• US Governor signs Historic Marijuana Legalization Bill

    September 21, 2018

    Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres Friday signed H.B. 20-178 into law Friday. With this, Northern Mariana Islands became the first U.S. territory to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use.

    With the Governor's signature, it is also the first U.S. jurisdiction to do so through its legislature, rather than via ballot initiative.

    The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)—a tiny Pacific territory with a population of just over 50,000.

    H.B. 20-178, titled the Taulamwaar Sensible CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018, was approved 6-0-2 in the Senate last week and 18-1-1 in the House on August 8.

    Under the new law, it is now legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana (one ounce), marijuana-infused products (16 ounces in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form), and marijuana extracts (five grams).

    Regulators will issue licenses for cannabis producers, testing facilities, processors, retailers, wholesalers and lounges and the home cultivation of a small number of plants will be allowed as per the new law.

    CNMI is the first place in the U.S. to launch a commercial cannabis legalization system through an act of lawmakers—as opposed to by voters with a ballot initiative. Vermont legislators passed a bill to end marijuana prohibition this year, but it only allows for possession and home cultivation, not legal sales.

    The territory is also the first U.S. jurisdiction to go from having cannabis totally illegal to allowing recreational use without first having a medical marijuana program.

    In U.S, eight states namely Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, voters have adopted the laws legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use. However, the lawmakers in Vermont and voters in D.C. have adopted laws that make marijuana possession and cultivation legal for adults, but they do not regulate commercial production or sales.

  • Chicopee Medical marijuana Dispensary to have Grand Opening

    September 18, 2018

    The Mass Alternative Care Inc., a medical marijuana dispensary that became operational last month at 1247 East Main St., will have a grand opening this Friday.

    Ronald P. Campurciani, the former West Springfield police chief, who is a security consultant for the company, Monday informed that the grand opening will have a cake cutting ceremony in the parking lot of the medical marijuana dispensary at 11 a.m.

    People are invited for the event but interior tours of the facility are unavailable and only employees, authorized visitors and clients with medical marijuana identification cards are permitted inside, he added.

    Campurciani further said that Chicopee Mayor Richard J. Kos along with the members of the City Council will be among other distinguished guests who are scheduled to attend the grand opening.

    Mass Alternative Care Inc. started its operational after getting a license from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Besides, it has obtained a special permit and a zone change from the Planning Board and City Council.

    The company had spent $6 million to renovate the Chicopee Engineering Associates building to the current facility.

    Now it is pursuing a license from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission to produce and dispense over 25 different kinds of recreational marijuana products, from edibles to capsules, at the same location.

    According to Mass Alternative Care Inc. officials , the company will produce four thousand pounds of marijuana at the site every year.

  • Medical Marijuana campaign kicks off in Utah

    September 16, 2018

    Proposition 2, a medical marijuana campaign officially kicked off Saturday at the Overstock.com headquarters.

    Hundreds of supporters from different age group participated actively at the event, which included music, food trucks and bounce houses, picking up T-shirts and lawn signs to distribute in advance of the November election.

    Faith Corbin — a 14-year-old with brain tumor – also came with her mother and younger siblings to show her support for Proposition 2. Though Corbin isn’t old enough to cast a ballot, is anxiously awaiting the vote.

    Like Corbin, Carolyn Bayly of Lehi, who is in a similar situation, also came forward to extend her support.

    “I don’t know if medical marijuana would be effective for me,” said Bayly, who takes seven medications for her multiple sclerosis, and many of the drugs have negative side effects. “But I’d like my doctor to have the option to prescribe it,” she added.

    The Proposition 2, if approved by Utah voters, would allow the patients to get a medical marijuana card with a doctor's recommendation to obtain, possess, or cultivate cannabis for medicinal use despite marijuana's lack of the normal Food and Drug Administration testing for safety and efficacy.

    As per a Dan Jones and Associates poll, conducted for UtahPolicy.com, found 64 percent of likely voters to be “somewhat” or “strongly” in support of the measure.

    However, there are several groups who are opposing the move vehemently saying the initiative as written lacks procedural safeguards.

    Two of the strong oppositions of Proposition 2, are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Drug Safe Utah Coalition — made up of medical experts, clergy, law enforcement, educators and business leaders.

    Most of the states in U.S that have medical marijuana laws have private dispensaries, rather than pharmacies, that distribute cannabis products containing the psychoactive ingredient THC.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as per the law, prohibits the doctors from prescribing marijuana. It had in June approved the first medication that’s derived from cannabis.

    Currently, 31 states have legalized the plant for its medicinal use in U.S.

  • Man arrested while trying to take marijuana that washed up on Florida Beach

    September 15, 2018

    Flagler County Sheriff's Officer arrested a Florida man while he was trying to take marijuana that had washed ashore on the beach.

    According to reports, authorities went to Jungle Hut Park after getting a call about marijuana washing up on the beach on Thursday morning.

