Australia: Northern Territory to green-light industrial hemp industry as hopes for medical marijuana continue

The Northern Territory Government is set to green-light the industrial hemp industry, and moves are afoot to commercially cultivate medical marijuana.

Draft legislation to legalise the growing of industrial hemp has gone to Cabinet, a Government spokesperson said, with new laws that would bring the Territory into line with other Australian states expected to pass by the end of the year.

A trial crop in Katherine has proven successful, with the region's climate conditions expected to give the NT a "big commercial advantage".

"Following a successful department trial, the Territory Labor Government believes there is serious potential to grow industrial hemp as a new job-creating industry," a spokesperson said.


Frequent cannabis use does not damage brain structure, says new research

The authors say previous studies failed to differentiate between brain damage caused by nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs.

In 2014, a troubling research study suggested that frequent cannabis use was associated with changes in the size and shape of parts of the brain associated with emotion and motivation.

The grave conclusion of the study inspired other researchers to investigate the accuracy of these claims, with scientists now finding that that such brain changes were most likely caused by the use of alcohol, nicotine, or other drugs.


Australian clinical trial set to study cannabis as insomnia treatment

A team of researchers from the University of Western Australia is set to embark on a world-first human clinical trial specifically examining the effects of medicinal cannabis on subjects suffering from chronic insomnia.

The trial will be led by the university's Center for Sleep Science and run in conjunction with Australian medical research and development company Zelda Therapeutics.

Trial participants will be administered medicinal cannabinoid oil under the tongue one hour before going to bed, every night for two weeks. A placebo group will be also administered an inactive oil for two weeks before the groups switch to take the opposite preparation.


Aurora stalks Cann-do company

Australia's biggest medicinal cannabis company, Cann Group, is believed to be in the crosshairs of its largest shareholder.

Street Talk understands Canada's Aurora Cannabis Inc – that country's second largest cannabis company with a $C4.3 billion market capitalisation - is considering a formal approach to Cann Group's board about a takeover. Sources suggested there had been informal engagement between the two parties. 

Aurora's interest is believed to be pegged at about $4.50 a share, which would value Cann Group at about $500 million. 

The company's shares last closed at $2.99, but hit a record high just above $4 in January.


Canopy Growth launches spectrum Australia with support from the Victoria State government

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) ("Canopy Growth" or the "Company") is pleased to join the Victoria State Government in announcing the launch of the newest member of the Canopy Growth family, Spectrum Cannabis Australia ("Spectrum" or "Spectrum Australia").

Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Jaala Pulford, alongside Ben Quirin, Managing Director of Spectrum Australia, announced the Company will invest up to $16 millionAUD (~$16 million CAD) in the State of Victoria over the next four years to establish Spectrum's Asia-Pacific (APAC) headquarters and research and development facility.


Legalizing cannabis adds $3.6B to Australian economy, budget office says

Legalising cannabis would reap the Australian economy almost $2bn a year, the Parliamentary Budget Office has found.

The Greens plan to not only decriminalise cannabis but also legalise it for adult use is the latest case study of political differences, with both Labor and the Coalition looking into legalising it for medicinal use, but going no further.


Australia’s greens party proposes full recreational cannabis legalization

Some Australian law enforcement officials support the idea, but medical experts have concerns.

The Australian Greens have proposed that the country should fully legalize the sale and use of recreational cannabis. "Governments around the world are realizing that prohibition of cannabis causes more harm than it prevents," Greens party leader Richard di Natale said in a speech Monday, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. "It’s time Australia joined them and legalized cannabis for adult use."


Companies need to understand marijuana use — and have policies in place now

Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is not yet legal, but it may be soon, workplace responses and, specifically, testing, need to adjust accordingly.

There is a common misconception that cannabis has been legalised in South Australia — but this is not the case just yet.

Judgment is still pending with the Constitutional Court‚ and if legalisation is successful‚ Parliament still has two years to make the necessary changes to the relevant laws. Until then‚ while home users found smoking or in possession of marijuana may attempt to fend off prosecution citing privacy rights‚ instances of public use and being found under the influence of marijuana at the workplace can lead to criminal charges‚ as well as whatever recourse deemed fit by the workplace.


Australian Pharma company announces plans to build cannabis facility in Malta

Australian pharmaceutical company MGC Pharma has announced plans to construct a 4,000 metre-squared state-of-the-art medical cannabis production and cultivation facility in Malta. 

In the wake of a new law regulating medical cannabis, Malta Enterprise selected five foreign companies by tender to start producing the drug in Malta.  

Canadian giant Nuuvera had already confirmed it will be setting up a branch in Malta and now MGC Pharma has done likewise. 


This country might be the next to pass major marijuana law reforms

Thinking of visiting Australia? This country might be the next to pass major marijuana law reforms.

After action by lawmakers in Australia, this country might be the next to pass major marijuana law reforms. Members of Parliament from Victoria called for an end to cannabis prohibition in their state.

The MPs are following the lead of a parliamentary committee known as the Inquiry Into Drug Law Reform. The group said that more needs to be done after studying the subject of legalizing marijuana.


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