Monthly Archives: January 2019

Cannabis legalization cautiously on the move

Democratic lawmakers are already moving on two tracks to legalize marijuana.

When I first wrote about cannabis legalization in December, I got a strong sense of ambivalence from the new Democratic majority in the Minnesota House. Understandably, they didn’t want to be viewed as the pot party in the weeks after a big election victory in which health care was the key battleground.

But the grass-roots (forgive the double entendre) must be restless because Democratic lawmakers are already moving on two tracks to legalize marijuana. Rep. Ray Dehn, D-Minneapolis, proposes giving voters the chance to approve a constitutional amendment in 2020 that would legalize cannabis, while Rep. Mike Freiberg, D-Golden Valley, and state Sen. Melisa Franzen, D-Edina, would pass legalization through a regular legislative approach and enlist the Department of Health to regulate.

Rep. Ryan Winkler, the Democratic majority leader, was dismissive of the constitutional amendment idea when I put it to him last week.

“Voters don’t think you should be using the constitutional amendment process to avoid making decisions that the Legislature is supposed to be making, or to play politics. It strikes me as too cute by half. And I don’t know that marijuana belongs in the Constitution,” he told me last week.

Freiberg and Franzen are expected to hold a news conference early this week to roll out their bill.

Here’s the key: Franzen has enlisted a Republican cosponsor in state Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Chaska, who adds extra credibility because he’s a physician.

Winkler said we can expect some form of marijuana legalization this year, but the order of proposals he listed to me is telling: broadening the medical marijuana program; criminal justice reform to lessen penalties for nonviolent drug offenders; finally, “highly regulated” legalization for recreational use.

In that vein, pay close attention to the Freiberg bill. Freiberg is a public health lawyer in real life, and a public health approach to legalization could help mitigate concerns of suburban members.

Even many advocates of legalization shuddered with angst recently when proponents of legalization could be seen on TV news shouting at their opponents, including law enforcement and families negatively affected by marijuana.

Franzen, who is also focused on helping nonviolent offenders clean up their criminal records through an expungements clause in the measure, told me that advocates should not expect the wild West when it comes to a Minnesota cannabis market. “It has to be closely regulated. We have to learn from other states,” she said.

She’s also in no hurry: “We need to be thoughtful about it. It’s going to take time to create the framework,” she said. Her proposal wouldn’t take effect until 2021.

In her measure, Franzen left blank the cannabis tax rate, perhaps signaling to her colleagues that the point of this exercise shouldn’t be revenue, which could be illusory anyway.

Long way to go on this issue for sure.

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Study Documents Humanity’s Use Of Marijuana Over 10,000 Years Of History

People from a diverse range of cultures have been using marijuana for thousands of years—in different forms and for different purposes. And a recent study published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology offers a comprehensive look at humanity’s fascinating relationship with cannabis over long periods of time.

Via the Journal of Cellular Physiology.

The study covers a lot of ground and is worth a read, but here are some of the stand-out facts that the team of Italian researchers identified in their paper:

—Cannabis seeds macrofossils were found attached to pieces of broken ceramic in central Japan dating back about 10,000 years.

—Shen Nung, a Chinese emperor around 2,700 BCE who is also considered the father of Chinese medicine, reportedly regarded marijuana as a “first-class herb” that was not dangerous.

—According to Verdic texts from around 800 BCE, cannabis was used in religious rituals but also for its “analgesic, anesthetic, antiparasitic, antispastic, and diuretic properties” and “as an expectorating agent, as an aphrodisiac, to treat convulsions, to stimulate hunger, and to relieve from fatigue.”

—Marijuana was considered a “holy plant” in Tibet and was used in Tantric Buddhism to “facilitate meditations.”

—Archeologists have discovered remnants of cannabis in the graves of Scythians, an ancient group of nomadic warriors, in Germany, Siberia and Ukraine, dating back to about 450 BCE.

—Marijuana pollen was also found in the tomb of Ramsés II, one of the most storied pharaohs of Egypt.

—Hemp seed oil was used in Arabic medicine to treat ear infections, skin diseases, flatulence, intestinal worms, neurological pain, fever and vomiting.

—Galen, one of the most famous Greek physicians in the Roman empire, warned about “an excess consumption of cakes containing hemp seeds,” which were apparently popular during banquets. People ate the cakes for “their property to induce relaxation, hilarity and euphoria, but with the collateral effect to induce thirst, sluggishness and a difficulty to digest.”

—Pope Innocent VIII issued a papal bull in 1484 that condemned cannabis, calling it an “unholy sacrament of the satanic mass.”

—In eastern Europe, cannabis was a common ingredient in popular medicine. For example, people would mix hemp flowers and olive oil and put it on wounds. The mixture was also “combined with hemp seeds oil for rheumatisms and jaundice.”

“Plurimillennial history of Cannabis medical use teaches us all we should know about its pharmacological potential and the pathologies that would mainly advantage from its application,” the researchers wrote. “All we must do now is [invest] our efforts into informative research, collecting more statistically significant data and conclusive scientific evidence about both its medical benefits and negative effects.”

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The Top 10 Democratic Contenders of 2020 Who Support Legal Weed

In the lead up to the 2020 Presidential election, there are a lot of important issues that warrant debate. Everything from healthcare to net neutrality will be discussed during campaign season, but there’s one issue of particular importance: the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis.

Legal weed isn’t really a wedge issue that causes people to shift their party allegiance. But it’s still important to know what major politicians think about its status, as we buildup to the next election. This look into ten Democratic contenders (only some have announced their exploratory committees while the rest have coyly voiced their interest in running) will explore how their views have changed and how they interacted with the so-called War on Drugs in the past.

The Top 10 Democratic Contenders of 2020 Who Think About Legal Weed

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren is the first major Democrat to announce her intentions of running for president. A fierce advocate for consumer protections, the Harvard-professor-turned-Massachusetts-senator is now a supporter of federal legalization. Back in 2016, Warren refused to endorse the issue when it hit her home state’s ballot. But, as public opinion in the Democratic party shifted, Warren has followed the wind and earned an A-rating from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

With Cory Gardner, a Republican Senator from Colorado, Warren introduced the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act in June during the previous Congress. If passed, the bill would have amended the Controlled Substance Act to block federal interference in state-legal marijuana-related activities. She was also a co-sponsor of the Carers Act that would protect medical pot patients from federal punishment; and the Marijuana Justice Actlegislation that would have ended federal prohibition and directed the courts to expunge people’s records.

The Top 10 Democratic Contenders of 2020 Who Think About Legal Weed

Sen. Cory Booker

While he hasn’t formally announced whether he’s running for president, Senator Cory Booker’s name has been thrown around as a potential candidate since he served as the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

In the last Congress, Senator Booker introduced the Marijuana Justice Acta bill that other senators on this list co-sponsored. While the bill wasn’t signed into law, it would have removed cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act, ended federal prohibition, and set up a structure that reduces law-enforcement funds for states that disproportionately target low-income residents or people of color for cannabis-related charges. In addition to having some good ideas, Booker also knows how to maximize his message around legalization. On the most recent 4/20, Booker released a video on Micthat laid out his views on the racial discrepancies related to legalization.

Booker, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, even joked that he was planning on “sending brownies to [Senator Lindsey Graham’s] office to celebrate his new chairmanship,” after Graham indicated he wasn’t planning on tackling marijuana reform.

The Top 10 Democratic Contenders of 2020 Who Think About Legal Weed

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Instead of announcing her intentions to run for President in an intimate speech in her hometown of Albany, New York, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made a grand announcement on the The Late Show with Stephen ColbertA savvy move for someone who doesn’t have much name recognition outside of her crusades against sexual assault in the military, Gillibrand is a tough former attorney who supports progressive policies like Medicare for all and a federal jobs guarantee.

