Ohio Marijuana News

There’s a saying that things in the South move at their own pace. Such is the case with medical marijuana in Louisiana, it seems. In 2015, both the Louisiana House of Representatives and the Senate voted to pass medical marijuana legislation — again.

Louisiana legislators approved medical marijuana twice before — in 1978 with Act No. 725, and again in 1991 with HB 1112, called the “Louisiana Therapeutic Use of Cannabis Act,” which amended the 1978 act. But both pieces of legislation failed to create a functional regulatory framework for cultivation and dispensing, and the program never got off the ground.

The 2014 effort to establish a framework around medical marijuana in Louisiana faced heavy opposition from the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association and Buddy Caldwell, the state’s attorney general. Caldwell testified against Senate Bill 541, which died in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee by a vote of 6-2. It was reported that Caldwell hadn’t even read the bill in its entirety.

“It’s troubling that the attorney general of the state of Louisiana didn’t study the bill but with the clout he has, (swayed votes) against it,” the bill’s sponsor Sen. Fred Mills told The Times-Picayune in April 2014.

It wasn’t until the Louisiana House and Senate took action to approve a comprehensive bill, also sponsored by Mills, in 2015 that the state’s medical marijuana conversation began in earnest. A 2015 Louisiana State University (LSU) study found that 60 percent of respondents in the state-supported medical use of marijuana at the time.

On June 29, 2015, then-Governor Bobby Jindal quietly signed Senate Bill 143 and House Bill 149 to provide access to medical marijuana for those with chronic or terminal illness and amend penalties for cannabis possession. But without a regulatory framework, people were still left asking “is medical marijuana legal

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Earl Rinehart The Columbus Dispatch @esrinehart

Carlos E. Herrera had done everything right after his arrest for hauling marijuana in big rigs from Tucson, Arizona, to Columbus, his attorney said.

He showed up for every court hearing even though he lives in the Jacksonville, Florida, area. He stayed out of trouble while on pretrial release since his arrest in January. And he pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

Now that his wife was ill with Lyme disease, Herrera asked for “mercy” at his sentencing hearing Tuesday to continue his long-haul trucking business so she and their three young children don’t end up homeless. He would drive the same rig he used to transport loads of marijuana up to 3,000 pounds each.

“I put my whole family at risk,” Herrera told U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson Tuesday. “I regret it.”

Defense attorney Regina Griffith asked Watson for probation instead of prison for Herrera, who she said had no prior criminal record.

Outside the courtroom, Griffith said Herrera unintentionally got involved with the drug gang when he accepted a job transporting cars from Arizona to Columbus. On one trip he smelled marijuana and realized what he was really hauling, she said.

The gang’s leaders were angry when he said he wanted out, she said. He was afraid for his safety and thought police wouldn’t believe he was duped into transporting drugs, so he made two more drug runs.

“Then he realized this was crazy,” Griffith said, and again asked how he could get out. He was told to find a replacement driver, which he did.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Martinez asked Watson to sentence Herrera to 46 months in prison, which is what Herrera’s replacement received.

From 2014 to 2016 the gang transported $11.7 million worth of marijuana

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An officer smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from a moving vehicle before more than $3,500 worth of drugs were found in the car, according to testimony Tuesday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.

Troy Gray and Samuel Harold, both 56, were identified as the occupants in the vehicle where officials said they found meth, heroin and marijuana. They were taken into custody at Springfield Crossing Apartments on North Lumpkin Road.

Columbus Police Cpl. Vincent Lockhart and Cpl. Mari Menendez were near North Lumpkin Road around 12:21 a.m. Sunday when another officer informed them over the radio of a driver failing to stay in his lane on Cusseta Road. There was a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car, police said.

Lockhart said he and Menendez spotted the vehicle without a tag light near Springfield Avenue. The driver, who was later identified as Harold, allegedly failed to signal before turning onto North Lumpkin Road.

They tried to perform a traffic stop on the vehicle, but Harold continued for about 200 yards before stopping at Springfield Crossing Apartments at 3320 North Lumpkin Road.

