Category Archives: News

How a Family-Owned Company is Finding Success in Santa Barbara County, Calif.

How a Family-Owned Company is Finding Success in Santa Barbara County, Calif.

With Illinois poised to begin adult-use cannabis sales Jan. 1, 2020, some of Chicago’s aldermen and public stakeholders are concerned that a program designed to improve social equity access for minority business owners won’t live up to its promise.

A photo depicting a room full of white men participating in the city’s dispensary-license lottery on Nov. 15 went viral, eliciting responses from those who are upset that, when the program begins, there won’t be equity in ownership for black or Latino residents—or other prospective entrepreneurs based in areas of the city disproportionately affected by prohibition-era cannabis arrests.

The owners of Chicago’s 11 medical dispensaries are all white, and theirs are the only businesses that are either licensed or allowed to apply for licenses to add adult-use sales on Jan. 1. They participated in the lottery for the chance to acquire licenses for secondary locations, and other existing medical dispensaries in surrounding areas were the remaining lottery participants vying for the chance to add stores in the city.

Because there are none of Illinois’ medical cannabis business owners are black, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, and the approaching adult-use market will be based off of the state’s medical cannabis industry, the first adult-use dispensary owners in Chicago won’t be reflective of that city’s population, says Jason Ervin, 28th Ward alderman and chairman of City Council’s 20-member Black Caucus.

That’s a problem, Ervin says, as African Americans have been disproportionately impacted by arrest and incarceration due to cannabis offenses and should be able to fully participate in the industry once it is legitimized.

“We’re going to buy today, we’re in jail today, so why can’t we have equity today?” he asks.

Ervin and the Black Caucus introduced an ordinance in October that would delay the sale of adult-use cannabis in the city until July 1, 2020, to try to get more minority ownership in the space.

“I think that to have all of this activity in the state of Illinois and to walk out to no participation, for many communities of color, I just think that’s wrong,” Ervin says. “And I think we need to work to fix it.”

The reason the room in that viral photo looked the way it did is because Illinois is distancing itself from other states in its approach to cannabis legalization. It’s issuing adult-use licenses in phases—first making them available to established medical cannabis businesses who have capital and experience adhering to regulations in the space. Then the state will open the field to others, including social equity applicants, says Toi Hutchinson, senior adviser to the governor on cannabis control.

This is an attempt at achieving social equity both in the industry and in the communities that have been hurt the most by prohibition, says Hutchinson, who played a large role in drafting Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act as a state senator.

In drafting the bill, the state made some concessions to the existing medical market, State Sen. Kimberly Lightford told the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this year.

David Moore, Ward 17 alderman, says he doesn’t think medical dispensaries should have been given priority in the adult-use program rollout, but he understands the state had to do what was necessary to pass the bill. Looking at the lack of current equity ownership in his city, he says, “I think right now, we need to slow the train on this in Chicago.”

Illinois designed its program to be race-neutral so that it can hold up in court, Hutchinson says. But it addresses social equity in areas where people have been the most disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs, and where many black and Latino residents live. To that end, the state created a “Disproportionately Impacted Areas” map that plays a role in determining who can be a social equity applicant.

“I think it’s important to note that you can’t go back and change the past, but you can take very aggressive steps to make sure that the future looks differently.”

– Jason Erkes, chief communications officer at Cresco Labs

“What we know about that population is that it’s 55% African American and 22% Latino that have been disproportionately impacted,” Hutchinson says. “We know that. So, we designed an application, we designed a process, we designed a system that would try to get some of those folks the ability to come into this thing.”

Illinois’ “Disproportionately Impacted Areas” shows that Chicago neighborhoods hit hardest by prohibition are on the city’s south and west sides.

People who don’t already operate medical dispensaries can apply through Jan. 1 for a conditional license to sell adult-use cannabis. Forty-seven of these conditional licenses will be available to be awarded to dispensaries in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Region of Chicago-Naperville, Elgin, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

The state will select licenses based on a point system. Within that system, “Status as a Social Equity Applicant” alone can earn an applicant 50 points out of a total of 250, or 20%.

