Suits to Resurrect MILegalize 2016 Initiative Failing, Attention Turns to 2018

Suits to Resurrect MILegalize 2016 Initiative Failing, Attention Turns to 2018

Suits to Resurrect MILegalize 2016 Initiative Failing, Attention Turns to 2018

We have previously reported on twin court battles challenging a now-rescinded state policy on “rehabilitation” of petition signatures that kept MILegalize from making Michigan’s 2016 ballot. Coverage can be found at the links below:

MI Legalize Petition Signers Head to Federal Court, but Are Unlikely to Find Early Relief

No Marijuana Measure on November Ballot—Federal Judge Rejects Bid to Halt Michigan Election Process

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court closed the door on one of these challenges, rejecting without comment a petition for certiorari that asked the Court to hear a challenge to the decisions of Michigan’s appellate courts.

The other litigation effort to belatedly save the 2016 MILegalize initiative appears to be languishing before Judge Parker in the U.S. Eastern District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The State of Michigan filed a motion to dismiss that case back in October, and briefing on the motion was complete on December 9, 2016. No further action has been taken by the court in that case.

With efforts to salvage the 2016 initiative apparently stalled, MILegalize has joined with the Marijuana Policy Project in preparing a draft of an initiative for 2018. As we wrote last week, anyone with comments on that draft has been asked to submit comments by this Saturday, February 25. In the meantime, MILegalize has scheduled a $500 per ticket fund raising event in Detroit for March 23.

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Published at Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Pot sales are mellowing out

Pot sales are mellowing out

The Columbian / Associated Press

When recreational marijuana arrived in Washington, prices were still inflated by the black market. A gram of flower in 2014 could sell for $40.

“Those days are gone,” said Jim Mullen, co-owner of a trio of Clark County marijuana stores called The Herbery.

An average gram sells for $8.08 in Washington, according to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board. An agency spokesman said the price has dropped every month after its initial spike.

“It’s simple economics,” Mullen said. “It’s a business, just like anything else. It’s marijuana instead of widgets, you know?”

Competition from more retailers and growers is driving down the price of marijuana flower — the industry’s most sold product. Some predict revenues could plateau soon and local businesses are searching for ways to keep moving forward.

Customer loyalty

Mullen’s strategy for his Vancouver-based dispensaries is simple: Keep the customers happy.

“Our sales, I think, are going to increase because of great customer service, great products and great selection,” he said.

He compares the stores to Cheers, the Boston bar and setting for the 1980s sitcom of the same name, hoping they can become a place where customers have rapport with staff and return for a welcoming environment.

“It’s not just order off the menu and get them out the door,” he said. “It’s not uncommon to spend a few minutes talking with our budtenders about what’s new.”

Customer loyalty may become increasingly important as market forces drive down marijuana’s profitability. Clayton Mosher, a sociology professor at Washington State University Vancouver and author of a forthcoming book about marijuana policy, believes sales are heading for a plateau as demand hits the ceiling.

“We’ve had sales now for two-and-a-half years in Washington; I think the people that are going to use it have decided they are going to,” he said. “I don’t think that (new user) demographic is going to increase at all.”

Sales trends in Clark County lend credence to the theory. Revenues rose early on as marijuana first hit the shelves, but those revenues leveled off considerably in 2016. Dispensaries that have been open since the beginning saw sales peak in the latter half of 2015. Collective tax revenue for Clark County dispensaries has declined four out of the last five months.

Retailers say the price is falling as more marijuana flower has flooded the market. According to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board, flower harvests grew from nearly 60,000 pounds statewide in fiscal year 2015 to 226,500 pounds a year later. Flower comprises 60 percent of recreational marijuana sales, according to a 2016 report by the University of Washington Cannabis Law & Policy Project.

“This is not an exaggeration: We’ll get a call or a producer will come by with samples no less than twice a week,” Mullen said. “The majority of those are new companies that are starting up or are trying to move into a new market.”

Mullen said he used to buy directly from eight growers — now he buys from over 30.

‘Fighting for the consumer’

Prices are also falling as retailers try to get an edge over their own competition. Washington licensed over 200 new retailers just last year and Oregon’s own market came online in 2015. Portland alone has 125 approved dispensaries, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

“In the old days, we saw 80 percent Oregon IDs” from customers, said Ramsey Hamide, co-owner of Main Street Marijuana. “Now it’s 80 percent Washington IDs. People are definitely shopping closer to home these days.”

