Tag: Medical

Australian States Split on Medical Cannabis

Access to cannabis for people with terminal illnesses and chronic pain was delayed last week when the New South Wales (NSW) state government blocked a law that would have decriminalized possession of marijuana for those suffering from serious medical conditions.

The legislation, which would have decriminalized possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis in cases where it was being used to treat chronic pain, was introduced by the opposition Labor party and blocked by the majority Liberal Legislative Assembly. Despite the fact that the proposed law grew out of the recommendations of a bipartisan parliamentary inquiry into the use of cannabis for medical purposes, no bipartisanship was present when it was voted down.

“By refusing to pass this legislation, the NSW Government has put up an unnecessary hurdle for sufferers of terminal and chronic illnesses.” NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley said in a statement.

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“It is deeply disappointing that the Government has denied legislation that will restore dignity to those people seeking temporary relief from the pain and suffering of their affliction. Those who are suffering from terminal and serious medical conditions deserve sympathy and support—and they should not be treated like a criminal for seeking respite from relentless and unwavering illness,” Foley continued.

“We are particularly concerned that the government has done little to ensure a consistent supply of regulated and affordable product.”

Sen. Lisa Singh, Tasmania

Further south, in the island state of Tasmania, another Labor politician has taken up the cause of medical cannabis in a different way. Sen. Lisa Singh has been campaigning in the senate for a quicker and more consistent cannabis licensing program.

In a speech to the Australian senate last week, Singh urged the government to enable the establishment of the medical cannabis industry in Tasmania. Specifically, she wants to ensure that the global opioid supplier Tasmania Alkaloids (which has partnered with medical cannabis company AusCann) can secure a closed-loop cannabis production chain.

“Closed-loop production is key to a successful Tasmanian medical cannabis industry,” Singh said, “The opportunity to grow, manufacture, and distribute directly from one location alleviates legitimate security concerns.”

Rather than focus solely on patient access issues, Singh is also eager to realise the economic benefits of a thriving medical cannabis industry in her state. “Tasmania is ideally positioned to become a manufacturing base both for the domestic and international markets in medicinal cannabis,” she said, “The Australian domestic market for medicinal cannabis has alone been estimated to be worth AU$100 million a year.”

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“If Tasmania is able to seize the opportunity of becoming a global leader in the cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis, then there will be similar substantial economic benefits to reap for my home state like we have from cultivating the world’s legal opium crops,” she said.

But before that economic dream can be achieved, Singh says the federal government needs to develop a more consistent application of its medical cannabis laws across states.

“We are particularly concerned that the government has done little to ensure a consistent supply of regulated and affordable product, or to drive consistency across states on the legal treatment of people currently accessing medicinal cannabis.” Singh told Leafly.

The Tasmanian senator isn’t the only politician taking up the torch for the medical cannabis industry. Victorian Minister of Agriculture and Regional Development Jalaa Pulford recently visited medical cannabis facilities in Canada with CannGroup CEO Peter Crock.

This state-level support for medical cannabis is good news for growers and patients in some parts of Australia, but frustration will continue to rise in states like New South Wales if their governments continue to block efforts to extend compassionate treatment to medical cannabis patients.


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 Picks 2 Vendors to Ramp up Medical Marijuana System

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A pair of vendors has been selected to develop Ohio’s seed-to-sale, medical marijuana tracking system and its online licensing system.

The Ohio Department of Commerce said Tuesday that it competitively selected Metrc, a Franwell company, to develop and build the program’s digital tracking infrastructure. Metrc received a $1.2 million contract to build an integrated system for tracking medical marijuana through cultivation, processing, testing and sale.

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Persistent Systems Inc. won a $574,000 contract to design and build the e-licensing system for tracking the Ohio licenses required of marijuana growers, processors, testing labs and their employees.

Ohio’s law allows people with 21 medical conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, to buy and use marijuana after getting a doctor’s recommendation.

The law launching in September 2018 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.

