Tag: Pending Legislation

Colorado Lawmakers Pass Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Approximately 8 million adults suffer from PTSD, including many military veterans. (WikiMedia Commons/USMC)

DENVER, CO — Lawmakers in the Colorado legislature have passed a measure to add post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in the state.

The measure, Senate Bill 17, will now be sent to the desk of Gov. John Hickenlooper for final approval.  It was approved

Previous attempts to add PTSD to the conditions that qualify a patient for medical marijuana in Colorado, most recently in 2015.

The Colorado Board of Health, which oversees the state medical marijuana program, has not added any new qualifying conditions since the program began in 2001.  Colorado voters approved medical marijuana in 2000,

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that is estimated to affect eight million Americans annually, including many military veterans returning from combat, as well as victims and witnesses of violent crimes, such as sexual assault.

Although adults 21 or older can purchase and possess up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado, allowing those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder access to the state’s medical marijuana program is beneficial for several reasons, including significantly lower taxes on medical marijuana versus recreational marijuana.

Medical marijuana patients can also possess up to two ounces of marijuana, double that of recreational users.

The bill will allow medical marijuana patients under 21 who suffer from PTSD legal access to marijuana for the first time.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


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.

Washington Lawmakers Send Marijuana Reform Bill to Governor

OLYMPIA, WA — Lawmakers in Washington state have sent a comprehensive marijuana reform bill to the desk of Governor Jay Inslee (D), making several changes to the state’s cannabis regulation policies.

The bi-partisan Senate Bill 5131 was sponsored by Sens. Anna Rivers [R] Steven Conway [D], and received overwhelming support in both chambers of the legislature.

Among the notable changes made by SB 5131 is a provision that makes it legal for adults 21 or older to share up marijuana with each other without compensation, provided it is out of public view.

Adults can share up to half an ounce of marijuana, 8 ounces of marijuana infused products in solid form, 36 ounces of marijuana infused liquids, or 3.5 grams of marijuana concentrates.

The products must still be in their original packaging and purchased from a state licensed dispensary.  While possession of up to one ounce of marijuana has been legal for adults 21 or older in the state, sharing cannabis remained a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

The bill also included language to allowing registered medical marijuana patients 18 years or older to purchase cannabis plants from dispensaries.

Under state law, home cultivation of cannabis is only allowed by registered medical marijuana patients, but state law previously did not explicitly allow the sale of seeds or clones to patients.

Non-patients, even those adults 21 or older, are not permitted to grow cannabis plants for recreational use. However, the SB 5131 instructs state regulators to study the feasibility of allowing home cultivation in the future, with a report on the findings due by December.

Advertising by marijuana retailers will be curtailed under the bill, however, including banning images of marijuana from any outdoor advertising.  Marijuana retailers will also be banned from targeting ads to people outside of Washington state, or from using any mascots or other images that could appeal to children.

The full text of Senate Bill 5131 can be found here.

Tags: , ,


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.

Vermont Moves Closer to Legalizing Recreational Marijuana for Adults

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont Senate approved a bill on Friday that would regulate the production and sale of marijuana and eliminate penalties for personal possession and cultivation by adults 21 and older.

The Senate amended H. 167, an unrelated House-approved bill, to replace it with a revised version of a marijuana regulation bill that passed last year in the Senate and failed in the House.

The Senate also amended H. 167 to include the same home cultivation provision that is included in H. 170, a bill that has been making its way through the House.  H. 170 would eliminate Vermont’s civil penalty for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana and remove penalties for possession of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants.

The Senate proposal would allow unlimited small-scale cultivation licenses for producers no larger than 500 sq feet.  The marijuana regulation bill that failed in the House last year, S. 241, did not include a home cultivation provision.

The Senate-amended version of H. 167 will receive one final vote before being sent back to the House for consideration.

“Most Vermonters think marijuana should be made legal for adults, and they’re looking to lawmakers to come up with a plan, said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project.  “We applaud the Senate for approving a thoughtful alternative to marijuana prohibition that would account for public health and improve public safety. We would love to see the House step up and join the Senate in supporting this sensible reform. If the House isn’t willing to support the Senate’s proposal, it at least needs to support its own Judiciary Committee’s plan and pass H. 170.”

Most Vermont voters are in favor of the policy changes proposed in H. 167 and H. 170, according to a survey conducted March 20-21 by Public Policy Polling. Fifty-seven percent support allowing adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana, and 54% support regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol. The results are available here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


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.

Time Runs Out on Compromise to Fix Maryland Medical Cannabis Program

ANNAPOLIS, MD — After long and difficult negotiations and consultation with advocates, industry stakeholders, and the Attorney General, legislators agreed on a compromise bill, HB 1443, to address the lack of diversity in the Maryland medical cannabis industry without delaying the program.

