AUSTRALIA

Making Australia an international leader in medicinal cannabis [Greg Hunt]

The Morrison Government is maximising the economic potential of Australia’s medicinal cannabis industry, with Major Project Status granted for the development of new facilities in South East Queensland and regional Victoria.

NZ Referendum website and initial cannabis Bill launched [Beehive]

The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live.

Creso Pharma commences sales of Medicinal Cannabis in Australia [FinFeed]

Creso Pharma Limited has commenced sales of its flagship medicinal cannabis product cannaQIX® 50 to Burleigh Heads Cannabis, one of Australia’s leading medicinal cannabis distribution companies. Burleigh Heads Cannabis has confirmed prescriptions are already taking place and the product is receiving very positive feedback from physicians and patients.

MediPharm Labs Australia Granted State Licences, Completes Construction of Specialized Production Facility [Biospace]

MediPharm Labs Corp. a global leader in specialized, research-driven cannabis extraction, distillation and purification, today announced that its subsidiary, MediPharm Labs Australia Pty. Ltd. has received State Licences for cannabis substances from the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria, Australia and completed the initial phases of construction of its specialized extraction facility in Wonthaggi.

NORTH AMERICA

Pot sales in Canada fall short of forecasts in first year of legalization [BNN Bloomberg]

Nearly $1-billion worth of legal cannabis was sold in Canada during the first year of legalization, short of analysts’ initial projections, according to a study published Wednesday by Statistics Canada. The sales figures are well below some of the forecasts that analysts put out ahead of the launch of legalization in Oct. 2018. Deloitte said Canada’s legal cannabis industry would grow to as much as $4.34 billion in the first year of legalization, and that the majority of purchases would be made through the legal market rather than illicit sources. However, earlier StatsCan data shows that the illicit market still represents between 70 and 80 per cent of all cannabis sales in the first year of legalization.

Ontario’s pot retail lottery in question after year of legalization [High Green News]

Ontario is thinking about changing the lottery system being used to award cannabis retail licenses after the first year of legalization saw only 24 outlets open, with critics panning the lack of access for consumers.

In Chicago, Cannabis Industry and City Government Debate Two Approaches for Social Equity [Cannabis Business Times]

With Illinois poised to begin adult-use cannabis sales Jan. 1, 2020, some of Chicago’s aldermen and public stakeholders are concerned that a program designed to improve social equity access for minority business owners won’t live up to its promise. A photo depicting a room full of white men participating in the city’s dispensary-license lottery on Nov. 15 went viral, eliciting responses from those who are upset that, when the program begins, there won’t be equity in ownership for black or Latino residents—or other prospective entrepreneurs based in areas of the city disproportionately affected by prohibition-era cannabis arrests.

Cuomo signs bill regulating New York’s hemp industry [New York Post]

A new law signed by Gov. Cuomo on Monday lays the groundwork for the manufacture and sale of home-grown hemp products — including popular CBD oil — across the state. The regulations require growers, processers and sellers to obtain state permits and hire independent labs to test their merchandise.

K-9s Are Sniffing Out Vape Devices With THC In Ohio Schools [High Times]

Drug-sniffing dogs are sweeping school hallways.

Major League Baseball [MLB] new drug program will no longer test minor leaguers for marijuana [CBS Sports]

MLB and the MLB Players Association on Thursday announced changes to the Joint Drug Program. Most notably, testing for opioids is now in place, and marijuana has been removed from the league’s list of banned substances for minor-league players.

Evidence of Inflated Test Results Emerges in Nevada [Ganjapreneur]

A Washington state analyst has uncovered evidence of Nevada testing labs potentially issuing inflated and inaccurate cannabis test results.

NYPD drops case against hemp dealer — but may keep his haul [New York Post]

The NYPD’s case against a hemp wholesaler went up in smoke Tuesday — but what happens to the confiscated pot of pot now is anyone’s guess. The Brooklyn DA’s Office told a judge that it was dropping all six felony drug-trafficking charges against middleman peddler Green Angel CBD — because what cops thought was 106 pounds of illicit pot was actually legal hemp.

Earth’s hottest cannabis for sale at The Emerald Cup [Leafly]

Sungrown cannabis gets stronger, more flavorful, affordable, and cleaner than ever. More than 30,000 cannabis fans and industry professionals from around the globe are preparing for the world championship of outdoor-grown cannabis, The Emerald Cup, running Saturday and Sunday Dec. 14-15, just north of San Francisco.

