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Pa. Senate bill would authorize sale of medical marijuana edibles | Monday Morning Coffee

Twenty-five other states with medical marijuana already allow such sales, Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, said

April 11, 2022 7:07 am
medical marijuana edibles

Twenty-five other states with medical marijuana laws already allow the sale of edibles, Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, said (Getty Images).

Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

I know it’s a little early, but medical pot brownies, anyone?

If state Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, gets his way, Pennsylvania could join the company of 25 states that allow for the sale of medical cannabis edibles, adding some variety to the pills, tinctures, and other distribution methods already allowed under existing state law.

Laughlin, who’s already the co-sponsor of a bill that would authorize the home growing of medical cannabis, says his proposal would make life easier for the state’s 400,000 medical cannabis patients, because the oral consumption of medical cannabis is among the best ways “to achieve the ‘time-release’ effect that these patients need,” he said.

Under current law, there’s nothing stopping medical cannabis patients from whipping up a batch of of pot brownies or cookies at home. But “incorporating medical cannabis into food is complex; many patients struggle to evenly disperse the medical cannabis’s active ingredients, like THC, throughout their food in a way that ensures uniform relief from symptoms,” Laughlin wrote in an April 8 memo seeking co-sponsors for his proposal.

And that “lack of uniformity can cause patients to accidentally consume too little or too much medicine at once,” Laughlin noted.

State Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, speaks at a press conference announcing a bill to legalize marijuana with Democratic state Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, on Feb. 24, 2021. (Courtesy of Senate Democrats)

In a statement his office released on Friday, Laughlin said his bill will ensure that edible forms of medical cannabis are tested for “consistency/potency and designed in a way that does not appeal to children.”

Cookies and brownies that don’t appeal to kids? Godspeed, senator. If you’ve met a typical American child, the more repulsive the labeling, the more likely they’re going to want to try it.

At any rate, Laughlin said he believes that “edibles produced by one of Pennsylvania’s licensed grower/processors and tested by one of our approved laboratories would be uniform in their THC distribution and potency, as well as clearly labeled and stored in child-proof containers,” Laughlin said.

And “for many patients, edibles offer an easy and appropriate way to get relief from their medical conditions, and that’s always been the goal of medical cannabis: providing relief to patients,” he added.

Pennsylvania authorized medical cannabis in 2016, and eligible patients can use it to treat a host of maladies, including:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
  • Anxiety disorders;
  • Autism;
  • Cancer, including remission therapy;
  • Crohn’s disease;
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system (brain-spinal cord) with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, and other associated neuropathies;
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders;
  • Epilepsy;
  • Glaucoma;
  • HIV / AIDS;
  • Huntington’s disease;
  • Inflammatory bowel disease;
  • Intractable seizures;
  • Multiple sclerosis;
  • Neurodegenerative diseases;
  • Neuropathies;
  • Opioid use disorder for which conventional therapeutic interventions are contraindicated or ineffective, or for which adjunctive therapy is indicated in combination with primary therapeutic interventions;
  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain;
  • Sickle cell anemia;
  • Terminal illness; and
  • Tourette syndrome.

“Pennsylvania’s patients should be able to buy edible medical cannabis that is safe, uniform and securely packaged and labeled, just as they do in 25 other states that have legalized medical cannabis,” Laughlin said.

Legislation that would legalize adult-use recreational cannabis also is currently before the state Senate.

Clairton Coke Works (Pittsburgh City Paper photo)

Our Stuff.
In this week’s edition of The Numbers RacketCassie Miller runs down the list of Pennsylvania counties that received an ‘F’ for their air quality on an annual statewide report card compiled by the American Lung Association.

Amid spiking gasoline prices, Pennsylvania’s gas tax, among the highest in the nation, has moved to the front of the ongoing gubernatorial campaign, Stephen Caruso reports.

Former President Donald Trump has endorsed television physician Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s closely watched Republican primary for U.S. Senate, I report. Now the big question: Will it matter?

Speaking of the Senate race, our partners at the Philadelphia Gay News look at efforts by the Democratic hopefuls to mine for votes in the state’s biggest city.

In a special report, our friends at Bay Journal report that billions of dollars in federal aid is on the way to attack abandoned mine pollution in Pennsylvania and other key states.

Point Park University in Pittsburgh will hold its first Lavender Graduation for LGBTQ students on April 23 in the Highmark Theater inside the Pittsburgh Playhouse, our partners at Pittsburgh City Paper report.

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ new 2022 Philadelphia citywide poll found that 70% of the city’s residents think crime, drugs and public safety are the biggest issues facing the city, our partners at City & State Pa. report.

On our Commentary Page this morning: Opinion contributor Dick Polman, now a widower, says he’ll decide how long he should mourn his late wife, not the American Psychiatric Association. And this is exactly what white privilege looks like, journalist Scott Reeder writes in a column for our sibling site, the Iowa Capital Dispatch.

En la Estrella-Capital: La ley del agua no contaminada está en 50: Una mirada más cerca a las vías navegables de Pa. Y los estudiantes de Pa. que presionaron para hacer del Besito de Hershey el caramelo oficial del estado ven progreso en Harrisburg.

(Getty Images/Colorado Newsline)

Elsewhere.
Philadelphia lost 5,000 people to the pandemic. The Inquirer runs down the hardest-hit neighborhoods.

program that sends social workers, not police, to some emergency situations is getting legs in Pittsburgh, the Post-Gazette reports.

Spotlight PA delves into the cozy relationship between lawmakers and the gambling industry (via PennLive).

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman met his competitors for the first time in Centre County over the weekend. The Associated Press (via the Morning Call) has the details.

NPR takes its own look at the state’s high-profile race for U.S. Senate.

The state’s first bird flu case has been found in a bald eagle, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

Officials in Delaware County have unveiled plans to address the mental health needs of the county’s young peopleWHYY-FM reports.

PoliticsPA runs down last week’s winners and losers in state politics.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram — with a view — of the day:

 

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What Goes On
The House comes in at 12 p.m. The Senate reconvenes at 1 p.m.
9:30 a.m., 8E-A East Wing: Senate State Government Committee
Call of the Chair: Senate Appropriations Committee
Call of the Chair: Senate Education Committee
Call of the Chair: Senate State Government Committee (again)

In the House:
9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 205 Ryan: House Children & Youth Committee
Call of the Chair: House Appropriations Committee

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
9 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Ryan Mackenzie
10 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver
11 a.m.: Luncheon for Rep. Jennifer O’Mara
11:30 a.m.: Luncheon for Sen. Pat Stefano
5 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Ann Flood
5:30 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Todd Stephens
5:30 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Frank Burns
8 p.m.: Reception for Sen. Camera Bartolotta
Ride the circuit, and give at the max at every event today, and you’re out an absolutely preposterous $18,000.

WolfWatch
As of this writing, Gov. Tom Wolf has no public schedule today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept
Best wishes go out this morning to PennLive’s Joe McClure, who celebrates another trip around the sun today. Congratulations, sir. May your big day be as shoegaze-y as you might hope.

Heavy Rotation
Speaking of which, here’s a shoegaze classic from Chapterhouse to start the work week. It’s ‘Mesmerise.’

Monday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link
Tampa completed a three-game sweep of the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, winning 8-0 at Tropicana FieldBaltimore opens its home season at Camden Yards today with a three-game stand against the Milwaukee Brewers.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.

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