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World News - July 2019

Church Of England Explores Possibly Investing In Medical Cannabis 

The Church of England is the largest, most influential religious organization in Great Britain. Recently they announced that they intend to lift the long standing prohibition of medical cannabis and will begin to explore the possibility of investing in the fast-growing industry. The organization’s Church Commissioners are in charge of the £8.3 billion investment portfolio, which includes real estate, cash, and stakes in a variety of companies that meet “ethical and responsible” criteria. The commissioners have long avoided any stakes in what they consider to be “sin stocks”  such as alcohol or tobacco, however pharmaceutical drug companies were fair game, which in Great Britain now includes medical cannabis. While physicians are now able to write cannabis prescriptions to qualifying patients, access to those medications is still mostly theoretical at this point however, as they have not really set any type of infrastructure into place as of yet. Church commissioners announced that they are looking into possible investment opportunities for medical cannabis only. Edward Mason, the Church’s chief of responsible investment stated “We make a distinction between recreational cannabis and medicinal cannabis, We are content with it being used for proper medicinal purposes.”

As for patients? The church will issue a “formal stance” on medical cannabis sometime “soon.”

U.K. Cannabis Oil Company Reaches High Profile Shelves

One of the world’s most high profile luxury department stores, Harold’s, will begin to stock CBD oil on their shelves, supplied by a London based cannabis company. Dragonfly Biosciences, is one of the leading European producers of CBD extracts, controlling the farming, extraction and producing. The company supplies products to companies such as Tesco, Boots and also supplies bulk oil to multiple different pharmacies. Following the rescheduling of Cannabis for medical use last October, the Company announced a joint venture with a leading cGMP pharmaceutical company in Malta. The product will be manufactured in a cGMP facility and distributed to European territories within which legal cannabis is permitted to be sold in pharmacies.

China Blames U.S and Canada For An Increase In Cannabis Access

At a recent press conference in Beijing, Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the China National Narcotics Control Commission blamed Canada and the U.S. for the increase in cannabis coming into the country. According to Liu, the number of cannabis users in China skyrocketed by 25% describing it as a “new threat to China” stating “In two years, we have found increasing cannabis trafficked from North America to China,” though he further elaborated that there are “few cannabis abusers in China” relative to the total population. Punishments for possession in China are severe, anyone that is found in possession of more than 50 grams of any controlled substance could face the death penalty. Authorities have even been known to do random on the spot drug tests at bars and nightclubs. 

Zimbabwe Government Approves First Cannabis Farm

Government officials recently approved plans for the country’s first Cannabis farm and production farm. Ivory Medical, a Harare-based company has secured a 10-hectare (roughly 24.7 acres) piece of land at the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services’ Buffalo Range prison in Chiredzi due to the high security it will provide. The African nation which generally has a harsh stance on drug use, legalized the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and scientific use last year. Recreational drug use is still illegal in the country, and previously the possession of cannabis could result in a 12 year prison sentence. 

What Nation Smokes The Most Cannabis?

Have you ever wondered what nation consumes the most cannabis? The answer may surprise you. You may think that the distinction would go to Canada or America based on the sweeping legalization trends, however you would be wrong. The Nation with the highest percentage of cannabis users is the African nation of Nigeria which has a surprisingly vibrant cannabis culture despite the harsh punishment. Cannabis is still illegal in Nigeria, however the sheer amount of people using it shows significant need for reform. A recent report shows 19.4 percent of Nigerians over the age of 15 have consumed cannabis or cannabis based products in the past year. That is approximately 39 million people that contribute to the illicit industry, which bolsters an estimated  value of $15.3 billion. The second place distinction goes to Canada with 15.8 percent of the population over 15 reporting cannabis use in the past year, and the third place distinction goes to America with a solid 15 percent of the population over 15 reporting cannabis use in the past year. However, If you look at the sheer numbers vs the percentage of the population then you would get a different answer, America would fall at number 1 with approximately 49 million regular consumers, Nigeria would be second with a whopping 39 million, and Canada would be trailing behind with only 6 million. 

France Holding Firm On No Recreational Cannabis 

While government officials in France are holding firm on their no tolerance policy for recreational cannabis, they are considering authorizing the medical market. In a recent statement, Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne said “The position of the French state is clear. We are against legalizing cannabis for recreational use. There is an ongoing discussion about a medical use,” Borne’s comments follow the publication of a report by French Think-tank the Conseil d’Analyse Economique which recommended the legalization of cannabis recreationally. While several countries, including Italy, Germany, and Denmark already allow for medical cannabis, and both Uruguay and Canada have already passed recreational laws, France is still holding firm. Greenleaf, a french hemp-based and cannabis healthcare company recently said that they agreed to be bought out by EMMAC Life Sciences Ltd as the legal medical market appears to be expanding.

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