AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Weed Billboards [Hemp Embassy]

The Nimbin Hemp Embassy is organizing an ongoing billboard campaign dedicated to changing Australia outdated cannabis laws.

Just Reform It! Let’s Get Real about Drugs [The Greens]

We know it’s time for a new approach which treats drug use as a health issue, not a criminal one.  By continuing to back the failed “war on drugs”, Liberal and Labor governments are causing harm and are killing young people. It’s time for a complete re-think. With more and more countries around the world taking a new approach to drug use, focusing on health, not crime, it’s time to step up the campaign in Australia.  Today we’ve launched a Facebook group to do exactly that. Will you be a part of the movement?

Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]

The new videos from the workshop on 20-21 October are uploaded and online now. Share the links, watch the videos, spread the word, legalise the herb.

NORTH AMERICA

Canada running out of weed after legalising marijuana as stores report supply issues [ABC]

Just days after becoming the world’s largest nation to legalise marijuana, store owners across Canada say there is not enough weed to meet demand and they are struggling to order more.

Halifax man aims to turn ‘wasteful’ cannabis packaging into prosthetic limbs [CBC]

Since recreational marijuana became legal last week, some customers in Nova Scotia have criticized the province’s legal distributor for excessive packaging.  But one Halifax man is turning his complaint about the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation’s plastic packaging into action. Jake Boudreau wants to use the plastic lids that come with cannabis to make prosthetic limbs for children.

There’s a breathalyzer for marijuana: Will it be used in New York City? [SiLive]

States like California have begun field-testing a marijuana breathalyzer, which, unlike fluid tests that detect marijuana weeks after it has been smoked, detects whether a person has smoked within the last two hours, which is considered to be the peak impairment timeframe.

New Jersey Legalization Hearings Expected in November [Ganjapreneur]

Democratic leaders in the New Jersey legislature say they are “real close” to holding hearings on the legalization of adult-use cannabis.

When Canada legalized recreational marijuana, on Oct. 17, one of the central aims was to shut down the thousands of illegal dispensaries and black market growers dotting the country. But taming an illegal trade estimated at 5.3 billion Canadian dollars is proving to be daunting. On Oct. 17, only one legal government pot retailer opened in British Columbia, in the city of Kamloops, nearly a four-hour drive from Vancouver. That assured that Vancouver’s illicit trade would continue to thrive. And that day, none of the roughly 100 illegal pot dispensaries in the city had the provincial licenses they needed to operate legally, even those that had applied for one.

Marijuana Smell Lawsuit That Could Endanger Colorado Pot Biz Goes to Trial [Westworld]

A lawsuit filed by two Colorado landowners who claim that a nearby marijuana grow has reduced their property values in part because the smell makes horseback riding less pleasant goes to trial in Denver federal court today. And the repercussions of the suit’s strategy, based on federal racketeering laws, could have far-reaching effects on the cannabis industry in Colorado and beyond.

Some cities had temporary bans on marijuana dispensaries. Now they’re keeping them out permanently [Sun Sentinel]

Temporary bans in Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Margate, Tamarac and Pembroke Pines have become permanent, effectively keeping pot shops out of certain communities and drawing concerns from medical marijuana’s proponents. They join at least seven other South Florida cities with bans.

Hemp thieves shoot at Indian Mound farmer, steal crops [Fox 17]

Several times in the last week, an Indian Mound farmer has had to chase people off his land to keep them from stealing his hemp plants. One of those chases had a startling end with shots fired.

Canadian Airport Says Cannabis Trash Cans Are Not ‘Free Weed’ Bins [Gizmodo]

Toronto’s Pearson Airport has an important message for would-be stem-pickers: The weed there is not up for grabs. On Tuesday, an image of one of the bins blew up on Reddit with the caption “Pearson International installed a ‘free weed’ bin :).” Greater Toronto Airport Authority spokesperson Robin Smith was happy to set the record straight.

WSDA Tests Show Frequent Illegal Pesticide Use on Cannabis [The Stranger]

Over 40 percent of pot tested by Washington state showed illegal amounts of pesticides. Is it a public health emergency?

