April 2017

Rhode Island Legislators Expects To Beat Massachusetts At Recreational Marijuana

Rhode Island state legislators say that they have sufficient support to pass a bill if it comes to a vote this spring in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly. The law makers are expecting to legalize recreational marijuana soon and may beat Massachusetts on it.

Scott Slater, a Providence Democrat and legalization proponent, said taking actions this year would allow Rhode Island to have regulations and a new source of tax revenue in place before retail marijuana shops open over the border in Massachusetts. He said Rhode Island has already reinforced how they tax and regulate medical marijuana plants, so making a change to enable recreational use wouldn’t be tough.

“We’ll definitely be able to beat Massachusetts to the punch,” Slater said. He additionally said that Massachusetts appears to be delaying their recreational regulations.

Voters in Maine, Massachusetts, California and Nevada approved recreational marijuana last year, joining Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. But Massachusetts legislators have delayed the opening of marijuana stores until mid-2018 at the soonest.

In Rhode Island, legislators have debated marijuana legalization for years but haven’t voted on it yet. Having a vote would need the support of top legislative leaders, like Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. The year’s first legislative hearing on the proposal is already scheduled on Tuesday in the House Judiciary Committee.

“The speaker said he’s open-minded however, and he’s waiting for the hearing,” said Slater, who recently had a dialogue with with Mattiello. “He wants the bill to be vetted in committee and hear the various views.”

According to Slater, there are still concerns surrounding a few of the details of the bill, including how it would regulate edible marijuana products.

 

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Marijuana Home Delivery Service To Start In Massachusetts

The proprietor of the second dispensary to open in the legal marijuana market in Massachusetts will be the first to offer home delivery services throughout the whole state.

In Good Health, a medical marijuana dispensary which started in 2015, will begin offering marijuana home delivery in an attempt to expand accessibility to the elderly and those suffering from disabilities. David Noble, president of In Good Health, also wants to make medical marijuana more accessible to patients who don’t live in close proximity to any of the 10 dispensaries running in the state, reports The Boston Globe.

The service, which will start deliveries on Monday, was sanctioned by regulators from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Regulators formerly approved weed delivery for medical marijuana dispensary Patriot Care, but the company only runs in some of the towns.

“There’s a big population of patients who are disabled or don’t have access to a dispensary, whether they live too far away or can’t wait in a line for too long,” Noble told The Boston Globe. “There’s a real void for all these patients to get safe and reliable access to medical marijuana in a legal way.”

In Good Health expanded its growing space early this year and is intending to start two additional shop locations. The dispensary will offer next-day delivery for absolutely any registered medical marijuana patient. Noble said the company will use two uniformed drivers in unmarked vehicles with security cameras to prevent theft of the products. They’ll additionally use tamper-resistant packaging for the many marijuana products available for delivery.

 

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Florida Representatives Propose Measure To Ease Marijuana Access

Two Florida representatives have proposed a bill that would allow it to be easier for researchers and patients to get marijuana by classifying it differently from illegal drugs on the federal level.

U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, and Darren Soto, D-Orlando, have joined to push for a bipartisan measure that would move cannabis from being a Schedule I substance, like heroin or LSD, to a Schedule III substance, like anabolic steroids or Tylenol with codeine.

The Drug Enforcement Administration says Schedule III substances “have a potential for abuse less than substances in Schedules I or II and misuse can lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.” The federal Controlled Substances Act presently classifies marijuana, heroin, LSD and Ecstasy in the same class, saying the drugs “have no currently accepted medical use.”

“Floridians have spoken and medical marijuana is the law of the land,” Soto says in a statement. “It is now time for the federal government to recognize this emerging law and the well-known medical benefits of marijuana.”

 

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Florida Legislature Passed New Medical Marijuana Bill

Vowing that it’s merely a beginning, a Florida House panel gave the approval on Tuesday to a medical-marijuana proposal castigated by supporters of a constitutional amendment that legalized cannabis for a wide swath of patients with debilitating ailments.

The House Health Quality Subcommittee overwhelmingly approved the measure (HB 1397), sponsored by House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, with only one “no” vote after almost three hours of public testimony.

“I believe this is a calculated approach,” Rodrigues, R-Estero said, “but I’ll warn you that it’s not the final product.”

The Rodrigues proposal would forbid smoking of cannabis products as well as edibles, and would ban all but terminally ill patients from using vaporizers to have medical marijuana, among the greatest objections to the bill raised by supporters of the constitutional amendment.

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Marijuana Blogger from Colorado “The Stoner Mom”

Kathryn VanEaton is a stay-at-home mother of two kids, and also a step-mom to two more.

She picks up her children from school every single day, each night she makes dinner after which her family sits down at the table to enjoy eating together.

Kathryn VanEaton is also a user of cannabis, who has gone by “Stoner Mom,” since she started a blog of the exact same name.

“When mommy blogging became big, this was like what, early 2000s? It was amazing because moms could be like, ‘Oh, I’m a mom and I do this.’ Or, ‘Oh, I’m a mom and I do that}.’ There’s all these different niches that they could get into in the context of being a true mother,” VanEaton says.

