Cenedella.de

Patient Advocate since 1977.


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INTERNATIONAL CANNABIS AND CANNABINOIDS INSTITUTE – Warning to European CBD Consumers

https://www.marijuanatimes.org/icci-offers-warning-to-european-cbd-consumers/

ICCI-CBD-warning
Image Courtesy of Bill Griffin

Oils with a high CBD (cannabidiol) content have enjoyed a rise in popularity in the European market lately. As long as the THC content is no higher than 0.2% in most (but sadly, not all) European member states, CBD oil is perfectly legal.

Consumers are more aware of the medicinal properties of CBD and its non-psychotropic effect when ingested or inhaled.

This surge in awareness and demand has created a large – and unregulated – industry. Thanks to Europe’s free market, consumers are able to buy from another EU state with ease.

In Prague, under the framework of Patient Focus Certification (PFC), the world’s first independent testing took place of the quality of cannabidiol (CBD) products available on the retail market and the composition of “cannabis oils” available in the European Union. The results were found to be worrisome and highlighted the need for independent certification of the quality of mass-produced products made from cannabis.

Essentially, consumers only have the label and claims from the producer to go on when buying their CBD products. There is no way for them to test and validate these claims on their own. It is even difficult for the producers to get their products tested, so where this information is coming from is open to discussion.

In cooperation with the first European laboratory with a PFC certification – working within the Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition of the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague (VŠCHT) – the International Institute for Cannabis and Cannabinoids (ICCI), also headquartered in Prague, assessed the quality of certain types of commercially available CBD oils on the European market.

Professor Jana Hajšlová, who led the testing, says, “For both categories, we are interested in the quality and authenticity of used oils and possible content of environmental contaminants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which accumulate in oils (for protecting the health of their consumers, maximum limits have been anchored in legislation. For “CBD oils”, we also examined the consistency of the determined contents of CBD with the producer’s stated values and the potential content of THC.” THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychotropic substance found in cannabis that gets you high.

Professor Hajšlová and her team tested 29 oils containing the non-psychotropic biologically active substance from cannabis – CBD – and 25 oils from cannabis seeds purchased on the EU market in the last quarter of 2016.

Tomáš Zábranský, Director of Research at ICCI, explained why the following aspects were selected in the assessment of edible cannabis-based foods, “Multi-core polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzopryrene, are classified as carcinogens and genotoxic mutagens of class IIa – according to the classification of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). That means they are substances whose carcinogenicity was proven experimentally on animals, even though not on people (otherwise being prevented for ethical reasons), they have nevertheless been proven by a multitude of epidemiological studies. This especially pertains to ill persons trying to utilize the beneficial effects of CBD, but polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are unquestionably hazardous, mainly upon long-term (chronic) reception.”

In other words, what some people are buying to make them better could well have a detrimental effect on their health.

Another unexpected outcome of taking uncertified CBD products could be that you consume more THC than you were expecting. This could be seen as a nice problem for some, but potentially dangerous if the consumer is working in a hazardous environment, or even just doing a school or shopping run.

Tomáš explains, “Another problem is the excessive content of THC in the blood after use of CBD oils. THC is another medicinally active substance from cannabis, but it is psychoactive as opposed to CBD. Even its relatively low quantities can cause changes in perception among more sensitive individuals, which could jeopardize their ability to drive or make decisions in general – especially if they are not aware of the possibility of their psyche being influenced by an external substance.”

There could be legal implications for the consumer, too. “Another problem for drivers may be testing positive for THC upon traffic stops, which could lead at least to losing one’s driver’s license. Generally speaking, any psychoactive substance in one’s body about which one has no idea is always a problem.”

The results of their analysis exceeded expectations of the deficiencies in the claims of the producers. This lead ICCI, along with the Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition, to issue a warning to European consumers about the risks of hazardous contaminations.

They discovered that, in terms of the content of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), only 9 out of 29 (31%) of tested CBD oils were satisfactory.

Cannabis oils (which are actually oils from cannabis seeds and not from the plant) enjoyed better success in this basic food safety criterion. In this category, 23 out of 25 tested sample products (92%) satisfied the legal limits of PAH in foods.

