Marijuana News in MA and World
Major flower companies, like 1-800-Flowers.com, are having concerns about their flower growers switching from roses to marijuana. Flower growers have seen the potential revenue that growing marijuana can bring and some have transitioned over to growing marijuana instead of household flowers.
Jim McCann, CEO of 1-800-Flowers.com, said, “We have been pushing for domestic production of flowers hard for the last 10 years and having real good success… but we are concerned because some growers with enormous greenhouse facilities in California or Colorado or perhaps in Oregon are saying, ‘Is this the best crop I can grow, these flowers for all these florists around the country? Maybe I can switch to cannabis and get 10 times on the revenue line.’ That’s a big concern of ours.”
A direct impact on the flower industry or on 1-800-Flowers.com has yet to be seen, according to Fox Business. It is a valid concern as many of the growers for these large florists do have large enough facilities already in place to easily make the transition to marijuana growing.
McCann also said, “We haven’t seen it manifest itself yet, but a lot of people are on the precipice of making a decision… we’re working with them all the time to make sure we do the right analysis. We’re more for rose production than we are for cannabis production.”
Coincidentally, the states in which marijuana is recreationally legal also happen to be some of the best growing environments for flowers.
More senior citizens are reported to be using medical marijuana to help with ailments like arthritis, insomnia and general pain. Statistics show that the number of Americans using medical marijuana age 55 and up has steadily increased over the last few years.
One California senior, Sue Taylor, is advocating the benefits of marijuana to groups in her community. Sue Taylor is known as “The Weed Lady.” She is 68 and is a fan of gummy bear-like edibles. Sue said, “It has the consistency of a gummy, and I use it for sleep and pain when I need to.”
Taylor actively speaks to aging Americans on the benefits that medical marijuana has in lieu of many pharmaceuticals, CBS News reports. Physicians are more on-board with medical marijuana now than they used to be.
Dr. Igor Grant has received a federal grant to help continue research for more benefits of marijuana. Dr. Grant said, “First of all, there is increasing evidence that cannabis is helpful in the management of certain kinds of pain. And it’s the kind of discomfort experienced by seniors, like sharp pains felt by nerve damage, caused by things like chemotherapy or diabetes.”
Those in the 65 and older age group are prescribed roughly 30-percent of all prescription drugs, including opioid painkillers. Dr. Grant also said, “An interesting question is, if people are prescribed cannabis, does that have then an opioid-sparing effect? Because again, for chronic pain we do use opioids – Vicodin and drugs like this.”
Grant believes that marijuana can replace and/or decrease the usage of opioid painkillers.
A California marijuana club president said, “We caution, especially with the seniors, to stay away from edibles, and really start slow. We start with a low dosage, we start in the early evening, telling them not to drive, not to mix alcohol. There’s a lot of cautions, a lot of education that goes along with it.”
Taylor concluded her thoughts with, “Seniors don’t want to get high; they want to get well. And the cannabis helps.”
New Hampshire’s first medical marijuana dispensary, Sanctuary ATC, has opened. The , located in Plymouth, said that about one dozen patients were patiently waiting outside when they opened the doors. It reports having 45 patients on its first day in operation.
For safety and smooth operations, Sanctuary ATC only allowed a few patients in at a time. Registration forms were filled out, according to New Hampshire Public Radio, along with a one-on-one consultation with the medical director. The meeting with the medical director was a step to ensure that patients are purchasing the right types of products for their specific medical needs.
Two patients, Nancy Fronheiser and Laurie Peaslee, both agreed that the wait was worth it. Fronheiser said, “We got a free sample. Well, not in there, but to take home. And they were very nice. They went over all of the strains with us.” Peaslee said, “They explained everything. I got morning meds. I got nighttime meds.”
Fronheiser also said, “I have chronic pain. I have a few herniated discs, which I’m currently on Percocet for. I’ve been on them for 10 years, and I’m trying to get off them. I don’t want to depend on a pill anymore.”
