Gauging the Cannabis Industry at Green Market Summit

From left: Vivien Azer, Debra Borchardt, Emily Paxhia, Jessica Billingsly, Jeannette Ward Horton, Cynthia Salarizadeh and Tahira Rehmatullah

“This is the most interesting investment concept today,” TV personality Jim Cramer said about the high-flying cannabis industry as he kicked off the Green Market Summit at New York’s World Trade Center on Sept. 14.

Industry experts shared a vision of legal cannabis as a trillion dollar-plus disruptor of the pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries as more Fortune 500 companies take aim at the sector. Panel topics focused on the economics of cannabis, reaching out to consumers and the potential for marijuana to become more mainstream.

One major theme of the one-day conference that drew about 200 people centered around the growing role of Fortune 500 companies in the space, such as Constellation Brands and Molson Coors.

“Rob Sands is a very smart guy,” Cramer said about Constellation’s CEO, who inked a $4 billion deal with Canopy Growth over the summer to produce non-alcoholic cannabis beverages in Canada. It’s the largest investment yet by any major company in cannabis, but more are expected. Constellation owns Corona, Mondavi and many other alcohol brands.

Weekly Legislative Roundup 9/21/18

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

This week, reports circulated that  the US Customs and Border Protection Agency will enforce a federal policy denying entry into the United States any individual involved in Canada’s burgeoning marijuana market. Under the policy, US officials are to bar entry to Canadians who acknowledge having consumed marijuana at any time in their past, as well as those who are either employed or invested in legal cannabis enterprises. NORML responded here.

The U.S. Senate’s VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018 got one more cosponsor, for a total of five. And The U.S. House’s Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act got two new cosponsors, for a total of three.

At the state level, the New Jersey Department of Health removed the ban that prohibited licensed medical cannabis dispensaries from selling concentrates to patients. Separately, details arose about New Jersey’s soon-to-be-filed marijuana legalization bill, which includes what would be the lowest tax rate in the country, home delivery, social consumption sites, and provisions benefiting small and minority owned businesses, but nothing about home cultivation. Nothing is final yet.

Several New York Assembly committees have scheduled the first of what will be four joint hearings this fall on the prospect of legalizing marijuana in the Empire State. This comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is holding a series of separate listening sessions across the state to gather public input …

Floyd Prozanski Wants to Divert Oregon’s Primo Weed to Other Legal States

State Senator Floyd Prozanski is one of the Oregon’s legislative leaders and chair of the State Senate’s judiciary committee. He’s been heavily involved in crafting the state’s social-use legislation as well as its retail medical-marijuana program. He’ll be appearing at the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in Portland on Sept. 28. We conducted this interview with on Sept. 14.

How is Oregon dealing with its reported marijuana surpluses and what some describe as excessive cultivation licensing?

In 2017, my Senate Bill 1042, which passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee that I chair, was going to give the governor what I call a tool in her toolbox to be able to enter into compacts with adjacent, adjoining states that had marijuana programs, either or both medical and recreational, and allow for the flow of cannabis products across state lines. I believe Oregon that the quality and the strains we produce in the medical arena would be in high demand for patients and individuals in the adjacent states. Unfortunately, the Senate leadership moved it to another committee for more consideration and it was not able to get out of that committee.

You’re talking about making Oregon-grown cannabis available in adjoining legal states like California and Washington?

Yes. Clearly, what we’d be doing at that point would be establishing a method to allow for these transfers to occur that would not be in violation of interstate commerce. To do that, we …

Marijuana Law Reform Advocates Head to Harrisburg

With a state legislative session spanning almost an entire calendar year, supporters of marijuana law reform efforts in Pennsylvania are working overtime to make sure their voices are heard. That’s why members of Lehigh Valley NORML, Pittsburgh NORML, Lancaster NORML and Philly NORML are teaming up with the Keystone Cannabis Coalition and ACLU of Pennsylvania for rally and lobby day next week in the state’s capital of Harrisburg.

Click Here to RSVP Today!

