We look back at the developments over the last two weeks to bring you some of the headlines you might have missed.
The top lines: Ukraine’s bill to legalise medicinal cannabis has cleared another legislative hurdle, while Israeli health officials take steps to ensure patients can continue to access the medication.
Meanwhile, in the UK the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published surprising new guidelines for the recommended daily dose of CBD and Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly is preparing to present its recommendations for drug policy reform.
Catch up on the headlines below.
Ukraine: bid to legalise medical cannabis clears another hurdle
A bill to legalise medical cannabis in Ukraine has advanced to the next stage of the legislative process this week.
Following its initial reading, in July Ukrainian politicians voted to adopt the bill which will see the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use.
On Tuesday 10 October, the proposed legislation was finalised and approved by the National Health, Medical Care and Health Insurance Committee, meaning it will now proceed to a second reading in the Verkhovna Rada [parliament].
According to a press statement from the Ministry of Health, more than 800 amendments were made before the committee agreed to advance the bill to the next – and final – stages.
Israel: health officials extend medical cannabis licences amid Gaza conflict
Following the events in Gaza over the last week, the Israeli Ministry of Health has confirmed an extension to patients’ medical cannabis prescription licences amid fears over supplies of medication.
On Saturday 7 October the Palestinian militant group Hamas, launched a large-scale offensive against Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Following the news, local media outlet, Israeli Cannabis Magazine, reported that many cannabis patients were concerned about running out of medication.
Any patient whose licence has expired or is due to expire within the next month, and who has not had time to apply for a renewal, will be granted a three month extension.
UK: FSA drops recommended daily dose of CBD to 10mg
The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) published a shock update to its consumer guidance on the recommended daily dosage of CBD.
According to new ‘scientific evidence’, understood to have been gained from toxicological studies submitted by the industry itself, the FSA has dropped its recommended daily intake from 70mg to just 10mg.
Many single dose products such as CBD beverages, capsules and gummies will now contain levels of CBD over the new limit.
Industry stakeholders have already raised concerns about the lack of clarity from the FSA, which has stated it plans to ‘work closely with the industry to minimise the risk to consumers’.
Ireland: Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use to outline recommendations for reform
Members of Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs will outline their recommendations for the country’s drug policy over the coming weeks, with calls for decriminalisation expected to be a key feature.
Following six months of deliberations, the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use has concluded its consideration of the issues, having heard from a wide range of experts across all aspects of drug use.
The final panel sessions took place on Sunday 1 October, with the 99 members expected to reconvene later this month to agree on their recommendations. A final report will then be submitted to the Oireachtas by the end of the year.
Germany: cannabis legalisation marches on despite obstacles
On Friday 29 September, opponents of Germany’s Cannabis Act (CanG) failed to prevent the bill from progressing in the German Federal Council (Bundesrat).
Two key ‘possible showstoppers’ failed to gain enough support in the Bundesrat, the German upper house that represents the country’s 16 states at a federal level, meaning the house ‘ultimately cannot prevent the legalisation of cannabis’.
More than 80 recommendations were made by the states, however, with concerns raised about the considerable financial and practical resources necessary for each state to effectively enforce the proposals.
While the bill is no longer under threat of being entirely thwarted by the Bundesrat, the progress of Pillar 1 is widely anticipated to face further delays.
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