Tag: Medical

State of the Leaf: Sacramento Sees 500% Drop in Cannabis Arrests

US News


It’s regulation by legislation in Arkansas as lawmakers cobble together the rules that will govern the state’s nascent medical cannabis program. There is a ton of new laws. Literally dozens of them.

“They did some crazy things, but it wasn’t anything that would affect the overall stability or the overall ability to get medicine, marijuana to the patients,” said David Couch, who led the campaign for the November ballot measure that legalized medical cannabis in the state.


California Moves to Unite Conflicting Cannabis Laws


Cannabis arrests in the state capital of Sacramento are down a whopping 500% since state voters passed Proposition 64, to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state.

And just in time for Earth Day weekend, US Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA) made an environmentally minded pitch for ending prohibition.

District of Columbia

On 4/20, several high-profile DC cannabis advocates were arrested while carrying out an act of civil disobedience on Capitol Hill. Their motive was to highlight a soon-to-expire recurring budget amendment that protects legal medical cannabis operations from unwanted federal intrusion. It was a gutsy gesture that attracted heaps of media attention but not universal praise.

“I don’t think it is the best way forward,” cannabis stalwart US Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) told US News. “We’re going to have many advocates and business people on Capitol Hill making the case in a calm, thoughtful, rational basis.”


Four Advocates Arrested at US Capitol ‘Smoke-in’


In November, Sunshine State voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2 to legalize medical cannabis. Since then, Florida’s largest newspaper Tampa Bay Times has dropped a series of editorials skewering Tallahassee lawmakers for getting it all wrong—on, well, basically everything. The Times’ latest, a blistering admonition from Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Ruth, is the most derisive yet.

“Last year, Floridians approved by 71.3 percent an amendment that broadly legalizes the use of medical marijuana. That was huge. You’d have a hard time getting 71.3 percent of the state to agree on the color of an orange. Then it was left to the Legislature to craft the rules for implementing the amendment. That’s the way the system is supposed to work. It’s called democracy and it’s all the rage, except in Florida.”

You can almost hear the mic drop.


Voters in Massachusetts ended prohibition last November after passing Question 4 at the polls. Since mid-December, it has been legal to grow and possess cannabis. Since then, we’ve watched a turf war play out over who has final regulatory authority over Massachusetts’s adult recreational market.


Montana Medical Marijuana Regulations a Vote Away From Governor’s Desk

New Hampshire

Mixed results on a mostly GOP-led effort to expand New Hampshire’s list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis: Chronic pain legislation, HB 157, passed the Senate and is expected to become law. But a similar, separate measure that would have included PTSD as a qualifying condition, HB 160, failed to clear the Senate hurdle and was sent back to the drawing board on committee.

New Jersey

Gov. Chris Christie is literally the most unpopular governor in America, and his notoriously anti-cannabis policies are partly to blame. But for cannabis advocates, there is light at the end of the tunnel: He’ll be gone in less than nine months, at which point NJ’s cannabis landscape should transform swiftly and dramatically.

Phil Murphy, a Democrat and former ambassador to Germany, is the odds-on favorite to replace Christie. His approach would be a dramatic departure from his predecessor’s.


Cannabis Legalization Looms Large in NJ Governor Race

“By carefully watching what other states have already done, we can ensure a legalization and taxation program that learns from their experiences and which will work from the outset,” Murphy told Leafly. “This also is about social justice, and ending a failed prohibition that has served mainly to put countless people—predominantly young men of color—behind bars and behind a huge roadblock to their futures. New Jersey should choose to be a leader.”


Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, the state’s chief fiscal officer, joined hundreds of cannabis advocates in Harrisburg to make the fiscal case for ending prohibition.


Pennsylvania MMJ Licensing Draws Hundreds of Applicants

“The state’s now looking for revenues and also looking to where they can save money,” DePasquale said, adding that “the most failed war in the history of the United States is the war of drugs, specifically when it comes to marijuana.”

Activists were thrilled to have backup.

“It was an unexpected surprise when Auditor General DePasquale added his voice to the call for legalization via a ‘tax and regulate’ model,” Pittsburg NORML’s Patrick Nightingale told Leafly. “PA is facing a huge budget deficit, projected by some to be as high as $3 billion. Mr. DePasquale knows we must find additional sources of funding, and he pointed out the most obvious source of potential revenue: cannabis. My only criticism is that I think he projected revenue is far too low, especially when the $200 million to $300 million PA spends annually on marijuana-related law enforcement, courts, and corrections is factored in.”


Vermont Senate Approves Legal Cannabis Measure, House Unlikely

South Dakota

Legalization advocates in South Dakota hope the third time’s a charm as they again circulate petitions to put cannabis reform on next year’s ballot. One ballot measure would legalize medical cannabis, while another would OK adult use. Advocates have until November to gather the requisite signatures—17,000 each—to qualify for the November 2018 election.

” We’re embracing this showdown,” advocate Melissa Mentele told Leafly. “When we get these measures on the ballot, that sets up an intriguing showdown with our notoriously anti-cannabis Attorney General Marty Jackley, who already announced his campaign for governor in 2018.

“The prospect of a showdown with South Dakota’s most notorious anti-cannabis villain,” she added, “makes my heart go pitter pat.”


Is Smoking Cannabis Before or After Surgery Safe?


A surgeon in Utah refused to perform a life-saving double-lung transplant on 20-year-old Ryan Hancey because he had THC metabolites in his blood.

