Michigan Recreational Marijuana Retail Sales to Begin Dec. 1

Michigan Recreational Marijuana Retail Sales to Begin Dec. 1

[Canniseur: This is a surprising announcement. We don’t think Michigan has the inventory to supply both medical and adult-use cannabis by December 1st. Even with the big grow houses operating at capacity, there won’t be enough cannabis to go around in the state until at least next March or April. This could be a hot mess as people will still want to use the black market to obtain their flower or whatever. I’m hoping to be proven wrong though.]

Original Article: Michigan recreational marijuana retail sales to begin Dec. 1 was originally published on Mlive.com

LANSING, MI — Michigan residents will be able to legally purchase marijuana from stores beginning Dec. 1, the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency announced Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Any businesses seeking a recreational license to grow more than 1,000 plants, process or sell recreational marijuana must currently be licensed under the state’s medical marijuana licensing rules.

The state announced existing medically licensed businesses that are pursuing equivalent recreational licenses may transfer up to half their inventory, which is already deemed legal and has been tested for the medical marijuana market, to the recreational side for general sales.

Any finished products currently for sale in medical dispensaries must have been in the business inventory for 30 days or more before being sold to non-medical customers.

“This approach will allow for a transition to the adult use market as we estimate that there will be around a dozen or so licensees who would be eligible on Dec. 1,” Marijuana Regulatory Agency spokesman David Harns said. “Similar to the medical market, we expect it be a slow build out as the production of plants and products increases. This will create an environment where businesses can supply the market as quickly as possible.”

Harns said who the “dozen or so” eligible businesses are “yet to be determined.”

Read state bulletin allowing medical-to-recreational transfers

Up to half of the products currently on display in dispensaries across the state, including vaping products, edibles and flower, are likely to soon be made available for purchase by the general public, no longer only to those with a state-issued patient or caretaker medical marijuana card.

Harns said the licensed businesses are being notified of the allowance and will be instructed on how to transfer product properly for tracking under the recreational system.

Originally, state officials said it might require the recreational market to begin from scratch, partially out of fear that a transfer of medical marijuana could create a shortage in that market.

That would have meant no recreational product would become available to the public until after one grow cycle, which would have likely taken until March or April of next year.

Since there is demand for both medical an recreational marijuana, Harns said the state wants to make it possible for both to exist in order to deter growth of a black market.

“We continued to watch how the medical supply was looking and asked ourselves what was the best way to allow access to the adult use market,” Harns said. “By only allowing a transfer of 50%, it will keep production and sales on the medical side moving as well.

“Businesses will make decisions to move products where the demand exists, including the non-flower products that are currently in abundance.”

The state began accepting recreational license applications on Nov. 1. Some applications had been approved by Nov. 13.

Omar Hishmeh, who co-owns Exclusive Brands, a company that grows, processes and retails marijuana from its location at 3820 Varsity Dr. in Ann Arbor, said his company’s license application submissions have been approved.

Once news spread that the recreational market would go live on Dec. 1, company leaders called an emergency meeting.

“We’re stoked,” Hishmeh said. “The whole team is stoked. Literally, we just got out of a group meeting with management and retail trying to properly prepare for this so that we’re over-prepared.”

Grlcvlt: How a Secret Feminist Society Became a Next-Level Cannabis Brand

Grlcvlt: How a Secret Feminist Society Became a Next-Level Cannabis Brand

Original Post: Merry Jane: Grlcvlt: How a Secret Feminist Society Became a Next-Level Cannabis Brand

[Canniseur: Grlcvlt is doing good and doing well by helping raise up women &/or femme-identifying people. The Grlcvt herstory is one you must read. I love hearing great stories about women helping women. This one is no exception.]

There’s a secret society of feminist advocates that’s launching its very own weed brand in California.

Meet Grlcvlt. It started as an online safe space where women connected and informed other women of potentially unsafe parties. Since 2011, Grlcvlt (pronounced “girl cult”) has evolved to serve a “global village who access each other for literally everything,” as Grlcvlt CEO and founder Annaliese Nielsen puts it.

Grlcvlt’s following is a voracious, international web of femme-identifying people interested in self-care. Born amid the loving kindness of strangers on a Facebook group, of all places, the community helps its members with modern problems. Whether they help members find employment, connect people with kindred spirits, help individuals get projects off the ground, offer recommendations for photographers, or share advice about particular problems, the Grlcvlt community offers too many resources to count.

The feminist group is best known for participating in the campaign to have judge Aaron Persky removed from his seat after his lenient ruling in the Brock Turner rape case in 2016. Grlcvlt acolytes assembled across the world — in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and even Australia — for a series of actions in the form of activist-laden feminist parties entitled “Fuck Rape Culture.” Persky was formally removed in 2018 by a state-wide vote, the first time a California Supreme Court judge was recalled in 80 years.

The group’s activism has continued behind-the-scenes ever since. Grlcvlt lends a helping hand to a veritable “rainbow of different genders and identities and presentations,” said founder Annaliese Nielsen to MERRY JANE. This community is not limited to people who are biologically female, but instead, caters to “historically underfunded or under resourced gender identities.”

Today, it has scaled to dozens of location-based as well as topic-based spin-offs. Grlcvlt’s offerings now include the subsets of makeup, cooking, interior decor, and yes, you guessed it — cannabis.

