Tag: Industry

How to Get High in Las Vegas

Nov 15-17 brings the annual Marijuana Business Conference to Las Vegas. The huge cannabis industry convention is expected to draw 14,000 guests from all over the world. In advance of MJBizCon—and in celebration of Nevada’s freshly legal recreational cannabis market—Leafly presents a four-part series for cannabis fans ready to make the most of their time in town. 

Yes, Cannabis Really Is Legal Here

We now live in a world where you can visit the singular city of Las Vegas, Nevada, with all its glamour and gambling and world-class sensory delights, and in between the buffets and thrill rides and high-tech shows by pop superstars, you can stop by a store to purchase legal, sensory enhancing cannabis.

Cannabis may only be legally purchased by those 21 and up, who must show government-issued ID.

This pinch-me reality comes with clear boundaries. Cannabis may only be legally purchased by those 21 and up, who must show government-issued ID to enter one of the city’s several dozen retail cannabis stores. Once inside, customers may purchase up to one ounce of cannabis flower and 3.5 grams of cannabis concentrate, all of which is subject to a 10% retail excise tax. (Purchases by US medical patients are tax-exempt.)

Once purchased, cannabis may be legally transported in your car, but not across state lines, and it can’t be lit on fire. Smoking cannabis in a motor vehicle can result in a DUI charge, complete with jail time and a fine of up to $2000.

Tourists can buy cannabis everywhere but can smoke it almost nowhere.

So where can you smoke it? Unfortunately, Vegas doesn’t provide many options for tourists, who can buy cannabis everywhere but can smoke it almost nowhere.

At present in Las Vegas, it is only legal to imbibe cannabis in a private residence with the shades drawn. (Public consumption is banned, including consumption “exposed to public view.”) So, Vegas visitors lucky enough to know home-owning, cannabis-friendly vampires are in luck.

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The rest of us are on our own. A good percentage of hotels forbid smoking of any sort, while casinos, which abide by federal guidelines, forbid even possession of the federally prohibited substance. The handful of Vegas cannabis stores that make deliveries all make the same stipulation: No deliveries to casinos.

Here’s a fun way to remember where you can and cannot ingest cannabis in Las Vegas: Wherever alcoholic beverages are allowed—which in Vegas means the airport, casinos, plazas, and out on the streets and sidewalks—cannabis consumption is forbidden.

Public cannabis consumption could result in a $600 ticket. Thankfully, it appears police aren’t aggressively hunting offenders.

What’s more, public consumption of cannabis in Las Vegas could result in a $600 ticket. Thankfully, it appears the city’s police aren’t aggressively hunting offenders. As attorney Carlos Blumberg told Leafly in September, his law firm has seen no rise in the ticketing of tourists since adult-use legalization began on July 1.

But none of this helps tourists in possession of legal cannabis but lacking places to legally imbibe. If it’s any consolation, Las Vegas County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak feels our pain. “I’m very sympathetic to these people because they have no place to go to,” Sisolak told Leafly in September. “They’re purchasing product they can’t use anywhere and we’ve got to address this situation.”

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For now, there are a handful of cannabis-friendly AirBNBs not far off the Strip, and the promise of adults-only cannabis lounges in the future. (Legislation to establish such venues failed this spring but will be revisited in 2019.)

5 Tips for Getting Yourself Properly High in Vegas

1. Forgive the home-team plug, but for god’s sake use the Leafly app, which will tell you the location of the nearest dispensary down to a tenth of a mile. If you’re required to travel more than an eighth of a mile, drive or be driven. Vegas is infamous for its deceptive distances, and many attempted strolls to visibly nearby landmarks have turned into death marches of sweaty friends hallucinating their way toward an ever-receding mirage. I blame the heat, and the humongous scale of the place. As Drake will croon in a 2019 chart-topper, “Vegas is the place for Lyft.”