Illinois will put initial operators’ licensing fees into a $30-million fund that will go toward a revolving loan program for social equity applicants, Hutchinson says. “The other thing is that people typically only talk about this for dispensaries and cultivation centers,” she adds. “We added multiple more on-ramps, so the craft grower licenses, the infuser licenses, the transporter licenses.”

In Chicago, dispensaries will at first be limited to seven storefronts in each of seven different zones. Between the 11 existing medical dispensaries and 31 lottery slots already issued, the city could hand out up to 42 adult-use licenses. Then, around May 1, the state will start issuing up to 47 conditional licenses to Chicago-Naperville, Elgin. Also on May 1, Chicago may double the number of dispensaries allowed in each of its seven zones.

Cresco Labs currently operates five medical dispensaries in Illinois, including one in Chicago. That Chicago dispensary, MedMar, in the Lakeview neighborhood, will add adult-use sales on Jan. 1. Also, pending approval, Cresco will add three more dispensaries that it drew for in the Nov. 15 lottery.

Jason Erkes, chief communications officer at Cresco, says the state’s bill “is the most thoughtful piece of legislation that’s ever been crafted for adult-use cannabis.”

The bill, Erkes points out, states that the existing medical dispensaries must follow a “Social Equity Inclusion Plan.” One of these several specific plans outlined by the state is that dispensaries can host an incubator program that, according to the bill, says each participating dispensary would “provide a loan of at least $100,000” and mentor a social equity applicant for at least one year.

Cresco recently launched its own program in Illinois called Social Equity & Educational Development (SEED), which, according to a press release from the company, is “the cannabis industry’s first national social equity initiative promoting inclusion, expungement, equality, access and community engagement.” The company is incubating 150 people in roughly 35 groups on how to apply with the state for a dispensary license, Erkes says, adding that Cresco provides them coaching and pro bono legal counsel.

“I think it’s important to note that you can’t go back and change the past, but you can take very aggressive steps to make sure that the future looks differently,” Erkes says. “And that’s what this legislation does, and that’s what all the companies that are currently in this industry are committed to doing.”

“Now, if someone can show me a model for how you do it and get exactly what they’re asking us to do, show it, because it doesn’t exist.”

– Toi Hutchinson, senior adviser to the governor on cannabis control

Moore calls Chicago Illinois’ “cash cow” for the adult-use cannabis industry. “People want to be in Chicago, so if we do what we need to do to hold this up, everybody will come to the table, and there’s space where they can work and do some compromise,” he says. “And they know that they can. Right now, today, they’re getting away like a fat rat in a cheese factory at this point. And we have to, again, just slow this train down until there’s more equity that’s representative of this city.”

Other states allowed everyone to come into their adult-use programs right away, Hutchinson says. This, she adds, has resulted in one dispensary for every 6,000 people in Oregon, one for every 10,000 in Colorado, one for every 37,000 in Washington and one for every 47,000 in Colorado.

In contrast, she says, Chicago will open with one dispensary for every 424,000 residents, and if it gives out 100 licenses by early 2020, it will still only have one for every 127,000 people. This is how the state can protect market share for social equity applicants, she says, adding that it’s too early to critique inequity on day one of legalization.

“Every other state opened the doors wide open—like wide open—and then tried to backdoor equity at the city or county level,” Hutchinson says. “And what we’ve seen—it does not work. So, we have to do this differently. Now, if someone can show me a model for how you do it and get exactly what they’re asking us to do, show it, because it doesn’t exist.”

In a Dec. 4 hearing held by Chicago City Council’s Committee on Contracting Oversight and Equity, Ervin continued to speak out about a lack of current equity. With cannabis industry members present, the room had mixed opinions about the Black Caucus’ proposed delay of sales. “Of course, they want to move as expeditiously as possible,” Ervin says. “But at the same time, we want to ensure that the equity is at the forefront of all of these conversations.”

Published at Fri, 13 Dec 2019 07:35:00 +0000

Season’s Greenings! These Are The Best Cannabis And CBD Gifts Of 2019

Season’s Greenings! These Are The Best Cannabis And CBD Gifts Of 2019

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

‘Tis the season to be, like, really jolly. Here are some stocking stuffers for CBD and THC enthusiasts alike.

