420 with CNW – What to Expect When Entering an Ohio Medical Marijuana Dispensary

The first medical marijuana dispensaries in Ohio opened on Wednesday, January 17 and many patients who were entering a dispensary for the first time didn’t know what to expect. Several operators of dispensaries shared their thoughts on how Ohio patients can make their visit to a dispensary seamless. This article discusses some of their suggestions.

Patients and Caregivers Only

The first thing that people who want to buy medical cannabis should know is that only patients and their caregivers will be allowed into a dispensary. Families are therefore advised to refrain from accompanying a patient to the dispensary since they will not be allowed to access the premises if they aren’t cardholders or caregivers.

Prepare In Advance

Patients and their caregivers are also advised to prepare adequately before heading out to a medical cannabis dispensary. This preparation includes confirming that one completed the registration process as well as setting aside cash for their purchase since dispensaries will not be accepting credit cards or health insurance. It is also prudent to carry the same photo ID that you used when enrolling for the program.

Don’t Touch

Medical cannabis dispensaries in Ohio will have a room in which patients and their caregivers can view the different products available. However, no one will be allowed to touch any product on display unless a dispensary employee permits them to. You can only see or smell the products.

No Onsite Consumption

Once a patient or their caregiver has selected what they will purchase, the products will be cleared at the check-out counter and you can leave the dispensary. No one is allowed to consume medical marijuana within the dispensary premises or anywhere in public. Ohio law stipulates that medical marijuana can only be consumed in the privacy of one’s home.

Check Dispensary Locations

So far, there are 56 medical marijuana dispensaries licensed by Ohio State. However, not all of them will be in position to open immediately, so patients are advised to check online and confirm that the dispensary they wish to buy products from will be open on the day one needs to visit the facility. For example, just 4 out of the 56 licensed dispensaries opened on Wednesday.

The medical marijuana dispensaries have indicated that they will give each patient as much time and information as possible in order to help them to select the best products for their needs. This promise is a welcome gesture because not many patients will be certain about what to buy for their conditions. Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) and Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) congratulate Ohio upon kick starting their medical cannabis program.

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420 with CNW – Three Medical Marijuana Issues That Iowa May Need to Revisit

Iowa legalized medical cannabis in 2014, but the rate at which the state has adapted to the changing realities of the industry is so slow that many have been left frustrated by how oblivious the state legislature is to the things that laypeople see every day. Of specific concern are the three issues below.

The Number of Licensed Dispensaries

The entire state of Iowa has only five medical cannabis dispensaries from which patients can legally acquire what they need for their health challenges. For example, Cedar Rapids doesn’t have any licensed dispensary within its borders and yet this is the second largest city in the state. How is it possible that no dispensary is located there and yet there is no local bylaw banning cannabis businesses from operating there?

This just goes to show that the authorities didn’t consider the demand for medical cannabis when passing the law that restricted the number of licensed dispensaries to just five. What they may not know is that such a limit can unwittingly encourage the black market to thrive in the state since the illicit supply can easily reach every corner of the state.

The Cap on THC Levels

The regulations in place limit how much THC medical cannabis can contain to 3 percent. THC is the cannabinoid that makes people “high”. The board overseeing the medical cannabis program voted unanimously to retain the 3 percent limit on THC for another year or two before revisiting the matter.

While it may be reasonable to set a limit on how much THC people consume when they buy medical cannabis, such a limit should not be so low that patients will be compelled to consume a larger quantity of cannabis in order to get the desired effects.

It would be better for the authorities to provide a rationale for that 3 percent THC limit and get feedback from experts and the public on the same before enacting it into law. As things stand, patients may be compelled to spend more money buying a larger quantity of cannabis since there is no cap on the quantity they can buy.

The Qualifying Conditions

Iowa is operating as though it is the first state to legalize medical cannabis and yet there are several precedents to learn from. California is reputed to have some of the strictest regulatory controls not just for medical cannabis but for everything else. However, California created a list of dozens of conditions for which medical cannabis could be bought long before recreational cannabis was legalized.

Iowa started by allowing medical cannabis for only epilepsy, then eased up a bit in 2017 to include a few more conditions. What is baffling is that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), ADHD and bi-polar weren’t added to the list and yet nearly all other states include them among the qualifying conditions.

