US - Rhode Island: Recreational cannabis dispensaries can begin sales from today, 1st December. Rhode Island legalised recreational cannabis in May.
From February of 2022, subscribers will be able to view and filter individual regulatory alerts per region. If you want to get our alerts compilations, visit our alerts Round-up section.
US - Nevada: The Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) has issued 20 prospective licences for cannabis consumption lounges that were determined via a lottery of applicants. Ten provisional licences were issued to social equity applicants (applicants who have been convicted of a cannabis offence, had a family member convicted of a cannabis offence, or who lived in an area impacted by a prohibitionist drug policy). Prospective licensees must still pass a suitability investigation by the CCB before their licences will be issued. Another 20 applicants were approved for consumption lounges that must be attached to a licensed operational cannabis dispensary.
Global: The UN Conference on Trade and Development has published a report, “Commodities at a glance: Special issue on industrial hemp”, reviewing the opportunities and challenges of hemp and derivates for developing countries, including a review of the market and policy recommendations. It recommends that the “cultivation of non-intoxicant C. sativa L. cultivars should be permitted in all countries even though it may require strict governmental control”. And it argues that “an approach favouring THC threshold in final products, rather than in the field, should be adopted to incentivize a whole-plant approach and uses...Alternatively, raising the THC thresholds in crops up to levels scientifically recognized as non-intoxicant could be envisaged by legislators.”
EU: In a move that may affect the packaging of hemp/cannabis-derived products, the European Commission yesterday issued a proposal to revise the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. It aims to prevent the generation of packaging waste, reduce it in quantity, and ensure that all packaging is recyclable as well as to increase the use of recycled plastics in packaging. The proposal will now be considered by the European Parliament and the Council, following the normal EU legislative procedure.
US - Ohio: State lawmakers are interested in passing medical cannabis reform, as committees in the state House of Representatives debate Senate Bill 261, press reports. SB 261 was passed by the Senate last December and would make major reforms to Ohio's medical cannabis programme by creating a new regulatory agency – the Division of Marijuana Control – increasing the number of medical cannabis dispensaries, and expanding qualifying conditions for doctors to prescribe cannabis for to include those “that the patient’s symptoms may reasonably be expected to be relieved from medical marijuana”. The legislative session ends at the end of December.
Germany: Health minister Karl Lauterbach is expected to commission a scientific report to convince the EU Commission that legalising recreational cannabis will push back the black market without increasing consumption, press reports. He said confidential talks with EU officials had shown that very good arguments would be needed to convince them of the benefits of legalisation. Lauterbach added that the draft law is expected to be ready by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
Czech Republic: Jindřich Vobořil, the national coordinator for drug policy, hopes to present a bill to regulate the recreational cannabis market at the beginning of next year, media reports. Vobořil estimates that the change could bring in about CZK4bn (€164m) a year to fund preventive programmes and treatment support.
Mexico: A court in Sonora has granted a citizen’s petition and ordered the Federal Commission for the Protection against Public Health Risks (Cofepris) to issue a permit to consume and cultivate recreational cannabis for personal use, press reports. No commercial activity is allowed under the order (called an amparo). While the regulatory landscape for cannabis in Mexico is very unsettled, the courts continue to grant amparos to companies and individuals for cannabis-related activities.
Canada - Manitoba: A bill has been introduced that would eliminate the “social responsibility” tax on cannabis sales in Manitoba, which is currently 6%, imposed on cannabis retailers. The provincial government is in discussions with federal authorities to piggyback on the federal excise tax on cannabis by increasing the excise tax to CAD1, of which CAD0.75 would go to the provincial government, as in all other provinces, press reports. If passed, the social responsibility tax would be eliminated from 1st January 2023.
Brazil: The National Public Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) has authorised Canabidiol Ease Labs 100 mg/ml to be manufactured in Brazil in the form of a solution for oral use. The agency has already approved 23 cannabis-derived products.
EU: EU negotiators hope to reach a compromise on the new Battery Regulation during a final session on 9th December, media reports. The new regulation seeks to regulate the whole life cycle of batteries, from design to disposal, repealing the current EU Batteries Directive. It would cover a wide range of industrial and portable batteries, potentially including those in cannabinoid vaping devices. However, it will provide only a general framework, leaving details to be provided in secondary EU legislation, such as delegated and implementing acts – around 32 of which are expected to complement the Battery Regulation.
Ireland: Dáil (parliament) member Gino Kenny of the left-wing People Before Profit / Solidarity party today introduced the Misuse of Drugs (Regulation of Cannabis) Bill. If passed, it will mean the possession of up to 7 g of cannabis or 2.5 g of cannabis resin for personal use by anyone aged 18 or over will no longer be a criminal offence.
Lithuania: The parliamentary Rural Affairs Committee has approved Bill XIVP-2059 , which would allow the growing of hemp varieties with up to 0.3% THC from 1st January. The THC content in hemp-derived finished products must still not exceed 0.2%. The bill will be voted on by the full parliament in the next few weeks.
Spain: The Ministry of Health has confirmed in answer to a parliamentary question, which was published on Monday, that the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) could have the medical cannabis regulation ready by next month, meeting the six-month deadline set by the Subcommittee on Medical Cannabis. The regulation will allow the medical use of cannabis for patients suffering from epilepsy or from cancer-related pain.
Thailand: The Ministry of Public Health has published restrictions on cannabis, effective immediately. The announcement restates some rules that were already in place, such as prohibiting cannabis sales to under-20s and to pregnant women, but also adds new restrictions. It prohibits the sale of cannabis for on-site consumption unless by a medical practitioner, as well as banning online and vending-machine sales, and advertisements for cannabis flower.
