AUSTRALIA & NZ

NT looks at creating marijuana industry [News]

Marijuana for recreational use could be decriminalised and legally grown for medicinal and industrial purposes in moves that would make the Northern Territory the most pot-friendly place in Australia.

1 In 9 Drug Driving Tests Are Positive In NSW, 1 In 5 In QLD [Ten Daily]

In contrast to breathalysers — which show an amount of alcohol in someone’s system and have a threshold for what level is safe and what level is unsafe — the MDT program simply shows the raw presence of a drug, without giving an indication whether a person is actually affected by that drug or not. NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said police should not be screening for small traces of drugs in somebody’s system, and instead looking at whether a driver is actually affected by drugs. “If you’re in any way impaired by drugs, illegal or legal, you should not be on the road. That’s what police should be focusing their attention on,” he told ten daily. “Instead, we have a bizarre arrangement where police are testing for the slightest, smallest detectable presence possible, meanwhile they’re waving through people zonked to their eyes on Benzodiazepine or cocaine.”

Dozens found with drugs at Nimbin’s MardiGrass [Northern Star]

Richmond Police District officers charged 18 people with drug offences and issued 19 people with cannabis cautions during the three-day pro-cannabis event. About 10,000 people attended the event, which ran from Friday to Sunday.

An elixir of hemp at Elixiba [Echo Netdaily]

At the time of writing it is exactly six months since the legalisation of hemp food. The world hasn’t stopped turning and I have finally tried a hemp burger.

Cannabis edibles being popped among Sydneysiders as concerns grow over their use [News]

There’s a new drug on the scene that’s posing a real concern for police and parents because it looks like a lolly or a vitamin. Edible cannabis-derived gummies are reportedly being taken by anyone from Sydney’s elite social circles to the waiters who serve them because of their inconspicuous appearance. The cannabis edibles, which can have both THC or CBD oil in them, look like gummy bear lollies or soft multivitamins.

Double whammy: Votes on legalising cannabis and euthanasia possible before the election [NZ Herald]

New Zealanders may get the opportunity to vote on legalising cannabis and voluntary euthanasia at the same time, possibly as early as next year. Labour agreed to hold a public referendum on legalising cannabis for personal use at or before the 2020 general election as part of its confidence and supply agreement with the Greens.

JUNE 23/24 MEDICAN WEEKEND at the BUSH THEATRE, Nimbin [Hemp Embassy]

Entry by donation, beside the river at Nimbin’s Bush Theatre. Starting at 11 am and aiming to finish by 420! Learn how to make and use Cannabis as medicine! Speakers confirmed from the Nimbin Hemp Embassy, and The Hemp Club including Malcolm Lee, Rayman, Andrew Kav, Michael, Frances, Caroline,  Radic Al, Zane, Gerald, Dr Deb; as well as Deb Lynch from the Medical Cannabis Users Association [MCUA], Steve Bolt on legals, and more for sure.

 

 

 

NORTH AMERICA

EXCLUSIVE: De Blasio to tell NYPD to stop arresting New Yorkers for smoking pot in public [New York Daily News]

Mayor de Blasio will tell the NYPD to stop arresting people for public pot smoking — and launch a new group to officially prepare the city for the outright legalization of marijuana in New York.

End the war on pot: We welcome the push to legalize and regulate marijuana [New York Daily News]

After many decades of treating as a crime the personal possession and use of a drug that is a negligible threat to public safety, New York is awakening to the folly of — and racial disparities widened by — its approach.

Despite Legalization, Marijuana Black Market Hides In Plain Sight [NPR]

On a big-sky plateau on the eastern slope of the Cascades, a 10-acre parcel of land has been trashed by illicit pot farmers. Abandoned equipment rusts and jugs of chemicals molder.

Powerful congressional panel puts medical marijuana protections in federal budget [Marijuana Business Daily]

In a historic maneuver that signifies growing support in Washington DC for medical marijuana, a key congressional committee voted Thursday to continue to protect lawful state MMJ programs from federal interference or prosecution. The provision – previously called the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment and, before that, Rohrabacher-Farr – prohibits the Justice Department from using funds to interfere with state medical marijuana programs or to prosecute MMJ businesses compliant with those state laws.

