Medical Marijuana Outlets On Hold

Medical Marijuana Outlets On Hold
Posted by CN Staff on April 14, 2005 at 09:36:07 PT
By Steve Irsay, Staff Writer
Source: Grunion Gazette 
California -- When California voters approved Proposition 215, better known as the “Compassionate Use Act of 1996,” they decriminalized the personal possession of marijuana for documented medical uses. What they did not do was lay out specific guidelines for getting the drug into the hands of patients. Last year’s follow-up statute, SB 420, outlined identification card systems and minimum legal amounts to possess but, again, distribution instructions remained vague.
The matter is further complicated by federal law, which prohibits the possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule shortly on the case of two California medical marijuana users challenging the ban.In this absence of clear retail sales options, many patients have resorted to illegal street dealers, relying on doctors’ notes to avoid prosecution. Others have set up collectives, or cannabis clubs, to grow and sell medical marijuana. Some cities, like Oakland, officially license the establishments. Others outlaw them.Still others, including Long Beach, do not yet regulate the unorthodox operations. As a result, the clubs can exist in a quasi-underground “don’t ask, don’t tell” environment, according to Richard Anthony, a deputy Long Beach city attorney.“There is no above-ground market the way they have it set up,” he said of the state laws. “It’s kind of black market.”Long Beach joined a growing list of California cities to impose a moratorium, giving city officials a chance to establish licensing and regulation procedures.The City Council voted 8-1 to impose the moratorium and asked the city attorney and other departments to report within 60 days on zoning, licensing and legal issues related to the retail sales of medical marijuana.The move comes seven months after the Long Beach Police Department officially relaxed its policy of immediately arresting or citing purported medical marijuana users, calling instead for officers to further investigate the claim before taking action. The current moratorium does not affect that policy, Long Beach Police Chief Anthony Batts told the council.The issue of marijuana sales was raised when two business license applications were filed recently. One was for a dispensary at 3711 Long Beach Blvd. in Councilwoman Rae Gabelich’s Eighth District.Gabelich, who proposed the moratorium, said she supports the medicinal use of marijuana “1,000%,” but added that she wants to make sure the city has the proper conditions in place.“The idea is to have a plan for this city so that they don’t open on every street corner, so they are not by schools, so they are not in blighted areas,” she said. “I am even thinking we need to limit the number of them — maybe its one per council district.”Assistant City Attorney Mike Mais said city staff would look into restrictions on location and hours of operation. He added that other California cities have recently been examining similar issues. In the last two months, San Francisco, West Hollywood, Huntington Beach and others have imposed similar moratoriums. Others are considering them.Opponents of cannabis clubs argue they are magnets for illegal drug activity and other crimes. The small Northern California city of Rocklin outlawed them late last year after the city’s police chief said that, based on conversations with other chiefs, he believed the clubs have negative impacts on public health and safety.Hilary McQuie, a spokeswoman for medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, said she welcomed the recent moratoriums as signs that cities are taking the issue seriously.“It’s about time that localities figure out how to best serve and safeguard patients,” she said. “We support cities regulating dispensaries as they would any other kind of health service activity.”Cities currently examining the issue may look to Oakland for a model. Last year, the city council there established a permitting and regulating process allowing for four medical marijuana dispensaries.In a report delivered this week, Oakland city officials found that in their first seven months of operation, the clubs “have shown that, in general, they can function without creating a nuisance in the neighborhood or draining police resources.”There currently are no licensed cannabis clubs in Long Beach, according to city officials. However, they believe one or two are operating. While the moratorium is not meant explicitly to go after those establishments, they would be subject to the same censure as any business operating without a license, Mais noted.Bill Britt, who said he uses medical marijuana to treat symptoms of epilepsy and post-polio syndrome, said regulated collectives are a vital source of safe medical marijuana for those in need.