Tag: Industry

In a Milestone Vote, ASTM Welcomes the Cannabis Industry

In a historic vote earlier today, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) board of directors approved a proposal to allow the cannabis industry to begin the process of ASTM standardization. The vote allows the ASTM to oversee the creation of industry-wide standards in all aspects of cannabis production, processing, testing and sales.

In the absence of federal regulations, ASTM standards could build in a new level of industry certainty and consumer assurance.

In most medical marijuana states today, the cannabis available to patients exists in an environment not unlike most medicine in the days before the federal Pure Food & Drug Act. Or in other words, industry-wide standards around quality control don’t really exist.

For more than 100 years, the ASTM has never had a standard for cannabis. Until now.

Here’s one illustration. A 2015 survey of medical cannabis products from California and Washington state published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that only 17% of the products tested were accurately labeled for THC content. Most products—60%—were over-labeled (contained less THC than advertised).

That sort of variable consistency was once the norm in American enterprise. For most of the 19th century, products ranging from patent remedies to railroad track steel came with wide variability, depending on manufacturer and batch. In 1898 a determined group of engineers founded the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to create collaboratively determined, voluntary consensus standards for the steel industry. Many other industries followed. Today ASTM committees create standards for more than 12,000 products worldwide.

In its more than 100-year history, the ASTM has never produced a standard having to do with cannabis.

That changed earlier today.

Three Years in the Works

That’s great news for Lezli Engelking, founder and executive chair of FOCUS (Foundation of Cannabis United Standards), a not-for-profit organization that initiated its own cannabis standardization project in 2014. Engelking came to cannabis from the pharmaceutical industry, and immediately saw the need for formalized standards while executive director at Bloom Phoenix, the Arizona medical cannabis dispensary.

lezli-englekingFOCUS founder Lezli Engleking

Now a member of ASTM International, Engelking initially fought resistance to standardization from her own professional peers. “When I first talked about standards back in 2014, I felt like I had a target on my back, because everyone thought I was pushing for more regulation,” she recalls. She countered those concerns by pointing to the National Technology Transfer and Investment Act of 1996, which directs federal agencies to use cooperatively drafted standards when developing their own regulations.

When industry leaders pro-actively create standards by consensus, Engelking says, it allows an industry to shape its own destiny. “I knew that the federal government wasn’t involved yet, but soon enough they would be. This is a system that works well for [government agencies]. They already use it in multiple other situations… my goal wasn’t to get federal regulation changed right away, but as things progressed we would have a system [in place] that worked.”

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Growing Interest

ASTM’s public interest in the cannabis space stretches back to a speech given by its current Cannabis Committee Chairman, Dr. Ralph M. Paroli, at a metrology conference held by NCSL International last July. But Paroli says ASTM has received a number of requests for cannabis standardization since 2005. After a preliminary organizational meeting held in Washington, DC, in February, ASTM officials announced seven different subcommittees for the larger cannabis committee. They are:

  • Indoor and Outdoor Horticulture and Agriculture
  • Quality Management Systems; Laboratory
  • Processing and Handling
  • Security and Transportation
  • Personnel Training/Assessment/Credentialing
  • Executive and Terminology

“They are not industry-specific. That could change as different stakeholder groups decide to engage more deeply,” stresses Paroli. “The process is really driven by those who engage, and that group continues to grow since the February 28th meeting.”

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How Will This Affect Existing Brands?

ASTM’s call for industry stakeholders to participate lands within an industry previously cut off from long-established certification brands, notably USDA Organic. Rushing into the vacuum are certification programs such as Clean Green and FOCUS’s’ for-profit certification body. In addition, specialist certification bodies have also engaged with the industry. The Orthodox Union made headlines when it certified Vireo Health’s extract products as kosher for the New York market. And Demeter USA, prime designator of the uber-organic “biodynamic” standard prized by oenophiles, has certified a handful of American cannabis farms since Bay Area collective HerbaBuena premiered the produce for the medical market in 2015.

While the arrival of ASTM may render other standardization marks obsolete, Jim Fullmer, co-director of Demeter USA, says those alternative measures of standardization may survive if they serve the unique needs of a particular community. “We’re philosophy-driven,” he says. “Biodynamic for any crop, always has been and always will be kind of a niche and it’s not for every farmer, that’s for sure. So we’ll always be what we are, cannabis or otherwise.”

Ultimately, all the standards in the world mean little without the entire industry’s commitment to them—and without real consequences for those who transgress them.

That’s where self-regulation comes in. In post-Prohibition Nebraska, for instance, the Nebraska Brewers and Beer Distributors Committee withheld product from unsavory operators for flagrant code violations, a model quickly adopted by other states when developing their own liquor control models.

‘Having standards is not enough. Having the industry’s buy-in is critical.’

Leslie Bocskor, President, Electrum Partners

Leslie Bocskor, president of the cannabis business consultancy Electrum Partners, labored on organizing just such an endeavor for a number of years. He recently pulled back from that effort in order to concentrate his energy on federal cannabis policy. But Bocskor still possesses a clear vision of the organization that should put teeth into whatever standards ASTM develops: “Having the standards is not enough,” he says. “Having the [self-regulatory] body that have the buy-in of the industry is key, is critical… It will have to be a not-for-profit, I imagine. And it’s going to have to be funded through donations, at first. Until that happens, nothing will happen.”

