Is The Underground Cannabis Industry Over?

Cannabis legalization is on the rise and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. As the market opens its arms to the world of cannabis, long-time users started wondering about dealers legitimizing their business. When people think about buying weed, images of dark alleyways and secret locations to avoid cops come to mind. Now fast forward […]

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The Emerald Conference: 7th Annual Interdisciplinary Cannabis Science Event – Ticket Discounts Available!

The Emerald Conference (7th annual) is the longest running interdisciplinary cannabis science event, and the place to be for cultivators, extractors, physicians, product manufacturers, and anyone else interested in learning more about all the most important research going on behind the scenes of this multi-billion-dollar industry.  

Science and research are the backbone of the legal cannabis industry, especially in the medical sector. Without cannabis science, not only would we stay lagging on best practices in cultivation, production, and safety standards; but much of the western world would be still in the dark, largely unaware of the therapeutic potential of cannabis.  

For a 10% discount on tickets, make sure to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter, your top source for industry news, all the latest information, and exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products.  


Over the years, The Emerald Conference has become a who’s-who event of decision-makers in many cannabis industry niches including extraction methodology, analytical testing, research and development, formulations and blends, and clinical research.  

Aside from the connections to be made, the wealth of knowledge and expertise at this event is unmatched. In addition to some incredibly educational presentations and sessions, event curators make sure to provide plenty of time for open dialogue, so attendees can discuss the topics in depth.  

The goal is to “overcome black-market paranoia” through irrefutable scientific data and education of the masses. And the best way to do this is by bringing as many from the scientific community as possible to put things into perspective.  

According to David Dawson, Ph.D. Senior Scientist at Via Innovations, “The Emerald Conference is integral to this process, as its high standards for peer-reviewed work and desire for open collaboration amongst participants sets it apart from the vast majority of cannabis conferences.” 

This year’s conference 

This event is more tight-knit than other conferences, so don’t expect a turnout in the tens of thousands like MJ Biz Con. In my opinion, the low-key environment makes it considerably easier to stay focused. Plus, it’s better for meeting people, learning, and making those lasting industry connections.  

Hundreds of people from around the world are expected to attend. During the event, there will be more than 20 speakers, 25 presentations, and 50 exhibitors and sponsors. Furthermore, there will be 3 scheduled networking events, a welcome reception, and evening reception, and a “mimosa & Bloody Mary bar break”.   

The Emerald Conference will take place from February 27 – March 1, 2022, at San Diego Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, California.  

For a 10% discount on your tickets, subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for a coupon code! 

The main areas of focus at this year’s event will be pre-clinical/clinical research, cultivation and alternative strategies, extraction and separation, formulation and fill/finish, and analytical testing solutions. 

MJ Biz acquisition  

In January 2020, Marijuana Business Daily purchased Emerald Conference from Emerald Scientific, who established the first event in 2015. The deal highlights the growing importance of legitimate research in the industry, as it continues.  

“When looking at where cannabis is going, we identified science as a pillar of the industry’s future,” says Chris Walsh, CEO and president of MJBizDaily. “With the legalization of hemp and inevitable changes to federal marijuana laws in the coming years, the amount of scientific research is going to balloon – as will the needs of the scientific and business communities. 

MJ Biz Daily has been partnering with Emerald to put on this conference ever since its second year running, and this partnership is what led to the eventual acquisition years later. MJ Biz is known for putting on excellent events, and the merger has proven to be beneficial for everyone involved. 

Get your tickets now! 

If you’re an industry stakeholder or another interested party that would like to learn more about cannabis science, The Emerald Conference is an event you don’t want to miss.  

Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for a 10% percent discount on your tickets to The Emerald Conference – February 27th to March 1st, see you there! 


