Month: November 2018

South Korea Legalizes Medical Cannabis

South Korea has became the first country in East Asia to legalize medical cannabis.

The country’s National Assembly voted last week to approve amending the Act on the Management of Narcotic Drugs to pave the way for non-hallucinogenic dosages of medical cannabis prescriptions, reports the Marijuana Business Daily.

Under the new law, medical marijuana will still be tightly restricted. In order to receive medical cannabis, patients would be required to apply to the Korea Orphan Drug Center, a government body established to facilitate patient access to rare medicines in the country. Patients would also need to receive a prescription from a medical practitioner, and approval would be granted on a case-by-case basis.

As reported by MBD, South Korea’s cannabis law overcame a major obstacle in July when it won the support of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, which said at the time it would permit Epidiolex, Marinol, Cesamet and Sativex for conditions including epilepsy, symptoms of HIV/AIDS and cancer-related treatments. On November 23 the ministry said a series of amended laws passed in a National Assembly session will expand the treatment opportunities for patients with rare diseases.

“South Korea legalizing medical cannabis, even if it will be tightly controlled with limited product selection, represents a significant breakthrough for the global cannabis industry,” said Vijay Sappani, CEO of Toronto-based Ela Capital, a venture capital firm exploring emerging markets in the cannabis space.

“The importance of Korea being the first country in East Asia to allow medical cannabis at a federal level should not be understated. Now it’s a matter of when other Asian countries follow South Korea, not if.”

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New Jersey Committees Pass Legislation to Legalize Marijuana

New Jersey’s Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees approved legislation today that would make marijuana legal for everyone at least 21 years old.

By a vote of seven to two, with four members abstaining, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 2703 today, which is sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari. Also today, the Assembly Appropriations Committee approved Assembly Bill 4497, sponsored by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, by a vote of six to one, with two members abstaining. The measures will now go to the full chambers for a vote; passage in both chambers would send the legisaltion to Governor Murphy, who made legalization one of his top platforms during his successful election campaign last year.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, the legislation:

  • allows adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana (one ounce), marijuana-infused products (16 ounces in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form), and marijuana extracts (seven grams), although, unlike most other states to have adopted legalization, the cultivation of any amount of cannabis by adults in their own homes would remain a crime;
  • sets a tax rate of 12 percent of the retail price (including the sales tax), plus an optional local tax of up to 2 percent;
  • provides for five types of regulated marijuana businesses: growers, product manufacturers, wholesalers, testing facilities, and retailers, who can deliver marijuana and some of which may include consumption areas;
  • allows local jurisdictions extensive control over the number and types of businesses in their borders, including the ability to impose local licensing requirements; and
  • establishes a five-member appointed Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which would serve as the regulatory agency overseeing both the new adult-use and the existing medical cannabis programs.

“New Jersey is one step closer to replacing marijuana prohibition with sensible regulation”, says Kate M. Bell, general counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Arresting adult cannabis consumers is a massive waste of law enforcement officials’ time and resources, and it does nothing to improve public health or safety. Prohibition forces marijuana sales into the underground market, where it is impossible to control them.”

Bell continues; “Under the proposed regulated system, businesses will be governed by strict rules, and authorities will be empowered to make sure those rules are being followed.”

If New Jersey lawmakers do legalize marijuana, their state would become the 11th to do so.

The post New Jersey Committees Pass Legislation to Legalize Marijuana appeared first on TheJointBlog.

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Oregon Made Over $8 Million in Taxes From Legal Marijuana Sales in September

In September those in Oregon purchased enough marijuana legally for the state to earn over $8 million in tax revenue.

More precisely, Oregon made $8,054,422 in marijuana taxes in September, according to new data released by the Oregon Department of Revenue. Although this is lower than the record setting $10.1 million made in August, it represents a an 8% increase from the $7.4 million garnered in September, 2017.

Of the $8 million in marijuana taxes made in September, roughly $6.9 million came from the statewide marijuana tax (17%), with the remaining $1.1 million coming from local taxes (up to 3% per locality).

This new data brings the state’s marijuana tax total for FY 2019 (which began on July 1 and goes to June 30, 2019) to $22,268,666, putting the yearlong total on track to reach $90 million, which would surpass the $82 million made in FY 2018.

For a full breakdown of the marijuana tax revenue Oregon has made since the start of legal sales in 2016, click here.

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