AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Opinion: Medicinal cannabis campaigner Lucy Haslam has some pretty strong opinions about the road she has been on for the past five years [Northern Daily Leader]

For over half a decade I’ve seen, heard and been told things ‘off the record’ you would find hard to believe – and if this, apparent ‘peripheral’ issue of patient access to what was once the most widely used medicine… represents a microcosm of how politics more generally gets done (and little persuades me it doesn’t) then it’s enough to make even the most cynical among us hold their heads in despair.

Australia’s first ever crop of taxpayer-funded pot [Daily Mail]

Australia’s first ever tax-payer funded medical marijuana greenhouse has opened in Sydney.  The Federal Government relaxed medical cannabis restrictions in March 2018, paving the way for the greenhouse’s creation.   The medical marijuana grown by the NSW state government and will be used to treat those with severe medical conditions such as cancer and epilepsy.

Two-thirds of GPs quizzed about medicinal cannabis [NZ Herald]

Kiwis haven’t been shy about asking their doctors and pharmacists about medicinal cannabis, a new survey shows. A snapshot of almost 1100 medical professionals revealed two-thirds of GPs – and 77 per cent of head pharmacists – had fielded requests for the products over the past year.

Funds boost drug tests to record level [The West Australian]

A record number of roadside drug tests is on the cards after the State Government committed $7.4 million to improve road safety and tackle dangerous driving in WA. The funding will allow WA Police to significantly increase the number of roadside drug tests — from about 8000 in 2013-14 to 42,500 in 2019-20, and conduct almost two million alcohol breath tests.

A Giant Cannabis Plant Was Put Up At Martin Place Sydney Overnight [10 Daily]

Local artists erected a 9 metre tall cannabis sculpture at the iconic Sydney location in a bid to keep the debate going about the legalisation of cannabis. The towering artwork was installed in Martin Place in the early hours of Saturday morning, with the stunt marking an internationally-recognised day of cannabis that promotes civil disobedience. The installation is called ‘Who Are We Hurting?’ (WAWH) and was put together overnight by a group of activists.

Police officer filmed ‘punching’ teen in head at pro-marijuana rally [The Age]

A police officer has been filmed allegedly punching a teenage girl in the head during an arrest at a pro-marijuana rally in central Melbourne.

WELCOME TO NIMBIN’S 27th MARDIGRASS [The Hemp Embassy]

Nimbin is home of the Cannabis law reform protest and the gathering we call MardiGrass. This is the 27th year in a row that we’ve rallied to change these ugly, ridiculous, and extremely damaging and hurtful laws. Why should we be treated as criminals for using a plant that our ancestors have loved as a medicine for thousands of years? How can a plant be illegal? As though it was a mistake made during Creation.

Help End Marijuana Prohibition: Federal Election 2019 [The HEMP Party]

VOTE 1 HEMP – The protest vote to re-legalise home-grown Cannabis. Look for HEMP on the Senate ballot paper at the federal election on Saturday the 18th of May 2019.

NORTH AMERICA

Cannabis websites in US and Canada crash on biggest 4/20 day [The Guardian]

Some delivery websites, and the biggest legal delivery app, Eaze, crashed under the weight of demand on Saturday. Online cannabis dispensaries Nugg and Chill also suffered difficulties throughout the day. Eaze crashed repeatedly soon after it began “happy hour”, with free delivery in California, and a 20% discount on cannabis-related products in other states.

America’s ‘Wild West’ of Weed Is Dying Out – Here’s What’s Replacing It [Vice]

Working in cannabis used to be a crime, but now it’s looking like a real career, complete with benefits.

The US Government Received a $4.7 Billion Payout From Weed Taxes [Merry Jane]

Although the federal government considers marijuana a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use, it has no problem collecting taxes on state-legal weed. The US government collected $4.7 billion from state-legal weed businesses in 2017, according to a report from Quartz.

