Acreage Announces Resignation Of Board Member Bill Weld To Focus On Presidential Campaign

NEW YORK: Acreage Holdings, announced that Bill Weld, former Governor of Massachusetts and a 2020 Republican candidate for President of the United States, has resigned as a member of Acreage’s Board of Directors to focus on his political campaign.

“I have greatly enjoyed working with CEO Kevin Murphy and the other members of the Board to help Acreage grow and work toward its mission of enabling access to legal cannabis for everyone who needs it, but I feel I owe it to my supporters and the country to focus on my Presidential candidacy at this time,” said Weld.

“We thank Bill for his tremendous service to Acreage and wish him every success in the future,” said Acreage Chairman and CEO Kevin Murphy. “His contributions will be forever remembered well beyond the value he delivered to our company in helping to elevate the national dialogue on cannabis.”

CannaCraft Donates Space To American Red Cross For Northern California Fire Relief

California’s largest medical cannabis manufacturer donates 12,000 square feet for American Red Cross to stage its regional headquarters

CALIFORNIA: CannaCraft, a leading medical cannabis manufacturer, is temporarily donating 12,000 square feet of its office space in Santa Rosa to the American Red Cross to use as its Regional Headquarters for Northern California fire relief. The American Red Cross is already moving people, supplies and equipment into the CannaCraft headquarters, located at 2330 Circadian Way in Santa Rosa, with operations being staged from the site beginning immediately.

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Two hundred American Red Cross volunteers based at CannaCraft will be coordinating 24-hour relief efforts for the Northern California fires. The team will be responsible for running the administrative and logistical side of the operation, staffing shelters, making sure they have the supplies they need and setting up new shelters as needed.

In addition to donating office space, CannaCraft is bringing in phone and internet service, as well providing Red Cross staff with access to the cafeteria, showers and other necessary amenities. CannaCraft has also partnered with local dispensaries Mercy Wellness in Cotati, SPARC/Peace in Medicine in Santa Rosa, and Soulful in Sebastopol to donate $40,000 in free medicine to patients in need.

As California’s largest medical cannabis manufacturer, CannaCraft employs more than 140 people in Sonoma County, several of whom have lost homes and more than 20 percent of whom have been evacuated. The company is still assessing losses to its sites throughout the area and expects damage to be substantial. The CannaCraft headquarters located in Santa Rosa remain intact and operational at this time. 

Dennis Hunter, CEO of CannaCraft, said, “These fires have affected every member of the CannaCraft family, so we are particularly committed to helping with fire relief efforts as we are able. We are thankful that our headquarters remain intact and operational, making it possible for us to support the American Red Cross by donating much-needed space. We will continue to evaluate our resources including vehicles, property, facilities, equipment, and product to determine how to best serve our community at this time. We will be providing more information on these efforts as they develop.”

Cannabis Retail Facilities Associated With Rising Home Values

GEORGIA: Cannabis retail facilities are associated with increased home values, according to data to be published in the journal Real Estate Economics.

Researchers from the University of Georgia at Athens, the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and California State University Sacramento assessed the relationship between operational retail cannabis facilities in Denver, Colorado and fluctuations in nearby housing values.

Authors reported that single family residences within 0.1 miles of a retail marijuana establishment saw an increase in value of approximately 8.4 percent compared to those located slightly further – between 0.1 miles and 0.25 miles – from the site. That increase in property value was estimated to be almost $27,000 for an average house in the area.

They concluded, “In addition to sales and business taxes generated by the retail marijuana industry, the associated increase in property tax revenues represents another potentially appealing selling point for legalization.”

The findings are similar to those of a University of Mississippi paper which determined, “[L]egalizing retail marijuana leads to an average 6 percent housing value appreciation.”


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Contact high: The external effects of retail marijuana establishments on house prices,” appears in Real Estate Economics.

AG Ferguson Sues One Of The Nation’s Largest Opioid Manufacturers Over Washington’s Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON: Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed a lawsuit accusing OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma of fueling the opioid epidemic in Washington state, embarking on a massive deceptive marketing campaign and convincing doctors and the public that their drugs are effective for treating chronic pain and have a low risk of addiction, contrary to overwhelming evidence. This deceptive marketing resulted in the deaths of Washingtonians and devastation to Washington families.

