Infused beverages have quickly become my favorite way to consume cannabis, especially during this sweltering, smoky summer. That said, there's something missing in Washington's cannabis market, and it bums me out.

Once upon a time, in the not so distant past, there weren't cannabis products like there are now. There was the weed you could get from a black market dealer, and that was about it. Legalization has led to an explosion of cannabis products, so this bit of complaining is quite possibly the result of being spoiled by an ever-expanding marketplace. Regardless, I want to be able to consume cannabis beverages the way we consume alcoholic beverages like beer, wine and cocktails.

When Philip Morris International (PMI) CEO Jacek Olczak told The Mail on Sunday that the UK government should treat cigarettes like petrol cars and ban them in 10 years, many wondered why the world’s biggest tobacco company would self-sabotage itself with such a draconian statement.

Hemp is a cannabis sativa plant that contains only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive ingredient typically associated with marijuana.

The market for industrial hemp, which can be used to make a wide variety of products, was estimated to be US$5 billion in 2019 and is forecast to grow to US$36 billion by 2026.

More hemp being turned into more products means more hemp waste, which is the stalk after the leaves, flower and seeds have been removed.

The cannabis industry has gone from budding to booming in the past few years. Recreational cannabis sales are legal in 18 states to date (and Washington, D.C.) and in 2020, Americans spent over $18 billion on legal weed – a 71% increase from the year prior.

Where There’s Smoke…

The production and distribution of cannabis, once known to many only as marijuana, is the newest and most variegated industry in America. Some would even say it is one of the toughest industries in America in which to do business. This article will discuss a few unique challenges from a financial perspective faced by the industry.

The first complexity starts with the difference between cannabis and CBD. When you look at a cannabis plant and a hemp plant side by side, the plants themselves look identical to an untrained eye, making it a bit challenging to identify, as the real difference lies in the chemistry of the plants.

July 2021 saw record-setting temperatures in parts of the country, alarming spikes in Delta variant Covid infections, and large numbers of Americans returning to summer vacationing after having last summer’s dreams of ocean breezes and lakeshore barbecues dashed by the pandemic. It was also a notable, if not promising month for hemp. Hemp Benchmarks, a division of New Leaf Data Services and leading provider of financial, business, and industry data for the North American hemp markets, recently issued its report for July, which touches on some of the most high-profile talking points of the hemp market to date.

From a dispensary to your front door — that's the promise of Doobie, St. Louis' only cannabis home delivery service, which on July 22 marked its first day of ferrying orders to medical marijuana patients in the metro area.

While the service can feel at first like DoorDash for weed, Doobie presently connects patients only with products at Jane Dispensary (6662 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-464-4420). On a recent weekday, the service sent a shiny white van with ice-cooled bags of THC gummies to a residence in south St. Louis.

A UK hemp cooperative that had to destroy its own crop two years ago is fighting back against what it says is a licensing regime with no obvious public benefit.

Hempen has operated its own farm at Hardwick Estate in Oxfordshire since 2015. While not currently growing hemp at this site, it has been collaborating with other organic farmers since 2016.

The reason hemp isn’t grown at the Oxfordshire site?

Four New England states now allow medical and recreational use of marijuana, which means local companies must review their current drug testing and substance use policies to ensure they are compliant with state and federal laws.

With Connecticut legalizing recreational marijuana in June — and Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont laws already in place — only New Hampshire and Rhode Island remain as holdouts for legalization. The provisions of the Connecticut law that affect employers will go into effect on July 1, 2022.

This research report provides an in-depth analysis of the CBD-infused products market across five major geographies and emphasizes on the current market trends, market size, market shares, recent developments, and forecast till 2028. The CBD-infused Products Market is expected to reach $216.8 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 45.6% during the forecast period, 2021-2028.

The growth of this market is mainly attributed to the rising demand and increasing legalization of cannabis, growing application of cannabis in cancer, and health benefits offered by cannabis-infused products are also a few of the key factors driving the growth of the CBD-infused products market.

Investors can finally see the first rays of sunlight after a terrible year for this pot grower.

On July 28, Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) stock surged by 26% in a single trading day after the company published strong quarterly results -- the first earnings report its $4 billion merger with fellow Canadian pot grower Aphria. Revenue shot up, the company finally turned a profit, and its international expansion has begun to pay off. 

