Hemp Growers Fury At Portuguese Government

PORTUGUESE hemp farmers have hit out after failing to secure licences for the 2019 growing season – leaving them thousands of Euros out of pocket.

Lusicanna, a Portuguese hemp growing co-operative, this month published a survey of 29 of its members which show all of them unhappy the way their Government has handled the situation.

The co-operative claims their problems began with the introduction of a new law in January this year to regulate the medical cannabis industry, which also included stipulations on how industrial hemp should be regulated.

Growers Set To Sue Government

But Lusicanna says the relevant authorities in Portugal have shunned their responsibilities in implementing the new hemp industry directives, leaving them high and dry.

All 29 small hemp farmers surveyed by Lusicanna said the government is not making rules for hemp clear and all said ‘no’ when asked if the government clearly communicated the 2019 changes, reports Lusicanna on its website. 

They also unanimously answered ‘no’ when asked if the government supports the efforts of hemp farmers, and three-quarters said they would participate in a lawsuit over lost business. 

Huge Losses for Hemp Growers

This year’s failed crop means losses of €30,000 per hectare (U.S $33,000), Lusicanna estimates. “Whether the hemp businesses here in Portugal can catch up with the rapid market developments if given authorization in 2020 remains an open question, as investors’ doubts mount for obvious reasons,” say Lusicanna.

Portugal was one of the first companies to decriminalize all drugs in 2001, and last year it legalized cannabis-based medicines. Its warm climate has seen it attract millions of dollars of investment from Tilray into an outdoor cannabis farm. 

Crop ‘Contamination’ Fears

The Canadian company is reportedly looking to make the small town of Cantanhede near Coimbra, where its production plant is based, as its main European hub.  

One critic of the Portuguese Government on The Cannabis News Network believes the lack of support for industrial hemp growers from its Government is to ensure the medical cannabis crops will not be cross-pollinated by industrial hemp plants, thereby reducing their worth.

In January this year, Canada’s ICC International Cannabis agreed to acquire 100% of Portugal’s Enigma Unipessoal Lda, saying it will allow  harvest 45,000 kg of CBD isolate per year. 

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Which 2020 Presidential Candidate Wants To Legalize Cannabis By Executive Order?

Cannabis legalization is a hot topic in the world of politics in America these days. While many presidential hopefuls have vowed to legalize, one man in particular wants to go a step further.

While President Trump can be given credit for passing the 2018 Farm Bill, allowing for the industrial cultivation of hemp, many critics feel his administration is yet to fulfill the will of the people when it comes to legalizing the plant federally. Cannabis is far more relevant to politicians these days than it was previously. With that said, many politicians on the left in the US say they would legalize cannabis fully if elected. Luckily, the public usually knows what “smoke and mirrors” looks like.

One politician on the roster for the 2020 elections is Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand. As a presidential hopeful, Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced her plan for the future of cannabis back in May of this year. “Fundamentally, whether adults use marijuana is a matter of privacy, and we should treat marijuana as a major economic opportunity and revenue source,” wrote Gillibrand at the time. She also announced back in February 2018 that she would sponsor a bill to fully legalize cannabis nationwide, primarily to assist “communities of color,” according to a High Times report.

However, the man of the moment, at least as far as cannabis legalization talk is concerned is none other than Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders spoke with Joe Rogan on a podcast last week and announced his intentions on air. Sanders told Rogan that he wouldn’t just support legalizing cannabis, instead that he would do it through a specially written “executive order.” In Sanders own words on that podcast, “What I call for now is the legalization of marijuana in America,” he said. “I believe we can do that through executive order, and I will do that,” he claimed.

There’s no question that if Sanders is telling the truth about his intentions, it will represent a new approach to cannabis legalization in America. If elected president, Sanders could bypass the slow-moving corridors of Congress and legalize cannabis as president. Sanders also told his host during the interview that he was the first senator to sponsor a bill to end the federal prohibition of cannabis.

