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1 US MI: New Petition To Legalize Marijuana In Michigan Gets OKThu, 17 Aug 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Egan, Paul Area:Michigan Lines:78 Added:08/22/2017

LANSING -- The Board of State Canvassers gave approval Thursday to a new proposed ballot effort to amend the state constitution to fully legalize recreational use of marijuana without taxing the drug.

The proposal from Abrogate Prohibition Michigan of Midland would nullify all laws prohibiting or regulating the use of marijuana and impose no fines, taxes or penalties on its use.

"I call it the Second Amendment of cannabis," sponsor Timothy Locke told the Free Press, comparing it to the U.S. constitutional provision granting the right to bear arms.

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2US TN: Harwell 'Open' To Medical Marijuana Law In TennesseeSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Schelzig, Erik Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:08/17/2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The treatment of her sister's back injury has caused Republican gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell to reevaluate Tennessee's ban on medical marijuana.

Harwell, who is speaker of the state House of Representatives, told a Republican gathering earlier this month that allowing medical marijuana has come up as part of a discussion about how to tackle the state's opioid crisis.

The longtime Nashville representative said her sister was recently prescribed opioids after breaking her back.

"She was in a yoga class and came down out of a shoulder stand the wrong way," Harwell said. "And she was, of course, in a great deal of pain."

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3 US MA: When It Comes To Marijuana Foods, Regulation Drives InnovationWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:171 Added:08/16/2017

DENVER - Many college students will tell you that making pot brownies is easy - just sprinkle a little marijuana into a pan of melting butter, then follow the instructions on the back of the Duncan Hines box.

But marijuana entrepreneurs in this center of cannabis innovation face a much higher bar. They have no trouble dreaming up creative treats and concoctions infused with psychoactive THC, but meeting hundreds of pages of health and safety regulations means their imagination is handcuffed. And for good reason: the rules demand precise dosing, uniform potency, and warning symbols imprinted on the food itself.

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4 US: Marijuana States Try To Curb Smuggling, Avert Us CrackdownMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Selsky, Andrew Area:United States Lines:146 Added:08/15/2017

In response, pot-legal states are trying to clamp down on "diversion" even as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions presses for enforcement of federal laws against marijuana.

Tracking legal weed from the fields and greenhouses where it's grown to the shops where it's sold under names like Blueberry Kush and Chernobyl is their so far main protective measure.

In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown recently signed into law a requirement that state regulators track from seed to store all marijuana grown for sale in Oregon's legal market. So far, only recreational marijuana has been comprehensively tracked. Tina Kotek, speaker of the Oregon House, said lawmakers wanted to ensure "we're protecting the new industry that we're supporting here."

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5 US: Editorial: President's Declaration Offers A Chance To Bring FocusTue, 15 Aug 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY)          Area:United States Lines:80 Added:08/15/2017

President Trump's declaration of a national opioid crisis creates an opportunity to bring greater focus and more resources to a scourge that is killing an average of almost 150 people a day. (Getty Images)

President Trump's recent declaration recognizing the opioid crisis acknowledges something people have been saying for years. It remains to be seen whether this new development opens up more resources.

The opioid epidemic is ravaging a generation of mostly young people, although older people are not immune. There are an estimated 2.6 million opioid addicts in the United States.

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6 US TX: Texans May Be Able To Buy Medical Cannabis Oil By JanuaryThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Samuels, Alex Area:Texas Lines:123 Added:08/14/2017

In 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the first bill allowing any growing or sale of marijuana in Texas. The Texas Compassionate Use Act legalized the selling of a specific kind of cannabis oil derived from marijuana plants for a very small group of customers: epilepsy patients whose symptoms have not responded to federally approved medication.

Two years later, Texans still can't legally buy cannabis oil, but a handful of companies believe they are weeks away from receiving the official go-ahead to become the state's first sellers.

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7 US MD: Maryland Regulators Approve Eight New Medical MarijuanaMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Cox, Erin Area:Maryland Lines:115 Added:08/14/2017

Maryland's medical marijuana regulators approved final licenses for eight growing companies on Monday, allowing them to start cultivating the drug.

Several companies said they are ready to begin growing immediately, while others say they will take weeks to get started.

"Now, we have a real industry," said Cary Millstein, CEO of newly licensed grower Freestate Wellness in Howard County.