5 Likely Secondary Effects of Canada Legalizing Marijuana [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Outside of adults now being able to legally buy and use cannabis, Canada legalizing marijuana will likely elicit changes in research efforts, banking services, workplace policies, and more.

Two in Three Americans Now Support Legalizing Marijuana [Gallup]

Sixty-six percent of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, another new high in Gallup’s trend over nearly half a century. The latest figure marks the third consecutive year that support on the measure has increased and established a new record.

Bureau of Cannabis Control Announces Enforcement Action on Unlicensed Cannabis Retailer [California Cannabis Portal]

The L.A. Police Department took part in the bust, helping seize more than $2 million in illegal cannabis goods, including nearly 500 pounds of MJ flower, more than 430 pounds of concentrates and 200-plus pounds of edibles, according to a news release. The owner of One Stop Healers, Sevada Khanlari, and six employees were arrested and charged with operating an unlicensed commercial cannabis business. It’s not clear what penalties the seven may face, but further charges could be filed once the investigation is completed, according to the release.

Ohio Doctors Writing Cannabis Recommendations That Can’t Be Used [Ganjapreneur]

Due to delays in the roll-out of Ohio’s medical cannabis program, doctors there have been writing recommendations for medical cannabis IDs that don’t actually grant access to the plant, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. The recommendations can cost as much as $500 and, because of the limited number of doctors allowed to register patients for the program, these doctor visits are often not covered by health insurance. Several groups claiming to help Ohio residents get their medical cannabis cards, such as the Ohio Cannabis Connection and Ohio Marijuana Card, have websites that do not clearly explain that medical cards are still unobtainable, for anyone. Many patients believe that, once they have a recommendation from a doctor, it is legal for them to possess cannabis — but that’s not true. Once a patient has a recommendation, they still need to register with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy’s medical cannabis registry, which is not yet open.

Here’s How the Public Has Responded to the FDA’s Request for Comments on Marijuana Rescheduling [Ganjapreneur]

It has been nearly three weeks since the United States Food and Drug Administration put out a request for public comments on the international scheduling of cannabis. The call for public input was made in preparation of the upcoming World Health Organization (WHO) meeting in Geneva, where the agency’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) will consider rescheduling marijuana and other substances under global treaties. As of today, the FDA has received 10,166 comments from the public. The agency has published nearly half of the comments, which range from personal stories of cannabis’ benefits to arguments about the economic and social benefits of legalization. Some contributors have been more succinct, submitting comments like “legalize it.”

80,000 Patients Sign Up for Pa.’s Medical Marijuana Program in First Year [Philly Mag]

According to Nate Wardle, press secretary for the Department of Health in Harrisburg, more than 80,000 patients have registered for the medical marijuana program since the registry launched in October 2017. Of those 80,000 patients, the state has approved nearly 51,000 to receive medical marijuana through dispensaries.

WORLD

Medical cannabis products available on prescription [BBC]

Medicinal cannabis products can now be legally prescribed to some patients across the UK for the first time. The treatments can be prescribed only by specialist doctors in a limited number of circumstances where other medicines have failed. The decision to relax the rules on the treatments followed an outcry over two boys with severe epilepsy being denied access to cannabis oil. But one charity fears access to it will be “much more limited” than expected. Among those who stand to benefit will be children with rare, severe forms of epilepsy.

Medical cannabis treatments in UK to be limited over doctors’ fears and lack of regulation despite new law [Independent]

Only a minority of patients who stand to benefit from potentially life-changing medicinal cannabis prescriptions will be able to access it after laws change on 1 November, experts have warned. Despite the potential to help thousands with conditions like epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and nausea from cancer treatment, The Independent has learned that most doctors are so far refusing to prescribe.

Majority of British public support legalisation of cannabis, survey reveals [Independent]

More than three in four people willing to use cannabis if advised by a doctor.

3 Asian nations warn citizens not to use marijuana in Canada [Yahoo!]

Marijuana may be legal now in Canada but at least three Asian governments are warning their citizens to avoid it, including the specter of possible arrest for Japanese and South Koreans. China, the latest to weigh in, didn’t go that far. Its consulate in Toronto issued a statement dated Friday reminding Chinese in its jurisdiction — and students in particular — “to avoid contact with and use of marijuana for the sake of ensuring your own physical and mental health.”

