Embassy HEADLINES Issue 369
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
Tottie Goldsmith backs Olivia Newton-John’s fight for medicinal cannabis to be legalised [news.com.au]
The niece of Olivia Newton-John has come out strongly in support of the Australian icon as she fights to make medicinal cannabis more available for every day Australians. Tottie Goldsmith, 56, says it has been remarkable to see the positive effect of medicinal cannabis on her aunt as she fights stage four-breast cancer. It is the third time she has battled the cancer.
Barnaby Joyce Pulled “A Few Cones” At Uni But Won’t Back Medical Cannabis [Pedestrian]
“Mr Joyce was not enraged. However he remains cynical of mystic ‘cures from Nimbin’ which some pronounce in pursuit of publicity and profit.”
Five ways hemp can help save the planet [The Fifth Estate]
Last week, the Northern Territory became the final Australian jurisdiction to legalise the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp with low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering chemical compound found at high levels in marijuana. The plant’s qualities and multiple benefits have encouraged a swathe of new industries to take root across sectors such as consumer goods, construction, food, and fuel, and in the area of environmental rehabilitation.
Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Program Continues to Impress [The Marijuana Times]
Activists and officials managed a quick and relatively hassle-free rollout of the program statewide in a much shorter time-frame than any other state has been able to manage. Oklahoma has a thriving medical program that continues to grow and exceed expectations. With over 6,500 licenses approved and some 1,700 dispensaries in the state, the more than 162,000 qualified patients in Oklahoma are well-served.
Ontario Announces Results of Second Cannabis Retail Lottery [Grizzle]
Ontario has chosen 42 winners of its second cannabis retail lottery as it prepares to triple the size of its industry.
Canadian Cannabis Statistics Update [Hemp Gazette]
Statistics Canada has released data from its latest National Cannabis Survey (NCS) that reveals use of the plant is certainly popular in the country. The latest report reveals from mid-May to mid-June this year, approximately 4.9 million or 16% of Canadians aged 15 and older reported using cannabis in the previous three months.
Report Warns States Against Relying on Cannabis Revenue [Ganjapreneur]
The Pew Charitable Trust has issued a warning to states who have passed adult-use cannabis laws to proceed with caution when budgeting their newfound cannabis tax windfalls. Citing the stark contrast between Nevada’s and California’s first six months of cannabis revenue, where Nevada exceeded projected revenue by 40% and California was 45% below their projections, the polling firm offers several reasons for the uncertainty surrounding cannabis tax forecasts.
Hot Cannabis Seized in Jalapeño Shipment at Border [Leafly]
Officials say they seized $2.3 million worth of cannabis mixed in with a shipment of jalapeño peppers at a Southern California port.
Key Congressional Chairman Sends Marijuana Email To NORML Activists [Forbes]
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who last month filed legislation to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and begin repairing the harms of prohibition enforcement, asked the advocacy group’s supporters to write their own members of Congress in support of his bill, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act. “America has a moral responsibility to pass my legislation to end the prohibition of marijuana and take on the oppression at the heart of the War on Drugs,” Nadler wrote. “I’m proud to work with NORML to create a more just national marijuana policy.”
FBI Seeks Tips On Marijuana Industry Corruption [Forbes]
In March, the Los Angeles Times published an article looking at several instances of alleged public corruption related to cannabis licensing in California. Such incidents include the case of a mayor who was charged with taking a bribe to fast-track approval for a marijuana business and a congressional staffer who was found guilty of accepting cash from an undercover FBI agent after pledging to defend a cannabis dispensary from being closed by local officials.
Cannabis Smell Isn’t Probable Cause, Maryland Court Rules [Leafly]
“In the post-decriminalization era,” the court wrote, “the mere odor of marijuana coupled with possession of what is clearly less than ten grams of marijuana, absent other circumstances, does not grant officers probable cause to effectuate an arrest and conduct a search.”
South Dakota Arrests & Charges Hemp Delivery Truck Driver [Ganjapreneur]
A truck driver delivering 300 pounds of hemp from a Colorado company to Minnesota was arrested in South Dakota and charged with marijuana possession with intent to distribute.
