Tag Archives: Medical Marijuana Card in California

Army Issuing More Waivers for Recruits Who Used Marijuana

icon  06 Dec, 2017  /  icon  0        Author: Chloe

The marijuana wave in the U.S. seems to go beyond the individual states. More states are lessening the penalties for using marijuana with some eliminating them completely. The army is now also being part of this process now. The army is willing to grant hundreds of waivers to people who might have used marijuana before and want to be enlisted in the military. There is a catch; you will never use marijuana again while in the military.

More waivers for recruits

It is not as if there were no waivers. In 2016, the recruits would be given 191 waivers, but that number is now over 500. This includes if you used marijuana before. Comparing this high number of waivers to the past, it is a major improved. About three years ago, not a single waiver was granted. It could be one way that the officials and generals are dealing with the orders of expanding the army size.

Maj. Gen. Jeff Snow says that so long as the recruits understand that they cannot use marijuana again once enlisted, the army has no trouble giving them waivers. This means that more people who might have wanted to join the army before, but got barred because of marijuana drug test and always get in the force this time.

The exclusion of marijuana use represented about one-quarter of the misconduct waivers that the army had granted for the last budget year. Now that year ended in Sept. 30, this meant that they could implement more waivers. The changes to the waivers have seen a 50 percent increase in the number of people who are willing to join the army. Snow further said that more recruits would be chosen once more states in the U.S. legalize the use of marijuana.

States such as Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts and many others have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. You have to be an adult 21 years and above to use the recreational marijuana in these states. You also have to only possess small amounts for personal consumption. With many other states decriminalizing it, marijuana could now easily get itself on the list of waivers. In some states, being found with marijuana is considered a low-end misdemeanor with no chances of jail. You might have to pay fine and you are good to do.

How many have benefited?

It is possible that you can get many people criticizing the army for recruiting such people with a history of drug use to join the army. That being said, we also have to consider just how many people have benefited from such a waiver. The army data show that more than 8,000 recruits so far received waivers in 2017. This is a huge increase compared to 6,700 in 2016. Most of the waivers offered were on the physical and mental aspects of the recruit. In total, the army managed to get almost 69,000 recruits in 2017. This is 6000 more than what they recruited in 2016. It goes further to show that with more waivers, they get to find more soldiers.

More category-four recruits

Snow said that the checked with his Army leadership if he could get more category four recruits into the army. This was with the aim to meet the high enlistment goals. He had further promised to keep the numbers low at 4 percent. This is the limit that the group is allowed by the U.S. Pentagon.

Category four recruits are those with lower than 31 score on the aptitude test. The top army officers have come out to defend the system that it does not lower the standards of the army. It is simply a way of accommodating more people with diversity in the army.

The concern is still something genuine and it cannot be overlooked. This happened before and the same mistake cannot be repeated. When the U.S. was at war with Iraq, more soldiers would be recruited to meet the deployment quota. This led to many waivers that people with criminal records were enlisted. The same happened to bumping them to higher ranks when they had no experience at all. The top army chiefs have however confirmed that such would never happen again. They will make sure that quality remains paramount at all times.

A ‘New’ Marijuana ETF Is On The Way

icon  22 Nov, 2017  /  icon  0        Author: Chloe

There is no doubt that the weed wave has been hitting the U.S.A hard over the years. This is thanks to the first legalization of medical weed in California. Over the years, people have always wanted more and would often resolve to get it through the black market. This has led to many more states legalizing marijuana for recreational use. It is easy to note that Washington and Colorado states were the first to do it back in 2012.

The idea of legalizing weed for recreational use has seen more people willing to invest in it. It is often due to the huge market untapped and the potential profits from the business. It is estimated that by 2020, the weed industry will be racking in $20 billion annually. That is quite a lot of money for any economy around the world. That being said, some of the investors have been missing on the action because there was no ETF.

Well, EFT is not a new concept in the US market, but the fund had not been set up properly in the market to attract more investors. You might have heard about the ETF existing in Canada for weed . As much as it exists, it is not good for Americans, as it only applies to the Toronto Stock Exchange. It is famously known as the Horizons weed Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ).  Things are about to change for the better in the U.S as the ETFMG Alternative Agroscience ETF is supposed to begin trading anytime from December.

Just to help you understand how good the ETF will be for traders, consider the performance of HMMJ EFT in Toronto. Since its launch in April, the fund is up by 44% and still going strong. It has also built an impressive $216 million in terms of assets. This shows that if the ETF is favorable, it is bound to make a lot of money from the marijuana industry.

