Nevada's cannabis sales in its first month of legal pot

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Nevada dispensaries sold $27.1 million of cannabis in July, the first month the state allowed recreational weed use.

The Reno Gazette-journal Reports that Nevada earned $10.2 million from the newly-formed industry, as cannabis sales outpaced what both Colorado and Oregon made in their initial months.

Nevada, along with California, Massachusetts and Maine, approved recreational cannabis during the November 2016 elections. Starting July 1, Nevada allowed recreational cannabis use and allowed dispensaries to sell pot to anyone over the age of 21.

Nevada's Department of Taxation projects that the state could pull in about $120 million in cannabis taxes over the next two years, according to the Gazette-Journal. Cannabis sales tax revenue will go toward Nevada's rainy day fund, which typically reserves money for emergencies, the Gazette-Journal reports.

Revenue coming from the industry's 15% wholesale tax will help to pay for any costs incurred by Nevada, while any remaining money will go into Nevada's School Distributive Account.

Cannabis producers suggest private retailers over the government for selling pot. Say that government should rely on the expertise of the cannabis producers.

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On Thursday, a day after the Alberta government unveiled its cannabis framework for when new laws legalizing recreational cannabis come into effect, a group of 12 medical cannabis producers has come forward with a plan that they say will take some of the pressure off the province.

Karasiuk said the group’s 12 co-op members have “robust” e-commerce platforms already in place and are operating in a highly regulated medical cannabis market.

On Wednesday, the province said it hadn’t decided whether to sell cannabis through government-run stores or private operators.

“Coming together as a group [and] providing a rich diversity of product … is only going to further the odds of that happening.”

But Karasiuk suggested the government should lean on the expertise of medical cannabis producers.

He said the members created a cannabis co-op because they believe an e-commerce platform is necessary to ensure all Albertans have access to safe cannabis and to keep them from turning to black market dealers.

Cannabis market price is stable but California recreational weed may cost high.

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Folks in the cannabis industry fear that cultivation, production and retail regulations could drive up the price of weed just when consumers are able to buy in stores without a doctor's recommendation. In January, recreational weed sales for those 21 and older are expected to mark a new era in California. But it could be hard enough for old-school growers and producers to jump through new regulatory hoops that supply won't match demand.

"The first quarter of next year, prices will probably go up,"

- says Jonathan Rubin, CEO of New Leaf Data Services LLC

On top of that, Californians probably can look forward to deep discounts for weed this fall harvest season. Rubin believes that growers will dump product on the market to raise the cash needed to become compliant in 2018. And those operators who just can't jump over the hurdles to become legit might put all their weed on sale for the last time, he says.

According to his firm's 2017 Mid-Year Wholesale Market Report Overview, the price of Golden State outdoor cannabis is down from $1,542 per pound in the first six months of 2016 to $1,133 for 2017. And the price could keep moving south until recreational cannabis hits stores in January.

NDP chooses government over private retailers for selling cannabis

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The NDP government is weighing whether to set up government-run stores to sell cannabis in Alberta or leave the market to private retailers when recreational cannabis is legalized next year.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley unveiled the government’s proposed framework for legal weed Wednesday, with the province setting 18 as the legal age for consumption — matching the age for alcohol and tobacco use in Alberta.

The province will also mandate that legal weed be sold only in stand-alone stores, with no sales of alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals in the same facility.

But the government says it’s seeking further input on whether to set up government-owned and operated stores to sell legal cannabis, as is being planned in Ontario, or license and regulate private retailers.

Unlike Ontario, Alberta has had no system of government-owned liquor stores since privatization in the 1990s.

However, under the government’s plan, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission will serve as a central wholesaler for cannabis as it does for alcohol, ensuring uniform distribution costs and that only legally produced and federally regulated cannabis products are sold in the province.

Angela Pitt, justice critic with the United Conservative Party, said that’s a proper role for the commission, but she questioned why the NDP would consider creating government-owned stores.

The Alberta Party and Liberals are also opposed to government-owned cannabis stores, though all three opposition parties are prepared to accept 18 as the legal age for consumption.

The federal Liberal government has set July 1, 2018, as the date for legalization of legal cannabis but has left many of the details to the provinces. 

Alberta will not change the federal government’s public possession limit of 30 grams — the equivalent of about 40 joints — for adults. It will also maintain the federal limit of four plants per household.

The province will have a zero-tolerance policy for youth possession, with tickets for those under 18 in possession of under five grams of cannabis and potential criminal charges for possession over that amount.