Most Georgians Now Say Recreational Marijuana Should Be Legal, According to Poll [Cannabis Business Times]

According to the poll, 55 percent of Georgia voters believe that recreational marijuana should be legalized, while 35 percent said it should remain against the law.

California Co-Working Licenses Could Help Further Equity in Cannabis [Leafly]

Small-scale caterers and boutique bakers sometimes share the amenities—and costs—of a commercial kitchen to help keep overhead manageable. In California, a new type of business license could allow small-scale and startup cannabis companies to do exactly the same thing. So-called Type S licenses, issued by the California Department of Public Health, allow small cannabis businesses to operate in co-working spaces rather than requiring each business have its own secure premises. The arrangement can minimize costs on multiple fronts—from rent to equipment and operating expenses—which CDPH says is meant to provide an opportunity for craft manufacturers who may not otherwise have the investment capital to get up and running.

Most doctors don’t know anything about cannabis and medical schools are to blame [Herb]

The majority of physicians in the U.S. feel completely unprepared to talk marijuana with their patients.

Arizona: Supreme Court Affirms That Lawmakers Cannot Ban Medical Cannabis Access on College Campuses [NORML]

In a ruling issued today by the Arizona Supreme Court, justices upheld an appellate court decision striking down a 2012 law that sought to forbid medical cannabis access on college campuses. Lifetime NORML Legal Committee member Tom Dean represented the patient-defendant in the case pro bono, and called the decision a “victory for democracy.”

DEA Report: Marijuana Seizures Fell Nearly 40 Percent in 2017 [NORML]

Seizures of indoor and outdoor cannabis crops in the United States fell nearly 40 percent between the years 2016 and 2017, according to annual data compiled by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

CBD manufacturer signs deal to get product in 7-Eleven stores [Hemp Industry Daily]

One of the nation’s best-known convenience store chains, 7-Eleven, could carry CBD products in up to 4,500 franchise locations across the United States by the end of 2018. Phoenix Tears, a Denver company that makes hemp-derived CBD oils and oral sprays, announced the distribution deal Tuesday.

Report: workplace substance-use policies could help Canadians and employers [DATAC]

In an effort to bring awareness to workplace practices and regulations in preparation for 2018’s legalization of cannabis, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction has published a report that reveals not enough Canadian companies have instituted comprehensive substance-use policies, and those that are in existence inadequately help struggling employees.

Here’s How Much Marijuana Costs in the United States vs Canada [Forbes]

With the emergence of legal weed in the US and Canada, we were curious, in which country is it more expensive? How does the price of marijuana vary across cities in the United States and Canada? We analyzed data from Priceonomics customer Wikileaf, a company that tracks cannabis prices at dispensaries across the US and Canada and aggregated the data at the national level and find out the answers. We discovered that cannabis is 30% less expensive in Canada than the United States. When you look at different cities, the price differential can be even more pronounced. Legal marijuana is 39% cheaper in Vancouver than San Francisco, for example.

Marijuana industry — now worth $31 billion — looks abroad for growth [Financial Post]

Canada has emerged as a global leader in the pot industry as it becomes the first Group of Seven country to legalize the drug for recreational use later this year while a ban at the federal level keeps pure-play U.S. pot companies from major exchanges south of the border. There are now 90 publicly listed companies in Canada with a market value of about $31 billion. Countries like Spain, Italy, and Colombia are likely the next growth opportunities for Canadian cannabis companies after a flurry of consolidation at home.

