Connect with us

Cannabis Culture

Cannabis Culture

Del. expands doctors’ ability to authorize medical cannabis

Published

on

medical cannabis, gay news, Washington Blade

Gov. John Carney has signed legislation expanding physicians’ discretion to recommend medical cannabis therapy to patients. (Photo public domain)

Del. expands doctors’ ability to authorize medical cannabis

DOVER, Del. — Democratic Gov. John Carney has signed legislation into law expanding physicians’ discretion to recommend medical cannabis therapy to patients.

Senate Bill 24 amends the state’s medical marijuana access law by permitting physicians, under specific circumstances, to issue cannabis recommendations to patients who are not diagnosed with a pre-approved  qualifying condition. In such circumstances, an authorizing physician must attest that the patient possesses a “debilitating condition, [that] current standard care practices and treatments have been exhausted, and [that] there are grounds to support that the patient may benefit from this treatment.” The physician is also required to perform ongoing evaluations of the patient’s progress with regard to whether the treatment is efficacious.

The new law took effect upon signing.

An estimated 6,000 patients are registered with the state to obtain medical cannabis products.

Congress votes to legitimize retail cannabis sales

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted last week in favor of legislation, HR 1595: The SAFE Banking Act, explicitly amending federal law so that financial institutions may work directly with state-licensed marijuana retailers and other related businesses.

House members voted 321 to 103 in favor of the legislation, with 229 Democrats and 91 Republicans casting ‘yes’ votes.

Commenting on the vote, NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said: “This vote is a significant first step, but it must not be the last. Much more action will still need to be taken by lawmakers. In the Senate, we demand that lawmakers in the Senate Banking Committee hold true to their commitment to move expeditiously in support of similar federal reforms. And in the House, we anticipate additional efforts to move forward and pass comprehensive reform legislation like The MORE Act — which is sponsored by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee — in order to ultimately comport federal law with the new political and cultural realities surrounding marijuana.

Federal law currently defines all marijuana-related business endeavors as criminal enterprises, including those commercial activities that are licensed and legally regulated under state laws. Therefore, almost no state-licensed cannabis businesses can legally obtain a bank account, process credit cards, or obtain loans for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Australian territory is first to legalize pot for personal use

CANBERRA, Aust. — Members of the legislative assembly for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have enacted legislation de-penalizing activities related to the personal possession and cultivation of cannabis. An estimated 400,000 people reside in the ACT, which includes Australia’s capital, Canberra.

Under the new law, which takes effect on Jan. 30, 2020, adults may possess up to 50 grams of cannabis and cultivate up to four plants per household without penalty. Public cannabis consumption, or use within close proximity to children, will remain prohibited. Under the territory’s existing law, low-level marijuana offenses are punishable by civil fines.

The ACT’s policy conflicts with Australian federal law, which defines cannabis-related activities as criminal offenses. Between 2017 and 2018, Australian police made over 72,000 marijuana-related arrests – 92 percent of which were for personal possession.

Mass. regulators vote in favor of cannabis deliveries

Boston — Members of the state’s Cannabis Control Commission decided this week in favor of regulations to establish licensing for retail cannabis deliveries and for limited on-site consumption facilities.

Members voted 4 to 1 in favor of the provisions. Regulators in May had previously advanced the idea of permitting social use spaces.

A separate provision approved unanimously by the Commission eliminates the annual fee associated with patients’ medical cannabis registration cards.

Regulators anticipate accepting applications for home-delivery licenses within “a couple of months.” Applicants will first need to gain the approval of local communities prior to seeking a state-issued permit. Deliveries will not be permitted after 9pm or before 8am, and retailers are prohibited from delivering cannabis to college dormitories.

Regulators expect the rollout for the licensing of consumption facilities to be slower, and legislative changes to existing state law may be required before the program can become operational.

To date, only Alaska has finalized statewide regulation governing on-site facilities. In May, Colorado lawmakers enacted legislation regulating both marijuana deliveries and “hospitality spaces.” Those laws take effect on January 1, 2020.

In a separate action taken this week, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker instituted an emergency ban on the retail sale of all vapor cartridge products. The retail ban took immediate effect and will remain in place until January 25, 2020. Massachusetts in the first state to enact an explicit ban on the sale of any vaping-related product.

Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. For more information, visit norml.org.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

a&e features

Highstream 420 Festival Livestream

Join us on 4/20 at 4:00pm EST for a full day of music performances, online workshops, demos, and interactive panels.

Published

on

America’s largest cannabis gatherings, National Cannabis Festival and The Emerald Cup, combine forces for a coast-to-coast online 420 festival benefiting Coronavirus relief charities.

Join us on 4/20 at 4:00pm EST for a full day of music performances, online workshops, demos, and interactive panels.

The Los Angeles Blade will be live streaming on this page and on our Facebook page HERE.

