WeedVoice

An online media news aggregator and blog for the cannabis and hemp industry world-wide.

How does Vermont's medical marijuana program spend its money?

Vermont Public Radio recently reported that the state transferred $300,000 from its medical marijuana program into the general fund to help shore up a $30 million budget gap.

That article doesn’t happen without dogged activism and oversight from Vermont residents, especially registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers who brought this information to the media.

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Vermont panel looks at saliva test for drugged driving

A second House panel started taking testimony on Wednesday on a bill that would allow for saliva testing to detect the presence of drugs in motorists. Lawmakers heard talk of legal challenges and suggested changes to safeguard the legislation.

“I’m confident it will be hotly litigated,” Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Anderson, a former federal prosecutor and backer of the saliva testing legislation, told members of the House Judiciary Committee.

“With Vermont being on the cusp of legalizing marijuana, it’s an opportune time to be discussing collectively what we can do to improve roadway safety,” he said. “Driving is a privilege, it’s not a right, and the state can legislatively put conditions on that right.”

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This Las Vegas airport is letting people dump their marijuana before flying

What happens in Vegas really can stay in Vegas.

Tourists catching a flight out of Sin City can now dump their leftover legal marijuana in metal containers set up at the airport.

The 10 green bins dubbed “amnesty boxes” prevent federal transportation agents from finding pot on passengers during security screenings. The drug is legal in Nevada but still banned by the U.S. government.

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New Zealand could increase penalties for synthetic cannabis

New Zealand could increase penalties for synthetic cannabis if this bill passes.

With a proposed bill, the government of New Zealand could increase penalties for synthetic cannabis. The amendment to the country’s Psychoactive Substances Act that is up for debate would quadruple maximum prison sentences for suppliers of the drug from two to eight years.

The Proposed Bill

The bill was introduced by Member of Parliament (MP) Simeon Brown of the New Zealand National Party (known as National), which has been campaigning on a law and order platform.

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When will the public consumption of cannabis be legal?

Despite the fact that over half of the United States has legal access to some form of cannabis, publicly consuming it is illegal. Medical marijuana patients should be able to consume their medicine whenever and wherever pain might strike.

Recreational marijuana consumers should have a public space to enjoy their products. Yet, getting caught consuming cannabis anywhere other than the darkest depths of your bedroom could have repercussions ranging from small fines to years in jail time.

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Denmark’s high hopes to become Europe’s biggest medical cannabis producer

New laws spawn a growth in the industry as 12 permits are issues, with three more impending.

Denmark will soon become one of the largest medical cannabis producers in Europe.

Since December 2017, the Laegemiddelstyrelsen medicines agency has issued 12 permits to companies to produce medical cannabis.

The authorisations followed last year’s parliamentary approval of a four-year trial for doctors to prescribe medical cannabis to patients, which began on January 1.

Since this approval, 17 companies have sought the right to produce medical cannabis in Denmark. Two were rejected and three are still awaiting a decision.

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Virginia: The federal government can't decide what to do with veterans and medical marijuana

Many veterans groups are putting pressure on the federal government to allow VA hospitals and doctors to prescribe medical marijuana. But so far the feds have no idea how to handle the situation, writes Joseph Misulonas.

First, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin said that his department was barred from researching medical marijuana for vets because the drug's illegal status at the federal level.

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What are feminized cannabis seeds?

Anyone who’s ever savored a joint owes their enjoyment to the fruits of the cannabis plant, but moreover, to the female of the species. That’s because only female cannabis plants produce the cannabinoid-rich flowers that deliver the flavors and effects consumers look for.

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Medical Marijuana treatment slowly gains traction in workers’ comp

Though states and the federal government remain at odds on marijuana legalization, the drug is gaining traction as a viable treatment in workers’ comp claims. In a recent discussion with Claims Journal, Brian Allen, vice president of government affairs for Mitchell, and Mark Pew, senior vice president of PRIUM, a division of Genex Services LLC, provided insight on pending workers’ compensation cases involving medical marijuana reimbursement and on the federal government’s recent announcement regarding marijuana enforcement.

