Planet Wrap: UN, Canada, Germany, Jamaica


Title: UN Drug Committee Declares Cannabis Is An Effective, ‘Relatively Safe Drug’


Date: 14 June 2018



For the first time ever, the World Health Organization met last week to review the safety of cannabis.

The United Nations’ drug committee found that marijuana is a “relatively safe drug,” noting that millions of people worldwide are already using it to manage a multitude of medical conditions.

The findings could impact a recommendation the agency is preparing to the UN on the “need for and level of international control” over cannabis. Marijuana prohibition is in force almost worldwide under international drug treaties originally dating back to 1961.

Worldwide, an estimated 183 million adults used cannabis in 2015, according to the report. Weed is cultivated in 135 countries and is the “most widely illicitly produced drug worldwide.”

The UN agency conducted a survey of 953 medical marijuana patients from 31 nations. Most of them said they’d used cannabis-based medicines for years. Most were also under the supervision of a physician. But a majority said they’d also tried cannabis before getting a doctor’s recommendation.

Used most often for pain

Cannabis, in various forms, is used most often to control back pain, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, post-injury pain, and multiple sclerosis, according to the report. Pain, sleep disturbances, and anxiety were the three conditions most commonly treated with cannabis.

An estimated 2.2 million patients use cannabis medicinally in the United States. Pain is the most often cited qualifying condition. Pain also ranked high among cannabis patients in Israel and Canada. Meanwhile, 30 percent of cannabis patients in the United Kingdom reported using the herb to treat multiple sclerosis. (Cannabis-infused Sativex spray is commonly prescribed for M.S. in Great Britain.)

The committee, interestingly, pointed to a “wealth of preclinical literature” indicating cannabinoids “reduce cancer cell proliferation” and inhibit “cancer cell migration and angiogenesis in numerous cancer cell types.” This seems to be an area of great promise, with more research to come.

Then there are the recreational cannabis users. An estimated 3 to 5 percent of people globally have tried marijuana for non-medical reasons, according to the UN report. Interestingly, two studies examined by the report found no significant differences between those who use cannabis medically and nonmedical users.

One study, however, found medical patients used more cannabis daily than recreational consumers. Medical patients were more likely to be in poorer health than recreational users. But the study found they also had lower levels of both alcoholism and nonprescription drug use.



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Title: German Public Health Insurer Takes First Look at Cannabis Coverage

Author: Cannabis Industry Jnl

Date: 13 June 2018



Techniker Krankenkassen (or TK as it is also frequently referred to) is one of Germany’s largest public or so-called “statutory” health insurance companies. It is companies like TK that provide health insurance to 90% of the German population.

TK is also on the front lines of the medical cannabis discussion. In fact, TK, along with other public health insurers AOK and Barmer, have processed the most cannabis prescriptions of all insurers so far in the first year after the law change. There are now approximately 15,000 patients who have received both a proper prescription and insurance approval coverage. That number is also up 5,000 since the beginning of just this year.

In a fascinating first look at the emerging medical market in Germany, TK, in association with the University of Bremen, has produced essentially the first accessible report on approvals, and patient demographics for this highly stigmatized drug.


Title: Green Organic Dutchman Heads To Jamaica In Deal With Epican

Author: Green Market Report

Date: 14 June 2018



The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd.  (TSX:TGOD) (TGODF) entered into a strategic partnership with Jamaican cannabis company Epican Medicinals Ltd. According to the company statement, this partnership will add an additional 14,000 kgs, taking TGOD’s total organic funded capacity to 130,000 kgs. In addition to the production agreement, TGOD has also entered into a binding agreement to invest into Epican for a 49.18% stake.  TGOD will also provide Epican access to its financing facilities to support future expansion requirements.

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