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Article
Publication date: 30 November 2012

Monica J. Barratt, Martin Bouchard, Tom Decorte, Vibeke Asmussen Frank, Pekka Hakkarainen, Simon Lenton, Aili Malm, Holly Nguyen and Gary R. Potter

Unlike other plant‐based drugs, cannabis is increasingly grown within the country of consumption, requires minimal processing before consumption, and can be easily grown…

Abstract

Purpose

Unlike other plant‐based drugs, cannabis is increasingly grown within the country of consumption, requires minimal processing before consumption, and can be easily grown almost anywhere using indoor or outdoor cultivation techniques. Developments in agronomic technologies have led to global growth in domestic cultivation, both by cannabis users for self‐ and social‐supply, and by more commercially‐oriented growers. Cross‐national research is needed to better understand who is involved in domestic cultivation, the diversity in cultivation practices and motivations, and cultivators' interaction with the criminal justice system and cannabis control policies.

Design/methodology/approach

The article introduces the Global Cannabis Cultivation Research Consortium (GCCRC), describes its evolution and aims, and outlines the methodology of its ongoing cross‐national online survey of cannabis cultivation.

Findings

Despite differing national contexts, the GCCRC successfully developed a core questionnaire to be used in different countries. It accommodates varying research interests through the addition of optional survey sections. The benefits to forming an international consortium to conduct web‐based survey research include the sharing of expertise, recruitment efforts and problem‐solving.

Research limitations/implications

The article discusses the limitations of using non‐representative online sampling and the strategies used to increase validity.

Originality/value

The GCCRC is conducting the largest cross‐national study of domestic cannabis cultivation to date. The aim is not only to better understand patterns of cannabis cultivation and how they differ between countries but also to build upon online engagement methodology with hidden populations.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2018

Chris Wilkins, Sharon Sznitman, Tom Decorte, Pekka Hakkarainen and Simon Lenton

The purpose of this paper is to explore the characteristics of small-scale cannabis cultivation in New Zealand and Israel.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the characteristics of small-scale cannabis cultivation in New Zealand and Israel.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey of predominantly small-scale cannabis cultivators had previously been conducted in 11 countries in 2012/2013. The same core online survey was subsequently conducted in New Zealand and Israel in 2016/2017, and comparisons made with the original 11 countries.

Findings

Only around one third of the New Zealand and Israeli cannabis growers had sold cannabis, and the majority of these did so only to cover the costs of cultivation. The median number of cannabis plants cultivated per crop by the New Zealand and Israeli growers was five and two, respectively. The leading reasons provided for growing cannabis by both the New Zealand and Israeli growers were to provide cannabis for personal use and to share with others. A higher proportion of New Zealand than Israeli growers reported growing cannabis for medicinal reasons. A total of 16 per cent of the New Zealand and 17 per cent of Israeli growers had come into contact with the police due to their cannabis cultivation. The findings suggest small-scale cannabis cultivation in New Zealand and Israel is largely a means of “social supply” of cannabis, and this is consistent with the findings from the original 11 countries. The higher incidence of growing cannabis for medicinal purposes in New Zealand may reflect the limited official access to medical cannabis. Significant minorities of small-scale cannabis growers in both countries had contact with police, putting them at risk of the negative consequences of a criminal conviction.

Originality/value

To date, the research into cannabis cultivation has largely consisted of studies of individual countries. However, given the global popularity of cannabis use, and the recent spread of cannabis cultivation to countries that traditionally have not produced cannabis, via utilisation of indoor growing techniques, there is now a strong case for international comparative research. Following the success of the surveys in the original 11 countries, New Zealand and Israeli members of the Global Cannabis Cultivation Research Consortium international collaboration chose to undertake surveys in their own countries in 2016/2017.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2018

Melissa Bone, Gary Potter and Axel Klein

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue on Illicit Cannabis Cultivation in a Time of Policy Change.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue on Illicit Cannabis Cultivation in a Time of Policy Change.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews some of the different adaptations made by cannabis growers in countries where cannabis has not been legalised.

Findings

Cannabis growers are adjusting to different legal settings by focusing on home production. Participation in cultivation is a crime, but can also be activism: an effort to change the law. Medical use of cannabis is a particularly important driver here. Having to break the law to alleviate symptoms and treat illnesses provides both a greater sense of urgency and a level of sympathy not usually granted to illicit drug users.

