Embassy HEADLINES Issue 315
AUSTRALIA & NZ
Australia’s Medical Cannabis 48-Hour Application Scheme Has Been Rolled Out In NSW, Victoria, And Queensland [BuzzFeed]
Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration quietly rolled out a streamlined application process for medical cannabis on Monday — but only Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales are involved for now. Accessed via the TGA’s website, Australian prescribers in the approved jurisdictions will be able to submit applications to the TGA and a state or territory health department simultaneously. Previously, a complicated process involved prescribers having to apply separately, with reports that navigating the scheme took months.
While the new system does represent an easier, online pathway for applications, it should be noted that the new portal doesn’t act as a faster avenue for approvals. In Queensland, for example, the state’s medicinal cannabis expert advisory panel will still have a say in whether or not a prescriber is given full approval, if its advice is requested or needed. A father who sought approval for his child in the past told BuzzFeed News the new application setup does little in Queensland. “It only reduces the amount of papers from two to one,” he said.
Australia’s First Medicinal Cannabis Clinic Launches [Mirage News]
Cannabis Access Clinics (cannabisaccessclinics.com.au) announced today that it has launched Australia’s first network of clinics focused on helping doctors and patients navigate the regulatory pathway for prescribing medicinal cannabis products. The initial locations launched are in Sydney on George St and Melbourne on Collins St. Other clinics are set to open in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth next month. Patients unable to attend a physical clinic have the option of a video-based telehealth consultation.
What marijuana production in Australia could mean for real estate [Commercial Real Estate]
Commercial Real Estate has learnt that several companies involved in the medical marijuana industry are currently actively seeking commercial properties to house their facilities. Medicinal cannabis grower, Cann Group recently signed up to lease a five-hectare site in the Melbourne Airport precinct, owned by Australia Pacific Airports Corporation Limited, the company which runs Melbourne Airport.
Sniffer dogs wrong in two-thirds of strip searches last year [New Daily]
Of the 1124 people strip searched because of a dog indication in 2017, drugs were found just 406 times. It means 718 people were subjected to a strip search despite NSW Police finding no drugs, a failure rate of 64 per cent. Stunningly, police did not track how much the program cost taxpayers. Mr Shoebridge said the hundreds of failed strip searches were an abuse of rights, souring relationships between police and mostly young people. “These aggressive searches are all about PR, about the police being seen to do something on the failing war on drugs,” Mr Shoebridge said. “Any other government program that gets it wrong almost two-thirds of the time would be immediately halted.”
Cannabis offending halves as methamphetamine offending doubles, figures show [Stuff NZ]
Cannabis offences have halved in the past decade and the Drug Foundation says the figure reflects the fact police have adopted a more sensible approach to the drug. The number of cannabis offences dropped from 14,465 in 2008 to 6812 last year. NZ Drug Foundation Ross Bell said the reduction was “largely down to police choices”.
Political grandstanding by National on Medicinal cannabis bill is shameful [NZ Herald]
Trouble is if you leave it to the squabbling politicians chances are you’re not going to get what you want. And that’s certainly been the case for those who’re chronically or terminally ill and suffering unbearably, but waiting for a politician to come up with the solution to allow you to relieve the pain is like waiting for Godot.
How legal cannabis actually made things worse for sick people in Oregon [The Guardian]
The medical marijuana market is in a downward spiral as businesses, lured by big money, shift to recreational. In the shuffle, recreational marijuana turned into a million-dollar industry in Oregon, while the personalized patient-grower network of the medical program quietly dried up.
Bipartisan Group of U.S. Senators Urge Sessions to Stop Blocking Marijuana Research [Medical Marijuana Inc]
A bipartisan group of United States Senators yesterday directed a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, demanding answers on the status of more than two dozen applications to grow marijuana for use in research. It has been nearly two years since the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) filed a notice calling on growers to apply for research-grade cannabis production licenses. Researchers are currently limited to obtaining cannabis material from the University of Mississippi, the single source in contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Oklahoma Activists Meet Signature Goal for Recreational Marijuana Petition [The Marijuana Times]
Oklahoma voters only recently got the chance to vote on medical marijuana, and now a group of activists called ‘Green the Vote’ just announced that they have reached their signature goal with the hopes of putting recreational cannabis on the November ballot. The group collected a total of 132,527 signatures, which were turned in on Sunday, July 29th; they need 123,724 for State Question 797 to qualify for the ballot.
Manhattan decriminalises smoking marijuana [Independent]
The district attorney says there is no public safety rationale to continue prosecuting people for marijuana possession or use.