Hamide’s store runs at a higher clip than most. A Friday afternoon crowd will flock around glass displays while workers in moss-colored shirts dive through the fracas. It’s friendly and lively, but there is definitely a premium on transactions, Hamide said.

“You’ve got to get more people through the door to make the same amount of money,” he said in a recent interview. The company also opened new locations in east Vancouver and Longview.

Its location in Uptown Village sells marijuana flowers for $6 to $12 per gram, and he said that the low-end price will likely fall to $4 per gram by spring.

The dispensary hopes to offset the price drop with more volume. It already logs between 1,500 and 2,000 transactions per day, and added online ordering and an express lane in the hopes of clocking even more.

It’s a familiar hustle for Hamide, who spent years with his brother reselling and wholesaling event tickets before graduating from the University of Washington with a business degree. Their drive to be the top destination in the Portland metro area has led them to beat the prices of their competitors — who then respond with their own price cuts.

“We get a lot of pushback from other stores,” Hamide said. “We get a lot of pushback from vendors who think what we’re doing is bad for the industry. But I’m fighting for the consumer. I don’t know how that’s bad for the industry.”

It appears to be working. Main Street Marijuana is the highest-grossing dispensary in the state, raking in more than $1.3 million per month.

“Not a lot of people have disposable income to waste, and they seek out the best deal,” he said. “The second we get a better deal (from producers) … we change our price.”

What’s next?

The price drop has not been unexpected. Before voters approved the legal marijuana marketplace, many predicted prices would be driven down by market forces.

Marijuana tax revenues are part of a multipronged funding package to hire 61 positions at the Vancouver Police Department. Revenues fell from $790,500 the first fiscal year to about $500,000 the second.

No positions will be impacted by the decline, according to Natasha Ramras, the deputy finance director for the city of Vancouver. She said the city budgeted for marijuana tax revenues to hover around $500,000 after the initial spike.

“We knew once Oregon matched the law we would lose, as a city, the revenue because those sales would go back,” she said.

For retailers, though, it may mean a bumpier path forward. Mullen said some local, industry peers are struggling. While licensing restrictions will keep Washington from being flooded with other retailers, Mosher suggested those without high sales may want to cultivate customer loyalty.

“People actually like established relationships with their budtenders,” he said. “They say, ‘I only go to The Herbery, or I only go here.’ ”

For others, business is business. Hamide said Main Street Marijuana will position itself to sell flower at the lowest prices, even if it means buying out competitors’ liquidation sales.

“People are either going to get it or they’re not. The one’s who don’t get it are going to go out of business,” he said. “When they go out of business, they’re going to have clearance sales and guys like me are going to scoop it up at an even cheaper price.”

Other marijuana products such as edibles and concentrates could become more important, as well. While those products don’t sell as much as flower, their prices have not fallen as much.

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Published at Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:05:50 +0000

3 Reasons the Marijuana Stock Market Will (Most Likely) be Fine with Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

3 Reasons the Marijuana Stock Market Will (Most Likely) be Fine with Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

By Keith Speights, The Motley Fool

Here’s a look at why the marijuana stock market will (most likely) be fine, despite Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.

(Photo: Getty Images)

President Trump selected a U.S. senator known for his opposition to marijuana legalization to become the new attorney general for the country. Jeff Sessions raised concerns among marijuana legalization proponents during his confirmation hearings with comments such as this one: “The U.S. Congress has made the possession of marijuana in every state, and distribution of it, an illegal act. So if that’s not desired any longer, Congress should pass a law to change the rule.”

Now, Sessions isn’t just a nominee anymore. He is the U.S. attorney general, with broad powers to enforce federal laws. What will change for the expanding medical marijuana industry? Possibly very little. Here are three reasons not to worry (too much) about marijuana stocks being negatively impacted by Jeff Sessions.

1. Trump’s previous statements

Remember that the attorney general reports to the president. Sessions’ views on marijuana legalization aren’t nearly as important as Trump’s views on it.

