WeedLife News Network

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

After years of stops and starts, the Cannabis Control Commission announced Friday that eligible applicants can now seek pre-certification and licensure as marijuana delivery operators, a business type that regulators and advocates said will be an important part of an equitable industry.

The new “marijuana delivery operator” licenses created in the new industry rules the CCC approved late last year will be available exclusively to participants in the CCC’s social equity program and economic empowerment applicants for the first three years.

The new license allows its holder to buy products wholesale from growers and manufacturers and deliver them to their own customers, and requires them to follow customer verification and safety regulations.

“The release of this application serves as an important step in acknowledging the excessive hurdles that many people of color and those disenfranchised face when it comes to starting a cannabis business. This license type is a major piece of the equation in making the Massachusetts cannabis industry more diverse, equitable and inclusive,” Aaron Goines, president of the Massachusetts Cannabis Association for Delivery, said.

 

The CCC said there are 122 certified economic empowerment applicants and nearly 400 social equity program participants who are eligible for the new delivery license, which the CCC said was “created in direct response to a robust public hearing and public comment process” last year.

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ENDO.AGENCY have launched a first for UK media advertising with an informational cannabis campaign that aims to educate the public on the Endocannabinoid system

For the first time ever, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) & Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) has approved an educational cannabis message to be advertised in the public domain - a huge step forward for the existing cannabis industry due to extremely restrictive advertising rules around cannabis. We have set a new precedent for cannabis marketing, pioneering a fresh objective view of the contested plant. Launching this week in multiple prime Central London locations including Westminster, Trafalgar Square, and Oxford Street - the bold campaign is on display for 2 weeks.

This news welcomes a new chapter of growth for cannabis companies, as figures have shown the industry is worth £690m in 2021, while fighting through an already challenging environment.

 

Opening the door for advertising

"For years cannabis companies have struggled to make any footprint through paid advertising, with very few brands able to have their campaigns cleared even globally. Confidence is starting to grow however, with the ASA & CAP allowing us to officially submit, and challenge old restrictions currently stopping the rest of the industry, we are confident of a new wave of growth for the space," said Marwan Elgamal from THC ® & Endo.

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Memorial Day Weekend is host to hundreds of thousands of retail sales every single year. Around this time of year, you can’t turn on the tv, radio, open Facebook, or your email without some Memorial Day advertisements broadcasted your way. The cannabis industry is no different. The holiday weekend is a historically high sales day for the cannabis space. But according to BDSA, Memorial Day Weekend in 2021 will be unlike previous years and surpass year-over-year growth seen in 2020. 

Friday is the star of cannabis sales over Memorial Day Weekend

BDSA’s newly-released report about cannabis sales over the three day weekend predicts Fridays to be the best sales day between the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before Memorial Day. Previously, the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend has been the highest cannabis sales day throughout the month of May, with inhalable consumption methods driving the holiday mania. 

This is likely because of the outdoor-type gatherings Memorial Day Weekend brings. Everyone is outside, lighting the BBQ grill, and apparently: smoking a lot of weed. BDSA says 50% of people consume for “daytime fun”, which is right in line with the festivities leading up to Memorial Day. 

Colorado to make up 25% of sales on Thursday and Sunday

Thursday and Saturday still draw a crowd, however. The report says Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will be blockbuster sales day in the cannabis industry and 25% of the growth seen on Friday and Saturday will be thanks to transactions in Colorado. 

According to cannabis enterprise software company Akerna’s flash report, Memorial Day Weekend will gross approximately $238,000,000 in recreational and medical marijuana sales over the four day period, Friday to Memorial Day on Monday. According to the report, consumers under the age of 40 will be driving 61% of cannabis sales. 

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Ben & Jerry’s made a bold new flavor announcement in May 2019: CBD ice cream was coming ... “as soon as it’s legalized at the federal level.”

Two years later, the “groovy” treat still isn’t available to the public, as snack makers continue to wait for a green light from U.S. officials for cannabis-infused foods. But as demand for edibles continues to rise and the market tops the billion-dollar mark, Big Food is getting ready.

With COVID in the U.S. winding down (fingers crossed), the Consumer Brands Association is bringing lobbying efforts for federal cannabis legislation back to its “front burner,” said Stacy Papadopoulos, the trade group’s general counsel. While small brands are forging ahead, big companies are seeking more clarity and remain hesitant due to the patchwork of state regulations and uncertainty about what types of products could be allowed, she said.

