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  Medical Marijuana for Treatment of Chronic Pain/Other Med/Psych Problems (June 2015)
Posted by: wikicannabis - 06-24-2015, 09:54 PM - Forum: Medical Marijuana Studies & Research Wiki - No Replies

Medical Marijuana for Treatment of Chronic Pain and Other Medical and Psychiatric Problems (June 2015)

A Clinical Review

Importance  As of March 2015, 23 states and the District of Columbia had medical marijuana laws in place. Physicians should know both the scientific rationale and the practical implications for medical marijuana laws.

Objective  To review the pharmacology, indications, and laws related to medical marijuana use.

Evidence Review  The medical literature on medical marijuana was reviewed from 1948 to March 2015 via MEDLINE with an emphasis on 28 randomized clinical trials of cannabinoids as pharmacotherapy for indications other than those for which there are 2 US Food and Drug Administration–approved cannabinoids (dronabinol and nabilone), which include nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and appetite stimulation in wasting illnesses.

Findings  Use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high-quality evidence. Six trials that included 325 patients examined chronic pain, 6 trials that included 396 patients investigated neuropathic pain, and 12 trials that included 1600 patients focused on multiple sclerosis. Several of these trials had positive results, suggesting that marijuana or cannabinoids may be efficacious for these indications.

Conclusions and Relevance  Medical marijuana is used to treat a host of indications, a few of which have evidence to support treatment with marijuana and many that do not. Physicians should educate patients about medical marijuana to ensure that it is used appropriately and that patients will benefit from its use.

Source: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx...id=2338266

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  Cannabinoid Dose and Label Accuracy in Edible Medical Cannabis Products (June 2015)
Posted by: wikicannabis - 06-24-2015, 09:51 PM - Forum: Medical Marijuana Studies & Research Wiki - No Replies

Cannabinoid Dose and Label Accuracy in Edible Medical Cannabis Products

This study analyzed the dose accuracy of labels from edibile medical cannabis products dispensed in 3 US cities.

As the use of cannabis (marijuana) for medical purposes has expanded, a variety of edible products for oral consumption has been developed. An estimated 16% to 26% of patients using medical cannabis consume edible products.1,2 Even though oral consumption lacks the harmful by-products of smoking, difficult dose titration can result in overdosing or underdosing, highlighting the importance of accurate product labeling.

Attached is the First Page Preview of the Study.

Source: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx...id=2338239

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  Cannabinoids for Medical Use - A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (June 2015)
Posted by: wikicannabis - 06-24-2015, 09:48 PM - Forum: Medical Marijuana Studies & Research Wiki - No Replies

Cannabinoids for Medical Use - A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Importance  Cannabis and cannabinoid drugs are widely used to treat disease or alleviate symptoms, but their efficacy for specific indications is not clear.

Objective  To conduct a systematic review of the benefits and adverse events (AEs) of cannabinoids.

Data Sources  Twenty-eight databases from inception to April 2015.

Study Selection  Randomized clinical trials of cannabinoids for the following indications: nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, appetite stimulation in HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity due to multiple sclerosis or paraplegia, depression, anxiety disorder, sleep disorder, psychosis, glaucoma, or Tourette syndrome.

Data Extraction and Synthesis  Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. All review stages were conducted independently by 2 reviewers. Where possible, data were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Patient-relevant/disease-specific outcomes, activities of daily living, quality of life, global impression of change, and AEs.

Results  A total of 79 trials (6462 participants) were included; 4 were judged at low risk of bias. Most trials showed improvement in symptoms associated with cannabinoids but these associations did not reach statistical significance in all trials. Compared with placebo, cannabinoids were associated with a greater average number of patients showing a complete nausea and vomiting response (47% vs 20%; odds ratio [OR], 3.82 [95% CI, 1.55-9.42]; 3 trials), reduction in pain (37% vs 31%; OR, 1.41 [95% CI, 0.99-2.00]; 8 trials), a greater average reduction in numerical rating scale pain assessment (on a 0-10-point scale; weighted mean difference [WMD], −0.46 [95% CI, −0.80 to −0.11]; 6 trials), and average reduction in the Ashworth spasticity scale (WMD, −0.36 [95% CI, −0.69 to −0.05]; 7 trials). There was an increased risk of short-term AEs with cannabinoids, including serious AEs. Common AEs included dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, somnolence, euphoria, vomiting, disorientation, drowsiness, confusion, loss of balance, and hallucination.