All in all, the board in charge of the medical marijuana program needs to be more foresighted and stop being reactive in its approach. Otherwise, the program will not attain its intended objectives. No one, including Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) and Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE), would want this beneficial program to fail.

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420 with CNW – Cannabis Legalization Has Reduced Smuggling and Improved Border Security, Study Finds

A new study has shown that the legalization of marijuana in different states has reduced drug smuggling and made the Southern U.S. border safer. This research was conducted by the Cato Institute.

The Cato Institute analyzed data on how much marijuana has been seized by Border Patrol agents over time. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regularly releases statistics about the different drugs that have been seized at the different ports of entry into the country.

The analysis shows that over a period of five years, the quantity of marijuana smuggled has reduced by a whopping 78 percent. Similarly, the amount of marijuana seized by each Border Patrol agent has reduced by an average of 70 percent.

Colorado and Washington were the pioneers of marijuana legalization, and there are nearly a dozen states that have now ended the prohibition of marijuana. Many more are set to follow suit in the coming years as ballot measures and legislative action is already in advanced stages in several states as this year ends.

The Cato analysis is timely since it comes at a time when the White House is pushing hard for the construction of a wall on a large section of the border with Mexico. In fact, disagreement over the border wall even caused a partial government shutdown that is still ongoing.

The analysis of smuggling data shows that building a wall at the Mexican border isn’t likely to reduce the rate (and quantity) of the drugs smuggled into the U.S. Remember, the number of Border Patrol agents was dramatically increased between 2003 and 2009, but the CBP seizures data didn’t show any decline in the per-agent marijuana seizures. Only legalization has resulted in such a reduction since most consumers are more comfortable buying their cannabis from regulated sources instead of taking a chance with the smuggled substance for which no quality controls are implemented.

It is also worth remembering that the U.S. government constructed hundreds of miles of border fencing at about the same time when it doubled the CBP workforce, but there was no change in the data on smuggling. It may therefore be reasonable to expect that the wall may not fare any better since the real reason for smuggling (the lack of legal marijuana in some states) hasn’t been addressed.

As for the different marijuana industry players like Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) and Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF), the Cato research is yet another piece of evidence that marijuana legalization has so many direct and indirect benefits.

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420 with CNW – Medical Marijuana May Soon Be Allowed in Federally Subsidized Housing

The New York and New Jersey regional officer of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Lynne Patton, has revealed that there is a need to reconcile state and federal marijuana laws so that individuals who are using medical marijuana in locations where it is legal don’t risk losing federally subsidized housing.

She was reacting to media reports about a 78-year old man (John Flickner) who had been evicted from his apartment in Niagara Falls, New York due to his use of medical cannabis.

Lynne Patton went on to reveal that she was working to get Flickner back into permanent housing once more, as well as helping any other individuals in the same situation.

The good news is that John Flickner received a call from his former landlord asking him to retake his apartment shortly after Flickner’s case appeared in the media. The company owning that block of apartments also revealed that it was reconsidering its policy on medical marijuana. It was not clear whether the Department of Housing and Urban Development played a role in getting Flickner to return to his old apartment.

New York is expanding its medical cannabis program, and plans are underway to legalize recreational marijuana as well. These developments have raised concerns about what will happen to all those people who live in federally subsidized housing and want to use medical or recreational marijuana.

It should be remembered that President Clinton signed a law in 1998 barring landlords from having a tenant (new or existing) who uses an illegal substance, such as cannabis.

However, President Obama’s government wrote a memo in 2014 clarifying that landlords had the liberty to accept or reject (even evict) tenants who consume illegal substances. The eviction of Flickner was therefore done at the discretion of the landlord since there was no legal obligation for that action to be taken.

Good news may be on the way for people in federal housing regarding marijuana. This is because the Department of Housing and Urban Development (as hinted upon by Patton) is working to clear up the policy issues resulting from the difference between state and federal laws. In the meantime, Congress may act on the same issue either sooner or after HUD reconsiders its position formally.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat from DC, introduced a bill that seeks to provide housing safeguards at the federal level for people using either medical or recreational marijuana in legal states.

Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF), Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) and others in the industry are saddened by the fact that an old man (John Flickner) had to undergo the distress of being evicted in order for the housing authorities to see that things need to change.

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420 with CNW – Australians to Conduct First Marijuana Clinical Trial for Brain Cancer

Two Australians, a naturopath and a neurosurgeon, have teamed up to conduct the first clinical trial in the world aimed at finding out whether cannabis can be used to treat glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer.

