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The Rise of ‘Weed Tech’: Cannabis Tech Sector Flourishes in Lead Up to Legalization

A growing number of Canadian tech entrepreneurs are betting big on the future of cannabis in the lead up to legalization later this year. These “weed tech,” or “canna tech,” companies, as they are sometimes called, are hoping to cash in on the new legal market by creating specialized software and hardware to serve the cannabis industry and consumers.

Investor interest, so far, has focused mostly on companies cultivating cannabis. But the ancillary market, which includes industry-specific technology as well as other offshoots, such as consumption devices and security, is predicted to be sizable. A Deloitte study predicts Canada’s upcoming legal recreational market could be worth as much as $8.7-billion a year, and with ancillary operations thrown in, the number jumps to $22.6-billion.

“We’re like the plumbing of the cannabis industry,” said John Prentice, founder and chief executive of Ample Organics Inc., a seed-to-sale software company that helps producers with compliance requirements and inventory tracking. “If you’re going into a licensed facility and [are] trying to figure out how many plants are in a grow room, what they’re being manufactured into and who’s buying the product, our software is the system that tracks that.”

For investors, the appeal of weed tech is simple: They can try to reap the rewards of the market without taking on all the legal and financial risks that can come with direct involvement in the production and sale of cannabis products, which are still illegal federally in the United States. Plus, some investors may feel more comfortable investing in ancillary businesses, given the lingering stigma that can still be associated with cannabis.

The increased interest is benefiting companies such as Toronto’s Ample Organics. Founded in 2014, the software firm closed a Series A round of financing in early July, raising $7-million from investors including Green Acre Capital and Osmington Inc. (which is controlled by David Thomson, whose family holding company owns The Globe and Mail).

To read more visit: http://dankr.ca/news/the-rise-of-weed-tech-cannabis-tech-sector-flourishes-in-lead-up-to-legalization

Jamaica’s medical marijuana industry

Jamaica is moving to establish a medical marijuana industry, according to Audley Shaw, minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.

He said the government is moving to ensure that Jamaica is not left behind in the growing medical cannabis industry.

Shaw noted that while Jamaica has only decriminalized the use of up to two ounces of marijuana and issued a few licenses for production and processing, the product is now legal in Canada, and 31 states in the United States have been producing and using it for medicinal and recreational purposes.

Shaw said Jamaica needs to move quickly to take advantage of opportunities in the growing of cannabis and manufacture of its products.

The minister said he was working with the Ministry of Health and the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) “to move faster and more aggressively to reach the level of world competition, adding: “Time is not on our side.”

Shaw was at the time addressing a recent Agricultural Technology Symposium under the theme “Sustained Growth in the Agriculture Sector with Science and Technology Engineering,” held at Isratech Jamaica Limited Group of Companies in Kingston.

The symposium focused on several key topics, including the “Legislative Implications of the Dangerous Drugs Act (2015): and Medicinal Cannabis Product Innovative.

To read more visit: https://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2018/7/2018-07-27-azad-jamaica-medical-marijuana-cl.html

It’s on us – A millennial’s view of the legalization of cannabis

Again, for some perspective on how legalization of cannabis will impact the population, we turned to millennial reporter and all-round good guy, Kyle Moore.  This is his perspective on the rollout, and how he thinks the impact will be felt.

Nationwide cannabis legalization has been like a child who’s had too much sugar; hard to follow and a lot of adults trying to control it. Now, I get it, cannabis has always carried the burden negative stigma. It’s a controlled substance with psychoactive chemicals and self-impairing properties, and according to a 2016 study, has directly contributed to the hospitalization of over 77,000 Canadians.  Oh no wait….that’s alcohol.

Pure, processed, and unlaced cannabis can lead to mental health issues later in life if overused, similar to alcohol, and according to MADD, is found in the blood stream of around 300 people responsible for fatal crashes annually in Canada. Now, 300 deaths is clearly too many, but the number is still significantly less than alcohol.

