Tag: Industry

5 Questions to Ask Before Investing in Australia’s Cannabis Boom

Ever since Australia moved to legalize medical cannabis, dozens of Australian companies have bloomed and boomed, with shares climbing in value as Australian state governments continue to relax regulations.

But what about the risks still lurking in the nascent market? To succeed, these companies rely heavily on continued government reform. To avoid getting burned, investors should do their homework. Here are a few questions to get started.

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1. How Long Will It Take the Company to Get up and Running?

Applicants are first required to obtain a government-issued license. Then they must build a facility, be certified the Department of Health’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, and nail down other required permits. Only then can they begin growing cannabis—and presumably, bringing in revenue.

These steps can be laborious and needs to be navigated carefully. Investors should be on the lookout for companies with low overheads and enough capital to survive a waiting period that tends more to years than months.

2. Once the Company Is Producing Cannabis, What’s the Procedure for Turning It Into Medicine?

Under Australia’s strictly pharmaceutical framework, cannabis needs to be processed into medicine before it can be prescribed by doctors or delivered to patients. The Therapeutic Goods Administration controls medicine listings and has a rigorous process for listing new ones. Any company looking to create a new pharmaceutical would need to subject it to clinical trials, which can take years and cost millions of dollars.

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3. How Will the Company Sell Products at a Competitive Price?

Australia’s incredibly strict rules for medical cannabis require indoor grow operations and a range of high-security measures. Add to that the high cost of doing business in general in  Australia, and you’re looking at very pricey plants. Raw cannabis material used to produce pharmaceuticals are more likely to come from low-cost markets such as India or China.

Patenting strains, however, could create a viable and cost-effective way to produce novel strains—for example, ones that churns out high concentrations of some of the rarer cannabinoids. But that could require a sizeable R&D budget and specialty plant scientists, boosting overall expenses.

4. How Will the Company Compete With Large, Global Pharmaceutical Makers?

This is a tough one, as there aren’t many good answers to this question just yet. The supply chains, intellectual property, expertise. and market presence of massive pharmaceutical companies make for a tough competition. Giants will likely dominate the industry as soon as medicines come lose patent protections, as is common for most medicines.

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5. How Will the Company Compete With Synthetic Cannabinoids?

It’s a fact of the market that very few pharmaceutical products continue to use whole cannabis plants as inputs when they can manufacture largely similar medicines through industrial processing.

This is nothing new in health care. One classic example is that of salicylic acid, commonly used to treat warts, psoriasis, acne, and dandruff. Once obtained from the bark of willow trees, it is now cheaply synthesised and manufactured in factories. As advances are made in synthetic cannabinoids, it isn’t hard to imagine some cannabis greenhouses going the way of willow tree plantations.

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The Bottom Line

Despite widespread support for the decriminalization or legalization of cannabis, Australia’s only legal cannabis market for the foreseeable future is pharmaceutical. Australian companies seeking licenses to grow or process cannabis need a plan to operate in a global pharmaceutical framework marked by heavy regulation. Without that, even the meteoric gains seen by some Aussie cannabis stocks could turn out to be just a pipe dream.


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.

Launch of Bob Marley Cannabis in WA Heralds Continued Rise of Celeb Cannabis Brands

The official Bob Marley cannabis brand, Marley Natural, will launch its official collection of premium cannabis flowers and oils next week in Washington state, joining an ever-growing group of celebrity cannabis companies that are now competing in the market.

Marley Natural (owned by Privateer Holdings, the parent company of Leafly) came into existence with the blessing of the late reggae pioneer’s surviving family, and is dedicated to preserving the memory of Bob Marley’s Jamaican roots. First selling its products in California, Marley Natural has now made its way up through Oregon and now, beginning on April 10th, the Seattle and Tacoma area in Washington state.

Two of Bob’s granddaughters, Zuri and Shacia, attended the launch party at the cannabis dispensary Have a Heart, in downtown Seattle Friday afternoon. Both granddaughters were excited to show off their family’s products, as they exclaimed to customers some of the nuances of the Marley products.

The product line that will be offered in Washington includes four categories of cannabis flower, pre-rolls, and oil cartridges. Other available items include body care products and smoking accessories made from sustainably grown American Black Walnut wood and heat-resistant, hand-blown glass.

