Business is blooming
Cannabis in 420 flavours with a big dollop of hype. The new ‘Green Rush’ is attracting prospectors and entrepreneurs with websites selling special weeds with exotic names. The smell of money and Cannabis does seem to be addictive.
The HEMP Embassy Headlines are a selection of recent articles from news services and media sources primarily concerning Cannabis issues, the consequences of prohibition and the challenges for law reform. Here are the selected headlines for this week.
Australia’s government is getting it together on medical cannabis. In December, it announced plans to introduce a national licensing scheme for the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal and scientific purposes in 2016.
Dr David Caldicott, an emergency specialist at Canberra’s Calvary Hospital, said the proposal advocated by NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant and backed by Premier Mike Baird was based in the regressive ideology of drug prohibition, which he likened to the “ideological equivalent to climate change denialism”.
In the contrast between what has happened since 1964 with tobacco, on the one hand, and marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other banned substances, on the other, we have an instructive lesson in the comparative effects of choosing a public-health or a criminalisation paradigm for dealing with addictive substances.
Susie speaks with one of only around 20 sufferers in Australia of a condition called Stiff Person Syndrome. Ben Oakley was a fit and healthy teenager before being unexpectedly struck down this mysterious and very rare condition, the only respite he gets from intense pain and spasms is through using cannabis oil.
High hopes as miners turn to marijuana [mineweb]
It seems investors are also buying into the hype. According to Reuters, David Tasker, a director of Australia-listed International Goldfields, said trading in the company’s stock increased as it moved from mining into medical marijuana.
One night last year, Karyn Wagner, founder of Paradigm Medical Marijuana, smoked a joint before having sex with her partner — a fairly unremarkable move in terms of foreplay, but this time the results were something special. “After I smoked this one,” she remembers, “I said, You know, honey, that was perfect. Save it for next time.” Her partner dutifully labeled the bag “Sexpot.” And inspiration struck.
For marijuana supporters, access to new treatment pathways and the potential to use the drug recreationally without the fear of federal prosecution are the ultimate goals. For the states, it’s all about the money. Tax revenue generated from the retail sale of marijuana can be critical to funding education, law enforcement, and even securing jobs within a state.
‘Criminalising people for the use of drugs is almost always counterproductive,’ David Nutt said. ‘For the vast majority of people – probably 70 to 80 per cent of people who use drugs – they will come to no harm. So criminalising them will do more harm than the drugs.
Colorado Celebrates Legalization Anniversary: Massive Drop in Arrests and Millions in Tax Revenue [drugpolicy]
The destruction imagined by opponents of legalization in 2012 never came true and is unlikely to materialize. Public safety benchmarks are under scrutiny in a manner never seen under prohibition and there is no real cause for panic in the foreseeable future. In short, the current state of legalization is more reflective of the world imagined by proponents – legalization works!
Speaking on TV channel Russia-24, Viktor Ivanov said the illegal drug trade in the western hemisphere had caused the rise of thousands-strong cartels that have started to oppose local governments through political demands and armed struggle. “This is the reason why the Soros Foundation has sponsored a number of reports, including those in the London School of Economics
Florida cops with the Bal Harbour Police Department and Glades County Sheriff’s Office are currently under federal investigation for allegedly laundering at least $55.6 million for drug cartels and other criminal organizations under the guise of a joint task force operation that allowed them to make $2.4 million for themselves.
2016 is the big year for Cannabis in the USA. With an election looming, 4 states and DC already on the wagon and public support in the High fifties, it’s more a matter of which states will be next to turn off the bad laws.
The entry of billionaires who mainly seek profits has sparked deep anger among long-term activists who have toiled for legalization in the name of personal freedom, civil rights and racial justice.
Under the Obama administration, federal drug agencies have made a point to talk about addiction as a medical problem, but the drug control budget continues to devote far more resources to arrests, punishment and interdiction than to health strategies like treatment and prevention.
Former Te Aroha farmer John Lord owns and operates a legal cannabis operation in Colorado called LivWell, which employs 500 staff in 20 outlets. He sells in excess of $80 million worth of product annually. He won’t talk profit margins.
Small Producers Warned To Patent Their Strains [civilized]
There’s no doubt that legalization will radically change the cannabis industry, but not all developments will necessarily be positive. For small-scale growers, legalization means legal corporations will enter the business, potentially pushing out little operations that have helped develop the market for years.
“We were pretty overt and we started to get a lot of attention. Morgan Stanley said I would have to go, if I kept on doing this.
“I managed to live in both worlds until Morgan Stanley cut me loose.” The conventional career path would have been to take a break before finding another equally well-paid berth elsewhere in New York’s financial district, at a bank with a more relaxed attitude. Instead Peterson ditched banking for cannabis, an industry whose exponential growth has been dubbed the “weed gold rush” in the US.
Almost 80 percent of all people moving to Colorado are coming here for the pot. That’s according to the state Health Department’s first-ever survey of how many new residents are moving to Colorado for the legal drug.
Results from the 2015 survey were announced this week. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also says that 13.6 percent of adults currently use pot. Of those, more than a third said they use pot every day.
Friday marked the second anniversary of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado. “I think it’s a great model,” said Dave Chapin, Vail’s new mayor. “It gives towns a lot more say. Anytime you can get things down to the local level, that’s a strength for the community.” So far, the pot partnership between big and small appears to be working.
If you told Jacobson a decade ago that he’d be emerging as one of Colorado’s top marijuana entrepreneurs, the father of three and longtime hydroelectric power plant developer would have laughed.
Inside Alberta’s growing medical-marijuana industry [theglobeandmail]
This is the great indoors, the place where you can stand at the end of a long metal table, stare straight ahead to its opposite end some 75 metres away and you will be lost in a mighty greenness. You will see thousands of familiar jagged-edged leaves reaching up to the lights inside Alberta’s largest grow-op.
Using medical cannabis products recommended by a physician should not be regarded as a sinful act, but rather as a mitzvah, an imperative, a commandment.
Ireland’s 1st hemp-built passive house [passivehouseplus]
For self-builder James Byrne, building to the passive house standard was just one element of an approach that aimed to drastically reduce the environmental impact of his house — built from a hemp and lime system, it also features solar collectors, rainwater harvesting and natural wastewater treatment.
A significant positive outcome has already emerged from next year’s UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in the form of much more direct engagement in key drug policy issues from a range of UN agencies – beyond the prohibitionist silo of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Trudeau’s plan to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana is already proving a complicated and controversial undertaking on the domestic front, in part because it requires working with the provinces. Internationally, says a briefing note prepared for the prime minister, Canada will also have to find a way to essentially tell the world how it plans to conform to its treaty obligations.
The past protests have gained media support & Police cooperation. Our protests have been orderly, peaceful and proudly POLITE.
This time we are going straight to our local member’s office. The office of Thomas George MP (Member for Lismore).