“Most of our large recognizable brands are sitting on the sidelines,” she said. “They don’t want to subject themselves to lawsuits or, even worse, that something they were doing in the space was not entirely safe for consumers.”

As a result, plenty of money is being left on the table. Even without the marketing might of big-name consumer companies, the edibles market in the U.S. grew 20 per cent last year to US$1.1 billion according to Surfside, a data analytics company specializing in cannabis.

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Historically, cannabis was portrayed as the scourge of humankind. Films like ‘Reefer Madness’ were coupled with other forms of propaganda and spread throughout the world. That propaganda had one goal — to demonize cannabis users. Cannabis consumers were portrayed in horrific ways that weren’t based in fact in an attempt to convince society that the ‘harms’ of cannabis were significant and factual.

The fact of the matter is that cannabis is much safer than many other legal substances, including and especially alcohol. One study found that cannabis was 114 times safer than alcohol. A more recent study found that cannabis may actually be able to reduce alcohol cravings.

CBD and Alcohol Consumption Study

The cannabis plant is composed of dozens of cannabinoids, with THC and CBD being the two most popular cannabinoids. CBD’s popularity has exploded in recent years, and for good reason. CBD is associated with a number of wellness benefits, including a potential reduction in alcohol consumption.

Alcohol abuse is a global issue, with over 100 million people suffering from alcohol use disorder worldwide. Roughly 3 million people die annually across the globe due to alcohol use. A team of researchers recently published results of a study that explored the relationship between CBD use and alcohol use.

“The present study lends preliminary support to the notion that plant-based CBD may be associated with decreased alcohol consumption among regular cannabis users and suggests that it may be feasible for regular cannabis users to switch to a higher CBD, lower THC content cannabis strain for the purposes of reducing their alcohol intake,” the study’s authors concluded.

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Shortly after Nevada officials announced that licensed cannabis stores and medical dispensaries could reopen after lockdown, Nicolas MacLean said cars were lined up for five blocks waiting for curbside pickup.

Like many industries in Las Vegas, the cannabis industry used to rely on tourists for sales, but that changed when the pandemic hit, MacLean, who serves as the CEO of Las Vegas-based cannabis producer Aether Gardens, told The New York Times.

"Locals are very discerning — they want something they aren't going to find on the black market," MacLean said. "Especially when you are stuck at home."

The year of 2020 saw extraordinarily strong sales of legal cannabis in the US, up 46% from 2019 to a record $17.5 billion, according to cannabinoid market research firm BDSA.

"I expect this will be the first year Nevada does over a billion in cannabis sales," MacLean said. "And it happened on the back of what I think no one expected."

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The number of dogs becoming ill from accidentally consuming THC-containing cannabis products is – like the dogs – becoming higher, according to data from a new University of Guelph study.

According to experts, the increase in cannabis-intoxicated canines is directly linked to the increased legalization and/or decriminalization of the drug across North America in recent years.

“We found in the data that there was an association between a reduction in penalties for cannabis use and possession and dogs being poisoned with cannabinoids,” the study’s lead author Mohammad Howard-Azzeh said in a press release. “There is some evidence to suggest these poisoning events are increasing in the U.S.”

The research team studied data from calls to the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) via veterinary database AnTox, which “stores comprehensive clinical animal toxicology data related to those calls, identifies and characterizes toxic effects of substances in animals” gleaned from reports from veterinarians and pet owners.

While cannabis consumption is rarely fatal for dogs, even consuming small amounts of the drug – whether by inhalation or, more commonly, by eating it – the results can still be extremely serious. Dogs can experience symptoms such as loss of balance, urinary incontinence, vomiting, breathing problems, seizures, tremors, or even a coma. Symptoms can appear as long as 12 hours after ingestion, and in some cases can last for days.

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Cannabis remains illegal for any purpose under state law in North Carolina, with one major exception: The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) has leaped ahead of the state's government, passing a new law that decriminalizes cannabis and allows people to use medical marijuana in the 100 square miles of tribal land known as the Qualla Boundary.

Tribal leaders decided in April. The land covers 56,000 acres, spanning five countries in western North Carolina. It's a sovereign nation where the Cherokee tribe sets its own laws.

The new law allows possession, for those 21 and older, of up to one ounce of cannabis and three-twentieths of an ounce of hashish.  Selling or growing marijuana remains illegal on tribal lands.

Cherokee Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed told The Cherokee One Feather that the Tribal Council decision "is a first step towards better meeting the needs of our citizens who use cannabis as a medicine. I join those citizens in applauding the Council for its historic, compassionate, and morally upright action."