Medical marijuana has been legal in New Hampshire since 2013, however, no medical marijuana cards were issued starting in December 2015. Several patients said that the wait caused them to have to obtain medicine by either crossing into Maine or by other means.were available for patients to obtain their medicine. The program took three years to get up and running. Patient
Sanctuary ATC’s CEO, Josh Weaver, said, “We’re really excited. We’ve been able to talk to a lot of the patients over the last few months, and we knew it was vital to open as fast as we could.”
New Hampshire medical marijuana patients must select and register with only one dispensary. The state can approve a dispensary change if it is requested with valid reasoning. More dispensaries are expected to open throughout the summer.
Medical marijuana has become a viable alternative for chronic pain management and many people across the country are using it to replace prescription painkillers. Thanks to states where medical marijuana is legalized, usage and overdose rates from opioids have dropped drastically.
Death records from a period of 1999 – 2010 were analyzed in states where medical marijuana is legal. The data collected found that these states had a 25 percent decrease in opioid-induced overdoses, according to SF Gate. The study was posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Overdose numbers are still high in most states without medical marijuana.
“Examination of the association between medical cannabisand opioid analgesic overdose mortality in each year after implementation of the showed that such laws were associated with a lower rate of overdose mortality that generally strengthened over time,” said the study’s lead researcher and author, Marcus Bachhuber, MD.
Colleen Barry said, “… if the opioid crisis has taught us anything, it should be that careful regulation, stringent oversight and ongoing evaluation are all absolutely essentially to establishing an environment that protects the public’s health.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledge that medical marijuana is a safer alternative. The CDC said, “Clinicians should not test for substances for which results would not affectmanagement or for which implications for patient management are unclear. For example, experts noted that there might be uncertainty about the clinical implications of a positive urine drug test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).”
Opioid overdoses have become an epidemic in the United States. Recently, medical marijuana has started to become a safe and natural replacement for peoples’ pharmaceuticals.
Laremy Tunsil, a University of Mississippi offensive tackle, was favored to be the #1 pick of the 2016 NFL draft on Thursday night. But roughly 10 minutes before the draft was to start, a video of him hitting a bong was posted to his Twitter account.
Tunsil’s Twitter account was hacked, as well as his Instagram account, according to reports from CNN. On his Instagram account, the hacker posted a conversation between Tunsil and an Ole Miss Athletics department member regarding an NCAA-violating exchange of money for Tunsil’s mother’s utility bill.
Because of the Twitter video, Tunsil was picked 13th by the Miami Dolphins. The difference in pay from the 3rd pick and 13th pick in the 2016 NFL draft was $12.11 million in salary and another $8.75 million as a signing bonus.
In response to the Twitter video, Tunsil said, “Man, it was a mistake. It happened years ago. Someone had my Twitter account and that’s how it got on there.”
Tunsil acknowledged the posts and said, “I made a mistake. That happened.”
Hawaii has selected the eight companies that will be awarded medical marijuanalicenses. The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) will award three licenses for the City and County of Honolulu, two licenses each for the Counties of Hawaii and Maui, and one dispensary license for the County of Kauai.
Licensed Hawaii dispensaries may begin dispensing marijuana no sooner than July 15, 2016, and must get approval from the DOH. Each dispensary licensee may operate up to two cultivation centers and two retail dispensing locations within the county they are licensed to serve.
The selected applicants are required to pay a licensing fee of $75,000 to the DOH within seven days of receiving their written notice of selection to be awarded a dispensary license. If the application fee is not paid by close of business on the seventh day, the selected applicant will be disqualified and the DOH will select the next highest scoring applicant for the county.
Actor and marijuana advocate Woody Harrelson’s company, Simply Organic Living, was not awarded a Hawaii dispensary license, which was filed in Honolulu County.
“Upon the completion of the selection process and the awarding of licenses, the Department of Health will begin working with the selected licensees to ensure the safety of their products, and the safety of patients and the public,” said State Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “We look forward to improving access to marijuana for registered patients who have medical needs, and increasing educational opportunities for healthcare professionals.”
