Weekly News in Cannabis – April 11th

by | Apr 12, 2019

German Government Grants Three Canadian Companies the Right to Grow Medicinal Marijuana

Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) recently awarded the Canadian companies Aphria, Aurora Cannabis, and Wayland Group four-year contracts to grow marijuana in the EU nation. Analysts believe these new deals will help Germany’s healthcare system keep up with the increasing demand for medicinal cannabis.

Of the 13 lots on offer, both Aphria and Wayland Group will each be allowed to cultivate in five lots. The remaining three lots will go to Aurora Cannabis.

Once these contracts are signed, each company must complete their first growing cycle within 18 months. After harvesting this first crop, the four-year deal will begin.

If all goes according to plan, these companies should be able to produce about 5,700 pounds of cannabis annually. During these four years, Germany will continue to import cannabis from other countries.

The roughly 40,000 Germans who are now medical marijuana patients consume about 6,200 pounds of cannabis per year.

Mnuchin Urges Congress to Help Marijuana Businesses Gain Banking Access

In a recent hearing at the US House of Representatives, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said there’s nothing his department could do to help cannabis companies gain access to banks in legal states. The only solution, according to Mnuchin, is for lawmakers to work on passing a bill that specifically addresses this issue.

Since marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug federally; banks are wary about the legal implications of dealing with the cannabis industry. Because of this legal status, cannabis businesses in states where marijuana is legal must pay their taxes in physical dollars.

In his hearing, the Treasury Secretary mentioned that the IRS now has rooms set aside just to count cash from cannabis companies. Mnuchin admitted that this current situation is not only inconvenient but also a huge safety issue.

The root of this problem, Mnuchin noted, is that there’s a disconnect between how federal and state law views marijuana. The solution, therefore, must come from lawmakers, not regulators.

Switching to Industrial Hemp Could Help in Reducing Petrochemical Dependency

Environmentalists believe hemp could be the solution to our increasing dependency on petrochemicals. Not only could hemp be used as a potential source of fuel, but it also shows great promise for manufacturing various plastics, textiles, and even beauty products.

By switching from petrol to hemp-based production, experts believe we could reduce the amount of plastic waste in the world’s oceans by about 8 million metric tons. Hemp also can soak up toxins in the soil, which could help create more viable farmland.

Unfortunately, since US hemp cultivation was only legalized in 2018, farmers don’t have the same growing technologies and gene banks as they do for other plants. Hemp experts also say more manufacturers need to supply farmers with the demand necessary to incentivize mass industrial hemp cultivation.

One of the best ways to transition from petrochemicals to hemp, environmentalists argue, is to create clear regulations for hemp production. They also urge lawmakers to fund more research programs to better understand how to best grow and use industrial hemp.

Canada Allows Robinsons to Cultivate Cannabis in Nova Scotia

Health Canada recently granted the company Robinsons Cannabis Inc. the right to cultivate cannabis in its new Nova Scotia facility. Company leaders say this new license will help them produce some of the best cannabis products on the Canadian market.

Measuring almost 28,000 sq. feet, this new Robinsons facility is located in the city of Kentville. If all goes according to plan, company executives believe they could begin releasing cannabis from this facility near the end of 2019.

Since Robinsons is primarily interested in cultivating potent, high-quality cannabis strains, they will only release about 2,400 pounds of cannabis per year. Robinsons is most interested in establishing itself as a global leader in the luxury cannabis category.

Robinsons is a subsidiary of Toronto-based Auxly Cannabis Group.