During the informal chat, Bernie Sanders spoke about how the landscape in the US has changed in a short period. “What seemed kind of radical, the need to legalize and decriminalize marijuana… is spreading all over the country,” he said. “It blows my mind… Here in California, you see signs from corporations: ‘Buy our marijuana.’ Four years ago, people were getting arrested for doing that, right? Their lives being destroyed.”

The senator also took issue with cannabis being scheduled as a dangerous drug alongside things like heroin and cocaine. “[The Controlled Substances Act] is insane,” Sanders told Rogan. “Heroin is a killer drug. You can argue the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but marijuana ain’t heroin. So we have to end that, and that’s what I will do,” he said.

It’s often hard to read politicians and their true intentions, especially when they appear on popular podcasts to sell themselves. However, as some commentators have pointed out, if anyone could legalize cannabis federally it’s Bernie Sanders as his track record on the subject speaks for itself. Then again, every other Democratic candidate running against Donald Trump (apart from Joe Biden) are also pro-cannabis legalization and have that as part of their platform. We’ll have to wait until 2020 at least to see which candidate will come true on their promise and which will not.

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Irish CBD Store Owner’s Impromptu Arrest Raises Vital Questions

Despite being legal in Ireland, one legitimate CBD business owner is currently facing arrest and possibly jail time for selling CBD.

Jim Weathers was sure he was complying with the law as he proudly built his CBD business in County Cork, Ireland. Weathers operates two stores, aptly named “Puff n Stuff.”

The debacle started last November when a seemingly average customer purchased some CBD flowers from one of the stores. As soon as that customer left the store, he was pulled over by cops and searched. The officers at the scene confiscated the CBD flowers, despite being told by Weathers that, “the flower contained only the negligible, legal amount of intoxicating THC.”

As Weathers told Irish Times, “I had certificates of analysis to prove it.” With that, the police took various CBD flower samples from the store for further analysis. Weathers didn’t hear back from the police in weeks and assumed the matter was over, and the case closed.

Weathers tried to educate the police about CBD, noting that CBD flowers are being sold across Ireland. “In fact within a kilometer distance of this premises, there are 8 shops selling CBD products,” Weathers said. “They didn’t even know the difference between hemp and cannabis,” he added.

 

 

Then, May came around and Weathers would find his world turned upside down. One of his stores was raided, and at least 2kg of CBD products were confiscated. The police confiscated these on the basis that the sample they had taken from the customer back in November tested positive for THC. However, the fact that the THC was under the legal limit of 0.2% was something the police missed totally.

Having had his stock taken, Weathers assumed he’d heard the last of it from the local police force. However, just this month, he received a worrying phone call advising him of a warrant for his arrest. He duly attended the local police station and was told he might get a prison sentence for “dealing.” For his part, Weathers is understandably confused and outraged.

He told the publication, “It is frustrating that the health authorities have not shared their information on CBD with gardaí (police) authorities,” he said. Meanwhile, The Irish Health Service Executive and the EU allow the sale of CBD as long as it contains less than the requisite 0.2% THC. For that matter, gardaí is drawing on the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, which prohibits any amount of THC in any form.

Weathers is an American who is currently seeking Irish citizenship. However, he is now worried that the warrant for his arrest could affect his chances of becoming an Irish citizen. “I’m not feeling good, to be honest. This is a debacle. I’ve spent five years trying to meet the requirement which I have finally done. This could be a major factor in that not happening,” Weathers said according to an Irish Times report.

Weathers noted than when he first entered the CBD industry, in 2017, he had no issues with the police at all. It was only later in 2018 when his CBD flowers were taken for testing that the problems started. He also told reporters than many of his customers are elderly people who use CBD to treat arthritis and other issues.

And while it remains to be seen what will happen to Weathers in light of his recent arrest, many are calling for clear direction from Irish authorities and law enforcement, when it comes to the question of legal CBD.

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Mexico’s Health Ministry Ordered To Clarify Medical And Recreational Cannabis Status

Finally, the justices of Mexico’s highest court have grown weary of the Health Ministry’s foot-dragging when it comes to cannabis regulation. At the same time, citizens are left confused about the official status of the plant in Mexico – both medically and recreationally.

The issue of legalizing cannabis in Mexico has been a hot topic, debated for years. Having endured numerous iterations, the country seems a little closer to making medical cannabis available for patients who want it. The Health Ministry has been talking about various proposals for the best part of two years, but no reliable decisions have yet been reached. That could be why the Supreme Court just informed the ministry that they have up to six months to issue some guidance.

It was about a year ago that Andrés Manuel López Obradoro’s left-leaning government brought forward a bill to regulate cannabis. The bill included a proposal to regulate the industry on two levels – medical and recreational. However, that proposal has hardly moved in a year, and most people know that’s down to corruption and the power that the drug cartels in Mexico wield.

Last year, following the legalization of medical cannabis in Mexico, the Health Ministry was tasked with regulating the usage and distribution of medical cannabis in the country. As those regulations have still not been forthcoming, patients and distributors alike remain unclear. Full cannabis legalization was one of the main platforms Obradoro ran on, but despite big promises, hardly any movement has been seen on the ground.

 

 

The tragedy is that the original proposal, put forward by the party’s Interior Minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero, was a perfect balance (according to many) between legalization and safe regulation of cannabis. The proposal wants to ban cannabis advertising but at the same time establish the Mexican Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis. This agency would deal with all licensing and regulation of THC and CBD products.

The proposal goes even further, making a provision for legally registered home grows to produce a yield of a maximum of 480g per year. Those “cooperatives” would then provide cannabis to 150 members per year. As far as legalizing cannabis goes, Cordero’s proposal is a smart one according to many commentators. Many people in Mexico hope the foot-dragging will come to an end soon so that Mexicans can have the access to cannabis that they require.

In a complete change of direction, Mexico stands poised to go from cannabis prohibition to the exact opposite. That’s because the Supreme Court ruled that the principles of cannabis prohibition violate human rights. As such, lawmakers in the country now have until October to get cannabis legislation and regulation in order. The government also invited citizens to comment on the process and to offer their opinions and feedback.

The fact remains that black market cannabis in Mexico is a multi-billion dollar enterprise. That means there are scores of individuals who directly benefit and profit from cannabis being illegal. Another issue the country has to overcome is the outside investment in Mexican cannabis, which could see all of its profits “exported.”

Despite all this, Mexico appears poised to make some significant changes when it comes to cannabis. It will be interesting to see how those changes pan out and if the October 2019 on the Health Ministry will be fulfilled.

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Barbados Poised To Legalize Medical Cannabis

Many people were surprised when the Prime Minister of Barbados put her support behind legalizing medical cannabis. Barbados is the latest country to pursue a medical cannabis program – a hot topic that’s up for debate later this month.

Having been introduced to parliament recently, the new bill is to be debated by lawmakers in Barbados in the coming weeks. Dale Marshall, the attorney general of the county, said according to a Nation News report, “We have committed to medicinal cannabis because, as a fella said: ‘You gotta go where the science takes you,’ but there is always going to be some push back.”

That push back has already come in the form of other lawmakers in Barbados who hold a more stringent view when it comes to cannabis and its medicinal benefits. In his capacity as vice-premier of Barbados, Marshall announced the new initiative during a press conference at the Argentinian Embassy in Barbados. The Caribbean country strictly forbids recreational cannabis use on the island.

Much of that has to do with the conservative values held by the 80% Christian majority in the country. With that said, Marshall isn’t overly worried, at least as far as medical cannabis is concerned. “I don’t think that the churches are against medicinal cannabis,” he said.

