West Virginia Governor Signs Limited Medical Marijuana Measure Into Law

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (D) signs Senate Bill 386, the Medical Cannabis Act, on April 19, 2017. The Governor was joined for the bill signing by two of the initiative’s primary supporters, Senator Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha), as well as Senator Mike Woelfel (D-Cabell) and Dr. Rahul Gupta the State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health. (image/Office of the Governor)

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Colorado Lawmakers Pass Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Approximately 8 million adults suffer from PTSD, including many military veterans. (WikiMedia Commons/USMC)

DENVER, CO — Lawmakers in the Colorado legislature have passed a measure to add post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in the state.

The measure, Senate Bill 17, will now be sent to the desk of Gov. John Hickenlooper for final approval.  It was approved

Previous attempts to add PTSD to the conditions that qualify a…

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Medical Marijuana Patient Registry Opens in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, MD — After lengthy delays, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has opened up the patient and caregiver registry for the state supervised medical marijuana program.

Starting Monday April 24, open enrollment for all patients and caregivers is available on the agency’s website.

The registry was opened in a three-phase roll-out earlier this month. Previously, patients and caregivers with last names starting A through L could only register in the week beginning…

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Governor Signs Bill Making West Virginia the 29th Medical Marijuana State

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (D) signs Senate Bill 386, the Medical Cannabis Act, on April 19, 2017. The Governor was joined for the bill signing by two of the initiative’s primary supporters, Senator Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha), as well as Senator Mike Woelfel (D-Cabell) and Dr. Rahul Gupta the State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health. (image/Office of the Governor)

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North Dakota Governor Signs Bill Amending Voter-Approved Medical Marijuana Initiative

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (North Dakota Office of the Governor)

BISMARK, ND — North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R) signed legislation on Tuesday amending provisions of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act – a voter-initiated measure approved by 65 percent of voters last November.

Senate Bill 2344 makes several significant changes to the law. Specifically, it removes provisions permitting patients the option to home cultivate their own cannabis if they do not…

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West Virginia Lawmakers Approve Amended Medical Marijuana Measure

“Welcome to West Virginia” sign along westbound U.S. Route 48 and West Virginia Route 55 east of Wardensville in Hardy County, West Virginia (Wikimedia/Famartin)

CHARLESTON, WV — Lawmakers in both chambers of the West Virginia legislature have approved a significantly amended version of Senate Bill 386, which seeks to establish a state-regulated medical cannabis program.

The measure now awaits action from Democrat Gov. Jim Justice, who has previously expressed support for…

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Arizona Appellate Court Strikes Medical Marijuana Campus Ban

PHOENIX, AZ — An Arizona appellate court has ruled that a 2012 law amending the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) to prohibit the use of medical cannabis on college campuses is unconstitutional.

“By enacting A.R.S. § 15-108(A), the Legislature modified the AMMA to re-criminalize cardholders’ marijuana possession on college and university campuses,” the Court opined. “The statute does not further the purposes of the AMMA; to the contrary, it eliminates some of its…

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Arizona Appellate Court Strikes Down Law Banning Medical Marijuana on Campus

PHOENIX, AZ — An Arizona appellate court has ruled that a 2012 state law prohibiting the use of medical cannabis on college campuses is unconstitutional.

Arizona voters in 2010 narrowly approved a statewide initiative, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), permitting qualified patients to possess and use medicinal cannabis. The Court determined that the legislature’s decision to later amend the law in order to restrict medical marijuana use on college…

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New Mexico Governor Vetoes Medical Marijuana Changes

SANTA FE, NM — New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has vetoed House Bill 527, a measure that would have made improvements to the state’s medical cannabis program.

The most significant provision in the legislation would have allowed New Mexicans diagnosed with opioid use disorder by a licensed practitioner to be eligible for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. Nationally, in 2015, more people died from opioid overdoses than died from HIV/AIDS when that epidemic peaked…

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West Virginia to Become 29th Medical Marijuana State: Legislature Sends SB 386 to Governor

“Welcome to West Virginia” sign along westbound U.S. Route 48 and West Virginia Route 55 east of Wardensville in Hardy County, West Virginia (Wikimedia/Famartin)

CHARLESTON, WV — A medical marijuana bill received final approval in the West Virginia Legislature on Thursday and is headed to the desk of Gov. Jim Justice. He has publicly expressed support for legal access to medical marijuana and is expected to sign the bill into law, making West Virginia the 29th state to…

