• Colorado imposes taxes to stop illegal marijuana business

    June 12, 2017

    In a first, Colorado, the first recreational marijuana market in the United States, has started imposing marijuana taxes to curb illegal operations of marijuana. The fund will be used by the police department to curb the growing illegal business.

    Governor John Hickenlooper is also expected to sign a Bill to reduce the amount of cannabis grown in homes to 12 plants, irrespective of the number of family members living in a house. As per the current law, an adult over 21 years is allowed to grow six plants each in a house.

    The law signed by the Governor assigns nearly $6 million a year as tax revenue as reimbursement to the police for investigating black marketing of the pot activity. The amount, however, has increased since recreational cannabis was legalized by the State five years ago.

    The Governor has stated the move is set to curb the shipping of illegal cannabis out of State. The decision has been backed by the police department, which had often held legalization of marijuana by the State as a major reason for the growth of the industry.

    The legal growers of pot had also blacked the Bill by stating that illegal marijuana operations had reduced the prices of legally-grown cannabis, thereby hampering the growth of the industry.

    More than 22,000 pounds of cannabis had been seized following several raids conducted by the authorities last year. Most of the seized pot were intended for shipping outside the State.

    Though, there is a facility in Oregon through which 20 per cent of the taxes collected through illegal pot business is set aside for local enforcement agencies and 15 per cent for the State police, but there was no facility to direct the amount to be used for cracking down illegal marijuana business.
  • Medical cannabis to be discussed in Special Florida Legislative session

    June 12, 2017

    The issue over regulation of medical marijuana will be taken up in a special session, Legislative Leaders have informed. The decision was confirmed by Senate President Joe Negron and Speaker Richard Corcoran. The subject will be added to the three-day special session.

    No agreement was reached when the House and the Senate had debated the medical marijuana in a legislative session in May. Last year, the Florida people had approved use of medical cannabis through a 71 per cent mandate. The regulation proposal by the Senate was introduced by Senator Rob Bradley, who will initiate the Bill.

    The Senator is hopeful that the Bill will lead to a splurge in the number of medical cannabis treatment clinics and offer opportunities for research, while also ensuring safety.

    Though the House had planned to limit one grower to 100 dispensaries and planned to allow thousands of dispensaries by the time the state hit 300,000 patients, the Senate plan only allowed 283 dispensaries.

    Currently, seven licensed marijuana growers exist, and the Bill will include ten new medical licensed growers. Unless the Legislature takes further action, the limit on dispensaries will expires

    The Legislature would also look into the tax issue. While Senate Negron is backing charging sales tax on medical marijuana and tools used to administer it, the House proposed not charging sales tax for two years.

    Governor Rick Scott had called for the lawmakers to gather in the Capitol for a three-day special session to discuss on his rejection of education budget. The Bill also proposes to establish a medical cannabis research institute in Tampa. Though the money had been included in the budget, it was vetoed by Governor Scott.

    However, now the subject of medical marijuana has been added to the special session.

  • Massachusetts-based dispensary introduces pot pizza for Patients

    June 12, 2017

    Marijuana patients, who don’t prefer pot medication in the form of smoke or sweets, have a rather new option. A medical cannabis dispensary based in Massachusetts has offered another aromatic option – marijuana pizza.

    Ermont Inc., a medical marijuana dispensary in Quincy, introduced this new form of medication to its menu. The six-inch frozen pizza is infused with 125 milligrams of Tetrahydrocannabino (THC) concentrate, manufactured by the company. The dispensary which started the sale around four weeks back, are already getting a great response.

    “We are pleased to offer a new, more appetizing way for our patients to alleviate pain and discomfort. The combination of a food as popular as pizza with the medicinal benefits of marijuana represents an important milestone in the evolution of our high-quality marijuana-infused products menu,” said Jack Hudson, CEO and founder of Ermont, in a statement.

    The pizza is available for $38. The company has sold about 200 pizzas already. The option is available only for people with medical marijuana cards issued by the State.

    Earlier, dispensaries had introduced an option of pot brownies for its patients. Ermont, which opened in October 2016, also offers hot fudge, peanut butter, olive oil, honey and a wide range of other options with THC to choose from.

    Ermont’s Director of Operations Seth Yaffe, who was part of the team which decided on the menu said the option was introduced to offer a meal without sugar. He also added that the edibles had a longer lasting effect of THC in comparison to smoking cannabis.

    The pizza has a crispy crust with cheese and tomato sauce, but is packed in a tamperproof container, in order to be distinguished from other goods. The patients also have options to choose the toppings.

  • Maryland Highest Court orders stay in Medical Cannabis case

    June 07, 2017

    Challenging the State’s decision of awarding medical marijuana licenses, the highest Court of Maryland took up the case in order to prevent the State from awarding further licenses.

    The Court of Appeals ordered a stay over the proceedings in Baltimore City Circuit Court from holding a scheduled meeting over temporary stopping of cannabis program.

    Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera put the stay order till ‘further notice.’ The notice was served after lawyers representing 13 put of 15 companies that are finalist in licensing process asked the Court of Appeals to intervene.

    A temporary restraining order was issued last week by Judge Barry Williams which stopped the Marijuana Commission from approving any licenses until the lawsuit is addressed.

