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In perhaps the fastest growing industry ever, one person has made a name for himself as a leader and innovator. Anne Holland, the Founder of Marijuana Business Daily, called his publication, "her favorite."

Arizona Ice Tea Entering Marijuana Marketing

in Marijuana/Marketing

In news that’s being greeted as inevitable, Arizona Iced Tea has announced it’s getting into the edibles business. It’s doing so through a licensing deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, with Denver’s Dixie Brands, Inc., producers and sellers of weed vapes, candies, drinks, tinctures, and topical creams. It’s a match made in heaven: Who among us has not smoked a joint in basement with two friends while eating two pepperoni pizzas and drinking three to four Zonas?

The deal is still pending the approval of Dixie’s board, but it will give Arizona an opportunity to purchase a stake of $10 million in the edibles manufacturer. The cannabis industry has boomed since states like California began decriminalizing the drug, and while major corporations like Cokehave made moves to profit off the new laws, ordinary people, and particularly people of color, continue to suffer the consequences of criminal records for selling or smoking weed.

Dixie will produce and sell the products at licensed dispensaries — it distributes in five states — and will probably start with vapes and gummies. It will then explore beverage possibilities, including teas, lemonade, soda, coffee, and seltzer. The possibilities are endless: Cannabis Palmer? Southern Style Reefer Tea? Herbal Tea With Schwag? Arizona’s reasoning is sound. “You’ve got to be willing to try things,” chairman and CEO Don Vultaggio tells the Journal, echoing 14-year-old stoners named Brad everywhere who are just trying to get Mike to take a hit from the Gatorade bong.

North Carolina Wants to Ban Smokable Hemp

in CBD/Hemp

The North Carolina House Agriculture Committee voted Friday afternoon to pass an amendment to the 2019 Farm Act which could deal a major blow to the budding hemp industry in the state.

Besides federal regulations laid out in the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, the Food and Drug Administration has no additional regulations on smokable hemp, leaving states to figure out how to govern it themselves.

The amendment moves up a ban on smokable hemp, or the cured and dried hemp flower, to Dec. 1, 2019.

The SBI and other law enforcement agencies have been pushing for the ban, since it is extremely difficult to quickly determine the difference between the hemp flower, which is not psychoactive, and marijuana.

Brian Bullman, owner and founder of Carolina Hemp Company in Asheville, said tools to test the buds are already available.

“This is a conversation that is not new in the country, it’s new in North Carolina,” Bullman said.

Bullman said the dried bud is fetching between $500-$1,000 a pound — much higher than hemp used for extracting CBD and other components, which typically sells for $40-$60 a pound.

The ban would mean a large loss in revenue, not just for the farmers who grow the high quality hemp.

“The vast majority of which are growing for CBD,” Bullman said. “Even out of those, a very large percentage growing for smokable flower, so it will have a significant economic impact. Right now, we’ve heard the state legislators talking about this smokable flower market is potentially 20% of the revenue in the market in North Carolina. We feel, as people on the front lines, it’s likely more like 30% or maybe even upwards of that a little bit. So significant, significant impacts.”

The 2019 Farm Act now has to pass several additional committees before it can be called to the NC House for a vote. It would still have to pass a commission as well, since the bill has been altered from the version passed in the N.C. Senate.

Marijuana Extract Industry Growing Fast Says New Studies

in Marijuana

As the cannabis industry continues to mature, consumers are beginning to demand fresh, new products. Traditionally, most consumers smoked cannabis via joints or other paraphernalia. Now, while it still is the most popular method, the number of users simply smoking cannabis is quickly diminishing.

Each year, reports have shown that more users are beginning to use cannabis alternative products such as edibles, concentrates, and extracts. The concentrates and extracts markets are gaining traction particularly quickly.

