FL: St. Lucie Planning Board OK's Rules For Medical Marijuana Dispensary Sites

ST. LUCIE COUNTY The Planning and Zoning Board on Thursday recommended the County Commission approve a law governing the placement of medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas.

The proposed regulations would limit dispensaries to commercial general, light-industrial and planned-nonresidential zoning districts. Dispensaries also would be prohibited within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and childcare facilities and must be at least 1 mile from other dispensaries, according to county records. The hours of operations would be 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

The rules would not address cultivation and processing of medical marijuana, which would be in another ordinance, officials said.

The County Commission is scheduled to vote on the ordinance at 6 p.m. April 4, said Leslie Olson, planning and development services director.

If the regulations are adopted, they would end the countys need for a four-month moratorium on dispensary applications. The moratorium was put in place March 7.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: St. Lucie Planning Board OK’s Rules For Medical Marijuana Dispensary Sites
Author: Keona Gardner
Contact: (772) 287-1550
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Website: TC Palm

ON: Budtender Says Marijuana Dispensary Bosses Left Him High And Dry After Raid

A budtender who was arrested in a raid on an Ottawa marijuana dispensary says he feels betrayed by his former employer, who has refused to help him with legal bills.

Shawn McAlesse says he believed he was working in a legal grey zone and helping people when he accepted a job with a B.C.-based dispensary chain in Ottawa last summer.

And while McAlesse says hes glad that charges have been thrown out against 151 Toronto budtenders who were arrested at dispensary raids in that city, he has no indication the same thing will happen in Ottawa. No charges have been withdrawn against the 22 dispensary employees arrested in 12 raids in this city.

McAlesse was behind the counter when police raided the Green Tree Medical Dispensary on Montreal Road last November. He faces 11 counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, one count of possessing the proceeds of crime, and one count of simple possession because he had a joint in his pocket.

Shortly after his arrest, McAlesse says his Ottawa manager delivered the bad news: The bosses in Vancouver would not pay his legal bills and did not want any further contact with him. Green Tree was one of seven related stores, the others operating under the names WeeMedical Dispensary Society and CannaGreen. All of them were raided; four have since re-opened.

McAlesse said he was given the impression by managers that he didnt need to worry about being arrested, but that if it happened the company would have a lawyer standing by us.

He said managers stressed how the dispensaries were helping medical marijuana patients, an ideal that McAlesse embraced, because he has benefited himself.

They took advantage of the fact a lot of us (budtenders) are for medical marijuana. They (said they) shared those ideals, then they threw us to the wolves when we got arrested.

It angers me. I feel they manipulated me, they abused me, 100 per cent. There arent enough metaphors in the world to explain how I feel about those guys.

The nine employees arrested at the Green Tree-related stores face serious criminal charges, while the owners rack up the cash, McAlesse said.

He worked at both a WeeMedical and a Green Tree store. He estimates each store took in $8,000 to $12,000 a day from sales of dried pot, candy, pop, cookies and oils, and they are open seven days a week.

Im sure they can afford lawyer fees.

His boss was Justin Liu, said McAlesse. Liu is one of the directors of the WeeMedical Dispensary Society, according to registration papers filed in British Columbia. The Citizen has been unable to interview Liu or anyone from Green Tree, WeeMedical or CannaGreen despite repeated efforts since the dispensaries first arrived in town last summer.

Requests sent to the email addresses on the Green Tree and WeeMedical websites have not been returned. The Citizen reached Liu once, using a phone number that was briefly listed on the CannaGreen website, but he quickly ended the conversation, saying he was about to hop on a plane and would call back, which he did not. The voice mailbox for that number is now full.

At the WeeMedical headquarters in Vancouver, in three calls over the past week, the people answering the phone said they would try to find a company spokesperson, but no one phoned back. They refused to provide contact information for Liu.

McAlesse said that because the stores operated openly he didnt think he was doing anything illegal. A storefront operation, with multiple locations across the city, seems so above-board even though its a grey area.

McAlesse is proud of his work at the dispensaries, saying they provide a valuable service. He says he helped many people, including giving advice on how to sign up to buy medical marijuana legally.

Medical marijuana is legal if bought from a Health Canada-licensed grower. But some people cant find a doctor to prescribe marijuana or cant afford the fees charged by clinics who employ cannabis-friendly doctors, he said. Others want edible products such as cookies and brownies that legal suppliers arent allowed to sell.

McAlesse said his managers told him to ask customers to fill out a form listing their medical conditions, and advise them that a company doctor would contact them later. He said he had no concerns about the safety or quality of the cannabis products, because it was better than what can be brought on the street. Health Canada has warned that products at dispensaries are unregulated and may be unsafe.

McAlesse said the owner of a vapour lounge in Saskatoon, a fellow cannabis community activist, has agreed to help with his legal fees, which he said are about $5,000 just for the lawyer retainer. He has also set up a crowd-funding page.

