Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Senate Committee Stands up for Veterans Using Medical Cannabis


Washington D.C. --  On Monday July 24th 2017, the Senate Committee on Appropriations voted 24-7 to include an amendment introduced by Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in the FY2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill.  The amendment allows military veterans to participate in state medical cannabis programs without fear of losing their military benefits or services and enables Department of Veterans Affairs health care providers to recommend medical cannabis in compliance with state medical cannabis laws.
The amendment was passed in the Senate last year with a vote of 20-10, and passed in the House as well, but removed during a special committee meeting before the final appropriations bill was approved. Three Republican senators who previously voted “no” on the measure, Collins (R-ME), Moran (R-KS), and Hoeven (R-ND) changed their vote to “yes”, indicating a shift in attitudes towards medical cannabis. Today there are 46 states with medical cannabis laws.
“We are thrilled at today’s vote,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access. “This is a landslide victory for Veterans as well as all medical cannabis patients as it demonstrates the growing bipartisan support for this issue. It is time for Congress to pass permanent legislation, such as the CARERS Act that provides protections for all of the over 2 million medical cannabis patients in this country.”

“I am happy to know that a majority of this committee is supportive of protecting the rights of Veterans like me,” said Michael Krawitz of Veterans for Medical Cannabis. “Veterans suffer from a high rate of conditions that can be mitigated with medical cannabis such as PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and chronic pain. The Veteran community should be able to participate in state medical cannabis programs without fear of losing their VA benefits or services.”
When introducing the amendment, Senator Merkley stated , “We often talk about how our soldiers stand up for us, and we need to stand up for them.”

Join ASA

Membership matters! Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the nation’s leading medical cannabis patients’ advocacy organization. Our goal is to make medical cannabis legally available for everyone who needs it, and we need your help to make that happen!
ASA members are patients, caretakers, doctors, researchers, attorneys, providers and concerned community members who are helping to overcome barriers to safe and dignified access to medical cannabis nationwide. ASA provides a patient-focused perspective on medical cannabis legislation and regulations. We strive to change state and federal laws to meet the needs of patients.
Join over 100,000 medical cannabis patients, activists, providers, doctors, scientists and concerned citizens today!

First Released on July 24, 2017 |  by Anna Zuccaro from Americans For Safe Access Press Releases

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Privacy and Medical Cannabis Dispensaries



Is your medical cannabis dispensary covered by HIPAA? Cannabis News Journal conducted a phone interview with U.S. Department of Health & Human Services on Tuesday, July 25th 2017 to find out.

HIPAA, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data. Any company that deals with protected health information (PHI) must ensure that all the required physical, network, and process security measures are in place and followed. The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals' medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain healthcare transactions electronically. Since HIPAA was enacted, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued regulations describing in detail what a “covered entity” must do to protect PHI.

There are several important definitions to understand in order to determine whether your medical cannabis dispensary is subject to HIPAA. HIPAA regulations define a covered entity to include a “health care provider who transmits any health information in electronic form in connection with a covered transaction.”
A Covered Entity is considered one of the following according to the HHS:
A Healthcare Provider includes providers such as: Doctors, Clinics, Psychologists, Dentists, Chiropractors, Nursing Homes, and Pharmacies...but only if they transmit any information in an electronic form in connection with a transaction for which HHS has adopted a standard.
A Healthcare Plan includes: Health insurance companies, HMOs, Company health plans, Government programs that pay for health care, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the military and veterans health care programs.


A Health Care Clearinghouse includes entities, like cannabis staffing agencies in medical cannabis states, that process nonstandard health information they receive from another entity into a standard (i.e., standard electronic format or data content), or vice versa.

A “health care provider” is any person or organization that furnishes or is paid for “care, services, or supplies related to the health of an individual.” Therefore, since medical cannabis dispensaries provide medical cannabis for the treatment of debilitating health conditions, they are certainly “health care providers” as that term is defined according to HIPAA.

As health care providers, medical cannabis dispensaries are subject to HIPAA if they transmit any health information in electronic form in connection with a covered transaction. HIPAA regulations define “health information” as any information that “relates to the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual; the provision of health care to an individual; or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual.” Based on that definition, most all medical cannabis dispensaries have HIPAA health information. In fact, depending on the medical cannabis regulations in each state, dispensaries may be required to maintain health information data and provide that information to state regulators. And when most patients go into a medical cannabis dispensary, one of the first questions staff often ask is about the individual's health condition, what it is, or which provider they use.