Grlcvlt tincture

Grlcvlt’s tincture called Quiet Time is its first cannabis product offering. (Photo by Anna Demarco, courtesy of Grlcvlt)

 

Self-care has been epitomized for the Grlcvlt brand in its latest venture, a cannabis line that launches in California on November 8, 2019. Its inaugural product is a tincture called Quiet Time. The tincture contains a beta caryophyllene-heavy terpene profile with 150mg of THC and 150mg of CBD per bottle, a cocktail that is intended to help with relieving anxiety. And more products will be unveiled in the very near future.

MERRY JANE got in touch with Grlcvlt’s head honcho to discuss feminism, how cannabis can be a miracle when it comes to treating anxiety and menstrual cramps, and why a secret feminist society is needed in 2019 and beyond.

And to experience the Grlcvlt magic yourself, attend the brand’s release party on November 8th in Los Angeles, which MERRY JANE is supporting!

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MERRY JANE: Tell us more about your background. Where does your passion and fire for feminism, safety, activism, and self-care come from? 

Annaliese Nielsen / Grlcvlt: I’ve always been an inclusive person. Growing up, my typical parent teacher-student conference was like, “You know, Annaliese won’t do her homework, but she’s really nice and wants everyone to sit together at lunch.” My dad was like, “Annaliese has leadership qualities.” In reality it was more like, Annaliese has undiagnosed ADHD and wanted everyone to have fun and sit together. I wanted everyone to be friends.

Today, I’m 36. I grew up as a part of the burgeoning internet. I was always really fascinated by the fact that you can use the internet to connect with and talk to another person across the world. When I was 16, I developed Raves.com, because that’s what I was into that moment. I wanted people to meet up with, people who were going to raves, to create a new set of friends. This has been a thing throughout my career, woven into my personal life. My background is all in tech. Every role I had as a woman in tech, it was all about connecting people. In 2005, I started an adult website called GodsGirls.com, and there was a big social aspect to it.

When Facebook emerged, we started our Grlcvlt group. We were just using it then to have a quick way to be like, “We are going to the club tonight.” It became this very personal space we cultivated, a real authentic village we have online. And now it spans every continent. There’s a whole little world that we made.

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Grlcvlt’s founder Annaliese Nielsen. (Photo by Anna Demarco, courtesy of Grlcvlt)

Grlcvlt began by highlighting safe spaces for people who are not men, and has grown to a global community. How did the group become the expansive lifestyle brand it is today? 

We’ve had this group in various forms for something like eight years now. At first, it was a social board, like, “Hey we are meeting up at this safe bar, you can come.” And then it evolved into a job board, because you have all these women in positions of power working in Los Angeles. It makes a big difference. If you see a job listing at Paramount, we could make that connection happen for you. It became this sort of innocuous mafia, the legend of it.

This is really early, during Facebook’s start, when people weren’t really using Facebook groups like this yet. There were all of these women in the group, and they were talking about men [in positions of power]. We were trying to protect each other with these groups, in getting each other jobs, meeting each other for cocktails. It really has served many purposes.

Where did the name Grlcvlt come from, and when did it evolve from a friend community to an activist group? 

These spaces have had so many uses. The legend grew, people would jokingly be like, “Are you a cult?” And we joked back, “Yeah, of course.” Whatever. There is no arguing with that. So, we just started calling ourselves that, and that’s where the name came from.

When it came to activism, we found that we were really effective. We had a greater ability to organize than some people by taking advantage of the resources we’d been cultivating for so long.

It was very natural for us to get involved after judge Aaron Persky gave a horrible ruling on the Brock Turner rape case. In our group of women, everyone was very moved by the letter that Emily Doe wrote to the judge. We were contacted by a law professor from Stanford who wanted to recall that judge. She held a fundraiser, and she urged us to enter the conversation and to take action, since we were some of the people involved in the space in 2015. She got us into that. Caused a bunch of noise. And here we are.

The #MeToo movement was already happening prior to the Rose McGowan version. She kinda hijacked a thing that black women were already doing for a long time. The #MeToo movement existed for longer than mainstream press was aware of it. There is an element of that in any space curated for women. We’ve been warning each other about men for a long time. We’ve had to.

I am interested in the charity and advocacy work Grlcvlt has engaged with. Immigrant rights and security are now a huge focus at Grlcvlt today. Can you elaborate on that? 

I think that part of the reason why we’re especially drawn to these immigrant advocacy activities is because half of our community are immigrants; 15 percent of them came to the US as refugees from Central America and Africa. The attacks from Trump on these people has been really distracting and very personal.

To be able to pool our resources to help people in precarious situations feels like a great way to help each other. Immigrants, refugees who came to the US — we are here for them and support them.

Why is a secret society of women allies and helpers needed today? 

Women need each other. Queer people need each other. There are systems that have been in place for all of time that are against women, that are against queer people, that are against people of color. We are able to create this world where some of those barriers don’t exist to the same degree.

That happens in things like employment, where you may not have the same opportunity for that cool job at Paramount Studios. Because maybe the person you would interview with has a bias against you. But if we can get you in with the right person to interview with, then maybe we could step over that bias.

Aside from that, I think that people are just lonely. Loneliness is part of the human condition and friendship is very important. It’s our goal to curate spaces to help cure the loneliness a bit and make sure people have someone to reach out to.

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Annaliese Nielsen, founder of Grlcvlt. (Photo by Anna Demarco, courtesy of Grlcvlt)

Tell me more about Grlcvlt’s cannabis tincture. The product has a beta-caryophyllene-dominant terpene profile, which some believe has anti-anxiety properties. 

