[Canniseur: In Michigan, it’s been a bad drought for several months. Yes, part of this is the timing of harvests. However, Michigan politics has definitely played a large role in this year’s draught. And yet Michigan expects to open adult use retail yet this year. The state’s politics is keeping the black market in business.]
Marijuana users have often been plagued by the August drought: those dog days of late summer that fall between harvests in Mexico or somewhere when there was simply no weed available, when you went down your list of dealers and struck out on every one with a “call me back in a week or two” response.
The droughts have been less regular since the advent of home grows, although the vagaries of the growing cycles can sometimes still throw your timing off. That said, right now Michigan is in the midst of an August drought. A couple of weeks ago a text message came out from Corktown provisioning center BotaniQ saying that they were out of flowers. Since then the location’s co-owner Anqunette Jamison Sarfoh has been in the media saying that they have only a few selections of flowers at the location. Few others seem to be able to have adequate supplies either.
Jerry Millen, an owner of the Greenhouse in Walled Lake, reports that location has about 21 varieties, but not much of any of them. “We probably have about two weeks’ worth of flower left,” he says. “Then [we’ll] be totally out. There is no flower to be had anywhere.”
That may depend on where you are, and what and how much you’re looking for. A perusal of the Facebook Michigan Medical Marijuana Growers page shows some evidence of the search for flowers. One frustrated member posted “Straight up! Fuckin (sic) DRY SEASON. END THE DROUGHT!”
Another member responded, “I live in the Amsterdam of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and it has been super dry for at least a month now. Can’t find lbs. anywhere.”
There are several posts that belie that sentiment, but those tend to be from the southwest part of the state. There are other posts that question the quality of what is available. One narrative around the drought is that caregiver flowers of questionable quality are used to make extracts, while only best buds are sold in their natural state.
Of course, product has always been scarce in the Michigan system. For years, growing your own or using caregivers was the only way to legally access medical cannabis. When a medical system came in, some administrators were unfriendly and downright antagonistic to getting it going.
Has there ever been enough medical marijuana? A quick perusal of media this past year shows headlines pointing out a medical marijuana shortage last November, and in January, May, and June of this year. So maybe there is always a medical marijuana shortage. However, the level of complaining has intensified in recent weeks.
Maybe that intensification is due to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency tweaking how caregivers’ products enter the medical marijuana market. Previously, caregivers’ products could be sold in provisioning centers if customers signed a document acknowledging that the cannabis is untested. Now that policy has changed, resulting in less product available.
There seems to be plenty of edibles and oils on the shelves of provisioning centers. Michigan is not yet a “mature” marijuana market, and old-school flowers remain the product of choice for the majority of users. People are used to using it that way, and like it. They understand how to use it and what to expect when they use it. New ways of doing that have not yet replaced the tried and true methods.
Although most of this drought talk is anecdotal, it’s backed by information distributed by Confident Cannabis, a company with software that helps marijuana businesses to test, sell, and buy wholesale cannabis. According to press materials, 50 percent of the legal cannabis produced in the country — across 25 states — passes through the Confident Cannabis lab testing platform.
The company is moving into Michigan and has collected some interesting information about the cannabis market. The initial findings are that there’s not enough product, the caregiver and retail relationship is changing, and there is an abundance of extracts. We kind of knew that already, but it’s nice that other folks are backing up what we’re seeing.
One thing we do need in our system is more growers. Most people who want to enter the marijuana business system want to sell the product rather than grow it. That makes sense. At a basic level, growing looks more complicated than selling. Literally speaking, growers get about three harvests per year per space. You can’t make the plants grow that much faster, and if you stagger the plantings it just means less product at a time — whereas the prospect of retail sales presents a possibility for unfettered sales. But where are you going to get it?
Not from Oregon, where a reported surplus of marijuana exists, and prices are at least half of what they are here.
That all points to the fact that Michigan’s medical marijuana system still hasn’t gotten its legs under it yet. The so-called black market is still vibrant, and people seem to have more trust in the folks they’ve been buying from the past decade or more.
The medical marijuana system should be delivering for patients with an unbroken supply. They should never have to worry about where they can find what they need. The idea of a marijuana drought should be a thing of the past, but it is emphatically a thing of the present.
This August drought looks like it could well extend into September, as headlines of the past year indicate. Personally, I’m not affected by this yet because I made a bulk acquisition a couple of months back that is seeing me through all this. Not everybody can do that. From the perspective of the average patient, things don’t seem to be getting better.