Some might be thinking this will be a new fund. That is not entirely the case as the Alternative Agroscience EFT is designed to complete an existing fun with similar objectives. The idea is to make it lucrative so that we can have more investors getting on the marijuana trend. It is also the reason you might have noticed the title has quotes around the word new. The fund is going to benefit anyone looking to invest in the weed business boosting the cultivators and distributors of the product.

The fund has to target the legal businesses only. There are strict measures a company has to follow before being licensed to work on marijuana. The work of the ETF is to help track the performance of the Alternative Agroscience Index. The index contains the different types of companies that are involved in handling the weed product. This includes cultivating, production, and distribution of cannabis. The index also covers the pharmaceutical companies involved in the manufacturing and marketing of the weed-related drugs. The businesses that are involved in making fertilizers and pesticides used in cultivating of cannabis are also added to the index.

As you can see, the Alternative Agroscience Index is involved from the start of growing marijuana to the time it is sold in dispensaries to the patients. This should provide better accountability of just how much of the cannabis is produced and sold. Any investor would love to see that proper accountability is done.

Many analysts agree that the potential for having a marijuana ETF is quite huge. This is based on the number of states that have already legalized the use of marijuana. Currently, there are 29 states and D.C that have legalized the use of medical marijuana. Things have taken a new twist with 8 states having now legalized recreational marijuana. More states are expected to follow the trend soon. They all know the potential of having legalized marijuana thanks to the insane tax revenues the states are receiving annually. A state like California on average makes $50 million tax revenue from cannabis sales. The amount is expected to rise with the legalization of marijuana in more states.

The use of marijuana is here to stay and make money for both cultivators and sellers. There is no point of stopping it now. This is evident due to the introduction of the ETF. We can all wait and see what happens once the ETF is implemented officially come December.

Big Brewer Makes a Play for Marijuana Beverages

icon  31 Oct, 2017  /  icon  0        Author: Chloe

The whole marijuana industry is getting heated as a number of larger companies aim to get their cut. Marijuana is estimated to be worth in the region of $50 billion in the USA, with the vast majority of this number being made up by black market sales. But legalization is all but killing off the black market. After all, why would anybody buy toxic weed from a dealer when they can get organic and regulated weed form a shop, grow their own or attain a certified and tested medical brand? What this means is that there is a $50 billion dollar industry up for grabs, and one that is set to grow. And aside from the cultivation and distribution there are hundreds of side industries which can be even more profitable. These include packaging and marketing, vaporizers and smoking materials, specialized medical strains, testing facilities, tier one connoisseur strains, marijuana security services, growing items, cannabis edibles, cannabis topicals and more. There is also a huge movement in terms of the applications of industrial hemp, which could affect the manufacturing world as we know it.

Alcohol and Marijuana

The U.S. distributor of Corona beer is chasing a new type of buzz. Constellation Brands Inc (NYSE: STZ) has agreed to take a 9.9% stake in Canopy Growth Corp (TSX: WEED), a Canadian marijuanacompany. Constellation Brands, which has a market capitalization of approximately $41 billion, has a portfolio of wine, beer and spirits brands that include Corona, Clos du Bois, Charles Smith Wines, Robert Mondavi, Casa Noble Tequila and Svedka Imported Vodka. According the Wall Street Journal, it purchased the stake to pursue development of drinkable cannabis beverages and to get a head start in advance of eventual legalization in the United States. Canopy Growth, the first Canadian LP to trade publicly, recently posted an all-time closing high of C $13.78 on October 11th and closed Friday at C $12.79.

The exact terms of what is the first major cross-industry investment have not yet been disclosed, but Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton stated that it was at a premium to the close of 12.79 Canadian Dollars. Canopy Growth had 165 million shares outstanding and fully diluted shares of 176 million including 11 million options as of June 30th and will report its second quarter results by the Fourteenth of November.

The two biggest US exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange(NYSE) and the Nasdaq, have strict requirements in terms of what companies get listed. This means that many new marijuana companies cannot get listed on these exchanges and have to trade Over the Counter. Over the Counter stocks have less information which can throw off many investors, particularly large ones. No serious investor is going to invest in a company without a balance sheet showing how the company operates along with its yearly profit and loss. Otherwise they are investing in a story, however grand it may be. For this reason, many large investors are forced to go to Canada to invest in such firms, with some critics saying that this is costing the US money to Canadas gain. Further, large firms like Constellation Brands cannot invest in marijuana companies as marijuana is still a drug at the Federal level, and as such it was forced to invest in a Canadian company.

