Medical Marijuana Update
Florida gets sued over its “No Smoking” medical marijuana law, Maryland gets its 1st dispensary approved, West Virginia’s medical marijuana law goes into effect, and more.
Last Thursday, the state was sued over the no smoking provision in the medical marijuana law. Orlando attorney John Morgan, the mastermind and chief funder of the state’s voter-approved medical marijuana law, filed a lawsuit challenging a legislative ban on smoking medical marijuana. He is asking the courts to throw out the implementing law, saying legislators are violating the will of the voters by altering the constitutional amendment they approved last November. “Inhalation is a medically effective and efficient way to deliver Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other cannabinoids, to the bloodstream,” the lawsuit argues. “By redefining the constitutionally defined term ‘medical use’ to exclude smoking, the Legislature substitutes its medical judgment for that of ‘a licensed Florida physician’ and is in direct conflict with the specifically articulated Constitutional process.”
Last Wednesday, regulators approved the state’s 1st dispensary. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission approved a dispensary license for the Wellness Institute of Maryland in Frederick Wednesday. The store began seeing patients Thursday for “pre-orders,” but will not actually have a crop to harvest for several months.
Last Thursday, the governor overhauled the medical marijuana commission. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) Thursday overhauled the commission, which had come under fire for its launch of the state’s medical marijuana program. He replaced 6 members whose terms on the 16-member panel had expired and filled 3 vacancies. The new appointments 2X’d the number of minority commissioners from 2 to 4, responding to calls from the Legislative Black Caucus and others to create more diversity in the program.
Last Friday, the state sought letters of intent from prospective growers and dispensaries. The Health Department last asked prospective medical marijuana growers and dispensary operators to send in letters of intent to apply under the state’s new medical marijuana law. The department said it wants a better idea of how many applications it will receive in coming months. Interested parties have until July 28 to send in their letters.
Last Sunday, the governor signed a medical marijuana bill into law. Gov. Ricardo Rosello, a former biomedical engineer, signed into law a bill that legalizes and regulates medical marijuana in the US territory. The move comes after Gov. Rossello criticized an earlier executive order allowing medical marijuana as insufficient. “As a scientist, I know firsthand the impact that medicinal cannabis has had on patients with various diseases,” he said. “The time has come for Puerto Rico to join the flow of countries and states that have created similar legislation.”
Last Wednesday, the state’s medical marijuana law went into effect. The state’s Medical Cannabis Act is now in effect, but it could still be months or years before Mountain State patients are able to medicate with marijuana. But now an advisor board has been appointed to create a regulatory framework for medical marijuana regulations, and it could be 2019 before patients are able to legally purchase their medicine.
The US Congress is dealing with medical marijuana and drug policy issues, legalization advocates call on New Hampshire’s governor to kill a marijuana study commission bill, and Rhode Island’s Governor issues an executive order dealing with the state’s opioid crisis.
In a major step forward the US Senate Panel Approves Medical Marijuana for Veterans.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted last Thursday to adopt an amendment that would allow military veterans to get medical marijuana recommendations through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.
By Philip Smith
Paul Ebeling, Editor
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