Bocskor does admit we’re only at the “pregame show” stage. The next phase is tentatively slated for mid-June in Toronto. Paroli gives the range of an eventual ETA for professional standards somewhere between six months to two years. The speed of adoption is based on the members’ commitment and level of need.

The result, Engelking says, will put the industry another step away from the chaotic frontier. “What ASTM and this movement does is say to the cannabis industry, ‘Look, time to wake up. You gotta do things right, or you’re not going to be around.’”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Register Today for the Cannabis Health Summit

This article is sponsored by Green Flower Media. Green Flower’s mission is to help you learn everything about cannabis today by working with the world’s top cannabis experts to create easy-to-understand courses, classes, videos, and more!


It can be very confusing stepping into the world of cannabis as medicine. The plant and its benefits are extremely nuanced, the experience is truly unique for every individual, and on top of that we’re learning about new applications for cannabis every day.

To help you gain a better understanding, the team at Green Flower is bringing back the Cannabis Health Summit for 2017. This virtual, live-streaming event is presented online from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST) on May 6 and 7, and gives you a chance to learn everything you want to know about cannabis and health from some of the world’s top cannabis experts.

Presented like the TEDtalks for cannabis, the Cannabis Health Summit is a free two-day event that will give you expert guidance from some of the industry’s top authorities on a variety of cannabis topics. Session themes range from discussions like “What’s Exciting About Modern Cannabis Today” with Steve DeAngelo of Harborside Health Center to “The Incredible History of Medical Cannabis” with Dr. David Bearman MD and everything in between.

The Cannabis Health Summit is an exciting presentation designed to share knowledge. Attending the summit is as easy as registering today and tuning into the live-stream event here on Leafly. By registering you’ll gain access to a personal library of cannabis resources to access any time you want that will help you navigate the world of medicinal cannabis.

This year’s speakers include:

  • Steve DeAngelo – What’s Exciting About Modern Cannabis Today
  • Jeffrey Raber – Understanding the Chemical Compounds in Cannabis
  • Dr Allan Frankel MD – How to Legitimize Cannabis as Medicine
  • Paul Armentano – Is Cannabis Safe? Here’s What the Research Says
  • Eugene Monroe, Eben Britton, Bas Rutten – Why Cannabis for Athletes Is a Big Deal
  • Andy Williams – Cannabis Research: Past, Present, and Future
  • Dr. Dustin Sulak – How to Use Cannabis Without Impairment
  • Cotyln Turner – This 17-Year Old Boy Cured His Crohn’s With Cannabis
  • Muffy Montemayor – The Pluses and Minuses of Each Delivery Method
  • Dr. David Bearman MD – The Incredible History of Medical Cannabis
  • Mel Frank, Kyle Kushman, Patrick Murphey – How to Grow the Highest-Quality Clean Cannabis
  • Gay Hendricks – How This NYT Bestselling Author Creates on Cannabis
  • Gary Richter and Rob Silver – Cannabis for Pets
  • Maya Elisabeth, Dahlia Mertens, Didi Davis – Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Topicals
  • Mara Gordon – How to Find Your Ideal Dose When Self-Medicating
  • Chris Boucher, Morris Beegle, Ari Sherman,– The Game-Changing Potential of Hemp
  • Jeff The 420 Chef – How to Make Light-Tasting Canna-Butter
  • Alison Ettel, David Hargett, Mike Clemmons – Understanding Cannabis Extraction Methods and Concentrates
  • Samantha Miller, Ben Cassiday – Terpenes: Unlock the Hidden Potential of Cannabis
  • Robyn Lawrence – How to Manage Your Dose When Cooking With Cannabis
  • Dr Malik Burnett M.D. – How Your Endocannabinoid System Interacts With Cannabis
  • Josh Wurzer – Why the Same Strain Can Impact People Differently
  • Joel Stanley, Tim Gordon – How CBD Will Change the World
  • Dr. Janice Knox MD, Dr. Jessica Knox MD, Dr. Rachel Knox MD – This Family of Cannabis MD’s Will Answer Your Cannabis Questions
  • Dr Genester Wilson King – Why Our Aging Population Is Turning to Cannabis
  • And more!

(Note: Speakers and topics may be subject to change.)

Register for the Cannabis Health Summit today!

Once you are registered, come right back here at 9 a.m. (PST) on Saturday, May 6th to stream the event live, right here on Leafly.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Will Online Sales Kill the Cannabis Dispensary?

Will legal cannabis soon be as easy as point, click, and wait by the door for the delivery guy?

Online shopping is a future that many in the adult-use industry are eager to embrace.

That’s a scenario being pushed in an intriguing new report by VolteFace, a UK drug policy think tank. Though focused mainly on the United Kingdom, where popular pressure is building for legalization, the report makes a fairly compelling case for the “virtualizing” of the global cannabis business—where all products are ordered online and delivered directly to the consumer, without the inefficiency or social risks of a bricks-and-mortar shop. Report author Mike Power, the UK journalist who wrote Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That’s Changing How the World Gets High, writes that it’s the only sensible future for mega markets like Canada and the United States.

