Florida Judge Restores Online Medical Marijuana Purchases

Judge Suzanne Van Wyk found, this week, that the ban on online medical marijuana purchases through third-party sites to be an unadopted rule and ordered the state to “immediately discontinue reliance on its policy … regarding online ordering of medical marijuana through third-party websites.”

Van Wyk is an administrative law judge who presided over the decision to reinstate the online purchases after the state banned the practice.

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Group’s Petition to Legalize Marijuana Cleared by Ohio Attorney General

Legalized recreational use of marijuana recently cleared a hurdle on its second attempt but several more have to be passed before it becomes law in Ohio.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost gave the go-ahead to the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s proposed law after rejecting its original plan in early August, saying the summary proposes to add an entire chapter to the Ohio Revised Code rather than enact a single law and the summary failed to include key elements in the summary.

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Georgia to Issue Licenses to Companies for Medical Marijuana Production

Zane Bader

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission will pick six companies to start producing the plant for medical uses in the state.

Nearly 70 companies applied for licenses to grow marijuana and convert it to oil to treat various illnesses. Once the commission approves them, the companies could be looking at paying up to $200,000 in licensing fees to the state. They will have one year to get product to thousands of Georgians who have been waiting for more than five years.

Patients with a Low THC Oil Registry card legally can purchase up to 20 fluid ounces of the THC oil from licensed dispensaries or pharmacies under legislation signed into law by former Gov. Nathan Deal in 2015. However, without guidelines and a medical marijuana marketplace, the 14,000 registered patients in Georgia have no way of legally obtaining the oil.

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Florida’s Doctors, Patients Face New Smokable Medical Marijuana Rules

Doctors and patients in Florida may be unaware of the new rules that took effect last week for smokable medical marijuana. Patients must resign a standardized consent form, which includes a new portion that explains the dangers of smoking near oxygen tanks and notifying patients of risks to exposure to mold in the marijuana.

Physicians are now required to conduct full, in-person assessments of the a patient including family, social history, and if they are pregnant.

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Bill Proposes Voter Poll on Legalization, Decriminalization of Medical or Recreational Marijuana in Tennessee

Tennesseans may have the option to weigh in on the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana: medical, recreational, or both. State Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) introduced bill HB 1634 on Wednesday to include a voter opinion poll on the subject within the November 2022 ballot.

The poll would ask voters if Tennessee should legalize medical marijuana, decriminalize possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, and legalize and regulate commercial sales of recreational marijuana.

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Medical Marijuana License Reserved for African American Farmer

A $50 million medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) license will soon be reserved for an African American farmer after Florida’s Supreme Court upheld a 2017 law that included a provision designating such application to litigants in the Pigford vs. Glickman lawsuit from 1999.

The class action lawsuit accused the U.S. Department of Agriculture of discrimination against African American farmers when allocating farm loans and other financial assistance from 1981-1996, which was settled in favor of the farmers.

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Florida Supreme Court Rules Against Marijuana Industry Challenge

Florida Supreme Court Building

Earlier this week the Florida Supreme Court unanimously ruled against a challenge from the medical marijuana industry, backing the state’s strict regulation of the industry’s business model standardized by the Florida legislature.

The challenge was filed by a marijuana company, Florigrown, where they contested the legislation put in place which limits the amount of medical marijuana licenses issued in Florida and requires dispensaries to grow and process their product. Florigrown was denied a license to become a medical marijuana treatment center in 2017.

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Nikki Fried Has Financial Interest in Company Acquired by Trulieve

Commissioner Nikki Fried

Financial disclosure forms indicate that Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has a financial in Harvest Health & Recreation Inc., a company acquired by Trulieve Cannabis Corp. for $2.1 billion last week. Trulieve is one of the most notable cannabis companies in the United States and is the largest licensed cannabis company in Florida.

According to 2019 documents, Fried’s assets in Harvest Health totaled over $190,000, and her personal overall net worth increased by 416% during the time frame of June 2018 to June 2019. During that period, she was also gifted a $700,000 home with her fiancé Jake Bergmann, who has financial stake in another marijuana company, Surterra Wellness.

Fried has repeatedly promoted the cannabis industry as the Agriculture Commissioner while she and her family maintained financial interests in cannabis companies.

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Questions About Nikki Fried Begin to Surface

Nikki Fried

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has long been rumored to be challenging Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the 2022 gubernatorial race but has yet to make a campaign launch official.

However, last week, on Twitter, she made an announcement indicating “something new” is coming on June 1 through a video.
Since she posted the video, news and political commentary about Fried and her personal relationships, business interests, potential ethical questions, and how they all fit together have entered the conversation in light of an impending campaign launch.

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Nikki Fried’s Medical Marijuana Card Issued for Sleep Issues

On April 14, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried posted a video to social media displaying her medical marijuana card. In the video, Fried reminded viewers medical marijuana was passed by 71 percent of Floridians through a ballot initiative in 2016. The medical marijuana issue was a calling card for Fried’ campaign in 2018, and it has been reported Fried has a financial interest in the marijuana industry.
However, Fried followed up the clip with a 15-minute interview with Jim DeFede at Facing South Florida where she said she was approved for a medical marijuana card due to a sleeping disorder.