This type of cancer affects at least 1,000 individuals in Australia alone each year. Sadly, the majority of the patients diagnosed with glioblastoma die within one year and only 5 percent survive for five years after diagnosis.

Dr. Janet Schloss, a naturopath based in Brisbane, and Prof. Charlie Teo, a famous neurosurgeon, have teamed up to explore how patients can have better chances of surviving this cancer if medical cannabis is used alongside the conventional cancer treatments (chemo, radiotherapy and surgery).

The Australian researchers aren’t starting from zero. They have accessed studies conducted in Spain to the effect that medical cannabis inhibits the regrowth of brain tumors in animals. Some human studies have also shown that cannabis may help brain cancer patients to survive for longer.

This research only became possible after Australia made legal changes that permitted the use of some forms of cannabis for medical purposes in 2017. This legal step meant that researchers could now shift from just looking into the side-effects of cannabis consumption to studying how cannabis could be used as a medicine.

Dr. Schloss revealed that she was inspired to do this research after Spanish researchers used cannabis injections to reduce the size of brain tumors. Their research will focus on preventing the regrowth of the brain tumors because patients normally succumb to the condition when suppressed tumors regrow rapidly and cause the death of the patient.

For now, the researchers are recruiting study participants. This stage will be followed by a clinical trial lasting three months in which patients will consume 2ml of cannabis oil each night. The oil was carefully formulated by BioCeuticals to contain as little THC as possible in order to prevent the patients from waking up groggy, or affecting their sleep.

The researchers will document the extent to which cannabis supports the conventional treatments used to treat glioblastoma. The research is being conducted at the Endeavour College of Natural Health, and the New South Wales Ministry of Health has approved the clinical trial. The researchers hope that their findings will increase the options available to the patients who desperately need help in fighting this serious type of cancer. The cannabis community, including companies like Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) and Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS), are waiting with bated breath for the outcome of this groundbreaking research.

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420 with CNW – California Judge Rules in Favor of Marijuana Home Growers

When California legalized recreational cannabis, it allowed people to grow a maximum of six plants for their own use. The state permitted cities and other local authorities to pass their own additional ordinances or regulations to implement the law passed at state level. Some cities, such as Fontana, took this liberty as a chance for them to put such severe restrictions that various aspects of state law, such as home growing, would practically be impossible within their jurisdictions. Someone sued, and a judge has ruled striking down several sections of the Fontana ordinance on cannabis.

The issues in contention were the strict inspection and permitting process for anyone who wanted to grow cannabis at home for his or her own use.

For example, each applicant for a permit had to pay in order to have a background check performed before the home growing license could be issued. The annual permit fees were also high, starting at $411 for the year in which the application was made and then $253 for each year that an approved applicant wanted to continue having a permit to grow marijuana at home.

In addition, applicants had to allow a city official to come and inspect their residence in order to confirm that the property conformed to all city requirements.

The plaintiff argued that the restrictions went against the spirit of the state law which legalized recreational cannabis. For example, the ordinance in Fontana allowed the city to deny an applicant the license to grow marijuana if that applicant had any outstanding city dues.

Additionally, state law didn’t envisage any permitting process for anyone who wanted to grow cannabis at their residence.

It is not surprising that not a single permit has been issued to a Fontana resident to grow cannabis at home so far.

David Cohn, a superior court judge, agreed with the plaintiff and struck down several sections of the city ordinance for being in violation of state law. He explained that the city could not claim to be implementing federal law since it wasn’t a federal entity.

What are the implications of this judgment delivered in the first week of this month? The city authorities have not revealed whether they will appeal against the judgment, but indicators are that they may modify the ordinance while leaving as many restrictions as they can.

Several local authorities have tried to do whatever they can to frustrate marijuana legalization in their jurisdictions. This judgment is likely to make them think twice before they pass restrictions which are “unreasonable” and go against the intention of the enabling state law.

The judgment is also unlikely to be used as a precedent in other cases since it was made by a lower court. However, the case may give other residents the courage to challenge the laws in other localities in case those laws make it very hard for them to enjoy the freedoms given under state law.

As Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) and Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) already know, plenty of time is required to change the mindset of various stakeholders after cannabis is legalized. The prayer is that the adjustment period doesn’t drag on for too long.

