Medical Marijuana

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Former chair of Canada’s marijuana legalization “task force,” Anne McLellan, is happy with the outcome of legalization, but that does not mean she has no concerns, according to CTV News.

Anyone following legalization’s progress can agree that its initial rollout was catastrophic, leading many permanently back to the black market.

However – as we and many others predicted – the situation is improving. With the black market being less prolific and supply shortages on their way to becoming history, McLellan is happy, aside from a few warning signs – especially (but not exclusively) around vaping.

 

Where Legalization Stands

 

A lot has changed in the last year, which involved a mix of positive and negative events. Most licensed producers worked diligently to ensure supply needs were met, but there were still problems along the way.

The biggest obstacle is the black market and its advantage over legal cannabis. CTV News says:

 

“In the second quarter, household expenditures on legal pot was $443 million, up from $172 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. But illicit pot expenditures were $918 million in the second quarter, down from $1.17 billion in the fourth quarter of last year…”

 

These numbers are rather encouraging, but we are nowhere near the point where the open market overtakes illegal cannabis.

We should point out, however, that these changes show a reduction of about $252 million in sales for the black market, while legal cannabis revenue increased by roughly $271 million – a 60% jump.

 

Current “Red Flags”

 

McLellan points out that there are a few “yellow flags veering to red,” specifically when it comes to public trust and health.

 One notable event was Redecan’s moldy cannabis, which resulted in a complete recall from the Ontario Cannabis Sfore (OCS) and other retail sources.

However, the most scandalous example is CannTrust, a disgraced medical and recreational licensed producer whose license was recently suspended by Health Canada. What began as a detection of unlicensed grow rooms soon revealed a variety of other violations, including attempts at a cover-up by senior management, along with the growth of illegal seeds.

McLellan admits that CannTrust’s actions make the legal industry look bad during a time when public confidence is critical.

Discouraging as this may be, McLellan points out that this is not unusual. Canada went through the same thing generations ago. McLellan explains:

 

“The last time we did this was with the end of liquor prohibition, and dare I say, no one in this country was alive to see or understand how that took place. That took years to create a regularized, normalized legal market around liquor.”

 

Today, the alcohol industry is legitimate and perfectly regulated. If history is any indication, cannabis will soon reach the same point.

 

The Vape Crisis

 

According to McLellan, the vaping illnesses reported in the U.S. are at the forefront of everyone’s minds and bad PR for legal cannabis. With the death toll in the U.S. hitting 33 people, Canada finally saw its first confirmed case, discovered in Quebec.

Vitamin E acetate is the biggest suspect, which is used as a cutting agent in illegal THC vape products. Health officials are still waiting for definitive proof, but the legal market will not contain any contaminants or fillers that pose such a risk. According to Global News:

 

“A Health Canada spokesman said in an emailed statement that it is monitoring the situation in the U.S. and Canada and that additives such as vitamins — vitamin E acetate is one suspected culprit — are prohibited from use in cannabis vaping products. He added that it ‘will take additional action if warranted and as appropriate, to protect the health and safety of Canadians.’”

 

Unfortunately, many people will recoil in fear at legal THC vapes as well, which McLellan sees as a threat to public trust in the system.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Prediction of a Brighter Future

 

As a provider of business solutions to the cannabis industry, we understand the struggles legal marijuana continues to face.

Controversies and health concerns are likely to stay for quite some time, but ongoing research and possible reforms will hopefully solve these issues in the end.

But until that time comes, WeedAdvisor encourages everyone to support the legal market and stay informed on any emerging health issues.

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In June of 2018, Epidiolex received FDA approval as the world’s first CBD prescription drug. Created for the treatment of two severe childhood epilepsy disorders – Lennox Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome – the drug recently received approval for use in the European Union.

This opens up the floodgates for the pharmaceutical giant, as Epidiolex now can be prescribed in most European countries, giving patients access to legal, regulated CBD.

According to Yahoo Finance, Epidiolex’s traction certainly seems to have a bright future, but it also means CBD could become a more mainstream pharmaceutical product.

Although CBD’s research focused primarily on epilepsy, preliminary and anecdotal evidence suggests other potential applications that different companies are happy to explore.

