Mexico Begins Importing Medical Marijuana As Views on Therapeutic Cannabis Evolve

Mexico Begins Importing Medical Marijuana As Views on Therapeutic Cannabis Evolve

LA Weekly/December 23, 2016/Alicia Lazano

HempMeds, a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana Inc., has formed the first cannabis-based export partnership to Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile with its export of Real Scientific Hemp Oil and its THC-free counterpart, Real Scientific Hemp Oil-X. The plants for these treatments are grown in northern European microclimates and claim to be free of pesticides and herbicides.

The California-based company’s partnership with Mexico — an ally of particular interest thanks to cultural and historical ties that date back centuries — was solidified earlier this year when Cofepris, the Mexican health department, approved the country’s first permit allowing the import of hemp-based CBD oil across its border. The announcement came after years of intense pressure on Mexican authorities from medical marijuana allies and advocates pleading on behalf of two families with children who have severe forms of epilepsy. Recently, Mexico also eased up on its no-THC stance and passed the country’s first medical marijuana legislation. Many in Mexico see the move as a step toward eventually legalizing pot in a nation drowning in drug violence.

“Despite the terrible cartel violence, the regulatory authority in Mexico saw the potential for CBD,” says Stuart Titus, CEO of Medical Marijuana Inc. “Today we remain the only legal, cannabis-based products allowed into the country.”

The road to Mexico’s evolving stance on marijuana begins with Alina Maldonado Montes de Oca, a young girl from the small town of San Andres Tuxtla in the state of Veracruz. She had her first seizure when she was just an infant. They increased almost immediately, peaking at 25 to 40 small attacks per day, with grand mal seizures striking up to twice per week. Doctors found that she had hypoxia, an oxygen deficiency to certain parts of the body, which affected her brain development and caused both epilepsy and infantile cerebral palsy. Maldonado was treated with 14 different kinds of medication, each one with an array of painful side effects, including liver damage and gastritis.

Eventually Maldonado’s father came across a similar case in the United States that was treated successfully by CBD. Cannabidiol has been gaining traction stateside as an alternative to harsh drugs after several American studies showed that it can drastically reduce the number of seizures in small children with Lennox-Gastaut (LGS) and Dravet syndromes.

But in Mexico, cannabis-based treatment is viewed with suspicion and remains highly taboo. So when the Maldonado family discovered that another Mexican family had a child with the same kind of disorder, the two families combined their efforts and participated in a series of congressional hearings in Mexico City in January. On Feb. 1, 2016, they were rewarded when Cofepris granted permits for the little girls to receive CBD treatments from abroad.

“We are very humbled to have this opportunity,” Titus says. “Our products seem to work when traditional medications haven’t been able to control these seizures.”

Conditional permits for CBD are not unprecedented — a Mexican judge sanctioned similar treatments last year to a third girl — but the medication is strictly regulated. All imports must be free of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and contain no psychoactive properties. In other words, they cannot get patients stoned. Brazil has a similar arrangement with Medical Marijuana Inc., whose hemp oil was first allowed in the country in 2014 on a case-by-case basis for the treatment of chronic pain, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

“We helped educate the government [in Brazil] and, going further, the government saw this product actually helped control these seizure disorders. Since there wasn’t a good pharmaceutical medication, the regulatory officials declared it would be inhumane to keep these products from the patients,” Titus says.

HempMeds now is treating approximately 1,500 families with epileptic children in Brazil, comprising approximately 40 percent of juvenile patients, Titus adds. Brazilian authorities also have approved the import of marijuana-based treatment for a woman with Zika virus.

The idea that cannabis-based products are making their way into countries historically tied to drug trafficking is an irony not at all lost on Titus, who traded in a career on Wall Street to become first a physical therapist and now the CEO of the U.S.’ first publicly traded marijuana company.

“Here we’ve developed a reverse cannabis pipeline,” Titus says. “But it’s been very interesting — even some of the elite people in Mexico are underground cannabis connoisseurs. They all love the best American-grown cannabis.”

Part of the allure in spreading operations throughout Latin America is the region’s cultural connection to alternative medicine. Unlike the United States, where big pharmaceutical companies largely determine which treatments are in vogue, doctors south of the border regularly prescribe homeopathic cures to their patients. That marijuana comes mired with a bad reputation is just one more obstacle to overcome in a global economy already becoming more weed-friendly.

