New DNA Test Determines Cannabis Compatibility

Endocanna Health Creates New Paradigm of Personalized Medicine Connecting Human DNA with Cannabis Genetic Profiles

CALIFORNIA: Endocanna Health this week launches its Cannabinoid DNA Variant Test”  — billed as the most comprehensive personalized cannabis DNA test available on the market today. Developed by a team of renowned scientists at Endocanna Heath, a biotechnology research company, this direct-to-consumer DNA test kit, analyzes an individual’s DNA markers and provides science backed recommendations based on their specific DNA in a way no other test has been able to do before.

Until now, there was no comprehensive way to test one’s unique DNA and align it with the latest research to predict how humans may respond to cannabis. For example, some individuals with a specific variant in the gene CYP2C9 may not metabolize THC well and should be cautious about consuming edible products. The test also screens for genetic variants linked to the tendency to experience greater levels of anxiety, drug dependence, and a host of other traits. Therefore, this test allows people to have positive outcomes, helps individuals demystify their cannabis experiences, and further establishes cannabis as a viable solution to alleviate health and wellness issues.

Endocanna HealthEndocanna Health utilizes a patent pending algorithm and process to develop its Cannabinoid DNA Variant Report™. DNA for the test is obtained through either a simple saliva swab or existing genetic data from popular DNA testing services like Ancestry, 23andMe, Family Tree DNA or MyHeritageDNA. Consumers can then use their personalized reports to discover the right products for their specific genetics with product suggestions from Endocanna Heath, providing a full spectrum experience.

“Our goal in establishing Endocanna Health is simple,” says Len May, Endocanna Health co-founder and CEO, “to provide individuals with the tools and confidence to incorporate cannabis into their lives using the most up-to-date research available today. Information that is accurate, but most importantly personal and unique to an individual’s DNA. The goal of our reports is to help people identify which products may help them, and try to give them the best possible outcomes with cannabis. We are gratified to help the millions of people who use cannabis or who may want to begin using cannabis make the most informed decisions when it comes to using the plant.”

Lightscale Labs Announces Cannabis Pesticide Testing In Oregon

OREGON: Lightscale Labs has joined a short list of accredited laboratories in Oregon how offering the full suite of compliance testing required for recreational and medical cannabis products.

“Pesticide testing is a critical component of making cannabis safer for Oregonians,” said Justin Ouellette, CEO of Lightscale Labs. “Cannabis producers and consumers alike have spoken loudly in favor of rigorous safety standards, but achieving those standards is a complex process and it’s meant that lab testing has generally fallen behind the incredible pace of the industry as a whole. We’re now starting to catch up.”

Oregon is unique among states that have legalized cannabis for its focus on health and safety. To receive a license to test cannabis, a laboratory must be accredited by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and undergo the same scrutiny as environmental labs that traditionally offer food, water, and soil testing. The accreditation process can be lengthy, creating a bottleneck for cannabis production in the state. With its new pesticide testing services, Lightscale Labs has significantly improved that bottleneck.

Recently, the OHA considered relaxing certain testing standards. “It’s important to find the right balance,” said Ouellette. “We all want to see the cannabis industry grow healthy and strong, and that means keeping lab testing requirements realistic. We hope Oregon will continue to serve as a model for the rest of the country, prioritizing public safety and evaluating the rules as the industry evolves and our scientific understanding improves.”

Facts About Urine Drug Testing Procedure

Just like its name suggests, urine drug testing procedures test the urine for any traces of substance abuse. The procedure is quick and painless, as it simply requires you to provide your urine as a sample for the test. Using this sample, your urine can be tested for alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana, opioids (narcotics), PCP, and benzodiazepines.

A lot of companies these days are requiring their employees to go through drug testing procedures. One of the main reasons why this is done is because a good number of states mandated to drug test workers. However, it’s not all about that because there are also certain policies that protect the privacy of the tested person. Nevertheless, if you are required to take a drug test by a potential employer or for any other reason, it’s important that you know what to expect from the procedure.

