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Virginia Medical Marijuana Producers Want Flower Approved
While lawmakers in Richmond begin talks on the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, companies beginning to operate in Virginia’s nascent medical marijuana industry are asking them to allow patients to access cannabis flower.
Virginia is one of six so-called medical marijuana states that do not allow patients to use actual marijuana. Instead, patients are limited to non-smokable extracts, concentrates, and edibles.
Adam Goers, chair of the industry lobbying group Virginia Medical Cannabis Coalition, told the Virginia Mercury, “Virginia’s medical program is one of the most restrictive in the country. Virginians deserve true access to this important alternative medicinal therapy, and removing barriers to access should be a critical part of the conversation as the commonwealth looks toward legalization.”
Utah Lawmakers to Expand Medical Cannabis Physician Referrals
Patients in Utah’s two-year-old medical cannabis program are still struggling to find physicians willing to write their cannabis recommendations necessary to acquire medicine in dispensaries.
Desiree Hennessy, the head of the Utah Patients Coalition, which sponsored Proposition 2 that legalized medical marijuana in Utah, explained the problem to Salt Lake’s FOX 13:
Under Utah law, physicians must attend four hours of class, pay $100, and register with the state to recommend medical cannabis, which they may do for only 275 patients. Physicians must renew that certification every two years by attending another four-hour class and paying a $50 renewal fee.
Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers is co-sponsoring a bill that would allow physicians in Utah to recommend cannabis to up to fifteen patients without state registration.
While Vickers’ bill might open up that supply bottleneck by allowing more physicians to recommend, the bill may restrict demand for recommendations by adding them to the state’s prescription drug monitoring database.
Recreational Marijuana Businesses in Guam Seek Vertical Integration
Owners of emerging cannabis businesses yesterday told the Cannabis Control Board in the US territory of Guam that allowing vertical integration is key to their success.
Guam’s legislature passed legalization in 2019, but the law allows businesses to only operate in one facet of cannabis — cultivation, processing, or retail sales.
Andrea Pellacani, managing partner of advocacy group Grassroots Guam, told the board, “Every cannabis business should have the option to be able to fill their own shelves.”
Josh Camacho, who sells fertilizers and pesticides through his business, 671 Grow Supply, told the board that, “Quality control is the biggest thing here. I think people deserve the right to control their own brand and how they’re portrayed on the retail shelf.”
The board is taking testimony on the matter through the end of this week.
Rhode Island Considers State-Run Marijuana Shops
With legalization proceeding in neighboring Massachusetts, the Rhode Island Senate Finance Committee heard proposals supported by the governor to create the nation’s first state-run recreational marijuana stores.
Pamela Toro from the R.I. Department of Business Regulation spoke to WPRI-TV about the proposal:
Under the proposal, the state would reap 61% of the proceeds from the stores, with 10% going to municipalities, even those that maintain a ban on such stores. Operators of the stores would be left with 29%. Home cultivation of cannabis would also be banned under the measure.
Study: Marijuana Makes Your Mind Wander
New research in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found evidence that THC causes “mind wandering” and “zoning out.”
In a double-blind study, two-dozen young adult non-daily cannabis users were given either a 15mg THC dose or a placebo, then set to work on certain memory tests. In a follow-up, they were given 15mg, 7.5mg, or a placebo.
Researchers found the 15mg subjects performed worse on their memory tasks, while the 7.5mg did not differ much from the placebo subjects.
The authors explained, “Similar to the effects of nicotine cravings and alcohol, THC appears to increase mind wandering and other off-task mental states (e.g., ‘zoning out’ or ‘mind blanking’), and decrease awareness of task performance. These broad effects on conscious experience are likely to drive performance decrements in a broad range of cognitive tasks.”