• Colorado Widow penalized for late husband's legal marijuana use

    July 19, 2018

    As an act of penalization, the state of Colorado is denying half the workers' compensation death benefits to a widow. She has been denied of the benefits as her husband had marijuana in his system when he died while working on a ski lift.

    According to KMGH-TV reports, Erika Lee's husband Adam Lee, was crushed to death in December underneath a ski escalator in Loveland. During the rescue operation it was found that he had marijuana in his system.

    In her reaction over the denial of the half the employee’s compensation death benefits, Erika says she's frustrated.

    “The system is saying that they are going to take away the benefits from me and my children because Adam Lee smoked a legal substance,” Erika said.

    Now Erika is planning to appeal against the state of Colorado’s decision by Pinnacol Assurance, a quasi-state workers' compensation agency.

    An administrative law judge is scheduled to conduct a hearing over the issue in the coming months.

    As per the law, state workers' compensation companies in Colorado can cut benefits by 50 percent if tests return positive for marijuana or any other controlled substance.
  • Medical Marijuana patient registry put on hold in Ohio

    July 18, 2018

    Ohio state regulators put on the launch of medical marijuana patient registry on hold. The launch was pushed back because of unexpected delays in bringing Ohio's newest treatment to market.

    The online registry was expected to begin early this month, however, Grant Miller, a spokesman for the pharmacy board, said that the agency has decided to push back the launch until officials have a clearer idea of when medical marijuana will be widely available.

    In a bid to receive an identification card, which is must to buy medical marijuana from any licensed dispensaries, patients and their caregivers are required to register with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

    Ohio medical marijuana patients were expected to get medical marijuana by September 8. However, none of the 25 cultivators licensed to grow marijuana received permission to begin planting in time to meet that deadline.

    "What we're doing now is reassessing what would be best for patients here in Ohio,'' Miller said. "We're trying to find the most suitable date (to launch the patient registry) for patients to be served well.''

    Miller said delaying the launch has nothing to do with the pharmacy department's readiness.

    "The registry has been tested, and we're confident in its functionality and usage,'' Miller said. "It basically just has to be turned on. Whenever we have a date, we'll be ready.''

    The Ohio Department of Commerce, which regulates the growers, meanwhile, is yet to set a date when it expects medical marijuana to be available to be dispensed in Ohio.

    Only FN Group Holdings in Ravenna has been given the green signal to start growing marijuana as it has passed the inspection test.

    Ohio legalized medical marijuana after it passed the House Bill 523 in June 2016. It said people could buy it out of state if they had a doctor's note – although few people have taken that option.

  • Jefferson University to offer Medical Marijuana programs

    July 14, 2018

    Philadelphia based Thomas Jefferson University is all set to offer graduate-level certificate programs in medical marijuana. As per reports, the University will offer two graduate certificate programs in cannabis medicine and cannabinoid pharmacology.

    The courses will be offered at the school's Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp. The University will also begin a third program on cannabinoid chemistry and toxicology from 2019.

    According to Charles Pollack, head of the Lambert Center, health care professionals have had few evidence-based educational options to learn about medical marijuana's benefits and risks in clinical settings.

    However, it is expected that these will change with the introduction of these new programs. The center claims this will be the nation's first graduate-level certificate program in medical marijuana. Till date, more than 30 states have legalized marijuana in some form.

    Last year, a government-commissioned group concluded the lack of scientific information about marijuana poses a risk to public health.

  • Michigan Regulators award first Medical Marijuana licenses

    July 14, 2018

    The Michigan regulators on Thursday approved the first medical marijuana operating licenses under a new regulatory regime. According to the Alma Morning Sun, the regulators granted the licenses for four large grow operations.

    The CannArbor provisioning center in Ann Arbor, Arbor Kitchen edibles maker in Ann Arbor, VB Chesaning cultivator in Chesaning (four grow licenses) and Capitol Transport in Lansing are operations which were awarded the first medical marijuana licenses. The applicants were approved, mostly on 4-1 votes.

    Each license holder is permitted to grow up to 1,500 plants. However, the business owners won’t be able to operate for at least for the next one month. This apart, they have not been issued any testing facility licenses, as a result they can’t test or sell the actual marijuana and the products produced from the weed as of now. “We’re excited that we’ve actually approved the first license, so we can move forward,” said Andrew Brisbo, director of the state’s Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.

