Mj news for 04/03/2015

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.stltoday.com/business/lo...cle_d549d7bf-fa61-57b0-879c-535fbee87709.html





Chicago businessmen follow promise of medical marijuana





CHICAGO • Late one Saturday night, Rob Sampson had a confrontation with his 15-year-old daughter about marijuana. But it was his daughter doing the confronting and it was Sampson defending the drug.

Sampson and his wife, after a long night of polishing his new company's applications to grow medical cannabis, returned to their suburban Chicago home to find their daughter waiting up. They hadn't yet told her their business plans.

"She said, 'What is going on?'" Sampson recalled. "'I know something's going on and you guys aren't telling me.'"

That's when they had The Talk: a conversation Sampson and his three partners in Chicago-based Cresco Labs have repeated with parents, in-laws and co-workers to explain why they are switching livelihoods and risking millions of dollars to follow the promise of medical marijuana.

Cresco Labs is poised to become the state's largest marijuana grower. It won three cultivation permits, more than any other company. But the risks are daunting. Illinois' marijuana pilot program expires at the end of 2017 unless state lawmakers extend it. Far fewer patients have signed up than projected; only 2,000 have been approved at last count. Some Illinois doctors are skeptical.

What's more, Cresco is a defendant in two lawsuits filed by unsuccessful applicants. Cresco plans to build 40,000-square-foot growing facilities in Joliet, Kankakee and Lincoln, but the litigation could delay construction.

The cannabis industry isn't an opportunity for easy money, as some might believe, said Michael Elliott of the Marijuana Industry Group, a Colorado trade group.

"A lot of businesses have failed in Colorado," Elliott said. "Everyone who got into it found it to be 10 times more complicated than they initially thought. And I imagine that's going to be true in Illinois as well."

Cresco Labs' four founding partners are accustomed to high stakes.

Dominic Sergi, the youngest at age 31, started his own real estate company, Clear Height Properties, in his 20s. Joe Caltabiano, Charles Bachtell and Sampson weathered the mortgage crisis in prominent positions at Chicago-based Guaranteed Rate, the largest independent retail mortgage company in the nation.

Caltabiano, a star in his field, will continue making mortgage loans. But Bachtell, a 36-year-old attorney who has been Guaranteed Rate's general counsel, and Sampson, its 40-year-old chief operating officer, are leaving the mortgage giant to work on medical marijuana full time.

"Our departure is surprising a lot of people," Bachtell said.

Walking through their high-ceilinged headquarters in a River North brick-and-timber loft and settling around a conference room table, they readily agree their new venture presents their biggest career gamble yet.

Caltabiano, 37, is a survivor of childhood leukemia to which he credits his "carpe diem attitude." He directly benefited from collaborative oncology research that, over several decades, has hugely improved survival for children with cancer. Remaining involved in follow-up research, he's quizzed oncologists about medical cannabis. They've told him they recommend it to ease nausea and other cancer treatment side effects.

"You have some of the smartest people in the world recommending a product that's a Schedule I narcotic the federal government has deemed has no medical benefit," Caltabiano said. "It got me thinking."

Cresco Labs' applications scored highest in the state's selection process, not only in the three districts where Cresco competed, but compared to scores across the state. The partners credit their edge to consulting with a reputable Denver cannabis company, wooing local support and winning bonus points by promising to contribute 10 percent of net profits to charities.

Michael Mayes, CEO of Quantum 9, a Chicago-based marijuana industry consultant, predicted Cresco Labs will survive the bumps and the litigation.

"They're definitely one of the largest players in Illinois," Mayes said. "With three licenses, there's plenty to focus on. They'll be just fine."
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.wbir.com/story/news/poli...ical-marijuana-bill-needs-more-work/70858938/





Tennessee House speaker says medical marijuana bill needs more work





House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, indicated a new GOP push to legalize marijuana for limited medical usage is headed in the right direction, but lawmakers probably won't vote on the measure this year.

"I believe that that bill will … need additional study because the commissioner of public health would like to have some input on that as well, so we're still in the process of finalizing that," Harwell told reporters Thursday.

The bill is one of two that seeks to legalize medical marijuana in some cases that is sponsored by Republicans. A bill from Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, allows people suffering from severe seizures to use cannabis oil in certain circumstances.

Although that measure has met little opposition in the House or Senate, it is narrow in scope. Recently, Nashville Republican Sen. Steve Dickerson and Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville, announced they were changing a bill to create a system to allow for the growing, processing, distribution, regulation and consumption of some marijuana products for certain medical reasons.

"I think Representative Ryan Williams has done an outstanding job with the bill that he has, which is well thought-out, very limited to certain instances and limited in the fact that it is a patch, or an oil, or an inhalation," Harwell said.

