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More Questions For The Compassionate Use Program

MedCan Foundation - Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Dear Mr. Grigsby,

As promised, below please find additional questions regarding the Texas medical program protocol and of course we will post them on your website.   

Background check –

In the area of the background check, what is being looked at in the fingerprint based criminal history? Are you looking just for felony convictions, or will something like a misdemeanor possession charge cause a dismissal? Will you need this to be done with every Owner, manager, and employee and will this include financial partners as well, or just majority partners?  

Limit on amount of plants –

Will there be limits placed on the number of plants that can be grown by the cultivation centers? And if more is grown than is needed by one certain dispensary/processing facility can the excess be sold to another dispensary/processing facility for their use, maintaining of course records of the exact amount grown and sold to be submitted to the state. This could help alleviate problems with some areas having not enough inventory to aid their patients while others have too much for theirs. Or will one cultivation center be able to provide plants to multiple dispensaries/processing facilities?

Pro-formas & amount of locations –

The pro-formas sent to you have been looked over meticulously by both our growing and processing partners and seem to be very realistic numbers. Based on these numbers do you have a better idea of the number of dispensary licenses you will be handing out and/or the number of cultivation and processing center licenses?

Residency requirements for Dispensary/Cultivation/Lab Owners –

While we see none stipulated in the Compassionate Use Act documents, we do feel that there should be a provision made as in most other states that the Owners must have been Texas residents for the 2 years prior to submitting an application. This could help protect Texas residents from outside sharks and will create more local jobs for a better Texas economy; however, if outside investment feels an appetite for the Texas market they can ask our local entrepreneurs if they can offer talent and capital under a corporate structure and under our Texas corporate and criminal statutes.  

Bond mentioned –

When the subject of the $5,000,000 bond was broached you did acknowledged that this particular concept would not be in the best interest of our applicants; even so, a dollar amount was not discussed at that time. It seems that other than Florida, Colorado the only other state to require a bond and it is only $5,000, much like the bond here in Texas when applying for a liquor license a liquor license. Do you think this would be an acceptable amount for Texas as well?

Financials –

Will any financials be required, or simply as the bill states “the financial ability to maintain operations for at least 2 years” through the submission of a business plan. For example to obtain a liquor license in Texas no financials are required to be submitted, just the owner/directors information, tax ID, location information, and a $5,000 bond. Thank you in advance and please have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July holyday weekend.

All my best,

Dante Picazo, CHA 

President & CEO

Medcan Foundation, Inc.

214-733-0868 MB

817-528-2475 OF

dpicazo@msn.com


More To Follow On DPS Questions

MedCan Foundation - Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Dear Mr. Grigsby,

First of all thank you for responding to our letter so quickly, but most importantly thank you for the time, courtesy and attention that you afforded to Dr. Henry (Medcan Medical Advisor) Mr, Phillip High (Medcan Foundation/High Caliber Analytics), Mr. Levinski and I. Additionally, as agreed I am sending you an additional set of comments and questions; however, please allow me to highlight some of the topics of our conversation:

a) As per your question on how the horticulture centers can be sure that the plants they will be growing would not exceed the .5% THC (20 to 1 ratio) stipulated in the law. Mr. High noted that cloning is the most utilized method of propagating plants and that if appropriately done the clones can be almost identical to the original "mother" plant. On the other hand, by utilizing this process you could get some genetic drift and the THC content could increase, in 2-3 generations and by the 5-6 generation it could be as high as 10%. Consequently, he is of the opinion that the only way to avoid this is by using tissue cultures. in other words, if the plants are started in a Petri dish from the genetic material of the desired "mother" plant and all plants grow in such manner they would be identical to the original with no variance in the THC; and while more expensive than cloning, this progression will guarantee that every plant grown has the exact same THC and CBD content as the original. For a more detailed explanation of tissue culturing here is a link: http://www.triqsystems.com/blog/tips-tricks/tissue-culturing-can-benefit-legal-cannabis-operation.htm. Once more, as discussed if we start with a “mother” (original) plant with the proper THC and CBD levels stipulated, all clones from tissue culturing would be identical; however, if standard clones are used then each and every plant would need to be tested for potency and noncompliant plants removed and destroyed prior to harvesting.

b) As well, please know that it was enormous to know that the state of Texas will not limit the amount of licenses that will be issued to a ridiculous number of "3 or more licenses for the entire state" the way it was originally publicized.