Types of Urine Drug Tests

Today, there are two different types of urine drug tests. Immunoassay is the first test type which is a cost-effective drug test that yields results quickly. There are, however, drawbacks to using this kind of urine test. This is because the test sometimes gives out a false positive result, wherein the test brings a positive result for drugs even though the person is not taking any drugs. This is due to medicinal residue left in the system that can trigger drug tests in numerous ways. When this happens, you’ll have to retake the test again.

Once the drug test comes out positive but you deny using any drugs, you’ll be required to take the second urine drug test type known as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The second test uses the same urine specimen as the first test. These tests are usually more expensive and could take longer to produce test results. On the plus side though is that they rarely give out any false positives.

Taking the Urine Test

No matter what drug you’re testing for, taking a urine test at the lab and at home basically follow the same process – you urinate into a cup. At home, you’d need a specimen container and a drug testing kit to administer the test. At the lab, the following steps normally take place:

  • You will receive a specimen cup from the person administering the test
  • You will have to leave behind your belongings in another room as you take the test. There are some instances wherein you may be required to change into a hospital gown so you can easily take the test.
  • To make sure that you don’t try to skew the test results, a nurse or a technician may accompany you into the bathroom.
  • Before starting, make sure to clean your genital area with the provided moist cloth.
  • Start urinating into the toilet, as you would normally do.
  • While you are urinating, make sure to catch sample into the cup midstream. Don’t let the cup touch your genital area.
  • When done, put a lid on the cup. Bring it to the technician so it can be processed.

Test Results

Once you have supplied your specimen sample, the technician or nurse will inform you of when your test results will be available. With the use of an Immunoassay test, you should be able to get your results right away. In the event that your test results to positive for illegal drugs you haven’t taken make sure you request for a GC/MS test right away.

The Symbiosis Of Soil

By Ralph T Henninger, Founder Royal Knight AG

“Symbiosis is the relationship between two different things that depend on each other in any particular ways, each getting specific benefits from the other” -Cannabis bible, second edition

Female plants count on male plants to pollinate them: symbiosis. It is my personal theory that symbiosis is dependent on healthy plant roots.

Roots depend on the nutrients, and the plant itself depends on the roots. Healthy soil makes the plant’s life easier. Oxygen exchange happens more readily, allowing the plant to breathe and stay healthier.  A healthy plant and is better able to naturally fight off pests.

IPM. Integrated pest management is a carbon neutral approach to managing bugs.  When we look at any plant. including cannabis, we need to check out the environment that it is in. Is it hot? Is it dry? Is there a tree branch? Is there a puddle? Is the irrigation water good? These are all variables that can make a plant healthy or will can make a plant stress when maybe stress is unnecessary, when examining the IPM triangle its only when we have the Host plant, environmental conditions that stress the plant and a pest will then attack.

When pests attack a plant – which is very common — the plant will become more susceptible to disease, and more vulnerable to attacks from other types of pests. This is why when we monitor plant health, we need to check out the weather, water and all scenarios around our host plant. This will dictate the strength of the plant and the overall IPM program that you have your on.

How to naturally resist pests?  There are strains of plants that have been breed to better resist pest attacks, something to keep in mind when selecting seeds and clones. And there are advantages to growing outside.  We are more likely to see infestations breakout wall to wall or all over in an indoor condition before we see a giant outbreak in an outdoor condition. Don’t over water. Water is essential to plant health, but too much water can also hurt the plant. Root system of the plant should never be allowed to clog. Carbon Neutral is maintained by the natural flow and cycle of sun, soil and water through the plant.

Cannabis Software And Consulting Leader MJ Freeway Closes $3 Million In Series B Extension Investment

COLORADO: MJ Freeway, a leading provider of business management solutions and consulting services for the cannabis industry, has announced $3 million in Series B extension financing raised from existing investors. MJ Freeway received new investments from existing investors Roger McNamee and Tao Capital Partners. With the unprecedented growth of the cannabis market, the company will use this funding to invest in continued market expansion.

