AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Queensland proposal to open up medicinal cannabis access [The Brisbane Times]

It would be easier for patients to get access to medicinal cannabis in Queensland under proposed law changes. Health Minister Steven Miles on Tuesday introduced a bill to repeal the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Act 2016, and make other reforms. Under the changes, specialists would be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients the same as other controlled or restricted medicine, such as codeine. Mr Miles said the change would significantly streamline the prescription process by removing state-level approval, with the federal Therapeutic Goods Administration to be responsible for the prescription process.

Western Australia grants provide spark to hemp stakeholders [Hemp Today]

The government of Western Australia is providing $200,000 AUD ($145,000 USD) in grants to support the state’s hemp industry. “There are immense opportunities in hemp and it is early days in the industry – the time in which government can give a little assistance to help the industry take off,” Agriculture and food minister Alannah MacTiernan told local media.

NORTH AMERICA

No spike in cannabis-impaired driving one month after legalization, data shows [Global News]

Canadian police have not seen a spike in cannabis-impaired driving one month since legalization, but there needs to be more awareness of laws around storing marijuana in vehicles and passengers smoking weed, law enforcement officials say.

Massachusetts opens first legal marijuana shops on East Coast [Independent]

A town mayor was among the first to line up to buy legal marijuana in Massachusetts which became the first state along the eastern seaboard to allow the sale of the drug for recreational use. The state is the first of at least two where dispensaries will be open on the US east coast, joining some of their western counterparts which have already legalised it. Calling it “historically significant”, David Narkewicz, the mayor of the small town of Northampton told CBS News: “I am actually going to probably preserve it and display it.”

4 lessons from the Mass. marijuana law roll-out [The Boston Globe]

State and local officials can do better as the industry rollout continues. Too often, officials seem to run for the hills when the subject of marijuana comes up, or view stores as nothing more than opportunities to extract tax revenue. “In my view, we’re running into a lot of challenges because, generally, local and state officials are not caught up to where the people are,” said Shaleen Title, one of the five members of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

Massachusetts marijuana regulators approve more recreational retail licenses [Marijuana Business Daily]

The first day of adult-use cannabis sales in Massachusetts reportedly went smoothly Tuesday, and regulators continued to approve final retail licenses in an attempt to keep the industry in the state moving forward.

Oregon recreational cannabis sales soar as prices continue to drop [Marijuana Business Daily]

Rampant overproduction in Oregon’s market for legal, recreational marijuana has produced a 50% drop in prices, according to recent estimates by state economists. The widely documented collapse has been tough on cannabis businesses such as cultivators and retailers – but a boon for consumers.

Oregon needs one separate agency to regulate cannabis, report finds [Marijuana Business Daily]

Oregon’s cannabis industry needs to be regulated by one independent agency instead of three separate bodies, according to a report drafted by the Oregon Cannabis Commission.

Marijuana is getting cheaper. For some states, that’s a problem. [The Washington Post]

Wholesale marijuana prices in Colorado have fallen by a third in just the past 12 months, continuing a price crash that began soon after the drug was legalized. Although this implies that some marijuana entrepreneurs are going to go bankrupt, the bigger financial hit will be felt by states that tax marijuana based on its price.

FDA Chief: Federal Cannabis Action Is An ‘Inevitability’ [Ganjapreneur]

U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a CNBC interview on Friday that a federal cannabis “policy reckoning” is “an inevitability.” First noted by Marijuana Moment, the statement made up just part of a larger interview but, for cannabis professionals, it’s an optimistic signal of validation for the industry, which exists despite the constant risk of a federal crackdown.

New Chair of House Rules Committee Says He’ll Allow Floor Votes on Marijuana Amendments [Medical Marijuana]

With the change at Rules Chair, Congress is much more likely to move forward with cannabis reform legislation. Next year’s House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) has promised he will allow open debate of marijuana reform amendments on the floor of the House.

Colorado on Track to Sell Record-Setting $1B in Recreational Marijuana in 2018 [Medical Marijuana Inc]

The state could surpass $1.2 billion in recreational marijuana sales alone by the end of the year.

Health Canada releases new data on cannabis use in Canada [Government of Canada]

The 2018 Canadian Cannabis Survey provides a snapshot of Canadians’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to cannabis before the law changed.

