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1 US MD: Kratom: An Old Plant Sparks A New ChallengeSat, 16 Dec 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Davis, Phil Area:Maryland Lines:109 Added:12/18/2017

When Anne Arundel police seized 158 grams of kratom, a plant from Southeast Asia used medicinally for centuries, it was the first time it was seized in a county investigation, according to police.

Officers arrested Michaela Elizabeth Gran, 21, and Chase Seven Gran, 23, both of Glen Burnie, on Tuesday after they said the two were found with small amounts of narcotics as well as the 158 grams of kratom. Its seizure caused some confusion, as the drug is legal in Maryland and can be bought for $1 for a pill-sized capsule in local smoke shops. That, and how many people have ever heard of kratom?

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2 US MD: FAQ: What You Need To Know About Medical Marijuana In MarylandThu, 07 Dec 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:196 Added:12/07/2017

Medical marijuana is now available in Maryland. Here's what you need to know about it.

Medical marijuana is now available in Maryland, more than four years after the General Assembly passed a law legalizing it.

Standing up the industry -- with growers, processors, dispensaries and doctors -- took longer than expected. The law needed to be tweaked, rules needed to be written and legal battles needed to be fought over who won licenses.

Here's what prospective users need to know about medical marijuana.

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3 US MD: Maryland, After Delays, Begins The Sale Of Medical MarijuanaFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:78 Added:12/01/2017

Maryland began the sale of medical marijuana to residents in pain on Friday, ending years of delays by embarking on a program that features some of the most liberal policies in the nation on who can qualify for the prescribed cannabis.

Dozens of people stood outside a licensed dispensary in Montgomery County, Potomac Holistics, where owners began making sales soon after receiving their first shipment Friday afternoon.

"You can tell there's a buzz, and we're excited for so many reasons," Askinazi said. "We're giving care to people who need it."

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4 US MD: The Opioid Crisis Spills Into The WorkplaceMon, 25 Sep 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Saraiva, Catarina Area:Maryland Lines:151 Added:09/27/2017

At Philip Tulkoff's food-processing plant in Baltimore, machines grind tough horseradish roots into puree. "If you put your arm in the wrong place," the owner says, "and you're not paying attention, it's going to pull you in." It's not a good place to be intoxicated.

Drug abuse in the workforce is a growing challenge for American business. While economists have paid more attention to the opioid epidemic's role in keeping people out of work, about two-thirds of those who report misusing pain-relievers are on the payroll. In the factory or office, such employees can be a drag on productivity, one of the U.S. economy's sore spots. In the worst case, they can endanger themselves and their colleagues.

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5 US MD: Baltimore City Council Weighs Concerns About CannabisWed, 30 Aug 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Wood, Pamela Area:Maryland Lines:92 Added:08/30/2017

Hampden and Wyman Park residents took their concerns about a proposed medical cannabis dispensary to City Hall on Wednesday, as Baltimore City Council members weigh whether to put zoning restrictions on the businesses.

In Baltimore -- as well as other jurisdictions -- some residents have been surprised to learn about proposals for the dispensaries. Just one dispensary in the state has earned a final state license, but dozens more across the state have preliminary licenses they hope to finalize in the coming months.

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6 US MD: Maryland Regulators Approve Eight New Medical MarijuanaMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Cox, Erin Area:Maryland Lines:115 Added:08/14/2017

Maryland's medical marijuana regulators approved final licenses for eight growing companies on Monday, allowing them to start cultivating the drug.

Several companies said they are ready to begin growing immediately, while others say they will take weeks to get started.

"Now, we have a real industry," said Cary Millstein, CEO of newly licensed grower Freestate Wellness in Howard County.

Until Monday, just one of the 15 selected firms had received final permission to start cultivating medical marijuana, which was first legalized in the state in 2013. Even at full capacity, one firm could not produce nearly enough to support 102 planned dispensaries.

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7 US MD: Body Camera Footage Shows Officer Planting Drugs, PublicThu, 20 Jul 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Fenton, Justin Area:Maryland Lines:207 Added:07/20/2017

Police and prosecutors in Baltimore have launched investigations after being alerted to body camera footage that the public defender's office says shows an officer planting drugs.

One officer has been suspended and two others have been placed on administrative duty, police said. Police said they have not reached any conclusions as to the conduct depicted in the video. Other cases in which the officers are involved are now under review as well, police and prosecutors said.

