Hello friends of CannaVigilance,
What a strange world we live in. No THC for athletes, medical or recreational, because it’s “not in the spirit of sport”, legislation in Germany has slowed to almost a halt and Thailand rejects the law that will finally and officially legalise recreational cannabis. But we have to take the downs with the ups and in this newsletter the ups are provided by our country report on The Netherlands and an interview with an exceptional man, Ashwin Matai. It looks like the low countries are supplying the highs this time around. Happy reading.
First, let’s look at the country
The Netherlands – when people hear the name of this country, they think of tulips, flat landscapes and of course cannabis and coffee shops. But the Netherlands is not the land of legal cannabis, it’s a bit more complicated than that. In our brand new country report, we looked into the details and especially into the ‘Closed Coffeeshop Chain Experiment’.
Read the country report here.
Secondly, let’s look at the country’s people
Ashwin Matai was born in the Netherlands, and he was also born to grow cannabis. All his life, cannabis has been part of his life in one way or another. Now he works for Marshall Fields International and is involved in the “Closed Coffeeshop Chain Experiment”. We talked to him to find out what his involvement is, what his background is and what he thinks about Cannavigia.
Read the interview here.
Quick detour to Portugal
Let’s leave the Netherlands behind for a moment and head south. In mid-September we attended Medical Cannabis Europe in Lisbon, which was great not only because of the beautiful pharmacy museum where the conference was held, but mostly because of the great knowledge exchange. We have compiled three points to take away from Medical Cannabis Europe, one being a negative for the industry that we hope will soon be remedied.
Learn more in our article.
A vigilant eye on cannabis news
- Thailand’s grey area of legal cannabis just got a bit greyer with their lawmakers deciding to take the proposed legalisation law off the agenda with a vote of 198 to 136. There is still no clear indication if this is a temporary thing or whether this is a move to ban cannabis again.
- Governments, growers and other participants may be excited by the increase in cash flow cannabis will bring, but one set of companies are holding their breath and those are the pharmaceutical companies. In an unfunded (read: no-one gets to influence the outcome) research study it was found that the biggest loser when it comes to the legalisation process will be the companies manufacturing both branded and unbranded pharmaceuticals. Even though the study is an American one, similar issues can be expected in Europe and elsewhere as legislation becomes more popular. The pharmaceutical companies, long used to a monopoly in this market, will be watching this unfold carefully and possibly either invest more heavily in cannabis (like Pfizer) or trying to lobby lawmakers to slow the process down. Let’s see what happens…
- Marijuana use will remain banned at sports events after the World Anti-Doping Agency resisted calls to change its status on the list of prohibited substances. The agency was asked to review the status of THC and came to the conclusion, amongst others, that it was “against the spirit of sport.”
- Timor-Leste’s (bet you didn’t even know this country existed) president called for new drug policies that are more informed and free from the prejudices of the past, separating cannabis from dangerous drugs. “The debate around drug policy in Timor-Leste needs to move forward. It has been ill-informed and relies on prejudices inherited from the past,” said José Ramos-Horta in parliament.
- Two weeks ago we published an interview with Jürgen Neumeyer and Dirk Heitepriem, respectively the managing director and vice-president of the BvCW, the German Cannabis Business Industry Association about the current state of things in Germany. They explained the process and where it is. This piece by Andrew Ward sheds further light where what is.