AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

NORTH AMERICA

NY Lawmakers Meet to Discuss Plans to Legalize Cannabis [The Marijuana Times]

The state of New York is using the end of 2018 to keep the dialogue rolling on legalizing cannabis, discussing issues such as regulation, taxation, and justice system reform. On the morning of December 3rd, a hearing was held at Babylon Town Hall in Long Island and was attended by numerous legislative officials who are looking for public opinion on recreational cannabis as the state prepares to consider the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act in the coming legislative session in January.

California cannabis vape cartridge makers facing counterfeit products hurdle [Marijuana Business Daily]

Mainstream industry brands have long contended with product knockoffs ranging from North Face jackets to Rolex watches. Now the problem is increasingly appearing in the marijuana industry – with vaporizer cartridges a key target.

Falsified California testing lab data may result in major marijuana product recall [Marijuana Business Daily]

Sacramento-based Sequoia Analytical Labs surrendered its business license after a state inspection discovered that the company’s lab director had been falsifying cannabis product testing results for almost four months and hundreds of marijuana products may now have to be recalled and retested.

Utah gov signs medical cannabis compromise bill passed by lawmakers [Marijuana Business Daily]

Utah lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Monday to pass a medical marijuana compromise bill with more restrictive business provisions than the ballot initiative approved by voters Nov. 6.

Boulder County DA looking to dismiss thousands of past marijuana possession convictions [Daily Camera]

As part of the “Moving on from Marijuana” program, Boulder County Assistant District Attorney Ken Kupfner said the DA’s office took a look back through its records and identified about 4,000 marijuana possession convictions since 2008 that would no longer be crimes with the passage of Amendment 64.

Ohio begins registering medical marijuana patients [The Blade]

Ohio’s online portal through which patients may register through their doctors to use medical marijuana quietly went live Monday, and state officials said medicinal pot products should be available for patient use within 60 days. The state Board of Pharmacy sent notice to physicians as well as some patients and caregivers that the registration website is available. Only doctors who have been certified by the State Medical Board to recommend marijuana may access the website on behalf of patients they determined do qualify under Ohio’s fledgling medical marijuana program.

Nevada’s Marijuana Tax Revenue Tops $7M in September [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Nevada’s marijuana tax revenue in September fell just short of the single-month record set in August.

Chart: Where does California’s recreational marijuana supply come from? [Marijuana Business Daily]

While outdoor grows abound in California’s adult-use market, the state’s supply of recreational cannabis is dominated by indoor and greenhouse producers in Santa Barbara and Humboldt counties.

Final California marijuana industry rules may not be made public until January [Marijuana Business Daily]

Although California’s final cannabis industry regulations will reportedly be completed Monday, many industry insiders likely won’t be able to read them until January. That may be a disappointment to marijuana businesses that were anticipating being able to see the final rules sooner than later.

Michigan Officially Legalizes Marijuana For Recreational Use [The Huffington Post]

But it will likely be a few years before Michiganders can legally buy cannabis at retail stores.

 WORLD

EU drugs agency publishes its first report on the medical use of cannabis [EMCDDA]

What is the evidence base for the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids? What is the difference between cannabis preparations and medicinal products and why is this important? How is this issue regulated in the EU? These and other questions are explored in a new report published today by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA): Medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids: questions and answers for policymaking. The report responds to growing interest in this topic as more European countries develop policies and practice in this area.

Duterte favors ‘controlled, regulated’ use of medical marijuana for healing [Inquirer]

President Rodrigo Duterte is in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, a day after the nation’s top leader joked about using cannabis to stay awake. “Well, the President already made a statement on that prior. He said for purposes of medicine to heal, he’s in favor, but not for use other than that,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

[Sky News]

A 32-year-old woman is believed to be the first person prescribed cannabis in the UK after it was made legal for medicinal use last month. Carly Barton, from Brighton, who suffers constant pain from fibromyalgia following a stroke in her 20s, was given a prescription by a private doctor who specialises in pain management. The NHS is not funding the treatment, so she is having to pay £2,500 for three months’ treatment herself.