c) What's more, it is refreshing to be aware of the fact that the state of a Texas Directors for the medical plan are cautiously working on helping our patients truly obtain their medication by creating terminology that can be use by Physicians when recommending CBD Epilepsy medication so that they do not have to prescribe a federally illegal substance.

d) In addition, we discussed the subject matter regarding the quantity of plant material needed to produce the oil and it was stated that plants should yield about 6-8 ounces of flower per plant, which would equate to 168-224 grams. With using the 6.6 grams of plant material to yield 1 gram of refined oil, each plant should yield 25-34 grams of oil. Again, a differences can arise, based on extractions process, growing technique, etc. nevertheless, this quantitative principle/measurement can be use as a yardstick to get close to an educated and safe average.

TRACKING

Any thoughts on which inventory tracking system the state will utilize for the medical cannabis?  As there are several companies that manufacture this technology (Franwell, MMJ Freeway, BioTrack to name a few) by certifying one for the state everyone would be on the same system making it easier on the RSD (Regulatory Services Division) to keep track of usages and inventories. The purpose of these is to establish a system that could allow the RSD and the grower/lab/dispensary to jointly track medical cannabis/CBD and/or medical CBD-Infused Product from either seed or immature plant stage until the product is sold to the patient or destroyed. These inventory tracking systems are web-based tools coupled with RFID (radio frequency identification) technology that would allow both the user and the RSD the ability to identify and account for all medical cannabis/CBD and/or medical CBD -Infused Product. Through the use of RFID technology, a cultivation facility would tag either the seed or immature plant with an individualized number which would follow the medical cannabis/CBD through all phases of production and final sale to a patient. This would allow the RSD and the user the ability to monitor and track medical cannabis/CBD and medical CBD -Infused Products. The inventory tracking system would also provide a platform for the RSD to exchange information and provide compliance notifications to the industry

TESTING

Would this be done by an independent lab, or would this be part of the processing done on site? If done on site it, we would recommend it be certified by a company’s Medical Director prior to being dispensed to the patient. We would recommend that each batch of oil, edibles or harvest of plant material be tested as to potency and contaminates to insure only the highest quality and safest product reaches the patient. This is typically done by taking a sample from each batch or harvest and usually takes 1 day to complete. We feel that the products should be tested for pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, mold, fungus, and heavy metals in addition to potency, again this would insure only the safest products reach our patients. All other medicines have information regarding the strength or dosage of the product, and we feel it should be no different with medical cannabis/CBD products.

PATIENT PRIMARY CARE CENTER

Will patients be allowed to use any dispensary to obtain their medicine, or must they register to use a certain one? As we understand it the patients must register with the state of Texas and have a registered doctor’s recommendation and dosage required prior to going to a dispensary. Once in the dispensary they can receive their medication after their prescription is verified with the state (a computerized database we assume) to insure they are not being over medicated, or their prescription has not already been filled elsewhere. If the dispensary knew in advance the number of patients and dosages required they would be able to assure they have an adequate inventory to fill all orders. Otherwise, depending on the number of dispensaries in a given market, it could be possible to exceed the inventory a dispensary has on hand if an exceptional amount of patients walk in on the same day without notice. This could be avoided if the dispensaries knew of the approximate number of patients in their respective markets, and their dosage requirements in order for them to make an educated guess on necessary inventory levels. We feel that patients should choose their dispensary/caregiver and not be able to change dispensaries for a 3 month period. This would allow dispensaries/cultivation sites to plant/grow the appropriate amount of medication to fulfill their patients’ needs.

DOCTOR REGISTERED TO PRESCRIBE CBD

How does a doctor apply for a license to prescribe/recommend? Would you require that the doctor before ordering CBD for use by a patient, to successfully complete an 8-hour course and subsequent examination that encompasses the clinical indications for the appropriate use of CBD, the appropriate delivery mechanisms, the contraindications for such use, as well as the relevant state and federal laws governing the ordering, dispensing, and  possessing of CBD? Additionally, please know that the state of  Louisiana is proposing, that doctors could be issued a separate special prescription license just for CBD, this then would not interfere with their DEA license. Or will the physician once registered with the state of Texas as being licensed to recommend/prescribe CBD be exempt from prosecution for recommending/prescribing CBD to their patients?