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Top 7 Cannabis Themed Party Games

Okay, so the pandemic sort of killed parties. Still, maintaining connection is more important than ever right now. Gatherings between our loved ones are clear for the most part, and research shows how a good joint is beneficial for not only our physical ailments but emotional wellbeing too. So forget drinking games; for those of you who’d […]

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Austin Voters to Decide on Marijuana Decriminalization Measure

Voters in Austin, Texas will decide on a measure that would effectively decriminalize cannabis after city lawmakers this week approved the proposal for the ballot in an election to be held in May. The Austin City Council approved the measure, known as the Austin Freedom Act, for the ballot by a vote of 7-3 on Tuesday, January 18.

If the ballot measure succeeds at the polls in May, Austin police officers would be barred from arresting or ticketing people for minor marijuana-related offenses including possession of small amounts of cannabis or marijuana paraphernalia, unless a suspect is also accused of a more serious crime. The city would also not be permitted to pay for scientific testing of substances suspected to be marijuana, making prosecution for a cannabis-related crime difficult, if not impossible. Additionally, the proposal would prohibit law enforcement officers from performing no-knock warrants (the police practice of executing search warrants and entering homes without announcing themselves first) in the city.

The city council took its action in response to a petition circulated by the progressive political group Ground Game Texas, which is also sponsoring similar efforts in other parts of the state. Last month, activists working with the group submitted the petition with over 30,000 signatures to the Austin city clerk’s office. That’s 10,000 signatures more than the number required to qualify the measure for the May ballot. On January 17, the city clerk verified that the campaign had collected the required 20,000 signatures from registered voters.

Mike Siegel, the political director of Ground Game Texas, praised the efforts of activists after the city council voted to include the measure on the ballot for an election this spring.

“The City Council’s vote to schedule an election on the Austin Freedom Act is a testament to the incredible work of our organizers and volunteers who are fighting for progressive change in their community,” Siegel said in a press release from the group. “Thanks to their tireless efforts, voters will have the opportunity in May to end the criminalization of marijuana possession and the dangerous practice of no-knock police raids.”

The city council could have voted to enact the measure itself, but instead opted to let voters decide. If the ballot measure is approved, it would codify policy that has already been informally adopted in Austin, where police routinely decline to make arrests for cannabis possession and city funds are not spent on marijuana testing.

“The primary effect is that it would make the decriminalization that exists in Austin today actually long term and would put the force of law behind it,” Chris Harris, policy director for the Austin Justice Coalition, told the Texas Tribune.

Austin Cops Would Rather Arrest People for Weed

As might be expected, Austin’s law enforcement community is against the notion of decriminalizing cannabis. When the city council voted to stop funding marijuana lab testing and asked police to stop arresting and issuing tickets for misdemeanor pot charges in 2020, Brian Manley, the chief of police at the time, said that the council did not have the authority to direct the department not to enforce state law. The police officers’ union is also against the policy change and has declined to support the ballot measure.

“We don’t support it just because we feel like you should follow state law,” said Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association. “They’re skirting state law. But the thing is, if this makes people in Austin happy, so be it.”

Ground Game Texas, which promotes the progressive issues of  “workers, wages and weed,” noted that 87% of Texans support legalizing cannabis for medical or recreational use, according to a poll conducted by the Texas Tribune and the University of Texas. The group is collecting signatures for a similar ballot measure in San Marcos and plans cannabis decriminalization efforts for the cities of Killeen and Harker Heights, as well.

“In less than a year, Ground Game Texas has demonstrated the power of grassroots organizing to affect progressive change,” said Julie Oliver, the group’s executive director. “We will continue working with local groups and volunteers to launch efforts like these across Texas, bringing new voters into the fold and mobilizing them behind progressive policies for their community.”

On the same day that the Austin city clerk’s office verified the petition signatures, Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, suggested that he supports decriminalizing marijuana in the state. Abbott also indicated that cannabis decriminalization is supported by lawmakers, despite their failure to approve several reform proposals in recent years.