2. Shop around. Vegas’s retail cannabis scene is a mere 18 months old—essentially a still-morphing newborn—and the differences between the retail outlets should be celebrated. Among my most highly recommended offerings: Reef Dispensaries, perched at the tip of an industrial-block-filling warehouse grow-op (and a mere block and a half from the Erotic Heritage Museum!); Las Vegas ReLeaf, tucked in a Strip-adjacent shopping center across the street from the world’s largest gift shop; Sahara Wellness (beautifully appointed and open 7 am-1 am daily!); Oasis Cannabis (also beautifully appointed and opens 24 HOURS A DAY); the casual Blum (whose waiting room boasts a half-dozen mirror balls); and Essence, which recently opened an elegant outlet in the 15-miles-south-of-Vegas desert oasis of Henderson.

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3. This isn’t directly related to being high, but is instead a general quality-of-life directive: Unless you are someone who really loves casinos, consider staying at a non-casino hotel. Casinos are crowd-packed carnivals of excitement—which may not be what you want at the bottom of the elevator first thing in the morning.

4. Medical patients: Know that you will be well taken care of in Vegas, which maintains a firm distinction between recreational and medical cannabis. Dispensaries offer menus of high-dose medical products to patients that are off-limits to recreational users. (Maureen Dowd would no longer be capable of buying the medically-dosed candy bar that sent her beyond and back.) Just be sure to bring your home-state medical card and/or documentation.

5. Leave what remains behind. Only criminal dunces attempt to smuggle their purchased Vegas pleasures home with them. Yes, throwing away cannabis may seem to invalidate everything you ever knew about yourself, but the alternative is a possible high-drama bust that will at least ruin your trip and at most complicate the rest of your life. Be smart, and leave any and all surplus Vegas cannabis behind. To quote the beloved psalm, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

Next up: Being High in Vegas, which surveys the city’s cannabis-friendly entertainments.

Photo credit: LPETTET/iStock 


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.

Maryland Medical Marijuana Panel Director Resigning

BALTIMORE (AP) — The executive director of Maryland’s medical marijuana commission is resigning.

The panel announced Thursday that Patrick Jameson will resign, effective Nov. 30.

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Jameson says it’s been an honor to help sick people and launch a new lucrative industry in Maryland. He says the time has come for him to pursue other interests.

The commission is beginning a search for a new executive director. Jameson will assist with a transition plan. The commission says daily operations will continue as normal.

Maryland legalized medical marijuana in 2013. Delays have prevented patients from actually receiving the drug, but that could change soon. Licensed facilities may be able to distribute the drug by the end of the year or early next year.


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.

Freeze-Drying: From Crop to Cure in 24 Hours

In this four-part series, The Original Resinator and four partners discuss the equipment, support, and methods they use to produce pure and potent cannabis concentrates and extracts. Part 3 is sponsored by The Original Resinator, the largest capacity multi-use botanical extraction unit on the market, and CannaFreeze, a designer of freeze-drying units for the cannabis industry.

While cannabis concentrates and extracts are growing in popularity, flower continues to dominate the cannabis market. And as that market continues to grow, competition to have not just the best buds, but the best-looking ones, is heating up.

“When someone walks into a dispensary to look at flower, they want a bud that looks fresh,” says Rich DeLong. “No one wants to buy something that looks shrunken or desiccated.”

Trimmed cannabis buds. (Courtesy The Original Resinator)

DeLong knows a thing or two about keeping flowers looking fresh. As the founder and operator of Botanique Preservation Equipment, he has spent nearly three decades producing freeze-drying equipment that allows florists and other botanical professionals to preserve just about every flower or herb you might imagine.

Well, every flower and herb except one: cannabis. But following the legalization of medical marijuana in Arizona, where Botanique is headquartered, that changed.

Freeze-Drying Flowers

In the spring of 2017, a local grower came to DeLong with a question: could freeze-drying get a cannabis crop prepared for packaging? DeLong accepted a small batch of flower and ran it through the freeze-drying process. And it’s a good thing it was a small batch, he says now, because the result wasn’t great.

“That first round, we didn’t know what we were doing, and so we lost a lot of oils, minerals, and terpenes to the process,” DeLong admits.

Rather than backing away, though, he started revisiting some old notes on how to properly preserve sensitive plants like gardenias—flowers that are tricky to freeze-dry because the fragrant oils they produce are extremely volatile.