More towns calling timeout on marijuana stores [Boston Globe]
Westborough voters earlier this month approved a ban blocking retailers from selling pot for recreational use, Southborough is considering a ban of its own, and there could be more than a dozen Massachusetts communities with temporary moratoriums on retail pot shops by later this spring. Jim Malloy, Westborough’s town manager, said voters were concerned about the appearance of shops popping up on Route 9, which passes through town, and didn’t see sales as compatible with a community that “represents family values.”
Felony Charges Dropped Against Medical Marijuana Business Attorney [The Marijuana Times]
“At most this was a zoning issue that was dealt with by sending an armored SWAT team to a location where individual police and City business office inspectors had been to several times. 35 jobs lost, hundreds of thousands of tax revenue, for activities going on in 25 locations around San Diego that are and were legal.”
California Officials Say No To Marijuana-Infused Alcohol And Bars With Cannabis Consumption [Marijuana Moment]
In case anyone didn’t already know it wasn’t allowed, California state regulators just put the kibosh on hopes for bars and pubs where people can consume both marijuana and alcohol. They also shot down the idea of producing beverages that blend the two substances together.
How to Buy Marijuana in a Recreational State [Medical Marijuana Inc]
If you live in a recreationally legal marijuana state or plan to visit one soon, you may be asking a very common question: How do I buy recreational marijuana? In this easy to follow guide, we prepare you for your first time purchasing recreational marijuana and walk you through this relatively simple process. Visit our complete guide to finding the perfect dispensary here, or visit our Cannabis 101 page to learn more about recreational marijuana.
‘Wet marijuana’ illegal in Michigan, appeals court rules [Michigan Live]
Medical marijuana caregivers and cultivators in Michigan can’t process their plants without breaking the law as a result of a Michigan Court of Appeals decision this month, according to cannabis lawyers. “Wet marijuana” — a loose term for the time between when a marijuana plant is cut and fully dried for consumption — is not covered by state law, according to a Court of Appeals ruling July 19. “Now, they’ve made it so you can’t even comply with the law,” said Matthew Abel, senior partner of Cannabis Counsel LLC. “Obviously, it doesn’t go immediately from being a plant to being dried cannabis. There has to be a drying, or curing process. I think this court lacks some understanding.”
New Federal Bill Would Require Study of Marijuana Legalization [Medical Marijuana Inc]
A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a federal bill that would require the federal government to report on data collected from states that have legalized medical and adult use marijuana. “For decades, bad data and misinformation have fueled the failed war on drugs that’s wasted billions of taxpayer dollars, incarcerating Americans for nonviolent marijuana charges,” Gabbard said in House floor speech previewing the bill. “Our outdated marijuana policies have turned everyday Americans into criminals, strained our criminal justice system, cost taxpayers tremendously and torn families apart.”
One of the world’s largest beer makers is about to start producing marijuana-infused drinks [Business Insider Australia]
One of the world’s largest beer companies is jumping into the booming marijuana industry. Molson Coors Canada announced this week that it is entering a joint venture with The Hydropothecary Corporation to produce non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages.
UK & EUROPE
Medical cannabis to be available on prescription in UK after being approved for use by government [Independent]
Home secretary says change is ‘in no way a first step to the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use’.
Parents plea for approval of medicinal cannabis right now after two-year-old girl’s severe epilepsy worsens [iNews]
While Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said that doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products to “patients with exceptional clinical need” by the autumn, Olivia’s parents say she needs the medication now.
Medicinal cannabis is far from legalised yet [Politics Home]
The high-profile cases of Alfie Dingley, Billy Caldwell and Sophia Gibson have proven instrumental in delivering a comprehensive overhaul of Government policy. Whether the government will commit to allow medical cannabis to be prescribed routinely by GPs to patients with a wide range of conditions, remains to be seen.
Jacob Rees-Mogg firm advising top Canada marijuana market investor [The Guardian]
Rees-Mogg, the MP for North East Somerset in the UK, said in an interview last year that he would not be in favour of the legalisation or decriminalisation of cannabis. Yet, Jacob Rees-Mogg’s investment firm is advising one of the highest-profile investors in Canada’s marijuana market.
Hamilton Academical: Club defend cannabis plant sponsorship decision [BBC]
Hamilton Academical have defended their decision to rename their stadium after a company involved in the sale of cannabis-based products. New Douglas Park will officially be known as the HopeCBD Stadium after the company paid the Scottish Premiership club a “five-figure sum”. The business – based at the ground – sells products containing cannabidiol, which is produced from cannabis plants.
Herbal Medical Cannabis Now Available in Malta, as Debate Over Recreational Legalisation Continues [Talking Drugs]
Patients in Malta can now access herbal medical cannabis from one pharmacy, but proposals to legalise non-medical “recreational” cannabis are facing considerable opposition.
