Oregon, Awash in Marijuana, Takes Steps to Curb Production

Oregon, Awash in Marijuana, Takes Steps to Curb Production

Original Article: Puff Puff Post: Oregon, Awash in Marijuana, Takes Steps to Curb Production

[Canniseur: Oregon is a ‘young’ cannabis market. If the barriers to entry are low enough (as they are in Oregon) any young market will have too many producers and too many outlets. With time and attrition, the best or the most aggressive players, will remain. I can hope it would be the best, but only time will tell that. Maybe they could export cannabis to Canada where there’s is a chronic shortage.]

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon is awash in pot, glutted with so much legal weed that if growth were to stop today, it could take more than six years by one estimate to smoke or eat it all.

Now, the state is looking to curb production.

Five years after voters legalized recreational marijuana, lawmakers are moving to give the Oregon Liquor Control Commission more leeway to deny new pot-growing licenses based on supply and demand.

The bill, which passed the Senate and is now before the House, is aimed not just at reducing the huge surplus but at preventing diversion of unsold legal marijuana into the black market and forestalling a crackdown by federal prosecutors.

“The harsh reality is we have too much product on the market,” said Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, who intends to sign the bill if it wins final passage as expected.

Supply is running twice as high as demand, meaning that the surplus from last year’s harvest alone could amount to roughly 2.3 million pounds of marijuana, by the liquor commission’s figures. That’s the equivalent of over 1 billion joints.

Oregon has one of the highest such imbalances among the 10 states that have legalized recreational marijuana since 2012, in part because it had a big head start in the weed business.

With its moist climate and rich soil, Oregon has a long history of pot growing. When it became legal, many outlaw growers went legitimate, and others jumped into the business, too.

They are now all cultivating weed in a multitude of fields, greenhouses and converted factories, with 1,123 active producer licenses issued by the OLLC over the past three years.

The legislation could be a lifeline to some cannabis businesses that are being squeezed by market forces.

Retail prices in Oregon for legal pot have plummeted from more than $10 per gram in October 2016 to less than $5 last December. At the same time, smaller marijuana businesses are feeling competition from bigger, richer players, some from out of state.

Officials worry that some license holders will become so desperate they will divert their product into the black market rather than see it go unsold.

“We’re a very young industry,” said Margo Lucas, a marijuana grower and vendor in the Willamette Valley who is hoping the measure will give her business breathing room.

She noted that growers can’t seek federal bankruptcy protection — pot is still illegal under federal law, and banks avoid the industry — and that many owners have taken out personal loans to finance their businesses.

“So when we go out of business, we’re going to go down hard,” Lucas said. “Many of us will lose our homes. … You’re going to have a lot of entrepreneurs in this state that are pretty unhappy with the way that this ends if we don’t get some support with this bill.”

Opponents say the proposed law will drive growers who are denied licenses into the illegal market, if they’re not there already.

“This current track seems like a giant step backwards toward prohibition, which has always been a disaster,” Blake Runckel, of Portland, told lawmakers in written testimony.

As of January, Oregon’s recreational pot market had an estimated 6 1/2 years’ worth of supply, according to an OLCC study .

To prevent excess pot that is still in leaf form from spoiling, processors are converting some into concentrates and edible products, which have longer shelf life, OLLC spokesman Mark Pettinger said.

U.S. Justice Department officials have said they won’t interfere in states’ legal marijuana businesses as long as the pot isn’t smuggled into other states and other standards are met. Oregon officials want to let federal authorities know they’re doing everything they can to accomplish that.

The bill to curtail production could “keep the feds off our back,” Rob Bovett, legal counsel for the Association of Oregon Counties, told lawmakers.

Oregon puts no cap on the number of licenses that can be issued. Last June, the OLCC stopped accepting applications so it could process a monthslong backlog. But under current law, it has no specific authority to say no to otherwise qualified applicants, Pettinger said.

The longer-term hope is that the federal government will allow interstate commerce of marijuana, which would provide a major outlet for Oregon’s renowned cannabis.

“We will kind of be like what bourbon is to Kentucky,” said state Sen. Floyd Prozanski.

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Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky

___

Find complete AP marijuana coverage here: https://apnews.com/Marijuana

Andrew Selsky, The Associated Press



The post Oregon, awash in marijuana, takes steps to curb production appeared first on Puff Puff Post.

