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Legislators aware part of Ohio medical marijuana law legally questionable

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Apparently unconstitutional portions of Ohio’s medical marijuana law, which set aside a percentage of the state’s pot licenses for minorities, were spotted during legislative debate but left in the measure to gain needed votes, a key lawmaker says.

State Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, said legally prickly provisions exposed by The Associated Press in June may require changes.

The law takes effect Sept. 8, at which point a new panel will begin laying out a blueprint for how the new industry will work.

“I certainly think it’s something the (Medical) Marijuana Advisory Committee ought to take a look at,” Seitz said. “Because we’re not just talking about government contracts, but government licenses.”

Changes may wind up in a marijuana corrective bill that emerges in the lame duck session.

The provisions are contained in legislation that was fast-tracked by the Republican-controlled Legislature to head off a medical marijuana proposal that was on its way to Ohio’s fall ballot. Ohio is the 25th state to legalize medicinal cannabis.

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Liberty Twp. considers moratorium on medical marijuana businesses


Liberty Twp. officials plan to ban or place a moratorium on medical marijuana businesses while various state agencies work on rules for the new law that allows the drug.

After a failed attempt at legalizing marijuana both for recreational and medical use, the state legislature and Gov. John Kasich signed into law a measure that will allow it only for medicinal purposes.

State Sen. Bill Coley, R-West Chester Twp., met with trustees Tuesday in a work session to discuss the new legislation. He encouraged them to place a moratorium on the medical drug while they figure out how they want to tackle the issue.

“We are very concerned about what the township wants to do, to make sure the zoning people have the total ability to prohibit it if they don’t want it…,” Coley said. “I would recommend at least putting a moratorium on unless you have a lot constituents that have come and said I really need to do this.”

The trustees plan to seek legal counsel to help them figure out the best route to take.

“I think it’s clear we’re all on the same page,” trustee board President Tom Farrell said. “We don’t want this right now at least until they come out with the rules.It’s just a matter of how we’re going to put the brakes on this. Whether it’s going to be a moratorium, a ban or put the zoning in and not allow it.”

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Butte County’s ‘Measure J’ medical marijuana initiative headed to November ballot

A medical marijuana advocacy group has gained enough signatures to put another measure on the November ballot for Butte County.

A month after Butte County residents voted for even stricter restrictions on medical marijuana grows, and two years after measure a passed, the inland cannabis farmers association is putting forward a new measure.

According to advocates, the new measure is a fresh start for medical marijuana growers and will replace measure a, which was voted into law in 2014, which restricted marijuana growers to 150 square feet.

Advocates say the new measure will place regulations on grows and treat as a commodity.

“Treating it like an ordinary commodity allows us to have all the controls and restrictions and restraints are necessary to make sure we are able to be good neighbors with each other and take care of the product and the people,” said Jessica McKenzie of the association.

In the most recent vote, butte county residents voted to enact more restrictions with measures G and H.

McKenzie says both those measures were passed because of confusing language and measure J will help clear any confusion.

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How Washington State Screwed Over Its Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

On July 1, when the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052) took effect, all dispensaries without an I-502 license were forced to shut down, sending many of the state’s medical marijuana patients into a panic. Patients worry that the recreational market doesn’t have enough medicinal cannabis for their needs and that what is available is not affordable. Many point to the fact that the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) issued only 222 new retail licenses to replace more than 1,500 medical marijuana dispensaries.

But there’s another aspect that should trouble patients, though few may know about it. Thanks to a loophole in the state’s licensing process, many longtime dispensary operations were shut out of the recreational market. New actors were able to game the system by buying pay stubs from former medical marijuana dispensary employees in order to bolster their applications.

“[The state was] supposed to create new licenses to move over the [medical marijuana] system so that the patients could be served,” said John Davis, owner of the Northwest Patient Resource Center, who applied for but did not receive an I-502 license. “That’s not what they did. They were just giving licenses to people who were scamming the system.”

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Medical Marijuana Medical Marijuana Fails To Make GOP Platform After Vigorous DebateFails To Make GOP Platform After Vigorous Debate

CLEVELAND ― Republican delegates meeting on Monday voted not to endorse medical cannabis in their party’s official platform. In the process, however, they managed to air some of the wildest unproven theories about marijuana.

