AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Australian Government invests $3m for medical cannabis research [Health Europa]

The research is intended to examine the benefits of medical cannabis for pain, symptom and side effect management for cancer patients. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, said: “Since her own battle, Ms Olivia Newton-John has been an advocate for breast cancer awareness and research, and through her personal experience and ongoing efforts has helped shine a light on the benefits associated with medicinal cannabis.”

The NSW government says it approves medicinal cannabis applications within 48 hours. Newly obtained data shows it often takes far longer. [Business Insider]

“NSW Health used to release monthly updates on how many applications they had received, how many were approved/rejected and how many were pending. But they would always release these figures halfway through the next month, which was strange. Releasing figures in this way happened to hide the fact that most approvals were taking days or weeks to process.”

Driving under the influence of medical cannabis is illegal, but patients are still taking the risk [ABC]

Reason Party MP Fiona Patten says cannabis is being treated differently under the law to other prescriptions drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines. “Cannabis is the only prescription medication that excludes you 100 per cent from driving,” she said.

 

 

NORTH AMERICA

Two-thirds of cannabis consumed by just 10% of users [Alaska Highway News]

Just 10% of users consumed about two-thirds of all the cannabis used in Canada in 2018, according to a study headed by a Northern Medical Program professor. “The findings are similar to those in the alcohol field, where we have found that a small subgroup of drinkers usually consumes the majority of alcohol in the population,” Prof Callaghan said.

FBI: Cannabis arrests on the rise for 3rd year running [Leafly]

The number of US cannabis arrests continued to climb last year, new federal data show, in spite of increasing legal and public approval for the plant. Law enforcement made an estimated 663,367 cannabis-related arrests in 2018, according to FBI data released this week, up from an estimated 659,700 the previous year. That’s more than one cannabis arrest per minute in 2018—the same year a record two-thirds of Americans (66%) said they support legalization.

Illinois Maps “Disproportionately Impacted Areas” for Its Cannabis Social Equity Program [Filter]

On October 1, the state released eligibility data and requirements for its cannabis social equity program⁠—which by law is supposed to create opportunity in the new industry for people who are unfairly targeted by the War on Drugs.

Oh LA, LA. The California green rush shows us new frontiers for a grown-up cannabis industry [The Growth Op]

Not only is recreational cannabis legal in California, but it has very quickly matured into a viable and mature consumer market.

Low-Income Cannabis Patients Await CA Governor’s Signature on Compassion Bill [Cannabis Now]

After California legalized adult-use cannabis in 2016, new regulations and taxes put a squeeze on the compassionate cannabis programs that had legally given out medical pot for free since 1996. Activists say one bill could give those programs life again.

In Maryland, the East Coast’s first outdoor, commercial cannabis harvest is underway [The Baltimore Sun]

Marijuana farms in Northern California and Oregon have been growing pot plants outdoors for decades. Farms in Colorado are plentiful, too. But commercial growers on the East Coast until now have cultivated marijuana in warehouses or greenhouses. Mostly, it’s because the humid climate and variable temperatures on this side of the country create less-than-ideal conditions for outdoor cannabis.

One-third of young NYC residents smoke pot: study [New York Post]

A third of Gotham residents ages 18 to 25 smoke, vape or otherwise ingest cannabis, according to the first-ever report on marijuana use by the city’s Health Department. The new study also found that a quarter of city adults ages 26 to 34 toke weed. Meanwhile, some 16% of high school students reported usage, lower than the state average of 18% and national average of 20%, according to the data culled from 2016 and 2017.

California vape maker Kushy Punch caught making illegal products [Leafly]

A source familiar with Kushy Punch accused the adult-use licensee of maintaining two facilities: one licensed and one black market.

Changing Landscape Of Marijuana Laws In Rhode Island [JDSUPRA]

Rhode Island employers may be justifiably confused as to whether and how to implement policies concerning their employees’ use of marijuana. Although Rhode Island has not yet legalized recreational marijuana, several components of state government have taken a more permissive view towards the drug.

Bipartisan bill seeks legalization of medical marijuana [The Badger Herald]

A bipartisan medical cannabis bill was introduced to the Wisconsin legislature on Sept. 20. The bill would introduce a regulated process on both the patients’ end and production end. The bill requires a recommendation from the doctor as well as a registry system for said patients. On the production end, a licensing system would be put into place for growers, producers and sellers.

WORLD

Analysis: German sales of insured medical cannabis soar in second quarter [Marijuana Business Daily]

Medical marijuana reimbursements reached 29.5 million euros ($32.3 million) for the April-June period, up 20% over the previous quarter, when 24.5 million euros worth of medical cannabis was reimbursed by statutory health insurers. Compared with the second quarter of 2018, 74% more medical cannabis was reimbursed by German insurers year-over-year.

Mexican Lawmakers To Vote On Pot Legalization By End Of October [Green Entrepreneur]

Ricardo Monreal, the Senate leader of Mexico’s ruling party MORENA, hopes to make marijuana legal for recreational use.

Czech Government Plans to Pay for Patients’ Medical Cannabis [Cannabis Exchange]

Last week, the Czech government announced plans to subsidise the cost of medical Cannabis from public health insurance. Medical Cannabis patients will be reimbursed for up to 90% of the cost of their prescriptions.

Legalising cannabis production would support the economy of the Beqaa Valley [AsiaNews.it]

The speaker of Lebanon’s parliament proposes legalisation, stressing that cannabis can be used for medical purposes. In the Beqaa, the plant was grown in Ottoman times. Production costs are low, and the local variety is among the best in the world. Farmers today are facing a collapse in prices and difficulties in trade with neighbouring Syria.

