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Medicinal Cannabis Update: April/May 2018

There have been a few developments in the world of medicinal cannabis over the past month that are quite noteworthy.


Yesterday, May 15, 2018, was Election Day in Pennsylvania and medicinal cannabis scored a big win with the primary victory of Lt. Governor hopeful John Fetterman, who will be running with Gov. Tom Wolf in the next election.  Fetterman has been a strong ally of medicinal cannabis and we at Cannabis Legal Solutions strongly endorse his candidacy.

April saw the 2018 World Medical Cannabis Conference at the David L. Lawrence convention center in Pittsburgh. Attendees from across the state and the U.S. gathered in what was a very successful conference.

Our own Patrick Nightingale gave the opening Keynote address and also participated in several workshops and panel discussions which were well-received by attendees.

Major players were there, including Keystone Integrated, Solevo and Cresco Yeltrah as well as other growers/dispensary owners and attendant support service providers from across Pennsylvania. The event was hosted by Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Society.

Coincidentally, perhaps, President Trump announced his support for medicinal cannabis while the convention was happening.  This is a big development in light of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ previous statements saying he does not support medicinal cannabis, and everyone involved in this booming industry breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Perhaps the time has come to petition the President to work with congress to reschedule cannabis to reflect reality and acknowledge the medical efficacy of cannabis treatments.  It would be a real win for everyone involved if the federal government also addressed the conflicting banking regulations that prevent using banks for, “drug money”.

Unfortunately, not all the news in April was good.

Industrial Hemp took a hit when the DEA decided to thumb their noses at congress and classify hemp as a schedule 1 narcotic, despite the fact that it has no authority to do so.

The DEA is a regulatory agency which is there to enforce the law, not create the law.  Only congress has the authority to reschedule a drug and legislate laws.  This will undoubtedly result in a challenge in the courts.

And finally, great news for Pennsylvania patients as the Pennsylvania Department of Health has expanded their recommendations for treatment options and qualifying conditions.

Recommendation that the program expand the form of medical marijuana permitted under the Medical Marijuana Act of 2016 to include dry leaf or plant form for administration by vaporization.

Recommendation that the medical condition of “neurodegenerative diseases” be added to the list of serious medical conditions.

Recommendation that the medical condition of “dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders” be added.

Recommendation that the medical condition of “addiction substitute therapy-opioid reduction” be added.

Recommendation of adding the medical condition of “terminally ill,” meaning a medical prognosis of life expectancy of approximately one year or less if the illness runs its normal course.

Recommendation that practitioners have the option to opt-out of the public registry.

Check back here for more developments as they occur.


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Vinni BelfioreMedicinal Cannabis Update: April/May 2018