In 2016, the medical and recreational marijuana industry saw tremendous growth with sweeping votes for cannabis across the US and the world. According to a recent report from Arcview Market Research, America’s marijuana industry is expected to reach $22.5 billion by 2021. As the inventors of patented seed-to-sale tracking software, the company sees the investment as an opportunity to continue to effectively support this growing industry.

“MJ Freeway has been the leader in business management solutions catering to the needs of this unique market for seven years,” said Roger McNamee. “The new Platform product is a game changer that will enable the industry and regulators to succeed as the industry grows and becomes mainstream.”

“Even industry insiders could not predict the success cannabis saw during the 2016 ballot as nine states weighed in on marijuana reform. With the expectation that the cannabis market is set to more than double by 2018, we chose to invest additional capital with MJ Freeway,” said Joby Pritzker, Managing Director of Tao Capital Partners and Chairman of the Marijuana Policy Project, the largest organization in the United States focused on marijuana policy reform.

“We are grateful for the partnership we’ve developed with Roger McNamee and Tao Capital Partners. It’s thrilling to have received this funding from such experienced, forward-thinking investors who continue to help strategically advise our position in the market,” said Jessica Billingsley, COO and Co-Founder of MJ Freeway.

With the recent launch of MJ Freeway’s new enterprise level traceability and business management software, the company has seen a tremendous surge in sales. Adds Amy Poinsett, CEO and Co-Founder, “The response to MJ Platform, our enterprise resource management software, has been very positive. This solution, specifically designed to ease the compliance and business management aspects for cannabis operators, is revolutionizing the space and this funding will enable us to meet the demand.”

The extension financing marks a total of $11 million raised in MJ Freeway’s Series B investment round.

The Dirt On Growing Green: Soil Texture & Composition

By Sunny Kaercher

Every grower has their own approach to cannabis. Varying techniques and products are plentiful, but one thing that remains constant is that healthy plants depend on healthy roots. This is the beginning of a series dedicated to creating and maintaining a vigorous root zone, also known as the rhizosphere. These articles will range from horticultural to scientific, with the goal of educating cannabis growers about natural cycles and what makes the perfect organic growing media.

My name is Sunny Kaercher and I work with Miller Soils. We offer all-natural, cannabis-specific container media catered to growers that want to minimize their inputs and see big, beautiful yields. We design our medias to mimic and support ecological balance, both within the container and out. Now, let’s dig in.

This being the opening piece in The Dirt on Growing Green, it seems appropriate to cover some of the basics of soil science.

One of the first things to understand is soil composition; what’s in your dirt?

45% of soil is composed of mineral particles, which originate from the parent material several horizons below the surface of the earth. These particles, sand, silt and clay, are measured and identified by their diameter. Together, their ratio determines soil texture, which greatly affects important soil properties. Sand, the biggest of the three (.05-2mm), is great for drainage, but has a very low holding capacity. Clay, on the other end of the spectrum (less than .002mm), has a high surface area for adsorption of water and nutrients. Though this retention is cornerstone to a thriving rhizosphere, too much clay leads to compaction, meaning inadequate drainage and roots that cannot breath. A balanced soil, called loam, will have all sizes of particles, and in turn embody all characteristics.

Another 5% of soil is composed of organic matter (including roots) and soil organisms. These I will tackle another day… but what about the remaining 50%?

The remaining half of soil is a delicate flux of air and water, existing in the pore spaces between the physical substrate and active biology. This pore space, though ‘empty,’ is incredibly important to the success of any plant. Unlike leaves, plant roots breath in oxygen (O2) and respire carbon dioxide (CO2). Soil microorganisms and fauna need porosity for this same reason. Soil must allow gas exchange with the greater atmosphere. Water also moves through these pore spaces, but it is infinitely more complicated. There are 3 types of soil water, gravitational, capillary and hygroscopic. The latter is adhered so tightly to particle surfaces, plant roots cannot absorb it. Gravitational water drains from the soil in a matter of days, whereas capillary will be available for longer. This is directly tied to pore size and porosity. It is critical to understand soil water behavior in your cannabis container, whatever it may be, because it affects everything else, from pH to watering/feeding schedule to root vigor.

