Embassy HEADLINES Issue 278
AUSTRALIA & NZ
Hemp food legal from Sunday [SBS]
A great source of protein with a distinctly nutty flavour, hemp, derived from the same species as cannabis, will be legalised for Australian consumption from Sunday, November 12. That means food made with hemp products can be legally sold as food; there’s even a hemp festival, complete with hemp food tastings, coming in December. As a result, Australian producers will now be able access a growing global industry worth in excess of $500 million.
Dr Weedy’s Hemp Ale: WA’s first hemp beer [Busselton Mail]
Jindong hemp farmers and Busselton brewers have teamed up together to bring WA its first hemp beer which will be unleashed at the Fremantle Beer Festival. Dr Weedy’s Hemp Ale is a collaboration between up and coming craft brewery Rocky Ridge Brewing Co. and Vasse Valley hemp farm.
Cannabis help for epilepsy [Townsville Bulletin]
The use of medicinal cannabis for treating epilepsy will be explored at a forum in the city this month. It is being organised by the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics (The University of Sydney) and Epilepsy Action Australia and will be held at the Aitkenvale Library on November 14. The forum will explore up-to-date information for people interested in cannabis for epilepsy, examine studies indicating how it may be effective for epilepsy sufferers and discuss ways to legally access the product. CEO of Epilepsy Action Australia Carol Ireland and research officer from The Lambert Initiative Ruth Blackburn will present the information. Ms Blackburn said Townsville had been missing out on opportunities other parents and carers in the metropolitan areas had been given. “We want to engage with families up north so they can get updates about medicinal cannabis too,” she said.
Medicinal cannabis dramatically improves life for 22yo with Stiff Person Syndrome [Tasmania Talks]
Ben Oakley has Stiff Person Syndrome, which occurred suddenly when he was 17 years old. Medicinal cannabis has drastically improved the quality of Ben’s life, going from almost 600 body spasms in a three year period, to three in 2.5 years. Broadcasting live from Earth Expo, Brian Carlton talks with Ben Oakley and his father Michael, about this disease and medicinal cannabis.
CannTrust Approved to Export Medical Cannabis [New Cannabis Ventures]
CannTrust Holdings Inc., a licensed producer of medical cannabis under the Health Canada Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation (” ACMPR “) program, is pleased to announce that it has received Health Canada approval to export medical marijuana internationally to Countries where medical marijuana is legalized and that the Company has now begun shipping to Australia.
Mum, cannabis and me to screen tomorrow [Gisborne Herald]
A film about medicinal cannabis to help New Zealanders and doctors better understand the science, regulatory and health aspects is showing in a special screening at the Dome tomorrow evening. The 30-minute documentary film Mum, Cannabis, and Me – The Right To Informed Choice, by the University of Otago’s Victoria Catherwood, challenges the laws and taboos against the use of medicinal cannabis.
Epileptic girl, 12, who wants to legalize medical marijuana across US sues Jeff Sessions [Daily Mail]
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been sued by an epileptic 12-year-old who wants to legalize medical marijuana across America after she was forced to move from Texas to Colorado to access the drug. Alexis Bortell, 12, who suffers from epilepsy, filed the lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against US Attorney General Jeff Sessions in July.
More adults use marijuana in states where it is legal [MedicalXpress]
Daily use of marijuana as well as past month rates rose for both men and women aged 26 and older in states with medical marijuana laws in effect, according to researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Marijuana use among those younger than 26 years old was generally unaffected by changes in the law. The results of the study are published online in Prevention Science.
Cannabis Firm Hoban Law Sets Sights Abroad [The American Lawyer]
Hoban Law Group, a Denver-based firm focused on advising the emerging legal and medical cannabis industry, has announced plans to expand internationally, saying it would open four European and two Latin American offices by spring 2018.
San Francisco under pressure to pass cannabis-friendly rules [MedicalXpress]
Supervisors in famously pot-friendly San Francisco are under pressure from cannabis advocates to pass regulations that would allow the industry to flourish once recreational sales become legal throughout California in January. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is scheduled to take up proposed regulations Tuesday, when they may vote on a stop-gap measure to allow the sale of recreational cannabis through existing medical marijuana outlets on Jan. 1. That would give them time to figure out where to allow new stores. But California state senator Scott Wiener, a Democrat and former supervisor from San Francisco, urged against the measure, saying it would stifle competition.