The exact number of deaths where cannabis was a contributing factor is hard to calculate, but the number of overdoses and excessive use related deaths isn’t, because it’s zero. So then why does this plant that is significantly less dangerous than alcohol and has been proven to have medically helpful properties only becoming legally available for adult use now?

Well, it’s because the government needed to put a plan in place to be able to make adult use cannabis profitable, and also knew they needed a progressive demographic to support the new movement. Cue the millennial’s. With Oct. 17, 2018, the apparent date of legalization fast approaching after the government voted yes on Bill C-45, what does this mean for the young adults of New Brunswick?

Well, it means we have the chance to be the foundation of change surrounding cannabis. As adults who have been legally allowed to consume alcohol for only a few years, we are being introduced to legal adult use cannabis at a time when we are constantly learning and developing opinions on controlled substances. This consequently means we are being tasked with either re-enforcing any negative stigma, or rebranding cannabis in our own light; the choice will quite literally be in our hands.

As new and potentially unexposed consumers of mainstream cannabis, we are going to be a hugely influential demographic to the cannabis market because we’re the demographic that will be dedicated consumers for the longest time. Social media outlets have allowed us to see the benefits in places where cannabis has been legalized like Colorado, where they have seen cannabis sales help fund arts programs, infrastructure, and has also lowered crime rates.

These benefits will not be immediate as everybody of legal age adapts to the new market but if we as the youngest consumer demographic decide to support government regulated cannabis there’s a significance chance we will eventually see an uptick in provincial care and quality of life.

Cannabis NB will be offering 200-250 different skews (strains) of marijuana, a number the black market can’t compete with. This makes cannabis safer, and more specifically cultivated for each young adult user who walks through the doors of a Cannabis NB store. The area in which millennials are at risk in the province is the party culture and how legal adult use marijuana will be incorporated into parties and social interactions.

Cannabis NB will include as much health related information as possible when purchasing their products, but it’s going to be up to us to self-regulate and impose boundaries when it comes to consuming alcohol and marijuana in the same social setting. It would be naïve to believe it won’t happen, so it’s on each individual to control themselves. This is a massive opportunity to shape the way society and future generations approach cannabis and it’s going to start here and now with you and me.

Put simply, it’s on us.

To read more visit: http://stcroixcourier.ca/its-on-us-a-millennials-view-of-the-legalization-of-cannabis/

Four issues to be resolved in cannabis legalization

For cannabis legalization to succeed the most crucial issue will be for those invested in its outcome to engage in a meaningful conversation about safety.

It’s now official: as of October 17, 2018, Canada will become the first G7 nation to legalize both medical and adult-use recreational cannabis. It’s a historic, disruptive and uncertain moment.

The Guardian newspaper recently pointed out that “all eyes” are now on Canada. Those eyes are watching to see how this public policy will be deployed and what the ripple effects will be on crime, health, consumer spending, public safety, job creation and more.

How legalization will roll out in Canada in the next 18 months will also have a significant impact on the rate and number of other countries following suit. The shift will have a series of implications, including decreasing prescription opioid use and helping end the disproportionate impact that criminalizing cannabis has on low-income communities and communities of colour. Furthermore, Canada’s bold cannabis policy has become linked to our global credibility, particularly as it relates to successfully undertaking significant policy shifts.

To increase the likelihood that legalizing cannabis will be successful, policy-makers, the cannabis industry and all those invested in the outcome of this legislation must come together to drive forward four urgent public conversations and changes. Support for legalization is fragile, and if public opinion turns sour, the political response is likely to be swift and damagingly prohibitive.

Here’s what we need to do to prevent a negative outcome.

Manage industry and public expectations

At the recent World Cannabis Congress, Anne McLellan, chair of Canada’s Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, did an excellent job of managing expectations around the initial months after legalization. “This is transformative public policy. This is not going to be perfect in the first year or the first few years,” she told her audience. She stressed that lawmakers need to be adaptable and flexible regarding these new laws — traits that are uncommon in government and therefore require deliberate and proactive preparations.