 

Hemp, Inc.'s First Hemp Harvest in North Carolina Currently Underway

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Hemp Inc., a global leader in the industrial hemp industry with the largest industrial hemp multi-purpose processing facility in the western hemisphere, announced today that the Company has begun harvesting 550 acres of North Carolina-grown hemp, and later kenaf (hibiscus cannabinus, a cousin plant to industrial hemp)The 550 acres of hemp and kenaf belong to both Industrial Hemp Manufacturing LLC (Hemp, Inc.'s wholly owned subsidiary) and independent North Carolina farms that are strategic partners with Industrial Hemp Manufacturing, LLC. The hemp and kenaf -- to be harvested at various locations throughout the state -- will be processed and manufactured at Hemp, Inc.'s, now, 85, 000 sq ft facility in Spring Hope, North Carolina.

Those interested in purchasing viable industrial hemp seed should contact Ms. Sandra Williams at swilliams@hempinc.com. These are seeds grown from industrial hemp plants from North Carolina's first hemp seed harvest... from certified seed out of Europe. The company expects to have around 100,000 pounds of seed available which will consist of a mixture of Felina 32, Futura 75, and Carmagnola.

The Company previously announced its plan to grow 3,000 acres of hemp and kenaf in North Carolina, however, the Drug Enforcement Agency delayed giving the state of North Carolina their hemp permit, thus, farmers were not able to get seed in time for this year's planting.

 

Native American tribes capitalize on cannabis

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Native American tribes in Nevada are expanding beyond casinos and venturing into the cannabis industry. In June, Governor Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 375 and Senate Bill 396, which allow Nevada's Native American tribes to directly negotiate with the state over the use and sale of medicinal marijuana on tribal lands.

Nevada Native American tribes like the Yerington Paiute Tribe, the Ely Shoshone Tribe, and the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe formed an agreement with the State of Nevada that allows them to grow cannabis, produce concentrates and edibles, perform lab-testing, and dispense marijuana products to customers.

In 2016, the Las Vegas Paiute held a ceremony on Snow Mountain Indian Reserve to bless the site of one of the largest ganja cultivation and processing organizations with at least two dispensaries and three greenhouses on a 15,000-square foot facility that will be called the Nu Wu Cannabis Marketplace.

While the Nevada government enacts hefty taxes on marijuana sales, some Native American tribes are looking to amend tribal laws that may lead to tax-free cannabis. How is this possible? The U.S. Supreme court recognizes tribal sovereignty, which allows the Native American people to self-govern. Though individuals are responsible for federal income taxes as U.S. citizens, tribes are not subject to federal income taxes on their earnings and can form business corporations to keep their income exempt.

Tribal Cannabis Consulting specializes in Native American cannabis policy and established the first cannabis compact which allowed tribal and state governments to establish business agreements signed by Nevada’s governor. The firm aims to expand Native American economic presence in the marijuana marketplace and helps tribes create their own regulatory codes for matters like issuing medical marijuana cards.

Together, tribes and the state government are working to develop a governing system that will outline and enforce marijuana cultivation and sale on Native American Land and establish a universal agreement that will keep dispensaries in accordance with their state and federal laws.

Famous author and business columnist, Faith Popcorn endorses cannabis as the future crop

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Faith Popcorn is a best-selling author, CEO, futurist, and highly successful prognosticator who has predicted some of the most influential and profitable trends in modern history. Fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola, General Electric, IBM, Nike, and Procter & Gamble have looked to Popcorn for strategic insight. In this month’s Food & Drink International Magazine, Popcorn makes her latest prediction over what she feels is the next big market disruptor — cannabis.

From Popcorn’s perspective, leaders in the food and beverage industry are too busy “tinkering” with their current offerings and, as a result, ignoring the legal marijuana sector as a path to huge profits. She cited the catalysts for her outlook include the eight states that legalized marijuana last November.

Further to the progress in November, a CBS poll in April showed that 61 percent of Americans favor full legalization and 88 percent agreed that medical cannabis should be legal.

The reinforcement coming from the younger generation — 71 percent of millennials supported legalization in the CBS poll — is not just a case of normalization taking effect. The American Psychological Association says anxiety and stress in society today is most prevalent for this generation. Popcorn added that millennials are highly interested in natural, earthy products, and would rather ingest a plant over a pill for health-related issues.

Further proof in the Popcorn prediction comes with the growing trend of top chefs who are hosting invitation-only "Dope Dinners" as she puts it. Popcorn also discussed the emergence of cannabis advertising agencies in Los Angeles and elsewhere, which normalize the product and force Fortune 500 companies to explore possibilities in the cannabis space.

Popcorn levelled out her enthusiasm for pot by adding that it will be some time before we see a product from “someone like Kraft that’s spiked with THC,” due to the fact that the plant is still illegal at the federal level in the United States. She added, however, that “it’s coming.”

Popcorn’s final advice to corporate America is to mobilize as soon as possible. Early on in the 1980s, she predicted the huge bottled water trend and advised Coca-Cola to get involved. Popcorn added that many companies took their time on the water prediction and almost missed the boat.

