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Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission Sets Timeline for Licensing

Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission Sets Timeline for Licensing

Alabama medical cannabis commission says licenses won't be available until 2022.

An Alabama regulatory commission has plenty to do before people can apply for medical cannabis licenses, so it won’t push for a date that might allow sales next year, a commission official said.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission had said earlier that it might ask for the date to be moved up. It decided last week not to do so, the Montgomery Advertiser quoted commission Vice Chairman Rex Vaughn as saying.

Before people can apply, the commission has to establish rules and train physicians, Vaughn noted. It also must create a central database to register patients by next September. Registration cards will cost up to $65 a year.

Since would-be growers and distributors cannot apply for licenses before Sept. 1, 2022, the substance probably won’t be available before 2023, supporters of medical marijuana have said.

But Vaughn noted that the legislature would have to change the date, and he said asking it to do so could open the way for those who want to weaken the law.

“We could lose what we’ve got,” he said.

The legislature approved the medical cannabis bill in May after hot debate in the House, which had blocked earlier bills. The commission must decide license applications within 60 days.

“If you start looking at the timelines for what it’s going to take to get rules and regulations approved, and the growth cycle and the 60 days that people have to get in business after they get the license, it starts adding up,” John McMillian, the commission’s executive director, said after the commission’s meeting last week.

Sen. Tim Melson, a Florence Republican and sponsor of a bill to move up the date, said he supported the commission’s decision because he is in favor of a program implemented in a “thoughtful and correct” manner.

Once available, doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis for at least 16 conditions including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. Cannabis would be available as tablets, capsules, gummies, lozenges, topical oils, suppositories, patches, and in nebulizers or oil to be vaporized. The law forbids smoking or vaping medical cannabis, or baking it into food.

The law also forbids the recreational use of marijuana.

New York cannabis board holds first meeting

New York cannabis board holds first meeting

new york cannabis board holds first meeting

New York marijuana regulators on Tuesday sought to make up for delays in the drug’s rollout by approving a chief equity officer and making immediate changes to the medical cannabis program during the inaugural meeting of the state Cannabis Control Board.

The five-member board charged with implementing marijuana legalization and advancing the state’s cannabis industry set a clear tone: They wanted to move past delays in implementing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.

The state law legalizing marijuana took effect in March, but infighting between then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature exacerbated delays in getting members appointed to the board, slowing down the work of getting regulations for legal sales in place.

“The MRTA was signed into law on March 31. But we were not able to begin the work of establishing New York’s cannabis market until Sept. 22, when the full cannabis control board was appointed. As such, there was a six-month delay to make up,” Christopher Alexander, executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management, told the board Tuesday afternoon.

The state legislature ended its regular session without making appointments to the board because lawmakers had been entangled in a fight with Cuomo over appointments to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Since Cuomo left office in August, Gov. Kathy Hochul has made getting the board going central to her early administration, saying in a statement announcing several new members of the board: “New York’s cannabis industry has stalled for far too long.”

The impact of the slow rollout could be felt. A portion of the law that would allow marijuana cardholders to grow plants six months after the law went into effect was delayed because the board was not in place, the Times Union in Albany reported.

But on Tuesday, the regulators moved ahead with several changes to the medical cannabis program. They include permanently waiving a $50 registration fee for patients and caregivers and making the whole flower an approved form of medical cannabis product.

Another provision allows for a 60-day supply of medical cannabis to be given to a certified patient or designated caregiver instead of a month supply.

Missouri medical cannabis industry adds over 140 dispensaries

Missouri medical cannabis industry adds over 140 dispensaries

Missouri medical cannabis dispensaries surpass 140

Missouri opened its first medical marijuana dispensary last October and now there are more than 140 across the state, with more to come.

The state’s medical cannabis industry employs roughly 5,000 people. Earlier this summer, Governor Mike Parson vetoed a bill that would have allowed Missouri medical cannabis business owners to deduct their expenses, but the head of the state program says that won’t stop the multi-million-dollar industry.

