CBS Rejects Super Bowl Ad on Benefits of Medical Marijuana: CBS rejected a Super Bowl ad that makes a case for medical marijuana. Acreage Holdings, which is in the cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensing business, said it produced a 60-second ad that shows three people suffering from varying health issues who say their lives were made better by use of medical marijuana. Acreage said its ad agency sent storyboards for the ad to the network and received a return email that said: “CBS will not be accepting any ads for medical marijuana at this time.” www.usatoday.com
Super Bowl LIII Will Feature CBD Coffee Ads In Stadium: Super Bowl LIII will feature Baristas EnrichaRoast CBD Coffee ads at the stadium, marking the first time CBD ads are shown at the Super Bowl. The special set of ads will run throughout the day in and around the stadium before, during, and after the game promoting national brand Baristas Coffee Company’s CBD coffee. www.forbes.com
Illinois Medical Marijuana Sales Strong Ahead of Opioid Alternative Program: Illinois’ medical marijuana program posted steady growth in 2018, pulling in $133 million in dispensary sales while increasing patient enrollment 66% over the course of the year. The bullish outlook comes after annual sales at Illinois dispensaries increased 55% last year versus 2017, with average monthly sales going from $7 million per month to $11 million per month in 2018. Concentrates and infused products continued to increase their market share, overtaking flower for the first time. Dry flower sales hovered at an average of 49% of transactions for the year, down from 55% in 2017 and 60% in July 2016, when the state began reporting the data. In 2018, an average of 1,875 new patients registered for the MMJ program each month, up from average monthly patient increases of 1,260 in 2017. Mjbizdaily.com
Cannabis M&A Spikes in US, Overseas as Firms Look Beyond Canada for Growth: Canadian medical cannabis companies are increasingly looking internationally for acquisitions to tap growth while consolidation in the country’s marijuana sector continues to steam ahead.
- Last year, 140 U.S. cannabis companies were targets of mergers and acquisitions, a substantial increase over 2017’s 86, according to data compiled by Viridian Capital Advisors and shared with Marijuana Business Daily.
- Cannabis firms in Canada raised a record 11.96 billion Canadian dollars ($9 billion) in 2018, helping fuel the recent acquisition binge.
- Last year, Canadian cannabis companies were the buyers in 207 M&A transactions – more than double 2017’s 81, according to Viridian’s data.
- M&A transactions where the target is located outside North America tripled last year to 36. mjbizdaily.com
California Marijuana Growers Association Drops Suit Over Loophole for Mega-Farms: The California Growers Association has dropped a lawsuit it filed a year ago against the state over a regulatory loophole that allowed commercial-scale cannabis farms to begin operating in 2018. The case, which never gained much traction in court, focused on a sudden change in course by the CDFA in late 2017 when the agency decided to allow cannabis companies to obtain unlimited numbers of “small” MJ grow permits. Such licenses have a maximum capacity of 10,000 square feet – essentially opening the door to immense cannabis grows. That allowance, the lawsuit argued, was contrary to Proposition 64, approved by California voters in 2016, which prohibited any “large” cultivation licenses from being issued by the state until 2023. “Medium” cultivation permits allow for grows between 10,000 square feet and an acre, but those are still limited to one license per company. Since the loophole went into effect early last year, plenty of growers have obtained scores of “small” grow permits to build out large-capacity marijuana farms. That’s happened most notably in Santa Barbara County, which has emerged as an MJ cultivation epicenter in California. Mjbizdaily.com
All The Things the New Anti-Weed Crusade Gets Horribly Wrong – It’s Reefer Madness all Over Again, Somehow: Stories about cannabis are like catnip, so it was only matter of time before someone with an aura of credibility decided to capitalize on the growing consensus in favor of legalization with an extreme contrarian perspective. And what could better troll the legalizers than arguing, in essence, that Reefer Madness is real—and pot really does cause insanity, murder, and mayhem? Enter former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson, whose new book Tell Your Children: The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence, attempts to do just that. Its main title is literally taken from the original name for that much-mocked 1936 film. www.vice.com
SQDC Sells $40 Million in Cannabis so Far, but Not Yet Profitable: Despite supply shortages, Quebec’s cannabis retailer is one of the biggest legal sellers in the country. In the three months since legalization, the Société québécoise du cannabis has made about $40 million in online and in-store sales. On Oct. 17 last year, the province’s first 12 outlets quickly sold out of many of its products. Initially open seven days a week, the retail outlets are now only open Thursday to Sunday to put less of a strain on in-store supplies. The SQDC now aims to have 40 stores open by March 2020, down from 50 in its original expansion plan. The retailer will also use this time to adapt to the new cannabis legislation that includes raising the legal age of consumption to 21 and blocking stores from opening near CEGEPs and universities. The supply issue should improve in the spring when more cannabis from licensed producers becomes available. www.cbc.ca
Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Debate Grows in CT: Hartford — In the back-and-forth debate the past few years at the General Assembly over legalizing recreational marijuana, opponents have argued there is no standard Breathalyzer test for marijuana as there is for alcohol. In anticipation of state legislators once again debating and possibly voting on legalizing recreational marijuana in Connecticut, Rep. Gail Lavielle, R-Wilton, has submitted a bill calling for a study of the issue. In anticipation of state legislators once again debating and possibly voting on legalizing recreational marijuana in Connecticut, Rep. Gail Lavielle, R-Wilton, has submitted a bill calling for a study of the issue. www.ctpost.com
Oklahoma Senator Proposes Bill to Allow Counties to Decide on Medical Marijuana Legalization: In June, over 891,000 voters cast their ballots to pass State Question 788, which legalizes medical marijuana in Oklahoma. Since applications became available in August, officials say more than 30,000 patient applications have been approved by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. Now, an Oklahoma lawmaker has proposed a bill that would allow counties to decide whether they want to follow State Question 788. Senate Bill 325, which was authored by Sen. Casey Murdock, would add restrictions to where medical marijuana can be consumed, sold or possessed. “ kfor.com
Louisiana May Have Medical Cannabis Available by Summer 2019: In September 2017, research and biotechnical development company GB Sciences announced its partnership with the Louisiana State University Agriculture Center to produce medical cannabis. Last week, LSU’s Vice President of Agriculture Dr. Richardson said the university and GB Sciences were on track to submitting their final suitability study to state police by Jan. 21. If the crop clears all of its requirements for quality and safety, medical cannabis products could be available in Louisiana dispensaries this summer. hightimes.com
How Marijuana’s CBD Works in the Body According to Science: Studies from the university of Sao Paulo and London have discovered how CBD affects anxiety, targeting 5-HT1A, a serotonin receptor that’s involved with the regulation of anxiety, pain, appetite, addiction and others. CBD produces an antidepressant effect, alleviating the symptoms previously mentioned. It’s also been discovered that CBDA – cannabdiolic acid – present in cannabis in its raw form, also stimulates 5-HT1A. Unlike mushrooms, LSD and other stimulants that excite the receptor, CBD slows it down. CBD is also able to interact with receptors that are responsible for pain perception, inflammation and body temperature. One of these receptors is TRPV, also known as a vanilloid receptor, named after the vanilla bean due to the analgesic and antiseptic properties it has in common with the plant. Marijuana’s CBD stimulates TRPV, producing great therapeutic results when it comes to treating different sorts of pain. Some studies suggest that CBD not only stimulates receptors like TRPV and 5-HT1A, but that it’s also capable of blocking them. GPR55 is a receptor that facilitates bone reabsorption, and when there’s too much of it studies link it to diseases like osteoporosis and cancer. 420intel.com
New Study Shows Joints Waste 300 Percent More THC Than Dabs: A recent study conducted by Swiss researchers from the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Bern found that dabbing did a much better job of getting the total amount of available THC and CBD into your lungs than smoking. In fact, the study published in Forensic Science International found that joints waste 300 percent more THC than dabs. The marijuana flowers tested at a total of 17 percent THC while the BHO was more than four times as potent with 71 percent THC. Lung availability is the recovery of THC in the condensate. The BHO had 75.5 percent lung availability while the canna-flowers were only able to recover 26.7 percent. Low-temperature dabs are vaporized, not combusted–so there is less of a loss in THC from burning. 420intel.com
Future Weed: Formulations, Patents and Where Cannabis is Going Next: As cannabis users embrace concentrates, companies are isolating chemicals to make reliable products — and it’s making weed products intellectual property. When you think of weed, you likely think of a sticky bud, an oil, maybe even a tincture. But what if you reconfigured your notion of cannabis to instead envision an abstract scientific equation? Sure, this may sound like the stuff of stoner sci-fi, except that it’s the real-life direction that the cannabis industry is headed. That’s because the future of weed is in formulations. The new cannabis consumer is looking for an exact, consistent experience to reliably target either a particular medical ailment, or to bring about a specific, desired effect. And it turns out, these consistent, tailored experiences, as well as the technology used to procure them, comprise a company’s intellectual property — which can be transferred, legally, anywhere in the country. After all, we’re not talking about actual weed here, just its abstract scientific expression and methodology. Some companies are turning that into a growing business. Innovative research and development companies with clinical labs are experimenting with plant genetics and chromatography, using a process of trial and error to see how different cannabinoids and terpenes uniquely interact with the human body. Those executing cannabis R&D have the option to retain their IP as a trade secret, or to partner with a cultivation company in any state in order to share their own proprietary cannabinoid/terpene ratios or technology — like that behind Ebbu’s genetic editing technique — to co-create weed-based, designer products. While the option of patenting sellable technology beckons pharmaceutical companies into the cannabis industry, it may also offer protections to more boutique companies perfecting their plant varieties or crafting new products. At the same time, this technology can help cannabis brands appeal to the masses. www.rollingstone.com
