This Week In Weed – 26 May 2019

Canadians begin growing their own

Canadians have started planting cannabis in their gardens for the first time. The federal Cannabis Act specifies that each household can cultivate up to four plants — either indoors or out.

Growing your own is significantly cheaper than purchasing cannabis. Alex Rea of Toronto-based Homegrown Hydroponics told CBC News: “For the price-conscious consumer, if you’re paying around $10 a gram for the varieties at the store, you might be only paying 50 cents per gram or less for a variety you grow yourself at home.”

And outdoors production is obviously cheaper still than doing it indoors. “There is less equipment involved, and it’s more environmentally friendly. There is no input of electricity to power grow-lights, for example.”

As with in-store cannabis in Canada since legalisation, demand is already outstripping supply, with a number of provincial authorities reporting seed shortages.

Matt Soltys, a new grower in Ontario, described cannabis as a “very hearty and forgiving plant”, adding: “I give it good compost and good water, good soil, access to enough light, and it knows what to do. There’s not a lot of maintenance you need to do.”

Semi-state company could grow medical cannabis supply

Bord na Móna, a semi-state energy company in Ireland, could take up responsibility for growing Ireland’s medicinal cannabis supply, according to Sean Canney, Minister of State for Natural Resources, Community Affairs and Digital Development.

“It is very much at the project phase at the moment” but “the option of medicinal cannabis being grown on the site is being considered”, said the junior minister.

Bord na Móna plans to end peat energy usage by 2028 and move into renewable energy production, the company is on the hunt for ways to diversify into new sectors.

Health Minister Simon Harris has also said that Ireland could own its own medicinal cannabis supply in the future, saying: “I don’t necessarily think it would have to be a matter of Big Pharma, it could be well be that Ireland Inc would decide to own its own supply and that the public health service could own its own supply, or indeed that existing state companies and the likes could decide to diversify into this space.”

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has denied that the country is “sleepwalking” into legalising cannabis. The claim was made by senior doctors in the Cannabis Risk Alliance as proposals to ease the law around possession of drugs for personal use are due before the Cabinet in the coming weeks. Under the plans, someone caught with a small amount of a drug such as cannabis would be referred to an addiction or counselling service. Hardly legalisation!

Flanagan said the issue has been under consideration for a number of months. “Over the past number of months, we have been engaged at cross-departmental level and I believe the report, when published, will be balanced.”

Nigeria denies Thailand cannabis link

Col. Muhammad Abdallah, chairman of Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has denied reports that he and Ondo state governor Rotimi Akeredolu went to Thailand to learn about growing cannabis sativa.

The governor was reported as saying the state government was planning to take advantage of the commercial value of the plant to boost trade and create jobs for the youth.

But Abdullah said: “At no point did I make any remark in favour of the commercial and medicinal value or monetary gain of cannabis.

“The purpose of the visit to Thailand is to understudy how the country has successfully migrated some of her citizens hitherto engaged in illicit plant cultivation to the cultivation of legitimate economic crops and other lawful businesses.

“The NDLEA under my leadership has been consistent in our opposition to legalisation and decriminalisation of cannabis.”

He even boasted that the NDLEA had recently destroyed 3,901 hectares of cannabis sativa planted in forest reserves.

Canopy buys Britain’s This Works for £43m

Canopy Growth, the world’s largest cannabis company, has bought London-based beauty brand This Works for £43m in a deal that will see it launch a range of CBD-infused products infused sleeping and skincare products.

The Canadian firm, which sells both medicinal and recreational cannabis products, paid cash for the company, founded by former Vogue journalist Kathy Phillips and owned by private equity group Tengram Capital Partners.

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