29 November 2021 |

Legalization In South Australia

By Matthew O'Brien

Legalization In South Australia

Is an Australian state on track to legalize adult-use cannabis?

Australians love to consume cannabis.

A 2019 poll indicated that over 36% of Australians over the age of 14 had consumed cannabis in the last year.

Making progress…

Australia legalized cannabis for medical purposes in February 2016.

Less than 3 years later, the Australian Capital Territory home to 431,215 people took this one step further when they decriminalized cannabis.

Building on all this progress the Australian Green Party introduced the cannabis Legalisation Bill last week — a bill that would legalize cannabis in South Australia which is home to 1.77 million people. 

Protecting public health…

There’s no shortage of reasons why nations have begun to embrace cannabis, however, the proposal in question focuses on protecting public health.

The bill proposes the creation of the South Australian Cannabis Agency which would be responsible for managing regulations in addition to controlling all sales between producers and distributors.

“It is time for South Australian politicians to concede that a prohibition approach, that so-called war on drugs, has failed.” said the bill’s sponsor, Tammy Franks.

The fine print…

All adults over the age of 18 would be able to purchase, cultivate & consume cannabis with the means to cultivate up to 6 cannabis plants at home.

Unfortunately, adults won’t have permission to consume cannabis in public, however, unlike Canada — this bill proposes that cannabis retailers could allow customers to consume cannabis on-site.

The bill also proposes that people with certain minor crimes involving cannabis would have their criminal records cleared.

Commercial opportunities…

This proposal would create two separate licenses: one for producing cannabis and one for distribution.

A production license would allow cannabis companies to cultivate, process, package & research cannabis.

A distribution license would allow companies to sell cannabis products, plants, and seeds to the public via storefronts, however, a company cannot hold a production and distribution license at the same time.

Building brands…

The proposed regulations would make it very difficult for anyone to build a successful brand in the region.

The only entity that would have the means to promote products are those who hold a distribution license, however, this promotion would be limited to promoting cannabis retail stores without mentioning product prices.

Our Take

It remains unclear when this specific bill will be subject to scrutiny due to an upcoming election set to take place in March 2022.

What is clear, however, is that just like in America — Australian states such as South Australia are growing impatient with the lack of action from their federal government when it comes to legalizing cannabis.

Trolled By The Taliban?

Did the Taliban troll the West by announcing its legal cannabis plans…

Last week we broke down the news that the Taliban was making an entrance into the legal cannabis industry.

At the time a number of red flags were raised such as the sudden shift in policy from a group that opposed the use of drugs and the ability for a company with less than 50 employees to raise $450 million USD.

The reaction…

While the cannabis industry usually celebrates the news that new nations plan to permit cannabis, the news that the Taliban would be making moves into cannabis wasn’t met with the same celebration we are accustomed to.

As part of this reaction, many began to turn their attention to the company named as part of this announcement.

Mistaken identity…

While the Taliban may be seeking to cash in on cannabis, the Australian-based Cpharm has no plans of working with the Taliban.

The details didn’t add up and Cpharm has clarified they have no connection to the Taliban or even cannabis.

“We have become aware overnight of numerous media articles stating that Cpharm in Australia has been involved in a deal with the Taliban to be involved in the supply of cannabis in a cream. 

We provide a medical advice service to the pharmaceutical industry within Australia. We have no products on the ARTG. We have no connection with cannabis or the Taliban.” — Cpharm said in a press release.

Different location…

This begs the question — if a deal has not been struck with the Australian-based Cpharm, who exactly is the Cpharm named?

Per Qari Saeed Khosty, the Taliban spokesperson who broke this story, the Taliban is working with a German company by the same name.

Looking forward…

Afghanistan is one of the largest producers of cannabis in the world today, and just like every other nation — Afghanistan’s new government wants its economy to grow.

Despite the confusion regarding the company they are working with, it still appears that the new Afghanistan government is seeking to create a legal cannabis industry of some kind.

Our Take

Cannabis remains federally illegal for adult use purposes in all of Afghanistan’s top 5 trading partners.

If the Afghanistan government were to allow a limited number of companies to produce & process cannabis in Afghanistan it remains unclear which markets these companies could export these products too.

Holding Cannabis Labs To Higher Standards

California wants to increase the accuracy of cannabis products labels…

Cannabis consumers care about the THC percentages of the products they purchase, however, can consumers trust cannabis products labels?

This question has long been debated inside the cannabis industry, with many industry insiders highlighting that certain labs are more than willing to inflate products cannabinoid percentages to retain business.

Higher standards…

California regulators are introducing new regulations to hold the 41 cannabis labs in California to higher standards.

The Department of Cannabis Control has designated two state run labs to establish the standard operating procedures that will serve as the blueprint.

This change is the result of a new state law mandating the Department of Cannabis Control to validate testing and procedures so labs provide more transparency with their testing procedures.

State staff will also spot-check products to ensure the labels are accurate.

Inaccurate results…

This issue surfaced in Canada in 2020.

A class-action claim was filed against 15 Canadian cannabis producers, alleging that the THC and CBD levels in the products purchased didn’t match what was listed on the products’ labels.

The named companies sold cannabis products “with THC or CBD content levels that were drastically different from the amount advertised on the label.” said Per Lisa Marie Langevin who led the claim.

Consumer confidence…

Close to 60% of consumers view the cannabinoid content of a product as being an important factor that determines the quality of a cannabis product.

It’s essential to ensure customers can trust the accuracy of the results listed on the cannabis products they purchased. 

The Department of Cannabis Control has until January 2023 to establish a standardized cannabinoids test method in addition to operating procedures. 

Our Take

It’s great to see California making an effort to address this problem such that consumers can purchase products with the confidence that products labels accurately reflect the contents of the cannabis products they purchased.