Posted on


TRENTON, New Jersey — Legislation to set up a recreational marijuana marketplace, decriminalize cannabis and loosen penalties for underage possession of the drug and alcohol was signed into law Monday by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, more than three months after voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question to legalize adult use of the drug.

The Democrat-led Assembly and Senate passed the last-minute measure Monday to ease penalties on underage possession of both alcohol and marijuana as a way to secure Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s signature on legislation they had sent him in December.

Murphy faced a deadline to act on the December measures. He had earlier said he backed the legislation, but delayed signing them for more than two months amid concerns that young people of color could still face arrests, running afoul of his goal of undoing the effects of the war on drugs in Black communities.

The governor had declined to detail why he delayed, but said he wants to be sure that young people, particularly people of color, don’t get “tangled up in our criminal justice system.”

The bill that passed Monday amounted to a linchpin to getting the governor’s support, according to lawmakers.

The legislation makes underage possession of alcohol and marijuana subject to a written warnings that escalate to include parental notification and a referral to community services upon subsequent violations.

Currently, underage drinking is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.

Part of the legislation makes it so towns will no longer have the authority to enact ordinances with civil penalties or fines concerning underage possession or consumption violations on private property, among other measures.

It also increases the liability for suppliers of cannabis items to underage people by making a third or subsequent violation a petty disorderly persons offense.

The impasse over marijuana stems from a November ballot question amending the constitution to permit recreational cannabis for those 21 and over that voters approved by a 2-to-1 margin.

The delay has sparked widespread frustration.

“This process has been a debacle from the beginning. The voters did their job,” Democratic Sen. Paul Sarlo said. He had opposed marijuana legalization, though was supportive of decriminalization. He voted to pass the bill Monday because he said voters want lawmakers to move on and focus on COVID-19 relief.

Edmund DeVeaux, the head of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, said lawmakers and the governor get the legislation enacted.

“Enough already. Only in New Jersey could the will of the voters be so callously ignored,” he said in a statement.

Some Republicans seemed aghast at reducing penalties.

“There’s no consequence,” GOP Sen. Bob Singer said. “We’re now saying if you’re caught with it underage it’s a free pass.”

Democratic bill sponsor Sen. Nicholas Scutari, also a municipal prosecutor, disputed that the currently penalties work and said the new law will keep young people – particularly Black youngsters – out of the criminal justice system.

The marketplace legalization bill applies the state’s 6.625% sales tax, with 70% of the proceeds going to areas disproportionately affected by marijuana-related arrests. Black residents were likelier – up to three times as much – to face marijuana charges than white residents.

Towns can levy a tax of up to 2% under the measure.

Also under the bill, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission will be able to levy an excise tax, the amount of which will depend on the cost per ounce of cannabis. There will be four levels of tax under the bill, so if cannabis is $350 or more, the tax per ounce will be $10. That rises to $60 per ounce if the retail price of the product is less than $250.

The number of licenses for cultivators will be set at 37 for two years. The state Senate was pushing for no limits, but the Assembly wanted the caps.

The decriminalization measure is necessary because the state’s laws make possession a crime, despite the voter-approved amendment, according to lawmakers. The measure passed with with broad bipartisan support.

Mike Catalini

Posted on

Cannabis Leaders Weigh In On The Presidential Inauguration

Jushi Holdings Inc. (OTC: JUSHF) President, Board Member and Founder Erich Mauff Biden Inauguration

With the latest Gallup poll for legalization at 68%, big ballot wins for adult use in South Dakota, New Jersey, Montana and Arizona, and therapeutic cannabis deemed essential throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we are heralding in a new era in cannabis.

It’s the first time since 2008 that we’ve seen unified Democratic control of the White House and Congress. We think that bodes well for cannabis, particularly if you look at what Biden said during his campaign about cannabis decriminalization and Schumer’s comments on legalization. The Democrats have an incredible opportunity to stand on the right side of history, but between the COVID-19, economic, climate and racial equality crisis and Biden’s robust legislative agenda, we’re really not expecting to see much movement in his first 100 days in office.

While nothing is a surefire bet, we think descheduling, decriminalization, giving cannabis businesses access to banking and capital, tax reforms that allow cannabis businesses to deduct the ordinary businesses expenses, giving veterans, students and physically and economically challenged access to safer choices and expanding medical research are on the table.

Democrats have an opportunity to implement cohesive, meaningful federal oversight that would create billions of dollars in infrastructure investment, thousands of service level jobs, billions of dollars in tax revenues and more equitable opportunities, so it’s hard to see how that’s not a win-win for them politically and society as a whole.

