Medical Cannabis and Life Sciences5
In June, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky urged MPs to expedite the process of legalising medical cannabis. Zelensky highlighted the need to approve the long-awaited medical cannabis bill, which has been delayed since 2021. The conflict in Ukraine has resulted in numerous cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among soldiers and civilians. The Ukrainian Government claim that over 60% of soldiers suffer from PTSD and about half the population requires psychological support due to the war. Medical cannabis is one solution and can provide benefits that are supported by scientific studies. The bill proposes strict regulations for cultivation, production, and sale, with electronic prescriptions for patients and percentage testing for the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”). While the bill received support from 80 MPs initially, it failed to gain parliamentary approval. The new version of the bill separates medical cannabis from industrial hemp, raises the THC potency limit, and suggests a temporary ban on importing narcotic hemp. Despite public support for medical cannabis, the bill has been awaiting approval for over a year.
Digital Payments Economy67
According to FXC Intelligence data, the volume of remittance flows has grown significantly since 2010. Remittances are projected to reach $1.1 trillion in 2025, up from approximately $420 billion in 2010. Europe has consistently been the leading sender of remittances, while on the receiving side this has alternated between Asia & Pacific and Europe. However, Europe is expected to sit firmly on top for receiving by 2025 due to the growth of intra-European remittances facilitated by the Euro and Eurozone payment systems like SEPA. In Asia & Pacific, governments have been exploring international payment systems to compete with Europe as a top remittance receiver. Whilst the US and Canada play major roles in sending remittances within the Americas, European countries continue to have significant flows between each other, with both historically linked nations and newer markets arising from increased intra-European migration. The UK maintains high remittance flows to India based on historical ties and has seen significant flows to Romania in recent years. While digitization and financial inclusion may reduce reliance on established remittance relationships in the long term, evidence suggests reduced dependence on the US in certain countries due to de-dollarisation efforts.