ISRAEL: In light of developing circumstances with the COVID-19 coronavirus and based on recommendations from the Israeli Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CannaTech Tel Aviv and PsyTech Summit are postponed. PsyTech Summit will take place June 14-15 and CannaTech, June 15-16, 2020.
Saul Kaye, CEO of iCAN: Israel-Cannabis commented: “Our number one concern is the health and safety of our attendees and speakers, our partners, our colleagues and our vendors. While we are disappointed to postpone both CannaTech Tel Aviv and PsyTech Summit, we are very confident it will be worth the wait.
“We thank our sponsors and attendees for their understanding and wish all those affected by the virus our very best. We are fully committed to create beautifully crafted events in June that will showcase the brands and solutions that fuel this industry.”
SWITZERLAND: Members of the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence have proposed amending the classification of cannabis under international law.
According to reporting in the British Medical Journal, the WHO policy reversal “takes account of the growing evidence for the medical applications of the drug,” and marks the first time that the agency has reviewed its stance on cannabis in nearly 60 years.
The recommended changes, outlined in a letter by WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, call for cannabis to be removed from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Schedule IV is the most restrictive classification under the treaty. Instead, the committee advises that whole-plant cannabis and THC be designated as Schedule I controlled substances under international law.
“The current [international] scheduling of cannabis is as strict as that for heroin,” the BMJ summarizes. “[T]he Committee believes that keeping cannabis at that level of control would severely restrict access to and research on potential therapies derived from the plant.”
In a separate recommendation, the Committee reiterated its 2017 request that preparations containing “pure cannabidiol … and not more than 0.2 percent of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol” no longer be scheduled within the international drug conventions.
The Committee’s policy recommendations now await action from the 53 participating members states of the United Nation’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The Commission is anticipated to vote on the issue in March.
In October, NORML delivered over 10,000 public comments to the US Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to recommend that WHO reschedule cannabis internationally.
For more information, contact Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.
SWITZERLAND: Use of the naturally occurring cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) possesses no likely abuse potential and should not be subject to international drug scheduling restrictions, according to recommendations issued this week by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence.
Stated WHO: “Recent evidence from animal and human studies shows that its use could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions. Current evidence also shows that cannabidiol is not likely to be abused or create dependence as for other cannabinoids (such as Tetra Hydro Cannabinol (THC), for instance). The ECDD therefore concluded that current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol and postponed a fuller review of cannabidiol preparations to May 2018, when the committee will undertake a comprehensive review of cannabis and cannabis related substances.”
In September, NORML submitted written testimony to the US Food and Drug Administration in opposition to the imposition of new international restrictions regarding CBD access. The FDA is one of a number of agencies that advised WHO with their review.
A preliminary report issued by the WHO in November affirmed that CBD was generally safe, well-tolerated, and that there “is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Despite the international health agency’s acknowledgment that CBD is therapeutic, safe, and well-tolerated, it remains classified under US law as a schedule I controlled substance.
“The domestic classification and criminalization of cannabidiol as a schedule I controlled substance is out of step with both available science and common sense,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. “It is yet another example of the US government placing ideology over evidence when it comes to issues related to the cannabis plant.”
For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: email@example.com.