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MJ News for 07/21/2014

7greeneyes

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http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/07/medical-marijuana-things-to-know




Medical Marijuana 101: 10 Things You Should Know Before Using The Drug


As medical marijuana is introduced in Massachusetts, here are 10 things to know about using it.

Whether you are using marijuana for the first time, or trying it for a new ailment, those who praise its benefits say you should be prepared for a period of trial and error. Because:


1) What works for one patient may not work for you. The difference may be in the marijuana, but patients also respond to drugs differently based on age, race, gender, genetics and other factors. (The Food and Drug Administration takes many of these factors into account when testing legal drugs.)

2) All pot is not alike. Every strain of marijuana has a different balance of cannabinoids, the chemical compounds that are unique to marijuana, some of which have medicinal value. The two most common are THC, which can make people high, and CBD, which offsets the effects of THC and is believed to prevent muscle spasms and seizures.

3) Even within the same strain, the intensity of cannabinoids will vary. Take Blue Dream, one of the more popular strains these days. Blue Dream from one grower might have 5 percent THC, but if you change buyers, your next batch of Blue Dream might have 25 percent THC and produce a strong high.

(Here are some examples of the range of chemicals from the first marijuana testing lab to open in Massachusetts.)

4) Patients with a weak or compromised immune system should confirm that their marijuana is free of contaminants: heavy metals, mold, mildew and pesticides. Testing for these contaminants will be required of products sold by dispensaries in Massachusetts.

5) Once you find a strain that has the balance of THC, CBD or other cannabinoids that you want, you’ll have to figure out how much to take. Dispensaries will set doses in Massachusetts. These recommendations may or may not be based on scientific research, because the research is limited.

6) There are many ways to ingest marijuana. You can smoke it, use a vaporizer, eat it in prepared foods, or your own cookies or sauces, or in a concentrated liquid form, or drinks. In this state, dispensaries will be required to make all the marijuana-infused products that they sell. Products sold outside a dispensary may not have been tested and may not be considered legal.

7) How often you take or use marijuana may depend on how you ingest the drug. The effects of smoking or vaporizing are immediate but don’t last as long as eating cookies, where digestion slows but prolongs the effects. If you’ve had a few bites of a cookie baked with marijuana and you don’t feel anything, wait at least one hour before eating more to avoid taking too much.

8) How you store your marijuana may affect the potency. Some patients say heat degrades the potency of tinctures and food products, so they recommend refrigeration.

The state will require expiration dates, but the science used to set these dates may vary from one dispensary to the next.

9) THC in particular may produce side effects, and some heavy marijuana users report the effects of withdrawal when they stop or cut back.

10) Keep in mind that there is a separate charge for testing. At MCR Labs in Framingham, for instance, testing one sample is $70. Three or more are $50 each.
 

7greeneyes

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http://wgntv.com/2014/07/21/swedish-covenant-wants-to-sell-medical-marijuana/




(Illinois) Swedish Covenant wants to be first to sell medical marijuana


Chicago’s Swedish Covenant Hospital wants to be the first in Illinois to open its own dispensary for medical marijuana.

Officials there say a hospital is the ideal setting for such an outlet because its pharmacy is already set up for prescriptions; but the federal government still considers marijuana illegal, and a hospital that sells it could lose Medicare and Medicaid funds.

Swedish Covenant is asking congress to change the law to reflect the reality that several states now consider marijuana legal.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/19/u...arijuana-feeds-entrepreneurs-dreams.html?_r=0




Next Gold Rush: Legal Marijuana Feeds Entrepreneurs’ Dreams


DENVER — Like the glint of gold or rumors of oil in ages past, the advent of legal, recreational marijuana is beginning to reshape economies in Colorado and Washington State.

Marijuana is beckoning thousands of entrepreneurs and workers, investors and hucksters from across the country, each looking to cash in on a rapidly changing industry that offers hefty portions of both promise and peril.

At convention centers and in hotel meeting rooms, start-up companies are floating sales pitches for marijuana delivery services or apps to name-tagged investors who sip red wine and munch on hempseed snacks. This year, hundreds of people seeking jobs lined up for blocks in downtown Denver, résumés in hand, for an industry-sponsored marijuana job fair. Some have traveled far, leaving security jobs in Ohio or software jobs in Indiana to move for marijuana, hoping the industry has room for them.

“It’s the wild, wild West,” said Tom Bollich, who moved from the world of mobile apps in Silicon Valley to become the chief executive of a company based in Boulder, Colo., that builds climate systems for marijuana growers.