Even if they meet the previous definitions, the HHS official pointed out that, medical cannabis dispensaries are typically not subject to HIPAA unless they electronically transmit health information in connection with “covered transactions” specified in the HIPAA regulations.

Under those regulations, “covered transactions” include: requests to obtain payment from a health insurance plan and the exchange of information in connection with such a request; inquiries to a health insurance plan to determine whether an individual is eligible for coverage under that plan and to determine benefits associated with that plan, as well as the health plan’s response to such inquiries; requests to obtain authorization to refer a person to another health care provider; the electronic transmission of payment for health care services from a health insurance plan to a health care provider or the provider’s financial institution, as well as the transmission of  information concerning that payment.


The HIPAA transactions and code set standards are rules to standardize the electronic exchange of patient-identifiable, health-related information. They are based on electronic data interchange (EDI) standards, which allow the electronic exchange of information from computer to computer without human involvement.

At this time, most insurers do not cover medical cannabis, so dispensaries are not likely to be electronically transmitting health information in connection with transactions that would subject them to HIPAA. However, if a dispensary does send or receive information electronically in connection to receiving payment from a health insurer, or to determine the eligibility of a patient for health insurance, seed to sale software use like BioTrack THC, the use of the Baker text service & platform for dispensaries or with a State Department of Health, it is likely to be covered by HIPAA.

Dispensaries covered by HIPAA may not disclose Personal Health Information unless that disclosure is either authorized by the patient or authorized by HIPAA regulations. The regulations authorize limited use of such information in connection with providing treatment and obtaining payment for services. In addition, HIPAA Security Standards require businesses covered by HIPAA to develop and implement stringent safeguards for PHI.

HIPAA’s privacy requirements are enforced by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, which has the power to impose penalties for violations of HIPAA’s privacy protections. Those penalties can range from $100 to $50,000 per violation.

Even if you’re a medical cannabis dispensary owner and your dispensary is not currently covered by HIPAA, you may want to consider bringing it into compliance for several reasons. First, as the industry matures and insurers begin covering medical cannabis, you’ll have to engage in HIPAA-covered transactions with your patients’ insurers, so it makes sense to prepare for that now. Second, your patients care about the privacy of their records and expect your dispensary to maintain the privacy of those records. Finally, the medical cannabis industry benefits when businesses demonstrate that they “play by the rules,” and complying with HIPAA is one way to do that.

“Play by the rules” concept has been a challenge for way too new businesses providing services in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program and all theses businesses are doing is side skirting rules for profits all the while - making the entire program look bad by disrespecting the spirit of the Lynn & Erin Compassionate Use Act, 2007.



Friday, July 21, 2017

International Laboratory Certification Program Offers Free Services for Laboratories To Help Address Opioid Epidemic


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Free medical cannabis laboratory assessments offered in an effort to help decrease opioid use and associated fatalities.
Washington, DC from Americans For Safe Access– Across the nation, opioid-related deaths and fatalities are decreasing in states that have medical cannabis programs, but the benefits are limited due to a lack of accurately labeled and tested cannabis products. Patient Focused Certification (PFC), a project of Americans for Safe Access, announced today that it will begin offering free assessments and certification services for cannabis testing laboratories to help increase the number of safe and standardized medical products, in an effort to help combat the opioid epidemic.
“Laboratories play a vital role in the standardization and quality assurance of medical cannabis products,” said Jeffrey Raber, Ph.D. President of the Association of Commercial Cannabis Labs. “And providing cannabis as a medicine can positively impact the opioid epidemic because you can offer an alternative for patients to manage pain in a physiologically safer manner.”
In the last few years, the need for accurate labeling and product testing has increased due to more patients opting for medical cannabis instead of opioids. Despite the need for more formal labelling and testing processes, cannabis testing laboratories often lack the financial resources needed to access third party assessment and certification services, which are necessary to ensure accurate testing results.
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Over the past 15 years, the rate of opioid use in the United States has soared by over 500%. During this time, the opioid related overdose death rate nearly quadrupled. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the unprecedented increase in opioid consumption has led to the “worst drug overdose epidemic in [US] history.” Research has demonstrated a reduction in opiate use in states with medical cannabis programs. However, there is a barrier preventing patients from utilizing this treatment option for reducing the need for prescription opioids. The barrier is properly tested cannabis and accurate labeling of products; the responsibility of both private and government public health labs.
“Patients have a right to have access to medicine of known purity and quality,” said Jahan Marcu, Ph.D., Director of Patient Focused Certification. “By increasing the number of certified labs, we can increase the availability of accurately tested and labeled medical cannabis, ensuring that this medicine is available to patients as a option instead of opioids.”
“If the relationship between medical cannabis laws and opioid overdose mortality is to be leveraged, the enactment of PFC’s free assessment and certification program for medical cannabis laboratories will help the move towards the full realization of the benefits of medical cannabis on public health,” concluded Marcu.
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To achieve PFC certification laboratories must pass two assessments each cycle. Assessment involve a facility inspection and document audits for criteria such as method validation reports, employee training records, and other requirements that are applicable by law. PFC is an international training, education, and certification program that has formed partnerships with accreditation bodies, universities, and standards groups such as the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and the American Herbal Products Association, respectively.
Cannabis laboratories can apply here to receive a FREE assessment.
For further information: Patient Focused Certification
July 13, 2017 | By Anna Zuccaro

