WeedLife News Network

Hot off the press cannabis, marijuana, cbd and hemp news from around the world on the WeedLife News Network.

The pandemic — and the pain that has come along with it for millions of families, small businesses, and bars and restaurants — didn't slow the stock market in 2020.

Sure, it did take a toll on the shares of some Columbus companies, but shares of other companies flourished last year as consumers began working from home and stocked up on groceries and sanitizer rather than going out to eat.

 "It's the craziest year," said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's chief financial analyst.

COVID-19 has devastated large swaths of the economy — travel, lodging, small storefronts, spectator sports, entertainment, among them — while other parts of the economy are going gangbusters, including companies in technology and health care, said Chip Elliott, senior editor of Columbus-based investment newsletter Market Witch.

"About half the U.S. is ... unemployed, facing poverty, hunger and eviction, and about half is doing very well, adapting into a New Era, with plenty of discretionary income," he said. "I don't ever remember anything like this."

Scotts Miracle-Gro CEO James Hagedorn

Marijuana is now legal in more states than ever before, with medical marijuana proving an essential tool to relieve symptoms caused by chemotherapy and AIDS, or for those in chronic pain. Others just use it to relax, especially during stressful times (like the ones we're going through now). But it's important to note that smoking marijuana doesn't come without risks, particularly if you do it every day. Here is what could possibly happen, so you can be aware of the risks as well as the rewards. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

1) You Might Impair Your Senses & Have Mood and Behavior Changes

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Daily marijuana use can lead to "feelings of fatigue or apathy; feelings of anxiety, paranoia, or panic; temporary hallucinations," says Dr. Jenna Liphart Rhoads. As well as, "trouble taking care of oneself and lack of hygiene practices; disconnecting from activities or people they once enjoyed; impaired memory and confusion."

2) You Put Yourself at Risk for Respiratory Diseases

 

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Woman hands on his head felling headache dizzy sense of spinning dizziness with motion

Home delivery of adult-use cannabis – expected to start in 2021 – will include a three-year exclusivity period to level out the playing field for smaller companies affected by the drug war after a vote by state marijuana regulators.

The Cannabis Control Commission voted 3-1 on Nov. 30 for new adult-use marijuana regulations, including the home delivery structure for non-medical use marijuana. There will be two different types of delivery licenses available: courier and warehouse.

The courier model, similar to Uber Eats delivery services, involves orders from traditional brick-and-mortar dispensaries delivered to consumers for a fee.

The warehouse license will allow companies to operate without a physical storefront, selling their merchandise online and using a home delivery system.

There will be cap limits on the number of delivery and retail licenses available.

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Baking Innovation, a consulting firm based in Philadelphia, has developed Hemp N’ Seeds, a rustic French bread mix for home bakers. The first commercial production will be available early in 2021, said Richard Charpentier, owner.

The mix creates bread with 19 grams of whole grains per slice along with 14 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. The mix contains hemp protein and hemps seeds, both of which are viewed as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration.

“Hemp seeds or hemp hearts are seeds that have been hulled or shelled while hemp protein is the powder form of hemp seeds,” said Mr. Charpentier, a certified master baker (CMB) who previously worked for companies such as Flowers Foods, Inc. and Hostess Brands.

The protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) for hemp protein ranges from 0.83 to 0.92, he said. A perfect score is 1.0. Milk protein, which has a 1.0 score, and wheat protein, 0.45, also are found in Hemp N’ Seeds.

“Whole milk protein brings sweetness while hemp protein brings an earthy, nutty flavor,” Mr. Charpentier said. “Wheat protein flavor is neutral and enhances the flavors of other proteins when combined.”

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Although every industry in North America has been touched in some way by the spread of COVID, many cannabis and CBD companies saw their revenues increase when the pandemic began to escalate in the United States in March 2020, a time when other businesses struggled to survive.

Cannabis was declared “essential” by most state governments in early April, allowing farms, dispensaries and product manufacturers to stay open. This declaration was an incredible moment for an industry that is still deemed federally illegal and a major win for cannabis businesses at a time when establishments in other industries, like food service and other areas of retail, had to temporarily shut down operations.

