Using data gathered through research to more effectively develop products that meet consumer needs is not new, but a promising innovation, at least for the cannabis industry, is using Artificial Intelligence to streamline and enhance not only the research but development processes. Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands (one of the cannabis companies currently utilizing AI for R&D purposes in collaboration with The Effects Lab by budboard) is enthusiastic about AI’s potential. “Instead of creating a product and then waiting to hear from consumers whether it hits the mark, we are starting by looking at data across thousands of user reports to identify terpenes and cannabinoids that deliver a specific effect, then integrating those into our case-specific products.” Wana Brands will be teaming up with Canopy Growth (NASDAQ: CGC) in the future due to a deal agreed upon in October. 

Using computer programs, advanced algorithms and technologies like drones and sensors to imitate human intelligence, AI is able to efficiently scan for patterns and perform data analysis tasks that are unwieldy and time-consuming for the human brain. By combing through massive amounts of information and identifying patterns and tendencies in controlled environments, AI can optimize not only research and development but detect plant diseases, find the best way to optimize growing environments and identifying which strains work best for which medical conditions or desired effects.

The Effects Lab by budboard highlights four main ways that companies can utilize AI in product manufacturing, which include providing consistency for product effects, expediting project timelines, predictive analysis of existing formulations, and optimizing cannabis products for specific consumer use cases. It does this by using raw consumer feedback from various products and mining it for trends and takeaways to provide manufacturers with the information they need to develop products that will find their mark among consumers. 

CEAD, a Phoenix-based company (no website), is focused on AI applications in cultivation. Its cofounder, Royce Birnbaum, states that the use of CEAD’s AI “will enable an upsurge in quality while reducing manpower needed to maintain each plant, as well as give a comprehensive overview of all operations and outcomes related to cannabis cultivation.” Citizen Green Technologies’ application Prescriptii is an AI-driven application that includes a Blockchain-based gratification system that addresses the difficulty banks often face in processing cannabis-related transactions. 

New approaches in cannabis-specific forms of Artificial Intelligence are emerging at a breathtaking pace to address the known and emergent needs of the cannabis industry. If their efficacy is proven by higher yields, product popularity and noteworthy sales figures (among other measures), AI may go from being a new and noteworthy feature of 2022’s cannabis outlook to a permanent fixture in the industry.

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Licensed to a Vancouver company, the goal is to employ technology that converts liquid solution to a gel to commercialize products in the form of a nasal spray.

Australia’s University of Queensland (U.Q.) and Canada’s PreveCeutical Medical Inc. have teamed up for what is being called a revolutionary change in how patients will take medical cannabis: a liquid that converts to a gel.

The Sol-Gel technology is thanks to the work of a team of researchers, led by Dr. Harendra Parekh, at the U.Q.’s School of Pharmacy, which explains the liquid solution converts to a gel upon contacting “internal membranes of the human body, such as the nose.”

Vancouver-headquartered PreveCeutical — which, along with its partners, researches and develops solutions that give consumers options for preventive and curative therapies — will have a chance to check out exactly what the technology can do.

PreveCeutical has struck a deal with the university’s commercialization company, Uniquest, for the “rights to use the Sol-Gel technology for the specific delivery of cannabinoids to all regions and membranes of the human body,” notes a statement from the university. The deal includes a licence to the patent application, the university reports.

There are plenty of types of membranes, which the National Cancer Institute defines as “think sheets of tissue that cover the body, line body cavities and cover organs within the cavities in hollow organs.” Some specific types include epithelial, serous, connective tissue, synovial, meninges and muscous.

It is the last option that seems of the greatest immediate interest when it comes to the Sol-Gel technology.

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Alum Carl Palme nets $10,000 grand prize for entrepreneurial venture Annaboto

The mood at BU’s BUild Lab IDG Capital Student Innovation Center was one of anticipation and excitement on Wednesday, November 10, as students, alums, and judges gathered for the fifth annual Innovate @BU Cannabis Start-Up Competition. The think-tank-like competition showcases BU-led start-ups whose creators present their business platforms to a team of judges in hope of netting the $10,000 grand prize. Finalists are in the process of developing software, accessories, agricultural products, and services that support the growth of the cannabis industry.