“We do not transplant organs in patients with active alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drug use or dependencies until these issues are addressed,” Utah Health System explained in a written statement. Despite a frantic last-minute crowd-sourced effort to fly him to Philadelphia’s Penn Hospital for his transplant, Hancey died over the weekend.

West Virginia

Just in time for 4/20, West Virginia became the 29th state to adopt medical cannabis legislation. “This legislation is going to benefit countless West Virginia patients and families for years to come,” said MPP’s Matt Simon.

That’s common refrain in WV, where advocates are upbeat after such a heady win. And it’s definitely a huge step forward. But this glass is also half-empty. No homegrown, no smokable flowers, no out-of-state reciprocity. Nothing before mid-2019 at the earliest. And with this flawed legislation now officially on the books, many activists fear politicians will think their work on the issue is done.


West Virginia Gov’s Defense of Medical Marijuana Has Us All Verklempt

“This was done without much outside help,” Reverend John Wires told Leafly. He’s one of several unpaid lobbyists who, with nothing more than “gas money and shoe leather” helped make medical marijuana a reality in West Virginia.

“Imagine what we could have accomplished if we had the financial backing that has been thrown into other states,” he said. “It was the calls from the public that brought us over the top. All those in office know West Virginia citizens vote with their temper.”



Medical cannabis and job-related drug testing—it’s a common dilemma anywhere that medicinal cannabis is legal. Including Canada.


5 Things Trudeau’s Cannabis Interview Made Clear

“There’s nothing wrong in saying you can’t be stoned at work,” said Canadian employment lawyer Peter Straszynski.

But is there something wrong with discriminating against legal medical patients who medicate responsibly?


Four of the top-five finishers in the first round of France’s presidential election support decriminalizing cannabis, including Emmanuel Macron who finished first. The only opponent is Marine Le Pen, who finished second. Macron and Le Pen will face off May 8 to determine France’s next head of state.

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.

The Fate of Victoria’s First Legal Cannabis Crop

A year and a half ago, the state government of Victoria announced, with much fanfare, that it would cultivate a crop of cannabis for medical use. Premier Daniel Andrews called it one of his proudest days in politics.

Victoria, Australia’s first state to legalize medical cannabis, had just become the first state government to win a license under the federal government’s licensing scheme. And before long, Andrews was posting exclusive photos of the young plants to social media with the pride of a new father.

That first crop is all grown up—it was harvested in February. But where did it go from there?

“It is now being tested and formulated,” a Department of Health spokesman told Leafly. The department describes the procedures as “critical steps in developing and validating a product for treating the first patient cohort: children suffering from severe epilepsy.”


What Does Australia’s Medical Cannabis Legalization Actually Mean for Patients?

The locally made medical cannabis is expected to be made available to patients later this year, with pediatric epilepsy patients the first in line. For now, a smaller group of 29 Victorian children with seizure disorders are involved in a trial to see how cannabidiol oil (CBD) affects them. That CBD oil is imported from Canadian medical cannabis company Tilray at a reported cost of $1 million and is meant to provide a year’s supply of medicine to the 29 patients in the trial. (Editor’s note: Tilray’s parent company, Privateer Holdings, also owns Leafly.)

Asked why the Victorian government is pursuing its own cultivation program despite the federal government’s new allowance for imports, the Health Department spokesman said that a local cannabis industry provides the state with more than just access to legal medicine.


Australia Loosens Cannabis Import Rules to Speed Patient Access

“The Victorian medicinal cannabis framework is not just about making medicinal cannabis legal for eligible patients,” he said, “It is also about the medicinal cannabis products being produced to a consistent high quality and encouraging innovation, growth, and employment opportunities in Victoria.”

He added, “The Victorian government is leading the way by growing and manufacturing medicinal cannabis products for use in the Victorian access scheme, pending the development of industry-based manufacturing in Victoria.”

While the government says it’s on track to deliver the first batch by the middle of the year, it’s not clear how realistic that timeframe that is. Nevertheless, the government is sending a positive message to the nascent cannabis industry, and its decision to import will provide dozens of families with access to critical treatment.

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.

Montana Medical Marijuana Regulations a Vote Away From Governor’s Desk

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana lawmakers were a vote away Monday from sending the governor a bill that creates licenses, fees and regulations for medical marijuana distributors.

The bill endorsed by the Montana House attempts to regulate the medical marijuana industry after voters last November approved lifting restrictions that severely limited distribution of the drug.

The bill must pass a final House vote. The Senate previously approved it.


Montana Lawmakers Weigh Sales Tax on Medical Cannabis

The measure requires state officials to track marijuana in the state from seed to sale, to protect against the drug being sold on the black market. It also requires nurseries and distributors to be licensed, for the marijuana to be tested and for registered users to have photo identification cards.

One opponent, Republican Rep. Derek Skees of Kalispell, pointed out that marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Until that changes, any state-level regulation would still put Montanans who sell or use the drug at risk, he said.

“Can the feds not come in tomorrow and go after these distributors if they decide so?” Seeks said.

Republican Rep. Jeff Essmann of Billings says the measure is important to avoid having an unregulated industry such as the one that led to widespread abuses in 2010 and federal raids of dispensaries across the state the following year.


Montana Voted to Revive Dispensaries. Here’s How It’ll Happen.

“We cannot afford to go back to the wild, wild West of 2010,” Essmann said.

Essmann sponsored a bill in 2011 that severely restricted medical marijuana. Among other provisions, it prohibited medical marijuana distributors from making a profit and limited them to providing the drug to three patients.

That bill became law and was put on hold for five years while a court battle played out. Last year, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that the three-patient distributor limit was constitutional, effectively shutting down dispensaries across the state.