The Marijuana Market

It is not currently known what type of market there is for marijuana infused beverages. Many prefer one or the other, and mixing alcohol and THC can be a recipe for disaster in many ways, as they simply do not go well together. Marijuana makes people calmer, happier and more relaxed. Alcohol makes people more energized, extroverted and active. But despite this some retail outlets have been selling marijuana infused cocktails for a price as high as $22, though this seems to be a novelty trend to capitalize on as opposed to a long term viable business plan.

But it goes without saying that the marijuana market is on the way up.  Marijuana based drug maker GW Pharmaceuticals are up 1200 % in 4 years, while a company simply called Medical Marijuana is up over 900% in the past 4 years. The growth rate of the whole marijuana industry is estimated to be in the region of 23% a year. This are incredibly good odds, and if you pick the right niches and the right companies the profit can far exceed this number. However, marijuana investing is always a risk and it isdefinitely not a stable form of income. Profits will go up and down and the industry is volatile, and a ruling from a regulatory body could see stocks tumbling. The majority of marijuana stocks are currently losing money, and whether these companies have the capital to keep going needs to be seen. And there is growing evidence that the marijuana industry is being monopolized.

But aside from the risk it is one of the best sectors to invest in, and as an old rule of investing it is better to pick the right sector than the right stock. Think of the housing market in all the years before the crash, where it was hard to lose. Pick carefully and bide your time as opposed to expecting any type of quick wins. In the meantime, expect many more large institutions to come into the marijuana market in the next couple of years. Constellation Brands Inc is just the beginning.

Merced County Sheriff Wants Pot Pushed Indoors. Advocates Say It’s a Burden

icon  24 Oct, 2017  /  icon  0        Author: Chloe

With the passing of Proposition 64, Californian voters opted to allow recreational marijuana in the state. The sale of marijuana is set to take plane from January 1st, 2018 onwards and all eyes are on California to see how well the state will do. It will be by far the largest marijuana industry in the USA, dwarfing both Oregon and Washington combined in terms of projected revenue. Most people in California are very optimistic about marijuana and are eager to see it pass, but so far marijuana in California has ran into many hurdles despite its potential social, economic and health benefits.

Pot Pushed Indoors

It has recently come to public attention that there is an incredible amount of illegal growing operations in California. These illegal growing operations are catastrophic to the environment as they leave desolated wastelands full of chemicals. Black market growers do not abide by any regulatory process, and the majority of these operations are run by illegal immigrants, most notable Mexican drug cartels. An added disadvantage is that the quality of weed is laden with toxins and not fit for human consumption. But it makes its way to the black market and is consumed by people who do not know any better, thinking they are ingesting a beneficial plant which is actually harming their bodies due to the ultra-high toxin levels that are never checked for.

It is for this reason, among others, that Merced County Sheriff wants pot pushed indoors. It is not possibly to track and monitor all of the illegal growing operations, the resources are simply not there. The office has busted a number of operations and have discovered what counties such as Humboldt and others have found – toxic, chemical laden wastelands. According to Sgt. Ray Framstad“We have chemicals that we have no idea what they are”. The Merced County planning commission meets next week to discuss the county’s plan to ban the growth of 12 plants outdoors. The ordinance would allow only the six plants grown indoors, which is the state standard. The sheriff’s office will be part of the presentation at the meeting, according to Framstad, who said moving growing indoors would be best. Cannabis advocates say indoor growing is more expensive and a burden on the most vulnerable.

Let them Be

The point of view of the sheriff’s office is understandable. There are a number of growth operations growing terrible marijuana that should not come anywhere near a human being. But the suggestion is immature and problematic for a number of reasons. One such reason is that the free market will do a better job than any sort or regulatory ban on indoor or outdoor growth. Come January 2018 there will be stricter rules and requirements on marijuana sale and distribution. Meaning that the marijuana will not make its way to the recreational market. And as people can simply grow their own anyway, there is no need to get marijuana from the black market. Let the illegal growers grow their black marijuana. It won’t pass any compliance standards or independent testing. There will be no reason for average residents to trust back market dealers when they can simply go down to the shop and get marijuana that they know is of a high quality. Or else they can ask their friends, as every neighborhood is going to have a cultivator or two growing organic, local weed for the community. Black market marijuana will be the last option, and if people are foolish enough to purchase this then natural selection should take its course. And it fundamentally makes no sense to punish hundreds of thousands of innocent growers simply because there will be a few people foolish enough to buy black market marijuana. This is a draconian policy, sometimes referred to as Socialism, that punishes 99% to protect 1%.