Original Article: Puff Puff Post: Oregon, Awash in Marijuana, Takes Steps to Curb Production

Moosehead Breweries and Sproutly to develop cannabis-infused beverages

Moosehead Breweries and Sproutly to develop cannabis-infused beverages

Original Article: Puff Puff Post: Moosehead Breweries and Sproutly to develop cannabis-infused beverages

[Canniseur: Why am I not surprised that yet another brewer is jumping into the cannabis infused beverage market? I’m not. Moosehead is still going to have a problem though. Cannabis extracts taste horrible. And despite all sorts of research in cannabis legal places to make a beverage that gets you high and tastes good, nobody has bee successful. But there is hope. Many of the terpenes in cannabis are also found in hops. Terpenes aren’t Cannabinoids, but they are a huge component of the taste and aroma of cannabis. There’s even a brewery in Michigan that makes an ale once a year called “Smells Like a Safety Metting”. So there’s hope.

VANCOUVER — Moosehead Breweries Ltd. is the latest beverage company to form a joint venture to enter the cannabis-infused beverage market in Canada once it is legalized.

An affiliate of the independent brewer, OCC Holdings Inc., is partnering with Sproutly Canada Inc. to develop, produce and market non-alcoholic beverages using Sproutly’s naturally-produced water soluble cannabinoids.

The companies say its beverages would be able to deliver the effects of cannabis in as early as five minutes and could last up to 90 minutes, providing an experience similar to smoking the drug.

Moosehead is Canada’s oldest and largest independent brewery with 152 years of experience and infrastructure that the companies say will allow the joint venture to more quickly get its cannabis-infused beverages to market.

The companies add that Sproutly’s cultivation facility and processing licence will advance formulation work that’s already been completed to date.

Health Canada has said the final rules about edibles must be brought into force no later than Oct. 17, a year after recreational cannabis use was legalized.

“After careful analysis of the cannabis industry and the cannabis beverage opportunity in Canada, we believe that Moosehead and Sproutly together are well positioned to become a significant player in the category,” stated Matthew Oland, a Moosehead senior executive, who will head the 50-50 joint venture as chief executive officer.

The Canadian Press

Original Article: Puff Puff Post: Moosehead Breweries and Sproutly to develop cannabis-infused beverages

Alaska Cannabis Industry Cites Uncertainty With New Governor

Alaska Cannabis Industry Cites Uncertainty With New Governor

Original Article: Puff Puff Post: Alaska Cannabis Industry Cites Uncertainty With New Governor

[Editor’s Note: Dunleavy’s comments sure are leading to confusion. He seems to be saying one thing and doing another. He’s appointing a prohibitionist to the Marijuana Control Board. He’s also planning on repealing its existence. These are not very supportive.]

JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska’s new governor has no plans to change marijuana legalization, a spokesman said Wednesday, even as the Republican administration’s appointments and proposal for a state regulatory board worry some in the legal cannabis industry.

Spokesman Matt Shuckerow also said that Gov. Mike Dunleavy has no desire to push the industry in one direction or the other.

Dunleavy has made new appointments to the five-member Marijuana Control Board while also planning to propose repealing its existence.

His appointment of Vivian Stiver, a marijuana critic, has riled industry members who have cast her as a prohibitionist. Stiver would replace Brandon Emmett, who is one of two industry representatives on the five-member board. State law allows up to two seats to go to industry representatives though one of the seats could go to a member of the general public.

The board began a three-day meeting Wednesday in Juneau, which was expected to be Emmett’s last meeting. Voters in 2014 approved legalizing the use of so-called recreational marijuana by those 21 and older.

Shuckerow said repealing the board would require legislative approval and it’s important to have a functioning board as that process plays out. State Commerce Commissioner Julie Anderson has said that Dunleavy intends to propose transferring the board’s responsibilities to the commissioner.

Further details on what Dunleavy is planning are expected when he introduces the repeal legislation, Shuckerow said.

Other states handle cannabis regulation at the agency level, and Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel with the Marijuana Policy Project, said as long as the agency has a clear mandate and supports the program, everything should be fine.

But Stiver’s appointment has fueled uncertainty in the industry, so a proposal like this has left people to “kind of look for the conspiracy,” Lindsey said.

The appointment “calls into question everything that the governor might be trying to do now,” he said.