Power writes: “A controlled and regulated online market is both essential and long overdue in order to protect users from the risks of the illicit market; to limit access to younger users; to offer safer products and increase consumer choice; to develop less harmful products and safer routes of administration; and to control marketing and advertising in any eventual legal context.”

A digital-only cannabis market, he adds, “would protect children, and limit their access to cannabis, but allows adults to make their own informed health choices.”

Already Working: Eaze, Tweed, and Others

It’s a compelling vision for the future of cannabis, to be sure. Beyond the element of convenience, such a digital-only marketplace does seem to address many of the concerns that regulators have, in everything from product safety to more efficient tax collection.

More to the point, it’s a future that much of the cannabis marketplace itself is also quite eager to embrace.

In California, for example, online delivery platforms like Eaze already offer tightly controlled app-based ordering and direct-to-your-door delivery for medical cannabis, and are anxious to expand the service to adult-use cannabis, which state voters approved last year. In the Eaze model, the company is simply a branded intermediary that coordinates deliveries from local dispensaries via a fleet of Uber-like drivers.

In Canada, meanwhile, players such as Tweed Mainstreet have created vast mail-order systems whose massive inventory and short delivery times are almost Amazonian in their efficiency and scope.

Constrained For Now, But Not For Long

True, these early movers in the virtualization space face constraints. Eaze, for example, is currently allowed to work only in California. Tweed is, of course, limited to Canada. But investors who have poured millions of dollars into these players clearly believe that the virtualization model can readily expand into other states and, eventually, to the continent as a whole.

‘It’s a matter of flipping a switch. We can expand tomorrow.’

Keith McCarty, former CEO of Eaze

“We can scale extremely fast,” Keith McCarty, then CEO of Eaze, explained to Cannainsider last year. That’s true in part because the company is itself largely virtual: its delivery network is built on top of the existing retail and wholesale networks that are already in place in a given market area. “For us it’s really just a matter of flipping on a switch,” McCarty said. “We can expand tomorrow.”

These app enabled delivery-dispensary partnerships may well be just the first stage in a much larger transformation of the cannabis end-user experience. Given how rapidly the other segments of the cannabis industry, most notably production, are being disrupted by business models centered on scale volumes and technology-driven cost reductions, it seems inevitable that the retail side will also be transformed. Just as bricks-and-mortar retailing has been decimated by an online model that offers low-cost two-day delivery, so, too, the huge network of dispensaries that has followed legalization and decriminalization may itself be but a stage in the cannabis industry’s accelerating evolution.

Amazon Cannabis Prime? Not So Fast.

Not that we’ll be seeing cannabis offered as part of Amazon Prime any time soon. No doubt much of the cannabis trade will eventually migrate from the physical market into the virtual one, particularly in product areas, such as low-cost edibles, that are more and more like commodities. But it’s far from clear how far this transformation will go, or how long it will take.

Virtualization is already a reality in Canada’s medical marijuana market, where patients click-through their purchases and receive medicine in the mail. But it’s a different story in the United States. Even before the election of Donald Trump, online entrepreneurs faced a market that was fragmented among cannabis-friendly and unfriendly states, and even among pro- and anti- local governments within states. That’s hardly the best environment for the emergence of an Amazon-esque cannabis company.

Since the appointment of Trump’s cannabis-loathing attorney general, Jeff Sessions, even first movers in the virtualization space seem to be reassessing their expansion plans. As Jim Patterson, Eaze’s new CEO, told The San Jose Mercury News last month, “I think what a lot of people are doing is waiting and seeing.”

More fundamentally, the virtualization model makes some assumptions about the existing cannabis retail segment that may not bear out entirely. The VolteFace report, for example, assumes that physical dispensaries are so problematic socially (magnets for “antisocial behavior…. public consumption and intoxication”)  that consumers will abandon them as soon as a virtual option is available. Yet given the way many new, higher-end dispensaries are emphasizing a rich consumer experience, with experts on hand to assist in selection, and spa-like ambience—it’s hardly clear that the bricks-and-mortar cannabis model is going extinct tomorrow.

To the contrary, just as independent bookstores have made a comeback from an assumed Amazon-led extinction—in part by offering a hands-on, in person experience that is simply unavailable online—there is every reason to believe that some form of the bricks-and-mortar cannabis experience will survive even in the age of the virtual high.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Colorado Cannabis Industry Sets Sales Records in Early ’17

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s marijuana industry — one of the most mature in the nation — continues to thrive, posting record-setting sales figures through the first two months of 2017.

Combined sales of medical and recreational marijuana in January and February 2017 totaled over $235 million, up 30 percent from the same period in 2016, Marijuana Business Daily reported Monday.

It’s too soon to know if sales will continue at such a strong clip throughout the rest of 2017.

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While medical marijuana sales are up slightly in 2017, sales of recreational marijuana have increased substantially. January 2017 recreational sales were 38 percent higher compared to January 2016, while February 2017 recreational sales were a whopping 48 percent above those in February 2016.

Wholesale prices in mid-January 2017 were down 33% in Colorado versus mid-January 2016.