The post Season’s Greenings! These Are The Best Cannabis And CBD Gifts Of 2019 appeared first on InvestinCannabis.com.

Published at Fri, 13 Dec 2019 16:45:00 +0000

Aleafia Health Completes $7.1M Cannabis Sale Agreement

Aleafia Health Completes $7.1M Cannabis Sale Agreement

With Illinois poised to begin adult-use cannabis sales Jan. 1, 2020, some of Chicago’s aldermen and public stakeholders are concerned that a program designed to improve social equity access for minority business owners won’t live up to its promise.

A photo depicting a room full of white men participating in the city’s dispensary-license lottery on Nov. 15 went viral, eliciting responses from those who are upset that, when the program begins, there won’t be equity in ownership for black or Latino residents—or other prospective entrepreneurs based in areas of the city disproportionately affected by prohibition-era cannabis arrests.

The owners of Chicago’s 11 medical dispensaries are all white, and theirs are the only businesses that are either licensed or allowed to apply for licenses to add adult-use sales on Jan. 1. They participated in the lottery for the chance to acquire licenses for secondary locations, and other existing medical dispensaries in surrounding areas were the remaining lottery participants vying for the chance to add stores in the city.

Because there are none of Illinois’ medical cannabis business owners are black, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, and the approaching adult-use market will be based off of the state’s medical cannabis industry, the first adult-use dispensary owners in Chicago won’t be reflective of that city’s population, says Jason Ervin, 28th Ward alderman and chairman of City Council’s 20-member Black Caucus.

That’s a problem, Ervin says, as African Americans have been disproportionately impacted by arrest and incarceration due to cannabis offenses and should be able to fully participate in the industry once it is legitimized.

“We’re going to buy today, we’re in jail today, so why can’t we have equity today?” he asks.

Ervin and the Black Caucus introduced an ordinance in October that would delay the sale of adult-use cannabis in the city until July 1, 2020, to try to get more minority ownership in the space.

“I think that to have all of this activity in the state of Illinois and to walk out to no participation, for many communities of color, I just think that’s wrong,” Ervin says. “And I think we need to work to fix it.”

The reason the room in that viral photo looked the way it did is because Illinois is distancing itself from other states in its approach to cannabis legalization. It’s issuing adult-use licenses in phases—first making them available to established medical cannabis businesses who have capital and experience adhering to regulations in the space. Then the state will open the field to others, including social equity applicants, says Toi Hutchinson, senior adviser to the governor on cannabis control.

This is an attempt at achieving social equity both in the industry and in the communities that have been hurt the most by prohibition, says Hutchinson, who played a large role in drafting Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act as a state senator.

In drafting the bill, the state made some concessions to the existing medical market, State Sen. Kimberly Lightford told the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this year.

David Moore, Ward 17 alderman, says he doesn’t think medical dispensaries should have been given priority in the adult-use program rollout, but he understands the state had to do what was necessary to pass the bill. Looking at the lack of current equity ownership in his city, he says, “I think right now, we need to slow the train on this in Chicago.”

Illinois designed its program to be race-neutral so that it can hold up in court, Hutchinson says. But it addresses social equity in areas where people have been the most disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs, and where many black and Latino residents live. To that end, the state created a “Disproportionately Impacted Areas” map that plays a role in determining who can be a social equity applicant.

“I think it’s important to note that you can’t go back and change the past, but you can take very aggressive steps to make sure that the future looks differently.”

– Jason Erkes, chief communications officer at Cresco Labs

“What we know about that population is that it’s 55% African American and 22% Latino that have been disproportionately impacted,” Hutchinson says. “We know that. So, we designed an application, we designed a process, we designed a system that would try to get some of those folks the ability to come into this thing.”

Illinois’ “Disproportionately Impacted Areas” shows that Chicago neighborhoods hit hardest by prohibition are on the city’s south and west sides.

