Global consumer advocate says legal pot is good for communities

The Consumer Choice Center is confirming what marijuana advocates have been saying for a long time.

It said smart regulation of cannabis will reduce violent crime and boost economic gains. Those are some of the findings in its policy paper on the regulation of cannabis.

“It is clear that legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational consumption has boosted consumer choice and, at the same time, successfully deterred continued crime and black market activity throughout North America,” said Toronto-based Consumer Choice North American Affairs Manager David Clement.

The center said the latest research demonstrates that legalizing cannabis helps reduce overall levels of violent crime, as has been the case in the State of Washington. According to researchers, medical marijuana laws in California were found to have reduced both violent and property crime by 20 per cent.

“We stress the importance of smart regulatory policy in each jurisdiction where it is considered, and pieced together important lessons and recommendations that policy-makers should heed in their next steps to create a legal and safe market for cannabis,” added Clement.

The center’s policy paper examines cannabis policy recommendations for retail regulations, public consumption laws, selling to non-residents, taxation, grower licences, and branding. Among them are opening private retail stores, allowing public consumption in the same places as tobacco, creating cannabis lounges and establishments, investing in educational resources for minors and at-risk consumers, keeping taxation reasonably low, and allowing public advertising and freedom of branding.

The Consumer Choice Center promotes economic freedom and empowers consumers to raise their voice. It said regulators keep regulating more and more areas of consumers’ lives, leading to less consumer choice and usually higher costs.

Originally published at https://blackburnnews.com/windsor/windsor-news/2019/01/28/global-consumer-advocate-says-legal-pot-good-communities/

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Davos: al summit del capitalismo globale la protagonista è la cannabis

E’ considerato il summit del capitalismo globale, dove si incontrano banchieri, Ceo e capi di Stato e di governo. Quest’anno è stato invaso dalla cannabis, con incontri e tavole rotonde perché è ormai uno dei più promettenti settori economici, con rapide prospettive di crescita in grado di attirare l’interesse degli investitori internazionali.

Da oggi a giovedì 24 gennaio al World Economic Forum saranno presenti molti dei leader di settore per la manifestazione che ospiterà un “Cannabis Conclave”, oltre a un “Cannatech Pavilon”, ultimo di una serie di eventi CannaTech ospitati in tutto il mondo dalla società israeliana di cannabis iCAN, che sarà ospitato nella “Canada Cannabis House” con numerosi incontri a tema.

Il 24 si terrà invece il Cannabis Conclave, organizzato da The Consumer Choice Center, dalla mattina fino al pomeriggio, e partecipanti non saranno solo dell’industria della cannabis, tra i quali è comunque prevista la partecipazione di Bruce Linton di Canopy Growth, ma includeranno anche investitori attuali e futuri, rappresentanti di vari settori, giornalisti, autorità di regolamentazione e politici.

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Conclave da Cannabis é realizado junto a Fórum Mundial em Davos

Com proposta de discutir a globalização, Fórum Econômico Mundial, em Davos, na Suíça, recebe a elite global, que terá a oportunidade de conversar com outra elite, a da maconha, em evento chamado Conclave da Cannabis.

Conclave da Cannabis

A elite global que está presente em Davos para o encontro anual do Fórum Econômico Mundial se junta a um novo grupo: a elite da maconha.

Um grupo de executivos de empresas e ex-políticos, todos envolvidos na florescente indústria da cannabis, participa do que está sendo anunciado com o primeiro “Conclave da Cannabis”, um encontro que será realizado em um restaurante alpino acessível apenas por teleférico.

Os participantes do evento serão capazes de “ouvir percepções dos principais executivos e investidores da cannabis enquanto desfrutam de um almoço suíço”.

Segundo artigo do Financial Post, entre os convidados para o almoço estão o ex-primeiro ministro israelense Ehud Barak, que é presidente da companhia de maconha medicinal InterCure, de Israel, e Bruce Linton, CEO da Canopy Growth Corp.

Este ano marca a primeira vez que os eventos de cannabis, atraindo membros proeminentes da indústria, estão sendo mantidos à margem do Fórum Econômico Mundial, um sinal de crescente legitimidade do setor global de maconha.

#PraCegoVer: arte de divulgação do evento onde pode-se o nome “Cannabis Conclave” em cinza azulado, ao centro e no topo, e, logo abaixo o texto “Davos, Switzerland, 24/01/2019” em branco; ao fundo vemos uma fotografia dos Alpes Suíços e seus vilarejos e, no rodapé, os logos dos patrocinadores.

