Report Calls for UK to Embrace Potential of Medical Cannabis Industry

An advocacy organization known as Volteface recently released a report entitled “New Leaf: Beyond Brexit, Countering Covid” explores how the United Kingdom (UK) is missing out by not fully embracing the opportunities of the medical cannabis industry. 

Head of Programming at the Adam Smith Institute, Daniel Pryor, wrote the foreword for the report, stating that the UK is poised to become highly successful if it embraces the plant. 

“The European market for medical cannabis is the fastest growing in the world, and our unique position gives us the prospect of becoming a leading player in medical cannabis and CBD,” said Pryor. 

“This paper provides a fascinating overview of the state of play in these markets, opportunities for growth and the regulatory questions that face the sector. It shows how the UK is in a prime position to become the centre of the European medical cannabis and CBD industry, as well as the significant economic benefits that would result.”

Volteface’s report estimates that the UK medical cannabis market could be worth up to £1.2 billion. With this much potential, it predicts that a full-fledged medical cannabis industry could create up to 41,437 jobs, and 17,000 ancillary jobs.

The report also includes a list of seven recommendations for the UK to embrace, including:

  1. A “cannabis tsar” or governmental agency to help drive the UK toward medical cannabis legalization and regulation.
  2. Clarity from the Food Standards Association in regards to the legal amount of THC allowed in CBD products.
  3. An investment in innovation for growth in the cannabis industry, as well as communication with the National Farmers Union “to represent producer interest.”
  4. Following up with a previous recommendation from Volteface, allowing hemp seeds/plants over 0.2 percent THC and up to one percent, which would “improve the health of the plant and increase the yield of CBD per acre.”
  5. Pursuing legislative changes to speed up the flow of products, which would simplify the process and improve patient access.
  6. Changing legislation that requires medical cannabis prescriptions to be made by doctors via the specialist register.
  7. Conduct a government funded national trial on medical cannabis products to “fully unlock the UK market.”

The entirety of the report is separated into four sections. First, “The Economic Opportunity,” recommending that the UK become an “investment hub” with some of the largest cannabis companies in the world, such as Aphria Inc, Aurora and Canopy Growth. The report identifies the top 20 markets (both European countries and U.S. states). “This UK market estimate demonstrates the immense economic opportunity the cannabis sector holds. 

By developing the UK into a European cannabis industry leader, this will hold a significant amount of capital, in the realms of £1.265 billion,” the report states. As mentioned previously, it also dives into the job-related data of many states in the U.S. and how cannabis contributes to the local economy as well.

Second, “The Innovation Opportunity” opens up the conversation about the potential growth, using case studies conducted on Kanabo, an Israel-based R&D company that created what the report calls “groundbreaking,” and CiiTECH, a CBD company focused on cannabinoid research which seeks to “legitimize CBD as a health product.”

Together, the report hopes that these case studies showcase the benefits of innovation, and argues that only through innovation can the cannabis industry push past decades of prohibition into a new and prosperous era.

Third, “The UK CBD Advantage” addresses a “novel food,” which is a European law that defines a product that does not have history prior to May 1997 as a way to monitor newer developed “foods” for consumer safety. With cannabis in mind, the report addresses the challenges of compliance enforcement.

Finally, “Increasing European Competition” covers the current industries in Denmark and France, ending with a call to action for the UK to remove its barriers to medical cannabis access and begin looking toward the future. 

“The UK industry is taking off with a quickly changing landscape. Though things are looking good, there is more work to be done. If the UK wants to continue developing into a key industry leader, it must look into a controlled framework for medical cannabis access. Access must be expanded to get medical cannabis properly off its feet and see long term development.”

Many more details are available to review in Volteface’s report, which is viewable here.

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STORM COMING TODAY – Cannabis Industry Spotlight in BC’s Flood Ravaged Cities

The rains have been battering BC these past weeks, causing widespread flooding in southern parts of the province. Unfortunately, the worst is not over yet. For the third time in two weeks, an atmospheric river is pouring on the province. It began early this morning and is forecasted to last late into tomorrow. Environment Canada […]

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Grassroots vs Industry: Cannabis Culture Clashing with Big Business

For many people, smoking weed is not just a thing you do, it’s a lifestyle; and one that we take great pride in. I, for one, am always eager to share my knowledge and passion for all things cannabis. This attitude is rooted in a longstanding ‘stoner’ culture that is very intimate to the cannabis community and has been created and finetuned over the last few decades. But almost as soon as legalization started sweeping through the US, we started to see a shift.

Old pot culture gave way to a trendy, standardized, multi-billion-dollar industry. Today we see sleek, modern dispensaries that resemble apple stores, farm-to-table cannabis restaurants and caterers, some of the most potent weed products your heart could desire, and an overall change in how the world views all these products, and the plant itself.