For instance, when Colorado began its legal adult-use cannabis sales, flower dominated the marketplace. By the end of the first year, flower accounted for 67% of Colorado’s overall cannabis sales, according to BDS Analytics. However, four years later, flower sales plummeted and have accounted for just 44% of total sales. During the same time span, the concentrates market closed the gap as its market share increased from 15% to 31%. Similarly, California witnessed its flower sales falter during the first four months of adult-use sales. California’s flower sales fell from 43% in the beginning to 40%, while concentrates narrowly rose from 30% to 31%. Just like every other global industry, consumer trends change each year and people begin to demand for innovative products.

Consumers within the cannabis market are now demanding more potent and cleaner alternatives to smoking the plant. Furthermore, according to data compiled by Ameri Research, the global legal marijuana market was valued at USD 14.3 Billion in 2016. By 2024, legal marijuana global sales are projected to reach USD 63.5 Billion while exhibiting a CAGR of 21.1% from 2017 to 2024. AREV Brands International Ltd. (OTC: AREVF) (CSE: AREV), Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (OTC: CBWTF) (TSX-V: XLY), Liberty Health Sciences Inc (OTC: LHSIF) (CSE: LHS), Nightfood Holdings, Inc. (OTC: NGTF), United Cannabis Corporation (OTC: CNAB)

Cannabis concentrates and extracts are basically umbrella terms that harbor products such as vape oils, hash, tinctures, dabs, and CBD oils. They are generally derived from the cannabis flower and then processed into a concentrated form that delivers a potent effect. While a gram of flower is significantly cheaper than extracts, they heavily differ in THC levels. Cannabis buds tend to range anywhere from 10% to 25% THC, while extracts and concentrates fall in the range between 50% to 90%. While the initial purchase can be quite hefty, the major trade off is that consumers receive more THC while using less of the product. Depending on the user, a half gram of oil can last a seldom user for over a couple of weeks. On the other hand, a frequent consumer can finish a half gram in a matter of a day or two, according to Bailey Rahn, Senior Content Manager at Leafly. Additionally, consumers now have a variety of products to select from when choosing an extract. Predominantly, the most popular extracts are budder, butane hash oil, CO2 oil, crumble, rosin, shatter, and wax. Generally, the only difference between these products is the texture and appearance, however, certain products can either be vaped, smoked, or dabbed. “We have markedly more data on flowers…concentrates are still new. Concentrates can get a lot more THC into the bloodstream a lot faster. If you’re supremely nauseated or in a lot of pain or about to panic, this can be a huge advantage. The flavors and aromas are detectably different but subject to personal taste,” said Mitch Earleywine, Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York at Albany and a member of the Board of Directors at NORML. 

AREV Brands International Ltd. (OTC: AREVF) (CSE: AREV) is currently listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: AREV). Earlier in May, the Company announced that, “it has contributed DNA samples from select BC Bud Depot genovarsTM to the inaugural batch run on the world’s first BeadArray genotype chip to be designed specifically for the cannabis genome. The Illumina Infinium HTS microarray, designed and wholly owned by Lighthouse Genomics Inc., allows up to 96 samples to be economically tested in a single batch run. Through its holding BC Bud Depot, AREV has entered into a Letter of Intent to undertake genetic quality screening of all BC Bud Depot strains and genovarsTM. This advancement in genomics technology provides BC Bud Depot access to what is now the world’s most efficient and cost-effective method of gathering quality, targeted data from the cannabis genome.

Under the terms of the LOI, BC Bud Depot will receive preferential pricing on Lighthouse sequencing, genotyping and consulting services for a period of one year, subject to renewal upon mutual agreement of both parties. During this period, BC Bud Depot will test and provide consultation on new services or technologies offered by Lighthouse Genomics. Initial services are to focus on mapping genetic diversity of the BC Bud Depot catalogue, creating genetic profiles of unique individuals and co-developing data-handling protocols for BC Bud Depot’s genetic screening and cannabis breeding program.

“The Lighthouse cannabis array provides us an efficient tool for screening a vast number of plants for their genetic value,” stated Matthew Harvey, Founder and Lead Breeder at BC Bud Depot. “We have been anticipating the completed manufacture of this custom cannabis array, as it is specific to our needs of producing genetic intelligence for our breeding programs. It draws our focus to those unique plant genomes holding especially high potential for enhancing the genetic quality and diversity of our cannabis gene pool.”

The Lighthouse array provides 40,000 data points per sample relating to high-interest single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and can be used to determine which samples warrant deeper analysis through the whole genome sequencing program that BC Bud Depot has already initiated, as previously reported. Whole genome sequencing provides accurate data covering approximately 800 Million base pairs of DNA, the entire cannabis genome. With this data, AREV can overlay mass spectrometry data from crops to investigate linkages between plant metabolite profiles and genes associated with the production of specific cannabinoids and terpenes. From there, BC Bud Depot can stabilize a gene by a non-GMO method referred to as haploid breeding.

According to Dr. Gina Conte, Chief Scientific Officer of Lighthouse Genomics, the 40,000 SNPs targeted by the array were selected to include SNPS “annotated to be involved in cannabinoid, terpene or secondary metabolite biosynthesis, as well as genes involved in flower production.” In addition, she notes, the array targets genes “well-distributed across the genome” with a high degree of “PC loading,” or SNP variability, to enable “reliably distinguishing a practically infinite number of varieties.”

Mike Withrow, CEO of AREV Brands, stated “This new technology empowers AREV and BC Bud Depot to investigate the state of cannabinoid and terpene synthase genes, including the likelihood that plants will breed true for genes that regulate the production of compounds used in extractions and oils. Using the most advanced cannabis genotype array known to exist worldwide helps AREV and BC Bud Depot to continue our mandate of leading as pioneers in the development of novel genomes tailored to precise medical needs and consumer experiences.”

Timothy Harvey, CEO of Lighthouse Genomics, stated “This inaugural batch run is an historic moment for Lighthouse. We are extremely pleased that BC Bud Depot has chosen to join us in this venture. The collaboration enables us to customize our bioinformatics software to render genomic data to suit their specific industry needs. That BC Bud Depot is able to use these tools for a competitive advantage is a testament to the diligence and prowess of their breeding programs.”

Momentous Shifts in Cannabis Regulations Open the Door for Continued Global Growth

in Uncategorized

The movement for cannabis legalization began back in the 1990s when California became the first U.S. state to legalize medical cannabis. Subsequently, several other states began to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes throughout the decade. And while the 1990s did pave the way for the birth of the legal cannabis industry, recent years have seen the market begin its growth in earnest.

First, in December of 2013, former Uruguay President Jose Mujica legalized recreational cannabis. Shortly after, U.S. states Colorado and Washingtonlegalized adult-use cannabis in 2014, becoming the first two states to allow legal adult-use. Throughout the next several years, more countries continued to adopt medicinal cannabis legislation. Meanwhile, the U.S. was seeing more states adopt recreational cannabis before, in 2018, Canada became the second nation to fully legalize cannabis. Moreover, Canada is the only G-7 nation to completely legalize cannabis, even though the remaining G-7 powers have adopted a full or partial medical cannabis legislation, save for Japan.

Predominantly, the therapeutic aspects of the cannabis plant are why many nations have decided to legalize its medical use. On the other hand, some countries have moved to legalize cannabis as an economic growth driver or to suppress the damage caused by the war on drugs. For instance, Germany recently approved legislation for medical cannabis in 2017 for seriously ill patients as the German government is trying to reduce the number of patients dependent on narcotics.

Meanwhile, Uruguay moved to legalize cannabis to reduce the war on drug crimes. Similarly, Mexico’s President-elect party wants to legalize cannabis as well and Senator Olga Sánchez Cordero, interior Secretary selected by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said that illegal cannabis is causing violent drug wars and poverty. While each nation has their own individual reasons to adopt cannabis, they are all collectively working together towards eliminating the stereotype revolving around the plant.