TAXES

Will there be sales tax added to the medicine and if so, at what rate? Will we be using the same rate as the Liquor Tax of 14%, or simply the 8.25% sales tax? We could use the 14% tax rate with 8.25% utilized as it is now for state, city, county, etc. with the remaining 5.75% going to fund additional research into medical cannabis in the state, possibly through one of the state universities.

MEDICAL DIRECTOR

Will a Medical Director be required for each dispensing organization or would this be needed only in the labs/processing facilities? We feel this should be a licensed physician, registered with the state who would help maintain the integrity of the facility as well as certify that the products being dispensed are of the highest quality and purity.

LABELING

Will there be labeling requirements for the CBD oil and/or CBD edibles? In our opinion all products dispensed should be in child-proof packaging and properly labeled as to the ingredients, potency, and recommended dosage. You could also include the product’s test results as a way to certify the potency/purity of the product. Labels could also identify all additives used in the cultivation/processing of the products, such as fertilizers; pesticides; fungicides; etc., so that patients can avoid allergic or negative responses. Containers for edible CBD products should also be labeled with all ingredients, if refrigeration is required, standard serving limit and expiration date.

We look forward to continuing our discussions with you. If you or anyone in your group has any questions regarding the above inquiries, please feel free to reach me via my cell phone at 214/733-0868.  Otherwise, hopefully we'll meet you during our seminar in Austin on August 8th & 9th. Lastly, on behalf of our Texas patients and the entire Medcan family I would like to thank the entire Regulatory Services Division for the hard work and urgency that all of you have demonstrated while creating a plan that all of us can be proud of.  Thank you for you class "A" heart.

All my best,

Dante Picazo, CHA 

President & CEO

Medcan Academy of Cannabis Science

214-733-0868 MB

817-528-2475 OF

dpicazo@msn.com

Medcan Questions For The DPS

MedCan Foundation - Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Dear Mr. Bowie,

Dear Ms. Stevens,

Thank you for the time, courtesy and attention that you afforded me during our conversation regarding the creation of the Texas Compassionate Use Program. As per your guidance the following in no order of importance are some of our questions and concerns regarding implementation and execution of the program:

1) How many licenses should we (Texans) be prepare to receive. According to the information so far presented to date we understand that we will be given 3 or more. Naturally, given the amount (statistically speaking) of epilepsy patients in Texas (175,000) we are requesting for your directors to please take into consideration-exercise compassion and at least allow us to have a provider/caregiver in the following main Texas markets: Dallas, Corpus Christi, Harlingen/Brownsville area, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, San Angelo, El Paso, Midland/Odessa, Texarkana, Laredo, and Amarillo/Lubbock. Perceptibly, surely your directors will understand that medical cannabis patients that are not having their medication covered by any insurance plan should not be put through the financial pain and/or not utilize the program because of having to drive or fly from El Paso to Dallas, incur hotel, other expenses and on top of that pay for the medication. You will find that a  large percentage of the epilepsy patients are scarcely going to be able to pay for their cannabis medicine. 

2) Are the growing facilities and medical clinic/dispensary going to be able to be separated but under one roof, or is the grow facility going to be separated by large distances from the medical clinic/dispensary? Please keep in mind that somewhat of a large facility is going to be needed for the growing facility due to the fact that, for the most part, it is going to take eight times the product to extract the purity of the specified ratio of 20:1 CBD oil, example:

 

EPILEPSY IN TEXAS

175,000

PATIENTS

6.6 g plant = 1 g oil

20% USAGE

35,000

PATIENTS

Plant needed

69,300

g/day

300mg AVG. DOSAGE/DAY

10,500

GRAMS/DAY OIL

2,475

oz/day

28 GRAMS PER OZ.

375

OZ/DAY OIL

155

lb/day

155lb/day = 56,575lb/yr

16 OZ PER POUND

23

LB/DAY OIL

300

plants/day

WEEK

164

Lbs. OIL

2,100

plants/week

MONTH

703

Lbs. OIL

25,200

plants/3 months (grow cycle)

YEAR

8,555

Lbs. OIL

A greenhouse on an acre utilizing half the area for flowering (21,780 sq ft) can produce around 4,574lb/year, 18.5 acre greenhouses needed, 269,392sq ft flower area, 404,088sq ft total.  Obviously, there are some variations that could apply depending on systems, equipment, operators, growing methodology, etc.  

