Embassy HEADLINES Issue 321
AUSTRALIA & NZ
Australian-made medical cannabis hits pharmacy shelves [The New Daily]
Western Australian-based Little Green Pharma (LPG) is claiming to be the first in Australia to grow and manufacture medicinal cannabis oil and supply pharmacists across Australia. The crops are grown hydroponically in south-west WA and processed and manufactured in a facility near Perth.
Questions over ‘war on drugs’ as data shows NSW drug busts were accidentally counted twice [ABC]
Data used to back up the use of drug sniffer dogs at music festivals and praise police busts has been “double counted”, raising questions over the legitimacy of drug-related strategies in NSW.
Thousands of recorded drug busts in NSW never happened [The Sydney Morning Herald]
Drug busts have been mistakenly double-counted for the past seven years, and some experts warn the exaggerated data might have been used to justify crackdowns on drug users and support bad policy.
‘I hadn’t had a lot of sex lately’: Fiona Patten, from sex worker to politician [The Sydney Morning Herald]
It’s likely a lot of people will read Patten’s book, irresistibly titled Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll. And plenty of them will find quite a lot of it very confronting.
Olivia Newton-John reveals she is using cannabis oil to treat pain as she battles cancer for third time [The Telegraph]
Olivia Newton-John has revealed she has been diagnosed with cancer for the third time in three decades, saying “I believe I will win over it”. The Grease star revealed she is treating the cancer with modern medicine and natural remedies, including using cannabis oil to ease the pain.
Industrial Hemp Looks Secure In Farm Bill Despite Looming Delay [Benzinga]
The bill now being considered by Congress could legalize hemp nationwide – the Senate version which passed 86-11 on June 28 contains an amendment for it, but the House version passed on June 21 made no mention of hemp. The two versions need to be reconciled before the bill proceeds for President Donald Trump’s signature. Negotiators held a September 5 meeting, yet with only 11 legislative days this month for both the House and Senate slated for sessions there is little floor time to discuss a total spending package of more than $1 trillion.
Congress is Preparing to Vote on the Medical Cannabis Research Act [The Marijuana Times]
For the first time in a Republican-controlled Congress, a marijuana-related bill will see a vote by the House panel that oversees federal drug enforcement. The bill in question is the Medical Cannabis Research Act, which is sponsored by Representative Matt Gaetz and 40 bipartisan cosponsors. If passed, it would require the federal government to license additional facilities to cultivate cannabis to be used in scientific studies.
AG Sessions Still Blocking Cannabis Research [Ganjapreneur]
U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Kamala Harris (D-California), members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to follow up about delays in choosing new cannabis producers for research expansions that were mandated by President Obama more than two years ago, the Wall Street Journal reports.
District Attorneys Dismantle Legacy of Tough Marijuana Enforcement [The New York Times]
Now Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, is expected to announce next week that his office will vacate misdemeanor marijuana warrants dating to 1978. In Brooklyn, District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is going further, offering people with low-level convictions for marijuana possession the chance to have them vacated and the underlying charges dismissed.
Delaware Gov. Signs Law to Expunge Marijuana Possession Convictions [Medical Marijuana Inc]
Delaware Governor John Carney last week signed into law legislation that provides mandatory expungement eligibility to those convicted of simple cannabis possession prior to the state decriminalizing the offense. Delaware lawmakers in 2015 decriminalized the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana from a criminal act to a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine. Those in violation are not arrested and the offense isn’t added to their criminal record.
How ‘thousands of pounds’ of California cannabis may be left out of the legal supply chain [Marijuana Business Daily]
The state requirement that all growers use licensed distributors as intermediaries to get their product to market has resulted in a bottleneck in many rural marijuana farming areas, especially Trinity County, which is famously remote and therefore was a perfect stomping ground for illicit cannabis growers for decades. But now, that remoteness has become a liability instead of an advantage. Trinity County is home to 205 state-licensed cannabis farms, but it has zero distribution companies, a major obstacle for growers trying to get their product to retailers’ shelves.
Nearly a fifth of California marijuana products failing testing standards [Marijuana Business Daily]
Close to 20% of marijuana products in California have failed tests for potency and purity since the state started requiring the checks on July 1 – a rate some in the industry say has more to do with unrealistic standards and technical glitches than protecting consumer safety.