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Portugal's pharmacists against legalisation of medicinal cannabis

"There is no scientific evidence to prove the efficacy and safety of its use," according to the Pharmacists’ working group when reporting to the parliamentary committee on health.

The group’s four expert pharmacists say there is no robust scientific evidence regarding the benefit-to-risk ratio of the use of the cannabis plant "for medicinal purposes," adding that, "there is strong evidence that there are safety concerns and toxicological potential."

The presentation of the pharmacists’ arguments, presented to the parliamentary committee, was led by Félix Carvalho, for whom, "there is no evidence that proves the efficacy and safety of its use."

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Ohio State offers to 'pause' medical marijuana licensing process; could delay program launch

The Ohio Department of Commerce is willing to hit the pause button on the review process for medical marijuana licenses, which has come under scrutiny from state regulators.

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost recently raised concerns about what he described as a "critical flaw'' in the review of medical marijuana grower applications that would have allowed application graders' computer accounts to be hacked.

Yost said outsiders could have signed on to the state-sponsored system for grading applications and manipulated the scores that were used late last year to grant 24 licenses for large and small marijuana growers in Ohio.

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Green rush: How cannabis legalization will impact California

Across the United States, there’s a seemingly unstoppable movement gaining ground.

The legalization of cannabis for adult use – first passed in the states of Washington and Colorado in 2012 – is now approved in a total of nine states and the District of Columbia. By the end of the year, that total could be in the mid-teens as states vote on cannabis-related ballots in the upcoming mid-term elections.

California's Green Rush

States are legalizing the adult use of cannabis for various reasons, but there’s no doubt that one of the primary ones is the potential impact on both the economy and government coffers.

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Should medical marijuana be given to seniors?

Is Mary Jane a friend to everyone? Should medical marijuana be given to seniors?

The world of medical marijuana can seem like a whirlwind of change. For starters, medical marijuana laws are constantly evolving. Beyond that, a bigger cross-section of the population is beginning to explore the benefits of medicinal cannabis. In particular, the number of senior citizens consuming medical marijuana has been going up in recent years. But should medical marijuana be given to seniors? This guide covers everything you need to know.

Senior Citizens and Medical Marijuana

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Meet the lawyer suing Jeff Sessions to end cannabis prohibition

Last week, in a lawsuit that could put an end to federal cannabis prohibition, a federal judge in New York acknowledged the healing potential of medical marijuana. “It’s saved a life,” he said, referring to a Colorado girl with epilepsy. “She has no more epileptic seizures.”

The judge then turned to lawyers for the federal government, who have argued that cannabis is a dangerous drug with no accepted medical benefit. “If there is an accepted medical use,” he told them, “your argument doesn’t hold.”

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Marijuana legalization in the UK? Parliament debates this week

Could the United Kingdom see marijuana legalization? The UK Parliament debates this week. Marijuana legalization and regulation has become part of the mainstream conversation in the United States and in Canada. But what about overseas? Are people down with legalization in the United Kingdom?

Pot Across The Pond

The current state of cannabis in the United Kingdom is that it is prohibited. Considered a Class B drug, those found to be in possession of it can face a maximum of five years in prison and/or fines, of which there is no limit.

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New Jersey: New medical marijuana bill calls for more dispensaries, edibles

New Jersey's oft-criticized medical marijuana program has gotten plenty of attention in the past few weeks.

First, Gov. Phil Murphy, who called the program "constrained", ordered a 60-day review of the program in January, saying he wants to see key changes.

Now, a bill introduced Thursday into the state Assembly aims to address many of the issues supposedly holding back the state's medical marijuana program.

Reed Gusciora, Democratic assemblyman from Mercer County, introduced the bill, which likely would boost the number of New Jerseyans who could get medical marijuana.

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Keeping medical cannabis from children is callous, and foolish

The first medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania have opened their doors over the past few days.

Thousands of patients with serious medical conditions have registered to access the drug, which comes in oils, patches and vaporisers, rather than smokable leaf form.

The historic first purchase in the state was by Diana Briggs, the mother of a teenage son with severe epilepsy. “I am beyond thrilled,” she said. “There’s no more fear, no more stress for our family.”

