Significant Positive Developments Cited
SAN DIEGO, June 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Medical Marijuana Inc (OTC Pink: MJNA) is pleased to inform shareholders and the general public about the state of the industrial hemp and cannabis industries. These are recent encouraging developments that could significantly impact company operations.
The biggest news is that the federal government may soon allow US-based farmers to plant industrial hemp. In a landmark maneuver, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013" has been added to the US Farm Bill as an amendment and is being voted on as this press release was released.
National Industrial Hemp News:
An amendment to the US Farm Bill would allow US farmers to grow industrial hemp. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the bill to Congress on Monday known as the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013". The bill would exclude industrial hemp from classification as "marihuana" in the Controlled Substances Act and allow for state-by-state regulation of industrial hemp farming.
Wyden told HuffPost he planned to talk to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who is floor-managing the farm bill, about the provision. "For me, what’s important is that people see, particularly in our state, there’s someone buying it at Costco in Oregon," Wyden said in a brief interview in the Capitol. "I adopted what I think is a modest position, which is if you can buy it at a store in Oregon, our farmers ought to be able to make some money growing it." Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/21/ron-wyden-hemp-legalization_n_3314755.html
The amendment was cosponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "I firmly believe that American farmers should not be denied an opportunity to grow and sell a legitimate crop simply because it resembles an illegal one," Wyden wrote at the time. Article: http://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/wyden-statement-on-hemp-amendment-to-the-farm-bill-.
"I’m confident that if grassroots support continues to grow and Members of Congress continue to hear from voters then common sense hemp legislation can move through Congress in the near future," said Senator Wyden.
Eight states – Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia – have enacted statutory changes defining industrial hemp as distinct agricultural product and allowing for its regulated commercial production. Passage of this amendment would remove existing federal barriers and allow these states and others the authority to do so without running afoul of federal anti-drug laws.
Over thirty countries produce industrial hemp, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine.
The world’s leader in hemp production is China.
Survey: 76 percent of doctors approve of medical marijuana use
A majority of doctors would approve the use of medical marijuana, according to a new survey.
"We were surprised by the outcome of polling and comments, with 76 percent of all votes in favor of the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes — even though marijuana use is illegal in most countries," the survey’s authors wrote.
The results appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 30. It included responses from 1,446 doctors from 72 different countries and 56 different states and provinces in North America. In addition, 118 doctors posted comments about their decision on the survey.
Celebrate Hemp History Week
This year, hemp history week is being celebrated June 3 – 9 and our companies both wish everyone join in the grand festivities. More information available here: http://www.hemphistoryweek.com/
For centuries, hemp was grown on American soil. The viable, adaptable crop was essential to the growth of industry. Thomas Jefferson endorsed it, declaring, "Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country." During World War II, the U.S. government instituted a program to supply material for military equipment by contracting with farmers to grow hemp. The "Hemp for Victory" effort made sense, but politically the timing was a bit perplexing, considering that a mere five years earlier, Congress had passed the Marijuana Tax Act.
Eight states have industrial hemp laws on their books, including Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia. State policies include:
- defining industrial hemp based on the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol it contains.
- authorizing the growing and possessing of industrial hemp.
- requiring state licensing of industrial hemp growers.
- promoting research and development of markets for industrial hemp.
- excluding industrial hemp from the definition of controlled substances under state law.
- establishing a defense to criminal prosecution under drug possession or cultivation.
New Study Shows Cannabinoids Improve Efficiency Of Mitochondria And Remove Damaged Brain Cells
A recent study conducted by Andras Biokei-Gorzo at the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at the University of Bonn in Germany is suggesting that marijuana(or the activation of the brain’s cannabinoid system) triggers the release of antioxidants, which act as a cleansing mechanism. This process is known to remove damaged cells and improve the efficiency of mitochondria. Mitochondria is the energy source that powers cells. The study was published in Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society, B.
These discoveries shed new insight on how natural marijuana cannabinoids hold the capacity to literally kill the brain inflammation responsible for causing cognitive decline, neural failure, and brain degeneration. By supplying these receptor sites with cannabinoids, patients may be able to overcome brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and more, not to mention premature brain aging. The human brain contains an extensive network of special receptor sites that modulate nervous system function only when activated by the appropriate cannabinoid compounds, which are found in the marijuana plant. Article: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/05/30/new-study-shows-cannabinoids-improve-efficiency-of-mitochondria-and-remove-damaged-brain-cells/
Hemp/Marijuana Updates by State
On Wednesday May 29th Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed the first legislative bills in history to establish a legal and regulated marijuana market for adults. The measures established Colorado as the world’s first legal, regulated and taxed marijuana market for adults.
Jack Finlaw, Gov. Hickenlooper’s chief legal counsel, said that although they were opposed to marijuana legalization, "the will of the voters needed to be implemented".
Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, who served as an official proponent of Amendment 64 and co-director of the campaign in Colorado made the following remarks. "This marks another major milestone in the process of making the much-needed transition from a failed policy of marijuana prohibition to a more sensible system of regulation."
State officials have passed legislation legalizing the planting of industrial hemp within Colorado however the federal government has yet to signal its approval. Therefore Colorado State regulators are urging farmers to wait before planting a hemp crop.
On Wednesday May 29th Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law an historic measure to establish Colorado as the world’s first legal, regulated and taxed marijuana market for adults. Along with this measure, Governor Hickenlooper also signed into law a measure that would start the development of a regulatory framework for the cultivation, distribution and processing of industrial hemp. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/28/hickenlooper-signs-colora_n_3346798.html
In Colorado, a state set to be the first in the country to tax and regulate marijuana for recreational use however agriculture officials are asking anxious hemp farmers to be patient. There’s still work to be done before hemp growers can register with the state’s agriculture department. Link: http://www.kunc.org/post/want-grow-hemp-colorado-officials-say-wait
"A lot of folks believe that industrial hemp has considerable promise and so they’re interested in when they can start," said Ron Carleton, deputy commissioner with the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
"I think [farmers] would be well-advised to wait until the rules are in place and the registration program in place, because I can’t really speak to what legal status they would be in," Carleton said.
Lawmakers in Kentucky have also recently set up a system for farmers to grow process and sell hemp. Kentucky’s senators, Republicans Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Mitch McConnell, have pushed to include hemp legalization into the latest drafts of the farm bill http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/20/mitch-mcconnell-rand-paul-hemp_n_3294613.html .
In all, nine US States http://www.votehemp.com/state.html have removed barriers to growing industrial hemp. About two dozen more have passed legislation to create hemp commissions, resolutions in support of hemp cultivation and directives to study hemp’s potential economic impact.
However, until Congress takes up the legality of hemp, don’t necessarily expect to drive down roads near you and see fields of (legal) green stuff. If Senators Paul and McConnell have their way – fields of legal green stuff may soon become a reality in the United States as it is for Canada, Australia and other European countries.
Somewhat overshadowed by the passage of a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession in Vermont, a second bill that would modify Vermont’s law permitting the growth of hemp by farmers was recently passed by both chambers of the State legislature. Once signed by Governor Peter Shumlin, Senate Bill 157 would modify the requirements for hemp production within Vermont, which was authorized back in 2008 but has not been implemented due to a federal ban on the cultivation of the crop.
The 2008 bill had language which states that Vermont farmers can grow hemp "when federal regulations permit". The new bill allows the Vermont Secretary of Agriculture to begin issuing licenses to grow hemp to qualified farmers – but would be required to inform them that hemp cultivation may be in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Farmers would be required to be licensed by the State to grow hemp. More info here: http://www.thedailychronic.net/2013/17908/vermont-hemp-bill-passes-legislature-heads-to-governor/
In quiet proceedings, the California State Senate unanimously passed (39 – 0) hemp legislation under SB-566. Sponsored by Senator Mark Leno the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act now goes to a vote of the overall California legislature. According to Senator Leno’s office this bill "is necessary to prepare California farmers to grow industrial hemp immediately following federal approval. The bill will allow California farmers to take advantage of this economic opportunity and more quickly meet the demands of California businesses and manufacturers for a local source for raw hemp material."
The California bill:
1. Defines "industrial hemp" as follows:
- An agricultural field crop limited to the non-psycho-active varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa L., and the seeds produced therefrom;
- Industrial hemp shall have no more than 3/10 of 1% (0.3%) THC contained in the dry flowering tops;
- Industrial hemp shall be cultivated and processed exclusively for the purpose of producing the mature stalks of the plant and by-products of the stalk and seed – including oil or cake made from seeds and other preparations.
2. Redefines "marijuana" to exclude industrial hemp when cultivated or processed for defined purposes.
3. Defines "industrial hemp" to mean a non-psycho-active type of the plant Cannabis sativa L. that contains no more than 0.3% THC contained in the flowering tops and cultivated and processed exclusively for the purpose of producing the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, or for other defined purposes.
