Texas !!

Austin- Texas has issued its first medical marijuana license, and two more companies are expected to be awarded licenses soon.
Cansortium Texas, which is a part of Florida-based Cansortium Holdings, received a license Friday, the Austin American-Statesman reported . The company will be allowed to grow, process and sell medical marijuana for patients with a rare form of epilepsy.

Cansortium Holdings Chief Executive Officer Jose Hidalgo said he’s humbled the company received the license. The company has medical cannabis licenses in Florida, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico. The state Department of Public Safety is reviewing applications from Compassionate Cultivation and Surterra Texas.

The companies were selected from more than 40 applicants in May and have undergone a series of facility inspections. They face strict state regulations that restrict their customer base and how they formulate the products. Licenses are being issued under the Texas Compassionate Use Act, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law in 2015. The act legalized the production and sale of cannabidoil, an oil that doesn’t produce a high.

The law only allows patients with intractable epilepsy to use the oil. Patients must have a doctor’s prescription and have already tried two conventional drug treatments that weren’t effective.
“It is safe to say that it is a challenging market,” said Morris Denton, chief executive of Compassionate Cultivation. Denton said he hopes to eventually persuade state lawmakers to make medical marijuana available to a wider group of people. The three companies will pay a nearly $490,000 fee once they’re approved. They’ll have to renew the license in two years for nearly $320,000. The fees cover the cost of regulating the industry, state officials said. Industry experts believe relaxing the restrictions and making medical marijuana more widely available could allow the Texas market to rival California’s estimated $2.8 billion cannabis market.

 

2018 update

There are currently eight states in America that have legalized recreational marijuana, or as we like to call it: ADULT USE. Most experts believe that number is set to grow quickly in the next few years. But which states are most likely to hop aboard the cannabis train next?
According to Marijuana Business Daily, three state legislatures are likely to legalize adult use in 2018: New Jersey, Vermont and Rhode Island.

New Jersey could actually be the first to do so. Republican Governor Chris Christie leaves office in January, and most signs point to Democrat Phil Murphy winning the gubernatorial election in November. Murphy is in favor of legalizing marijuana, and there’s already a bill before the legislature to do so. Perhaps they’re waiting until they know there’s someone in the governor’s office to sign the bill before they pass it.

Vermont and Rhode Island are also expected to legalize marijuana, although they’re often considered likely to do so. The states have fairly liberal legislatures that are often at the forefront of passing progressive legislation, and yet they haven’t done so with recreational marijuana. Still, both states are very likely contenders to do so.
Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland are also states that they point out could pass recreational marijuana in the near future, but 2018 may be optimistic.

And when it comes to medical marijuana, cannabis advocates are beginning to put on the pressure in Louisiana and Iowa in 2018. While many other red states continue to push anti-marijuana agendas, those two states have significant support for medicinal cannabis and could see breakthroughs next year.

Indiana – Medical marijuana bill on its way to Indiana legislature

A  Republican lawmaker plans to introduce a bill during the upcoming legislative session that would legalize medical marijuana.  “I can’t comprehend how we can deny people something that provides them with relief that’s not addictive and is not killing anyone when we know for a fact that prescription opioids are killing people,” he said. Lucas has been soliciting feedback on the topic on Facebook and said he has discussed the topic with doctors, veterans organizations and advocacy groups such as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
“I still have a lot to learn on this,” he said. “Right now, I’m drinking from a fire hose, reaching out to credible groups and individuals.”  Lucas would be the first Republican lawmaker to formally propose such legislation in at least five years. Democrats routinely file such bills, but they have consistently failed to receive even a hearing in the GOP-dominated General Assembly.Lucas, a self-described libertarian who is best known for his efforts to roll back gun restrictions, said he recognizes medical marijuana is a long shot in Indiana. Opposition remains strong among his fellow Republicans. Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, and House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, for example, have traditionally opposed any efforts to legalize marijuana, even for medical purposes.

In the face of such opposition, Lucas said he plans to pitch medical marijuana as a safer pain management tool that could help combat the scourge of overdose deaths from addictive prescription pain killers that have rocked the state in recent years.
“The gateway drug thing, we have to get past that,” Lucas said. “I would point out we have a gateway drug that is punching us in the face right now and it is prescription opioids.”
Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, who has pushed for years to decriminalize marijuana, welcomed Lucas’s interest in the topic.
“Sometimes it just has to be somebody else’s idea,” she said. “I’ve always said the left meets the right if you keep going far enough.”

