Embassy HEADLINES Issue 384
Senate Inquiry into Current barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia [United in Compassion]
I would like to encourage The Hemp Embassy and your networks to consider writing a submission to the Senate Inquiry into barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia. This inquiry is the chance for organisations and for all individual medical cannabis users to have input into the failures of the current regulatory framework. The submission date closes on the 17th January 2020.
The rules of cannabis: NZ Govt releases draft legislation for how cannabis could be bought and sold [NZ Herald]
New Zealanders have been given a first glimpse at what they’ll be voting for in next year’s cannabis referendum. The Government today announced the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, designed to govern the recreational cannabis market should it come into effect. The legislation specifies a minimum age of 20 to use or purchase a recreational cannabis product. The draft legislation goes on to prohibit the consumption of cannabis in public spaces, limiting use to private homes and licensed premises.
Analysis: New Zealand’s Draft Recreational Cannabis Legislation [Hanway]
The draft Bill is not yet complete, and at this stage mainly details the areas most relevant to end consumers such as home grow provisions, possession limits and retail regulations. A summary of New Zealand’s proposed model compared to that of Canada and Uruguay is given.
Frontline doctors urge Premier to trial pill testing, end strip searches for drugs [The Sydney Morning Herald]
More than 20 heads of department at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital have urged the Premier to scrap strip-searching and adopt a pill-testing trial amid an anecdotal rise in the number of panic ingestions at music festivals. In the letter to Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Dr Jennifer Stevens wrote that she and her fellow senior clinicians believed that a public health approach should be prioritised over criminal enforcement.
Personal drug use and possession should be decriminalised, former Supreme Court justice argues [ABC]
“We know that in certain cases it’s clear that penalties can reduce illegal behaviour,” he said. “In the case of drugs the evidence is all the other way. Putting people who use small amounts of drugs occasionally into the criminal justice system actually piles prejudice, upon prejudice, upon prejudice.”
How many have to die before they’ll listen? [The Greens]
Last summer, six people died at summer music festivals in NSW. We’re only two days into this summer, and we’ve already had another tragedy. You have to ask: How many people have to pass away before the major parties protect young people at festivals?
Interest in medical marijuana use exceeds Missouri estimates [High Green News]
Missouri issued close to 22,000 medical marijuana cards since July 4, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Researchers with the University of Missouri’s Economic and Policy Analysis Research Center previously estimated that the state wouldn’t reach that many patients until 2021.
Minnesota Expands Medical Marijuana Program With More Qualifying Conditions [High Times]
People with chronic pain and age-related macular degeneration can now get medical marijuana cards in Minnesota.
Cannabis Companies in Maine are Preparing for the Long Licensing Process [The Marijuana Times]
Three years after voters legalized the plant for adult use, things are finally picking up for the cannabis industry in Maine. With the application set to go live from the state Office of Marijuana Policy on December 5th, many companies are already doing what they can to get prepared. As with any state to legalize marijuana, there are plenty of hoops for these businesses to jump through in order to obtain a license to grow, process or sell marijuana. If all goes as expected, the first sales are expected to happen mid-March 2020.
US Virgin Islands Announces Recreational Cannabis Legislation [Vibe High]
US Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr announced a recreational cannabis amendment to the VI Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act. On December 3rd 2019, Governor Bryan held a press conference announcing the new amendment. The bill intends to skip medical cannabis and go directly to “licensed recreational”.
West Coast Cities Have More Cannabis Users Than Cigarette Smokers [Ganjapreneur]
In the Seattle-Tacoma, Portland, and San Francisco metro areas, more adults 18-and-older have used cannabis in the last 30 days than cigarettes, according to Nielsen data outlined by the Seattle Times.
Michigan celebrates first legal cannabis purchases [Leafly]
Three Michigan cannabis stores were open for the state’s first legal adult-use sales beginning at 10:00 a.m. 1 December 2019. The very first transaction was a joint preroll purchase by two of the most well known cannabis activists in the state, John Sinclair and Ryan Basore. Sinclair’s first legal recreational purchase came 50 years after he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years for possession of two joints, which he fought alongside residents of Michigan, culminating in the John Sinclair Freedom Rally held in Ann Arbor, 1972, headlined by John Lennon, Bob Seeger, and Stevie Wonder.
