AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
Judge Recognises that Medicinal Cannabis Producers are Not Criminals [Sydney Criminal Lawyers]
In handing down the sentence, Judge Ellis said that it was clear that Mr Futter had been cultivating the plants for non-profit medicinal purposes. And his Honour acknowledged that there is a rising awareness in the community of the “potential medicinal benefits of cannabis”. The judge also lamented the state of NSW laws that don’t recognise a distinction between growing recreational cannabis so as to turn a profit and cultivating the plant for the benefit of those in medical need. Judge Ellis told the court that while this distinction can’t be found in the law, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t appear there, and in the meantime, this distinction “should be found in the sentencing principles applied by a sentencing court when dealing with such offences”. And this isn’t the first time the District Court judge has accepted that people in the community are genuinely helping others by producing cannabis oil. In October 2015, Judge Ellis imposed a two year good behaviour bond on Malcolm Ronald Lee in a similar case involving cannabis used as medicine.
Coroner compares drug prohibition laws to racism [The Sydney Morning Herald]
A NSW coroner has likened the effects of drug prohibition to state sanctioned racism, saying future generations would look back at current laws on illicit substances with incredulity. Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame also took aim at sniffer dogs patrolling train stations as a “low-hanging” law enforcement tactic during an ongoing inquest examining government policy on prescription opiates and illegal drug use.
More than half a million Queenslanders have used an illegal drug in the past year, with cannabis the drug of choice for most. The Health of Queenslanders 2018 report, due to be released this month, will show an estimated 558,000 people aged 14 or older had used illicit drugs in the previous 12 months. Of those, 485,000 people had used cannabis.
World first clinical trial will study impact of medicinal cannabis on Australians with malignant brain tumours [Endeavour]
A world first clinical trial investigating whether medicinal cannabis can benefit patients with malignant brain tumours will be led by researchers at Endeavour College of Natural Health and supported by internationally renowned neurosurgeon Professor Charlie Teo.
Leader of Reason [Reason Party]
“Maybe it does take a woman like me, a woman who isn’t supposed to be here, to break up the club; to change the place and keep things fair / reasonable.” – Fiona Patten MP
Tamworth Regional Council approves $8m medicinal cannabis farm [Northern Daily Leader]
Tamworth will become home to an $8 million medicinal cannabis farm with council approving a massive development application. Cann Pharmaceuticals is the group behind the project and it hopes to get work under way by the end of this year and have production up and running by late 2019. Cann chairman Andrew McCrea told The Leader Tamworth was picked as the location for its cannabis farm for its ideal growing climate and because of the support of the city.
Petition: For a Referendum on Recreational Cannabis Use during 2019 NSW Election [Liberal Democrats]
New research shows decriminalising cannabis and introducing a regulated market would be a boost for New Zealand’s economy. The Government is working through plans to hold a referendum on legalising cannabis on or before the 2020 election.
Since hemp became legal in Australia on November 12, 2017, two Aussies and an Irishman have been turning the non psychoactive parts of the plant into useful products—chief among them, a relaxing gin that will invoke euphoria, but won’t get you high.
Cann Group has secured a deal with the Victorian government to supply cannabis plant extract, or resin, to be used to treat children with severe or intractable epilepsy.
Helius joins Waikato’s Cannsouth and Ruatoria-based Hikurangi Cannabis in successfully acquiring the licence to breed strains of cannabis that could be used in medicines.
Michigan is the 10th state to legalise recreational marijuana. This map shows every US state where pot is legal. [Business Insider Australia]
Michigan on Tuesday became the 10th state to legalise recreational marijuana, and Utah and Missouri voted to legalise medical marijuana.
US Attorney resigns as fiery Trump blasts reporter [Northern Star]
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned in the wake of the midterm elections. In a tweet with a photo of his resignation letter, Mr Sessions said he was stepping down at the request of United States president Donald Trump.
Studies show that people use at roughly the same rates, regardless of race. When it comes to legal consequences, of course, the rates are very different. In New York City where I live, marijuana has officially been decriminalized since the 1970s. Yet people of color continue to be arrested at grossly disproportionate rates—a pattern that holds nationwide.
