Legal cannabis in Canada 'right away'?

Posted on October 21st, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

CanadaCannabis legalization proponents in Canada are rejoicing in the wake of the Oct. 19 elections that gave the Liberal Party a clear majority and position its leader Justin Trudeau to become prime minister. The son of Canada's revered former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin openly advocates legalization. He even admitted to Huffington Post in 2013 that he had toked since becoming an MP representing Montreal in 2008.  He also revealed that his late brother, Michel Trudeau, was facing cannabis possession charges before his death in an avalanche in 1998, and that the experience influenced his position. In vivid contrast the Conservative Party's incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been leading a crackdown on Canada's medical marijuana program, and even recently called cannabis "infinitely worse" than tobacco. But how easy will it be for Trudeau to follow through on his promise to legalize?

Canadian feds threaten medical cannabis crackdown

Posted on October 5th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

CanadaVancouver's BC Compassion Club Society is waiting for clarification from Canada's federal government following a threat to call in the RCMP unless it closes its doors—along with 12 other area cannabis dispensaries. John Conroy,  the Compassion Club's attorney, told local News 1130 that he wrote back to Health Canada after they received the threatening letter last month. Conroy raised the specter of the Mounties confiscating herbal medicine, leaving wheelchair-bound patients no option but to return to more debilitating painkillers they'd been taking before cannabis became available. "A lot of these folks used to be on all kinds of prescribed opiates," he said. "Many of them are now not on any opiates and doing much better." Vancouver recently became the first Canadian city to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, which remain officially barred under federal law. The city now has about 80 such operations, with the Compassion Club the flagship outfit.

Canada high court rules for edibles

Posted on June 11th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CanadaIn a unanimous decision, a seven-justice bench of the Supreme Court of Canada ruled June 11 that the ban on edibles in the government's medical marijuana program is constitutionally flawed and breaches patients' rights. "Inhaling marihuana can present health risks and is less effective for some conditions than administration of cannabis derivative," the court found. The case stemmed fron the December 2009 bust of Owen Smith, then a baker for the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, who was arrested at his apartment with 200-plus cookies, a supply of cannabis-infused cooking oils, and some dried herb. He was charged under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act with trafficking tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In 2012, British Columbia Supreme Court Judge Robert Johnston acquitted Smith after ruling that the medical marijuana regulations were constitutionally flawed because they restricted patients' therapeutic use of cannabis. Canada's Supreme Court has now affirmed the acquittal. "I think across the country there will be a lot more smiles and a lot less pain," said Smith upon the news. (Vancouver Sun, Canadian Press, June 11)

Next: 'Jimi Hendrix' brand edibles?

Posted on June 9th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

Jimi HendrixWe noted last year that a Seattle-based equity firm is planning to market "Marley Natural" brand cannabis in states where it is legal. Now it seems guitar god Jimi Hendrix is to be thusly immortalized. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Toronto-based Nutritional High International Inc announced this week that it has "entered into an exclusive licensing agreement...under which the Company may manufacture and distribute various marijuana and hemp-based edible products using the song titles and bearing the likeness of iconic guitarist Jimi Hendrix." The products in question, to be marketed under the "Edible Experiences" banner, include "Purple Haze" and "Stone Free" lines. (There's already a Purple Haze cannabis strain developed by Dutch growers, although the song was more likely about the LSD experience.) In a cute twist, the "Stone Free" line is to be a preparation infused with CBD—the cannabinoid that is thought to have medicinal value but doesn't actually get you stoned.

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.

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