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Sask. has more wiggle room to tax marijuana than rest of country, study says


Sask. has more wiggle room to tax marijuana than rest of country, study says

Too much tax could hurt effort to regulate market and generate revenue

By Samanda Brace – CBC News – Apr 11, 2017

Rosalie Wyonch, a policy analyst with C.D. Howe Institute, took a look at how the federal and provincial government could tax legalized pot. She found that marijuana should not be be taxed beyond the current tax rates.

“Simply by charging the existing sales tax at the current rate, and not adding any specific taxation to marijuana, both the federal and provincial government could generate $675 million,” Wyonch said on CBC Radio’s Afternoon Edition.y analyst with C.D. Howe Institute who researched how much governments should tax legalized pot. (supplied)

This would result in about 90 per cent of the market being regulated, she added.

“If they try to tax it too heavily they are simply undermining their own efforts to regulate production and enforcing safety standards,” said Wyonch.

It will drive more people to get their supply from the black market and hurt the provincial government’s chances of generating revenue through taxation, like it does with alcohol and cigarettes, she said.

However, Saskatchewan will have more wiggle room to add tax than other parts of the country because illegal weed is currently priced higher than legal weed here.

“Once you adjust for quality, a gram of illegal weed in Saskatchewan and Manitoba comes out to about $11.75 and a gram of legal weed is $10.20,” said Wyonch.

She said that the government has to be careful, though, before adding a tax to marijuana, because once the black market is faced with competition from registered legal suppliers, its sellers will lower prices.

But, Wyonch said, once the black market is snuffed out, registered legal suppliers will be able to create economies of scale that will allow for their production costs to drop. And governments will stand to generate even more revenue from higher taxation.

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Ottawa to speed up approval process for pot producers


Ottawa to speed up approval process for pot producers

BY: Daniel Leblanc – The Globe and Mail – April 11, 2017

The federal government is getting ready to drastically speed up its licensing process to increase the numbers of companies that are authorized to produce marijuana for the recreational market that will open up in the first half of 2018, sources said.

A senior federal official said that in addition to tabling legislation to legalize marijuana on Thursday, the federal government will announce a push to authorize new producers of marijuana. At this point, there are 42 companies that have the necessary authorizations from Health Canada to produce marijuana for medical purposes across the country.

The official said the current holders of licences will have a head start once the market is opened up to recreational users, but added that the federal government will add staff and resources at Health Canada to speed up the approval process for new producers.

A key concern is ensuring that the supply of marijuana will meet the demand for the drug once it is legalized by the unofficial deadline of July 1, 2018. As Ottawa works toward squeezing out illegal producers of marijuana, federal officials are worried that a shortage of cannabis would hurt their plans in the initial stages of legalization.

Another priority for the government will be to ensure that there is a broad variety of producers of marijuana serving the recreational market, and not just the existing network that includes many large-scale facilities.

“It’s obvious that the producers who are already licensed have an advantage going in. But there is also a clear desire on the government’s part to have a mix of big and small producers,” said the federal official who spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of the tabling of the legislation.

“There is a great deal of awareness to the needs of smaller producers in the government,” the official added.

Federal officials said the government will table its legislation on Thursday, but that a number of key issues will only be addressed in the rules and regulations that will be unveiled at a later date.

Ottawa will give itself broad powers to oversee the production of marijuana and to design rules on the marketing of the product, which are expected to be similar to the ones that govern Canada’s tobacco industry.

The federal government will leave the provinces and territories entirely in charge of overseeing the distribution and sale of marijuana, in line with Canada’s alcohol regime.

“We are going to let them make their own choices on the sales side,” the federal official said. “It’s going to be similar to the situation with alcohol. In Alberta, it’s in the hands of the private sector, whereas in Quebec and Ontario, it’s run by the state.”

After it is tabled in the House, the legislation to legalize marijuana will be studied in committee. At the same time, the provinces will be expected to develop their own plans to distribute and sell the product.

