BOSTON - A handful of the marijuana businesses granted provisional
licenses have informed the Cannabis Control Commission they are ready
to be inspected, one of the final steps before retail sales of
marijuana, approved by voters almost two years ago, can begin.
CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman said late last week the agency is working
to schedule inspections for two or three provisionally licensed
businesses. Hoffman said the inspections are expected to take place
"over the next week, plus or minus."
He said it's possible the CCC could vote at its next meeting, Sept.
20, to issue a final license if a business passes its inspection and
fulfills other requirements by then.
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Six days after confirming approval of medical marijuana dispensary
bans in Northboro and Bellingham, Attorney General Maura Healey's
office reversed its decision.
In an Aug. 25 Telegram & Gazette story, a spokesperson for the AG's
office confirmed that the office in June approved bylaws passed in the
two towns that ban medical marijuana dispensaries. The 2012 Medical
Marijuana law originally prohibited any municipality from banning
medical marijuana dispensaries. An AG spokeswoman said at the time the
approval was based on Section 56 (subsection d) of Chapter 55 Acts of
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SARASOTA -- Several panelists made their cases in a Thursday forum for
why marijuana should no longer be classified by the federal government
as a Schedule 1 drug as dangerous as heroin.
The program focused on the Herald-Tribune project "Warriors Rise Up,"
which found a gaping rift between what many combat veterans want to
treat their post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries
and what they can legally get.
Rather than a cocktail of painkillers, many veterans prefer the relief
they receive from marijuana. Because of marijuana's Schedule 1
designation under federal law, however, the VA has not considered it
an option -- even in states that have legalized the drug for medical
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Medical pot sellers in the north suburbs are lauding a new Illinois
law that will eventually allow patients who might be prescribed an
opioid-based painkiller to qualify for medical marijuana as an
The Opioid Alternative Pilot Program has the potential to expand
marijuana access to patients who have been, or could be prescribed
medications such as Oxycontin, Percocet or Vicodin, even if they don't
have one of the medical conditions the state otherwise requires for
eligibility. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the law on Aug. 28.
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As Louisiana's medical marijuana program takes shape some patients
might have to make a difficult choice: keep their gun ownership rights
or participate in the program.
Louisiana is one of 30 states that have approved medical marijuana
laws in some form. Although the state's nine dispensaries won't open
until later this year, patients who qualify for medical marijuana
under Louisiana law may be surprised to learn that federal law
restricts their ability to purchase a gun if they use marijuana.
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Medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania are bracing for a surge
in new customers when vaporizable "flower" -- the most popular and
recognizable form of cannabis -- goes on sale on Wednesday, Aug. 1.
"We're expecting 300 to 400 patients at our Abington store the first
day," said Chris Visco, co-founder of TerraVida Holistic Centers.
"People will likely be in line at 8 a.m. We're hiring an extra
security guard and an extra valet parking person. This is a
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An LDS missionary passes by the Salt Lake Temple at Temple Square in
Salt Lake City. Voters this fall in Utah will cast ballots on a
measure that would allow medical marijuana. (Isaac Hale / For The Times)
Brian Stoll faced a dilemma as his wedding day approached. For more
than a year, he had been smoking marijuana to treat severe back pain,
but to remain in good standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints and get married in the temple, he had to stop using
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Despite limited evidence, Americans have an increasingly positive view
of the health benefits of marijuana. Nearly two-thirds believe pot can
reduce pain, while close to half say it improves symptoms of anxiety,
depression, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, according to a new
online survey of 9,003 adults.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey are among the 30 states, along with the
District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, that have legalized
medical marijuana. But scientists say hard data on the health effects
of pot -- both positive and negative -- are largely missing. Because
marijuana is considered an illicit drug by the federal government,
research has been scant, though there are efforts underway in
Pennsylvania and nationally to remedy that.
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State lawmakers and advocates pushing to legalize marijuana this year
aren't just touting legalization as a way to raise tax revenue and
regulate an underground pot market. They're also talking about fixing
a broken criminal justice system and reinvesting in poor and minority
communities that have been battered by decades of the government's war
The focus on justice and equity has sharpened over time, longtime pot
advocates say, as it's become clear that such issues should be
addressed and that doing so won't alienate voters -- most of whom,
polls consistently show, support legal marijuana. Civil rights groups
also have raised their voices in legalization discussions.
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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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You can't take it with you. Actually, you can. But it's not a good
idea when you're traveling, especially for the risk-averse.