There was a chance that a constitutional amendment in nearby Ohio would be on the fall ballot in that state, but it is now officially a no go. At this point it looks like Ohio Families for Change, the group backing the amendment, has gone dormant. That doesn’t mean legal marijuana isn’t an issue there. A new law legalizing hemp in Ohio has caused some confusion. Hemp is partially defined by having less than 0.3 percent THC, the cannabinoid that produces the marijuana high. The problem in Ohio is that police equipment can detect the presence of THC, but not the amount. So any given sample could be hemp — until proven otherwise.
An idea to ship the stuff to other states for testing runs into the roadblock of interstate commerce with marijuana, which is doable, but it takes paperwork that has not been processed. In the final analysis, marijuana is not legal in Ohio, but police will not pursue marijuana misdemeanors until this is all cleared up or until they get a better testing lab.
Original Post: 420 Intel Business: Michigan is Experiencing a Medical Marijuana Drought
[Canniseur: Is this a crock or what? Convenience stores currently co-exist with liquor stores and wine shops all over the U.S. Why would cannabis be any different? Perhaps the ‘expert’ in the article isn’t quite expert enough? Or perhaps, he has an agenda that’s not stated in this story? I don’t know and it really doesn’t matter. This expert says if cannabis was available in a convenience store, it won’t ‘kill’ dispensaries.]
Right now, cannabis can only be legally purchased through dispensaries or online retailers, but that could change if a group representing corner stores across America gets its way. The lobbying arm of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is preparing to fight for the ability of their members to sell weed once it becomes federally legal in America, writes Calvin Hughes.
NACS doesn’t have support for federal cannabis policy reform on their official agenda, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want a piece of the pie if the industry is legalized nationwide. And as federal cannabis legalization becomes closer and closer to reality, NACS is hopeful that convenience stores will be able to sell marijuana in the same way they already sell cigarettes and alcohol.
“The idea is that you want to have a level playing field for selling legal products. What we are looking at is, if there is a legal framework, how there could be a situation for those that want to sell. That they will be able to sell it legally,” Jeff Lenard – VP of Strategic Industry Initiatives at NACS – told The Street.
If NACS gets their way, the shift in marijuana retails could have huge ramifications for the cannabis industry as we know it. While big-name chains like CVS have started selling some non-intoxicating cannabis products, the vast majority of marijuana sales still come through local dispensaries. But, if the neighborhood bodegas start selling weed as well, many consumers could be persuaded to spend their money there instead.
“This will kill dispensaries,” said Mark Singleton, owner of Singleton Investments. “And the cannabis industry is either unaware of it or in denial.”
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Original Post: 420 Intel Business: Convenience Stores 'Will Kill Dispensaries' if They're Allowed to Sell Cannabis, says Investment Expert
[Canniseur: Many people are curious about CBD. If this includes you, all your questions are answered here.]
One term in the cannabis industry that has been getting a lot of buzz recently is cannabidiol, or CBD.
CBD is a cannabinoid, a component of cannabis, and produces no psychoactive effects. It has been gaining attention for its potential ability to treat symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and stress, among others.
As more and more CBD products are being introduced, it can be easy for consumers to get lost in a sea of new terms and options.
Should you go for full spectrum or a CBD isolate? Hemp CBD or cannabis extract? Capsule, tincture or smoke it? What dose should you take?
We’re here to help you buy CBD, so read on for a detailed beginner buyer’s guide.
Hemp CBD vs. Cannabis CBD
CBD can be extracted from either hemp, a variety of the cannabis sativa plant that doesn’t contain THC, or from cannabis flower that is bred to contain a high percentage of CBD.
Companies began extracting CBD from hemp in larger numbers after the U.S. passed the Farm Bill in late 2018 that removed the plant from the country’s list of controlled substances.
This allowed the legal creation of hemp CBD products, while CBD products from cannabis are still not legal federally in the U.S. since the country has classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug.
Compared to cannabis, hemp is a CBD lightweight. The plant typically contains around 3.5 per cent CBD, compared to cannabis strains that have up to 18-20 per cent CBD. High CBD cannabis strains include Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, Avidekel or ACDC.
Hemp also does not have as strong an “entourage effect” as cannabis flower due to the former containing little to no terpenes – oils in cannabis that give its smell and taste.
The entourage effect is a theory that cannabis’ many components, such as its terpenes and other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN and CBC, interact with each other in a synergistic way that aid its effects.
However, cannabis flower that is high in CBD will likely also contain some THC, which will cause a psychoactive effect that you won’t find in hemp-derived CBD products. U.S. law says hemp CBD products must have less than 0.3 per cent THC – not enough to feel.
Another thing to be aware of is that hemp is a natural “bioaccumulator,” meaning it is good at drawing toxins out of the ground.
While hemp has been used to clean up toxic spills, this trait does provide the risk toxins may make their way into hemp CBD products.