She highlighted that, despite due diligence and widespread consultation within Canada and in other jurisdictions where cannabis is already legalized (including Colorado and Uruguay), the expectation should be that in whatever form the laws are finalized, they will need to evolve. “For the first decade that legalization is in place, we are all going to be learning and adapting…There will be surprises. We have to be flexible and nimble to adapt to the surprise,” she said.

This message needs to be shared widely, both with the cannabis industry — which, as one sector leader pointed out, is not a group generally predisposed to sympathy for policy-makers — and, more urgently, with the public at large.

It’s essential to create the necessary social licence to be able to pivot and amend specifics of the legislation while maintaining public confidence, and this will happen only if policy-makers establish the understanding that initial bumps in the road are inevitable in a shift of this magnitude and that they can be successfully addressed and resolved.

 Better engage the medical community

One misstep on the path to cannabis legalization has been the failure to engage positively with Canadian doctors, who will soon be on the front lines as more patients seek advice on and prescriptions for medical cannabis.

Most physicians are not adequately informed on cannabis treatment options or on how cannabis can be used alongside other prescriptions. Currently, eight out of nine physicians in Canada say they do not feel comfortable discussing or providing access to medical cannabis.

Lack of information is one of the reasons why the powerful Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has been so vocal about its opposition to the medical cannabis system, but the CMA’s is a circular argument. Little support among the medical community means that little research is being undertaken, which means that little validation is available, which means that little support is forthcoming, and so it goes. A CMA spokesperson has explained that medical cannabis is a choice that many doctors are reluctant to prescribe because of the shortage of peer-reviewed research. This lack of sufficient research is the result of cannabis being illegal in most jurisdictions.

A successful transition to a medical cannabis regime alongside legal recreational use by adults requires better engagement with the medical community, from long-practising doctors to those currently in medical school. Future doctors are already advocating for deeper, more thoughtful cannabis education. The Canadian Federation of Medical Students recently published a white paper seeking this training, which hints that a more open approach to medical cannabis is popular among younger doctors.

Industry leaders, policy-makers and champions in the medical and research community must come together to create a variety of opportunities and means of providing this education, as well as regular forums for research updates and new study results — which are now expected to come in massive waves.

Stop the tax on medical cannabis

Successful public policy starts with consistent public policy, but this is not the state of the existing cannabis regulatory regime. Specifically, one of the most severe cannabis policy gaps is that, despite the plant being treated as a medicine under the medical cannabis regime, the government confirmed in the February 2018 budget that it would be applying a 10 percent excise tax to all cannabis, whether for medical or recreational use. This means that a medical cannabis patient will be subject to both provincial and federal sales tax — a poor policy position on a number of fronts.

The first problem is the inherent inconsistency of treating medical cannabis, which can be obtained only via prescription from licensed health care practitioners, differently from other prescription medications, which are tax-exempt. Second and most important, this policy position hurts a group that the federal government should be looking to support: people who are financially or otherwise vulnerable and using cannabis for legitimate medical purposes. In 2015, research funded by the University of British Columbia Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention found that more than half of respondents who use cannabis for medical purposes reported that they can never or only sometimes afford to buy enough to relieve their symptoms. A third of respondents stated that they often or always have to choose between medical cannabis and necessities such as food, rent and other medicines.

According to Jonathan Zaid, former executive director of the nonprofit Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, which has been campaigning against the idea of taxing the ill since the Minister of Finance first raised this proposal, this policy position is both unjust and unpopular. “A recent Environics poll found that a majority of Canadians (62 percent) are opposed to taxing medical cannabis,” said Zaid in March. “And to date, over 16,000 Canadians and a group of 12 non-profits have advocated for the elimination of it. Despite this fierce opposition, the federal government decided to forge ahead, implementing the new tax in its federal budget.”

Given the enormous amount of revenue that the government will collect on recreational-use cannabis, and the lack of public support for taxing medical use, eliminating the tax on medical cannabis should be a priority.

