Washington Liquor And Cannabis Board Issues First Marijuana Research License


WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has issued the state’s first license to produce, process and possess marijuana for research purposes. The license was issued to Verda Bio Research in Seattle, who are conducting research on cannabinoid-based therapeutics.

“This is an important milestone for Washington’s marijuana industry,” said Director Rick Garza. “We’re hopeful that the research will assist policy makers as we grapple with this emerging industry.”

Research licensees are permitted to produce, process and possess marijuana for limited research purposes: to test chemical potency and composition levels; conduct clinical investigations of marijuana-derived drug products; conduct research on the efficacy and safety of administering marijuana as part of medical treatment; and to conduct genomic or agricultural research. Applicants are investigated and must meet the same criteria as other marijuana businesses including security, distance from restricted areas, traceability, etc.

In addition to the above requirements applications are also vetted through an independent third party scientific reviewer. The role of the reviewer is to assess the project’s quality, study design, value, and/or impact. They also review whether applicants have the appropriate personnel, expertise, facilities/infrastructure, funding, and human/animal/other federal approvals in place to successfully conduct the project.

Research projects must pass both the scientific review and licensing requirements before the application is approved.

Global Medical Marijuana Market – Industry Trends & Updates (2016-2022)

IRELAND: The global medical marijuana market in 2016 was USD 12.67 billion and will reach USD 33.41 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 17.53% during the forecasted period, according to a new report, the “Global Medical Marijuana Market – by Medical Indications, Mode of Administration, Region – Market Size, Demand Forecasts, Industry Trends and Updates (2016-2022).

Medical Marijuana refers to using the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions. Scientific study of the chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, has led to two FDA-approved medications that contain cannabinoid chemicals in pill form. The two main cannabinoids from the marijuana plant are THC and CBD, which are used as medications for increasing appetite, reduce nausea, decreasing pain, inflammation (swelling and redness), and muscle control problems.

The global medical marijuana market is mainly driven by the use of marijuana in treatment of various diseases and government support for legalizing it for medical purposes. The growing prevalence of cancer and increasing interest amongst researchers regarding the use of medical marijuana in cancer treatment are some of the factors responsible for driving the medical cannabis market over the coming years. On the other hand, regulations related to marijuana usage in the countries are restraining the growth of the market.

Top 3 Drivers Of North American Cannabis Packaging Market

UNITED KINGDOM: Technavio market research analysts forecast the cannabis packaging market in North America to grow at a CAGR of more than 10% during the forecast period, according to their latest report.

The market study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the cannabis packaging market in North America for 2017-2021. The report also lists rigid packaging and flexible packaging as the two major segments based on packaging type. The rigid packaging segment dominated the market with close to 62% of the market share in 2016.


Global CBD Oil Market 2017-2021: Growth At CAGR Of 39.19%

IRELAND: Global CBD Oil Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. Covering the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years, the report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

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.

The latest trend gaining momentum in the market is Growing influence of online retailing. The increasing popularity of e-commerce businesses worldwide has provided vendors with an opportunity to enhance their profit margins and revenues. E-commerce accounted for nearly 12% of the global retail trade in 2016. Online and e-commerce channels support both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) operations.

According to the report, one of the major drivers for this market is Health benefits of CBD oil. CBD is one of the numerous compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD is mostly derived from marijuana and hemp, which come from the same plant species called Cannabis sativa. Marijuana-based CBD products have a relatively high content of THC compared with hemp-derived CBD products. Hence, marijuana-based CBD products can be used only when they are prescribed by doctors. CBD oil products have several benefits. They are known to cure various ailments in the human body. Over the years, the demand for CBD oil has increased in different parts of the world because of the growing awareness about the health benefits of CBD oil.

Further, the report states that one of the major factors hindering the growth of this market is Unwillingness to invest in cannabis industry. Many investment organizations, such as banks, have expressed their unwillingness to invest in the cannabis industry at regular intervals. Most of the investment organizations in the US and Canada have often declined to provide loans to vendors in the cannabis industry. They have also declined to take a share of the revenue generated from the cannabis market, which includes hemp, marijuana, and other drug-related businesses.

Labor Day Sales For Marijuana To Trend High As Summer Comes To A Close

COLORADO: Like the cannabis holiday on April 20th (4-20) and the Fourth of July,Labor Day marks one of the highest grossing sales days in the cannabis industry. Once again, MJ Freeway takes a look at holiday trends in the cannabis market and gives some advice for what retailers can do to prepare for higher foot traffic in the coming weekend.

MJ Freeway’s retail data set, which accounts for 40% of the legal cannabis market and includes nearly $5 billion in retail sales transactions, helps businesses across the industry understand everything from sales cycles to inventory management and more.

“Cannabis is a young industry and it’s important to track trends early and often, which is why we’ve made it a priority to provide businesses with a full picture of high-volume sales days,” said Amy Poinsett, CEO of MJ Freeway. “The more we understand about the industry as a whole, the better we are able to provide our clients with solutions that they need for smooth and efficient business practices.”