This year’s winner was Annaboto, a company founded in 2019 by Carl Palme (ENG’04, Questrom’12) that allows users to grow cannabis at home in a compact, hydroponic device. Users simply add water once a week to germinate the cannabis seeds and then sit back and watch the plants flourish. There is no daily upkeep needed, thanks to artificial intelligence and robotics.

“Our design is contributing to the normalization of cannabis. By having this in your house, you’re making a statement,” said Palme, the company’s CEO. The product, specifically designed for indoors, produces around two ounces of cannabis after 100 days. Other product features: an odor management system and a mobile app that allows the user to control the device. For the Annaboto team, the win was the capstone of years of hard work. They had previously been finalists in Innovate @BU’s annual competition.

“All the [previous] feedback we got from the judges, all the feedback we got from people we spoke to,” Palme said, “was what really led to the prototypes and growing the company. I think it’s a testament to this competition,” 

The annual competition is sponsored by Denver-based business strategy firm Green Lion Partners, founded by Jeff Zucker (Questrom’10) and Mike Bologna (Questrom’10), which has invested in cannabis companies both domestically and internationally. “For us, it’s important to showcase that the cannabis industry is a true career opportunity for students and to get rid of the stigma around cannabis,” Zucker said.

This year’s other finalists were Returning Citizens Venture Program, a nonprofit that provides individuals with minor cannabis offenses personal and career development, founded by Jojo Liaw (Questrom’22), Ying Chen (CAS’22), and Marcel Chen (Questrom’22); Eleganja, an online platform to amplify Black-owned cannabis brands, founded by Michelle Matsuba (MED’16), company CEO; and QS Cannabis, a platform where users can monetize their personal data relating to their cannabis use, led by Jordan Clark (Wheelock’13), CEO, William Belt (CGS’14, COM’16), chief operating officer, and Matthew Boykin (Sargent’20, SPH’21), chief research officer. 

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 USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has begun sending its first Hemp Acreage and Production Survey to 566 Illinois producers. The hemp survey will collect information on the total planted and harvested area, yield, production, and value of hemp in the United States.

“The Hemp Acreage and Production Survey will provide critical data about the hemp industry to assist producers, regulatory agencies, state governments, processors, and other key industry entities,” said Mark Schleusener, NASS Illinois State Statistician.

Survey recipients are asked to respond securely online at, using the 12-digit survey code mailed with the survey, or to mail completed questionnaires back in the prepaid envelope provided, by Monday, Oct. 25.

As defined in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill), the term “hemp” means the plant species Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant such as the seeds, all derivatives, and extracts, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis. The Domestic Hemp Production Program established in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) allows for the cultivation of hemp under certain conditions.

All information reported by individuals will be kept confidential, as required by federal law. NASS will publish the survey results Feb. 17, 2022, on the NASS website and in the NASS Quick Stats searchable database.
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Cannabis brands and fans alike often run into having their account deleted, banned or suppressed in some fashion. With cannabis-specific platforms still not earning substantial memberships, the industry is left to scramble from platform to platform in an attempt to connect with enthusiasts, buyers, investors, media and other crucial members.

Most sources say one option appears to be the best for cannabis today. Still, alternative platforms and methods may be beneficial to building lasting connections.


Is LinkedIn The Top Social Media Platform For Cannabis Today?

Though metrics or methods to determine the most cannabis-friendly platform aren’t readily available, it appears LinkedIn is the most cannabis-friendly platform at the moment, according to anecdotal feedback from various sources.

Cannabis PR and social media professional Alice Moon said LinkedIn is great for connecting industry professionals. “It’s more so for people and not brands, but it is a great place for brands to share their latest press coverage and news,” she said.

She also highlighted Twitter Inc. for tolerating cannabis content but said its search feature connects the term cannabis with substance abuses messages.

Others agreed. Karina Karassev, co-founder and COO of cannabis packaging brand Stori, said LinkedIn does a good job recognizing cannabis industry professionals.

“Linkedin does an excellent job removing negative stigmas surrounding the cannabis industry,” Karassev added.

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Romeo Ferraris has introduced a new innovation on its Alfa Romeo Giulias racing in the ETCR using a new hemp fibre body work for the last round of the season at Pau Arnos.

“We were looking at ways to innovate and add new technologies, also adding to a better sustainability for the environment,” team manager Antonio Caruccio told TouringCarTimes.

“The hemp fibre is as light and as robust as carbon fibre, with the performance in terms of safety and shock absorption still high. Teams have used carbon fibre for decades, which is light, robust and does a good job, but there are other materials that add for a greener production of the cars.”

The introduction of the new material for the bodywork caused the Giulias to have to go through the homologation process once again.

“We had to perform new crash tests and the new material performed within the same accepted deltas of the carbon fibre,” Caruccio concluded. “We hope that other manufacturers and teams will soon follow up our example and introduce this innovation.”

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On August 9, 2021, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sent shock waves through the financial markets and the world in general with the publication of its sixth assessment report.

The IPCC report, the most comprehensive of its nature since 2013, made it abundantly clear that much of the damage incurred by the global ecosystem will be irreversible, and the harm is accelerating at an alarming rate.

This has catalyzed investment funds and asset managers focusing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria to rethink their approach. Chris Meyer of Praxis Mutual Funds, a well-established socially responsible investment firm, said in a Bloomberg Law article that the report “changes the calculus. We will need to have a sharper focus. This report shows that investors are not moving quickly enough.”

Financial investment itself may not be able to curb the problem. However, what is certain is that fund managers focused on ESG criteria will pay extra attention to environmentally conscious companies and substantial sums of investment dollars will likely flow into those that commit to more aggressive ESG plans.

What is ESG and does it matter to cannabis companies?

ESG is a set of standards applied to a company’s operations that some firms use to analyze potential investments. In recent years, more and more investment firms have focused on ESG as a means of attracting investors. Investment firms also increasingly believe that companies exhibiting a commitment to ESG principals will be better situated to deliver outsized returns in the future.

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The Global Hemp Innovation Center at Oregon State University announced last week that it has received a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study and define the economic opportunities for hemp in the western United States. 

Provided by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant program, OSU scientists plan to use the funding to partner with eight institutions across the country in a five-year research program.

The research will be designed to address the needs of businesses in Native American and rural communities in a vast region of the Western Pacific United States covering four states. Jeffrey Steiner, associate director of the hemp center at OSU, told reporters that the funding received for the research program is one of the largest grants to study hemp ever awarded.

“We just feel really fortunate to get it,” Steiner said. “It’s a very competitive program, and we’re among the elite institutions to get the money.”

Establishing a Robust Hemp Economy

Although hemp agriculture and products made from hemp were legalized with the 2018 Farm Bill, developing a comprehensive industry to produce grain and fiber from hemp as well as CBD and other cannabinoids has had a sluggish start so far. More research is needed to study where different types of hemp can best be grown and the best genetics and farming techniques to use. 

Researchers also plan to study where to best process the hemp materials grown in the region, likely growth markets to support the expansion of the hemp industry, and how to incorporate the crop into existing production systems in order to complement rather than disrupt markets.

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“Technology in every industry has enabled advancement to happen faster, and the cannabis industry is no different. Due to the fragmented regulatory environment, we knew remaining compliant would be a real challenge for businesses, but one that could be addressed through the creation of advanced technologies. We set out to take what was previously an archaic way of approaching compliance and developed software that would help cannabis entrepreneurs save time and money, drive efficiencies and create new opportunities. Beyond owners and operators, we also see technologies playing a vital role in how governments, regulatory bodies, insurers, cannabis-related banking and financial institutions also remain compliant under FinCEN Cannabis Banking Guidance.

“Whether it’s POS, data, commerce, social networks or compliance, technology continues to allow the industry to solve some of its most challenging problems while accelerating growth at a rapid rate. As Simplifya enters the multi-million dollar banking, financial and payment-related services sector, we plan to debut new software and advanced technologies that automates and simplifies mandated complex processes necessary to keep the industry moving ahead in a compliant way.”

Marion Mariathasan is the CEO of Simplifya, the cannabis industry’s leading regulatory and operational compliance software platform. The company’s suite of products takes the guesswork out of confusing and continually changing state and local regulations. Featuring SOPs, badge tracking, document storage, tailored reporting and employee accountability features, the company’s Custom Audit software reduces the time clients spend on compliance by up to 45%.

Marion is also a serial entrepreneur who has founded or advised numerous startups. He is an investor in 22 domestic and international companies, four of which he serves as a board member: Ceylon Solutions, a cannabis and non-cannabis software development company; Leafwire, the largest cannabis social network; ilios, a relationship app that matches users based on characteristics derived from astrology and numerology algorithms; and Simplifya. Marion is a regular guest speaker at events such as Denver Start-Up Week, Colorado University’s program on social entrepreneurship, and the United Nations Global Accelerator Initiative.

“In the cannabis sector, digital consumers are in the driver’s seat. We believe technologies will continue to play a critical role, and that by taking the time to implement research, data and digital technologies, we have a competitive advantage. By constantly studying trends data, we foresaw that the digital and physical retail convergence would accelerate with the rapid growth of home delivery and express channels. Early on we were focused on ways to remove friction, build trust, and fine tune the entire customer experience. We use research data and technology-based omnichannel strategies to seamlessly serve the needs of the widest range of customers, and that really goes to the core of our ethos of improving peoples’ lives.

“At a higher level, we’ve also integrated our data sources and spent time building out a custom data warehouse. This has not only helped us break down information silos, but has also allowed us to understand the business and our customers much more holistically. We plan to keep evolving with new technologies and programs that drive efficiencies in our retail experiences and operations. I’ve always been a big advocate for technological solutions — none of this would be possible without it — so for us, tech will be a priority for the future of Jushi and instrumental in defining the entire cannabis sector.”

In his role at Jushi, Dre and his creative team are charged with leading Jushi’s creative, marketing and communications efforts as well as ensuring the company’s successful entrance into e-commerce, cutting-edge digital user experiences and his efforts have already brought a tremendous amount of added value to the company and its share-owners.

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Researchers at the Sustainable Earth Institute at the University of Plymouth are constructing a building on campus using the mud and fibre material. The single-storey building will be a classroom and laboratory, with its performance studied and monitored. Project bosses said it would be a "living lab and demonstration site".

Image caption,The building material is a combination of mud and fibre

The construction work is part of the institute's CobBauge project, which the university said was "investigating whether an optimised version of cob can become a sustainable solution for a new generation of energy-efficient housing".

Prof Steve Goodhew said one of the major issues was trying to "reduce the energy use, and therefore the emissions, in buildings".

He said: "Of all the emissions in the UK, 40% are associated with building; and 8% of global emissions come from cement".

Prof Goodhew said the work was trying to find out if "we can drop the amount of cement we use... [by] physically using alternative natural building materials".

He added that the "living lab and demonstration site" could "become the centre of attention for a wide range of people" from construction professionals to students.
The material is not new to the region, with thousands of cob houses and farm buildings dating from the 14th Century having survived in the south-west of England.

However, the new building is being constructed with a version of cob that has been analysed in a laboratory, with those involved trying to choose the best soil and fibres for the job, in this case hemp.

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Medical marijuana patients in Connecticut gained the right to cultivate their own cannabis plants this month and according to a local hemp farmer, hundreds of patients have since sought help cultivating green thumbs of their own.  “We’re seeing a good amount of people at least try their hand at the plant,” Luis Vega, founder of North Haven-based Wepa Farms, said Monday. “People are very excited for the way the law has moved. It’s a lot of people who want to make sure they grow within the law.”

Connecticut has had a medical marijuana program on the books for nearly a decade and the number of participating patients has grown to nearly 54,000. But until Oct. 1, cannabis had to be purchased at one of 18 medical dispensary facilities around the state. 

 The recent change came as a result of this year’s law, which legalized adult-use cannabis and laid the groundwork for a recreational sales industry. Advocates fought for the inclusion of home-grown provisions over concerns from Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration that it would be difficult to regulate. 

The law will expand on July 1, 2023 to include anyone 21 or older. But for now, approved medical patients at least 18 years old can cultivate as many as three flowering plants and three immature plants in their homes as long as they are secured indoors. 

Wepa Farms recently partnered with CannaHealth, a company that certifies patients who qualify for the medical marijuana program, to offer a four-hour class for novice cannabis farmers. In less than a month, Vega said more than 250 new cultivators had sought advice. 

“We do basically a crash course for the medical home cultivator,” Vega said. “We start you with the equipment you need, give you a background understanding of what the plant does and what the current state laws are. We also give you some insight into the plant from the agricultural side as it grows. We give information about the life cycle of the plant, preventive maintenance options for pests, and cleanliness of your location.”

Vega said medical cultivators can also purchase starter kits with the equipment necessary to begin their own growing operations. He said those kits should include plant nutrients, grow pots and a light source, as well as a fan and filter for air circulation. New cannabis farmers will need to obtain seeds and a grow tent to help regulate their plants’ environment.

