The Business of Cannabis – The Marjiuana Industry News Headlines in 60 Seconds or Less
UK MP Being Investigated for Involvement in Cannabis Job
Adam Afriyie, Windsor’s MP, is a senior conservative member of the UK parliament who is now being investigated for his failure to declare that he is a chairman for a cannabis distribution firm called Elite Growth.
His second job was discovered in December, though he took the job on in October. Elite Growth says that they work with the NHS to help patients and doctors in the UK overcome challenges related to medical cannabis. Afriyie is no stranger to controversy, as earlier this year he made the headlines for bankruptcy due to unpaid taxes.
With regards to his latest controversy, a source disclosed to the Times that his role in Elite Growth was unpaid. He has been outspoken about his support for medicinal cannabis and has also lobbied for its legalization in the UK.
Legal Hurdles for Poland, A Major MMJ Market in Europe
Prohibition Partners reports that there are more than 9,261 medical marijuana patients in Poland, one of the biggest MMJ populations in all of Europe.
The demand for medical cannabis continues to grow, though the government is still unable to keep up and provide supply. While there were new legislations proposed that would help improve it, the Parliament has just rejected it. As a result, it’s still illegal to grow medical cannabis commercially in the country, leaving them to rely on imports coming from North America and other parts of Europe.
However, by the end of last year, they authorized pharmaceutical raw material to make cannabis extracts available for the first time. “This is breakthrough news for Polish patients, doctors, and pharmacists, as until now they could only use the authorized dried cannabis flower. It will undoubtedly contribute to increasing the therapeutic options available in Poland,” said Can advocare Maciej Konarowski to Prohibition Partners. “However, in order for this to actually come true, it is necessary to intensify efforts to educate the medical community, which should be supported by adoption of a cannabis monograph in European Pharmacopoeia.”
Growing Potential for African Cannabis Market If Legalization Occurs
The cannabis industry in Africa is now poised to make a cool £500m or US $7.1 billion by 2023, says Prohibition Partners, but that is if new cannabis legislation makes it to several markets around the continent.
Prohibition Partners released the African Cannabis Report, their first thorough report assessing Africa’s cannabis industry. They found that several African countries can benefit economically if cannabis is legalized. “A regulated legal cannabis could be transformative to patients, farmers and economies across Africa,” says Daragh Anglim, Prohibition Partners Managing Director.
“From a financial standpoint, Africa could reap significant rewards through the legalization of cannabis, with international demand offering a strong commercial opportunity for cannabis cultivation,” Anglim says. “Despite moves to legalise in several key markets, cannabis remains illegal across vast swathes of the continent as the great majority of African governments have yet to follow the trend of legalization that is sweeping across Europe, North America, and Latin America,” they add.
“It is currently estimated that 38,000 tonnes of illegal cannabis is produced across Africa each year, with a market value of billions of dollars. This demonstrates the clear potential for an economic boom for African countries that actively seek to legalize and regulate their cannabis market.” Additionally, the report also says that if total regulation and legislation happens in South Africa, Nigeria, and Morocco, these could very well be the biggest markets in Africa, worth billions of dollars.
“Most farmers are still on commercial trails phase and one company managed to export three tonnes of the hemp flour to Switzerland and it was a commercial trial again for quality assessment, from what I am hearing quality from Zimbabwe was highly recommended and we are hoping that things continue to improve from there on,” explains Dr. Zorodzai Maroveke, Chief Executive Officer and founder of the Zimbabwe Industrial Hemp Trust.
Stigma, Lack of Support for Cannabis Use, and Fear of Legal Implications Forces Australians to Use Cannabis Illegally
Back in 2016, Australia approved the medicinal use of cannabis.
But why do women who suffer from endometriosis still use cannabis illegally?
According to estimates, 1 in every 9 Australian women struggle with endometriosis, a horrific painful condition involving tissue growth outside of the uterus. Western Sydney University researchers did a study of women with endometriosis residing in Australia as well as New Zealand, and found that 72% of women in Australia are medicating with cannabis illegally.
They report that cannabis helps them deal with the painful effects of endometriosis. However, the Therapeutic Goods Administration states that evidence for cannabis treatment in pain is “limited”. According to Justin Sinclair, the study’s lead author and Australian Natural Therapeutics Group Chief Scientific Officer, the stigma surrounding medical cannabis use is worrying, forcing people to turn to illicit use and without proper medical supervision.
“A number of factors, including concern surrounding possible legal repercussions, judgment from either their doctor or society, or their doctors’ presumed unwillingness to prescribe legal medicinal cannabis were the main reasons for not talking to their doctor,” said Sinclair.
“Improving doctor and patient communication about medicinal cannabis use may improve levels of medical oversight, the preference for legal medicinal cannabis adoption over acquisition via illicit supply and reducing cannabis-associated stigma,” he adds.
However, he said that a majority of the respondents admit they will continue using cannabis because it was doing a more effective job at pain relief compared to conventional treatments.