Marley Natural Strains Available in Washington

Marley Color Type Strain THC Levels Description
Marley Green Hybrid Golden Pineapple THCA: 19.1-30.1% | THC: 20.3-30.7% | Golden Pineappple is a hybrid cross that delivers creative, uplifting effects with a fruity, tropical flavor.
Marley Gold Sativa Tutankhamon THCA: 19.7-23.2% | THC: 20.3-23.8% | Also known as King Tut, it is famed for its powerful, sweet-and-sour aroma and uplifting, energizing high and stimulates creativity an conversation.
Marley Gold Sativa Acapulco Gold THCA: 16.0-26.5% | THC: 17.1-28.2% | A legendary landrace strain originally from the area around its namesake town, Acapulco Gold has a reputation for being one of the best cannabis strains ever created.
Marley Red CBD Critical Cure CBD: 8.5-11.8% | THC: 7.2-11.3% | 1:1 Ratio The indica influence in Critical Cure gives rise to deeply relaxing effects delivered alongside a sweet, earthy flavor.
Marley Black Indica Plushberry THCA: 24.6-25.9% | THC: 25.1-26.6% | Plushberry induces a deep relaxation in the mind and body, with calming qualities that melt away stress.

Marley Natural joins several other cannabis businesses owned or endorsed by celebrities that are making strides within the industry. Companies like Willie’s Reserve, Chong’s Choice, and Whoopi & Maya have also recently launched, and expanding cannabis companies are exploring strong ties to celebrities.

Willie Nelson’s celebrated cannabis brand, Willie’s Reserve, made its debut last July in Washington state cannabis dispensaries before expanding to Colorado. Within a year of its launch, customers can now purchase Willie’s Reserve in four different states, as Oregon and Nevada now supply Willie’s special nugs.

Tommy Chong’s brand Chong’s Choice, which launched its products in February of 2016, has already expanded into six states, including medicinal-only states Montana and Arizona.

Finally, Whoopi Goldberg’s cannabis company, Whoopi & Maya Medical Cannabis, is also progressing nicely since its launch last year. Goldberg teamed up with Maya Elisabeth, one of the leading “canna-businesswomen” in the field, to develop a line of products designed to provide relief from menstrual cramps.

Though Whoopi & Maya has not expanded into any other states outside of California, the company is giving back to the community by advocating the use of its products instead of using painkillers to combat ailments like cramps and headaches.

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Giving back to the local communities for these celebrity-owned cannabis brands seems to be helping all parties expand their businesses. As previously stated, Goldberg has been advocating the use of her creams instead of painkillers, while Willie’s Reserve puts a heavy emphasis on using independent local farmers that follow the Farm Aid mission to support environmentally safe growing practices.

The same can be said about Marley Natural, as the brand has been giving back to the local communities where its products are being sold. Its Rise Up program, established to support positive social change, environmental sustainability, and empowering local communities harmed by cannabis prohibition, has so far been both successful and rewarding according to Interim Director of Marketing Berrin Noorata.

“Rise Up is our social impact initiative, and what we do is we support programs that are kind of based on Bob’s ideals, such as creating social change and supporting different environmental causes. In every market we go into we give back to that market,” Noorata said. “In Washington we partnered with the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) to work on programs to help people beat their cannabis convictions.”

Marley Natural worked on a similar initiative in Oregon, according to Noorata.

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“In Oregon, we were able to expunge about 30 records. In Washington, they don’t expunge fully, they vacate here,” she told Leafly. “We are working with people to help [individuals] that have been harmed by cannabis prohibition, so [we think of it as] giving back to the community as legalization is building in the country. We want to help support those people that have been harmed.”

Noorata said that Marley Natural hopes to launch the Rise Up program in Washington state on April 29.


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.

G Pen Maker Awarded $47m in Counterfeit Case

After enduring years of revenue lost to product counterfeiters, Grenco Science, maker of the G-Pen brand vaporizer, finally struck back in court. In January, the Los Angeles-based company sued more than 65 different online retailers selling fake G-Pen products, asking for restraining orders and monetary damages.

The brand pirates were mostly based in China. Some of them settled out of court with Grenco, but most simply ignored the lawsuit. As a result, a federal judge in Illinois recently granted the vaporizer manufacturer $47 million in damages–$1 million each from the 47 companies found to have infringed on Grenco’s trademarks.

Will Grenco collect all that money? Probably not. But the court victory at least sends a signal to others who might consider brand piracy: The trademark holders may haul you into court. And when they win, it’s costly for the pirates.