3) Conversely, the above information, with all things being equal, should be a pretty realistic and defendable theory/information.3)     Licensing procedures/regulation- If there is a systemic and more ridiculous, absurd problem that has no shape or form, rhyme or reason or that has been tailored to an organized chaos in the cannabis states is the topic of licensing medical cannabis operators. To give you an example the Arizona medical cannabis program requested a non-refundable $25,000 fee per each application and utilized a lottery criteria to give out the state licensing permits; on the other hand, the state of Florida is requesting an extremely and unrealistic $60,000 non-refundable fee just so the people can submit an application. The criteria lays on the fact that the constituents must pay for the entire cost of the initial program and the medical cannabis government team recruited and that was necessary to manage the program, in other words a minimum of 15 applicants times $60,000 equals $900,000 which once more it will cover the $900,000 cost that the state is experiencing to manage the medical project. In our opinion the fallacy with both agendas is the upfront exorbitant non-refundable fees. As a result, the applicants despise the high initial fees and the reason is simple since their application may not be accepted; nevertheless, they still end up losing their hard-earned dollars. We are of the opinion that a more reasonable non-refundable fee could work better and then once qualified the cost of the license increases dramatically so that the state can cover their expenses and the accepted licensee group can raise the funds and write them off as the cost of doing business. Furthermore, it also seems as if the point criteria system-application package, (points are given based on experience, knowledge of and the ability to grow and process cannabis to oil as well as the medical and financial background to fulfill the obligations to the patients) could work in Texas  better than a lottery system. Due to the fact that unfortunately we are talking about an epilepsy medication and not the entire medical program or a recreational marijuana structure, simply because added scientific and medical information is going to be necessary to make sure that the patients receive the utmost professional medical care. Therefore, a selection based on the background of the entity is going to give us a much safer, consistent and medical certified comfort. Additionally, in many other states applicants are forced and required to submit their applications along with the non-refundable fees, signed leases, architectural plans, electrical and plumbing plans, plot plans, etc. Instead with a 2 or 3 step process, we could be given a ticket to the ball game first and with an approval for a license, then require the necessary leases and plans to be submitted for approval along with the necessary fees to end with completion of the project and upon your final inspection be ready to serve our patients. Thus, the 3 step licensing  criteria will allow the lucky recipients to undergo a much more comfortable financial process and at the same time will not bring financial devastation to those that were not able to qualify. Consequently, avoiding financial distress for the smaller entrepreneur that at times could take years to repair. Conclusively, regarding this matter please keep in mind that the small entrepreneur/business person has been the nucleus of our healthy business society in Texas, let’s not destroy them in the process.

4)   Lawsuits – While I clearly understand that this may be a moot point, I wouldn’t feel comfortable if we do not raise the uncomfortable subject; even though, we suspect that this topic could be out of your jurisdiction and perhaps you may not even care to address  issues not pertaining to the protocol only. Nevertheless, I would implore that you have your staff research the great amount of lawsuits that have been filed in medical cannabis states due to the fact of what has been perceived as an unjust law. Consequently, if you could find it in your heart and since your office has the ear of the governor, you might request that the ratio of the medication changes from 20:1 to 20:2. As you can imagine, this change will not benefit anyone at all whatsoever other than an epilepsy patient that needs to have an incredibly small, minute increase on the THC side to activate the CBD for a better resulting medication. Again, if your department produces the utmost beautiful program for what could be construed by patients and doctors as a non-effective law, the incredibly scientific medical and patient lawsuits may start rolling in. As you well know, other states that have presented somewhat ineffective laws have gone into the courtroom only to interfere with a program’s timely implementation for a lifesaving medication. At the risk of being redundant, this may be a subject that your department may not wish to undertake but my better judgement compels me to raise the issue and bring it to your attention; predominately, because our firm has the idea that every patient should have their medication and the freedom to expect a better quality of life.
   
5)     Medcan Austin Seminars – As an FYI Medcan Foundation has been presenting medical cannabis seminars to the people of Texas for the last 8 years. Based on our venue selected, we have always sold out and the people that attend the seminars are from all walks of life, from patients in a wheelchair, doctors of all specialties, pharmacists, business people, drug addiction government program directors, horticulturists, electrician/plumbing construction entrepreneurs, etc. In view of that, allow me to invite you and a member of your board to attend our next Austin seminar on August 8th & 9th. Perhaps, as a representative of a government agency you are unable to deal with the complimentary, no charge premise of our offer; albeit, it could be addressed from an angle of education and better understanding of the complexity of your project. Moreover, perhaps a member of your group could address our audience for 15-30 minutes to explain the program and/or a question and answer session that could be highly beneficial to the structure of your ideas. Otherwise, please feel free to register and pay for  as many seats/tickets as you may need to in order to enjoy our educational program, please visit our website at www.medcanfoundation.com for additional information. Our curriculum encompasses but is not limited to medical, horticulture, chemistry, construction, history, law enforcement, etc. Needless to say, should you and any of your colleagues accept to attend you will enjoy an environment that will allow you to feel as if you literally are rolling up your sleeves, getting your hands dirty and obtaining information directly from the horse’s mouth; which will probably lead toward a medical program that will be more realistic in nature and with a much greater success rate of implementation.

