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1 US PA: Could Marijuana Help Treat Opioid Addiction? Pennsylvania MayFri, 06 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Giordano, Rita Area:Pennsylvania Lines:179 Added:07/11/2018

As bad as getting off opioids the first time was, nothing prepared Briana Kline for trying to come back from relapse. She was in deep, past the Percocets and other pills. This time it was heroin, even a close brush with fentanyl. But the medicine that so helped slay her cravings before didn't seem to be cutting it.

"The Suboxone didn't make me feel the way it usually does," said Kline, 26, of Lancaster County. "I was struggling a lot with cravings. I'd go a couple of days, be OK. Then I'd go use again."

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2 US PA: Pennsylvania House Moves To Reinstate Medical MarijuanaTue, 19 Jun 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Scolforo, Mark Area:Pennsylvania Lines:64 Added:06/19/2018

State lawmakers moved Tuesday to reinstate the research provision of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana law, a month after a court decision left it in limbo.

The House voted 167-31 to change the law by laying out more explicitly the goal of its provisions allowing medical schools to partner with companies that grow the drug and provide it to patients.

"We worked very hard so that indeed real research not only will have the opportunity to occur, but it's going to be required to occur," said Rep. Kathy Watson, R-Bucks, who sponsored the amendment.

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3 US PA: Medical Marijuana Patients, Legally Banned From Driving, MayTue, 19 Jun 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:55 Added:06/19/2018

All marijuana users are forbidden from operating a car, truck, boat, or an airplane under Pennsylvania statute. That poses a conundrum for medical marijuana patients who need to drive and want to stay within the bounds of law.

Pa. Rep. Sheryl M. Delozier (R., Cumberland) says she aims to fix that.

Delozier last week announced she'll introduce legislation that will exempt medical marijuana patients as long as they are not driving while impaired.

Driving under the influence is a crime in every state. But knowing when a driver is too high to drive is nearly impossible to tell with a test. Unlike with alcohol, there is nothing like a Breathalyzer devise for cannabis that police can use. If an officer suspects a driver is impaired, he can order a blood tests. But chemical compounds from marijuana can remain in the blood for 15 days or more after use and deliver an incriminating positive result.

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4 US PA: Drugged Driving Deaths Spike With Spread Of Legal MarijuanaThu, 31 May 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Bergal, Jenni Area:Pennsylvania Lines:148 Added:05/31/2018

As legal marijuana spreads and the opioid epidemic rages on, the number of drugged drivers killed in car crashes is rising dramatically, according to a report released today.

Forty-four percent of fatally injured drivers tested for drugs had positive results in 2016, the Governors Highway Safety Association found, up more than 50 percent compared with a decade ago. More than half the drivers tested positive for marijuana, opioids or a combination of the two.

"These are big-deal drugs. They are used a lot," said Jim Hedlund, an Ithaca, New York-based traffic safety consultant who conducted the highway safety group's study. "People should not be driving while they're impaired by anything and these two drugs can impair you."

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5 US PA: Now That Marijuana Is Legal, Could Magic Mushrooms Be Next?Wed, 16 May 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Ostrov, Barbara Feder Area:Pennsylvania Lines:149 Added:05/16/2018

In Oregon and Denver, where marijuana is legal for recreational use, activists are now pushing toward a psychedelic frontier: "magic mushrooms."

Groups in both states are sponsoring ballot measures that would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of the mushrooms whose active ingredient, psilocybin, can cause hallucinations, euphoria and changes in perception. They point to research showing that psilocybin might be helpful for people suffering from depression or anxiety.

"We don't want individuals to lose their freedom over something that's natural and has health benefits," said Kevin Matthews, the campaign director of Denver for Psilocybin, the group working to decriminalize magic mushrooms in Colorado's capital.

