Embassy HEADLINES Issue 322
AUSTRALIA & NZ
Labor ministers consider supporting push to legalise cannabis [The Age]
Labor ministers are considering a push from their backbench to legalise cannabis for personal use in Canberra, as the police union and the Opposition say relaxing drug laws could put more pressure on the force.
New Labor bill would make using and growing cannabis legal in Canberra [Canberra Times]
Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson will introduce a bill that would effectively legalise cannabis for personal use, when the ACT’s parliament resumes sitting this week.
Criminal Code and Other Legislation Amendment (Removing Commonwealth Restrictions on Cannabis) Bill 2018 [Parliament of Australia]
The bill would remove Commonwealth barriers to the legalisation, regulation and taxation of cannabis. As such, the passage of this bill would allow any State or Territory Government to legalise and regulate cannabis.
Vaping inquiry: Coalition agrees to study health effects of e-cigarettes [The Guardian]
The health minister Greg Hunt has agreed to an independent inquiry into the health impacts of nicotine e-cigarettes after a concerted push in the Coalition party room over several months to legalise vaping.
Trump Administration Plans U.N. Meeting to Ramp Up the International Drug War [The Intercept]
The Trump administration will open a week of high-level meetings at the United Nations General Assembly in New York with a drug policy event featuring President Donald Trump. Invites to the event are being doled out only to those countries that have signed on to a controversial, nonnegotiable action plan, according to documents obtained by The Intercept — among them the countries with the world’s most draconian drug laws. The U.S.-sponsored event, called the “Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem,” is scheduled to take place next Monday, September 24, a day before Trump will speak before the General Assembly.
Manhattan DA Drops Over 3,000 Marijuana Cases [Medical Marijuana Inc]
Manhattan’s top prosecutor formally dismissed more than 3,000 low-level marijuana cases last week at a hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Anyone Who Works in the Canadian Cannabis Industry Can Be Banned From the U.S. For Life [Herb]
Reports came out earlier this year about investors in Canadian cannabis companies being banned from the U.S. for life. Now, it appears anyone who works in the industry can be turned around at the border.
Trudeau government suggests most Canadian marijuana users and employees won’t face problems at U.S. border [The Star]
The Canadian government does not think legal marijuana users, workers and investors will face widespread problems crossing into the United States despite a U.S. warning that they will continue to risk being barred, a Canadian spokesperson suggested on Friday.
Feds Would Compile Tips For Growing Marijuana Under Proposal Advancing In Congress [Marijuana Moment]
A key congressional committee approved a bill last week that would require the Department of Justice to issue more licenses for people to grow marijuana for research. But lost in the excitement about the historic vote, a little-noticed amendment got attached to the legislation that would have additional surprising impacts for cannabis policy.
Feds grant UC San Diego cannabis import license for product from Canada’s Tilray [Marijuana Business Daily]
In a rare move, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration approved the importation of marijuana extracts from Canada for a clinical trial, a decision that paves the way for additional research into the potential medical benefits of marijuana.
Mormon leaders call for new medical-marijuana plan in months [Associated Press]
Mormon church leaders are calling for Utah lawmakers to pass medical-marijuana legislation by the end of the year even as they urge people to vote against a ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana in the state.
OR county gets grant to battle marijuana growers harvesting more than license limits [Marijuana Business Daily]
An Oregon county’s sheriff’s office will use state grant money to go after legal growers that harvest more than their license allows as well as black market marijuana producers. The nearly $600,000 grant from a new program will pay for three detectives, one crime analyst and a part-time prosecutor in Jackson County, the Mail Tribune reported.
Consumers in Massachusetts Still Waiting on Retail Marijuana Sales [The Marijuana Times]
If you’re a marijuana consumer in Massachusetts, you may have noticed that the July 1st target date for the start of recreational sales in the state has come and is now long-passed. What once was reserved optimism has become resigned cynicism, as almost 3 months have lapsed since that target date.
Has Marijuana Legalization Been a Bad Thing for Colorado? [The Marijuana Times]
Previous reports from The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program have seemed to contain a particular bias against cannabis legalization, so it is no surprise that their latest report from Colorado contains more of the same. While these reports have been debunked numerous times from various angles, many still cite them as proof of the terrible results of cannabis legalization, so it’s important to rebut them whenever possible.
Arrests in Georgia church for selling edible marijuana [BBC]
Two women have been arrested after they were caught selling sweets and cakes containing marijuana in a church in the US state of Georgia.
Ohio’s Pharmacy Board says CBD oil can only be sold in dispensaries [WCPO]
While the classification ruling sounds menacing to CBD oil users and sellers, Ohio’s State Pharmacy Board says nothing is being enforced – yet. They say they are just letting business know about the ruling.