US Virgin Islands enacts medical cannabis law, opens tourism business avenues: U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. has given a new medical marijuana law his stamp of approval, making the territory the latest Caribbean jurisdiction to open its doors to cannabis businesses and potential new tourism opportunities. The Office of Cannabis Regulation (OCR) will publish rules within four months, and the issuance of licenses will start three months after that. The law will also create a new medical cannabis tourism industry by allowing patients from states and countries with regulated markets to access Virgin Islands medical cannabis for a fee and, according to the statute, “allow non-cannabis patients worldwide to visit the Virgin Islands and receive cannabis therapy as part of an in-patient program.” mjbizdaily.com
Most Children with Autism See Improvement in Symptoms with High-CBD, Low-THC Medical Cannabis: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) witnessed improvement in symptoms and less reliance on other medications after treatment with Tikun Olam’s Avidekel™ medical cannabis. A two-year study followed 188 children, with an average age of 13, diagnosed with ASD, notes a statement from reports Tikun Olam. The patients were treated with the company’s high-CBD, low-THC medical cannabis strains, which have been specifically cultivated, the statement adds. The company reports that, at the study’s outset, the most common patient symptoms were restlessness (90.4 percent), rage attacks (79.8 percent) and agitation (78.7 percent). After six months of daily cannabis treatment at company clinics in Israel, “80.1 percent of patients reported improvement of their symptoms, with 30.1 percent reporting ‘significant’ improvement, the statement claims. Leaderpost.com
Michigan is Turning to The Black Market to Combat Cannabis Supply Shortages: Michigan’s medical marijuana market is facing a serious supply shortage, so the state is turning to the black market to solve it. All unlicensed cannabis businesses in Michigan were forced to close on December 31, leaving patients with few places to legally buy medical marijuana. To fight this issue, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board will temporarily allow unlicensed dispensaries to re-open at the request of Michigan’s new governor Gretchen Whitmer (D). Experts say the move should go a long way to rectifying the supply problems. But the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association is urging Whitmer to streamline the application process so that fully licensed cannabis businesses will be far more abundant. Only business that have already re-applied for their licenses, but were not re-approved by the deadline, are being allowed to re-open. www.civilized.life
Titans of Beer Industry Betting on Drinks Containing Cannabis: The makers of Budweiser, Coors and other large-scale brewers are placing their bets on cannabis as a way to fight saturated markets and shifting consumer trends. For years, the industry’s largest players have struggled with stagnating markets and changing consumer tastes. The larger players are fighting back by pushing into the cannabis industry as a potential engine for future growth. Anheuser-Busch said in December that it would partner with medicinal cannabis maker Tilray Inc. to develop non-alcoholic drinks containing cannabis. Constellation raised its stake in Canadian cannabis maker Canopy Growth to 38 percent from 9 percent in 2018. Molson Coors holds a 59 percent stake in cannabis producer Hydropothecary. “This is the area that I would expect the most interesting development to happen,” Malandrakis said. “Cannabis could be the big disruptor.” Constellation, in its latest conference call with investors, said the “emerging cannabis space represents one of the most significant global growth opportunities of the next decade, and frankly our lifetime.”www.pressherald.com
How Florida’s $250M Medical Cannabis Market Could Open up to New Businesses in 2019: Florida’s $250 million medical marijuana market is poised to swing its doors open to new companies next year after two judicial rulings in recent months that could reshape the competitive landscape. More competitors would be a change for the Sunshine State’s large MMJ market, which currently is dominated by about a half-dozen vertically integrated operators. To what extent the market opens up depends on a few factors:
- In August, a Florida judge struck down as unconstitutional what he viewed as an arbitrary restriction on the number of MMJ business licenses; the state has appealed. A 2017 law implementing the program called for 10 new licenses, then four additional licenses for every 100,000 patients.