Voters in November approved an initiative that rolled back many of the restrictions in the 2011 law. The bill being considered now would set rules for that initiative, instead of letting the state Department of Public Health and Human Services do 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.

Colorado Cannabis Industry Sets Sales Records in Early ’17

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s marijuana industry — one of the most mature in the nation — continues to thrive, posting record-setting sales figures through the first two months of 2017.

Combined sales of medical and recreational marijuana in January and February 2017 totaled over $235 million, up 30 percent from the same period in 2016, Marijuana Business Daily reported Monday.

It’s too soon to know if sales will continue at such a strong clip throughout the rest of 2017.


Washington is Overtaking Colorado in Cannabis Sales

While medical marijuana sales are up slightly in 2017, sales of recreational marijuana have increased substantially. January 2017 recreational sales were 38 percent higher compared to January 2016, while February 2017 recreational sales were a whopping 48 percent above those in February 2016.

Wholesale prices in mid-January 2017 were down 33% in Colorado versus mid-January 2016.

In fact, February 2017 ranks as the second-highest monthly total for recreational marijuana sales in the Colorado program’s history, falling just short of the $88.2 million sold in September 2016.

The sales figures are especially striking because they come amid a time of historically low wholesale marijuana prices, meaning that a 48 percent increase in sales represents an even larger increase in consumption.

According to Cannabis Benchmarks — which tracks marijuana prices — wholesale marijuana prices in mid-January 2017 were down 33 percent in Colorado versus mid-January 2016.

Generally speaking, two market forces fuel rising sales: Increased spending by existing users and new consumers entering the market.

In Colorado, it’s likely a mixture of both.


Colorado Backs Off Plans for Cannabis Clubs

Considering the Trump administration’s relatively unfriendly stance toward recreational marijuana, it’s conceivable that more out-of-state visitors are visiting Colorado to stock up on product that may no longer be available in the coming months.

This phenomenon has been on full display in the firearms industry. Gun sales spiked during the Obama administration when many believed their Second Amendment rights were being threatened. But since president Trump took office and the perceived threat has subsided, firearm sales have sharply declined.

And while marijuana retailers aren’t passing 100 percent of the savings realized by the lower cost of wholesale marijuana on to their customers, retail prices are facing downward pressure — as dispensary and recreational store owners in especially competitive markets such as Denver have more room to compete on price.


‘Cheap Pot!’: What’s the Deal with the $6 Gram?

For consumers who have stuck to their black-market dealers, lower prices may have persuaded some to finally make the transition to the legal side of the industry.

For consumers already purchasing marijuana legally from a recreational store or dispensary, lower prices may be encouraging increased consumption.

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.

South Dakota Could See Cannabis Legalization on 2018 Ballot

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Supporters of a pair of ballot measures that would legalize medical and recreational cannabis in South Dakota plan to launch their push Saturday to get on the ballot in 2018.

Backers of the South Dakota effort would have to submit nearly 14,000 valid signatures for each initiative to the secretary of state by November 2017 to put them before voters in 2018. The kickoff event is in Sioux Falls.Melissa Mentele, founder and director of a group advancing the measures, said voters “should definitely expect to see us on the ballot.”


Data Dive: Legalization No Longer a Partisan Issue, 2016 Election Data Show

New Approach South Dakota’s medical cannabis proposal would allow patients with serious medical conditions and a health practitioner’s recommendation to use marijuana. Qualifying patients — such as people with cancer, AIDS and hepatitis C — would be able to get a registration card to possess up to 3 ounces of the plant.

People 21 and older would be able to possess and use marijuana under the recreational marijuana proposal. Possession for South Dakota residents would be limited to 1 ounce of marijuana, five plants and any excess cannabis produced by the plants if they are stored in the same facility where they were cultivated.

Marijuana retailers could be established under the plan, which would also impose an excise tax on cannabis.


Photos Prove Government-Grown Cannabis Is Basically Ditch Weed

People who are serving time or have been convicted of a non-violent marijuana offense would have their cases reviewed or sentences commuted under the proposal.

Medical marijuana initiatives in South Dakota have failed at the ballot box at least twice since 2006. Last year, the secretary of state’s office said backers didn’t turn in enough valid signatures to get on the ballot.

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.

State of the Leaf: Congressman Urges Trump to Respect State Cannabis

US News


Assembly Bill 1578 successfully cleared a committee vote, 5-2, and will now move to the full Assembly floor. The bill, authored by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), is designed to protect Californians who are operating lawfully under California cannabis laws. Absent a court order, it says, local and state agencies, including regulators and law enforcement, shall not assist in any federal enforcement actions against state-authorized cannabis activity.

“AB 1578 is intended to prevent federal government overreach in the era of Trump,” said Lynne Lyman, Drug Policy Alliance’s California director, testified at Tuesday’s committee hearing. “We do not want the federal government harassing, intimidating, or prosecuting people who are operating lawfully under state law.”


California Leaders Want to Block a Fed Move Against Cannabis

Also having its first hearing Tuesday was Senate Bill 180, by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), which cleared the Senate Public Safety Committee on a 5-2 vote. Dubbed the RISE (Repeal of Ineffective Sentencing Enhancements) Act, Mitchell’s bill would repeal the three-year sentencing enhancements that are tacked onto new drug-possession convictions for past drug convictions. These enhancements are the leading cause of long sentences that create crisis-level overcrowding in county jails.