“One thing that I believe in, and I believe the state Legislature believes in, and that is prison and jail is a place for dangerous criminals who may harm others,” Abbott said on January 17 while campaigning for re-election in Edinburg, Texas. “Small possession of marijuana is not the type of violation that we want to stockpile jails with.”

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Rhode Island 1st State to Open Safe Use Sites for Drugs

You read it right! No, it’s not a real legalization, or even decriminalization. But for two years, Rhode Island is operating a pilot program with safe use sites that allows legal drug use. What will come after is hard to say, but for now, here are some details of this kind of cool – and necessary – new legislative move.

The new Rhode Island policy for safe use sites is meant to target extreme drug users. Luckily, cannabis doesn’t cause overdose deaths, so while smokers can take advantage of the sites, they don’t have the same concerns as opioid users. In fact, cannabis is often eyed as a tool for harm reduction from major drugs. But its also just a great plant that provides tons of useful compounds, not just standard THC. These days, there are tons of options available, so remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter all the latest news and industry stories, as well as exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


Rhode Island to open safe use sites for legal drug use

Rhode Island isn’t a legalized state, though its certainly known to be a more liberal one. While 18 states have legal recreational cannabis (which should be 19), Rhode Island isn’t immediately going in that direction. But it is doing something very forward thinking and cool. Especially considering that there are major drug issues in America, which are causing massive death rates. Though these issues don’t involve cannabis, what Rhode Island is doing will help out cannabis users as well.

On Wednesday, July 7th, 2021, Rhode Island’s governor, Dan McKee signed into law a bill designed to combat the ongoing and growing opioid epidemic. This issue can be seen in Rhode Island, as well as the rest of the US, and around the world as well in smaller amounts. The new Rhode Island bill is a two-year pilot program aimed at preventing overdosing by providing safe injection/safe use sites. Rhode Island recorded 384 overdose deaths in 2020, and 322 through November of 2021. These sites will focus mainly on helping those who inject heroin and methamphetamine.

Rhode Island is the first US state to adopt a policy that allows legal drug use in designated areas as part of this two-year pilot program. This policy was not instituted with the thought of cannabis in mind, even if it proves useful to cannabis smokers. What the pilot program is most intended for, is providing a way for the hardest of drug users, using the most dangerous of drugs, to have a safe place to get high around professionals who can help if there is a problem.

safe use sites

What will the Rhode Island safe use sites entail?

These safe use sites, also known as “harm reduction centers,” and “safe injection sites”, will provide clean needles, drug testing, and other services like recovery assistance. Each site is to be staffed by medical/qualified personnel, who are trained in CPR, overdose protocols, and the administration of drugs like naloxone, an opioid antagonist. Each site will have all the necessary supplies to carry out these functions. Sites will operate under the control of a medical director to oversee clinical practices, and a harm reduction center director who oversees the administrative management of the location.

Apart from all this, the sites will function partly as social services, providing referrals for housing, employment, and legal assistance, if necessary, while also offering basic health services. Each center is required to report deaths and overdoses to the medical director as well as to the state Department of Health, with a mandate to report all overdoses and other causes of death within 24 hours. Non-fatal overdoses must be reported within 48 hours of the time they occurred.

All sites in Rhode Island must get licensing from the state, and an approval from the city or town in which the site will operate. Mobile units will exist as well, and must provide very specific schedules for where they will be including complete addresses and operation times. Licenses can be denied to operators, suspended if there are issues, or completely revoked if regulators see fit.

One of the interesting things to be offered at these sites, is drug testing. But not the kind of drug testing most are used to. This isn’t drug testing to see if someone used something, but a way to actually test the drugs about to be taken, particularly for the presence of fentanyl. Fentanyl is an extremely strong opioid drug which people take on purpose, but which is also often a reason for accidental overdose due to it being used as an adulterant in other drugs.

Is this new?

