Australian medical marijuana company gets green light [Echo Netdaily]

Sydney-based The Hydroponics Company (THC) has secured a medicinal cannabis research licence, which will allow it to grow its exclusive protected cannabis sativa strains. THC’s chairman, Alan Beasley said, ‘THC is now among the first ASX-listed cannabis companies to have secured a research licence and I commend the… team for their diligent efforts throughout the approval process.’ Speaking to Echonetdaily, company secretary Henry Kinstlinger said that the company was unable to confirm whether any of its contracted growers would be located on the Northern Rivers.

Medicinal Cannabis to soon be available in Tas [Tasmania Talks]

Tasmanian Alkaloids have partnered with AusCann to secure a license to grow medicinal marijuana in Tasmania It is hoped that Tasmanians will have access to the pain-relieving drug from September 1st, with products to be grown at Tasmanian Alkaloids Westbury facility.

Australia cautiously enters medical marijuana market [MedicalXpress]

Following Canada, Israel, and more than half the US states, who through varying approaches have legalised medicinal marijuana, Australia has signalled its intention for a homegrown industry. But a patchwork of regulations that guard access for many desperate patients, and a lack of confidence among doctors in prescribing the drug, are acting as impediments. While recreational marijuana use remains illegal in Australia laws passed last year permit medical use, with a dozen licences since issued, ranging from cultivation and research to manufacturing.

Medicinal cannabis will help me: Toney Fitzgerald [Western Advocate]

Cancer sufferer Toney Fitzgerald says he has been left with no other options than to illegally source medicinal cannabis oil.

Magistrate tells man to see a doctor instead of self-medicating with cannabis [Central Western Daily]

On May 18, police found 2.5 grams of cannabis in Stanley’s pocket. “It keeps my blood pressure down, pills don’t seem to do the right thing,” Stanley said in court. Magistrate Terry Lucas warned him the penalty would be harsher if he is caught with cannabis again and suggested he see a different doctor.

Marijuana Industry Gears Up After New Jersey Candidate Backs Legalization [The New York Times]

The march toward full marijuana legalization has percolated in the state for years and the use of the drug for medicinal purposes has been legal since 2010. But since Philip D. Murphy, the Democratic candidate for governor and the early favorite in recent polling for November’s general election, announced his unambiguous support for making recreational marijuana use legal, the $6 billion nationwide industry has aggressively accelerated its efforts in New Jersey.

Inside a massive (and legal) marijuana cultivation centre [Metro]

A series of pictures from the Essence Vegas facility, in Las Vegas, Nevada, have been released. The 54,000-square-foot marijuana cultivation centre went into operation after the state voted to legalise the drug last November. Weed smokers were only allowed to start purchasing their fix on July 1, when the law came into effect. Unsurprisingly legal marijuana has proved popular in Nevada and has already generated more than $1 million (£776,000) in taxes.

A couple’s just got married in a newly legal weed hot house because, Las Vegas [Metro]

The International Church of Cannabis started offering cannabis-infused ceremonies in May, and there are plenty Instagram accounts dedicated to various weed wedding expos and ‘canna bride’ inspo. But one couple in Nevada has gone one step further. By getting married in a newly legal Las Vegas hot house. Although not a smoker himself, Mark’s father was jailed for a weed-related offence in the past and that inspired Mark to go get a medical degree and start doing more research into marijuana. ‘It’s about the freedom to have a choice on a substance that is harmless,’ says Mark.

Marijuana shortage: Nevada considers emergency measures [BBC]

The journal quotes tax department spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein as saying that many of Nevada’s 47 marijuana stores are running out amid “reports of adult-use marijuana sales already far exceeding the industry’s expectations”. Nevada Dispensary Association estimated sales of $3m (£2.3m) in the first four days of legalisation, with tax revenue of $1m.

Drug Wars: Will The Future Of Legal Weed Products Be Decided In Court? [International Business Times]

And so why, you might ask, does the US federal government issue (and own) patents on a substance it says cannot be possessed, sold or grown without breaking the law? And can the people, companies or other entities that hold those patents enforce their rights in a federal court if someone violates them? Unlike European patent law, which prohibits patents on inventions considered “contrary to public order or morality,” U.S. patent law is amoral and nonjudgmental.