With marijuana now legal for medical use in 23 states and Washington, D.C., and full legalization heading to the ballot in Alaska and Oregon, the size of the noncriminal marijuana industry is expected to grow to about $2.6 billion this year from about $1.5 billion last year, according to estimates by the ArcView Group, a marijuana research and investment firm in San Francisco.

Investors in marijuana say there have been as many as 80 marijuana-related companies trading publicly, though federal securities regulators have suspended trading in five of them over the last few months and have warned that some of these new firms might be fraudulent efforts to dupe investors hunting for the next big thing.

In Colorado’s first six months of retail sales, the number of people licensed to work with the plant has grown to 11,289 this month — slightly less than the number of auto mechanics in the state — from about 6,000. (The state points out that not all those people may be actively working in the marijuana industry.) Since the first dozen stores opened in January, Colorado has issued licenses for more than 200 recreational marijuana shops.

Tourists have flocked to those stores, making up 44 percent of the customers at one Denver shop during a sample week this spring, according to the state’s first study of demand for marijuana. Tour companies and marijuana-friendly bed-and-breakfasts have sprung up to serve tourists, too.

In Washington State, where recreational sales kicked off last week, the retail industry is much smaller, with as few as eight stores open so far. But the ambitions are boundless, with more than 300 licenses under state review and an outdoor growing season — perfect for apples, wheat and grapes — that could make Washington a national powerhouse of production if legalization spreads.

Hundreds of other people have found work on the edges of the industry. They sell water systems, soil nutrients, lighting and accounting services, like the 19th-century merchants who profited by selling picks and shovels to gold miners. There are now dozens of marijuana-related mobile apps, marijuana-centric law firms and real estate agents, cannabis security experts (it is a risky, virtually all-cash trade) and marijuana-themed event promoters offering everything from luxury getaways to bus tours. Washington has a rule requiring bar-code tracking of every marijuana plant to ensure that only licensed, Washington-grown marijuana is sold in its stores. It has also created a niche for tech start-ups like Viridian Sciences, a software company aiming to help retailers prove the provenance of their product should a state inspector or customer ask.

But many have also discovered that selling marijuana, even without the specter of being arrested, carries high costs and no guarantee of success.

A heavily regulated recreational marijuana program in Washington drew more than 7,000 applications, but many of those would-be growers, processors and retailers have struggled from the start. They had to find financial capital that state inspectors would approve and lock in a legal business location. Then, they had to endure months of delays as overwhelmed state workers processed and analyzed an oversubscribed applicant list.

“I’m about fed up,” said Michael McDonald, a 57-year-old home-repair contractor, who has applied for two licenses to grow and process marijuana in Bellingham, in northwestern Washington.

Mr. McDonald said the deck was stacked in favor of richer corporate players. With banks still so leery of lending in the industry, he said, financing choices for smaller entrepreneurs like him are few.

“What’s happening is that the only people who are really going to get licenses are the ones who have somehow hidden their illegal money, or legitimized it, or it’s big business backing it, and that’s not how it was supposed to be,” Mr. McDonald said.

Aaron Varney, 38, who directs a nonprofit medical marijuana cooperative in Seattle, got a 24th-place slot in the state lottery for the 21 retail marijuana locations up for grabs in his city; three people ahead of him would have to wash out of the process for his number to come up. He wants the industry to succeed, he said, but cannot fully silence what he called the selfish voice inside that hopes to get in.

“Real close, but not quite there,” Mr. Varney said of his waiting game.

Despite marijuana’s outlaw reputation and legal status, the industry is growing largely because the Obama administration decided last year not to oppose votes in 2012 in Colorado and Washington that legalized marijuana for personal use and laid the groundwork for statewide sales. But regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission warned that the loosened laws created new horizons for fraud, as small companies with dubious assets and financial disclosures leapt into the over-the-counter trading market.

The agency’s actions this spring to suspend trading in marijuana-based companies from Colorado, California and Texas were still rippling through Weedstock, an investor conference at the Westin Denver Downtown Hotel. While some growers and sideline businesses are earning enough to even sponsor chamber-music galas, investors said that others were leaping into the market with little more than hype and shaky business plans.

“Ninety percent are either scams or aren’t going to make it,” said Alan Brochstein, a financial analyst who is carving out a niche in the cannabis market.

But many are ready to gamble on marijuana’s success. After a decade in the military and a career working in security, Sy Alli, 53, moved to Colorado to become the director of corporate security for Dixie Brands, a company that makes marijuana-infused drinks and snacks. Zach Marburger, 28, visited in January to ski and check out the early days of legal use of recreational marijuana, and decided to relocate to Denver to develop software to connect customers and retailers.

