Original Post: Cannabis Now: Cannabis Beverages Might Not Be the Next Big Thing After All
[Canniseur: I tasted a few THC and CBD beverages in Seattle a few months ago. They were uniformly horrible. The fact is, THC and CBD taste bad and no amount of sugar is going to solve that problem. We need to find a way for cannabis to be a part of the bar scene, and outside of THC infused drinks.]
From the outside looking in, the concept of THC-infused beverages was a shoo-in at becoming the next big trend in cannabis. Not only did it seem that every major beverage company from around the globe was looking to jump into the scene and rip off a piece of the action, but market analysts even came forward with reports that told the tale of riches to be had from the sale of stoner sips. Some also suggested that these drinks were for the cannabis consumer of tomorrow, and if cannabis companies weren’t selling drinkable weed in the foreseeable future, they would end up bankrupt and living under a bridge. However, that was last year. Although we have seen the addition of some THC-beverages showing up in the American market (Canada still can’t legally sell them until October) it almost seems that the hype has petered out and is fading away.
Some of the attrition in hoopla could be because cannabis companies are finding out that there just aren’t as many customers interested in sipping buds as they initially believed. To hear Aurora Cannabis CEO Terry Booth tell it, that’s precisely what has happened as far as his camp is concerned.
Earlier this week, Booth explained to analysts during an investment conference call that he and his people were starting to second-guess the enthusiasm for THC-infused beverages. Apparently, Booth just isn’t convinced — at least not anymore — that this is the direction the cannabis consumer is heading. “The proven market is certainly not in beverage,” he said, according to Yahoo Finance. “There are not going to be any cannabis bars like there are alcohol bars any time soon.”
This has not always been Booth’s opinion. You might remember that Aurora was taking meetings with several large beverage companies last year from Diageo Plc, maker of Crown Royal and Guinness Beer, right down to the queen mother of carbonated libations – Coca Cola. Or at least that was the rumor. The word on the street was that Coke was in “serious talks” with Aurora about creating a CBD-infused beverage, but almost as quickly as that news started to spread it was shut down by Coke’s top dog. CEO James Quincey said back in October of 2018 that the beverage company “doesn’t have any plans at this stage” to get involved with the cannabis industry.
But other beverage-cannabis partnerships have taken place over the past year, one of which is a huge deal. The first international brewing company to go balls deep into the idea of bringing cannabis beverages to life was the maker of Corona and Modelo, Constellation Brands. The company has invested billions of dollars with Canopy Growth to become one of the first to offer such a product on the Canadian market. The goal is to test THC-beverages in the northern nation and be one of the first to jump into the U.S. market once marijuana goes legal at the national level. There is now even a contingency deal in place with an American firm (Acreage Holding) that could also technically allow the brewer to become one of the largest cannabis-beer companies in the United States. Of course, all of this depends on Congressional enthusiasm for ending pot prohibition. And as far as we can tell, there isn’t much. But that’s another story for another time.
No, it’s true, there is no Corona of Cannabis yet – not even a nifty brand name or any indication of whether it is close to ready for market, or how it might taste.
In fact, flavoring seems to be a large part of the problem when it comes to producing THC-infused beverages. A report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that companies are struggling to make a weed drink that doesn’t taste awful, funky and in the not-so-pleasant ballpark of urine or soap. We can’t see there being a huge market for something like that. Another problem is creating a THC-infused beverage that is water-soluble so it can metabolize in a person’s system like alcohol. Otherwise, consumers might experience some of the panic moments that they have when consuming other cannabis edibles. So achieving a 10-minute onset time is the goal. The only problem is some of the chemicals needed to make cannabis drinks take effect quicker also contribute to the bad flavor. It’s almost as though the cannabis plant just doesn’t want to be liquified.
It could be all of these headaches associated with the production of cannabis beverages that has Aurora ready just to keep kicking it old school. For now, smoking is still the most popular form of consumption, so why mess with a good thing — right? But there are problems with smoking as well. A recent poll found that even some cannabis users are bothered when they catch a whiff of marijuana smoke in public. There is also the question of where stoned socialites might eventually go to partake. Are we going to establish consumption lounges all across the country like they’re doing in Vegas or is a more logical option to find a way to incorporate it in with the bar scene? These questions are far from being answered, and it remains to be seen how it will all shake out. There is no doubt that marijuana needs a social component for it to become as widely accepted in the same way as alcohol. And cannabis beverages seemed like the product that could take us there.
