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81 US FL: Company Files Lawsuit Challenging Orlando's Medical MarijuanaMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Gillespie, Ryan Area:Florida Lines:78 Added:03/31/2018

A company that planned to open a medical marijuana dispensary south of downtown Orlando is challenging the city's ordinance regulating such businesses, alleging it violates state law.

Surterra Florida, which operates five dispensaries statewide, filed the suit in Orange County Circuit Court last week and is asking a judge to rule Orlando's law is "invalid and unenforceable." Tallahassee Attorney William Hall, who filed the suit, is also seeking a temporary injunction to keep the city from enforcing the law while the court rules.

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82 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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83 US MO: Medical Marijuana Narrowly Rejected By Kansas HouseMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Marso, Andy Area:Missouri Lines:105 Added:03/31/2018

The Kansas House of Representatives rejected medical marijuana legalization Monday.

But the closeness of the 54-69 vote and the hour of emotional testimony that preceded it made advocates more confident that Kansas is now closer to joining the 30 states that allow marijuana by prescription.

"Today was the most legislative discussion we have ever had in three years of the Kansas Safe Access Act," said Lisa Sublett, the founder and president of Bleeding Kansas Advocates.

Sublett noted the bipartisan nature of the vote on the medical marijuana amendment, which came up during debate on a bill to update the state's controlled substances listings.

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84 US NJ: Gov. Murphy Greatly Expands New Jersey's Medical MarijuanaTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:New Jersey Lines:106 Added:03/31/2018

Gov. Murphy greatly expanded New Jersey's medical marijuana program Tuesday, opening the door to tens of thousands of new patients and allowing the five dispensaries spread across the state to add satellite retail centers and cultivation facilities.

The governor added to the list of ailments that qualify for a cannabis prescription. He also cleared the way for any doctor in the state to prescribe cannabis, ending a system in which only those physicians who registered -- and thus, joined a publicly available list of providers - -- could do so. He said some doctors had been reluctant to participate in the program because they viewed joining the list as a stigma.

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85 US KY: Sen. McConnell On hemp: 'Make This A Legal Crop'Tue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Schreiner, Bruce Area:Kentucky Lines:136 Added:03/31/2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The U.S. Senate's top leader said Monday he wants to bring hemp production back into the mainstream by removing it from the controlled substances list that now associates it with its cousin – marijuana.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told hemp advocates in his home state of Kentucky that he will introduce legislation to legalize the crop as an agricultural commodity. The versatile crop has been grown on an experimental basis in a number of states in recent years.

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86 US FL: Rope, Not Dope: UF To Tackle Hemp ResearchTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Strange, Deborah Area:Florida Lines:82 Added:03/31/2018

GAINESVILLE -- The University of Florida could start growing industrial hemp as soon as the fall.

But the project still has to pass some hurdles before planting begins, said Rob Gilbert, chairman of the UF/IFAS agronomy department.

The university's board of trustees approved the project Friday, and now the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration must approve importing industrial hemp seeds. Then the project needs to secure the $1.3 million it needs and the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services must approve a planting permit.

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87 US HI: Cure Oahu Begins Cannabis SalesTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:45 Added:03/31/2018

Cure Oahu, backed by a local private investment group, opened with 10 strains, including top sellers Master Kush, Da Glue, Sour Chem and Sunset Mango. The dispensary in the former Bank of Hawaii branch building at 727 Kapahulu Ave. said there was heavy demand for indica, sativa and hybrid flower strains as well as tinctures and lozenges, which sold out shortly after opening.

The 5,434-square-foot building has had a major makeover with a high-tech, 2,400-square-foot open lobby and dispensing area with two private consultation booths and large electronic tablet stations where customers can browse through information and choose from a variety of strains. Patients are also able to register and order products online before coming into the dispensary.

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88US LA: Metairie Medical Marijuana Pharmacy Up For State ApprovalMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Bacon-Blood, Littice Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:03/31/2018

A Metairie business could obtain permission Tuesday to operate one of the state's first medical marijuana pharmacies. The Louisiana Pharmacy Board is meeting in Baton Rouge for two days to discuss, and possibly give final approval, to companies seeking to obtain one of the state's operating permits.

According to the board's agenda, 44 applicants have applied for permits, although some of those companies have withdrawn from consideration.

The Rx Greenhouse announced in February its plans to open an office building at 3131 North Causeway Boulevard in Metairie after gaining preliminary approval from a state subcommittee. If approved it would open by September, the pharmacy owners have said.

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89 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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90US CA: Riverside City Council Moves Toward Banning MarijuanaWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Hagen, Ryan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/28/2018

The Riverside City Council voted Tuesday, March 27, to have staff members prepare an expansive ban on marijuana-related activities.

The ban, which must be approved as a city ordinance before it takes effect, would replace Riverside's current moratorium that temporarily bans most marijuana business.

Councilman Chuck Conder proposed the ban, which would prohibit the retail and commercial sale, commercial cultivation, distribution, and outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana plants. He did so after a delegation of city officials who traveled to Denver, including Conder himself, gave a three-hour presentation on the effects of marijuana legalization there.

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91 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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92 US FL: Oped: Clear The Air About Making Medical Marijuana AccessibleWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kalsi, Kamal Area:Florida Lines:120 Added:03/28/2018

Following President Trump's rollout of his administration's policy response to the opioid crisis, it has become clear that the president would rather waste federal resources trying to execute drug dealers than allow Americans the option to use medical cannabis.