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6 US PA: Pa. Lawmaker Asks To Erase Marijuana Convictions For PatientsTue, 08 May 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:37 Added:05/11/2018

A Pennsylvania legislator introduced a bill Monday that would give medical marijuana patients a chance of expunging a conviction of marijuana possession if the charge resulted from their use of cannabis for medical purposes.

The bill is sponsored by State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), and does not have any support yet from Republicans who control the legislature. To be expunged, patients would have to prove they had a doctor's diagnosis for one of the 21 approved serious health conditions at the time of the conviction. The patient would also have to provide evidence they were using cannabis to treat the condition.

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7 US PA: Temple U. Researchers Take A Leading Role In Medical MarijuanaMon, 30 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:116 Added:05/04/2018

Pennsylvania is gearing up to become a global center for cannabis research. Yet for more than a decade, Philadelphia has been on the forefront of investigations into the medicinal uses of marijuana.

Sara Jane Ward has built a reputation exploring marijuana's effects on pain and addiction using animals at Temple University's Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

Ward and her colleague Ronald Tuma, a professor of physiology and neurosurgery, lead a team of 10 researchers at Temple's Center for Substance Abuse in North Philadelphia.

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8 US PA: Marijuana Growers Seek To Extinguish Pennsylvania's CannabisFri, 20 Apr 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:114 Added:04/25/2018

Calling it "disruptive" and "unlawful," a group of Pennsylvania marijuana growers and retailers wants to snuff out the state's pioneering research program before it is launched.

The first of its kind in the nation, the research program would allow eight of the state's teaching hospitals to contract with a cannabis producer. Each contract is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars. The agreements grant the producers a "super-permit" to operate an indoor grow facility and to open six retail dispensaries that can sell medical marijuana to any approved patient.

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9 US PA: Israeli Marijuana Giant Partners With Pa. Medical GrowerThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:68 Added:04/24/2018

A Pennsylvania marijuana producer is partnering with an Israeli cannabis pioneer to cultivate and sell proprietary strains of the plant in the Keystone State.

Ilera Healthcare operates a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Waterfall, Fulton County. Ilera plans to open its first state-permitted dispensary in Plymouth Meeting on May 4.

Tikun Olam -- the name means "Repair the World" in Hebrew -- is a powerhouse in cannabis research. And in Israel, it dominates the medical marijuana market. The Tel Aviv-based company has developed dozens of proprietary genetic strains, some of which are designed to alleviate anxiety, depression, nausea, pain associated with cancer, and other ailments, a spokesman said.

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10 US PA: Even Where It's Legal To Sell Marijuana, It's Hard ToFri, 06 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Siegel, Rachel Area:Pennsylvania Lines:105 Added:04/11/2018

As the cannabis industry grows, generating an estimated $10 billion in annual sales, states are increasingly approving medical marijuana programs and passing adult-use laws.

But for marketing agencies, marijuana dispensaries and cannabis brands, advertising the pot brings its own hurdles.

Online platforms with prime advertising space like Facebook and Google do not allow drug, or drug-related promotions on their sites, leaving a large share of marijuana advertising to blogs and podcasts, newsletters and print media. And while experts say Facebook and Google - -- which control the lion's share of digital advertising in the country -- are unlikely to change their policies until pot is legalized at the federal level, and television and radio come with their own sets of rules, industry members are left to navigate a complex web of state-by-state regulations.

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11 US PA: Oped: Medical Marijuana Should Be Allowed One Foot From PhillyTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Sacks, Andrew B. Area:Pennsylvania Lines:100 Added:04/06/2018

As one of the first lawyers in Pennsylvania to venture into the legal world of medical marijuana and hemp, I have had the pleasure to work and assist with the development of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program. I could not be happier to see these dispensaries opening and helping the sick get relief.

However, a problem has developed that will make it very difficult for many of the patients who most need the medicine to receive it.

The problem stems from the law's requirement that a medical marijuana dispensary cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school or day-care location.