The quality analysis also uncovered a problem in the lack of awareness of customers on the composition of the given product. A full 60% of tested CBD oils did not have any mention of the THC level on the label. This is important as consumers need to know if they exceed the recommended or maximum dosage of THC. Otherwise, they could end up testing positive for a THC level higher than the limit of 2ng per ml of blood upon screening during a traffic stop or employment.

For a quarter of the tested oils, the risk is affiliated with the use of a recommended dose and another 10% evoke this risk upon using the maximum dosage stated on the packaging. Further, labels of 34% of CBD oils showed discrepancies between the true content of CBD, or sums of CBD and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and the content stated by the producer.

This means that CBD consumers could not only be just plain old ripped off, they could be taking substances detrimental to their health, hazardous to their safety and psychological well-being, and  they could be unwittingly breaking the law whilst driving or lose their job after a drug test.

With the European hemp industry growing so much in recent years, ICCI’s study and other independent testing of the quality of cannabis-based products designed for human consumption highlight the need to introduce and observe standards for safe production and distribution.

Having met many people working within the industry over the last few years, I get the impression they are not trying to pull the wool over the eyes of innocent consumers, but rather they lack the knowledge to setup and manage facilities involved in the production and distribution of cannabis-related products. Up until now, there was no way for them to gain this knowledge.

Therefore last year, ICCI licensed the PFC program from the nonprofit American patient organization ASA (Americans for Safe Access) for certification outside the USA and localized the certification criteria for use in the EU.

Pavel Kubů, CEO of ICC,I explains what will happen with the results of this testing, “We are contacting all producers of the tested edible cannabis-based food products, we will share with them the results and offer assistance in checking the safety and increasing the quality of their products. The list of those foods that satisfied limits in the PAH analysis will be available to all consumers on the PFC International website. Members of patient organizations associated in the international association (IMCPC) will be provided information through the association KOPAC regarding the quality of the oil that they use and find out whether it was amongst those tested, and if so, with what results.”

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions – “How To Spot A Stoner”

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CBE Top 100 list 2017 https://www.cannabisbusinessexecutive.com/2016/06/cannabis-business-executive-100-top-ancillary-businesses/?utm_source=CBE+Master+List&utm_campaign=04a6a9736f-2017+CBE+Ancillary+Business+list+Survey&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1f64189714-04a6a9736f-264218709

https://www.cannabisbusinessexecutive.com/2016/06/cannabis-business-executive-100-top-ancillary-businesses/?utm_source=CBE+Master+List&utm_campaign=04a6a9736f-2017+CBE+Ancillary+Business+list+Survey&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1f64189714-04a6a9736f-264218709

 


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Chris Driessen from ORGANA BRANDS — Celebrate commoditization and the birth of “Big Cannabis”

Celebrate commoditization and the birth of “Big Cannabis”

by Chris Driessen

I now buy legal cannabis by the ton. I negotiate the price of dried, ground marijuana as if it were just another commodity…because it is. Cannabis is simply an amazing agricultural commodity and precious raw material input– dropped into a not-so-complicated equation, designed to produce profit.

Just two years ago I was paying some $2,000 a pound for world class marijuana. Now that price has fallen by two thirds and I pay roughly $600 a pound. This is great news for our purchasing department, but not so much for our wholesale prices. Alas, this was inevitable, it’s simple economics. It makes market expansion all the more critical. If you are not growing, you’re dying, or soon will be. More money in the market invites more competition, which motivates us to innovate, scale and ultimately find efficiencies in our processes.. or be chewed up by the competition.

At Organa Brands, I oversee an entire house of brands that makes everything from cannabis vaporizers to THC tablets, edibles and dabs, and even energy drinks. I expect that before long, our CBD products — many of which have no THC — will be stocked on shelves at convenience stores, gas stations, Costco and Walmart.

Fortunately, that’s where my experience lies. Before entering the world of cannabis, I had spent years as a printer salesman, selling millions of dollars of commercial printers to clients throughout the Rocky Mountain region. The commercial printing business is cutthroat, as any office manager with a decent sized copy machine will attest. The hardware is sold for the narrowest of margins, or even below cost, while the emphasis is put on the consumable commodity, which is the ink.

