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

With so many states recently adopting measures to legalize adult-use (recreational) marijuana it seems like it’s time to give an overview, from a lawyer’s perspective, of what the first few years of legal marijuana generally look like in newly-legalized states. These projections are based on what we have seen in jurisdictions like Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and California, which now have relatively mature marijuana markets.

Rulemaking and Licensing. When a state first legalizes marijuana, a state agency will be tasked with regulating the industry, including issuing licenses. This process will involve agency rulemaking which will be done pursuant to the implementing legislation. I strongly suggest monitoring agency rulemaking as it will provide the public the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed rules.

If you would like to obtain a marijuana license, you need to become an expert on the licensing process. Here are some questions you will need to answer if you want to obtain a license: Will there be a lottery for applications? Will existing medical marijuana operators be given a priority? How will the agency evaluate applications? Perhaps most importantly, what are the relevant licensing timeframes and deadlines? It is imperative that if you apply you do so in a timely manner but also that you keep in mind the application priorities that the regulatory decision makers will have in mind while they review your application.

Business Formation. Individuals who want to operate a marijuana business should apply through a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or other business entity (not a sole proprietorship or general partnership) so that the stakeholders of the company are shielded from personal liability. The marijuana industry is riskier than most industries so applicants should submit their application through a business entity rather than in a personal capacity.

You should also carefully select who you are going into business with. Licensing incentives can often create strange bedfellows depending on application priorities. For example, in 2015 Washington State merged its medical marijuana program into the recreational market. As part of this merger, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) opened a second round of licensing for marijuana retailers. However, dispensary owners who were operational and current on taxes before the recreational and medical market merger were given a priority in their applications. I remember seeing advertisements on Craigslist where dispensary owners were trying to find deep pocket partners to take advantage of their application priorities. That lead to some predictable disputes.

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2020 has been particularly baked. Instagram feeds have been overloaded with photos of breads, cookies, pies and other comfort foods—even more than usual—in our attempts to manage Covid-related stress and stay occupied while trying out a new recipe. Let’s call it what it is—anxiety baking.  

Now it’s that time of year when we get extra cozy indoors and start whipping up even more delicious baked goods than we do the rest of the year in an attempt to help us all get through the chill of winter. Do we bake out of boredom? Or because brownies are delicious? Or both? It seems that the world is baking extra right now because our activity options are more limited. And because, let’s face it, anxiety baking, or any kind of baking, is fun.

Baking can be solitary or social; it can be done to pass time, or it can be attached to a special occasion. Like any hobby or activity, it’s always exciting to experiment, which you can do in baking by tinkering with new (or old) recipes, playing with temperature, and adding or removing ingredients, among other things.


Photo credit: Alex M. Smith

One way that people are experimenting with baking this season is by mixing all the many varieties of CBD oils, tinctures, sweeteners and more into breads, cakes, muffins, and beyond. 

How To Use CBD In All Your Holiday Anxiety Baking

In my lifetime I have been labeled many things, both good and bad.

Now that I am a writer for Cannabis & Tech Today, the parents in my neighborhood don’t call me a “writer,” but “the dad who writes for the weed mag.”

An odd phenomenon has started occurring, parents are asking me to take them on a trip to visit a dispensary, since many of them have never been.

I try to explain they don’t need a guide and our local dispensary (because America now has local dispensaries, like Dairy Queens) Greenhouse is a great place to visit and very friendly to the Muggle (first timer).

Yet they insist. I get it, it’s a new experience, but it doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating.

Dalwhinnie Farms Dispensary in Aspen, Colorado.

The enactment of laws and policies that permit the recreational use of marijuana by adults does not lead to an increase in cannabis use by teenagers, according to results of a study published recently. In fact, the investigators who conducted the research determined that young people who use marijuana in states with laws legalizing adult-use cannabis actually do so less often. The study, “Recreational Marijuana Legalization and Adolescent Use of Marijuana, Tobacco, and Alcohol,” was published by the Journal of Adolescent Health last week.

To conduct the study, researchers associated with Boston University reviewed survey data that had been collected over a period of nearly two decades on the use of marijuana and other substances from a nationally representative sample of more than one million high school students. The researchers studied data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey data collected in 47 states from 1999 to 2017, which assessed marijuana, alcohol, cigarette, and e-cigarette use among adolescents.

