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“The Epilepsy Foundation supports the right of patients and families living with seizures and epilepsy to access physician directed care, including medical marijuana,” reads the statement, from Philip M. Gattone, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation, and Warren Lammert, chair of the Epilepsy Foundation Board of Directors.
“If a patient and their healthcare professionals feel that the potential benefits of medical marijuana for uncontrolled epilepsy outweigh the risks, then families need to have that legal option now — not in five years or 10 years,” the strongly worded statement reads.
Patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) on Thursday certified the first two dispensaries in the country for its new nationwide program that verifies the quality and reliability of products sold at licensed medical marijuana businesses. The certifications issued to Berkeley Patients Group and SPARC of San Francisco are based on the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program, the only nonprofit, third-party certification for the medical marijuana industry based on new quality standards issued by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the American Herbal Pharmacopeia (AHP).
“The Patient Focused Certification program is long overdue,” said Sebastopol Mayor Robert Jacob, who is also director of Peace in Medicine and SPARC, the San Francisco-based medical marijuana dispensary certified today. “Patients deserve to know that the products they receive are of the highest standard.”
“As Mayor of Sebastopol, I am relieved to know that there are product safety standards established by a trusted national organization to help guide local governments,” Jacob said.
(Hemp News)What’s up with California? Despite its reputation as a weed-friendly state and polls showing a majority of residents are ready to legalize marijuana, it looks like it’s going to be at least two more years before the Golden State’s going to get ‘er done.
The state’s top legalization measure, the Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act, was deflated on Tuesday by its backers, including the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), who said they will stop gathering signatures to put it on November’s ballot, reports Josh Richman at the San Jose Mercury News.
“We decided it was more important to do it right than to do it fast,” said Stephen Gutwillig, the DPA’s deputy executive director, on Tuesday. “We ultimately came quite close but just decided we didn’t have enough of the pieces in place right now.”
A bill that would ask Oregon voters if they want to legalize marijuana while leaving the regulations up to the Legislature passed its first committee last Thursday. Senate Bill 1556 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 3-2 vote, with all Democrats supporting it and all Republicans opposing. The bill now goes to the Senate Rules Committee.
The measure was amended before passing to lower the amount of cannabis that adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess in private. The amount was lowered from eight ounces and four plants in the original bill to six ounces and three plants in the amended version.
Cannabis activists are already gathering signatures for two legalization initiatives. Initiative 21 would amend the Oregon Constitution, ending criminal penalties for cannabis and permitting adult recreational marijuana use, possession and cultivation. Initiative 22, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2014, creates a commission to regulate the cultivation, processing, and sale of marijuana, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for the Oregon General Fund, helping to pay for schools, roads, and social services.
The Washington state House just before midnight on Monday approved a measure gutting the state’s medical cannabis law, claiming the move is necessary to “bring it into line” with the still-unimplemented legal recreational marijuana market created by Initiative 502.
HB 2149 passed shortly before midnight Monday on a 67-29 vote, reports Rachel La Corte at TDN.com. It now goes to the Washington Senate, which is already considering similar measures on how to “reconcile” the two marijuana systems, medical and recreational, which, ironically, voters were told would remain separate.
Changes under the bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Eileen Cody, include reducing the amount of marijuana patients can possess from 24 ounces to just 3 ounces; reducing the amount of plants patients can grow from 15 to just six plants, three of which may be flowering; entirely doing away with collective gardens, effectively eliminating dispensary access; and establishing a patient registry.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board (Board) on Wednesday approved staff’s recommendations to limit the number of individual marijuana producer licenses to one (from the previous limit of three) and initially limit production at 70 percent, clearing a path for the agency to begin issuing producer and processor licenses.
“Today’s Board action clears an obstacle and allows the agency to begin issuing marijuana producer and processor license in the coming weeks,” said Board Chair Sharon Foster. “We believe this is the most fair and equitable way to get the market up and running.”
The I-502 rules had until now allowed for up to three licenses per licensee; many prospective license-holders have already filed for the (then-) maximum number of three licenses. Washington’s absurdly low cap on marijuana cultivation (2 million square feet of canopy space, which translates to about 46 acres of weed) means that just 22 growers, each applying for three “Tier 3” licenses of up to 30,000 square feet, could have used up all the state’s allotted grow space.
Most parents and other patients don’t realize they could fight seizures just as effectively with uncarboxylated THC — that is, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, THC acid or THCA — as they could with CBD. Furthermore, THCA is no more psychoactive than is CBD, thus allaying parental concerns about getting their children high. No psychoactive effects are experienced from THCA that hasn’t been carboxylated to THC.
THCA is one of the cannabinoids primarily found in fresh cannabis, although in variable amounts, according to CannLabs. Once the marijuana plant is exposed to heat — such as when smoking or vaporizing cannabis — THCA decarboxylates to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the form that gets you high. What happens on a molecular level is that the carbon dioxide in the cannabis is released, as a carbon atom in the acid gets lost, converting THCA to psychoactive THC.
Since THCA works just as well as CBD for seizure control, and THCA is cheaper and more accessible than CBD (especially in the speculative environment created by CBD’s recently skyrocketing popularity), THCA means patient empowerment.
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