Indian, Dutch and Canadian Cannabis


Hi! Welcome to the 3rd edition of Boomtown, our newsletter written and published on Friday at exactly 4:20 p.m.

Today, we plan to do a quick overview about European cannabis (specifically the Dutch and the Germans) before blazing on towards the Canadian cannabis giants. Lastly, we turn our attention to India, where over the last two days, something happened that totally caught Indian cannabis enthusiasts unawares. And secondly, how are you? It has been a crazy week for us here, with so much happening all over the world (and we aren’t even bothered about the pandemic now), both good and bad, sometimes stupid, sometimes logical, and sometimes bizarre.

The Dutch Cannabis Reform?

The Dutch conceptualized the world’s first stock exchange in the early 17th Century. They’re at the forefront of renewable energy research. They only have 5-7 million people, and their socio-economic system breeds efficiencies, innovation and entrepreneurship values all the time. When the world frowned (thanks, United States pharma-addicted bureaucrats) on cannabis use, the Dutch were blazing themselves in their cannabis cafes and accepting of the fact that bans or prohibitions have never worked in history and never will.

Here’s from High Times:

“As a direct result, in fact of this fervid, if not ripe environment for innovation, cannabis has held its own as a recognizably “modern” industry here since at least the 1970’s. The image, if not cultural meme, of the Dutch coffee shop is also a powerful, cross cultural symbol that few other countries or even canna-friendly jurisdictions have yet effectively grappled with, let alone widely implemented”

The Dutch and the German people have been bonding over cannabis for decades and in light of the development of the European Cannabis market, led by the Germans, the Dutch already have a fair idea on how to proceed forwards with regards to handling and chilling out over cannabis.

“Holland has emerged in the last decade, and certainly in the last four years since German medical reform, as the convenient go-to country just across an open border, for a product that German legislators at least, are still squeamish about cultivating domestically. The higher medical standards for this market (regulated under international pharmaceutical certifications) are very much different than the grey niche serving the coffee shops”

Why are government bureaucrats afraid of cannabis?

Yes, we agree cannabis policy has to be led by research and development and safe to consume products must in turn reach the market, however don’t we already know for a fact that cannabis has been used throughout history for millennia by all our ancestors across the entire world? We will trust a natural plant rather than synthetically made products which are based on fossil fuels. Period. 

“Beyond Holland, there are other recreational if not regulatory forces afoot. Country after country, with the notable exception so far of France in Western Europe, has now begun to get on the cannabis bandwagon. This is expected to increase as Covid-related, if not economic, green new deal discussions begin to take root in the aftermath of an economically if not medically challenging time for most”

Do your thing, Holland. Let’s keep blazing.

Cannabis Giants from Canada

Make no mistake, Canada is a good place to live in in terms of human development indicators and the liberal air in the country, with its not-so-much population, its natural resources and not to forget its research capabilities in artificial intelligence, robotics and last but never the least, cannabis. Canada legalized medical cannabis way back in 2001 and waited for 17 years to go ahead and legalize recreational cannabis for adult-use in 2018. In many respects, Canadian cannabis companies lie at the forefront of cutting-edge research pertaining to cannabis and its derivatives for both recreational and medical use.

Quoting Keith Speights from The Motley Fool:

“Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) and Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) have some bragging rights. They’re two of the biggest Canadian cannabis producers. Both companies target popular recreational marijuana markets in their home country of Canada. Both are major players in the important German medical cannabis market. Both companies need Canadian recreational marijuana, international medical cannabis, and international hemp CBD markets to grow” 

We still can’t believe that Asia is missing out on the world’s cannabis markets. Asia is cannabis’ birthplace and cannabis evolved 28-38 million years ago. Why doesn’t a country like India promote indigenous research and development capabilities into medical cannabis and incentivize its cannabis entrepreneurs for the same? Of course, make no mistake though, because Indian entrepreneurs aren’t going to wait for the government to wake up.

Let’s keep blazing.

Thank You Rajiv Gandhi. Rest in Peace.

Many Indian cannabis enthusiasts blame India’s former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi for not showing ‘spine’ and kowtowing to the United Nations’ 1961 and 1971 Single Narcotics Convention rules which gave India 25 years to ‘phase out’ cannabis from public use, ignoring over 4000 years of Indian cannabis use for recreational, medicinal and spiritual purposes. Rajiv Gandhi, in 1985 faced the below circumstances –

  • India wasn’t suffering from a cocaine and heroin problem like the United States of America
  • Many Indians were using cannabis for recreational, medical and religious use
  • The United Nations didn’t care. They wanted cannabis banned. Prohibited. Jail. Period.
  • India wasn’t a free-market economy. Yet.
  • India owed money to financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary fund, which came under the purview of the United Nations

So, what was Rajiv Gandhi to do?

Rajiv Gandhi decided to satisfy all the parties involved with respect to cannabis and decided to do the below –

  • The NDPS Act passed by the Indian Parliament in 1985 said the cannabis’ flowers and resin would be banned. Let’s keep the United Nations happy and we also owe foreign institutions money, let’s listen to them
  • The same act also explicitly said that cannabis leaves and cannabis seeds would be permitted to be used and state governments could regulate the same. India’s most famous cannabis drink, Bhang is made from the cannabis leaf, not the flower. Recreational users usually smoked the flower by crushing it into fine powder

Thus, Rajiv Gandhi refused to make the entire cannabis plant illegal. This same legal framework now allows Indian cannabis companies to apply for a license from the Ayurveda ministry, do research on the cannabis plant and bring cannabis products to market.

Thank you Rajiv Gandhi.

Over the last two days, for the first time in India’s history, two TV channels did the unthinkable.

They spoke about cannabis oil. On Indian national TV. The anchors were like: what is CBD oil? Ok, it is legal in India under medical supervision. It is not the same as Cocaine or MDMA. Who would have thought such a moment would come to pass? Of course, the context of the matter (Actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death) disturbs us. But still. Its worth saying.

Let’s keep blazing.

Have a great day 🙂

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