The Ninth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics will be held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on May 21 through May 23, with more 30 of the top healthcare professionals, doctors, and patients advocating Medical Cannabis treatments.
Patients out of Time is hosting The Ninth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on May 21 through May 23. Patients out of Time will bring together world-renowned experts in cannabis therapeutics to assist healthcare workers, related business interests, and the general public, from around the country, on ways to improve patient outcomes with the use of cannabis therapeutics.
The conference will have expert presentations, panel discussions and onsite exhibitors available to introduce healthcare professionals to the fundamental research on the use of cannabis as an effective and powerful medicine. This conference will award Continuing Medical Education credits for healthcare workers who participate in specific events.
There will also be a special benefit dinner and auction to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Patients Out of Time.
"Cannabis is a powerful and effective medicine, "said Mary Lynn Mathre, president and cofounder of Patients Out of Time and the president and founding member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn about everything from cannabis healthcare administration to social advocacy from world leaders in the field."
The first successful Santa Cruz County voter referendum in 13 years has suspended an ordinance adopted by the County Board of Supervisors to ban all commercial cannabis cultivation. The ban was adopted on April 14, and was to go into effect on May 15.
Responsible Cultivation Santa Cruz (RCSC) circulated the referendum and after only 21 days filed 11,210 signatures with the county, with 7,248 valid signatures required to qualify the referendum for the ballot.
The ordinance was suspended when the Santa Cruz County Clerk Elections Department confirmed on May 11 that the referendum petitions contained more than the minimum number of signatures. The county has 30 calendar days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, from the date the petition was filed, May 7, to verify the validity of the signatures.
As provided in the California Elections Code, 500 randomly selected petition signatures will be verified initially. For this referendum, 71.1 percent of the randomly selected signatures must be valid to qualify the referendum for the ballot based on the random sample count alone.
As of 4 pm on Friday, May 15, the Clerk's office had processed 266 signatures and found 73.6 percent of them to be valid. Based on this trend, the referendum will most likely qualify for the ballot when the remaining 234 randomly selected signatures have been checked.
If the validity rate at that point is below 71.1 percent, all of the signatures must be verified. To reach the minimum 7,248 required, an overall validity rate above 64.7 percent must be maintained in a full count.
By Steve Elliott
Massachusetts health authorities on Friday moved to dramatically overhaul the license granting process for medical marijuana dispensaries, hoping to streamline the process and remove subjectivity and politics.
Regulators from Governor Charlie Baker's administration said the new process gets rid of the secrecy they claimed was prevalent under former Governor Deval Patrick's administration, reports Kay Lazar at The Boston Globe. Controversay about the previous system of licensure inspired more than two dozen lawsuits.
Massachusetts patients still have no safe access at dispensaries, two and a half years after voters approved medicinal cannabis. Fifteen dispensaries have already been licensed, but none has opened.
“This change creates a more streamlined, efficient, and transparent process that allows the Commonwealth to maintain the highest standards of both public safety and accessibility,” said Dr. Monica Bharel, the state’s public health commissioner.
Under the new guidelines, dispensaries will be licensed similarly to other health care facilities such as pharmacies. Each application will be judged using clear guidelines and will move forward when the applying company meets the overhauled standards, according to officials. The old system involved scoring, essentially pitting applicants against each other.
BioTrackTHC™, a provider of seed-to-sale software tracking solutions for marijuana businesses and government regulators, on Thursday announced partnerships that provide the company's seed-to-sale medical marijuana tracking technology and training to the University of Technology, Jamaica and the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica.
The two universities are growing medical marijuana for research purposes and are the only entities legally allowed to grow marijuana in the country until business licenses are approved.
"We are proud to be working with both of Jamaica's institutions of higher learning to help bolster knowledge and infrastructure for the legal medical marijuana industry in Jamaica," said Patrick Vo, co-CEO, BioTrackTHC. "It's a mutual education process whereby our company is learning about the needs of Jamaica while sharing our technology and expertise that is leading the way in the rapidly expanding U.S. market.
