Archive for the ‘Cannabis News’ Category

Colorado’s $100 Million/Month of Cannabis Sales the “New Norm”

mjbizAnother month, another record-breaking amount of cannabis sales in Colorado. The cannabis industry achieved a milestone in May, with $100 million in pot sales for the 12th consecutive month.

“I think that $100 million a month (in sales) are the new norm,” said Bethany Gomez, director of research for Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research firm.

Over 12 months, Colorado saw monthly sales reach $1.4 billion the state collected nearly $223 million in taxes and license fees. Since recreational marijuana was legalized four years ago, recreational sales have consistently counted for two-thirds of the monthly pot sales totals.

In May, recreational-use sales accounted for about $90.1 million and those from medical marijuana contributed just over $37.5 million. The industry’s 2017 cumulative sales through five months neared $620 million, generating close to $96 million in state revenue from taxes and fees.

However, Colorado is seeing a slow-down of growth in the industry as more states legalize recreational marijuana. Sales in Nevada–where dispensaries made about $3 million in sales and the state made about $1 million in tax revenue between July 1 and July 4–prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency as marijuana supplies ran dry. Recreational marijuana sales launch in California in 2018.

In Colorado, the market is still growing, but Gomez said that the market is approaching maturity.

“What you’re seeing in Colorado is similar to other industries, we’re starting to see lower double-digit growth rates, rather than the triple-digit growth rates,” she said. “That time of massive growth expansion in Colorado, I think, is over.”

Signs of market maturity includes the increased demand for concentrates and edibles, as well as a decrease in overall number of medical marijuana patients. New Frontier Data, a cannabis analytics firm, said that falling prices have reduced the incentive for patients to apply for medical marijuana prescription.

As of May 31, 2017, a total of 86,964 patients had an active medical marijuana registration, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. A year before, that figure was 106,066.

Since recreational use began in 2014, the products that cannabis users have evolved. Consumers have shifted from dried marijuana flower to infused products, edibles, and concentrates.

“There is increased innovation in the product category, and that’s continuing,” she said. “Consumption patterns haven’t really settled in the recreational market yet; people are still experimenting. There is still a lot of room for change there.”

 

Vermont Governor Vetoes Marijuana Bill

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) vetoed a bill on Wednesday that would have legalized recreational marijuana.

The bill would have made it legal for anyone over 21 to possess and grow cannabis.

Scott cited concerns about public safety, seeking changes to the bill that would include more aggressive penalties for driving while impaired or in the presence of children. The governor is also calling for an expansion of a commission that would develop a proposal to tax and regulate marijuana. He wants it to include representatives from the Vermont departments of Public Safety, Health and Taxes as well as the substance abuse prevention and treatment community.

“We must get this right,” said Scott during a press conference, adding, “I’m not philosophically opposed to ending the prohibition on marijuana.”

Matt Simon, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project responded to the governor’s decision, “We are disappointed by the governor’s decision to veto this widely supported legislation, but we are very encouraged by the governor’s offer to work with legislators to pass a legalization bill during the summer veto session. Lawmakers have an opportunity to address the governor’s concerns and pass a revised bill this summer, and we are excited about its prospects.” A new bill could be introduced as early as July.

Studies by the Vermont Department of Health have found that Vermont has among the highest prevalence of marijuana use in the country and the second-highest use among people ages 12 to 25.

Eight other states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized recreational marijuana. Vermont would have been the ninth state to legalize recreational cannabis, but the first state to legalize marijuana through a state legislature rather than by public referendum.

Nearly 20 states have bills pending that would legalize adult-use marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Applications for Nevada Recreational Cannabis Sales Now Open

Good news Nevada cannabis enthusiasts: the application period for recreational cannabis sales is underway and stores are expected to open by July 1. Licenses will be distributed to currently operating medical marijuana dispensaries. In addition, liquor wholesalers will be able to apply for temporary distribution licenses.

Here’s everything you need to know about applying for a recreational cannabis license:

The Department of Taxation began accepting applications Monday for businesses wanting to grow, produce and sell recreational marijuana. The licenses will allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell cannabis products to adults 21 and older, with the goal of retail sales beginning July 1. The application deadline ends May 31.

The voter-approved ballot measure tasked the state with creating a regulated marijuana sales structure by the start of 2018. But after visiting and studying other states that legalized marijuana, Nevada officials determined that waiting a full year after the drug became legal would risk growing the black market.