In his speech in New Hampshire, the president mentioned a terminally ill patient's "right to try" experimental medications that can enhance quality of life, but ignored the National Institute of Drug Abuse's own grudging admission that cannabis use is linked to health improvements in people suffering a range of diseases, from cancer to AIDS.

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93US LA: NOPD Marijuana Arrests Plunged To 1 Percent After OrdinanceWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Litten, Kevin Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:03/28/2018

People arrested and held on simple marijuana possession became nearly non-existent in New Orleans in the year since the City Council passed an ordinance that allowed police to issue summons instead of using a custodial arrest.

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry shared data on Tuesday (March 27) showing that just 1 percent of encounters between police and someone accused of possessing marijuana resulted in an arrest between June 2016 and May 2017. A year before, 15 percent of people were arrested for simple possession.

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94 US CT: Third Recreational Marijuana Bill Up For Hearing IncludesWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Gomez-Aceves, Sandra Area:Connecticut Lines:107 Added:03/28/2018

A third committee held a public hearing on a third recreational marijuana bill Wednesday, despite a separate bill on the controversial issue facing bipartisan opposition last week.

The legislation up for hearing in the appropriations committee Wednesday, H.B. 5394, calls for developing a plan for the legalization and regulation of cannabis. Unlike the two prior bills, the third seeks to provide substance abuse treatment, prevention, education and awareness programs.

The bill would require the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to work with the chief state's attorney and the commissioners of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Consumer Protection and Revenue Services to develop the legalization and regulation plan in "the most cost effective means."

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95US CA: Marijuana Business Threatened By Taxes, Black MarketWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Branan, Brad Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/25/2018

Three months into the start of California's recreational marijuana market, industry leaders are voicing concerns that sales are not meeting projections, and that high taxes, complicated regulations and a thriving black market are having deleterious effects.

The leaders pressed government officials to make changes during Tuesday's gathering of an estimated 600 people at the California Cannabis Industry Association conference at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento.

"This is an industry in crisis," said Kristi Knoblich, president of the association's board and co-founder of Kiva Confections, a manufacturer of edible cannabis products. "This is me sounding the alarm."

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96US CA: Moreno Valley Approves Comprehensive Recreational MarijuanaTue, 20 Mar 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Downey, David Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/25/2018

Moreno Valley officials have set the stage for a range of legal marijuana businesses to open in Riverside County's second-largest city while limiting the number of commercial pot enterprises to 27 -- eight of them dispensaries.

The widely anticipated move, approved Tuesday, March 20, comes as the city is working to shut down illegal pot stores.

City Attorney Martin Koczanowicz said that since last summer the city has discovered 20 dispensaries operating illegally in Moreno Valley and closed 15. It's now working to eliminate the other five.

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97 US IL: In The Era Of Legalization, How Do You Discuss Marijuana WithWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Schoenberg, Nara Area:Illinois Lines:122 Added:03/25/2018

"My uncle is prescribed marijuana."

"My parents use it, and they're doing fine."

As a drug prevention specialist who does in-school presentations in the U.S., as well as internationally, Zach Levin has seen the problem firsthand: Teens know that recreational use is legal in states such as Colorado and that medical use is on the rise, and they're using that information to support the old argument that a little weed never hurt anyone.

And starting today, Illinois teens have one more argument: In a symbolic win for legalization forces that did not change local laws, Cook County residents voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana use by a wide margin Tuesday, with 68 percent in favor and 32 percent against.

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98 US MA: There's More To That Dartmouth Study Trump Mentioned In HisWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Annear, Steve Area:Massachusetts Lines:88 Added:03/25/2018

When President Trump took the stage in New Hampshire on Monday and delivered a fiery speech about how the White House plans to tackle the nationwide opioid problem, he leaned heavily on the idea that the Massachusetts city of Lawrence was largely to blame for the scourge of addiction in the Granite State.

Citing a 2017 study by researchers at Dartmouth College's Geisel School of Medicine, the president said the "sanctuary city" of Lawrence, a community that restricts its cooperation with federal immigration officials, is one of "the primary sources of fentanyl in six New Hampshire counties."

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99 US SC: Medical Marijuana Slowly Gaining Acceptances In SC This YearWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:State, The (SC) Author:Wilkinson, Jeff Area:South Carolina Lines:158 Added:03/25/2018

When Mack Hudson of Lexington was 16 years old, he was paralyzed when he fractured his skull, broke his neck and shattered a key vertebrae in a car wreck.

Over the past 10 years, he's been prescribed increasing doses of opioids -- Percocet and Roxycodone to alleviate the pain.

"It messes with my head," he said. "I can't think straight. I can't function straight. I'm just not myself."

So Hudson traveled to California and Colorado to experiment with marijuana.

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100 US OH: Editorial: There Is No Magic Solution For The Opioid CrisisWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH)          Area:Ohio Lines:72 Added:03/25/2018

President Trump's proposal to invoke the death penalty for drug traffickers is an idea that is, in the practical scheme of things, unworkable. It is also probably unconstitutional and obviously simplistic. It is a gimmick, not a policy.

We need a policy.

The president likes dramatic gestures for difficult problems - a ban on all potential terrorists, a big wall next to Mexico, a 25-percent tariff on steel. This is not an altogether bad instinct. We need strong, decisive leaders and criminals need to fear punishment.

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