VanEaton had been blogging for 12 years before the onset of Stoner Mom in 2014. She was a photographer that time, who had gotten bored with that routine. At that stage, she thought, she was in a distinctive position to blog not only about her life being a mom, but as well as to blog about being a legal user of marijuana.

“I would get high with my girlfriend on girls’ night in, and we’d just talk about how amusing it was that we were smoking marijuana in secret. We’re the same moms – we’re home, we’re picking up our children from school, and sleeping with our kids, or not getting any sleep,” she says. “People didn’t actually know that the mom at the supermarket with the enormous grocery bill is also a pothead.”

 

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How Colorado Intends Protect Marijuana Industry from a Possible Federal Crackdown

Colorado is contemplating an uncommon strategy to safeguard its nascent marijuana industry from a possible federal crackdown even at the expense of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax collections.

A bill pending in the Legislature would enable marijuana growers and retailers to reclassify their recreational marijuana as medical marijuana if a change in federal law or enforcement happens.

It’s the boldest effort yet by a U.S. marijuana state to prevent federal intervention in its weed market.

The bill would enable Colorado’s 500 or so licensed recreational marijuana growers to immediately reclassify their weed. A change would cost the state more than $100 million a year because Colorado taxes medical marijuana far more lightly than recreational marijuana — 2.9 percent versus 17.9 percent.

The measure says licensed growers could instantly become medical licensees based on a business need as a result of change in local, state or federal law or enforcement policy. The change wouldn’t take recreational marijuana off the books, but nevertheless, it wouldn’t completely safeguard it either. What it could do is help growers protect their inventory in case federal authorities begin confiscating recreational marijuana.

The provision is receiving plenty of attention in the marijuana industry following recent opinions from members of President Donald Trump’s administration. White House spokesman Sean Spicer has said there’s a “big difference” between recreational and medical marijuana.

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Governor Brown of California Wants To Ease Up Starting A Marijuana Business

Gov. Jerry Brown disclosed a proposal last week to simplify statewide rules that regulate medical and recreational marijuana sales and production, in anticipation of the launching of the recreational cannabis industry in California in 2018. The proposal, if approved by the Legislature, would allow it to be simpler to take up a marijuana business in the Golden State.

“Brown’s administration has designed a tight, extensive regulatory framework that protects consumers, workers, public health, the environment and small business stakeholders, while ensuring an inclusionary framework that opens up access for individuals with low income and communities of color,” Lynne Lyman, state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement.

Under the proposal, only state licenses would be required for marijuana businesses, unless local municipalities choose to require local licenses as well. State licenses wouldn’t be accessible to entrepreneurs who want to set up shop in municipalities where marijuana businesses are prohibited.

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San Francisco California Opens World’s First Ever Marijuana Gym

A San Francisco fitness center slated to open this fall will motivate customers to use weed as part of their fitness routine.

Power Plant Fitness customers are going to have the choice to bring their own cannabis or order edibles, the gym’s preferable kind of cannabis, while they’re at the fitness center. Desired edibles will be brought by a delivery service to the fitness center within 15 minutes after customers place orders, said owner Jim McAlpine. Adult-use, recreational marijuana is legal in California, but it can be sold exclusively by dispensaries. Using marijuana in public is prohibited. The fitness center is going to have designated space for those inhaling pot.

The gym, which advertises itself as the world’s first cannabis fitness center, touts using the drug for meditation, focus and pain.

McAlpine, who’s already hosting Power Plant boot camps, wants people understand this isn’t going to be “a stoner gym.” The focus is still on fitness even if cannabis use is welcome.

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Texas Lawmakers Proposes To Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties

The Dallas City Council will again consider stopping the Dallas Police Department’s policy to arrest people for possessing small amounts of marijuana, next week. Five members of the City Council, who pressed on the policy but didn’t obtain the approval, have pushed cite-and-release back on the council calendar. The policy permits authorities to issue tickets for marijuana possession instead of making arrests. The present penalties for marijuana possession would stay unchanged: a $2,000 fine and up to six months in jail for possession of two ounces or less.

When the council brought up cite-and-release this past year, then Dallas Police Chief David Brown opposed the policy out of concern that police authority would be reduced by it. This time around, the department, under Interim Police Chief David Pughes, means to follow whatever recommendation the council gives by next Wednesday.

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Texas Veterans Fight For Medical Marijuana As Treatment For PTSD

Amanda Berard is a mother, a University of North Texas grad student, and a veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

She was sexually assaulted while in the Army, which resulted in her PTSD.

“I experience it with depression and in hypervigilance,” Berard said.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, 23 of every 100 women that use the VA say they have been a victim of sexual assault.

In order to cope with her PTSD symptoms, Amanda says that doctors in Texas can only do one thing:

“You’re given a cocktail of medication,” Berard described. “A cocktail of pharmaceutical pills. I have five or six different medications that I’m supposed to take. The prescriptions, I feel, are like a Band-Aid solution.”

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