The lawsuit contends Purdue conducted an uncontrolled experiment on the American public without any reliable clinical evidence that opioids are effective at treating chronic pain. To doctors and patients, Purdue consistently downplayed the risks of addiction from long-term use and deceptively represented opioids as safe for treating long-term chronic pain.

Purdue’s deception yielded the company billions of dollars in profit nationwide from its opioid drugs. Ferguson’s lawsuit seeks to force Purdue to forfeit the Washington portion of those profits.

The City of Seattle filed a separate lawsuit today against Purdue, in addition to Teva Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Allergan. The city and Ferguson announced their lawsuits together.

Both suits, filed today in King County Superior Court contend that Purdue’s illegal conduct contributed to excessive prescriptions and addiction, causing many addicted patients to look for other ways — including illegal means — to get more pills or to get heroin. A 2014 study found that nearly 80 percent of heroin users reported using prescription opioids prior to heroin.

By filing the state’s lawsuit, Ferguson has ended his participation in a multistate coalition investigating opioid manufacturers nationwide. Several states that have filed similar lawsuits are using outside attorneys to handle their cases. Washington is only the second state to handle its case internally.

“Purdue Pharma ignored the devastating consequences of its opioids and profited from its massive deception,” Ferguson said. “It’s time they are held accountable and pay for the devastation they caused.”

“I stand together with Attorney General Ferguson in fighting for justice for patients who were prescribed opioids and became addicted, because they were not irresponsible; they were deceived,” Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said. “Addiction to opioids and heroin does not stop at Seattle’s city limits. This is the city’s problem, the state’s problem, and everyone’s problem.”

“Most of our health care professionals want to do the right thing for patients, but some corporations sought to boost their bottom line to peddle opioids on false promises, which, in great part, created this crisis. These corporations must be held accountable. I appreciate the Attorney General taking this important step today,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “This will help with some recompense so we can implement our state’s opioid response plan and my executive order with the goals to prevent the next generation from becoming addicted, to prevent overdoses and to treat people who have opioid use disorder, a true medical condition with an effective medical treatment.”

Purdue falsely claims that opioids improve long-term function, have a low addiction risk that can be managed or prevented and that increased doses of opioids do not pose significant additional risks to patients.

False claims of the safety, effectiveness of long-term use

Purdue aggressively marketed its opioids for chronic pain from conditions like headaches and low back pain, despite a lack of clinical evidence that they are effective and safe for long-term use. Despite Purdue’s efforts over more than two decades, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) noted in its 2016 guidelines that “there is no good evidence that opioids improve pain or function with long-term use.”

Other, safer options — like acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen — are effective and carry fewer risks, the CDC added.

False claims of low addiction risk and “pseudoaddiction”

Among its marketing claims, Purdue distributed thousands of videos and pamphlets claiming that opioid addiction occurred in less than 1 percent of patients. The number was not based on a clinical study, but rather a 1980 letter to the editor in the New England Journal of Medicine. The actual addiction rate is as high as 26 percent, according to the CDC.

A study sponsored by Purdue asserted that “opioids were well tolerated with only rare incidence of addiction,” and the need for higher and higher doses as patients built up a tolerance to opioids “was not a clinically significant problem when managing patients with opioids long-term.”

When signs of addiction appeared in patients, Purdue persuaded doctors that what appeared to be addiction was actually under-treatment of their pain, and to respond by increasing opioid dosages.

In marketing materials, Purdue told doctors and policymakers that “pain-relief seeking behavior can often be mistaken for drug-seeking behavior.”

The concept, called “pseudoaddiction,” was coined by Dr. J. David Haddox, who later became a Purdue executive. His theory was based on the case of a single cancer patient. No study has validated the theory of “pseudoaddiction.”

Despite a lack of evidence of “pseudoaddiction,” Purdue pushed this theory to convince doctors to give more drugs to patients who displayed signs of addiction, such as asking for early refills on their prescriptions or “doctor shopping” for additional prescriptions.

