Embassy HEADLINES Issue 371
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
Cannabis prohibition doesn’t work anywhere. It’s New Zealand’s turn to legalise it [The Guardian]
On Wednesday, the Helen Clark Foundation released a report which sets out the case for legalising and regulating cannabis. New Zealanders have the opportunity to vote for that in a referendum next year. Clearly, the prospect of invoking criminal sanctions has had little impact on people’s behaviour. Evidence from longitudinal studies carried out in New Zealand indicates that by the age of 25, 80% of New Zealanders will have tried cannabis at least once. Put simply, prohibition-based policy approaches have not eradicated and will not eradicate cannabis consumption and supply in New Zealand or anywhere else where its use is established.
Medical Cannabis Manufacturing Facility Opens In Queensland [Hemp Gazette]
Australia’s Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, opened (another) medical cannabis facility in Queensland last week. The THC Global (ASX:THC) project in Southport is the largest bio-pharma manufacturing facility in the Southern Hemisphere according to the company, and has an expected capacity of 12,000 kg of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) extracts per year. Pending securing of required approvals, THC Global expects to further process these extracts into finished medicines including oils and capsules. In July this year subsidiary THC Pharma Pty Ltd was awarded a Manufacture Licence from the Australian Office of Drug Control in relation to the Southport facility. Commercial production is expected to commence early next year.
Australian cannabis companies bring in revenue but remain in the red [Business News Australia]
Three of Australia’s top cannabis companies have released their FY19 results today, and the story is similar across the board. Revenue and income are being generated at a stronger level than in the previous financial year, but all three remain unprofitable.
Queensland medicinal cannabis farm to supply patients within weeks [9 News]
Australia may have just accidentally imported illegal cannabis [Business Insider]
Cannabis grown in unlicensed facilities in Canada may have found its way to Australia via its distribution deal with Victorian medicinal marijuana company Cannatrek. The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration said it is Canada’s job to ensure exports are legal and that it hasn’t been notified of any issues by the Canadian authorities. However, cannabis industry expert Rhys Cohen told Business Insider Australia the government’s response is “not good enough” and demonstrates the problems in Australia’s system of importing the drug.
High Hopes [The Sydney Morning Herald]
Rich-lister Barry Lambert had no interest in medicinal cannabis until it saved his granddaughter from the ravages of a devastating illness. Five years on, he’s become an international cannabis mogul.
Is South Australia finally nearing its medicinal cannabis boom? [InDaily]
The long-promised, glittering ambitions of a large-scale medicinal cannabis industry in South Australia are about to be tested, with plans to create more than 1000 jobs at a major new manufacturing facility in Adelaide.
The war on drugs: making good dogs do bad things – First Dog on the Moon [The Guardian]
These adorable furry heroes are used to help the police target vulnerable people.
How vaping will make you free [ABC]
The tobacco industry wants smokers to take up vaping, but it’s also getting help from libertarians all over the world who believe the right to vape represents personal freedom.
THE LEAF Sept-October 2019
Here is a link to “the leaf” newsletter #24. Please share and enjoy the read.
NSW Top Cop Angry About Criticism of Strip Searches [Sydney Criminal Lawyers]
The reaction of NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller to questions put to him during a budget estimates hearing on 29 August, reveals that despite its best efforts to show otherwise, the NSW Police Force is feeling the backlash against its misuse of strip searches.
America’s first cannabis cafe to advise customers on best marijuana pairings for their meals [The Telegraph]
The cafe is the first of eight businesses in West Hollywood, which describes itself as a city at the “forefront” of the national discussion on decriminalising, to be awarded cannabis consumption licences – a move that will be closely watched by other states that have decriminalised marijuana. Among the other establishments likely to follow suit are cannabis spas, clinics and lounges.
Oak is Out, Hemp is in – HempWood Factory Opens in Kentucky [Hempington Post]
HempWood is a reverse-engineered wood substitute with advantages over traditional oak hardwood. Those include a higher availability, a much quicker grow time of six months, and a 20 percent higher density. HempWood can be used in furniture, flooring, and other woodworking projects.
Cannabis Industry Contributions To State Of Nevada Break $100 Million [MRR]
Nevada’s cannabis industry has broken the $100 million dollar mark in taxes and fees for the first time. Dispensaries, cultivators, laboratories and producers have paid more than $109 million in taxes and fees in fiscal year 2019.
These Congressional Republicans support the cannabis industry [The Growth Op]
It was the Democrats that initially took the reins on this issue, fighting for it on Capitol Hill without any success. But them something bizarre started to happen. Republicans, a group staunchly opposed to legal weed since the dawn of time, started to come out of the pot closet. There are now more Republicans in Congress that support the cannabis movement in one way or another than ever before.