‘No Evidence’ Legal Pot Increases Teen Use

An analysis of the data “found no evidence that RML [recreational marijuana legalization] was associated with [an] increased likelihood or level of marijuana use among adolescents,” the authors of the study wrote. “Rather, among adolescents who reported any use of marijuana in the past month, the frequency of use declined by 16 percent after RML.”

In their statement of purpose, the researchers noted that the growing number of states that are enacting adult-use cannabis legislation makes it necessary to determine the trend’s impact on public health, particularly among young people.

“Given the rapid expansion of recreational marijuana legalization (RML) policies, it is essential to assess whether such policies are associated with shifts in the use of marijuana and other substances, particularly for adolescents, who are uniquely susceptible to negative repercussions of marijuana use,” they wrote.

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This marks the first time in four years that Green Wednesday has beat out Black Friday, which saw a 75% increase in sales.

Data from both Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN) and Headset agreed that Green Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) sales in 2020 easily beat Black Friday sales for the first time. Cannabis consumers clearly wanted to make their purchases in advance of Thanksgiving and were less inclined to go shopping afterward.

Business intelligence from Akerna found that cannabis consumers spent approximately $238 million during the 2020 Thanksgiving weekend (11/25 – 11/28).  Green Wednesday was the single biggest sales day of 2020 with an 80% increase in daily sales. The average basket size for medical consumers was $122.64, representing a 5% increase over the daily average. Adult-use consumers spent, on average, $78.14, which is an increase of approximately 12%.

This also marks the first time in four years that Green Wednesday has beat out Black Friday, which also saw a 75% increase in sales.

“Once again, Thanksgiving ranks in the top 5 cannabis sales days of the year,” said James Ahrendt, Business Intelligence Architect, Akerna. “As we have noted throughout the year, daily sales averages have increased over the last year as a result of COVID. Since average days show such notable year-over-year growth, the percentage of growth during the holidays doesn’t seem as large. However, this is because more people, in general, are purchasing cannabis.”

Gearing Up For Green Wednesday

 

 

We all see which way this issue is trending, right?

While marijuana is still on its banned substance list, the NBA and players union agree to terms that would not text players in the Orlando restart bubble for pot. That is going to carry over to this season, reports Ben Dowsett.

Marijuana legalization is becoming more common nationwide. Recreational use is fully legal in 15 states plus the District of Columbia, and many other states have various levels of decriminalization or medical use allowances. With younger generations leaning much more heavily toward legalization, this trend is likely to continue across the nation.

The NBA has loosened its marijuana policies — a player has to test positive three times to earn a suspension — but Adam Silver said a year ago his concern was addiction, mental wellness, and in-season use (speaking with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports).

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ATLANTA, Dec. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kill Cliff, America’s undisputed clean energy drink champion, is proud to announce a collaboration with Joe Rogan to create the Flaming Joe. Straight from the mind of Rogan, this incredibly unique, spicy pineapple fusion is the latest edition to the country’s best-selling line of CBD beverages.

The Flaming Joe contains 25mg of CBD, derived from 125mg of broad-spectrum hemp, B-vitamins, electrolytes, and plant extracts.  As with all Kill Cliff drinks, there is no sugar or artificial ingredients. The flavor is bold and spicy.  

Rogan, the world’s top podcaster, is a longtime advocate of CBD for mental and physical well-being.  It is a regular topic and shared interest with a multitude of celebrity guests, ranging from Mike Tyson and Miley Cyrus to military veterans like Andy Stumpf. 

As a Kill Cliff partner and power user, it only made sense to work together to create twelve ounces of liquid magic. As Rogan says, “It’s amazing how much good you can get out of a 24-kilogram kettlebell and a can of Kill Cliff CBD.”  

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More Americans than ever support the idea of making cannabis legal for both medical and recreational use. They have proven that again and again at the ballot box, and they’ve shown up in bigger numbers than ever for the latest Gallup Poll.

Gallup releases its survey of Americans’ opinions on a range of issues every year, including the legalization of weed. The most recent survey found that 68 percent of those questioned favored legalization. That’s the highest number in five decades.

The survey also captures the public zeitgeist, as it was released in the same month that voters in Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, and South Dakota all voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Those in Mississippi did the same for medical marijuana.

