Embassy HEADLINES Issue 327
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
Canada has legalised cannabis. This is why Australia should follow suit [ABC]
Canada has legalised cannabis. And I’m not interested in celebrating. I’m interested in preparing — preparing for cannabis legalisation by ensuring we have the best health and safety measures in place before it hits our shores.
Recreational drug use in Australia is now ‘mainstream’ and how it’s dealt is changing rapidly [News]
Recreational drug use in Australia has become significantly more mainstream rather than a behaviour that exists on the fringes of society, a leading researcher has said. Professor John Scott from Queensland University of Technology was part of groundbreaking global research, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy this week, exploring the growing trend of “social drug supply”.
“Two central elements often associated with the term social supply are ‘non-profit’ and ‘non-stranger supply’,” Prof Scott said. Rather than the stereotypical idea of a street dealer selling drugs to strangers, he said people are increasingly providing some substances to friends and family for no financial gain. For example, a person might buy a quantity of cannabis and “sell” portions of it on to mates or relatives for cost price, he said. “It goes on a lot with certain types of drugs, especially cannabis, which is what this research focused on,” Prof Scott said. “Peripheral studies in this area have also identified social supply as predominant in most cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy transactions — a large proportion of which are carried out on a not-for-profit basis.”
Push to legalise cannabis doomed in Senate [News]
Independent David Leyonhjelm has failed to cultivate support for his private bill to legalise recreational cannabis. “It is high time we stopped interfering in adult choices,” Senator Leyonhjelm told parliament on Monday.
WA hemp milk Calm Farm Hemp heads for east coast launch [The West Australian]
A newly launched WA hemp milk venture has expanded to the east coast after encountering local success.
Why these cannabis shares smoked the market on Tuesday [Motley Fool]
It certainly was a positive day for the cannabis industry with a large number of cannabis-focused shares rising strongly on Tuesday in Australia. While the bigger names such as Althea Group Holdings Limited (ASX: AGH), Auscann Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: AC8), and Cann Group Ltd (ASX: CAN) rose between 1% and 3% ahead of Canada legalising recreational cannabis on Wednesday, they weren’t the biggest movers in the industry.
Australia’s Neighboring Country Just Legalized Medical Marijuana [Benzinga]
The Republic of Vanuatu, a 277,000-person South Pacific nation, has legalized medical cannabis.
The latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll showed Kiwis were slightly more in favour of legalisation than against, with nearly half wanting the drug to be legal.
How California’s local elections could expand cannabis business opportunities [Marijuana Business Daily]
The biggest bottleneck to the development and expansion of the legal cannabis industry across California has been local governments banning commercial marijuana companies.
Potential Next Chairman of House Judiciary Committee Calls for Marijuana Legalization [Medical Marijuana Inc]
United States House Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) last week came out in favor of legalizing drugs like marijuana.
Expand Medical Marijuana Coverage, New York Senate Report Recommends [Marijuana Moment]
The state should be “expanding health insurance coverage options for medical marijuana as a method to reduce overall usage of opioid medications,” reads one of the 11 recommendations included in the Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction’s report released on Wednesday.
Georgia Voters Favor Marijuana Legalization, Poll Shows [Medical Marijuana Inc]
A majority of Georgia voters say recreational marijuana should be legalized in their state, according to a new survey from NBC-affiliated station WXIA-TV. By 5:1, they are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer Issues Memo to Fellow Democrats Proposing Timeline to Legalize Marijuana in 2019 [Medical Marijuana Inc]
In the memo released last week, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a long supporter of cannabis legalization, outlined a step-by-step process for how the 116th Congress can end federal prohibition before the end of next year, provided the Democrats take control of the House.
Utah Lawmaker Releases Video of His First Cannabis Experience [Ganjapreneur]
Utah State Senator Jim Dabakis (D-District 2) released a Facebook live video over the weekend of himself in Las Vegas eating half of a cannabis-infused gummy bear in his first-ever cannabis consumption experience.