Have robust public safety conversations

This is probably the most important and urgent point of all.

Research commissioned by Business of Cannabis in partnership with Nanos Research earlier this year showed that Canadians are looking for the industry to do far more than it currently is to educate the public on safe cannabis use. Only 17 percent of Canadians agree, and another 25 percent somewhat agree, that the industry is taking sufficient steps to ensure safe and responsible use. This situation has to change, and there is much work to be done.

From explaining Canada’s world-class safety and tracking system that ensures quality control, to addressing concerns about the effects of cannabis on the developing brain, to dealing with worries about driving and cannabis use, a series of multistrand, multistakeholder conversations should be undertaken.

An article on McLellan’s speech to the World Cannabis Congress reports that she pointed out that most Canadians  “don’t use cannabis either recreationally or medicinally, and generally haven’t been paying close attention like those with a stake in legalization. So if the general public doesn’t understand what’s going with the laws, and something horrible happens in their community that they attribute to cannabis — such as a driver who is high and hits someone — the climate of acceptance could switch fast. ‘You are asking people to change their mindset. Don’t be dismissive, because you need those people to understand why this is happening, what to expect, and that we are all responsible actors. If not, they are the ones who have the political power.’”

It’s time for all actors invested in the success of this bold economic, social, health and cultural evolution to help drive forward these conversations and education campaigns, and to engage with as many Canadians as possible, as soon as possible.

To read more visit: http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/july-2018/four-issues-to-be-resolved-in-cannabis-legalization/

Snoop Dogg invests $10 million in British weed company with Patrick Stewart

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies invests in research in pain and inflammation therapies, cancer treatments, and remedies for gastrointestinal diseases

Snoop Dogg has made a $10 million investment in a new medical cannabis research firm in the UK, through his venture capital firm Casa Verde.

It’s one of the largest investments into Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies, which has been seeking out funding for a research partnership and laboratory in Europe, Green Rush Daily reports.

Casa Verde Capital focuses on the “ancillary” cannabis industry, outside of the actual distribution of the plant, including health and wellness companies, financial services, media, agtech, and laboratory technology.

Its investment in OCT will support the company’s research in pain and inflammation therapies, cancer treatments, and remedies for gastrointestinal diseases.

Sir Patrick Stewart has also become a patron for the company, adding in a statement (via Metro): “I am proud to become a patron of OCT. It’s wonderful that OCT have got together the funding that means that Britain will lead the way in what is, in my view, one of the world’s most exciting fields of medical research. The possibilities seem to me to be virtually limitless.”

The actor has spoken in the past about using medical marijuana in the treatment of severe arthritis, advocating for UK-based research on cannabis-based medicines.

He will serve on OCT’s Advisory Board, with further appointments set to be announced.

To read more visit: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/snoop-dogg-uk-weed-company-investment-patrick-stewart-patron-oxford-cannabinoid-technologies-a8428271.html

Russia Not Happy With Canada For Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Russia claims legalizing recreational marijuana in Canada would be a breach of international laws.

The legalization of cannabis in Canada is something many people around the world have been eagerly anticipating. Russian officials, on the other hand, don’t like it one bit. In fact, Moscow warns that legalizing marijuana would be a breach of “international legal obligations” voted for by Canadian delegates. But is Canada really violating international treaties?

Cannabis In Russia

Russia is one of the only G7 countries to amplify cannabis prohibition over the last two decades. In 2006, the country updated the amount of cannabis one could possess before they can be charged with a crime.

Before the change, 20 grams of cannabis or 5 grams of hash fell within the criminal threshold. In a step backward, the numbers changed to 6 grams of cannabis and 2 grams of hash, further restricting the possession of marijuana.

According to a statement from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Russia strictly abides by these principles and intends to consistently introduce them in practice within the boundaries of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs and other relevant international venues.”

Now, Russians are calling on other G7 countries like the United States to change Canada’s mind. So far, Canadian officials haven’t expressed concern over the apparent breach of international law.

Is There Really A Breach?