Conclusions and Relevance  There was moderate-quality evidence to support the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain and spasticity. There was low-quality evidence suggesting that cannabinoids were associated with improvements in nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, weight gain in HIV infection, sleep disorders, and Tourette syndrome. Cannabinoids were associated with an increased risk of short-term AEs.

Source: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx...id=2338251

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  The Marijuana Market: Everybody Wants A Piece
Posted by: wikicannabis - 06-24-2015, 03:48 PM - Forum: Marijuana in the News - No Replies

When Forbes starts covering Marijuana trade shows, you know weed has gone mainstream.

The following appeared on Forbes.com about the Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo held in NYC last week. The article is quoted below:

Quote:[Image: OtinfaEm.jpg]
At regular intervals throughout the year, just about every industry takes time out to get its ranks together to network, entertain potential clients and show off new products. The burgeoning U.S. cannabis industry is no different, and the 2015 Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition, held in New York from June 17-19, displayed more than a few crossover companies: those with know-how in other industries, hoping to show how their products can play a part in the weed world.

Bong designers and rolling paper manufacturers, it seems, were not well represented, as booth after booth displayed info and products from companies with more serious gear. There were firms on hand pushing cannabis oil extraction hardware, showing off their complex stainless steel machinery; marijuana vaporizer designers, touting their products’ ease of use and compactness. Other companies talked up proprietary bud-friendly fertilizers, greenhouse components, indoor growing equipment and little air-tight jars to put your weed in. Cannabis-centric business consulting service firms made an appearance as well.

Among the crossover companies was Two Rivers Water & Farming, a five year-old agricultural concern helmed by founder and CEO John CEO McKowen. Up until about a year ago, Two Rivers was solely tilling Colorado soil to grow fruit. Now, with its subsidiary, GrowCo, formed in May of last year, the firm is about to complete the first of four 105,000 square foot greenhouses it plans to build in the next 18 months in which to grow pot. If profit margins stay large, you can bet more greenhouses will be on the way.
“The gross revenue for us, per acre, for a cannabis crop is $5 million,” says McKowen. “Our highest yielding conventional crop – which would be watermelon – comes in at around $12,500 per acre. There’s just no comparison.”

When Colorado passed legislation legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, McKowen and company were approached by third parties offering to buy chunks of the 7,500 plus acres of farmland and reservoirs the company owns. It didn’t take long before they decided to turn away such buyout offers and start growing the new crop themselves with experienced greenhouse growers Tim Beall (GrowCo’s COO) and consultant Aaron Van Wingerden, of longtime greenhouse operator Dutch Heritage Gardens.

GrowCo intends to sell to both recreational and medical users, primarily for marijuana infused products (brownies, confections, etc.), which do not require consumers inhale smoke. “I think that will ultimately be the biggest market in the United States,” McKowen says.

Two Rivers is not alone in its decision to branch out to appeal to the cannabis market. Other companies are redesigning or redeploying their products and technology in the belief that that deregulation of the substance will ultimately continue and the industry will grow as it does. Another established company, Desiccare, Inc., focused its know-how in moisture control to carve out a space for itself in the marijuana world. The company’s booth at the New York exposition touted its vapor absorption desiccant packets – excellent for keeping a weed stash jar from getting too muggy – as well as humidity indicator cards that, once placed in a container with valuable dried botanicals, show consumers when their herb gets too dank.