Here are the details of N.J.’s new legal weed bill, including delivery and smoking lounges [NJ]
State lawmakers have finally written the latest bill that would legalize marijuana and lay the foundation for a commercial weed industry in New Jersey — a bill they believe has a real chance to pass.
Canadian Armed Forces to Allow Some Cannabis Consumption [Ganjapreneur]
According to the order, DAOD 9004-1, all soldiers will be banned from smoking or consuming cannabis starting eight hours before reporting for duty. Those serving on submarines or aircraft, piloting drones, conducting air traffic control or high-altitude parachute drops or deploying must abstain from cannabis use starting 28 days before. Soldiers handling weapons or explosives will be required to cease consumption of cannabis 24 hours prior. These rules will also apply to civilian contractors for the CAF.
UK & EUROPE
The medicinal cannabis panel is already failing children like my daughter [The Guardian]
We have applied to the panel on behalf of our daughter to be prescribed cannabis-based medicines, with the support of the End Our Pain campaign group. We await its decision. However, there is an emerging picture of the new panel failing to deliver for patients. Local medical teams and their governing trusts seem reluctant in the extreme to even apply to the panel. And in the rare circumstances that an application is made, the terms of reference are so restrictive that many seem to fail, although the government is not able to confirm the actual number of applications it has received as the number is so small. Trusts also seem fearful of some perceived possibility of extra liabilities. And the terms of reference of the panel say that any application must come from the local medical team, that all other treatments must have been exhausted and that particular emphasis will be given to families who have travelled abroad. But local medical teams don’t have the expertise as medicinal cannabis has been illegal in the UK. And the stipulation that all other treatments must have been exhausted implies medicinal cannabis can only ever be a last resort. And the panel’s emphasis on asking for evidence that it works for the patient is grossly unfair. Only families with the financial means to travel abroad can secure such evidence.
Members-only ‘cannabis lounge’ opens in Ipswich [BBC]
A members-only “cannabis lounge” has opened in Ipswich because of “growing demand” for the plant’s medicinal qualities. The venue, on Eagle Street, provides legal cannabis-based products and invites users “to discuss their needs in a safe environment”. Co-owner Darryl Noe – who also runs a cannabis club in the town – says use of the plant is “commonplace”.
Church protests halt Georgia cannabis law [BBC]
Georgia’s government has halted moves to legalise medical marijuana cultivation after protests led by the country’s powerful Orthodox church. The government denied any anti-LGBT agenda, but for the Church and its allies the whole question of drugs is tied up with their opposition to gay rights.
Reefer Madness? Georgia Mulls Exporting Marijuana While Keeping Private Sales Criminal [Radio Free Europe]
Georgian marijuana activists are hoping a controversial bill to allow cannabis to be cultivated and sold for export could lead to the full legalization of the drug within the country.
European Parliament Working to Make Medical Marijuana Available on the Continent [Marijuana]
The European Parliament is currently working on a draft proposal on medical cannabis to harmonize laws within the European Union. The move has wide-ranging implications because it recognizes the conflict between law and medicine. The proposal cites marijuana’s known medicinal properties and how existing EU prohibitions on cannabis prevent the scientific community from implementing research and treatment, particularly in a widely fractured legal regulatory environment.
South Africa’s highest court legalises cannabis use [BBC]
South Africa’s highest court has legalised the use of cannabis by adults in private places. Pro-marijuana activists cheered in the public gallery and chanted “Weed are free now” when the Constitutional Court gave its landmark ruling. In a unanimous ruling, judges also legalised the growing of marijuana for private consumption.
ConCourt Cannabis Judgment: What was the reasoning and what does it mean? [Daily Maverick]
On Tuesday the Constitutional Court decriminalised the possession and cultivation of cannabis in private by adults for personal private consumption. The Court relied on the right to privacy to reach this result. Although the order was suspended until Parliament can fix the defect in the law, the Court provided interim relief that will make it unlawful for the police to arrest adults who privately cultivate, possess or use relatively small amounts of cannabis.
Malaysian PM urges review of death penalty for man who sold medicinal cannabis [Reuters]
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday came to the defense of a man facing the death penalty for selling cannabis oil to patients, saying his sentence should be reviewed.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Novel clinical trial to examine cannabis as potential treatment for essential tremor [News Medical]
Researchers at University of California School of Medicine are preparing to launch a novel clinical trial to examine the safety, efficacy and pharmacological properties of cannabis as a potential treatment for adults with essential tremor (ET). Currently, ET is treated using repurposed medications originally developed for high blood pressure or seizures. Surgery is another option.
One in 11 US teens have vaped cannabis, new study finds [BBC]
The findings of the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey of more than 20,000 middle and high school pupils found that about 9% had vaped cannabis.