Gillibrand admits that before she became a senator, she was a bit more conservative leaning as a member of the House from northern New York. In the House she didn’t support any bills related to legalization, in fact, she went as far as to block an amendment that would have defended medical marijuana from increased federal scrutiny in 2007. Since then, however, she’s had a change of heart. A co-sponsor of Senator Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act, Gillibrand supports full legalization and is an advocate for additional research to see how its medical uses can assist veterans with specific mental health conditions.

The Top 10 Democratic Contenders of 2020 Who Think About Legal Weed

Secretary Julian Castro

Julian Castro, the former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, was first elected into public office at 26-years-old. His name started appearing on people’s political radar after he gave the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, similar to President Obama’s claim to fame by giving the same speech at the 2004 convention.

A proclaimed progressive who’s called off of PAC donations for his campaign, Castro was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) when they published a rather restrictive memo in 2014 regarding public housing tenants who use cannabis. The memo, which was an update to a 2011 document, clarified that “owners must deny admission to assisted housing” if individuals are illegally using cannabis. Even if a tenant resided in a state where medical or recreational use was legal, the owner was still required to deny entry to the housing. Since then, Castro has criticized the Trump administration for voicing intentions to interfere with legal state markets but it’s still not clear where he stands in regards to federal legalization and regulation.

The Top 10 Democratic Contenders of 2020 Who Think About Legal Weed

Sen. Kamala Harris

Since first joining the Senate in 2016, Kamala Harris has become a national player thanks to the viral nature of her pointed questions in Judicial Committee hearings. California’s junior Senator turned Presidential candidate has cultivated an image for herself as a “progressive prosecutor,” but some of her actions as California’s top law-enforcement officer don’t represent that label.

Back in 2014, when Harris’ campaign for Attorney General was heating up, she was asked about her Republican opponents’ support of legalizing cannabis on the federal level. Instead of voicing her support or opposition to the policy, she simply laughed and stated he was entitled to his opinions. In 2018 however, now that the national conversation around weed has shifted, Harris is on board with legalization at the federal level and tweeted her support of Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act. In her new book, The Truths We Hold, Harris voiced her support for regulation and for removing “non-violent marijuana-related offenses from the records of millions of people who have been arrested and incarcerated so they can get on with their lives.”

The Top 10 Democratic Contenders of 2020 Who Think About Legal Weed

Rep. Beto O’Rourke

The Democratic superstar from Texas whose popularity led him to think posting an Instagram story during a dental examination was a good idea, is an exciting breath of fresh air for the party. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke may have lost in his bid to unseat Texas Senator Ted Cruz last November, but he awakened a national fanbase that catapulted him to financial dominance and the top of many prediction lists. While he has yet to set-up an exploratory committee or announce his candidacy, a group of activists and former staffers are waiting in the wings for him to make an announcement.

In a livechat recorded while driving around Texas, O’Rourke talks about his belief that ending the Drug War is one of the most important challenges for the country. While he’s quick to indicate he believes there’s no “perfect option” when it comes to keeping cannabis away from children, he believes a federal system of legalization and regulation is the best way to control the customer base and ensure fewer profits flow to illegal drug enterprises.

The Top 10 Democratic Contenders of 2020 Who Think About Legal Weed

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar, the senior Senator from Minnesota, blew onto the national stage in a big way over an exchange with Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his committee hearing. She doesn’t have the widespread name recognition of other superstars in the party, but Klobuchar was just elected to her third Senate term in November with 60.3 percent of the vote, a resounding victory in a state where Hillary Clinton only beat President Trump by 1.5 percent.

While Klobuchar has a D-rating from NORML, she was a co-sponsor on Sen. Warren’s STATES ActIf passed, the bill would have prevented federal interference in states where cannabis is legal, ended the prohibition of industrial hemp, and allowed banks to provide financial services to legal cannabis businesses. A Democrat from the midwest, Klobuchar hasn’t made any public statements about federal prohibition, but with legalization likely hitting her state this year, expect her to make her position known soon if she decides to run.

The Top 10 Democratic Contenders of 2020 Who Think About Legal Weed

Gov. Jay Inslee

The only Governor on this list, Jay Inslee currently serves the people of Washington. Before being elected to the state’s top Executive position in 2012, Inslee represented Washington in the House from 1993 up until his Gubernatorial election. While he has so-far positioned himself as a potential candidate whose primary focus will be fighting climate change, he also stands out as a leader from the first U.S. state where recreational cannabis-use was deemed legal.

At this year’s Washington Cannabis Summit, the Governor announced his Marijuana Justice Initiative An attempt to give clemency to individuals who have been prosecuted for weed charges in Washington between 1998 and 2012, the Governor will pardon residents over the age of 21 who only have one cannabis misdemeanor on their record. In Inslee’s opinion, expunging these convictions removes obstacles for these individuals to obtain “housing, employment, and education.”

(If you or someone you know lives in Washington and is interested in requesting a pardon, start the process by filling out the form on this page.)

The Top 10 Democratic Contenders of 2020 Who Think About Legal Weed

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Potentially the candidate with the lowest national profile, Representative Tulsi Gabbard has represented Hawaii in Congress since 2013. While the Congresswoman has a shaky track record when it comes to LGBT rights and foreign policy, Gabbard has evolved into a more progressive candidate and distanced herself from many of her previous positions.

Gabbard, who has a B+ from NORML, supports a gauntlet of reforms related to legalization. A co-sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act in 2018 in the House, Gabbard is an advocate for reduced federal interference in legal states, industrial hemp production and increased research into the medicinal benefits of both THC and CBD. During an interview on the Joe Rogan podcast, Gabbard voiced her frustration with the pharmaceutical industry and the way it profits off the opioid crisis by selling both addictive substances and medications designed to wean people off the drugs. In her opinion, marijuana legalization on both the state and federal levels will play a big part in reducing the addiction and overdose rates in the U.S.

The Top 10 Democratic Contenders of 2020 Who Think About Legal Weed

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is the most popular Senator in the United States and will be a strong contender if he decides to run for president once again. The politician is regarded for adhering to the same ideological beliefs over his decades in public service, and that also expands to his views on marijuana. An advocate for treatment instead of punishment for addicts, Sanders has long opposed the failed War on Drugs. Comparing it to tobacco and alcohol, the Senator, who co-sponsored the Marijuana Justice Act, told an audience of college students back in October 2015 that he believes the government should end the federal prohibition of cannabis.

As he does with every issue, Sanders likes to tie his support for legalization and criminal justice reform to his crusade against the one percent. During a Democratic Primary debate back in January 2016, he shamed the fact that millions of individuals have marijuana-related crimes on their record but “the CEO’s of Wall Street companies who destroyed our economy have no police records.”

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Global Consumer Cannabis Spending Projected to Grow 38% in 2019

People are going to be buying a lot more legal weed in 2019, according to a new report.

Legal cannabis markets are still a relatively new phenomenon, and the market is likely nowhere near its total sales potential. But it will get closer in 2019, when consumer spending is projected to grow by 38 percent, according to a new report from Arcview Market Research, which says that consumer spending in the legal cannabis market will go from $12.2 billion USD in 2018 to $16.9 billion USD in 2019.