Expungement Fairs Are Getting Top Cannabis Talent Back In Business [Forbes]
With cannabis stocks, investment, and legal initiatives rising around the country, the demand for skilled workers is about to soar. This week, a nationwide series of free legal clinics aims to meet that demand, and start repairing past harms, by helping on-the-record cannabis veterans get back in business. During the week of October 20 — 27, 2018, over 20 organizations around the country are hosting the first-ever National Expungement Week (NEW), designed to help those most impacted by the US war on drugs to leave their outdated convictions behind, and move on with their careers.
Former DEA Spokeswoman: Marijuana is Safe and The DEA Knows It [Illegally Healed]
“Marijuana is safe, we know it is safe. It’s our cash cow and we will never give up,” Belita Nelson told an audience of doctors and nurses at the Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference in Denver, Colorado in 2016.
Scheer clarifies that no, a Conservative government would not re-criminalize cannabis [National Post Canada]
The Canadian opposition leader said he has no intention of rolling back the Liberals’ legal cannabis policy, but a Tory administration would consider adjusting some of the rules.
10 things that will still be a crime after cannabis is legalized [Canadian Civil Liberties Association]
The cannabis industry is being legalized – but there are still plenty of laws that can criminalize recreational cannabis users. Here are ten new crimes that will come into effect on October 17th.
Health Minister Speaks on Possibility of Legalizing Medical Marijuana [News 5 Belize]
According to research, usage of marijuana can ease pain, nausea/vomiting, hot flashes, loss of appetite, anxiety, insomnia which are symptoms of breast cancer causes. The idea of legalizing marijuana for medical use is not farfetched but Belize’s Health Minister Pablo Marin says it is something that should be looked at very closely before any decision is made.
House subcommittee to discuss cannabis legalization for medical use Monday [MTV Lebanon]
The sub-committee derived from Lebabon’s joint House committees will convene at 12:30 PM on forthcoming Monday under the chairmanship of MP Yassine Jaber, to discuss a bill on legalizing cannabis growing for medical uses.
Solon says bill legalizing medical marijuana has no chance of hurdling 17th Congress [Manila Bulletin]
Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano conceded Wednesday that his bill seeking to legalize the medicinal use of “cannabis” or marijuana will not see the light this 17th Congress in the Philippines.
Mexico may be next to legalize cannabis: incoming FM [Yahoo!]
Mexico “absolutely” could follow Canada’s lead in legalizing marijuana as a way to reduce violence generated by a war on drugs that “doesn’t work,” its incoming foreign minister said Tuesday. Marcelo Ebrard, who will become foreign minister when Mexico’s president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office December 1, said he discussed Ottawa’s experience Monday with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
South Korea vows to arrest citizens who smoke cannabis in Canada [Independent]
South Korean residents who smoke cannabis in Canada will be “punished” on their return home, the country’s authorities have warned.
Cannabis: Time to End the Ban? [Dispatches]
Over two million people smoke cannabis in the UK. Some police forces no longer prosecute for possession. Canada and several American States have legalised it. So should the UK follow suit?
Uruguay Opens More Outlets for Non-Medical Cannabis Sales [Telesur TV]
BUSINESS & POLICY
When cannabis isn’t cannabis – and why hemp may suffer for it [Hemp Industry Daily]
How’s this for irony? The hemp industry’s rush to distance itself from marijuana has gone so far that hemp products can’t be sold in the world’s largest cannabis economy.
Largest Outdoor Cannabis Farm in World (Canna Cribs Episode 4: Los Sueños Farms)
Episode 4 of Canna Cribs Season 1 features Los Sueños Farms in Pueblo, Colorado. Currently, the largest outdoor farm in the world, at 36 acres.
When Will Marijuana Finally Be Legalized Nationwide? Researchers Have A Forecast [Marijuana Moment]
Researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the Santa Fe Institute recently compiled a data set based on the trajectories of 170 other policies that started at the state level and eventually became federal law—and then used predictive models to extrapolate that data to the cannabis question.
