Tampa Bay, Florida opened it's first medical marijuana dispensary last week, Trulieve, located north of Sunset Point Road on US Highway 19, Clearwater. Trulieve's first location is in Tallahassee, and delivery is available for patients unable to make the trip. High and Low-dose THC cannabis products are available for patients registered on the Florida Department of Health's Compassionate Use Registr. Patients must see a doctor and suffer from epilepsy, seizures, muscle spasms, cancer, or other terminal conditions to be put on the state's registry. Some doctor's are very pleased with the state's medical marijuana program and allowing those with debilitating conditions to try other options. Bonnie’s doctor, Kathy Anderson weighed in, "As a physician I feel it is my duty to ensure patients are given all the options available, so I am very pleased that medical cannabis is now an industry recognized course of treatment I can recommend for my appropriate patients," she explained, “I think Florida is doing it right with a strict policy for dispensing the medicinal marijuana.”
New York's Department of Health released a progress report for the state's medical marijuana program recently with a recommendation to double the amount of allowed growers and dispensaries around the state within the next two years, giving more access where it's needed. Over half of the state's medical marijuana patient's and registered doctors are located in Long Island and New York City, making access scarce around the rest of the state. The Department of Health also recommended that nurse practitioners be given the ability to certify medical marijuana patients, just as they can prescribe other controlled substances. With easier access to medical professionals and dispensaries, more people will be able to seek out and find the relief they need from medical marijuana. Recommendations must be approved by state legislators and the governor before becoming law. Currently, the state allows five companies to operate one growing facility and four dispensaries each. The Department of Health recommends doubling that over the next two years, which the report says will help "meet additional patient demand and increase access to medical marijuana throughout New York State." "Allowing NPs to issue certifications for medical marijuana would allow them to properly treat patients suffering from severe, debilitating or life threatening conditions, particularly in many rural counties where there are fewer physicians available to treat such ailments," according to the report
Gov. Wolf of Pennsylvania signed the state's medical marijuana bill into law in April, and this week a draft of the regulations to grow, cultivate, and track the drug have been released for aspiring business owners' benefit. The market to grow and sell medical marijuana will be intensely competitive with only 25 licenses awarded, and businesses will have to move quickly to begin sales by the estimated open date of 2018. Growers will have a 30-day window to import seeds. but after the first crop, no out of state cannabis imports will be legal. The proposal has received praise from advocates for using the successful aspects and compensating for problems in other states' current programs. "These regulations take into account what other states have done successfully and what other states would have liked to have done better," Bronstein said, "but the Pennsylvania program is its own animal." No out-of-state marijuana plants can be brought into Pennsylvania at any time. Growers will have a 30-day window to import seeds for their first crops, but subsequent crops must be grown with seeds, clones, or grafts produced at in-state facilities
Marijuana opponents have stated for years how the lack of scientific studies on marijuana is plenty reason to keep it illegal and let prohibition continue to ruin innocent lives. But the more we're learning about marijuana, the more it's clear that thorough research needs to be done. Take it from Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, a chairman at Columbia University's department of psychiatry, who points out with around 400 compounds making up marijuana, we only have limited knowledge on the two main cannabinoids, THC and CBD. Each compound has the potential to effect us in a different way, and it's time to find out what compound can be used for what purpose, medicinal or not. Until we take the time to fully study cannabis and each compound's full potential, we may never understand the drug that has caused so much controversy. "In terms of does cannabis hold any therapeutic potential, cannabis contains many constituents. It’s not just THC. And whether these have medicinal properties that can be used, the answer is very likely, and they should be studied,"Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, who is the chair of Columbia University's department of psychiatry and serves as the director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, told Business Insider. "Like many plants, marijuana has many different chemicals. There are specific components of the plant that can be developed for medical interventions," Hurd said.
