Last Week in Weed
In this week’s issue of Last Week in Weed, we’ll be looking at Hypocrisy at the Olympics with the perpetuation of the CBD Good/THC Bad industry sales pitch and false dichotomy, Israeli vaporiser company Kanabo set to become Europe’s largest public cannabis company, and finally the story of a man falling 20ft from a roof while trying to escape police at a cannabis grow in the UK.
IOC hypocrisy and the artificial cannabinoid dichotomy
The first story we will be looking at this week is the clear and overt hypocrisy around cannabis and the Olympics by the IOC. In a piece released last week, Forbes proudly declares that ‘Cannabis takes the world stage at the Tokyo Olympics’ while doing little more in the editorial than to advertise a US-based ‘Hemp-derived’ isolate CBD brand called Mendi.
In this industry fluff piece, the various CBD isolate products that the company provides are promoted through quotes and testimonials from athletes espousing the brand’s claimed ethicality and efficacy. The marketing heavy piece is interspersed with a rather fake feeling social justice narrative that seems little more than insincere virtue signaling to capitalise on current cultural issues and trends.
“The societal effect in terms of social justice that weed has had on this country is just absurd. There are so many, mostly Black and Brown, people sitting in jail for 10 or 20-plus years for weed, and it’s completely unnecessary. From a social perspective, we’re long overdue for the legalization of cannabis” – Megan Rapinoe
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from the prohibited substances list in September 2017 but chose to continue to prohibit THC and other cannabinoids. Since this policy change, there has been a global race to create slick CBD ‘wellness’ and ‘lifestyle’ brands that produce bespoke THC-free products that work around current legislation for the Sporting industry.
Interestingly, because of Japan’s current strict regulations on CBD and other cannabinoids, there will be little CBD at this year’s Olympics despite the removal of CBD from WADA’s banned substances list. That being said it will of still likely been a staple of many of the Olympian’s daily routines.
“Although cannabis is on the world stage for the first time ever, we’re not saying that it’s there in Tokyo, what we’re saying is, ‘we’ve been there on the journey to get these athletes to the world’s biggest stage, and they’ve been taking our products every day for the past year or two years to help them with marginal gains.’ Every time you get a better night’s sleep, every time you recover better from the last batch of exercise, then your performance is going to be better the next time” – Rachael Rapinoe, Mendi
In issue 30 of Last Week In Weed, we discussed the disqualification of US gold medal hopeful Sha’Carri Richardson. The world’s sixth-fastest woman was barred from this year’s late-run 2020 Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for THC. Not that she should have to justify her consumption of a plant to anyone, but the champion sprinter said she consumed cannabis to manage her anxiety and stress during a difficult period.
“Sha’Carri Richardson, unfortunately, wanted to use a healthier alternative to manage the stress that was going on in her life, and now she’s banned from this year’s Olympics. Every athlete should have the same access that every other Americans do to deal with the stresses of life”
“We really believe there is a movement and a flood of people wanting healthier alternative medications. They don’t want what we typically have been prescribed in this country, whether it’s over-the-counter meds, prescription opiates, sleeping pills, or various tools to help with stress and anxiety. So, we want to give people the healthiest option to stay on top of their game longer, specifically positioned with athletes.” – Rachael Rapinoe, Mendi
These are unusual times we live in, cannabis has gone from being an underground plant protected by first-world nations, interconnected sub-cultures, and diverse multi-generational advocates to being the best thing since sliced bread.
It is no longer about getting others to believe what the hippies and herbal healers have known for decades, about the therapeutic properties and benefits of cannabis. It’s now all about patents, intellectual property, and proprietary technologies. As cannabis goes mainstream so does its appeal to the vulture capitalists that forever circle the global economy looking for fresh industries to pick devour.
Their money has already unfortunately financed a lot of ‘hemp’ and CBD companies that are now benefiting greatly from continual delays to the inevitable end of global cannabis prohibition. They are content to profiteer and perpetuate bad science to sell isolated and therapeutically restrained products. They polarise cannabinoids and hamper the conversation about cannabis by demonising THC to protect their CBD-only business models.