As he waits for his next court date on April 5, McAlesse said he rarely leaves home. Im quite an anxiety-ridden mess. He held previous jobs at a plumbing store and a Tim Hortons, but it will be hard to find work now. Its a little hard to find a job when youre a suggested drug dealer.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Budtender Says Marijuana Dispensary Bosses Left Him High And Dry After Raid
Author: Jacquie Miller
Contact: 1-613-829-9100
Photo Credit: Jacquie Miller
Website: Ottawa Citizen

SD: Gov. Dennis Daugaard Signs Cannabidiol Measure Into Law

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has approved a bill meant to allow people in South Dakota with a prescription to use a non-intoxicating compound found in marijuana if it’s approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Daugaard on Friday signed the bill. It excludes cannabidiol, if it receives FDA approval, from the definition of marijuana in state law and classifies it as a Schedule IV controlled substance that could be prescribed.

Republican Sen. Blake Curd, the bill’s main sponsor, has said that cannabidiol is an attempt to treat intractable pediatric epilepsy.

London-based GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, a nearly pure extract of cannabidiol, is scheduled for review by the FDA this summer.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Gov. Dennis Daugaard Signs Cannabidiol Measure Into Law
Author: Staff
Contact: (605) 336.1100
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Website: Kelo

OH: Eastlake Moves Forward With Medical Marijuana Plans, Residents Divided

EASTLAKE, Ohio – From community center to marijuana manufacturer? Eastlake City Council unanimously approved the sale of the city’s old JFK Senior Center for a potential 50-thousand square foot medical marijuana cultivation center.

Katie Bitonti told News 5 she would have a front row seat to the greenhouse.

"We are pretty close," she said.

Bitonti lives in one of the homes in view of the land just approved for sale by Eastlake City Council.

She said it’s the talk of the neighborhood, but in her opinion, it’s not a good idea.

"There’s kids in the area. Kids dropped off her. I think it could bring crime," she said.

Eastlake’s Mayor, Dennis Morely, was out of the office Friday, but when News 5 checked in with him a few months ago, when the city first released this plan, he said: "They’ll be no smell, no burning. Basically, they’ll have a greenhouse and they will extract serum from plants."

Morely said the plant would be a good move for a city that’s struggling financially.

"We’re not the most healthy city financially and everyone who lives here knows that," he explained.

The plant is expected to bring 30 jobs year one, potentially 50 years two. Plus, the fees associated with the business.

Eastlake police are on board. And the city has held a few public meetings to inform residents and give people an open place to voice concerns.

Bitonti hasn’t been to a meeting but told News 5, she hopes the there are more opportunities for people who live here to voice their opinions, especially since the plan is moving forward.

"Consider the community and where it is," she said. "There’s a lot of families around and people probably don’t want it around their kids."

The company that’s applied for a state license to bring its operations to Eastlake, won’t have their answer until this September.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Eastlake Moves Forward With Medical Marijuana Plans, Residents Divided
Author: Tara Molina
Contact: 216-431-5555
Photo Credit: Drew Angerer
Website: News 5

Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana In Nebraska Will Head To Legislature Floor

Lincoln As expected, a legislative committee on Friday advanced a proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska.

The Legislatures Judiciary Committee advanced Legislative Bill 622, sponsored and prioritized by State Sen. Anna Wishart of Lincoln, 6-1.

The bill is sure to be controversial when it reaches the floor. It also faces opposition from Gov. Pete Ricketts, who was against a similar measure last year.

Wishart said supporters will have to work hard to educate lawmakers about how the medical cannabis program would operate.

Im optimistic that members will listen to their constituents who are desperately asking them to legalize this form of treatment, she said.

At a committee hearing Wednesday, the bill drew the support of military veterans and the mother of a child with a severe seizure disorder. Opponents included Col. Brad Rice, superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, and a representative from the Nebraska Attorney Generals Office.

Wisharts bill would authorize a limited number of manufacturers and distribution centers to provide medical marijuana for people suffering from 19 different medical conditions, including seizures, anxiety or any other illness for which medical cannabis provides relief as determined by the participating health care practitioner.

Under the measure, patients could not smoke the drug or grow the plants. They could, however, take medical marijuana in pills, oils, liquids or lotions, or through vaporizers.

An amended version of the bill would make the program revenue-neutral, Wishart has said.

Those committee members voting to move the measure to the full Legislature were Sens. Laura Ebke of Crete, Bob Krist and Ernie Chambers of Omaha, and Matt Hansen, Adam Morfeld and Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln.

Five of those senators co-sponsored the measure.

Sen. Steve Halloran of Hastings was the lone opponent. He raised concern about allowing a drug thats not approved by the FDA, and called for more research on the issue before passing a law as a grand experiment.

There are a lot of complex, unanswered questions, he said.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana In Nebraska Will Head To Legislature Floor
Author: Emily Nohr
Contact: 1-800-284-6397
Photo Credit: None Found
Website: Live Well Nebraska