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Until there’s safe access, we are Americans for Safe Access.

Medical Cannabis Producer Plant Cap and CBD Strains


Research on the benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in isolation is well established. Given the fact that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two most prominent chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, the vast majority of research to date has focused on the ratio of these two cannabinoids. THC demonstrates analgesic, anti-emetic, and anti-inflammatory properties, whereas CBD possesses anti-psychotic, anti-seizure, and anti-anxiety properties. The most recent research into THC:CBD ratios comes from GW Pharmaceuticals‘ Sativex, which has a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD. In the clinical trials phase of drug development, researchers examined the effects of THC, CBD, and combination extracts on sleep, pain control, and muscle spasms. They found that 1:1 THC-CBD extracts provided the most therapeutic relief across all categories.
Revisions to the current licensing requirements for the plant count for patients and producers, in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program, that would remove the non-psychoactive cannabis CBD or hemp CBD strains, thus not counting them against patient, caregiver or producer allowable plant count. Cannabidiol, CBD, is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people have the euphoric feeling like a potent THC strain and can actually counteract that psycho-activity aspect of THC. The fact that CBD-rich cannabis is non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains makes it a great option for patients looking for relief without disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria.

Medical Properties of CBD
Effects
Antiemetic
Reduces nausea and vomiting
Anticonvulsant
Suppresses seizure activity
Antipsychotic
Combats psychosis disorders
Anti-inflammatory
Combats inflammatory disorders
Anti-oxidant
Combats neurodegenerative disorders
Anti-tumoral/Anti-cancer
Combats tumor and cancer cells
Anxiolytic/Anti-depressant
Combats anxiety and depression disorders

The current plant count set at 450 plants allowed by each medical cannabis producers clearly cannot meet the demands of over 45,000 patients in the program. Complicating the matter further is, not all the medical cannabis producers in the program are growing the allotted 450 plants. If all LNPP’s were growing the 450 plants then there would be 15,750 plants available. New Mexico’s medical cannabis program saw a 75% increase in participants over the last year. The 2016/17 licensure list for the medical cannabis program shows a total of 13,800 medical cannabis plants licensed by the 35 producers for All registered program participants in the program. Currently the Department of Health and LNPP’s are in process of doing the 2017/2018 licensure list. A revision to allow for 450 THC plants and 450 CBD Strains with a 1:1 - CBD:THC ratio (allowing CBD ratio to go above one but keeping THC at 1 or less in the ratio of potency)
13,800 medical cannabis plants divided by 45,000 registered program participants
Equals 0.31 medical cannabis plants per patient

Removing CBD strains from cannabis plants counts in New Mexico and other state programs for patients, caregivers and medical cannabis producers allowable plant count just makes sense. A patent was already awarded to part of the federal government, the U.S. Health and Human Services in 2003 (US6630507) that covers the use of CBD as a treatment for various neurodegenerative and inflammatory disorders.
Since cannabis contains medicinal compounds recognized and endorsed by an agency of the U.S. government- Why is it that cannabis remains on the Federal Schedule One list of drugs?

Removing CBD plant strains from the state’s program plant counts would allow for patients with a personal production license to empower themselves and their own grows with more CBD cannabis plants. The addition of patient run Cooperatives/Collectives could also be established and be able to support more medicine for the patient. For the producer growing medical cannabis, this would allow for 450 THC cannabis plants while still being able to provide enough CBD cannabis plants - removing that decision of growing what may sell more compared to what meets the medical needs of ALL the patients.

The fact that CBD-rich cannabis is non-psychoactive or has less psychoactive strains than THC-dominant strains makes it a great option for patients looking for relief without disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria.