The public defender's office, which released the footage, said it was recorded by an officer during a drug arrest in January. It shows the officer placing a soup can, which holds a plastic bag, into a trash-strewn lot.

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8 US MD: With Opioid Antidote Now Required In All Schools, MoreSat, 15 Jul 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Chappell, Emily Area:Maryland Lines:81 Added:07/19/2017

After a year of having an opioid antidote in middle and high schools in Carroll County, a new state law requires that the medicine be available at the elementary school level, too.

The Start Talking Maryland Act, which lays out now-required opioid education at least once at all schooling levels, also requires all schools to carry naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote.

Filipa Gomes, supervisor of Health Services for Carroll County Public Schools, said in addition to the extra naloxone, Carroll County Public Schools staff are training more people how to administer the antidote.

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9 US MD: On Drug Treatment In BaltimoreMon, 10 Jul 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Duncan, Ian Area:Maryland Lines:156 Added:07/14/2017

When talking about fighting drug addiction, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh likes to pose a question: "If you had a child who was on drugs, would you treat them in the neighborhood in which they were drug addicted?"

Then she answers, as she did at a news conference last week: "I would think that your answer would be 'no,' you'd put them on a plane to Timbuktu or somewhere."

Pugh has publicly used the formulation twice in recent weeks as she calls for the city to rethink how it works to treat the estimated 7,000 of its 24,000 opioid users who are not currently getting help. She says she agrees with the growing consensus that addiction should be viewed as a health problem rather than a criminal one. But she argues treatment needs to be shifted away from neighborhoods -- where, she says, patients have a worse chance of getting better, and where clinics become magnets for drug dealers.

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10 US MD: Hogan Names 10 To Medical Marijuana Commission, Replacing 6Thu, 06 Jul 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Broadwater, Luke Area:Maryland Lines:69 Added:07/06/2017

Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday made 10 appointments to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, filling vacant positions and replacing six commissioners whose terms had expired.

The commission is charged with implementing Maryland's medical cannabis program. The appointments include doctors, business people and several members of law enforcement.

The appointments are:

* Charles P. LoDico, a chemist and toxicologist for the Department of Health and Human Services. His appointment fills a vacancy for a scientist with experience in cannabis.

* Barry G. Pope, a clinical pharmacist for Conduent State Healthcare LLC. He has been a registered pharmacist for 20 years. Pope was recommended for this appointment by the Maryland Pharmacists Association, and fills a vacancy for a licensed pharmacist on the commission.

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11 US MD: Oped: As A Physician, I Am Contributing To The Opioid EpidemicSun, 02 Jul 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Myles, David Area:Maryland Lines:84 Added:07/05/2017

Even for seasoned health care workers, it can be unnerving to hear "emergency in the parking lot" over the loudspeaker. There, we found an 18-year-old man lying lifeless on the asphalt and not breathing. Before I could utter the words, an astute nurse immediately ordered that the patient be given Naloxone as she correctly recognized that this patient was suffering from an opioid overdose. Soon, the patient began to breathe spontaneously, effectively coming back to life.

This story could be used to celebrate the marvels of medicine and the skill of our health care workforce. However, this story does not have a happy ending.

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12 US MD: Maryland's Heroin Fight Turns To Educating Students FromMon, 19 Jun 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Wood, Pamela Area:Maryland Lines:181 Added:06/19/2017

In the ongoing battle to stem the heroin and opiate epidemic in Maryland, the newest focus is a state law that mandates teaching students in elementary schools through college about the dangers of the drugs.

Public schools are tweaking drug-education lessons and colleges are preparing sessions for incoming students to comply with the Start Talking Maryland Act, which becomes law July 1.

The act, passed by state lawmakers and signed by Gov. Larry Hogan earlier this year, requires public schools to offer drug-education that includes the dangers of heroin and opiates starting in elementary school.

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13 US MD: How Much Marijuana Is Too Much For A Police Recruit?Wed, 26 Apr 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Calvert, Scott Area:Maryland Lines:112 Added:05/01/2017

BALTIMORE - As more states relax their approach to marijuana, police departments are rethinking how many hits are too many for aspiring officers.