Stiver and Lt. Christopher Jaime, an Alaska Wildlife Trooper appointed to the board’s public safety seat, are subject to legislative confirmation. Shuckerow has said Dunleavy believes Stiver would bring a valuable perspective to the board.

Jaime was said to be out of state and did not attend Wednesday’s meeting. The director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office mentioned Dunleavy’s proposal to repeal the board in her report, but the board itself did not delve into the topic.

Lacy Wilcox, who serves on the board of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, said Dunleavy should meet with the industry. She worries the public process that has surrounded rule-making so far could be eroded if the board is repealed.

She and others have raised concerns with language in one of Dunleavy’s crime bills they say would make it a felony to possess 25 or more cannabis plants, which they argue could affect legal growers. Department of Law spokeswoman Cori Mills has said the provision was not aimed at growers operating under the state’s regulated industry and that the administration is open to clarifying the language.

Chase Griffith, who has retail and growing facilities on the Kenai Peninsula, said he’s been confused by Dunleavy’s actions and wants to hear from him.

“We just need to see the details and actually hear his true intent on the cannabis industry in Alaska,” he said, adding later: “I just want him to publicly say how he stands on cannabis because I haven’t heard that myself.”

Original Article: Puff Puff Post: Alaska Cannabis Industry Cites Uncertainty With New Governor

Day 1 Blooper: Ontario Cannabis Store Mislabels Genital Spray as Oral Product

Day 1 Blooper: Ontario Cannabis Store Mislabels Genital Spray as Oral Product

Original Article: Puff Puff Post: Day 1 Blooper: Ontario Cannabis Store Mislabels Genital Spray as Oral Product

Ed. Note: Labeling mistakes can happen, as the old saying goes…’buyer beware’.

TORONTO — A perusal of the Ontario Cannabis Store’s online portal on the first day of legalization turned up an array of expected products — various strains of dried weed, oils and tinctures, and accessories needed to use them.

But also on offer is a cannabis-infused “intimate” spray, marketed under the enticingly named Fleur de Lune, which contains eight milligrams of the psychoactive ingredient THC, as well as the cannabinoid CBD.

The only problem is that the Ontario Cannabis Store had initially mislabelled how to apply the product, saying it was for “sublingual” use, which means under the tongue — in other words, orally.

In fact, the spray made by Hexo Corp. is meant to be applied on the genitals, “particularly for women,” to reduce such symptoms as inflammation and pain, said Terry Lake, the Quebec-based company’s vice-president of corporate social responsibility.

“We always knew there was going to be bumps along the road, no country has done this to this extent,” Lake said of Canada’s roll-out of legalized pot.

“It’s a product like many that are used today for intimate areas of the body, but it should be labelled as such … obviously there’s a mistake there that needs to be corrected, so we certainly will be following up with them to ensure that the right information is being given to consumers.” (As of publication, the product description had not been corrected.)

Asked Wednesday by reporters at the Ontario Legislature if the intimate spray is an appropriate product for the province to be selling, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli would only say: “We’ll leave it to the … Ontario Cannabis Store to continue to put products out there that the people of Ontario are looking forward to purchasing.”

The 30-millilitre bottle of Fleur de Lune Intimate Spray, which has been approved by Health Canada, sells online for $82.95 and yields about 300 shots of mist.

“The thing about cannabis is that one of the largest areas of concentrations of cannabinoid receptors in the body is in fact the skin,” Lake said Wednesday from Gatineau, Que.

How much of the spray a consumer should use at a given time is an individual decision, he said, “because when it comes to cannabis “everyone is different.”

“So there is no one dose that’s right for any one particular person … Everybody responds to cannabis in a different way, and it may be because genetically you respond differently. It may be because you haven’t used cannabis before, so you have a different tolerance level.”

That’s why the marijuana industry advises consumers “to start low and go slow,” Lake added. “See how you respond to the low dose and then go up gradually as you understand the effect it’s having on your body.”

However, one critical aspect to note is that the cannabis-based spray is made with MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil, which reacts chemically with latex — the substance from which most condoms are made.

As condoms are used to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, “you would have to be very careful,” suggested Lake.
Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press

Original Article: Puff Puff Post: Day 1 Blooper: Ontario Cannabis Store Mislabels Genital Spray as Oral Product

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