Tilray desperately needed that good news, as its shares are down almost 50% year to date. Let's look at why the future looks bright for this once-beaten-down marijuana company. 

Tammy Turner and Kerry Buffington, the co-owners of Kapstone Employment Services in Detroit, had to have a conversation with a client recently that they're not used to having.

"We actually had to go to them and say, 'Listen, this is not being consistent with the labor market now. Marijuana is legal and you're passing up on good talent,' " Turner remembers telling the client.

Turner said they were interviewing candidates for open positions at this company, and staff at their employment agency ask candidates whether they can pass a drug test as a part of their routine questions. She said, more often than not, candidates are honest and will say whether they would test positive for marijuana.

Consumers and investors alike are excited about the emergence of the cannabis industry in the U.S. Legalization is gaining momentum state by state and social acceptance at the federal level. Specialty retailer GrowGeneration (NASDAQ: GRWG) is a potential stock for investors looking for broad exposure to U.S. cannabis. Here are three reasons why GrowGeneration is positioned to thrive in the coming years.

1. Cannabis laws are rapidly changing

In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational cannabis. Since then, the momentum has picked up across the United States. Recreational cannabis is now legal in 19 states, and 36 have legalized it for medicinal use.

A Greek medical marijuana producer is heading for the London Stock Exchange (LSEG.L) thanks to a SPAC deal to take the company public. 

UK SPAC Plc, a London-listed shell company, said on Monday it had agreed a reverse takeover with Hellenic Dynamics, a European medical cannabis cultivation company. The deal values Hellenic at £45m ($62.5m).

The transaction combines two of the hottest trends in public markets over the last few years: SPACs and cannabis. Both corners of the market have attracted huge amounts of investor attention, as well as some concerns about hype and froth.

When Philip Morris International (PMI) CEO Jacek Olczak told The Mail on Sunday that the UK government should treat cigarettes like petrol cars and ban them in 10 years, many wondered why the world’s biggest tobacco company would self-sabotage itself with such a draconian statement.

When recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois over a year ago, Governor JB Pritzkar’s goal was given primarily to black and brown people during the war on drugs, taking advantage of the fast-growing cannabis industry. It was to reverse the harm.

However, almost all whites benefit from cannabis sales in Illinois, and Pritzker wanted to solve the problem by granting a social fair dispensing license. That effort has been hampered by proceedings and criticisms of the scoring process.

Pritzker wanted to address some of these issues with House Building 1443, which signed the bill this week. But Deborah Dillon, a cannabis educator at Chicago State University, says the law raises new challenges.

Image source: Emma McIntyre/Staff/Getty Images

Whether they’re breaching the stratosphere or lobbying for weed, America’s billionaires want to take their businesses to the next level.

The same day Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his fellow passengers flew into space in the New Shepard rocket, his company took action to start lobbying in favor of cannabis reform legislation. Bills such as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, in the event it passes, “removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.”

 

More than 100 million U.S. residents already live in a recreational state and 95% of residents live in a state with legal medical weed — so the consumer population is present and growing. (This article originally viewed on Benzinga By Michael Sassano)

Multi-State Operators (MSOs) in the United States are primed for the next big stock amp-up, which could see at minimum a 50 percent move starting as early as late August even without federal legislative movement. As volumes start to pick up this July, US stocks don’t need a special event to bounce off this latest correction. 

The future looked bright for hemp farmers, but the demand for CBD didn’t follow at the expected levels.

Delta-8 and smokable flower are the two products keeping hemp framers alive. The regulatory loophole that has allowed Delta-8 to be sold legally is also causing legal confusion. Delta-8 is a cannabis product that can be derived from hemp, but still give the consumer a light psychotropic experience. Some states have issued restrictions around the product, while others haven’t addressed it at all. Either way, the demand has been a blessing to hemp farmers who planted lots of acres in 2019 expecting a surge in CBD products, only to see the market contract and prices plummet. 

Marijuana has long been an illicit yet integral part of the annual Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. This year, it’s legal for the first time in the event’s 30-year history, and potentially big business.

The four-day event began Thursday in Grant Park, and nearby Chicago cannabis dispensaries are stocking up and staffing up for what they hope will be a major sales boost.