Fragile flowers like this gardenia offered insight into how to properly freeze-dry cannabis. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

These notes informed DeLong’s next swing at preserving cannabis buds, and the result was a rousing success—lab tests showed that the oil and terpene content of freeze-dried flowers was almost the same as that found in buds that had been left to hang-dry the old-fashioned way. And while it took DeLong’s colleagues as long as 18 days to hang-dry cannabis plants, the freeze-dried plants were preserved and ready for packaging in less than 24 hours.

Freeze-dried buds start out as fresh flowers, which are placed into an extremely cold chamber on a steel rack—a little like how you’d arrange frozen food before baking it on a cookie sheet. Sub-zero temperatures quickly freeze the flowers, transforming the water inside them to ice crystals. Once those crystals have formed, operators drop the pressure inside the freeze-dryer, creating a vacuum.

A freeze-dryer from CannaFreeze, customized for cannabis producers and processors. (Courtesy CannaFreeze)

The combination of low pressure and low temperature induces a phase change called sublimation, which turns a solid state of material (like an ice crystal) immediately into a gaseous state (like water vapor). That sublimated water vapor is pulled by the vacuum into a colder condensation unit. What’s left is a freeze-dried flower that retains its taste, color, and shape.

These improvements led DeLong to start a new company, CannaFreeze, developing freeze-drying units specifically for the cannabis industry. In these customized units, shelves are spaced just inches apart, allowing producers to fit more product into every load. They’re also programmable, so users can set a batch running and forget about it, and use the same combination of temperature and pressure again and again without resetting the machine every time.

Trimming with CO2

Freeze drying can help keep a pretty bud looking fine on the shelf, but producers have to bring good-looking buds to the table in the first place. Now, more and more producers and processors are finding that turning down the temperature can make trimming a lot simpler—and a lot faster.

A blast of liquid CO2 has helped the creators of The Original Resinator, Travis Arnovick and James Watts, harvest more kief from every load of material. But some innovative thinking has shown that the combination of cold temperatures and motion can also separate leaves and other by-product from cannabis buds easily and efficiently.

“The benefit of using CO2 is that it allows us to get the exterior of the leaves just brittle enough to fracture and fall from the flowers,” says Arnovick. “As opposed to the traditional eight hours per pound it takes to trim, we are now spending less than one hour, including the necessary prep time on the front end and a light cleanup on the back.”

Temperatures for a tumble trim don’t fall to the subcritical levels that help dislodge trichomes from buds. Instead, they stay a little warmer—about the same serving temperature as ice cream—allowing the buds to retain their integrity and potency while leaves and other chaff fall into the Resinator’s collection chamber. The result of this CO2-facilitated separation is whole bodied, high quality trim doesn’t contain plant particulates like chlorophyll and cellulose that can still be found in cannabis processed through a bladed trimmer.

Freshly harvested cannabis before and after a brief trim session in the Resinator. (Courtesy The Original Resinator)

“We have certificates of analysis from a series of five-pound flower lots,” says Arnovick. “Our testing shows a less-than-one percent total THC and CBD loss across the board in terms of trichome loss through our process, and we experience no changes to the vitality of bud or the terpene profile.”

Unlike other products, The Original Resinator’s introduction of CO2 to the trimming process makes it well-suited for trimming both live plant material and cannabis that’s already been through a traditional hang dry. Either way, the machine can process as much as a pound of material a minute. And these impressive speeds can be reached with minimal training or changes to existing workflows; to conduct a dry trim, processors just toss cured buds into the Resinator drum chamber instead of using hand trimmers.

Dried, outdoor-grown cannabis before and after a trimming run in the Resinator. (Courtesy The Original Resinator)

For processors looking to cure their product in a freeze-dryer, the Resinator can do a wet trim of live or uncured product quickly and efficiently. That makes it fast and easy to get a lot of material off the stem and into a freeze-dryer without skipping a beat. In combination, Arnovick says, these techniques have the potential to represent a potent one-two punch for cannabis preservation and packaging.