Growers: Western marijuana prices are down amid strong harvest, despite high demand [Marijuana Business Daily]
The marijuana harvest in the U.S. is underway and growers in several western states are reporting a bumper crop, but it’s coming at a time when supplies already are abundant and MJ prices are falling by double-digit percentages in some markets. Growers in five states with medical and recreational cannabis markets also report that consumer demand is strong. But it’s not strong enough to soak up the glut of product that is weighing down prices – a situation that appears unlikely to change anytime soon.
John Boehner Now Selling Advice for Cannabis Stock Investments [Ganjapreneur]
Former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has started selling tips for buying cannabis stocks. First reported by FOX News, Boehner’s new pitch was made on Tuesday during the webcast launch of the National Institute for Cannabis Investors (NICI). According to its hour-long webcast launch, which came across like an extended infomercial, the NICI aims to distribute “special reports” containing analysis on the industry and projections for certain types of cannabis investment opportunities — getting access to said reports, however, appears to require annual membership fees.
Bod Australia hits major milestone in cannabis wafer trial [Small Caps]
Cosmetics and natural medicines company Bod Australia (ASX: BDA) has achieved what it calls a “world-first” in the clinical trial of its proprietary phytocomplex cannabis extract ECs315, showing that cannabidiol (CBD) can be delivered into a patient’s bloodstream using its patented wafer system.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Cannabis Oil May Reduce Symptoms for People with Crohn’s Disease [Healthline]
In a small study, participants with Crohn’s disease saw symptoms dissipate after they began using cannabis oil.
Lowly Moss-Like Plant Seems to Copy Cannabis [Scientific American]
The recent discovery of another source of a cannabinoid comes from a plant that is a relative of the mosses called liverwort. One genus of the plant, Radula, boasts a handful of species that produce a chemical that is a lot like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from Cannabis sativa, or marijuana.
Effective dose of cannabidiol for safe pain relief without the typical ‘high’ [News Medical]
In the wake of cannabis legalization, a team of scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) and McGill University have delivered encouraging news for chronic pain sufferers by pinpointing the effective dose of marijuana plant extract cannabidiol (CBD) for safe pain relief without the typical “high” or euphoria produced by the THC. The findings of their study have been published in the journal PAIN (The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain).
Beyond cannabis: why we should look at legalising other illegal drugs for medical use to benefit patients [The Pharmaceutical Journal]
The UK government has finally realised the value of cannabis as a medicine, but it must not ignore the medical potential of other Schedule 1 drugs, such as psilocybin, LSD and MDMA.
Hunting For A Rare Congolese Weed Strain With “The Kings of Cannabis” [VICE on HBO]
Over the past 20 years, Franco Loja and Arjan Roskam, known as the “Kings of Cannabis,” have made millions of dollars scouring the world for unique strains of weed to breed and then sell.
Medical Marijuana: Clearing Away the Smoke [The Open Neurology Journal]
Recent advances in understanding of the mode of action of tetrahydrocannabinol and related cannabinoid in-gredients of marijuana, plus the accumulating anecdotal reports on potential medical benefits have spurred increasing re-search into possible medicinal uses of cannabis. Recent clinical trials with smoked and vaporized marijuana, as well as other botanical extracts indicate the likelihood that the cannabinoids can be useful in the management of neuropathic pain, spasticity due to multiple sclerosis, and possibly other indications. As with all medications, benefits and risks need to be weighed in recommending cannabis to patients. We present an algorithm that may be useful to physicians in determining whether cannabis might be recommended as a treatment in jurisdictions where such use is permitted.
Quantification of Eight Cannabinoids Including Cannabidiol in Human Urine Via Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry [LC-MS in Drug Analysis]
Medical and recreational cannabis legalization has highlighted the importance of being able to identify recent cannabis use and impairment. Monitoring minor plant cannabinoids has been proposed to assist in identifying recent cannabis use. Additionally, cannabidiol (CBD) has been proposed for epilepsy, pain, inflammatory disorder, anxiety, and addiction treatment; therefore, monitoring CBD is of increasing clinical importance. However, few methods exist capable of monitoring extensive panels of traditional cannabinoid analytes and minor cannabinoids (including CBD). This chapter details a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method capable of measuring Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 11-hydroxy-THC, 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC, cannabinol, cannabigerol, tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and its metabolite, 11-nor-9-carboxy-THCV, in urine.
