Convenience Stores ‘Will Kill Dispensaries’ if They’re Allowed to Sell Cannabis, says Investment Expert

Convenience Stores ‘Will Kill Dispensaries’ if They’re Allowed to Sell Cannabis, says Investment Expert

Original Post: 420 Intel Business: Convenience Stores 'Will Kill Dispensaries' if They're Allowed to Sell Cannabis, says Investment Expert

[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

How to Buy CBD: Beginner’s Guide

How to Buy CBD: Beginner’s Guide

Original Post: 420 Intel Business: How to Buy CBD: Beginner’s Guide

[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.

Smoking CBD

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 Edibles

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 Wrap-up

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

The Big Freak-Out Over Oregon’s Marijuana Surplus

The Big Freak-Out Over Oregon’s Marijuana Surplus

Original Post: 420 Intel Business: The Big Freak-Out Over Oregon’s Marijuana Surplus

[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

The Future of Cannabis Consumption

The Future of Cannabis Consumption

Original Post: 420 Intel Business: The Future of Cannabis Consumption

[Canniseur: Smoke filled rooms of stoners is the first image that comes to mind. It’s not going to be a reefer smoke filled room when it happens. The coffee shops I visited in Amsterdam were like that. I believe social consumption will actually make it to many of the adult use states. We can consume alcohol in a bar, why should cannabis not be allowed in a social setting as well? A bar is a social setting. I’d put money on the idea there wouldn’t be as much fighting and violence problems with social cannabis.]

Recreational cannabis consumption is legal in 10 states in the United States as well as all across Canada for adults of a certain age. However, unlike other recreational choices like alcohol, in many places, there is no place for adults to socially consume cannabis together. This leaves tourists high and dry when it comes to a place to consume legal recreational cannabis.

The topic of cannabis consumption within the community and industry is an elevated one. For this article, I had the opportunity to talk to the founder of Top Shelf Budtending and a leader in the field of social consumption and cannabis, Andrew Mieure. Andrew has been very outspoken and a leader in the movement to legalize social cannabis consumption in the states. Last month Andrew celebrated as Las Vegas approved social cannabis consumption clubs. Some of the few other places within the United States where social cannabis consumption clubs exist are in within West Hollywood and various cities in California.

So, what is next for social consumption in the US and around the world? Will there one day be cannabis clubs in every state where consumers can partake with likeminded individuals? Find out more below in the Q&A with Andrew Mieure of Top Shelf Budtending.

Where do you see social consumption heading in the coming months and years?

Oh man, that’s a complex question.  I’ll answer it in a few parts. As it stands, much of the legislation surrounding social consumption has been focused on adding lounge models to existing adult-use models. For example, Colorado attempting to add a statewide hospitality bill and the million changes that California cities made to their consumption ordinances.

Within the coming months, I foresee existing social consumption models being built upon and developed further.  Places like West Hollywood have licenses and will launch this year, giving us a proper taste of what detached lounges will feel like in a more free form environment. Beyond West Hollywood, markets like Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts and Alaska will attempt to finalize legislation and add-on social consumption ordinances to their existing adult-use models.  Within the next few years I expect lounges/social use venues to become the next industry gold rush.

Once the legislation passes and the groundwork is laid, major investment will arrive, operators will begin to open and these businesses will be able to thrive as intended. Even further down the line, I predict we will be creating major destinations for consumption. As a Las Vegas resident myself, Its only natural to dream of the biggest, most ridiculous lounge models we can think up. Within 5-10 years is where I think we will really see these come to fruition.

Aside from the social use venues opening themselves, I predict we will see a new wave of standards and requirements within the venues themselves.  Things like DUI/OVI prevention, consumption safety practices and sanitation protocols are top of mind.  Not to mention, the shift from handing someone a joint to a full blown cannabis hospitality with A—Z services like bottle service, valet and personal shoppers.  Our future is very exciting.

What are the biggest obstacles that need to be faced for cannabis to be as socially acceptable as alcohol?

Right now, the biggest obstacles the cannabis industry is faced with in regards to being treated like alcohol are complex and multi-faceted.  First off, cannabis is federally illegal [in the United States], alcohol does not have the same restrictions. Folks are afraid of being arrested for their choice of intoxicant. This, in my opinion, is what holds cannabis back from being a as socially accepted.