Florida cannabis industry created 9,000 jobs in 2018 [The Center Square]
Leafly documents that there were 1,290 direct full-time jobs in the state’s medical cannabis industry at the end of 2017. By January 2019, it maintains there were 10,358 Floridians employed in 14 state-licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC) and in nearly 90 dispensaries statewide, adding more than 9,000 full-time jobs as cannabis employment grew by 703 percent in 2018 in the Sunshine State, which legalized medical marijuana in 2016.
As the U.S. experience shows, pot edibles need tougher, clearer rules around labelling [High Green News]
Health Canada said that in writing the new regulations it paid close attention to the edibles evolution in the U.S., noting particularly that the 10 mg limit drew on “lessons learned” in those states that had legalized cannabis.
Guidelines for cannabis growers in Guernsey launched [ITV]
Businesses wanting to apply for a licence to grow and process cannabis in Guernsey can now get help from a guide. The guide gives advice from the government including how to import and export products derived from cannabis. In June 2019, the Bailiwick of Guernsey approved cannabis growing for certain uses.
Brazil approves medical marijuana rules, blocks cannabis cultivation [Reuters]
Brazil health regulators have approved a set of rules to allow for medical cannabis use; the rules, however, would not allow for domestic cultivation and the program would rely solely on imported cannabis products.
“Africa will become the cannabinoid production centre” – Expert says [PM News]
With the abundant land, a large labour force and an ideal climate for cannabis cultivation, investors have been keen to scout out the continent, and particularly southern Africa. Africa offers growers clean soil, little pollution and many high-quality strains of CBD, one of the most abundant cannabinoids found in hemp, ideally positioning the continent for global exports.
What businesses need to know about exporting irradiated medical cannabis to Germany [Marijuana Business Daily]
By now, everyone knows that to export medical cannabis to Germany, which is by far the largest importer of medical cannabis flower in the world, achieving European Union Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is a prerequisite.
Calls for uniform European stand on medical cannabis [Malta Today]
‘Uneven European landscape for medical cannabis is like telling a diabetes patient he can’t use an insulin pen because it is illegal in the country he is visiting’.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Willie Nelson reveals he has stopped smoking cannabis after smoking ‘nearly killed him’ [Independent]
Following 65 years as one of pop culture’s most famous stoners, Willie Nelson has quit smoking cannabis. The country star told KSAT Radio in San Antonio, Texas, that he decided to stop smoking to aid his health. “I have abused my lungs quite a bit in the past, so breathing is a little more difficult these days and I have to be careful,” the 86-year-old said. “I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever,” he continued. “And that almost killed me. I don’t smoke anymore. I take better care of myself.”
Over 500,000 Bootleg Vape Carts Seized in the Last Two Years [The Marijuana Times]
One way or another, the saga over bootleg THC cartridges will be one that affects the cannabis community for some time to come. And now, we have a new Associated Press report that over the last 2 years authorities across the United States have arrested some 120 people and have seized over 500,000 illegal vape carts. In one bust in Minnesota alone, law enforcement found 77,000 cartridges.
8 Lighting System Design Principles [Cannabis Business Times]
Could CBD And Cannabis Eliminate The High-Cost And High-Stakes Of Current Psoriasis Medicines? [The Fresh Toast]
Often triggered by stress, new studies are showing that psoriasis can be better managed by diet, oral health, and even cannabidiol.
What we can learn about cannabis from Chinese medicine [The Growth Op]
What roles do herbal and classic natural medicines have in common with modern medical research when it comes to using cannabis for medicinal purposes?
Why doctors know almost nothing about the health effects of marijuana [AAMC]
Medical and recreational use of marijuana has skyrocketed in recent years. Yet strict research rules mean doctors are flying blind when it comes to safety, dosing, and effectiveness. That’s got to change — and fast, argues one expert.
Lighting Up For Better Skin: Can Marijuana Help Acne? [The Fresh Toast]
In some studies, THC appears to ease inflammation inside and outside the body, therefore decreasing the threat of acne.
