Recreational Marijuana Legalization Boon to Cannabis-Related Companies
MagicalButter.com, a public benefit corporation and manufacturer of the MagicalButter machine, has greatly benefited from the implementation of new marijuana legalization. Since recreational use of marijuana was approved and implemented in Colorado and Washington, the company has recorded a major spike in the market for its MagicalButter MB2, causing the company to sell out of its already popular machine in just days.
While the company said it is ramping up manufacturing to meet this demand, the MB2 is on back-order through at least the first week of February, according to a press release.
"The combination of the media's new-found understanding and focus on the benefits of medical marijuana oil's ability to help treat seizures, our recently released YouTube video, "How to make MBO," MagicalButter Cannabis Oil, and legalization in two states created a buying frenzy," said Garyn Angel, CEO of MagicalButter.com.
"We considerably underestimated new demand for our product," Angel said. "Three months of inventory disappeared in a matter of days."
"We were already breaking projections at the end of 2013, but now we see that our 2014 estimates will need to be significantly revised upward to incorporate this tremendous increase in demand," said Angel. "We are considering an IPO, market conditions are stellar for cannabis related stocks, and MagicalButter is the largest PCAOB audited company in the sector."
Tuesday: Assembly Health Committee to Vote on “Compassionate Care Act”
Broad Coalition Unites Behind Comprehensive Bill
On Monday, the first full day of the 2014 New York State Senate session, dozens of patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers gathered in Albany for a press conference and lobby day to call on the State Senate to pass and Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-A (Gottfried) / S.4406-A (Savino).
People living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions; healthcare providers; and the parents of children who suffer from severe forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet’s syndrome, travelled from all corners of the State to call on the Senate to pass and the Governor to support the Compassionate Care Act, comprehensive legislation that would allow seriously ill New Yorkers access to medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.
The lobby day comes on the heels of Governor Cuomo’s announcement last week in his State of the State address that he supports medical marijuana. The medical efficacy of medical marijuana has been well established in the scientific literature, and the feasibility of establishing comprehensive, statewide medical marijuana programs has been clearly demonstrated in the 20 states and the District of Columbia which have passed bills to establish such programs.
By Steve Elliott
The clock is ticking on the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. People United For Medical Marijuana (PUFMM) has until February 1 to gather more than 683,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for November's ballot, and the measure's top backer, Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan, last month poured $2.8 million more into the effort.
Morgan in December spent $2 million on the California-based signature gathering firm PCI Consultants Inc., which has bought airtime and sent signature gathering teams to malls and other public spaces, reports Aaron Deslatte at the Orlando Sentinel.
The $2.8 million total for December also includes an $809,000 loan from Morgan's law firm to PUFMM. Campaign finance records show Morgan's family and law firm have now contributed 83 percent of the the legalization drive's entire budget.
"I'm going to have the signatures; it's just a matter of if they're valid," Morgan said. He said that more than 1 million signatures have already been collected.
The initiative is still waiting for a decision from the Florida Supreme Court on whether its ballot language is valid. Last month, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi argued that the initiative's summary was misleading and could open the door to de-facto legalized marijuana.
By Steve Elliott
A state senator in Kentucky is ready to introduce a bill which would legalize medical marijuana in the Bluegrass State.
"You ask yourself a question, 'Is cannabis medicine?' Yes or no are the only two answers, and the answer is yes," said Kentucky state Senator Perry Clark, reports Kelly Davis at WDRB.
Senator Clark has introduced a medical marijuana bill twice before in the Kentucky Legislature; he's hoping the third time's the charm.
"We are moving in the correct direction; we have a lot of people who were adamantly opposed to us three years ago that have seen a lot of evidence," Clark, a Democrat from Louisville, said.
Jaime Montalvo, who has multiple sclerosis, was arrested in 2011 for growing cannabis, but said he's not a criminal, and that he uses it to control pain.
"I never really feared the prosecution up until the time it happened," Montalvo said. "It helped muscle spasms; it helped me sleep."
By Steve Elliott
Will somebody please drag Kentucky Rep. Robert Benvenuti into the 21st Century? The Republican lawmaker, in a hearing on legalizing medical marijuana in his state, said the risks of pot are too high, and offered to "fill this committee room" with "parents of dead children based on the effects of marijuana."
Rep. Benvenuti's acute case of Reefer Madness brought some unintentional comedy to the proceedings, but it would be a lot funnier if this clown weren't in a position of power, denying life-saving medical treatments to patients with terminal and debilitating illnesses.
The fact-challenged legislator cited Kentucky's high rates of illegal and prescription drug abuse as reasons why it would be too dangerous to legalize medical marijuana in the Bluegrass State.
"I do not believe in the recreational use of marijuana," Benvenuti said, "and I could likewise fill this committee room with first responders, law enforcement officers and parents of dead children based on the effects of marijuana."
The assembled crowd was having trouble believing that a public official could make such an outlandish statement in a legislative hearing. As a protest started to spontaneously erupt from the crowd that marijuana is not a deadly substance, Rep. Benvenuti forged ahead.
