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Recreational cannabis legal in Germany from April 1*

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« The regulations provide for authorizing the purchase of cannabis in limited quantities of 25 grams per day maximum through non-profit associations. It will also be possible to grow up to three plants for your own use. »*

health Minister

Buying cannabis or growing it at home for pleasure will be legal from April 1 in Germany. The German Parliament definitively voted on Friday, after intense debates, one of the most liberal laws in Europe, reports RTS.*

This flagship law for the government of Social Democratic Chancellor (SPD) Olaf Scholz was adopted by 407 votes to 226, after having been the subject of numerous criticisms and a heated debate in the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament.*

The regulations provide for authorizing the purchase of cannabis in limited quantities of a maximum of 25 grams per day through non-profit associations. It will also be possible to grow up to three plants for your own use. However, the possession and consumption of this drug will remain strictly prohibited for young people under the age of 18.*

With this new law, Germany follows in the footsteps of Malta and Luxembourg, which legalized recreational cannabis in 2021 and 2023 respectively.*

Subject to debate*

The project was the subject of dissension within the tripartite government: resistance appeared among the social democrats, while the Greens and the liberals of the FDP, their partners in the government, were rather favorable.*

This reform has also given rise to numerous criticisms, particularly from medical associations and the judiciary. The current law provides for a fine and, in the most serious cases, up to prison sentences, for possession of cannabis.*

Population not entirely supportive*

The Germans seem rather divided on the question: according to a poll published Friday, 47% of those questioned are in favor of legalization and 42% are unfavorable.*

For the government, the reform must make it possible to fight more effectively against the black market, a point contested by the conservative opposition, the police unions and certain SPD deputies.*

Consumption remains prohibited near minors, schools, nurseries and sports facilities. The cultivation and distribution of cannabis will only be possible from July 1 via associations called “Cannabis Clubs”.*

These clubs will be able to sell a maximum of 25 grams per day and no more than 50 grams per month to their members, 500 people at most. Only adults can become members. Between 18 and 21 years old, they will only be able to obtain 30 grams per month of cannabis with a level of active ingredient THC limited to 10%.*

These clubs will also be responsible for distributing cannabis seeds and cuttings to their members for home cultivation, up to a maximum of seven seeds or five cuttings.*

Awareness campaign*

Recognizing that overconsumption of cannabis could be “dangerous” for young people, whose brains develop up to the age of 25, the Minister of Health announced that an awareness campaign would be put in place.*

Secondly, the sale should be legalized in specialized stores under a new law which will allow this process to first be tested in certain regions, not yet designated, for five years.*

* original article

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Cann-L, the pilot test for the regulated sale of recreational cannabis, begins soon in Lausanne*

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« We will not be able to compete with the low prices obtained by large consumers. But according to testimonies, it seems that customers are ready to pay a premium for a quality product, without synthetic cannabinoids. »*

Frank Zobel, deputy director of Swiss Addiction

The Lausanne pilot trial for the regulated sale of recreational cannabis is in turn entering a concrete phase. A point of sale will open by the end of the year in the city center. Some 200 people have already registered to participate in the project called Cann-L, reports RTS.*

“With the opening of registrations and that of the place of sale towards the end of the year, it is a major project of the legislative program of the Municipality which is coming to fruition today”, rejoiced Émilie Moeschler, municipal in charge of sports and social cohesion.*

After multiple stages which began in 2015, all the pieces of the pilot test are now in place, including the last one, the place of sale. “We wanted to find a location in the city center: it will be at rue du Maupas 7, an easily accessible site,” she explained. The store will now be fitted out and the sales team completed by the end of the year.*

The point of sale will sell products from a Geneva farm, in the form of herb (marijuana) and resin (hashish). They can be purchased within the limited quantities set by federal legislation and with a maximum THC level of 20%. They are intended exclusively for personal consumption and in the private sphere.*

Expected traffic jams*

If nearly 2,500 people have expressed their interest on the project website, 1,800 of them are potentially eligible: 200 have been contacted since September 21 and have already made an appointment for a first mandatory interview, announced Frank Zobel, deputy director of Swiss Addiction, who leads the scientific aspect of the project. Some 1,600 emails were also sent on Tuesday for further registrations.*

“Traffic jams” are expected, due to the time required for interviews and the relatively limited stock of cannabis currently available, he warned. “We are going to integrate interested people little by little, with the target of a panel of 1,200 people. Next year, two or three production sites will provide goods instead of one currently,” he said.*

Questionnaire twice a year*

Inspired by Quebec, the Lausanne project aims to monitor the evolution of the black market, but also to evaluate the effects of non-profit sales on consumer behavior, recalled the manager. To this end, participants will have to answer a questionnaire every six months.*

The 45-minute preliminary interview will remind you of the framework of the project and confirm eligibility (being of legal age, residing in Lausanne and already a cannabis user). A personal card will allow you to purchase cannabis. It will also be used to prove possession of the product in the event of a police check.*

Lots of unknowns*

According to Frank Zobel, “the cannabis market is the most disorganized of all.” So there are a lot of unknowns about the impact of the trial – quantity sold, number of participants, etc.*

The association hopes to be able to remain close to black market prices, between 9 francs and 13 francs per gram. “We will not be able to compete with the low prices obtained by large consumers. But according to testimonies, it seems that customers are ready to pay a premium for a quality product, without synthetic cannabinoids,” noted the manager.*

Reduce nuisance*

In Switzerland, 4% of adults consume cannabis. In Lausanne, their number is estimated at around 6,500, including 1,500 daily for a turnover of around nine million, recalled Pierre-Antoine Hilbrand, municipal officer in charge of security. For the elected official, Cann-L “must make it possible to reduce the illegal market and the nuisance it causes”.*

The project, costing 1.7 million francs, is planned to last four and a half years. The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) gave the green light last March.*

In 2023, the cities of Basel and Zurich have already launched the controlled sale of cannabis in pharmacies. The canton of Geneva announced last week that its Cannabinothèque would open its doors in Vernier next December. All of these projects will provide food for thought on the evolution of federal legislation in the field of cannabis.*

* original article

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Government wants to regulate the planting of Cannabis for medicinal purposes in Brazil*

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« The Lula government intends to regulate the planting of Cannabis for medicinal purposes in Brazil, replacing the importation of products. »*

national secretary of Policies on Drugs and Asset Management of the Ministry of Justice, Marta Machado

The secretary in charge of the area at the Ministry of Justice says that this will be one of the priorities at Conad, reports Folha de S.Paulo.*

The Lula government intends to regulate the planting of Cannabis for medicinal purposes in Brazil, replacing the importation of products, says the national secretary of Policies on Drugs and Asset Management of the Ministry of Justice, Marta Machado.*

Currently, planting is allowed only in case of obtaining a favorable court decision. In March, the ministry had already defended in a lawsuit that the Superior Court of Justice should authorize the planting in Brazil.*

In the demonstration, the cabinet says it considers convenient a wide and adequate regulation of the importation and cultivation of cannabis with a low concentration of THC (a component that generates psychoactive effects), for industrial, pharmaceutical, and medicinal purposes.*

Marta stated that allowing the planting will be one of Conad’s (National Council for Drug Policy) priorities. Members of the Ministry of Health, Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency), and the Federal Police are also part of the council.*

* original article

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Bill on Medical Cannabis Legalization Passes First Reading in Ukrainian Parliament*

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« This bill is not so much about medicine as about the industrial cultivation of cannabis and corruption schemes by the government regarding permits and the development of huge financial flows. »*

People’s deputy Iryna Herashchenko

Before the bill can become law, it must pass a second reading following any amendments and necessary finalization before being sent to the president for his signature, reports Kyiv Post.*

Ukraine’s parliament has given its initial approval to a bill aiming to legalize medical cannabis in the country. People’s deputies Iryna Herashchenko and Yaroslav Zheleznyak confirmed the successful vote, with 268 deputies supporting the legislation. *

“The long-awaited bill on medical cannabis has passed the first reading. But this bill is not so much about medicine as about the industrial cultivation of cannabis and corruption schemes by the government regarding permits and the development of huge financial flows,” Iryna Herashchenko wrote.*

However, before the bill can become law, it must pass a second reading following any necessary finalization and subsequently be sent to the president for his signature.*

President Volodymyr Zelensky has already expressed his support for the bill, urging parliamentarians to vote in favor of it at the end of June.*

The draft law put forward by the Ministry of Health outlines several key provisions. First and foremost, it proposes establishing a licensing system for the cultivation of cannabis strains intended for medical purposes.*

Entities seeking to engage in the cultivation of cannabis for medical, industrial, or scientific and technical activities will be required to obtain the appropriate permit.*

Furthermore, the bill advocates to strict monitoring of the production and distribution of medical cannabis and related products. Each batch of medication will be labelled with a unique barcode, ensuring comprehensive tracking throughout the supply chain.*

Additionally, the proposal calls for the implementing of an electronic register to record the movement of medical cannabis. Patients will only be able to access cannabis-based medications with a valid prescription from a qualified medical professional based on a relevant medical diagnosis.*

* original article

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German government gives green light to legalizing recreational cannabis*

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« For minors, consumption remains prohibited and for young adults (up to 21 years old), it is limited. »

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach

Germany took a further step towards the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes on Wednesday with the adoption by the Council of Ministers of the bill, which will be accompanied by a prevention campaign aimed at young people, reports RTS.*