According to court documents and a news release provided by Grenco Science, the court handed down a judgment not only for its monetary purposes, but to immediately halt sales of the unauthorized products.

“This win represents the first of many in a continued effort against counterfeiters unlawfully infringing upon our intellectual property,” Grenco Chief Operating Officer Anthony Marino stated. “And while we’re thrilled with this initial outcome, let this serve as notice that we’re only getting started.”

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According to court documents, the Los Angeles-based company has been the victim of counterfeiting for years. Most of the fake products were produced in China, and other overseas countries, and sold online.

Most of the companies named in the lawsuit did not respond, let alone show up in court. Chris Folkerts, CEO of Grenco Science, told Leafly that there were several different ways people were selling the counterfeit products online.

“The G Pen brand is continually infringed upon at multiple levels of sale across the world,” he said. “While the majority comes from online, brick and mortar locations also service a large part of the problem.” Folkerts added that Grenco officials took the time to identify and tracked down the companies that were stealing Grenco’s intellectual property.

“All companies were identified prior to filing suit through an extensive verification process,” Folkerts told Leafly. “This entailed establishing a framework of parameters used to qualify each defendant before ultimately prosecuting for unlawful infringement upon our Intellectual property.”

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“Of the 65 defendants in this case, 18 of them settled prior to default judgment for an undisclosed amount,” Folkerts told Leafly. “For each of the remaining 47 defendants, The Court awarded statutory damages in the amount of $1,000,000, including a permanent injunction preventing further unauthorized use of the GRENCO SCIENCE trademarks.”

When asked if all the hassle and money spent on legal team work was worth it, Folkerts said absolutely.

“We all feel that this represents a major win for the company in an ongoing battle.  While protecting, intellectual property comes at a cost, it’s in the best interest of the company, industry and the end consumer that we do everything we can to keep fake and potentially harmful products off the streets.”


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.

Who Is ‘Potsquatch’?

SPRINGFIELD, MA — Seconds after I met Dave Mech, creator of the notorious Potsquatch, video-bomber of Massachusetts weather reports and viral online persona, he presented me with an opportunity for a little participatory journalism.

“I want to get some video of you wearing the suit,” he told me, unfolding what looked like the shorn outer skin of some swamp creature.

“I’d like you to sorta stick your head out of the front door and look around while I film you. I’m making a music video with a band outta Cleveland and need some shots to edit in.”

Why not. I had made the trip to Potco, Mech’s CBD dispensary, café, retail store, infusion and extraction center, to spend an afternoon in the habitat of the Potsquatch. I didn’t count on getting literally under the creature’s skin—but as a reporter you often just roll with the scene.

It was a biting cold day in Springfield, and I can tell you this about the infamous suit. It is a tactical ghillie suit draped in plastic, handmade cannabis fan leaves, which cascade like a lion’s mane around a green hockey-mask face. It is not warm.

America, Meet the Potsquatch

Potsquatch became an instant hit after he was caught on a local news report tromping through the streets of Springfield, MA, during a blizzard. (Jamie Cotten for Leafly)Potsquatch became an instant hit after he was caught on a local news report tromping through the streets of Springfield, MA, during a blizzard. (Jamie Cotten for Leafly)

Mech and his alter-ego-slash-brand-mascot burst into global view on Feb. 9, 2017, during a nor’easter unleashing snowy hell all over Massachusetts. Jennifer Pagliei, a meteorologist from local news station 22 News, was doing a live report from Springfield, not far from Potco’s storefront. Mech, seeing an opportunity for a little free media, donned the suit and slogged his way through shin-deep snow toward Pagliei.

The rest is history.

It was a clip ripe for social media, and in a few hours it had gone viral.

In early March, a another live news crew got Potsquatch-ed while covering the raid and shutdown of nearby dispensary Mary Jane Makes Your Heart Sing. Word got out that the store allegedly was charging customers an entry fee, then gifting sample bags of marijuana. (In Massachusetts, where the state voted in November to legalize cannabis for adult use, emerging state regulations and local oversight have made for hazy operations as organizations keep up with what’s tolerable and what’s not.) Potsquatch soon won the support of many at the raid, and his leafy face again stole the show.