Maryland just passed a new standard, set to take effect in the state June 1, that bars applicants if they smoked pot in the past three years, the same policy used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The longstanding, previous policy had ruled out those who had used marijuana at least 20 times or at least five times since age 21.

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14 US MD: Opioid Users Filling Maryland Hospital Beds And EmergencyThu, 26 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Moore, John Area:Maryland Lines:157 Added:01/26/2017

Family members of those who died of opioid overdoses embrace at the "Fed Up!" rally to end the opioid epidemic on September 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Some 30,000 people die each year due to addiction to heroin and other opioids.

Family members of those who died of opioid overdoses embrace at the "Fed Up!" rally to end the opioid epidemic on September 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Some 30,000 people die each year due to addiction to heroin and other opioids. (John Moore)

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15 US MD: Hogan, Rutherford Announce Heroin Initiatives For 2017Tue, 24 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:83 Added:01/26/2017

Governor Hogan announces heroin crisis initiatives

Governor Larry Hogan announces a number of new initiatives to combat the statewide heroin crisis at a press conference at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. (Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette)

Governor Larry Hogan announces a number of new initiatives to combat the statewide heroin crisis at a press conference at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. (Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette)

Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford came to Anne Arundel Medical Center Tuesday to announce new initiatives aimed at combating a rising tide of heroin abuse across the state.

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16 US MD: Maryland General Assembly Ethics Committee Hires SpecialFri, 20 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:140 Added:01/21/2017

Del. Dan K. Morhaim, a Baltimore County Democrat, speaks to reporters on the last day of the Maryland General Assembly's 2016 session. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

Special counsel hired for ethics investigation into Baltimore County Del. Morhaim's cannabis work.

The General Assembly ethics committee that's investigating Del. Dan K. Morhaim's work with a medical cannabis company has hired a special counsel to assist with the review.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who on Friday disclosed the hiring of the special counsel, said the action underscores the serious nature of the investigation.

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17 US MD: Bid To Alter Drug Laws And Allow Some Early Prison ReleasesWed, 18 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:116 Added:01/18/2017

[photo] A cell at El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in Oklahoma. President Obama toured the prison last week. (Saul Loeb / AFP-Getty Images)

A bipartisan push to reduce the number of low-level drug offenders in prison is gaining momentum in Congress, but proposals may disappoint advocates hoping to slash the mandatory minimum sentences that are seen as chiefly responsible for overcrowding in the nation's detention facilities.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) surprised advocates Thursday by saying he strongly supported holding a vote on a prison reform bill similar to one sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a moderate Republican from Wisconsin. The measure has been languishing in the House Judiciary Committee.

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18 US MD: U.S. Government Won't Reclassify Marijuana, Allows ResearchFri, 13 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Tribune, Area:Maryland Lines:127 Added:01/14/2017

[photo] Marijuana plants are seen nearly ready for harvest at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill., on Sept. 15, 2015. (Seth Perlman, AP)

The Obama administration has decided marijuana will remain on the list of most-dangerous drugs, fully rebuffing growing support across the country for broad legalization, but said it will allow more research into its medical uses.

The decision to expand research into marijuana's medical potential could pave the way for the drug to be moved to a lesser category. Heroin, peyote and marijuana, among others, are considered Schedule I drugs because they have no medical application; cocaine and opiates, for example, have medical uses and, while still illegal for recreational use, are designated Schedule II drugs.

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19 US MD: Experts Have Only A Hazy Idea Of Marijuana's Myriad HealthFri, 13 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Healy, Melissa Area:Maryland Lines:166 Added:01/13/2017

Marijuana's health effects

A new report says the precise health effects of marijuana on its users remain something of a mystery. (Jan. 13, 2017)

More than 22 million Americans use some form of marijuana each month, and it's now approved for medicinal or recreational use in 28 states plus the District of Columbia. Nationwide, legal sales of the drug reached an estimated $7.1 billion last year.

Yet for all its ubiquity, a comprehensive new report says the precise health effects of marijuana on those who use it remain something of a mystery -- and the federal government continues to erect major barriers to research that would provide much-needed answers.

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20 US MD: Lawmaker Scrutinized Over Medical Marijuana Ties Removed FromMon, 09 Jan 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Nirappil, Fenit Area:Maryland Lines:44 Added:01/13/2017

A Maryland state lawmaker who came under scrutiny for his ties to a medical marijuana business while working on legislation shaping the industry has been removed from the health committee that oversees such bills.

