AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Medical Cannabis Weekend October 26/27 [Nimbin Hemp Embassy]

There’s a full program lined up says Nimbin HEMP Embassy President Michael Balderstone. “And as a special treat the new movie Green Light about a couple of local intrepid medical cannabis providers will be shown on the Saturday evening, with at least one of them speaking and answering questions.”

A radical change in drug policy: Decriminalising drug use and possession [ABC]

Senior police officers in NSW are making the case for decriminalising drug use and possession. But they’re not alone — across Australia and internationally there’s a growing realisation that the traditional approach to drug policy isn’t working.

Green Light: Medicinal Cannabis Relief On Call [ABC]

Even though medicinal cannabis is now legal in Australia, there’s a lot of red tape to navigate between patient and GP. Nicholas Morley and his associate Luke spend their days openly breaking the law to supply medicinal cannabis oil to chronic and terminally ill patients around the country. Sarah Macdonald looks at Green Light, the documentary highlighting their service that’s attracted more than 15,000 Australians, with director Ned Donohoe. 

ACT warns Commonwealth not to overturn cannabis law but acknowledges adverse effects [ABC]

The ACT Government has sent the Commonwealth a strongly worded defence of its cannabis legislation, warning against any attempt to overrule the contentious law and “will of the people”. The ACT Government also said federal authorities should spent their time addressing matters more serious than simple cannabis possession.

THC Global receives cornerstone narcotics licences allowing medicinal cannabis production in Australia [Small Caps]

Integrated medicinal cannabis developer THC Global (ASX: THC) has received the highly-coveted Schedule 4 and Schedule 8 narcotics licences from the Queensland Department of Health. The approvals enable the company to manufacture and wholesale a range of different drugs including medicinal cannabis. Additionally, the approvals provide the go-ahead for an overarching “farm-to-pharma” strategy that will see both Australian and foreign patients receiving high-grade products.

Victorian bowel cancer patient charged with cultivating cannabis [9 News]

“I feel like I am really being discriminated against here. It should be my right to choose how I treat my cancer,” she said. Ms Burns’ legal case comes as demand for medicinal cannabis is skyrocketing.

Naked and told to squat in a corner: a 16-yr-old’s Splendour experience [Echo Net Daily]

She says NSW police were responsible. A drug sniffer dog had approached her in the line and sat down beside her, triggering the police response. She said she couldn’t stop crying during the strip search, which failed to produce any drugs, just as in some 90% of such searches. The stats have been revealed in a public hearing in Sydney this week as part of a state police watchdog inquiry into police strip-search powers.

NORTH AMERICA

Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Program Sees Record Growth [Cannabis Business Times]

llinois’ medical cannabis program has experienced record growth since changes to the law expanded patient access. More than 87,000 patients have qualified for the program since medical cannabis dispensaries opened in November 2015, according to The Register-Mail, and 37,000 new patients registered in the fiscal year ending June 30, which is a 93-percent increase and exceeds the number of patients who signed up in any other fiscal year. The record growth can be attributed, in part, to the state’s 2018 decision to no longer require patient fingerprints and criminal background checks.

CALIFORNIA: Why the cannabis black market is good news for legal sales [High Green News]

The cannabis black market represents a major opportunity for growth among legal cannabis suppliers. There is no evidence that the legal cannabis market is comprised solely of first-time users who waited until cannabis was legal to start purchasing billions of dollars’ worth of the product. The illegal market remains a pool of potential customers for the legal cannabis dealers.

Fentanyl Disguised As Weed [High Times]

KUTV, Salt Lake City’s CBS affiliate reported that law enforcement officers had encountered fentanyl that had been “designed to look like pot, but it’s much more dangerous” and that samples recovered by police “weren’t marijuana at all.” No indication of how such a feat could be accomplished was given.

Hemp farmers and processors work out kinks during first legal harvest in more than 80 years [Michigan Radio]

In 2018, the U.S. Congress lifted a pre-World War II restriction that made it illegal for farmers to grow industrial hemp—a variety of the cannabis sativa plant that contains less than .3% THC. More than 500 Michigan farmers are licensed to grow the crop. This year, they farmed around 30,000 acres of hemp.