“Freeze drying could revolutionize the way marijuana is packed and presented. Imagine a bud looking the same inside a package as it did coming off of the plant,” says Arnovick. “You remove the water, but keep the structure. There’s no mineral loss, no vitamin loss, no terpene loss—just a beautiful flower, ready to smoke.”


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.

The Canadian Cannabis Act’s Final Hurdle: A Contentious Senate

Canadian cannabis producers, investors, and advocates are celebrating the impending legalization of recreational marijuana—but don’t be too quick to uncork the champagne. For the Cannabis Act to become law, it must pass the Senate—and there’s a chance that might not happen in time to meet the July 1st deadline set by the federal government.

“There are too many unanswered questions, too many issues that have not been addressed, for us to rush into what is an historic change.”

Manitoba Premier Brian Palliste

At least one senator, André Pratte, has expressed the same concerns about Bill C-45 that have been voiced by other members of parliament, including the proposed age limit (18 years) being too low and police not yet being properly prepared to enforce the new law.

“It’s not a court that imposed that deadline [of July 2018]. It’s the government that set that deadline,” Pratte, who is not affiliated with any party, told the CBC. “We have to take it into account but we also have to do our job seriously and that’s what we’ll do.”

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Tony Dean, an independent senator who is sponsoring the bill in the upper chamber, said he is prepared to dig in his heels to ensure the bill is passed in time to meet the deadline set by Prime Minister Trudeau’s government.

“We have to take (the July 1 deadline) into account but we also have to do our job seriously.”

Senator André Pratte

In an interview with Leafly, Dean said the concerns that Pratte cited are not new and were carefully considered by the Cannabis Legalization Task Force before it submitted its recommendations to the Trudeau government last year.

Dean doesn’t agree that the legal age proposed by the task force and included in the bill is too low. “The reality is that the higher in age you go, the further away you get from the largest group of cannabis users in this country,” he said.

Dean said the bill should be passed as soon as possible because the black market is thriving, which puts many young Canadians at risk of health and legal problems.

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“The Prime Minister took steps to legalize cannabis because it’s a very serious problem in this country. We have to keep that in mind and I think a lot of people aren’t. This [bill] is about recognizing of harm of cannabis medically and criminally. [Prohibition] hasn’t worked and recreational cannabis is ubiquitous,” he said. “Legislators have looked the other way. Now someone has decided to tackle the problem.”

“The higher in age you go, the further you get from the largest group of cannabis users in this country.”

Senator Tony Dean, on setting minimum-age restrictions

Dean said he has been preparing for the bill’s arrival in the upper chamber for months. “My staff and I have been doing a lot of research on the various issues and I have shared that information with my fellow senators. To take that step before the arrival of the bill is unusual in the senate,” he said, adding that he would like the senate to set a calendar for the debate so the bill doesn’t languish in the upper chamber indefinitely.

His words are echoed by Colette Rivet, executive director of Cannabis Canada Association, which represents the majority of licensed producers of marijuana for medical purposes. “We think time is of the essence when it comes to legalization, especially if we want to remove the black market from the equation,” she told Leafly.

Senator Dean would like the senate to set a calendar for the debate so the bill doesn’t languish in the upper chamber indefinitely.

“In terms of age concerns, it’s a balancing act,” she added. “You have to consider health concerns and all the other issues experts have raised but you also have to take into consideration that young people are already consuming cannabis. They’re getting it on the black market. It would be better for them to consume cannabis that is clean and comes from reliable sources.”

But senator Pratte is not swayed by those arguments, at least not yet, and his reservations are shared by other lawmakers. One of the most vocal proponents of a delay, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, put it succinctly at a premiers meeting four months ago: “There are too many unanswered questions, too many issues that have not been addressed for us to rush into what is an historic change.”


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.

Australian Cannabis Stocks Climb Amid Licensing Announcements

Last week was a good one for investors in Australia’s nascent medical cannabis industry, with gains across several key cannabis stocks.

Cann Group (ASX: CAN) charted a new high on the back of news that it had secured an import/export license for cannabis products, while penny stock The Hydroponics Company (ASX: THC) was also up after announcing it received a license to grow and produce medical marijuana.

