CBD to the KGB: Russia Opens to Cannabidiol Imports
Chet Duquette for Loud News Net
Are Russian drug laws changing? Medical Marijuana Inc. (OTC:MJNA) has become the first company granted permission to import cannabidiol (CBD) into the notoriously anti-marijuana Russian Federation. According to a statement released by MJNA CEO, Stuart Titus, the company will soon make its line of CBD lifestyle and beauty products available Russian Federation consumers. Imports will include hemp oil tinctures, skin toner, chewing gum, and even dog treats. The San Diego-based firm is also the first publicly traded marijuana company in the US. The implication is historic: Russia may be softening its stance on cannabis legalization.
Medical Marijuana Inc.; Import Pioneer
Accessing new cannabis markets
It is not entirely clear how Medical Marijuana Inc’s subsidiary, Kannaway, won this historic privilege. However, this is not Titus’ first experience importing to a country with an anti-cannabis reputation. MJNA was also the first company granted permission to pioneer the legal CBD market in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.
Cannabis restrictions have loosened worldwide in the past decade. In 2013 Uruguay became the world’s first country to fully legalize the growth, sale, and consumption of marijuana. Countries like Canada, Netherlands, Jamaica, and Czech Republic soon followed. These early adopters are the foundation of a trend that appears likely to continue.
Golunov and the ‘people’s statute‘
Russia however, like much of Asia, has not followed the trajectory of decriminalization. Russian drug laws are essentially zero tolerance for offenders. Putin and his team lead Europe in imprisoned drug offenders per capita. Most of Russia’s drug war prisoners were charged under the notorious Article 228, which alone accounts for around 1/4 of Russia’s prison population. This law is so pervasive it has earned the ironic nickname norodnya statya, or “the people’s statute”.
However, the “people’s statute” has been under increased scrutiny since last Summer. In June 2019, Journalist Ivan Golunov—famous for his investigations of corruption in the Putin government—was arrested on drug charges. Golunov’s supporters and Russian human rights organizations claimed the state police planted the drugs on him. The charges were eventually dropped for lack of evidence by Russia’s Interior Ministry. This was not before three of the most influential Russian newspapers printed identical “We are all Ivan Golunov” headlines, drawing much public commentary.
Russian Drug and Cannabis Laws
There have been no official statements on the legal status of CBD by the Russian government. Russian drug laws seem to be unchanged. However, the recent announcement by Medical Marijuana Inc. indicates that the Putin regime may be softening its hard stance against cannabis. Only time will tell.
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