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12 US PA: A Vancouver Cop Tells Philadelphia Why He Changed His Mind OnTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:108 Added:04/06/2018

At the height of a heroin epidemic in Vancouver, British Columbia, Inspector Bill Spearn -- then a rookie cop -- was assigned to a beat in the heart of the crisis.

It was 1996, and though he had been responding to overdose after overdose in Downtown Eastside, one of Canada's poorest postal codes, Spearn wanted no part of the harm-reduction measures the city was considering to save the lives of people in addiction.

A safe injection site, where drugs could be used under medical supervision, was out of the question: "I thought it would be a big magnet," he told a crowd at Temple University Medical School on Monday night. "I thought it would empower people to use drugs." A few years later, with the debate still raging, he left the neighborhood for another position in the police department.

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13 US PA: Marijuana Advocate Gets Probation For Pot-Smoking PartyThu, 05 Apr 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:29 Added:04/05/2018

A marijuana advocate who invited hundreds of people to his pot-smoking party at a Philadelphia warehouse has been fined, ordered to perform community service and sentenced to four years' probation.

Philly.com reports that Richard Tamaccio Jr. was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in January to felony drug charges. His lawyer described him as a "true crusader" for marijuana legalization.

Prosecutors say Tamaccio was charged for facilitating the sale of marijuana at the party last April and for possessing about nine pounds of marijuana plants and products at his home.

The city in 2014 made possession of small amounts of the drug punishable only by a citation and a fine, but marijuana sales weren't decriminalized.

Twenty-one other people were also arrested at the party.

[end]

14 US PA: Are There Risks From Secondhand Marijuana Smoke? Early ScienceMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Ortega-Welch, Marissa Area:Pennsylvania Lines:169 Added:03/31/2018

The inspiration arrived in a haze at a Paul McCartney concert a few years ago in San Francisco.

"People in front of me started lighting up and then other people started lighting up," said Matthew Springer, a biologist and professor in the division of cardiology at the University of California-San Francisco. "And for a few naive split seconds I was thinking to myself, 'Hey, they can't smoke in AT&T Park! I'm sure that's not allowed.' And then I realized that it was all marijuana."

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15 US PA: Safe Injection Site To Get Airing In Philly Neighborhood MostWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:107 Added:03/28/2018

In Kensington, this much is clear: No other neighborhood in Philadelphia has seen more overdose deaths, or more visible suffering amid a city opioid epidemic that claimed an estimated 1,200 lives in 2017. Along with neighboring Fairhill, it occupies less than 2 percent of Philadelphia's land area, but 18 percent of all city overdoses occurred in that small space, according to an Inquirer analysis of city data.

On Tuesday night, when city health officials arrive in the neighborhood for a community meeting on the epidemic, they'll come armed with dire statistics and information on the city's 18-point plan to fight the crisis. But they won't have an answer to the question that's roiled the neighborhood since the plan was announced in January: Will Kensington host the first safe-injection site in the city, and possibly the nation?

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16 US PA: Number Of Pennsylvania Infants Going Through Drug WithdrawalWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Huang, Binghui Area:Pennsylvania Lines:53 Added:03/28/2018

The number of Pennsylvanian babies born with drug withdrawal symptoms increased 10-fold in the past decade and a half, a symptom of an increasingly deadly opioid epidemic plaguing the country, according to a new state report.

In fiscal year 2017,15 in 1,000 Pennsylvanian newborns were diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome, a dramatic increase from fiscal 2001 when only 1.2 in 1,000 newborns had the diagnosis, the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council said in the report, which was released Wednesday.

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17 US PA: Pa. Medical Marijuana Program To About To Double In SizeFri, 23 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:87 Added:03/23/2018

Pennsylvania's commercial medical marijuana program is set to more than double in size.

State officials Thursday announced the program was entering its second phase, expanding from 12 to 25 cannabis producers and adding 23 more dispensary operators.

The state also is launching a unique research effort that will run in parallel to the established commercial program, conducting clinical investigations into marijuana and selling to the public.

