Canada’s most recent informational release consists of a list of ten guidelines to safely enjoy your cannabis related activities. Always courteous, Canada wants to make sure nobody overdoes their usage or has a bad time. Providing this list of cannabis precautions is similar to other guidelines about how to drink alcohol safely, and thoughtfully providing the results of cannabis safety research as a colorfull brochure. If you are worried about going too far with your THC treats, take a page from Canada’s book on conservative enjoyment:

1. Cannabis use has health risks best avoided by abstaining
While this is true of essentially anything with direct or peripheral risks, this first rule puts the rest of the guidelines into perspective. There are a few risks associated with cannabis use and complete avoidance of THC and CBD in all its forms would keep you safe from them.

2. Delay taking up cannabis use until later in life
Young brains are not done developing and anyone who is not an adult should avoid taking anything psychoactive, prescription meds included. Canada researchers have found that anyone under the age of 16 can expose themselves to developmental risks. Cannabis may be one of the gentlest of the recreational drugs available, but it still has significant effects on brain development so hold off until you’re legal age. The age limits were put in place for a reason.

3. Identify and choose lower-risk cannabis products
Canada has defined THC has having a high risk of potential harms which include problems with thinking, memory, coordination, and perception, along with respiratory problems from smoking and injuries caused by impairment. They also list hallucinations and reproductive problems, but these issues are much less common. Canada recommends that you stick with low THC products and high CBD to THC ratios to reduce risk of harms.

4. Don’t use synthetic cannabinoids
What they call synthetic cannabinoids (K2 and ‘Spice’) are harmful chemicals that are much worse for you than anything normal cannabis leaf, edibles, or concentrates could cause. Canada says that they can lead to severe health problems and death, so stay away.

5. Avoid smoking burnt cannabis—choose safer ways of using
Smoking is bad for you in any form. You could be smoking chamomile and it would be bad for you. Unfortunately for bud gourmets, this means that a healthy cannabis lifestyle will involve leaving behind joints and pipes for concentrates and vaporiser pens.

6. If you smoke cannabis, avoid harmful smoking practices
Canada enumerates ‘harmful smoking practices’ as deep inhalation and breath-holding. What they are saying here is that if you hold your hits, you absorb more THC. You will get a stronger effect from THC by holding it in your lungs to increase absorption, which naturally increases the risks associated with intoxication. You also don’t want to do this while smoking because it will increase the time harsh smoke is damaging your lungs and bronchial passageway

7. Limit and reduce how often you use cannabis
Not everyone can ‘hold their smoke’ and daily use can be a sign of someone who has entered a harmful personal cycle with cannabis, as with any substance that interacts with the brain. If you find yourself losing track of time without meaning to, Canada suggests limiting your cannabis activities to weekends only.

8. Don’t use and drive, or operate other machinery
Cannabis can make you clumsy, so apply the same caution as you would with powerful cough syrup. Don’t drive or operate heavy machinery because even small mistakes can become fatal. In the detail text, Canada researchers make an especially important point: do not combine cannabis with alcohol unless you want to become seriously impaired. The ‘complementary’ effect can create intense disorientation. In this state, you probably don’t even want to operate your phone, much less a car.

9. Avoid cannabis use altogether if you are at risk for mental health problems or are pregnant
Some people are more at risk of negative effects than others. Unstable people have a harder time with any psychoactive substance and should be careful about exposure. Pregnant women, no matter how mentally stable, should stay away from cannabis just as they shouldn’t drink. Substances that affect the brain are dangerous for a growing foetus.

10. Avoid combining the risks identified above
The researchers for this brochure have been very thorough covering their bases and the final point is a useful and strongly worded reminder. The more risky cannabis based behaviours your take on, the more likely you are to find yourself in a rare situation in which cannabis has caused you trouble.

While the advice in this brochure may seem unusually cautious to the experienced cannabis user, consider all the young people and new adopters who are just starting to find out about their personal tolerances and the right habits to form while enjoying leaf, edibles, or concentrates. This Canadian brochure will at the very least help people not to hurt themselves doing too much, too fast.

Source July 2:

The green rush in Germany is on, with a Canadian cannabis producer ready to spend millions to expand in the country ahead of the country’s launch of a medical cannabis market.

Maricann Group Inc (CSE: MARI), a licensed producer and distributor of medical cannabis in Canada, has secured $42,500,000 in non-dilutive financing to further expand operations in Germany, the company has announced. The funds come from The Green Streaming Finance Company of Canada Inc., a Vancouver, BC-based company that provides non-equity financing to cannabis producers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Maricann will receive investment in two separate payments of $15,000,000 and $27,500,000.

