Medical marijuana law doesn’t go far enough

The recently passed medical marijuana and hemp bills do not go far enough to protect patients and promote the industry.

Only cannabis oil, tinctures and liquids will be sold in dispensaries.

The oil is made from marijuana and requires an ounce of flowers for 3 grams of oil (10 percent yield). Only 25 growers were licensed.

Supplying all our patients is unlikely, so the markup will be so steep that patients will just buy on the black market or grow their own. The law should be amended to allow patients to grow 10 plants for themselves to make their own oil, smoke it, eat it, make hemp rope, fuel, paint, paper or anything they want to do with it.

Cannabis oil is higher in THC, and lower in other very important cannabinoids found in plain marijuana. The synergistic effects of THC, CBD, CBN and CBG, along with other terpenoids and terpenes that possess medical benefits are lost when the oil is overheated or too much solvent is used.

This requires skillful extraction by chemists, which is another drawback over flowers. Raw marijuana is lower in THC, and proportionally higher in other cannabinoids, and is just a more cost effective medicine than oil.

Proper testing and labeling standards need implemented going forward. Plants must be tested to ensure there are no fungi, mold, bacteria, insects, heavy metals, pesticides, additives, etc. in the marijuana.

We should qualify other conditions alleviated by marijuana. No mention is made of treating anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, insomnia, anorexia, cachexia, migraines, arthritis, schizophrenia, hepatitis – conditions that qualify in other states.

Making it available for any ailment it treats, conducting research, allowing home cultivation by patients and allowing industrial applications for all types of marijuana would cut the black market, ease the suffering of patients and allow alternate means of producing paper, canvas, textiles, rope, paint and fuel.

Brandon Hoffmaster

Huntingdon