That’s because major changes in the market that happened in 2018 will either develop or correct themselves in ways that generate more revenue for the industry. Canada’s legal marijuana markets didn’t start up until late 2018, so a full year of sales will be a huge boost for the industry – especially if the provinces and territories solve the nationwide cannabis supply shortage before the end of the year. On top of that, California’s market is expected to rebound after becoming over-saturated in 2018, which drove down the prices of (and subsequent revenues from) cannabis sales.

Meanwhile, Michigan – which legalized recreational cannabis last November – will soon join the legal market. And it could be joined soon after by New York and New Jersey, where Governors Andrew Cuomo (D) and Phil Murphy (D) are working with state lawmakers to repeal cannabis prohibition. If they get their markets up and running before the end of 2019, then the industry’s growth will be massive.

Outside of America, medical marijuana was legalized in several Asian countries last year and in the UK. On top of that, Mexico is poised to legalize recreational cannabis in the near future.

So 2019 looks like it will be a watershed moment for the new industry. But its gains will likely be dwarfed by the growth expected in 2022, when Arcview predicts that the global industry will be worth $31.3 billion.

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2018 Was A Major Year For Cannabis Legislation And 2019 Is Shaping Up To Be Much Bigger

Lawmakers across the country are introducing, debating and voting on more marijuana legislation than ever before.

In 2018, Marijuana Moment tracked 915 bills in state legislatures and Congress concerning cannabis, medical marijuana and hemp. According to our legislative analysis platform, a huge majority of states—92 percent—took up cannabis reform bills of some kind during the year.

This year, legislators in state capitols and on Capitol Hill have already filed more than 350 cannabis-related proposals for 2019 sessions that in most cases began only weeks ago. If 2018 is any indication, this year should see a sizable number of those bills making it to governors’ desks for enactment.

In 2018, a significant percentage of filed marijuana legislation moved forward, with at least 147 bills being signed or enacted in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

Those that made it across the finish line ranged from far-reaching proposals such as the legalization of cannabis possession and home cultivation in Vermont to more modest regulatory measures like Colorado bills concerning marijuana waste recycling and water use for hemp cultivation.

Twenty-eight of the bills that were enacted concerned hemp, while 48 were related to medical cannabis or cannabidiol (CBD).

Others had to do with regulating newly legal markets. Not surprisingly, California had the most legislation passed (26 bills), as the state attempted to implement its voter-approved legalization system. Among the enacted legislation in the Golden State were items touching on issues like medical cannabis recommendations by veterinarians, marijuana advertisements and cannabinoid-infused alcoholic beverages. An additional 29 bills died or were vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Colorado was next, with 18 bills signed and three vetoed.

Hawaii, it turns out, dealt with the greatest volume of cannabis bills overall. Six were enacted but an astonishing 103 additional proposals died in committee, failed or were vetoed. That number accounts for 11 percent of all the cannabis bills we tracked across the country in 2018.

While a few states like South Dakota only had one bill, fourteen individual states dealt with 20 or more pieces of legislation each.

New Jersey saw 57 cannabis-related bills, with only one making it all the way to the end of the legislative process: A measure to create a pilot program to research industrial hemp cultivation.

California lawmakers considered 55 bills, New York weighed 48 and Washington State saw 45 pieces of cannabis legislation filed.

States that dealt with 20 or more pieces of cannabis legislation in 2018:

Total number
of bills
Hawaii 109
Federal 64
New Jersey 57
California 55
New York 48
Washington 45
Maryland 32
Colorado 31
Tennessee 31
Iowa 28
Michigan 28
Virginia 28
Arizona 22
Maine 20

Justin Strekal, political director for NORML, told Marijuana Moment that the organization’s chapters across the country are seeing “increased interest and increased support from lawmakers from every part of the political spectrum.”

“As politicians see the public moving ahead of them, they are rapidly evolving their stance regarding marijuana.”

There is plenty of political resistance remaining, however. A majority of cannabis-related legislation introduced last year—529 bills—failed, died or were vetoed.

Maine was the only state where legislators overrode a gubernatorial veto in order to implement a regulatory system for the recreational marijuana law that the state’s voters approved in 2016.

Meanwhile, Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana via an act of lawmakers as opposed to through a ballot measure. Legislators in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory, followed by passing a legalization bill of their own.

“Last year’s tremendous amount of legislative activity surrounding cannabis, hemp and CBD legislation reflected that elected officials are increasingly getting the message that the harsh criminalization of marijuana in all its forms is misguided and out of step with the the wishes of voters,” Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment.

At the federal level, 2018 marked the first time stand-alone cannabis bills advanced though congressional committees.

In May, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved legislation encouraging the federal government to study the benefits of medical cannabis for military veterans. Then, in September, the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would force the Department of Justice to approve new businesses to cultivate marijuana to be used in scientific research.

Neither proposal ended up getting a floor vote, but their historic committee approvals demonstrated momentum ahead of the new 116th Congress, in which advocates are more hopeful than ever before that marijuana legislation could advance to enactment.

An additional 59 cannabis-related congressional bills stalled without hearings or votes, though it is also worth noting that lawmakers approved, and President Trump signed, a large-scale Farm Bill renewal that included language legalizing industrial hemp and its derivatives.

Back at the state level, O’Keefe is optimistic that efforts made in 2018 will pay off in 2019. “Several states saw committee wins or other progress that will help set the ground for eventual passage,” she said.

In New Jersey, for example, Senate and Assembly committees approved a bill to legalize marijuana in November but, due to an ongoing inability to agree with Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on tax rates and regulatory matters, legislative leaders didn’t bring the proposal to the floor of either chamber by the end of the year. Those negotiations are still underway, with advocates hopeful that agreeable language can be worked out early in 2019.

Strekal agrees that this year will be another especially active one for cannabis legislation. “There will be greater numbers of legislation introduced,” he predicts, as well as an increase in those pieces of legislation “receiving hearings, passing committees, being passed by legislative votes and being enacted by governors.”

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CBD: The Trendy Cannabis Compound That’s Blurring The Law For Canadians

The man behind the counter of a vape shop in Vancouver’s popular Granville Strip entertainment district answered a confident “Yes,” when asked if the bottle of CBD liquid was legal.

In nearby New Westminster, Lia Hood said she was surprised when The Globe and Mail notified her that her Good Omen gift shop was likely falling afoul of federal drug laws for selling a locally manufactured line of teas infused with CBD, a chemical found in cannabis.

The operators of a high-end hipster barbershop in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood were equally unaware that the standalone kiosks offering “soothing serum” and “intensive cream” were made with illegal CBD, popular shorthand for the compound cannabidiol.

And up until last fall, cat and dog owners worried about their anxious pets could walk into the downtown Toronto Pet Valu franchise and find remedies such as homeopathic drops, calming compression bibs and a hemp-based tincture loaded with the cannabis compound.

CBD, which can be derived from hemp or marijuana, has been popping up over the past few years in everything from mineral water to vape pen cartridges amid intense hype – and some emerging scientific evidence – that it is a wonder drug able to help combat a range of ailments from joint pain, insomnia and seizures to anxiety.

There’s one problem: CBD is strictly regulated, just like cannabis. Only licensed producers may make it, and only registered retailers may sell the products. The legalization of marijuana on Oct. 17 did not change anything.

However, many consumers and even merchants believe it is legal because, as proponents of CBD point out, it does not cause intoxication, unlike the other well-known compound in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

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Here’s every cannabis college course you can take in U.S. and Canada

It turns out if you’re interested in starting a career in the cannabis industry after graduation, you can jump on a path at many schools that’ll help you land a suitable position in the industry while giving you valuable experience. If you live in Canada or the U.S., there are various major cities that offer cannabis courses and programs. Keep reading to find out where you can study cannabis and get legitimate college credit for it.

