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Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto confirmed that Mexico has decided to legalize the use of Medical Marijuana after unanimous support from Mexico’s House of Congress.

After many months of speculation for what was once vehemently opposed by President Nieto, the policy has been put into re-examination after a nationwide public debate on the subject. Nieto told the 2016 National General Assembly Special Sessions that “We must move beyond prohibition to effective prevention.”

Pena Nieto even went as far as to introduce a law that would allow the citizens of Mexico to be in possession of up to an ounce of marijuana without repercussions. However, the bill stalled and did not pass in Congress.

The medical marijuana bill passed through congress with ease late in 2016 and Mexico’s lower house passed the bill almost unanimously earlier in the year with a vote of 347-7. Mexico’s Secretary of Health voiced his approval of the bill stating “I welcome the approval of therapeutic use of cannabis in Mexico.” This is a policy we are not used to seeing in a developed country.

The decree given out by the President specifies that the Ministry of Health will be given the task of drafting as well as implementing the various policies associated with the new bill. Pena Nieto’s bill will effectively decriminalize the medical use of cannabis, THC, CBD, and all of the various cannabis derivative that help to ease the suffering in numerous conditions.

Although the current stipulations only permit the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol to not exceed one percent, the Ministry of Health will be required to research the medicinal benefits of the plant in order to change the stipulations. Mexico has changed from their past policy of strict drug enforcement given the current state of criminal drug activity to a newer more lax policy as they realize the medicinal benefits.

The road to legalizing marijuana for medicinal use may be hard, but Mexico has surpassed the first major hurdle.

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There is a large issue big pharmaceutical companies are facing in the coming years. Many people are choosing marijuana to treat their conditions rather than opioids and many other prescription drugs.

Former professional athletes from the NFL and NBA have come into the spotlight stating that the leagues should let them at least give cannabis a shot to manage their constant pain, given the ongoing opioid epidemic.

There is a myriad of studies underway proving the health benefits of medical marijuana for pain management in addition to other conditions. It wasn’t until recently that a study conducted found what the massive switch to natural medical marijuana away from large pharma could do to the latter industry.

The study done by New Frontier Data, a Washington, D.C. – based date analysts company focused on the legal marijuana industry, decided to research the effects of people using marijuana as opposed to prescription drugs for the nine illnesses most commonly treated by cannabis.

Their findings showed that Big Pharma could lose almost five billion dollars per year. This is a staggering number, but it does have a catch. The study is based on the assumption that marijuana will become legal across all fifty states.

This may seem highly unlikely with our current leadership, but it still proves what is at stake for the medical marijuana industry and what Big Pharma could lose.

The group then considered a twenty-sixteen study which found that the amount of prescriptions for drugs dropped by eleven percent among older patients in the states that medical cannabis is legal.

New Frontier gathered data on the amount of money spent on prescriptions for the following conditions; Chronic pain, PTSD, Sleep disorders, Anxiety, Nerve pain, Chemotherapy— induced nausea, Tourettes Syndrome, Glaucoma, Seizures/epilepsy. The analysis showed that medical marijuana could take away between four and five billion dollars a year from pharmaceutical sales.

This study is dependent on the idea that marijuana may find its rightful legalization in the upcoming years across the nation. If this occurs, people could have access to a preferred medicine with less side effects, and a lessened chance of addition than the opposing prescription drugs.

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Medical Marijuana, Inc. Garners National News Coverage at 4th Annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in New York

Getty Images, NBC News segment highlight articles and TV interviews about Company’s CBD hemp oil; feature executives speaking on burgeoning industry

Medical Marijuana, Inc. (MJNA), the first publicly traded cannabis company in the United States, today announced that it garnered extensive media coverage from the 4th Annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in New York, which took place on June 14-16.

Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s CEO Dr. Stuart Titus spoke to several television and radio stations about the therapeutic properties of cannabis, recent breakthroughs in medical cannabis research, and the Company’s groundbreaking Real Scientific Hemp Oil™ (RSHO™) and zero-THC Real Scientific Hemp Oil-X™ (RSHO-X™).

“We are grateful to the press and to the International Cannabis Association for serving as an effective platform to raise awareness on the plethora of benefits of cannabidiol (CBD),” said Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus. “The CWCBE in New York was a huge success. Through the media’s coverage of the event, viewers and readers worldwide gain a much better understanding of the power of hemp oil and cannabis products, as well as the businesses that are shaping and supporting this rapidly growing industry.”

