South African Beer Company Brews With Hemp Instead of Hops

A new kind of beer is brewing in South Africa that will include cannabis after lawmakers there recently decriminalized it.

Poison City Brewing makes five different types of beer, including their newest addition, Durban Poison Cannabis lager. It is made with hemp, not hops, which are usually used to flavor beer.

“The easiest route into the market was to go with beer. And an interesting part there is that in beer there’s an ingredient called hops which most people know about and hops is actually part of the same plant group as cannabis,” said Graeme Bird, co-founder of Poison City Brewing.

However, hemp doesn’t have the same psychoactive chemicals that marijuana does.

The Constitutional Court decriminalized using and cultivating cannabis in private last fall. That decision did not include legalizing its trade or distribution. It can be risky to even display cannabis in public.

Officials have two years to make amendments to the country’s cannabis laws, but that isn’t stopping manufacturers like Bird, whose beer is shipped all over South Africa.

“I don’t really get that whole cannabis thing; if you never told me that, I wasn’t gonna think it’s a cannabis beer. So, they must put some more cannabis, maybe like a smell or something, I don’t know,” Johannesburg resident Dakalo Motselele told Reuters.

“I don’t think it’s something that I’ll order again but very interesting. I think the name ‘cannabis’ is what brings your attention to it but besides that I’m not a fan but I like the name,” said Kgomotso Mokgashwe, a Johannesburg resident.

Durban Poison takes its name from a popular strain of marijuana, notorious for its distinct smell and short flowering period.

To read more visit: https://www.insideedition.com/south-african-beer-company-brews-hemp-instead-hops-49935

Marijuana Marlboro And What Altria’s Purchase Of A Canadian Marijuana Maker Means

The Cannabis market was jolted on December 7th by the announcement that Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, had purchased a 45% stake in Cronos Holdings for $1.8 billion (US). The deal includes a $1.05 billion option to purchase an additional 10% in the future. While Cronos had acknowledged that discussions were in progress on December 3, the stock still shot up 28% when it was confirmed.

In retrospect, it was obvious that Altria was going to make a move into Cannabis at some point. If you look at cigarettes, the company has faced fewer Americans smoking each year since…basically the sixties. Recently, there has been a significant uptick in vaping led by JUUL Labs, another company Altria is negotiating with for a stake. However, that does not change the long-term trends facing the company’s core business in cigarettes. While Altria can lean on traditional smoking to provide high cash flow and pay dividends for a long period to come, the company has been known to look for ways to diversify its product base. By entering the cannabis market, particularly at this early date, Altria can move to take market share, research products, and position itself in new markets as they open. In short, this is a logical proactive move for the company and it should mesh well with their current experience, R&D and product lines. For investors in Altria, it is exciting to imagine a company with the kind of cash flow that exists today combined with growth in cannabis and a high dividend. An appealing combination and one that Altria could not ignore for long. A move into the cannabis space by Altria was inevitable.

Richmond, USA – May 14, 2018: Altria office sign in Virginia capital city tobacco business closeup by road street, parent company of Philip Morris

So that leads us to the next question of why they chose to partner with Cronos Group. I would argue that it is fair to characterize the Canadian cannabis market as an oligopoly led by only a few strong players. The largest is Canopy Growth, a company that is currently 38% owned by Constellation Brands with options to increases the ownership to 51% in the future so they are spoken for. If you look at the remaining players, Cronos Group was the one who best matched Altria’s style and structure in the tobacco market. Cronos preferred to develop new products and brands while focusing on distribution and R&D rather than focusing on growing supply.

 

A SIDE NOTE: It is interesting that early in the growth of many markets, investors and companies focus on metrics that will not matter in the future. In the Internet bubble of 1999, every company focused on-site visits or clicks. For years, Amazon only reported on the growth of Kindle. For cannabis, the focus is on how much cannabis a company can produce. Long term, we would expect few companies to produce their own cannabis, much like few cigarette companies produce their own tobacco.

Cronos Group has worked hard to be at the leading edge of medical marijuana, a space that is much closer to moving towards legalization in global markets compared to recreational. Their partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks is specifically focused on developing innovative products that could prove important to the medical side of the business.

