Embassy HEADLINES Issue 330
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
Tasmanian Government’s Controlled Access Scheme under fire by Mt Direction family [The Examiner]
Jeremy Bester has trialled, and failed, 16 drugs over two decades. Diagnosed with refractory epilepsy as a child, the 27-year-old has been living with severe, uncontrollable seizures ever since. Last month Jeremy was notified by his Melbourne-based neurologist, Dr Simon Bower, that his application to the Tasmanian Government’s Controlled Access Scheme had been rejected. The news came almost a year to the day since Jeremy’s first application was denied, on the grounds that he had not tried enough conventional treatments.
Drugs: on medication, legalisation and pleasure [The Monthly]
Australia already spends twice as much on the (evidently ineffective) policing of drug supply as it does on health and social services aimed at reducing demand, preventing harm and promoting treatment. Use of illicit substances has risen consistently since prohibition in the 1970s. What are we to do? Incarcerate ever-increasing segments of our population as they’ve done in the US, causing great suffering? To no avail?
Bod teams up with Chemist Warehouse to distribute medicinal cannabis products [Business News Australia]
After securing its first prescription approval for MediCabilis in October, Bod (ASX: BDA) has announced a partnership with a leading pharmacy chain to distribute its hero product. Chemist Warehouse will manage the dispensing of Bod’s medicinal cannabis products nationally, starting with its pharma grade CBD oil MediCabilis. The Cannabis company, which Business News Australia named the 14th largest cannabis company in the country, will also initiate a training program for pharmacists at Chemist Warehouse.
Aussie pot stock Cann Group wants to build the first big glass-roof cannabis factory [Stockhead]
Cann Group is designing a huge glass roof for its mammoth cannabis-growing facility at Melbourne Airport — one of the first of its type in the world.
New Legislation Aimed To Reduce Veterans Medical Marijuana Confusion [NORML]
Just two days after Veteran’s Day, Congressman Seth Moulton has introduced a series of bills aimed at addressing the therapeutic use of marijuana among veterans.
McGovern: I’ll let House debate marijuana reform [Boston Globe]
McGovern pledged big changes. “Unlike my predecessor, I’m not going to block amendments for marijuana,” the Democrat said. “Citizens are passing ballot initiatives, legislatures are passing laws, and we need to respect that. Federal laws and statutes are way behind.”
Michigan localities are saying ‘no’ to recreational marijuana [Marijuana Business Daily]
Some Michigan communities are already prohibiting adult-use marijuana businesses, a little more than a week after voters in the state approved legalization of recreational cannabis. According to various newspaper reports, Niles City in southwestern Michigan and Pinckney village in the southeastern part of the state have decided to opt out, at least for now. St. Joseph in southwestern Michigan is expected to do the same.
Iowa Medical Cannabis Board Recommends Adding Autism to List of Qualifying Conditions [Medical Marijuana Inc]
Iowa’s medical cannabis advisory board this month recommended adding autism as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. The recommendation now needs final approval from the Board of Medicine to be implemented.
Mitch McConnell: “I Guarantee” Farm Bill Will Include Provision to Legalize Hemp [Medical Marijuana Inc]
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) last week guaranteed that the final version of the new Farm Bill would make hemp legal under federal law. Talking to reporters in Kentucky on Friday, McConnell said that lawmakers are still ironing out details on the mammoth legislation, but he is confident that provisions legalizing hemp as an agricultural commodity would be included.
Local Officials From Across US Call For Federal Marijuana Rescheduling [Marijuana Moment]
A major group representing over 19,000 cities, towns and villages across the United States is calling on the federal government to take action on marijuana reform and protect states where cannabis is legal.
Top Lawmakers In Two States Optimistic About Marijuana Legalization In 2019 [Marijuana Moment]
Voters in several states elected new governors who support marijuana legalization last week. Now, top legislative leaders in two of those states—Illinois and New Mexico—say they are optimistic about the chances of getting bills to end cannabis prohibition to the desks of those new state chief executives after they take office next year.