LA Cracks Down On Unlicensed Cannabis Businesses [Ganjapreneur]
City officials say that cracking down on unlicensed cannabis businesses those that play by the system’s rules. Los Angeles has passed ordinances requiring not just a California state cannabis license, but also a city license. Anyone charged with violating the city’s cannabis industry ordinances may be penalized with up to six months and jail and $1,000 in fines.
Medical marijuana users are being shut out of public housing [Vice]
Cancer patients and other people with debilitating conditions are being forced to choose between medical marijuana and federal public housing assistance.
DEA Agent Says Demand for Drugs Needs to be Fought [The Marijuana Times]
The foundation of the entire war on drugs is the notion that the personal opinions of some should have the force of law for all. Some people don’t think others should smoke marijuana, so laws are passed to make it illegal for anyone to use marijuana. The major problem with this is obvious: where does it end? Once the line from opinion to law is crossed, any opinion can end up being enforced by law. The results of this are predictable and easy to see from the utter failure of the war on drugs.
Utah Officials Give Green Light For Industrial Hemp Production [Utah Public Radio]
Utah Farmers now have the rules and regulations in place to grow industrial hemp. Lawmakers in this year’s legislative session passed two bills giving the Department of Agriculture and Food the task of organizing an industrial hemp program for local producers.
Ohio missing target date for selling medical marijuana [WCPO Cincinnati]
Ohio’s long-awaited medical marijuana program was supposed to be up and running at the end of this week. The date of Sept. 8 is written into the state law. But the earliest estimate for that happening is now December or January. Only four cultivators are cleared to grow – four of 25. The one that may be farthest along is Buckeye Relief near Cleveland. They told WCPO Wednesday they should be harvesting in November or December. Their goal is to have products on the shelves after the first of the year.
FL cannabis lobbyist turned political candidate sees second bank account shut [Marijuana Business Daily]
A second bank has terminated the campaign account of Nikki Fried, a pro-medical marijuana Democrat who is running to become Florida’s agriculture commissioner.
Jimmy Buffett teams with Wrigley heir to license brand to Florida cannabis firm [Marijuana Business Daily]
Popular singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett is joining a growing list of celebrities who dabble in the marijuana industry, teaming with an heir from the Wrigley chewing gum family.
Charlo Greene pleads guilty to drug charge [KTVA]
Charlo Greene has pled guilty to one felony count of misconduct involving a controlled substance and won’t be charged with the 13 other drug charges she was accused of. The charge stems from actions Greene took in 2015 when she wanted to open Alaska’s first medical marijuana dispensary.
Massachusetts marijuana growers threaten to sue Cannabis Control Commission [Mass Live]
Because the commission will not consider a license application until a host community agreement has been executed, businesses and advocates say municipalities are using the required agreements to extract more than 3 percent of the marijuana business’s gross sales, the cap in place under the law.
More Older Americans Are Turning To Marijuana [NPR]
A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence this month suggests that increasing numbers of middle aged and older adults are using marijuana — and using it a lot.
Justin Trudeau cautions Canadians to be wary about toking before they travel [National Post]
The recreational use of marijuana in Canada officially becomes legal on Oct. 17, and the prime minister says his government is working with the American officials to ensure that travel to the U.S. does not become a problem as a result of the change.
Calgary scraps proposal to allow people to use legal cannabis in designated public areas [The Globe and Mail]
After some sober second thought the City of Calgary has ground out the idea of allowing people to use marijuana in four designated public areas once cannabis becomes legal next month. Protest over the sites came swiftly, with critics placing signs at one of the proposed sites with slogans such as “Don’t Doob It” and “Weed Rather Not.”
Pharmacies grapple with medical marijuana sales rules [Western Investor]
The Canadian Medical Association is questioning why there needs to be a separate medical marijuana distribution stream, but that is not stopping Canadian pharmacies from exploring ways to sell medical marijuana to authorized users in the lead-up to the October 17 legalization of countrywide recreational cannabis sales.
Cannabis dispensary worker uses bong to fight off bandits wielding bear spray [ABC]
Security cameras in a cannabis dispensary in Canada have captured the moment a man used a bong to fight off three would-be bandits wielding cans of bear spray.
UK & EUROPE
The UK Is Getting a Much Needed ‘Medical Cannabis Society’ [Vice]
The UK’s leading medical cannabis expert is establishing a society to improve doctors’ understanding of cannabis medicines, after it emerged that only two chronically ill children have been granted access to medical cannabis under an interim panel set up by the government, VICE can reveal.