Cannabis and Medicinal Cannabis Additional Updates
Conservative South Carolina may soon distribute marijuana via SC Dept of Health and Environmental Control. SC minority leader Todd Rutherford is preparing legislation that would include subsidies for SC farmers to potentially grow marijuana and establish a system for regulating distribution and collecting tax revenues. Article: http://www.fitsnews.com/2013/05/22/sc-government-spreading-love-with-the-bud/
Illinois close to becoming the 20th State to legalize medicinal cannabis. House and Senate both have passed legislation that now awaits Gov Quinn’s signature to become law. The Illinois law will allow for the medical usage of cannabis for at least 40 debilitating conditions, such as multiple sclerosis. The Illinois bill would allow for 22 in-state marijuana cultivators and 60 dispensaries within the State. Article: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=221771
A bid to become the third state to legalize marijuana is still alive in Maine. State Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) has sponsored "An Act to Tax and Regulate Marijuana" along with 35 other co-sponsors and the proposed legislation could still be called to a floor debate in the Maine State House and Senate this year. Last November voters in Colorado and Washington approved measures making marijuana legal for recreational purposes among adults 21 and older. Bills to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol have been introduced in over a dozen States this year. Story: http://www.thedailychronic.net/2013/17918/maine-marijuana-legalization-bill-set-back-but-not-dead/
A bill allowing seriously ill New Hampshire residents to use medicinal cannabis moved one step closer to becoming law on May 23rd when the NH Senate voted 18 – 6 in favor of House Bill 573. New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan is requiring several changes to the Bill before earning her signature however. The Governor informed State Senators that they must remove the home cultivation provision, gut the affirmative action defense provisions and require written permission from property owners or tenants before patients may use cannabis on private property. More: http://www.mpp.org/states/new-hampshire/ .
In New York, the state Assembly passed a bill on Monday to legalize medical marijuana by a wide margin, with 95 lawmakers voting in favor of it vs. just 38 opposed. Just as impressively, the measure gained bi-partisan support and now heads to the Senate. Here, the New York State Senate has until the current session ends on June 20 to weigh in. If the bill passes, and receives the approval from Governor Andrew Cuomo, then dozens of dispensaries could open up across New York State.
The bill – sponsored by Assembly Health Committee Chairperson Richard N. Gottfried and Sen. Diane Savino – aims to head off the problems seen in other states with weak medical marijuana regulations by incorporating stringent rules on everything from dispensary applications to inventory tracking requirements. It also calls for an excise tax on marijuana manufacturing and sales, with a good chunk of the revenues going toward local municipalities.
"From Delaware to Maine, almost every state allows medical use of marijuana," Assembly Health Committee Chair Gottfried said in a press release. "If the patient and physician agree that a severe debilitating or life-threatening condition should be treated with medical marijuana, the government should not stand in the way. It is cruel to deny treatment to patients who are suffering or turn them into criminals."
In Nevada, a bill to enhance the state’s long-standing medical marijuana laws by allowing dispensaries to open cleared the Assembly and appears headed for the governor’s desk. Under the measure – Senate Bill 374 – roughly two dozens dispensaries could open across the state. The bill would allow one center in each county, although up to 10 dispensaries could operate in Clark County (which includes Las Vegas) and three in Washoe County (which includes Reno). Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has previously mentioned supporting Dispensaries, so proponents are hopeful of his signature by mid-June on the Bill.
A Union County New Jersey senator introduced a bill last week that would make it easier for sick children who qualify for New Jersey’s medical marijuana program to use it.
The bill was inspired by the plight of 2-year-old Vivian Wilson of Scotch Plains, who is diagnosed with a rare and potentially deadly form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome. Because traditional medications have been unable to control her seizures, her parents, Meghan and Brian Wilson, signed her up for the program. They say they have been encouraged by reports of Colorado children diagnosed with Dravet who have ingested the drug made from a strain that is high in the active ingredient cannabidiol, but low in the psychoactive components that make a person feel high.
"It was never our intent for the state’s medical marijuana program to be so restrictive that a child who is suffering and in desperate need of relief from a debilitating condition could not get access to care," said Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), who sponsored the original medical marijuana law, the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
If all three measures pass (meaning Illinois, New York and Nevada) – and there’s a chance they all could this month – the medical marijuana industry will grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years, leading to thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in additional revenues for industry participants. "There has been a significant shift in the industry over the past few months, as these new states legalize it creates more focus on our industry and a great opportunity for our firm to capture additional markets and market share. Stay tune, there is a lot more to come next week with our highly anticipated product launches." Stated Michelle Sides, Chairman and COO of Medical Marijuana Inc.
This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements and information, as defined within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and is subject to the Safe Harbor created by those sections. This material contains statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements by definition involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Medical Marijuana, Inc. to be materially different from the statements made herein.
About Medical Marijuana, Inc.
Our mission is to be the premier cannabis and hemp industry innovators, leveraging our team of professionals to source, evaluate and purchase value-added companies and products, while allowing them to keep their integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. We strive to create awareness within our industry, develop environmentally friendly, economically sustainable businesses, while increasing shareholder value. For more information, please visit the company’s website at: www.MedicalMarijuanaInc.com.
Investor Relations Contact:
Stuart T. Smith