Cathy Jordan smokes cannabis like her life depends on it. Because it does.
Cathy was diagnosed with ALS in 1986, an ailment that normally kills its victims in 5-7 years. They waste away while they drown in their own saliva. But in 1989, on a beach in Manatee County, she discovered that by smoking a strain called Myakka Gold, the tremors in her muscles ceased and relaxed, and she became hungry for the first time in a long time. Today, at 68 years old, she smokes two joints a day. The first thing that happens is she coughs up any fluids that accumulated during the night. The “cotton mouth” effect keeps the saliva from building up throughout the day.
She is still alive to this day because she is allowed to smoke, thanks to a medical necessity defense that allows her husband, Bob, to give Cathy her medicine each and every day.
But the rest of the sick in Florida has not been given that right. The Charlotte web bill, passed in 2013 allowed CBD and low-THC oils and tinctures to children with severe seizures and adults with severe spastic disorders and the law was extended the following year for terminal patients that also expanded the types of products to include higher THC levels.
Thanks to mismanagement and infighting, it took until 2015 for the Department of Health to create the rules to even start the process to allow for applications for nurseries to become seed-to-sale dispensing organizations, a requirement of the Charlottes Webb law. Even the application process was marred with legal difficulties, including the acceptance of organizations that weren’t qualified.
Then came Amendment 2. It failed by just a sliver in 2014, but it got a make-over and a fresh start and won by a landslide in 2016 by 71.3%, with the promise of greater access of cannabis as medicine for people like Cathy and others with debilitating conditions.
In anticipation of the product needs for those who would gain access through Amendment 2, now Article X, Chapter 29 of the Florida Constitution, the first of the dispensing organizations to actually produce and dispense product, Trulieve, amended their application to include “flower in sealed receptacles for vaping”. The amendment was approved by, the current head of the Office of Compassionate Use (OCU) in the Department of Health (DOH).
For over a year, Trulieve sold the Keurig-style cups along with a machine that you could pop them in and vape the contents. Inside, was a pulverized mixture of dried plant matter. Some detractors called it “mystery shake” and dismissed the product.
Then in May of 2107, the legislature adjourned the legislative session without passing an implementation bill for Amendment 2, and passed the ball back to the OCU, who had previously opted to not finalize any rules after a 5 city dog-and-pony show in February, where hundreds of Floridians came out to speak, pouring their hearts out to an impassionate and often smirking Bax.
That same day that the House and Senate adjourned, Trulieve rolled out their new line of products, the Entourage line, named after the effect you get when all of the cannabinoid and terpenes in the whole plant are accessible in a synergistic manner to the user. In the glass vial within the box were 4 metal mesh canisters, sealed with a crimped metal top. Inside was a full bud of a strain called Nine-pound hammer, and the in-house and third-party testing results were available to verify that this was 3.5g of a high quality full flower product.
Trulieve recommended that these canisters be used for vaping, in machines such as the “Volcano”, which has been used throughout the world for vaping, and highlighted notably on Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Weed 3 Documentary on CNN and VICE on HBO.
The response was overwhelming across the state, in every retail outlet, except Pensacola, where it was not yet available.
Trulieve was already ready to roll out their second strain, called Lemon tree, when, less than one week after the well-received rollout, they got a visit from the OCU.
On the following Monday, the OCU released a Cease and Desist Order letter to Trulieve regarding the Entourage line of products.
The letter was CC’d to the Sheriffs of Leon, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Miami-Dade and Escambia County.
The letter claims that, “The smoking of low-THC Cannabis and Medical Marijuana is prohibited under section 381.986, Florida Statutes(FS). Licensed dispensing organizations have a responsibility to ensure their product is not one that can be easily transitioned into a smokable form. Therefore, whole flower products are not permitted. Moreover, patients may only purchase low-THC and medical marijuana delivery devices via an order in the Compassionate Use Registry. The purchase of delivery devices outside of a dispensing organization and the Compassionate use registry is not authorized by section 381.986, FS.”
