Where Marijuana is and isn't legal

Take a look some countries that have either legalized, decriminalized or simply chosen to tolerate recreational marijuana.

United Kingdom

Having been reclassified in 2009 from a Class C to a Class B drug, cannabis is now the most used illegal drug within the United Kingdom. The UK is also, however, the only country where Sativex – a prescribed drug that helps to combat muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis and contains some ingredients that are also found in cannabis - is licensed as a treatment.


Israeli farmers catch cannabis fever

Nearly 400 farmers in Israel have applied for licenses to grow cannabis since the government loosened restrictions on medical marijuana last year, according to officials from the Israeli Ministry of Health who provided an update to lawmakers at an Israeli parliamentary committee session Monday.

In addition to the 383 farmers who applied, the ministry has received 250 applications from nurseries wishing to distribute marijuana plants, 95 from pharmacies looking to sell cannabis products, and 60 from entrepreneurs interested in opening marijuana processing facilities. Regulators are reviewing the requests and have already provided preliminary approval to a majority of applicants.


High and dry: Pakistan's liking of hash

Niaz Ali is a deeply religious man: He prays five times a day and visits the mosque as frequently as possible. But he also loves to smoke hashish -- lots of it.

Despite it being forbidden by his faith, the 50 year-old estimates he spends about 30 percent of his earnings as a cab driver on the habit.

His love affair with cannabis began as an occasional puff with friends when he was a teenager, but has since morphed into a full-blown addiction for the father-of-nine.

"It is a sacred plant. A sacred intoxication," says Ali, who asked to use a pseudonym, after taking a fresh rip off a hookah packed with pungent hash in Pakistan's bustling northwestern town of Peshawar.

"It's like a second wife, this addiction," he sighs.


This country could soon legalize Cannabis and Opium

Cannabis legalization has ramped up in recent years, and it’s not only in the U.S. Uraguay recently became the first country to fully legalize marijuana, and Canada is set to do the same this July. However, there could be another prominent country with something big in the works when it comes to pot legalization. Yes, India is set to discuss the potential legalization and regulation of both cannabis and opium.

A Progressive Outlook


Creso Pharma to create cannabis-based body care and cosmetic company within China

Australian medicinal cannabis company Creso Pharma has teamed up with Chinese hemp producer Zhejiang Kingdom Creativ in a commercial agreement that will see the two build a health food, nutraceuticals, body care and cosmetic company within China, according to a report by Finance Nine.

The development of the cosmetics company, which will selling hemp and cannabis-based products across the country. will run alongside Cresa Pharma’s expansion into the Chinese market, with Kingdom Creative set to import Cresa Pharma cannabis-based products into the local market. 

News of the development has sent Creso Pharma’s shares soaring, with shares at a record high up 19.5 per cent to 98 cents as of Monday.


Israeli pharmacies set to start selling medical marijuana early next year

Israeli pharmacies nationwide are expected to supply medical marijuana to patients from early 2018, Health Ministry officials said on Wednesday.

The officials said numerous private pharmacies, including Super-Pharm chain pharmacies, have asked the ministry to sell prescription marijuana, and are in the process of being issued the required permits. The health maintenance organization (kupat holim) pharmacies have so far not shown an interest in taking part in the move.


Israel wants to start exporting its cannabis around the world

When Asi Naim, a severely autistic Israeli boy, started smacking his head against the wall and hurting himself in other ways, his parents tried every kind of psychiatric drug to calm him. Nothing worked.

“He was so totally out of it,” said his mother, Ricky Naim Blumenfeld. “It was scary.”

Then Asi entered a cannabis-based research program at Jerusalem’s Shaarei Zedek hospital. After a period of trial and error, he started getting a dosage of cannabinoid drops that worked. Four years later, Asi loves music, being at parties, going to the movies and traveling abroad.


India Globalization Capital CEO dumps shares amidst a major company "turnaround"

Over the last few weeks, India Globalization Capital’s (IGC) Chairman and CEO Ram Mukunda has been selling a lot of stock in his own company. During this time, Mukunda sold 275,000 shares in the $0.40 to $0.51 range.

What we find to be interesting about these sales is the timing of them. For a company that claims to be in the middle of a major turnaround, you must question why the person running the company is selling hundreds of thousands of shares.

A Fake News Driven Rally

IGC has been a top performer over the last few weeks and the shares have come well off its recent lows. Although the rally has been significant, we do not buy into the catalyst that helped push the stock price higher.


Medical cannabis course in high demand at Israeli college

Within the cannabis industry, it’s well known that Israel is leading the world in medical marijuana research. The tiny country is home to a fully legal medical cannabis program that serves 30,000 patients, while THC itself — the cannabis plant’s main psychoactive compound — was discovered by renowned Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam in the early sixties. Unlike in the United States, where weed remains illegal under federal law (despite state policies), in Israel, the government sanctions growers, scientists, techies, and doctors to collaborate and advance cannabis medicine.

And so, despite that cannabis for recreational purposes remains illegal in Israel, the plant is well-respected within the fields of science, medicine, biotech, agriculture — and even academia.


Lebanon's illicit cannabis trade goes up in smoke amid Syria war

Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley is notorious for its highly lucrative cannabis industry.

However, in recent years the illicit trade has suffered due to the war in neighbouring Syria. As a result, some are now turning to another crop for better income.

Al Jazeera’s Imtiaz Tyab reports from Bekaa Valley.


Subscribe to RSS - Asia