AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Tony Bower fronts Port Macquarie District Court on drugs charges [Macquarie Port News]

Mr Bower, who has provided medicinal cannabis to hundreds of families across Australia for chronic pain relief and terminal illness management, was arrested and charged with cultivating prohibited plant, dealing in the proceeds of crime, possessing a prohibited drug and supplying prohibited drug after police executed a raid on a property near Kempsey last year. He pleaded guilty to the offences.

MP calls for Queenslanders to be allowed to grow cannabis for personal use [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Medicinal cannabis will be easier to access in Queensland with new laws passing Parliament but people should be able to grow their own, a Greens MP argues.

Exclusive: ‘I’m a criminal for using cannabis to save my son’s life’ [9 News]

In the eyes of the government Dannielle Luttrell is a criminal. Why? Because she openly admits to growing her own cannabis to make CBD oil. Ms Luttrell told nine.com.au she uses the product to treat her permanently disabled son, 10, who had been suffering up to 60 seizures each day before she started treating him with oil containing CBD and THC.

How black market drugs gave this 68-year-old Bunbury woman ‘pure happiness’ [The Sydney Morning Herald]

A few years ago, a 68-year-old Bunbury woman (who wished to remain anonymous) would have been terrified at the thought of consuming cannabis. Now, she can’t imagine life without it.

2019 UIC Australian Medical Cannabis Symposium [Greendorphin]

These kind of events are exactly what the developing local medical cannabis industry needs to ensure that local experts and patients are getting more and more educated. Only through such education, it is possible to achieve easy access to all Aussie patients in need.

Medical cannabis potential for Australia but stigma still attached [The Weekly Times]

Growing cannabis for medicinal use has great potential in Australia, but one of the biggest stumbling blocks is the stigma that still surrounds the plant. That’s according to Jamaica Medical Cannabis Corporation chief executive Diane Scott, who spoke at last week’s Global Food Forum in Sydney.

Is medical marijuana a miracle cure or misunderstood? [SBS]

As the world slowly warms to medicinal cannabis, much has been made of its proposed health benefits. But have we over-estimated what pot can do for the sick?

Hemp Coffins: Elevating The Afterlife In Australia With Hemp [Ministry of Hemp]

In Australia’s alternative lifestyle capital, bodies are being buried and burnt in brightly-decorated hemp coffins.

NORTH AMERICA

Michigan Commission Recommends No Limit on THC in Drivers’ Bodies [High Times]

Experts maintain that THC in the blood does not necessarily mean that a person is impaired—or even high.

Scarce Retail Weed Shops Means Most Canadians Still Use Black Market Pot [Civilized]

Squeezing out black markets is a key goal of cannabis legalization. Legalization also lets governments tax cannabis production and consumption. Canada has achieved limited progress so far toward those potentially conflicting goals. But some provinces have made good starts.

LA is the Latest City to Wipe Mass Cannabis Convictions Using Computer Algorithms [Civilized]

50,000 cannabis convictions are about to be permanently wiped from the criminal records of LA residents for free and automatically, said LA district attorney Jackie Lacey. The county is now working with the non-profit tech organization Code for America to employ computer algorithms that can automatically identify and expunge the records of qualifying individuals.

Report: Washington’s Cannabis Canopy Allotments Largely Under Developed [Ganjapreneur]

The first Washington state cannabis canopy report shows that a number of Washington licensees have underdeveloped cannabis cultivation operations compared to their canopy allotment from the state.

Maryland Firm Drops Licensing Lawsuit Following Backlash [Ganjapreneur]

Maryland cannabis operator Curio Wellness has withdrawn the lawsuit filed late last month against the state’s Medical Cannabis Commission over its plan to issue new cannabis licenses to minority-owned companies.

US regulators exploring ways CBD products could be legal [MedicalXpress]

CBD comes from marijuana or hemp plants but does not cause a high. People have been drawn to the extract because of its supposed . The Food and Drug Administration says the May 31 meeting will discuss the science, manufacturing and sale of CBD as it explores regulation of the ingredient.

Nevada sued over lack of transparency in adult-use cannabis licensing [Marijuana Business Daily]

A group of marijuana businesses in Nevada has sued the state, alleging a recent recreational marijuana licensing round wasn’t transparent and was “ripe for corruption.”

Personal data of 34,000 medical marijuana patients accessed in data breach: Canada [CTV News]

The personal health information of about 34,000 medical marijuana patients was accessed in a data breach of an electronic medical record system used by Sunniva Inc.’s Natural Health Services Ltd. subsidiary.

WORLD

Uruguay: The world’s marijuana pioneer [BBC]

Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalise recreational cannabis. Five years after its pioneering law was passed, how’s the industry getting on?

Medical cannabis reform leaves at least 5,000 patients with no medicine [The Times of Israel]

As activists sue and Health Ministry delays reform implementation, thousands of patients of largest provider are stranded without treatment.

After legalisation, what next for medical cannabis in Portugal? [Health Europa]

In 2018, medical cannabis in Portugal is legal when prescribed by a doctor, dispensed in a pharmacy, and licensed by regulatory body INFARMED but – to the disappointment of many – stopped short of allowing patients to cultivate their own supply. The law – which saw overwhelming support from all parliamentary parties bar the centre-right Popular Party, who abstained – came close to 20 years after Portugal made the radical decision to decriminalise all drugs and has been welcomed by many in the country, who have noted Portugal’s ideal climate for growing cannabis.