It’s exciting to see how far we have come. But at what point does our homegrown, laid-back stoner culture that felt so down-to-earth and made this plant as popular as it is in the first place, become completely unrecognizable? Will it turn into just another ‘big business’ industry like alcohol, tobacco, wellness, pharma, and so many others. We’re already beginning to see a clash between business interests and grassroots activists, but the industry has room for both sides, and actually NEEDS as much diversity as possible.

The cannabis industry has changed a lot over the last few years, but fundamentally, we all want the same thing: progress, although that could have varying meanings for different people. For more articles like this one, and for exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products, remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


What is stoner culture?

It’s hard to narrow it down to just a few attributes or social behaviors, but there are some are pretty characteristic of “stoners”, and we’ve seen it time and time again portrayed in the media. From Animal House or Cheech and Chong in the 1970s – an iconic time that many describe as the “golden era” of cannabis, psychedelics, and activism – to the 1990s which I personally remember as comedic haze of stoner movies and music that spilled over well into the next decade.

Although the image was tweaked a bit over time, a few constants remained – the portrayal of a “stoner” was upbeat yet unmotivated, quirky, below average intelligence, friendly, aaaaand usually sweet and personable in their own goofy type of way (think Travis from Clueless).

Over time, that harmless, loveable image (be it a huge misconception anyway) morphed in a few different types of personalities. For example, the lady-next-door ‘momtrepreneur’ that’s making a quick buck off a growing industry and broken system, like Nancy from Weeds. Or the casual modern-day smokers that do what they do and just mix pot use into their day-to-day lives, like Abbi and Ilana from Broad City.

It’s uncommon now to see that oblivious and totally unaware stoner from years prior. One of the few shows I can think of that plays into those tired old clichés is Disjointed on Netflix, which was met with overwhelming criticism from people are just no longer interested in seeing potheads depicted as idiots anymore. Today’s cannabis users encompass many different personalities, from the 30-year-old underachiever smoking weed and playing video games in their parent’s basement, to the 20-something-year-old researcher and CEO who just developed a state-of-the-art form of nano emulsion technology to bring cannabis medicine to thousands of patients… and literally everything in between.

State of the industry today    

Despite federal prohibition and regulatory uncertainties, bottlenecked supply chains, an ongoing fight against the still-thriving black market, and let’s not forget, a global pandemic that has impacted so many different industries throughout the world – cannabis is still flourishing, in the United States and globally.

According to data collected by Marijuana Business Daily and shared at this year’s MJBizCon in Las Vegas, legal cannabis sales in America hit $20 billion in 2020 and are expected to surpass $26 billion by the end of this year. Their projections for the future are that the US industry will explode to about $46 billion by 2025. Just a few years ago, multimillion-dollar deals were few and far in between but now they’re a regular occurrence.

“The nearly $46 billion in sales would make the cannabis industry larger than the craft beer industry, said Chris Walsh, chief executive officer and president of MJBizDaily. “And these are potentially conservative numbers with what we see playing out. Sales continued to accelerate at a record pace in markets across the US — notably in established states, such as Colorado, Washington and Oregon. You’re seeing the next phase of a maturing industry take hold here.”

It’s not at all shocking to hear, considering most Americans now live in a state where cannabis is legal in some capacity, be it medical, recreational, or both. In total, 36 states have legalized medical marijuana – 18 of which, plus Washington D.C., have also approved recreational adult-use programs. So, based on this rapid growth, not only do more citizens have access, but the cannabis is also creating tens of thousands of new jobs annually. By the start of 2021, roughly 321,000 Americans held employment in the cannabis industry either directly or through some ancillary company, and that number is growing steadily.

“Take a look around,” said Karson Humiston, CEO and founder of Vangst, which runs a cannabis industry-centric job recruiting site, gesturing to bustling crowds in the exposition hall. “People want to get out of their old-school, dying industry, and they want to move into cannabis. This is it. Now is the moment to get involved, because it’s never going to be this small again.”

Cannabis industry gentrification?

All this is not to say that I’m against legalization. I’m 100 percent pro-progress and vehemently against the War on Drugs that has torn communities apart with racist enforcement, widespread arrests, and mass incarcerations of citizens simply for possession personal amounts of pot. I think everyone can agree that we’re in a much better place now than we were 50 years ago.

The main problem people are having, as I see it, is the rush to corporatization and industrialism that’s slowly chipping away at the casual, unique, and authentic vibe that cannabis culture has always been synonymous with. I mean, even Tommy Chong is having trouble placing his strains in dispensaries because he’s “too stoner” for the modern cannabis connoisseur, or more aptly, cannasseur. “We represent the stoner image of Mexicans,” Chong said. “They don’t want that anymore. They can’t market that to millennials.”