Pot in every garden: Thailand takes steps to expand cannabis industry [Washington Times]

Thailand has inaugurated what is being billed as the biggest industrial-scale medical marijuana facility in Southeast Asia with 12,000 plants, and will soon allow anyone to grow six cannabis plants “in their back gardens like any other herb.”

Paraguay issues details covering application process for cannabis business permits [Marijuana Business Daily]

A speedy application timeline – applications must be filed this month – suggests that authorized pharmaceutical laboratories will have an inside edge in winning a production permit.

Kids with epilepsy are the victims of the UK’s medical cannabis stalemate [CNN]

In a review published August 8, the NHS admitted it had issued “fewer than 10” prescriptions since a change in the law in 2018 that was intended to make cannabis-based products available to patients who could benefit. Doctors have been cautious about prescribing given a lack of official guidance and a lack of empirical data on long-term effects.

Medicinal cannabis: U.K. Doctors and MPs plead for drug to be free on NHS [Express]

Senior doctors and more than 100 MPs want GPs to be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis on the NHS – with medics arguing that failure to do so is “leading to preventable deaths”.

Cashing in on the Massive Cannabis Opportunity in Lesotho [Daily Marijuana Observer]

In February 2017, Lesotho became the first African nation to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Malta to export $1.4 billion of medical marijuana by 2023 [The Growth Op]

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the exports will start in 2020 and will add 900 jobs to the country.

WHO’s recommendations on cannabis and cannabis-related substances [UNODC]

The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) recommended, following its 41st meeting in 2018, the rescheduling of cannabis and several cannabis-related substances. During the 4th and 5th Meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on 24 June 2019 and 23 September, Member States were given the opportunity to address questions to WHO.

BUSINESS & POLICY

U.S. Cannabis Market To Hit $30 Billion By 2025 As More Than 38 Million Americans Try Marijuana [Green Entrepreneur]

Even by ‘conservative’ estimates, the U.S. marijuana markets looks set to skyrocket over the next few years.

Legalisation of medical and other cannabis has little effect on crime [Health Europa]

The study, which looked at legalisation and sales of recreational or broad medical purposes cannabis in Colorado and Washington, found minimal to no effect on rates of violent and property crimes in those states.

With the rising popularity of CBD products, farmers are growing hemp. Some see it as a way to ride out President Trump’s fight over trade. Others fear it may not last.

Kevin Durant, Snoop Dogg Invest In Cannabis Startup: A Shopify For Marijuana [International Business Times]

Dutchie, a startup for ordering marijuana online, secures $15 million in funding from well-known celebrities. Based in Oregon, Dutchie developed a platform for cannabis dispensaries to create a website where they can manage orders and track pickups. Dutchie, named after the song “Pass the Dutchie,” has grown to service to 450 dispensaries across 18 states and it also eyes $140 million in gross merchandise volume.

Here are the top bankers raising money, and raking in millions in the global cannabis industry [Business Insider]

In an effort to figure out who’s making money on these deals, Business Insider put together a list of the top dealmakers in the cannabis industry, based on Dealogic data. We then conducted additional reporting to identify the top cannabis bankers at those firms. This chart is up-to-date as of September 23. It shows the top ten banks working on cannabis deals and an estimate of how much money they’ve made in cannabis since 2015, primarily from deals and stock offerings.

Billions in Hemp Risks Rotting on Farms in Processing Bottleneck [Bloomberg]

While U.S. Congress approved hemp cultivation, the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t cleared CBD yet for use in food and drinks, and the murky regulatory environment has limited expansion in the processing sector. Delta Separations, a Cotati, California-based manufacturer with booming sales of extraction machines used to make CBD, estimated that as much as $7.5 billion in hemp may rot on farms.

Why The Fashion Industry Needs To Turn On To Hemp [Forbes]

Hemp would give fashion brands a new story to tell their customers, one that is first and foremost sustainable and good for the planet.

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Labs Give Legit Cannabis A Clean Bill of Health, But CBD Is “Wild West” [The Marijuana Times]

Two leading cannabis testing companies in California are reporting that analysis of a total of 200 different vape devices sold through that state’s dispensaries and other licensed sources turned up no traces of the two principal agents suspected of playing a role in the vaping illness epidemic. The leading suspects  are vitamin E acetate, a thick oil normally used in skin products; and myclobutanil, a fungicide which, when heated above 400 degrees fahrenheit, produces fumes of lung-scorching hydrogen cyanide.

‘Leafly Cannabis Guide’ uses data and design to help people better understand marijuana effects [GeekWire]

Leafly, the Seattle-based cannabis information resource, is aiming to do more to help people understand the effects of marijuana. The company announced Tuesday the release of the “Leafly Cannabis Guide,” which uses data and design to create a visual language for cannabis. Leafly believes the guide will better illustrate what effects users can expect and goes deeper than the generalities of the terms indica, sativa and hybrid.

Cannabis study reveals how CBD offsets psychiatric side-effects of THC [Mirage News]

Researchers at Western University have shown for the first time the molecular mechanisms at work that cause cannabidiol, or CBD, to block the psychiatric side-effects caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis.

Raphael Mechoulam: father of cannabis research unveils latest findings [Health Europa]

Professor Mechoulam, EPM Head of Research, revealed the science and the chemistry behind his latest innovation. The innovation is a new family of synthetic, stable cannabinoid acids molecules with a demonstrated higher potency compared to existing cannabinoids and offering potentially promising therapeutic effects.

Yale Doctor Investigates if CBD can Help Lupus and Other Diseases? [Sierra Sun Times]

Fotios Koumpouras, MD, is researching CBD, one of the cannabinoids in the marijuana plant that is believed to reduce inflammation without producing the psychoactive effects associated with THC. “Reducing inflammation is crucial for patients with lupus,” he says.