The global cannabis sector is continuing to grow rapidly and cannabis companies like World High Life PLC (NEX: LIFE) are profiting from a wave of legalization.
The local parliament voted in favor of the draft law. According to the document, people over the age of 18 can grow marijuana. In the same way, they can preserve it for personal use. The law will come into force from 31 January 2020.
Canberra residents will be able to legally possess up to 50 grams of “grass”, they will also be able to grow up to two plants per person or four per household. Cannaberra will be the first area in Australia where cannabis will be legal for personal use.
The legislation is in conflict with Commonwealth laws prohibiting the possession of cannabis, and cannabis users have been warned there are still serious legal risks, including potential jail time, when growing or smoking cannabis in the ACT.
Cannabis remains a prohibited substance under Commonwealth law, and police officers in the ACT will retain the power to arrest and charge anyone with cannabis under those laws.
It will also be possible for the Commonwealth to overrule the ACT. Also, seek to have the laws struck out as inconsistent with its own legislation.
So what is legal and what is not?
Any adult in the ACT will be able to grow two cannabis plants per person. With a maximum of four per household. They will also have a possibility to be in possession of up to 50 grams of dry cannabis, or 150 grams of wet cannabis. Cultivating cannabis through a Canberra winter will not be easy though, as any Canberra gardener can attest.
Amendments suggested by the Greens to allow the cultivation of hydroponic cannabis were voted down, along with amendments providing greater allowances to those growing cannabis for medicinal purposes. You can not consume cannabis in public, or anywhere near children. You should store it somewhere inaccessible to children. Cannabis plants will have to grow somewhere not accessible to the public.
It’s legal under ACT law but police may still arrest you
There is a very real chance that consuming cannabis in the ACT could still put a person in handcuffs.
While speaking about the bill in the Legislative Assembly ACT, Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay, made it clear that anyone growing or consuming cannabis was still carrying a degree of risk. “This does not entirely remove the risk of people being arrested under Commonwealth law. And we are being upfront with the community about that,” he said.
The ACT’s legislation attempts to provide a clear and specific legal defense to an adult who possesses small amounts of cannabis in the ACT, but is prosecuted under Commonwealth law.
“But unfortunately it cannot stop someone being arrested and charged if the Commonwealth officials were minded to do so. Or prosecuted if the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions thought it was appropriate to do so,” Ramsay said.
The ACT Government sought the advice of Commonwealth prosecutors on the legal risk and received a very strange response. In one letter received last week, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Sarah McNaughton SC advanced that the ACT’s laws would provide a defense to anyone charged under Commonwealth law. Ms. McNaughton suggested that would be considered before the CDPP went ahead with a prosecution.
Australia follows Europe and the United States
When it comes to Europe’s fledgling cannabis sector, 2019 has seen the arrival of conquerors who have moved at a speed perhaps at odds with their relaxed reputation.
In the UK, the investment company World High Life (NEX: LIFE) have recently acquired the British producer of cannabis oil, Love Hemp for $11.23 million dollars, as part of its strategy of entering the European market. WHL also announced that it will place shares worth $6.25 million dollars in the stock exchange of the United Kingdom.
In recent months: Canopy Growth bought German medical cannabis firm C3, Spanish weed producer Cafina, and British skincare and wellness outfit This Works; Tilray cut the ribbon on its €20 million ($22 million) Portuguese research and cultivation campus; and Aurora took over Gaia Pharm (another Portuguese marijuana producer) while also winning a tender to produce and distribute the plant in Germany—and commencing sales of cannabis oils in British and German pharmacies.
The companies are bringing a huge advantage with them: since Canada has legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, the country’s industry leaders have been able to go public, raise money, and look abroad to expand.