False claims on risks of overdoses

Opioids are most dangerous when taken long-term and when taken in high doses. In 2013, the FDA noted that research shows that risk of misuse and abuse is great for extended release long acting opioids and observed that these drugs are often used chronically.

Accordingly, the CDC recommends that physicians carefully reassess increasing opioid doses beyond 50 morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs), and avoid exceeding 90 MMEs per day. 

Overdose risk for opioids begins at very low doses and doubles when the daily dose is between 20 MMEs and 49 MMEs. By 100 MMEs, the risk of death increases by nine fold. Overall, 1 in every 550 patients started on opioid therapy died of opioid-related causes a median of 2.6 years after their first opioid prescription. That number increased to 1 in 32 for patients receiving 200 MMEs per day.

Purdue’s sales representatives were trained to reassure prescribers that there is “no ceiling” on the amount of OxyContin a patient could be prescribed.

Ignoring red flags

Purdue sales staff kept detailed records of prescriptions in Washington by prescriber, drug strength, quantity and other factors. Purdue then used that data to aggressively market its drugs to the highest prescribers in the state.

Washington state medical boards sanctioned some of these prescribers for failing to follow rules related to opioid prescriptions and putting patients at risk. The lawsuit alleges that, in several cases, Purdue salespeople ignored red flags and continued to target these providers with sales pitches.

Details of specific interactions between Washington state providers and Purdue representatives are redacted from the complaint because Purdue contends the information is competitively sensitive. Ferguson plans to file a motion to unseal this information to reveal to the public additional details about these interactions.

Violating previous court order

Purdue has faced court action before over its deceptive marketing of OxyContin.

A 2007 court order resulting from a consent judgment with Washington and 25 other states prohibited the company from making misleading statements regarding abuse, addiction or dependence in its marketing materials for OxyContin. Purdue also promised to create an Abuse and Diversion Detection Program to detect and take appropriate steps upon detecting “atypical” prescribing patterns — including reporting “pill mill” doctors to the authorities.

Despite the court order, Purdue has continued to engage in deceptive marketing and has remained silent about suspicious prescribers it should have reported.

Washington’s epidemic

Prescriptions and sales of opioids in Washington skyrocketed more than 500 percent between 1997 and 2011. In 2011, at the peak of overall sales in Washington, more than 112 million daily doses of all prescription opioids were dispensed in the state — enough for a 16-day supply for every woman, man and child in Washington. More than 18.2 million daily doses of oxycodone were distributed in Washington in 2015.

Geographic areas in Washington with higher rates of opioid prescriptions show a strong correlation with higher overdose rates.

For example, Cowlitz, Clallam, Mason and Snohomish counties had the highest opioid overdose death rates in the state, according to the state Department of Health. Those counties also had some of the highest opioid prescription rates in the state.

Between 2009 and 2014, Washington saw a 60 percent increase in opioid-related hospital stays, the fourth-highest increase in the nation, according to a June study by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality.

In 2015, the number of overdose deaths in Washington exceeded the number of deaths from car accidents, or deaths from firearms — whether from suicide, homicide or accidental. The majority of drug overdose deaths in Washington between 2010 and 2015 — more than 6 out of 10 — involved an opioid.

Relief

Ferguson’s lawsuit seeks civil penalties and damages. Ferguson also asks the court to order Purdue to give up the profits it made in Washington as a result of its illegal conduct. Sales of Purdue opioids are worth billions every year nationwide, and Washington’s portion is expected to be in the millions.

The surrendered profits will be used to remediate the effects of Purdue’s misrepresentations of opioids, possibly funding treatment, education and more.

Assistant Attorneys General Tad Robinson O’Neill and Kate Barach are leading the case for Washington.