“Otherwise, you get it off the streets from criminals and you don’t know what’s in it,” he said before the council meeting. “By having these dispensaries, you know it’s going to be there at a consistent price and safe location.”Ninth District Councilman Val Lerch, who voted against the moratorium, closed the discussion with a plea for opponents to reconsider their attitude toward medical marijuana. He said his wife suffers from multiple sclerosis but is ashamed to seek a prescription for the drug.“We as a society have to get beyond this fear of marijuana,” he said. “We are over-thinking this and over-regulating this. It’s ludicrous.” Source: Grunion Gazette (Long Beach, CA)Author: Steve Irsay, Staff WriterPublished: April 14, 2005Copyright: 2005 Grunion GazetteContact: editor gazettes.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Americans For Safe Access Raich v. Ashcroft News Dispensaries Have Both Friends & Foes Shuts Marijuana Co-op Declares Moratorium on MMJ Clubs
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 15, 2005 at 10:09:34 PT
Cannabis Club Protests Marijuana Arrests,1413,91~3089~2818395,00.html
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 15, 2005 at 09:29:59 PT
Police Arrest Pot Club Operators
April 15, 2005UKIAH — The operator of a recognized East Bay medical marijuana dispensary and his girlfriend were pulled over on Highway 101 near Willits in Mendocino County Tuesday night for a traffic violation, then they were both arrested on suspicion of transportation. "(Norton) runs a legitimate medical marijuana dispensary that's been recognized by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. It's hard to figure that this is happening up there, since generally Mendocino County is very progressive when it comes to medical marijuana." Norton and Gibson were pulled over at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday for a suspected traffic offense, police said. Deputies then detected an odor of marijuana and performed a vehicle search, finding the pot packaged for sale and $2,280 in cash, according to sheriff's reports. "They claimed to be buying for a cannabis club in Alameda County, but couldn't produce enough documentation to show that they were legitimate, and we caught them with 44 pounds of buds," said Mendocino County District Attorney Norm Vroman. Michael Norton, Winslow's father, appeared at the Mendocino County Jail Wednesday to bail his son and Gibson out with $150,000 in a knapsack that "smelled of marijuana," Vroman said, and the bail money was confiscated. "They sent someone up from Alameda County to bail them out with money that smelled of marijuana and stunk to high heaven," Vroman said. "We confiscated that as being fruits  of criminal activity, and the burden is on them to show that it is legitimate money. If they are a legitimate operation, why didn't they just call a bail bondsman?" 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on April 14, 2005 at 19:21:59 PT
Thanks siege
That's not good at all! I wish I knew why I never get any e-mail alerts from MPP. I've tried a couple times and it never shows up. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.
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Comment #3 posted by siege on April 14, 2005 at 19:05:41 PT
Steve Fox, MPP 
Your immediate help is needed to defeat harsh new mandatory minimum
sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.The U.S. House Judiciary Committee will soon consider a bill that
would create draconian mandatory minimum sentences for a variety of
nonviolent drug offenses, including marijuana. If this bill becomes
law, anyone convicted in federal court of the crime of "enticing"
someone "who has previously been enrolled in a drug treatment program"
to "possess" marijuana will receive a five-year mandatory minimum
sentence.That's right: Passing a joint to someone who used to be in drug
treatment will land you in federal prison for a minimum of five years.Please visit to e-mail your U.S. representative
and two U.S. senators today. It only takes a minute to send one of our
pre-written e-mails urging them to stop this bill in its tracks.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 14, 2005 at 12:34:54 PT
Press Release Source: Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Data Show New Synthetic Delta-9-THC Inhaler Offers Safe, Rapid DeliveryThursday April 14, 2005
- Pulmonary dronabinol to be evaluated for migraines in proof-of-principle study MARIETTA, Ga., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the results of a Phase I study evaluating the safety and tolerability of pulmonary dronabinol administered in a one-time dose using a pressurized metered dose inhaler. Dronabinol is a synthetic version of delta- 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is one of more than 400 compounds found in the marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa L). The research was presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting in Miami, Fla.  