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California Gov. Moves to Align Medical and Recreational Marijuana Regulation

California Governor Jerry Brown

SACRAMENTO, CA — Late Tuesday afternoon, Governor Jerry Brown released his proposal to align medical marijuana regulations passed by the Legislature in 2015 and the 2016 Adult Use of Marijuana Act, both of which call for commercial licensing and regulation to begin in January 2018.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, Proposition 64, was passed by California voters in 2016 with more than 57 percent of the vote, legalizing marijuana for adults 21…

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New York: New Regulatory Changes To Expand Medical Marijuana Access

ALBANY, NY — Newly enacted regulatory changes to the state’s medical cannabis program are expected to result in increased patient access.

As of this week, patients suffering from chronic pain conditions are now eligible to qualify for cannabis therapy.

In January, a National Academies review of over 10,000 scientific abstracts acknowledged that “conclusive” evidence exists to support the use of cannabis in pain treatment.

Another change in the program allows physician…

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Here Are the 23 States That Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Approximately 8 million adults suffer from PTSD, including many military veterans. (WikiMedia Commons/USMC)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not rare. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, about eight million adults suffer from it in any given year, including tens of thousands of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans. Somewhere between 11% and 20% of those vets will suffer from it each year.

PTSD isn’t limited to vets, though—trauma comes in many forms—and 7% to 8%…

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Medical Marijuana Legalization Associated with Fewer Opioid-Related Hospitalizations

SAN DIEGO, CA — The enactment of statewide legislation permitting medical cannabis access by qualified patients is associated with a reduction in opioid-related hospitalization, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

A researcher from the University of California at San Diego assessed the association between medical cannabis laws and hospitalizations related to opioid pain relievers. The author reported both immediate…

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Bipartisan Vote Carries Medical Marijuana Research Bill to Passage in New Mexico House

SANTA FE, NM — The New Mexico State House voted 41-26 Saturday afternoon to pass House Bill 155, co-sponsored by Rep. D. Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. McCamley (D-Las Cruces) to establish a fund in the state treasury for research related to the production, uses, effects, and efficacy of medical marijuana.

The bill had bi-partisan support with six Republicans voting in favor, including the minority leader, Nate Gentry, R-Abq. Other Republicans who voted in favor of…

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Medical Marijuana Legalization Does Not Lead to Crime Increase

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — The enactment of US laws regulating the sale and use of cannabis for medical purposes is not associated with any uptick in the rate of violent crime or property crime, according to data compiled by researchers at the University of Victoria and the Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Institute in New Zealand.

Investigators analyzed FBI crime data from the years 1988 to 2013 to assess the potential impact of medical marijuana…

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Florida Health Regulators’ Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules Undercut Voter-Approved Amendment

TALLAHASSEE, FL — Proposed rules by the Florida Department of Health to regulate the dispensing of medical cannabis are contrary to the intent of Amendment 2, the ballot initiative approved by 71 percent of voters on Election Day.

Specifically, the draft rules would not permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients with chronic pain – instead limiting patients to those with one of ten qualifying conditions.

As approved by voters, the Amendment provides…

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Illinois State Treasurer Urges Trump to Let Banks Work with Marijuana Industry

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs on Monday sent a letter to President Trump asking for “clear guidance” in allowing banks to do business with the marijuana industry.

Illinois is one of 28 states that allows medical marijuana under a state-supervised program.

Federal law currently prohibits banks from processing money from customers working in the legal marijuana industry, making it difficult for marijuana related businesses to do…

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Public Forums Announced to Debate Proposed Florida Medical Marijuana Rules

Floridians voted overwhelmingly in favor of Amendment 2 on Election Day, passing the measure intended to regulate the production and dispensing of medical cannabis to any patient who is diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by their doctor.

However, newly proposed rule by the Department of Health seek to significantly amend this legislation in a manner that is contrary to patients’ needs.

Specifically, the rules would limit those patients who may qualify for cannabis…

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North Dakota Senate Unanimously Approves Medical Marijuana Delay

Lawmakers in the North Dakota Senate voted 45-0 on Tuesday to approve a measure that will delay the implementation of a voter-approved law to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

North Dakota was one of four states to authorize medical marijuana during the November elections, when over 63% of voters approved Question 5.

Senate Bill 2154 would prevent the state department of health from issuing any applications or licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries until…

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North Dakota Bill Would Delay Medical Marijuana Implementation

North Dakota was one of four states to authorize medical marijuana during the November elections, when over 63% of voters approved Question 5.

