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Australia – Northern NSW: Helicopters, dogs and the police four day cannabis raid



All the news this week with regard to cannabis in Australia just sounds like the weary voice of complete policy failure across the board both at state and Federal level after nigh on a decade of pointless discussion and just enough “industry creation” to build an entirely dysfunctional cannabis retail environment, sorry we meant medical cannabis market!

We’ve got medical cannabis firms who can’t get off the ground without going into financial administration, we’ve got overseas medical cannabis producers using Australia as a dumping ground before new TGA rules come into force ( we imagine there’s a few on the ground Australian enablers trying to make a quick buck in that process too) and we have the police on 4 day mega raids in a region the size of some small European countries because, well, they can.

The Byron Echo reports on money badly spent by the NSW Police Force

While we get the hemp industry going on the Northern Rivers and smoking cannabis is legal in many countries across the world the NSW police have once again headed out with their choppers and dogs to curb the cannabis cultivation that the region is known for. 

A NSW police spokesperson told The Echo that, ‘Police have seized more than $2 million worth of cannabis as part of an ongoing investigation into outdoor cannabis cultivation in the state’s north.

‘Between Monday (30 January 2023) and Thursday (2 February 2023), officers from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad – with assistance from Tweed/Byron Police District, Northern Rivers Region Enforcement Squad (RES), PolAir, and the Dog Unit – conducted the four-day operation across the district.

‘During the four-day operation, officers seized 1,088 cannabis plants, with an estimated potential street value of more than $2.1 million. An additional 9kg of cannabis head was also seized with an estimated potential street value of about $68,000.

‘Additional items were also located and seized during the four-day operation, including an air rifle, methylamphetamine, MDMA, and cash.

‘Seven people were arrested and charged with drug-related offences.

‘Investigations by the Drug and Firearms Squad are continuing.’


Helicopters, dogs and the police four day cannabis raid


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Asia Pacific & Australia

Taiwan: Farmer faces prosecution over cannabis plants despite reporting them to police




The Tapei Times

A farmer in Miaoli County faces prosecution after finding a packet of seeds by the roadside, which he took home and planted, only to find that they produced cannabis plants, police said.

Police on Thursday quoted the farmer, surnamed Yeh (葉), who is in his 50s, as saying that, in February, he found a packet of seeds on the ground next to a garbage bin on a rural road branching off Provincial Highway No. 3 near his farm in Miaoli’s Dahu Township (大湖).

He had always had an interest in cultivating plants, and as he was curious about the unidentified seeds, he took them home and planted some, Yeh said in a recorded statement to the police.

After three months, he found that three of the seeds had sprouted, but because the seedlings grew gradually he did not know what they were at first, Yeh said, adding that he later thought they looked like cannabis, but was still was unsure.

He asked the police to help him identify the plants, and when officers went to his home they found three healthy seedlings growing and a packet of about 800 seeds, which were identified as cannabis, police said.

The police said they confiscated the seedlings and the seeds, and took urine samples from Yeh, which came back clean.

A background check found that Yeh had no previous record of drug possession, but police said they had to follow procedure and took him to the Miaoli District Prosecutors’ Office for prosecution.

Cannabis is classified as a Category 2 narcotic under the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例), so Yeh must be prosecuted as he had planted the seeds and was in possession of cannabis plants, police said.

As Yeh reported the plants and seeds to the police he can expect a lesser sentence for unknowingly contravening the law, police said.

Earlier last week, police in Chiayi County conducted a raid in Fanlu Township (番路) and found cannabis oil products and pouches of “narcotic coffee powder” and tools for packaging.

A further search uncovered assorted narcotics inside a large polystyrene box labeled as fresh seafood and 20 packets of white powder, which turned out to be 7.3kg of heroin.

Police said it was one of the largest hauls of heroin found in Taiwan recently.

Testing found that the box contained one packet of amphetamine, 82 bottles of cannabis oil for vaping, one box of cannabis chocolates and nine pouches of mephedrone, police said.

Overall, judicial investigators estimated that the drugs seized had a street value of NT$40 million (US$1.26 million).

The house was rented by a man surnamed Tsai (蔡), who now faces prosecution.

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Article Suggests Thailand Being Flooded By US Cannabis Imports




Newsweed reports

Kajkanit Sakdisubha, CEO and founder of Taratera, which operates cannabis farms and shops, told Reuters that illegal imports began when the post-decriminalization sales boom led to the depletion of the domestic supply.

“That’s when the imported flowers started arriving,” says Kajkanit.

According to three industry members, at least half of the cannabis sold in Thailand is smuggled in, although they have no estimate of the quantity or value of the imports.

Pro-cannabis activist and retailer Chokwan “Kitty” Chopaka said the United States was the main source of the cannabis that has flooded Thailand, especially in its tourist hubs.

“Much of the cannabis coming from the United States is destined for dispensaries in Bangkok, Phuket or Pattaya,” she said.

Local farmers impacted

Pornchai Padmindra of the Thai Industrial Hemp Trade Association, which has about 300 members, said that as profit margins shrink, many growers are considering exiting the industry.

“People are struggling,” he said. “Things are getting tough. »

The large quantities of cannabis smuggled from abroad have indeed lowered wholesale prices and ultimately harmed growers.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce has estimated the sector could be worth $1.2 billion by 2025, but cultivator Srapathum Natthapong, 37, who has invested much of his savings to get into the industry, said said he had seen his income decline.

“At first, I could sell a kilo for between 350,000 and 400,000 baht (10,000 to 11,000 euros),” Srapathum Natthapong, a cannabis grower who operates three indoor farms, told Reuters.

In April, the date of the next harvest, Srapathum expects the price to have fallen to 200,000 baht (5,500 euros) per kilo.

“Smuggling harms us,” he said.

1.1 million people in Thailand have registered with the government to grow cannabis. It is not known if all do this or how many people grow cannabis without registering.

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Cannabiz Obituary: Fiona Wilson, co-founder of medicinal cannabis consultancy Holmes and Wilson




Very sad news our thoughts go to her family, friends and colleagues.


Cannabiz reports

Fiona Wilson, co-founder of medicinal cannabis consultancy Holmes and Wilson, has passed away aged 61 after a short illness.

Sadly missed: Fiona Wilson (left) with business partner and friend Patty Holmes

Following a long and successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, she joined Althea as regulatory affairs manager in July 2020, where she met director of medical affairs Patty Holmes.

A year later, the pair left Althea to launch Holmes and Wilson, with a mission to help the industry transition to the pharmaceutical environment and navigate the regulatory standards of development, registration, communication, and supply.

Holmes told Cannabiz: “Since we enjoyed working together so much and had complementary skill sets, we launched Holmes and Wilson to continue our work in the industry.

“I will remember Fiona foremost as a dear friend and wise companion with a wicked sense of humour. She didn’t stand for any BS, she called it as she saw it. She was one of the smartest individuals I have ever met and will be sadly missed.

“My only regret is that she was a one-eyed Collingwood supporter.”

Wilson leaves behind her partner, Eric, and two daughters, Jess and Emma, who Holmes described as “young, strong, independent women – a real credit to Fiona”.

Cannabiz co-founder Martin Lane added: “When I first met Fiona I warmed to her immediately. She was a big supporter of Cannabiz, a brilliant occasional writer for us, and great fun. Our thoughts are with her family and Patty at this difficult time.”

And writing on LinkedIn, industry commentator Rhys Cohen said: “Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Fiona Wilson. Fiona was one of the best – intelligent, compassionate, fiercely ethical, and just fun to be around and have a chat with. My condolences to her family and friends. Rest in peace.”


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