Employment Cannabis Boom in Canada

Since Canada federally legalized cannabis in October of last year, the number of employment opportunities has significantly grown. In particular, according to Indeed Canada, openings for cannabis-oriented positions have tripled over the past year. So far though, Canada has roughly 150,000 workers within the cannabis industry. But according to chief science officer Roger Ferreira of Beleave Kannabis Corp (an Ontario-based cannabis company), there’s been a lack of experienced Canadian staff members.

To meet demand, many Canadian colleges and universities have started offering cannabis courses to interested students, often at the urging of numerous cannabis companies.

“Nearly a dozen colleges nationwide are adding or expanding courses designed to train the next generation of marijuana producers, often at the nudging of area employers,” reports the Washington Post.



Cannabis Courses Offered In Canada

Overall, each Canadian province has a different approach regarding cannabis. Although the plant is now federally legal, all provinces have the right to decide whether they want to offer cannabis courses or programs at various colleges and universities. Below is a breakdown of cannabis courses, programs, and/or certifications that are offered by various Canadian schools.


A small college in Ontario called Durham College recently launched their own “Cannabis Industry Specialization Program” this past Autumn. Additionally, Bill MacDonald, an Ontario-based science professor decided to create a “Commercial Cannabis Production program” at Niagara College. This program became available last September, and more than 300 people have applied to be in it. MacDonald released the following statement about the program’s growing demand: “I had licensed producers come to the college and say, ‘We need highly trained personnel.’ The demand is just huge.”

Furthermore, Ontario Loyalist College has a partnership with a British Columbia university calledKwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). The Ontario-based college employs KPU’s class material through distance education. Then, Boreal College in Toronto offers a cannabis cultivation course to students. They also debuted their own cannabis production technician program this past Autumn. Lastly, sometime this month, the University of Ottawa will debut their two-week long crash course in cannabis laws.


Recently, Alberta got involved in a process to train cannabis workers. They received an application from a private Canadian career college, but this is still a work in progress. Mount Royal University in Calgary started offering three online cannabis classes this past September.


In January of 2020, McGill University in Montreal will officially launch a graduate degree program in the area of cannabis production. However, this program will only be available to students who possess a background in botany and/or hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

New Brunswick

Although New Brunswick isn’t as far along with cannabis cultivation and employment opportunities as other provinces are, they’re moving towards offering cannabis cultivation technician programs. Specifically, the New Brunswick government is in the process of partnering with Dieppe Community College as well as Moncton-based Organigram to launch a 12-week long cannabis program.

Currently though, the Community College of New Brunswick offers a twelve-week long medical cannabis cultivation course.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is also moving forward with launching cannabis courses and programs. One example is St. Francis Xavier University, which signed a three-year agreement with THC Dispensaries Canada Inc. Roughly 20-30 students will be able to eventually work at the facility of THC Dispensaries Canada Inc. for college credit.

British Columbia

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) offers students the opportunity to attain a “Retail Cannabis Consultant” certificate. The university also debuted their own cannabis career training program, which consists of various non-credit online classes that last for thirteen weeks. The leader of this program and director of emerging business at KPU (David Purcell) stated: “We’re breaking down these stereotypes with evidence-based education. We’re the anti-reefer madness.”

Then, Camosun College offers a cannabis cultivation course. Whereas, the College of the Rockies offers a cannabis retail specialist program that combines customer service with science. Lastly, third and fourth-year college students enrolled in Okanagan College in Kelowna can learn about cannabis in an elective class.

Cannabis Courses Offered In U.S.

Although Canadian provinces are taking concrete steps to support schools that create cannabis courses and programs for students, many American colleges and universities are trying to do the same. Below are some top name American colleges and universities that offer different cannabis courses, programs, and/or certificates.


At the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, a course about the business of cannabis is offered. Then, the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law offers a course for law students on the topic of what to know when representing a cannabis client. Whereas, at the University of Denver, a course called, “Cannabis Journalism” is available. There’s also Cannabis Training University, which offers an online cannabis program.

However, let’s not forget about Trichome Institute, The Grow School, and Clover Leaf University that all offer their own variation of cannabis courses and/or programs.


This past Autumn, Ohio State University unveiled a cannabis course called “Cannabiz: Exploring the Legalized Cannabis Industry”.


Northern Michigan University offers a four-year medicinal plant chemistry undergraduate degree,which will expand into educating students about medical cannabis and the growing cannabis industry.

New Jersey

Stockton University recently gave students the opportunity to minor in cannabis studies. This opportunity became available last year, and the program consists of five classes, an internship placement, and two required classes on the topics of cannabis law and medical cannabis.


The University of Vermont now offers a few cannabis courses. The university has a “Cannabis Science and Medicine Program”, which also includes a continuing medical education program for those pursuing medical-related degrees. Surprisingly, this university was the first to launch this type of cannabis science program.

Washington State

The University of Washington offers a cannabis training program called “Medicinal Cannabis and Chronic Pain”. This program is specifically designed for medical professionals including soon-to-be nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals.


At the University of California in Los Angles (UCLA), students can partake in the school’s cannabis research initiative. Whereas, at the University of California-Davis, there are two cannabis courses that are a part of the University of California system.

Currently, the school offers a class called, “The Physiology of Cannabis”, and they plan to offer other courses that focus on cannabinoid education. Additionally, there’s an upper-level course that focuses on the health impact, risks, and benefits of cannabis.

Lastly, Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California offers its own cannabis classes as does Humboldt Cannabis College.

Overall, the demand for cannabis continues to grow, but so does the demand for qualified and experienced cannabis professionals. If you wish to have a career in the cannabis industry now or in the future, it’s recommended to enroll in some type of cannabis course or program where you can receive valuable experience that can help you stand out to employers. The more qualifications and certifications you have, the better.

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Canada’s Proposed Edible, Topical, and Extract Regulations Are Thorough

On October 17th of 2018, Canada legalized recreational cannabis for adult use, blazing a trail that’s sure to be followed by other countries.  But between all the headlines of ‘historic firsts’ and behind all the pot-related puns involved in news coverage for the new law, few articles gave more than a cursory mention that the new law did not regulate cannabis-infused topicals, concentrates, or edibles; effectively making joints legal, but keeping pot brownies illegal.

But now, less than three months into the new law (and amidst product shortages and production gaps), the government has released a report proposing new marijuana edible regulations in Canada.

None of the recommendations in the report are law (yet), but it does give us civilians some answers as to why Canada didn’t legalize edibles right away and a taste of the marijuana edible regulations they are cooking up in Ottawa.

Why the Delay in Regulating Edibles, Concentrates, and Topicals?


Apparently, the marijuana edible regulations in Canada were delayed in order to address the public health and safety risks posed by edible cannabis, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topicals.

But the government also created a Task Force to establish of a comprehensive framework for the legalization and regulation of cannabis across five main themes:

  • minimizing harms of use
  • establishing a safe and responsible supply chain
  • enforcing public safety and protection
  • medical access
  • implementation

In order to make thoughtful recommendations about marijuana edible regulations in Canada, the Task Force consulted with provincial and territorial leaders, Indigenous governments, as well as experts in public health, substance use, criminal justice, law enforcement and industry.

Focus of Cannabis Edible Regulations


The government isn’t taking any chances with questionable ingredients, mislabeling, or marketing towards children when writing marijuana edible regulations in Canada. In particular, some of the current proposals aim to protect public health and public safety by reducing the:

  • Appeal and risk of accidental consumption of edible cannabis especially by youth
  • Risk of overconsumption associated with edible cannabis (because of the delay in experiencing the effects of cannabis from ingestion) and/or use of cannabis products with a higher concentration of THC
  • Risk of foodborne illness associated with the production and consumption of edible cannabis
  • Potential health and, in some cases, safety risks associated with the use of certain solvents, carriers, and diluents.

