Cannabis public use measures could spur MJ sales, businesses

By Bart Schaneman

From Alaska to Massachusetts, a number of states are weighing measures to allow people to consume cannabis in public places such as clubs and other venues.

Legalizing cannabis clubs and other venues for public consumption could spur MJ sales and create new business opportunities, said industry officials.

In particular, the move could lead to increased sales of marijuana flower. And it could give marijuana retailers an opportunity to add ancillary businesses – such as a coffee shop…

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Wall Street takes notice of marijuana: Q&A with cannabis analyst Vivien Azer

By Omar Sacirbey

Vivien Azer, apparently the first cannabis analyst at a mainstream investment bank, is bullish on the marijuana industry.

And her confidence in the market is a significant reflection of how Wall Street views cannabis. Azer is an analyst at Cowen and Co., a New York investment bank founded in 1918.

Her belief in the marijuana industry was reinforced last month when 150-plus investors – including representatives from such prestigious financial institutions as Blackstone Group, Fidelity Investments and Janus Capital Group –…

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Colorado infused products licenses skyrocket as MJ companies diversify

By John Schroyer

The number of licensed infused cannabis product manufacturers in Colorado has exploded in recent years, according to state records.

The surge reflects factors including Colorado’s lack of business license caps, a resulting oversupply of marijuana, and companies diversifying to boost their margins in one of the nation’s most competitive cannabis markets.

The statistics tell the story of businesses, including retailers and cultivators, branching into a new area of business to stay competitive. It’s also cheaper for these…

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Washington state’s MJ edibles labeling rules target child safety

All edible marijuana products sold in Washington state must now carry a warning on the label notifying consumers they are “not for kids.”

The state requirement, which took effect Tuesday for marijuana-infused foods and soft drinks, consists of a red hand, the written warning and the Washington Poison Center’s telephone number, The News Tribune of Tacoma reported.


Spring 2017 MJBizCon
Marijuana processors are required to incorporate the label on new packaging or to affix a sticker to existing packaging to differentiate cannabis edibles from regular…

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Breaking down borders: The rise of U.S.-Canada cannabis partnerships

The Green Solution, a large retail marijuana chain in Colorado, wanted a foothold in Canada’s expected recreational cannabis market. OrganiGram, among the growing number of federally licensed Canadian growers, needed know-how and a name.

And so was born a partnership indicative of the growing synergy between the U.S. and Canadian cannabis industries.

It reflects what’s expected to be a growing trend. Another U.S. cannabis brand, Snoop Dogg’s Leafs by Snoop, inked a partnership with Canadian medical cannabis cultivator Canopy Growth…

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Arizona medical marijuana dispensary issues voluntary recall

Flourish Cannabis, based in Mesa, Arizona, has issued a voluntarily recall for some of its edible products, saying the problem was related to how they were packaged.

Health officials in Coconino County, however, said the recall occurred because the products weren’t tested for pathogens.

The recall was issued for the company’s marinara pasta sauce, hot sauce, honey dijon mustard and Sriracha ketchup, according to the Arizona Republic.


Spring 2017 MJBizCon
According to Flourish’s owner, Peyton Curry, the recall was issued because the packaging didn’t meet…

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Alcohol beverage giant Constellation eyes cannabis

The giant beverage company that owns Corona beer and Svedka vodka is considering entering the cannabis industry via MJ-laced libations, a sign that other big players in the alcohol business may eye cannabis as an opportunity rather than a threat.

Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg that his corporation is “looking at” the marijuana trade. “There are going to be alcoholic beverages that will also contain cannabis,” he observed.


Conference Deadline Approaching
Sands added that it only makes sense for companies like his to get…

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An $8 billion night: 7 states legalize medical, recreational cannabis in historic election

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By Marijuana Business Daily staff

The cannabis industry scored a landslide victory Tuesday as four states legalized recreational marijuana and another three approved medical use, cementing the 2016 election’s place in the history books.

The developments could lead to $7 billion-$8 billion in additional annual retail cannabis sales, according to Marijuana Business Daily’s preliminary estimates.

California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada voted to legalize recreational marijuana, while Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota approved medical…

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CBD-infused beer gets go-ahead for national distribution

Shipping across state lines? No problem, as long as you leave THC out of the equation.

A Colorado-based beer maker that produces CBD-infused brews has received the green light from the federal government to distribute its product line nationwide, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Dad and Dude’s Breweria, which is based in an eastern Denver suburb, told the news outlet that it has received permission from the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which oversees interstate beer sales. The agency still must…

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New CO Edibles Rules: Major Cost for Producers, ‘Blip on the Radar’ for Others

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By John Schroyer

New labeling rules that take effect Oct. 1 for marijuana edibles produced in Colorado have been a huge expense for many infused products manufacturers – and may cause headaches for retailers, too.

