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Malta officially legalises cannabis in historic first for Europe

Malta has officially passed a bill to legalise the adult use of cannabis.

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Malta officially legalises cannabis in historic first for Europe

In an historic first for Europe, Malta has voted in a bill legalising adult use of cannabis.

After lengthy public consultation and three readings in parliament, Malta’s government has passed its reform bill, “Authority on the Responsible Use of Cannabis”, with a majority of 36 votes to 27. The development makes Malta the first European country to pass a legal regulatory framework for the adult use of cannabis.

Prior to this vote, possession of up to 3g of cannabis for personal use was decriminalised. Under the new law, citizens will be able to possess up to 7g of cannabis for personal use, cultivate up to four cannabis plants in the home and regulated cannabis clubs would be introduced where people could purchase the plant. It would also see the introduction of a regulatory body – the Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis.

Penalties would still be implemented under the new bill, however, including fines for possession of more than 7g, court hearings for possession in excess of 28g, fines of up to €235 for public consumption of the plant and fines of €300 to €500 for consuming it in front of a minor.

Days before the final vote on the bill, a group of signatories, including the Nationalist Party, petitioned the Government of Malta to amend the bill as they believe it will harm society. The petitions committee chairman Joe Mizzi said the bill, which so far has over 9000 signatures, would not be discussed before today’s vote as it must be open for 60 days. 

In a social media post, hours before the vote, former leader of the Nationalist Party and former Prime Minister of Malta from 2004 to 2013, Lawrence Gonzi, said that he hoped the bill was not being passed to serve the interests of a select few. He proceeded to encourage those who signed the petition to attempt to remove the bill “as soon as possible”.

He stated: “I wholeheartedly agree with the position of the PN and the organizations that spoke out against the Cannabis law that will be submitted to Parliament for approval today. 

“I cannot understand how this Government has decided to set aside the advice of all the experts who have spoken out against this law. Nor can I understand how a supposedly socialist government that claims to seek the common good, abandons all this and takes this great risk that will surely have a very bad effect on our society as a whole and especially on our children. 

“I hope that all this is not being done to once again serve the interests of the few who are mindful of money instead of the interests of our children. If so, then even if you pass this law, someone has to think about getting rid of it as soon as possible by all legitimate methods.”

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Colombian-grown cannabis flower reaches Switzerland

The shipment follows updates to Colombia’s cannabis export policy.

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Colombian-grown cannabis flower reaches Switzerland
Home » News » International » Malta officially legalises cannabis in historic first for Europe

Allied Corp has shipped 1728kgs of Colombian-grown commercial cannabis flower to Switzerland. 

The shipment has been made as a part of the previously announced export approval of 7100kgs of Colombia-grown cannabis. This shipment of 1728kgs to Switzerland will be followed by 1500kgs weekly until the 7100kg threshold is met.

After the enactment of Colombia’s new legislation allowing for the legal export of dried cannabis produced in Colombia in April 2022, Allied submitted several applications for export. 

Read more: Colombia votes in pro-cannabis president Gustavo Petro

After receiving approval for export, Allied’s first export was shipped in June 2022 and the second shipment was in July 2022. This latest recurring shipment in August 2022 is now turning into a weekly cycle of 1500kgs.

This makes Allied Corp the first company to ship commercial cannabis flower from Colombia to an international market.

CEO and Chairman of the Allied Corp board, Calum Hughes, commented: “We are the first company ever to ship a Colombian commercial shipment of dried cannabis to an international market – now we are not only duplicating our shipments but are doing so at a commercial scale.

“This is the largest known legal shipment that we know of out of Colombia. This accomplishment speaks to the quality of our team, and most importantly our product.”

Allied has said that it has multiple strains in the production pipeline including over 15,000 THC plants created for multiple batches to fulfil its 2022 quota.

Hughes added: “From decades of production expertise, manufacturing and supply chain quality assurance, regulatory expertise and logistics coordination – the team has performed.

