AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Nimbin Hemp Embassy is raided just one day before its annual Mardi Grass event celebrating cannabis [Daily Mail]

The Hemp Embassy at Nimbin was swarmed with police on Thursday, just a day out from its ‘Mardi Grass’ celebration. About 20 officers and several sniffer dogs descended on the building with a search warrant just before 11am. Everyone inside, about 50 people, were evacuated, with police searching and dogs sniffing each person as they left. Thursday marked one of the busiest days of the year for the embassy, with their annual ‘Mardi Grass’ festival only one day away.

Police Raid on Nimbin Hemp Embassy: Little More Than a Show of Strength [Sydney Criminal Lawyers]

“The raid was clearly to put a bit of a mark on the protest,” Balderstone told Sydney Criminal Lawyers. “There was a lot of police over the weekend. The Public Order and Riot Squad was here. At night, there were virtually no cars on the roads, just those big public order cars driving around.”

Australia Urged to Legalize Recreational Cannabis [Grizzle]

Australia is missing out on billions of dollars in tax revenue by failing to legalize recreational cannabis sales, a prominent investor has warned. Mark Bernberg, who launched The Green Fund to track marijuana companies in Australia, highlighted the $1 billion that Colorado has earned from taxing adult-use cannabis. There are five times as many people living in Australia and Bernberg urged the Australian government to follow suit in order to boost its economy.

New Zealand to vote on cannabis legalization [DW]

New Zealanders will be able to vote on whether they want to legalize cannabis in a referendum next year. The draft law under consideration would allow people over the age of 20 to purchase the drug.

Minority scared to speak up on cannabis [NZ Herald]

People are less likely to post political comments on Facebook if they believe they are in a minority on controversial issues such as legalising cannabis, a survey has found.

Australia the world’s fastest-growing medicinal cannabis market [Business News Australia]

A leading supplier of medicinal cannabis increased its Australian patient numbers by 27 per cent over a three-week period in April, representing 10 new patients every business day.  Althea Group (ASX: AGH) managing director and founder Josh Fegan said patient numbers were “starting to spike”, supported by an outreach program with doctors to persuade them of medicinal cannabis’ benefits while providing technology to track results.  Today the company announced it had achieved the 650-patient milestone with 140 patients added between 4-26 April, and 145 healthcare professionals have now prescribed Althea’s products.

Philadelphia’s Jefferson University gets another $2 million for cannabis research [The Inquirer]

Australian philanthropist Barry Lambert and his wife Joy made a $3 million gift three years ago to establish the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Psychedelics to treat mental illness? Australian researchers are giving it a go [The Conversation]

Australia needs a paradigm shift in the way we treat mental illness. Scientific research is increasingly pointing to psychedelic drugs like psilocybin and MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, more commonly known as Ecstasy) as viable options.

HEMP PARTY CAMPAIGN LAUNCH ON MONDAY IN LISMORE [The HEMP Party]

The Nimbin based Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party will officially launch its Election campaign in Lismore on Monday at midday in front of local National party MP Kevin Hogans office in Lismore. The HEMP Party has senate candidates running in every state and the NT.

NORTH AMERICA

Canada’s Roadside Drug Tests Can’t Tell the Difference Between Tea and Cocaine [Civilized]

The reliability of Canada’s only federally approved device for roadside cannabis impairment testing has been thrown into question after a Vancouver lawyer determined the device is easily duped. While preparing to roll out cannabis legalization in October of 2018, the Canadian government introduced a new roadside cannabis impairment testing device called the Dräger DrugTest 5000. However, a series of tests have found that it’s surprisingly easy to get a false positive using the machine.

Where’s the pot? California tracking system unlikely to know [The Growth Op]

When California voters broadly legalized marijuana, they were promised that a vast computer platform would closely monitor products moving through the new market. But 16 months after sales kicked in, the system known as track-and-trace isn’t doing much of either.

California Cannabis Growers are at Risk Due to Licensing Issues [CBD Testers]

The temporary business licenses issued by the state are expiring day by day, but the state has yet to replace them with annual permits. Now, California cultivators are faced with a difficult decision: shut down shop and risk losing everything they’ve worked for this year, or continue operating without a license. Spring marked the beginning of the outdoor growing season in California and many cultivators planted their crops with the expectation that state regulators would have the annual permits ready in time.

Ohio May Add Five Conditions, Including Insomnia, to Medical Marijuana Program [High Times]

Pending a recommendation, the Ohio medical board will vote June 12 to add insomnia, depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder and opioid use disorder to the state’s list of qualifying conditions.

8 incredible facts about the booming US marijuana industry [Markets Insider]

  • The marijuana industry could soon be worth more than the GDP of 9 US states
  • Cannabis employs five times as many Americans as coal
  • The median marijuana salary is 10% higher than the US median salary
  • Investors poured $10 billion into the North American marijuana industry in 2018
  • A Colorado county made $35 million off the marijuana industry in 2016
  • Marijuana policing cost Americans $3.6 billion in the first decade of the 2000s
  • The US marijuana market is worth $52 billion — but 87% of sales were on the black market

Cannabis Lounges Are Coming to Las Vegas—but Not the Strip [Leafly]

After a slew of public meetings, council workshops, and hearings over the past year and a half, the City Council on Wednesday voted 4–1 to approve an ordinance allowing cannabis lounges.

