Aurora extends its hand to the Danish farmers for medical cannabis

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A tomato farm near Odense is to establish the largest grower of medicinal cannabis in Europe in a joint venture with Canadian company Aurora.

From 2018, Danish companies are permitted to grow medicinal cannabis.

Mads Pedersen, described in Denmark as a ‘tomato king’, last week announced that his company, Alfred Pedersen & Søn, would be putting considerable resources into the crop in a joint venture with Aurora.

The production facility will be located near the town of Odense and ready to begin operating next year. 

Peru legalises medical marijuana in move spurred by mother's home lab

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Lawmakers in Peru have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bill to legalise medical marijuana, allowing cannabis oil to be locally produced, imported and sold.

With a vote of 68-5, Peru’s Congress approved the bill which will be written into law in 60 days, once regulations for producing and selling cannabis have been set out.

Ahead of this week's vote, pro-government lawmaker Alberto de Belaunde said: "Science is on our side, the regional current is on our side, let's not let our fears paralyse us."

Calgary Cannabis Community appreciates the responsible behaviour of the government on drafting pot rules

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Members of Calgary's cannabis community are excited to see the proposed framework for Alberta's cannabis legislation, and they're giving it a resounding thumbs up despite many questions remaining unanswered. 

On Wednesday, the government released the draft rules, which reference a legal age limit of 18, as well as other details such as how much can be purchased at once — 30 grams — and where people will be permitted to smoke and vape. 

"If it's about getting rid of the black market, the NDP and the province of Alberta just did a much better job than any other province,"

Jeff Mooij, owner of the 420 Clinic in Inglewood called the rules "the best framework for legalization" he had seen so far.

Cannabis market price is stable but California recreational weed may cost high.

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Folks in the cannabis industry fear that cultivation, production and retail regulations could drive up the price of weed just when consumers are able to buy in stores without a doctor's recommendation. In January, recreational weed sales for those 21 and older are expected to mark a new era in California. But it could be hard enough for old-school growers and producers to jump through new regulatory hoops that supply won't match demand.

"The first quarter of next year, prices will probably go up,"

- says Jonathan Rubin, CEO of New Leaf Data Services LLC

On top of that, Californians probably can look forward to deep discounts for weed this fall harvest season. Rubin believes that growers will dump product on the market to raise the cash needed to become compliant in 2018. And those operators who just can't jump over the hurdles to become legit might put all their weed on sale for the last time, he says.

According to his firm's 2017 Mid-Year Wholesale Market Report Overview, the price of Golden State outdoor cannabis is down from $1,542 per pound in the first six months of 2016 to $1,133 for 2017. And the price could keep moving south until recreational cannabis hits stores in January.

NDP chooses government over private retailers for selling cannabis

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The NDP government is weighing whether to set up government-run stores to sell cannabis in Alberta or leave the market to private retailers when recreational cannabis is legalized next year.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley unveiled the government’s proposed framework for legal weed Wednesday, with the province setting 18 as the legal age for consumption — matching the age for alcohol and tobacco use in Alberta.

The province will also mandate that legal weed be sold only in stand-alone stores, with no sales of alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals in the same facility.

But the government says it’s seeking further input on whether to set up government-owned and operated stores to sell legal cannabis, as is being planned in Ontario, or license and regulate private retailers.

Unlike Ontario, Alberta has had no system of government-owned liquor stores since privatization in the 1990s.

However, under the government’s plan, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission will serve as a central wholesaler for cannabis as it does for alcohol, ensuring uniform distribution costs and that only legally produced and federally regulated cannabis products are sold in the province.

Angela Pitt, justice critic with the United Conservative Party, said that’s a proper role for the commission, but she questioned why the NDP would consider creating government-owned stores.

The Alberta Party and Liberals are also opposed to government-owned cannabis stores, though all three opposition parties are prepared to accept 18 as the legal age for consumption.

The federal Liberal government has set July 1, 2018, as the date for legalization of legal cannabis but has left many of the details to the provinces. 

Alberta will not change the federal government’s public possession limit of 30 grams — the equivalent of about 40 joints — for adults. It will also maintain the federal limit of four plants per household.

The province will have a zero-tolerance policy for youth possession, with tickets for those under 18 in possession of under five grams of cannabis and potential criminal charges for possession over that amount.