Ohio Might Consider Adding Opiate Addiction to Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana [The Marijuana Times]
As more states consider legalizing medical marijuana, others who have already made this leap are continuously expanding their programs so that more patients have access to a safe alternative medicine. When Ohio legalized medical marijuana, they included a list of 21 qualifying conditions – with roughly 3.5 million residents who qualify – and a stipulation that the State Medical Board of Ohio would be required to review petitions for new conditions each year.
Medical cannabis cardholders, growers dropping off in Oregon [Marijuana Business Daily]
Medical marijuana patients and growers across Oregon are abandoning the state’s MMJ program, according to reports. Licensed medical marijuana companies are increasingly up against a combination of legislative red tape and a different kind of market force: the convenience of recreational retail sales.
America’s slow burn towards cannabis legalisation continues at the midterms as four states will vote on ballots featuring medicinal and recreational initiatives. Michigan and North Dakota will decide whether to make the drug legal while Utah and Missouri will vote on its medicinal uses. Polls are suggesting that all four ballots are likely to pass.
Washington Home Grow Advocates Preparing for 2019 Session [Ganjapreneur]
Home grow advocates in Washington State are getting ready for the upcoming 2019 legislative session and they have high hopes the state will finally pass an adult-use home grow bill. Washington is the only fully legalized state that does not allow adults over 21 to grow cannabis at home without a medical cannabis qualification. Last year, a home grow bill passed the House Commerce and Gaming Committee only to stall before key deadlines were met. Despite the defeat, advocates are back this year with a new bill and new strategies.
About 400,000 marijuana plants seized in Santa Maria [The Tribune]
Santa Barbara County officials seized 400,000 marijuana plants in Santa Maria on Monday, according to a news release from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. The seizure, in the 2700 block of Telephone Road, stemmed from a criminal investigation authorities were conducting into an illegal marijuana grow “that was concealed among existing farm fields,” according to the release.
Trump Will Legalize Marijuana After Midterms, Anthony Scaramucci Predicts [Marijuana Moments]
President Trump will push for marijuana legalization after the upcoming elections, according to former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. “I do. I think he’s going to legalize marijuana,” Scaramucci told Succeed.com founder Charles Peralo in an interview this week. “I think he’s waiting for after the midterms. I think he’s on the side of legalization.”
An investor in a major Canadian cannabis company has had longstanding ties, including business dealings, with influential Mafia members and drug traffickers, Radio-Canada has learned. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s legalization plan was supposed to cut out organized crime, but an investigation by Radio-Canada’s Enquête shows Health Canada has granted production licences to companies with individuals with links to the criminal underworld.
California Marijuana Notebook: L.A.’s licensing logjam & mounting lawsuits for MJ businesses [Marijuana Business Daily]
As the marijuana market in the Golden State grows and matures, business owners are facing dueling challenges:
- MJ entrepreneurs are finding it’s particularly tough to obtain a business permit in Los Angeles.
- Lawsuits involving trademarks and proprietary business information are popping around the state.
Starting Wednesday, there’s going to be a new pot dealer in town on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation — a legal dealer. The First Nation is opening a new legal retail cannabis store in the northern Manitoba community’s mall — believed to be the first such store on a First Nation in Canada.
Mexico’s highest court rules adults have ‘fundamental right’ to use cannabis, setting legal precedent [Independent]
Mexico’s highest court has ruled two complainants should be allowed to use cannabis for recreational purposes, setting a precedent that a ban on the drug is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court found that adults have a “fundamental right to the free development of the personality” without interference from the state. “That right is not absolute, and the consumption of certain substances may be regulated, but the effects provoked by marijuana do not justify an absolute prohibition of its consumption,” the ruling read.
President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador said yesterday that the government should respect the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the ban on recreational marijuana use. The court ruled Wednesday that the ban on personal use or consumption violated Mexicans’ “fundamental right to the free development of the personality.”
