Browsing: Medical

Omaha Farms BudsRay Stern | Toke of the Town

More Arizonans than ever hold medical-marijuana cards, boosting state-legal cannabis sales — and the tax revenue from them — to a new record.

Arizona patients bought 29 tons of cannabis products in 2016, according to records published today by the state Department of Health Services.

Included in the total are about 27 tons of buds and another couple of tons of edibles and concentrates like wax, shatter, and hash oil.

That’s a 53 percent increase over last year’s 19 tons of cannabis products sold.

field-of-pot-nate-nicholsNate Nichols

If the latest crop of polls is correct, medical marijuana will be legally available to sick people in Florida tomorrow. As of late October, close to 80 percent of Floridians supported Amendment 2, which would legalize weed statewide for medical purposes, such as helping cancer or Alzheimer’s patients. Sixty percent of the electorate needs to approve the measure for it to pass.

But even assuming it passes, many Florida residents might need to travel pretty far to get their hands on medicinal cannabis. That’s because multiple cities are already gearing up to pass six-month “moratoriums” on medical marijuana — including Miami Beach.

medical-marijuanaKatherine Hitt via Flickr Creative Commons

In May 2014, Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis Moss placed a slightly controversial item on that month’s agenda. He wanted to investigate how the medical marijuana industry might affect agriculture in the county.

At the time, fellow Commissioner Javier Souto wasn’t thrilled.

“This is an item that’s causing a lot of arguments in our society. I think we have enough problems,” Souto said at the time. “It’s premature to jump into things like this.”

He was wrong, though. Just one month later, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a measure allowing patients with cancer or seizures to use low-THC marijuana. And earlier this year, the law was expanded to give people with terminal illnesses access to high-THC marijuana as well.

Now, with two months left until full-fledged medical marijuana is back on the ballot in Florida, the county has released the results of that study initiated by Moss in 2014. Considering the laws currently on the books, officials believe the total sales generated each year could be as high as $124 million in Miami-Dade.

The Ingrid strain from French Laundry H2O Concentrate

High above the ocean in Malibu at the Sanctuary, a select few gathered for L.A.’s first Emerald Exchange. With a ticket, and a medical MJ card, guests were whisked up in style to a Mary Jane wet dream. After browsing the wares from all over California, guests were treated to an amazing meal prepared by chef Joshua Fisher and given several choices of infusions for their meal if they wished. A dance floor and DJ Greenseer finished off the night for those who wanted to keep the party going. Want to see more? Check out this slideshow from LA Weekly.

publixAlexf, Wikimedia Commons

When Miami New Times sat down with Florida medical-marijuana advocate and political consultant Ben Pollara earlier this month, Pollara said he wasn’t concerned that Carol Jenkins Barnett, daughter of Publix supermarket-chain founder George Jenkins, had donated $800,000 to a group trying to keep medicinal weed illegal.

“I still think ‘shopping is a pleasure,'” Pollara said, referencing the supermarket chain’s famous slogan.

But it turns out tens of thousands of people don’t quite agree with one of the loudest medical-marijuana advocates in the state. As of Monday morning, more than 41,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding that Jenkins Barnett stop using the chain’s profits to “fund [her]political beliefs.”

seed-to-saleShutterstock

On Sunday, the Florida Medical Association voted to oppose Amendment 2, Florida’s latest effort to legalize medical marijuana. The FMA, which represents more than 20,000 physicians in the state, also opposed a similar effort two years ago.

So why is the doctor’s group hell-bent against a treatment option that has been embraced elsewhere in the U.S.?  Well, after the vote at the group’s annual meeting in Orlando, CEO Tim Stapleton offered the following (factually dubious) reasoning.

“There is nothing ‘medical’ about this proposal, and the lack of scientific evidence that pot is helpful in treating medical conditions is far from inclusive,” he said, according to a press release sent out by Drug Free Florida, the billionaire-backed campaign to scare people from voting for medical marijuana.

But the FMA neglected to mention one key fact about its vote: Its Orlando conference, held this year in Walt Disney World, was sponsored by PhRMA, one of the pharmaceutical industry’s largest trade organizations. PhRMA has spent millions to defeat medical marijuana proposals across the country.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D)  blames legal weed for the “urban travelers” who have caused violent episodes on Denver’s 16th Street Mall, the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfare. Recently, a 32-year old Indiana man was arrested after video showed him attacking pedestrians with lengths of PVC pipe. It’s not clear whether he was high at the time.

Other recent incidents, also caught on video, have seen arrests after attacks and aggressive panhandling. New research shows that legal states have seen a drop in Medicare prescriptions for anti-depressants and opiods, and a corresponding reduction in Medicare costs.

Prescriptions did not drop for drugs like blood-thinners that can’t plausibly be replaced with MED. (Read that study here.) If California legalizes REC in November, it could influence federal policy on banking and other issues. Regulators in the state said they will start inspecting dispensary scales  to ensure that customers are getting their money’s worth.

Massachusetts’ REC initiative will be on the ballot in November. Gov. Charlie Baker (R), Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo (D) have banded together to oppose it. Arkansas voters will decide on a MED initiative. Fortune sees signs of a backlash in Colorado. Murders in California’s Lake County, a center of growing, reached a 10-year high of eight last year. Donna Weinholtz, wife of Utah gubernatorial candidate Mike Weinholtz (D), is under federal investigation related to her MED use.

The rules for Alaska’s pot café’s are under review. Voters in the state’s Matanuska-Susitna Borough will decide on a commercial ban in the fall. Former Liberal Party deputy prime minister Anne McLellan will lead Canada’s nine-member legalization task force. McLellan is a former law professor at the University of Alberta. Canada’s legal purchasing age may vary across provinces, but the government wants a consistent national law on DUI. Both LSU and Southern University are exercising their option to grow Louisiana’s MED supply.

This article also appeared in the the pot-focused weekly newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at WeedWeek.net.

David Schubert, the senior author of the Salk Institute study on THC and Alzheimer's disease.Courtesy of the Salk Institute

David Schubert, the senior author of the Salk Institute study on THC and Alzheimer’s disease.

A new study suggests that marijuana may have potential for protecting brain cells against Alzheimer’s disease.

Published in the June 2016 issue of Nature, the study found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, and other active cannabis compounds could block the progression of the disease.

Lab tests by the Salk Institute, a Southern California, non-profit research organization, showed that marijuana compounds could remove harmful amyloid beta proteins, the plaque that accumulates on brain cells, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The compounds in the study also significantly reduced cellular inflammation, a major contributor to the onset of the disease.

For more on the study, read L.A. Weekly‘s article on the effect of marijuana on Alzheimer’s disease.

Dear Stoner: I’ve been dealing with migraines for years, and my prescribed medication rarely works. I’ve been thinking about medical marijuana as an alternative treatment. Does it do anything for migraines?
Ken

Dear Ken: They say that those who deal with migraines and insomnia are the most intelligent and creative people; I am neither, but my dumb ass still dealt with the same issue growing up. I tried all sorts of treatments — aspirin, prescription ibuprofen and Imitrex, multiple MRIs, even locking myself in a dark, silent room — but nothing worked. I’ve also gotten so stoned that I’ve forgotten I even had a migraine — but that put me out of commission longer than the headache ever did. Finally, I spoke with a medical marijuana doctor about my condition, and he recommended tinctures and edibles.

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