Conclusively, please know that the above five topics are simply realistic observations that are meant to be constructively provocative to a linear thinking course of action. On the other hand, I hope that you accept our comments in the spirit in which they are given. At this point, Medcan has somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 other questions and concerns that will be forwarded to your office and posted on your website for your consideration. However, our directors (doctors, lawyers, patients, chemists, horticulturists, law enforcement agent, etc.) will be quickly digesting our information so that it can be presented to your office in a much more concise form. Thank you in advance.

All my best,

Dante Picazo, CHA 

President & CEO

Medcan Foundation, Inc.

214-733-0868 MB

817-528-2475 OF

dpicazo@msn.com

Medcan the heart of cannabis 4 Texas!!

MedCan Foundation - Friday, June 12, 2015



From Dante’s Desk:

I would like to take a minute out of my day to thank each and every one of you for attending the seminar this past weekend; furthermore, my deepest gratitude to all the speakers that were kind enough to travel to Austin to help us make a difference. Additionally, please know that Medcan came away from the seminar with both a feeling of comfort and purpose. Honestly, I felt that most of you had a great opportunity to network, exchange telephone numbers and most importantly leave with the understanding that you are not alone in this journey and that there are a lot of us working towards the same goal and ready to help and support each other to continue to bring freedom to the State of Texas and cannabis medication for those in need; as well as, to make a dollar and to continue to crack the hard cement in the political road of cannabis legalization. I know that many of you would like to continue networking and connecting with Medcan, please know that the feeling is mutual and please give us literally from 48-72 hours and I promise you we will get back to each of you. However, since our return our focus has been the Florida's Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act and the Texas Compassionate Use Act. As a  matter of fact, we have lunch set for next week with the Director of DPS Regulatory Division and the goal is to have Medcan help write the law/protocol on how the Texas mandate is going to work for the people in Texas. Moreover, please understand that the state of Florida is already receiving applications for the licenses and we only have until July 8, 2015 to submit our applications. And in Texas, according to the Governor mandate, the protocol and all details for the Texas Compassionate Use Act have to be completed and ready to go to the public no later than December 1, 2015. As you can imagine, time is of the essence.

Again, at the risk of being redundant, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your incredibly valuable time investment this last weekend, for your great questions and participation but most importantly for your class “A” heart. With people like you the cannabis future is no longer an illusion, instead it has and will become a reality. My particular thanks to Mr. Hopper a true veteran and survivor of the war on drugs, kudos to you sir for teaching all of us of the true passion, necessary persistance and the methodology required to make it to the fourth quarter. Thank you for allowing us to see your indominatable spirit. Thanks to all and we will be in touch.


From Henry’s Desk:

As most of you are aware, Florida’s Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act has now been cleared to go ahead. Five dispensing organizations will be chosen by the end os this summer so that medication can finally reach the patients by the end of this year. Each of these organizations must be able to cultivate 400,000 plants and provide 1 gram of Low-THC cannabis to 15,000 patients per day, or 1000 pounds a month, or over 6 tons per year! Applications are being taken from June 17th through July 8thand must include all details of the grow facility, production facility and methods, dispensing facility, medical director’s qualifications, and financials. So you can see there is a lot to do in a very short time.

As Dante mentioned, we have a meeting set up next week to speak with the Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Regulatory Services Division, the individual responsible for creating the rules, regulations and licensing protocol for the Texas Compassionate Use Act. The RSD wants to have all the rules and regulations in place by December 1, 2015 and plans to license at least 3 dispensing organizations to cultivate, process, and dispense Low-THC cannabis to patients as prescribed by a registered physician. Physicians register with the state to prescribe cannabis and as such are exempt from prosecution under state law.