All but three groups support legalization.

The new survey found some interesting data on what groups support marijuana the most and the least. That included an extremely small gender divide. Of those surveyed by Gallup, 69 percent of men and 66 percent of women favored legalization.

Age groups showed a larger divide, although every age group had a majority that supported legalization. When separated by age groups, the percentage in favor of making cannabis legal broke out as follows.

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Cannabis delivery is finally becoming available across the country, but despite this being many a-weed smokers’ dream, the service is still new and a little difficult to navigate. Some delivery services seem a little iffy, or not entirely trustworthy, while others seem to only cater to customers that are willing to shell out exorbitant amounts of money for the privilege of having weed delivered directly to their door.

Every service is a little bit different, so choosing the right one can take a little time and trial and error. To help you find the right weed delivery service for your needs, we’ve created this simple guide featuring tips for selecting a reputable delivery service to make your weed delivery dreams a reality.

Is This Delivery Service Compliant?

A legitimate cannabis delivery service must comply with state and local cannabis rules and regulations. As a consumer, you want your weed delivery to be above board not only to prevent yourself from getting into legal trouble but also to ensure that the products you buy are from a reputable source. If you can’t trust them to follow basic regulations, how can you trust them to bring you top-notch cannabis?

Best practice to ensure you are ordering from a compliant delivery service is to look for the company’s cannabis license, which should be prominently displayed on their website and any email communications.

Is Tax Applied To Your Purchase?

Like other consumer products, recreational and medical marijuana purchases are taxed. If the cannabis delivery service you choose does not apply tax to their products (either before or after purchase) they are likely not compliant with local regulations and restrictions.

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The recent trend of using CBD in health-related products has been fueled by increasing interest and curiosity about its medicinal value as a natural alternative to synthetic ingredients and chemicals. As a result, the retail market has become inundated with a wide range of topical products containing cannabidiol, all claiming to benefit skin health and facilitate pain management. 

This progressively expanding commercial industry is mainly unregulated and there are no universally recognized or enforced guidelines on what constitutes legitimate, high-quality products. The incentive to capitalize on this emerging market has heightened competition. As demand for CBD-based products climbs, the number of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers has subsequently multiplied to supply it. 

Consumer’s Dilemma

For consumers, this abundance of supply and the unknown methods and standards of quality control can understandably cause considerable uncertainty regarding the legitimacy of retailers and their products. A basic keyword search such as CBD cream near me can bring up relevant results on local markets that specialize in natural health and organic goods, or pharmacies that sell CBD products. You may also come across websites with resourceful information that can guide you in your search. But be cautious of overly promotional content from possibly dubious sources. You’ll likely encounter a lot of buzzwords such as ‘organic’ and ‘bioavailability’ that can be helpful to get familiarized with.

It’s helpful to know how to differentiate between products that qualify as high-standard and safe to use and those that are substandard or inferior. Also, there are ways to recognize a trustworthy source as opposed to a potential scam.

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Researchers of a new study note that CBD plays an important role in risk reduction for users of high THC cannabis.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article solely belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Fresh Toast. 

A U.K. think tank has published as study called Changes in delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) concentrations in cannabis over time: systematic review and meta‐analysis.

A meta-analysis is a fancy word for studying studies, and generally speaking, the larger the sample, the more reliable the results will be, and the Addiction and Mental Health Group at the University of Bath “analysed data from more than 80,000 cannabis street samples tested in the past 50 years in the US, UK, Netherlands, France, Denmark, Italy and New Zealand.”  

However, the very long time span for the sampling may be more of a problem than an asset. Fifty years ago, none of these countries were major producers of hashish.  

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While sales of cannabis edibles in general have grown steadily in legal marijuana markets, the cannabis candies segment has seen very strong sales, with cannabis-infused gummies making up 84% of cannabis candy sales so far in 2020 across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon.

BDSA Consumer Insights data from the beginning of 2020 shows that gummies are the most widely used and most popular ingestible product for recreational (adult-use) cannabis consumers in the United States and Canada. Nearly 60% of America’s cannabis edibles consumers report past 6-month use of gummies.

The benefits of offering a convenient, discrete method of marijuana consumption with an array of flavors to suit any consumers’ taste are key factors leading to the success of marijuana-infused gummy products.

