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A group of lawmakers is yet again making another attempt to legalize marijuana on a federal level. Representative Thomas Garret sponsored the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which loosens the marijuana restriction and leaves it up to the state to make laws about recreational and medical marijuana.

States that have already legalized marijuana such as Colorado and California still violate federal law, making the ground work more confusing for establishing marijuana laws in the united states.

Eleven other sponsors introduced the bill back in February, however, they had very little effect on Capitol Hill. Garrett is in great hope that he will gain support even though President Trump has a firm stance to enhance federal laws on marijuana regulation. Garrett says that there are “redeeming medical uses for cannabis,” however, he does not always feel that way.

“The first time I heard the term ‘medicinal marijuana’ 25 or 30 years ago, I probably chuckled,” Garrett said on Wednesday.

He later started prosecuting marijuana users in Virginia.
Garrett stated: “My background on this issue is shaped by my own experiences as a criminal prosecutor, where in fact, I did enforce the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia as they relate to marijuana, and some would say, did so quite vigorously.”

Gradually, he became sick of “creating criminals out of people who otherwise follow the law.” As a result, he started to suggest legalizing marijuana.

Garrett said: “If there’s anything I cannot tolerate as a citizen and as a prosecutor, it is the unequal application of justice.”
Representative Tulsi Gabbard has the same concerns regarding current marijuana laws.

“Every 42 seconds someone is arrested for the use or possession of marijuana, turning every-day Americans into criminals, tearing families apart,” Gabbard said, “The question before us is not whether you think marijuana use is good or bad, or how you feel about this issue, but whether we should be turning people into criminals.”

The president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Kevin Sabet, who opposes legalizing marijuana, chided the “Cheech and Chong ideology.”

He said: “The marijuana industry is the next Big Tobacco of our time, and history will not look kindly upon those who enabled lobbyists and special interest groups to gain a foothold in putting profit ahead of public health and safety,”

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With retail marijuana shops set to open next year in Massachusetts, supporters are worried that medical marijuana patients could be forced to pay inflated prices for the drug, possibly lose access to specialized preparations, or simply end up marginalized among the coming flood of recreational users.

To ensure medical marijuana lasts, proponents are lobbying for changes that include making it easier and cheaper to register as a patient, guaranteeing a steady supply of marijuana just for patients, and encouraging investment by allowing nonprofit medical dispensaries to convert to for-profit businesses.

A few even want the state to handicap the recreational pot sector with high taxes and tight local controls. That would make it tougher for dispensaries to convert en masse to recreational operations, as has happened in some other states that legalized marijuana.

“The idea is to change the cost-benefit analysis so folks with capital to invest will find medical viable,” said Daniel Delaney, a lobbyist for some of the state’s existing medical dispensaries. “If you make the recreational market wide open, people will go straight into that business and they won’t do the medical work. That will leave patients in a lurch.”

Delaney — whose opposition to the ballot initiative legalizing recreational pot made him highly controversial among advocates — wants taxes on marijuana sales increased to 25 percent, from the current maximum of 12 percent. Medical marijuana is currently not taxed. He also wants to make it easier for municipalities to ban recreational shops by allowing local elected officials to decide instead of putting the question to a communitywide vote.

Jim Borghesani, a leader of the 2016 legalization ballot initiative, said those proposals are nonstarters.

“We don’t want to see any patients find it more difficult to obtain medical marijuana,” Borghesani said. But high taxes and numerous local bans on recreational shops would “defeat the purpose of the initiative in the first place, which was to eliminate the illicit market.”

Though they expect some to migrate to recreational shops, advocates say there will remain many patients who require specialized marijuana treatments. Some — such as those with seizure disorders — consume “noneuphoric” strains or preparations of cannabis that have low levels of psychoactive THC. These products contain other cannabanoid compounds that may bring health benefits but don’t produce the sensation of being high.

Patients and their physicians are worried that shops oriented to recreational marijuana, where most customers are looking for a strong high, won’t bother with such products.

“I don’t really care where my patients get their medicine as long as it’s safe,” said Dr. Jordan Tishler, a Massachusetts physician who prescribes marijuana. “But in practicality, the problem is that they may go to a [recreational] store and simply not be able to find any products that fit the bill for them.”

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New Colombia Resources, Inc. and Sannabis Open Colombia’s First Medical Marijuana Therapeutic Spa to Cater to Foreign Patients that Need High Quality Cannabis Care

Colombia is known to have the best medicinal marijuana strains in the world; unfortunately pure extracts made from these strains can’t be legally imported to the U.S. and other countries, yet. Sannabis Spa Therapeutic Centers will give U.S. patients hope at a very affordable cost, much less than they would spend in states where legal, while enjoying an atmosphere that offers peace and tranquility. Medical tourism is one of Colombia’s fastest growing industries.

