Medical marijuana sought by more than 50,000 people living in counties with no dispensaries

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More than 50,000 people registered to get medical marijuana live in one of 29 rural counties that don’t have any medical marijuana dispensaries, according to data provided to CNHI by the Department of Health.

The department provided the information after being ordered to do so by the state Office of Open Records. The Department of Health initially refused to provide the data, saying it wouldn’t release the information in order to avoid violating patient privacy protections built into the state’s Medical Marijuana Law.

The Office of Open Records rejected the department’s arguments in July saying that aggregated data about the medical marijuana program wouldn’t violate any individual patient’s privacy.


Medical marijuana sales sizzle in Pennsylvania, and the M&A market has been busy

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James Thomas’ hips began to bother him three or four years after he had joint replacement surgery. He turned to medical marijuana and is still testing out the right formulation.

“I haven’t found the right marijuana yet,” the 69-year-old retired heavy equipment operator from Wilkinsburg said. He has tried a spray and smoking flowers, a consumer preference.

“Let’s just say it was kind of mellow, and the spray was about the same,” he said. “It made me a lot friendlier, smiling, cracking jokes, maybe even talking more than I usually do. It always lifted me up.”

It also eased his hip pain, he said.


State board rejects bids to add conditions to qualify for medical marijuana

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The state Medical Marijuana Advisory Board voted Tuesday to reject five requests to add to the list of conditions that qualify people for medical marijuana, even while board members acknowledged that, in several cases, patients with the conditions could benefit from using medical cannabis.

The board rejected bids to allow medical marijuana to be used to treat traumatic brain injury, hepatitis, Hepatitis C, chronic insomnia that isn’t responding to other treatments and major depressive disorder that isn’t responding to other treatments.


Legalizing marijuana could stem opioid abuse, Pitt study suggests

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Legalizing marijuana for recreational use could lead to fewer opioid-spurred health emergencies and overdose deaths, a University of Pittsburgh study has found.

Opioid-related emergency department visits dropped by 7.6% within a year of cannabis legalization for adult residents in four states — California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts, according to the analysis led by Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health.

Lead study author Coleman Drake said the research does not point to cannabis legalization as “the silver bullet” to stemming the opioid epidemic — but it could be “another arrow in the quivers” of policymakers to combat the broader crisis.


Hemp Research Gets A Helping Hand In Pennsylvania

Three hemp-related projects made the final cut in Pennsylvania’s latest round of Specialty Crop Block Grants.

The grants are provided to high priority specialty crops that are not eligible under the USA’s federal specialty crop grant program.

“Increasing market access and competitiveness means investing in crops with high growth potential that otherwise may be overlooked,” said PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.

Hemp certainly qualifies as one of those crops – and it’s good to see the state’s government continuing to recognise that.

The projects to get a guernsey:


Pennsylvania Lawmakers Approve Changes to Medical Marijuana Regulations

Pennsylvania lawmakers approved legislation last week that makes temporary changes to the state’s medical marijuana program enacted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic permanent under state law. The measure, House Bill 1024, also adopts recommendations from the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board for new regulations that govern the program. A proposed amendment to allow home cultivation of medicinal cannabis by patients and caregivers, however, was not included in the final version of the legislation.


Medical marijuana law changes get through Pennsylvania House

The state House on Monday approved a set of revisions to Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law, seeking to make permanent some of the changes put in place temporarily because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Representatives voted 164 to 38 for the bill, which would permit dispensing a three-month supply at a time, up from one month’s supply. Patients will be able to continue to pick up their medicine outside a dispensary, rather than coming inside the building.

State Health Department communications director Barry Ciccocioppo said the agency was concerned about provisions of the bill he said threaten product quality and patient safety.


Philadelphia Bans Marijuana Drug Tests for Employment Screening (with Exceptions)

If you're applying for a job in Philadelphia in 2022, you don't need to worry about the weed you smoked over the weekend. 

A new law going into effect next year prohibits any business from making the passage of a marijuana drug test a pre-condition for employment. The decision by the Philadelphia City Council and Mayor Jim Kenney made the City of Brotherly Love one of a handful of governments to put such a law on the books. New York City and Nevada have similar laws, as does Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Maine.

But there are exceptions. So every job seeker in Philadelphia and business owner should become familiar with the details of the law.


Pennsylvania Governor Pardons Medical Cannabis Grower

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed a pardon for a former ophthalmologist from Delaware County who grew marijuana as medical treatment for his dying wife.

Paul Ezell was charged after his wife died when leftover plant clippings were discovered. He was sent to jail in 2014 and served six months before being released for good behavior. But as a result of his conviction, he wasn’t able to practice medicine.

Prior to his conviction, he had a clean record – apparently, not even a speeding ticket.


Pennsylvania Is Crushing It In Cannabis

The trend on public support for legalization of marijuana in Pennsylvania is clear, with support growing for the eighth year in a row.

Pennsylvania has only legalized medical marijuana, but the numbers make it look as if it is adult use cannabis driving the sales. Cannabis data company Headset recently expanded its reach into Pennsylvania and published its first full market report based on consumer insights and real-time market data.


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