T-Mobile Removes Retailer from Texting & Scotland’s Opens First MMJ Clinic

On the #domestic front, #President #Biden’s administration faces #bipartisan pushback over #marijuana-related White #House staff firings. Though the Office of Personnel Management released a memo last month advising federal agencies that disclosing past #cannabis use should not automatically disqualify prospective employees, more than a dozen White House staffers were recently terminated, suspended, or placed in remote work programs for doing exactly that. The actions prompted a coalition of 30 #democrat #congress members to write a letter seeking clarification on, and urging for a change in the #policy, specifically citing Vice President #Kamala Harris and Transportation Secretary Pete #Buttigieg as exemptions to the rule, as both have previously publicly admitted to consuming marijuana in their youth. #Republican representatives, like Matt Gaetz and David Joyce, have also condemned the move. In response, #Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the penalizations, pointing out that the 5 employees who actually lost their jobs were not fired over casual or infrequent cannabis use and that the new administration’s #policy is more lenient than it was during the Obama era. She further implied the President wouldn’t amend the practice before Congress ends federal #prohibition. A recently released video featuring #Iowa supervisor Stacey Walker, who served on Biden’s criminal justice task force prior to his nomination, seems to reinforce criticisms accusing the President of holding antiquated, out-of-touch views on marijuana. In the video, Walker claims Biden was worried supporting #adult-use cannabis would hurt his election chances in battleground states, a prediction which was proved incorrect, as #Arizona overwhelmingly passed such a #legalization initiative. Though he personally opposes recreational legalization, the President does endorse more modest reform, such as rescheduling, decriminalization, and nationwide medical legalization. If enacted, it’s unclear what effect such measures would have on White House employment practices.

In #California, a bay area #cannabis #retailer is removed from a texting platform used to send messages to customers due to T-Mobile’s policies regarding marijuana. Licensed #Modesto shop #Empire #Health and #Wellness, which serves a #medical and #recreational clientele of 80,000, had been using the service Avochato since 2019 to increase efficiency by sending approximately 5,000 texts daily from a desktop #computer. According to Empire co-owner Travis Miller, Avochato, which utilizes T-Mobile, said they could be dropped by the network provider if they continued sending the cannabis company’s texts, leaving him unable to reply to customer’s messages. In response to the incident, T-Mobile cited their standard terms of requiring all commercial text campaigns to comply with federal regulations. This isn’t the telecommunication giant’s first conflict with the #marijuana industry, as T-Mobile faced legal action from mobile marketing firm EZTexting for blocking messages from their client Weedmaps back in 2010, though they blamed a procedural mistake at the time. In fact, according to anonymous sources, Weedmaps has more recently been subject to T-mobile’s no-cannabis protocol, though the marijuana tech company has not confirmed the rumor. Despite privacy implications, text message monitoring by cell phone service providers remains lawful, preventing Empire from pursuing legal recourse against the mobile giant.

Overseas, #Scotland’s first #medical #cannabis clinic opens, after receiving approval from the country’s regulators. Sapphire Medical, which opened its first #MMJ clinic in #London back in 2019, is now booking virtual appointments from its new location in the city of #Stirling. In-person consultations will be available as soon as #coronavirus-related restrictions allow, providing convenient access for patients coming from #Glasgow, #Aberdeen, and other surrounding areas. While private health care in the #UK can be costly, #Sapphire offers affordable options for those unable to obtain a medical #marijuana prescription through the government-funded National #Health Service. The company is striving to improve patient access not only through their own clinics, but through their #education of #healthcare professionals on the medical uses of cannabis. Sapphire recently introduced Continued Professional Development, or CPD-certified, courses on the subject, which are provided free of charge to any #British healthcare worker. In addition to their online educational institute, charitable foundation for patients, and #MMJ data registry, Sapphire now operates a total of 10 clinics in the U.K.

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William Bradley

William Bradley

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