From Nancy’s Desk:

Thanks to everyone that attended the seminar, a lot of you were able to purchase our Medcan t-shirts and if anybody else needs to order any more, please call our office number 817.528.2475. Also, please know that we have already sold quite a few seats for the next seminar in Austin on August 8th & 9th ;consequently, those of you that didn’t get to reserve space for this last seminar please start reserving your seats, simply because we will have pretty much most of the information regarding the Florida and Texas bills and I know that most of us are anxious to understand how these bills are going to function, particularly in Texas. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you in Austin in August.


HALLELUJAH

MedCan Foundation - Friday, June 12, 2015



From Dante’s Desk: 

Hallelujah, please join us today in the celebration of our new baby SB 339 And while most of us understand that this bill has limitations, the rest of us also understand that this baby is going to show us what it is going to want to be when it grows up. In other words, is this baby going to charter the course for a full plant medical cannabis bill in 2017? Honestly I think it’s up to us, as a matter of fact most of us should expect a great future from today's humble and rather small victory. Again, we are in front of history and we are in front of interesting times; congratulations, Texas you deserve this victory. Now let’s start talking about licensing, growing facilities, oil extraction, dispensing facilities but most importantly our patients. But beware that we do not go rest on our laurels, instead let us prepare a stronger strategy for a full blown medical marijuana bill now that we have proved the ‘never in Texas’ people that it can be done.  It appears as if we are going to have a KUMBAYA seminar in Austin, and as Henry says this will not be a seminar to be missed.

           

From Ginebra’s Desk:

For those of you that have been calling the office, our website staff has added an upgrade button to make it easy to upgrade from the standard seat to a VIP seat. And we couldn't agree with you more, absolutely, this of course gives you the perfect opportunity to network with others and create profound relationships during the lunches and dinner Saturday night. Because of this, we have more VIPs this session than standard registrations, so for those of you that requested it you can now easily upgrade on our website or call Dante or Henry for help on doing this.


From Henry’s Desk:

Regarding the Florida bill, yes it is finally out of the courtroom, so from here until the end of the year all Medcan members will have to be on roller skates and Dante will be racking the frequent flyer miles. Capitalizing on the progress in Puerto Rico and Florida and of course now our home state of Texas has now become our immediate priority. In  addition, Phillip you are correct (Phillip High, Medcan VP of R&D) consequently, our search for horticulture partners with 30 years’ experience and able to grow 400,000 plants, needing education of oil extraction and how to grow medical cannabis and needing capital has immediately become Medcan’s target. Needless to say, we will keep you updated. We look forward to seeing everyone in Austin on June 6th & 7th, prepare for tons of information and as Dante says we're going to cannabis you away.

Global Marijuana March & Cannabis Bills Update

henry levinski - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dear Medcan Friends,

I would like to remind each and every one of you to continue registering for Medcan's seminar in Austin on June 6th & 7th, for more details please call us and/or visit our website atwww.medcanfoundation.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/med.can.13.

Also, please accept this email as an update of the hearings for the three marijuana bills at the Texas state Capital. Tuesday 4-28-2015 was the beginning of a historic day in the Medical Cannabis Reform Movement. 100 plus activists, patients, caregivers, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers gave one voice to the eternal truth that Cannabis is Medicine and it can save and improve the quality of life for Texans that need its healing properties. The three bills that were heard were Rep. Naishtat's HB 837 on Affirmative Defense, Rep. Klick's HB 892 on Epilepsy Only CBD, and Rep. Marquez HB 3785 on Whole Plant Medical Marijuana. 

Tears rolled often at a Public Health Committee hearing on Tuesday night in Texas as legislators heard testimony on a medical marijuana bill. Parents, patients, doctors, veterans, a county commissioner from Longview, self-described conservative Christians, and many other Texans testified in support of House Bill 3785, which would fully legalize medical marijuana for use by those with seizures, severe pain, and multiple other conditions. If passed, the program would be implemented in 2016 by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Among those testifying was Barbara Humphries, a 31-year-old patient with Stage 3 breast cancer, had many openly crying as she told her story about enduring a double mastectomy, nine months of chemotherapy, and the struggles which accompanied her treatment, including nausea and severe pain. She says that medical marijuana made the nausea go away, she was able to eat and regain weight, and her pain was greatly managed by it. She brought with her a letter from her doctor who expressed shame in not being able to prescribe medical cannabis, and stated that she shouldn’t be made into a criminal for taking a safe and effective medicine. Humphries ended her testimony by asking, “why is it so bad that a patient feels good?”