Unfortunately, the clock ran out on the last night of session and the final vote occurred at 12:02 a.m. — just after the end of session.

This is really unfortunate for two reasons. First, because two lawsuits that would have been dismissed if the bill had passed will continue; they could derail the entire program.

Second, even though African-Americans have borne the brunt of marijuana prohibition, being almost three times more likely than whites to be arrested for possession, no African-American-owned companies received pre-approval to grow or process cannabis.  This unfairness is why the legislative Black Caucus championed the bill.

Under Maryland law, the Governor is required to call a special session if a majority of legislators in both chambers of the General Assembly petition him to do so.

It appears the speaker of the House of Delegates, Mike Busch, is the primary obstacle to this happening. If you are a Maryland resident, please call the speaker’s office and ask him to do the right thing. A good bill with overwhelming support should not fail just because the clock ran out before the final shot hit the basket.

Tags: , , ,


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.

Oregon Governor Signs Legislation Protecting Cannabis Consumers’ Privacy

Oregon Governor Kate Brown

SALEM, OR — Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed legislation into law this week limiting the ability of government officials to obtain data identifying customers who purchase marijuana at state-licensed retail facilities.

Voters legalized the commercial production and retail sales of cannabis in November 2014. Retail sales of cannabis to those age 21 or older began in October 2015.

The new law, which took effect immediately upon signing, states “A marijuana retailer may not record and retain any information that may be used to identify a consumer.”

It also mandates retailers to destroy any existing customer records from their databases.

Lawmakers pushed for the measure following comments from the Trump administration threatening to ramp up the enforcement of federal anti-drug laws in states that have regulated the adult use of marijuana.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


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.

Governor Signs Bill Making West Virginia the 29th Medical Marijuana State

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (D) signs Senate Bill 386, the Medical Cannabis Act, on April 19, 2017. The Governor was joined for the bill signing by two of the initiative’s primary supporters, Senator Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha), as well as Senator Mike Woelfel (D-Cabell) and Dr. Rahul Gupta the State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health. (image/Office of the Governor)

CHARLESTON, WV. — Governor Jim Justice signed SB 386 into law on Wednesday, making West Virginia the 29th state in the nation to enact legislation allowing seriously ill patients to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

Senate Bill 386, titled the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, was introduced by Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and substantially amended in the House before receiving final legislative approval on April 6.

The bill charges the Bureau of Public Health with regulating medical marijuana growers, processors, and dispensaries. Patients with specifically listed qualifying medical conditions will be allowed to use extracts, tinctures, and other preparations of marijuana, but not marijuana in flower or leaf form. A summary of the bill is available here.

“West Virginians are compassionate people and this law will help our neighbors who are struggling with illness,” said Governor Justice. “How could you turn your back on a loved one who is suffering? This is a vehicle for our doctors to help the people.”

“This legislation is going to benefit countless West Virginia patients and families for years to come,” said Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project, who is a West Virginia native and graduate of West Virginia University. “Medical marijuana can be effective in treating a variety of debilitating conditions and symptoms. It is a proven pain reliever, and it is far less toxic and less addictive than a lot of prescription drugs. Providing patients with a safer alternative to opioids could turn out to be a godsend for this state.”

Six states have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws in the past 12 months. Three of those laws, including West Virginia’s, passed through Republican-controlled legislatures.

Lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Ohio approved them last April and June, respectively. The other three were approved by voters in November in states won by Donald Trump — Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota.

“Intensifying public support and a growing body of evidence are driving the rapid growth in the number of states adopting medical marijuana laws,” Simon said. “Lawmakers are also learning about marijuana’s medical benefits from friends, family members, and constituents who have experienced them firsthand in other states. More than nine out of 10 American voters think marijuana should be legal for medical purposes. In light of this near universal support, it is shocking that some legislatures still have not adopted effective medical marijuana laws.”

A February 2017 Quinnipiac University Poll found 93% of U.S. voters think marijuana should be legal for medical purposes.

Effective medical marijuana laws have now been enacted in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico. An additional 18 states have adopted medical marijuana laws that are ineffective because they are either unworkable or exceptionally restrictive.

Only three states — Idaho, Indiana, and Kansas — have not approved any form of medical marijuana law.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


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.

North Dakota Governor Signs Bill Amending Voter-Approved Medical Marijuana Initiative

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (North Dakota Office of the Governor)

BISMARK, ND — North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R) signed legislation on Tuesday amending provisions of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act – a voter-initiated measure approved by 65 percent of voters last November.

Senate Bill 2344 makes several significant changes to the law. Specifically, it removes provisions permitting patients the option to home cultivate their own cannabis if they do not reside within proximity to an operating dispensary.

It allows for the establishment of no more than two state-licensed cannabis producers and eight total dispensaries.

The law permits qualified patients to possess and inhale herbal forms of cannabis, but only if such preparations are explicitly authorized by the recommending physician.