 

“The Talk of the Town”

 

Epidiolex may be a big name worldwide, but it is certainly not responsible for starting the conversation around CBD or medical cannabis. It did, however, lend legitimacy to an industry that is unregulated, inconsistent and – in some cases – dangerous.

The fact that CBD’s efficacy was finally established in controlled studies is the most compelling evidence to date. Naturally, this cemented cannabidiol as a household name:

 

“Cannabidiol drugs are the talk of the town and approval of Epidolex in Europe will certainly make the issue global. Several states in the United States are legalizing marijuana or cannabis for recreational and medicinal use. Many companies are developing cannabis-based therapies and focusing on cultivation and distribution of cannabis.”

 

Huge Sales Increase

 

Needless to say, Epidiolex is seeing some huge returns, which Yahoo Finance says are likely to grow bigger:

“The only FDA-approved CBD drug, Epidolex, has shown strong uptake in sales and new patient enrollments since its launch in November 2018 in the United States. It generated sales of $101.9 million in the first half of 2019. Sales of the drug grew more than 80% sequentially in the second quarter. Sales growth of the drug is expected to receive a boost with the EU approval.”

 

Considering that a year’s worth of Epidiolex costs over $32,000 USD, GW Pharmaceuticals will see record profits from its new invention.

But GW may soon end up sharing the market with some upcoming CBD drugs.

 

New Medications in Development

 

At the moment, one other company is tossing its hat in the CBD ring. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals is currently working on its own CBD medication called Zygel.

But unlike Epidiolex, Zygel’s intent is to help child patients with autism spectrum disorder.

Both companies also face competition from the generic medical marijuana industry. They may offer access to patients who would otherwise have none due to legal roadblocks, individuals in states where medical marijuana is legal represent a much larger share of the market.

Prescription CBD drugs have their place in the U.S., but federal legalization could eclipse those sales. Nonetheless, doctors will be more comfortable with regulated CBD products now that they have controlled studies to back the medicine.

 

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As Illinois prepares to follow through with their recreational marijuana rollout, Marijuana Business Daily reports the state’s biggest increase in medical cannabis sales throughout the program’s history.

Medical patients already enjoy some major advantages over the upcoming recreational market, which is why it is bizarre that, historically, recreational marijuana takes a huge chunk out of medical sales.

But Illinois’ case completely flies in the face of these trends. On the surface, it seems like the sales increase is related to legalization. In fact, that may very well be the case. But if we look at it from a broader perspective, legalization may not be the only cause – if at all.

 

Drastic Increase

 

One notable change is the sheer number of patients that enrolled in the past year. In August, 2018, 44,000 registered patients. By August of 2019, this practically doubled, hitting 83,000.

The patient count also includes 2,500 people who are enrolled in the state’s new opioid alternative pilot program.

Medical marijuana sales are also impressive. According to Marijuana Business Daily:

“Through the first eight months of 2019, sales of [medicinal marijuana] in the state totaled nearly $150 million – already topping sales recorded for the entirety of 2018 – and are on pace to break $240 million by the end of the year.”

 

On the surface, this seems like a rock solid case that recreational legalization is boosting medical cannabis sales in Illinois, but there are other factors involved.

 

Other Changes

 

Aside from the obvious move to legalize marijuana, Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker made some smaller reforms.

In October of 2018, the governor made it easier to access medical cannabis. He eliminated background checks and fingerprint collection as requirements to obtain a prescription.

The following August, Pritzker permanently established the state’s medical marijuana program. He also expanded the list of qualifying conditions, opening the door for a broader group of patients.

Naturally, it is safe to assume that these changes had a huge part to play and are likely much more responsible for the medical cannabis increase than legalization on its own.

 

Benefits of Purchasing Medical Marijuana

 

Although Illinois may eventually succumb to the common trend of seeing medical sales decline, the differences between the two markets might entice patients to stay.

First of all, medical recipients get a much better deal. In Illinois, recreational users will pay 25 to 35% tax on each purchase, depending on the product. Medical patients, on the other hand, pay only 1% tax.