Lithuania: The parliamentary Law and Order Committee has approved bills XIVP-1766, amending the Code of Administrative Offences, and XIVP-1767, which will be discussed in the Seimas (parliament) in the coming weeks. Both seek to decriminalise the possession of “small quantities” of cannabis, which would otherwise be punishable by a fine of between €30 and €250. The amount to be considered as “small” would remain to be determined by an order from the minister of health.
Netherlands: The European Court of Justice has ruled that a Russian cancer patient currently being treated in the Netherlands cannot be deported because he uses medicinal cannabis, which is illegal in Russia. The person submitted several asylum applications in the Netherlands, the last of which was rejected in 2020. Following this a return decision was issued, denying him the right to remain in the Netherlands. He appealed to the District Court of The Hague, which referred the question to the European court.
Colombia: The Senate has approved Bill 002/2022 on recreational cannabis on its first vote. The bill, which aims to amend the constitution to legalise recreational cannabis, has already been approved on first and second vote by the Chamber of Representatives, in September and October. It was introduced by members of the centre-left Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Colombiano), part of the ruling coalition, along with representatives from the Historic Pact (Pacto Histórico) and Radical Change (Cambio Radical) parties.
US - Rhode Island: Governor Dan McKee stated yesterday that recreational cannabis sales will begin next week. The Department of Business Regulation’s Office of Cannabis Regulation has approved five medical cannabis dispensaries to begin selling recreational cannabis on 1st December.
Thailand: Amid calls by some groups and politicians to place cannabis back on Thailand’s narcotics list, public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul dismissed the possibility of rescheduling cannabis and urged support for the Cannabis and Hemp Bill that is currently under consideration in Parliament, press reports.
Romania: The Chamber of Deputies was today debating the regulation of medical cannabis, press reports. In a conference organised by the Health Committee, some doctors and representatives of medical associations highlighted the benefits of medical cannabis. However, no agreement was reached to unblock a bill on medical cannabis that was introduced in 2019, or to introduce a new one.
India: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) yesterday published a clarification, dated 10th November, informing Food Business Operators (FBO) that hemp seeds and their products are allowed on e-commerce websites – subject to FSSAI licensing – having been standardised in November 2021.
Costa Rica: The Judicial Investigation Agency has announced its opposition to a bill – put forward by president Rodrigo Chaves – to legalise cannabis for recreational use, press reports. The agency, part of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, said legalising recreational consumption would cause more harm than good and could lead to the consumption of stronger drugs. The bill is currently under consideration by the Legislative Assembly Environment Committee.
Czech Republic: The Government Council for the Coordination of Addiction Policy yesterday approved the Report on Illegal Drugs in the Czech Republic in 2022, media reports. National coordinator for drug policy Jindřich Vobořil told a meeting chaired by prime minister Petr Fiala that “long-term trends show the need for a different control system for addictive and psychotropic substances. For less risky substances such as cannabis, we tend to go down the path of decriminalisation and strictly controlled availability.”
US - Federal: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent warning letters to five companies for selling edible CBD products because CBD is an unapproved food additive. While FDA warning letters have previously been aimed at CBD products that make health claims, this batch goes further to target products “that people may confuse for traditional foods or beverages which may result in unintentional consumption or overconsumption of CBD”, particularly if the FDA considers them appealing to minors. One warning letter neither says the company made health claims nor made products appealing to minors, but rather that the “products are in a form (herbal tea or beverage) that consumers may confuse with traditional foods”.
US - Oregon: Governor Kate Brown has announced that she is issuing pardons for certain convictions for simple possession of cannabis prior to the state’s legalisation of recreational cannabis. It is estimated that the pardons will affect around 45,000 people and forgive more than $14m in fees and fines.
US - New York: Companion bills A 9282 and S 8496 have been approved by the State Legislature and sent to the governor for final approval. The bills would require the state agricultural commissioner to “consult and cooperate with” a hemp workgroup and hemp industry representatives over business development and promotion of the hemp industry.
US - New York: The Cannabis Control Board (CCB) yesterday approved its first recreational cannabis dispensary licences. The Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licences were approved for 36 applicants, 28 of whose owners or owners’ families were previously convicted of cannabis offences, and eight of which are nonprofit organisations. The CCB also voted to advance recreational cannabis proposed regulations to a 60-day public comment period and a separate set of packaging, labelling, advertising, and marketing regulations to a 45-day public comment period. Comments can be emailed to email@example.com.
French Polynesia: With 33 votes and 20 abstentions, the Assembly has approved a law legalising the medical and industrial use of cannabis. Cultivation of hemp with up to 0.3% THC will be allowed for the production of non-ingestible products, and cultivation with higher amounts of THC will be allowed for the manufacture of medicines.
US - Kentucky: Governor Andy Beshear has issued two executive orders, one which allows for the possession of cannabis for medical purposes under certain conditions and another which regulates hemp-derived delta-8 THC products. The medical cannabis order grants pardons to anyone possessing cannabis after 1st January 2023 who demonstrates that a doctor has recommended it for a specified condition and that it was obtained legally in another state, among other conditions. The delta-8 THC order makes clear that “Delta-8 is not a controlled substance under either Kentucky law or federal law”, and applies the requirements of 902 KAR 45:190, which includes packaging and labelling requirements for hemp-derived products, to delta-8 products.