AUSTRALIA & NZ
NSW drivers face bigger fines, loss of licence under new laws [The Sydney Morning Herald]
Under the proposed laws, introduced into Parliament by the Roads Minister Melinda Pavey on Wednesday, the punishments for low-range drink and drug-driving would be handed out on-the-spot. Anyone choosing to fight the low-range charge in court risks facing a maximum penalty of $2200 – double the current maximum penalty a magistrate can impose. Ms Pavey said the new rules were designed to foster “deterrence and behavioural change”.
There should be more random breath tests in the ACT to curb the effects of alcohol, while cannabis criminal diversions should be expanded to all illegal drugs, according to the territory’s peak body for the drug and alcohol sector. The ACT Drug Strategy Action Plan was recently released for community feedback and highlighted 39 “priority actions” for the territory.
New bid for SA-based medicinal cannabis hub [In Daily]
A new bid to establish South Australia’s first commercial medicinal cannabis hub has been launched, with a development application lodged for a facility at McLaren Flat.
It’s taken quite a while, but a survey report delving into the patterns of cannabis use for medical purposes in Australia back in 2016 has been published. “Respondents self-reported overwhelmingly positive changes in the primary health condition being treated as a result of cannabis use, with more than 90 percent of respondents reporting an improvement,” state the researchers. The survey report has been published in the journal Medical Journal of Australia.
Police Chief in Massachusetts Claims Legalization is Making Problems with Marijuana Worse [The Marijuana Times]
A police chief in Massachusetts – who is also a member of the state’s Cannabis Advisory Board – has said that legalization has created an illicit gray market in his state, where illegal dealers are thriving.
Wells Fargo Drops Florida Politician Over Pro-Cannabis Position [The Marijuana Times]
Cannabis and banking have not had a good relationship since the herb started to become legal at a state level. Banks shy away from conducting any business with cannabis-related companies simply because they are afraid of potential backlash from the federal government. It causes a lot of problems for businesses trying to operate legitimately in a state-legal industry – and now it apparently causes problems for politicians who take donations from the cannabis industry as well. Nikki Fried, a Democrat running for Florida Agriculture Commissioner (and former lobbyist who worked with medical marijuana, among other things), was dropped as a client by banking giant Wells Fargo for taking donations from – and advocating for – the medical marijuana industry.
Bad batch: synthetic marijuana overdoses on the rise [The Lancet USA]
K2, also known as “spice” and “kush” is often referred to as a synthetic marijuana. It’s a human-engineered chemical compound similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. However, K2 is often as much as fifty to one hundred times stronger than naturally occurring marijuana. Overdoses tend to cause increased heart rates, respiratory distress, severe bleeding and vomiting, and unconsciousness. The drug is often sprayed onto plant material and smoked, or it can be in a liquid form and inhaled through e-cigarettes or other vaporizers.
Since K2 was first detected in the US in 2008, clusters of overdose outbreaks have become more and more common. About 56 people overdosed from K2 in Brooklyn in May; 100 people overdosed in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in July 2017 and 40 people overdosed in Dallas, Texas, in May 2014.
Here’s why the term ‘synthetic marijuana’ is misleading [Washington Examiner]
The process of spraying herbs with chemicals is meant to make the mixture look like actual marijuana and enable it to be smoked, mimicking the popular mode of consumption of natural marijuana, which also adds to the confusion about the difference between substances.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) isn’t exactly known as big fan of marijuana. But in a new Federal Register filing set to be published soon, the anti-drug agency is moving to more than quintuple the amount of cannabis that can legally be grown in the U.S. for research purposes—from roughly 1,000 pounds in 2018 to more than 5,400 pounds next year.
Canada Legalizes Harvest of Entire Hemp Plant [Medical Marijuana Inc]
Health Canada revised its Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) last week to allow hemp farmers in Canada to immediately collect and store all parts of the hemp plant, including hemp flower, bud, and leaf material. Previously, hemp growers were limited to farming the versatile plant for its seeds and fiber.
Cannabis producers seek reprieve from federal fee after Ontario delays launch of retail stores [The Globe and Mail]
Canada’s major producers of cannabis are urging the federal government to suspend the introduction of an $82-million levy on their revenues in the wake of Ontario’s decision to delay the opening of physical stores by nearly six months.
UK & EUROPE
At the start of 2018, very few people could have predicted that the embattled and Brexit-obsessed minority government of Theresa May would find the time to address the controversial issue of cannabis, let alone have the stomach to set a new direction. But in politics, personalities always matter, and the man who unexpectedly became Home Secretary in April, and a brave single mother from Country Tyrone, played pivotal roles. Their actions fuelled a fast-moving story that caused a media frenzy, an urgent statement to Parliament, and a series of official steps that suddenly made medical cannabis in the UK a realistic near-term prospect.
And it will be us GPs at the coal face who get caught in the middle, with patients wanting to be prescribed what they believe the home secretary has told them they can have, when in fact he said nothing of the sort.
Brazen drug dealers use Instagram to flog chocolate bars and cakes that look like children’s treats but are actually laced with cannabis [Daily Mail]
A Mail on Sunday investigation has exposed the trade in illegal marijuana edibles, or ‘medibles’. And brazen drug dealers are using the social media site to offer cakes and chocolate bars containing powerful tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis.
