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MPX Responds to Arizona Court of Appeals Decision
TORONTO, July 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — MPX Bioceutical Corporation (“MPX” or the “Company”) (CSE:MPX) (OTC:MPXEF) released the following statement in response to the decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals rendered on June 26, 2018 affirming the Yavapai County Superior Court decision convicting Rodney Christopher Jones of possessing a jar containing 0.05 ounces of “hashish.” The Company’s statements come after careful review, consultation with advisors and statements from the regulators.
In the Jones decision, two of the three judges that heard the case concluded that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (the “AMMA”) does not immunize registered qualifying patients from prosecution or conviction under the Arizona criminal code (the “Criminal Code”) for the possession of cannabis which is defined in the Criminal Code as the “resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus cannabis, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant, its seeds or its resin.”
The majority’s opinion stated that the possession of cannabis is generally prohibited under the Criminal Code whereas the possession of marijuana, which is the green leafy substance, by registered qualifying patients is immunized against prosecution and conviction under the Criminal Code by the AMMA.
In stark contrast, the dissenting judge asserted that “The AMMA immunizes the medicinal use of “marijuana” by registered qualifying patients. The specific definition of marijuana, found within the AMMA, clearly encompasses all forms of the marijuana plant, including its resin, and is consistent with the spirit and purpose of the AMMA.”
The Arizona Department of Health Services (the “Department”) released the following statement regarding the Jones decision:
The Arizona Department of Health Services (“the Department”) is aware of the recent Arizona Court of Appeals decision regarding hashish and the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. This case arose from a criminal matter and does not directly affect the Department or direct the Department to make any changes to its rules. However, criminal law does take precedence over Department rules. If you need legal advice to determine what products are impacted by this case, you should contact an attorney.
MPX concurs with the views expressed in the dissenting opinion and remains committed to compliance with the AMMA by the Health for Life and The Holistic Group dispensaries. Unless and until the Jones ruling is stayed or overturned, the AMMA will not immunize patients from criminal prosecution for possession of, and thereby denied access to medicines necessary for their health and well-being.
MPX finds it inconceivable that the Arizona legislators or the public, which clearly reflected in the AMMA a determination that the medical benefits of marijuana should be available to Arizona citizens without fear of prosecution, could have intended that children with epilepsy “smoke a joint”. The intent of the AMMA, was to protect from prosecution patients utilizing marijuana or cannabis for their medicinal needs. This most recent court ruling is in direct conflict of this protection afforded by the AMMA.
The Company believes the ruling will likely be met with an appeal or other legal action which will hopefully resolve once and for all an issue that has been the subject of contention, and conflicting court rulings, for several years going back to at least 2012.
Furthermore, MPX will be taking a leadership role within our industry to resolve the definitions of cannabis and marijuana to include concentrates and extracts and thereby protect registered qualifying patients from prosecution that could result from the use of marijuana or cannabis to help treat their medical conditions. Accordingly, the Company stands with entities such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Arizona Dispensary Association and the Arizona Cannabis Bar Association in this mission.
MPX will provide updates to its stakeholders as more is learned about the Jones decision and any further actions taken or clarifications received from ADHS.
About MPX Bioceutical Corporation
MPX, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries in the U.S., provides substantial management, staffing, procurement, advisory, financial, real estate rental, logistics and administrative services to three medicinal cannabis enterprises in Arizona operating under the Health for Life (dispensaries) and the award-winning Melting Point Extracts (high-margin concentrates wholesale) brands. The successful Health for Life brand operates in the rapidly growing Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area. With the acquisition of The Holistic Center, MPX adds another operating medical cannabis enterprise to its footprint in Arizona.
GreenMart of Nevada NLV, LLC (“GreenMart NV”) is an award winning licensed cultivation, production and wholesale business, licensed for both the medical and “adult use” sectors in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is already selling wholesale into the Nevada medical cannabis market. GreenMart NV has also optioned suitable locations and intends to enter the higher-margin retail arena by applying for at least two dispensary licenses in the Las Vegas market which will operate under the “Health for Life” brand.
In Massachusetts, MPX is building out and will operate a cultivation and production facility as well as up to three dispensaries and manages three full service dispensaries and one producer in Maryland.
In Canada, MPX has acquired Canveda, which has received its cultivation license from Health Canada, will operate a cultivation and production facility in Peterborough, Ontario. The Company also leases a property in Owen Sound, Ontario, for which an application to Health Canada has been made for a cannabis production and sales license. In addition, the Company will continue its efforts to develop its legacy nutraceuticals business.
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