Litigation proceeds over medical marijuana licensing

COLUMBUS — A lawsuit that could endanger the timeline for Ohio’s rollout of its fledgling medical marijuana program will forge ahead despite proposed legislation to give the state a chance to correct licensing flaws.

Would-be cultivators armed with provisional licenses “may have their shovels in the ground. That’s not our problem,” said Jimmy Gould, chief executive officer of CannAscend Ohio, an unsuccessful cultivator applicant and one of many plaintiffs in the Franklin County Common Pleas suit.

He was also a major player in the failed 2015 ballot issue that would have broadly legalized marijuana for recreational, medical, and commercial purposes.

CannAscend is involved in one of two lawsuits filed to date, in addition to 60 pending administrative appeals challenging the process used by the Department of Commerce in approving provisional licenses for 24 marijuana growing facilities.

A similar grading and scoring process is being used in considering processor and testing laboratory applications.

The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from issuing final operating certificates to provisionally approved cultivators that are building their growing facilities. State law calls for Ohio’s medicinal cannabis program to be fully operational by Sept. 8, although Mr. Gould has raised doubts as to how firm that deadline is.

The lawsuit was announced in December, one day after Ohio announced winners of provisional licenses for larger cultivation sites. CannAscend wasn’t among them. The lawsuit was filed earlier this week.

Questions have been raised about Commerce’s used of someone with a criminal drug felony record as a consultant to help review and grade applications when such a person could not qualify for a license himself or work for someone with a license.

Scoring errors were subsequently discovered, at least one of which denied a license to an applicant that otherwise qualified.

State

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Curcio, subcommittee voting on medical marijuana bill

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Rep. Michael Curcio.(Photo: Joel Ebert / The Tennessean)Buy Photo

A state legislator from Dickson sits on a six-person subcommittee that is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the “Medical Cannabis Act.”

The act would establish a “cannabis commission” for the regulation of cannabis-related health care.

Rep. Michael Curcio, R-Dickson is a member of the criminal justice subcommittee in the state House of Representatives. The bill is scheduled to be voted on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

The bill, HB 1749/SB 1710, is sponsored in the House by Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, who represents Cocke County and part of Jefferson and Greene counties.

The bill was introduced in January by Faison and Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, would only allow oil-based manufactured products, such as pills or lotions, and would not permit the sale of raw cannabis, also known as marijuana, as is common in other states. 

As many as 29 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico, have laws permitting the use of cannabis for medical purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

But the approaches used in each state vastly differ, ranging from allowing home cultivation to only permitting cannabis-infused products. 

Eight states currently allow recreational marijuana. Vermont will become the ninth state when Gov. Phil Scott gives a bill his approval, as he has indicated.

The new Faison-Dickerson legislation would not permit any recreational use of marijuana.

“Now is the time for the General Assembly to embrace thoughtful, medically responsible legislation to help Tennessee’s sickest residents,” Dickerson said in a statement.

The two Republicans estimated at least 65,000 Tennesseans would benefit from the legislation.

More: Republicans introduce bill to allow medical marijuana in Tennessee

 

 

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Pa. board may recommend allowing sale of flower for medical marijuana; expanding conditions to be treated

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Medical marijuana grow facilities proposed for BH

ST. JOSEPH — Two companies have proposed medical marijuana grow facilities for a foreclosed industrial site in Benton Harbor, and the Berrien County Land Bank Authority will wait for 60 days for the companies to get the green light from the city before giving their final approval.

The medical marijuana proposals, from The Harvest Group and Vandelay Industries, were among the three bids reviewed Thursday by the Land Bank Authority for the former aluminum smelting plant at 900 Alreco Road.

The Land Bank did not receive any bids for the former Mercy hospital lot, on Agard Avenue in Benton Harbor, but will continue to try to market the 7-acre site.

Michigan legislators in 2016 voted to allow medical marijuana facilities, and they gave local governments the choice to “opt in” to the proposal.

Benton Harbor voted in December in favor of allowing medical marijuana facilitie, but its Planning Commission has not yet amended the zoning that would permit such uses. Its next meeting is 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The Land Bank requested proposals for the Alreco and Mercy sites after they failed to sell at the annual land auction.

The Harvest Group of Okemos offered $450,000 for the 11-acre Alreco site, and Vandelay Industries of Benton Harbor bid $5,000, or $20,000 if the outfit can obtain a “class C” marijuana-growing license. The license allows the cultivation of up to 1,500 plants.

Another firm, Riverside Partners of Holland, Mich., bid $72,007 and proposed to develop and resell the property as a manufacturing site or transportation hub.

Dan Fette, Berrien County economic development director, said that waiting for the property to be resold wasn’t the best use for the location,

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Wil Dasovich says medical marijuana helped him battle cancer

MANILA – Vlogger and former “Pinoy Big Brother” housemate Wil Dasovich said using medical marijuana helped him while he was undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer.

In an interview with Karen Davila on ANC’s “Headstart” on Friday, Dasovich explained how medical marijuana worked for him.

“In California, maybe some people don’t know this, but marijuana is legal. Not just medical marijuana, as in like marijuana by itself… Every single cancer patient I met in the infusion center uses medical marijuana. Because the best thing it does, it’s kind of like a miracle drug. They give you all these pills and stuff… I hated popping all these prescriptions they’re giving. It works, it alleviates stuff, but nothing was like medical marijuana,” said Dasovich, who added that medical marijuana was endorsed by his doctors.

“There’s something about it. The best thing is that it gives you an appetite. When you are in chemo, nothing tastes good. Your favorite food just tastes terrible, so you stop eating,” he added.
 
“I didn’t try it until halfway through my cycles. Chemo gets harder through every cycle, but it actually became so much easier once I’ve finally tried that (medical marijuana) and did it. And I didn’t do it to smoke because I want to preserve my lungs. It comes in candy, in brownies and everything.”
 
It was August last year when Dasovich was diagnosed with cancer.

Early this month, he revealed that he is finally cancer-free.

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