Walmart (NYSE:WMT) – Cannabis Regulatory Update: No Money For MMJ Patients Quebec, Restrictions In Florida, Lost Job Over Weed Test


Due To Lack Of Funds Quebec Medical Marijuana Service Won’t Take New Patients

Santé Cannabis, a no-fee medical cannabis service covered by Quebec’s public health insurance announced it will not take on any new patients due to a lack of funding. 

“We had to scale down our staff to be able to focus on the continuation of care to our current patients,” said Erin Prosk, president and co-founder of Santé Cannabis. “That means thousands of patients across Quebec will not be able to have access to health-care professionals to support the safe and effective use of cannabis for therapeutic reasons.”

Rebecca Fogel, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 16, has been in and out of the hospital. She was prescribed opioids to control her pain and she eventually became dependent on them. However, a doctor who had previously worked at Santé Cannabis suggested that she try medical marijuana for non-opioid pain control, which Fogel said changed her life.

Due to the pandemic, some companies began withdrawing their grants, leaving Santé Cannabis without funds to continue treating patients like Fogel. “It really is an essential health-care service that isn’t offered by the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC), isn’t available in pharmacies and clinics or hospitals across Quebec, we’re here because there’s an important and critical need,” said Prosk.

“So they’re coming at the end of their rope. They are suffering. Chronic pain touches every corner of their lives,” said Dr. Michael Dworkind, the co-founder and medical director of Santé Cannabis. “The good news is that it makes a significant difference in people’s lives, in such ways that they can sleep, can function, some even go back to work.”

According to CBC News, the SQDC, a government agency that operates cannabis stores in the province, generated a comprehensive income of $66.5 million in its last fiscal year, nearly double the figure for the preceding one.” Related to that, Prosk said that “Santé Cannabis would only need about one percent of that figure to resume its normal operations.”

Florida: New Restrictions On Medical Cannabis Doses?

In Florida, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is asking Florida health officials to rescind an emergency rule that creates new restrictions on medical marijuana doses. This is creating a problem for more than 700,000 medical marijuana patients in the state.

“The rule change is unnecessary, its implementation poorly notified, and its impacts extremely harmful, with hundreds of thousands of patients in Florida no longer able to access their medicine in the quantities they need for effective treatment as determined by their doctors,” Fried said at a press conference at the state Capitol.

The rule states that “a qualified physician may not issue a physician certification for more than three 70-day supply limits of marijuana or more than six 35-day supply limits of marijuana in a form for smoking.”

It continues to note that A 35-day supply limit for marijuana in a form for smoking shall not exceed 2.5 ounces,” and provides a list of dose limits depending on administration route, such as edible forms, inhalation, or topical.

Fried also provided a letter to Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, saying, “Three days’ notice is not just thoughtless, it’s irresponsible. It has caused chaos, confusion, and rightful panic among patients and providers.”

“By limiting patients to purchasing only a maximum of 24,500 milligrams of THC over a 70-day period and a limit of 2.5 ounces of smokable cannabis in a 35-day period, the state is overriding the professional judgment of doctors and endangering the health of patients,” Fried continued.

New Jersey: Job Application Rejected Based on Positive Marijuana Test, What Does the Lawsuit Say?

In New Jersey, Walmart WMT and Sam’s Club denied employment to applicants who tested positive for marijuana on a drug test. Now the retailers are facing a proposed class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges “the defendants have violated the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA), a state law that, among other things, prohibits an employer from taking adverse action against a worker ‘solely due to the presence of cannabinoid metabolites in their body,” reported ClassAction.Org

Moreover, Walmart and Sam’s Club’s denial of employment to individuals based on positive test results for cannabis constitutes an unlawful adverse action in violation of the New Jersey CREAMMA.

According to the plaintiff, upon checking with the retailers’ human resources department, he was informed that their job application was canceled due to a positive drug test.

The lawsuit relayed that Walmart and Sam’s Club consider marijuana to be an illegal drug and have therefore subjected job applicants to adverse action based on positive test results. According to the suit, the retailers’ drug and alcohol policy stipulates that “any applicant or associate who tests positive for illegal drug use may be ineligible for employment.”

“As a result of Defendants’ Policy, Named Plaintiff and Class Plaintiffs, all of whom have faced adverse employment actions because they tested positive for marijuana, have been harmed,” the complaint alleged.

In addition, the lawsuit will represent anyone who, on or after February 22, 2021, was denied employment by Walmart or Sam’s Club in the Garden State, or subjected to any other adverse employment action, because they tested positive for marijuana on a pre-employment drug screen.

Finally, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) approved new guidance for “employers stating that they cannot be penalized based solely on positive drug tests for cannabis metabolites.”

Photo: Courtesy of Crispin Jones On Unsplash


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