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1 US PA: New Marijuana Dispensaries Announced For Philadelphia And TheTue, 18 Dec 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:51 Added:12/19/2018

Philadelphia stands to gain at least two new medical marijuana stores while Reading scored three more dispensaries with the awarding of permits Tuesday morning by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

MLH Explorations LLC, a cannabis company aligned with Thomas Jefferson University, won a permit to operate a retail outlet at 8th and Locust Streets. The retail outlet will do business as Solterra Care - Locust Street.

Beyond/Hello, which is readying a dispensary at 12th and Sansom Streets for the first quarter of 2019, also plans to open a retail store at 475 N. 5th Street in Northern Liberties. Beyond / Hello is owned by Franklin Bioscience LLC which already operates a dispensary in Bristol.

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2US MN: Marijuana Legalization Seems Headed To Minnesota, But It'sSun, 09 Dec 2018
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Coolican, J. Patrick Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:12/10/2018

Legalizing marijuana is looming as a next big political showdown at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Fully legalizing marijuana in Minnesota is looming as a next big political showdown at the Capitol, as a growing number of states are ending bans on recreational cannabis.

Gov.-elect Tim Walz, who favors ending marijuana prohibition, will replace Gov. Mark Dayton, who doesn't. A new Democratic House majority will debate proposals to legalize next year and will likely take votes on the issue as soon as 2019 or 2020. And, not one but two legal pot parties -- the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party and Legal Marijuana Now Party -- emerged with 5 percent of the vote in statewide elections, giving them "major party status," which means automatic ballot access and the chance for campaign subsidies.

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3 US: Marlboro Maker Places $1.8 Billion Bet On MarijuanaFri, 07 Dec 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:United States Lines:57 Added:12/07/2018

NEW YORK - One of the world's biggest tobacco companies is diving into the cannabis market with a $1.8 billion buy-in.

Store manager Stephanie Hunt posed for photos, in July 2015, with a pack of Marlboro cigarettes, an Altria brand, at a Smoker Friendly shop in Pittsburgh. Altria is diving into the Canadian cannabis market with a $2.4 billion investment in Toronto-based medical and recreational marijuana provider Cronos Group.

Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. is taking a 45 percent stake in Cronos Group, the Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider said today.

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4 US MI: Michigan Marks 1st Day Of Legal, Recreational PotFri, 07 Dec 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Michigan Lines:31 Added:12/07/2018

DETROIT - Michigan is officially the first state in the Midwest to allow marijuana for more than medical purposes.

Today marks the first day for the legal recreational partaking of pot in Michigan following voters' strong endorsement in the Nov. 6 election.

Staff at the Lansing City Pulse, a weekly alternative newspaper, marked the day by handing out free joints across the street from the Capitol.

Michigan is now among nearly a dozen states and the District of Columbia with legalized recreational marijuana. Still, retail shops are still months away and must involve state regulators.

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5 US: Does Smoking Marijuana Cause Teen Behavior Problems Or ViceWed, 05 Dec 2018
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) Author:Pattani, Aneri Area:United States Lines:107 Added:12/05/2018

As dozens of states move toward legalizing marijuana -- for both medical and recreational purposes -- scientists and parents have asked what the impact might be on children. Will more teens use pot? Will doing so cause behavioral problems? Will they develop a substance-use disorder?

According to a new study published last month in the journal Addiction: yes, probably not, and maybe.

The study, led by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, found that marijuana use among teens does not lead to conduct problems. In fact, it's the other way around. Adolescents with conduct problems, like cheating, skipping class, and stealing, are more likely to gravitate toward marijuana use.

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6US MN: Minnesota Medical Marijuana Expanding To Add Alzheimer'sMon, 03 Dec 2018
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Author:Olson, Jeremy Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:12/03/2018

The Minnesota Department of Health is adding the degenerative neurological disorder to its cannabis program, which includes cancer pain, epileptic seizures, PTSD and autism. Research is limited, but findings suggest that cannabis inhibits the formation of proteins linked to memory loss and dementia.