Proposed federal legislation on cannabis and alcohol impaired driving [Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research]

The Government of Canada prepared a backgrounder report in 2017 that describes proposed legislative changes for laws in relation to cannabis and driving. The legislation would permit roadside oral fluid tests when law enforcement officers reasonably suspect that a driver has taken cannabis or other drugs.  For positive readings, officers could demand a drug evaluation or a blood sample. A blood test reading of 2 to 5 ng/ml THC in whole blood would be subject to a summary (i.e., less serious) criminal conviction and a penalty fine of up to $1,000.  A reading over 5 ng/ml could be subject to an indictable (i.e., more serious) offence and a mandatory fine of $1,000 for a first offence and higher penalties for repeat offenders. Those with both a BAC over .05% alcohol and 2.5 ng/ml THC could also be charged with an indictable offence.

 

 

UK & EUROPE

Medical cannabis: it is time to provide legal access, the UK must not get left behind [BMJ]

As countries around the world take progressive steps towards providing legal access to medical cannabis, the UK must not let the opportunity for reform pass us by.

DEBATE: Is Britain missing out by not having a legal cannabis market? [City A.M.]

George McBride, co-founder of Cannabis Europa, says YES. Edward Boyd, managing director of the Centre for Social Justice, says NO.

Is the UK the world’s biggest exporter of legal cannabis? [BBC]

As the UK hosts a summit on the state of medical cannabis in Europe, BBC Reality Check asks – does Britain really export more legal cannabis than any other country? The UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) says the UK was the main producer and exporter of medical cannabis in 2016. The majority of it ended up in the US. But virtually all of that is one drug – Sativex – used to treat muscle stiffness and spasms in people with multiple sclerosis. The Home Office doesn’t define it as cannabis – but the INCB does.

Meghan Markle’s nephew sells new cannabis strain for the royal wedding [Independent]

Tyler Dooley grows cannabis in Oregon, US – which has been legal in the American state since 2015 – and previously announced that he would be developing a new potent hybrid named Markle’s Sparkle. Now, days before Markle is due to marry Prince Harry, details of the drug’s price, flavour and effects have been released on Leaf Buyer – an online cannabis dispensary database. The $150-an-ounce (£111) strain is tipped to be good for helping alleviate insomnia, pain and anxiety, and it has been specially engineered so that it doesn’t make users feel too hungry. The website also says that Markle Sparkle has a “very sweet, silky taste” with “notes of fresh blueberry and a unique, fruity and smooth flavour.”

Cannabis Potency [acast]

This week Elle is talking with Dr Tom Freeman from the National Addiction Centre in London but who is currently in Lisbon at the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Cool huh? Together, they find out what’s the crack with cannabis potency in Europe, the States and Canada! So, what is cannabis potency? Why has potency increased over the years? How do we even measure potency? Why is CBD so important? But more importantly…what is a Pot Tart?

Estonia’s Kanepi town adopts cannabis leaf flag after online poll [BBC]

An Estonian town has taken a cannabis leaf as the symbol in its new flag following an online poll.

Danish MP’s pro-legalisation cannabis comments do not change party line [The Local]

Copenhagen city officials have in the recent past tried to legalise cannabis within the city, but were rebuffed by the then-Social Democrat government. Left-wing parties have in the past thrown their support behind legalisation but the three largest parliamentary groups – the Liberal party, the Social Democrats and Danish People’s Party – remain opposed. The current government has, however, softened its stance on medicinal cannabis by approving a four-year trial programme that began in 2018.

 

 

 

WORLD

Africa’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Opening in South Africa [Talking Drugs]

The founder of Africa’s first legal medical cannabis dispensary hopes to undo the stigma around the drug, and educate the public on how to process the plant into therapeutic oil.

Colombian marijuana companies seek first listings on Canadian exchange [Marijuana Business Daily]

As interest in Latin America’s medical marijuana industry grows, a major stock exchange in Canada could soon see the first listings from companies with their core operations in Colombia.

Thailand set to unveil medical cannabis law [Marijuana Business Daily]

A draft law to greatly expand medical cannabis regulations in Thailand is expected to be unveiled this week, a move that executives say will open the door to potentially millions of dollars in investments.

 

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Cannabis—it matters how young you start [MedicalXpress]

Canadian researchers find that boys who start smoking pot before 15 are much more likely to have a drug problem at 28 than those who start at 15 or after.