How Long Before Government Quits Lying to Us About Cannabis? [Westworld]
A month before the five-year anniversary of Colorado voters passing Amendment 64, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area released volume five in its ongoing series, “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado.” Like past reports on this subject issued the clumsily named RMHIDTA, this report was neither objective nor peer-reviewed, according to NORML’s Paul Armentano, who suggested that politicians, reporters and other view it with a skeptical eye. The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area has devolved into nothing but an anti-cannabis propaganda outlet. Nothing this group of LEO’s says can be trusted to be anything but lies.
One in Five Veterans Use Marijuana To Alleviate A Medical Or Physical Condition [NORML]
In a new poll of US service veterans conducted by The American Legion and presented today on Capitol Hill, one in five veterans self-reported using marijuana to alleviate a medical or physical condition.
Big Pharma Will Lose $4 Billion Per Year Due to Medical Marijuana [Civilized]
A recent report found that Big Pharma stands to lose as much as $4 billion per year if medical marijuana became legal in all 50 states. The information is based off a study from 2016 by the University of Georgia, which found that states with legalized medicinal cannabis had less Medicare prescriptions than those where it’s still illegal. The study found that already pharmaceutical companies are losing $166 million annually on drugs where marijuana is now offered as an alternative.
Marijuana legalization is around corner, says former Republican party chairman [The Cannabist]
There’s no better time than the present to discuss marijuana legalization according to Michael Steele, who helped shape national policy during his tenure as Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Steele recently told Civilized that America is finally ready to take a critical look at its outdated drug policies.
Woody Harrelson Smoked Marijuana During Dinner With Trump [Marijuana Moment]
“It was brutal. I’d never met a more narcissistic man,” Harrelson said during an appearance on Bill Maher’s HBO show on Friday night. “He talked about himself the whole time. I had to walk out like halfway through [and] smoke a joint just to like steel myself for the rest of the dinner.”
Where will all the plastic packaging go? [Cannabis Packaging News]
Plastics are everywhere. Tragically in places they should not be. Our oceans are drowning in plastic, choking marine life and clogging natural waterways throughout our world. What is going to happen when you add single use plastic cannabis packaging to the mix? According to BDS Analytics, last year the state of Washington sold 11 million pre-rolled joints. In the first quarter of 2016, Oregon sold 1.2 million pre-rolls and California, the biggest market of all, does not have data available at this writing . We can all assume that the California sales volume will surpass all of the other legal medicinal and recreational states. Environmentally responsible cannabis packaging is available. Keep cannabis green and eliminate plastics from our oceans.
Weed Science: Researchers Map Marijuana DNA to Unlock Cannabis’s Full Potential [Newsweek]
Scientists at the University of California, Davis, partnered with biotech firm Front Range Biosciences (FRB) to conduct the genomics research to “advance understanding of cannabis for medical and nutraceutical uses.” The research team at UC Davis has previously mapped the genomes of the cabernet sauvignon grape and the arabica coffee bean and now wants to focus on the hemp plant because of its commercial potential.
Outspoken police officer calls for decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana [KCEN TV]
Long a bur in the side of Dallas chiefs past and present, Novello refuses to remain silent even knowing it could cost him his job. A decade ago, he vocally spoke out about police officers who he believed were violating people’s civil rights. More recently, he’s been outspoken about the department’s manpower shortage and how long police response times put 911 callers in danger. Novello’s outspokenness has not gone unnoticed by the department. The department opened an internal investigation after he released a Youtube video in August calling on President Donald Trump to revamp the nation’s marijuana laws.
‘Where’s the weed?’ Branding is essential for cannabis companies [The Conversation]
The complexity of cannabis’s “credence” and “experience” features make product branding important. Branding can be done via distinctive logos, packaging and advertising. This helps firms explain their products to consumers. With cannabis, recognizable brands could help consumers find the best product for their needs. Different customers may want a mild buzz, a powerful high or more medicinal benefits. Good branding also builds trust. Consumers learn which brands consistently meet their needs.
How Drug Users Would Solve the Opioid Crisis [Vice]
Users say they want to end prohibition, seek reparations, and get invested in pain alternatives like weed. In Vancouver, that’s already happening.
How Big Tobacco, Alcohol and Pharma Companies Could Enter the Cannabis Industry [New Cannabis Ventures]
The entrance of Constellation Brands in the cannabis industry has broken the insulation around cannabis companies—it is now incumbent upon the industry to embrace and prepare for the forthcoming wave of disruptive entrants that are better capitalized, more mature and better recognized than existing licensed producers (LPs).