Established cannabis brands and newly created companies alike have been fortunate, riding out the tidal wave by staying focused and believing in their products. However, companies looking to launch or introduce new products had to cope with the disruption.

Blumenes CBD, for example, canceled its launch party on March 25 due to the COVID outbreak.

“After that we literally froze,” says co-owner Yael Varsha Rubin.

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Allergies are no fun and the impact millions of people around the world. There are some common allergens out there like grass, pollen, and dust – but what if you find yourself allergic to something less common, something you enjoy or that may be therapeutic for you… what if you were allergic to cannabis?

As unfortunate as that sounds, yes, you can be allergic to cannabis. With weed becoming more mainstream throughout the world, reports of allergic reactions are also on the rise. Budtenders and growers, recreational users, and medical patients have all experienced allergy symptoms after using cannabis. Does it have to do with the pollen? Is it just certain strains? And what can you do if you’re affected?

What are Allergies?

Allergies are simply the bodies immune reaction to certain foreign substances. When you have an allergic reaction to something, that’s your immune system making antibodies to fight a particular allergen that is has categorized as harmful, although that may not be necessarily be the case. Like peanuts, which trace amounts of can cause severe reactions in some people, but peanuts are not normally a dangerous substance.

Allergic reactions vary from person to person and can range in severity from mild irritation all the way to life threatening reactions, typically anaphylaxis which includes symptoms such as dizziness, tightness in the chest, and trouble breathing.

Most allergies don’t get cured, per se, but they do change over time and can disappear in some cases. Many people develop allergies as infants or children and eventually grow out of them. For example, it’s very common for babies to have lactose allergies and leave them behind by the time the turn one year old.

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New polling data reveals that majorities of Democratic, Republican, and Independent voters support legalizing recreational marijuana for adults.

The poll surveyed voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota, NORML reported.

“Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed – including 85 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of Independents, and 53 percent of Republicans – support legalizing marijuana. That finding is consistent with other nationwide polls.”

Furthermore, 81% of those polled agreed that the federal government shouldn’t interfere with states legalizing cannabis for adults.

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There are many reasons to include a cannabis-inspired cocktail at your holiday mixer this year.

Whether it’s an intimate gathering or virtual happy-hour, cannabis cocktails are becoming increasingly popular.

And luckily, the best place to start experimenting with cannabis-infused cocktails is right in your own home.

Here are three easy cannabis infused cocktails that you can make at home, specially crafted by Chief Innovation Officer Austin Stevenson of Vertosa, a premier cannabis and hemp technology company.

Vertosa infuses dozens of beverages, topicals, and other brands’ products with THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.

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Let’s be honest, 2020 sucked for everyone. Okay, everyone not named Bezos, Musk, or Zuckerberg. But when the going gets tough, the tough get… stoned?

Cannabis sales were up 38 percent from last year, as many of us have hunkered down at home with whatever helps us handle the stresses of the day: our favorite foods, TV shows we still haven’t binged, and yes, even our cannabis of choice. Well, we now have more options than ever, and with that in mind, here are some of my favorite stocking-stuffers to put 2020 behind us and hope for a better 2021.

For the Socially Conscious

Wyllow Flower

Once Pasadena’s Rose Queen, Camille Roistacher is a woman of color and the founder of Wyllow, an inclusive cannabis brand launching in partnership with Stiiizy in California. Wyllow is a part of The Floret Coalition, an anti-racist small business collective. They offer indoor-grown, premium exotic flower in strains like Mimosa, Gelato, and Lemon Kush Mints for the conscious cannabis connoisseur. I’ll smoke to that.

For The Health Conscious

Wana Edibles and Fast-Acting Gummies


Green Wednesday, a nascent holiday in the cannabis universe, came out with buds blazing in 2020, showing triple-digit sales spikes around the country on Nov. 25 and setting the weed industry up for a holly, jolly year-end.

Statistics from that long weekend are fairly eye-popping, with cannabis tech company Akerna estimating that consumers spent $238 million on flower, tinctures, edibles and infused drinks during those four days, with Green Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, becoming the single biggest sales day of the year so far.

The recent rush (see sidebar for data) follows a record-breaking year where the industry was declared an essential business during the Covid-19 pandemic and five new states voted to legalize weed for medical and recreational sales. 