Apeks, a Johnstown, Ohio-based extractor design firm, started up in 2001 selling equipment that takes essential oils from spices, coffee beans, fruits and plants, largely to be used as food flavorings or in natural products. Those machines, it turns out, can also be used to suck intoxicating oils out of marijuana plants and Apeks founder Andy Joseph discovered in 2008 that some of his customers wound up using his machines to do just that. In 2012, when Colorado passed landmark deregulation legislation, Joseph started marketing his wares to the cannabis industry, at first through Google Ad Words.

It was a good move. The impact on sales has been nothing short of tremendous: In 2012, before focusing on the cannabis market, Apeks was generating about $750,000 in annual revenue; In 2013 the company hit $3.2 million, and last year Apeks brought in $9.5 million, says Joseph. “Cannabis is about 95% of our total business.”

At the Cannabis World Congress, Apeks showed off its fully automated extraction system, which offers easy-to-read displays, touch screen user interfaces and internet connectivity for remote software upgrades and trouble-shooting. “The industry is an entrepreneur’s dream,” says Joseph. “It’s a perfect storm where you have an explosive growth industry with a lot of money and potential for growth still out there.”

But despite the upside the U.S. cannabis market has brought to the company, Joseph says that full deregulation on a federal level might not be good for business, for him or the many entrepreneurs jumping into the young industry. That possession and sale of marijuana is still a federal offense, he says, provides an element of risk that keeps industry consolidation at bay. “Usually, if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re looking to start a business, you’re going to compete with a big player… In the cannabis industry that big guy could be Philip Morris, it could be Budweiser, it could be Pfizer. But because of the legal landscape, they’ve chosen not to play, at least not in any apparent way.”

But have the other giants of vice really been sitting this movement out? Tobacco industry players like Philip Morris – already experienced in the production, sale and marketing of smokable and vaporizable plants – could step into the fray with little turnaround time, should the federal government decriminalize the ancient herb. Until that happens, though – in states like Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon – it’s the Wild West for canna-businesses and the entrepreneurs driving them.

Source: Forbes.com "The Marijuana Market: Everybody Wants A Piece"

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  San Francisco's first pot 'baked sale'
Posted by: wikicannabis - 06-20-2015, 09:24 PM - Forum: Marijuana in the News - No Replies

Business Insider went down to San Francisco's first marijuana edibles 'baked sale'. Here's their article.

Quote:We went to San Francisco's first pot 'baked sale' and we're convinced that edibles are the next multimillion-dollar industry

[Image: CjSRv5xm.jpg]

Last weekend, thousands from the Bay Area poured into the outdoor SoMa StrEAT Food Park for the Get Baked Sale, the first food rally for marijuana-edibles enthusiasts.

Cannabis is only legal for medicinal use in California, though momentum is growing among supporters who seek to legalize its recreational use in a 2016 ballot initiative. Attendees at the fair had to present a state-authorized medical marijuana identification card at the door and pay $20 in order to enter.

Not unlike most smorgasbords, booths (selling mind-altering treats) lined the urban park. Some vendors lured people over with gimmicks, like free vape pens and a lottery wheel to win a THC-laced doughnut. We saw the usual suspects, pot brownies and cookies, and more daring confections, such as cannabis-infused fortune cookies, mini doughnuts, and ice cream. The crowd was unsurprisingly chill.

Still, some attendees were more enthused than others. One ticket-holder named Sam, who stood out from the crowd with her wisps of mint green-colored hair, told Business Insider she associates edibles with an "inherent terror." This response is not entirely uncommon among amateur users.

Last year, New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd wrote about her experience eating a pot-laced, caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar in a Denver hotel room. She didn't know its dosage of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, or understand how long the high takes to set in, before going back for more bites. Thus, Dowd ate too much pot and spent the night in a fit of trauma and paranoia.

The body processes marijuana differently depending on a variety of factors, from how it is consumed to who is consuming it. When eaten, THC undergoes a transformation in the liver that turns it into "a different drug twice as strong that lasts twice as long as [when] inhaled," Xeni Yardin has written in Boing Boing.