Officials said Gray was in the passenger seat of the vehicle where officials said they found $2,390 worth of meth, $750 worth of crack cocaine, $210 worth of heroin, $230 worth of marijuana and a handgun.

Gray and Harold pleaded not guilty to possession of meth with the intent to distribute, possession of heroin, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of marijauana with the intent to distribute and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Harold pleaded not guilty to driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, no tag light and improper turn. They were ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail.

Judge Julius Hunter

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Portsmouth City Council held a public hearing Monday night to allow members of the public to express their views and concerns on the possibility of the City being a future home for a medical marijuana dispensary.

Dozens of members stepped up to share personal stories as medical marijuana refugees, going out-of-state to get medication for themselves or loved ones. By the end of the meeting, all but one member of Council felt that a dispensary is needed in Portsmouth.

Among the stories they heard was that of Waylon Cordle, whose mother addressed the City about how marijuana has helped her 11-year-old son.

“My son is somebody that would benefit from medical marijuana, actually he does,” she explained.

She continued to inform Council that her son got a viral infection in 2012. As he result, he has uncontrolled seizures. The mother explained that her son has had to relearn to walk and talk. He has been put into medically induced comas and has tried more than 20 seizure medications that have not worked. Tara Cordle explained that finally she went to Colorado and got medical marijuana for her son.

“We’re criminals,” the mother stated. “We have been for two years, but what it has given him is not a gateway drug but a gateway to life. It has given him a gateway off some of his prescription pills. It has literally allowed him to join baseball teams, bowling leagues and allows him to stand before you today.”

She explained that she has no regrets because in the two years that her son has been on medical marijuana, he has decreased the more than 40 medications he had to take daily and his seizures have decreased from 150 a month to 10-15 a month. Finally, she explained that having a dispensary locally

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A licensed grower and processor of medical marijuana in northwestern Pennsylvania became the first with the state’s approval to begin planting seeds Tuesday.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said the Department of Health approved Cresco Yeltrah’s operations at its Jefferson County location, a former carbon graphite and metal graphite factory in Brookville that closed four years ago.

Tuesday’s approval makes the 40,000-plus-square-foot facility the first to be deemed fully operational in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program, which Wolf’s administration expects to start selling products in retail dispensaries next year.

With signoff on the facility’s growing operation, seed planting can begin. A full grow cycle takes approximately 120 days, during which the company said it will wrap up construction on the processing facility.

Cresco Yeltrah said it will grow a variety of over 30 genetic strains at the Brookville facility and will produce an array of pharmaceutical-grade marijuana products including vapor oils, transdermal patches and pills.

It expects the complete line of products to be available for patients statewide in February, it said.

The department expects 11 other licensed grower-processors to be operational in the coming weeks. It issued the permits in June, selecting the 12 winners from among 177 applicants. The department has also issued permits to 27 entities to operate retail dispensaries, including three to be operated by Cresco Yeltrah.

Cresco Yeltrah is a partnership between Cresco Labs LLC of Chicago and the Hartley family, which owns various Butler-based glass manufacturing businesses.

Pennsylvania is the second state where Cresco Labs is operating. The firm began as a medical marijuana grower and processor in Illinois and is now the largest grower and processor there, with about 100,000 square feet at three facilities. Its products are sold in every dispensary in Illinois.

In Pennsylvania, patients could take marijuana in pill, oil,

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WXYZ) – A Michigan college is believed to be the first in the nation to offer up a marijuana-based undergraduate curriculum.

If you’re ready for a joke about “Pot University” or class times at 4:20 p.m. you’re likely not the caliber of student cut out for the classes — as the professors linked to the program at Northern Michigan University explain: this is a tough course load.

“At the undergraduate level there has been a void in this area,” said Brandon Canfield, explaining that until recently only graduate students were doing research on marijuana. “I expect in the next couple years we’ll see quite a few of these programs popping up.”

The legal marijuana business has been booming for years.

A report by the group, Cannabis Benchmarks, shows that Colorado racked up nearly $250 million in total marijuana sales during the first two months of this year.

