We happened to wake up to more historic news the other day, as the World Health Organization (WHO) called to remove Marijuana from the most restrictive drug categories in the world. This powerful statement was made following global health experts from the United Nations. It’s hard to tell if the aim was towards immediate practical changes, or just political change, however as the awareness around the plant shifts, these views can alter new precedence for health organizations around the globe. These are nothing short of interesting times we live in. We continue to see many counties still hold the plant in strict compliance, while government bodies break the silence. Institutions who have denied the therapeutically benefits for decades.
The key details of the WHO’s request surround the compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, to be stripped from the 1971 drug treaty. However, any cannabis resin would still remain on the schedule, while Cannabis extracts and tinctures would be removed. They also make very explicit their stance on the cannabinoid known as CBD, containing no more than 0.3% THC, as not being internationally controlled.
Let’s not overlook the seriousness of this statement. If adopted, it would symbolize the start of world government bodies admitting they have been wrong about the plant. “WHO’s position comes at a time when a growing number of countries are moving to reform their cannabis policies.” – Tom Angell. The next major shift we could hope to see would be the UN rolling back their prohibition laws, even though this would still overstep the entire global protocol.
“The placement of cannabis in the 1961 treaty, in the absence of scientific evidence, was a terrible injustice,” said Michael Krawitz, a U.S. Air Force veteran and legalization advocate who has pushed for international reforms. “Today the World Health Organization has gone a long way towards setting the record straight. “It is time for us all to support the World Health Organization’s recommendations and ensure politics don’t trump science.”
The minor catch here is that these recommendations from the WHO was initially going to be released in December, however, have been pushed back to an official statement in March, where the 53 member nations will have the opportunity to vote for or against them. This will be a pivotal moment to watch for. A number of countries with historic opposition to the drug, such as Russia and China, are expected not to change their stance. Most countries are probably a coin flip away, while some we expect a concurrence from, like a number of European and South American nations that allow for medical cannabis already. It’s not clear how the U.S will vote as a whole, however, we have seen the pressure unclasp the political landscape over the plant in recent years.
“If treaty obligations do not require control of CBD, or if the international controls on CBD change in the future, this recommendation will need to be promptly revisited,” FDA wrote, adding that the U.S. scheduling placement of CBD should be “revisited promptly” if international treaty obligations changed. Under the statement being recommended by WHO, no one would be able to declare that CBD is globally scheduled.
Stay connected to the story! And happy investing.
6 years experience in Capital Markets with a degree of Entrepreneurship and finance Ryerson University. You can find Alex on his free time, pursuing his multiple business endeavours, with his family, or playing music around the city. Feel free to follow him @alexxsimonelli
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