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Arizona: Lawmakers want to charge doctors who prescribe cannabis with a felony

State legislators in Arizona are looking to crack down on pre-existing medical marijuana laws with a bold, albeit harsh, set of regulations.

In order to further regulate the plant amongst its medical patients, lawmakers want to charge doctors who prescribe cannabis with a felony.

A Harsh Punishment

On Thursday, Arizona’s House Health Committee voted 6-3 for HB 2067, a bill that would take aim at doctors that fail to conduct a full medical exam before recommending cannabis to their patients. Doctors could face up to a year in prison if they neglect to do their due diligence.

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Universal symbol - upside down, green triangle - will grace medical marijuana products

Local officials are beginning to decide if they want medical marijuana businesses in their communities before the state starts giving out licenses next year. 

A green, upside down triangle with a cannabis leaf in the center will become Michigan's universal warning sign that a medical marijuana product contains the psychoactive ingredient THC.

The symbol will go on all containers or bags that contain actual marijuana plant materials or marijuana-infused products that are used by medical marijuana card holders to treat the symptoms of a variety of ailments.

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Philadelphia District Attorney sues Big Pharma for opioid crisis

The City of Brotherly Love is taking a stance on drug policy reform. The Philadelphia district attorney sues Big Pharma for opioid crisis.

Larry Krasner has been in office as Philadelphia District Attorney for a little over a month. He has initiated some important changes in that short time. His most recent moves are aimed at fixing some longstanding drug-related issues. Most importantly, he is suing several pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid crisis. As the Philadelphia District Attorney sues Big Pharma, momentum could be building to combat the epidemic.

Larry Krasner Is Suing Big Pharma

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This city is cracking down on synthetic marijuana

One Indiana city is cracking down on synthetic marijuana for the sake of public health.

As federal marijuana prohibition continues, so does the practice of searching for its legal, or at the very least, easily obtainable substitute. To combat this, one city is cracking down on synthetic marijuana.

The outbreak of synthetic marijuana has become somewhat of an epidemic in its own right, with an influx of overdoses occurring over the last year. For a sample size, last July, there were over 150 people treated for K2 overdoses in the span of just a week.

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Massachusetts: Medical marijuana patients worried about shortages when legal recreational sales begin

For medical marijuana patients, the drug is not only for getting high. It offers relief from pain, nausea and other symptoms of illness.

Now, medical marijuana patients are worried that supply of their medicine is in "grave danger" when legal recreational marijuana goes on sale.

"No regulations have been drafted that would protect the patient supply in times that the demand outweighs the supply," said Michael Latulippe, development director for the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, which represents medical marijuana patients.

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More Ohio adults smoking weed than ever before, survey says

More Ohio adults are using marijuana than ever before, according to recently released state data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

The number of weed-smoking adults in Ohio increased 14.9 percent over the two-year period from 2015 through 2016, compared to the previous two years, according to an analysis of survey results by Harm Reduction Ohio, a drug policy reform group. 

About 1.24 million Ohio adults said they used marijuana in the past year in the latest NSDUH survey - roughly one in seven. That was the highest number since the survey from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began tracking illicit drug use nationwide in 1971.

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California : Lawmaker writes bill to let kids bring Medical Marijuana to school

A bill to let kids bring medical marijuana to school has been introduced by a California state senator.

In California, a lawmaker just introduced a bill to let kids bring medical marijuana to school. Although there are some stipulations, the proposed bill would give students in the public school system to have access to their medication on campus.

The Bay Area Bill

One state senator in the Bay Area of California is unwaveringly in favor of a sensible medical marijuana policy. So much so that he wants to extend the state of California’s already generous medical marijuana program. State Senator Jerry Hill, of San Mateo County, has proposed a bill to let kids bring medical marijuana to school with them.

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Senator to lift DOJ blockade in show of ‘good faith’ to Jeff Sessions

Colorado’s Republican U.S. senator will stop blocking nominees for some Justice Department jobs over concerns about the marijuana industry, saying Thursday that federal officials have shown good faith in recent conversations on the department’s cannabis policy.

Cory Gardner used his power as a senator last month to freeze nominations for posts at the agency after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era protections for states like Colorado that have broadly legalized recreational marijuana.