It goes on the state that a review of the instructions for the volcano vaporizer specifically states that the product is not a medic al device and is not intended for medical or therapeutic purposes. Of course, if they bothered to check the Canadian instructions, where medical cannabis is legal as a country, they would see a different disclaimer.
First, it should be noted that 386.986. 1(i) states, “Smoking does not include the use of a vaporizer”. That is why the initial approval was given for the packaging over a year ago. As far as ensuring their product cannot be transitioned, the OCU failed to include it in the rules they failed to write for Amendment 2, which began to take effect on January 17, 2017. Their arguments are flimsy, because they failed to solidify the rules.
In essence, the OCU is throwing down when gauntlet when they failed to set the standards in the first place when it was their time to do so, back at the beginning of the year.
They didn’t listen to the public then. Maybe it’s time to listen now. After all, we were the ones who voted for medical cannabis access for those with debilitating conditions. The OCU, and the Legislature work for us.
Get Ready Florida, The Largest Medical Cannabis Conference Will Be Here in a Few Days
This must-attend conference will include presentations from….
Michael Minardi– Senior Partner, Minardi Law
Ron Watson– President & Senior Lobbyist, Watson Strategies
Bruce Barcott– Deputy Editor, Leafly.com
Dennis P. St. Pierre-Charles- Director of Programs
Florida Medical Cannabis Conference & Exhibition
Alexander Nachman– Cannabis Investment Analyst
Pete Sessa – COO of Florida Cannabis Coalition
Keith Bell– Shareholder, Clark Partington Attorneys At Law
Scott Remington– President & Managing Shareholder, Clark Partington Attorneys At Law
Craig Smalley – CEO at CWSEAPA
Erik Range– Board Chair, Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana
Jeffrey Friedland – CEO – Friedland Global Capital Inc
Dr. Genester Wilson- King -CEO and Medical Director – Victory Rejuvenation Center, Inc
Dr. Paul Carney– Professor, Chief of Pediatric Neurology
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Dr. Mark Hashim– Lead Physician – The Herbal Clinic MD
Tricia Zirit, RN– How Patients Consume Medical Cannabis
Dr. Malik Burnett– Resident Physician, Johns Hopkins
Dr. Jenny Wilkins- ageVital Pharmacy, Research & Wellness
Dr. Vipul Kabaria – Pain Management Specialist
Once fully established, Florida will be one of the largest markets in the country. Interest in the business opportunities here is very large And will not only add to the diversity of our local economy but will also be a much needed boost, creating thousands of job in the cannabis sector for Floridians.
May 19- 21
5700 Saddlebrook Way, Wesley Chapel, FL 33543
For Industry: National Perspectives Current Opportunities in Florida Government Regulations & Policies Legal Concerns Running a Medical Cannabis Business Opportunities for Investment Banking Marijuana Related Business Tax Strategies Learning from Industry Successes & Challenges.How to Include Minority Groups
For Healthcare Professionals: History of Cannabis Function of Cannabinoids Emerging Cannabinoid-based Therapies Cannabis Research Ordering Cannabis for Qualified Patients Dosing Medical Cannabis & PTSD How Patients Consume Cannabis Incorporating Cannabis into Your Practice.
$97 to $497
get your tickets HERE this event will sell out!
THERE WILL BE NO ONSITE REGISTRATIONS!
The Hillsborough county commission will hear public comments and take a vote on a controversial proposed medical marijuana zoning ordinance.
Draft language of the new ordinance in Hillsborough plans to create a 30-day window for marijuana companies to apply for a limited number of licenses. That means that only the 7 current state licence holders would be able to apply
the county is not protecting patients but a handful of politically connected growers. Fewer competitors will lead to higher prices and less access for consumers, said Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican who has sponsored a bill to open up Florida to more medical marijuana businesses.