I have been prescribed Xanax for something like 15 years now. I started using tinctures really regularly and mindfully in a regimen. I noticed that my Xanax use has just plummeted. I used to get stressed if I ran out, thinking, “How would I refill it? What if ran out?” And when I started using cannabis tincture, I just stopped caring about my Xanax and stopping having the side effects. My memory improved. I really wanted to be able to give that same thing to anyone else who might want to try it.

I live my daily life with baseline low anxiety. Tinctures with THC and CBD have helped a lot with that. As Grlcvlt made this foray into cannabis, I really listened to my friends who were like, “You know, I want to try it, too, but I had a bad experience. It makes me feel anxious.” I was like, “What can we do to make sure they aren’t anxious?” So, the beta-caryophyllene is a primary ingredient for this product because it’s been found to reduce anxiety.

How do you like to use the tincture, how do you suggest femme-identifying people use it? 

You can microdose it at work and flatten some of that anxiety out without getting super blazed. Or you can take it home, and use it in your bath with your Grlcvlt bath salts, and feel super high and relaxed. Tincture is really easy to dose. It was an easy first venture into cannabis for us.

The regular use of CBD has been so amazing for me. I noticed after six weeks of using it regularly — and this has not changed in the last nine months — I don’t even get any menstrual cramps anymore. I don’t get any of that back pain the days before my cycle starts. I was getting these periods I was not prepared for, because the pain was gone. My regular CBD use has changed everything.

These things contribute to your overall wellness in ways that have lasting effects. I was taking the tincture to get balance for my personal health, but want to be clear that I don’t think that people should be trying to quit their psychiatric medication by using weed. For me, personally, the use of Xanax, and my reliance on it, was not as healthy as I wanted it to be.

In your opinion, why is cannabis such a male-dominated industry and potentially unsafe space for people who do not identify as men?

I cannot speak to what’s happening in every other state, but the California cannabis industry looks the same to me as the tech industry and the upper echelon of the entertainment industry. It is predominantly white male investors. Any place where people can put a bunch of money, they will.

When we go to meetings, when I speak and pitch to investors, nothing has changed. It looks exactly the same. Where there is power and money, there are white dudes from Stanford. Where there are white dudes from Stanford, there are unsafe spaces for women; they don’t have sympathy for our experience, and things can get weird.

When you’re in these situations with people with a lot of money and power, we want our highly interactive brand to be a way to engage and change the culture. We’re hoping to give people who are not men some power in cannabis through our work and the work with our community. We want to hold the industry accountable and to make positive, inclusive changes from the inside.

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Grlcvlt’s Quiet Time cannabis tincture. (Photo by Anna Demarco, courtesy of Grlcvlt)

From your perspective, how can Grlcvlt and cannabis as a whole help dismantle the patriarchy? 

If I can get into the same rooms where these men are, I can create superior products and engage with my customers in such a more in-depth and authentic way.

Once we have some of that power, and we get some of that money, our goal is for our next products to be developed with solely women farmers, women producers, POC producers and farmers. This is how we can empower other marginalized groups of people.

We hope, in the future, to set up a village savings and loan fund where members of our community can use money in the case of an emergency. We can give back to our communities and organizations.

What does the future hold for Grlcvlt’s cannabis line? Are you anticipating new products you can tease for our readers? 

With this tincture, we really tried to toe the line between the wellness category and the party category. This definitely goes more into the wellness category. Our next release will be more overtly fun. In addition to being do-gooders and social justice assholes, we also like to party. You can still get super high and party on the tincture, too. That’s the thing I like about it; its potency is well-balanced and easy to dose.

Is there anything else you’d like the MERRY JANE audience to know about Grlcvlt?

I would really love, if this sounds appealing to anyone, for people to keep in touch with us. Be a part of this world. If you buy a tincture from us, send us a DM on Instagram and tell us how you like it, how you use it, and how cannabis helps you.

For more on Grlcvlt visit their website here and follow them on Instagram

Follow Lindsey Bartlett on Instagram and Twitter

Photos by Anna Demarco, courtesy of Grlcvlt

Original Post: Merry Jane: Grlcvlt: How a Secret Feminist Society Became a Next-Level Cannabis Brand

Plant Growth Regulators: What They Are & Why You Should Avoid Them

Plant Growth Regulators: What They Are & Why You Should Avoid Them

Original Post: Cannabis Aficionado: Plant Growth Regulators: What They Are & Why You Should Avoid Them

[Canniseur: Everyone should read this story. Really. Whether you’re a grower or not, these Plant Growth Regulators can be carcinogenic in our smokable weed and in our extracts and concentrates as well. It’s serious. Serious enough that I believe that some growers in Michigan are using them as well as California and probably all the other states. A hard dense nug is NOT necessarily a good thing. I believe I reported on some nugs a few weeks ago that were ‘over manicured’ and dense. I believe the grower used PGRs. Another reason not to like this grower.]

The dark years of cannabis prohibition here in California created an innovative and highly competitive black market for weed that thrives to this day despite the state’s relatively progressive path toward legalization. Risk has always been high for illicit growers and their tactics to avoid the prying eyes of law enforcement have evolved over time. Decades ago, the use of helicopters and spotter planes to target pot farms forced growers to camouflage their cultivation, or in many cases, move it all the way indoors.