“It’s been years that we’ve been fighting for acknowledgment and approval and recognition of the medical and therapeutic uses of cannabis, and today we finally have something,” said Lisa Sanchez, director of drug policy for Mexico Unido Contra la Delincuencia, a group working to curb crime.

Titus first came across medicinal marijuana while treating athletes recovering from sports injuries in North Carolina. Since then, he has been increasingly interested in alternative medicine and botanical solutions. He says “Latin America’s connection to nature” is something we in the north should seek to emulate. “All modern medicines came from plants,” he says. “We’ve moved away from that and now only look at synthetic medicine. It’s a shame.”

Top 4 Reasons to Get A Medical Marijuana Card

Top 4 Reasons to get a medical marijuana card

1) Legal Protection

If you’re already using cannabis without a medical marijuana card, you are breaking both state and federal law and as such are subject to the ridiculously harsh penalties many states impose on marijuana users. Even if you’re using cannabis as a legitimate treatment of disease, you are still breaking state law if you don’t have a medical marijuana prescription from a licensed doctor.

One of the best parts about being a card-carrying MMJ patient is that you are afforded full legal protection under the state’s medical marijuana laws. This means when you get pulled over for a routine speeding ticket and the cops ask you to search your car, you can allow them to search with no fear of being taken to jail or having your valuable medicine being confiscated. The law is on your side now, but only if you have a medical marijuana card!

2) Marijuana is an extremely effective medicine

It’s hard to dispute the medicinal value of cannabis. It seems to be the only substance on Earth that can cure are painful nausea caused by chemotherapy, greatly retard the onset of blindness from glaucoma and relieve depression without destroying your bodies chemical balance – all with zero negative long-term side effects. Marijuana is a wonder drug that’s been used as an effective medicine dating back at least 6,000 years.

3) The golden ticket into medical marijuana dispensaries

An incredibly cool thing about having your medical marijuana card is that it allows you access into medical marijuana dispensaries (aka cannabis clubs). In California alone, there are over five hundred medical marijuana dispensaries eager to serve the needs of its patients.

Going into a medical marijuana dispensary in California is almost like going to a coffeeshop in Amsterdam. Many retailers have dozens of cannabis strains to choose from, ranging from high-end buds like White Widow, AK-47 and Northern Lights to mid-range chronic, all the way down to $35 for an eighth ounce schwag. Some even offer rooms with Volcano vaporizers in them, so you can safely medicate with fellow patients.

4) You can grow your own

With your medical marijuana card, not only can you legally buy medical cannabis, concentrates like bubble hash and hash oil, delicious edibles, tinctures and crazy tainted sodas but you can also legally grow your own pot!

The State of California allows any valid medical marijuana patient to have up to six mature plants growing at one time. This amount is fairly generous, considering that up to 4 lbs of dried flower can be harvested from a single 6′ outdoor cannabis indica plant.

Start your medical recommendation online today!

Growing your own medical cannabis is not only fun, but also a good way to save money on medicine in this current economic recession.

5) It’s good enough for Johnny Drama, so isn’t it good enough for you?

How to get a medical marijuana card in California?

The best way to obtain your medical marijuana card is to go online; completely mobile and convenient. Unlike some other shady places, the doctors are pre-screened and hold valid permits to practice medicine in the state of California.

Where to find medical marijuana in California?

The best place to find cannabis clubs and medical marijuana dispensaries is via the non-commercial Web site, features Google Map integration (for driving directions) with reviews and a social networking community of over two thousand medical marijuana patients.


What Is the Process for Obtaining an Online Medical Marijuana Recommendation From

What is the process for obtaining an online medical marijuana recommendation from

420Recs is a completely online doctor’s office. From the comfort of your home, just logon to any day of the week from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm. Follow the quick, easy steps and, after approval by one of our physicians, print out your recommendation letter. To emphasize: you will be printing out your letter immediately upon approval by the doctor. A hand-signed letter with an embossed seal will arrive in the mail a few days later. Your recommendation letter is valid in every dispensary in the State for one year. Overnight delivery is also available. With there are no more weird doctor’s visits that can take an hour or longer. And at just $39.99 it is the safe and affordable answer to getting your recommendation letter. An ID Card is also available for an additional $20. Continue reading “What Is the Process for Obtaining an Online Medical Marijuana Recommendation From”