Jeff Sessions Departure Hold Promise for Strong Cannabis Strategies

Jeff Sessions Departure Hold Promise for Strong Cannabis Strategies

State ballots and the departure of Jeff Sessions have led to fresh confidence in the cannabis sector.

  • The cannabis industry is going through a period of huge growth.
  • Two states recently voted to legalize medical cannabis and one voted to legalize recreational cannabis.
  • The departure of Jeff Sessions removes a significant block for the industry.
  • A variety of strategies—some focused on product and others on support services—are emerging to make the most of this market.

Cannabis companies are in a jubilant mood following the results of last week’s events in American politics. At the polls, two states voted to legalize medical cannabis while another voted to permit its recreational use. Though Congress lost several pro-cannabis Republicans, a majority for the Democrats, America’s less conservative party, is a good omen for reform. And with President Trump’s sacking of Jeff Sessions, the country is now rid of a staunchly anti-cannabis attorney general.

This opens the way for companies with strong cannabis strategies to make bold moves in the coming year. From entering new states to producing fresh product lines, the options for growth and development are many.  A few key considerations define the strategies of the current cannabis players.

Choosing which states to operate in is an important consideration for American cannabis companies. Although it is widely anticipated to change, cannabis currently remains illegal at a federal level, and it is only through state-level initiatives that the market has been allowed to emerge. Cultivation and retail effectively operate on a statewide scale at best, so looking at where a state stands now and where it is likely to go in the future is vital to making savvy business decisions.

Arizona, where Generation Alpha recently acquired cultivation and processing facilities, provides a useful example of how local conditions shape the market. The state made medical cannabis legal in 2010. Despite a closely fought vote, opponents of cannabis have failed to overturn or limit the market despite ongoing campaigns. The state’s supreme court even overturned a rule keeping medical cannabis off college campuses. Arizona’s medical cannabis market seems secure.

In 2016, an attempt to legalize recreational cannabis in the state failed by a narrow margin. Medical legalization faced a similar setback in 2002, only eight years before passing. As recent generations are generally more liberal toward cannabis than their elders, it is likely that a similar pattern will play out for recreational cannabis, with a successful vote almost inevitable. Companies that have become established under the medical licensing laws will be in a strong position to make the most of this.

“We are excited about this opportunity in Arizona and its growth and profitability potential,” said Generation Alpha CEO Alan Lien. “We are pleased to have partners such as Future Farm Technologies and Yorkville Advisors to collaborate and support the build-out and growth of this facility. Our collective experience and knowledge in cannabis will position this Arizona operation for success. We are excited to commence Phase 1 of the development and construction of our state-of-the-art cultivation and processing facility and look forward to many additional opportunities in the cannabis industry.”

The next few years promise solid growth for the cannabis industry in North America. Even before this month’s political upheavals, analysts projected that the $9 billion industry would grow to $47.3 billion by 2027.

The fallout from the mid-terms means that investors can be even more confident about what happens next. The forced resignation of Jeff Sessions removes one of the biggest obstacles to growth for the cannabis industry in the United States. Sessions, a staunch opponent of cannabis, had rescinded the Obama-era memo committing federal law enforcement to non-intervention in state-level cannabis industries. With him gone, cannabis shares rose as businesses and investors looked forward to a more tolerant regime.

This won’t mean an end to campaigning for MedMen Enterprises, Inc. (CSE: MMEN) (OTCQX: MMNFF), the largest financial supporter of progressive marijuana laws, but it does mean that the company’s campaigning efforts are more likely to pay off, creating space for expansion of its cultivation and retail business. The company already operates 19 facilities in four states and has recently announced the addition of a fifth, through a move into Arizona. Despite the limitations created by federal laws, MedMen is showing that cannabis companies can operate on an inter-state level.