“Marijuana activists in Pennsylvania are poised to introduce an aggressive agenda for reform in 2019 when they fill the Capitol Rotunda at 10am on Monday, September 24,” said Jeff Riedy, Executive Director of Lehigh Valley NORML. “With cannabis arrest counts rising across the state and neighboring states threatening legalization, the time is right for this discussion in Pennsylvania.”

But activists in the Keystone State have come a very long way in just a short amount of time.

Local Victories

In late 2014 Philadelphia’s city council decriminalized simple possession of marijuana. Little did they know, their decision would trigger a wave of municipalities across the Commonwealth to adopt similar measures. In the years following, local lawmakers in Pittsburgh, State College, Harrisburg, York, Erie, and most recently, Bethlehem followed suit.

These local victories were celebrated not just by advocates, but also the Commonwealth’s Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who shared the following statement:

“Decriminalization saves millions of dollars spent yearly on marijuana prosecutions. Decriminalization also has human benefits

Canadian Regulatory Authorities Struggling To Define Rules

Now that Canada finally has a date for the recreational market start, the federal government, provinces and other regulatory authorities are beginning to issue guidelines and rules that are going to define the early days of the recreational industry.

These include regulations on retail trade, medical sales and use. However this is precisely where the confusion is growing.

The Government Will Continue To Run The Medical Cannabis System

In a move to protect patients, Health Canada has announced that it will continue to run the medical part of the market for at least the next five years. In good news for medical users, this announcement was made against calls from the Canadian Medical Association for the medical infrastructure developed on Canada’s path to recreational reform to be phased out. The reason, according to the CMA? Many doctors feel uncomfortable prescribing the drug because of a lack of research and a general lack of understanding about dosing.

Both patients and advocates have expressed support for continuing the medical system. This includes organizations like the Canadian Nurses Association who fear that if a focus is taken off of medical use, producers will ignore this part of the market to focus only on recreational sales.

In the future, after legalization, Health Canada will also continue to support more research and trials.

Provinces Are Setting Their Own Rules For Recreational Sales

Despite early statements, the recreational market is still in the throes of market …

The Meteoric Rise of Canada’s Legal Cannabis Industry

While the US boasts the largest economy and stock market in the world, with giants Apple, Netflix and Google, Canada offers the largest cannabis companies for now.

To be sure, US cannabis companies such as MedMen Enterprises Inc. and Terra Tech Corp. have been expanding quickly. But Canada’s Tilray Inc., Canopy Growth Corp., Aurora Cannabis Inc., Aphria Inc., Cronos Group Inc. and others have bulked up significantly. The leading Canadian company, British Columbia-based Tilray, is currently valued at $14.4 billion.

With adult-use sales scheduled to begin in Canada on October 17, the spigot of capital has opened as investors pour money into the nation’s top pot stocks. The total cannabis market in Canada, including medical and recreational products, may yield up to $5.4 billion (C$7.2 billion) in sales next year, according to estimates from Deloitte.

With an eye on this growth, financiers and executives have been eager to offer investors new options. Tilray’s shares jumped 30% in their stock market debut on the NASDAQ on July 19, giving the company a total market value of $2.7 billion at the time. It’s a rich price tag for a business on track to earn just $80 million this year.

NORML Endorses Utah’s Proposition 2

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) endorses Proposition 2: The Utah Medical Cannabis Act, which regulates the licensed production and distribution of medical cannabis products to qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation.

Seventy-seven percent of adults express support for the law change, according to statewide polling data compiled in March.

“Proposition 2 is the result of years of intransigence on the part of Utah politicians who have time and time again refused to move forward with legislation to provide regulated cannabis access to the array of patients who could benefit from it,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said.

Under legislation enacted by the legislature in 2018, only those patients who are terminally ill may potentially access cannabis-infused products. To date, however, such products are not yet legally available.

“Passage of Proposition 2 will assure that those patients with qualified debilitating conditions who need medical cannabis have access to lab-tested products via a tightly regulated system of licensed, above-ground state-licensed facilities,” Strekal added.

If enacted by voters this November, Utah would become the 32nd state to permit patients’ access to medical cannabis.