Overall cannabis gummy sales among Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon have seen major growth in recent years, from $20 million in July 2017 to almost $64 million in July 2020. This growth rate far exceeds that of other cannabis edibles.

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Cannabis Edibles in Arizona

Federal Legalization Could Happen If Democrats Win Georgia’s Two Senate Seats In the January Run-off

Recreational and medical cannabis use ballot victories across the political spectrum this fall show marijuana’s acceptance continues to grow among American voters. Still, politicians mostly act along party lines. Over the past few years, the democrat-lead U.S. Congress has taken up cannabis industry banking and other related legislation. The republican-controlled Senate however, has blocked any liberalization of cannabis laws. If democrats take control of the Senate by winning the two seats up for grabs in the Georgia run-off in January, expect forward movement on federal legalization of cannabis.

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Hemp Industry Testing Will Continue to Mature

The legalization of hemp (cannabis’ non-psychoactive cousin) by the 2018 Farm Bill ignited a planting boom as entrepreneurs rushed to meet the growing desire for Hemp-derived CBD that could be added to all consumable, smokable, and beauty products. New to the plant though, some farmers lacked specific knowledge about the crop and how to best store it to keep contaminants like mold, yeast, E.coli, salmonella, bacteria, coliforms, and Aspergillus at bay.

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The anticipated lockdown on many in-person get-togethers this holiday season because of the COVID-19 curveball has put a damper on regular festivities. But there’s no better way to brighten grey days than with thoughtful gift-giving that reflects better times and offers a connection to loved ones.

Since 2020 is the year of never-ending change, it might be nice to switch things up. Consider taking gift-giving to a new place by injecting some lively green into this usually white and snowy season.

recent survey shows respondents are open to giving cannabis- and CBD-inspired gifts a try this year. In fact, 32 per cent of the 1,507 Canadian adults polled said they would consider giving the gift of weed. And those gifts are not just for friends, siblings and partners; mom and dad are also on the list.

Green wellness gifts are an increasingly attractive option, with Deloitte reporting “the growing use of cannabis as a wellness product or to alleviate pain isn’t surprising.” Indeed, Strainprint Technologies noted in 2018 that back pain, anxiety and arthritis were the top conditions driving those 50 and older to try cannabis.

Here are some green-inspired wellness gifts, from stocking-stuffers to bigger-ticket items, to consider for whoever has made your “nice” list this holiday season.


If you’re a cannabis user, your most important consideration is the flower itself.

However, how one ingests the substance is a close second.

The physical and mental benefits largely depend on how you absorb the herb.

Today, we’ll take a look at the most prominent methods, discuss the positive and negative aspects of each, and end by busting some common myths and misconceptions. 

Inhalation Method

There are three primary ways to consume cannabis: oral, inhaled, and topical.

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South Dakotans voting to legalize recreational marijuana July 1 creates some challenges for law enforcement in Minnesota, mainly the possibility of impaired drivers coming back from South Dakota.

“The potential for drivers who have consumed marijuana to various impairment levels and then driving in Minnesota creates a safety risk, mainly due to the impact of marijuana on reaction time and impaired judgment on their driving,” Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt said.

South Dakota, Montana, Arizona and New Jersey also approved the sale of marijuana on Nov. 3, making recreational marijuana legal in 15 states and Washington, D.C.

South Dakota and Mississippi also approved medical marijuana measures, bringing the total nationwide to 34 states, which include Minnesota.

Felt wrote in an email that the new law could lead some people to bring back marijuana to Minnesota, where it is still illegal.

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One day in the early fall of 2018, while scrutinizing the finances of his thriving Colorado garden supply business, Chip Baker noticed a curious development: transportation costs had spiked fivefold. The surge, he quickly determined, was due to huge shipments of cultivation supplies—potting soil, grow lights, dehumidifiers, fertilizer, water filters—to Oklahoma.

Baker, who has been growing weed since he was 13 in Georgia, has cultivated crops in some of the world’s most notorious marijuana hotspots, from the forests of Northern California’s Emerald Triangle to the lake region of Switzerland to the mountains of Colorado. Oklahoma was not exactly on his radar. So one weekend in October, Baker and his wife Jessica decided to take a drive to see where all their products were ending up.