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Cann Group’s import/export licence will be used by the company to send its Australian-grown cannabis to Canada for analysis and testing. On the import side, Cann Group’s CEO detailed plans to bring in a range of cannabis products to be sold alongside its own.

“The granting of this import/export licence is an important milestone in the Company’s goal of building a genetic database of locally and internationally sourced cannabis strains for cultivation under its medicinal cannabis licence, while facilitating the development of a plant breeding program under its cannabis research licence,” Cann Group CEO Peter Crock said in a statement.

Although the national Office of Drug Control had sought community feedback on a streamlined process for exporting Australian cannabis back in July, no formal changes have been made. Cann Group’s license was issued under a generic drug-export scheme. It will need to be renewed after 12 months, and a permit is still required before the company can export any cannabis material.

But despite the remaining red-tape, investors responded favorably to the news, with share prices jumping 15% following the announcement. Cann Group opened on the ASX in May, trading at AU$0.65 a share. On Wednesday it closed at AU$2.11.

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The Office of Drug Control’s expanded license grants have brought joy to smaller stocks, too. The Hydroponics Company climbed from its lowest-ever price of AU$0.20 a share to a high of AU$0.33 last week after announcing that subsidiary Canndeo had been granted a cannabis cultivation and production license. It closed at AU$0.33 on Wednesday.

The Hydroponics Company has built its business by manufacturing and selling hydroponic equipment to cannabis growers. But Australia’s cannabis boom has been slower, more concentrated, and more tech-focused than expected. As such, the company is branching out from its shovels-and-picks play.

Canndeo received its research license in July, but the medicinal license announced last week will allow it to begin creating commercial products. CEO David Radford called it “a major step in the transition of the company towards commercial supply and monetisation of the opportunity that exists in the medicinal cannabis market.”

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Meanwhile, Australia’s regulatory wheels are rolling slowly. The Office of Drug Control has granted 21 licenses for the cultivation, production, and manufacture of cannabis, but the Australian federal government has so far blocked Senate bills which would open access to medical cannabis for patients, feeding frustration among the country’s medical cannabis community.


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.

Hybrid Models and Lock-Boxes: Manitoba and New Brunswick Reveal Cannabis-Plan Details

The Manitoba government today introduced a hybrid model for the distribution and sale of recreational cannabis. Once legalization hits next July, the province will regulate the supply of the cannabis but private retailers will sell it.

Manitoba government will regulate the supply of cannabis but private retailers will sell it.

When he unveiled the plan at an afternoon press conference, Premier Brian Pallister stated that the goal was to take over 50% of the recreational cannabis market within a year of legalization and, ultimately, to wipe out the black market. When asked if that was feasible, Pallister responded by referring to Winnipeg’s NHL franchise: “The Jets would like to win every game but they don’t.”

Pallister, who has openly criticized the date Ottawa has set for legalization, repeated his belief that the legalization timeline is “too tight. A year from now we might be saying it would have been better if we had taken a bit longer.”

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Pallister also dismissed as “silly” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s proposal to split tax revenue from the sale of cannabis evenly between the provinces and the federal government, noting that the provinces alone will be required to foot the bill for many costs related to the legalization of cannabis.

Key points of Manitoba’s announcement:

  • The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation, a government agency that regulates gambling and the distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages, will secure the cannabis supply and keep track of it but private retailers will sell it.
  • The province is now accepting applications from private retailers hoping to open one or more outlets to sell recreational cannabis. Bids must be submitted by Dec. 22.
  • Successful applicants will have to meet a “wide array” of government stipulations regarding matters such as distance from schools, insurance, and staffing.
  • The province is looking for retailers who will be able to expand as the need arises.

Ideally, 90% of Manitoba residents will be within a 30-minute drive of a retail cannabis outlet.

  • The province didn’t reveal how many retail outlets will open but did say that, ideally, 90% of Manitoba residents would be within a 30-minute drive of an outlet.
  • The province is open to online sales of recreational cannabis because officials would like to see a “broad range of coverage and availability.”
  • Cannabis and alcohol won’t be sold at the same outlets
  • The province didn’t reveal the age at which individuals will be able to purchase cannabis legally. The drinking age is 18.

