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One pair of Florida lawmakers is aiming to improve the state’s existing medical marijuana law, while another legislative duo is out to change the state’s relationship with pot altogether. 

Taken together, 2021 could be a year of cannabis reform in the Sunshine State.

A proposal from state Senator Tina Polsky and state Representative Nicholas Duran, both Democrats representing South Florida, would close a loophole in the state’s medical cannabis law that still opens the door for public employees to get fired for using the treatment.

“So you’re allowed to use medical marijuana if you have a proper license but if you get drug tested at work having nothing to do with your performance you can be fired for using a legal substance,” Polsky said, as quoted by local news outlet WLRN. 

According to WLRN, the bill “would prevent public employers from firing, demoting, or suspending someone who tests positive” if they can show a valid medical marijuana card after a positive result. 

“In the event someone takes a drug test and they test positive for marijuana they should be able to sort of explain and show that they are registered,” said Duran, as quoted by WLRN. “That they are using

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The mother of a nine-year-old boy with a severe and rare form of epilepsy who was told Brexit would end the supply of a life-changing cannabis medicine that saved her son’s life has been given a six-month reprieve.

Hannah Deacon said she was hugely grateful after being given the lifeline by the Dutch government, which has sanctioned continued supply of the medicines despite a Brexit ban on fulfilling prescriptions from the UK.

She received a letter on Thursday from the Department of Health to inform her that the government in the Netherlands, where the medicine was created, had “confirmed that they will allow continued supply of Bedrocan oil against UK prescriptions for existing patients until 1 July 2021”.

“I cried when I read it. I sat and cried. I was told online and I was quite surprised to be honest. I’ve spent the last two weeks terrified that Alfie’s seizures will recur because of the fact that we could not get any more Bedrolite [Bedrocan]. I didn’t feel that the Department of Health took it seriously enough to keep that medicine supply line safe so I was very angry about that, and very upset,” she said.

– Read the entire

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A recent survey showed nearly 60% of patients still consider buying cannabis from black market and out-of-state sources.

Last year, Chelsie Warren quit her job as a bus driver so she’d be free to sign up as one of Utah’s first cannabis patient cardholders and qualify for the plant-based treatment that soothes her chronic back pain.

She’s found a new job since then and doesn’t regret the trade-off.

But the Garland resident is disappointed she has to drive 40 minutes to the nearest cannabis pharmacy — which is often sold out of the gummies that provide her relief and sometimes also out of the raw flower she uses as a backup. She’s traveled outside Utah, where she says dispensaries are better-stocked and prices are lower, several times.

– Read the entire article at The Salt Lake Tribune.

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CANNABIS CULTURE – Former President Donald Trump’s list of last-day pardons included 12 people imprisoned for non-violent cannabis offenses, some of who were under life-without-parole sentences. 

Last Prisoner Project Executive Director and General Counsel, Sarah Gersten said in a press release that the act was, “…further evidence of the overwhelming bipartisan support for broad-based cannabis policy reforms.”

Corvain Cooper, 41, was sentenced to life without parole for distribution of marijuana and money laundering. Cooper has served more than 7 years in prison. Upon release, he plans to take care of his family and work for his local church.

Cooper told CAN-DO Clemency, “When the judge tells you that you have a life sentence, it feels as if you actually have a death sentence. For that is what it actually is, a natural death sentence.”

John Knock, 73, was sentenced to life in prison for a marijuana conspiracy charge. In prison, he was known as the professor and has taught various classes on exercise, construction, and meditation. He plans on living in Philadelphia.

Ferrell Damon Scott, 56, was sentenced to life without parole for conspiracy and possession of marijuana. Acting United States Attorney Sam Sheldon wrote he strongly does not believe

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CANNABIS CULTURE – “You build perseverance, and no one can take that away from you. They can take your money, take your bank account, they can change legislation, but they can’t take away your perseverance. They cannot take away your will,” Earl Carruthers says of his journey from injustice to advocacy.

