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1Canada: Research Lacking On Medical Pot: Doctors' GroupsThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Omand, Geordon Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:12/17/2017

Drug may do more harm than good, say critics

VANCOUVER * There is little to no research to support the supposed benefits of medical cannabis, and what evidence exists suggests that using marijuana as medicine may do more harm than good, family doctors' associations across Canada are telling their members.

A trio of advisories prepared by the Alberta College of Family Physicians has been distributed to more than 32,000 clinicians, summarizing the scientific literature, or lack thereof, around medicinal marijuana.

"One thing that was quite consistent was adverse events," said Dr. Mike Allan, a professor of family medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. "And the benefits, even if they're real, are much smaller than what people might anticipate."

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2 US FL: This City OK'd Marijuana Dispensaries. Now It's Having SecondFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Geggis, Anne Area:Florida Lines:127 Added:12/08/2017

Have they opened Pandora's box? Some Deerfield Beach city leaders worry that's what they might've done by allowing marijuana dispensaries in the city.

They're now trying to stop medical dispensaries from clustering citywide by keeping them out of commercial areas that also have homes, as well as setting rules to stop them from opening next to one another.

Mayor Bill Ganz said he doesn't want the city to become known as the place to buy pot, even if it's just the medical kind that doesn't get you high.

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3 US MD: FAQ: What You Need To Know About Medical Marijuana In MarylandThu, 07 Dec 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:196 Added:12/07/2017

Medical marijuana is now available in Maryland. Here's what you need to know about it.

Medical marijuana is now available in Maryland, more than four years after the General Assembly passed a law legalizing it.

Standing up the industry -- with growers, processors, dispensaries and doctors -- took longer than expected. The law needed to be tweaked, rules needed to be written and legal battles needed to be fought over who won licenses.

Here's what prospective users need to know about medical marijuana.

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4 Canada: Personal Grow-Ops Emerge As Targets For Organized CrimeFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hayes, Molly Area:Canada Lines:381 Added:12/06/2017

The proliferation of personal yet industrial-scale marijuana farms, licensed and shielded by health privacy laws, has created a shadow market in which individual patients are collectively churning out as much marijuana as some commercial producers - with none of the scrutiny.

Although they operate under the guise of legitimacy, a Globe and Mail investigation has found that these personal grow-ops are prime targets for robberies and abuse by organized crime.

As the federal government edges closer to scrapping Canada's longstanding prohibition against the sale of recreational marijuana, the country's two-tiered medical marijuanaregime serves as a major obstacle to one of Ottawa's frequently stated legalization goals: the elimination of gangsters from a legal marketplace.

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5 US MD: Maryland, After Delays, Begins The Sale Of Medical MarijuanaFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:78 Added:12/01/2017

Maryland began the sale of medical marijuana to residents in pain on Friday, ending years of delays by embarking on a program that features some of the most liberal policies in the nation on who can qualify for the prescribed cannabis.

Dozens of people stood outside a licensed dispensary in Montgomery County, Potomac Holistics, where owners began making sales soon after receiving their first shipment Friday afternoon.

"You can tell there's a buzz, and we're excited for so many reasons," Askinazi said. "We're giving care to people who need it."

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6 CN BC: Pot Dispensary Suing City Claims Not-For-Profit StatusFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Abbotsford News (CN BC) Author:Gawley, Kelvin Area:British Columbia Lines:65 Added:12/01/2017

Motacan Compassion Society is exempt from business licence requirement, operator argues

A medical marijuana dispensary is suing the City of Abbotsford in an effort to remain open and avoid paying thousands of dollars in tickets.

Motacan Compassion Society, which operates a storefront location in an alley off Montrose Avenue in downtown Abbotsford, says it is exempt from bylaws requiring a business licence due to its not-for-profit society status.

In a petition filed last week in B.C. Supreme Court, "principal operator" David Smith claims Motacan is a registered society that provides "reasonable access to medical cannabis to members of the society on a highly subsidized basis."

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7 US FL: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Now Open In Palm Beach CountyTue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Swisher, Skyler Area:Florida Lines:100 Added:11/14/2017

Palm Beach County's first medical marijuana dispensary is now open for business.

At noon Tuesday, Knox Medical opened the center at 1 South Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, across the street from Lake Worth City Hall.

The dispensary occupies a former bank building in downtown Lake Worth, and the interior resembles a dentist or doctor's office. Patients check in at the foyer and then can proceed to a room with glass display cases showcasing Knox Medical's products.