In fact, February 2017 ranks as the second-highest monthly total for recreational marijuana sales in the Colorado program’s history, falling just short of the $88.2 million sold in September 2016.

The sales figures are especially striking because they come amid a time of historically low wholesale marijuana prices, meaning that a 48 percent increase in sales represents an even larger increase in consumption.

According to Cannabis Benchmarks — which tracks marijuana prices — wholesale marijuana prices in mid-January 2017 were down 33 percent in Colorado versus mid-January 2016.

Generally speaking, two market forces fuel rising sales: Increased spending by existing users and new consumers entering the market.

In Colorado, it’s likely a mixture of both.

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Considering the Trump administration’s relatively unfriendly stance toward recreational marijuana, it’s conceivable that more out-of-state visitors are visiting Colorado to stock up on product that may no longer be available in the coming months.

This phenomenon has been on full display in the firearms industry. Gun sales spiked during the Obama administration when many believed their Second Amendment rights were being threatened. But since president Trump took office and the perceived threat has subsided, firearm sales have sharply declined.

And while marijuana retailers aren’t passing 100 percent of the savings realized by the lower cost of wholesale marijuana on to their customers, retail prices are facing downward pressure — as dispensary and recreational store owners in especially competitive markets such as Denver have more room to compete on price.

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For consumers who have stuck to their black-market dealers, lower prices may have persuaded some to finally make the transition to the legal side of the industry.

For consumers already purchasing marijuana legally from a recreational store or dispensary, lower prices may be encouraging increased consumption.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

It’s Showtime for 420 Toronto Impresario Chris Goodwin

Thousands will pack a public square in the heart of Canada’s biggest city today for its annual cannabis festival, 420 Toronto. The 11th annual smoke-out starts at around noon and will feature live music, more than two dozen vendors, food trucks, speakers such as Abi Roach and Marc Emery and, of course, the ceremonial smoking of the joints at 4:20 p.m.

Coming just one week after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government tabled legislation legalizing marijuana, the mood in Yonge-Dundas Square is expected to be especially jubilant.

‘So long as they treat us as second class citizens, we will respond with civil disobedience.’

Chris Goodwin, 420 Toronto Festival Director

But the man at the center of it all won’t be rejoicing.

Chris Goodwin, who organized Toronto’s first 420 celebration ten years ago, isn’t actively opposing the Liberal government’s proposal. But he’s not tossing roses in Trudeau’s direction either.

Goodwin says there’s much more work to be done to ensure that cannabis is fully accepted in Canada —  “normalized” in his words. “So long as [authorities] continue to treat the cannabis culture as second class citizens, we will respond with civil disobedience,” he says. “I can be relentless.”

 A Teenage Entrepreneur

April 11, 2010. Christopher Goodwin smokes cannabis outside police headquarters on College St. to protest a recent raid on their medical marijuana club. (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star/Getty Images)April 11, 2010. Christopher Goodwin smokes cannabis outside police headquarters on College St. to protest a medical marijuana raid. (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star/Getty Images)

A few weeks before the legislation was tabled, Goodwin sat down for a conversation with Leafly at a coffee shop in downtown Toronto. He was dressed casually, in jeans and a baggy top, but he was all business. Less than a minute into the conversation it was clear that he’s clear-thinking, motivated, and dedicated to a cause he believes in.

Goodwin’s first business venture: Selling candles to mask the smell of cannabis.

The 36-year-old Canadian traces his interest in cannabis back to his days as a high school student in Hamilton, Ontario, a port city 38 miles southwest of Toronto. That’s when he started smoking marijuana and using scented candles to cover the pungent smell.

Aware that countless other teenagers were doing the same thing, the 15-year-old student saw a business opportunity. He started a company that sold scented candles to variety stores around the city. Within two years, the business had contracts with thousands of stores. Goodwin and his partners sold the business to the Canadian Candle Company — and the budding entrepreneur never looked back.

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In 2003, he opened a cannabis cafe in Hamilton called Up in Smoke. In addition to offering bong rentals, rolling trays and other wares, the cafe had a private membership-based vapor lounge replete with leather couches.

In a stroke of genius, he created rolling papers with an image of future Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In 2007, he moved to Toronto and opened Vapor Central, a cannabis smoking lounge. In a stroke of retail genius, he created rolling papers bearing an image of future Prime Minister Justin Trudeau smoking a joint — and sold more than 100 packs within 36 hours.

In January 2016, he his wife Erin opened Good Weeds, a cannabis lounge and dispensary in the east end of Toronto. It sold cannabis flower, resin, and extracts that could be used in vaporizers at the cafe.

Later that year the couple took over a franchise of Cannabis Culture, a national chain of marijuana dispensaries owned by Marc and Jodie Emery, Canada’s “Prince and Princess of Pot.”

Arrested More Than a Dozen Times

JUNE 23: Police removed marijuana and cannabis oil following a raid where three people were arrested at Cannabis Culture on Queen Street West in Toronto Thursday afternoon. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)June 23, 2016. Police removed marijuana and cannabis oil following a raid where three people were arrested at Cannabis Culture on Queen Street West in Toronto. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star/Getty Images)

Goodwin has dealt with a lot of adversity on his path as an entrepreneur — and not in the form of poor sales or personnel problems. We’re talking about arrest and incarceration.