Those short-sighted opportunists may be ahead now, but their greed, flashy advertising gimmicks, and their pay-to-play lobbying will only get them so far. When the shackles of global cannabis prohibition and propaganda-fuelled ignorance are finally removed the divide will be bridged and the financial motivation to hide or manipulate data and knowledge will lessen.
Kanabo set to become Europe’s biggest public cannabis company
Our second story this week features a company that we have covered a few times in Last Week in Weed. Kanabo, the Israeli vaporiser company has announced that it intends to acquire Canadian ‘wellness’ and ‘medical cannabis’ producer Materia.
Acquiring Materia will give Kanabo access to Germany, which is currently Europe’s largest ‘medical cannabis’ market. With the German market making over €200m in 2020 and being expected to reach a value of €3.2bn by 2025, you can see why it is an important strategic move by the company.
This acquisition would allow Kanabo to provide its own in-house production, extraction, and distribution through Materia’s GMP-certified subsidiaries direct to European pharmacies. At the time of publishing, this blog Kanabo shares on the LSE are up 9.6%
“Materia’s unique innovative supply chain will provide strong distribution channels in the German market and offer new strategic partnerships with premium cultivators around the world. Together with Kanabo’s R&D and commercialisation capabilities, we will be able to develop new innovative delivery methods opening up an even bigger market potential.
“The enlarged group will become the biggest public cannabis company in Europe and will put us in a unique position as the multi-billion pound medical cannabis market starts to accelerate.” – Avihu Tamir, founder and CEO Kanabo
Kanabo also announced earlier this month that they completed its first shipment of its VapePod cannabis oil vaporiser to the UK for those prescribed ‘medical cannabis’ through the LYPHE Group.
Earlier in the year in issue 8 of Last Week In Weed, we covered Kanabo’s unsuccessful attempt to become the first ‘medical cannabis’ company to float on the LSE. The honour, if it could be called such a thing, went to Australian-based MGC Pharmaceuticals, who are now dual-listed on the LSE and Australian Stock Exchange.
I bring this up because I wanted to highlight how language can and will be manipulated by capitalists to frame their brand or business in whatever way they wish. Check out this quote from Materia CEO Deepak Anand.
“We are excited at the prospect of joining forces with Kanabo’s team. As the first medical cannabis company approved to list on the London Stock Exchange, Kanabo’s ambition to be a market leader matches our own and we believe that our combined infrastructure will generate significant value for our shareholders, partners, customers and patients” – Deepak Anand, CEO Materia
Did you notice it? A rather subtle and clever, but ultimately negative and pernicious practice that is exploited at all levels of modern advertising and marketing. Despite the collective hope of the hippies, fight of the activists, and best intentions of ‘mom & pop’ shops international corporate cannabis is here.
Suspected cannabis grower injured in 20ft fall trying to escape police in Walsall,UK
The final story that we’ll be covering this week is that of a man who fell of a roof when trying to escape police in the UK. A man attempted to flee a suspected cannabis grow in Walsall, West Midlands, UK by climbing onto a steep-slated two-story house roof.
The man fled to the roof when police acting on intelligence entered the property just before lunchtime on Friday. The police searched for the man, instead, they found an estimated 70 cannabis plants.
The footage of the man slipping and crashing through the guttering before hitting the floor went viral over the weekend after a student across the road filmed the moment the man fell off the roof narrowly missing a police officer below.
Witnesses at the scene reported hearing the man screaming for help and an ambulance. The man attempted to stand up but quickly hit the ground again before officers kept the man face down for 45-minutes before an ambulance could attend the scene. An air ambulance was seen circling but it didn’t land.
A police spokesperson said that ‘He has been taken to hospital with injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening. ‘He has been arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis and will be questioned when considered medically fit.’
The point I wanted to raise here is the disproportionate nature of the perceived harms between what consuming cannabis can do to you and you getting caught with it. This man was in such fear of being caught by the police that he’d rather potentially risked his life to try and avoid detection.
The relative potential harm that cannabis could pose to a significantly small percentage of consumers versus the damage caused by the ubiquitous and institutional persecution of millions of cannabis consumers daily is incommensurable and reprehensible at best.
Although we are still waiting for further details to be released, it is still a source of great frustration to me that not one of the media outlets that covered this incident thought to inquire further about the man’s health or situation.
Written by Simpa for TheSimpaLife.com