DC Mayor Proposes a Plan to Allow Sale of Recreational Cannabis [Medical Marijuana Inc]

In the District of Columbia, the use of recreational marijuana by those 21 or older has been legal since 2015, but buying or selling marijuana has remained illegal. On May 2, DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2019 with hopes of establishing safe regulations on the sale of cannabis in the District.

Illinois’ New Legalization Bill Looks Pretty Rad [Leafly]

The populous state of Illinois could become the 11th in the union to end its war on cannabis. Gov. J.B. Pritzker introduced a 522-page bill Saturday into the Senate, which if passed would mean 12.74 million more Americans would get a modern, functioning cannabis marketplace.

Nevada marijuana companies push for state to redo license selection process [Marijuana Business Daily]

Some cannabis businesses that lost out when Nevada awarded 61 new dispensary licenses last December are ratcheting up pressure in court for the state to redo the selection process.

Retailers struggle to keep popular cannabis extract CBD on shelves in Canada [CTV News]

Retailers across Canada are struggling with a shortage of all cannabis, but there’s one product they’re especially desperate to keep on shelves: cannabidiol or CBD, a non-intoxicating extract vaunted for its purported health benefits. The extract, most commonly sold as oil, has been promoted as a natural cure for pain, anxiety and insomnia, despite limited medical research. Many customers are coming in asking for it, especially first-time and older users, store owners say. “I don’t think the licensed producers really realized how popular CBD was, so there’s none available, really,” said Krystian Wetulani, founder of City Cannabis Co. in Vancouver.

WORLD

Is Colombia Poised to Become the Saudi Arabia of Cannabis? [The Motley Fool]

The strife-torn South American nation of Colombia has embarked on an ambitious undertaking to reinvigorate its weak economy and reduce its dependence on oil by becoming a leading global producer of medical marijuana products. For a wide variety of reasons, this may not be as daunting as it seems. Colombia, by virtue of its equatorial climate and natural diversity, possesses a significant comparative advantage over Canada and other jurisdictions where cultivation is legal.

Myanmar extends detention of American accused of growing pot [AP News]

Plantation operator III M Nutraceutical Co. said in an April 26 statement that the plants are actually hemp, and its project was approved by the Mandalay region government last August for research and development purposes. It said its farm has been growing industrial hemp, kenaf, peppermint, coffee and eucalyptus, and is strictly doing research, with no sales or distribution.

Mexico Aims to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Before October [The Motley Fool]

It’s only a matter of time before the USA’s neighbor to the south becomes the third country worldwide to green-light adult-use cannabis.

UK’s first cannabis restaurant raided by police [Brighton & Hove News]

The UK’s first cannabis restaurant was one of three addresses raided by police in Brighton today – but the owners insist the “significant quantity of herbal cannabis” seized is legal industrial hemp.

BUSINESS & POLICY

PayPal Begins Lobbying for Cannabis Legalization [CBD Testers]

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act has been a hot topic of discussion lately. It would finally make it legal for big banks to take on properly licensed cannabis businesses as clients. If passed, banks will be protected from federal prosecution and industry professionals would be able to open accounts, raise credit, and more. Now, after years of shutting down accounts belonging to cannabis companies, online payment processor PayPal is finally on board.

Booming cannabis market puts pressure on FDA [The Hill]

The market for cannabis-based products is booming, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is struggling to keep up.

The Giant Cannabis Problem No One Saw Coming [Forbes]

When states started legalizing cannabis, lawmakers worried about setting fees and rules for licensing and legislating where cannabis dispensaries could set up shop. The last thing they thought they needed to worry about was an oversupply of cannabis.

Family Video to Sell CBD Products In 250 Stores [Ganjapreneur]

The video rental chain Family Video has announced it will begin distributing CBD products throughout its 250 U.S. locations; the move comes directly from the company owner, who said CBD helps him find relief from tendonitis.

Celebrities and Cannabis: A Partnership in Green Heaven [Green Camp]

Now that cannabis is entering the mainstream, celebrities are hopping on the bandwagon in an increasing number with their own cannabiz ventures.

Utopia Shines Bright Like a THC Diamond in California [Leafly]

Right now, at the tip top of the high-end hash market, you’ll find so-called “diamonds”—large lovely crystals of pure THCA, the “acid” form of cannabis’ main active ingredient, THC. Testing five times as strong as cannabis buds, these THCA diamonds are “dabbed” off of special water-pipes, resulting in soaring euphoria appropriate only for high-tolerance aficionados. It’s a double espresso shot of cannabis for $60 per gram, and a rare delicacy.

Federal Lawmakers Push Back on Immigration Policy That Punishes Cannabis Workers [Medical Marijuana Inc]

A group of four federal lawmakers from Colorado this week urged Attorney General William Barr and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan to discontinue their policy of punishing immigrants who work in the legal cannabis industry.

