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Google Warms To CBD, Kardashian’s German Ambitions, UN Softens Drugs Stance, Prohibitionists Pout, London Firm Looks To List in ‘Oz’

GOOGLE has made limited changes to its advertising policies to allow CBD topicals to be promoted on its platforms in three jurisdictions – California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico.

It also said it would allow for the promotion of FDA-approved pharmaceuticals containing CBD, which at this moment in time, would apply to only one product – Epidiolex made by Jazz Pharmaceuticals.

No reason has been given for the change of tack, but it does indicate a softening in its absolutist position and echoes Amazon’s move in 2020 when it launched an on-going CBD trial in the UK.

The rules will come into effect on January 20 with the company saying hemp-derived CBD products must have a THC content of 0.3% or less.

The certification process will be undertaken by its partner US compliance firm Legal Script and those wishing to ensure THC compliance must also provide a third-party Certificate of Analysis.

UN Changes Drugs’ Stance

At the end of last year the UN General Assembly made history by adopting a resolution on drugs that did not include a long-standing reference to ‘actively promoting a society free of drug abuse’. 

For at least 30 years prior to this it had constantly parroted the drug policy mantra that it was striving for a goal of ‘achieving a society free of drugs’ (or ‘drug abuse’).

The move also marked the end of a consensual approach to such declarations with the Russian delegation leading opposition, which led to a vote being carried by 124 to nine, with 45 abstentions.

Reporting on the moves The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) said: “By emphasising human rights concepts and doing away with tired and ultimately harmful ideological objectives such as ‘a society free of drug abuse’, the resolution goes a long way towards refocusing international cooperation away from reducing illegal cultivation, production and drug trafficking and towards reducing the negative consequences of the global drug situation on individuals and communities.”

This emphasis on human rights was a key driver of change in Europe’s approach towards drugs when the Council of the European Union (EU) agreed an updated policy paper entitled ‘Council conclusions on human rights-based approach in drug policies’, last month.

As reported earlier in BusinessCann many see this a potential gateway to cannabis reform over the coming years.

German Cannabis Opposition

However, the anti-drug forces continue to bang the prohibition drum. In Lithuania its President Gitanas Nausėda says he opposes the idea to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of cannabis in the country. 

“I’m opposed to that idea at present because I think we have been failing thus far in our fight against the spread of drugs in schools and among young people who are the future of our state,” he told LRT RADIO.

However, members of the ruling liberal Freedom Party are backing a bill supporting the decriminalisation of the possession of small amounts of cannabis, which was debated in the parliament – Seimas – late last year.

In Germany the 200-year old German Customs and Finance Union has voiced its opposition to its Government’s plans to legalize cannabis in Germany.

Its Chairman Dieter Dewes cast doubt on the legality of the plan saying: “A national solo attempt to legalize a product that continues to be prohibited under Union law would be completely contrary to the system, if only with a view to the cross-border movement of goods in the internal market.” 

He referred to current international regulations, such as the Schengen Implementation Agreement which allows for the free movement of goods and people in the EU member states.

However, as BusinessCann has reported earlier many experts say there are pathways for German to follow which will allow it to fulfil its election promises without transgressing its international and European obligations.

Germany’s Attractive Proposition

Germany continues to be a key destination for the global cannabis industry with listed Australian medicinal cannabis cultivator and manufacturer, ECS Botanics Holdings entering into a into a three-year agreement with German company Ilios Santé for the supply of products, which it says will generate a minimum of $9.9m in revenue over the next three years.

ECS’s Head of European Operations, Michael Clark said: “Securing an agreement with a long term partner in Germany was an essential building block of ECS`s EU market access strategy.”

Bloomwell Group subsidiary Ilios Sante is based in Frankfurt, is a fully licensed wholesale with the authorisations and permissions to import and distribute narcotics and other pharmaceutical products. Under the agreement ECS will exclusively supply four medicinal cannabis strains to Ilios Santé.

After delaying plans for an Australian listing this time last year London-based CBD firm Dragonfly is calling on prospective investors to register their interest as it talks up the strength of the Australian market. 

According to Australian newspaper Cannabiz, the company’s newly-released marketing material cites Prohibition Partners figures to tell potential investors: “Having been worth over A$50 million in 2020 and about $200 million this year, Australia’s medicinal cannabis industry is predicted to be worth $1.6 billion by 2026.’’

In late 2021, Dragonfly said it was seeking to raise A$10 million via a float, with its prospectus for an ASX-listing valuing the company at $95m.

However, In February, 2022, it told potential investors the IPO had been deferred ‘at the request of key parties essential to a successful float’.

US CBD and cannabis manufacturer Ambari Brands – which is backed by Kim Kardashian- has been listed in one of Europe’s largest retailers El Corte Ingles, as well as expanding its on-line European presence. 

It also says it will be focusing on Germany for brick and mortar retail locations in anticipation of cannabis legalisation in 2023.


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