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Nov 6 13 8:45 AM

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Buy medical marijuana at your pharmacy? Michigan Senate panel OKs measure6:34 PM, November 5, 2013  



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 Medical marijuana users could buy pot from pharmacies that has been tested and regulated, under a bill passed in a state Senate committee. Opponents say the issue of product safety doesn't exist. / Ed Andrieski/Associated PressimageBy kgray99@freepress.com

Detroit Free Press Lansing BureauRelated Links image LANSING — Medical marijuana users could buy tested and regulated pot from pharmacies under a bill passed Tuesday by the Senate Government Operations Committee.Opponents of the bill, however, say it is nothing more than an attempt to take business away from the small-scale and home growers.“The voters decided that medical marijuana was a good thing for the state of Michigan, but unfortunately, very few parameters were put around that,” said Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, a supporter of the bill. “For me, it’s about the illegitimate use and the potential for not only a bad product, but it also getting into the hands of people who are underage.”Former Speaker of the House Chuck Perricone, who now represents Prairie Plant Systems, a licensed Canadian marijuana manufacturer, said the legislation would give medical marijuana users a better option for their cannabis.“This is nothing more than an option or a choice. This product was marketed to the public as medical; let’s make it medical,” he said. “The market for this is virtually untapped. The potential for the product is tremendous.”Several dozen activists attending the committee meeting Tuesday said they feared the bill was a money grab by large-scale growers and pharmacies that want to muscle out home growers.“We need to grow our own medicine,” said Charmie Gholson, founder of Michigan Moms United, which fights for legal protections for medical marijuana users. “I’m not sure why a Canadian corporation can come in and try to buy our Legislature.”The bill would: amend the public health code and classify marijuana as a Schedule 2 controlled substance; provide for the licensure and regulation of facilities to grow and test pharmaceutical-grade pot, and allow those facilities to sell the drug to pharmacies to dispense.Medical marijuana users would have to get an additional, enhanced certificate from a doctor to be able to buy the drug from a pharmacy. The bill also would restrict the sale of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis to 2 ounces per month, per customer who is at least 18 years old.The option is needed for medical marijuana users, said state Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw Township, to ensure a safe product free of toxins.“Marijuana, if it’s to be medical marijuana, should be held to the standard of medical safety and dosage predictability,” he said. “The mold issue is serious, the pesticide issue is serious. Both of those have the potential to be lethal.”Kahn said the bill would not stop homegrown marijuana by either cardholders or caregivers.“But I don’t think that would be a good choice,” he said. “The best choice would be to get something that is safe and predictable.”Rick Thompson of Americans for Safe Access said the issue of product quality isn’t real.“Unregulated cannabis has never killed anyone. There are no illnesses,” he said. “Those issues are smoke screens.”The legislation, which passed on a 3-0 vote in committee, is contingent upon the federal government reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule 2 controlled substance, which would give it medical legitimacy and would allow pharmacies to dispense it. Marijuana is now a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which the federal government still considers an illegal substance with no medical benefit.Perricone said the federal government has taken a number of steps to broaden the availability of marijuana, from signaling that it won’t prosecute in states that have approved medical or recreational marijuana use to allowing for broader access to financing for marijuana businesses.But Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, said she was uncomfortable supporting a bill that has to wait for congressional approval. She passed on voting on the bill, which now moves to the full Senate, where it is likely to be brought up for a vote later this week.“It’s an unusual step for the Legislature to act in case something that may or may not happen in the federal government,” she said. “The attorney general’s discretion is something very different from congressional approval.”

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Nov 6 13 9:14 AM

Michigan Senate looks to move medical marijuana into pharmacies, licensed manufacturing facilities



on November 05, 2013 at 6:39 PM, updated November 05, 2013 at 7:26 Pm

 
 
 
 