Utah Launches Medical Cannabis Signature Drive

Medical marijuana advocates in Utah plan to launch a signature drive to put MMJ legalization on the ballot in November 2018. The Utah Patients Coalition will hold a press conference on Thursday morning at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City, starting at 10:30 a.m. Mountain Time. The event will feature campaign leaders, patients, and supporters while volunteers will begin collecting signatures in downtown Salt Lake City immediately following the event.

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The proposed initiative, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, would allow patients with certain qualifying conditions to legally and safely access medicinal cannabis with the recommendation of a doctor. Home cultivation and and the consumption of smoked cannabis by smoking it would not be permitted under the initiative. Public consumption would also be prohibited.

The group will need to provide more than 113,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

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Initiative supporters held 10 public hearings across Utah and met with various departments and stakeholders prior to submitting the proposed Medical Cannabis Act to state Lt. Governor Spencer Cox’s office for initial approval. Cox gave his approval (which means the petition can move forward; it doesn’t mean Cox himself approves of the initiative) on August 10.

If the proposed Act passes, Utah would become the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana.

The full text of the initiative is available HERE, and a summary is available HERE.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Hawaii Braces for Surge in Medical Cannabis Patients

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Health is preparing for an upswing of patients signing up for the state’s medical cannabis registry, as two medical marijuana dispensaries in the state are officially open for business.

More than 18,000 patients have joined the state’s medical cannabis registry.

About 38 percent of the patients reside on the Big Island, while 29 percent live on Oahu, Hawaii News Now reported.

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“We do see the beginning of a possible trend that shows more growth happening on Oahu,” said Scottina Ruis, coordinator for the state’s medical cannabis registry program.

The state has managed to bring the turnaround time for applicants down to three to five business days.

“At the high end, when we got the program initially, the process was an entirely paper application process, so a lot different functions for staff,” Ruis said. “I think high end of turnaround time was six to eight weeks.”

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There are four full-time employees and three more will be added by the end of the year.

“We’ve only got so many live bodies and we’re doing our best to keep up with the demand and hopefully, we can stay ahead of that,” Ruis said.


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.

Is Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department Actively Blocking Cannabis Research?

More than two dozen federal applications to grow cannabis for research purposes have stalled as Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department lets them languish. The bottleneck is frustrating researchers, doctors, and other stakeholders desperate to learn more about the drug.

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A year ago, the US Drug Enforcement Agency began accepting applications to grow cannabis for research, a move meant to improve the availability and quality of cannabis for use in scientific research. As part of the approval process, the DEA says it needs the DOJ’s sign-off—but so far that hasn’t come.

“They’re sitting on it,” one law enforcement official told the Washington Post, which first reported the story. “They just will not act on these things.”

A senior DEA official told the Post that “the Justice Department has effectively shut down this program to increase research registrations.’’

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As a result of what’s effectively become a DOJ roadblock, researchers are struggling to access cannabis to conduct experiments into the drug’s health effects and clinical applications. To date, there is only one place in the US that has permission from the federal government to grow and distribute cannabis: the University of Mississippi. Not exactly a cannabis hotbed, historically speaking.

The cannabis that is grown at Ole Miss is nothing to write home about. In some cases, it barely even looks like cannabis. As Leafly reported in March, cannabis provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for a study into PTSD looked less like medical marijuana and more like clippings you might dig out of an old lawnmower.

In the PTSD study, Johns Hopkins University was slated to help conduct the multiyear clinical trial, sponsored by the nonprofit group Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS. But soon after the researchers received the government-grown cannabis, John Hopkins pulled out of the study. In a statement to Leafly, a university spokesperson said the school withdrew “because our goals for this weren’t in alignment.”

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MAPS spokesman Brad Burge, however, told Leafly that the poor-quality cannabis was the primary reason the study hit a road block. “NIDA wasn’t able to provide the relatively high THC level that we wanted to look at,” Burge said. “We asked for a 12% THC strain, and they were only able to get us a 10%.” For reference, the bulk of cannabis sold at adult-use stores in legal states exceeds 20% THC.

Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said last year that the DEA would “support and promote legitimate research regarding marijuana and its constituent parts.” At the time, the statement was a victory for cannabis researchers. But so far little has come of it.


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.

‘First Green Bank’ Is Florida’s First to Serve Cannabis Industry

Orlando-based First Green Bank is giving new meaning to its name by offering financial services to cannabis businesses. It appears to be the first financial institution in Florida to serve the state’s medical cannabis industry.

While most major US banks have steered clear of cannabis companies due to convoluted rules around working with the still-federally-illegal industry, First Green Bank has more than just a commercial connection to cannabis. Founder Ken La Roe credits medical marijuana with helping his wife after suffered a serious bicycle crash that left her with traumatic brain injuries and a seizure disorder, according to the Orlando Business Journal.

A friend suggested medical marijuana. The results were stunning. “In six months [she] was able to completely get off the seizure medication, and six months later it completely cured her seizures,” Ken La Roe told Fox 35 Orlando.

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La Roe told reporters he believes his bank is the first in Florida to offer banking services to cannabis businesses. While some states, such as Washington, have issued guidance on how local financial organizations can work with the cannabis industry, Florida currently lacks guidelines around how banks should go about doing business with dispensaries.

“There is no rule or law because it’s federally illegal,” La Roe said.

As La Roe explained to the Orlando Business Journal, First Green Bank won’t actually touch any of the cash from dispensaries.

“We don’t ever touch the cash or allow dispensaries to deposit it,” said. “We require them to use the armored car service we have vetted to go to the dispensaries.”

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The armored trucks pick up the cash directly from dispensaries, then transport it to the nearest Federal Reserve location, La Roe explained. First Green Bank also tracks inventory from seed to sale, as it’s the bank’s responsibility to make sure all the transactions are above board.

The process hasn’t been easy. According to news reports, it’s taken La Roe and First Green Bank around two years to implement this system. Today, First Green Bank serves six of the seven licensees in Florida.

So far, First Green Bank has processed nearly $30 million dollars in deposits from cannabis companies. That’s about 6% of the bank’s $479.38 million in total deposits from all customers during 2016.

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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.

License Allows Australian Medical Cannabis Company to Vertically Integrate

Australian medical cannabis company AusCann got one step closer to completing the sought after farm-to-pharma model this week when it was granted a manufacturing licence by the Australian Office of Drug Control (ODC).

Although 17 medical cannabis licences have been granted to Australian growers, according to the ODC, AusCann’s license is one of only four that also allow manufacturing. In combination with the company’s licenses to cultivate and produce in the states of Tasmania and Western Australia, the newly granted manufacturing license creates the potential for AusCann to build a highly independent, vertically integrated production chain.

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The company already has a partnership with Johnson & Johnson-owned Tasmania Alkaloids, which reportedly produces 40% of global opioid supply. Elaine Darby, managing director of AusCann, told Leafly that the partnership will allow the companies to jointly produce medical cannabis products in Australia.

“We have entered into a strategic alliance with Tasmanian Alkaloids, one of the largest producers of opiates, for us to jointly produce Australian cannabinoid products in Tasmania. The next step in the process will be an amendment to Tasmanian Alkaloids TGA Manufacturing licence to enable the manufacture of cannabinoid pharmaceuticals.”

If all goes well, AusCann expects to have Australian-produced products available for prescription by mid-2018. If that isn’t soon enough, AusCann plans to stock Australian pharmacies with cannabis products sourced from their Canadian partner, Canopy Growth, later this year. “AusCann intends to have products in Australian pharmacies within the next couple of months,” Darby said.

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The products imported from Canada will be the blueprint for AusCann’s first Australian-made products. “Our initial products will be based upon Canopy’s formulations,” Darby said. “The three products we are importing from Canopy initially are predominately for the treatment of chronic pain and palliative care symptoms.”

The manufacturing license announcement boosted AusCann’s share price 15% to $0.60 on Wednesday. That price is the highest it has been since May, but it’s still a steep drop from its high of $0.90 in late March. The Office of Drug Control announced on Tuesday that the response to its request for comment on the export of Australian cultivated and manufactured medicinal cannabis products had been one of overwhelming support.