Dean Bortell testified in support of the bill as well on behalf of his daughter Alexis, who he says is exiled in Colorado where she has experienced great success through treatment of her seizures with cannabis oil. Alexis suffered a minor seizure after 33 days of treatment due to the flu, which Dean says would have likely killed her in Texas.

Countless patients testified that medical marijuana has saved their life, and many said it wasn’t about getting high, but about getting relief. Over 70 people testified in support of the medical marijuana bill. One organization was slated to likely testify in opposition, the Sheriff’s Association of Texas, however when called they did not come forward. No testimony was given against the bill.

Testimony went on for six hours, and finished up just before midnight. The bill has been left pending in committee, and it is not known if or when it will be scheduled for a vote.

Also discussed at the same time was House Bill 837, which provides an affirmative defense to patients in court who have a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana. This gives a judge the discretion to dismiss charges, or for a jury to acquit someone consuming cannabis for medicinal reasons. Most who testified in support of the medical marijuana bill also supported the affirmative defense bill as well. That bill has also been left pending in committee.

One legislator on the committee, Elliott Naishtat, stated in closing that it would only be a matter of not if, but when Texas will legalize medical cannabis.

Furthermore, please join us this coming Saturday so that we can together support our Global Marijuana March in your respective cities. For more information please visit your very own NORML Facebook page to learn all the details. Thank you we look forward to seeing you this coming Saturday May 2nd.

Medcan Plans

henry levinski - Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dear Medcan Friends,

As an FYI, we are posting great information on our Facebook page, please friend us at www.facebook.com/med.can.13 and/or share our Facebook address with your friends. Additionally, I would like to thank the people that have signed up for the seminar, particularly Mr. Bishop and Ms. Gambill. I will call you soon to discuss all details pertinent to your seminar attendance expectations.

On a different note, thanks to the overwhelming response regarding our last email; and yes Jason and Sabrina of course, if we don’t see a law change in Texas during this legislative session you are correct, Medcan will have to start operating in the state of Florida. It would be impossible for Medcan to sit around and wait for two more years; however, it doesn’t look as such will be the case, the momentum of the campaign appears to be getting larger and larger. Consequently, we remain Texas positive and will continue to try to secure partnerships/allegiances in Texas. Nevertheless, if Florida is our initial destiny of course we would be honored to add you and Sabrina to our list of great company. Moreover, you should know that Medcan is already working to put together our group of doctors in Florida that will help us and represent us with our licensing applications. Particularly since as of now, Florida has determined that they will only issue 20 licenses initially and as you can imagine there will probably be at least five hundred applications. As well, we need to keep in mind that the initial application fee is $50,000 and if licensed there is an additional fee of $125,000. As you can imagine, the stakes are high and time is of the essence. Since we are not looking to get left out in the cold we are planning to stay active, focused and proactive so in case one state fails us then we don’t have to start from a position of disadvantage; and if by any chance we are fortunate enough to receive licensing opportunities for both states, needless to say, that would be a blessing and we have positioned ourselves to aggressively undertake the two markets. More to the point, our Facebook and website has a direct link to the legislatures so as soon as there is activity on any of the bills we receive an email informing us of it. As you can see we are directly wired to receive our info as soon as it comes out of the oven and directly from the horse’s mouth. Furthermore, it’s all looking good in Texas and it’s all looking good in Florida and all of us should start getting ready. Again I would recommend to everyone to sign up for the seminar, this will not one to be missed. Predominantly because by June 6th we will have all the details and the dos and don’ts of the immediate future of cannabis in Texas and Florida. Thank you, we look forward to seeing you in Austin on the weekend of June 6th and 7th.

 

All my best,

Henry Levinski

VP of Franchise Operations

Medcan Foundation, Inc.