Analysts also expect a shortage in the early days of legalization. In situations like these, medical marijuana users get priority. This, according to Marijuana Business Daily, could reduce the rate in which medical sales fall.

But ultimately, experts agree that the medical program’s days of bounty are numbered.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Anticipation for the Illinois Cannabis Market

 

As Illinois inches its way closer to establishing a legal industry, the need for a reliable, accurate efficient system should be on everyone’s minds.

Retailers and licensed producers face some great opportunities, but these come with major challenges. There will be new rules to navigate, larger harvests to deal with and a slew of other concerns that nobody can afford ignore.

WeedAdvisor’s business solutions make it easy to handle functions like POS, reward programs, compliance, inventory tracking, data monitoring, employee safety, reporting and more.

 

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On June 25, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex, the first drug to be created with CBD isolate. GW Pharmaceuticals created the medication after studies showed surprising success treating severe childhood epilepsy, specifically Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.

Now, Marijuana Business Daily reports that the European Commission has just approved the drug as well. Unlike most antiepileptic drugs, CBD was found to have minimal side effects and pose no risk to brain development.

Dravet and LGS are also notoriously resistant to conventional treatment, leaving many children unable to live normal lives due to multiple daily seizures. Although rare, those who suffer from either of these disorders suffer substantially.

Thanks to these observations in the U.S. study, the 26,000 Dravet and 130,000 LGS patients in Europe have a new alternative that could bring hope to a seemingly hopeless situation.

 

Available Across Europe

 

Thanks to the centralized nature of the European Union, this single approval essentially gives all members access to Epidiolex.

The Phase 3 trials were what convinced officials to give Epidiolex the green light. However, evidence of efficacy is not always necessary to get something approved.

According to Marijuana Business Daily:

 

“Normally, European countries that allow the prescription of medical cannabis without proven efficacy do so only after prioritizing the prescription of medicines with marketing authorization.”

 

With Epidiolex being a prescription drug, this effectively allowed it to skip ahead of less extensively-studied drugs like unregulated CBD or marijuana.

 

“Manufactured to the Highest Standards”

 

Marijuana laws differ from one European country to another. It is prohibited recreationally (although Luxembourg plans to change that) and allowed for medical consumption in certain countries.

This forces individuals to use unregulated CBD “health supplements,” which more often than not contain less CBD than advertised or possibly no CBD at all.

Epidiolex, however, gives patients access to legal, regulated CBD. GW Pharmaceuticals said in a press release:

 

“This approval is the culmination of many years of dedication and collaboration between GW, physicians and the epilepsy community. We believe patients and physicians deserve access to rigorously tested and evaluated cannabis-based medicines, manufactured to the highest standards and approved by medicines regulators, and we are delighted to be the first to offer this solution to the epilepsy community.”

 

In the U.S., Epidiolex costs $32,000 USD per year. But given the amount of CBD needed to treat this condition, patients using marijuana or unregulated hemp products will spend much more.

But given the different healthcare systems throughout Europe, it is possible that pricing will vary.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Support for Cannabis Expansion

 

We have always advocated for easy accessibility to legal medical marijuana. Unfortunately, this is not an option in many countries. But drugs like Epidiolex help bridge that gap by using cannabis as its primary ingredient in a prescription medication.

By placing CBD into mainstream medicine, anyone can access it would the need for a medical marijuana license, nor do they have to wait indefinitely for their state or country to legalize cannabis.

 

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As Colombia mulls over full legalization, its medical cannabis industry continues to barrel forward. According to ABS-CBN News, Colombian officials estimate that the country’s medical marijuana sales could be worth $6 billion – emphasis on “could.”

Because while the potential is there, the country’s regulatory framework – although justifiable like any regulated market – represents a huge bottleneck that may stifle the industry’s potential.

This problem caught the attention of investors, who may lose interest if the country’s cannabis industry cannot live up to its maximum revenue potential.

 

A Major Cash Crop

 

Countries like Canada and the U.S. see economic opportunities in legal marijuana, but the Colombian industry has the potential to be a leading commodity:

 

“Colombia could export $6 billion a year in medicinal cannabis products, making marijuana its third-largest source of foreign exchange, the government said on Thursday, as investors called for simpler regulations for marijuana producers.”

