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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Marijuana Memory

Marijuana and tobacco have always been believed to cause decreased memory function. But according to a recent research study published in the Behavioral Brain Research Journal, the opposite is true when marijuana and tobacco are consumed together.

Dr. Francesca M. Filbey PhD found that as the hippocampus (an area of the brain associated with memory and spatial navigation) got smaller from marijuana and tobacco use, memory improved.

“We expected the opposite,” stated a researcher. The study also mentioned that with people who use marijuana and tobacco: “smaller hippocampal volumes were linked to relatively higher memory scores.”

It is estimated that about 70% of marijuana users also use tobacco, which is why these researchers decided to research the combined effects of marijuana and tobacco use.

Ireland Marijuana Drugs

Ireland officials recently met about their concerns over Ireland’s national drug abuse problem. They appear to be leaning to the idea that all drugs should be decriminalized.

Years ago, Portugal decriminalized all drugs and applied a public health approach to illegal drug use because of increasing drug overdose deaths and HIV/AIDS. Years later, Portugal has the second lowest number of drug-related deaths in all of Europe.

Ireland is leaning towards the approach of treating drug abuse as a public health issue rather than criminal justice issue.

The Irish Minister stated that there has been “wide consensus within the room for decriminalization” and there are still “some question marks and some discussion points as to how to get wider society on board with the idea.” He further noted that “people in the sector may be convinced but the terminology and the language is going to be important.”

Illinois Dispensary First

After years of delays, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR) has announced the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary.

The dispensary, Harbory, will be located at 8195 Express Drive in Marion, which is approximately 300 miles south of Chicago. The dispensary is licensed for operation and can open at anytime. Currently there is no known open date.

“Illinois medical cannabis dispensaries will continue to be registered on a rolling basis,” said the DFPR in a statement. “Illinois medical cannabis dispensaries will receive medical cannabis exclusively from Illinois’ licensed growing facilities once it becomes available.”

A dispensary named Nature’s Treatment is currently under construction in Milan, which is in western Illinois, near Davenport, Iowa.

The DFPR mentioned that dispensaries will continue to be registered on a rolling basis. Once approved, names and addresses of dispensaries will be made available to the public.

Nevada Dispenary Open

Hundreds of pre-registered Nevada medical marijuana cardholders visited Euphoria Wellness, the first medical marijuana dispensary in the Las Vegas area, and second dispensary in the state.

Euphoria Wellness, located at 7785 S. Jones Blvd., is south of the strip and about 7 miles southwest from McCarran International Airport.

Only six strains are currently available, but the dispensary plans to offer about 30 strains in the future. Marijuana-infused edibles, oils and tinctures will also be available in the future.

One of the dispensary’s first patients said that the pills his doctors prescribed made him lethargic. “I sat in a recliner and did nothing,” the patient remarked. He also noted that after four years with a medical marijuana card, he is happy to finally have a safe place to buy lab-tested marijuana.

Congresswoman Dina Titus said that “this movement has really picked up in the last five years.” Nevada incorporated laws and lessons learned from states like Arizona, California and Colorado that have medical marijuana laws worth replicating. “Some people would say we’re the model now,” said Titus.

One, if not more, medical marijuana dispensaries are expected to open in Las Vegas before winter. In all, Las Vegas is expected to have about 40 to 50 dispensaries.

SWCC Expo
Regional dispensary and cultivation center owners will receive free admission to the inaugural Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo (SWCC Expo) on October 27 and 28 at the Phoenix Convention Center, according to Rory Mendoza, executive director of the first-ever cannabis convention in Arizona.

The complimentary admission tickets are provided through a partnership with MJ Freeway and event organizers and must be reserved online at SWCCExpo.com by October 15. Licensed dispensary and cultivation center owners from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Southern California may qualify.

“Education and community are a cornerstone of our industry. Conferences like the Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo help ensure all regions have access to events that foster leadership, education and community-building. MJ Freeway gladly supports the advancement of the cannabis industry through our sponsorship of these types of events. The SWCCE is special because cannabis-business owners, the heart of the industry, receive free admission to the event,” said Amy Poinsett, co-founder and CEO of MJ Freeway.

MJ Freeway is the market share leader for seed-to-sale tracking software, with patent-pending inventory control and grow management applications for cannabis businesses. The company provides industry-leading technology that efficiently delivers seamless solutions and compliance accountability for producers, processors, manufacturers, and retailers.

