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Malta becomes first EU country to legalize cannabis

Malta becomes first EU country to legalize cannabis

Malta has become the first EU country to legalize cannabis
Adults will be allowed to carry up to seven grams of cannabis and grow four plants at home, but smoking it in public or in front of children will remain illegal.

Several other nations have similar plans; Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland being three other EU countries considering legalization. While cannabis use and possession is permitted under certain circumstances in the Netherlands, cannabis isn’t officially legal.

Malta’s parliament voted to legalize cannabis on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 with 36 members voting in favor and 27 against.

Equality Minister Owen Bonnici said the “historic” move would stop small-time cannabis users from facing the criminal justice system. A legal cannabis industry would also “curb drug trafficking by making sure that users now have a safe and regularized way from where they can obtain cannabis”.

However, Malta’s opposition Nationalist Party voted against the new law, claiming an increase in illegal market sales will be the result.

In October the group’s leader Bernard Grech — who initially supported the new law — warned it would “only lead to the strengthening of the illegal market, with organized crime taking advantage,” according to The Times. Opponents have already called on Malta’s president, George Vella, not to sign it into law, which is the final, ceremonial stage.

Under the new law anyone carrying more than seven grams, but less than 28g could be fined up to €100 ($112). The punishment for smoking in public will be a €235 ($265) fine, and those smoking cannabis in front of anyone younger than 18 could be fined up to €500 ($560).

Associations will be set up to distribute the seeds to cultivate cannabis or the consumable version itself in order to regulate how much someone buys. A person can only be a member of one association.

The Malta cannabis law also includes support for minors who are found with cannabis. They will be recommended a care plan or treatment as opposed to facing arrest or criminal charges.

While the EU’s smallest member state, Malta is likely to be the first of a number of nations changing their cannabis laws after the UN last year reclassified cannabis to recognize its therapeutic uses.

Several countries in the EU have decriminalized cannabis for recreational or medical use under certain conditions including Spain and Italy more recently. Switzerland also has plans to implement a legal cannabis industry in the future, and Germany’s new government has announced plans to legalize the plant as well.

As the shifting narratives and stigmatization surrounding cannabis are broken down thanks to more scientific research and studies into cannabis that have been hindered for decades, more countries are beginning to recognize the potential therapeutic and recreational benefits of cannabis.

Florida Bill Would Regulate Delta-8 and Overhaul Medical Cannabis

Florida Bill Would Regulate Delta-8 and Overhaul Medical Cannabis

Florida bill would regulated Delta 8 THC and overhaul medical cannabis industry
A Florida bill seeks to place strict limits on delta-8 THC and overhaul the state’s medical cannabis program, which would include a new cannabis oversight agency and new rules preventing the sale of dispensary licenses for monetary gain.

bill in Florida would place strict limits on THC potency of synthetic and hemp extracts, such as delta-8 THC, and include other reforms to the state’s medical cannabis law, Florida Politics reports. The bill’s sponsors, Democratic Rep. Andrew Learned and Republican Rep.

Spencer Roach describe the proposal as the “first major update” to the state’s medical cannabis statute since voters approved the reforms five years ago.

Under the proposal, sales of hemp products designed for consumption, including delta-8 products, would only be permitted to individuals 21-and-older.

Additionally, the measure would increase the terms of medical cannabis patient licenses and the time between required doctor appointments, which the bill sponsors say combined would cut an estimated 60% of the cost of participation in the medical cannabis program.

It would also remove physician appointments for medical cannabis patient recertification under specific guidelines, allow recertification via telehealth, end the practice of selling medical cannabis dispensary licenses for monetary gain, create new industry testing requirements, and increase the transparency of state regulations.

Under the proposal, the course required by Florida for physicians that recommend medical cannabis would triple from two to six hours.

The bill was introduced on Monday November 29, but has not yet been moved to any committee.

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South Dakota issues first medical cannabis patient cards

South Dakota issues first medical cannabis patient cards

South Dakota issues first medical cannabis patient cards

South Dakota has printed and issued the first medical cannabis patient cards and the state’s Department of Health remains confident in its capability to adjust to demand increases.

Daniel Bucheli, spokesman for the South Dakota Department of Health, said the department’s ability to handle an influx of applications is due to the months of preparation that have gone into the medical cannabis program.

