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Oregon Medical Marijuana Dispensary Regulation Bill Advances

June 21st

SALEM, OR — A bill that would license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon received a favorable recommendation from a key committee Thursday, and looks to be heading to the floor of the full House for a vote.

Earlier this week, the bill received endorsements from Oregon Attorney General  Ellen Rosenblum, who said that the passage of the bill will help to ensure that all patients with a valid Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card will be able to obtain medical marijuana “safely, predictably, promptly and legally.”

The bill, House Bill 3460, directs the Oregon Health Authority to establish a registration system for medical marijuana facilities.  Such facilities exist presently in the state but are unregulated and are subject to state and local prosecution.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Peter Buckley and Sen. Floyd Prozanski, both Democrats, would require medical marijuana facilities to seek a license from the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program similar to the license that patients and registered growers are required to obtain under current law.

The bill sets . . . . . READ MORE

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Oregon Attorney General Endorses Medical Marijuana Dispensary Bill

June 19th

SALEM, OR — A bill that would expand Oregon’s medical marijuana program to authorize and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries has been endorsed by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, who has sent letters to state lawmakers in support of the bill.

House Bill 3460, which is scheduled for a hearing at 4:30 today by the House Ways and Means Committee, would direct the Oregon Health Authority to establish a registration system for medical marijuana dispensaries, which exist in the state but are unregulated and are subject to state and local prosecution.

“Over the past several years approximately 150 medical marijuana facilities have opened and continue to operate in Oregon without regulation on licensure,” Attorney General Rosenblum wrote in a letter of endorsement to the bill’s primary sponsors in the legislature.

“These facilities operate in a climate of uncertain legality, and the absence of a clear regulatory structure makes ensuring compliance with the law difficult. HB 3460 tackles this problem by putting in place a regulatory framework for marijuana facilities, giving the Oregon Health Authority oversight and control over their lawful operation, and thereby ensuring that all persons with a valid Oregon Medical mar. . . . . READ MORE

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New Hampshire Poised to Legalize Medical Marijuana

June 19th

CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire is poised to become the final New England state to authorize the medical use of marijuana after a compromise was reached Tuesday between the Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-controlled House on a bill already passed by both chambers.

Both chambers of the New Hampshire legislature have already voted to pass House Bill 573, but because of changes made by the Senate, a compromise between the two chambers needed to be reached by Thursday.

In the compromise reached Tuesday, the number of dispensaries allowed in the state was reduced from five to four, medical marijuana patients will not be permitted to grow their own marijuana, and post-traumatic stress disorder was removed from the list of qualifying conditions for the medical marijuana program.

House lawmakers, who approved a version of the medical marijuana bill that included home cultivation of up to three marijuana plants by patients with a veto-proof  286-64 vote in March, agreed to drop the home cultivation provision in exchan. . . . . READ MORE

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New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Talks: Home Cultivation, PTSD Out

June 18th

CONCORD, NH —  Home cultivation and post-traumatic stress disorder are both out of New Hampshire’s pending medical marijuana law — for now.

In a negotiation session between both chambers of the New Hampshire legislature Tuesday,  House lawmakers agreed to drop the home-grown provision, in exchange for having an oversight commission start work as soon as the bill is enacted.

They also agreed to not include post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying medical condition.

The two chambers much negotiate a compromise between the two versions of House Bill 573, which the legislature has already voted to pass. But because of amendments in the Senate to make the bill more appealing to Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), lawmakers must agree on the final language of the bill before the legislative session ends on Thursday.

Now, despite the loss of home cultivation and PTSD as a qualifying condition, medical marijuana is closer to becoming a reality in the Granite State, the only state in New England that does not currently allow the medical use of marijuana.

New Hampshire State Rep. Donald “Ted” Wright, one of the co-sponsors of. . . . . READ MORE

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NH Lawmakers Must Reach Medical Marijuana Compromise by Thursday

June 16th

CONCORD, NH — With a looming Thursday deadline, the pressure is on New Hampshire lawmakers to reach a compromise in recently passed legislation that would allow the Granite State to join the rest of their New England neighbors in allowing the medical use of marijuana.

Both chambers of the New Hampshire legislature have already voted to pass House Bill 573, but because of amendments in the Senate to make the bill more appealing to Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), lawmakers must agree on the final language of the bill before the legislative session ends on Thursday.

Negotiators from both chambers will meet Tuesday to try to resolve their differences and reach a compromise bill that will be sent to the desk of Gov. Hassan for approval.

