Worldwide Export of Medical Hashish – firebird-cbdoil
Over the last few years, our international trading team has advised a growing number of clients on cannabis import and export issues. We advise our customers regularly in the production overseas, with questions of hemp import / export and customs. At the moment we also deal with tough questions about international treaties and cannabis. One thing that no one has hired us yet – and I would like to work on – is the international shipping of medical cannabis.
How do you ship medical cannabis internationally? Here are the steps:
- Start in a country with federal laws that allow the production of medical cannabis (there are some);
- Start in a country with advanced national health authority and export authority (Canada, Netherlands, Uruguay, Colombia, Israel, Jamaica, South Africa, Lesotho or Australia would probably suffice);
- Find a country that allows imports of medicinal cannabis (there are quite a few, especially in the EU.);
- make an agreement and acquire import and export licenses; and
- Report all imports and exports to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) as needed.
This last step is worth a paragraph. The INCB is the United Nations Independent Control Body for International Drug Conventions. In the context of cannabis, the 1961 Single Convention allows, under certain conditions, the manufacture and administration of cannabis for medical and research purposes. One of the necessary controls is for a government agency to designate the area in which cannabis can be grown, to license manufacturers, and to have the exclusive right to import, export, trade, and maintain cannabis wholesale. Each of the export countries listed above has taken appropriate action.
Of course, the export is always driven by demand. And demand is not just a matter of quantity; Product categories are also dispositive. So far we have seen the import / export of medicinal cannabis in categories such as whole flowers, oil, topical products and capsules. Some of this cannabis has been exported for research, but the majority seems to have been shipped for medical purposes. This is usually because importing countries allow the use of medicinal marijuana or cannabis but do not approve production and do not tolerate their own cultivation.
The medical cannabis import / export market is very new. This means that in addition to legal complexity, practical issues need to be clarified. First and foremost are the quality standards. Although good medical practice (GMP) is required for the shipment of medicinal cannabis to the EU, there are no uniform rules for the quality control of medicinal cannabis between and between countries – including content, composition, adulterants, efficacy, and even the toxicity residues. (Think about … for a "medicine"!) Another critical issue is the integrity of the supply chain. Finally, a thicket of political and political considerations has to be addressed, which extends to the social responsibility and the conditions of the end-users.
Enterprises that enter the medical cannabis exporting industry usually call their efforts a long-term investment rather than a one-off project. This is useful given the capital requirements for entry and the political conditions for international orientation. In fact, the quantities of shipped cannabis will be distributed at irregular intervals and in large quantities.
Ultimately, it appears natural to export medical cannabis from places where it grows best, such as Colombia, to places where it may not grow, as in England. Canada has a big export lead today. However, one wonders if it makes sense to grow cannabis in the long term north of the 42nd parallel. At some point, the legal regime will settle down and market efficiencies may occur.
Overall, legal and political factors that made the export of medical marijuana unthinkable change very quickly. The international distribution channels that are being built today will one day also serve as channels for the trade in recreational cannabis. Until then, we will continue to observe and report on developments in this fascinating space.
For more information on international cannabis trade, see: