Tag Archives: mmj

Massachustts Medical Marijuana Entrepreneurs Prepare for January 1st DPH Regulations

The medical marijuana ballot initiative Question 3 passed statewide in this November’s Presidential Election, with 63 percent of Massachusetts voters supporting it.

Only two communities statewide – Mendon and Lawrence – voted against Question 3. Stoughton voters favored it 60% to 40%, showing that the negative stigma associated with medical marijuana is changing.

The law would eliminate state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients. It allows patients meeting certain conditions to obtain medical marijuana produced and distributed by new state-regulated centers or, in specific hardship cases, to grow medical marijuana for their own use.

The new law would allow for up to 35 non-profit medical marijuana treatment centers to grow, process and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers.

Proponents argue medical marijuana will ease the suffering of thousands of people with cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, and other debilitating conditions.

Advocates in the Legislature have attempted to pass medical marijuana legislation in Massachusetts for many years, but encountered stiff opposition along the way. This has all been erased with the passing of the new law, which will take effect on January 1, 2013.

Within 120 days of the law’s effective date, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is required to issue regulations for the implementation of sections of the law dealing with registration of dispensaries (referred to as “nonprofit medical marijuana treatment centers”); registration of treatment center employees; hardship cultivation registrations for patients whose financial hardship, physical incapacity, or remote location is verified; and the issuance of registration cards for qualifying patients and caregivers.

The new law provides the Massachusetts DPH with extensive discretion on how to implement its provisions, including the registration and application process for patients, medical marijuana treatment centers and dispensaries. A review of the law suggests that these entities are required to provide only basic information such as names, addresses and, in some cases, “operating procedures”.

So, medical marijuana is coming to Massachusetts and that could turn out to be a very good thing for entrepreneurs in the Bay State looking to break into this lucrative industry. Luckily for those with enough drive and capital, companies such as DispenesaryPermits.com have been launched to provide potential medical marijuana dispensary owners with expert consultation services.

On the company’s website, comprehensive dispensary plan packages and business plans are offered that provide prospective dispensary owners with everything they need to obtain a Massachusetts dispensary license. DispensaryPermits.com urges anyone who is seriously interested in opening up a Massachusetts dispensary to begin preparing for the application due to the fact that the DPH will soon begin issuing its regulations within 120 days of the January 1st implementation date.

Scientists Find Cannabis Compound Stops Metastasis In Aggressive Cancers


A pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has found that a compound derived from marijuana could stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer, potentially altering the fatality of the disease forever.

“It took us about 20 years of research to figure this out, but we are very excited,” said Pierre Desprez, one of the scientists behind the discovery, to The Huffington Post. “We want to get started with trials as soon as possible.”

The Daily Beast first reported on the finding, which has already undergone both laboratory and animal testing, and is awaiting permission for clinical trials in humans.

Desprez, a molecular biologist, spent decades studying ID-1, the gene that causes cancer to spread. Meanwhile, fellow researcher Sean McAllister was studying the effects of Cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-toxic, non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Finally, the pair collaborated, combining CBD and cells containing high levels of ID-1 in a petri dish.

“What we found was that his Cannabidiol could essentially ‘turn off’ the ID-1,” Desprez told HuffPost. The cells stopped spreading and returned to normal.

“We likely would not have found this on our own,” he added. “That’s why collaboration is so essential to scientific discovery.”

Desprez and McAllister first published a paper about the finding in 2007. Since then, their team has found that CBD works both in the lab and in animals. And now, they’ve found even more good news.

“We started by researching breast cancer,” said Desprez. “But now we’ve found that Cannabidiol works with many kinds of aggressive cancers–brain, prostate–any kind in which these high levels of ID-1 are present.”

Desprez hopes that clinical trials will begin immediately.

“We’ve found no toxicity in the animals we’ve tested, and Cannabidiol is already used in humans for a variety of other ailments,” he said. Indeed, the compound is used to relieve anxiety and nausea, and, since it is non-psychoactive, does not cause the “high” associated with THC.

While marijuana advocates will surely praise the discovery, Desprez explained that it’s not so easy as just lighting up.

“We used injections in the animal testing and are also testing pills,” he said. “But you could never get enough Cannabidiol for it to be effective just from smoking.”

Furthermore, the team has started synthesizing the compound in the lab instead of using the plant in an effort to make it more potent.

“It’s a common practice,” explained Desprez. “But hopefully it will also keep us clear of any obstacles while seeking approval.”

