AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Medicinal cannabis company to build one of the world’s largest production facilities in regional Victoria [ABC]

Australian company Cannatrek has been given the final green light to develop the $160 million plant near Shepparton. There are plans to produce 160 tonnes of medicinal cannabis each year and create 400 jobs in the process.

Victorian Hemp Industry Set To Grow [Minister for Agriculture, Victoria]

The Andrews Labor Government has convened a cross-party taskforce to investigate the industrial use of hemp and identify opportunities to grow the industry and create jobs for regional Victorians.

‘Top-secret’ medicinal cannabis farm opens in WA [9 News]

Little Green Pharma was granted a licence to cultivate and produce medical cannabis in April 2017 and the company is already working on its fourth harvest. Managing Director Fleta Solomon said each plant had been carefully grown under tightly controlled conditions to produce just the right amount of active chemicals, including THC. “A few years ago cannabis was a prohibited substance so now that we’ve legalised it for medical use we take it very seriously,” she said. “The office of drug control require us to be very discreet about our operations.”

Does medicinal cannabis actually help Australian patients? [Health Europa]

There have been more than 7,500 approvals for medicinal cannabis in Australia since legalisation in 2016 – so why don’t we know if it is helping patients?

Meet The Cannabis Extraction Powerhouses [The Green Fund]

MediPharm Labs Australia received its cannabis manufacturing licence from the Australian Office of Drug Control on May 21, 2019. This was a significant milestone in that it establishes the company as an early mover in the Australian cannabis industry. The 10,000 sq. ft. purpose-built facility southeast of Melbourne is currently nearing completion, and will house supercritical CO2 extraction—with the capacity to process up to 75,000 kg of dried cannabis per annum—as well as state-of-the-art secondary processing equipment for the manufacture of purified and high-concentrate cannabis distillates.

Australian Controlled Trial on the effect of CannEpil on Driver Competency and Performance [MGC Pharma]

“We are hoping this trial will clearly demonstrate that it is safe to drive while on CannEpil, while collecting safety data required for registration by the TGA. It has been documented that a key reason for individuals in Australia to decline cannabis products for medical purposes that may benefit them is that it would inhibit them from driving. We are delighted to be working in collaboration with the Swinburne University of Technology and Cannvalate to conduct this industry leading, and much needed, research.”

NSW Police’s use of strip searches skyrocketing, report finds [ABC]

The research, commissioned by Redfern Legal Centre, has revealed there has been an almost 20-fold increase in the number of searches in the past 12 years.

NORTH AMERICA

Even as states across the country have legalized marijuana, potentially opening the door to a multibillion dollar industry, the impact of marijuana criminalization is still being felt by people — mostly black and Hispanic — whose records are marked by low-level convictions related to the drug. But on Wednesday, New York began the process of expunging many of those records, as part of a new state law to reduce penalties associated with marijuana-related crimes.

Wholesale Cannabis Prices Rise in Legalized States [Cannabis Now]

Driven by the notorious market glut in Oregon, wholesale cannabis prices have predictably plunged in the Beaver State. They have done so less precipitously in other western states. But this is offset by continued high prices elsewhere in the country, especially the East Coast — making for an overall upward trend this year.

Pot officials look to upgrade system to ‘Cannabis 2.0’ [The Lewiston Tribune]

Five years after Washington launched its pioneering legal marijuana market, officials are proposing an overhaul of the state’s industry rules, with plans for boosting minority ownership of pot businesses, paving the way for home deliveries of medical cannabis and letting the smallest growers increase the size of their operations to become more competitive.

California Assembly OKs medical cannabis on K-12 campuses [KTVU]

California schools may soon allow parents to administer medical marijuana to their children on K-12 campuses. The California Assembly approved Sen. Jerry Hill’s SB 223 bill Monday that lets school boards decide whether parents can administer medical marijuana on school campuses. It would allow the use of marijuana in non-smoking form.

Anyone caught here with a small amount of drugs — even heroin — isn’t typically prosecuted. Instead, that person is steered toward social services to get help. Still, it shocks many Americans to see no criminal penalty for using drugs illegally, so it takes courage and vision to adopt this approach: a partial retreat in the war on drugs coupled with a stepped-up campaign against addiction.

Canadians continue to buy cannabis illegally [Quartz]

Nearly half of Canadian cannabis consumers purchase their weed illegally, reveals Statistics Canada’s National Cannabis Survey released Thursday (Aug. 15). Ten months after the country legalized recreational marijuana, 42% of those who partake admitted to buying at least some of their pot from an illegal source.

