Association Québécoise de l'Industrie du Cannabis

Daily news

CanEmpire's first Cannabis Fair, CanFest, is cancelled

Awa Diagne, president of CanEmpire, and Véronique DeBonville, co-founder, say they were subjected to a "fear campaign" by the Ministry of Health and Social Services. This forced them to cancel their event three weeks before it took place. According to them, they received a visit from MSSS agents at the beginning of the month who warned them of possible heavy fines if the event took place. This visit pushed the Complexe Capitale Hélicoptère to end the contract with them. According to Awa Diagne: "The ministry went and told information about our event that was not true. It mentioned [...] that we were going to promote cannabis, that our event was illegal, whereas no notice of non-compliance was given because nothing was deemed illegal. It was only based on predictions of what they thought was going to happen." While the event was intended to be an educational event about cannabis, the MSSS says it is quite the opposite and reminds us that it is "forbidden for anyone to associate a facility...with a name, logo, distinctive sign, design, image or slogan associated with cannabis, a cannabis brand, the SQDC or a cannabis producer. The same applies to the association with a sporting, cultural or social event. For example, organizing a cannabis festival is prohibited."

International

Israel exports medical cannabis seeds to the US for the first time

The Ministry of Agriculture has announced the export of its first medical cannabis seeds. This demonstrates the country's intention to become a major player in the global cannabis market. The shipment has been planned for a year and contains seeds from local company BetterSeeds, which has a research license from the Ministry of Health. The seeds will be examined upon arrival to see if they are suitable for the U.S. market. According to Agriculture Minister Oded Forer: "The export of cannabis seeds invites us to expand the diversity of Israeli agricultural exports and strengthens local agriculture. It also leverages Israel's relative advantage in a global industry that is still considered in its infancy." Thus, "contrary to popular belief, the cannabis industry in Israel has been active in the research field for decades, but it is only in recent years that it has gained momentum due to changes in Israeli policy.''

Cannabis Research

Legalization of cannabis leads to a decrease in alcohol, nicotine and opioid use

Researchers at the University of Washington analyzed substance use trends between 2014 and 2019, and found that people between the ages of 21 and 25 were less likely to use arguably more dangerous drugs after cannabis was legalized in the state. The data was published in Adolescent Health magazine last week. Thus, according to the researchers, "Contrary to concerns about spillover effects, the implementation of legalized nonmedical cannabis coincided with a decrease in alcohol and cigarette use and painkiller abuse." Furthermore, "The data demonstrate that cannabis is not a 'gateway' substance, as has often been thought. In fact, in many cases, cannabis regulation is associated with a decrease in the use of other substances, including many prescription drugs." Recall, by the way, that in 2019, research showed that states with legal cannabis experience a decrease in opioid prescriptions, and another showed that daily cannabis use is associated with a reduction in opioid use among patients with chronic pain.

Cannabis Research

There is a pressing need for training in the field of medical cannabis for oncology staff

The use of cannabis for medical purposes, particularly for the control of symptoms associated with cancer, has been gaining ground over the past decade. However, when it comes to accumulating meaningful data and overcoming the lingering social stigma, the legitimacy of cannabis has yet to match its legality. Especially in the United States where, despite legalization in several states, cannabis continues to be classified as a Class 1 substance, along with heroin. However, as Dr. Diana M. Martinez, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University who specializes in addiction research, explains, "Class 1 drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse. But in fact, one could say that virtually all drugs in this category do not fit into it, except for heroin. The classification of drugs was made in 1971. We know a lot more now, but there have not been any significant changes. If you want to do research on medicinal cannabis, no matter what state you live in, you have to comply with federal law to get your studies approved. It's difficult because it requires a special DEA license." This hinders research and helps perpetuate the stigma surrounding cannabis use. This makes some patients reluctant to talk to their doctors about it for fear of being judged, but also because they think their doctors know very little about the subject. In fact, according to one study, only 4% of patients think their doctor would be a good source of information on the subject. In fact, according to Dr. Brooke Worster, medical director at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, "When we look at physicians' attitudes toward cannabis, we find that they are largely influenced by the things they have historically learned in the public sphere, rather than from educational and medical materials. So whether a physician is comfortable recommending it or not has more to do with their personal beliefs than their knowledge."

Economy

Cannabis tourism market is big business in Colorado

Far from the preconceived notions some may have about cannabis tourists, those who come to Colorado tend to spend more than the average visitor. For example, the latter spend about $1869 per trip, those who come to participate in activities related to the local cannabis industry spend $1930 while those who say their trip is motivated by cannabis spend an average of $2030. They also tend to stay longer. In fact, according to the Colorado Tourism Office, 6.2% of tourists say cannabis was what motivated their trip. Additionally, 16% of winter tourists and 15% of summer tourists have visited a cannabis store.

International

For a legalization of cannabis in London?

That's the rumor in Britain after the capital's mayor, Sadiq Khan, visited a cannabis farm during a visit to Los Angeles. He even told reporters that he was keeping an open mind and would be stupid to reject the idea. So, as he explained, "I don't have an opinion yet. What is important, and I speak as a former lawyer, is the evidence. Let's look at the evidence from a health standpoint, from a criminal standpoint, from a legal standpoint, from a community standpoint. But also, let's look at what's going on around the world. We can keep our minds closed and keep our heads buried in the sand, or we can look at the evidence." So a commission of inquiry will be set up and will be chaired by a close friend of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Lord Charlie Falconer. In addition, during his visit to the farm, the owner, Aaron Mamann, confided that the taxes imposed by the state represented a threat to the legal cannabis trade. It remains to be seen what the mayor and the commission will decide to do in the months and years to come.

