7 Notable Cannabis Headlines - 10/29 Weekly RecapThe world cannabis market is gaining momentum. Check out these 7 headlines from the global cannabis market last week!
Mexico’s Supreme Court lifts the ban on recreational cannabis
In a historic move this Wednesday, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that an absolute prohibition on the recreational use of cannabis is unconstitutional. The court ruled in favor of two legal cases of marijuana consumption, allowing complainants to use marijuana for recreational purposes, crossing the threshold needed to set a legal precedent.
“The effects provoked by marijuana do not justify an absolute prohibition of its consumption,” the court ruled. The judges claimed that it is the fundamental right of adults to use cannabis for recreational purposes without state interference. However, this move, albeit important, is not equal to full legalization; this is up to the Mexican lawmakers to decide.
Groups like Mexico United Against Crime claimed that these rulings are a positive development: “Mexico must move toward the regulation of drugs to improve conditions of justice and peace in the country,” they said.
Thailand could be the first Asian nation to legalize medical marijuana
After seeing the cash influx cannabis brought in Canada, Uruguay, Israel, and several US states, the Thai government considers jumping on the legalization bandwagon. According to the chairman of the country’s National Legislative Assembly Jet Sirathraanon, “Thailand has the best marijuana in the world” and should take full advantage of it. Sirathraanon has already sent a draft bill to the legislative body of Thailand, to be reviewed within the next month according to the AFP.
Thailand’s current legislation on cannabis is strict, with harsh penalties for traffickers and users. Incidentally, the climate is ideal for its cultivation and could potentially bring in a high influx of investments. In 2017 alone, the cannabis industry generated over $11B worldwide. According to the chairman, the medicinal and monetary benefits of medical cannabis legalization could be significant.
Ontario to start accepting retail cannabis applications in December
Ontario, Canada’s most populated cannabis market, will be open for cannabis retail outlet applications in December. Officials expect an extremely high influx of interested parties for more than 1000 available licenses. In comparison, according to reports by Marijuana Business Daily, Saskatchewan received 1,500 submissions for just 51 licenses.
According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario’s regulations in response to the Cannabis Licence Act will “take effect in time to enable the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) to begin accepting retail store applications in December.”
Due to the high numbers of applicants, experts like Omar Khan VP of public affairs at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, suggest that prospective entrepreneurs move quickly: “If you want to apply to the AGCO for a retail cannabis license, it’s important to prepare now rather than wait until December,” he said
Cannabidiol Based Medical Cannabis in Children with Autism
Although until recently the evidence of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis in autism was mostly anecdotal, scientific studies have started weighing in on the subject. In a clinical trial of 60 children with autism, scientists measured the effects of CBD-rich cannabis (20:1 ratio) on symptoms associated with the conditions. In 61% of cases, parents reported that their children’s symptoms were improved, while anxiety levels dropped in 39% of cases. Furthermore, the subjects reported fewer disruptive behaviors and enhanced communication. Although the study is promising, the Israeli-based scientist team is already working on a larger placebo-controlled study to confirm their findings.
Colorado rakes in more than a billion dollars in annual cannabis sales in record time
According to a report from the Colorado Department of Revenue and its Marijuana Enforcement Division, cannabis sales in Colorado exceeded $1B as of August this year, with the subsequent tax revenue coming in at more than $200 million.
According to the officials, this is the earliest that Colorado has had that many sales in the four years since the legalization of cannabis. In a press release distributed this Thursday, state officials also reported that Denver, Boulder, and El Paso were the most productive counties, producing around 80% of the plants in the state. Also, they found a sharp increase in the sale of edibles (14% up) and concentrates (94%) during the same period.
Missouri, Michigan, Utah, and North Dakota to legalize cannabis in November
With marijuana being a hotly contested topic ahead of the upcoming midterm elections, legalization is among the significant issues in the states of Missouri, Michigan, North Dakota, and Utah. After the voting process for Congressmen and Congresswomen concludes in each state, an alternate section in the voting booth will ask questions on essential affairs, with the legalization of medical/recreational cannabis being on the list for all four states.
First FDA-approved cannabis-based drug hits the shelves
After many months of waiting, the first FDA-approved drug based on cannabidiol is available for sale throughout the US. GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex has cleared all regulatory requirements and can be sold by prescription, despite cannabis being still considered an illegal substance.
Epidiolex is a medication for the control of seizure symptoms and will be covered by most insurance plans. In an interesting note, Epidiolex is classified as a Schedule V drug (allowable by prescription), while cannabis itself is still a Schedule I drug, a category reserved for “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”