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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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."
[continues 1149 words]
The Kansas House of Representatives rejected medical marijuana
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
"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.
[continues 572 words]
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.
[continues 670 words]
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
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.
[continues 877 words]
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.
[continues 458 words]
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.
[continues 136 words]
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
According to the board's agenda, 44 applicants have applied for
permits, although some of those companies have withdrawn from
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.
[continues 268 words]
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
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
[continues 677 words]
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
[continues 469 words]
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.
[continues 225 words]
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
[continues 838 words]
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
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.
[continues 317 words]
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
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."
[continues 592 words]
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
"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
[continues 599 words]
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.
[continues 607 words]
"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
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.
[continues 790 words]
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."
[continues 502 words]
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
[continues 905 words]
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.
[continues 438 words]