This is new for the US, yes, since no other programs like this currently exist. Detractors like Arthur Corvese, a Democratic Rhode Island State Representative, called the idea a ‘moral oxymoron’ since legal use is now going to be permitted in an otherwise illegal state. The idea of encouraging such legal use of illegal drugs has been criticized by opponents, who believe this will somehow increase crime in surrounding areas…although I haven’t seen an explanation of how this is thought to be the case.

In reality, outside of America, this isn’t new at all. And not only that, while detractors shoot their mouths off to a US audience which is probably unaware of comparable programs in other countries, those comparable programs have already been cited for their positive influence on drug using culture. Something that Americans should really be informed on, and considering in this.

drug overdose

Canada, Australia, and different parts of Europe, for example, have cumulatively opened around 100 comparable safe-use sites. The Netherlands has the largest number, with just under 40 locations. Its first was opened in 1996, and the country was able to reduce overdose deaths by ensuring users were getting pure heroin, rather than a heroin/fentanyl mix. Canada’s first site opened in 2003, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver where there are many IV drug users.

Canada, between 2017-2019 alone had around two million visits to safe use sites. The country had 39 sites open as of last year, with an expected daily visitor amount of 3,000 people. The busiest sites in Canada can have up to 500 visits a day, according to Health-Infobase.  

Will this happen elsewhere in America?

Opioid overdoses are a massive issue in the US, and this is not debatable, even if specific numbers are. For example, in 2019 hhs.gov, said there were close to 71,000 overdose deaths, whereas drugabuse.gov, put the number at 50,000. Either way, it’s a ridiculous number of avoidable deaths. hhs.gov provided more statistics, saying there were 14,480 heroin overdoses that year, over 10 million people misusing pain killers, and 48,000 synthetic opioid deaths. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, total opioid overdose deaths went up to 93,000 in 2020.

It gets grosser. In 2017, over 191 million opioid prescriptions were written out in the US, meaning that 58.7 prescriptions were written for every 100 people. 45% of these were given by primary care physicians who are not supposed to write such prescriptions at all. The economic burden of this epidemic in terms of health care, emergency care services, addiction programs, lost productivity, and dealing with the criminal justice system, costs about $78.5 billion every year. Who do you think pays for that? That’s right, the same taxpayers who were put on these pharmaceutically pushed medications that the government allows through regulation, now have to pay for the damage they’re doing.

So, yes, these sites will likely be popping up all over the place in the future. In fact, this was not the first try. Back in 2020, Philadelphia went ahead with plans to open Safehouse, a safe injection site. This was ruled against in January, 2021, by the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, stymieing the effort.

However, seven months later, the nonprofit behind the venture was already pushing back legally, announcing in the summer of 2021 that it would be filing a petition to take the case to the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the US Supreme Court refused the case (likely something it will be sticking its foot in its mouth for later), in October, 2021.

safe use

This hasn’t deterred proponents, who are planning on relaunching the case at the district court level, with new arguments. Given Rhode Island passing this legislation, and increasing opioid deaths, I expect this time it will go through. While that’s just my opinion for now, that California and Massachusetts are also currently considering plans to implement a similar structure, indicates that this is actually a new trend being established in the fight against opioid addiction.

Conclusion

The whole thing is horrifying if you take a step back. The government fully approved and allowed these medications to be sold, and then didn’t respond to its people dying. In fact, it still hasn’t stopped the ability to write prescriptions for these medications. In fact, prescriptions haven’t gone down at all.

So not only did the government support – and is continuing to support – its people being killed by big pharma, but it’s working to stymie any progress in the fight against it, least of all anything related to helping citizens be safer with their pharmaceutically-induced drug issues. So here’s to Rhode Island, for being the first state to start the process of recovery through safe use sites, and for giving access to safe ways to use drugs for those who need it. No thanks to the federal government at all.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Is The Marijuana Dispensary Break-in Wave Payback for “Defund the Police?”