"From what I've seen and heard, there seems to be a high interest in doing research around pain management and as a replacement for opioids," John Collins, director of the state marijuana program, said in a phone conference with reporters.

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18 US PA: Safe Injection Site Stirs Tensions At Northeast Philly MeetingMon, 19 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:102 Added:03/22/2018

Midway through a community meeting in Northeast Philadelphia on the opioid crisis Monday, a man stood up at the back of the room and yelled out a question to city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley: "Doctor, where do you live? Can we put a safe injection site next door to you?"

The crowd of 150 in the Fox Chase community center applauded and burst into shouts in a display that vividly showed the tough sales job the city is facing as it tries to fulfill a promise to allow a place where people in addiction can use drugs under medical supervision. As heroin has been adulterated with the deadlier opioid fentanyl, often without the user's knowledge, the overdose death rate has soared. Quick administration of a reversal medicine can save lives.

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19 US PA: How A Federal Judge In Philly Could Blow Up The MarijuanaFri, 16 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:124 Added:03/20/2018

Is a marijuana dispensary an "unlawful" business? A federal judge in Philadelphia will decide.

This arcane dispute over language in the deed of a marijuana dispensary in Northeast Philadelphia could carry outsized implications: A ruling by U.S. District Judge Gene Pratter could affirm the superiority of federal law, which considers marijuana illegal, over state law, where in Pennsylvania and 29 other states, it is not.

Pratter's decision came Thursday in a strongly-worded memo that described the case as "a fundamental clash between state and federal law."

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20 US PA: Pennsylvania Issues Regulations For Medical Marijuana ClinicalFri, 16 Mar 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Wagaman, Andrew Area:Pennsylvania Lines:64 Added:03/20/2018

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has issued new regulations for medical marijuana clinical research programs.

The regulations, released Friday, outline the process for an accredited medical school with an acute care hospital to become an approved "Academic Clinical Research Center" that can engage in medical marijuana-related research projects with "clinical registrants," an entity that can grow, process and dispense medical marijuana.

The regulations also detail the application process for prospective clinical registrants, how research studies are reviewed and approved and how researchers may interact with the commercial medical marijuana market. The health department will approve a maximum of eight clinical registrants.

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21 US PA: Ex-Pennsylvania Narcotics Agent To Plead Guilty In MoneyTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:74 Added:03/16/2018

A former Pennsylvania narcotics agent will plead guilty to conspiring to launder money from a seizure of nearly $1.8 million in illicit drug proceeds in 2014, federal court records show.

By pleading guilty Timothy B. Riley, a retired state attorney general's office agent, could be sent to prison for up to 20 years and fined up to $500,000, according to a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg.

Federal authorities charged Riley, 48, of Philadelphia, on Feb. 23 with accepting three cash payments totaling $48,000, which he knew was stolen from a drug dealer. Riley then deposited the money and used it in financial transactions, according to David Freed, U.S. attorney of Pennsylvania's Middle District.

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22 US PA: How Marijuana Patients Could Lose Their Jobs In PhillyWed, 14 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:95 Added:03/14/2018

Pennsylvania's recently launched medical marijuana program may have unintentionally created a minefield that employers and patients across the state have only begun to navigate:

Patients who use marijuana could end up losing their jobs as a result.

At a fact-finding hearing in Philadelphia City Council on Wednesday, a panel of lawyers, business interests, and medical professionals hashed over the murkier employment issues stirred up by the law.

The upshot: Patients currently have few -- if any -- workplace protections. And until a lawsuit is filed, it's unlikely that patients will know how strong those protections might be.

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23 US PA: Legalized Pot In New Jersey - Not So FastFri, 09 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:Pennsylvania Lines:156 Added:03/13/2018

When New Jersey State Sen. Nicholas Scutari introduced a 62-page bill and primer on how to legalize marijuana almost one year ago, he chuckled when asked if it had a prayer of passing.

