Virginia Governor Northam Releases Report On Marijuana Legalization

Community-driven report reflects recommendations of the Virginia Marijuana Legalization Work Group

VIRGINIA:  Governor Ralph Northam today released the Administration’s report on the impact of legalizing adult-use marijuana in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The report is the final product of the Virginia Marijuana Legalization Work Group, and it results from a diverse, stakeholder-driven process that involved community leaders, healthcare professionals, policy experts, and government officials. This months-long effort was a key part of marijuana decriminalization legislation passed by the General Assembly earlier this year, and follows Governor Northam’s recent announcement that he intends to advance marijuana legalization in Virginia.

“We will advance new laws to make sure that our Commonwealth legalizes marijuana the right way,” said Governor Northam. “Virginia has studied the experience of other states and this report lays out a path forward that leads with social equity, public health, and public safety.”

The comprehensive report includes nearly 400 pages of meeting minutes and outlines various aspects of marijuana legalization in the Commonwealth, including taxation, banking, criminal justice, licensing and regulation, and consumer safety. It also provides additional details on the five key principles that Governor Northam wants to see in any final legalization bill:

  • Social equity, racial equity, and economic equity. Marijuana prohibition historically has been based in discrimination, and criminalization laws have disproportionately harmed minority communities. Legislation should focus on undoing these harms by including initiatives such as social equity license programs, access to capital, community reinvestment, and sealing or expunging records of past marijuana-related convictions.
  • Public health. Legislation should include substance abuse prevention efforts in schools and communities.
  • Protections for young people. As a pediatrician, Governor Northam will require any legislation include protections for Virginia’s youth, including age limits, mandatory ID checks, and education campaigns.
  • Upholding the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act. Legislation should be aligned with the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act prohibiting indoor tobacco use, which Governor Northam championed as a state Senator.
  • Data collection. Legislation should ensure Virginia collects appropriate and ongoing information on safety, health, and equity.

The Virginia Marijuana Work Group consulted with dozens of subject matter experts in compiling its recommendations, including organizations focused on ensuring social and racial equity, such as the Minority Cannabis Business Association, NoLef Turns, and Decriminalize Virginia. Health experts, including public health policy consultants and practicing physicians were extensively involved, and the team worked closely with government officials from states that have already legalized marijuana, such as Washington, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

The Work Group was led by the Secretaries of Agriculture and Forestry, Finance, Health and Human Resources, and Public Safety and Homeland Security. The group held a total of 15 public meetings between July and October 2020.

The full report is available here. Additional information about the Virginia Marijuana Work Group and its membership can be found here.

Man On Weed: Phish And NuLeaf In Las Vegas

By Larry Reed, Man on Weed

My journey led me to the MGM Grand for the Phish Halloween run.  Since ‘94 it’s always been on my radar to attend this annual event.  That the band was playing in the legal cannabis state of Nevada, gave even more cause for celebration. Marijuana unlocks the magic of the music. In today’s environment, with ample supply of cannabis products available for sale legally, one does not have to hope your neighbor passes a joint your way. A simple trip to one of the many dispensaries in the Las Vegas metro and you will be more than good to go.

This is the story of my visit to Nu-Leaf dispensary located at 430 E Twain Ave, a very classy establishment with a great staff and wonderful menu featuring the wide spectrum of legal cannabis products available today.  I was in a hurry to make it to the show on All Hallows Eve, cat herding, trying to gather up your passel of people all whom are headed to the show, just at different times.

I found myself with a silicone dish half-filled with some delectable DosiDo dabs, a nectar collector hummingbird and a torch — not a big blazer style, but one you might get for a light plumbing job.


Trying to dab at the show was not really enjoyable as the psychedelic roar of the audience began to swell, it pretty much signaled the end of my “in the crowd” dabs, especially after I saw one of the phish kids flounder as his cotton laced costume went up in a flash fire as he attempted to light his bowl. Stop, drop and bowl!  I found it much funnier than he did.

