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Luxembourg becomes first European country to legalize cannabis

Luxembourg becomes first European country to legalize cannabis

Luxembourg legalizes cannabis for consumption and cultivation

In an effort to combat the illicit drug market, Luxembourg will legalize home cultivation and consumption of cannabis.

The country of just over 650,000 will permit home cultivation and consumption of cannabis, and allow the sale and purchase of seeds through local shops and from ordering abroad. There will be no shops to purchase cannabis flower or other cannabis products.

The law specifies that cultivation can only be done “in the four walls of your own home,” and the same goes for consumption. Which means there won’t be any sort of consumption lounges, and consumers cannot do so outdoors.

The leaders of the Greens – one of the three coalition partners in government along with the Democratic Party, and the Socialist Workers’ Party – said the move “represents a fundamental reorientation of Luxembourg’s drug policy”, as the government aims to tackle drug-related crime with a more “holistic” approach.

“The war on cannabis has failed,” the party said in a statement on Friday.

“The announcements of the Minister of Justice, Sam Tanson, represent a fundamental reorientation of Luxembourg’s drug policy. At last, the use of cannabis is being regulated and a legal alternative to the black market is being created.”

The Greens added that the main objectives of new legislation on cannabis would be to exempt production, purchase and consumption of a given amount of cannabis from punishment, keep users away from the black market, reduce the mental and physical dangers associated with it, and combat acquisitive crime.

With this new law Luxembourg will become the first European country to legalize cannabis for recreational use. While multiple other countries have decriminalized or legalized medical cannabis, and many have legalized hemp production in some form, none have fully legalized it for recreational use.

Even in a country like Holland, famous for Amsterdam which many consider a legal cannabis haven, cannabis is not technically legal.

While the Luxembourg law may be restrictive and lacking plans for an operational commercial industry, the government isn’t ruling out the domestic production of seeds for commercial purposes.

Switzerland to legalize cannabis use and cultivation

Switzerland to legalize cannabis use and cultivation

Switzerland cannabis legalization has passed

Switzerland has moved closer to a legal cannabis market, an article by local news outlet Blick said on Tuesday.

According to the report, The Social Security and Health Commission of the Council of States (SGK-S) has carried out an investigation on cannabis, concluding that current laws should be updated. Their findings and recommendations for new legislation were supported by forty members of the National Council, who signed the initiative, giving the proposed reform backing from across the Swiss political sphere. As a result, the bill, which will allow the production, cultivation, trade and consumption of cannabis, was passed by a vote which ended nine votes to two in favor.

The new regulation was launched by the SGK-S’s National Councillor for Bern Centre, Heinz Siegenthaler with a parliamentary initiative which states “cannabis should be regulated in Switzerland in order to control the cannabis market for better youth and consumer protection”. The bill goes on to say that “the cultivation, production, trade and consumption of cannabis containing THC to be reorganized by law in accordance with the recommendations of the Federal Commission on Addiction (EKSF).”

Specified within the bill are ways to control the production and trade through the use of state bodies, with particular attention paid to the protection of minors, quality control and the availability of information.

Another important intention of ending prohibition is to make an impact on the cannabis black market by allowing the cultivation of plants at home for personal use.

Although cannabis will remain illegal until the new bill comes into force, Switzerland has been working towards a regulated cannabis market for some time. Earlier this year leafie reported the country was planning to launch a recreational cannabis trial involving 500 participants as a means to collect data on the impact of a fully legal recreational cannabis supply chain.

It is estimated that around 500,000 adults in Switzerland consume cannabis. The country has already removed criminal prosecution for small scale possession as of 2012. Anyone caught with less than 10 grams will not be prosecuted, but instead will face a fine of 100 Swiss Francs (£78). The country also allows the sale of ‘light’ cannabis, containing no more than 1% THC, which can be legally bought over the counter from tobacco stores.

Washington DC Marijuana Laws Could Be Changing

Washington DC Marijuana Laws Could Be Changing

If the current Washington DC marijuana laws confuse you, you aren’t alone.

If you went to Washington DC today in search of cannabis, you might struggle to find it. Despite Washington DC marijuana laws allowing the possession, cultivation and consumption of cannabis for recreational use, there isn’t a single retail recreational cannabis store where you can legally purchase cannabis.