This is not the case, according to Booth and Aurora CCO Cam Battley. They say while there might be a customer base for wellness beverages — CBD-infused recovery drinks like Gatorade — there doesn’t seem to be much interest coming from the consumer public for getting high through the consumption of weed drinks. “On the intoxication side of the fence with respect to cannabis drinks, the market is just not there. It’s not proven to be a popular item anywhere,” Booth said.
Cannabis consumers are, however, still stoked about vapes and edibles, the two cannabis executives explained. But as far as investing resources getting into cannabis drinks, it’s just not worth it to them. “Considering the anticipated relatively low market share of these products, we are not rushing this,” Battley said.
TELL US, would you try a drink that was infused with THC?
PHOTO Neil Williamson
Cannabis Beverages Might Not Be the Next Big Thing After All was posted on Cannabis Now.
Original Post: Cannabis Now: Police Want Access To Medical Marijuana Records To Bust Gun Owners
[Canniseur: Pennsylvania law enforcement has some truly bizarre concepts of cannabis users. Thicker vape pens are more likely to spawn a shakedown? This is a gross overreach and a blatant breach of HIPPA law. This is just madness ]
Law enforcement in Pennsylvania are trying to gain access to information about medical marijuana to enforce firearm laws
In spite of marijuana legalization in parts of the United States, law enforcement in those areas remain hellbent on finding new and improved ways to bust those who use this substance. And it’s not just about getting stoned drivers off the road either — although that is a big part of it. Cops are wanting access to medical marijuana patient registries so they can just start showing up at the residences of these people and arresting them if they own a gun. To get the ball rolling on these Gestapo tactics, police forces are trying to convince the higher-ups that public safety is in jeopardy as long as they are in the dark about which citizens are out there using medical marijuana.
Although cannabis has been legal in Pennsylvania for therapeutic use for the past three years, cops are still throwing a temper tantrum over their inability to access the state’s medical marijuana registry. Some of them, like drug recognition lackey Craig Amos, believe the state’s secrecy on the issue has created a “huge disconnect.” Because now, there is a possibility that society is full of marijuana users that also own firearms. And that is a volatile predicament that they wish to remedy by any means necessary.
“If we had access (to the marijuana user database), then we’d have state troopers showing up at someone’s door, arresting them for a felony violation because they lied on a form to purchase a firearm,” Amos told a crowd of around 80 police officers, according to the Intelligencer.
The discussion over medical marijuana and gun ownership is perhaps one of the most controversial of the heated subjects surrounding the cannabis plant. But the rules on this issue are relatively cut and dry.
Since the federal government still considers marijuana an outlaw, Schedule I substance, marijuana users, even those acting in accordance with the laws of their respective state, cannot legally own guns. Section 802 of the Controlled Substances Act makes that clear. Essentially, a person forfeits their Second Amendment rights once they make the decision to participate in a medical marijuana program.
Even the courts support this madness.
Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco handed down a verdict that said no constitutional violation was made in preventing medical marijuana patients from purchasing guns.
“Registry cardholders are more likely to be marijuana users, and illegal drug users, including marijuana users, are more likely to be involved in violent crimes,” wrote a three-judge panel. “Accordingly, preventing those individuals who firearm dealers know have registry cards from acquiring firearms furthers the Government’s interest in preventing gun violence.”
But it’s not as though that dastardly Uncle Sam has a special B.S. detector that sounds an alarm each time a registered medical marijuana patient purchases a firearm. Marijuana users are just supposed to be forthright about their use when filling out the form (4473) required to buy, sell, or transfer a gun. Failing to provide the government with this information can lead to felony charges.
This was made clear in a letter issued in 2011 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, it is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition.”
Pennsylvania officials fully understood there was going to be trouble if they shared information about medical marijuana patients with the police. It is for that reason that the state’s Department of Health, which oversees the patient registry, has denied law enforcement any access to those records. This is apparently causing some cops to lose sleep at night. They feel it creates a situation where medical marijuana patients could fudge form 4473 and still purchase weapons.