People who don’t already operate medical dispensaries can apply through Jan. 1 for a conditional license to sell adult-use cannabis. Forty-seven of these conditional licenses will be available to be awarded to dispensaries in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Region of Chicago-Naperville, Elgin, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

The state will select licenses based on a point system. Within that system, “Status as a Social Equity Applicant” alone can earn an applicant 50 points out of a total of 250, or 20%.

Illinois will put initial operators’ licensing fees into a $30-million fund that will go toward a revolving loan program for social equity applicants, Hutchinson says. “The other thing is that people typically only talk about this for dispensaries and cultivation centers,” she adds. “We added multiple more on-ramps, so the craft grower licenses, the infuser licenses, the transporter licenses.”

In Chicago, dispensaries will at first be limited to seven storefronts in each of seven different zones. Between the 11 existing medical dispensaries and 31 lottery slots already issued, the city could hand out up to 42 adult-use licenses. Then, around May 1, the state will start issuing up to 47 conditional licenses to Chicago-Naperville, Elgin. Also on May 1, Chicago may double the number of dispensaries allowed in each of its seven zones.

Cresco Labs currently operates five medical dispensaries in Illinois, including one in Chicago. That Chicago dispensary, MedMar, in the Lakeview neighborhood, will add adult-use sales on Jan. 1. Also, pending approval, Cresco will add three more dispensaries that it drew for in the Nov. 15 lottery.

Jason Erkes, chief communications officer at Cresco, says the state’s bill “is the most thoughtful piece of legislation that’s ever been crafted for adult-use cannabis.”

The bill, Erkes points out, states that the existing medical dispensaries must follow a “Social Equity Inclusion Plan.” One of these several specific plans outlined by the state is that dispensaries can host an incubator program that, according to the bill, says each participating dispensary would “provide a loan of at least $100,000” and mentor a social equity applicant for at least one year.

Cresco recently launched its own program in Illinois called Social Equity & Educational Development (SEED), which, according to a press release from the company, is “the cannabis industry’s first national social equity initiative promoting inclusion, expungement, equality, access and community engagement.” The company is incubating 150 people in roughly 35 groups on how to apply with the state for a dispensary license, Erkes says, adding that Cresco provides them coaching and pro bono legal counsel.

“I think it’s important to note that you can’t go back and change the past, but you can take very aggressive steps to make sure that the future looks differently,” Erkes says. “And that’s what this legislation does, and that’s what all the companies that are currently in this industry are committed to doing.”

“Now, if someone can show me a model for how you do it and get exactly what they’re asking us to do, show it, because it doesn’t exist.”

– Toi Hutchinson, senior adviser to the governor on cannabis control

Moore calls Chicago Illinois’ “cash cow” for the adult-use cannabis industry. “People want to be in Chicago, so if we do what we need to do to hold this up, everybody will come to the table, and there’s space where they can work and do some compromise,” he says. “And they know that they can. Right now, today, they’re getting away like a fat rat in a cheese factory at this point. And we have to, again, just slow this train down until there’s more equity that’s representative of this city.”

Other states allowed everyone to come into their adult-use programs right away, Hutchinson says. This, she adds, has resulted in one dispensary for every 6,000 people in Oregon, one for every 10,000 in Colorado, one for every 37,000 in Washington and one for every 47,000 in Colorado.

In contrast, she says, Chicago will open with one dispensary for every 424,000 residents, and if it gives out 100 licenses by early 2020, it will still only have one for every 127,000 people. This is how the state can protect market share for social equity applicants, she says, adding that it’s too early to critique inequity on day one of legalization.

“Every other state opened the doors wide open—like wide open—and then tried to backdoor equity at the city or county level,” Hutchinson says. “And what we’ve seen—it does not work. So, we have to do this differently. Now, if someone can show me a model for how you do it and get exactly what they’re asking us to do, show it, because it doesn’t exist.”

In a Dec. 4 hearing held by Chicago City Council’s Committee on Contracting Oversight and Equity, Ervin continued to speak out about a lack of current equity. With cannabis industry members present, the room had mixed opinions about the Black Caucus’ proposed delay of sales. “Of course, they want to move as expeditiously as possible,” Ervin says. “But at the same time, we want to ensure that the equity is at the forefront of all of these conversations.”

