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Australia’s “injecting rooms enriching drug trade”: UN complaint

4/12/21--A formal complaint was sent by Major Brian Watters, President of Drug Free Australia, to the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) citing overwhelming evidence that Australia’s two injecting rooms – one each in Sydney and Melbourne – are both tacitly aiding and abetting the local drug trade, significantly enriching drug dealers. Read

WHO should not support alcohol industry co-regulation of public health labelling

3/10/21--The World Health Organization (WHO)'s proposal for an action plan on alcohol for 2022–30 envisages that the alcohol industry be a co‐regulator with government of consumer information, including health warnings, on alcoholic beverage labels. From a public health perspective, there are cogent reasons why industry co‐regulation of alcohol labelling is very unwise. Read

Mood of the Nation poll: Despite clamour for making cannabis legal, 55% against it

1/22/21--More than half of the respondents surveyed for the India Today Mood of the Nation poll are against legalization of cannabis while 36% are in favor. Read

Vape store body lobbies government for essential retailer status

1/6/21--Trade body the UK Vaping Industry Association is lobbying government to classify vape shops as essential retailers. The lobbying effort has been ongoing since the first national lockdown in March, but the association has redoubled its efforts, warning that former smokers who have made the switch to electronic alternatives “could be tempted back”. Read

Ranking the harm of psychoactive drugs including prescription analgesics to users and others – a perspective of German addiction medicine experts

10/26/20--Results of this study indicate that alcohol and illicit drugs (including new psychoactive substances) continue to rank among the most harmful addictive substances in contrast to prescribed agents including opioid analgesics and NOAs in Germany. Current laws are incongruent with these harm rankings. This study is the first of its kind to include comparative harm rankings of several novel abused substances, both licit/prescribed and illicit. Read

COVID-19 pandemic a ‘boon’ for legal cannabis in Canada as marijuana industry turns two

10/17/20--Canada’s legal marijuana industry is experiencing an increase in sales, more brick-and-mortar stores and competitive pricing upon reaching two years in business. Since Canada legalized recreational marijuana on Oct. 17, 2018, legal sellers and producers have struggled to compete with the black market, but there have been recent gains in the licensed industry. Read

Mood and cognition after administration of low LSD doses in healthy volunteers

10/17/20--Overall, the study demonstrated selective, beneficial effects of low doses of LSD on mood and cognition in the majority of observations. The minimal LSD dose at which subjective and performance effects are notable is 5 mcg and the most apparent effects were visible after 20 mcg. Read

Support for legalizing cannabis going up in smoke – survey

8/30/20--A New Zealand survey ahead of October's referendum on legalizing recreational cannabis shows a big surge in opposition to a law change, with 46 percent now against legalizing the drug. Read

Cannabis-related death in Australia

7/30/20--This presentation, based on research conducted by Emma Zahra, a Research Officer at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW Sydney, explores the findings of the first national level study that investigated 559 cannabis-related deaths through the National Coronial Information System includes drug-related morbidity and mortality and treatment pathways. Read

United Kingdom drug situation 2019: summary

8/7/20--The overall prevalence of drug use reported in the UK has remained relatively stable throughout the last decade. However, the most recent surveys covering England and Wales, and Scotland reported the highest prevalence of drug use in the past 10 years. From the most recent surveys, the prevalence of any drug use in the last year was 9.4% in England and Wales, 12% in Scotland, and 5.9% in Northern Ireland. Read

Association of opioid prescription initiation during adolescence and young adulthood with subsequent substance-related morbidity

8/10/20--Results of a study published in JAMA Pediatrics indicate that among the adolescents and young adults analyzed, initial opioid prescription receipt was associated with an approximately 30% to 40% relative increase in risk of subsequent substance-related morbidity in multiple designs that adjusted for confounding. These findings suggest that this increase may be smaller than previously estimated in some other studies. Read

Association of opioid prescription initiation during adolescence and young adulthood with subsequent substance-related morbidity

8/10/20--Among adolescents and young adults analyzed in this study, initial opioid prescription receipt was associated with an approximately 30% to 40% relative increase in risk of subsequent substance-related morbidity in multiple designs that adjusted for confounding, According to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics. These findings suggest that this increase may be smaller than previously estimated in some other studies. Read

B.C. premier formally asks federal government to decriminalize illegal drugs

7/21/20--B.C. Premier John Horgan is formally asking the federal government to decriminalize possession of illegal drugs for personal use. In a letter sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, Horgan says decriminalization would ‘reduce the systemic stigma associated with illicit drug use and support people to access the services that they need’. Read

