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  • Hemp without the high: Legal side still smoky, but cannabis startups eye areas from fabric to medicine

    The legality of cannabis use in India has been a subject matter of debate from the British rule to as recent as 2017. But India is finally warming up to R&D in this area
    The Indian Express (India)
    Tuesday, February 20, 2018

    In April 2017, when the Central government and the Ministry of Health and Welfare issued the first-ever research licence to grow cannabis to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR – IIIM) in collaboration with Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO), it was the start of something unprecedented. Cannabis startup Boheco was banking on the revival of cannabis to improve research, reduce drug abuse and aid cancer patients. Since November 14, 1985, when the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act came into force in India, the use of cannabis, with the exception of bhang, has gone underground.

  • Report: 99% of California cannabis growers are still unlicensed

    CalGrowers estimates that only around 700 of the state's 68,000 farmers have obtained state licenses so far
    Leafly (US)
    Monday, February 19, 2018

    The backers of Prop. 64, the 2016 Adult Use of Marijuana Act, sold California voters on the promise that small and medium businesses would be the engine powering the state’s $7 billion legal cannabis market. So far, that’s not happening. According to a report, An Emerging Crisis: Barriers to Entry in California Cannabis, by the California Growers Association, a small-farmers advocacy group, fewer than 1% of California’s estimated 68,150 cannabis growers have secured state licenses to continue their businesses legally. The CalGrowers report estimates that 80% to 90% of growers who did business with the state’s legal storefront dispensaries prior to January 1 – when new licensing requirements went into effect – “are being pushed to the black market.”

  • Zwei von drei Deutschen haben noch nie gekifft

    68 Prozent gaben an, die Droge noch nie konsumiert zu haben
    Die Welt (Gremany)
    Sonntag, 18. Februar 2018

    Die Mehrheit der Deutschen hält Kiffen für gefährlich. Laut Yougov-Umfrage sind die Deutschen im Frage Freigabe von Cannabis für den Freizeitkonsumgänzlich unentschlossen: 35 Prozent gaben an, eine Haschisch-Legalisierung zu befürworten; 33 Prozent lehnten dies ab; 22 Prozent sagten, es sei ihnen egal. In einer anderen Umfrage, die im November 2017 vom Meinungsforschungsinstitut Forsa durchgeführt worden war, fiel die Ablehnung deutlich stärker aus: Dort hatten sich 63 Prozent gegen eine Legalisierung von Cannabis ausgesprochen. (Mehr dazu: Berlin: SPD-Fraktionschef Saleh fordert Liberalisierung bei Cannabis | Parlamentarier für Entkriminalisierung von Cannabiskonsums | Wie Grüne, Linke und FDP heute im Bundestag Cannabis legalisieren wollen)

  • Check benefits of cannabis, Prime Minister’s office tells health ministry

    The Hindustan Times (India)
    February 17, 2018

    As demands for the legalisation of cannabis or hemp gather momentum, the Prime Minister’s Office asked the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) to examine the benefits associated with the plant and respond to a petition within a month. The founder of The Great Legalisation movement, Viki Vaurora, had written to the PM asking him to legalise cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes. The movement gathered steam around December because it was expected that the legalisation would be discussed during the winter session. However, MP Dharamvira Gandhi, whose private member bill seeking legalisation of “non-synthetic” intoxicants, including cannabis, was cleared by the legislative branch of Parliament, said the bill may come up for discussion only in the Budget session.

  • Duterte to Int'l Criminal Court: Drug war continues, case or no case

    'The war or the drive against drugs will not stop and it will last until the day I step out,' says a defiant President Rodrigo Duterte
    Rappler (Philippines)
    Monday, February 12, 2018

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sought to appear unfazed by the International Criminal Court’s preliminary examination into his drug war, saying it will not stop the controversial campaign. “The war or the drive against drugs will not stop and it will last until the day I step out. If I go to prison, I go to prison,” Duterte said. Duterte said the ICC could not declare him guilty of a crime since merely threatening criminals with death is not a crime. The Philippine President has threatened to withdraw from the ICC. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the ICC preliminary examination is a “waste of time” as the Philippines’ justice system is fully functioning, thus the international court, as a “court of last resort,” has no jurisdiction over the drug war.

