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.


Pennsylvania's auditor general renews call for legal recreational marijuana

The state Auditor General is not stopping his call for legalized recreational marijuana in the commonwealth.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale came out in support of legal recreational marijuana earlier this year, saying revenue from taxes could reach $200 million.

Now he says on top of helping ease the state's financial issues, legal pot could be a useful tool in fighting the opioid epidemic.

DePasquale says research shows there are 25% fewer deaths from opioid overdose in states that permit medical marijuana use.


Getting Doctors Certified Is next Step to Dispensing Marijuana in Pennsylvania

Since medical marijuana has been legalized in Pennsylvania, several businesses have received permits for dispensaries.

But that doesn't mean the drug will be dispensed any time soon.

The state is still hammering out regulations governing which doctors will dispense marijuana and which patients are eligible to receive it. These hurdles will keep the drug from being handed out legally until 2018.


Why medical marijuana shops in PA. won't reek

Walk into a medical marijuana dispensary in New Jersey and the first thing to hit you is the stink.

Weed’s scent is a sour blast that seems to reek of citrus, diesel, and skunk. At the Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, charcoal air purifiers — encased in gleaming steel and larger than jet engines — are strategically placed through the facility. It’s hard to say whether their presence tempers the odor, which is generated by thousands of cannabis plants growing under lights in the same building.


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