We also expect the cannabis normalization trend to continue at the state and federal level, states like Virginia and Pennsylvania to make the move from medical to adult-use and even Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky take steps to enact a medical marijuana program.

Glass House Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kyle Kazan 

While there will be many competing priorities being placed in front of the newly sworn in Biden Administration with the focus on his first 100 days, I expect a reincarnation of the MORE Act will be amongst them.  Covid vaccine responses, a $2,000 check to Americans, rent relief, stimulus money to struggling states will be top of his list.  As Mr. Biden has never been a supporter of cannabis but has stated he would support decriminalization, the timing and ultimate bill which reaches his desk will depend on the push from Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi and their respective caucuses.  In my view, some sort of legalization or decriminalization will happen in 2021 but not likely immediately given the pandemic.


Ganja Goddess CEO Zachary Pitts 

“Over the years leaders in both parties have been reticent to change cannabis policy despite the majority support for legalization among both Republican and Democrat voters, so legalization advocates and cannabis businesses were limited to very minor changes attached to omnibus budget deals. With new Senate leadership and a strong advocate in the Vice President, actual and significant new laws look like a very real possibility in the next year or two. I think updates to banking and tax law are likely to be seen very quickly, perhaps inside the next 6 months. This could lead to a second bull market phase of investment and new businesses in cannabis over the next few years. De-scheduling and federal legalization may take closer to a year or two, as the Democrats have more pressing priorities. Either way, whether you work in the industry or you understand the moral justification for why cannabis should be legalized, there’s a lot of eager anticipation and celebration!


Ganja Goddess Founder Tara Wells
I am thrilled that our new administration is taking a visionary and level headed approach to Cannabis. I foresee that nationwide legalization will be a reality in the next four years. I also predict that the insane pressure regarding keeping Cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug will be abandoned. This will ease the difficulty of banking in our industry, which will allow Cannabis to thrive like never before as an industry. The cannabis industry is in its infancy. With nationwide legalization, we can finally grow up and the world of cannabis will thrive in an unprecedented way. The potential tax base and job creation capacity is almost unimaginable, it is so big. I look forward to the embrace and support of this new, forward-thinking administration.

Tilt Holdings Inc. President Gary Santo  

A November Gallup poll shows that public support for legal cannabis is at an all-time high, highlighting the steady incline of cannabis’ acceptance among Americans.

Given the ongoing pandemic and economic challenges we are facing, we don’t expect to see any immediate movement in Congress on cannabis. However, we do believe Biden and the Democratic-controlled Senate, which ultimately hold the fate of legalization in their hands, will make progress on several fronts.

Both the MORE and SAFE Banking Acts have real potential to better the lives of everyday Americans, businesses and the overall economy. SAFE Banking would open up capital and encourage more accredited investors to enter the space. As a result, the trickle-down effect would have a major impact on emerging cannabis markets, M&A opportunities and the expansion of brands from the West to East Coast.

We’re hopeful the Senate takes action on these bills during Biden’s first two years in office. If they do, it will not only help to further normalize the sector, but also assist with our economic recovery by opening up capital and overturning injustices that have been on the books for far too long.

Regardless of what route the Senate takes, cannabis’ entrance into the mainstream is coming, and that’s clear in the polling and economic growth we are seeing coming out of the sector.

High Life Farms’ Vice President Jim Laporte

Given the repercussions of COVID and economic fallout we’re in, cannabis likely won’t be a top priority for the Biden Administration right out of the gate, but that’s likely to change over time. Biden and Democrat-Congress bring promise for a set of new laws that markets nationwide.


Posted on

Judge rules in favor of N.J. dispensary in battle with big weed company

A New Jersey medical marijuana company gained back some control of its operations Wednesday when a court ruled that the cannabis giant who invested in it and then allegedly tried to take control must take some steps back.

MPX NJ, which received a license in 2018 to grow marijuana in Pleasantville and dispense it in Atlantic City, filed a suit in the Superior Court of Monmouth County last week against iAnthus. The license holder claimed iAnthus has hijacked its operations after investing $10 million, attempting to negotiate deals with state and local officials and undertake unauthorized construction at the growing facility.

Under the strict constraints of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program, only the license holder can make such moves. MPX NJ is one of just two entities licensed in 2018 that has yet to open.

iAnthus and MPX NJ have several entanglements. The head of MPX NJ, Beth Stavola, worked as an iAnthus executive but resigned earlier this year. The companies have also entered into a master services agreement that would over time move ownership from MPX NJ to iAnthus, but it has yet to receive approval from the state Department of Health.

