• Cattle, not coca, drive deforestation of the Amazon in Colombia – report

    Authorities have blamed the growing of coca – the base ingredient of cocaine – for clearcutting, but a recent study shows otherwise
    The Guardian (UK)
    Sunday, February 19, 2023

    deforestationCattle-ranching, not cocaine, has driven the destruction of the Colombian Amazon over the last four decades, a new study has found. Successive recent governments have used environmental concerns to justify ramping up their war on the green shrub, but the research shows that in 2018 the amount of forest cleared to cultivate coca, the base ingredient of cocaine, was only 1/60th of that used for cattle. The study’s findings vindicate conservation experts who have long argued that Colombia’s strategy to conserve the Amazon – often centered on combating coca production – has been misplaced. “We want to finally eradicate this narrative that coca is the driver of deforestation.” (See also: IDPC analysis of the UNODC World Drug Report 2022)

  • Cannabis associations will need to have salaries approved by regulator

    ARUC boss Leonid McKay insists regulator will enforce not-for-profit model
    Times of Malta (Malta)
    Saturday, February 18, 2023

    cannabis buds jarSalaries paid out by cannabis associations will have to be approved by the regulator to ensure they are in line with market rates, ARUC boss Leonid McKay has said. The Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis CEO said that the measure would be included in a legal framework that not-for-profit associations would need to adhere to and was intended to dissuade applicants seeking to turn their associations into money-making ventures. ARUC will be assessing salaries against comparable ones within the voluntary sector and any association that tries to game the system by paying out ridiculous salaries will have its licence revoked, he said. (See also: Smoking ban at cannabis clubs should be lifted, new authority head Leonid McKay urges)

  • Oxford study to trial cannabis-based medicine as treatment for psychosis

    CBD is currently only prescribed for a small number of conditions such as rare, severe epilepsy
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, February 16, 2023

    cannabinoidsOxford scientists are to launch a major global trial to investigate whether cannabis-based medicine can treat people with psychosis or psychotic symptoms. Currently, cannabidiol (CBD) is only prescribed for a small number of conditions. “Cannabidiol is one of the most promising new treatments for people with psychosis,” said Oxford’s Prof Philip McGuire, who is leading the trial. “Many people with psychosis are open to trying cannabidiol and previous smaller-scale studies have indicated that it has beneficial effects.” (See also: Study reveals how CBD helps counter epileptic seizures)

  • Canadian wholesale cannabis prices are off more than 40% in 2022

    Canada isn’t alone. Wholesale prices have been falling across the United States because of a glut of product
    MJBizDaily (US)
    Wednesday, February 15, 2023

    canada canopy growth facilityCanadian cannabis wholesale prices tumbled more than 40% last year as companies continued to work through stubborn supply gluts and struggling cultivators chose to sell off their unsold marijuana instead of destroying it. Looking at the latter part of 2023, some industry experts see the oversupply of wholesale cannabis easing somewhat as more licensed producers leave the market and the remaining cultivators adjust growing volumes to match demand. “Oversupply and excess capacity have resulted in high-quality flower being widely available and sold well below the marginal cost of production,” Zach George, the CEO of cannabis producer SNDL, said in a news release this week.

  • Why is Lesotho’s cannabis boom failing to deliver the prosperity it promised?

    Licences to grow are expensive and hard to come by, leaving small-time growers excluded from the economic benefits that were meant to be available to all
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, February 15, 2023

    lesotho cannabis productionEven though legislation in 2008 made it possible to grow cannabis for medical or scientific purposes in Lesotho, doing so without a licence from the health ministry, and for recreational use, remains illegal. The Basotho people, many of whom have grown cannabis for decades, say only the elite and multinationals have benefited from the legislation that was heralded as something that would spread the economic gains among many. Lesotho’s politicians have talked about opening up the industry to benefit ordinary people. Emmanuel Letete, then an economist at the ministry for development planning, said in 2019 that cannabis was going to “set the country free”.