A Point of Debate

There is debate at the moment as to whether or not outdoor growing is easier or more difficult than indoor growing. Outdoor growing might require more skills, but indoor growing will require more money due to electricity and nutrients. Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke has taken a hard line against marijuana growth of any kind, saying it draws violence to cultivation sites and is bad for the environment. “The people growing this are absolutely polluting our groundwater…. The environmental impacts are bad. The criminal impacts are worse.” Recently, armed suspects in Calaveras County posing as law enforcement officials stole nearly 500 marijuana plants, a large amount of cash and a truck, tying up some of the victims they robbed. Before this, a teenager and an adult male were found dead at a cultivation site in San Joaquin County, according to the Stockton Record. Merced County raided 191 illegal growing sites from October 2016 to October 2017, according to Framstad, confiscating more than 54,000 plants. They also took 30 guns at those sites.

A Balanced Approach

While the police officers in this instance are commended in that they actually seem to be battling genuine crime, it has to be seen for what it is. These crimes are the dying breaths of black market marijuana, which cannot exist in an environment where marijuana is regulated and legal. How can it? The profits and incentives will not be there. Putting stiff penalties in place for growers who fail to adhere to environmental policies is a more balanced approach than forcing all marijuana indoors, which many cannot afford.

Airport Security Relaxing Screening of Passengers with Medical Marijuana

icon    /  icon  0        Author: Chloe

Within Canadian flights, patients were often scrutinized when they carried marijuana, both internationally and domestically. Even if they had a valid prescription, if they were carrying any amount of marijuana the police were called to airports to verify that the marijuana was legitimately obtained and that the individual was a registered patient. Some airports were said to be extreme perpetrators of this abnormality, and others were very lax in its application. For the last two years, this has been a huge issue for patients who missed flights and reported that they felt harassed and humiliated in front of other passengers for the possession of a substance they needed to treat their various illnesses. Thankfully, this situation has now been rectified, after a long series of miscommunications from authorities and no small amount of hassle to the medical marijuana patients.

A More Relaxed Policy

Travelers who are prescribed marijuana for medical reasons have fewer hurdles to clear at airport screening points due to a change in policy by the agency responsible for security.The Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority (CATSA) recently declared that its airport screeners are no longer calling police when a passenger presents a prescription and is carrying 150 grams of marijuana or less. According to Canadian Air Transportation Security Authorityspokesperson Mathieu Larocque“We decided to change that policy because of the exponential growth in the number of passengers travelling legitimately with medical marijuana,”In other words, there are too many people flying with marijuana these days and it is too resource intensive. And with recreational marijuana becoming legal next year, there will be no real crime so the policy will become defunct anyway. It makes sense at the present time to do away with an inefficient policy.

Larocque further stated that thus far this year the police have been called over 3000 times, and in the vast majority of cases the individuals in question had valid medical marijuana cards. This can be compared to other years where the police were called around 200 times a year. He also said that the department had received a number of complaints, with frequent flyers who needed their medical marijuana being checked all the time. And, he added, airport security are there to look for security threats to aircrafts. There are far more serious concerns which aircraft screening personnel need to look out for as opposed to harassing plant patients. But in the defense of CATSA, they do not look out for marijuana and it is not a primary cause of concern for them. “Screening officers do not search for it, if they find it during the course of their search for threats to civil aviation then they ask for documentation”,says Larocque

But, in criticism of CATSA, the way they proceeded once they found marijuana left much to be desired. Even when patients were able to provide their prescription, they were further asked to bring membership documentation and a sales receipt to prove that the marijuana came from a legitimate source. But they did not exactly clarify the rules. Cannabis patients were only asked to provide documentation, and there was no exact stipulation as to what documentation was required for a long time. Needless to say, the change in policy is very much welcomed by cannabis patients in Canada, particularly those who fly regularly. It could take many hours for the police to arrive, and many patients had to miss their flight. This law obviously only applies to domestic flight, as if you are traveling to different countries they may have their own rules and procedures. Remember, even when travelling to countries with permissive cannabis laws, Canada’s export laws prohibit taking cannabis out of the country without strictly regulated licenses and permits.Even Canadians flying to states in the USA where medical and recreational marijuana are legal have been deported on numerous occasions.