Legalization of marijuana gains support in Thailand [CGTN]

Thailand is performing an astonishing U-turn in its policy on drugs. Seventeen years ago, the Thai government launched a vicious war against narcotics that left thousands dead. Today it has legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and appears to be seriously considering legalizing cannabis cultivation for recreational use. But things are changing slowly and discreetly.

Poo traces found in majority of cannabis sold on Madrid streets [The Local]

“Overall, our results showed that most (88.3 percent) of the hashish samples were not suitable for consumption,” concluded the study reported in the journal Forensic Science International. “Hence, illegal street vending of hashish constitutes a public health issue.”

Private Canadian firm to provide Co Down epileptic girl with medicinal cannabis [The Irish News]

The life a three-year-old Irish girl with severe epilepsy has been “saved” by a private medicinal cannabis company who have given her free access to treatment not provided by the NHS, according to her father.

Legalise cannabis sales to tackle criminal gangs, says Tory MP [Evening Standard]

Crispin Blunt, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform, is urging the Government to control sales as he claims that 50 years of “prohibition” has failed “lamentably”.

Deal To Import 50 Tonnes of Polish Cannabis Into Germany [Cannabis Industry Journal]

The German importer, Farmako, has just sealed the first non-Canadian or Dutch import deal into the country- from a Polish producer with Israeli connections.

Mexican Government Launches Poll To Ask Citizens If Marijuana Should Be Legal [Marijuana Moment]

A Mexican cabinet official is asking the country’s citizens whether they support legalizing marijuana—in a Twitter poll.

Israel: Artificial Intelligence powered container farm technology to grow cannabis [HuffsnPuffs]

Seedo Corp., a technology giant providing one of the world’s fully-automated and controlled indoor growing machines for organic cannabis, has announced that it will be partnering with Kibbutz Dan in Northern Israel to establish the first fully automated, commercial-scale, pesticide-free containerized cannabis farm in Israel.

After Coca And Coffee, Legal Cannabis Can Take Colombia Higher [WorldCrunch]

In the case of cannabis, Colombian producers simply cultivate the plant, harvest its flowers and elaborate base extracts with them. It’s only after they’re shipped abroad that the extracts are transformed into lucrative, value-added products that we Colombians will then have to import at prohibitively high costs.

BUSINESS & POLICY

Legalization Isn’t Enough: 10 Things Every New Cannabis Law Must Have [Leafly]

1. Allow homegrow. Let consumers grow a limited number of their own plants at home and gift a limited amount to other adults. This serves as a check on monopolies, delays to store openings, and more.

Marijuana straight to your door: The debate over home delivery [KGUN9]

Marijuana delivery is a growing business in California, with a company called Eaze dominating the marketplace. Its web page connects customers to dispensaries. Customers can choose from a variety of products, including flower, vape pens, body creams and more. Then, it gets delivered straight to the customer’s door.

Marijuana Banking Bill Approved By Congressional Committee [Forbes]

A US congressional committee voted on Thursday to approve legislation aimed at increasing marijuana businesses’ access to banks.

West Virginia Gov. Signs Banking Bill for Medical Industry [Ganjapreneur]

The new law authorizes the state treasurer to select financial institutions who will provide banking services via a competitive bidding process to state-legal cannabis companies.

These Investors Are Looking for Women-Led Cannabis Companies [Leafly]

To succeed in capitalism, you need capital. Unfortunately, women and people of color historically don’t have equal access to large sums of money.

Trier installs first vending machine for legal CBD products [RTL Today]

The first vending machine for legal cannabis products in Germany has been installed in our neighbouring city, Trier. Luxembourg already has several.

HEALTH & SCIENCE

‘Marijuana is the new Oxycontin’: Should we be concerned with how docs are learning about pot? [Global News]

Cannabis companies are becoming an increasing presence in the medical industry, touting the drug as a remedy for a variety of ailments, from pain and anxiety to endometriosis and glaucoma — and they do it with little oversight.

Cannabis Helped About Half of Patients Off Anxiety Meds, Study Reports [Weedmaps]

Medical cannabis helped nearly half of patients get off their anxiety medications after six months, according to a Canadian study conducted at a cannabis-focused treatment center.

Does the entourage effect theory hold water? [The Growth Op]

New study looks at the interaction among six common cannabis terpenes and THC.

Coffee ‘affects the same system in the brain as cannabis’ [Yahoo! News]

On the face of it, coffee doesn’t have too much in common with cannabis – one jolts you awake, the other is known as ‘dope’ for a reason. But the two substances actually affect the same neurotransmitters, according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine.

Scientists Gene-Edited Tequila Bacteria to Make Cannabinoids [Futurism]

This bacteria spits out THC instead of tequila.

CULTURE & SOCIETY

Study: Medical Marijuana Access Linked To Greater Employment Among Older Adults [NORML]

The enactment of medical cannabis access laws is associated with better reported health outcomes among older Americans and greater labor participation, according to data published in The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.