Given the tailwinds, and the learnings from Thanksgiving, cannabis execs are heading into Christmas and New Year’s Eve in full throttle mode, bulking up their digital and e-commerce presence, targeting the cannacurious and other “addressable audiences” like soccer moms and older folks, focusing on wellness messages and creating first-time gift cards and goodie bundles.

 

The digital shift, the marketing dance

Many cannabis consumers have proven in 2020 that they’re buying weed much the same way they’re shopping for fast food, household items and other packaged goods: via online, mobile, click and collect, curbside pick-up and delivery. The industry, mostly cemented in the brick-and-mortar dispensary model, had to shift almost overnight to meet the demand as lockdowns hit in early 2020.


Even during a pandemic, 'tis the season of giving and gifting loved ones with cannabis seems to be the latest holiday trend. That finding is from a new poll conducted by Glass House Group, a California-based cannabis and hemp company, which runs several dispensaries and a couple of grow sites.

So what are the top choices for holiday gifts? Flower, edibles and pre-rolls. Also, most of the 630 respondents who were surveyed said they plan on replacing alcohol consumption with cannabis during the holidays.

Highlights of the poll’s findings include:

 

71.2 % plan on giving cannabis gifts to friends; 65.2 % are giving them to family members; and 40.8 % to significant others;Nearly two out of three respondents (64.2%) said they plan to replace alcohol consumption with cannabis during the holidays, with an additional 16.5% answering "undecided." Also, 67.4 % of consumers said their replacement of alcohol consumption with cannabis will be greater than in 2019;65.8 % plan on giving flower, 61.3 % said they’re giving edibles; 54.7 % are gifting pre-rolls; while 32.4 % plan on giving CBD products. Top choices for cannabis products the poll’s participants said they would like to receive this year include flower (69.3%), edibles (56.4%); pre-rolls (51.3%); vapes (33.2%); and CBD products (25.4%);The majority of respondents (53.4 %) cited managing holiday stress for their cannabis consumption while 45.6 % said they were turning to cannabis to celebrate the holiday. Other reasons cited for cannabis consumption included pain relief (50.3%) with enhancing creativity (43.3%) following closely behind.

 

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Colorado dispensaries have sold more marijuana in the first 10 months this year compared to a record-setting sales year in 2019, officials said.

The Department of Revenue said dispensaries made about $200 million in October, pushing the state’s annual revenue to more than $1.8 billion this year and making it the highest selling year since recreational marijuana hit the market in 2014, The Denver Post reported. Last year, sales reached about $1.75 billion.

Marijuana sales were expected to exceed the previous record despite the coronavirus pandemic, and the state hit an all-time monthly high in July with $226 million in sales, officials said. It was the first time monthly revenue surpassed $200 million.

Consumers purchased about $170 million worth of recreational cannabis and about $39 million worth of medical marijuana in October, a 33% increase compared to October 2019, officials said. The state collected more than $35 million in taxes and fees during the month.

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Bill Cobb uses medical marijuana to treat PTSD and chronic back pain.

“I’m a 50-year-old Black man who’s been a civil rights worker,” said Cobb, now a criminal-justice activist in Philadelphia. “I smoke to have my brain slow down. But to be honest, I also smoke because I enjoy it.”

Alleviating his physical and mental pain is difficult when he feels another sting: His doctor-recommended medicine is not covered by insurance. He pays out of pocket — as much as $120 a week.

“It’s way too expensive,” Cobb said. “It’s ridiculous.”

 

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The holidays are around the corner; 2020 isn’t over.

It’s time to get all the presents ordered and wrapped under the tree. Cannabis & Tech Today did the leg work and found gifts to satisfy all your CBD needs.

Sträva Craft CBD Coffee

Sträva is available in K-Cups, whole or ground beans, and comes in a wide range of dosages and flavors.

The company’s mission is “to enrich the lives of its customers by delivering extraordinary products, meaningful experiences, and to make a positive impact on the health and well being of customers around the world.”

Photo courtesy of Strava Craft Coffee.

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Some local opponents of marijuana decriminalization and legalization say it increases underage use, but new studies indicate otherwise.