The federal government will also be working to develop an “interim system” by which marijuana would be available across Canada even if some provinces do not develop their own distribution mechanisms quickly enough. Sources said the project remains in development, although Canada Post could deliver recreational marijuana by mail, as it currently does with medical marijuana.

The federal legislation will be inspired in large part by a task force led by former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan, which proposed a complete legalization model in a well-received report last year.

The task force urged the government to allow Canadians to buy or carry 30 grams of marijuana for personal use, and to grow up to four plants at home. The task force also recommended a system that would feature storefront sales and mail-order distribution, and allow a wide range of producers to operate legally, including “craft” growers and the current producers of medical marijuana.

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Where NFL players and Jerry Jones differ on marijuana policy


Where NFL players and Jerry Jones differ on marijuana policy

By: Dan Graziano – ESPN – April 5, 2017

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and some other NFL owners want to change the way the league punishes players for marijuana. So do the players. But if the talk is about doing away with marijuana testing completely, it may surprise you to learn that the players’ position is “not so fast.”

Yes, the players would like to change the league’s policy on marijuana, but they don’t want to do away with it entirely, because they think the policy can be helpful to them if done the right way.

Jones and his fellow owners see this as a valuable potential bargaining chip in the next collective bargaining agreement negotiations, which could be coming sooner than you think.

The location of the common ground these two sides end up finding could have a major impact on the health of the game and its players. And the process of finding that common ground could begin within the next few weeks. But before we can predict what may or may not happen, it’s important to examine the motivations of the people on both sides of the issue.

What the owners want

The league — defined here as Jones and his 31 fellow team owners — has made it clear that it wants to extend the current CBA, which runs through 2020. Sources on both sides expect the league to approach the National Football League Players Association within the coming weeks about opening collective bargaining talks aimed at such an extension.

From Jones’ perspective, the marijuana issue has two key prongs: He doesn’t want to lose his players for long stretches at a time because of drug suspensions, and he views marijuana as an issue around which the players would be willing to negotiate. Surely, Jones’ fellow owners share the former sentiment and the latter hope.

What the players want

According to sources, this topic was discussed extensively at the NFLPA’s rep meeting in Arizona last month, and union leaders prepared a proposal for a revised marijuana policy and submitted it to the player reps for review. At this time, the player reps and their teammates are reviewing the policy before submitting it to the league for discussion.

Sources with knowledge of what was discussed at the rep meeting say the players’ new proposal is focused on counseling, treatment and pain management. The players don’t necessarily want to do away with marijuana testing; they just want to reduce or eliminate the punitive aspect of the testing process.

Under the union’s plan, the purpose of a marijuana testing program would be to identify players in need of help. Their position is that it’s easy to tell the difference, based on the number of nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) that show up in a test, whether the player is using the drug for recreational use or using it excessively.

 

Right now, the NFL standard for a positive marijuana test is 35 ng/ml, which is higher than the 15 it was before the drug policy was renegotiated three years ago but still lower than Major League Baseball’s 50 and far lower than the Olympics’ 150. So a player could test positive at 35 ng/ml and still get the same level of punishment as one who tests positive at 100 ng/ml.

The union’s position is that those cases need to be handled differently in substantive ways. For example: Should someone test positive above 100 ng/ml, that could be a red flag for an addiction situation or a player who’s dealing with some sort of chronic pain that he hasn’t previously reported. In a case like that, testing could lead the team and/or league to provide some sort of treatment for the addiction or the pain.

The important takeaway here is that NFL players don’t necessarily want the league to stop testing them for marijuana. The union’s proposal basically says, “Let’s still test for it, but let’s do it in a constructive and less punitive way.”