A Mexico senator has introduced a bill that would legalise recreational marijuana. Andrés Manuel López Obrador is the president-elect of Mexico, and his soon-to-be interior interior minister Olga Sanchez Cordero proposed a bill to legalise marijuana. If it passes, each person will be allowed to have up to 20 plants at a time for personal consumption. The bill would also include regulating and monitoring production, sales, and consumption.
Medical cannabis might now be legal in the UK, but for many, it’s just as hard to access it as it’s ever been.
Patients in Jersey will be able to get medical cannabis from all doctors after politicians voted to change the law. Deputy Montfort Tadier, who proposed the move, said GPs should be allowed to prescribe pre-approved products to patients. In the UK only specialist doctors are allowed to issue similar treatments. Consultant neurologist Prof Mike Barnes said the mainland should follow the changes, as cannabis expertise was “rare” among medical professionals.
Medicinal cannabis legalisation in UK could well open the door to allowing recreational use, whatever Sajid Javid says [Independent]
The UK’s home secretary is adamant that the law change will not mean further marijuana liberalisation, but there are substantial financial forces working for exactly that outcome.
Let’s be clear: the struggle is far from over. The NHS released its prescription guidelines last week and they were disappointingly restrictive. Drawn up by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Paediatric Neurology Association, the guidelines say cannabis products can only be used as a last resort, and that patients with MS and chronic pain are unlikely to get prescriptions. In fact, the guidelines state baldly that: “Very few people in England are likely to get a prescription for medical cannabis.”
UK NHS Guidelines Offer People Who Need Cannabis As Medicine Two Choices. Go Private Or Carry On Being A Criminal [Clear]
Following the UK’s new Misuse of Drugs Regulations, which came into force on 1st November, the NHS has issued guidelines on cannabis for medical use, both for clinicians and for the public. The best that can be said about these is that they are NOT the law. In fact they are inaccurate, misleading and provide a seriously distorted picture both of the new regulations and of the evidence that is available on the use of cannabis as medicine. The crucial points are these. There are NO RESTRICTIONS on what conditions cannabis may be prescribed for. As well as oils, raw herbal cannabis may also be prescribed – for vaping only, smoking is prohibited. All the decisions are entirely in the hands of the prescribing consultant. Of course, the problem is your consultant likely knows nothing about cannabis.
UK HCPs Unprepared for Medical Cannabis Legislation, Says New Online eLearning Platform, The Academy of Medical Cannabis [PR Newswire]
The UK’s only HCP medical cannabis online education platform The Academy of Medical Cannabis (www.taomc.org) launches amid concerns that HCPs in the UK are unprepared for the new medical cannabis legislation that is introduced today (November 1).
Moshe Kahlon blames the Public Security Ministry for foot-dragging, thus ‘harming Israel’s economy, farmers and local industry,’ calls for cabinet to approve exports and advance legislation.
Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze has announced today that the Government of Georgia will withdraw the controversial draft bill that was to legalize cultivation of medical cannabis and its production for export. Kobakhidze made the statement on November 2, following his meeting with Partiarch Ilia II and members of the Holy Synod. According to Kobakhidze, although “positions varied within the team,” the GDDG has “kept its initial promise” that it would make the final decision based on “wide societal consensus,” and “in agreement with the church.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister ACM Prajin Juntong said on Wednesday that the Narcotics Control Board had already completed its study, which presents both pros and cons of the substance, and Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha has already viewed it. ACM Prajin added that the government is on course to pass a new law to legalize marijuana although more studies are still needed by various related agencies, particularly the Food and Drug Administration.
‘Medicinal cannabis can be made available in Ireland early next year if a push is made by the department’ [The Journal]
It’s been nearly two years since Health Minister Simon Harris announced that a medicinal cannabis access programme is to be established, but as of yet no scheme has been rolled out.
BUSINESS & POLICY
Cannabis stocks surge as U.S. midterm elections, Jeff Sessions resignation bolster hopes for a green wave [Market Watch]
Shares of cannabis companies traded broadly, and in many cases sharply higher Wednesday, as U.S. midterm elections are likely to usher in a green wave, with Michigan voting to legalize recreational pot and other states supporting medical marijuana likely just the beginning.