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Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried Addresses Marijuana, DeSantis, and Democrats

Nikki Fried

  Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried recently appeared on Facing South Florida, with Jim DeFede and responded to questions related to medical marijuana, Governor DeSantis and her political future. Provided below is a summary of the interview. Jim Defede: You ran on legalizing medicinal marijuana and you want to move…

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Nikki Fried’s Ties to the Cannabis Industry

Commissioner Nikki Fried

  Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is a former marijuana lobbyist, has failed to address her financial ties to the marijuana industry as she advocates for legalization and uses her position to influence medical marijuana legislation. While legacy media looks the other way, other reporting has revealed connections that…

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General Assembly Advances Conflicting Bills on Medical Marijuana Legalization in Tennessee

Two bills are wrestling over whether Tennessee will have immediate or postponed legalization of medical marijuana. The two bills – the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act and the proposal to establish a medical cannabis commission – pose a direct challenge to one another. The former would outright legalize medical marijuana, enacting an entirely new chapter within the Tennessee Code under Title 68: Health, Safety and Environmental Protection. If passed, Tennessee would join 36 states in legalizing cannabis for medical purposes.

The latter would pump the brakes on the momentum sought by the former. Instead, the bill would establish a commission reviewing federal and state laws on the subject, and would provide that no medical cannabis program be enacted by the state until the federal government removes marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. The commission would publish annual reports and recommendations, beginning next year and continuing indefinitely – that is, until the federal government adjusts marijuana on its controlled substances list.

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Audit Finds Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Program Lacks ‘Adequate’ Internal Controls

A new report found that the Minnesota Department of Health’s “internal controls” for its medical cannabis program “were generally not adequate to safeguard financial assets and ensure compliance with selected legal requirements.”

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Just Half of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Patients Are Actually Buying the Product

  Only 49 percent of Ohioans registered with the state’s medical marijuana program are actually purchasing the product, according to the latest numbers released by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. As of April 30, there were 31,075 registered patients in the program with recommendations from a doctor, but only…

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Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost Joins Coalition Urging Congress to Allow Marijuana-Related Businesses to Access Banking System

  Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined a coalition of 38 states urging Congress to grant federal banking system access to marijuana-related businesses. The coalition is working on getting Congress to pass the Federal Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1595). Although many states have legalized medical marijuana,…

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Tennessee Star/Triton Poll: Nashville Voters Are Pro-Medical Marijuana, Strongly Disapprove More Tax Dollars Being Paid to Corporations Moving to Nashville

  A new Tennessee Star/Triton poll indicates that while the Tennessee the Legislature was not willing to move forward with legislation legalizing the sale and distribution of medical marijuana in the state, Nashville voters are very supportive of the idea. 550 Likely voters in Davidson County were asked: “Would you…

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Law Enforcement Officers Tell Senate Committee That Medical Marijuana Supporters Are Blowing Smoke, While Co-Sponsor Bowling Says Her Plan Provides Alternative to Opioids

State Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) on Thursday shared her continued support for allowing medical marijuana after a vote was postponed. The vote was delayed after Wednesday’s hearing in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, WJHL said. Bowling, of Tullahoma, is a co-sponsor of SB0486, the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act. The…

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Georgia’s Republican Gov Signals Openness to Medical Marijuana Expansion After Bill Passes State House

by Evie Fordham   Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signaled openness to a medical marijuana reform bill that passed the state House on March 5 in an interview that the bill’s advocates greeted as “wonderful” and its opponents characterized as a “sad day for science.” “When it passes with a…

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Ten Laws That Spell Major Changes for Ohio in 2019

In terms of legislation, 2018 may be considered one of Ohio’s most impactful years in recent history. From the approval of the first medicinal marijuana dispensary to new abortion limitations, 2019 will see a dramatic change for many Ohioans. Compiled below are ten of the most significant changes coming to the…

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Newly Elected Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson Talks with The Tennessee Star Report

On Tuesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy and special guest co-host, Harriet Wallace of Fox 17 – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am –spoke to newly elected official Senate Majority Leader, Jack Johnson of Williamson…

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Tennessee Star Poll: Tennessee Voters are Overwhelmingly More Likely to Support Candidates Who Favor Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Several recent political polls have surveyed support and opposition to legalization of medical marijuana and indicated that Tennessee voters support some form of legalization.  Now, a new Tennessee Star poll questioned how the issue may move votes. Likely Tennessee November general election voters were asked: “Would you be more or…

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Beth Harwell’s ‘Major Announcement’: She Supports Legalizing Medical Marijuana in Tennessee

Bath Harwell

GOP gubernatorial candidate Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) held a press conference this morning, which she had promised would be a “major announcement,” in which she restated her support for legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee. “Alongside two doctors at a news conference Friday, Harwell said she supports…

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GOP Candidate Brent Moody Supports Controversial Medical Marijuana Proposal

Brent Moody

Republican candidate for Tennessee House of Representatives District 56 Brent Moody, a Nashville dermatologist looking to replace Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) as the district’s representative, tweeted a trifecta of support for medical marijuana and the two state legislators who have tried to legalize it in Tennessee:…

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Tennessee Democratic Party Lurches to the Left With Progressive Resolutions

The Tennessee Democratic Party recently passed resolutions supporting “Medicare for All,” a $15 minimum wage and medical marijuana. The resolutions reflect the state party’s lurch to the left. They were passed by the executive committee Oct. 28 and detailed in a Nov. 2 news release. “Medicare for All” is a movement…

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Gubernatorial Candidate Mae Beavers Raises Questions About Legalizing Medical Marijuana in Tennessee

Tennessee Star

  Last month, Republican House Speaker and candidate for Governor Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) announced her support for consideration of legalizing marijuana for some medicinal uses in Tennessee. Now, she and Lt. Governor Randy McNally have established a legislative committee to study and report on the subject. The Joint Ad Hoc…

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Beth Harwell, Now Having A Family Member Using It, Is Open To And Looking At Medical Marijuana

  Gubernatorial candidate and Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) said at a gathering earlier in the month that after her sister sustained an injury, she has personal interest in the issue of medical marijuana. Regarding the task force she formed earlier in the year on the issue, she said,…

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