Michigan communities rebel against marijuana business [The Detroit News]

In the week since Michigan voters approved marijuana legalization, several communities have indicated they intend to ban commercial recreational marijuana facilities within their borders.

Ontario retailers face time crunch to address cannabis security, insurance needs [The Growth Op]

Landlords leasing to a retail or commercial operation will also have to reassess their current insurance coverage.

Why is Canada running out of marijuana? [BBC]

Cannabis retailers in Canada began to run low on supplies from the very first day of legalisation a month ago. How long are shortages expected to continue as the new market for recreational cannabis finds its feet?

What Replacing Jeff Sessions As AG Means For Marijuana Legalization [Forbes]

What does replacing Jeff Sessions as Attorney General mean for marijuana advocates? The short answer is not much. The longer answer is bit more complicated.

Utah adds label requirement for CBD products to combat synthetics [Hemp Industry Daily]

Utah will require CBD products to carry labels certifying they were produced legally, a move to eliminate synthetic products and treatments that contain too much THC.

A Former Supporter of Prohibition Calls for Federal Marijuana Law Reform [The Marijuana Times]

In an op-ed posted on Tuesday, Representative Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) came out in favor of federal cannabis law reform. Not only is Kennedy’s name big, his former opposition to legalization is big as well.

One-third of Canadian cannabis buyers still using illicit dealers, according to IPSOS poll [Global News]

One of the Canadian government’s chief aims in legalizing marijuana was to eliminate the black market. And yet, one month after legalization came into effect on Oct. 17, a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News reveals that of those who have purchased cannabis in the last month, 35 per cent went back to their pre-legalization sources. In other words, they skipped legal avenues in favour of their old dealer.

NASA to launch safety review of SpaceX and Boeing after video of Elon Musk smoking pot rankled agency leaders [The Washington Post]

NASA has ordered a safety review of the two companies it has hired to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, a months-long assessment that would involve hundreds of interviews designed to evaluate the culture of the workplaces, the agency said. The review was prompted by the recent behavior of SpaceX’s founder, Elon Musk, according to three officials with knowledge of the probe, after he took a hit of marijuana and sipped whiskey on a podcast streamed on the Internet. That rankled some at NASA’s highest levels and prompted the agency to take a close look at the culture of the companies, the people said.

Canadian cannabis investor gets lifetime U.S. entry ban as conference goers face scrutiny at border [Financial Post]

The individual, who invests in a Canadian cannabis business that has an operation in Nevada, received the ban on the morning of Nov. 14, as he travelled to Las Vegas to attend the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, one of the largest gatherings of cannabis industry players. The conference attracted close to 25,000 investors, entrepreneurs, lenders, lobbyists and executives of major U.S. and Canadian licensed cannabis producers, among others. At least 12 other Canadians en route to the same conference were detained for hours.

Cannabis Media Summit [New York City, 7 December]

The Cannabis Media Summit is excited to present the first cannabis industry conference dedicated to media professionals. Hear from leading journalists and thought leaders who will share best practices as well as challenges facing reporters when covering the cannabis beat.

UK

Call for urgent Commons debate on wider access to medical cannabis [The Scotsman]

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has called for an urgent debate to be held in the House of Commons over the rigid guidelines governing the prescription of medical cannabis.

The UK’s Biggest Legal Weed Producer Has Ignited Fresh Criticism [Vice]

GW Pharmaceuticals has been accused by campaigners of trying to monopolise the UK’s medical cannabis market – but some say they’re doing exactly what they should be doing.

The legal marijuana farm set to supply medical cannabis to the UK [Evening Standard]

This is one of the marijuana farms set to supply cannabis-based products for medicinal purposes to the UK. Groundbreaking legislation that came into effect on November 1 means that specialist UK doctors are now able to prescribe cannabis-based products, such as CBD oil, to patients. London-based Dragonfly Biosciences Ltd has announced that it has secured a licence to create CBD oil, and will begin the production and distribution of medical cannabis early in 2019. The firm produces the drug at huge open-air farms in Bulgaria.

Medical cannabis in the UK [the bmj]

It is difficult to know if restricted access to cannabis products under this new policy is deliberate or accidental. Either way it has given false hope to many people who may well be in need of hope as well as medicine, that seems cruel.

NICE Rejects Professor Mike Barnes’ Expertise in Cannabis as Medicine for a Second Time [Clear]

Professor Mike Barnes is without doubt the UK clinician with the most expertise in the use of cannabis as medicine. He should have been first choice as a member of the NICE committee charged with developing cannabis prescribing guidelines and, as reported here, its rejection of his application was greeted with astonishment. However, NICE relented and invited Professor Barnes to an interview. Now they have rejected him again.

Supplementary information on cannabis-based products for medicinal use (PDF) [DHSS]

Following the letter issued on the 31st of October 2018, this supplementary letter provides further guidance to clinicians and organisations following the re-scheduling of cannabis-based products for medicinal use in the UK on November 1st 2018.

WORLD

Greece eyes pot of gold as medicinal cannabis licensed [Reuters]

Greece on Monday issued the first licences to private companies for growing medicinal cannabis in the country, part of an attempt to tap a burgeoning market worth billions.

Egypt MP Proposes Law to Decriminalise All Drug Use [Talking Drugs]

An Egyptian MP has proposed a draft law that would decriminalise the personal use of drugs, though the move has received a mixed response.

Jamaican Health Ministry Supports Conditional Use of Cannabis for Research and Medicinal Purposes [Jamaica Information Service]

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie, says the Ministry of Health supports the use of cannabis and products derived from the plant for research and medicinal purposes, where scientific evidence validates their benefits and effectiveness in treating specific conditions.

Dominica to host national consultation on marijuana this month [Jamaica Observer]

The Dominica government says it will hold a national consultation on the decriminalisation of marijuana later this month.

Lawsuit throws German cannabis program into limbo; deadline delayed to Dec. 11 [Marijuana Business Daily]

Another lawsuit challenging the application process to grow medical cannabis in Germany could throw the already-delayed domestic cultivation plans even further into a state of uncertainty.

Danish Cannabis Pilot Program Reaching End of First Year, A Model for Others to Follow [ICBC]

While it has gotten decidedly less English-speaking press than other countries in Europe on the front edge of cannabis reform, Denmark’s pilot four-year cannabis program is chugging along nicely and can help provide a model for other European Union nations. The four-year program was authorized to begin on January 1, 2018.

Amidst Ganja Reform, Concern About Growers [St Lucia Times]

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Parliament is expected to approve, on Thursday, laws establishing a medical marijuana industry in the country.

Do You Use Drugs? You Can Help The Global Drug Survey Start An Honest Dialogue. [Huffington Post]

Legal marijuana markets, psychedelic therapies and drugs and the Me Too movement are just a few of the topics covered in this year’s Global Drug Survey.

Medical Cannabis World Forum [Malta, 20-21 November 2018]

The Medical Cannabis World Forum will bring together experts from around the globe for a two-day conference which will take place on the island of Malta. The conference will be built around 5 pillars; Legislation, Business, Regulatory, Education & Research.

 

BUSINESS & POLICY

No extraction required: Smokable hemp trend gives farmers new use for flower [Hemp Industry Daily]

One of the fastest-growing hemp sectors bears a striking resemblance to the marijuana industry: dried and smokable hemp flowers. The growth of hemp pre-rolls and loose flower has roots in Europe, where cannabis enthusiasts have long embraced smoking low-THC cannabis, but its rise in the U.S. is catching longtime hemp industry watchers by surprise.

GreenCart Solutions Offers Insured Cash Transport Services for Cannabis Companies [Ganjapreneur]

Security — and in particular secure transport — has become an integral part of the cannabis industry as entrepreneurs move wholesale cannabis shipments, packaged products, cash tax payments, and even employee payrolls around their state. GreenCart Solutions takes a new approach to cannabis transportation services by offering insurance with up to $2,000,000 in liability coverage for each ride.

