Medical Marijuana Implementation Continues to Vary from State to State

Medical Marijuana Implementation Continues to Vary from State to State

By Ed Coghlan

The news regarding medical marijuana this past week show how differently states are regulating it.

For chronic pain patients in Florida who like use marijuana to help reduce their pain the good news is that Florida is going to begin selling medical marijuana on Tuesday. The bad news is it won’t be readily available.

At this point, just one company is approved to dispense it.

“We’re not talking about having a dispensary on every street corner,” Richard Blau, an attorney who leads the regulated products practice at a Florida law firm told CNBC. “It is still a very controlled, closely tailored and very heavily regulated structure.”

The Florida Legislature approved medical marijuana two years ago. State voters may be ready to expand it.

Amendment Two on the Nov. 8 ballot in Florida would broaden medical cannabis usage to individuals with “debilitating” medical conditions certified by a licensed physician. It also would greatly expand the consumer base for the state’s marijuana industry.

In Colorado, where marijuana has been legal for recreational use, a Denver judge temporarily blocked the suspensions of four doctors who were the first in the state to be punished for allegedly over-recommending high plant counts to medical marijuana patients.

As the Denver Post reported the Medical Board suspended the doctors after alleging they had written recommendations allowing more than 1,500 medical marijuana patients, combined, to grow or possess 75 or more plants. The standard plant count for a medical marijuana patient is six, but doctors may recommend more if they find it medically necessary.

In Illinois, a judge has told the state regulators that they should “re-think” the use of medical marijuana to treat migraines. Gov. Bruce Rauner recently signed a law adding PTSD and terminal illness as qualifying conditions, so it won’t be surprising to see migraines added soon.

In California, where medical marijuana has been legal for 20 years, the state has been trying to rein in the industry. A new state law imposes new regulatory measures on medical pot businesses in California. Previously, businesses needed only a city license. And the type of license is getting more strictly defined. There are now 17 different license types covering dispensaries, manufacturing, cultivation, transportation, distribution and testing.

Californians will vote in November on a ballot proposition that would make marijuana legal, but that action will not affect the implementation of California’s medical marijuana law. The state will issue additional guidelines in 2017.

25 states have legalized marijuana for medical use.

(Here’s a list of which states have legalized itand what is approved in each state)

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Judy A Jaeger

It makes me so mad when I read a statement like “25 states have legalized marijuana for medical use.” Although they may have legalized it, it’s extremely limited to just a very few conditions. In Texas, it’s only for a specific type of seizure in children…….which leaves the rest of us out of the equation. I’ve been living with chronic pain for 25 years now, no pain meds for the last 20 years….when will it be legalized for the rest of the population who suffers????
I’ve been following the journey of a little Texas girl who was suffering with seizures…..sometimes extremely severe….but it wasn’t the “approved” type of seizure, so the law passed in Texas was meaningless for her. The family was so frustrated & disappointed in the Texas legislature’s lack of compassion, that with lots of regrets about leaving their home, extended family & friends, they made the move to Colorado. Just today I saw on her Facebook page that on Sunday, she will be 500 days seizure free!!! Her name is Alexis…..check out “Team Alexis” on Facebook & the website……Alexis & her father have become very active advocates for medical marijuana for anyone who could benefit from it.
Go Team Alexis!!!!


If your state has legalized medical marijuana and you test positive for it at your job, you will more than likely be fired. If you are in pain management and your pain dr did not give you the recommendation you needed to get it, chances are good that you will lose your pain management and not be able to find another dr that will help manage your pain.

Mary, chances are it will take 2 yrs to get everything done in order to sell medical marijuana in PA. In Louisiana it will take
1 1/2 yrs before patients can get it Cannabidiol. They have to find a place that will produce it and chose and set up the limited pharmacies that it can be bought at among other things..


While Alaska has legal medical, and recreational marijuana I don’t know of any dispensaries so you either have to grow your own or buy it illegally. Pretty sad considering how long it has been legal. Are other “legal” states like this?


Cannabidiol was made legal in Louisiana several months ago. It won’t be available for about 18 months. You will only be able to get it at selct pharmacys in Louisiana when it is available.


Wisconsin’s idea of MMJ is the liquid for children with seizures and I guess it is very hard to get to WI


Could you do a story on the status of the MMJ implementation in PA? It was signed into law a few months ago but it could still be 2 years before we will see it. Children have recently been given letters to get it from other states but parents don’t know how to find a doctor and which states they can get it from. Also, when will the safe haven law apply to the rest of us? There is no info coming from the state as to what is going on and I’m sure Ohions are in the same boat.

Drew P.

Medical marijuana continues to be a issue in places that have “legalized” it. I’ve been told that police in California routinely question medical marijuana card holders and ask, if they had an “assessment” a “no” reply, ends up in the card being confiscated by the police and the individual being cited. How the police are doing this is a mystery to me and why people are giving up their rights under police intimidation is not surprising. The government is not going to give up the money they have made by keeping marijuana illegal for decades. That, is the real crime.

Mark Ibsen MD

And then, there is montana….