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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
July 05, 2018
Vermont became the ninth state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana.
According to the Burlington Free Press, Vermont was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through its state legislature.
As per the new law went into effect Sunday, adults over 21 will be able to possess up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana, two mature marijuana plants and four immature, or nonflowering, plants
However, the new law does not set up a system to tax or regulate the production of marijuana.
The law has no provision for pot shops, meaning users must either grow it themselves or buy it from illicit dealers.
People, under the new law, are still barred from smoking marijuana in public places. Therefore, the renters need permission from their landlords to use and to grow the plant at their homes.
“The social paradigm shift has not moved far enough in Vermont to get to regulation and taxation,” said Laura Subin, director of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana.
Vermont has no ballot initiative process, so advocates plan to press reluctant lawmakers to authorize retail marijuana sales during next year’s legislative session, she said.
The decision came in the face of increasing opposition toward marijuana from the White House.
Vermont decriminalized marijuana in 2013 and legalized medical marijuana in 2004.
The District of Columbia also has legalized recreational marijuana.
Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington are the other states where recreational marijuana is legal.
The District of Columbia also has legalized recreational marijuana.
July 02, 2018
Fall River’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened on Saturday. Five dozen people with medical marijuana cards entered the Northeast Alternatives on its first day in business to get help and hemp.
“Our first day went really well,” said Chris Harkins, the CEO of Northeast Alternatives, 999 William S. Canning Blvd. “We had 60 people come through.
“The patients we met have been really excited about being able to walk in to get medicine locally.”
Northeast Alternatives has a license to sell marijuana to the people who have been given state medical marijuana card following a recommendation from a physician.
After verification of the state-approved identification, the clients were allowed into the showroom, where they spoke with one of a half-dozen bud tenders on duty during the weekend — sales people who are trained to help provide the product that will be most helpful to the client.
Individuals can visit the company’s website - nealternatives.com – to know more about the company and the products available in the dispensary.
The website contains a menu for products for sale. Marijuana flower, oils, edibles and lozenges are available. Bud tenders will be able to advise patients on the product that is most likely to provide relief from pain, anxiety, seizures, cancer or a variety of other ailments that researchers say can be eased through one of the several strains of marijuana available.
The company, meanwhile, has an application before the state Cannabis Control Commission for a license to sell marijuana to the adults. But, they are yet to receive word on that application.
The next closest dispensary to Fall River opened six months ago in Fairhaven. However, more are scheduled to open through the state after getting license from the state Cannabis Control Commission.
July 02, 2018
A seasoned postal worker is accused of carrying out a marijuana scheme using his position in Hampton.
According to court records, Darryl Harding was running the marijuana scheme that involved getting over 220 pounds of marijuana over the course of a year.
Harding, who is in the post office for 33 years as per US postal officials, was arrested Wednesday for bribery and conspiracy to traffic marijuana.
The Court documents revealed that the seasoned postal worker carried out the alleged scheme between March 2017 and May 2018.
Harding allegedly took money from his co-conspirators to divert packages that contained marijuana from their intended address and deliver those packages to them.
Apart from Harding, two others - Phillip Miller and Leory Williams Jr. - were also arrested for possessing marijuana with an indentation to deliver.
“These are people that are in a position of public trust. This is serious stuff,” said TCC Department of Criminal Justice Head Richard James who is a criminal analyst for News 3.
“I actually think it’s kind of insane. I would never put my life or my job on the line,” said Krysta Nichols, postal customer, ” I’m surprised it went under the radar for that long.”
The US postal service issued a statement:
“While the vast majority of USPS personnel are hard-working and trustworthy individuals who are dedicated to delivering the mail and would never consider engaging in criminal behavior, these charges reflect the select few who decide to betray that trust. This type of behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated.”
“All the accused have the right for due process. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty so it’s basically going to be up to the evidence that they have and the decision of the court,” said James.
All three men are expected to appear before the court July 13th.
June 28, 2018
Heartened by President Donald Trump's recent comments about marijuana, two Tennessee lawmakers are naming a state bill to legalize medical marijuana after him.
Two lawmakers - Rep. Bryan Terry (R) and Sen. Steve Dickerson (R) - plan to renew efforts next year to legalize medical marijuana bill in the General Assembly named the Tennessee Responsible Use of Medicinal Plants Act — TRUMP Act.
The lawmakers, who are against legalizing recreational use of marijuana, had unsuccessfully pressed a medical cannabis bill in this year's General Assembly.
According to the Times Free Press, Terry and Dickerson’s bill would expand medical research for treatment with cannabis and cannabis extracts.
Both of them are retired pharmacists and have voiced reservations about such moves, saying more federal research is needed.
"We believe Tennessee patients and physicians have the right to participate in research utilizing cannabis and that our agricultural, higher education, and life science industries are well equipped to be world leaders in this research," Terry stated in a news release.
Earlier this month, Trump had signaled that he would back a federal congressional effort to gives states the ability to decide whether to legalize marijuana without federal interference.