Girl, 2, who has 30 seizures a day becomes first child in Britain to be prescribed medicinal cannabis [Daily Mail]

This will cost her family £1,000 a month and a trip from Belfast to London for every repeat prescription.

Cannabis to be made legal for recreational use in Luxembourg [TNI]

Cannabis will be made legal for recreational use in Luxembourg, it has been confirmed. During a press conference held by the three coalition parties – Democratic Party (DP), Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) and The Greens (déi gréng) – political leaders said the drug will be legalised. It will also be commercially distributed, as was confirmed by deputy prime minister Etienne Schneider, speaking to Luxembourg Times. The parties said only residents will be able to buy the drug and penalties will be put in place for anyone distributing to minors or around schools. Furthermore, addiction prevention will be part of government policy.

Marijuana in Mexico: how to legalise it effectively, fairly and safely [The Conversation]

Around the world, there is a steady shift towards the legalisation of marijuana. But how should governments considering such a move ensure it is done effectively, fairly and safely? Mexico is a good test case. The Mexican Supreme Court recently ruled that the prohibition of marijuana was unconstitutional, but the new government supports legalisation, so the question no longer is if Mexico should legalise cannabis, but how.

Bermuda set to open door to medical cannabis investments [Marijuana Business Daily]

Bermuda plans to allow medical marijuana production and is inviting international companies to partner with local entrepreneurs to participate, according to recent statements by Premier David Burt. The government has tapped one of the biggest medical cannabis companies in the world to help it prepare regulations to guide the new industry.

Brazilian Lawmakers Approve Medical Marijuana Bill [Marijuana Moment]

A key Senate committee in Brazil approved a bill to allow the use and cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes on Wednesday. The measure, which was brought about in response to an online citizen-led petition that received about 119,000 votes, would remove criminal penalties for growing, possessing and consuming cannabis for patients who receive prescriptions from doctors.

BUSINESS & POLICY

National League of Cities Calls for Federal Marijuana Reform [Medical Marijuana Inc]

The major group made up of local officials is urging the federal government to reform its cannabis policy. The National League of Cities (NLC) this month passed two resolutions calling for the federal government to reschedule cannabis and provide the industry access to banking services. Founded in 1924, the NLC is a major organization aimed at empowering local governments. It represents nearly 20,000 cities, towns, and villages throughout the United States.

Major Alcohol Association Briefs Congress On Marijuana Legalization [Marijuana Moment]

One of the nation’s leading alcohol industry associations held a briefing on Capitol Hill on Friday to tell lawmakers and congressional staffers about its position on marijuana legalization. The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) became the first major alcohol association to call for the end of federal cannabis prohibition in July. At last week’s briefing, the group reaffirmed that stance, emphasizing that the federal government should allow states to legalize marijuana without interference.

The one banking bill Congress might actually pass next term [American Banker]

One measure to watch will be a legislative fix for banks with customers in the legal marijuana business. While success is certainly not guaranteed, a narrow safe harbor for financial institutions in states where cannabis is now permitted is beginning to draw wide support from industry officials as well as from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. As chatter picks up, such a provision could find its way to passage in what may be an otherwise deadlocked term.

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Cannabis-based compound may reduce seizures in children with epilepsy [EurekAlert!]

Interest has been growing in the use of cannabinoids–the active chemicals in cannabis or marijuana– for the treatment of epilepsy in children. A recent Epilepsia analysis of relevant published studies indicates that this strategy looks promising.

Marijuana for menstrual cramps: The new way women are using weed [Detroit Free Press]

There’s been a big movement towards finding more natural ways to cure what ails us. Honey for coughs, turmeric for arthritis pain and now marijuana for menstrual cramps.

