AUSTRALIA & NZ
Queenslanders who can afford to pay a $300 fee can now get access to medicinal cannabis, with the opening of the state’s first cannabis clinic.
Whether or not frontline cops can use cannabis and work if legalisation occurs will need to be decided, the Police Association says. With a referendum looming on legalising the recreational use of cannabis the Police Association is asking members to consider the implications for frontline officers who use the drug if it becomes legal.
The legalisation of cannabis may do little to reduce the workload of police officers. Personal cannabis use is already off the police radar, with a dramatic drop in arrests in recent years, and police officers in jurisdictions where cannabis is legal say it doesn’t eliminate organised crime, a panel of experts warned the Police Association’s annual conference, being held in Wellington on Thursday. Massey University associate professor Chris Wilkins said police appeared to have decided it was not in the public interest to prosecute personal use of cannabis.
Cannabis to be legal in Canada, where police unions do not support prohibition for officers [NZ Herald]
As New Zealand police debate whether officers should be able to use cannabis if it were legal, the Canadian police union supports officers smoking up – as long as they remain fit for duty. “If it’s legal, I don’t think you should prohibit someone from consuming the substance,” said Canadian Police Association president Tom Stamatakis, who is due to speak via video-link at the NZ Police Association annual conference in Wellington tomorrow. The main theme of the conference is how to police cannabis if it were made legal for personal use in New Zealand. A referendum on legalisation by or at the 2020 general election is part of the confidence and supply agreement between Labour and the Greens.
New Farm Open Days [Australian Cannabis University]
18-23 October 2018, Kunghur NSW
Who Gets Busted at the Border for Cannabis? Frequently, US Citizens with Small Stashes [Cannabis Wire]
Data from federal agencies suggest that the illegal trafficking of the southern border’s most abundant narcotic — cannabis — is at its lowest point in more than a decade. In fact, border enforcement data obtained by Cannabis Wire, as well as watchdog reports, illustrate how much of the enforcement work done by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) involves petty, domestic cannabis violations — raising questions for some about whether the agency is overstepping its mandate to “safeguard America’s borders” and protect “the public from dangerous people and materials.”
Washington to “Re-Evaluate” Certain Cannabis Edibles [The Marijuana Times]
Washington – which was one of the first states to legalize marijuana, alongside Colorado – has announced that they need to “re-evaluate” all edibles after several public complaints that such products were enticing to kids.
SF to launch cannabis oversight committee to monitor industry [San Francisco Examiner]
Ten months after San Francisco permitted retail sales of cannabis, officials are developing plans for a new committee to assess how the regulations are working. The Cannabis Oversight Committee is intended to examine the work being done by the Office of Cannabis, gauge the effectiveness of existing regulations and make sure those hardest hit by the War of Drugs are benefiting through retail permits and living wage jobs.
Two-thirds of the country favor recreational legalization and polls consistently show support for medical use well above 80%. In 1996 when California became the first state to allow medical use, roughly one in four Americans wanted to legalize the drug. Since then there has been a seismic shift, and today, according to the data site FiveThirtyEight, support for legalization is among the least divisive issues in the country.
Has the legalization of cannabis in some parts of North America been a success? While some suggest that the jury is still out on that question, Daniel Bear argues that the drug’s legalization has largely been a good thing. Citing increasing tax revenues which have been allocated to health and education programs as well as falling violent crime in states which have legalized the drug, he writes that our judgments about cannabis should focus on these positive benefits rather than on the potential for negative impacts that have yet to –and may never – occur.
Jerry Brown signs hemp bill into law [The Signal]
Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1409 into law Monday morning, which updates California’s current law to allow farmers in the state to produce non-intoxicating hemp for commercial and industrial uses. “This is a big win for our local farmers, and it’s going to revolutionize agriculture,” Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, said Monday. Industrial hemp uses less water than other crops and needs little to no pesticides and is used in over 25,000 different products, he said.
Activists say Abbott’s moderated stance is “huge,” but his call for reform still lags behind Texas Republicans and the general public.