Medical Cannabis CBD & Hemp CBD strains at ratio of;  1.1 THC (or lower) : 1 CBD (or higher) not counted against total allowed medical cannabis plants for the Patient PPL and the LNPP allowable plant count. And the establishment of an monthly allotment for Clones and Cuttings provided to qualified patient / caregiver with a PPL by a LNPP’s that is not counted against LNPP allowable plant count would provide great relief while the adequate supply matter is resolved. To do otherwise could leave a lot of sick people without viable medical solutions.

It’s really important for all people within the cannabis community to know they are the power; the government, legislators & policy makers are lead to us and We have the power to change the laws and government - people in it, policy being written, and overturning rules & regulations that disrupt safe access to our medicine. Not one state’s medical cannabis law is perfect, they are working pieces of democracy and this is where WE can establish patient lead policy in New Mexico and other states. We have the science, the research, the knowledge - the information the policy makers need to have and we need to get it in front of legislators and state regulators of the medical cannabis program.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Allowing Beneficial Use of Medical Cannabis


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The New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board voted Friday, April 7th 2017, to recommend that the state Department of Health add six conditions to the list of health conditions that qualify patients to enroll in the medical cannabis program. Two additional recommendations the board approved April 7th 2017, would be to allow Patients to possess up to 16 ounces of medical cannabis at any given time — up from 8 ounces — and the definition of an “adequate supply” of medical cannabis, which governs how much of the medicine a patient can possess over a 90-day period, also would increase to 16 ounces from 8 ounces. The board also voted to recommend that a patient who is granted a medical exception to the supply limit be allowed to have up to 24 ounces of medical cannabis in a 90-day period.

Patients who grow their own medical cannabis outdoors have complained that it’s difficult with a single annual harvest to strike a balance between possession limits while also producing enough medicine to meet their needs for a whole year. Patients who use large amounts of cannabis to treat their symptoms have said they are forced to choose between adequately medicating themselves and obeying the state law.

The second key recommendation, the board also voted to remove a cap on the THC content that cannabis products can contain. The cap is now set at 70 percent potency of THC. Eliminating the cap would clear the way for patients to use highly concentrated substances, such as extracts known as Rosin, BHO wax and shatter, and Rick Simpson’s oil- a product used by patients with cancer.

During the 2017 Regular Legislative Session, state lawmakers made efforts to legislate a number of changes to the state’s Medical Cannabis Program, Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed one of the bills,  House Bill-527, later that same Friday (April 7th), saying she did so in part because she didn’t want to “eliminate an important responsibility” of the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher, who has the final word on changes to the state Medical Cannabis Program, hasn’t decided whether to accept new conditions and petitions the board recommended.


The Governor’s Office has highlighted the importance of such priorities like; Ensuring Transparency and Ethics in Government, and Keeping all New Mexicans Safe. In the Roundhouse, one of the state legislators’ primary functions is to represent the people who elect them, but it is by no means their only function. They help to solve the numerous problems of their constituents, they serve on interim committees and they continually study new ideas for legislation. The Department of Health’s mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico. And the purpose of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act is to allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.

Looks like there should be absolutely no reason for all of the recommendations made by the doctors on medical cannabis advisory board to be approved.

Is the Medical Cannabis Program out of Compliance with the law, LECUA, 2007?
Yes.

For those rules and regulations that have been established limiting patients and primary caregivers to having 230 Units (grams) of any amount of medical cannabis for a three month period and the “Maximum THC content of concentrates” limited at 70% THC,this current format being used by the Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program in devising adequate supply does not allow for the beneficial use of medical cannabis. This in fact prevents patients from fully being able to alleviate symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments and that creates a liable situation for the state being out of compliance with the LECUA, 2007.

For example, a cancer patient or a patient with chronic pain in the medical cannabis program, for them to be able to receive beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments under the current law; both patients would need to be allowed to use THC concentrates with potency content of 80-95% THC and a minimum quantity of usable medical cannabis of 425.243 grams per 3 months (or 2.5 ounces every two weeks) to be able to producer this medicine. And this same problem is a issues for all qualifying conditions into the medical cannabis program. Types of medicine made from the medical cannabis plants for treating cancer and other debilitating health conditions are a concentrated medical cannabis oils. A three month supply of this concentrated medical cannabis oil requires 450-500 grams (or Units) of dried cannabis flower plant material.  (The oil is also known as, hemp oil, Phoenix Tears, and Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), whole-plant cannabis oil can be orally administered or applied directly to the skin. Sublingual delivery is the preferred method of treatment for many cancer patients.)  


