• Industry up in smoke?

    Entrepreneurs say MFP cannabis policy puts their business at risk
    The Bangkok Post (Thailand)
    Sunday, May 28, 2023

    thailand dr ganjaThe memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by eight prospective parties on forming a coalition government in Thailand could be bad news for advocates of the current freer cannabis policy. Under the 23-point agreement, the Move Forward Party-led bloc has agreed to reinstate the plant as a narcotic drug under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Public Health and pass new laws supporting just certain beneficial uses while regulating all other use, cultivation, import and export of the plant. The move marks a reversal of the cannabis policy which has become divisive and politicised due to the absence of an umbrella law to govern its use despite the introduction of regulations to prevent abuse, particularly by children.

  • Blow to red light tourists: cannabis smoking banned in public

    Amsterdam is a city that’s built on freedom, but it’s often misused by people who want to just make money, or want to party
    Dutch News (Netherlands)
    Thursday, May 25, 2023

    nl amsterdam smoking banSmoking cannabis in public is forbidden in the centre of Amsterdam from Thursday, as part of a raft of measures to restrain party tourism. In the Burgwallen Oude-Zijde central area, tourists and residents smoking cannabis in public now risk a €100 fine. On streets such as the Oudezijds Achterburgwal – brimming with prostitution windows, bars, ‘cannabis museums’ and erotic shows – signs warn tourists of the new ban in English and in Dutch. The council has introduced a set of measures, including earlier closing times for brothels and bars, a crackdown on alcohol sales in the red light district, a “stay away” advertising campaign to deter nuisance visitors and now the ban on smoking cannabis in public. (See also: Smoke signals: will public cannabis ban deter nuisance tourism?)

  • Move over, CBD: HHC is the new ‘legal cannabis’ these European countries want to ban

    After the boom of CBD, authorities worry about HHC, which can be ingested, smoked or vaped, with effects similar to those of cannabis
    Euronews (Europe)
    Thursday, May 25, 2023

    hhcIt may be the next big thing after the cannabidiol (CBD) wave and its controversies: HHC, also known as “synthetic cannabis”. HHC sellers tout the euphoric sensations and mental and physical relaxation it brings. But health professionals worry it could get people hooked, and say it should be regulated. HHC stands for hexahydrocannabinol, a semi-synthetic molecule. That means it needs to be made in a laboratory, where the THC extracted from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) is combined with hydrogen molecules. HHC emerged in late 2021 in the United States and then became popular in Europe in 2022, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

  • ‘It will create a police state’: Dagga Party calls cannabis bill ‘fascist’

    Dagga Party founder Jeremy Acton said the cannabis bill has a 'clear intent of criminalising people'
    The Citizen (South Africa)
    Tuesday, May 23, 2023

    south africa concourt celebration2The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill, which aims to cater for those who use marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, has been met with fierce opposition in Parliament. The cannabis plant in South Africa was decriminalised by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) in September 2018 and gave Parliament 24 months to amend the relevant laws. Almost five years later, Parliament is now looking to finalise the bill, which was tabled in 2020. Although it is not a criminal offence for an adult citizen to use, possess or grow cannabis for personal consumption at home, the buying and selling of marijuana remains illegal. The public was invited to provide comments on the proposed amendments to the bill.

  • You can’t legalise cannabis for private use and criminalise selling it, says farming group

    The Southern Africa Agricultural Initiative rejects Cannabis Bill in its current form, calls government out for criminalising sales
    The Citizen (South Africa)
    Saturday, May 20, 2023

    Four years ago, when the Constitutional Court decriminalised the use and cultivation of dagga in a private space, the court also provided Parliament a 24-month period in which they could amend the relevant laws. Decriminalising the private adult use of dagga signalled the beginning of a new industry that could bring the ailing South African economy to new highs, but four years later, government doesn’t seem to care. The Southern Africa Agricultural Initiative (SAAI) has opposed some of the elements in the Cannabis Bill. The organisation, which describes itself as a group that protects the rights and interests of family farmers, have highlighted the same elements that critics have argued stifle profitability in the sector, particularly that of rural farmers.

