July 30, 2018
In a bid to “fight for our right to medicate with whole plant-based cannabis” Orlandoans will march on August 4.
As per schedule, Orlando residents and undoubtedly some visitors will march around Lake Eola Park from 2-5 p.m.
They are hoping to gain the attention of Governor Rick Scott to “hold up our constitutionally guaranteed right to whole-flower cannabis.”
Groups like the Florida Cannabis Club, Buds For Vets, The Weed For Warriors Project, Floridians for Cannabis, Weed for Warriors Project North Florida, Canna Fest Florida, Florida Marijuana, Central Florida NORML, Canna Chronicle, and Florida Cannabis Club will host the event in the Walt Disney Amphitheater on the western edge of Lake Eola.
Possess whole-flower cannabis even having a medical marijuana card (MMJ Card) is still a crime in Florida.
July 30, 2018
Florida's medical marijuana chief Christian Bax is stepping down after three years as a target of ire amid delays and disputes clouding state’s nascent medical-marijuana industry.
Legislators, patients and “ganjapreneurs” have widely criticized Bax, a lawyer, for trying to establish a footprint in the state’s restricted and intensely competitive medical-marijuana market.
The critiques were amplified after Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment broadly legalizing medical marijuana in 2016.
Bax, in his resignation letter to Department of Health Chief of Staff Cindy Dick dated Friday, said “he will be leaving no later than August 10.”
“It has been an incredible honor to have served the department and the people of Florida in the task of building something entirely new in this state,” Bax wrote.
Medical marijuana has landed in trouble in Florida ever since lawmakers first legalized non-euphoric cannabis in 2014. The rollout of the industry has faced a series of delays because of regulatory and legal challenges, and Bax and his office have borne the brunt of the blame.
Some of the major allegations which were leveled against Bax included that patients have complained about lengthy wait times to get required ID cards processed. Besides, administrative law judges have repeatedly rejected health officials’ decisions about the awarding of licenses and lawmakers have piled on.
Bax came under fire after failing to meet a legislatively mandated deadline last fall to hand out five new medical marijuana licenses. He blamed the delay on Hurricane Irma and a pending legal challenge to a 2017 law that ordered health officials to expand the number of medical marijuana licenses.
He will be replaced by Courtney Coppola, his deputy director. Coppola joined Bax in the office shortly after the latter was hired in 2015.
July 29, 2018
Beaufort County police arrests 2 people on drug charges Beaufort County police arrested two persons including a woman Tuesday on drug charges after recovering nine pounds of marijuana and guns at a residence in 215 Spring Road in Washington.
The arrested have been identified as Kendall Jermaine Warren, 35, and Naikira Speller, 26. Officials said the arrests came after an investigation after undercover purchases were made at 102 Steeplechase Road in Washington, which officials said was used as a stash house to hide marijuana.
During the searches investigating officials found a pound of marijuana, digital scales, packaging material and a pistol at the 102 Steeplechase Road location. Likewise, at 102 Steeplechase Road in Washington, investigators and K-9 Bodi found approximately eight pounds of marijuana, digital scales, packaging material, an AK47 Rifle, three Shotguns, a 22 Caliber Rifle and four pistols were recovered.
During interrogation police found out that out that two of the four shotguns were stolen from Greenville and one of the pistols was stolen from Washington.
While Speller was charged with of Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Warren was charged with Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Marijuana, Maintaining a Dwelling to Store and Sell a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Firearm by Felon and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Warren was placed in the Beaufort County Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond. Warren is currently on probation for Felony Possession of Marijuana. Speller was confined in the Beaufort County Detention Center under a $8,000 secured bond.
July 26, 2018
Willie Nelson’s marijuana brand is coming to Canada soon. LivWell Enlightened Health, one of the largest recreational pot companies in Colorado, plans to bring Willie Nelson-branded cannabis products to Canada through a series of business deals with two Calgary companies.
LivWell Enlightened Health is mulling over bringing Willie Nelson's marijuana brand and make it public in Toronto.
LivWell Enlightened Health says it plans to combine with Calgary-based CBi2 and 51st Parallel Inc. to create what will become a Calgary-based, TSX Venture-listed company operating under the name LivWell International.
The company says it will have exclusive rights to some of the flagship brands of GCH Inc., a cannabis brand holding company founded with Willie Nelson, including Willie’s Remedy and Willie’s Reserve.
