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Patient Advocate since 1977.


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Cannabis user registrations in Uruguay have started

Last Tuesday the last preparations for the reversal of the Marijuana conquest in Uruguay began in Uruguay. From next summer, citizens of the small South American country, which are registered in advance, will be able to legally purchase cannabis in pharmacies, which will in future block down black market trafficking and guarantee the protection of minors. Although one-third of the population did not support the steps in 2013, the cannabis users’ registrations have now started in Uruguay, which marks the end of the reintroduction of marijuana.

 

Although the demand for the buds of the hemp plant in Uruguay has not increased since legalization in the country , the government under President Tabare Vazquez still fulfills the projects of the predecessor Jose Mujica , under which Uruguay became the first country on earth, the cannabis despite resistances relegalisierte. Citizens are to be given access to up to 40 grams of cannabis via the usual pharmacy purchase, which must be registered beforehand. Fingerprints and a signature should then ensure that no tourists arrive at the coveted greenery from July 2017, which will undercut the black market value at a price of € 1.20 per gram by about half. Asked persons, Who have voluntarily left their data, see in development a ” great step forward in the evolution of the citizens. “Simultaneously with the start of registrations on 02.05. The government published some videos that are supposed to reveal the health hazards of the cannabis use. Only two manufacturers will be able to produce quality-tested marijuana for the state, with some of the sales of which will flow into further preventive work. Since the cultivation of cannabis in Uruguay is still allowed in the home, the varietal diversity of the plant is fortunately not once legally counteracted. “Simultaneously with the start of registrations on 02.05. The government published some videos that are supposed to reveal the health hazards of the cannabis use. Only two manufacturers will be able to produce quality-tested marijuana for the state, with some of the sales of which will flow into further preventive work. Since the cultivation of cannabis in Uruguay is still allowed in the home, the varietal diversity of the plant is fortunately not once legally counteracted. “Simultaneously with the start of registrations on 02.05. The government published some videos that are supposed to reveal the health hazards of the cannabis use. Only two manufacturers will be able to produce quality-tested marijuana for the state, with some of the sales of which will flow into further preventive work. Since the cultivation of cannabis in Uruguay is still allowed in the home, the varietal diversity of the plant is fortunately not once legally counteracted. Only two manufacturers will be able to produce quality-tested marijuana for the state, with some of the sales of which will flow into further preventive work. Since the cultivation of cannabis in Uruguay is still allowed in the home, the varietal diversity of the plant is fortunately not once legally counteracted. Only two manufacturers will be able to produce quality-tested marijuana for the state, with some of the sales of which will flow into further preventive work. Since the cultivation of cannabis in Uruguay is still allowed in the home, the varietal diversity of the plant is fortunately not once legally counteracted.

 

And while in Uruguay the first registrations for the guaranteed supply of the best marijuana breeds were submitted by adult citizens, the first legally imported commercial medicinal cannabis wholesale deliveries from doctors are finally received at the other end of the world in Australia ..

 

Registrierungen für Cannabiskonsumenten in Uruguay gestartet


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Germany maintains some of the strictest cannabis DUI rules in the world: limit of 1 nanogram (ng) THC/ml blood serum

ABOUT AUTHOR

Michael Knodt is an expert on cannabis politics and cannabis culture across Europe. Born in North Germany, Michael has been living in Berlin since 1990. He initially studied history and journalism before receiving his certification as a carpenter. Since then, Michael has made regular visits to countries where cannabis is cultivated, such as Jamaica and Morocco. He has worked as a freelancer for Weedmaps, Vice Magazine Germany, Sensi Seeds and numerous German-language cannabis magazines since 2004. From 2005 to 2013, Michael was the Editor-in-Chief of Germanys biggest cannabis periodical. He also is the face and presenter of the most popular program on cannabis prohibition and just launched a new channel called “DerMicha.” Aside from his journalistic work, Michael is a cannabis patient, activist, sought-after speaker on conferences and congresses, and a father of two.

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Germany maintains some of the strictest cannabis DUI rules in the world. The low limit of 1 nanogram (ng) THC/ml blood serum, as well as the measurement of non-psychoactive metabolites, means that drivers and cyclists who are otherwise not under the influence of marijuana could potentially have their driving licenses revoked due to minuscule traces of THC.

While in other countries the limit value is determined in whole blood, in Germany, it is measured in the blood serum which approximately doubles the value*. In order to change this non-scientific approach and the unequal treatment of cannabis and alcohol, the German Hemp Association (DHV) launched a “Clear Head Clear Rules” campaign at the Federal press conference in Berlin this month.

Non-treatment of cannabis and alcohol consumption

The often long-term loss of a driver’s license due to cannabis use is ruining livelihoods in Germany. The uneven treatment of cannabis and alcohol consumption leads to serious consequences for consumers as well as society. Former taxpayers are forced to receive state welfare after losing their job or even their business due to the confiscation of their driver’s license. In many cases, the “offender” was not driving under the influence or endangering public safety. Germany’s regulations send a message about cannabis use itself. DUI-law experts like Theo Pütz call it a “substitute criminal law” as the excessive measures began almost simultaneously with the decriminalization of possession for self-consumption in the mid-1990s. Initially, only Southern Germany focused on cannabis-related DUI offenses. Today, drivers find large-scale traffic checkpoints at regular intervals all over Germany to ensure traffic safety. These checkpoints prove necessary when targeting drivers who operate their vehicle under the direct influence of psychoactive substances. But while an alcohol limit of 0.05% only punishes direct intoxication, 1ng of THC in the blood serum can be found even days past consumption. In these cases, the current THC limits do not distinguish between a driver under the influence at the moment of being pulled over and a driver who consumed cannabis days before the traffic violation.

Generally speaking, DUI offense penalties are the same for cannabis and alcohol across the globe. In Germany, a positive blood test incurs an 800 Euro fine and a month-long driving ban for first-time offenders. However, cannabis DUI offenders usually receive a letter a few months after their fine has been paid. In the context of an administrative law, the recipient is told to relinquish their driver’s license to the authorities until the recipient has proactively proven not to be addicted to cannabis.

In addition to the fine and the four-week driving ban, an offender can have their driver’s license revoked indefinitely. The process to reclaim one’s driver’s license is arduous, time-consuming, and costly. The verification measures can cost up to several thousand Euros. After long abstinence tests, specialist reports,  and medical-psychological examinations by traffic psychologists and medical doctors, an offender’s driver’s license can still be withheld if they do not pledge lifelong cannabis abstinence. Holders of foreign driving licenses who exceed the THC limit are fined and banned from German roads. German authorities are not allowed to revoke a foreign driving license, but in order to drive in Germany, foreign DUI offenders must undergo the same process as German citizens.

Cannabis patients have a special exception

For cannabis patients in possession of a valid prescription, the 1ng limit doesn’t apply in the same way. Like consumers of other prescription narcotics, they are expected to refrain from driving under the direct influence of their medication. It is recommended that patients new to cannabis therapy refrain from driving for a six-week period to develop the required tolerance for THC. In principle, the treating physician is encouraged to alert their patients to the dangers of any respective drug in road traffic and make a corresponding recommendation. However, due to the relatively new cannabis law in Germany, there are still individual patients who, despite medical prescription, must face serious difficulties when interacting with poorly informed clerks at the driving licensing authority.

A precise THC limit is to be scientifically evaluated

The German Hemp Association is keen to draw attention to the considerable administrative disparities when it comes to alcohol and cannabis when driving. Cannabis users can be denied their driving privileges when very occasional consumption is detected. The pedagogical effect of the statutory penalties laid down by the law is undermined by the fact that penalties which are significantly harsher are imposed on an administrative level.

Therefore, the German Hemp Association is calling for the introduction of safety-relevant THC limits, analogous to the risk-adjusted alcohol limit values. The campaign itself does not demand a specific, numerical limit because such limits should be defined by experts utilizing evidence-based research. However, the Hemp Association refers to other countries in which the current limit values are not politically motivated but are the result of scientific research. In Switzerland, the applied tolerance is 3ng / ml in the blood serum. This value is binding for taxi and bus drivers. Other EU countries have defined risk limits for THC which are up to 6ng/ml in the blood serum, while many states have not defined any values at all. In U.S. states such as Colorado, which have legalized cannabis, a value of 5 ng/ml blood is common, which in German interpretation would be 10ng in the blood serum. During a German press conference, campaign co-initiator Sebastian Gather, a criminal and administrative law attorney, said “The state has to face an open visor and only regulate what it claims to regulate,” in a hope to add clarity and transparency to cannabis regulations. He concluded that “The punishment of cannabis users is justified through the back door by misdemeanors and administrative offenses.”

As part of the campaign, animated explanatory videos along with videos of traffic and criminal law experts and affected parties will be produced continuously and published on the campaign page www.klarerkopf-klareregeln.de.