"Our goal is to provide a solution that is tailored to meet the specific needs and priorities of the Jamaican people and their new medical marijuana industry," Vo said. "We look forward to the results of their research."
By Steve Elliott
Utah Governor Gary Herbert on Thursday said he would be open to legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, providing science shows it can benefit patients and "tight regulations" can control distribution.
"I'm open to the idea of medical marijuana and the discussion of how it can be used as a medicine based on science, and making sure we have good, collaborative efforts so we can answer the questions that are out there," Gov. Herbert said, reports Robert Gehrke at The Salt Lake Tribune.
The governor's position has noticeably softened since the recent legislative session, when he expressed "concerns" about a bill sponsored by state Sen. Mark Madsen (R-Saratoga Springs) which would have created a state-licensed system of medicinal cannabis growing facilities and dispensaries for patients with a doctor's authorization.
At that time, Gov. Herbert had claimed Madsen's bill could lead to a "slippery slope" towards legal recreational use. Madsen's bill failed in the Senate by a single vote; he's said he will reintroduce it next year.
The governor's comments represent progress, according to Connor Boyack, president of the Libertas Institute, a libertarian think tank. "Even during the legislative session, it became clear that the governor was backtracking his initial opposition to medical cannabis, so we expected this to happen and are encouraged to see him becoming more open-minded to it, just as many legislators are," Boyack said.
In a scenario which is becoming sadly familiar, another state (hello, Washington!) is using the pretext of recreational marijuana legalization in an attempt to shut down medical marijuana facilities.
Some politicians in Salem want to undermine Oregon voters by making it easy to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, according to New Approach Oregon. If Senate Bill 964 passes, city councils and county commissions could arbitrarily shut down medical marijuana facilities — without a vote of the people.
"That’s not the policy Oregonians voted for when passing Measure 91 with more than 56 percent of the vote," reads an email from New Approach Oregon. "We promised to protect medical marijuana patients who depend on local dispensaries to get life-saving medicine."
But Senate Bill 964 would partially dismantle Oregon’s medical marijuana program. It would invite expensive lawsuits that could disrupt implementation of Measure 91. It would feed the criminal market.
SB 964 is sponsored by Democratic Senator Ginny Burdick and Republican Senator Jeff Kruse.
Both The Oregonian and the Register-Guard have published editorials calling for a public vote, as Measure 91 allows.
Call To Action
Please send emails to the Senate and House Democrats right now.
House of Jane, a not-for-profit corporation involved in the cannabis-infused beverage industry, on Wednesday announced that it is teaming up with Silver State Trading, a Nevada cultivator, manufacturer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis and associated products, to bring Jane’s Brew™, a line of cannabis-infused beverages, to Nevada patients this month.
In addition, Jane’s Brew™, a scientifically-developed cannabidiol (CBD) and THC beverages and edibles product line, will be on display at HempCon Cup in Las Vegas on May 15-17 at Cashman Center, which is located at 850 N Las Vegas Blvd. in Las Vegas.
“We are excited to collaborate with Silver State Trading to bring Jane’s Brew™ to Nevada,” said Ben-David Sheppard, managing partner of House of Jane. "Their extensive expertise in cultivating, manufacturing and distributing medical cannabis, matched with our top of the line brand of cannabis-infused edibles, is a perfect partnership.
"Since our launch of Jane’s Brew™ in January of this year, we’ve had great success in California with over 100 dispensaries carrying our product, and we are looking to have this same success in Nevada," Sheppard said.
“For more than 30 years I’ve been a believer in the benefits of medical cannabis,” said Jill Amen, founder of House of Jane. “I also believe the medicinal and wellness aspects of the plant are best delivered in forms other than inhaling and smoking, and that is why I created a brand of cannabis-infused drinkables.
By Steve Elliott
The Pennsylvania Senate on Tuesday voted 40-7 to approve a bill that would make it legal for seriously ill patients to use marijuana to treat their conditions with recommendations from their doctors. The bill will now go to the House for consideration.
