model legislation included in this blueprint to eliminate many of the current barriers to patient access.

“As many state legislatures are currently pre-filing bills for the 2018 legislative session, this report provides a critical toolkit for states to respond to the opioid crisis and be ready in their upcoming sessions to introduce legislation that will not only improve their state cannabis programs, but lower the instances of opioid addiction and overdose deaths. It has been nearly two months since President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. However, since this declaration, there has been no effort on the federal level to provide funds for this crisis,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access. “It is clear that states will have to take healthcare outcomes into their own hands. This report gives them the framework and tools they need to make cannabis an option in their fight against the opioid epidemic.”

This report comes on the tail of the President’s Commission on Drug Abuse and Combating the Opioid Crisis report issued on November 1, 2017. The Commission’s report identified over fifty solutions to the crisis, but failed to include the utility of cannabis, even though states with medical cannabis programs have witnessed a 25 percent reduction of opioid overdose deaths. It’s time for every state to enact programs that will provide access to medical cannabis for all chronic pain patients, and the guidelines provided here will help new states and those with existing programs to better respond to the opioid crisis which the Centers for Disease Control have estimated cost 65,000 lives in 2016.

Councilman David Grosso has already introduced parts of the legislation in an effort to reduce opioid overdose deaths in Washington, D.C., and Americans for Safe Access anticipates other programs will welcome the ability to proactively work towards reducing opioid overdose deaths in 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.

JoAnna McKee, Co-Founder of Seattle’s First Cannabis Co-op, Dies at 74

SEATTLE (AP) — JoAnna McKee, a pioneering medical marijuana activist in Washington state, has died at age 74.

Longtime friend Dale Rogers says McKee passed away Nov. 18. He was not certain of the cause.

McKee was instrumental in working to pass Washington’s medical marijuana initiative and pushing lawmakers to support patients.

McKee and her partner, Stich Miller, founded Seattle’s first cannabis co-op, Green Cross Patient Co-Op, in 1993, five years before Washington approved medical marijuana. Rogers says she grew and used marijuana to treat debilitating pain from a moped accident, and she wanted to donate excess cannabis to AIDS patients.

McKee was instrumental in working to pass Washington’s medical marijuana initiative and pushing lawmakers to support patients. She often appeared in her wheelchair, sporting a colorful eye patch, to testify at the Legislature.

Friends planned to gather for a memorial Thursday afternoon. Among the speakers were King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and former state Sen. Jeannie Kohl-Welles.


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.

Shutdown Unlikely, but Medical Marijuana Protections Still at Risk

Congressional Republicans were reportedly near agreement on Thursday morning on a temporary deal that would avert a federal shutdown on Dec. 8. That’s the date that the current federal budget runs out of money. The deal under discussion would fund the government at current levels for another two weeks, through Dec. 22.

Patients will be protected in the short term. But the longer prognosis is dicey.

If that were to happen, the budget amendment known as Rohrabacher–Blumenauer (which prevents the Department of Justice from arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers in legal states) would remain in effect through Dec. 22 as well. That’s because any continuing resolution would probably say: Same budget as last year, just extended for two more weeks.

On Wednesday, Senate and House Republican leaders seemed to be nearing consensus on a continuing resolution that would effectively bridge the budget gap for the next two weeks. The main hurdle to overcome was the party’s Freedom Caucus, which was demanding increased defense spending and budget cuts in all non-defense areas.

Politico reported on Wednesday:

If the conservative faction ultimately backs the package, it would likely seal the GOP’s hopes of avoiding the need for a last-minute deal with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) or Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who could demand additional concessions to keep the government open. Many Democrats are vowing to vote against government funding legislation if it doesn’t also provide deportation relief for Dreamers, the undocumented immigrants who came to the country as minors.

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OK, No Shutdown. Then What Happens?

Beyond that two-week stopgap measure, though, Congress still must approve a full annual federal budget. And that’s where things get dicey for those Rohrabacher–Blumenauer protections.

The full 2018 budget won’t be written from scratch in the next two weeks. Two different versions of the budget were already passed by the respective bodies of Congress earlier this year. The Senate passed one version, while the House passed its own iteration. There are many differences between the two.

