Governor Matt Bevin was asked about his stance on cannabis this week. He was speaking at a community event and explained how personal the topic is for him. During his answer, he clearly stated that cannabis has medicinal benefits for many people. At one point he got very emotional and mentioned his young nephew who fought and died from cancer. Unfortunately, countless other people are going through a similar situation. Legally, they can only rely on dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. He realizes that, and claims he will support a well-written bill. It was stressed during his talk that the main goal shouldn’t be to raise tax money.
Kentucky is one of the few remaining states without an active medical marijuana program. The southern states are notorious for their history of harsh marijuana laws. Cannabis has a much more negative stigma among the general population. States like Kentucky are not known for being progressive with any of their laws. Conservatives hold control of the state government and the population of voters is also strongly republican. However, medical marijuana is one of the rare topics that both democrats and republicans can agree on. Now that more then half the country has legalized medical marijuana, they are finally taking steps in the right direction.
Also this past week, a medical marijuana bill was introduced by Senator Stephen West. A lot of the rules drafted in the bill are likely to change before it has the chance to pass into law. It is very early on in the process, but still very promising. The timing is perfect with the Governor making his pro-cannabis remarks. One thing to keep in mind is that Bevin is not a supporter of recreational marijuana use. My guess is that more then half the country will need to have legalized cannabis before Kentucky reconsiders. However, anything is better then their current laws.
The regulatory authority in charge of the medical marijuana industry in Michigan is LARA (The department of licensing and regulatory affairs). Currently, they are proposing a new set of rules. According to Michigan.gov, cardholders can expect a 33% reduction in their state application fee. In addition, officials aim to eliminate various other processing charges. The goal of the new rules is to cut costs for patients. The administration drafted these changes shortly after expanding their available online services. Instead of increasing profits, they openly passed on the savings.
The state has been lacking when it comes to licensing businesses in a timely fashion. However, they have a solid system available to patients and caregivers. Online services mentioned earlier include : ability to submit application online, check status of application, renew or replace cards, remove caregivers, and withdrawal from the program. Hopefully it will incentivize more people to renew. It will be easy for many to simply let their card expire, now that weed is legal. Possesion limits remain the same unless you’re a caregiver. The patient-caregiver system is great, and I hope it continues to thrive. It promotes the small batch craft cannabis growers.
Proposed Rule Changes
All of the changes seem to benefit registered patients. The key changes include:
- Changing the application fee from $60 to $40.
- Eliminate $25 caregiver background check fee.
- Eliminate $10 Change form fee(replace card fee).
- Extends the renewal period from 60 days to 90 days.
- Allows MMMP staff to contact patients/caregivers by e-mail to increase response speed.
- Allow patients to change the person authorized to posses plants at any time.
Michigan passed medical marijuana in 2008, and dispensaries were not legally operating at the time. The regulatory system has been in place over 10 years. Each year they’ve improved and now it seems the state has mastered the administrative role. Hopefully in a few years we will say the same thing about commercial licensing. No one here is an expert at regulating this plant, so trial and error should be expected. Those getting into the industry right off the bat need to be ready for unexpected rules and procedures.
A public hearing will be scheduled next month and hear the communities opinion on the proposed changes. LARA will not make any of these changes before the hearing.
Patients in the state of Michigan with a registered caregiver have been taking advantage of home delivery since 2008. Those who do not have a registered caregiver in the program and use provisioning centers as their point of access will likely have similar options soon. This is great news because for many patients there simply aren’t any local dispensaries operating nearby. Also, there are many cases where a patient is severely ill or suffers from a condition that affects their ability to drive. The fact that caregivers can only supply up to five patients makes it hard for some people to find a grower who can supply them with a steady supply of high-quality medicine. Along with that, some people benefit/prefer using marijuana in different ways outside of its raw form. As a result, this sends many patients to dispensaries so that they can have a large selection of products to choose from.
