Tag Archives: Current Affairs

The global medicinal cannabis market could undercut New Zealand farmers | Instant News


The New Zealand Drug Foundation said New Zealand’s medical cannabis industry would face competition from overseas medical cannabis companies.

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But three United Nations drug treaties prevent the global trade in non-medical cannabis – which can be used for recreation – if New Zealand laws change about recreational marijuana use.

Thai drug company has told RNZ Its low import prices could ultimately weaken New Zealand’s cannabis market, and investors were not properly warned.

The executive director of the drug foundation Ross Bell said it was important for people to understand that the products used in medicinal cannabis could be imported and exported, meaning New Zealand producers could join the global industry, and they could also face competition from overseas medical cannabis companies.

“But when it comes to recreational cannabis, including if we legalize it by referendum, there are three UN drug treaties that don’t allow the global trade in non-medical cannabis.”

The Ministry of Health says that medicinal cannabis products, except for CBD products, are controlled drugs under the Drug Abuse Act of 1975. Drug cannabis licensees also require import or export license of controlled drugs if they intend to: Import cannabis seeds, starting materials, cannabis base ingredients or medicinal cannabis products, and export cannabis starting materials, cannabis base ingredients or medicinal cannabis products.

New Zealand’s Agency for Business and Economic Research Berl told RNZ that it understands that “there is no intention (or permission) to import any product except the cannabis seed”.

Thai Cannabis Corporation’s vice president of marketing has questioned Berl’s statement that “low priced products will be excluded”.

Jim Plamondon said it was “in stark contrast to the New Zealand-Thailand Closer Economic Partnership, which is the applicable law for such a medical cannabis trade.

“New Zealand cannot exclude Thai medical cannabis exports on the basis of low prices, or deny the market share that naturally attracts those low prices, through quotas, tariffs or non-tariff trade barriers.” he says.

Bell says commercial interests drive their own, and the confusion is clear because of the stage of the industry, but the prospects for New Zealand’s medical cannabis industry are attractive.

“There are some players who get licensed and who fund a lot, and investors are getting very excited about the prospect.

“New Zealand’s medical marijuana industry will compete with the global industry and there are several large companies in North America – particularly Canada, that can compete with New Zealand.”

Bell said there are also emerging markets, such as Thailand that may be able to produce medical marijuana much cheaper, but still have to meet strict New Zealand pharmaceutical standards.

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Thai cannabis companies say projections of economic benefits will not materialize | Instant News


A Thai cannabis company believes its low import prices could ultimately weaken New Zealand’s cannabis market, and investors were not properly warned.

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Photo: 123RF

But New Zealand’s current bill proposes a ban on cannabis imports.

Jim Plamondon at Thai Cannabis Corporation said analysts’ “extraordinary forecasts”, combined with the potential to legalize marijuana after next month’s referendum, have caught the attention of New Zealand investors and policymakers.

The potential retail value of New Zealand medical marijuana is estimated to be worth $ 360 million a year and taxes of $ 490 million.

The New Zealand Economic and Business Research Agency Berlé estimates the potential retail value of all marijuana at $ NZ1.5 billion per year.

Plamondon said the forecast did not include the impact of low price imports.

“If the assumption is that the economic benefits of legalizing marijuana will boost the economy and help lift it out of recession, it will almost certainly not be true.

“And in fact, nearly all of the money that’s pouring into the cannabis industry in New Zealand is likely to drop dramatically.”

But Berl said that under the current law, imported products – except for the cannabis plant seeds, would not be allowed.

Research Director Dr Ganesh Rajaram Ahirao (Ganesh Nana) said the scope for Berl’s estimation for the Ministry of Justice, was that the proposed cannabis market would be strictly regulated at all stages from production, processing and supply.

Berl understands that there is no intention (or concession) to import any product except the seeds of the cannabis plant.

“Furthermore, with a strictly regulated market approach, market allocations will explicitly state how much to plant, while products with low prices will be issued,” he said.

“In this case, we don’t see how the impact of imported cannabis is relevant to our estimates of market size.”

Plamondon hopes laws designed to anticipate legalizing recreational marijuana will eventually change to allow for cheaper imported products.

He said New Zealand was his company’s first export target market.

“We hope to sell it there in two years. Obviously there are some important points that will bring us to the market and they are very interested.

“I’ve corresponded with some people who are eager to have a product that is equivalent to the tenth price of a product – who wouldn’t?”

A private capital raising firm, Snowball Effect, recently warned investors not to put money in marijuana they don’t want to lose.