The money be used to fund construction of a state-of-the-art, 150,000 square-foot expansion of cultivation operations at the company’s existing Ebersbach Facility (pictured above) as well as an additional 250,000 square-foot, two-tiered cultivation expansion project. An additional outdoor farm will assist Maricann develop its high-CBD cannabis products.

The facility, a former Cargill plant, is located west of Dresden. It was constructed 20 years ago at a cost of 80 million euros. There are multiple individual clean rooms, according to a Maricann press release, that are ideal for cultivating cannabis. “The Ebersbach facility offers Maricann a significant advantage in cost of overall construction and speed to market. The infrastructure for cultivation of cannabis in an indoor secured environment is already in place,” CEO Benjamin Ward said in a statement.

“We simply need to add the fertigation system, lights and benches for growing, and then can be operational,” he added. “Our competitors are spending north of $70,000,000 CAD for facilities with less than 1/3 the footprint of our Ebersbach location. To construct a similar facility today, the estimated cost would be over $120 million EUR.”

Source: June 14 (By Peake):

”The Latin name ‘Cannabis indica’, later ‘Cannabis sativa’ already suggests that cannabis grows, and is traditionally used in India.”

Cannabis grows wild in the Himalayas, in India from Kashmir in the east to beyond Assam in the west, but also in Iran and all throughout Central and West Asia. (The Latin name ‘Cannabis indica’, later ‘Cannabis sativa’ already suggests that cannabis grows, and is traditionally used in India.) Cannabis is nowadays cultivated mostly in the tropical and subtropical parts of India.

In traditional Indian medical texts, cannabis has first been mentioned a couple of thousand years ago in the Atharva veda, whereas ayurvedic traditional texts do not mention this plant until the Middle Ages. The ayurvedic names of cannabis are “vijaya” – ‘the one who conquers’ and “siddhi” – ‘subtle power’, ‘achievement’. Ayurveda differentiates between three therapeutic parts of the plant. They have somewhat different actions on the body, and are given separate names. Bhang is a name for the leaves of male and female plants, and in certain regions of India the name is also used for flowers of the male plant. The name ganja is given to the flowering tops of the female plant, and charas is the name for the plant resin, which naturally exudes from leaves, stems and fruits of plants that grow in the mountains between 2000 and 3000 m of altitude. Nevertheless, some confusion exists regarding the names in India – in South and West India the difference in meaning between the names bhang and ganja has almost disappeared: the name ganja is used to denote the cannabis plant in general, including the leaves; and the name bhang is in some regions given to a drink made from ganja.

In Indian pharmacopeia, all parts of the plant are denoted as somewhat narcotic (the most powerful narcotic is in the plant’s resin, charas). But different parts of the plant can also stimulate digestion, act as analgesics, nervous system stimulants, can have sedative, spasmolytic, diuretic, and aphrodisiac actions. The plant is, according to ayurvedic basic energy (virya) differentiation, warming, and its long-term use dries up the body. With moderate use, it works first as a nervous system stimulant and powerful aphrodisiac, later its action is sedating. Habitual, prolonged use of Cannabis leads towards disbalance of all three basic physiological forces in the body (as Ayurveda recognizes them) – vata, pitta, and kapha – and as the result of this disbalance chronically poor digestion, melancholy, sexual impotence, and body wasting.

In Ayurveda, bhang is used to treat high blood pressure (this therapy is usually of limited duration, until high blood pressure is corrected with other ayurvedic measures), the juice is used for lowering intraocular pressure (glaucoma), and for short-term stimulation of the nervous system… Some martial artists in northern India, mainly wrestlers, take bhang with a paste made of almonds, pistachios, black pepper, saffron, rose petals etc., mixed with fresh cow’s milk – to ensure long term concentration during exhausting all-day practice, and to help the body (as their art demands the body to be as heavy as possible) to ingest enormous quantities of food, without losing its digestive power. Fresh leaf juice (bhang) is also used to treat dandruff, as a preventive measure against parasites in hair; also in cases of earache, and against bacterial inflammations and infestations of the ear. The juice is also diuretic, and therefore is used in treating inflammations of the bladder and kidney stones. Dried leaf powder is applied on fresh wounds to promote healing (new granulation tissue development). A poultice of crushed fresh leaves is used on the skin in cases of different skin infections, rashes, neuralgias – for example erysipelas, Herpes zoster, Chickenpox, eczema, etc. – to diminish pain and itching. Combined with other herbs, bhang can be used against diarrhoea – for this purpose, it is most usually combined with nutmeg (ganja may also be used for the same purpose – mainly with nutmeg and honey). With digestive herbs (like cumin, fennel, anise, …) bhang can be excellent for stimulating appetite and digestion; with aphrodisiac herbs and foods (almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, saffron…) it becomes an excellent aphrodisiac. When the leaves (bhang) on the other hand are mixed with tobacco, the plant diminishes appetite, and acts as an anti-aphrodisiac. In these cases, the actions of the cannabis plant are modified by other herbs in the mixture.

