WeedLife News Network

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

The Tourism and Sports and Public Health ministries in Thailand are ready to launch the first medical marijuana tour in Southeast Asia next year as they finalised a draft programme for plantations across Thailand.

The goal of the tour is to increase awareness of marijuana for medical purposes and inform those who are interested in growing the plant of the laws, said Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the tourism and sports minister. Eight provinces have plantations that could be part of the tour, comprising Mae Hong Son, Lampang, Samut Songkhram, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Phatthalung and Chon Buri.

Annual legal medical and recreational sales are estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21%, hitting more than $41 billion by 2025, compared to $13.2 billion in 2019;

That's according to recent data compiled by cannabis-oriented analytics company, New Frontier Data. The firm revealed the findings in its latest update to the U.S. Cannabis Report: 2020-2021 Industry Outlook.

The revision tackles scaled market estimations directly after the passing of six cannabis ballot initiatives, plus a study of cannabis consumer habits influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among some of the other important findings are the following:

Hemp is blazing among Florida’s agriculture inventory in the seven months since it was first allowed to be legally grown in the Sunshine State, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried told business leaders Tuesday. Fried said 22,078 acres are currently licensed for hemp, nearly equal to the acreage in Florida of tomatoes, watermelon and snap peas, and double the strawberry production.

After years of waiting, the big day has finally arrived for North American cannabis stocks. In 2021, more than half a dozen pot stocks are expected to push into the black. This will definitively demonstrate that the legal weed industry is legitimate and can be a serious moneymaker.

By 2025, the U.S. CBD market could be a $16.8 billion business, a massive jump from the projected $4.7 billion earnings in 2020. To meet rising consumer demand, CBD sellers have been diversifying their sales channels, including eCommerce, dropshipping, and retail channels.

On Monday, the state conducted a public hearing for allowing industrial hemp to be grown commercially in Kansas. Last year, the crop was grown for research purposes.

Unless there are substantial objections to the proposed plan, the ruling should go into effect on or near Jan. 1, 2021. This would mean farmers in Kansas can grow commercial industrial hemp starting next year.

Cannabis is now Maine’s most valuable crop, besting the state’s signature agricultural products such as potatoes, milk and blueberries.

 

Medical marijuana sales totaled $221.8 million from January through October, more than double what had been sold by this time last year, according to state sales tax figures. That puts the industry on pace to hit $266 million in sales this year despite a global pandemic that has put many Mainers out of work and depressed consumer spending nationwide.

Students at Muscatine Community College had their crop delayed.

It wasn’t rain, but a campus shutdown of one week because of COVID-19 that caused a delay planting their hemp crop. The difference in the weather in that lost week will likely affect the crop’s yield.

“That just teaches the students why timing is so critical, and they’ll know that on the first day of class they’ve got to start everything,” said Shane Mairet, the college's industrial hemp instructor.

Getting a cannabis license and building a brand in the industry can be incredibly complex and daunting – which has many producers utilizing a practice known as white labeling.

White labeling, or white-label branding, is a common practice in mainstream industries in which a company removes their own brand and logo from the end product and uses another company’s brand, usually a more established one with a wider client base. This is common with many well-known brands such as 365 brand from Whole Foods Market, Costco’s Kirkland brand, and Walmart’s Great Value products – all of which are manufactured by numerous other smaller companies.

The executive in charge of Canopy Growth Corp.'s global beverage unit is leaving less than a year after he joined the company, a high-level departure that comes as the pot giant looks to ramp up sales of cannabis-infused drinks to the Canadian recreational market. 

Andrew Rapsey joined Canopy in January and took on the role of global head of beverages in August. He announced in a LinkedIn post on Wednesday he is leaving the company and plans to return to Alphabet Inc.'s Google in 2021. 

"As I gear up for 2021, I have decided to head back to Google Canada for some unfinished business with a marketing team I adore," Rapsey said in the post. 

California is on pace to collect $1 billion in taxes from licensed cannabis sales in 2020, even amid challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and a still thriving black market for it, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s senior adviser on cannabis business said Thursday.

Now that Mississippi has officially joined the ranks of U.S. states legally allowing medical cannabis, the next step is more cannabis legislation, as well as a thriving cannabis industry, so the state needs to be prepared. In order to help provide services for those next steps, Mississippi now has an official cannabis trade association

India is the kind of place that has a rich history and culture of cannabis use going back thousands of years. Yet, even so, this does not equal a legalization today. Though recreational cannabis use is illegal, this does nothing to stop India’s bhang loophole from letting everyone use it anyway.

It’s the best time of the year to buy cannabis products! Check out current Delta-8 THC deals to get the best that’s out there

Canopy Growth Corp. said Wednesday that it plans to shut down operations across five of its Canadian operations, a move that would lay off 220 workers and save up to $200 million annually. 

There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the re-emerging industrial hemp crop in Texas at the start of the year, but now that harvest is complete and more questions have been answered, growers are pleased with the results. 

Hemp hasn't been widely grown in Texas for 80 years, and while three licenses were issued by the Texas Department of Agriculture in the Panhandle and 33 licenses in the Lubbock region, some growers sat this year out to see how it goes for others. 

Kyle Bingham, president of the Texas Hemp Growers Association, has worked on growing new crops and commodities before, and found that hemp has been one of the easier crops to grow. 

In working with the U.S. Hemp Roundtable (USHR) to form its Minority Empowerment Committee, Amber Littlejohn said she and USHR realized that minority hemp entrepreneurs and small businesses face many of the same challenges.

“The lack of access to foundational knowledge is far too common and often provides a truly insurmountable barrier,” said Littlejohn, executive director of the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA).

To that end, the Minority Empowerment Committee and MCBA hosted the Dec. 8 webinar, “Cultivating Entrepreneurship in the Hemp Industry.”

US legalization of cannabis could be a game changer

Hemp markets are swiftly evolving following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp in the US.  CBD, one of many cannabinoids found in hemp, makes up the most active segment of the hemp sector but has endured significant price erosion since hemp acreage ballooned in 2019.  Hemp prices fell by over 80% in the period between July and October of 2019, according to The Jacobsen.

The perception of oversupply led a decline in hemp biomass prices and precipitated an industry-wide inability to perform on contracts.  This was compounded by significant inventories of shelf-stable hemp derivatives like crude CBD extract and CBD isolate. Crude CBD prices, and also CBD isolate prices, all plummeted in Q4 of 2019.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted to decriminalize marijuana. Most Democrats supported the bill that would enact that change. Most Republicans did not. The bill is unlikely to gain traction in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate.

Was Congress’ historic vote an early sign of momentum to legalize marijuana across the United States? Or is was it a low-stakes move on a splashy issue that’s unlikely to go anywhere?

Florida is home to plenty who are interested in the answer.

NSW-based Australian Natural Therapeutics Group (ANTG) has been granted a license to produce large quantities of medicinal cannabis oil for commercial use as the industry booms on the back of good news internationally.

ANTG will commence commercial manufacturing of cannabis oil at its Armidale facility following receipt of the license from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Founded in 2015, ANTG already produces four strains of medicinal cannabis flower, and will soon add four oil combinations to its product range following.

ANTG CEO Matt Cantelo said the license signifies a big step in the buy-local movement and will mean price drops in medical cannabis as more of the drug is made on-shore.

The recent surge in marijuana stock prices has brought a major relief to cannabis investors. Industry stocks had suffered a severe beating since signs of oversupply emerged in 2019 and companies went on painful restructuring exercises. The relief hasn’t been confined to the investor community alone. Even some management teams at badly hit cannabis companies have taken a welcome and refreshing breather too.