To read more visit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanwaldrep/2018/12/18/marijuana-marlboro-and-what-altrias-purchase-of-a-canadian-marijuana-maker-means/#61bfc018398e

Budweiser maker teams up with cannabis company to explore pot drinks

NEW YORK (AP) – The maker of Budweiser is partnering with medical cannabis company Tilray in a $100 million deal to research cannabis-infused drinks for the Canadian market.

The alliance announced Wednesday is the latest foray by a major beer company into the cannabis business in Canada, which legalized recreational marijuana in October.

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Tilray Inc. said each would invest $50 million in the project to study non-alcoholic drinks containing cannabidiol, or CBD, which some claim has calming and healing affects, and THC, the cannabis compound known for its psychoactive effects.

Belgium-based AB InBev, the owner of more than 500 beer brands including Budweiser and Stella Artois, said it will participate in the project through its subsidiary Labatt Breweries of Canada.

“Labatt is committed to staying ahead of emerging consumer trends,” said Labatt Breweries President Kyle Norrington.

British Columbia-based Tilray has products available in 12 countries and operations in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Latin America and Portugal.

Tilray’s shares jumped 15 percent to after-hours training following news of the deal with AB InBev. The company had announced a day earlier that a subsidiary struck a deal with pharmaceutical company Sandoz AG to jointly operate in jurisdictions where cannabis is, or will be, approved for medical purposes.

Shares of AB InBev were little changed.

Canada has emerged as a world leader in the cannabis industry, which is surging as legalization also expands in the United States.

North American consumer spending on legal cannabis is expected to grow from $9.2 billion in 2017 to $47.3 billion in 2027, according to Arcview Market Research, a cannabis-focused investment firm.

Earlier this month, Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. invested $1.8 billion for a 45 percent stake in Cronos Group, a Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider.

In August, wine, liquor and beer company Constellation Brands announced a $4 billion investment in Canadian pot producer Canopy Growth Corp.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Guinness brewer Diageo have said they are closely watching the market for cannabis as it evolves.

To read more visit: https://kval.com/news/nation-world/budweiser-maker-teams-up-with-cannabis-company-to-explore-pot-drinks

First Cannabis Clinical Trials All Set In UK

Beckley Canopy Therapeutics, based in Oxford, England has raised ₤7.4 million for the purposes of cannabinoid research and drug development. The new company is a unique partnership established between Canopy Growth Corporation and the Beckley Foundation, a research institute which examines the utilization of psychotropic drugs for the treatment of physical and mental conditions.

Studies focusing on the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of opioid addiction and cancer pain will be conducted in Europe, the UK and the US.

Why Is This Significant?

Here is the first reason: the woman behind it all. Her name is Lady Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March. Born into a landed gentry family at Beckley Park (a Tudor hunting lodge with three towers and three moats) she also has a long history of engaging and supporting scientific endeavours that use stigmatized drugs in the treatment of both intractable disease and mental illness via the use of scientific research.

In 1998, Amanda Feilding set up the Beckley Foundation, a charitable trust which initiates, directs and supports neuroscientific and clinical research into the effects of psychoactive substances. She has also co-authored over 50 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

The so-called “hidden hand” behind the rebirth of psychedelic science, Fielding’s contribution to global drug policy reform has been widely acknowledged in international drug policy circles. She was named as one of the bravest men and women in the history of science in 2010 by the British Guardian.

And here is the second reason: The foundation is now partnered with Canopy Cannabis, one of the leading cannabis firms in the world, which is also working closely with Spanish opioid manufacturer Alcaliber.

In other words, this coalition is almost the mirror opposite of the approach taken by the American Sackler family, makers of Oxycontin, who have fought cannabinoids as an alternative or even transition drug in multiple state legalization campaigns. Meanwhile the death rates from overdoses have quadrupled since 1999. In 2016, opioid-related drug overdoses killed about 116 people a day (or about 42,249 for the year). It is estimated that about 11 million people in the U.S. are currently misusing or dependent on opioids.

Amanda Fielding
Image credit: Robert Funke

Beyond The Politics of The Opioid-Cannabinoid War

While opioids clearly have a role particularly in chronic pain treatment, the question now at the global scientific table is this: Are cannabinoids a substitute for longer term chronic pain management? It is a fiercely battled scientific debate that has frequently, particularly in the U.S., crossed over into political drug reform questions.

The unique partnership of Beckley and Canopy is well placed both scientifically and culturally to take on a discussion which has languished for too long in the grass of political debate and reform.

