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  • Britain's drug testing charity is ready to roll out in Australia

    Everyone’s ready to roll when the politicians and police are ready to give the go ahead
    The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
    Thursday, September 20, 2018

    Pill testing at music festivals in Australia is inevitable, Britain's only drug-testing organisation says. Two people died from suspected drug overdoses at the Defqon 1 dance festival in Penrith. But experts behind pill-testing say it should not be touted as a way of saving lives, but reducing harm for those determined to take drugs by identifying the chemical make-up of their drugs for both the user and medics called to treat those suffering adverse reactions. The UK organisation The Loop is training medical professionals on how to establish pill-testing at festivals in Australia. (See also: Pill testing ruled out as Premier looks to experts after music festival deaths)

  • Colombia continues to break records for cocaine production, report says

    The South American nation produced a record estimated 1,379 tonnes of cocaine last year – up 31% on 2016
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, September 19, 2018

    Colombia is desperate to shed its reputation as a nation dogged by the drug trade, but new figures from the United Nations show that it continues to break records for producing cocaine. In 2017, around 171,000 hectares (423,000 acres) of the South American nation’s land was used to grow coca, the plant whose leaf is the base ingredient of cocaine – up 25,000 hectares (17%) on the year before, according to a report published on Wednesday by the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The latest figures are likely to alarm Washington, which has long provided aid to Colombia in its war on drugs.

  • Let’s cultivate laws for a cannabis industry centred on uplifting the rural poor

    Government can unlock the economic potential of rural economies while regulating research, retail and consumption
    Mail & Guardian (South Africa)
    Wednesday, September 19, 2018

    The Constitutional Court judgment on cannabis probably made a lot of people happy because, across all sectors of society, people smoke weed and have, until now, been doing so in dark corners, fearful of being arrested. The judgment was clear in how it expanded the view of private use to not being confined only to one’s private dwelling. It remains to be seen whether there will be consensus on what “private use” is. Parliament must provide the clarity that is not in the judgment. Parliament must also call on South Africans to help it imagine a future cannabis industry in the country, before the cannabis farming space is exploited by cartels and private corporates. (See also: Why the ConCourt decision to legalise dagga for private use is a good thing)

  • 'Monsanto of pot': How cannabis firms are seeking to lower growing costs

    Companies look to replace the dozens of workers needed to snip off cannabis flower from plants with robots that will automate the entire process
    BNN Bloomberg (US)
    Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    As cannabis producers add to their harvest as Canada prepares to legalize recreational use starting Oct. 17, some companies are already exploring novel ways to dramatically reduce the cost of growing pot. While most cannabis companies build massive indoor facilities and greenhouses to meet the expected demand that Canadians will have for legal pot, the cost needed to operate these modern grow-operations is also climbing with the average cost of producing marijuana hovering at about $1 a gram. Now, producers are turning to old-school methods such as outdoor production as well as new technological innovations in an effort to reduce the cost of growing a gram to pennies on the dollar. (See also: Retail investors in Canadian cannabis are 'buying air,' analyst says)

  • Dagga: ConCourt says yes to getting high in private

    The court noted that right of privacy was not necessarily limited to a person’s home and its order went broader than the high court judgment, allowing adults to use cannabis in other private places.
    Mail and Guardian (South Africa)
    Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    south africa concourt celebrationIn a unanimous judgment, the Constitutional Court ordered that the private consumption and cultivation of cannabis be decriminalised. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed down the judgement, which confirmed that sections 4(b) and 5(b) of the Drugs and Drugs Trafficking read in part with section 22(A)(9)(a)(i) of the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act were constitutionally invalid. These sections, the judgment reads, “criminalise the use or possession in private or cultivation in a private place of cannabis by an adult for his or her own personal consumption in private.” The order does not extend to use and possession of cannabis by a child, or by an adult in public. (see also: Parliament will consider 'introducing a new bill' following cannabis ruling)