If you live in Michigan or have looked at the local Weedmaps directory, it is obvious that delivery services have been operating for years. These businesses are hiding in a grey area at best. They can’t claim to be caregivers because they are servicing anybody with a valid medical marijuana license that contacts them. While I’m sure a few have run into some legal trouble, the overall delivery market hasn’t been affected or slowed down. These services are prevalent in metro Detroit and offer reasonable pricing despite their convenience. Patients most likely wouldn’t see any major changes if deliveries become allowed, it would simply provide protection for brick and mortar stores to expand operations outside their store. Unregulated delivery services will probably be cracked down on and be forced to apply for a commercial license or close. This is no guarantee, just what I think is likely to happen considering the closing of all the dispensaries in Detroit lately. By September 15th, all dispensaries who haven’t been awarded a commercial license must close their doors. Unless there is an extension to that date, I think this will be applied to existing delivery services soon. The state hasn’t been too friendly to the medical marijuana businesses that have been operating unregulated for years and I think that trend will continue.
The proposed rules would allow dispensaries to have only one staff member making deliveries at a time. This driver can only make three consecutive stops before returning. In addition, the GPS location of the driver must be tracked and logged by the dispensary. There is also a provision added to the proposal that mentions residents living in a city or township banning dispensaries would still be allowed to receive deliveries. These “dry” communities have accomplished nothing but make medicine less accessible for patients. At least residents will now have legal protection to acquire medicine without leaving their local area. It seems that the state is headed in the right direction establishing permanent rules and providing protections for those looking to deliver medicine to patients. However, I think it could go with a lot less regulation. Making it so existing delivery services have to have a physical storefront and limiting the number of staff that can be conducting deliveries is just unnecessary. Marijuana has been unregulated for years through prohibition and even up until last December when the state began accepting commercial licenses. Those who took all the risks and were the pioneers in the industry are being flushed out by newcomers with lots of capital. It would be nice to see some of the existing delivery services able to continue to build their business and reap some benefits for all the risks they have taken for their patients.
Across the great lakes state, cultivation facilities and dispensaries are facing a September 15th deadline to either be approved and licensed by the state or shut down operations. Those who have gained approval from their local officials and have already submitted their applications to the state are extremely worried. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) began accepting applications in December of 2017, but the process to approve businesses is taking a very long time. There have already been two previous deadlines set that were extended before the fast-approaching September 15 cutoff. It seems that the government was not prepared to handle the overwhelming number of applications.
Currently, only 16 applications were given approval out of the 637 submitted for one of the four license types: cultivation, retail, transportation, and processing. Processing refers to businesses that will purchase cannabis from growers and create infused products or extracts like Rick Simpson oil. There seems to be a small number of resources being devoted to inspecting and approving licenses. Luckily, local officials are concerned for patients access to medicine and have been reaching out to Snyder asking for an extension. It’s equally important to support the cannabis pioneers that have invested their life savings into provisioning centers in order to legally help patients find relief. Now, dispensary employees are left to question if they will have their paycheck coming next month or if they will find themselves unemployed. It is crucial that the state responds back quickly so these people aren’t forced to abandon their investments and careers in order to pursue other sources of income.
It almost seems like the officials enjoy causing problems among the medical cannabis community since they can no longer arrest those involved. Why even set a deadline at all for these businesses to get approved? Deny and approve the licenses as they come in and if they have been approved by their local city/township then they should be able to operate until they are given a response. It’s bad enough they are picking and choosing which dispensaries can and can’t operate as they please. Shutting them down before they even get a chance to be evaluated because people created a random date is just wrong. No other industry is facing the same level of regulations and hoops to jump through in order to legally operate. It’s just another example of unnecessary government regulation. The number of stores should be determined by the levels of supply and demand and as a result of certain companies gaining competitive advantages over one another.
There should be some regulation when it comes to advertising and locating next to schools, but not with arbitrary date setting. These businesses would risk losing the chance to secure a license in the future if they operate past the September 15th deadline without being approved. I can’t imagine the level of stress these owners are dealing with right now. They only have two options if the deadline is not extended. Either close temporarily and pray for a license while still paying overhead costs, or close permanently and exit the business. Staying open and risking being raided/closed shouldn’t be considered a valid third option. Criminal charges and no possibility of entering the industry would be the worst possible outcome for a successful marijuana entrepreneur. The next coming weeks are going to be full of uncertainty until a solution is offered by the state.