- The judge also said the requirement that Florida’s MMJ businesses be vertically integrated was flawed – a development that would further open the door to more companies and greater competition.
- In May, another Florida judge ruled that the Legislature’s ban on smokable flower was unconstitutional. The state also appealed that decision.
- In the meantime, state regulators must finalize rules allowing sales of cannabis-infused edibles.
- Edibles products would give sales an added boost.
Despite the current legal confusion, Florida’s MMJ market has been growing at a gallop:
- The number of active patients has nearly tripled, from 56,537 as of Dec. 1, 2017, to 159,107 as of Dec. 7, 2018.
- The number of dispensaries has risen from 24 to 78 in the past year.
- MMJ sales via dispensaries are expected to total $200 million-$300 million in 2018, according to projections in the Marijuana Business Factbook 2018, up considerably from an estimated $20 million-$40 million in 2017.
Florida has approved only 14 MMJ licenses, making them a hot commodity. In recent months, licenses have commanded $50 million or more when resold to a new business. Currently, seven businesses dominate the market: Trulieve, Surterra Wellness, Curaleaf, Knox Medical, Liberty Health Sciences, Vidacann and AltMed Florida Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson ruled that Florida’s license cap violated the 2016 voter-approved initiative, which was a constitutional amendment. Naturally, existing vertically integrated operators are “very upset” and will be “putting up a big fight,” Vazquez predicted. mjbizdaily.com
Florida to Announce Legalization of Medical Marijuana Flower: Patients in Florida will finally be allowed to consume cannabis in whatever format is expressly approved by their physician, including smoking marijuana in private places, as long as it is purchased in a legal, state-licensed dispensary. Sources close to the regulators opine that Florida is a highly coveted market with its vertical integration and dense population. Therefore, cannabis flower from an investment perspective, is set to expand while stocks from companies with holdings in Florida might predictably soar. www.forbes.com
California Legal Agency Signs off on State’s Final Cannabis Industry Rules: The California Office of Administrative Law approved final marijuana industry rules that regulators had published in December, paving the way for the state to implement a permanent regulatory framework for the nation’s largest cannabis market. One of the most contentious policies – which could lead to a legal battle between state regulators and municipalities that have prohibited commercial cannabis operations – is from the BCC, which allows marijuana deliveries to be made in any jurisdiction in California, regardless of local MJ business bans. mjbizdaily.com
Wisconsin: Evers says budget likely to include ‘first step’ toward legalizing medical marijuana: Governor Evers said his budget will likely start the process of moving toward medical marijuana legalization. Looking further ahead, he said his administration will likely take more steps toward full legalization “or call for a statewide referendum.” www.wispolitics.com
Medical Marijuana Bill Will be Introduced by Tennessee Lawmakers: As proposed, the legislation would create a new government commission to regulate the marijuana industry and allow patients who have been diagnosed with certain illnesses to obtain a medical card permitting them to legally purchase marijuana products from dispensaries that the state would license. State Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, and Rep. Ron Travis, R-Dayton, said they will introduce the bill in the coming weeks, and their effort is already endorsed by the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Trade Association, according to a news release.. www.tennessean.com
Portugal – Parties Propose Legalization of Recreational Cannabis: The Left Bloc (BE) and People-Animals-Nature (PAN) have debated the legalization of cannabis for recreational use, in the form of bills tabled to the Portuguese parliament. The BE is calling for sales to be made only in establishments licensed for the purpose that they “must have, only as their main activity the commerce of cannabis plants, substances or preparations”, while PAN takes the view that sales “should occur exclusively in pharmacies”, where there are professionals qualified to offer clarification. Both parties specify, that sales of the product should only be made to people aged 18 and over and who are not suffering from mental illness. www.theportugalnews.com