Minister open to examining drug decriminalization

7/20/20--Patty Hajdu, the Federal Health Minister, is open to looking at decriminalizing small amounts of illegal drugs. The request is coming from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police who want the enforcement of possession of illegal drugs to be replaced with a healthcare approach that doesn’t punish someone addicted to substances. Read

Canada marijuana dispensary count tops 1,000 for the first time

7/18/20--In less than two years after the country legalized recreational cannabis, Canada has reached an important milestone. According to a report in BNN Bloomberg, the country's dispensary count crossed the 1,000 mark as of July 17, landing at 1,010. Read

NSW and Victorian Injecting Rooms

7/28/20--According to the last 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey of 25,000 Australians as presented by Drug Free Australia, 99% do not approve of regular heroin use. While 55% of Australians surveyed support injecting rooms as an intervention there has been a program of constant misinformation about injecting rooms by supporters fed to a gullible or complicit Australian media. Read

Canadian cannabis companies sued over product mislabeling

7/9/20--A class-action lawsuit over packaging mislabeling filed in a Calgary court is taking aim at some of the Canadian cannabis market’s biggest names. The plaintiff, Lisa Marie Langevin from Calgary, Alberta, claims that the several companies sold cannabis products to consumers and patients “with THC or CBD content levels that were drastically different from the amount advertised on the label.” Read

Interactions between cannabidiol and Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol in modulating seizure susceptibility and survival in a mousae model of Dravet syndrome

7/1/20--Extracts from the cannabis plant can dramatically improve the health of children suffering from refractory epilepsies such as Dravet syndrome. These extracts typically contain cannabidiol (CBD), a phytocannabinoid with well‐documented anticonvulsant effects, but may also contain Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9‐THC). It is unclear whether the presence of Δ9‐THC modulates the anticonvulsant efficacy of CBD. The Scn1a +/‐ mouse model of Dravet syndrome was used to examine this question. Read

THC Kiss cannabis beverage ships again to B.C – THC biomed makes first shipment of THC kiss to Saskatoon Distributor

6/29/20--THC BioMed Intl Ltd. announced that its fulfillment team will today ship a second shipment of THC Kiss Cannabis Beverage to British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch. The fulfillment team will also complete their first shipment to the new Saskatchewan distributor, National Cannabis Distribution. This shipment will be comprised of dried cannabis and our ready-to-drink cannabis beverage shot, "THC Kiss." Read

Tony Clement joins psychedelic drug company as advisor

6/26/20--Tony Clement, a former federal health minister who staunchly opposed drug liberalization policies in his time in office, has joined an Ontario-based company set to grow and sell psilocybin, a psychedelic substance. Clement, who left federal politics last year, will become a senior advisor on Red Light Holland’s advisory board, the company announced this week. Read

WeedMD launches cannabis 2.0 product line of medical vaporizers

6/22/20--WeedMD announced the launch of its line of strain-specific medicinal vaporizer pens (vapes). The ‘Aurum’ vapes are available to Starseed patients across Canada as part of the Company’s expanding medical cannabis product portfolio as an insured benefit. WeedMD’s medical vaporization product line will be available to medical patients in the coming weeks and will expand into the adult-use market under its Color Cannabis brand in Q3, 2020. Read

Impact of e-cigarette and cigarette prices on youth and young adult e-cigarette behavior; evidence from a national longitudinal cohort

6/19/20--This is the first study to examine e-cigarette and cigarette prices on e-cigarette and cigarette behavior longitudinally among young people. Findings suggest the need for better measuring the costs associated with e-cigarette use among this population, as well as a careful assessment of price and tax policies that takes into account cross-product impact to sufficiently discourage e-cigarette and cigarette use among young people. Read

Beleave joins growing list of Canadian cannabis insolvencies

6/5/20--Beleave has become the latest in a wave of Canadian cannabis companies seeking creditor protection. The Toronto-based company will apply for a creditor protection order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Friday, according to a news release. Read

Ancient people in the Kingdom of Judah may have gotten high off weed

5/30/20--More than 2,700 years ago, worshipers at a "holy of holies" shrine in Israel may have gotten high on weed. Researchers discovered burnt cannabis and frankincense at the site, which was located in the Kingdom of Judah. Read