We speak, of course, of cannabis; its use was approved by 57% of
California voters in November 2016. Proposition 64, known as the Adult
Use of Marijuana Act, allows the recreational use of marijuana in the
Golden State; medical marijuana had been legal for about a decade
Legal, it should be noted, in California. Not legal according to
federal law, although President Trump has signaled his willingness to
support legislation that, according to an L.A. Times article, would
"end the federal ban on marijuana."
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July 1, a fated day in Massachusetts for advocates of recreational
marijuana, came and went. The first day that stores were allowed to
sell nonmedical cannabis passed without so much as a joint sold. No
retailers had been licensed, and July 1 turned out much like any other
day since December 15, 2016, when it became legal in Massachusetts to
possess, grow and give away small quantities of cannabis.
But in the intervening year-and-a-half, no retailers have begun
selling the drug. Advocates of its recreational use have grown
frustrated at the retail rollout's plodding pace.
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LOS ANGELES - A slight marijuana smell wafted out as a steady stream of
customers walked into a warehouse, its doors and windows covered by
Suddenly, police swooped in.
"Sheriff's department! Search warrant!" a Los Angeles County deputy
shouted as the team thundered through the front door and began hauling
out people in handcuffs.
The Compton 20 Cap Collective just south of Los Angeles that was
raided earlier this spring is one of hundreds of illegal marijuana
stores operating in LA County, where marijuana is legal for anyone 21
and over and retailers must be licensed to sell to them.
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Finding a place to house a medical marijuana dispensary is rarely an
easy task, but MariMed Advisors, which specializes in developing
cannabis businesses, encountered especially aggressive pushback
working for a client in Annapolis, Md., last year.
The company reviewed several hundred potential locations for the
client's proposed dispensary before finally finding one that met
nearly every one of the strict requirements demanded by officials of
Anne Arundel County. It had the proper zoning classification and the
necessary road access. It was not within 1,000 feet of a school. And,
as an added plus, the storefront was discreet, located below ground
level and behind another building.
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TALLAHASSEE -- Chiding a judge who sided with sick patients and saying
plaintiffs likely won't win on the merits of the case, an appellate
court on Tuesday refused to allow smokable medical marijuana while a
legal fight continues to play out.
The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal
came in a lawsuit initiated by Orlando trial attorney John Morgan and
others who maintain that a Florida law barring patients from smoking
their treatment runs afoul of a 2016 constitutional amendment that
broadly legalized medical marijuana.
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LINDSAY, Okla - Danny Daniels, an evangelical Christian in the rural
Oklahoma town of Lindsay, is reliably conservative on just about every
The 45-year-old church pastor is anti-abortion, voted for President
Donald Trump and is a member of the National Rifle Association who
owns an AR-15 rifle. He also came of age during the 1980s and believed
in the anti-drug mantra that labeled marijuana as a dangerous gateway
But his view on marijuana changed as his pastoral work extended into
hospice care and he saw patients at the end of their lives benefiting
from the use of cannabis.
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U.S. health regulators on Monday approved the first prescription drug
made from marijuana, a milestone that could spur more research into a
drug that remains illegal under federal law, despite growing
legalization for recreational and medical use.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the medication, called
Epidiolex, to treat two rare forms of epilepsy that begin in
childhood. But it's not quite medical marijuana.
The strawberry-flavored syrup is a purified form of a chemical
ingredient found in the cannabis plant -- but not the one that gets
users high. It's not yet clear why the ingredient, called cannabidiol,
or CBD, reduces seizures in some people with epilepsy.
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Jeff Greene, the Palm Beach billionaire who this week joined a crowded
slate of Democrats seeking to replace Gov. Rick Scott, shared his
thoughts about marijuana with Truth or Dara during a lengthy interview
that included some chit-chat about Willie Nelson and air pods.
(Spoiler alert: He's a fan of both the musician and the technology).
On medical marijuana, Greene's got the same take as his competitors,
who've all come out in support of allowing patients to smoke their
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A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on
whether the U.S government will approve the first prescription drug
derived from the marijuana plant, but parents who for years have used
cannabis to treat severe forms of epilepsy in their children are
feeling more cautious than celebratory.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide by the end
of the month whether to approve GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex. It's a
purified form of cannabidiol -- a component of cannabis that doesn't
get users high -- to treat Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes in
kids. Both forms of epilepsy are rare.
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A medical marijuana activist in Oklahoma says the county sheriff
forcibly escorted him out of a forum, but the sheriff says he thinks
the scuffle was an "orchestrated" deal with an attempt to rattle law
Chip Paul, co-founder of Oklahomans for Health, said he was attending
a forum about the proposed legislation for legalizing medical
marijuana when he was forced out by Rogers County Sheriff Scott
Walton. The organization is the official proponent of legalizing
medical cannabis in Oklahoma through State Question 788.
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