If you work at a cannabis dispensary, cultivation site or distribution center in Oakland, CA, you likely spent most of New Year’s Eve with your eyes glued to a screen, nervously staring at security camera footage—like some weed version of The Purge—waiting to see if the evening would bring yet another wave of attackers to your doorstep. 2021 went and 2022 came without a reported smash-and-grab. But cannabis businesses are still on high alert in the Bay Area and much of California—a scene repeated throughout much of the country, but perhaps felt most acutely in the legalization movement’s northern California cradle.

In the final two weeks of November, there were at least 25 cannabis break-ins and burglaries at Bay Area dispensaries, according to cannabis advocates. Police response, if there was one at all, came hours later. The exception was one notorious Nov. 16 incident in San Francisco where the dispensary security feed captured not only the burglars smashing their way inside, but a carload of police, sitting outside and watching as the break-in crew ran out, tumbled into their car and executed a sloppy three-point turn before getting away scot-free—all while police watched. 

No Answers, No Outrage

That particular incident set off outrage among the cannabis community. Even so, Ali Jamalian, chair of San Francisco’s Cannabis Oversight Committee and founder/owner of the the city’s Sunset Connect manufacturing facility, says the situation hasn’t changed much. According to Jamalian, at a meeting just before Christmas, top SFPD brass apologized for the smash-and-grab incident, promised discipline for the officers involved and swore it would never happen again. If that’s true, the cops are keeping quiet. 

A request for a detailed explanation from San Francisco police and a confirmation of Jamalian’s account went unanswered. However, according to Matt Dorsey, an SFPD spokesman, the “department used the opportunity that the episode presented to engage the officers in retraining.”

Other city officials tasked with regulating cannabis seem similarly unconcerned. In an e-mail, John Pierce, the acting director of the city’s Office of Cannabis, said that only his office is “committed to continuing to create opportunities for operators and law enforcement to connect and collectively discuss and address public safety concerns.” He did not respond to further questions, nor did he address how the crime wave is affecting the industry.

Meanwhile, in on-background interviews and behind closed doors, most cannabis business operators are seething about the indifference to the increasing smash-and-grab occurrences. Across the board, they all say they feel abandoned by the police and by city government, and they wonder if it isn’t intentional—as either comeuppance for the Defund the Police movement, or just a general dislike for cannabis and disinclination to get involved. 

In any case, the rash of mostly unsolved and uninvestigated crimes comes at a crucial juncture. While the illicit market thrives, most legal cannabis business owners are crying poverty, smothered by taxes that hit 40 percent. The burglary wave is making some question the entire marijuana legalization experiment altogether, or even the industry’s imminent collapse in California.

After all, legalization meant coming out of the shadows, paying taxes—and, in theory, enjoying all the benefits a legitimate, honest citizen expects from the state, chief among them police protection. If they can’t get that, what’s the point?

Black Lives Matter murals in Oakland, CA. PHOTO by Levi Meir Clancy.

From Peace to Chaos

It wasn’t always like this. Prior to November 2016, when California voters approved adult-use marijuana legalization, there was a grand total of one attempted robbery at an Oakland medical cannabis dispensary, according to Chaney Turner, who chairs San Francisco’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission—and that robbery failed. Peace and order prevailed for more than a decade before cannabis was even fully legal.

Since then, the situation is closer to open season. Local weed stores have been robbed so many times since June 2020 that they’ve lost count—presuming that anyone, including the police, was keeping count to begin with. (A request for a total number of the smash-and-grab incidents to the Oakland Police Department was forwarded to the department’s public-records division. As of press time, that request was still pending.)

So, what’s going on? And how to stop it? To hear cannabis advocates tell it, cannabis businesses are being robbed for a very basic reason: economic need. Nearly two years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, bank accounts are empty, stimulus checks are long gone, and relief for renters and borrowers is ending. People are hungry, in other words, and weed stores are just targets of opportunity, along with many other businesses. 

“I want people to know that the cannabis robberies is not a cannabis issue—all businesses are being targeted,” Turner said. “Robberies are happening throughout the city. It’s an issue of public safety.”