Singaporeans warned against cannabis abuse overseas, amid moves abroad to legalise drug for medical use [Singapore Government

Amid reports that Singapore’s neighbours could legalise marijuana for medical use as early as next year, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) reiterated its tough stance on drugs on Friday (Oct 26). Any citizen or permanent resident found to have abused controlled drugs overseas will be treated as if he or she had abused drugs in Singapore, the bureau said. The CNB conducts enforcement checks at Singapore’s checkpoints and will take action against those found to have consumed drugs overseas, it added.

Legalising marijuana, morphine can reduce prison costs, law minister tells Parliament [Malay Mail]

“When I spoke to the Malaysian Prison Department officers on drugs such as heroin, morphine, cannabis…the officers laughed because they said those are old era drugs. The trend nowadays are meth amphetamines, synthetic drugs. If we redefine (dangerous) drugs, seeing that there are medicinal use for marijuana and morphine which is used for cancer patients, and legalise it instead of making it illegal, we could reduce the numbers of convicts in prison,” said Liew.

Bill to decriminalise medical pot ‘in the works’, says Malaysian lawmaker [Asian Correspondent]

The Vice President of one of Malaysia’s biggest ruling parties has confirmed that the government will come up with a bill to decriminalise medical marijuana to be debated in parliament. Nurul Izzah Anwar, the parliamentarian for Permatang Pauh from the People’s Justice Party (PKR) said, however, that it may take some time before the bill could be presented in parliament. “I’m working on a particular bill and I’ll bring it up because it’s quite crucial,” she said on Monday as quoted by The Star.

Thailand blazes ahead with push to legalise medical marijuana use [MedicalXpress]

Thailand is rolling out plans to legalise medical marijuana, an official told AFP Wednesday, as the country hopes to cash in on a multi-billion dollar industry with a product its supporters hail as some of the world’s best.

 

BUSINESS & POLICY

Beyond Legalization: Making the Case for Centering Pot in the 2018 U.S. Midterms [Points Blog]

Ready to vote in next week’s midterm elections? Today’s post comes from contributing editor Bob Beach, in which he explains the status of America’s shifting cannabis laws and shows what new state and federal initiatives might mean for 2018 and beyond.

Why U.S. cannabis companies are packing their boards with political and corporate heavyweights [The Inquirer]

As Big Marijuana reaches for legitimacy in the national marketplace, the cannabis industry’s top companies are packing their boards with stars. We’re not talking the likes of celebrity stoners, such as Willie Nelson or Snoop Dogg. Some of the world’s best-known — if not best-loved — politicians and corporate leaders now serve as paid advisers to major weed concerns.

MedMen seeks to trademark the word ‘cannabis’ for T-shirts [Marijuana Business Daily]

California-based MedMen Enterprises has filed an application to trademark the word “cannabis” for use on T-shirts, but a trademark specialist is skeptical the application will fly with the federal government.

City announces expansion to the cannabis equity program [City & Country of San Francisco]

Mayor London N. Breed, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and the Office of Cannabis (OOC) announced that the City is expanding its efforts to improve opportunities in the cannabis industry for those from communities most impacted by the War on Drugs. The expansion of the Cannabis Equity Program will include legal services to lower barriers for entrepreneurs who want to understand and comply with the regulatory landscape.

Marijuana is on the ballot in four states, but legalization may soon stall, researchers say [The Conversation]

The midterm elections could loosen marijuana restrictions in the United States, as four states put ballot initiatives on legalization to a vote. Voters in Utah and Missouri will choose whether patients should gain access to medical marijuana. In Michigan and North Dakota, where medical marijuana is already legal, residents will decide whether to allow it for recreational use.

Political Odds Makers Give Cannabis Legalization Advocates a Reason for Optimism [The Marijuana Times]

Political odds makers at MyBookie.ag agree with cannabis advocates that we could finally be experiencing the last days of cannabis prohibition. Currently, the online betting site lists 2 to 1 odds that medical marijuana will be legalized federally before 2020.

