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As the cannabis industry is growing across much of Western Europe and North America, businesses would be wise to familiarise themselves with the UAE framework to avoid any unintended consequences as seen in the recent case of Billy Hood (see here). The UAE maintains a strict zero tolerance policy on the use of cannabis as further explained below. UAE Framework: Federal Decree-Law No. 30/2021 On Combating Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (the “Law”). The Law prohibits the procurement, import, export, manufacture, extraction, separation, production, possession,…

There have been multiple headlines concerning the recent imprisonment of a British football coach (Billy Hood) in the UAE who was found to be in possession of CBD vape oil that contained elements of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. Whilst legal in the UK and other western countries it is strictly prohibited in the UAE. In connection with this case, the General Directorate for Drug Control (”GDDC”) stated that Mr. Hood was found to have ”quantities of cannabis…

We are extremely pleased to announce the launch of our Global Medical Cannabis Dashboard, a new interactive tool covering cannabis regulatory regimes in 112 countries (and counting) across the world. We reached out to our global network of healthcare regulatory specialist lawyers across 39 Baker McKenzie offices and 70+ of our correspondent firms and asked them to share their knowledge on this subject. Our resulting dashboard is unique in its scope and stretch and we invite you to explore it…

This article referenced in this post was originally published in Volume 99, Issue 11, of CCH’s Taxes—The Tax Magazine (November 2021). In the November 2021 edition of International Tax Watch in TAXES – The Tax Magazine, Tom Firestone, Scott Frewing, Ethan Kroll, Erika Van Horne, Stewart Lipeles, and Julia Skubis Weber explore the U.S. international tax implications of section 280E, concluding that section 280E should not disallow deductions for expenses U.S. persons incur in connection with: maintaining cannabis IP in,…

Towards the end of July 2021, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) issued a notification under the Food Act regarding food products which contain cannabis or hemp parts as a publication in the country’s Government Gazette. The notification, among other things, sets forth the classification of food products containing cannabis or hemp parts (“Food Products”) and the related requirements with respect to food quality, standards and labeling requirements.The key elements of this notification are as follows: The Food Products shall…

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) released on January 15, 2021, a final rule package designed to serve as the framework for a U.S. hemp industry that gained federal legal status a little more than two years ago. The 301-page package delivers some changes from an October 2019 interim final rule that provided initial guidelines to implement the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (known colloquially as the “2018 Farm Bill”). The 2018 law removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and…

This article was originally published by Law360 on December 16, 2020. On Nov. 3, Oregon passed Measure 110, a novel law[1] that reclassifies personal or noncommercial possession of controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines, from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E violation, punishable only by a $100 fine.[2] It also establishes a drug addiction treatment and recovery program funded in part by the state’s marijuana tax revenue and state prison savings.[3] In 1973, Oregon was the…

This article was originally published by Law360 on December 2, 2020. “You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower What did this election do for the marijuana industry? A lot. Four states — three traditionally red — voted to legalize recreational marijuana while a fifth, one of the reddest, voted to legalize medicinal…

On October 12, 2020, the Thai Cabinet approved in principle the draft “Kratom Act.” By way of background, kratom is an herbal extract that comes from a tropical tree that has stimulant qualities if used in high doses. It was previously controlled under the Thai Narcotics Act because of its addictive effects. However, following recent developments in the liberalization of cannabis and hemp in Thailand, the Thai government has also been considering liberalization of the rules regarding kratom. On March…

As the market for hemp derived CBD has exploded, there is increasing interest in international trade in these products and the materials used to make them, including in the United States. For example, a US-based manufacturer of hemp-derived CBD edibles might import the active ingredient for manufacturing and then export the finished product overseas. US-based companies could also be interested in importing or exporting raw materials such as industrial hemp, hemp seeds, or other hemp-derived products. Below we summarize some…