Planet Wrap: Australia, Italian Research, Middle East, South America, Switzerland


Title: Australia: A Burgeoning Medicinal Cannabis Market

Author: Investing News

Date: 3 May 2018



The use of cannabis for medical purposes has been legal in Australia since 2016. Although individual states still possess final discretion surrounding which conditions are eligible for cannabis treatments, the country has signaled its acceptance of cannabis’ legitimate medical applications.

In early 2018, within days of the new year, the Australian government announced a motion to begin exporting medicinal cannabis as a means of boosting domestic supply and supporting its licensed producers. The move will require federal approval before being signed into law, but indicatedsupport from the nation’s official opposition party bodes well for the motion’s chances. In response to thenews, the market responded favorably and shares of Australian licensed cannabis producers soared.

If passed, Australia would become one of the few nations to permit cannabis exports internationally, joining the likes of Canada, Uruguay and the Netherlands, among others.



Title:  Italian Researchers: Crime Fell in Oregon, Washington Following Legalization of Marijuana


Date:  3 May 2018



Crime is frequently cited as a reason not to legalize cannabis, but a February study from researchers at the University of Bologna’s Department of Economics in Italy, published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, concluded that the fears of a jump in crime from legalizing recreational cannabis use are unjustified.

In fact, researchers found a possible decrease.

“One clear benefit of legalized marijuana is that it hinders the black market, as marijuana can be bought ‘out in the open’ in a legal and regulated business,” said Marc Ross, a securities attorney with Sichenzia Ross Ference Kesner in New York, who also teaches business and law of marijuana at Hofstra University School of Law, the such course taught in a US law school. “And, as the influence of gangs and cartels decrease in society, one would expect the amount of ‘serious crimes,’ which are usually associated with gangs and cartels, to decrease as well.”

Researchers took what they referred to as a “quasi-experiment” – the legalization of recreational cannabis in the adjacent states of Washington and Oregon two years apart (Washington in 2012 and Oregon in 2014) – to study the effects legalization had on crime.

They found that reported rapes dropped in Washington between 15 percent and 30 percent, while reports of property crimes fell by between 10 and 20 percent, and reports of thefts decreased between 13 percent and 22 percent.


Title: Is cannabis legalization coming to the Middle East?


Date: 3 May 2018



As a result, there are only really three countries in the region which would be the most realistic candidates for legalization, either because of their high rate of consumption and cultivation or a general easing of cannabis laws that’s already underway.

Cannabis Laws In Egypt

In Egypt, though cannabis remains illegal, the Sinai Peninsula region is well known for its cannabis farms which have made that area of the country a focal point for law enforcement in the past. And though the county has a long history with hash and one of the highest consumption rates in the region, calls to legalize have been few and far between since it was outlawed by the Ottoman Turks in the 18th century and cracked down on by the regimes that followed.

Most recently in 2015, officials from the Cairo and Giza Tobacco Merchants Association called for the legalization of the hash trade, a proposal which was supported by a few lawmakers because of its potential economic benefit.

In a country of just under 100 million residents, the Egyptian People’s Assembly estimated that the country had 7 million hashish users while the UNODC placed Egypt within the top 30 cannabis consuming countries in the world…….


Why Cannabis Investors Are Eyeing South America


Title:  Lidl offers locally grown cannabis to Swiss shoppers

Author: The Guardian

Date: 3 May 2018


Extract: Supermarket takes advantage of law change to sell ‘relaxing’ tobacco alternative.

You may have heard about their cut-price stollen, and possibly their surprisingly flavoursome jam. But you probably won’t have sampled the latest range offered by the supermarket chain Lidl: locally grown cannabis.

Two products derived from hemp flowers are being offered in Swiss stores as an alternative to rolling tobacco.

A 1.5g box, from plants grown indoors, costs 17.99 swiss francs (£13.20). A 3g bag is 19.99 Swiss francs, but is made from flowers grown in greenhouses.

The packs are on sale alongside cigarettes and cigars at the tills. The cost per cigarette is double that of tobacco roll-ups.

Switzerland changed the law in 2011 to permit people over 18 to purchase and use cannabis containing no more than 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant’s principal psychoactive constituent.

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