 

If Colombia is successful in legalizing recreational cannabis, this would only add its potential revenue. It is not unrealistic to theorize that the drug will have a substantial positive impact on the country’s economy.

 

“Tortuous” Process

 

One common ailment legal marijuana industries seem to share is the endless bureaucracy and proverbial hoops that retailers and licensed producers have to jump through every day.

We saw in Canada how regulations can seriously slow down production and distribution. Colombia is no exception and faces an equal – if not worse – regulatory obstacle.

ABS explains:

 

“Colombian law already regulates the possession, production, distribution, sale and export of seeds and other marijuana products like oils and creams, but investors say the export approval process is tortuous.”

 

This is clearly obvious by how long it took to begin issuing export licenses. Despite medical marijuana being legalized in 2016, only in the last month did the first exports of CBD isolate reach foreign shores.

 

Compliance Standards an Issue

 

Remaining compliant is important, but Colombia’s apparent overregulation threatens to leave them lagging behind other countries in the budding global cannabis industry.

Gustavo Escobar of Clever Leaves (a joint venture between Canada and Colombia) says:

 

“More forceful action in regulatory terms is needed so we don’t lose the momentum that we have been growing with. We’re lacking some adjustments that would allow us to attend to markets as quickly as possible, before other countries get ahead of us.”

 

With Canada and the U.S. wrestling for first place and Mexico well underway to developing its own industry, Colombia cannot afford to lose any ground.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Colombian Presence

 

WeedAdvisor is proud to work with our Colombian clients, especially considering that marijuana reform has broadened – and will likely continue to do so.

Cannabis offers opportunities to every country, but Colombia arguably stands to gain the most from becoming a key player.

As a new industry emerges and develops, we look forward to working with future and existing businesses, as well as government, to provide an extensive list of solutions meant to aid functions like complains, inventory tracking, safety, documentation, reporting and more.

 

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Things are looking good for state medical and recreational dispensaries as a game-changing bill gains support in the U.S. Senate.

According to Forbes, one third of the Senate now supports the SAFE Banking Act, a bill that would provide dispensaries access to critical financial services. The fear of federal repercussions keeps major financial institutions for dealing with these businesses, despite their being compliant with state law.

With a vote expected to be held by the end of September, the bill needs all the momentum it can get.

 

Significant Outside Support

 

Outside the walls of the House and Senate, banking industry insiders and advocates are clamouring to have the SAFE Banking Act passed.

For example:

 

“On Monday, the Independent Community Bankers of America and 43 state banking associations sent a letter urging lawmakers on Capitol Hill to vote on the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act ‘as soon as possible.’”

 

The group is massive, representing 52,000 banking locations across the country who want to provide services to the cannabis industry.

In its letter, the organization also points out the dangers of dispensaries’ “cash only” situation:

 

“‘Legal and regulatory uncertainty has curtailed access to the traditional banking system for CRBs and forced them to operate mostly in cash. Cash-only businesses, especially those with a high volume of revenue, pose a significant risk to public safety.’”

 

It is not uncommon for dispensaries to possess tends of thousands of dollars in safes. This makes them prime targets for robbers who can not only make off with money, but also product to sell on the black market.

But the Community Bankers of America is not the only group voicing their support. According to Forbes:

 

“The community banking organizations join 50 state banking associations, the National Association of State Treasurers, the top financial regulators in 25 states, a majority of state [attorney generals] and the governors of 20 states in urging Congress to pass the SAFE Banking Act.”

 

Skipping Ahead

 

In spite of the SAFE Banking Act’s massive support, there are concerns among certain groups that this measure is getting ahead of itself. They question the fact that a decision about the cannabis industry is being made while the drug itself is still illegal.

Forbes explains:

 

“While many marijuana reform advocates see passing the banking bill as the first step in what they hope will be a series of legislative victories leading to the eventual end of federal cannabis prohibition, some have expressed concerns about advancing what is seen as an industry-focused proposal prior to voting to deschedule marijuana.”

 

Legislation is in the works to deschedule marijuana, but it appears to have taken a backseat to other issues like gun control.