And a few months ago, a 22-year-old mobile app developer named Isaac Dietrich and a friend were smoking marijuana in a Norfolk, Va., apartment when they realized: There could be money in this. They moved to Colorado, where they are working on an app called MassRoots, which lets marijuana enthusiasts privately post photos on an online platform out of sight of their parents or co-workers. They want it to be the Instagram for marijuana users.

“We thought about relocating to Silicon Valley, but they haven’t backed a single marijuana company,” Mr. Dietrich said. “This is where everything’s happening. We didn’t want to be left out.”
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2699875/I-cured-cancer-CANNABIS-OIL.html




(UK) Grandfather, 63, claims he cured his cancer with 'Breaking Bad' style homemade CANNABIS OIL


A grandfather battling cancer claims he managed to cure himself of the disease using cannabis oil.

Mike Cutler, 63, was diagnosed in 2009 after blacking out at work - and was given a transplant in November that year.

He was given the all-clear but says the disease came back in late 2012 - attacking the new organ he had been given.

Desperate to survive, he began to look online - and found a YouTube video which described the use of cannabis oil as a cure.

He claims that just three days after taking the class B drug, his excruciating pain disappeared.

In May this year, the grandfather-of-nine went for a biopsy at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

To his relief, doctors told him the new cancerous cells had vanished.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Free Hospital confirmed Mr Cutler had not received any cancer treatment since his transplant in November 2009.

Mr Cutler, a retired builder from Hastings, East Sussex, said: 'Finding out I could die was terrible.

'All I had in those dark days was my laptop, and that's when I began searching for something else that could help me - I couldn't accept I was going to die.

'When I found out I was cured I was just completely shocked. I'm a normal family man, not a druggie. I had a serious illness and this helped.'

He started taking cannabis after watching a video online about how it could help cure the disease.

After purchasing the drug through a dealer, he began to cultivate his own tablets from the oil, taking one capsule a day.

When his symptoms disappeared after three days, he began growing his own cannabis plant to keep up a steady supply of the medication.

Mr Cutler was one of the speakers at an event last week about the medical use of cannabis - along with Professor David Nutt and MP Caroline Lucas at Brighton Community Centre.

He is now campaigning for changes in the law to allow the oil and other forms of cannabis to be legally used medicinally to treat other people.

Research published last week by scientists at the University of East Anglia found the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis - Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC - has been shown to help combat the growth of cancerous cells.

Dr Kat Arney, Cancer Research UK’s science communications manager, said: 'These experiments were done using cancer cells grown in the lab or in mice and the results help to unpick the details of how cannabinoids affect cancer cells at a molecular level.

'This could potentially lead to more effective treatments for cancer in the future, but there’s still no good data from clinical trials to show that cannabis or cannabinoids can safely and effectively treat cancer in patients at the moment.'

Cannabinoids help to control brain and nerve activity, energy metabolism, heart function, the immune system and even reproduction.

As a result, a number of charities have intensified their research into the use of cannabis as a medical drug.

For more information on cannabis as a treatment for cancer, visit the Cancer Research UK website.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.sctimes.com/story/news/l...ud-man-help-research-legal-cannabis/12928517/




(Minnesota) St. Cloud man to help research legal cannabis


David Hartford of St. Cloud knows Minnesotans are counting on him to give advice about the controversial issue of medical marijuana, and he knows that being tasked to do so won't be easy.

The care center director for Behavioral Health Services at CentraCare Health was recently appointed to the state's Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research.

"It's an important topic," said Hartford, who was the former assistant commissioner of chemical and mental health services at the state Department of Human Services. "If you look nationally, states are doing all kinds of different approaches to medical cannabis."

"The current research that's out there is not very clear about what conditions are appropriate to use medication like medical cannabis in order to treat a wide range of conditions."

Minnesota is one of 23 states that has legalized medical marijuana. The state Department of Health recently announced two upcoming public meetings in St. Paul related to the state's new medical cannabis program.

Public meetings

A July 31 meeting in the Orville Freeman Building in St. Paul will help task force members get to know each other and learn their duties as outlined in the legislation.

"I've participated in case studying and hearing a lot of the testimony in the last few years about, 'What should we do? What's the appropriate thing to do in Minnesota?' ... I think approaching this from a research standpoint makes a lot of sense," Hartford said.

Hartford's term on the task force expires Jan. 5. Patients are expected to be able to get medical marijuana starting July 1.

"There are certainly individuals who have come forward — it's almost more anecdotal — who have talked about its benefits ... especially from testimony from a number of different families where medical cannabis has been used to treat children with seizures," Hartford said.

Those interested in learning more about the roles and responsibilities of the state's certified medical cannabis manufacturers can attend another public meeting from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 8 in the Minnesota Department of Revenue Building in St. Paul.