[Image: 4REcI3Im.jpg]

This difference is a bit of a double-edged sword, though: It takes our bodies much, much longer to process cannabis when we ingest it than when we inhale it. "With smoking, the peak blood levels happen within 3-10 minutes, and with eating, it’s 1-3 hours," Kari Franson, clinical pharmacologist and associate dean for Professional Education in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy, told Forbes.

And because it takes so long to process, people often overdo it.

"Most users are willing to wait 10 minutes, not 3 hours," said Franson, before they take another hit or bite. That makes it a lot easier to self-monitor if you're smoking, but far more difficult if you're snacking on a piece of pot-infused chocolate.

So could Dowd's unforgettable evening have ended with a movies-on-demand marathon and a good night's sleep rather than a fit of paranoia? Perhaps, had she been educated on the contents of the edible she was using.

In an effort to prevent this kind of experience, some Californian makers of marijuana edibles say they want to smarten up their customers. Every vendor I approached at the Get Baked Sale spoke of a desire to educate the market on how to eat responsibly.

"The good thing about [consuming too much] weed is it can't kill you," says Kim Geraghty, cofounder of Madame Munchie, whose gourmet cannabis macarons won the 2014 San Francisco High Times Cannabis Cup. "But it can make you very uncomfortable."

To try and keep their users from having a negative experience with their product, Geraghty and her partner Ashley Martino say they send their products to a lab that specializes in determining the cannabinoid content of infused foods. Each carton of macarons, which come in five mouth-watering flavors including Hazelnut Mocha and Grilled PB&J, states its THC dosage.

Research has shown that these labels can be inaccurate. Lab tests on various edible marijuana products, for example, have shown the amount of THC can be far higher or lower than what is promised on the label.

Two recent Colorado laws have attempted to address these issues. One in 2014 started requiring makers of edibles to have their THC content tested and verified by independent labs; another in 2015 mandates that edibles sold recreationally be wrapped individually or marked in increments of 10 or fewer milligrams of THC. The regulations remain scattered by state, and California has no statewide labeling laws.

That won't be true for long. Should California follow in the footsteps of Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon, and legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2016, the rules will tighten.

The stakes are high.

Edibles could emerge as a multimillion-dollar food industry in the northwest in the next few years. Manufacturers like Geraghty, who left a career in finance in order to launch Madame Munchie, believe exercising best practices, like product-testing and labeling, will place them ahead of the curve.

For some small-scale producers, sending their products to be lab-tested is an expensive and arduous process. Ronald "RJ" Falcioni and Emily Thrope created The Guild, a nonprofit collective that launched a subscription-based cannabis delivery service just two months ago, to make it easier.

Called the "Birchbox of marijuana," The Guild curates the highest-quality edibles, concentrates, and cannabidiols and packages them in unique combinations at varying price points. Customers may subscribe for weekly or monthly deliveries, and customize their box based on their taste preferences and desires or needs. If a bakery that the collective enjoys can't commit to testing its products, The Guild will offer to send the products to the lab and foot the bill.

Thrope, who recently relocated to San Francisco after working as a real estate agent in New York City, told Business Insider at the Get Baked Sale that their goal is to get edibles manufacturers up to code before the legislation catches up with recreational use.

"We're getting ready for the change," Thrope says, screwing the cap back on a jar of gumdrops loaded with THC. "It's coming."

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/get-baked...les-2015-6

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  Marijuana Is in the Air and on It, Too
Posted by: wikicannabis - 06-20-2015, 09:16 PM - Forum: Marijuana in the News - No Replies

Interesting article about a Pot themed radio station in Colorado.

Quote:Marijuana Is in the Air and on It, Too

[Image: v7Z9GVDm.jpg]
DENVER — Some people who prosper in life choose to spend their hard-earned millions on private planes. Some buy a vineyard in Napa to indulge a love of wine. Some collect showpiece cars, or fulfill a dream of hiking Mount Everest.

Marc Paskin bought a radio station in Colorado and converted it to a marijuana-themed format.

“I was going to retire, and then I said: Wait a minute, that’s boring,” said Mr. Paskin, 66, a millionaire who made his money in real estate and has never been known as boring. In Hawaii, where he lived for a long time, he starred in a reality television show called “Uncle Kokua” in which he drove around Oahu in a van and distributed money to people in need. After his wife died, he searched for a girlfriend using a San Diego billboard. (It worked.)

