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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Baby Boomers Medical Marijuana

Data compiled from medical marijuana patient registries in 8 states were used to determine the average age of medical marijuana patients across the U.S. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the data showed that those in their 40s and 50s made up the majority of the U.S. medical marijuana patients.

These numbers were published prior to the full assessment that will be printed in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal, according to NORML.

A breakdown of some numbers from the study:

  • 50-percent of Alaskan patients are over 50
  • 58-percent of Nevada patients are over 45
  • Nearly 50-percent of Vermont’s patients are over 55
  • 44-percent of Oregon’s patients are over 50

The information used for this study came from data in states where mandatory patient registry programs are in place. The study reported, “In several states, individuals in their 50s represented the largest age group of participants.”

As a whole, the study also found that there are approximately 650,000 medical marijuana patients nationwide.

Hemp Airplane

A small, two-engine airplane prototype made mostly of hemp is in production. A Kickstarter campaign for the plane is set to begin on April 20, 2016, to help complete the prototype. The plane, dreamt up by Hempearth, is a four-seater and will have a flight speed of 210mph.

Sufficient testing has been conducted to compare the strength of hemp fiber to fiberglass. The results show that hemp fiber is as strong, if not stronger than fiberglass. The plans for this particular plane include a 36-foot wingspan and the aircraft will be constructed of at least 75-percent hemp. Hemp bio-fuel will be used instead of traditional fuel.

One of the key principals of this project is to display the versatility of the hemp plant. An airplane of this type is environmentally friendly and can change the future of flight. The project is also designed to raise awareness about “the importance of hemp to humanity,” according to information shared by Hempearth.

The maiden flight will be taking place in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  Kitty Hawk is the location of the Wright Brothers’ maiden flight.

On Hempearth’s initial flight, live streaming to the entire world will be available from GoPros attached to the wings of the plane. Live broadcasting is not permitted from the location.

(photo c/o: hempearth.net)

Marley Natural

Marley Natural, Bob Marley’s brand of marijuana strains and products, has raised some controversy upon launching because, initially, it will only be available in California, and not Jamaica. Medical marijuana patients in California show excitement to try the marijuana, while some residents in Jamaica are less than pleased. The ill feelings come from the Rastafarian culture which not receiving much funding from the global marijuana brand, according to reports from The Verge.

Marley Natural is available in four strains. Each strain is grown to produce specific effects.

Marley Natural strain types:

  • Marley Green
  • Marley Black
  • Marley Gold
  • Marley Red

The marijuana brand uses a pesticide-free grow process and also has a line of marijuana oils available. Signature accessories, such as pipes made from American black walnut wood, are also offered.

Marley Natural Spokesman, Zack Hutson, says, “We’re not only natural in how we source our products and how they’re made; it’s important for us to demonstrate to people that the herb can be a natural part of life, which was the way Bob viewed it. So that’s what we’re hoping to do really with this brand – help people understand the herb the way Bob did.”

For now, the brand will remain in California markets only. Marley Natural has said that they do plan to explore markets in other states in the near future. Bob Marley branded marijuana products began their creation in 2014. This is their first official product launch. The company plans to branch out into more product types, including hemp-based products, down the road to raise awareness of the multiple uses of the plant as a whole.

(Photo credit: theverge.com)

Oregon Marijuana Dispensary

The first drive-thru recreational marijuana dispensary in the country is set to open on April 20, 2016, in Gold Beach, Oregon.

The location of this drive-thru dispensary is directly across from a hospital, according to Time.com. It is supposed to be treated similar to a drive-thru pharmacy. Some controversy exists since it is on the California/Oregon border, and marijuana is still not legal for recreational use in California.

Supporters of the drive-thru service in Oregon find that this option is going to make it easier to obtain marijuana legally. The process will be more convenient for those that wish to maintain anonymity when purchasing marijuana.

Julie Schmelzer, Economic Development Director for Curry County, says, “I believe this venture is going to be quite an asset to the area. This could help Gold Beach and the southwestern coast become a destination for those interested in the new green tourism.”