Two Doses of Cannabis Compound CBD Reduce Seizures by 40% Among Patients with Severe Form of Epilepsy [Talking Drugs]

In the study, first published on May 17 by the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers saw dramatic decreases in the frequency of drop seizures among patients who received just two doses of CBD – compared to those who received a placebo. Among those given the largest doses of CBD – 20mg per kilogram of body weight – drop seizures reduced, on average, by 41.9 per cent during a 28-day period.

More Young People Are Using Marijuana Before Cigarettes or Alcohol [Fortune]

The number of 12 to 21-year olds who used marijuana before any other drug (including cigarettes and alcohol) nearly doubled from 4.8% in 2004 to 8% in 2014, Newsweek reports about the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study. Over the same period, the number of smokers in that age group has significantly declined from 21% to only 9%.

Recreational Cannabis Consumers Use Less Alcohol, Pain Meds, Sleep Aids: Report [AntiMedia]

According to the Recreational Cannabis Consumer report conducted by High Yield Insights, a consumer analysis firm, “Recreational consumers report using cannabis products for a variety of reasons, from relaxation to pain relief to sleep assistance, putting cannabis in direct competition with alcohol and pharmaceuticals.” The firm’s press release adds that “[c]onsumers also express greater demand for convenient cannabis product formats such as edibles and ‘pre-rolls’ (premade marijuana cigarettes).” The specific statistics are not insignificant. As the release notes, “[o]ver 20% of recreational consumers report using lower amounts of over-the-counter pain medications (-27%), sleep aids (-22%) and alcoholic beverages, including spirits (-21%) and beer (-20%).”

How CBD Became the Unexpected Star of Legalized Pot [Rolling Stone]

It can help treat pain, isn’t addictive and won’t get you high – but is CBD really the miracle drug many believe it to be?

Researchers develop faster test for cannabis quality [phys.org]

Researchers at UBC’s Okanagan campus have developed a new method of measuring phytocannabinoids—the primary bioactive molecules in cannabis—that will lead to faster, safer and more accurate information for producers, regulators and consumers alike.

Why You Should Stop Smoking Weed Right Now, According to Vapers [Vice]

Over in the US, a handful of states are already fully recreational and some weed smokers are switching to vaping. Sure, everyone loves to laugh at cloud-chasing e-cigarette dickheads, but when it comes to cannabis, vapers might have the last laugh. Why? It’s less smelly, more economically efficient, gives a cleaner high and is probably much better for your health.

 

 

POLICY & BUSINESS

Cannabis and driving: questions and answers for policymaking [EMCDDA]

With cannabis use and policy evolving internationally, drug-impaired driving has become an increasingly relevant policy issue. This briefing aims to provide those concerned with policy developments in the field of cannabis with a brief overview of current knowledge and the latest developments in the area of driving.

 

 

 

 

CULTURE & SOCIETY

Cannabis used to grow wild in Europe but went extinct before first farmers arrived, research finds [Independent]

The growth of wild cannabis was rife in Europe during the Stone Age, but the plant disappeared from the continent before the first farmers had a chance to cultivate it, according to new research.

William O’Shaughnessy: Father of Therapeutic Cannabis in the Western World [Maximum Lifestyles]

O’Shaughnessy produced the first textbooks in English on Indian medicinal plants.  But it was his 1839 paper on cannabis that was to open the eyes of European physicians to the possibilities of a ‘new’ medicine. O’Shaughnessy’s paper was the result of his meticulous research into the properties and uses of cannabis and was inspired by the knowledge he’d gained from the Ayurvedic and Persian doctors.  It was the paper that officially introduced cannabis to European medicine.

 

 

 

FUNDRAISERS/CAMPAIGNS

Support Tony Bower’s Legal Fees [gofundme]

Tony of Mullaway’s Medical Cannabis has once again been arrested for growing his cannabis medicine! Tony makes cannabis tincture for children with epilepsy and countless others with cancer, chronic pain, ms and the list goes on. Tony Bower has dedicated his life to helping others and now needs your help. All Donations would be greatly appreciated.

