Posts Tagged ‘legal cannabis’

Coloradoans Increasingly Turn to Marijuana for Relief

medical-cannabisSometimes it feels like people don’t agree on anything these days, so it’s reassuring to find that, in Colorado at least, there’s still one thing that can bring people together: weed.

At least according to a new survey released by Consumer Research Around Cannabis.

Consumer Research compiled data from Denver and Colorado Springs, the state’s two largest cannabis markets. They found that despite differences in city size, demographic makeup, and overall political affiliation, more than half of the respondents approved of recreational and medical marijuana use.

Jeff Stein, Vice President of Consumer Research Around Cannabis, said the survey results show that “Denver leads Colorado Springs, 58% to 52%, in acceptance of medical and/or recreational marijuana, but the two regions reflect each other almost identically when looked at through a political lens. In both areas, nearly 75% of liberals, about 60% of independents, and roughly 35% of conservatives approve of legal usage.”

Colorado Springs is home to 725,00 adults and was rated the fourth-most conservative major city in the country in 2014, while Denver, with at population of 3.2 million adults, was rated the 19th most liberal city.

On top of high marijuana approval rates, respondents from both cities reported having similar reasons for using cannabis. More than 40% of respondents said that they used marijuana to help them sleep, followed closely by those who use it to treat chronic and recurring pain.

One notable difference in the data was the percentage of people who used cannabis to treat “temporary or minor pain” in Colorado Springs at 17.2%, making it the city’s third most important reason for using cannabis. Lumping together chronic and temporary or minor pain means that about 67% of cannabis use in Colorado is as a painkiller.

“Over the long run, It will be interesting to see how marijuana use affects sales of traditional pharmaceuticals for these kinds of ailments,” said Stein.

The survey didn’t identify how respondents consumed cannabis: whether flower, concentrate, or edible.

New Jersey Senator Introduces Bill to End Cannabis Prohibition

cory-booker-2New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker introduced the Marijuana Justice Act this week, a bill that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana, as well as begin to address social justice issues that have resulted from the war on drugs.

“I believe the federal government should get out of the illegal marijuana business,” Booker said. “You see what’s happening around this country right now. Eights states and the District of Columbia have moved to legalize marijuana. And these states are seeing decreases in violent crime in their states. They’re seeing increases in revenue to their states. They’re seeing their police forces being able to focus on serious crime. They’re seeing positive things come out of that experience.”

Booker argues that marijuana enforcement disproportionately targets poor and minority communities, creating what he calls a “poverty trap.”

“You see these marijuana arrests happening so much in our country, targeting certain communities — poor communities, minority communities — targeting our veterans,” Booker said in a Facebook Live session following the introduction of the bill. “We need to seek not just to change the law, but be agents of restorative justice.”

The bill would legalize marijuana at the federal level and withhold federal money from building prisons, along with other funds, from states whose cannabis laws disproportionately incarcerate minorities.

If the bill were signed into law, it would:

  • Remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act
  • Encourage states to legalize cannabis locally through incentives
  • Retroactively expunge Federal convictions for marijuana use and possession
  • All individuals serving in federal prison for marijuana use or possession could petition the court for resentencing
  • Cut federal funding for state law enforcement and prison construction if a state disproportionately arrests and/or incarcerates low-income individuals and/or people of color for marijuana offenses
  • Create a “Community Reinvestment Fund” of $500 million to provide grants to communities most effected by the war on drugs. The fund would support job training, reentry services, community centers, health education programs, and more.

Plus, cannabis legalization could actually help the current opioid epidemic and reduce overdose deaths, and Booker dismisses prohibitionists’ argument that cannabis is a gateway to heavier drug use.

“The evidence that it’s a gateway drug just is not compelling, and the reality is, as I said with the challenges of opioid addiction, there’s some great medical studies that have come out that have shown that actually having the availability of marijuana actually lessens the chances you’re going to have overdose deaths,” Booker said.

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.”

 

Medical Marijuana in Dispensaries Hawaii are Open but Unable to Sell

hawaiiHawaii’s first medical marijuana dispensary opens Thursday, but don’t expect to see any cannabis on the shelves.

The problem? The state labs tasked with testing medical marijuana prior to sale have yet to be certified. The state Department of Health says they must take the necessary time to ensure that testing is accurate.

“It has to be done in the right way and we think we’re going about a very deliberate path to make sure the law is followed,” said Keith Ridley, chief of the health department’s Office of Health Care Assurance.

