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Lebanon's 2022 elections: What to expect from the diaspora vote

Lebanon has experienced several waves of emigration over the course of its modern history. Although it is hard to track the exact numbers of Lebanese living abroad, it is a common opinion that there are more Lebanese around the world than in Lebanon itself. It is estimated that around 10-15 million Lebanese live abroad, while only 6 million live in Lebanon. The Lebanese diaspora has significantly contributed to Lebanon's economy over the past decades, as the economic remittances from expats ha

FDA Approves Trial To Treat Opioid Addiction With CBD

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an investigational new drug (IND) application for a clinical trial to evaluate CBD as an adjunctive method to treat opioid use disorder. Biotech pharma company Ananda Scientific Inc. announced in January 2022 the FDA's approval for the clinical trial evaluating Nantheia ATL5, an investigational drug using CBD as an adjunctive treatment for opioid use disorder. The study will be conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

In the shadow of Regeni, Italy must pressure Egypt over fate of imprisoned student

Patrick Zaky, 29, was flying from Italy to Cairo to visit his parents in his hometown of Mansoura. He was a student of Gender Studies at the University of Bologna, Italy. Also, he was an activist with the human rights organisation, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. Following his arrest, Amnesty International's spokesperson in Italy Riccardo Noury the researcher was "at risk of prolonged detention and torture". This claim was also confirmed by Patrick Zaky's lawyer, who said he was beaten

Lebanon-Israel negotiations: Another US-brokered normalisation deal or 'technical' maritime border talks?

But to work on the seabed of the Levantine Basin to extract hydrocarbon resources, Lebanon will first be required to sit down for unprecedented talks with Israel. Although still in a formal state of war, Israel and Lebanon will start negotiations over their maritime border dispute on Wednesday, 14 October - the first talks between the two sides in 30 years. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has described the talks as "historic", following years of US shuttle diplomacy. Representatives of the t

Caught in Haftar's nets: Libyan warlord's detention of Italian fishermen sparks diplomatic storm with Rome

On 1 September, the Libyan coast guard stopped and seized two boats 35 miles off the coast of Benghazi. Eighteen people were on board the Antartide and Medinea fishing vessels, including eight Italians, six Tunisians, two Indonesians and two Senegalese nationals. After their arrest they were transferred to Benghazi, a region in eastern Libya controlled by warlord and self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Khalifa Haftar. They have been detained there ever since. According to internat

Eyeing lucrative profits, Morocco is seeking to legalise cannabis. The main obstacle? Islamist opposition

This is not the first attempt to legalise cannabis in Morocco. But unlike other efforts, this proposal has come directly from the sitting coalition government. By legalising cannabis, Morocco aims to attract global investment in medical and industrial cannabis companies. This investment would create new economic opportunity, but legal obstacles are not easy to overcome. Even if ratified by Parliament, the bill would require additional legislation to create a comprehensive regulatory framework f

Italian hemp farm aid and research grants fail to win over the industry

€3m in aid has been allocated to the hemp supply chain following a decree by minister of agriculture Stefano Patuanelli issued in late December 2021. Part of the funds will be invested in research projects to develop new hemp varieties, improve THC level controls, develop the industrial segment of the mechanisation and the primary transformation of hemp, and for post-harvesting activities, including drying, cleaning, scutching, and packaging, in compliance with the quality standards of the food

What Is THC-O Acetate, And Why Is It Getting Attention?

Since former U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill in 2018 legalizing hemp at the federal level, the cannabis industry has released loads of new products containing new minor cannabinoids. Although most of them have no psychoactive effects, a new series of cannabinoids contain a similar molecular structure to THC, the most popular cannabis compound with psychoactive effects, which is still illegal at the federal level. However, the Farm Bill has indirectly and inadvertently allowed

Study: How Popular Is Delta-8 THC In The United States?

Since 2020, the cannabis compound delta-8-THC has become increasingly popular in the United States. The findings of a study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy reveal that delta-8-THC was heavily searched on Google in the U.S. 2020 and 2021. Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (or delta-8 THC) is a cannabis compound that shares almost the same molecular structure as the most famous cannabinoid delta-9 THC (or simply THC). Like THC, delta-8 THC has psychoactive effects on humans, al

Does London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan Really Want To Decriminalize Cannabis In The UK’s Capital City?