Medical Cannabis Products Recalled in Michigan After Testing Positive for Pesticides [High Times]
So far, no adverse reactions to the recalled products have been reported.
Only 3 U.S. States Have No Medical Marijuana [Cannabis Now]
What’s up with Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota?
Quebec’s ban on growing cannabis at home unconstitutional, judge rules [CBC]
Lawyer who led challenge says those wanting to grow should hold off for now.
Builders are swapping cement for weed to reduce pollution [Union Leader]
The hemp fields sprouting in a part of Canada best known for its giant oil patch show how climate change is disrupting the construction industry.
Hemp Farmers Now Qualify For Federal Crop Insurance [Marijuana Moment]
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Tuesday that hemp farmers operating under pilot programs authorized through the 2014 Farm Bill are now eligible for federal crop insurance for the 2020 planting season, while those who cultivate hemp under broader federal legalization in the 2018 version of the legislation can obtain coverage after regulations are developed.
Three Indiana women want to teach doctors about medical cannabis [Indy Star]
Three Central Indiana women have launched a business to educate doctors and other health care providers on a topic about which many in the medical field know very little: cannabis. The interest behind CannaMedU began after personal experiences led the trio to try CBD oil for themselves or family members.
UK advised to recruit former drug dealers if marijuana is legalised [The Guardian]
The Commissioner in charge of legal cannabis sales in Massachusetts has said Britain should follow her state’s example of recruiting ex-drug dealers and people from communities involved in what was once the underground market for marijuana. Ahead of talks with parliamentarians at Westminster this week, Shaleen Title, along with two other US experts on drug liberalisation, revealed that a project is under way in their state – which legalised the drug in 2016 – to retrain former cannabis dealers to enter the now legal marijuana industry.
Barbados-based Medical Marijuana Businesses Required to Ensure Local Ownership [Times of CBD]
The Ministry of Agriculture in Barbados is requiring that any foreign cannabis companies that set-up shop in the country must ensure that locals own at least 30% of the business. This Medical Cannabis Bill 2019 was introduced in the House of Assembly in a bid to establish a legal industry.
Medical Cannabis Coming to Mexico, Maybe Decriminalization Too [Leafly]
The Mexican Supreme Court in August ordered the Health Ministry to publish guidelines for medicinal cannabis use within 180 days. Last October, the court also ruled that the prohibition of personal use, possession and private cultivation of cannabis is unconstitutional because it violates “the fundamental right to the free development of the personality.” In Mexico, such rulings do not automatically extend to everyone, though they often prod Congress to change laws.
As Brazil prepares for major changes, authorizations to import medical cannabis surpass 10,000 [Marijuana Business Daily]
Upon obtaining an authorization, Brazilian patients can import a maximum quantity of medical cannabis on a case-by-case basis for a period of up to one year. Authorizations can be renewed, however.
Israeli President Gets Involved in Israel’s Medical Cannabis Troubles [CTech]
Rivlin decided on the meeting after watching videos made by parents whose children had difficulties obtaining their medical cannabis treatments as a result of the new regulation, which has been partly in effect since April. The regulation states that patients can no longer buy medical cannabis products directly from growers, instilling pharmacies as middlemen instead. The reform has thrown the local industry into disarray, inflating prices and causing shortages as growers were forced to start adhering to stricter standards within a short period of time. The new regulation also forbids some of the oil concentrations children are currently being treated with.
The UK’s NICE Guidelines on Medical Cannabis Explained [Hanway Associates]
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently released its draft guidelines for prescribing cannabis-based medical products (CBMPs) in the UK. The release is significant because it is these guidelines – rather than politically-imposed regulations – that will effectively determine the extent of medical cannabis access on the NHS.
Cannabis trial: Dutch cities picked for cafe supply experiment [BBC]
Cannabis cafes in the Netherlands are to be supplied legally with drugs from regulated producers as part of a trial aimed at tackling the black market. Under Dutch law, cannabis can be sold over the counter in licensed coffee shops, but it is currently illegal to produce and supply the drug.
BUSINESS & POLICY
US and Canada cannabis market set to be worth over $47.3 billion by 2024 [Health Europa]
The North American Cannabis Report finds that despite Canada becoming the first G7 country to legalise adult-use cannabis, US cannabis market growth will greatly exceed its North American neighbour. Currently the most profitable industry in the world, the US, is expected to enjoy triple-digit growth by 2024, despite not having legalised cannabis on a federal scale.
The Robust Future of Industrial Hemp [Ganjapreneur]
Morris Beegle is the president and co-founder of We Are For Better Alternatives (WAFBA), that includes hemp industry networking extravaganza The NoCo Hemp Expo. In this interview, Morris talks about the myriad industrial applications of the hemp plant, which include biodegradable plastics, eco-friendly construction materials, and even hemp-based carbon nanosheets for use in supercapacitors. Morris also shares the stories and inspiration behind some of his other hemp companies, including an upcoming line of hemp guitars, and more!