Meanwhile, as the state gears up to open adult-use markets next year, a California Supreme Court committee is advising judges in the Golden State to stay away from investments in cannabis businesses. The court’s Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions said Wednesday that maintaining any interest in a business that involves medical or adult-use cannabis is incompatible with a judge’s obligation to follow the law. That’s because marijuana remains illegal under federal law despite its growing acceptance among states. According to its opinion, Maryland, Washington and Colorado also prohibit judicial involvement with marijuana.


Colorado Backs Off Plans for Cannabis Clubs


Three months in and the Trump administration has yet to articulate even a cursory cannabis policy. That’s frustrating to many in legal states, and one lawmaker is now addressing the president personally. “It’s about time our president tells us where exactly he stands on marijuana,” Congressman Jared Polis (D-Boulder) writes in a Denver Post op-ed. In it, Polis urges the White House to, for starters, “leave cannabis regulation to the states.” He makes a mostly dollars-and-cents argument in an apparent effort to appeal to Trump’s business background.

“Colorado has proven that allowing responsible adults to legally purchase marijuana gives money to classrooms rather than cartels; creates jobs rather than addicts; and boosts the economy rather than the prison population,” writes Polis, a member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.


Cannabis Now Has Its Own Congressional Caucus

Also in Colorado: DUI arrests fell by a third during the first quarter of the year! But the Colorado Department of Transportation is still singing a Reefer Madness tune.


Delaware’s new Gov. John Carney can’t make it through a town hall meeting without someone raising the legalization question. He’s been peppered with questions about ending cannabis prohibition during a tour the state to discuss this year’s budget priorities. The questions ultimately prompted him to host a legalization roundtable with advocates and reform-minded legislators on April 19.

“We need our governor to do the right thing and legalize.”

Kim Petters, advocate

“I’m glad it’s not on 4/20, because we have an event planned that day,” Delaware NORML executive director Cynthia Ferguson quipped.

Jokes aside, advocates are pressing hard. “I’m grateful the governor is willing to come on out and listen to what 61% of his constituents want to see happen,” one advocate, Kim Petters, told Leafly. “I just hope this isn’t a way to appease activists to keep us at bay another year. Legalization must happen in 2017. The cost and human toll of prohibition is just too high to wait any longer. We need our governor to do the right thing and legalize.”

District of Columbia

Advocates in the nation’s capital are gearing up for 4/20 in the most hospitable way possible: by rolling thousands of free—free!—joints to be passed out on Capitol Hill on the high holiday. It’s a repeat of the group’s widely publicized joint giveaway on the National Mall during Donald Trump’s inauguration. That stunt, meant as a gesture of resistance, was a global media sensation.


Washington DC’s Cannabis Scene Braces for the Trump Era

Advocates hope to generate a similar buzz on 4/20, but there’s a serious side of the demonstration, too. A recurring federal budget amendment that protects legitimate medical cannabis businesses from DOJ enforcement actions is set to expire at the end of the month. And nothing draws attention to that deadline quite like free joints on Capitol Hill.


Cannabis decriminalization in Florida? There’s a bill for that. Given the legislation’s dim prospects, however, it’s largely symbolic, timed to drive the debate as Florida lawmakers scramble to implement the state’s young medical cannabis program.

“There have been many, many bills proposed, but it’s never had a hearing. So this is a major step forward to end prohibition,” NORML Tallahassee’s Melissa Villar told reporters. “There have been many, many bills proposed, but it’s never had a hearing. So this is a major step forward to end prohibition.”


Florida Officials Clash With Voters Over Medical Cannabis Rules


A wide-ranging medical cannabis bill breezed through the Iowa Senate on Monday on a vote of 45-5. That got folks wondering if Iowa’s might become the 30th next state to legalize medical marijuana. But despite the near-unanimous vote, that doesn’t look likely. The Republican-dominated House of Representatives simply isn’t there yet. Many lawmakers view the Senate legislation as too flexible and overbroad in terms of qualifying conditions.


“The rollout so far is going well.”

Patrick Jameson, executive director, Medical Cannabis Commission

Patient registration for Maryland’s medical marijuana program has begun. Roughly 1,200 patients signed up the first week, during which anyone whose last name begins with letters A-L was permitted to apply. The number of registered physicians spiked as well, and currently sits at 250. Those numbers should double quickly as registration opens the entire state on April 24.

“We are having some good numbers that are coming in,” said Patrick Jameson, executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. “The rollout so far is going well.”

But as the program ramps up, Maryland’s Legislative Black Caucus has issued an ultimatum to Maryland’s General Assembly: Either address the lack of diversity in Maryland’s cannabis industry or say goodbye to the support of the caucus’s 51 members.

“How can the Democratic Party pass anything in the legislature without us? How can they be successful in the next election without us?” asked Del. Cheryl Glenn, who chairs the caucus. “They won’t, unless they resolve this.”


Bills Aim to Increase Diversity in Maryland Medical Marijuana Industry

New Hampshire

Bipartisan legislation to grant access to medical marijuana to patients with PTSD (House Bill 160) and chronic pain (HB 157) cleared important hurdles in Concord. Both bills sailed through the state’s powerful Senate Heath Committee. The PTSD bill advanced unanimously, 5-0, while the chronic pain bill legislation passed by a vote of 4-1. Both bills are sponsored primarily by Republican legislators.

Meanwhile, a measure to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis is gaining support in Concord. Even GOP Gov. Chris Sununu is on board.


