NEWSLETTER | 31 October 2022
We read all the news so you don’t have to. Our round up of the headlines that caught our eye over the last few weeks...
Amsterdam considers banning ‘cannabis tourists’ from its coffee shops
While the future looks bright for the regulated recreational market in Europe, there are still reminders of the obstacles it faces. The story of banning tourists from Amsterdam's coffeeshops has been doing the rounds for a number of years. On one hand, the Netherlands is pushing to create a fully legalised market, in place of its current grey-market. On the other, some are pushing to ban tourists from Amsterdam's coffeeshops. While most industry experts do not see this ban happening, it wouldn’t be the first setback that the famous Dutch coffeeshops have faced in recent years.
German SPD Representatives Confident A Solution To International Legal Hurdles Will Be Found
“The SPD’s Carmen Wegge and Dirk Heidenblut offered a confident response to these issues, stating that they were very sure they would find a solution that didn’t breach international law, and would not impact the legislative timeline.”
While its medical use is not, the recreational use of cannabis is prohibited under the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, along with restrictions at a European level. These are the headaches that the German government faces in its quest to legalise and regulate its recreational cannabis market.
Popular CBD brand recalled from Irish stores like Holland and Barrett as high levels of THC found
The FSAI’s enforcement on CBD products continues. This being a high-profile instance involving Jacob Hooey, the CBD arm of one of Europe’s most well established hemp companies, HempFlax, and the well-known health store, Holland and Barrett.
Medicinal cannabis companies fined almost $1m by TGA over false treatment claims
This should serve as a warning to Irish CBD brands that continue to make medical and health claims about their products. Such claims are, unless authorised, prohibited under Irish and EU regulations. While records of fines across Europe aren’t as readily available, Australia follows the US who have fined CBD companies for making similar claims. As the FSAI’s enforcement continues regarding THC levels in CBD products, unauthorised health claims could be next on the radar.
Newly-Approved European Hemp Seeds To Deliver Record Levels Of CBD
It’s good to see the continued innovation in the European hemp and cannabinoid space. Earlier this year, we saw the introduction of one of the first, and marketed as such, high CBG cultivars. With restrictions around the hemp and cannabinoid space continuing to fall away, innovation looks set to continue in this space.
Big Tobacco Jumps Into Germany’s Pot Industry Alongside Snoop Dogg
Another high-profile investment in German cannabis. German cannabis businesses continue to attract North American investor interest. We expect to see a continuation of such investment as German recreational legalisation grows nearer. It is interesting to see big tobacco joining the action, following in the steps of some of the alcohol brands who have shown interest in legal cannabis.
Oral cannabis solution relaunched by Tilray in Ireland
Although its rollout has been criticised for being too slow and restrictive in the permitted treatable conditions, there has been some progress in respect of Ireland’s medical cannabis access programme (MCAP). It’s worth noting that this product was previously made available on the MCAP.
The full list of approved products, as it stands, can be seen here.
Dealers and users turn Dublin venue into ‘Ireland’s first cannabis market’
Headline aside, some good coverage of the recent open cannabis market, claiming to be a first in Ireland, organised by Major Group For Cannabis Reform. The event was well advertised and covered on social media. The enforcement of low level cannabis supply and consumption seem as low as ever on the authorities’ priority list. It will be interesting to see the stance taken to events such as this. An optimist’s view is that a blind eye approach will be taken, at least in some parts of the country, leading to de facto cannabis decriminalisation.
Biden overhauls U.S. policy on marijuana, pardons prior federal offenses
At the date of this newsletter this is likely a dated story to most readers. President Biden had previously voiced his support for the decriminalisation of marijuana, which he delivered on in this recent move. However, he has been vocal in his lack of support for full scale federal legalisation. Those hoping for federal legalisation, a move that would have a positive knock-on effect for the US and global markets, shouldn’t hold their breath.
Europe looks to learn from the US and Canada as its cannabis market grows
“With Canada and the US leading the way, Europe is looking at its growing cannabis market with excitement, but there are plenty of mistakes to be avoided.”
Europe has the benefit of hindsight when looking at the successes and failures of the rollout of legal cannabis in North America. The European model has been noticeably slower in coming to fruition. Those, who are more patient, believe that Europe’s cautious approach will, in the long run, prove to be the better approach. This article provides some good insights into the current state of play in Europe.
©2022 by The Cannabis Review