Cannabis is still attainable in DC just like most places in the country without legal access to cannabis, but the methods can vary with different levels of success.

Washington DC Marijuana Laws

Washington DC legalized cannabis nearly seven years ago in February 2015. While the legislature legalized everything necessary to begin the process of opening up a retail cannabis industry, there was one major roadblock.

Rep. Andy Harris, a Republican, included a rider in the bill that including language preventing DC from implementing any sort of recreational cannabis industry, by not permitting district funds to be used for the process. In other words, Washington DC is unable to have a recreational cannabis industry because they are currently not allowed to fund a regulatory commission, establish licensing processes and design a regulated industry framework.

So while Washington DC marijuana laws resemble that of every other state that has legalized cannabis, there is still no legal industry. With all that said, finding weed in DC is relatively easy these days thanks to a thriving grey market.

The law in DC permits any one person to give any cannabis they have or have grown to any other person as long as they do not charge for it, as selling cannabis is currently illegal under the rider. This has led to the creation of a gift/donation system that has helped bloom a massive underground industry in DC.

This can work in various ways; from “donating” $40 for a T-shirt in a hydroponic store and being “gifted” a few grams of cannabis, to full-blown delivery services where you donate for a single sticker (that happens to cost about $200) in exchange for a gift box with cannabis flower, edibles and cartridges. Unfortunately for the consumer, this market is still completely unregulated since it is being done through a loophole in the bill’s language.

Consumers constantly run the risk of over paying for low quality cannabis from a shady shop or service, and there are so many different delivery services, finding one that doesn’t rip you off can be a real challenge. But that could be changing thanks to a new adjustment to the Senate budget proposal for 2022.

Washington DC could have legal cannabis for sale soon

Washington DC marijuana laws are particularly complicated due to the nature of Washington DC itself. It is considered the Capitol of the country, but it is not actually a state or a city, and its Mayor is also the Governor, among other peculiarities. Due to the nature of how DC works, it creates complications when the district has differing opinions on legislation compared to the federal government that is housed there.

When Joe Biden released his 2022 budget proposal it still included the Harris Rider, leaving many advocates disappointed. The Democrat president has expressed consistent opposition to cannabis legalization on the federal level. However the House voted to remove the rider back in June, and now the Senate Appropriations Committee seems to be moving that sentiment forward.

In a new text of legislation released by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a budget proposal to fund the federal government for Fiscal Year 2022 is presented, which among other measures, purposely fails to include the Harris Rider.

The legislation also contains several other cannabis provisions, including to continue an existing protection for state medical marijuana laws, call on the federal government to reconsider policies that fire employees for cannabis, criticize the restrictive drug classification system that impedes scientific research and encourage the development of technologies to detect THC-impaired driving.

It is very common for legislators to attempt and slide in additional changes to legislation in most cases, but also regarding cannabis. Some advocates blame this practice for why a lot of cannabis legislation does not pass, saying that if legislators focused on one issue at a time that has more broad support, they would see more success.

A long fight may be ending

It is too soon to say if the final Budget Proposal will be approved, and more changes could occur before it is. The fight to change Washington DC marijuana laws has been long and fraught with disappointment.

The latest proposal appears to be a large step in the right direction, with House and Senate support for removing the rider. The 2022 Budget Proposal has a deadline of December 3rd, with Democrats eager to get everything finalized before then. However it is still unclear whether the spending panel or full Senate will take up the new revised proposal before then.

Yet again, the further progress of cannabis legalization depends on the slow moving legislature, notorious for “extending” deadlines as an excuse for just missing them. Only time will tell the future of cannabis legalization in Washington DC now.

Canopy Growth Pays Nearly $300 Million To Acquire Wana Edibles in the U.S.

Canopy Growth Pays Nearly $300 Million To Acquire Wana Edibles in the U.S.

canopy growth buys wana edibles brand

Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth is (kind of) acquiring Wana Brands, the #1 cannabis edibles brand in North America by market share – per Headset data.

According to information procured exclusively ahead of an official announcement, the deal features a similar structure to the one Canopy struck with Acreage Holdings a couple of years ago. Under the agreement, the Canadian operator will acquire the right to purchase Wana (comprised of Mountain High Products, Wana Wellness and The Cima Group) once THC becomes federally legal in the U.S.