Crime Up, But Robberies Not Everywhere

The dispensary break-ins come during an overall increase in property and violent crime in the state. Critics of progressive prosecutors in cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco blame new lenient state laws for the crime wave, including Prop. 47, a ballot proposition that downgraded most crimes to misdemeanors if the property involved was worth less than $950. Others, like Turner, point to the economic havoc triggered by the pandemic. 

But it’s worth pointing out the dispensary crime wave isn’t hitting every city in the state evenly. In San Jose, just a short drive to the south, dispensary operators report no such similar crime wave. “We haven’t see a lot of it in San Jose,” said Marc Matulich, the CEO of Airfield Supply Company, a large vertically integrated dispensary in that city. 

Then again, San Jose instituted stricter security controls on its cannabis industry than other cities. Airfield employs round-the-clock security guards, a $300 to $600 a night luxury some other dispensaries say they can’t afford. And, perhaps most importantly, the “defund the police” movement was not as vocal and active there compared to other cities.

Nationally, advocates for federal cannabis reform used the dispensary break-ins as a means to emphasize the need for measures like the SAFE Banking Act, a law stalled in Congress that would have made it easier for cannabis businesses to bank. 

However, as Turner pointed out, plenty of other businesses have been hit by smash-and-grab or mob-style robberies over the past year: drugstores, clothing stores and luxury retailers such as Louis Vuitton. 

“SAFE Banking is not going to stop robberies, period,” she said. “You have all these stores that have access to banking—and they’re still getting robbed.”

“But when it comes to actual police work—police work is not being done with regard to public safety,” said Turner, who pointed out that the incident in San Francisco where police stood and watched “was just the only one captured on video.”

Encouraged to Offend

At a recent Oakland cannabis commission meeting, Turner asked Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong exactly what his officers were doing during the November crime wave. In some cases, these robberies occurred while police claimed to be occupied with other things: marches after George Floyd’s murder in May 2020, sideshows and the like. 

Police had issued a warning about possible riots or marches in response to the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers in Georgia, but after the guilty verdict came in, there were no marches. There were, however, break-ins—some while police stood and watched sideshows.

The net result is that “people are now more bold,” Turner said. “If you know you can commit a crime and there won’t be any response for hours, you don’t care where you commit that crime, because no one is responding to it.”

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Will Cannabis Breathalyzers Really Work? Probably Not. Here’s Why:

Cannabis breathalyzers are being made right now, but will they really work? Probably not, but let’s take a look at them. Cannabis breathalyzers work much like their alcohol counterparts. Hound Labs, one of the companies trying to commercialize this new tech, is developing a simple-to-use breathalyzer device. A person blows into a small tube, and […]

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Alberta To Allow Online Cannabis Sales and Deliveries Starting March 8

Currently, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission has control of online sales through its Albertacannabis.org site. That is about to change thanks to Bill 80, Alberta’s Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, causing the only authorized online retailer for cannabis products, to withdraw from the digital marketplace and make room for licensed retailers to install their own […]

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2022 Predictions for the Delta-8 THC Industry

The new year is upon us, and that means a restart to the business year, and all new things to look forward to. What will happen this year? Sure hard to say at the moment, but every new year comes with new stories of legalizations, court cases, innovative products, events, and medical findings. What about our newly discovered cannabinoids market? Here are some 2022 predictions for delta-8 THC and the rest of the lot.

My 2022 prediction for delta-8 THC is that the market will survive the year just fine. If you’re looking to try out delta-8 THC and the rest of the cannabinoids, you can do so, even outside of legal markets. In fact, since these products exist outside of regulation, you can buy them online as well. We’ve got great offers for the new year, so check out our deals to find your perfect product. Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter all the latest news and industry stories, as well as exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


What is delta-8 THC and the cannabinoids market?