Trump has indicated that he is personally opposed to legalizing marijuana. However, during the presidential campaign, he said, “In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state.” He has also expressed support for legal use of medical marijuana.

During Sessions’ confirmation hearings, a spokesman for the Trump administration stated that the attorney general would implement the president’s agenda. It seems unlikely that Sessions would go against Trump’s policies.

2. Different priorities

Even if Sessions personally wanted to pursue targeting marijuana suppliers operating in states that have legalized marijuana, he’s going to have many more critical things on his plate. For one, there’s defending President Trump’s immigration-related executive orders in court.

Prior to Sessions being sworn in, Trump announced several other executive orders that should keep his new attorney general quite busy. He wants to intensify efforts against international drug cartels. A new national task force charged with reducing violent crime will be created. Trump also wants measures enacted to address violence directed at law enforcement.

It seems pretty clear that Trump’s law enforcement priorities will take plenty of time to implement. He hasn’t mentioned anything related to cracking down on individuals and businesses that are violating federal laws in states that have legalized marijuana.

3. The other governmental branches

What if Sessions does direct the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to go after marijuana businesses? Even though federal laws clearly prohibit the sale of marijuana, there is legal uncertainty about the U.S. government’s rights to shut down state markets. Expect states where marijuana is legal to fight in the federal court system.

Then there’s Congress. Two congressmen from California, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Rep. Sam Farr, have successfully pushed for inclusion of an amendment into federal spending packages over the past three years that prohibits the federal government from using funds to enforce marijuana laws in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Rep. Rohrabacher and Rep. Farr are trying to keep that amendment in place.

Rep. Rohrabacher and 12 co-sponsors from both major political parties also introduced legislation titled the “Respect States Marijuana Laws Act of 2017.”  This bill would change the Controlled Substances Act to prioritize state law above federal laws.

There’s no guarantee that these efforts by congressional representatives will gain traction, of course. However, any actions by Sessions to crack down in states where marijuana is now legalized could allow Rep. Rohrabacher and the other co-sponsors to win more support for their bill.

A reason to worry

I don’t think there’s much reason to worry about marijuana stocks being hurt by Jeff Sessions or the Trump administration in general. There is one reason for concern, though.

Falling cannabis prices will eventually make it more difficult for some marijuana companies to succeed. Marijuana could become just like any other commodity. Only the biggest and most differentiated companies will survive if that happens. The biggest risk for marijuana stocks probably isn’t enforcement of federal anti-marijuana laws but another more universal law: the law of supply and demand.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Sun, 19 Feb 2017 23:38:49 +0000

Trump Administration May Eliminate Office of National Drug Control Policy/Drug Czar Position

Trump Administration May Eliminate Office of National Drug Control Policy/Drug Czar Position

The Trump Administration may eliminate the Office ofNational Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which is headed by the nation’s “Drug Czar”.

The ONDCP seal.

According to the New York Times, the White House budget office has drafted a hit list of programs that President Trump could eliminate to trim domestic spending.

The Times states that, “Mr. Trump has spoken volubly about the nation’s drug problems, yet the list includes the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, which dispenses grants to reduce drug use and drug trafficking.”

Eliminating the ONDCP would be an unprecedented move that would remove federal drug czar as a position in the government; given that the drug czar is forced by law to oppose any attempt to legalize an illegal substance – regardless of the merits in favor of doing so – it’s certainly not a position many drug reform advocates will be upset about losing.

Of course at this point anything can happen, and Trump may very well end up retaining and funding the ONDCP, but the fact that he may not is an interesting revelation.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Sat, 18 Feb 2017 22:17:43 +0000

Pro-pot lawmakers to join forces, launch cannabis caucus

Pro-pot lawmakers to join forces, launch cannabis caucus

The Columbian / Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers looking to draw attention to pet issues have formed groups in favor of everything from auto care to zoos. Now, there’s a caucus for cannabis.

Rep. Earl Bluemenauer said the move is a sign of how mainstream the drive for marijuana legalization has become.

“This is happening all across the country, and its going to continue,” said the Oregon Democrat, an advocate for legalized marijuana since the 1970s. “The industry is growing, as is public acceptance and demand for medical marijuana.”

Blumenauer is one of the caucus’s founding members, along with California Republican Dana Rohrabacher, Colorado Democrat Jared Polis and Alaska Republican Don Young.