SB 3, sponsored by Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon), would allow qualified patients to obtain medical marijuana from a limited number of licensed, regulated dispensaries throughout the state.
Smoking would not be permitted under the restrictive language of the bill, but patients could consume marijuana in edible form, and patients with certain conditions could consume it through vaporization. Patients under the age of 18 would be required to have parental consent in order to take part in the program.
Unfortunately, home cultivation would also not be allowed under the bill, depriving many fixed-income patients of an economical way to provide their own medicine.
Pennsylvanians suffering from cancer, seizures, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cachexia/wasting syndrome, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury and postconcussion syndrome, multiple sclerosis, spinocerebellara ataxia (SCA), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and chronic pain would be eligible for the program with a recommendation from their doctor.
A new Harris Poll finds that the growing acceptability of marijuana among state lawmakers reflects attitudinal shifts amongst the general American public since 2011. Support for the legalization of marijuana for both medical treatment and recreational use has increased by seven percentage points over the past four years.
Currently, four in five adults (81 percent) favor legalizing marijuana for medical use, up from 2011 when three quarters of Americans (74 percent) indicated the same. Meanwhile, according to Harris, half of Americans are supportive of legalizing marijuana for recreational use (49 percent), up from the two fifths (42 percent) who felt that way in 2011.
• Nearly nine in ten Democrats and Independents are in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical treatment (87 percent & 86 percent, respectively) and over half support recreational use (58 percent & 55 percent, respectively)
• While a majority - albeit a slimmer one - of Republicans also support the legalization medical marijuana (69 percent support, 23 percent oppose), a similar majority opposes legalizing marijuana for recreational use (27 percent support, 65 percent oppose).
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,221 U.S. adults surveyed online between February 11 and 17, 2015. Full results of this study, including data tables, can be found here.
Federal law or each state for itself?
House will now consider measure that is intended to allow access to low-THC marijuana extract for qualifying seizure patients
The Texas State Senate on Thursday approved a bill 26-5 that is intended to allow qualifying patients with intractable seizure conditions to access a marijuana extract containing high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, and only trace levels of THC. SB 339, introduced by Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), will now be considered by the state House of Representatives.
“We’re pleased to see a majority of the Senate recognizes the medical benefits of marijuana, but it’s of little comfort if patients aren’t able to experience them,” said Heather Fazio, Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Texas needs a comprehensive medical marijuana program that allows patients to take full advantage of the various compounds found in different types of marijuana.”
SB 336 requires doctors to “prescribe” marijuana to patients, which exposes doctors to federal criminal sanctions. By contrast, doctors “recommend” medical marijuana or “certify” patients to use medical marijuana in the 23 states with comprehensive medical marijuana laws and the District of Columbia.
Unlike “prescriptions,” recommendations and certifications are federally legal and protected under the First Amendment.
By Steve Elliott
The Louisiana Senate on Monday approved legislation which would legalize the medicinal use of cannabis. Senate Bill 143, which spells out how the state's medical marijuana industry would work, was approved on a 22-13 vote.
If the bill is approved by the Louisiana House, patients with a doctor's authorization could obtain cannabis in non-smokable form at one of 10 dispensaries across the state, reports Emily Lane at the Times-Picayune. The bill passed on Monday approves one growing site.
SB 143, sponsored by Sen. Fred Mills (R-New Iberia), would restrict the use of "CBD only" medicinal cannabis in non-smokable forms to patients with glaucoma, spastric quadriplegia and for those undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer.
The Louisiana Legislature legalized medical marijuana in 1978 and then again in 1991, but neither bill allowed for legal dispensing of the herb; the Department of Health and Hospitals was supposed to write rules for dispensing it nearly a quarter century ago, but never did.
Three state agencies would have rule-making authority under Mills' bill: the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners would set rules about doctors' authorizations; the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy would set rules about dispensaries; and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture would set rules for the single grow site.
