Weed News To Wrap-Up 2017

marijuana and medical black bag
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SACRAMENTO, Calif.:  Two men working in California to deliver cannabis for a licensed marijuana distribution company were arrested Friday by the Highway Patrol in Mendocino County. The men are employees of Old Kai Distribution and were legally transporting almost a ton of marijuana, the company's entire harvest when they were pulled over near Ukiah.

The men showed both the company's manifest and county cannabis license to the officer, stating that it was legal to transport the cannabis inside county lines with the county license, but the officer disagreed and called for backup to arrest the men.

Spokeswomen for the county confirmed that Old Kai Distribution does indeed have a distribution license permitting the legal transport of marijuana after two county ordinances were passed. Both men were given possession and unlawful transportation of marijuana citations. 

According to the California Highway Patrol acting Commissioner Warren Stanley, a California state license is required as well for transport and noted that the permits don't take effect until Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. He added that law enforcement officials will follow the new laws when they become effective.

Police confiscated the company's entire harvest for the year, according to Old Kai's lawyer Joe Rogoway. Rogoway said that the cannabis was on its way to a local distribution center to be tested and processed for sale. He added that the harvest should not be destroyed and be returned immediately because it impacts the livelihood of the company's families. He is also demanding that all charges be dropped.

Marijuana Use on the Rise with Pregnant Women

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that pregnant women increasingly used marijuana during the 8-year study. Forbes reported that researchers studied 279,457 pregnant women total. The study was conducted by researchers at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.

Researchers discovered that cannabis use among pregnant women increased from 4.2 percent to 7.1 percent, with use by women under 25 increasing to 21.8 percent. Many young women unwittingly use marijuana for nausea and morning sickness, and there is concern amongst researchers that government agency websites have no warnings regarding cannabis consumption during pregnancy.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists studied the scientific data regarding marijuana and made several recommendations based on the evidence. All women should be educated about the health hazards of consuming marijuana during pregnancy and be advised not to consume for the duration of pregnancy. It is also recommended that medical marijuana patients find alternative treatment during pregnancy. No data yet exists on how cannabis affects babies being breastfed, so experts advise women not to consume marijuana until they are no longer breastfeeding.

Maine Legislature May Resolve Cannabis Bill

AUGUSTA, Maine: The Portland Press Herald reported that Gov. Paul LePage will meet with legislatures Friday to deliberate on the adult-use cannabis bill the governor vetoed last month. Endeavors to override the veto were short by 17 votes.

Obstacles to the bill include a 1o-percent sales tax on recreational marijuana sales. Republicans want the sales tax to be at minimum 20 percent so that the state can generate rapid revenue. They also want the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations to oversee regulation, not the Maine Department of Agriculture, as proposed in the bill. Legislatures will debate the bill in the coming week and have a Jan. 5 public hearing. Recreational marijuana was passed by voters in 2016.

Pennsylvania Patients are Ready for Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania is set to implement its medical marijuana program early in 2018 and more than 10,000 patients are already registered with the Pennsylvania Department of HealthThe Philadelphia Business Journal reported that 10,135 patients have registered so far, with nearly 1,200 being certified by their medical professional. Medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 2016.

The new law permits cannabis to be consumed in the form of a pill, oil, topical cream or gel ointment, liquids, or vaporization. Eligible patients include people suffering from several illnesses, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, cancer, epilepsy and seizures, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD. Permits for 27 dispensaries were given out last June and 550 doctors are registered so far, with 250 already trained and certified to administer cannabis to patients. The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine will assist the state in continuing education efforts of the medical marijuana program.