"He's been very, very cautious that we're not doing anything other than just providing this for those people who would desperately need this as an alternative."

As Harwell noted, the bill would allow some patients to use a cannabinoid-based product that comes in the form of an oil, a patch or an inhaler; the oil could be added to food products as well.

Only people with certain "debilitating medical conditions" could use the medical marijuana after registering with the state. The conditions include stage 2 through stage 4 cancer, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, intractable seizures, Crohn's disease, Huntington's disease, some cases of spinal cord damage, and in cases of improving quality of life for people with terminal conditions.

In an interview Thursday, Dickerson said he acknowledged there were still some issues to work out with the bill. He said he planned to try and move forward with the legislation this year but readily admits it's a complicated issue that could take more time.

"I knew when I launched this bill that there was a possibility it might not succeed in 2015, and so I went into it with full expectations this might be a multiyear process," Dickerson said.

Since introducing the bill, Dickerson said he's heard criticism on three fronts. Most of the criticism is from people nervous the bill is the "camel's nose under the tent" for decriminalizing marijuana. Others have questioned the science of how effective a treatment medical marijuana might be. Dickerson said he's not pushing for recreational marijuana and he believes the growing body of evidence shows that, in some cases, marijuana has a positive medicinal impact.

On the other end of the spectrum, advocates have complained that the bill is too constricting. It sets fairly strict standards on who could actually grow the marijuana: There's a $50,000 nonrefundable application fee, and growers must prove that they have experience growing marijuana, in addition to a series of other requirements.

Other components also make advocates nervous: The law would require anyone who is registered and allowed to use medicinal marijuana to surrender their driver's license. The law also would make it a crime for anyone to use the medicinal marijuana within line of sight of someone under the age of 18, presenting possible problems for parents with debilitating medical issues.

Dickerson acknowledged there are some narcotics that could present more issues for drivers than marijuana with low THC, the component in the drug that makes it a popular recreational drug.

"When bills get written, there are some things you want to kind of put in as negotiating points, and there are some things you want to put in as absolutes," Dickerson said.

"But I think if we start with that — anybody that uses this has to give up their driver's license — I think that kind of draws a line, and at that point we might be able to move that line back and forth somewhat."

As the bill stands now, though, he thinks it provides the vehicle necessary to create a program to provide patients with the best medicinal product for their condition.

The bill is set for discussion Wednesday in the House Health Committee and the Senate House and Welfare Committee.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.newser.com/story/204920/drug-that-could-top-medical-marijuana-exists.html





Drug That Could Top Medical Marijuana Exists





Pain, insomnia, nausea, and some psychological conditions are among the health issues medical marijuana is used to treat—but the drug can come with frustrating side effects like dizziness, dry mouth, and telltale red eyes. Plus, not everybody wants to get high, a doctor notes. Another drug that's been in use since the 1970s, however, is showing promise for treating similar conditions, and it's known for not having many side effects; this site lists gallstones and liver problems as "infrequent" ones. Fenofibrate, aka Tricor, is currently used to treat high cholesterol. The link between the two drugs has to do with the way they bind to cells, Popular Science reports.

Compounds in fenofibrate adhere to what are known as cannabinoid receptors in some cell membranes—just as compounds in marijuana do. In the lab, scientists found that fenofibrate made cells with these receptors behave in the same way marijuana does. The discovery could pave the way for a new class of pot-like drugs, researchers say. "It may be difficult to persuade people in Colorado, Washington, and the District of Columbia that there are people who want the beneficial effects of marijuana without actually getting high," says the editor of The FASEB Journal, where the research report was published, in a press release. "But there are people who do not want to get stoned just to get the relief that marijuana brings."
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.collegian.psu.edu/news/s...cle_dca6b728-d9a0-11e4-a0b9-87c80288c685.html





Medical marijuana bill reintroduced in Pennsylvania





Recent legislation in the state Senate that would legalize medical marijuana has sparked conversation across Pennsylvania.

The Senate Bill 3, a medical marijuana bill, has been introduced after its equivalent counterpart, State Bill 1182 — which was overwhelmingly supported in the Senate — died in the state House of Representatives at the end of last term.

And, former Gov. Tom Corbett had said he did not support State Bill 1182. But Gov. Tom Wolf has already pledged to sign the reintroduced bill after meeting with mothers whose children suffer from severe seizures, according to an Associated Press report.

Campaign for Compassion has been a group at the forefront of the debate on medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, advocating the use of the drug for children suffering severe seizures.

In the meantime, the state House of Health and Judiciary Committees are asking both sides their opinions on medical marijuana in joint public hearings in cities across the state.

One hearing was held on March 24 in Philadelphia. Two other hearings are slated for this month, one in Harrisburg on April 8 and the other in Pittsburgh on April 29.