Over the last half-century, Canada has signed off on several dated international laws. The laws included a few that prohibited the production and supply of specific drugs, including cannabis. Now, their past endorsements are creating international conflicts.

“We expect Canada’s partners in the G7 to respond to its ‘high-handedness’ because this alliance has repeatedly declared its adherence to the domination of international law in relations between states,” the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in the official statement.

“Canada is aware that there will be international opposition from some countries,” Hannah Hetzer, senior international policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance told Newsweek.

However, the introduction to those laws says that the health and welfare of mankind must also be taken into account. So Canada’s decision could be considered an exemption to those international drug laws.

In fact, Canadian officials have looked at legalization as a solution to health and welfare issues. According to an announcement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s cannabis act addresses that “it’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that.”

Despite opposition from Jeff Sessions, Russia and even the United Nations, Canada seems to be moving forward with the federal legalization of marijuana. The laws are expected to officially take place on October 17th.

To read more visit: https://greenrushdaily.com/russia-not-happy-with-canada-for-legalizing-recreational-marijuana/

Stylus Research Identifies Five Trends to Watch in the Legal #Cannabis Era

“What is most surprising about the cannabis market is the disconnect between the new reality and enduring misconceptions around who’s using it and why.” Marian Berelowitz, US senior editor at Stylus

New York – June 19, 2018 (Investorideas.com Newswire) The legal cannabis era is here. As the ‘green rush’ to capitalize on it builds momentum in North America, innovation research and advisory company Stylus highlights five emerging trends shaping the future of cannabis culture and consumption.

1. Cannabis Versus Cocktails

Cannabis has the potential to match alcohol as the recreational product of choice in the US. Use among US college students is already climbing, while drinking is declining. It plays a similar role to alcohol, lending itself to party-goers, parents and others looking to unwind – even serving as a host gift in lieu of wine. It’s especially appealing to those eager to avoid hangovers or alcohol’s calorie count.

2. ‘Canna-Curious’ Hubs

Commercialized cannabis is maturing into an opportunity expected to be worth $57bn globally by 2027, according to Arcview Group. Catering to an influx of newly intrigued consumers, brands are demystifying cannabis via strategies such as subscription boxes, cannabis socials for product sampling, and even Tinder-like apps. The next stage in educating consumers and cultivating fans will be cannabis tourism. California-based Flow Kana is turning a defunct winery into an experience center that will offer educational tours of its cannabis farm, along with tastings.

3. Female Focus

A ‘by and for’ women’s sector is booming in the industry. Women are among the fastest-growing cohorts of cannabis consumers – spending by females on cannabis deliver app Eaze increased by 20% in 2017, and increasingly prolific as cannabis entrepreneurs. As a result, products that skew towards feminine tastes – from menstrual-relief products to sleek pipes and jewelry that doubles as a sophisticated roach clip – are proliferating. Women are defining the future of cannabis.

4. Medical-Grade Marijuana

Cannabis hasn’t yet been widely integrated into the mainstream medical community, but that will change. We’ll see an upswing in education available for healthcare providers and patients, and an evolution of products geared to patient use – enabling users to more precisely control dosing, for instance. Legalization is bringing more biotech and other start-ups into the space, all likely to advance understanding of how cannabis can aid patients and help adapt it to clinical use.

5. New Pet Essential

As several key medical benefits of cannabidiol (CBD, the non-psychoactive compound of cannabis) – including relief from anxiety and joint pain – appear to help animals as much as humans, CBD-infused products for pets are booming. The potential here is enormous, given that Americans now spend nearly $70bn annually on their pets, and younger owners in particular are embracing alternative remedies to ensure optimal animal health.

About Stylus

Stylus is a global innovation research and advisory company that identifies and connects the most important global and cross-industry trends. Our insights are used by more than 500 of the world’s leading consumer brands, businesses and agencies to understand the attitudes and behaviors of their consumers, the products and services they’re using, and how they engage with the world around them. Our team of 150 industry experts work across five continents, analyzing more than 20 consumer-facing industries. We operate out of New York, Miami, London, São Paulo, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo and South Korea. www.stylus.com.

