AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Cannabis Prohibition has been a total failure [The HEMP Party]

Weekend of fun for Mardi Grass cannabis law reform protesters [Echonet Daily]

After a dramatic lead-up to the weekend’s annual Nimbin Mardi Grass involving an all day raid on the HEMP Embassy, celebrations went ahead with the usual joie de vivre.

Doctors in the dark about medicinal cannabis: Research [News GP]

When selecting a specific product, Dr Kotsirilos says there are many factors to consider. ‘You need to know the evidence behind the use of that product, because the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) do ask for the clinical justification,’ she said. ‘The TGA ask that the use of medicinal cannabis is your last resort treatment, so you should have exhausted all other treatment options.’

Olivia Newton-John’s plea: Improve access to medicinal cannabis in Australia [The New Daily]

Olivia Newton-John is among its high-profile supporters, revealing she uses the drug with other medicines for “pain maintenance and sleep”.

The science of cannabis and driving [The University of Sydney]

New research conducted by the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney shines a light on how the use of different types of cannabis affects driving, feelings of intoxication and cognitive function.

‘NZ Coalition all over the place’ on cannabis reform [News Talk ZB]

The NZ National Party has released what it says are the four options for a referendum on the decriminalisation of cannabis contained in a paper to be discussed by Cabinet tomorrow.

Hemp, Health & Innovation Expo & Symposium [HHI]

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

NORTH AMERICA

38 State and Territorial Attorneys General Urge Congress To Pass Marijuana Banking Bills [Medical Marijuana Inc]

With more than 30 states and several territories having legalized medical marijuana, efforts to change federal banking regulations are gaining unusually strong momentum.

Democratic Leaders Reintroduce Legalization Bill [Ganjapreneur]

Sens. Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries announced they will reintroduce the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, which would legalize cannabis nationwide and authorize spending for cannabis crime expungement.

Quebec backpedals on plan to ban public cannabis smoking [CBC]

Province still raising age of consumption from 18 to 21 with Bill 2.

Medical marijuana home delivery now available in Michigan [MLive]

“We know a lot of the patients we’re going to be delivering to — a lot of them are in wheelchairs,” said Jevin Weyenberg, general manager of Lake Effect in Portage. “Convenient access to medicine — you can never put a price on that. It’s life-saving for some people.”

California Lawmakers Want to Increase the Number of Marijuana Retail Shops [The Marijuana Times]

It’s no secret that the rollout of California’s adult use marijuana retail market has been slower than many had anticipated. While high taxes and restrictive regulations certainly play a part in the suppression of the market, one variable seems to be having more impact than any other: local jurisdictions banning retail shops within their borders.

Canada’s legalization of weed edibles is another global social experiment [The Conversation]

Despite claims that broader cannabis legalization would change the social, economic and cultural fabric of the country, there is little evidence to suggest that this is the case.

Embattled New York Introduces New Marijuana Legalization Bill [Forbes]

After the failure to include legalized adult use cannabis in the New York State budget earlier this year, sponsors of the legislation say they are introducing a new bill that they hope stands a better chance at becoming law.

Canadian rugby team launches range of cannabis-derived products [Financial Times]

Toronto Wolfpack will market branded gels and creams that claim to relieve pain and stress.

Twice as many Canadians are trying marijuana for the first time since it was legalised [Business Insider]

A report from Canada’s national statistics agency published Thursday suggests that Canadians are embracing the country’s recent legalization of marijuana.

WORLD

Governor Akeredolu plans to grow marijuana in Ondo State [Pulse]

Nigeria’s Ondo State government plans to cultivate marijauna for medicinal purposes.

Italy’s Legalized ‘Light Cannabis’ Linked With Drop In Pharmaceutical Sales, Study Finds [Marijuana Moment]

Last week, Italy’s interior minister declared “war” on “light cannabis,” or low-THC hemp flower that shops across the country sell to consumers using a legal loophole. Yet, in the first 10 months after light cannabis became available for purchase, the country’s National Health Service saw a noteworthy decrease in the number of pharmaceutical drugs it dispensed, a new study reports.

