Canada

Big Cannabusiness: Reconciling the Recreational Boom and the Medical Marketplace

CannabusinessOn New Year’s Day, as retail sales of cannabis went legal in Colorado, the state's dispensaries registered well over $1 million in sales. Despite cold and wet weather, most of the 36 shops that opened that day reported long lines, with some customers waiting outdoors for hours. By the end of the first week, by which time another dozen retail outlets had opened, the figure was a whopping $5 million. More than 100 dispensaries in the Centennial State have now received licenses for retail cannabis sales and over 500 are eligible to apply. More are applying every day.

"A new industry is developing in a nascent state in Colorado," says Rachel Gillette, director of the Colorado chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "We're not just talking about retail sales, but a lot of other types of business associated with it—construction companies, HVAC contractors, nutrient companies, lighting and equipment sales, packaging, printers, labeling, marketing materials, websites, marijuana tourism, attorneys, payroll companies… This could represent a lot of jobs."

Persian Gulf militarized —by drug war

Posted on December 9th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

Middle EastThe past year has seen a spate of dangerous brinkmanship in the Persian Gulf, with Iran and US naval forces along with those of the Gulf's oil-rich Arab mini-states playing chicken over the strategic choke-point of the Strait of Hormuz. But in addition to this show-down over a global oil outlet, the Gulf has seen escalating militarization in the guise of narcotics enforcement. Bahrain's Gulf Daily News on Nov. 26 ran a story boasting of the exploits of a 29-nation Combined Maritime Forces group, based at the petro-kingdom's sprawling US Navy base and commanded by Capt. Robert Slaven of the Royal Australian Navy. While it claims to have "considerably reduced the number of terrorist attacks in the region" over the past decade, it's most concrete gains are hashish and heroin seizures.

Ontario's top court upholds Canadian cannabis ban

Posted on February 3rd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

CanadaOntario's high court on Feb. 1 upheld Canada's general ban on cannabis, overturning a lower court decision that found the nation's marijuana laws unconstitutional. The Court of Appeal for Ontario held that while a total ban on use of medical marijuana would be unconstitutional, serious illness does not create an automatic right to use cannabis. The Court of Appeal overruled a trial court decision that struck down parts of Canada's Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). The Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court erred in its finding that Canadian law made it nearly impossible for patients to obtain medicinal marijuana. The case concerned Matthew Mernagh, who was charged under the CDSA with growing his own cannabis after failure to obtain a medical exemption.

Canada toughens cannabis laws

Posted on November 9th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

CanadaThe same day that voters in Colorado and Washington state approved the legalization of cannabis, the Stephen Harper government in Ottawa brought into force tough new mandatory penalties for marijuana offenses. The measures are part of the Conservative administration's Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act, passed by parliament in March. The new law provides a mandatory six-month term for growing as few as six cannabis plants—twice the mandatory minimum for child molestation, critics point out.

Vancouver mayors back legalization

Posted on November 26th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CanadaVancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and four former mayors of the British Columbia city have issued a public call for the legalization of cannabis. Robertson Tweeted Nov. 25: "Good to see 4 Vancouver ex-mayors calling for end of cannabis prohibition. I agree, we need to be smart and tax/regulate." This references an open letter to Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Robertson co-wrote with predecessors Larry Campbell, Mike Harcourt, Sam Sullivan and Philip Owen. The Nov. 23 letter, online at Stop the Violence BC, states:

BC doctor halts ayahuasca treatment under government pressure

Posted on November 11th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Health Canada is threatening to prosecute a Vancouver physician who says he has successfully using the Amazonian plant medicine ayahuasca to treat addiction. In a two-page letter sent last week, Johanne Beaulieu, director of Ottawa's Office of Controlled Substances, reminded Gabor Maté that possession of ayahuasca is illegal under Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The letter warned that unless he immediately ceased the treatments, the RCMP would be notified. Dr. Maté, a family practitioner who specializes in addiction, said he will reluctantly comply with the order.

Canadians target Obama with Free Marc Emery drive

Posted on September 30th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

CanadaLast week, the Obama administration launched a "We the People" website, pledging that any petition to garner 5,000 signatures will receive an official response from President Obama. One of the top petitions so far is demanding the "Pardon of Marc Emery." WhyProhibition.ca, which is spearheading the drive, say they only need another 2,600 signatures to have an official presidential comment on Marc. You can sign the petition here.

Canada: Liberals oppose mandatory minimum bill over prison costs

Posted on February 9th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

Canada's Liberal Party announced Feb. 9 that it will oppose Bill S-10 over concerns that it would disproportionately target youth and cause an explosion of costs to build new mega-prisons. "This bill isn’t tough on crime, it’s dumb on crime," said Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff (Etobicoke-Lakeshore, ONT). "We're all in favor of cracking down on serious criminals, but this bill doesn’t distinguish between massive grow-ops and a first-time offender with a small amount."

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