It was a dramatic move by a Republican senator against his own party’s attorney general and came after Gardner said Sessions had promised him there wouldn’t be a crackdown. Gardner said he was placing holds on nominees until Sessions changed his approach.

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Arizona proposal would jail Cannabis doctors who break rules

An Arizona House panel on Thursday approved a proposal making doctors who sidestep rules for medical marijuana recommendations guilty of a felony.

The proposal backed by Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk was approved by the House Health Committee on a 6-3 party-line vote with Democrats opposed. It now goes to the full House after a routine constitutional review.

Physicians who violate any medical marijuana rule or law could get up to a year in prison. Currently medical boards can discipline violators, including revoking their license.

Polk said that hasn’t kept doctors from failing to follow rules requiring them to have a physician-patient relationship with each patient and to review their medical history and a year’s worth of records.

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Trump administration rejects popular solution to fixing the opioid crisis

The Trump administration says they want to fight the opioid crisis and are considering many options to do so. But they once again showed that when it comes to the opioid crisis, they're not actually open to all solutions, writes Joseph Misulonas.

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Canadian health insurance company to cover Medical Cannabis

That’s right, you can get up to $6,000 of cannabis paid for.

A major Canadian health insurance company will soon cover medical cannabis. Sun Life Assurance Co. is set to add medical cannabis to its group benefits plan on March 1. It will be the first major Canadian insurance company to take this step.

“Sun Life’s approach reflects current evidence-based clinical knowledge regarding the medical use of cannabis,” Sun Life said in a release on Thursday.

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Canada: Sun Life to add medical-marijuana coverage to group benefits plans

Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada will become the first major insurance company to add medical marijuana to its group benefits plans for Canadian companies, a pivotal move in the insurance industry that will help ease the financial burden for medical-marijuana users, and a sign of the growing acceptance of cannabis in the Canadian workplace.

As of March 1, Sun Life will include medical cannabis as optional coverage under an extended health-care benefit plan. Sun Life, which administers group benefits plans for more than 22,000 Canadian companies, oversees health and dental coverage for more than five million Canadians – including dependents.

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Colorado Cannabis Sales Total $1.5 Billion in 2017

Locals and tourists alike spent over a billion dollars on recreational marijuana, bringing in nearly $250 million in tax revenue to state coffers.

Since opening the first adult-use cannabis retail dispensary in 2014, Colorado has been synonymous with America’s burgeoning green rush. And in its fourth year of trailblazing, the Centennial State has only grown further, reporting a record breaking $1.51 billion in legal weed sales in 2017.

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Canada: Six marijuana companies announce deals to supply Quebec with cannabis

Province expects to open 15 marijuana stores across the province this summer and will control sales online.

Six companies announced they have signed letters of intent with Quebec’s liquor board to supply cannabis and related products.

The companies individually announced the deals with the Crown corporation, which is overseeing marijuana sales in the province through a subsidiary when it becomes legal later this year.

The Hydropothecary Corp., which is based in Quebec, will provide 20,000 kilograms of cannabis products in the first year of legalized recreational cannabis use through a full range of products.

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A lawsuit against Sessions could be the one to legalize Marijuana

On Wednesday, advocates and professionals in the cannabis industry descended on a federal court in New York to watch Justice Department lawyers try to dismiss a case against Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The suit involves a motley crew of plaintiffs: Alexis Bortell and Jager Cotte, both pediatric medical marijuana patients, Jose Belen, an Army combat veteran who uses cannabis to treat his PTSD, Marvin Washington, a former New York Jet-turned cannabis entrepreneur, and the Cannabis Cultural Association, a non-profit dedicated to ending the war on drugs and promoting people of color in the cannabis industry.

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Meet the 24-year-old fighting for Canadian Cannabis patients' rights

Jonathan Zaid never imagined that his chronic illness would set him on a path to leadership, helping Canadian patients gain access to affordable medicinal cannabis. But since becoming the founder and executive director of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM), in 2014, Zaid can’t imagine doing anything else.

Zaid’s journey to cannabis leadership began in his teens. At 14, Zaid began experiencing constant intense headaches and insomnia, which made focusing in school impossible. After being diagnosed with New Daily Persistent Headache, he visited a slew of doctors in an effort to find some relief.