Denver spurns proposal to ease social-use cannabis business restrictions [Marijuana Business Daily]

The Denver City Council narrowly rejected a proposal that would have relaxed rules for marijuana social consumption businesses, potentially allowing more to operate. The bill would have reduced from 1,000 feet to 500 feet the distance a social consumption business is required to be from child care facilities and certain other buildings.

Recreational marijuana is coming to New York, and it won’t be cheap [Greencamp]

Talks about how marijuana should be priced and taxed in NY have started, and it’s already not looking good for the customers.

Weed Drinks Are Set to Dominate the Cannabis Market in Canada [Vice]

From cannabis beer to margarita-flavored THC tonics, weed companies are betting big on beverages.

WORLD

Just POTTY! Police go soft on thousands of dope smokers at Hyde Park [Daily Mail]

In an extraordinary scene at London’s Hyde Park, officers did nothing while a crowd estimated at more than 5,000 gathered to campaign for the legalisation of the Class B drug. Police signs proclaiming ‘Cannabis is illegal’ and ‘Anyone found in possession of drugs faces arrest and prosecution’ were entirely disregarded.

Blaz’n: A group smoke as police officers stand feet away in London. A Met Police spokesman confirmed no arrests were made.

London’s Annual 4/20 Smoke-Up Has Gone Legit [Vice]

With medicinal cannabis legalised in the UK last October, and recreational weed predicted to be legal in the country by 2027, for the first time ever the annual 4/20 smoke-up in Hyde Park on Saturday had the feel of a legitimate, well-organised event. This year, organisers were granted permission by police to set up some gazebo stages with a programme of talks and live music. Organisers say 50,000 people – from young stoners and old hippies to medicinal users and cannabis industry entrepreneurs – got baked on 4/20, the hottest day of the year so far.

Puerto Rico’s pot boom? Medical marijuana industry touts growth, despite challenges [NBC]

“If people knew the healing power of cannabis, everyone would be growing it in their patios,” says a patient who has found relief from pain.

Individuals and organisations who possess marijuana for medical purposes must notify Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before May 19, or face arrest.

Plans submitted for Jersey’s first cannabis farm [Jersey Evening Post]

A Jersey-based partnership has submitted plans to build what could be Jersey’s first medicinal cannabis farm and research centre.

Uganda to export medical marijuana [Business Report]

Uganda has secured contracts to export medical marijuana products to Canada and Germany worth more than R2 billion in June. South Africa is also one of the markets for unrefined cannabis buds/flower.

BUSINESS & POLICY

Should firms that finance the pot industry really be drug-testing employees? [Quartz]

The New York City Council (paywall) recently passed a bill that will make it illegal to test prospective workers for marijuana use as of 2020, except in “safety sensitive” industries like construction and law enforcement. The move is a good indication that attitudes toward marijuana use are changing. It’s no longer totally taboo. But it also presents one more contradiction to contend with. If you’re not testing New Yorkers, how do you justify testing employees elsewhere? And if you are testing elsewhere, how do you justify investing in the pot industry or advising or providing financing to clients that want in on this “green new deal”?

Dr. Bronner’s CEO Launches Non-Profit Cannabis Company [Ganjapreneur]

The company will emphasize sustainable cultivation practices, ethical business practices, and will dedicate its profits to charity.

Marijuana Legalization Has a Positive Effect on Home Property Values [Medical Marijuana Inc]

Homeowners in cities that permit legal recreational marijuana sales enjoy higher property values than those in areas with prohibition, according to a new study from Clever Real Estate.

When It Comes to Cannabis Workplace Injuries, the Eyes Have It [Leafly]

There was a “concerning” number of eye injuries, in particular “foreign body to eye” injuries, for Colorado cannabis workers last year.

Trump Admin Will Deny Citizenship for State-Legal Cannabis Use [Ganjapreneur]

Immigrants and green card-holders in the U.S. can be denied citizenship for cannabis use or for working in the industry even in states where it is legal, according to a recent federal guidance.

