The Hemp Club Weekly – Saturday News Round up 1.12.18

U.S FARMING BILL

Unsurprisingly There’s An Uptick On Hemp Shares On Farm Bill News

Unsurprisingly There’s An Uptick On Hemp Shares On Farm Bill News

Farm Bill advancing through Congress; legal hemp cultivation looming; shares up 29%

By: Douglas W. House,  SOURCE: SA News Editor

Nano cap Hemp (OTCPK:HEMP +28.5%) is up on triple normal volume in apparent reaction to its announcement that the U.S. 2018 Farm Bill is nearing the finish line, including a provision legalizing hemp cultivation, production and distribution.

The company says when the bill passes, it will allow states to regulate hemp in addition to allowing hemp researchers to apply for grants from the Agriculture Department and enable hemp farmers to qualify for crop insurance.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Set to Pass Inclusive Cannabis Regulation Law

By Avinash Tharoor.  SOURCE:  Talkingdrugs

Source: Pixabay

Antigua and Barbuda is set to legalise the regulated production and supply of cannabis for religious and medical purposes, following consultations with Rastafarian communities.

The Cannabis Bill 2018 has two main functions: regulating the production, prescribing, and supply of medical cannabis for patients; and permitting Rastafarians (and other religious groups) to possess, cultivate, and supply cannabis – at quantities exceeding existing thresholds – for religious purposes. The bill stops short of legalising cannabis for recreational purposes.

Following a legal amendment passed in March 2018, all adults can now legally possess less than 15 grams of cannabis, and cultivate a maximum of four plants, for personal use.

The new bill allows “an adherent of a religious body, including, but not limited to, the Rastafarian faith … [to] register with the Authority to” cultivate over four cannabis plants, and possess or transport over 15 grams of cannabis, for religious purposes. It also allows such religious followers to “dispense cannabis solely for religious purposes as a sacrament in adherence to a religious practice of the religious body, at a sacramental dispensary”.

The bill is supported by Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who has publicly apologised for the brutal state discrimination against Rastafarian people found using cannabis. As TalkingDrugs reported in February, Browne recalled personally witnessing police using excessive force against Rastafarian people for alleged cannabis offences:

“[The police] were rampant. Just the smell of marijuana, they would literally go into people’s private homes and literally abuse them […] I recall a couple of times I see guys running, literally running from police officers even before they approached them because they knew the consequences. The consequences were not just prosecution. It was also brutalisation. I want to take this opportunity to apologise to the family members of those individuals for the abuse that would have taken place over the decades”.

To atone for the harms caused to the Rastafarian community, the government have strived to include adherents of the faith as stakeholders in the new bill’s legislative process.

Inclusive public consultations began in January, during which Rastafarians, community groups, NGOs, churches, and other organisations were invited to make provide feedback and suggestions on cannabis reform. Some Rastafarians expressed concern at the possession threshold limits introduced earlier this year.

“For the Rasta man and the Rasta family, [these thresholds are] a joke. We drink it, we eat it, we make oils and other things from it. I applaud the effort but we’re looking to see much more done. I still think the government needs to at least match the Jamaica bill. Anything less, we see as not acceptable. In Jamaica you’re allowed two ounces and for every working person in a household you’re allowed to grow five trees,” said Kiyode Erasto Straker of the Ras Freeman community, St. Lucia News reports.

Such feedback has evidently been take on board by legislators.

Having already successfully passed three readings in the House of Representatives, the bill is ready for its final debate prior to being passed in to law. However, Prime Minister Browne has decided to organise one final public consultation on the law – involving Rastafarians and medical professionals – on November 23.

“We invite the various stakeholders to come and give their views on the proposed marijuana bill and for us to make changes and to come back here within the next 10 days by which time we will have our final debate and to pass this Bill into an Act, the Cannabis Bill of 2018,” Browne declared.

Antigua and Barbuda will join many other countries in the Americas in legalising cannabis for medical purposes, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay.

NORTH CAROLINA

Lawmakers to Discuss Legalizing Marijuana

State Representative Kelly Alexander wants to explore county-level changes to cannabis law.  SOURCE:  Hightimes

By Caitlin Donohue
Lawmakers in North Carolina to Discuss Legalizing Marijuana

The rumblings of the legalization movement in North Carolina are getting louder. State representative Kelly Alexander told local TV channel WNCT9 that he will be meeting with other elected officials to talk about potential cannabis bills for 2019. Alexander said that he thinks such a move is overdue.

“It’s time now for the legislators in North Carolina to catch up with the people,” he commented. Alexander also mentioned interest in locally-based change, describing a potential county by county system that echoes the state’s current infrastructure when it comes to the availability of alcohol.

“We have dry counties,” explained the Democratic state representative, who comes from a family of NAACP chairs and civil rights activists. “We have wet counties. We have portions of counties that may be wet, and the rest of them are dry. All of those are driven by local option decisions.”

His statements reflect a growing sense that the state’s residents are ready for cannabis to take on an entirely different role in society. Last year, an Elon University poll found that 80 percent of the state’s population favors a plan to legalize medicinal marijuana. 45 percent of respondents said that they support the legalization of recreational cannabis.

Alexander is far from the only prominent North Carolinian to express his support for the growth of cannabis legalization. Legislative proposals have been introduced more or less consistently to the North Carolina General Assembly for the last 10 years, including three failed cannabis bills in 2018 that did not make it to committee hearings. Nonetheless, survey results published in October revealed that many of the state’s leaders in politics, business, and academia are in favor of revamping marijuana laws, from decriminalization to the legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana.