"In driving intoxicated, in child abuse, we've already heard today from folks who talk about intoxicants and its role in child fatality and child abuse," he said. "So we need no more recreational drugs in Kentucky."
NY Patients, Families and Medical Experts: We Do Not Need “Feasibility Research Pilot Program,” We Need Comprehensive System
Dozens of patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers will gather in Albany, New York on Monday, January 13, for a press conference and lobby day to call upon Governor Andrew Cuomo to pass the Compassionate Care Act to ensure safe access to medical marijuana.
The patients are living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe seizure disorders, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions, and the families include parents of children who suffer from severe forms of epilepsy including Dravet's syndrome.
Traveling from all corners of the state, they will call on the Senate to pass and the Governor to support the Compassionate Care Act (A.6357-A [Gottfried]/S.4406-A [Savino]), comprehensive legislation that would allow seriously ill New Yorkers access to medicinal cannabis under the supervision of their healthcare provider.
The event comes on the heels of Governor Cuomo's Wednesday announcement in his State of the State address that he supports medical marijuana.
While this is a very good development, patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers are deeply concerned about the Governor's current proposal -- a very narrow and limited research pilot study based on a 1980 law which experts have called "unworkable" and patients and caregivers believe will not help those in need.
What: Press conference with patients, healthcare providers, and patients
When: 12 Noon, Monday, January 14
By Steve Elliott
The French Ministry of Health on Thursday announced that it has approved Sativex, a marijuana-based mouth spray, to be prescribed for medical reasons. Cannabis-derived medicines had been banned from the market in France until last June, when Health Minister Marisol Touraine passed a decree allowing the sale of such medications.
Thursday's announcement "is a step prior to the marketing of the product, which will take place at the initiative of the laboratory," the Ministry of Health announced, reports RT.com.
The British corporation GW Pharmaceuticals produces Sativex. The oral spray is expected to be available in France in 2015 for use against multiple sclerosis. It will be used for MS patients with severe muscle spasms who are resistant to other forms of treatment, the Health Ministry said.
Sativex is already available in most of Europe, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Italy.
In France, its use will be very strictly controlled and will only be prescribed by specialists such as neurologists. Patients will only be able to get one month's supply at the time, and will be required to renew their prescriptions every six months. The same basic rules are used with opiate medications in France.
The 10 Highest Cities In America By Movoto Real Estate
Colorado last week became the first state in the Union with legal sales of recreational cannabis, instantly conferring upon Denver the status of marijuana mecca.
But is Denver the highest city in the United States? That's what the Movoto Real Estate Blog set out to determine through the power of data, just as they've done with topics including which cities are the nerdiest, which are the worst dressed, or which is the best city in the whole country.
After extensive research, Movoto concluded that, yes, Denver really is the Mile-High City, but they also came up with a Top 10 list of the highest cities in America:
2. Colorado Springs
4. San Bernardino, CA
5. Aurora, CO
6. Santa Ana, CA
7. Irvine, CA
8. San Francisco, CA
9. Sacramento, CA
10. Los Angeles, CA
Now, I'm sure San Francisco's heads are quite exercised over the indignity of being outranked by Irvine, Santa Ana, and San Ber'dino, but are there any other surprises here?
Washington state is coming up fast with its own legalization law about to be implemented, but legal pot sales won't start until this summer.
To determine a city's ranking, Movoto measure seven different criteria:
• Marijuana dispensaries per capita
• Number of residents with medical marijuana cards
By Steve Elliott
Despite marijuana now being legal in two states (Colorado and Washington) that host National Football League teams (the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks), and despite the fact that cannabis is now legal for medical use in 20 states and is extremely useful for sports injuries, it's still a violation of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement to use it.
Under that agreement, players who test positive for cannabis can be suspended, but that could change, reports John Breech at CBS Sports. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday left open the possibility that players could be allowed to use medical marijuana in the future.
Goodell was asked if there would ever be a time when players in states where medical marijuana is legal, would be allowed to use it. Instead of answering with a flat no, Goodell said, "I don't know what's going to develop as far as the next opportunity for medicine to evolve and to help either deal with pain or help deal with injuries, but we will continue to support the evolution of medicine," reports ESPN.com.
Both Cultivation and Dispensaries Now Banned
By Steve Elliott
In a sobering reminder of just how backward county governments can still be, even in California, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday ignored the objections of patients and banned all medical marijuana cultivation in the county's unincorporated areas with a 5-0 vote. The ban takes effect next month.
The county is also banning medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives, leaving patients with no legal access to medicine, reports California NORML. "The Fresno ordinance is in blatant conflict with the intent of the Compassionate Use Act to ensure access to medical marijuana for all patients in medical need," the group said in a statement.
Those who defy the ban will be fined $1,000 per plant, reports Marc Benjamin at the Fresno Bee. The ordinance also adds a fine of $100 per plant, per day for each day the plants remain after they are initially discovered.
Violations of the "public nuisance" ordinance would trigger misdemeanor fines.