The startup behind the world’s first marijuana breathalyzer just raised a fresh $30 million [Business Insider]
Hound Labs, a startup that aims to make the first marijuana breathalyzer, raised a fresh $US30 million on Tuesday. The California-based company also published the first study offering a glimpse at how the handheld device works. Today, there’s no good way to determine if someone is too high to work or drive. But the study contains some important limitations.
Joe Rogan battles Rep. Dan Crenshaw on marijuana prohibition [The Growth Op]
While Dan Crenshaw isn’t an opponent of marijuana legalization, his policy decisions aren’t helping anyone either.
The Future of Sustainable Hemp [North Forty News]
Green industries such as industrial agricultural hemp offer opportunities for more long-term profits though sustainable regenerative farming practices.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Dispensary Oil Implicated In Second Cannabis Vaping Death [The Marijuana Times]
Oregon health officials announced this week that a middle-aged man who had been vaping THC oil purchased at a dispensary has died of a mysterious lung ailment. His death is the second linked by public health officials to vaping cannabis oil, but the first implicating a product obtained from a licensed vendor as opposed to the black market.
With pancreatic cancer, what Stephen needs is legalised cannabis [The Guardian]
A year into his cancer treatment, Stephen heard about the benefits of medical marijuana and CBD oil, but it has proven difficult to get.
When Cannabis May Complicate Some Cancer Treatments [Leafly]
Little is known about the connections between cancer, the immune system, and cannabis. A 2019 retrospective observational paper suggests that cannabis may be detrimental to cancer patients undergoing immunotherapy; nowadays, immunotherapy is a standard of care for many solid tumors.
Survey reveals skyrocketing interest in marijuana and cannabinoids for pain [MedicalXpress]
Millennials lead the escalating interest in marijuana and cannabinoid compounds for managing pain—with older generations not far behind—and yet most are unaware of potential risks. Three-quarters (75%) of Americans who expressed interest in using marijuana or cannabinoids to address pain are under the impression they are safer or have fewer side effects than opioids or other medications, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) in conjunction with September’s Pain Awareness Month.
Navy prohibits use of CBD products [PNC]
The U.S. Navy has prohibited the use of products made or derived from hemp, including cannabidiol (CBD), regardless of the products’ THC concentration and regardless of whether such products may lawfully be bought, sold, and used under the law applicable to civilians.
DEA Again Promises to Improve Access to Marijuana for Research [The Scientist]
After years of stalling, the agency says it plans to provide notice on pending applications from growers—but only after it establishes new regulations for suppliers.
Dr Raphael Mechoulam and his revolutionary cannabis research [Health Europa]
In April 2019, Mechoulam presented the keynote speech at the ICBC International Cannabis Business Conference – with Health Europa in attendance – about his past, present, and future.
Detection of Δ9THC in oral fluid: an evaluation of two point‐of‐collection testing devices [Wiley Online Library]
Accurate description of the false negative and false positives of the equipment currently used in roadside saliva testing.
CULTURE & SOCIETY
WhatsApp with social media and smartphone messaging apps in the illicit drug market? [Basis Online]
In 2018, 18% of college students reported having used an illicit drug other than marijuana in the previous year, a rate that is higher than other age groups. These students, and other people their age, might be experimenting with social media apps as a new method for buying and selling drugs.
The Best Cannabis Strains for Extroverts [Leafly]
For extroverted cannabis consumers, the best strains will augment social occasions, keeping conversations kindled for hours. The following are a few of our top picks.
Australia has a paracetamol poisoning problem. This is what we should be doing to reduce harm [The Conversation]
We analysed data from national hospital admissions, poisons centre calls, and coroners’ records to examine poisonings, liver injuries, and deaths. The annual number of cases of paracetamol poisoning increased by 44% from 2007-2008 to 2016-2017. In that time, we recorded more than 95,000 paracetamol-related hospitalisations. More than 200 people died from paracetamol poisoning in Australia in the ten year period.
Calls for needle exchange program in NSW jails amid rising illicit drug use [The Guardian]
The department responsible for managing New South Wales’ ballooning prison population has “no overall drug strategy” and remains “steadfastly opposed” to a needle exchange program in jails, despite the urging of health officials. On Monday a government-commissioned inquiry into ice and other amphetamines turned its attention to drug use among inmates, hearing that as the state’s prison population has exploded, so too has the use of illicit drugs in jails.
Australian Industrial Hemp Conference
Next stop Canberra – we’re taking the fight to Parliament! [United in Compassion]
When Barnaby Joyce recently showed just how ignorant he was about medicinal cannabis, comparing it to “pulling bongs”, I realised something: the majority of Australians support medicinal cannabis. It’s the politicians who need to be convinced.
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.