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 Researchers from Washington State University will study different hemp varieties and do chemical analysis of them as part of a new $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to define economic opportunities for hemp in the western United States.

The grant, led by Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, is a five-year project funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant program. WSU scientists are partnering with eight institutions across the nation and many industry partners, including the Industrial Hemp Association of Washington, on this research, which addresses the needs of Native American and other rural community businesses and farmers in the four-state West Coast region.

“We’re interested in what hemp varieties are best for western growers. Many of them are interested in growing the crop for fiber and grain,” said David Gang, professor in WSU’s Institute of Biological Chemistry. “Hemp has a lot of amazing properties and potential, especially in producing building material and feedstock.”

The WSU portion of the grant is approximately $1.3 million. Beyond that, a significant fraction of the overall grant will go to native tribal partners around the west, including Washington tribes.

“We’re working with native Washington tribes on efforts to coordinate growth trials on reservation lands and to work on research related to industrial development,” Gang said.

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Cannabis cultivation start-ups don’t need to reinvent the wheel when establishing a cultivation method. Launching a new business is not the best time to try every growing method under the sun. The goal should be to select a tried-and-true, proven method of cultivating that gives the company the best chance possible of rapidly launching its business. There are a thousand unknowns when launching a cannabis start-up; cultivation shouldn’t be one of them. There are three ways to commercially cultivate cannabis: hydroponically, organically, or a hybrid of the two.


Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants without soil. Instead, growers provide plants with an oxygenated, nutrient-rich solution delivered directly to the roots. The energy the plant would dedicate towards root growth in search of food and water in a traditional soil environment can instead be redirected to development on the top part of the plant — resulting in larger plants and bigger yields. Hydroponics also gives the grower complete control over nutrient management since the fertilizer solution is mixed with water-soluble mineral salts. Growers can control to the part per million exactly how much of each nutrient the plant receives.

Hydroponics usually incorporate a substrate that acts as a sponge to retain water and nutrients and slowly release them to the plant as needed. It also provides a structure for the roots to latch on to as the plant supports the weight of its own flowers. Traditional hydroponic substrates include rockwool, peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, and expanded clay pellets. These are sometimes mixed, or they may be used as a standalone substrate. Increasingly, other materials are being used as substrates in hydroponic cultivation, such as rice hulls, wood chips, and coconut shell fiber. They are industrial waste products that can be available cost-effectively in great abundance, depending on your location.

The most advanced methods of hydroponics use no substrate at all. In deep water culture (DWC) and nutrient film technique (NFT) systems, the plants sit directly in an oxygenated nutrient solution that covers the roots 24 hours a day. In aeroponics, the plants are suspended in the air, and the roots are sprayed with a fine nutrient mist. Growers that master these methods can realize unprecedented results in terms of faster crop cycles and increased yields, and they completely eliminate the risks of soil-borne pathogens since there is no soil.

However, cultivating hydroponically without a substrate is the riskiest way to grow. Cultivators must maintain precise temperature and oxygen levels in the nutrient solution at all times, or the roots can begin to rot. The nutrient solution in these systems is typically recirculated, so if one plant becomes sick, the disease will spread to the rest of the crop. Also, this method of growing leaves little room for error. These systems involve hundreds of valves, pumps, and tubes, and any malfunction in the system can leave a plant’s root system exposed to dry air and heat. In this scenario, if the sun is shining or the grow lights are on, it’s possible to lose a crop in a matter of hours.


Organic cultivation involves the use of soil and plant or manure-based composts. Organic soils are rich with living microbes that slowly break down components in the soil and release nutrients to the plant. Although scientific evidence is lacking, there is anecdotal evidence that organically grown cannabis exhibits a richer terpene profile than its hydroponically grown counterparts, meaning that organic cannabis smells and tastes better.

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Ohio’s Central State University aims to investigate using hemp as an aquaculture feed ingredient to address food safety concerns about consuming seafood raised with hemp feed additives. They will also research ways to increase economic markets and production sustainability for seafood and hemp.




Project goals are:

Approval of hemp grain as a sustainable feed ingredient to produce high-value, nutrient-dense fish.Education of and outreach to consumers and producers to expand domestic markets for hemp and trout.The creation of a more diverse workforce in agriculture.

