Canada’s Provinces Lining Up To Sell Pot

CANADA: Following its announcement that the Province of Ontario is planning to add 150 new governments, the Province of New Brunswick has announced a multi-million dollar deal with cannabis producers.

The easterly Province of New Brunswick has announced that it has developed a new Crown corporation for the supervision of cannabis sales for the government’s anticipated legalization of recreational cannabis July 2018.

As with the announcement from Ontario’s government earlier, producers and all cannabis companies see this move as further demand for requirements to produce, test and deliver cannabis products both medicinal and recreational.

Positive reaction by investors helped companies whose positions will be impacted by additional, new distribution and support services.

Canada: Trudeau Administration Seeks To Legalize Marijuana By July 2018

CANADA:  Legislation is anticipated from the Trudeau administration in early April to regulate the use, production, and sale of marijuana. In 2015, the Liberal Party pledged to “legalize and regulate” marijuana if Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister.

The forthcoming legislation will likely be modeled after recommendations issued in 2016 by a federal task force. Members of the task force called on Parliament to permit those over 18 to possess and grow personal use quantities of marijuana, and further recommended lawmakers regulate and tax the commercial cannabis market.

The pending legalization legislation is expected to be introduced the week of April 10, CBC News has reported. Proponents are seeking to have the new law in place by July 1, 2018.

Until that time, however, Canadian police are continuing to enforce marijuana prohibition. In recent weeks, police in several Canadian cities – including Toronto and Vancouver – carried out raids of various storefront dispensaries, including those operated by longtime activists Marc and Jodie Emery.

For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.

Colombia To Legalize Commercial Sale Of Medical Marijuana

COLOMBIA: Colombia’s government plans to legalize the cultivation and sale of marijuana for medicinal and scientific purposes, officials said Thursday in a surprise shift by the longtime U.S. ally in the war on drugs.

The change is coming in an executive decree that President Juan Manuel Santos will soon sign into law. It will regulate regulating everything from licensing for growers to the eventual export of products made from marijuana, Justice Minister Yesid Reyes said.

With the new policy, Colombia joins countries from Mexico to Chile that have experimented with legalization or decriminalization as part of a wave of changing attitudes toward drug use and policies to combat it in Latin America. But unlike many of its neighbors, Colombia has long been identified with U.S.-backed policies to eradicate drug production and a sharp decline in levels of violence over the past 15 years is largely attributed to the no-tolerance policing.

Canada Is Primed To Be A Global Example For Medical Marijuana

CANADA: By unlocking the once-obscure medical marijuana market, Canada has created a fast-growing, profitable and federally regulated industry with a distinct appeal to the more daring global investor.

About a dozen producers of the drug will find themselves in the spotlight this year as they consider going public or prepare to so through share sales or reverse takeovers to capitalize on recent regulatory changes, investment bankers said.

The Canadian companies are in a race to raise money to build facilities, attract patients and grab shares in a market projected to grow to C$1.3 billion ($1.20 billion) in the next 10 years.

Despite facing considerable risks, they have the advantage of being in one of the few countries where medical marijuana is legal nationwide and where licensed operators can mass-produce it.

Sri Lanka May Legalize Marijuana

SRI LANKA:  Sri Lanka may partly legalize Marijuana after a minister told a weekend national paper that he will introduce a bill in parliament to lift the ban on the substance.  Minister of Indigenous medicine Salinda Dissanayake told the Sunday Leader last week Marijuana (cannabis) can be used for medicinal purposes and hence the ban on the substance should be lifted.

The comments come fresh on the heels of a decision by Uruguay to legalize the substance from 2014. On 10th December the South American country’s senate approved a law that both legalized Marijuana and regulated its production and sale. The US states of Colarado and Washington also voted to legalize Marijuana in 2012 with the states adopting a tax-and-control policy instead of the complete prohibition. Experts say that complete prohibition under the so called ‘drug war’  all but failed with the public opinion in the U.S. moving more towards favoring legalization.

It is currently a crime to engage any activity related to Marijuana in Sri Lanka although the substance has been used for Ayurvedic Medicine. Fresh marijuana fried in ghee is used in a number of different traditional medicines for treating a wide variety of ailments according to experts. Given the popularity of Ayurvedic medicine in the country, the government faces the curious conundrum of growing state-sponsored Marijuana one the one hand whilst destroying privately-owned illegal crops on the other. The practice, among other issues, breeds corruption as the law enforcement agencies apply selective enforcement of the law depending on kickbacks from weed growers.

Spliffs And Butts

UNITED KINGDOM: In 1952, Donald Macintosh Johnson, later the Conservative MP for Carlisle, published a study entitled “Indian Hemp: A Social Menace”. Even small doses of the drug could lead to violence and mental-health problems, he fretted. More than 60 years later, politicians from all Britain’s major parties are just as worried and resist legalization. Yet the evidence in favor of making pot legal is as persuasive as ever. [Read more…]