WeedLife News Network

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

Founding and then running a successful flower business may not be the most obvious segue into also operating a hemp company, but such a path is the one chosen by Colorado-based Dutch Heritage Gardens (DHG) and its co-founder, Aaron Van Wingerden.

The Pennsylvania native said he almost fell into growing hemp clones after previous dissatisfaction working with some recreational cannabis facilities where he generally experienced a lack of professionalism perhaps more prevalent in the earlier days of the Colorado cannabis industry.

The company’s move into hemp, under the brand name Royale Botanicals, started in 2017, a short time before the passage of the 2018 U.S.  Farm Bill which effectively legalized the plant federally.

Rules taking effect this week in the U.S. could cause serious headaches for companies making hemp-based vape products due to broad definitions in a law aimed at curbing vape sales to minors — perhaps putting a crushing burden on small producers.

The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act (2020) comprises revisions to a previous law, the 2010 Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT Act) which bans direct sales of cigarettes to consumers through the mail.

In the global cannabis marketplace, Latin America is a region on the rise, with more business opportunities emerging and a developing consumer marketplace. With a population of 655 million and over 30 countries, Latin America offers the perfect conditions for growing high-quality raw material, extracting the oil, and producing finished goods at a relatively low cost. These products can then be exported to other counties within the region and the U.S. and Europe.

When Colorado legalized the retail sale of marijuana in 2012, savvy entrepreneurs saw an opportunity beyond setting up shop in population centers like Denver and Boulder. 

They realized if they opened cannabis businesses in small towns along the state’s borders, they could attract customers from Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, where pot remained against the law but was still plenty popular. 

 

“The border model was a great model,” said Josh Bleem, who lives near Fort Collins but owns CannaCo in Trinidad, one of the first dispensaries people pass as they enter Colorado on Interstate 25 from New Mexico. “We took advantage of that.”

Michigan reported more than $10 million in marijuana sales on April 20, 2021, an unofficial holiday for marijuana enthusiasts, and single-day sales were up nearly 200% from 2020.

Experts said the $1 billion industry showed no sign on slowing down in Michigan, which became the first state in the Midwest to start selling recreational marijuana in December 2019.

Cannabis workers in the St. Louis Metro East area say it's time to unionize. They're fighting for better working conditions, more job opportunities, and a commitment to improve local communities.

Ian Spaeth is a cannabis worker at the dispensary Beyond Hello in Sauget, Illinois. The dispensary is owned by Jushi Holdings and operates 17 stores across the country, including four in Illinois. Spaeth has worked in the cannabis industry for about ten years and is also one of the more vocal employees that wants to unionize.

"I absolutely love my job," said Spaeth. "I personally really like Jushi. I love seeing them grow, and I hope that they decide to let us grow with them."

When Will The Senate Approve The SAFE Banking Act?

A well-respected Senate chairman is working to level out the expectations about a vote in his panel. This is in regards to a bill that would protect banks that work with state-legal marijuana businesses from being penalized by federal law. Recently The SAFE Banking Act was approved by the House approved aside largely bipartisan lines.

It is neither a Sativa, Indica, or hybrid. The only aspect that counts when a plant is being termed a sinsemilla is that it must be feminized and unpollinated.

Times have truly changed. In the 1970s almost every cannabis farmer, as well as users, could explain something about sinsemilla.

Now, less than a quarter of cannabis consumers worldwide can give a direct answer to this question, most especially the current generation of users. They have most likely not heard the word before.

Most times, the few that have an answer say “sinsemilla is a strain of cannabis,” but they’re wrong.

Cannabis industry insiders say a push by federal lawmakers to allow banks to provide services to pot shops in states where they are legal “can’t happen soon enough.”

“Access to banking and capital is probably the largest barrier of entry for getting into this industry,” said David Torrisi, president of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association.

As a haze of marijuana legalization has spread across the nation, banks have generally been unwilling to do business with companies that sell marijuana or related products, which are still illegal under federal law.

The cannabis banking bill — passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday — would shield banks from penalties for working with marijuana companies.

The preference of eco-conscious cannabis consumers to buy environmentally-friendly products has motivated many businesses to clean up their act.