Medical marijuana legislation in the United States currently provides essential protection from prosecution to approximately 2.3 million patients. These patients are allowed to take their medicine almost everywhere, but when it comes to a federally funded college campus, those protections can vanish. Medical marijuana use is viewed as narcotics use thanks to the controlled substance act that still lists marijuana as a dangerous drug. Colleges are continuing to enforce a complete prohibition of the plant, and I’m afraid some people are not aware that bringing their medicine on campus can have serious consequences. Not only have some students faced criminal prosecution, but they have also suffered additional penalties from the school administration.
One of the best ways to eliminate running into any trouble would be to seek off-campus housing. It simply isn’t a viable solution to live in a dorm and hardly ever be able to find relief. There would be nowhere safe to store it and even the idea of smoking off campus would mean getting a new small supply each time. Edibles would be effective and stealthy, but many people prefer smoking/vaporization because the effects are immediate and much more predictable. Storing edibles may be harder to detect but I would still not recommend keeping it anywhere on school grounds. It wouldn’t surprise me if university police decided to weigh the whole edible and charge as if it were normal cannabis. Having your medicine at housing near campus guarantees no legal trouble and allows you to use it as needed. Patient possession limits are often set high enough to be considered intent to sell by police/universities. In Michigan, patients are allowed to have 2.5 ounces in their possession which would easily land non-patients a felony charge for intent to distribute. Always remember you’re subject to different laws on school grounds, regardless if it’s a college, high school, elementary etc.
I’m uncertain how long this type of prosecution will continue but I would expect to see some legislation taking effect before federal law officially changes. Arizona has already made headlines this year when the supreme court ruled that banning medical marijuana on public colleges violated the protections of the voter-approved law. Students in Arizona who have medical marijuana cards will not face criminal prosecutions but they have faced administrative penalties. The possession, use, and sale are all still prohibited on college grounds due to the federal funding provided by the U.S. government. That funding would not be threatened based on whether students are criminally prosecuted, but instead would be based on whether schools still prohibit the substance. This is definitely a step in the right direction as students will likely be willing to risk administrative action in order to have their medicine easily accessible. While other states have yet to enact similar policies, colleges across the country are removing the requirement that first-year students need to live on campus. Universities are doing this so patients can continue using their medicine and pursue an education without the risk of endangering their future. We still have a long way to go to ensure protection in the educational environment is not limited to those who treat their illnesses with pharmaceutical drugs.
Yesterday was a major victory for patients suffering from a variety of serious diseases in Michigan. People who couldn’t qualify to use marijuana legally either risked prosecution or continued to use less effective pharmecutical drugs. The existing list before the change took effect only included eight conditions. They more than doubled that list by adding 10 new qualifying conditions that a physician can legally recommend marijuana for. The old list included cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, Chron’s disease, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Now protection will be expanded to those suffering from arthritis, autism, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injury, Tourette’s syndrome, and colitis. I would expect to see an explosion in the number of registered patients in my state as a result of this change. The number of people who have one of these new conditions is enormous, but many will not take advantage of the expanded coverage.
I think that the most noticeable difference will be an increase in the amount of elderly medical marijuana users. One of the key conditions that now qualifies is arthritis. This disease is more common among the older generation and its addition to the list will likely attract some senior citizens. I also believe that with the success of marijuana legalization across the country and in Canada, more people will be questioning their negative attitude surrounding the plant. When I have visited local dispensaries rarely did I see anyone over the age of 65 in there. However, this is likely because they have registered caregivers that grow or acquire their medicine for them so they don’t have to travel. This age group is generally known for their opposition to drugs that have been illegal their entire lives. Those facing old age are the ones who need cannabis the most and hopefully, these new conditions will lead more elderly patients to try alternative medicine.