This ordinance would only allow for only 13 Dispensaries for all of Hillsborough county for the next year. To put that into context, unincorporated Hillsborough county has over 120 pharmacies.
this ordinance is sponsored by
District 4, Chairman
Sources say that Stacy White could be accepting money and favors from lobbyist groups representing 1 of the 7 licensed growers. This would explain why he is so eager to pass this ordinance that heavily favors one license holder. here is his facebook page
San Felasco Nurseries, a licensed grower, is pushing for the county to adopt these rules through its lobbyist, Igniting Florida. Since Hillsborough enacted a six-month medical marijuana moratorium in October, Beth Leytham and Todd Pressman, lobbyists for Igniting Florida, have registered 24 meetings with county commissioners and staff, including eight with commissioner Stacy White, according to county records.
We need to tell the Hillsborough county commission and commissioner Stacy White to slow down and not pass legislation that favors one grower. We need to let our presence be seen
Where and when is the public hearing?
3/7/17 6:00 P.M.
County Center 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. 2nd Floor, Boardroom Tampa FL, 33602
Speculation about the DOJ’s approach to states with legal cannabis laws under president Donald Trump has led to many hypothetical best and worst case scenarios.
The first declarative statement on cannabis since trump election was a strongly worded letter from the US attorney to a sovereign native American reservation. This marks the first blow to the US DOJ not respecting states cannabis laws.
An exclusive report by the Reno Gazette-Journal revealed a stern letter of warning, sent by U.S. Attorney General Daniel Bogden to the Moapa Paiute Tribe, which is scheduled to host the cup on their sovereign tribal reservation just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.
In the letter, Bogden informs the tribe that the DOJ is aware of its intentions to host the event and reminds them that cannabis is still illegal under federal law.
“I am informed that the tribal council is moving forward with the planned marijuana event referred to as the 2017 High Times Cannabis Cup because it is under the impression that the so-called ‘Cole Memorandum’ and subsequent memoranda from the Department of Justice permit marijuana use, possession and distribution on tribal lands when the state law also permits it,” Bogden wrote. “Unfortunately, this is an incorrect interpretation of the Department’s position on this issue.”
Tribal Chairman, Darren Daboda, told the Gazette-Journal that the tribe is not attempting to promote illegal activity and that he believes they are within their rights.
“To us, we’re looking at it as utilizing our sovereignty… as long as [marijuana] is not visible, we’re told it will be OK,” Daboda said. “The tribe is promoting it as a vendors’ crafts, food and concert event. We’re not promoting the distributor or selling [marijuana].”
High Times has responded by sending a message to vendors and attendees telling them not to bring any cannabis to the cup.
“Federal authorities have intervened directly with our host venue, the land of the Moapa Band of Paiutes,” the message said. “Our upcoming Cannabis Cup event in Nevada on March 4-5 can proceed as planned, but vendors, guests, performers and attendees are advised to comply with all local, state, and federal laws regarding the use and distribution of cannabis and cannabis related products.”
Sources tell Canna Chronicle that many vendors and businesses are canceling plans to attend the cup.
Friday was a bloody day for the cannabis sector and the weakness was concerning as it stems from comments regarding recreational cannabis delivered by Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer has reason to destroy the emerging domestic legal cannabis industry…his wife is Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for National Wholesale Beer Distributor’s Association. Coincidence, think not!!
Meet the woman behind the Spice…Rebecca Spicer
“As chief communications officer, Rebecca Spicer manages NBWA’s communications strategy – including internal, membership and external communications – and executes key public relations strategies to advance the association’s advocacy priorities”
A Claim Not Supported by Intelligence
On Thursday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the President understands the value of medical cannabis for those in need, however, recreational cannabis or adult-use is an issue for the Department of Justice to provide further clarification.
Spicer seemed to link marijuana use to the opioid addiction crisis plaguing the United States. Despite his un-educated attempt to link cannabis use to opioid addiction, a Johns Hopkins report published in August 2014 determined that states with legal marijuana programs have fewer prescription overdose deaths.
In January 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine also released a review of 10,000 medical cannabis studies published since 1999. These data associated with these studies provide substantial evidence that supports the use of cannabis or its extracts for the treatment of chronic pain.
In November 2015, Forbes Magazine reported about a 60-Minutes episode that blamed the opioid crisis entirely on big pharmaceutical companies.
A Relationship to Look Into
Although there is no direct link between the National Wholesale Beer Distributor’s Association and Sean Spicer, it is easy to understand he would profit from the rollback of marijuana legalization.