Even better, it is taking place in a country where English is the first language, but outside the U.S. and further, in a country where cannabis has now been legally reclassified as a Schedule II drug.

Do not expect, in other words, the same trials and tribulations that faced noted U.S.-based researcher Sue Sisley, to slow down research, trials or findings.

Why Is A Cultural and Scientific Reset Required?

For the past forty years, since the end of the 1970s, cannabis in particular, has been pushed into a strange scientific territory in part, because of the culture surrounding the drug. This in turn, along with the schedule I classification of cannabis, has led to not only a dearth of research, but a reluctance on the part of prescribing doctors to examine its efficacy.

In the present, this means that doctors are still (beyond insurers who demand medical evidence before approving payment) the biggest hurdles in every medical system where cannabis is becoming legal. See the debate in Canada, the UK and of course, Germany, where patients frequently report asking for a drug their doctors refuse to prescribe.

This is exactly the kind of high-placed, societally influential effort in other words, that might finally break the medical taboo at the most important remaining logjam– at the point of prescription and approval for patients.

To read more visit: https://cannabisindustryjournal.com/feature_article/first-cannabis-clinical-trials-all-set-in-uk/

Shoppers Drug Mart granted licence to sell medical marijuana online

Health Canada’s list of authorized cannabis sellers and producers has been updated to reflect that the pharmacy can sell dried and fresh cannabis, as well as plants, seeds and oil.

Health Canada’s list of authorized cannabis sellers and producers has been updated to reflect that the pharmacy can sell dried and fresh cannabis, as well as plants, seeds and oil.

A website has been set up by the company, which says that patients “with a valid medical document will soon be able to purchase a wide selection of medical cannabis products” from Shoppers.

A spokesperson for Shoppers’ parent company Loblaw Companies Ltd. says it’s too soon to say when people will be able to start making orders.

She says the company is still working through a “technical issue” with Health Canada.

The company was granted a medical marijuana producer licence in September, after initially applying in October 2016.

Shoppers has said that it has no interest in producing medical cannabis, but the licence is required in order to sell the product to patients.

Under the current Health Canada regulations for medical pot, the only legal distribution method is by mail order from licensed producers direct to patients.

To read more visit: https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9073706-shoppers-drug-mart-granted-licence-to-sell-medical-marijuana-online/

Marlboro Company Fuses $1.8 Billion Into Cannabis Company Cronos

Big Tobacco Makes First Official Foray Into Cannabis as Tobacco Sales Continue To Fall

Phillip Morris USA’s parent company, Altria, the guys responsible for producing world-famous cigarettes from the Marlboro brand, have officially become the first tobacco company to invest in cannabis.

The investment injected a whopping $1.8 billion for the Canadian cannabis company, Cronos Group, reports CNN. This makes Altria owner of a 45% stake in the cannabinoid company, but and although that isn’t so surprising, what’s even more shocking is the revelation that they will be discontinuing their cigarette vape brands Green Smoke and MarkTen. Altria will also be dropping their oral nicotine, Verve, and are still on the fence about investments in a leading e-cigarette company Juul.

Cigarette sales have steadily been declining, and former cigarette consumers are now turning to other forms of safer recreational products including e-cigarettes as well as cannabis. This change of heart with cannabis consumers is showing that slowly but surely, cannabis is going to topple cigarettes eventually. From one vice to another (safer) vice, although it only makes sense because cannabis has been proven to be healthy while cigarettes have not – and we’ve known this for a long time now.

“The proceeds from Altria’s investment will enable us to more quickly expand our global infrastructure and distribution footprint, while also increasing investments in R&D and brands that resonate with our consumer,” Mike Gorenstein, Cronos CEO, disclosed in a statement. The move also helps “make sure we’re getting in front of regulators,” Gorenstein told CNBC.

“Altria is the ideal partner for Cronos Group, providing the resources and expertise we need to meaningfully accelerate our strategic growth,” he added.

Risky Moves For Altria?

Although this isn’t the first time an American vice company is engaging in long-term romances with Canadian cannabis firms, it’s pretty easy to see why this could be a risky move.

The first was Constellation Brands, parent company of Corona beers, who pumped up their investments in Canopy Growth for a 9.9% stake in the firm. Then within the same month, Hexo, Canadian cannabis producer announced that they were engaging in a joint venture with Molson Coors to create a line of “non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market.” This business, known as Truss, revealed to be a successful JV and they are soon going to be releasing their products in the Canadian market by 2019 once the country legalizes cannabis-infused beverages.

