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Legislator, advocate for medical marijuana law takes job with cannabis firm, Leafline Labs

Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-Cottage Grove, a co-sponsor of last year's medical marijuana bill, said Tuesday that he has accepted a consulting job with LeafLine Labs, one of two cannabis companies in the state. 

Schoen said he is taking an unpaid leave from his job as a Cottage Grove police officer through the end of the year. During that time, he said he will work as a security consultant on a contract basis with LeafLine Labs.

He declined to specify how much the job pays, but said "it's less than I made being a police officer."

Schoen said he worked with LeafLine Labs last year when they contacted him for help in scouting cities that would let them operate.


Enrollment in Minnesota's medical marijuana program still low

Fewer than 100 patients made it into Minnesota’s medical marijuana program in the first month.

Medical marijuana became legal in Minnesota on Wednesday, after a monthlong enrollment period and a yearlong rollout. As of Thursday, 192 patients had been certified to participate in the program by a doctor or other health care provider and 98 had paid their fees, completed their paperwork and were eligible to participate in the program.

State officials, and the two companies that have poured millions of dollars into launching the program, say they are not worried about the low initial sign-up numbers.


One in four people prescribed opioids progressed to longer-term prescriptions

Opioid painkiller addiction and accidental overdoses have become far too common across the United States. To try to identify who is most at risk, Mayo Clinic researchers studied how many patients prescribed an opioid painkiller for the first time progressed to long-term prescriptions. The answer: 1 in 4. People with histories of tobacco use and substance abuse were likeliest to use opioid painkillers long-term.


12 States Most Likely to Legalize Marijuana Next

Washington State, Washington, D.C. and Colorado have blazed the trail for ending prohibition.

Through legal means these areas have adopted the recreational use of marijuana, freed the market for patients, opened the flood gates for entrepreneurs, and tax revenue for the states and districts. Based on research we have complied a list of states that will be vying for ending prohibition and legalization. With an election coming in 2016 all of these states on the list are going to have a measure on the ballot regarding marijuana. These are exciting times, friends. If you live in one of these states, be on the look out in November 2016 to vote for the right thing for our country. Enjoy.


1. California


Iowa medical marijuana prompts parents to consider moving

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - The Legislature's failure to expand Iowa's medical marijuana law has some parents of sick children looking to Minnesota.

Area lawmakers who worked to pass the proposed legislation suggested some Iowans may relocate to nearby states to access medicinal marijuana. Medical marijuana will be legal in limited form in Minnesota beginning July 1.

Some Cedar Falls families confirmed they're considering their options, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (http://bit.ly/1MsWswE ) reported.

"Obviously, they have all these good things about their bill, but it's proximity. So, you just gave yourselves competition. Minnesota moved forward. You chose to stay stagnant," said Brienna Decker.


Minnesota patients legally acquire marijuana for first time

At the stroke of midnight, medical marijuana was legal in Minnesota.

Moments later, the state's first cannabis clinic welcomed its first patients.

"We've been waiting a long time for this," said Kim Kelsey, holding up a small white pill bottle containing a week's supply of cannabis pills outside. The Minnesota Medical Solutions clinic in downtown Minneapolis opened its doors just after midnight July 1 for a handful of clients, like Kelsey, who didn't want to wait even a few more hours to start treatment.

"We decided we weren't going to make them an extra nine hours," said MinnMed CEO Dr. Kyle Kingsley. "It's really an honor to serve the first three patients in Minnesota."


Hope, anger and confusion in Minnesota as medical marijuana launch nears

On Wednesday, Minnesota steps into the strange new world of the marijuana business.

Never mind that the federal government says marijuana is as dangerous as heroin, putting both in the Schedule 1 category of controlled substances. Starting Wednesday, pot pills will go on sale as medical marijuana.

“I must say this is really very odd. We are talking about a Schedule 1 drug,” said Beth Hundley of Golden Valley, who will be buying the marijuana for her epileptic 3-year-old daughter.

The little pills contain more uncertainty than any medicine has before it.

They can’t be made by big companies, which won’t touch an illegal drug — so Minnesota has licensed two home-grown startups to do it.


For the sickest Minnesotans, medical marijuana will be legal on Wednesday

The first registered medical marijuana patient in Minnesota toddled across sunlit grass and into his mother’s arms.

Three-year-old Wyatt sputtered happily as Jessica Hauser swung him up, up into the air to settle on her hip.

Then Wyatt’s eyelids fluttered and his head thumped against her shoulder as he sagged in her arms. Another seizure. One of hundreds that rip through his developing brain daily, endangering his life, unchecked by all the epilepsy treatments the family has tried.

Wyatt suffered seven seizures in the time it took his parents to explain why they’ve already booked an appointment to buy cannabis oil for their son this Wednesday, the first day it will be legal.

“No seizures. Doesn’t that sound good?” Jessica crooned to her youngest.


Medical marijuana arrives next week in Minnesota – but smoking it is banned

There will be no baggies of pot awaiting patients next week, when Minnesota joins 21 other states in offering medical marijuana. No glass pipes, no plants to tend at home. Instead, the nation’s latest medical marijuana programme is a world of pill bottles and vials of marijuana-infused oil.

For the qualifying patients seeking relief from pain, medical marijuana advocates and some lawmakers, Wednesday isn’t the finish line, but the first step. The state’s restrictive approach, unseen in the industry, is likely to mean high costs, long drives and reluctant doctors.


Inside the first medical cannabis dispensary in Minneapolis


Midnight July 1, the first medical marijuana dispensary will open to Minnesota patients. Minnesota Medical Solutions is located on 9th Street, between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue, in downtown Minneapolis.

Verified patients and their parents or legal guardians will be the only people allowed inside the dispensary. As of Friday, June 26, the number of patients statewide has grown to 64 people. MinnMed's full array of pills, oils and tinctures will be available for sale. 

The motto for the first-of-its-kind rollout is “start low, go slow.”


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