A bipartisan bill that would exempt “marijuana activities” from the Controlled Substances Act without descheduling also exists, but has not been scheduled for a vote.

Some groups would rather wait for these measures to take effect before opening up the marijuana industry to banks.

 

WeedAdvisor Looks Forward to Legislative Changes

 

As a global provider of business solutions for government, licensed producers and dispensaries, WeedAdvisor wants to partner with cannabis businesses throughout the U.S.

Unfortunately, we understand that the current clash between federal and state laws puts dispensaries in a difficult position. But if the SAFE Banking Act passes, it will open up a world of opportunities for us and our prospective clients.

That being said, we hope to one day offer our list of business services to facilitate functions like POS, compliance, inventory tracking, reward programs and more.

 

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B.C. cannabis producer Evergreen Medical Supply recently had its licensed suspended by Health Canada. This is another addition to the list of licensed producers found to be non-compliant by Health Canada.

Evergreen was caught off-guard during a surprise inspection, which led to a label of non-compliance in August. This was a little under one month after medical and recreational producer CannTrust was also caught with a mounting number of violations – although their license has so far not been suspended.

In Evergreen’s case, however, Health Canada was rather swift to hand out its suspension, which was only recently posted on their website.

Based on the government’s findings as outlined by Marijuana Business Daily, Evergreen has a lot to fix.

 

“Critical Observations”

 

It is common practice for Health Canada to carry out inspections without prior notice. In this case, the inspection occurred on April 29th. After speaking with Health Canada, Marijuana Business Daily explains:

 

“The inspection resulted in ‘critical observations’ and an overall rating of noncompliance for infractions related to good production practices, record keeping, inventory control and adherence to license controls… “

 

This is quite a proverbial rap sheet, to say the least. Clearly, these violations affected some very critical areas that amount to much more than a few small oversights.

 

Protecting Public Health

 

Health Canada’s findings led to major concerns about the legitimacy of the product and its overall safety for consumption.

In an e-mail, Health Canada told Marijuana Business Daily:

 

“Health Canada suspended Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc.’s licenses to protect public health and safety, including preventing cannabis from being diverted to the illegal market, as a result of noncompliance with certain provisions of the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations.”

 

Surprisingly, this is not Evergreen’s “first run-in” with Health Canada – or its second. In October and December of 2017, it was the subject of “major observations,” but was ultimately deemed compliant in both cases.

Health Canada’s role is more important than ever, as the number of licensed producers has quadrupled from 50 to over 200 in the span of only two years.

 

 

Not a Good Image for Legal Cannabis

 

While the number of compliant licensed growers and producers exceed non-compliant ones by leaps and bounds, this steady stream of citations is rather discouraging.

We simply cannot give these producers the benefit of the doubt. The sheer number of blatant, often easily fixable violations shows neglect at best and intent at worst.

Patterns like these are indicative of a deeper problem. Based on this trend it is safe to say that the companies targeted by Health Canada only represent violators who were caught. There is frankly no telling how many continue to cut corners.

Health Canada will continue to make examples of these companies, who only harm the market with their dishonesty. They said in a statement:

 

“This enforcement action reinforces the importance of Health Canada’s inspections of cannabis licence holders to identify non-compliance and to protect the integrity of Canada’s legal cannabis production system.”

 

WeedAdvisor’s Business Solutions Address Key Areas

 

Evergreen’s violations might have been avoidable with some tools and expertise to make operation easier.

Interestingly, WeedAdvisor’s diverse list of business solutions address all of the areas where Evergreen fell short. Tracking inventory, monitoring compliance, quality control, real-time data collection, reporting and more are all areas that our solutions address, handling them with accuracy and efficiency.

Going forward, the implementation of a system to improve these key areas will save millions in potential fines, missed productions and the loss of public trust.

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On September 9th, we covered the continuing story of Audrey Elizabeth Lorber, a medical cannabis patient who was arrested in Russia after trying to bring her medicine into the country.

As we stated earlier, this was a reminder that marijuana laws in the U.S. or Canada do not apply across international borders – a lesson Lorber learned the hard way.