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Utah: House passes medical marijuana bill that allows terminally ill patients to grow cannabis

The Utah House of Representatives passed a resurrected bill that would make the state grow medical marijuana for terminally ill patients.

House Bill 197, sponsored by Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, died on a narrow vote last week but was resurrected on Tuesday. He insisted the legislation was a necessary companion to House Bill 195, which gives terminally ill patients a "right to try" medical marijuana.

"This bill becomes the way to supply a genuine cannabis medicine for both those programs. We need to pass this bill if we want to have patients the ability to try both under right to try and under research," he told his colleagues in the House.

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N.J. medical marijuana: These big changes could be coming to state's program

As one of his first acts upon taking office, Gov. Phil Murphy ordered a review of New Jersey's medical marijuana program, calling it "constrained" and pledging to expand access to more patients.

When announcing the 60-day review, Murphy said the current program has established unnecessary hurdles for patients. Medical marijuana advocates agree.

"It was a program designed to keep people out of it," said Ken Wolski, CEO of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey. "It’s a program that’s not meeting the needs of the patients.”

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Almost 100 percent of seniors benefit from Medical Marijuana

A new study about elderly people and cannabis reveal that nearly 100 percent of seniors benefit from medical marijuana.

The secret’s been out for a while: weed is one of the best medicines out there. And senior citizens aren’t missing out on the medical marijuana trend. Plenty of seniors medicate with herb. In fact, the population has seen an increase of 333% of medical pot users aged 65 and over. Clearly, seniors see positive results from using medical weed. In fact,  almost 100 percent of seniors benefit from medical marijuana.

Cannabis for Senior Health

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New Hampshire Is holding a Marijuana legalization hearing today

In New Hampshire, marijuana legalization is within reach.

This comes after New Hampshire’s House of Representatives voted to legalize possession and cultivation last month.

Naturally, legislators, business people, and Mary J enthusiasts have a lot of questions about the realities of weed legalization.

That’s why New Hampshire is holding a marijuana legalization hearing today. Here’s what we know so far.

This public hearing is only about legalization.

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Pennsylvania will start Medical Marijuana sales this week

The state of Pennsylvania will start of medical marijuana sales this week. On Thursday, to be precise.

After months of anticipation, Pennsylvania will finally be opening the state’s first medical marijuana facilities. Gov. Tom Wolfe announced Tuesday that Pennsylvania will start medical marijuana sales this week, and the plant will be available for purchase starting on Thursday, February 15th.

The Dawn Of A New Era

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The lawsuit against Jeff Sessions will he beard in court tomorrow

The lawsuit against Jeff Sessions claims that federal prohibition violates the Constitutional rights of medical marijuana patients.

In case you haven’t been in the loop, a lawsuit against Jeff Sessions has been in the works for months now. Specifically, a lawsuit alleging that the federal prohibition of cannabis is unconstitutional. And tomorrow, that lawsuit will be read and evaluated in the Federal Court of New York City.

The Case

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New Mexico leaders want to give opioid patients MMJ access

Supporters of legislation that would ask New Mexico officials to add opioid use disorder (OUD) as a qualifying condition under the state’s medical cannabis program condition gathered in Albuquerque on Monday to galvanize support for the measure.

The legislation is seen as the latest step in a two-year campaign to add OUD as a qualifying condition. In New Mexico, the state health secretary has the final call on which conditions are added to the list. The secretary is advised in that capacity by the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, which is composed of doctors and addiction specialists appointed by the state.

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Does legalizing Marijuana threaten wine (and beer) consumption?

According to the Santa Rosa-based beer, wine and spirits consulting firm bw 166, 2017 U.S. wine shipments were up 1.3 percent over 2016, and both domestic and foreign wine sales in the U.S. reached 403 million cases. According to Nielsen Data, wine consumers spent $41.4 billion on wine in 2017, nearly 3 percent over 2016 .

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Ohio auditor finds flaw in medical marijuana business license scoring process

A "critical flaw" in Ohio's process for grading medical marijuana grow applications could have allowed a state employee to change scores or manipulate other documents, the state auditor's office found.