Edibles companies have spent upwards of six figures to retool manufacturing equipment, retrain employees and pay for new packaging. 

Retailers, meanwhile, could be left with unsold inventory that doesn’t meet the new standards, which apply to both recreational and medical products.

Any unsold inventory could prove a boon for…

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Slow Launch Expected for Oregon’s Full Recreational Marijuana Market

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By John Schroyer

Oregon retailers anticipating the day when they can sell a full ounce of cannabis to adult-use customers, versus just a quarter-ounce, may be disappointed it probably won’t be on Oct. 1.

In fact, it may take months for scores of businesses that have applied for recreational marijuana permits to become fully licensed. Full licensing is expected to trigger an increase in adult-use sales across the industry, because MJ businesses will be able to sell larger amounts of rec products to customers.

Regulators are one of the…

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Michigan Legislature Passes MMJ Industry Regulations

Michigan lawmakers at long last approved a set of sweeping regulations Wednesday for the state’s sizable medical marijuana industry, paving the way for a statewide oversight and licensing system for MMJ businesses.

For years, Michigan’s legislature had failed to agree on a regulatory system that would stabilize Michigan’s MMJ trade. But lawmakers were finally able to pass a package of five bills that would give legal protections to dispensaries, growers, edibles makers, and more, the Detroit Free Press reported.

MJBizCrashCourseThe new system,…

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Weedmaps Highlights Difficulties Facing Consumer Review Websites

Weedmaps

By John Schroyer

Weedmaps has long been a popular online destination for cannabis consumers seeking quality retailers, but recent press coverage questioning the company’s credibility underscores the pitfalls facing online review websites.

A Los Angeles Times article last month suggested more than 60% of the consumer reviews appearing on Weedmaps were fake.

The article also raised a red flag about the source of those reviews, noting many originated from the same IP address. Weedmaps’ consumer reviews cover dispensaries and recreational…

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AK Board Set To Approve First Rec Marijuana Retailers, Manufacturers

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board is meeting today and tomorrow to approve what will be the first licenses for recreational marijuana retailers and manufacturing facilities in the state.

According to the board’s agenda, nearly 20 retail stores are listed for review, broadcaster KTVA reported.

MJBizCrashCourseThe Marijuana Control Board is expected to consider dozens of other marijuana business license applications as well, and debate whether certain retail stores will be allowed to have areas on their premises where customers can consume their cannabis,…

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Washington MJ Company Sets Sights on Kroger, Other Mainstream Retailers

Ah Warner Cropped

By John Schroyer

A Washington State marijuana entrepreneur may be close to landing her cannabis-based health and beauty product line on the shelves of mainstream retailers such as Kroger-owned groceries and others.

If successful, it would mark a first for today’s cannabis industry: conventional retailers selling products containing THC.

Ah Warner, the founder and CEO of Cannabis Basics, said she struck a tentative deal last month with Crown Pacific Fine Foods to distribute her infused product line to retailers.

Crown Pacific is a Kent,…

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Infused MMJ Products to Go On Sale in New Jersey for First Time

A New Jersey medical marijuana dispensary has for the first time received state permission to produce and sell cannabis products other than raw flower.

Compassionate Sciences Alternative Treatment Center, in Bellmawr, got word from the New Jersey Health Department on Friday that it will be allowed to manufacture and market infused lotion and lozenges. The lotion should be ready within a week, according to Philly.com, and the lozenges in about three weeks.

MJBizCrashCourseThe dispensary didn’t reveal any details about its new product line, and the news site…

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Week in Review: Growth Potential in New York, Oregon Rec Market Red Hot & MI Stumbles

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By John Schroyer

New York’s health department recommends doubling the size of the state’s medical marijuana industry, Oregon recreational applications flood in as adult-use sales skyrocket, and Michigan’s MJ legal limbo may persist a few more years.

Here’s a closer look at some notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

Doubling Down

In a rare move for a state agency, the New York State Department of Health this week issued a report recommending – among other things – that the number of MMJ business licenses

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Oregon Receives Over 1,300 Rec Business Applications

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which is overseeing the coming recreational marijuana industry in the northwestern state, has received over 1,300 applications from companies that are hoping to obtain business licenses.

And the number keeps going up, according to the Oregonian.