When Uncle Sam’s Your Dealer, It’s Not Always Easy to Get Your Meds [Portland Mercury]

Elvy Musikka is qualified to receive six pounds of flower per annum, so twice yearly she travels from her home in Eugene, Oregon, to Florida to pick up three one-pound metal tins of pre-rolled joints, made with cannabis grown by the infamously brown-thumbed University of Mississippi, a facility that’s also the sole provider of cannabis for federally funded research. The Ole Miss weed, as I’ve elucidated before on a number of occasions, leaves a lot to be desired.

Lawmakers Say DEA Should Allow Researchers to Access State-Legal Marijuana [The Marijuana Times]

The government continues to stand in the way of research that would benefit patients and their doctors. Even after jumping through hoops to gain federal approval for medical marijuana research, the product available is subpar and there simply isn’t enough of it.

Shoppers Drug Mart gets into medical pot business in B.C. [CTV News]

A major Canadian retailer is getting into the medical marijuana business in British Columbia. Shoppers Drug Mart is now licensed to sell medical cannabis online in B.C. and will also provide medical advice. In January, the company first launched its online sales platform in Ontario, but it is now available across the country.

WORLD

Will This Be The Largest Hemp Farm In Europe? [CBD Testers]

The German HempCo’s plans are centred around 1,235 acres of prime agricultural land (over 50 million sq ft) with an option for expansion into a further 4,900 acres – 2,000 hectares. This would make it the largest hemp farm in all of Europe.

UK Chemists demand clarity on cannabis-related goods [BBC]

Pharmacists are calling for better regulation of products claiming to contain cannabis derivative CBD.

Proposals for Cannabis legalisation and regulation in Malta [reLeaf]

Back in 2017, the Government of Malta recognised the need to revise existing cannabis policy in Malta and declared that the legalisation and regulation of cannabis, framed within harm reduction policy and principles, is required to promote the health and well-being of cannabis consumers whilst better protect youths and the most vulnerable.

Singapore allows first use of medical marijuana to treat girl with epilepsy [The Growth Op]

Approval had to be granted by four separate government agencies.

Why It’s Still So Hard to Sell Medical Marijuana in Asia [Fortune]

Marijuana legalization seems to be making strides across the globe, but there are still plenty of pockets where the idea faces fierce resistance, namely in Asia. Two countries, South Korea and Thailand, broke from Asia’s anti-marijuana stance by legalizing the product for medical purposes in 2018. The move opened the door to medical marijuana companies looking for new markets. 

Another German court halts sale of CBD as food without ‘novel’ authorization [Hemp Industry Daily]

Local authorities acted correctly by not allowing sales of CBD products that don’t have a “novel food” authorization, a German court decided, confirming an earlier ruling. The “novel food” classification is given by the European Union to products that have not been significantly consumed before 1997.

Brazilian court decision could encourage other cannabis companies to seek approval for cultivation [Marijuana Business Daily]

After Brazil’s health authority shelved a proposal on domestic cannabis cultivation this week, a court decided in the opposite direction, allowing – for the first time in Brazil – a company to grow hemp commercially. The court’s decision could spur other cannabis companies to appeal to the judicial system for permission to cultivate domestically.

Two medicinal cannabis products approved for use in Ireland [The Journal]

The two products are Aurora High CBD Oil Drops and CannEpil. The two companies approved to supply the products are Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc and MGC Pharmaceuticals.

Cyprus delays bidding process so medical cannabis licensing fees can be reviewed [Marijuana Business Daily]

The delay, reported by the Phileleftheros newspaper, stemmed from concerns the fees are too low given the revenue growers are expected to reap. According to previous announcements, winners of the application process would have to pay an initial fee of 500,000 euros ($551,038), followed by an annual renewal fee of 30,000 euros.

Thailand warns against sale of marijuana-based health products [Khymer Times]

The Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) again on Tuesday warned consumers to refrain from buying marijuana-based health products or they will face fines and/or imprisonment.

Early talks underway on future of Denmark’s medical cannabis pilot program [Marijuana Business Daily]

A lot of money is at stake. Nearly three dozen companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the country via cultivation and processing facilities, including Canadian firms Atlas Biotechnologies, Aurora Cannabis, Aphria, ICC International Cannabis, The Green Organic Dutchman and Canopy Growth.

BUSINESS & POLICY

Triple Boost For U.S. Hemp Growing Industry [CBD Testers]

The U.S hemp boom has been given further boost with the Federal Government announcing the introduction of the 2020 licensing round.

Leafly investigation: Inside the billion-dollar race to patent cannabis [Leafly]

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has already issued several patents for specific kinds of cannabis (most recently one for a variety of high-CBD hemp), and for more wide-ranging “utility patents,”  but so far they’ve gone unenforced and even unnoticed. That won’t continue much longer.