Ban on recreational marijuana businesses heads to Huntington Beach council

Huntington Beach zoning amendment that would prohibit the sale and distribution of non-medical marijuana by businesses will be considered by the City Council on Monday. The amendment also would regulate the cultivation of recreational marijuana. The Planning Commission voted 6-1 in late July to recommend approval, with Commissioner Dan Kalmick dissenting on grounds that he believes the city is devoting a large amount of resources to regulating a “boogeyman.” According to the Huntington Beach Police Department, non-medical marijuana businesses and deliveries could have negative effects such as an increase in robberies, thefts and burglaries, a city staff report states. The department says cities that have non-medical marijuana businesses have seen increases in arrests related to driving under the influence, according to the report. Proposition 64, which voters statewide passed in November, allows people 21 and older to use and cultivate non-medical marijuana, with stipulations granting local governments the ability to ban recreational marijuana businesses and regulate cultivation. Under the Huntington Beach amendment, outdoor cultivation of recreational marijuana would be illegal. Indoor cultivation would be restricted to private residences in an enclosed area, according to city documents.

 

Utah – Signatures being gathered!

 

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Signature gathering is under way to put medical marijuana on the 2018 ballot in Utah. As people waited in line for lunch at the popular “Food Truck Thursday” event at the Gallivan Center, volunteers with the Utah Patients Coalition hit them up to sign in support of putting the issue before voters in the 2018 election.
Some of those soliciting signatures are those who would benefit if medical cannabis were legalized in Utah. “I did the illegal thing. I went to Colorado and got what I needed,” said Scott Kingsbury, who has arthritis. “I’m off of five of six prescription medicines and, personally, I think it’s a matter of freedom. It’s a matter of choosing what I want to put in my body.” DJ Schanz, the director of the Utah Patients Coalition, said they have not lacked for volunteers with this issue. Medical marijuana supporters have been increasingly vocal on Utah’s Capitol Hill and launched the ballot initiative frustrated by inaction from the legislature.

However, as the signature gathering effort spreads out across Utah, Schanz said they would hire people to go door-to-door. They must gather 113,000 signatures in 26 of Utah’s 29 senate districts. That’s roughly 10 percent of every county’s population. “We’re trying to get this done before January 10 or so, before the legislative session meets,” Schanz said. “We will be having numerous public events to get this done.” At last week’s Willie Nelson concert, the Utah Patients Coalition landed more than 1,000 signatures with little effort. They plan to be at other concerts and farmer’s markets to get people to sign. The Utah Patients Coalition said it planned to publicize signature-gathering events on its website.
“We’re excited to take this to all of Utah — rural, Salt Lake City, wherever — we’ve seen strong support,” Schanz said. State lawmakers have said they are planning more legislation ahead of the 2018 elections to deal with medical marijuana. However, it may not appease medical cannabis backers who don’t believe it will be as robust as a voter-approved initiative.

How Pa. doctors will handle medical marijuana

Physicians can now sign up to join Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana enterprise.

“Any M.D. or D.O. who treats patients with any of 17 qualifying conditions should register with the state,” Rachel Levine, the state’s acting secretary of health, said Wednesday as she announced the official start of doctor participation in the program.

The success of the marijuana program, which is set to begin in early 2018, will depend on getting physicians involved quickly. In New York and New Jersey, patient access to medical marijuana and cannabis-derived medicines has been tightly restricted because relatively few doctors are participating. About 900 of New York’s 96,000 physicians have signed up.

In Pennsylvania, only doctors will be permitted to write recommendations for medical marijuana. They cannot write prescriptions because the federal government maintains marijuana has no legitimate medical use.

 

Physicians will be required to take a four-hour course either online or in person to do that. The course, which will cost about $500, will qualify for continuing education credits. Levine said the state had approved two providers to teach the class, the Answer Age and Extra Step Assurance, but added that other educational services could be announced shortly.

State regulations prohibit doctors from advertising their services to write cannabis recommendations. Physicians also may not hold a direct economic interest in a growing operation or a dispensary. They may not write recommendations for themselves or family members.

Qualifying conditions include ALS, autism, cancer, Crohn’s disease, chronic neuropathic pain, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/ AIDS, Huntington’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, intractable seizures, MS, neuropathies, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, sickle cell anemia, and spinal cord damage resulting in intractable spasticity.

 

 

Maine marijuana law changes burden for employer drug testing

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Department of Labor says the majority of businesses won’t be able to fire an employee for a marijuana-positive drug tests unless they can prove impairment on the job.
Backers of the marijuana referendum said the law that goes into effect in February would leave employer protections in place and allow them to maintain drug-free workplace policies. Julie Rabinowitz from the Maine Department of Labor painted a different picture on Monday, when she urged state lawmakers to change the law to give employers more rights.
The Legislature’s labor committee is expected to take up the matter.
Voters in November legalized the recreational use and sale of marijuana products but commercial sales are on hold as regulations are considered.