Patients Seek Cure For Medical Pot Dilemma

WASHINGTON:  Critics of medical marijuana often note that most of the people using the system aren’t actually sick — they’re just using it as a way to get cheap, untaxed pot.

And the critics aren’t entirely wrong. Even those in the medical marijuana community admit that there are likely more people gaming the system than there are people using it as intended.

But that’s not the entire story.

For seriously ill patients, the drug and medical access to it can be a lifesaver, life-extender or at least make life bearable — but because others abuse the system and because of the drug’s federally illegal status, medical marijuana can also be a patient’s nightmare.

Medical Marijuana Sales Climbing Higher In Maine

MAINE:  Medical marijuana sales at the state’s dispensaries grew more than 30 percent in 2014 to over $16 million, according to Maine Revenue Services — and that figure doesn’t include the thousands of people legally buying direct from growers.

Last year, the state recorded $16.2 million in sales and collected $892,885 in sales tax from the five owners who operate eight dispensaries, spokesman David Heidrich Jr. said.

Maine voters legalized medical marijuana in 1999. Dispensaries, including Remedy Compassion Center in Auburn, grow marijuana and sell to patients whose doctors certify that those patients have debilitating conditions that allow use under state law.

Heidrich said in 2013, dispensaries reported $12.5 million in sales and $636,986 in sales tax.


Virginia Senate Approves Bill To Allow Marijuana Oils For Treating Epilepsy

VIRGINIA:  The Virginia Senate passed a bill Thursday that would allow people with severe epilepsy to possess a form of medical marijuana without fear of criminal prosecution.

The measure would allow the use of two oils extracted from marijuana that lack the plant’s intoxicating properties but help alleviate debilitating seizures. The bill provides a way for epileptics or their legal guardians to avoid prosecution for possession of cannabidiol oil (also known as CBD) and THC-A oil.

Sponsored by Sen. David W. Marsden (D-Fairfax), the bill passed with near-unanimous support. Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) cast the lone vote against it.

The Dream Comes True: Pot-infused Pizza Sauce Comes To Marijuana Dispensaries

CALIFORNIA: Looks like the pizza industry is going to pot — literally.

L.A.-based Podey Pizza has started selling jars of pot-infused pizza sauce at marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington State and Colorado.

Each 5-ounce jar of Podey Pizza sauce sells for $20 and contains 300mg of medical cannabis per jar, enough for one large pizza or two smaller ones, according to Steve Thomas, Podey Pizza’s vice president of operations.

“You can eat three slices and be fully medicated,” he told HuffPost.


Council Amends Zoning Law For Medical Marijuana, Adult Use

ILLINOIS:  Similar to other municipalities within the state, the Park City Council amended their zoning ordinance Thursday to allow adult uses and medical cannabis uses within the city limits, but only as a conditional use, and with the ability to add regulations and location restrictions.

City Attorney Peer Karlovics, who worked with City Land Planner Al Maiden and the Zoning Board of Appeals to prepare the amendment, told aldermen that conditional use means that a public hearing must be held before official action is taken by the council.

The new ordinance conditionally limits adult uses and medical cannabis facilities to within 1,000 feet north of Washington Street or 1,000 feet south of Washington Street and east of Teske Boulevard. Setback standards and other provisions are also required.

On behalf of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Maiden conducted an in-depth study of Park City’s land use, and he found there were about 38 acres of the city’s 750 acres that might be appropriate for adult and medical cannabis dispensation usage. However, based upon the 1,000-foot setback, Maiden doubted that no space in the city would be large enough for a medical cannabis cultivation facility.


Florida Governor Signs Law Allowing Limited Medical Marijuana Use

FLORIDA:  Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a law on Monday allowing for the limited use of a special strain of marijuana to treat epileptic seizures and other diseases.

State lawmakers passed the measure this spring with bipartisan support after impassioned appeals from parents seeking access to the form of marijuana known as “Charlotte’s Web,” named for a Colorado girl whose epileptic seizures have shown some response to the drug.

The Charlotte’s Web substance is not for smoking and is specially cultivated to be very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the element that gets users high.

The law is not related to a more expansive medical marijuana referendum up for vote in November, with polls showing widespread support.

Potshots Over Florida’s Medical Marijuana Amendment

FLORIDA:  The gloves are off in the Amendment 2 battle to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.

The main pro-amendment group pleads for money for a final push while anti-amendment groups that have stayed largely in the shadows have come out swinging. Rhetoric is ramping up as each side takes potshots at the other’s credibility. The election is Nov. 4.

Supporters shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the fact Floridians are overwhelmingly in favor of medical marijuana, said Ben Pollara, manager of United for Care, the pro-Amendment 2 campaign. “We can’t take anything for granted.”

Polls show a favorability rate ranging from 60-88 percent, but they are just a snapshot in time, Pollara said. Sixty percent is needed for a constitutional amendment to pass.

Colorado Preparing To Spend $9 Million On Medical Marijuana Research

COLORADO:  More than a decade after voters here first said marijuana could be medicine, Colorado is preparing to embark on the largest state-funded effort to study the medical benefits of cannabis.

Under a bill signed this year by Gov. John Hickenlooper, the state health department will give out about $9 million in grantsin the next five years to researchers for marijuana studies. Most importantly, the research is expected to include clinical trials on the kinds of marijuana products actually being used in Colorado — something that federally funded studies on marijuana have lacked.

“Our intent is to be rigorous scientifically, but to also act with some expediency because these are products that a large percentage of our population is using today,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, the executive director and chief medical officer of the health department. “We want to make sure that what’s happening out there in everyday practice isn’t harming people.”

Nearly 20 years after California became the first state in the U.S. to pass a medical marijuana law, the research on marijuana’s health effects is still largely polarized.

Washington Medical Marijuana Business Tests Advertising Limits

WASHINGTON:  A Port Angeles-based medical marijuana company’s new advertising strategy is turning heads — and raising questions about cannabis marketing.

The business, called Chronically On Time, deploys an individual dressed in a green bear suit to advertise the company’s MMJ delivery service. “Buddy the Bear” stands on the sidewalk of busy streets, wearing a sandwich board with a promotional message while waving to passing cars.

Some locals feel that the mascot could appeal to kids, but the business owner said that is not the intent.

“We’re after the older crowd,” owner Liz Beavers told Seattle’s King 5 News. “People just need to be honest with kids. It’s a marijuana delivery service. It’s medicine.”

The Medical Cannabis Finish Line Is In Sight

image011By Shawn DeNae

The stage is set, the contenders are in place and we either cross that finish line by legitimizing medicinal use, cultivation and dispensing of medical cannabis in law or it’s finished all together.


A dedicated group striving to protect medical cannabis access in Washington State gathered on Thursday as starters in a sprint.  Kari Boiter, the Americans for Safe Access National Advocate of the Year, lead the discussion with bullet strength detail.  [Read more…]