Increased Demand for MMJ Strains Regulators
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Increased Demand for MMJ Strains Regulators
Posted by CN Staff on February 14, 2010 at 07:29:51 PT
By Kahrin Deines
Source: Helena Independent Record 
Montana -- The number of medical-marijuana patients in Montana increased by more than 600 percent in 2009, taxing state regulators and embroiling city governments in disputes over how to regulate the new businesses emerging to meet that demand.“It’s people starting to realize that there’s another alternative out there, and that they’re not going to be persecuted,” said Rich Abromeit of Montana Advanced Caregivers, a company in the Billings area that grows marijuana for about 55 patients.
Between 2008 and 2009, the number of people seeking a legal registration to use marijuana as a pain reliever surged from 830 to 6,069. That brings the total statewide to 7,339.“Obviously, it’s an unanticipated workload,” said Roy Kemp, deputy administrator of the state’s Quality Assurance Division. The division of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is charged with licensing medical marijuana patients and caregivers.The spike in demand — along with concerns that the state law offers only vague guidelines about how to regulate a rapidly growing new industry — is leading some communities to temporarily restrict the opening of new medical-marijuana businesses.On Monday, the Billings City Council voted to create a committee to examine whether there should be zoning restrictions on medical-marijuana businesses. Lewistown, Great Falls, Whitefish and Roundup have temporarily restricted new providers from opening their doors as they consider how to regulate the nascent industry.“I don’t think there’re enough clear-cut guidelines, and I don’t think that’s good for either side of the story,” Roundup Mayor Bill Edwards said. “We’re just keeping an open mind with it. We’re not saying we’re not going to do it or we are going to do it, but if we do it, we want to do it right.”No medical-marijuana businesses currently operate in Roundup, Edwards said. But Musselshell County is home to eight registered caregivers. To help the Roundup City Council decide how to proceed, a survey being sent out in the near future will query citizens as to whether they think businesses selling marijuana should be allowed to set up shop within city limits.“They’ve overrided Montana state law,” Abromeit said. “I think it can happen anywhere that’s why I think that all of us need to be active here, instead of acting like it isn’t here. This has been here six years now.”In 2004, voters overwhelmingly approved the state’s medical-marijuana law, which allows those suffering from chronic pain or terminal illnesses to possess six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana. Licensed caregivers can have six plants and one ounce for each of their patients.Licensing and registration fees last year generated about $222,800 in state revenue, Kemp said. The Quality Assurance Division has one full-time employee who handles medical-marijuana permitting, a process it expects to accelerate when a new database for tracking requests launches in about six to eight weeks.It currently takes about two months for the state to process applications, according to Jason Christ, executive director of the Montana Caregivers Network. Through a series of traveling clinics and a telephone hot line, the Missoula-based network claims to have helped 6,500 people register for medical-marijuana cards in the last six months.“There’s no reason for caregivers or cities to be at odds with each other,” Christ said. “They need to work together.”At the meeting Monday, Abromeit told Billings City Council members that he is available as a caregiver to help the committee with questions as they study the medical-marijuana trade.Those who have licenses need to reassure the public by being more open about their business, while also investing in alarms and video cameras to ensure their product does not fall into the wrong hands, he said in an interview.“I just think we really have an ethical responsibility to the community to make sure it doesn’t get out into the community,” Abromeit said.Source: Helena Independent Record (MT)Author: Kahrin DeinesPublished: February 14, 2010Copyright: 2010 Helena Independent RecordWebsite: irstaff helenair.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on February 15, 2010 at 16:05:15 PT
Storm Crow
I used your favorite. Thank you for all your hard work.
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Comment #9 posted by Storm Crow on February 15, 2010 at 15:10:44 PT
Got all sorts of ways to link it now! 
As a post at one of my favorite MMJ sites- a Goggle document- on facebook, on a page created by talented Australian artist, Anne Marie Beattie- isn't the list, but it is about it. I found it posted up when I went over to GP the other day. My friends keep creating these wonderful surprises with my list! And as an official computer dummy, I really appreciate them!, that should do it, FoM! Take your pick, hon! 
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on February 15, 2010 at 12:03:49 PT
Storm Crow
Can you post your most current link in a comment so I can add it to my FTE web site?
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Comment #7 posted by Storm Crow on February 15, 2010 at 11:56:50 PT
Drive the point home!
Add a few medical studies to your letter to back up your opinion with some hard science! You can get links to hundreds of MMJ studies by sending me an email at -i.wantgrannyslist(at)greenpassion(dot)orgThe list comes as a WORD attachment, but we have PDF if you ask for it. As an attachment, it is very easy to forward to friends and politicians. The list is ALWAYS free. What is the list? My "Granny Storm Crow's List" is over 150 pages of links to medical studies and articles from reliable sources (PubMed, WebMD, medical journals, newspapers, etc). The list is posted at many cannabis forums. It provides an easy to use reference library about the many uses of medical cannabis. I hope you will get a copy to help you educate yourself, and others, about cannabis. And perhaps Montana (and other MMJ states) should look to their DMVs for hints on how to run things. The DMV in California deals out not only driver's licenses, but state ID cards as well! And for the license, they have to give a physical driving test and a paper test, take your photo, as well as file your info! THEY seem to manage it quite well and at a far lower cost than getting a medical cannabis card! The two processes are not that different. Why the bigger and more expensive hassles with MMJ and not the DMV? 
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on February 15, 2010 at 05:00:17 PT
Uncle Sam needs you[r]!
Dear C/News,This week is National Medical Marijuana Week.  Are you ready for Action #1?29 Members of Congress have already cosponsored H.R. 3939, the Truth in Trials Act.  Is your representative on the list?  If so, they deserve your thanks. If not, they need to hear from you. Either way, click here to take action: in four Americans now lives in a state with laws governing medical marijuana. Unfortunately, law-abiding citizens can still be prosecuted on federal marijuana-related charges.  The "Truth in Trials" Act, H.R. 3939, would enable federal defendants to present evidence showing that they were following state medical marijuana laws.Thanks for taking action --Sanjeev, ASA Field Director
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 14, 2010 at 18:09:59 PT
This Bothers Me
Just leave him alone.***Iditarod Champ Mackey Misses Court AppearanceFebruary 14, 2010URL:
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 14, 2010 at 17:28:28 PT
Medical Marijuana News From New Mexico
New Disease Approved for Medical Marijuana UseFebruary 14, 2010URL:
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on February 14, 2010 at 13:57:14 PT
It's good to see you.
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Comment #2 posted by boballen131313 on February 14, 2010 at 13:54:11 PT
“I just think we really have an ethical responsibility to the community to make sure it doesn’t get out into the community,” Abromeit said.I thought the mission was to get a supply of safe Medical Marijuana out to the community. For recreational use, I am afraid the community will have to fall back on the ever present, decades old, and well established black market with all of its dramas and danger. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 14, 2010 at 13:20:33 PT
Medical Marijuana Laws Create Dilemma for Firms
February 15, 2010URL:
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