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1 US MA: Massachusetts Marijuana Retailers May Soon Get Final Go-AheadSun, 09 Sep 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Young, Colin A. Area:Massachusetts Lines:95 Added:09/12/2018

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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2 US MA: Northboro And Bellingham Now Told They Cannot Prohibit MedicalMon, 10 Sep 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Thompson, Elaine Area:Massachusetts Lines:143 Added:09/10/2018

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 2017.

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3 US FL: In Sarasota, Panelists Insist Cannabis Can Reduce AddictiveFri, 07 Sep 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:White, Dale Area:Florida Lines:86 Added:09/07/2018

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 use.

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4 US IL: Medical Marijuana Sellers See New Law As A Win ForThu, 06 Sep 2018
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Berkowitz, Karen Area:Illinois Lines:140 Added:09/06/2018

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 alternative.

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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5US LA: Guns Or Marijuana? Some Patients Will Have To Make The ChoiceFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:07/31/2018

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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6 US PA: A 'Game-Changer' For Pa. Medical Marijuana Flower Goes On SaleFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:112 Added:07/31/2018

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 game-changer."

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7 US: 'Marijuana Is A Gift From God'Sun, 29 Jul 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Lee, Kurtis Area:United States Lines:218 Added:07/29/2018

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 pot.

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8 US: Public Faith In Marijuana Outpaces Medical Research, Study FindsWed, 25 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Haydon, Ian Area:United States Lines:119 Added:07/25/2018

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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9 US: Marijuana Bills Increasingly Focus On Social JusticeThu, 19 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Quinton, Sophie Area:United States Lines:207 Added:07/19/2018

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 on drugs.

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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10 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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11 US FL: Federal Law? State Law? Which Takes Precedence When You WantMon, 09 Jul 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Hamm, Catharine Area:Florida Lines:129 Added:07/11/2018

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 before that.

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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12 US MA: What To Know About Recreational Marijuana Sales InThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Ormseth, Matthew Area:Massachusetts Lines:190 Added:07/10/2018

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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13 US CA: Illegal Marijuana Market Still Thrives In Los AngelesThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:California Lines:142 Added:07/05/2018

LOS ANGELES - A slight marijuana smell wafted out as a steady stream of customers walked into a warehouse, its doors and windows covered by bars.

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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14 US: Neighbors Flinch At Pot ShopsThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Prevost, Lisa Area:United States Lines:162 Added:07/05/2018

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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15 US FL: Smokable Medical Pot Case Stays On HoldTue, 03 Jul 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kam, Dara Area:Florida Lines:79 Added:07/03/2018

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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16 US OK: Oklahoma Medical Pot Question Hinges On Conservative SupportSat, 23 Jun 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Oklahoma Lines:109 Added:06/27/2018

LINDSAY, Okla - Danny Daniels, an evangelical Christian in the rural Oklahoma town of Lindsay, is reliably conservative on just about every political issue.

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 drug.

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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17 US: Medical Milestone: U.S. OKs Marijuana-Based Drug For SeizuresMon, 25 Jun 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Perrone, Matthew Area:United States Lines:148 Added:06/27/2018

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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18US FL: Florida's Newest Governor Candidate On Ganja: Are The KidsThu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:06/26/2018

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 treatment.

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19 US FL: Some Parents Of Epileptic Kids Wary Of Pot-Based MedicationWed, 20 Jun 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Foody, Kathleen Area:Florida Lines:161 Added:06/20/2018

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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20 US OK: Marijuana Activist Forced Out Of Oklahoma Forum By SheriffWed, 20 Jun 2018
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Alanis, Kaitlyn Area:Oklahoma Lines:101 Added:06/20/2018

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 enforcement.

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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