*1 ng in the blood serum corresponds to approximately 0.5 ng in whole blood.

 


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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.”


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THE TIDE IS CHANGIN’…..Poland’s Lower House Votes 440-2 in Favor of Legalizing Medical Marijuana

https://www.ganjapreneur.com/lawmakers-poland-vote-443-2-favor-legalizing-medical-cannabis/

Lawmakers in Poland’s Lower House of Parliament have cast 440 votes in favor of legalizing the use of medical cannabis, according to a Yahoo News report. Only two lawmakers voted against the move, with one other House lawmaker abstaining from the vote.

The law must pass through the Senate next — and then the President — before taking full effect, but Poland is the latest member of the European Union to demonstrate signs of moving towards a comprehensive medical cannabis program.

The proposed legislation would allow for doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients. The products in question would be made by pharmacies using imported materials. The bill would not allow patients to grow their own medicine and does nothing to legalize recreational access to the plant.

The bill was proposed last year by independent lawmaker Piotr Marzec-Liroy, a rapper-turned-politician who rose in popularity in 2015 on the back of the Kukiz’15 anti-establishment movement.

Polling data from January suggests that 78 percent of Polish citizens believe that access to cannabis should be legal.

Other countries in the EU who have made strides towards the implementation of cannabis medicine include Germany, where Canadian cannabis companies are already establishing business ties; the United Kingdom; the Czech Republic; Finland; the Netherlands; Portugal; Spain; and Ireland.

Last month, France’s new president Emmanuel Macron announced a plan to end prison sentences for cannabis consumers.


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ASA’s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program is now leading the development of international regulatory guidelines, presenting to public health officials and industry stakeholders around the globe, conducting trainings in the US and abroad, and partnering with the University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy on cannabis education.

PFC at Forefront of International Standards Development

ASA’s effort to set scientifically sound standards for cannabis safety and quality has found new partners and gone international. ASA’s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program is now leading the development of international regulatory guidelines, presenting to public health officials and industry stakeholders around the globe, conducting trainings in the US and abroad, and partnering with the University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy on cannabis education.

Spearheading the effort is ASA’s chief scientist Jahan Marcu, PhD, in his role as a director of the PFC program. Just this past month, Dr. Marcu has crisscrossed the globe collaborating with doctors, scientists and public health officials from Spain to Israel to Mexico and back, plus conducting trainings in Ohio and Florida.

In Spain, PFC certified the country’s first cannabis distributor, worked with a doctor’s office, and conducted a weeklong training attended by representatives from 10 countries.

In Mexico, Dr. Marcu (pictured at right with patients and advocates in Mexico City) met with officials from the Department of Health and presented a talk on medical cannabis at the invitation of the national institute of pediatrics. PFC is translating ASA’s educational materials into Spanish and will be training the country’s health officials through the Cannabis Care Certification program on how to draft and implement sound regulation. PFC has also been asked to work with the governor’s office in Mexico City on drafting health and safety guidelines.

In Israel, Dr. Marcu made two presentations to Cann10, the second international medical cannabis conference in Tel Aviv. The focus there is on matching cannabis varieties to individual patients based on matching human genetics to plants. PFC’s Cannabis Care Certification will be training physicians in Israel, and manufacturing companies there have applied to PFC for certification.

In the U.S., PFC has been offering webinars and in-person trainings, including a CME event in Orlando, Florida for health care professionals and a training in Ohio. Dr. Marcu was also invited to speak about the PFC program at the American Public Health Laboratory conference last month. He will be speaking about the endocannabinoid system this month at the Cannabis World Congress and Expo in New York and presenting on international cultivation standards this month as part of the annual meeting of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS), held this year in Montreal, Quebec.

PFC’s role in developing regulatory guidance will be central, as Dr. Marcu is chairing the ASTM subcommittee of 50 experts developing standards for education and training and criteria for regulatory assessment. These standards will determine how the cannabis industry will function – who gets licenses, who gets trained and how.

PFC’s new partnership with the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy launches next week at PFCtraining.org. This will be the only cannabis training program available through a university online for credit. Going forward, the University of Maryland will be conducting educational trainings, while Dr. Marcu and the PFC staff will handle regulatory issues and compliance.

PFC webinars are being run about every two weeks. Some are free, and those with fees are available to patients on a sliding scale. Interested patients should email PFC ahead of the webinar they’d like to attend.

PFC began with a collaborative effort with the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), but the international nature of medical cannabis research and development has transformed it into a global project.

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

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