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/09/19/norml-endorses-utahs-proposition-2/…

Packaging Design for Cannabis Products: How to Build Trust and Gain Customers

To sell more cannabis products, you must build trust with your customers. Design Shack Magazine explains: “Trust is a key component of user loyalty, and a reason why people come to your company or brand.”

If you don’t get your package design right, people might simply ignore your cannabis products.But building trust is a big challenge for new medical cannabis businesses. That’s where good design can help:“While a lot of trust comes from past performance and a brand’s track-record, it also comes from the design. How a website, poster or package looks can impact how users feel about it and whether they take the leap from casual looker to brand loyalist.”

For a cannabis health supplement business, the product packaging design is one of the most important ways to reassure consumers and build trust.

When a prospective customer first sees your product, they see the packaging before they can touch or see the product. Good product packaging can raise concerns or instill comfort and confidence in a potential buyer.

If you don’t get your package design right, people might simply ignore your cannabis products.

So, let’s take a look at what your business can do to create great product packaging designs that will win over the skeptics and gain customers.

Include the Right Content On Product Packaging

Designing packaging that inspires trust starts with including the right content.

Start by telling people exactly what’s inside your packaging. …

The Top 12 Canadian Pot Stocks

These 12 stocks are where canna-investors should place their bets. Each company is a licensed producer (LP) of cannabis in Canada.

1. Canopy Growth (TSE: WEED)

Market cap: $14.5 billion; owns Ontario-based LP, Tweed; with it’s recent $4 billion investment, Constellations Brands, whose stable of alcohol companies includes Corona and Mondavi, now owns 38% of Canopy.

2. Aurora Cannabis (OTC: ACBFF)

Market cap: $7.3 billion; Alberta-based LP also owns Ontario-based LP, MedRelief Corp. as well as subsidiaries CannaMed and Hempco Food and Fiber; on Sept. 17, it was reported that Coca-Cola had contacted Aurora about launching a CBD soft drink in Canada.

3. Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY)

Market cap: $10.2 billion; owns the British Columbia-based LP; on Sept. 17, it was reported that the DEA will begin to import cannabis from Tilray for research purposes.

New US Border Policy Barring Canadians Involved In Legal Marijuana Market

NORML staff today responded to reports that the US Customs and Border Protection Agency will enforce a federal policy denying entry into the United States any individual involved Canada’s burgeoning marijuana market. Under the policy, US officials are to bar entry to Canadians who acknowledge having consumed marijuana at any time in their past, as well as those who are either employed or invested in legal cannabis enterprises.

Canada legalized the regulated production and distribution of medical cannabis in 2,000. In June of this year, Canadian lawmakers gave final approval to separate legislation regulating the adult use marijuana market. The new law takes effect on October 17, 2018.

“This is an irrational and discriminatory policy that unduly penalizes tens of thousands of Canadians who pose no health or safety risk to the United States. Let’s be clear: these are people engaged in activity that is legal in their home country of Canada — and it is activity that is also legally regulated in a majority of US states,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “Further, to inappropriately classify those who are either employed or simply have invested in the Canadian cannabis industry, an industry that has been legal in Canada for well over a decade already, as drug traffickers fails to pass the smell test.”

He added, “At a time when public opinion and the culture around marijuana is rapidly shifting, not just in the US but around the world,

Weekly Legislative Roundup 9/14/18

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved legislation (HR 5634: The Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018) to facilitate federally-approved clinical trials assessing the efficacy of whole-plant cannabis. The vote marks the first time that lawmakers have ever decided in favor of easing existing federal restrictions which limit investigators ability to clinically study marijuana in a manner similar to other controlled substances.

On the other hand, a congressional conference committee opted not to include a Senate-passed provision in a bill to fund the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The measure is known as the Veterans Equal Access Amendment, which sought to facilitate veterans’ access to medical cannabis in jurisdictions that regulate it.

Also, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), one of Congress’s more ardent drug warriors—signed on as a cosponsor of the STATES Act, to remove the threat of federal intervention and prosecution in states that regulate marijuana use and sales.

