Medical marijuana supporters urge Lexington council to pass resolution

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Supporters of medical marijuana legislation spoke at the Lexington Urban County Council meeting on Thursday night, urging city leaders to take action and put pressure on state lawmakers.

Among the speakers was Nick Risden. WKYT’s Sam Dick introduced us last year to Risden, a nationally-known dog trainer whose life and health took a sudden turn last summer when he was bitten by a tick.

Risden told WKYT’s Garrett Wymer that medical marijuana is making a difference for him, and he wants to make sure others in pain get the same chance.

He carried up to the podium a container full of the dozens of medicines he has to take every day, sharing his story and how medical marijuana has helped him.

“I went from nine seizures a day to one about every four to six weeks,” he told council members. “I still have one from time to time. But I’m getting my life back.”

Risden was joined by several others – many of them veterans – urging council to pass a resolution supporting the use of medicinal marijuana and supporting two bills filed in Frankfort that would allow it.

The group of supporters wore stickers saying “I support medical cannabis – House Bill 166.”

House Bill 166 was filed by Rep. John Sims Jr., D-Flemingsburg, who was part of a task force started by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. The bill was a result of the task force’s discussions with doctors and patients.

Those who spoke at the council meeting said they hope a resolution from council would put pressure on lawmakers in Frankfort to consider and pass House Bill 166 and Senate Bill 118.

Several council members – and the mayor – said they support that.

Council will discuss the

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Medical marijuana use continues to grow in NH

In the nearly two years since medical marijuana dispensaries first opened in New Hampshire, the program has grown significantly, and the list of qualifying conditions is expanding.

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Kaylee Huckins, 43, said she has had to deal with intense pain from bladder disease. She tried standard medications, but nothing seemed to work, and there’s no cure.

“Nobody had any answers,” she said. “It was like, ‘Well, we’re at the end of the road. So I guess you’re going to have to go to the ER when you’re hurting.'”

After the New Hampshire Legislature passed medical marijuana and four dispensaries opened in 2016, Huckins had a conversation with her doctor. She said she had never tried cannabis before.

“Everybody has that stigma around it, but for me, it is completely life-changing, and I have quality of life back,” she said. “The pain is completely decreased to a level that I can somewhat function.”

Since her first visit to medical marijuana dispensary Sanctuary ATC, she said she hasn’t had to deal with emergency room visits or medications. She said her treatment has also helped her anxiety and insomnia.

“I have about three cookies every night, and now my body is allowing itself to get about four to six hours of sleep, and I would go days without sleep before,” she said.

Dr. David Syrek, medical director for Sanctuary ATC, said the dispensary helps patients develop a treatment plan that works for them.

“Our motto is start low, go slow for everyone, and we take that very seriously,” he said.

Sanctuary ATC started with about 30 patients on opening day almost two years ago, Syrek said. Now, it sees more than 1,300. Syrek said staff members work one-on-one to educate and

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Study links easier access to medical marijuana with reduced number of opioid deaths

by Joe Douglass, KATU News

A RAND Corporation study found that legalized medical marijuana was associated with lower levels of opioid deaths only in states that allowed dispensaries and made medical pot easily available to patients.

PORTLAND, Ore. — 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the opioid epidemic in the U.S. kills on average more than 115 people a day.

Researchers at the RAND Corporation wanted to know if medical marijuana can help lower the number of overdose deaths. They conducted what they call the most-detailed study ever on the topic, finding the link between medical pot and fewer opioid deaths to be complex and suggesting it all comes down to execution.

Opioids are drugs that include heroin, fentanyl and many prescription painkillers like OxyContin.

The federal government says the misuse of them remains a “serious national crisis.”

David Powell is an economist for RAND Corporation, a major global nonprofit policy think tank that conducts research and analysis.

“We were interested in understanding when states adopt medical marijuana laws, do they see a reduction in opioid-related overdoses?” Powell told KATU on Thursday.

Previous studies suggested that’s the case, but Powell said he wanted to go further.

“We were interested in understanding the underlying mechanisms behind those reductions that have previously been observed,” he explained. “We found that actually, we do see large reductions in opiate-related overdoses in states which have medical marijuana dispensaries.”

In other states that take a more restricted approach to medical pot — not allowing dispensaries — he said you don’t see the same effect.

“There’s some evidence that suggests that medical marijuana is an effective pain management tool for many of the same types of pain that

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Ashland: A primer on Trichome, business wants to open medical marijuana dispensary

ASHLAND – Medical marijuana dispensary Trichome Health Corp. met with Ashland’s Board of Selectmen Wednesday night. Nothing was voted, but the discussion lasted about an hour. Here’s what happened.

Who

Alex Mazin, CEO of Trichome Health Corp. Mazin wants to open a third dispensary in Ashland, at 40 Pond St. He has a dual purpose cultivation and dispensary facility in Lakeville, and is planning to put a dispensary in Auburn.

Mazin’s lawyer Philip Silverman was also at Wednesday’s meeting.

What Trichome is looking for

A letter of non-opposition.

This is a document a local government gives to a dispensary, essentially saying the city or town is open to the idea of that particular dispensary in their municipality. The state requires a dispensary secure one of these.

What selectmen are looking for

A host community agreement.

Dispensaries need both to open in a town. The host community agreement lays out what a dispensary is willing to offer a town to mitigate the impact of the business. The most popular concession dispensaries make is giving their host town a percentage of the profits.

Typically, the letter of non-opposition comes first, then the community and the dispensary work on host agreement terms. Ashland selectmen told Trichome they want to do it the other way around.

Terms of the agreement

The terms of Ashland’s potential agreement with Trichome are still being negotiated.

Tentative terms include Trichome giving Ashland 3 percent of its profits for a five-year period, plus $40,000 annually for five years toward improvements on Rte. 126.

“This is probably one of the more generous to the town, that I have seen,” Silverman said.

A point of disagreement in the document is the five-year window during which Trichome gives the town some of its profits. Town Manager Michael Herbert said he was hoping

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Medical Marijuana Advocate Faces Drug Charge in Oklahoma

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