Now, I’ve been a dabber for quite some time and have forgone the flowers, but that night, I really had the hankering for a joint of something fruity and juicy. I was entranced by the smell of burning buds streaming their terpene-laced smoke around the venue as the crowd shaked and shimmied to the jams of the Vermont Quartet. I did take a walk to a place less crowded where I met Larry, who was dressed as a jester. Once he found out we had the same first name, Larry declared, “I have to smoke my pot with you! “

Well sure Larry, lets! He had a bowl filled with weed, and I believe I might have tasted a seed. It was fun and as the night finished up, I decided the next night would be different.

Being an East Coaster, morning comes early in Vegas, but as the new day dawned, I was excited to see another Phish show — this time with a fist full of joints!  Which brings me back to NuLeaf and my experience at the dispensary. It took a $10 Uber ride, which is always fun when you’re going to buy weed in a legal setting.  The chit chat with the driver, a wonderful woman from El Salvador, who once she saw the address, she remarked, “I take a lot of people here, seems people like to smoke, you people are always so friendly.”


I picked to go to NuLeaf because of the dynamic manager that runs the operations over there, a man named JC Coats.  You might know him as the person who designed and implemented the “First Friday” for cannabis – a must-attend event for anyone interested in the Las Vegas cannabis scene featuring live music, vendors and food, definitely check it out sometime.

People buy from people. If you are a business person and you don’t invest in your most valuable assets — your people — your story will be short in the cannabis world.  As you enter NuLeaf you are greeted with wonderful smiles, as you are vetted, and ID checked. The waiting area has a really cool 1950’s art deco vending machine — a piece of art that foreshadows the motif of the actual sales area. Walking through the doorway, customers are transported to an ol’ west style old school pharmacy and soda shop. Instead of licorice whips and candy straws, there are live resin pens and canna candies. From the white tile with black mosaic to the deep rich wood adorning the walls to the hardwood cabinetry and menus, everything is presented in a western motif.

The store was very clean looking, welcoming and warm, and I experienced it to be very relaxing to just browse a little before talking to one of the tenders. When I was ready to purchase, I met Cory, who seemed to be knowledgeable about the many facets of cannabis consumption. I told him I was after something super sour, the loudest that he had back there in the bevy of botanical blazery.  We discussed a few couple strains: the “strawberry lemonade” was a must, along with the “purple haze” and also a flower called “Joe Fix-It” which is what I was steered to when I requested something that didn’t necessarily have to have a discerning taste but the high should be powerful. That is one of the most wonderful things I find about the legal market, is the plethora of flavors along with knowledgeable bud tenders who help guide you to your promised land, wherever that land might be.

I hurried back to the hotel as showtime approached. Back in the room, my crew was all smiles as they saw the sack of goodies I had brought.  Along with the ganja, I remembered to get rolling papers and gave the table a good forearm clean for some rolling space. Two of the flavors were in sealed plastic jars and the other in a mylar bag.  All were cured properly and broke up well, creating some wonderful piles of rolling material.

I twisted up a bunch of 1+ gram, the size of a finger, doobers and put them into my Chroncontainer before heading out to the show.  As these things go, the crew had to make a stop at another room to see more of the crew’s crew, and so I had the opportunity try out the Purple Haze. Wow, my NuLeaf budtender was correct. It tasted wonderful and had a very nice stoney wispy high that had us all on the balcony staring at the Vegas skyline before the voice in my head began to scream, GET TO THE SHOW!

Snapping out of it, we finally got in motion and arrived at a row of 10 chairs. With about 15 people, there was not a spot for me.  The lights went down, the band came on and I am left standing on the stairs wondering where I should post up. There it was, an empty on the end, I scooted into the spot and began to bebop with the show opener. I noticed the guy next to me kind of give me one of them, “oh dang you just grabbed my extra space I had planned to get my Soul Train dance machine on.” I reached into my pocket and produced one of the rather healthy joints that resided in my pocket. He went from the straight face emoji to the one where it’s winking with the tongue out.  It was a Strawberry Banana joint, with a very citrusy bouquet. We hit that thing for a good long time, with his friend getting in on it. Everyone took their sweet time roasting up a nice coal before passing it along. I sparked one about every other song in the first set. During the set break, my new phriends told me of how they were just young men out in the world, seeking tasty waves and a cool buzz. Ski instructors up in NorCal, trimming weed to make ends meet during the off season.

