Colombia

Foliumed founder and CEO Oliver Zügel

Colombia has been given the green light to export flower products to international medicinal cannabis markets after Resolution 539 was signed into law on Friday.

The move follows intense lobbying by the Colombian industry, which sought changes to 2017’s Decree 613 stipulating only seeds, derived products and cannabis plants for scientific purposes could be sold abroad.

The Colombian government announced the change in July 2021, and last week confirmed final commercial guidelines regulating exports of dried flower and other cannabis-based products.

Writing on LinkedIn, Foliumed founder and CEO Oliver Zügel said: “With the Colombian cannabis industry having learned the hard way since 2017 what it means to compete in pharmaceutical markets for extracts, we think the country is now among the best prepared, low-cost jurisdictions in the world to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Foliumed recently shipped the first of two large consignments of medicinal cannabis from its Colombian cultivation facility to an unnamed Australian recipient.

United Kingdom

UK television network Channel 4 has taken a stake in cannabis wellness company Cannaray through its investment arm Channel 4 Ventures.

While the size of the deal has not been disclosed, the public service broadcaster was the lead investor in a funding round that raised £10 million for the UK-based firm.

Vinay Solanki

Under the arrangement, Cannaray will receive advertising inventory on Channel 4 in exchange for equity, with no cash changing hands. 

Last year, it became one one of the first CBD brands to use television advertising in the UK.

Head of Channel 4 Ventures Vinay Solanki said the division liked to back “bold and disruptive categories”, adding the European landscape for medicinal cannabis and CBD was “expanding rapidly”.

Cannaray chief executive Scott Maguire said the deal showed cannabis was becoming mainstream. “The stigma is being washed away every year,” he added.

Last week, the UK Food Standards Agency published a list of the first CBD products approved for sale in the country.

South Africa

South Africa’s Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill has been expanded to cover a wider range of issues ahead of a second round of public consultation.

The bill sets out the rules governing the growth and possession of cannabis for personal use.

However, the Justice and Corrections Portfolio Committee has now broadened its scope to include: planning commercial activities; cultivation, possession and supply by organisations for religious and cultural purposes; and respecting an adult’s right to privacy when using cannabis for palliative or medicinal purposes.

Having been approved by the country’s National Assembly with these additions, the bill will now be released for further public consideration.

United States

The US House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan cannabis research bill to make it easier to study the plant for medicinal purposes.

cannabis research grants

The Medical Marijuana Research Act, which would allow scientists to access cannabis from dispensaries in states where it is legal, passed by 343 votes to 75.

The bill would make it easier for researchers to apply for approval to study cannabis by ensuring sufficient supply and give federal agencies deadlines by which to consider applications. 

It would also allow scientists to access flower and other products manufactured according to state-approved cannabis programs and stocked in dispensaries.

The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...