This radical change in the way cannabis was grown, particularly in Cali, led to a massive leap in quality control as indoor growers could now “play god” and manipulate all environmental conditions to their liking. However, it also led to a drastic drop in overall yields.

Remember, we are talking about the Nineties, so most of these were not yet warehouse-style grows. They were closets, garages, basements, and spare rooms for the most part and even though you could flip each room a few times per year, the overall weight harvested paled in comparison to the massive trees that could be grown outdoors.

With a limited footprint to grow in, and a limited canopy above (ie. the ceiling and lights), growers began looking for any way they could to boost the number of grams of finished buds that they could pull from each square foot of cultivation space.

For some, like our friend Josh D, that meant revolutionizing hydroponic grow systems and optimizing that method for cannabis production while at the same time introducing and perfecting the ultimate indoor strain — OG Kush. The optimal genetics of this iconic strain naturally produced shorter, bushier plants with massive, dense, and potent buds, making it ideal for indoor cultivation.

Not all growers were blessed with such genetics or know-how, though, and it didn’t take long for some of them to start to seek out some rather unsavory store-bought shortcuts to try to compensate for lackluster harvests.

Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs)

Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) date back well before the Nineties cannabis boom. First introduced to American agriculture in the 1920s, these chemical compounds were used for nearly half a century to either boost or slow down the natural rate of growth of plants through phytohormonal manipulation.

For example, groves of fruit or nut trees could be filled with shorter trees that yielded more produce thereby reducing the time and risk of harvesting and, in turn, increasing profits.

However, when independent lab studies showed that certain synthetic PGRs could potentially be carcinogenic, the FDA stepped in and banned the use of such products on consumable food crops in the 1970s.

Those products did not vanish, though. They continued to be used to keep trees at parks from growing too tall, or to make bouquets of grocery store flowers bloom brighter and grow at such uniform sizes and, as we know, to artificially boost cannabis yields. In fact, the global demand for PGRs has more than doubled in the past six years and now stands as a $6.4 billion sector of the agricultural industry.

Some growers are using this particular shortcut knowingly but many others may be pumping their pot full of PGRs without even knowing it as this controversial compound has been found (often unlabeled) in many popular brands of fertilizers and nutrients. If growers use those products and just so happen to see tighter, denser, and heavier nugs as a result… win/win, right? What’s wrong with increased yields and solid buds, anyway?

Guaranteed Mids

It’s no secret that, for the most part, the regulated cannabis market in California is flooded with mid-grade weed that is barely worthy of a blunt wrap for most seasoned smokers. The logistics of the supply chain and the way things have to be packaged in today’s market can mutilate even the best-grown buds by the time they reach the end-user but, sadly, most of the supply these days was pretty shoddy to begin with. We call it California’s “Mids Life Crisis”.

As many state-sanctioned cultivators struggle to stay afloat in the new legal market, too many are feeling the pressure of whatever deal they signed with the devil to fund their startup and are willing to do whatever it takes to make their numbers make sense. PGRs are the perfect tool for such an unscrupulous job.

Simply put, the way that PGRs boost cannabis yields is by pumping those nugs full of water at the cellular level which leads to the expansion. You are not boosting the vigor or potency of the plant, that added weight is literally moisture and cellulose. So while California cannabis testing labs are not required to flag samples for PGR levels, they will show lower overall THC levels – bigger buds do not always equal stronger buds.

So how can you tell if that herb you are inspecting at the dispensary has been treated with Plant Growth Regulators? Here are a few telltale signs to look for:

  • Buds that are extremely hard or dense in structure
  • Buds with an excessive amount of pistils, often matted or intertwined
  • Pistils often have more of a brown hue than the rusty orange seen on healthy buds
  • Distinct lack of visible developed trichomes
  • Lack of strain-appropriate aroma

Still unsure? Ask the budtender direct questions about it. Who grew it? Where was it grown? Research that feedback or pass on those products if that information is unknown. At the end of the day, it is our job as consumers to do the due diligence to ensure that what we put into our bodies is legit. Relying on any company or corporation to do that for you is naïve, particularly when it comes to the Wild West of legal weed.

Safety Meeting

Roughly a decade after the FDA banned the use of synthetic Plant Growth Regulators on crops meant for human consumption, the Environmental Protection Agency followed suit in the 1980s by placing even heavier restrictions on the use of certain PGRs and labeling them as environmental pollutants. The EPA warned that exposure to these synth PGRs could elevate a person’s risk of cancer 240 times higher than the acceptable standard.

That being said, many of those studies involved subjecting rats to astronomical levels of various PGRs in order to trigger negative reactions and there is no hard evidence that smoking weed treated with PGRs is much different than eating In n’ Out instead of a home-cooked burger. But, to us, it does matter and we will avoid synthetic PGR weed at all costs. We don’t want to smoke it, we don’t want to vape it, and we certainly have no interest in extracting it to create full-spectrum cannabis oil. Nothing about Plant Growth Regulators benefits the consumer, period.

Now, that’s not to say that all PGRs are bad news. In fact, there are many natural sources for Plant Growth Regulators that can be useful and healthy supplements for your fertilizer or nutrient base. But as a grower, you should feel obligated to thoroughly understand how they are sourced from nature and exactly how they work with the balanced chemistry of your plants before putting them to use. Failure to do so can take you from “Top Shelf” to “Midzotics” real quick!

Remember, fellow cultivators: If your SOP calls for more PGRs, then your QC is probably BS.

What’s Next?