Published at Mon, 09 Dec 2019 21:58:00 +0000

Aphria Inc. Announces $80 Million Financing of Aphria Diamond

Aphria Inc. Announces $80 Million Financing of Aphria Diamond

With Illinois poised to begin adult-use cannabis sales Jan. 1, 2020, some of Chicago’s aldermen and public stakeholders are concerned that a program designed to improve social equity access for minority business owners won’t live up to its promise.

A photo depicting a room full of white men participating in the city’s dispensary-license lottery on Nov. 15 went viral, eliciting responses from those who are upset that, when the program begins, there won’t be equity in ownership for black or Latino residents—or other prospective entrepreneurs based in areas of the city disproportionately affected by prohibition-era cannabis arrests.

The owners of Chicago’s 11 medical dispensaries are all white, and theirs are the only businesses that are either licensed or allowed to apply for licenses to add adult-use sales on Jan. 1. They participated in the lottery for the chance to acquire licenses for secondary locations, and other existing medical dispensaries in surrounding areas were the remaining lottery participants vying for the chance to add stores in the city.

Because there are none of Illinois’ medical cannabis business owners are black, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, and the approaching adult-use market will be based off of the state’s medical cannabis industry, the first adult-use dispensary owners in Chicago won’t be reflective of that city’s population, says Jason Ervin, 28th Ward alderman and chairman of City Council’s 20-member Black Caucus.

That’s a problem, Ervin says, as African Americans have been disproportionately impacted by arrest and incarceration due to cannabis offenses and should be able to fully participate in the industry once it is legitimized.

“We’re going to buy today, we’re in jail today, so why can’t we have equity today?” he asks.

Ervin and the Black Caucus introduced an ordinance in October that would delay the sale of adult-use cannabis in the city until July 1, 2020, to try to get more minority ownership in the space.

“I think that to have all of this activity in the state of Illinois and to walk out to no participation, for many communities of color, I just think that’s wrong,” Ervin says. “And I think we need to work to fix it.”

The reason the room in that viral photo looked the way it did is because Illinois is distancing itself from other states in its approach to cannabis legalization. It’s issuing adult-use licenses in phases—first making them available to established medical cannabis businesses who have capital and experience adhering to regulations in the space. Then the state will open the field to others, including social equity applicants, says Toi Hutchinson, senior adviser to the governor on cannabis control.

This is an attempt at achieving social equity both in the industry and in the communities that have been hurt the most by prohibition, says Hutchinson, who played a large role in drafting Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act as a state senator.

In drafting the bill, the state made some concessions to the existing medical market, State Sen. Kimberly Lightford told the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this year.

David Moore, Ward 17 alderman, says he doesn’t think medical dispensaries should have been given priority in the adult-use program rollout, but he understands the state had to do what was necessary to pass the bill. Looking at the lack of current equity ownership in his city, he says, “I think right now, we need to slow the train on this in Chicago.”

Illinois designed its program to be race-neutral so that it can hold up in court, Hutchinson says. But it addresses social equity in areas where people have been the most disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs, and where many black and Latino residents live. To that end, the state created a “Disproportionately Impacted Areas” map that plays a role in determining who can be a social equity applicant.

“I think it’s important to note that you can’t go back and change the past, but you can take very aggressive steps to make sure that the future looks differently.”

– Jason Erkes, chief communications officer at Cresco Labs

“What we know about that population is that it’s 55% African American and 22% Latino that have been disproportionately impacted,” Hutchinson says. “We know that. So, we designed an application, we designed a process, we designed a system that would try to get some of those folks the ability to come into this thing.”

Illinois’ “Disproportionately Impacted Areas” shows that Chicago neighborhoods hit hardest by prohibition are on the city’s south and west sides.

People who don’t already operate medical dispensaries can apply through Jan. 1 for a conditional license to sell adult-use cannabis. Forty-seven of these conditional licenses will be available to be awarded to dispensaries in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Region of Chicago-Naperville, Elgin, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

The state will select licenses based on a point system. Within that system, “Status as a Social Equity Applicant” alone can earn an applicant 50 points out of a total of 250, or 20%.