Darlene Mea is a long-standing media personality in the world of alternative everything. Since the early 1980s she has been involved in television, radio, print and multi-media. She represents all things natural, sustainable and life-promoting and has dedicated her life to going beyond the status quo message of being told what’s good for us, to providing options for a more holistic lifestyle. Since discovering the world of Hemp in early 2015 she has been on a mission to inform everyone on how to become involved in this exciting natural product that continues to revolutionize the world of health, beauty and design.

Hemp: Just the Facts

Hemp: Just the Facts

Hemp Facts that’ll open your mind!!!

Prepared by the North American Industrial Hemp Council, October 1997

*Hemp has been grown for at least the last 12,000 years for fiber (textiles and paper) and food. It has been effectively prohibited in the United States since the 1950s.

*George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper.

*When US sources of “Manila hemp” (not true hemp) was cut off by the Japanese in WWII, the US Army and US Department of Agriculture promoted the “Hemp for Victory” campaign to grow hemp in the US.

*Because of its importance for sails (the word “canvass” is rooted in “cannabis”) and rope for ships, hemp was a required crop in the American colonies.

INDUSTRY FACTS

*Henry Ford experimented with hemp to build car bodies. He wanted to build and fuel cars from farm products.

*BMW is experimenting with hemp materials in automobiles as part of an effort to make cars more recyclable.

*Much of the bird seed sold in the US has hemp seed (it’s sterilized before importation), the hulls of which contain about 25% protein.

*Hemp oil once greased machines. Most paints, resins, shellacs, and varnishes used to be made out of linseed (from flax) and hemp oils.

*Rudolph Diesel designed his engine to run on hemp oil.

*Kimberly Clark (on the Fortune 500) has a mill in France which produces hemp paper preferred for bibles because it lasts a very long time and doesn’t yellow.

*Construction products such as medium density fiber board, oriented strand board, and even beams, studs and posts could be made out of hemp. Because of hemp’s long fibers, the products will be stronger and/or lighter than those made from wood.

*The products that can be made from hemp number over 25,000.

SCIENTIFIC FACTS

*Industrial hemp and marijuana are both classified by taxonomists as Cannabis sativa, a species with hundreds of varieties. C. sativa is a member of the mulberry family. Industrial hemp is bred to maximize fiber, seed and/or oil, while marijuana varieties seek to maximize THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).

*While industrial hemp and marijuana may look somewhat alike to an untrained eye, an easily trained eye can easily distinguish the difference.

*Industrial hemp has a THC content of between 0.05 and 1%. Marijuana has a THC content of 3% to 20%. To receive a standard psychoactive dose would require a person to power-smoke 10-12 hemp cigarettes over an extremely short period of time. The large volume and high temperature of vapor, gas and smoke would be almost impossible for a person to withstand.

*If hemp does pollinate any nearby marijuana, genetically, the result will always be lower-THC marijuana, not higher-THC hemp. If hemp is grown outdoors, marijuana will not be grown close by to avoid producing lower-grade marijuana.

*Hemp fibers are longer, stronger, more absorbent and more mildew-resistant than cotton.

*Fabrics made of at least one-half hemp block the sun’s UV rays more effectively than other fabrics.

*Many of the varieties of hemp that were grown in North America have been lost. Seed banks weren’t maintained. New genetic breeding will be necessary using both foreign and domestic “ditchweed,” strains of hemp that went feral after cultivation ended. Various state national guard units often spend their weekends trying to eradicate this hemp, in the mistaken belief they are helping stop drug use.

*A 1938 Popular Mechanics described hemp as a “New Billion Dollar Crop.” That’s back when a billion was real money.

*Hemp can be made in to a variety of fabrics, including linen quality.

LEGAL FACTS

*The US Drug Enforcement Agency classifies all C. sativa varieties as “marijuana.” While it is theoretically possible to get permission from the government to grow hemp, DEA would require that the field be secured by fence, razor wire, dogs, guards, and lights, making it cost-prohibitive.

