Florida cities face ‘all or nothing’ choices on medical marijuana
Posted By Dara Kam, News Service of Florida
Florida cities and counties are in a dilemma about pot.
State lawmakers approved regulations in June that left city and county officials with a Hobson’s choice about the sale of medical marijuana in their communities.
Local governments can either impose outright bans on medical-marijuana dispensaries or allow unlimited numbers of marijuana retail outlets, under an “all or nothing” approach approved during a special legislative session.
Dozens of cities have approved or are considering temporary moratoriums on medical- marijuana dispensaries, but it’s unknown exactly how many local governments have acted on the issue, because nobody —- including state health officials —- is officially keeping track.
Marijuana operators’ search for retail space has bloomed after voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in November that legalized marijuana for a broad swath of patients with debilitating medical conditions.
The scramble for retail outlets is expected to intensify as the number of marijuana operators continues to increase, and as local governments seek ways to restrain the sales of cannabis in their communities, at least for now.
As another result of the legislation approved during the June special session, state health officials recently authorized five new medical marijuana operations, on top of the seven businesses already active in the state. Five more are supposed to come online in October.
Nearly 72 percent of voters approved the constitutional amendment last fall, making it difficult for local officials to close the door completely on the sale of medical cannabis.
But while saying they respect the will of voters, many local officials also want the power to regulate the number of dispensaries, and where the businesses can be sited, something that’s essentially off the table in the new state law, which requires local governments to treat medical marijuana distribution centers in the same way pharmacies are handled.
Most cities and counties don’t have special regulations regarding pharmacies, but instead treat them like other retail, or “light commercial,” businesses.
While some communities contemplate new zoning rules for pharmacies, a move that also could curb the development of marijuana dispensaries, others are focused on the cannabis retail outlets.
For example, St. Augustine Beach commissioners last week approved a moratorium barring medical-marijuana dispensaries from opening in the waterfront community.
“I think the main reason was just wanting to see how the situation is going to shake out and what sort of problems might occur with the sales of this stuff. There was no particular anxiety over it, but I think it’s a fear of the unknown,” said Jim Wilson, a lawyer who represents the city. “We’re a small community, and we’d rather see how this works elsewhere before we connect into it. It may work out fine later on.”
But Sen. Rob Bradley, who has been a key player in the creation and passage of the state’s medical-marijuana laws the past three years, said the new regulations were meant to encourage competition in the state’s burgeoning marijuana industry.
“I would encourage our local partners to see the bigger picture here. We are bringing online several new licenses over the next year-and-a-half. It’s important for the long-term future of the medical marijuana industry that we have real competition among not only the incumbents but the new license holders,” Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican and former prosecutor, said in a recent interview. “If local governments were allowed at this point in time to restrict in their communities the number of dispensaries to only one or two or three, that would provide an unacceptable advantage to the incumbents.”
Regarding local officials’ fears about what are disparagingly known as “pot shops,” Bradley said he thinks they may be uninformed.
“When I see some of the comments from local officials, I’m not sure that they’ve read the details of the law. We have strict limitations on advertising and signage, and all of these dispensaries are required to have a doctor’s office feel,” he said.
The new restrictions imposed by the Legislature, paired with a push by marijuana operators to open retail facilities, create “an awkward situation for a lot of cities,” said John Wayne Smith, a lobbyist who represents numerous cities and counties as well as the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Association of Counties.
While local governments are largely focused on budget issues during the summer, they may turn their attention to medical marijuana later in the year, Smith predicted.
Others may wait for the Legislature to revamp the state law.
“I would say that it’s probably half-baked and this is probably an issue that is going to evolve and get tweaked over the next five to 10 years,” Smith said.
But the passage of the state-imposed prohibition on local governments’ ability to limit the number of retail outlets poses a problem for cities like Lake Worth, which authorized two medical marijuana dispensaries before approving a moratorium aimed at preventing others from opening.