Nebraska lawmakers should approve a measure allowing and regulating medical marijuana before voters bypass them, senators who support the bill said Wednesday. Legislators debated the bill for two hours without voting, the AP reports, and are unlikely to return to the issue this year unless supporters prove they have the 33 votes necessary to end a filibuster. Senators who oppose the measure should work on making it better because they may be running out of time to regulate medical cannabis, said Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln. Voters are now circulating two petitions for cannabis-related initiatives that could appear on the 2018 ballot. One would amend the state’s constitution to give residents the right to use, buy and sell cannabis and prohibit any laws restricting it, while the other would decriminalize possession of one ounce or less of the drug.


Nebraska Lawmakers Consider Allowing Medical Marijuana

North Dakota

A bill legalizing medical marijuana in North Dakota is on Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk. North Dakota voters overwhelmingly passed a medical cannabis referendum last November, but according to the governor, additional legislation was required.

“Without additional legislation, this would have been extremely problematic,” said Burgum, a Republican. “We’re committed to moving as quickly as we can.”

For now, North Dakota’s medical cannabis legislation does not include a home-grow component, and patients are required to take extra steps to obtain smokable cannabis.

Some advocates are giving legislators a regulators a year to get the show on the road. “If that doesn’t happen, there is going to be hell to be paid,” said Rilie Ray Morgan, who led the state’s recent referendum battle. “If it’s not available in a year, we will take people to court then. No ifs ands or buts about that.”


North Dakota Just Legalized Medical. Here’s What Happens Next.

“If this program isn’t running smoothy and properly by then, we’ll start another petition process to address the (onerous) licensing fees the legislature added,” Ray told Leafly. He estimates it could take a prospective business as much as $2 million in initial investment just to get its doors open. “The costs of production and selling to patients will be so far out of line, that’s my fear, that patients will be priced out of the program.”

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo isn’t ready to legalize cannabis. Not quite yet anyway. She’d rather study it first.


Last fall, Democratic leaders in Nashville and Memphis voted to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis. It was a widely regarded huge step forward for Tennessee’s two largest cities. That progress, however, was summarily undone by Republican lawmakers at the state level. Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Haslam last week signed a bill to strike down the reforms, putting an end to Nashville’s and Memphis’s seven-month experiment.


A very limited cannabis decriminalization measure passed through the Dallas City Council last week. The law, which makes cannabis possession in Texas’s third-largest city a civil offense punishable by a citation, goes into effect Oct. 1—unless, of course, lawmakers follow Tennessee’s lead and undo the local policy.


Texas Has a Medical Cannabis ‘Prescription’ Problem


Ending prohibition in Vermont has been on and off the table numerous times this year. This time last week, things looked very bleak indeed. Then suddenly Twitter’s abuzz with chatter there may be a Senate legalization vote this Friday in Montpelier. Good news. The bill would then advance to the House where it would (almost certainly) languish to death. Again.

Meanwhile, one by one, Vermont’s neighbors are ending prohibition. First Massachusetts, then Maine. What’s next? Quebec? Oh wait…


Canada to Legalize Marijuana. Here’s What You Need to Know

West Virginia

West Virginia on Wednesday became the 29th US state to legalize medical cannabis. Give a listen to Gov. Jim Justice’s speech on the matter.


West Virginia Gov’s Defense of Medical Marijuana Has Us All Verklempt

International News


The long-awaited legislation to legalize cannabis for adult use throughout Canada landed in Parliament last week, sparking mixed reactions among legalization advocates. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has directed Liberal MP Bill Blair, who’s also Toronto’s former police chief, to shepherd the reform to fruition.


Canadian Critics Say Legalization Act Is Good, But Not Perfect

Best ETA for legal cannabis in Canada? Mid-2018. Hopefully in time for Canada Day.

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.

Could Synthetic Cannabinoids Topple Australia’s Cannabis Market?

Australian cannabis stocks are hot right now, soaring on the back of reforms that will allow companies to cultivate medical cannabis in the country. Growers and investors are ecstatic, but already a challenger is looming: synthetic cannabinoids, produced in a laboratory, which threaten to make traditional growing methods a thing of the past in the pharmaceutical industry.

Last year, Arizona-based drugmaker Insys Therapeutics donated $500,000 to fight the campaign to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state. But it wasn’t because the company’s chiefs are teetotalers. As the campaign was raging, Insys received US Food and Drug Administration approval for a lab-synthesized version of THC, in a drug called Syndros. Last month the DEA classified Syndros as a Schedule II drug—despite the fact that natural THC remains at Schedule I, more tightly controlled than opium or cocaine.


Fentanyl Maker Insys Is Running CBD Clinical Trials

While Insys wasn’t the first drugmaker to synthesize cannabinoids, its message exemplifies the pharmaceutical industry’s approach: Cannabis is bad, except when we’re selling it to you. (The company is currently making headlines for for paying “speakers fees” to doctors who have had their licenses suspended for overprescribing Insys’s fentanyl spray in the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic.)

What does all this mean for Australia’s cannabis market? One potential problem for Aussie growers and patients is that the country’s legislative framework around cannabis is focused on growing living plants and processing them into medicines. If global pharmaceutical companies can create and import equivalent medicines—effectively sidestepping Australia’s onerous, expensive cannabis regulations—the future of a national industry could be jeopardized.


Cannabis’s Entourage Effect: Why Whole Plant Medicine Matters

That’s not to say Australia couldn’t jumpstart a synthetic-cannabinoid industry of its own. Botanix Pharma, a small Australian company, is betting on just that. The company is using synthetic CBD to develop possible medicines for skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis. Synthesizing CBD is important to ensure product purity, the company has said.

