Press Releases

Patient Advocates Release Comprehensive Guide to Crafting Fair Rules to Create Local Medical Cannabis Access

Posted by · October 15, 2015 1:49 PM

Washington, DC- Today, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) released, “Where Will Patients Obtain Their Medicine?” a white paper on the impact of medical cannabis dispensaries on patients, teen cannabis use, crime and communities.  Since legal medical cannabis dispensaries first emerged following the creation of California’s medical cannabis program in 1996, the location of medical cannabis dispensaries has been a contentious issue. Although, critics have long suggested that medical cannabis dispensaries will worsen crime rates or otherwise undermine the communities that host them, empirical research shows that dispensaries bring economic development and provide patients with a physician-recommended medicine while not being associated with increased levels of crime or other social ills.  

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Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act Will Establish State-Level Regulation in California

Posted by · October 09, 2015 10:46 AM

Sacramento, CA- Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed the trio of bills known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act that will establish regulation of commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and transportation, as well as create a state-level licensing system in California for the first time since the medical cannabis program was enacted in 1996.  The California legislature passed Assembly Bills 243 and 266 and Senate Bill 643 on September 11th, 2015, with overwhelming support in both the Assembly and the Senate.

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Leading Cannabis Consumer Safety and Regulatory Compliance Experts Offer Networking and Education Opportunity

Posted by · October 07, 2015 1:29 PM

Baltimore, MD - On October 12th, the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program will host a Maryland application preparation event for applicants seeking licenses to operate medical cannabis cultivation, processing or dispensary locations in Maryland. This event, will consist of a networking reception followed by an educational workshop with industry experts on the Maryland’s application process and best practices to meet regulatory requirements. The Maryland Cannabis Commission began accepting applications on September 28, 2015.  The commission will issue 15 licenses for cultivation, up to 92 for dispensaries, and an unlimited number for processors.

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Patient Advocates Call On President Obama to Pardon All Defendants and Fully End Federal Prosecution of Medical Cannabis Patients

Posted by · October 02, 2015 10:22 AM

Spokane, WA – Earlier today Rhonda Firestack-Harvey and Michelle Gregg were sentenced to one year and a day in connection to federal cannabis cultivation charges. Fellow defendant Rolland Gregg received a sentence of 33 months. All three were released pending appeal. In March the trio was acquitted of all crimes they were initially charged with, except for the “lesser included” charge of cannabis cultivation.  The defendants were arrested in August of 2012 after the Drug Enforcement Agency seized cannabis plants on their property, which had been grown for medical purposes. They were barred from raising a medical necessity defense, despite Washington State law allowing for the cultivation of medical cannabis.

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Medical Cannabis Patient Advocates Call on Federal Government To Remove Barriers That Undermine Domestic Cannabis Research

Posted by · October 01, 2015 2:06 PM

Montreal- Researchers associated with McGill University and the University of British Columbia recently published results from a study showing that medical cannabis patients were no more likely to suffer serious adverse events during treatment than non-cannabis patients. “Cannabis for the Management of Pain: Assessment of Safety Study (COMPASS),” published online in the Journal of Pain, monitored the health of chronic pain patients using medical cannabis and of a control group.  The study was led by Dr. Mark Ware, Director of Clinical Research of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the McGill University Health Centre and Executive Director of the non-profit Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids.

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Dr. Sue Sisley To Lead A Clinical Lecture At Walter Reed National Military Medical Hospital On PTSD and Cannabis

Posted by · September 15, 2015 1:08 PM

Bethesda, MD- Today, Dr. Sue Sisley will be lead a clinical lecture on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and cannabis as part of the 5th Annual Pain Care Skills Training at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  Research has indicated that cannabis has tremendous therapeutic potential to treat PTSD and pain-related symptoms of many medical conditions. The Pain Care Skills Training is a four day event that includes hands-on trainings, lectures and roundtable discussions on best-practice models of treatment, and evolving solutions to meet the needs of pain care within the military, hosted by the National Capital Region Pain Initiative. 

"The military has historically been a leader in adopting new medical practices far ahead of the larger medical community," said Sue Sisley. "It's an honor to be able to help educate these highly dedicated medical professionals about medical cannabis and PTSD."

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Medical Cannabis Patient Advocates Applaud Passage of Historic Legislation

Posted by · September 14, 2015 3:42 PM

Sacramento, CA- On September 11th, 2015 the California State Legislature passed a series of bills that would establish comprehensive regulation and licensing of medical cannabis.  Assembly Bills 243 and 266 as well as Senate Bill 643 were all approved and will delegate regulation of commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution to various state agencies as well as create a state-level licensing system for the first time in the history of the state’s medical cannabis program. Governor Jerry Brown is widely expected to sign all three pieces of legislation.

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ASA to Work with Regulators to Ensure Highest Level of Industry Compliance

Posted by · September 02, 2015 12:42 PM

PFC logoAmericans for Safe Access (ASA) has been selected to provide training for compliance inspectors operating under the authority of the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. The auditors are charged with ensuring members of the state’s new medical cannabis industry comply with all applicable regulations, which were finalized by the Commission in August. 

In addition to developing its own rigorous compliance protocols, Maryland has adopted the American Herbal Product Association’s (AHPA) Recommendations to Regulators in the areas of: cultivation, distribution and manufacturing. AHPA’s guidelines offer seed-to-consumption product safety and quality control measures that will ensure rigid oversight of the state’s medical cannabis industry.

Auditor training will be offered through the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program, a project of ASA with extensive experience training members of the cannabis industry to meet strict regulatory compliance guidelines. PFC has trained thousands of employees of the medical cannabis industry and is currently under contract with the District of Columbia to train all medical cannabis staff to achieve comprehensive regulatory compliance.

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ASA Statement on DOJ Memorandum Regarding Guidance on Effect of Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Cannabis Amendment

Posted by · August 05, 2015 4:04 PM

Earlier today, press reports revealed a February 2015 memorandum from Department of Justice on the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Cannabis Amendment’s impact on federal law enforcement actions related to the Controlled Substances Act. The memorandum argues that federal prosecutions against private citizens participating in state-level medical cannabis programs would not be impacted by the amendment.

ASA Government Affairs Director Mike Liszewski issued the following comment:

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New Campaign Aims to Deepen Public Knowledge about Medical Marijuana

Posted by · July 29, 2015 10:21 AM

Washington,  DC-  This morning Americans for Safe Access (ASA) launched the Truth About Medical Marijuana educational website and accompanying event series. The Truth About Medical Marijuana will focus on emerging issues in the area of medical marijuana, including understanding the research behind the medicine, emerging policies issues surrounding cannabidiol (CBD) and consumer safety issues. During each of the next three months, event hosts will focus on these issues and prepare attendees to share that information with politicians and key decision makers, as well as providing tools to counter misinformation in the media.

“With the majority of Americans living in states that allow at least some kind of medical marijuana it’s time to move beyond rhetoric and headlines and foster a genuine understanding of this too often misunderstood medicine,” said Steph Sherer ASA Executive Director.  “With the Truth About Medical Marijuana, we’re filling a void by giving people straightforward explanations of the science behind medical marijuana and explaining how medical marijuana relates to them and their families.”

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