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Michigan’s New Centralized Medical Marijuana Agency

Michigan recently created the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to centralize all facets of medical marijuana regulation, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs reports.

The brand new agency, placed in LARA, combines the present supervision functions of the state’s patient and caregiver registry with the recently established statutory requirements for medical marijuana facility licensing.

“BMMR’s organizational structure places Michigan at the forefront of state medical marijuana regulation,” LARA Director Shelly Edgerton said. “Many other states have various licenses and patient programs spread throughout different departments and bureaus.”

Centralized services will improve patient protections and make regulations more efficient for business customers.

BMMR is in the procedure for executing the regulatory framework made by legislation signed by Gov. Snyder in September 2016. Regulatory functions comprise the investigation, licensing and enforcement of medical marijuana growers, processors, secure transporters, provisioning centers and security compliance facilities.

The law requires the agency to make licensing programs accessible by December 15, 2017.

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Marijuana Social Clubs Being Delayed in Maine

Lawmakers are debating whether to delay licensing of marijuana “social clubs” in Maine, following the lead of other legalization states confronting unwanted scrutiny from federal officials or concerns about public health.

But legalization advocates warn that it’s better to have licensed, closely regulated marijuana clubs than illegal places running in the shadows.

“These clubs will pop up. They already are, and delaying isn’t going to prevent any of that activity,” said Becky DeKeuster, a consultant on cannabis issues who formerly ran medical marijuana dispensaries in Maine and California.

The legalization referendum narrowly backed by Maine voters in November contains references throughout the ballot initiative to “social clubs” where adults age 21 and over purchase and consume on shop premises. The fully accredited social clubs were pictured as places where users could lawfully assemble – similar to a bar or smoking lounge – to use marijuana in a carefully regulated and monitored setting.

Yet Maine could be the first state to allow marijuana clubs – a prospect that certainly concerned some lawmakers on the committee in charged with preparing the state for retail sales.

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Arizona Moms Speak Up On Medical Marijuana’s Impact On Their Kids

A group of mothers who’ve been fighting the stigma, paving the way and educating themselves about the benefits of medical marijuana. They say they are doing it for their kids, all of whom are fighting chronic diseases.

Parisa Mansouri-Rad, one of the moms, says she began looking into the benefits of marijuana while striving to figure out methods to bring comfort to her 16-year old daughter, Yazy, who was born premature at 23 weeks. She’s blind, has cerebral palsy and scoliosis. A spinal fusion operation left her in a great deal of pain. Subsequently her lower intestine failed, resulting in a serious chronic illness, that also caused a great deal of pain and distress.

“We attempted a multitude of pharmaceuticals to figure out what would work, she was like a guinea rabbit for the doctors,” said Mansouri-Rad.

“Not only was she on pain medication that was really damaging to her body, but on other pharmaceuticals that we then had to treat with other pharmaceuticals due to the side effects,” she added.

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420 Celebrations Around the Country: The Biggest Day for Marijuana

It feels like Christmas for the country’s legal marijuana stores today. Not only Christmas but all other holidays rolled in to one one smoky party known as 420.

April 20 has for a long time been a day full of civil disobedience by marijuana users, who assemble in public to light up weed at 4:20 p.m. The phrase “420” is a longtime code for marijuana users, who work it into dating profiles or post it on signs to show their common interest. But while it used to be a celebration held using a particular degree of furtiveness, the swiftly growing legalization of cannabis means an increasing number of Americans no longer face critical, if any, punishment for smoking weed.

All states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana also have prohibited public consumption, but those rules in many cases are dismissed on April 20, when crowds assemble on college campuses and central parks to light up. That means huge sales days for shops, particularly in states with operating marijuana marketplaces: Washington, Oregon and Colorado, which could see single-day 420 sales of $20 million.

One of Colorado’s largest marijuana stores, the Medicine Man, anticipated to see more than double the regular number of customers each day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

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Alaska Lawmakers Delay Proposal On Onsite Marijuana Use

Alaska marijuana regulators have delayed discussions about onsite marijuana consumption until next month.

The state’s Marijuana Control Board was expected to consider whether to move forward with proposed rules for letting retail cannabis customers to consume their purchases on site

It’s something that no other state that has legalized the recreational use of marijuana has permitted.

The board used its two day meeting to go through a backlog of permit applications for retail stores and manufacturing facilities.

“They really wanted to concentrate on approved applications at this meeting so people could begin with their businesses as we move into summer,” said Erika McConnell, director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Board. “Onsite consumption was kind of the big time-consuming issue that they pushed until the end and then we ran out of time. ”

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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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