Look for PGRs to make a major splash in the newly established American hemp marketplace as the importance of higher yields compounds dramatically at the large scale that those farms will be operating at. Combine that with the relative lack of lab testing requirements and Plant Growth Regulators figure to play a large role in helping the U.S. compete in the global market. American hemp is mandated by federal law to produce a ridiculously low 0.3% THC content, so the fact that PGRs murder trichomes only helps growers and manufacturers.

As for what role Plant Growth Regulators will play in the future of cannabis, that will likely come down to regulation since we see that there are too many growers who are willing to cut that corner when it is left up to them. At the very least, plant fertilizer and nutrient companies should be mandated by law to accurately list all ingredients and contents of their products. That way the growers who are trying to do the right thing can make informed decisions about how they treat their gardens, farms, and warehouse grows.

Finally, as consumers, we can speak with our hard-earned dollars. Quit buying PGR tainted buds! Tell your favorite dispensary that you aren’t interested in buying those products. If enough of us do exactly that, the free market will… ahem… weed out the PGR growers and those who push their products.

Beard Bros. Pharms has earned their reputation as a trusted source for cannabis news, content creation, and culture preservation. With decades of experience in cultivation and marketing, their fearless voice for the plant includes advocacy for veterans, inmates, people of color, and anyone else who has been oppressed by generations of cannabis prohibition. See what they’re up to now at BeardBrosPharms.com

The post Plant Growth Regulators: What They Are & Why You Should Avoid Them appeared first on Cannabis Aficionado.

Original Post: Cannabis Aficionado: Plant Growth Regulators: What They Are & Why You Should Avoid Them

Designing More Sustainable Cannabis Facilities

Designing More Sustainable Cannabis Facilities

[Canniseur: We need to do anything in our power to be more sustainable in our every day lives. When building our cannabis companies, even our mundane flooring choices can make a difference. Learn more about about flooring choices as it impacts your grow house.]

The topic of sustainability has grown in importance and priority for both consumers and regulators. From reducing emissions to lowering energy and water consumption, cannabis growing facilities face unique challenges when it comes to designing sustainable operations. Moreover, as the cannabis market grows and usage becomes more accepted, regulatory bodies will continue to increase the number of directives to help ensure the safety and quality of cannabis products.

Non-porous flooring options are impervious in nature, helping to isolate contaminants on the surface, thus enabling proper cleanup and disposal.

Ubiquitous throughout cannabis grow rooms and greenhouses, flooring can be easily overlooked, yet offers an economical way to create more sustainable facilities. Many of today’s grow rooms are located in old retrofitted warehouses or former industrial buildings that were designed without sustainability or environmental concerns in mind.

Combined with energy efficient lighting and more thoughtful water usage, flooring can help create a more efficient facility that not only improves business operations, but also contributes to a better bottom line.

Sustainability Challenges Facing Cannabis Facilities

Whether in an old warehouse space or a new structure designed from the ground up, cannabis businesses face unique operational challenges when it comes to sustainable best practices.

  • Energy Consumption: Like any indoor farm, lighting plays an important role in cannabis growing facilities. Traditional grow lights can utilize a large amount of electricity, putting a strain on the company budget as well as regional energy resources. Switching to highly-efficient LED lighting can help facilities reduce their consumption, while still maximizing crop yield.
  • Water Consumption: Among the thirstiest of flora, cannabis plants require consistent and plentiful watering for healthy and fruitful crop production.
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Enrichment: In many cases, carbon dioxide is introduced into facilities to help enhance the growth of crops. However, this practice may pose safety and health risks for workers, the surrounding community and the planet at large. CO2 is a greenhouse gas known to contribute to climate change.

In order to head off upcoming regulatory restrictions, as well as to alleviate the mounting safety and health concerns, it behooves cannabis grow room managers and owners to explore alternatives for improving sustainability in their facilities.

Flooring Requirements for More Sustainable Cannabis Facilities

Spanning thousands or even hundreds of thousands of square feet throughout a facility, flooring can be a unique way to introduce and support sustainable practices in any grow room or greenhouse.

When seeking to improve operational efficiency and implementing the use of sustainable practices in cannabis facilities, look for flooring systems with the following characteristics:

  • Impervious Surfaces— Fertilizers, fungicides, and other chemicals can infiltrate porous unprotected concrete to leach through the slab matrix and into the soil and groundwater below. Non-porous flooring options, such as industrial-grade, fluid-applied epoxies and urethanes, are impervious in nature, helping to isolate contaminants on the surface, thus enabling proper cleanup and disposal.
  • Light-Reflective Finishes— Light-colored white or pastel floor surfaces in glossy finishes can help reduce the amount of energy needed to properly illuminate grow rooms. By mirroring overhead lighting back upward, bright, light-reflective flooring can help minimize facilities’ reliance on expensive ceiling fixtures and electricity usage.
  • USDA, FDA, EPA, OSHA and ADA Compliancy— With cannabis industry regulations currently in flux, grow facilities that select food- and pharmaceutical-compliant flooring will be ahead of the game. Governing bodies in some states have already begun expanding the facility requirements of these sectors to the cannabis market.
  • Durable and Easy Care— Having to replace flooring every couple of years imposes high costs on businesses as well as the environment. Installation of many traditional types of flooring produces cut-off waste and requires landfill disposal of the old floor material. In contrast, by installing industrial-grade flooring systems that are highly durable and easy-to-maintain, facilities can count on long-term performance and value, while helping to minimize disposal costs and concerns.
Florock

Light-colored white or pastel floor surfaces in glossy finishes can help reduce the amount of energy needed to properly illuminate grow rooms.