California begins issuing full annual marijuana business licenses [Marijuana Business Daily]

California has issued its first full annual cannabis business permits, doling out two recreational cultivation licenses to Forbidden Fruit Farms in Humboldt County as well as one recreational and medicinal manufacturing permit to Om Edibles in the Bay Area. The cultivation licenses were issued over the weekend by the state Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the manufacturing permit on Monday by the Department of Public Health (CDPH). This marks the first wave of annual permits for the vast majority of California’s marijuana companies – although a handful of annual MJ event permits had already been issued.

Paul Ryan On Board With CBD, Industrial Hemp [Ganjapreneur]

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) gave a surprise endorsement on Tuesday to industrial hemp and cannabidiol (CBD), the widely-touted cannabis ingredient that is growing increasingly mainstream as an alternative medicine.

Flowering HOPE Foundation Challenges the DEA Over its Classification of Hemp Oil and CBD as Schedule I Substances in the Agency’s “Marihuana Extract” Rule [Cannabis News Journal]

Last week, the Flowering HOPE Foundation, (Health Opportunities Possibilities Education (“HOPE”), a not-for-profit organization that works with individuals, families and communities in obtaining safe, lawful access to medical cannabis and, in particular, whole plant hemp oils and extracts, filed Petition for Review challenging the DEA’s “Marihuana Extract” Rule that the agency promulgated on December 14th 2016. The rule defines “Marihuana Extract” “as an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant.”

The Age Of Hemp: Global Advanced Industrial Applications [Forbes]

Hemp, the non-psychoactive variety of the cannabis sativa plant, is already being integrated into several mature markets such as food, textiles, construction, personal care and nutraceuticals. This relatively quiet cannabis relative is emerging as a potential commodity ripe to not only impact, but possibly revolutionize, tech-driven markets and economies around the world.

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Bloodsucking flies with a taste for cannabis plants identified by scientists [Independent]

Flies known to carry diseases to humans appear to have an unusual taste for cannabis – a habit that may help scientists target these pests.

Is CBD Oil Causing Your Headaches? [The Marijuana Times]

There is debate within the medical profession as to whether CBD oil can actually be the cause of headaches. A medicine which minimizes a certain condition may well trigger the same condition in different situations. This is why the validity of the question holds its grounds and there is a need to dig in deeper.

Professor Mike Barnes On The Urgent Need For Medical Education In Cannabis [Clear]

The urgent need now is physician education. Doctors just don’t know about the endocannabinoid system. They have never been taught it and thus don’t understand it and certainly don’t appreciate the benefit of medicinal cannabis. Only education will slowly change entrenched positions. The launch of the U.K.’s Academy of Medical Cannabis next week will go some way to help – see the website. I hope that the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society, also launched next week, will enable like-minded doctors to ‘spread the word’ and provide patients with a contact to a trained and knowledgeable clinician to prescribe for them.

People who gave up smoking cannabis had a memory boost within a week [New Scientist]

Cannabis use really does weaken your memory. People who gave up smoking the drug saw their cognitive abilities improve after just a week.

Quitting cannabis could lead to better memory and cognition [The Guardian]

US research shows four weeks’ abstinence improved memory, but not attention skills.

Rhode Island Expands Medical Marijuana Program to Include Autism [Medical Marijuana Inc]

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) this month added autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to its list of conditions that can be treated by medical marijuana. The change took effect immediately.

Choosing the right cannabis extraction method: Experts weigh in on CO2, hydrocarbon & ethanol [Marijuana Business Daily]

CO2? Hydrocarbon? Ethanol? Which extraction method is best for your cannabis company? The answer boils down to what you hope to accomplish. Do you want to produce full-spectrum cannabis oil? Is safety your primary concern? Do you need to process a large amount of marijuana flower as soon as possible?

Cannabis-based products for medicinal use: Guidance to clinicians [NHS UK]

Following the Government’s announcement to reschedule certain cannabis-based products for medicinal use,  NHS England has provided guidance to clinicians following the re-scheduling which sets out our expectations of what this regulatory change will mean in practice for clinicians working in the NHS and in private practice in England.