His businesses have been raided repeatedly, and he has been arrested 14 times, not including the time the cops showed up at his door after his mother called them, allegedly to ask for advice on what to do about her pot-smoking teenager. He has faced dozens of charges and spent time behind bars, including one stretch of six months.

During the three years that Up in Smoke was open, for example, police paid the cafe hundreds of visits and raided it four times. Goodwin faced a series of criminal charges and ended up being sentenced to $3,000 in fines and jail time.

A few weeks after Good Weeds opened its doors in 2016, police raided it and arrested Goodwin. The next day the shop reopened as a lounge where customers had to bring their own cannabis.

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Last month Goodwin’s Cannabis Culture franchise in downtown Toronto was raided as part of Project Gator, a sweeping series of raids by the Toronto police. He and Erin were arrested and charged with a number of offenses, including trafficking and conspiracy. The Goodwins and three others who were charged — including Marc and Jodie Emery — were released on $30,000 bail with instructions not to have contact with each other, with drugs, or the dispensaries. They were also prohibited from leaving the province.

The arrests have never upset Goodwin. Quite the opposite.

“[Cannabis activist] David Malmo-Levine says it’s better to get arrested in public with the cameras rolling than in the middle of the night when no one is looking,” he says. “The attention is good. It’s earned media for the cause.”

Inspired by Jack Herer

Chris and Erin Goodwin (Courtesy of Cannabis Culture)

Goodwin’s dedication to civil disobedience can be traced back to the 1990s, when he read the book The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Author Jack Herer focused on the war on drugs in the United States, arguing that it was a fraud, and examined its roots in the reefer madness era of the 1930s. Emboldened by Herer’s work, Goodwin started on his own journey as an activist.

Six months later, Goodwin organized his first 420 event in Hamilton. A few dozen people showed up. He got arrested but wasn’t deterred; he continued to organize the annual event and moved it to Toronto when he took up residence there.

The Start of Something Big

April 20, 2016: Hundreds attend the 420 Toronto cannabis rally at Yonge-Dundas Square.

In 2007, he held the first 420 smoke out in Yonge-Dundas Square. Only about 100 people marched through the streets and into the square that year.

The event grew steadily, though, and finally hit the big time in 2013, when a man named Bob Erb won $25 million in a lottery and used some of it to bankroll 4/20 events across Canada.

Erb gave $15,000 to Toronto organizers, who used it to stage a celebration that featured live bands, stand-up comedy, and rousing speeches by marijuana activists. For the first time ever, the city actually issued Goodwin a permit.

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A number of politicians, government officials, and even some law enforcement agencies are coming around to Goodwin’s way of thinking on cannabis. It’s still a fight, though, and one that Goodwin is eager to continue taking to his opponents.

“Jodie [Emery] has cited an adage that says the oppressor never gives up voluntarily. Change has to be demanded by the oppressed,” he says before taking the final sip of his hot chocolate. “Authorities aren’t going to change the status quo on their own initiative. They have to be pressured.”

420 Toronto: Thursday, April 20, in Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto. Festivities begin at noon, culminating in the ceremonial joint lighting at 4:20pm, and wrapping up around 7pm. This is the final year for the festival at Yonge-Dundas Square; it’s reportedly moving to a new location in 2018. The event is free.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

What Are Hügels and Why Are They All Over Instagram?

There’s no shortage of cannabis porn on Instagram. But what’s with the elaborate piles of dirt?

The post What Are Hügels and Why Are They All Over Instagram? appeared first on Leafly.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

18 Best California Cannabis Delivery Services

For patients who have turned to cannabis to relieve their ailments, the thought of having to travel to a dispensary to pick up their medicine may not be very appealing — especially for those suffering from chronic pain or those without access to convenient transportation. Delivery services to the rescue! The convenience of deliverable cannabis has caused the market for these services to boom.

To make your search for quality companies a little easier, we’ve outlined some of the best cannabis delivery services in the state of California below, started with statewide delivery services and then ordering them generally from South to North. Don’t see your favorite delivery service on the list? Tell us about them in the comments!

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Call for delivery: (855) GanjaGo (855-426-5246)

Serving: Statewide

With overnight shipping, patients don’t have to wait long for their next round of medicine. Based in San Diego, this nonprofit collective also offers ten dollars off your first order — tell them Leafly sent you!

Call for delivery: (844) 811-1822

Serving: Statewide

With complimentary gift bags handed out to new customers, Harvest Bloom knows all about customer care and convenience. Call them up or visit getharvestbloom.com to place an order for same-day delivery in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, or next-day delivery anywhere in the state.

Call for delivery: (855) 554-2652

Serving: Statewide

Not only does Ganjarunner stock quality bud, they also offer one of the best first time patient gift bags we’ve come across. If you’re a newbie making an order you can expect to receive a bamboo rolling board, BIC lighter, a grinder, one top shelf joint, a glass pipe, and a house-made edible along with your cannabis purchase!