Practical implications

Grass-roots advocacy may drive policy change.

Originality/value

This is an original assessment of current state of knowledge on cannabis cultivation in countries where cannabis cultivation remains restricted.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Book part
Publication date: 15 October 2018

Jonas von Hoffmann

Both Bolivia and Uruguay broke ranks with the global drug prohibition regime by introducing novel drug policies. State control of the production and supply of coca and…

Abstract

Both Bolivia and Uruguay broke ranks with the global drug prohibition regime by introducing novel drug policies. State control of the production and supply of coca and cannabis represents a clear departure from both the spirit and the letter of the international drug conventions. Although, the rationale, processes and outcomes of policy change were distinctive in many regards, this chapter posits that there are conceptual resemblances. In both countries, the leadership of a charismatic and idiosyncratic president has to be considered. Furthermore, in both countries, mobilisation and activism were also decisive. Lastly, in both countries novel drug policy responded to specific problems that decision-makers faced. Approaching drug policy reforms in Bolivia and Uruguay in terms of personal leadership, mobilisation and policy problems provides a useful analytical first-cut to assess the continuity and change in drug policy observable elsewhere. Additionally, scrutinising the reasons and motivations for undertaking drug policy reform also allows to better understand each country’s behaviour on the international stage.

Details

Collapse of the Global Order on Drugs: From UNGASS 2016 to Review 2019
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-488-6

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Article
Publication date: 26 April 2018

Machel Anthony Emanuel, Andre Yone Haughton and K’adamawe K’nife

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects of legislative amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act in 2015 and the establishment of a Cannabis Licensing Authority…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects of legislative amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act in 2015 and the establishment of a Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) in Jamaica as the first Caribbean country to decriminalize cannabis and attempt to establish a medical cannabis industry. The research also attempts to understand the perception of key industry players and interest groups to the existing regulatory framework in Jamaica.

Design/methodology/approach

The research reviews local and global trends, the developments in cannabis legislation and conducts questionnaires as well as semi-structured interviews to get feedback from key industry stakeholders and interest groups.

Findings

The findings suggest that there is a lack of confidence in the CLA in Jamaica, who are faced with the task of balancing the emerging medical cannabis industry and formalizing the existing illegal cannabis trade. There appears to be inconsistencies and lack of coordination between the associated ministries, departments and agencies. The CLA in Jamaica has established two separate cannabis models that appear to be incoherent in their approach to policy. On the one hand they are regulating cultivation, processing and supply, and on the other hand, the law remains unclear about the purchase or consumption of cannabis and its by-products.

Practical implications

Countries must learn from Jamaica’s experience if they wish to effectively establish a medical cannabis industry and legitimize existing illegal cannabis economic activities. These countries must ensure they tailor fit the approach of their CLAs to minimize any negative perception from industry players. Laws established to facilitate linkages from the cultivation to processing to packaging to transportation to retail must also include clear laws surrounding the purchase and consumption of cannabis. Jamaica has a far way to go and must continue to learn from other countries and states, for example, Holland, Spain and Uruguay, while at the same time learning from itself.

Originality/value

This paper is novel as it addresses the transition of the legislative process in Jamaica. It also serves as lesson for other countries that seek to engage in the development of their cannabis industries.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 15 October 2018

Tom Blickman

This chapter looks at the past, present and future of international cannabis control required by the UN drug control conventions in the post-2016 United Nations General…

Abstract

This chapter looks at the past, present and future of international cannabis control required by the UN drug control conventions in the post-2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session era with an eye on the next High Level Ministerial Segment (HLMS) at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in 2019, and beyond. From a policy analysis perspective, the author meanders through the increasing tendency to legally regulate recreational cannabis markets notwithstanding the obligation enshrined in the UN drug control conventions to limit cannabis exclusively for ‘medical and scientific’ purposes. Taking into account relevant national and international developments, the chapter describes how the growing discomfort with the status of cannabis and the prohibitive and punitive approach stemming from the international drug control regime went through a process from soft to hard defections of the treaty obligations. The case of the Netherlands demonstrates the difficulty faced by reform-minded states in reconciling their wish for a different cannabis control mechanism with their obligations under international law, resulting in an incomplete regulation of its coffee-shop system, where small amounts of cannabis are tolerated for sale, but where the illicit supply to the shops remained unregulated. Subsequent more wide-ranging reforms to regulate cannabis from seed to sale in Uruguay, several US States and – in 2018 – in Canada, are clearly violating the obligations of the UN drug control conventions. Nevertheless, the HLMS will likely leave the elephant in the room untouched. The emerging paradigm shift regarding cannabis shows that a modernisation of the UN drug control regime is long overdue. This chapter discusses some of the options available.