The second set led off with the “Joe Fix-it” joint and again, Cory from NuLeaf had it dialed in, these buds took us to the next level of nirvana.  I was baked like a chicken listening to the band play some of their best jams of the tour, as I was totally immersed in the chords and harmonies and Trey cooking up scrambled eggs in the kitchen of the mind.  Not sure what the other guys had for set-break, but they were much more animated than the first set (the one doing what I thought to be a Jim Morrisonesque dance). I moved a bit over and let the brother have plenty of space to get his Lizard King on.  I finished up most of the joints to my head, which is really my favorite part, the final quarter of the joint is the most flavorful part.

The show ended, and the lights came on. It was a really good show, everyone had miles of smiles as now the party was to move to another location.  I had bought two eighths of the Strawberry Lemonade and saved one for them for after the show. I visited another friend and we sat on the 46th story balcony watching the glitz and glitter of Las Vegas and smoked it up till dawn.

What a grand and festive time I had in Vegas, thanks in part to the wonderful folks over at NuLeaf. If you find yourself in Sin City, definitely check out NuLeaf for all of your cannabis needs and tell them Larry Reed the “Man on Weed” sent you.


OLCC Executive Director Update On Marijuana Licensing

To our OLCC Recreational Marijuana Licensees:

Since the Oregon Liquor Control Commission began issuing recreational marijuana licenses in April 2016 applicant interest has never diminished.  You can see that reflected in the application data we publish on a daily basis.

Earlier this summer our agency placed a pause on processing applications.  Even before then the number of applications we had to get through was significant.  The surge of applications we received right before the pause took effect on June 15 just multiplied the numbers.

As a legal industry and as a regulated industry, the cannabis business is still immature.  It has only been three years since commercialized cannabis emerged as a legitimate economic activity in Oregon, and the laws and rules governing its production and distribution are still catching up.  

Since legalization, during every regular and short session of Oregon’s legislature, lawmakers have made changes – a tweak here, an adjustment there, a major modification somewhere else.  Then our agency’s rule making process follows (and the same for our sister agencies:  Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Agriculture, and the Oregon Department of Revenue.)  It’s a process that comes with a natural, systemic lag built into it.

The statutory and rules changes are improvements that will establish the long-term viability of Oregon’s cannabis industry.  Incorporating these changes into a dynamic licensing process has brought unintended consequences and unforeseen challenges.  Our ability to innovate our way out of this backlog is limited, but we continue to look for ways to improve and streamline our work in the near term, while developing systematic long term plans.

In the second half of 2017, when we began renewing the licenses of existing licensees, we determined that the time it takes to complete a renewal is equivalent to about 80 percent of the time it takes to process a new license application.  Again this can be attributed to the immaturity of OLCC processes and to the sudden confluence of an emerging industry suddenly buffeted by consolidation activity.  Regardless our agency did not build this amount of workload into our initial staffing or workforce models.  

The merger and acquisition activity in Oregon’s cannabis industry has led to frequent ownership changes and continuous business structure modifications.  Managing these changes is another staffing demand that often takes as much time as processing brand new applications.  The OLCC currently considers processing business structure changes to be part of the licensing fee licensees pay for, and we do not charge a separate fee for this work.  It is, however, one of many areas of uncompensated activity that is overwhelming the agency’s staff, which we are monitoring closely to ensure the agency is operating efficiently and effectively.

So in practical terms what does this mean right now for existing licensees and new applicants?  To handle the backlog of license renewals and business structure changes we’ve concentrated our staff resources to handle this activity; we have 11 investigators assigned to this work.  At our current pace renewals for 2017 and 2018 licensees will take approximately 12 months.  Business structure changes and ownership changes currently range from three to six months, depending on the complexity and volume.

Applications received by June 15, 2018, which currently total 2,210 are expected to take at least 12-14 months to process.  This timeframe may be longer for those new applications submitted just before OLCC’s pause went into effect (from June 1-15, 2018).  The OLCC has two investigators assigned to this work.  We will prioritize processing retailer, wholesaler, and processor applications ahead of producer applications.  Our logic is straightforward.  These application types take less time to process than producer applications which are more complex, and there are fewer of them to get through. 

In the meantime our agency has been assigned additional responsibilities, including incorporating larger medical marijuana grow sites into our Cannabis Tracking System, and expanding the entry points for hemp and hemp products to enter the OLCC regulated market.  Some of this work we’re doing with additional resources, while the rest of it is being absorbed by the agency’s existing workforce. 

The processing of applications may appear to be proceeding at a glacial pace but I can tell you our team is operating at capacity.  In addition to asking the legislature for additional staff to help with compliance and enforcement activity, we intend to seek more employees to support our marijuana licensing operations.  If we obtain those resources it would be late 2019 before that assistance arrives.

I don’t expect you find the information in this message surprising, but I hope it serves as a useful guidepost as you plan your business activity in the cannabis industry.


Steven Marks

Executive Director, Oregon Liquor Control Commission

Global CBD Oil Market To Grow At 39.19% CAGR In 2017-2021.

UNITED KINGDOM: Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD oil can be derived from two different species of cannabinoids: marijuana and hemp. The Americas dominated the global CBD oil market in 2016, followed by EMEA and APAC.

Hemp-based CBD oil products have a lower delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration, whereas marijuana-derived CBD oil products have a relatively high concentration of THC.

Technavio’s report, Global CBD Oil Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The firm’s analysts forecast the global CBD oil market to grow at a CAGR of 39.19% during the period 2017-2021.

San Francisco Supervisors Approve ‘Office Of Cannabis’

CALIFORNIA: San Francisco officials have approved a new Office of Cannabis in advance of recreational marijuana sales starting in California next year.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday also directed the new office to analyze disparities that keep certain minority groups out of the cannabis business.

Its other task is to make recommendations on how to keep medical marijuana affordable

Board President London Breed suggested San Francisco follow in the steps of Oakland, California, where lawmakers established a cannabis equity program this year.

The program sets aside half of business licenses to city residents who have been arrested on a cannabis crime or who live in neighborhoods with historically high numbers of marijuana arrests.

MJ Index Launched: 20 U.S. Based Marijuana Stocks Ranging From Microcap To Large Cap

Marijuana legalization in California will increase the number of people that currently have access to recreational pot by over 5 fold. After all, California in itself boasts the world’s 6th largest economy. Once California passes legal marijuana then the rest of the nation will soon follow. The passive investment opportunities are limited almost exclusively to risky penny stocks that trade over-the-counter with little oversight. Although high risk, marijuana stocks will likely experience epic returns over the coming months. Fully legal recreational marijuana in California will be an absolute game changer!

Here is a list of 20 actively-traded U.S. based marijuana stocks that comprise the newly launched MJ Index ( Grouped below into 4 market capitalization levels; microcap, small cap, mid cap and large cap.

5 microcap marijuana stocks (under $1M market capitalization)

Monarch America, Inc. (BTFL) 
Monarch America, Inc., through its The Big Tomato, Inc. subsidiary, sells and distributes hydroponic lights and equipment to the indoor gardeners and commercial growers. Company website

The MaryJane Group, Inc. (MJMJ)
The MaryJane Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides lodging, events, spa services, and brand merchandising primarily in the cannabis industry. The company operates and manages Bud + Breakfast locations that offer bed and breakfast to the recreational marijuana industry. Company

Notis Global, Inc. (NGBL)
Notis Global, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides specialized consulting services to the hemp and marijuana industry primarily in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington. The company provides Notis Global dispensing system for the control and dispensing of medical marijuana industry. Company website