“I think it’s very important that Pennsylvania join the 23 states who have already legalized medical marijuana. It’s not like we’re reinventing the wheel here,” said George Cimochowski, a cannabis entrepreneur who said he is involved in the cause for the betterment of patient care.

Cimochowski (senior-psychology) said he hopes to open a dispensary should the legislation pass, but hopes that the current bill will be broader.

The co-sponsors of the Medical Cannabis Act, state Sen. Daylin Leach and Sen. Mike Folmer, are also hoping to amend the current bill to include the many patients who would be left behind.

SB 3 is the same as the medical marijuana bill that died in the House last term. The bill authorizes 10 medical conditions — including cancer, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease — that would qualify for the medical use of cannabis.
Leach and Folmer would like the bill in its final form to give doctors the power to decide whom they should prescribe cannabis to.

“It’s going to give the power to doctors instead of politicians,” Cimochowski said.

The bill also does not include the smoking or vaporization of cannabis.

“You should not reduce the way people can take this benefit,” Cimochowski said, who added that different medical conditions benefit from different ways of metabolizing the drug.

Cimochowski also plans on educating and lobbying the local government. He is concerned that, should the bill pass, the borough of State College would still have the power to prohibit dispensaries within the borough.

But for now, the State Senate Government Committee is reviewing the bill before it can move back for voting in the state Senate.

Brianna Lites (senior–recreation, parks and tourism management) said, “It can be a good thing, but there’s a lot that people don’t think about.”

She is concerned that legalizing marijuana for medical use would help “white men trying to capitalize on it,” while so many African Americans are in prison for crimes related to marijuana.

During Penn State President Eric Barron’s student town forum on March 30, where he addressed the university’s budget, Barron said the university remains neutral on the subject.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.newschannel9.com/news/to...r-sign-cannabis-oil-bill-into-law-16203.shtml





Georgia Governor To Sign Cannabis Oil Bill Into Law





Hundreds of families in Georgia will now have access to medical marijuana to treat severe seizure disorders and other illnesses.

Governor Nathan Deal is expected to sign a bill legalizing cannabis oil after the legislative session ends Thursday.

The cannabis oil law will be life-changing 8-year-old Zoey, who now has access to the one treatment her family has been fighting for.

"We are so excited. We can't wait," said Sheli Gilley, Zoey's mother.
Sheli has shared her daughter's story with NewsChannel9's Briona Arradondo over the past year. Zoey's rare disorder causes multiple seizures, so Sheli said they've tried more than 20 medications and are running out of options.

"Not a lot of people know what it's like to have a child that is so heavily medicated that you don't even know who they are," said Gilley.

That's why cannabis oil for medical use means so much to the family. The bill, known as House Bill 1 or Haleigh's Hope Act, covers eight conditions, including seizure disorders, cancer and sickle cell anemia.

"There's no side effects, and so things like medications have so many issues with them," said Gilley. "They may calm down the seizures, but then the side effects are so many."

The move from the State Capitol also allows continued research to study the effects of cannabis oil, which comes from the marijuana plant but does not create a high.

But there is no growing facility in-state, so getting it to Georgia remains against federal law.

"We want to be able to provide a natural medication to our child that could help them have a better quality of life, and we don't want to be in trouble for it," said Gilley.

In preparation for the change in law, Governor Deal has ordered state agencies to take steps ahead of the law's enactment. The Georgia Medical Composite Board will create forms for patients to get their doctors to sign off on for medical cannabis treatment, and then the Department of Health will issue qualifying patients registration cards showing they can legally possess medical marijuana.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.forbes.com/sites/juliewe...production-lines-are-going-seven-days-a-week/






Inside A Cannabis Chocolate Factory: Production Lines Are Going Seven Days A Week





In a squat pale generic-looking building away from a main road in the industrial neighborhood of Seattle, a man picks up small bits of crystalized cannabis oil with a pair of tweezers, weighs them and places them into clear round containers the width of a quarter. He looks over at the little pile of the crystalized “shatter” he’s working with – it’s worth about $20,000.

In the next room, a candy maker tempers her liquid chocolate, adds THC oil and creates the kind of candy bars Willy Wonka seemed to actually be eating in the eponymous movie. The “420 bars” come in varieties flavored with sea salt, toffee, hazelnut or hemp crunch, and sell for around $15-20 at recreational pot shops. Evergreen Herbal, the company making these items along with THC-infused quenchers, teas, honey sticks and chewie bites has been selling them for just about two months and can barely keep up with demand.

Production lines are going in the facility seven days a week and the company is looking to hire at least six more people to add to its current roster of thirty workers. They’d like to build up a four-week inventory, said Heather Gehrman, Director of Sales, but now they’re lucky to have one week’s worth of products ready to be shipped out. The newly-hired general manager has food production experience and was brought in, in part, to make the start-up’s current manufacturing processes more efficient.