Del. Dan Morhaim (D-Baltimore County), a physician, will serve on the judiciary committee in the 90-day legislative session starting Wednesday, following 13 years on the Health and Government Operations Committee.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) announced the change Monday when he released committee assignments.

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21 US MD: OPED: Opioid Abuse Cause For Pause Among PhysiciansWed, 11 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Setty, Amar Area:Maryland Lines:106 Added:01/11/2017

Op-ed: Physician anesthesiologists can help fight opioid abuse.

The opioid dilemma puts pressure on every physician to pause and reflect. Physician anesthesiologists are dedicated to providing pain relief in the safest manner possible, which includes prescribing and managing opioid therapy when medical conditions warrant. What we face now is too many tragic instances of patients emerging from pain treatment regimens only to see their lives destroyed later through addiction.

Opioids include illegal heroin and prescription "pain killers" such as oxycodone, and the impact of these drugs is clear in Maryland and elsewhere. The numbers of opioid-related deaths statewide increased 23 percent between 2014 and 2015, and have more than doubled since 2010, according to the latest Maryland health department report released this fall.

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22 US MD: Entrepreneurs Announce Plans To Apply To Open A MedicalTue, 10 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Mirabella, Lorraine Area:Maryland Lines:99 Added:01/10/2017

[photo] SAFED, ISRAEL -- A worker at a cannabis greenhouse at the growing facility of the Tikun Olam company near the northern city of Safed, Israel. (Uriel Sinai / Baltimore Sun)

Two Silver Spring-based entrepreneurs said Monday they hope to open a medical marijuana growing and processing plant in Baltimore.

Healthy Choice Alternative LLC is in the process of applying for one of up to 15 cultivation licenses as well as a processors license from the state under Maryland's medical marijuana program, an attorney for the company said.

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23 US MD: A Federal Prosecutor Takes On The Heroin Scourge That ClaimedSun, 08 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:128 Added:01/09/2017

[photo] Bruce Brandler is chief federal law enforcement officer for a sprawling judicial district that covers half of Pennsylvania. (Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

The phone at Bruce Brandler's home rang at 3:37 a.m. It was the local hospital. His 16-year-old son was there, and he was in really bad shape.

A suspected heroin overdose, the nurse said.

Brandler didn't believe it. Erik had his problems, but heroin? It seemed impossible.

Nearly 10 years later, the nation is gripped by a spiraling crisis of opioid and heroin abuse -- and Brandler, a veteran federal prosecutor recently promoted to interim U.S. attorney, suddenly finds himself in a position to do something about the scourge that claimed his youngest son's life.

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24 US MD: Maryland Lawmakers Take Fresh Run At Legalizing MarijuanaSat, 07 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:98 Added:01/07/2017

[photo] Del. Curt Anderson (D - Baltimore City, Dist. 43) explains why he thinks Maryland should legalize marijuana. (Timothy Wheeler/Baltimore Sun)

In a year when budget cuts dominate debate in Annapolis, advocates for legalizing marijuana are mounting a renewed effort to get Maryland to follow the lead of Colorado and Washington state - if not now, then in a year or two.

A Colorado state legislator and an elected official from Seattle joined legalization supporters at a press conference in Annapolis Friday to say that voter-passed initiatives in their states are proceeding more or less smoothly to treat recreational use of cannabis much like another legal but regulated substance, alcohol.

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25 US MD: State Panel Oks Medical Marijuana RulesSat, 07 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:127 Added:01/07/2017

[photo] Maryland's medical marijuana program cleared a key hurdle Thursday as a state panel approved draft rules to govern the new businesses. (Erin Cox/Baltimore Sun)

Maryland's medical marijuana program cleared a key hurdle Thursday as a state panel approved draft rules to govern the new businesses.

The medical marijuana commission set license fees for growers and dispensaries -- at rates among the highest in the country -- and developed rules for patients to obtain the drug in either a smokable or liquid form, among other new regulations.

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26 US MD: Anne Arundel Community College Launches Class On The BusinessSat, 07 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:112 Added:01/07/2017

Professor Shad Ewart is teaching a course on emerging markets in relation to marijuana legalization and entrepreneurial pursuits at Anne Arundel Community College.