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New Brunswick Offers Details of Its ‘Cannabis Control Act”

Earlier in the day, New Brunswick introduced proposed legislation that touches on issues such as the legal age for consumption of recreational cannabis, possession, and impaired driving.

In New Brunswick, cannabis in private homes must be stored in a locked container or locked room.

“I think just the fact [the laws are] there, it creates awareness and just awareness in itself is a good step forward in order for people to understand we are serious about keeping children and youth safe and having those products out of their hands,” the province’s health minister, Benoit Bourque, said.

Key points of New Brunswick’s newly unveiled Cannabis Control Act:

  • A person must be at least 19 years old to purchase cannabis
  • Cannabis cannot be consumed in public places
  • In private homes, cannabis must be stored in a locked container or locked room
  • Individuals who grow their own cannabis on private property, whether indoors or outdoors, will be required to secure their plants
  • The Motor Vehicle Act will be amended to include immediate short-term roadside suspensions for drivers found to be drug impaired.
  • Police will conduct a three-step test to detect drug-impaired driving. It includes checking saliva for THC — a process that has been widely criticized as unreliable.


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 Proposes Armored Cars to Transport Cannabis Tax Money

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California should use armored cars to transport hundreds of millions of dollars in cash tax payments expected next year with the state’s legal marijuana market, the state treasurer said Tuesday.

The state on Jan. 1 will enter a new era with cannabis when recreational sales become legal and join the long-standing medical industry in what will become the largest U.S. legal pot economy.

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But the new market estimated to grow to $7 billion annually has a troubling flaw: Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, so most banks won’t do business with growers, manufacturers or retailers. That means marijuana companies typically operate only in cash, including their tax payments that will be 15 percent of sales to the state of California.

State Treasurer John Chiang formed a task force to work on a solution for gathering the money because the state expects to collect hundreds of millions of dollars from cannabis sales next year.

The armored car tax collection solution came about amid fears that operators carrying large bags of cash could be targets for theft and create problems for the state workers collecting and counting the money.

In a report based on the findings of the state’s Cannabis Banking Working Group, Chiang also said that changes are needed in Washington to either legalize cannabis in the U.S., or shield financial institutions that serve the cannabis industry from possible prosecution.

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But that seems unlikely anytime soon, so the report recommended:

  • The state should work with banks to contract an armored courier service to collect tax payments made in cash from businesses, and shuttle those payments to a secure counting facility before it’s eventually deposited in state accounts. “Armored courier services would eliminate the need to directly handle large sums of cash at branch offices or open deposit accounts at financial institutions,” the report said. It wasn’t immediately clear who would pay for the service.
  • Conducting a study on the potential to create a public cannabis bank or other financial institution to serve the industry. The report warned that the obstacles to creating a public financial institution are “formidable,” including unknown startup costs, the probability of losses for several years or more that taxpayers would have to cover and trouble obtaining federal regulatory approval.
  • Forming a group of cannabis-friendly states, businesses and banks to push for changes in Washington for improved banking access for the industry that would reduce or eliminate the need for marijuana businesses to use cash.
  • To encourage greater access to banks, state and local governments should create an online portal to collect data on cannabis businesses. It would be designed to help banks assess potential customers and include licensing and regulatory information, data on key personnel, sources of supply and financial records.

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Chiang warned in a letter accompanying the recommendations that “the clash between state and federal law threatens to cripple legal California cannabis businesses before they even get up and running.”

“The inability of cannabis operations to get banking services means that many of them may remain in the underground economy and not become transparent, regulated, tax-paying businesses, as California voters intended,” he said.

During the Obama administration, the Justice Department issued guidelines to help banks avoid federal prosecution when dealing with marijuana businesses in states where the drug is legal.

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But most banks don’t see those rules as a legal protection against charges that could include aiding drug trafficking. And they say the rules are hard to follow, in effect placing the burden on banks to determine if a business is operating legally.

The number of banks and credit unions willing to handle cannabis money is growing. But they still represent only a tiny fraction of the industry.