Coverage from the Expo included:

  • NBC New York: “Long Island Parents Say Pot Has Helped Sick Girl”
  • Metro: “Despite new threats from Trump administration, Cannabis Expo supports pot as a business”
  • NJTV News: “Cannabis industry holds Expo, anticipating legalization in NY, NJ”
  • Getty Images: “33 Editorial Images from the NY World Cannabis Business Expo Held in New York”

About Medical Marijuana, Inc.
We are a company of firsts ®. Our mission is to be the premier cannabis and hemp industry innovators, leveraging our team of professionals to source, evaluate and purchase value-added companies and products, while allowing them to keep their integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. We strive to create awareness within our industry, develop environmentally-friendly, economically sustainable businesses, while increasing shareholder value. For details on Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s portfolio and investment companies, visit

To see Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s video statement, click here. Shareholders are also encouraged to visit the Medical Marijuana, Inc. Shop for discounted products.

This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements and information, as defined within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and is subject to the Safe Harbor created by those sections. This material contains statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements by definition involve risks, uncertainties. The statements in this press release have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.  The Company does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act.  The Company does sell and distribute hemp-based products.

Public Relations Contact:
Andrew Hard
Chief Executive Officer
CMW Media
P: 888-829- 0070

0 983

Well, he did it again. Acting DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg restated his oft-voiced opinion recently that “marijuana is not medicine.”

The Washington Examiner stated that he told an audience at a clinic in Cleveland: “If it turns out that there is something in smoked marijuana that helps people, that’s awesome. I will be the last person to stand in the way of that… But let’s run it through the Food and Drug Administration process, and let’s stick to the science on it.”

Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, appearing along with Rosenberg, added: “Should we be reducing the administrative and other barriers to researching that in the government? 100 percent. But what we should not do is make policies based on guesswork. When we do that, what we do is put people at risk.”

This is all outrageous hypocrisy.

Surely Murthy is aware of the Catch-22: Government bodies like the National Institutes of Health won’t fund the very studies he is calling for due to the cannabis’ illegality. Nonetheless, there have certainly been studies—no “guesswork” is needed.

The Hill pointed out that results of a placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial were just recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, finding that administration of the cannabinoid CBD significantly reduces seizure frequency in children with an otherwise drug-resistant form of epilepsy.

The findings prompted the study’s lead author, Orrin Devinsky of New York University’s Langone Medical Center, to pronounce: “Cannabis is approved in 20 countries for spasms in multiple sclerosis, so to say there’s no evidence of efficacy is simply untrue… They have to de-schedule this drug. It’s just not fair to the research and clinical communities, or to the patients. It’s medieval.”

Ironically, the government has at times actually recognized such research on the medicinal value of cannabis and cannabinoids.

In 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services secured a patent—number 6630507—for the use of cannabinoids as antoxidants and neuroprotectants, with potential application in fighting cancer and degenerative diseases. Yet in 2006, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration memo reiterated the official dogma that cannabis has “no medical value.”

This is bureaucratic schizophrenia, which can only be overcome by freeing up the research and taking oversight out of the hands of the DEA, a law enforcement body.

The House bill to remove cannabis from the “schedule list” of controlled substances entirely could accomplish this. The good news is that it actually has a Republican sponsor, Rep. Tom Garrett of Virginia. But whether it can muster enough votes to survive a presidential veto seems dubious—and advocates are still waiting for a coherent Trump position on cannabis.

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State legislators reached an agreement to make medical marijuana available in Florida, ending an impasse that hindered the issue last month.

Reached Tuesday night after weeks of closed-door negotiations, the deal affirms the will of 71 percent of voters who approved a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana back in November’s election that allowed patients with a host of conditions access to the drug.

Lawmakers plan to vote on the issue by week’s end. It could be one of the only bills to pass during a three-day special session that began Wednesday under a cloud of discord and fears that the Legislature may not accomplish its work on other issues.

New Rules For Florida’s Medical Marijuana Program

“Our constitutional duty is to ensure the availability and safe use of medical marijuana in the manner prescribed by Florida voters,” said Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, in a statement. “This patient-first legislation will expand access to this medicine while ensuring safety.”

Yet some supporters of the amendment, while pleased that lawmakers reached consensus on legalization, criticized what wasn’t included.

Take smoking. The bills (HB 5A, SB 8A) allow patients to buy and consume cannabis from licensed growers and consume it by “vaping,” as edibles or as oils. But both prohibit smoking the drug.

John Morgan, the Orlando trial lawyer and possible gubernatorial candidate who bankrolled the Amendment 2 campaign, said if the bill is signed into law, he plans to sue the state.

“Done is better than perfect and this is far from perfect,” he wrote in a post on the website Medium. “I will be suing the state to allow smoke. It was part of my amendment.”