Illinois will put initial operators’ licensing fees into a $30-million fund that will go toward a revolving loan program for social equity applicants, Hutchinson says. “The other thing is that people typically only talk about this for dispensaries and cultivation centers,” she adds. “We added multiple more on-ramps, so the craft grower licenses, the infuser licenses, the transporter licenses.”

In Chicago, dispensaries will at first be limited to seven storefronts in each of seven different zones. Between the 11 existing medical dispensaries and 31 lottery slots already issued, the city could hand out up to 42 adult-use licenses. Then, around May 1, the state will start issuing up to 47 conditional licenses to Chicago-Naperville, Elgin. Also on May 1, Chicago may double the number of dispensaries allowed in each of its seven zones.

Cresco Labs currently operates five medical dispensaries in Illinois, including one in Chicago. That Chicago dispensary, MedMar, in the Lakeview neighborhood, will add adult-use sales on Jan. 1. Also, pending approval, Cresco will add three more dispensaries that it drew for in the Nov. 15 lottery.

Jason Erkes, chief communications officer at Cresco, says the state’s bill “is the most thoughtful piece of legislation that’s ever been crafted for adult-use cannabis.”

The bill, Erkes points out, states that the existing medical dispensaries must follow a “Social Equity Inclusion Plan.” One of these several specific plans outlined by the state is that dispensaries can host an incubator program that, according to the bill, says each participating dispensary would “provide a loan of at least $100,000” and mentor a social equity applicant for at least one year.

Cresco recently launched its own program in Illinois called Social Equity & Educational Development (SEED), which, according to a press release from the company, is “the cannabis industry’s first national social equity initiative promoting inclusion, expungement, equality, access and community engagement.” The company is incubating 150 people in roughly 35 groups on how to apply with the state for a dispensary license, Erkes says, adding that Cresco provides them coaching and pro bono legal counsel.

“I think it’s important to note that you can’t go back and change the past, but you can take very aggressive steps to make sure that the future looks differently,” Erkes says. “And that’s what this legislation does, and that’s what all the companies that are currently in this industry are committed to doing.”

“Now, if someone can show me a model for how you do it and get exactly what they’re asking us to do, show it, because it doesn’t exist.”

– Toi Hutchinson, senior adviser to the governor on cannabis control

Moore calls Chicago Illinois’ “cash cow” for the adult-use cannabis industry. “People want to be in Chicago, so if we do what we need to do to hold this up, everybody will come to the table, and there’s space where they can work and do some compromise,” he says. “And they know that they can. Right now, today, they’re getting away like a fat rat in a cheese factory at this point. And we have to, again, just slow this train down until there’s more equity that’s representative of this city.”

Other states allowed everyone to come into their adult-use programs right away, Hutchinson says. This, she adds, has resulted in one dispensary for every 6,000 people in Oregon, one for every 10,000 in Colorado, one for every 37,000 in Washington and one for every 47,000 in Colorado.

In contrast, she says, Chicago will open with one dispensary for every 424,000 residents, and if it gives out 100 licenses by early 2020, it will still only have one for every 127,000 people. This is how the state can protect market share for social equity applicants, she says, adding that it’s too early to critique inequity on day one of legalization.

“Every other state opened the doors wide open—like wide open—and then tried to backdoor equity at the city or county level,” Hutchinson says. “And what we’ve seen—it does not work. So, we have to do this differently. Now, if someone can show me a model for how you do it and get exactly what they’re asking us to do, show it, because it doesn’t exist.”

In a Dec. 4 hearing held by Chicago City Council’s Committee on Contracting Oversight and Equity, Ervin continued to speak out about a lack of current equity. With cannabis industry members present, the room had mixed opinions about the Black Caucus’ proposed delay of sales. “Of course, they want to move as expeditiously as possible,” Ervin says. “But at the same time, we want to ensure that the equity is at the forefront of all of these conversations.”