Plus, the possibility of collusion is much more likely than claims by Spicer as he tried link marijuana use to the opioid addiction crisis plaguing the United States.
Originally posted on technical420.com
Although the cannabis industry is an emerging and promising sector, there is a limited amount of information available related to the investment opportunities within the industry.
Despite an increase in the amount of media coverage from mainstream financial media outlets, the number of Wall Street banks focused on the cannabis sector remains minimal. The limited Wall Street coverage has made it so investors need to find alternative sources of actionable advice and up to date information.
There are no hidden fees or expenses associated with this conference and attendees receive several exclusive benefits just for attending! From private investments to public companies, the Cannabis Investing Event provides attendees access to several leading companies and covers engaging discussion topics like:
An Event Without Compromise
Did you know that millionaires were made at the previous Cannabis Investing Event?
We received a testimonial from Tony, an attendee at the MoneyShow San Francisco Cannabis Investing Event (did not want to provide his last name) and included it below:
I attended the Cannabis Investing Event at the MoneyShow San Francisco and it changed the way I invest in the cannabis industry. I connected with Michael Berger of Technical420 and he has helped me make a couple hundred thousand dollars in a very short period of time. Anyone looking to invest in the cannabis industry should attend any Cannabis MoneyShow event Michael Berger is associated with.
Learn from the Leaders
Cannabis conferences typically cost a couple hundred dollars to attend and most do not live up to the hype. The Cannabis Investing Event provides an opportunity for investors to learn and profit off the fastest growing industry in the world for no cost.
This event differentiates itself from the competition due to the fact that it is free to attend and features world’s renown experts like Larry Kudlow, Steve Forbes, just to name a few! Find out how to become the next marijuana millionaire at the Cannabis Investing Event at the MoneyShow Orlando!
Although the Nasdaq traded at a new all-time high and was the top performing exchange yesterday, biotech stocks moved lower as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) fell less than 1%.
Despite the post-election rally, the biotech sector has been under pressure due to President Trump’s comments pertaining to lowering drug prices. Although we expect to see several biotech companies negatively impacted by future changes in pricing, many companies will not be affected.
We consider this weakness to be transitory and believe that it has created a great opportunity for investors to buy higher quality biotech stocks levered to the cannabis industry.
A Stock to Watch
Yesterday, we recommended Insys Therapeutics (INSY) while the shares were trading at $9.90. INSY rallied off its lows of the day (traded as low as $9.57) and the shares are trading at $10.00 after a less than 1% dip.
We view Insys as an acquisition candidate and expect to see the company acquired during 2017. In early July, INSY announced that the FDA approved Syndros, an orally administered liquid formulation of the pharmaceutical cannabinoid dronabinol, a pharmaceutical version of THC.
Syndros is approved for anorexia patients suffering from AIDS as well as patients with nausea as a result of cancer chemotherapy. At the time of this announcement, INSY said that Syndros is awaiting scheduling by the DEA.
Two Top Picks
Two other Nasdaq-traded biotech cannabis stocks we are favorable on are Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (ZYNE) and GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH).
GWPH has rallied off its recent lows and we remain bullish on the company due to its deep pipeline of pharmaceutical products that are in advanced stages of FDA testing. The company has a number of catalysts in the back half of 2017 and we see significant upside to current levels.
ZYNE continues to remain one of our top picks in the cannabis sector as we see significant upside to current levels. The average Wall Street price target on ZYNE is north of $30 and we view the company as an acquisition candidate for any biotech company interested in the cannabis industry.
We continue to view GWPH as one of the top investment opportunities within the cannabis sector as it is the only Nasdaq traded company focused on developing treatments from the actual cannabis plant.
Unlike Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (ZYNE) and Insys Therapeutics (INSY), which develop its treatments from synthetic cannabis, GWPH uses the actual cannabis plant and the benefits of this are reflected in its continued success in FDA trials. In late September, GW reported its second positive Stage 3 Clinical trial for its Epidiolex product for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).