To date, the OLCC has issued about 200 licenses, the paper reported Thursday afternoon, nearly all of them cultivators. The agency expects it will take until the end of the year to get through all of them, given that the state has no cap on the number of rec…

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Chart of the Week: Number of Concentrates Product Lines Ballooning in Washington State

concentrates products

By Eli McVey

A surge in the number of concentrates product lines in Washington State’s recreational marijuana market attests to the growth in popularity of alternative consumption methods and highly potent cannabis, a trend seen across the industry at large.

According to retailer point-of-sale information provided by Headset, a Seattle-based cannabis industry data provider, the number of distinct concentrates product lines in Washington’s recreational market currently stands at 175, up from just 59 at this same time last…

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Canadian MMJ Producer Awarded Colombian Business License

Canadian medical cannabis producer Pharmacielo has secured a license to manufacture MMJ products in Colombia, the first of what will likely be many companies to win a permit in the Latin American country.

In fact, Colombia could prove a fertile business opportunity for many expansion-minded cannabis companies from around the globe.

“There is no limit on the number of licenses we plan to hand out,” Colombian Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria said during a press conference, Fusion reported. “Any firm that meets our requirements will get…

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Vermont MMJ Dispensaries Expecting Big Jump in Patient Counts

Alex Ford

By Omar Sacirbey

Vermont’s small medical marijuana market could see its patient count more than double after the state made chronic pain among the conditions treatable with MMJ.

Vermont MMJ businesses must now calculate how best to ramp up production to meet the increased demand.

In addition to chronic pain, a new law – signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin on June 6 – adds glaucoma as well as hospice care patients to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. The state has three…

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Week in Review: IL Expanding Medical Cannabis, OR Milestone & CA MMJ Revamp

marijuana news

By Omar Sacirbey and John Schroyer

Illinois moves to give its medical marijuana industry a boost, Oregon marks a milestone in its adult-use cannabis industry, and California lawmakers embark on a revamp of the state’s MMJ market.

Here’s a closer look at several notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

A Shot in the Arm

Illinois is expanding the list of approved conditions for MMJ use – and making it easier for docs to help patients get access to medical…

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Ancillary Tech Firm Raises $410k for Infusion Projects

A Seattle-based startup that focuses on technology to infuse products such as sugar with THC has raised $410,000 to help fund its growth.

DeepCell Industries, which isn’t a marijuana plant-touching company but stays strictly on the tech-development side, licenses its technology to cannabis product manufacturers, according to GeekWire. The company already has trademarked tech licensed to a firm called Green Labs that pays DeepCell for its Ruby Cannabis Sugar brand, which infuses sugar with…

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Oregon Edibles Makers Kick Off Awareness Campaign: “Try 5”

A coalition of edibles manufacturers in Oregon, concerned with a lack of general public knowledge on the potency of their products, have launched a public safety campaign to urge first-time users to take it easy on the dosage when trying such products.

The campaign’s slogan? “Try 5,” the Oregonian reported.

In other words, edibles makers are suggesting newbies begin with a five milligram dose, similar to what was suggested by a campaign in Colorado in 2014 that used the motto, “Start…

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Keef Cola, Kiva Confections Form Expansion Partnership

Colorado-based CanCore Concepts, owner of the popular edibles brand Keef Cola, and California-based Kiva Confections, maker of cannabis-infused chocolates, have struck a new type of licensing deal that will give each company access to the other’s home market.

Under the agreement, both companies will not only distribute but also manufacture each others’ products on their home turf.

That means Keef sodas and other edibles will be sold in the roughly 850 California medical marijuana…

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Ex-NFL Players Team With California MMJ Company

A whopping 30 former pro football players have signed up with a California-based medical marijuana company to run tests on how cannabis may help with chronic pain and depression.

The company, Constance Therapeutics, is an extraction firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Daily Beast reported.

The company entered into an agreement with the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, which was founded by ex-NFL player Kyle Turley, who spent nine years in the league with three teams.

Turley, who has long…

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Cannabis Branding Company Raises $8M for National Expansion

A marijuana branding company with a portfolio that includes partners in three western states announced on Tuesday that it has raised $8 million to support an ambitious expansion plan.

The company, Las Vegas-based Strainz, said in a press release that the influx of capital will allow the company to continue building its portfolio in Colorado, Nevada and Washington State, as well as expand into other markets and keep adding to its staff.

To date, Strainz’ Colorado partner, the Bronnor…

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Oregon Limits Rec and Medical Edible Doses

On Thursday afternoon, Oregon health officials went ahead with a new limitation on cannabis edibles: those produced for recreational consumers will be limited to five milligrams for a single dose and 50 milligrams for an entire package, and medical edibles will be limited to 100 milligrams per package.

Although the Oregon Health Authority will continue to hold hearings on the matter, the edibles rules are already scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1, according to the Oregonian.