Now, a bill introduced in the state legislature seeks to delay the law’s implementation.

Senate Bill 2154 would prevent the state department of health from issuing any applications or licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries until July.

Read the full story at Medical Jane.

Tags: 2016 Election, 2017…

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New Mexico Bill Would Expand Medical Marijuana Program

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 8, to amend the state’s medical cannabis program in a manner that would better serve patients’ needs.

Specifically, the measure would amend patient possession limits so that qualified persons may possess up to five ounces of herbal cannabis per month, and it would mandate the Health Department to issue identification cards in an expedited manner.

It would also extend the term of state-issued identification cards from one-year to three…

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Thousands of Medical Marijuana Applications Leaked in Nevada

Personal data from thousands of people vying to work in Nevada‘s medical marijuana industry were leaked due to a glitch in the state’s website, which has now been taken offline until security can be restored.

The bug exposed the full 8-page application from nearly 12,000 applicants to anyone with the right web address, according to ZDnet, a tech blog run by CBS news.

The applications included the person’s full name, social security number, home address,…

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Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program Reaches Important Milestone

HARRISBURG, PA — Full implementation of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program is still over a year away, but a significant milestone was reached this week when the Department of Health announced where the state’s dispensaries and cultivation facilities will be located, and that applications will be accepted starting in January.

On Wednesday, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy announced that up to twelve grower/processor licensses will be issued across…

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Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Associated With Fewer Traffic Fatalities

The passage of medical marijuana legalization is associated with reduced traffic fatalities among younger drivers, according to data published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Public Health.

Investigators from Columbia University in New York and the University of California at Davis analyzed traffic fatality data from the years 1985 to 2014.

They reported that states with medical cannabis laws had lower overall traffic fatality rates compared to…

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Maine Governor Wants to ‘Get Rid’ of Medical Marijuana Program

Maine Governor Paul LePage (R). LePage said after the election that he intends to ask President-elect Donald Trump to enforce federal marijuana laws in Maine to prevent the state from legalizing marijuana.

Maine’s Republican Governor Paul LePage has never been a fan of marijuana reform, and on Thursday he suggested that the state’s medical marijuana program should be eliminated now that voters have approved legalizing recreational marijuana.

Speaking on the Portland’s 

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Federal Marijuana Protections Extended Through April

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of Congress have re-authorized a federal provision prohibiting the Justice Department from interfering in state-authorized medical cannabis programs. The provision, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, was included in short-term spending legislation, House Resolution 2028, and will expire on April 28, 2017.

Initially enacted by Congress in 2014, the amendment maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing…

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Montana Court: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Can Immediately Begin Serving Patients

HELENA, MT — Voter-initiated changes in law governing the operation of medical cannabis providers may take effect ahead of the measure’s June 30, 2017 implementation date, according to a court ruling.

Fifty-six percent of Montana voters approved I-182 on Election Day, which expands patients’ access to medical cannabis. However, a drafting error in the measure delays implementation of the new law until the end of June.

Last week, a Helena District Court Judge…

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Pennsylvania Department of Health Wants Public Input on Medical Marijuana Application Process

Pennsylvania flag flying

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy today encouraged individuals interested in applying for a medical marijuana grower/processor and/or dispensary permit to complete a brief survey on the department’s website.

“One of our primary focuses as we continue to develop this program is to make sure that patients with serious medical conditions have access to facilities to obtain medical marijuana.” said Secretary Murphy. “As we…

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Minnesota Adds PTSD to Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana

Minnesota-medical-marijuana

In a press conference last week, Dr. Ed Ehlinger, the Minnesota Commissioner of Health, announced the department will add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis.

Patients who suffer from PTSD and have their doctor’s certification will be eligible to sign up for a medical cannabis card beginning August 2017.

Dr. Ehlinger also announced that the department will expand the program by allowing medical cannabis…

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New York Adds Chronic Pain as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana Program

New York state flag

NEW YORK—The New York State Department of Health announced Thursday that they will expand New York’s beleaguered medical marijuana program by adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition under New York’s Compassionate Care Law.

This decision by the Department of Health is a victory for patient advocates and for all New Yorkers who suffer from debilitating pain,  which medical marijuana has been proven to help treat.

