Hello friends of CannaVigilance,
So ja, here we are at the end of 2022 and depending on who you believe, either the shortest or the longest year in living history. Before we eat ourselves into a premature siesta or have the regular festive season tiff with relatives we only see once per year, it is only fitting to cast a retrospective eye over the year that was.
The country that drew the most attention this year was of course Thailand with their 9 June announcement. Our two-part country report (part 1 here/part 2 here) opened the door for a lot of people who wanted to know what was going on. The doors opening in Thailand also meant that the water could be tested with university research and preparing students for a future career in cannabis growing, as our interview with Nadon Note Chaichareon showed. We also had a conversation with our country representative in Thailand, Micheline Widler about the Asia international Hemp Expo in Bangkok at the end of November where the conversation moved from “what is the difference between cannabis and hemp” to “what is the difference between GMP and GACP”.
South Africa is a country where we spent a lot of time this year. With the help of our man on the ground, Wesley Petzer, we compiled a list of reasons why it is a good thing to start your cannabis business in Africa and we called it Africa for Beginners. One of our clients, Cian McClelland from Druids Garden filled us in on some of the finer aspects and on the ground experience of running a farm in Africa. The Cannabis Expo Johannesburg in November also generated some column inches on our website, speaking about where things are going and who’s starting to play with.
South America is the fourth continent that we find ourselves operating in. We had a chat with Kevin Nafte of YVY Life Sciences who cultivates in Uruguay, but our main focus was Colombia. Our man there, Andres Nitola, represented us at the Cumbre Nacional de Cannabis y Cañamo and gave us feedback not just about the convention but how things are standing in that part of the world. The country report gave a lot of people another option on how cannabis is viewed in Colombia and we rounded that out with a talk to David Garcia Montoya of Armadillo Botanics who gave us a view about what’s happening there.
We are obviously in the business of selling software, but it’s not just about that. We are also into sharing knowledge and improving and escalating the growing industry that we are part of. We explained how EU data protection laws make your cloud storage info safe, why sticking to GACP and GMP rules is good for your business (actually, it’s not only good but essential if you want to do business in the EU and if you doubt it, check out the piece). We gave you nine problems growers encounter and how to solve them and (posted today) nine mistakes greenhouse builders make and how to prevent them.
But before we get to make jokes and party with the family, let’s have a quick roundup of what happened around the world in our world this week.
- In the most significant step forward, the EU has adopted and agreed on an updated policy paper entitled ‘Council conclusions on human rights-based approach in drug policies’. The decision to take a human rights approach to drugs policy reflects the thinking in a lot of other countries and lowers the bar for countries wanting to move forward with new regulations.
- Colombia has taken the final steps in legalisation. It is expected to be passed into law by June 2023 and Lithuania is continuing its debate on decriminalisation. The Freedom Party is pushing for warnings or small fines if caught with small amounts. In Luxembourg the conversation is also continuing. Focus seems to have moved to talk about “regulation” rather than “legalisation”.
- Switzerland’s delayed pilot project has solved it’s problems and will now kick off in January 2023. The hold-up, caused by “the failure to meet a quality standard stipulated in the Ordinance on Pilot Trials under the Narcotics Act”, has been solved with domestic product and not imports from Canada as previously mentioned in the media.
- Morocco’s legalisation of the grow of cannabis under certain conditions is having problems getting out of the starting blocks. The regulatory oversight committee took months to be established and now that they are up and running, there seems to be a huge mistrust of them and the government by growers.