The legal sale of recreational marijuana had not yet begun in any other East Coast state, and yes, Chris Christie, the Republican governor at the time, had threatened a veto.

The bill, Scutari insisted, would give lawmakers time to digest and debate the issue so that a palatable package would be "ready for the next governor."

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24 US PA: Your Taxes Pale Beside What Marijuana Businesses PaySat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:135 Added:03/08/2018

You think your taxes are high?

For medical marijuana dispensaries in the United States, they can be stratospheric. Cannabis retailers face an effective tax rate of up to 85 percent, and that won't be reduced by the new tax law.

Most mainstream businesses pay effective tax rates of about 15 percent to 30 percent.

"It's a burden," said Chris Visco, co-owner of TerraVida Holistic Centers, which opened one of Pennsylvania's first medicinal cannabis shops on Feb. 17 in Sellersville. "People think that we're getting rich. It's really not the case. The profit margins are going to be really narrow after taxes. And you have to still pay local and state taxes."

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25 US PA: Growing Pains for Pa. Marijuana ProgramFri, 02 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:68 Added:03/05/2018

Too much demand. Not enough supply.

Less than two weeks after it launched, Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program is a victim of its own success.

The two open marijuana dispensaries in the Philadelphia region reported Friday they had sold out of most medicines and might not be restocked until after March 15.

"We have no inventory," said Chris Visco, co-owner of the TerraVida Holistic Center in Sellersville, Bucks County. "We took a shipment on Wednesday. On Thursday we had the biggest sales day we've ever had. By this morning, all we had left were a handful of disposable vape pens," a type of electronic cigarette loaded with hash oil.

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26 US PA: Hemp Farming To Expand Exponentially In Pa.Mon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:31 Added:03/01/2018

The amount of industrial hemp cultivated in Pennsylvania is about to grow significantly.

The Department of Agriculture this month approved 39 research projects that will allow cultivation of about 1,000 acres of marijuana's non-psychoactive cousin. Last year, 14 growers produced a total of 36 acres of hemp statewide.

In the southeastern region of the state, permission to grow hemp was granted to farmers in Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, and Montgomery Counties. Those cultivators will be required to pay a $2,000 permit fee. After the paperwork has cleared, the state Bureau of Plant Industry will submit orders for hemp seed to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency which must approve importation of the seed into the U.S.

Industrial hemp is grown for fiber and seed. It must maintain a concentration of the psychoactive compound THC below the 0.3 percent legal threshold.

[end]

27 US PA: Pa. Medical Marijuana Debuts With High Prices And Lots OfMon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:88 Added:02/28/2018

Limited quantities, sticker shock, and some mislabeled product.

The first week of medical marijuana sales in Pennsylvania was marked by these birthing pains. On the whole, retailers and the Department of Health said the launch of the nascent industry - expected to grow into one of the nation's largest markets - had largely gone "as hoped."

"We've been working to get medicines to patients as quickly as we can," said department spokeswoman April Hutcheson. "To see that come to fruition is a big win for the moms with sick children and all the patients who needed this medication."

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28 US PA: Millennials Bear The Brunt Of Pa. Marijuana ArrestsMon, 26 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Goldstein, Chris Area:Pennsylvania Lines:103 Added:02/28/2018

Philadelphia is evolving into a safe haven for cannabis consumers even as arrests increase across Pennsylvania. Newly-elected District Attorney Larry Krasner announced Thursday that he would drop any marijuana possession cases brought to the court by police.

A 2014 decriminalization ordinance allowing tickets caused common weed arrests to decline by more than 85 percent. Still, I reported last year that hundreds of racially disparate cases were still being brought to Philly courts each year for less than 30 grams of buds.

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29 US PA: Busiest Medical Marijuana Dispensary In N.J. Is In TinyFri, 23 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:Pennsylvania Lines:101 Added:02/28/2018

The medical marijuana dispensary that opened in Camden County in September 2015 is the busiest of the five that have opened in New Jersey since the program began seven years ago, according to a Department of Health annual report.