Medical cannabis panel is failing us, families tell Sajid Javid [The Times]
Only two applications for severely ill children to have access to medical cannabis have been approved since a new licensing system was introduced, The Times has learnt.
Scottish ministers to hear arguments for medicinal use of cannabis [The National]
Activists from Medicinal Cannabis Reform Scotland are to meet with senior officers from Police Scotland, representatives of public health Minister Joe Fitzpatrick, and the NHS in Holyrood later this month.
Swiss nurture cannabis for medicinal use [BBC]
The government says it wants to do more research into medicinal cannabis and make treatments with it more available.
Investment of €5 million in cannabis oil operation [The Portugal News Online]
The municipality of Nelas, some 280km north of Portuguese capital Lisbon, has leased a plot of land to a company planning to invest €5 million in creating a “sophisticated industrial unit” to produce medicinal cannabis oil, the local mayor said on Tuesday.
Danish government expedites medicinal cannabis subsidy [The Local]
Terminally ill patients who use medicinal cannabis to reduce pain symptoms will receive subsidies covering the full cost of their medicine from this month.
Georgian Gov’t Might Legalize Marijuana Cultivation for Export Purposes [Georgia Today]
News agency IPN reports that the Government of Georgia plans to legalize marijuana cultivation only for export purposes for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.
Beginning the process of marijuana legalization in The Bahamas [The Nassau Guardian]
Policymakers should start the process to get The Bahamas in the game. This vast chain of empty islands, with so much sunlight, is prime for marijuana cultivation. After proper study and with the right framework and timing, legalization could add another pillar to an economy in need of reinvigoration.
Former Nigerian leader Obasanjo urges West African governments to decriminalize drugs [Reuters]
West African governments should overhaul their drug laws to decriminalize personal use and prioritize treatment as a response to rising substance abuse in the region, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo said on Tuesday. The recommendations by Obasanjo’s West Africa Commission on Drugs come as a number of countries look to decriminalize drug use, especially marijuana, after decades of enforcement appear to have done little to curb it.
A silent movement for the legalisation of cannabis is spreading across India [Scroll]
The Great Legalisation Movement has two agendas: quietly provide cannabis oil to cancer patients, and press the government to lift the ban on using marijuana.
A year after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana program back on track [Marijuana Business Daily]
One year after a hurricane devastated the island of Puerto Rico, medical cannabis businesses are reporting a remarkable turnaround from a storm that is believed to have left nearly 3,000 people dead.
The 5 Countries Most Likely to Legalize Cannabis Next [Herb]
Find out why these are the top contenders for countries most likely to legalize cannabis: Colombia, Jamaica, Spain, Portugal, USA.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Whole-Plant Marijuana ‘Entourage Effect’ Helps Patients More Than Purified CBD, Study Finds [Marijuana Moment]
Patients suffering from epilepsy experience better health outcomes—with fewer adverse side effects—when they use plant-based cannabidiol (CBD) extracts compared to “purified” CBD products, according to a new scientific review.
Amid opioid crisis, researchers aim to put medical marijuana to the test [NBC]
A cannabis initiative team at UCLA plans to conduct a high-quality clinical study of the painkilling properties of pot — and perhaps stem the opioid epidemic.
App Helps Document Effectiveness of Medical Cannabis [Pain News Network]
Unlike many clinical trials that evaluate a small number of patients with surveys, researchers at the University of New Mexico relied on data from the Releaf App, a free mobile software program that collected user-entered, real-time information from over 2,800 people on their use of cannabis and its effects.
Medical cannabis provides relief across dozens of health symptoms, study shows [News Medical]
Utilizing new mobile application technology, researchers at The University of New Mexico found that medical cannabis provides immediate symptom relief across dozens of health symptoms with relatively minimal negative side effects.
Using Cannabis to Treat the Effects of Trauma [Chacruna]
We are all impacted by experiencing or witnessing traumatic events such as violence, accidents, and the death of loved ones. As we struggle to find ways to deal with the symptoms that can persist in the aftermath of experiencing trauma, cannabis is increasingly being hailed as a potential solution.
Cannabis Company Aims to Reproduce Rare Cannabinoids Using DNA [High Times]
Gingko Bioworks and Cronos Group want to replace greenhouse cultivation with genetic engineering.