“Medical marijuana is a scientifically proven…

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Minnesota: PTSD Added to Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions

Minnesota-medical-marijuana

Patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will be eligible for medical marijuana in Minnesota starting in August.

“This decision was made after careful deliberation of available evidence, consultation with experts in the field and public input,” the Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger said in a statement announcing the change to the program. “While the process of reviewing these potential additions was difficult due to the…

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New York to Add Chronic Pain to Medical Marijuana Conditions

New York state flag

ALBANY, NY — Chronic pain will soon be added to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in New York.

“Medical marijuana is already helping thousands of patients across New York State, and adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition will help more patients and further strengthen the program,” New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker said in a statement Thursday.  “After conducting a thorough review of the scientific…

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Voters In Eight States Approve Marijuana Law Reform In Unprecedented Election Victories

election-2016-results-257

WASHINGTON, DC — Millions of Americans cast votes on Election Day in favor of sweeping statewide marijuana law reforms.

Voters in four states: California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada approved ballot measures legalizing the adult use of cannabis and licensing its commercial production and retail sale. Voters in four additional states: Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota approved initiatives legalizing and/or expanding the use and dispensing of cannabis for therapeutic…

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Four States End Marijuana Prohibition, Three Adopt Medical Marijuana Laws in Historic Election

Election-2016

WASHINGTON — California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada voted to end marijuana prohibition and Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota adopted medical marijuana laws Tuesday in the most momentous election to date for marijuana policy reform.

Montana approved an initiative to re-establish patients’ access to medical marijuana providers, which was hindered by state lawmakers, and create a more regulated system of medical marijuana production and distribution.

As of 4:30…

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Voters Approve Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative

election-2016-montana

According to polling information, voters in Montana will approve Initiative 182, the Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative. The Associated Press currently has the measure leading 56 percent to 44 percent.

“This decision restores the rights of patients and providers,” said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “Voters were clear in 2004 when they initially enacted the state’s medical law, and they remain resolved in their opinion that state lawmakers ought not to…

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North Dakota Voters Approve Medical Marijuana Measure 5

north-dakota-passes-measure-5

North Dakota voters overwhelmingly approved Measure 5, the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act by over 60% majority.  With 68.1% of precincts reporting, 63.8% of voters approved the measure, which was largely led by grassroots efforts.  Earlier this evening, voters in Florida also approved allowing medical marijuana.

Patients would be allowed to possess up to three ounces of medical marijuana once the measure becomes law.  Public consumption of marijuana, as well as driving…

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Florida Legalizes Medical Marijuana: Amendment 2 Passes with Over 70% of Vote

election-2016-florida-approves-medical-marijuana

Florida voters have overwhelmingly approved allowing medical marijuana just two years after a similar measure failed to garner the 60% approval needed to pass.  This time, voters said a resounding “yes” on Election Day.

With over 89% of precincts reporting as of 9:30 PM, Amendment 2 had earned 71.2% of the vote.

“This is a major tipping point: With Florida’s decision, a majority of states in the U.S. now have laws allowing patients to find relief with medical marijuana, and…

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Marijuana Wins Big on Election Night

election-2016-results-257

This Election Day was a watershed moment for the movement to end marijuana prohibition, with the results expected to accelerate efforts to legalize marijuana in states across the U.S., at the federal level, and internationally.  Overall, legalization initiatives prevailed in four out of five states, and medical marijuana initiatives prevailed in all four states this year.

Votes are still being counted for legalization initiatives in Maine and Arizona, as well as for a medical…

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North Dakota Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Medical Marijuana

North Dakota flag

North Dakota voters have approved Measure 5, which legalizes the medical use of marijuana for conditions such as cancer, AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS, glaucoma, and epilepsy, and other debilitating medical conditions.

Patients will be permitted to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana. The initiative instructs the Department of Health to issue ID-cards for qualified patients and regulate non-profit compassion centers which will serve as dispensaries for patients….

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Florida Becomes 1st State in the South to Approve Medical Marijuana

Welcome to Flordia

Florida voters have approved the state’s medical marijuana initiative, Amendment 2.  This victory makes Florida, with its huge population and bellwether status in American politics, the first state in the South to adopt a medical marijuana law.

The new law instructs the Department of Health to register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes, and issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Individuals with cancer, epilepsy,…

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California: Medical Dispensary Sales Top $844 Million

800px-Discount_Medical_Marijuana

SACRAMENTO, CA — Medical marijuana dispensaries in California sold over $844 million worth of cannabis-related products between April 2015 and March 2016, according to an analysis of sales tax receipts obtained exclusively by Marijuana Business Daily.