Until Monday, just one of the 15 selected firms had received final permission to start cultivating medical marijuana, which was first legalized in the state in 2013. Even at full capacity, one firm could not produce nearly enough to support 102 planned dispensaries.

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8 US PA: Politicians Line Up Against Proposed Philly MarijuanaMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:Pennsylvania Lines:65 Added:08/14/2017

Political opposition could derail a medical marijuana dispensary slated to open early next year in Philadelphia's East Mount Airy neighborhood.

A zoning hearing Tuesday morning attracted a sizable crowd, including people from eight neighborhood churches among others aiming to force East Mount Airy's TerraVida Holistic Centers dispensary to fold before it opens.

In March, the city granted a zoning permit to TerraVida to operate on the 8300 block of Stenton Avenue at Allens Lane. In June, the state Department of Health awarded the company a highly coveted license to sell cannabis-derived oils, tinctures and lotions at the former bank building, which sits on a commercial corridor that includes a small strip mall, two gas stations, and a Rite Aid pharmacy. Only four dispensary permits were slated for the state's most populous city, though more could be added.

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9 US IL: Can Marijuana Rescue Coal Country?Sun, 13 Aug 2017
Source:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Author:Ferguson, Mark Lynn Area:Illinois Lines:537 Added:08/13/2017

Johnsie Gooslin spent Jan. 16, 2015, tending his babies -- that's what he called his marijuana plants.

More than 70 of them were growing in a hydroponic system of his own design.

Sometimes, he'd stay in his barn for 16 hours straight, perfecting his technique.

That night, he left around 8 o'clock to head home. The moon was waning, down to a sliver, which left the sky as dark as the ridges that lined it. As he pulled away, the lights from his late-model Kia swept across his childhood hollow and his parents' trailer, which stood just up the road from the barn. He turned onto West Virginia Route 65. Crossing Mingo County, he passed the Delbarton Mine, where he had worked on and off for 14 years before his back gave out. Though Johnsie was built like a linebacker, falling once from a coal truck and twice from end loaders had taken a toll. At 36, his disks were a mess, and sciatica sometimes shot pain to his knees.

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10 US AZ: Column: Dead LettersThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Meyers, Nick Area:Arizona Lines:93 Added:08/12/2017

Sessions' correspondence to marijuana states is full of smoke and mirror

While certain federal administration officials take to Twitter to air their grievances, those stuck in last century use more traditional means for their loosely-supported rants.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent letters to governors of states with legal recreational marijuana in response to an April 3 letter from the governors of Alaska, Washington and Oregon urging him to uphold Obama-era pot policy.

However, the points raised in Sessions' letter may not be as watertight as he thinks.

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11 US OH: Marijuana Cultivation Warehouse Approved For North Toledo -Fri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH) Author:Reiter, Mark Area:Ohio Lines:79 Added:08/12/2017

The site of the proposed warehouse is vacant land at Jason Street and Cassandra Drive.

A Cleveland-based company that has applied for a state license to grow medical marijuana won approval Thursday from the Toledo Plan Commission to build a 60,000-square-foot cultivation warehouse near Alexis Road and Suder Avenue.

Les Hollis, a consultant for Lake Erie Compassion Care, said the proposed facility would employ as many as 60 people, generating a $2.5 million to $3 million annual payroll.

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12US 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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13 US: Trump's Effort To Blame Obama For The Opioid EpidemicFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Kessler, Glenn Area:United States Lines:98 Added:08/11/2017

"Federal drug prosecutions have gone down in recent years. We're going to be bringing them up and bringing them up rapidly. At the end of 2016, there were 23 percent fewer than in 2011. So they looked at this scourge and they let it go by, and we're not letting it go by."

President Trump -- who two days after this briefing said he would declare the opioid epidemic to be a national emergency -- not so subtly tried to pin the blame on the Obama administration. "They looked at this scourge and they let it go by," the president said, citing statistics that federal drug prosecutions have declined 23 percent since 2011.

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14 US NY: Oped: Another Voice: Legalized Marijuana Is Here To StayFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Shifman, Neal Area:New York Lines:72 Added:08/11/2017

Whether you love it or hate it, it's a fact that 29 states so far have some form of marijuana decriminalization or legalization, with more considering the possibility. People have strong opinions about the legalization of marijuana -- but how often are those opinions based on science and an understanding of evolving best practices?