And in May, he moved to Denver, bought a radio station for $875,000 and christened it Smokin 94.1, declaring it the state’s only pot-themed FM station. Yes, the Grateful Dead get heavy airplay, as do the Rolling Stones and several reggae artists. In addition to classic rock and music to get stoned by, the station plays marijuana-laced comedy bits. It made its debut on June 1.

“This is my million-dollar toy,” Mr. Paskin said.

He is not just the owner but also the on-air talent: As Gary Ganja, he is the regular afternoon D.J. In the studio, he wears flip-flops, a Bob Marley wig and a Rolex. At the mixing board, though, he’s cannabis-free. “I want to pay attention,” he said, “with all those controls and everything.”

Comedy bits include “Dead People Who Smoke Pot.” (Mr. Paskin to a fake James Brown: “James, how are things in that coffin?” Fake James Brown: “I smoke weed every day. I smoked it by the pound. That’s why I was so hot on stage.”)

“Stoner Dating Game” is a call-in stunt. And “Presidents on Weed” features phony conversations with leaders who have admitted to trying marijuana.

Other on-air hosts have also adopted station-appropriate pseudonyms: Ed Blaze, Mary Jane, Billy Blunt and Stoney Reynolds, who was recruited from a station in Chicago.

Internet-streamed programs focusing on pot have existed for years. But in starting a cannabis-themed FM radio station, Mr. Paskin is trying to succeed with a largely unexplored model. The legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado has prompted a flurry of entrepreneurial activity — the marijuana critics, the pot-friendly hoteliers, and the founders of CannaCamp, a new “bud and breakfast,” among them — but few have dared to enter the AM and FM radio world.

“There’s a courage factor,” said Chuck Lontine, a former investment banker who advises corporations seeking to acquire radio stations in Colorado and beyond.

Several major companies have considered all-pot formats, Mr. Lontine said, and all have gone running once they heard the risks. Federal rules on marijuana-themed radio are “fifty shades of gray,” he said, and there’s always a chance that the Federal Communications Commission will revoke a license. All forms of marijuana use remain illegal under federal law. Attracting advertisers would be a challenge, he said, since anyone from a dental office to a Walmart might decide to stick with a safer option — like a top-40 station that plays Taylor Swift songs.

At least two other stations in Colorado experimented briefly with marijuana-centric formats, but quickly left the air. One, K-High, had a run this spring on AM 1580 out of Colorado Springs. But when the man leasing the station died, his children quickly dropped the radio license, said Len Williams, the station’s operations manager (though K-High continues to stream on the Internet).

But Mr. Paskin said his deep pockets free him from the need to turn a profit. He has already given away millions, both as “Uncle Kokua” and in an appearance on another TV show, “Secret Millionaire.”

For now, the station is commercial free. And he believes he’s in the legal clear.

“I’m bringing back the old days of radio,” Mr. Paskin said. “Radio has become boring, it’s corporate-controlled, every station sounds alike. If you tell a weird joke, they’ll fire you.”

Smokin 94.1’s studio, in east Denver, is decorated like a college dorm room, with pot-themed posters, the largest of which features Cheech and Chong. On a recent weekday, Mr. Paskin mixed rock hits — AC/DC, Van Halen — with recordings from his repertoire of funny bits.

Calls came streaming in. “Smokin 94.1,” he said, responding to a call from a man who identified himself as D.Y. “So answer the question of the day — what do you like to eat after you’ve smoked or you’re stoned or whatever?”

The answer: Chocolate.

Mr. Paskin has posted billboards around Denver that promise “4:20 news and big hits” — 4:20 is a reference to marijuana — and feature a cartoon character in dreadlocks with a large joint hanging from his lips. The station’s website displays similar imagery.

