Cannabis Legalization In Germany And Thailand, Gray Market In Brooklyn, Craft Weed Companies In Oregon

German Opposition Official Against Recreational Marijuana Legalization Plan

A senior opposition official has lobbied the executive branch of the European Union to block Germany's legalization efforts. According to the Associated Press, Klaus Holetschek, the health minister in Bavaria's conservative-led state government, met with the EU's director general for migration and home affairs in Brussels on November 16, urging the EU to veto the proposal of legalization in Germany.

As the Cannabis Business Times reported, “the German government’s planned cannabis legalization doesn’t just endanger health, but I am convinced that it also violates European law,” Holetscheke told EU official Monique Pariat.

He also said that two EU agreements oblige Germany and other member countries to criminalize the production and sale of drugs such as cannabis.

If The Measure Becomes Law…

The proposal would allow adults to purchase and possess up to 20 to 30 grams of cannabis for personal use, in addition to legalizing the production, supply, and distribution of cannabis within a state-regulated and controlled framework. Moreover, adults could grow up to three plants at home, and specialty shops and pharmacies would be licensed to sell cannabis products.

What’s Next? The German government must now submit its cannabis legalization plan, which was submitted by German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach to the cabinet of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, to the European Commission for approval before formal legislation can be tabled in the German Bundestag or Parliament.

The First MMJ Company On the Frankfurt Stock Exchange: Meanwhile, a Berlin startup recently became the first medical cannabis company to list on the Frankfurt stock exchange. With the ticker symbol “HIGH,” shares of the Berlin-based company HIGH, +200.93% rose as high as €19.70 Euros after the IPO was priced at €6.48 per share. One Euro equals $1.04 US dollar.

Cantor Fitzgerald's Pablo Zuanic noted that Canadian cannabis giants Tilray Brands Inc.TLRY and Aurora Cannabis Inc. ACB are well-positioned to benefit from cannabis legalization in Germany.

Thailand's Marijuana Legalization, What Is Its Scenario?

Since Thailand decriminalized cannabis this year, the proliferation of pot shops, Bangkok's latest tourist attraction, has sparked a backlash from some politicians and doctors who say the change was carried out without regulation, calling for strict rules, or even a new ban.

In June, Thailand removed cannabis from its list of narcotics. This movement was spearheaded by health minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who framed marijuana as a cash crop for farmers and championed its medical use, but adult use exploded, reported Fox News.

"We are in a vacuum," Senator Somchai said, adding that the Health Ministry's announcements had not curbed recreational use.

Moreover, the president of Thailand's association of forensic physicians, Smith Srisont, petitioned a court last week to re-list it as a narcotic since a wave of news reports about hospitalizations and use by children.

"It was wrong to not have governing laws before unlocking cannabis (...) It is not being used medically, but recreationally," Srisont said.

Nevertheless, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce estimated the sector could be worth $1.2 billion by 2025. "Most people still think at least they can get the profits now, even if regulations change," said Akira Wongwan, the chief executive of a medical cannabis business, Adam Group, adding that profit margins for recreational cannabis were "super high".

Meanwhile, cannabis decriminalization in Thailand opens up a new market for cannabis companies like Flora Growth Corp. FLGC, OrganiGram Holdings Inc. OGI OGI, Cronos Group Inc. CRON, Canopy Growth Corp. CGC, and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc. ZYNE.

Brooklyn, NY Where The Crackdown On Gray Market Marijuana Begins

The NYC Sheriff’s office, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), and the NYPD arrested at least one individual accused of operating an illegal cannabis and tobacco shop called Big Chief, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Apparently, the Big Chief 'weed' store is accused of selling illegal marijuana and tobacco products.

According to New York City Sheriff Anthony Miranda, “We’re doing joint operations for various violations of the law. Obviously, this is one location (where) we received many complaints from the neighborhood about the illegal sale of marijuana and a host of other illegal products.

‘Vapor products are also illegal; E-cigarettes are against the law as well. So we went and did an inspection. Then we seized all the property and we made two arrests out of this location,” Miranda added.

Moreover, the store's co-owner said the store submitted a dispensary license application to the state and was waiting to hear back on its status. However, OCM Chief Equity Officer Damian Fagon said that gray market sellers had a fair warning that their actions will exclude them from future license opportunities. “Unfortunately, it’s very shortsighted,” Fagon said of gray market operations like Big Chief.

Nevertheless, Mayor Eric Adams promised not to take a “heavy-handed” approach toward those illicitly selling marijuana in the city. Now that recreational cannabis is legal, though sales won't launch until later in the year, the mayor said he sees no need to crack down on sales in the interim.

Building on earlier promises by the Mayor and the OCM not to handcuff or arrest gray-market marijuana dealers, it is possible the two individuals were arrested and charged with illegal tobacco products, not cannabis, reported Leafly.

The state expects to rival top earners in time, generating $1.25 billion in revenue over the first six years of business, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul's fiscal year 2023 executive budget.

Oregon Craft Marijuana Companies Team Up to Compete In The Multi-state Corporate Domination Market

East Fork Cultivars, a grower and manufacturer, and Peak Extracts, a CO2 extractor and product manufacturer, will combine as East Fork Group to compete in a market that has been facing existential economic hurdles and rapid consolidation.

Over the years, the two have crafted ethically sourced products with various ratios of cannabinoids to provide different therapeutic effects, with a particular focus on high-CBD and low-THC options. The two have had a partnership since 2017, according to a statement.
Under this union, Peak products secure in-house sourcing, including the ability to grow specifically for particular products, while East Fork gains access to in-house manufacturing capabilities on the side of state-licensed cannabis operations, report the Green Market Report.
“This perfectly matched union boosts East Fork’s cannabis brain trust and greatly expands the range of our in-house product-making capabilities,” said East Fork CEO Mason Walker. “While East Fork will continue to work closely with other product makers, and values those partnerships, it’s exciting to diversify the types of product experiences that we can offer the communities we serve.”

“It’s an exciting moment for both companies. Our values and capabilities are just so synergistic that I see only great things ahead for us as a collective,” added Peak Extract’s founder Katie Stem, who will join the board of directors and become president of the new company. The partnership allows the two parties to "offer a craft alternative to the multi-state corporate domination that is occurring in cannabis," Stem added.

Get your daily dose of cannabis news on Benzinga Cannabis. Don’t miss out on any important developments in the industry.

Photo: Courtesy Of Tim Foster On Unsplash

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