If we’re getting into 2022 predictions for delta-8 THC, best to know what we’re talking about first. Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring isomer of delta-9 THC, which means they have the same chemical formula, but a different chemical structure. They are double bond stereoisomers since they vary only in the placement of a double bond.

While the exact way that delta-8 THC shows up naturally is still only theorized, its expected that delta-8 is a less-occurring degradant of delta-9, making up a tiny percentage, which doesn’t become CBN (the main degradant). Delta-8 is more stable than delta-9, having already oxidized, which gives it a longer shelf-life. Delta-8 occurs only in tiny amounts, and though it does show up on its own, it doesn’t in big enough quantities for product production. Thus, to be used in products, delta-8 must be made from delta-9 THC or from CBD, both of which require some amount of synthetic processing.

Perhaps none of this would matter, but delta-8, with its double bond on the eighth carbon atom, seems to have slightly different benefits from delta-9, which can make it preferable to some users. For example, it’s said that delta-8 causes less anxiety than delta-9, which is great for users who have an issue with this. It’s also said that it causes a more clear-headed high, which is slightly less intense than a delta-9 high, and without the couch-locking of standard weed. Medical patients especially, who want treatment without a cloudy head, may find delta-8 a better option.

cannabinoids

You’ll notice, when I mentioned 2022 predictions for delta-8 THC, that I included the rest of the cannabinoid offerings. Along with delta-8 THC, a range of other synthetically produced cannabinoids have been making it to the unregulated cannabis market.  This includes THCV, CBN, THC-O-A, HHC, and a bunch of others with varying letters to denote their similar-to-THC chemical makeup.

Why are we talking about delta-8 and other cannabinoids?

Also before getting into 2022 predictions for delta-8 THC, its best to know why we’re talking about it, since the whole reason we’re talking about it, can be a reason why the current situation might change. Delta-8 THC is produced under the misconception of legality due to the 2018 US Farm Bill, a misconception that seems to be spurred along by the industry itself, likely in an attempt to continue to sell products without regulation.

The 2018 US Farm Bill legalized the production of industrial hemp only, by simply changing the definition of ‘hemp’ in order to separate it from the rest of cannabis. ‘Hemp’ now refers to lower-THC cannabis, while ‘marijuana’ refers to higher-THC cannabis. Both the US and Europe make the cutoff at .3% THC by dry weight as the divider.

This new definition for hemp, which has led to this mass confusion in the press (but which is soundly understood by any legal professional), is: “The plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, including the plant’s seeds, and all the plant’s derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

The 2018 Farm Bill moved regulation of hemp from the FDA to the USDA, but retained FDA oversight for medicines, nutritional supplements, foods, and beverages, meaning anytime a compound is sold for any of these purposes, it requires a pass through the FDA. As such, even CBD in supplements and food products, is not legal, let alone delta-8 and the rest of the cannabinoid crew.

This is partly because synthetics weren’t legalized by the Farm Bill either, meaning once a synthetic process is used to create a compound, it no longer fits under the definition of hemp. Synthetics of Schedule I substances (like delta-9) are also considered Schedule I, which means all these compounds are illegal under the Federal Analogue Act.

delta-8 laws

2022 predictions delta-8 THC

Now that the legal situation is understood, here are my general 2022 predictions for delta-8 THC, and rest of the cannabinoid market.