Companies rush to produce pot products, without the cannabis plant itself [Financial Post]

An increasing number of licensed producers and biotechnology firms are moving towards synthetic production of THC and other cannabinoids in a lab, using ingredients such as sugar and yeast, eyeing the potential to produce these active compounds more cheaply than traditional cultivation and extraction.

Barney Frank Was Into Legalization, Gay Marriage Wicked Early [Leafly]

Cannabis legalization might feel like a novelty in America, but no suh. It’s actually taken way too long. Just ask Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who proposed the country’s first legalization bill in 1972. Rep. Frank stands among the true godfathers of cannabis law reform.

For the first time, the feds criminally charged a pharma distributor for the opioid epidemic [Vox]

The US federal government is escalating its action against bad actors in the pharmaceutical industry involved in the opioid crisis. Rochester Drug Cooperative faces charges for conspiring to distribute drugs and defrauding the federal government — after the company didn’t report thousands of suspicious orders of opioids, including oxycodone and fentanyl. Rochester is the sixth-largest distributor in the US, according to the New York Times.

HEALTH & SCIENCE

‘I shouldn’t have to look over my shoulder’: Carly Barton’s fight for medicinal cannabis [Independent]

It is the only thing that relieves Carly Barton’s crippling pain, but she can’t take cannabis legally. So she’s growing her own – and has told the police.

UC San Diego to Research CBD for Anorexia, Autism, Schizophrenia, Tremor [Weedmaps]

California researchers seek more than 130 people to participate in four upcoming clinical studies involving cannabis, including a study with children.

Cannabis use in inflammatory bowel disease: new surveys announced [The University of Sydney]

The first national surveys of patients and specialists across Australia.

The anonymous survey will ask patients how their Inflammatory Bowel Disease symptoms affect their daily lives, including work and productivity, their adherence to their current medications and their attitudes on medicinal cannabis and use preferences.

Medical marijuana to reduce pain and improve workforce in older Americans [Cannabis Health Insider]

A study at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Temple University suggests that the laws related to medical marijuana could be helpful in improving older Americans’ health. The study examined older Americans’ well-being before and after medical marijuana laws were passed in their state. It found a decline in reported pain and increased working hours. The study appeared in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. The National Institute on Aging supported the study as well.

CULTURE & SOCIETY

5 Ways Cannabis Can Save the Planet This Earth Day [Cannabis Now]

  • Hemp Provides Sustainable, Alternative Goods
  • Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation Can Help Reverse Climate Change
  • Legal Grows Help Save Energy and Water
  • Hemp Can Revive Damaged Soil
  • Hemp Can Help Stop Untimely Deforestation

Jorge Cervantes on PhotoCup and How to Grow Close-up Ready Cannabis From Seed [Leafly]

Jorge Cervantes is a legendary figure in cannabis cultivation, the author of industry standards like Indoor Marijuana Horticulture and The Cannabis Encyclopedia. Most recently, he’s turning his talents to judging the PhotoCup, an international cannabis photo contest sponsored by the online seed retailer Seedsman.

Carl’s Jr. to become first major fast-food chain to sell a cannabis-infused burger [Fox 5 Vegas]

Carl’s Jr. is testing out a cannabis burger to stay at the forefront of the CBD trend. The chain said on Wednesday that it will sell the Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight burger at one location in Denver, Colorado for just one day (April 20th, of course). The burger features a sauce infused with CBD, or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive hemp derivative.

A New Yorker’s 4/20 Experience in Toronto [The Marijuana Times]

As a New York City-based writer, I’ve longed for the day the state would legalize adult-use cannabis. While still hoping for that news this legislative session, the sting of knowing that other states and nearby neighbor Canada are already there is real. So, I headed up North to see what the festivities would be like as Canada legalized adult-use consumption and sales.