So instead of selling medical cannabis on Thursday, Aloha Green will open its doors for patient outreach and education.

“Once they saw that it wasn’t this dingy, scary place, then they started to see it’s something legitimate that will provide relief for a lot of patients,” said Tai Cheng, Chief Operating Officer of Aloha Green.

Cheng says that they’ve harvested four times since last month, but instead of putting product out into the market, they’ve had to vacuum seal their flower and hope that testing is certified sooner rather than later.

“It’s frustrating for our team and our growers. You’re able to hold that product for an extended period of time between 6-12 months, but oxidization of the product does cause it to lose not only its flavor but its efficiency as well,” Cheng said.

The delay is putting dispensary owners in a tough spot: operating costs can exceed $100,000 per month, and without product to sell, there’s no money coming back in.

Hawaii was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana 17 years ago, but dispensaries weren’t legalized until 2015. Dispensaries were slated to open in July 2016, but the state had not approved software to track the product from seed-to-sale.

The health department plans to have labs up and running by summer.

Cheeky Monkey™ Sponsors 2017 Industry Awards at Cannabis Classic

Cheeky Monkey™ had another amazing time at this 2017 Cannabis Classic last weekend! Great turnout from the Alaska cannabis community – we appreciate everyone coming out and showing support.

As a proud sponsor of this year’s Cannabis Classic Industry awards show, Cheeky Monkey™ was happy to see so many great new cannabis products in the mix, and provided medicated High Tai cocktails for the entire crowd. You could also see us handing out freebies and selling our great Cheeky Monkey™ merch – hats, shirts, pipes, Chi Sticks and product samples (where allowed).

This year our Chief Product Officer and owner of Alaska Thunder Skunk farms, Andrew Campbell, does it again!

Andrew came home with both 1st Place and 3rd Place awards in the Cannabis Classic competition. A first place award was given for Alaska Thunder Skunk’s new extract product Slim Hash – a unique strain of cannabis grown for its relaxing and medical purposes (THCV!) in a high grade concentrate form and 3rd place to Peanut Butter Cup Pie – a medicated dessert that was as delicious as it sounds. You can view the official judges results on the Cannabis Classic site.

Thanks to all who participated and congratulations to all the winners! We are so delighted to have such a supporting cannabis community and look forward to more in the future.

Check out this video of Andrew accepting his award below:
 

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

Ending Marijuana Prohibition Would Save Lives and Taxpayer Money

A father-daughter duo of public policy researchers from the University of Georgia have published a follow-up to their 2016 research that found in states with a medical marijuana program, prescriptions for medications like painkillers, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications dropped sharply.

That means that among adults 65 and older who are enrolled in Medicare, many are choosing to self-medicate with cannabis rather than taking medications prescribed by a doctor. It’s a significant shift in approaches to healthcare, and is especially relevant given the opioid epidemic in the U.S. Numerous studies have found that opiate abuse and overdose rates fell in states with medical marijuana laws.

The Bradfords’ new study applies the same analysis as the Medicare study, but this time they looked at Medicaid prescriptions. Medicaid covers low-income people of all ages. The results were similar to the Medicare research: in states with a medical marijuana program, prescriptions for certain drugs fell significantly.

Anti-nausea prescriptions fell by 17 percent, anti-depressants fell 13 percent, and anti-seizure and psychosis drugs fell 12 percent. Prescriptions for painkillers, including opiates, fell by 11 percent.

“Patients and physicians in the community are reacting to the availability of medical marijuana as if it were medicine,” the Bradfords concluded.

They also concluded that a nationwide medical marijuana program would save taxpayers about $1.1 billion on Medicaid prescriptions annually. However, while Medicaid and Medicare see cost savings, medical marijuana must be purchased outside of the insurance system, essentially shifting the burden of cost to low-income and senior patients.

Last summer the DEA affirmed marijuana’s status as a Schedule 1 drug–categorizing cannabis as an addictive drug with no medical benefits. The Bradfords warned that, “This decision was made despite the substantial and growing evidence that the requirements for Schedule I status involving ‘no currently accepted medical uses’ are no longer met by marijuana.”