Continue Reading

Cannabis Culture

Cannabis Culture

Two-thirds of Latinos back legalizing marijuana

Published

on

Two-thirds of Latinos back legalizing marijuana

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — More than two in three U.S. Hispanic adults support legalizing marijuana, according to nationwide polling data compiled by the digital media firm H Code.

Pollsters surveyed a nationally representative sample of over 1,300 English- and Spanish-speaking U.S. Hispanic respondents. Sixty-eight percent of those polled said that they are favor of legalizing marijuana in the United States.

That percentage is consistent with other nationwide polls of U.S. adults, such as those here, here, and here, finding that two-thirds of respondents believe that the adult use of cannabis ought to be legal. By contrast, prior polls of Hispanic-only voters had often reported that Latinos were less likely than the general population to express support for legalizing cannabis.

Smoking cannabis is most popular method of ingestion

SEATTLE — Adults who consume cannabis are most likely to smoke it, according to data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Researchers analyzed data from over 6,100 adult cannabis consumers in 12 states. Ninety-one percent of respondents acknowledging having smoked herbal cannabis, with 59 percent reporting that inhalation “was their only mode of marijuana use.” By contrast, only 25 percent of respondents reported having ever used cannabis-infused edible products, and only 20 percent reported ever having vaporized cannabis. Five percent of subjects reported exclusively consuming marijuana edibles, and two percent said that they only vaped cannabis.

The data is consistent with prior studies, such as those here and here, showing that the majority of people who self-report consuming cannabis do so by methods that involve smoking the substance.

Medical cannabis is Maine’s 3rd largest economic market

AUGUSTA, Maine — Patients purchased an estimated $112 million worth of medical cannabis-related products in 2019, according to newly released Maine tax data.

The annual revenues related to medical cannabis are more than the total revenues generated by the sales of blueberries, maple syrup, apples, herring, and oysters combined. Only the state’s lobster industry and potato industry bring in more annual revenue.

Some three-quarters of the revenue generated from medical cannabis (85.3 million) came from sales by caregivers to patients. Although the state’s medical cannabis access program has been operational for some two decades, Maine officials only began tracking caregiver-related tax revenue in February of 2019.

Licensed retail adult-use marijuana sales are anticipated to begin in June.

 

Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. Visit norml.org for more information.

Continue Reading

Cannabis Culture

Cannabis Culture

ABA calls for marijuana banking access

Published

on

SAFE Banking Act, gay news, Washington BladeABA calls for marijuana banking access

CHICAGO — The American Bar Association has adopted a resolution urging the passage of federal legislation facilitating banks and other financial institutions to legally interact with licensed cannabis businesses.

The resolution calls for the “enactment of [federal] laws to ensure that it shall not constitute a federal crime for banks and financial institutions to provide cannabis-related services.”

Under existing law, banks are discouraged from engaging with state-licensed marijuana businesses. In September, members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted 321 to 103 in favor of HR 1595: The SAFE Banking Act, amending federal law so that financial institutions may work directly with state-legal marijuana businesses without fear of federal repercussions. The bill now awaits action from the Senate Banking Committee. However, Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-Ind.) has expressed opposition to the measure.

In 2019, the ABA adopted a separate resolution urging Congress “to enact legislation to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.” With over 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is among the largest voluntary organizations in the world.

More seniors turning to cannabis

NEW YORK — Cannabis use is increasing among those ages 65 and older, according to data published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers affiliated with the New York School of Medicine assessed trends in self-reported cannabis use among seniors. They reported that 4.2 percent of seniors acknowledged engaging in past-year cannabis consumption in 2018, up from 2.4 percent in 2015 and 0.4 percent in 2006.

The study’s findings are consistent with those of prior papers similarly reporting an uptick in marijuana use among older Americans. According to a 2019 study published in the journal Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, marijuana use among seniors is associated with self-reported improvements in pain management, day-to-day functioning, and in their overall health and quality of life.

Employers’ attitudes shifting on drug tests

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — A growing number of companies are either abandoning marijuana-specific drug testing programs or reducing the frequency with which they test, according to nationwide survey data compiled by the online recruitment website Simply Hired Incorporated.

Fifty-five percent of hiring managers polled in the survey said that their companies do not test current employees for off-the-job marijuana use. Among those hiring managers who work for companies that do engage in testing, 40 percent said that “they do it less often than in the past.” Larger-sized companies (1,000+ employees) were far more likely to utilize pre-employment testing for cannabis than were smaller-sized companies.

Nearly 70 percent of hiring managers said that their company would be “okay” with an employee using cannabis while away from work “as long as the company remains unaware of it.” Among employees surveyed, 75 percent said testing positive for marijuana should not be grounds for automatic termination.

 

Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. Visit norml.org for more information.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular