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Our round up of the recent headlines of interest...
People would be able to have up to 7g of cannabis without fear of prosecution – new Bill to come before Dáil
The Misuse of Drugs (Cannabis Regulation) Bill 2022 has been introduced by People Before Profit TD, Gino Kenny. The short bill, if enacted into law, would see the possession of 7g of cannabis (flower) or 2.5g of cannabis resin no longer being considered a criminal offence.
This bill, as is generally the case with ‘private members' bills (legislation proposed by TDs other than those in government), is likely to fail to be passed into law. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see the reception it receives from fellow TDs, particularly given the recent headlines regarding cannabis reform in Germany, the US and worldwide in general.
Read the full bill here.
The long-awaited High Court decision in the test case regarding THC content in CBD products has finally arrived, and it is as much a disappointment as industry stakeholders could have feared. The Court of Justice of the European Union decision in the Kanavape case was cause for EU-wide optimism that regulatory reform and clarification were on the way.
This recent decision shows that Irish courts do not extend the ruling in Kanavape to products containing any amount of THC. This follows a recent German case that found the same in respect of ‘cannabis light’ products.
This issue remains far from settled, which would likely have also been the case following a favourable decision. It’s likely that these cases are destined to be resolved before the Court of Justice of the European Union, as was the case in Kanavape.
Read the full judgement here.
“The removal of all forms of cannabis from drug status in Germany will help to end the stigmatization of hemp, and support the reform of cannabis and commercial hemp policy at the European level, according to leading industry groups.”
Appeals through national courts and on to the Court of Justice of the European Union are not the only mechanism in freeing the hemp and CBD industry from its shackles due to its association with THC. It’s hoped that as Germany lifts prohibitions around cannabis and THC, that they fall away in respect of hemp and CBD. With other EU States widely believed to follow Germany's lead.
“The Czech coalition government is drafting a bill to regulate the industry, which is expected to be presented in March 2023, while full legalization may be entered into effect by January 2024.”
While it comes as no big surprise that the Czech Republic will follow Germany’s lead in legalising the recreational use of cannabis, it's positive to see support coming from another EU State. This will help create the momentum necessary to encourage other EU States to follow Germany’s lead.
The European Industrial Hemp Association’s (EIHA) Novel Food application and toxicology studies have come under fire due to being, what some have called, counterproductive to the CBD industry. Notable criticism has come from the Canna Consultants.
Some stakeholders are concerned of the knock-on effect that this will have given that they are seen as being more restrictive than the status quo.
A recurring issue faced by CBD businesses is finding adequate payment processing facilities. We often hear of payment providers withdrawing their services with little notice, causing business interruption for affected CBD businesses. In this case, we see an example of a shortfall in the funds that the businesses were expecting to see transferred to their accounts.
Another reminder of the importance of conducting adequate due diligence before settling on a payment provider, given the headaches suffered by some businesses in the space.
As is often the case in a ‘gold rush’, some of those keen to join the action find themselves less financially well-off for doing so. This is not the first time reports like this have emerged in the cannabis space, which should serve as a warning to those hoping to cash in on the ‘green rush’.
Letters of intent, as were provided in this case, are generally non-binding. The parties have no contractual remedies if the other side doesn’t deliver on what is set out. In Ireland, those who obtain letters of intent during their hemp licence application, should be aware that they’re usually not worth the paper that they’re written on, if either party has a change of heart.
“a collaboration involving the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), partnering with the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society and the Scottish Hemp Association – suggest Scotland's agricultural sector, one of the biggest sources of climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions, could become carbon neutral by cultivating the crop.”
Discussions regarding the benefits of hemp can, at times, be an echo chamber where only the positive aspects are discussed and even exaggerated. It’s always good to see bodies such as universities and agricultural organisations teaming up to investigate such potential benefits. The reported carbon sequestration properties of hemp are one of its key potentials, especially as the world becomes more environmentally conscious.
“Growing hemp proved successful in removing harmful chemicals from topsoil and purifying polluted groundwater, according to tests recently carried out in Belgium, research supported by industrial giant 3M showed”
One of the many reported beneficial uses for hemp is its ability to clean up contaminated soils. A concern for large, industrial manufacturers is polluting the soil around their sites, the regulatory penalties for doing so and the cost and effort of cleaning it up. It's good to see hemp being considered as a potential solution to environmental issues like these.
“The nine smaller houses and 16 larger ones in the development, Springfield Meadows in Southmoor, Oxfordshire, are now all sold and occupied, according to Greencore. The homes range in size from 102 sq. meters to 383 sq. meters, with prices ranging from £550,000 to £1.3 million.”
While it may be possible to produce thousands of different products from hemp, we are always interested in seeing this being carried out in practice, and on a large scale. In this case, the results are impressive for these houses built using hemp panels.
©2022 by The Cannabis Review