Earlier this year, the Attorney General’s Office hosted a summit on Washington’s opioid epidemic in partnership with the Washington State Patrol and the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

Ethical Cannabis Alliance & Organic Cannabis Association Merge To Form Cannabis Certification Council

Newly Re-Named Cannabis Certification Council Receives Legacy Funding Mandate to Ensure High Labor Standards and Organic integrity for Cannabis Produced and Sold in the United States

OREGON: Ethical Cannabis Alliance and the Organic Cannabis Association, non-profit organizations respectively based in Portland, Oregon and Denver, Colorado, are merging and adopting a new name; The Cannabis Certification Council (CCC).

The CCC will independently certify cannabis products as Organically Grown and Fairly Produced while servicing the cannabis industry as an independent, non-profit body upholding clear, achievable, robust standards. Certification will be done by conflict-free, third party experts to ensure all certifications maintain full integrity. Internationally recognized leader in the organic and fair-trade movements, Dr. Bronner’s, has committed to provide seed funding and a matching grant to the Council, and their Director of Constructive Capital, Les Szabo, will take an initial board seat.

“The CCC and its mission is a perfect vessel for us to support our values in the cannabis space” said David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling soap brand in the US natural market place. “We are committed to making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest value and we are excited for the Council to begin driving that ethos in the cannabis industry.”

Founding board members include; Laura Rivero of Yerba Buena Farms, Ashley Preece of Ethical Cannabis Alliance, Les Szabo of Dr. Bronner’s, Amy Andrle of L’Eagle Services Denver, Nick Richards of Dill and Dill and Vicente Sederberg and Ben Gelt of Par. Ashley Preece will be the Executive Director of the newly branded organization.

The CCC will be announcing technical committees and stakeholder groups over the summer.

“This is an exciting step for these groups and the cannabis industry” said Ashley Preece, founder of the ECA and incoming Executive Director of the Cannabis Certification Council (CCC). “These two incredible groups coming together reflect the priority of the mission ingrained in both parties and together we will immediately be greater than the sum of our parts.”

Study: Adult Use Marijuana Laws Do Not Adversely Impact Traffic Fatality Rates

TEXAS: The enactment of statewide laws regulating the adult use and sale of cannabis is not associated with subsequent changes in traffic fatality rates, according to an analysis of traffic safety data published today in the American Journal of Public Health.

Investigators from the University of Texas-Austin evaluated crash fatality rates in Colorado and Washington pre- and post-legalization. They compared these rates to those of eight control states that had not enacted any significant changes in their marijuana laws.

“We found no significant association between recreational marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado and subsequent changes in motor vehicle fatality rates in the first three years after recreational marijuana legalization,” authors concluded.

Authors also reported no association between adult use marijuana legalization and the total number of non-fatal crashes.

Commenting on the findings, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “These conclusions ought to be reassuring to lawmakers and those in the public who have concerns that regulating adult marijuana use may inadvertently jeopardize public safety. These results indicate that such fears have not come to fruition, and that such concerns ought not to unduly influence legislators or voters in other jurisdictions that are considering legalizing cannabis.”

A prior study published last year in the same journal reported that the enactment of medical marijuana legalization laws is associated with a reduction in traffic fatalities compared to other states, particularly among younger drivers.

Fatal accident rates have fallen significantly over the past two decades – during the same time that a majority of US states have legalized marijuana for either medical or social use. In 1996, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there were an estimated 37,500 fatal car crashes on US roadways. This total fell to under 30,000 by 2014.

From Threat To Joke: How Are Your Cops Treating Weed?

By Bailey Hirschburg

My old spectrum for judging cops on pot ranged from “Officer I’m still cool” to “Sheriff Buzzkill.” But I’m wondering if it’s out of date.

“Officer I’m still cool” was typically a local cop at protests or public events. He would always remind you he didn’t MAKE pot laws, he was just ENFORCING them. ‘I’m still cool’ knows it’s a drag, but he’s only trying to bust big, dangerous dealers. He just wants you to be safe, and think he’s relatable and cool.

“Sheriff Buzzkill” is a sheriff because he’s typically a law enforcement commander whose years of experience tells him that pot prohibition is either

a.) a grave moral imperative he must solemnly and strictly enforce, or

b.) a tool giving him discretion to bust hardened criminals that would otherwise slip away.