He has received both praise and criticism. Scott Greene, a former president of a cannabis legalization and advocacy group called Mile High Norml, said the station’s lazy-stoner vibe promotes an outdated notion of the state’s marijuana users, who include mothers, high-level executives and even children on medical treatment. Mr. Greene said he took particular offense to the station’s cartoon stoner.

“It’s ignorant stereotyping,” Mr. Greene said, calling the station’s hosts “so out of touch that they still think that image is O.K.”

Mr. Paskin responds to critics by urging them to relax.

“Some people want to be real sophisticated,” he said, after passing the microphone to the evening host. “But it’s like — big deal. You know what? This is comedy.”

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/20/us/wit....html?_r=0

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Thumbs Up Launch of WikiCannabis.com!
Posted by: wikicannabis - 06-20-2015, 06:34 PM - Forum: WikiCannabis.com News & Announcements - No Replies

We are proud to announce the launch of our WikiCannabis.com website!

WikiCannabis.com is a community-based cannabis information exchange for marijuana enthusiasts, activists, patients, backyard gardeners, master growers, and anyone else with an interest in compassion, basic rights, and FREEDOM!

Due to the Federal Prohibition on Cannabis combined with the fast changing but inconsistent state laws, information and research on marijuana has been stifled. And while there are still an abundance of data, research, and anecdotal evidence on not only the medical benefits of marijuana, but also on the cannabis plant's relative benign nature.

Doctors and even our President has come out and stated that marijuana, at worst, is no more dangerous than alcohol, with many agreeing that marijuana is the safer choice.


Our mission in launching WikiCannabis.com is to create a crowdsourced centralized cannabis information resource to share, inform, and educate about marijuana. 

Everyone is welcome in the world of weed!

Join Us and Share Your Knowledge!

It's super quick to register and join our community of cannabis fans! Your thoughts and knowledge is invaluable to others in the marijuana community so please share and contribute!

Register on WikiCannabis.com

Thanks for visiting!

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Video Marijuana in America - Colorado Pot Rush - CNBC Documentary
Posted by: wikicannabis - 06-20-2015, 05:29 PM - Forum: Cannabis ( Marijuana ) Videos - No Replies

Marijuana in America - Colorado Pot Rush - CNBC Documentary.

Quote:Colorado made history as the first state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for recreational use. NBC News correspondent Harry Smith tells the story behind this stunning development, which has been called one of the great social experiments of the next century.

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  State’s first medical marijuana dispensary to open in Salem
Posted by: wikicannabis - 06-20-2015, 05:00 PM - Forum: Marijuana in the News - No Replies

Wonder if MA will ever get their marijuana laws sorted out, while patients suffer...

Quote:The state’s first medical marijuana dispensary, Alternative Therapies Group in Salem, is expected to open shortly, after receiving a temporary waiver Friday that will allow it to sell cannabis that has not been fully tested for pesticides and other contaminants.

The one-time waiver was granted because laboratories in Massachusetts are not yet able to complete the quality testing required by state health department rules, according to Governor Charlie Baker’s office.

“Patients have waited to access marijuana for medical purposes for far too long,” Baker said in a statement. “This waiver will allow industry laboratories a little more time to reach full operation while providing safe amounts of medical marijuana for qualifying patients who need it.”

But chemists at two labs poised to test dispensary products said the problem isn’t operations at the labs. The problem, they said, resides with the state’s guidelines, issued just six weeks ago, that set standards that are too stringent for lead.

And just as crucially, the labs said, while the rules require the cannabis to be screened for 18 pesticides that dispensaries are prohibited from using, they do not mandate testing to see whether residue from permissible pesticides remain.

“As a consumer, I would want to know those products are free from pesticides, but how do I know they are free from pesticides if they are not being tested?” said Christopher Hudalla, with ProVerde Laboratories in Milford, which is used by Alternative Therapies.

The Salem dispensary submitted its first batch of marijuana for testing, the Baker administration said, but the lab was unable to test for seven of the 18 prohibited pesticides.

Hudalla disputed that, saying his lab is able to detect 17 of the 18, and will be ready next week to test for all 18.