Regardless of whether North America’s biggest companies will heed Popcorn’s sage advice, the endorsement of cannabis in and of itself is an important step in the fight to end marijuana prohibition in the United States.

Meet Hillary Peckham: The 25 years old young entrepreneur and one of the five licensed cannabis producers for New York

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Hillary Peckham is just 25 years old, but she is already the Chief Operations Officer for Etain, LLC, the only woman-owned, family-run medical marijuana registered organization in New York.

Etain was awarded one of just five coveted licenses to produce medical cannabis in New York. The license includes a 22,000-square-foot cultivation and processing facility and four dispensary locations across the state, in Kingston, Albany, Syracuse, and Yonkers.

Since opening doors in January 2016, Etain watched the medical cannabis program in New York grow from just 51 patients to more than 31,000. With the addition of chronic pain as a qualifying condition, the program will only continue to expand and has inspired at least one new product from the dispensary.

Read the full interview conducted by Leafy by clicking on the link given below.

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Florida demands for edible cannabis rules from the state to regulate the cannabis consumption

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Surterra Wellness, the Atlanta-based company with medical cannabis dispensaries in Tampa and Tallahassee, on Monday asked the state to let it begin offering edible products in Florida.

Voters last year overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical cannabis, and lawmakers passed legislation in June to implement the amendment.

That bill allows patients to use cannabis pills, oils, edibles and “vape” pens with a doctor’s approval, but it bans smoking.

Florida law requires the state’s Department of Health to determine “any shapes, forms” edible products can take and what other ingredients they can contain. No medical marijuana provider can offer edibles after the rule goes out.

Surterra officials say this means no Florida patient will have access to legal edible marijuana till the Department makes these rules, and they have yet to initiate that on their own. Thus, the petition to get that process moving.

Surterra is one of seven companies licensed in Florida to sell a variety of marijuana products. The number is expected to rise to 17 later this month.

Investing in Cannabis? Consider Going Global With Canadian Companies

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With so many American states legalizing medical and adult-use cannabis, it’s no surprise that entrepreneurs are joining the rapidly growing industry. Federal illegality, though, makes it tough for these pioneers and their investors to make money.

Last month, I suggested that investors looking to capitalize on cannabis legalization would be wise to explore international options. While the United States has yet to embrace cannabis legalization at the federal level, several other countries have created federally legal medical cannabis programs.

American neighbours to the north and south are on board. Mexico recently legalized (but hasn’t yet implemented) medical cannabis. Canada’s federally legal medical cannabis program now serves more than 200,000 patients nationwide. Uruguay has legalized cannabis and allows it to be sold in pharmacies.

While countries on five continents (not Asia or Antarctica) have embraced medical cannabis at the federal level, investors should pay particular attention to five regions that show particular promise. The good news is that there are Canadian companies active in all five, which means investors may be able to participate globally without trading in securities all over the world.

This study compared the business scenarios in Canada, Australia, Germany, Israel, and South America and suggested to go ahead with the investments in the global Canadian businesses.  

When it comes to legal cannabis investment opportunities, Canada is the king. Health Canada, which oversees the medical program, has issued 62 licenses to about 50 medical cannabis companies, and 23 of these licensed producers (LPs) trade publicly. Five even trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the equivalent of our own New York Exchange, including Aphria, Aurora Cannabis, CanniMed Therapeutics, Canopy Growth and MedReleaf.

These companies are positioning for full legalization in July by expanding their production capacity and ramping up their extracts expertise. Canada was slow to permit cannabis concentrates, but concentrates are now driving industry growth, despite the fact that they remain highly restricted (oil only, with THC potency capped). In addition to serving a larger market following legalization next year with a broader array of products over time, including edibles most likely, many of the Canadian LPs also have global operations.

Boston hosts Cannabis expo for local companies

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The Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition arrive in Boston this week for the first time, a month before the state’s first anniversary of recreational marijuana legalization for an exposition.

The exposition features two days of programs, over 100 speakers, a bonus day of classes, and keynote speaker Al Sharpton.

A handful of local businesses will attend, from Milford-based Proverde Labs, whose founder and Chief Scientific Officer Christopher Hudalla is one of the featured speakers, to Framingham-based MCR Labs, one of the exhibitors, to Natick-based BloomBoss, the employees of which intend to just take it in.

Other talks at the exposition are about medical uses of cannabis, the physical security of plants, state retail laws, Maine’s marijuana situation, taxes, solutions to problems posed by growing, contaminant extraction, gourmet edibles, and more.

.Though this is the first time the event will come to Massachusetts, it was started four years ago, and it heads to New York City and Los Angeles every year. Humiston said he became interested in managing a more educational exposition after trying to learn about the cannabis industry on his own. An event in Seattle, Washington, where neither he nor anyone he asked knew what the speakers were talking about, motivated him.

