Total demand for marijuana, measured in metric tons, is estimated for the State of Colorado in this 2014 report. The process of estimation—including current demand, estimates for potential demand, who the users are, use trends and where supply modalities—reveals a number of new and unique characteristics related to Colorado’s market for marijuana. This study finds total marijuana demand to be much larger than previously estimated. Heavy users drive almost 70 percent of total marijuana demand, and the prevalence of heavy users in Colorado is higher than the national average.
Author Archives: Research Library
This document reports the current status of the New Jersey Department of Health, Medicinal Marijuana Program’s progress in the implementation of the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, N.J.S.A. 24:6I-1 et seq. This report offers an update of program developments in calendar year 2014 on the status of the Alternative Treatment Centers; the patient, caregiver, and physician registries; laboratory testing; the regulatory process; and, concludes with calendar year 2014 statistics.
California voters can likely anticipate a ballot measure in 2016 to tax, regulate and legalize marijuana for adult consumption. This 2015 report identifies the issues that need to be considered and addressed, outlines options for addressing these issues, and lays out the likely consequences of the policy options. Issues addressed include: the national context, California context, protecting children and youth, ensuring public safety, taxes, regulations, and balancing law and regulation.
This 2015 update from the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division provides an overview of the marijuana industry in Colorado in 2014, including year-over-year data, licensing data, marijuana plant and flower data, inventory tracking, average number of medical marijuana plants being cultivated, average number of retail marijuana plants being cultivated, amount of flower sold, infused product data, medical marijuana infused products and retail marijuana products, edible, non edibles, retail testing, investigation and compliance.
This 2014 master’s thesis states that medical and recreational marijuana legalization, and public acceptance, is in a rapid state of change across the nation. Currently, there are 20 states along with the District of Colombia that have medical marijuana laws. Each of these state governments has passed legislation on a drug for medical purposes, in which the federal government maintains there was, and still remains, no basis for medical use. Additionally, Colorado and Washington have recently passed laws legalizing recreational marijuana use. These state laws are in conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act and place marijuana in a simultaneous legal and illegal status. This thesis examines the history of the war on drugs and the role of marijuana in traditional policy.
This 2014 document, which was produced by students at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Southern Texas College of Law, summarizes model statutes on marijuana policy for the state of Texas. They include: decriminalization statutes, recriminalization statutes, labeling statutes, an employment law statute, permits and licensing statutes,commercial and retail regulation of marijuana establishments, and two stand-alone statutes. Many statutes emphasized preventing minors from accessing marijuana in a legal market. Nearly all of the statutes reduced the penalties on the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Finally, many of the statutes created regulatory agencies or gave regulatory power to an existing agency to manage the market.
This 2014 undergraduate honors thesis explains that Colorado, Washington and the country of Uruguay have defied the accepted, global position against marijuana by pursuing a policy of legalization. The media has extensively covered these policy changes, but the media coverage among the three cases varies greatly. The legalization of marijuana has amassed a series of unique media narratives that distinguish public discourse on this policy from all other previous examples of drug media narration on both a domestic and international level.
This 2015 issue brief from the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University outlines the pro and con arguments for marijuana reform, taking a critical look at each through the lens of research. Pros for reforms such as legalization include cost savings, increased tax revenue, relief for medical patients, and reduction in marijuana arrests and the consequences that come with a criminal record. Cons include potential negative consequences, such as increased drug use among teens, increased crime and increased traffic fatalities. The paper urges Texas to be a leader in improving marijuana policy across the country.
This 2015 summary from the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University urges Texas to be a leader in the reform of marijuana policies that’s sweeping the country. It outlines three ways to reform marijuana laws: decriminalization, medical marijuana and legalization. It also addresses the potential positive consequences of Texas changing its marijuana laws such as more tax revenue, fewer arrests and relief for patients seeking the therapeutic benefits of marijuana. It also argues that crime, teen usage and traffic fatalities will not increase as a result of changing the state’s marijuana laws.
This 2014 paper discusses the advantages of phosphor-blend LEDs in cannabis production and the superiority of PARFORCE Hybrid LED panels. It builds upon a previous paper, “Light Emitting Diodes For Indoor Growing Operations: A Comparison of Traditional Lighting and LEDs,” which presented details regarding the benefits of new phosphor-blend LEDs compared to traditional HID lighting. Smart Grow Technologies and its phosphor-based, tailored-spectrum light-emitting diode (LED) panels is providing more intense, better quality light that has produced increased yields and higher THC levels.