Topics of the Aug. 8 meeting will include a review of the legislation, a discussion of potential supporting rules, some early information about the manufacturer selection process the state will establish, as well as an overall program timeline.

Medical marijuana

The Legislature passed a bill that gave Minnesota one of the nation's strictest medical marijuana laws. Patients can only use a pill, liquid or vaporized form of the drug. Only those who suffer from eight illnesses including cancer, HIV/AIDS and glaucoma will qualify for the program.

"I think the legislators and anyone who has heard the testimony about the benefits know that no one would want to deny a treatment that would be of benefit to people, but with that in mind, Minnesota is taking a very appropriate track to study this," Hartford said. "I've worked in the area of mental health and substance abuse for a long time, and there are several big concerns about broadening the availability of cannabis to the general population."

Cannabis has negative consequences, particularly for adolescents, Hartford said.

"The more access adolescents have, the more likely the abuse of it by adolescents. ... So there are some downsides to how broadly you make cannabis available and in what form."

Follow Frank Lee on Twitter @fclgannett.

More information

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has scheduled two public meetings in St. Paul related to the state's new medical cannabis program.

The state's new Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research will have its first meeting from 1:30-3:30 p.m. July 31 in Room B144/145 of the Orville Freeman Building, 625 Robert St. N, to familiarize the task force members with each other and their duties.

There will also be a meeting from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Skjegstad Room in the Minnesota Department of Revenue Building, 600 Robert St. N, for people interested in learning more about the roles and responsibilities of the state's certified medical cannabis manufacturers.

For planning purposes, MDH asks that those interested in attending the Aug. 8 meeting RSVP by Aug. 1 to jeffrey.j.smith@state.mn.us.

For more information about the medical cannabis program, visit the MDH medical cannabis website at www.health.state.mn.us/topics/cannabis/index.html.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.theweedblog.com/sting-operations-colorado-cannabis-stores-kids/




Sting Operations Show No Colorado Cannabis Stores Selling To Kids


One of the first things that cannabis industry opponents say when trying to spread their message is that legalizing cannabis sales will increase children’s access to cannabis. That will then be accompanied by a surge in cannabis use by underage people these opponents claim. If recent underage sting operations in Colorado are any indication, those claims are unfounded.

Law enforcement and state regulators recently conducted underage sting operations at cannabis stores in Denver and Pueblo. Underage individuals were sent into twenty different stores to try to purchase legal cannabis, similar to the way underage sting operations are conducted on alcohol retailers. Every single store refused to sell cannabis to the underage individuals. That’s a 100% compliance rate. Per 9News:

Despite the limited scope of the sting operations in the fast-expanding marijuana industry, the announcement provides a welcome image boost to pot shops.

“We are pleased with the results and will continue to monitor the businesses to ensure that the compliance efforts are maintained,” Lewis Koski, Director of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, said.

I wonder how many times underage stings have been conducted on alcohol establishments and it resulted in a 100% compliance rate. These sting operations are proof that regulating cannabis works to help keep cannabis out of the hands of kids. The black market does not have age requirements, and does not check ID. It’s going to be very hard for prohibitionists to try to spin and spin this one and continue to claim that the sky is falling in Colorado.
 

hippy59

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http://www.theweedblog.com/sting-operations-colorado-cannabis-stores-kids/




Sting Operations Show No Colorado Cannabis Stores Selling To Kids



One of the first things that cannabis industry opponents say when trying to spread their message is that legalizing cannabis sales will increase children’s access to cannabis. That will then be accompanied by a surge in cannabis use by underage people these opponents claim. If recent underage sting operations in Colorado are any indication, those claims are unfounded.

Law enforcement and state regulators recently conducted underage sting operations at cannabis stores in Denver and Pueblo. Underage individuals were sent into twenty different stores to try to purchase legal cannabis, similar to the way underage sting operations are conducted on alcohol retailers. Every single store refused to sell cannabis to the underage individuals. That’s a 100% compliance rate. Per 9News:

Despite the limited scope of the sting operations in the fast-expanding marijuana industry, the announcement provides a welcome image boost to pot shops.

“We are pleased with the results and will continue to monitor the businesses to ensure that the compliance efforts are maintained,” Lewis Koski, Director of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, said.

I wonder how many times underage stings have been conducted on alcohol establishments and it resulted in a 100% compliance rate. These sting operations are proof that regulating cannabis works to help keep cannabis out of the hands of kids. The black market does not have age requirements, and does not check ID. It’s going to be very hard for prohibitionists to try to spin and spin this one and continue to claim that the sky is falling in Colorado.
very very happy to hear about his. shows those A hole gov pl we are not like that.
 

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