On Wednesday morning, Judge Joseph Quinn issued an initial order that states iAnthus will not represent itself as MPX NJ without disclosing the pending agreement before the health department or enter into contracts that bind MPX. It provides interim relief on the case, which will resume in January.

iAnthus must also inform Stavola of all contracts and construction at the Pleasantville cultivation site, and avoid additional unauthorized construction in parts of the facility where marijuana is being grown.

“It certainly is our intention to work something out here,” Paul Josephson, an attorney representing iAnthus, said during the remote hearing. “I don’t think there’s anybody on either side who wants to jeopardize this permit. I think and I hope that’s a shared goal of the parties.”

iAnthus operates more than 30 marijuana dispensaries throughout the country. Under the order, it can continue construction at the site, something it celebrated Wednesday afternoon.

“We are very pleased with the results of today’s hearing and appreciate that the Court recognized the importance of the continued, uninterrupted build out of the Pleasantville cultivation facility,” Randy Maslow, iAnthus’ president and interim CEO, said in a statement. “iAnthus is committed to finishing construction of the facility on an expedited schedule and to working with MPX NJ to open the Atlantic City dispensary and two additional satellite locations as quickly as possible to give South Jersey patients more choices and access. We anticipate that any remaining issues with MPX NJ will be resolved and not delay operations.”

The lawsuit alleges iAnthus has misled people about Stavola’s continued role in the company in attempts to leverage her name and reputation in other states. It also claims iAnthus employees have misrepresented themselves in trying to negotiate a deal on a cannabis production fee with Pleasantville as part of a host city agreement.

In October, iAnthus allegedly told the health department it intended to seize MPX NJ, but did not inform Stavola, according to the lawsuit.

Josephson said Stavola has proven difficult to reach since she left the company.

“She needs to work with her former colleagues,” he said.

New Jersey has only licensed 12 medical marijuana companies to operate, making the licenses incredibly competitive and valuable.

Matt Platkin, former chief counsel to Gov. Phil Murphy, is representing MPX NJ along with former New Jersey attorney general Chris Porrino and Justin Corbalis.

“The only reason why they can do anything at the site…is because MPX is one of the very few license holders, permit holders, to conduct that activity,” Platkin said during the hearing. “Any activity that goes on there needs to occur with the knowledge and consent of the permit holder.”

Platkin, who appeared on behalf of MPX NJ Wednesday, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the order.

iAnthus has recently struggled financially, losing $301 million in 2019. But it did see revenue rise from $3.4 million in 2018 to $78.3 million, according to annual company filings.

The company’s former CEO, Hadley Ford, resigned in April after a company investigation found he failed to disclose two loans totaling $160,000 that constituted a “potential or apparent” conflict of interest, according to the company.

Amanda Hoover

Posted on

Marijuana sales data reveal Americans bought 67% more weed to survive 202

Americans purchased $17.9 billion in cannabis products over the past calendar year, $7.2 billion more than the $10.7 billion in sales the previous year.

Medical marijuana is now legal in 37 states, while 15 states and Washington, DC, have legalized cannabis for all adults.

The pandemic effect
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the United States in March, many in the cannabis industry worried about a massive industry-wide shutdown. Instead, governors in most states declared cannabis an essential product. Dispensaries and retail stores responded by offering online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery as Covid-safe options for their customers.

Customers, in turn, responded by stocking up for those weeks of stay-at-home advisories. After a brief dip in late-March revenue, most stores saw a significant bump in April—and then the bump became a plateau.

Even in Massachusetts, where Gov. Charlie Baker’s statewide shutdown order temporarily halted all retail operations in April, cannabis stores posted a 75% annual sales gain over 2019. Retailers there will sell roughly $700 million in cannabis products by the end of 2020, compared to $400 million in 2019.

Customers bought 25% to 40% more
New consumers and patients, and newly legal states, played a role in 2020’s cannabis boom. But the main driver was an increase in the average purchase size of established consumers, who increased their average monthly spends from 25% to 40%.

Coping with pandemic stress
This year’s sales figures will come as no surprise to retailers, who’ve heard firsthand about the importance of cannabis in the lives of their customers, especially since the pandemic hit in March.

In October, multi-state dispensary operator Verilife surveyed more than 2,000 Americans and found that 72% of respondents named the Covid-19 pandemic as the leading cause of stress and burnout in their lives this year. Nearly 40% said they have used cannabis to cope with that burnout. Around 37% said they have used CBD, and a further 29% said they have considered using marijuana to lower their stress level this year.