A fruitful hemp harvest, but for how long? [Mail Tribune]
Southern Oregon’s growing contingent of hemp growers are harvesting their fields and drying their crops. And with demand for hemp booming, the market looks promising. But some farmers wonder what the future holds. “This year, everybody got into it,” said Chris Bourne, an entrepreneur and familiar face on the Southern Oregon hemp scene. “Everybody and their mother was like, we’re going to grow hemp this year, because there’s a lot of money to be made.”
The Mormon church joined lawmakers, the governor and advocates to back a deal on Thursday that would legalize medical marijuana in conservative Utah after months of fierce debate.
FDA Calls for Public Comment on Cannabis Rescheduling [Ganjapreneur]
FDA officials have put out a call for public comment about the potential rescheduling of cannabis and several other substances. The feds want specifically to hear about the substances’ “abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use.”
Vancouver, Ottawa, Regina and Montreal will let officers use it recreationally as Calgary introduced a zero-consumption policy.
Across the nation, only a handful of retail locations will be up and running on Oct. 17, including just one store in British Columbia and none in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. Producers, meanwhile, are unlikely to come close to meeting initial demand due to delays in getting licenses and signing supply agreements. The result will be limited selections of dried bud and oils for consumers.
Canada struggling to find police capable of detecting drug-drivers as country prepares for legal marijuana [Telegraph]
Canada is frantically training police officers to spot drug-impaired drivers ahead of the legalisation of recreational marijuana next week. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police estimated that the country would need 2,000 officers capable of testing motorists.
Ontario’s attorney general says the province will launch a public awareness campaign when recreational cannabis is legalized to promote social responsibility and highlight the dangers of using the drug.
Legal Marijuana In Canada: Here’s What To Know When Crossing The Border [Huffington Post]
Pro tip: never take it across the border. Ever.
At least 109 legal pot shops are expected to open across the nation of 37 million people next Wednesday, with many more to come, according to an Associated Press survey of the provinces. For now, they’ll offer dried flower, capsules, tinctures and seeds, with sales of marijuana-infused foods and concentrates expected to begin next year.
B.C. sets out its final rules on cannabis [Times Colonist]
The government set specific new orders on store licences, fines, suspensions and places to consume cannabis, as part of six new or amended provincial regulations. The rules, which follow legislation passed this spring set the stage for the federal government to legalize marijuana next Wednesday.
UK & EUROPE
No one could follow the story of Billy Caldwell, the 12-year-old boy who suffers from debilitating, potentially fatal seizures, and fail to be outraged by a bureaucratic system that denies him the cannabis treatment he needs.
The UK home secretary said specialist doctors could prescribe cannabis-based medicines legally from the autumn and until then, consultants can apply to an expert panel. Bailey’s family asked his consultant to apply to the panel but were turned down.
Medical cannabis will be available on prescription in the UK within a month, The Telegraph can reveal. The Home Office will announce the “rescheduling” of cannabis-derived medicines in Parliament, lifting restrictions which mean that until now it has only been allowed in the most exceptional circumstances.
Illegal drugs should be decriminalised, delegates at the Plaid Cymru conference in Wales have said. Party members called the war on drugs an “unmitigated failure” and said criminalising those with an addiction does “nothing to help them turn their lives around”. Activists voted for decriminalisation to become party policy on Friday.
Mexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Sunday that he would consider legalizing certain drugs as part of a broader strategy to fight poverty and crime.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Royal College to review opposition to legalising cannabis despite concerns over mental health risks [Telegraph]
The UK Royal College of Psychiatrists is to review its opposition to the legalisation of cannabis despite its concerns over the risks the drug poses to users’ mental health. It is setting up a panel to consider decriminalisation in the wake of more countries legalising the drug and the government’s decision this summer to make medical cannabis available on prescription.
Angela Bryan conducts research on marijuana at the University of Colorado Boulder. She studies marijuana’s connection to risky teen behavior, its effects on cognition, and even why it might make you hit the gym more often. And while cannabis is legal in Colorado, there are still all kinds of restrictions that have forced Bryan and her team to get creative. Their biggest innovation? A mobile laboratory known as the Cannavan—though if Bryan had her way, it totally would have been called the Magic Mystery Machine.