The call option to acquire 100% of the membership interests in each Wana entity is being acquired by Canopy for upfront cash payment of $297.5 million.

When Canopy decides to move forward with the acquisition, it will pay 15% of the fair market value of the entities being acquired. Until the purchase is complete, thought Canopy Growth will have no economic, voting or controlling interest in Wana, which will continue to operate independently.

“Through the agreement with Wana, Canopy is adding another industry leading brand to power our rapid growth across the U.S. Wana has built a successful business using an asset-light licensing model, allowing them to scale across North America,” David Klein, CEO of Canopy Growth, said in an exclusive interview.

Breaking down the key strategic benefits of the acquisition, Klein explained Wana:

  • Strengthens Canopy Growth’s U.S. ecosystem.
  • Provides exposure to one of the fastest growing segments in both the U.S. and Canadian cannabis markets: edibles.
  • Would automatically make Canopy a leader in the edibles category.
  • Increases Canopy’s exposure to the U.S. market upon federal legalization.
  • Represents an opportunity to acquire a profitable and highly scalable business.
British Soccer Coach Jailed for 25 Years in Dubai for Cannabis Oil

British Soccer Coach Jailed for 25 Years in Dubai for Cannabis Oil

British soccer coach arrested in Dubai for cannabis oil

A British football coach has been jailed for 25 years in Dubai after four small bottles of vape liquid containing cannabis oil were found in his car.

Billy Hood from from Notting Hill, West London, was given the harsh sentence despite being able to prove the vape liquid belonged to a visiting friend who had mistakenly left them in his car.

The 24-year-old fitness fanatic, who is anti-drugs and doesn’t smoke, was convicted by a court of drug trafficking with intent to supply.

Police in Dubai are thought to have singled out Hood after monitoring WhatsApp messages and looking for key words related to drugs. A week before his arrest the friend who owned the vape liquid sent a message telling Hood he had mistakenly left it behind in his car.

The ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed was last week revealed to have used spyware to hack into the phone of his ex-wife and her lawyer Baroness Shackleton while a custody hearing was taking place at the High Court.

The United Arab Emirates are known to be users of the Israeli made spyware known as Pegasus.

Hood, who played semi-professional football for Kensington and Ealing Borough FC, was stunned when police unexpectedly turned up at his flat in January and demanded to search his home and company car.

Four small vials of vape liquid containing cannabis oil (CBD) and a vape pen were later found in the passenger door compartment.

After his arrest Hood volunteered to take a urine test for drugs which came back negative.

New York cannabis board holds first meeting

New York cannabis board holds first meeting

new york cannabis board holds first meeting

New York marijuana regulators on Tuesday sought to make up for delays in the drug’s rollout by approving a chief equity officer and making immediate changes to the medical cannabis program during the inaugural meeting of the state Cannabis Control Board.

The five-member board charged with implementing marijuana legalization and advancing the state’s cannabis industry set a clear tone: They wanted to move past delays in implementing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.

The state law legalizing marijuana took effect in March, but infighting between then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature exacerbated delays in getting members appointed to the board, slowing down the work of getting regulations for legal sales in place.

“The MRTA was signed into law on March 31. But we were not able to begin the work of establishing New York’s cannabis market until Sept. 22, when the full cannabis control board was appointed. As such, there was a six-month delay to make up,” Christopher Alexander, executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management, told the board Tuesday afternoon.

The state legislature ended its regular session without making appointments to the board because lawmakers had been entangled in a fight with Cuomo over appointments to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Since Cuomo left office in August, Gov. Kathy Hochul has made getting the board going central to her early administration, saying in a statement announcing several new members of the board: “New York’s cannabis industry has stalled for far too long.”

The impact of the slow rollout could be felt. A portion of the law that would allow marijuana cardholders to grow plants six months after the law went into effect was delayed because the board was not in place, the Times Union in Albany reported.

But on Tuesday, the regulators moved ahead with several changes to the medical cannabis program. They include permanently waiving a $50 registration fee for patients and caregivers and making the whole flower an approved form of medical cannabis product.

Another provision allows for a 60-day supply of medical cannabis to be given to a certified patient or designated caregiver instead of a month supply.