Medical Marijuana

Virginia Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Program Improvement Bill

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, February, 17th 2016 by THCFinder

virginia medical marijuanaYesterday, the Virginia Senate by a vote of 37 to 2 passed SB 701, a bill that would allow the production and manufacturing of Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and THC-A oil in the state.  For the past several weeks patients, parents, and advocates from across the state worked tirelessly to persuade  members of the Senate to move forward on this issue which until last year seemed out of reach for Virginia’s  conservative legislature.

Last year’s passage of SB 1235 and HB 1445 gave intractable epilepsy patients and their caregivers an affirmative defense for possession of two marijuana oils, THCa and CBD used to treat seizures.  However, the law provides no way for patients to obtain the oils without breaking federal and state laws. To help rectify this situation Senator Marsden from Fairfax introduced SB701 which, if passed, will provide a mechanism for production of these oils for patients with intractable epilepsy in the state.

“Patients and their families undergo incredible daily stress managing uncontrolled seizures. Breaking laws to obtain this treatment, is an additional stressor these families do not need.  Yesterday’s vote is a just another small victory towards ensuring these patients have safe, reliable access to this treatment”, said Beth Collins, ASA director of communications and outreach. “The passage of SB701 would have a dramatic impact on the lives of patients by further expanding the medical cannabis program to allow access within the state of Virginia to low-THC extracts.”

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Marijuana Policy Project Unveils Details About Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, February, 16th 2016 by THCFinder

ohio marijuana medical marijuana legalizationOhio tried to become the first state to skip legalizing medical marijuana and go straight to full recreational marijuana legalization in 2015. That effort was soundly defeated. Immediately after the recreational marijuana legalization initiative was defeated, activists were calling for organizations to step in and put together a better effort. Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) stepped up and announced that it would be pushing for a medical marijuana initiative for the 2016 ballot. Up until today, there weren’t any details available. However, today MPP released some details, per Cleveland.Com:

The amendment will establish a system where patients with certain medical conditions can apply for a medical marijuana ID card that allows them to buy and possess marijuana. The state would license businesses to grow, process, test, distribute and sell medical marijuana, and sales tax would be applied. License fees and tax revenues would pay for the program’s administrative costs.

Kampia said patients and their caregivers could grow their own marijuana as soon as the amendment becomes law.

And there will not be a monopoly, a sticking point with the recreational marijuana amendment last year.

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Miami-Herald: Vote Yes On Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative ‘For Humanitarian Reasons’

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Sun, February, 14th 2016 by THCFinder

Florida medical marijuanaFlorida voters are going to see a medical marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot for the second election cycle in a row. The 2016 version is different than the 2014 version in a handful of ways. The 2014 initiative lost by just 2 percent. An improved initiative, lessons learned from the 2014 campaign, and a higher voter turnout due to a Presidential election will hopefully overcome that 2 percent. Florida residents want medical marijuana, and not the version previously passed by the Florida Legislature that doesn’t really help anyone. The Editorial Board at the Miami-Heraldagrees. Per an excerpt from a recently published article by the media outlet:

But this is about sick people. Passage of the amendment means patients will go to a doctor, who can recommend they receive a medical marijuana card. The card will be issued by the Florida Department of Health, giving a patient the right to buy medical marijuana at dispensaries expected to spring up across the state.

Today, 23 states already permit medical cannabis use, and three more are poised to advance similar laws this year. Florida should join the group, primarily for the sake of an ailing population that wants it available.

Floridians have sent a signal they want medical marijuana. For humanitarian reasons, voters should approve the measure this time around.


Nevada Health Official Predicts Medical Marijuana Patient Numbers Will Quadruple Soon

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Sat, February, 13th 2016 by THCFinder

Nevada medical Marijuana dispensariesNevada has had a medical marijuana program for awhile now, but it wasn’t until recently that there were state licensed dispensaries. There have been some dispensaries operating in the shadows for years, but now dispensaries are fully regulated and operating with the full permission of the State of Nevada. With safe access points opening up all over Nevada, more and more Nevada residents are becoming medical marijuana patients, with exponential growth predicted for the near future. PerMarijuana Business Daily:

Some good news for Nevada’s medical cannabis businesses: the number of MMJ patients in the state may more than quadruple in coming years, according to a state health official.

Nevada is receiving about 300 medical marijuana card applications per month. If that pace keeps up, the number of registered patients will increase from the current number of about 14,000, to 60,000, a deputy administrator of the state Division of Public and Behavioral Health told the state’s Legislative Interim Finance Committee this week, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

Through Feb. 10, there were 18 dispensaries that had received their final certificates, while 12 of them are open, according to state medical marijuana program numbers.

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California NORML Opposes Medical-Only Marijuana Tax

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, February, 12th 2016 by THCFinder

california marijuanaA bill to impose a new 15% state excise tax on retail purchases of medical marijuana has been proposed in the California legislature (SB 987 by Sen. McGuire).  The tax would be in addition to the current 7.5+% sales tax plus various local business taxes assessed by some localities.

“At this time when providers already face burdensome new costs under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), it is unwise and inappropriate to impose any new state tax on medical marijuana,” says California NORML director Dale Gieringer.  Many patient advocates regard any taxes on medicine as unjust in principle.

The tax in SB 987 is modeled on a similar 15% tax that would be imposed on all marijuana purchases under the proposed AUMA (Adult Use of Marijuana Act) legalization initiative.  “If AUMA passes, SB 897 is redundant and moot,” says Gieringer, “If not, it will only encourage marijuana suppliers to move to the illegal, untaxed, unregulated adult use market.”

Proceeds of the tax would be divided between the general fund, local oversight agencies, state parks, drug and alcohol treatment programs,  and environmental restoration for land damaged by illegal growers.  In a statement, Sen. McGuire said that the taxes are needed to compensate “communities that have long been paying the price of the negative effects of cultivation brought on by the ‘bad actors’ who destroy the environment and bring in crime.”

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A 15 Percent Medical Marijuana Sales Tax Proposed In California

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, February, 11th 2016 by THCFinder

california medical cannabisCalifornia has the oldest medical marijuana program in the nation. I will never forget when California voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. I was a freshman in high school, and I remember it being such a historical thing. I vividly remember thinking about how I was going to graduate high school later that decade, and move to California to try to land a job in the medical marijuana industry there, which had been operating in the shadows prior to the passage of Prop 215. Oregon of course legalized medical marijuana two years later, prior to me graduating high school, so the urge to move to California never became enough to actually do it.

California is home to the largest medical marijuana industry in America, and it’s not even close compared to other states. I heard an estimate one time that half of the entire medical marijuana industry in America is in California. Last year medical marijuana industry legislation was passed at the state level in California, which will create a state level regulatory system in California. As with most marijuana related legislation, the California legislation left a lot to be desired. There will no doubt be some unanticipated consequences, but one thing that everyone anticipated was a medical marijuana sales tax. One has been introduced in California, which would result in a 15% sales tax. Per SFGate:

California would levy a new 15 percent tax on medical marijuana sales to enforce new regulations and pay for state programs, rehabilitation and parks under a bill introduced Wednesday.

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