Nine state more than doubled their 2019 sales totals in 2020: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Florida emerged as the nation’s fourth-largest cannabis market in 2020. With more than $1.2 billion in sales, the medical marijuana state trailed only top adult-use states California, Colorado, and Washington.

Customers, in turn, responded by stocking up for those weeks of stay-at-home advisories. After a brief dip in late-March revenue, most stores saw a significant bump in April—and then the bump became a plateau.

Even in Massachusetts, where Gov. Charlie Baker’s statewide shutdown order temporarily halted all retail operations in April, cannabis stores posted a 75% annual sales gain over 2019. Retailers there will sell roughly $700 million in cannabis products by the end of 2020, compared to $400 million in 2019.

Online ordering and curbside pickup saved the industry
These were the early days of the pandemic, when public health authorities knew less about the virus and advised the public to leave masks for healthcare workers only. (Courtesy Terrapin Care Station)

Customers bought 25% to 40% more
New consumers and patients, and newly legal states, played a role in 2020’s cannabis boom. But the main driver was an increase in the average purchase size of established consumers, who increased their average monthly spends from 25% to 40%.

Cannabis data analysts at Headset and CannaCraft recently analyzed the demographics of monthly cannabis sales in California. The graph they came up with perfectly captured the pandemic-led buying trend in both California and the nation:

In October, multi-state dispensary operator Verilife surveyed more than 2,000 Americans and found that 72% of respondents named the Covid-19 pandemic as the leading cause of stress and burnout in their lives this year. Nearly 40% said they have used cannabis to cope with that burnout. Around 37% said they have used CBD, and a further 29% said they have considered using marijuana to lower their stress level this year.

In a survey of 2,000 Americans, 72% named COVID-19 as the leading cause of mental stress and burnout in 2020. (Data and graphic courtesy of Verilife)

Florida and New York have roughly comparable populations—around 20 million people—but their medical marijuana markets have evolved in radically different directions.

New York has licensed only 38 dispensaries, a comically low number for a state with 20 million people. Florida, by contrast, has 300 dispensaries operating to serve a similar population. New York has never allowed cannabis flower to be sold, while flower now makes up roughly half of all medical marijuana sales in Florida.

The result: Florida has four times as many registered patients as New York and has recorded more than ten times the sales revenue in 2020.

Some states, like Massachusetts, post clear and accurate monthly revenue data on public websites. Many others keep murky records or post indirect sales metrics, such as pounds of cannabis flower sold. In those cases, Leafly analysts reverse-engineer state cannabis tax revenue data and consult with local dispensary managers to arrive at a reasonable estimate of flower prices and market percentages.

Bruce Barcott
December 22, 20202

Posted on

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is Pushing For Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced a plan on Monday to set the Commonwealth on a path toward marijuana legalization. Northam previously expressed support for decriminalization during his 2017 campaign for governor but has not supported full legalization until now.

“We are going to move forward with legalizing marijuana in Virginia,” Northam said. “I support this, and I’m committed to doing it the right way.”

If the the legislation passes, Virginia would join about a dozen states and could become the first state in the South to legalize recreational marijuana. Cannabis is illegal under federal law, though states often pass their own laws around medical and recreational use. Medical cannabis is legal in Virginia for certain patients.

Though Northam claimed to have never used marijuana himself, he said he believes certain marijuana products can provide health benefits to some groups like children with epilepsy (Northam is a pediatric neurologist). He also cited studies that show people of color are more than three times as likely to be arrested and convicted for marijuana-related charges, even though they use the drug at similar rates as white people.

In a first effort to address that disparity, the Virginia legislature decriminalized marijuana possession earlier this year. A first-time offense now comes with a $25 fine, instead of the previous $500 fine and 30-day jail stay. That legislation also called for a full study of legalization by Northam staffers, but that hasn’t yet been released.

A separate study commissioned by the state on the impact of marijuana legalization was released today. It found commercial marijuana could produce up to $62 million in tax revenue during the first full year of sales, depending on demand and the state’s chosen tax rate. By the fifth year, tax revenue could jump to $308 million. The market could also create more than 18,000 jobs, equal to 0.5% of Virginia’s total workforce.

The study by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) also noted several ways Virginia could shape legalization laws to promote racial and economic equity and prevent well-established, larger marijuana businesses from dominating the nascent market. But even on its own, legalization could reduce marijuana-related arrests by 84%, according to the study.

Localities should be allowed to opt out of the commercial market, the study concluded. A survey by the study’s authors found that most parts of Northern Virginia and the Tidewater region would want to participate, while localities in the southern and southwestern parts of the state might not.

In response to Northam’s announcement, one Virginia lawmaker said the governor wasn’t going far enough. Delegate Mike Mullin (D-Newport News) said he supports both legalization and the automatic expungement of all previous marijuana convictions. Currently, Virginians have to petition the state to have those convictions expunged from their records.

“[Petition-based expungement] has harmed our Commonwealth, and disproportionately impacted communities of color,” he said in a statement. “This is only a first step, but I hope it will go a long way towards repairing the damage done to communities across Virginia.”

Legalizing recreational marijuana will likely be a lengthy process. Northam plans to introduce legislation when the General Assembly convenes for its regular session in January. After that, it could take 18 to 24 months to set up a regulatory system for a new marijuana economy.

Medical and recreational marijuana is already legal across the border in Washington, D.C., though Congress has blocked the District from setting up a tax-and-regulate system. Medical marijuana is legal in Maryland; recreational use has been decriminalized but is not legal.

Written by: Mikaela Lefrak

Posted on

Early voting for election centers open across L.A. County


Traditionally, election day is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, but early voting in Los Angeles County has already begun.

If you want to vote in person, you can now go to one of the 118 vote centers throughout the county. They’ll be open every day, including weekends, through election day, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The line of voters outside the South Pasadena community room stretched the length of two football fields by the time the doors opened at 10 a.m. Saturday. After the initial surge, the crowding subsided but traffic remain steady throughout the day.

Several voters said they preferred to vote in person, with all the discussion this year about the U.S. Postal Service potentially being delayed in delivering mail-in ballots.

Others said they wanted to get their vote in the presidential race recorded as quickly as possible and voting in person seemed the best option.

“There is a tension in the air this year and extra excitement about voting and setting an example,” said Thea Page, a communications and marketing executive. “There are just a lot of issues in the public consciousness right now.”

Alexius Dixon, 32, an accountant for a law firm, said he wanted to record his vote against the president as soon as possible.

“This election is very important because the last four years of the experiment with Donald Trump has been a disaster,” Dixon said. “A lot of people picked him because he wasn’t a typical politician, but now we have a track record and we know that he was just not the right person for the job.”

Ann Crigler and her husband dropped their mail-in ballots at the same South Pasadena vote center, eager to record their disapproval of the president.

“Trump has got to go. He’s got to go,” said Crigler, a USC political science professor. “He’s endangering our democracy, undermining the institutions of government.” Her husband concurred: “He’s fundamentally trying to undermine the way the government is supposed to work.”

Both said they have their hopes set on a Trump loss, but they aren’t assuming anything about the outcome, or that there will even be a victor declared on election day.

Also early Saturday, the line to vote at the Iman Cultural Center in the unincorporated community of Palms near Culver City snaked through the mosque’s large parking lot and down the length of the city block.

Some appeared eager for the chance to cast their ballots; two people snapped a selfie near the flag marking the voting site.

The rush appeared tied to the desire to vote as soon as the doors opened for the first time in the general election. By 1 p.m., there was no line at all outside the site.

On Oct. 30, the county will open 650 more voting stations. A wide range of public venues are serving as polling centers this year, including Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park, the Forum in Inglewood and Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, whose open spaces make social distancing easier while accommodating more voters

NBA arenas across the country are being used as voting centers as part of social justice initiative that the league and its players agreed to in the aftermath of the George Floyd protests this summer.

These vote centers represent a departure from how residents could vote in previous election cycles. Before this year, Angelenos voted at designated polling places in their neighborhoods, whereas now they can cast their ballot at any voting center, from Long Beach to Lancaster, regardless of where they live in the county.

“You’re not tied into only being able to vote in one specific voting place, as you were before,” Justin Levitt, a political science professor at Cal State Long Beach told The Times before the March presidential primary. “Of course, for voters going to these centers, this is going to be a new experience.”

Officials hope this flexibility and encouraging people to either vote by mail or simply drop off their filled-out ballots at a vote center will reduce the lines on election day and the pressure on the new voting technology the county is using. The March election was marred by breakdowns and delays at the polls as the county rolled out its new $300-million voting system. November will mark the first election since that problem-riddled debut, and officials have spent months trying to fix the glitches.

And it will be the first election in which ballots will have been mailed to all 5.6 million registered voters, not just those who request them. Voters can drop their filled-out ballots into boxes that have been placed around the county. Voters can find the location of their nearest drop box online.
“Am I concerned? Yeah, and I am going to be concerned until Nov. 4,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who has been vocal in her criticism after long lines and computer problems frustrated some voters in March. “We have a huge challenge in front of us.”

The U.S. Elections Project calculates that more than 57 million Americans had cast ballots by mail or at early-vote centers by Saturday evening. That is about the same number as the total early-vote count for the entire 2016 election, with 10 days of voting left to go.

You can look up the closest voting center to you on the county’s website.

OCT. 24, 20202 LA Times

Posted on

5 states are set to vote on marijuana legalization. Here’s everything you need to know.

vote cannabis

5 states are set to vote on marijuana legalization. Voters in New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, and Montana are set to weigh in on legalizing cannabis for all adults over the age of 21. South Dakota also has a medical-cannabis measure on the ballot. Mississippi voters will decide on whether to implement a medical-marijuana program.

We’ve put together a comprehensive tracker to explain the ballot measures and assign probabilities to each one’s passing. It’s available exclusively to Business Insider subscribers.

The ultimate guide to marijuana legalization: All the states voting on cannabis reform in November, the probability of success, and which stocks could benefit the most
Marijuana is legal for adults in 11 states and Washington, DC. Medical marijuana is legal in 33. Here’s the map:

All the states where marijuana is legal — and 4 more that could legalize it in November
How to invest in the industry
Cannabis stocks soared after Sen. Kamala Harris said at the vice-presidential debate that a Biden administration would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Curaleaf, Harvest Health and Recreation, and Aphria were among the top gainers, though the entire sector seems to have been energized by Harris’ statement.

Wall Street analysts say a Democratic sweep in November that puts presidential nominee Joe Biden in the White House and the party in control of the Senate could be a boon for cannabis stocks.

Analysts at CIBC and Cowen picked seven stocks to bet on that would benefit investors if the Democrats win, including Green Thumb Industries, Curaleaf, and Canopy Growth.

Top Wall Street analysts say these are the 7 cannabis stocks to bet on now that will benefit investors if Biden defeats Trump in November
Cowen analyst Vivien Azer said that if New Jersey voters chose to legalize the drug, it could push neighboring states like New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to do the same. That would mean huge wins for the cannabis giants Curaleaf, Green Thumb Industries, Acreage Holdings, Cresco Labs, and MedMen.

Curaleaf, which has operations in three of the four states Azer predicted would follow New Jersey’s lead, stands to benefit the most.

Here are the top 5 cannabis stocks to buy now to profit from a $6 billion wave of cannabis legalization across the Northeast, according to a top Wall Street analyst
The bigger populations in Arizona and New Jersey “represent a far greater revenue opportunity” for the cannabis firms Curaleaf, GTI, Acreage Holdings, and Cresco Labs, which are all well-positioned to benefit from legalization, Azer said.

Adult-use marijuana is on the ballot in 4 states, and a top Wall Street analyst lays out which cannabis stocks could get the biggest boost from legalization
What it all means for executives, investors, consumers, and voters
We spoke to top execs at 7 of the biggest US cannabis companies, and they said the industry is headed for a rebound, M&A is set to ramp up, and a Democratic win in November could be ‘jet fuel’ for the sector
US cannabis companies posted strong earnings as the coronavirus pandemic boosted sales in the second quarter. We spoke with executives at seven of the biggest US cannabis companies to understand what’s in store for the industry after a disappointing 2019 and a challenging start to 2020.

They predicted that a Biden win — and Democratic control of the Senate — would pour “jet fuel” on the industry.

3 cannabis execs share how they’re positioning their firms to profit as more US states are poised to legalize recreational marijuana
Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota will decide whether to legalize adult-use cannabis in November. We talked to CEOs at three cannabis companies who shared how they planned to profit amid the cannabis market’s expected growth in the coming years.

Companies like Miss Grass and Frigg, which are focused on building up consumer brands, say that as more states legalize cannabis, building up a national brand will be key to winning a major stake in the market.

Jeremy Berke Oct 28, 2020
Source: Business Insider

Posted on

The Endocannabinoid System & Cannabis

the Endocannabinoid System

It may be hard to believe, but scientists are still learning and understanding the human body. In fact, just 30 years ago, an entirely new bodily system was discovered. Called the endocannabinoid system, it naturally supports the body’s endocrine system. Turns out, all vertebrates have this bodily system. 

