AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

The ‘most significant drug reform in 40 years’ is about to become law [The Spinoff]

New Zealand’s Misuse of Drugs Act Amendment bill has passed its third reading in what MPs and harm reduction advocates are calling the most significant reform in the Act’s 44 year history. Under the amendment, the police right to exercise discretion when it comes to prosecuting drug-related crimes will be codified into law for the first time. Police will now be required to avoid prosecution in cases where a health-based or therapeutic approach would prove more beneficial.

Educate Aussie Doctors about Medicinal Cannabis [United in Compassion]

Since 2014, United in Compassion (UIC) has fought for Australian patients to be able to access Medicinal Cannabis legally. We succeded in changing the law in 2016 but the medical fraternity is slow to come on board and support patients by prescribing. There are many reasons for this but one of the biggest is a lack of knowledge about cannabis medicines, their uses and how to prescribe.

Why a man who never smoked weed is now a medical cannabis advocate [9 News]

Desperate for a long-term solution, the Brisbane local began researching medical cannabis. “I researched it for around 12 months and admit I was sceptical at first,” he said. “I think there’s a stigma because people are bluffed by the government’s misinformation and the media’s campaign of fear.”

How to tackle Australia’s drug addiction: legalise and tax them [The Guardian]

Australians enjoy the greatest amount of recreational drugs per capita in the world. Prohibition always fails: it’s time to get serious about how to handle the issue.

‘Abject nonsense’: Former AFP boss slams zero tolerance approach to drugs [SBS]

The former head of the Australian Federal Police says prohibition has failed and it’s time to better manage the risks of drug-taking.

Longtime medicinal cannabis advocate warns Pete Evans involvement invites ‘controversy’ [news.com.au]

Controversial chef Pete Evans could become the public face of the push to legalise medicinal cannabis. But others are not sure they want him involved.

Olivia Newton-John: ‘Medicinal cannabis enhanced my quality of life’ [9 News]

For this special 60 Minutes report, Olivia tells Liz Hayes that despite her latest diagnosis she was “getting strong again” and that her quality of life had been greatly enhanced by medicinal cannabis, grown for her by her husband John.

Marijuana legalisation could turbocharge NT via tourism, taxes, and horticulture, economist says [ABC]

Over the past few years the NT Government has tried a range of initiatives to increase visitation, spending more than $100 million on projects such as luring Instagram influencers to show off the stunning landscapes and boosting infrastructure investment. But could turning the Top End into the cannabis capital of Australia be the best way to turbo charge tourism?

NZ debates access to medicinal cannabis [The Conversation]

Cannabis-based products will be allowed to bypass usual processes required for medicines in New Zealand and go directly onto the market without any proof of safety or effectiveness. This unprecedented proposal is contained in the government’s consultation document on giving greater access to medicinal cannabis.

NORTH AMERICA

After marijuana legalization, the wait for retail sales is the national norm [MLive]

It’s been nearly eight months since Michigan’s marijuana legalization law took effect and the first retail sales are still months away. Michiganders will have to wait until at least November to know if they’ll be able to buy marijuana at a store in time for Christmas — or wait until after the New Year.

Oklahoma Lawsuit Seeks to Prevent Release of Medical Cannabis Information to Police [High Times]

A new law set to take effect August 29 could expose the medical cannabis information of more that 170,000 patients to police.

Princeton Review Lists Colleges that Consume Most & Least Cannabis [Ganjapreneur]

As a part of its annual college rankings, the Princeton Review has included the colleges that consume the most – and least – cannabis and just nine of the top 20 on the “Reefer Madness” list are in states with legalized cannabis.

Utah high court dismisses medical cannabis lawsuit [Marijuana Business Daily]

A lawsuit aimed at overturning a move by Utah lawmakers to replace a more liberal medical marijuana system with a more restrictive one came to an end in the state Supreme Court. The suit, filed by an organization called The People’s Right, was tossed by the state Supreme Court after it determined the Legislature and governor were well within their legal rights to replace the ballot measure legalizing MMJ with a new law because it had over two-thirds support in both legislative chambers.

New York state decriminalizes pot, stops short of Cuomo’s legalization call [Reuters]

New York state on Monday decriminalized recreational marijuana use, meaning possession of small amounts of the drug will be punished with fines rather than jail time, a step short of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s goal of legalizing pot. Cuomo said the measure would also allow a mechanism for clearing the records of people who had been criminally convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana.

Federal Court Demands Answers From DEA on Stonewalled Research Cannabis Applications [Reason]

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ordered the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to explain why it has yet to respond to nearly two dozen researchers around the U.S. who applied three years ago for a DEA license to grow research cannabis.

WORLD

Thailand is betting big on cannabis. Visit its first legal lab [PRI]

The unraveling of harsh anti-pot laws across the world is finally coming to Asia.

Poland Pushes Forward On Reform [Cannabis Industry Journal]

The Eastern European country continues to form the required ecosystem to create the groundwork for an industry.

Ireland Partially Decriminalizes All Drugs [Cannabis Now]

After years of planning, Ireland has finally moved ahead to decriminalize first-time drug offenders — and not just for cannabis.

Cash-strapped Zimbabwe to make cannabis main export [Business Day]

The cash-strapped Zimbabwean government said on Tuesday that it will amend its laws to allow industrial production and export of cannabis in a desperate effort to boost its foreign currency earnings.

