The ‘Bis weekly news update – June 23 to June 29, 2018

It’s been another eventful week in cannabis, both in Canada and abroad. Russia has issued a statement accusing Canada of breaking international law by legalization, Health Canada has released its regulations around cannabis, and the government is expected to allow outdoor growing, and more.

There are the best stories, that matter the most, here in Canada. This is The ‘Bis weekly news update for June 23 to June 29, 2018.

Russia issues statement condemning Canadian cannabis legalization

A representative of the Russian Government has issued a statement condemning legalization of cannabis in Canada.

In a statement released by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the International Organizations in Vienna, Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov, says that the freshly minted Cannabis Act violates several United Nation’s treaty obligations.

“The intention of the Canadian authorities to legalize drugs is all the more defiant bearing in mind that this country is currently a member of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs,” the statement reads. “A CND Member State, which by virtue of this status should safeguard the strict adherence to the conventions, is in fact destroying them from inside.”

Specifically, the statement points to Canada’s 2016 reaffirmation at the UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem to uphold the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

“Canada still has sufficient period of time to reconsider its current policy and to refrain from a gross violation of international law, which may have very destructive implications. We hope that a responsible approach will finally prevail in Ottawa.”

More so, Russia has accused Canada of ignoring the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

“It is regrettable that the INCB warnings were totally ignored in Canada. The process of cannabis legalization in Canada is proceeding at full speed.”

For their part the INCB issued a similar statement expressing their “deep concerns about the legalization of cannabis for non-medical use in Canada,” days earlier.

The government of Canada has not responded as of publication.

In Vancouver, businesses will need a ‘Cannabis Store’ designation to deal

If businesses in Vancouver want to sell cannabis they will have to obtain a new zoning designation said City Council on June 27.

Private storefronts will be required to be licensed as ‘Cannabis Stores’ in the city. The process of obtaining this is a multistep process, that has them meeting a variety of requirements laid out by council.

All are required to obtain a normal municipal development permit and business licence, as well as a provincial cannabis retail outlet business licence. All products will also need to be acquired through a federally licensed producer and the provincial distribution system.

Cannabis Stores also have to be at least 300 metres from schools, community centers, neighbourhood houses, youth facilities, and other cannabis retail stores.

Ottawa isn’t putting a cap on the potency of many cannabis products

Health Canada has released a set of regulation that reveal the limits they plan to place on recreational cannabis products.

The recently released regulations place few restrictions on the amount of THC allowed in products. The regulations say the THC limit for cannabis oil will be 30 milligrams per millilitre of oil.

No specific limit on the THC levels in dried cannabis bud or flower. Though prerolled joints will not be sold any higher than one gram each. Health Canada refers to these as something “intended to be consumed by means of inhalation.”

All cannabis or THC product administered through the eye have been banned outright.

During the same press conference, the government also clarified that they are confident that there will be enough cannabis available for the October 17 deadline to meet demand, though they did not clarify how much they expected it to be.

There will likely be certain types of outdoor growing allowed in Canada

Details are spare at this point but the government of Canada is expected to allow for some growing outdoors.

The government is expected to make the announcement within the week, according to the Globe and Mail.

The previous rules for medical cannabis required all plants to be kept inside, under strict controls. However, the government has made indications that it will be allowing large-scale cannabis cultivation to take place outdoors.

The coming rules may also allow for “micro-processors” to open and operate small, secure cultivation.

Canadian cannabis is ‘showing the way,’ says UK official

And finally, a quick piece of international news.

A member of the United Kingdom’s Insitute of Economic Affairs had some high praise for Canada and its move towards legalization, according to a report by the BBC.

“Canada and the USA are showing the way,” said Chris Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the IEA.

“Done properly, the legalization of cannabis is a win-win-win: criminals lose a lucrative industry, consumers get a better, safer and cheaper product, and the burden on the general taxpayer is reduced.”

These statements come as the UK is seeing support for cannabis legalization emerge. The same report says that legalizing cannabis would raise £1bn a year in tax for the UK according to a recent think tank study.

This report was issued as a review of cannabis laws requested by former Conservative leader Lord Hague. He suggested the government consider legalizing recreational cannabis.

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