Meanwhile a project led by Colby College will compare and optimise algae feed additives for dairy cows, and will assess the impact at the animal-, farm- and community-level. The project will include developing integrated public outreach programs to enhance milk production, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and recover nutrients.

Recent research has shown that certain algae-based feed additives reduce cows’ methane-emitting burps and can be produced with a lower carbon footprint than land crops. They also allow for increased potential to recycle and recapture nutrients in the feed-production process. Further studies show that microscopic algae can offer similar benefits and could provide a scalable solution for farms of all sizes.

Feed trials will investigate the impact of algal ingredients on an array of cows and farms. By testing supplements with feeds available in different geographic areas, researchers can develop a nutritious additive that is widely applicable and more impactful. In conjunction, the researchers will also evaluate the supplement’s impact on the cows’ well-being.

The funding was announced this week by Secretary Tom Vilsack as part of an investment of more than $146 million in sustainable agricultural research projects aimed at improving a robust, resilient, climate-smart food and agricultural system.

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The Hop Latent Viroid (HpLVd), a single-stranded, circular infectious RNA, runs rampant in the hemp and cannabis growing communities. Cannabis infected with HpLVd may or may not manifest any apparent symptoms but understanding what those symptoms can be is important to combat this virus.

HpLVd can cause physical symptoms in Cannabis sativa such as stunted growth, a brittle stem, or noticeable malformation of the leaves. Because cannabis plants grow shorter with smaller leaves and tighter node spacing during infection their buds are also stunted, growing smaller, more spaced out, and with far fewer trichomes. On top of these physical symptoms, a dangerous element is found in its name: Hop Latent Viroid. The virus can remain latent or inactive within infected plants, making it nearly impossible to detect without testing. Overall, these contribute to the invisible problem: a lack of potency. Plants infected with HpLVd may have half the cannabinoid content of their healthy counterparts.

Controlling The Spread Through Testing

Since the discovery of HpLVd in 2017, research has been performed and there are now answers and the ability to test. Green Leaf Lab is delighted to announce that they are now offering HpLVd testing.

The state-of-the-art infrastructure and top-of-the-line testing equipment found at our California analytical laboratory enables us to provide advanced HpLVd screening services to our customers.  This allows us to detect even the most asymptomatic samples and alert our customers if they have a HpLVd outbreak amongst their stock.

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There aren't many biotechs that have research underway targeting the development of cannabinoids. One of them is Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE:DNA), which recently went public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Sept. 22, 2021, Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli answer a viewer's question about this biotech with a cannabis connection.



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Keith Speights: Grant asks, "What do you know about DNA? Great ticker, surprised it was available."

Brian Orelli: Yeah. This was the old Genentech ticker. Genentech the ticker was DNA and then it got acquired twice by Roche. But eventually, it got fully acquired and taken over by Roche. It got acquired by Roche, and spun out, and then reacquired by Roche. That's why the ticker DNA was available because nobody took it over after Roche. This is Ginkgo Bio something that technology, I can't remember the rest of the-

Speights: BioWorks, I think.

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 More and more states are beginning to implement legislation to regulate cannabis products. As sales of such products are becoming more prevalent, new and important regulations are expected to be implemented. One of the major concerns over cannabis abuse revolves around operating a vehicle while impaired. Generally, law enforcement officers may conduct field tests such as sobriety tests or even sample tests. However, sobriety tests can be inaccurate, while sample tests may not receive results for days or even weeks. As a result, companies within the cannabis marketspace began to develop the necessary technology for law enforcement agencies to use in crackdowns on drivers operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO), OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI), HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NASDAQ: ACB)

Presently, the medical cannabis sector accounts for a majority of the market share, as progress is slowly being made in removing the stigmas associated with such products. Overall, the legal cannabis market is permeating throughout the U.S. states and is helping to create a multi-billion-dollar industry. While medical cannabis still dominates that broad cannabis marketplace, the growing awareness and legalization efforts are expected to further propel the overall industry forward. In 2020, legal cannabis sales in the U.S were up 46% from 2019, reaching a new record of USD 17.5 Billion, according to cannabinoid market research firm BDSA.

Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) (CSE: BLO) just announced breaking news that,

"it is ramping up subject beta testing in a high-volume clinic in the Northwestern US and will ship an additional THC Breath Analyzer ("THCBA") unit to the site. The collaborating clinic has a robust drug testing operation and is one of the top drug testing providers to employers within its respective state. The Company also reports that it has shipped two THCBA devices to a biomedical clinic in southern Ontario for beta-testing.