Seem familiar? If not, what kind of cellphone do you have? You likely got the phone on the cheap or even free, as long as you signed up for the lengthy service contract. Guess where the money is made?

There are purists who shun the idea that if (when) marijuana goes mainstream, it is a disaster. They believe it’s a cave-in to big capital, big corporations, to profiteers and all things sacred of this undoubtedly magical plant. I couldn’t disagree more. If we are to unlock and share the medicinal and wellness properties of cannabis, why not champion the professional distribution of our favorite plant? Why not embrace enterprise resource planning software platforms, hi-tech manufacturing techniques, tighter inventory controls, agricultural efficiencies and crisp profit-and-loss statements?

The best homage we can make to this amazing plant is to produce the finest cannabis oil possible, to place it in attractive, finely-tuned packaging, that is both alluring to adult consumers and childproof, and offer it to consumers nationwide. The greatest contribution I can give to this industry and this amazing plant is to make sure it finds its way into as many lives as possible. We can scale our businesses larger, scrutinize costs and expenses, pour over financial reports and become the solid start-up that transforms into a legacy company that withstands the ups and down of the business world.

I believe we should celebrate national cannabis brands because we are able to incorporate up-and-coming products and place their innovative oils, edibles and medicines into our nationwide distribution network that reaches some 1,200 dispensaries in 10 states (and counting). We should support and encourage each other to become a tribe of companies, a community of cannabis enthusiasts that collectively have the market power of “Big Cannabis”. While that name scares many, it simply means that our industry has “made it.” It means we are here to stay, that we withstood the test of time and government prohibition. We have found a permanent home in the world economy.

When people criticize what they fear is the “homogenization” of marijuana, I can only laugh. Is there any better way to celebrate diversity of brands and up-and-coming entrepreneurial know-how than to offer a launch pad to those superior cannabis products? A launch pad that guarantees their product can be sold from Boston to Berlin, from San Francisco to Sydney?

It has been this same process of consolidation, which is a natural evolution in any maturing industry, that led the O.penVAPE team to look beyond vape pens and incorporate a whole new range of products, and a whole new range of possibilities. That’s why earlier this year we rebranded as Organa Brands — literally a house of brands.

For years, the company where I work was known for its O.penVAPE pens. We sold some 6 million of our cartridges and earned a strong customer following and loyalty with budtenders nationwide. Was that the result of some fortuitous “lucky break” or the natural result of dozens, then hundreds of employees working weekends, staying late and attempting to find a route to success in the highly competitive cannabis industry? I’ll let you answer that one, because I already know.

Our downtown Denver corporate office looks more like a tech startup in Silicon Valley than a mega cannabis conglomerate. We have trendy coffees that self-brew on demand, organic snacks and the requisite office pets and ping pong table. But don’t let the laid back atmosphere or tunes playing on the Sonos fool you. Our office is stocked with brilliant minds ready to go toe-to-toe with Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol and Big Pharma. We relish the opportunity to measure up against other, more mature industries. To do that we must first pass through the inevitable commoditization of our products, work with the compression of profit margins and weather the oncoming storm of consolidation.

I don’t make any medical or health claims about cannabis, but I know that a deep feeling of wellness and peace accompanies the cannabis products we produce. Every day, I receive letters of thanks. If this deep wellspring of consumer support leads to the nation’s first national chain of dispensaries, or million-acre cultivation facility, or a multinational consumer products cannabis company, I say we should all celebrate.


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Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen – HERO!

Solidarity for abandoned cannabis patients.

Dr. med. Franjo Grotenhermen Employee of the nova Institute, Chairman of the Cannabis Association as Medicine (ACM)
Dr. med. Franjo Grotenhermen, photo: Archive

 

The well-known physician and chairman of the Cannabis Association as a medicine (ACM) Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen has made a moving decision. Although certain positive aspects could be felt in parts through the enacted cannabis-as-medicine law, there would be enough problems in the entire treatment area, which now led to a drastic measure. During the ACM Annual General Meeting in Frankfurt on May 12, 2017, the medical doctor, who has been advocating medical medicine for many years, declares his decision not to eat any food for the next one to two weeks as a result of solidarity with the many cannabis patients left alone.
Doctor Franjo Grotenhermen joins the hunger strike.