‘Time to try something else’: Luxembourg official on cannabis legalisation [Euronews]
As Luxembourg steps up preparations for new legislation to fully legalise recreational cannabis, the country’s Health Minister Étienne Schneider spoke to Euronews. “After decades of repressive policies, we have acknowledged that this policy does not work, that it did not meet expectations. So it’s time to change mindsets, change our concepts and try something else,” said Schneider, who is also Luxembourg’s vice prime minister.
Thai State Hospitals Have Started Distributing Cannabis Oils [Vice]
Those enrolled in the country’s universal health scheme can avail of the oils for free.
Israel cannabis operations of Tikun Olam reportedly up for sale [Times of Israel]
The operations include a 3-dunam cannabis farm, around 0.74 acres; a factory that is in the process of being built in Nazareth Illit; a nurse clinic and offices in Tel Aviv; and a list of 8,000 local clients that are being treated with cannabis oils. The price tag for these activities is $100 million, the sources said.
Mexico’s top court demands regulation on medical marijuana after long delays [Reuters]
Mexico’s supreme court ordered the health ministry on Wednesday to issue regulation within six months on medical marijuana use, saying its failure to do so after legalization in 2017 had put rights at risk for patients, including children. The court made the decision as part of its ruling in favor of a child who needed medication derived from cannabis substance THC to treat epilepsy.
Europe’s Medical Cannabis Programs: Countries To Watch [benzinga]
Each member state in the European Union has their own distinct health systems. Combine that with the fact they all have their own laws regarding cannabis cultivation and distribution, the result is a smorgasbord of medical cannabis approaches.
How EU ‘Novel Food’ rules can cause headaches on the family farm [Hemp Today]
To see how the big hand of the European Union can cause havoc for the little guy, look to a tiny Latvian village where Obelisk Farm — the very prototype of a successful micro agri-business based on hemp — is absorbing a body blow this year as local officials from Latvia’s Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) have ordered them to stop selling their line of hemp teas.
BUSINESS & POLICY
President Trump: Is Marijuana Legalization a Key Weapon? [Market Realist]
President Trump hasn’t shared his views on marijuana yet. However, the US 2020 election is heating up. Many Democratic candidates have chosen marijuana legalization as a political platform.
NCUA greenlights credit union loans for US hemp businesses [Green Camp]
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) released new guidance which allows federally insured credit unions to provide certain banking services to legally operating hemp businesses in the United States.
Do People Move To Access Legal Marijuana? Yes — Meet ‘Medical Refugees’ [benzinga]
The displacement of families seeking legal medical marijuana is becoming so well known that they now have a name: medical refugees. They tell their stories to reporters, document their struggles on social media, and while caring for ailing family members, hope to inspire legal changes.
Weedmaps will stop advertising unlicensed cannabis retailers ‘later this year’ [Marijuana Business Daily]
The move could prove an enormous boon to legal retailers that have been struggling to compete with illegal shops simply by eliminating the black-market advertising presence on Weedmaps, which remains one of the most commonly used dispensary finders by marijuana consumers.
Wasn’t the DEA Going to Let Others Grow Research-Grade Cannabis? [Leafly]
Arizona-based researcher Dr. Sue Sisley is spearheading an extraordinary lawsuit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), demanding that the agency stop dragging its feet on a years-old promise to end the federal government’s monopoly on growing cannabis for clinical research.
Health Canada is overwhelmed with cannabis research applications [The Growth Op]
As of last month, there were 251 applicants waiting in the queue for approval, and scientists are becoming increasingly irritated with the stagnancy of the process.
When It Comes to Sustainability, Hemp Is The Fabric of Fashion’s Future [Hypebeast]
The crop’s legalization could change the industry — and threaten cotton’s dominance.
The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis [Visual Capitalist]
Further legalization of cannabis will challenge Big Pharma’s bottom line, and poach more than $4 billion from pharma sales annually. In fact, medical cannabis sales are projected to reach $5.9 billion in 2019, from an estimated 24 million patients. Seven of Canada’s top 10 cannabis patent holders are major multinational pharmaceutical companies, a trend that is not unique to Canada. It comes as no surprise that many pharmaceutical giants have already formed strong partnerships with cannabis companies, such as Novartis and Tilray, who will develop and distribute medical cannabis together in legal jurisdictions around the world.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
UNM study confirms cannabis flower is an effective mid-level analgesic medication for pain [EurekAlert!]
