Big Cannabis, Priority Applicants, and Social Equity in the Budding Marijuana Industry

The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts recently passed an ordinance prohibiting existing medical marijuana dispensaries from engaging in the sale of recreational marijuana for two years.[1] Specifically, the ordinance gives priority to economic empowerment applicants, defined under the state’s Cannabis Control Commission as businesses that are owned by, serve, or reside in areas disproportionately impacted by high amounts of drug-related arrests, including businesses owned by individuals of Black, African American, Hispanic, and Latino descent.[2] For the first two years after the Cambridge ordinance’s enactment,…
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Up In Smoke: Where Are Potential New Illnesses Tied To Vaping Leading the Cannabis Industry?

In the cannabis industry the CDC recently identified 450 cases of lung disease in people who used vaping products. It indicated that many of the patients suffering from the disease used products containing THC, while others had used a combination of nicotine and THC. On Thursday, September 5, 2019, New York state officials said the illnesses may be related to Vitamin E acetate, but stressed that “No one substance, including Vitamin E acetate, has been identified in all of the samples tested,” according to Stephanie…
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A New Day in Medical Cannabis in New York and New Jersey?

A new day may be dawning on both New York and New Jersey medical cannabis programs. Their close proximity to one another, shared infrastructure, and easy commuting between New York City and the various suburbs means they’ve always shared many common interests. We can add their viewpoint on cannabis to that list. Both states initially pushed to join the ranks of those states who legalized adult use of cannabis. Ultimately, neither state passed such legislation. So what does that mean for the states’ medical cannabis…
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Two Bills Pending Before Maryland Legislature Potentially Place Employers/Insurers in a No-Win Situation

As the 2019 Maryland legislative session winds down, two bills pending before the Maryland legislature are positioned to create significant changes and additional uncertainty, within  Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation framework. Committee Chair Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D-Baltimore County) is the lead sponsor of Senate Bills 854 and 863, two bills specifying the use of medical cannabis in the context of workers’ compensation cases. Background Senate Bill 854 states that a covered employee or dependent is not entitled to workers’ compensation or associated benefits if the accidental injury…
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Edible Cannabis: Coming to a Dispensary Near You in Florida

Medical marijuana continues its eventful 2019 in the Sunshine State. Mere weeks after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill ending Florida’s ban on smokable medical marijuana, the Florida Legislature pushed back on the industry. A February house bill that sought to legalize recreational cannabis died without a hearing or a vote, the House Appropriations Committee rejected an amendment that would have allowed medical marijuana to treat opioid addiction, and, despite the lack of public support, the Legislature proposed a bill that would place caps on…
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From One to Five: A “Snapshot” Look at the Breakthrough in the Scheduling System for Cannabis Based Medication

Medical use? Recreational Use? Federal vs. State? These are many of the common questions and concerns your average patient has with respect to cannabis today and the answer isn’t quite as clear as we would like it to be; however, there is a linguistic trend steering towards the term “medicated” to replace, the pejorative, “high” for cannabis users seeking medical relief. Notwithstanding, this re-branding and imaging of cannabis, the basis for much of this confusion is the Controlled Substances Act. As a refresher, cannabis is…
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Federal Court in New Jersey Rules on Reasonable Accommodation of Medical Marijuana

Many employers have longstanding zero tolerance drug use policies. With the growing number of states passing laws that decriminalize medical and/or recreational marijuana use, the application of these policies become murky. In the realm of medical marijuana, there is a growing body of case law interpreting whether or not employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees that a hold a valid medical marijuana certification. A federal court in New Jersey recently ruled on a case that involved a forklift operator who was injured at work…
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Florida Seeks to End Ban on Smoking Medical Marijuana

On Tuesday, February 12, 2019, the Florida House’s Health and Human Services Committee considered a new bill that would allow medical marijuana patients to receive their prescription in smokable form.  The Committee voted in favor of the bill, with only two votes in opposition, and it will now head to the appropriations committee as it moves closer to a vote. After Florida voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2016, then Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law while putting into place a ban on…
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Medical Cannabis and the Potential for Criminal Charges

This past Monday, February 4, 2019, a medical cannabis patient in Utah plead guilty to a Class B misdemeanor for possession of a controlled substance. The patient had a quantity of CBD oil in his trunk. He used that oil as medicine to treat epilepsy. There are many oils which are good for your health, which includes CBD oil. However, the patient purchased the oil in Oregon and it contained small amounts of THC, though not an intoxicating amount. Oregon allows its CBD oil…
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Crossing (State) Lines

Since 2014, New York has made medical cannabis available to individuals suffering from a variety of conditions under the Compassionate Care Act.  However, in order to obtain medical cannabis, a patient must be certified by a medical professional licensed in New York.  Now, two states have decided that open lines of communication (and sales) should be allowed.  On January 2, 2019, the Arkansas Department of Health announced it planned on issuing registry identification cards by February, following a meeting by the Medical Marijuana Commission where…
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