Feds Seek New Growers To Produce Thousands Of Kilograms Of Marijuana [Marijuana Moment]
The federal government is looking to contract a small business to grow, test, store and ship thousands of kilograms of marijuana of varying potencies and concentrations. No, really. The contract notice was published on the site Federal Business Opportunities last week—not long after a similar listing called for applications from prospective federal joint rollers. The new posting seems quite a bit more comprehensive, though. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is soliciting “capability statements” from businesses with the space and technology to produce, analyze and distribute cannabis and cannabis products “for research purposes.”
The first Massachusetts marijuana retail shops are finally opening; Here’s what you should know [Mass Live]
Retail stores that sell recreational marijuana are anticipated to open in Massachusetts. More than two years after Bay State voters approved a ballot question broadly legalizing recreational marijuana, state regulators have provided final sign-offs to the stores, and all that’s left is the “commence operations” notice.
Canna Cribs Visits Humboldt’s First Licensed Recreational Farm [Ganjapreneur]
In its fifth episode, the online mini-documentary series features Humboldt County’s Honeydew Farms, one of the first large-scale cannabis cultivators in California. Honeydew operates on a 600-acre agricultural preserve nestled in the California North Coast’s Kings Range foothills. The mountainous region affords Honeydew a variety of growing microclimates that can range in altitudes of 200 to up to 900 feet, which helps create very distinctive batches of cannabis crops.
TV Stations Pulled Anti-Legalization Ads Ahead Of Midterm Marijuana Votes, Advocates Say [Marijuana Moment]
In the run-up to Election Day, at least two Michigan television stations pulled political ads promoting false claims about the state’s ultimately successful marijuana legalization measure, cannabis reform advocates told Marijuana Moment.
Colorado on pace for record-setting, billion-dollar year of recreational cannabis sales [Marijuana Business Daily]
Colorado’s adult-use marijuana market continues to surge nearly five years after the launch of recreational sales in the state. Through August 2018 – the most recent data available from the Colorado Department of Revenue – recreational marijuana sales topped $800 million and the state is on pace to surpass $1.2 billion by the end of the year.
Colorado Voters Approve Ballot Initiative to Remove Definition of Hemp from State Constitution [Ganjapreneur]
Colorado voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure that will remove the definition of industrial hemp from the Colorado Constitution. With about 60 percent of voter support, Colorado residents passed Amendment X, aimed at ensuring farmers and producers are in a better position to compete if hemp is legalized federally.
Cannabis is legal, but debate continues: Vast majority would set minimum age for cannabis above 18 years [Angus Reid Institute]
Less than a month since Canada became just the second country in the world to legalize the sale and consumption of recreational cannabis a new study from the Angus Reid Institute finds three-quarters of Canadians believe the minimum age to purchase and consume cannabis should be raised.
Calgary Has Started Preparing For Cannabis Cafés [Civilized]
“October 17 was certainly a big day but was not the finish line. This is the next big piece on our radar,” Matt Zablonski, the leader of Calgary’s recreational cannabis program, told the Calgary Herald, referring to the date cannabis was legalized in Canada and the prospect of cannabis cafés in the city. “There’s probably just as much work if not more in preparing things like land use and business license requirements [for cannabis cafés].”
World Health Organization November Meeting To Review Cannabis [Cannabis Industry Journal]
In a sign that cannabis reform is now on the march at the highest level of international discussion, the World Health Organization (WHO) will be meeting in November to formally review its policies on cannabis. This will be the second time in a year that the organization has met to review its policies on the plant, with a direct knock-on effect at the UN level.
The Republic Of Vanuatu Is The Latest Country To Legalize Medical Marijuana [Civilized]
The Republic of Vanuatu—a South Pacific country with a population of 277,000—has announced they will be legalizing medical marijuana. The small archipelago nation off the west coast of Australia hopes to have their first medical marijuana production licenses issued by the end of the year.
Mexico’s Next Interior Secretary Introduces Marijuana Legalization Bill [Medical Marijuana Inc]
A key Mexican Senator this month introduced legislation to legalize the possession, use, cultivation, and sale of marijuana. Senator Olga Sánchez Cordero, picked to be the country’s next interior secretary by president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, believes ending the prohibition of marijuana will help eradicate the violence and poverty that has bred from the war on drugs.
Thailand’s Cabinet gives green signal for medical use of marijuana but seeks 5-year review [The Nation]
The cabinet yesterday cleared a bill to legalise the medical use of marijuana but added a condition that the legalisation must be reviewed after five years. The bill has been drafted by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).