IBM Proposes Blockchain as Cannabis Seed to Sale Tracking Solution [New Cannabis Ventures]
Coindesk, which covers blockchain news, found a nugget in a stack of documents submitted to the government of British Columbia. The provincial government’s BC Cannabis Regulation Engagement committee invited stakeholders to submit proposals by November 1, and it received over 130 suggestions on how to implement legal cannabis in 2018. The province was seeking input on issues that included minimum age, personal possession limits, public consumption, drug-impaired driving, personal cultivation and distribution and retail models, all topics that were covered in a discussion paper it issued previously. One of the more interesting submissions is a three-page proposal from IBM endorsing the use of blockchain as part of the seed to sale tracking solution to exert regulatory control. The company suggests that it can help reduce or eliminate black market sales by allowing BC to control the sourcing, selling and pricing of products, assist producers with real-time inventory management and help retailers identify supply/demand gaps.
UK & EUROPE
Medicinal cannabis bill makes progress in the Dáil despite expected opposition [thejournal]
A bill seeking to legalise the prescription of medicinal cannabis as medication in Ireland has progressed to the next stage of debate in the Dáil, despite a recommendation that it should not be allowed to proceed.
Cannabis Oil Sales in Ireland Soar [Marijuana]
Despite the challenges with government stonewalling in Ireland, the demand for cannabis oil and its related products is clearly insatiable. While THC-based oils are still illegal on the Emerald Isle, CBD oil is available, and one shop owner in Limerick says that his sales have grown exponentially. This green rush has been spurred from the increased call for a robust medical marijuana system for Irish citizens. With a strong desire for the medical benefits associated with cannabis, the people of Ireland are buying whatever cannabis-based products they can find.
Reefer Madness Propaganda Still Exists? “Weed Is Making People Lose Their Minds And Memories” [Zenpype]
Now, while Volteface appears earnest in its support of legal cannabis, they seem a little over-eager to embrace certain reefer madness tropes in their quest to depict black market weed as some dark threat to youth.
How This Guy Plans to Be Europe’s Biggest Weed Seller [Vice]
After conquering the French market, Duclos wants to take the rest of Europe. His company’s ultimate goal is to make cannabis that is both “fun to smoke, and medicinal” as accessible as possible.
Stories making the Swiss Sunday papers [Swiss Info]
The legal sale of cannabis in Switzerland could generate hundreds of millions of Swiss francs in tax revenues, Le Matin Dimanche reported Sunday, adding that according to a survey published this summer, 66% of Swiss would be in favour of such a legalisation.
Greece’s hemp industry experiencing rebirth [Ekathimerini.com]
We were in a field in the uplands of northern Arcadia, in the northeastern Peloponnese, where members of To Kannavi, a collective that also informs and educates the public on the potential of cannabis and hemp in industry and medicine, were harvesting industrial hemp one day in early September. To Kannavi comprises people in various businesses that make use of the plant, among them a fast-food chain which uses cannabis flour in its pizza bases. At the same time we learned that growers around Volos, Xanthi and other parts of Greece were also beginning the annual harvest of the Cannabis sativa plant.
Luxembourg moves further towards legalising medical marijuana [Digital Journal]
Luxembourg, following a broader EU and global trend, took another step on Tuesday towards legalising medical marijuana by announcing plans for a two-year pilot project. The plan, which must be approved by parliament, would allow authorities to determine how many people in the tiny duchy will use medical marijuana and under what conditions.
Pass The Dutchie: New Netherlands Coalition Government Backs Legalized Cannabis Production — Finally [Big Buds]
The new government of the Netherlands will begin experiments with regulated cannabis production for coffee shops in as many as 10 districts. The plan marks a fundamental move toward legalization, following two decades of perpetually repressive cannabis policies in the northwestern Europe country.
Marchers in Kyiv call for legalization of cannabis [Kyiv Post]
Activists gathered in central Kyiv on Oct. 28 for the March of Freedom rally to call for the legalization of the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Danes to legalise medical cannabis [Eurasia Times]
From New Year’s Day, Danes will be able to obtain a receipt for medicinal cannabis, thanks to a broadly supported parliamentary decision last year. A decision is yet to be made on whether it can be grown in Denmark.