It’s not only growers who are dubious of synthetic cannabinoids, however. Proponents of whole plant medicine point to what’s known as the entourage effect, the notion that the array of compounds in cannabis complement one another and are more effective than a single cannabinoid taken alone. The entourage effect got a boost from a much-cited 2015 study out of Israel, and it continues to fascinate researchers. More than 20 studies have been published on the topic this year alone.


9 Reasons Israel Is the Capital of Cannabis Research

We’re still a long way from fully understanding the complex, subtle interactions of the many  compounds in cannabis that act singly and in concert on our bodies. At this stage, even champions of the entourage effect tend to focus on interactions between small numbers of cannabinoids. The wide array of cannabinoids, and the possible combinations thereof, mean much more research is needed.

The clash between synthetic and whole-plant medical cannabis is an old one. Now the stage is set for it to play out Down Under. And while for now the focus is on medicine, there’s no reason why synthetic cannabis couldn’t one day replace adult-use products, too.

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.

Breaking: Canada to Legalize Marijuana. Here’s What You Need to Know

In an announcement that will have profound implications for cannabis legalization worldwide, Canada became the first G-7 nation to formally propose the full legalization and regulation of cannabis today. In a news conference in Ottawa, leaders of Canada’s health, justice, and public safety ministries revealed the Liberal government’s plan to end decades of cannabis prohibition. If adopted as planned, the new federal rules would allow the production, sale, and possession of cannabis by all adults 18 years and older. The federal government would license cannabis producers (growers), but will leave most regulations regarding distribution and sale up to the provinces.

Here’s what you need to know.

Q: When will legalization happen?
A: July 1, 2018. That’s the short answer. Media outlets have reported that the Liberal government’s proposal, if adopted, would legalize cannabis for adults nationwide by Canada Day, 2018. That date may shift as the legislation moves toward approval. It may also be reset away from Canada Day in order to not turn Canada Day into 4/20 North.


Here is Canada’s Full Legalization Bill

Who will be able to purchase, possess, and consume cannabis?
All adults. Canadians and visitors. Don Cherry and Justin Trudeau. Drake, Feist, Deadmau5, and Geddy Lee.

Hmm. That word “adult”: What’s the age requirement?
It’s a bit tricky. Federal law will set a minimum age of 18, but each province will be free to set its own age limit above that level. So in some provinces it may be legal only for adults age 19 or 21, or even 25, depending on what each province decides to adopt. That age limit restricts sales and outlaws providing cannabis to minors, and it bars advertising to minors or marketing promotional activities to young people.

Regardless, while young people under 18 could be hit with civil sanctions for cannabis, they wouldn’t face criminal prosecution for simple possession of small amounts.


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Who’s going to grow it? Who’s allowed to sell it?
The federal government will issue licenses to cannabis producers (growers), much as it currently does with medical marijuana licensed producers. Officials say this will ensure product quality and safety. Retail, on the other hand, would be left primarily to provinces.

The federal legislation allows for many scenarios. If a province doesn’t put in place a retail distribution or sales framework, the national government has authority to allow adult consumers to purchase directly from a federally licensed producer. Vending machines would be prohibited.


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Will I be able to buy at a cannabis store?
Whether to permit storefront dispensaries will be a decision left to provincial governments. If legal states in the US are any indication, some communities will welcome retail stores; others will likely ban them. If a province doesn’t put in place a retail distribution or sales framework, adult consumers may be able to purchase directly from a licensed producer.

How much can I have?
Adults can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis, or a little over an ounce.


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Can I grow my own?
Yes, but there are limits. Personal cultivation will be allowed up to four plants per residence, each with a height limit of 100 cm (3 feet, 3 inches). Note that the limit is per residence, not per person. So if you’re sharing a house with roommates, you don’t each get to grow four plants. One residence, no matter how large or small, may contain four growing plants. That’s it.

What will happen to current medical marijuana LPs?
Current medical cannabis regulations will remain in effect for the time being. The government plans to review them as adult-use regulations evolve in order to make any changes deemed necessary.


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What will happen to existing storefront dispensaries?
The federal legislation doesn’t address the current situation with unlicensed storefront dispensaries. The tone of the officials at today’s briefing indicated that they expected cannabis to be sold through retail storefronts, to be licensed by provinces and/or local municipalities. The key word there is “licensed.” That doesn’t mean existing dispensaries will turn legal or illegal overnight.

Will I be able to order cannabis through the mail, or ground delivery?
That will be determined by each province.


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What about infused edibles?
Edibles will be allowed and regulated for health and public safety. Cannabis products can’t contain nicotine, caffeine, or alcohol.

Is advertising allowed?
The government says its goal is to provide adults with factually accurate information in order to make informed choices about cannabis. To that end, advertisements aren’t allowed to make false or misleading claims, nor may they appeal to young people. They can, however, include levels of cannabinoids like THC and CBD, a product’s ingredients, strain names, and a company brand.

What about product packaging?
There were some last-minute rumors that the government could prohibit branding, the use of colors in packaging, and other visual design elements. But that’s not the case—not yet, at least. The legislation gives The legislation gives the federal government the authority to bring forward regulations. Those regulations will be set at a later date.

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.

State of the Leaf: Colorado Bans Co-ops, May Shelter Cannabis From Feds

US News


Given the state’s early embrace of legalization, it makes sense that Colorado would eventually export its industry know-how to the rest of the nation. By offering financing and “mini-MBA” mentoring to cannabis startups, a Boulder firm called Canopy advertises the chance for ganjapreneurs learn from Colorado’s triumphs and miscues.