 

 

“The single treaty on narcotics, which is the 1969 United Nations Convention, exempts what would normally be illegal drugs, so long as the purpose is either medical or scientific,” he added. “Our big issue is always going to be the feeling that if you can use marijuana for medicine then you could also use it for recreation and I think that is what the religious community is concerned about.”

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, announced in 2018 that she was ready to see her country move in the direction of medical cannabis legalization. Mottley said back in December that Barbados shouldn’t be focusing on exporting cultivated cannabis under the new initiative.

Instead, she feels it should be used to further tourism to the island, “Why would we seek to export when we can package and extract maximum value by having clinics as well as recuperative villages for people who want to deal with a certain aspect of pain management?” she asked rhetorically.

Back in July of this year, Barbados’ Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir, told Barbados Today that he was happy about the new bill. “The legislation should be going to Parliament this summer or early September the latest,” he said. We started last year, and I am really happy to know that our industry would be coming on stream very shortly.” Weir also spoke about how advanced Barbados is when it comes to initiating a medical cannabis program.

“If you were to compare Barbados to all of the other jurisdictions in terms of starting up, we are way ahead,” he explained to the publication. “For example, in St Vincent, it took over two years to get them started, and I am happy for my colleague Saboto Caesar, [Minister of Agriculture]. We started off last year as a Government with the planning phase, and we are now ready to take legislation to Parliament this summer,” he said.

At the same time, many serious investors are showing a particular interest in the future of cannabis is Barbados. Some people are showing a keen interest in heavy investment in the medical cannabis program. The other factor is that Barbados has a near-perfect climate when it comes to growing cannabis and that bodes well for the country as a whole. There will be more news about the medical cannabis program in Barbados in the coming weeks, as the country joins a host of others saying goodbye to cannabis prohibition.

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Recreational Cannabis Bill Could Hit Arizona Polls In 2020

Back in 2016, Arizona tried to legalize recreational cannabis. That effort failed but only by a small margin. A new campaign to legalize cannabis has its sights firmly set on 2020, but how will citizens in the Grand Canyon State vote?

Arizona is historically a relatively conservative state, and that fact’s borne out by the split between Arizonans when it comes to the question of legal cannabis. When efforts to make recreational cannabis legal in 2016 failed, another valiant attempt was made in 2018. Back then, Todd Clodfelter and Mark Cardenas put forward a bipartisan bill to allow for recreational cannabis possession up to one ounce (28g). However, that attempt also fell on deaf ears and didn’t pass the judiciary committee.

Cannabis advocates in Arizona appear to have had enough of the failed attempts and want a say in the matter. Cannabis legalization advocates in the state want the issue to be squarely put at the feet of Arizonans in the upcoming 2020 vote. Smart and Safe Arizona are the group responsible for spearheading the proposal which they hope will pave the way for full cannabis legalization.

As Stacy Pearson from Smart and Safe Arizona said, according to a High Times report, “It’s just simply a better policy,” referring to the changes made to the 2016 proposal. “We’ve had four additional years to see what’s happened nationally,” she said.

For their part, Smart and Safe Arizona have already filed the relevant paperwork with the Secretary of State. The hope is to have the question of legal recreational cannabis on the ballot in 2020, although legislators could pre-empt that if the campaign gains too much momentum. Bearing in mind that medical cannabis only became legal in 2010 by the narrowest of margins, with 50.1% of the vote, it remains to be seen which way the tide will turn with the forthcoming ballot. 

 

 

As Pearson explained, “What we’re asking voters to do is take something that is on the black market currently and move it to a place where it’s tested, taxed, controlled, regulated, and ensure that it’s not being sold to minors.” That sentiment resonates loud and clear with at least half of the citizens of Arizona, according to some estimates.