A wave of states approved recreational marijuana in November, a seeming boon for the argument that federal laws and regulations need to be revised to keep up.

But it remains to be seen whether new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime foe of legalized marijuana, will roll back Obama-era policies that have allowed pot businesses to flourish in states where it is legal.

The marijuana industry brought in $6.7 billion in legal sales in the U.S. last year. That figure is expected to grow after eight states — including the economic bellwether of California — passed marijuana-related referendums in November.

With that election, a total of eight states and the District of Columbia have now legalized recreational use of the drug and 28 states have legalized medical marijuana.

Under President Barack Obama, the Justice Department declined to interfere with states that had legalized marijuana, even though federal law defines it as an illegal drug.

Rohrabacher said he doubted the new administration would target medical use, which has mainstream support, but recreational use could be vulnerable. 

He and other members of the caucus pointed out that Trump said during his campaign that states should be allowed to make their own laws regarding marijuana use.

Congress passed a spending bill in 2014 that prohibits the Justice Department from using federal money to prosecute medical marijuana businesses in states where it is legal. That prohibition, co-sponsored by Rohrabacher, must be reapproved every fiscal year.

The cannabis caucus will focus initially on increasing medical research and revising banking and tax regulations that impede legal marijuana businesses, Blumenauer said. Measures that would address each of those issues have received broad support in both the House and the Senate in previous Congresses.

“These are things that aren’t strictly partisan,” Blumenauer said.

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 17 Feb 2017 03:44:18 +0000

Michigan Seeks Input on Multiple Licenses and Co-Location

Michigan Seeks Input on Multiple Licenses and Co-Location

Michigan Seeks Input on Multiple Licenses and Co-Location

As the State of Michigan moves forward in developing rules to implement the State’s new Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) today reached out for stakeholder input on critical issues—whether and how applicants can seek multiple licenses and co-locate operations under different license classes. Specifically, the Director of LARA, Shelly Edgerton, issued the following statement and request:

Many of you have been made aware during previous meetings or conversations regarding the new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, 2016 PA 281, that the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) was considering holding discussions to get feedback from those who have expressed interest in certain related topics or the new law in general. To examine issues that have been brought to LARA’s attention while working to implement the law, LARA is therefore seeking comments from interested parties on the topics of license stacking and co-locations as it relates to the licensed categories.  The purpose of this document is to gather information only and is not meant to interfere with the authority of the Board or Advisory Panel procedures when they are appointed as provided under the Act.

To that end we are asking for your input by responding to the questions below. We are only asking for brief answers, or comments limited to a short paragraph or a few sentences. Please provide your responses by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28th, 2016. After the responses are compiled, a meeting and/or conference call may be scheduled if appropriate to review the responses and receive additional input. Please submit your responses to curtisc8@michigan.gov.

Questions: Topics: License Stacking and Co-locations

    1. Should an entity be permitted to have more than one grow license at a single location?
    2. Should an entity be permitted to have more than one level of grow license at a single location?
    3. Should multiple licenses issued at a single location be restricted to Class C grow licenses only?
    4. Should the licensed growers, processors, and provisioning centers be allowed to apply for multiple licenses? 
    5. Should a demonstrated ability to sell inventory be required as a prerequisite to issuing additional licenses at a single location? If so, what percentage of inventory over how long of a period?
    6. Should different entities operating at the same location be required to have common ownership interests? 
    7. A few other states, such as Colorado, allow growers and processors to operate at the same location and allow license stacking. Should license growers and processors be allowed to operate at the same location?
    8. There has been some mention of possible safety and security concerns if licensed growers, processors, and provisioning centers are all operating at the same location, such as one building. Should growers, processors, and provisioning centers be allowed to operate at the same location?

We can anticipate that LARA will continue to solicit stakeholder input, although LARA’s statement noted that its work on the rules is to be in consultation with the yet-to-be-appointed Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Board and Advisory Panel. Given that the formal roles of advisory panels are fairly limited under the Michigan Administrative Procedures Act, the new Board and LARA will have some discretion with respect to how deeply they involve the Advisory Panel. While it remains to be seen what opportunities will be provided for public input into the rulemaking process (apart from those required under the APA), LARA’s initial outreach here is a promising first step.