Calgary-based 51st Parallel says it will make a US$20-million equity investment in GCH Inc. as part of the deal for a 12.4 per cent stake in the holding company.
The management of LivWell Enlightened Health will lead the restructured LivWell International, while Sonny Mottahed, Chairman, CEO of CBi2 and 51st Parallel, will join the board of directors of GCH.
LivWell’s website reveals that it has about 500 employees and generates about $80 million in annual sales from marijuana growing, processing and retailing.
The deals will bring one of the best-known American marijuana brands to Canada, while continuing a trend of U.S. pot companies heading to Toronto to tap investor demand for weed stocks.
Recreational marijuana is set to become legal in Canada on October 17, opening a market that Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kenneth Shea has estimated may exceed C$5 billion in 2020. Pot in edibles and beverages and for vaping will still be outlawed for up to a year after legalization as the government takes more time to address the risks of those products.
The 85-year-old singer’s pot empire includes the Willie’s Reserve and Willie’s Remedy brands, which market flower, vape pens and edible marijuana products.
After going public, the Denver-based LivWell says it expects to produce 32,000 kilograms of dried flower and have annual extraction capacity of 10,000 kilograms. The company says it has applied for eight retail locations in Alberta and has identified two “high profile” locations in B.C.
As per Bloomberg News, LivWell Enlightened Health is also changing its name to LivWell International and striking a side deal that will give it perpetual distribution rights in Canada to Willie’s Reserve, the U.S. country singer’s namesake marijuana brand.
July 24, 2018
Investigators have arrested three suspects in connection with a drug bust at a home day care center in North Carolina.
Fayetteville Police conducted a search in the day care center after every student left it. The search led to the seizure of up to 300 pounds of marijuana.
This apart, a half kilogram of cocaine, up to an ounce of heroin, 10 firearms, over $70,000 in cash and a 2013 Audi Q7 SUV were also seized by the cops who had launched the investigation a month ago.
After learning that a home day care might be involved in the incident, investigators said, “As the Fayetteville Police Department’s Gang Unit continued this investigation, they executed an additional search warrant at a residence along the 1000 block of Ronald Reagan Drive on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.”
Acting on the search warrant, the investigators arrested Alvin Davis III, 27, Victoria L. Everett, 34, owner and operator of “Tori’s Playhouse and co-owner, Reshod J. Everett, 32, and U.S. Postal Service employee.
Davis III was charged with several charges including trafficking cocaine and carrying a concealed weapon while Victoria L. Everett was charged with trafficking in marijuana by possession and trafficking in heroin by possession. He was also charged with other charges, police say.
Likewise, Reshod J. Everett was charged with conspiring to traffic in heroin and cocaine, among other things.
As per wral.com, officers found marijuana cookies and gummies on the spot; however, they haven't seen evidence at this time that the children had access to them.
Further investigation into the matter is underway.
July 22, 2018
Secret donations pour in for medical marijuana push in Missouri. Despite the origins of most of the haul being kept secret, an organization which is backing one of three competing medical marijuana initiatives has continued to bring in huge contributions.
According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Missourians for Patient Care campaign committee raised $530,000 in monetary contributions between April and July.
Out of $530,000, about $505,000 was funneled from a nonprofit corporation with the same name. But, it does not require revealing its donors.
This apart, the Missourians for Patient Care campaign committee accepted more than $16,000 in in-kind contributions from the nonprofit that quarter.
The First Rule, a firm listing the same address as the nonprofit and campaign committee, also donated an additional $36,800 in-kind donation.
“We needed to raise money so have a social welfare organization that supports the ballot committee,” said Travis Brown, one of the main backers of the campaign effort.
However, Brown declined to comment whether he thought the group’s activities violated the state law.
The newspaper reported in February that the group believes the secrecy is necessary because donors might be hesitant to contribute to a cause not recognized by the federal government.
“We set it up that way because most people who are supporters of it don’t want to be known,” said Mark Habbas, a lobbyist on the campaign. “They just want to keep their donations private.”
If the Missourians for Patient Care campaign committee’s proposal accepted, it would change state rules to legalize marijuana for medical use in helping to treat patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV/AIDS, terminal illness and intractable migraines.
Apart from the committee, two more groups conducted a signature campaign to place medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot.
The secretary of state’s office is slated to certify the signatures by mid-August and announce which groups gathered enough to make ballot to be held in November.
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.