Poll shows support for legal recreational marijuana, Pennsylvania Auditor General says time to ...

On Sept. 21, Franklin & Marshall College released its latest political poll showing Pennsylvanians are emerging with clear eyes in their support for legalizing recreational marijuana. According to the poll of about 400 registered voters, 59 percent of Pennsylvanians say that recreational marijuana should be made legal. Only 31 percent say that it shouldn’t be made legal, with 9 percent undecided. The support and opposition are both the highest and lowest results, respectively, the poll has ever seen.

Support for legal weed is up 3 percentage points since May 2017 and up 19 points since June 2015.


Pittsburgh City Council takes first steps for medical marijuana permitting process

The city of Pittsburgh has begun the process of setting up a permitting and zoning process for medical marijuana facilities.

Currently, three dispensaries are set to open in January. All three got special waivers from the Planning and Zoning Board to apply, and were granted permission by Pennsylvania to operate.

Councilman Corey O'Connor introduced a bill that would codify the process by which medical marijuana dispensaries, and eventually possibly growers and processors, could operate.

O'Connor says Pittsburgh has a process set up for methodone clinics, but not marijuana.


How does marijuana's legalization in PA. impact insurance coverage?

Entrants into Pennsylvania's medical marijuana industry will want—and, in many cases, need—to obtain various types of insurance coverage. What happens, though, when one of those businesses is sued or suffers a loss and turns to its insurer for coverage? Will the insurer provide coverage? Or, will the insurer disclaim coverage because it remains illegal under federal law to manufacture, distribute or dispense marijuana? If the insurer attempts to avoid coverage on the basis of public policy or an illegal-acts exclusion, will courts in Pennsylvania allow the insurer to do so, or will they protect the policyholder's right to coverage?


Cannabis Legal Solutions caters to Pennsylvania's new medical marijuana industry

The nascent Pennsylvania medical marijuana industry is creating new work for lawyers statewide. Three attorneys hoping to bring their expertise to this brave new world recently founded Pittsburgh-based Cannabis Legal Solutions.

“A lot of people appreciate if their attorneys have knowledge of the cannabis industry,” said Patrick Nightingale, who with Andrew Gross and Alan Patterson, formed Cannabis Legal Solutions. “Basically, with this new and emerging industry, clients can be well served by attorneys with some familiarity with the cannabis industry, how products are prepared and sold, an overall familiarity, the difference between indica and sativa. There’s not a lot of law firms that have experience with it. It’s been a controlled substance.”


Want medical marijuana to succeed in Pa.? End draconian physician registry

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is moving at full speed trying to implement an extremely limited medical cannabis law, but there may be a poison pill planted by legislators: Making doctors join a special list.

Only two states operate a similarly draconian “physician registry” scheme for marijuana: New York and New Jersey.

This single provision has proved to be the most difficult obstacle for patients trying to gain access in both states because only a handful of doctors have joined.


Green Thumb to start building marijuana facility in September

Green Thumb Industries looks to begin construction in September on its growing facility for medical marijuana in Danville.

CEO Pete Kadens said the design phase of the $5 million-plus project at the Iron Town Commerce Center should be complete by next week. Permit applications for Danville and Montour County will follow.

“We will hopefully be actively in construction beginning in September and through December. We seek to be substantially complete by early to mid-November and to call for an inspection from the Pennsylvania Department of Health at that time,” Kadens said.

GTI was one of 12 companies selected in June by the Department of Health to grow medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. The state set a six-month deadline for growers to be operational.


Pennsylvania Department of Health looking for docs for Medical Marijuana Program

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s acting Secretary of Health and Physician General, Dr. Rachel Levine, announced July 26, 2017, that physicians can begin their involvement in the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program.

All they need to do is register, according to a press release from the state’s Department of Health.

“Since April 2016, we’ve been working to implement a patient-focused Medical Marijuana Program for Pennsylvanians in desperate need of medication,” Dr. Levine said in the release. “Many physicians treat these patients every day and understand the impact this medication could have on their treatment. Once these physicians register and complete the required continuing education, they can be approved to participate in the program.”


States forge path through uncharted territory to legal pot

Legal weed has unleashed an entrepreneurial spirit across the USA and holds the potential to reshape communities, but voter-approved relaxation of drug laws may bring consequences we don't yet understand as we soften the war on drugs.

A USA TODAY Network investigation into marijuana legalization reveals increases in marijuana-related car crashes and in hospitalization of kids who steal their parents' pot, of black-market smuggling rings and the challenges of running cash-based businesses that can’t use traditional banks because of federal regulations.


PA Launches Physician Registry For Medical Marijuana Program

Physicians in Pennsylvania can now register to participate in the state’s forthcoming medical marijuana program.

The state Department of Health announced on Wednesday the launch of its online practitioner registry, open to anyone with current medical licenses -- acquired through medical or osteopathic doctorates -- who actively treats patients with one of 17 serious medical conditions.

Those conditions include inflammatory bowel syndrome, sickle cell anemia, cancer, HIV/AIDS and more.

Acting Health Secretary Rachel Levine said it will be important for the department to know which physicians will be evaluating patients and referring them to dispensaries for treatment.


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