See, Earl wasn’t always as passionate about cannabis, as he is now. After a debilitating injury and a historic brush with the law, Carruthers has taken this journey personally and professionally, one step at a time…

Step One – Developing His Passion

Like most people who turn to the use of medical marijuana, an injury offset Earl’s path into cannabis therapy. While playing collegiate football, he endured a pelvic fracture and turned to natural alternatives versus pain medications and opioids. Hence, where his passion for cannabis began. 

After taking a course on the in’s and out’s of medical cannabis – Earl knew what he had to do. He took his entrepreneurial spirit nurtured with a degree in Finance and set forth into the growing medical marijuana business when legalization hit Michigan in 2008. 

Step Two – Starting Over

It’d be nice if we told you that Carruther’s journey was

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CANNABIS CULTURE – A spokesperson for the New Zealand police was quoted to say, “with the increased harm in many communities arising from other drugs, particularly methamphetamine, a one-size-fits-all annual aerial national cannabis operation no longer represents the most appropriate deployment of police resources.”

Light propeller aircraft and helicopters have taken to the skies yearly from the 70s, giving New Zealand police a tool to surveil the ground below for cannabis-growing plots, forest fields, or greenhouses. Every year this costs the New Zealand taxpayers millions of dollars.

The budgetary windfall will now shift to the fight against “priority drugs” like methamphetamine, known locally as “P.”

“The decision to spread resources throughout the year and increase surveillance focus on the drugs causing the greatest harm in the community does not mean that police across the country will not investigate and prosecute people engaged in the commercial cultivation of cannabis.”

However, an expose in STUFF, the most respected investigative media outlet in New Zealand claimed that police bosses agreed to stop the flights after finding that local police districts have little appetite to do the air searches.

The mounting of yearly surveillance had sparked polarized debates over the years. Critics accuse

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Back in April 2020, Apothio sued the County of Kern and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, alleging that in October 2019, state and county law enforcement agents entered its farm fields and ordered the destruction of 500 acres of hemp crops worth approximately $1 billion. Apothio claims the agencies’ search warrant was defective because it included an incorrect description of Apothio’s principal, Trent Jones, the acreage grown, and because it ignored Apothio’s status as a research entity under California law. Most recently, the defendant agencies filed motions to dismiss Apothio’s case is in its entirety because its crops constitute contraband under federal law, and Apothio can not have a property interest in such contraband.

While the civil case commenced, Mr. Jones was then arraigned for criminal misdemeanor charges for the illegal cultivation and sale of marijuana (based on the facts of this case) in October 2020. Based on this development, the defendant agencies filed for a motion to stay discovery (essentially, pause discovery) in the case pending (1) completion of the criminal investigation of Mr. Jones, or (2) at least a decision on the motions to dismiss.

For everyone’s benefit, the Court issued a lengthy opinion breaking down

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A promising new study out of Canada offers data that some cannabis strains help reduce a specific type of inflammatory distress—called a “cytokine storm”—that proceeds severe cases of acute respiratory distress due to COVID-19.

In a study conducted by researchers at Pathway Research Inc., the University of Calgary, and the University of Lethbridge, scientists used artificial human skin, technically a “well-established full-thickness human 3D skin artificial EpiDermFTTM tissue model.” The skin tissue model was exposed to UV rays to cause “induced inflammation.” The model was then treated with seven different cannabis strains to see the efficacy in reducing inflammation.

– Read the entire article at Forbes.

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Massachusetts cannabis dispensaries are currently suing the state over the new, contentious, delivery regulations. 

Specifically, the dispensaries involved in the suit have a problem with the fact that only certain disenfranchised business owners will be able to deliver cannabis for the first three years, in order to try and make the industry more equitable. 

The regulations were put in place by the Cannabis Control Commission last year, and they specify two types of cannabis licenses. One allows couriers to provide delivery for dispensaries, and the other allows companies to purchase product and keep it in a warehouse to then deliver it to customers. 

While that created quite a diverse pool of options for those looking to dip their toes into delivery, existing dispensaries and other parties who are not disenfranchised but want to get into the industry are upset that they will not have a chance at the application process until at least three years down the road. 

The applicants who qualify for the program fall under the umbrella of either the social equity program or the economic empowerment program. 

The Controversy Behind The Lawsuit

Many, including social equity advocates, are excited about this move, because it means those who

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