A veto-proof majority of the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 286-64 in favor of  the bill in March, followed by a 18-6 vote in the Senate in May. But the Senate versio. . . . . READ MORE

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Long Island Patients Rally in Support of NY Medical Marijuana Bill

June 16th

HEMPSTEAD, NY — With the end of New York’s legislative session less than a week away, patients and community members from across Long Island gathered at the Garden City, Long Island Rail Road station Friday to mobilize supporters of New York’s medical marijuana bill.

They collected signatures and handed out flyers urging their neighbors to contact senate leadership and demand a vote on the Compassionate Care Act by the Senate before the end of the legislative session on June 20th. The bill, which would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs, would allow seriously ill patients access to a small amount of marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.

A recent poll by Siena College founds that an astonishing 82% of New York voters, including 81% of both Democrats and Republicans support medical marijuana for seriously ill patients.

Earlier this month, the Assembly passed the bill with bipartisan vote of 99-41, the widest margin of the four times the bill has been passed in that chamber.

“We hit the streets of Long Island today to urge our neighbors to support the bi. . . . . READ MORE

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Maine Lawmakers Expand Medical Marijuana Program to Include PTSD

June 13th

AUGUSTA, ME — Lawmakers in Maine have passed a bill that will expand the list of qualifying ailments for medical marijuana to include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), inflammatory bowel disease, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders, and other diseases causing severe and persistent muscle spasms.

Lawmakers in both chambers voted Wednesday to approve the bill, “An Act To Add Conditions That Qualify for Medical Marijuana Use.”

The bill, LD 1062, was originally suggested by the Committee on Health and Human Services, and was sponsored by six lawmakers, including Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland).

New Mexico, Connecticut and Delaware are the only states that specifically recognize PTSD as an eligible condition for medical marijuana.  Lawmakers in Oregon passed a bill earlier this month to expand their medical marijuana program to allow treatment of post-traumatic stress.

A small handful of other states, like California, allow doctors the discretion to legally recommend marijuana for PTSD patients.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that is estimated to impact some eight million Amer. . . . . READ MORE

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Nevada Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Dispensary Bill Into Law

June 13th

CARSON CITY, NV — Thirteen years after 65 percent of Nevada voters approved the medical use of marijuana, patients will soon have legal access to their medicine as Republican Governor Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 374 into law Wednesday evening.

The bill, introduced by Las Vegas Democrat Senator Tick Segerblom, establishes the framework for medical marijuana dispensaries to open state wide, while allowing patients to continue growing their own marijuana until 2016.

The bill was passed in the final days of the legislative session, first in the Senate and then the Assembly, following an emergency declaration by lawmakers to push the bill through in the final weekend.

The law will allow up to 40 medical marijuana dispensaries in the Las Vegas area, 20 in Reno, two in Carson City and one in each of Nevada’s remaining rural counties.

During debates on the bill, some lawmakers expressed that while they do not endorse the use of medical marijuana, which was approved by Nevada voters in 2000, they are supporting the bill because it is their responsibility as lawmakers to ensure that the will of . . . . . READ MORE

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NY: Patients, Doctors and Nurses Push for Medical Marijuana in Albany

June 13th

ALBANY, NY — Dozens of patients living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions traveled from around the state Wednesday to demand that the New York State Senate pass the Compassionate Care Act immediately.

The bill, which would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana  programs, would allow seriously ill patients access to a small amount of marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.

Last week, the Assembly passed the bill with bipartisan vote of 99-41, the widest margin of the four times the bill has been passed in that chamber.

“From Delaware to Maine, almost every state allows medical use of marijuana,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried, noting that 18 states and the District of Columbia currently have medical marijuana laws.  “If the patient and physician agree that a severe debilitating or life-threatening condition should be treated with medical marijuana, the government should not stand in the way. This is sensible, strict, and humane legislation,” Gottfried added.

A recent Siena Poll found that an overwhelming 8. . . . . READ MORE

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Oregon Gov. Signs Bill to Expand Medical Marijuana Program to Include PTSD

June 9th

Democrat Gov. John Kitzhaber on Thursday signed legislation, Senate Bill 281, into law to allow patients with post-traumatic stress to be eligible to engage in the therapeutic use of cannabis.

The new Oregon law expands the state’s existing medical marijuana program, initially enacted by voters in 1998, to include post-traumatic stress as a state-qualified illness for which marijuana may be recommended.

To date, only three states – Connecticut, Delaware, and New Mexico – specifically allow for the use of cannabis to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

Clinical trial data published in the May issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry theorized that cannabinoid-based therapies would likely comprise the “next generation of evidence-based treatments for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).”

Post-traumatic stress syndrome is an anxiety disorder that is estimated to impact some eight million Americans annually. To date, there are no pharmaceutical treatments specifically designed or approved to target symptoms of PTSD.

. . . . . READ MORE

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