If the legislation passes, lawmakers want the Department of Health to grant 10 new licenses, first to qualified nurseries that tried to get a license previously but were beaten out for the license by another company. They will join the existing seven growers that were licensed under a much more limited cannabis program the Legislature passed in 2014. The legislation would also expand who could use the drug.

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A well known dispensary out in Denver called Medicine Man was established on serving medical marijuana patients. However, since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana sales three years ago, some of the store’s patrons have been making medicinal purchases

“There’s less need for medical inventory because we have less medical customers,” said Andy Williams, owner, and CEO of Medicine Man, one of Colorado’s largest legal marijuana stores selling both recreational and medical marijuana. “People don’t want to go through the hurdles to get their cards anymore.”

A similar situation will likely play out for Nevada’s marijuana dispensaries when recreational marijuana sales go into effect July 1. The first four states that have already legalized recreational marijuana sales are Oregon, Alaska, Washington and Colorado which have all seen a drop in the number of active medical card-holding patients.

Will Recreational Pot Sales Be More Dominant Over Medical Sales

For nearly two years since Nevada’s first dispensary opened in July 2015, medical marijuana has been the only source of legal weed. Nearly 28,000 Nevadans currently hold medical cards, and thousands of other purchases come from out-of-state buyers through the state’s reciprocity program, which honors medical cards from other weed-legal states.

Williams’ dispensary opened in December 2009 to serve medical patients, but quickly moved away from that model when recreational sales started in 2014, he said. Medicine Man’s name now seems ironic, given more than two-thirds of its customers are recreational buyers and Williams gets less than half of the medical patients he once did.

In Colorado, medical cardholders were down more than 34,000 at the end of 2016 from the program’s peak high of nearly 129,000 patients in June 2011.

Other out-of-state dispensary owners have reported a similar decline in medical pot buyers — from Oregon, where state cardholders fell from 78,015 less than two years ago to 67,141 per the state’s most recent tally, to Alaska, where cardholders fell 40.6 percent from January 2015 to the start of this year.

“I think more people here have decided not to go the medical route because of the high price tag on getting a card,” said Eli Bilton, CEO of Attis Trading Dispensary in Portland, Oregon. “It’s hard to make up for a $400 annual card if you’re not always buying a lot of product.”

While recreational sales have yet to start in Nevada, the state’s medical cardholder count continues to rise, reaching a record high of 27,952 in April, the last month of data available. Yet the process of applying for a medical card, similar to those in other states, requires both money and time.

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Once the time comes when the federal government finally allows medical marijuana to become a legitimate part of the healthcare industry, Big Pharma could suffer the loss of billions of dollars,

It looks like the pharmaceutical industry has more than enough reasons to worry about the legalization of marijuana, as investigative studies were conducted by the people at New Frontier Data predicts the legal use of cannabis products for ailments ranging from chronic pain to seizures could cost marketers of modern medicine somewhere around $4 billion per year.

Can Medical Marijuana Coexist With Big Pharma

The report was compiled using a study released last year from the University of Georgia showing a decrease in Medicare prescriptions in states where medical marijuana is legal. The study, which was first outlined by the Washington Post, was largely responsible for stirring up the debate over how a legitimate cannabis market might be able to reduce the national opioid problem. It found that medical marijuana, at least with respect to those drugs for which it is considered an alternative treatment, was already costing pill manufacturers nearly $166 million annually.

Researchers at New Frontier identified nine key areas where medical marijuana will do the most damage to the pharmaceutical market — castrating drug sales for medicines designed to treat anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders, nerve pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Tourette syndrome and glaucoma.

By digging deep into each condition, researchers found that if cannabis was used an alternative treatment in only a small percentage of cases, it could strip in upwards of $5 billion from pharmaceutical industry’s $425 billion market.

Although that may not sound like much of a dent, John Kagia, executive vice president of industry analytics for New Frontier, said, “The impact of medical cannabis legalization is not going to be enormously disruptive to the pharmaceutical industry.”

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Pennsylvania is preparing themselves for full implementation of its medical marijuana law early next year, however significant questions still remain about exactly what that will look like for patients and businesses.

Some of those questions have to do with the fact that medical marijuana is a new market here, and Pennsylvania’s law differs in varying degrees from those in other states.

Pennsylvania’s law allows some forms of medical marijuana, but not smoking, for patients with certain medical conditions.

Other questions revolve around the fact that federal law, which currently is not being enforced very strictly, says all forms of marijuana are illegal.

Lets take a look some of the key issues facing patients and businesses.