Arizonans Consumed 61 Tons of Medical Marijuana in 2018: Medical-marijuana patients in Arizona smoked, vaped, dabbed, ate, or otherwise consumed a record 61 tons of cannabis products in 2018, state records show. The report shows that Arizona dispensaries sold 2.5 tons of edibles, about 56 tons of flower, and slightly more than 2.5 tons of “marijuana other,” which includes resin extracts like shatter or the THC oil in vape cartridges, and also products like topicals or time-release patches. About 34 percent more edibles were sold in 2018 than the previous year, but the pace of sales for resin extracts rose even faster, with 83 percent more such products sold. The state listed more than 186,000 patients as active cardholders, which is a 22 percent increase over the December 2017 total. 420intel.com
Citing Pressure from Nearby U.S. States, Rhode Island Gov. Proposes Full Cannabis Legalization: To prevent surrounding legal marijuana states from creating chaos in Rhode Island, Governor Gina Raimondo wants to legalize it for recreational useRhode Island stands to generate more than $14 million in gross revenue from legal weed, according to a report from the Providence Journal. www.thegrowthop.com
Gov. Cuomo Reveals Details of New York’s Cannabis Legalization Plan: Cannabis revenue has been included in New York’s 2020 budget with a legalization bill slated to go into effect on April 1, 2020. Under the proposed regulations, cannabis sold in New York will be subject to a 20 percent state tax and a 2 percent county tax. The sticker price on dried flower will also include a $1 excise tax per gram. The plan is expected to generate $300 million in tax revenues, which will be divided between a state traffic committee, small business development programs and substance abuse services among other things. Cannabis will be legal across the state, but it won’t be available in every corner of New York. Cuomo’s plan allows individual counties and cities to opt-out of allowing cannabis businesses to sell, cultivate or distribute marijuana in their jurisdictions. And as in most legal states, cannabis sales will be restricted to adults 21 or older. But unlike in most legal states, New York would ban home cultivation of recreational cannabis. However, medical patients and their caregivers will be allowed to grow their own marijuana. Cuomo’s plan also offers marijuana offenders a second chance by with a measure that will “automatically seal certain cannabis-related criminal records.” www.civilized.life
Turkey’s Islamist Government Pushes for Rapid Increase in Nation’s Historic Cannabis Production: Turkey is now racing to produce large quantities of cannabis, after the Islamist government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, promoted use of the plant for industrial purposes. Although cultivation of the plant has a long history in the nation, which straddles Eastern Europe and Western Asia, production has declined rapidly for decades, in large part due to the global war on drugs led by the United States. But last week, Erdogan surprised municipal officials during a meeting by announcing the country should once again become a major cultivator of the plant,. For now, the government only aims to produce cannabis with low levels (about 0.2 to 0.3 percent) of THC, primarily focusing on industrial use and research purposes. However, some Islamists are also pushing for using the plant for medicinal purposes. www.newsweek.com
Worldwide Legal Cannabis Spending Hits $12.2 Billion in 2018, Projected to Grow 38% to $16.9 Billion in 2019: Worldwide consumer spending on legal cannabis is expected to reach an estimated $12.2 billion in 2018, a significant jump from $9.5 billion in 2017, according to the “2019 Update to The State of Legal Marijuana Markets” report released today from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics. Arcview Market Research now forecasts that spending growth will accelerate in 2019, jumping 38% to $16.9 billion, and going on to reach $31.3 billion in 2022, growing at a 26.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the five-year frame from 2017. “The entry of one of the largest alcohol and one of the largest tobacco companies into the cannabis sector as well as the Congressional passage of a Farm Bill legalizing growing hemp in the United States, were key to making 2018 a year of historical importance,” said Troy Dayton, CEO of The Arcview Group.” Globenewswire.com
Image source: Shutterstock
The Cannabis Investor is a leading media outlet for Cannabis investment opportunities and breaking industry news.
Join our text message list:
USA: Text potstocks to 313131 to join
CDN: Text potstocks to 393939 to join
Join our email list here: http://eepurl.com/bUSa71
Follow The Cannabis Investor on Social Media