Director Bill O’Boyle said comments related to industry growth, the uncertainty surrounding the new law, spending going into some initial business and the size of the market.

“Ultimately there is a supply of the raw product and competition for that supply, and another concern is the delivery of that product to the final market.

“The big uncertainty we’re seeing is whether doctors will prescribe medicinal cannabis products anytime soon, and if so – how long it will take to get online.”

The RNZ reports this week that two years after medicinal cannabis was legal in the UK many doctors still haven’t prescribed it, and though it’s still early days, New Zealand doctors seem to be in the same camp.

O’Boyle said in light of warnings from Thai companies, people need to refer to the law and what it allows.

“Without commenting directly on what the law is, we want our investors to think long and hard about what exactly the parameters of the company they want to invest in are.

“The question we have, regardless of where the product comes from, is how to compete with commodity products and produce on a large scale, in a very small market.

“I’m sure there will be players overseas who are looking down on selling their products, if they are allowed to do so.”

A Nelson-based medical cannabis company, Medical Kiwi has sold the first two years of production to Hectarees, a global player in the medical cannabis industry, the equivalent of $ 30 million for 2021, and $ 60 million by 2022.

They recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $ 2 million to get production to take place in Christchurch and help fund Nelson’s development and technology purchases.

Co-founder and chairman, Aldo Miccio, said Plamondon’s statement was interesting, especially around a Thai product that could potentially be one-tenth the price of New Zealand’s marijuana.

“There’s a pretty good margin involved – that’s why a lot of people are investing, but we’re aiming for our prices to be a lot cheaper than products imported at this point.”

Miccio said marijuana grown outdoors, such as grown on tropical plains in Thailand, is definitely cheaper to produce, but only products grown indoors will pass pharmaceutical standards scrutiny.

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Adesanya has shone success in defending the UFC title | Instant News


New Zealand’s mixed martial arts artist Israel Adesanya defends the UFC world title in a dominant fashion.

Photo: PHOTO

Adesanya scored a second-round knockout win over Brazilian Paulo Costa in Abu Dhabi.

One of four fighters from the Auckland City Kickboxing gym to appear with a UFC 253 card, Halberg’s sportsman of the year took his professional record to a perfect 20 out of 20 with a win.

Meanwhile, the revival of Adesanya teammate Brad Riddell in the UFC light division continues.

Riddell came from behind to clinch an absolute victory over Alex Da Silva in Abu Dhabi.

The 28-year-old Cantabrian was beaten in the first half by his Brazilian opponent, but turned things around in the second, before finishing in strong fashion.

Riddell took a 29-28 battle on all three of the judges’ scorecards to move up to 3-0 at the UFC and 9-1 overall as a professional.

UFC New Zealand's Brad Riddell lighter.

UFC New Zealand’s Brad Riddell lighter.
Photo: Photosport

However, things did not go according to plans of team-mates Riddell, Kai Kara-France and Shane Young.

Seventh in the flyweight division, Kara-France suffered a second round submission defeat to 9th ranked Brandon Royval.

The Kiwi had a big moment in the first half, landing a right hook right on the chin of his American opponent.

But when Kara-France swooped in to finish, Royval took a big shot of his own, and from his sharp play on the field came forward.

After trying to do a triangle choke at the end of the opening half, Royval finally managed to finish it in exactly the same way in the second half.

Kara-France’s record drops to 4-2 at UFC, and 21-9 overall.

Competing in the featherweight division, Young was knocked out in the first round by Ludovit Klein.

The Slovakian, making his UFC debut after winning seven consecutive times, surprised the Kiwi with a head kick before knocking him out and quickly ended the fight with a series of sharp punches.

Young returned to action for the first time in more than 18 months, having recovered from a serious injury that threatened to end his career.

He dropped to 2-2 at UFC and 13-6 overall as a professional.

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The truth and lies of Covid-19 – can New Zealanders tell the difference? | Instant News


The most recent Research New Zealand survey was set to establish the extent to which New Zealanders believe various alternative (or conspiracy) facts and theories surrounding Covid-19.

Photo: AFP

The survey found that while the majority of Kiwis do not believe in the Covid-19 conspiracy theory, the true cause of the pandemic is largely unknown – with 20 percent believing the disease originated in a laboratory.

New Zealand researcher Emanuel Kalafatelis says he and his colleagues have decided to conduct a poll on conspiracy theories after staff room discussions about the effects of social media on the public.

One of their questions was asked whether people know that Covid-19 is a contagious disease caused by severe acute coronavirus 2, to get a general reading of whether people understand what it is.