Things appear to be moving in the right direction as even the Arizona Chamber of Commerce said they are willing to give the new proposals a fair hearing. With that said, the burden of proof will be high, and that may not bode so well for cannabis advocates. The new initiative includes seven key points when it comes to legalizing cannabis recreationally:

  • Only residents of Arizona aged 21 and over will be entitled to possess cannabis (up to one ounce)
  • Residents who are at least 21 are entitled to cultivate six cannabis plants at home.
  • The consumption of cannabis in public spaces like parks and sidewalks will be prohibited.
  • Private firms or business owners are entitled to refuse to allow the consumption of cannabis on their premises.
  • Those will previous cannabis convictions will be allowed to “seal” their criminal records to seek employment reasonably.
  • All cannabis products in Arizona will carry a 16% excise tax in addition to regular taxes.
  • Excise tax proceeds would be earmarked for various agencies including the Department of Health Services and the Department of Public Safety.

There are also other measures proposed in the legislation to deter minors from being tempted by cannabis products. For example, in the wording of the proposal, any products that, “resemble the form of a human, animal, insect, fruit, toy, or cartoon,” will be banned. Meanwhile, founder of the Marijuana Industry Trade Association in Arizona, Demitri Downing, is hopeful that residents of Arizona will vote for the bill, which he thinks is common sense. 

“Arizona is on the verge of a historical vote, especially for those interested in cannabis policy,” said Downing. “Love marijuana or hate it, prohibition is not and has never been the management policy that helps anyone. My prediction is that common sense will prevail in our libertarian-minded state.”

According to Smart and Safe Arizona, the state could raise as much as $300 million annually to go toward the overall budget. With that being the case, there’s a good chance that residents of Arizona will be given the choice of recreational cannabis at the ballot box in 2020.

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The U.S. Navy Says No to CBD

Although CBD is a popular and non-intoxicating natural remedy in the civilian world, it’s still prohibited for our active duty military personnel.

The Navy is officially warning sailors and marines not to partake in CBD. It’s frustrating and, for the most part, way over the top… but sadly it makes sense. Because these products aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, they can include unlisted ingredients – of primary concern being the addition of the cannabinoid THC.

Should a CBD product have more than trace amounts of THC, that could lead to a failed drug test, and subsequently, a dishonorable discharge. The U.S. Military has a zero-tolerance policy for all “illegal” drugs. The Navy also reports drug use to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

 

 

In a service-wide message sent last week by Navy officials, it was stated that, “Those claims about over-the-counter CBD products have yet to be proven. Those products are mostly not regulated or tested by the Food and Drug Administration, the Navy said in a service-wide message earlier this week. As a result, ingredients may be unknown and some products could contain higher concentrations of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which produces a high.”

The message continued, “”It can be impossible to determine where a CBD or hemp product was manufactured and what level of THC it may contain. Even trace amounts of THC can accumulate in the body and be detected in a urinalysis screening.”

Thankfully, this ban doesn’t apply to service members with prescriptions for FDA-approved CBD medications, such as Epidiolex. It also doesn’t prohibit the use of topical CBD products such as lotions, ointments, shampoos, conditioners, and cosmetics.

As mentioned above, failure to abide by these regulations regarding will absolutely result in harsh disciplinary action, and you definitely don’t want to land yourself in hot water with the U.S. Navy.  

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Luxembourg To Become First European Nation To Fully Legalize Cannabis

As cannabis legalization sweeps across North America, it was only a matter of time before other parts of the world would follow suit and take a step closer to making the plant legal.

The tiny European country of Luxembourg is about to make history by becoming the first state in Europe to legalize cannabis fully. The country already has legislation in place to roll out the new initiative, which is expected by the fall. Luxembourg’s Health Minister, Étienne Schneider spoke to Euronews about the latest moves. “After decades of repressive policies, we have acknowledged that this policy does not work,” he said. “So it’s time to change mindsets, change our concepts and try something else,” he added.

