Product expansion expected in Virginia’s Medical Marijuana Program
Pending a signature from Governor Ralph Northam’s desk – cultivators in Virginia will soon be able to expand their medical cannabis product lines.
Under current laws, products have been limited to tinctures, sprays, and oils. But Senate bills 1557, and 1719 (which unanimously passed in both chambers) will expand the program – allowing for cultivators to create “full therapeutic strength medical cannabis products.”
The new legislation also establishes a “caregivers” register, similar to Illinois’ program; patients will be able to designate a friend or family member who can legally purchase products for them – an important update considering many of the patients suffer from debilitating diseases that can make traveling extremely difficult.
When advocating for the passing of the the two bills, a majority of lawmakers continually brought up the states ongoing opioid crisis – a common theme found among representatives across the US who are fighting for reform.
Switzerland pushing for studies on the legal sale of cannabis
This Thursday, the governing Federal Council announced a proposal that would allow selected municipalities to run pilot projects on “the advantages and disadvantages of alternative forms of regulation”.
The study is being proposed in lieu of legalization efforts as officials continue to push for an open medical or adult-use market; currently, products containing more than 1% of THC are are strictly forbidden.
“Without undermining the general cannabis prohibition, we need to be able to test new regulation models under the current situation,” the government said in a statement.
Officials will now take comments from the general public until “mid-year” – afterwards, the plan is to run regulated pilot projects for a maximum of 10 years, with published reviews following immediately after.
Cannabis cafes continue to be a trending-topic
Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, the main advisory board to the states growing cannabis market, has announced its support of cannabis cafes and open-consumption events, voting unanimously for the state to develop regulations that would involve the issuing of new licenses.
The commission is slated to hear from a handful of stakeholders in the coming months through a series of public forums, with regulators expecting an official draft as early as June 2019.
Across the coast, the city of Denver recently permanently legalized social-use cannabis attached to private events; opening the door for local cafes, and restaurants to participate in educational and entertainment-focused events that involve the public-use of cannabis.
The two states aren’t alone in their bid to bring in more revenue through events & public-use as other states, like Alaska and Nevada, continue to fight for laws that would loosen restrictions surrounding private and public events.
Adult-use bill proposed in Florida
Earlier this week, State Rep. Carlos Guillermo-Smith, an Orlando lawmaker, introduced a measure that would legalize recreational marijuana in Florida.
“It’s just kind of a no-brainer, you know?” Guillermo-Smith told FOX News 35. “There’s no reason why the state cannot regulate cannabis in a similar way they regulate alcohol use.”
The bill would allow for adults 21 and over to possess, use, and transport up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. It also includes official wording that calls for the need of home grow, letting Floridians own up to 6 plants.
But with lawmakers currently focusing on expanding the medicinal market, Guillermo-Smith and advocates are pushing for a ballot measure that wouldn’t hit voters until Winter of 2020 – allowing for current debates to be focused on the inclusion of more medicinal products in the expanding MMJ market.