Knox Medical CEO Jose Javier Hidalgo said the new dispensary will improve access to medical cannabis for everyone in South Florida.

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8 US PA: Medical marijuana in Pennsylvania: How Patients Can Sign UpThu, 02 Nov 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Wagaman, Andrew Area:Pennsylvania Lines:84 Added:11/02/2017

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Wednesday pledged to make medical marijuana available to patients by May and released a list of 109 approved practitioners statewide.

It also launched the medical marijuana patient and caregiver registry, with instructions on how those interested can sign up. More than 200,000 patients across the state could qualify for medical marijuana treatment.

Pennsylvanians with 17 medical conditions are eligible for medical marijuana patient ID cards.

Those conditions are Lou Gehrig's disease, autism, cancer, Crohn's disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Huntington's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord damage, chronic pain, neuropathies and intractable seizures.

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9 CN AB: Column: Important Things To Know About Recreational AndTue, 03 Oct 2017
Source:Medicine Hat News (CN AB) Author:Bharwani, Area:Alberta Lines:87 Added:10/06/2017

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and chief medical correspondent for CNN is reported to have said, "Every 19 minutes somebody dies of a prescription drug overdose. It doesn't happen with marijuana." In the past Gupta was against legalising medical marijuana in the U.S. but now he is in favour of it. He sees some benefit for certain types of illnesses.

The use of medical marijuana (medical cannabis) as a medicine has not been rigorously tested due to several restrictions. But there is some evidence to suggest cannabis can reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and reduce chronic pain and muscle spasm.

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10US FL: Column: Lane: On Medical Pot, Public Way Ahead Of LeadersSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Daytona Beach News-Journal (FL) Author:Lane, Mark Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

On medical marijuana, the public is way ahead of officialdom.

Statewide, 71 percent of Florida voters voted in favor of the medical marijuana amendment last November. In Flagler County, the margin was the same. In Volusia County, 73 percent voted to approve.

Overwhelming support. Particularly in a state like Florida which is known sharp political divisions on most issues. Even so, the Legislature was so reluctant to pass legislation putting the amendment into effect that nothing was approved during the regular spring session.

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11 US HI: Big Island Still Has Most Medical Marijuana UsersMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:61 Added:07/21/2017

Thirty-eight percent of the 17,591 patients registered in Hawaii's medical marijuana program were located on the Big Island.

Recently released data by the state Department of Health indicates the trend of medical marijuana patients in Hawaii is changing.

Thirty-eight percent of the 17,591 patients registered in Hawaii's medical marijuana program were located on Hawaii Island, according to the data released Friday. That's down from 40 percent in March and 42 percent in December.

Meanwhile, the percentage of patients hailing from Oahu has jumped from 25 percent in December to 29 percent last month, a more than 1,300-patient increase. The Big Island's patient count increased by about 300 people in that same time, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

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12 US FL: Medical Marijuana Bill Passes In Florida LegislatureThu, 06 Jul 2017
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:148 Added:07/10/2017

The medical marijuana industry officially has its guidelines with the passage of a bill out of the Florida Legislature on the last day of a three-day special session.

The votes were 29-6 in the Senate and 103-9 in the House. The few no votes were mostly Democrats who wanted fewer restrictions in the bill, but also a few Republicans who remain against the idea of medical marijuana on principle.

Gov. Rick Scott said he "absolutely" will sign the bill. That means big changes for patients, caregivers, doctors and growers, compared with the far more limited medical marijuana law passed by the Legislature in 2014, which resulted in seven grower/dispensers in the state.

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13US FL: Pro-Pot Forces Calm Waters As Uss Maryjane Sails ThroughThu, 06 Jul 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Morgan, Philip Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:07/06/2017

TEMPLE TERRACE -- Dropping a giant joint in favor of the "USS Maryjane" seemed to smooth the waters for a pro-marijuana entry in this year's Temple Terrace Fourth of July Parade.

The new float designed by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws featured the flag-festooned ship crewed by some military veterans and painted with the slogan, "Hemp for Victory."

The theme plays off a World War II film from the Department of Agriculture that praised the nation's hemp farmers for their work in creating strong ropes from the stalks of marijuana plants for the armed forces.

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14 US PA: Why Medical Marijuana Shops In Pa. Won't ReekTue, 04 Jul 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:113 Added:07/05/2017

Walk into a medical marijuana dispensary in New Jersey and the first thing to hit you is the stink.