Did The US Patent Office Just Make Rolling Joints Illegal? [CBD Testers]

Despite tobacco and cannabis being polar opposites in many ways, multistate medical cannabis producer Vireo Health has just secured a patent for “tobacco products infused with cannabis.” That patent covers conventional cigarettes (or spliffs as they’re often referred to), cigars, pipe tobacco and also smokeless tobacco products. Vireo believes that infusing tobacco products with cannabis could make them less harmful, but it seems like a very roundabout way of doing things.

4 Trends to Watch in the Growing Market for 420-Friendly Tourism [WeedMaps]

  • Travelers Need Places to Consume Safely and Legally
  • Canna-tourism Will Integrate into the Existing Tourism Industry
  • Expect Cautious Approaches in the First Few Years
  • Cannabis Tourists Will Vote with Their Dollars

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Why medical cannabis is still out of patients’ reach—an essay by David Nutt [BMJ]

Cannabis has been used as a medicine for millennia, writes David Nutt, who charts its relatively recent prohibition, the effect on patients such as Billy Caldwell, and the failure of legal reform to make much difference.

Harvard, MIT receive $9 million for research on cannabis [Technology Inquirer]

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will share what’s being called the largest private donation supporting research into marijuana and its effects on the human brain.

 Could Mood Specific Cannabis Strains Be The Next Big Thing? [CBD Testers]

Many people who use cannabis and CBD for well-being or to deal with their medical issues like to use different delivery systems and even different cannabis strains depending on the specific effects and mood they want to feel.

30 Members of Congress Urge DEA to “Speed Up” Medical Cannabis Research [High Times]

Thirty members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the leaders of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Justice on Tuesday, calling on the federal agencies to speed up research into the medical uses of cannabis. The letter was signed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers including cannabis advocate and Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and three of the nearly two dozen candidates for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.

Forget Couch Lock. For Many, Cannabis Is an Exercise Aid [Leafly]

When it comes to cannabis use and physical activity, the popular perception is split: On one hand, stereotypes perpetuate the idea of sedentary stoners who sit around snacking. On the other, groups like the World Anti-Doping Agency consider cannabis a performance-enhancing drug, and more and more professional athletes cite cannabis as a key component of their workout routines.

90% THC… Could You Handle It? [Marijuana Break]

The THC content of marijuana strains varies; but the most significant difference lies in the type of cannabis you consume. As well as traditional marijuana flower, there are edibles, oils, tinctures, balms, and concentrates. It is the latter option that has captured the imagination of cannabis users because of the exceptionally high THC content. There are some concentrates with 90% THC, approximately triple the strength of the world’s strongest marijuana strains.

Patients With Fragile X Syndrome Show Functional Benefits Following CBD Dosing Per Case Reports [Weed News]

Patients diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome (FXS), a rare genetic disorder that is associated with learning disabilities and delayed development, show functional improvements following the daily use of cannabidiol, according to a case series published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Cannabis Is the Best Treatment for Dementia [Marijuana Break]

Studies have found that there is an increased risk of death from cardiovascular events caused by excessive sedation. In other words, dementia drugs could kill a person just as easily as help them. This, as well as the high costs, explain why people are turning towards cannabis. Evidence that weed could at least alleviate symptoms helps too, but could it do more?

Israeli Researchers Study Cannabis for the Treatment of Endometriosis [CBD Testers]

The Endometriosis research is being conducted by Gynica, a company licensed by the Health Ministry to develop cannabis-based medical products for women.

CULTURE & SOCIETY

Hemp Wick 101: Is It a Better Way to Burn? [Leafly]

While it might look like the stuff you made hippie necklaces out of in high school, hemp wick is definitely for smoking.  Marketed as a natural alternative to lighters and matches, this weed accessory has been popping up in head shops and cannabis stores all over Canada. But is it a better way to burn?

Researchers Just Uncovered A 1,000-Year-Old Psychedelic Drug Stash [Marijuana Moment]

It’s well documented that humans have consumed alcohol and caffeine for thousands of years. Now, new research offers evidence that people have also been ingesting a number of even more mind-altering substances, including those involved in making the powerful hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca, for at least 1,000 years.

All the Details on Kim Kardashian’s Shower for Baby No. 4 [E News]

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are expecting their fourth child together, a baby boy via surrogate. On Saturday, Kim hosted a CBD and meditation-themed baby shower at her home.

Denver Voters Approve Measure To Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms [Marijuana Moment]

A measure to decriminalize psilocybin in Denver appeared to have been defeated late Tuesday after polls had closed, with multiple local media outlets calling the vote. But overnight, the gap narrowed significantly and the measure’s chances seemed revived. As of Wednesday afternoon, Denver’s elections division posted an unofficial final vote tally that showed the initiative passing 51-49 percent. Click here for up-to-date coverage of the initiative’s historic and unexpected victory.

The Trip Report 07/05 [Medium]

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week. This report is primarily UK-focused and couldn’t possibly cover everything, so if you find something I’ve missed please contact me and we’ll get it updated.