The Tennessee lawmakers had in 2015 passed a "Right to Try Act" which allowed terminally ill patients to try medicines that have passed Phase One of federal Food and Drug Administration trials.
Likewise, several Tennessee House committees tried to legalize medical marijuana this year, top Senate leaders including Republican Senate Speaker Randy McNally and Speaker Pro Tempore Ferrell Haile opposed the legislation.
June 28, 2018
Oklahoma voters on Tuesday elected to legalize medical marijuana. With this Oklahoma became the 30th state to allow the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Voters approved Oklahoma State Question 788, overcoming a late opposition campaign from law enforcement and business, faith and political leaders.
According to Cannabis Wire, a group opposed to medical marijuana spent $815,000 in a campaign to defeat the ballot initiative, and the Oklahoma State Medical Association spent a further $95,000 against the initiative.
However, as many as 56 percent of voters out of 99 percent of precincts reporting, supported medical marijuana, while 43 percent opposed it.
Voters in neighboring Arkansas legalized the drug for medical use in 2016, but Oklahoma is among the most conservative states to approve its use.
State Question 788 allows the licensed individuals 18 and older to use, sell, and grow medicinal marijuana. They need a board-certified physician’s signature for the medical use marijuana. Minors can get a license but will require the approval of two physicians and their parent or legal guardian.
The proposed law outlines no qualifying conditions, which would allow physicians to authorize its use for a broad range of ailments and make it easier, compared to other states, to obtain pot for medicinal uses.
Under the proposed law, a two-year medical marijuana license would allow someone to possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana, six mature plants and six seedlings, along with edibles and concentrated forms of the drug.
Despite the limited research, 30 states, including Oklahoma, have now moved forward with medical marijuana while the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a marijuana-based drug, Epidiolex, to treat childhood epilepsy.
The federal government still considers marijuana a Schedule I drug.
Other red states, including Arkansas and Utah, are weighing medical marijuana ballot initiatives this year, while Michigan residents will vote on legalizing the drug outright in November.
June 26, 2018
In a nationwide first, the U.S. health regulators Monday approved prescription drug made from marijuana.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the medication, called Epidiolex.
Epidiolex will be legally used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two serious and rare kinds of epilepsy.
It is considered as a milestone that could spur more research into a drug that remains illegal under federal law, despite growing legalization for recreational and medical use.
According to the FDA, Epidiolex, a strawberry-flavored syrup, is the first approved treatment for Dravet syndrome.
Epidiolex which is also known as cannabidiol, or CBD, is extracted from marijuana sativa plants. But it does not produce the high typically associated with marijuana because it does not contain the psychoactive ingredient THC.
CBD oil is currently sold online and in specialty shops across the U.S., though its legal status remains murky.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a statement said, “This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies.”
The FDA approval for Epidiolex is technically limited to patients with Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes, two rare forms of epilepsy for which there are few treatments. But doctors will have the option to prescribe it for other uses.
Since both Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet synonym appear in early childhood, Epidiolex is legal in treatment for patients two-year-old and above. Both syndromes feature uncontrollable and severe seizures resulting in some form of learning disability, such as hindered languages and motor skills.
As per the FDA, sleepiness, sedation, lethargy, elevated liver enzymes, decreased appetite, diarrhea, rash, weakness, insomnia, poor quality sleep and infections are some side effects presented in the clinical trials.
Because of its relation to marijuana, CBD is currently considered a Schedule I drug. Trials were conducted to examine the abuse potential of CBD.
Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Another 20 states allow medical marijuana, but the U.S. government continues to classify it as a controlled substance with no medical use, in the same category as heroin and LSD.
June 26, 2018
Chicago police busted a massive marijuana-racket and seized more than 1,500 pounds of cannabis products worth $10M.
As per a Facebook post of the cops, marijuana was found during a traffic stop. A CDP police dog alerted the officers to the smell of drugs loaded in a vehicle and trailer pulled over by Narcotics Unit officers and investigators ended up seizing more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana.
The cops also recovered other cannabis products and paraphernalia from the vehicle and arrested its driver, a 42-year-old man, who has been identified as Jason Tanner of Lakehead.
Police charged Tanner with Cannabis - possess more than 5000 grams, a felony and sent him to the custody immediately.
While interrogating Tanner, officers learned that the he was carrying the narcotics to Chicago from California.
June 24, 2018
A Marianna man was arrested after he was found possessing bags of marijuana at Days Inn in Marianna, Fla.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office arrested Shareef Fed, 35, on Friday after finding him with bags of marijuana.
The deputies, after getting strong odor of marijuana while patrolling, intercepted several individuals at Days Inn in Marianna.
During the course of the investigation, deputies found Fed possessing individually wrapped bags of marijuana which he was planning to distribute in the area.
While interrogating Fed, the deputies came to known that the bags were consistent with being packaged for distribution. Based on the evidence, Fed was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Later, the Deputies sent Fed to the Jackson County Correctional Facility. There he is slated to await first appearance.