    “We continue to work with the few (testing labs) who are close in the process to try and get them licensed as well. We’re aware of the fact that not having a licensed lab presents a challenge for the other types of facilities so we’ll work with them closely on how to proceed,” he added.

    “I think we’ll have a few up at the August meeting for consideration by the board.” The board also gave preliminary approval to 16 businesses, which will have to get approval from their local communities before they are awarded a final license.

    But the board denied the preliminary approval to five applicants. The approvals of the medical marijuana licenses considered to be a milestone as the move is expected to create a $700-million industry in the state. The board has considered applications for 54 licenses out of 594 applications for medical marijuana it has received so far.

    As many as 40 of those have been given preliminary approval and 14 have been denied. The licensing board meets again on August 9. The new regulatory structure is designed to provide legal clarity to a chaotic market that arose after voters authorized MMJ use in 2008.

  • Judge drops suit of Church that wants Marijuana be a sacrament

    July 09, 2018

    Judge drops suit of Church that wants Marijuana be a sacramentIn a setback for an Indianapolis church that wants marijuana to be recognized as a sacrament, a judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by the pot-smoking church.

    According to the Indianapolish Star, the First Church of Cannabis filed the lawsuit 3 years ago in Marion Circuit Court, which was dropped by Judge Sheryl Lynch on Friday.

    The First Church of Cannabis had filed the lawsuit on grounds that pot was considered a sacrament under Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    Dismissing the suit of the church, Judge Sheryl Lynch said that the church’s love for marijuana does not count as practicing a religion.

    This apart, the Judge also said that if the use and possession of illegal marijuana is allowed it would have negative impact on the society.

    On the other hand, the pro-cannabis church group argued that the government has no right to decide which religious beliefs should be protected.

    The church’s attorney had told The Star last week he plans to appeal should the church lose the case.

  • Maine Gov. Paul LePage vetoes Medical Marijuana Bill

    July 09, 2018

    Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) on Friday overwhelmingly vetoed a medical cannabis bill that would allow doctors to certify patient use for any medical reason.

    Despite receiving strong bipartisan support, LePage, a vocal opponent of marijuana, vetoed the legislation. The set of reforms to the state’s medical marijuana program which the Governor decided to introduce will also help in creating fund for medical marijuana research and allowing dispensaries to become for-profit institutions.

    Besides, increase the number of dispensaries in the state from eight to 14. However, the legislature now has the option of overriding the veto, which can be done with a 2/3rds vote. The measure passed with over 2/3rds voting in favor, so there is enough support for an override as long as lawmakers are willing to contradict the governor on this particular issue.

    Currently, Maine allows residents to obtain a medical marijuana card if they have certain qualifying conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Alzheimer’s disease. The Governor also vetoed funding for the country jails. He said that the country jails already get enough money from the state and are not accountable for how they spend it.

    Lawmakers will deal with these and dozens of other vetoes when they reconvene Monday. In Maine, medical marijuana has been legal since 1999. The state legalized cannabis for recreational purposes in 2013.

  • Man sentenced to 5 years for growing marijuana on federal land in Colorado

    July 05, 2018

    A 33-year-old man of Mesa County has been awarded five years of imprisonment for growing thousands of marijuana plants on an island in the Colorado River in Colorado.

    Chief U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger sentenced Santos Ramirez-Carrillo to serve 60 months in federal prison to conspiracy to manufacture and possess with intent to distribute 50 or more marijuana plants. This was informed by U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Special Agent in Charge Gary Mannino and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Denver Division Special Agent in Charge William T. McDermott. 

    According to court records, Ramirez-Carrillo and another man - Ramirez-Alvarez - started living and working on an island in the Colorado River near DeBeque in May 2017 and worked with other people to grow marijuana in the area, including on federally owned land. The island is partly comprised of federal land, administered by BLM. 

    Agents from several federal, local and state agencies executed a search warrant on the island on September 7, 2017. During the search of the islands, agents and officers discovered 9,156 plants. 

    Officials say the marijuana growing, which is illegal on federal land, can have a severe effect on the environment.

    Speaking about the sentencing of Santos Ramirez-Carrillo U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer said "Federal lands belong to all of us and we will continue to pursue and punish people who abuse those lands and exploit them for criminal purposes.”