This 2015 document from the Canadian Securities Administrators contains the findings of staff from the British Columbia Securities Commission, the Alberta Securities Commission, the Ontario Securities Commission and the Autorité des marchés financiers, who reviewed the disclosure provided by certain reporting issuers that announced publicly their intention to enter into Canada’s medical marijuana industry. For the majority of issuers reviewed, the disclosures in the original announcements were deficient, prompting staff to require the subsequent issuance of a clarifying disclosure document. This report provides disclosure expectations for reporting issuers contemplating some involvement with the medical marijuana industry in Canada.
This 2015 spreadsheet includes 52 recommendations from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) regarding its role in the state’s marijuana policy, and in some cases, the document requests amendments to the policy. For instance, the OLCC requests that it be able legally to confiscate marijuana, to require age verification equipment and require that marijuana licensees carry insurance.
This 2015 document provides an overview of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP), including its history and how it came to be through the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA). Patients, growers, caregivers and interested parties can use this guide to understand how the OMMP program works, what it covers, its authority and rules. It includes details, for instance, about the services provided by the program and how the application processes work.
This brief 2014 summary from the Oregon Health Authority provides an overview of marijuana use in the U.S. and Oregon, and summarizes what is known about its health effects from three sources: a 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) authoritative report, “Marijuana and medicine: Assessing the science base”; National Institutes of Health web-based “comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based” information about cannabis use in treating people with cancer; and the June 2014 National Institute on Drug Abuse review article “Adverse health effects of marijuana use.”
This 2013 bill (1) removes criminal penalties for the use and possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia by individuals age 21 and older; (2) legalizes the use, possession, sale, and cultivation of marijuana under specified circumstances; (3) authorizes personal cultivation of marijuana plants in limited quantities; (4) establishes a regulatory framework for wholesalers, retailers, and safety compliance facilities; (5) requires the Comptroller to register marijuana retailers, wholesalers, and safety compliance facilities; (6) requires the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) to regulate the growth, processing, and distribution of industrial hemp; (7) imposes an excise tax of $50 per ounce on wholesale sales of marijuana; and (8) directs the revenues from excise tax collections to specified programs.
This 2006 report looks at the revenue generated by Oakland’s Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (MCDs) and other parts of the marijuana industry, the associated tax revenue, and the effect of regulation on these numbers, as well as employment. The report concludes that the medical cannabis business has the potential to contribute tens of millions of dollars per year to Oakland’s economy. Reported revenues from MCDs have been as high as $26 million and could potentially range as high as $62 million.
This 2007 article published in the Bulletin of Cannabis Reform Government looks at marijuana usage in the United States, its retail value and the tax revenue that is lost as a result of marijuana laws, as they stood in 2007. Government reports indicated that the nation’s marijuana laws cost taxpayers $41.8 billion annually. This calculation was based on (a) a reconciliation of estimates of the annual supply of marijuana in the U.S. and estimates of its overall value and (b) Office of Management and Budget (OMB) data on the share of the Gross Domestic Product diverted by regulatory taxes to U.S. Government budgets.
This 2011 legal opinion and order from Michigan concerns a Wal-Mart employee who sued Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P.1, in state court for wrongful discharge, claiming that Wal-Mart’s application of its drug use policy to him violated the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (“MMMA”). To rule on these motions, the court had to determine whether it had jurisdiction, and if so, whether the MMMA eliminates the normal rule of at-will employment and creates a new protected class for certain marijuana users in Michigan. U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Jonker wrote that whatever protection the MMMA provides users of medical marijuana, it does not reach to private employment. Accordingly, the plaintiff’s motion to remand the matter back to state court was denied and the defendant’s motion to dismiss was granted.
This 2014 document from the Colorado Cannabis Campaign lays out numerous benefits of retail sales of legalized marijuana, arguing that marijuana is safe to use and sell, has health benefits, and is not linked to violent crime or other societal problems. Using Palmer Lake, Colorado, as a case study, the document explains how retail marijuana sales would generate significant revenue in sales tax.
This 2015 document from the Institute of Real Estate Management looks at legalized marijuana and its implications for real estate. It summarizes laws that owners/managers should be aware of and recommends that owners ensure that their lease provisions address their policies related to marijuana laws in their state, along with any other special considerations.
This 2014 document from the Department of Health and Human Services in Oregon’s Washington County provides a review of the most recent scientific research on the health effects of marijuana in response to two issues: the potential placement of medical marijuana dispensaries within Washington County, Oregon and the upcoming statewide vote in November 2014 on legalizing recreational marijuana in Oregon. The document addresses marijuana in the context of numerous health issues, such as cancer, addiction, poisoning and overdoses, marijuana use during pregnancy and hazards associated with marijuana use.