 

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7 REASONS WHY CANNABIS WILL DOMINATE THE WELLNESS WORLD IN 2017


7 REASONS WHY CANNABIS WILL DOMINATE THE WELLNESS WORLD IN 2017

By: Erin Magner – Well and Good – April 2, 2017

You could say that this 2017 wellness trend is lit—and it’s clear why: Although much more research still needs to be done on the health effects of marijuana use, several studies have indicated that extracts from the plant, in particular cannabidiol or CBD, could be a legit remedy for mood disorders, inflammation, chronic pain, and more modern ills. (Here’s a primer on how its compounds help people heal by working with the body’s endocannabinoid system.)

And the excitement around the herb’s health benefits isn’t just buzz either, says Jeffrey Egler, MD, of Parsley Health in Los Angeles. “It’s good science. The numerous benefits have been demonstrated and well-documented for years, if not decades. There’s still the legitimate debate about safety in some circumstances, particularly smoking it. But there are much cleaner products than others, as well as cleaner ways of dosing cannabis.”

So if pot’s healing potential is old news, why is there such a blaze of activity around it at this very moment?

1. You no longer have to light up to get lit

Back in the day, consuming cannabis was quite a process. You had to decode a long list of cryptic names. (Blue Dream or OG Kush?) You needed to roll a joint or pack a bowl with just the right dose, and most likely make a mess in the process. And then, of course, you actually had to smoke it—which is a pretty big turn-off for those who rely on their lungs to get them through half marathons and HIIT classes.

But now, a wave of new delivery methods are making the whole process much easier…and a bit healthier. Brands like W!nk and Quill have created vaporizer pens that dole out consistent doses of high-quality cannabis oil extract, while reportedly being gentler on the respiratory system than smoking.

2. Cannabis tonics are taking over healthy menus

Kale, apple, lemon…CBD? Cannabinoids are making a splash on the wellness beverage scene, too, with several new arrivals appearing in the last few weeks alone.

In New York, T Salon founder Miriam Novalle launched High Tea Today, a new line of loose-leaf and cold-brew teas made with an oil form of the medicinal compound—look for them soon at Hyatt Hotels and Fairway grocery stores. On the West Coast, buzzy LA restaurants Café Gratitude and Gracias Madre are also offering juices, smoothies, and cocktails with a hit of CBD oil, just in case guests want to get extra mellow over dinner. And nationwide, functional tonic brand Torii Labs just dropped Re-Leaf, a shot of the calming compound extracted from an organic strain that promises to soothe the nervous system, boost immunity, and calm inflammation.

3. Organic grass is stepping into the sunlight

Good news for those who won’t touch a conventionally grown tomato, let alone risk even a contact high from cannabis that isn’t grown responsibly: As marijuana prohibition comes to an end in many places, an increasing number of farmers are bringing their crops out of the darkroom and into the sunlight, turning to more natural growing methods in the process.

Flow Kana is a California-based brand that works only with small-batch, organic, sun-grown farmers in the “Emerald Triangle”—Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity counties in the state’s northern region. “You can’t replicate farming under natural sunlight,” enthuses Adam Steinberg, the company’s co-founder. “[Industry] studies have shown that sun-grown cannabis tends to have more terpenes, which dictate the smell and taste of the cannabis plant, than indoor [crops]. Plus, there are a lot of fungicides and pesticides used in indoor farming.”

4. Edibles are going gourmet

Forget the sketchy pot brownies and gummy bears of your sorority days. Cannabis edibles are being reimagined for a discerning, high-end customer who’s probably pairing her spiked chocolate with a (pricey) bottle of biodynamic wine, for example.

Cindy Capobianco says this shift is a long time coming. “The problem was that [edibles] weren’t labeled and didn’t have clearly defined doses. They looked like they were made in someone’s kitchen, sold in a plastic bag, and sealed with a staple.”

5. Cannabis communities are on the rise

Concerts are no longer the only places you can get high in a crowd. Cannabis circles are popping up from coast to coast, creating community around the ritual.

