The Weekend Round-Up @ The Hemp Club 27/01/19

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The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain

  • International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute, Prague, Czechia

The topic of Cannabis curries controversy in every sphere of influence, whether politics, pharmacology, applied therapeutics or even botanical taxonomy. Debate as to the speciation of Cannabis, or a lack thereof, has swirled for more than 250 years. Because all Cannabis types are eminently capable of cross-breeding to produce fertile progeny, it is unlikely that any clear winner will emerge between the “lumpers” vs. “splitters” in this taxonomical debate. This is compounded by the profusion of Cannabis varieties available through the black market and even the developing legal market. While labeled “strains” in common parlance, this term is acceptable with respect to bacteria and viruses, but not among Plantae. Given that such factors as plant height and leaflet width do not distinguish one Cannabis plant from another and similar difficulties in defining terms in Cannabis, the only reasonable solution is to characterize them by their biochemical/pharmacological characteristics. Thus, it is best to refer to Cannabis types as chemical varieties, or “chemovars.” The current wave of excitement in Cannabis commerce has translated into a flurry of research on alternative sources, particularly yeasts, and complex systems for laboratory production have emerged, but these presuppose that single compounds are a desirable goal. Rather, the case for Cannabis synergy via the “entourage effect” is currently sufficiently strong as to suggest that one molecule is unlikely to match the therapeutic and even industrial potential of Cannabis itself as a phytochemical factory. The astounding plasticity of the Cannabis genome additionally obviates the need for genetic modification techniques.


Home to more than 740 million people, a population more than double that of the United States and Canada combined, Europe is set to become the world’s largest legal cannabis market over the next five years. In the last 12 months alone, the European cannabis industry has grown more than in the last six years. Six countries have announced new legislation and over €500m has been invested in European cannabis businesses and as our exclusive research shows, Europe’s cannabis market is estimated to be worth up to €123bn by 2028.

Acquisition of a majority interest in Medalchemy, a GMP certified laboratory, in Alicante Spain

January 22, 2019. London, EMMAC, the European independent medical cannabis company, is pleased to announce the acquisition of a majority interest in Medalchemy, a fully-licensed GMP certified laboratory in Alicante, Spain.

Medalchemy, a technology-based manufacturing company located on the premises of the University of Alicante, has more than a decade of experience in the research, development and manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and has submitted license applications to import, research, manufacture and export medical cannabis.

Medalchemy is an established facility, and partners with leading drug development companies globally to provide research and development and manufacture of APIs, as well as studies in relation to the feasibility, stability, production methodologies and validation of API products.

Could fabricated soils be the key to global food security?

Experts from the University of Plymouth are working with the Eden Project to explore how recycled and waste material could be transformed and reused

Scientists are working on a ground-breaking project which could ultimately result in soils being ‘created’ as a way to ensure global food security.

Experts from the University of Plymouth are working with the world-famous Eden Project to explore how recycled and waste material could be transformed and then reused in agriculture and other sectors.

It could revolutionise the soil industry, leading to custom-made soils of varying characteristics being designed for various purposes across a range of locations and markets.

The FABsoil project is being led by Dr Mark Fitzsimons and Dr Jennifer Rhymeswith funding from Agri-Tech Cornwall, a three-year £9.6 million initiative part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, with match-funding from Cornwall Council.

It featured in a day-long event as part of the University’s 2019 Research Festival, showcasing how researchers and academics are working with global industry partners to change policy and develop real-world solutions to protect soils.

Every year, around 12 million hectares of cropland are lost to soil erosion globally while the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has suggested that one-quarter of the earth’s land area is highly degraded.

Nathaniel Loxley, founder of Vitality Hemp and co-founder of the British Hemp Association, provided a unique insight into the struggle to become established as a small UK hemp farmer at the Cannabis Industry Wales summit on 8 January.

Nathaniel moved from a relatively secure career in Financial Crime Risk within the banking sector. After researching hemp five years ago and developing a passion for realising the benefits and opportunities involved, he said he decided it was time to “take the bull by the horns” and move into hemp farming.

“The anecdotal evidence shows there are 50,000 products [that can be made from hemp]. When you look at the agricultural benefits it’s clear that the country isn’t growing enough,” he said. “There are of course compassionate, emotive reasons for growing it, whether for health or the environment.”

He described the “bureaucratic nightmare” of getting a licence from the Home Office, which he secured in 2014. “To go through the process you have to buy certain cultivars, there are restrictions on where you’re growing, what you’re growing, and what your end products are. It has become even more strict since. 

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