Boston’s program varies slightly from the CWCB’s other expositions, Humiston said. The education conference has been expanded from the typical four to five rooms to seven, and a speaker overflow room has been added, to allow questions and conversation continue after a program has ended.

L.A. is ready to be a hot-selling market for cannabis sales. But....

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Los Angeles lawmakers are laying the groundwork for what is widely expected to be one of the hottest markets for marijuana in the country, one that could bring more than $50 million in taxes to city coffers next year.

The city is drafting rules to allow greenhouses that grow cannabis, industrial facilities that process it, and new shops that sell it for recreational use, not just medical need.

But anyone expecting L.A. to become the next Amsterdam may be disappointed: It has held back, so far, on welcoming cafes or lounges where customers could smoke or consume cannabis.

That has troubled some marijuana advocates and attorneys, who warn that even after California legalizes the sale of recreational pot, many tourists and renters could be left without a safe, legal place to use it in Los Angeles.

Under draft regulations released earlier this year, it would be illegal for L.A. pot shops and other cannabis businesses to allow marijuana consumption on site.

It is also illegal, under state law, to consume it in a public place. And smoking pot will remain illegal anywhere that cigarette smoking is banned. At a recent city hearing, several speakers complained that could leave tourists and renters in the lurch.

The obvious place, for locals, would be at home. But while Californians can generally use marijuana on private property, renters may not be able to smoke it inside their apartments if their landlords forbid smoking of any kind. And some cannabis attorneys fear that zealous landlords could also target tenants for using marijuana if their leases prohibit illegal activity in their apartments.

The idea alarms critics of the marijuana industry, who argue that such venues would become a nuisance and drag down property values.

The Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs argued that permitting marijuana to be consumed at businesses would ramp up the risk of intoxicated driving.

Los Angeles Police Protective League President Craig Lally agreed, saying it is difficult for police or users themselves to know if someone is too high to drive.

And UC San Francisco clinical professor of psychiatry Peter Banys argued that cities should hold off on allowing any “consumption cafes” until there is better research on intoxicated driving.

Snack sales light up for McDonalds and Taco Bell after the legalisation of Ganja

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McDonald's is experiencing a feeding frenzy thanks to lots of people in legal pot states suddenly having the munchies.  

A joint study by Consumer Research Around Cannabis and Green Market Report found that 43 percent of people who bought recreational marijuana in the last four weeks chose McDonald’s as their go-to fast food spot. Another 18.3 percent went to Taco Bell, 17.8 percent went to Wendy’s and 17.6 went to Burger King.

The study looked at Denver; Las Vegas; Washington, D.C.; Sacramento, California; and Portland, Oregon—all of which have legalized the wacky tobaccy.

Serge Chistov, a financial adviser for Honest Marijuana in Colorado, said the behaviors were nothing new, but now easier to study and learn about as people smoke in an “organized, taxable, clean environment.”

He thinks other industries, such as video games and home shopping, could see a boom with legalization. But even in Colorado, which has led the charge on marijuana industry innovation, the effects are somewhat limited by the restrictions on public smoking.

 

Nevada projected to raise $120 million in the form of tax revenue with legal pot sales

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Sin City—and other areas of Nevada—are raising some serious cash with their latest vice.

July was the first month of legal recreational marijuana sales in the state, which has just announced the tax impact. All totaled, medical and recreational cannabis sales generated $3.68 million in tax revenue. And the tracking number for the next two years is even more impressive.

Officials estimate that between the two taxes that accompany cannabis sales in the state, locals and tourists will add nearly $120 million to the cofers.

Nevada charges a 15% wholesale tax to cultivators, which goes to state schools. A separate 10% retail tax is put into the state 'rainy day' fund.

Beyond taxes, the department of revenue says it has raised $6.5 million from license and application fees from businesses that are hoping to cash in on the new legality of cannabis in the state.

It's an impressive beginning, but all eyes are on California, which will begin legal recreational marijuana sales in 2018 (no specific date has been announced). Legal pot there is expected to bring in a smoking $5 billion in sales each year.

Snoop Dogg invests $2 million in Trellis, a leading cannabis tech organization

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A cannabis-specific venture capital firm that counts Snoop Dogg among its partners is investing in a Toronto-based cannabis tech company, Trellis.

Snoop Dogg's fund, Casa Verde, led a $2 million seed round in Trellis, a cannabis inventory management firm. Trellis develops software to help dispensaries and other plant-touching businesses comply with regulatory requirements, including seed-to-sale tracking.

Casa Verde makes early-stage investments in cannabis companies that do not touch the plant, but rather provide ancillary products and services to the emerging industry.