Voters in the staunchly conservative state had just four months earlier authorized a medical marijuana program and sales were just beginning. The Bakers immediately saw the potential for the fledgling market. With no limits on marijuana business licenses, scant restrictions on who can obtain a medical card, and cheap land, energy and building materials, they believed Oklahoma could become a free-market weed utopia and they wanted in.

 

Chip Baker smokes a joint in his house at the farm where he grows marijuana in Wellston, Oklahoma.


 Chip Baker smokes a joint in his house at the farm where he grows marijuana in Wellston, Oklahoma.

When the pandemic began last Spring, Mary Jane’s Medicinals, which sells CBD and cannabis-infused topicals, took a big hit. April was “one of our worst months of sales ever,” said chief executive and founder Dahlia Mertens. A rebound soon followed though and by August sales were as high as they had ever been. The company’s growth this fall has been dramatic she said, doubling to $100,000+ in income for the month November. Now the holidays are approaching.

2020 might be a very green Christmas for the cannabis industry.

Mitch Baruchowitz, managing partner at Merida Capital Holdings, a New York-based private equity fund working in the sector, believes more cannabis products will be sold this holiday season than any before. Several diverse factors contribute he said. Acceptance of cannabis has continued to grow along with legalization, evidenced by recent ballot wins in both right and left-leaning states. That opens new markets to millions of potential consumers. Cannabis production and sales were deemed essential businesses in the pandemic, keeping sales from dropping. And cannabis purchases do have some seasonality, with holiday purchases growing over the past few years according to Headset, an industry research group.

Still, the complicated and regulation-laden industry isn’t a money-printing machine. Customer loyalty and name recognition play a large role, so building a strong brand is important Mertens said. “People want to spend money on a product that they already know works,” she said. As “one of the OG topical producers in the cannabis space,” the company benefitted from this. She said success of their recently launched Super Strength Nano Salve product has helped too.

While brand is important, a strong company requires more than high quality products, good prices and attractive packaging said Greg James, publisher of Marijuana Venture and Sun Grower magazine. The business mechanics – how reliable the company is at fulfilling orders quickly, how efficient their back office operates, matters just as much. “It’s no different than Proctor and Gamble,” he said.

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With the holiday season already upon us, savvy hosts are busy preparing to celebrate with friends and family, whether the event is a planned family gathering or an impromptu party with friends. And while the challenges 2020 has thrown at us will mean things aren’t the way they usually are, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Consider beverages, for example. For millennia, the go-to thirst quencher for festivities in many cultures has been alcohol. And while a good cocktail can be an effective social lubricant and leave you feeling no pain, it can also fuel bitter arguments and tons of bullshit that nobody wants to deal with.

A Trendy Alternative To Alcohol

For many people who’d rather not drink or serve alcohol for these and myriad other reasons, cannabis-infused beverages are filling the void, whether for entertaining or regular day-to-day imbibing. Although they’re not exactly new, cannabis drinks are seeing growing popularity thanks to progress with infusion processes. While early iterations of many commercially produced infused beverages had unappetizing globs of cannabis oil that left a film on the container, most of today’s drinkable cannabis options are made with nanoemulsions that give them a light and refreshing mouth feel. 

Jamie Evans, founder of The Herb Somm and author of The Ultimate Guide to CBD and the upcoming Cannabis Drinks: Secrets to Crafting CBD and THC Beverages at Home, explained in a virtual interview that beverages are a familiar way for people to consume that can easily be incorporated into a social setting or one’s daily routine.

“Cannabis drinks are a fantastic alternative to alcohol. With the new low-dose options that are now available, these exciting beverages can offer a similar experience to drinking one glass of wine or a beer, but without the hangover,” Evans said. “Thanks to cutting edge technology and scientific advances within the category, cannabis beverages have faster onset times and are sessionable, making them a suitable option if you’re looking for something spirit-free.”

Cannabis Beverages Offer A Trendy Alternative To Alcohol

(image: credit GKUA Ultra Premium)

 

If you’ve listened to the music of groundbreaking rapper and entrepreneur Lil Wayne, his love of cannabis shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

Now, Wayne is making a lasting impact in the cannabis space with his cannabis brand GKUA Ultra Premium. 

“I used to just want to get high, now I smoke to get inspired…with GKUA, I’m sharing a feeling that I love,” explained Lil Wayne in an interview with NME Magazine. 

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