Medical Cannabis to Be Studied in Nursing Homes [Pain News Network]
Plans have been announced in Canada for a research study on the effectiveness of medical cannabis in treating pain and improving cognitive function in seniors. The 6-month pilot program will be one of the largest of its kind, enrolling up to 500 nursing home residents.
Nine harm-reduction points to make with your teen about marijuana [The Globe and Mail]
There is a lot scientists don’t know.
Newly published research from UBC’s Okanagan campus has determined that many strains of cannabis have virtually identical levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), despite their unique street names.
CULTURE & SOCIETY
The study, published last week by the Journal of Adolescent Health, showed that while the prevalence of consumption hasn’t changed much, attitudes toward cannabis are gradually shifting. That’s according to self-reports from students selected to participate in Monitoring the Future surveys in recent years.
Where Can You Use Your Recreational Marijuana? [Medical Marijuana Inc]
So once you buy your legal marijuana, where can you use it? Here’s a summary of where you can consume recreational marijuana legally in the USA.
When Prohibitionists Try to Claim the Moral High Ground [The Marijuana Times]
But can a prohibitionist like Andy Harris really claim the moral high ground in this “debate”, considering the fact that prohibitionists like him have spent decades using the government’s monopoly on force to criminalize and jail marijuana users, growers and sellers, citizens who have not infringed on the rights of anyone else, violently or otherwise? When you support and enact policies that allow SWAT teams to kick in the doors of peaceful people, sometimes killing those people or other innocent people or family pets, can you claim the moral high ground where violence is concerned?
BUSINESS & POLICY
Ancient Egyptians heated herbs and oils on hot stones to create potent vapors they could inhale. Today, the fastest-growing segment in cannabis is the old-fashioned vaporizer, but the high-tech 21st-century version is vastly different from those humble hot rocks — and it’s helping create new markets for cannabis.
UK developer of medical cannabis products raises $345m through share sale [The Pharmaceutical Journal]
The UK biopharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals, a global developer of medical cannabis products, has released 2.1 million shares on the US stock exchange, raising US$345m.
Health Canada Announces the Approach to Cost Recovery for the Regulation of Cannabis [Government of Canada]
The Cannabis Act will come into force on October 17, 2018. The Act aims to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth and the profits away from criminals and organized crime.
“That can’t be right, marijuana is legal here.” It’s a common refrain from would-be cannabis entrepreneurs, initially filled with enthusiasm—only to run headlong into a brick wall of harsh reality. Or, rather, one of many brick walls facing cannabis businesses even in states that have legalized and regulated production and sale.
Weed in space is going to be a thing now [TechCrunch]
Kentucky startup Space Tango has plans to cultivate particular strains of CBD-rich hemp in microgravity micro-laboratories already on board the International Space Station.
California marijuana PAC seeking ‘sensible regulation’ launches despite banking challenges [Marijuana Business Daily]
A new cannabis political action committee, Californians for Sensible Regulation of Adult Use, hopes to raise $300,000 by 2020 to support industry-friendly candidates for public office in the state’s key locales.
Walmart Inc.’s Canadian arm has been investigating the possibility of selling cannabis-based products but doesn’t intend to get into the much-hyped business yet.
Kiwi richlister Guy Haddleton invests $15 million in Kiwi cannabis startup Helius Therapeutics [NZ Herald]
The New Zealand entrepreneur has a long history of investments in the startup space. He previously founded and sold business planning software Adaytum to IBM Cognos in 2003 for US$160 million, then went on to become one of the early investors in Xero and also started what is now the billion-dollar software business Anaplan.
The opium trade was flourishing in the eastern Mediterranean as far back as 3,600 years ago, according to scientists who have found deposits of the drug in late Bronze Age vases.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has hit out against pill testing in music festivals because it amounted to tolerating harmful drug use.
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]
NIMBIN MEDICAN WORKSHOP 20-21 OCTOBER [Hemp Embassy]
28-30th October 2018, Sydney
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
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.