Meanwhile, a bill to prohibit cannabis co-ops in the state is on Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk, awaiting his likely signature. This sucks. Co-ops are designed so small-scale cannabis growers can share operating costs for things like utilities and fertilizer. Regulators, however, worry co-ops make it too easy to divert legally grown cannabis to illegal or out-of-state markets.


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Colorado’s Republican-controlled House also passed a bill to allow cannabis growers and retailers to reclassify adult-use products as medical marijuana in the event of a federal crackdown. The bill is seen as the boldest bid yet by a legal-cannabis state to avoid federal intervention. It now heads to the Democrat-led House.


US Reps. Darren Soto (D-FL) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) have introduced a congressional bill, House Resolution 2020, which would reschedule cannabis under the federal Controlled Substances Act, moving the plant from Schedule I to Schedule III.


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While Soto and Gaetz occupy opposite wings of the political spectrum, they share one telling trait: youth. Gaetz is 34 and Soto just turned 40, suggesting the shift toward reform is more generational than political.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in Tallahassee are “bungling” the state’s medical cannabis program, critics say. Newspaper editorial boards have decried the Legislature’s inability to enact the will of 71% of Florida voters who legalized medical cannabis last November.

How bad is it?

“It’s been a train wreck so far,” writes the Miami News Times.


Cannabis Legalization Bills Make Splash in Congress


The pro-legalization advocacy group Coalition for a Safer Illinios organization made its debut amid a flurry of editorial board praise for legalization.

The new coalition brings together clergy, unions, civil rights organizations, and law enforcement in support of cannabis legalization bills sponsored by state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago).

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, both the Senate bill, SB 316, and House bill, HB 2353, will get their first hearing in Chicago next week.


Lawmakers advanced a pair of bills to legalize cannabidiol (CBD) oil as a medicine of last resort for individuals with seizure disorders.

The Senate advanced its bill on a 35–13, while the House vote was unanimous in support of the reform. But don’t let the blowout score fool you; the bill is narrow, covering only patients with intractable seizure disorders.


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“I don’t like it and I think it’s a mess,” state Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) said during the Senate debate, adding, “I am going to vote yes anyway because it’s the only mess around.”

Polls suggest 3 in 4 Hoosiers support medical marijuana legalization.

If the bill succeeds, all but two US states will have legalized some form of medical cannabis.

“Only Idaho and Kansas will lack either a CBD- or a medical cannabis law,” MPP’s Maggie Ellinger-Locke told Leafly, “but these [Indiana] bills are incredibly limited. And it will be interesting to see how they are reconciled in conference committee.”


Selling cannabis remains a crime in Maine despite a successful legalization referendum last November. But as Maine regulators work to get the state’s adult cannabis program up and running, a legal and economic gray area is emerging. Gifting cannabis is permitted in the state, creating a kind of commercial loophole that incentivizes entrepreneurs to creatively push the current legal boundaries to meet demand.


House OKs Maryland Bill to Boost Minority Cannabis Businesses


As the clock wound down on this year’s legislative session, Maryland lawmakers failed to add additional grow licenses to the state’s medical cannabis program.

“The House had sought to increase the licenses by five, to boost minority-owned businesses after a disparity study,” the Associated Press reported. “The Senate had pushed for seven more licenses, to help settle lawsuits filed by two companies that were bumped out of the top 15 chosen by a state commission to be finalists.”

Members of the Black Legislative Caucus of Maryland are calling for a special session after the bill, designed to create diversity ownership in the state’s developing medical marijuana industry, failed to pass in the session’s closing minutes.

Despite the missed deadline, Maryland is making progress on other fronts. Now four years after the law passed, Maryland patients and caregivers can finally register for medical marijuana ID cards.


What Is a Medical Marijuana Card?

“We have taken the next step in making Maryland’s long-awaited medical cannabis program a reality” Candace Junkin, longtime advocate from southern Maryland, told Leafly. “Dispensaries are expected to open this summer, so it’s important to get a doctor’s recommendation and register with the state now.”


In a thrilling result out of the nation’s heartland, Kansas City voters overwhelmingly chose to relax cannabis penalties in Missouri’s largest city. Small amounts of cannabis will now fetch a $25 fine. No jail time. Roughly 75% of voters chose reform, an absolute blowout.


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NORML Executive Director Erik X. Altieri told Leafly that Tuesday’s astonishing win came “thanks to the efforts of concerned citizens actively engaging in the democratic process and pushing to change an unjust law.”

“Kansas City will no longer arrest otherwise law abiding citizens for the simple possession of marijuana,” he added, “and in the process the city will free up law enforcement resources to better focus on combatting violent crime.”


Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, is home to nearly 80% of Nevada’s 2.7 million residents. With the county now back on track to allow dispensaries to open by July 1, pretty soon you can add adult-use cannabis to your Las Vegas adventure—sort of. Smoking at casinos (or anywhere with gambling) will initially be prohibited.


Vegas, Baby: Retail Cannabis Shops Could Open in July


Top Senate lawmakers in Vermont say passing a marijuana legalization bill is becoming exceedingly unlikely, the Associated Press reports. The Vermont House is still debating its version of a legalization bill, which would legalize personal cannabis use, possession, and cultivation. Just over three weeks remain in the legislative session, and Senate lawmakers expected the bill to get to them weeks ago.

Senate leaders also say the House bill would continue to allow for a black market, and they favor a law that would tax and regulate sales of the plant. A 2016 Senate measure that proposed a legal marijuana market died in the House last year.


Cannabis Legalization in Vermont is Dead

Vermont’s constitution disallows referendums, thwarting another avenue to legalize marijuana as other states have done.