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420 with CNW – Documentary About Medical Cannabis Benefits Released

A new film focusing on how medical cannabis has helped children suffering from cancer has been released. The film is titled “Weed the People”.

Abby Esptein, the director of the movie, said that the purpose of the film was to address the stigma directed at medical marijuana.

The documentary shows babies whose lives are literary fading away as a result of undergoing chemo and other conventional forms of cancer treatment. However, the use of medical cannabis transforms the lives of those babies and saves many of them from imminent death.

The movie traces the journey of different parents who are battling to access medical marijuana in order to save their kids’ lives from the ravages of cancer.

The timing of the movie seems to have been perfect given that the FDA recently approved a cannabis-derived drug for the treatment of epilepsy. Such regulatory approval seems to go against the long-held attitude towards cannabis as something that doesn’t possess any medical value.

Rickie Lake, the producer of “Weed the People” says cannabis was a medicine for thousands of years and it has only been a restricted substance for about 80 years. That restriction was the result of people being brainwashed to abandon the use of a plant with nearly countless benefits, the producer added.

The filmmakers revealed that their project has been in the making for the past five years, so no one should imagine that the film was motivated by the recent wave of public opinion in favor of medical marijuana.

They hope that the film will provide the missing link which will convince the general public about the usefulness of cannabis. They also hope that the movie will help to propel understanding of medical cannabis, and possibly address the opioid epidemic in the country.

In the film, parents choose medical marijuana instead of prescription meds. The results show how right those parents were since their kids improve remarkably while they are on medical cannabis treatment.

The producer of “Weed the People” says that her interest is to create awareness about the different treatment options available to patients. Whether or not those patients opt for medical marijuana is of little interest to her as long as any decision that a patient or caregiver makes is an informed one.

After watching the stories of the approximately half a dozen children on medical marijuana, one is left asking himself or herself why the American federal government is so opposed to legalizing a substance which is having such untold benefits to kids with cancer. You can bet your last dollar that Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) and Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) are asking themselves that same question.

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420 with CNW – Michigan Provides Online Tools for Medical Marijuana Patients

The state of Michigan has taken additional steps towards improving access to its medical marijuana program. Patients now have a number of online tools that they can use to register and get certification cards which permit them to access medical marijuana.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in Michigan announced a few days ago that any patient who doesn’t have a caregiver can simply go online and apply for an identification card from the medical marijuana registry.

Such patients can also monitor the status of their online application by logging into a secure account created for them when they launch their application for the identification card.

The state also plans to make it possible for those patients who don’t have a caregiver to use the same online tool when it is time for them to renew their identification card for the medical marijuana program.

Previously, patients were expected to be present (in person) at an authorized office where cards could be applied for or renewed. Experience has shown that the old system was unnecessarily burdensome for particularly those patients who lived alone or whose condition made it hard for them to move from their homes.

It will also be possible for patients change their address information, ask for replacement cards or withdraw from the program. These features are still being added to the online tool.

Doctors have also been given an opportunity to register for a secure online account. The doctors who take up that offer will use that secure account to certify that their patients have been recommended to use medical marijuana. This will reduce the need for patients to get hard copy recommendation letters to use during the registration process for the medical cannabis program.

Michigan residents voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2008. Since then, the state has been tweaking its methods of administering the program so that patients get the care they need in a way that doesn’t risk the confidentiality of those patients or endanger the public.

The online app is the latest addition to the measures intended to deliver efficient services to qualifying patients. A quick scan of the information available at the website of the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs department shows that patients should typically wait for a maximum of five weeks for their online applications to be processed.

One can then call a given number in case they have waited for more than five weeks but haven’t received any feedback from the department.

Marijuana industry players like Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) OTC: PHVAF) and Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) definitely applaud the measures being instituted to remove any inconveniences suffered by patients as they try to access medical marijuana.

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420 with CNW – New Research Proves that there is More to Marijuana than THC and CBD

There is an assumption among marijuana consumers (for medical or recreational purposes) that the variations in the effects they get from the different cannabis strains are a result of variations in the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) concentration in those strains. However, a new study has revealed that such a perception may not be a full reflection of what is going on.

The University of British Columbia-based researchers studied 33 strains of both Sativa and Indica strains of cannabis and found that there was little variation in their CBD or THC content.