Want to try your hand at shibori fabric dying or macramé weaving in between tokes? Join one of the Make and Mary cannabis crafting workshops in Portland, OR. Interested in the farm-to-table food scene? Keep an eye on Flow Kana—in LA, they recently hosted a cannabis-inspired dinner with Outstanding in the Field, complete with weed pairings. Care to give your smoke sesh some women’s circle vibes? Check out a Cannabis Feminist event in LA, dedicated to making marijuana more accessible and appealing to women.

And for those seeking camaraderie in a virtual sense, education platform Green Flower Media just wrapped up its first ever 10-Day Cannabis Health Challenge, which encouraged participants to eat healthier, exercise more, journal, smoke weed everyday, and talk about the whole experience in an online community. (Hey, the green stuff is said to be a great compliment to a cleanse.)

6. Bud will be cropping up in the beauty aisle

“When someone tells us they don’t believe cannabis has any medicinal value, we don’t tell them to try an edible; we tell them to try a topical,” says Capobianco. “Virtually everyone becomes an instant believer.”

Why? CBD-infused body care products from brands like Lord Jones (which, in addition to edibles, also has a line of buzz-worthy lotions) and Apothecanna are adept at relieving inflammation, making them suitable for everything from muscle aches to eczema and psoriasis.

Facial-care lines from the likes of CannaCeuticals and CBD For Life are also causing a stir. Their antioxidant-rich, cannabinoidal extract-laden enzyme treatments, eye creams, serums, and more are being touted for their anti-aging properties. Expect the mainstream skin-care world—including clean beauty brands—to follow suit as regulations continue to relax.

7. Dispensaries are the new apothecaries

When many people imagine a marijuana dispensary, they think blacked-out windows and bulletproof glass. Not exactly full of healing juju, eh?

But that’s all starting to change. Many new shops are debuting with warm, old-school apothecary vibes—MedMen in West Hollywood, CA, Bud and Bloom in Santa Ana, CA, and Harvest‘s two San Francisco locations are all warm wood, open shelving, and staff as friendly as neighborhood pharmacists. (Harvest even invites guests to stay and hang out in its members-only co-working zones.)

 

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Trump and Cannabis: Which Way Will the Wind Blow?


Trump and Cannabis: Which Way Will the Wind Blow?

By: Brad Auerbach – Forbes – April 2, 2017

The Trump Administration has generated an unprecedented amount of press across all sectors, and a commensurate amount of uncertainty. The cannabis industry is unaffected. Trends through early November 2016 indicated that legalization was gaining momentum. But what do the trends look like now? I was able to gather perspectives from a handful of folks in the business.

On the one hand, it is clear the Republican Party over the last few decades has shifted from its traditional hands off approach of governance to become more proscriptive in driving social mores. On the other hand, the Republican Party has been grappling with its new leader, who seems to fit no mold seen before.

Here is what some experts in the cannabis field across the country have observed.

“It’s a win-win situation – the President can realize success politically by listening to the 71% of American voters who support cannabis. As a successful businessman, the President knows that American leadership in the fastest growing agricultural sector in the world will mean thousands of jobs for voters in Oregon and tens of thousands of jobs across the country. We trust that the President sticks to his campaign promise – that it’s each individual state’s right to decide how to implement cannabis use regulations.”  –William Waldrop, CEO of Signal Bay.

“The Trump administration’s unclear stance on the cannabis industry has caused some concern in the space. The industry is now mostly under the impression that state laws will be respected with the slight chance of a potential misguided crackdown on the adult-use markets. In Colorado, we’re going full steam ahead and have seen no ill effects in regard to entrepreneurs entering the industry. While investors have more fear than at this point last year, most are still excited to jump in.”  –Jeffrey Zucker, President of Green Lion Partners.

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Investors Cheer New Cannabis Bills


Investors Cheer New Cannabis Bills

New cannabis bills are flooding the halls of Congress

By: Jeff Siegel – Wealth Daily – March 30, 2017

Last week, I commented on Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s 5-minute speech to Congress where she made her case for the federal decriminalization of cannabis.