But it’s not just the thought of marijuana users owning firearms that has Pennsylvania cops all riled up. They are perplexed altogether by the evolving cannabis scene — on everything from the latest cannabis products to spotting impaired drivers. This is why drug recognition experts, like Amos, from the Pennsylvania DUI Association, are traveling around giving cops the 411 on the cannabis culture of today.
They are teaching law enforcement officers that kids smoking weed in this day and age no longer smell like “grapes or blueberry” from smoking joints (WTF?) and that consumption is about “vaping, extracts and oils.”
Police are also learning how to make arrests in the newly legal climate by identifying equipment used in the production of concentrates, as well as gaining an understanding of when it might be time to send a vape pen in for lab testing. Apparently thicker vape pens are more likely to spawn a shakedown.
And when it comes to yanking stoned drivers off the road, cops are being told that the drivers out there taking it easy are not the high ones. On the contrary, Amos suggests, high drivers are almost always caught because they are driving too fast. “They’re not out there driving slow,” he said. “They’re going 75 (mph) when they’re supposed by going 35 (mph). When they’re using, they think they’re better drivers.”
Clearly, the disconnect is real.
TELL US, have you ever owned a gun?
The post Police Want Access To Medical Marijuana Records To Bust Gun Owners appeared first on Cannabis Now.
Police Want Access To Medical Marijuana Records To Bust Gun Owners was posted on Cannabis Now.
Original Post: Cannabis Now: Carl’s Jr. Will Make 420 History With A CBD-Infused Burger
[Carl’s Jr.? CBD Burger? Apparently so. While it’s not entirely surprising to see a fast food chain cashing (or crashing) in on popular culture, the idea of a CBD burger is a little uh, strange. I wonder how they’re dealing with the taste?]
We’ve created a monster. Well, not us specifically, but over the past few years the media has talked lot of smack about cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating compound of the cannabis sativa plant, and the discussion, one that began with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, has now led a vast majority of the American people to believe that this substance is a miracle cure for all sorts of ailments. And it might be just that, but then again it is hard to praise the health benefits of anything that is set to become an ingredient in fast food. Yep. In case, you haven’t heard, the Carl’s Jr. restaurant chain plans to experiment with a CBD-infused burger at one of its Denver locations, just in time for the 420 holiday, and all we have to say is we hope CBD can cure a stomach-ache.
Hey, what did expect? We live in a capitalist society, one where corporate hounds are always sniffing out the next opportunity to make a buck, so it should come as no surprise that the fast food slingers of the nation are looking to put CBD, which some believe is the next best thing since sliced bread, in a sauce on beef patties squished in between two pieces of, well, sliced bread. It’s the circle of hype, so to speak, a ploy to capitalize on the unofficial holiday of the cannabis culture.
For a limited time, Carl’s Jr. will offer stoned patrons (and sober ones — they aren’t discriminating) the Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight. It is a recipe that almost sounds like it was conjured up in a Bro 2.0 kitchen somewhere after one too many bong rips unleashed a case of the munchies and now self-respect hangs in the balance. This burger comes with two beef patties, pickled jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, waffle fries and a unique mix of its Santa Fe sauce containing right around 5 milligrams of CBD. Of course, the restaurant plans to sell this monstrosity for $4.20. But no, this burger will not get anyone stoned. In fact, it is not likely to provide the consumer with any medical benefits either, unless they suffer from severe constipation.
Although the Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight will only be available to Denver customers on Saturday, April 20, Carl’s Jr. is apparently using the event as a way to gauge interest in a nationwide CBD-infused menu. Patty Trevino, the fast food chain’s senior vice president of brand marketing, told Business Insider that the whole scheme is a move to eventually become the first burger joint to bring CBD-infused sandwiches to the American people. “If anyone is going to do it, I would want Carl’s Jr. to do it,” Trevino told the news source.
But there are still some problems with this concept.