The move was…

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Week in Review: Oregon MJ Boost, Support for Vermont Rec Bill & New York Blues

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By Omar Sacirbey and John Schroyer

Oregon dispensaries get some great news, Vermont’s governor throws his weight behind a recreational marijuana bill, and New York’s fledgling MMJ program continues to struggle.

Here’s a closer look at several notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

More Relief in Oregon

Medical dispensaries in Oregon are rejoicing this week, as they should be.

On Tuesday, the state’s governor signed into law a bill that, among other things,…

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Colorado MMJ Company Sues Competitor, Alleges Foul Play

The founder of Mary’s Medicinals, a Colorado medical marijuana company that produces infused products, has sued competitor RX Green, claiming its owner used underhanded tricks to put her out of business.

Nicole Smith, founder and president of Mary’s Medicinals, alleges in a lawsuit in Denver District Court that RX Green owner Joshua Meacham began last August trying to get a number of customers to stop purchasing from her company, the Denver Post reported.

The suit alleges that Meacham…

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Oregon Authorizes Early Edibles & Extracts Rec Sales

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed into law a bill permitting medical marijuana dispensaries in the state to sell cannabis-infused products and extracts to recreational consumers before the state’s rec system is completely online.

Early rec sales began last October in Oregon, with dispensaries being allowed to sell limited amounts of cannabis flower to adults over 21, but edibles and extracts were left out of the equation until now.

The bill, Senate Bill 1511, also permits recreational stores…

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Whoopi Goldberg Launches Cannabis Business

Comedian Whoopi Goldberg is the latest celebrity to enter the burgeoning marijuana business.

Goldberg is partnering with Maya Elizabeth, the owner of OM Edibles, a growing collective and infused products seller.

The pair have launched a separate company called Whoopi & Maya that is developing products specifically for women.

The company will offer four cannabis-infused products that are aimed at reducing the pain and cramps from periods: a balm, a tincture, a sipping chocolate and a bath soak,

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GW Pharmaceuticals Could Make Major Splash in U.S. Cannabis Industry

GW Pharma

By Omar Sacirbey

A British company that develops cannabis-based medicine is on the verge of a major breakthrough that could ripple across the U.S. marijuana industry.

GW Pharmaceuticals will likely seek FDA approval in the fourth quarter of this year to sell an epilepsy drug derived from marijuana, according to an analyst who follows the company.

If it wins that approval, GW Pharmaceuticals could start sales in the U.S. by the end of 2017, giving it access to a potentially billion-dollar…

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Vermont Governor Criticizes Massachusetts Rec Initiative

A battle is brewing between two New England states over which has the better cannabis legalization proposal.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said a recreational legalization bill recently approved by his state’s Senate and now being considered by its House of Representatives is superior to a recreational legalization ballot measure in Massachusetts that backers expect to have before voters in November.

The difference? Massachusetts’ ballot measure permits edibles, smoking lounges, and home…

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Chart of the Week: Profit Margins for Infused Products Can Be Sky High

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By Marijuana Business Daily staff

Making marijuana-infused chocolate bars, sodas, oils and patches can be a highly profitable endeavor.

Profit margins for infused products and concentrates companies in the cannabis sector typically hover around 32%, according to data in the 2016 Marijuana Business Factbook.

That’s significantly higher than the average for businesses that make other consumer goods such as alcohol, soft drinks and cigarettes.

The relatively high profit margin for companies…

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Australian Medical Cannabis Firm Raises $3.59 Million

An Australian medical cannabis company has raised $3.59 million ($5 million Australian) in an institutional placement, according to Business News of Australia.

The company, MMJ Phytotech, which develops medical cannabis pills, capsules, and dosage regulators, announced the placement the same day that it announced it had lost $2.5 million in the last six months of 2015, on revenue of about $200,000.

To raise the money, MMJ Phytotech put out about 20.8 million shares at 17 cents per share to…

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Rec License Applications Begin in Alaska

Alaska opened its adult use marijuana business license application process on Wednesday, with 68 businesses starting their online paperwork, according to a release from the state’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office.

The state’s Marijuana Control Board (MCB) will likely start reviewing applications that were submitted this week by mid-March, the release said. There is no cap on how many licenses will be awarded, and no application deadline. Instead, the board will accept applications on…

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Infused Products Maker Dixie Expands Into Nevada

Colorado-based Dixie Elixirs & Edibles is expanding into yet another new state.

The company has cemented a joint venture agreement with Silver State Wellness, which last summer became the first medical marijuana dispensary to open in Nevada.