The applicants that have been selected for dispensary licenses are:
City and County of Honolulu
– Aloha Green Holdings Inc.
– Manoa Botanicals LLC
– TCG Retro Market 1, LLC dba Cure Oahu
County of Hawaii
– Hawaiian Ethos LLC
– Lau Ola LLC
County of Maui
– Maui Wellness Group, LLC
– Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC
County of Kauai
– Green Aloha, Ltd.
Alaskan marijuana activists are working toward making it legal for people to purchase and consume marijuana on-site at recreational dispensaries.
On-site consumption exists in other parts of the world, like Amsterdam and Spain, for example, and are generally known as “coffee shops.” They provide a place for locals and tourists to buy and use marijuana, and then hang out – just like a bar, except for marijuana.
David Straub, an Alaskan marijuana grower, said, “We just know when tourists show up, that will be one of the first questions.”
Alaska would be the first state in the U.S. to allow on-site consumption, News Miner confirms. The Marijuana Control Board will consider draft rules in an upcoming meeting. Dispensary licenses will not be issued until September.
Brandon Emmett, a member of the Marijuana Control Board, said, “I think that we would be doing a disservice to the public if we did not have cannabis cafes.”
Emmett also said, “If other cities around the planet – like Amsterdam, some places in Spain and Morocco where consumption is legal – they haven’t seen the sort of social ills that have been associated with alcohol. Here in Alaska, we’ll be able to implement that policy responsibly.”
Several potential retail shop owners show support for on-site consumption. Some believe it would help address the stigma associated with marijuana use, helping rectify the ill-perception that a good portion of society still has.
Brandon Emmett commented on federal legalization, saying, “I think federal legalization is going to happen in the next five years. I think when we look back on this in 15 years, people will wonder what all the fuss was about.”
Walgreens, the global retailer and pharmacy chain with over 8,000 stores throughout the U.S., posted a positive article regarding medical marijuana on its Tumblr account. This is the first American pharmacy chain to publish an unbiased and straightforward medical marijuana article.
The post includes medical marijuana statements such as: “Most states encourage patients to apply for a Medical Marijuana Identification Card” and “If you’d like more information about the use of medical marijuana, talk with your.”
The post was written by a University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy resident, Dahlia Sultan, The Cannabist reports. In her post, she does speak about some potential downsides of medical marijuana use, but, overall, remains unbiased and positive.
Another part of Walgreens’ Tumblr post said, “…research has also shown marijuana provides pain relief in ways traditional pain medicines don’t. Medical marijuana can improve appetite and relieve nausea in those who have cancer and it may help relieve symptoms such as muscle stiffness in people who have multiple sclerosis.”
Walgreens included a disclaimer in the post stating that it “is not a licensed medical marijuana provider.”
Nearly 30 new Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries.licenses are expected to be available this summer. Currently, only 99 out of 126 dispensary licenses have been issued and, of those, only 92 of them are open and operating
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services there are approximately 95,000 registered patients in the state’s medical marijuana program, reports ABC 15, and 97 percent live within 25-miles of a dispensary.
Darren White, former two-term Sheriff in Bernalillo County,, has opened up about his personal medical marijuana relations. The ex-sheriff has become a CEO and security director for one of the medical marijuana producers in the state, and he is also a . He converted to medical marijuana two years ago for chronic pain stemming from knee and back injuries.
White said during an interview that “a steady diet of consuming painkillers is not quality of life. The narcotic painkillers, they knock you out.”
White is an investor in PurLife, Albuquerque Journal reports. PurLife has one of the 12 originally approved medical marijuana business licenses in New Mexico. The state has since increased the legal number of approved medical marijuana producers to 35.
“When you suffer from chronic pain, there’s nothing you can do about it. Mine over the years had gotten progressively worse,” said White. He started using medical marijuana and found it to be “a very effective alternative.” Once opposed to medical marijuana entirely, he now says, “Like a lot of things, I was wrong about it.”