August 2018

¬NDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS What's HAPPEN¬NG National & ¬nternational News Developments ( ) dozen governments already have embraced medical usage. Canopy CEO Bruce Linton said the vote is part of a global movement. “It’s a continued progression toward the reality that prohibition is crumbling. This is a global thing,” he said. Portugal Passes Medical Cannabis Law Portugal’s lawmakers approved sweeping changes to how medical cannabis is regulated in the country, which will open new opportunities for international and domestic companies. The law spells out rules for medical cannabis cultivation, production, extraction and commercial manufacture, as well as wholesale, distribution to pharmacies, import and export, transit and sale of the products. Portugal already cultivates large quantities of medical cannabis, but the medicine has remained largely inac- cessible to domestic patients, which put the country in a precarious situation with various United Nations treaties. The National Authority of Medicines and Health Prod- ucts (Infarmed) will be responsible for regulating most aspects of medical marijuana, and all MMJ products will require a license from the government agency. MMJ will be available only from pharmacies with a medical practi- tioner’s prescription. Doctors will be allowed to prescribe medical cannabis for any condition when other treatments are not effective. FDA Approves CBD Medicine for Epilepsy The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a naturally derived CBD drug in a landmark decision that will trigger the health agency to seek rescheduling for the can- nabinoid from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The FDA signed off on the use of Epidiolex, a drug from Britain’s GW Pharmaceuticals, to treat two kinds of epilepsy. The decision caps decades of work by the company to gain approval in the United States for a medicine derived from the cannabis plant. The DEA has maintained the plant’s status as a con- trolled substance, issuing a rule in 2016 that included CBD as a Schedule 1 drug. The FDA is now expected to recom- mend that the DEA consider a new schedule for CBD. That recommendation, and a subsequent decision from the DEA, is required before Epidiolex could be legally prescribed. Canada Rec Sales to Begin in October After Historic Vote Canada lawmakers ended 95 years of cannabis prohibi- tion June 19, passing landmark legislation that lays the groundwork for a multibillion-dollar marijuana industry. The country becomes the first G-20 nation to legalize recrea- tional cannabis, a move that one analyst called a “founda- tional step for the world.” Royal assent of the legislation sets the stage for recrea- tional cannabis sales to begin across the country Oct. 17. Canadian multinational cannabis companies like Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis, Tilray and Cronos Group have been front and center in capitalizing on rapidly growing medical cannabis markets around the world; roughly three 18 • Marijuana Business Magazine • August 2018