At the state level, New Mexico’s health secretary approved adding obstructive sleep apnea as a medical cannabis qualifying condition, but rejected adding opioid addiction, muscular dystrophy, Tourette’s syndrome, eczema and psoriasis. Separately, regulators are holding a series of public meeting next month to receive feedback on proposed hemp rules.

Vermont’s marijuana legalization study committee held a meeting. And California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill prohibiting the marketing of cannabis products on websites used by minors.

At a more local …

Justice for Botham: Law Enforcement and Media Attempt to Slander Murder Victim Over Marijuana

After the murder of Botham Jean by Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger, in his own home, some, but not all, of the search warrants that were executed were released to public record. One of which, that was released the same day as Botham Jean’s funeral, listed a small amount of marijuana among the items found in Jean’s apartment.

Commenting on the developments, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri stated:

“The release of a Dallas police affidavit into the public record regarding marijuana found in Botham Jean’s apartment is nothing more than an attempt by law enforcement and the media to posthumously criminalize and cast aspersions on a man who by all accounts is guilty of nothing other than sitting quietly in his own home. Over half of all Americans have consumed marijuana at some point in their lives and to pretend in any way the possession of a plant that is objectively safer than alcohol or tobacco provides legitimacy to his extrajudicial execution is disgusting and egregious. Whether or not the victim possessed marijuana is irrelevant to the case and a sad attempt to slander an otherwise innocent person. Botham Jean and his family need and deserve justice, not a pathetic attempt at a smear campaign.”

You can read more about this developing situation here and here.

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/09/14/justice-for-botham-law-enforcement-and-media-attempt-to-slander-murder-victim-over-marijuana/…

Tick Segerblom on Nevada Legalization: ‘It’s a Work in Progress’

Nevada State Senator Richard “Tick” Segerblom descends from a long line of legislators. In November, he’s running for a spot on the Clark County Commission. Segerblom, who’s also an attorney, was instrumental in getting marijuana legalized in the Silver State and continues to monitor developments. He’s also a member of Freedom Leaf’s board of directors.

Was it inevitable that you would go into politics?

I’m a fourth-generation Nevada legislator. My great-grandfather was a state senator from Winnemucca, my grandmother was an assemblywoman from Winnemucca and my mother was an assemblywoman from Boulder City, so I’d say it was inevitable that I would try to serve to keep the streak going. Seriously, I had a keen interest from early on because I saw how government could have a very positive role in a community and be a force for good. I got my first chance working for Jimmy Carter’s administration and never looked back.

You’ve been a member of the Nevada legislature since 2007. What have been your greatest accomplishments?

There are many bills I’m proud to have signed onto, including increased education funding and greater worker protections. I’m especially proud of working with other legislators to create the state’s first workable medical marijuana framework in 2013 and then working to improve that system in 2015 and 2017. We’ve come a very long way since voters first put the right to medical marijuana in the state’s constitution in 2000.

You supported

Kentucky NORML Newsletter for September 2018

State News:

On Sept. 7th, 2018, the Interim Joint Judiciary Committee held a meeting to discuss medical marijuana and the bill being proposed by Rep. Nemes (R-), Rep. St. Onge (R-), Rep. Hart (R-) and Rep Sims (D-). They discussed their bill and invited Louisville resident Cassie Everett and her family to speak at the event. Link to article Link

Kentucky Farmers Find Hemp More Profitable Than Tobacco. Link to article

McLean Businessman Among State-Approved Cannabis Growers Link to article

Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, presents information on proposed legislation on medical marijuana for the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly during the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations. Link to article

National News:

A Rare Moment of Bi-Partisan Agreement is Underway for Sen. McConnell Sponsored “Hemp Farming Act” (Link to article).

Upcoming Events:

September 14th – Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations – 10 am – The Capitol, Frankfort, KY

September 18th – KY NORML General Meeting –  One Love Hemp Dispensary, 1908 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, KY 40205. Meeting from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM.Ice Cream Social Put on by Cozmic Gardens from 5 PM – 6:30 PM.