After being caught at the airport, Lorber was detained and charged with “attempting to import” 19 grams of marijuana. Despite showing evidence of her prescription, authorities advised that this held no weight in Russia, where marijuana is completely illegal.

Now, after over a month in a detention centre, CBS News reports that Lorber is finally free after receiving what could arguably be called a slap on the wrist.

 

A Fine and Time Served

 

All things considered, Lorber was rather lucky. Given the rocky relations between Russia and the U.S., leniency is something we would not expect. Fortunately, the court was relatively light with its sentence.

CBS News explains:

 

“Lorber, 19, was fined 15,000 rubles ($235), according to a statement released by the press service of St. Petersburg’s courts, but was credited for time served, released and exempted from paying the fine.”

 

The proceedings, however, were not as favourable. Lorber’s defence team asked the judge not to jail her for the duration of the case, but their request was denied. She then spent a month in a pre-trial detention centre.

However, this may have been a blessing in disguise, since the crediting of time served implies that she could have faced prison time had she not been jailed in the first place.

Ultimately, the 19-year-old pled guilty to importing marijuana.

 

“The People’s Article”

 

Laws surrounding drug violations like possession, selling, distributing and transporting drugs all fall under Article 228 of the Criminal Code.

Also referred to as “The People’s Article,” this section has drawn a great deal of criticism, according to CBS News.

Although the law’s intent is to outline Russia’s drug laws, law enforcement often uses it in a rather heavy-handed manner, often as a form of censorship and persecution.

In 2018, approximately 88,000 people were convicted under Article 228, with 41% serving time in prison.

One famous case involved Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov, who allegedly had drugs planted on him by police. However, massive public backlash ultimately caused authorities to drop the charges just days later, lending to the suspicion that Golunov had in fact been framed using “The People’s Article.”

 

Why WeedAdvisor Supports Cannabis Reform

 

WeedAdvisor has always stood by individuals and groups calling for changes in marijuana legislation. But of all the ways prohibition has harmed the public, Russia’s is arguably the most sinister we have seen so far.

It is one thing to prosecute marijuana users under the misguided view of enforcing public safety. But to knowingly use cannabis prohibition as a weapon is both deviously creative and absolutely appalling.

But with talks of medical and recreational legalization continuing to sweep across Europe, we hope that the Russian Federation will eventually see the merits of lifting prohibition. However, if they rely on it to silence opposition, cannabis reform is unlikely to come easily.

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Medical marijuana was legal in Paraguay since 2007, but the few patients who qualified faced a slew of roadblocks making accessibility quite difficult.

Now, Marijuana Business Daily reports that the country’s eligible patients will have a much easier time obtaining their medicine, along with some great national economic benefits.

In 2018, the government established a new law allowing licensed producers to grow and sell medical cannabis in Paraguay, but license applications will not be accepted until this October.

Once established, however, Paraguay intends to broaden its accessibility and give producers a chance to sell both domestically and internationally.

 

The New System

 

Paraguayan health authorities released some details about the new framework during a press conference.

First, the licensing process will be led by Paraguay’s health authority, the National Health Surveillance, with several other governing bodies participating in the review process. Furthermore, officials will only entertain applications submitted in October and decisions will be announced in December.

Second, any companies who receive a license must “make use of it” within 24 months.

Third, applicants need to have a clear plan in place before applying. This includes a full breakdown of security measures, transportation procedures, cultivation and manufacturing.

Fourth, two percent of all production must go to the government.

Last – and perhaps most notably – the government will provide these products for free to patients who are eligible. However, their eligibility must be supported by scientific evidence.

 

Eligibility

 

We all know that many conditions are believed to benefit from medical marijuana, be it THC, CBD or both. However, a lot of these are still being researched and often have no evidence other than personal testimony.

Paraguay is aware of this and is therefore not keen to give out marijuana on the taxpayers’ dime without knowing it is being well-spent. Therefore, recipients will only gain access if they have conditions for which there is “…scientific evidence that medical cannabis could help.”

Health Minister Julio Mazzoleni emphasized that the list of eligible conditions is “in constant evolution,” so previously ineligible ailments might become open down the road. He says the ministry will monitor scientific research as it progresses.