It’s unclear, however, whether the new state law will require the city to open its doors to more dispensaries, an issue on which municipal lawyers are divided.
“By doing a nothing or all, and because we already have two, this is what you’ve done to my city. Everyone around me has a moratorium, but you’ve now told my city it’s a free-for-all,” Lake Worth City Commissioner Andy Amoroso told The News Service of Florida.
Amoroso stressed that he supports legalization of recreational marijuana and endorses the use of medical marijuana for sick patients. But he also emphasized that the state law “jeopardizes what our cities look like.”
Lake Worth is surrounded by other communities that have banned the sales of medical marijuana, meaning that retailers will likely target his city, Amoroso maintained.
Lake Worth officials need “to be able to control” what their 7-square-mile city “looks like,” Amoroso said.
“If I have medical marijuana on every corner, I can’t do that,” he said.
But Orlando city attorney Kyle Shephard said he believes a moratorium recently passed by his commission will allow the city to stop any more medical-marijuana retail shops from opening.
“Every city attorney may answer this differently, depending on their own local situation,” Shepard told the News Service.
Orlando adopted its ordinance allowing up to seven medical marijuana dispensaries before the state law (SB 8-A) was passed, Shepard said. The city believes that means its ordinance won’t be affected by the new law.
“If you didn’t get your rules on the books before SB 8 went into effect at the end of June, then you are sort of hamstrung,” Shepard said.
Orange Park council members recently advanced an ordinance that would prohibit pharmacies from opening in “light” commercial areas —- something that wouldn’t affect any of the drug stores currently in operation, according to Mayor Scott Land.
The town council approved the new regulation in response to the state law, which the mayor called “an all or nothing, almost.”
“So instead of doing the all, a lot of people are going to probably choose the nothing,” he said. “I think it’s going to make it difficult for the dispensaries.”
by: Palm Beach Post Updated:
In the first big-dollar deal in Florida’s budding marijuana industry, a Canadian company paid $40 million for one of seven firms allowed to grow and sell cannabis in the state.
Liberty Health Sciences of Toronto this month bought Chestnut Hill Tree Farm of Alachua County, an operation that’s still very much in start-up mode.
Chestnut Hill has yet to open a retail outlet, and Liberty Health Sciences Chief Executive George Scorsis acknowledges that the company remains in a “pre-revenue” phase.
Chestnut Hill’s most valuable asset is its state license to produce medical marijuana.
However, state officials have said they’ll issue more licenses for cannabis cultivation as more patients join Florida’s medical marijuana registry, so even the license could prove a depreciating asset.
“It’s possible there could be some devaluation as the state issues more licenses, but we thought it was important for us to be one of the first entrants in the market,” Scorsis said Friday in an interview.
Pot proponents pushed medical marijuana as a safe treatment for cancer, chronic pain and other ailments.
The large sum paid for Chestnut Hill stoked concerns that the nascent industry quickly has shifted into a speculative mode.
“This is a completely immature company, and it’s going at a big dollar value,” said Ben Pollara, who led the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida.
Florida voters in November overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2, which makes marijuana available to people with cancer, epilepsy, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments.
They must get a doctor’s permission to buy cannabis.
The Canadian company’s arrival underscores just how hotly contested Florida’s marijuana market could become.
Most industry players expected half a million Floridians to sign up for the medical marijuana program, but Scorsis says the number could be higher.
“We always saw Florida as a tremendous opportunity because of the sheer population size,” Scorsis said.
Before he took over Liberty Health Sciences, Scorsis ran Mettrum Health Corp., a cannabis cultivator in Canada.
That company sold earlier this year for more than $400 million.
Liberty Health Services is an offshoot of another Canadian cannabis company, and Scorsis said its hallmark is growing marijuana cheaply compared to its competitors.
“We are the lowest-cost producer in Canada, and we also will be the lowest-cost producer in Florida,” Scorsis said. “We need to ensure that the product we produce is affordable.”
