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  • Marijuana goes industrial in California

    The choice is between a marketplace for small and boutique operators who have been doing this for generations — or domination by the forces of agribusiness
    The New York Times (US)
    Saturday, April 15, 2017

    us california cannabis industryThe vast and fertile Salinas valley is often called the salad bowl of the nation for the countless heads of lettuce growing across its floor. Now California’s marijuana industry is laying claim to a new slogan for the valley: America’s cannabis bucket. After years of marijuana being cultivated in small plots out of sight from the authorities, California cannabis is going industrial. Over the past year, dilapidated greenhouses in the Salinas Valley, which were built for cut flower businesses, have been bought up by dozens of marijuana entrepreneurs, who are growing pot among the fields of spinach, strawberries and wine grapes. (See also: Wine industry finds a companion in a competitor: Marijuana)

  • Cannabis Licensing Authority begins work on Alternative Development Programme

    Among the programme’s stipulations are the tagging of plants under a track and trace mechanism
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Friday, April 14, 2017

    The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has commenced work to implement an Alternative Development Programme (ADP) to include Jamaica’s traditional farmers in the developing ganja industry. The programme aims to prevent and eliminate the illicit cultivation and channel them through legal streams. Hyacinth Lightbourne of the CLA acknowledged the challenges which traditional small farmers encounter in accessing the regulated market. They might be forced to remain in the illicit market due to the exclusionary nature of the regime. "If traditional farmers are excluded, then one of the fundamental reasons for developing this industry would have failed, as the programme is intended to provide a legal alternative for those who traditionally cultivate illicit crops," she said.

  • Push to undo hash ban in Nepal

    While the recreational use of marijuana is controversial, the case for legalising its medical use is strong
    Nepali Times (Nepal)
    Friday, April 14, 2017

    nepal cannabisMarijuana use was always culturally accepted in Nepal, and the cannabis indica plant grows wild across the country. Open sale of marijuana in government regulated shops drew tens of thousands of hippies to Nepal in the 1960s. In 1976, largely under pressure from the American government, which was worried about its young citizens becoming addicts, Nepal banned the use and sale of marijuana. Many in western Nepal, where the cannabis plant is used for everything from therapeutic oil to making chutney, lost their sole source of income. The ban sent the cultivation and trade of the cash crop underground and turned farmers into criminals.

  • Swiss oasis for legal cannabis, without the high

    Swiss media have cited estimates that sales of legal cannabis are currently about 100 million Swiss francs annually
    The Local (Switzerland)
    Friday, April 14, 2017

    Posters of bright green cannabis plants advertise its wares, which, like those sold openly in a growing number of shops across Switzerland, are completely legal. There is a catch however: They won't make you high. Since 2011, cannabis containing up to one percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the component that gets recreational users high - can be sold and consumed legally. That compares to a 0.2-percent limit in most European countries, which effectively blocks all sale of cannabis flowers since crossbreeding plants to consistently contain below that level of THC has so far proved impossible. Switzerland was eager to enable large-scale production of non-drug cannabis, especially to exploit another active component, cannabidiol (CBD), valued for its potential health benefits.

  • Globe editorial: The Liberals begin Canada’s countdown to legal pot

    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    The Trudeau government has started off on the right foot down the path to legalization of cannabis. But the next 15 months or so could make or break its plans. A lot of pieces need to come together to achieve the goal of the safe and regulated production, distribution, sale and possession of legal cannabis in Canada. It’s a monumental move. Where the United States is moving state-by-state on this contentious issue, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet are legalizing an iconic and popular narcotic in one fell swoop on a national basis. It is a generational reform. (See also: Justice Minister defends proposed 14-year maximum sentence for providing cannabis to minors | Ottawa to speed up approval process for pot producers)

  • Is this the end of the black market for marijuana?

    Decisions will need to be made over the next year about the role of pharmacies, liquor stores and dispensaries
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    Marijuana was criminalized in Canada in 1923. There was no debate in the House of Commons, just the statement, "There is a new drug in the schedule." The prominent magistrate Emily Murphy had written a book in 1922, concluding of marijuana, "… there are three ways out from the regency of this addiction: 1st – Insanity. 2nd – Death. 3rd – Abandonment. This is assuredly a direful trinity." We’ve come to acknowledge that the line drawn between legal and illegal drugs in the early 20th century had nothing to do with public health and everything with culture and political economy. Drugs such as alcohol and tobacco were acceptable, while the drugs of the developing world – opium, coca and cannabis – were morally offensive and deserved criminal prohibition.

  • Canada’s marijuana legalization plan designed to reduce criminal role in market

    The Trudeau government is pitching its plan as highly restrictive, designed for the sole purpose of reducing the role of criminal organizations in the marijuana market and limiting the availability of the drug to youth
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    Stating that 94 years of prohibition were an "abject failure," the federal government has tabled long-awaited legislation to legalize marijuana for adult Canadians at the same time as toughening up the Criminal Code to crack down on dealers targeting minors and those getting behind the wheel while high. The historic legislation would lift the prohibition on the recreational use of cannabis that goes back to 1923, positioning Canada as a leading country on the relaxation of illicit-drug laws. If adopted as planned by the summer of 2018, Canada will become the first G7 country – and the second in the world after Uruguay – in which cannabis use is legal across the land. (See also: Ottawa still facing obstacles on road to legalizing marijuana | Read the proposed cannabis act legislation)

  • Liberals table bills to legalize pot, clamp down on impaired driving

    Regulations aim to restrict access to minors, remove profits to organized crime
    CBC (Canada)
    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    canada cannabis flagThe Liberal government tabled legislation to end the prohibition on pot, checking off a major promise from the 2015 campaign. The plan comes with two new bills; one to regulate the recreational use, sale and cultivation of marijuana, and a second that strengthens measures to stop impaired driving. It would allow people to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis and sets the minimum at 18 years of age, though provinces and territories can set a higher legal age. Consumers can grow up to four plants at home or buy from a licensed retailer. Dried and fresh pot and cannabis oil will be available first, with edible products to become available later. (See also: Liberals to weed out positive spin to marijuana branding | Pot stocks sell off in wake of release of federal legislation)

  • Some Arab governments are rethinking harsh cannabis laws

    Others use them to lock up restless young men
    The Economist (UK)
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017

    The Moroccan authorities look at the issue from the other direction. Though the government bans the production of cannabis, its growth is tolerated in the Rif, a northern region that supplies Europe. “Travel around in some areas and you see the plants all over the place,” says Tom Blickman of the Transnational Institute, a research group. Ironically, a draft law that would legalise cannabis production countrywide for medical and industrial uses has worried the region’s growers. They fear that rich landowners or the government, which would collect the entire crop, could push them out of business. (See also Haaretz)

  • The new White House drug czar has quite an idea for where to put nonviolent drug users

    Marino voted multiple times against a bipartisan measure to prevent the Justice Department from going after state-legal medical marijuana businesses
    The Washington Post (US)
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017

    Tom MarinoRep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) will be President Trump's drug czar, according to a report from CBS News. Marino's congressional voting record is that of a hard-liner on marijuana issues, and he recently said that he'd like to put nonviolent drug offenders in some sort of “hospital-slash-prison.” As drug czar, Marino would oversee the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a branch of the White House that advises the president on drug policy issues. More than anything else, the office sets the tone of an administration's drug policy. (See also: Trump's pick for 'Drug Czar')

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