A Province-By-Province Look At Recreational Cannabis In Canada

Federal recreational reform is coming to Canada next month, the second country after Uruguay to take the plunge. For the first time in almost a century, in other words, cannabis is now about to be legal again.

The federal government will license and regulate the industry. However each province and territory (analogous to American states) will set the rules on distribution and sales. As a result, there is quite a bit of difference across the country with implications both for licensed producers (LPs) and consumers.

A quick guide to the general Canadian regulations broken down by Province.

Who Can Buy, Sell and Grow?

With two exceptions, the legal age of consent is 19, home growing of up to 4 plants is allowed across many provinces (with only Quebec, Manitoba and Nunavut banning the practice), and rules vary by province on both public and private consumption.

However what the industry is really looking at right now is where private enterprise will be allowed to flourish at the retail end of the industry. Private retailers will be allowed to operate in 7 provinces and territories where they will compete with government run outlets. In New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and the Yukon, consumers will be required to shop in only government-run establishments.

Nunavut, with no licensed producers, will allow online sales only, even in a recreational market. This gives Tilray an instant advantage with their established online …

Congressional Committee Approves Legislation To Facilitate Clinical Cannabis Research

Members of the House Judiciary Committee voted today in favor of legislation (HR 5634: The Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018) to facilitate federally-approved clinical trials assessing the efficacy of whole-plant cannabis. The vote marks the first time that lawmakers have ever decided in favor of easing existing federal restrictions which limit investigators ability to clinically study marijuana in a manner similar to other controlled substances.

“The federal hurdles in place that currently discourage clinicians from engaging in clinical cannabis research have long been onerous and irrational,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “It is high time that lawmakers recognize this problem and take action to amend it so that investigators may conduct the same sort of high-quality clinical research with cannabis that they do with other substances.”

Currently, federal regulations mandate that investigators participating in FDA-approved clinical trials involving cannabis must obtain marijuana from a single, federally-licensed source, the University of Mississippi. However, many of those familiar with their product have criticized its quality, opining that it possesses subpar potency, is often poorly manicured, and that it does not accurately reflect the wide variety of cannabis products and strains available to consumers.

As the result of a lawsuit, DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner in 2007 ruled that expanding the pool of federally licensed providers would be “in the public interest.” The agency ultimately rejected that decision. In 2016, the DEA publicly changed its stance and 

NORML Endorses Michigan’s Proposal 1

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is pleased to endorse Proposal 1: The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, which will appear on November’s electoral ballot.

The initiative permits those over the age of 21 to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis and related concentrates, while also licensing activities related to commercial marijuana production and retail marijuana sales.

“NORML endorses Proposal 1 because it will bring an end to the criminal arrest and prosecution of tens of thousands of adults annually, while generating new economic and tax revenue for the state of Michigan,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Voters in recent years have consistently voted ‘yes’ on these types of adult use ballot measures, and we believe that Michigan’s voters will similar embrace this common-sense proposal.”

Over 56 percent of likely voters say they back the passage of Proposal 1, according to polling data released this week by The Detroit News. Among voters between the ages of 18 and 39, over 70 percent support the ballot initiative.

If enacted by voters this November, Michigan will become the tenth US state to regulate adult marijuana use.

Proponents of the effort, The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, include members of Michigan NORML, the Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights Association MI Legalize, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition, and lawyers from the State Bar of Michigan …

Boston Freedom Rally: Three Days of Weed & Music

The 29th Annual Boston Freedom Rally commences on Friday, Sept. 14 on Boston Common and continues until Sunday, Sept. 16. More than 40 bands will perform on the two stages and over 100 speakers will address the crowd from the stages and Education Village. Freedom Leaf’s Steve Bloom will be there, speaking and reporting back from the East Coast’s No. 1 cannabis event. Thousands of supporters are expected to attend the rally. No rain is in the forecast and temps will be in the high 70s and low 80s. Here’s the schedule:

FRIDAY, SEPT. 14

Charles Stage

3 pm – welcome**

3:05 – DJ D Good*

4:05 – Dr. Uma Dhanabalan**