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Legal Marijuana in Focus: Montana

Montana legalized medical marijuana in 2004. However, for most of its history after that, the plant is by and large still an inaccessible substance.

Most of the state’s original pot legislation underwent a major overhaul in 2011 with the passage of Senate Bill 423, known as the Montana Marijuana Act. It didn’t actually illegalize pot again, but it made the registration process for qualified pot consumption more difficult. Residents must present a registry ID card issued by the state health service first before they can purchase the plant. Read the rest of this entry

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How to Use a Meadical Marijuana Dispensary

As of October 30, 2014, medical marijuana is legal in 23 states (plus the District of Columbia) under a variety of conditions. Most of them, however, allow the drug to be distributed or obtained from dispensaries only, and even that has certain requirements that must be met. Thus, people who need the drug to help treat their conditions are advised to refer to their state’s marijuana law(s) for specific information. Read the rest of this entry

Legal Marijuana in Focus: Hawaii

The proper climate for growing marijuana depends on the strain. The more common cannabis sativa grows in tropical climates, given that their seeds originate from tropical countries such as Mexico, Colombia, and Southeast Asia. Due to lack of chlorophyll, cannabis sativa plants must receive more light to pack a more potent punch than its sibling, cannabis indica.

Hawaii fits the bill compared with the other states and D.C. The island state has been growing pot way before the legalization, often at the mercy of airborne drug patrols and narcotic sniffers. Given the state’s produce-growing history, however, Hawaiian pot is widely considered as one of the best pots in the country. Read the rest of this entry

Legal Marijuana in Focus: Maine

States that allowed medical marijuana before 2009 faced a serious hurdle back then. While state laws permitted the sale of medical marijuana, federal laws may not; and even if you consumed weed within a state where the drug was legal, federal law trumps all under the supremacy clause. It’s like your big brother gets a bigger allowance because he’s older.

Maine is one of those states. When it legalized medical marijuana in 1999, the state immediately came in conflict with federal law, which still considered it an illicit substance. As a result, even with 61 percent of Maine approving legalized pot—one of the highest referendum results on legalizing pot—lawful distribution remained nearly inactive for ten years. Read the rest of this entry

Bankruptcies are Tricky for the Marijuana Industry

Even if marijuana is legal in a good number of states, it is still illegal federally. For this reason, apart from complying with state laws, owners of medical marijuana dispensaries must also learn to navigate federal laws so they can operate accordingly. Especially when filing for bankruptcy, conflict between state and federal laws can cause a lot of problems to those in the marijuana industry.

Filing for federal bankruptcy is a viable option…

When business owners go under, they have the option to file for bankruptcy in a federal court in order to liquidate or reorganize their business assets. Filing for bankruptcy gives borrowers the chance to keep some of their assets so they can continue to operate and even keep their creditors from suing.

but not for marijuana business owners

The problem with marijuana business owners filing for bankruptcy is that, as stated earlier, marijuana is illegal under federal law. In Colorado, a U.S. District Bankruptcy Court decision states that marijuana dispensaries cannot file for federal court bankruptcy as long as federal law deems marijuana illegal.

This predicament should be a wakeup call for marijuana business owners who assume that bankruptcy laws do not apply to them. If your marijuana business is experiencing financial difficulties, experts advise that you resolve your dispute in a state court to ensure that what you are doing is legal.

Finding a Location for Marijuana Dispensaries

The number of states that authorized marijuana for medical purposes is continuously increasing, with Maryland and Minnesota being recently added to the list. Business owners in these states who see potential in setting up a medical marijuana dispensary can start looking for locations now. Unfortunately, these dispensaries don’t work the same way as normal brick-and-mortar shops. There are several things to consider: Read the rest of this entry

Marijuana Dispensaries Meet Cannabis Storage Needs

Medical marijuana is best obtained from a recognized dispensary for one very good reason: the drug is rather sensitive to changes in temperature and moisture levels. Excess heat and humidity outdoors may cause the drug to lose some of its potency, thereby reducing its therapeutic effects. Consequently, it is recommended that medical marijuana be consumed as soon as possible.

In most cases, marijuana can tolerate temperatures ranging from about 65°F to 78°F; anything beyond this range may already cause the drug to spoil. Tissue damage is likely to occur at 40°F and can become permanent if the temperature dips to the mid to low thirties. In addition, the drug is best stored in a cool, dark place because excess light (especially sunlight) can damage the trichomes, the tiny resin glands found on the leaves and buds that contain active medical ingredients called cannabinoids.

Household storage options are considerably more limited as excessive handling and indoor activity can introduce moisture, dust, particulates, and the like to the drug. If there’s no other option but to store the drug at home, an airtight mason jar should be used. The jar should then be refrigerated, not frozen, to keep the contents cool and fresh for use.

Can Everyone Visit a Medical Marijuana Dispensary?

From a medical standpoint, marijuana or cannabis is a useful drug that can help treat a variety of diseases. However, this doesn’t mean anyone who is sick ought to visit a medical marijuana dispensary right away, as pregnant women and people with heart disease may experience adverse reactions from the drug. Most people, though, have nothing to worry about—provided they meet the requirements and follow the regulations pertaining to this drug in their locale. Read the rest of this entry

Legal Marijuana in Focus: Washington

Today’s state in focus for our special report on the is Washington State. What makes this state different from others who have allowed for the medicinal use of the drug, however, is that it is just one of two in the country—the other being Colorado— where pot use is also approved for recreational use.

Washington’s journey to join the ranks of pot-legal states began in 1998 with Ballot Initiative I-692. Much like California’s Proposition 215, the fate of pot legalization hinged on the vote of the people, which also resulted in a win for the proponents. More than 1.1 million people, almost 59 percent of the state, voted for pot legalization.

Under the initiative, a patient possessing proper documentation from his physician is eligible for the medical use of marijuana. The initiative also stated specific diseases eligible for medical marijuana, which were updated twice: first in 2008 and second in 2010. Chronic renal failure is the latest condition to be added.

In 2012, Washington became the first state to approve pot for recreational use with Initiative 502, which faced little opposition. According to New Approach Washington, a pro-marijuana legalization movement, the initiative would allow adults aged 21 and older to possess marijuana. It also allowed dispensaries to operate in the state.

As of 2012, there are an estimated 100,000 medical marijuana patients in Washington.

How Marijuana’s THC Works

If people won’t mind using a longer term for marijuana, it may as well be called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This ingredient is what is said to be responsible for triggering hypersensitivity to visual-audio sensations, making for a “trippy” experience.

Although it can be made synthetically, THC is usually produced in nature where cannabinolic acid undergoes a chemical change as a result of exposure to heat. As a result, the marijuana plant obtains its primary means of defense against disease and other members of the higher food chain. Read the rest of this entry