This Week In Weed – 4 August 2019


MP requests Home Office returns Indie-Rose Clarry’s cannabis oil

James Cartlidge, the MP for South Suffolk, has called on the Home Office to immediately return cannabis oil to the family of Indie-Rose Clarry after it was seized by Border Force at Stansted Airport.

Indie-Rose, 5, from Clare, suffers from Dravet syndrome, a genetic condition that causes debilitating seizures and sleep deprivation. Her father Anthony was stopped at Stansted Airport, where he was forced to hand over a supply of cannabis oil that had been obtained in the Netherlands.

Cartlidge said: “I was obviously very concerned to hear that Anthony had been stopped at Border Force and that Indie-Rose’s medication had been seized.

“I immediately contacted Kit Malthouse MP, the Home Office minister responsible for Border Force, and insisted that the medication be released back to the family as soon as possible.

“I understand that the Home Office is working with the Health Department to see what can be done to assist my constituents.”

He added that he would request a long-term solution for the family in a letter to both the Home Secretary and the Health Secretary.

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Johnson appoints pro-legalisation advisor

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made “one of the UK’s leading advocates of cannabis legalisation” a special adviser on crime and justice policy, HIgh Times reports. Blair Gibbs has since November worked as a senior policy advisor with the London-based Centre For Medical Cannabis, where he was the lead author of the report Medicinal Cannabis in the UK: A Blueprint for Reform.

Johnson has admitted to smoking “quite a few spliffs” in his teenage years, saying “it was jolly nice”; but since entering politics he has “become very illiberal about it”.

Whether Gibbs will be able to shift Johnson’s attitude on cannabis legalisation remains to be seen. It is likely that Johnson appointed him because he served Johnson when he was mayor of London as his adviser on policing.

But Gibbs isn’t the only appointee to Johnson’s administration who supports cannabis legalisation. Danny Kruger, the new political secretary, has also publicly called for ending cannabis prohibition. In 2017, he wrote an article for the Spectator which said that “a brave step would be to commission a report looking at the impact on young people’s wellbeing of drugs – including the effect of illegality, and the potential for a regulated market”.

Short sellers target top cannabis companies

Net short positions against cannabis companies increased by 7.2 million shares, or $169.7 million, in July, according to data from market tracker S3 Analytics.

Shorting is a type of insurance policy whereby one can bet on people, companies or countries defaulting on their debt. Many insurance companies offering these policies themselves went bust during the last financial crash because they owed far more than they were able to pay out.

Yahoo Finance reports: “The cannabis company that saw the highest uptick in short activity in terms of dollar bets against it was Canopy Growth (CGC), which parted ways with its CEO Bruce Linton to start the month. In total, short sellers added an additional $69.6 million worth of Canopy shares to short positions, despite higher than average borrowing fees.

“The fact that Canopy topped the list of cannabis shorts in July shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise, according to Morgan Paxhia, co-founder of the cannabis-focused Poseidon Asset Management, who told Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM that shorting some of the larger cannabis names can often be easier due to availability. Canopy is the largest cannabis company in the world by market cap.

“However, Paxhia did challenge the notion that the same sentiment that sent Canopy shares down by about 20% in July would carry over to the rest of the year.”