According to data compiled by ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics, worldwide consumer spending on legal cannabis was estimated to be approximately USD 12.2 Billion in 2018. By 2022, consumer spending is expected to reach USD 31.3 Billion while exhibiting a CAGR of 26.7% during the forecast period from 2017 to 2022. Pasha Brands Ltd. (OTC: CRFTF) (CSE: CRFT), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), CannTrust Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CTST) (NYSE: TRST), The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. (OTC: SPRWF) (TSX: FIRE), Cresco Labs Inc. (OTC: CRLBF) (CSE: CL)

Currently, the medical cannabis sector accounts for the majority of the global market share. Medical cannabis is much more readily available and accessible around different regions across the world because a handful of countries are looking to use cannabis as an alternative to traditionally prescribed drugs like opioids. However, the recreational cannabis market is thriving within the North American region, and despite not having federally legalized any form of cannabis, the U.S. is still the primary growth driver for the industry. Generally, the U.S. is seen as  the largest market primarily because of its early adoption. Throughout the past two decades, the U.S. has also attracted new consumers, leading to a massive user base.

Similarly, Canada is expected to witness similar consumer growth, especially after fully legalizing cannabis use. However, as the market continues to grow, consistent users will develop a tolerance while first-time users will have little-to-no tolerance. Primarily, the cognitive function is linked to the showing the highest level of tolerance. Typically, frequent users tend to go on “t-breaks” in order to lower their tolerance. T-breaks are short breaks which mainly recreational users take when they develop a high tolerance, but for medical patients suffering from chronic pain or other symptoms, t-breaks are not an option.

Henceforth, cultivators have set out to develop high-quality premium cannabis to appease both spectrums of the user market. Specifically, “craft” cultivators are developing high-end and expensive strains within the marketplace. Craft cultivators are similar to craft breweries, both want to achieve the top quality product for their consumers and craft cultivators pride themselves on their strenuous and meticulous process of closely monitoring each individual plant and providing optimal nutrients in order to grow the perfect plant.

“There is a coolness factor to artisan and craft style products and this trend is also picking up amongst cannabis consumers. For some, the uniqueness and exclusivity of craft cannabis are attractive. For others, the ethics and identity of a craft grower are compatible with their own and they want to be a part of that story. Yet, for others, simply supporting a local business, in the same way, they support their local farmer, is important,” said Lieze Boshoff, Founder of LBC3 Marketing. “But, in the end, we like to have choices. We like variety. We like to feel connected to whatever product it is that we consume. And this, in the end, is why craft growers will continue to thrive alongside their bigger brothers.”

New York Marijuana Legalization Update

in New York

 If New York lawmakers are going to legalize marijuana, this is their final week of the year to do to.

The state Legislature is set to conclude its six-month legislative session on Wednesday, and so far, legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have shown no confidence that a deal will be reached before the sides leave the state Capitol for the year.

The New York Farm Bureau recently backed a bill that would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in New York, which lawmakers are considering before they end their annual session June 19.

“I don’t think it is feasible at this point,” Cuomo said June 3. “I don’t think it matters how much I push.”

Cuomo said he supports legalizing marijuana and included it as part of his state budget proposal in January.

But the measure fell out of the budget for the fiscal year that started April 1, and since then, leaders have been unable to reach consensus on bill to make the New York the 11th state in the nation to have legal pot sales.

Advocates in Albany have pressed lawmakers to pass the bill before the session ends, saying the state should not longer criminalize marijuana and instead tax and regulate it so it no longer disproportionately leads to arrests of minorities in inner cities.

Supporters will be out in force in the halls of state Capitol this week.

“States across the country have passed comprehensive marijuana legalization to build safer, stronger communities and New York should as well,” the group Sensible Marijuana Access through Regulated Trade said a statement.

The effort picked up the backing of the state Farm Bureau in recent days. The group said being able to grow marijuana would be a boost to struggling farmers in New York.New Y

“Given the current status of the farm economy in New York state, farmers recognize the potential opportunity the cultivation of cannabis could be for New York State’s agriculture industry,” the group wrote in the memo.