Photo: The study found the new formulation of pulmonary dronabinol, delivered with a pressurized metered dose inhaler, provided rapid systemic absorption. All dose levels used in the research were considered safe in healthy young and elderly subjects.Dronabinol currently is available as an oral capsule, marketed under the trade name MARINOL®."Solvay Pharmaceuticals is leading the way in research of pharmaceutical quality cannabinoids as well as alternative drug delivery systems to help provide physicians and patients with new options for treating difficult symptoms," said Harold H. Shlevin, Ph.D., president and CEO of Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "Pulmonary dronabinol has potential application in a variety of conditions, such as the treatment of migraines, nausea, pain management and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis."In mid-2005, Solvay Pharmaceuticals will launch a proof-of-principle clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of pulmonary dronabinol delivered with a pressurized metered dose inhaler versus placebo for the acute treatment of a single moderate to severe migraine headache attack."Some oral medications are broken down by the liver before reaching the bloodstream, which limits the amount of the parent drug that is systemically available," said Jodi Miller, Pharm.D., M.S., Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "The dronabinol metered dose inhaler provides maximum plasma concentrations within minutes, delivers a controlled dose and could offer an alternative for patients when a fast onset of action is desirable."About the StudyA randomized, placebo-controlled study of 27 subjects was conducted to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, safety and tolerability of pulmonary dronabinol after single dose administration via a pressurized metered dose inhaler. The population was divided into healthy men 18 to 45 years of age and men and women 65 to 80 years of age.Doses of dronabinol ranged from 0.3 mg to 9.6 mg in subjects 18 to 45 years. Subjects 65 to 80 years received either 3.6 mg or placebo. Plasma concentrations reached maximum levels (Tmax) within 2 to 7 minutes across all dose levels.Cognitive functional impairment and Bond-Lader Visual Analogue Scales (VAS) evaluation findings were minimal at doses up to 3.6 mg in both young and elderly subjects. At dose levels of 7.2 mg and higher in the young subjects, cognitive test battery results indicated moderate cognitive functional impairment and VAS declined in self-rated alertness, contentment and calmness.A dose-dependent increase in heart rate was observed for 5 minutes after 0.3 mg and 1 to 4 hours after 9.6 mg. In elderly subjects, the magnitude and duration of the heart rate increase was less compared to young participants. The most common adverse events included cough, somnolence and dizziness.About CannabinoidsDronabinol, a cannabinoid, is part of a class of compounds called CB1/CB2 receptor agonists. Dronabinol and other cannabinoids bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endogenous cannabinoid system, a unique biological pathway involved in regulating nausea, vomiting, appetite, and other physiologic processes. Concentrations of these receptors exist in many brain regions, including the cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, cerebellum, brainstem and the vomiting center located in the medulla.(1)About MARINOL®MARINOL® (dronabinol) CIII Capsules is the only U.S. FDA-approved synthetic cannabinoid and is used for the treatment of anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS and for the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional antiemetic treatments. MARINOL® is contraindicated in any patient who has a history of hypersensitivity to any cannabinoid or sesame oil. MARINOL® should be used with caution in patients with cardiac disorders; in patients with a history of substance abuse (including alcohol abuse or dependence); in patients with mania, depression, or schizophrenia (along with careful psychiatric monitoring); in patients receiving concomitant therapy with sedatives, hypnotics, or other psychoactive drugs; and in pregnant patients, nursing mothers, or pediatric patients.Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Nektar Therapeutics entered into a collaboration in 2002 to develop the metered dose inhaler (MDI) for dronabinol (synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) to be used for multiple indications. Nektar developed the formulation, and is responsible for the clinical and commercial manufacturing of the drug formulation and inhaler combination. Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is responsible for the clinical development and worldwide commercialization of the system.Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( ) of Marietta, Ga. (USA) is a research-driven pharmaceutical company that seeks to fulfill unmet medical needs in the therapeutic areas of cardiology, gastroenterology, mental health, women's health and a select group of specialized markets including men's health. It is a part of the global Solvay Pharmaceuticals organization whose core activities consist of discovering, developing and manufacturing medicines for human use. Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a subsidiary corporation of the worldwide Solvay Group of chemical and pharmaceutical companies headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.Nektar Therapeutics ( ) provides industry-leading drug delivery technologies, expertise, and manufacturing to enable the development of high-value, differentiated therapeutics. Nektar's advanced drug delivery capabilities are designed to enable the Company's biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners to solve drug development challenges and realize the full potential of their therapeutics, from developing new molecular entities to managing the life cycles of established products.   (1) Martin BR, Wiley JL. Mechanism of action of cannabinoids: how it may
     lead to treatment of cachexia, emesis, and pain. J Support Oncol.
     2004;2:305-316.   Contact: Gabrielle Braswell         Michael Lourie
        Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.    Edelman
        (770) 578-5637           (312) 240-3370Source: Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 14, 2005 at 11:12:27 PT
A Wish
I hope that soon the problem with the Cannabis Clubs will be settled and all the growing pains that go along with rapid growth will be solved.
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