UN body prepares for December vote on cannabis rescheduling despite pandemic

5/29/20--The U.N. body that decides drug policy has a plan for moving forward with a landmark vote in December on whether to revise the inclusion of cannabis and cannabis-related substances in two international narcotics conventions. Read

Civil society organizations call for drug decriminalization as a necessary response to COVID-19

5/14/20--More than 50 leading human rights, health, and drug policy organizations from across the country, including the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Pivot Legal Society, the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, Canadian Association of People who use Drugs, Amnesty International, the BC Centre on Substance Use, and the Canadian Public Health Association, are calling on key ministers in the federal government to immediately decriminalize the possession of illicit drugs in response to the twin crises of opioid overdoses and the COVID-19 pandemic. Read

Minimum legal age for cannabis use should be 19, study suggests

5/13/20--A team of researchers at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, investigated how Canadians who started using cannabis at several young ages differed across important outcomes (educational attainment, cigarette smoking, self-reported general and mental health) in later-life. According to this new study, the optimal minimum legal age for non-medical cannabis use is 19 years of age. Read

Government reveals cannabis referendum legalization details

5/1/20--On Friday, the Government released details of the Cannabis Legalization and Control Bill, which will be voted on in one of two referendums at this year’s general election. The final version also confirmed the wording of the cannabis referendum question will be a straight 'Yes or No' option. The Bill sets out the regulation regime that would legalize the production, possession and uses of cannabis in New Zealand for those aged 20 years and older. Read

Ross Gerber says Tesla is pushing ahead of competitors during COVID-19 pandemic

4/17/20--Tesla Inc. has been one of the top performers in the market in the past month. On Friday, Ross Gerber, president and CEO of GerberKawasaki, joined Benzinga’s PreMarket Prep and discussed the ways he said Tesla is benefiting from the COVID-19 outbreak. Read

The downside of narrowly focused cannabis operations

4/5/20--According to an article featured in New Cannabis Ventures weekly newsletter, several weeks into the COVID-19 crisis reemphasizes the point that companies with too narrow of a geographic focus on cannabis may be taking too much risk. Read

Legal marijuana market future trends landscape 2028

4/6/20--The demand within the global market for legal marijuana has been increasing on account of growing awareness about the uses of marijuana in several medical applications. Additionally, some of the states in the US have also permitted the usage of marijuana for recreational purposes, thus, giving an impetus to the growth of the global market for legal marijuana. Read

Cannabis and Coronavirus: HEXO delays financial statements, Canopy Growth closes stores

3/17/20--Some cannabis companies have already been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. HEXO Corp. said it has not met the deadline for filing its interim financial statements for its fiscal second quarter because of several unexpected circumstances, while Canopy Growth announced it has decided to temporarily stop operating all corporate-owned Tokyo Smoke and Tweed retail stores across Canada, respecting the advice provided by various health bodies concerning the COVID-19 outbreak. Read    

The German hemp market – hemp makes a comeback in Germany

2/11/20--While the demand for hemp products has been on the rise in Germany, hemp is still considered a niche product. Licensed German companies are now able to cultivate medicinal cannabis, though the cultivation, distribution, and consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes remains prohibited in Germany. This report provides an overview of the German hemp market, its opportunities, and the current legal status. Read

Former UN drug policy chief joins Thai cannabis company as president

2/14/20--Viroj Sumyai, former head of the United Nations body responsible for international drug treaty compliance, has been hired as president of Thailand’s leading medical cannabis company, lending a significant voice to the global credibility of the industry, especially in Asia, according to experts. Read

Canadian cannabis GDP contribution rises by 15% in November

2/2/20--According to data compiled by Statistics Canada, the federal government's official statistics agency, the growth in the contribution of cannabis to gross domestic product (GDP) eclipsed every major category of the Canadian economy in November 2019. All told, cannabis industry production amounted to just over $7.4 billion Canadian ($5.6 billion) that month, which was 15% higher than the November 2018 result. Read

Cannabis compound could be weapon in fight against superbugs

1/19/20--A compound made by cannabis plants has been found to wipe out drug-resistant bacteria, raising hopes of a new weapon in the fight against superbugs. Scientists screened five cannabis compounds for their antibiotic properties and found that one, cannabigerol (CBG), was particularly potent at killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the most common hospital superbugs. Read

