AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Medicinal cannabis trial begins for Australian veterans with PTSD [ABC]

An Australian-first trial using medicinal cannabis to treat returned servicemen and women suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been launched today that targets defence personnel who have not had a response to conventional treatments. The investigation, coordinated by Cannabis Access Clinics, will run over the next 12 months.

Drug driving laws will fail to improve safety, MP says: ‘Thousands will lose their licences’ [Bega District News]

Mr Shoebridge said a major problem with the state’s drug driving laws was that police tested for presence of drugs, not impairment. “Meanwhile, people with highly-intoxicating levels of prescription medications are being waved through at these rest stops, namely benzodiazepines and other prescription drugs.” Mr Shoebridge said crash data from Australia and overseas showed benzodiazepines were one of the most significant drugs contributing to road trauma, other than alcohol, and were significantly higher than others such as ecstasy.

Inquiry into drug driving reform [Enpsychedelia]

The National Drug Driving Working Group clearly states that drug driving laws are specifically a driving offense and not a drug offense. Despite this, people who are not impaired, but may still have trace amounts of one of three prescribed substances in their bodily fluid, are frequently charged with a road offense. There is a significant economic and social burden from these unjustified infringements.

E-Petition: Inquiry into drug driving reform [Parliament of Victoria]

Driving while impaired is a serious matter but the current laws do not reflect an appropriate and just response to this. Broad community opposition to the program threatens to undermine legitimate strategies to address road safety. The situation is worse for medical cannabis users. If they choose to benefit their health, they may have to give up their right to drive, even when not impaired by medication.

Medican Workshop, 22-23 June 2019, Nimbin NSW [Nimbin Hemp Embassy]

NORTH AMERICA

Colorado passes $1 billion in marijuana state revenue [CNBC]

Colorado already has posted some big numbers: More than $6 billion in total sales of cannabis since the birth of the new industry — over $6.5 billion at the end of May, according to just-released monthly data from the state. And the state’s revenue from adult-use marijuana sales has accelerated.

Oregon House Passes Bill To Transport Cannabis Across State Lines [OPB]

But trading isn’t about to happen anytime soon. Senate Bill 582 includes a number of important restrictions. For example, cross-state transportation would only be allowed between states that have legalized marijuana. But perhaps the biggest restriction in the bill is that cross-border transportation wouldn’t be allowed until the federal government permits it.

California Appeals Court Rules Cannabis Possession in Prison Legal [Courthouse News]

In 2016, voters in the Golden State approved Proposition 64, which made possession of less than an ounce of cannabis legal – even in prison, according to the appeals court.

As Canada gears up for pot 2.0, more shortages are on the menu [Bloomberg]

Canada will add edibles, extracts and topicals to the list of legal cannabis products no later than Oct. 17. Many analysts agree these products will generate better demand and margins than dried flower. But the federal government has not yet issued regulations for the new formats, making it difficult for producers to prepare lest they unknowingly violate some rule.

WORLD

Jamaican scientist recreates marijuana originally smoked by Bob Marley [NewsHub]

A “supreme” ganja which disappeared decades ago and was originally smoked by Bob Marley is being recreated by a Jamaican scientist.

Here’s Where The Netherlands Stands On Cannabis [Civilized]

Slowly but surely, cannabis policy is changing in the Netherlands, where the government has agreed to undertake a six-year experiment that will allow select coffee shops to sell cannabis that has been cultivated and distributed through a select number of licensed growers.

Special committee planned to oversee medical cannabis production [Cyprus Mail]

Under the law passed in Cyprus in February regulating the cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis, the committee will process the submitted applications and select the three to whom a licence will be granted.

Despite Italy’s ‘cannabis light’ court ruling, low-THC business continues as usual [Marijuana Business Daily]

A “cannabis light” industry has been booming in Italy since 2017, when a law went into effect that was intended to promote the cultivation of hemp. Many also interpreted the law as allowing the sale of “cannabis light” products containing a minuscule amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

HempMongolia makes history with first trials [Hemp Today]

A bold initiative to grow hemp on a massive scale on the plains of eastern Mongolia moved a step closer to reality last week as startup HempMongolia LLC put in the country’s first official hemp grow.

France to launch medical cannabis experiment in coming weeks [France 24]

As a nearly unanimous French Senate gave medical marijuana the green light on May 28, France will start experimenting the use of medical marijuana for “about two years”, pending the approval of the health ministry.

Strict rules on use of medical cannabis: Singapore [Straits Times]

The use of pharmaceutical cannabinoid products in Singapore comes under strict frameworks and regulations and does not diminish the country’s zero-tolerance position against drugs, the Home Affairs and Health ministries have said.

Thailand cave hero opens the world’s first cannabis oil hotel – in Essex [Metro]

A British diver who took part in an heroic and miraculous Thai cave rescue has opened the world’s first cannabis oil hotel.