Kalafatelis said the results took them “a little surprise”.

“Forty-nine percent – basically one in every two – are wrong,” he said. “Again, it’s not like we haven’t been repeatedly told what it is.”

While the question covers most of the major conspiracy theories surrounding Covid-19, the strongest beliefs surround the theory that the disease was created in a laboratory.

“What surprised us was that 20 percent agreed with the proposition,” said Kalafatelis. “So that’s one in every five of our respondents – and remember, they represent the New Zealand population – agreeing that it’s very likely it came out of the lab.”

While Research NZ found the number of respondents who agreed with the core conspiracy theory was lower than the lab question, there is still some concern when the numbers are extrapolated to the general population.

“So for example, Covid-19, its spread is being accelerated by the 5G network … four percent of our respondents agree with that and if you estimate four percent, that means more than 100,000 adults in New Zealand.”

3D illustration of the corona virus.

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Photo: AFP

Similar figures were found when respondents were asked if the coronavirus was part of an ongoing hoax, with four percent agreeing. The results also showed four percent agreed that Covid-19 was “the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, including toxic buildup”, while three percent agreed that if you wear a mask, you will get sick from inhaling carbon dioxide.

However, when asked whether the dangers and severity of Covid-19 have been exaggerated by officials, the percentage is even higher – nine percent of respondents agreed with this.

Kalafatelis said they also found more careless attitudes to the virus from young people.

“Unlike some of the other polls we have conducted, we found relatively small differences based on the demographic questions we posed, but in this particular case we have found a fairly strong association between outcome and age,” he said.

“So for example, the younger people in our sample are less likely to agree that washing hands and maintaining reasonable social distancing will help stop the spread of Covid.”

The results also show that there is increasing concern for people about contracting the virus and becoming seriously ill.

The last time this question was asked was on August 20, 41 percent said they were concerned. The same question was asked in a recent poll and the results increased to 57 percent.

“So clearly, this is a significant concern,” said Kalafatelis. “It could be that we were just in a semi-lockdown position across the country and we were just getting out of there, and I think that surge in concern might reflect that.”

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Weather guard: spring makes way for winter blasts | Instant News


MetService has issued a series of alerts when important weather events are approaching in the country.

Bad weather is expected to hit Auckland tomorrow. (image file)
Photo: 123RF

It is expected that there will be heavy rains in the upper reaches of Canterbury and Westland this evening, as well as Mount Taranaki and the Tararua Mountains overnight, which is said to cause surface flooding, slides and rapidly rising rivers.

Strong winds are expected in Buller, Westland, Wellington and Marlborough from tonight and South Taranaki, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay from tomorrow morning, which are said to make driving dangerous.

Snow is expected to fall on the South Island alpine track tomorrow, and could affect Desert Road on the North Island on Monday and Tuesday.

Big waves could affect the west coasts of both islands, and the south and east coast of central and southern New Zealand, tomorrow through Tuesday.

Strict supervision is required for port bridges

Weather is expected to reach Auckland tomorrow, and Waka Kotahi, the Transport Agency is monitoring conditions that could close the already paralyzed Auckland Harbor Bridge.

Two lanes were closed due to damage caused by the truck that rolled over a week ago, with temporary repairs in place.

Head of Travel Neil Walker said that while the bridge was safe, it remained vulnerable until permanent repairs were made.

That means it may have to close in a very short time.

Repair work was carried out on the Auckland Harbor Bridge overnight on Tuesday / Wednesday.

Temporary repairs have been made to the Auckland Harbor Bridge but it is prone to bad weather.
Photo: Awarded / Waka Kotahi NZTA

“The general advice is, if you ride a vehicle with the high sides or if you ride a motorcycle, the best option is to take the West Ring Route,” he said.

Auckland Civil Defense Emergency Management encourages residents to tie loose items, and contact Vector Energy or Counties Power to report a power outage.

A ‘triple threat’ for Otago

People in Otago were urged to check their emergency supplies, while the area’s Civil Defense emergency management team was closely monitoring the situation.

The area will be the first to be affected.

While the severe weather alert from MetService does not include Otago, it has already issued weather controls for the region, and public information manager Michele Poole said it included a “triple threat” from strong winds, heavy snow and rain.

“This will be a particular problem for current child farmers, and anyone traveling,” he said.

“We always advise people to be careful if they travel in these conditions – check the weather, check the roads before they leave. Be prepared for power cuts, make sure they have torches if they head into the evening, and alternative ways to cook. and keep warm. “

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