Things certainly are different now from what I, and many of the people I grew up with, are used to seeing. “Someone who has always been in the mindset that (cannabis) is their alternative to a highball at the end of the night might not appreciate how cannabis is being used now on the medical side,” said Danny Mann, general manager at Modern Cannabis, a Logan Square dispensary. “Worrying about the counterculture being replaced by new cannabis culture is on people’s minds now. But it can also reek of nostalgia.”

He’s not wrong. The industry is in an amazing position right now, poised only to succeed even more. The main reason we resist many of these changes is simply because it’s sad to see the classic trends go. To think that the rasta-hippy-grunge-total stoner persona may one day be a thing of the past, is just a tad bit disappointing.

Think back to when our parents were growing up, the rallies they had, and the type of people who were truly advocating for cannabis legalization, promoting the therapeutic potential, pushing for safe access, arguing for the industrial benefits of hemp, and denouncing existing regulations and striving for reform – it was the potheads! Not businesspeople, influencers, celebrities, and so forth; it was your diehard, weed-smoking activists that were the heart and soul of cannabis advancement in the US; and eventually they became a sort of lifestyle-brand in their own rights, a symbol of indepence and rebellion, paving the way for changes in marijuana and psychedelics laws. In my opinion, everything about these past eras will be dearly missed but I welcome positive changes with an open heart and mind.

“Clash of the Titans”

According to five marijuana industry insiders, including CEOs and farms, discussed these issues during a panel at MJBizCon called “Clash of the Titans.” They noted that despite tensions between these two often opposing heads of the industry, when you look at the bigger picture, both sides play their own very important role for the “wider legalization movement”.

“Big business cannot survive without what cannabis culture has brought to the table,” said Wanda James, owner of Denver-based Simply Pure, a vertically integrated cannabis company. James lambasted much of the industry, arguing that women and minorities have had too hard a time getting a toehold in the business. She decried that as a disservice to the legacy of the marijuana plant and its cultural roots.

“Setting up this dichotomy of ‘Big Business versus cannabis culture’ is a false dichotomy,” mentioned another panalist, Ayr Wellness co-Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Drake. “There’s going to be plenty of room for everyone to succeed.”

Overall, the general tone of the discussion was that more direct effort needs to made to encourage alliance and collaboration between entrepreneurs who are focused on various financial interests like tax structures, banking access, business licensing; and advocates who are striving to improve policies regarding home cultivation, medical cannabis patient and caregiver rights, support for female and minority entrepreneurs, and so on.

Final thoughts

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in going to different cannabis industry trade shows and talking to people from all over the world, it’s that the cannabis industry absolutely has room for everyone. New points of view keep everything fresh and exciting, and that’s one of the wonderful things about the industry that has stayed relatively unchanged over time, cannabis represents inclusivity and that needs to be reflected in business dealings as well as cultural traditions.

Hello all! Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your ultimate online destination for the most relevant and thought-provoking cannabis and psychedelics-related news globally. Read-thru the site regularly to stay on top of the constantly-moving world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletterso you never miss a thing.

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How to Secure Funding for Your Cannabis Business

The cannabis industry has for the last 3 years been one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, and the entire world. It’s hard to get an exact number because every region uses slightly different metrics, but at a base level, the global weed market has a current estimated value of over $21 billion and is projected to reach over $90 billion in the next 5 years.

In the face of all this growth, there is still a glaring shortage of economic options to help businesses expand and meet their full potentials, especially those smaller companies that don’t have a lot starting capital. Due to strict federal regulations in nearly every country on earth, most financial institutions are unwilling to work canna-business owners, despite the unmatched potential of these operations.

Cannabis is amazing, but when it comes to the business side of things, it’s one undeniably complicated industry. Whether it’s about banking restrictions, local ordinances and regulations, obtaining a loan, or any other cannabusiness-related concerns, stay ahead of the curve by subscribing to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter, where you can find more articles like this and exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10THCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


Financing obstacles and why it all matters

A successful cannabis business can be wildly profitable, but operation costs are insanely high, and again, most businesses are unable to obtain loans via any traditional channels. Because it’s still federally prohibited, banks are not even willing to provide so much as a checking account to canna-business license holders, so you can imagine how challenging it is to try and get financing like loans or credit cards: nearly impossible.  

Getting money from private investors may seem like a more promising option but can be similarly frustrating. Equity or stock funds are also severely restricted – because for various reasons be it legal, social, situational, or a combination of the three, most investors tend to shy away from marijuana. Those who do consider it, often face pushback because of the plant’s illegal status.

Even at peak times to invest, and even for low-risk and ancillary businesses, the fact that they are working in cannabis means these business owners will pay upwards of 25% APR for loans, compared to equally risky non-cannabis businesses who would pay roughly 6-7% for their own financing.    

The ability to secure capital is a major stepping-stone for businesses of all ages and sizes, but especially smaller operators and startups who jump into the game with incredible products but very little initial funding. Unfortunately, most financial institutions won’t work with start-ups anyway because they have no track record of sales or receivables. One of those annoying catch 22’s, like when you’re fresh out of college but can’t find a job because no one will hire a person without experience.

This may seem like it’s only an inconvenience for borrowers, but it can actually be a huge pain for lenders as well. Think of all the gold mine companies they have to turn away because they’re scared to get screwed over by changing federal regulations. Many companies would make enormous profits by lending to cannabis business owners, but this is a door they have to keep closed for now.  

What are the most common uses for cannabis business loans?

  • Working Capital   
  • Equipment Financing
  • Business Expansion        
  • Cannabis Biotechnology         
  • Cultivation, Growing and Farming        
  • Hemp & CBD Products·        
  • Marijuana Product Expansion·        
  • Marketing & Business Development
  • Commercial Real Estate Financing
  • AR/Invoice Line of Credit

Secured vs. unsecured financing

Different companies have different requirements when it comes to providing secured loans versus unsecured loans, and many don’t offer both, but it’s a talking point worth covering briefly, just for reference.

Secured loans require the borrower to back up the money with some type of collateral, which is usually a car or home on the most common types of secured loans which are auto or mortgages, but anything of value that you own can be put up as collateral in some situations. When you take out a secured loan, the lender puts a lien on whatever asset you use for collateral, then once the loan is paid off the lender removes the lien and you now have full ownership over both assets. If you default on your loan, the lender will take your collateral as payment instead.

According to Experian the most common types of assets used for collateral are as follows: “Real estate, Bank accounts (checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs and money market accounts), Vehicles (cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, boats, etc.), Stocks, mutual funds or bond investments, Insurance policies, including life insurance, High-end collectibles and other valuables (precious metals, antiques, etc.).”

Unsecured loans, on the other hand, do not require any collateral and thus are less risky and much more popular than secured loans; although credit requirements are often stricter for unsecured loans. And you will still be on the hook for interest and fees that vary based on your credit score, and often at higher rates than with a secured loan. Personal loans, student loans, and credit cards are some of the most common types of unsecured loans.

Lenders and resources

Although limited, some financial resources for the industry do exist. Below are a few companies that I have spoken to personally who offer various types of loans and other services for cannabis business owners.

  • Cannabusiness Resources – Cannabusiness Resources is a financial service company that aims to provide loans and lines of credit, accounting and banking options, and processing solutions to the entire cannabis industry, both marijuana and hemp/CBD businesses, as well as ancillary companies.
  • Advance Point – AdvancePoint offers cannabis business funding, cash advance, invoice financing, and purchase order financing. Basically, they provide everything except start-up business financing. According to customers, they enjoy “the fast, streamlined process and high approval rates.”
  • Diamond Business Loans – DBL operates as a direct lender, syndicate, and brokerage firm. They offer loans for a variety of different needs including new equipment financing, accounts receivable and invoicing, working capital, or for the acquisition of a new company. They work with everyone, from startup companies to well-established businesses and everyone in between.
  • Good Tree Capital – Good Tree Capital is a FinTech firm that provides numerous different cannabis-related financial services to borrowers and accredited investors. One of their main objectives is to make completely fair and unbiased lending decisions and “distribute fund equitably” using their innovative technology. Their mission is to “provide fair access to capital for all.”
  • Bespoke Financial – Bespoke offers a wide array of short-term cannabis loans including invoice financing, line of credit options, and inventory financing. Bespoke works with many different levels of cannabis industry professionals including those working with marijuana or hemp, CBD, and other cannabinoids.
  • Seed to Sale Funding – Seed to Sale works closely with a large network of private funding sources such as investors, family offices, private lenders, and hard money lenders. According to their website, they have raised over $45 million in loans since 2019.

Final thoughts on cannabis business loans

All businesses strive to be successful and profitable, and after a few years of initial struggles, up-and-downs, and stretching budgets, it’s expected that your net profits can then be reinvested into the business. But until you reach that point of sustainability, it’s nice to know that a growing number of lenders are willing to work with cannabis companies by offering much needed financial services that have been out of reach for the industry until now.

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Switzerland Proceeds with Regulation of Cannabis Industry

According to Switzerland’s government agency in charge of public health and welfare, cannabis should no longer be banned but rather comprehensively regulated. As a result, the National Council now has the task of creating said framework and for an integrated medical and recreational infrastructure. The first city to kick off this enchilada of cannabis will be the country’s largest and its capital of Zurich.

There are several issues at play here beyond regulating the industry at a national leve—a task in truth that has only been achieved by two countries to date (Uruguay and Canada). Switzerland is backing into all of this with a country-wide trial. 

This is deliberately limited to 5,000 study participants per canton, but it will begin to create a “state-by-state” organization for the industry to grow. Such participants will have to show that they are already cannabis users. This should not be hard to do. About a third of the Swiss population has admitted that they have smoked cannabis at some point. About 200,000 admit to smoking regularly.