Since 2012, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and 11 states and the district have legalized recreational use. Other states, including Virginia this year, have decriminalized possession of small amounts of pot and are considering legalization.

At the federal level, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted earlier this month to decriminalize marijuana possession, manufacturing and distribution. The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to block the bill from becoming law, though.

 

The years that have passed since marijuana reform began have allowed for studies about the effect on youth marijuana use. In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an analysis of the Youth Risk Behavior Study. The nationwide study, which also asked questions about alcohol, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and prescription pill use, was conducted from 2009 through 2019 and involved thousands of ninth-12th graders.

The CDC noted that youth alcohol and drug use, including marijuana, do increase the likelihood of academic underachievement, delinquency, mental health disorders and teen pregnancy.

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As Massachusetts begins its third year of legal adult-use marijuana sales and after more than one billion dollars in gross sales revenue, the commonwealth has proved it can efficiently regulate a safe and effective cannabis industry. However, the Cannabis Control Commission’s efforts remain ongoing, and the work ahead must be marked by deep collaboration between state and local government, industry, academia, and other key stakeholders to achieve a truly equitable industry that preserves and promotes public health and safety.

This past spring, the commission began a robust and transparent regulatory review process that solicited feedback from all corners of the commonwealth. The comments were at times contentious with strong opinions on all sides; however, it was our job to strike the right balance and establish the best path forward for Massachusetts. The rule-making process concludes this month when the secretary of the commonwealth promulgates our comprehensive regulations that further access for patients and caregivers; create a new research license to promote the study of cannabis, institute public health safeguards in the wake of the national vape health crisis, and strengthen our equity efforts with the new Delivery Operator license type and an expanded exclusivity period.

 

On reflection, the delivery license stood out as a central discussion point during this regulatory round due to its potential to meet so many of our priorities around equity, consumer access, incremental tax revenue, and combating the illicit market.

I appreciate that some city and town officials are excited about the opportunity to issue Host Community Agreements (HCA) to equity applicants and establish new revenue streams through delivery, while others are still assessing the impact to their established zoning and bylaws.

 

As the marijuana delivery operator license type joins the ranks of the delivery courier, retail, cultivation, and other standard license types, it is critical to ensure that all municipalities are clear on the operational requirements these businesses will face.

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Reports estimate that just 37 recreational cannabis licenses will be available. More licenses are not expected to be released for another two years.

New Jersey lawmakers have passed a measure to allow a recreational marijuana marketplace in the Garden State.

The legislation will now be sent to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who is expected to sign the bill. Once that happens, New Jersey cannabis businesses will be able to offer recreational weed within six months.

The Democrat-led Assembly and Senate passed the bill on Thursday.

The six-month time frame would be among the shortest wait times from legalization to “market open date” for a recreational cannabis state. In Massachusetts, it took over two years from the time a similar measure was approved to the opening of the state’s first cannabis dispensaries. Nevada took eight months.

New Jersey Gov: Extremely smart to legalize marijuana to offset coronavirus pandemic

It’s almost hard to believe that as the UN voted on recommendations to globally open the legality of cannabis, that some countries are still so against it that they’ll kill you for crimes related to it. Yup, it might be 2020, but you can still receive the death penalty for cannabis crimes in many different places.

The first thing to understand about the death penalty for cannabis is that there are different kinds of cannabis crimes, and just because a country employs the death sentence, it doesn’t mean it’s applicable to all crimes involving cannabis. Some countries will only enforce such a law for traffickers, others are more hardcore, and will go after actual users with death. While it all seems like a massive overstep in any scenario, here are the places that still give out the death penalty for cannabis crimes.

Before we go to the list of countries where you shouldn’t use cannabis, we need to keep in mind that the situation in the United States is different and you can use cannabis related products almost anywhere. Recently, a new kind of cannabis product, hemp-derived Delta-8 THC (also known as cannabis-lite) has become very popular, as it legal to order it online, even in countries where recreational use of cannabis is still forbidden. People who use Delta-8 THC report that while it is very uplifting and relaxing, it is also “easier to the mind” and brings no anxiety or paranoia at all, so they prefer it over regular cannabis.