French cannabis legalization debate ignores race, religion and the mass incarceration of Muslims [The Conversation]

Evidence suggests that cannabis prohibition over the past 50 years has disproportionately punished France’s Muslim minority.

Fair(er) trade options for the global cannabis market [Transnational Institute]

Policy changes over the past five years or so have dramatically reshaped the global cannabis market. Not only has there been an unprecedented boom in medical markets, but following policy shifts in several jurisdictions a growing number of countries are also preparing for legal regulation of non-medical use. Such moves look set to bring a clear range of benefits in terms of health and human rights. However, there are also serious concerns about the unfolding market dynamics. Read the full report on tni.org/fair-trade-cannabis.

Luxembourg to be first European country to legalise cannabis [The Guardian]

Luxembourg has called on its EU neighbours to relax their drug laws as its health minister confirmed plans to become the first European country to legalise cannabis production and consumption.

Why the Swiss have the CBD hub of Europe? [Heidi’s Garden]

  • The only country with a 1% THC Threshold
  • Hemp Cultivation, one of the few countries where you don’t need a License

  • You can buy Cannabidiol products either as a supplement, cosmetic or cigarette

Most German pharmacists support medical marijuana, but they want more info [Marijuana Business Daily]

Pharmacists play a key role in medical marijuana distribution in Germany because they are the only legal point of sale. According to the paid report, the majority of pharmacists in Germany generally favor medical cannabis – as long as they’re the ones responsible for dispensing it.

UK hemp farmers ‘devastated’ after being forced to destroy crop [The Guardian]

“We need to persuade the government to take these decisions away from a department that deals with illegal drugs and guns, and put it in the hands of somewhere like the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. We need to get them to see the benefits of CBD and hemp in general rather than look upon it as a criminal matter.”

A Social Equity Model for UK Cannabis Law Reform? [Talking Drugs]

Social equity models for cannabis reform have concentrated on increased participation among minority and historically disadvantaged groups by removing barriers and giving priority access to the legal recreational and medical cannabis markets.

Cannabis factories could create jobs in deprived areas, says ex-minister [The Telegraph]

Building cannabis factories in Britain’s neglected post-industrial towns may be the solution to unemployment problems. Jonathan Djanogly, who served as an under-secretary for justice under David Cameron, said towns in Canada with declining manufacturing industries had reinvented themselves as hubs for the cannabis industry.

Cannabis ‘to be legalised in the UK’ within five to ten years, say MPs [BBC]

A group of cross-party MPs who’ve been on a fact-finding trip to Canada predict the UK will fully legalise cannabis use within five to ten years.

BUSINESS & POLICY

Bags stuffed with cash add to pressure for cannabis banking law [BNN Bloomberg]

Senator Jeff Merkley once shadowed a cannabis grower and dispenser as he tried to pay his state taxes. He stuffed a backpack with US$70,000 in US$20 bills and drove 50 miles — unguarded — with the bulging bag in the back seat. Once he arrived at the Oregon Department of Revenue, he went through multiple rounds of security to deposit his satchel in a room packed with guards looking after the millions of dollars pouring in from other cannabis companies. Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, likes to recount the story to show the lunacy of the federal government’s treatment of the cannabis industry.

How Is Marijuana On The Black Market Shifting the Industry [Marijuana Stocks]

One of the only issues that the USA has run into with legal cannabis is the curbing of the black market. Because the prices of illegal cannabis is so much cheaper than that of legal cannabis. This is due to the high amount of taxes that can depend on broad location and more specific areas. These taxes can compound as well at times leading to an almost 40% mark up on cannabis products.

3 Ways Marijuana Legalization 2.0 Will Disappoint Investors [The Motley Fool]

The mid-December launch of edibles, vapes, and infused beverages in Canada won’t live up to the hype.

Crown investment companies were used to launder drug funds, authorities believe [The Age]

Drug traffickers have used two private companies which were set up by Crown Resorts with Crown executives as directors to bank suspected proceeds of crime, federal investigations have alleged.

Australia tipped to become ‘envy of the world’ in cannabis — as Aussie and US companies hunt for weed farm locations [Business Insider Australia]

The Asia-Pacific medicinal cannabis market has been tipped to heat-up by the two companies involved in the launch of a new Australia-based marijuana cultivation business.

A $900 Million Merger Has Created the US’s Largest Pot Dispensary Chain [Merry Jane]

Massachusetts-based cannabis firm Curaleaf Holdings is on its way to becoming the largest weed business in America, following a new merger with the Chicago-based GR Companies, proprietor of the Grassroots Cannabis dispensary chain.

How the CBD Industry Is Reacting to Increased Calls for FDA Regulation [Observer]

The CBD Wild West could be tamed by the feds soon. That is, if the government decides to impose new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on cannabidiol (more commonly known as CBD) sales.

Police Thought They Beat the Darknet Drug Markets – They Didn’t [Vice]

Just seven weeks after a widely publicised, all-out assault by international investigators on darknet markets – and their supporting infrastructure of review sites and bulletin boards – the entire drug-dealing cryptomarket ecosystem is today operating just as it was before.

HEALTH & SCIENCE

CBN Is Another Cannabis Compound With Beneficial Properties [Forbes]

CBN –an abbreviation of Cannabinol– comes from the oxidation and decomposition of THC from a hemp plant, meaning that when THC is heated and exposed to Co2 (oxygen), it converts to CBN. The compound has a mild psychoactive response, slightly more so than CBD but much less than THC.