The opioid crisis 

Joey Owle, Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the EBCI, and Jeremy Wilson, EBCI governmental affairs liaison, led the movement to change tribal law. Part of their motivation is an opioid crisis that has hit the Cherokee tribe particularly hard.

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Rehydrating your weed is probably not something you want to be doing often. This is why prevention is always key.

One of the saddest things to happen to anyone is to roll a joint only to find out that their stash has gone dry.

There are two main reasons why weed gets dry: either it’s over-dried after harvest, or it hasn’t been stored correctly. If you are cutting down your weed to get ready to dry it, the stems will soon lose its stiffness. The best way to tell if it’s dried properly is if you’re able to snap a stem in half but if the stem continues to bend, then it requires more drying time.

However, if you’re living in arid climates, you may need a humidifier.


Photo by Elsa Olofsson via Unsplash

What Are Heirloom Marijuana Strains, Exactly?

The year of the COVID-19 pandemic also appears to have been a year that more Americans got high. At least that’s where new research points.

Investors the ETFMG Alternative Harvest (ticker: MJ) exchange-traded fund, which holds a basket of marijuana-related stocks, will no doubt be smiling blissfully at the news. The fund was recently up 46% so far this year compared to gains of 12% for the S&P 500 index over the same period, according to Yahoo data. Neither figure includes dividends.

 

Billowing Use of Marijuana During in COVID-19 Pandemic

Drug testing of potential employees as well as testing of people who were recently involved in accidents showed there was a surge in cannabis use in 2020, according to drug testing firm Quest Diagnostics. The firm conducted 9 million such tests last year.

“[...] the rate of drug positivity remained stubbornly high despite seismic shifts to the workplace caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Barry Sample, a senior director of science and technology at Quest Diagnostics DGX +0.1%, in a statement.

More than one-in-eight of people given an oral fluid test showed evidence of marijuana use last year, up from less than one-in-10 in 2019, the company data show. Testing using hair samples also showed a surge with one-in-11 of the population testing positive in 2020 versus one-in-fourteen the previous year. Urine tests saw an increase in positive results for pot although they were much lower than with the other tests.

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States that have legalized adult-use marijuana sales have seen billions of dollars in fresh tax revenue from cannabis, according to a new study.

The recently published research, which comes courtesy of the Marijuana Policy Project, found that, as of this month, “states reported a combined total of $7.9 billion in tax revenue from legal, adult-use marijuana sales,” while “cities and towns have also generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue from local adult-use cannabis taxes.”

That reported figure includes the states of Colorado and Washington, where voters passed legalization measures in 2012 and where sales began in 2014.

In Colorado, according to the study, there is a 15 percent tax on wholesale and a 15 percent tax rate on special retail (neither of which apply to sales of medical cannabis in the state). Since 2014, Colorado’s estimated tax revenue from cannabis sales is $1,557,878,973, with “$404.5 million of the total revenue generated from cannabis taxes has been dedicated to improving Colorado’s public school system.” The estimated tax revenue does not include “local sales tax revenues, which have been significant,” according to the study. In Denver, for example, $210.6 million in local tax revenue has been generated as of last month.

In Washington, where there is a 37% imposed on retail since July 2015 and a 6.5% sales tax, estimated state tax revenue from cannabis sales rounds out at $2,568,728,290, and that total does not include the estimated $167 million generated between July 2014 and March 2021.

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The process to make canna-butter and canna-oil are the same, but I prefer to make my extractions using whole buds, not leaves or stems because the better and stronger the cannabis you use, the better the final product will be. It is best to make a strong extraction and dilute it to personal tastes with plain butter or oil when you prepare a meal.

You can extract cannabis into any cooking oil, I personally choose coconut oil for its health benefits. Additionally, it has a high fat content which means it binds to a lot more of the cannabinoids you are trying to ingest.

Most of my recipes suggest a serving size that contains between 2-3 teaspoons of medicated butter or oil. If I am planning a progressive dinner I will use less in each of the courses so I don’t overwhelm my guests. On occasion I will offer a medicated garnish that is optional, some folks can use it if they wish.

Ingredients:

1 ounce dried cannabis flower
2 cups butter or two cups oil; coconut, canola, olive, peanut

Equipment:

Large saucepan
Wooden spoon
Large clear bowl or container
Cheesecloth
String, rubber band or tape

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I grew up on the East Coast and my earliest weed dealers used to offer only two choices: Take it or leave it.

I always chose “take it.”