Buzzkill cops show up in their dress uniforms to government meetings across the country and explain that prohibition is the last, best hope their jurisdiction has to control weed.

Generalizations? Absolutely! But I’m reminded because of some of the recent generalizations cops had about marijuana give the impression mine are out of date.:

Former Minnesota Officer Jeronimo Yanez told investigators after shooting Philando Castile during a traffic stop last year “I thought, I was gonna die and I thought if he’s, if he has the, the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the five-year-old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me,” 

But when you see the graphic dash cam footage of the brief stop, and hear the complete lack of discussion about any odors, its shocking the man would argue that afterwards, let alone be justified to kill. Nor was there anything done to determine if Castile was the suspect in another crime. (A different excuse Yanez offered for the shooting.)

We have a pattern (with or without pot) of trained officers being allowed to perpetually assume the worst case scenario as they blunder into lethal force, with civilians expected to anticipate exactly the cop’s feared reactions, and, obviously, not be allowed to carry weapons.

People are rightfully outraged because Castile’s race and legal gun possession contributed to his being shot. I am too, but I’m also furious that Castile’s “high crimes” of a scent and traces of pot that were the driver’s, not his, makes homicide excusable. Yanez’s story sounds like crocodile tears as he rationalizes the killing. I’m less stunned that Yanez did that, so much as I am that investigators, prosecutors, and a jury, decided that a $200 misdemeanor under Minnesota law authorizes lethal force.

Yanez is the updated “Sheriff Buzzkill” (emphasis on kill).  Suspecting Castile was a criminal because of his race, the smell of pot was all that was needed to identify him as a dangerous menace, and the presence of a gun justified his immediate, jittery discharge of seven rounds into a car with a woman and child.

Pot, when added to race or firearms, provides the new “Sheriff Audacious Rationalization” — where it’s not about the presence of marijuana per se, as much as the “totality of the circumstances.”   This leans away from the “moral imperative” of past buzzkills and stops being a tool used to identify hardened criminals. Neither moral, nor practical, enforcement of pot prohibition is at the complete discretion of the officer involved.

The 2.0 version of “Officer I’m still cool” also comes from Minnesota, by way of the Wyoming, MN, police department’s twitter account. Posted last April 20th, cops shared a photo of a uniformed cop waiting with a net lurking by some junk food and video games. “Undercover #420 operations are in place. Discreet traps have been set up throughout the city today. #Happy420” the tweet read. It was widely liked and shared.

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And stoners, including yours truly, had a momentary laugh as we remembered that cops like these cover up for their trigger happy buddies. The meme got large support, despite how messed up it was. The department would later tweet “All jokes aside, substance abuse is a real issue. We use tongue in cheek humor to bring attention to those issues.”

No, you employ the audacious rationalization used to defend killing people when called out by the public for discriminatory and failed laws. And that’s the new “Officer 420lolz.” They do nothing to different than “I’m still cool” except from using pot cliches to prove they’re not part of a policy enriching criminals and endanger the public. And feigning a concern for addiction when called on it Sure, “420lolz” wouldn’t mind catching some kingpins, but community relations points scored from pothead memes are enough.

No, not every cop you meet is a “Sheriff Audacious Rationalization” or “Officer 420lolz.” There are current and former police committed to ending prohibition, namely the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) which has lobbied for years against discriminatory policies that get innocent people killed. But sadly, these officers are a minority in most every agency in which they serve.

I don’t know if updated generalizations about police and pot make them easier to deal with in a benign encounter. The training and tradition of cops treatment of cannabis consumers won’t be undone overnight. Nor will their knee-jerk reactions to race. Cops should be taken seriously only so far as their judgements/policies merit it. Neither officers or the public are served by coddling outdated policies.

So long as the law enforcement community treat simple cannabis use as either an imminent threat or total joke they should expect the public to treat their opinions on pot laws similarly.