The California-based MedMen Enterprises pot conglomerate is manufacturing medical marijuana in Utica, Oneida County, and has plans to build out the site to replicate its 45,000-square-foot $15 million pot production plant in Nevada’s high desert.

CBD Sorta Kinda Legal In Texas

in CBD/LOCAL

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law a bill that lets Texas farmers grow hemp — and allows the sale of products such as CBD oil.

Not so fast, say some who believe these products will be legal once state agencies create rules and procedures to test and inspect the products. No products made outside the state will be allowed — and it will be regulated similarly to how marijuana is Nevada. It will only be allowed to be sold in stores with special licenses, not local bodegas as done before.

Supporters and those who sell the products say the new law makes clear that it’s legal to sell hemp products in Texas, as long as they contain less than .3% of the psychoactive element in marijuana. The law went into effect with Monday’s signing.

“Texans are now free to use CBD without fear of arrest,” said Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. “This is a big step for Texas and one we can all be proud of.”

Although CBD products have already been available on many Texas store shelves, they were not legal and resulted in arrests. Now, products meeting the standards set in the bill can legally be sold to customers.

While Abbot has not publicized the bill’s signing or made any comments on the record, others in Texas are very excited about the new legislation.

A study led by Bonn-Miller found that nearly 7 of 10 CBD products didn’t contain the amount of marijuana extract promised on the label — and worse, as much as 20% of the products contained ILLEGAL levels of THC.

FDA Bans CBD Infused Food

in CBD/Legal

Don’t expect to find a new Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor containing the word “cannabidiol” anytime soon.

The company that gave the world Magic Brownies and Cherry Garcia ice cream recently announced its intention to make ice cream flavored with cannabidiol (CBD), which is derived from the hemp plant.

However, federal regulators are making it clear that CBD-infused munchies won’t be on store shelves soon.

Ice cream isn’t the only thing food companies want to infuse with CBD.

The Carl’s Jr. hamburger chain made headlines in April when it rolled out a CBD burger in Colorado — where recreational marijuana use is legal — during the weekend of 4/20, the national holiday for cannabis users.

Dirk Van de Put, chief executive officer of Mondelez, the international company that makes Oreo cookies and other snack foods, told CNBC in May the company is “getting ready” to produce CBD-infused food, pending government approval.

A few weeks later, Ben & Jerry’s made its CBD-infused announcement.

“You probably already know that we’re fans of all things groovy — think: Half Baked and Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies,” the company said in a statement. “So it’s no surprise that we can’t wait to get into the latest food trend: cannabidiol, or CBD. We are open to bringing CBD-infused ice cream to your freezer as soon as it’s legalized at the federal level.”

CBD remains illegal as a food additive

But while the 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD oil derived from the hemp plant, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t yet approved its use as a food additive.

The FDA says that’s because CBD has already been approved as a drug to treat pediatric seizures (Epidiolex in June 2018), it cannot legally be added to food or dietary substances.

“Although the law says that FDA can issue regulations to create new exceptions to these statutory provisions, FDA has never issued a regulation like that for any substance,” Dr. Norman Sharpless, the FDA’s acting commissioner of food and drugs, said at a May 31 hearingTrusted Source where the agency took 10 hours of public testimony on products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds.

“So, if we were thinking about doing that for a substance like CBD, it would be new terrain for the FDA,” he said.

Questions also remain about the quality and purity of CBD products, including whether some contain more than the trace amounts of the psychoactive THC allowed by law.

“There are real risks associated with both those substances and critical questions remain about the safety of their widespread use in foods and dietary supplements, as well as other consumer products,” said Sharpless.

“And given the new interest in marketing cannabis products across the range of areas FDA regulates, we will need to carefully evaluate how all these pieces fit together in terms of how consumers might access cannabis products.”

“Nowhere is this truer than with CBD,” he added. “While we have seen an explosion of interest in products containing CBD, there is still much that we don’t know.”