Compassionate Sciences Alternative Treatment Center, in an industrial park in tiny Bellmawr, served 2,762 patients and sold nearly 885 pounds of cannabis in 2016, the report said. The state had nearly 10,800 registered patients as of the end of last year.

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30 US PA: Rothman Institute In Philly Will Study Medical Marijuana ForThu, 22 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:93 Added:02/26/2018

The Rothman Institute at Jefferson, one of the nation's largest orthopedic practices, announced Thursday it would collaborate on a study to investigate the benefits of medical marijuana for patients suffering from chronic and acute pain.

Rothman will work with Franklin BioScience, a Colorado-based cannabis grower and retailer. Franklin BioScience expects to open a medical marijuana dispensary in late-March called Beyond Hello in Bristol Township, Bucks County.

"There's a link between access to cannabis and reduced opioid overdoses," said physician Ari Greis, a Rothman pain management specialist who will oversee the research. "We're all being cautiously optimistic that it could be helpful to some of our patients. Because we're leaders in orthopedic medicine, we feel this is an opportunity we can't pass up."

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31 US PA: Tears Of Joy At Opening Of Bucks County Medical MarijuanaSat, 17 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Terruso, Julia Area:Pennsylvania Lines:128 Added:02/22/2018

Robert Consulmagno walked into TerraVida Holistic Center in Sellersville around 9:30 a.m. Saturday and left half an hour later feeling hopeful for the first time in a while.

"Help is on the way," Consulmagno said, lifting his purchase – a vape pen and cartridge of 500 mg of "Keystone Kush" – to applause from dispensary staff. "I've been waiting a long time for this."

Consulmagno, a disabled Marine veteran who suffers from bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, was the first person to buy medical marijuana from TerraVida, one of two dispensaries to open in the Philadelphia area Saturday. The other, Keystone Shops, is in Devon. Pennsylvania's first dispensary opened Thursday in Butler, followed by others in Pittsburgh, Bethlehem, and Enola on Friday.

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32 US PA: Column: Does Anyone Care That 'Safe Injection Sites' AreFri, 16 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Bykofsky, Stu Area:Pennsylvania Lines:91 Added:02/16/2018

Thank you, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, for giving me cover so I don't wind up being painted as the "worst person in the world," the label Keith Olbermann used on his TV show to hang on people he didn't like.

I have been silent as the opioid epidemic raged because I had no clear-cut solution. The debate currently swirls around the idea of city-approved "safe injection sites," more formally known as CUES -- comprehensive user engagement sites.

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33 US PA: Column: Time For The Hard Sell On Safe Injection SitesTue, 13 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Newall, Mike Area:Pennsylvania Lines:116 Added:02/13/2018

Three weeks ago, after Philadelphia announced that it would encourage the opening of a safe injection site, I praised the decision as a bold kind of leadership. It showed that the city was stepping on the national stage in the middle of a life-and-death catastrophe.

I still think that. Now the city has to sell it.

Sure, it's only been three weeks. But in the absence of an immediate city PR strategy for saving lives - it feels funny even writing that - you can feel myths proliferating. The city cannot simply react to the discourse. It must help lead it.

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34 US PA: Read Real Accounts Of Deaths Related To KratomFri, 09 Feb 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Coughlin, Matt Area:Pennsylvania Lines:78 Added:02/09/2018

A coffee-like plant from southeast Asia was classified Tuesday as a dangerous opioid by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Kratom is an unregulated plant imported from southeast Asia which is commonly sold in convenience stores and used as a home remedy to combat pain and opioid withdrawal, among other uses.

The FDA posted reports of kratom-related deaths on its website in December and again earlier this week.

Here are a few examples of kratom-related deaths from those reports:

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35 US PA: Study: Marijuana Dispensaries Helped Cut Opioid DeathsTue, 06 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:77 Added:02/07/2018

States with medical marijuana dispensaries saw "a significant decline" in opioid deaths over a 10-year period, according to a report published this week by the Journal of Health Economics.