So Liberty Health Services could bring price competition to Florida, where prices have proven higher than in California and Colorado.
“Right now, there’s not much competition, and there aren’t many patients to compete for,” Pollara said.
As of July 12, there were 23,350 patients on the state’s cannabis rolls, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Now that Scorsis has taken over Chestnut Hill’s operations, he aims to begin opening dispensaries.
Scorsis said he’s negotiating three leases in South Florida and one in Central Florida.
He said the stores will focus on explaining the effects of cannabis to patients.
“Our retail outlets will be a combination of education centers and retail outlets,” Scorsis said.
While Liberty Health Services paid a hefty sum to get into Florida’s marijuana market, Scorsis stressed the company’s altruistic bent.
“Medical cannabis is there because patients need it,” he said, “and we need to work backward from there.”
By JOE REEDY, Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida legislators are back on a path to passing a bill for enacting the state’s constitutional amendment expanding the use of medical marijuana.
Gov. Rick Scott added medical marijuana to the agenda for the special legislative session that began Wednesday after lawmakers reached a compromise on key elements. The House’s Health & Human Services Committee passed it on Wednesday night. The Senate’s Health Policy Committee will meet Thursday morning, with both chambers likely to review it later in the day.
“Both sides made significant concessions and were able to come together,” said Rep. Ray Rodrigues, who sponsored the House’s bill. “Neither one of us got everything we wanted, but we both got something we could live with.”
The amendment, approved by 71 percent of voters in November, expands legal use beyond the limited prescriptions for low-strength marijuana allowed under a 2014 law. It also expands the eligible ailments beyond the current list of cancer, epilepsy and chronic muscle spasms to include HIV and AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and similar conditions.
When the bill implementing the amendment fell apart late in the session, the Senate wanted to limit each treatment center to 15 locations with no sunset provisions and make medical marijuana subject to sales tax. The House wanted no caps and no sales tax.
Under the agreement, there will be a limit of 25 retail dispensaries per medical marijuana treatment center, which can increase by five for every 100,000 patients added to the registry. The cap would expire on April 1, 2020. The legislation also adds 10 more medical marijuana treatment centers, meaning there would be 17 statewide by October. Four additional centers would be added for every 100,000 patients.
According to the Department of Health, the state registry now has 16,614 patients. A recent state revenue impact study projects that by 2022 there will be 472,000 medical cannabis patients and $542 million in sales.
Sen. Rob Bradley, the Senate’s main sponsor of the bill, said marijuana would not be taxed because it is considered to be medicine.
Patients and caregivers say the proposed rules remain too restrictive. The bill allows patients to receive an order for three 70-day supplies during a doctor’s visit that they could then take to a medical marijuana treatment center, but it bans smoking. The smoking ban is likely to be challenged in the courts. Training for doctors would drop from eight hours to two but they would still have to stringently document patients’ conditions before prescribing marijuana.
“There’s that saying about having something done is better than perfect. People are counting on something getting done,” said John Morgan, who played a key role in getting the amendment on the ballot and passed.
Morgan has said he will sue the state for not allowing smoking, but Rodrigues said there aren’t any scientific studies to show that smoking is effective.
“If he wants to sue us, that it is his prerogative. I am confident it can be defended in front of a judge,” Rodrigues said.
For the past month, medical marijuana supporters have said it would be easier for the Legislature to establish the framework of rules instead of the Department of Health, which went through several rounds of litigation when trying to determine who would be licensed to produce and distribute pot.
The amendment requires new laws to be in place by July 3 and enacted by October. Rodrigues said he is optimistic the bill will pass, despite an ongoing feud over the state budget.
“If they were going to have an impact, I believe we would not have to an agreement in the first place,” Rodrigues said.
Follow Joe Reedy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/joereedy . Read more of his work at https://apnews.com/search/joe%20reedy .