WORLD

The Big UK Cannabis Survey 2019 [Global Drug Survey]

The majority of what we read and see in the media is being driven by those with commercial interests and we worry that the people at the heart of the issue – people who use cannabis, for whatever reason, are not having their voice heard. So Global Drug Survey has teamed up with the UK Cannabis Social Club network to find out what is going on free from any oversight or funding from groups with commercial interests in the field. The survey is in 4 sections – the first asks about how you use cannabis now, the second asks about CBD use and function, the third on social club involvement and finally medical use. For most people this survey will take 10-20 minutes. It’s anonymous, confidential and we don’t collect IP addresses. The study has received ethics approval from University College London Research Ethics Committee.

Malta: paving the way for cannabis research and development [Health Europa]

John Charles Ellul serves as Advisor to the office of the Prime Minister in Malta. Attending the MJBiz European Cannabis Symposium in May, he emphasised the importance of the medicinal cannabis market to the island, along with the cannabis research and development.

Israel to Triple Medical Cannabis Production [Grizzle]

The Israeli government has reportedly issued seven new medical cannabis cultivation licences in a move that will triple the country’s annual production capacity.

People Are Paying R25 000 To Open Marijuana Dispensaries Across South Africa – 70 Open So Far [2 Oceans Vibe]

Once they decriminalised marijuana for personal and private use in South Africa, it was only a matter of time before the industry took off.

Overview of the cannabis reform in Mexico and its implications in patent protection [uhthoff]

The reformed Federal Penal Code contains an amendment on article 198 which states that the sowing, cultivation or harvesting of marijuana plants will not be punishable when these activities are carried out for medical or scientific purposes.

The Danish medical cannabis pilot programme: putting the patient first [Health Europa]

Ellen Trane Nørby in her capacity as Minister of Health oversaw the implementation of the landmark medical cannabis pilot scheme in Denmark. Addressing attendees at the MJBiz Daily European Cannabis Symposium in Copenhagen, she made a passionate case for allowing vulnerable patients access to the treatment.

BUSINESS & POLICY

More Consumers are Drinking their Cannabis and Big Brands are Getting in On It [Green Market Report]

What could have been a threat to alcohol and the beverage industry, has now turned into one of the beverage’s biggest opportunities since hops met barley.

Johnson & Johnson to pay $572m for fueling Oklahoma opioid crisis, judge rules [The Guardian]

The pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson ran a “false and dangerous” sales campaign that caused addiction and death as it drove America’s opioid epidemic, an Oklahoma court has ruled in the first judgement of its kind against the drug industry.

Marijuana company boards are shockingly more white than Fortune 100 boards [Yahoo!]

Despite selling marijuana and CBD products that are used by and appeal to a diverse set of customers from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, the makeup of leadership at the world’s largest cannabis companies is still mostly white men.

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Cannabis: A field in flux [Nature]

Fifty years ago, cannabis was known as the drug most emblematic of counterculture. Today, many people promote it as a fount of treatments for almost any ailment imaginable. This immense about-turn is reflected in changes in legal regimes: medicinal use of cannabis is now permitted in many countries, and some also allow the drug to be used recreationally. The times, they have a-changed.

Medical cannabis costs family £4,000 a month to help teenager [BBC]

An epileptic teenager’s family are paying thousands of pounds a month for privately prescribed medical cannabis because they cannot get it on the NHS.

Statistics Show Accidental Cannabis Consumption is Insignificant [Cannabis Now]

Poison control center calls for marijuana are low, so why is the media making it a big deal?

Toronto company develops DNA test kits that will ensure you never have a bad cannabis trip and recommends best strains for you [The Growth Op]

Now you can figure out how pot affects you before even trying it

Recent Study Suggests Microdosing THC Could Reverse Brain Aging [The Marijuana Times]

A recent study suggests that THC, the most well-known active cannabinoid in cannabis, could reverse the brain’s aging process in low doses.

Chocolate Edibles Are Vexing Cannabis Labs. Here’s Why [Leafly]

Chocolate, according to new findings out of California, can interfere with cannabis testing procedures and lead to inaccurate THC potency results. While the errors are small enough that they’re unlikely to pose a threat to consumers, they reveal yet-to-be understood wrinkles in how potency testing works. And in some cases, they could keep even carefully crafted edibles from reaching store shelves.

Cannabinoids Could Help Treat OCD, Researchers Suggest [Weedmaps]

In a new review study, researchers examined evidence that suggests the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may play a role in helping relieve symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other similar conditions.

Study on cannabis chemical as a treatment for pancreatic cancer may have ‘major impact,’ Harvard researcher says [Yahoo!]

This month scientists from Harvard University’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have released some much-needed good news. In their study, published in the journal Frontiers of Oncology on July 23, the researchers revealed that a chemical found in cannabis has demonstrated “significant therapy potential” in treatment of pancreatic cancer.