The New York Department of Health released a set of proposed rules for its medical marijuana program that will soon be put to public comment. The planned regulations lays out procedures that include identification cards for users and a detailed application process for those seeking one of four licenses to grow the drug. Each grower would then be able to operate up to four dispensaries, and like doctors, pharmacists would have to take a state training course in order to work there. Applicants for the licenses would have to put up a $10,000 application fee and a $200,000 license fee, with the license fee refunded if the company isn’t selected. In addition, medical marijuana would be subject to the same rules as controlled substances when it comes the state’s prescription drug database, which would require doctors and pharmacists to log each prescription online in real time.
Ohioans could be voting on a marijuana ballot issue next year unlike any other in the country, involving 10 wealthy individuals who would essentially invest to obtain the right to grow and sell marijuana wholesale for personal use by residents 21 or older. If approved, the proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution would establish a Marijuana Control Commission. The commission would operate much like the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which was set up after Ohioans approved a statewide issue in 2009 to allow four casinos to operate in the state, sources said. The campaign to legalize marijuana has commitments from select property owners to provide the millions of dollars that will be needed to pass such an amendment, according to sources who are familiar with the plan.
Legislation that would have allowed for the legal return and regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan stalled out this week in the waning hours of the lame-duck session. Companion legislation that would have allowed medical marijuana patients to use non-smokable forms of the drug — including “medibles” — also failed to advance. Lawmakers had been working with the Michigan State Police and governor’s office in hopes of fine-tuning the bills and addressing lingering concerns, but The Michigan Sheriff’s Association, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Association for Local Public Health and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan told lawmakers that the bills would “take Michigan down an uncharted course.”
South Carolina Representative Todd Rutherford has signed onto two bills tackling the issue of marijuana in the Palmetto State, one dealing with medical marijuana and the other its decriminalization. Rutherford proposed the Put Patients First Act during the last legislative session, knowing time to pass it was limited. Now, he believes more people will be on board after hearings with testimony from families with sick loved ones and veterans who could benefit from the drug. He is also supporting a bill, prefiled by Rep. Mike Pitts, that would decriminalize the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, allowing for a civil citation and fine, rather than a misdemeanor with possible time in prison.
Brazil will soon look into the possibility of legalizing the use of a marijuana derivative to treat people suffering from severe seizures. ANVISA, the country’s Health Surveillance Agency says in a statement posted on its website that the “reclassification” of marijuana derivative cannabidiol, which is banned in Brazil, will be discussed starting next month. The statement came Friday, one day after some 40 people protested in Brasilia to demand the legalization of cannabidiol. Earlier this month, the Federal Medical Council that regulates the medical profession in Brazil authorized neurologists and psychiatrists to prescribe cannabidiol to treat epileptic children and teenagers who do not respond to conventional treatment.
Federal prosecutors in Portland have charged three men this week in two separate explosions tied to extracting hash oil from marijuana. The U.S. attorney’s office says that in each case, the men are charged with endangering human life while manufacturing controlled substances, and manufacturing hash oil. The extraction process involves the use of flammable butane. Jose Rios-Soto and Dennis Tapia-Garcia are charged in a Nov. 23 explosion and fire in a gas station restroom in the Portland suburb of Tigard. Prosecutors say Edwin Stacy is charged in a Dec. 8 explosion and fire that blew out an exterior wall at a Portland apartment complex. Prosecutors say Stacy lit a cigarette while making hash oil.