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MarijuanaAP File PhotoLANSING, MI -- Michigan's Republican-led Senate is considering a plan to create a new system for regulating and distributing medical marijuana.Legislation introduced by Sen. Roger Kahn and co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville seeks to reclassify medical marijuana, license facilities to grow the drug and distribute it through authorized pharmacies.The system, which would require federal approval before it could be implemented, would treat marijuana as a Schedule II drug, similar to OxyContin or Percocet."Marijuana, if it's to be medical marijuana, should be held to the standard of medical safety and of dosage predictability," said Kahn, R-Saginaw Township.Senate Bill 660 would not replace or change Michigan's voter-approved medical marijuana law, according to Kahn, but it would create an independent "pharmaceutical-grade cannabis" registry.Patients and caregivers certified to use or grow plants under current law could continue to do so, but those who want to be part of the pharmaceutical registry would have to surrender their old cards and would not be authorized to grow or distribute the drug.The Senate Government Operations approved the measure in a 3-0 vote, sending it to the full Senate for consideration.Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, did not vote on the bill, indicating she was uncomfortable supporting a proposal contingent upon future approval from the federal government.Richardville, R-Monroe, said he generally supports medical marijuana but does not think voters got what they bargained for when they approved the current law in 2008."There are people out there growing things irresponsibly and people getting sick because of it," he told reporters earlier Tuesday. "It's getting into school yards and school kids hands. I wouldn't call that a system. I would call that a problem."Rick Thompson, a magazine publisher with the Michigan chapter of Americans For Safe Access, said allegations of tainted medical marijuana leading to sickness are "a smoke screen" for an attempt to undermine the patient-caregiver system that allows certified residents to grow their own."Cannabis never killed anyone in Michigan, and we've had the law for five years," Thompson said. "There's been no testing, but yet there have been no illnesses."Under the newly-proposed system, the Michigan Department of Community Health would be tasked with licensing, registering and inspecting pharmaceutical-grade marijuana manufacturing facilities.DCH could charge a "reasonable fee" for performing those functions, and would be required to create an online database listing licensed facilities.Anyone wishing to manufacture, distribute, prescribe or dispense marijuana would have to obtain a license from the Michigan Board of Pharmacy, as already required for other controlled substances.Former Republican state House Speaker Chuck Perricone, who now represents a company licensed to manufacture medical marijuana in Canada, testified in support of the bill and suggested the state should also tax the drug."The market for this is virtually untapped," Perricone said. "The potential for the product is tremendous."

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Last Edited By: medijuanainc2010 Nov 6 13 9:17 AM. Edited 1 time.

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Nov 6 13 9:25 AM

New system will use large indoor marijuana farms certified by RCMP

$1.3B medical marijuana free market coming to CanadaNew system will use large indoor marijuana farms certified by RCMPThe Canadian Press Posted: Sep 29, 2013 3:52 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 29, 2013 5:27 PM ET



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The Conservative government is launching a $1.3-billion free market in medical marijuana this Tuesday, eventually providing an expected 450,000 Canadians with quality weed. (Pawel Dwulit/Canadian Press)