Businesses will need similar licenses at the state level to begin selling marijuana to non-medical patients. Clark County, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas are all planning to issue licenses by July 1. Henderson implemented a six-month moratorium on retail marijuana in February.

Only currently licensed and operating medical marijuana establishments in good standing with the state are eligible to apply for retail, production, cultivation and testing licenses.

Distribution licenses are available to liquor wholesalers, medical marijuana companies and operating medical marijuana distribution companies.

Permanent regulations are being crafted by the Department of Taxation, and permanent licenses are expected to be issued on Jan. 1.

License to Sell

How much a 6-month recreational marijuana licenses will costs businesses:

$5,000 to apply for a license, plus an additional fee if the company is awarded a license.

Those additional fees range from:

  • $20,000 for retail stores
  • $30,000 for cultivation facilities
  • $10,000 for production facilities
  • $15,000 for testing labs
  • $15,000 for distributors

Marijuana Boosts Memory in Aging Brains

According to a study released in Nature Medicine, marijuana may boost cognitive function and memory in elderly brains–at least in mice.

In past years, the focus of marijuana research has looked at effects of cannabis consumption in teenagers and young adults. Findings concluded that cannabis use in young brains is detrimental–and this most recent study did corroborate those findings.

However, when it comes to elderly brains and cannabis, it’s a completely different story.

Andreas Zimmer, a professor of molecular psychiatry at the University of Bonn in Germany, along with a team of researchers, found “a dramatic improvement in cognitive functions” in mice given daily, low doses of THC for a month.

Researchers included young, mature, and elderly mice in the study and performed a number of behavioral experiments. In some of the experiments, THC seemed to improve the memory in the older mice to such a degree that their cognitive function appeared to be as good as those of young mice.

In one of the tasks, mice were placed in a water maze with a hidden platform that allowed them to escape. In the control group, (mice who were not given THC) the mature and old mice took longer to climb out than the young mice. Among mature and elderly mice that had been given THC, they found the platform faster than the control mice in corresponding age groups. Young mice given THC took longer to learn where the platform was hidden.

The findings raise the possibility that cannabinoids might act as anti-aging molecules in the brain. “That is something we absolutely did not expect: the old animals [that received] THC looked most similar to the young, untreated control mice,” Zimmer said.

However, other scientists cautioned that extrapolating findings in mice to humans is premature. “This well-designed set of experiments shows that chronic THC pretreatment appears to restore a significant level of diminished cognitive performance in older mice, while corroborating the opposite effect among young mice,” Susan Weiss, director of the Division of Extramural Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse who was not involved in the study, wrote in an e-mail to Scientific America. Nevertheless, she added, “While it would be tempting to presume the relevance of these findings [extends] to aging humans…further research will be critically needed.”

Zimmer and his colleagues have already been awarded funding to begin a clinical trial studying the effects of THC in elderly adults with mild cognitive impairments.

“If we can rejuvenate the brain so that everybody gets five to 10 more years without needing extra care, then that is more than we could have imagined,” study co-author Andras Bilkei-Gorzo told The Guardian.

Cheeky Monkey™ at the 2017 Cannabis Classic

This year, Cheeky Monkey™ is extremely proud to sponsor the first ever Industry Awards night at one of our favorite cannabis industry events, the Cannabis Classic, this May 20-21st in Anchorage, Alaska!

Featuring the Industry Awards show, an exhibitors fair, and many social networking opportunities, the Cannabis Classic was created to provide a platform for cannabis breeders and growers to gain the due and proper recognition they deserve for their hard work, skills and talent. As a long-term standard for cannabis industry, Cheeky Monkey™ values the Cannabis Classic’s grassroots messaging and top-notch branding. Look for our logo featured on VIP lanyards, attendee handouts, and in this month’s Sensi Magazine.

We’re proud to have participated in past events, and are proud holders of multiple Cannabis Classic awards including: Best Booth, 2nd Place Edibles & Concentrates (2015), and Best Sativa, Best Concentrate, and Highest THC (2016). This year, we aim to broaden our reach in order to expand our marketing and ongoing plans for success, including funding our Chi Stick™ on IndieGoGo.

Come visit the Cheeky Monkey™ booth this year and say hi to our Chief Products Officer, Andrew Campbell, who will have plenty of Cheeky Monkey™ swag to hand out.