The other side is a little more… hazy.  So when we smoke or vaporize cannabis it creates smoke and vapor. Smoke/vapor does not stay in one place and can invade the airspace of other individuals near where the consumption is taking place. With a drink, it stays in your cup, and only you get the effects when you consume it, liquids don’t travel through the air.

DUI detection and impairment while driving are two more major issues that cannabis needs to tackle before it can be as accepted as alcohol.  Without reasonable rules set in place for responsible consumption, we are still sitting at square one.

Semantics and methods of ingestion aside, I believe cannabis is gaining the acceptance it deserves. My whole life has been centered around bringing cannabis to the mainstream. I have been very keen on making sure that we play nice with existing hospitality and alcohol-forward business in order to create a smooth transition into the mainstream spotlight. All in all, I believe cannabis is here to stay within our small social circles and the mainstream.  If we remain patient and vigilant, the future of social consumption will be grander than we could have ever imagined.

Original Post: 420 Intel Business: The Future of Cannabis Consumption

Pot Owners Plead Guilty in Unique Charges vs. Legal Business

Pot Owners Plead Guilty in Unique Charges vs. Legal Business

Original Post: 420 Intel Business: Pot Owners Plead Guilty in Unique Charges vs. Legal Business

[Editor’s Note: This won’t be the last fraud case in the legal cannabis industry. This serves as a warning to cannabis dispensaries to stay on the right side of the law.]

The owners of a Denver marijuana business pleaded guilty Friday to drug and racketeering charges and will spend a year in prison in what city officials called the first local prosecution of a legal pot enterprise in the U.S.

A yearlong investigation of Sweet Leaf’s sales practices centred on a practice known as “looping,” where a customer purchases the maximum amount of marijuana that Colorado law permits and repeatedly returns to the same retailer to purchase more on the same day. Prosecutors believe people using the strategy at Sweet Leaf locations purchased more than 2 tons of marijuana intended for sale on the black market.

The case is unique in that Denver authorities charged a pot business in one of 10 states plus Washington, D.C., that broadly allow marijuana use by adults and a commercial market to supply cannabis products. The majority of such businesses “are reputable and responsible and strive to obey our marijuana laws,” Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said in a statement.

“Sweet Leaf is an exception,” she said.

Under a plea agreement, Matthew Aiken, Christian Johnson and Anthony Sauro will serve one year in prison followed by a year of parole tied to the drug charge and a year of probation for the racketeering charge.

Aiken, 40, was sentenced immediately, and courtroom deputies placed him in handcuffs following the hearing. Johnson, 50, and Sauro, 33, will be sentenced in several weeks.

They and their attorneys left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Kenneth Boyd said investigators found evidence that Sweet Leaf’s owners knew about and encouraged the illegal sales. Employees would even contact buyers known as “loopers” to notify them of medical marijuana deliveries to dispensaries, he said.

“Once the practice was authorized by ownership, it was pushed at the highest levels,” Boyd said. “It was sell, sell, sell. This was about greed and making money, and that came from the top.”

Denver police began investigating the chain of dispensaries in 2016 after a neighbour of one Sweet Leaf location complained about repeat customers visiting the dispensary day after day.

Investigators scrutinized Sweet Leaf’s sales practices by using data collected by state regulators and material collected during December 2017 raids of several company properties. Several months earlier, the company’s owners told Marijuana Business Magazine that they had 350 employees and $60 million in revenue.

Boyd said the 12 low-level employees arrested during the raids have since reached plea agreements contingent on community service. Two former managers received 30-day jail sentences in November as part of a plea agreement that required them to co-operate with investigators.

Boyd said Denver prosecutors still are pursuing cases against 10 people accused of using looping to buy excess marijuana at Sweet Leaf locations.

The investigation prompted Colorado regulators last year to clarify rules limiting how much marijuana an individual customer can buy in one day.

Attorneys for the company’s owners had argued that the rules only limited the amount of product a customer could buy during a single sales transaction. City and state regulators rejected that argument, and Denver revoked all 26 of the company’s city-issued licenses after the police investigation began.

Colorado regulators later reached a settlement requiring the owners to surrender all of their state-issued business licenses. The deal also bans the owners from working in Colorado’s marijuana industry for 15 years.

Original Post: 420 Intel Business: Pot Owners Plead Guilty in Unique Charges vs. Legal Business

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