Australia’s medical cannabis licensing scheme has been framed around ensuring domestic need is met by adequate supply, but the push to allow exports appears to be gaining traction with the ODC. If approved, this would open up huge new markets for Australian cannabis producers, although it remains to be seen whether the high cost of doing business in Australia’s regulatory framework will allow for competitive pricing at a global level.


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.

Maui’s Newly Opened Medical Marijuana Dispensary to Close Temporarily

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — Less than a week after it opened, Maui’s first state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary is reworking its opening hours as demand for its product outstrips supply because of a backlog.

Maui Grown Therapies says it had expected its most recent batch of flowers to clear state lab certification by Saturday, but that didn’t happen, The Maui News reported. Company officials said it sold out its first batch of certified flowers Saturday.

Maui Grown Therapies opened for business Tuesday. Company officials say the dispensary could only sell flowers — resulting in depleted flower stocks on Maui and “disappointed patients.”

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The company said it needs the Department of Health’s State Labs Division “to help unclog a backlog of products so Maui patients can have access to quality-assured medicinal cannabis products.”

It will be closed Monday and Tuesday and reopen at noon Wednesday, when it will sell to patients who make appointments through its website.

“It’s unfortunate that an administrative hindrance of this magnitude prevents patients from getting the help they need,” said Christopher Cole, director of product management for Maui Grown Therapies. “We had planned to open with a full range of derivative products such as concentrates, oils, capsules and topical products, but at the eleventh hour we discovered that the State Labs Division had failed to certify a lab to conduct testing of manufactured products.”

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State offices were closed Saturday, and state Health Department officials could not be reached for comment.

“We could serve thousands of patients with the amount of manufactured product we currently have available for final compliance testing,” Cole said. “Even though we were approved by the Department of Health on May 24 to manufacture cannabis products, the restrictions placed on the state’s only licensed lab have prevented us from offering these products to our patients — and it is entirely unclear to us when this will change.”

The dispensary’s initial posted hours were 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Dispensary hours have been changed to noon to 6 p.m. until further notice.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Utah Initiative for Medical Cannabis Moves to Signature Drive

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Medical marijuana backers are moving forward with a ballot initiative to ask Utah voters directly to pass a broad medical marijuana law next year.

The Utah Patients Coalition got state approval Thursday to start collecting the 113,143 voter signatures for the ballot initiative in November 2018. The group has until April 15 to collect the signatures.

Coalition members say they’re done waiting for lawmakers who rejected proposals to pass a broad medical cannabis law three years in a row.

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The coalition wants Utah to join 29 other states that allow marijuana to be dispensed and used as a treatment.

The proposed initiative would set up state-regulated growing and dispensing of marijuana for use by residents with about a dozen types of conditions, including cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder.


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.

NY to Allow Use of Medical Cannabis Lozenges, Lotions, and More

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state is making more changes to its medical marijuana program designed to speed patient access and allow a wider array of treatment options.

Health officials announced new regulations Thursday that will permit new forms of the drug, including chewable and effervescent tablets and lozenges as well as topical lotions, ointments and patches.

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The state also plans to create a new, shorter training program for physicians interested in authorizing medical marijuana for patients. The intent is to offer a two-hour training program in addition to the existing four-hour training, officials said.

“This is yet another positive step forward for New York State’s Medical Marijuana Program,” New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a statement announcing the news. “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.”

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New York has one of the nation’s more conservative medical cannabis programs, and smokeable marijuana still isn’t allowed. Products currently available are mostly limited to tinctures, oils for vaporization, and capsules to be taken orally. Officials say they’re continuing to look for ways to tinker with the rules to make it easier for patients to get the help they need.

The new regulations are expected to take effect next month.

As of Tuesday, there were 26,561 patients authorized to obtain medical marijuana in the state and 1,155 practitioners registered to recommend cannabis.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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.