AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Cannabis legalisation to be delayed by new parliamentary rules [The Sydney Morning Herald]

A bid to legalise cannabis in Canberra will be slowed by new parliamentary rules, despite support from Labor and the Greens. The Greens and the Labor executive have already flagged that they will make amendments to the private members bill from Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson when it returns to the ACT Legislative Assembly for debate next week.

Australian medicinal cannabis company Althea to launch in UK [Pharmafield]

Althea’s Australian production facility is projected to be operational for 2020 and the company expects that the UK will create a second significant distribution channel for Althea’s Australian grown and manufactured products. Since entering the Australian market in May 2018, 93 registered healthcare professionals are now prescribing Althea cannabis-based products for medicinal use to more than 328 patients across Australia, representing around 20% of the total market.

NORTH AMERICA

WORLD

New Mexico Adult-Use Legalization Clears Committee [Ganjapreneur]

Legislation to potentially legalize adult-use cannabis in New Mexico has successfully passed the Health and Human Services committee of the New Mexico state legislature.

This Former President Thinks Mexico Could Soon Be Exporting Cannabis To The U.S., Legally [Forbes]

Harvard Business School alum and retired Coca-Cola executive Vicente Fox was not big on weed during his time as president of Mexico – he served between 2000 and 2006. However, in recent years, he’s become a vocal advocate of marijuana legalization as he learned about the plant’s medical potential and realized the economic implications legalization could have.

Aurora Cannabis (ACB) completes first commercial export of cannabis oil to the UK [420 Intel]

Aurora Cannabis (ACB) announced that it has completed its first commercial export of cannabis oil to the United Kingdom (UK) and the product has been successfully dispensed from a pharmacy. Authorities there recently granted the Company approval for its first shipment of medical cannabis into the UK from Canada under its new legal framework that came into effect on November 1, 2018.

BUSINESS & POLICY

New Senate Bill Would Legalize Marijuana at the Federal Level [Medical Marijuana Inc]

“There’s a Senate bill to legalize marijuana. They’re calling it S.420, because apparently they want to make stoners giggle more than they want to pass the bill.” John Leguizamo

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon on Friday introduced S. 420, the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, which seeks to deschedule cannabis by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act, institute a tax on the substance, and set up a system of retail permits for businesses operating within the industry.

California Bill May Exempt Compassionate-Care Marijuana from Excise Tax [Weedmaps]

When Proposition 64, also called the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, passed in November 2016 and made adult-use cannabis legal on Jan. 1, 2018, it also grouped all providers, commercial or non-profit, into one category and levied heavy taxes on each pound of marijuana distributed.

The tax structure of Proposition 64 proved fatal to some collectives, including the nation’s oldest continuously operating compassionate care collective, the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) of Santa Cruz. In Jan. 2018, just as adult-use cannabis became legal, WAMM officially closed its doors, in part because of the new tax burden.

State proposes cutting fees for medical marijuana patients and growers [Detroit Free Press]

Medical marijuana cardholders and the caregivers who provide them with pot will get a break on the cost of getting registered under new rules proposed by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Boehner to lead new lobbying group for cannabis [The Hill]

Ex-Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been named honorary chairman of the National Cannabis Roundtable, an organization to lobby for pro-marijuana policy.

Luxury retailer Barneys New York to sell marijuana products in California flagship [Marijuana Business Daily]

Upscale specialty retailer Barneys New York announced plans to sell cannabis products and accessories in a new “luxury” head shop called The High End, the latest mainstream company to capitalize on the marijuana industry. The shop will sell accessories including a sterling silver marijuana grinder that will retail for $1,475.

Here’s Who Will Testify About Marijuana On Capitol Hill Next Week [Marijuana Moment]

When members of Congress convene for a hearing on banking services for the marijuana industry next week, they’ll hear testimony from a state treasurer as well as individuals representing financial institutions, a drug policy reform organization and a medical cannabis dispensary, Marijuana Moment has learned.