However, the different strains varied widely in terms of the other cannabinoids that they contained. This finding raised the possibility that it is those other active ingredients which determine what therapeutic or psychoactive reaction a consumer will get when they consume a particular product.

Consumers need to know that cannabis has approximately 100 cannabinoids but regulations only require manufacturers to declare how much THC and CBD is present in a given product. The focus on THC and CBD may be based on the fact that those two active ingredients are the most plentiful in the cannabis plant.

However, as any lawyer will tell you, the devil is always in the details. The little-known cannabinoids could the real “heroes” of the effects that cannabis users experience.

More attention therefore needs to be focused upon understanding all the active ingredients in marijuana and how they affect a consumer.

The way cannabis strains are bred also needs to be formalized so that the scientific community can understand which strains contain which combination of active ingredients and which ones were lost during a breeding procedure.

The prohibitionist laws which have existed for long made it impossible for breeders to accurately document the lineage and characteristics of the different marijuana strains currently available. Consequently, it is possible that the same strain may have a different name based on the interests of the entity currently growing and marketing that variation of the same strain.

On the consumer side, the researchers advise that users educate themselves about the benefits of “whole plant medicine” instead of being lost in how this strain has this amount of THC or CBD when compared to another strain.

If the research achieved anything, that thing was showing the world how little is currently known about the composition, effects and uses to which marijuana can be put. You can bet that Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) and Sugarmade, Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) are working to unravel the secrets marijuana has for the world.

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420 with CNW – Walmart Canada Considers Selling Cannabis-Based Products

The Canadian branch of Walmart Inc. has revealed that it is thinking about including cannabis-based products on its shelves.

This announcement makes Walmart the first major retailer to express interest in participating in the cannabis industry. Other major companies from the U.S. to show interest in the Canadian cannabis industry were from the beverage and alcohol industry (Coca Cola and Constellation Brands).

Just how free are these companies when it comes to making decisions about getting involved in the cannabis industry? Market sentiment may be forcing their hand as was seen when Pepsi Cola shares dipped on the stock exchange when the company announced that it had no interest in venturing into the cannabis industry. Other mega brands, fearful of suffering a similar fate, may be sending out feelers to identify at what point they can get on the marijuana wave sweeping everything in its wake.

Marijuana or its derivatives has been linked to several medicinal functions, such as helping people deal with chronic pain. Cancer, pediatric epilepsy, PTSD and other conditions are all said to be improved by cannabis ingredients.

Diana Medeiros, the spokeswoman for Walmart confirmed that the company had conducted some preliminary research but they hadn’t made any decision yet to have CBD products in their stores.

The move by Walmart comes just days before the adult-use of marijuana becomes legal in Canada. Canada is the first country with a large economy to decriminalize recreational marijuana. The retail sales of marijuana in Canada are expected to reach C$10.4 billion by 2025.

Canada’s decision and process is likely to be copied in other developed nations since many are already watching the developments in Canada closely. Canada has started exporting medical cannabis products to different countries, and many developed nations will not want to be left out on the revenues that can accrue from this industry that is enjoying wide popularity across all sections of the population.

The interest shown by large corporations is giving the marijuana industry positive publicity, something that is likely to fuel the push for further legalization in jurisdictions where marijuana is still prohibited.

It is that same interest in revenue that is driving decriminalization in several U.S. states. For example, New Hampshire is already calculating the potential tax revenues from the cannabis industry ahead of legalization. Such forces are likely to play a major part in any decision made regarding the legalization of marijuana.

Whether Walmart sells CBD products or not, cannabis industry players like Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) and SinglePoint, Inc. (OTCQB: SING) welcome the buzz that their interest has created around the cannabis industry.

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CannabisNewsWire (CNW) is an information service that provides (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) CannabisNewsBreaks that summarize corporate news and information, (3) enhanced press release services, (4) social media distribution and optimization services, and (5) a full array of corporate communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, CNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. CNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, CNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. CNW is where news, content and information converge.

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For more information please visit https://www.CannabisNewsWire.com

Please see full terms of use and disclaimers on the CannabisNewsWire website applicable to all content provided by CNW, wherever published or re-published: http://CNW.fm/Disclaimer

CannabisNewsWire (CNW)
Denver, Colorado
www.CannabisNewsWire.com
303.498.7722 Office
Editor@CannabisNewsWire.com