Canadian Marijuana Airline Policy

Canada is probably the second most cannabis friendly country in the world (aside from Amsterdam, possibly tying with Jamaica and Uruguay as candidates). Chances are that the stance will be much tougher wherever you are flying to, especially to the USA. It is also illegal to smoke while aboard airplanes, and most airports in Canada are smoke free. A possible way around this is to use oils are tinctures, which can even be consumed on the plane and elsewhere. A grey area exists with regard to the consumption of cannabis edibles, though you will most probably get away with it. The best method is to obtain some THC or CBD capsules from a reputable vendor. Many passengers use pills as a form of medication on flight and there is no reason you cannot do the same, as you need your medicine in THC form. Remember to use your common sense. Intoxication of all kinds is not acceptable and not permitted. Consume responsibly and do not expect any special treatment because you have a prescription.

Doctors See Spike In ‘Synthetic Marijuana’ Overdoses

icon  11 Oct, 2017  /  icon  0        Author: Chloe

An area in Minnesota has recently see a number of overdoses on synthetic marijuana. The overdoses have been concentrated in Minneapolis over the course of a recent 3-day period. In a mere 72 hours, over 40 people overdosed on synthetic marijuana. This is actually not such an odd occurrence, that has happened on a number of occasions in the last decade. And this incidence is an example of what occurs across the globe with unregulated drugs, with a bad batch making everybody sick and that can lead to death for some people.

The Minnesota Response

Cole, an emergency room and toxicology doctor at Hennepin County Medical Center, says the calls for help from K2 overdoses continue to pour into the poison control center. According to Cole:

“Historically in Minnesota when we have seen spikes since it first appeared in 2009 they usually last from days to weeks and tend to be concentrated in one geographical location…There are untold number of effects that are very, very different than typical marijuana intoxication or overdose with anything that is labeled K2”

The overdoses are happening across Minneapolis. Police say when this recent outbreak began Tuesday, officers responded to at least four overdoses near the Nicollet Mall light rail station. Three others had to be rushed to the ER after overdosing near 15th and Chicago Avenues.

What essentially happens is that, while all K2/synthetic marijuana is toxic, sometimes a particularly bad batch is lethal with too much of a certain ingredient (no regulation) which damages everybody who takes it, instead of the typical case where a certain individual responds badly to a substance for subjective reasons. Because of the fact that the makeup of K2 constantly changes, by the time that it is figured out, the manufacturer has changed the product and formula. There is really no way to chase down these criminals other than legalizing marijuana and providing extracts that are of a better quality. An added difficulty from the viewpoint of doctors (and, obviously, patients) is that the symptoms change from product to product. Some may lead to kidney failure, the next to an erratic heartbeat, another to seizures. Right now, doctors can only offer supportive care or keep the patient safe until the drug passes out of their system, which could take hours or sometimes days.Police are actively searching for the source, not knowing if this is a bad batch of the illegal drug or if someone is adding something else to the already dangerous K2.

What is Synthetic Marijuana?

Synthetic marijuana is a mixture of herbs and spices that are sprayed with chemicals which is supposed to mimic the effects of cannabis. Synthetic marijuana is sometimes referred to as”K2”. Many were led to believe that K2 was legal which was not the case, and it resulted in a number of deaths. It is most certainly not FDA approved and is nothing like legal synthetic THC. The label does say “Not for human consumption”. New varieties are constantly brought onto the market under different guises in order to conceal what they are really for, in order to maintain their ”legality”. Similar to the “bath salts” which are meant to imitate MDMA with a similar label that they are not for human consumption. Synthetic marijuana is said to be like marijuana because it binds to the same series of receptors that the cannabis plant stimulates to give the user psychoactive effects. Unfortunately, as everybody is now aware, organic beats synthetic in every instance and is far safer and more holistic. There is also the real concern that synthetic cannabis is between two and one hundred times as potent as THC.