Optimal flooring can help cultivation facilities reduce waste, improve the efficacy of existing lighting and lengthen floor replacement cycles for a better bottom line and a healthier environment. Additionally, having the right grow room floor can assist facilities in meeting regulatory requirements, help ensure production of quality products and improve the safety for consumers and staff.

Flooring Benefits for Employees and Consumers

Safety is paramount in any workplace. When it comes to the manufacture of foodstuffs and other consumed products, government oversight can be especially stringent. With the right compliant flooring in place, cultivation facilities can focus on the rest of their business, knowing that what’s underfoot is contributing to the safety of employees and their customers.

Here’s how:

  • Chemical Resistance— Floors can be exposed to a high concentration of chemicals, acids and alkalis in the form of fertilizers, soil enhancers and other substances. In processing locations, the proper disinfecting and sanitizing of equipment can require harsh solvents, detergents and chemical solutions, which can drip or spill onto the floor, damaging traditional flooring materials. It pays to select cannabis facility flooring with high chemical resistance to help ensure floors can perform as designed over the long term.
  • Thermal Shock Resistance— Optimal cannabis facility flooring should be capable of withstanding repeated temperature cycling. Slab-on-grade structures in colder climates may be especially vulnerable to floor damage caused by drastic temperature differences between a freezing cold concrete slab and the tropical grow room above. This extreme contrast can cause certain floor materials to crack, delaminate and curl away from the concrete substrate. The resulting crevices and uneven surfaces present trip and fall hazards to employees and leave the slab unprotected from further degradation. As an alternative, thermal shock-resistant floors, such as urethane mortar systems, furnish long-lived functionality even when regularly exposed to extreme temperature swings.
  • Humidity and Moisture Resistance— Traditional floor surfaces tend to break down in ongoing damp, humid environments. Cannabis facility flooring must be capable of withstanding this stress and more.
  • Pathogen Resistance— Undesirable microbes, fungi and bacteria can thrive in the moist, warm environments found in grow rooms. Floors with extensive grout lines and gaps provide additional dark, damp locations for pathogen growth. Fluid-applied flooring results in a virtually seamless surface that’s directly bonded to the concrete. Integral floor-to-wall cove bases can further improve wash down and sanitation.
  • Proper Slope and Drainage— Where food and/or pharmaceutical facility regulations have already been extended to cannabis operations, flooring is required to slope properly toward a floor drain. This prevents puddling, which can be a slip hazard as well as a microbe breeding ground. Unlike more typical materials, resinous flooring offers an economical solution for correcting floor slope wherever needed.

The Problems Presented by Traditional Flooring Options

Previously, cannabis growers often relied on traditional greenhouse-type flooring, including tamped down dirt floors, gravel or bare concrete. However, current and upcoming regulations are curtailing the use of these simple flooring options.

Growers often compare and contrast the benefits and value of traditional greenhouse flooring with more modern solutions, such as fluid-applied epoxy and urethane floors.

Dirt and gravel flooring offers little opportunity to properly sanitize, thus potentially inviting microorganism and pathogen invasion, contamination and costly damage. Growers who have turned to bare concrete floors face other concerns, including:

  • Unprotected concrete is inherently porous and therefore able to quickly absorb spilled liquids and moisture from the air. In addition, organic and synthetic fertilizers, fungicides, and chemicals can leach through the concrete floors, contaminating the groundwater, injuring the surrounding environment and wildlife.
  • Older slabs often lack an under-slab vapor barrier. Even in new construction, a single nail hole can render an under-slab barrier ineffective. In these situations, moisture from underneath the floor slab can move upward osmotically through the alkaline slab, leading to blistering and damage to standard commercial floor coverings.
  • Bare concrete floors can stain easily. These dark stains tend to absorb light instead of reflecting it, contributing to a potential increase in energy usage and cost.
  • The mold proliferation encouraged by the warmth and humidity of grow rooms can easily penetrate into the depths of unprotected slab surfaces, eventually damaging its structural integrity and shortening the usable life of the concrete.

While traditional greenhouse flooring options can initially seem less expensive, they frequently present long-term risks to the health of cannabis grow businesses. In addition, the performance of dirt, gravel and bare concrete floors runs counter to the industry’s commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of growing facilities.

Choosing Sustainable Grow Room Flooring

It’s no secret that the cannabis industry is undergoing enormous change and faces numerous environmental challenges. Luckily, optimal flooring options are now available to help growers economically increase their eco-friendly practices on many fronts. By focusing on quality resinous flooring, cannabis growers can get closer to meeting their sustainability goals, while simultaneously contributing to improved operation efficiency, enhanced yields and an increased bottom line.

Recreational Weed Probably Won’t Be for Sale in Michigan until March, April

Recreational Weed Probably Won’t Be for Sale in Michigan until March, April

[Canniseur: If a delayed launch means a steady flow of cannabis for both medical AND recreational use, I’m all for the extra time. A successful state-wide, legal cannabis rollout is worth the wait.]

Nearly a year after Michigan voters approved legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use, the state is getting ready to hand out the business licenses that will usher in the beginning of retail sales.

But don’t pull out your cash just yet. Sales of marijuana for adult recreational use probably won’t begin until March or April of next year. That’s because the state is worried about a shortage of pot for medical marijuana users, and the first harvests for the recreational market won’t be ready until next spring.