Still, interest in CBD — touted for health benefits that may include anti-inflammatory properties, pain relief, and reducing blood pressure — remains high among food companies and chefs.

Baum noted that food is a good medium for masking the “hemp-y” flavor of CBD oil, although Cannovia also sells a flavorless, refined CBD powder that can be added to drinks.

When the National Restaurant Association asked its member chefs to identify the top food trend for 2019, 77 percent said cannabis/CBD-infused drinks — the top response — and 76 percent said cannabis/CBD-infused food.

Ben & Jerry’s urged customers to submit comments to the FDA, which also has formed an internal agency working group to “explore potential pathways for dietary supplements and/or conventional foods containing CBD to be lawfully marketed; including a consideration of what statutory or regulatory changes might be needed and what the impact of such marketing would be on the public health.”

Dispensary Threatens to Sue Maine over Residency Requirements

in LOCAL/Maine/Marijuana

Maine’s biggest marijuana company, Wellness Connection, is threatening to sue Maine if it doesn’t change proposed residency requirements that would shut it out of the state’s emerging recreational marijuana market.

“We’re very concerned that the residency requirement in current form would provide a serious obstacle to Wellness’ entry into the adult-use market,” attorney Dan Walker said during testimony to the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on Monday.

The hearing was likely to be the last on the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy’s proposed adult-use cannabis regulations. The committee will review the department’s revised rules as early as Tuesday in hopes of sending them to the full Legislature for a vote before it is scheduled to recess for the summer on June 19.

Wellness said it doesn’t want to sue, but would have no choice if the rules shut it out of a market that it has been planning to enter for years, Walker said. The proposed recreational marijuana regulations should not prevent good corporate citizens such as Wellness from participating in the new market, he said.

Dallas Airport Police Arresting Dozens of CBD Oil Users

in Uncategorized


Dallas Airport Police have confirmed that they will detain anyone with CBD oil –and then test all products for even “trace amounts of THC.” Worse, if any trace is found, they will arrest passengers and book them for possession of an illegal substance.

“One single, small amount of CBD oil that you thought was cool to take on a trip with you, could result in life-changing effects,” CBP Port Director Cleatus Hunt Jr. told KXAS.

Customs officers arrested a third person after a drug-sniffing dog alerted on the individual’s backpack. Inside, officers found a CBD vaporizer the traveler said he purchased at a CBD shop in Dallas. A field test of the cartridge indicated the presence of THC.

The federal 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp derivatives with THC levels at or below 0.3 percent; however, the field-testing equipment law enforcement officers currently use is not capable of accurately determining THC levels.

This means that potentially anything that even came into contact with THC could in theory, set off their testing, and result in an arrest.

Yes, CBD Is Illegal in North Dakota And You Can Be Arrested

in Uncategorized

According to North Dakota Century Code, marijuana products are all illegal unless they come from the stalks or their fiber, or their seed oil or cakes.

“What does that statute mean? It’s impossible to determine because on one hand it says it’s legal if it comes from the seed, but you can’t have THC from the seed. But you can, but you can’t. So it’s a mess,” Legalize ND Chairman David Owen said.

We also talked with Fargo Police today who say you could be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor for buying or selling CBD, unless you have a medical marijuana card.

However, Fargo Police also say they don’t actively seek out stores who sell CBD products. Police add that if they learn of one, they go to that business, educate them on the law, tell them to stop their CBD sales and check back in a few weeks.

Worse, North Dakota’s highest court has decided not to rule on the legality of hemp-derived CBD, upholding a drug conviction for a vape-shop owner who sold CBD.

Hamda was charged with seven drug crimes after police seized CBD vape pens and gummy bears from two of his Tobacco Depot shops in 2017.

At least it’s not South Dakota,  where Governor Kristi Noem said it should stay illegal despite federal law, and while there is a debate over the future of cannabis law in the state, the Attorney General released a statement in March 2019 saying that hemp and CBD are still illegal.

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