AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Gateway to Good Health [Weed Billboards]

The war on drugs and in particular cannabis is well past its use by date in Australia and in an effort to keep the issue on the agenda we have started a weed billboards campaign. Excited that our first billboard is up just north of Grafton in NSW.

It costs $5K for a year, and we’d like to grow weed billboards all around the country. We’d love your help to spread the weed, so there is a gofundme site where you can donate.

Please send in billboard suggestions! We’d like this campaign to support messages from various cannabis and drug law reform groups around Australia, so it would be great to pool resources to create more and more new billboards. We are open to all creative ideas, and any size donations.

We just want an end to being criminals for using one of nature’s absolute gifts.

NIMBIN MEDICAN WORKSHOP [Hemp Embassy]

19-20 January 2019, Nimbin NSW: The Nimbin Hemp Embassy hits the ground running in 2019 with another of their popular Medican Workshops. Special Guest Leah Bisiani (MHlthSc/DipBus/RN1/Dementia Consultant/Learning & Advisory) will be a key speaker. Leah has 35 years experience within aged-dementia care establishing a highly skilled knowledge basis as a global leader in this field. In recent years she has become a popular and prominent speaker here and overseas at medical cannabis conferences and symposiums. “Potent opioid analgesics are widely prescribed within the aged care sector in Australia,” she says, “yet these agents are associated with the highest degree of drug related harm.”

NORTH AMERICA

Recapping the Top Cannabis Stories of 2018 [Medical Marijuana Inc]

The legal cannabis industry had another banner year in 2018. Marijuana legalization expanded into new countries and U.S. states. A decades-long ban on hemp came to an end. All in all, the cannabis industry gained legitimacy, setting the stage for future growth.

Legendary pot advocate John Sinclair opening cafe in Detroit [Detroit Free Press]

Arguably, the man most responsible for starting the movement to legalize marijuana in the United States, Sinclair is quietly celebrating Michigan’s vote to free the weed by repeating a daily ritual — lighting up a joint or two, but now happily doing so without the fear of being arrested.

He’s given up the radical notions that led him to start the White Panther Party to support the ideology of the Black Panthers with the ultimate goal of changing a capitalist society. That activism led to too much attention from law enforcement and he wracked up three marijuana-related arrests and ended up landing a 10-year prison sentence for giving an undercover cop two joints.

Colorado Has Earned Nearly $1 Billion In Cannabis Taxes [Ganjapreneur]

Five years after the birth of Colorado’s legal cannabis marketplace, the first statewide legalization “experiment” is a proven success and the dire warnings from prohibitionists have still failed to come to fruition.

Oregon Bill Would Legalize Interstate Cannabis Exports [Ganjapreneur]

The proposal would allow interstate cannabis exports to other legalized states, but Oregon’s governor would need to reach an agreement with the receiving state and product would be prohibited from crossing borders with non-legal states.

Cannabis ads will appear in Times Square for the first time ever on NYE [Denver Business Journal]

The ball won’t be the only thing dropping in Times Square this New Year’s Eve — cannabis companies will also be dropping, for the first time ever, ads on some of the nation’s most precious “commercial” real estate: the digital billboards that line the iconic tourist destination on its busiest night of the year. And a Colorado CBD company is leading the pack.

If New York OKs recreational marijuana, unions may become big business issue [Marijuana Business Daily]

A union official told the New York Post that labor hopes to unionize “many thousands of workers” if the state legalizes recreational cannabis – a move that could affect firms trying to break into the market.

Where ordering cannabis is easy as booking a taxi [BBC]

Click on an app, choose your preferred product, pay for it and then sit back and wait for it to be delivered to your door.

A billion dollars of tax revenue, the taming of the black market, the convenience of retail cannabis stores throughout the state — these were some of the promises made by proponents of marijuana legalization in California. One year after the start of recreational sales, they are still just promises. California’s experiment in legalization is mired by debates over regulation and hamstrung by cities and towns that do not want cannabis businesses on their streets.