Marijuana is an outlaw substance eyes of the federal government, a detail that makes it tricky for nationally recognized businesses to get involved at any level. But last December, Congress passed a bill legalizing industrial hemp nationwide for the first time since 1937, which turned the prospect of cashing-in on hemp-derived CBD products up a notch. Now, CBD is everywhere. But when it comes to incorporating the substance in food, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been sort of weird about it. The agency has essentially said that food and beverages produced with CBD cannot be sold because the substance has not yet gone through its rigorous approval process. It’s a whole confusing affair, one that former commissioner Scott Gottlieb says could take years to hash out unless Congress intervenes and takes it out of the FDA’s hands. For now, the agency will hold hearings on the matter, the first of which is set to take place next month, to learn more about the compound in hopes of offering some regulatory recommendations. Who knows how it will all shake out, and there is any number of articles on the subject that can shed more light on the topic. But, for all intents and purposes, this particular piece is supposed to be a way to crack a few jokes at the prospect at CBD becoming a condiment.
So here goes.
We’re just spit balling here, but anyone thinking about grabbing a Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight (or two) this Saturday as part of their hightinerary can expect to consume more than 420 calories. Only the chain’s 1/3 LB. Lettuce-Wrapped Thick Burger can make that claim. Most of the double burgers sold at Carl’s Jr come closer to the 1,000 calorie mark. So, let’s just say that if CBD-infused fast food eventually becomes a new, exciting trend in the realm of popular cannabis, more Americans across the country are going to be seeing 420 a lot more often — on the bathroom scale.
TELL US, would you try this burger?
The post Carl’s Jr. Will Make 420 History With A CBD-Infused Burger appeared first on Cannabis Now.
Carl’s Jr. Will Make 420 History With A CBD-Infused Burger was posted on Cannabis Now.
Original Post: Cannabis Now: Does Fentanyl-Laced Cannabis Smell Like Popcorn?
[Canniseur: Yet another example of the police attempting to create panic and doubt about cannabis. Shades of 1937 and “Reefer Madness” again. It’s also called propaganda. Law enforcement doesn’t seem to understand their outright lies undermine their own authority with the public. The public the police are supposed to serve.]
One of the hottest pieces of propaganda to come spilling from jowls of law enforcement over the past few years is that illicit-market marijuana is being laced with a dangerous and destructive opioid called fentanyl.
The idea that drug dealers are intentionally adding this potent drug to pot so hapless children who get their hands on it suffer savage, sometimes fatal overdoses has become a new reefer madness. Even the White House continues to perpetuate the myth with ignorance. Just weeks ago, Trump’s opioid crisis czar Kellyanne Conway told reporters that fentanyl was showing up in “heroin, marijuana, meth [and] cocaine.” Conway resurrected this claim, apparently, because she is still using misinformation given to her by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The marijuana-fentanyl connection has been proven false, at least on a large scale. Even the DEA called it bogus — more on that later. But new twists on the subject are still popping up from time to time that only stand to confuse the public further.
What the Nose Doesn’t Know
One of our favorites comes from a recent Facebook post, in which someone suggests that fentanyl smells like popcorn when it burns. So, of course, they warn that if a person smokes marijuana and catches a whiff of American’s favorite movie-time snack, that’s a good indication they could be in serious trouble.
But all of this popcorn nonsense is absolutely false, according to fact-checking website Truth or Fiction.
“Nearly all information about fentanyl’s scent indicated it was odorless or faintly powder-scented, not that it smells ‘like popcorn,’” wrote author Kim LaCapria. “The inherent risk in such information being spread as ‘better safe than sorry’ [is] lulling recreational drug users into a dangerously false sense of security with respect to detecting contamination from drugs such as fentanyl.”
Back to Reality
What is true is that fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, designed as a post-surgical painkiller. Yet, for obvious reasons, it has found illicit market appeal. Those who enjoy the feel-good effects that come from popping OxyContin or shooting heroin are the primary customer base. It’s also a drug that cartel operations have found much success with, because it is easier to produce than heroin — all of the supplies needed to manufacture it can be purchased relatively easily from online suppliers in China.