“We advise medical cannabis patients to have all their information at the ready to be submitted after their provider has issued their written certification,” he said.

The Department of Health has 15 days to process a patient medical card application from the day received, Bucheli said.

“At this time, we’ve received a handful of applications and dozens of provider enrollments. We are working on those now, and they will all be processed in accordance with the timelines established in state law,” he added.

A patient must first schedule an appointment with their physician. Then a determination is made by the physician whether the patient would benefit from the therapeutic or palliative use of medical cannabis for their condition. If yes, a medical certification is issued through the online portal for the patient. Physicians must create an account at medcannabisapplication.sd.gov to provide written certifications.

The patient will them receive an email to create an account on medcannabisapplication.sd.gov. Once compete, the patient must wait for DOH approval. Some applications, including minor patient applications, require caregivers to be registered. Caregivers will receive an email to create an account on medcannabisapplication.sd.gov.

Once complete, the caregiver must wait for DOH approval. Once the patient or caregiver gets DOH approval, a medical cannabis card will be mailed to the patient or caregiver. The cardholder may then purchase cannabis from a certified dispensary.

West Virginia opening first medical cannabis dispensary

West Virginia opening first medical cannabis dispensary

West Virginia medical cannabis dispensary opening

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s first medical cannabis dispensary is opening more than four years after state lawmakers allowed a regulatory system for those products to be established.

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. is set to debut a retail location in Morgantown on Friday with a second shop opening in Weston next Monday.

“We’re thrilled to be first to market in West Virginia and to continue building the foundation for the West Virginia’s emerging medical cannabis market,” Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers said in a statement.

She said the company’s goal is to “bolster local economies by creating sustainable jobs and investing in marginalized communities.”

The 2017 state law allows for medical cannabis use in pills, oils, topical gels, liquids, dermal patches and a form that can be vaporized.

In order to access and buy products from a dispensary, residents must have a West Virginia medical marijuana card. Residents with serious medical conditions can register for the card at www.medcanwv.org.

Colombia medical cannabis industry to see new opportunities

Colombia medical cannabis industry to see new opportunities

Colombia medical cannabis production has begun thanks to new laws passed in July

Although marijuana cultivation has been legal since late 2016, for the past five years Colombian companies could only export active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and therefore were banned from the most lucrative parts of the business.

In July, Colombian president Ivan Duque loosened regulations to allow the export of dry cannabis flowers, which accounts for more than 50% of the demand in markets like the US.

Thanks to that policy change, Colombian companies are now confident they can compete in the pharmaceutical markets in Europe and North America.

Favorable conditions

The Andean nation enjoys perfect conditions for the cultivation of marijuana: 12 hours of sunlight give way to 12 hours of darkness virtually every day of the year, with minimal seasonal change.

High altitude — Clever Leaves’ farm, in Boyacá, sits at 9,377 feet above sea level — means fewer pesticides are required to stem bacteria and disease than at lower altitudes, making it easier to grow organic products.

“If you think about it, greenhouses in other countries are trying to emulate the natural conditions we get here for free,” Clever Leaves’ president Andres Fajardo told CNN. “Your factor costs in terms of labor are significantly cheaper.”

Investment in Colombian medical marijuana has picked up, with the government reporting more than $250 million in foreign funding in the sector. The majority of those dollars come from international cannabis companies, mostly Canadian, that are partnering with Colombian producers to farm there.

Flora Growth, a Toronto-based firm listed on NASDAQ, has purchased 100 hectares of land — about 247 acres — in central Colombia. “I hope that over the next three-to-five years we are going to run out of land,” said Luis Merchán, a Colombian businessman who quit his job as a VP at Macy’s to become Flora’s CEO last year.

Flora estimates its production costs to be around $.06 per gram of dry cannabis flower, a fraction of the go-to price that ranges from $.50 cents and $2 in the US.

Licenses here are also much cheaper than abroad, we are talking of $15,000 to $20,000 per license,” said Juliana Salazar, a private consultant involved in the Bogota cannabis industry. “And an initial investment of roughly $100,000 to start producing here, which is a lot of money in Colombia, but a smaller investment than if you look at Germany, Spain or the United States.”