Blog Voices from the Frontlines
Dozens of medical cannabis patients and industry advocates gathered this morning in front of the courthouse in Baltimore, Maryland to protest further delays to the state’s medical cannabis program. The potential delays came from a restraining order issued by a Circuit Court Judge, preventing the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) from awarding any further licenses. The restraining order was initiated as a result of allegations by a company not awarded a contract that the MMCC discriminated against minority-owned businesses. To date, the commission has only issued one license to a medical cannabis business.
Approval of the First Medical Cannabis Grow Operation in Maryland Granted to Patient Focused Certified Company - Americans for Safe Access
Maryland regulators issued the first license to grow medical cannabis in Maryland to ForwardGro, a company with a 1-acre greenhouse located in Anne Arundel County. This decision comes more than four years after Maryland first approved a medical cannabis program. ForwardGro is also the first company in Maryland to be certified for cultivation under American for Safe Access’ (ASA) Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program.
A large majority of drug prosecution cases occur on the state level. But when federal prosecutors get involved, the consequences can be much more serious. It’s unclear whether a recent memo issued by the Department of Justice could apply to medical cannabis patients following their state laws.
Trump's Signing Statement Has Left Patients Scratching their Heads: What Does it Mean? - Americans for Safe Access
Last Friday, President Donald Trump signed H.R. 244, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, into law. This budget bill will fund the government through September 30, 2017. Included in the appropriations bill was language that prohibits the Department of Justice from using funds to limit the implementation of state medical cannabis programs.
After passing a temporary stopgap budget measure, Congress has funded the Government through September 30, 2017. Included in the Appropriations bill is a provision that prevents the Department of Justice from expending federal funds to prevent the implementation of state medical cannabis programs. The Appropriations bill also includes protections for states with industrial hemp programs
For medical cannabis patients, one of the hardest conversations to have may be with family and friends. After negotiating the hurdles of registering as a patient, finding a physician that will recommend medical cannabis, and finding a dispensary close to home, the last thing many patients may not anticipate is an intense conversation about their new medicine with their loved ones.
If you have seen the news lately, you know that the possibility of a government shutdown is looming. Without any action, government funding ends at midnight on Friday April 28th, meaning that all non-essential government operations and agencies are suspended until a budget is passed. This would NOT include the Department of Justice (DOJ) as it is considered essential.
Thousands will be gathering tomorrow across the country for the March for Science, a march and rally in support of scientific fact trumping science fiction in our government and among our elected officials.
Yesterday, over 100 medical cannabis patient advocates from 32 states descended on Capitol Hill with a mission:
to convince their members of Congress to support medical cannabis legislation like the CARERS Act.
With help from ASA staff, advocates were scheduled for 72 meetings, which they attended armed with the information they had learned attending ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference held from the 7th-11th at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington, D.C.
This week began with a significant move of progress, as the state of Maryland finally opened its patient registry for medical cannabis. Although the state legislature passed a medical cannabis program in 2013, delays and setbacks have postponed the implementation by over four years. Those with last names A through L can now register through the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission's website. Patients with last names M through Z will be able to register starting Monday April 17 at 9 AM. Registration will be open for all patients beginning on April 24th.