Using the largest database of real-time recordings of the effects of common and commercially available cannabis products in the United States (U.S.), researchers at The University of New Mexico (UNM) found strong evidence that cannabis can significantly alleviate pain, with the average user experiencing a three-point drop in pain suffering on a 0-10 point scale immediately following cannabis consumption.
$2 Million Going To Cannabis Cancer Research Led By Professor Mechoulam [CBD Testers]
Mechoulam is leading a research team to work on developing cannabis-based treatments for three aggressive forms of cancer: melanoma (skin cancer), neuroblastoma (cancer originating in the surrounding and mostly neural system in children), and glaublastoma (brain cancer). The ongoing research will be funded by Tel Aviv-listed cannabis producer Cannbit, who will invest an initial $400,000 towards the cannabis research, and an additional $2,000,000 for a commercial medicine license.
Cannabis leaves show antibacterial effect [Digital Journal]
New research shows that the leaves of the cannabis plant have an antimicrobial effect, including efficacy against drug resistant forms of Staphylococcus aureus.
Study Reviews How Marijuana Compounds Inhibit Tumor Growth And Kill Cancer Cells [Marijuana Moment]
Besides treating symptoms of chemotherapy side effects, cannabis also shows potential in slowing the growth of cancer cells and even kill cancer cells in certain cases, the researchers wrote.
Here’s why cannabis terpenes are so very important [The Growth Op]
For pot in particular, terpenes serve several purposes, acting as a natural defense system against pests, bacteria and UV rays, to name just a few potentially damaging environmental factors.
Medicinal cannabis: the hype is strong, but the evidence is weak [The Guardian]
Australia’s Cannabis Access Clinics, a private network of GPs specialising in medicinal cannabis, has facilitated access for around 2,000 patients since opening its doors a year ago. The service includes bricks and mortar clinics as well as telehealth conferencing. The combined cost for an initial screening, consultation, securing the prescription and a single monthly follow-up consultation is $400. While patients may seek access to medicinal cannabis from any GP, a lack of expertise in medicinal cannabis products, an aversion to the amount of paperwork involved in securing access, and the risks associated with prescribing an unregistered drug mean many GPs shy away from the drug.
CULTURE & SOCIETY
New Report Reveals How Much Americans Spent on Illicit Drugs Over 10 Years [High Times]
Drug spending? Up for every substance except cocaine. Drug use? Increasing in every category.
Is It Even Possible to Smoke $40,000 of Weed in a Month? [Leafly]
On a recent episode of his podcast, Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson, Mike Tyson told rapper Jim Jones that he consumes about $40,000 of cannabis per month at Tyson Ranch, his future cannabis “resort.” As Jim’s mind is blown by this number, Tyson’s co-host, follows this up by saying that they smoke 10 tons of weed per month. We call bullshit. Let’s look at the numbers.
Inquiry into drug driving reform [Enpsychedelia]
The National Drug Driving Working Group clearly states that drug driving laws are specifically a driving offense and not a drug offense. Despite this, people who are not impaired, but may still have trace amounts of one of three prescribed substances in their bodily fluid, are frequently charged with a road offense. There is a significant economic and social burden from these unjustified infringements.
E-Petition: Inquiry into drug driving reform [Parliament of Victoria]
Gateway to Good Health [Weed Billboards]
Celebrating Cannabis [Australian Cannabis Awards]
E-Petition: Legalise cannabis for recreational use [Parliament of Victoria]
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]
MardiGrass Hemposium 2019 Talks now Available on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
EP202 – Roadside Drug Testing Panel at Nimbin Mardi Grass [Enpsychedelia]
‘Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll’: MP’s Memoir Goes On Sale [Reason]
Medicinal Cannabis & Hemp Tasmania & “the leaf” Newsletter [Facebook]
Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
DRUG WAR OVER! [Radio Documentary]
View five new EGA video presentations on ethnobotanical plants and psychedelics [Entheogenesis Australis]
To mark the anniversary of our special gathering and end the year on a high note, we’ve released five new videos of talks from the Psychedelic Symposium that are now available to watch online and can also be found below in this email.