It’s also true that fentanyl is now being found in other drugs — though some of those instances might be exaggerated too. This is happening, according to a report from NPR, either as a result of accidental contamination or intentionally, in order to get users hooked on other products. There is also a distinct possibility that fentanyl is being combined with other drugs in the pursuit of new highs.
While it is not beyond the scope of imagination to suggest that people are adding fentanyl or other opioids to marijuana as part of their personal preference — cannabis has been soaked in embalming fluid, mixed with PCP, cocaine, and more over the years — there is little benefit for the illicit drug industry to engage in this practice. These operations certainly aren’t going to put fentanyl-laced marijuana into the market without charging some kind of premium.
But all of this talk is entirely hypothetical.
As we mentioned before, even the DEA says there hasn’t actually been any marijuana found with traces of fentanyl in it. “In regard to marijuana, I’m not familiar with that,” DEA spokesman Melvin Patterson told the Cincinnati Inquirer.
These comments echo DEA senior chemist Jill Head’s remarks from earlier this year. According to Buzzfeed News, Head made a salient point in a National Drug Early Warning System briefing in March: If fentanyl-laced marijuana was actually a trend across the nation, the death toll would be of an apocalyptic nature. After all, marijuana is the most commonly used substance – some 33 million people in both the legal and illicit markets consume it regularly. We’d definitely be seeing more bodies.
So if fentanyl-laced pot isn’t actually a thing, how did the rumors get started? Well, when it comes to the “misinformation” that continues to be spread by the White House – using the data collected by NIDA — all of it is based on anecdotal evidence from local police departments. But all of those reports were eventually proven to be false. Even the fact-checking site Snopes found no evidence to suggest that this drug combination is not a legitimate concern.
In the end, we cannot trust the police to deliver accurate reports over the kinds of drugs they are seeing out in the field.
“There’s this mistaken belief that law enforcement are experts on the drugs they are seizing,” Northeastern University drug policy expert Leo Beletsky told BuzzFeed News. “That’s just not the case, and that’s part of the problem.”
Does Fentanyl-Laced Cannabis Smell Like Popcorn? was posted on Cannabis Now.
Original Post: Cannabis Now: Some Cannabis Users Want to Make Weed Illegal Again
[Canniseur: Is this an April fool’s joke? We think so, but it’s still a fun read.]
There was a time not so long ago when being a part of the cannabis community was more of a red-eyed cult than the mainstream bore it has become today. There were no discussions 30 years ago, or even 20, about pot stocks, and you’d darn well better believe that nobody cared what CBD was all about.
Even diehard stoners, those who treated every issue of High Times as though it had been written by God himself, didn’t give a second thought to the possibility of weed having any other function than making food, music, and sex — every aspect of life really — just a little better.
This was when it was not uncommon to get locked into hours of controversial debates, full of government conspiracies and other lunatic rants intended to rationalize, if at all possible, Uncle Sam’s hellbent mission to keep the cannabis plant buried in the underground. “Legalize it” was a familiar war cry back then. It was written on rally signs, branded on t-shirts and even used to punctuate those less than desirable social situations when weed induced a strange or comical reaction (like vomiting up a lung from excessive coughing) that killed everyone around us with laughter.
Ahem-ahem-ahem-ahem… BLARGH! Legalize it!
But maybe, just maybe, if some of the plant’s more loyal followers had been shown a vision of how the legal system was going to shake out eventually, they may have had a very different opinion on the matter.
Although marijuana is only legal in a handful of states for recreational use, it is plain to see that the business of growing and selling weed in America is on a dead-eyed path to becoming the same kind of hole-in-the-sheet commerce that alcohol has achieved since being unleashed from the shackles of federal prohibition. It is a new day for the doobie (wait, do people even use those anymore), one where consumption is done through the use of concentrates, vapes, THC-infused beverages, and even suppositories.
But this is cannabis 2.0. It’s a weird scene, tightly regulated, and, depending on who you ask, as dull as the new Motley Crue biopic “The Dirt.” So much that teens aren’t even using it anymore as part of their rebellion repertoire. And Republicans, the anti-drug ’til death mongrels stinking up Capitol Hill, are now part of the movement to end pot prohibition once and for all. Some call it progress, while others say the culture was far better before pro-pot warriors swooped in and made an absolute mess of it. Here are just a few reasons why some cannabis users want to Make Weed Illegal Again.