It's high time we have a national conversation that is rational, science-based and open-minded around the many public health implications. Substance use disorders, youth prevention, drugged driving, health effects, pesticides -- the list is long, and these questions make it a complex process for states working to translate policy and legislation into reasonable regulation.

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15US AR: No Applications To Grow, Dispense Arkansas Medical MarijuanaFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Mukunyadzi, Tafi Area:Arkansas Lines:Excerpt Added:08/11/2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Demand for permission to use, grow and sell medical marijuana in Arkansas is low as the state reaches the halfway point for the application period.

Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin told The Associated Press Friday morning that the agency had received no applications to grow and distribute medical marijuana.

"We are not concerned, as we understand the applications require detailed and specific information that will take time to complete," Hardin said earlier in the week. "Applicants are likely performing their due diligence to provide quality applications."

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16 US HI: Medicinal Marijuana Users Thrill To 'Historic Day' On OahuThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:85 Added:08/10/2017

Dozens of patients anxiously stood in line - one as early as the night before - to be the first on Oahu to buy products such as Chocolope and Lemon Drop, medical marijuana strains that went on sale Wednesday.

"It's like a candy store," said Kimbreley Timulty, 45, who was among the first to purchase pot at Aloha Green LLC. "It was overwhelming because you walk in there and that's the only thing that you smell."

Timulty, who uses marijuana for insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder, and her 47-year-old husband, Joseph, from Makiki, said they have been waiting 17 years for medicinal pot to be readily available in Hawaii.

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17US CA: Ex-NFL Player Ryan O'Callaghan: Marijuana Is A Godsend For NFLThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2017

REDDING, Calif. - Ryan O'Callaghan, who said he developed an addiction to painkillers that helped him deal with injuries during his NFL career, told USA TODAY Sports he now uses marijuana to treat the pain and that the NFL should change its policy prohibiting players from using the drug.

"For people like me, marijuana is a godsend because you don't want to take these pills,'' said O'Callaghan, 33. "Marijuana is not addicting. People who say that have never smoked it. I have an addictive personality. It's not addictive.''

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18US NY: Medical Marijuana: Lozenges, Lotions Coming To New YorkThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY) Author:Campbel, Jon Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2017

ALBANY - New York will allow ointments, lozenges and chewable tablets as part of its medical marijuana program while the state's training program for doctors will be cut in half, the Department of Health announced Thursday.

Health regulators on Thursday proposed a new set of regulations that would further expand the state's medical marijuana program, which the state has tried to broaden as it faced criticism from patient advocates and marijuana companies for its restrictiveness.

The new rules, which can take effect as soon as late September, ease the state's restrictions on the type of marijuana products available to certified patients by allowing lotions, ointments, patches, certain chewables and lozenges.

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19 US MA: Driving While Stoned? State Officials Urge Caution OnWed, 09 Aug 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Feiner, Lauren Area:Massachusetts Lines:48 Added:08/09/2017

With marijuana now legal in Massachusetts, federal, and state officials are launching a new campaign to remind users that driving while high remains illegal.

With marijuana now legal in Massachusetts, federal, and state officials are launching a new campaign to remind users that driving while high remains illegal.

With a motto of "Drive high? The crash is on you," the campaign will feature billboards, radio, and TV ads targeted at drivers between the ages of 18 and 49, but is particularly aimed at younger people, officials from Massachusetts and federal transportation and safety agencies said Tuesday.

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20 US HI: State's First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens On MauiTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:59 Added:08/08/2017

Hawaii history will be made today when the first dispensary opens for business on Maui, nearly two decades after the state legalized medical marijuana.

Maui Grown Therapies, one of eight dispensary licensees, will begin at 11 a.m. the first legal sales of cannabis in the islands. The company was the first to pass a final Health Department inspection Monday, beating at least one other dispensary, Aloha Green Holdings Inc. on Oahu, to be the first to open.

It is a significant milestone for the industry that has struggled to get off the ground since the law establishing dispensaries was passed in 2015. The first dispensaries were allowed to open as early as July 2016, but were delayed for more than a year, frustrating medical cannabis patients and caregivers.

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