Now that we’ve covered the foundation of life in soil, air and water, we can move on to the food web.

Stay tuned for next time!

Energy Gluttony of Cannabis Industry Reaches Breaking Point

NEW YORK: A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory revealed that legal indoor marijuana-growing operations are highly energy intensive, and are responsible for an alarming percentage of the nation’s total energy use. In California, the top-producing state, indoor cultivation uses about 3% of all electricity use. A single cannabis cigarette represents 1.5 kg (3 pounds) of CO2 emissions, an amount equal to driving a fuel efficient hybrid car 22 miles, or keeping a 100-watt light bulb on 24-hours a day.

This energy use can account for as much as 50% of a grower’s total overhead, and is detrimental to the environment – taking the “green” out of the growing marijuana industry.

In order to reduce this energy drain, the team at Scale Energy Solutions devised a new type of “Micro-Grid” that integrates clean technology solutions into indoor cannabis grow facilities, to significantly lower energy use and reduce environmental impact.

“The cannabis industry is now using six times more energy than the pharmaceutical industry, and this paradigm is not sustainable,” says Timothy Hade, Co-Founder of Scale Energy Solutions. “Our new approach to energy reduction not only slashes costs for growers, but also improves the industry’s total environmental footprint, which in the long run will increase its chance of acceptance at a national level.”

Some companies are touting energy-saving LED lighting as a means to lower energy costs, but this addresses only a small part of the overall problem, Hade said. Additionally, many growers say that LEDs do not perform as well as the high-pressure sodium or metal halide lamps, especially when the plants began producing flowers – the valued part of the yield, according to the New York Times.

Scale Energy Solutions is one of the only company’s the provides a comprehensive solution, by essentially re-engineering a grower’s energy grid.

“We provide a way for cultivators to reduce operating costs and improve profit margins in an increasingly commoditized market,” Hade said. “By applying new technologies to cannabis growing, we create a truly greener industry.”

Headset Announces $2.5 Million In Financing; Ramps Up Services To Cannabis Clients

WASHINGTON: Headset, a leading retail analytics firm for cannabis-related businesses closed $2.5 million in financing as part of its efforts to ramp up its suite of data products in the ever-competitive cannabis technology space.

Hypur Ventures, a leading-edge venture capital fund headquartered in Arizona, and Salveo Capital, a Chicago-based private-equity fund specializing in cannabis sector investments, have partnered with Headset to provide a deeper, richer set of tools for the emerging market.

“With this most recent fundraising, we are excited to be able to accelerate development and  adoption of Headset products across all legal cannabis markets,” said Cy Scott, co-founder and CEO. “Headset is well positioned to help the cannabis industry make more informed business decisions supported by retail transaction data.”

As the cannabis industry matures — eight states now have legalized recreational use and another 29 have medical marijuana programs — business intelligence is the key differentiator among successful and failing enterprises. Legal U.S. cannabis sales skyrocketed 17 percent to $5.4 billion in 2015. Most analysts forecast 25 percent compound annual growth in the next five years, expanding to market to 21.8 billion by 2020. As a comparison, this explosive industry growth curve mimics that of the cable TV business in the 1990s, which enjoyed a 19 percent annual growth and the broadband internet industry of the 2000s (29 percent).

For years, cannabis company’s struggled to tap into this revenue stream, suffering from a lack of actionable data insights that would inform business decisions. Headset, with its proprietary analytics, gives clients the information and tools to grow their business.

“Headset specializes in seeing ahead of the curve in terms of trends and innovation in the hyper-competitive cannabis market,” said Hypur Managing Director Christopher Male. “There’s a lot of synergy with the ecosystem of the Hypur Ventures portfolio.”

“Salveo Capital is excited to be partnered with Headset and its team,” said Managing Partner Michael Gruber. “Actionable data is critical to running a successful business, and Headset is empowering brands, product manufacturers, and retailers with insights not available previously.  Headset’s products will be a critical tool to a cannabis company’s success.”

With the $2.5 million infusion, Headset moves into 2017 in a strong position to help businesses as the new legal landscape expands. It will help close the information gap that has hampered companies in this emerging industry.