As the rulemaking process in Michigan continues to unfold, check back here to Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

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Published at Tue, 14 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Banking regulations mean Oregon flush with marijuana cash

Banking regulations mean Oregon flush with marijuana cash

The Columbian / Associated Press

MEDFORD, Ore. — As legalized marijuana brings more business to Oregon, some communities are seeing a large amount of cash in the economy thanks to strict regulations keeping banks away from the businesses.

The Mail Tribune reports that banking officials say that after years of moving away from cash, financial institutions have seen a recent influx due to the marijuana industry.

Many banks will not offer lines of credit to marijuana businesses due to high federal penalties for holding pot-tainted money. As a result, the marijuana industry operates with cash. Dispensaries pay their employees, landlords and lawyers with cash that is then spent in grocery stores and other daily tasks.

People’s Bank Vice President and Operations Manager Dawn DeVita says the Southern Oregon-based institution does not work directly with marijuana businesses, but it has seen an increased volume of cash circulation.

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Published at Mon, 13 Feb 2017 18:28:33 +0000

Second New Mexico Committee Approves Bill to Legalize Hemp With 10 to 1 Vote

Second New Mexico Committee Approves Bill to Legalize Hemp With 10 to 1 Vote

A proposal that would fully legalize hemp in New Mexico has passed its second committee, sending it towards a vote in the full House of Representatives.

hempHouse Bill 166 was filed by Representative Rick Little (R). The measure passed the House Agriculture, Water & Wildlife Committee last month. Earlier this week it also passed the House Labor and Economic Development Committee with a 10 to 1 vote.

According to the measure’s officially legislative summary; “House Bill 166 adds new language to the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) to explicitly exclude the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) concentration of not more than 0.3percent on a dry weight basis, the seeds thereof and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the plant or its seeds.”

The proposal now heads for a vote in the full House of Representatives, where its passage is expected. It will then go to the Senate, where passage will send it to Governor Susana Martinez for final consideration.

Click here for the full text of House Bill 166.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Sun, 12 Feb 2017 20:19:52 +0000

How to Choose the Right Online Cannabis Seed Bank

How to Choose the Right Online Cannabis Seed Bank

Mrs. Nice Guy

Growing any plant from seed is very satisfying and exciting experience.  Every person will gain pleasure while watching a life developing from that tiny little seed. Still, it is highly important to choose the right seed – growth and life of the plant depend on that in many ways.

Whether you’re an experienced marijuana grower, or you’re going to give it a try, the seeds are the first thing to pay attention to. Today, cannabis is developed in that way that it became a plant which has many variations for many different purposes.

In any case, there are some details you should pay attention to when making an order from a cannabis seed bank, especially if you want to be sure that you get what you ordered in the desired time frame. Here are the most important things to look at when you are browsing online cannabis seed banks.

Strain Type Availability

There are plenty of types of cannabis strains. Varieties are designed to increase specific features of the plant or to separate the strain for the aim of marketing. There are varieties used for different purposes:

  • Strains which are used for pain relief are White Widow, Northern Lights, Chemdawg, Godberry. They all contain a high level of THC and CBD, which are proven to reduce pain and cause relief.
  • The best marijuana strains to contribute to better sleep are Granddaddy Purple, White Rhino, BC God Bud, Bubba Kush, etc. They contain CBN or cannabinol which is helpful when you want to sleep.
  • The most popular strains for energy boost are Sour Diesel, Casey Jones, Golden Goat, Lemon Skunk. These are Sativa strains with a high level of THC.
  • Strains with lower doses of THC are being used for lowering anxiety like: White Fire Alien, Stardawg, Juliet, and many others.

After gathering all the information, you should find out if the selected bank has what you’re looking for. There are seed banks and seed shops: Seed shops only sell seeds, while seed shops both sell seeds and breed strains themselves so they often have a more diverse strain type selection.

If you are gunning for more well-known and commonly used strains, you should be able to find them in every seed bank and seed shop.

Shipping Range

There are many big companies who provide cannabis seeds. It is very important to find the company with a good reputation and history of being a well-managed business. Some of the most popular companies are Seedsman, True North Seed Bank, Nirvana seed bank, Azarius, MSNL, etc. All of these banks offer stealth shipping, which presents delivering seeds in their original packaging and sealed for maximum security and is sometimes charged additionally.