Weed's scent is a sour blast that seems to reek of citrus, diesel, and skunk. At the Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, charcoal air purifiers -- encased in gleaming steel and larger than jet engines -- are strategically placed through the facility. It's hard to say whether their presence tempers the odor, which is generated by thousands of cannabis plants growing under lights in the same building.

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15US KY: Allow Medical Marijuana For Terminally Ill, Lawmaker SaysWed, 21 Jun 2017
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Yetter, Deborah Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:06/21/2017

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Saying its time has come, state Sen. Morgan McGarvey on Wednesday called on the legislature to consider legalizing medical marijuana to relieve pain and suffering of terminally ill people.

"It's 2017," McGarvey, a Louisville Democrat, told members of the joint House-Senate Health and Welfare Committee. "I think it's time we had a conversation about medical marijuana without snickering."

Members of the committee took no action on legislation McGarvey is proposing for the 2018 legislative session but no one spoke against the proposal and some committee members spoke in favor of the measure that went nowhere in the past two legislative sessions.

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16 CN ON: Pot Shops Back A With LimitsTue, 20 Jun 2017
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Carruthers, Dale Area:Ontario Lines:67 Added:06/20/2017

Two Healing Health locations re-open after fire inspections but only for existing buyers

Two London marijuana dispensaries are back in business after temporarily closing this month following a visit from a fire inspector, but neither of the pot shops are taking on new customers.

Healing Health Compassion stopped selling cannabis at its Dundas Street store for several days - moving its inventory off site - and closed its Wonderland Road location after a fire inspector visited the Dundas shop June 4, prompting fears of a crackdown by city officials.

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17 CN BC: Doc Says Pot Can Reduce Opioid DependencyThu, 04 May 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Siebert, Amanda Area:British Columbia Lines:138 Added:05/06/2017

Dr. Caroline MacCallum wants doctors to know that cannabis "isn't the taboo medicine" they might think it is. Not only has she used it successfully to treat more than 50 conditions, she has also seen how it has helped her patients stop using prescription opioids.

MacCallum, a specialist in complex pain and cannabinoid medicine, is the medical director at Green Leaf Clinic in Langley, where she assesses patients for their eligibility for Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations program.

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18Canada: Column: Roadside Testing For Pot No Easy TaskSat, 22 Apr 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Cosh, Colby Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2017

As was widely foreseen, the Liberals' "Legalize marijuana in as awkward, truculent, and impractical a way as possible" legislation has created a whole new industry. I don't mean selling weed, of course: we had that trade before. I'm referring to newspaper columns, op-eds, and interviews about how crummy this law is. I have about 120 deadlines in the next 12 months, and I could use this topic for ... 30? Maybe 40?

For now, let me cover just one aspect of legalization: the issue of roadside testing for marijuana impairment. The law contains provisions to permit this, and the constitutional angles are being smacked around like a tetherball. There seems to be a widespread assumption that because the law permits on-the-spot testing for impairment, such testing must be a practically possible thing; a solved problem.

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19 CN MB: Waiting For The Smoke To ClearSat, 15 Apr 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Martin, Nick Area:Manitoba Lines:110 Added:04/19/2017

Province has concerns about pot legalization but next moves remain unknown

MANITOBA - Justice Minister Heather Stefanson says she has "lots of concerns" with the federal government's new legalized marijuana legislation tabled Thursday, but won't speculate publicly what Manitoba's next move will be.

"We want to listen to Manitobans and consult on that," she told reporters Thursday.

The federal government's proposed law, which sets the minimum age to purchase marijuana at 18, gives provinces some latitude to increase that age, but Stefanson declined to say whether she believes 18 is too young to buy marijuana.

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20 CN MB: What Legalized Marijuana Will Mean For ManitobaTue, 28 Mar 2017
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Kusch, Larry Area:Manitoba Lines:126 Added:03/31/2017

PARTICIPANTS in the annual 4/20 event at the Manitoba Legislative Building are likely to be in an even more celebratory mood this year as the federal Liberal government is poised to introduce legislation to make good on its promise to legalize pot.

The April 20 bash, which extols the consumption of cannabis - especially the smoking of it - may also have a more political undertone as local medical marijuana advocates protest a lack of consultation by the Pallister government before introducing a bill last week setting out new rules to deal with cannabis when legalization occurs.

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