 

Huge Leap in the world of cannabis: Atlanta decriminalizes marijuana

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The Atlanta City Council unanimously passed legislation this week that decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he will sign the legislation, which doesn't legalize the drug but lessens penalties associated with it. Under the old law, people found with an ounce or less of pot faced a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. Now, violators would face a fine of $75 and no jail time.

City Councilman Kwanza Hall, who sponsored the measure, said the vote passed 15-0.

For more details, click on the blog link given below. 

Native American tribes capitalize on cannabis

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Native American tribes in Nevada are expanding beyond casinos and venturing into the cannabis industry. In June, Governor Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 375 and Senate Bill 396, which allow Nevada's Native American tribes to directly negotiate with the state over the use and sale of medicinal marijuana on tribal lands.

Nevada Native American tribes like the Yerington Paiute Tribe, the Ely Shoshone Tribe, and the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe formed an agreement with the State of Nevada that allows them to grow cannabis, produce concentrates and edibles, perform lab-testing, and dispense marijuana products to customers.

In 2016, the Las Vegas Paiute held a ceremony on Snow Mountain Indian Reserve to bless the site of one of the largest ganja cultivation and processing organizations with at least two dispensaries and three greenhouses on a 15,000-square foot facility that will be called the Nu Wu Cannabis Marketplace.

While the Nevada government enacts hefty taxes on marijuana sales, some Native American tribes are looking to amend tribal laws that may lead to tax-free cannabis. How is this possible? The U.S. Supreme court recognizes tribal sovereignty, which allows the Native American people to self-govern. Though individuals are responsible for federal income taxes as U.S. citizens, tribes are not subject to federal income taxes on their earnings and can form business corporations to keep their income exempt.

Tribal Cannabis Consulting specializes in Native American cannabis policy and established the first cannabis compact which allowed tribal and state governments to establish business agreements signed by Nevada’s governor. The firm aims to expand Native American economic presence in the marijuana marketplace and helps tribes create their own regulatory codes for matters like issuing medical marijuana cards.

Together, tribes and the state government are working to develop a governing system that will outline and enforce marijuana cultivation and sale on Native American Land and establish a universal agreement that will keep dispensaries in accordance with their state and federal laws.

Famous author and business columnist, Faith Popcorn endorses cannabis as the future crop

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Faith Popcorn is a best-selling author, CEO, futurist, and highly successful prognosticator who has predicted some of the most influential and profitable trends in modern history. Fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola, General Electric, IBM, Nike, and Procter & Gamble have looked to Popcorn for strategic insight. In this month’s Food & Drink International Magazine, Popcorn makes her latest prediction over what she feels is the next big market disruptor — cannabis.

From Popcorn’s perspective, leaders in the food and beverage industry are too busy “tinkering” with their current offerings and, as a result, ignoring the legal marijuana sector as a path to huge profits. She cited the catalysts for her outlook include the eight states that legalized marijuana last November.

Further to the progress in November, a CBS poll in April showed that 61 percent of Americans favor full legalization and 88 percent agreed that medical cannabis should be legal.

The reinforcement coming from the younger generation — 71 percent of millennials supported legalization in the CBS poll — is not just a case of normalization taking effect. The American Psychological Association says anxiety and stress in society today is most prevalent for this generation. Popcorn added that millennials are highly interested in natural, earthy products, and would rather ingest a plant over a pill for health-related issues.

Further proof in the Popcorn prediction comes with the growing trend of top chefs who are hosting invitation-only "Dope Dinners" as she puts it. Popcorn also discussed the emergence of cannabis advertising agencies in Los Angeles and elsewhere, which normalize the product and force Fortune 500 companies to explore possibilities in the cannabis space.

Popcorn levelled out her enthusiasm for pot by adding that it will be some time before we see a product from “someone like Kraft that’s spiked with THC,” due to the fact that the plant is still illegal at the federal level in the United States. She added, however, that “it’s coming.”

Popcorn’s final advice to corporate America is to mobilize as soon as possible. Early on in the 1980s, she predicted the huge bottled water trend and advised Coca-Cola to get involved. Popcorn added that many companies took their time on the water prediction and almost missed the boat.

Regardless of whether North America’s biggest companies will heed Popcorn’s sage advice, the endorsement of cannabis in and of itself is an important step in the fight to end marijuana prohibition in the United States.