Well, this morning a few more level-headed lawmakers introduced new measures to reform cannabis policy and support cannabis businesses.

As reported by the National Cannabis Industry Association, these reforms were introduced by a bipartisan group of senators and representatives that are looking to resolve tension between state and federal cannabis laws. Check it out …

The Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017, introduced in the House by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and in the Senate by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), would allow state-legal cannabis businesses to take normal business deductions like any other legal business. Currently, the law prohibits cannabis businesses from deducting expenses related to sales.

“Cannabis businesses aren’t asking for tax breaks or special treatment,” said Smith. “They are just asking to be taxed like any other legitimate business. NCIA and its members appreciate this strong support for a fair approach, and we’re especially proud to newly gain that support from Rep. Curbelo.”

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), would regulate marijuana like alcohol by inserting marijuana into the section of the U.S. Code that regulates “intoxicating liquors.” It would give oversight authority to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and would establish a permitting system to cover the cost of that oversight.

The Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap (RAMP) Act, introduced by Sen. Wyden and Rep. Blumenauer in their respective chambers, covers a broad range of issues at the federal level, including banking and tax fairness for businesses, civil forfeiture, and drug testing for federal employees. The two Oregon officials see the provisions in this bill, collectively, along with the other two bills introduced today, as the “Path to Marijuana Reform.”

The Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, introduced by Sen. Wyden and Rep. Blumenauer, contains the provisions included in the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act and the Regulating Marijuana Like Alcohol Act.

Although the introduction of these measures is the beginning of what is likely to be a long and frustrating process, never before have we seen this level of support in Washington. This is actually a very big deal, and as investors in the cannabis space, we are not only paying close attention, but we’re letting our representatives know how we feel, too. I hope you’ll join us in the continued fight against cannabis prohibition, which, without a doubt serves as a violation of human rights.

 

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How high will the price of legal pot be?


How high will the price of legal pot be?

By: Solomon Israel – CBC News – April 1, 2017

The federal government has said it time and time again: marijuana legalization is meant to snuff out the black market and keep profits out of the hands of criminals.

To achieve that goal, the government has to grapple with a tough question: how much should legal weed cost?

We now know that the provinces will be responsible for setting the price of legal marijuana. In its November 2016 report, the federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation explained why pricing will be a tricky balancing act.

“Taxes should be high enough to limit the growth of consumption, but low enough to compete effectively with the illicit market,” wrote the task force. “Mechanisms such as a minimum price should be used to prevent predatory pricing, if necessary.”

What black market marijuana costs

It’s hard to establish a definitive price for a black market item, but illicit dispensaries in Toronto regularly sell a single gram of marijuana for $10 (cash only, of course).

A November 2016 report from the Parliamentary Budget Office, however, offers a more in-depth analysis of black market marijuana prices across Canada. The report used data from PriceOfWeed.com, which collects user reports about marijuana purchases and makes them available in a searchable database.

One gram of dried marijuana bud, with a $2 coin for comparison. The size of a gram varies depending on the density of the bud. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

After running the data through its own statistical analysis and regional weighting, the PBO reported that one gram of marijuana cost an average of $8.32 between February 2015 and August 2016. After adjusting for the bulk discounts common to black market marijuana transactions, the PBO’s figure rose to $9.36 per gram.

Average prices were lower in British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Quebec, and higher in Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and the territories.

What legal marijuana costs

As of March 17, the average price of marijuana from Health Canada-licensed producers was $9.12 per gram, according to Brad Martin of CannStandard in Calgary.

Martin is a medical marijuana user who started tracking prices to identify the best value.

“I’m not seeing too much fluctuation since I’ve started,” he said, referring to prices from legal, licensed producers.

Unlike the black market, Martin said, most licensed producers don’t offer bulk discounts, although it’s common to see shipping discounts on bulk orders.