When you add in states that allow medical marijuana, and those who’ve recently legalized it’s use for recreation, and the numbers are hard to fathom. As legalization spreads, schools are now tasked with the challenge of deciding whether to become an opportunity for would-be pot growers to learn.

Canfield notes that their class, aimed at medicinal plants, goes beyond marijuana. However, the recent spike in interest is tied directly to the students who realize there is room for huge growth within the industry. NMU’s classes will focus on both the business-side of the medicinal plant world, and the chemistry makeup of plants.

“What we hear from a lot of people is that they will send their products to 10 different labs and get 10 different results,” said Canfield, noting that more science is needed within the marijuana business if it expects to keep up with the standards of business required by other government-regulated medicine.

“That does not bode well

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A commission studying the potential impact of legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana for recreational use in New Hampshire is starting its work.

The Legislature created the commission earlier this year, and it will hold its first meeting on Tuesday. Members include lawmakers, representatives from several state agencies and industries, including banking, law enforcement and the medical community.

Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project has raised concerns about the group, noting that none of the six appointed lawmakers have expressed support for legalizing marijuana, and that several other members have voiced opposition.

Eight states have enacted laws legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use, including Massachusetts and Maine.

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio –

Three medical companies made pitches to establish medical marijuana dispensaries in Youngstown at a Monday night meeting with members of city council.

When many think marijuana they don’t think Western medicine, but speakers from dispensary companies painted pictures closely resembling doctors offices with waiting rooms, prescriptions and even licensed pharmacists, as they spoke about bringing their business to Ohio
 
Holistic Health Partners, JB Hamlin, and Green Mile Solutions all spoke of benefits that having access to medical marijuana-specifically how it could actually help with the opioid epidemic.

“It does gives prescribers another option for something that might be potentially safer than an opioid,” says Holistic Health President AJ Caraballo.

Some cities other states with access to dispensaries saw twenty-five percent fewer prescription opioid overdoses.

The company representatives said dispensaries can actually lead to a decrease in crime . Caraballo states that since it gives people a legal route to the drugs if you “take out the black market, obviously you’re going to have a decrease in crime”.

Even with the predicted decrease in crime, Holistic Health would take extra precautions. Pending licensing approval by the State, they plan to put their dispensary in an old bank building in Mahoning Plaza equipped with vaults. They also plan to staff security from the YPD.

Both Green Mile and JB Hamlin have dispensaries in other states and have not reported any big issues with security.

Companies have until November 17th to apply to dispense in the state. 
 

 

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Related Coverage

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Three companies want to sell medical marijuana in Youngstown and on Monday night, they pitched their plans to city council.

Holistic Health Partners, JB Hamlin & Company, and the Green Mile Solutions all explained to council members what medical marijuana in Youngstown could look like.

A.J. Carabello, with Holistic Health, said his company has signed a tentative lease to set up shop in the Mahoning Plaza.

“We want to do this right for the community. I’m a licensed pharmacist so from the medical background perspective, I feel it’s essential to have a medical professional overseeing this operation.”

He said medical cannabis is just another drug.

“There are great benefits to be had, the research is starting to come out. If the research wasn’t there, I wouldn’t be interested in this.”

Green Mile Solutions is owned by Darrin Farrow, of Westlake near Cleveland. He has almost seven years of experience in the industry and worked at facilities in other states.

“It’ll be very good for the states. Not just for the opiates but for job creation and overall better medicine without the bad side effects,” he said.

Farrow wouldn’t say where Green Mile Solutions’ Youngstown facility would be located.

The third group, BJ Hamlin & Company, does not yet have a location selected in Youngstown but it does have locations in Illinois.

There are only two medical marijuana dispensary licenses available in all of Mahoning, Trumbull, and Ashtabula counties. Youngstown City Council will not be the ones to decide if the groups can come here. That decision is up to the state’s board of pharmacy.

“We could restrict them if we didn’t want them in the community. However, we have updated our zoning so we have them as a regulated use so we can put some additional restrictions in

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