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Call for delivery: (888) 623-6045

Serving: San Diego area (including Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, Encinitas, San Marcos, Del Mar, Fallbrook, Escondido) and Orange County area (including Laguna Beach, San Clemente, Dana Point, Irvine, Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Lake Forest, Laguna Niguel, Newport Beach, San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo, Huntington Beach)

Speed and quality are two big factors for Blue Bird Delivery, which serves the greater San Diego and Orange County areas. You can expect your order within 30–90 minutes (depending on traffic), and all new patients receive a free glass pipe! Their offers are constantly updating, so keep an eye out for deals and steals.

Call for delivery: (619) 606-4788

Serving: San Diego, Poway, Rancho, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Cardiff, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Los Angeles (premium members), San Francisco (premium members)

Worldwideweed is one of the few services that offer 24-hour delivery. If you’re in the mood for some green at three in the morning, this is who to call.

Call for delivery: (760) 453-5848

Serving: Oceanside, Fallbrook, Vista, Carlsbad

Based in Oceanside, Carpe Diem boasts some of the lowest prices for deliveries in the area. They even tell their customers that if another collective lists a name-brand product for less, they’ll match that price.

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Call for delivery: LA — (323) 435-6558 | Coachella Valley — (760) 266-7333

Serving: Los Angeles and Coachella Valley areas

Place your order during business hours and Air Budz offers free delivery on all purchases. They also offer a lifetime discount of $10 off every order if you leave a review on Leafly!

Call for delivery: (323) 813-6420

Serving: Los Angeles area

Greenly proudly claims they are the most technologically up-to-date service in the industry. They offer online sign-ups and GPS tracking of their cars so you can follow your purchase all the way to your door.

Call for delivery: (844) 437-2213

Serving: Los Angeles

HERB appreciates their new customers, so all first-time patients receive a free top shelf gram, free edible, free HERB lighter, free stickers, and free delivery! It’s hard to turn down such a great deal from a great company.

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Call for delivery: (626) 420-5330

Serving: Downtown Los Angeles

Metro likes to make things fun with the addition of a 50mg fortune cookie edible to every order. Customers love to crack them open to see if they’ve won a deal or prize. It’s like the prize at the bottom of a cereal box, except switch out all the cereal with cannabis and the prize is even more cannabis. What’s not to like?

Call for delivery: (530) 646-7357

Serving: Ventura, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Oak View, Santa Paula, Camarillo, Ojai, Fillmore, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks

With hundreds of loyal customers, Green Bee Collective truly looks out for their patients in and around their hometown of Ventura. They offer quality herb with a money-back guarantee and ultra-fast delivery.

Call for delivery: (760) 981-4112

Serving: High Desert area, including Hesperia

With convenient morning hours (they open at 8:00 a.m. seven days a week), early birds love MMEC. Check out their Leafly page for daily deals, and visit their website to learn something new through their Online Education Program.

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Call for delivery: (888) 344-2019

Serving: San Mateo and the Bay Area

Customers of Natural Green ReLeaf gush about their amazing customer service. They boast top quality care and top quality bud, and first time patients enjoy ten dollars off their first order.

Visit for delivery: www.eaze.com

Serving: Bay Area from San Francisco to Santa Clara

Eaze has enjoyed frequent press since their launch thanks to their streamlined user experience, and they’re going strong in the Bay Area. First time customers are offered $60 worth of free delivery ($20 off your first three orders) — a very worthy incentive.

Call for delivery: (415) 550-1515

Serving: San Francisco

A mystery token of appreciation is included in every delivery made by Purple Star MD. They also offer complimentary deliveries for orders placed between 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. seven days a week.

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Call for delivery: (866) 622-6684

Serving: Oakland, Piedmont, Berkeley, Alameda, Albany, El Cerrito, San Leandro, Castro Valley, San Francisco, Emeryville

First time patients receive 25% off their first delivery orders at Cannvis, and text updates on deliveries make this service a reliable and convenient choice.

Call for delivery: (510) 692-1716

Serving: Berkeley, Oakland, Walnut Creek, Richmond, El Cerrito, Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette, Concord, Hercules, Martinez, Pinole, and beyond

Yerba offers the convenience of scheduling your deliveries right when you want them (otherwise, you can still expect your product within an hour). Their knowledgeable staff is highly praised by Leafly reviewers, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions when calling them up.

Call for delivery: (925) 705-0831

Serving: Concord, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Bay Point, Pittsburg, Antioch, Oakley, Brentwood, Martinez, Pleasant Hill

Thankfully, this family-run collective in the East Bay doesn’t keep it all in the family. They also gainfully employ military veterans and offer three free pre-rolls for first time patients.

Editor’s note: This content is designed to provide helpful information for educational purposes only, and Leafly does not condone the delivery, purchase, possession, or consumption of cannabis in contravention of state or local laws. Always research state and local regulations before purchasing from a delivery service.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Surprising New Poll Finds Cannabis Stigma Declining

As more US states continue to legalize cannabis – and Canada prepares to end prohibition nationwide – social attitudes are also evolving. A new Yahoo News/Marist poll posted earlier this week found that the stigmas that have shadowed cannabis for years are starting to die out. Support for medical and adult use legalization continues to climb (80% for medical, 49% for adult use), and one in four Americans are looking to invest in federally-legal cannabis companies. The poll also found some interesting behavior among cannabis consumers. 86% have used cannabis at a party or social event with friends – not exactly shocking. But did you figure 16% would consume before a religious service? 20% before a funeral? Interesting…

The Yahoo/Marist poll surveyed 1,122 adults in the United States, and was conducted in March 2017.