Recommended Edible Regulations

As part of a comprehensive guideline for edible, topical, and concentrate regulation, the government is proposing a series of changes to the current cannabis laws.

First and foremost, the new marijuana edible regulations in Canada recommend adding three new classifications to cannabis; cannabis edibles, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topicals. After those broad strokes, the recommendations start to get more specific, proposing:

  • A THC limit on edibles and extracts – 10 mg of THC per package
  • Limiting food additives in edibles – including a ban on added vitamins and caffeine
  • Strict regulations on labeling edibles – mandatory list of ingredients, allergy warnings, ‘best-before’ date, and cannabis specific NFT (Nutrient Facts Table)
  • A guideline for standardized potency testing of THC and CBD products

And in an effort to curb incidental cannabis use by youth, it has been proposed that the amended regulations would prohibit the following representations on all product packages and labels:

  • Representations regarding health benefits, including those that are currently permitted on food, such as “a healthy diet low in saturated and trans-fat may reduce the risk of heart disease”, or “oat fiber helps lower cholesterol” (all classes of cannabis)
  • Nutrient content representations which go beyond those permitted in the list of ingredients and cannabis-specific NFT, including those that are currently permitted on food, such as “high source of fiber” or “low fat”, or additional information pertaining to the vitamin or mineral content of the product (edible cannabis only)
  • Representations regarding cosmetic benefits, such as “reduces the appearance of wrinkles” or “softens skin” (all classes of cannabis)

While such strict advertising rules may seem a tad ‘anti-business’ to your average American, most Canadians prefer their government to have a bias toward public health.

“These proposed regulations under the Cannabis Act support our overarching goal of keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and protecting public health and safety,” says Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Canadian Minister of Health.

Benefit and Cost Analysis

The federal government ran the numbers and concludes that changing the marijuana edible regulations in Canada will result in a net benefit to the country; economically and socially.

It’s estimated that the proposed amendments to the regulations would result in a net cost to Canadians of approximately $40.5 million (Canadian) net present value, in 2017 dollars.

The government goes on to note, that even with the initial costs; the qualitative benefits attributed to displacing the illegal market and providing adult consumers and registered clients of licensed sellers of cannabis for medical purposes with access to quality-controlled edible cannabis, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topicals can be expected to outweigh the net cost to Canadians of the current regulatory proposal.

Food for Final Thoughts

Some of the confusion surrounding the (still) illegality of cannabis edibles in Canada has been the presence of medical marijuana products that are edibles or concentrates. So far, none of that has changed; medical patients still have access to any THC-infused edible, topical, or extract they did before.

And if you’re not a medical cannabis patient, you’ll need to be patient as the marijuana edible regulations in Canada are still being written. But don’t fret, after a nibble of proposed regulations, it looks like the Canadian government is headed in the right direction.

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The Marijuana Billionaire Who Doesn’t Smoke Weed

With the help of Big Beer and Big Pharma, Brendan Kennedy’s Canadian cannabis company Tilray has unexpectedly become America’s gateway to the legal marijuana industry.

It’s just after 6, on a pitch-dark morning in December, and Brendan Kennedy is standing over the stove, wearing shorts and a vest, meditatively melting butter in a pancake pan. It will be nearly two hours before the sun cracks the Seattle sky, and Kennedy, toddler son in tow, already has the pensive look of a man trying hard to keep the creep of the workday ahead from encroaching on a family ritual.

See, morning is a sacred time for the 46-year-old CEO, who has two rules for starting the day: Always eat breakfast. Don’t eat with anybody but your kids. Though abiding by rule No. 2 means eating alone, if he’s on the road—which is a lot these days, particularly since Kennedy’s company, Tilray, went public in July. In a couple of hours he’ll board his 135th flight of the year—a stat he can tell you because his assistant, knowing how he relishes data, sends him monthly analytics on his own travel (in 2018, he flew 23% more miles than he did the year before). At the moment, though, his 4-year-old daughter, in a pink tutu, is stirring the batter skeptically from her perch atop the kitchen island. “Papa, I think you forgot the flour,” she chides. Kennedy’s family moved into the new house a few weeks after Tilray went public, and he still struggles to find things in his own kitchen. He shrugs as he begins scrambling eggs and frying bacon in another pan: “My kids say pancakes are the only thing I’m good at.”

Of course, his children are too young to know that what their dad is really good at is—at least for the moment—illegal in much of the U.S. and the world. Tilray sells cannabis, a.k.a. pot, weed, and more than 1,000 other colorful nicknames, for the medical-marijuana market and, more recently, the recreational one. It wears the crown as the hottest IPO of 2018, returning 315% for the year and valuing the Canada-based but American-run company at $9 billion today. The kids don’t know that the IPO—his daughter got to help ring the bell at the Nasdaq—made Kennedy not only a billionaire but the richest man in the legal marijuana business, and maybe the face of its future. Or that after pancakes today, he’ll shake hands with officials at Anheuser-Busch InBev, the behemoth behind Budweiser, to form a $100 million partnershipaimed at creating a cannabis-infused substitute for beer.

Tilray’s 50% contribution to that venture exceeds the estimated $45 million in revenue it made in 2018, a year in which its estimated losses hit $47 million. But AB InBev’s desire for a deal is just the latest sign of Big Business’s belief that widespread cannabis legalization is an inevitability, and that Tilray—a global operation founded by finance veterans and data geeks with minimal interest in, um, testing the product themselves—will be uniquely poised to capitalize when Big Cannabis goes mainstream.

The day before the predawn pancakes, Kennedy and I had boarded a 10-seat Cessna prop plane at Seattle’s Boeing Field for an hour-long flight to Tilray’s official headquarters, in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, the lush, rugged province renowned among cannabis connoisseurs for its “BC bud.” It was cold enough to see your breath inside the plane. Preparing for takeoff, the pilot laid out a short list of stipulations: “Stay buckled, no talking on the phone, and no cannabis products on board.” Marijuana became fully legal in Canada on Oct. 17. But flights crossing the border have nonetheless been warning passengers that the U.S. government still prohibits taking the drug with you—even when traveling from Washington State, where recreational cannabis has been legal since 2012. Then again, why push your luck? As a Canadian customs officer once put it nonchalantly to Tilray employees, “It’s just like bringing sand to the beach.”

Flying north from Seattle, the 360-­degree view features Mount Rainier behind you, Mount Baker to your right, and Mount Olympus on the left. In the summer, when it’s easier to go via low-flying seaplane, you can often glimpse a pod of orcas swimming just beneath the surface of Puget Sound. On the ground in Nanaimo, Kennedy is something of a local celebrity, having quickly become one of the largest employers in a community of 92,000 people. We clear customs without a word and proceed to Tilray’s 65,000-square-foot cannabis lab and grow facility, where the whiff of freshly cut marijuana floods your nostrils as soon as you open the heavy steel door. The combination of the pharmaceutical-grade warehouse setup and the presence of thousands upon thousands of pot plants gives it the sterile but earthy smell of a Home Depot garden department—you know, if Home Depot sold weed. From here, the product will be shipped to tens of thousands of patients, as well as pharmacies and dispensaries, in 12 countries where medical or recreational pot use is legal.

But we haven’t even made it past the vestibule when a facilities employee named Rudy stops the CEO in his tracks. “I never got to say thank-you for the whole stock thing,” he tells Kennedy, shaking his head reverently. “What a gift. Such a life changer, a game changer. The thought of being a Tilionaire one day.”