For more information or to request a free demo of the Headset platform please visit www.headset.io

MassRoots Enters Into Definitive Agreement To Acquire Whaxy

COLORADO: MassRoots, one of the leading technology platforms for the cannabis industry, this week announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire DDDigtal Inc. d.b.a. “Whaxy” & Cannabuild for $100,000 cash and 2,926,830 million shares of MassRoots’ common stock.

Since launching in May 2016Whaxy‘s menu management and online ordering platform for licensed cannabis businesses has processed over $5 million in volume across 40,000 unique transactions. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions.

screenshot-2016-12-17-10-31-57“This acquisition, when completed, will expand MassRoots’ offerings to include a full suite of dispensary software solutions – online ordering, marketing, and real-time inventory management— for cannabis businesses,” stated Isaac Dietrich, MassRoots CEO. “Zach Marburger is a brilliant strategist whom we’ve known for years and Whaxy’s CTO Micah Davidson engineered one of the best technology platforms on the market with a lean budget. We could not be more excited to welcome them to the MassRoots team. Over the next few months, our main focus will be increasing the number of dispensaries utilizing the MassRoots/Whaxy platform.”

“We could not be more excited to be joining forces with MassRoots, enabling Whaxy’s system to scale its transaction volume, provide new capabilities to our customers, and add more enterprise value far more rapidly than we would have on our own,” stated Zach Marburger, Whaxy founder and CEO. “MassRoots comes to the table with hundreds of thousands of end-cannabis consumer relationships, hundreds of dispensary clients, a world-class development team, and one of the largest shareholder bases in the industry. The synergies between our two companies are strong and together, we’re building a cannabis technology powerhouse.”

Whaxy’s platform seamlessly integrates with nearly every major point-of-sale system used dispensaries and will seamlessly connect to the MassRoots network, allowing for live pricing, online ordering, and product feedback. Over the last six months, Whaxy has been used by some of the leading businesses in the industry, including Harborside, GreenHouse, Cresco Labs, and more.

New Study Explores The Diversity of Phytocannabinoids of Different Botanical Origin

An international team of leading researchers have paved the way to exploring the biomedical potential of phytocannabinoids, going beyond the THC structural motif and their occurrence in cannabis.

SPAIN: In the first ever attempt to include phytocannabinoids from additional natural sources apart from those derived from C. sativa, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the University of Córdoba, the Universita` di Napoli Federico II, the Universita` del Piemonte Orientale and Phytoplant Research S.L. have created the first comprehensive, critical, integrated and unified inventory of phytocannabinoids of different botanical origin.

The article focuses on the remarkable chemical and structural diversity of phytocannabinoids. As a result of a modular biogenetic scheme, phytocannabinoids are elusive in terms of chemical definition, and chemists found themselves in the situation of the US judge that, when asked to define pornography, answered: “I do not know how to define it, but I can recognize it” as commented one of the authors of the article.  To solve this issue, the authors propose a definition of “cannabinoid” inspired by the way these compounds are formed in Nature.

Cannabinoids are very important for the study of brain function. “Using a musical metaphor, if neurotransmitters are notes, endocannabinoids are their overtones, what make the sound of a violin different from that of a flute or a car’s horn,” said Professor Giovanni Appendino at the Universita` del Piemonte Orientale, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Novara.

The study explores the relationships between phytocannabinoids from different sources like higher plants, liverworts, bacteria and fungi. It outlines the basic chemical and biological profile of the various structural types of phytocannabinoids, their biogenetic relationships, chemical interconversions and biomimetic synthesis from terpene derivatives and resorcinols. The paper also highlights the opportunities that the psychotropic constituents of marijuana (Δ9-THC, its isomer Δ8-THC and CBN) offer to access desirable drug-like space beyond those associated with cannabinoid receptors and narcotic targets CB1 and CB2.

Regarding the medical potential of cannabinoids, Professor Hanuš commented: “Man cannot beat nature and patients cannot be prohibited from taking medicines that help them.”