This Week In Weed – 21 July 2019


UK support for recreational up 5% in past year

A YouGov poll has shown a 5% annual increase in the number of British adults who now support the legalisation of recreational cannabis.

48% of voters were in favour of legalising recreational use of cannabis, with only 24% objecting. Support for ‘medicinal cannabis’ was even stronger, at 77%. Roughly the same said they would consider using cannabis-based treatments if there was strong evidence it would benefit them.

The Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group (CDPRG), which commissioned the poll, said the findings indicated “clear and growing appetite” for a new approach to drug policy in the UK. “This survey shows the government and politicians are significantly behind the public’s thinking,” said Rob Wilson, the group’s chief executive and a former Tory minister for civil society.

He added: “It illustrates the widening gulf between the stubborn, decades-old policies of blanket prohibition and the developing attitude of millions of voters willing to apply new approaches focused on improving harm reduction and healthcare outcomes.”

Ireland receives first order of medicinal cannabis

Ireland has received its first batch of medical cannabis, from Tilray, after health minister Simon Harris signed legislation to allow for the operation of the medical cannabis access programme on a pilot basis for five years.

Medical consultants will now be permitted to prescribe cannabis-based treatments to patients who suffer from medical conditions where standard therapies have failed, including multiple sclerosis, nausea associated with chemotherapy, and severe epilepsy.

Bipartisan bid for medical cannabis research reform

A bipartisan group of US congressional lawmakers introduced a bill on Wednesday to lift fetters on medical cannabis research, a move they believe would weaken resistance to federal marijuana reform.

“Forty-seven states have legalised some form of cannabis, yet the federal government is still getting in the way of further progress on the potential for research,” said Rep Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat and co-sponsor of the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2019.

Currently, the only marijuana available for legal research comes from a contract the National Institute on Drug Abuse holds with the University of Mississippi. Lawmakers have urged that other researchers and universities receive federal authorisation to grow research cannabis. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) created an application process for growers but has been slow to respond to applications.

The bill, according to sponsors, would:

  • Create a new, less cumbersome registration process for marijuana research, reducing approval times, costly security measures and unnecessary layers of protocol review.
  • Make it easier for approved researchers to obtain the cannabis they need for their studies by reforming production and distribution regulations.
  • Allow for the private manufacturing and distribution of cannabis solely for research purposes.

Christian Book Distributors forced to rebrand 

Publishing company Christian Book Distributors, known as CBD for decades, have decided on a rebrand after being bombarded with enquires about cannabidiol products. It will now be called Christianbook.

“A person may call up and say, ‘Hey, I’m looking for my order,’” Ray Hendrickson, the chief executive of the family-owned company, told the New York Times.

“It’s like, ‘What did you order? Oh, I ordered gummies.’ You don’t have the right company.”

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