Nowadays I live in California and the modern marijuana retail experience offers so many strains, concentrates, edibles, topicals and delivery devices that it requires a concerted effort (and consistent product sampling) to keep it all straight — never mind stoned. So I included a special section on pot shopping in my book, “How To Smoke Pot (Properly):  A Highbrow Guide to Getting High.”

Whether you’re buying recreational weed in Colorado, marijuana in Michigan, or ordering off a coffee-shop menu in Amsterdam, the retail cannabis experience remains both delightful and disorienting to the unaccustomed. So here’s a few tips for keeping your wits about you when faced with all those wonderful choices.

Make a Budget for Getting Bud

Unless you grow your own, or have some lovely hookup, cannabis is most definitely a luxury item. And while it’s certainly OK to splurge on the herb from time to time, that’s a decision best made in advance, not once you’re faced with a menu of enticing strains, concentrates, and edibles. So decide how much you can afford to spend and how long it’s got to last in advance, and you’ll have a lot of fun weighing your options when the time comes, without stressing out about next month’s rent.

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Just a little more than two months after Validcare released the preliminary results of a study on cannabidiol’s (CBD’s) effect on the liver, the company has announced the release of a separate report on CBD usage among Americans that it simultaneously conducted along with consumer marketing research company Cannabis Business Experts (CBE).

The preliminary results of Validcare’s liver study, commissioned and designed in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) request for science-based data, showed no evidence of liver toxicity among CBD users. Many of those same research participants have reported increased perceptions of overall wellness with CBD use in the separate study conducted with CBE.

More than 1,400 CBD users from across the U.S. participated in CBE and Validcare’s “CBD Motivations, Use and Benefits Study,” including the 839 users that took part in the liver research. CBE and Validcare’s study. Researchers looked at various information about users, such as their age; sex; weight; the amount and frequency of their CBD usage; perceptions of the cannabinoid’s effect on various symptoms; and interactions with other drugs such as prescription and over-the-counter medicines, nutritional supplements, alcohol and tobacco.

In a press release announcing the report, CBE stated the study answers the question, “How do perceptions of general wellness change with CBD usage?” While those interested in learning those details will need to purchase the report, CBE co-founder Ashley Grace told Hemp Grower that users have reported an improved perception of their personal wellness—-in other words, they feel their wellness has improved since they began using CBD.

“I can share with you that the overall efficacy of the CBD working in that regard is quite remarkable,” said Grace, who was also the founding chief marketing officer of Charlotte’s Web and HempFusion. “It's helping just about everyone at least maintain their status, if not improve. There are very few, if any, observations where things are getting worse for CBD users, which is quite remarkable from a research standpoint.”

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As will all THC products, reading labels carefully, asking questions, and understanding how cannabis affects the body are all important steps before partaking in the compound.

With new cannabis-based beverages hitting the market, dispensaries are seeing a rise of individuals asking for the liquid delivery method. Citing a $4.4 billion legal cannabis market, the Long Beach Business Journal stated that liquid-based cannabis sales are set to skyrocket.

“According to data from Seattle-based cannabis analytics firm Headset, sales of cannabis-infused beverages increased 40.3% last year compared to 2019 across all states where recreational cannabis is legal, meaning the submarket slightly outperformed in terms of growth the overall cannabis market, which increased 39.4% in the same time period.”

Photo by skeeze via Pixabay

For the average consumer looking for new ways to consume cannabis, liquid-based offerings can be exciting. With THC-infused beverages taking off in dispensaries and beyond, here are three things to know before you indulge.

Aluminum Cans Can Reduce Potency Of Cannabis Drinks

New York Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes estimates that the first legal sales will begin between 18 months and two years after the signing of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which occurred on March 31, 2021. That means that the first legal sales would start between September 2022 and March 2023.

In order for those sales to happen, New York must first establish a regulated marketplace. That’s because under the MRTA, a license is required to produce, process, distribute, deliver, or sell cannabis. Those licenses will be issued by the Cannabis Control Board (the Board) with significant input from the Office of Cannabis Management (the Office).

The website for the Office launched on April 2. The next likely step for the Office will be the appointment of an executive director. The executive director will be nominated by the Governor with advice and consent from the state legislature. In addition, the five members of the Board must be selected. The MRTA provides that the Governor shall appoint three members, with New York Senate and Assembly each appointing one of the remaining two members. Peoples-Stokes estimates that the Board will be “set and running” before the legislative session ends in June 2021, according to a report from The City.

Once the positions on the Board and the Office are full, these regulators will need to establish robust rules under the MRTA, governing adult-use cannabis, medical cannabis, and hemp in the State of New York. This will include establishing an application process and rules establishing a criteria for granting licenses.