National 420 Cannabis Events 2017

IMG_20170414_224845Welcome to another 420 week/month! Cannabis enthusiasts across the country have a ton of events to choose from this year. Celebrate April 20th and legal weed and check out all the best cannabis festivities happening around the country this week:

Colorado:

If you’re new to cannabis and/or planning a trip to the Mile-High State, you may want to check out Good to Know Colorado for local pot laws and helpful toker tips.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 West Alameda Parkway, Morrison, CO
Performers include Method Man & Redman, Flatbush ZOMBiES with Curren$y, $uicideBoy$, Futuristic, RDGLDGRN, Afroman, and ProbCause. Doors open at 4:00 p.m.

General admission tickets $45.00 online, $50.00 at the door

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Civic Center Park, Denver, CO

Denver’s annual 420 Rally is totally free to the public this year, so event organizers are expecting a larger than usual turnout.The average annual turnout for the high holy holiday is around 50,000 attendees. Grammy award-winning rapper 2 Chainz will start at 2pm and lead the crowd to the 4:20 countdown.

420 Rally 10am-8pm
FREE concert starring 2 Chainz 2pm-6pm

Sunday, April 23, 2017
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 West Alameda Parkway, Morrison, CO
Doors open: 6:30 p.m./Show: 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $64.95 online, $70 Door

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Denver, CO
Must be 21 or older

A multi-venue event featuring music, art, and comedy. The musical lineup includes Cut Chemist, Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Blockhead, Magic Beans, Live Animals, Rusko, Dumpstaphunk, J Phlip of “Dirtybird Records,” and more.

Comedians slated to appear include Brent Gill, Pussy Bros, Timmi Lasley, Alex Falcone, and Billy Wayne Davis.

Glass artists, VJs, and live painters will be at venues across Denver.

One pass gets you into all venues, there will also be a two story marketplace in City Hall, comedy in the Living Room and many speakers and meet and greet opportunities.

Buy a ticket before April 20 for $42; Day of tickets are $50.
VIP/All Access Ticket: $75 (Backstage pass to all venues, schwag bag, Artist Meet and Greets): Only 200 available.

There’s more! See a full list of Colorado 420 events.

California
 

Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23, 2017
National Orange Show Center, San Bernardino, CA

The three-day schedule of performers includes: Trishes, OKIM, A$AP Ferg, Method Man & Redman, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Nas, Vic Mensa, The Game, Chief Ceef, Lit, and Wu-Tang Clan.

Seminars available include Cannabis Tinctures 101, Veterans: National Access, Future of Concentrates, Jobs in Cannabusiness, Legal Weed: How to Grow at Home, Professional Athletes in cannabis, and more.

Awards will be handed out on Sunday, April 23 @ 3:15pm.

Tickets: GA 1-Day Pass $55; GA 3-Day Pass $150; VIP 1-Day Pass $100; VIP 3-Day Pass $275; Super VIP Pass $420

Alaska

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Cannabis Classic is Alaska’s largest cannabis conference, competition, and trade show. The event isn’t actually until May, but their cannabis competitions are consumer-judged, so be sure to check out a list of voting locations while you’re stocking up for 420.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 6pm
420 W. 3rd Ave., Anchorage, AK
Door prizes, industry vendors, clothing, edibles, food, live music, and some of the best buds Alaska has to offer.

Potluck Events is a private cannabis club, so you’ll need to become a member to attend the event.
With a current membership, tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door.

Oregon

Saturday, April 22 – Sunday, April 23, 2017
Riverhouse on the Deschutes, 2850 Rippling River Court, Bend, OR

Check out hemp and cannabis products, accessories and tools, grow and harvest equipment and more in our amazing expo hall. Then, take in some great sessions on growing, medicinal benefits, Prop 91, and more.

Weekend Admission: $15

Massachusetts

Saturday, April 22 – Sunday, April 23
Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, Boston, MA

Featuring 175+ local and national exhibitors, 100+ industry expert speakers, programming tracks on careers, investment, medical marijuana education and live demos, this is THE must-attend event for New Englanders, and anyone who wants to be a part of the fastest growing industry in the world!

See ticket and registration information here.

Washington, DC

Saturday, April 22, 2017
Festival Grounds are situated along the Anacostia River in Lot 6/7 of RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.

National Cannabis Festival brings together activists, business owners and enthusiasts to celebrate the spirit of the movement while enjoying a full day of music, education sessions, wellness, art, activism, and culture.

Performers include Talib Kweli, The Pharcyde, Backyard Band, Kenyatta Hill (of Culture), Empresarios, Pinky Killacorn, and more.

Tickets: $35 General Admission, VIP Annual Membership $255 per ticket.

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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