"The evidence suggests that Pennsylvania will see a reduction in opioid dependence and a reduction in overdose deaths" following the opening of the dispensaries, said David Powell, an economist for the RAND Corporation, in an interview with the Inquirer and Daily News.

Pennsylvania is launching its first dispensaries next week, with the first medical marijuana products expected to be available to registered patients on Feb. 15.

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36 US PA: Oped: How Can I Supervise Heroin Injections And Live WithFri, 02 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Swan, Beth Ann Area:Pennsylvania Lines:89 Added:02/06/2018

A Philly nurse on safe injection sites

"You want me to do what?" "Where's your compassion?" "What a waste of resources!" "I have an obligation to help people stay healthy."

These are conflicting responses I imagine nurses and health-care professionals may have when asked to provide care at safe injection sites, places where people can use drugs under medical supervision. There aren't any such sites right now. But the City of Philadelphia announced that it will encourage setting them up. Should health-care professionals participate? It's a dilemma wrought with ethical, moral, legal, and regulatory issues and more questions than answers. As a nurse, I can understand and appreciate both sides.

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37 US PA: Homegrown Marijuana Proposed For New JerseyFri, 02 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:71 Added:02/05/2018

Should New Jersey residents be able to grow their own marijuana at home?

A top-ranking Garden State assemblyman thinks so.

Reed Gusciora (D., Mercer) is the deputy majority leader in the Assembly and a prosecutor in Lawrence Township. He's also running to be mayor of New Jersey's capital city.

Gusciora believes residents should be allowed to cultivate up to six cannabis plants indoors for their personal use if recreational marijuana becomes legal in the state.

"Looking at the marijuana laws in place in California, Oregon, Washington and the like, I thought that homegrown should be an essential element of the New Jersey law, too," Gusciora said.

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38 US PA: Pitt study: Kids With ADHD At Greater Risk For SmokingMon, 29 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Giordano, Rita Area:Pennsylvania Lines:83 Added:02/03/2018

A new multi-site study has found that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to engage in substance use than youngsters without the disorder and had higher rates of marijuana and cigarette use going into adulthood.

The study's takeaway message, suggested lead author Brooke Molina, should be that parents of children with ADHD need to keep in touch with their children's activities and friends, even into the teenage years.

"They should keep their antenna up," said Molina, a psychiatry professor with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

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39 US PA: Safe Injection Site Uproar Reminds Rendell Of Needle ExchangeThu, 25 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Whelan, Aubrey Area:Pennsylvania Lines:132 Added:01/25/2018

It was an idea born in the middle of a devastating epidemic with an ever-rising death rate. It drew the ire of state officials, threats to arrest those who operated it, and fears that it would encourage drug use and addiction.

No, Philly did not just approve of 'Hamsterdam'

It was a needle exchange to prevent reusing hypodermic needles, and the year was 1991.

Twenty-seven years later, those involved in the struggle to open Prevention Point - still Philadelphia's only needle exchange - say the parallels are clear between that fight and the city's decision to encourage the opening of safe injection sites, where people in addiction can inject drugs under medical supervision and access treatment.

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40 US PA: Would Safe Injection Sites Be Good For Philly? Readers WeighWed, 24 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:47 Added:01/24/2018

On Tuesday, Philadelphia officials took a bold step in addressing the opioid crisis that has increasingly plagued the region, by supporting the creation of medically supervised facilities where heroin users can safely inject drugs.

While other cities, including Seattle and Baltimore, are also moving toward the safe site model, no city in the United States yet has an operating, sanctioned injection facility. The policy is controversial and polarizing, raising questions by public officials and citizens about legality, morality, and how to address a public health crisis - not to mention the logistical details of where and how such sites would operate.