 


Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen at the ACM Annual General Meeting 2017 explains hunger strike.

 

The drug policy speakers of the parties were informed before Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen of the warnings – an honorary man.


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Legal Approaches to Decriminalize Cannabis in 16 Different Countries

Legal Approaches to Decriminalize Cannabis in 16 Different Countries

This report, prepared by the foreign law specialists and analysts of the Law Library of Congress, provides a review of laws adopted in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, and Uruguay with regard to decriminalization of narcotics, and touches specifically on cannabis and legalization.

Individual country surveys included in the study demonstrate varied approaches to the problem of prosecuting drug use, possession, manufacturing, purchase, and sale. The country surveys demonstrate some diversity and common threads among these jurisdictions as to defining narcotics, distinguishing between “hard” and “soft” drugs, establishing special regulations concerning cannabis, refusing to prosecute personal use and/or possession of small quantities of drugs for personal use, giving law enforcement authorities the discretion not to prosecute minors and first-time offenders, applying alternative forms of punishment, and providing treatment opportunities.

Netherlands

Planning a trip to Amsterdam? Did you know that coffee shops are actually prohibited from selling drugs to you under Dutch law, and that nonresidents are not even supposed to enter the coffee shops? But wait, before you freak out and cancel your plans, know that Amsterdam tolerates the sale of certain “soft drugs” to foreigners looking to try what Amsterdam is best-known for. Local mayors have the authority to close such shops for not adhering to local rules, but they typically do not step in to assign punishments.

Dutch coffee shops rely on income from tourists, which in turn contributes to local economies, so officials do not typically enforce the residency requirement.

Germany

If you get caught by police in Germany, don’t even try to argue soft drug versus hard drug. Law enforcement doesn’t recognize the difference. The distinction between hard and soft drugs can only be considered at sentencing.

Australia

You should know that there is no national decriminalization policy, and cannabis use is technically considered illegal across the county. However, three jurisdictions (Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, and Northern Territory) have decriminalized minor cannabis offenses, especially possession of the plant.

Costa Rica

The use of narcotics in Costa Rica, including personal use, is prohibited by law; but no penalty for such violation is found on the books. Police, prosecutors, and the courts have discretion to drop charges if it is a minor, first-time offense, or the accused is willing to enter a treatment program.

Mexico

Although possession of illegal drugs is generally a crime under Mexican law, possession of less than 5 grams is not criminally punishable. However, if you are caught, a rule enacted in 2009 requires that you must be referred to an addiction treatment program.

“The ruling eliminates the prohibition and criminalization of acts related to the medicinal use of marijuana and its scientific research, and those relating to the production and distribution of the plant for these purposes,” the Lower House said in a statement on its website.

Mexico’s Lower House of Congress passed a bill on Friday, April 28, to legalize the use of cannabis for medical and scientific needs. The measure passed in a general floor vote 371-7-11, and now classifies delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as “therapeutic.”

The bill is now on President Enrique Pena Nieto’s desk, who is expected to sign it.

Uruguay

For now, it appears that the only country where it is completely legal to produce and use cannabis is Uruguay, although consuming cannabis in a public place is prohibited.

Adopted in 2013, Uruguay’s Law to Legalize and Regulate Cannabis brought radical change to the country’s approach to cannabis production and use. The law allows legal access to cannabis in four ways: medical marijuana through the Ministry of Health, home-grown marijuana, membership clubs, and sales to adults in drugstores. Although registration of consumers and cannabis clubs has been completed, implementation of sales in pharmacies is still underway.

Read the full report for free

These and many other interesting facts can be found in a recently published Law Library of Congress report on decriminalization of narcotics. Some diversity and common threads are demonstrated among the 16 countries included in the free report, such as defining narcotics, distinguishing between hard and soft drugs, establishing special regulations concerning cannabis, and discussion of the parameters of law enforcement and forms of punishment for personal use and/or possession.

You can access the full report here.