 

Squatch’s Alter Ego: Dave Mech

Potco, David Mech's grow-supply store, offers CBD-infused coffee, tea, and edibles. (Jamie Cotten for Leafly)Potco, David Mech’s grow-supply store, offers CBD-infused coffee, tea, and edibles. (Jamie Cotten for Leafly)

When the phone rings in Potco, Dave Mech is the guy who answers. “We sell CBD,” he told one caller, “but you can bring your bud down to be pressed for products and manufacturing.” At the end he closed the conversation with a cheery goodbye. “Yup. My name’s Dave. I’m the Potsquatch.”

The man behind the mask has always had a gift for promotion. Prior to opening Potco, Dave Mech made an living as an entertainment lawyer in the music business. He once spent three days snowed in with the Wu Tang Clan, which he describes as “a very fun three days.”

“Often it helps more than the prescribed pills and antipsychotics they are on.”

His interest in CBD and cannabis caregiving grew out of his earlier law practice, representing maritime workers and fishermen who suffered injuries while working off the coast of Gloucester, MA, in the 1980s. His father was a Gloucester fisherman, and Mech’s experience representing injured fisherman put him on the front lines of the heroin epidemic that devoured Gloucester, fed by opioid painkillers.

Some years later, Mech developed Clinic in the Clouds, a program he hoped would be a model to demonstrate how to get medical marijuana and CBD patients the care they need. Its function was to improve coordination across primary care doctors and psychiatrists, and even among opioid treatment clinics.

“It’s a big reason why I got into the medical end of cannabis and CBD,” he says. “There was no coordination of care, and anything with marijuana was considered taboo between physical and psychiatric doctors. There was a wall between them, and they needed to accept that it works, and often it helps more than the prescribed pills and antipsychotics they are on.”

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When Massachusetts legalized medical marijuana in 2012, Mech began working with a flood of patients who said they were telling their psychiatrists they preferred CBD. The vast majority seemed to be coming in to treat anxiety or depression-related symptoms. “One in 10 had full-blown PTSD, and before coming in they weren’t even seeking treatment,” Mech said.

In 2013, as he was working toward opening a shop of his own, his back suddenly went out, the end result of decades of herniated-disc pain. “I was fighting to get a dispensary up and I couldn’t even get out of bed,” he recalled. He was forced to put the plan on ice. That’s when he met Bill Downing.

Bill and Dave’s Excellent Adventures

(Jamie Cotten for Leafly)(Jamie Cotten for Leafly)

Downing was already a fixture in the underground caregiver and cannabis activist communities in Massachusetts. The two quickly hit it off.

“He seemed like a pretty smart guy and, when I met him, I walked into his basement and he had a full dispensary going,” Mech laughed. “He was different. He was going to do this no matter what.”

Mech and Downing began working in tandem, with Mech establishing Caregivers Connection and Downing servicing patients through his Yankee Caregivers platform. Downing was drawn to Mech’s sincerity, as well as the benefit of having a lawyer as a partner.

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After a month of working as a collective, they were serving more than 1,200 patients. “Bill even had a secret hideout somewhere above the hills of Worcester where he kept his medicine,” Mech said with a giggle. Downing had been processing and distributing more than 20 pounds of cannabis per week, as well as hashish, topicals, bubble baths, lip balms, and other products. “I often had three full-time employees there, just packing up orders,” Downing told me over the phone.

Mech believed then that if done right, the caregiver model could replace the dispensary mess at the time, characterized in the current market by a slow slog of bureaucratic oversight. “That’s what people were doing, what people do in the community. It’s about caregiving first,” he said. Years later, patients around Massachusetts are still frustrated by obstacles to access, especially those far from the state’s few dozen dispensaries.

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Then Mech and Downing’s joint caregiving project began to crash. Massachusetts authorities cracked down on local caregivers, filing civil enforcement actions against various groups. Downing’s dispensary was raided. Frustrated, Downing responded in 2014 by suing the Department of Health on grounds that the agency was attempting to eliminate the caregiver provision of the state’s medical marijuana law.

Mech ultimately broke off from his conjoined business partnership with Downing—though he’s still on good terms with the longtime advocate.

“Dave gave me legal advice, and moral support too,” Downing laughed over the phone. “He’s a believer in the cause. When you’re taking a lot of chances, it’s hard to find people to stand up with you,” he said. “Many times I remember just calling up and asking for [legal] advice. I never had to pay him for it. He just kind of helps.”


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.

