FSD Pharma Inks Saskatchewan Wholesale Supply MOU With High Tide Ventures

CANADA: FSD Pharma this week announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, FV Pharma Inc. has entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with High Tide Ventures Inc. (“High Tide”) dated July 18, 2018 to supply the Saskatchewan market on a wholesale basis with up to 5,000 kilograms of cannabis products over the next year when available. FSD Pharma is working together with Auxly (formerly Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp.) to achieve its mission to develop the largest hydroponic indoor cannabis cultivation facility in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.



High Tide is in the process of becoming a licensed wholesaler of cannabis products in the province of Saskatchewan. Thomas Fairfull, President and CEO of FSD Pharma, stated, “This non-binding MOU is the result of FSD Pharma’s focus on growing high quality indoor hydroponic cannabis, which I expect will yield more opportunities to build on our relationship in the near future.” Raj Grover, President & Chief Executive Officer of High Tide, added, “High Tide has achieved an important strategic milestone by securing its first wholesale business partner for Saskatchewan and the province’s 51 retail cannabis outlets. It is very important to us to be able to provide the highest quality of indoor grown cannabis. We want to ensure that High Tide is able to offer consumers a variety of options that they actually enjoy.”

High Tide is focused on becoming a strong downstream player in the legal recreational cannabis industry in Canada. Through its subsidiaries, High Tide has also applied for over 30 retail cannabis licenses and associated development permits in Alberta, with applications in British Columbia expected to be submitted shortly.


Massachusetts Marijuana Sales To Top $1 Billion By 2020

MASSACHUSETTS: Arcview Market Research, in partnership with New Frontier Data, has released its Massachusetts Legal Cannabis Market State Profile, which shows the potential growth of the legal marijuana market after Massachusetts voters legalized adult-use on Election Night 2016. The official Arcview Market Research projection for the Massachusetts market is that it will grow to over $1 billion by 2020 at a compound annual growth rate of 113%.

“Unlike other places where cannabis is legal, Boston is within driving distance of many of the most populous places in America. This will make Boston the cannabis capital of the world in short order. This cannabis tourism will drive significant revenue, tax dollars, and job growth which will make legalization very attractive to neighboring states,” said Troy Dayton, CEO of The Arcview Group.

“As one of only two states on the East Coast to legalize cannabis for adult use, Massachusetts represents a significant opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs in the space. The law does not limit product forms nor does it cap retail dispensary licenses, which are both factors that will positively contribute toward the billion dollars in sales projected by 2020,” said New Frontier Data Founder & CEO, Giadha Aguirre DeCarcer.

Over the next four years, the legal cannabis market in Massachusetts is forecast to grow from $52.0 million in 2016 solely from medical use sales, to an estimated $1.07 billion in 2020 with medical and adult use sales combined. The full regulatory structure and key program details of the adult use market remain to be determined, and the market could take a few different directions depending on the actions of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission and local municipalities across the state. However, the broad parameters of the law create an opportunity for an open and expansive market.

Key trends that will be critical in shaping the growth and evolution of Massachusetts’ market covered in the report are:

  • Interplay between the medical and adult use markets
  • Competition from bordering states with legal medical and adult use programs
  • Regional, national, and international tourism demand
  • Physician participation and its impact on medical program growth

If you would like more information on Massachusetts’ legal cannabis markets, you can download the 2016 Massachusetts Legal Cannabis Market State Profile at www.ArcviewMarketResearch.com and the report can be ordered for $249.


How Healthcare Professionals Are Getting Involved In The Legal Cannabis Industry

Medical professionals and their approaches to the growing MMJ industry

By Zack M

As the medical marijuana industry continues to grow, so too does the opportunity for innovation. Healthcare professionals in particular are taking part in this boom and have been approaching the legal cannabis industry in a multitude of ways.

Education and Training

Although medical marijuana is legal in certain states, there remains a dearth of licensed healthcare professionals catering to patients wishing to seek treatment via medical cannabis. A study of physicians’ attitudes towards marijuana as conducted by Konrad and Reid concluded that whilst only 19% of respondents believed physicians should recommend medical cannabis to patients, a whopping 92% agreed that education about medical marijuana should be made available to them. As such, several organizations exist that are helping educate medical professionals about how to incorporate MMJ in their practice.

The New York State Medical Marijuana Program for instance offers practitioner education, practitioner registration, patient certification, and the identification of registered practitioners. These facilities allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients and understand the laws surrounding it with ease. 602 physicians have registered as of June 21, 2016 and many similar organizations and resources for doctors can be found online and nationwide.