Most of the companies deliver all around the world, including USA, Canada, and Europe. The exception is Nirvana, who doesn’t deliver seeds to Australia and Japan. You should check this feature before making an order and ensure that the certain bank delivers seeds to your country.

Payment methods

As all of this banks are operating online, in most cases they have integrated payment methods like credit cards, bank transfer, Bitcoin, PayPal, etc. Although they may vary from company to company, don’t forget to check out that online. For example, Seedsman doesn’t support PayPal but does offer a Bitcoin payment method. Nirvana offers many of the most popular ways of payment. Choose the way that fits you best.

Reviews and Reputation

For seed banks that work online, reviews should be an easy way to gather all the information you should need. You’ll see the impressions of their customers and determine if that is the company you want to order from. Of course, years of experience and its online presence also make a significant matter in this decision. After choosing this way, there are fewer chances to make a mistake.

Besides everything mentioned so far, here are some other important things to reconsider that aren’t related to the marijuana seed banks. The first is the place of your residence, it is important to check if growing cannabis is legal in your area, this will determine whether you can buy the seeds or not.

You should also get informed about the laws in the case you’re be asked what you’ll be using it for. These are the questions that need to be solved before the shopping. After this, you must ensure to choose the right seed bank and in the end, make a successful trade. If you follow this advice, it shouldn’t be too hard to do!

Paul Morgan has more than 5 years of experience working in the marijuana industry. He is a marijuana enthusiast that loves to read and write on anything that is related to cannabis. At the moment, he is working as a content manager at CannabisOwl, a site devoted to cannabis seeds and store reviews.

The post How to Choose the Right Online Cannabis Seed Bank appeared first on Mrs. Nice Guy.

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Published at Thu, 02 Feb 2017 19:48:22 +0000

Bill allowing for administration of medicinal marijuana on school property passes committee

Bill allowing for administration of medicinal marijuana on school property passes committee

The Columbian / Associated Press

ABERDEEN — An Aberdeen schoolgirl plagued by a seizure disorder that’s proven untreatable by mainstream medication is one step closer to finding relief today with the State House of Representative’s Health Care and Wellness Committee’s 13-3 approval of a bill that would allow parents and guardians to administer medical marijuana to qualified students on school property.

According to the bill summary, House Bill 1060 – also known as Ducky’s Bill – would require school districts to allow students to consume marijuana for medical purposes on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or while attending a school sponsored event. School districts would be required to adopt policies to allow that practice. That policy would have a long list of requirements of its own, ranging from which students would qualify to the establishment of legal protections for anyone involved with providing that student medicinal marijuana.

“Ducky” is the nickname for River Barclay, an elementary school student who is only able to attend half-days of class because her seizures are “intractable,” meaning not controllable by any of the anti-seizure drugs available today, according to her dad, John Barclay. The only thing that has proven to give her relief from these seizures is marijuana, said Barclay. The bill, if passed, would allow him or another guardian to administer the medication to his daughter on school property.

“With four out of the five seizure medications she tried she presented with even worse seizures,” said Barclay. “The one that didn’t do that to her didn’t help at all.”

The marijuana helps with the seizures themselves, and also with the withdrawals that come from being weaned off the other medications she had been taking; the detox experience of these drugs can be compared to those endured by opioid addicts, said Barclay.

House Bill 1060 is sponsored by 19th District Representatives Brian Blake, an Aberdeen Democrat, and Jim Walsh, an Aberdeen Republican, and others. The legislation needs to get through the House Rules Committee to make it before the Legislature for a vote.

“I talked to Walsh and he said with that kind of support from the committee, and only one negative public comment compared to the dozens for it, he didn’t see it being held up in the Rules Committee,” said Barclay. He added that Rep. Joe Schmick from the 9th District, who is ranking minority leader on the Health Care and Wellness Committee, was key helping clarify certain provisions of the bill which that could help it through the rules process.

If passed, the legislation would be implemented beginning in September. There is a companion bill in the Senate, Senate Bill 5290, sponsored by Sen. Dean Takko, D-Longview, and others.

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Published at Mon, 06 Feb 2017 17:37:04 +0000