Pazoo, Inc. (PZOO)
The company offers pharmaceutical testing laboratory services to the medical cannabis industry; and marketing and sales agent services for the distribution of non-controlled hemp productsCompany website

Verde Science, Inc. (VRCI)
Verde Science, Inc., a pharmaceutical research and development company, focuses on developing a portfolio of cannabinoid based prescription medicines for various medical conditions. Company website

5 small cap marijuana stocks ($1M – $20M market capitalization)

Agritek Holdings, Inc. (AGTK)
Agritek Holdings, Inc. offers various products and services to the medicinal marijuana sector in the United States. It distributes hemp-based nutritional products; and provides solutions for electronically processing merchant transactions. Company website

GreenGro Technologies, Inc. (GRNH)
GreenGro Technologies, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets green eco-friendly vertical cultivation systems in the United States. Company

Hemp Inc. (HEMP)
Hemp Inc. produces products made from industrial hemp. The company also offers products and services to the medical and recreational marijuana industries.Company website

Growlife, Inc. (PHOT)
GrowLife, Inc. is a nationally recognized cultivation brand, providing world-class hydroponic equipment, lighting, nutrients, media, and other cultivation supplies to commercial and urban operations. Company website

Vape Holdings, Inc. (VAPE)
Vape Holdings, Inc. engages in designing, marketing, and distributing ceramic vaporization productsThe company offers blended ceramic vaporization element for torched, electronic, and portable vaporizers under HIVE brand. Vape Holdings, Inc. is based in Chatsworth, California. Company

5 mid cap marijuana stocks ($20M – $100M market capitalization)

General Cannabis Corp. (CANN)
General Cannabis Corporation provides services to the regulated cannabis industry in the United States. The company engages in the acquisition and leasing of cultivation space and related facilities to licensed marijuana growers and dispensary owners. Company website

CV Sciences, Inc. (CVSI)
CV Sciences, Inc., a life science company, focuses on developing and commercializing novel therapeutics utilizing synthetic Cannabidiol (CBD). Company

MassRoots, Inc. (MSRT)
MassRoots, Inc. operates a technology platform for the cannabis community in the United States. The company’s mobile network enables users to share cannabis content to connect with the legalization movement. Company website

Surna Inc. (SRNA)
Surna Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes systems for controlled environment agriculture (CEA). It offers chillers, lights, reflectors, and irrigation systems; Hybrid Building that uses the sun as its primary light source; air sanitation technology for mold and mildew risk mitigation to cultivators; and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services. Company website

Zoned Properties Inc. (ZDPY)
Zoned Properties Inc., a real estate company, engages in operating, leasing, and managing commercial properties primarily in Arizona. The company also holds properties that have licensed medical marijuana operators signed to lease agreements. Company website

5 large cap marijuana stocks ($100M+ market cap)

AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc. (AXIM)
AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc., a biotechnology company, focuses on the treatment of pain, spasticity, anxiety, and other medical disorders with the application of cannabinoids based productsCompany website

INSYS Therapeutics, Inc. (INSY)
Insys Therapeutics, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, develops and commercializes supportive care productsThe company markets Subsys, a sublingual fentanyl spray for breakthrough cancer pain in opioid-tolerant cancer patients in the United States. Company website

Kush Bottles, Inc. (KSHB)
Kush Bottles, Inc. markets and sells packaging products and solutions for the medical and recreational cannabis industries in the United States. Company

Medical Marijuana, Inc. (MJNA)
Medical Marijuana, Inc., an investment holding company, operates in the medical marijuana and industrial hemp markets. Its products range from patented and proprietary based cannabinoid products to seed and stalk or isolated high value extracts manufactured and formulated for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmeceutical industries. Company website

Terra Tech Corp. (TRTC)
Terra Tech Corp., through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, marketing, and sale of hydroponic equipment with proprietary technology to create sustainable solutions for the cultivation of indoor agriculture in Newport Beach and Irvine, California. Company website

MJ Index is available at

Parties, Discounts To Mark Start Of Pot Sales In Oregon

OREGON: Discounts on pot, free food for folks with the munchies and live music will usher in a historic day for Oregon and for marijuana advocates across the country on Thursday, as recreational sales of the drug that is still illegal under federal law begin in the state.

Oregon is one of four states that have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. It will start with far more dispensaries than did Colorado or Washington state, where pot shops have been up and running for more than a year. Alaska could begin retail sales next year.

Pot shops in Oregon that already sell medical marijuana have made big plans for the historic day – and hope there is enough supply to meet what is expected to be a huge demand.

“I’m just trying to basically stock up for maybe four or five times what the normal volume would be,” said Chris Byers, owner of River City Dispensary in the southern Oregon town of Merlin.


Oregon To Begin Recreational Marijuana Sales Early

OREGON: Oregon adults will be able to legally purchase recreational marijuana beginning Oct. 1, about a year earlier than had been expected.

Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed a law on Tuesday allowing the sale of recreational marijuana in existing medical marijuana dispensaries, starting just three months after Oregon’s reformed marijuana law went into effect.

The measure “is a smart solution to a short-term logistical problem,” Kristen Grainger, Brown’s spokeswoman, told The Huffington Post. “Oregon’s new recreational marijuana law went into effect in July 2015, but Oregonians couldn’t lawfully buy it anywhere for another year or more. If marijuana is legal to use, it shouldn’t be illegal to buy.”

The new marijuana law allows adults 21 and older to buy up to one-fourth ounce of recreational marijuana per day at medical marijuana shops. Consumers also may buy seeds and up to four non-flowering cannabis plants. The 25 percent state tax on marijuana sales won’t begin until Jan. 4, so early shoppers can buy their newly legal weed tax-free for a few months.

Pot-Based Dog Treats: Owners Claim They Cure Pets’ Ailments

CALIFORNIA:  Some pet owners are claiming that hemp-based treats cure many of their pets’ ailments. The treats are infused with cannabinoids or CBDs but don’t have THC, so the animal doesn’t get high. One of the hemp-based treat brands called Treatibles has been used by some owners for anxiety or stress in their dogs. Andrew Mizia stated that his dog Fred can be stressed when around other dogs, and he stated the following regarding the result when he gives the canine the treat, according to ABC Channel 7.

These treats are flying off the shelves, because many pet owners have claimed that the treats can cure illnesses ranging from arthritis to epileptic seizures. The manager of one store that carries a large variety of calming treats claims that the Treatibles are more effective in treating anxious animals because of the cannabinoids. The manager of the Holistic Hound, a store in Oakland, Dianne Krenzer, stated the following. “I’ve never seen a product that has had such broad popularity and interest. Humans and animals have an endocannabinoid system and we have receptors throughout our bodies. So if anxiety is an issue, the CBD works on the stress receptors.”

The treats are intended primarily for dogs, but have even been used with other domestic and farm animals. They contain 40mg of CBD per treat. The manufacturer recommends one treat per 20 pounds. And some owners even rave about the success they’ve had with the treats in saving their animal’s lives. An owner named Wendy who has a 15-year-old lab mix named Kali decided to try the treats out of desperation, as she had scheduled an appointment to euthanize the dog in order to alleviate its chronic pain. Wendy stated the following, according to the Examiner.


Philly420: Teenagers Using Less Marijuana In Age Of Legalization

PENNSYLVANIA:  A new study published The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse has found that teens are using marijuana less frequently and are less attracted to it now that it is decriminalized or legalized at the state level.

The data challenges many assumptions about how changing cannabis laws may impact children.

Opponents of legalization often tout scientifically unsupported notions about teen marijuana use.

For example, here in Pennsylvania, representatives from the substance abuse treatment industry, the District Attorneys Association and Pa. Fraternal Order of Police spoke during House committee hearings against allowing marijuana for medical use, in part, because they fear youth use will somehow increase. But the truth is that teen use is declining and that young people may be finding far less allure when cannabis is regulated.