Start stoner-friendly munchies stands in Colorado. Or open a lounge near a marijuana dispensary in Oregon.

Or try selling fertilizer to weed growers, dude.

"Opportunities are endless, whatever we can create in our heads," said Dean Warner, an Anne Arundel Community College student.

The college launched Monday a class exploring business opportunities around the country's expanding marijuana market.

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27 US MD: Poll: 41 Percent Of Maryland Residents Personally Touched ByThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Cox, Erin Area:Maryland Lines:36 Added:01/05/2017

Among Baltimore residents, 68 percent said they had been affected by opioid epidemic.

A new poll found 41 percent of Maryland residents said the escalating opioid epidemic has directly affected them or someone they know over the past five years.

Another 42 percent who participated in the Gonzales Poll said they had not personally felt the impact of the deadly wave of heroin and other overdoses that has swept through urban and rural parts of Maryland. Seventeen percent gave no response. Among Baltimore city residents, 68 percent said they had been affected -- far more than anywhere else in Maryland.

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28 US MD: Maryland Overdose Deaths Continue Steep ClimbSat, 31 Dec 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Hicks, Josh Area:Maryland Lines:118 Added:01/05/2017

Drug-overdose deaths surged to new levels in Maryland during the first nine months of 2016, far surpassing the total for all of the previous year as fatalities related to heroin and fentanyl use increased sharply.

The state health department reported Thursday that the number of overdose deaths for January through September climbed to 1,468, a 62aE percent jump compared with the same period in 2015, and the sixth straight year that the figure has risen.

The total for the first three quarters of 2016 exceeded the overall sum for the previous year by nearly 17aE percent.

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29 US MD: Two Kilos Of Heroin Seized, Virginia Man Arrested In HarfordTue, 03 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:92 Added:01/03/2017

[photo] Police in Harford County seized two kilos of heroin during a traffic stop in Havre de Grace on Thursday, according to the Harford County Sheriff's Office. A Virginia man faces multiple drug possession and distribution charges. (Harford County Sheriff's Office / Baltimore Sun)

Police in Harford County seized two kilograms of heroin and arrested a Portsmouth, Va., man on drug charges, during a traffic stop in Havre de Grace, the Harford County Sheriff's Office said.

The investigation by the Harford County Task force that led to the arrest of Servonte Rhamone Smith, 26, is continuing in an attempt to locate other suspects in what detectives believe is a heroin trafficking organization that has been operating in Harford County, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

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30 US MD: 'Kingpin' Of Drug Organization Sentenced To 25 Years InTue, 03 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Anderson, Jessica Area:Maryland Lines:44 Added:01/03/2017

The "kingpin" of drug trafficking organization was sentenced to 25 years in prison, prosecutors say.

The "kingpin" of a drug trafficking organization that operated throughout the Baltimore region was sentenced to more than two decades in prison on drug-related charges in Baltimore County, authorities said.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Robert Cahill, Jr. on Thursday sentenced Charles Davenport, 29, to 40 years, with all but 25 years suspended, for conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute heroin, and possession of large amounts of heroin, the Attorney General's office said.

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31 US MD: Laurel Company Granted Medical Marijuana License For NationalFri, 30 Dec 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:99 Added:12/30/2016

AltPharm, a Laurel-based medical marijuana dispensary, has received its state pre-approval license to operate in the National Harbor area of Prince George's County, opening as early as summer 2017.

AltPharm spokeswoman Martha Heil said the license will allow the company to sell medical marijuana in state legislative District 26, which includes Fort Washington, Oxon Hill and Accokeek.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission approved preliminary licenses for 102 dispensaries statewide in November and revealed their selections on Dec. 9. Ten of the dispensary licenses went to companies that already had preliminary licenses to grow the drug.

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32 US MD: Pharmaceutical Distributor Settles Claims It Failed To ReportThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:119 Added:12/29/2016

Pharmaceutical distributor settles claims it failed to report suspicious orders from Maryland, elsewhere

One of the nation's largest pharmaceutical distributors has agreed to pay $44 million to resolve federal claims that it did not report suspicious orders of the prescription painkiller oxycodone from pharmacies in Maryland, Florida and New York.

Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health Inc.'s civil settlement is one of the largest ever in a drug diversion case, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The settlement comes as federal law enforcement works to curb a stubborn opioid epidemic that was linked to almost 1,100 overdose deaths in Maryland last year. More than 350 were linked directly to prescription painkillers.