Published at Mon, 09 Dec 2019 22:02:00 +0000

Possible Scenarios for U.S. Marijuana Legalization by 2021

Possible Scenarios for U.S. Marijuana Legalization by 2021

It tightens the grip that beer, wine and spirits maker Constellation has on the pot producer, which has been suffering steep losses. Klein was made Canopy Growth chairman in October after Corona beer maker Constellation Brands sustained a big loss on its investment in the Canadian cannabis firm. He will formally take over as Canopy Growth CEO on Jan. 14.

“David is an experienced strategist with a deep understanding of how to build enduring consumer brands while leveraging operational scale across a dispersed production footprint,” Canopy Growth said in a news release. “He is a strong leader with a proven track record of developing diverse and high performing teams.”

The firm touted the new CEO’s consumer packaged goods and alcoholic beverage industry experience, strong financial orientation, and experience operating in highly regulated markets in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe.

Constellation Brands has sunk $4 billion into Canopy. It is looking to secure a position of strength in light of the proposed legalization of recreation marijuana in several countries. So far marijuana stocks have failed to deliver on the hype, with their shares plummeting as a result.

Published at Mon, 09 Dec 2019 16:26:59 +0000

What Travelers Need To Know About Flying With Weed

What Travelers Need To Know About Flying With Weed

eCann Media is proud to showcase our portfolio of investments and subsidiaries. We have completed numerous investments across multiple verticals and sectors in the cannabis industry. Requesting an invitation will enable the eCann team to consider your eligibility for investment as well help us to identify the opportunities that best fit your needs and investment objectives.

Published at Mon, 02 Dec 2019 13:00:00 +0000

Can You Major In Marijuana?

Can You Major In Marijuana?

eCann Media is proud to showcase our portfolio of investments and subsidiaries. We have completed numerous investments across multiple verticals and sectors in the cannabis industry. Requesting an invitation will enable the eCann team to consider your eligibility for investment as well help us to identify the opportunities that best fit your needs and investment objectives.

Published at Thu, 05 Dec 2019 19:00:00 +0000

6 Variables To Assess When Building a CBD Brand

6 Variables To Assess When Building a CBD Brand

eCann Media is proud to showcase our portfolio of investments and subsidiaries. We have completed numerous investments across multiple verticals and sectors in the cannabis industry. Requesting an invitation will enable the eCann team to consider your eligibility for investment as well help us to identify the opportunities that best fit your needs and investment objectives.

Published at Fri, 06 Dec 2019 21:15:00 +0000

Tips For Opening A Dispensary Where Nobody Wants You

Tips For Opening A Dispensary Where Nobody Wants You

eCann Media is proud to showcase our portfolio of investments and subsidiaries. We have completed numerous investments across multiple verticals and sectors in the cannabis industry. Requesting an invitation will enable the eCann team to consider your eligibility for investment as well help us to identify the opportunities that best fit your needs and investment objectives.

Published at Thu, 21 Nov 2019 13:00:00 +0000

Minnesota Increases Medical Cannabis Program Access

Minnesota Increases Medical Cannabis Program Access

While cultivating hemp is now fully legal at the federal level, recent actions from the FDA may have the booming cannabidiol (CBD) product market pumping its brakes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published a revised Consumer Update, titled “What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD,” where it clarifies the legality of marketing CBD products and airs its concerns about the hemp-derived compound’s prolonged health effects. 

In the Consumer Update, the FDA emphasizes that of all the oils, lotions, food, beverages and numerous other CBD products on store shelves, only one has been approved by the FDA—Epidiolex, a prescribed oral solution used to treat two rare, severe forms of epilepsy.

Otherwise, CBD that is marketed as a dietary supplement, added to food or labeled as any sort of cure or treatment for an ailment is technically illegal, as CBD products are subject to FDA regulations.

The regulatory crackdown comes on the heels of the FDA issuing warning letters to 15 companies in late November for illegally selling CBD products in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act. The companies are required to respond with plans to correct the violations within 15 working days.

Many of the companies that received letters now have disclosures on the bottom of their web pages that explain the products were not evaluated by the FDA and are “not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

The warning letter left some wanting answers, including Shiloh Thibodeaux, a founding member of Organix Industries Inc., doing business as Plant Organix.