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Florida Senate starts shaping up medical marijuana plan
Posted By Dara Kam, News Service of Florida
More growers, access to treatment for snowbirds and greater flexibility in the relationship between patients and doctors are among the items likely to be included in a Senate proposal to carry out a constitutional amendment approved by voters in November to broadly legalize medical marijuana.
The Senate Health Policy Committee held a workshop Wednesday on the implementation of Amendment 2, which garnered the support of more than 71 percent of Florida voters, as lawmakers try to reach consensus on five pieces of legislation floating in the Senate.
The most controversial issues include how many licenses the state should award to marijuana growers, now limited to seven. Also, they include who should be deemed eligible to qualify for the treatment and whether to maintain the “vertical integration” system —- requiring medical marijuana organizations to grow, process and distribute cannabis products —- currently in use.
Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican who was instrumental in the passage of medical marijuana laws in 2014 and 2016 and is the sponsor of the chamber’s highest-profile piece of cannabis-related legislation this year, was the only senator to appear before the committee.
The 2014 law allowed non-euphoric marijuana for limited types of patients, such as children with severe seizures. The 2016 legislation allowed full-strength marijuana for terminally ill patients. But the constitutional amendment will make cannabis available to a far-broader group of Floridians.
Under Bradley’s bill (SB 406), the state would have to issue five new licenses by the end of the year and could see another 20 marijuana operators —- nearly quadruple the seven current licensed “dispensing organizations” —- once the number of patients registered for the treatment reaches 500,000. The number of licenses would go up as the number of registered patients increases.
Bradley, a former prosecutor, acknowledged that his bill was likely too restrictive but cautioned against an open market for marijuana, which he pointed out is still an illegal drug under federal law.
“I hear a lot of talk about the current system as being a cartel,” he said. “This is not the selling of lawnmowers or office supplies. In those cases, there should be unlimited markets free from government oversight. This is very different. … Mom and pop stores don’t grow and sell medication that treat your wife’s cancer.”
But Bradley stressed the importance of having “a lot of different options from different providers” to keep prices down and guarantee patient access to the once-demonized substance that is now medicine in Florida.
Bradley frequently referred to a measure sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, that would require the state to issue 10 new licenses by October, and, like Bradley’s bill, includes a component requiring more licenses as the number of patients grows.
Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Dana Young, who referenced the other Senate measures throughout the meeting, told reporters her panel will propose a bill during the first week of April, at the earliest, giving time for the House and the Senate to hash out differences before the legislative session is scheduled to end on May 5.
The final product will likely be a hybrid of the Senate measures already filed, Young indicated.
“I do think that more licenses up front and different thresholds will be something almost certainly we’ll move to. The question is how many and what thresholds,” Young told reporters after Wednesday’s meeting.
Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for the political committee that successfully promoted Amendment 2, said Wednesday he felt “pretty good about” the Senate’s approach, in contrast with a House proposal that drew Pollara’s wrath.
House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, is steering a measure (HB 1397) that would, among other things, bar all but terminally ill medical marijuana patients from using vaporizers or edibles to consume cannabis products.
Young, R-Tampa, said she has not been in negotiations with her House counterparts on the issue.
“I have not had any conversations with Leader Rodrigues or any members of the Florida House on this legislation,” Young told reporters when asked. “Obviously, we have got to pass a bill through both houses, but beyond that, no.”
Medical Marijuana Bill Headed to Senate Floor
It’s officially “go” time for the Florida Legislature to finally reach an agreement over the future of medical marijuana in Florida.
On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Senate’s proposal to regulate medical cannabis, green-lighting the bill with only one “no” vote, from Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg.
The bill now heads to the full Senate for approval.
SB 406, sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, is the Senate’s idea of how Florida will regulate the state’s newly expanded medical marijuana industry after nearly 72 percent of voters approved the constitutional amendment last fall.
Senators heard several amendments to Bradley’s bill on Tuesday. One of the amendments, pushed by Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach and former Sen. Frank Artiles, would add minority and veterans diversity plans for medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs).