Supporting Andrew Katelaris [gofundeme]

Andrew is behind bars again and may be there until the trial starts in November unless a Supreme Court appeal passes. Funds to date have gone to a legal team plus barrister. More recently a lawyer has been engaged to appear in court RE the current matter. 3 lawyers will now have visited Andrew in jail since the beginning of his first in Parklea and now in the Hunter Valley.

Help fathers medical cannabis legal battle for sick daughters [mycause]

We are hoping to be an example to show the Australian government that our laws need to change. If you want medical cannabis legalised we’re asking you to please donate to help us fight this battle.

LEGALISING CANNABIS [The Greens]

Let’s get real about cannabis. The “war on drugs” has been lost. These days, millions of Australians choose to use cannabis and countries all around the world are changing their laws after realising prohibition does more harm than good. It’s high time we joined them and legalised it. That’s why I’m proud to announce today that the Greens are launching our national plan to legalise cannabis for adult use.

 

 

EVENTS

Decriminalisation of drug use in Portugal: An Evening with Manuel Cardoso [Unharm]

What happened when Portuguese police stopped arresting people for using drugs? Come find out, straight from the source. DR MANUEL CARDOSO runs the drug policy system that decriminalised drug use in Portugal 2001. On June 5, Unharm and Uniting team up to present this public event with Dr Cardoso, and you’re invited! ***Limited tickets available for the Sydney event – make sure you register to attend. Not in Sydney? You can also view the event live on Facebook Live – via the Unharm page***

JUNE 23/24 MEDICAN WEEKEND at the BUSH THEATRE, Nimbin [Hemp Embassy]

Entry by donation, beside the river at Nimbin’s Bush Theatre. Starting at 11 am and aiming to finish by 420! Learn how to make and use Cannabis as medicine! Speakers confirmed from the Nimbin Hemp Embassy, and The Hemp Club including Malcolm Lee, Rayman, Andrew Kav, Michael, Frances, Caroline,  Radic Al, Zane, Gerald, Dr Deb; as well as Deb Lynch from the Medical Cannabis Users Association [MCUA], Steve Bolt on legals, and more for sure.

DRUG WAR OVER! [Radio Documentary]

IF YOU WANT IT: When Phil Bromley moved from Sydney to one of Australia’s most famous and surprisingly largest tourism destinations, Nimbin he felt like he’d found home. Six years on, after observing and experiencing the
relentless police harassment and mainstream media victimization of his new hometown, Phil felt it was time to let the town tell their story in their own words. ‘Exposing The War On Drugs’ is an eight part radio documentary series that looks at how the war on drugs has affected Australia and the rest of the world. Broadcast around Australia on the Community Radio Network, from the 18th April and podcast at https://player.whooshkaa.com/shows/exposing-the-war-on-drugs . With the spotlight on Nimbin, Australia’s most famous “alternative” town, the team from NIM FM, (Nimbin’s local community radio station), explore drug prohibition, medicinal cannabis, addiction and Nimbin itself; and offer some solutions to the costly drug war that has raged since the early 1930s.

Entheogenesis Australis Shop Now Open [EGA]

Entheogenesis Australis (EGA) would like to thank the psychedelic community for it’s ongoing support and attendance at our recent Psychedelic Symposium. Since the event we’ve had a lot of inquiries about obtaining copies of the new EGA Journal 4 and other special merchandise. To browse, please feel free to head to the EGA Shop online or click on the items below. This is also your chance to pick up classic and new T-shirt designs. Please keep in mind much of the stock is very limited so don’t delay!

Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]

Thanks to Disco Sista for documenting the many medican workshops that the Embassy has hosted in Nimbin over the past 3 years. If you’ve missed these amazing gatherings, then you can still watch the speakers online.

Click on this link to head to Disco Sista’s Nimbin Medican YouTube Channel.