If going for a hemp CBD product, try to get one that is USDA-certified if it is made in the U.S. This means that the U.S. government gave the product organic certification, which ensures that producers have not used a prohibited substance in their production for at least three years.
Check this database for USDA-certified CBD companies.
Also check where the hemp comes from. Colorado has a robust hemp program where the state performs spot-tests in the field to see if any illegal pesticides were used. Be wary of hemp grown overseas, as it may not be subject to any government testing.
Isolate vs. Full Spectrum
When shopping for CBD products, you may notice the terms “full spectrum” or “isolate” on labels.
Full spectrum extract means that the product is not CBD alone, but contains other components of cannabis such as other cannabinoids.
Isolate means CBD alone was extracted.
As mentioned earlier, it has been found that CBD’s therapeutic effects come through more when it is interacting with other components of cannabis, such as its terpenes and cannabinoids, in what is known as the “entourage effect.”
A 2018 study found that more epilepsy patients reported improvements in frequency of seizures treated with CBD-rich extracts (318/447, 71 per cent) that contained other “phytocompounds” versus those treated with purified CBD (81/223, 36 per cent).
The study concluded that “CBD-rich extracts seem to present a better therapeutic profile than purified CBD, at least in this population of patients with refractory epilepsy.”
To be sure you are getting a full spectrum product, look out for a Certificates of Analysis (CoA). It verifies that a company has laboratory-tested its products and should give a full breakdown of the cannabinoids present and their amounts in the product.
As CBD gains in popularity, companies are coming out with creative ways to consume the drug, each with their own pros and cons.
One way to gain the effects of CBD quickly is to inhale it, such as by vaporizing or smoking CBD-rich cannabis.
Inhaling CBD allows it to enter your bloodstream through your lungs and you should feel its effects within minutes, and it should at least half an hour, depending on how much was consumed.
One option for vaporizing is to get a CBD vape pen that uses concentrated CBD oil for a quick uptake that creates vapour almost instantaneously, without waiting for the flower to heat up.
If going with a vape pen, try to avoid ones that contain CBD cartridges that use propylene glycol as a thinning compound to create the CBD oil.
Propylene glycol is also used in nicotine e-cigarettes and at high temperatures can degrade to formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer, asthma and low birth weight. Look out for CBD vape pens that have “solvent-free oils.”
CBD is also being produced in a number of different edibles, from gummies and drinks to tinctures, oils and capsules.
Consuming CBD edibles is more of a slow-burn than smoking or vaping, as the effects may not arrive until at least half an hour to an hour after consumption.
However, the effects will likely last longer than inhaling – up to five or six hours.
You may have come across CBD tinctures or oils before. They often come in a small bottle that has a dropper as a lid.
CBD tinctures and oils contain CBD extracted from either cannabis flower or hemp plants. Tinctures are alcohol or vegetable glycerin-based cannabis extracts that tend to be less concentrated than oil.
The CBD can be extracted using either pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) or a solvent, such as ethanol or butane.
CO2 extraction is quickly being preferred in the cannabis industry given that it preserves the purity of the oil with little risk of contaminants.
Ethanol can destroy plant waxes, which may include health benefits, and butane may leave dangerous residues in the final product.
Tinctures and oils are often taken sublingually, meaning under your tongue, which can make them a speedy way to absorb THC without inhaling. You just place a drop or two under your tongue and hold it for 20-30 seconds, so it will enter your bloodstream. It usually kicks into action 15-30 minutes after consuming.
Oils, especially if derived from hemp, may have a grassy flavour that some may not like, whereas tinctures have less of a concentrated taste. Both can be mixed into food to mask the taste, or capsules are a good flavourless alternative.
Companies are also developing CBD drinks, called drinkables, which also have a speedy uptake and can mask the cannabis flavour well. Expect to see more and more drinkables on the market soon, such as coffees, teas and flavoured water.
You can also use CBD as a topical that you rub on your skin to reduce inflammation and ease muscle pain. A topical is the most effective way to use CBD to treat localized pain or inflammation.
CBD topicals mix CBD extract with a fat such as beeswax or coconut oil, which helps the CBD penetrate your skin. However, it often needs to be used liberally to feel its effects as skin does not absorb cannabinoids very well.
Finding the proper dosage for CBD can be a tricky task.
Although it is now legal to create CBD products from hemp in the U.S., as of this writing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not created a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for CBD, meaning it does not have an official serving size.
It gets more confusing given that CBD products come in many different shapes and sizes, as discussed above.
In addition, different bodies may absorb CBD differently due to such factors as weight, diet, metabolism or age.
You may be getting tired of hearing this when it comes to cannabis, but the best advice for consuming CBD products is to start low and go slow.
