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German Prohibitionists Lobby EU, German Medical Cannabis Re-Think, High Court Blow For Irish CBD, Hemp Batteries In Electric Vehicles?

GERMAN opponents of its adult-use cannabis programme are taking their fight to Brussels in a bid to scupper the plans.

Klaus Holetschek, the health minister in Bavaria’s state government, on behalf of Germany’s main opposition party the centre-right Union bloc, has petitioned the European Union’s (EU) director-general for migration and home affairs.

Mr Holetschek reportedly told the EU official, Monique Pariat, that ‘the German Government’s planned cannabis legalisation doesn’t just endanger health, but also violates European law’, reports ABC News.

He argued that two EU agreements oblige Germany and other member countries to criminalise the production and sale of drugs such as cannabis.

This is a reference to the international drug conventions, but, as previously reported by BusinessCann, there are legal ways for Germany to overcome these obstacles and press ahead with its planned reforms.

Meanwhile, moves to tighten the prescribing rules for medical cannabis have been given a frosty reception in Germany.

The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) which governs statutory health insurance funds for more than 73m people has set out more restrictive proposals.

These include, as in the UK, delegating the prescription of medical cannabis to specialists – this is presently undertaken by GPs – and the use of cannabis flowers only as a last resort.

The proposals have been described as a ‘setback’ for the German medical cannabis industry.

Ireland Pushes For Cannabis Reform Despite Ongoing CBD Crackdowns

An Irish High Court Judge has sidestepped the ground-breaking KanaVape decision of the European Union and upheld a ruling against hemp oil trader Andrius Bogusas of Dundalk.

Mr Bogusas’ hemp products, imported from Slovenia, were seized by Customs on October 21, 2020, on the basis they were prohibited by national legislation.  

The trader had argued they were lawfully imported as they contain less than 0.2% THC and therefore fall under the scope of the European Court of Justice ruling in the KanaVape case as non-narcotic and are therefore permitted for import under the rules governing the free movement of goods.

However, Mr Justice Alex Owens noted that Ireland and other EU member states are parties to Conventions on Narcotic Drugs, including the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

Consequently, he ruled Irish Law does not permit the sale of goods which include THC. 

The Judge also stated that the EU Courts had ‘not concluded as a fact’ that THC is ‘not a harmful drug’ or product.

He also said the EU Courts had also not made a finding that the 1971 Convention permitted the marketing to the public of psychoactive drugs in preparations that contain a small amount of that drug.

Meanwhile, a Bill that would legalise the personal use of cannabis in Ireland was put before the Dáil last week.

Irish member of parliament, People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny said that the Cannabis Regulation and Control Bill 2022 would decriminalise cannabis for personal use.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said that the ‘relatively short Bill’, will amend the current legislation on possession of cannabis as outlined in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, reports buzz.ie.

Isle of Man Medical Cannabis Pilot

UK Crown Dependency the Isle of Man is due to launch its medical cannabis pilot project on December 1.

The service has been delayed twice due to ‘technical issues’ with the Department of Health and Social Care and the UK Home Office.

The BBC reports that ‘a pragmatic solution to importation ensuring that all parties adhere to UN drugs conventions’ had been found.

Medicinal cannabis is not currently available through the island’s NHS and there are no government GPs registered to prescribe it. The products will only be available on private prescription.

New Zealand Exports First Medical Cannabis to Europe

A New Zealand company is set to export the country’s first medical cannabis to Europe.

Medicinal cannabis grower Puro will provide Medical Kiwi with five tonnes of cannabis flower in the first year, with the volume increasing in subsequent years.

In April, Marlborough-based Puro received a $13m government grant to bolster New Zealand’s organic medicinal cannabis industry.

“There’s huge demand globally for high-quality pharmaceutical cannabis and our partnership with Medical Kiwi will help put New Zealand-grown medical cannabis on the world map,” said Puro executive chair Tim Aldridge.

Following a fall in its footprint this year the Polish hemp industry is expected to increase in size over the coming years, reports Hemp Today.

Around 1,800 hectares (4,450 acres) were planted in 2022, down from 2,200 hectares in 2021.

Maciej Kowalski, CEO of Polish hemp company Kombinat Konopny said the growth will be driven by grain and fibre production, adding the ‘rush towards flower biomass production (for CBD) had proved short-lived’.

Researchers at Texas start-up Bemp Research Corp have developed a lithium-sulphur battery using hemp.

They say the battery is more cost-effective, has a higher performance and is more recyclable than lithium-ion batteries.

“Hemp is a better, lower-cost solution. Hemp’s durability can help the cathode withstand hundreds of cycles of contraction and expansion,” Son Nguyen, founder of Bemp Research, told EnergyTech. 

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