The most powerful narcotic, as mentioned above, is in the plant’s resin, charas, and it is used in Ayurveda in aroused psychiatric states, in manic states, sometimes also (short term use) for chronic insomnia, but also for chronic pain in terminal phases of tuberculosis and malignant tumours. It is also administered in cases of chronic debilitating dry cough, like in pertussis, and in patients with lung cancer – ayurvedic doctors prefer cannabis over opium in these cases, as cannabis (compared to opium) does not produce nausea, loss of appetite, constipation or headache.

Literature: Indian Materia Medica & Robert Svoboda: “Ayurveda, Life, Health, and Longevity”

Courtesy to: Biljana Dušić, M.D. Counsellor of Ayurvedic medicine, ADITI.

Source: June 2nd –

French officials have announced a plan to discontinue prison sentences for cannabis consumers by the year’s end, according to a recent report.

The change was a campaign promise of France’s newly elected liberal centrist President Emmanuel Macron and is a meaningful step toward cannabis reform for the country. However, according to government spokesperson Christophe Castaner, the plan stops short of fully decriminalizing the plant.
According to Castaner, it takes a police officer an average of six hours to carry out a single drug arrest, which can then cost magistrates a similar amount of time in carrying out the state’s punishment.

“Is the system effective? No,” Castaner said. “What is important today is to be efficient and above all to free up time for our police so they can focus more on essential matters.”

Under current French law, individuals caught using cannabis can face up to a year in jail and fines of up to €3750.

The new law promises to end prison sentences for cannabis use. Instead – according to statements – Macron made on the campaign trail cannabis users who are caught by police may be ticketed up to a maximum of €100.

“It is a good idea that takes into account reality,” said Patrice Ribeiro, member of France’s police officers’ union. “Most police office officers who stop consumers tell them to throw the joint away and then let them go.”

France is one of only six countries in the European Union that still considers cannabis use to be a crime – the majority of EU member countries have either decriminalized possession or, at the very least, have decriminalized the use of cannabis (though possession remains a crime).

Source: 29 may:

New policy brief provides guidance to states on aligning regulations of recreational cannabis markets with international legal obligations.

Collaboration between leading international scientific body and Canada’s premiere academic institution on global policy issues outlines four scenarios for how national governments could respond to questions of treaty compliance raised by their pursuit of domestic reform of cannabis policies.

As an increasing number of jurisdictions consider regulating recreational cannabis markets, concerns about how such a policy change would impact compliance with international drug treaties have arisen.

“National governments have several options when it comes to reforming cannabis policies while managing their relationship with the international treaty obligations,” said Dr. Dan Werb, Director of the ICSDP, The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy. “What this policy brief demonstrates, though, is that whatever policy path governments choose, the consensus on recreational cannabis policy is inevitably changing.”

Four scenarios are identified to explore how states party to international drug treaties could respond to questions of compliance while pursuing domestic cannabis policies that appear in breach of those treaties, including:

  1. States Parties request an amendment of the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs to allow for the national regulation of recreational cannabis markets;
  2. States Parties withdraw from the 1961 Single Convention and re-accede with reservations related to articles on the regulation of recreational cannabis markets;
  3. States Parties articulate a legal argument on the compatibility of recreational cannabis regulation within the international drug treaties; and,
  4. States Parties enact a stance of principled non-compliance by acknowledging that regulating recreational cannabis markets violates international legal obligations and taking steps to modernise the international drug treaties.

The policy brief uses Canada as a primary case study, the second country in the world to commit to legalising and regulating recreational cannabis markets at a national level. On April 13, 2017, the Canadian federal government introduced legislation to implement a regulatory framework for recreational cannabis markets by July 2018.

Source: may 17:

The first shipment of medicinal cannabis arrived in Perth earlier this month, but weed’s history in Australia stemmed from the arrival of the First Fleet.