It’s unclear why Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) blocked the patient protections, but it could be as simple as a desire to please Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The Senate version contained the language of the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer amendment, which prohibits the Department of Justice (which includes the DEA and the FBI) from using any federal funds to arrest or prosecute anyone who abides by state regulations in states that have legalized medical marijuana.

The House version of the budget does not contain the same language, because Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chair of the House Rules Committee, refused to allow the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer amendment to pass out of his committee.

In past years, Rohrabacher–Blumenauer (known in previous versions as Rohrabacher–Farr) has easily won favor on the full House floor, and the amendment is still expected to pass handily if it were presented to the full House. Sessions (no relation to Attorney General Jeff Sessions) is the only roadblock. But the committee chair position is a powerful one in Congress.

Pete Sessions has allowed previous versions of Rohrabacher–Blumenauer to pass through his committee, but this year Attorney General Sessions specifically wrote a letter to Congressional leaders requesting an end to the medical cannabis protections. “The Department,” he wrote, “must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.”

It’s unclear exactly why Pete Sessions blocked the amendment this year, but the reason could be as simple as a desire to please the Attorney General.

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It’s All About the Conference Committee

The fate of the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer protections will be decided over the next month by negotiators in a Congressional conference committee, where members get together to reconcile the two competing versions of the budget.

Rohrabacher-Blumenauer could survive, or it could get traded away as a bargaining chip.

It’s anybody’s guess whether Rohrabacher–Blumenauer survives that reconciliation. It could survive because of the overwhelming popular support for medical cannabis—which the latest polls put at 94%—or it could get lost amid the horse trading that goes on behind closed doors.

In a worst-case scenario, the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer protections could get dropped in this budget cycle. That would give the Justice Department, commanded by Jeff Sessions, legal room to operate against medical cannabis patients and providers.

But it’s highly likely that the amendment would be revived during the very next budget cycle, and federal judges have ruled in past cases that Justice Department prosecutors may not prosecute MMJ arrests as long as the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer protections remain in effect—even if the arrests occurred when the protections were not in effect.

In other words, if federal agents were to arrest a medical cannabis provider during a budget year that had no Rohrabacher–Blumenauer protections, that provider could seek to delay the case until the protections were re-adopted in the next budget cycle. But that, of course, takes resources. Good legal counsel costs money.

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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.

Ohio Criticized for Marijuana Consultant’s Past Drug Conviction

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state is facing criticism for hiring a consultant with a drug conviction to help select Ohio’s medical marijuana growers.

At issue is a 2005 guilty plea in Pennsylvania by consultant Trevor Bozeman at age 20 to charges of manufacturing, possessing and distributing drugs. A marijuana possession charge was dropped.

Jimmy Gould, CEO of CannAscend, an unsuccessful applicant, publicized Bozeman’s arrest to protest the selection process.

Bozeman was one of three consultants the state selected to help grade the grower applications. The consultants worked with state employees to select the growers. Phone and email messages were left with Bozeman on Wednesday.

Last week, Ohio selected 12 large growers for a total of 24 licenses. Jimmy Gould, CEO of CannAscend, an unsuccessful applicant, publicized Bozeman’s arrest on Tuesday to protest the selection process.

Republican state Auditor David Yost, a candidate for attorney general, on Wednesday called for the grower selection process to be stopped and reviewed. Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, a fellow Republican running for governor, said no grower licenses should be awarded until the process is reviewed.

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Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat running for governor, called the issue a misstep and a disappointment.

“This was a careful, fair process which we fully and extensively explained in advance and are glad to do it again to anyone with questions or concerns.”

Stephanie Gostomski, Commerce Department spokesperson

The Department of Commerce, which oversees the medical marijuana selection process, resisted calls for removing Bozeman, who has been paid $6,061 to date for scoring grower applications.

Those applications were reviewed by more than 20 people with equal influence, with growers selected by consensus, said Commerce spokesman Stephanie Gostomski.

Growers addressed questions on five separate sections of the application, and teams of three were assigned to review one of those sections per application, Gostomski said. No individual consultant had authority to approve a grower’s application.

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Consultants met standards spelled out in their contracts, and rejected applicants are free to appeal, Gostomski said.