Many of the respondents to that survey of state leaders connected their support for marijuana decriminalization to concerns over a racist legal system. “The criminalization of marijuana possession is the equivalent of a throw down gun that the police can use when it is convenient to remove people they consider undesirable,” said Duke University law professor James Coleman.

North Carolina has also seen the recent rise of industrial hemp production — in fact, the state is a leader in the national hemp industry. An estimated 2,500 acres of the plant were seeded in 2017. Hemp Inc.’s 70,000 square foot facility in Spring Hope is the largest of its kind in the United States.

The sense that change is afoot has invigorated activists. Executive director of North Carolina NORML Abner Brown commented that a letter writing campaign targeting state politicians is already in process and that the organization will be compiling information on which elected officials are in favor of pushing cannabis laws forward. “We’re going to set ourselves up for the best chance possible,” Brown commented, adding that NORML is planning on starting next year with a show of strength, and is prepping for a January rally that will take place on state capital Raleigh’s Jones Street

SOUTH KOREA 

Legalises Medical Cannabis

Although recreational weed is still forbidden, medical marijuana is now legal in South Korea.  SOURCE:  Hightimes


South Korea Legalizes Medical Cannabis

South Korea has legalized medical marijuana, making it the first East Asian nation to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis. The country’s National Assembly recently voted to approve amendments to the Act on the Management of Narcotic Drugs which will allow prescriptions for “non-hallucinogenic” doses of medical marijuana. And on November 23, the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety announced that the changes to the law will permit more treatment alternatives for patients with rare diseases.

Vijay Sappani, the CEO of cannabis industry venture capital firm Ela Capital in Toronto, told Marijuana Business Daily that South Korea’s action is historic.

“The importance of Korea being the first country in East Asia to allow medical cannabis at a federal level should not be understated,” Sappani said. “Now it’s a matter of when other Asian countries follow South Korea, not if.”

Medical Marijuana Will Be Tightly Controlled

The use of medical marijuana in South Korea will be tightly restricted and controlled. Before receiving any cannabis medicine, patients will be required to apply to the Korea Orphan Drug Center, a government agency that helps patients obtain rare medications. Approval will be issued on an individual basis and patients will also be required to obtain a prescription from a healthcare professional.

Sappani said the legalization of medical marijuana in South Korea has worldwide implications for the quickly growing cannabis sector.

“South Korea legalizing medical cannabis, even if it will be tightly controlled with limited product selection, represents a significant breakthrough for the global cannabis industry,” said Sappani.

In July, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety announced that it would permit the cannabinoid-based medications Epidiolex, Marinol, Cesamet, and Sativex to treat serious medical conditions including cancer, epilepsy, and HIV/AIDS. All four pharmaceuticals have been approved for use in several other countries.

Recreational Pot Still Not OK

The legalization of cannabis in South Korea only applies to medical marijuana. Recreational pot is still illegal for South Koreans, even when they are traveling abroad in countries that have legalized cannabis. When Canada legalized recreational marijuana last month, the South Korean government warned its citizens that the country’s ban on pot applied around the world. The day before legalization, the South Korean embassy in Canada tweeted a warning for the country’s nationals to “please take care not to commit an illegal act and be punished.”

Yoon Se-jin, the head of the Narcotics Crime Investigation Division at the Gyeonggi Nambu provincial police agency, told the Korea Times that citizens can be prosecuted for using cannabis anywhere they travel.

“Weed smokers will be punished according to the Korean law, even if they did so in countries where smoking marijuana is legal,” Yoon said. “There won’t be an exception.”

LUXEMBOURG 

Cannabis to be made legal for recreational use 

Coalition parties confirm cannabis will be commercially distributed in Luxembourg

By YANNICK LAMBERT AND HELEDD PRITCHARD 29.11.2018

Only residents will be able to buy the drug
Photo: AFP

Cannabis will be made legal for recreational use in Luxembourg, it has been confirmed.

During a press conference held by the three coalition parties – Democratic Party (DP), Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) and The Greens (déi gréng) – political leaders said the drug will be legalised.

It will also be commercially distributed, as was confirmed by deputy prime minister Etienne Schneider, speaking to Luxembourg Times.

The parties said only residents will be able to buy the drug and penalties will be put in place for anyone distributing to minors or around schools.

Furthermore, addiction prevention will be part of government policy.

The announcement comes after a petition was set up earlier this year calling on the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use and for it to be distributed through coffee shops in Luxembourg.

The petition gained enough signatories to be discussed in parliament.

Petitioners in parliament at the time called for a broader “regulation” of the drug, pointing to Canada as an example.

The exact structure is still to be determined and further details will be given once the coalition agreement is finalised next week.

Luxembourg would be the first country in the EU to fully legalise cannabis. Others, such as the Netherlands, have merely decriminalised it.

Within Eurasia, Georgia in the Caucasus region is the only country so far that has legalised possession and consumption of cannabis.

Luxembourg would go further by also allowing commercial distribution.

VANCOUVER – BRITISH COLUMBIA 

The Science of Organic Regenerative Cannabis Cultivation Conference

January 11-13, 2019

Ticket available here:  https://www.regenerativeorganiccannabis.com/vancouver-british-columbia

Well Done Canada, you are the first, and thanks for highlighting that we need this plant in our daily lives

“The goal is to grow organically and to become regenerative. With this all in mind our focus and tool belt will be a little different than it would be for the warm hills of California. Its gonna look a little different but will be just as regenerative and just as conscious of the resources used. Maybe even more so.”

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