Cities will be able to conduct scientific studies—both on the economic impacts of a new industry as well as the impact of recreational cannabis sales (and accessibility) on a local level.

Local manufacturers must obtain a production permit from the Federal Office of Public Health to ensure quality standards.

Participants will be able to purchase cannabis from both pharmacies and social clubs.

Shutterstock

What is the Significance of this Development for Switzerland?

Right now, there are three pending adult use markets in Europe. This includes Luxembourg, which has now decided to move forward more or less on schedule to create the same and Portugal, which is still in the process of deciding how to do that at a legislative level. Then there is Holland, which is also a different animal at this point, with a regulatory schema that is federal, even if the coffee shops in the larger cities are still largely an independent force.

The Swiss trial, however, is intriguing for several reasons.

The first is that it is designed to promote a domestic cultivation market, and further one that includes recreational (high THC) cannabis. Beyond this, the Swiss market will begin to feature products not much seen in Europe to date—namely extracts and edibles. This is a massive next step in the discussion, even if it will take the EU itself a little while to adjust on a regulatory front. 

Regardless, the relative freedom from EU regulations will create an interesting outlier in the middle of the entire European conversation that will not be ignored. This includes the other legalizing states. It will also, certainly, include the other two trade partners in the DACH trading region (Austria and of course the big cannabis Kahuna in this entire conversation, Germany).

After the national election here, there has certainly been an injection of renewed optimism about change on the horizon. There are now multiple legal challenges floating around the discussion, starting with the CBD front

Beyond that, there is also a new hope that at least decriminalization if not a German recreational trial is in the works.

The Swiss trial, in other words, may move a lot of levers on the reform front—and not just domestically.

There is also another discussion in the room, however. Namely, if cannabis can be sold in pharmacies without a prescription, where does the line between “medical” and “recreational” cannabis lie?

The GACP vs GMP Discussion

Beyond extracts and edibles, perhaps the greatest impact the Swiss trial will have is to begin to define the line—starting with cultivation—between pharma grade cannabis and that bound for recreational markets.

The first place this will show up is cannabis sourced from indoor vs. outdoor cultivation sites. GMP cannabis must be grown indoors (for starters). Given that Switzerland has a short natural growing season, the likelihood is that most of the domestic cultivation bound for either market will be grown indoors.

Beyond this, however, cannabis in Switzerland will be routed through existing pharma, food, beverage and cosmetics channels. Novel Food is going to be waived (for the purposes of the trial at least).

This means that for the first time, there will be a fully baked cannabis market, leaving no part of the plant, by cannabinoid, or use, or product, out of the mix.

This is very different from anything else seen in Europe right now, and it is going to start to make a difference just beyond Swiss borders. Namely, it is very likely that the “recreational,” high-THC market here may also finally defeat the Novel Food genie—and for all cannabinoids grown in the region, if not extracted in a way that is recognized as “normal” here too.

For all these reasons, the pending national trial in Switzerland is likely to upset the cannabis (apple) cart just by showing what is possible.

The states who border the country and are poised on the verge of more reform themselves, are absolutely watching.

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Montana Issues Proposed Rules for Future Cannabis Marketplace

Regulators in Montana last week issued a slate of proposed rules for the state’s coming recreational marijuana marketplace, and cannabis advocates are excited to get started. 

Pot sales for adults aged 21 and older are scheduled to get underway on New Year’s Day in Big Sky Country, which means the clock is ticking for the Montana Department of Revenue to lay out regulations for the would-be cannabis businesses. 

“The deadlines are aggressive,” said Kristan Barbour, administrator of the Department of Revenue’s Cannabis Control Division, as quoted by local television station KTVH. “Really, the rules are our biggest challenge.”

The Department of Revenue will hold a public hearing in the capital city of Helena on November 16 to consider adoption of the proposed rules.

“Our focus was really to be business-friendly and to try to work with the industry in a fashion that makes the rules adaptable to their current business structure and that they’ll be able to evolve into without a whole lot of pain,” Barbour told KTVH.

Voters in Montana passed a proposal at the ballot last year to legalize adult-use marijuana, one of four states to vote to end pot prohibition in the 2020 election. (Arizona, New Jersey and South Dakota were the others).

In the spring, lawmakers in Montana passed a bill to implement the voter-approved legal pot program, which Republican Governor Greg Gianforte signed into law in mid-May.

The legislation, known as House Bill 701, “implements and regulates the recreational marijuana program that voters approved in a ballot initiative last year and funds a substance abuse prevention program that the new governor has championed since his first days in office,” the Daily Montanan reported at the time. 

In a statement after signing the bill, Gianforte touted the HEART Fund, which will take revenue from the adult-use weed program to help fund substance abuse treatment. He stands behind this organization and feels they play a big part in the future of legalization in the state. 