96 Percent of People Arrested for Weed in Baltimore from 2015-2017 Were Black [Filter]

Decriminalization of cannabis is not enough.  Maryland decriminalized marijuana possession in October 2014, meaning that anyone caught with less than 10 grams of cannabis would receive a citation, rather than be arrested. Possession of over 10 grams (and up to 50 pounds) was categorized as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison or an $1,000 fine. The move was supposed to reduce encounters with the criminal justice system for marijuana possession. However, since decriminalization took effect, the number of marijuana misdemeanor arrests and charges has remained more or less static, while marijuana citations have climbed significantly.

WORLD

Indians importing ganja oil from US, this and other high facts from Delhi Police [India Today]

In a matter of utter shame, India, the land of ganja, imports ganja from the US. What is this travesty!

BUSINESS & POLICY

What to Expect for the Cannabis Industry in 2019 [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Nearly everyone working in the cannabis industry believes it’s poised for incredible growth in 2019. Here we cover what you can expect for the cannabis industry next year, including which states are most likely to legalize marijuana next and the trends we foresee.

Legal marijuana industry toasts year of global gains [MedicalXpress]

The last year was a 12-month champagne toast for the legal marijuana industry as the global market exploded and cannabis pushed its way further into the financial and cultural mainstream.

Federal Marijuana Prosecutions Are Dropping In Era Of Legalization, Chief Justice Reports [Marijuana Moment]

“The decrease in federal criminal charges is a direct reflection of both the increasing number of states that have decriminalized marijuana possession and distribution, as well as the evolving nature of federal agents recognizing the futility of maintaining prohibition,” Strekal said. “Given this trajectory, it is time that Congress act to deschedule cannabis and remove the senseless burden of the failed war on marijuana and direct law enforcement to prosecute individuals who actually harm our society.”

What You Can Do to Help Marijuana Law Reform in 2019 [The Marijuana Times]

The year 2019 has the potential to be the biggest so far in the short history of the cannabis law reform movement, with a myriad of possibilities both on a state and federal level in the U.S. But that potential will only be realized if we have all hands on deck, as the saying goes. Everyone who supports marijuana law reform needs to be actively engaged in some aspect of the fight.

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Growing Number of U.S. Pharmaceutical Schools Including Medical Marijuana in Their Curriculum [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Findings in a new study published in the journal Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning show that more pharmaceutical schools are including medical marijuana in their curriculum. The findings add to growing evidence of increasing cultural acceptance of using cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

Researchers Must Be Careful in Evaluating Effects of Marijuana Legalization [Behavorial Healthcare]

The presence of retail outlets and advertising in the communities where youths reside, need to be explored as potentially more important drivers of youth behavior than a substance’s legal status. “Kids don’t care about what happens in the state capitol, they care about what happens in their own neighborhoods,” study co-author Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center, said in a news release. “Commercialization in local neighborhoods is likely to be more important than changes in the law.”

MedC developing medical cannabis skin cancer cure [Globes]

The company is developing a product designed for treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a rare type of skin cancer.

CULTURE & SOCIETY

Why rugby players are taking cannabis oil products [BBC]

Every week, at every Premiership rugby club, players are using cannabis oil products. At Saracens, England international George Kruis and his Wales club-mate Dominic Day take cannabis oils, capsules and balms which they say help “put our bodies back together”. In fact, they believe so strongly in the recovery effects of cannabidiol (CBD) they have started their own business selling it. But what are the rules? What do the rugby authorities say? And are players getting high?

OTHER DRUGS

Independent drug-testing tents at festivals ‘a fantastic idea’, says Police Minister Stuart Nash [Stuff NZ]

The idea behind recreational drug testing is not to stop drug use but reduce harm, by letting consumers of illicit pills know if the drugs they are taking have been mixed with other dangerous chemicals.

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]

Gateway to Good Health [Weed Billboards]

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 MEDICAN WORKSHOP [Hemp Embassy]

19-20 January 2019, Nimbin NSW

Medicinal Cannabis Symposium [United in Compassion]

22-24 March 2019, Tweed Heads NSW

27th Nimbin MardiGrass [Hemp Embassy]

3-5 May 2019, Nimbin NSW

Hemp, Health & Innovation Expo & Symposium [HHI]

18-19 May 2019, Rosehill Racecourse, Rosehill, Sydney NSW

MISCELLANEOUS

David Allsop obituary [Drug & Alcohol Review]

David Allsop was involved in medical cannabis research, and establishing the Lambert initiative at The University of Sydney.

‘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]