This deal is definitely good news for shareholders of Cronos, because it catapults them to rock star Canadian cannabis company status thanks to the massive investment, with the support of one of the most powerful cigarette producers in the entire world. But what does this mean for Altria, who paid a very steep price for what is now still a mid-size Canadian cannabis producers. Moving forward, Cronos could benefit from Altria’s proficiency in navigating extremely regulated markets. Additionally, it could take Altria another several years to benefit from this deal, so while it initially does seem like a risky move for Altria, it could take a while for this to play out to both sides’ benefits but it isn’t impossible.

Altria’s stock fell by 25% this year so far, but after they announced they would be tying the knot with Cronos, their stocks jumped 2% on Friday after early trading, while it sent Cronos shares soaring around 30%.

“Importantly, Altria shares our vision of driving long-term value through innovation, and we look forward to continuing to differentiate in this area,” Gorenstein says. “As one of the largest holding companies in the adult consumer products sector, Altria has decades of experience in regulatory, government affairs, compliance, product development and brand management that we expect to leverage, particularly as new markets for cannabis open around the world.”

At the end of the day, cannabis remains to be perhaps the most volatile and unpredictable industry. Just look at the supply shortages that are threatening Canada’s industry, while other countries around the world continue to entertain the possibility of legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes. It will be interesting to see how this deal will pan out in the next 6 months or so, and which “sin company” ties the knot with cannabis next.

To read more visit: https://cannabis.net/blog/news/marlboro-company-fuses-1.8-billion-into-cannabis-company-cronos

The Next Gold Rush Is the $22 Billion CBD Business–and This Florida Company Is Ready to Win

Green Roads is cashing in on the demand for products with cannabidiol while preparing for changes in the law that could soon transform the industry.

Ready, set …

That pretty much describes the status of an entire industry–the makers of products containing cannabidiol, or CBD. The compound, added to everything from skin cream to ice cream, can be derived from hemp or marijuana and has been touted as a treatment for ailments ranging from anxiety to cancer. The catch: “It’s still in a legal gray area,” says Bethany Gomez, director of research for Brightfield Group, which studies the cannabis and CBD industries.

Marijuana is subject to a patchwork of state regulations. But the 2018 farm bill would remove hemp from the list of controlled substances, opening the floodgates for hemp-derived products. “Everyone and their mother is starting a CBD line right now,” says Gomez. “It’s absolutely a gold rush.”

With about 6 percent of the market, Davie, Florida-based Green Roads is the largest private company specializing in hemp-derived CBD, according to Brightfield. The company sells CBD-infused products such as tinctures and balms, online and in 6,000 stores and 2,000 doctors’ offices. Green Roads now has about 100 employees, and co-founder Arby Barroso estimates 2018 revenue at $45 million.

Barroso, 48, became interested in CBD after being introduced to it by a friend in Colorado. He had long taken painkillers for a crushing football injury he sustained when he was 23. When his real estate business collapsed during the financial crisis, he invested in a pain-management clinic. Barroso describes that decision as “the worst thing ever,” as he soon became addicted to opiates. Then his friend suggested he try CBD gummies, which helped him stay clean.

The CBD in Barroso’s gummies was derived from marijuana plants, so it contained another compound, THC, which is illegal in many states. Barosso needed something without THC–he’d been jailed for drug use, and testing positive for THC would violate his parole. In 2012, he approached a compounding pharmacist, Laura Fuentes, about making a hemp-derived CBD product that could alleviate his pain and help keep him off opiates. She came up with an oil.”I could have gotten cleaner quicker if I’d had CBD every day,” he says.

Fuentes and Barosso soon became business partners and the co-founders of Green Roads. Barroso went door-to-door to smoke shops, leaving bottles of CBD oil on consignment. “In the beginning, no one would give us the time of day,” Fuentes says. Then she started hearing that grandmothers were going into vape shops to find CBD. “I was like, we have to do something about this,” she says. “Grandmas are not comfortable in vape stores!”

Green Roads’ CBD Fruit Bites.CREDIT: Courtesy Green Roads

The cost of doing CBD business

Unlike some producers of CBD, Fuentes and Barroso never intended to grow their own hemp, which was outlawed in Florida when they began anyway. At the time, Barroso says, it was almost impossible to buy an oil containing only minimal amounts of THC. It’s easier now, but supply can still be tricky: “We can’t always get 10 55-gallon drums of oil,” he says. Green Roads products use a blend of four to five different cannabinoids, using both oils and isolates (concentrated CBD extract in the form of a powder), designed by Fuentes.