Labor Day by the Numbers

  • In 2015, total cannabis retail sales exceeded $32M on Labor Day weekend (Sept 3-6, 2015), which represents a 43% daily increase from an average sales day.
  • In 2016, we expect Labor Day weekend retail sales (Sept 1-4) to reach $41M
  • Sales spikes begin the Thursday before Labor Day with Friday being the highest grossing sales day.
  • In 2015, individual cannabis licensed retail locations* – dispensaries and delivery services – sold on average $5,694 in retail sales on September 3$7,266 on September 4$5,985 on September 5, and$5,100 on September 6 in 2015, the four days of Labor Day weekend.
    *Note: One physical cannabis retail location may operate with two individual licenses – medical and recreational.
  • Customer traffic increased on average by 20% during Sept 3-6, 2015 as compared to a non-holiday sales day.
  • Individual customers spent on average $69.14 per trip Labor Day weekend 2015, a rise of 3% compared to customers visiting retail locations on an average day.

MJ Research: The 2015 Front Runner/MJBA Washington Marijuana Retailer Report

By Brian Yauger and Joe Armes
Front Runner

WASHINGTON: The story of recreational marijuana’s first fourteen months in Washington state is a story of supply and demand imbalances, with recreational price points impacted by competition from medical and black markets unfettered by high taxation and strict regulation.

By all accounts the first year of I-502 was successful, with retail sales now topping $35 million a month. Still, recreational marijuana only accounts for approximately 30% of the projected $1.3 billion industry in 2015, with the black market and medical marijuana representing the remaining 70%.  I-502 retailers have tried very hard to bring the out-the-door price of the recreational marijuana down to be competitive with the black and medical markets. However, those markets remain robust, in part because they have not been handcuffed by the high taxes and cumbersome regulations put in place for I-502.

Front Runner/MJBA 2015 Washington Marijuana Retailer Report

Front Runner/MJBA 2015 Washington Marijuana Retailer Report

When I-502 retailers were allowed to open in July of 2014, there was a major supply shortage resulting from an inadequate number of licensed producers and processors.  This caused the initial cost of a gram of recreational marijuana to be sold out the door for over $25 dollars, in contrast to less than $10/per gram for the medical and black market consumer.  However, over the course of the year, the number of licensed producers and processors grew at a much faster pace than that of I-502 retailers.  This caused supply to heavily outweigh the demand, as there simply were not enough retailers open for business to accommodate the increased amount of product in the marketplace. Over the course of the year, prices began to drop to under $4/per gram wholesale, allowing retailers to lower their prices to the end consumer.  Retail prices dropped quickly – more than a $1/per gram each month from August 2014 to February 2015 – before they began to stabilize, dropping less than $.50/per gram from February through June.

In June 2015, the average cost of a retail gram of flower was $12.66.  On July 1, a new law, HB 2136, went into effect replacing the existing 25% excise tax at all three levels of I-502 – producer, processors, and retailer – with a 37% excise tax applied at retail.  Producers and processors were no longer forced to give up 25% of their revenue to the state tax system.  The result: wholesale prices dropped 10%, to a low of $3.39/per gram.  Retailers followed suit, and the average cost per gram of flower at the retail level dropped to $9.22, under the magic $10/per gram price point.

The average cost per gram of flower at the retail level dropped to $9.22, under the magic $10/per gram price point.

The average cost per gram of flower at the retail level dropped to $9.22, under the magic $10/per gram price point.


The drop in prices starting July 1 caused the first drop in retail revenue since the opening of Washington’s recreational marijuana marketplace.  Dropping from $25 million in June to just under $24 million in July, revenues fell even while the amount of product purchased increased from 4.8k pounds in June to just over 6k pounds in July – thus showing that the drop in prices directly caused the drop in revenue.

The monthly growth rate of recreational marijuana retailers is an astonishing 29.5% a month.  This growth rate, due to an increase in the number of new retail stores opening monthly, will not be sustainable over the long term.  However, we do expect a high growth rate to continue throughout the rest of 2015 and most of 2016, as more recreational retailers come on line, and medical marijuana is integrated into the I-502 system.  Individual retailers have seen an average of a 5.63% growth rate each month.  This equates to each retailer increasing their revenue approximately $10 per day.

While recreational pot sales are robust 7 days a week, Fridays and Saturdays are the highest selling days, averaging just under $1 million sold each Friday statewide and just at the $1 million mark on Saturdays.  Mondays are the lowest-selling day of the week, at just above $600k, while Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are hover at ~$800k.  Retailers that are closed on Sunday may be missing out on a decent day of sales, and should consider opening on Sundays.

The number of recreational retail customers has increased dramatically, while the amount they are spending has stayed constant.  We saw a growth from 1,000 retail customers a day in August 2014, to a high of 40,000 customers a day in July 2015.  The average ticket price balanced at approximately $40 a day for several months until dropping to just over $30 a day after the implementation of HB 2136 and the subsequent drop in prices.

The majority of all sales in Washington State are concentrated in only four counties.  Western Washington sells just under three times more recreational marijuana than eastern Washington.  Forty six percent of the weight sold comes from King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, with Spokane County making up fourteen percent of all sales. The remaining 40% of sales comes from all other counties.