“We are left with several questions regarding the warning letter. Why were we, along with 14 other companies, singled out while hundreds are left to continue business as usual? Why would the federal government legalize production and sale if only to be derailed by its own agency?” Thibodeaux says. “We are duly licensed to conduct CBD business and will respond to the FDA with legal ingredients in our products, ensuring required labeling is in place.”

Dr. Gregory Smith, the CEO of Red Pill Medical Inc., another company that received a warning letter from the FDA, tells Hemp Grower he was “pleased” to receive guidance from the agency. “There is so much confusion in the marketplace that I see this as an opportunity to work with the FDA to give companies clear guidance on what they can and cannot say. At this point, the industry simply gets told what they can’t say or do, but what we need is exact guidelines on what we can say and do,” Smith says.

In its consumer update, the FDA says it recognizes the “significant public interest” in CBD but warns of the numerous unknowns involved with using the compound in products. It adds that it is working to answer the unknowns through ongoing efforts, such as feedback from a recent FDA hearing and information through a public docket.

“As part of the drug review and approval process for the prescription drug containing CBD, it was determined that the risks are outweighed by the benefits of the approved drug for the particular population for which it was intended,” the FDA says in the Consumer Update. 

With limited data available on CBD’s health effects so far, the FDA says its chief concerns include:

  • CBD’s potential to harm users before they become aware of its effects.
  • Noticeable side effects of CBD, which include “changes in alertness” (or drowsiness), gastrointestinal issues and changes in mood.
  • The unknown aspects of CBD, which include:
    • Its effect with prolonged use.
    • Its effect on the developing brains of children.
    • Its effects on developing fetuses or breastfed newborns.
    • Its effect on others in special populations, such as the elderly, adolescents, pregnant women and pets.
    • How it interacts with other herbs, botanicals and medications.
    • Its effect on the male reproductive system.

Of notable concern is CBD’s potential for liver injury, which the FDA says it discovered during its review of the marketing application for Epidiolex. FDA says the risk can be managed under medical supervision, but its effects on general CBD users who aren’t monitored are unknown.

Another concern cited by FDA is CBD’s potential effects on the male reproductive system. FDA says studies in laboratory animals showed male reproductive toxicity, including in the male offspring of CBD-treated pregnant females. 

For some, the FDA’s concerns stir up outlandish claims not yet backed by solid evidence.

“It’s ironic that the FDA sends warning letters to CBD companies for allegedly making false claims, or medical claims, while the FDA is arguably making inaccurate, scientifically insufficient, and evidence-lacking claims about CBD and its effect on human health,” Morris Beegle, the co-founder and president of a group of hemp companies called We Are For Better Alternatives, tells Hemp Grower. “What the FDA has suggested lacks facts. This is the same fear-mongering approach governments have been using for 80-plus years.”  

Smith agrees that the FDA’s concerns regarding CBD are “a little misleading.”

“The studies showing these problems were mainly done in animals who were given incredibly high doses of cannabis (if extrapolated to humans, no one under normal conditions could consume that much cannabis or CBD) that lead to liver issues. Also, the metabolism and absorption of CBD in the mice/rat model is very different than in humans,” Smith says. “I have maintained that clinically, the safety profile of CBD is excellent, especially when compared to any prescription medication. This is not to say that consumers with medical problems taking prescription medications should not use CBD with caution. Our model since day one was to make sure that consumers that are being treated for chronic illnesses, taking prescription medications, not take CBD without consulting a physician who is educated in cannabinoid medicine.”

The FDA says it is continuing to evaluate its regulatory framework regarding CBD based on information it receives, but concrete answers from the agency may be far off. 

As the agency works to wrap its head around the increasingly popular product, it’s unclear how its stance will shape the industry. CBD products, however, are still fully marketable as long as they aren’t added to food, aren’t labeled as a dietary supplement and don’t make false claims.

Brightfield Group, a CBD and cannabis research firm, estimates the CBD market, currently worth $5 billion, will reach $23.7 billion by 2023.

Published at Wed, 04 Dec 2019 17:45:00 +0000