This is the sixth in a series of articles dedicated to educating Utah lawmakers about the benefits of medicinal cannabis and will be forwarded in an e-mail blast after January 1, 2014 in UtahCARE (Cannabis Awareness, Respect and Education)’s new campaign to “educate in order to medicate”.
Amendment Act B18-622, the "Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010" was approved 13-0 by the Council of the District of Columbia on May 4, 2010 and subsequently signed by the Mayor on May 21, 2010.
The law underwent a 30 day Congressional review period following the signature and as neither the Senate nor the House acted to stop it, therefore it became effective July 27, 2010.
The District of Columbia approved the following conditions as qualified to receive medical marijuana: HIV, AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, cancer, other conditions that are chronic, long-lasting, debilitating, or that interfere with the basic functions of life, serious medical conditions for which the use of medical marijuana is beneficial, patients undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The maximum amount of medical marijuana that any qualifying patient or caregiver may possess at any moment is two ounces of dried medical marijuana. The Mayor may increase the quantity of dried medical marijuana that may be possessed up to four ounces; and shall decide limits on medical marijuana of a form other than dried.
On Apr. 14, 2011, Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the adoption of an emergency amendment to title 22 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR), which added a new subtitle C entitled "Medical Marijuana."
According to the District of Columbia Official Code webpage, the emergency amendment:
"will set forth the process and procedure" for patients, caregivers, physicians, and dispensaries, and "implement the provisions of the Act that must be addressed at the onset to enable the Department to administer the program."
The final ruling was posted online of January 3, 2012 and can be accessed at this link.
A revised timeline for the dispensary application process was posted on February 14 , 2012, the DC Department of Health's Health Regulation and Licensing Administration posted a revised timeline for the dispensary application process, which listed June 8, 2012 as the date by which the Department intended to announce dispensary applicants available for registration.
The first dispensary, Capital City Care, was licensed in April, 2013. Their mission "is to provide pharmaceutical grade, organic medical marijuana and related health services to qualified patients in a safe environment that promotes a sense of health and well-being".
According to their website, Capital City Care is the only organization approved by the District of Columbia to operate both a medical marijuana dispensary and a cultivation center. This enables them to maintain direct control over the quality of their medicine from the beginning of cultivation to the moment the finished product is handed to the patient.
They grow medical cannabis in the District according to exacting organic standards, and screen each harvest to ensure quality, consistency and purity. They have a zero-defect policy in their cultivation center, indicating their cannabis is always free of contaminants like molds, pesticides, spider-mites, or other microscopic organic matter which could compromise the integrity of the product.
Among the District’s dispensaries, Capital City boasts of having the largest supply of medical marijuana and the widest selection of strains and products. They are also constructing D.C.'s first kitchen for producing edible marijuana preparations and Capital City offers concentrates, vaporizers, glass accessories, and other quality products designed to assist their patients.
Capital City will offer patient counseling services for patients that seek additional support. The Integrated Medical Marijuana and Counseling (IMMAC) program was designed, and will be administered by, a 40 year AIDS/HIV specialist with a PhD in Counseling and Psychology. One goal of the IMMAC program is to track and increase adherence rates among HIV/AIDS patients in the medical marijuana program.
They indicate they "strive to provide exemplary service that exceeds our patients’ expectations".
There have been some reports that business has been slow to pick up in the DC area, however those appear to be scattered as it appears dispensaries in the area will soon become invaluable to medical marijuana patients.
With information like this, UtahCARE (Cannabis Awareness, Respect and Education) will continue their lobbying efforts in order to communicate with Utah lawmakers, educating them in the very real need for medicinal cannabis throughout Utah.
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