Virginia will soon begin studying the merits of cannabis decriminalization. Ten years ago, this would have been a big deal, especially down south. But in 2017, merely setting up a study feels a bit limp.

“One step at a time. We’ll chalk this one up for a win,” Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam tweeted after the news broke.

Maybe he’s right. A baby step forward is still progress. And this latest push in Richmond is a bipartisan one.


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According to many on the front lines of reform efforts, the small step was essential for the process to advance.

“The Virginia State Crime Commission Decriminalization Study is an important procedural step in Virginia politics,” VA NORML’s Daniel Rouleau told Leafly.  “The study can be used to provide political cover for lawmakers unwilling to personally endorse marijuana reform, and provide pro-reform politicians the facts needed to persuade unconvinced colleagues of the need for decriminalization.

“Support for marijuana-related criminal justice reform is building in the General Assembly,” Rouleau continued, “but official findings from this study will likely push the legislature to adopt decriminalization. This policy change would not only help adult who personally use marijuana, but Virginia patients seeking effective medical marijuana treatments.”

West Virginia

A bill to legalize medical cannabis is sitting on Democratic Gov. Jim Justice’s desk, and he’s widely expected to sign it.

While the bill boasts a generous list of qualifying conditions, it does not include a home-grow provision. Nor are smokable flowers permitted. Likewise, West Virginia will have no reciprocal arrangement with other medical marijuana states.


Anti-Cannabis Group Violated CA Campaign Finance Laws, Commission Finds

International News


Legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in Canada is set to land this week, giving shape to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to legalize the plant nationally. In an expedited schedule, Canada’s Liberal government has vowed to legalize cannabis “on or before July 1, 2018.”


Ireland wants to generate revenue without raising taxes, and some think legal cannabis could help. It’s promising news in a nation still clawing its way back from a devastating economic recession.


At European Parliament Conference on Medical Cannabis, Ireland Takes Center Stage

Some, of course are still resistant to change—including one especially outspoken politician, Kate O’Connell from the ruling Fine Gael party. O’Connell, a pharmacist by trade, calls efforts to reform Ireland’s marijuana laws a “madness … verging on the immoral.”


The South American country of Uruguay made news when it legalized cannabis in December 2013—the first country ever to fully legalize the plant. After a drawn-out regulatory process, sales are finally set to begin in July. But not for tourists. This program is for Uruguayan citizens only—for now, at least.

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.

5 Questions to Ask Before Investing in Australia’s Cannabis Boom

Ever since Australia moved to legalize medical cannabis, dozens of Australian companies have bloomed and boomed, with shares climbing in value as Australian state governments continue to relax regulations.

But what about the risks still lurking in the nascent market? To succeed, these companies rely heavily on continued government reform. To avoid getting burned, investors should do their homework. Here are a few questions to get started.


Australian Cannabis Stocks Jostle for Top Spot

1. How Long Will It Take the Company to Get up and Running?

Applicants are first required to obtain a government-issued license. Then they must build a facility, be certified the Department of Health’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, and nail down other required permits. Only then can they begin growing cannabis—and presumably, bringing in revenue.

These steps can be laborious and needs to be navigated carefully. Investors should be on the lookout for companies with low overheads and enough capital to survive a waiting period that tends more to years than months.

2. Once the Company Is Producing Cannabis, What’s the Procedure for Turning It Into Medicine?

Under Australia’s strictly pharmaceutical framework, cannabis needs to be processed into medicine before it can be prescribed by doctors or delivered to patients. The Therapeutic Goods Administration controls medicine listings and has a rigorous process for listing new ones. Any company looking to create a new pharmaceutical would need to subject it to clinical trials, which can take years and cost millions of dollars.


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3. How Will the Company Sell Products at a Competitive Price?

Australia’s incredibly strict rules for medical cannabis require indoor grow operations and a range of high-security measures. Add to that the high cost of doing business in general in  Australia, and you’re looking at very pricey plants. Raw cannabis material used to produce pharmaceuticals are more likely to come from low-cost markets such as India or China.

Patenting strains, however, could create a viable and cost-effective way to produce novel strains—for example, ones that churns out high concentrations of some of the rarer cannabinoids. But that could require a sizeable R&D budget and specialty plant scientists, boosting overall expenses.

4. How Will the Company Compete With Large, Global Pharmaceutical Makers?

This is a tough one, as there aren’t many good answers to this question just yet. The supply chains, intellectual property, expertise. and market presence of massive pharmaceutical companies make for a tough competition. Giants will likely dominate the industry as soon as medicines come lose patent protections, as is common for most medicines.


Australia Loosens Cannabis Import Rules to Speed Patient Access

5. How Will the Company Compete With Synthetic Cannabinoids?

It’s a fact of the market that very few pharmaceutical products continue to use whole cannabis plants as inputs when they can manufacture largely similar medicines through industrial processing.

This is nothing new in health care. One classic example is that of salicylic acid, commonly used to treat warts, psoriasis, acne, and dandruff. Once obtained from the bark of willow trees, it is now cheaply synthesised and manufactured in factories. As advances are made in synthetic cannabinoids, it isn’t hard to imagine some cannabis greenhouses going the way of willow tree plantations.


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The Bottom Line

Despite widespread support for the decriminalization or legalization of cannabis, Australia’s only legal cannabis market for the foreseeable future is pharmaceutical. Australian companies seeking licenses to grow or process cannabis need a plan to operate in a global pharmaceutical framework marked by heavy regulation. Without that, even the meteoric gains seen by some Aussie cannabis stocks could turn out to be just a pipe dream.

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.