Illinois Judge Orders State to Add PTSD for Medical Marijuana

Illinois Judge Orders State to Add PTSD for Medical Marijuana

Military veteran Daniel Paul Jabs won his lawsuit against the state of Illinois to include post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying medical marijuana condition.

On Tuesday, an Illinois judge ruled in favor of Jabs and demanded that the state accept the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board’s recommendation to include PTSD to the state’s list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions. Illinois now has 30 days to amend its qualifying conditions with PTSD and must comply with Cook County Circuit Court Judge Neil Cohen’s stern order.

The ruling will forcibly expedite the state’s delayed inclusion of PTSD patients in its medical cannabis program by either making Governor Rauner sign the state’s stalled expansion bill or forcing the state’s medical board to add PTSD to its list. Either action would have the same outcome: PTSD patients (see: Veterans) in Illinois will finally have safe access to medical cannabis.

Moreover, the ruling’s ramifications may go way beyond just PTSD and could severely bolster Illinois’ lagging medical cannabis program. In May, Illinois’s Medical recommended expanding the state’s program to include PTSD and a variety of other conditions to the state’s list of qualifying medical conditions.

Those conditions include chronic pain and osteoarthritis; those are just two of the seven pending, similar lawsuits against Illinois to expand its medical marijuana program. The exact same judge, Neil Cohen, will preside over those similar cases.

Illinois’ stalled medical marijuana program fought the law–and the law clearly won.

Bernie Canter

Ohio Officially Becomes America’s 25th Medical Marijuana State

Ohio Officially Becomes America’s 25th Medical Marijuana State

Governor John Kasich signed Ohio’s medical cannabis bill into law yesterday making the midwest state America’s 25th official medical marijuana state.

An outspoken critic of medical marijuana, Kasich waited two weeks to sign the bill which was approved by both the state’s House and Senate in late May. The governor likely approved this bill since it’s a restrictive one that prevents Ohio’s medical cannabis patients from inhaling marijuana smoke.

As is the case in similar restricted medical marijuana states like New York and Minnesota, the law permits patients to vaporize and ingest edibles, tinctures, and cannabis pills. Qualifying patients are prohibited from growing cannabis in their homes.

In response, a more liberal bill spearheaded by the Marijuana Policy Project that hoped to make November’s ballot recently ended its own campaign. While this decision will prevent Ohio’s patients without chronic health issues from accessing medical marijuana, at least some patients in the state will see safe access.

The program expects to begin serving patients in two years after the licensing and regulatory process has been completed.

Bernie Canter

Germany Will Legalize Medical Marijuana Next Year

Germany Will Legalize Medical Marijuana Next Year

Germany’s health minister announced Monday that the nation will federally legalize medical marijuana by next spring.

The country’s imminent medical marijuana plan will provide safe access to patients with chronic diseases and “no therapeutic alternative.” Moreover, health insurance companies will be allowed to cover the cannabis expenses for these patients if the patients cannot afford their medicine.

That caveat would make Germany one of the few places where health insurance applies to medical marijuana purchases. Federal Health Minister Hermann Grohe issued a press release stating:

“Our goal is that seriously ill people are looked after to the best of our ability.”

It’s unclear whether Germany will set up a dispensary system or provide the medical cannabis through traditional pharmacies. The nation’s supply of medical cannabis will likely be overseen by the government and not independent growers.

Late last year, Germany created a special government agency to handle the production of medical cannabis. That production may or may not have begun, but should mean that Germany has begun or soon will begin growing medical marijuana for its patients.

Germany joins other nations like Jamaica, Uruguay, and Canada that have all recently federally legalize medical marijuana.

Bernie Canter

FDA Issues Warning Letters to Several CBD Oil Companies

FDA Issues Warning Letters to Several CBD Oil Companies

Much like in 2015, the FDA quietly sent warning letters to several (CBD) oil manufacturers located throughout the United States in early February of this year. In both instances, the letters were issued after test results revealed that the products were falsely labeled.

The letters encourage these companies to “take prompt action to correct the violations” in an effort to avoid legal complications for making false claims about the products’ ingredients. Moreover, the warning seem fairly warranted when you read that the FDA claims it tested many of these products and many of these products showed no traces of CBD in them at all.

That’s a dangerous game to play, and it’s very noteworthy that the FDA is testing CBD products. And it could have either a very positive or a very negative impact on the CBD industry.

The FDA is doing its job by making sure false products stay out of patients’ hands in need of real CBD and real medicine. It’s the FDA’s job to regulate pharmaceutical claims, and if there are no traces of CBD in some of these products, then these products deserve to be wiped off the market.