It marks the fifth new market Dixie has expanded into over the last nine months and its seventh overall. The move comes as edibles companies in general attempt to expand across the country and develop national brands.

Dixie will bring eight different…

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Washington Edibles Maker Expanding to Colorado

For a while now, the trend has been that Colorado-based edibles companies have been expanding into other states. Now, a Washington State-based one is expanding into Colorado for a change.

Db3, which produces the Zoots line of edibles, announced this week that it has partnered with the Bronnor Corporation, which will be manufacturing and distributing Zoots products in Colorado beginning the week of March 7.

Initially, Zoots will be available at two medical and recreational cannabis retailers in…

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CO Industry Group Announces New Edibles Standards

One of Colorado’s several cannabis industry groups announced on Wednesday that its members would adhere to a new standard for edibles production and sales in an effort to make them less attractive to kids: no candies in the shape of animals or humans.

The Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, which counts among its members high-profile companies such as Cheeba Chews, Medically Correct and EdiPure, pledged not only that its edible producing members would abide by the standard, but also that…

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Expand or Die? Changing Edibles Landscape Creates Big Question for Smaller Companies

big business small business

By John Schroyer

It took some time, but edibles manufacturers have finally figured out ways to expand beyond their home states and begin developing national – even international – brands.

The pace has accelerated in recent months, with numerous established edibles companies entering new markets at home and abroad.

Amid this change, a new question has emerged: Will edibles makers eventually have to go big if they want to survive in the long term?

The fear is that smaller players won’t…

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Israeli Company Debuts Cannabis-Based Flavor Additives

An Israeli company has released a new and innovative product line that may be something of a gamble: a non-psychoactive line of flavor additives derived from marijuana terpenes.

The company, Eybna Technologies, announced the new line in a press release, and claims that its product line is free of all THC and CBD, and therefore can be shipped anywhere in the world. It said it has “growing interest from some of the world’s largest brands” in its products, which would lend a cannabis…

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A Look Ahead: Marijuana Retail, Cultivation & Industry Trends to Watch in 2016

cannabis trends

By John Schroyer

This is the first piece in a three-part series looking at key marijuana business developments in 2015 and examining what lies ahead for 2016.

The next 12 months are largely expected to be historic ones for the cannabis industry, both in the United States and abroad.

New markets will come online, an unprecedented number of states and countries could legalize either medical or recreational, and the number of business opportunities will be bigger and better than ever.

“Over the…

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Marijuana Business Professional & Investor Survey Underway

Marijuana Business Daily has launched its annual survey of executives and major investors in the cannabis space, which will help the company provide key market, financial and operational data for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Executives from all industry sectors – including dispensary/retail stores, commercial cultivation, infused products manufacturing, testing labs and ancillary firms – as well as investors funding companies in the industry are invited to take the anonymous survey…

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Year in Review: New Marijuana Markets, Booming Rec Sales and Banking Retreat

cannabis news in 2015

By John Schroyer

This is the first entry in a three-part series looking at key marijuana business developments in 2015 and examining what lies ahead for 2016.

The past 12 months have been a whirlwind for the cannabis industry, with new business opportunities popping up regularly in the United States and abroad. A half-dozen new markets came online, scores of cannabis businesses expanded across state lines, the nation’s largest MMJ market finally passed regulations and the future of the…

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Cannabis Edibles Debut in Illinois

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Illinois now have a new product to offer their patients: edibles.

Ataraxia, a cultivator in the small town of Albion, recently delivered cannabis chocolates to two dispensaries, which started selling the infused products on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

The square-inch chocolates contain 10 milligrams of THC and cost $7 to $9 each.

Other cultivation sites will deliver edibles starting in January or February, the AP reported.

Under the state’s…

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Infused Products Firm Plans Major U.S., International Expansion

The expansion game continues.

Wana Brands, a Colorado-based edibles and extracts company, announced that it is planning to tap new markets via a partnership with Cannabics Pharmaceuticals, a Maryland-based company that develops timed-release capsules and cannabinoid-based medicines.

Under the agreement, Wana will use Cannabics’ technology to manufacture, market and sell cannabis capsules in all states where MJ is legal and to other countries that allow marijuana cultivation, manufacturing…

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Week in Review: Big MD Application Numbers, Dixie Expands Down Under & New Possible MMJ States

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By John Schroyer

Maryland reveals its official medical cannabis application tally, a Colorado infused products company announces a landmark international expansion deal, and a pair of conservative states may be poised to legalize medical cannabis in 2016.

Here’s a closer look at several notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

Massive Movement in Maryland

Maryland’s medical cannabis commission announced Thursday that it received an eye-popping 882 MMJ license…

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