Thousands of Patients Apply for Amnesty Under Thailand’s New Medical Marijuana Laws [Civilized]

So far, nearly 10,000 residents of Thailand have requested amnesty through the program, which closes on May 21.

‘Come and Get Us,’ UK Cannabis Growers Tell Police in Protest [Leafly]

Leon, whose last name and exact location Leafly is withholding at his request, is one of several hundred cannabis patients in the UK—one in every police district in the country—who have identified themselves to local law enforcement as illegally cultivating cannabis.

Netherlands prepares legal recreational cannabis cultivation experiment [Marijuana Business Daily]

The Netherlands is laying the groundwork to become the first country in Europe to allow commercial production of adult-use marijuana – although initially the program would be considered an experiment. Under the Dutch plan, a limited number of companies would be allowed to legally grow marijuana to supply coffee shops in the country that would, in turn, sell the products to consumers.

Brazilian Justice Approved Cultivation of Marijuana for Medical use [The Rio Times]

In recent months, two more patients have obtained preventive Habeas Corpus for the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes in the courts in Rio de Janeiro, without the risk of being arrested by the police or suffering any kind of legal harassment, says G1 in its latest report.

Health ministry devises innovative system for medical marijuana licenses [Jerusalem Post]

Israel’s Health Ministry has established a new, advanced computerized interface to process applications for a medical marijuana license. The system allows for a doctor or the patient him/herself to enter their request and accompanying documents. After the documents are processed and approved, the patient can print the license and prescription and bring them directly to a pharmacy, where they will be able to obtain marijuana products.

Why Is THC Still Illegal In the Country Where It Was Discovered? [CBD Testers]

While people across the globe have enjoyed cannabis and used it to help with anxiety, pain, and insomnia, to name just a few, it wasn’t until the 1960s when Professor Raphael Mechoulam – a Bulgarian immigrant to Israel – isolated THC for research along with a colleague, Professor Y Gaoni. The two men worked together at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for many years on the isolation, structure elucidation and total synthesis of THC. They also identified cannabis receptors in the brain and other organs, which make up part of the Endocannabinoid System present in all humans.

BUSINESS & POLICY

Part 1: Study Debunks Dispensary Myths Around Crime & Teen Use [Leafly]

The broad body of published research suggests crime near licensed dispensaries has generally stayed flat or decreased. Teen cannabis use in legalization states has fallen since legalization. And property values near cannabis outlets generally are not affected or even rise.

Big Pharma Stands To Lose $18.5 Billion If All 50 States Legalize Medical Marijuana [Free World Facts]

Therapeutic marijuana (medical), otherwise called cannabis, is overwhelming the medicinal world. Most generally viewed as close to a subsidiary of the recreational medication, medical marijuana is a well known treatment for conditions like epilepsy and chronic pain.

UK Police call for drugs rethink as NCA report shows failure of drug enforcement [Transform]

Only yesterday, the NCA’s head of operations for drugs, Vince O’Brien admitted: “We can’t arrest our way out of [ongoing drug demand and supply] anymore than we can arrest our way out of serious violence. We need to tackle the drivers behind it.”

Coca-Cola billionaire arrested after search of private jet reveals 5,000 alleged cannabis plants [Vancouver Sun]

A Greek billionaire has been detained on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts after a search of his private jet yielded approximately £1 million of cannabis totalling approximately 5,000 plants, an unknown number of seeds and a variety other cannabis products. It is believed that the crop was destined for medical cannabis company, SwissX, which specializes in products containing CBD (cannabidiol), a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis and hemp.

USA Billionaire founder of opioid firm guilty of bribing doctors to prescribe drug [The Guardian]

The head of a leading drug manufacturer has been found guilty of bribing doctors to prescribe a dangerous painkiller to patients who did not need it, in the first criminal conviction of a pharma chief over the opioid epidemic. A Boston jury also found John Kapoor, the 75-year-old billionaire founder of Insys Therapeutics, guilty of defrauding insurance companies in the push to sell Subsys, a spray made from fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times stronger than morphine.