“The sales revenue is pleasantly surprising,” Lyndall Fraker, director of the section of medical marijuana with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said. “At the end of July, we surpassed $91 million in sales.”

Voters in the Show Me State passed an amendment in 2018 legalizing medical marijuana. Missouri was the 33rd state to legalize cannabis as medicine. Fraker said all medical marijuana sold in the state is grown in Missouri.

“The amendment that was voted on said that we should open the minimum number at least, which was 192 dispensaries,” Fraker said. “As of today, we have 142 open We’ve done the math and based on the number of quantities that each patient can purchase each month, how much product it would take to serve the patient base and we think we are going to be good for five or six years.”

Fraker said he believes the other 50 Missouri medical cannabis dispensaries could be open by the end of the year.

Alabama medical cannabis may not be available until 2023

Alabama medical cannabis may not be available until 2023

Alabama medical cannabis commission holds first meeting

The Alabama Medical Cannabis commission held its first official meeting on September 1, 2021, in which the board’s chairman expressed concern that the rollout of the Alabama medical cannabis program may take longer than expected.

During the first meeting of the 14-member commission, Dr. Steven Stokes tried to establish a timeline for how soon treatment with medical marijuana will be available in Alabama.

“I was hoping next spring,” Stokes said.

However Patrick Moody, the deputy commissioner for the Alabama Department of Agriculture, has said that Alabama medical cannabis growers should not expect to receive their licenses until September 2022.

Accounting for the time it would take growers to produce a harvest after receiving a license with indoor facilities, Alabama medical cannabis likely won’t be available to consumers until 2023.

The medical cannabis commission has a deadline of Sept. 1, 2022 to set up the rules to implement the program and issue licenses to cultivators, processors, transporters, testing laboratories, and dispensaries. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries will regulate the cultivators.

But without any medical cannabis to sell, dispensaries will struggle to open their days on day one. Additionally, physicians who will prescribe Alabama medical cannabis must also go through a training program, which will likely keep some physicians from participating.

In addition to the medical cannabis program being pushed back, the state’s hemp industry has been struggling as well.

The industrial hemp program in Alabama started with 600 hemp growers and is now down to only 200 farms. The majority of Alabama’s hemp is grown outdoors, which has led to a rise in plant theft.

The cannabis commission has taken note of this and will require Alabama medical cannabis to be grown indoors or in a greenhouse for greater security. The chairmen of the board has also mentioned the possibility of introducing more legislation to help speed up the process.

Panama medical marijuana bill passed by Congress in unanimous vote

Panama medical marijuana bill passed by Congress in unanimous vote

panama medical marijuana has been passed by congress

The National Legislative Assembly of Panama has approved this Monday a bill that legalizes the medicinal use of cannabis with 44 votes in favor and none against. It thus becomes the first country in Central America to regulate the consumption of this substance.

The new law, which will come into force after its approval by President Laurentino Cortizo, will create a regulatory framework for the use and controlled access of cannabis “for therapeutic, medical, veterinary, scientific and research purposes”, as stated in the approved text.

This measure responds to a historical claim of patients from different pathologies, to which this substance could help mitigate pain, and to which they only had irregular access. Those who will see their quality of life improved are people with glaucoma, epilepsy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, migraines or seizures and those who suffer from different types of pain, including those caused by cancer.

From now on, in Panama the import, export, cultivation, production and commercialization of cannabis and its derivatives will be allowed through licenses granted by the state. Its cultivation will take place in established areas with limited access and only pharmaceutical companies or companies specialized in therapeutic services will be able to acquire and commercialize it. Its illegal production and sale will be punished with penalties of 10 to 15 years in prison.

Thus, the sale of cannabis at home, through the Internet or outside authorized establishments is prohibited. Likewise, its advertising in the media or social networks will also be prohibited.