Appeals of the ordinance and its citations will be heard by the Board of Supervisors; the ban takes effect in 30 days.
By Steve Elliott
It is clear, according to Seattle-based patient advocacy group Cannabis Action Coalition, that the Washington State Legislature will attempt to eliminate or significantly change the state's medical cannabis laws during the 2014 session.
The CAC, a nonprofit organization, is conducting a survey to identify the impacts the adopted rules and recommendations implementing Initiative 502 will have on medical cannabis patients and small businesses in Washington.
The information from this survey will be used by the group to create a report to educate the Legislature, Liquor Control Board, and members of the public on the potential effects the I-502 rules and recommendations will have on medical cannabis patients, dispensaries, medical clinics, and small businesses.
Patients and cannabis consumers are invited to complete the survey by Monday, January 13, and send it on to others as well. All responses will remain confidential and will not be identified by individual participant.
Here is a link to the I-502 Medical Patient and Small Business Impact Survey:
(Graphic: The Weed Blog
Patients, Advocates, Elected Officials and Major Newspaper Editorials Praise Cuomo and Urge Him to Back Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will use his State of the State address to announce his support for medical marijuana for patients in New York. After years of opposing medical marijuana, the turnaround by Gov. Cuomo is making national headlines.
As an immediate step, the Governor will bypass the Legislature – where comprehensive legislation has stalled for years in the Senate – and take executive action to revive a 1980 law that allows the state to establish a limited medical marijuana research program.
The 1980 law established the Antonio G. Olivieri Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Program, which ran briefly in New York until being shut down in the early 1990s. Cuomo administration officials told The New York Times that the program would involve distributing medical marijuana through 20 hospitals statewide, and the Department of Health would be charged with promulgating regulations.
Critical questions remain as yet unanswered -- such as, what patients would be eligible, or where the marijuana for the program would come from. Administration officials have suggested they would obtain marijuana from the federal government or from supplies seized by law enforcement, but those options, while specifically outlined in the 1980 Olivieri law, are both unlikely and pose significant safety risks to patients.
By Steve Elliott
A Democratic lawmaker has filed a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Tennessee.
"It's just simply a matter of being rational and compassionate," said Rep. Sherry Jones (D-Nashville), who sponsors HB 1385, reports Tom Humphrey at The Knoxville News-Sentinel. "It would apply to only the most severely debilitated people ... children suffering a hundred seizures a day, people on chemotherapy, people with multiple sclerosis ... people with a plethora of diseases."
The Tennessee Legislature passed a bill allowing "marijuana by prescription" under state law in the 1980s, but that bill was unworkable as it required federal permission. Attempts since then have died in legislative committees, most recently in 2012.
But Rep. Jones, along with Doak Patton, president of Tennessee NORML, say times have changed in the state because of the rapidly developing political situation around cannabis.
"This really isn't about marijuana at all," said Patton. "It's about freedom and liberty."
"I think anybody would tell you alcohol is much worse than marijuana," Rep. Jones said. "If you think alcohol should be legal, then you would think that for sure medical marijuana should be legal."
By Steve Elliott
A petition drive in Florida for the medical use of marijuana is nearing its signature goal, according to organizers, who said they expect to submit enough signatures this week to get the issue on ballots in time for November's election.
Campaign organizers have to get 683,149 valid voter signatures before February 1 in order to qualify. Almost one in three signatures are typically rejected, but polls show the petition has a good chance of success, reports Bill Cotterell of Reuters.
Backers are shooting for about 1 million signatures, to account for any ruled invalid; organizers say they will hit the million-signature mark by next week, reports Reid Wilson at The Washington Post.
"By this time next week, we should have more than enough to give us some comfort that we should be on the ballot," said Ben Pollara, who runs the People United For Medical Marijuana campaign that's backing the initiative.
So far, PUFMM has submitted 265,000 valid signatures, according to the Florida Department of Elections. The group says it still has hundreds of thousands of signatures being processed by county elections officials.
Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan has contributed $3 million to the campaign.
By Steve Elliott
Smoking marijuana at school would earn most students a quick suspension -- and possibly arrest -- but Noah Kirkman is actually encourage to smoke pot at Western Canada High School.
Kirkman, 15, is a licensed medical marijuana patient; he's found that cannabis is a much more effective treatment for Tourette Syndrome and attention deficit disorder than the prescription pharmaceuticals he'd been using, reports Jeremy Nolais at Metro.
"It doesn't have any withdrawal effects and I can't overdose on it," explained Noah, who wants to be a photojourjnalist. "It helps keep me calm; it helps keep me focused."
Noah got his medical marijuana card in September, and he and his mother Lisa said they asked the Calgary Board of Education to discuss how he could use his medicine on school property.
It was eventually agreed that Noah could stop by the vice-principal's office and use his cannabis vaporizer three times a day: before class, at lunch and after class.
"I'm extremely proud of my son for speaking out," Lisa, also a licensed medical marijuana patient, told Hemp News Sunday night. "The cannabis has replaced a ridiculous amount of pharmaceuticals that he's had to use since he was four years old, simply to be able to function, let alone succeed in school."