Kennedy swears this wasn’t a scheduled part of the tour. He claims he’s never even heard the expression “Tilionaire,” although his stock—which he’s doled out to all 750 of the firm’s employees, at all levels—has made many people much richer. He has yet to sell any of his own shares (and promises he won’t do so when post-IPO restrictions lift in January), meaning his 10-figure wealth is still only on paper. Kennedy, who previously started and sold two dotcom-era software companies before getting an MBA from Yale, claims he didn’t anticipate the investor frenzy that Tilray ignited as the first cannabis producer to go public on a major U.S. exchange. “We were caught off guard,” he says.

Indeed, virtually the entire business world is grappling with the sudden arrival of cannabis as a force of disruption, even as marijuana teeters on the grayish line of legitimacy. Pot is now legal for either medical or recreational use in some 36 countries and 33 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia. And while its use and sale remain illegal in the U.S. at the federal level, many on Wall Street and beyond see that changing too. The recently passed Farm Bill exempted the hemp plant and its derivative cannabidiol, or CBD, from the federal ban, clearing the way for an anticipated surge in a product category that in some states has already swept across store shelves and café and cocktail menus. A new report from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics forecasts that legal pot sales will more than double from $10.5 billion in 2018 to $22.2 billion in the U.S. in 2022, and to $31.6 billion worldwide. By then, Kennedy and others expect the U.S. will have legalized the drug, an issue that could even dictate who wins the 2020 presidential election.

Chasing this buzz, U.S. industries, including Big Beer, Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma, have made bets on cannabis companies, observing that consumers are increasingly turning to the drug as an alternative to booze, cigarettes, and painkillers. That has fueled tie-ups like Tilray’s with AB InBev, as well as a global distribution deal Tilray struck with Sandoz, a division of Swiss drugmaker Novartis, for co-branded cannabis oils and pills to treat ailments such as epilepsy, sleep disorders, and post-traumatic stress—the only partnership to date between a cannabis company and a big drug company. Elsewhere, Constellation Brands, which makes Corona, and Marlboro cigarette purveyor Altria have made multibillion-dollar investments in Canadian cannabis companies.

Yet for all that interest, most money invested in marijuana is leaving America. Public and private cannabis companies raised $13.9 billion in capital in 2018, quadruple the previous year’s total, according to Viridian Capital Advisors, an investment bank that tracks cannabis deals. Of that sum, however, 69% was invested outside the U.S. As long as cannabis remains federally outlawed, American businesspeople have to reckon with the liability of, technically, aiding and abetting illicit activity, a risk many have decided is not worth taking. “It’s kind of a damn shame that so much capital has escaped the U.S. to go up to Canada,” says Scott Greiper, Viridian’s president and founder. For now, Cowen, the lead U.S. underwriter of Tilray’s IPO, won’t take any U.S.-based cannabis companies public, says CEO Jeffrey Solomon: “Until there’s clarity on federal law broadly, we’re going to continue to focus on the rest of the world.”

That makes Tilray even more of an outlier. It was not only the highest-flying IPO of 2018, according to Renaissance Capital, but also one of the top 10 performers in the U.S. stock market. That ironic result was possible under stock exchange rules because Tilray operated exclusively outside America. The company will only do business in jurisdictions where cannabis is federally legal, and it has had zero U.S. sales to date. As a result, the only Americans who have so far enjoyed the fruits of its economic contributions are stock investors and its U.S.-based employees (including its entire C-suite).

Kennedy, whose predictions about legalization have been profitable so far, believes an end to the U.S. ban is close at hand. But for now, the precarious legal dynamic gnaws at him every time he crosses back from Nanaimo into his native country. “I would not mention what we just did,” the CEO quietly advises as we sit on the tarmac in Seattle again, awaiting a customs officer to clear us to come home. While Kennedy has never been questioned, he has reason to be nervous: A few Canadian cannabis executives and investors have been detained at the border and even barred entry to the U.S. for life; a senior official at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency confirms that even American executives operating legally in Canada can face additional inspections upon their return. Adds Kennedy: “We generally don’t talk about what we do when we go back in the U.S.”

In 2014, Founders Fund, Peter Thiel’s venture capital outfit, became the first institutional investor to announce a stake in the cannabis industry. Geoff Lewis, the partner who led the investment (and has since started his own fund, Bedrock), had the same experience with a dozen cannabis startups while looking for one to back. The owners would offer him a “product sample” or ask “if I wanted to smoke a joint”—something that was illegal at the time because Lewis didn’t have a medical marijuana prescription. The first entrepreneur who didn’t offer him a taste? Brendan Kennedy. “And that’s what I wanted to invest in—I wanted a team that didn’t use cannabis,” says Lewis. “It was about founders who were living by the line of the law.”

Kennedy can count on his fingers the number of times he tried pot before going into the business. He grew up in San Francisco as the sixth of seven children; his siblings would smoke, but Kennedy shied away. “I’m probably the quietest one of the bunch,” he says. He was born with a cleft lip that required repair surgery when he was 8 days old; his parents, fearful for his welfare, summoned a priest to baptize him before he even left the hospital. During his time at the then all-boys Jesuit prep school St. Ignatius—where his dad was a science teacher—and at UC Berkeley studying architecture, Kennedy worked construction. “If it was summer, I was wearing a tool belt,” he says. He later funneled his thirst for physical exertion into six Ironman triathlons. “We never got into illegal substances. It just wasn’t in our DNA,” says Christian Groh, Kennedy’s high school friend, fellow triathlete, and current partner in the cannabis business.

What Kennedy did have in his DNA was a knack for scanning data for auguries of the future and an uncanny memory for dates and figures. “Brendan thinks in terms of a timeline,” says Michael Blue, one of Kennedy’s Yale MBA classmates and the third cofounder of Tilray. After business school, he landed in 2006 at Silicon Valley Bank, working for an internal analytics startup focused on helping venture capitalists and their portfolio companies value their private stock. During the spring of 2010, the data began telling Kennedy a story about cannabis.

California was planning a ballot question on legalization that fall, and anecdotes about the issue repeatedly crossed Kennedy’s radar. Pulling Gallup poll charts on American attitudes toward controversial issues, he noticed a compelling trend: Support for gay marriage and marijuana legalization seemed to increase in lockstep, and state laws were following suit. The number of doctors willing to prescribe medical pot was steadily increasing. “It was inevitable the U.S. would legalize,” Kennedy says. “The frustrating part was, how did everyone else not see it?”

The doubts that dogged Kennedy the longest stemmed from his own ambivalence about the product. He began personally experimenting with pot after decades of abstinence, but he doesn’t remember any catharsis and didn’t like the unpredictability of the experience. His wife, Maria Chapman, says she’s never seen him high. Kennedy struggled to reconcile the enthusiasm he was hearing for therapeutic use from military vets and cancer patients with his own antidrug upbringing. “That was the hardest part from a D.A.R.E., cracking the egg on the frying pan, ‘This is your brain on drugs’ perspective,” Kennedy says. “How could this thing that Nancy Reagan said was so bad be a medicine that people use?”