Look for our partner company, Alaska Thunder Skunk – also owned and operated by Andrew, who will be entering the competition with a variety of awesome cannabis products, and (depending on the venue’s rules, currently set at the Sullivan Arena) samples may or may not be available – vote for us!

 

Why Support Cheeky Monkey™ on IndieGoGo?

Hello Cheeky followers and happy 4/20!

As you may know, Cheeky Monkey™ has launched our first official product via IndieGoGo. As a follow up to this goal, we wanted to share the story of our journey to this point in the hopes that you’ll find our path to become the champion of cannabis brands the right one!

Cheeky Monkey™ started as a concept in 2015, originally developed by two brothers – Johnny and Joshua Furlong, and their long term friend and cannabis expert, Andrew Campbell. Each came from diverse backgrounds:  Johnny with a history in marketing and corporate logistics, Josh in real estate and big business management, and Andrew in engineering and horticulture. The original Cheeky Monkeys formed to create a dream team to build a business that changes how cannabis is viewed as a whole.

Working with a small amount of startup capital, the Cheeky Monkey™  founders built the brand from the ground up – developing their logo, marketing materials, website, business plan and home grown cannabis products and strains entirely in house by our amazing and constantly growing operations team. Our goal being to create a perfect scaling cannabis business model step-by-step.

In the months following, Cheeky Monkey™ continues to grow. We’ve won multiple Cannabis Classic awards and continue to participate in their events, have recently joined the Sensi Media group in Colorado, and have launched the campaign for our first product – the Chi Stick vape cartridge. There’s plenty more to come!

We aim for generational change in how cannabis and its community are viewed and integrated into society and to become the brand leader in the cannabis marketplace.

We’d love for you to join us in this endeavor.

Please follow us on social media, share with your friends and help back our campaign on IndieGoGo. Thank you and #BeCurious!

-Tom Benway
Director, Digital Media Development

Cheeky Monkey™ IndieGoGo is LIVE and Running!

Hello Cheeky Monkey™ followers! With great joy we’ve launched our crowdfunding campaign to support Cheeky Monkey™ and our first high-grade vape product, the Chi Stick™. This is YOUR opportunity to get involved in making the Cheeky Monkey™ vision for future cannabis store-fronts into a reality.

Cheeky Monkey™ is more than just a brand, more than a retail store or branded products: it’s a way of life, a life style that every adult should be able to enjoy cannabis without fear of stigma or persecution and without shame. We are changing the conversation, you are changing the conversation.

As of April 2017, we have launched our IndieGoGo campaign to raise $150,000 to release our first product, the Chi-Stick. This award-winning THC vape cartridge will be the avenue for us to take Cheeky Monkey™ into our next stage of development and provide the revenue and marketing to enable us to open the first Cheeky Monkey LoungeStore in Denver, CO in 2018.

We are asking each of you to go to our IndieGoGo campaign and help us bring Cheeky Monkey™ to life by making whatever donation you feel you can. Every dollar you donate will go into bringing Cheeky Monkey™ from a startup concept into a revenue generating, conversation changing reality. Imagine being able to say that you were there at the beginning.

Please watch this great video produced by our Chief Product Officer, Andrew Campbell to get an idea of our vision:


We are also asking that each of you tell your friends, co-workers, and family members to like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Share Cheeky Monkey™ and help us change the way that society and culture view cannabis. Help us bring cannabis out of the black light and into the day light and help us build a successful business that wasn’t created by Big Money and Big Business, but was created by a group of everyday people who shared a dream and vision, a dream and vision that you have shared with us on this journey.

Visit Our IndieGoGo Campaign Today!
-Joshua Furlong
President and Co-Founder

Marijuana Grown on Federal Research Farm Full of Mold and Lead

Remember that scene in Half Baked when Thurgood, played by Dave Chappelle, discovers that the government lab he works at has a serious stash of marijuana?

Well, it turns out that cannabis used in government research isn’t all that great. Unlike commercial marijuana, the government product is stringy, light in color, and full of stems. If you’re used to the cannabis sold at dispensaries, chances are you wouldn’t even recognize the government product as weed.

Jake Browne, a marijuana critic for the Cannabist, called government cannabis unusable. “In two decades of smoking weed, I’ve never seen anything that looks like that,” Browne said. “People typically smoke the flower of the plant, but here you can clearly see stems and leaves in there as well, parts that should be discarded. Inhaling that would be like eating an apple, including the seeds inside it and the branch it grew on.”