Yet Another Study Tells Marijuana Users What They Already Know [The Marijuana Times]
I don’t spend a lot of time covering various studies, either here in print or on our video news show, Cannabis News. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that studies often contradict each other, it’s hard to know just how accurate they are without digging into methodology and many studies just tell cannabis consumers what they already know.
CULTURE & SOCIETY
Pairing pot: What marijuana is right for your meal? [Nation’s Restaurant News]
When it comes to weed, effect is more important than flavor.
Workers In These Industries Are Most Likely To Consume Marijuana [Marijuana Moment]
The study, published this month in the International Review of Psychiatry, demonstrates that cannabis use is represented in a wide range of employment backgrounds—and some of the industries where using cannabis is most common might come as a surprise.
Children say cannabis easier to get than alcohol: ‘The war on drugs has failed’ [Independent]
Prosecutions of young people dealing weed rise 26 per cent in four years.
BUSINESS & POLICY
Tesla shares crash after Elon Musk smokes joint on live web show [The Guardian]
Tesla shares crashed 6% on Friday as two of its senior executives quit, just hours after the electric carmaker’s chief executive Elon Musk sparked concern by smoking marijuana on a live web show.
Has Big Pharma’s ‘inevitable entrance’ into the cannabis space arrived? [in-Pharma Technologist]
Pfizer, GW Pharma, Merck & Co, and Sanofi-Aventis are among the leading cannabis patent holders in Canada, says report.
The man who made billions of dollars from OxyContin is pushing a drug to wean addicts off opioids [The Washington Post]
Following hundreds of lawsuits over the years against pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma, Colorado’s attorney general is suing the OxyContin creator for its “significant role in causing the opioid epidemic.” The lawsuit claims Purdue Pharma L.P. and Purdue Pharma Inc. deluded doctors and patients in Colorado about the potential for addiction with prescription opioids and continued to push the drugs. And it comes amid news that the company’s former chairman and president, Richard Sackler, has patented a new drug to help wean addicts from opioids.
El Chapo and the Secret History of the Heroin Crisis [Esquire]
If you wonder why America is in the grips of a heroin epidemic that kills two hundred people a week, take a hard look at the legalization of pot, which destroyed the profits of the Mexican cartels. How did they respond to a major loss in revenue? Like any company, they created an irresistible new product and flooded the market. The scariest part: this might not have happened with El Chapo in charge.
Petition: Cannabis law reform [Queensland Parliament] Closing Date 17 October 2018
Cannabis as Medicine Survey: 2018 [The University of Sydney]
Support Tony Bower’s Legal Fees [gofundme]
Supporting Andrew Katelaris [gofundeme]
LEGALISING CANNABIS [The Greens]
CANNABIS HEMP CONFERENCE & EXPO 2018
Canada’s Largest & Most Comprehensive Cannabis Conference September 28th – 30th, 2018, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
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 4.20! Learn how to make and use Cannabis as medicine!
28-30th October 2018, Sydney
Hemp Health & Innovation Expo [HHIExpo]
MCEC Melbourne (Jeff’s Shed) Saturday 8th December – 9.30am – 7pm Sunday 9th December – 10am – 4pm, Melbourne
Medicinal Cannabis Symposium [United in Compassion]
22-24 March 2019, Tweed Heads NSW
‘Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll’: MP’s Memoir Goes On Sale [Reason]
“I’ve tried to write an honest account of what it’s like for someone to come from a very un-parliamentary background, into a balance of power position in an Australian Parliament”, Fiona Patten said. “There are many similarities between my old career and my new one – although you are much more likely to be screwed in politics these days than in the sex industry. Machine politics, revenge and religion have turned politics toxic even in the last couple of years”. Read about Fiona Patten’s Track Record on Law Reform of Drug and Other Social Issues.
Please consider making a tax deductible donation to get two or three Reason members elected at the coming election and help secure the socially progressive gains Fiona has made in Victoria and to pursue drug law reform at a parliamentary level. You can donate on the Reason website: https://www.reason.org.au/act_donate
Medicinal Cannabis & Hemp Tasmania & “the leaf” Newsletter [Facebook]
Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
MardiGrass Hemposium 2018 Talks now Available on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
DRUG WAR OVER! [Radio Documentary]
‘Exposing The War On Drugs’ looks at how the war on drugs has affected Australia and the rest of the world.
Entheogenesis Australis Shop Now Open [EGA]