“From the start, I’ve been clear that we need to bring more resources to bear to combat the drug epidemic that’s devastating our communities,” Gianforte said at the time. “Funding a full continuum of substance abuse prevention and treatment programs for communities, the HEART Fund will offer new support to Montanans who want to get clean, sober and healthy.”

The proposed rules unveiled by the state’s Department of Revenue last week cover 15 different sections related to the implementation of the program: license, application and renewal fees; marijuana manufacturer licenses; marijuana cultivator licenses; marijuana dispensary licenses; marijuana transporter licenses; combined use licenses; marijuana testing laboratory licenses; marijuana storage facility endorsement; worker permits; general labeling requirements; labeling requirements for marijuana flower; labeling of ingestible marijuana-infused products; labeling of non-ingestible marijuana-infused products; labeling requirements for marijuana concentrates and extracts and packaging requirements. 

Montana voters initially legalized medical marijuana treatment back in 2004. They approved the recreational pot measure in 2020 with 57 percent support.

And there are yet more pot-related questions on the ballot this year for certain Montana voters. According to KTVH, “voters in Missoula and Yellowstone Counties could endorse a 3 percent, local option tax on recreational sales, medical sales or both,” while voters “in Billings will vote whether to allow or prohibit adult-use marijuana dispensaries within city limits.”

As reported by the Daily Montanan, the new law allows the one-half of state counties that approved last year’s ballot initiative to “have recreational in their borders by default, while voters in the the other half of counties will have to take an affirmative action to bring recreational marijuana in their boundaries if so desired.”

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The Cannabis Industry: A New Haven for Workers Amidst the Pandemic

Amidst the pandemic, the cannabis industry has seen massive growth. In particular, the industry has become a haven for workers who have moved from other sectors. The cannabis industry expanding is nothing new. The sector has seen steady growth over the years. For example, in Canada, sales of legal cannabis managed to double in 2020, […]

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Canopy Growth to Acquire Wana Brands in $300M Deal

Cannabis industry powerhouse Canopy Growth Corporation announced that it has entered an agreement to acquire Wana Brands, the continent’s largest cannabis edibles brand by market share, in a deal worth nearly $300 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Canopy has secured options to purchase Wana and its related entities once THC products become federally legal in the United States. 

“As we establish Canopy Growth as the world’s leading cannabis company, acquiring the number-one cannabis edibles brand in North America will serve to strengthen our market position in both Canada and the United States,” Canopy Growth CEO David Klein said in a press release. 

“The right to acquire Wana secures another major, direct pathway into the U.S. THC market upon federal permissibility, and in Canada, we’ll be adding the top-ranked cannabinoid gummies to our industry-leading house of brands. We’re confident in the future growth of the edibles category and the tremendous opportunities with Wana.”

The agreement provides Canopy Growth the right to acquire 100 percent of the outstanding membership interests in Wana Brands and its related entities Mountain High Products, Wana Wellness and The Cima Group, upon the federal legality of THC in the U.S. market. 

When exercising the option, Canopy Growth will make an additional payment equal to 15 percent of the fair market value of each entity at the time it is acquired. The two companies will continue to operate independently until the options are exercised.

Deal Will Unite Two Major Players

Wana manufactures and sells cannabis gummies in Colorado and licenses its intellectual property to partners producing cannabis edibles in 11 other states including California, Arizona, Illinois, Michigan and Florida, as well as across Canada. 

Canopy Growth is a Canadian-based cannabis and cannabinoid consumer products company serving adult-use customers with an array of regulated marijuana products through its Tweed and Tokyo Smoke branded dispensaries in Canada. The company also operates the medical brand Spectrum Therapeutics, which is a market leader in both Canada and Germany. 

In the United States, Canopy Growth offers hemp-derived CBD products via the First & Free and Martha Stewart health and wellness brands, giving the company a global footprint in cannabis and cannabis-related products. Additionally, in 2019, Canopy Growth announced a deal giving it the right to acquire U.S. multistate cannabis operator Acreage Holdings. Canopy Growth also has a conditional ownership interest in TerraAscend, another U.S.-based MSO.

Adding Wana Brands to its portfolio gives Canopy Growth several strategic benefits, including strengthening its access to the U.S. market. The deal leverages Wana’s leadership position and continuing expansion in the U.S., where it has the largest multi-market presence of any independent cannabis edibles brand. 

When Canopy exercises the acquisition option, it will own and operate Wana’s vertically integrated production facility in Colorado as well as its licensing division, which currently has deals in 11 states with plans to cover more than 20 states by the end of 2022. 

The acquisition will also give Canopy Growth a strong position in cannabis gummies, which are one of the fastest growing segments of the Canadian and US edibles markets, accounting for 71 of all edibles purchased, according to data from Headset.

