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  • The world’s first pot-focused exchange-traded fund

    Investors can gain exposure to a budding industry, set to profit from Canadian legalisation
    The Economist (UK)
    Monday, April 10, 2017

    The launch of the world’s first cannabis-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF), on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is welcome news to aficionados of marijuana. As with any ETF, the fund spares would-be investors the need to pick out their own favourite stocks, or indeed weed out dodgy ones, as it will simply replicate and track an index, in this case the North American Medical Marijuana Index. The most important factor driving dreamy valuations of Canadian cannabis companies is the imminence of full legalisation, and the ensuing expectation of a vastly larger market. This means that companies in the sector are currently “trading like speculative tech stocks”, says Khurram Malik of Jacob Capital Management, based on sometimes rosy projections of future recreational sales.

  • Is Md. ready for 'heroin assisted therapy'?

    Taking opioid overdose deaths seriously requires consideration of new policies that get users out of street heroin markets
    The Baltimore Sun (US)
    Monday, April 10, 2017

    The idea of giving heroin addicts heroin to keep them from crime and other dangers has never been popular with American politicians. Yet several Western European countries routinely provide pharmaceutical-grade heroin to high-risk users in medically-supervised facilities with minimal problems; the patients in these programs are much less likely to use street heroin when compared with patients in methadone programs. Given the tripling in heroin-related deaths in the last five years, it is time to give this innovation prompt consideration.

  • Liberals set to table marijuana legislation, but key details need to be resolved

    The proposed legislation is also expected to call for plain packaging for recreational marijuana
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Monday, April 10, 2017

    The federal government will table a bill to legalize recreational marijuana on Thursday that is expected to tightly control the ability of producers to market their products to the public, federal sources said. But key issues such as how to deal with drug-impaired driving have yet to be fully resolved. The government has indicated its legislation will be highly restrictive and designed to discourage people from consuming marijuana, especially under the age of 18. The bill is expected to include tough penalties for those who provide marijuana to children and teens, sources said. (See also: Marijuana industry braces for mergers as legalization looms)

  • Oregon set to shield marijuana user data from US officials

    Oregon's move was one of the first major responses to mixed signals about President Donald Trump administration's stance on the federal prohibition on marijuana
    The New York Times (US)
    Monday, April 10, 2017

    Oregon state lawmakers who fear heightened marijuana enforcement by federal agents overwhelmingly approved a proposal to protect pot users from having their identities or cannabis-buying habits from being divulged by the shops that make buying pre-rolled joints and "magic" brownies as easy as grabbing a bottle of whiskey from the liquor store. The bipartisan proposal would protect pot consumers by abolishing a common business practice in this Pacific Northwest state where marijuana shops often keep a digital paper trail of their recreational pot customers' names, birthdates, addresses and other personal information.

  • Dagga ruling leaves authorities in a haze

    The court’s decision is saying the legislature must change the legislation to bring the law in line with this decision
    Weekend Argus (South Africa)
    Sunday, April 9, 2017

    There is uncertainty among various government institutions around the Western Cape High Court’s ruling which allows for the possession, cultivation and use of dagga at home. The Constitutional Court has to confirm the Western Cape High Court ruling and only then will Parliament act on rectifying legislation or introducing a new bill. People charged for possession of cannabis will have their cases stayed, awaiting the decision to change the legislation, and then withdrawn pending the change in the legislation. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was not in a position to comment at this stage and referred the matter to the Department of Justice. (See also: Why the dagga ruling isn’t a victory for stoners just yet)

  • Medical ganja’s slow journey irks foreign investor

    Lack of unity between the different parties that need to be in congruence in order for Jamaica to be an international ganja-exporting force
    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Sunday, April 9, 2017

    A foreign investor is expressing concern that Jamaica’s delay in establishing a medical ganja industry is providing other countries with the advantage to maximise from the opportunities to cement themselves in the export trade. Recently, Health Canada, issued export permits to a licensed Canadian firm for medical cannabis oils, which received purchase orders for distribution to both Australia and the Cayman Islands for pharmacy dispensing, triggering more concern that Jamaica is too slow in getting the industry up and running. Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick approved a bill that amends the Misuse of Drugs Bill 2016, allowing cannabis oil to be imported and sold for medicinal purposes. (See also: NCDA again defends ganja study amid criticisms)

  • How Jeff Sessions wants to bring back the war on drugs

    Crime task force will review existing marijuana policy
    The Washington Post (US)
    Saturday, April 8, 2017

    When the Obama administration reduced harsh prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, rave reviews came from across the political spectrum. Civil rights groups and the Koch brothers praised Obama for his efforts, saying he was making the criminal justice system more humane. There was one person who watched this with some horror. Steven H. Cook, a former street cop who became a federal prosecutor, saw nothing wrong with how the system worked — not the life sentences for drug charges, not the huge growth of the prison population. He went everywhere — Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News, congressional hearings, public panels — to spread a different gospel. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has brought Cook into his inner circle at the Justice Department.

  • St Kitts-Nevis to establish national commission on marijuana

    Harris reminded all that the use of marijuana in St Kitts and Nevis is still illegal and called on citizens and residents to abide by the laws of the land
    Caribbean News Now
    Saturday, April 8, 2017

    Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hazel Laws (L), with Prime Minister Dr Timothy HarrisSt Kitts and Nevis prime minister, Timothy Harris, announced the establishment of a National Commission on Marijuana, to be headed by acting chief medical officer Dr Hazel Laws. The establishment of the national commission is a follow through of a commitment made by his administration to facilitate national engagement on the issues surrounding the production and use of marijuana in St Kitts and Nevis. The other members of the commission will be named publicly after discussions have been held with them. Membership is expected to be drawn from education, health, law enforcement, the banking association, religious bodies, the Rastafarian community and youth, among other stakeholders. (See also: St Kitts-Nevis to launch marijuana decriminalization dialogue)

  • Uruguay to sell cannabis in pharmacies from July

    The marijuana sold will come from state-supervised fields
    BBC News (UK)
    Friday, April 7, 2017

    Uruguay will begin selling cannabis in pharmacies from July, the final stage in the country's pioneering regularisation of the drug. "Cannabis will be dispensed in pharmacies starting in the month of July," presidential aide Juan Andres Roballo told a press conference. The law requires buyers to sign up to a national registry, which Mr Roballo said would be up and running by 2 May. The price will be US$1.30 (£1) per gram. Registrants - who must be Uruguayan citizens or permanent residents - can purchase up to a maximum of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) per month.

  • Mexico opens up its heroin fight to U.S., U.N. observers

    The shift by the army coincides with high-level bilateral talks between Mexico and the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump about how to stem the flow of heroin
    Reuters (UK)
    Friday, April 7, 2017

    For the first time in at least a decade, Mexico's army is allowing the United States and the United Nations to observe opium poppy eradication, a step toward deeper cooperation to fight heroin traffickers, three sources in Mexico said. The opening could bring Mexico more in line with other drug producing countries like Afghanistan, Colombia and Peru that have been heavily involved with the United Nations in cultivation studies and eradication efforts. The Mexican army hopes to gain more credit at home and abroad for its work and address doubts in Washington about the quality of its data and the success of the eradication program, the officials said.

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