     “Individuals who may or could be affected by a court decision have a due-process right to participate in that hearing to defend themselves,” Attorney Alan Rifkin said.

    A suit had been filed by Alternative Medicine Maryland, LLC, a company whose application was not chosen for medical marijuana license. The company had alleged the state commission responsible for awarding licenses had not considered racial diversity among applicants. Even as Alternative Medicine Maryland was not selected as the finalist, ForwardGro, a Stevensville based company is the only company which has been awarded a final license to grow marijuana.

    The temporary restraining order had led to protests by several medical cannabis patients, who were joined by advocates for a demonstration outside Courthouse East. The advocates are hoping for medical cannabis rollout by the end of this year.

    Though the first medical marijuana law was approved by the State in 2013, the attempt was delayed. In 2014, the law was changed to accommodate State-certified doctors to recommend medical marijuana for patients with chronic diseases. The medical cannabis program is one of the slowest in Maryland.

  • Medical Marijuana extract can reduce severe Epilepsy among Kids: Study

    May 30, 2017

    A recent study published by New England Journal of Medicine on pot medication, has revealed that a compound (oil) derived from marijuana can boost in reducing seizures among kids suffering from severe Epilepsy. The research ascertains the claims made by some parents for years now.

    The compound ‘Cannabidol,’ is an oil derived from marijuana which can be purified and used.

    The study was conducted on 120 children in the United States and Europe, aged between 2 to 18. As a part of the study, the children suffering from severe epilepsy were administered doses of liquid Cannabidol, two times a day or an inactive placebo treatment for two weeks. The report suggests around 43 per cent of kids showed a drop of 50 per cent during the course of the study.

    The report published after the survey states that, “Among patients with the Dravet syndrome, cannabidiol resulted in a greater reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency than placebo and was associated with higher rates of adverse events.”

    Though there have been instances of pot medication treating seizures in severe epilepsy, a survey and documentation has been done for the first time by scientists.

    However, the study also noted several side-effects of using the treatment including diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite and gastrointestinal symptoms. Elevation in liver enzymes was also observed in a few patients leading to liver toxicity.

    Cannabidol is not available to anyone except the manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals, who also funded the study. Since, the marijuana compound id not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the company now plans to send it for approval this year, hoping to roll it out as a prescribed medication to reduce seizures in severe epilepsy patients by next year.

  • Employees of a Store uncover Marijuana in donations

    May 28, 2017

    The workers of a second hand store in Maplewood were in for a huge surprise, when they uncovered packets of marijuana in a Ziploc bag, among the clothing distributed as donations. 

    As per information, while rummaging through the clothing donations, the workers of ‘Once Upon a child,’ a second-hand store in Maplewood, found more than 100 grams of marijuana stacked in separate plastic bags.

    Following the finding, the Maplewood Minnesota Police Department has posted the photograph of the finding on their Facebook page and asked the rightful owner to come and collect it from the police department in a humorous post.

    “If you accidentally donated 111 grams of marijuana along with your clothing earlier to a local store please come to the PD so we can reunite you! We know you spent a lot of time dividing them into these perfectly measured baggies & must be missing them,” the Facebook of the police department post read. The photo was also tweeted from the department’s handle.

    As expected, no one has turned up to stake ‘claim’ over the cannabis plant. However, the police are hopeful to catch the culprit soon through the security camera footage. The police will also review the forms filled up at the time of donation, which has name and address and contact details, though the authenticity of the particulars filled are yet to be verified.

    The marijuana stacked neatly in packets, are believed to be for circulation and not personal consumption. There are more than 50 neatly arranged packets. Once caught, the person who owns the marijuana can be charged with possession and intent to distribute.

  • Florida Health Officials outline Medical Marijuana Regulations

    May 28, 2017

    The Florida Department of Health is taking steps for adopting regulations to allow the use of medical marijuana by patients after the state lawmakers failed to resolve the issue during the session early this month.

    The Department of Health on Thursday published a ‘Notice of Regulation Development Procedure,’ highlighting the procedures the Department intends to implement, using Amendment 2. Amendment 2 was cleared by more than 71 per cent of votes in November last year. It permits patients with medical conditions including HIV-AIDS, PTSD, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis and a host of others to access medical cannabis plant.

    The Florida Department of Health came into action after lawmakers failed to act in the last session that ended on May 8. The Department now faces an ambitious deadline of July 3 to note that the regulations, which is said to boost the medical marijuana industry and might also make Florida as one of the country’s largest medical cannabis markets. The officials have time till October 3 to implement the regulations.

    As per the procedure, the officials of the Department of Health will need to give a 15-day notice before adopting the regulations. The draft rules will also include a public-comment period of three days.

    Though, Amendment 2 which was passed last year is now a part of the Constitution of Florida, the rules for passage of regulations do not apply.

    The lawmakers will likely resume the discussions on the issue during a special summer session. Sen. Rob Bradley has supported a special session to discuss the issue so that the matter is decided by the lawmakers and not the Department. However, a session is likely if the Governor Rick Scott vetoes a portion of the budget, forcing the lawmakers to discuss issues other than marijuana.