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33 US MD: A `Light At The End Of The Tunnel' For Long-Awaited MedicalMon, 26 Dec 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC)          Area:Maryland Lines:165 Added:12/29/2016

Medical marijuana could finally become a reality next year in Maryland, one of the states slowest to make the drug available for purchase after legalizing sales.

In 2016, regulators awarded long-awaited licenses to grow, process and sell cannabis while grappling with fallout from those shut out of the potentially lucrative industry. Now selected businesses are racing to set up facilities and pass final inspections so the first seeds can be planted and flowers can hit the shelves by the end of 2017, four years after lawmakers legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.

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34 US MD: Officials Warn Of Medical Cannabis ScammersMon, 26 Dec 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Wood, Pamela Area:Maryland Lines:107 Added:12/26/2016

Maryland patients are several months away from being able to legally obtain medical cannabis to treat chronic conditions. But scammers are already trying to make a buck off of patients desperate for the relief they seek from the drug, according to regulators and industry officials.

There are reports that companies are selling "marijuana cards" or offering exams to "preapprove" patients for medical cannabis.

Neither is a legitimate practice, officials say.

"They are telling patients that they have the ability to preapprove them for the medical cannabis program, and that is a lie," said Darrell Carrington, executive director of the Maryland Cannabis Industry Association. "There is no such thing as preapproval."

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35 US MD: A 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel' For Long-Awaited MedicalMon, 26 Dec 2016
Source:Albuquerque Journal (NM) Author:Nirappil, Fenit Area:Maryland Lines:156 Added:12/26/2016

Medical marijuana could finally become a reality next year in Maryland, one of the states slowest to make the drug available for purchase after legalizing sales.

In 2016, regulators awarded long-awaited licenses to grow, process and sell cannabis while grappling with fallout from those shut out of the potentially lucrative industry. Now selected businesses are racing to set up facilities and pass final inspections so the first seeds can be planted and flowers can hit the shelves by the end of 2017, four years after lawmakers legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.

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36 US MD: Heroin Overdoses Reach New High In Annapolis, Anne ArundelSat, 03 Dec 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:170 Added:12/03/2016

[photo] County police have tracked the location of opiod overdoses and fatalities in 2016. (Anne Arundel County Police Department)

Heroin overdoses reach new high in Annapolis, Anne Arundel.

With less than one month left in 2016, the number of people killed by heroin and opioid overdoses in Annapolis and Anne Arundel has surpassed that of the past two years combined.

County police Chief Timothy Altomare provided the latest overdose numbers during a phone interview Friday morning. While Altomare touted County Executive Steve Schuh's multifaceted approach to combating heroin by using public health and educational resources in addition to law enforcement, the police chief conceded that the drug continues to pose a significant challenge in the county.

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37 US MD: Editorial: Md.'s Geography Of PotMon, 10 Oct 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:124 Added:10/11/2016

Our view: Legislators should investigate apparent inconsistency in medical marijuana commission's criteria for who gets grower licenses

When the General Assembly legalized medical marijuana in Maryland, it required the commission running the program to "actively seek to achieve racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity when licensing medical marijuana growers." But the attorney general's office advised the commission that, absent a study documenting racial disparities in the medical cannabis industry, creating racial and ethnic preferences was unconstitutional. As a result, the regulations the commission adopted make no mention of racial diversity.

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38 US MD: Seeking Diversity In Pot LicenseesFri, 02 Sep 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Cox, Erin Area:Maryland Lines:98 Added:09/02/2016

Medical Marijuana Panel Leaders Set Meeting With AG on Minority Dispensers

Leaders of the state's medical marijuana commission are meeting with Attorney General Brian E. Frosh next week to figure out how to achieve more racial diversity when the panel awards licenses to companies to dispense the drug.

The Medical Cannabis Commission has come under scrutiny because most of the 30 companies to which it has awarded preliminary licenses to grow or process marijuana are led by white men.

None of the companies that won lucrative licenses in the state's fledgling industry are led by African-Americans. About a third of the state's population is African-American.