Why Zimbabwe wants to start growing marijuana commercially in prisons [Face2Face Africa]

The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has formally applied for a license from the government to be given the go-ahead to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes at its Chiredzi prison, Zimbabwean media, The Herald reports.

Althea launches medicinal cannabis prescriber platform in the UK [Business News]

Called Althea Concierge UK the medical education platform, first launched in Australia in September 2018, provides clinical evidence for healthcare professionals looking to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

Regulating Cannabis-Based Medicines in Europe [PharmTech]

International monitoring organizations such as INCB are complaining that changes to national regulations to lift restrictions on medicinal cannabis are undermining controls on the recreational use of the plant’s extracts, particularly THCs.

Why legal weed in Britain may be a pipe dream [The Guardian]

According to a 2018 survey commissioned by the drug policy thinktank Volteface, which has ties to Hanway, 59% of the British public supports cannabis legalization. But the political dynamics that have made legal marijuana all but inevitable in the US are absent in the UK.

BUSINESS & POLICY

Canadian Pot Company Introduces So-Called “Pure Cannabis Cigarettes” [Merry Jane]

Canada’s THC BioMed says it will bring the country’s first “cannabis cigarette” to market, with packs of machine-rolled joints that look identical to tailor-made cigs.

Facebook Confirms Ban on CBD and Hemp Advertising [Green Rush Daily]

Despite the decisive bans on pages and ads related to hemp and CBD, Facebook isn’t providing users clear rules or reasoning for its decisions.

Hemp CBD Companies Struggle With Banking Services [Ganjapreneur]

Despite the 2018 federal legalization of industrial hemp, banks are still hesitant to work with hemp-derived CBD companies, many of whom have lost their credit card processing capabilities in recent months.

Ending the ‘war on drugs’ requires justice for the impoverished communities who grow them [Open Democracy]

The drugs trade is often portrayed as populated by wealthy individuals. The reality is poor communities targeted for repression, criminalisation and even the death penalty.

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Experts cast doubt on coroner’s claim woman killed by cannabis in first ever ‘THC overdose’ in US [Independent]

Keith Humphreys, a former policy adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, told the Advocate that if THC were actually toxic at consumable levels there would likely be many overdose deaths.  “We know from really good survey data that Americans use cannabis products billions of times a year, collectively. Not millions of times, but billions of times a year,” Mr Humphreys said. “So that means that if the risk of death was one in a million, we would have a couple thousand cannabis overdose deaths a year.” According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, there have been no reports of teenagers or adults dying from cannabis alone, though it can on occasion produce an extreme psychotic reaction.

‘I smuggled cannabis oil to help my son’ [BBC]

Former police officer Lisa Quarrell never imagined she would break the law – but this year she began smuggling a cannabis product into Scotland.

The World’s First Portable, Instant Cannabis Potency Testing Device [Yahoo!]

Named the Purpl PRO, the device brings unprecedented mobility, insight and limitless lab-accurate THC and CBD tests to a market with a glaring need for transparency and accountability.

Endocannabinoid system appears abnormal in psychosis [Healio]

Research published in JAMA Psychiatry revealed that measuring disturbance in the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid may have potential as a biomarker for psychosis.

The No. 1 reason adults want to try legalized cannabis (it’s not to get high) [Market Watch]

One in three (34%) U.S. adults aged 21 and up is interested in using legalized cannabis, but most aren’t looking to just get high, a recent survey by market-research firm Nielsen suggests.

CULTURE & SOCIETY

How to Build a Cannabis Greenhouse in Your Backyard [Leafly]

You’ve been thinking about growing cannabis but the idea of growing indoors, without the sun, seems absurd. On the other hand, you’re pretty sure the unpredictability of Mother Nature will give you an ulcer. You also have nosy neighbors who might gasp at the sight and smell of cannabis. What to do?

Would You Eat this CBD-Infused Burger from Carl’s Jr.? [Marijuana Break]

America’s first commercially sold CBD-infused burger recently went on sale at Carl’s Jr., making them the very first fast-food chain to include CBD on their menu.

Do Anti-Drug Campaigns Actually Work? [Leafly]

In the late 1990s, schools in New York set out to keep their kids safe from drugs. They partnered with a youth program to distribute pencils with an anti-drug slogan that read: “TOO COOL TO DO DRUGS.” This was all well and good until students sharpened their pencils, morphing the message:

Earliest known signs of cannabis smoking unearthed in China [The Guardian]

Incense burners found at 2,500-year-old cemetery suggest intentional use of the plant to get high.

How Moses and the Israelites Used Cannabis [Merry Jane]

They don’t teach you in Sunday school that cannabis appears in the Old Testament but modern scholarship shows that cannabis was used sacramentally by Moses and the ancient Israelites.