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United Nations postpones vote on rescheduling cannabis.

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The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has postponed their vote on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recent recommendations to reschedule cannabis at an international level.

At a recent CND Intersessional meeting, it was stated that a previous resolution requests that the WHO presents their recommendations to the Secretary-General at least 3 months prior to the session, which was not done. This gave way for several Member States of the CND to voice concern that there “might not be enough time to come prepared”.

Therefore, some WHO recommendations on cannabis made in 2018, such as on synthetic cannabinoids, may be undertaken during the CND meeting in March, but the rest are to be postponed.

Uruguay and Norway, amongst others, expressed disappointment in the delays, with Uruguay stating, “We […] still don’t have a clear explanation on why [it] takes so long to consider recommendations”.

Other Members, such as Japan, Russia and USA, expressed concerns, including “the justifications as well as the practical implementations of the recommendations.”

The WHO provided six main recommendations (summarised here):

  1. Cannabis and cannabis resin: to be deleted from Schedule IV* of the Single Convention.
  2. Extracts and Tinctures: to be deleted from Schedule I of the Single Convention.
  3. Dronabinol: to be deleted from the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and added to Schedule I of the Single Convention.
  4. Tetrahydrocannabinol: to be deleted from the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and added to Schedule I of the Single Convention.
  5. Cannabidiol: Footnote to be added – “Preparations containing predominantly CBD and not more than 0.2% THC are not under international control.”
  6. Pharmaceutical Preparations: If containing dronabinol, and compounded as pharmaceutical preparations in such a way that the dronabinol cannot be recovered by readily available means or in a yield that would constitute a risk to public health, to be added to Schedule III of the Single Convention.
* The Schedules range from most to least restrictive in this order: Schedule IV, Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III.

There has been no indication of when the recommendations will be dealt with, however it is likely to be tabled later in 2019.

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Blaise Bratter
Blaise Bratter is the Chief Contributor to CannabisIntel. Being involved in the Australian cannabis industry since legalisation in 2016, he is now Operations Manager for ASX listed company MGC Pharmaceuticals.

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