Will insurance cover medical marijuana

The law says it doesn’t have to, and observers say that probably means it won’t.

“If an insurance company is given an opportunity not to provide coverage, more often than not it’s going to go that route,” said attorney Bill Roark, co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s medical marijuana and hemp law committee.

Dr. James Rochester of WorkNet Occupational Medicine in Lancaster agreed, but said that could change “if the economics of it make sense for insurers.”

Back in December at a Lancaster Chamber event, attorney Jonathan Spadea of The Chartwell Law Offices in Harrisburg m ade a statement saying self-insured companies might consider covering medical marijuana for certain conditions if it could be significantly cheaper than very expensive prescription drugs their employees are currently using.

Charles R. Dielmann, a broker at Horst Insurance in Manheim Township, had a similar perspective, saying he thinks the federal approach will change and insurers will cover medical marijuana when it benefits them to do so — but that will take a while.

Citing the federal law, Highmark spokesman Leilyn Perri said in an email that medical marijuana “would not be federally recognized as a prescription drug, and would not be covered.”

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There’s a new star in Florida’s medical marijuana industry, and it’s got South Florida connections. This past Wednesday, a company associated with Canadian cannabis operator Aphria and an equity firm Delavaco Group stationed in Fort Lauderdale announced that it has closed on a deal to manage Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, one of seven medical marijuana farmers and distributors in the state.

The deal has been given a green light by the Florida Department of Health.

Under the arrangement, a company operating as Aphria USA will manage the operations of Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, a nursery that does business as CHT Medical. That includes the “cultivation, processing, and dispensing of medical marijuana to patients within the State of Florida” and “the exclusive benefits of the finances from Chestnut’s operation.”

Currently, CHT Medical delivers its medicine to patients. But Aphria plans to significantly increase the size of the company’s operations and establish a network of dispensaries around the state.

“Chestnut is one of a select few licensed producers serving a state with a population over 21 million people,” stated Aphria CEO Vic Neufeld. “It is only the beginning for our plans to be a dominant player in the medical cannabis industry internationally.”

The management agreement allows Delavaco and Aphria to enter into a relatively exclusive market at full force which is on the verge of growing following the November passage of a medical marijuana constitutional amendment. However, it comes at an uncertain time, and amid a flurry of investment and speculation.

The state’s medical marijuana program is about to expand, but as of yet, there are no rules to guide the system, as the Legislature failed to come up with any in its recent session. And it’s unclear whether the state will regulate the number of retail outlets its license-holders can open — a key sticking point that killed a bill this month.

It’s also unclear whether any new licenses will be awarded, although, on Tuesday, an administrative law judge recommended the state issue two new ones, an order the state says it’s still reviewing. Still, Aphria says it remains bullish on the Florida market.

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Apart from increases in adult marijuana possession arrests in counties the border with legal states, a new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research has discovered that state marijuana legalization has little effect on neighboring states.

Why Do Legal Marijuana States Hold Little Impact On Neighboring Counties

In the paper, The Cross-Border Spillover Effects of Recreational Marijuana Legalization, professors Zhuang Hao and Benjamin Cowan from the School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University found that legalization “causes a sharp increase in marijuana possession arrests of border counties relative to non-border counties.”

“If a county shares a physical border with [a legalized] state,” the authors note, “it experiences an increase in marijuana possession arrests of roughly 30 percent.”

However, the study found that the increased arrests are almost entirely among adults.

“[Legalization] has no impact on juvenile marijuana possession arrests,” in reference to the information given, which also shows that there is no “evidence that marijuana sale/manufacture arrests… of border, counties are affected on net by [legalization].”

While the counties bordering a legalized state see an increase in adult arrests, the researchers found that the counties farther from the border experience a decline in adult possession arrests. Impaired driving statistics improved as well.

“DUI arrests decrease markedly for both border counties and non-border counties after [legalization],” the authors concluded.

Both authors professor Zhuang Hao and Benjamin Cowan presented caution that the increase in border county arrests can’t necessarily be tied to increased trafficking of marijuana across state lines. Following legalization, “police officers might adopt new techniques or use more resources toward cracking down on what they perceive to be more illegal marijuana possession.”

Professor Zhuang Hao and Benjamin Cowan couldn’t find an increase in employment of police officers in the bordering counties following marijuana legalization. In conclusion, the authors suggest that marijuana legalization could cause an increase in law enforcement and criminal justice costs for the neighboring states. Maybe those states would be better assisted by joining their neighbors in legalizing marijuana for adult use, thus saving those law enforcement costs and earning tax revenue to boot.

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