Posted on 2 Comments

The Cannabis Industry Is Changing

In examining the current state of the cannabis market, it is clear the use of artificial intelligence technology is not a passing trend but a real opportunity to provide solutions to a pressing market need.

Imagine that you have a day-by-day record of how your plants are reacting to all the different inputs (environmental conditions, nutrient feed, pH, CO2, light spectrum, etc.) and your software is now making millions of calculations to draw insights on what is making a difference to your output. The output may be yield, energy consumption, labor cost, etc., but it may also be modeling what will happen if you change your way of growing.

The access to a vast amount of data, allows growers to optimize for environmental changes and variables and can even change the strain of the product. Growers can even adapt to what CBD or THC levels that they want and change the genetic makeup to consistently produce the types of strains that sell best.

The Medical Cannabis market alone offers more than 30,000 different Marijuana strains, each used to treat a different set of symptoms and concerns. This creates a big confusion both at the buyer side and the dispatcher end. With so many strains available, the purchaser is often at a loss as to which one is best for their specific needs or condition. Artificial Intelligence is useful in using existing data from studies and peer-reviewed journals to match symptoms and ailments to one of the strains available.

Cannabis in everyday items

Innovators are taking up the gauntlet to cultivate this versatile plant for a medley of biodegradable materials including plastic polymersbuilding productsfabricswoodbiofuelpaper and even car components.

It’s not new. The fiber from industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) has been used for thousands of years to make paper, rope, cloth and fuel.

Hemp is a weed, so it grows prolifically with little water and no pesticides. It takes up relatively little space, produces more pulp per acre than trees, and is biodegradable. Hemp crops even give back by returning nutrients to the soil and sequestering carbon dioxide.

Morris Beegle, co-founder and president of WAFBA (We Are For Better Alternatives) is a staunch advocate of industrial hemp.

Beegle set up his hemp company in 2012 and then launched the NoCo Hemp Expo, which has grown to be the largest in the world.

With a merchandising company called TreeFreeHemp, Beegle produces a vast array of custom products including paper, business cards, flyers, posters, CD and DVD sleeves and more. Drawing from his background in the music industry, he even produces boutique, custom-made guitars, using hemp for the body, straps, picks and volume knobs.

Currently, there are less than a million acres of hemp growing across the planet. Beegle sees this starting to grow exponentially over the next five to 20 years. “I don’t think there’s any way to stop it now.”

The silly CBD products

Sellers around the world are careful not to claim any specific medical benefits for the CBD products because of a lack of clinical evidence, so they are instead marketed as food supplements.

The new CBD products include; CBD water, to cooking or massage oils, pills, chewing gum, transdermal patches, pessaries, gin, beer and lube. The crown for silliest CBD product of the year, however, belongs indisputably to the CBD-infused pillowcases sold by one hopeful firm of US fabric-makers. 

There is now no denying the medicinal value of CBD and THC – not even by several European governments, which for years maintained that lie even as it rubberstamped the cultivation and export of the world’s largest medicinal cannabis crop.

In many cases, the CBD industry is taking consumers for a ride. Lab tests have analysed high-street offerings and found that more than half of the most popular CBD oils sold do not contain the level of CBD promised on the label. And a look at the label of those products shows that many are sold at such low concentrations that even the guesstimated doses, measured in drops, cannot deliver more than a scant few milligrammes of the active ingredient – whereas medical trials use many times more.

Scientists and politicians are, thankfully, catching up with hundreds of years of folk wisdom: it’s not news to anyone who regularly smokes a spliff that cannabis is relaxing, or that it can help you sleep far more soundly than a glass of red wine, or improve your mood. The interplay between THC, CBD, and the hundreds of other active compounds in the cannabis plant could one day be isolated, identified, tested and proven to offer symptomatic help or even a cure for dozens of life-threatening conditions. But decades of pointless prohibition based on specious moral arguments have prevented proper medical research that could have benefited millions.

Posted on Leave a comment

Cannabis Sales Could Reach $15 Billion Globally This Year

Industry insiders are forecasting that global cannabis sales could total $14.9 billion in 2019, up 36% from 2018, according to a new report released Thursday.

The surge of CBD products coupled with Canada starting legal recreational cannabis sales in 2018 helped to buoy the industry’s growth, according to the report published by the market research arm of cannabis investment firm Arcview Group and data firm BDS Analytics.

The seventh edition of the report — like publications Arcview published previously — includes a calculated gaze into the crystal ball, projecting industry sales. Arcview and BDS’ latest expectations are that cannabis sales in dispensaries, retail stores and pharmacies will hit $44.8 billion globally by 2024.

“North America will almost certainly continue producing the lion’s share of legal spending, particularly as more U.S. markets transition from medical-only access for a limited pool to full legalization with sales open to all legal adults,” Tom Adams, managing director of industry intelligence at BDS Analytics, wrote in the report.

Posted on Leave a comment

China Believes Marijuana Legalization Is A ‘Threat’

Beijing’s leading drug enforcement body has blamed the legalization of marijuana in Canada and parts of the United States for a spike in the amount of drugs smuggled into the country, describing it as a “new threat to China.”

“In two years, we have found increasing cannabis trafficked from North America to China,” Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, said Monday at a press conference, according to CNN.

China severely punishes those caught smuggling or trafficking drugs, including foreigners. Anyone found with more than 50 grams (1.76 ounces) of a controlled substance can face the death penalty.

China has stepped up its efforts to combat the sale of illegal drugs in recent years. Authorities in major cities, including Beijing, have been known to carry out spot drug tests at bars and nightclubs in a bid to clamp down on recreational drug use.The move puts it at odds with North America, where cannabis has increasing levels of social acceptance.

Canada last year became the second country to fully legalize marijuana. In the U.S., marijuana is currently legal for recreational use in 10 states. An eleventh state – Illinois – recently passed a legalization bill that will take effect next year. More than 30 U.S. states have medical marijuana programs.

Cannabis isn’t the only drug which has caused divisions between the US and China. Washington has been trying for years to get Beijing to crack down on the country’s production and distribution of fentanyl, a deadly prescription drug which is devastating parts of the US.

Posted on Leave a comment

Colorado Has Made Over $1 Billion From Legal Marijuana Taxes

It’s a pretty extraordinary milestone, and an indicator of just how financially strong the legal marijuana market has become. The Colorado Department of Revenue says sales since legalization have topped $6.5 billion, generating $1.02 billion from taxes, licenses and fees. The state has more than 2,900 licensed marijuana businesses and more than 41,000 licensed workers in the industry.

“This industry is helping grow our economy by creating jobs and generating valuable revenue that is going towards preventing youth consumption, protecting public health and safety and investing in public school construction,” Governor Jared Polis said in a statement.

The Denver Post reports marijuana revenue funds a variety of public health programs, including mental health services, youth literacy initiatives and anti-bullying programs in schools. The tax revenue goes to state and local governments.

Colorado isn’t the only place cashing in on the hunger for legal weed. In 2018, marijuana business owners nationwide were projected to own a total of $2.8 billion in taxes to the federal government. As many as 300,000 people are predicted to be a part of the marijuana industry by 2020, and pot-related jobs from bud trimming to industry consulting can pay some pretty healthy green.

For Sal Pace, a former state representative and county commissioner in southern Colorado, as well as a longtime advocate of cannabis legalization in the state, these new financial numbers are vindicating.

“Think about it. That’s a billion dollars that was taken out of the pockets of the black market cartels and put towards communities,” Pace told Leafly. “This is pretty amazing; it surpassed all of our expectations.”