The small, coastal town has experienced significant hardships recently. This new business venture is expected to help attract tourists while assisting the residents of Oregon with an additional option for purchasing recreational marijuana legally.

Arizona Marijuana Campaign Legalization

The pro-marijuana legalization group, Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol in Arizona (CRMLA), has reported that it has raised $1.08 million for its adult-use marijuana legalization campaign efforts. Groups in opposition to adult-use marijuana legalization have raised less than $100,000 collectively.

The CRMLA has obtained enough signatures from registered Arizona voters to get a proposal to regulate marijuana in a similar way as alcohol onto the November ballot in 2016. Although, the campaign will continue to obtain more signatures.

Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, a group in opposition of adult-use marijuana legalization, has raised a total of $90,000 according to their financials, reports ABC 15.  The group uses its funds towards fabricated, anti-marijuana propaganda campaigns.

Another anti-marijuana legalization group has only raised $800 in contributions for their effort. Their spokeswoman, Kim Owens, says, “We’re just starting out. We don’t have any reason to believe that we won’t equally be equally as well-funded.”

Sign the CRMLA petition

Celebrity Doctor Oz Marijuana

Dr. Mehmet Oz, a well-known celebrity doctor, has changed his views on medical marijuana. Recently, the doctor was on the Larry King Live show and shared his new perspective on marijuana as a medicine.

According to HuffPost, Dr. Mehmet Oz shared his new views on medical marijuana: “I have. I grew up like most of my generation believing that marijuana was something Satan was throwing at Americans, a communist plot. But I think most of us have come around to the belief that marijuana is hugely beneficial when used correctly for medicinal purposes.”

Oz has joined the likes of other world renowned doctors, like CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, to recognize that marijuana does have real medicinal benefits. Dr. Gupta has solidified his reasoning for supporting medical marijuana and has openly voiced his support. Another medical professional that openly supports medical marijuana is the chief health and medical editor for ABC News, Dr. Richard Besser.

Recent polls show that 86-percent of Americans support medical marijuana. Scientific evidence continues to prove the vast array of medical benefits from marijuana.

(Photo: miaminewtimes.com)

Medical Marijuana USA

It’s been two decades since the first medical marijuana laws were passed in the U.S. Since then, 85-percent of the American population now resides in states where medical marijuana is legal, which breaks down to roughly 275 million people. Americans for Safe Access, a pro-marijuana non-profit, has released a report grading each state’s medical marijuana program.

Each state is evaluated separately, using the same criteria. The overall grade is based upon a cumulative scoring system creating an average as the resulting grade. No states received an “A” in the report, but many states did receive “B” and “C” grades.

Some of the criteria that the grades are based upon includes:

  • Access to medicine
  • Patient rights/civil protection from discrimination
  • Ease of use/navigation of program
  • Functionality
  • Consumer Safety/Provider Requirements
  • Cultivation
  • Manufacturing
  • Laboratory Operations

Most common qualifying conditions for medical marijuana are:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic pain
  • Cancer
  • PTSD
  • Wasting syndrome
  • Epilepsy

As a whole, the grade for the United States is a “D-” because many states still do not have medical marijuana programs, thus resulting in “Fs” for each of those states. This means that much more work needs to be done to make sure that patients are getting proper access to safe, quality medicine. Forty states have medical marijuana programs in place. The report concludes that only a handful of these states are meeting the needs of their patients to an above satisfactory degree.

This report helps each state see where it needs improvement. It also helps state legislatures make changes to existing programs to improve patient access, qualifying conditions list and conduct proper studies to expand existing qualifying conditions lists.

View the report: Medical Marijuana Access Report 2016

Facebook Marijuana

Facebook has begun deleting business pages for legal medical marijuana dispensaries around the country.

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona, California, New Jersey, and other states, have seen their pages removed from the social media giant. Facebook implemented a policy that prevents advertising for the sale of drugs, tobacco and guns. However, with states having the ability to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use, Facebook is not recognizing states’ rights laws and maintains their own guidelines.