“This was a careful, fair process which we fully and extensively explained in advance and are glad to do it again to anyone with questions or concerns,” she said.

The state will use the consultants next to help score applicants for the medical marijuana processors.

Winning applicants plan to build their facilities across the state, from the tiny Appalachian village of Mount Orab to the tire manufacturing hub of Akron in industrial northeast Ohio.

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Charles Bachtel is CEO of Cresco Labs Ohio LLC, one of the growers selected by Ohio. He also has contracts in Illinois and Pennsylvania. Ohio’s medical marijuana program is the best the company has seen so far, Bachtel said Wednesday.

The state says the sites will be indoor, high-security, regulated businesses and won’t be recognizable as growing facilities from the outside.

Ohio’s medical marijuana law, passed last year, allows people with medical conditions such as cancer and epilepsy to buy and use marijuana if a doctor recommends it. It doesn’t allow smoking.


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.

Michigan Issues Rules Before Start of Marijuana Licensing

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder issued rules Monday policing medical marijuana businesses, less than two weeks before the state begins accepting license applications under a new regulatory system.

The emergency rules will remain in effect for at least six months until permanent ones are finalized. They regulate varied topics including advertising, security requirements and how much capital businesses must have to get into growing, processing, selling, transporting or testing marijuana.

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The state had previously given guidance on major issues such as the status of existing dispensary shops that have been operating under a legal cloud, ultimately deciding they can stay open while seeking a state license if they have had the approval of their local community. Applications will be accepted starting Dec. 15.

The advertising of marijuana products is prohibited if it is visible to the public from any street, sidewalk, park or other public place.

“We needed to add a little meat to the bone on some of those things but tried to stay consistent with what was there,” Andrew Brisbo, director of the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation, said of the advisory bulletins issued in recent months.

Under the 51 rules, licensees will need to demonstrate capitalization ranging from $150,000 to $500,000, depending on the type of business. At least 25 percent of the capital must be in liquid assets, such as cash, marijuana inventory or investments. No more than 15 ounces of usable marijuana or 72 plants may be used to meet capital requirements.

It will cost $6,000 to apply for a license. Licensees and applicants must notify the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the state police and local law enforcement within 24 hours of any theft or less of product.

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People who violate the rules can be fined $5,000. Businesses can face a $10,000 fine or an amount equaling daily gross receipts, whichever is greater.

Growers, processors and provisioning centers can operate out of the same location if it is OK with the municipality and if they have “distinct and identifiable areas” and separate entrances and exits. Visitor logs must be kept, and video surveillance is required inside the businesses.

The advertising of marijuana products is prohibited if it is visible to the public from any street, sidewalk, park or other public place.

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The five-tiered licensing system is being developed under a 2016 law that more tightly regulated medical marijuana and aimed to address confusion surrounding a 2008 voter-approved law that legalized marijuana for medical use. The new law imposes a 3 percent tax on provisioning centers.

Roughly 265,000 patients have registered with the state to grow their own marijuana or obtain it from 42,000 registered caregivers who can supply a limited number of people.


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.

Making Medical Cannabis Easy in New York

This article is sponsored by PrestoDoctor, revolutionizing access for medical marijuana card recommendations through the comfort of your own home.


As New York’s medical marijuana program continues to add qualifying conditions, more folks throughout the Empire State are looking to get their New York medical marijuana cards. For those in the five boroughs and beyond, getting a medical marijuana recommendation requires a doctor’s consultation, which means one more appointment to make, then wait for, and finally get to on time (assuming their train is running that day).

To save time, patients from Buffalo to Brooklyn are increasingly turning to telemedicine services like PrestoDoctor, which starts serving patients in New York state this week. These remote visits turn a doctor’s office visit into a convenient online meeting that can be conducted from the comfort of home.

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Qualifying Conditions for New York Patients

New York’s list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana is evolving continually. But many of the qualifying conditions, including cancer and nerve damage, share a common symptom—pain, which is often treated with medications such as opioids. For some of the physicians working with PrestoDoctor, that treatment regimen piqued their interest in medical cannabis in the first place because they were seeking alternatives that better serve their patients.