Maine legislator and delegate Eric Brakey introduced the measure before the full GOP Platform Committee, prompting a vigorous debate over whether to support states that allow nonsmokable cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Medical cannabis has greatly improved the lives of patients with debilitating conditions, noted delegates in favor of the measure. They also said children “are being saved” by hemp products because their conditions often can’t be controlled with any other substance.

But a number of delegates rose in opposition to the measure. A member from Utah claimed scientists have a “long way to go with research” on marijuana and argued that studies, which she did not provide, showed a link between it and mental health issues.

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Sunday Conversation: The business of medical marijuana

Florida voters will get another chance to approve the use of medical marijuana in our state in the upcoming November election. A similar amendment failed to reach the 60% approval needed in 2014 to pass.

If this latest amendment is approved, Florida could see as much as $200 million dollars in medical marijuana sales in less than two years making it one of the largest marijuana markets in the country.

10 News Investigates’ Mike Deeson recently talked to Tampa Bay Times’ government and politics editor Micahel Van Sickler about the possibility of big business in marijuana coming to Florida.

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Colombia: First Medical Marijuana License Granted — Amid Dissent

PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings, local subsidiary of Canada-based PharmaCielo Ltd, announced June 28 that it has won a manufacturing license from Colombia’s Ministry of Health to process cannabis plants for medical and scientific purposes. This allows PharmaCielo to apply for a license to cultivate cannabis, primarily for production of oil extracts. The company is the first to be granted such license since President Juan Manuel Santos issued a decree in December establishing a legal framework for a medical marijuana program in Colombia. The operation will be based in Rionegro, Antioquia region.

The PharmaCielo press release stated: “There are many advantages to growing this industry in Colombia. In addition to its equatorial location and ideal microclimates, it is one of the most economically advantageous countries in the world for the production of large volumes of high-quality, low-cost cannabis due to its expertise in the flower industry, knowledgeable and skilled labor force and supportive government.”

This is quite a turn-around from just a few years ago, when Colombia’s government ran TV spots urging peasants not to grow cannabis, “the herb that kills.”

Jon Ruiz, CEO of PharmaCielo in an interview with Bogotá’s El Espectador emphasized Colombia’s year-round growing season, anticipating higher yields for a fraction of the cost in Colorado, where expensive and energy-intensive grow lamps are mandated.

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Jean Coutu open to selling medical marijuana, but won’t lobby federal government

VARENNES, Que. – The CEO of Jean Coutu, one of the country’s largest pharmacy chains, said Tuesday he is open to selling medical marijuana but won’t lobby the federal government to do so.

“We’re not going to actively pursue this,” François Coutu said following the company’s annual general meeting at its new headquarters and automated distribution centre in Varennes, Que.

Coutu said he doesn’t know how profitable the sale of medical marijuana would be for the company, which operates 417 stores in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick.

“I haven’t focused on that because it’s going to be a long way before this is happening,” he said.

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Ohio’s lawyers have ethics questions about medical marijuana

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) —Attorneys are asking whether Ohio’s new medical marijuana law that bars employers from disciplining professionals from working with marijuana businesses applies to them.

Lawyers have submitted at least two requests for formal opinions on the matter to the state Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct. Only the state’s high court can discipline licensed attorneys.

Attorneys want to know whether lawyers can use medical marijuana, own or operate medical marijuana businesses and represent marijuana cultivators, processors, dispensaries, patients and caregivers. The new medical marijuana law bars professional license holders from being disciplined “solely for engaging in professional or occupational activities related to medical marijuana.”

The law also allows employers to fire workers who are medical marijuana patients if they violate drug-free policies put forth by their employer.

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Minnesota Celebrates First Medical Marijuana Anniversary

The Minnesota medical marijuana program completed one year on Friday. The authorities also expanded the eligibility for the use of the medical cannabis to a new group of patients.

Supporters of the medicinal form of marijuana celebrated the completion of one year and shared their success stories. Commenting on how the medical marijuana has helped her child, Beth Hundley from Golden Valley said, “It’s meant so much to our family because we literally have been able to see our daughter emerge before our eyes.” Her daughter Harlow who is four-years-old has Dravet Syndrome which is a serious form of epilepsy which causes regular seizures. Such seizures usually lead to developmental problems.

The parents of the child and Harlow became a known figure in the area after the parents endlessly lobbied at the legislature in support of legalized medical marijuana that could help their child lead a calmer life.

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