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UN's Commission On Narcotic Drug Delays Vote On Cannabis Recommendations

Alex Oleinic


Tuesday 26 Feb 2019

The United Nations' Committee on Narcotic Drugs will not be voting on the recommendations provided by the World Health Organization vis-à-vis cannabis at its upcoming session in March. The delay in vote comes after the recommendations were submitted later than expected.

What Happened

Last month, the World Health Organization issued several recommendations to the CND regarding cannabis. The organization advised recognizing the medical usefulness of marijuana and its removal from Schedule IV and providing additional information about CBD not being under international control, among other things.

The recommendations from the WHO's Expert Committee on Drug Dependence’s were originally expected in December.

During the CND Intersessional Meeting on Feb. 25, representatives of several countries, including Japan, Germany, Russia and The United States, asked for more time to consider the recommendations.

The CND will hold its 62nd session between March 14 and 22 in Vienna. On March 7, the CND will hold its next intersessional meeting.

Why This Is Important

Currently, cannabis and cannabis resin are included in Schedule I and Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

"Substances that are included in both these Schedules are particularly liable to abuse and to produce ill-effects and have little or no therapeutic use. Other substances that are included in both Schedules I and IV are fentanyl analogues, heroin and other opioids that are considered especially dangerous," according to WHO.

With the Schedule IV being the most restrictive, removing it from there will ensure it's still a controlled substance but can be accessed for medical purposes.

Approving the recommendations could be a major step forward for legalization of cannabis in more countries, even though a number of UN members, such as Canada and Uruguay have fully legalized cannabis for both medical and recreational use. Approving WHO's recommendations will serve as a recognition by the UN of the cannabis' therapeutic properties.

Providing clarity regarding CBD will also pave the way for governments to regulate CBD products and make them more available. This will create major opportunities for companies like Aurora Cannabis Inc., which are already establishing a global footprint, as well as for CBD-focused companies like New Age Beverages Inc




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