Washington Needs to Legalize Cannabis [Wall Street Journal]
Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has a marijuana op-ed in the Wall Street Journal: “The trend could not be clearer: Cannabis prohibition is coming to an end. A Gallup poll last month found 66% of Americans favor legal marijuana. I am now one of those Americans. It began when a friend of mine who suffered from chronic back pain found relief using medical cannabis.”
Democratic House flip may mean full legalization of marijuana in nation’s capital [The Washington Post]
Residents of the nation’s capital get no vote in Congress, but the Democratic takeover of the House may come with a consolation prize: recreational marijuana shops. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), fresh off her reelection victory, said Wednesday she plans to introduce legislation early next year to legalize the sale of marijuana.
Banks pass on marijuana loans, for now [Reuters]
Banks have been wary of financing cannabis companies, which grow or sell marijuana, as it is still a federally restricted substance in the United States. This has forced companies to turn to other funding sources including private equity firms, credit unions, or direct lenders, which can command rates of up to 15%. But with the legal marijuana market forecast to reach US$146.4bn by the end of 2025, according to Grand View Research, the opportunity may be too tempting for banks to pass on for much longer.
In the final episode of Working With Weed, Jordan talks to Peter Marcus, who is the communications director and head of political outreach for Terrapin Care Station in Boulder, Colorado. Like most positions in this newly legalized industry, lobbying for the interests of cannabis businesses means working without a roadmap. But for someone like Peter, that’s what makes things interesting. Whether he’s working to pass an unprecedented public cannabis consumption bill or unexpectedly explaining to a room full of anti-weed activists that no, everyone in the cannabis industry is not secretly in the mob, things are never run-of-the-mill for him.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
The following compendium of landmark cannabis studies is exclusively focused on top-level research that either fundamentally advanced our understanding of the plant’s therapeutic properties, or thoroughly debunked some pernicious piece of official misinformation—such as “smoking weed gives you lung cancer.”
First of its Kind Study Finds Virtually No Driving Impairment Under the Influence of Marijuana [Health & Fitness]
The first study to analyze the effects of cannabis on driving performance found that it caused almost no impairment. The impairment that it did cause was similar to that observed under the influence of a legal alcohol limit. Researchers at the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator carried out the study, sponsored by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. In fact, some would argue that it makes them drive safer or slower.
When will more medical schools include the second largest neurotransmitter system, the endocannabinoid system (ECS), into medical school curriculum? In 2013, Cardiologist Dr. David Allen did a preliminary survey to determine which schools teach the ECS and found that only a total of 13 percent of U.S. medical schools even mentioned it. Now, we’re not talking about cannabis here, but a neurotransmitter system that was discovered in the late 1980s, almost 30 years ago. We know that it is critical for homeostasis, yet few medical schools have seen fit to train medical students about it.
Approximately one-third of patients with epilepsy presents seizures despite adequate treatment. Hence, there is the need to search for new therapeutic options. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major chemical component of the resin of Cannabis sativa plant, most commonly known as marijuana.
New insights into the neural risks and benefits of marijuana use [Science Daily]
Research released today underscores both the dangers and the therapeutic promise of marijuana, revealing different effects across the lifespan. Marijuana exposure in the womb or during adolescence may disrupt learning and memory, damage communication between brain regions, and disturb levels of key neurotransmitters and metabolites in the brain. In Alzheimer’s disease, however, compounds found in marijuana, such as the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), may improve memory and mitigate some of the disease’s symptoms.
People with Type 1 diabetes who use cannabis may be at higher risk for complications, study suggests [CBC]
Risk is not well understood, but some experts say patients should err on the side of caution.
Cannabis may enhance night vision [The Guardian]
New research shows that the drug makes cells in the retina more sensitive to light.
Medical Marijuana Use Common Among Patients with Sickle Cell Disease, Study Finds [Medical Marijuana Inc]
Many patients diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD) use marijuana to manage symptoms, according to a new study published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.
Fewer women are smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol during pregnancy, but more are using marijuana, according to new federal data.
