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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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Canada Export Cannabis chart

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Canadian weed producers will dominate the global marijuana market

In marketing strategy, there’s a term called “first-mover advantage”. It’s when a few key players in a particular industry gain an advantage because they entered into the marketplace first. These companies are able to establish strong brand recognition, shore up the best sources of funding, and build a loyal customer base simply because there aren’t any competitors in the way during their first few years of operation.

When it comes to the market for exporting weed, big Canadian LPs have clearly established a first-mover advantage. There are currently 29 countries that recognize some form of medical cannabis, but only two of those countries — Canada and The Netherlands — export weed for medical use. In fact, the medical marijuana export market is dominated by just four Canadian weed producers: Cronos Group, Canopy Growth Corporation, Aphria, and Tilray.

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To some extent, it’s going to be a decades-long upward battle to really capitalize on the global demand for weed, given that the drug is still illegal in most countries. But Canadian marijuana companies are ahead of the curve in terms of making their mark overseas, as they scramble to collaborate with foreign medical marijuana producers and pharmaceutical companies keen on discovering and potentially patenting marijuana-based cures.

The European Experiment

“There’s huge opportunity for us in Germany,” PI Financial Corp. analyst Jason Zandberg told VICE Money. “They provide national health coverage for medical marijuana. That means, the German market could be more than double that of Canada.”

Medical marijuana officially became legal in Germany in March 2017, opening up a whole new market to Canadian LPs. Very little weed is actually farmed in Germany, although the government’s legalization framework includes a big push to cultivate the crop on its own for medicinal use to ensure its quality. Until then, however, the German cannabis industry will still rely entirely on imports.

In order to export weed to Germany, Canadian weed producers need to get approval from their own government and the German government. Late last year, Canopy Growth Corporation, a Unicorn in the weed industry, acquired the German-based pharmaceutical distributor, MedCann GmbH, which had successfully placed Tweed-branded cannabis strains in German pharmacies.

In fact, a month before that, another big Canadian LP, Cronos Group began the global expansion of their brand by shipping its first batch of “premium” medical marijuana to Germany. They currently own a subsidiary, Peace Natural Projects Inc., which signed an agreement with the German-based Pedanios GmbH, a distributor of medical cannabis.

Germany is just the first domino, believes Zandberg. “More European Union countries will create new medical cannabis laws and expand the export market for Canadian LPs. Currently 12 of the 28 EU members have a medical cannabis program.”

Restricting recreational weed exports

It is estimated that the global cannabis market may be worth $200 billion, with medical marijuana accounting for up to 50 percent of that. But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pot bill continues to make the export of weed for recreational use illegal, a factor that vastly limits the ability of Canadian weed producers to grow their business.

Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton however, sees this as a temporary hurdle. “Canada is emerging as a leader in public policy around marijuana and other countries will need its know-how as they shift toward making cannabis and cannabinoids part of standard medical treatment,” he told Bloomberg in an interview last month.

“That gives Canopy the chance to export product while the domestic industry makes that transition, and to set up production on the ground once it has,” Linton said. In other words, get in there first, mark your territory, establish your brand, and your consumers, regardless of nationality, will only want to consume Canadian weed.

Saul Kaye, the chief executive of iCan, a private Israeli firm that focuses on identifying innovators in the medical marijuana space, has dealings with a bunch of Canadian LPs.

“There’s a synergy that’s happening between Israel and Canada when it comes to marijuana. They are focused on the growing, on the agricultural side. We are focused on the R&D side, and we need that supply of different weed strains.”

But former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, a key player in the government’s campaign to legalize weed has made it clear that one of Canada’s biggest priorities is to ensure that there is adequate supply of legal weed in the market, to “weed out” illegal suppliers.

That could potentially mean the crackdown of export permits in order to prioritize the domestic market. Of course, that depends on how weed will be priced in different countries. If obtaining a marijuana pill is more expensive in say, Germany, there will be a greater incentive for big Canadian LPs to focus their sales there.

Big LPs charge ahead

Currently, four Canadian LPs export weed to a combined six countries. According to Jason Zandberg, it is Tilray, a private LP based in Nanaimo, B.C. that has been the “most aggressive LP in the export market,” selling weed to New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Brazil and Croatia.

Australia legalized marijuana for medical consumption back in November, which prompted another Canadian company, Aurora Cannabis, to lock in a 20 percent stake in Cann Group, the first Australian firm to be awarded a license from the Australian government to grow weed for medical purposes. Leamington-based Aphria also took notice of the Australian market by signing an agreement with Medlab, a weed research firm in Australia, to grow and prepare weed for the completion of a clinical trial.

The big prize, of course, is anyone who manages to crack the American market, in the unlikely event that they legalize medical marijuana. Aphria is attempting to do just that — it recently invested $25 million in a dispensing operation in Florida, besides also having a stake in an Arizona-based weed company. Aphria claims that its strategy in the U.S. is to “target key states that have approved medical marijuana.”

“There’s global opportunity out there,” Zandberg said. “The EU countries are a huge export market for us, but I believe that overall we’re positioned really well to tap into an additional leg of growth beyond the Canadian medical and recreational market.”

Follow Vanmala on Twitter   https://news.vice.com/story/canadian-weed-producers-will-dominate-the-global-marijuana-market


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Mary Jane Berlin 2017 From June 16 to 18 11:00 to 20:00 Funkhaus Berlin Nalepastr. 8th 12459 Berlin www.maryjane-berlin.de

Pack your bags and head off to Berlin

Last year, the first major hemp trade fair capital in the old post station took place, has been transformed into an idyllic place for the entire cannabis scene thanks to expert preparation. More than 100 international exhibitors, many snacks and very positive mood of pleasant reggae sound created beautiful atmosphere and let the many visitors closer to the marijuana issue, as it is common in everyday life. Since the enthusiasm also echoed many of those at home and do not want to stay away from the Berlin Hemp days on the Mary Jane Berlin in 2017, the special event expanded this year to almost double the size. The Mary Jane Berlin 2017 invites to convince even more people from the many useful properties of hemp Gewächses and bring connoisseurs of the topic of news as interesting facts about it.

For this reason, the team moved to Duc Anh Dang the consequences and saddles in 2017 in a larger area, which will provide enough space over 150 exhibitors. In the radio house Plänterwald are all well-known manufacturers of garden products, and cannabis products be represented at over 5000 m² of hall space and 2,000 m² outdoor area and present to interested visitors their latest achievements from 16 to 18 June. For a cheap day ticket of Mary Jane Berlin 2017 15 € – 30 € demanded euros for an even more favorable three-day ticket, which are wisely invested hemp friends. Rarely does one find the concentrated industry in one place concentrated even more rarely you meet the blended cream of the crop in the German capital.

Now since this country was cannabis as medicine finally accepted, is also to be expected with increased incidence of personalities from overseas. So 2017 offers the Mary Jane Berlin will naturally be a packed stage program in which more than twenty national and international specialists reveal their knowledge and are available for discussion groups available. A much larger hall is on the second held hemp trade fair for the dissemination of information to delegates whose discussions can therefore take place this year in an undisturbed setting. Among other Growing expert Mr. Jose will talk about cannabis cultivation in general, Rick Simpson strong case for a quick completion of Prohibition and Gerhard Seyfried reads from his book “Hemp in happiness.” Even the medical aspect is, of course, thoroughly lit and of course the driver’s license law is subject to a panel discussion.

Plenty of good reasons – to show the first warm rays of the Berlin city sun and to philosophize with many like-minded people about the changes in legislation, the benefits of Nutzgewächses and the failure of Prohibition – the Mary Jane Berlin 2017 therefore provides no doubt. Ways his favorite producers, editors of trade magazines, or even deserved praise speak out are on the June 16 to 18 in Berlin held hemp trade fair guarantees to satisfy given. Only the available repertoire of subjects for all undecided traders will slowly rar …

Let’s meet at:

Mary Jane Berlin 2017

From June 16 to 18

11:00 to 20:00

Funkhaus Berlin
Nalepastr. 8th
12459 Berlin

www.maryjane-berlin.de


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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.