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Time for an attitude adjustment

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014

* An interesting little turn of events

Pharmacist Joseph Friedman has a dream to open his own medical marijuana dispensary in Illinois. […]

One problem: Pharmacists’ federal licenses prohibit them from dispensing the drug.

That’s why Friedman, of Lincolnshire, is leading a push in Illinois to have pharmacists run marijuana dispensaries and to reclassify the drug as a “Schedule II” substance for medical use.

After Friedman’s presentation Tuesday before the Illinois State Board of Pharmacy, other leading pharmacists expressed interest in the board getting involved as the rules for medical marijuana distribution are sorted out.

But not everybody is happy with this idea

Dan Linn, executive director of NORML Illinois, which works to legalize the drug, said some marijuana advocates fear that the big pharmaceutical industry will take over the potentially multibillion-dollar business, forcing out local growers and retailers.

Oh, please. The more “mainstream” this becomes, the better off everybody is gonna be. I, for one, would love to see Walgreens dispensing med-mar. And if Big Pharma wants to put its massive research facilities to use on this, why stop them? They’ve come up with some incredible medical advances over the years, and they should most definitely be included. This ain’t just a hippie thing any longer.

* Other business news…

* Illinois to see job growth with the help of Magic Johnson: Former NBA superstar Magic Johnson, the new controlling shareholder of Iowa-based EquiTrust, said the company would have 200 workers in downtown Chicago by the end of this year, and planned eventually to have 1,000 here. “You can’t do that in Iowa. If you’re gonna be the kind of insurance company that wants to draw the talent, you gotta look at a state that has 1,200 insurance companies, 28,000 people, a depth of professional capacity and skills that only a city like Chicago has,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel commented.

* Magic Johnson scores Iowa insurer for Illinois: Gov. Terry Branstad vigorously defended Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart on Tuesday when he learned that the EquiTrust move wasn’t just a paper relocation, as was initially believed. “We have a great insurance commissioner and we just had two insurance companies redomicile to Iowa,” Branstad said. Iowa is home to more than 200 insurance companies.

* Quinn seeks statewide petcoke restrictions: KCBX said it has spent $30 million upgrading its storage terminal on Burley Avenue between 108th and 111th streets, including $10 million for new dust-suppression equipment. The company is willing to enclose its petcoke piles but opposes some other requirements Quinn and Emanuel propose, including a provision in city regulations that would force storage terminals to suspend operations when wind speed exceeds 15 mph.

* Durbin and Kirk ask FEMA to fix formulas and level field for disaster aid

- Posted by Rich Miller        


20 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    Considering how the banks are treating folks in the Medical MJ industries not sure you are going to be seeing regular pharmacies anytime soon…


  2. - Empty Suit - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    Hmm going to a pharmacy to get something that has been deemed a medicine. This makes too much sense..it will never work


  3. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    If you buy into the premise that pharmacies should dispense legal drugs, then its hard to argue that they shouldn’t be the ones dispensing med mar.


  4. - Secretariat - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    Pharmacies better start spending time in DC. That has to get fixed first.


  5. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    It is ridiculous that after all these years of states having medical marijuana that the federal government has not bothered to reclassify marijuana as a schedule II drug. I mean COCAINE is a schedule II drug that can be legally dispensed by pharmacists for Pete’s sake.


  6. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    One of those doh! Moments. Of course this should be done, and why didn’t we think of it sooner.

    Now if only the cash from sales could be deposited in a bank under fed law. These pharmacies wlll need massive security since this can only be a cash only business. At least robbers will have good targets for cash hauls now. Viva la crime increasing policies.


  7. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    Just wait till the reports from Colorado start getting digested regarding the increase in tax revenue, tourism and population because of their pot legalization. Other states will get on the bandwagon pretty quick to lossen their laws.


  8. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    Where was Big Pharma during the long legislative battle to get Med Mar approved? Maybe I missed it, but until recently I don’t recall hearing a loud cry from pharmicists about re-classifying marijuana as a Schedule II.

    But now that there’s money to be made…


  9. - dan linn - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    “The Illinois Pharmacists Association opposed the current law in principle but would support having its members oversee the sale of marijuana if it went through the typical federal approval process for medicinal drugs and was reclassified for legal sale, Executive Director Garth Reynolds said.”

    It seems hypocritical to oppose a bill and then when it passes try to capitalize on it. If the pharmacists want to lead the charge to reschedule cannabis that is fine, but why make it a schedule II, III or IV substance other than to maintain certain gatekeepers who can profit from their positions? The safety profile of cannabis is much safer than many schedule II, III, or IV drugs. Treat it like any other therapeutic botanical available at pharmacies but not needing a prescription/recommendation to get it. The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia just released their Cannabis Monograph detailing Standards of Identity, Analysis & Quality Control for cannabis and it hardly made a splash of news despite being the exact place where standards for herbal medicines are developed.


  10. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    Redomicile? Is that even English?