Economic Impact of the Passage of the Medical Marijuana Law in the State of Florida [SSRN]

In 2016, Florida Governor signed House Bill 307 that expanded the State’s Right to Try Act to include medical marijuana. However, two years after this initiative, little is known about the economic impact of legal medical marijuana use (MMU) on the State of Florida. The goal of this research is to forecast the total economic impact arising from MMU on Florida, from 2017 to 2025, using a dynamic input-output model. Input data for the model were obtained from the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use. The economic impact of MMU was measured in terms of gross state product, disposable personal income, migration, labor force, employment, and salaries and wages. The legalization of medical marijuana in Florida is associated with an increase in all the economic indicators in 2017. A positive trend for these indicators is observed from 2017 to 2025 except for migration with a negative trend starting in 2019.

Cannabis Professionals. The Trade Association for the UK’s Cannabis, CBD and Hemp Businesses [Clear]

Cannabis Professionals (CannaPro) is the trade association for the UK’s cannabis, CBD and hemp businesses. CannaPro will represent this fast-growing sector to the authorities, standing up to the Home Office, MHRA, FSA and Trading Standards, advocating for members’ interests, not acting as a government enforcer but as its members’ champion and to promote the development of the legal cannabis sector. CannaPro will offer guidance and support to all businesses, helping them to navigate through law and regulations on drugs, medicines, food and cosmetics.

Legalization’s Often Overlooked Benefit: Economic Growth [The Marijuana Times]

While other benefits of legalization are important and often overlooked, the most overlooked benefit of legalization is also one that affects the most people: economic growth.

Marijuana Sales Just Jumped in California [The Motley Fool]

California’s medical marijuana market has been up and running since the 1990s, but its adult-use marijuana market only opened for business in January. Initially, the state’s adult-use market got off to a slow start, but third-quarter data suggests that perhaps the state is overcoming its growing pains.

 

 

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Marijuana’s Driving Impact Less Than That Of Alcohol [MJ News]

Authors reported that the use of cannabis, absent the simultaneous use of other drugs or alcohol, creates “only a fraction of the risks associated with driving at the legal 0.08 BAC threshold, let alone the much higher risks associated with higher levels of alcohol.” By contrast, they report that “the simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis is linked to higher levels of driver impairment than either alone” – a finding that is consistent with much of the available literature.

Legalization will vastly expand our understanding of the ancient drug plant and how it can improve lives.

Hemp fields offer a late-season pollen source for stressed bees [Science News]

Fields of hemp might become a late-season pollen bonanza for bees. Industrial hemp plants, the no-high varieties of cannabis, are becoming a more familiar sight for American bees as states create pilot programs for legal growing. Neither hemp nor the other strains of the Cannabis sativa species grown for recreational or medicinal uses offer insects any nectar, and all rely on wind to spread pollen. Still, a wide variety of bees showed up in two experimental hemp plots during a one-month trapping survey by entomology student Colton O’Brien of Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

New Study Finds Marijuana Has No Effect on Outcomes of Kidney Transplants [Medical Marijuana Inc]

The findings suggest that past marijuana use shouldn’t be used to exclude kidney donor or recipient candidates.

Teens increasingly choose pot over alcohol, cigarettes [EurekAlert!]

The “gateway pattern” of adolescent substance use is changing, and marijuana is increasingly the first substance in the sequence of adolescent drug use, according researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Traditionally, students experiment with cigarettes and alcohol before cannabis, but since 2006, less than 50 percent of adolescents try cigarettes and alcohol before they try cannabis for the first time. The findings are published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Secondhand pot smoke found in kids’ lungs [MedicalXpress]

Making the switch from opioids to cannabis [WGRZ]

At DENT Neurologic Institute’s Cannabis Clinic, doctors see more and more patients transition off of opioids and onto medical marijuana. “This is an excellent option in today’s world,” said Dr. Laszlo Mechtler, DENT’s medical director. Among the clinic’s 6,000 patients, 50% have now moved away from opioids and to cannabis. Susan Spellburg is one of those success stories.

Hope for cannabis as treatment for opioid addiction [The Conversation]

Our recent research finds that specific constituents in cannabis may have very profound effects — not only modulating the addictive effects of opioids but possibly serving as a treatment for opioid dependence and withdrawal.

Strainprint announces research partnership to identify how cannabis can be used to treat endometriosis [The Growth Op]

Strainprint Technologies Ltd. will work with Israeli research leaders, Lumir Lab and Gynica, to conduct what is believed to be the world’s first international clinical study on using cannabis to treat endometriosis, a condition affecting 180 million women around the globe.