Medlab Clinical proceeding to stage II for cannabis cancer trial [Proactive Investor]
Medlab Clinical Ltd has successfully completed stage I of the NanaBis™ human trial on cancer patients at Royal North Shore Hospital. NanaBis™ is one of two of Medlab’s cannabis-based medicines which contains formulations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Medlab has received formal approval from the appropriate authority to proceed to stage II of the human cancer trial. Stage II of the clinical trial will focus on further safety but also tolerance and dose escalation.
GW Pharma CEO after new drug launch: It’s ‘important to distinguish between what’s medicine and what’s not’ in cannabis [CNBC]
Knowing the difference between real, federally-approved medicine and alternative treatments is key when it comes to cannabis, says GW Pharmaceuticals CEO Justin Gover, whose company’s cannabis-based epilepsy treatment launched Thursday in the United States.
Cannabis kills brain cancer cells in petri dishes so Australian researchers are embarking on a clinical trial to determine if it kills those cells in live patients too.
Study: CBD From Marijuana May Affect Pain And Anxiety In Different Ways Than Previously Thought [Forbes]
An animal study has identified new pathways by which cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating compound in marijuana, affects the brain and nervous system without getting users high. If replicable in humans, the finding may strengthen the argument that a moderate dose of CBD could be a safer alternative to standard pain and anxiety meds for many patients.
Through its Social Impact program, Eaze advocates for access to those who rely on cannabis and can’t afford it in many cases. Eaze has worked with veterans’ organizations, including Operation EVAC, over the last year to better understand the barriers preventing veterans from accessing cannabis, which isbeing studiedas a treatment for PTSD. Affordability has remained a persistent issue.
CULTURE & SOCIETY
Criminal histories can stand in the way of a job or housing. But with legalization, activists are helping to erase them.
‘Godfather’ Director Francis Ford Coppola Launches Luxury Marijuana Brand [Marijuana Moment]
Legendary filmmmaker and winery owner Francis Ford Coppola is premiering his own marijuana line. In collaboration with California-based Humboldt Brothers, “The Grower’s Series” product line will feature three one-gram samples contained in wine bottle-shaped tins. The move into the cannabis space seems natural for Coppola. The Academy Award-winning director of “Apocalypse Now” and many other top films sees wine and cannabis as closer cousins than some critics do. “Wine and cannabis are two ancient and bounteous gifts of Mother Nature, linked by great care, terroir and temperateness,” Coppola said in a press release. “Expertise making one applies to the other.”
The activist filmmaker pulled out his Michigan absentee ballot during an appearance on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers this week, giving him an opportunity to vote to legalize marijuana in his home state in front of a televised national audience.
Disgraced at Olympics Over Marijuana, Canadian Snowboarder Hopes to Ride to Cannabis Success [The New York Times]
Ross Rebagliati, who was briefly stripped of a snowboarding gold medal in 1998 because of marijuana, hopes that Canada’s decision to legalize pot will bring him closure, business opportunities and, perhaps most importantly, vindication.
KNOCKOUT BLOW: Conor McGregor hails Mike Tyson’s home-grown marijuana after pair spend evening together in Dublin [The Irish Sun]
The pair enjoyed “KO Kush”, the marijuana Tyson grows on his own ranch in America and were able to talk through some past differences.
With cannabis usage increasing in recent years, it’s important to take a look at how the substance impacts those who turn to it for recreational or medical reasons. Now, thanks to new research, we know that cannabis affects women and men differently. In fact, according to the study, conducted by researchers at the National Research Council of Italy and published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, women are more likely to become dependent on the drug than their male counterparts.
DEA releases 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment [US Drug Enforcement Administration]
DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon today announced results of the 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment, which outlines the threats posed to the United States by domestic and international drug trafficking and the abuse of illicit drugs.
Petition: For a Referendum on Recreational Cannabis Use during 2019 NSW Election [Liberal Democrats]
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]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02 6689 0326. Voting for Office Bearers will be by open ordinary ballot by those present at the meeting only.
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
“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.
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.