Coca-Cola looks at cannabis as possible ingredient in health drinks [ABC]
The Coca-Cola Company says it is “closely watching” the expanding use of a cannabis element in drinks, another sign the controversial product is getting more acceptance in mainstream culture.
CULTURE & SOCIETY
Build it and they will come? Cannabis entrepreneurs wager big bucks on social consumption venues [Marijuana Business Daily]
Applicants for marijuana social consumption licenses across the United States are betting that consumers will want to patronize a public venue where they can consume cannabis with other users. Entrepreneurs who pursue this new niche sector are likely to wager hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their businesses off the ground, according to industry executives. E.g., The owners of Denver’s Vape & Play, the city’s second licensed designated consumption area, bootstrapped $500,000 to invest in their business, which they plan to open in November.
The Dire Need for Systemic Critique Within Psychedelic Communities [Chacruna]
Psychedelics have been hailed as agents of personal, social, and political change, if not outright panaceas for humanity’s ills, since the earliest days of individual self-experimentation within the context of industrial civilization. However, this experimentation has failed to usher in most of the beautiful imaginings heralded by psychedelic visionaries. Instead, the broader “psychedelic community” has generated an increasingly commodified psychedelic landscape. Simultaneously, many biomedical psychedelic research efforts appear to utilize and/or support some of the most destructive aspects of dominant culture.
We need to talk about drugs in a radically different way [The Age]
But what is clear is that we need a conversation around drugs, a conversation informed by science and evidence. Canberra’s political leaders have shown a willingness to do this already.
Wanna get really high? Take a dab in the world of concentrates [The Guardian]
Dabbing, consuming a cannabis concentrate using a vaporizing device, has moved into the mainstream as companies produce high-THC concentrates.
BUSINESS & POLICY
CBD worth $22 billion by 2022? That’s crazy, right? [Brightfield Group]
The United States hemp CBD market will hit $22 billion by 2022, according to a new analysis from Brightfield Group. In a report first exclusively shared with Rolling Stone, the cannabis market research firm predicts that the CBD market is on track to reach $591 million in 2018 and could potentially grow 40 times in the next four years.
Leafly plans to delist unlicensed marijuana businesses in Canada [Marijuana Business Daily]
Leafly, one of the biggest marijuana retail listing sites in North America, will allow only licensed cannabis companies in Canada to list on its platforms once adult-use MJ becomes legal next month. Canadian regulations permit only licensed retailers and delivery services to advertise on technology platforms, Leafly said in a news release.
Cannabis with your coffee? Ontario could have thousands of pot retailers [The Conversation]
Established retailers are expanding horizontally into cannabis. Second Cup may convert some of its 130 Ontario coffee outlets to cannabis. It’s already readying shops in Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. Grocer Loblaw is similarly preparing for sales in Newfoundland and Alberta, so Ontario could follow.
Cannabis coffee could make your mornings less stressful [The Metro]
Cambridge-based researchers claim that a ‘healthy’ new cannabis-infused coffee could reduce drinkers’ feelings of stress and anxiety. The coffee was created by supplement company FutureYou, and is infused with cannabidoil, also known as CBD.
Joint venture: Coca-Cola considers cannabis-infused range [The Guardian]
Coca-Cola is considering developing a range of marijuana-infused beverages to help ease physical problems such as inflammation, pain and cramps.
Pill testing could be held outside Spilt Milk festival, ACT Government says [ABC]
The ACT Government could consider setting up pill testing outside the bounds of the Spilt Milk festival, after it was denied permission to provide the service on Commonwealth land, Justice Minister Shane Rattenbury has said.
Legalizing Psilocybin Could Be The Next Frontier In Drug Policy Reform After Marijuana [Marijuana Moment]
Earlier this month, state- and city-level campaigns to change psilocybin laws made small advancements. Organizers in Denver submitted two initiatives to decriminalize the psychedelic compound, which would appear on a citywide ballot in May 2019 if both or either receive enough signatures. And in Oregon, a measure that would legalize psilocybin-assisted treatment entered the signature gathering stage. That measure would appear on a state ballot in 2020 if the effort succeeds.
Time to test [Unharm]
With help from you and the The Loop UK we will set up a new drug safety testing charity in Australia. Expert volunteers will analyse people’s drugs and provide tailored healthcare consultations.
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.
NIMBIN MEDICAN WORKSHOP 20-21 OCTOBER [Hemp Embassy]
The next Medican Workshop will be on the weekend of October 20/21. 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! Anyone using medical cannabis who would like to tell their story on the day should contact the HEMP Embassy…. phone 02 66891842 or email email@example.com
28-30th October 2018, Sydney
Hemp Health & Innovation Expo
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]