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In-Depth Coverage Of The Irish And European Markets

Newsletter | 18 July 2022


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One of several similar cases currently before the Irish courts. The opposing arguments are generally summarised as follows:


“a decision of the Courts of Justice of the European Union allows products with less than 0.2% THC to be manufactured and sold within the EU, and that such products cannot be completely banned.”


While the State's position is that "THC is a controlled drug, which it is fully entitled to prohibit.”


A preliminary judgement, in the case taken against Mark Jenkins of Releaf, saw some cause for optimism for those hoping for liberalisation around THC contained in hemp products (full judgment here).

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"Europe’s largest economy joining Canada and California in legalising cannabis for recreational use could create momentum to change the UN convention that restricts the cultivation of the plant and also puts pressure on neighbouring European states to follow Germany’s lead."


As with the domino effect seen across western Europe with medical cannabis, German legalisation is expected to spark a domino effect with recreational cannabis, with Ireland to fall in a few short years following Germany. How these markets will look in practice, compared with those North America, is yet to to be seen.

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"A core tenet of the review is the formation of a ‘coordinated Government stewardship’, a single guiding force across the entire cannabis industry, with an ambition to ‘actively nurture’ the sector to grow, attract investment and secure political support"


One of the keys to a successful emerging cannabis market, say some experts, is a single government body that is tasked with regulating it. Generally, across Europe, a number of domestic state and semi-state bodies are responsible for regulating different aspects of this multi-faceted industry.

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More setbacks, delays and uncertainty around the EU’s Novel Food application process for CBD products.


“While a panel of experts from both EFSA and the European Commission directly addressed many of the questions posed by the CBD industry, they failed to provide any concrete information on two key points: how long the process was likely to take and what design these human trials should take.”

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Some might be surprised to hear that, on paper, the Irish medical cannabis program is more advanced than Spain’s. Under the current grey market in Spain, the closest most consumers have to legal access to medical cannabis is obtained though non-profit clubs that grow cannabis which is sold at cost-price to its members. Such clubs are similar to Dutch style coffeeshops and not the pharmacy model as rolled out across other EU States.

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It will be interesting to see which of the smaller jurisdictions carve themselves out as an industry leader in cannabis production. From traditionally being relatively strict on cannabis, when compared to other parts of western Europe, the Chanel Islands are emerging as potential leaders in this space.

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Following its $7.2 billion acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals, the world’s largest producer of cannabis based medicines (Jazz Pharmaceuticals) is now based out of Ireland. The producer suffered a recent setback in its US expansion plans.


“Jazz has revealed a setback, saying that its nabiximols oromucosal spray has flunked a phase 3 trial, coming up short in helping multiple sclerosis patients with spasticity.”

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While on the topic of trial results and research, here's an insight into some of the issues faced when conducting cannabis based research.


“Despite the massive amount of research publications that come out year over year, many of these studies face one or more research design limitations. Some of the most common weaknesses are related to sample size, standardized materials and methods, or statistical significance.”

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“it was long rumoured Aurora found out the hard way what legacy growers had known for decades — scaling it up always comes with problems and the more you scale it up, the bigger the problems.”


One of the numerous issues faced by the large Canadian producers has been scaling-up their operations. Here we look at some of the failures, and some more successful approaches.

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If true, statements like the below show the huge potential for hempcrete in today’s more carbon conscious world. There are some doubts surrounding the extent of such claims, and the research to date.


“while conventional concrete production is energy and carbon emissions intensive, hempcrete has a net carbon-negative environmental effect. This means hempcrete can absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than released during production and construction.”


A significant investment like this is a positive steps in discovering hemp's potential in this area.

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©2022 by The Cannabis Review


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