Ivy league doctor, Dr. David Casarett has too recognized the lack of medical cannabis education available to not merely physicians, but patients, dispensary owners, and growers. In his book, Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana, Casarett makes compelling arguments for medical marijuana’s risks and benefits. He hopes that his book will serve as a guide and that it can address the fact that many of his “physician colleagues are realizing that [medical marijuana] is something they should know about,” adding that “they may decide that they won’t recommend [medical marijuana], but they have to know about it.”

Less conventional than that of doctors’ is the introduction of nurses to the field of medical marijuana.Unlike physicians, nurses do not legally require certification to assist patients wishing to obtain prescriptions for medical marijuana.  Just as there is a lack of physicians working with MMJ patients, even more pronounced is the absence of nurses in this respect.

Patients normally receive most of their advice from doctors and dispensary staff regarding the appropriate cannabinoids, dosage, and delivery methods. Organizations like the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) have emerged in order to fill this gap. With a mission to “advance excellence in cannabis nursing practice through advocacy, collaboration, research, education, and policy development,” the ACNA stands as a forum and platform for education. Understanding “how and why patients are choosing this treatment” and “how this use effects other medical treatments” can help nurses better connect with their MMJ patients and ensure patients get proper therapy.

Unconventional Approaches

A new service in California called Meadow—which began as a medical marijuana delivery service—ventures outside the box in the name of convenience. It permits doctors to make house calls for medical cannabis related concerns. Services such as these help bridge the gap between potential patients and doctors and make it easier for people to receive accessible treatment.

Dermatologists too are taking advantage of the legal cannabis industry by creating topical skincare products with marijuana as the active ingredient. Some skincare experts claim that when applied topically, marijuana could make skin look younger as well as treat certain skin conditions such as dry and itchy skin.

With all these new developments in an industry only in its infancy, we can be sure to expect a future of healthcare professionals entering the field in a wider range and larger volume of ways.

Colorado Tourism Survey Shows Legal Pot’s Influence

COLORADO: Marijuana businesses have long proclaimed that cannabis is drawing visitors to Colorado. Now they have proof.

A study commissioned by the Colorado Tourism Office and presented to the office’s board of directors on Wednesday shows legal weed as a growing motivator for trips to Colorado — conflicting with the mantra of tourism officials statewide that savvy marketing alone is responsible for record visitation and spending in the last two years.

While the state’s “Come to Life” ad campaign is certainly successful, surveys in October and November of potential summertime visitors who were exposed to the state’s tourism ads revealed that the marijuana laws influenced vacation decisions nearly 49 percent of the time.

“I think it is rearing its head as a significant travel and tourism amenity for visitors coming to Colorado,” said Al White, who retired as boss of the Colorado Tourism Office in August and now serves on the board of a cannabis tourism company.

Trudeau’s Victory Could Be A Major Boon To Canada’s Marijuana Industry

CANADA: Justin Trudeau’s historic Liberal victory could be a big win for Canadian’s medical marijuana industry as Trudeau’s previous pledge to “legalize and regulate” could increase a burgeoning sector of the country’s economy.

With the announcement of the new Liberal government late Monday evening, stocks for Canada’s top three medical marijuana producers increased sharply Tuesday.

Canopy Growth Corp. was up 11 per cent to $2.43, Aphria Inc. rose 5.3 per cent to $1 and Mettrum Health Corp. gained 7.6 per cent to $1.98, according to Bloomberg.

EXCLUSIVE MJNN Q&A With Bruce Barcott, Author: Weed The People. The Future Of Legal Marijuana In America

By David Rheins

MJNN: Your book Weed the People is a NY Times bestseller, and you recently authored a cover story about Marijuana for Time Magazine. Why has the mainstream media finally started paying attention to cannabis?

BB: The mainstream media is paying attention to cannabis because it’s become a movement too big and too legitimate to ignore–and because guilt and shame are becoming decoupled from the subject.

This is no longer a story about a goofy little subculture. Marijuana legalization represents a major historical shift that’s taking place across America. The repercussions and opportunities are enormous, and they cut across politics, economics, medicine, race relations, social mores, and cultural expression. Nearly half the states allow some form of medical marijuana. 55 percent of Americans believe cannabis should be legal for adults 21 and older. The old reefer madness myths about marijuana have been replaced by peer-reviewed science–and that’s been critical in terms of serious mainstream coverage. Journalists (and their editors, and publishers) crave hard evidence. Thanks to the Internet, and especially medical research databases, that evidence is finally available.