There are other, unexpected, costs. Green Roads lost four banks when their risk-management teams decided that Green Roads wasn’t a business they wanted to be supporting. The company’s Instagram account has likewise been shut down four times, because of legal restrictions on marketing CBD products. Instead of paying standard credit card processing fees of less than 3 percent, Green Roads pays closer to 6 percent.

Fuentes says she has to deal with “tons” of shady people in the industry. She says vendors have offered to sell her extract that contains specified levels of CBD or other compounds. They send her samples, which she sends to her lab. The samples check out fine, so she orders a kilogram–but when she sends a bit of that order to the lab, “it’s not the same thing they sent me as a sample. And there is no recourse.” Green Roads spends $30,000 to $40,000 a month testing their raw materials for pesticides, solvents, and metals, and it requires certificates of origin from their suppliers as well.

Betting on the farm bill

Because CBD currently operates on the boundaries of legality, it’s tricky to figure out how big the industry is and how much bigger it could get. Brightfield pegs the market for hemp-derived CBD products at about $591 million in 2018, growing to $22 billion by 2022. Other analysts, while nowhere near as bullish, are still very positive on the sector. Hemp Business Journal says the market for hemp-derived CBD was about $190 million in 2017, and will grow to $646 million by 2022.

Experts expect the market for CBD to balloon if and when the farm bill passes, which could happen this month. That means the biggest challenge for Green Roads is yet to come. “I’m not worried about the companies that are in the market today, I’m worried about big companies,” Barroso says. “We can’t compete with those guys. I think about it every day.”

So for now, Green Roads, like other private businesses in this market, is girding for the day when it will have to compete–or collaborate–with the larger players they are sure will enter the fray. (Even Coca-Cola is rumored to be developing a CBD product.) Green Roads, for example, is involved in a pilot program with the University of Florida to bring hemp farming back to the state to bolster its profile, connections, and potentially, supply. Another CBD company, Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics, joined together with three manufacturing facilities to create a larger entity that would interest investors; they raised $15 million.

“The day the farm bill passes, the day we’re allowed to spend $50,000 a day on marketing on Facebook, on Google Adwords, on Instagram–I don’t know if there’s enough product in the country” to fulfill demand, Barroso says. “We’re not at our full potential today, not even close.”

To read more visit: https://www.inc.com/kimberly-weisul/best-industries-2019-green-roads.html

In Canada, you can study marijuana production for college credit

The country is facing a pot labor shortage, now that the sale and cultivation of cannabis is legal.

Beleave Kannabis Corp. wants to grow more than just pot.

The Ontario marijuana company aims to build an empire of plant scientists, regulatory experts and security personnel in a nascent industry with exploding demand. But there’s a shortage of experienced staff members in Canada, which became the first industrialized country to fully decriminalize pot in October, said Beleave’s chief science officer, Roger Ferreira.

So Beleave, like dozens of other licensed producers, is pressing local universities for help.

“I’m going to pillage the top of your class,” Ferreira said. “All your 4.0 GPAs, send them this way.”

Nearly a dozen colleges nationwide are adding or expanding courses designed to train the next generation of marijuana producers, often at the nudging of area employers. Some of the classes count toward two- and four-year degrees. Other schools offer certificates.

Although the use of medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001, the rise of recreational toking has fueled a hiring boom as growers rush to scale up production of smokable buds and oils. Openings have tripled over the past year and now represent 34 of every 10,000 job postings, according to Indeed Canada, an employment site.

“The green rush,” Alison McMahon, founder of web recruiter Cannabis At Work, called it.

Educators have seized on the moment, pledging to equip students for greenhouses and laboratories and storefronts.

In January 2020, McGill University in Montreal will offer a graduate degree in cannabis production, open only to students with botany backgrounds or bachelor’s degrees in related fields.

The school’s new focus on marijuana may seem edgy, but studying pot cultivation requires a grasp of hardcore science, said Anja Geitmann, dean of McGill’s faculty of agricultural and environmental sciences.

“Genetics, breeding — there are multiple strains that have a different chemical composition,” she said.