*The US State Department must certify each year that a foreign nation is cooperating in the war on drugs. The European Union subsidizes its farmers to grow industrial hemp. Those nations are not on this list, because the State Department can tell the difference between hemp and marijuana.

*Hemp was grown commercially (with increasing governmental interference) in the United States until the 1950s. It was doomed by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which placed an extremely high tax on marijuana and made it effectively impossible to grow industrial hemp. While Congress expressly expected the continued production of industrial hemp, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics lumped industrial hemp with marijuana, as it’s successor the US Drug Enforcement Administration, does to this day.

*Over 30 industrialized democracies do distinguish hemp from marijuana. International treaties regarding marijuana make an exception for industrial hemp.

*Canada now again allows the growing of hemp.

ECOLOGY FACTS

* Hemp growers can not hide marijuana plants in their fields. Marijuana is grown widely spaced to maximize leaves. Hemp is grown in tightly-spaced rows to maximize stalk and is usually harvested before it goes to seed.

*Hemp can be made into fine quality paper. The long fibers in hemp allow such paper to be recycled several times more than wood-based paper.

*Because of its low lignin content, hemp can be pulped using less chemicals than with wood. Its natural brightness can obviate the need to use chlorine bleach, which means no extremely toxic dioxin being dumped into streams. A kinder and gentler chemistry using hydrogen peroxide rather than chlorine dixoide is possible with hemp fibers.

*Hemp grows well in a variety of climates and soil types. It is naturally resistant to most pests, precluding the need for pesticides. It grows tightly spaced, out-competing any weeds, so herbicides are not necessary. It also leaves a weed-free field for a following crop.

*Hemp can displace cotton which is usually grown with massive amounts of chemicals harmful to people and the environment. 50% of all the world’s pesticides are sprayed on cotton.

*Hemp can displace wood fiber and save forests for watershed, wildlife habitat, recreation and oxygen production, carbon sequestration (reduces global warming), and other values.

*Hemp can yield 3-8 dry tons of fiber per acre. This is four times what an average forest can yield.

 

HEALTH FACTS

*If one tried to ingest enough industrial hemp to get ‘a buzz’, it would be the equivalent of taking 2-3 doses of a high-fiber laxative.

*At a volume level of 81%, hemp oil is the richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (the “good” fats). It’s quite high in some essential amino acids, including gamma linoleic acid (GLA), a very rare nutrient also found in mother’s milk.

*While the original “gruel” was made of hemp seed meal, hemp oil and seed can be made into tasty and nutritional products.

Prepared by the North American Industrial Hemp Council, October 1997

 

 

 

Darlene Mea is a long-standing media personality in the world of alternative everything. Since the early 1980s she has been involved in television, radio, print and multi-media. She represents all things natural, sustainable and life-promoting and has dedicated her life to going beyond the status quo message of being told what’s good for us, to providing options for a more holistic lifestyle. Since discovering the world of Hemp in early 2015 she has been on a mission to inform everyone on how to become involved in this exciting natural product that continues to revolutionize the world of health, beauty and design.

Latest Farm Bill Developments Hold Out Hope for Hemp Farmers

Latest Farm Bill Developments Hold Out Hope for Hemp Farmers

After years of wrangling, the U.S. Congress stands on the verge of legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp.

  • Hemp is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant that doesn’t generate a psychoactive effect.
  • Traditionally used to produce cloth and rope, hemp can also now be used in wellness products and food.
  • Competing legislations by the House and Senate are being aligned with an anticipated September 30 deadline.
  • The legalization of hemp has cross-party support and appears likely to pass.

The expected change in U.S. law will be beneficial for companies such as Marijuana Company of America, Inc. MCOA, -3.94% (MCOA Profile), which is already invested in industrial hemp and support for hemp growers. Across the border, Canopy Growth Corp.CGC, -11.77% has established acres of Canadian hemp cultivation and gained financial backing that would support huge growth. Aurora Cannabis, Inc. ACBFF has also received substantial funding in the past few months, which will help its ongoing expansion effort. Hemp cultivation will provide plentiful CBD to be used by companies such as CV Sciences, Inc. CVSI, -0.95% as an ingredient in a wide and growing range of health and wellness products. All this growth is aided by support companies such as Terra Tech Corp.TRTC, +0.19% which provides equipment for cannabis cultivators.