Jeff Sessions had his confirmation hearing recently, during which he was asked all types of questions from Senators. Some of those questions specifically touched on Cannabis. The nomination of Jeff Sessions for The United States Attorney General has caused a great amount of uncertainty in the Cannabis community, both in America and abroad. President Donald Trump has made comments in the past that he supports reform, but has also made comments contradicting what he previously said.
Jeff Sessions provided answers to the Cannabis-related questions from his confirmation hearing. Those answers were neatly compiled and included in today’s ‘Tom Angell Report.’
BOTTOM LINE: Sessions is still being very guarded in discussing the Trump administration’s intentions toward state marijuana laws. Probably the most important revelation above is that he is going to review and evaluate the Cole memo that gives states a roadmap for how to avoid federal interference with their cannabis laws.
Proposed rules favor existing growers
TALLAHASSEE – Authors of Florida’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana are blasting proposed rules to regulate the cannabis industry.
Proposed state regulations for the emerging medical marijuana industry favor large politically connected cannabis firms who are already in the game.
The proposed rules, released Tuesday by state health officials, would essentially maintain current vendors’ stranglehold on the medical marijuana industry – poised to become one of the nation’s top money-makers – by applying current Florida laws and rules to the constitutional amendment approved in November.
“The rule is basically ignoring the text of the constitutional amendment at almost every point of the way,” Ben Pollara, campaign manager of the political committee backing the amendment, said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
While medical marijuana was already a legal treatment for terminally ill patients in Florida, Amendment 2 authorized marijuana for a much broader swath of patients. More than 70 percent of voters supported the amendment, after a similar proposal narrowly failed to capture the requisite 60 percent approval two years earlier.
But applying current regulations to Amendment 2 – which includes specific requirements for how the amendment should be implemented – is wrong, Pollara insisted.
Of special concern to the amendment’s authors, the proposed rule would give authority to the Florida Board of Medicine – and not individual doctors – to decide which patients qualify for the marijuana treatment.
The amendment allows doctors to order medical marijuana as a treatment for patients with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.
Physicians have authority
The ballot language gives doctors the power to order marijuana for “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.”
In contrast, the proposed rule would limit the unspecified conditions to those “determined by the Florida Board of Medicine,” something Pollara called the regulation’s “single most problematic” component.
“This is not one of those things that is up for interpretation by a court or anyone else,” Pollara said.
Only 7 vendors
Among other issues, the proposed rule would maintain the state’s current cap on marijuana vendors, limited now to seven licensed “dispensing organizations,” to treat an estimated 500,000 patients who would be eligible under Amendment 2.
While the proposed language may be amenable to the handful of operators already doing business in the state, the plan is anathema to those hoping to gain entree into Florida under Amendment 2’s expansion of the industry.
“It looks like the Department of Health is protecting the existing monopolies. I hope the Legislature chooses to act in creating a free market system. The Legislature has a chance to change that,” said Ron Watson, a lobbyist who represents AltMed, a Sarasota-based company founded by former pharmaceutical industry executives who have obtained a medical marijuana license in Arizona and are seeking one in Florida.
Public hearings set
The health department will hold public hearings to take input on the rule during the second week of February, with meetings in Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando and Tallahassee.
Department of Health spokeswoman Mara Gambineri said state officials “look forward to receiving input from all interested stakeholders” about the proposed rule.
“That’s why we’re having the five public meetings,” supplemented by the ability to provide comments online, she said.
“We look forward to everybody’s contributions,” Gambineri said.
Sen. Rob Bradley, who shepherded the state’s medical-marijuana laws during the 2014 and 2016 legislative sessions, said he intends to release a new measure as early as this week.
“I interpret the actions today from the department as a beginning point, a foundation from which to build the medical cannabis system that we’re going to have in the state of Florida,” Bradley, R-Fleming Island, told The News Service of Florida. “I would caution everyone not to overreact to the actions of the department. You have to start somewhere.”
Amendment 2 may have forced health officials to move forward with a proposed rule before the Legislature weighs in. It gives health officials until July 3 to finalize regulations to implement the constitutional change.
Read more : flcourier.com