• The predatory perils of cannabis legalization in Jamaica

    Medicinal marijuana markets present a major economic opportunity for Jamaica. Without steps to combat inequities, traditional ganja growers will be left behind
    NACLA Report (US)
    Tuesday, September 26, 2023

    cannabis cultivation jamaicaJamaica revised its ganja laws to build a legal medicinal cannabis industry with the hopes of exporting to the world. Many assumed that Jamaica, and the historically marginalized traditional ganja growers, including the Rastafari, would finally be able to cash in on the green gold rush in an industry one venture capital firm called in 2018 “the most compelling opportunity in the history of capitalism.” Today, it may come as a shock to some that the island infamously associated with prolific cannabis cultivation and consumption reported a shortage in 2021 and recently became an importer of Canadian cannabis. As a result, the most vocal opponents of Jamaica’s cannabis reforms are no longer the police or conservative church congregations, but the traditional growers and Rastafari themselves. How could such a seemingly transformative opportunity “go up in smoke” so quickly?

  • Cannabis brain effects study struggles to attract black UK users

    Fears findings will represent only white population if too few people of colour take part
    The Guardian (UK)
    Sunday, September 24, 2023

    psychosisA major study into the effects of cannabis on the human brain is at risk of being partially thwarted because too few black users have agreed to take part. White people have come forward in large numbers offering to get involved in King’s College London’s £2.5m study of how the drug may contribute to paranoia and psychosis in some users but not others. It is hoped the project will pave the way for wider medicinal use and make illegal recreational use safer. However attempts to recruit black and Asian people who smoke, vape or eat marijuana have been met with suspicion over how data about illegal drug use will be used and distrust of the establishment.

  • Thailand to clamp down on cannabis use in major U-turn on drug policy

    Prime minister Srettha Thavisin has said the drug will be for medical use only, adding that problems arising from drug use have been ‘widespread’
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, September 22, 2023

    thailand weed shopThailand’s new prime minister, Srettha Thavisin, has said his government will “rectify” its cannabis policy and limit its use to medical purposes within six months. Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalise cannabis after it delisted the marijuana plant as a narcotic last year, leading to a boom of cannabis cafes and weed dispensaries in popular tourist destinations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya. However, the failure to pass legislation to regulate its use has opened a legal vacuum in the country. Thailand’s new leader, a real estate tycoon who came to power in August, said there has been an agreement among the coalition government about the need to change the law and ban its use for recreation. (See also: Cannabis in Thailand: New PM against recreational use)

  • Tilburg, Breda launch legal cannabis trials in December

    The wietexperiment was first approved by the senate in 2019 after several years but has since stalled for a variety of reasons
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Friday, September 15, 2023

    nl amsterdam no smokingThe Dutch government’s long-awaited legal cannabis experiment will kick off in Tilburg and Breda on December 15 when two licenced growers start supplying the cities’ cannabis cafes, or coffee shops. Health minister Ernst Kuipers said three growers would take part in the first phase of the project, but one will not be ready in time, he told MPs in a briefing. The two cities’ cannabis cafes will be able to continue buying from their current illegal sources in this first phase but that situation will end after six weeks. Then only licenced growers will supply the stores, offering a wide range of different products. In total, 10 producers have been licenced to grow marijuana and produce hashish for the 10 cities taking part. Amsterdam has also applied for coffee shops in the capital’s district of Oost to be included in the project.

  • Expecting cannabis boom, New York lays down the rules

    The New York Cannabis Control Board approved a package of regulations that included licensing requirements for distributors, dispensaries and others
    The New York Times (US)
    Wednesday, September 13, 2023

    us ny cannabis cultureCannabis regulators in New York approved a package of regulations that laid the groundwork for an expansion of the state’s emerging cannabis industry. The rules, approved by the Cannabis Control Board, outline licensing and operation procedures for different types of businesses in the industry, including dispensaries and delivery services. The state legalized marijuana for adults age 21 and up in March 2021. No state besides California draws as much business and consumer interest in cannabis as New York, experts say. And regulators expect applications for thousands of new businesses. The new rules establish requirements for the licensing of eight types of businesses: plant nurseries, cultivators, processors, cooperatives, distributors, dispensaries, delivery services and microbusinesses.

  • Marijuana rescheduling falls short of expectations on Biden

    Under its current scheduling, marijuana is rated at the most stringent level — as a Schedule I controlled substance — on par with methamphetamines and more severe than fentanyl
    The Hill (US)
    Friday, September 8, 2023

    biden cannabisThe Biden administration’s recommendation last week for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reschedule cannabis marked one of its most significant steps related to the president’s ambitious campaign promise to decriminalize cannabis use. But advocates and policy experts say rescheduling marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does not address the plethora of racial justice issues caused by current cannabis laws. Moving cannabis to Schedule III means that the federal government acknowledges it has medical uses; it doesn’t change its status as a prohibited substance. Many worry that rescheduling could amount to the Biden administration saying, “OK, we did something and now we’re done.”

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