“The three years of genotyping and phenotyping followed by the regulatory knowledge needed to execute the export have proven successful.

“We can now boldly claim that we are not only the first to pull it off, but we have been able to duplicate the orders at commercial scale; the largest that we know of.

“We have now done it for three months in a row and are tightening this cycle to now ship 1500kgs every week.”

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Whitehouse remarks on “wrongful detainment” of Griner for Russian cannabis charges

The basketball star has been sentenced to nine years for allegedly smuggling cannabis medicines into Russia.

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Whitehouse remarks on “wrongful detainment” of Griner for Russian cannabis charges
Home » News » International » Malta officially legalises cannabis in historic first for Europe

American basketball player, Brittney Griner, aged 31, has been sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia after she was caught in possession of cannabis.

As well as a nine-year sentence for possession of vape cartridges containing cannabis, the WNBA star and two-time US Olympic champion has also been ordered to pay a fine of ₽1m (~£13,745).

Some reports have suggested that the development could see the US and Russia negotiating over a prisoner exchange.

Read more: Billy Hood CBD appeal reduces sentence to ten years

President Joe Biden’s office released a statement on the sentencing of what it describes as the “wrongfully detained” Griner, who has been detained since February,

Biden stated: “Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. 

“It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.

“My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, said the star was being used as a “political pawn”.

In a press briefing by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC co-ordinator for strategic communications John Kirby, Jean-Pierre stated: “We have repeatedly called for Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.

“Under President Biden’s direction, the US government continues to work aggressively, pursuing every avenue to bring home Brittney, Paul Whelan, and every American held hostage and wrongfully detained around the world.

“As you all know, we have made a substantial offer to bring her and Paul Whelan home.  We urge Russia to accept that proposal.

“I’m not able to share more publicly at this time, but we are willing to take every step necessary to bring home our people, as we demonstrated with Trevor Reed. And that’s what we’re going to do here. I can assure you this is something the President and our national security team are focused on every single day.”

Griner has 10 days to appeal the verdict.

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Flora Growth partners with Colombia’s largest indigenous tribe in joint cannabis venture

“We are honoured to be given the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the Misak people,” said Luis Merchan, Flora’s Chairman and CEO.

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Flora Growth Colombia

Flora Growth has entered an agreement with one of Colombia’s main indigenous tribes to process and distribute cannabis products.

Flora Growth has entered into a joint venture agreement with Pharma Indigena Misak Manasr Sas, the largest indigenous tribe in Colombia, on the development of cultivation best practices, manufacturing, export and marketing of cannabis and cannabis-containing products.

Under the agreement, the outdoor cultivator, manufacturer and distributor will provide Manasr regulatory advice, technical and business support related to product development and distribution, promotion of products to be marketed under the Flora brand portfolio, and cannabis derivatives to complete product production.

Additionally, Manasr will work closely with Flora in developing cannabis pharmaceuticals and products and help advance the approvals and authorisations required for exports of cannabis from Colombia.

“We are honoured to be given the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the Misak people,” said Luis Merchan, Flora’s Chairman and CEO.

“Through this partnership, we will collaborate with the tribe on the processing and distribution of their Colombian-grown cannabis while offering Manasr a powerful platform for product distribution. In return, Flora will be able to leverage the tribe’s unique regulatory positioning to expedite exports and increase global market penetration of Colombian cannabis goods.

“We look forward to a long-standing relationship with such a powerful community partner.”

The initial term of the agreement is three years, however, the intention is to create a “lasting and mutually beneficial relationship for the foreseeable future”, the company said.

This announcement comes two weeks after Flora Growth’s CEO Luis Merchan met with Colombian Senator Gustavo Bolivar, the author of a new bill to legalise recreational cannabis.

Bolivar, the key author of the bill, and Merchan discussed the top tenants of the bill, the bill’s implications for companies such as Flora in Colombia and what legalisation means for the country’s burgeoning domestic and international cannabis markets.

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