    The caller also said that she saw Robert Kelley, 61, of Palm Coast, Florida, trying to take some of the packages of marijuana – and other people were reportedly trying to do the same.

    After reaching the beach, the deputies found Kelley attempting to open the packaging and carry them after finding marijuana in it.

    When questioned about his activities, Kelley told the deputies he had taken the pot and was keeping it in his car and was waiting for the arrival of law enforcement officers.

    Later, the officials found an 11-pound brick of marijuana inside the vehicle that had been wrapped in a brown beach towel following which Kelley was arrested for possession of marijuana over 20 grams.

    Post his arrest, Kelley is at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility under $2,500 bond.

    The U.S. Customs and Border Protection, meanwhile, is continuing the investigation after getting the recovered marijuana from the deputies.

    The deputies said that they have recovered about 100 pounds of marijuana that has washed up on beaches in Flagler County during the past two days.

  • 98 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to be closed in Michigan

    September 13, 2018

    As many as 98 medical marijuana dispensaries will have to shut down in Michigan under new emergency rules adopted by the state Tuesday.

    The 98 dispensaries will close their doors as they haven’t submitted the second step of the application in a timely manner or at all after submitting their initial applications by February 15.

    The Medical Marijuana Licensing Board is all set to serve them the cease and desist orders next week, following which the norm violators must shut down their dispensaries.

    The state will release the list of the 98 dispensaries later this month. If they continue operating, the owners risk not being able to get a license at all.

    On the other hand, about 108 medical marijuana dispensaries that have been operating while they’re waiting for the board’s consideration for their application for a license will get to stay open until December. 

    As per reports, these 108 medical marijuana dispensaries, which got their initial applications in by February 15, had submitted the second step of the application process by June 15.

    More than 200 dispensaries that were operating, but didn't submit applications for licenses, were issued cease and desist letters from the state in March ordering them to shut down.

    The new December 15 deadline is the third time the department has extended the deadline for dispensaries to get a license or shut down.

    The medical marijuana became legal in Michigan after voters approved it in 2008. The state will consider legalizing weed for recreational use on Nov. 6.

    The licensing of recreational marijuana businesses, if gets approved by voters, will be the responsibility of LARA, not the politically-appointed board that hands out licenses for medical marijuana businesses.

  • Two arrested on charges of Child Endangerment

    September 10, 2018

    The New Scotland police arrested two persons after a 3-year-old girl handed them a bag of marijuana from a car during a traffic stop Thursday.

    The state police arrested driver of a car Scott Hill, 26, and passenger Megan Karl, 33, each of Clarksville. They were arrested on charges of child endangerment.

    According to a news release Sunday, the state police stopped the car along Route 32 in New Scotland, South West of Albany, when they found Scott Hill with an ashtray that contained the ends of marijuana cigarettes. While a trooper interviewed the driver outside of the car, another trooper checked on a 3-year-old girl who was in the backseat without a proper child safety restraint.

    After noticing the trooper, the child reached under a front seat and pulled out and handed it over to the police. Apart from containing a bag of marijuana, the cops say that the pouch also had a metal grinding device and smoking pipe, both containing the drug, inside it.  

    After finding the drug from the vehicle, police arrested Scott Hill and Megan Karl for child endangerment. Scott Hill was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.  

    While the girl was turned over to relatives, the Albany County Child Protective Services was informed of the arrests.

    Police said Hill and Karl were released after they appeared in the New Scotland Town Court. Both of them are salted to return to court at a future date.

  • Canadian Military issues Marijuana Policy

    September 08, 2018

    The Canadian military Friday issued consumption guidelines on recreational marijuana for its forces.

    Defense Chief Gen. Jonathan Vance says, as per the guidelines, the Armed Forces will be permitted to possess and consume cannabis as long as they follow the federal and provincial laws. However, it warned that those in uniform could face disciplinary action or charges if they fail to comply.

    However, they will not be allowed to consume cannabis during a shift or domestic exercise. They will not be allowed to bring cannabis on any aircraft or vessel. Besides, they are not permitted to bring cannabis with them internationally.

    Service members who plan to handle or maintain a weapon, ammunition or piece of equipment, have to face a 24-hour restriction while the military personnel who are about to serve on submarines and military aircraft, or who are planning to operate a drone, will face a 28-day restriction.

    Voluntary medical treatment will be given to any soldier found to have an addiction to cannabis, or a “cannabis use disorder.” If the member denies treatment, a permanent note is added to their medical file.

    As per the guidelines, those who break the rules or are otherwise suspected of “misusing cannabis” can face a variety of disciplinary actions as well as charges.

    The service members who suspect a colleague of such misuse also have been asked to report the matter.

    The supervisors have been given directions on how to detect someone who might be impaired while on the job, including the presence of glassy eyes and slow reaction times.

    The restriction will apply to all 100,000 uniformed members of the Canadian Armed Forces as well as the roughly 25,000 civilians currently employed by the Department of National Defense.

    The Canadian Military’s guidelines will come into effect on the same day when the recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada on October 17.