Natasha Fish
PR Manager, Stylus

To read more visit: http://www.investorideas.com/news/2018/cannabis/06196Stylus.asp

Wall Street’s Cannabis Investments Stay Hush-Hush Due to Stigma

Danny Moses wasn’t afraid to broadcast he’d profited from the 2008 housing crisis, but he’s keeping his latest investment — the burgeoning cannabis industry — closer to the vest.

Moses, who was head trader at FrontPoint Partners under Steve Eisman, as documented in the book and film “The Big Short,” says the plant’s still federally illegal status has left people like him hesitant to make pot investments public.

“The stigma of shorting housing I never thought about. The thought of going long cannabis, I have. It’s more of a cultural adoption,” he said. Still Moses, 48, said he sees the potential opportunity as too big to miss. “In general, go where the money can be made.”

 

Wall Street’s biggest institutions may not be getting into the Green Rush, but individual investors are quietly diving in. One haven for Wall Street money, including from Moses, is Merida Capital Partners. The private equity firm has drawn backers with resumes that list the world’s most well-known banks and technology companies.

The cannabis industry is expected to reach $75 billion in sales in 2030, up from $6 billion in 2016, according to investment bank Cowen & Co. Still, marijuana remains illegal on a federal level and is classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic.

The drug’s Reefer Madness-fueled reputation has held people like Moses back from publicly flouting industry involvement. As the father of two teenage boys, Moses said he feared being labeled the “pot dad,” emphasizing that he’s against young people using the plant unless there is a proven medical need.

But the cultural reaction to cannabis is changing. Sixty-four percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing it, according to an October Gallup poll. That helped sway Wall Street investor Paul Ciasullo, 59.

“My 82-year-old mother said it was a good idea to get into the space,” he said. Now he’s invested 10 percent to 20 percent of his portfolio in the industry.

 

The illicit nature of the product makes investing a more difficult task than putting money in other consumer packaged goods. There are few publicly traded companies and well-known executives are scarce. Enter Merida.

The private equity fund is largely focused on investing in businesses that provide ancillary products to the cannabis industry, like software and packaging. About 15 percent of the portfolio is plant-touching. Mitch Baruchowitz, 43, founded the New York-based firm in September 2016. He was previously associate general counsel and chief compliance officer of MarketAxess, an electronic trading platform, and the general counsel of boutique investment bank Pali Capital. His two decades dealing with legal filings and complicated regulations fueled his entrance into the pot business.

‘East Coast Grit’

“I was kind of appalled at the lack of formality in the business models,” he said of the early cannabis industry. “It just seemed like there was a real business out there if some people could take more formal steps and really bring some East Coast grit to what was this really wide open space.”

That’s what Baruchowitz did. He filed and won licenses with groups to grow marijuana in several states. Then, with three years of experience in cannabis under his belt, he decided to switch his focus to the more asset-light side of things and founded Merida, he said.

Baruchowitz’s understanding of the industry and his background in law and finance helped attract many investors to the company.

The firm boasts backers that range from Wall Street veterans to early participants in some of the world’s largest technology companies. Many said they aren’t pot users themselves, and all cited the plant’s medicinal potential, particularly for helping deal with the opioid crisis.

Most of the stakeholders who agreed to be interviewed wouldn’t speak on the record. The reasons for anonymity included concern that publicly acknowledging the investments could negatively impact their personal and professional lives.

Investment Driver

That same stigma has also fueled investment in the industry.

“The most successful investments in my career have come when either the market is rushing for the exits or there are significant barriers to entry,” said David Goldburg, who previously worked at Michael Milken’s family office, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and founded Battlebourne Capital. “Today there’s a rare opportunity to invest under the radar screen in cannabis because the institutional players are on the sidelines.”