CannStandard marijuana price chart

Marijuana prices actually rose soon after legalization in the U.S. states of Washington and Oregon, said Martin, due to supply shortages. After the shortages were addressed, prices plunged.

“I don’t anticipate seeing something in the magnitude that we saw in the states, specifically because the market size is smaller and because we’ve taken some mitigation measures on it,” said Martin.

According to data from marijuana market intelligence firm BDS Analytics, a gram of marijuana bud cost $6.46 US in Colorado in January. The average price per gram in Oregon was $8.56. Both prices reflect bulk discounts, however — a single gram purchased at a dispensary would cost more.

What happens after legalization?

A November analysis from Canaccord Genuity estimates average prices for the total legal market (medical and recreational) will stay steady around $8 per gram until 2019 or 2020, with illicit prices remaining slightly higher, between $8 and $9 per gram.

Post-legalization demand could exceed supply and keep prices stable for a time, wrote Canacord Genuity analysts Matt Bottomley and Neil Maruoka. That’s because Health Canada is relatively slow to approve licences for new producers, they said, and it takes a long time to set up a fully operational growing facility.

After legal production catches up to demand, they wrote, “the average price per gram of bud will begin to slowly decline.”

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Efforts to advertise Calgary cannabis expo go up in smoke


Efforts to advertise Calgary cannabis expo go up in smoke

BY: Colleen Schmidt – CTV Calgary – March 30, 2017

The federal government plans to legalize recreational use of marijuana next year and trade shows are popping up across the country but many are having a hard time getting the word out.

The Cannabis and Hemp Expo is coming to Calgary in May and some of the big broadcasters are saying no to its ads saying they can’t run them because it’s still illegal to promote pot in Canada.

It’s the first year for the event and organizers say they’ve tried to buy ad time on major networks like CTV and Rogers, but the name they chose and their logo has brought up legal concerns.

The issues stem from the use of the word ‘cannabis’ and the depiction of a pot leaf in the logo.

Rogers Communications did not respond to CTV’s questions about why they couldn’t air the ads but Bell Media released a statement saying …

“CTV attempted to work with the client to ensure their creative conformed with statutes pertaining to promoting directly or indirectly the sale or disposal of a drug…however the client chose not to move forward with the campaign.”

Canwest Productions Inc. says there won’t be any pot at the expo but exhibitors include licensed producers dispensaries and head shops.

“We understand to a point. I mean, nobody wants to portray illegal activity or anything but that’s not the case. We’re a legitimate business, promoting a legitimate trade show and we are not doing anything illegal,” said Terra Connors, from Canwest Productions Inc.

Broadcasters that break laws around advertising cannabis could face fines between $250,000 and $5 million.

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5 Routes the Cannabis Industry Could Take to Get Around Federal Banking Restrictions


5 Routes the Cannabis Industry Could Take to Get Around Federal Banking Restrictions

By: Andre Bourque – Entrepreneur – March 27, 2017

 

Federal banking regulations effectively trap the legal marijuana industry in its cash-only, black-market history. Current rules keep cannabis-related businesses in a regulatory gray area that discourages the investment necessary to grow.

The current problem dates to the 2013 Cole Memo, written by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole and directing Federal prosecutors on how to interpret the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in states that have legalized marijuana. The Cole Memo reiterated that, “Congress’s determination that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime that provides a significant source of revenue to large-scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels.” In general, the guidelines established a hands-off federal enforcement policy toward businesses that were in compliance with state law.

The U.S. Department of Treasury’s 2014 statement on Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) took the logic from there. FinCEN puts the burden on the bank to perform due diligence on marijuana-related business customers to see if that investigation “implicates one of the Cole Memo priorities or violates state law. This is a particularly important factor for a financial institution to consider when assessing the risk of providing financial services to a marijuana-related business.”

Such financial services include checking, deposits, savings, credit card administration, funds transfers, lending and all the services necessary to running a business. For practical purposes, this largely limits cannabis businesses to operating on a cash-only basis, complicates recordkeeping, taxes and security.