The Center will provide the patient legal access to Sannabis’ products in a very comfortable and safe environment. Spouses or loved ones will also be accommodated at the Sannabis Spa, that provides an in-house doctor that will cater to the patient’s specific needs after review of their medical records. Nurses are on staff 24 hours per day, a local hospital with ambulance are also on standby. Other amenities include maid service, gym, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, horseback riding, ping pong, pool table, Direct TV, Wi-Fi and international phone service included with U.S. number, and a diet designed to the patient’s specific needs. Patients will be tended to 24 hours a day until they get better.

New Colombia and Sannabis believe the safety and comfort of the patient is most important. The center is very safe for medical tourism with precautions taken by Colombian security professionals. Although most of the time it won’t be needed, additional security measures such as personal bodyguards, armored vehicles, etc. are available for clients that require it. Tours and other activities will be afforded to their guests and loved ones. Often times it can be very difficult for spouses of cancer patients so the center will cater to them as well offering a relaxing, non-stress environment.

Sannabis’ standard cancer treatment is 3 months of pure cannabis indica and sativa extracts, cannabis indica essential oil, and a low meat and dairy, high vitamin C diet and IV’s. Dieticians are on staff to prepare meals to patients and guest. Sannabis Spa caregivers are committed to providing the most comfortable environment possible until the patient is able to go home better than when they arrived.

Many cancer patients in Colombia have had much success with Sannabis medicinal products; now the whole world can come to Colombia and have hope. Due to the high dosage of THC that needs to be consumed to treat cancer and other ailments, and the psycho-active effects it may cause, the right environment and care is a must for people with little THC tolerance. Sannabis is providing that environment.

New Colombia Resources and Sannabis make no guarantees as to the patient’s outcome. They will guarantee that their staff is committed to the patient returning home and boasting of the care they received in a beautiful environment.

Upon the success of this first center, New Colombia Resources will be opening a wholly owned Sannabis Spa in Cartagena on the Caribbean Coast. These centers cater to sick people that believe medical marijuana extract will benefit them but live in a country where it’s illegal, including the United States. Although patients and families that want to try medical marijuana have moved or traveled to states where medical marijuana is legal, others are hesitant because marijuana is illegal on a federal level and they may have jobs or insurance policies that prohibit this action.

Brochures and videos will be available soon on the Company’s website as the companies make final preparations to begin receiving people in need, in the meantime, pictures of the property can be viewed here, https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9tABOYTg8Y2dHZGc3haVHg4ZU0

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In a data-driven business environment, everyone is waiting on the most up to date statistical reports to show what direction consumers are spending their money. As a relatively new industry, the legalized marijuana sector still is working on how to best assist consumers and discern trends to sort out the hype from the reality. That’s created a whole new side business in marijuana: data analytics.

A company that has stepped to the forefront in this area is New Frontier Data. The company has partnered with Baker Technologies, which provides customer relationship management and marketing automation platforms to cannabis businesses, for access to an immense database of legal marijuana transactions.

In April, based on this data, the company released its annual “The Cannabis Industry Report: 2017 Legal Marijuana Outlook.” They uncovered some interesting trends.

Medical marijuana dominates the market. Recreational marijuana is otherwise known as the adult-use marijuana which has been the center of much of the recent media attention, partially because of its reflection of the wholesale change in how millions of Americans view marijuana. Voter have now made recreational marijuana legal in eight states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.

However, the report found that consumers of medical marijuana — legal in more than half the states — buy much more frequently and spend more than recreational users. The report included the following findings:

In 2016, recreational users shopped for cannabis, on average, every 14 days and spent $49 per transaction. That same year, medical marijuana users shopped every 10 days and spent $136 per transaction. In 2017, medical marijuana sales are expected to total $5.3 billion, with a projection to reach $13.2 billion annually by 2025.
In 2017, recreational marijuana sales are expected to reach $2.6 billion, with a projection to reach $10.9 billion by 2025. The numbers provide needed insight for entrepreneurs looking to enter the retail cannabis business, New Frontier Data CEO Giadha Aguirre De Carcer said in a news release.

“Given the size of the market, knowing who your customers are, how and when they shop, and what they buy are fundamental building blocks of developing any effective retail strategy,” he said.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions is certainly riled up to challenge state marijuana laws. Sadly for him, Congress just extinguished his chances.

The recent 1,665-page spending bill has a requirement that restricts the Department of Justice from using any of its finances to hinder state laws linked to medical marijuana. The department cannot “prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana,” Section 537 of the bill reads.

The $1.1 trillion spending bill—the Consolidated Appropriations Act, H.R. 244 (PDF)—passed the Senate back on May 4, with a 79-to-18 vote. The White House has indicated that Trump will sign it, which will keep the government operating until September.