  11. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    I wouldn’t say its hypocritical. You can oppose something, but if it passes accept the new world, adjust and participate. I call that being flexible and intelligent. Pouting about losing and refusing to accept or participate in a changed world would be the troubling behavior, and it’s absence is not hypocritical


  12. - walker - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    It’s understandable that some med-mar supporters don’t want to see the Pharmacists involved.

    The elephant in the room, is that for many (not all) supporters this was never really about legitimate medical use. It was about legalization.


  13. - SandyC - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 3:18 pm:

    No offense to the pharmaceutical world, but I prefer to get Jim’s product from those who have experience and knowledge of the various strains of medical cannabis and proper dispensing. 

    I’d also not be so quick to place cannabis in the same category as controlled substances like morphine or methadone, both of which have killed from side effects and OD. Not to mention how many FDA approved drugs later to be found unsafe. No one has ever died from a cannabis OD and the only terrible side effects are hunger, symptom relief and sleep.

    The pharmaceutical world turned their heads when this bill was up for a vote. There’s only one reason now… Hands out of the cookie jar please… and thank you.


  14. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    Home brew? Home pot in the backyard.


  15. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 4:14 pm:

    Since many folks wish for this substance to be legalized altogether, it seems the pharmacists and MedMar dispensary hopefuls will be out of the loop entirely with little or no money to be made. Chasing after vanishing profits.

    Given the trends, I think it behooves the fed gov’t to get on the ball and approve some research into medical marijuana. However, it may be that they, too, will be bypassed by the legalizing trend.

    I think if there is a move to compel an insurance company (read taxpayer?) to pay for the prescription for this I would object unless there has been clear proof of it’s efficacy in treating the condition for which the substance is prescribed.


  16. - Juvenal - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 8:09 am:

    I have no objection to Walgreens dispensing medical marijuana.

    I do object to reclassifying it as a scheduled drug so that ONLY Walgreens can distribute it.

    “Independent retailers” have a proven track record, and we shouldnt allow the big guys the ability to corner the market.

    When it comes to botanicals, it is critical for consumers that we maintain a genetically diverse supply.


  17. - dupage dan - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    === When it comes to botanicals, it is critical for consumers that we maintain a genetically diverse supply ===

    Just what is it in marijuana that provides the medical benefits? Is it the THC? If so, different types of pot deliver the same substance, albeit in different strengths. Otherwise, diversity is irrelevant. The idea that different pot plant types can provide different substances that can treat different conditions smacks of medical quackery.


  18. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    ===Is it the THC?===

    Not necessarily. A strain has been developed out west with almost no THC that is designed to kill pain.


  19. - dan linn - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    There are different cannabinoid levels in different strains/varieties of cannabis, similar to different flavors and tannins in wine, varieties of scotch and tomatoes. THC is the main psychoactive cannabinoid (CBs) but others like CBD, CBN, and Anandamide (AEA) hold promising therapeutic potential. And while there is a pill that is 100% THC (whereas herbal cannabis can be anywhere from 7%-25% THC) the synergistic effect of these cannabinoids are likely why the substance is therapeutic for such a wide range of conditions and why patients find relief from herbal cannabis and not the synthesized pill. Visit the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines or the International Cannabinoid Research Society websites for more info on peer reviewed published articles on CBs.


  20. - Sandy Champion - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    ======The idea that different pot plant types can provide different substances that can treat different conditions smacks of medical quackery.=====

    Not so quick. I have taken care of Jim, who fought hard for this bill for one reason and one only, it works. Depending on your condition and/or illness or symptoms, there are three distinct differences among cannabis. Sativas, Indicas and Hybrids, all very different from one another in terms of how it affects a patient. Let me explain in layman’s terms so it’s understood better. CBD’s play an important role, but for many, the type and branding is as important when purchasing.

    Sativas: known to produce an uplifting feeling that is typically very energizing and stimulating. Also known to give you a long lasting, clear-head that will leave one more energetic. Most often used by those who have an illness that zaps energy, has depression or just needs an extra jolt to get going.

    Indicas: Known to produce a very relaxing and narcotic-like feeling. Relieves stress, provide full-body pain relief, and helps with sleep at night. Typically ideal for chronic pain, muscle spasms, anxiety, nausea, appetite stimulation and sleeping. Individuals who suffer from diseases like multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, sleep apnea and insomnia tend to benefit from Indica strains.

    Hybrids: Indica/Sativa clones

    * Sativa-dominant Hybrids are typically for those seeking more energy but with both physical and mental relief.

    *Even Hybrids (50/50): Ideal for those seeking a balance of both strains and equal relief of both mental and physical.

    * Indica-dominant Hybrids: Ideal for those who seek full body relief with a relaxing mind. Used by those seeking sleep relief and minor pain.

    So, when there’s a suggestion of medical quackery, I will fight that argument relentlessly. I’ve taken care of someone very very ill with MS for 26 years. The strains I purchase for him are of the utmost importance to me and those helping me to help him. He uses Indica strains and I never buy Sativas. I have considered hybrids, but Indicas work best for his multiple sclerosis and pain relief. And his medical doctors are 100% on board.


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