Goldburg, 55, first joined Merida as an investor before coming on board as a partner. In the six months since he officially joined the ranks, Merida has surpassed $50 million in assets under management. Every month, the firm will see about 75 deals and does due diligence on as many as 10 of them. Part of its strategy is holding itself and potential investments up to the standards of other types of asset classes.

“The conventional wisdom for cannabis is — because cannabis is such a huge opportunity and because it’s growing so quickly — that all you need to do is throw some darts and you’ll be fine,” Goldburg said. “That approach doesn’t work for any asset class generally speaking and in cannabis in particular, it’s very dangerous.”

To read more visit: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-05/wall-street-s-cannabis-investments-stay-hush-hush-due-to-stigma

CBD Market To Grow 700 Percent By 2020

As therapeutic cannabis use continues to be associated with health and wellness lifestyles, the popularity of CBD products has only grown.

A new report by the Hemp Business Journal is projecting massive growth in the hemp-derived CBD market over the next few years. While the U.S. hemp industry generated $820 million in sales in 2017, $190 million came from sales of hemp-derived CBD products. And experts project CBD products will drive the U.S. hemp industry over the $1 billion mark in 2018. Furthermore, the same reports project the CBD market to grow 700 percent by 2020.

Industry Insiders Forecast 700 Percent Growth In CBD Market By 2020

According to Forbes’ 2016 analysis of a previous Hemp Business Journal report, the CBD market could top $2 billion in consumer sales by 2020. But hemp-derived CBD products represent only part of the picture; $450 million to be exact.

The forecast represents a 700 percent increase from consumer CBD sales in 2016, according to CannabisNewsWire. In 2015, the total consumer CBD market hit $202 million. Hemp-derived CBD products accounted for $90 million of that total, while marijuana-derived CBD made up the remaining $112 million.

Still, $2 billion represents only a fraction of the legal cannabis market, which many analysts expect to hit $25 billion by 2020. Medical cannabis will still maintain an edge over adult-use sales at $13.3 billion and $11.2 billion, respectively, by 2020.

But these projections only account for states that have already passed legalization measures. As more states legalize medical and adult-use cannabis, the numbers could be even greater.

Industry insiders, however, are already targeting the CBD market. They point to the hundreds of CBD products that are already flooding legal markets in the United States. According to Headset Research data, for example, residents of Washington state have access to over 800 CBD products, principally sold as health and wellness items.

Health and Wellness Will Drive CBD Market Into The Future

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Unlike THC, users consume CBD not for its euphoric or pleasurable sensations, but for its therapeutic effects.

Many significant studies have documented the medicinal properties of cannabidiol. Medical cannabis patients can use the pharmaceutical cannabinoid to treat inflammation, neurological diseases, and reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures.

Other studies attest to CBD’s effectiveness as a pain reliever, while anecdotal evidence suggests CBD oil can shrink tumors, neutralize cancer cells, and even help treat psychological issues like PTSD and anxiety.

Furthermore, medical users, who account for roughly a third of marijuana users in the U.S., are increasingly expressing interest in CBD treatments. For many, the absence of intoxicating side-effects is crucial in making a medical cannabis treatment viable.

As medical cannabis continues to be associated with health and wellness lifestyles, the popularity of CBD products has only grown.

And that’s despite the U.S. government’s ambivalent and unclear stance on the legality of CBD products. For its part, the DEA has tried to restrict the cannabinoid as a Schedule I controlled substance.

Additionally, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 would have excluded hemp from the list of Controlled Substances. This means that hemp-derived CBD would become legal, while marijuana-derived cannabidiol remained illegal. Congress, however, failed to pass the act.

These legal and regulatory obstacles, however, don’t seem to be posing a significant threat to the hemp industry’s growth. To the contrary, the $3.72 trillion wellness industry’s shift toward premium cannabinoid products seems capable of overcoming any challenge.

CBD Market To Grow 700 Percent By 2020

The Hemp Business Journal will publish the full 2018 State of Hemp report shortly. But interested parties can pre-order the report now. For companies in a strategic position to take advantage of a rapidly growing CBD market, like Aurora Cannabis, Inc., the trends are encouraging.