And the state hasn’t decided yet whether it will allow medical marijuana growers, processors and dispensary owners to transfer existing medical marijuana flower and infused products to the recreational market.

“It’s incumbent upon us to ensure that there’s access for medical patients through the medical marijuana facilities,” said Andrew Brisbo, director of the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency. “So I would err on the side of caution and ensuring better access to their needs instead of moving products into the broader adult use market.”

House of Dank

Budtender Elizabeth Clifford being the counter at House of Dank, a medical marijuana dispensary in Detroit in October, 2019. (Photo: Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press)

For some, it’s a disappointing delay for a market that has been itching to start since voters approved legalizing marijuana last November 56-44%.

Read the rest of this story at: Michigan recreational weed: When legalized marijuana will be for sale

128 Million People about to Gain Access to Legal Pot: What it Means for Marijuana Stocks

128 Million People about to Gain Access to Legal Pot: What it Means for Marijuana Stocks

Original Post: 420 Intel Business: 128 Million People about to Gain Access to Legal Pot: What it Means for Marijuana Stocks

[Canniseur: Mexico has it right. Their draft legislation is geared towards keeping Mexican cannabis businesses smaller. The guidelines set forth discourage big business from entering Mexico’s legal cannabis market. This has all the promise of supporting a thriving craft cannabis market in Mexico.]

Right now, around 41 million people have access to recreational marijuana that’s legal at a federal level. Two countries have legalized recreational pot — Canada and Uruguay. We can’t include the millions of Americans who live in the 11 states that have legalized recreational marijuana in our total since marijuana remains illegal at the federal level in the United States.

But very soon another 128 million or so people will gain access to legal marijuana. Legislators in Mexico are finalizing regulations to make marijuana legal. The legislative effort came after the country’s Supreme Court ruled last year that Mexico’s ban on recreational pot was unconstitutional.

The time is rapidly approaching for the federally legal global marijuana market to more than quadruple. What does this mean for marijuana stocks

What’s in the draft legislation

At least for now, Mexico’s regulations for legalized marijuana aren’t finalized. However, a document on the Mexican Senate’s website appears to be the draft legislation that’s potentially on the road to approval. This document outlines several key aspects of the country’s plans for legalizing marijuana.

Perhaps most importantly, a new entity called the Mexican Cannabis Institute would be created to oversee the implementation of marijuana legalization in the country. This institute must be established by Jan. 1, 2021, at the latest. With this relatively lengthy period for the Mexican Cannabis Institute to be up and running, it could take longer for marijuana to be legalized than many anticipated when the Mexican Supreme Court made its ruling last year. 

One key function for the Mexican Cannabis Institute is to issue licenses for four types of businesses: cultivation, sale, transformation, import/export of cannabis. But there are a few catches with these licenses.

A single entity won’t be able to hold more than one license for a given type. In other words, vertical integration where one company is involved in cannabis cultivation and retail sales won’t be allowed.

However, one entity can have multiple licenses within a single type, with the institute to establish the maximum number of licenses permitted with the exception of retail licenses — the proposed legislation includes a maximum limit of three. Importantly, the draft regulations don’t allow licenses to be transferred in any way. 

In addition, the kinds of products allowed to be sold will be limited. Cannabis-infused beverages and edibles won’t be allowed in the recreational market but are permissible as medical products. Cannabis cosmetic products won’t be allowed, either. 

Mexican standoff?

These proposed rules appear to present some major obstacles for major Canadian or U.S. cannabis producers in expanding into the Mexican market. Winning in Mexico could prove to be very difficult.

The limitation on vertical integration will probably be especially disappointing for U.S.-based companies. Two of the biggest U.S. cannabis companies, Cresco Labs (OTC:CRLBF) and Green Thumb Industries (OTC:GTBIF), play up their vertical integration.

Both companies, along with well-known U.S. cannabis retailer MedMen (OTC:MMNFF), also have business models that rely on owning and operating a relatively large number of retail stores. But Mexico’s proposed limit of the number of retail licenses to only three per license holder would mean that significant retail operations are out of the question.

Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) surely hoped to be able to launch cannabis-infused beverages in the Mexican market. But the restriction of these products for only medical use is likely to throw a wet blanket on any plans along these lines.

And none of the big Canadian or U.S. companies will be able to buy their way into the Mexican marijuana market after licenses are granted. The prohibition on transferring licenses ensures that this won’t be a viable option.

Potential winners

Still, there are some marijuana stocks that could be winners when the large Mexican marijuana market opens for business. I’d put Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) at the top of the list.

Aurora acquired Farmacias Magistrales S.A. last year. Farmacias was the first federally licensed importer of cannabis containing THC in Mexico. You can bet that it will try to secure licenses in the new legal marijuana market that’s on the way and will probably have a good chance of winning at least one license.

Canopy Growth could also still have a good shot at the Mexican market. The company already has significant Latin American operations in Colombia and Peru. Canopy has hinted in the past that it was keeping a close eye on developments in Mexico. Look for the company to make a move when the country’s regulations permit.

But with the limitations that appear to be on the way, it seems clear that Mexico doesn’t want its legal recreational marijuana market to be dominated by companies from other countries. Don’t count on the quadrupling of the legal recreational marijuana opportunity resulting from Mexican legalization to dramatically change the fortunes for Aurora and Canopy Growth anytime soon.