“Edibles play a key role in attracting new consumers and adding the number-one edibles brand in North America strengthens our competitive position on both sides of the border,” Klein told Forbes in an interview. “In addition to our existing relationships with Acreage and TerrAscend, the agreement with Wana furthers Canopy’s positioning for rapid entry post-permissibility to the US THC market.”

Nancy Whiteman, the co-founder and CEO of Wana Brands, said that the announcement of the deal with Canopy Growth “reflects the culmination of more than a decade of hard work, dedication and vision put forth by our employees and partners, as well as an unwavering commitment to the plant and -our customers.” 

“We have long considered what the next phase of our growth might look like, and this deal is not only a great testament to our focus on bottom line growth and fiscal diligence, but also to the value we believe Wana can bring to Canopy and its shareholders now and in the future,” Whiteman said. 

“We have met many partners along the way over the past 11 years, but none have felt like the best and right fit until today. We are incredibly humbled and honored to be part of what Canopy Growth is building in terms of the future of this industry.”

The post Canopy Growth to Acquire Wana Brands in $300M Deal appeared first on High Times.

What Are The Most Popular Cannabis Dispensary Products?

I don’t know about you, but me personally, I feel like every time I set foot into a cannabis dispensary (whether it’s a new one or one that I frequent regularly), I’m pleasantly surprised by a wide array of new and innovative products. Me being a stoner, I’m tempted to try them all, but I also don’t want to waste money on a passing fad that won’t produce the desired effects. From traditional flower to unique edibles, and even topicals, capsules, and THC-inhalers… Whar are the top cannabis dispensary products today?

Weed is the best; and what’s particularly fun about today’s industry is the sheer variety of products you can find online or in most dispensaries. In-fact many of the top cannabis dispensary products could be found online, if you know where to look for them. If you would like to learn more about how to find them online, or try out different products make sure to Subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter to learn more and for exclusive deals on Delta 8Delta 10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC.


A Quick Overview of What’s Popular

Point blank, flower remains king when it comes to the most popular cannabis products, included in nearly half of all dispensary transactions. Next in line are edibles (including beverages) and pre-rolled joints, raking in 17% and 11.5% of total sales, respectively. Also popular are concentrates and vape pens.

Additionally, a survey conducted by Headset, a well-known cannabis industry data and market intelligence company, broke it down even further to see what type of flower is most popular. According to their numbers, hybrid flower is the best seller at over 25% of total flower transactions, followed by indica at 11% and sativa flower at 10%. This might come as a surprise to many people considering how heavily most budtenders push the indica strains.

When it came other products, gummies and high-quality chocolates, carbonated beverages, live resin, and various vaping items are seeing a sharp spike in popularity. Of the above listed products, live resin has the highest growth rate, averaging about 29% higher sales every month.

Keeping it Old School with Flower

According to the budtenders I’ve spoken to, they estimate that traditional flower accounts for roughly half of all dispensary sales. And statistically, that number is not far off. Data provided by Headset, indicated that 49% of all dispensary transactions are for the purchase of flower.

That being said, “traditional” flower is not quite so traditional anymore, with quality and overall potency on the constant uprise. Even on the lower end, today’s strains average 16-18 percent THC, but for top-shelf buds that number can soar to over 30 percent. Compare that to an average of 10 percent with high quality flower clocking in about 20 percent just a decade ago, and you can see that despite peoples’ inclination to chose flower, there is a growing demand for higher THC products.

Even when people use other products, like concentrates and edibles, they often buy some flower as well. Additionally, flower products are often the first choice for novice users and good flower deals are proven to help attract new customers to a business.

Eat or Drink Your Cannabis

When looking at both THC-infused food products AND beverages, this sector makes up just under 17% of the overall market. Food product transactions stand at 13.1% and beverage sales account for about 3.7% – totaling 16.8% of a standard dispensary’s sales.

Although dosing isn’t particularly accurate with edible products, they offer many other benefits including discretion and potency. Not to mention the sheer variety of products you can find these days. Sweets like gummies, cakes, cookies, brownies, and chocolates dominate the market, but some stores sell savory treats like chips and popcorn as well.  

Cannabis-infused beverages are also an up-and-coming trend, with many people preferring them over other options because they are easy to consume and often have less sugar and dietary fat than most of the readily available dispensary edibles.

One of the primary reasons that edible products are so popular is because they offer more intense, and longer-lasting effects than smoking or vaping flower. When THC is processed via the digestive system, the body breaks it down and metabolizes it in the liver, producing the cannabinoid metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH), which is regarded as being much more potent than regular delta 9 THC. It takes longer for 11-OH to reach the brain, but once it does, the high will be much more intense and can last for a few hours, whereas smoking hits almost immediately but the effects fade after about 1 hour at the most.