Marijuana-PTSD study reaches target enrollment of 76 veterans [Stars & Stripes]

Researchers who are trying to determine whether marijuana works to treat post-traumatic stress disorder enrolled their final veteran needed for the study on Veterans Day. The Scottsdale Research Institute in Phoenix, which is performing the study, achieved its total enrollment nearly two years after they first began recruiting veterans into the study – and eight years since the Food and Drug Administration approved it.

VA Will Consider Allowing Medical Marijuana for Veterans, Provided Federal Law Changes [Medical Marijuana Inc]

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie indicated federal marijuana law would need to change before there could be research into the benefits of cannabis for veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would be open to exploring whether medical marijuana could be therapeutically beneficial for veterans, if marijuana is legalized federally.

How medical marijuana made me a better mom [The Washington Post]

Lanza told me that for cannabis to work therapeutically, it takes an “alchemy of all the right factors” — the right time in your life, plus the right strain, method of ingestion, environment and time of day. All these factors have come together for me in my 40s, and I’m a better mother because of it. Still, I don’t relate to the stoner stereotype. I’ve never been a “wine mom,” and I don’t feel like a “weed mom,” either. I’m ready to embrace a new kind of cannabis culture, free from stigma and judgment, where the plant’s healing benefits are studied and shared, and the medicine is available to all in need.

Weed and Pregnancy: How Cannabis Laws Are Hurting Mothers [Rolling Stone]

It remains unclear how marijuana use by a pregnant woman could affect her unborn child, but there’s one thing for certain: It could mean having her family broken apart.

Two New Studies Reveal How Marijuana Can Treat Different Kinds Of Pain [Marijuana Moment]

Marijuana’s ability to mitigate pain is well-established in scientific literature—and two new studies offer fresh evidence of how cannabis can be beneficial to patients suffering from different kinds of pain.

The level of evidence of medical marijuana use for treating disabilities: a scoping review [Journal Disability & Rehabilitation]

The level of evidence for the use of medical MJ among people with disabilities varies greatly, and has a clear lack of methodologically sound studies. Overall, medical MJ does not improve the level of functioning, but it may improve the overall quality of life for people with disabilities.

Inconsistencies in the assumptions linking punitive sanctions and use of cannabis and new psychoactive substances in Europe [Addiction]

The level of drug use in the population is an ongoing topic of concern for policymakers, and regular adjustments to the penalty for this might reflect how much sanctions are viewed politically as appropriate to deter use. It is therefore interesting that not only is it difficult to observe the impact of such adjustments on cannabis prevalence, but also policymakers addressing new challenges do not always penalize use or personal possession.

CULTURE & SOCIETY

Alt-rock icon Dean Ween pitches marijuana-friendly concert venue in downtown Denver [Denver Post]

Dean Ween has big plans for Denver. The guitarist, best known for his work in the iconic alt-rock band Ween, hopes to open a Denver concert venue where the audience will be allowed to use marijuana — without hiding from security. The venue would be named Dean Ween’s Honeypot Lounge and would be located near Coors Field, according to chief operating officer Michael Polansky, who announced the plan at a city meeting on Monday.

Budding topics: Covering the cannabis industry [AP]

AP announced the addition of a dedicated cannabis team in early 2018. “Our members and customers have told us this is an area of immense interest to them, and AP’s geographic scope places us in a unique position to tell this story from multiple vantage points,” said AP’s deputy managing editor, Noreen Gillespie. We went behind the scenes with Baker to find out how the cannabis beat team covers an ever-changing industry to produce unique multiformat content with local relevance and national impact.

Social Media Posts by Recreational Marijuana Companies and Administrative Code Regulations in Washington State [Substance Use & Addiction]

How often are recreational marijuana companies adhering to the state of Washington Administrative Code regulations when posting product promotion messages on social media? This cross-sectional content analysis of 1027 posts on Facebook and Twitter platforms evaluated the social media content of business pages from 6 recreational marijuana companies. Violations of regulations regarding prohibited content were present for between 2% and 13% posts across regulation categories; required warnings were present on only 11% of posts.

FUNDRAISERS/CAMPAIGNS/PETITIONS/SURVEYS

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]

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]