The Medical Establishment Shows Its True Colours On Cannabis. A Betrayal of Patients [Clear]

NHS England has today published what it describes as prescribing guidance – ‘Cannabis-based products for medicinal use: Guidance to clinicians‘. The actual guidance is buried within a mountain of bureaucratic doublespeak and requires downloading PDFs from the Royal College of Physicians (download here) and the British Paediatric Neurology Association (download here). In both cases, aside from chemotherapy-induced nausea, the guidance amounts to ‘do not prescribe’. This is a travesty of the intention of these reforms and demonstrates how the medical establishment is more interested in protecting its self-interest than in helping patients gain the benefits of cannabis as medicine.  Cowardly and scared are the two words which best sum this up.

Studies Suggest Women More Likely to Become Habitual Cannabis Users [Ganjapreneur]

A meta-study of cannabis research reveals that female mammals — including humans — are more likely to habitually consume cannabis, Science Daily reports.

Legal Marijuana Helps Reduce Opioid Harms, Two More New Studies Reveal [Marijuana Moment]

Another day, another round of studies suggesting that legalizing marijuana can help mitigate the harms of the opioid epidemic. This time, one study published last week in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence looked at how adult-use legalization impacted opioid prescriptions. And a separate recently published research paper explored how medical cannabis dispensaries affect opioid overdoses. Both studies bode well for reform advocates who’ve argued that legal marijuana can serve as a safer alternative to prescription painkillers.

MSU receives $2.4M NIH grant to advance cannabis research [MSU Today]

As more U.S. voters cast their ballots on legalizing marijuana, or cannabis, a Michigan State University researcher is discovering exactly how its compounds can help reduce inflammation in the brain. Norbert Kaminski, a toxicologist who has studied the effects of cannabis since 1990, has received a five-year, $2.4 million National Institutes of Health grant to further his work on the role cannabis plays in decreasing brain inflammation in HIV patients.

CULTURE & SOCIETY

Could Mike Tyson Interest You in a Scripted TV Comedy About His Marijuana Farm? [Vulture]

Take whatever you associate with Mike Tyson (boxing, ear biting, fervent love of pigeons) and toss it out wild into the marijuana fields like the rich, hearty manure it is. That’s probably not how marijuana is grown, but if Tyson succeeds in getting his new TV show made, you’ll find out for sure one way or another. According to Page Six, Mike Tyson is reportedly shopping around a scripted comedy series based on his life as as a burgeoning weed magnate, entitled, of course, Rolling With The Punches.

Halloweed: These Aren’t Your Parents’ Marijuana-Related Halloween Costumes [Marijuana Moment]

Cheech and Chong might have been your parents’ go-to cannabis Halloween costumes decades ago, but marijuana policy culture has come along way in the last few decades.

Marijuana Campaign Ads Are Flooding Airwaves Ahead Of The Election [Marijuana Moment]

Campaigns supporting and opposing marijuana ballot measures are filling up airwaves and social media feeds with political advertisements in the run-up to the midterm elections. Veterans, police officers and a former television news anchor explain their support for an initiative to fully legalize cannabis in Michigan. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol also produced a series of ads focusing on the safeguards that a regulated cannabis system creates, the economic benefits of legalization and the positive impact of a legal marijuana marketplace on criminal justice.

Paul Pierce explains why he vapes CBD oil [Boston]

The former Celtics star says the substance has helped him deal with anxiety and depression that have plagued him since his near-fatal stabbing in 2000.

‘A bong show’: Instagrammers say legalization made #cannabislife more confusing [National Post]

Natalia Chiles doesn’t understand why Instagram banned her cannabis teacup giveaway. When the Edmonton social media influencer posted about it a few days before legalization, she thought everything was in the clear. The contest promised a set of regular teacups painted with gold cannabis leaves — no big deal, right? Wrong. Instagram pulled the post down saying it violated their community guidelines. Chiles says she could only assume it’s because the cups are painted with cannabis images. But she wasn’t sure since Instagram never got back to her.