Concentrates or “Dab” – Wax, Shatter, Live Resin, and More

Cannabis concentrates, or “dabs” are extracts that contain high levels of certain cannabinoids, typically THC. Popular concentrates include wax, shatter, crumble, sugar, sauce, badder, live resin, and many others. They typically average 70-80% THC content, but some will boast close to 100% purity. Most concentrates are extracted using butane, CO2, hydrocarbons, alcohol, heat, propane, and/or water.

Due to their strength, and the fact that you may need specific, often more complicated devices to consume them, concentrates can be intimidating to some users – especially older or inexperienced users. By late last year, concentrate sales reached $94.8 million and account for just under 30 percent of total dispensary revenue; and that number is on the rise.

Nick Tennant, founder and chief technology officer of Precision Extraction Solutions, a hemp- and marijuana-extraction company based in Detroit, says that concentrates are often a small part of new markets, but they tend grow in popularity over time.

“We tend to see an 80%-20% in favor of flower in early markets,” he said. “As consumers become more seasoned, you see that trend shift. The shift can go all the way to 65% flower versus 35% concentrates as the market evolves.”

Healthier Consumption with Vape Pens

Between vaping and smoking, vaping is without a doubt the healthiest option out of the two. The reason is because you can regulate your device to heat up to whatever the optimal temperature is for the particular product you’re consuming. Regardless of how many benefits there are to using cannabis, inhaling burnt plant matter comes with some risk of side effects, albeit less than cigarette smoke.

And when you consider that today, you can vape concentrate, oil, AND raw flower, it’s no surprise that vape pens are one of the most popular dispensary products on the market, accounting for about 8.2% of all industry transactions. You can get a very basic vape pen for standard carts for under $20 at most dispensaries or headshops, but some of the more specialized, brand-nape options can run up to well over $150.

Pre-Rolled Joints for Convenience           

Although this is technically a flower product, pre-rolls deserve their own category because of how much growth this particular item is experiencing. A lot of people, even many of my own friends, prefer pre-rolled joints because they’re discreet, convenient, disposable, and moderately inexpensive. For example, my local dispensaries sell packs of 14 prerolls, each one weighing 1 gram, for $50-55, which is roughly the same price as a quarter of raw flower but with much less work if you’re a regular joint smoker.

Despite popular belief that dispensaries use their low-quality shake in the pre-rolled joints, that’s actually not true. Prerolls are usually made with the same cannabis that they sell in flower form. The product that I referenced above, comes from the Pacific Stone brand, who also sells a variety of flower strains.

In total, the sale of pre-rolled joints in general grew 59% last year, from $704 million in 2019 to $1.12 billion in 2020. The sale of multipack prerolls grew by 69.4 percent while single joints only saw an 18.1% boost. By comparison, the entire cannabis market which has seen substantial growth, has only increased by 54.2% during the same time period.

Let’s Take a Look at Profit Margins

All these products are experiencing significant growth, but when it comes to actual profitability, some products have much higher margins than others. What’s interesting is that profit margins don’t always correlate with product popularity. They are simply a measure of how much net profit a product brings in after expenses.

Flower, which is the most popular product in all dispensaries, has the lowest profit margin at 53.5%. Shake and trim also has low margins. The least popular product in the industry, capsules, have the highest profit margin of 58.0%. When it comes to finding that perfect middle ground, vape pens are both popular and carry high profit margins. Edibles and prerolls also have relatively high margins. You can see there is a trend with convenience products, and these tend to have high margins and sell quickly.

According to Priconomics Data Studio, flower products are less profitable from the retailers’ perspective. “That’s why they are probably glad, if not encouraging, the rising popularity of alternatives. People are increasingly likely to leave a dispensary with baked goods, candies, gum, and vapor pens. This may hint at a shift in marijuana habits. Or these alternative products may just be the dispensary equivalent of impulse buys at the cash register.”

Cannabis Dispensary Products – Final Thoughts

Most of the available data examines the cannabis industry as a whole, but it’s important to look at the sales statistics and profitability of individual products – one, because it gives a good idea where the consumer side of the industry is headed (hint, convenience products are on the rise), and two, because it offers some sort of guidance for new dispensary owners.

What are your favorite dispensary products? I’m personally a fan of raw flower and concentrates, but I love a nice, infused preroll occasionally as well. Let us know your go-to items in the comment section below. And thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your hub for all things cannabis-related. Remember to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one and exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles and other products.

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Do BC Covid cases justify vaccine passports in the cannabis sector?

Certain non-essential services in provinces like Ontario and British Columbia now require customers to be vaccinated. But, how does the skeptical process provincial governments use to report Covid cases to justify vaccine passports in the cannabis sector? Cannabis — a medicine for many — was deemed an essential service during the pandemic in BC. This […]

The post Do BC Covid cases justify vaccine passports in the cannabis sector? appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.