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[table=default*default*default*0*0][tr][td][table=default*default*default*0*0][tr][td]    
[/td] [/tr][/table][/td][/tr][tr][td][table=default*default*default*0*0][tr][td]    [/td] [/tr][/table][/td][/tr] [tr][td][table=default*default*default*0*0][tr][td]    [/td] [/tr][/table][/td][/tr][tr][td]    [/td][/tr][/table]Medical marijuana by the numbers 
  • Current number of users approved by Health Canada: 37,359.
  • Number of patients with personal licences to grow marijuana for themselves: 25,600.
  • Number of growers licensed to produce marijuana for a maximum of two patients each: 4,200.
  • Current number of entrepreneur applications to grow medical marijuana under new rules: 156.
 The Conservative government is launching a $1.3-billion free market in medical marijuana on Tuesday, eventually providing an expected 450,000 Canadians with quality weed.Health Canada is phasing out an older system on Monday that mostly relied on small-scale, homegrown medical marijuana of varying quality, often diverted illegally to the black market.In its place, large indoor marijuana farms certified by the RCMP and health inspectors will produce, package and distribute a range of standardized weed, all of it sold for whatever price the market will bear. The first sales are expected in the next few weeks, delivered directly by secure courier."We're fairly confident that we'll have a healthy commercial industry in time," Sophie Galarneau, a senior official with the department, said in an interview."It's a whole other ball game."The sanctioned birth of large-scale, free-market marijuana production comes as the Conservatives pillory Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's campaign to legalize recreational marijuana.
Health Canada is placing no limits on the number of these new capital-intensive facilities, which will have mandatory vaults and security systems. Private-dwelling production will be banned. Imports from places such as the Netherlands will be allowed.Already 156 firms have applied for lucrative producer and distributor status since June, with the first two receiving licences just last week.'Enormous' potential profitThe old system fostered only a cottage industry, with 4,200 growers licensed to produce for a maximum of two patients each. The Mounties have complained repeatedly these grow-ops were often a front for criminal organizations.The next six months are a transition period, as Health Canada phases out the old system by March 31, while encouraging medical marijuana users to register under the replacement regime and to start buying from the new factory-farms.There are currently 37,400 medical marijuana users recognized by the department, but officials project that number will swell more than 10-fold, to as many as 450,000 people, by 2024.The profit potential is enormous. A gram of dried marijuana bud on the street sells for about $10 and Health Canada projects the legal stuff will average about $7.60 next year, as producers set prices without interference from government.Chuck Rifici of Tweed Inc. has applied for a licence to produce medical weed in an abandoned Hershey chocolate factory in hard-scrabble Smiths Falls, Ont.Rifici, who is also a senior adviser to Trudeau, was cited in a Conservative cabinet minister's news release Friday that said the Liberals plan to "push pot," with no reference to Health Canada's own encouragement of marijuana entrepreneurs.Rifici says he's trying to help a struggling community by providing jobs while giving suffering patients a quality product."There's a real need," he said in an interview. "You see what this medicine does to them."Revenue to hit $1.3 billionTweed Inc. proposes to produce at least 20 strains to start, and will reserve 10 per cent of production for compassionate, low-cost prescriptions for impoverished patients, he says.Patients often use several grams a day to alleviate a wide range of symptoms, including cancer-related pain and nausea. They'll no longer be allowed to grow it for themselves under the new rules.Revenues for the burgeoning new industry are expected to hit $1.3 billion a year by 2024, according to federal projections. And operators would be favourably positioned were marijuana ever legalized for recreational use, as it has been in two American states.Eric Nash of Island Harvest in Duncan, B.C., has applied for one of the new licences, banking on his experience as a licensed grower since 2002 in the current system."The opportunity in the industry is significant," he said in an interview."We'll see a lot of moving and shaking within the industry, with companies positioning. And I think we'll see some mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances formed.""It'll definitely yield benefits to the consumers and certainly for the economy and society in general."Competition to keep prices in checkVeterans Affairs Canada currently pays for medical marijuana for some patients, even though the product lacks official drug status. Some provinces are also being pressed to cover costs, as many users are too sick to work and rely on welfare.Health Canada currently sells medical marijuana, produced on contract by Prairie Plant Systems, for $5 a gram, and acknowledges the new system will be more expensive for patients.But Galarneau says competition will help keep prices in check."We expect that over time, prices will be driven down by the free market," she said. "The lower price range will likely be around $3 a gram. ... It's hard to predict."Saskatoon-based Prairie Plant Systems, and its subsidiary CanniMed Ltd., were granted the first two licences under the system and are already advertising their new products on the web.Prospective patients, including those under the current system, must get a medical professional to prescribe medical marijuana using a government-approved form.Health Canada only reluctantly established its medical marijuana program, driven by court decisions from 2001 forward that supported the rights of suffering patients, even as medical science has been slow to verify efficacy.

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Nov 8 13 10:39 AM

The Michigan Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would allow medical marijuana to be distributed and purchased at authorized pharmacies. This concept would reclassify marijuana’s status from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug, which would require federal approval.

According to Senator Roger Kahn, who introduced the new legislation, this proposed system would not replace the current medical marijuana law in Michigan, but rather implement an unrelated pharmaceutical-registry for medical marijuana. However, under the new bill, if current certified patients and caregivers want to be a part of the pharmaceutical-registry, they would no longer be permitted to grow or distribute the drug on their own, and would be mandated further to return their patient cards. Additionally, the bill requires patients to receive an augmented certificate from a doctor to be able to purchase the drug from a pharmacy. Lastly, the bill restricts the sale of pharmaceutical-grade marijuana to 2 ounces per month, per customer who is at least 18 years old.

Supporters of the bill say that this new system would deter underage persons from procuring the drug, and also create consistency and legitimacy in the drug’s disbursement to patients. Specifically, irresponsible growers and the use of mold and pesticides during the drug’s cultivation. However, opponents of the bill hold that the allegation of tainted marijuana is untrue, and that the bill is simply an economic incentive for pharmacies to outdo home growers.

While the federal government has acted leniently in prosecuting states that have approved medical or recreational marijuana, this legislation is nonetheless contingent on the federal government’s approval of re-classifying marijuana as a Schedule II substance.

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Teach a patient to grow & he will medicate for life !™®

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