Three New Jersey medical marijuana dispensaries have been victims of this, reports ABC News. A board member of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey, Peter Rosenfeld, says, “It’s doing a real disservice to the patients of New Jersey. They’re treating it like they’re selling marijuana illegally when it’s a fully sanctioned nonprofit that’s controlled and regulated by the state of New Jersey.”

Facebook spokeswoman, Arielle Aryah, said, in regards to the removed pages, that the pages were removed because for “violating our Community Standards”.

Many dispensary owners find that social media outlets, such as Facebook, are a valuable way to communicate with patients.

Golden State general manager, Aaron Epstein, says that he will find a different outlet to inform patients if Facebook continues its current policy. He stated, “If Facebook doesn’t want to be a part of that, that’s their prerogative. We’ll find other avenues to get information to our patients.”

Given that marijuana is approved in more states for medicinal purposes than recreational use, some industry business owners want to see changes to Facebook’s policies. These businesses are not condoning drug use, they’re attempting to relay information to patients about medicine that can help relieve symptoms from debilitating and terminal illnesses.

President Marijuana Legalization

As President Obama’s second term comes to an end, some of his supporters expected plans to work on marijuana reform. It has been confirmed, by the President, that he has no plans in his end of term priorities to work on marijuana reform, according to Tennessee Representative Steve Cohen.

Cohen asked the President near the beginning of his first term in office about rescheduling marijuana. He was less than impressed with the President’s answer, as the President responded with: “If you get me a bill, and get it on my desk, I’ll probably sign it.”

White House Press Secretary John Earnest says that any forward motion, or motion of any kind regarding marijuana reform, would have to happen through Congress.

President Obama has continuously attempted to ‘pass the buck’ to Congress on this issue. According to Rep. Earnest, “There are some in the Democratic Party who have urged the President to take this kind of action.” He claims that the President’s response was, “If you feel so strongly about it, and you believe there is so much public support for what it is that you are advocating, then why don’t you pass legislation about it and we’ll see what happens.”

Over the last 20 years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been given numerous petitions to reschedule or remove marijuana from the dangerous drugs list. All petitions, thus far, have been rejected. A new petition is being reviewed, but the general consensus is that the outcome will be the same and that marijuana will remain a Schedule 1 controlled substance, according to The Washington Post.

A poll conducted by CBS News in 2015 showed that 84-percent of Americans support marijuana legalization for medical use by qualifying patients. A Gallup poll showed that 58-percent of Americans support full legalization.

The DEA, along with a vast amount of the American people, agree that marijuana does not belong in the same controlled substance category as drugs like heroin and LSD. Many people agree that marijuana is safer than alcohol. Rescheduling marijuana may take some time, but with continued public advocacy and increasing studies showing factual results, it could happen sooner rather than later.

2016 Marijuana Legalization

A leading marijuana investment and research company, The ArcView Group, released a report estimating marijuana sales in legal states for 2016. In 2015, sales totaled $5.4 billion, growing 17-percent from 2014. For 2016, the group predicts a 25-percent increase from 2015, making the projected nationwide sales around $6.7 billion.

ArcView expects marijuana sales to reach over $21 billion by 2020, surpassing the NFL, which is approximately a $15 billion industry. Over the next 4 years, the group expects a steady increase in sales of 30-percent. ArcView CEO, Troy Dayton says, “I think that we are going to see in 2016 this next wave of investors, the next wave of business operators, and people who’ve sort of been watching or dipping their toe in, really starting to swing for the fences and take it really serious.”

The data taken to project future sales comes from the partnership of ArcView and New Frontier. The markets used to compile the data include medical marijuana and recreational marijuana dispensaries, caregivers and sales of marijuana products, according to Fortune.

These large growth numbers are, in part, helped by recreational sales beginning in multiple states and more patients switching from prescription drugs to medical marijuana for relief from debilitating and terminal conditions. Edibles are also gaining popularity, which helped to boost sales numbers.

When asked about edibles sales, John Kagia, Director of Analytics at New Frontier said, “They also come at higher price points than flower does, which means the businesses are able to capture higher sales per customer through the sales of these new products.”

With marijuana legalization showing continued growth and acceptance in more states, more high-profile investors are likely to invest in the industry.