At Joseph Bank’s request, hemp boarded the first Fleet as cargo ‘for commerce’. His hope was to produce hemp commercially for the new colony.  According to Dr John Jiggens, Britain was deep in the hemp trade. Banks saw the settlement of Australia as a way of expanding Britain’s hemp trade:

“ The implications of Britain´s need for hemp made the hemp trade a strategic target in times of war, as this brief overview of the Hemp Question shows. Although the strategy of reliance on Russian hemp was risky, it was the basis of empire. Without the Russian hemp trade, the British Empire would never have been as great. Great as Great Britain became, its empire dangled by that ribbon of hempen trade that wound its way through the narrow and dangerous passages of the Baltic Sea.¨

Jiggens believes the original plan for New South Wales was to develop a new hemp colony, the resettlement of convicts was just an elaborate cover. In those days, cannabis wasn’t about marijuana; it was all about hemp. The long-stem fibres of the plant were used for sails, cables and rigging. For a first-rate warship, hemp was of great importance. Hemp was to them, as oil is to us today.

So was the real reason for colonising New South Wales to create a potential hemp colony?

Banks played a major role in the plan to colonise New South Wales. Banks, as we know, had an interest in hemp and may have seen New South Wales as a potential hemp colony. Even publishing a file called Hemp 1764-1810.  Historian K.M Dallas suggested that the ‘the dumping of convicts view’ was way too simple an explanation for colonisation of Australia and that there were hidden reasons.

This may have included Bank’s hemp replacement plans. At the height of the French Revolution wars in 1797 Banks was appointed to the Privy Council of Trade. A crucial time for France, Banks was put in charge of hemp policies within the British Empire. His file: Hemp 1764-1810 was full of his papers on hemp trade, growth and economic trade.

The British experimented with hemp colonies in India, but due to an error in cannabis taxonomy, they were unaware that they were trying to turn “dope into rope.” Ganga (the plant they were growing in India) is not a fibre crop it’s a crop that produces the drug marijuana. Banks seeing the intoxicating the drug has supplied it to the poet Coleridge. Not only was Banks a substantial cultivator of the drug cannabis, he was also the first recorded drug dealer in Britain and Australia.

Cannabis was enjoyed recreationally and medicinally in Australia and the western world until the 1930s when the drug was demonised as “an evil sex drug that causes its victims to behave like raving sex maniacs.”

Surprisingly the campaign against the ‘sex drug’ didn’t stop demand or use. And now more than 100 years after its arrival in Australia, it is (somewhat) legal again. I guess you could say Joseph Banks really blazed the way forward…

Source: May 4 – National Geographic

Over 300 economists, including three Nobel Laureates, recently signed a petition that encourages the president, Congress, governors and state legislatures to carefully consider marijuana legalisation in America. The petition draws attention to an article by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, whose findings highlight the substantial cost-savings our government could incur if it were to tax and regulate marijuana, rather than needlessly spending billions of dollars enforcing its prohibition.

Miron predicts that legalising marijuana would save $7.7 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement, in addition to generating $2.4 billion annually if taxed like most consumer goods, or $6 billion per year if taxed similarly to alcohol and tobacco. The economists signing the petition note that the budgetary implications of marijuana prohibition are just one of many factors to be considered, but declare it essential that these findings become a serious part of the national decriminalisation discussion.

The advantages of marijuana legalisation extend far beyond an opportunity to make a dent in our federal deficit. The criminalisation of marijuana is one of the many fights in the War on Drugs that has failed miserably. And while it’s tempting to associate only the harder, “scarier” drugs with this botched crusade, the fact remains that marijuana prohibition is very much a part of the battle. The federal government has even classified marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance (its most serious category of substances), placing it in a more dangerous category than cocaine. More than 800,000 people are arrested for marijuana use and possession each year, and 46 percent of all drug prosecutions across the country are for marijuana possession. Yet this costly and time-consuming targeting of marijuana users by law enforcement and lawmakers has done little to quell use of the drug.

The criminalisation of marijuana has not only resulted in a startlingly high number of arrests, it also reflects the devastating disparate racial impact of the War on Drugs. Despite ample evidence that marijuana is used more frequently by white people, Blacks and Latinos account for a grossly disproportionate percentage of the 800,000 people arrested annually for marijuana use and possession. These convictions hinder one’s ability to find or keep employment, vote or gain access to affordable housing. The fact that these hard-to-shake consequences – bad enough as they are — are suffered more frequently by a demographic that uses marijuana less makes our current policies toward marijuana all the more unfair, unwise and unacceptable.

Our marijuana policies have proven ineffective, expensive and discriminatory. Our courtrooms, jails and prisons remain crowded with nonviolent drug offenders. And yet, the government persists in its costly, racist and counterproductive criminalisation of marijuana. We learned our lesson decades ago with alcohol prohibition; it is long overdue for us to do the same with marijuana prohibition. In the face of Miron’s new report, and its support from hundreds of economists, we are hopeful that not only will the national conversation surrounding marijuana change, but so will our disastrous policies.

Source: April 26 – ACLU