O banco canadense de investimentos Canaccord Genuity, uma das primeiras empresas de investimento a se envolver em negociações de maconha, é co-patrocinador da Cannabis Conclave, junto com o Consumer Choice Center, organização sediada em Bruxelas que se autodenomina “uma organização de defesa do consumidor para mobilizar a geração do milênio contra uma regulamentação sobrecarregada que limita a escolha”.

Vários líderes da indústria presentes no Conclave da Cannabis também estão na programação para participarem de um segundo evento do setor de maconha chamado Canada Cannabis House, patrocinado por Canadian Securities Exchange e OTC Markets Group Inc.

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A new crowd is joining the world’s movers and shakers at Davos’ elite party this year — marijuana growers

The first ever ‘Cannabis Conclave’ — held at an alpine restaurant only accessible by cable car — is a sign of growing legitimacy for the business

The global elite are on their way to the Swiss alpine town of Davos for the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering, but this year a new group is joining the party: the cannabis elite.

A bevy of company executives and former politicians — all of whom are now involved in the burgeoning legal cannabis industry — are expected to attend what is being billed as the first ever “Cannabis Conclave,” a three-hour lunch at an alpine restaurant only accessible by cable car.

Attendees of the event at Restaurant Höhenweg will be able to “listen to insights by leading cannabis executives and investors while enjoying a three-course Swiss lunch” consisting of Swiss cheese pasta, meat fondue and “kaiserschmarrn” or fried pancakes.

Among those scheduled to appear at the lunch are former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, who serves as chairman of the Israeli medical cannabis company InterCure, and Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth Corp. 

This year marks the first time that cannabis events, attracting prominent members of the industry, are being held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, a sign of growing legitimacy of the global marijuana sector.

Canadian investment bank Canaccord Genuity Corp. — one of the first investment firms to become involved in cannabis dealmaking — is a co-sponsor of Cannabis Conclave, along with the Consumer Choice Center, an organization based in Brussels that calls itself a “consumer rights organization to mobilize millennials against overburdensome regulation that limits choice.”

A number of the industry leaders present at the Cannabis Conclave are also scheduled to attend a second marijuana sector event called the Canada Cannabis House, sponsored by the Canadian Securities Exchange and OTC Markets Group Inc. — two stock exchanges on which the bulk of cannabis companies are listed.

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Cannabis elite descend on Davos to familiarize global elite with sector

A bevy of company executives and former politicians — all of whom are now involved in the burgeoning legal cannabis industry — are expected to attend what is being billed as the first ever “Cannabis Conclave,” a three-hour lunch at an alpine restaurant only accessible by cable car.

Attendees of the event at Restaurant Höhenweg will be able to “listen to insights by leading cannabis executives and investors while enjoying a three-course Swiss lunch” consisting of Swiss cheese pasta, meat fondue and “kaiserschmarrn” or fried pancakes.

Among those schedule to appear at the lunch are former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, who serves as chairman of the Israeli medical cannabis company InterCure, and Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth Corp. 

This year marks the first time that cannabis events, attracting prominent members of the industry, are being held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, a sign of growing legitimacy of the global marijuana sector.

Canadian investment bank Canaccord Genuity Corp. — one of the first investment firms to become involved in cannabis dealmaking — is a co-sponsor of Cannabis Conclave, along with the Consumer Choice Center, an organization based in Brussels that calls itself a “consumer rights organization to mobilize millennials against overburdensome regulation that limits choice.”

A number of the industry leaders present at the Cannabis Conclave are also scheduled to attend a second marijuana sector event called the Canada Cannabis House, sponsored by the Canadian Securities Exchange and OTC Markets Group Inc. — two stock exchanges on which the bulk of cannabis companies are listed.

The Canada Cannabis House will take place as a series of speaking events over the course of three days, exploring everything from how to secure funding as a pot company to the potential that emerging cannabis markets such as Thailand and Malaysia hold for the sector.

Anthony ‘The Mooch’ Scaramucci will interview former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, who is chairman of Israeli medical cannabis company InterCure

Other key cannabis industry figures participating in both events include: Kevin Murphy, the CEO of Acreage Holdings, one of the largest cannabis companies in the U.S.; Navdeep Dhaliwal, president of Supreme Cannabis, a Canadian licensed producer; and Saul Kaye, CEO of Israel Cannabis, who led the charge to get Israeli lawmakers to approve the export of medical cannabis.

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Harm reduction should drive all drug policy

Harm reduction-based policies are known to reduce the incidence of overdose, lower disease transmission rates and reduce the presence of organized crime, writes Heather Bone.

