Licenses to sell NJ medical marijuana cost $20K
Theories on the effectiveness of New Jersey's medical marijuana program remain in question as the state health department and Legislature continue to battle over its rules.
The health department has just released a revised set of rules for New Jersey's medical marijuana program. New Jersey's medical marijuana law was first enacted in January 2010.
The state Department of Health and Human Services also released a how-to guide for entrepreneurs who want to bid on the licensing rights to run the six alternative treatment centers selling marijuana. Licenses cost $20,000, but $18,000 would be refunded if the bidder loses.
The new rules reflect an agreement Gov. Chris Christie reached with the law's Assembly sponsor, Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer), that allow for six dispensaries to operate, instead of the four the administration initially sought.
NorthJersey.com reports the latest version of the controversial program's rules comes a day after Sen. Nicholas Scutari announced there would be a Jan. 20 hearing to repeal rules the department announced in October that he and patients say make access to the drug all but impossible.
The Asbury Park Press reported the state Senate voted in December to force Gov. Chris Christie's administration to rewrite proposed rules putting the medical marijuana law into effect.
Two of the four concerns specified were addressed in a compromise by Christie and Gusciora. Those were the number and responsibilities for alternative treatment centers and the conditions for when a doctor can recommend a patient for medical marijuana.
The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act is already the most restrictive of all such laws in the nation, according to the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey. The qualifying conditions are severely limited and include any patient with a diagnosis of less than 12 months to live. Some of the conditions are glaucoma, seizures (including epilepsy), and multiple sclerosis.
Scutari said he held out hope for a compromise. He wants the state to remove its proposed limit on the potency of the drug, and to drop the requirement that doctors must get addiction training and consent they will wean patients off the drug as soon as possible.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey also joined the contingent opposing the health department's proposed medical pot rules. The ACLU took issue with the state preventing dispensaries from advertising their products or sharing prices over the telephone.
3 charged after receiving marijuana via FedEx
Weed, the People: How a Cannabis Patient Lost Her Foster Kids
One passage from today’s cover story about the business of marijuana in Oregon may have jumped out at you—Kat Cambron, co-owner of Wake n Bake Cannabis Lounge in Aloha, had three foster kids removed from her home last week.
Here’s a fuller account of how authorities removed those three teenage boys from the home Cambron shares with her husband in Aloha. Cambron andMichael Balter, executive director of the Portland-based nonprofit Boys & Girls Aid, disagree on several key points in the story.
Boys & Girls Aid is one of about a dozen private agencies in the Portland area that recruit, train and certify foster parents. The agency then places and monitors foster kids in certified homes on behalf of state or county government.
As for Cambron, she had suffered serious neck, back, shoulder and hip injuries when she rolled an ATV at the Oregon Dunes in 2005. Cambron underwent a series of surgeries and spent years on pain medication.
Cambron, who has one adult daughter of her own, became a certified foster parent for Boys & Girls Aid in October 2009. Before she was certified, Cambron says she informed the agency in writing that she was on several kinds of heavy medication—including Dilaudid (a painkiller), Percocet(another painkiller), Flexeril (a muscle relaxant) and Valium.
She says Boys & Girls Aid knew she was on those medications and approved her as a foster parent. But Balter says that based on a report from Cambron’s doctor, the agency did not believe Cambron was on any medication—and Balter says Cambron never disclosed she was.
“They definitely knew,” Cambron insists. “What they’re doing is trying to twist it.”
For the next 15 months after becoming a certified foster parents, Boys & Girls Aid trusted Cambron and her husband to care for some of its most troubled kids—teenage boys, many of whom had violent tendencies and a history of running from other foster homes. Most were placed for short-term stays in Cambron’s home, the longest for three months. Cambron estimates she has cared for about 40 kids in all.
After spending nearly a year as a certified foster parent, Cambron says she unwittingly ate a cannabis-infused cookie at a party last September. She discovered pot was far more effective at alleviating her pain than the cocktail of pills she’d been prescribed.
Cambron became a state-certified medical-marijuana patient in late September. As a result, she says she cut her number of medications from 18 to five. But she also learned a lack of reliable resources exist for patients to get their weed. So she decided to open Wake n Bake with a friend who had more experience in the pot world, Andrew Gwin.
The cannabis lounge opened the day before Thanksgiving. Cambron says she told Boys & Girls Aid only that she was opening a consignment shop—she says she didn’t mention weed because she was unsure the business would last. But after giving interviews to WW for the cover story, Cambron informed the agency Jan. 7 that she was a pot patient and had opened a marijuana lounge.
Cambron says the agency told her later that same day that they were immediately removing the three boys who were in her home at the time. Cambron says an agency official told her she could no longer be a foster parent because marijuana use violates Boys & Girls Aid policy. The kids were removed the following morning, on Jan. 8.
Cambron says it’s deeply hypocritical for the agency that allowed her to care for kids while on heavy pain meds to take the children away after she switched to marijuana.
“I’m really upset at our system,” Cambron says. “That does not seem to me to be a reason to not help children. I am much clearer.”
On Jan. 7—the day agency officials informed Cambron they were removing the kids—Balter declined to discuss the case in detail with WW pending Cambron’s written permission. But Balter indicated in a phone interview he was concerned Cambron was a marijuana user.
“Many of our young people have drug addiction issues,” Balter said. “If they can find that in the home, or smell it, or see it, that’s very provocative.”
After receiving written permission from Cambron to discuss details of her case, Balter told WW on Jan. 10 that his agency has no specific policy against marijuana use. Unlike the interview three days prior in which he indicated pot was the main issue, Balter said Jan. 10 the agency took Cambron’s kids because she wasn’t immediately forthcoming about becoming a patient and opening the lounge.
“In all honesty, this is about trust,” Balter said. “How could we put children in a home with someone who isn’t telling us all along what’s going on?”
Cambron says the agency is backpedaling on the marijuana issue because she mentioned to them she may consult a lawyer about a legal claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“That’s really interesting that they’re changing their story, because they were wrong and they know it,” Cambron says. “Now they’re attacking me personally after everything I’ve done for them? How rude is that?”
(Read the full story HERE)
Colorado Medical Marijuana: State Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To Regulations
Cannabis Seminar Ends Successfully In Redding
Over 130 people attended the Cannabis Industries Training Centre two day conference at the Holiday Inn in Redding over the weekend. The event was designed to educate people about the medical marijuana industry and discuss all of the pros that it has to offer. The event was attended by caretakers, representatives from local collectives, and industry professionals. John Coonradt one of the organizers says he suffered from PTSD after fighting in the Vietnam War and medical marijuana has allowed him to spend less time in bed and more time with his grandkids.
He hopes to bring awareness to others who are interested in taking medical cannabis. “I don't want to sit there and drool and go to sleep half the day,” said Coonradt. “With the cannabis I don't have to worry about that because there's never been an overdose on cannabis.” Organizers hope to eventually expand the seminar into a series of classes for aspiring growers.
Tax requirement in co-op bill raises legal questions, IRS denies pot expenses
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