This 2014 master’s thesis presented at the University of Missouri-Columbia examines why an Oregon ballot measure to legalize marijuana failed in 2012, and why a similar Colorado measure succeeded on the same day. The report finds that TV stations in Colorado framed the debate over “pro-pot” legislation through controversial legislation, regulations on marijuana similar to the ones on alcohol and economic implications. Oregon TV stations used horse race or electoral prospects, impact on Oregon’s health and safety, and economic frames. CNN used economic, outsider’s perspective, libertarian and horse race frames.
This 2015 document from the Drug Policy Alliance summarizes the support for and legalization of medical marijuana in the U.S., the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana, and how the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have obstructed the FDA approval process for medical marijuana. The DPA is dedicated to increasing the number of states that allow for medical use of marijuana under state law, as one of the most egregious consequences of marijuana prohibition is that many seriously ill people do not have legal access to the medicine that works best for them.
This 2015 document from the Drug Policy Alliance argues that decriminalization of marijuana possession is a necessary first step toward more comprehensive reforms, yet decriminalization alone does not address many of the greatest harms of prohibition—such as high levels of crime, corruption and violence, massive illicit markets, and the harmful health consequences of drugs produced in the absence of regulatory oversight. Eighteen states and D.C. have decriminalized marijuana possession, while four—Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska—have begun to legally regulate marijuana for adults over 21. The report also describes the growing public support for legalization.
This 2014 document from the Drug Policy Alliance looks at marijuana’s medical efficacy, as determined by the chemicals that comprise it—the most well known chemicals being CBD and THC. Studies have shown that both chemicals can have health benefits, and yet many states have enacted laws that only allow access to marijuana with high levels of CBD. It argues that denying access to the whole plant leaves the vast majority of patients without relief.
This 2014 document from the Drug Policy Alliance lays out principles that the DPA believes should be applied to marijuana-infused products, or “edibles.” They are vital to those who use marijuana for medical reasons, but they need to be properly regulated through safety testing and accurate, thorough labeling. Edibles should also be kept away from children.
This 2015 document from the Drug Policy Alliance explains how marijuana arrests have skyrocketed, as well as detailing the serious costs and consequences of those arrests. It covers the personal costs to those arrested, the financial and administrative costs to state and local governments, and signs of local, state and national reform with regard to decriminalizing marijuana.
This 2014 research report from the Legislative Revenue Office of the State of Oregon projects that net revenue from legal marijuana in Oregon will be between $6.5 million and $12.8 million in 2017, and could reach $40.9 billion for the 2017-2019 biennium, as marijuana sales are expected to increase. The legalized, regulated market is likely to achieve higher efficiency and more innovation with time, driving a shift to a legal, recreational market and lowering legal retail prices. However, federal law enforcement could substantially alter growth.
This article from the Buffalo Law Review argues that presidential electoral politics are highly sensitive when it comes to preserving state regulatory autonomy (federalism), more so than the courts and perhaps even more so than Congress. It uses the example of marijuana legalization and the Obama administration’s dialing down enforcement of federal criminal marijuana laws in some states, which it called “the most pointed federal-state policy conflict since racial desegregation,” to show how presidential politics is a safeguard of federalism.
Despite a federal prohibition on marijuana possession, sale, and use, Colorado and Washington recently became the first states to enact laws legalizing the recreational use of this drug. This article explains why this situation is problematic and argues that Congress must act to provide certainty and a “waive but restrict” framework for these states moving forward.
This document is a report prepared by the RAND corporation for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. It details the total number of users, total expenditures, and total consumption for four illicit drugs from 2000 to 2010: cocaine (including crack), heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine (or meth). From 2002 to 2010, the amount of marijuana consumed in the U.S. increased by roughly 40 percent. For all of the drugs, heavy users, who consume on 21 or more days a month, drive total consumption and expenditures.
This article from the Oregon Law Review examines the ethical and criminal quandaries that lawyers face as they assist business owners in the emerging marijuana industry. Even in states that are decriminalizing marijuana, every sale and every plant that is grown is a violation of federal law, which means lawyers put themselves at risk when they work with clients in the marijuana industry.