Retaining prized budtenders no easy task, but it can be done [Marijuana Business Daily]

It can be difficult for marijuana businesses to retain their best budtenders, but the payoff for investing in retention is well worth the effort.

U.S. distribution deal for a million gummies monthly [420 Intel]

Weekend Unlimited Inc. has reached an exclusive deal in which 1 million Canna Candys gummies will be distributed each month in several regions throughout the U.S.

Harborside Positions Itself for the Future with Big Merger [The Marijuana Times]

One of the more interesting aspects of legalization is being able to cover the growing cannabis industry. Under prohibition, if Johnny Dimebag down the street was having a good year or recently invested in new top-of-the-line grow lights, they wouldn’t be discussing it on CNBC. But this is a different era, and stories about the explosion of the legal cannabis industry seem to grow more numerous by the day.

Is FDA behind the latest CBD crackdown? [420 Intel]

There is local and state level crackdown presently underway on the popular cannabis extract cannabidiol—commonly known as CBD—because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants all food products containing this substance to go through the federal approval process before it is sold to the public. Maine, Ohio and New York City have all imposed bans on CBD, citing the FDA’s vague rules. Other states, including North Carolina, have also joined in. It remains uncertain just how far this backlash will go before it is all said and done, and the FDA isn’t helping much to provide clarity.

One Of America’s Top Pharmaceutical Drug Directories Includes CBD Products For The First Time Ever [Benzinga]

Cannabidiol, or CBD, products are now included in the Prescribers’ Digital Reference — formerly known as the Physicians’ Desk Reference — for the first time ever.

Congressional hearing on marijuana banking boosts industry hopes for reform [Marijuana Business Daily]

Major issues facing the cannabis industry, such as limited access to banking services, have stalled in Congress without even getting a hearing, much less a floor vote. That will change Wednesday, when a subcommittee of the now-Democratic-controlled House Financial Services Committee hears testimony on the difficulty legal cannabis businesses have opening and maintaining bank accounts.

HEALTH & SCIENCE

More Patients Using Cannabis in Place of Anti-Anxiety Drugs, Study Finds [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Findings in a new study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research suggest that cannabis can be used as an effective alternative to traditional anti-anxiety medications.

CULTURE & SOCIETY

World War II and Drug Prevention [Points Blog]

While Kathryn Frydl admits the challenges in calculating just how pervasive pot smoking became during and immediately after the war, she explains in her book, The Drug Wars in America, 1940-1973, “there can be little doubt that marijuana traffic and consumption surged during the war,” as narcotics agents’ arrests of soldiers would “be futile” since they would only be turned over to military police. In addition, fears about marijuana dissipated as soldiers and officers saw first-hand that cannabis did not create the murderous insanity, or reefer madness, mythologized in the media and in politics during the 1930s and ’40s.

FUNDRAISERS/CAMPAIGNS/PETITIONS/SURVEYS

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.

E-Petition: Legalise cannabis for recreational use [Parliament of Victoria]

Petition: For a Referendum on Recreational Cannabis Use during 2019 NSW Election [Liberal Democrats]

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

Support Tony Bower’s Legal Fees [gofundme]

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

Medicinal Cannabis Symposium [United in Compassion]

22-24 March 2019, Tweed Heads NSW

Harvest Festival & Cannabis Cup [New Zealand]

20-21 April 2019, Dunedin NZ

27th Nimbin MardiGrass [Hemp Embassy]

3-5 May 2019, Nimbin NSW

Garden States – A forum for cultivating ethnobotanical plants & knowledge [Entheogenesis Australis]

12 May 2019, Melbourne VIC

Hemp, Health & Innovation Expo & Symposium [HHI]

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

EDUCATION

‘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]

View five new EGA video presentations on ethnobotanical plants and psychedelics [Entheogenesis Australis]

To mark the anniversary of our special gathering and end the year on a high note, we’ve released five new videos of talks from the Psychedelic Symposium that are now available to watch online and can also be found below in this email.