Due to the makeup of the coalition in the country at the moment, there is little doubt that the legislation will get full parliament approval within the coming months. Schneider made it clear that his country would not become like a “mini Amsterdam” as cannabis would only be legal for citizens and not for tourists. The Health Minister, who is also the Vice Premier, talked about his hope that the new legislation would act as a beacon for other European states in the wake of North American cannabis legalization.

“I hope that this Luxembourg initiative will also have a positive impact on the other countries of the European Union,” Schneider said. Last year, the government of Luxembourg agreed to legalize not only medical cannabis but also recreational. As soon as the new bill gets its final stamp, the government will begin to legalize everything from cultivation to consumption for Luxembourg’s citizens. Only those over the age of 18 will be entitled to purchase cannabis, and the whole supply chain will be regulated by the state to ensure the quality of product and safety.

The minister also spoke to the publication about the expected revenue from cannabis legalization in Luxembourg. As Schneider explained, “For the government, it is clear that all these sums will be reinvested as a priority in prevention, awareness, and care in the broad area of addiction.”

 

The Health Minister also spoke about “repressive drug policies” across the world in terms of cannabis prohibition which have not worked. “We have acknowledged that this policy does not work,” he said. “It did not meet expectations. So it’s time to change mindsets, change our concepts, and try something else. The Canadian model has also inspired Luxembourg, and it is this model that we will introduce,” he explained.

Similarly, the minister believes that the majority of the country’s citizens are for the move. “I do not see too many obstacles in Luxembourg’s society, considering the feedback we have had so far was rather positive. So I do not expect too much opposition from Luxembourg’s society, which is very progressive,” he said.

When Schneider was asked about how neighboring European states might react to the new laws, he explained that his country had no interest in meddling with other state’s politics. As he explained, “It is not a question of meddling in their national policy, but simply of discussing the observations, we have made in Luxembourg, which was also made in Canada, in certain states of the United States, which suggest that it might be interesting to think of new drug policy.”

With that said, Schneider also spoke openly about his wish that the new policy will influence other European states, “I hope that this Luxembourg initiative will also have a positive impact on the other countries in the European Union.”

Many Europeans have been waiting patiently while North America hurries to legalize cannabis. Many states in Europe, and indeed, countries across the globe are watching Canada very closely to see how well the full legalization of cannabis goes there. In time, one assumes, more states in Europe will adopt pro-cannabis policies. If not at the recreational level, at least at the medical level.

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Thailand’s First Prescriptions For Medical Cannabis Within One Month

When medical cannabis became legal in Thailand in 2018, many people were excited to be able to treat their conditions with a natural alternative legally, for the first time in decades.

The Health Ministry in Thailand just announced that the first medical cannabis prescriptions for patients are set to be rolled out next month. Thai patients will also need to register and become approved before they’re entitled to prescription-based buds. Thailand’s Minister of Health, Dr. Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, 10,000 bottles of medical cannabis oil will be made by Thailand’s Government Pharmaceutical Organization.

At the same time, Phra Achan Fan Acharo Hospital intends to produce different formulas of Thai remedies, containing cannabis extract from crops already confiscated by Thai law enforcement. When it comes to prescribing medical cannabis to patients, 400 Thai doctors have been approved so far. That number also includes dentists and pharmacists and another 3,000 traditional Thai medicine practitioners. All of the approved doctors and practitioners have been or are being trained in how to prescribe medical cannabis.

A two-day training course was recently arranged in Thailand, aimed at educating medical professionals about cannabis. The special training event was organized by the Department for the Development of Thai and Alternative Medicine and the Department of Medical Services. Those who passed the exam at the end of the course were then able to apply for a medical cannabis license.

The authorities in Thailand are acutely aware that medical doctors and dentists have little-to-no knowledge when it comes to prescribing cannabis as medicine. That’s why they’ve set up a system of ongoing training and a requirement to renew licenses every two years. Moreover, doctors will need to report to the Special Access Scheme before handing prescriptions to patients. They are tasked with keeping track of things like side effects from cannabis and to record and analyze outcomes from treatments.