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There seems to be overwhelming support across the United States to legalize medicinal marijuana. But support drops when people are asked whether cannabis should be legal for all adults.

At What Age Did You Get ‘The Talk’?

Of the respondents who had consumed cannabis, at what age did they first consume? And what age do they feel is appropriate for a first try? The survey found some curious results.

Question Age (Years)
What age do you think someone is old enough to make a decision about whether or not to use cannabis? 19.5
How old were you the first time you tried marijuana? 17.9
About how old was your child when you first spoke to them about cannabis?
( Asked of parents who talked to children about marijuana )
12.5
About how old were you when your parents first spoke to you about cannabis?
( Asked of adults whose parents talked to them about marijana )
13.6

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A Matter of Respect

Here’s a question we hadn’t thought of before: What would you do if you found out your child’s teacher consumed cannabis in their personal life outside of work? Would you lose respect for that person? Or would the consumption of cannabis not make a difference?

Are You In or Are You Out?

This is a question that we get here at Leafly nearly every day: Should I invest in a cannabis company? The Yahoo/Marist poll found that a little more than one-quarter of the American public wants to get in on the market – but only once it’s federally legal.

Making Your Drunk Uncle Bearable

And it appears that the surge in cannabis sales in the week prior to Thanksgiving may be no myth. More than half of all cannabis consumers say they’ve enjoyed the product prior to a family function. Stress reduction. We get it. But what about experience enhancement? Yahoo/Marist has that angle covered as well: 68% of consumers have enjoyed cannabis before sex.

Where and Why do Cannabis Users Consume
86% of users have used cannabis during a party or social event with friends.
78% have used cannabis before a social event with friends.
68% have used cannabis before having sex.
54% have used cannabis before a family function.
29%, have used cannabis before test.
20% say they have used cannabis before a funeral.
16% have used cannabis before a religious service.
37% say they use cannabis to relax.
19% use cannabis to relieve pain.
16% use cannabis for fun.

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Could Synthetic Cannabinoids Topple Australia’s Cannabis Market?

Australian cannabis stocks are hot right now, soaring on the back of reforms that will allow companies to cultivate medical cannabis in the country. Growers and investors are ecstatic, but already a challenger is looming: synthetic cannabinoids, produced in a laboratory, which threaten to make traditional growing methods a thing of the past in the pharmaceutical industry.

Last year, Arizona-based drugmaker Insys Therapeutics donated $500,000 to fight the campaign to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state. But it wasn’t because the company’s chiefs are teetotalers. As the campaign was raging, Insys received US Food and Drug Administration approval for a lab-synthesized version of THC, in a drug called Syndros. Last month the DEA classified Syndros as a Schedule II drug—despite the fact that natural THC remains at Schedule I, more tightly controlled than opium or cocaine.

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While Insys wasn’t the first drugmaker to synthesize cannabinoids, its message exemplifies the pharmaceutical industry’s approach: Cannabis is bad, except when we’re selling it to you. (The company is currently making headlines for for paying “speakers fees” to doctors who have had their licenses suspended for overprescribing Insys’s fentanyl spray in the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic.)

What does all this mean for Australia’s cannabis market? One potential problem for Aussie growers and patients is that the country’s legislative framework around cannabis is focused on growing living plants and processing them into medicines. If global pharmaceutical companies can create and import equivalent medicines—effectively sidestepping Australia’s onerous, expensive cannabis regulations—the future of a national industry could be jeopardized.

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That’s not to say Australia couldn’t jumpstart a synthetic-cannabinoid industry of its own. Botanix Pharma, a small Australian company, is betting on just that. The company is using synthetic CBD to develop possible medicines for skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis. Synthesizing CBD is important to ensure product purity, the company has said.

It’s not only growers who are dubious of synthetic cannabinoids, however. Proponents of whole plant medicine point to what’s known as the entourage effect, the notion that the array of compounds in cannabis complement one another and are more effective than a single cannabinoid taken alone. The entourage effect got a boost from a much-cited 2015 study out of Israel, and it continues to fascinate researchers. More than 20 studies have been published on the topic this year alone.

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We’re still a long way from fully understanding the complex, subtle interactions of the many  compounds in cannabis that act singly and in concert on our bodies. At this stage, even champions of the entourage effect tend to focus on interactions between small numbers of cannabinoids. The wide array of cannabinoids, and the possible combinations thereof, mean much more research is needed.

The clash between synthetic and whole-plant medical cannabis is an old one. Now the stage is set for it to play out Down Under. And while for now the focus is on medicine, there’s no reason why synthetic cannabis couldn’t one day replace adult-use products, too.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

California Cannabis Farmers Insist on Driving Their Own Trucks; Here’s Why

The California craft beer industry is worth upwards of $7 billion, and with approximately 750 breweries, the state is home to more brew operations than any other in the country. Now, the Golden State’s cannabis contingent is hoping to follow suit, with many industry leaders emphasizing the importance–and frankly, rights to–self-distribution.