Colorado Employers Rethinking Drug Testing [NPR]

Eight states and Washington, D.C. allow for recreational cannabis, but none have solved the problem of workforce drug testing. Zero tolerance polices are being reconsidered in light of legalized pot. Even in marijuana-friendly Colorado, anyone can be denied employment for using the drug. In fact, there are few protections anywhere in the country for employees who fail a drug test, even in states where cannabis is legal.

US Workplace Drug Testing for Cannabis Under Mounting Pressure [Talking Drugs]

A recent Superior Court decision in the US state of Rhode Island has calling into question employers’ rights to enforce workplace drug tests for cannabis – something which has been taken for granted across the country for years.

Medical Marijuana To Counter Opioid Epidemic In US, Say Studies [International Business Times]

Some studies have suggested legalized medical marijuana can help divert people from initial opiate use. According to an article published by the Scientific American, many heroin users in the U.S. first become addicted to legally prescribed painkillers, and then turn to heroin after their pill supply dries up or becomes too expensive.

Criminally effective Chinese medicine [The Bay Area Reporter]

Is it a crime or an ancient Chinese medical remedy? This particular treatment has been used in China for thousands of years. Elderly patients, wary of pharmaceuticals, swear by its effectiveness. Increasingly, research backs up this view – and regular doctors are recommending it more to their patients. Nevertheless, it remains in a legal gray area. But don’t worry: California is bringing this healing method into the mainstream – led by an unassuming, middle-aged woman who isn’t afraid to risk arrest to relieve her patients’ pain. Am I talking about acupuncture in the 1970s or medical marijuana today? Both. The paths these two treatments have taken to mainstream acceptance are remarkably similar. With former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and her husband, Dr. Floyd Huen, seeking to open what would probably be the first Chinese-owned medical marijuana dispensary in the Bay Area, it’s worth looking at the history of these two types of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Scientists lay the groundwork for a reliable marijuana breathalzer [EurekAlert!]

Although several companies are working to develop marijuana breathalyzers, testing a person’s breath for marijuana-derived compounds is far more complicated than testing for alcohol. But scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have taken an important step toward that goal by measuring a fundamental physical property of the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Specifically, they measured the vapor pressure of this compound–a measurement that, due to the compound’s chemical structure, is very difficult and has not been accomplished before. The results were published in Forensic Chemistry.

Ads aim to dispel myth that driving on cannabis is acceptable [CBC]

The Liberal government is preparing an ad campaign especially targeting young Canadians who think that driving under the influence of marijuana is acceptable. Public Safety Canada is looking for a creative agency to produce spots for the $1.9-million campaign, to be rolled out before recreational cannabis becomes legal next summer.

Toronto cops are disproportionately charging black people for marijuana possession [Vice]

Toronto cops have been arresting black people for cannabis possession at significantly higher rates than white people, a new report shows. Police data from 2003 to 2013 analyzed by the Toronto Star  reveals that black people who had previously not be convicted of any crimes were three times more likely to get arrested for possessing small amounts of cannabis than white people in the city with similarly clean criminal histories.

How smoking cannabis could mean you lose your home [Liverpool Echo]

Tenants are being warned they could be evicted for smoking cannabis in their homes as part of a crackdown on cannabis use. A group of social housing providers with tens of thousands of homes across Merseyside say smoking weed is a “nuisance”, a fire risk and often linked to antisocial behaviour. They are threatening to use eviction as a last resort to tackle not only cultivation of cannabis , but also possession and use of the drug in rented accommodation. Police, fire, council and housing chiefs have launched a joint campaign called “Use it? Lose it!” and will distribute posters and leaflets across the region to highlight the crackdown.

Entrepreneur who suffered a horrific accident is now spreading the word about ‘life-changing’ cannabis oil [Independent]

Carun UK’s products are based around cannabidiol – a compound found naturally in the cannabis plant that is claimed to have a range of therapeutic effects.