Another amendment would require doctors to check the Compassionate Use Registry to verify patients weren’t “doctor shopping,” or seeing multiple doctors to get several prescriptions for medical marijuana.
Bradley’s bill, seen as the less restrictive measure moving through the state legislature, would grandfather in the seven current MMTCs and increase the cap on the number of marijuana dispensaries, expanding the number of businesses by five more when the state has 250,000 patients, 350,000 patients, 400,000 patients and then every 100,000 thereafter.
SB 406 would also allow eliminate the three-month waiting period and would also allow patients to increase their prescription cannabis supply from 45 to 90 days or even greater than 90 days with a doctor’s approval.
The legislation would create a coalition to research medical marijuana through Tampa’s H. Lee Moffitt Center and Research Institute, one of the top medical research centers in the state.
The goal of the coalition, according to the bill, is to conduct “rigorous scientific research,” and to “guide policy” for the adoption of a statewide policy on ordering and dosing practices for medical marijuana.
An education board, appointed by Dr. Alan List, the chief executive officer of the Moffitt Cancer Center, will adopt a plan for medical marijuana research in Florida. By Feb. 15 of each year, the board would need to report to the governor, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House on research projects, community outreach initiatives and future plans of the coalition in regards to medical marijuana.
Nonresidents would also be allowed to apply to receive medical marijuana in Florida as long as they are able to get medical marijuana in their home state and qualify in Florida.
Another amendment would require the Department of Health to have computer software system to track marijuana from “seed to sale,” following pot as it’s planted and distributed to patients statewide.
Bradley’s legislation has had a relatively easy time sailing through the Senate, but now the real negotiations begin to regulate Florida’s medical cannabis industry.
On Monday, a Florida House committee passed that chamber’s proposal to regulate medical pot and the bill has many provisions at odds with the Senate’s proposals.
Anti-drug groups like the Drug Free America Foundation have largely been behind crafting HB 1397 and say a more restrictive proposal is the correct way to prevent “abuse” of the state’s newest prescription drug.
The House measure, for example, includes the 90-day wait period for patients, bans edibles and vaping and also prohibits pregnant women from ingesting the drug even if their doctor suggest it.
In order to pass and become a law, both chambers will need to reach an agreement over what the state will and will not allow when it comes to medical pot.
Both bills are now ready to be heard by the House and Senate, but no hearing dates have been set.
Canada marijuana company Aphria buying into Florida’s market
Aphria, a publicly traded firm based out of Ontario, plans to invest $25 million in a shell that will purchase most or all of the assets of Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, the Alachua nursery that operates CHT Medical. Aphria, which is now expanding into the U.S. market, will combine its cash with $35 million raised through a private placement in order to purchase and operate the company.
That placement, at $2.08 a share, implies a market cap of $177 million and suggests Aphria’s investment — which includes a 3 percent royalty on sales, plus shares — is worth $67 million, according to an analysis by Canadian investment dealer Eight Capital. Once the deal is completed, Aphria will retain 37.6 percent ownership in the state’s newly formed operator, which will be known as Liberty Health Sciences and operate under the brand of Aphria USA.
“Aphria’s success story is no longer limited to Canada,” CEO Vic Neufeld said in a press release.
Voters take second shot at legalizing Florida medical marijuana
This year’s Amendment 2 would broaden access for diseases with symptoms other than seizures or spasms
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida voters have a second chance to approve a state amendment legalizing medical marijuana for ailments including glaucoma, AIDS and post-traumatic stress disorder, after narrowly rejecting a similar measure two years ago.
The legislature in the meantime has allowed limited use of non-smoked, low-THC pot for patients with cancer or ailments that cause chronic seizures or severe spasms, and two dispensaries have opened in the state with home deliveries allowed statewide. Delays in fully implementing the law have added to arguments in favor of legalizing medical marijuana under the state constitution.
Florida would become the 26th state along with the District of Columbia to legalize the marijuana plant for medical use. Florida is one of 16 states where only part of the marijuana plant is used.