  • European cannabis legalisation moves into the slow-dopey lane

    Germany has got nervous
    The Economist (UK)
    Thursday, May 11, 2023

    europe cannabisGermany’s plans to move to full legalisation of consumption and sales of cannabis came to an abrupt halt last month. Until recently, Germany’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach, had been upbeat about the prospects for radical change. But following talks with the European Commission the plan has gone up in a cloud of smoke. Martin Jelsma of the Transnational Institute, a Dutch-founded think-tank, thinks the reason is that the proposals are not in compliance with an EU Council framework decision on drugs in 2004, nor with three relevant UN treaties. Mr Jelsma says it would be helpful if the European Commission were to give some indication as to what its position is on the question.

  • Gang violence could end open cannabis trade in anarchist commune Christiania

    Organised criminals have taken over ‘Pusher Street’ market in the Danish capital and are vying for dominance
    The Guardian (UK)
    Tuesday, May 9, 2023

    denmark christiania greenlightThe 40-year history of the open cannabis trade on “Pusher Street” in the heart of the Christiania neighbourhood of Copenhagen could be over as the city’s mayor said she was willing to shut it down over the commune’s fears about rising gang violence. Ever-worsening violence in the “green light” district, as organised criminal gangs have moved in and vied for dominance, has prompted growing concerns over residents’ safety. The mayor of Copenhagen, Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, has now warned in an interview with the Ekstra Bladet newspaper that the violence has to end and offered to close Pusher Street’s drug trade down if the 1,000 people living in the Christiania commune agree.

  • Thailand’s cannabis sellers say US growers are eating their lunch

    Local cannabis growers say their business is being undercut by cheaper illegal imports from overseas
    Al Jazeera
    Monday, May 8, 2023

    thailand 420Nearly a year after Thailand decriminalised cannabis amid promises of an economic bonanza, Thai growers and sellers say they are being undercut by illegal imports from the United States that sell for a fraction of the price of homegrown buds. Thailand struck cannabis from its list of banned narcotics in June 2022 after a high-profile campaign by Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to establish the kingdom as a global hub for cannabis for medical purposes. But Thailand’s parliament has yet to pass a long-awaited cannabis bill, leaving the regulatory framework for the industry in limbo. The Bhumjathai Party’s big promises have predictably fallen flat, with big money from the US, the Netherlands and Canada dashing hopes of a booming domestic industry, according to veteran cannabis advocate Chokwan “Kitty” Chopaka.

  • Morocco: Two years after cannabis law, farmers in the Rif still 'in the dark'

    Kif producers are encouraged to abandon the illegal market and sell their crop for medical and industrial purposes, but few dare to take the plunge
    Le Monde (France)
    Monday, May 8, 2023

    morocco cannabis azila2023 may be the year of his first legal cannabis harvest in Morocco. After years of semi-underground, Aziz has decided to move over to "the legal side." The farmer from the Rif, a mountainous region in northern Morocco that is home to one of the world's largest cannabis-producing areas, intends to turn his back on drug traffickers and sell his kif to companies involved in the manufacture of cannabis products. "Two Americans came to the village a few days ago," he said. "They want to build a factory in the area and will need large quantities. They are interested in our plants. We haven't talked about price yet." "What I fear is that the benefits will go to the state, laboratories and multinationals and that we will be left behind," said Farid, in his fifties, who grows kif in a nearby village.

  • Au Maroc, la « beldiya » tente de résister aux variétés de cannabis importées

    Les défenseurs du « kif » local, moins fort en THC et mois gourmand en eau que les semences venues d’Europe et d’Amérique du Nord
    Le Monde (France)
    Vendredi, 5 mai 2023

    Abdellatif AdebibeDepuis sa maison de Ketama, à 1 700 mètres d’altitude, Abdellatif Adebibe surplombe la vallée où les embruns d’iode venus de la Méditerranée se mêlent aux senteurs des cèdres. « Nous sommes ici dans le temple du kif », présente le cultivateur de 70 ans, président de l’Association pour le développement du Rif central. A l’instar du laboratoire Pharma 5, qui, dans une étude publiée par le média marocain Le Desk, met en avant la qualité de la beldiya, sa moindre teneur en THC, son odeur et sa saveur uniques… Un label « made in Rif » ? « Made in Ketama », préfère Abdellatif Adebibe, qui, lui, défend une « appellation bio, appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), équitable » dans la « zone historique du kif ».

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