“It’s only weed” [volteface]

There has been increasing research attention to various aspects of cannabis and cannabis use in recent years. Concerns have been raised about the longer term impact of regular or significant cannabis use on young people’s cognitive functioning, educational attainment and employment prospects (Bond et al., 2007). The social, cultural and economic context within which young people use cannabis may also be important in terms of continued use and long term impact.  For urban areas that are  poorly resourced and isolated from wider social norms, cannabis use is often simply part of growing up and a feature of daily life rather than being connected to any recreational setting or activity (Ross & Davies, 2011). Within Ireland, increases in the potency and availability of cannabis, together with increased liberalisation of cannabis use (Smyth, 2016) has resulted in community and agency concerns about the impact of this substance on some young people in many of these areas.

French Police destroy art installation after mistaking it for cannabis farm [Independent]

Police tore up a public art installation designed to transform a derelict patch of land after officers mistook it for a cannabis farm. Artists planted barley, hemp and flax to turn a 4,000 sq m plot of wasteland into an “agricultural eco-system” for the Lyon Architecture Biennial. The living artwork, called Waiting Area, was due to provide the setting for the festival’s closing party this weekend.  But police constables in France’s second city destroyed part of the installation after mistaking the hemp for an illegal crop of cannabis, Le Progrès newspaper reported.

In Uruguay’s marijuana experiment, the government is your pot dealer [The Age]

In coming weeks, cannabis-seeking citizens in this small South American nation will be able to walk into a pharmacy and buy government-approved marijuana for the state-mandated price of $1.70 a gram. No questions asked. No doctor’s note required.

Shopping Lists of Uruguay’s Pharmacy Goers Now Include Pot [International High Life]

Imagine if that visit to the pharmacist included picking up an ounce of your favorite strain of cannabis along with your personal necessities? Welcome to Uruguay, the South American country that is leading the way in the recreational legalization of marijuana in the world. As of July 2017, customers at Uruguay’s pharmacies will be able to pick up their recreational pot right from their pharmacist.

We Asked an Expert About Catalonia’s Ground-Breaking New Weed Law [Vice]

Last week the region of Catalonia in north-east Spain passed a law enabling a network of co-operatives to legally oversee the legal use, distribution and cultivation of cannabis. The move by the Parliament of Catalonia is the most dramatic cannabis law change yet in Spain, where similar reforms have been enacted in the Navarra and Basque Country regions. The law got to parliament thanks to a popular citizen’s legislative initiative that attracted 67,500 signatures, in excess of the 50,000 required to get the proposal debated. It means that in Barcelona, Spain’s second city, and along most of the country’s eastern coast, from the Costa Brava in the north to the Costa Blanca in the south, ganja can be smoked, supplied and grown without getting fined or jailed, as long you have joined your local cannabis club.

Why comparing technology to drugs isn’t simply a question of addiction [MedicalXpress]

Some experts say technologies such as social media and video games are like drugs. Others disagree. This debate is really about whether technologies are addictive. But the defining property of a psychoactive drug is not “addictiveness”, but the ability to change a user’s mental and emotional state. This ability – sometimes beneficial, sometimes dangerous – has made drugs an important influence on the human story. Now some technologies have this ability too. Rather than debate whether or not technologies are addictive (some can be, for some people), I believe there is value in understanding (and exploiting) their role as mood-regulators.

Prison Service finds 225kg of drugs in one year [BBC]

Prison officers have confiscated 225kg (about 500lb) of drugs in one year in England and Wales, according to the Ministry of Justice. In 2016, 13,000 mobile phones and 7,000 Sim cards were also seized from prisoners. In recent years, legal highs – or psychoactive drugs – had become a problem, he said, as the prison population had shifted in character to include more gangsters and a higher proportion of sexual and violent offenders.

Seizure Data Only Scratches The Surface Of Drug Use In Prisons [volteface]

Prison drug seizures have been increasing year on year, although the statistics given before were in number of seizures rather than volume of contraband, so it is somewhat difficult to compare the most recent data with previous years. The MOJ have also not released any further details such as data on which drugs are being uncovered at what rates. Former prison governor John Podmore took to Twitter to explain that these figures are meaningless without further information and say almost nothing about the level of drug use in prisons.