Cannabis Use Can No Longer Be Punished in Georgia, Court Rules [Talking Drugs]
Georgia’s Constitutional Court has ruled that all punishments for cannabis consumption, including fines, be immediately abolished. The case was filed in the Court by Zurab Japaridze, leader of the Girchi political party. Japaridze lauded the ruling for making Georgia the first former-Soviet country to permit cannabis consumption, OC Media reports. “This wasn’t a fight for cannabis”, he said, “This was a fight for freedom”.
Grassroots Activism in Argentina: The Story of Mamá Cultiva, CAMEDA, and Medical Marijuana [Points Blog]
Our starting point was the recent medicinal cannabis law sanctioned in Argentina. Although cannabis has been socially signified as a drug and ruled illegal in the country for decades, over the course of two years, we have seen an accelerated process of social, medical, scientific and political legitimation of medicinal cannabis, which was concluded with the approval of a national law in March 2017. This law stipulates a regulatory framework for medical and scientific research and administrative resources to import cannabis oil for epilepsy patients, while private and designated cultivation remains illegal. This topic was, and is still, a central cause of conflict and political fights carried out by activists for health cannabis, as they and the growers are excluded from the law (many activists for health cannabis practice and promote self cultivation).
Lebanon’s cannabis heartland, Bekaa, hopes for legalization [MedicalXpress]
The fertile Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon has long been notorious as one of the world’s major narcotics-growing regions, producing some of the finest quality cannabis, mostly processed into hashish. Today, the country is the third biggest producer in the world after Morocco and Afghanistan, according to the U.N. But the valley’s residents have rarely felt the benefits. Now they are hoping their work will soon become legal after decades of crackdowns and raids. This week, a draft bill was introduced in parliament that would allow cultivation and use of cannabis for medical purposes.
Thailand Eyeing a Piece of the Global Medical Cannabis Market [Chiang Rai Times]
Thailand, known for its tough policies against drug trafficking, is taking a page from Canada and other countries and is seeking to lead the way in Asia in legalizing medical marijuana. The reason? It’s largely economic. Thailand, which in the 1980s was one of the world’s top exporters of cannabis, wants to reap the rewards of the $10 billion-dollar-plus marijuana market. As more countries embrace the medicinal qualities of cannabis, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization — under the Ministry of Public Health — is trying to persuade the military government to approve studying the drug so it can market it for medical use.
Outgoing President of Columbia Takes Aim at Drug War [The Marijuana Times]
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been a very vocal critic of the worldwide war on drugs, going so far as to rail against it during the speech he made in acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, saying the way that the “war against drugs is being waged is equally or perhaps even more harmful than all the wars the world is fighting today, combined.” Santos says that we must admit that there will always be drug users and that combating that should be a “matter of public health, not law enforcement.”
HEALTH & SCIENCE
What is Microdosing? A Look at the Consumption Tactic That is Taking Over Medical Marijuana [Medical Marijuana Inc]
Microdosing is a consumption technique that involves taking low doses of cannabis throughout the day. This allows you to experience the natural benefits of cannabis-derived cannabinoids while avoiding the intoxicating effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that can interfere with daily life activities.
Can Topical Cannabis Heal Wounds? [Herb]
A case study suggests that topical cannabis can ease pain and perhaps heal malignant wounds, some of the worst abrasions around.
Substance in cannabis ‘could boost pancreatic cancer treatments’ [The Guardian]
Scientists say cannabidiol could extend patients’ lives by a matter of years.
Amsterdam coffee-shop study explores the effects of cannabis on eye-witness memory [The British Psychological Society]
On the line-ups, the cannabis intoxicated participants performed just as accurately as the sober participants, both at correctly identifying the suspect if he was present, or correctly noting his absence if he wasn’t there. What’s more, the intoxicated participants were more confident in their judgments, and there was a stronger correlation between their confidence and accuracy. The researchers surmised this greater insight could be due to the known effect of cannabis on increasing introspection and internal focus. This finding too could have real-life implications since it’s known that jurors and judges are influenced by witnesses’ confidence.
UCI awarded $9 million grant to determine the long-term effects of cannabis on adolescents [EurekAlert!]
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, a 4-year, $9 million grant aimed at determining the long-term impact of cannabis exposure on the adolescent brain.
POLICY & BUSINESS
Big Tobacco Makes Its First Investment in the Marijuana Industry [Nasdaq]
Late last month, a subsidiary of U.K.-based tobacco giant Imperial Brands, the company behind the Kool and Winston cigarette brands, announced that it had joined with seed investment firm Casa Verde, which is backed by rap musician Snoop Dogg, to invest in British medical marijuana research firm Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies. Casa Verde’s $10 million investment is one of Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies’ largest to date. Conversely, it’s also one of Casa Verde’s largest investments , given that Snoop Dogg’s cannabis-based venture capital firm tends to offer $1 million to $3 million to seed companies in the ancillary cannabis space. Imperial Brands’ stake wasn’t disclosed.
