The Hemp Club 2018 TOP TWELVE – Happy New Year

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Cannabis is now available to all adults over the age of 18/19 (depending on the province) and will be regulated much in the same way as alcohol. Canada is also set to become the largest country in the world to legalise recreational cannabis use, following Uruguay’s lead in 2017.

The new law follows a 2015 campaign pledge from Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to legalise all uses of the plant in order to restrict access of the drug to youth, reduce the burden of cannabis laws on the justice system, and undercut the black market…

2. First cannabis-based drug approved in the US to treat epilepsy

Medicinal benefits
Medicinal benefits

It tastes of strawberry, but Epidiolex is the first drug approved in the US containing an ingredient from marijuana.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug on 25 June for the treatment of two rare but severe forms of childhood epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

The active ingredient in the drug is cannabidiol, and it contains only a trace of the psychoactive component of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC..

3. Hemp is now legal in the U.S., so what does that mean for pot companies?

Industrial hemp is now legal in the U.S., which advocates hope could eventually loosen laws around the popular marijuana extract CBD.

President Donald Trump signed the 2018 farm bill on Thursday afternoon, which legalized hemp — a variety of cannabis that does not produce the psychoactive component of marijuana — paving the way to legitimacy for an agricultural sector that has been operating on the fringe of the law. Industrial hemp has made investors and executives swoon because of the potential multibillion-dollar market for cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive compound that has started to turn up in beverages, health products and pet snacks, among other products.

4. Medical cannabis legalised UK: Who can prescribe CBD oil, are you eligible and what are the new laws?

It is now legal to prescribe cannabis-based products in the UK.

MEDICAL CANNABIS IS NOW LEGAL IN THE UK, BUT WHAT CAN WE EXPECT? Products to patients in the UK from November 1, thanks to new legislation.

As of 1st Nov specialist doctors – not a GP – have been given the option to prescribe cannabis-based products containing varying amounts of the compounds THC, which makes people feel “high”, and CBD, another compound scientists are investigating for its potential medical benefits.

5. California’s recreational marijuana market opened for business

On Jan. 1, 2018, California’s much-anticipated recreational marijuana market opened. There were plenty of problems early on, including sluggish issuing of licenses, burdensome tax levels, and an overly complicated regulatory system. These issues caused sales of recreational marijuana to be lower than expected. However, the California marijuana market is still the biggest in the world, with Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics projecting annual sales of $7.7 billion by 2022. 

6. Big deals in the cannabis industry

It was also a year for major deals in the cannabis industry. The biggest transaction of all was Constellation Brands‘ (NYSE:STZ) $4 billion investment in top Canadian marijuana producer Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC). This deal sparked a surge in marijuana stock valuations. It also brought increased visibility to the cannabis industry.

7. More countries and states legalizing marijuana

On election day in November, voters made Michigan the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Missouri and Utah residents approved initiatives to legalize medical marijuana. The United Kingdom and South Korea also legalized medical marijuana. And in Mexico, the country’s Supreme Court overturned a ban on the use of recreational marijuana, a move that should lead to legalization by the Mexican Congress.

8. Jeff Sessions says US prosecutors will not pursue small-time marijuana cases

In January, then-U.S. attorney general and vocal marijuana opponent Jeff Sessions overturned Obama-era policies that prevented federal law enforcement officials from interfering in states that had legalized marijuana. This move caused concerns that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) could target marijuana-related businesses. Nothing ultimately happened as a result of Sessions’ action, though. And by early November 2018, Sessions had been asked to resign by President Trump. His departure led to optimism in the U.S. cannabis industry that the political environment for the industry would improve. 


Following a string of key developments in 2018, France has begun reviewing their existing conservative cannabis policy by establishing a committee to review the legal status of the medical cannabis products.

Cannabis Europa will arrive in Paris on the 8 February 2019, against a backdrop of civil change and regional regulatory proposals.

Realising the market

France has one of the highest rates of cannabis consumers in the world. More than one in ten (11%) French citizens are cannabis users, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Coincidentally, the country also has one of the most stringent cannabis laws in Europe and has maintained its conservative attitude even after it legalised cannabis-based pharmaceutical drugs in 2013. The policy has meant little to patients as products are still unavailable due to pricing disputes.

10. Mexico Supreme Court Strikes Down Prohibition

Prohibition is out.

Yow! This one really snuck up on us. At the end of October, Mexico’s Supreme Court issued the last of five rulings that declared the nation’s cannabis prohibition unconstitutional.

Because of the way Mexico’s courts work, the fifth similar ruling on a single issue makes the decision binding on courts nationwide. So now, technically, cannabis isn’t exactly legal, but it’s not constitutionally illegal, either.

More progress is expected. The nation’s lawmakers are now working on a full legalize-and-regulate package that may be ready for its debut in 2019.

11. CBD Goes Mainstream

The NYT is on it.

The wonders of cannabidiol (CBD) have been known for years to many in the cannabis community. But few outsiders had even heard of the compound, let alone tried it.

During the summer of 2018, though, CBD suddenly seemed to be everywhere—in health supplement stores, mainstream drug stores, and even gas stations. Even CBD-infused cocktails became a thing.

The New York Times Magazine ran a feature titled “Why Is CBD Everywhere?” Which means one of two things: Either the cannabinoid has jumped the shark, or it’s become so ubiquitous that the DEA’s efforts to criminalize it will be futile.

The year ended with Congress passing the 2018 farm bill, which legalized hemp and pointed toward the end of the road for CBD as a banned, illicit substance.

12. Could these signs lead to a healthier future?  Tobacco on the way out, Marlboro is moving away from Cigarettes

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Altria takes C$2.4bn stake in Canadian pot group Cronos.

The Financial Times wrote that Marlboro cigarette manufacturer Altria has struck a deal to have a stake in Canadian  Cronos to acquire a  C$2.4bn ($1.86bn) shareholding, as a portion of the tobacco giant’s attempts to diversify its business away from conventional smokers.

UK SUMMARY: The British public strongly supports the legalisation of cannabis, according to a new poll.

Fifty-nine per cent of people surveyed strongly support or tend to support legalisation of the drug, compared to just 31 per cent who oppose the idea. 

The poll was commissioned by the think tank Volteface and the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, and carried out by Populus. 

Its results show that support for cannabis legalisation is highest amongst younger people. More than two-thirds (68%) of 18-24 year olds support the policy, although almost half (49%) of over 65s believe the same. 

Two-thirds (65%) of the public believe cannabis laws should be reformed, though the number is split between the 40 per cent who support legalisation and 25 per cent who prefer decriminalisation. 

Under decriminalisation, sale and possession of cannabis would be illegal but it would be regarded as a minor offence as opposed to a criminal one. 

The new research marks a dramatic shift in public opinion. 

“In only six months, opinion has swung significantly in favour of cannabis legalisation, which Volteface believes is a reaction to the recent developments around medical cannabis,” Liz McCulloch, the think tank’s director of policy, told The Independent. 


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