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39 US MD: PUB LTE: Less Reefer Madness, More Reefer GladnessSun, 28 Aug 2016
Source:Carroll County Times (MD) Author:Fuhrman, Jonathan Area:Maryland Lines:48 Added:08/29/2016

Its frustrating to see our County Commissioners' behavior toward Maryland's Medical Cannabis Program. They seem to be operating with a Reefer Madness mentality, allowing their policymaking to be guided by distress and superstition rather than established facts and evidence. As a regulatory professional, I was fortunate enough to attend a Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission meeting at Johns Hopkins last year. One of the biggest takeaways for me was the seriousness and professionalism with which the individuals involved in designing this policy (almost all MDs and lawyers) treated the subject. This isn't about Jeff Spicoli, 420, some gateway drug or the Grateful Dead. This is about medicine, plain and simple. A much-needed, effective therapy for helping our most vulnerable patients - folks with chronic illnesses and terminal diseases including all forms of cancer, Parkinson's, MS, epilepsy, etc. Who in our community hasn't felt the impact of one of these devastating conditions?

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40 US MD: Top Md. Officials Share Concern About Pot IndustrySat, 27 Aug 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Nirappil, Fenit Area:Maryland Lines:129 Added:08/27/2016

No Black Businesses Received Licenses to Grow Medical Marijuana

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) have joined black state lawmakers in expressing dismay about the lack of diversity in Maryland's burgeoning medical-marijuana industry.

At the same time, the head of the legislative black caucus is calling for legislation to ban elected officials from taking jobs in the industry. Del. Cheryl D. Glenn (D-Baltimore), who was instrumental in passing the bill that legalized medical marijuana, said she's angry that another leader in that effort later joined a company seeking a license to grow, process and sell the drug, without publicly making clear his dual roles.

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41 US MD: Agency Faulted For Pot ProcessTue, 23 Aug 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Wood, Pamela Area:Maryland Lines:191 Added:08/23/2016

Black Lawmakers Say Cannabis Licensees Lack Racial Diversity

The head of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland is asking the governor to intervene in the awarding of medical cannabis licenses because the selected companies lack diversity, denying minorities the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an emerging industry.

"I am completely disappointed with the medical marijuana commission and the decision that they have made in terms of awarding licenses," said Del. Cheryl D. Glenn, chairwoman of the black caucus. "Clearly, there was no effort at all to factor in minority participation and make sure that it's inclusive of everybody in the state of Maryland."

[continues 1240 words]

42 US MD: No Blacks Head Firms Getting Pot LicensesFri, 19 Aug 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Nirappil, Fenit Area:Maryland Lines:157 Added:08/20/2016

Critics Say MD. Diversity Isn't Reflected; Decisions May Be Challenged

Maryland set up its legal medical marijuana industry with hopes of racial diversity and equity in the division of profits, but not one of the 15 companies that were cleared this week for potentially lucrative growing licenses is led by African Americans.

Some lawmakers and prospective minority-owned businesses say this is unacceptable in a state where nearly a third of the population is black, the most of any state with a comprehensive legal pot industry. They say the lack of diversity is emblematic of how, across the country, African Americans are disproportionately locked up when marijuana use is criminalized but are shut out of the profits when drug sales are legalized.

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43 US MD: Escape From Planet Earth: Psychedelics, Religion, andWed, 17 Aug 2016
Source:City Paper (MD) Author:Kitchens, Travis Area:Maryland Lines:680 Added:08/17/2016

Most scientists don't include personal stories in their research reports, but for John Lilly, personal experiences and science experiments were the same thing.

His ears, eyes, mouth, and nose were calibrated probes.

His mind was the unbiased observer, the ideal model for dispassionate inquiry.

Knowledge and experience led him to new sets of questions, not firmly held beliefs.

But as anyone who has traveled into the psychedelic spaces knows, soon after arrival, one quickly finds out that the scientist's tool kit-language-is much too small and inadequate for the job. The scientist's reaction to the psychedelic experience is a set of questions that sound more like a seeker's. This is the crux of the enigma of John Lilly.

[continues 5334 words]

44 US MD: An Unorthodox Marijuana PartnershipWed, 17 Aug 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Wood, Pamela Area:Maryland Lines:158 Added:08/17/2016

Town of Hancock Joins With Grower of Medical Cannabis

The small Western Maryland town of Hancock - population 1,545 - is poised to be a part owner of a medical marijuana company after winning a license to grow cannabis plants this week.