When the Canadian government introduced legislation to legalize cannabis, the rationale was clear: Canada would abandon a model of prohibition in order to, in the words of Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, “protect youth from the health and safety risks of cannabis and keep those same criminals from profiting from its production, distribution and sale.” This policy was sensibly guided by a philosophy of harm reduction, which aims to reduce the dangers associated with the use of drugs, without expecting people to quit their habit. Harm reduction-based policies are known to reduce the incidence of overdose, lower disease transmission rates and reduce the presence of organized crime, which is why the approach is promoted by leading health organizations, including the Canadian Mental Health Association. However, politicians at the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government have failed to extend this approach and enact harm reduction-based policies more broadly, and at times have moved in the opposite direction completely.

Take the issue of decriminalization: Liberal party members voted overwhelmingly to support decriminalizing all drugs at their most recent policy convention in April, including hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. This policy has proven to be successful in Portugal, where the annual number of drug-related deaths declined by nearly 28 per cent between 1999 (when drugs were decriminalized) and 2006. Additionally, by treating drug use as a public health issue rather than a crime, Portugal saw HIV rates among drug users plummet by more than 50 per cent. Despite this, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated his intention to maintain the status quo. As a result of this inaction, the opioid crisis will continue to take its toll on Canadian lives. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there were roughly 4,000 apparent opioid-related deaths in 2017 — nearly 1,000 more than the year before. Without a shift in government policy, the number of lives claimed by the opioid epidemic will continue to climb.

Safe injection sites have also been heavily politicized. These facilities provide a hygienic environment for recreational drug users to consume intravenous drugs while supervised by medical professionals. Monitoring drug users is crucial, as the Public Health Agency of Canada estimates 92 per cent of opioid-induced deaths are accidental. Studies show that safe injection sites lower overdose rates, facilitate access to treatment and lower the transmission rates of blood-borne illnesses such as HIV. A site in London, Ont., for instance, has reversed 37 overdoses and referred more than 180 people to treatment since it opened. Unfortunately, in Ontario, the PC government recently increased the red tape associated with operating a site, including subjecting the sites to random audits and increasing reporting requirements. The province capped the number of injection sites at 21 and will not allow pop-up sites to operate. Currently 19 sites are operating, which limits the potential for new locations and introduces the possibility that communities will compete against each other

To make matters worse, the two-sided nature of drug policy in Canada extends far beyond illegal drugs. The use of vaporizers, which are widely regarded as both a harm reduction mechanism and cessation aid, is increasingly under attack. Unlike traditional cigarettes, vaping devices don’t contain tobacco, or any form of combustion, which is what leads to cancer in cigarette smokers. The University of Victoria Centre for Addictions reports that vaping products only have 18 toxicants, as compared to the 79 found in cigarettes. Importantly, vape devices also deliver no tar. For this reason, Public Health England and the British Medical Association have concluded that smokers should be encouraged to make the switch to vaping because it is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking.

Despite this evidence, federal law places restrictions on how vape companies can advertise their products to smokers and bans them from correctly labelling their product as a harm reduction tool or possible aid to quitting smoking. At the provincial level, eight provinces have additional e-cigarette legislation, among which only Ontario allows product promotion. Even some municipal governments, such as the City of Halifax and Town of Port Albert, have targeted e-cigarette use with anti-vaping bylaws that treat vaping products in the same way as traditional cigarettes.

Harm reduction is a pragmatic framework, but it requires a radical change in thinking. It starts with the realistic assumption that criminalization is not an effective deterrent mechanism and rests on the belief that individuals should not be punished for crimes against their own bodies. The evidence is clear: the war on drugs has a body count, and harm reduction approaches are the solution. To reduce the harms associated with drug use, governments should apply the same logic behind cannabis legalization more widely.

Heather Bone is a research fellow at the Consumer Choice Center and an Economics PhD Student at the University of Toronto.

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About Heather Bone

Heather Bone is pursuing a doctorate in economics at the University of Toronto. Her research interests are broad, but generally relate to public policy. Right now, she is particularly focused on studying the economic functioning of cryptomarkets, including what they mean for consumer choice and how online drug markets are shaped by public policy decisions. For several years, Heather has been a dedicated advocate for consumer choice. She performed research to help advocate free trade while working in the Office of the Chief Economist in the Canadian Department of Global Affairs. She then went on to work as a legislative assistant in Ontario’s provincial government before working for the Manning Centre in Calgary, Alberta where she studied the economics of Business Improvement Areas. A list of Heather’s working papers and publications can be found on her website, heatherlynnbone.com.

Canadian legal cannabis prices nearly 50 percent higher than black market prices

420 INTEL: David Clement, the North American affairs manager for consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Centre, said that it’s unsurprising that prices of cannabis have risen.     

Clement said that in legalizing marijuana, products are now subject to both federal and provincial taxes in addition to licensing costs and numerous other fees associated with running a cannabis business all the way through the production line to the retailer.

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.