Project CBD, a California educational nonprofit that focuses on cannabis science and therapeutics, has filed an anti-SLAPP motion seeking dismissal of a lawsuit by Medical Marijuana Inc. (MJNA) on First Amendment grounds.
"This is precisely the type of lawsuit that California's anti-SLAPP statue was enacted to prevent," said Project CBD attorney Tyler R. Andrews of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, in the motion. "Medical Marijuana Inc. is trying to bury any public criticism of its business practices and quash any debate over the health and safety of its products.
"The claims [against Project CBD] represent an abuse of the legal process and must be stricken," Andrews' motion reads.
The lawsuit followed the October 2014 publication of Project CBD's Special Report, "Hemp Oil Hustlers," which documented Medical Marijuana Inc.'s questionable financial practices and the presence of toxic solvent residue in two samples of MJNA's "Real Scientific Hemp Oil" (RSHO).
"Unable to challenge the factual accuracy of Project CBD's Report, Medical Marijuana Inc. has embarked on a campaign of harassment, intimidation and disinformation to deflect attention from legitimate questions about its business practices and the quality of its products," reads a May 4 press release from Project CBD.
Lawmakers to Discuss Current Legislative Landscape at NY Cannabis Event
The International Cannabis Association (ICA) on Tuesday announced that New York State Senator Diane Savino will lead the 2nd Annual Medical Marijuana Regulatory Summit on Thursday, June 18, during the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo) at the Javits Center in New York.
Senator Savino is recognized as one of the country’s most influential marijuana lawmakers and compassionate care advocates.
"This Summit is a must attend event, for established and emerging businesses in the medical marijuana industry, and will provide fresh insight and guidance on this highly regulated market," according to a press release from the organizers. "Under one roof at the Javits Center in New York, attendees will have direct access to state and federal lawmakers who are writing the laws in this rapidly evolving industry."
The 2nd Annual Medical Marijuana Regulatory Summit at CWCBExpo in NY, presented in a town hall style format, is designed to allow attendees to learn about current opportunities and receive unique advice on how to navigate the regulatory and implementation challenges.
By Steve Elliott
What's so scary about a free market? Almost two decades after California voters approved the medicinal use of marijuana, the state's cannabis trade is being described as a "Wild West," even as it has reached the status of a $2 billion industry.
Legislators, of course, are doing what lawmakers do. They want to bring "law and order" to the business, reports Anita Chabria at The Guardian.
There are currently three bills in the Legislature which would codify how medicinal cannabis is grown and sold in the Golden State, including whether the state or local municipalities have control, and what environmental and health issues should be addressed.
"There are no rules or regulations in California," claimed state Senator Mike McGuire. "For two decades now, the Golden State has allowed the cannabis industry to grow unchecked."
McGuire is sponsoring the Medical Marijuana Public Safety and Environmental Protection Act (SB 643), which focuses on the impact of growing on the environment. He said illegal grows are deforesting government lands, polluting waterways and "affecting the health of those who use medical marijuana," whatever that means, since most medical marijuana is grown legally in the state, not in national forests.
Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla of Puerto Rico on Sunday signed an executive order yesterday legalizing medical marijuana in the U.S. territory.
The order enables the Puerto Rican Health Department to authorize the use of marijuana and its derivatives for medical purposes. The Health Secretary now has three months to produce a report etching out the details of the new system.
In 2013, a medical marijuana bill was introduced into the Puerto Rican Legislature but remains stuck in the House of Representatives.
“Governor Garcia’s executive order is exactly what was needed,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “It was the right and legal thing to do given both the absence of a ballot initiative process in Puerto Rico and the inability of the legislature to pass needed legislation.”
Twenty-three U.S. states, the District of Colombia and Guam have approved medical marijuana laws, four jurisdictions have passed laws taxing and regulating marijuana for adult use, and the federal government has made clear that they will not interfere with properly administered state marijuana programs.
Jamaica recently passed a far-reaching marijuana bill, which will set up a legal medical marijuana industry; the Chilean government has authorized a foundation to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes; and in 2013, Uruguay legalized both medical and non-medical marijuana.