CBD has known medical powers to stop seizures, help cancer patients, and a myriad of other known health benefits. But when there is no CBD in “CBD products”, a natural problem and a systematic epidemic occurs.

That epidemic isn’t new. While many companies in Colorado and beyond are making real, impactful CBD medicines, not all are. Many import very weak “hemp CBD” from China and make products that have barely a trace of CBD in them. That becomes a problem when real patients are buying these products.

For instance, some of these products claim they’re helpful for seizures, arthritis, MS, and diabetes, so unsuspecting consumers will buy them. But when the FDA tests them, and finds not even a hint of CBD within these products, that’s when they’re revealed as true snake oil.

Michael Felberbaum, a spokesman for the FDA, released this statement regarding the pivotal issue:

“The companies receiving these warning letters were selected, in part, based on the egregiousness of the claims made about their products and the determination that inaction posed a potential risk to public health

That quote is telling for companies making real CBD products. That quote makes it seem clear that the FDA won’t go after companies that are providing real medicine with actual CBD within it.

This story has gone semi-viral over the concern that the FDA is going to monitor and monopolize all CBD products through big pharmaceutical companies. Fortunately, that appears to be very far from the truth. The FDA is merely doing its job and telling companies going about this game the wrong way to cut out the charades–or face serious penalties.

That’s a major positive: companies selling fake CBD should all be taken to the shed outback and destroyed. While there is fair and real concern that these letters could pave the way for further FDA regulation of the CBD-industry, this quote from Felberbaum hints that that’s not a huge issue just yet:

“The federal government is supportive of scientific research into the medical uses of marijuana and its constituents, through scientifically valid investigations as part of the FDA’s drug review and approval process”

Every industry needs a watchdog, and while the FDA is a scary watchdog for the cannabis industry to have, it’s far better than the alternative. All of the companies listed from 2015 and 2016 are not legit, known industry companies.

In fact, many of them are selling hemp CBD products targeting pets. That means they’re targeting unsuspecting consumers and selling a flat-out junk placebo. Here are those companies that you and your friends should steer clear of, via the FDA:

fda warning letters cbd companies

As noted previously, there isn’t a single well-known company on that list. That means that many of these may be “snake oil”, scam companies with no real relationship to the legitimate cannabis industry.

Unfortunately for the CBD industry, there will always be snakes in the thick weeds out there trying to pounce on this extremely side of the cannabis world. But oddly enough, the FDA has stood up and is helping weed out the pretenders from the contenders.

Thus, this “ordeal” should be viewed more as a positive for the future of CBD than anything else.

Bernie Canter

Colorado Court Rules Marijuana Plants Insurable

Colorado Court Rules Marijuana Plants Insurable

In what may be a landmark case for the future of marijuana dispensaries across the nation, a Colorado judge ruled that damages to a Colorado Springs’ dispensaries finished product may result in an insurance claim for $40,000.

The case, which pits dispensary The Green Earth Wellness Center, LLC vs. the Atain Specialty Insurance Company stems from a wildfire near the Green Earth Wellness center that caused extensive damage to both the dispensaries’ growing and harvested crops.

Green Earth originally sought over $200,000 in damage to its mothers and clones (still in bloom) and another $40,000 in “damage to buds and flowers.” Green Earth’s claim is based on the following premise:

“Smoke and ash from a wildfire overwhelmed its ventilation system and intruded into its growing operation, causing damage to Green Earth’s marijuana plants.”

Smoke, ash, and heat can cause severe damage to plants in bloom, rendering them essentially worthless and un-usable. Hence, Green Earth lost a lot of money because of a circumstance they could not control.

When the insurance company Atain rejected the dispensary’s claim, Green Earth swiftly filed a lawsuit that stated both its growing and harvested buds qualified as “stock”. Since “stock” was covered on the insurance plan, they sought reimbursement for all of the damages.

The Colorado District Court threw out the $200,000 claim on the mothers and clones, refusing to qualify those plants as “stock”. Instead, the Court maintained that these plants were excluded by Green Earth’s policy and rejected the notion that crops need to grow outdoors in dirt to be considered crops.

However, the Court ruled that the agreement between the parties did in fact cover for harvested, dried plants ready for sale. Thus, the Court ordered that Green Earth’s breach of contract claim for the $40,000 in damage to its harvested marijuana buds and flowers must be tried.

Stay tuned and look out for an update as this trial comes to fruition. The result, which sounds as if it will favor Green Earth, could tip the legal scales on many more cases like this in the industry’s future.

Bernie Canter

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