Last Wednesday (September 25), the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) passed legislation to legalize the use and cultivation of cannabis, becoming the first region in Australia to do so.
Under the new legislation, which is set to come into effect in January, individuals over 18 will be able to possess up to 50 grams of dried flower and cultivate two marijuana plants at home with a maximum of four plants per residence.
The new legislation hasn’t completely opened the doors in Australia, however, as the sale of cannabis plants and seeds and smoking cannabis publicly is still illegal at the federal level.
Australia has been developing a medical cannabis sector since 2016, but the new legislation is at odds with overarching Commonwealth law, meaning people could still technically be charged for cultivation and possession.
Alexandra Curley, head of insights at Prohibition Partners, told the Investing News Network (INN) in an email that there are still questions surrounding the new rules when it comes to developing a cannabis sector in the country.
“It is unlikely to create a market for cannabis (at least in the near future),” Curley told INN. “(Prohibition Partners) would regard this as more of a social landmark than an economic one.”
Curley added that the move may have been an attempt to control the black market for cannabis.
In a previous interview, Curley confirmed that there is growing interest from investors overseas and in the country for the Australian marijuana opportunity.
ACT Labor member Michael Pettersson, the man behind the bill, said there is a defense available for cannabis use against Commonwealth law if it comes up against state law.
“Commonwealth law has been written with the express understanding that there are differences,” he said. “I don’t think it’s particularly likely the Commonwealth government will try to fight this.”
The legislation could benefit the 100,000 people using homegrown cannabis to treat their medical issues, Curley told INN.
“In this way, legislation will certainly have benefits, especially for those who know what they need and who have struggled to afford or access a legal prescription,” she said.
But for companies, this isn’t likely to affect market value, she continued. It could, however, push the country to loosen its existing cannabis laws in a “domino effect,” especially if the new legalization doesn’t lead to any increases in public health issues.
She also said a “gray market” could arise, like the one in Washington, DC, where customers can buy legal items, such as clothing or food, from stores and receive a free gift of dried flower with their purchase.
She cautioned that Section 122 of the Australian Constitution allows federal parliament to override territory laws.
Despite the legal tension, the new legislation is still an important step for cannabis legalization in Australia, helping to normalize the use of the drug. It’s something Curley said could provide a blueprint for the emerging industry.
She said the legalization of personal cultivation is “particularly powerful” as it suggests the country isn’t solely focused on building revenue.
“Australia has been making some pretty loud noises about securing its place in the global cannabis market as a supply behemoth — and this development reveals that it isn’t just about the financials.”
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.
American cannabis sales hit US$17.5 billion in 2020, a research group’s new study shows.
Meanwhile, a Canadian cannabis producer began offering CBD beverages in the US, another move that shows how interested Canadians are in the overall US cannabis market at the moment.
Some pretty important news out of health and wellness; beverage and natural products company BevCanna Enterprises Inc. (CSE:BEV, Q:BVNNF, FSE:7BC) this week. For those of you following the Company with us, stay tuned.
As investors continue to prioritize cannabis opportunities in the US, market watchers expect mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to play a role in the future for Canadian companies.
A consolidation trend has been expected in the Canadian cannabis space for some time now based on the size of the market compared to the number of operations in the country.
BioHarvest Sciences Inc. Unveils the Unique Polyphenolic Content of Its Upcoming Olive-Based Nutraceutical
The product will include polyphenols known to have significant health benefits.
BioHarvest Sciences Inc. (CSE: BHSC) (“BioHarvest” or the “Company”) has reached an important milestone in its development program of additional Nutraceuticals. The olive-based Nutraceutical product scheduled for market availability in the second half of 2022 will contain the following unique matrix of polyphenols: hydroxytyrosol, trosol, and verbascoside. These compounds are the major polyphenols in naturally grown olives and are responsible for the high antioxidant activity of olives and olive oil. Importantly, the BioHarvest olive-based Nutraceutical product will provide all the benefits of olives and olive oil with a low calorie count per serving.
Cresco Labs (CSE:CL) (OTCQX:CRLBF) (“Cresco” or the “Company”), one of the largest vertically integrated multistate cannabis operators in the United States, announced today that it will report financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31 st , 2020 on Thursday March 25 th , 2021 before the market opens.
The Company will host a conference call and webcast to discuss its financial results and provide investors with key business highlights on Thursday March 25 th , 2021 at 8:30am Eastern Time (7:30am Central Time).