What does the endocannabinoid system have to do with cannabis? The clue is in the name. Cannabis contains phytocannabinoids, which are basically the plant version of the endocannabinoids a body produces naturally. As research continues, scientists are recognizing that certain cannabinoids have great promise for a variety of health concerns.

Let’s take a closer look at the endocannabinoid system and its connection with cannabis.

What Is the Endocannabinoid System Responsible For?

According to researchers with UCLA, the endocannabinoid system is primarily responsible for helping the body to maintain homeostasis. That is, when you are confronted with stress from the environment around you, this system offers extra support to your endocrine system.

The endocrine system, by the way, is a far-reaching, important system for proper bodily function. This system contains our glands that secrete hormones that help to regulate our body’s ability to keep a healthy weight, have a regular sleep pattern, stabilize our moods, keep our sexual organs healthy and functioning, and much more.

Your endocrine system can’t function properly without the backup from the endocannabinoid system. This system has receptors that play a role in pain management, appetite, stress levels, immune function, and more.

How Can We Have a Healthy Endocannabinoid System?

When stress gets overwhelming, the body needs extra help. This is the basic idea behind all supplements. If the weather is too cold, you may want to take extra vitamin C to boost your immune system. Cannabis supplements fall into a similar category.

Some foods, medications, and environmental situations cause the body to decrease the efficiency of the body’s endocannabinoid system. In the early 1990s, scientists determined that cannabinoids from cannabis could be used to make up the difference. 

However, with marijuana considered a Schedule 1 drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, finding funding for research has been difficult. Even as states like California have legalized cannabis use, its medicinal qualities are still being understood.  

What Cannabis Strain Is Best for Your Health?

There are eight major cannabinoids found in cannabis, and they all have different benefits and effects. Two of the most commonly known are CBD and THC. 

THC is the only cannabinoid associated with a feeling of euphoria. It offers other benefits as well. It can be used to address pain, insomnia, low appetite, and nausea. CBD, meanwhile, can be used to help with pain management, anxiety, migraines, seizures, and depression. 

Depending on the strain, marijuana contains both CBD and THC. But this plant also contains other chemicals that provide positive impacts on the body. For example, terpenes are the compounds responsible for the aromatic qualities of cannabis. Terpenes have been found to provide a calming effect and pain relief in humans. 

When deciding to try cannabis to support your bodily functions, remember to start with small amounts. Since the plant is not regulated by the FDA, proper dosage is the result of personal experimentation. Keep notes of your usage and consider modifying use every two weeks for the best support of your endocannabinoid system.

Posted on

Cannabis Vape Cartridges: Choosing a Great One

If you’re new to cannabis, or even if you’ve been using it for a while, you may be quickly overwhelmed at the sheer number of options you have. You can smoke cannabis, consume it in an edible, take a gummy, or use a tincture. Cannabis is even available as a topical. One method of using cannabis that’s gaining popularity is cannabis vape cartridges. 

A vape cartridge offers an alternative to smoking cannabis, enabling you to enjoy the benefits that cannabis provides without the side effects of combustion. Don’t just select the first cartridge you come across, though. Choosing the right cannabis vape cartridges makes all the difference.

Visit a Licensed Dispensary

One of the first things that you should do when choosing the best cannabis vape cartridges is to visit a licensed dispensary. While both medical and recreational cannabis is legal in numerous states, dispensaries have strict regulations that they must follow to sell their products. You’re much more likely to get quality cartridges (and quality cannabis) from a dispensary that holds a license.

Be Aware of Any Cutting Agents

Many brands of cannabis vape cartridges are made from quality cannabis and don’t contain cutting agents or non-cannabis additives. There are several others, however, that add extra ingredients to their cartridges that are potentially harmful to your health. Common cutting agents and other additives to avoid include:

  • Propylene glycol
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Medium-chain triglycerides 
  • Vegetable glycerin

Even if you’re visiting a trusted, licensed dispensary, be sure to read the ingredients of a cannabis vape cartridge before you buy it. 

The viscosity of the oil in a vape cartridge matters. This is vital for the cartridge to function correctly. If the oil is too thick or too thin, it won’t be able to vaporize properly. It should have the consistency of honey. There are a few ways manufacturers create the ideal consistency, with two of the most common being CO2 and distillates. 