If using a CBD tincture or oil, take one drop a day for the first few days to see how it feels. If there is no adverse reaction, then consider upping the dose to two drops per day with time intervals between and see how it feels. If no effect is felt, then consider slowly increasing the dose.
Dr. Dustin Sulak, a leading clinician in the application of medical cannabis, told Greencamp in our dosing guide to start with 2.5 mg of CBD spread throughout the day, then to increase the dose 2.5 mg every day if positive effects aren’t being felt until you reach the desired therapeutic relief.
However, the dose can change depending on what you are using CBD to treat.
For example, sleep disorders or epilepsy likely will require a higher dose of CBD than chronic pain. Since research is still being done in the area, we cannot say a definitive number for each symptom.
Whichever way you consume CBD, be sure to check the product’s labelling that should indicate the concentration of the drug to aid in dosing. Try to get products that say how much CBD is not only in the whole bottle, but in each dose.
Beware that because the industry is still new and there aren’t many regulations in place, some oils, such as for vapes, could be very high in CBD concentration.
The good news is that it is very hard, if not impossible, to overdose on CBD. A 2017 study concluded that humans can tolerate CBD in doses up to 1,500 mg.
Research is still being done on how CBD could be of benefit, but some studies done already have indicated its potential uses.
A 2015 study found that CBD oil could be used to treat panic disorder and anxiety disorders, while a 2011 study found CBD helped decrease patients’ anxiety before public speaking.
CBD has been found to increase overall sleep amounts in an experiment on rats, and to reduce insomnia.
Studies have also shown that CBD can reduce pain and inflammation, making it a good alternative to opioids that can be dangerously addictive, and it can be useful for nausea, which can be of use to chemotherapy patients. Reducing chronic pain has been shown to improve sleep from those who suffer it.
As mentioned earlier, CBD has been found to be effective in treating epilepsy. The FDA in 2018 approved the drug Epidiolex that contains CBD to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome, for children two years of age or older. It was the first FDA-approved drug that contains a substance derived from cannabis.
The CBD industry is sure to grow as companies create new products and consumers’ tastes evolve. It is important to be informed of the different factors when purchasing CBD products and to approach it with caution, as regulations are still being formed. But if you do your research, there are benefits to CBD that we hope you enjoy.
Original Post: 420 Intel Business: How to Buy CBD: Beginner’s Guide
[Canniseur: Markets develop and evolve. IMHO, Oregon is doing their growing right. OK, there’s a surplus. A huge surplus. If some of the growers thrive, it will probably be because their product is superior. Perhaps not, but eventually a market rewards those who can grow the best cannabis or make the best concentrates or whatever. It rewards them with higher prices than commercial grow or extraction enterprises because they’re creating better product. People will pay more for the best…if it’s better.]
By now many of you have heard the devastating news: There’s too much marijuana in Oregon. Perhaps I should have told you to sit down first; for those who fainted after reading that sentence, my apologies.
All jokes aside, this is apparently a huge deal. State authorities put the surplus from last year’s harvest alone in excess of 2 million pounds of marijuana. With supply outpacing demand in the state, prices have plummeted, putting many businesses in the cross-hairs of failure.
The plan to rectify this is to cap the number of cultivation licenses. But the worry among state officials is that much of the surplus marijuana will end up on the black market out of state, where is can bring higher prices.
Under market conditions, much of the surplus would flow out of state, to areas where supply is not quite meeting demand. Some growers would go out of business and some would survive as the market continuously pushed toward equilibrium of supply and demand. But here we hit a problem that most legal products don’t face: Oregon growers can’t legally sell their product out of state.
This fact alone dictates much of what happens next. Faced with financial destitution, most growers will run the risk of selling their product illegally to other states. This is a big no-no in the eyes of the feds, something state officials in Oregon live in fear of.
So while the best solution – interstate commerce – is forbidden, the state will try to adjust the supply of marijuana relative to demand within the state while cracking down on the black market, i.e. prohibition.
Oregon is home to slightly more than 1% of the United States’ total population. This means that growers there are legally barred from selling their product to roughly 99% of the market. Will many fail under those conditions? Absolutely. How many growers in Oregon will turn to the illegal market? How many will get busted? How many lives and families will be destroyed?
While impressive in many respects, the rollout of legalization across the U.S. has been haphazard and incredibly inefficient. How much investment has been wasted because the legal cannabis market in the U.S. follows no logical sense?
Government is not the solution to this “problem”. The federal government needs to get out of the business of marijuana prohibition and let the legal cannabis market develop like every other legal market.
Original Post: 420 Intel Business: The Big Freak-Out Over Oregon’s Marijuana Surplus