Dr. Sue Sisley, a researcher studying medical marijuana for treating PTSD, told PBS NewsHour, “It doesn’t resemble cannabis. It doesn’t smell like cannabis.”

That’s a problem for researchers studying the effects and medical efficacy of cannabis. Since the marijuana researchers are using is so unlike commercially-available cannabis, it’s difficult to reach conclusions that are applicable to real-world use.

Since the late 1960s, all marijuana used in clinical research is required to come from a single government-run marijuana farm at the University of Mississippi.

Researchers have complained that government-grown marijuana isn’t subject to any federal testing standards and discrepancies in potency have created problems in some cannabis studies. Some samples even contained mold and lead.

University of Denver Expands Cannabis Curriculum

The University of Denver is expanding its marijuana course offerings with a new “Business of Marijuana” class. A first for the Daniels College of Business, the class will focus on the expanding marijuana industry, including issues related to dispensaries, cultivation operations, and ancillary cannabis businesses.

Paul Seaborn, assistant professor of management at DU and instructor of the course, said in a statement, “There’s a lot of really interesting writing and analysis being done in the media and also by academics. We will really be tapping into all of those sources to try to get a clear picture of what’s similar and what’s different in this industry compared to other industries. Whether it’s alcohol or tobacco, even automotive or biotech. Lots of comparing and contrasting to see what makes it unique and what are the common issues these industries have experienced in these early stages.

I think part of the learning for our students will be for our students to understand all of the different types companies that participate in the industry,” Seaborn said. “The dispensaries are the most obvious. Behind the scenes we’ve got companies manufacturing products of various types, you’ve got companies that are growing and cultivating the products and providing them into the retail side. Then, there are all kinds of support businesses around whether its security, advertising and marketing, legal services or financial services.”

DU already offers classes in cannabis journalism and marijuana law. The cannabis business course will serve as a management elective credit for undergraduate students and a general business elective credit for graduate students. Classes resume for Spring Quarter on March 27.

There are at least nine universities across the country with cannabis-related courses on offer. Private companies like THC University offer another route to cannabis training and education with online certification programs.

CBD is Starting a Medical Revolution

Once THC’s lesser known cousin, CBD is getting serious attention these days because of its potential use in treating a wide-range of medical conditions. So what is CBD and what are some of its therapeutic uses? Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

So what exactly is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it’s one of the 60+ compounds found in cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD produces little to no psychoactive effects. In fact, CBD can actually lessen, or balance out, the psychoactivity of THC. Hemp has also been used for extraction to remove CBD without the THC.

One of the reasons cannabis is so effective in treating illness has to do with the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is present in both humans and animals, and scientists estimate that it evolved in our primitive ancestors over 600 million years ago. The system plays a big role in our immune systems, healing, and maintaining homeostasis. Receptors are found throughout the body–in our brain, organs, connective tissues, and glands.  In the brain, cannabinoids “control  emotional behavior, mood, stress, and fear.”

The ECS even allows communication between different cell types. In an article for NORML, Dr. Dustin Dulak explains that the  “endocannabinoid system, with its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and all of the body’s organs, is literally a bridge between body and mind.”

What are the therapeutic benefits of CBD and which conditions does it help treat?

According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies have found CBD to possess the following therapeutic effects:

  • Reduces nausea and vomiting
  • Suppresses seizure activity
  • Combats psychosis disorders
  • Combats inflammatory disorders
  • Combats neurodegenerative disorders
  • Combats anxiety and depression disorders

Cannabis is being used to treat a number of conditions, including Dravat’s Syndrome, arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, epilepsy. Research has even shown that CBD may help slow down tumor growth and prevent cancer from spreading.

CBD and THC work best together

Often described as the “power couple” of cannabis compounds, used together CBD and THC actually enhance the therapeutic effects of cannabis. Researchers have found that together, THC and CBD enhance anti-inflammatory properties, anti-tumoral effects, and neuropathic pain. Though in high doses, CBD alone can bring some of these benefits too.

Despite having no lethal dose or known serious medical side effects, both cannabis and CBD are still illegal under U.S. federal law, though in some small cases, low potency medicinal CBD has been ignored by law enforcement.

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