Earth Day 2021 is upon us, and cannabis companies across the industry are mobilizing to take “sustainability” from buzzword to business practice. Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson as a national teach-in on the environment to raise awareness about issues like pollution and pesticide use.

While the cannabis industry has long been associated with the word “green”, the environmental impacts of production, packaging, distribution and materials sourcing for products like vape pens are often anything but.

Cannabis retail traffic was up 9.5%, and sales rebounded 8.4% year-over-year on 4/20, according to Cova Software, the largest Cannabis Point of Sale (POS) company in North America. While major outages plagued several big POS systems, Cova reported its 4th straight year of perfect uptime (100%) and benchmark transaction speeds (1.4 seconds). During peak hours on 4/20, Cova was processing 380 cannabis transactions per minute, and handled over 180,000 transactions for the day across 1,200+ dispensaries.

Stakeholders not currently operating under a NYDAM research partnership agreement will need to wait a bit longer before they may lawfully enter New York’s cannabinoid hemp market.

What does your business value more: increase in daily revenue or new customer acquisition? To help you understand how to grow your business’ revenue beyond April 20th, we’ve interviewed three dispensaries on what their recommendations are for turning first-time customers into lifelong customers.

A recent study reported that Illinois generated $175 million in marijuana sales taxes in 2020, the fifth most in the nation.

Currently, 16 states and Washington, D.C., have now fully legalized marijuana, and 11 have retail sales taxes, according to the study released by U.S. Drug Test Centers. Also, adult and youth usage of marijuana also increased in 2020.

Illinois originally awarded 75 licenses for marijuana dispensaries in 2020, and there is a proposed bill that would more than double the number of licenses and give the poor and minorities a chance to enter the industry after being excluded in the first round, according to published reports.

White business owners overwhelmingly dominate Colorado’s cannabis industry, but the market’s lack of diversity could soon change.

What’s happening: New efforts at the state and local level are moving forward to foster industry opportunities for communities of color that have been disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs.

Including hemp in commercial feed is another step closer in the U.S. state of Montana.

Unprocessed hemp seed and other parts of the plant may be fed to animals as forage in Montana – which is an improvement on some other states where it is banned altogether. Each state is able to set its own rules on the practice, while at a federal level hemp as a feed ingredient isn’t illegal per se, but it just hasn’t been declared legal.

However, hemp isn’t an approved commercial feed ingredient in Montana as it is not listed in Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) regulations. Therefore, under Montana law hemp could not be manufactured into any commercial animal feed including pet foods and specialty pet foods such as complete feed, treats, and snacks.

All signs point to 2021 being the year to place your bets on cannabis. With the recent legalization measures in several US states and the reclassifying of cannabis by the United Nations, the industry's stigma is diminishing at an ever-increasing rate. This has encouraged legislators to hasten its legalization at the state level (where it is not already fully legal), and more importantly, at the federal level, where there appears to be a change of heart toward cannabis that followed the new administration into power. While we evolve at a staggering rate, both newcomers and industry veterans will need to focus on longevity and a healthy growth plan to succeed.

As we head into one of the most exciting years for our industry yet, here are our essential tips for success:  

More Minnesota farmers are growing hemp nowadays after strict federal rules on the crop were relaxed. But the heyday of hemp farming here actually occurred during World War II — at the federal government's request.

Will Niskanen of Eden Prairie remembers his father telling him about the government-sponsored hemp effort when he was a child. He asked Curious Minnesota, the Star Tribune's community-driven reporting project fueled by questions from readers, for more information about wartime hemp cultivation in the state.

"The hemp industry used to be pretty important, especially in the southwest part of Minnesota," Niskanen said. "A lot of new ideas are not so new."

A cannabis business is a lucrative one, people who manage to succeed in the business reek in so much profit that on the surface, it looks like an easy thing to do. However, the business can be as dicey as it can be lucrative, which is why you need to get yourself acquainted with these tips that will help you grow your cannabis business.

Have a Unique Idea

It is no secret that the greenhouse produce industry is booming. With limited land, water, and labor, the global commercial greenhouse market pushed sales to $27.24 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $61.88 billion by 2027. However, the expensive set up costs and the lack of awareness, especially when it comes to data, are hampering market growth.