The United States cannabis industry is taking action to legalize marijuana or further develop their medical marijuana programs these days as President Trump openly came out in support of a federal legalization bill.
Just a few days ago President Donald Trump came out in support of Senator Gardner’s cannabis bill which would, if passed, allow states to freely regulate their own cannabis markets independently of the federal policy towards the drug.
Over the course of the last weekend and the previous two days, a lot of things have happened, mostly good things for medical marijuana, so let’s get into it.
Michigan’s “word salad”
Michigan has had medical marijuana since 2008 and the state’s medical program has been very successful so far.
According to the state officials, the medical marijuana shops are not allowed to call themselves dispensaries, pharmacies, drugstores or apothecaries, as doing so will risk their losing their retail license.
The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affair issued an advisory bulletin on Monday, instructing shops that the preferred term in the eyes of the state is “provisioning centers”.
“The term ‘provisioning center’ includes any commercial property where marihuana is sold at retail to registered qualifying patients or registered primary caregivers,” said in advisory bulletin.
According to the Licensing and Regulatory Affair department (LARA), this goes back to the state’s original definition of the plant in the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
Ever since Michigan uses the more antiquated spelling, instead of the more commonly used one with a J as marijuana is spelled in most other places.
The state also pointed out that this regulatory and spelling requirement is pointed only towards the industry, as the State is aware that they can’t force anyone to use a certain term over another one.
If anything, this story only serves to bring more media attention to Michigan’s already successful medical marijuana program, even though it’s really a medical marihuana program.
Medical marijuana in Florida is blooming
Florida legalized medical marijuana in 2017, and ever since it’s program has been going up, up, and away. But, things may take a turn to worse for Florida.
More than 50 pounds of medical marijuana crosses the counters at dispensaries every week in Florida, which is no small amount. Florida has nearly 100,000 medical marijuana patients today.
If you do the math, it totals to about 2800 pounds yearly, or just under 1300 kilograms per year, which is much more than the whole Canadian market is projected to sell this year.
However, Christopher Cano who’s the executive director of the Central Florida Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws says that things aren’t going as fast as they were projected.
In fact, things are going more slowly than what is good for the state’s marijuana program.
“The numbers are low,” said Cano, “They’re only about a quarter of what they should be, and the reason for that is because of the barriers to entry to becoming a patient.”
Florida officials take around 2 weeks to process new applications for medical cards, and maintaining a medical marijuana card can be expensive as dispensaries are cash-only businesses.
Things are looking quite sour when you consider the state Legislature’s ban on smokable medical marijuana flowers, which was fortunately ruled unconstitutional by a circuit court Judge.
Even so, medical marijuana patients in Florida largely believe that patients shouldn’t smoke the flower, but rather choose different types of ingesting the drug.
Nurses, weed, and Colorado schools
Keeping weed out of schools has been a priority for teachers, security officers, police departments and just about anyone else trying to protect the kids from mishandling it.
However, that’s not going to be the case in certain schools in Colorado anymore, as all kids will need for a little bit of medical marijuana in school is a note from the parents and principal.
This change happened when the governor of Colorado signed a law that will now allow school nurses to administer medical marijuana to students.
This law allows nurses to treat medical weed like they would any other prescription medication, which they should.
Students won’t be allowed to carry their medical marijuana on the school bus or around school grounds, and nurses will have to keep it in a locked container.
Vermont’s confusing laws
State legislators in Vermont have passed a law which will go in effect as of July 1st, and this law is supposed to change the amount of cannabis permitted on a person once searched by the police.
Now, since Vermont will also have legal recreational cannabis come July 1st, the residents living in this state will also have 2 legal marijuana programs, a medical one which has around 6000 users, and a recreational one which is projected to be much bigger.
According to the new law, adults (21+) will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, as well as an unlimited harvest from home-grown plants.
Another law limits medical marijuana patients to 2 ounces, with no exceptions for harvested marijuana.
Guam has legal medical marijuana?
Many Americans may not know, but Guam is a small island in the Pacific ocean under US control, mostly important to the US Navy and other Armed Forces.
However, this small island is home to over 160,000 people, and those people have legalized medical marijuana way back in 2014.
Even though medical marijuana has been legal for 4 years now in Guam, not a single gram has been sold from a medical dispensary.
This is due to Guam, being as small as it is, currently doesn’t have a place where the officials could test for cannabis potency, and other things that need to be checked for before releaseing the product on the market.
The senator who introduced the medical marijuana bill, Dennis Rodriguez Jr, hpes that the Marine Laboratory at the University of Guam will provide an appropriate space for cannabis testing.
“The university would be able to expand its laboratory offerings to students and also have a revenue-generating/self-sustainable asset,” Rodriguez wrote in a letter to the university. “The community would win in that the roadblock to the medicinal marijuana program is removed by a local and trusted facility.”
So far there are no implications that the medical marijuana program in Guam will be revived as no other company has applied to take the initiative in cannabis testing.