Quantification of THC in Cannabis plants by fast-HPLC-DAD: A promising method for routine analyses [Talanta]
Nowadays, Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) is mainly used in forensic sciences but suffers from limitations when the analysed compounds are thermally instable as it is the case for THC-A (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid) which is converted into Δ9-THC (Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) that subsequently partially degrades. We propose herein a Fast High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (Fast-HPLC-DAD) method which allows the efficient separation of CBN (Cannabinol), CBD (Cannabidiol), THC-A and Δ9-THC, the major cannabinoids compounds found in cannabis plants in less than 5 min. Our method allows also the proper quantification of Δ9-THC in plant extracts using an external calibration method with a very good accuracy as pointed out by a recovery of 100.53 ± 3.12%. It is also an interesting low cost alternative to Ultra High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (UPLC) for routine analyses in forensic sciences.
CULTURE & SOCIETY
Exploring the 1960s East Village Cannabis Culture [The Marijuana Times]
Since its 2013 release, Martin Lee’s Smoke Signals has received scores of praise in and out of the cannabis community for its portrayal of the movement, the people and its impact on the culture of the 1960s and beyond. Through thorough research, Lee details the history of the cannabis movement from London to the Bay Area to the East Village. Notable names of the movement are profiled, including Allen Ginsberg and Ed Sanders who, among numerous acts, took part in protests and rallies in support of cannabis and the resistors who were detained along the way. Often, they were included in the detention as well. Much of the focus on New York’s underground cannabis saga focuses on the East Village – a hotbed for underground counterculture communities and information at the time. Through bookshops, coffeehouses and newsletters, the cannabis community grew unified and stayed informed of what was happening during these tumultuous times.
Canadians Are Reviewing Their Legal Weed on This Subreddit [Vice]
Hey, at least some people were able to get their cannabis.
Defining Marijuana Tourism [Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research]
The purpose of this study was to develop a better understanding of the niche market of marijuana tourists that has emerged since states began legalizing recreational marijuana in 2014. Existing literature using qualitative methodology concluded that there are a variety of motivations for drug tourists. This study took an explorative approach to better understand the various dimensions of marijuana tourism motivations. Surveys were administered to tourists on-site at recreational marijuana stores in southwest Colorado. The results of the analysis indicate that marijuana tourist motivations are multidimensional. Future research should continue to refine the instrument and analyze data from other destinations that are experiencing marijuana tourism and could benefit from a deeper understanding of the motivations of their visitors.
Amyl nitrite: Australia’s ban on poppers is an attack on gay and bisexual men [The Guardian]
The TGA’s September report argues that the “sweet” aroma of poppers poses a risk to child safety through the possibility of accidental ingestion, which happened 10 times between 2004-2014. To put this in perspective, 20 children are admitted to hospital each week after ingesting button batteries. Moving past the fact that poppers more accurately smell like paint thinner, the implication is that gay and bisexual men are a threat to children. Further, the report goes on to repeat the assertion that paedophiles use nitrites to sexually assault children no fewer than six times, citing a report from 1993 that concluded there was no evidence for this claim.
Harm Reduction Measures At Music Events Don’t Violate Drug Law, DOJ Clarifies [Marijuana Moment]
In the correspondence, officials clarified that a federal law—which is aimed at punishing people who operate events that knowingly allow or facilitate illicit drug use—doesn’t actually prevent venue owners from providing certain harm reduction services for drug consumers at their events. Contrary to fears long expressed by activists, making free water and drug safety education materials available won’t be used as evidence of violating the law, the Justice Department said.
Cannabis as Medicine Survey: 2018 [The University of Sydney]
Survey: What’s the link between cannabis use and psychotic experiences? [The University of Queensland]
Support Tony Bower’s Legal Fees [gofundme]
Supporting Andrew Katelaris [gofundeme]
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.