Original Post: 420 Intel Business: 128 Million People about to Gain Access to Legal Pot: What it Means for Marijuana Stocks

Cannabis Vaporizer Company Pax Labs Fires 25% of Workers After Missing Revenue Projections

Cannabis Vaporizer Company Pax Labs Fires 25% of Workers After Missing Revenue Projections

This article first appeared in Marijuana Business Daily

[Canniseur: PAX makes one of the better whole flower vaporizers in the market. Vaporizing flower is NOT the same as vaporizing oil and other extracts. This article also points out PAX was once a part of JUUL, the nicotine vape company. The vaping crisis is NOT about flower vaping. This crisis is about nicotine, illegal cannabis oil and extract vaping. Here is visible evidence that the crisis is affecting companies who are part of the cannabis business landscape. I cannot think Pax has much of a reserve if they had to lay off 25% of their workforce after either a month or a quarter of not meeting sales expectations.]

California-based Pax Labs, one of the leading vape pen companies in the cannabis industry, disclosed Monday it laid off 65 workers, or 25% of its workforce, after missing its revenue projections.

The layoffs come amid a health crisis that has shaken the vaporizing industry.

The San Francisco company – which originally had ties to the Juul e-cigarette before that product was spun off as a separate company – declined to directly link the vaping health crisis to the layoffs, saying only that its sales had fallen short of expectations.

In a letter to all employees dated Oct. 8, interim CEO Lisa “LD” Sergi wrote that “in light of our recent revenue miss and commitment to financial responsibility we’re in the process of working through the requisite budget adjustments.”In an emailed statement to Marijuana Business Daily, Pax spokeswoman Dianne Gleason said: “In light of evolving business priorities, we have made the difficult decision to part ways with 65 members of our team, or 25% of the organization, effective (Monday).”

Pax is the second high-profile California cannabis company to announce layoffs this month.

Last week, California marijuana advertising giant Weedmaps announced it laid off 25% of its workforce, blaming the slow rollout of recreational MJ markets in California and Massachusetts and a dwindling pool of outside funding.

The Pax layoffs come on the heels of a $420 million raise in April, the largest amount ever raised by a U.S.-based marijuana company.

On its website, Pax notes the company ” is backed by leading technology investors including Fidelity Investments, Tiger Global and Tao Invest.” The latter has ties to the wealthy Pritzker family.

In September, Pax ousted CEO Bharat Vasan. This was also at the time that the vaping health crisis was grabbing national attention.

In 2017, Pax Labs was spun out of Juul Labs to form its own separate company.

According to Pax: “The transaction was done to allow Juul to focus on the e-cigarette nicotine market and Pax to continue its focus on vaporization technologies for cannabis and other plant-based materials. The companies operate completely independently under separate management teams focused on their unique markets.”

Gleason, the spokeswoman, noted in an email: “We never were part of the Juul device.”

In her email to employees, Sergi wrote that, because of the revenue miss, “a painful but necessary part of this will be a reduction in force.”

She went on to say the layoffs would help the company to grow in a “more measured, strategic way.”

According to an employee who was laid off and requested anonymity, the layoffs came across all departments.

In April, after the raise, former CEO Vasan told MJBizDaily that Pax would look at opportunities in Europe and Asia as well as Canada.
Source: Cannabis vaporizer company Pax Labs fires 25% of workers after missing revenue projections

The FDA, FTC Join Forces To Warn Rooted Apothecary About Its CBD Products

The FDA, FTC Join Forces To Warn Rooted Apothecary About Its CBD Products

Original Article: Green Market Report: The FDA, FTC Join Forces To Warn Rooted Apothecary About Its CBD Products

[Canniseur: Selling CBD Rule 101: Do not attribute healing properties to your products. This company violated the rules and was given a slap on the wrist. Until FDA approval, it will be like this when selling CBD.]

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission posted a joint warning letter dated October 10, 2019 to Rooted Apothecary LLC, of Naples, Florida, for illegally selling unapproved products containing cannabidiol (CBD) online with unsubstantiated claims that the products treat teething pain and earaches in infants, autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, among other conditions or diseases.

The company used product webpages to make unfounded medical claims about its CBD products, and some of the products were also unlawfully marketed as dietary supplements. The agency has determined that CBD products cannot be marketed as dietary supplements.

The letter read, “The FDA has determined that your “Teeth/TMJ – Essential Oil + CBD Infusion,” “Ears – Essential Oil + CBD Infusion,” “Hemp Capsules, 750 mg,” “Hemp Infused Body Butter,” and “Hemp Oil” products are unapproved new drugs sold in violation of sections 505(a) and 301(d) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), 21 U.S.C. 355(a) and 331(d). Furthermore, these products are misbranded drugs under section 502(f)(1) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 352(f)(1).

The letter noted that “Adequate directions for use” means directions under which a layperson can use a drug safely and for the purposes for which it is intended. “Your products are offered for conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners; therefore, adequate directions for use cannot be written so that a layperson can use these drugs safely for their intended purposes.”

It went on to say “It is unlawful under the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 41 et seq., to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure human disease unless you possess competent and reliable scientific evidence, including, when appropriate, well-controlled human clinical studies, substantiating that the claims are true at the time they are made.” The letter cited the product POM Wonderful, a pomegranate beverage that is suggested to be healthy.

The company has 15 days to correct its violations.

Original Article: Green Market Report: The FDA, FTC Join Forces To Warn Rooted Apothecary About Its CBD Products

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