Durham College in Ontario, meanwhile, unrolled its Cannabis Industry Specialization program this fall, promising to launch careers in the “rapidly expanding cannabis sector,” according to its website. GrowWise Health Limited, a private firm nearby, helped design the curriculum.

And Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver now offers a Retail Cannabis Consultant certificate, the school announced this year, which educates future pot sellers on “compliance, customer service, and competence in a complex and evolving industry.”

The need for skilled cannabis labor is expected to further intensify next year once lawmakers authorize the sale of edible products. Marijuana-laced brownies and other mood-altering treats are projected to account for half of the legal industry’s sales, according to Canadian forecasts.

Beleave, which runs three Ontario grow operations and recently acquired the retail chain Medi-Green, plans to open two more greenhouses in 2019. The expansion will practically double its workforce to 120 or so workers, Ferreira said.

He needs people who can nurture different strains of marijuana, masters of soil and light and pest control. He needs scholars of Canada’s health and safety regulations — the government requires producers to keep a record of every individual who comes in contact with the plants. He needs someone to maintain that access log and monitor the cameras.

“These are skill sets that have only recently been well-characterized and defined,” Ferreira said, adding that applicants who have merely grown marijuana in their basement don’t make the cut.

Hearing from employers who struggle to fill vacancies inspired Ontario science professor Bill MacDonald to create Niagara College’s Commercial Cannabis Production program. More than 300 people, he said, applied for this year’s inaugural 24 spots. (People with business, science or agricultural degrees are welcome to take the year-long class.)

“I had licensed producers come to the college and say, ‘We need highly trained personnel,’ ” MacDonald said. “The demand is just huge.”

His students include flower farmers, a former chief information officer and a retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. They take field trips to pot laboratories and intern at grow sites. Salaries in Ontario start around the equivalent of $60,000, he said, “but can move up very quickly.”

Producers are scrambling to meet consumer interest, but a lack of ready talent is slowing growth (and sparking concern among some businesses that buyers will turn to illicit sources).

“I’ve heard several times over just the last month: ‘Don’t you have any students? We are looking for qualified people,’ ” said Geitmann, the McGill dean. “They’re happy to have someone with a plant background at all and often train people on-site.”

Students view the new crop of courses as an adventurous career twist or a way to earn more money.

Laurie Zuber, 39, enrolled in Niagara’s cannabis production program two months ago after her mother saw a commercial on television. “She called me like, ‘You should apply for this! Do it!’ ” Zuber said.

Zuber, who has spent the past 16 years as a grower at a plant nursery, figured: Why not? The program was a $10,000 investment — but it could potentially double her earnings.

Zuber doesn’t smoke marijuana. Tending to greenery, she said, is her favorite part of the work.

“They’re my little babies,” she said. “I love watching them from the seeds.”

To read more visit: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/12/05/canadians-launch-weed-schools-amid-pot-labor-shortage/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f0332e967e04

CBD Companies Prepare For Hemp Legalization In Farm Bill

Despite the delay in this year’s farm bill, one thing is clear: hemp and hemp-derived CBD is likely to become federally legal in the U.S.

Hemp, CBD and the FDA

Sen. Mitch McConnell has advocated for removing hemp from the list of Schedule I controlled substances in the upcoming farm bill.

He championed for the provision in the 2014 bill that distinguished industrial hemp from marijuana, based on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. This made it legal to grow and study hemp through agricultural programs and universities.

Industrial hemp is considered any part of the cannabis plant with no more than 0.3 percent of THC on a dry weight basis, according to the National Law Review.

The 2014 provision will be repealed, allowing even wider growth of industrial hemp. Nineteen states grew more than 25,000 acres of hemp in 2017, a 163 percent increase since 2016, according to the Non-GMO Report.

Though both derived from hemp, cannabidiol (CBD) does not produce a psychoactive effect like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It does not produce “a high.”

Still, the FDA currently considers all CBD a drug — and an illegal food ingredient. Hemp seed oil has been deemed “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS), but the FDA needs more scientific evidence for CBD.

In June, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a CBD treatment for epilepsy, and the US Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cleared it for prescriptions in September, classifying it as a Schedule V substance. It’s currently available by prescription in all 50 states.

Growing CBD Sales

The CBD market will likely grow 40 times its current size by 2022, according to a report by Brightfield Group.

For CBD companies, federal legalization is great news. But how will they prepare, and what do they hope to see?

