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UK changes import requirements for cannabis medicines.
In recent months, UK officials have made a number of changes to expand access to cannabis-based medicines, from agreeing to cover the costs of some medicines to supporting research. Now, the government is expediting the import process.
Specifically, licensed entities will be able to “import larger quantities of cannabis-based products” and “hold supplies for future use by patients with prescriptions.”
Canopy’s bad day.
It was only a matter of time before the cutbacks across the cannabis industry hit the world’s largest cannabis company. Canopy Growth announced this week it would close two greenhouse facilities in British Columbia, more than 3 million square feet licensed for cannabis production. This also represents the cutting of ~500 jobs. The company also has terminated its plans to produce cannabis in a greenhouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
The company says these decisions are an “effort to align supply and demand.”
Striving for a global cannabis production standard.
GLOBALG.A.P., which stands for Global Good Agricultural Practices, an entity that provides certification to agriculture producers and suppliers, wants to know whether there is a role for a global standard for responsible cannabis production, and has selected ADAS, the largest agriculture consultancy in the UK, to make an assessment.
They plan to study “regulatory frameworks” for cannabis across the world with a focus on:
• “the production and consumption of cannabidiol (CBD),
• the use of recreational cannabis; medicinal cannabis,
• the use of cannabis for the production of seed,
• fibres that can be used for applications ranging from bioplastics and textiles to construction materials.”
Last summer, GLOBALG.A.P. sought comment from stakeholders on cannabis certification, and “received a large and positive response,” Kristian Moeller, the CEO of GLOBALG.A.P., said in the announcement.
Moeller added, “We are receiving an increasing number of inquiries about expanding our scope to allow certification of legally grown cannabis regardless of the tetrahydrocannabinol content and/or end-use.”
Kentucky’s medical cannabis effort faces an uphill climb.
The bill, which sponsor Rep. John Sims says would be the “tightest bill in the nation” once implemented, doesn’t appear to have enough support to keep progressing this legislative session, despite recent polling from Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky that found that 9 in 10 Kentucky residents support legalization of cannabis for medical purposes.
“I think we have to get a few more Republican senators on board before we’ll get a hearing on it in the House, and a Senate floor vote. That’s what my intel tells me. We’re close, but we still need a few more,” Sims told Cannabis Wire.
When asked whether Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell has been in touch with Sims on medical cannabis, Sims said, “We haven’t had much luck getting Mitch. But you know, [Senator] Rand Paul, he’s on board. [Rep.] Thomas Massie is on board.”
Despite the popularity of CBD, confusion persists.
A new report released this week from the Digital Citizens Alliance delved into the world of CBD in two significant ways: first, they investigated the market for quality control issues, and second, they surveyed consumers to better understand their relationship to and understanding of CBD.
“CBD shows promise to treat pain, anxiety and seizures such as epilepsy. But the market can’t be built on inaccurate CBD levels, misleading claims and a false sense of security about safety.” said Tom Galvin, the executive director of Digital Citizens. “For consumers to truly trust CBD, they need to know that products meet safety and quality standards backed up by the FDA.”
(Galvinis on the newly formed CBD advisory board for the Consumer Brands Association—think Kellogg’s, Pepsi, etc. Cannabis Wire interviewed the Association about their CBD efforts last month, and you can catch up on that here.)
The findings are eye opening: for the investigation, 59 products were purchased across seven states and D.C. Of those, more than half listed CBD content that was off by 20%. Most products under-labeled the CBD content, and only 2% of products tested were exact.
DCA also conducted three surveys. Some noteworthy findings:
In one, even though the majority (64%) of respondents had never purchased a CBD product, a majority (53%) feel “the emergence of CBD as a consumer product” is a positive thing.
Of those who did purchase a product, the majority (47%) bought topicals and primarily (43%) for pain relief.
Of those who bought CBD, 59% said they were concerned that “the United states does NOT regulate or oversee the safety of using CBD in products at the federal level.” And 53% felt that CBD should “be regulated by federal government agencies, like the FDA.” And finally, 56% felt that “consumers know enough about the benefits or risks of CBD.”
Read the full report here.
Colorado lawmakers advance bill to eliminate the industry’s residency requirement.
In the state, any employee of a cannabis business that has day-to-day control over operations is required to be a Colorado resident in order to apply for a license. HB20-1080 would eliminate that requirement. The bill, which has already passed in the House, had its first Senate hearing Wednesday, with the Business, Labor, & Technology committee. It passed, and now moves on to the Senate Committee of the Whole.
During the brief hearing Wednesday, bill sponsor Senator Julie Gonzales said, “We’re seeing many companies in the industry who are multi-state operators, who have employees in Colorado, but also have some of their managers in other states. And so House Bill 1080 seeks simply to remove that residency requirement.”
Senator Vicki Marble, also a sponsor, added, “The bottom line is this simply helps the flow of business attain efficiency in operation which is important to anyone who opens its doors to the public.”
Kristen Thomson, representing The Green Solution, one of Colorado’s largest cannabis companies, spoke in support of the bill. She noted the company has a large outdoor grow in Trinidad, Colorado, on the border of New Mexico.
She said, “With the crisis in finding agricultural workers, it is increasingly difficult, it would be very important for us that this bill passed so that we can expand the pool of workers that we can get in our agricultural operations being on the border.”
Jordan Wellington, vice president of government affairs for VS Strategies, added that the bill puts Colorado “on par with our competitor states in this industry” because “we are one of basically a handful of states that have any type of requirement like this on their cannabis industry.”
Nobody else spoke either in favor or against the bill.