Illinois Medical Marijuana Sales Increases

Top Story – Illinois Medical Marijuana Sales Increases

Illinois Medical Marijuana Sales Increases

CHICAGO, IL (AP) — Illinois Medical Marijuana Sales in marijuana shops increased by roughly 30 percent in March compared to the previous month. Program director Joseph Wright says the state’s registered dispensaries sold $1.9 million worth of marijuana in March to more than 4,700 patients. It was the best month yet in sales for the program. Illinois now has 32 registered dispensaries where qualified patients can buy the drug. Three new dispensaries registered in March. Wright says approximately 5,500 patients now qualify for the program. Regulated medical marijuana sales began Nov. 9 in Illinois. Since then, the shops have sold $6.3 million worth of medical marijuana products, including dry flower, concentrates and edibles. The state allows its use for 39 medical conditions including cancer, glaucoma and seizures.

WASHINGTON, DC (CRN) – Over 100 people gathered at the White House beneath a 51-foot inflatable mock joint to call on President Obama to deschedule cannabis. The protestors, led by Adam Eidinger of DCMJ, the group that successfully got a grow-and-give marijuana legalization system passed in 2014, openly smoked marijuana in front of the White House. “We won’t be ignored anymore,” Eidinger said, as reported by The Christian Science Monitor. “I’m not the biggest advocate of public use, but for now, this is a tactic that we need because we have been ignored too long.” “No arrests were made, but two protesters were written citations for public toking, which merits a $25 fine. President Obama has repeatedly said it is up to Congress to act on marijuana rescheduling, but the protesters reminded the president that he has the authority under the Controlled Substances Act to call for the Department of Justice to investigate marijuana’s place on the drug schedules. Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, an illegal drug with no medical use, alongside heroin and LSD.

CHICAGO, IL (CRN) – A new study from the Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago confirms that use of cannabis extracts greatly reduces seizures in epileptic children. The study involved the use of Epidiolex, a whole-plant extract of cannabis high in cannabidiol manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals, a British drug company. Over one hundred children diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, were given either Epidiolex or placebo. The children given the cannabis extract had a 39 percent reduction in seizures. GW Pharmaceuticals believes these results will speed up their efforts to get Epidiolex approved by the US Food & Drug Administration by the end of 2017.

HARRISBURG, PA (CRN) – The Pennsylvania Senate is back in session to determine the fate of a long-awaited medical marijuana bill passed earlier by the House. At issue are technical differences in the wording of the House version that must be approved or reconciled by the Senate. If passed by the Senate, Gov. Tom Wolf has promised to sign the bill, which would make Pennsylvania the 24th US state with medical marijuana. That would also mean that over half of the US population would be living in a state with medical marijuana regulations.

HARTFORD, CT (AP) — Even though two bills legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Connecticut failed this session, proponents are seeking to keep the pot legalization issue alive by holding a public informational meeting on the subject. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at the Legislative Office Building. It will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This session, legalization bills received the support of more than a dozen legislative co-sponsors but were not called for a public hearing before the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee. Democratic Gov. Malloy, who successfully pushed for decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2011 and signed legislation in 2012 legalizing the medical use of marijuana, has been unenthusiastic about going further and fully legalizing pot.

FAIRBANKS, AK (AP) — A marijuana club in downtown Fairbanks is closing after just months due to low membership. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the owners of The Higher Calling Club announced Friday that the business was shutting down. Higher Calling opened in late November, allowing patrons to smoke pot or consume it in foods on the premises but not purchase it. Owner Marcus Mooers says the business hosted live music, comedy, pot-plant trading and other activities, but failed to attract a large enough following. About 400 people had paid $10 to join for a day or $40 to join for a month. Mooers says the closure has nothing to do with political pressure.