Alzheimer's disease will be eligible for treatment with medical marijuana in Minnesota starting next year, becoming the 14th health condition certified by the state since the program began in 2015.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced Monday that it was adding the degenerative neurological disorder to its cannabis program, which already includes cancer pain, epileptic seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder and autism.

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7 US HI: Marijuana Found To Reverse Heart Failure, University Of HawaiiThu, 29 Nov 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:36 Added:11/29/2018

University of Hawaii researchers have discovered that the use of marijuana may reverse heart failure.

A recent study shows that drugs can protect and reverse damage to the heart from the stress that progresses the disease. Heart failure can be caused by heart attacks, leaky valves, hypertension and other illnesses.

Alexander Stokes, assistant professor in cell and molecular biology at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, said the potential medical benefits of cannabis to treat heart disease is promising.

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8 US NJ: N.J. Lawmakers Unveil Legislation Legalizing MarijuanaWed, 21 Nov 2018
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)          Area:New Jersey Lines:30 Added:11/21/2018

TRENTON -- New Jersey lawmakers have unveiled their latest proposal to legalize recreational marijuana use for people 21 and over. A joint Democrat-led Assembly and Senate committee is expected to discuss the package Monday.

One bill provides for legalizing an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older, setting up a five-person cannabis commission, and taxing the sale of the substance at 12 percent.

That rate includes the 6.625 percent sales tax. The draft also permits local governments to apply up to a 2 percent tax on cannabis. An earlier measure called for gradually increasing tax rates.

The legislation also calls for expediting expungements for people with marijuana-related criminal backgrounds.

Gov. Murphy supports marijuana legalization. His office did not comment on the new legislation Wednesday.

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9 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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10US CA: This Man Will Spend Life In Prison For A Marijuana ConvictionMon, 10 Sep 2018
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/10/2018

Barbara Tillis isn't sure when she'll get to see her son, Corvain Cooper, again.

Every few months for the past four years, Tillis, has driven five hours with her husband, daughter and Cooper's oldest daughter, making the trip from Rialto to the federal prison in Atwater, near Merced. They'd spend the day visiting and chatting, and guards would let each family member give Cooper exactly one hug. When the visit was over, they'd reluctantly pile into the car and drive home.

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11 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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12 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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13 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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14US 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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15 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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16 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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17 US NJ: Oped: Pressing Pause On Pot ConvictionsSun, 29 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fulop, Steven M. Area:New Jersey Lines:111 Added:07/29/2018

JERSEY CITY - Every city in America knows that it's a bad idea to prosecute low-level, nonviolent marijuana offenses. It wastes scarce municipal resources and does nothing to enhance public safety. What's more, even though whites and blacks use marijuana at similar rates, blacks are more harshly punished for it.

That's why, on July 19, marijuana offenses were effectively decriminalized in Jersey City, New Jersey's second most populous city.

Prosecutors treated every marijuana case that day as a violation instead of a misdemeanor, unless driving under the influence was involved. We told our prosecutors to ask for no more than a $50 fine, or just five hours of community service if the defendant couldn't pay that fee. Instances like the absence of any public nuisance or a low likelihood of re-offense would warrant outright dismissal. We also stressed the importance of diverting people with an obvious drug addiction toward social services.

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18 US: Editorial: Repeal Prohibition, AgainFri, 27 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:United States Lines:75 Added:07/28/2018

The federal government should follow the growing movement in the states and repeal the ban on marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflictingA great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.

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19 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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20 US NJ: Editorial: Like Jersey City, Murphy's AG Takes The High GroundWed, 25 Jul 2018
Source:Bridgeton News (NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:81 Added:07/25/2018

Jersey City's mayor is planting himself at the forefront of a national movement to stop destroying people's lives for having a little marijuana.

Steven Fulop is firmly on the right side of this issue, and Gov. Phil Murphy's attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, is not fighting him on it -- once again demonstrating that he is not just concerned with law and order, but justice.

Grewal has been receptive to reform efforts in general, creating a statewide team to investigate wrongful convictions, for instance, after a bungled murder case in Passaic County.

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