The statement from FinCEN lists what banks must do to avoid working with businesses posing as legitimate but acting as fronts for criminal enterprise in need of money laundering.

What’s a cannabis biz to do?

Banks can smell the lucrative potential of the cannabis industry in the states that decriminalized medical marijuana and/or adult-use recreational cannabis. Here are the big banking changes in the works to bring the cannabis industry in from its cash-only pariah status.

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San Francisco’s trendiest coffee roaster is now making a $12 marijuana-infused cold brew


San Francisco’s trendiest coffee roaster is now making a $12 marijuana-infused cold brew

BY: Melia Robinson – Business Insider – March 16, 2017

A Bay Area pot startup has made it even easier to “wake and bake,” with a new marijuana-infused cold-brew coffee.

Somatik, an artisanal pot-products company founded in 2016, teamed up with boutique roaster Ritual Coffee to create the drink, which hit cannabis dispensary refrigerators in January. An eight-ounce bottle retails for $12.

“Cannabis is a lot like coffee in that … everyone has their routine. I wanted to show that you could actually build a routine around cannabis that [keeps you] functional and does help you,” says Christopher Schroeder, founder of Somatik.

Somatik Featuring Ritual Coffee uses coffee beans grown in western Colombia — steeped for 12 hours in cold water to produce a robust, silky concentrate — and 15 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the ingredient in marijuana that gets users high. Drinking the whole bottle would be the (very) rough equivalent of taking a few hits off a joint.

The Bay Area has long been a breeding ground for innovative coffee roasters, from venture-capital darling Blue Bottle Coffee to family-run Philz Coffee. More recently, another industry the area is famous for — marijuana — has moved towards artisanal products as the market matures. Entrepreneurs like Schroeder are optimistic that craft weed will become the new specialty coffee — a lucrative business.

Somatik Featuring Ritual Coffee pairs the two trends in a product that aims to be high-quality and discreet. Schroeder, a former product manager at wearables company Jawbone, wanted to create something his family and friends would find approachable.

“You could have it at your desk and no one’s going to be like, ‘Oh, what are you doing?’ But also, you could talk about it and it does help normalize it. You’re not smoking a joint or ripping a dab. You’re just drinking something that tastes really good,” Schroeder says.

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LUXURY CANNABIS IS OFFICIALLY HERE


LUXURY CANNABIS IS OFFICIALLY HERE

By: Lauren Alexis Fraser – March 13, 2017 – Harpers Bazaar

The fashion industry has never been one to hide its infatuation with marijuana. Designers like Alexander Wang, Vetements, Jeremy Scott and more have embraced stoner culture in past collections with everything from weed grinder necklaces to pot print motifs. But now, fashion is finally ready to upgrade from cannabis prints to the real deal.

Enter Beboe, a new luxury cannabis brand making high-end products for a more sophisticated weed consumer. Founded by Clement Kwan (former president of YOOX) and renowned tattoo artist Scott Campbell, Beboe’s products—which so far include a vaporizer and pastilles—come in luxe packaging meant to be taken to different social settings from dinner to late night cocktails to afternoon tea (yes, this pot is chic enough for afternoon tea). The cannabis-infused products are made with a low dose blend of THC and CBD suited for both seasoned smokers and newbies.

“We hope to further along the end of prohibition by building sophisticated products and brands to attract a more sophisticated consumer. This is what we hope will be the catalyst in forging into this new frontier,” Kwan said in a statement from the brand.

And the story behind how Beboe was born is a surprisingly sweet one. The brand’s name was derived from Campbell’s grandmother, Be Boe, who baked marijuana brownies for his mother as she battled cancer during his childhood.

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Employers want Ottawa’s help to deal with marijuana-smoking workers


By Dean Beeby – CBC News Mar 15, 2017

Lack of hard science on marijuana impairment and testing raises concerns among employers over safety

More stoned workers will be showing up in Canada’s workplaces with the coming legalization of marijuana, but companies have few tools to cope with potential safety risks.