There seems to only be positive results when more conditions are allowed to be treated using marijuana. If I were to write the law it wouldn’t be a list of qualifying conditions, but rather discretion would be given to physicians. They should be able to recommend marijuana whenever they feel it could positively benefit their patient. Leaving it up to the government to decide what conditions should qualify doesn’t make sense. Doctors are the ones who have the most knowledge regarding the side effects of diseases and are familiar with each patient’s unique scenario. Either way, there will be a noticeable growth in the economy of medical marijuana businesses in order to meet the demand of more registered patients. More jobs are going to come to the state if recreational marijuana passes in November and now we don’t need to wait until then. Dispensaries and cultivation facilities will need additional help and more new facilities will probably start springing up as well.
Compared to other states medical marijuana programs, Michigan is definitely blessed. Looking at Ohio cities banning home cultivation or other states like Texas only allowing CBD oil for seizures makes our laws feel relaxed. We pretty much lie right in the middle of the spectrum of marijuana enforcement. There are lots of dispensaries to shop from across the state but only in large cities like Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and a few others. For people who live far away from these areas, their selection is limited to the black market or what they themselves can grow. At least these patients are still being provided protection from the law despite accessibility issues. Ten years down the line I envision Michigan’s marijuana industry to be developed like the west coast currently is. We are just a little behind the marijuana pioneers but still on the right track.
The President of Mexico, Enrique Peña on Monday had made a decree stating that cannabis is now legal to use for medical purposes in the country. It’s surprising, and this seems to be the opposite approach to what he has had in the past. This comes after a landslide victory for the same bill in April of this year in the lower house in parliament and this momentum seems to have something to do with the president taking action.
Products made and sold will have to contain less than 1% THC or lower currently. However cannabis cultivation of the whole plant for scientific or medical purposes will not be a punishable crime. Which is very important language luckily that was added to the proposal. I hope in the future both raw cannabis and extracts with high percentages of THC and CBD are available by purchase like we have in the states so they also can have safe reliable access. Within the next couple weeks the Health Ministry will be establishing guidelines and regulations for this brand new medical marijuana movement.
Like anywhere Mexico has plenty of people suffering from a number of severe and minor aliments that could be treated by this plant. Many of these conditions need all the chemicals that the entire natural plant produces and this most definitely includes THC. To try and reduce the amount of this important chemical is almost defeating the point of using the medicine in the first place. Yet, this is still an important move because it is a clear signal from the government that the people and legislature can’t be ignored for long. As we hear more about exactly what patients are allowed to possess and their rights, we’ll get a better idea on how Mexico plans to treat the thousands of suffering people who are looking for a natural alternative to harmful medications.
Everyone has heard that a joint helps the day after you have a hangover and the worst headache. This actually can be applied to those of us who suffer from the physical pain involved in migraines headaches. I thought it would be helpful if I shared my own personal experience and how I’ve found what type of cannabis treatment works best to treat the horrible side effects from migraines. To this day, I’m still experimenting with the different available plant forms and strains to see what works best for not only the pain but the horrible nausea that can accompany them. The funny thing is that even if I took any of the many popular strains that are being grown today, it would still work far better than the pharmaceutical drugs I got prescribed or could have got prescribed had I continued traditional treatment. If you are in a similar situation and all you have tried are painkillers or other drugs with negative side effects, try whatever form of marijuana consumption you would be most comfortable with obtaining. There are many places even in the United States still today that don’t make it easy to find specific strains to fit your medical needs by continuing prohibition. Unfortunately all you can really do is take whatever Bob the black market dealer has, or gain the skills and equipment to produce your own medicine. It may not only reduce the discomfort you experience during an episode, but more importantly prevent the frequency that they occur in my experience. There are also new studies supporting this idea popping up the past few years.