The section that ties the hands of the Department of Justice on medical marijuana enforcement isn’t anything new. It has been around since back in 2015. But it received little fanfare amid the Obama era, which took a mild position on enforcing federal marijuana laws in states that have some form of legalized marijuana program.

All that changed when Jeff Sessions obtained control of the Department of Justice. Sessions has frequently stated he is against marijuana legalization and indicated that he would abandon Obama’s lax enforcement position.

For example, back in an April 2016 Congressional Hearing, Sessions announced that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” When Sessions was asked about enforcement this February at a press conference, he said:

“I am definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana. But states, they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say, it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.”

With Section 537, Sessions can still make an effort to fight the recreational use of marijuana in the eight states that have passed such laws. However, without funding, Sessions’ has little ability to fight the medical marijuana laws in 29 states and the District of Columbia.

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California is making a powerful effort to gain control of its unruly medical marijuana industry. State regulators released a draft of new regulations this past Friday which is intended to force order on the loosely organized marketplace which was created more than twenty years ago.

The proposal would set the first comprehensive rules and regulations for growing, testing, transporting and selling medical marijuana in the state that is home to 1 in 8 Americans.

This past year registered voters agreed to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults in 2018. The state is faced with the challenging task of trying to govern a vast, emerging cannabis industry with a calculated value of $7 billion.

Similar rules and regulations are currently being created for the recreational marijuana industry. Yet still there are some differences, and a bill in the Legislature backed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown seeks to square the recreational pot law with the rules for medical marijuana.

Hezekiah Allen, president of the California Growers Association, an industry group, called the draft rules “a major step toward a well-regulated cannabis industry.”

However, he added in a statement that “there is still a lot of uncertainty as the Legislature works to better balance” the various proposals.

For medical marijuana users in California, the proposed rules will have no immediate impression. The draft of rules and regulations that are being developed is expected to take months to review and improve. They do not go into effect until Jan. 1 when recreational marijuana use also becomes legal.

The Bureau of Marijuana Control said in a statement that it’s attempting to establish a “coherent regulatory framework for an established industry that has not been comprehensively regulated by the state.”

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Congress is repeating history by yet again blocking the Justice Department from spending any money that interferes with state medical marijuana laws.

In their recently revealed budget bill, lawmakers included a section, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, that allows states to carry on with crafting their own medical marijuana policies without fear of federal intervention. The bill, which funds the government through the end of September, is expected to pass this week.

Here’s the full text of the marijuana provision:

None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, or with respect to the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

It’s not uncommon to find this tucked into a budget bill; legislators have been renewing the medical marijuana provision in every consecutive budget since it initially passed back in 2014. However what it reveals is that Congress is not interested in stepping up federal oversight of state marijuana laws under the Trump administration, even as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions implies that he wants to crackdown on marijuana laws.

He issued an ominous warning back in February to states with legalized marijuana. “States, they can pass the laws they choose,” Sessions said at a Justice Department press briefing.

“I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.”

He has also said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana” and that cannabis is only “slightly less awful” than heroin. Last year, heroin was responsible for nearly 13,000 fatalities. Still, top this day no one has ever died from overdosing in marijuana.

Jeffrey Zucker, president of the cannabis business strategy firm Green Lion Partners, praised lawmakers for sticking with the status quo.

“Medical cannabis patients in the U.S. can rest easy knowing they won’t have to return to the black market to acquire their medicine,” Zucker stated. “Operators can relax a bit knowing their hard work isn’t for naught and their employees’ jobs are safe.”

In theory, Sessions could still take action against states that have legalized recreational marijuana. Eight states and the District of Columbia have laws like this, and they are not shielded by the language in the budget bill.

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Over the weekend, Iowa lawmakers passed legislation to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis program right before lawmakers adjourned for the year.

The legislation will now go to Governor Terry Branstad for approval and it allows for the cultivation and sale of cannabis oil to patients that meet the state’s criteria.

Current Law Does Not Do Enough

Current Iowa law (enacted in 2014) allows for the possession of cannabis oil for the treatment of epilepsy. The current law, however, makes it illegal to manufacture or distribute oil in the state and therefore makes it impossible and illegal for Iowans to access the medicine.

The current cannabis law is set to expire in July and advocates have been working to change it so cannabis can be grown within the state and be prescribed to a wider range of medical conditions.

Breaking Down the New Legislation

The legislation would leave the Department of Public Health responsible for the approval of up to two manufacturers and up to five distributors. The legislation will only allow these companies to produce and sell cannabis oil that has less than 3% THC content.

The bill also expands access to patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizures, AIDS and HIV, Crohn’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, severe pain, as well as most terminal illnesses that have a life expectancy of less than one year.

The legislation would establish a Medical Cannabidiol Advisory Board within the Department of Public Health. The Board would recommend adding or removing certain medical conditions from the expanded list to the Iowa Board of Medicine. The Board also can recommend increase the 3% cap on THC content.