Hemp: Caught Between Politics and Business 

Industrial hemp is a crop with a strange history in the United States. For centuries, it was used to produce products such as ropes and sails, playing an integral part in the economy. This ended in the twentieth century when hemp was caught up in a broad ban on the cannabis family of plants, despite the fact that hemp itself is not usable as a recreational drug. Now its tentative return depends upon the outcome of a far broader agricultural bill.

Because it doesn’t share the psychoactive properties of marijuana, hemp has potential to be regulated and grown separately. Early tests in restoring this industry have produced significant profits for farmers. If the political will can be found to change its status, it could create great opportunities for businesses and their suppliers.

Hemp Cultivation Project in the United States

Several companies, including Marijuana Company of America (OTC:MCOA), are already growing hemp in the United States with their Scio, Oregon Cultivation Project, in conjunction with their joint venture partner Global Hemp Group Inc.

Under their high-yielding CBD hemp cultivation projects, the two joint venture partners have formed Covered Bridge Acres, LTD. The key to the project was the acquisition of a 109-acre agricultural property in Scio, Oregon, with a history of hemp cultivation over the past few years. In July 2018, 40,000 hemp clones were planted on the property for Cannabidiol (CBD) propagation on approximately 33 acres of the property.

MCOA and GHG are now in the process of evaluating different harvesting, drying, storage and processing strategies in preparation of an early October harvest. The joint venture partners are also in negotiations with guaranteed offtake agreement offers and are considering strategies involved with selling the attained biomass from harvest in bulk. When Is a Drug Not a Drug?

Hemp is one of a range of different cannabis plants. Unlike the versions smoked by recreational users, it doesn’t contain significant quantities of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that gets smokers high. It does contain the active ingredient cannabidiol (CBD), which has been widely reported to have medicinal value – reports that now have been substantiated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Importantly, hemp also contains fibers that can be used for a wide range of purposes.

In the twentieth century, cannabis plants were banned as the U.S. government and others worldwide cracked down on drug use. Though hemp doesn’t get drug users high, the governments apparently banned the cannabis plant because of the difficulty of distinguishing between the plant varieties. The decision to include hemp in a list of banned drugs was based on political expediency rather than science.

Fast forward to the twenty-first century and the rules surrounding hemp have started to change, allowing the creation of companies such as MCOA. Hemp has a huge number of potential uses, including the manufacture of cloth and paper and the processing of food. Under licenses designed to cater to research and the medical market, farmers have begun growing industrial hemp with expectations of earning up to 150 times as much money per acre of land as they would growing alfalfaThe Great Agricultural Debate

Farm bills are an important part of how the U.S. government establishes policy around food and agricultural production and how that policy is enshrined in law. Roughly every five years, Congress creates a bill covering a wide range of agricultural topics. With its huge financial implications and many different political angles, passing the bill can be a messy business.

Following a pilot research program for hemp growers created in the 2014 Farm Bill, the current Farm Bill includes the legalization of industrial hemp. There’s a lot at stake for hemp growers as well as those hoping to enter and establish a foothold in the industry. The U.S. Hemp Roundtable has gone so far as to hire attorney Daniel Cameron, an experienced Washington legal counsel, to lead its advocacy on the bill.

The House and Senate have both passed versions of the 2018 Farm Bill that support the legalization of the hemp industry without drug enforcement oversight. On Sept. 5, the first bicameral conference committee on this Farm Bill began meeting in an attempt to resolve competing elements between the two bills, with a deadline to present the president with an agreed-on final version of the bill by the end of the month. The good news for companies such as MCOA is that the hemp element of the Farm Bill has cross-party support. Hemp’s potential to revive the fortunes of American farmers makes it a potential vote-winner for rural politicians nervously eyeing up the polls. The bad news is that in a bill affecting everything from agricultural subsidies to environmental conservation to food stamps, there’s plenty for politicians to disagree over.