The Global Marijuana Market Will Soon Hit $31.4 Billion But Investors Should Be Cautious [Forbes]
The international market for cannabis is projected to hit $31.4 billion by 2021, according to a new report from the Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research firm. Currently, the global market is estimated to be worth $7.7 billion and will see a compound annual growth rate of 60 percent as other countries liberalize their marijuana laws.
World Health Organization Explores International Rescheduling of CBD at Expert Committee Meeting [Medical Marijuana Inc]
On November 6th, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Thirty-Ninth meeting of the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence will begin a 5-day agenda set to determine the potential for harm or dependance of 16 different substances, including cannabidiol (CBD).
Guyana to host consultations on marijuana use [Jamaica Observer]
Guyana will host a consultation on the use of marijuana on Monday as part of the efforts by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments to conduct careful in-depth research so as to inform decision making on the issue. The Regional Commission on Marijuana, which was established by CARICOM leaders, will meet with various stakeholders including youth and faith-based organisations. The region-wide consultations are intended to obtain information on the social, economic, health and legal issues related to marijuana use in the Caribbean.
Pot Inhaler Reportedly Puts Insomnia Sufferers To Sleep In Minutes [High Times]
A brand new cannabis inhaler is making waves in Britain for its ability to put insomnia sufferers to sleep in just a few short minutes. The hand-held inhaler aptly named the ICANsleep device, squirts a small amount of cannabis into the user’s lungs without getting them high. The creators say there’s just enough of the drug to creative a sedative effect without any psychoactive effects typically associated with cannabis. It reportedly contains less than a quarter amount of THC found in a typical joint.
A little cannabis every day might keep brain ageing at bay [New Scientist]
In some cultures, it’s traditional for elders to smoke grass, a practice said to help them pass on tribal knowledge. It turns out that they might just be onto something. Teenagers who toke perform less well on memory and attention tasks while under the influence. But low doses of the active ingredient in cannabis, THC, might have the opposite effect on the elderly, reversing brain ageing and restoring learning and memory – at least according to studies of mice. “We repeated these experiments many times,” says team leader Andreas Zimmer at the University of Bonn, Germany. “It’s a very robust and profound effect.”
Using cannabis in place of anxiety meds [The Leaf Online]
Marijuana’s reputation for being addictive may create some hesitation among anxiety patients, but a 2016 study by Canabo Medical Inc., a Canadian operator of cannabis clinics, found that “40 percent of patients who were prescribed medical cannabis to treat pain and anxiety eliminated the use of benzodiazepines within 90 days.”
Australia’s largest hemp & cannabis event heads to Melbourne [Hydroponics]
2-3 December, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre: The Hemp Health & Innovation (HHI) Expo & Symposium is everything hemp and cannabis. With a bigger venue and hemp foods officially legal for sale and consumption in Australia from Nov 12, HHI Melbourne will be Australia’s first large scale opportunity to sample, purchase and taste hemp foods.
Final EGA Program Announcement & More [Entheogenesis Australis]
Entheogenesis Australis 2017 Outdoor Psychedelic Symposium, 8th – 10th of December, Eildon Victoria: It’s been 6 years since Entheogenesis Australis last convened under the stars and amongst the trees at our unique outdoor gathering, and in just 1 month we will gather again for the 2017 Psychedelic Symposium. EGA’s 2017 Psychedelic Symposium is now 85% sold out, and with ticket prices increasing in just over a week’s time, if you haven’t already, now is the time to purchase your ticket. Bringing together 40 of the world’s brightest psychedelic minds: Have you struggled to identify the mechanisms to enable therapeutic transformation? Are you interested in hacking your own consciousness – exploring technological, contemplative and psychedelic tools? Or are you yearning to come out of the psychedelic closet but fear professional or social repercussions? These are just some of the invigorating, lively and sometimes challenging discussions that EGA will be inviting all attendees to participate in. Buy your ticket now – www.entheogenesis.org/tickets
Nimbin Medican Workshop 20-21 January 2018 [Hemp Embassy]
The next Nimbin medican workshop is over the January weekend 20/21 2018 when medicine makers from California will be demonstrating and speaking about different extraction methods, and how it all works over there, where they have enjoyed legal medical cannabis for over twenty years.
Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
Thanks to Disco Sista for documenting the many medican workshops that the Embassy has hosted in Nimbin over the past 3 years. If you’ve missed these amazing gatherings, then you can still watch the speakers online.
Click on this link to head to Disco Sista’s Nimbin Medican YouTube Channel.