Daily news

Cannabis vaping is gaining ground among teens

While vaping is gaining popularity among youth, it is important to remember that cannabis vaping products are prohibited in Quebec. And yet, they can easily be purchased on the Internet. The problem is that their THC content is much higher than that of smoked cannabis (a concentration of 80 to 90% vs. 15 to 25% for cannabis purchased from the SQDC) and therefore dangerous for teenagers, especially when consumed with other substances such as alcohol. According to Dr. Nicholas Chadi, pediatrician at CHU Sainte-Justine: "Many young people who present for alcohol intoxication or other substances will say that they consume wax pen. In addition, these products are easily concealed, which allows young people to smoke them without being caught. Education is therefore key to informing youth and their parents of the risks and giving them the tools to make informed decisions.

Daily news

Aurora closes one of its outdoor sites

Aurora Canabis has announced that it will close one of its outdoor cannabis cultivation sites in British Columbia known as Aurora Valley. The closure will affect fewer than 10 employees and follows its acquisition of Thrive Cannabis, which has both indoor and outdoor cultivation facilities.

Daily news

Regenerative agriculture: an ecological solution for cannabis producers

The principle behind regenerative agriculture is that of circularity, which means trying to reuse and/or recycle resources as much as possible throughout the different life cycles of the cannabis plant. This includes: using living soil that does not require the addition of nutrients; capturing wastewater for reuse; reducing energy consumption by using cooler outdoor air to lower the temperature of an indoor grow or greenhouse; controlling pests by using certain insects, mites and organisms; and using environmentally friendly packaging. While the initial costs of such a system are high, they are well worth it in the long run. Especially as consumers become increasingly concerned about the ecological impact of the products they buy and demand that companies reduce their ecological footprint.

Daily news

Physicians' knowledge of cannabis is insufficient

"The literature has shown that physicians' knowledge about cannabis is inadequate. Until recently, there was no way to learn about cannabis," says Joanna S. Zeiger, MS, PhD, CEO of the Canna Research Foundation. In fact, one study shows that only 19% of these patients wanted to discuss cannabis with their physicians, while only 34% of physicians asked about cannabis use. While many of these respondents reported beneficial effects of cannabis use on sleep, pain and anxiety. Through this study, they wanted to "understand whether knowledge and attitudes about cannabis influenced physicians' comfort with talking to their patients about cannabis, whether they advised patients to stop inhaling cannabis, whether they asked patients how often they used cannabis, and what their preferred route of administration was," Zeiger said. According to the researchers, physicians with uncertain attitudes toward cannabis had the lowest knowledge and were the least likely to discuss cannabis with their patients. Thus, this demonstrates that lack of education about cannabis and the endocannabinoid system is one of the most common barriers to patients' knowledge and willingness to consult. According to Zeiger, "Patients with all types of medical conditions use cannabis. So it's important for physicians to educate themselves about cannabis so they can ask their patients the right questions, either verbally or on intake forms - or both - about their cannabis use and discuss it without judgment." Even more, she points out that while cannabis is beneficial in many situations, it also has adverse effects. Therefore, patients must be educated to maximize the positive effects of cannabis while minimizing its harmful effects. What's more, "at this time, it is difficult to address dosage, frequency of use, and cannabinoid ratios, as little research has been conducted and these parameters likely differ depending on the symptoms/conditions being treated." And physicians must play an important role in destigmatizing cannabis and allowing their patients access to medical cannabis. In addition, by using their influence, they can ensure that more research is done to better support their patients.

International

Thailand wants to become the leader in the production of organic food and cannabis

The Thai government wants to become the regional leader in Southeast Asia in organic food production and cannabis production and hopes that these sectors will help boost the local economy. For a few years now, the government has invested a lot of money in developing the organic farming sector, which has resulted in an increase in organic exports of 44.46% annually between 2017 and 2020. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, "Thailand's goal is to become the leader in organic food production in the ASEAN region and we will continue to work towards this goal using the Sufficiency Economy Principle to achieve this." And now Thailand wants to do the same with the cannabis industry being the first Asian country to legalize cannabis with a THC level below 0.2% and to have legalized medical cannabis in 2018. According to the government: "Cannabis is a new economic sector for Thailand, with huge potential to create jobs and stable income for local farmers. The government wants to support the growth of this industry [and] develop this industry to become a model for cannabis production [in the ASEAN region and elsewhere."

 

Daily news

Tetra Bio-Pharma signs licensing agreement with True North

Tetra Bio-Pharma's subsidiary, Panag Pharma Inc, will receive royalties on sales of products manufactured using the liposome encapsulation technology developed by Panag and recently licensed to True North. This technology allows for better absorption and aqueous emulsification of the CBD molecule. As such, Panag will work with True North's team to integrate this technology and develop a hemp-derived CBD line. "This opportunity is the beginning of a great relationship between the two companies. Panag has enjoyed working closely with the True North team and we are very excited to expand our line of innovative wellness products that fit into their portfolio in the competitive and growing CBD market," said Chris MacLean, COO of Panag Pharma.