At the same time, Kennedy was troubled by the law’s failure to distinguish marijuana from other narcotics like heroin, even as cannabis seemed to truly help people without putting them at risk of an overdose. “You probably will never see it, but he’s a real softie for those types of things, and it really affects his heart,” says Chapman. “It’s not all business.” Kennedy and several of his backers felt they were doing more than starting a company or going public. In some ways, they were building a field of dreams within cannabis—give people a bona fide market, and investors and politicians will come. “Our IPO—I’ve always said this is really an important form of political activism, against prohibition,” says Kennedy. His own non-pothead image makes him an ideal spokesperson to win over minds, says Solomon, the Cowen CEO, who has “a ‘no joke’ rule around cannabis” at his own firm. “If we can distance ourselves from the perception of Cheech and Chong, or two guys and a bong hanging out in the back of a van, then we have made huge strides in establishing this as a legitimate industry,” Solomon says.

Kennedy officially quit his job in the spring of 2011. One morning a few months later, he showed up with a PowerPoint presentation at the home of his old boss, Jim Anderson, the former president of SVB Analytics. The presentation was the genesis of Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm with a mission to acquire and create cannabis companies and brands. Kennedy made a data-driven case for how he expected legalization would unfurl. “He laid out this picture of the next 10 years,” recalls Anderson, now an administrator at the University of San Francisco. “He said, ‘I think there’s a sea change coming in opinion on cannabis.’ ” Anderson invested in Privateer’s first, modest fundraising round—a bet that has yielded a return of more than 100x since Tilray, of which Privateer owns 73%, went public. After the IPO, Anderson wrote to Kennedy: “Almost everything you predicted back in 2011 has come to pass.”

Privately, though, Kennedy and his cofounders often wondered if they were too early. Late in 2011, they spent their pooled savings (they won’t say exactly how much) on their first acquisition: Leafly, a marijuana and dispensary review site. The startup had next to no sales, but it did publish ratings on cannabis strains—sold legally or on the street—from users all over the world, providing a road map to the best pot on the planet. The lack of data in the largely illicit industry “terrified me,” says Kennedy; the Leafly purchase was “a gut decision in order to get data.”

Once they had it, they needed to monetize it. The plan was to sell advertising to dispensaries, turning Leafly into a kind of Yelp for cannabis. But Privateer struggled to attract investors, and revenue was slow to come. Soon Kennedy had drained his 401(k), maxed out his credit cards, and borrowed money from family members to pour into Leafly. He remembers emptying the jug of change next to his washing machine into the Coinstar at Safeway for a grand total of $196. There was a night when he didn’t even have enough money to order a pizza. “That was darkness unlike anything I’d ever faced,” he remembers. More than being broke, Kennedy and his partners feared what flaming out on a Hail Mary bet on pot would do to their career prospects. “We were worried we would always be known as failed pot guys,” Kennedy says.

Finally, the rest of the country started to prove Kennedy’s hypotheses. In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, and investors—and Leafly advertisers—wanted in. But perhaps the biggest opportunity came about almost by accident. In 2013, Privateer got a cold call from the health department of ­Canada, which was phasing in a new medical marijuana licensing process designed to professionalize that country’s industry. Health Canada had dozens of eager applicants who lacked funding to support a commercial marijuana grow operation and wondered if Privateer might invest. Unimpressed with the offerings, Kennedy and his partners had a different idea: Why not become growers themselves?

All they needed was marijuana. That’s where Leafly came in. The Privateer team crunched data from the site to identify the 20 most coveted, high-potency strains across Canada—creating a shopping list for themselves. Actually locating the bud was another story. “We would go and meet people at a Tim Hortons, and we would follow them down a road. Then we’d have to ditch a car,” recalls Groh. “We’d be in rooms with a lot of cash and weapons.” Patrick Moen, who left his job at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to join Privateer in early 2014 and now serves as general counsel, accompanied Groh, typing up contracts on a laptop and handing out checks to backwoods cannabis growers. “It reminds me of my undercover days early on at DEA, you know, except I had backup,” says Moen. “I look back on it, and I’m like, What the hell was I thinking?”

Those plants—from Master Kush to Island Sweet Skunk—were transported live to Nanaimo, in refrigerated trucks that rode the ferry to Vancouver Island, where they became the foundation of Tilray and its brand portfolio. Today, the genetic clones of more than 60 different “mother” plants grow in specimen jars in an R&D lab at Tilray’s headquarters. They, in turn, have propagated Tilray’s newer production facilities in Ontario and Portugal from scratch, a strategy the company will continue to employ as it scales up. “When you go to Starbucks—doesn’t matter if you go in Seattle or Iowa—and you order a caramel macchiato, you expect it to be the same everywhere. You can do the same thing for cannabis,” says Cowen’s Solomon. “Brendan and his team understood early on that their success is in their ability to deliver that kind of consistency.” The team has taken other cues from Starbucks too: To come up with the Tilray name (“til” as in tilling land, crossed with a sun ray) and logo, Kennedy hired the design firm of Terry Heckler, who created the iconic Starbucks mermaid emblem.

Tilray’s logo now appears on its dried (smokable) marijuana flowers, ingestible oils, and capsules. Each is packaged like prescription pills in bottles marked with the concentration of THC (the psycho­active ingredient that makes people high) and CBD—and, in Canada, warning labels about adolescent addiction. The company first recorded sales in April 2014 and had $5.4 million in revenue in 2015. This year, Wall Street expects sales to more than quadruple, to around $186 million, from $45 million last year. Tilray should also pass a major milestone in 2019: In January, it unveiled plans to release newly legalized CBD-infused products, from whey protein to sunscreen, in the U.S.—a move intended to give the company U.S. revenue for the first time.

To stay ahead, Kennedy spends a lot of time trying to predict which country will be the next to legalize marijuana, so that Tilray will be there when it does. This summer, he commissioned a model with 99 different inputs, from gay marriage’s legal status to a country’s dominant religion, to predict medical and adult use legalization. So far, it has given him an early heads-up on South Korea, which in late November stunned the world by legalizing medical cannabis.

As we exit Tilray’s Nanaimo warehouse, Kennedy excitedly notices the grass outside the building: “The lawn looks really good!” The last time he was here, he explains, the yard was overgrown with weeds—making a poor first impression on visitors. He let his displeasure be known inside the company. “It kind of drove me nuts,” he says. “We’re supposed to be growing things!”

The Tilray brand didn’t really gain recognition in America until July 19, when it became the first cannabis company to have its IPO on a U.S. stock exchange. The offering raised $153 million, with shares priced at $17 apiece. At the stock’s peak in September, it had risen 1,159% in just two months.

Though the debut turned Tilray into a market darling, up until then it had been treated by much of Wall Street as a sort of redheaded stepchild. Kennedy was in a rental car garage in San Diego in mid-April on his wife’s birthday trip when he got the surprise phone call from the first bank that had agreed to underwrite Tilray’s IPO—letting him know they were backing out. (He won’t say which bank.) “I had to get out of my car because I was screaming so loudly, I didn’t want to scare my children,” he recalls. A second bank later had the same change of heart: Its board had nixed the deal for “reputational reasons.” When Cowen and Canada’s BMO eventually took it public, Tilray had to pay up for the privilege. To obtain the directors and officers liability insurance required of all public companies, Tilray had to pay five times as much as the typical rate for less than half the coverage, according to CFO Mark Castaneda.

In fact, while Tilray’s business may be perceived as involving a taboo or a vice, there’s no legal reason for banks or investors to be squeamish about working with it, according to John F. Walsh, the former U.S. attorney for Colorado who is now a partner at ­WilmerHale. “Under U.S. law, if there is essentially drug activity going on in another country that is entirely legal in that other country, it is not a U.S. federal narcotics crime,” Walsh says. Importantly for investors, he adds, that means Americans who finance such a “foreign legal marijuana business” would not be violating U.S. anti–money laundering laws: “It is pretty clear-cut.”