Expect to see national CBD marketing strategies emerge, including television and social media advertisements.

To read more visit: https://greenrushdaily.com/cbd-market-to-grow-by-700-percent-by-2020/

Are Cannabis Clubs the Future of Weed?

Now that legal marijuana has established itself in multiple states, it’s on to the next battle for pot enthusiasts: getting somewhere to legally smoke it. All state laws specify that marijuana is only to be consumed in the privacy of your own home (tough luck if you’re a renter), and that’s incredibly inconvenient for both residents and tourists. Cannabis clubs, where no alcohol is allowed, are a simple solution to this problem, but they face some large obstacles from a legal standpoint. Even so, a few cannabis lounges exist, and are setting the stage for others to open as well.

Meet the Coffee Joint

The Coffee Joint, located in Denver, Colorado, is the first state-licensed cannabis club in the country. Colorado law doesn’t actually say anything about pot clubs, and there are many speakeasy-style clubs in the state. But co-owners Kirill Merkulov and Rita Tsalyuk wanted to go through legal channels to create a place for marijuana lovers to socialize and use cannabis without judgment or interference, and the Coffee Joint is the result. They were granted their license in February, 2018, and opened soon after.

The place is meant to be a local hub for those who want to chill out and toke up. The biggest catch, however, is that you can’t actually smoke inside That’s explicitly prohibited by the Colorado Clean Air Act, but dabbing, vaping, and consuming edibles are all welcome activities. There are still caveats, like the fact that you have to bring your own rig and use the enails provided by the cafe.

The Coffee Joint also hosts frequent events with vendors and educators, making it a great spot for curious consumers to gather. While it’s a great start, this destination has a lot to live up to.

Northwest Cannabis Club

Northwest Cannabis Club is currently the gold standard of pot lounges. Its less-than-flashy exterior is home to a 50-foot dab bar, a smallish stage, a basement rec room, and a covered deck for outdoor smoking.

There are dab rigs and enails available for use (thanks to copious alcohol wipes), and a healthy selection of Volcanoes and other vape devices to choose from. They host educational events, although the stage allows for musical guests as well. The one thing that NW Cannabis Club doesn’t have? A license.

When a local paper asked how the club is allowed to operate and with what kind of permit, the owner responded with a tight-lipped: “No comment.”

Fair enough. Will more states follow Colorado’s lead and allow businesses like NW Cannabis Club to operate legally by issuing licenses?

Making the Case to California

If Californian cannabis advocates have anything to say about it, they’ll have the next crack at legitimizing cannabis clubs. West Hollywood is the epicenter of this development, with the City Council having approved a revolutionary new measure. The ordinance allows businesses in the city to apply for pot lounge permits, starting in May, 2018. There are two tiers of permit: one for lounges where edibles, vaping, and smoking are permitted, and one where only edibles are allowed. The city will grant eight of each license type.

Of course, many anti-pot parties are wringing their hands with worry over the effects cannabis clubs might have on society. Many cite DUI fears, demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of how cannabis impairment works. One City Councilman even said, “You can go to a bar and have a drink or two and be OK. Marijuana, the effects last and I think it can be disastrous on the road.”

On the other side of the fence, there’s the argument that legal cannabis makes no sense when there’s nowhere you can legally consume it outside your own home. Allowing for safe public consumption in the form of cannabis clubs would also allow weed tourism to flourish without stoned, wild-eyed strangers trying to toke up in streets, alleys, or hotel rooms. Since educational events are a common theme among cannabis clubs, you could even argue that licensing them would lead to a more informed, responsible range of consumers.

High Hopes

It’s safe to say that most cannabis users love the concept of marijuana lounges. After all, it’s everything that’s great about a bar—but without all the drama and drunken hijinks. Hopefully cannabis clubs gain more traction in the near future!

Spencer Grey is a staff writer at Smoking Outlet, where you’ll always get The Best Prices on the Best Pieces.

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