Colorado hemp delivery driver arrested in South Dakota [The Denver Post]

A Colorado man who said he was delivering hemp to Minnesota when he was arrested in South Dakota this summer has now been indicted by a grand jury after his load was tested for THC, the component in marijuana that produces a high.

Pro Golfer Matt Every Suspended for Medical-Marijuana Use [Celeb Stoner]

For the second time this year, the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) has suspended one of its players for medical-marijuana use. In each case, the suspension was for three months.

A year in the weeds: Why the Canadian cannabis industry didn’t take off the way everyone planned [Financial Post]

There is no shortage of answers to the question of what went wrong, but one thing seems certain: there is plenty of blame to go around.

Regulations, funding keep Canada from becoming world leader in cannabis research, scientists say [CBC]

Health Canada systems are slow, researchers say, and work on abuse is better funded than medical research

Former VA Secretary Who Oversaw Marijuana Research Blockade Now Backs Cannabis Studies For Veterans [Marijuana Moment]

Former U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin is officially on board with having the department research medical marijuana—a development that comes a year after he was in a position to actually make that happen.

WORLD

Why Marijuana Is Still Illegal In Russia And Ukraine [The Fresh Toast]

Given the prevalence of alcohol in both Russia and Ukraine, marijuana is still taboo and very illegal in both countries. Here’s why.

As Russian Money Poured Into Cannabis . . . [High Green News]

U.S. Federal law still treats cannabis as an illegal substance, and traditional banks have been wary of getting involved. Wealthy financiers have moved in to fill the void — including a growing cast of investors from Russia and former Soviet Union countries who have helped shape the industry’s growth. One of the U.S.’s largest cannabis companies, Curaleaf, is led by one of Russia’s most influential financiers and backed by another, allowing the company to pursue rapid expansion and hefty acquisitions.

Gibraltar Legalizes Medical Cannabis [Ganjapreneur]

Gibraltar is the latest European jurisdiction to legalize medical cannabis for a variety of conditions, including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, “life-altering” pain, and side effects from cancer treatment.

Legalization of drugs is the way to combat cartels, former Mexican president says [CNBC]

Mexico’s Senate is expected to vote in favor of a bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the coming days, in a bid to choke off a black market dominated by violent gangs.

Zimbabwe sows first seeds for hemp, cannabis production [News Day]

After long regulatory delays, Zimbabwe has now begun cultivation of hemp and cannabis, with high hopes to add a new export into its pot of traditional cash crops.

Paraguay will start producing and selling marijuana for medical purposes [Apsters Media]

Companies will soon be able to obtain licenses for the production and sale of cannabis plants for medical purposes in Paraguay.  2% of all received marijuana will go to the Ministry of Health, after that patients in need will get it for free. In particular, the drug will facilitate the condition of patients with epilepsy and Parkinson’s.

Medical cannabis course coming next year [Bangkok Post]

A team of experts on medical cannabis is working to create content for the course, said Assoc Prof Phatchari Sisang, an expert in research and development at Srinakharinwirot University in Thailand. “Marijuana and Hemp Studies for Smart Use” will be worth 3 credits and take a total of 120 hours to complete.

How cannabis can solve South Africa’s economic crisis [The Leaf Desk]

South Africa has recently struggled to keep afloat from an economic standpoint, with several reports pointing towards high levels of unemployment, poverty and crime. With neighbouring Lesotho taking the lead in terms of cannabis innovation, the pressure is on South Africa to buck up its ideas to save a flailing economy.

France appears ready to OK funding for a medical cannabis experiment with 3,000 patients [Marijuana Business Daily]

French lawmakers appear ready to approve legislation to bankroll a two-year medical cannabis trial program for 3,000 patients, a move that would give overseas companies the opportunity to export product to what could become one of Europe’s largest markets.