Attendance at the Phoenix event is expected to sell out due to Arizona’s high-profile presence throughout the country as a state to watch amid the ever-changing medical marijuana and recreational legislative environment.

Oregon Marijuana Law

The Oregon Health Authority, which regulates Oregon’s medical marijuana industry, has released draft rules that will allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell limited amounts of recreational-use marijuana, beginning Oct. 1, 2015.

Medical marijuana dispensaries will only be allowed to sell seeds, dried leaves and flowers and non-flowering plants in limited quantities for recreational users. Also beginning on Oct. 1, adults will be able to share or give away marijuana to other adults for recreational use.

Measure 91, which will allow adults 21 or older to purchase marijuana for recreational use, will be implemented in 2016 and be regulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which will regulate the production, processing, and commercial sale of marijuana.

Measure 91 will allow adults to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana in their home and up to one ounce of marijuana outside of their home, consume marijuana on private property, and grow up to four plants per residence.

National Cancer Institute Marijuana Cannabis

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is the federal government’s principal agency for cancer research and training, has confirmed that marijuana can kill cancer cells.

The NCI website was recently updated to say that marijuana “has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory” and that “[marijuana] and cannabinoids may have benefits in treating the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of cancer therapies.” The cannabinoids they are most likely referring to are CBD and THC.

The site also makes sure to mention that marijuana is currently “not approved by the FDA for use as a cancer treatment.” But now its just a matter of time till the FDA will have to include marijuana as a credible treatment option for cancer (and other illnesses).

Now that the U.S. government’s primary institute for cancer research and training has officially confirmed that marijuana does kill cancer, and therefore has medicinal benefits, maybe the government will now move marijuana from a Schedule I drug to and Schedule II.

Arizona Recreational Marijuana

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for adult use in Arizona, estimates that marijuana legalization would raise more than $40 million annually for Arizona’s educational system.

“Generating revenue for our schools isn’t the only reason to pass this initiative, but it’s an important one,” said Lisa Olson, a teacher in Mesa, AZ. “I support it because it will not only improve public education, but also public safety. Regulating marijuana would replace dealers on the streets with store clerks who ask for ID and only sell to adults.”

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol initiative would enact a 15% excise tax on marijuana sales from state-licensed dispensaries for adults 21 years of age and older. A large portion of the tax revenue collected would be allocated to Arizona’s Department of Education for school construction, maintenance, and operating costs, and other programs.

“Our schools are in serious need of funding, and taxing marijuana would create a significant new revenue stream,” said State Sen. Martin Quezada. “Marijuana sales are going to keep taking place regardless of whether this initiative passes or fails. But only if it passes will they raise tens of millions of dollars each year for public education in Arizona.”

To date, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol initiative has gathered approximately 60,000 signatures and needs 150,000 by July 2016 to get the initiative onto the November 2016 ballot where Arizonans can vote on the initiative.

Florida Marijuana Law

Lawmakers in Miami Beach have passed a new law that allows police to give a $100 citation to persons possessing under 20 grams of marijuana, instead of arresting and sending them to jail.

The Miami Beach Mayor mentioned: “We don’t want marijuana smoking on the streets. That’s still illegal. It’s illegal to distribute or sell any marijuana or anything like that. But if someone’s caught with under 20 grams, we don’t want to ruin their lives.”

Florida law states that possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in prison with fines up to $1,000.

The Miami Beach Police Department believes the new law will save the city roughly $40,000 in associated costs from arrests and prosecutions for simple marijuana possession cases.

Silver State Relief Nevada Dispensary

A Nevada medical marijuana cardholder has brought a federal class action lawsuit against Nevada, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the governor.

The cardholder claims that Nevada was requiring Nevadans to get certified for a medical marijuana card yet forced them to buy marijuana from the black market because dispensaries weren’t open. He claims this constitutes as fraud, unjust enrichment, unequal taxation and violation of equal protections.

Nevada “engaged in fraud by collecting fees and issuing registration cards when they had not licensed nor had they planned on licensing dispensaries during the time covered by the cards,” stated the cardholder. He further noted that aside from growing one’s own marijuana, the state provided no way for patients to get marijuana other than “from the local street corner drug dealer,” until 2013, when it enacted laws to license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.

The first Nevada dispensary, Silver State Relief, recently opened outside of Reno and is limiting cardholders to less than 1 oz. purchases due to limited supply.

Nevada is nearing 10,000 medical marijuana cardholders and the state has reciprocity with other states that issue medical marijuana cards.