Bruce Barcott will speak on Sept 10th at Marijuana in Washington: 18 Months Later

Bruce Barcott will speak on Sept 10th at Marijuana in Washington: 18 Months Later

As a writer who works in this area, though, I can tell you it’s still not easy to get a cannabis article published. The old taboos are fading, but they’re not completely gone. Editors don’t like assigning stories about cannabis, and few writers are eager to cover the issues. Why? Because everybody’s afraid of being typecast as the “stoner journalist.” Sanjay Gupta’s public about-face on cannabis two years ago was truly a watershed moment. When he said, “I was wrong” about medical marijuana, he opened the door for dozens of journalists to take cannabis seriously. I say dozens. It should be hundreds. One day soon it will be.

MJNN: What is the future of legal marijuana in America? How long before we see federal legalization?

BB: Marijuana prohibition will ultimately end like alcohol prohibition ended: with tortured language and a whimper. The federal government didn’t fully legalize booze in 1933. The language of the 21st Amendment actually prohibits the transport or use of intoxicating liquor in any state “in violation of the laws thereof,” which was a backward-ass way of getting the feds out of the prohibition business and allowing the states to set their own liquor laws.

I believe the same sort of thing will happen with marijuana. The feds will get out of the pot prohibition game and allow each state to handle its own business. But that won’t happen for years.

Between now and then, I think we’ll see a number of smaller bites at the apple. Banking reform will pass in the coming year, allowing financial institutions in legal states to work with state-licensed companies without fear of violating federal banking laws. The CARERS Act may not pass in its full clean version, but many of its parts — getting the DEA out of the dispensary-raiding business, allowing legitimate research to flourish — will find their way into law in the next two years.

Two years from now the entire West Coast will be state-legal. Ten years from now 20 states will allow legal, regulated cannabis. Twenty years from now nearly all states will. There may be some holdouts, just as there still are dry counties here and there. But legality will be normal.

MJNN: Will Pot play a major role in 2016 Presidential politics

BB: No.

Even among Republicans, the only candidates seriously pushing an old-school war on drugs marijuana crackdown are Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal. Their positions are giving those candidates no traction. A new poll just found that 64 percent of Iowa Republicans believe states should set their own marijuana laws. Those are Republicans. In Iowa.

So: I don’t think it will play a major role in the 2016 election. I think Presidential politics will play a major role in passing legalization measures, though. California’s ballot measure is aiming at Nov. 2016 precisely because younger voters turn out for Presidential elections, and not off-year elections.

MJNN: How is the rollout of legal marijuana in the Washington State going so far?

BB: It’s proceeding at a slow and cautious pace. That’s frustrating to a lot of people in the cannabis industry, I know. I often say Colorado has embraced legal marijuana; Washington State has allowed it. There are cultural and historical differences between the two states that account for that.

That caution has allowed us to avoid some of the trouble that Colorado’s caught. Colorado went through its early problems with edibles, for instance, which allowed Washington regulators to revise edible rules and perhaps avoid some of the same unfortunate outcomes. And it’s still very difficult to obtain basic banking services in Colorado, whereas Washington has at least a dozen credit unions and smaller banks willing to serve state-licensed clients. That happened because our rules are tougher, and they give the financial industry and its regulators more documentation and assurance.

Our first-year “two track” system, where we allowed both 502-licensed businesses and medical marijuana dispensaries, was a bit of a mess, but thankfully the state legislature sorted it out and we’re on our way to bringing the medical side under state regulation.

Our law is the beta version of cannabis legalization. We’re stuck with 1.0. Even Alison Holcomb, who wrote the law, has admitted that it wasn’t written as the perfect law; it was written to be as good as possible while still giving it a chance to actually pass.

The Liquor and Cannabis Board, and the state legislature, continually bring out little tweaks and upgrades, but they’re more like 1.1.2, and 1.1.3, rather than 2.0. I had hoped that other states would learn from our experience and craft far superior laws–but watching what’s going on in Ohio right now, I’m realizing that may not always be the case.

MJNN: What will your message be to the event’s audience of cannabis attorneys, investors and business people? 

BB: Be open, and be nimble and flexible.

Be open about entering the business and working with clients in the cannabis space. By that I mean talk about it. Talk about it to colleagues, to friends, to neighbors, to relatives, to ministers and rabbis and priests. Talk to your cat about it. Bore people. There is still entirely too much stigma attached to this vegetable matter and the people who work with it. I’ve found that when it comes to cannabis legalization, the most powerful weapon is conversation. Talking about it, calmly and rationally and without embarrassment, disarms people. It opens their mind. Eventually it may change their mind.

Be flexible, because this industry, its rules and politics and people, changes ridiculously fast. Your foundational product might be banned next week by a tiny little change in an LCB regulation. Roll with it. Change now. A year ago I wrote about a handful of women in the cannabis industry who were making inroads in a dude-dominated business. Two days ago Newsweek ran a cover story wondering if marijuana will be the first billion-dollar industry run by women. This is an industry being invented every day, and that invention happens fast.