The number of recorded crimes for possessing cannabis has fallen significantly across UK police forces in the past decade, with more than half recording 40% fewer.
Greater Manchester has seen the greatest decline at 75%, followed by Leicestershire at 70% and 67% in Cambridgeshire. Only three of the 43 forces showed any significant increase on 2008: Wiltshire (33%), Dorset and Bedfordshire (both 9%).
Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb commented: “What we are witnessing is a de facto drift towards decriminalisation but without any debate, without any role of government, without national oversight. This is police and PCCs [commissioners] exercising judgment when faced with almost impossible restrictions on resources.”
“The Government ought to be leading on this because at the moment it’s a haphazard process; you might end up with a criminal record in one part of the country but not in another.”
He said that he had failed to persuade Norfolk police that it was not in the public interest to proceed in prosecuting a middle-aged constituent who used cannabis for chronic pain. Norfolk has had a reduction in cannabis offences of just over 16% in the last 10 years.
This year’s 4/20 was the biggest ever and that was reflected by the fact that suppliers struggled to keep up with demand on Saturday.
“Suppliers in the US, where recreational cannabis is legal in 10 states, and Canada, where the drug was decriminalised for recreational use last year, reported difficulties fulfilling orders on what has been called the industry’s Black Friday,” The Guardian reported.
“Some delivery websites, and the biggest legal delivery app, Eaze, crashed under the weight of demand on Saturday. Online cannabis dispensaries Nugg and Chill also suffered difficulties throughout the day. Eaze crashed repeatedly soon after it began ‘happy hour’, with free delivery in California, and a 20% discount on cannabis-related products in other states.”
Looks like they need to expand production…
“Faced with funding cuts of up to 12%, GP practices closing and failing high streets, an increasing number of pharmacies are turning to cannabinoids (CBD) to attract new customers,” reports the Daily Express.
At a rate of seven a week, at least 190 pharmacies have closed in the two years since the Department of Health introduced its cuts in 2016.
Manjit Jhoot, owner of the Jhoots Pharmacy chain, which operates 100 pharmacies across England, told the Express: “CBD products have been in our pharmacies now for just over five months and we have seen footfall increase exponentially and our profits have also seen an upturn.
“There was a lot of scepticism at first as people didn’t really understand the difference between CBD and THC (the chemical in illegal cannabis) but our team of pharmacists and staff have been able to educate people in to the difference and our customers who have tried the products have not only returned to purchase more but also commented on their efficacy.
“Obviously the benefits need more research which is coming but hopefully the World Health Organisation (WHO) report stating that CBD is perfectly safe will open up more avenues of research so we can continue to explore the benefits and market further.”
Another unnamed pharmacist in Birmingham said: “Our local GP moved to a combined health centre with on-site pharmacist and the ASDA near us also opened a pharmacist so we have had a really hard time. That is why I started selling CBD products, I don’t know if they will save the business but they have certainly been a real success. And there have been no prescriptions for cannabis that’s for sure.”
Canada’s Canopy Growth Corp has agreed to buy Acreage Holdings, one of the biggest US marijuana growers, in a $3.4bn deal – but it depends on cannabis production and sales being legalised by the US federal government.
Canopy will pay $300m upfront in cash, with the rest in shares once legalisation is enacted. If it doesn’t arrive within the next 90 months the deal will automatically be called off.