Fourteen US states have amended their longstanding, effect-based DUI drug laws to per se or zero tolerant per se statutes in regard to cannabis. As more states enact statutory changes allowing for the legal use of cannabis under certain circumstances, there is a growing need to re-examine the appropriateness of these proposed per se standards for cannabinoids and their metabolites because the imposition of such limits may, in some instances, inadvertently criminalize behavior that poses no threat to traffic safety, such as the state-sanctioned private consumption of cannabis by adults.
This 2003 paper explores two recently developed modes of cannabis preparation and smoking, from the United States and the Netherlands: smoking “blunts,” or hollowed out cigar wrappers filled with marijuana; and smoking “blowtje,” a joint which is mixed with tobacco and includes a card-board filter and a longer rolling paper. These newer styles have implications for secondary prevention efforts with young cannabis users. On a social and ritualistic level, these practices serve as a means of self-regulating cannabis use. Since both modes involve combining cannabis with tobacco, they also increase health risks for the user.
This 2014 document from the University of Southern Maine compares data on youth marijuana usage in Maine with national data on youth marijuana usage. The document concludes that trends in Maine mirror national patterns; since 1997, youth marijuana usage has been on the decline, with the exception of a slight increase in recent years, perhaps due to medical marijuana regulation. It is difficult to quantify the impact of medical marijuana legislation on youth usage rates, although illicit marijuana usage among youth is a concern that states should be aware of when considering proposals to allow the medical use of marijuana.
This power point presentation from a doctor affiliated with Columbia University’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center looks at the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating epilepsy. It gathers together studies on the effect of marijuana as a whole on epilepsy and the effect of marijuana’s constituent parts, THC and CBD. It concludes that CBD is probably effective as an antiepileptic, while THC is likely not effective in this capacity.
This master’s thesis examines the inefficient energy use associated with illicit cannabis production in a burgeoning legal market. The author explains that growing marijuana indoors increases residential electricity consumption considerably, which in turn increases greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation. The thesis concludes that a reduction in electricity consumption related to indoor cannabis cultivation could be achieved with appropriate public policy and information dissemination, and that federal prohibition of cannabis is a significant hindrance to local and state regulation of the marijuana industry.
Medical Marijuana and Pain Management
New York is among 23 states, and a national trend, that has strong public support for patient access to medical marijuana. In polls conducted by Quinnipiac University, Siena Research and Cornell, between the years of 2003 and 2014, New Yorkers were consistently and heavily in favor of allowing medical marijuana at the recommendation of a doctor (typically over 70% in favor). Most recently, the 2014 Quinnipiac University poll found 88% of all New Yorkers in favor; the 2013 Siena poll found 82% in favor. Majority support is notably bipartisan. These figures reflect the national trend of public support for enabling access to medical marijuana for those patients who would benefit from its use.
In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), part of the National Academy of Sciences, conducted a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on medical marijuana, and the IOM’s data demonstrated the potential value of cannabinoid drugs to alleviate pain as well as regulate nausea, vomiting and appetite. They also stated a significant consensus among experts that marijuana had potential medical uses. Most research conducted since supports the original IOM report, indicating that medical marijuana is a safe (as long as not smoked) and effective way of controlling chronic pain and symptoms associated with cancer and chemotherapy, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s Disease. Research by the National Institute for Drug Abuse also indicates that around 9% percent of users become addicted (higher rates for tobacco and alcohol). There is no persuasive evidence indicating that marijuana is a gateway drug.
In July 2014, a medical marijuana bill was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The law includes provisions that pertain to persons/organizations who may comprise the medical marijuana industry in the state. The state’s Department of Health determines which producers and distributors may obtain licenses to do so. Registered organizations (ROs) must meet certain requirements concerning facilities, funds, security, labor agreements and legal compliance. ROs must contract with an approved independent lab (for product testing); marijuana must be grown indoors; employees cannot have a drug-related felony charge within the decade. ROs must follow regulations regarding testing, labelling, packaging and advertising. The Health Commissioner will decide pricing, and excise tax (7%) distribution. Those lawfully involved in the industry are legally protected. The Department of Health has 18 months to facilitate access to medical marijuana (issuing patient IDs, licensing ROs), and the law expires in seven years unless renewed.