Medical cannabis: Death sentence prompts Malaysia to re-think harsh laws [BBC]
A death sentence given to a young man selling cannabis oil to the ill has stirred debate in Muslim-majority Malaysia about its ultra-tough drug laws. The case has prompted calls for the country to become the first in Asia to legalise medical marijuana – but long-held stigma and a mostly conservative population means change could come slowly.
Israeli Health Ministry Allows Pharmacies, Doctors to Access Cannabis Market [Haaretz]
Once the reform takes effect, any company certified by the ministry as meeting its standards will be able to supply cannabis products to pharmacies.
Thousands of patients in limbo as ministry temporarily shuts top cannabis grower [Times of Israel]
The Health Ministry has issued a temporary stop work order against Israel’s largest medical cannabis company, Tikun Olam, over concerns that the company’s cannabis drying process was not up to code, leaving thousands of patients in limbo.
Tips for success in Uruguay’s blossoming cannabis industry [Marijuana Business Daily]
While Uruguay holds the distinction of being the first country to federally legalize recreational marijuana, only two of the licensed companies – ICC Labs and Simbiosys – operate in the adult-use segment.
The UK’s Biggest Legal Weed Producer Has Ignited Fresh Criticism [Vice]
GW Pharmaceuticals has been accused by campaigners of trying to monopolise the UK’s medical cannabis market – but some say they’re doing exactly what they should be doing.
UK Police drugs lead ‘impressed’ by cannabis clubs [BBC]
A police boss with responsibility for drug abuse has said he is “impressed” by cannabis clubs. Hardyal Dhindsa, who is the lead on substance abuse for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, has said the war on drugs is not working. He said it was time to look at other ways of tackling drug addiction and use.
Key Findings from Volteface’s UK Cannabis Poll [Volteface]
2018 has been a significant year for cannabis policy, with the Billy Caldwell campaign kicking off in June, The Children’s Inquiry published in September and Canada recently becoming the first G7 country to legalise cannabis for recreational use.
BUSINESS & POLICY
A Big Pharmaceutical Company Going All In on Cannabis? [The Marijuana Times]
Regular readers of The Marijuana Times may recall the name Insys. Insys is a big pharmaceutical company best known for donating money in opposition to recreational marijuana legalization in Arizona in 2016 and later getting into some legal trouble over their sales tactics when it came to one of their opioid medications.
MJBizCon 2018 begins with record attendance, reflecting marijuana industry’s rapid growth [Marijuana Business Daily]
The annual MJBizCon that began Wednesday is again setting record numbers for attendance and exhibitors, mirroring the marijuana industry’s explosive growth and its bullish prospects after voters approved three new MJ markets worth up to $2 billion. Some 25,000 marijuana industry professionals, investors and entrepreneurs are expected to attend the three-day conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center. That’s up from around 18,000 last year.
Businesses are angling to offer more marijuana ingredients in beverages in 2019.
Aurora Cannabis’ earnings surge by 2,800% after it produces 11,000 pounds of pot in 3 months [CNBC]
Aurora Cannabis said revenue jumped 260 percent over the last 12 months, with kilograms produced climbing to 4,996 — more than 11,000 pounds of cannabis — from 1,010 over the past year. That’s up nearly 400 percent.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
More Evidence: Cancer “Commits Suicide By Eating Itself” After Exposure to Cannabis [Health & Fitness]
Christina Sanchez, a molecular biologist from Compultense University in Madrid, first reported in 1998 that TetraHydroCannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, induces tumor cell suicide while leaving healthy non-tumor cells alone.
700 Medicinal Uses Of Cannabis Sorted By Disease [Ehealth Mag]
A collection of clinical studies, papers and reference providing the ultimate resource for medical disorders helped by medical marijuana. If a link doesn’t work , try Weedbay.
What we’ve learned about the effects of weed since it was legalized [Quartz]
It’s been six years since Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana, and scientists keep on unearthing more data on the effects of the drug.
Marijuana use has no effect on kidney transplant outcomes [EurekAlert!]
A new study in Clinical Kidney Journal indicates that the usage of marijuana by kidney donors has no measurable effect upon the outcomes of kidney transplants for donors or recipients. This study is the first to investigate the effect of marijuana use by live kidney donors.