Cannabis sativa may attract billions in investments to Brazil [Global Legal Chronicle]

Eyes and attention are focused on the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária – Anvisa), the Brazilian regulatory agency responsible for the execution of sanitary control, regulation, approval and supervision of pharmaceutical, health services, medical devices, among others. It is expected to establish a new regulation on the use of hemp for medical purposes by the end of the year.

Medical cannabis could be the key to stopping a US-style opioid crisis in the UK [Independent]

In American states where marijuana is legal for medical uses, prescriptions for opioids and anti-depressants have fallen 30 per cent. It’s time our health secretary woke up.

BUSINESS & POLICY

What the Charlotte’s Web Plant Variety Patent Means for the Legal Hemp Industry [Cannabis Business Times]

On one hand, we’d eventually see the first hemp plant variety patent issued by the federal government. Now that the industry is legal in the U.S., it stands to reason that some form of intellectual property protection—even by the simple act of staking a claim on a single plant variety—is a part of the overall market maturity process. Charlotte’s Web has been a visible presence in the hemp market for years now; much like the company has developed best practices followed by other hemp businesses, this patent may guide other businesses in their own IP endeavors.

Cannabis not acceptable in safety sensitive jobs [Health Europa]

Recognising that safety concerns are paramount as decriminalisation of cannabis continues in states throughout the US, the National Safety Council have released a policy position, whereby it calls on employers to restrict cannabis use for those in safety sensitive positions – regardless of whether cannabis consumption is allowed by their state.

Snoop Dogg Partners with Seedo for AI Growbox Tech [Ganjapreneur]

Snoop Dogg is partnering with Seedo, a manufacturer of artificial intelligence-powered grow boxes to help encourage home growing in urban areas.

HEALTH & SCIENCE

The FDA Warns Against CBD Use While Pregnant or Breastfeeding [CBD Testers]

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made it clear that they do not condone the use of Cannbidiol (CBD) by pregnant or nursing women. Although many women prefer these natural products over prescription and OTC Medications, the FDA believes they carry “significant risk”. 

Cannabis and Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) [High Times]

To avoid the side-effects from traditional medications, some ADHD patients are using cannabis.

With this cannabis-infused toothpaste painful trips to the dentist could soon be a thing of the past [The Growth Op]

The Cannabite LifeLong toothpaste is infused with CBD and CBG

How Medical Marijuana Can Help With Lou Gehrig’s Disease [Green Entrepreneur]

Hundreds of studies have looked into the benefits of THC and CBD on pain and overall health, and in the last decade alone, dozens have focused on the effect of cannabinoids on ALS.

Pot for pets: Startup aims to treat canine ailments with medical cannabis [From the Grapevine]

CBD oil has been shown to help dogs with everything from pain to separation anxiety.

5 Ways Technology Is Shaping the Emerging Cannabis Market [Nature World News]

  • Cannabinoid Biosynthesis
  • Tesla Powerwall
  • Point of Sale (POS) Technology
  • Seed-To-Sale Tech
  • LED Lights

Cannabis extract may work as a treatment for cannabis addiction [New Scientist]

For people who are addicted to cannabis, one treatment option may be, paradoxically, to take pills containing an extract of cannabis. The first test of the idea has found that people taking capsules of this extract, known as cannabidiol or CBD, nearly halved the amount of cannabis they smoked, according to results presented at New Scientist Live this week.

Pioneering clinical trial to treat psychosis in Parkinson’s patients [MedicalXpress]

This is the first large-scale trial which will aim to provide preliminary evidence for the safety and efficacy of CBD to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s-related psychosis, characterised by hallucinations and delusions.

A ‘Significant’ Number Of Patients Stopped Taking Benzodiazepines After Starting Medical Marijuana [Marijuana Moment]

While much research has been dedicated to understanding how medical cannabis could potentially replace opioids for patients who deal with chronic pain and other ailments, the new study suggests patients who take Valium, Xanax and other popular tranquilizers for neurological conditions (such as anxiety, insomnia and seizures) may find relief through marijuana. The findings were published last month in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.