According to the text, which has yet to be debated and voted on by parliament, it will be possible from the age of 18 to buy and possess up to 25 grams of cannabis. Germany will thus have one of the most liberal legislations in Europe, following in the footsteps of Malta and Luxembourg, which legalized recreational cannabis in 2021 and 2023 respectively.*

The coalition of the social democrat of Olaf Scholz with the Greens and the Liberals made this legalization one of the flagship projects of his mandate even if the initial plan went much further. Faced with the reservations of the European Union, Berlin had to review its copy. *

The reform also arouses criticism from the opposition, police unions or judges who believe that it will not put an end to trafficking, when it is one of the objectives.*

According to this bill, it will also be possible to cultivate up to three cannabis plants for one’s own use.*

Cannabis clubs*

The new legislation provides for the creation of non-profit associations whose adult members – their number is limited to 500 – will be able to cultivate the plant for their own consumption, under the supervision of the public authorities.*

These “Cannabis Social Clubs” – as they call themselves – will have a regulated activity: they will only be able to supply their members and at the rate of 25 grams per day with a maximum of 50 grams per month. For young people aged 18-21, it will be a little less: 30 grams per month. These clubs will be subject to controls by the public authorities.*

The consumption of cannabis must be outside these clubs and will be prohibited within 200 meters of these clubs, schools, playgrounds, sports fields and associations for young people.*

Youth awareness*

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach also plans to launch a major awareness campaign aimed at young people on the dangers of cannabis for the brain “particularly harmful when it is still in a period of growth”.*

“For minors, consumption remains prohibited and for young adults (up to 21 years old), it is limited,” he said in a statement.*

* original article

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Health Ministry: From December, doctors can prescribe marijuana*

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« Up until now, those eligible for medical marijuana had to get a special license. »

Israeli health ministry

Approval of the plan would be the first step to legalising possession of limited amounts of the drug and allow ‘cannabis club’ members to buy it for recreational purposes, reports The Times of Israel.*

The Health Ministry says that from December, doctors will be able to prescribe marijuana to patients.*

The ministry publishes its reforms into the medical marijuana system, saying that it will review the system again after a year.*

The reform is intended to make it easier for patients to access the drug and remove bureaucratic hurdles. Up until now, those eligible for medical marijuana had to get a special license.*

The reform also removes CBD products that do not have psychoactive properties, from drug restrictions.*

* original article

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German Cabinet set to approve plans to liberalise cannabis rules*

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« …adults allowed to possess up to 25 grams of the drug and grow a maximum of three plants for personal use. »

german government

Approval of the plan would be the first step to legalising possession of limited amounts of the drug and allow ‘cannabis club’ members to buy it for recreational purposes, reports Euronews.*

Germany is set to approve a plan to liberalise the country’s rules on cannabis, which could see adults allowed to possess up to 25 grams of the drug and grow a maximum of three plants for personal use.*

Cabinet approval, expected on Wednesday, has been billed as the first step in a two-part plan and will still need to be ratified by Parliament.*

If finalised, it would also allow the drug to be cultivated and sold by “cannabis clubs” to its members for recreational purposes.*

The proposed plan is a stride forward for a prominent reform project of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s socially liberal coalition, though significantly short of the government’s original ambitions.*

Officials hope legalisation will help push back the black market, protect consumers against contaminated products, and reduce drug-related crime.*

But the plan faces opposition from several quarters.*

The centre-right opposition believes the government is pressing ahead with legalising a risky drug despite European legal obstacles and expert opinion.*

And an organisation representing German judges says the proposed law is likely to increase rather than decrease the burden on the judicial system.*

The government said it plans to follow the new legislation with a second step which would see five-year tests of regulated commercial supply chains in select regions.*

* original article

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The marketing of cannabis in the canton of Bern should start in the fall*

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« The pilot trial and the follow-up study aim to assess the health and social effects of selling cannabis in pharmacies. »

Reto Auer, project manager at the University of Bern

The Bernese pilot trial for the regulated sale of cannabis in pharmacies will be able to start. The Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP), the Cantonal Ethics Commission and the Ethics Commission of North-West and Central Switzerland have issued the necessary authorisations, reports the RTS.*

The pilot trial and the follow-up study aim to assess the health and social effects of selling cannabis in “strictly regulated and non-profit” pharmacies, recalls Reto Auer, project manager at the University of Bern, quoted Wednesday in a press release from the university.*

The study will be conducted in the cities of Bern, Biel and Lucerne. It should start “probably in the fall”. It is planned to recruit 1091 participants, including about 600 in the federal city, specifies the latter.*

People who regularly use cannabis for recreational purposes and who are at least 18 years old can participate in the study.*

Similar studies have already been authorized in Basel, Zurich, Lausanne and Geneva.*

* original article

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Endocannabinoid Signaling Regulates Sleep Stability*

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Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids for Impaired Sleep: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials*

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