Pot shop proximity jumps in Canada after a slow retail rollout

12/11/19--Although Canada’s pot industry is having a rough year, retailers looking to cash in on the newly legalized commodity has not diminished. The total number of retail cannabis stores rose to 407 in July, an increase of 88 percent in the past four months, Statistics Canada said Wednesday in Ottawa. Read

AB Bev’s Labatt will sell CBD-infused tea in Canada

12/11/19--The world’s biggest brewer will kick off its push into cannabis-infused beverages with a lineup of flavored teas -- Lavender Chamomile, Vanilla Rooibos and Peach Ginger Green. The “Everie” teas will contain 98% pure cannabidiol, the non-psychotropic ingredient in cannabis, with only a trace -- 0.05 milligrams -- of THC, the component that gets you high. They will be sold through Fluent Beverages, a joint venture between Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s Labatt Breweries of Canada and pot company Tilray Inc.’s High Park Co. Read

I have seen the damage cannabis does

11/15/19--This feature article tells of a story featuring Eddie (fictional name) who began smoking marijuana, at first only occasionally, and then more regularly until eventually he was using it every day. Over a period of time, psychotic symptoms first emerged and then developed into something bigger. Eventually Eddie received a diagnosis of schizophrenia Read

Cannabis-based medicinal products

11/11/19--This guideline covers prescribing of cannabis-based medicinal products for people with intractable nausea and vomiting, chronic pain, spasticity, and severe treatment-resistant epilepsy. Read

Cannabis-based medicines: Two drugs approved for NHS

11/11/19--Two cannabis-based medicines, used to treat epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, have been approved for use by the NHS in England. Doctors will be able to prescribe Epidyolex, for children with two types of severe epilepsy - Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome - which can cause multiple seizures a day. The other treatment, Sativex, is a mouth spray that contains a mix of THC and CBD. It has been approved for treating muscle stiffness and spasms, known as spasticity, in multiple sclerosis. But doctors will not be allowed to prescribe it to treat pain. Read  

Too much weed: Canadian cannabis producers are sitting on a mountain of inventory

11/6/19--Since January of 2019, the amount of unfinished inventory of dried cannabis has nearly tripled in Canada, reaching a staggering 328,000 kilograms at the end of August. That compares to roughly 118,000 kilograms eight months earlier, according to Health Canada data. Health Canada defines unfinished inventory as the amount of cannabis held in stock by a “cultivator or processor that is not packaged, labelled and ready for sale.” Read

Quebec pot arrests behind the wheel up 54% since legalization

10/17/19--The Sûreté du Québec says cannabis is the most commonly detected drug in its traffic stops. The provincial force said that since legalization, cannabis was detected in the systems of 113 persons pulled over for impaired driving, compared with 73 cases a year earlier — an increase of 54 percent. Read

Troubled Portugal bad example for drug advocates in NZ

10/18/19--According to Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, it has been said for years that Portugal’s decriminalization of marijuana is the perfect model of marijuana legalization. However, Portugal shows troubling results. The most recent statistics show that between 2012 and 2017 Lifetime Prevalence statistics for alcohol, tobacco, and drugs for the general population have risen by 23%. Read

Suspected cannabis-impaired drivers more costly to test: Police report

10/5/19--According to a new report, it’s more costly for police to deal with a suspected cannabis-impaired driver than one suspected of driving drunk. For cannabis, an officer spends six hours processing an impaired driver, compared to one hour for a driver impaired by alcohol. This difference reflects the time required to complete a specialized field sobriety test, to administer a test by a drug recognition expert and take a blood sample. Read 

Pot, alcohol most common cause of youth substance-use hospitalizations

9/19/19--Marijuana and alcohol were the most common substances leading to hospitalization of youth aged 10 to 24 across the country, says a report that highlights the prevalence of mental-health conditions as contributing factors. Read

Marijuana killed my son

9/21/19--Brian Smith Jr. died from dehydration as a result of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) after suffering complications from prolonged use of marijuana, according to an autopsy report. Brian's mother, Regina Denney, claims marijuana took her son's life, and states that if she can bring light to this and I help another child or another family not have to go through this, then she's doing her job. Read

Black market pot entered CannTrust facility, flowed into legal market last year: Sources

9/6/19--Senior operating staff working at CannTrust Holdings Inc.’s Pelham, Ont. facility late last year brought marijuana seeds from the black market into production rooms, leading to some illicitly-grown pot flowing into the legal market, according to internal company documents obtained by BNN Bloomberg and four sources directly familiar with the matter. Read