Colorado tried in 2015 to set up a credit union to serve the marijuana industry but was blocked by the Federal Reserve.


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.

Wanted: New Massachusetts Marijuana Inspector

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts is looking for an inspector for the state’s newest crop: marijuana.

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources has posted a job for an agricultural inspector for cannabis.

job description posted on the state’s website says it’s seeking someone to enforce laws and regulations involving hemp and marijuana. The person will also help create rules and regulations.

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Qualifications listed include a degree in a field such as biology, chemistry or plant pathology. The department is also looking for a person with experience or knowledge about cannabis and how it is regulated in other states, as well as someone with experience with enforcing rules and regulations.

The salary range is $42,000 to $57,000 per year.

Massachusetts voters last year approved legalizing the adult use of recreational marijuana.


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.

Cannabis Investing: Does Revenue Even Matter?

Investing in the cannabis industry has moved beyond just hype, with investors now able to evaluate more than a dozen public companies generating substantial revenue as cannabis producers and/or retailers or providers of goods or services to the industry, with several focused solely on Canada.

Revenue generation is a key indicator, but it’s not necessarily rewarded by investors in the short term.

In my first column for Leafly two months ago, I suggested that revenue generation should be a key consideration for any investor in the space and described a list of companies we are tracking at New Cannabis Ventures with sales in excess of $10 million per year.

In creating and updating this tracker, we decided to exclude companies that don’t file with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) or on Canada’s System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR). We also include only cannabis-related revenue for companies that operate in other industries.

Today I want to dig in a little deeper and look at the big revenue generators in the United States. First, though, I want point out that generating significant revenue is not a guaranteed predictor of a rising stock price, especially in the short term.

When looking at start up companies like these it’s important to evaluate other factors like cash burn, the competitive landscape, management strength, access to capital, and strength of balance sheet. It’s also imperative to look at market capitalization (the value of the company), because sometimes the price of admission is just too high.

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Revenue Is Just a Starting Point

So, which companies are generating big sales from cannabis?

In declining order, based upon the most recent quarterly update (typically the quarter ending June 30th), they are:

  1. Terra Tech (OTC: TRTC)
  2. Kush Bottles (OTC: KSHB)
  3. GrowGeneration (OTC: GRWG)
  4. CV Sciences (OTC: CVSI)
  5. MPX Bioceutical (OTC: MPXEF)
  6. mCig (OTC: MCIG)
  7. GW Pharma (NASDAQ: GWPH)

Please note that I have no holdings in any of these stocks, but GRWG, KSHB and MPXEF are clients of mine at New Cannabis Ventures. Inclusion in this article is not a recommendation.

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Revenue: $3m to $6m Per Quarter

Terra Tech, which also sells hydroponic produce, generated $6.05 million in direct cannabis sales from the Nevada and California markets in Q2.

Kush Bottles, which offers packaging and services across the country, produced sales of $4.72mm in its Q3 ending 5/31.

GW Pharma has no US sales yet, but it hit $3.1 million in global revenue last quarter.

GrowGeneration, which operates hydroponics stores in California, Colorado, Nevada and Washington, reported sales of $4.11mm in Q2.

CV Sciences, which sells CBD products derived from industrial hemp and is developing a CBD/nicotine gum, generated sales of $4.08mm in Q2.

MPX Bioceutical (which just changed its name from Canadian Bioceutical and also trades in Canada on the CSE with the symbol MPX), has vertically-integrated cannabis cultivation and production operations in Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts and Nevada. MPX produced sales in Arizona in its Q1 ending 6/30 of $3.99mm (C$5.11mm converted at $0.78 USD to the Canadian dollar).

mCig, which has moved beyond its original focus of low-end vape pens to a more diversified business, reported sales of $3.17mm in its Q1 ending 7/31, primarily from cultivation facility construction.

GW Pharma, which has received approval to sell Sativex in 30 countries, actually has no U.S. sales yet, as the drug isn’t yet approved for sale here. So perhaps it shouldn’t be on this list. The biotech firm, which just filed a New Drug Application with the FDA for its drug Epidoliex—to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy that are intractable—generated global sales of $3.14 million in its Q3 ending 6/30.