Synthetic marijuana is often sourced from China to manufacturers who prepare the blends using high proof alcohol. Much is likely to go wrong in the production process. An uneven spray on the product or an uneven mixture can easily cause a chemical hot spot. Chemistry is supposed to be a fine art with precise measurements in a laboratory, not rough approximations without appropriate measurements using basic equipment. The consumer who gets a batch with this chemical spot will have, at best, terrible side effects. Of course, a chemical hotspot is not the only way to create a bad batch, and there are really an infinite number of things that can go wrong with this delicate process, and they often do.

What can we do?

Unfortunately, there really is nothing that can be done to prevent these outbreaks, as they are already illegal and it is impossible to shut down the operators and track down the overseas suppliers. For numerous reasons it is very difficult to catch the criminals. There is no system of regulation as to how a product is made and small-scale operations often label their products under established brand names. There is no real way to stop it, but people use synthetic marijuana for two main reasons. One is because cannabis is illegal in their state, and the second is because it does not show up in a urine test. Legalization of marijuana would solve both of these problems and could end up saving lives.


New Lakeland Clinic Devoted to Medical Marijuana Treatment

icon    /  icon  0        Author: Chloe

Florida is not known for its lax medical marijuana laws. And it is also not known for the expertise of its doctors in terms of marijuana. There are quite a number of complaints regarding the dosages prescribed by doctors, and the doctors do not seem to have any level of expertise. All that is required is that they complete a basic 2-hour course which fails to cover dosages and common side effects, two very obvious requirements for any substance. Doctors in the state are also erring on the side of caution when it comes to dosages, often giving levels that are far too low at far too high a price. Many patients are of the opinion that the industry in Florida is immature with a lack of rules and regulations and too much of an emphasis on profit taking by individual doctors who only got their state approval to increase their bottom line. There is no current state law that limits the amount of THC that may be prescribed to patients, but this has not prevented are refusal of doctors to prescribe the substance to their sick patients for fear of an unlikely overdose.

A New Florida Clinic

A new clinic has opened in Polk County in Florida, the first facility devoted to medical marijuana treatment in the area. The company is being led by Dr. Aida Cuascut-Reyes, a passionate marijuana advocate after listening to the screams of a rectal cancer patient without any form of painkiller strong enough to mitigate the pain. She says that she wishes the patient had lived long enough to be treated with medical marijuana, which she believes would have eased her suffering. She stated that “I have a lot of patients with a lot of needs that can be addressed by medical marijuana that they didn’t have a choice before”. There are currently no medical marijuana facilities in Polk County and 20 doctors in the area that have done the training, out of a total of 1100 in the state itself. The treatment center in Polk is part of the Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinics of Florida. The company’s chief medical officer, DrJoseph Dorn, said that the group had no affiliation with any of the marijuana dispensaries.

Doctors like Cuascut-Reyes are very rare. The fact of the matter is that most doctors, particularly in Florida, have gone into the industry with little knowledge and simply to make as much money as they can. This is according to longtime marijuana patient and veteran Richard Hacker, who stated that doctors have no expertise in the matter and that “they don’t know a thing about dosages or what they are prescribing”. These views are echoed by many patients in Florida which has a strict yet unclear policy. There are no real guidelines and doctors are learning on the go, prescribing the lowest dosage that they can for too high of a price.

Cuascut-Reyes herself is among the critics of the current rules and regulations surrounding the cultivation, distribution and prescription of marijuana for potential patients. She says that the list of diseases, which includes MS, cancer, Crohn’s, chronic pain and Parkinson’s, needs to be greatly enlarged. But she is at least happy that the substance is finally legalized and has been more effective than the prescription drugs she has had to give to patients. She has seen measurable improvements in patients who use marijuana with far less side effects that typical pain killers. Marijuana treatment is also an adjunct treatment at the center, along with other types of treatment.

The state initially awarded licenses to five companies, allowing them to produce and dispense cannabis-based medications. That number expanded amid legal challenges, and GrowHealthy, a company based in Lake Wales, is now among nine license holders.More than 39,000 Floridians have signed up through the Florida Department of Health to receive medical marijuana as a form of treatment for a list of qualifying illnesses since the registry opened in 2016.

The Future for Florida

According to many, the infrastructure in Florida needs to be revamped and there needs to be more rules and regulations surrounding the use, cultivation and prescription of marijuana. At present, treatment centers have no relationship with dispensaries or growing facilities, although it takes time for these relationships to flourish naturally. But doctors need reassurance with regard to dosage levels, as this is holding them back from prescribing the correct dosages. Cannabis is absolutely harmless and the worst that can happen is the patient goes to sleep or perhaps throws up. There has never been a single death related to cannabis, as it is technically impossible, unless it could somehow trigger an underlying heart condition (Though again, there has never been a single recorded case). Paradoxically, Florida needs to lighten up on its regulations and at the same time make it more precise and effective, as it is very unprofessional and thrown together as it stands. Suspiciously, it is difficult to get a doctor to prescribe it, and citing litigation concerns does not really cut it.