  • Amsterdam to outlaw cannabis-smoking in red-light district streets

    ‘Historic’ clampdown on tourist excesses aims to make life more bearable for local residents
    The Guardian (UK)
    Friday, February 10, 2023

    amsterdam red light districtSmoking cannabis on the street in Amsterdam’s red light district will soon be illegal, the city council has announced, as part of a range of bylaws designed to deter tourist excesses and make life more bearable for despairing local people. With more than 18 million visitors thronging its narrow 17th-century streets last year, Amsterdam’s residents have long complained that the busiest parts of the city centre, including De Wallen – the red light district – were becoming unlivable. The council said in a statement that smoking joints in public in the inner city would be outlawed from mid-May, adding that it was prepared to consider extending the ban to the terraces of cannabis “coffeeshops” if necessary. (See also: Amsterdam bans smoking cannabis outdoors in the red light district)

  • Cannabis producer Canopy cutting 800 jobs, closing flagship Canadian facility

    Canopy has been closing facilities across Canada for years after overbuilding production capacity – part of a yearslong building spree largely fueled by stock market exuberance
    MJBizDaily (US)
    Thursday, February 9, 2023

    canada canopy growth facilityCanadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth said it is closing its flagship cultivation facility in Smiths Falls, Ontario, and cutting more than a third of its workforce as part of a shift to an “asset-light model” in Canada. Canopy disclosed the new strategy as it reported a net loss of 267 million Canadian dollars ($200 million) for its fiscal third quarter, bringing the struggling company’s red ink in the first three quarters of the year to CA$2.6 billion. Canopy said it is cutting its workforce by approximately 35%. The layoffs come as cannabis companies across North America have been shedding hundreds of jobs and closing facilities because of failing business plans, falling wholesale prices and recession worries.

  • Legalising cannabis: Germany first, Europe next?

    Now everybody is speculating that legalisation might be done in two steps — first, decriminalisation of the consumers (including also home growers, and cannabis social clubs)
    EU Observer (Europe)
    Thursday, February 9, 2023

    germany regulieren statt kriminalisierenThe German 'traffic light' coalition of the SPD, Greens, and Liberals promised in their 2021 post-election governing manifesto to not just decriminalise cannabis — but to be the first country in Europe legalise it. Nearly 18 months later, and with a battle with Brussels looming over the move, not to mention the likely knock-on effects of Europe's largest (by population) and richest nation effectively making marijuana another lifestyle choice, like alcohol, how is that going? EUobserver spoke to Georg Wurth, the head of the German Hemp Association [Deutsche Hanfverband] in Berlin, to assess the likely pitfalls and potential.

  • Editorial: No grass without the roots

    Some of the new rules for so-called ‘harm reduction’ cannabis clubs seem to favour commercial rather than community interests
    Times of Malta (Malta)
    Monday, February 6, 2023

    The Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis recently held a conference where it outlined the rules for social clubs and the sale of home-grown cannabis in Malta. The conference signalled the authority’s intention to move forward after a lull of almost a year. While news that cannabis social clubs – termed “Harm Reduction” clubs in an apparent nod to civil society – will be able to register for licences as from the end of this month, doubts have been raised as to whether the guidelines laid out by the authority will follow the spirit in which the law was written. In creating a safe environment for cannabis users, the clubs to be formed under the new regulations are meant to follow a non-profit model. However, reports from the conference say it did little to allay fears of business pouncing onto a new market.

  • Inside New York’s struggling weed real estate experiment

    Its social equity program goes further than any other legal cannabis state. It’s also contributing to a rocky rollout
    Politico (US)
    Sunday, February 5, 2023

    Roland ConnerRoland Conner never imagined that getting arrested for marijuana in the ‘90s would lead to where he is now: the owner of a new cannabis dispensary in the heart of Greenwich Village. The blocks surrounding his shop, Smacked Village, are bustling with potential customers among the NYU students and people coming in for the city’s nightlife — and New York took extraordinary steps to make it work. By far the biggest perk is that a state agency located, leased and will renovate a storefront on one of the priciest slabs of real estate in the world to help someone sell a drug that once landed people in prison. But Conner’s fledgling cannabis business is also vastly outnumbered by illicit competitors that have sprouted all over the city since the state legalized weed for adults nearly two years ago.

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