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Investors Aren’t Rewarding Revenue

I made the point earlier that rising sales aren’t a guarantee that the stock price will rise as well. To illustrate the point, consider the performance of the seven stocks discussed over the past six months. With the exception of Terra Tech, which is up less than 2%, the group has experienced serious declines, with CV Sciences and mCig dropping more than 39% since early May.

For those who want to explore this group further, it is quite diverse, with three direct cannabis companies, three ancillary plays and a biotech company. Each has varying growth rates, different degrees of balance sheet strength and access to capital and deviations in near-term profitability. GW Pharma, on one valuation extreme, has a market capitalization of about $3 billion, while CV Sciences is valued at just $17 million.

Buyer Beware

A final caveat: Sometimes companies lie—even those that file with the SEC. Older readers will likely recall the deceit that brought down Enron and WorldComm, and those who don’t should make themselves aware of the risk of accounting fraud. One of the earliest cannabis stocks, formerly Medbox and now Notis Global, was sued by the SEC earlier this year for fictitious sales. This is why it’s important to dig deeper than just a cursory look at a company’s publicly stated financials. My own review of Medbox resulted in my expression of extreme caution about the company from 2013 onward.

Bottom line: Investors no longer have to buy into the cannabis sector on hype alone, as several companies are now generating substantial revenue. Still, caution is warranted, even among this group, as investors should look beyond just this single factor.

Next up: A review of the upcoming earnings reports from the 2 leading Canadian cannabis companies in terms of sales, Canopy Growth and MedReleaf. Talk with you in two weeks.

Public disclosure

Alan Brochstein is the founder of New Cannabis Ventures, an investment information website that may publish content on publicly-traded companies, but does not accept any form of compensation from them unless disclosed here: ABcann – Start date: 04/24/17 (as a public company), Aurora Cannabis – Start date: 10/1/16, MPX Bioceutical Corporation (formerly The Canadian Bioceutical Corporation) – Start date: 06/15/17, Canopy Growth Corporation – Start date: 10/1/16, DOJA Cannabis – Start date: 7/25/17, Emblem Corp. – Start date: 12/12/16 (as a public company), Emerald Health – 01/16/17-03/31/17, GrowGeneration – Start date: 01/01/17, Harvest One Cannabis – Start date: 04/01/17, iAnthus Capital Holdings – Start date: 04/20/17, Kush Bottles – Start date: 02/15/17, Liberty Health Sciences – Start date: 08/01/17, Maricann Group – Start date: 04/22/17 (as a public company), OrganiGram – 01/01/17-03/31/17, Solis Tek –  04/16/17-10/31/17, TerrAscend – Start date: 09/20/17, Therapix Biosciences –  03/22/17-07/26/17

Responsible awareness

New Cannabis Ventures is proud to offer fact-based, data-driven, financial information and official company news about each publicly-traded client. Being a client of New Cannabis Ventures is not a recommendation of the company. In determining which public companies are eligible to be a client of New Cannabis Ventures, they must meet a minimum standard. Meeting these criteria is not a guarantee that New Cannabis Ventures will accept a company as a client. For more information, see the New Cannabis Ventures disclaimer page


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.

Data Dive: Alaska’s Cannabis Industry Grows for 7th Consecutive Month

September was another record-setting month for Alaska’s adult-use cannabis industry, with the state Department of Revenue’s latest report last week showing that the state collected $723,757 in cannabis taxes from cultivators during that month.

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The record-setting month is the seventh consecutive month to break state sales records. That’s good newsfor the Last Frontier’s cannabis market, which got off to a slow start during its first few months of operation. September also saw Alaska set records in amount of trim sold as well as the number of cannabis taxpayers.

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Despite summer tourism beginning to die down, cannabis sales have continued to show steady growth since the beginning of summer in May. Although the growth of average tax payments has slowed down a bit, there continues to be more operators paying cannabis taxes each month, showing continued growth in the industry.

With some of the tourist numbers beginning to go down since summer, flower sales have slowed in pace—a relationship visible in the graphs above. Sales of trim or other parts of the cannabis plant, however, are up.

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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.