Too Much THC In Legal Weed
Everyone can appreciate good weed — the kind that comes with a nice buzz but doesn’t turn us into blathering cartoon characters — but the problem is there really isn’t any lousy pot being produced in the U.S. All of the marijuana being sold in legal states is a much higher quality than the Mexican stuff that everyone used to get their hands on. Even the homegrown raised back in the day by the rednecks of the Midwest didn’t kick with such intensity. Some have referred to this new level cultivation hocus-pocus as “Herojuana,” because it is indeed potent enough to turn even the most experienced user into a catatonic mess. Just take a couple of dab hits and try to go about your daily routine without losing your shit. Chances are you’ll end up screwing the pooch before it is all over. Some members of the cannabis community say legalization destroyed the ability for regular users to just casually consume throughout the day without getting totally obliterated and acting weird. Now, everyone has to microdose or run the risk of being too stoned.
Legal Weed Cuts Into Profits of Longtime Black Market Dealers
Cannabis advocates often argue that establishing a taxed and regulated system eliminates black market dealings — whittling away at the overall crime rates associated with the distribution of illegal drugs. Considering that legal marijuana states are raking in millions of dollars every month, there is no doubt that plenty of people have bid farewell to their neighborhood dope man and started making their pot purchases through legitimate channels. This has given some small to mid-level drug dealers a hard way to go because they can longer support their families by slinging dime bags out the back door. Although some customers still frequent the underground to escape high taxes, it’s just not enough to keep every street hustler running in the black. Unfortunately, drug dealers do not qualify for unemployment, nor do they get social security benefits or healthcare. These folks are the ones who really wish we could make weed illegal again.
Nobody Shares Their Weed Anymore, Man
One of the most highly revered aspects of the cannabis culture was that getting high once came with a social component that some argue is missing today. Back when marijuana possession could still result in a jail sentence, people often scored a fat sack of grass and spent the next few evenings passing joints around with friends. But the communal smoke circle just doesn’t seem to hold any weight these days, especially in spots where weed stores are as prevalent as Starbucks. Now, it’s mostly a BYOW (bring your own weed) type of situation, and stingy stoners are everywhere. So, while it might now be difficult to find someone to share a joint with in a prohibition state, don’t expect this high hospitality in places like Colorado. They simply aren’t having it.
We Just Miss The Old Days… the Thrill of Living That Outlaw Life
While the convenience of just walking into a pot shop for more weed is a concept that hasn’t taken long for most to embrace, others say they miss the thrill of the hunt. These sickos were much happier when it was necessary to assume some level of risk in order to get their hands on weed. Of course, it goes without saying that this rare breed of cannabis consumer may be some of the most morbid of the movement, yet it is not to be discounted that many appreciated the scene more when there was an element of danger associated with it. This group wants to see pot go back to a time when everyone was on the same level and not something bound for Walmart.
Nothing… Nothing At All
There are plenty of gripes about legal weed, that’s for sure, but most members of the cannabis community say they wouldn’t change a thing. Well, certainly lower taxes would be appreciated. But very few cannabis consumers miss the time when putting in a call to a weed dealer meant sometimes waiting around for days to catch a buzz. Most don’t miss having to spend time with questionable characters just to get it either. And having the luxury of buying pot just like a beer has undoubtedly taken the pressure off users since they no longer have to give their vehicles a complete inspection before hitting the road. In the old days, failure to make sure that turn signals and brakes lights were functioning properly could result in shakedowns, arrests and prison time.
But not in today’s legal climate.
Still, there are some who argue that cannabis is still problematic for those who fail to follow the rules to the letter. Grow more than the allotted two to four plants or whatever the law permits and you’ll still go to jail; get caught carrying four ounces instead of the allowed 1.5 and here come the savage repercussions. Many believe a better scheme would be just to decriminalize it, and put the kibosh on all of this industry noise. But that’s never going to happen. This is America, after all, where greed rhymes with green for a reason. The good old days have done come and gone.
Now, it’s just business.
Some Cannabis Users Want to Make Weed Illegal Again was posted on Cannabis Now.