Meet the Anarchists Making Their Own Medicine [Motherboard]
The Four Thieves Vinegar Collective is a network of tech-fueled anarchists taking on Big Pharma with DIY medicines. At a time when many Americans lack even basic health care services, Laufer’s ideas seem as intuitive as they are radical. His work is predicated on the notion that too many critical decisions about our health have been outsourced to private actors who care more about their bottom line than their customers’ well being. For Laufer, Four Thieves is as much about medicine as it is about the right to the free flow of information and personal autonomy. As far as he’s concerned, one cannot exist without the other.
Synthetic cannabis crisis: ‘Let’s not have a Remuera answer for the backstreet of Ōtara’ [Radio NZ]
A cross-party solution is needed to stem the synthetic cannabis crisis, acting Prime Minister Winston Peters says. Mr Peters said governments had tried and failed to address the issues around the drug and political wrangling needed to put aside.
Support Tony Bower’s Legal Fees [gofundme]
21 June Breaking news! Tony has been released on bail. Tony of Mullaway’s Medical Cannabis has once again been arrested for growing his cannabis medicine! Tony makes cannabis tincture for children with epilepsy and countless others with cancer, chronic pain, ms and the list goes on. Tony Bower has dedicated his life to helping others and now needs your help. All Donations would be greatly appreciated.
Supporting Andrew Katelaris [gofundeme]
Andrew is behind bars again and may be there until the trial starts in November unless a Supreme Court appeal passes. Funds to date have gone to a legal team plus barrister. More recently a lawyer has been engaged to appear in court RE the current matter. 3 lawyers will now have visited Andrew in jail since the beginning of his first in Parklea and now in the Hunter Valley.
LEGALISING CANNABIS [The Greens]
Let’s get real about cannabis. The “war on drugs” has been lost. These days, millions of Australians choose to use cannabis and countries all around the world are changing their laws after realising prohibition does more harm than good. It’s high time we joined them and legalised it. That’s why I’m proud to announce today that the Greens are launching our national plan to legalise cannabis for adult use.
Unharm Sydney Hackathon [Unharm]
When: Saturday 4th August 2018 from 10-4PM
Where: 60 Margaret Street Sydney
Seedlings [Budding Tech]
MEDICAN WEEKENDS at the BUSH THEATRE, Nimbin [Hemp Embassy]
The next Medican Workshops will be on the weekend of October 20/21 and then January 19/20, 2019. Entry by donation, beside the river at Nimbin’s Bush Theatre. Starting at 11 am and aiming to finish by 420! Learn how to make and use Cannabis as medicine!
Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
Speaker presentations from the Nimbin Medican Workshop, last weekend 23-24 June 2018, are now online. Big 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.
MardiGrass Hemposium 2018 Talks now Available on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
Speaker presentations from the Nimbin MardiGrass Hemposium, 4-6 May 2018, are now online. Also check out previous years’ Hemposium speakers as well as our Medican Workshops.
BuddingTech is partnered with the world’s premier medical cannabis conference! Save the date 29-30th October 2018 Sydney.
DRUG WAR OVER! [Radio Documentary]
IF YOU WANT IT: When Phil Bromley moved from Sydney to one of Australia’s most famous and surprisingly largest tourism destinations, Nimbin he felt like he’d found home. Six years on, after observing and experiencing the relentless police harassment and mainstream media victimization of his new hometown, Phil felt it was time to let the town tell their story in their own words. ‘Exposing The War On Drugs’ is an eight part radio documentary series that looks at how the war on drugs has affected Australia and the rest of the world. Broadcast around Australia on the Community Radio Network, from the 18th April and podcast at https://player.whooshkaa.com/shows/exposing-the-war-on-drugs . With the spotlight on Nimbin, Australia’s most famous “alternative” town, the team from NIM FM, (Nimbin’s local community radio station), explore drug prohibition, medicinal cannabis, addiction and Nimbin itself; and offer some solutions to the costly drug war that has raged since the early 1930s.
Entheogenesis Australis Shop Now Open [EGA]
Entheogenesis Australis (EGA) would like to thank the psychedelic community for it’s ongoing support and attendance at our recent Psychedelic Symposium. Since the event we’ve had a lot of inquiries about obtaining copies of the new EGA Journal 4 and other special merchandise. To browse, please feel free to head to the EGA Shop online or click on the items below. This is also your chance to pick up classic and new T-shirt designs. Please keep in mind much of the stock is very limited so don’t delay!