Medicinal cannabis: the hype is strong, but the evidence is weak

8/10/19--While there is high community and media interest in medicinal marijuana, the scientific community is approaching the drug with caution, noting that while there is some evidence to back it in some cases, the strength of the research into marijuana needs improvement. Read

World Drug Report 2019

6/30/19--The World Drug Report 2019 is presented in five separate parts that divide the wealth of information and analysis contained in the report into individual reader-friendly booklets in which drugs are grouped by their psychopharmacological effect for the first time in the report’s history. As in previous years, the World Drug Report 2019 is aimed at improving the understanding of the world drug problem and contributing towards fostering greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health, governance and security. Read

NHS is forced to open Britain’s first clinic for cannabis psychosis to treat addicts of the mind-altering drug

6/30/19--Cannabis-induced psychosis has reached crisis levels, forcing the NHS to open the first clinic specifically treating addicts of the mind-altering drug. The clinic has been launched by a leading psychiatrist who warns that psychosis among users of skunk – a very strong strain of cannabis flooding the streets – has become ‘a crisis that we can simply no longer ignore’, with tens of thousands of people affected. Read

Canadians now less enthusiastic about the prospect of legalized edibles

5/9/19--Marijuana-infused edibles will be legal to purchase for recreational use in Canada in October 2019. A new study from Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, Senior Director at the Dalhousie University Agrifood Analytics Lab, shows that Canadians aren’t as eager to embrace them as they were two years ago. Read

Can medical marijuana help kids with autism?

5/10/19--According to a new Israeli clinical trial reports, medical marijuana extracts appear to help children with autism, reducing their disruptive behavior while improving their social responsiveness. However, parents of children with autism should still wait for more data before trying to treat them with medical marijuana, warned lead researcher Dr. Adi Aran, director of the pediatric neurology unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Read

Italy’s interior minister declares war on cannabis, but stakeholders expect limited impact

5/10/19--Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini vowed to close all “cannabis light” shops in the country. “Cannabis light” is defined as cannabis with THC levels below 0.2%. Three shops were reportedly closed the day after the minister’s declaration, a move Salvini celebrated before issuing a new directive to intensify controls. Read

Seeking a safe place: Vancouver’s story

5/12/19--As American cities, including Boston, debate whether to allow injection sites — clean rooms where people use illicit drugs, watched by trained staffers who can rescue them from overdoses — Vancouver is often held up as an example by both sides of the argument. According to an observation outlined in an article by Boston Globe staff writer Felice J. Freyer, the safe-injection site doesn’t cause the street drug use that surrounds it. But it doesn’t eliminate the problem, either. Read

For cannabis stock Tilray (TLRY), marijuana oversupply could be a good thing

4/25/19--Finding sufficient high quality marijuana to use in its products “has been a challenge” for Tilray. In response to the challenge, the company has added about 15,000 kilograms of production capacity to its High Park Gardens facility in Canada, and is building out production capacity in Portugal to support its move into the European market. Tilray believes that oversupply will be the big trend in the Canadian cannabis market — and it doesn’t want to sink too much of its capital into expanding production of a commodity that will one day end up in oversupply. Read

ICCI Announces Steph Sherer as President

4/25/19--International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI) announces its co-founder, Steph Sherer, as President. Sherer has made medical cannabis available to patients worldwide. During her time as Executive Director of ASA, Sherer was responsible for the drafting of some of the first distribution laws in the United States and has been a leader in bringing patients to the table with lawmakers. Read

Health warnings, cannabis marketing and perceptions among youth and young adults in Canada

4/22/19--An increasing number of jurisdictions are legalizing recreational marijuana, including Canada. One of the primary goals under the Cannabis Act is to adequately inform Canadians about recreational marijuana and risks related to its use. According to the findings of a recent study, brand imagery on cannabis packaging can promote lifestyle associations and influence the appeal of cannabis products among young people. Read

Large reduction in psychiatric admissions after head-shop ban

4/8/19--There was a significant and immediate reduction in admissions to psychiatric facilities after the strict laws banning head shop drugs were introduced, new research shows. Read

United Nations unanimously agrees to indefinitely postpone cannabis vote

3/20/19--The United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) opted to indefinitely postpone a vote on the World Health Organization’s recommended changes to the scheduling of cannabis in international drug control conventions. The recommendations, prepared by the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, call for cannabis and cannabis resin to be deleted from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs. Read