Two Ohio Department of Commerce employees had unlimited access to the online accounts of more than 20 application reviewers and associated documents, according to Auditor Dave Yost's office. The employees also created and managed passwords for the application reviewers, who were only granted access to certain parts of the application.

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Legalization of Marijuana: Managing this new workplace reality

With the expected coming into force in July 2018 of Bill C-45, which intends to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, many employers have expressed concerns about its impact on workplace accidents, absenteeism and performance especially in organizations where workplace health and safety is critical.

Their concerns are not unfounded since, in the eyes of the law, employers are responsible for taking the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of their employees. For their part, employees are responsible for respecting their employer’s rules and policies, particularly with regards to the protection of workplace health and safety.

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Medical marijuana may be legal, but patients still go without in Florida

When Seth Hyman first began to buy medical marijuana in Florida for his 12-year-old daughter last year, he hoped it would be the answer to fixing her life-threatening seizures.

A genetic disorder means Rebecca, who cannot walk or speak, had about a hundred seizures daily, from a few seconds to a few minutes long.

But the Weston father, who began lobbying the legislature in 2014 when it passed an initial bill legalizing a limited form of medical marijuana, said the family faced hurdles even after Rebecca was approved to obtain the drug.

A limited number of growers has meant fewer varieties they can test to try managing Rebecca's condition, and she still has around 50 seizures a day, Hyman said. Even the varieties that are available are in low supply.

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Medical marijuana should remain distinct from recreational market, patients say

Diana Koch never wanted to numb her pain and anxiety with opioids. After seeing family members struggle with addiction, she felt pharmaceuticals were not an option.

Medical marijuana freed the 36-year-old from her troubling symptoms. But with recreational weed legalization looming, she worries about her portion of the market being swallowed up.

"People who are using it for medical purposes, they actually are suffering from something, from a condition that's handicapping them in some way in their life," she said, speaking from her home in Toronto.

"The recreational users are not," she added. "There is a difference."

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10 Medical Marijuana benefits you probably haven't heard of

This green herb is being used to ease cancer-related pain and stop seizures in children younger than one?

The number of pot-friendly states on the map of the United States is increasing progressively. As of January 2018, 29 states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana.

Is it any wonder why, considering the fact this green herb is being used to ease cancer-related pain and stop seizures in children younger than one?

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Australia: Medical cannabis red tape forces thousands to turn to black market for pain relief

Simon Sweeting suffered chronic back pain for decades after a fracture and several surgeries.

For years he sought relief from a cocktail of opioids and other painkillers, but when the pain got worse and the side effects from the medication became too much, his GP began the long process of applying for permission to prescribe medical cannabis.

"[My GP] was denied by the TGA [Therapeutic Goods Administration]. [Then] my specialist tried to apply, and he was denied by NSW Health and the TGA," he said.

Two years later, with the help of a lawyer working pro-bono, Mr Sweeting obtained a prescription and his cannabis medication, no longer needing his other painkillers.

He is one of 500 Australians who now use medicinal cannabis legally.

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Iowa: Nearly 22 potential Medical Marijuana dispensary owners show interest in program

Iowans overwhelmingly support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, but they don't support allowing recreational uses, an Iowa Poll from 2017 shows. Wochit

Iowa plans to launch a limited medical-marijuana program in late 2018.(Photo: Mark Marturello/The Register)Buy Photo

Iowa’s fledgling medical-marijuana program has drawn interest from 22 potential cannabis shop owners, including people already involved in the business in other states. 

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Provisions protect employees’ off-the-job Marijuana use in Maine

Provisions in the state’s 2016 voter-initiated marijuana law that seek to limit employers from penalizing employees for their off-the-job marijuana use went into effect last week.

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Colorado vet fights a new battle over pot treatment for PTSD

Army veteran Matt Kahl moved from North Carolina to Colorado because of the Western state's law allowing him to use marijuana to treat pain he'd been suffering since a 2010 battlefield injury in Afghanistan.

Kahl helped persuade Colorado lawmakers last year to include PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, among the ailments for which medical marijuana can be prescribed. Now he's preparing to take his advocacy to the nation's capital because of concerns about the hard line Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken on marijuana.

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