RN Debi Madaio Plans NJWeedman’s Joint Relaunch On 4/20

NEW JERSEY: Debi Madaio never thought she would become a public advocate for medical marijuana. As the co-owner of NJWeedman’s Joint, a popular marijuana-themed eatery, located in Trenton, NJ, and the partner of Ed Forchon aka NJ Weedman, one of the cannabis industry’s most controversial figureheads, she has found herself pushed to the forefront of a movement where the voices of women are becoming increasingly vocal. A registered nurse, the mother of a special needs child, and a card carrying medical marijuana patient (even though she does not partake of the plant), Debi Madaio has come to terms with her position in the movement. In the midst of Women’s History Month, a time dedicated to women’s achievements, Madaio has announced her plans to reopen Trenton’s only cannabis-themed eatery under new management. NJWeedman’s Joint will reopen on April 20, “National Weed Day,” as Weedbukx, the Urban Chic Café.

While NJWeedman’s Joint was a local eatery, Madaio envisions Weedbukx as a more trendy, upscale location that will attract clientele from other neighborhoods and even tourists. The restaurant’s ambiance will mirror an actual medical marijuana grow room with curtains, table clothes and chairs designed and fashioned after marijuana leaves. The menu will feature weekly ‘weed’ specials alongside Chef John Upshaw’s prized weed-inspired dishes like “Snoop’s Dream,” a fish and grits dish; the “Pothead Sandwich,” fried fish with a shrimp crab relish and sriracha sauce; and the “East Coast Cannabis Coalition,” a turkey meatball dinner with marinara sauce and spaghetti. No cannabis is used in any of the entrees!

While marijuana continues to blossom as one the nation’s fastest growing industries, Madaio emerges as a compelling female force in the expanding battle to legalize it. As the woman behind NJWeedman, she has remained relatively quiet until now. Forchion has garnered international headlines for his aggressive activism in the fight for legalization. His legal battles have become legendary, and as the co-owner of NJWeedman’s Joint, the former restaurant attracted national notoriety as well as discord for its ‘green-themed’ entrees.

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Madaio met Forchion several years ago at Trenton’s “First Annual Cannabis Conference.” Jennie Stormes, a medical marijuana mom advocate had invited her. It was Stormes who first educated Madaio about the benefits of cannabis oil for children suffering from seizures. Stormes had been at the forefront of efforts to expand New Jersey’s medical marijuana program to minors before eventually leaving New Jersey for Colorado to secure better care for her severely epileptic son.As a medical professional and dedicated parent, Madaio has begun the lengthy process of enrolling her son so he can become a medical marijuana patient within the state of New Jersey. She believes that cannabis oil, a product obtained by separating the resins from the plant, is the best antidote for her son’s long list of debilitating conditions.

“I thought Stormes was crazy until I started doing the research about cannabis oil. She had tried everything on her son, and nothing proved beneficial like the oil. It gravely concerns me that my own son has been prescribed all kinds of pharmaceuticals considered legal even to the point of addiction, while the side effects are sometimes worse than the actual illness. Yet the doctors laugh at me when I suggest a plant that has been proven to work wonders,” cites Madaio.

Madaio and Forchion established a friendship after the conference and eventually became a couple. When Forchion later decided to open a business, Madaio, feeling more educated about cannabis from her association with Storme, partnered with him. “I wanted to keep Jennie’s dream alive and let Governor Christie know that New Jersians want legalization.”

“It’s easy to demonize adults in this war against marijuana. But there are so many ailing minors who can benefit from this plant,” expresses Madaio. “My ultimate dream is to provide for my son and to secure him the proper cannabis care that he needs. With Weedbukx Café, we are hoping to provide an upscale environment where people can celebrate the wonders of marijuana in a fun environment without partaking in the actual use of it. With card carrying medical marijuana patients, we follow NJ CUMMA guidelines. If we can educate more people via Weedbukx Café about our overall mission, then that is all the better.”

Weedbukx Café will open on 4/20 at 322 E. State St. in Trenton, NJ. Debi Madaio can be reached at Flamingo2b@gmail.com, @flamingo2b on Instagram and on Facebook at “Nurses Who Have Disabled Children.”