Are Florida Doctors Prepared to Treat Patients with Medical Marijuana?

icon    /  icon  0        Author: Chloe

As marijuana politics goes, Florida is definitely not liberal in its implementation of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana laws are quite strict in Florida and it is not easy to get medical marijuana there. There are a number of hoops and obstacles that patients must go through in order to gain access to marijuana. This is in stark contrast with other states where medical marijuana can be relatively easy to obtain. In some states, you can even apply for a medical marijuana card online with a doctor. You answer a number of questions online and a registered doctor gives you a recommendation and you have can then order your medical marijuana card. Needless to say, this is not the case in Florida.

Reluctance in Florida

There is a huge lack of expertise at present in terms of all marijuana doctors. The fact of the matter is that the majority of doctors that are qualified by the state to give recommendations for marijuana prescriptions (doctors cannot prescribe marijuana, as this is illegal. They can only make a recommendation for a prescription which is fulfilled by a medical marijuana dispensary) are not very knowledgeable about the subject matter. And in many ways, this is to be expected. For one thing, much research is new and marijuana has been an illegal substance for the past 80 years pretty much worldwide, so it is not as it there is a lot of available data. And secondly, the effects of marijuana are by and large subjective, with some patients responding very well to Indicas and others responding very well to Sativas. Saying this, some are outraged at the lack of expertise.

According to a veteran Richard Hackler who was suffering from PTSD “These doctors are not educated enough…They don’t know a thing about dosages or what they are prescribing.”His complaint was that the dosage that doctors were offering was far too low. Doctors in Florida seem to be erring on the side of caution given that they know next to nothing about marijuana. Donna Doucette, a retired registered nurse who lives in Pinellas Park, is still in pain after trying five combinations of cannabis levels recommended to her by a state-qualified doctor in Tampa.According to Doucette:

“Nothing helps my nausea or decreases my need for opiate pain control…I feel I need a more experienced physician to help me maneuver this totally unknown alternative to mainstream medicine. … At this point we are out there on our own and there is no connection between the physicians and the providers of the cannabis”

State Qualified?

Given the complaints it might be worth investigating what the term “state qualified” actually means.At first, the course was 8 hours long at a cost of $1000. Now, under a new law in Florida, the course has been slashed to 2 hours at a minor cost of $250. There is only so much that can be learned in a day, never mind 2 hours. And even before it was shortened, many doctors said it was very basic info that could simply have been googled. The state course does not go into any great detail about the dosages or side effects or any other essential information. In other words, doctors know next to nothing about marijuana. They are not experts in any way beyond what a normal person could spend a day of research on. Not that this is any fault on their part in Florida, as there is really nothing that they can do. But according to Hackler, compared to other medical specialists, doctors in Florida really fail to hit the mark. He had previously gotten marijuana in California for years and is saying that the dosages in Florida were always far, far too low. He was almost ready to give up in Florida after countless visits to offices.

Immature and Unprofessional

In the end Hackler found a doctor:” We overcame my concerns. The doctor was possibly being overly cautious, whereas I already knew what I needed…He eventually relented.” But this sort of blatant ineptitude is really not good enough, with doctors charging too much and under prescribing and “learning on the go”. They are being overly cautious and still have too large of an eye on the potential profit margins instead of genuinely trying to help their patients. It probably has a lot to do with the litigation culture which seems to be very prominent in the state where people like to sue as much as possible. And there are a lot of grey areas with marijuana at the moment, so doctors cannot really know what to do. But all in all, medical implementation in Florida is very unprofessional. A good summation of medical marijuana in Florida is the following statement by the Savara Hastings, executive director of the Florida-based American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association:

“Most medical marijuana conferences offer seminars on how to grow your own marijuana, how to get rich quick, how to make marijuana-infused pudding, and how marijuana will both cure cancer”

Until formal rules, regulations and requirements are put in place, physicians will continue to focus on their bottom line and avoiding litigation, with the health of the patient coming a distant third. According to Hackler “I didn’t vote for this nonsense…I would almost prefer to continue my dependency on Alprazolam. It’s a huge disappointment.”