Opponents of the measure in 2014, which failed to garner the required 60 percent of the vote, had expressed concerns that Florida would be overrun with pot shops and that children wouldn’t be adequately protected from potential bad effects of the drug.
Proponents say loopholes have been closed this time, including requiring parental written consent for underage patients and that caregivers register with the state Health Department.
This year’s Amendment 2 would broaden access for diseases with symptoms other than seizures or spasms. The measure lists 10 illnesses: cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. It also allows doctors to prescribe pot for any other similar kind of ailment.
The department will regulate how medical marijuana can be distributed along with mandating identification cards for caregivers and patients. Many rules and regulations — from how the marijuana is grown to regulations on how it can be transported for in-home delivery — already have been passed by the legislature under laws for limited use of marijuana. Those regulations also will apply to the constitutional amendment.
We have five days to raise what we can and make our last advertising purchases.
We came up short last time. We will not lose again… if we have help.
– Raymer Maguire, IV
Deputy Campaign Manager
In reality, we only have 10 days left to fundraise… and we are making daily decisions as to where we target our advertising.
At any given moment, the No on 2 campaign can tap one of their big donors and try to overtake us.
THIS IS IT. We have a very clear opportunity to win—something we’ve been fighting towards for years. We can’t let the patients down by faltering in the last stretch.
Thank you for supporting this campaign.
This poll confirms what other polls have shown all along–voters recognize it is time to do what legislature failed to do and pass a compassionate medical marijuana law letting doctors use their best judgement for their seriously debilitated patients.
Importantly, we are showing 13% higher support than we did at the exact same point in the 2014 campaign, 18 days before the election.
Still, we can’t let our guard down. We are still advertising and will continue to do so right until the end.
As such, we must continue to fundraise to pay for these communications. Please make a donation here now, and it will be matched 5-to-1.
Thank you. Onward to victory!
If things go well, we will secure the right of doctors to recommend what’s best for their seriously debilitated patients… and remove the risk of arrest for thousands of patients and caregivers.
In order for things to go well, though, we have to communicate right through to election day—particularly to those audiences who aren’t sure or whose support is tenuous.
With more candidates on the airwaves and online than ever, costs are high. But the stakes are higher for the patients we’re fighting for.
Thank you for your support,
Yes on 2
Medical cannabis advocates boycott Publix over donations to Drug Free Florida
Written By Emily Gray Brosious
Medical marijuana supporters call on Publix heiress to stop funding anti-cannabis campaign.
Medical marijuana advocates are boycotting Publix supermarkets after discovering the family who founded the Florida supermarket chain donated $800,000 dollars to Drug Free Florida, a campaign fighting to block medical cannabis legislation from passing in the state.
“I never thought buying groceries could be a political statement. That is, until I realized the family that owns Publix donated nearly a million dollars to a platform that I strongly oppose,” medical cannabis advocate and Lauderhill, Florida, resident Heidi Handford writes in a Change.org petition. “The money I was spending on groceries was being used to take down the Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative.”
Handford says her spouse has been successfully using medical cannabis for the past 30 years to subdue a rare and painful bone disorder, and she now “feels betrayed by a corporation I used to patronize.”
“I think it’s hypocritical that Publix has no problem selling drugs like opioids, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine across their stores and pharmacies, but they use my money to dispute what numerous studies have shown: medical marijuana is medicine,” Handford writes.
Her Change.org petition asking Publix heiress Carol Jenkins Barnett to stop funding Drug Free Florida’s campaign against the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative has already received nearly 42,000 signatures.
The medical cannabis initiative, also known as Amendment 2, will appear on Florida’s Nov. 8, 2016 ballot. If passed by voters, the amendment would legalize whole plant medical cannabis for individuals with specific debilitating diseases and conditions as determined by a licensed state physician.
If the amendment fails to pass, that would mean keeping the state’s current more limited medical cannabis program, which only allows for medical use of nonpsychoactive cannabis oil by certain qualified patients.