But Marijuana Business Daily further explains:

 

“[Mazzoleni] said only patients with conditions for which there’s ‘scientific evidence’ – not ‘anecdotal evidence’ – will benefit. Details about the necessary level of evidence remained fuzzy.”

 

This vagueness could cause problems for patients until specific parameters for solid evidence are identified.

 

Exports

 

One major decision will allow producers to export their products after undergoing an export application and licensing process.

Naturally, this presents a huge opportunity for the country’s cannabis industry and its overall economy.

 

Improvements Over Current System

 

To say that this new system is better would arguably be a massive understatement.

Up until now, medical users had to get their medicine by permission on a “case-by-case basis” for “compassionate use.” However, these products had to be imported, making the prices too high for many people to access.

Home cultivation was also banned until now, making access even more inconvenient for those who could have grown their own.

With the government’s two percent cut to be distributed among eligible patients, affordability will not be a concern anymore.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Involvement in the South American Market

 

As providers of critical business solutions for the cannabis industry, we welcome the news of Paraguay’s massive medical marijuana overhaul.

As licensed producers and governments prepare to navigate the complex regulatory and logistical path ahead, WeedAdvisor offers a variety of tools to aid both governments and licensed producers in areas like inventory, compliance, monitoring, reporting, documentation, research and more.

 

 

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Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, technically placing it in the same category as any other prescription medication. It then be logical to assume that children with prescriptions would be allowed to consume medical cannabis in school.

But according to NBC4, this is not the case in most states. It is clear that, despite the fact that medical marijuana is gaining more acceptance, school policies reflect its stigma.

Unfortunately, this mentality causes innocent patients to suffer and seriously affects their quality of life while at school.

However, a recent situation in D.C. will hopefully prompt other states to follow suit.

 

Legal for Minors, but Banned in Schools

 

NBC4 explains that medical marijuana is legal for minors in certain cases. However, schools tend to shy away from allowing it on the premise:

 

“The debate surrounding medical marijuana in schools is playing out across the country. While more than 30 states have legalized medical marijuana, most don’t allow it in schools. D.C. law makes it legal for minors to qualify for medical marijuana treatment, but the law is silent when it comes to being used in schools.”

 

In this case, the question of allowing medical cannabis in schools is not so much a matter of legality, but school policy.

 

Marijuana is Usually a Last Resort

 

One thing schools need to understand is that, when it comes to some conditions, cannabis is the only treatment that works. This is the case with an 11-year-old epilepsy patient, whose plight was the catalyst for D.C.’s change in policy.

Zoey Carty has a sever case of frontal lobe epilepsy, leading to several seizures per day. Prescription medications were mostly ineffective and the side effects only made life difficult. Cannabis, however, proved much better.

But when the school’s policy stood in the way, according to NBC4:

 

“They [the family] said the only form of treatment for her severe seizures has been medical marijuana and CBD oil, which she takes through a small inhaler. But D.C. public law banned Zoey from taking her medicine at school.”

 

For an epilepsy patient, consistent access to medication is critical, as a single missed dose could be dangerous (depending on the individual).

 

A Change in Policy

 

In an effort to reform current policy, Zoey’s mother contacted several politicians and was surprisingly quite successful.

The child’s mother contacted local council members, the mayor and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. She then penned a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. Norton argued:

 

“A policy, compliant with federal law, that would allow the student to use her medical marijuana inhaler in school would prove beneficial to this student,” the letter reads. “Medical marijuana, of course, is already legal in the District, and it would seem logical to allow consumption of this medicine, especially when needed immediately, where the student frequently is — at school.”

 

On September 10th, D.C. Public Schools stated that they would administer medical marijuana to students with a prescription.

Carty’s institution, Friendship Public Charter School, released a statements saying that they would administer any medication upon a parent’s request, provided that they had appropriate medical documentation.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Support for Medical Access

 

As educators, we make it one of our biggest goals to fight the stigma that created the obstacles faced by Carty and many other patients who need medical cannabis. It is simply illogical for a drug to be legal, yet banned at the same time.

WeedAdvisor’s continuous work with governments at all levels aims to help shape new policies while providing systems and solutions to make this regulatory and legal maze easier to navigate.