Pharmacy student launches startup for medical marijuana patients [University News]

UMKC pharmacy student Jana Lappin and her partner Darby Cook have launched a startup for a cannabis clinic in Kansas City. Set to open in mid-to-late June, Missouri Cannabis Clinic aims to connect patients with state-licensed physicians so they can obtain a physician certification to apply for their medical marijuana license.

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Hemp is the New Oak: America’s First Hemp “Wood” Factory is Being Built [Return to Now]

“HempWood” is 20 percent harder than oak, and grows 100 times as fast. It’s a sustainable alternative for hardwood furniture, flooring and more.

4 Ways Hemp Plastic Can Help Save Our Planet [CBD Testers]

  1. Hemp plastic is biodegradable
  2. Hemp plastic is not toxic
  3. Hemp plastic can help save wildlife
  4. Hemp plastic causes less pollution

From AI to Machine Learning: How These Tech Platforms are Pushing Cannabis into the Future [Civilized]

Everything from cannabis cultivation to extraction to delivery methods and seed-to-sale tracking demand technological solutions that break into new frontiers and even set standards for other, tangential industries like agriculture, medicine, and retail.

THC-Blood Levels Can’t Be Determined Postmortem, Research Finds [Leafly]

The role of cannabis in vehicular crashes remains one of the most controversial aspects of legalization. A new study produced by a Colorado researcher threatens to upset one of the supposed scientific certainties about impairment and blood-THC levels.

‘Grow your brain before you expand it’: study pushes cannabis health warnings [Stuff NZ]

The annual Global Drug Survey (GDS) was released on Thursday, a week after New Zealand’s Government announced details of its 2020 Cannabis Referendum. GDS survey lead professor Adam Winstock​ said the findings showed that labels on cannabis products could be an effective way to educate people and potentially change behaviour.

Can CBD Really Do All That? [New York Times Magazine]

How one molecule from the cannabis plant came to be seen as a therapeutic cure-all.

Cannabis oil: ‘Why I break the law for my son’ [BBC]

A mother says she is part of a “silent majority” who break the law for epileptic relatives.

Why we should look to pleasure rather than harm when researching drug use [Independent]

By investing more into recreational drug research, we could understand more about the reasons people use them.

The International Space Station Is Growing Agricultural Hemp [Hippie Butter]

On Monday early morning, a SpaceX freight capsule anchored with the International Space Station after a two-day trip to orbit. On board, the craft was supplied for the astronauts and also a collection of scientific research experiments, consisting of four “body organs on a chip” designed to reproduce human body organs in miniature as well as an experiment to examine the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. While sending scientific research experiments into orbit is a foregone conclusion for NASA, this cargo run to the spaceport station additionally lugged an extra unusual traveler: a pound of hemp seeds.

How do pharmacists feel about medicinal cannabis? [AJP]

The researchers, from schools of pharmacy at Queensland University of Technology and the University of Auckland, found that when it came to knowledge about medicinal cannabis, doctors, nurses and pharmacists all said their own knowledge was poor for both the legislative and clinical aspects of medicinal cannabis.

The Australian drug harms ranking study [Journal of Psychopharmacology]

The results of this study highlight the persistent and pervasive harms caused by alcohol.

CULTURE & SOCIETY

Levi’s found a way to make hemp feel like cotton, and it could have big implications for your wardrobe [Business Insider]

In March, Levi’s debuted a collaboration with the Outerknown label that includes a pair of jeans and jacket made from a 69%-cotton/31%-hemp blend that feels like pure cotton. Why’s that significant? Hemp, a cannabis plant with a negligible amount of the psychoactive chemical THC, uses significantly less water and chemicals than cotton. Unlike cotton, though, the material is difficult to work with. The cotton fibres in your shirt are derived from a puffy bud on top of a plant, while hemp fibres come from a tall, sturdy trunk.

Weed the People [Netflix]

Buoyed by hopeful experiences with medical marijuana, physicians and parents of children with cancer call for more research of its healing potential.

Drugs as Weapons Against Us [Amazon]

Evidence supports that the CIA manipulated musicians and activists to promote drugs for social control, particularly targeting those involved in the Civil Rights and anti-war movements. Resistance was often met with deadly targeting.