Dr. David Nguyen greets a patient at a telemedicine appointment. (Courtesy of PrestoDoctor)

“I was working in pain management, which meant sending many of my patients home with opioid prescriptions. I started to feel like there had to be a better answer out there,” says Dr. David Nguyen, a California anesthesiologist who has been working with PrestoDoctor since 2015. “They don’t teach you about cannabis in med school, so I started doing my own research, and pretty soon I was sold on the potential of medical marijuana.”

Dr. Nguyen is hardly alone. Throughout the state of New York, more than 1,300 doctors are now registered to recommend medical cannabis. In an area with nearly 20 million people, though, that means patients with qualifying conditions may be put off by long waits for an appointment with a doctor who is qualified to make a recommendation for medical marijuana.

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PrestoDoctor has been using telemedicine to help medical marijuana patients in California and Nevada to connect directly with physicians registered to recommend medical marijuana since 2015. For many patients, though, the idea of making a doctor’s appointment without actually being in the same room as the doctor can be off-putting—especially when they’re preparing to learn about a treatment that may still be unfamiliar.

Telemedicine for Beginners

An online medical marijuana evaluation is like any other doctor’s appointment, just conducted from the comfort of your home. Patients should be ready to start their call on time and be prepared to help the physician understand their condition and concerns.

Telemedicine appointments make the doctor’s office as close as your living room. (Courtesy of PrestoDoctor)

Patients should also be ready to share details of their medical history and help a physician understand what brought them to the appointment. Since you’ll be discussing private matters, you’ll want to be in a private space where you feel at ease.

Additionally, patients should be prepared to share some non-medical details during a PrestoDoctor appointment, as a physician’s recommended medical marijuana treatment may be influenced by those factors.

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“If I’m consulting with a dad of small kids, he may not want a grinder and other paraphernalia around the house, for instance,” says Dr. Nguyen. “In that case, I’d probably recommend something like a vaporizer with a little lower profile. It’s all about finding a solution that works for every patient as an individual.”

Medical Marijuana Made Personal

One of the perks of telemedicine is that it makes it easy to have a trusted friend or family member in the appointment with a patient, if they choose to do so. Talking about medical issues—especially ones involving chronic pain—can be hard, and some patients find the support of another person helpful. Just make sure they show up on the video screen so your consulting physician can see and hear everyone involved, says Dr. Nguyen.

Of course, some patients will prefer to keep their medical issues close to the vest. In these security-sensitive days, individuals concerned about sharing information about their medical history over the internet can relax. Telemedicine services like PrestoDoctor employ HIPAA-compliant, secure video-conferencing links that keep the conversation strictly between patient and doctor.

A treatment plan is standard issue following a physician consultation via PrestoDoctor. (Courtesy of PrestoDoctor)

Above all, it’s helpful to remember that physicians recommending medical marijuana via telemedicine services are aiming to help patients get better, not just help them get cannabis. Expect a consultation to be thorough, and take as long as a normal doctor’s appointment would—minus travel and time spent in the waiting room leafing through old issues of People, of course. And if it turns out that medical cannabis isn’t the right treatment option for you, there’s no charge for the consultation through PrestoDoctor.

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Unlike other services, PrestoDoctor’s physician recommendations come with medical marijuana treatment plans personalized to every patient. Patients who receive a medical marijuana recommendation will also receive information on dosage, frequency, delivery systems, and more from physicians with experience recommending medical cannabis.

“As a doctor, having good staff is half of your success, and something that’s really struck me with PrestoDoctor is the quality of their service and support,” says Dr. Nguyen. “I chose PrestoDoctor—and I choose to stay only with them—because of the system they’ve created, which has patient needs at its heart.”


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.

Oklahoma Governor Plans to Set Medical Marijuana Ballot Date

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin says she plans to set an election date for a medical marijuana ballot measure after the start of the new year.

Supporters of an initiative petition to ask voters to legalize medical marijuana gathered enough signatures last year to schedule a statewide referendum on the measure, known as State Question 788.

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If approved by voters, the measure would permit doctors to recommend a patient, who is at least 25 years old, for a state-issued medical marijuana license. Patients would be allowed to legally possess up to 3 ounces of the drug, six mature plants and six seedlings.

Fallin says she will decide after the first of 2018 whether voters will be asked to decide the issue during the primary election in June or the November general election.


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.