Details

Collapse of the Global Order on Drugs: From UNGASS 2016 to Review 2019
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-488-6

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 September 2020

Linda Sowoya, Chifundo Akamwaza, Austin Mathews Matola and Axel Klein

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the opportunities for tobacco farmers in Malawi from diversifying to cannabis, and the potential benefits for reducing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the opportunities for tobacco farmers in Malawi from diversifying to cannabis, and the potential benefits for reducing deforestation by producing a cannabis based alternative fuel. It further argues that there are tensions between the conflicting objectives of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

Design/methodology/approach

Field interviews were conducted with cannabis farmers, traders and sellers in different parts of Malawi.

Findings

The findings of this study show that there are opportunities for cannabis farmers but they have been blocked by legal impediments. Now that legislative reform have made cannabis cultivation possible, farmers need support in developing products.

Research limitations/implications

Any attempt to provide a precise assessment of the cannabis market in Malawi is constrained by the criminalised status of the product. The suitability of cannabis briquettes as an fuel has yet to be trialled in Malawi.

Social implications

There is an urgent need to revise the drug control conventions to address environmental degradation and deforestation.

Originality/value

The linkage between tobacco farming, deforestation and desertification in Malawi has not been made. This is the first time that hemp has been suggested as an alternative crop for farmers and as a solution to deforestation.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 30 November 2012

Gary R. Potter and Caroline Chatwin

This article aims to discuss the use of the word “skunk” in contemporary discourse as short‐hand for premium quality, indoor‐grown cannabis. Skunk, as used in this way, is…

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to discuss the use of the word “skunk” in contemporary discourse as short‐hand for premium quality, indoor‐grown cannabis. Skunk, as used in this way, is a contested term that many cannabis users reject. The purpose of the article is to draw attention to some practical implications of this semantic dispute for academic research and for policy development.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on qualitative data generated during an online survey project examining UK cannabis markets. Findings discussed are contextualised by reference to use of the word skunk in public discourse through the media and policy documents.

Findings

The uncritical use of the word “skunk” by researchers, the media and others can pose problems, particularly where the use and implied meaning of the word is rejected (as it is amongst a segment of the cannabis using population). Attempts to acquire or disseminate knowledge, or to develop or enact policy about cannabis use and distribution in the UK may encounter significant problems if attention is not paid to this issue.

Originality/value

The article offers a view of the impact of the increased and uncritical public use of the word “skunk” on those who may be of particular concern to policy makers and academic researchers: those who are most involved with cannabis (e.g. heavier users, cannabis connoisseurs and cannabis growers).

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2011

Polly Radcliffe

Abstract

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Content available
Article
Publication date: 23 October 2019

Sharon R. Sznitman, Monica J. Barratt, Tom Decorte, Pekka Hakkarainen, Simon Lenton, Gary Potter, Bernd Werse and Chris Wilkins

It is conceivable that cannabis cultivators who grow for medical purposes aim to improve the therapeutic index of their cannabis by attempting to produce particular…

Abstract

Purpose

It is conceivable that cannabis cultivators who grow for medical purposes aim to improve the therapeutic index of their cannabis by attempting to produce particular concentrations of CBD and/or THC. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether small-scale medical cannabis growers differ from those growing for recreational reasons in terms of self-assessed concentrations of THC and CBD in the cannabis they grow.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection was conducted online from a convenience sample of 268 cannabis growers visiting a popular Israeli cannabis internet forum. χ2 and Kruskal–Wallis H were used to test bivariate associations between medical and recreational cannabis cultivators in terms of self-assessed cannabinoid concentrations.

Findings

In total, 40 percent of cannabis growers reported that they grow for medical purposes. Medical cannabis growers were more likely to report that they thought they knew the cannabinoid concentrations of the cannabis they grew and they reported higher self-assessed concentrations of THC, but not CBD.

Originality/value

Compared to recreational growers, medical cannabis growers are more likely to strive to be informed in terms of the content of their cannabis. Medical growers may also be attempting to grow more potent THC but not CBD cannabis.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

1 – 10 of 151