Hemp Products

Sail cloth and rigging were enough to make hemp profitable in the eighteenth century, but the world has changed since then. So what sort of products can the world expect to see from a resurgent hemp market?

Many products will undoubtedly be targeted towards the health and wellness market, using CBD as an active ingredient. A leading example of these types of products is MCOA’s hempSMART line, including hempSMART Brain, which is developed to help with alertness and concentration; hempSMART Pain Capsules and Pain Cream, formulated to be an effective product combination for the temporary relief of minor pain associated with physical activity; hempSMART Full Spectrum Drops; and hempSMART Face, a nourishing facial moisturizer infused with Ayurvedic herbs and botancials.

A Growing Industry

Many companies already engaged in the cannabis market are exploring ways they may be able to benefit from the growing popularity of hemp. Canopy Growth Corp. CGC, -11.77%one of Canada’s foremost cannabis companies, has a hemp division with expertise in this area and acres of hemp production already under way. The company also recently received a $4 billion investment from Constellation Brands, a leading beverage company, to help it expand within the fast-growing cannabis market. With such levels of investment, Canopy Growth will be in a strong position to increase production as the market for hemp products grows.

The medical use of CBD is a major area of interest for Aurora Cannabis, Inc. (otcqx:ACBFF), which is developing different strains of cannabis to benefit from their different medical properties. Like Canopy Growth, Aurora has an eye to expansion while the market is still young. Its recent takeover of MedReleaf appears to be just one step in a far bigger plan. The company has just taken out a $150 million loan with the Bank of Montreal, betting on the power of a short-term financial boost to make it a market leader, more than capable of repaying the debt when the time comes.

Another company exploring the medical potential of CBD is CV Sciences, Inc. (otcqb:CVSI). CV Sciences has a strong focus on research, with a division devoted to developing new drugs that use CBD as an active ingredient. Its consumer products division works through health care providers, health food shops and online sales to market CBD-based wellness products.

The increasing number of growers is good news for supporting companies such as Terra Tech Corp. (otcqx:TRTC). Terra Tech produces growing systems – including moving tables and hydroponics – for cannabis farmers. These products are designed to increase the productivity of indoor cannabis cultivation, which is where a lot of CBD and marijuana plants are grown. The company’s environmentally friendly systems can reduce waste and thereby cut costs while also increasing productivity.

The anticipated changes in the U.S. laws governing hemp cultivation signal implications for a large number of companies in the wider cannabis sector as well. If the Farm Bill gets through Congress as expected this month, it could open up a sea change in agricultural production and U.S. wellness industry products.

Darlene Mea is a long-standing media personality in the world of alternative everything. Since the early 1980s she has been involved in television, radio, print and multi-media. She represents all things natural, sustainable and life-promoting and has dedicated her life to going beyond the status quo message of being told what’s good for us, to providing options for a more holistic lifestyle. Since discovering the world of Hemp in early 2015 she has been on a mission to inform everyone on how to become involved in this exciting natural product that continues to revolutionize the world of health, beauty and design.

What’s New Under the California Hemp Farming Bill?

What’s New Under the California Hemp Farming Bill?

Approved by Governor September 30, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State on September 30, 2018.

We want to believe this is going to create progress for Hemp farming in Calif. According to Bruce Perlowin of Hemp Inc. Hemp Inc applauds California’s commitment to agriculture, industrial hemp specifically, with the passing of SB 1409. The new bill, which will go into effect on January 1, 2019, removes the previous requirement that industrial hemp seed cultivators be certified on or before January 1, 2013, finally opening the door for new cultivators to enter the market.