Yet no one imagined Tilray would soon be worth more than Snapchat. Kyle Lui, a partner at DCM Ventures, strikes a wistful tone when he admits that he passed on investing in Tilray when it raised money privately, balking at its nearly $1 billion valuation, in early 2018. “I don’t think we could have anticipated that the public markets in the U.S. would have received Tilray to the extent that they have,” says Lui.

Even after retreating more than halfway from its peak, Tilray’s stock is the poster child of the so-called marijuana bubble. Valuations like Tilray’s—trading at around 50 times estimated sales—have rarely been seen since the dotcom boom, says Chris Brown, founder of the $111 million hedge fund Aristides Capital. Brown didn’t even bother to model Tilray’s future sales before deciding to short it, a move that so far has earned him nearly $1.5 million: “When the price for something is so high, I think the onus is on Tilray to be the most perfect, magical, wonderful exception in the world.”

That world is a highly fractured one. Tilray has the largest international footprint among legal-weed companies and is cannabis’s second-biggest player (after Canada’s Canopy Growth), but its estimated market share is only 8% in Canada, and less than 1% everywhere else. Still, Moez Kassam, cofounder and principal of Toronto hedge fund Anson Funds, which financed most of Canada’s public cannabis companies, was convinced after visiting Nanaimo that Tilray would eventually take the lead. “You knew this was a best-in-class business,” Kassam says. “I think Tilray will be considered cheap in a few years.”

Even Kennedy, previously a valuation expert, has trouble putting a number on how big Tilray could be. For the foreseeable future, he notes, his priority is growth, not profit. (“Think Amazon, not Kroger.”) Because black market sales dwarf legal ones globally, it’s impossible to size up true demand for cannabis, or how large it might become. Legalization will enable clinical research that could discover veritable Russian nesting dolls of new uses for cannabis’s hundreds of compounds, but that research could also bring new complications: Initial studies show possible ugly side effects to regular pot use, from dependence to psychosis.

Legalization also means more competition—including from small American operators currently confined to states that have legalized—and the price pressures of what is ultimately a commodity-driven business. Kennedy has already become familiar with the singular joys of agriculture. Before Tilray could open its Ontario marijuana farm, it first had to harvest the red and green peppers that were growing there. Then there’s the matter of the bugs. In lieu of pesticides, Tilray spends about $100,000 a month on insects that eat other pests (they arrive in pouches that look like tea bags).

In five years, Kennedy hopes, 90% of the pot Tilray sells will be cultivated by other companies. “I never thought, ‘In my next business, I want to be a farmer,’ ” he says. Rather, he models himself after Joseph Kennedy (no relation), the patriarch of the political dynasty who, as Prohibition was sunsetting, traveled abroad acquiring import rights to liquor brands like Dewar’s Scotch whisky and Gordon’s gin. And Brendan Kennedy has complete conviction that “the end is near” for U.S. cannabis prohibition. “I don’t know when the Berlin Wall will topple over, but we’re getting closer and closer to that point,” he says.

It may happen sooner than people think, thanks to the drumbeat of next year’s presidential election. More of the public now views marijuana as a salve for confounding problems from the opioid crisis (overdose deaths dropped 21% to 25% in states with medical marijuana laws, a 2018 study by the think tank Rand found) to government deficits. Democratic hopefuls have signaled they will champion the issue. On the other side of the aisle, a recent Gallup poll found 53% of Republicans now support legalizing marijuana. That shift is owing in part to a concerted effort by advocates to reframe the debate in terms of states’ rights.

Among the people persuaded by that argument is President Trump, who has pledged to back legislation that would protect states’ marijuana laws from federal interference. And in a fraught campaign season, legalization could be a winning play. “We could envision a scenario in 2020 where the Trump administration could actually deem it politically advantageous to co-opt the issue from the Democrats and come out the hero,” Vivien Azer, an analyst at Cowen, told reporters in early January.

If Kennedy were setting a line in Vegas, he likes to say, he would pick 2021 as the year the U.S. will legalize cannabis. If he’s wrong, and the U.S. doesn’t budge? Not the end of the world, he says; he expects medical legalization to double to 70 other countries by then. Sure, as an American business leader, he’d feel let down by his government: “They’ll basically be ensuring that the companies that dominate this industry in the next decade are all based outside the U.S.” For the CEO of a Canadian company, though, that’s not really a problem.

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Hemp Seeds Market is Determined to Grow with immense rate By 2023

The Hemp Seeds market report covers the Global market and regional market analysis. The Hemp Seeds industry report examines, keep records and presents the worldwide market size of the important players in each region around the globe. Also, the report offers information of the leading market players in the Hemp Seeds market.

This research report consists of the world’s crucial region market share, size (volume), trends including the product profit, price, Value, production, capacity, capability utilization, supply, and demand and industry growth rate.

Look insights of Global Hemp Seeds market research report at

Key Players in this Hemp Seeds market are

  • Manitoba Harvest
    Hemp Oil Canada
    Canah International
    GIGO Food
    North American Hemp & Grain Co.
    Naturally Splendid
    Yunnan Industrial Hemp
    GFR Ingredients Inc.
    Jinzhou Qiaopai Biotech
    Navitas Organics
    BAFA neu GmbH
    Deep Nature Project
    Green source organics
    Aos Products
    Suyash Herbs

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Global Hemp Seeds Market: Product Segment Analysis
Whole Hemp Seed
Hulled Hemp Seed
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp Protein Powder
Global Hemp Seeds Market: Application Segment Analysis
Hemp Seed Cakes
Hemp Oil
Global Hemp Seeds Market: Regional Segment Analysis
South East Asia

Important application areas of Hemp Seeds are also assessed on the basis of their performance. Market predictions along with the statistical nuances presented in the report render an insightful view of the Hemp Seeds market. The market study on Global Hemp Seeds Market 2018 report studies present as well as future aspects of the Hemp Seeds Market primarily based upon factors on which the companies participate in the market growth, key trends and segmentation analysis.

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Geographically this report covers all the major manufacturers from India, China, USA, UK, and Japan. The present, past and forecast overview of Hemp Seeds market is represented in this report.

Points Covered in Hemp Seeds market Report:
The points that are deliberated within the Hemp Seeds industry report are the key market players such as manufacturers, raw material suppliers, equipment suppliers, end users, traders, distributors and etc.
The capacity, production, price, income, cost, gross margin, sales volume, sales revenue, consumption, growth rate, import, export, supply, future strategies, and the technological progresses that are incorporated within the report. The complete profile of the companies is revealed.

The past data from 2012 to 2018 and forecast data from 2019 to 2023.
The growth factors and the different end users of the market are explained in detail.
This report focuses on detailed analytical account of the market’s competitive landscape, on the basis of complete business profiles, project feasibility analysis, SWOT analysis, and several other details about the main enterprises operating in the market.

The report display an outline of the impact of recent developments on market’s future growth forecast.

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Key Reasons to buy Hemp Seeds market Report

  • To understand the most influencing driving and limiting powers in the market and its effect in the worldwide market.
  • Find out about the market methodologies that are being embraced by driving individual associations.
  • To know the future standpoint and prospects for the market.
  • Other than the standard structure reports, we likewise give custom research as per explicit requirements.

The Hemp Seeds market report offers the market growth rate, size, and forecasts at the global level in addition as for the geographic areas: Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and Middle East & Africa. Also it analyses, roadways and provides the global market size of the main players in each region. Moreover, the report provides knowledge of the leading market players within the Hemp Seeds market. The industry changing factors for the market segments are explored in this report. This analysis report covers the growth factors of the worldwide market based on end-users.

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