Peoria Journal Star – Don’t look for medical marijuana to be a quick hit in Illinois. But over time, the state’s newest enterprise is expected to create quite a buzz. That’s the opinion of Hilary Bricken, an attorney with the Seattle-based Canna Law Group that specializes in the legalities surrounding the growing marijuana industry. In August, Illinois became the 20th state in the country to join “the cannabis union” and the second most populous state (behind California) to allow medical marijuana. The bill, signed into law in August, will license 60 registered dispensaries and 22 “cultivation centers” around the state. The law goes into effect in January 2014 but don’t look for legal pot shops to spring up any time soon, said Bricken. “You’ve got three state departments that won’t take up drafting specific regulations until January,” she said, referring to the Illinois departments of agriculture, public health and financial and professional regulation. It’s going to take a year before any of these businesses can start operating, maybe 15 to 18 months,” said Bricken, referring to the growing and selling of medical marijuana.
The Star-Ledger – It’s going to take a year before any of these businesses can start operating, maybe 15 to 18 months,” said Bricken, referring to the growing and selling of medical marijuana. The development is sure to be watched closely in New Jersey, where a number of families whose children have Dravet syndrome, a potentially deadly form of epilepsy, say they cannot obtain yet a useful form of medicinal marijuana through the state Department of Health.
WKBW – New York State looks into a green initiative that patients and doctors say could help countless victims of people living with severe sicknesses. The state is considering legalizing the use of medical marijuana. The New York Assembly Health Committee will meet today at Buffalo City Hall. This new bill would set up an initiative, allowing a tightly regulated and controlled medical system. It would also allow seriously ill patients a small dosage of marijuana as long as their healthcare provider gives both approval and supervision.
Christian Science Monitor – A worker in Colorado who undergoes a random drug test is found to test positive for marijuana use, but in less than a month pot-smoking will be legal there. Can a company with a zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use still fire that worker, or should it instead adjust its policy on employee drug use? That’s just one of many questions that employers in both Colorado and the state of Washington are wrestling with as they adjust to new marijuana laws, which as of Jan. 1 will permit individuals to buy and possess up to an ounce of pot.
NPR – Supporters of state-licensed pot share the concern that customers will turn to medical growers rather than state-licensed stores. There’s talk of legislation next year to level the playing field — to make the medical industry pay the same taxes and follow the same tight quality-control rules that apply to the new state-licensed businesses.
Denver Post – Nearly 100 Colorado medical-marijuana businesses are operating without a finalized state license, the remnants of a bureaucratic backlog now stretching back more than three years. In the language of the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, these businesses are “operational pending.” What that means is the businesses are allowed to remain open — growing and selling marijuana — while the state conducts its investigation and decides whether to approve or deny the applications the businesses submitted in 2010.
Associated Press – Legalizing medical marijuana will again be debated in the upcoming legislative session, though Iowa lawmakers have so far been loath to embrace a policy that is spreading in much of the country. Democratic Sen. Joe Bolkcom, of Iowa City, said he will pursue legislation seeking to legalize medical marijuana in 2014.
Palm Beach Post – In a legal battle whose social and political shadings have drawn an all-star cast of combatants, the Florida Supreme Court this week will consider a measure asking voters to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for a range of illnesses.
WYPR – Maryland’s medical marijuana law has been in effect for barely two months, and already there are people who say it needs to be reworked. They plan to ask the General Assembly to loosen some restrictions when it convenes in January so more people who need marijuana can get it faster.
Star-Ledger – The latest bill to expand the medical marijuana program is only days old, but Gov. Chris Christie said he already knows he won’t sign it. The bill would allow registered medical marijuana patients in New Jersey to buy the drug in another state where it’s legal and bring it home. Six of the 19 states and Washington D.C. that have medical marijuana programs have such reciprocity agreements by which they recognize patients outside of their own state.