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The UN doesn’t like cannabis legalization

Plus, New York’s cannabis program gets sued…again

Good morning.

Hello from sunny Costa Rica, where our Editor-in-Chief Jeremy is surfing and “working” remotely for a few days. 

If you missed it, check out yesterday’s Cultivated Live, where Jay chatted with the co-sponsor of New Hampshire’s legalization bill - Representative Anita Burroughs. You can watch on Youtube and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn

- Jeremy Berke & Jay Rosenthal

💡What’s the big deal?

The UN’s INCB doesn’t like legal cannabis

What’s happening: The United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board, which is responsible for monitoring controlled substances under the UN’s three main drug control conventions, released its annual report on Tuesday.

And if you thought this would be the moment that the international agency changes its tune on cannabis legalization, then you were, perhaps unsurprisingly, mistaken. 

The details: In a press release summing up the report, the UN specifically says that the “several” European countries that have recently legalized cannabis — including Germany, where a quasi-version of legalization is set to go into effect on April 1 — aren’t consistent with the agency’s drug control conventions.

Specifically, the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which placed cannabis in the UN’s most tightly regulated schedule, as well as the 1988 convention, which “requires the criminalization” of the cultivation of the cannabis plant to produce “narcotic drugs,” as Matt Lamers pointed out on X. (Read: Non-medical use).

Why it matters: Some experts have pointed to the 1961 UN Single Convention as a possible hurdle to the US legalizing cannabis by removing it from the list of federally controlled substances. 

Major economies like Canada and Germany have plowed ahead anyways, with little blowback. 

What’s next: But still, despite the UN’s waning international influence, the agency still has a major say in how individual nations govern their affairs. We expect the UN’s reticence on cannabis legalization to continue — and to slow the process of global legalization. 


👊 Quick hits

New York cannabis businesses will be required to implement “seed-to-sale” tracking systems for their inventory and sales in about two months, NY Cannabis Insider reports. The state’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) selected BioTrack for the contract. 

In other New York news, the OCM is getting sued yet again, over the state’s rules governing hemp. 

Republican Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Ted Budd (R-NC), wrote a letter to local, state, and federal authorities asking how they plan to enforce “federal law” as the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians plans to launch cannabis sales on April 20, Marijuana Moment reports

🎒 What we’re reading

📈 Deals, launches, partnerships

Alpine IQ is acquiring cannabis software startup Dispense. Jeremy Johnson, Dispense’s business development manager, shared some perspective on the deal on LinkedIn. No financial terms of the transaction were disclosed.

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