Otherwise, patients must obtain cannabis-based medicines via tinctures, capsules, patches, or topical formulations.

Edibles and concentrates are not defined as “medical cannabinoid products” under the law.

Patients will be permitted to possess up to three ounces of cannabis or cannabis-infused products, but no more than 2,000 milligrams of THC, over a 30-day period.

The program is anticipated to be operational within a year.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


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.

Tennessee Governor Signs Law Repealing Citywide Decriminalization Statutes

NASHVILLE, TN — Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation last week repealing municipal statutes in Memphis and Nashville that reduced local penalties for marijuana possession offenders.

House Bill 173 nullifies both cities’ decriminalization ordinances and preempts any other city from enacting similar reforms.

City council members in Nashville and Memphis both passed ordinances last fall providing local law enforcement the discretion to cite and fine minor marijuana possession offenders in lieu of making an arrest and filing criminal charges.

Similar measures have recently been enacted in numerous cities throughout the southern United States, particularly in Florida.

Under Tennessee law, the possession of any amount of cannabis is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a criminal record.

Governor Haslam failed to express his motivation for signing the bill other than to say that he “deferred to the will of the legislature.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


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.

West Virginia Lawmakers Approve Amended Medical Marijuana Measure

“Welcome to West Virginia” sign along westbound U.S. Route 48 and West Virginia Route 55 east of Wardensville in Hardy County, West Virginia (Wikimedia/Famartin)

CHARLESTON, WV — Lawmakers in both chambers of the West Virginia legislature have approved a significantly amended version of Senate Bill 386, which seeks to establish a state-regulated medical cannabis program.

The measure now awaits action from Democrat Gov. Jim Justice, who has previously expressed support for permitting qualified patients to access cannabis therapy. If the governor fails to sign SB 386, it will become law without his signature.

West Virginia will become the 30th state to authorize by statute the physicians-recommended use of cannabis or cannabis-infused products.

Under the amended measure, qualified patients will be permitted to obtain cannabis-infused oils, pills, tinctures, or creams from a limited number of state-authorized dispensaries. Cannabis-based preparations will be produced by state-licensed growers and processors. Patients will not be permitted to grow their own cannabis, nor will they be able to legally access or smoke herbal formulations of the plant. Similar restrictive programs are presently in place in Minnesota and New York, and are awaiting implementation in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

To participate in the proposed program, both patients and physicians would need to be registered with the state. The Bureau of Public Health is mandated under the legislation to begin issuing patient identification cards by July 1, 2019.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


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.

Illinois Marijuana Legalization Hearings Coming to Chicago Next Week

(Flickr/Kristen Wall)

CHICAGO, IL — Sponsors of a proposal to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use in Illinois announced Wednesday that lawmakers will hold the first hearing on the bill next week in Chicago.

The Senate and House Appropriations committees will hold a joint hearing on SB 316 and HB 2353 on Wednesday, April 19, in the Michael A. Bilandic Building, according to Senate Committee Chairwoman Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago).

“Illinois’ marijuana policy is like an old car that the General Assembly has kept on the road these past few years by adding a new part and patching up some old ones,” Steans said. “The time has come to start discussing our options for replacing it with a newer model — something more modern and cost-effective with improved safety features.”

The lawmakers announced the details of the hearing during a news conference in the James R. Thompson Center. The event served as the formal launch of the Coalition for a Safer Illinois, which will mobilize support for ending marijuana prohibition in the state and advocate for SB 316 and HB 2353.

“Marijuana prohibition poses more potential harm to citizens and our community than marijuana itself,” said Rev. Alexander Sharp of Chicago, a spokesman for the coalition and executive director of Clergy for a New Drug Policy (CNDP). “It is forcing marijuana into a dangerous underground market where consumers may encounter violence, contaminated products, and other illegal drugs. Ending prohibition and regulating marijuana for adult use would make Illinois safer.”

The Coalition for a Safer Illinois is made up of citizens, community leaders, and local and national organizations includes CNDP, the ACLU of Illinois, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), and the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

“Most Americans recognize that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and a lot of lawmakers are just starting to come to grips with that fact,” said MPP Legislative Counsel Chris Lindsey. “Issuing marijuana possession citations to thousands of adults is not really making anyone safer. But what if law enforcement officials used all that time to address serious crimes instead? It could really make a difference.”

SB 316 and HB 2353 would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase limited amounts of marijuana. The state would license and regulate businesses to cultivate, process, test, and sell marijuana to adults, and it would create and enforce strict health and safety regulations, such as testing and labeling requirements and restrictions on marketing.

“We have a great opportunity to examine how these laws are working in other states and develop a system that will work best for Illinois,” Cassidy said. “There has been a lot of discussion about the tax revenue and other potential economic benefits. We also need to consider the potential public health and safety benefits of removing marijuana from the criminal market and actually controlling production and sales.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


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.