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Will November be a Huge Month for MMJ?


The election will have a major impact on the national medical cannabis movement. Residents of three states have the chance to legalize the general use of marijuana – which could have serious implications for existing MMJ businesses.

With less than six weeks to go until Nov. 6, a clearer picture of how voters feel about these measures is emerging. Here’s how several key initiatives are faring in the most recent polls:

Medical marijuana legalization in…

Arkansas – A medical marijuana legalization measure will definitely appear on the Arkansas ballot after the state Supreme Court shot down an attempt to sink the initiative. The latest poll on the issue was taken way back in July. But it still gives a good indication of where locals stand. The poll found:

  • 47% of likely voters surveyed support MMJ legalization compared with 46% who oppose it.
  • The remaining 7% are undecided. That’s a razor-thin margin, and it could easily go either way at this point.
  • All in all the poll numbers are a very positive sign.

Massachusetts – Some MMJ advocates are already chalking up Massachusetts as a win for the medical marijuana movement. The latest poll found:

  • 59% of likely voters support the legalization of medical marijuana in the state, while just 35% are opposed. It would be a major surprise – and huge disappointment – if the measure fails.
  • Assuming the polls are accurate, Massachusetts is set to become the 18th state to legalize the use of medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana restrictions in…

Montana – A new poll found that:

  • 44% of registered voters in the state back a ballot measure that would keep in place strict new medical marijuana regulations that have decimated Montana’s MMJ industry.
  • Just 31% oppose the initiative and want the state to revert to its original, more lenient law passed in 2004. That’s a wide gap, and it will be tough for the MMJ crowd to defeat the measure.
  • 25% of voters are still making up their minds. If medical cannabis advocates can sway the vast majority of these voters, they could sink the bill.

Marijuana legalization in…

Colorado – Voters seem poised to legalize cannabis for adult use in Colorado. A poll conducted earlier this month found support for the legalization measure (called Amendment 64) at about 51%. Roughly 40% of likely voters oppose it, while 8% said they are unsure. That’s a very encouraging sign for marijuana supporters who back legalization. But it’s still unclear how the measure would affect the medical marijuana industry. Some experts say it would create a much bigger market for existing businesses, while others believe it would simply give the federal government an excuse to come in and shut all marijuana-related businesses down.

Washington – The situation in Washington State mirrors the one in Colorado. In fact, support for legalization is even stronger in Washington. The state’s marijuana legalization measure – called Initiative 502 – has the support of 57% of voters, according to the latest poll released on Sept. 11. Just 34% of likely voters said they oppose marijuana legalization, and 9% are not sure yet. The measure should pass easily barring any unforeseen swings in voters sentiment. The odds are that both Colorado and Washington will become the first states in the nation to legalize the general use of marijuana for adults.

Oregon – Things are a lot tighter in Oregon, where the most recent poll shows that:

  • 37% of likely voters support a marijuana legalization initiative (Measure 80)
  • 41% who oppose it.
  • 22% of voters still undecided, the outcome will depend on which side of the debate is more active and pumps more resources into their respective campaigns in the weeks to come.

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Image credit: libertycrier.com

Hydroponic Explosion in Miami-Dade

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A Miami-Dade home is scheduled for demolition after a hydroponic marijuana lab explosion turned it into an unsafe structure, CBS Miami reports.

The renters of the home fled in a Nissan Altima and an SUV after the explosion at 6355 S.W. 151 Place in southwest Miami-Dade, according to a release from Miami-Dade Police. They have not been located.

Police confirmed that there were marijuana plants inside the home, although they could not determine exactly how many because of the poor condition of the structure, according to the release.

“I felt the explosion,” neighbor Ana Egusquiza told NBC 6. “I was at home reading sitting down. The explosion felt like it was coming from the ground and the house shook. When I went outside the windows were blown out and everything was shattered. The front of the house was on the ground. Everything had crumbled.”

During the explosion, the roof lifted off the structure, according to CBS Miami.

Miami-Dade Police Det. Alvaro Zabaleta told NBC that the combination of vapors, stolen electricity and other unsafe features of grow houses is “just a formula for disaster.”

“When the wind shifts in a certain direction, you can definitely smell it. Yesterday morning it was a much stronger chemical smell,” Orlando Martinez told CBS Miami. “As the day went on it ended up being more of a marijuana smell and it was all over the place.”

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