The THCBA is a drug screening device for employers and other markets who are seeking a way to quickly (in less than 5 minutes), easily and non-invasively test for recent use of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC") - the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes impairment. The THCBA consists of a handheld device and protective case which houses a sterilization module, sample preparation stage, device recovery station and integrated battery charging system. Over the course of 2020 to present the Company has been relentlessly focused on building the THCBA from bench prototypes to the current hand-held portable version 3.0 system. Over recent months, this proof-of-concept system has been introduced into small scale beta-testing sites. The focus of the beta-testing has been to gather information on user and administrator experience, identifying cross-reactivity of other substances within a semi-controlled study population and to further collect data and train the device's machine learning database and sensitivity profile. Furthermore, feedback has been provided in areas of handling, connectivity, operating procedures and data management.

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Sacramento-based financial technology software company NatureTrak Inc. has signed up a bank in New Mexico to use its tracking software to validate cannabis-related business deposits. It is the first bank to use the product, but several more banks are in the pipeline, with another expected to sign a contract next week, said Jontae James, CEO and founder of NatureTrak, via text. "The cannabis industry is exploding, and will continue to do so, as more and more states legalize medical and adult-use cannabis,” James said, in a news release.

NatureTrak developed an accounting and tracking system for financial institutions to be able to create an auditable supply chain record for their legal cannabis business customers. It has been used by North Bay Credit Union of Santa Rosa to validate more than $2 billion in cannabis-related transactions, including over $700 million in cash deposits and more than $250 million in tax payments, NatureTrak said.

The new bank customer is Southwest Capital Bank, a 131-year-old bank based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with six branches. The bank had assets of $414.9 million as of June 30, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

California legalized adult-use recreational marijuana in 2018, and New Mexico legalized it this year. However, under federal law, marijuana is still illegal, so banks, credit unions and brokerages — all of which have federal oversight — are at risk of losing their licenses to operate if they take money directly associated with cannabis without a rigorous audit trail.

NatureTrak’s platform accesses licenses in state and local databases and checks that they are valid for the transactions being done. It also creates receipts along the way from grower to processor to distributor and eventually sales. All those receipts, in turn, are meant to create an audit trail that can make more financial institutions comfortable in banking cannabis-related businesses, which otherwise are locked out of the financial system because recreational cannabis is still illegal under federal law. NatureTrak is paid by the bank or credit union for its software. All the tracking, verification and record-keeping gives a provenance to the money, which could allay the federal government's primary concern about money laundering.

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Unlicensed cannabis is not as strong as you may think it is. 

That's according to a recently published study by the New Brunswick Research and Productivity Council.

Researchers comparing samples of illicit and legal cannabis products found that the claims of potency for illicit products were significantly less accurate.  

The RPC's chief officer of science Diane Botelho said the study was taken on to find out whether there was any legitimacy to claims made about cannabis products on the illicit market being 'better'. 

"Our scientists have been curious for a number of years now as to whether or not illicit cannabis products were equivalent to legal cannabis products with respect to health and safety as well as potency claims," said Botelho. 

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In an effort to create the ultimate meat substitute that delivers on taste and texture, Victory Hemp is placing its bets on the hemp seed heart. The demand for meat alternatives is growing worldwide but the challenge of mimicking meat without compromises on taste is a difficult hurdle to overcome. However, one Kentucky-based company believes it’s cracked it – and the answer lies in the hemp heart.




The US plant-based market

Global meat consumption is rising, especially in the US, which makes up around $270 billion of the $1.4 trillion worldwide meat industry.1

Albeit in comparative infancy to the animal-based food market, there is an increasing drive for meat alternatives in the US. “It’s gaining momentum, but it’s not a household item just yet,” Ben Raymond, Director of Research & Development at Victory Hemp told New Food.

Its slower uptake could be down to the delicate balancing act between masking earthy flavours of plants without overdosing on fats, oils or salts; and the complex challenge of developing a product that mimics the unique mouthfeel of meat. It may be a strange notion, making plants taste like meat, but as the market is being driven by flexitarians,1,2 consumers are looking for products which can replace meat without a trade-off.

Despite its smaller size and challenges, Barclays bank believes the opportunity for plant-based protein will be bigger than the projected stats for electric vehicles 10 years ago.1

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