Legislation Still Does Not Do Enough

The legislation had bipartisan support in the House and passed by a voted of 83 to 11. The Senate approved the legislation on a 33 to 7 vote. The legislation approved was much less broad that was filed in the Senate earlier that week.

The previously submitted legislation did not cap the THC levels, would make it available to patients with about 20 different medical conditions, and would have legally reclassified it under state law. House Republicans said the language in the legislation was too broad. Despite their frustrations, the Senate agreed to advance the House’s version of the bill.

Democratic Senator Joe Bolkcom was not pleased with the House’s legislation and thinks it may create a sense of false hope for those in need. He said that for most ailments covered by the bill, the medication has no more benefit than a baby aspirin.

Republican Senator Charles Schneider agreed with Bolkom and said the Senate’s legislation was significantly better than what was approved by the House. Schneider, however, was satisfied with the outcome as it would expand the availability of cannabis oil and no longer force people to purchase it from out of state.

The Cannabis Train Has Left the Station

The legal cannabis train left the station years ago and we continue to see an increase the number of states looking to take advantage of this new cash crop. Although the United States cannabis industry has not received any support from the Trump administration, legal cannabis initiatives continue to advance in states across the country.

Currently, 29 states have legalized medical cannabis and eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis. The industry has become too big to fail and it is time for Congress to act and create a system for the legal cannabis industry.

Authored by: Michael Berger

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Now we all know that no one can deny that marijuana is a drug(according to federal regulation), but when used correctly it can also be a medicine. In the 28 states that have legalized medicinal marijuana over the last decade something amazing has happened, people who are on Medicaid filed for less prescriptions in those legal states. According to a new study, If medical marijuana were legalized in all 50 states, Americans could save more than a billion dollars in Medicaid costs.

It’s no big secret that cannabis can be utilized for many ailments that are associated with serious diseases like chronic pain and cancer. ( two different ailments which would require a cocktail of big-pharma medicine to treat)

seeking to enumerate the extent that marijuana, CBD oil and other marijuana-based items replace pharmaceutical medicines, researchers from Health affairs examined prescription data from Medicaid programs between 2007 and 2014. And in more than half of the clinical categories studied, the researchers found that fewer prescriptions were filled where cannabis was available.

The study found  “a 13 percent reduction for drugs used to treat depression, a 17 percent reduction for those used to treat nausea, 12 percent reductions for those used to treat psychosis and those used to treat seizure disorders, and an 11 percent reduction for drugs used to treat pain.”

“If all states had had a medical marijuana law in 2014, we estimated that total savings for fee-for-service Medicaid could have been $1.01 billion,” wrote the authors. “Our findings suggest that patients and physicians in the community are reacting to the availability of medical marijuana as if it were medicine.”

Obviously, this study only looks at data from health-care programs that include the country’s low-income healthcare program, Medicaid. Roughly 20 percent of Americans are currently on a form of Medicaid, which suggests that the annual savings in prescription drugs would be several billions more.

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West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed a bill that makes his state the 29th to allow medical use of marijuana. West Virginia is the sixth state to legalize medical marijuana in the last year and the third (along with Ohio and Pennsylvania) to do so through the legislature. In the other three states: Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota, voters approved ballot initiatives authorizing medical marijuana last November.

West Virginia’s new law recognizes marijuana as a treatment for patients with terminal illnesses or any of 14 specified conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and intractable pain. Patients whose doctors recommend marijuana will be able to obtain it in the form of pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures, liquids, and vaporizable extracts from state-regulated dispensaries. The dispensaries will not sell buds for smoking or marijuana edibles, although patients can prepare their own at home. The law does not allow home cultivation, and patients can legally possess no more than a month’s supply at a time.

Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) stated, “This legislation is going to benefit countless West Virginia patients and families for years to come. Medical marijuana can be effective in treating a variety of debilitating conditions and symptoms. It is a proven pain reliever, and it is far less toxic and less addictive than a lot of prescription drugs. Providing patients with a safer alternative to opioids could turn out to be a godsend for this state.”

One downside to West Virginia’s law is a new standard for driving under the influence of marijuana that erroneously equates impairment with a blood THC level of three nanograms per milliliter. That’s even lower than the unfair and unscientific five-nanogram cutoff that Colorado and Washington adopted when they legalized marijuana for recreational use. As MPP notes, West Virginia’s DUID standard “could make it illegal for some patients to ever drive, since many patients have THC levels at this amount or greater many hours or days after last administering cannabis.”

West Virginia’s rules put it on the less liberal end of a medical marijuana spectrum that ranges from highly permissive (e.g., California) to highly restrictive (e.g., New York). Eight of the 29 medical marijuana states also allow recreational use. Medical use was approved by ballot initiative in 14 of those states, beginning with California in 1996. In the rest, as in West Virginia, medical marijuana laws originated in the state legislature.

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