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  • 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, zeigt eine Umfrage. Doch was viele nicht wissen: Nicht jeder Mensch reagiert auf die Droge gleich. Manche sollten die Finger davon lassen, warnen Experten. Freigabe von Cannabis für den Freizeitkonsum. Laut Yougov-Umfrage sind die Deutschen in dieser Frage gänzlich 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 vergangenen November vom Meinungsforschungsinstitut Forsa durchgeführt worden war, fiel die Ablehnung deutlich stärker aus: Dort hatten sich 63 Prozent der Bundesbürger gegen eine Legalisierung von Cannabis ausgesprochen.

  • 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)

  • Philippines says Hague Tribunal will investigate Duterte over drug war

    The tribunal can take cases only if a country’s own judicial system is unable or unwilling to pursue them
    The New York Times (US)
    Thursday, February 8, 2018

    The International Criminal Court is opening a preliminary investigation into accusations that President Rodrigo Duterte and other Philippine officials committed crimes against humanity in the government’s deadly crackdown on drugs. The inquiry would determine whether there was enough evidence to build a case. But presidential spokesman Roque said that the government’s crackdown, which has left thousands dead since Mr. Duterte took office in June 2016, was a “legitimate police operation,” and that Duterte welcomed The Hague-based tribunal’s decision. In a 77-page complaint filed to the tribunal, Filipino lawyer Jude Josue Sabio accused Duterte and other officials of mass murder and crimes against humanity. (See also: Int'l Criminal Court takes 1st step in probe into Duterte drug war)

  • Tensions flare in Senate over marijuana-legalization bill

    Conservative senators seem intent on using procedural tricks to drag out the debate and irk the Liberal government
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Thursday, February 8, 2018

    Independent Senator Tony Dean, who is shepherding the federal bill to legalize cannabis through the Senate, is growing impatient with the slow pace of debate, alleging the Conservative are holding up the process for partisan purposes. He said there is an increasing likelihood the government would use time allocation – also known as closure – at some point to speed up the legislative process. The Trudeau government has yet to impose time allocation in the Senate since taking office, but it is seen as a growing possibility in this case. Bill C-45 is currently stuck at second reading in the Senate, with no timetable for its referral to committee for in-depth review. (See also: Trudeau government should push pot bill through Senate)

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