 

New Report: Edibles Market Will Grow To $11B In 2017

CALIFORNIA:  OutCo, a Southern California based fully vertical cannabis company has partnered with Monocle Research in Orlando, Florida to conduct groundbreaking research on the new state of cannabis in California. The recent approval of recreational marijuana use in the state of California has generated an immense amount of interest from both businesses and consumers, as they attempt to grasp the size and scope of the impending changes. With so many questions surrounding the issue, OutCo set forth to gain insight on the growing industry and its impact through this report.

The study leveraged a qualitative and quantitative approach to ensure both breadth and depth of understanding for a diverse and representative population. Research methods included in-person interviews, focus groups and online surveys cast across the entire state of California targeting users and non-users of cannabis over the age of twenty-one. Additional variables included: varying usage levels, recency-of-use and acceptance.

Report key findings include:

  1. Marijuana consumables expected to grow to $11 billion by the end of 2017.
  2. Industry growth will be spurred by the entrance of 7 million new or returning marijuana users into the California marketplace.
  3. The rise of CBD use (a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits). Many users and non-users expressed interest in the health benefits of CBD oils.
  4. As a growing user segment, millennials are replacing alcohol outright in favor of cannabis.

“One of the most interesting findings came from the users viewpoint, in that the lines between medical and recreational use are blurring,” said OutCo CEO, Lincoln Fish. “With more than half of all consumers stating that they use marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes.”

The report further revealed that users are turning to cannabis to help satisfy a wide spectrum of needs from helping them to sleep, to obtaining a new perspective on life, and even to be more productive. Users were quoted as saying, “cannabis is my key to a normal life” and “cannabis is my daily vitamin,” and finally, “cannabis makes moments more memorable.”

“Our main objective is to become a leader in the cannabis industry, which is why we decided to spearhead this research. We recognize our obligation to the growing consumer base and wanted to gain a better understanding of why and how they are using cannabis,” said Fish. “OutCo is looking to set a new standard in the cannabis space by embracing the scientific and providing quality products that support customer needs.”

 

ACCL Announces Pesticide Warning For Cannabis In North America

CALIFORNIA: The Association of Commercial Cannabis Laboratories (ACCL) released a statement today offering information on the continuing concern of pesticide contamination on Cannabis.

ACCL members in several states have detected high levels of various cultivating agents that are being used to combat numerous types of fungal and insect based assaults during cultivation.  As member laboratories continue to advance their technical sophistication using state-of-the art mass spectrometry-based approaches, we have broadened the ability to detect more of these cultivating agents and have come to understand that this problem is larger and more complex than anyone initially suspected.

While challenging to detail an accurate picture in the face of complex and continuously evolving laws and regulations around cannabis cultivation practices, collectively our most recent assessment of the prevalence of pesticides and fungicides shows that around 50% or more of the commercially available flowers and concentrates may contain concerning levels of these types of harmful chemical residues.

“It is the most important quality issue regarding medical and adult use Cannabis today,” says Dr. Robert Martin, ACCL Executive Director. “Pesticide residues are not known to breakdown by heat of process or by biodegradation and remain toxic in the plant or soil for lengthy periods of time.”

Fully recognizing this concern and aiming to best protect all cannabis consumers, especially those who are immunocompromised or seeking therapeutic and therefore consistent and constant uses of cannabis, ACCL members are uniting nationwide to collaborate on establishing cultivating agent testing standards and methods that will offer informed scientific leadership to the rapidly evolving cannabis industry.

Dr. Jeffrey C. Raber, ACCL President, states, “Cultivating agent contamination is a huge concern for cannabis. Collectively the broad based and accurately informed perspective of ACCL member organizations lends to a unique collective intelligence that is best capable of solving this important problem. By coming together to share our experiences and insights we believe we can arrive at an effective and viable solution to this problem that will most quickly allow for the introduction of responsible regulations and laws to best protect all cannabis consumers.”

All ACCL member organizations strongly believe in being part of a responsible, well-regulated and clean supply chain for the cannabis industry and are fully committed to actively contributing considerable amounts of time and effort to provide technical solutions to the detection and eventual eradication of this contamination concern.