This will “unleash a dramatic expansion of hemp farming and hemp businesses” in the nation’s largest state and as a global leader in the industrial hemp industry, with the largest multipurpose industrial hemp processing facility in the western hemisphere, Hemp, Inc. stands to gain an enormous amount of business opportunities in the Golden State. “This Bill will finally allow farmers in California to partake in this lucrative industry on a broad scale and I applaud Governor Jerry Brown for taking the proactive steps necessary to facilitate the growth of California’s industrial hemp industry,” said Hemp, Inc. CEO, Bruce Perlowin.

“The immense opportunity represented by the state’s world-class economy combined with its ideal growing conditions is sure to convince many farmers to switch to hemp. Our new west-coast hemp processing facility in Medford, Oregon, stands to be an excellent resource for all of the new farmers entering the industry as laws continue to evolve. We are also continuing to scout new locations across the country to open additional hemp processing centers.”

Under the bill, “industrial hemp” would no longer be defined in the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act as a fiber or oilseed crop. The bill would delete the requirement that industrial hemp be grown as a densely planted fiber or oilseed crop. By modifying the characterization of a crop for which AUMA sets a minimum acreage, the bill would amend AUMA. The bill would also delete the requirement that an application for registration includes information about whether a seed cultivar is being grown for its grain or fiber, or as a dual purpose crop.

Read the full legislation in the Legislative Counsel’s Digest

Darlene Mea is a long-standing media personality in the world of alternative everything. Since the early 1980s she has been involved in television, radio, print and multi-media. She represents all things natural, sustainable and life-promoting and has dedicated her life to going beyond the status quo message of being told what’s good for us, to providing options for a more holistic lifestyle. Since discovering the world of Hemp in early 2015 she has been on a mission to inform everyone on how to become involved in this exciting natural product that continues to revolutionize the world of health, beauty and design.

United Nations Declaration Backs Cannabis For Rural Development

United Nations Declaration Backs Cannabis For Rural Development

This post was originally published on HempToday

The United Nations has adopted a declaration that binds countries to “respect and protect rural needs,” aiming to “incentivize rural policies that include cannabis in their development strategies.”

The Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas is intended to shift cannabis-related discussions out of a “counter-narcotics approach and mindset,” according to a statement by FAAAT (For Alternative Approaches to Addiction), a think tank. It aims to assist countries in making decisions that will advance development of innovative policies and new market perspectives, FAAAT said.

Legacy Cannabis Producers

The declaration is particularly intended to guide policymaking in developing countries with a rich history of cannabis cultivation, in places like Morocco, South Africa and India where rural producers have been the main cannabis cultivators and have suffered disproportionately from global cannabis prohibition; even the UN Development Program has admitted that vulnerable groups such as peasant farmers have suffered most.

“The right to cultivate cannabis plants in the areas where its cultivation is ancestral is recognized and protected by the different international texts protecting indigenous peoples’ traditions,” FAAAT noted.

Policy Conference Set

The declaration comes in advance of the International Cannabis Policy Conference, Dec. 8-9 in Vienna. The conference is the final global meeting before the UN session on drug policy next March during which new Cannabis Treaty scheduling and a 2019-2029 plan of action will be voted by the respective countries.

The declaration was originally proposed by Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador and South Africa, and is co-sponsored by Algeria, El Salvador, Egypt, Haiti, Kenya, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Philippines, Togo, Venezuela and the State of Palestine. Switzerland also supported the document in the negotiations.

Source: https://hemptoday.net/un-cannabis-declaration/

Darlene Mea is a long-standing media personality in the world of alternative everything. Since the early 1980s she has been involved in television, radio, print and multi-media. She represents all things natural, sustainable and life-promoting and has dedicated her life to going beyond the status quo message of being told what’s good for us, to providing options for a more holistic lifestyle. Since discovering the world of Hemp in early 2015 she has been on a mission to inform everyone on how to become involved in this exciting natural product that continues to revolutionize the world of health, beauty and design.