A small study coming out of Columbia University Medical Center is showing that the pain relieving effects of marijuana could potentially be more effective in men compared to women. The double-blind study had both men and women soak a hand in nearly freezing temperature water until the pain became too much. While men experienced a significant increase in pain tolerance, the women only showed a small change. The findings are more than enough reason to perform more testing on cannabis for medical use to find out the best methods to treat symptoms in all patients. "These results indicate that in cannabis smokers, men exhibit greater cannabis-induced analgesia relative to women. As such, sex-dependent differences in cannabis's analgesic effects are an important consideration that warrants further investigation when considering the potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids for pain relief."
Here we go again with legislators trying to fix a problem caused by prohibition. Ohio is now the 26th state to legalize medical marijuana, but due to marijuana being federally illegal, most banks will not work with the industry, forcing them to use cash for everything from payroll and taxes to bills. Ohio legislators aren't comfortable with the large amounts of cash being kept inside marijuana businesses, and instead of fixing the problem federally, their short term solution is a closed-loop system. It would resemble that of a pre-paid debit card system where users will have to fill an account with money via check, credit card or cash at a state agency or state licensed liquor store. The number of banks working with marijuana businesses has risen from 51 in 2014 to 301 in 2016, but with most banks shunning the industry it remains a cash business. Until lawmakers are willing to protect banks from persecution or reschedule cannabis, then banks will stay fearful of marijuana and the federal government. The state's proposal comes amid concerns with how money is handled at marijuana companies with almost all of them running with cash-only transactions. These companies turn around and use the cash to pay bills, taxes and their employees and are forced to keep the cash in unsafe places. This endangers employees and customers because most banks, credit unions and credit card companies are reluctant to do business with them because marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
For the better part of 2016 the DEA has kept the public hanging on their decision of whether or not to reschedule cannabis, but is anyone surprised they announced that marijuana will remain illegal? The decision to legalize any substance should be left to medical and scientific fields, not to those who are able to profit off of a drug war. Where is the checks and balances? While the announcement comes with much frustration for advocates, there are some positive changes. Once published in the Federal Registrar tomorrow, the requirements to research and study the drug will be relaxed, making it easier for further medical studies in the future. This is good news as the main reason the DEA cited keeping marijuana illegal was the lack of studies, and lack of consensus by experts, which all along has been a direct result of the DEA's strict schedule 1 classification on the drug. One of the most notable announcements of the day is the recanting of one of the War on Drug's oldests ideas, that marijuana is a gateway drug, which there has never been and still remains no evidence for. But the DEA has chosen to remain stringent on cannabis and hold firm the belief that marijuana has no medical value, despite the federal government hosting a patent for cannabinoids as treating a wide variety of illnesses. The hypocracy of the matter is clear, but it's nothing new. Advocates will take this as another small step forward until the day when no one fears using marijuana. "At this time," the DEA concluded, "the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy." It did not find, however, that marijuana is a "gateway drug." "Little evidence supports the hypothesis that initiation of marijuana use leads to an abuse disorder with other illicit substances," the report said.
Marijuana, Cannabis Sativa is currently classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA, meaning a high potential for abuse and no medical value. But rather than fighting to prove it's medical value, advocates know it works and are more interested in exactly how many illnesses it can treat. A now financial advisor for a medical dispensary in Arizona had his mind turned upside down when he first tried medical marijuana with his young daughter, who was non-responsive for several years before trying the drug. Plagued by daily seizures, she was unable to develop or even make eye contact. Needless to say it was an emotional day when his daughter began smiling and crawling around. Since using cannabis her seizures shrunk to one every few months. This child success story with cannabis is not the only one, and the sooner research is conducted the sooner we will know how many children and adults can benefit from 1 simple plant. Medical marijuana use in minors has become more accepted in certain places, but when considering the alternatives of Adderall and Ritalin, which are meth based drugs to treat ADD, cannabis could be the best and safest alternative, but we won't know until we try. "Up until this point, I had been anti-marijuana. I was simply a desperate parent," describes Holyoak. "The single and sole difference between a child that's non-responsive, unable to feed herself and is in a wheelchair, and the bright, vibrant, loving and beautiful girl we have today is marijuana. That's the only difference," said Holyoak. "The standard treatment today for ADHD are drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, which are essentially methamphetamine. There needs to be more research on it," said Holyoak. "If this could be an alternative treatment to many of those other extremely harmful drugs, what a blessing that would be for all of us."