Is an Oregon marijuana shop haunted? Watch surveillance video [13WMaz]

Andy Gomez was working at the counter of the marijuana store by himself when surveillance video shows a glass tip jar slowly slide off the edge of a level counter.

Adults can do better keeping pot edibles that look like treats from children [The Seattle Times]

Edible marijuana should continue to be available in Washington state, but not in a form that resembles candy.

Cannabis Advocates Really Need To Stop Accusing Doctors of Being Bribed By Pharmaceutical Companies [Clear]

There may well be some doctors who are corrupt and there are still, despite much improvement, serious questions over the relationship between pharma companies and doctors but the idea that every member of the Faculty of Pain Medicine who signed that letter to the Times is taking bribes is ridiculous.

Is the Word “Marijuana” as Racist as the N-Word? [The Marijuana Times]

The history of racism that surrounds the n-word has no equal in the United States. A legacy left by centuries of slavery accompanies that word every time it is used in anger or to demean someone. And to be fair, the word “marijuana” also has its roots in the racist beginnings of cannabis prohibition. But the two aren’t really comparable in the minds of many, so why compare them here?

OTHER DRUGS

A Microdose Of “Magic Mushrooms” Could Unleash Your Creativity [Futurism]

According to researchers from Leiden University, just a tiny dose of magic mushrooms or truffles containing psychedelic substances — an amount unlikely to make you think the floor is alive and wants to eat you — can enhance your cognitive abilities.

Narcotics Control Bill passed with death penalty for dealing yaba [Dhaka Tribune]

The stern punishments have been proposed as yaba has spread across Bangladesh on a massive scale in recent times The Narcotics Control Bill 2018 has been passed in parliament with a provision of death sentence or life-term imprisonment as punishment for producing, trading, and using 200 grams or more of yaba, or more than 25 grams of heroin and cocaine.

FUNDRAISERS/CAMPAIGNS/PETITIONS/SURVEYS

Cannabis as Medicine Survey: 2018 [The University of Sydney]

Weed Billboards [Hemp Embassy]

Support Tony Bower’s Legal Fees [gofundme]

Supporting Andrew Katelaris [gofundeme]

Just Reform It! Let’s Get Real about Drugs [The Greens]

Survey: What’s the link between cannabis use and psychotic experiences? [The University of Queensland]

EVENTS

Nimbin Hemp Inc AGM 2018 [Hemp Embassy]

All members are invited to attend the  annual general meeting at 11am on Saturday 1 December 2018 at the Town Hall, 45 Cullen Street, Nimbin. Nominations for an elected position on the executive committee must be received by the president at least one week before the meeting – email head@hempembassy.net or phone 02 6689 0326. Voting for Office Bearers will be by open ordinary ballot by those present at the meeting only.

Hemp Health & Innovation Expo

MCEC Melbourne (Jeff’s Shed) Saturday 8th December – 9.30am – 7pm Sunday 9th December – 10am – 4pm, Melbourne

Medicinal Cannabis Symposium [United in Compassion]

22-24 March 2019, Tweed Heads NSW

27th Nimbin MardiGrass [Hemp Embassy]

3-5 May 2019, Nimbin NSW

MISCELLANEOUS

‘Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll’:  MP’s Memoir Goes On Sale [Reason]

“I’ve tried to write an honest account of what it’s like for someone to come from a very un-parliamentary background, into a balance of power position in an Australian Parliament”, Fiona Patten said. “There are many similarities between my old career and my new one – although you are much more likely to be screwed in politics these days than in the sex industry. Machine politics, revenge and religion have turned politics toxic even in the last couple of years”. Read about Fiona Patten’s Track Record on Law Reform of Drug and Other Social Issues.

Medicinal Cannabis & Hemp Tasmania & “the leaf” Newsletter [Facebook]

Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]

The new videos from the workshop on 20-21 October are uploaded and online now. Share the links, watch the videos, spread the word, legalise the herb.

MardiGrass Hemposium 2018 Talks now Available on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]

DRUG WAR OVER! [Radio Documentary]

‘Exposing The War On Drugs’ looks at how the war on drugs has affected Australia and the rest of the world.

Entheogenesis Australis Shop Now Open [EGA]