The New York State Administrative Procedures Act requires that government agencies notify the public sixty days before adding, amending, or repealing rules. Agencies must also provide 60 days notice before holding a public hearing on a proposed rule. These time periods are called “notice and comment” periods and, as the name suggests, they are required so that the public can provide comment on proposed government regulations.


Humans have been consuming cannabis for thousands of years, that we already know. We also know we’re a population of animals that sure loves to eat! Put them together and you’ve got a fantastic market for cannabis edibles. But we’re not talking about any old edible right now. Here we’re looking at the most interesting edibles, and the most creative ways of eating cannabis.

Food is the best, and there are a million interesting edibles on the market for cannabis! Whether you like your edibles sweet, or salty, there’s something for everyone. Some are higher in CBD, some in THC, and some are made with delta-8 THC, the alternate form of THC on the market, which produces slightly less psychoactive effect, and a more energetic, clear-headed high. No matter how you like to consume cannabis, there are plenty of options, and that goes for delta-8 as well. If you have yet to try D8, check out our awesome Delta 10 THC and Delta-8 THC deals, and pick up a new kind of cannabis product.

 

How they used to do it

There are a lot of cool and interesting edibles on the market for cannabis, though its good to remember that cannabis has been eaten throughout history, just not as the edibles we know today. Back then, it wasn’t understood that cannabinoids are fat soluble, or that they can be leached out into substances like butter. One of the first mentions is from China back in 1,500 BC when cannabis was being consumed as a tea. The records from this time are actually written in the past tense, indicating this tradition might be even older than the dated records.

Cannabis became big in Hindu culture around 1,000 BC, when the drink bhang came into play. Not only is the drink still big today in India, but it was even the basis for the cording in the current international law that governs cannabis legality globally, the Single Convention on Narcotic Substances treaty.

A little less ancient history

Obviously, there’s a huge difference between edible cultures of ancient history, and the edible culture of today. Today’s edible culture started with an American in Paris. Enter Alice B. Toklas, the life partner of American author Gertrude Stein, who was a part of the Paris literary upper class in the early-mid 1900’s. Alice was famous for her cannabis fudge, which ended up in her 1954 cookbook, the Alice B Toklas Cookbook, which can still be bought today. The recipe for ‘Haschisch Fudge’ which shows up in the cookbook, uses ground cannabis, not hash, creates more of a fudge than a brownie, and apparently was not Alice’s own recipe, but had come from someone else.

pot brownie

As more and more people get vaccinated, travel climbs higher onto people’s priority lists. And for cannabis consumers, there’s one particular European destination that likely tops the list.

On Wednesday, the European Union announced that they would be reopening their borders to vaccinated travelers, including Americans and other countries who’ve managed to vaccinate significant portions of their population.

 
 
 

The EU will be allowing visitors who have received EU approved vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson) allowing them to travel without having to undergo testing or quarantine. This is great for Americans who’ve been vaccinated and who might be itching to travel and try different things after spending a year living under pandemic conditions.​

 


When it comes to marijuana, enthusiasts might have to reconsider a trip to Amsterdam, a city that for decades has been one of the most pro-weed destinations in the world. In January, the city’s mayor, Femke Halsema, said she might consider banning marijuana tourism in the country, allowing only the city’s residents to partake in cannabis-related activities.

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For those undergoing surgery or using cannabis for pain relief, they may not be able to tap into the therapeutic value of the plant due to their body’s inhibition to process THC like normal.

I remember the first time I ate too many brownies, which sent me into a world of intense visuals, deep body highs and cottonmouth like never before.

Most people who eat edibles feel the effects of it, but there is a class of human that seems to be immune to edibles — and scientists aren’t quite sure why.

There are theories — theories we’ll discuss in this article.

Photo by Joyful via Unsplash

What To Use For Edibles When You Don't Feel Like Baking For Hours

17 states have legalized adult-use cannabis, though most continue to prohibit consumption in public or rented spaces.

For years, cannabis consumption lounges have been kept at bay, though lately pro-lounge legislation is becoming more prevalent in the legal cannabis marketplace.

The tides are already turning in several cities like Ann ArborNational City and Las Vegas. New York included cannabis club licenses in its recently passed adult-use legalization bill.

While uncertainty remains regarding regulations and projected revenues, many seem to be optimistic.


Photo by LordHenriVoton/Getty Images

Marijuana Social Clubs Are The Last Major Step For Legalization