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

The global cannabis market is expected to continue climbing to new heights over the next few years, according to a recent report. The report from Arcview Group & BDS Analytics, that said that the global cannabis market is expected to reach to $42.7 Billion by 2024.

“That is a true testament to just how popular cannabis is among consumers and the ongoing impact of new markets coming online and maturing,” the report reads. “The possibilities are boundless as political progress opens up more markets across the world, and struggling markets sort out their regulatory framework.”

 At a time when the United States is celebrating a nail-biting democratic transfer of power, a move is afoot in Germany to face, finally, the last vestiges of Nazi influence. And while at first glance it may sound “trivial” to Germans and Auslanders (foreigners) alike, it is not. Its impact on the cannabis industry might also be highly and positively disruptive.

Some lawmakers in Illinois are being critical of the governor’s attempt to distribute cannabis dispensary licenses, calling it inequitable.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s license distribution plan involves a scoring system and lottery that some believe shuts out minorities.

State Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, calls out the system, saying it put minorities at a disadvantage and needs to be rethought, as reported by NPR.

Legalizing marijuana is once again under consideration, a measure that has stalled for the last several years in Albany. But the difference this year could be generating revenue to help close a large gap in the state's budget.

Still, like in previous years, the measure has been under debate, the details of how it happens will matter for lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo — as well as the New Yorkers legalizing marijuana could affect.

"It's no longer a question of whether New York should legalize marijuana for adult use, but much more of a question of what that actually looks like in practice and making sure we legalize the right way," said Melissa Moore, the New York director of the Drug Policy Alliance. 

Massachusetts cannabis dispensaries are currently suing the state over the new, contentious, delivery regulations. 

Any experienced wine aficionado can tell with one sip the geographic area where the grapes used to create a wine were grown. Wine inherits characteristics from the soil where the grapes were grown, the climate of the site that produced it, and the practices of the winemaker. The educated palate can detect subtle nuances, fragrant notes, or distinguishing flavors that serve as undeniable proof of a wine's region of origin. In the United States, we call these regions American Viticultural Areas (AVA). There are currently 252 AVAs in 33 states across the country.

Making industrial hemp a profitable commodity for the West Texas agriculture community is a goal for the Texas Hemp Growers Association, and it's looking more likely to happen this year as potential partnerships with area grocers and other companies emerge.

Farmers interested in growing hemp in 2020, the first year to legally grow the crop, had to work out a number of logistics, such as finding a seed that would grow in the climate, finding a buyer before investing the acres, and even trying to outguess the weather to figure out when they should plant.

More than $30 million in adult-use cannabis sales will help Illinois communities hardest hit by the war on drugs.

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority announced on Friday that 80 grants, totaling $31.5 million, are being awarded to organizations to help communities most affected by the war on drugs.

The 80 grants are part of the Restore, Reinvest, and Renew Program, which requires that 25% of all cannabis revenue helps communities. 

The awardees include nonprofit organizations, local units of government, tax-exempt faith-based organizations, businesses, and other community organizations.

Several Springfield agencies are on the list to receive an award.

Walking through the streets of downtown Seattle, I struggle to get used to the fact that the drab gray, one-bedroom loft located above the Occidental Square coffee shop I frequent rents for $4,000 per month. I struggle to come to grips with the knowledge that my fiance and I could easily sell our home in West Seattle today, move to any state in the south or the midwest and buy a 7-bedroom, 4,000-square foot mansion, on a lake, for the same price. 

How is that possible?

Making good on a warning issued months ago, the organization that represents most of the state's marijuana retailers is suing the Cannabis Control Commission to invalidate the new regulations that create a separate category of businesses allowed to deliver non-medical marijuana directly to consumers.

With President-elect Joe Biden planning to sign as many as 15 executive orders during his first day in office, cannabis reform will have to wait, but the question is for how long?

Both Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have voiced support for the legal cannabis industry and with the Democrats now in control of both chambers of Congress, the reform movement should grow stronger in the coming weeks and months. 

 

Cannabis sales in Colorado eclipsed a record $2 billion in 2020, state records show.

According to the Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED), adult-use cannabis shops throughout the Centennial State raked in nearly $1.6 billion year-to-date through November.

Meanwhile, medical marijuana dispensaries sold more than $405 million worth of products during the 11-month period.

By comparison, Colorado dispensaries sold a total of $1.7 million worth of cannabis in 2019.

December figures have not been released, however, between January and November, sales of cannabis were up 25% compared to the same 11-month period in 2019.

Illinois has reportedly collected a total of $62 million in cannabis tax funds to support impoverished neighborhoods in the state. However, some are getting frustrated because the money has not yet been spent to give back to the community. 

Indiana farmers have enough to worry about with the learning curve associated with growing hemp – and they’ll also need to be wary of dishonest hemp seed vendors too.

But there is an easy way to avoid being conned.

2021 will be the first year hemp is grown in the state as a commercial crop rather than just for research purposes. There’s lots of interest – and where there is interest and money involved, there will also be unscrupulous parties trying to fleece others.

There were big expectations for the cannabis-infused food and beverage space leading up to the start of last year. Venture capital investment was increasing, seasoned executives were jumping into the trendy space and established players pledged to launch products

But 2020 was not the breakout year for cannabis that some had anticipated. 

Making industrial hemp a profitable commodity for the West Texas agriculture community is a goal for the Texas Hemp Growers Association, and it's looking more likely to happen this year as potential partnerships with area grocers and other companies emerge.

Farmers interested in growing hemp in 2020, the first year to legally grow the crop, had to work out a number of logistics, such as finding a seed that would grow in the climate, finding a buyer before investing the acres, and even trying to outguess the weather to figure out when they should plant.

As the economy continues to struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic, marijuana dispensaries are still sprouting up across West Michigan.

Greg Maki, the owner of Park Place Provisionary, a marijuana shop in Muskegon, loves to see his customers purchase his goods. His store carries more than 670 items.

“We carry everything for everybody,” Maki said. “Both medical and adult use.”

Maki opened his store 18 months ago as a medical dispensary. He started selling recreational marijuana a year ago.

“The adult use or recreational is 80% of our sales,” Maki said.

Even without full federal legalization, the country's cannabis market was valued at over $13 billion in 2019 and, according to stats compiled by New Frontier Data, expected to reach $30 billion by 2025.

As five more states legalize it, consumer spending is only going to go up and e-commerce continues to drive innovation throughout this budding industry. 

While cannabis itself isn't legally sold online, a vast range of paraphernalia is readily available. This includes bongs, dab rigs, vaporizers, pipes, rolling papers, grinders and growing supplies. 

With all that competition, getting your brand to stand out can be daunting nor is it made any easier with restrictions on paid ads for the industry. Not easy, but not impossible either...