  • Tilray CEO envisions US$100B future as company surges past Canopy's market cap

    Tilray soared to a market capitalization of about US$14 billion to surge past Canopy Growth at a mere US$11.5 billion
    BNN Bloomberg (US)
    Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    Tilray Inc., the cannabis company that has seen its valuation double, could become a US$100 billion company, according to its chief executive officer, as the regulations surrounding marijuana continue to ease across the globe. Tilray is interested in the burgeoning market for consumer products that use ingredients from marijuana, CEO Brendan Kennedy said. “We’ve had lots of conversations with lots of companies,” he said, though he declined to provide specific details. His comments come in the wake of high-profile cannabis industry investments by Constellation Brands Inc. in Canopy Growth Corp., the company Tilray just dethroned to become the largest pot stock. (See also: Tilray first Canadian company to import medical cannabis to U.S.)

  • Trump administration plans U.N. meeting to ramp up the international drug war

    By the last year of the Obama administration, the U.S. had softened its position. Trump could change that stance
    The Intercept (US)
    Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    donald trump chinaThe Trump administration will open a week of high-level meetings at the United Nations General Assembly in New York with a drug policy event featuring President Donald Trump. Invites to the event are being doled out only to those countries that have signed on to a controversial, nonnegotiable action plan, according to documents — among them the countries with the world’s most draconian drug laws. The U.S.-sponsored event, called the “Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem,” is scheduled to take place next Monday, September 24, a day before Trump will speak before the General Assembly.

  • Acquittement pour le Cannabis Social Club de Namur, le ministère public fait appel

    "Des militants, pas des délinquants"
    RTBF (Belgium)
    Vendredi, 7 septembre 2018

    belgium csc namurLe jugement est tombé au tribunal correctionnel de Namur dans l'affaire du Cannabis Social Club. Les cinq prévenus poursuivis pour trafic de stupéfiants ont été acquittés. La juge a estimé qu'ils avaient fait une erreur, certes, mais ce qu'on appelle en droit une "erreur invincible", c'est-à-dire que tout homme normalement prudent, confronté à une telle législation, peu claire, aurait pu faire la même chose. Le ministère public a déjà annoncé qu'il interjetterait appel de cette décision. En 2013, ces cinq personnes avaient créé une ASBL pour cultiver et vendre du cannabis à leurs membres. L'année suivante, en juillet 2014, la police avait saisi plus de quatre kilos de marijuana dans les locaux du club.

  • Cities defiant after Justice Department’s threat on ‘supervised injection sites’

    Advocates contend that such sites have saved the lives of countless thousands
    The Washington Post (US)
    Tuesday, September 4, 2018

    Cities seeking to open sites where illegal drug users are monitored to prevent overdoses responded defiantly to a Justice Department threat to take “swift and aggressive action” against that approach to the nationwide opioid epidemic. Plans for those “supervised injection sites” — under consideration in San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York City, Seattle and elsewhere — collided with a stern Justice Department warning issued, threatening to create a standoff between federal and local authorities like the confrontation over “sanctuary cities.” As they have before, some liberal-leaning cities trying to cope with conditions on their streets find themselves at odds with more-restrictive Trump-era policy and enforcement.

  • Has Big Pharma’s ‘inevitable entrance’ into the cannabis space arrived?

    Pfizer, GW Pharma, Merck & Co, and Sanofi-Aventis are among the leading cannabis patent holders in Canada, says report
    In Pharma (UK)
    Monday, September 3, 2018

    As Canada prepares to legalise the recreational use of marijuana, the medicinal potential of cannabis has attracted increased attention in the pharmaceutical space. According to a joint research project between US analytics firm New Frontier Data, and UK-based cannabis biotech, Grow Biotech, seven of Canada top 10 cannabis patent holders are major pharmaceutical companies. "Big Pharma inevitable entrance into the cannabis space has arrived," said New Frontier Data CEO Giadha Aguirre de Carcer, as the company listed Pfizer, Merck & Co. (known as MSD outside North America), and Sanofi-Aventis among the leading patent holders. Firms have been "racing to secure protectable intellectual property" before Canada becomes the first G-7 country to fully legalise cannabis.

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