The town is in a unique partnership with an Arizona company that plans to grow cannabis in a town-owned warehouse and share profits with the Washington County town.

After Hancock suffered an exodus of about 1,000 jobs over the past two decades, the cannabis industry could spark an economic turnaround for the town and surrounding communities, said Mayor Daniel Murphy.

[continues 1009 words]

45 US MD: Md. Names Cannabis Growers, ProcessorsTue, 16 Aug 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Wood, Pamela Area:Maryland Lines:177 Added:08/16/2016

More Than 20 Companies Given Preliminary OK for Medical Pot

The state has awarded preliminary licenses to more than 20 companies to grow and process marijuana in Maryland, a major step forward in the effort to make medical cannabis available to patients in Maryland.

Licenses were awarded Monday to companies across the state, from Washington County in Western Maryland to Worcester County on the Eastern Shore. They plan to grow marijuana plants and turn them into pills, oils, extracts and other products for patients suffering from a range of illnesses.

[continues 1073 words]

46 US MD: Companies Selected to Grow, Process Medical Pot inTue, 16 Aug 2016
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Gregg, Aaron Area:Maryland Lines:150 Added:08/16/2016

Of the 15 companies cleared for cultivation, at least eight have ties to marijuana industries in other states.

From page A1 Thirty businesses have won approval to grow and process medical marijuana in Maryland, regulators announced Monday, putting life into the industry more than three years after lawmakers legalized the drug for medical use.

Several of the winning applicants have political ties - with major donors or high-ranking officials on their teams - including a company that hired the Maryland lawmaker who was the driving force behind the tightly regulated program.

[continues 1024 words]

47 US MD: Will Cecil Go Green? Rx Pot Licenses Issued TodayMon, 15 Aug 2016
Source:Cecil Whig (MD) Author:Owens, Jacob Area:Maryland Lines:136 Added:08/16/2016

Former Sheriff Janney Has Stake in Application

BALTIMORE - Today marks the day when Cecil County will find out whether its future will be green, benefitting economically from the development of potential medical marijuana growing and processing facilities.

The Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, under the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which was formed by 2014 legislation to develop policies, procedures and regulations to implement the state's medical marijuana program, voted on its stage one license pre-approvals for 15 growers and the first 15 processors on Aug. 5.

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48 US MD: OPED: Some Reform Advice For Ms. MosbySun, 14 Aug 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Oppenheim, Todd Area:Maryland Lines:114 Added:08/15/2016

When Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced her decision to drop the remaining cases against the police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, she spoke of fighting for reform and equality in our justice system.

As a city public defender, I'd like to offer a few suggestions.

Continuing to pursue police misconduct is a given, particularly now that a Justice Department inquiry has found that the Baltimore Police Department "engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the United States Constitution and laws" and in "conduct that raises serious concerns." But there are two other examples of injustice occurring in courts on a regular basis: the inequities of the cash bail system and the continuation of the war on drugs.

[continues 644 words]

49 US MD: OPED: End The StigmaSat, 13 Aug 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Hoehn, Rick Area:Maryland Lines:90 Added:08/14/2016

Parents of a young man who died of substance abuse urge others to talk about addiction before they, too, face tragedy

Thank you to Amy Waldron for her letter ("Bringing addiction out of the shadows," July 28) regarding the death of our son, Alex Hoehn, from substance abuse.

Amy's comments were both accurate and poignant, "Addiction is killing our young people at unprecedented rates. ... By bringing addiction out of the shadows and showing the faces of the people we are losing to this disease, we can continue to move forward toward breaking the stigma of addiction." Her response touched our hearts and we felt compelled to further share our story and the brutal effects of this horrific drug epidemic.

[continues 497 words]

50 US MD: PUB LTE: Medication Can Help AddictsSat, 13 Aug 2016
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Hodge, Darrell Area:Maryland Lines:40 Added:08/14/2016

It is unacceptable that a letter writer who identified himself as a long-time addictions counselor would display such an inadequate and limited knowledge of medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders ("Addiction can't be medicated away," July 25).

I am now in long-term recovery after having suffered with a substance use disorder for most of my life. I have tried many types of treatment, but what worked for me was a long-term, medication-assisted treatment plan.

Through that, I realized that regardless of the treatment, if one is seriously seeking recovery and positive change all approaches can work.

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