For California growers to emulate the craft beer model, ‘they must be allowed to distribute’ their own product.

Gavin Kogan, Co-founder of Grupo Flor

“For California to grow and to emulate its craft beer and wine models, small operators need to be able to distribute,” said Gavin Kogan, co-founder of real estate operation Grupo Flor.

Kogan’s Salinas-based “family” of companies control 2.5-million-square-feet of property in Monterey County that’s already permitted for cannabis businesses, and helps tenants access legal, financial and agricultural resources to build out their business. Cannabis ventures are a lot like craft breweries, said Kogan, in that successful entrepreneurs in both industries have built their brands on personal relationships – and hustle. Craft brewer Ballast Point, for example, wouldn’t be where they are today (purchased two years ago for $1 billion) if they had been forced to use a third-party mass distributor like Coors, said Kogan. Coors won’t go to bat for the little guy, he explained, and instead simply pushes the larger products and brands that already sell.

“They create the monopolistic market,” said Kogan.

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The Teamsters Have Other Ideas

Critics of the self-distribution model (namely, the Teamsters) have said the exact opposite. They claim it’s this vertically integrated system that results in monopolies.

“It’s quite conceivable that the entire market can be owned by someone who also controls distribution and access to the market,” longtime Teamsters lobbyist Barry Broad told the Sacramento Bee. “It’s a big problem.”

The debate over distribution is an integral part of the controversy that emerged earlier this month after California Gov. Jerry Brown released a proposal merging regulations for the recreational and medicinal marijuana industries. Citing the importance of protecting consumer safety, safeguarding local control over the industry and ensuring businesses comply with California’s environmental laws, Brown’s proposed guidelines are intended to reduce confusion and “duplicative costs.”

Although medical regulations slated to take effect in January would restrict the type and number of licenses cannabis businesses can acquire, Brown’s proposal lands on the side of the voter-approved Prop. 64, aka the Adult Use Marijuana Act (AUMA), which has no restrictions on how many licenses a business can hold. The only caveat is for testing facilities, which must operate independently of any other business.

“Overly restrictive vertical integration stifles new business models and does not enhance public and consumer safety,” the proposal states. “AUMA has restrictions to protect against the over concentration of licenses in areas as well as monopolies.”

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Delivery Control Drives Reliability

Cannabis businesses currently have the option to self-distribute, and many have built their brands and reputations because of it.

‘If they took the right of self-distribution away I’d have to divest myself of half my business.’

Kenny Morrison, Founder, VCC Brands

Kenny Morrison, owner of edibles company VCC Brands, said he landed a lot of business through his own self-promotion. He was reliable. He showed up with the products he promised, while his competitors didn’t. He wouldn’t have controlled those defining factors if he had been forced to contract with a third-party distributor.

“If they took that right [self-distribution] away I’d have to divest myself of half my business,” said Morrison. “I’d have a lot of employees out of job.”

Morrison founded VCC (previously the Venice Cookie Company) in Venice, Calif. in 2008. Today VCC is a statewide edibles operation. Last September, Morrison founded the California Cannabis Manufacturers Association (CCMA). Members now include industry veterans like Gavin Kogan and large manufacturers like Jetty Extracts, Kiva, and Cheeba Chews.

As president of the CCMA, Morrison wrote a letter to the state legislature in February that pointed out the pitfalls of the “three-tiered” system modeled after alcohol. (In that system, manufacturing, distribution, and retail sales are all handled by separate companies.) Supporters of the three-tiered system say it helped stop the consolidation of “Big Alcohol” and helped eliminate the black market following the end of alcohol prohibition. But many of the reasons for its success are antiquated, said Morrison.

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For one, it was pre-internet: California’s cannabis industry will have access to a high-tech tracking system that uses advanced software, GPS, vehicle monitoring and more to ensure products stay within the state and end up where they’re supposed to go. Wayward cannabis flower in a Ziploc bag may be hard to trace back to the source. But California edibles companies spend so much on packaging and branding that it’s pretty easy to tell where a product originated.

And, it’s really a basic issue of principal.

“If you don’t trust me to distribute my products, why the hell should you trust me to manufacture them?” said Morrison.

Third-Party Drivers Led to Big Alcohol

Look no further than the existing liquor industry to see the pitfalls of third-party distribution, said Morrison. Spirit companies are required to use an outside distributor. As a result, large booze brands dominate the market. Distributors get paid on volume, he said, so if takes the same amount of time to get two stores to carry a new brand, versus landing an established company in more than 1,000 stories, it’s a no-brainer where the distributor will focus its effort.

It’d be a “slap in the face,” Kogan said, for the people who founded the industry to be forced to hand over their trade secrets to an outside distributor who doesn’t understand the micro-climates of California’s industry. Overall, the cannabis field still faces a lot of growing pains, he said, and like many states that have gone before it, it’s bound to overregulate and over-tax before eventually easing restrictions.

If the cannabis industry can be said to have a lifespan, we’re currently at the gawky, awkward middle school phase.

“We’re sort of at the pimply-faced teenager [stage] right now,” said Kogan.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.