Cannabis based drugs could be next gen painkillers [MediBulletin]

Indian scientists work on drugs using weed based chemicals; clinical trials to start soon.

Researchers Finally Discover the Genes that Produce THC and CBD in Cannabis [Civilized]

While the genome of the cannabis plant was sequenced back in 2011, researchers have struggled to isolate the genes responsible for producing the plant’s two most prominent chemicals. Until now. A joint Canadian-US effort has identified the genes that produce THC (the chemical in marijuana that gets people high) and CBD (the compound most well known for its medicinal applications).

CBD shows promise as treatment for methamphetamine use disorder: New study [Pot Network]

In a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers found that CBD inhibited rats’ motivation to consume methamphetamine. The rats were trained to self-administer the drug by pressing a lever, which led to them receiving intravenous infusions. Researchers found that treating the rats with high doses of CBD, in the area of 80 mg/kg reduced the animals’ motivation to consume more methamphetamine.

Bay Area cannabis researchers claim breakthrough against chronic diseases [The Mercury News]

A Marin County medical cannabis and pharmaceutical coalition says it has found a way to ramp up production of one of the rarest compounds produced by marijuana flowers that early studies have shown could be a way to treat diabetes, lower cholesterol and provide other health benefits.

CULTURE & SOCIETY

Vaporized Marijuana Produces A Stronger High Than Smoking It, Study Finds [Marijuana Moment]

Vaping marijuana gets you higher than smoking it, according to a new study published in an American Medical Association journal.

Pot of gold: how the beauty industry fell for cannabis [The Guardian]

CBD oil is cropping up in an increasing number of high-end creams, oils and even mascaras – but not all derivatives of the plant are created equally.

Billy Connolly: I Tried Marijuana To Treat My Parkinson’s But I Ended Up Getting Stoned Instead [Huffington Post]

The Scottish comedian was diagnosed with the incurable condition in 2013.

New Wine in Old Skins: Cannabis Branding and French Wine Appellations [Points Blog]

“Until marijuana is legal at the federal level, a national appellation system is impractical.” But if the appellation system does prove successful and stimulates high-end cannabis sales in California and cannabis tourism in the Emerald Triangle, then it might offer a way forward in debates within the cannabis industry over purity, intellectual property, and big business.

We must study marijuana’s impact on the environment before it’s too late [The Guardian]

The focus on human health with Canada’s legalization has highlighted the lack of discussion on the potential effects of on freshwater supplies.

Are Prohibitionists Getting Even More Desperate? [The Marijuana Times]

It isn’t easy being someone who supports cannabis prohibition these days. If you are one of those people, you were in your prime thirty years ago, the days of D.A.R.E. and “Just Say No”. But that is no longer the case and it seems this cultural shift is making some who still support the notion of prohibition get a little desperate.

Hemp a Top 10 Food Trend for 2019, Says Whole Foods [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Food experts believe hemp products are going to have a big year, with products becoming broader as researchers find more benefits and consumer interest grows. Hemp will be one of the 10 hottest food trends in 2019, according to predictions from Whole Foods Market.

What marijuana does to your sex life [The Verge]

There’s little hard evidence for cannabis lube, but marijuana does have an effect.

Why dog owners are giving their pets cannabis [The Guardian]

As legalization spreads, some advocate giving pets CBD – a chemical in marijuana – as a medical treatment.

Illustration: George Wylesol

OTHER DRUGS

A New Record for Overdose Deaths Set in U.S. [The Marijuana Times]

In 2017, over 70,000 people died in the United States from drug overdoses according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 28,000 of those deaths involved fentanyl or a similar prescription drug – a number that was just around 3,000 in 2013.

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

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

NIMBIN MEDICAN WORKSHOP [Hemp Embassy]

19-20 January 2019, Nimbin 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]

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

Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]

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

DRUG WAR OVER! [Radio Documentary]

Entheogenesis Australis Shop Now Open [EGA]