Qualifying Conditions for a Medical Marijuana Card in California

icon  26 May, 2017  /  icon  0        Author: Chloe

Proposition 215 came into effect in 1996 after voters approved cannabis for medical use. Patients can grow their own medicine, use it as needed, and carry it with them at all times. However, you need a Medical Marijuana Card in California to prove your patient status, or at the very least, a doctor’s letter of recommendation. So what conditions qualify you to be a medical patient?

  • Health Benefits of Marijuana
  • Buying Medical Cannabis Legally
  • Qualifying Conditions for Medical Weed
  • Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in California
  • Accessing Medical Cannabis in California

Health Benefits of Marijuana

Every day new studies emerge proving the medicinal properties of cannabis. Plenty of anecdotal evidence exists too. People are curing themselves of epilepsy, cancers, and other terrible diseases the pharmaceutical industry is still unable to cure. Not only does weed cure, but it also prevents.

All bodily systems benefit from cannabis, which kills foreign invaders, heals damaged tissues, and stimulates new cell growth. Marijuana also affects mind and mood, and people use to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, mental disorders, and stress-related issues.

Buying Medical Cannabis Legally

Nobody is exempt from applying for a Medical Marijuana Card in California. You need one to purchase weed legally. To get one though, you need a legitimate illness and a letter of recommendation from your physician. Fortunately, it is easy to get medical marijuana doctor recommendations in California.

Once you are legal, you can buy or grow whatever your doctor stipulates in his or her letter. According to Senate Bill 420, you have the right to purchase as much as you need to treat your condition effectively, regardless of regulatory limitations. Your Medical Marijuana Card exempts you from them.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Weed

The list of medical conditions that automatically qualify you for a Medical Marijuana Card is exhaustive. It is impossible to discuss them all in detail. The law allows you to treat certain illnesses with cannabis, particularly if you are not responding well to pharmaceutical treatment.

Here is a list of conditions that qualify you for medical patient status in California:

Parkinson’s Disease
Muscle Spasms
Multiple Sclerosis
Chronic Pain
Hepatitis C
Lyme Disease
Crohn’s Disease
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Wasting Syndrome, or Cachexia
Alzheimer’s Disease
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Side Effects of Radiation
Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Cardiovascular Disease
Autoimmune Disorders
Muscular Dystrophy
Gastrointestinal Disorders
Spinal Cord Injuries
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Premenstrual Symptoms
Menstrual Cramps
Neurological Disorders
High Blood Pressure
Tourette’s Syndrome
Schizophrenia and Psychosis
High Eye Pressure
Inflammatory Diseases

This is by no means all of them. Cannabis treats many other conditions effectively too, and physicians recommend marijuana for most everything these days, from mild issues to terminal ones. According to the California Department of Public Health, you qualify if your illness is self-limiting or harmful to you.

Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in California

California is possibly the easiest state to get a Medical Marijuana Card. You can get one online or your dispensary can do it for you. If you have the documentation required, you will have no trouble becoming a legal medical marijuana patient. This is what you need:

Medical Proof

Although most conditions qualify you immediately, you must be able to prove that you have one. Your medical records should be sufficient, as will proof of your doctor’s diagnosis.


You must live in California to get a Medical Marijuana Card here. Your California I.D. should suffice for this requirement, but your utility bills, passport, or your state I.D. is also acceptable.

Physician’s Letter

Only California-licensed, cannabis-certified doctors may recommend cannabis to patients. Find one and get a letter from him or her stating that you require cannabis as treatment. You need this to get a card.


Once your doctor writes a recommendation for you, you will need to register and apply for your California Medical Marijuana Card. You can register at the following address:

California Department of Public Health,
Public Health Policy and Research Branch,
Medical Marijuana Program Unit.

Accessing Medical Cannabis in California

It is illegal for doctors to prescribe cannabis. This is just a legal technicality, however. They may only recommend it to patients. Because weed is still a federally classified Schedule 1 drug, you will not find it at your local pharmacy. You will need to join a licensed cannabis dispensary to access your medicine.

Get Authentic Medical Marijuana Recommendations Online

You can get medical marijuana recommendations online. Many marijuana-certified physicians will write you a letter after consulting with you over video chat. Most reputable dispensaries in California offer this service, and once you have your letter, they can register you as a medical patient and send your Medical Marijuana Card to you in the mail.