When a cancer patient goes through chemo treatments, do they limit the dosage to only being 70% effective and further limit the dosage amount the patient can have?

"Best RSO is 95-98% THC and extremely potent and sedative (with 70% cure rate).” -Rick Simpson

Representatives Deborah A. Armstrong and Bill McCamley sponsored a Medical Cannabis Research bill, HB 155 in the 2017 Regular Legislative session.  A research assessment of physical and pharmacokinetic relationships in cannabis production and consumption in New Mexico hasn't ever been done in relation to Equivalency in Portion and Dosage for the medical cannabis program. HB-155 passed this year in the House of Representatives (Y:41 N:26), only to be left in the Senate Judiciary Committee with no action taken on it when the lawmakers had the time to do so.

Representative Armstrong had also tried getting a medical cannabis research bill passed in 2015. The legislation in 2015 even had six additional legislative sponsors, passed two committees and then was intentionally left to die. This is empirical data that has not been collected within the state’s medical cannabis program by the Department of Health. Therefore “adequate supply” can not be properly defined by the department by using unknown variables it has not collected. This further prevents the Department of Health from being able to set a proper plant count for each kind of licensed producer in the program for the means of achieving adequate supply within the medical cannabis program as required by law.

Yet we often hear lawmakers in New Mexico say how they need to learn more about cannabis or that there isn’t enough research for this or that; all the while the Roundhouse has now stopped medical cannabis research twice since 2015.  

Facts About The Medical Conditions That Qualify For The Medical Cannabis Program.
Patients in New Mexico diagnosed with one or more of the following medical conditions qualify into the program and are allowed legal protection under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) : Can't be cured, but treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
Cancer : Chronic disease, can be treated, & average treatment plan length 5 years or more.
Crohn’s Disease : Can't be cured, but treatment does help. Chronic: Lasting several years or lifelong.
Epilepsy : Is a chronic neurological disorder. Can't be cured, but treatment does help.
Glaucoma : Chronic, can't be cured, but treatment does help.  ( Can braille cards be printed ? )
Hepatitis C : Chronic, but treatment does help.
HIV/AIDS : Can't be cured, but treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
Huntington’s Disease : Can't be cured, but treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
Hospice Care :Palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient's pain and symptoms.
Inclusion Body Myositis : Can't be cured, but treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
Inflammatory Autoimmune-mediated Arthritis Can't be cured, treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
Multiple Sclerosis Can't be cured, but treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord :No cure, treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
Painful peripheral neuropathy :Can't be cured, but treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
Parkinson’s disease :Can't be cured, but treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) :Can't be cured, but treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
Severe Chronic Pain :Can't be cured, but treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
Severe Anorexia/Cachexia :Often a sign of disease, such as cancer, AIDS, heart failure, or advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Chronic but treatment does help.
Spasmodic Torticollis (Cervical Dystonia) :Can't be cured, but treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
Ulcerative Colitis: Can't be cured, but treatment does help. Chronic: lifelong.
All of these types of debilitating medical conditions have some common medical facts; treatment plan for 5 years if not lifelong, most all have no cure, all of them are chronic health conditions, and sadly some take a person’s life. They all also require a medical treatment plan with several visits to more than one medical practitioner throughout the course of a year.
Medical Cannabis Programs In Other States Allow Registered Participants To Possess: Colorado 2 ounces, Arizona 2.5 ounces, Oregon 24 ounces, Washington 3 ounces, Vermont 2 ounces, Illinios 2.5 ounces, Maine 2.5 ounces, Nevada 2.5 ounces, and the same trend continues in the other medical cannabis programs. Nor do these programs limit the potency of medical cannabis concentrates.
The approval of ALL the recommendations made by the doctors on the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, would bring the Department of Health in compliance with the intent of the LECUA law and uphold the spirit of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, 2007.  We already saw these same recommendations supported by lawmakers in the state’s legislature.  New Mexico’s medical cannabis history started in 1978.  After public hearings the legislature enacted H.B. 329, the nation’s first law recognizing the medical value of cannabis...the first law.
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Appendix A:
All Petitions Can Be Viewed Online At:

These Petitions Reviewed By The MCAB, Isn’t A Medical Cannabis Case…
It’s A HealTHCare Case.
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                       Petition Action Vote (Y/N)
2017‐012 Add autism as a condition Recommended to add to MCP 3-0
2017‐013 Add anxiety as a condition Recommended to add to MCP 3-1
2017‐014 Add depression Recommended to add to MCP 4-0
2017‐015 Add Concussions, CTE and TBI as conditions Tabled
2017‐016 Add diabetes 0-4
2017‐017 Add Dystonia Recommended to add to MCP 4-0
2017‐018 Add Migraines Recommended to add to MCP 4-0
2017‐019 Add Rheumatoid Arthritis Recommended to expand terms 4-0
(Petition 2017-019 (Title Was TO BE) : Requesting The Inclusion Of A New Medical Condition: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) To Include:
There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis and related diseases. The most common types include osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), fibromyalgia and gout.   *Printing Error at copy place used wrong cover page…)

2017‐020 Sleep Disorders Recommended to add to MCP 4-0
2017‐021 Substance Abuse Disorder Tabled
2017‐022 Patient Run Collectives Recommended to add to MCP 4-0
2017-005 Change/increase possession limit to 16 oz Recommended to add to MCP 4-0
2017-009 Removal of Max THC Content Recommended Removal of Cap   4-0

Per legal counsel’s input petitions numbered 1,2,3,4, and 11 would require statutory changes or are not covered under the duties of the MCAB and will not be discussed.
2017-001 Add Veteran Status as a Qualifying Condition
2017-002 Allow any chronic condition to be a qualifying condition
2017-003 Change LECUA to give MCAB more authority (increase membership)
2017-004 Change LECUA to make renewals every three years
2017-011 Add definition of Medical Treatment definition to LECUA and add Adequate
Supply
Petitions 6, 8,10 and 23 concern the licensed producers and would require statutory changes and are not covered under the duties of the MCAB and will not be discussed.
2017-006 Allow PPL holders to use manufacturers for conversion of product.
2017-008 Remove CBD plants from producer plant count (This is a regulatory change).
2017-010 Increase plants for licensed producers (This is a regulatory change).
2017-023 Develop MCP education and research components

References

The solution provided above was organically derived from the following sources:
Americans For Safe Access [http://www.safeaccessnow.org/policy_shop], Colorado Medical Marijuana Program [https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/medicalmarijuana], Colorado Department of Revenue- An assessment of physical and pharmacokinetic relationships in marijuana production and consumption in Colorado [https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/MED%20Equivalency_Final%2008102015.pdf],  Cannabis Yields and Dosing by Chris Conrad (court qualified cannabis expert) [http://chrisconrad.com/], and the Hawaii Medical Cannabis Program-Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force Study 2015 [http://files.hawaii.gov/auditor/Reports/2014/14-12.pdf].

“IF, what we want is for the cannabis industry to maintain BEST PRACTICES, then the careful cleaning up of concentrates, removing the majority of impurities, is the closest thing we have to proper pharmaceutical technique. IF the state forces you to less appropriate techniques, that produce a less cleaned-up product, then the state is taking on the legal liability of forcing the industry into bad techniques. This means that if the industry is pushed by the state, then when patients get sick for these poorer quality medicines, the state becomes a co-defendant in these cases… more over, the cannabis company getting sued can also sue the  state.” -  Dr. Kymron ( Steep Hill Labs )
Appendix A: An Americans for Safe Access (ASA) national report was released on December 8th, 2016 and calls for an end to contradictions between federal and state guidelines with regard to medical cannabis policies. The Americans for Safe Access briefing book, “Medical Cannabis in America”, showing that not only do opiate related deaths drop an average of 24.8% in states with medical cannabis laws, the report also notes that the Department of Justice has spent an estimated $592 million to date in arrests, investigations, enforcement raids, pretrial services, incarceration, and probation.

Plant Count For Producers Based On Patient Population Growth For Adequate Supply Proposed: Legislators could easily solve this by looking to Americans For Safe Access for this policy.

About Americans for Safe Access.
The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.  ASA was founded in 2002, by medical cannabis patient Steph Sherer, as a vehicle for patients to advocate for the acceptance of cannabis as medicine. With over 100,000 active members in all 50 states, ASA is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political, social and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, research, grassroots empowerment, advocacy and services for patients, government's, medical professionals, and medical cannabis provider.

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Lynn & Erin Compassionate Use Act Patient’s Coalition of New Mexico ~ A GrassRoots Movement!
UNITE-NETWORK-GROW-INFORM-KNOW-EDUCATE-ACTIVISM-VOTE-HEALTH-WELLNESS(All Rights Reserved 04/20/2016)