The outlook for recreational market remains strong.  With the medical market set to be folded into I-502 in 2016, we predict that the gap will start to close between the black market and the legal market.  As an added factor of prices rivaling that of the black market, we will continue to see large increases in the number of customers making purchases in I-502 retail stores.

As of early October 2015, there were 182 retail stores recording revenue in Washington. We project that by July 2016 that number will grow to between 288-294 retailers, ensuring that the high growth rate that we have seen will continue into 2016.

The 2015 Washington Marijuana Retail Seminar: Becoming A Front Runner, October 5th in Bellevue, WA

WASHINGTON:  Front Runner (formerly TetraTrak.com), a leading business intelligence resource for Washington’s licensed cannabis industry has teamed up with The Marijuana Business Association, to present: “The 2015 Washington Marijuana Retail Seminar: Becoming A Front Runner” on Monday, October 5th at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue, 1-5PM, with a VIP Reception to follow at the hotel bar.

The MJBA Professional Seminar will feature presentations from Front Runner’s  Brian Yauger and Joe Armes, who will provide a comprehensive look at the WSLCB wholesale and retail sales data to date, with an eye toward giving 502 retailers actionable business intelligence to help them build sustainable profitable businesses.

“I want every retailer who attends this seminar to feel that they’ve gotten the value of the ticket price back in the first 15 minutes of the event,” Yauger told MJNN.

Leading Retailer Uncle Ike’s founder Ian Eisenberg will be a featured speaker and panelist. He’ll be joined by an impressive lineup of top retailers including Evergreen Market and The Joint.

PayQwick CEO Kenneth Berke and Green Bits Business Solutions Director Matt Beckley will join Brian Yauger and Joe Armes for a roundtable discussion on retail trends.

Listen to the keys to Romancing the Brand with top executives from Washington’s leading CannaBrands: Zoots, Mirth, Evergreen Herbal, Monkey Grass Farms, Buddy Boy Farm and Sky High Gardens.

Event sponsors include: TetraTrak, Green Bits, Visual Options, PayQwick, CannaVentures and Sky High Gardens.

Reserve your Front Runner spot today. 

Brian Yauger on stage at MJBA Meetup in Seattle.

Brian Yauger on stage at MJBA Meetup in Seattle.

New MJ Research Report: Washington Canna-businesses Plan To Grow Organizations By 200% In 2015

Last month the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) hosted the first ever cannabis job fair in Spokane, WA.  As part of our MJ Research’s effort to provide business intelligence to participants in the legal cannabis industry, we surveyed more than 110 hiring managers, employees and job candidates online and at the event.

From analysis of this survey, conducted by Analytically Correct and the MJBA, we learned that the Washington State companies who responded to the survey plan to grow their companies by 200% in 2015.  The majority of these positions will be operations positions such as growers, trimmers and bud tenders.  Over 50% of these positions will pay under $30,000 per year.

Washington State companies who responded to the survey plan to grow their companies by 200% in 2015.

Analytically Correct CEO Joe Armes presents the MJ Research Jobs Report to industry participants at the Marijuana Business Association


Marijuana Foes Agree: Pot Research Is Needed

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: An unlikely pair of lawmakers is seeking to promote government research of marijuana.

Reps. Andy Harris (R-Md.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) — who stand on opposite sides of the legalization debate — are co-sponsoring an amendment that would help scientists study medical marijuana.

“Our amendment shows members of Congress with widely varying views on marijuana policy are united in support of building a robust body of scientific information on medical marijuana,” said Blumenauer, whose state recently legalized recreational use of the drug.

MJ Research Report: Washington State Rakes In Over $10M In Single Month From Pot Tax

By Joe Armes

WASHINGTON: The legal cannabis industry has been rapidly growing in Washington State since the implementation of recreational sales under I502, and along with them so too have the tax revenues due to the state. Washington’s hefty 25% excise tax, which is applied to each stage of the supply chain (, processors and retailers), has alone resulted in accrued tax obligations of nearly $10.4M due to the state from May.


june mj research 2

The excise tax is the largest of several revenue streams legal cannabis is bringing to the state.  Additionally, the state collects tax revenues from retail sales and business and occupation taxes generated from cannabis businesses.  All the while, the market continues to shift toward retailers capturing an increasingly larger portion of the revenues generated by the industry leaving many industry insiders pleading with the state to pass legislation to modify the excise tax structure to a retail tax that maintains the state’s tax revenues and provides relief for producers and processors.

Here are some other insights from the Washington State Recreational Cannabis Business Intelligence Dashboard:

      • Washington set a new record single day sales with $1.88M in Sales on May 29th.
      • The state now has 163 licensed retail stores with 146 recording sales as of May.
      • Combined Producer, processor and retailer sales were $215M through June 1st.
      • Average daily sales for the month of May were $1.31M, up 8.3% from April.

If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com.

About Joe Armes: Joe is the founder of Analytically Correct, a data analytics services company that provides custom analytics solutions that transform data into insights to allow decision makers to focus on what adds most value. His passion is to work with organizations with deeply rooted causes to help them gain access to the knowledge needed to make timely and informed decisions.