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41 US PA: Editorial: Philadelphia safe injection sites: The Right MoveTue, 23 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:72 Added:01/23/2018

Safe injection sites where addicts can shoot up in a supervised setting could be a hard concept for many to grasp as anything but an invitation for users to inject poison into themselves with the city's blessing.

To believe that, though, would be a mistake. Philadelphia announced Tuesday it would support the idea of sites that would not only provide medical supervision to addicts but give them access to treatment and other services. Such a move won't solve the deadly opioid crisis, but is intended to be damage control ... literally. Such sites may control the fatal damage that drugs are inflicting, in a crisis that has laid waste to thousands of lives and families.

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42 US PA: Column: With Safe Injection Sites, Philadelphia Demonstrates ATue, 23 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Newall, Mike Area:Pennsylvania Lines:106 Added:01/23/2018

When I think about the people I've met in Kensington over the last eight months, the people who've opened up to me about their addiction, about their lives, talking to me from the cardboard mattresses and train bridges and alleyways and library lawns where they live, I think about the ones I haven't seen in a while.

No, Philly did not just approve of 'Hamsterdam'

Could City Council block Kenney's proposed safe injection sites?

I think about how many of them by now are dead.

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43 US PA: Dwight Evans First Pa. Congress Member To Cosponsor EndingFri, 19 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Goldstein, Chris Area:Pennsylvania Lines:62 Added:01/19/2018

When it comes to legalizing marijuana Congressman Dwight Evans (D-Pa.) is "one thousand percent on board."

When it comes to legalizing marijuana U.S Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.) is "one thousand percent on board," he told me by phone on Thursday afternoon.

Evans officially signed on to HR 1227 Wednesday, a bill that would remove cannabis and hemp from federal drug scheduling completely.

"This is what the people want in the state," said Evans.

The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act is sponsored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a rising Democrat from Hawaii, and Rep. Tom Garrett, a more libertarian-styled Republican from Virginia.

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44 US PA: Pa. Has Approved All But Two Of 12 Marijuana GrowersFri, 19 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:50 Added:01/19/2018

A 10th medical marijuana grower has been approved to begin cultivation in Pennsylvania, according to the state Department of Health. Holistic Farms LLC was granted permission Friday to plant its first cannabis crop in Lawrence County, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh.

That leaves only two of the 12 companies with permits yet to be approved. AES Compassionate Care plans to open in Chambersburg in the south-central part of the state; AgriMed Industries of Pennsylvania is expected to operate in Carmichaels, 20 miles south of Pittsburgh. It was unclear why they have yet to receive approval. Grow houses must undergo several inspections and be plugged into the state seed-to-sale tracking system. Representatives of the companies could not be reached for comment.

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45 US PA: Pa. Regulators Reverse Course Medical Marijuana Won't StopFri, 12 Jan 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:77 Added:01/12/2018

Pennsylvania will no longer provide the names of medical marijuana patients to law enforcement agencies.

The state Department of Health made the announcement late Friday afternoon in the wake of an Inquirer and Daily News story that called attention to the fact that marijuana patients would not be able to buy firearms.

The department also called for the federal government to reclassify marijuana, essentially demanding that it legalize cannabis on a national level. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Administration considers all forms of the plant to be "without any accepted medical use," "highly addictive," and on par with LSD and heroin. Last week U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed Obama-era policies and said federal prosecutors had the discretion to crack down on participants in state-legal marijuana programs.

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46 US PA: Interested In Growing Industrial Hemp? Here's What You Need ToWed, 03 Jan 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Wagaman, Andrew Area:Pennsylvania Lines:125 Added:01/03/2018

The second coming of industrial hemp in Pennsylvania is entering its second year, with greater opportunities available to interested farmers, researchers and entrepreneurs thanks to the expanded scope of the Department of Agriculture's pilot program.

But you still need approval from the state to grow hemp, and the Jan. 19 application deadline is fast approaching. Here's what prospective applicants need to know:

How to apply: Here's the agriculture department's industrial hemp landing page, and here's a direct link to the application.

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