For those of us lucky enough to live in a place where locking people in cages for having a plant has lost its popularity, we have a wide selection of not only strains but edibles, oils, drinks, lotion, and anything you could imagine. The general rule that I live by when it comes to treating my migraines is that indica dominant hybrids work best. They provide the most pain relief while relaxing the whole body making the pounding sensation much less intense and manageable. There are most definitely specific strains in this category that work better than others, but when in doubt or lacking specific info, go with this category of strains. By sedating the body and providing a lot of pain relief it makes the dizziness subside and patients able to relax. As far as consuming these strains I find smoking and vaporizing far more ideal then edibles or other methods because they take a while to produce effects. Migraine suffers much prefer immediate relief because in 40-50 minutes the worst of it likely has passed in most cases. It’s often hard to anticipate one coming until you’re already experiencing the symptoms.
Before I was being more general by saying to look for a indica dominant strain, but I would like to get more specific and point you in the direction of some strains I’ve found help me greatly. One of these are sativa dominant and that’s why the indica/sativa differentiation is only applicable in general and is not a cut and dry rule whether your talking about treating migraines or any condition. First to start off, if you can get your hands on it, is the classic and arguable most popular marijuana strain OG Kush. I think that this may be the best strain ever, not only for how much it has helped me with pain relief and nausea but it amazes me with the best effects ever. When this is professionally grown and is the authentic genetics it doesn’t get any better. Most of the good strains that took off in popularity have this in it’s genetics. It packs the punch required to treat severe pain and makes you feel extremely euphoric. Another good option that won’t put you out for the night is Tangerine Dream. I would use this if I had to work or go to college because it really finds a way to kill the pain and give motivation. There are a lot of strains that do this but the flavor on this one is amazing! Hopefully this info can lead you to the same relief I have experienced since discovering medical cannabis for myself.
I would like to start by explaining where the love and interest of the cannabis plant stems from and why sharing/spreading information is so important.
Like many others, in my teenage years I was told by people and held the common belief that drugs are dangerous and held very little information about differences and side effects of both legal and illegal drugs. When it came to marijuana, I wouldn’t have known what it was if I smelt it from the other room or even saw it. I held the belief that your stupid if you smoke it and that it’s right up there with the other hard drugs. It wasn’t until I started having discussions with friends at school who had actually tried it and were familiar with the potential side effects, benefits, and dangers. These were people I viewed as intelligent in general and definitely had more knowledge on the subject of weed. The more I talked about it with them the more I became interested and did a small amount of research before experiencing with it.
My first experience with cannabis turned me on to it big time. There was no other experience in my life where everything was enhanced in a way that made it so easy to enjoy and appreciate. Music was something that I had considered myself passionate about but after that day it was a whole different story. The only way to describe it is being able to take in every musical note and focus with such clarity without any distraction. This experience was clearly 1oo% recreational and enjoyable but I still knew little about it’s benefits to both healthy and especially sick people.
This changed when I saw videos and information everywhere of people experiencing a complete turnaround in their health from using cannabis. The list of diseases that it either treats or heals is too long to list. The number of medications it could replace is staggering and the number of side effects it could eliminate is even higher. I watched a man with violent seizures stop them seconds after using medical marijuana in its natural form. It reduces the number of these episodes dramatically and with continued treatment has even stopped them. This is just one serious aliment and yet it’s been illegal for a period of over 70 years for both sick and recreational users.
The moment I realized I needed to do something for the cause was after I watched my aunt battle cancer in its late stages. Her appetite was gone and she was in way too much pain to do anything. The chemo therapy made her nauseous even though she wasn’t eating. I finally got her to try a cannabis edible and she managed to get some of it down through our help. Within 30 minutes she told me all the pain was gone and it was wonderful. She could feel the breeze through the window and actually ate a small meal. This changed my life forever and I knew that there was true potential in this demonized plant. Not long after that she passed, but I know this relief can help others and be used in time to give these suffering people the quality of life they deserve.
All of these events in my life made me want to write about this plant and the people who use it. Whether that be legislation or just interesting information, the goal is that someone learns about and maybe even personally benefits from this medicine. If this underrated medicine interests you and you’d like to read and discuss about it then follow my blog and share your thoughts!