The owners of Evergreen Herbal came to Washington State from California where they own The Venice Cookie Company, another edibles maker. Co-owner Marco Hoffman started Evergreen Herbal to make medical marijuana products in Washington in 2013 and began producing recreational edible products when those sales became legal in Washington in 2014. The new entity had to be created because marijuana companies cannot operate across state lines, and cannot deliver products to other states, even those where the products are legal.

Evergreen Herbals’ recreational .42 ounce 420 Chocolate Bars each contain 10mg of THC, so one serving size is one dose according to Washington State law. The honey sticks, tea bags and 420 chewie bites also contain 10mg of THC. Similar products are currently sold by Evergreen Herbal in medical marijuana dispensaries, but with higher THC content. Elise McDonough the author of the High Times Cannabis Cookbook suggests new or less experienced users take in no more than 10mg of THC in the first two hours in her “10 Commandments of Marijuana Edibles Safety.” More experienced users can generally take in 20-25mg of THC without adverse effects she said.

The company’s newest products, which will be rolled out soon in the recreational market, are a line of THC-Infused sparkling drinks called Cannabis Quenchers. Each bottle will contain three doses of THC, so anyone who glugs one down to slake their thirst at an outdoor concert will likely miss the concert. “They should not drink the whole thing themselves,” said Gehrman.

While retailers and customers have been asking the company for less expensive products, cannabis edible manufacturers have costs that other food companies don’t. All packaging has to be child-proof, so a candy bar has to be wrapped in something that can be cut open but not torn open. All areas of the manufacturing facility that contain marijuana must be under video surveillance, so there is a cost to the cameras and the storage of the footage. All products have to be tracked in the state software system, from “seed to sale” and products must be quarantined before they are shipped out in case state auditors want to check in on the business.

Creating marijuana-based products, the company faces other challenges. “We walk on eggshells all the time with banks, landlords, everyone,” said Gehrman, because those companies are wary of money that is not FDIC insurable and an industry that used to be illegal. The company is also limited in giving away samples to potential retailers. “It’s hard for a store to know if they want to stock something if we can’t provide any enough free product for them to try,” said Gehrman. Laws also prohibit employees from purchasing the products made on-site, except from an authorized retailer, so there are no employee discounts.

Despite the challenges, the recreational product sales have been growing at a fast clip. So fast, in fact, that in two months of effort they are already selling about half the sales volume that their medical marijuana sister products do, and those have been on the market for two years.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.odisha360.com/2015/04/03/maoists-encouraging-farmers-to-grow-cannabis-in-odisha/





(India) ‘Maoists Encouraging Farmers to Grow Cannabis in Odisha’





Bhubaneswar, April 3 (IANS) The Odisha government may have successfully contained the Maoist mlitants in some pockets of the state but the government is yet to plug the cannabis cultivation which, police believe, is a major source of funding for the ultras.

“Whenever we get information about ganja (ganja) cultivation, we destroy the crops and take action against the culprits,” Director General of Odisha Police Sanjeev Marik told IANS.

He admitted that the Maoists are directly and indirectly involved in the cannabis cultivation and are encouraging the farmers to do so.

The state government has decided to take a multi-disciplinary approach to destroying cannabis cultivation in the state, involving the police, the excise department and the narcotics control bureau to chalk out and implement an action plan on this.

Cannabis cultivation is happening in the state’s interior pockets, particularly in tribal-dominated districts where Maoists have unleashed terror among the village communities, another officer said.

Clandestine cultivation of cannabis is rampant in eight districts – Angul, Deogarh, Sambalpur, Boudh, Kandhamal, Rayagara, Gajapati and Malkangiri, an official said.

In fact, Excise Minister Damodar Rout has admitted that there are large tracts under cannabis cultivation in some districts.

The excise department, with the assistance of police, forest and revenue officials, has destroyed cannabis worth Rs.2,500 crore in the last four years, an official said.

“The government is taking steps to destroy the ganja cultivation in the state. It has engaged local people to inform about such cultivation and action is being takan against the violators under the law,” Rout told the assembly.

He said 6.6 million illegal plants have been destroyed in eight districts by Jan 31. In the 2013-14 financial year, 9.05 million plants were destroyed, 4.57 millionin 2012-13 and 2.16 million in 2011-12, Rout said.

Even though the police and excise department have been destroying the illegal cultivation from time to time, this is yet to be wiped out. Now, cannabis is being grown in dense hilly areas, where police face difficulties in destroying the crops.

Sources said traders from neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh are encouraging farmers to cultivate cannabis, which provides better returns than paddy.
 

Latest posts

Top