Why Women Support Legal Marijuana Less Than Men, According To A New Study [Marijuana Moment]
There’s a peculiar gender gap when it comes to support for marijuana legalization—where women, a demographic that generally skews more liberal on a wide range of issues compared to men, are somewhat less likely to embrace cannabis reform.
What Is The Matter With Doctors About The Use Of Cannabis As Medicine? [Clear]
In the UK, most doctors, and the medical profession as a whole, are ignorant and bigoted about cannabis.
Alfie Dingley: Mum’s fresh medicinal cannabis campaign [BBC]
A mother of a seven-year-old epileptic boy receiving medicinal cannabis oil treatment has launched a fresh campaign after new guidelines in the UK restricted the use of the product.
CULTURE & SOCIETY
Michelle Obama Talks Smoking Marijuana In New Memoir [Marijuana Moment]
Former First Lady Michelle Obama got candid in her new memoir, “Becoming,” which includes a brief admission that she smoked marijuana as a teen. In the book, released on Tuesday, Obama reminisces about her youthful transgressions, at one point writing that she and a high school boyfriend named David “fooled around and smoked pot in his car.”
Our pill testing plan will save lives [The Greens]
Every year, young people are losing their lives after taking dangerous pills. That’s why we’ve announced our plan to make pill testing available, easy and free at sites all over the country. Help spread the word and, together, we can change our drug laws for the better.
A millionaire couple is threatening to create a magic mushroom monopoly [Quartz]
Prior to founding Compass, George Goldsmith and Ekaterina Malievskaia, a married couple, did not have experience in psilocybin research or working in the pharmaceutical industry. They’ve made headway thanks to tens of millions in dollars from investors including Silicon Valley libertarian Peter Thiel and former Wall Street-executive-turned-cryptocurrency-investor Mike Novogratz, along with the expertise and guidance of many long-standing psilocybin researchers. But many of those psilocybin experts now regret having helped the couple. Quartz spoke with 9 psilocybin experts who advised Goldsmith and Malievskaia, but today express concerns about the company’s motives and aims.
CIA considered potential truth serum for terror suspects [AP News]
Shortly after 9/11, the CIA considered using a drug it thought might work like a truth serum and force terror suspects to give up information about potential attacks. After months of research, the agency decided that a drug called Versed, a sedative often prescribed to reduce anxiety, was “possibly worth a try.” But in the end, the CIA decided not to ask government lawyers to approve its use. The existence of the drug research program — dubbed “Project Medication” — is disclosed in a once-classified report that was provided to the American Civil Liberties Union under a judge’s order and was released by the organization Tuesday.
US trial of Mexican drug lord “El Chapo” gets underway [AP News]
The infamous Mexican drug lord and escape artist Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was alternately portrayed at his U.S. trial on Tuesday as a calculating leader of a bloodthirsty smuggling operation that funneled tons of cocaine and other drugs into American cities and a scapegoat for a conspiracy whose actual mastermind bribed crooked Mexican officials as high as the president to keep his freedom.
Petition: For a Referendum on Recreational Cannabis Use during 2019 NSW Election [Liberal Democrats]
Cannabis as Medicine Survey: 2018 [The University of Sydney]
Weed Billboards [Hemp Embassy]
Support Tony Bower’s Legal Fees [gofundme]
Supporting Andrew Katelaris [gofundeme]
Just Reform It! Let’s Get Real about Drugs [The Greens]
Survey: What’s the link between cannabis use and psychotic experiences? [The University of Queensland]
Nimbin Hemp Inc AGM 2018 [Hemp Embassy]
All members are invited to attend the annual general meeting at 11am on Saturday 1 December 2018 at the Town Hall, 45 Cullen Street, Nimbin. Nominations for an elected position on the executive committee must be received by the president at least one week before the meeting – email email@example.com or phone 02 6689 0326. Voting for Office Bearers will be by open ordinary ballot by those present at the meeting only.
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
27th Nimbin MardiGrass [Hemp Embassy]
3-5 May 2019, Nimbin 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.
Medicinal Cannabis & Hemp Tasmania & “the leaf” Newsletter [Facebook]
Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
The new videos from the workshop on 20-21 October are uploaded and online now. Share the links, watch the videos, spread the word, legalise the herb.
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.