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Spain: The Chamber of Deputies Agriculture Committee has voted in favour of a proposal to regulate hemp, introduced by the left-wing Podemos, the Catalan ERC and the basque Bildu party, and supported by the ruling Socialists, press reports. The non-law proposal is a request to the government to introduce a bill to provide legal clarity over the production, marketing and consumption of products derived from industrial hemp with less than 1% THC. It is unknown whether the government will act to address the present lack of specific regulation in Spain on CBD and hemp-derived products.
US - Maryland: House Bill 135 has passed the House and now heads to the Senate. It would specify that manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing certain large quantities of certain controlled dangerous substances is a felony, and raise the penalties for being a “drug kingpin” or “volume dealer” in cannabis. At the same time it would allow over-21s to manufacture an appropriate amount of cannabis products or concentrated cannabis for personal use or adult sharing at a private residence, as long as the manufacturing process does not involve the use of a volatile solvent.
US - North Dakota: House Bill 1478 has been approved by both chambers and now heads to the governor’s desk. It would allow self-certification as a medical cannabis patient by over-65s admitted to hospice care, and allow designated caregivers to carry cannabis products for such patients without going through a criminal record check .
US - New Hampshire: House Bill 431, which would allow patients and designated caregivers to cultivate up to three mature cannabis plants, three immature plants and 12 seedlings for therapeutic use, has passed the House and now moves to the Senate. The bill would also expand the numbers of plants alternative treatment centres may possess or cultivate, by increasing the limit per patient to 80 mature plants, 160 immature plants and an unlimited number of seedlings.
US - Missouri: House Bill 644, which would erase obsolete provisions allowing hemp extract for the treatment of epilepsy, has passed the House and now moves to the Senate. The law has become obsolete in light of changes to the state’s hemp and cannabis laws.
Switzerland: The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has granted the city of Zurich permission to launch a three-and-a-half-year pilot project to collect data on the regulated purchase of recreational cannabis and its effects on the health and consumption behaviour of users. Sales will be made through pharmacies, social clubs and drug information centres and are expected to start in August. Nine cannabis products will be offered, varying in THC and CBD content.
Austria: Health minister Johannes Rauch’s office has confirmed to CannIntelligence that the sale of all hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) products, including leftover stock, is prohibited from today. The substance has been added to the New Psychoactive Substances Ordinance by order of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection.
UK: Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Ronnie Cowan has again raised in Parliament the issue of industrial hemp, saying: “The industry is telling me that it can create 105,000 jobs and pay £1bn in tax if it is allowed to grow.” He suggested members of the industry should be allowed to meet “the relevant minister” in order to make their case.
Canada: Health Canada has updated the fees laid out in the Cannabis Fees Order, following the 2022 Consumer Price Index of 6.8%. The new rates will apply from 1st April.
US - Kentucky: House Bill 544 has been delivered to the governor for approval after being passed by the Senate. It would set guidelines for the regulation of hemp-derived delta-8 THC products, including banning their sale of delta-8 to under-21s. It also set new retail, labelling and testing requirements, and would direct the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services to establish administrative regulations for the production and sale of delta-8 products by 1st August.
US - Oklahoma: House Bill 2095 has passed the House and now heads to the Senate. It would broaden the remit of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority and other state agencies through monetary and disciplinary provisions, such as authorising unannounced site inspections. The bill also lays down penalties for unlawful acts, such as the permanent revocation of medical cannabis business licences for non-payment of taxes.
Spain: A proposal for hemp regulation put forward by the left-wing Podemos party, along with the Catalan ERC and the Basque party Bildu, will be discussed tomorrow by the Chamber of Deputies Agriculture Committee, press reports. It aims to give legal clarity on the production, marketing and consumption of products derived from industrial hemp containing less than 1% THC. The proposal is not a bill but a request to the government to take action and introduce a bill on the subject. There is currently no specific regulation in Spain on hemp-derived or CBD products – indeed, the official interpretation is that CBD products cannot generally be sold. The parties behind the hemp proposal have also asked the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Products (AEMPS) to change this interpretation in line with the Court of Justice of the EU’s ruling in the Kanavape case.
Belgium: The Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment has updated its positive list of notified herbal products for smoking, which includes hemp flowers and other smokable cannabinoid products. Products not on the list may not be placed on the Belgian market without going through the notification process.
Bulgaria: The Ministry of Agriculture has opened for public consultation a draft ordinance to change the conditions for obtaining a permit to grow industrial cannabis. It includes raising the THC limit from 0.2% to 0.3% and altering the application documents. The consultation is open until 18th April.
Germany: Health minister Karl Lauterbach has said a bill to legalise cannabis will be announced in the next few weeks after he received “very good feedback” on the plan from the European Commission, press reports. “We will soon present a proposal that works – that is, that conforms to European law,” Lauterbach said.
Chile: The Chamber of Deputies yesterday approved a report by an inter-house committee that seeks to allow home growing of cannabis for medicinal purposes provided the patient has a doctor’s prescription. The committee, made up of members of both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, was set up to agree a common position on a bill already in the legislative process.