That’s the message from some employers, who say they’ve received no assurances from Ottawa so far that the new pot regime will include workplace safeguards.

“We’re caught in a potential Catch 22: how do you protect the worker and those around them as well as deal with legalized marijuana?” said Cameron MacGillivray, president of Enform, a Calgary-based oil-and-gas safety group.

“It is a pressing concern for the industry because of the … potential catastrophic impacts of somebody doing a critical safety job when they’re impaired.”

The Liberal government is expected to introduce legislation by the summer making recreational marijuana legal, at a time when the science of detecting and measuring impairment is incomplete.

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People are giving their pets cannabis to cure their illnesses


With more people turning to medicinal marijuana to ease their ailments, others in the US are now using it to treat their pets.

Sick animals are being fed cannabis-based extracts, ointments and edibles to treat everything from arthritis to anxiety.

But the substances are not regulated and the health benefits have yet to be tested on animals, according to CNN.

Brett Hartmann gives his two dogs, Kallie and Brutus, a dose of liquid cannabis with their meals everyday.

Asked if he is just drugging his dogs, he said: ‘I beg to differ. I feel like this is botanical, this is plant medicine.’

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Company Caught Selling Tainted Marijuana Can’t Trace Source of Contamination


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Cannabis Conversations continue. MP Blair on a Federal Roundtable Tour


In early spring, 2016, the Government of Canada announced a Task Force to undertake research and consultation with Canadians on the subject of cannabis legalization and regulation. ‘Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation’ (TFCLR) was born and consultations were undertaken June 2016 – November 2016 throughout the country.

MP Bill Blair (Scarborough-South West), in his role as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould, was the government’s point person for TFCLR.

The final report of the ‘Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation’, was published Nov. 30, 2016.  MP Blair is continuing an outreach tour on the subject of cannabis through more roundtable forums in various communities across Canada, including Sault Ste. Marie, where he stopped on Monday, Feb. 27th, 2017.

“The Task force did a number of round tables, principally with people from four sectors; Justice, Public Safety, Public health and Problematic Substance Use. They were gathering evidence and speaking with a number of people in those sectors, including Medical Associations, asking for their advice and then making recommendations to the government. That process took place from June – December of 2016.  Now that we have received the recommendations from the task force, based on the evidence, the government has to now make some decisions.”

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Donald Trump vs. marijuana: Here’s who will win


By Adam Bierman – CNBC – Feb 27, 2017

By now, many have seen the headlines: “White House Spokesman Predicts More Federal Action Against Marijuana” (NPR), “White House: Feds will step up marijuana law enforcement” (CNN), “Marijuana entrepreneurs try to stay calm after Spicer comments on weed” (CNBC). It is hard to believe a minute and a half out of an hour-long press briefing could cause so much commotion.

Let’s examine what White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer actually said. He essentially said two things. He distinguished medical marijuana from adult use, and he believes “you’ll see greater enforcement” of the Controlled Substance Act against recreational use.

Mr. Spicer did not say there were any imminent actions from the U.S. Department of Justice, the agency charged with enforcing federal law. In fact, he said the question of enforcement would be better addressed by the DOJ itself. Mr. Spicer was stating what he believes.

Here’s what I believe. I believe Mr. Spicer’s acknowledgement that the president supports state’s rights when it comes to medical marijuana is a positive development. Mr. Spicer also referenced the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, first passed in 2014, which currently prohibits the federal government from prosecuting medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

“The president understands the pain and suffering that many people go through who are facing especially terminal diseases and the comfort that some of these drugs, including medical marijuana, can bring to them,” Mr. Spicer said.

So at least on the question of medical marijuana, there seems to be broad consensus. Medical marijuana is now legal in 28 states and accounts for about three quarters of the burgeoning legal cannabis industry.

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