The Department of Health (DOH) has up to 18 months to implement the program, unless the Commissioner and Superintendent of Police determine that it doesn’t yet meet public safety/health interests. Eligibility for medical marijuana treatment requires a patient to be a New York resident, treated by a NY doctor qualified to manage their care and who certifies that medical marijuana would provide therapeutic benefit, and an application approved by the DOH. Patients must have a “serious condition,” severely debilitating or life-threatening, which include cancer, autoimmune disease, spinal and neurological diseases and conditions, and inflammatory bowel disease. The Commissioner can add conditions at his/her discretion. Alzheimer’s, PTSD and arthritis are not yet approved, but will be decided upon in the next 18 months. The Commissioner also determines pricing, the legal means of consumption, and marijuana strain, strength and variety. Smoking the drug is banned. A patient can have up to two caregivers, who must also be certified, and caregivers can possess a 30 day supply on behalf of a patient. Certification expires after one year. Patients and caregivers are protected from discrimination by law; registry information is confidential.
While research as far back as the 1980s indicated that medical cannabis could lessen seizures and provide relief for those epilepsy, there is currently a strong push for access, especially for children with severe forms of epilepsy. Several forms can affect children from infancy, causing significant cognitive, motor, and behavioral problems. Mortality rate is high (15-20% by age of 20.) “Weed”, a 2013 documentary, popularized medical marijuana as a highly effective treatment option, featuring a Colorado family and their young daughter whose incessant, intense seizures were quickly reduced to 2-3 seizures per month. Scientists attribute the anticonvulsant effect to a chemical compound in marijuana known as Cannabidiol (CBD), which is not psychoactive, and ingested in the form of an olive oil solution. With no reported side effects, CBD can yield beneficial effects like improved sleep, mood and alertness.
The “gateway theory” is the idea that the use of marijuana leads a person to using other, and perhaps harder, drugs. In looking at the nation’s youth, research data has demonstrated that states that have legalized medical marijuana saw no increase in consumption rates in the general public; one study showing that in numerous states youth use had actually gone down. Studies published in journals like American Journal of Public Health, International Journal of Drug Policy, and other academic publications, some conducted over a span of up to 17 years, demonstrate that marijuana use does not lead to further drug use, and that the legalization of medical marijuana use does not raise usage rates either. The author states that those who claim that marijuana addiction rates in youth are “1 in 6” are based on faulty logic, inconsistent math and manipulated data.
Compassionate Care NY answers some frequently asked questions regarding medical marijuana: Does Research Support the Medical Safety and Efficacy of Marijuana? Do Medical and Professional Organizations Support Allowing Access to Medical Marijuana? Does the New York Public Support Medical Marijuana?
While the governor has 18 months (or longer, if necessary) to implement the state’s medical marijuana program, there are patients whose need is so dire that they may not survive the 18 months. An emergency access system is being pushed for the terminally ill and children with severe epilepsy disorders. There are several avenues the governor could take: fast-tracking at least one producer to become a licensed grower, working with GW pharmaceuticals so children with severe seizure disorders can have increased access to Epidiolex, a high CBD form of cannabis, and allowing the legal importation of medical marijuana from states where it is already legal. To help needy patients gain emergency access, call New York state governor, legislators and representatives to voice your support.
New York’s new medical marijuana law stipulates that patients who have been certified by a healthcare provider can use medical marijuana provided they are a registered patient, receive it from an approved organization (hospital, community health center), and are in possession of a patient ID card. To be eligible, patients must be NY residents, receiving treatment in the state, under an approved doctor’s care. Medical practitioners who recommend medical marijuana for treatment must be be licensed and practicing in NY, and have the requisite qualifications and training for treating serious conditions. The law also addresses the form patients can receive the medical marijuana (extracts, tinctures, oils, edibles), as well as dosing guidelines. As for industry organizations like dispenseries, the law also stipulates conditions regarding organizations’ registration eligibility, fees, labeling requirements, costs and taxes.
This document summarizes the provisions in New York State’s 2014 medical marijuana law that pertain to healthcare providers: which providers are eligible to recommend marijuana to patients; what patients are appropriate to receive such a recommendation and for what conditions; the process for making a recommendation and dosing guidelines. The document also addresses discrimination and when the medical marijuana program will be up and running in New York.
This 2003 report by Jeffrey Miron, a Boston University economics professor, examines the impact that marijuana decriminalization in Massachusetts would have on government budgets and marijuana use. It estimates that decriminalization would result in an annual savings in law enforcement resources of roughly $24.3 million and concludes, based on existing evidence from other states and countries, that decriminalization is unlikely to lead to a significant increase in marijuana use.
This second-edition, 2008 booklet from the Oregon National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) outlines the eligibility, rules and regulations for procuring medical marijuana and growing medical marijuana in Oregon. It also includes a list of contacts and resources, garden remedies and books. Finally, it contains the full text of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.