The mayor of the UK's capital Sadiq Khan (belonging to the Labour party), is planning to develop a scheme to offer an alternative to arrest those caught with a small amount of cannabis. According to The Guardian, the diversion scheme, which is still under development, would be based on providing classes and counseling, rather than arrest, to under-25-years-old people caught in possession of small quantities of cannabis. The plan would involve three boroughs of the UK's capital, but the pilot s

These European Countries Could Legalize Cannabis In 2022

Which European country will legalize cannabis in 2022? The short answer to this question doesn't exist. Although the European continent represents a tempting market for international companies and stakeholders interested in recreational cannabis, its legal framework is widely fragmented, and finding a satisfying answer is challenging. The idea of legalizing cannabis is relatively recent in Europe, although every European country has a long history of legalization advocacy. The medical cannabi

Cannabis Decriminalization Reduces The Racial Disparity, A New Study Suggests

The findings of a new study suggest that cannabis decriminalization policy reduces the racial disparity in arrests for possession. Racial disparity between Blacks and Whites in cannabis-related crimes has been widely reported over the years. Blacks have been disproportionately more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than Whites. Researchers from the University of California San Diego have tried to assess whether decriminalization can reduce racial disparity in arrests for cannabis

Young People Reduced Cannabis Use Amid Covid-19 Pandemic, Survey Shows

Young people significantly reduced the use of drugs in 2021. But the Covid-19 pandemic led to the rise in the use of nicotine products and the misuse of prescription medications. These are the latest results from the Monitoring the Future survey, a long-term epidemiological study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The findings are in line with a continued long-term decline in the use of illicit drugs. However, according to the study, these findings represent the most signif

Berlin’s Public Transport Company Introduces Edible Hemp Tickets For A ‘Stress-Free Christmas’

Berlin's leading public transport company is advertising edible hemp tickets during the Christmas season. The witty idea is part of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) 's Christmas campaign launched on December 13. The day ticket sold by the BVG is valid for local public transport in the German capital. It consists of edible paper sprinkled with a few drops of hemp oil. Passengers can eat the ticket after its validity has expired. It cost $9.94 (€8.80) and is valid for 24 hours. BVG's edible

Pfizer Bets On Medical Cannabis With $6.7 Billion Acquisition

Pfizer is to enter the medical cannabis industry betting on a promising cannabinoid-based bowel disease treatment. Last week, American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation Pfizer signed an agreement with the clinical-stage company Arena Pharmaceuticals for a total equity value of around $6.7 billion. Under the agreement terms, Pfizer acquires all shares for $100 per share in an all-cash transaction. Moreover, the press release reads that the proposed transaction will be s

European Union Increases THC Level For Industrial Hemp. Why Does It Matter?

The European Parliament approved on November 24 to increase the THC level from 0.2% to 0.3% for hemp crops used for industrial purposes. The rise of the THC level for industrial hemp is part of the measures of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms, which will enter into force in 2023. Farmers may receive EU subsidies if they use hemp varieties registered in the EU catalog with a maximum THC level of 0.3%. The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) has made this achievement pos

Lebanon launches ration card program, but where's the cash? | DW | 10.12.2021

Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs Hector Hajjar recently announced the launch of a long-delayed ration card program and other temporary economic measures to offer some relief to Lebanese citizens trapped in poverty. The program is intended to help the most vulnerable families. The economic package is worth the equivalent of €492 million ($556 million). Some 700,000 households are to benefit. They are to receive up to $126 (€111) per month for one year. Eligible families have started applying

A Brief History Of The False Myth About Cannabis As A Gateway Drug

Several scientific studies have refuted the idea that cannabis consumption would lead to getting hard drugs (e.g., cocaine and heroin). But it is still prevalent in the collective imagination. Even US President Joe Biden used to think that cannabis is a gateway drug. Still, he has changed his position over time. However, when discussing cannabis, those who oppose legalization claim the Gateway Drug Theory, a hypothesis in which the use of cannabis would lead to the use of so-called hard drugs,

Malta Is To Legalize Cannabis For Personal Use, Social Clubs, But Not Sales

Malta is to legalize cannabis. Its citizens will be able to grow cannabis at home and establish cannabis social clubs. The cannabis reform bill has now to pass in parliament for the third reading and final vote. It is expected to become law in two weeks. The legalization process started this year, when the Ministry for equality, research and innovation of the smallest country in the European Union introduced in October 2021 a bill to reform law on cannabis. Such an initiative follows the gove
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