The Baker administration also said the lab had problems testing for metals.

Hudalla and Michael Kahn, president of MCR Labs in Framingham, said the lead levels allowed by the state are so strict that no dispensaries would be able to meet them.

By comparison, lead levels allowed for medical marijuana in Connecticut and Colorado are at least 40 times higher, and are safe, Hudalla said.

One organic potato tested by the lab had higher levels of lead than allowed under the state’s marijuana rules, he said.

“I am concerned about patients not having access due to too-stringent levels,” Kahn said.

Both chemists said the state Department of Public Health has declined to communicate with them about these problems. The state did not directly respond to a question from the Globe about whether it had communicated with the labs.

Under the state’s medical marijuana rules, the health department regulates the dispensaries, not the labs. Asked about the concerns raised by the labs, department spokesman Scott Zoback said in a statement, “This administration has made it a priority to communicate with [dispensaries] in a timely fashion about our testing standards, as well as all regulations, to ensure safe patient access.”

When Massachusetts issued its marijuana testing rules two years ago, those standards were among the most stringent in the country, requiring dispensaries to have their products screened by an outside lab for heavy metals, pesticides, and mold. They must also identify and measure active chemical compounds in the cannabis.

Under the waiver granted to Alternative Therapies, its marijuana can be distributed with a label that discloses the chemicals not tested.

“We are not lowering our standards for the testing of marijuana for medical purposes. Safety is job one,” Marylou Sudders, the state health and human services secretary, said in a statement. “The waiver allows for small amounts of marijuana to be dispensed for medical use while testing facilities ramp up.”

Under the three-month waiver, Alternative Therapies is allowed to dispense a maximum of 4.23 ounces of marijuana to qualifying patients for use over two months, while instructing patients to consume no more than 2 grams a day. Normally, patients would be allowed to buy up to 10 ounces of marijuana every two months.

During the next three months, the state health department will review its standards for testing metal levels in marijuana to ensure those levels are attainable for dispensaries in the future, the department said.

“We carefully considered the initial testing results, and we will review the standards going forward,” Dr. Monica Bharel, the state’s public health commissioner, said in a statement. “We believe these levels provide for patient health protections while allowing the first dispensary to distribute marijuana for medical use as voted on in 2012.”

Health officials said Alternative Therapies must complete one final state inspection before opening, and while they expected it to happen quickly, they were unable to offer a timetable. The Alternative Therapies Group’s executive director, Christopher Edwards, did not return a phone call.

Source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/0...story.html

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  Delaware Becomes 18th State to Decriminalize Marijuana
Posted by: wikicannabis - 06-20-2015, 04:54 PM - Forum: Marijuana in the News - No Replies

Another small but significant step on our march toward freedom!

Quote:Delaware is 18th state to allow possession of recreational marijuana
The Democratic-backed bill, which permits ownership and use of up to an ounce of marijuana, cleared the state legislature without a single Republican vote

Delaware governor Jack Markell has signed into law a bill decriminalising possession and private use of small amounts of marijuana. The move follows the lead of nearly 20 states that have eased penalties for personal consumption, state media reported on Thursday.

Individuals in Delware will be allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and to use it privately without facing criminal sanctions. Police could still confiscate the drug, according to Delaware Online, the News Journal.

The statute also will reduce the penalty for using marijuana in a public place to a $100 civil fine. Under previous Delaware law, simple marijuana possession was a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,150.

The law will take effect in six months’ time. Markell, a Democrat, signed the measure almost immediately after the state senate, voting along party lines, gave it final legislative approval.

According to the Journal, the Democratic-backed bill cleared the state legislature without a single Republican vote in either the house or senate.

Not counting Delaware, 17 states have passed laws to decriminalise personal marijuana use and possession in small amounts, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a lobbying group.

Delaware is one of 23 states, along with the District of Columbia, that allow the use of pot for medical reasons. Voters in Colorado, Washington state, Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC have approved ballot measures legalising cannabis for adult recreational use.

Marijuana remains classified as an illegal narcotic under US federal law.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/...iminalised

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