In 2018 for the first time ever, the World Health Organization is assessing the medical uses and harms of Cannabis sativa L., and will recommend the suitable scheduling to be applied internationally. We promote an objective and independent assessment, that recognizes and acknowledges modern research on Cannabis.
If your company is not visible on social media, do you even exist?
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Study Finds Marijuana Improves Quality of Life in Head and Neck Cancer Patients [Medical Marijuana Inc]
Marijuana use can improve the quality of life of patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer, according to a new study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
Exploring cannabis concentrates on the legal market: User profiles, product strength, and health-related outcomes [Science Direct]
Concentrate users endorsed higher symptoms of cannabis use disorder and use higher strength cannabis even when using non-concentrated forms. Frequent use of concentrates may be associated with additional risks over and above frequent use of flower forms.
New Study Reveals Why Cannabis is Beneficial for Relieving Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease [Medical Marijuana Inc]
A new animal study from researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Bath for the first time offers an understanding of how cannabis effectively controls and prevents symptoms related to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Policymakers and public health experts have long recognized the harm that can come to fetuses if women use drugs during pregnancy. As U.S. states legalize marijuana and as governmental attention focuses on the “opioid crisis,” state policies pertaining to drug use during pregnancy are increasingly important. A new study examines the scope of state policies targeting drug use during pregnancy, how they have evolved, and how they compare to policies related to alcohol use during pregnancy.
There are real concerns with marijuana addiction. That doesn’t mean legalization is a bad idea.
The United States has approved, for the first time, a compound derived from marijuana to treat certain types of epilepsy. The ruling may spell good news for autism research. The approval of Epidiolex, the new drug, will require a change in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s classification of marijuana compounds as Schedule 1 drugs — meaning they have no medical use and strong potential for abuse — to something more benign. That decision is expected by 23 September.
According Ms Darby, the new dose form solves problems with existing cannabis products on the market by strengthening the stability of the active cannabinoids.
The Big Number: Most adults think marijuana can be good for health [The Washington Post]
Can marijuana be beneficial to your health? Most American adults — 81 percent — think so, according to new national survey results published online by Annals of Internal Medicine.
CULTURE & SOCIETY
Having Marijuana Dispensaries Nearby Doesn’t Encourage Teen Use, Study Finds [Medical Marijuana Inc]
The researchers found that having dispensaries within close proximity to schools didn’t correspond to higher rates of teen cannabis use.
BUSINESS & POLICY
A Beer Giant Getting Into The Marijuana Industry [The Marijuana Times]
So, how is a beer giant going to get into the marijuana industry? Well, Molson Coors is going to partner with Hydropothecary, which is one of the biggest pot producers in the nation. Following the legalization of the herb, the two companies are going to work together to produce non-alcoholic, marijuana-infused beverages. For more information on marijuana and legalization in Canada, you can check out ouchclub.com.
If coffee was regulated like cannabis, however, it would be a bit trickier. In addition to limits on where, when, and how it was sold, every Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or independent coffee shop would have to account for every bean that goes into a coffee product, whether a cup of plain old brewed coffee, espresso, cappuccino, or pumpkin spice latte. Every grocery store or specialty retailer selling coffee would need to keep detailed records about where their products came from. They would have to report back to government regulators where the beans were planted, who harvested them, who roasted them, and who sold them to the shop – all the way back to where the seeds for the plant came from.
California Marijuana Tax Revenue Reveals This Good, And Bad, News About Market [Investor’s Business Daily]
California brought in around $74.2 million in marijuana industry tax revenue during the second quarter, up 22% from the first three months of the year, in what the government said was a “growing” trend toward complying with regulations. But the figures continued to show a much slower-than-expected start for what is expected to be the world’s largest pot market. The figures, released late Wednesday by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, arrive as taxes and differing community regulations appear to keep many customers partially encamped in the state’s illicit market. That market includes anything from street sales and shops that don’t have a license.
The Northern Territory has become the first Australian jurisdiction to put a floor price on alcohol, in a bid to curtail its worrying rate of alcohol-related harm.
After all the fracas, the Medically Supervised Injecting Room is hitting all KPIs, as NSW calls for more rooms in needy areas.
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]
30 July Breaking news! Andrews has been released on bail. As a result he can now prepare for 05 November trial.
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.
Essentials of Medicinal Cannabis [Medicinal Cannabis Education]
Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September 2018, 9am-5.00pm
Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, 88 Broadway, Chippendale, Sydney, NSW 2008
Cutting through the Haze [Medicinal Cannabis Education]
Date: Monday 10 September 2018 Time: 6.00-8.30pm
Venue: University of Sydney Business School
Abercrombie Building H70, Abercrombie St & Codrington St, Darlington NSW 2006
Speakers: Dr Sue Sisley [USA], “Amazon John” Easterling, and Carol Ireland [Epilepsy Action Australia]
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!
BuddingTech is partnered with the world’s premier medical cannabis conference! Save the date 29-30th October 2018 Sydney.
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.
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 (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!