BUSINESS & POLICY
This effort to decriminalize marijuana nationally is even getting Republican support [High Green Times]
An historic House bill to decriminalize marijuana is moving in the U.S. Congress with support from both Democrats and Republicans —legislation that would have a dramatic impact on people convicted of using or possessing the drug.
Democrats Are Building Their 2020 Presidential Campaigns. Where Do They Stand on Cannabis Reform? [Cannabis Business Times]
DEA to Grow Even More Garbage Cannabis in 2020 [Portland Mercury]
The DEA explains that 7,000 pounds of their finest is solely allocated for the “estimated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States, for lawful export requirements, and for the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks.” Bummer to be any of those recipients, seeing as how it’s the worst of the worst: cannabis grown exclusively for over 50 years by the Three Stooges of cannabis production, the University of Mississippi.
Salaries, Benefits Improve In U.S. Cannabis Industry As Jobs Multiply [Green Entrepreneur]
An estimated 211,000 full-time employees made up the legal cannabis industry workforce in 2019. By 2021, the cannabis industry is expected to employ 414,000. In 2019 alone, the number of job opportunities seen by one cannabis industry hiring firm increased by a whopping 79 percent.
U.S. Farmers struggle as hemp harvest winds down [Richmond Register]
Hemp growers nationwide scaled up this year after U.S. Congress legalized the non-psychoactive cannabis. They hoped to cash in on the booming market for cannabinoids such as wellness darling CBD, an ingredient in oils, tinctures and salves. But as harvest winds down, it’s likely that many growers will go bust.
Is this the way the drug war ends – not with a bang, but a whimper? [Politiks UK]
The party manifestos published over the course of the election campaign reveal something interesting. The war on drugs seems to be fading away. For decades, the perceived wisdom in Westminster was that reforming the way the UK deals with drug use is not only not a vote winner, but an active vote loser. Special advisors, focus groups and spin doctors all agreed: the public would not support a party that showed itself to be soft on drugs. And yet, in 2019, drug reform is now firmly on to the agenda.
Nimbin Medical Cannabis Workshop [Hemp Embassy]
Australian Industrial Hemp Conference
The Future of Medicinal Cannabis Conference [Medicinal Cannabis Industry Australia]
3rd to 4th March 2020, Melbourne
GreenLight: Saving Lives at any Cost
In cinemas from 10 October. In Australia, two men work to provide the last hope of relief — and in some cases cure — for thousands suffering chronic and terminal illnesses. They provide black market medicinal cannabis for people who have nowhere else to turn.
Adam Miller from Budding Tech is currently conducting a survey to better understand how and why Australians are accessing/using cannabidiol (CBD). Due to increased popularity, a growing number of CBD products are being sold on the black market. Black market products are untested and could be unsafe due to pesticide and heavy metal contamination. We hope this survey will provide insight into the way Australians are accessing CBD to determine if current regulations are adequate to ensure the safety of the growing number of users. Your answers will be used to help inform and educate members of parliament.
URGENT REVIEW of the medical cannabis delivery system model [MCUA]
Take the necessary steps to initiate an Independent Inquiry by the Australian Advisory Council on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis (AACMC) to review the current delivery system with the view creating a fairer, more affordable delivery model in consultation with the end users.
Scott Morrison (ScoMo): Legalise Recreational Cannabis [Cannabis Club Australia]
Allow Australian adults to grow and consume cannabis legally.
Medical Cannabis Access – Patient Satisfaction Survey [Medical Cannabis Users Association of Australia, MCUA]
MCUA is keen to get feedback on how the government’sMedical Cannabis delivery system is working for Australian patients 3 years after it was implemented. This survey is only open to Australian residents who have have qualified for approval by the TGA under the SAS. We have suggested to the Federal government that a Review / Inquiry be held into the current pharmaceutical delivery system and we want collate the information we get here to use it to demonstrate how well the pharmaceutical model is working for the end user ie the patients. We thank you for participating and appreciate your support.
HELP GROW OUR CANNABIS CAMPAIGN [The Greens]
The ACT took one small step towards legalising cannabis, and already the rapid News Corp media is after them. If we’re ever going to win this fight and #JustLegaliseIt, we need to take them on.
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.