  • Plans for heroin to be prescribed to addicts in West Midlands

    Police and crime commissioner David Jamieson sets out policy at odds with national approach
    The Guardian (UK)
    Monday, February 12, 2018

    Doctors in the West Midlands could soon be prescribing heroin for addicts, who would be invited to inject themselves with clean syringes in drug consumption rooms with medical staff on standby, under a plan by the region’s police and crime commissioner David Jamieson setting out a number of recommendations for a regional drugs policy sharply at odds with the government’s zero-tolerance approach. The proposals also include a mechanism to divert criminals who use drugs into treatment rather than the justice system, equipping police with the overdose treatment naxalone, and introducing on-site drug testing in nightclubs. (See also: A police force is set to go against government policy to try and save lives | Drug reform police chief faces the Downing Street backlash)

  • Marijuana producers enter retail race as legalization looms

    Companies will need to tread carefully as the regulations on how the drug can be marketed, branded or packaged have yet to be finalized
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Sunday, February 11, 2018

    As the race to produce enough cannabis for the soon-to-be-legal market gets increasingly crowded, licensed producers are setting their sights on the next frontier in the race for maximum pot profitability: developing retail stores. Pot producers have been ramping up production in preparation for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use later this year and are looking to deploy their cash in more profitable ways. Retail is high on their priority list, such as the cannabis dispensary operations south of the border, which offer a direct connection to the consumer through "budtenders" who personalize the potentially overwhelming experience. Such vertical integration also serves to gives their products a competitive edge.

  • Big US tobacco company buys stakes in Canadian cannabis growers, American hemp firm

    Transactions mark the alcohol and tobacco industries’ initial attempts to capitalize on the rapidly growing marijuana industry – particularly in Canada
    Marijuana Business Daily (US)
    Friday, February 9, 2018

    A publicly traded U.S. tobacco company has bought controlling stakes in two Canadian marijuana producers and invested in a North Carolina hemp grower, making what is believed to be the first foray by a significant tobacco business into the cannabis industry. Alliance One International, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol AOI, said it acquired a 75% equity position in Canada’s Island Garden and an 80% stake in Goldleaf Pharm. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed. The moves were first reported by New Cannabis Ventures.

  • To cut drug deaths, city considers sanctioned places to shoot up

    At community meetings and among officials, the mere idea of the sites has generated a heated debate over their legality and their potential effect on the neighborhoods
    The New York Times (US)
    Friday, February 9, 2018

    Drug Consumption Room in Frankfurt (Germany)In 2016, the opioid epidemic claimed 1,374 lives in New York City. That’s roughly four drug overdose deaths each day. One death every seven hours. New York City officials are floating an idea that so far has not been tried in the United States: sanctioned locations where drug users can shoot up under the supervision of medical staff ready to revive them if they overdose. They are called safe injection facilities, and the city has been eyeing them for more than a year, despite potential federal opposition. In 2016, the City Council allocated $100,000 for the city health department to study the feasibility of the facilities, which already exist in Canada and Europe. Mayor Bill de Blasio hinted in late January that the report would soon be released.

  • Rabobank to pay $369 million in money-laundering case

    The settlement describes how three unnamed executives ignored a whistleblower’s warnings and orchestrated the cover-up
    The Associated Press (US)
    Thursday, February 8, 2018

    Dutch lender Rabobank’s California unit agreed to pay $369 million to settle allegations that it lied to regulators investigating allegations of laundering money from Mexican drug sales and organized crime through branches in small towns on the Mexico border. The subsidiary, Rabobank National Association, said it doesn’t dispute that it accepted at least $369 million in illegal proceeds from drug trafficking and other activity from 2009 to 2012. It pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States for participating in a cover-up when regulators began asking questions in 2013. (See also: New calls to prosecute Dutch bank for laundering Mexican drug money)

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