Can cannabis now be traded freely?
‘No, definitely not. Cannabis is still on Schedule 1 of the convention, the second toughest category. So very strict rules still apply, and cannabis products cannot be traded freely. However, cannabis is no longer seen as “completely bad and absolutely prohibited.” The substances on Schedule 1 are still prohibited substances, but they are recognized as having medicinal value. Research and product development is therefore allowed if a country so wishes.’
So what changes for Bedrocan?
‘Not to spoil the fun, but nothing really changes. It is primarily a symbolic statement. All kinds of legislative changes are needed to have a real impact. Starting with the treaty itself, as it still states that countries must set up an agency which buys the entire harvest if they want to do something with cannabis. If we really want something to change, that article will also have to change.
The symbolism will definitely have much positive influence in the longer term. The Netherlands, for example, is now conducting research into the system surrounding medicinal cannabis and how we want to proceed with it. The outcome of that process will probably look different now with this decision than it would without this decision. For countries that do not yet make medicinal cannabis available to patients, this may be a boost to do something with it.
In short, this decision has no effect on day-to-day business. In the very long term, it can indeed have a positive impact on laws and regulations in the Netherlands and other countries. But as long as they have not yet been changed, nothing will happen in practice.’
If you want to know more, read the MJBizDaily article about this topic. Or read the articles Bedrocan has published about this matter: Will the UN point of view on cannabis be modified or not? and ‘WHO recommendations are likely to change international law’.