Their analysis reports that there were 2,756 dispensaries operating during this time period, producing $844,482,174 in retail sales. This revenue total is greater than that of all other medical cannabis states combined.

Because…

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Congress Provides Short-Term Extension to Medical Marijuana Protection Provisions

Congress Provides Short-Term Extension to Medical Marijuana Protection Provisions

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of Congress have approved a short-term spending bill keeping in place existing budgetary provisions protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis from federal prosecution by the Department of Justice.

The amendment, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Congress initially…

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Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Associated With Greater Workforce Participation Among Older Americans

Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Associated With Greater Workforce Participation Among Older Americans

The enactment of statewide medicinal cannabis programs is associated with greater participation in the workforce by adults age 50 and older, according to the findings of a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-partisan think-tank.

Researchers at the John Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore and Temple University in Philadelphia analyzed two-decades of data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative panel survey of Americans over 50 and their spouses, to determine the impact…

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Michigan Governor Signs Measures Regulating Medical Cannabis Dispensing

Michigan Governor Signs Measures Regulating Medical Cannabis Dispensing

LANSING, MI — Governor Rick Snyder has signed a package of legislation into law regulating the retail sale of medical cannabis and cannabis-infused products. The measures are ordered to take immediate effect.

The measures seek to clarify and expand various aspects of the state’s 2008 medical cannabis law. Specifically, the new law provides qualified patients for the first time with legal protections regarding the possession and use of non-smoked cannabis derived topical products and edibles, as well as cannabis-based extract products.

The…

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California Governor Signs Standards, Protections for Medical Marijuana Manufacturers

California Governor Signs Standards, Protections for Medical Marijuana Manufacturers

SACRAMENTO, CA — California Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 2679, which will establish key standards for medical cannabis manufacturers, help implement the landmark Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), and end misguided raids on manufacturers.

“Last year, California took a historic step by regulating medical cannabis to protect patients, businesses, our communities, and the environment. But across the state, locally authorized medical cannabis manufacturers continue to be targeted by municipal law…

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Study: Opioid Prevalence Falls Following Medical Cannabis Legalization

Study: Opioid Prevalence Falls Following Medical Cannabis Legalization

The implementation of medical marijuana programs is associated with a decrease in the prevalence of opioids detected among fatally injured drivers, according to data published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers at Columbia University in New York and the University of California at Davis performed a between-state comparison of opioid positivity rates in fatal car accidents in 18 states. Authors reported that drivers between the ages of 21 and 40 who resided in states that permitted medical marijuana use were approximately…

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Signs Medical Marijuana for PTSD Bill, But There’s a Catch

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Signs Medical Marijuana for PTSD Bill, But There’s a Catch

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has finally signed into law a bill passed by the General Assembly earlier this year to allow those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, including veterans, to participate in the Garden State’s medical marijuana program.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that is estimated to affect eight million Americans annually, including many military veterans returning from combat, as well as victims and witnesses of violent crimes.

Assembly Bill 457 will allow veterans and…

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Michigan Lawmakers Send 3 Bills to Regulate Medical Marijuana to Gov. Snyder

Michigan Lawmakers Send 3 Bills to Regulate Medical Marijuana to Gov. Snyder

These measures seek to better clarify and expand Michigan’s medical cannabis law.

LANSING, MI — Lawmakers have given final approval to a package of bills, HB 4209/4210, HB 4827, SB 141, and SB 1014, to regulate the retail sale of medical cannabis and cannabis-infused products.

The measures, which lawmakers had debated for the past two years, now await action by Governor Rick Snyder (R).

House Bill 4209 licenses and regulates above-ground, safe access facilities where state-qualified patients may legally obtain medical marijuana. Michigan…

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Delaware Now Allows Medical Marijuana on School Grounds

Delaware Now Allows Medical Marijuana on School Grounds

Governor Jack Markell signs bills to allow medical marijuana use on school grounds; allow those with terminal illness access to medical marijuana

DOVER, DE — Governor Jack Markell has signed legislation into law permitting qualified patients access to medical cannabis formulations while on school grounds.

Senate Bill 181 permits a caregiver to administer cannabis extracts to a patient “in a school bus and on the grounds or property of the preschool, or primary or secondary school in which a minor qualifying patient is enrolled.”

The law…

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