China

The death penalty for cannabis —even now

nooseIt's pretty surreal that even as a legal cannabis industry emerges on a global scale, there are still countries that impose outrageously draconian sentences for the herb—up to and including the death penalty.

The egregious case of a man sentenced to death for smuggling two pounds of cannabis into the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore has focused global attention on the disturbing reality.

Medical marijuana for animals: veterinarians call for standards

medical marijuanaAmong the ambiguous areas in the state medical marijuana laws from coast to coast is the status of cannabis and its derivatives as veterinary medications. Now, a new non-profit has been launched to advocate for legal standards and clarity on the question.

The Vilsack Attack?

hempWhat will Biden’s Agriculture Department Mean for Small Farmers and Hemp?

Progressives coast to coast breathed a heavy sigh of relief as Joe Biden took the oath of office, ending the turbulent and reactionary rule of Donald Trump over the past four years.

But hemp cultivation, like the rewriting and replacement of NAFTA, was one of the few areas that actually saw positive change in the Trump years—with bipartisan support. The 2018 Farm Bill that re-legalized the crop after generations of prohibition bore Trump’s signature.

And there are fears that Biden could mean a return to the Washington consensus of a corporate-friendly “free trade” status quo ante, shorn even of the limited populist measures of the Trump era.

For small farmers, including some hemp cultivators, Biden’s choice to lead the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) may provide a case in point.

UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs deschedules cannabis —partially

Planet WatchAt the annual Vienna meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the governing body of the UN Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODCvoted Dec. 2 to strike cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the global treaty regulating drug control policy.

The Rise of Franken-Cannabinoids?

cannabis geneticsIn the near future, the CBD, THC or other cannabinoids you consume in edibles or medications may not be derived from cannabis at all, but grown in a laboratory.

Kevin Chen, CEO and co-founder of Hyasynth Bio, describes the Montreal-based start-up as "focused on engineering strains of yeast to produce the active compounds of cannabis without having to grow plants."

Coronavirus outbreak impacts cannabis industry

Posted on February 18th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

ChinaWith half a billion people under lockdown, the coronavirus outbreak in China is virtually certain to take a grave impact on the Asian superpower's economy—with ripples across the planet. And the cannabis industry is, like so many global concerns, dependent on labor in China's factory zones. Canna-businesses as far away as Canada's prairies are fearing an imminent pinch.

Cannabis prisoners as geopolitical pawns

Posted on February 10th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

prisonersThe global prohibition of cannabis affords the opportunity for imperial powers and authoritarian regimes to exploit those caught in the web of enforcement to advance their own political agendas. The recent case of Naama Issachar was deftly leveraged by Vladimir Putin, and could encourage other depots to similarly use pot prisoners to exact concessions from foreign governments.

Cannabis and dopamine: link reveals both hopes and risks

Posted on September 21st, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

THCResearchers are exploring the connection between cannabinoids and dopamine in the human brain, and particularly how THC affects our "reward system"—key to such phenomena as motivation, addiction and euphoria. Investigations are revealing both potential for treatments of psychiatric disorders as well as possible risks from heavy use, especially among the young.

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