  • Delta-8 will continue on. As a part of the no-one-will-do-anything-about-it loophole, delta-8 enjoys being in a position where there doesn’t seem to be an ability to go after it by the federal government. And if there is an ability, but the federal government is choosing not to at the moment, I don’t think anything will explicitly happen in 2022 that will change this situation. Best to keep an eye on the news to ensure no sweeping legal updates, or increased law enforcement in this area.
  • Delta-8 will not threaten the standard cannabis industry. Though delta-8 created a lot of press stories about the possibility of threatening the regular weed market earlier on, this seems like media overkill on the wrong point. Truth is, weed is a standard, and its existed for thousands of years in its own market that never required synthetics to be made. People want the regular thing, and the regular thing is not delta-8 THC. Plus, regular cannabis can be grown by a user, meaning its far more accessible, and easier to get a clean product.
  • Delta-8 sales might go down by year’s end. Though I expect it to continue on just fine, my 2022 prediction for delta-8 is that by year’s end this fad will be fading out. I don’t think it has to do with illegalization either, simply with the fact that temporary fads are temporary fads. Delta-8 is up against regular cannabis, and its hard to imagine such a seismic shift in a stable industry.
  • The delta-8 market will get increasingly dirty, and this says something as it already operates as a pretty dirty industry. How dirty? These companies aren’t being regulated which means they can put anything they want in their products, or use any processing techniques desirable. In fact, the industry is so dirty, that it developed its own black-market testing to give the illusion that testing is going on, when in reality this has been exposed as a sham. With a mad dash to get any income from it, I expect companies will get seedier and seedier in their attempts to seem like the good guy in a sea of criminals.
  • More states will create legislation specifically banning this market. Technically this is overkill since no state allows synthetics in their markets legally. Even so, state after state has been setting specific legislation, possibly at the behest of the US government, which doesn’t appreciate untaxed items being sold. I expect more will follow this pattern in 2022.
  • Little to no regulation will be made. The previous point goes along with this point. While states will likely be making legislation to ban the market, this will be done instead of regulating it to ensure no bad chemicals or processing are used. Since these products are being sold outside of regulation, it would make way more sense to simply regulate them, and bring them to the above board market. The lack of regulation hints at the federal government looking to simply wait out the fad (or to wait for a tank out and then pharma/corporate buyout of the current industry, which it might be more excited to police).
  • More fear stories will come out. Whether about people getting sick from adulterants put in, or stories of faked lab results, I expect more and more news on the dangers of delta-8 and the other cannabinoids, will fill the press. These stories will not be centered around the dangers of the compounds, but the dangers of what can happen to them in an unregulated market. They won’t be framed as such though, but rather they’ll be framed to give the story that the compounds themselves are dangerous.
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  • I think the rest of the cannabinoid market will start to peter out. Delta-8 is one thing, but when a new compound comes out everyday, there’s no way consumers can keep up, or care. THCP, THCVA, CBDVA…I mean, come on, it starts to look shady, and untrustworthy. And it’s not very smart. Focusing on a couple cannabinoids might have worked, but inundating the masses with compound after compound, when these compounds aren’t even understood in the world of science, is a great way to scare people off them entirely.
  • CBD might finally get some legalization. CBD is essentially just as illegal as the other compounds mentioned, not because its synthetic, but because its already an active ingredient in a pharmaceutical medication, and in the US, that makes it a no-no for use in supplements or food products. There has been a push to get some level of legalization for CBD, and I think 2022 might see some progress in this vein, particularly because the UN already gave CBD a pass as a medicine. It should be remembered that what qualifies as a ‘medicine’ in one place, can qualify as a ‘supplement’ in another.
  • The last 2022 prediction I’ll make for delta-8 THC and the cannabinoids market, is that I think people will realize more during this year that these products can’t change their lives, if they aren’t going to make changes outside of them. With any fad that comes without the lasting power to stay, once people realize the answer isn’t as easy as they think, they generally decide to try something else instead. Does this mean people will start making bigger changes to the rest of their lives? Well, maybe not, but I expect they’ll start looking for a new easy answer.

Conclusion

Maybe I’m right on some of these points, and maybe I’m wrong. When it comes to 2022 predictions for delta-8 THC, we can all have our own, but in the end, we just have to wait and see what happens.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Things certainly look dim for many businesses operating in the legal cannabis sector in the US. And some Wall Street firms opine that things will be no different in 2022. That is the prediction of a report prepared by Viridian Capital Advisors. Based in New York, the firm looks after financial and strategic advice exclusively […]

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