Chile: Medical Cannabis Now Being Sold in Pharmacies

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Medical cannabis products are now available to patients with a physician’s authorization at certain Chilean pharmacies.

The nation legalized the use and distribution of medical cannabis in 2015, and just recently began importing medicinal cannabis products from the Canadian provider Tilray. (Chileans are not permitted under the law to cultivate their own cannabis.) In recent weeks, Tilray has also announced agreements to have its products exported to Australia and Cypress.

Several other South American countries are also moving forward to implement cannabis reforms. Colombian lawmakers approved regulations governing the production and use of medical cannabis in 2016, while Argentinian lawmakers signed off on legislation in March regulating the distribution of cannabidiol.

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Study: Cannabis Use Effective as a Treatment for Tourette’s Syndrome

Cannabis use is an effective treatment option for those with Tourette’s Syndrome, according to a new study published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience.

A 3D model of Tourette’s Syndrome in the brain.

For the study, which was published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health, “The authors retrospectively evaluated effectiveness and tolerability of cannabis in 19 adults with Tourette syndrome”. Researchers found that “Tics scores decreased by 60%, and 18 of the 19 participants were at least “much improved.””

Researchers state that; “All study participants experienced clinically significant symptom relief”; this includes reductions in impulsivity, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, irritability, rage outbursts and anxiety.

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Hemp Legalization Bill Signed Into Law by South Carolina Governor

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has signed into law legislation that establishes an industrial hemp program.

House Bill 3559 was signed into law last week by Governor McMaster after receiving overwhelming support in the state’s legislature; it was passed by the House of Representatives unanimously with a vote of 105 to 0, and was approved by the Senate with just 1 “No” vote.

The new law creates an industrial hemp program, and clarifies definitions “to distinguish industrial hemp from marijuana”. The bill “allows land grant universities or research universities in the state to conduct research, contingent upon funding”, and states that; “Universities may conduct pilot programs to cultivate hemp as an agricultural commodity, and work with growers in South Carolina”.

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Nevada Assembly Committee Passes Measure to Legalize Marijuana Use at Certain Businesses and Events

Nevada legislation to allow on-site marijuana use at certain businesses and events has been passed by a Assembly committee.

The Assembly Committee on Government Affairs gave approval yesterday to Senate Bill 236; the vote comes a few weeks after the measure received approval by the state’s full Senate with a vote of 12 to 9.

Under current Nevada law it’s legal to possess and use marijuana if you’re 21 and older, and licensed marijuana retail outlets are expected to open by next year. However, it’s not legal to consume marijuana on-site at one of these outlet, or at an event. Senate Bill 236 changes this by allowing on-site marijuana use if a business or event receives a permit.

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Washington Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Marijuana Sharing and Distribution of Seeds/Plants to Patients

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law yesterday that makes several positive changes to the state’s marijuana law.

Included in Senate Bill 5131 is the legalization of sharing marijuana from one individual aged 21 and older to another individual also at least 21 years of age. Up to this point sharing marijuana – including passing a joint or bong – has remained a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, despite the fact that marijuana possession was legalized by voters in 2012.

The new law also allows licensed producers of marijuana to legally sell marijuana seeds and plants to medical marijuana patients 18 and older, which are allowed to cultivate cannabis even though it remains illegal for personal use. However, the new law also directs Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board to study the feasibility of allowing everyone 21 and older to grow marijuana.

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Lawmaker Calls for President Trump’s Impeachment on House Floor

On the floor of the House of Representatives this morning, Representative Al Green (D-Texas) called on President Donald Trump to be impeached.

(Photo: AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“It’s a position of conscience for me,” said Green “This is about what I believe. And this is where I stand. I will not be moved. The president must be impeached.”

Green’s comments come amid accusations that Trump is obstructing the ongoing investigation into possible ties between his campaign/administration and Russia.

“This is not to be taken lightly,” Green stated on the House floor. I think this is one of the highest callings that a member of Congress can address.”

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Report: 165,000 -230,000 People Employed by Marijuana Industry in the U.S.

The legal marijuana industry in the United States employees a massive number of people, according to a new report.

According the 2017 Marijuana Business Factbook released today by Marijuana Business Daily (MBD), the legal marijuana industry employees between 165,000 – 230,000 full and part-time employees. “To put this in perspective, there are now more marijuana workers than there are bakers or massage therapists in the United States,” states the report. There are also more marijuana workers than dental hygienists.

The report found that retail sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the United States “are expected to hit $5 billion-$6 billion this year and surge to as high as $17 billion by 2021”. According to MBD, the rapid rise of the recreational market, legalization in new states and further development in existing MMJ programs will spur much of that growth.

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Iowa Governor Signs Measure Legalizing Distribution of Medical Marijuana Oil

Legislation to greatly expand Iowa’s restrictive medical marijuana law has been signed by Governor Terry Branstad.

In 2014 Iowa passed a law allowing for the medical use of low-THC marijuana oil; however, the law didn’t establish a legal means for patients to obtain the medicine.  House File 524 expands upon this law by increasing the number of qualifying conditions and legalizing licensed dispensaries authorized to distribute marijuana medicines such as tinctures and oils to patients.

House File 524 was signed into law Monday by Governor Branstad. The proposal was approved overwhelmingly in both the House of Representatives (83 to 11) and Senate (33 to 7).

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Connecticut Lawmakers Include Marijuana Legalization in Budget Bill

The legalization of marijuana has been included as part of a larger budget bill released today by Connecticut Democrats.

Democratic leaders have included marijuana legalization in a large budget bill released today. Supporters of the provision – which includes Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney (D) –  say it will bring in much-needed tax revenue to the state, which is facing a projected budget gap of roughly $5 billion.

Although the provision is being championed by Democrats, legalization also has Republican support, including Representative Melissa Ziobron, ranking House Republican on the House Appropriations Committee.

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Nevada Officials Now Accepting Applications for Early Retail Marijuana Sales, to Begin July 1st

The Nevada Department of Taxation has officially began accepting applications for businesses wanting to grow and sale marijuana for recreational purposes.

The department expects legal recreational marijuana sales to begin in a month and a half, on July 1st. The licenses will be distributed to currently operating medical marijuana dispensaries which are hoping to begin selling cannabis to everyone 21 and older, not just registered patients; liquor wholesalers will also be able to apply for a temporary distribution license. The application period ends on May 31st.

The application period is possible due to the department approving early marijuana sales. Under an initiative approved by voters last year, licensed recreational cannabis retail outlets are legal, but they aren’t expected to be until sometime next year. The rules approved by the department allows certain licensed dispensaries to sell recreational cannabis until these outlets are up and running. Oregon took a similar approach after they legalized cannabis, allowing dispensaries a small window to sell to all adults, not just patients; once retail outlets opened, dispensaries were no longer able to sell to non-patients.

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