Tobacco: a deadly business – about this series [The Guardian]

Although tobacco consumption remains one of the world’s greatest health threats, media coverage has decreased as the sense of urgency to address the issue has waned. This investigative reporting series seeks to renew the focus on tobacco consumption and deaths worldwide, contextualised through the duel lenses of global inequality and health.

Philip Morris cigarettes charged millions after losing plain packaging case against Australia [The Guardian]

The tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris will be forced to pay millions of dollars in legal fees to Australia after its failed case against plain packaging laws.

How Uruguay cracked down on smoking – and got results [BBC]

Smoking is forecast to kill a billion people this century, if left unchecked. To try and buck this trend, Uruguay has introduced some of the world’s toughest anti-smoking laws – and has already seen some powerful results.

How safe is vaping? [MedicalXpress]

On the heels of another damning statistic against tobacco—it kills more than 7 million people each year, the World Health Organization said recently—come questions about whether vaping is a healthier substitute.

Vaping regulations go into effect in Spain, and more to come [Vaping Post]

A number of pro-vaping and/or anti-smoking organizations, amongst which the NNA (New Nicotine Alliance) have spoken up and sent letters to the Spanish Health Ministry, pointing out why such a regulation would be harsh to public health.

The Psychedelic Renaissance owes its life to an open internet [Psymposia]

The internet is a vibrant platform for information, innovation, expression, and community. It allows egalitarian access to an unimaginably immense archive of human culture and knowledge. Even if the two are not directly related, it is poetic to recall that both the psychedelic revolution and the invention of the internet took place in the 60s, and the epicenter for both events was California. A new method of communication and a new culture were born, and in so many ways technology and the psychedelic revolution developed together. Microdosing became a mainstream conversation after articles were written on sites like HackRead and Forbes, detailing the experiences of Silicon Valley icons who used LSD to enhance creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Amazon’s next big product is … wine [The Guardian]

Amazon’s continuing quest to make and sell everything in the world has led to it branching out into a new area: overseeing the production of a new range of wines.

Religious leaders get high on magic mushrooms ingredient – for science [The Guardian]

A Catholic priest, a Rabbi and a Buddhist walk into a bar and order some magic mushrooms. It may sound like the first line of a bad joke, but this scenario is playing out in one of the first scientific investigations into the effects of psychedelic drugs on religious experience – albeit in a laboratory rather than a bar. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have enlisted two dozen religious leaders from a wide range of denominations, to participate in a study in which they will be given two powerful doses of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms.

Greening the Apocalypse [3RRR]

There is a crack in everything, that’s where the light gets in. Each week the Greening the Apocalypse team talk to the tinkerers and thinkerers, the freaks and geeks from permaculturists and eco-farmers to alt-tech innovators and peer-to-peer information networkers who are growing fascinating new systems through the fault lines of the old.

New Druglawed film released today! [Druglawed]

We released the latest chapter in the international Druglawed saga today, download it in HD for only $4.20 at this link: https://druglawed.vhx.tv/buy/druglawed-2-specialis…

Next Nimbin Medican Workshop 5 August 2017 [Hemp Embassy]

Next Medican Workshop Saturday August 5 at the Bush Theatre in Nimbin. 11 am – 4.20pm. Speakers include Carol Ireland (CEO Epilepsy Australia); a panel of parents treating children with epilepsy; Dr Deb Waldren on healing with Cannabis; Michael Stoopman and CBD Luke; Weeded Warriors; Toney Fitzgerald; Zane Archer on nutrition; Andrew Kavasilas on the government’s dilemma; MC Michael Balderstone. Free entry. If you wish to talk and share your experience please contact the HEMP Embassy….ph 0266891842 email head@hempembassy.net

Entheogenesis Australis 2017 Outdoor Psychedelic Symposium 8th – 10th of December [EGA]

EGA’s 2017 Psychedelic Symposium will be a botanical, academic and lifestyle conference – with a pinch of psychedelic energy.  The program will span three days and three nights, featuring more than 50 lectures from diverse fields covering the botanical, academic, and philosophical, to arts and drug law reform. Accompanying the main program will be workshops, panel discussions, a marketplace, and much more!!