 

Thailand’s new medical cannabis program will be implemented in two stages. Stage one includes prescribing cannabis to patients via medical center hospitals in various provinces of the country. Stage two will see specialized departments inside all Thai hospitals with a provision for medical cannabis.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul explained, according to a Bangkok Post report, “While the drugs are in production now, I have asked that laws be amended to accommodate this move. Within 2-3 weeks, hospitals under the ministry will be allowed to prescribe drugs containing cannabis extract. Assuming good results from treatment, the policy on cannabis then will move on to the next step.”

The primary issue facing Thai authorities at the moment is one of supply and demand, just like in Canada where cannabis was recently legalized. For now, there simply isn’t enough medical cannabis oil to go around, and that means stage one of the rollout may run into problems. For the time being, those recovering from cancer treatments, and patients with MS will be prioritized to receive cannabis oil first.

The issue should be under control before long, especially as around 20,000 cannabis plants have been planted with the anticipated yield coming around the end of December; enough to treat approximately 2,000 patients. Meanwhile, chief of the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, Marut Jirasrattasiri, explained that his department is ready to provide medical cannabis oil. “We will be able to provide the cannabis oil to all 12 public health regions by August. The formula, based on Mr. Daycha’s original, is produced to a high standard of safety and efficiency,” he said.

It remains to be seen how successful, or not, the rollout of the new medical cannabis program in Thailand will be bearing in mind all of the challenges it faces. It is the hope of many that patients in Thailand will gain full access to medical cannabis if they choose it as an alternative to other medications and treatments.

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THC Edibles And Topicals Are Now Banned In Quebec

Cannabis legalization in Canada has gone well so far for the most part. However, as North America begins to come to terms with a plant that’s been prohibited for so many decades, the adjustment is also a tricky one.

The final stages of cannabis legalization are in place in Canada, as cannabis edibles are set to become legal within a few months. However, some provincial authorities, like those in Quebec, take a more conservative view on the legalization process. And while there are certainly valid arguments on both sides, the government in Quebec just preemptively banned the sale of THC-infused edibles, as well as THC topicals, in a bid to prevent products that may appeal to minors from reaching the market.

According to the new measures, any cannabis edibles with 5mg of THC per unit (or 10mg per pack) is permitted, but that doesn’t include gummy bears and other products that are potentially attractive to kids. The new provincial regulations also call for THC-infused skin creams to be banned “until further notice.”

Federally in Canada, cannabis edibles are capped at 10mg THC per pack. When it comes to THC topicals, that cap is 1,000mg. At the same time, the new regulations prohibit any cannabis products from being specifically appealing to children and are not allowed to make health claims about the products.

 

Cannabis extracts are also firmly in the sights of the Quebec authorities who have banned the use of “sweeteners and colorants, or ingredients that could increase the appeal of cannabis extracts.” While cannabis edibles officially become legal in Canada on October 17, it will take at least a couple of months for products to be rolled out and to hit the shelves.

An official statement from the Health Ministry of Quebec alleges that the federal rules on cannabis edibles and topicals are too relaxed and are not acceptable. The ban, however, covers mainly pre-prepared THC-infused products such as brownies and cupcakes. THC oils and butter infusions, on the other hand, will not be banned as they’re not considered to appeal to children. In essence, sweet products or those that kids might enjoy are in the spotlight while savory THC products are not.

Quebec is by far the most troubled province in Canada when it comes to cannabis legalization. They want to raise the minimum age for cannabis consumption to 21 and to ban its use entirely in public spaces. That proposal was dropped, but local municipalities have the right to impose their own rules and regulations to a degree.

It remains to be seen how legalization in Canada will go over the next few years. And while some of the regulations imposed in Quebec may affect some people in a limited way, there always remains the option for Canadians to bake their own THC edibles at home, and that could lead to precisely the type of issues the government in Quebec are trying to avert.

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