Ready to finish out your holiday shopping? Check out the best Delta-8 THC deals this year, and make everyone happy this holiday season.

China

China is at the top of pretty much any list when it comes to the use of capital punishment. Though the country didn’t begin handing out sentences for cannabis use until the 1980’s, it certainly went from 0 to 100 pretty fast. In China, being caught with just five kilograms can be enough to get the death penalty, though some publications put the amount at 10 kilograms of hash or 150 kilograms of marijuana. Lesser punishments involve prison sentences of five years to life, with a fine of up to 1,000 yuan. Sale and supply crimes will get you a death sentence that much faster, even with smaller amounts. The problem with China is that information is very rarely released with actual, usable numbers. While there is a strong expectation that China is killing its own people for all kinds of crimes, the specifics are merely speculation.

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Members of the New Jersey state Assembly and Senate have given final approval to legislation permitting the possession of marijuana by adults and regulating its commercial production and retail sales. Each of the measures now awaits the signature of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. The Assembly approved A21 by a 49 to 24 vote with six abstentions, and the Senate later approved S21 by a 23 to 17 vote.

“I commend lawmakers for working quickly to implement the will of the voters, who made their mandate clear at the ballot box.” said NORML State Policies Coordinator Carly Wolf. “While this legislation is not perfect and our work is far from finished, it is a crucial step forward toward repairing the decades of damage done to New Jersey’s most vulnerable communities as a result of the enforcement of marijuana prohibition. Historically, law enforcement in New Jersey has arrested more people per capita for marijuana law violations than almost any other state in the nation. Most notably, going forward tens of thousands of otherwise law-abiding New Jerseyans will no longer be subject to arrest, incarceration, and a criminal record for their personal use of marijuana, and that is a reason to celebrate.”

Senate Bill 21 and Assembly Bill 21 establish regulatory guidelines for the marijuana market. Under the bills, adults may legally purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis. The measures cap the number of commercial cultivators permitted under the law at 37 for the first two years. The measures direct 70 percent of the revenue derived from sales taxes on retail marijuana purchases toward reinvestment in designated communities that have been most adversely impacted by prohibition.

“New Jersey is already one of the largest cannabis markets in the world, and the industry here is poised to grow substantially as the state embraces legalization and regulation,” said Cranford-based attorney Jennifer Cabrera of Vicente Sederberg LLP, a national cannabis law firm that has helped shape and implement cannabis laws and regulations across the U.S. She works closely with state lawmakers and regulators on cannabis policy issues and provided testimony to the Assembly regarding the legislation.

“This legislation creates the conditions for a vibrant craft cannabis industry in New Jersey,” Cabrera said. “Setting aside licenses and streamlining the application process for microbusinesses will hopefully enable a healthy number of smaller local companies to sprout up across the state. There are some additional steps we would like to see policymakers take to make it easier to operate these microbusinesses, and we look forward to working with them as they fine-tune the system. Still, this is a great starting point and opens the door to a lot of exciting opportunity for local entrepreneurs.”

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Passenger flying into Boston was packing cannabis not animus.

The Twitterverse was left scratching its collective head after the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) tweeted a man flying into Boston’s Logan International Airport had jammed two box cutters into what would have been a very large shampoo bottle, but it was really just garden-variety cannabis.

TSA rules make clear what a passenger can have in both carry-on and checked baggage. For carry-on, a person can “bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item,” the information notes. Any containers bigger than 100 ml, regardless of the amount inside, need to go in checked baggage.

“I’m guessing this was found in checked luggage since it’s almost a 24oz bottle, or did the idiot actually attempt to take a bottle of that size through the checkpoint, knowing he had box cutters in the bottle. A lot of questions with this story,” noted one response following the TSA tweet. “Seems like a very elaborate way to conceal a 3 dollar item . . .. hmmmmm,” added another.

As it turned out, the failed attempt to smuggle contraband didn’t involve box cutters at all; it involved two bags of cannabis.

The TSA later issued what it called an update/clarification, not a correction. “The concealed bags were actually bags of marijuana found during checked baggage screening @BostonLogan,” the tweet reads, before somewhat defiantly adding, “TSA officers are trained to look for and detect threats including artfully concealed items.”