817.528.2475 MB

henry.levinski@sbcglobal.net

Legislative Updates

MedCan Foundation - Thursday, March 19, 2015



Dear Medcan Friends,

It was nearly a decade ago that Medcan was born in Dallas and I’m not going to lie to all of you the genesis of our business enterprise was thorny, murky, and unbelievably intimidating to say the least. I remember calling  Brian Cuban, attorney at law, to ask him day after day, time and again, if I was going to go to jail for basically advocating Cannabis law reform in the State of Texas.  Our directors and staff members were also frightened regarding the actual scheduling of our first seminar; consequently,  we ended up scheduling meetings with the top Drug Enforcement Agents from El Paso, San Antonio, Dallas, and all the way to their national headquarters in Washington, DC. We wanted a crystal clear response that would guarantee us that while conducting our first seminar, enforcement agents were not going to disrupt our meetings and take each and every one of us (instructor and students) to jail. Those were candidly forbidding times. Furthermore, when we received a green light from the various law enforcement institutions with their blessings regarding our First Amendment Rights and we were able to place an ad for our first seminar in the San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas newspapers for advertisement, our office was inundated with phone calls from people that feared that we were a government set up and others (probably gang  members or cartels) threatening our lives and calling us every offensive name in the book for trying to bring Medical Cannabis out of the shadows.

Those were truthfully difficult times; I remember that when I used to look for a light at the end of the tunnel the only light that I was able to see was the light of the train that was literally going to run us over. I thank God about the fact that Medcan as one with each and every one of you out there (Texans) has been able to withstand the test of time. Again, together we have been able to crack some very hard cement, kudos to you Texans, keep up the good work. Together we will be unstoppable; hence, I challenge you to call your representatives to let your voice oblige law reform change , let this be our clarion call once and for all for the truth of Cannabis Medication. 

The following in no order of importance is a detailed synopsis for Cannabis in all its dimensions for our State of Texas and for the entire USA: There are currently 55 State and 4 Federal legislative bills being introduced regarding Cannabis and Hemp in the United States, and the number seems to increase every day. The following is a brief overview of the bills and the States they are being introduced in.

Legalization is the eventual development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could buy marijuana for personal use from a safe legal source. This policy, generally known as legalization, exists on various levels in a handful of European countries like The Netherlands and Switzerland, both of which enjoy lower rates of adolescent marijuana use than the U.S. Such a system would reduce many of the problems presently associated with the prohibition of marijuana, including the crime, corruption and violence associated with a "black market." Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans. According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. Our public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it.

State Legislation: Legalization 19 Bills: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, and Washington.

Decriminalization is the removal of all penalties for the private possession and responsible use of marijuana by adults, including cultivation for personal use, and casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts. This policy removes the consumer -- the marijuana smoker -- from the criminal justice system.

State Legislation: Decriminalization 11 Bills: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Medical marijuana is legal access to cannabis with a physician’s recommendation. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief -- particularly of neuropathic pain (pain from nerve damage) -- nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant, specifically for patients suffering from HIV, the AIDS wasting syndrome, or dementia. Emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors and are neuroprotective. Currently, more than 60 U.S. and international health organizations support granting patients immediate legal access to medicinal marijuana under a physician's supervision.

State Legislation: Medical 17 Bills: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It is a tall, slender, fibrous plant similar to flax or kenaf. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed and other products. Although it grows wild across much of America and presents no public health or safety threat, hemp is nevertheless routinely uprooted and destroyed by law enforcement. Each year, approximately 98% of all the marijuana eliminated by the DEA's "Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program" is actually hemp.

State Legislation: Hemp 8 Bills: Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

In addition to the aforementioned plethora of State legislation, at the Federal level there is the following legislation being introduced.

Federal Legislation: 4 Bills

Conclusively, I honestly feel that our stars are beginning to line up and our God is answering our prayers, keeping our wolves in the mountains, and our Cannabis medication by our beds. Thank you and while the fight is still not over please know that the State of Texas has never before introduced 10 bills for Cannabis law reform before so keep your fingers crossed and above all for those of you that want to just sit, sit, and the ones that want to walk with us follow us because we are walking, but above all lets never again wobble, thank you. As one we can make history we are in front of interesting times let us capitalize on the beauty of the instant, remember we are no longer the Scarlet letter or perhaps we should be? Let me know. 

All my best,

Dante Picazo, CHA

President & CEO

Medcan Foundation, Inc.

214-733-0868 MB

dpicazo@msn.com

Cannabis in Texas What Does the Future Hold

henry levinski - Saturday, November 15, 2014

What does the future hold for cannabis in Texas?

http://blog.chron.com/bakerblog/2014/11/cannabis-industry-what-does-the-future-hold/ 

Baker Institute Viewpoints

MedCan Foundation - Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What does the future hold for cannabis in Texas?

http://blog.chron.com/bakerblog/2014/11/cannabis-industry-what-does-the-future-hold/ 


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