State election records show the Carol Jenkins Barnett Family Trust donated $800,000 to Drug Free Florida, “the lobbying group running a scare-tactics campaign to kill Florida’s medical marijuana amendments,” as Miami New Times reported in July 2016.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Jenkins Barnett, daughter of Publix founder George Jenkins, was the largest Publix shareholder as of June, with ownership of approximately 5 percent of the supermarket chain. She is estimated to be worth about $1.8 billion.
Florida: Medical Cannabis Bill Headed Back To Florida Senate
A medical cannabis bill is headed back to the floor of the Florida Senate after being approved in the rules committee Monday.
The bill (SB460) was debated on the Senate floor last week but was referred back to committee because of the number of late amendments sought.
According to the company’s prospectus, “[Med-X] determined the price of the shares arbitrarily. The offering price of the shares of common stock has been determined by management, and bears no relationship to our assets, book value, potential earnings, net worth or any other recognized criteria of value.” Med-X did not respond to a request for comment.
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators introduced a bill that would end the denial of government financial aid to students who have a drug conviction.
At The Influence, executive Shaleen Title writes that the industry needs to talk about reparations: “The marijuana industry is different from Hollywood, tech and every other industry currently struggling with a “diversity” problem. Because this industry was created by campaigns using talking points about the systematic destruction of communities of color to encourage voters to pass legalization.”
Massachusetts’ Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote to the Centers for Disease Control urging research into MED as an alternative to opiods. In New Hampshire, heroin dealers could face murder charges.
A study found that smoking pot before age 16 is associated with damage in the brain’s pre-frontal cortex, the area responsible for willpower, focus and planning skills. Labels warning about consuming during pregnancy will appear in Colorado later this year.
The Seattle Times introduced readers to Ian Karl Eisenberg who runs Seattle’s busiest dispensary. He’s been under fire for gentrifying his neighborhood and displacing black residents. Asked if cannabis was a moral business he said “Is working for Boeing and making warplanes moral?”
At the Super Bowl, San Francisco’s abundance of weed surprised visiting NFL dignitaries. The weekend was the biggest ever for California delivery serviceGreenRush with sales more than 300 percent above normal.
The Cannabist’s pot critic Jake Browne picked the five most stoner friendly Super Bowl ads. After the game, Denver’s winning quarterback Peyton Manning said he wanted a Budweiser.
The Mormon church opposes MED, raising questions about whether a bill will pass in the Utah state senate. New Orleans may reduce penalties for possession. Vice has a dispatch from Puerto Rico’s legalization movement. The island territory is known for tough penalties.
Equities.com interviewed Dixie Brands CEO Tripp Keber.
A former federal judge asked President Obama to commute the 55-year sentence he delivered to a music producer who brought guns to pot deals. TheDEA searched the homes of two Portland-area extract factory owners. Their facility was shut down in December for code violations.
A judge ruled that Nevada acted constitutionally when it accepted registration fees for MED cards before product was available. The FDA sent warning lettersto eight CBD companies telling them to stop making health claims about their products. One of the targeted companies has the bizarre name Morguetorium and sells products called Morgue Juice.
In an interview with Leafly, blogger and journalist Andrew Sullivan said cannabis saved the lives of many AIDS patients in the 1990s, by enabling them to tolerate heavy pharmaceutical regimens. “I found it intolerable that the government would actively prevent people from saving their own lives.” Sullivan, who’s best known as an early advocate for same-sex marriage, edited “The Cannabis Closet” a book of writings by stereotype-defying users.
Deborah Dunafon, owner of Denver-area strip club Shotgun Willie’s has opened a pot shop across the parking lot. Meanwhile, her husband, Glendale, Colo. mayor Mike Dunafon, received an ethics complaint after voting to allow it. He was not her husband at the time of the vote, but they were living together.
Actor and cannabis activist Woody Harrelson applied to open a MED dispensary in Honolulu County, Hawaii.
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