In 2014 the US Justice Department changed it's policy to allow Native American tribes to grow and sell marijuana on their land similar to how Colorado and other state's have legalized recreational marijuana. With newfound freedom, the Santee Sioux tribe planned the country's first cannabis resort, featuring a smoking lounge, night club, bar and food service, and even a music venue. Despite the perception of freedom, the threat of a federal raid remained, forcing the Sioux tribe to abandon the plan and destroy the crops. The Sioux only intended to cooperate with federal authority, but somehow two of it's legal figures are being charged with marijuana crimes. The federal government doesn't want any third party or non-Native American participation for neither the business or the consumer side of Native American cannabis. Eric Hagen, Monarch's chief executive, was charged by indictment with conspiracy to possess, possession and attempt to possess more than 10 pounds of marijuana. Jonathan Hunt, the vice president and cultivation expert, was charged with conspiracy to possess between a half-pound and a pound of marijuana.
Recently there have been more anecdotal reports of PTSD victims using marijuana to treat symptoms, but now the first official DEA approved study is recruiting veterans with PTSD to smoke different strains of cannabis on and off for a 12 week program observing the effects. The study will be conducted at both Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and Sisley's Scottsdale Research Institute in Pheonix, Arizona. The study has already recieved over 100 volunteers and is still accepting applicants. 76 combat veterans will be chosen next month and randomly assigned 1 of 4 different strains of marijuana to smoke up to 1.8 grams a day as needed and record the results. Researchers in Maryland and Arizona are looking for veteran volunteers to smoke up to two joints' worth of marijuana a day in a new study designed to find out if pot helps relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. “We’re not arguing that cannabis is a cure, but our hypothesis is that it will at least reduce the symptoms,” says physician and study organizer Dr. Sue Sisley.
What kind of beer and wine do you like with your steak? How about your favorite strain of cannabis with a meal? Nug Run is a newer company with a fresh idea to send subscribers a monthly box of food paired with the perfect matching strain of marijuana. The company which began on the cannabis holiday, April 20th, is only able to appeal to California's medical marijuana patients at the moment. If Californians vote to legalize recreational marijuana this November, Nug Run will be able to significantly increase their subscription market. Nug Run is proud to get it's marijuana from small family-owned growers who use all natural processes. Ocampo started to experiment with pairing different types of cannabis with different foods, inviting friends with medical marijuana cards to small tasting parties. From there, the idea for Nug Run – a monthly box pairing foods and cannabis – was born. “Cannabis can be approached like any other food product, and it can be consumed in a new exciting way,” Ocampo said. “It’s a great way to introduce new people to cannabis, because they can use food to introduce them to the cannabis scene.”
Is your time of the month a particularly painful one? Do you live in Colorado or California with a medical marijuana card? Then you're in luck! Natural cannabis tampons have been mentioned in the past but are now available in limited markets, with hopes of expanding to all legal marijuana states. Where motrin, midol, and other pain killers might not alleviate cramps as desired, the mixture of coca butter, THC oil and CBD isolate from organically grown hemp have some praising the suppository for its muscle relaxing and rain relieving properties. You can purchase the 4-pack for $44 from the company Floria. Foria says their primary focus is on relieving pain, with an intention to “share the powerful medicinal properties of this plant while utilizing modern extraction techniques to standardize purity and potency.” Creating a tampon, rather than a pill per se, helps “deliver the medicine directly to where it is needed most.”