Leila Mafoud is founder and owner of Green Witch, a CBD company based in New York, with a current popup at Canal Street Market. She studied global public health before discovering CBD’s benefits.

CBD binds to different receptors than THC, delivering pain and anxiety relief without psychoactive effects, according to a recent McGill University study. It’s lauded for fighting pain and anxiety and administered through tinctures, which can be added to food and drink, lotions and creams and other beauty products.

“We are making the same compound as the plant, which is why we’re so receptive. That’s one of the most important facts about how this all works,” Mafoud said. “It’s the reason why the pharmaceutical companies are open to it.”

Though Green Witch been well-received in New York City, Mafoud has seen some hurdles. Facebook and Instagram have removed ads. Getting print ads has been difficult. Payment processors for credit cards have been removed, and bank accounts have been closed.

“The time, the effort and the exhaustion that that’s taken obviously has been a huge barrier to business, more than just the geographic location,” she said.

But she’s inspired by NYC’s enthusiasm for natural wellness and engaging with customers, especially since CBD is a form of medicine or prevention, she said. She asks customers to share feedback once they’ve tried their products, and all feedback is recorded. Her CBD-only products are available online.

“I love meeting people and actually connecting with them in person, but nobody in 2018 can turn their back on online sales and how much that can actually cause your brand to grow,” she said. “I would be very excited to sell more online. The moment I know everything I’m selling is federally legal, I’m really going to be pushing online and focus my efforts there.”

Brittany Carbone, founder of Tonic, a CBD company, also owns a hemp farm, Tricolla Farms in upstate New York. She worked with Cornell as part of New York’s Industrial Hemp Research Initiative and saw the value in controlling her supply chain, she said.

Like Mafoud, Carbone also experienced issues with credit card processors and bank accounts due to the current CBD laws. With legalization comes better access to these crucial sources, which could be a great opportunity for farmers, she said.

“The industry is becoming restrictive to people with deeper pockets,” Carbone said. “It’s an industry that they see to be very lucrative, whereas this could be something that really revitalizes the cultural economy of upstate New York, [giving] opportunities to farmers who are struggling and can’t make ends meet.”

Cindy Bencosme, founder of Terrestrial Roots, started creating tinctures and salves for herself, her husband and friends before launching the company one year ago. With legalization, she looks forward to discoveries of new ways to grow and use hemp.

“It opens a whole new bottle of opportunity,” Bencosme said.

But despite a sunny horizon ahead, she wants a more inclusive industry.

“It’s something we have to come back to every time we’re talking about the industry: the people in prison that were arrested for things relating to cannabis,” she said. “People are really interested in this green rush we’re having with hemp and with cannabis, and I think that it’s great, but it has to be more inclusive.”

To read more visit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bethkaiserman/2018/12/05/cbd-companies-prepare-for-hemp-legalization-in-farm-bill/#425c5d135627

Marijuana Legalization On Ballot Would Drive 2020 Voter Turnout, Says Michael Moore

According to the documentarian, the strategy worked in Michigan

Influential documentarian Michael Moore has an idea for Democrats to win the 2020 election—put marijuana legalization on the ballot. Moore’s reasoning springs from his home state in Michigan, which legalized recreational cannabis this month amidst the largest voter turnout in the state in 56 years.

Moore also believes adding other litmus issues like free college tuition and banning gerrymandering will raise the Democratic chance of victory, in addition to cannabis legalization. This is particularly true in key swing states, driving voters who “don’t vote that much” or “don’t like politicians” to the polls.

“This is what we did in Michigan two weeks ago—we had a ballot proposal to legalize marijuana,” Moore said on MSNBC last week. “Largest turnout of young people in we don’t know when came out to the polls.”

Moore used Michigan as an example. While the state legalized recreational cannabis, it also elected Democrats to high-profile roles in the state’s gubernatorial, attorney general and U.S. Senate races. Putting key issues on the ballot that voters care about, like cannabis legalization, is Moore’s explanation why.

Research has backed up Moore’s proposal, at least when it comes to cannabis. Myers Research polled Wisconsin voters in October, and found that 56 percent were more likely to cast their ballots if it included a cannabis question. The biggest boost in voters more likely to turn out, though, was for self-identified Democrats.

To read more visit: https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/marijuana-legalization-on-ballot-would-drive-2020-voter-turnout-says-michael-moore/