  • CO2 oils: properly made CO2 oils don’t require any additives as they retain some of their natural terpenes, which act as thinning agents
  • Distillates: a distillate cartridge is a very refined oil that can be made from a variety of starting materials. The biggest disadvantage is the process also removes the terpenes, so some sort of thinning agent is required to get the right viscosity

Pay Attention to Terpene Additives

Terpenes cannabis vape cartridges help to lower the viscosity of the oil. They increase the flavors and aromas of cannabis as well as impact your overall experience.

CO2 oils retain natural terpenes, so no additional terpenes are added. Oils that have had their terpenes removed can have them re-added in small percentages. This creates a natural spectrum of flavors while giving the oil the right viscosity for vaporizing. Watch out for food-grade terpenes. While they’re common, they’re also the lowest quality. 

Select a Cartridge Made from Quality Materials

It’s not just what’s in the cartridge that matters. The actual cartridge itself is also important. Avoid cartridges that are made from plastic, have low-grade wire, or misaligned components. Poor construction can indicate a low-quality product and poor experience. Instead, choose a product that looks well-made and is made from high-quality materials.

Don’t settle for the first cannabis vape cartridge that you find. Take your time and do your research to ensure that you find the best cartridges for you. If you have any questions, the experts in your dispensary should be able to provide you with helpful answers and point you in the right direction. 

Posted on

Cannabis Testing Labs & Safety

cannabis testing

Cannabis Testing Labs: Legitimizing Legal Marijuana

The chance to buy and sell marijuana legally has been both a huge boon and a significant challenge to the cannabis industry. Many people imagine the legal supply chain to be just as relaxed and homegrown as the illicit market ever was. But there are hurdles to overcome when selling legal marijuana, including submitting cannabis product to cannabis testing labs and following safety regulations.

Since buying and selling marijuana has not yet been legalized at the federal level, states which have legalized it have to each come up with their own regulations. California rolled out testing regulations throughout 2018, gradually increasing the requirements. It was an intense time for cannabis testing labs, as they suddenly had thousands of new customers seeking to clear their product. Since then, 27 labs in California have developed the necessary equipment and procedures to meet this demand.

Testing is required for cannabis at every point along the production process. Growers need to be sure the pesticides and fungicides they’re using are safe for consumption. Those who process cannabis need to be sure to get their potency levels right. And those selling to users both medical and recreational need to ensure the quality of their product both for the reputation of their business as well as their customers’ safety.

Potency Testing

CBD and THC are the two main compounds tested for potency. CBD provides medical benefits such as reducing inflammation but lacks psychoactive properties. In other words, it doesn’t make you high. THC provides such medicinal benefits as reducing pain and anxiety but also has psychoactive components.

Testing for these substances is difficult because their chemical structures are very similar, and can even be mistaken for other cannabinoid compounds that lack the benefits offered by CBD and THC. Labs need finely tuned equipment and skilled technicians to accurately assess potency levels.

Customers need to know what to expect when they purchase a product. A doctor prescribing medicinal marijuana may want a different balance of the compounds than someone who is purchasing marijuana for recreational use. Testing for CBD and THC levels ensures the right amounts for the right people.

Cannabis products with CBD and THC levels that are too low won’t be effective at a normal rate of consumption. On the other hand, if your product has levels that are significantly higher than reported, they may not be safe to consume at a normal rate.

While potency testing focuses on what should be in the product, contaminant testing focuses on what should not be. Growing marijuana cannabinoids is a very sensitive process. Growers have to control humidity, light, and many other factors to yield a profitable and high-quality crop. Pesticides and fungicides are necessary to provide a healthy environment for the plants. But some of these substances, depending on their concentration, are not safe for consumption.

As new methods are introduced, new testing is needed. For instance, a grower may try a new pesticide which yields a 20% better crop. But they will need to prove that their product is still safe. Another factor to be considered is the difference between ingesting and smoking the final product. The level at which contaminants are safe may differ depending on the context.

A2LA is an accreditation program for all kinds of labs, including cannabis labs. They list the following as examples of tests that the cannabis industry requires:
Cannabinoid testing and content
Terpene profile
Pesticides/fungicides/plant growth regulators
Residual solvents
Heavy metals
Microbiological contaminants (mold, insects, bacteria, etc.)

Cannabis Testing Labs & Safety: A Growing Industry

Once a product has passed the regulatory testing, accredited testing labs can provide distributors and retailers with a certificate of analysis. This is intended only to be provided for the actual product that was tested, not for an entire store, brand, or even a batch or crop that was merely sampled. Consumers who are concerned about the safety and potency of their product can discuss the testing process with their retailer. Asking questions and expecting transparency will contribute to the legitimacy and safety of the fledgling legal cannabis industry.