With Big Banks Absent, IRS Gears up for Flood of Tax Cash

Think Tax Day is a headache for the average Joe? Owners of cannabis businesses might get a laugh out of that. In lieu of paying the tax man electronically, state-legal cannabis companies—spurned by banks thanks to federal prohibition—often have to pay a visit to the IRS lugging a fat stack of cash.

It’s not exactly a model of convenience. Literal lump sums have already overwhelmed state tax collectors in places like Oregon, where a cash-heavy $43 million in cannabis tax payments recently threw the Department of Revenue for a loop.

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Perhaps that’s why the IRS is setting up cash-counting rooms in two big legal cannabis markets for a weeklong period this month. From April 10 to April 18, in Denver and Seattle only, the agency will offer secure locations for farmers, processors, and dispensary owners to dump out their suitcases and sock drawers.

“I’m happy about anyhting that smoothes relations with the IRS, but practically speaking, this doesn’t really do anything.”

Todd Arkley, accountant

It’s hard to deny the apparent hypocrisy here. You’re a drug lord, the feds seems to say, but we’ll happily take your tax payments! For cannabis businesses looking to make timely payments, however, the counting rooms are a welcome gesture—even if they won’t actually help many people.

“I’m happy about anyhting that smoothes relations with the IRS, but practically speaking, this doesn’t really do anything,” said Todd Arkley, a Seattle-based accountant and board member of The Cannabis Alliance. “It’s nice that the IRS is opening this window, but it’s more of a gesture to me than anything.”

As well intentioned as the new service may be, said attorneys, accountants, and legalization advocates, it does nothing to address the real obstacle facing so many cannabis operations: the difficulty of finding banking services.

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Still, for cannabis business owners nervous about their annual pilgrimage to the IRS, the cash-counting rooms could smooth some of the mid-April jitters, said Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, a Colorado trade association.

“This is an important small step in resolving what is an operational headache for many business owners who don’t have traditional banking,” she told Leafly.

To expedite making tax payments, cannabis businesses often opt to pay with money orders. But those generally max out at $1,000, often making for lengthy, awkward sessions post office attendants and supermarket clerks.

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There’s also the matter of feeling like a sitting duck. Operators sometimes bring in money by the bucketload—literally.

“This is a real area of exposure for some folks,” Kelly said. “You can’t go to a secure, private room and process your money. You have to go to a grocery store, or somewhere else very public.”

For security reasons, the IRS isn’t advertising the new service all too loudly. “We don’t want to publicize people bringing in duffel bags of cash into our office,” IRS spokeswoman Karen Connelly told me.

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Bear in mind that in Colorado alone, cannabis is a $1 billion dollar industry. And because of federal prohibition, arcane federal tax codes prohibit normal deductions—such as rent, payroll, and advertising—that other businesses can claim. That means legal cannabis ends up being taxed at a higher rate than most other industries.

Obviously this can make for hefty tax bills.

But how many businesses actually need to pay in cash? In Washington and Colorado, along with some other states that have legal cannabis markets, numerous local banks and credit unions do quiet work with state-licensed businesses, a fact not always trumpeted publicly. And recent years have seen a marked uptick in the number of financial institutions willing to handle money from the industry. Arkley says that out of a hundred businesses he works for in Washington state, about three-quarters already use banks.

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The situation varies by state. In Colorado, said Denver attorney Rachel K. Gillette, and others, local banking institutions aren’t capable of serving the entire industry.

“Those accounts get shut down all the time,” echoed Vincent Sliwoski, a Portland, OR-based attorney who represents cannabis companies and teaches cannabis courses at Lewis and Clark Law School.

As far as paying state taxes, some legal cannabis states are way ahead of the IRS. They’ve set up secure places for cannabis businesses that don’t use banks or credit unions to pay their taxes in cash.

Why is the IRS opening cash-counting rooms in only Washington and Colorado?

In Oregon, for example, the state government has mandated that its agencies figure out how to collect tax payments from cannabis businesses. “The federal government hasn’t given any such clear instructions to the IRS,” Sliwoski said. “There’s probably a big internal conversation with a lot of confusion around it.”

One nagging question: With adult-use markets now up and running in four states—and with medical marijuana entities operating in dozens more—why is the IRS opening cash-counting rooms in only Washington and Colorado?

The IRS didn’t make itself available for further questions about the new initiative, but Sliwoski guessed that the limited scope is because the cash-counting rooms are part of a pilot program that the agency could expand to other states in the future.

And the program will only do so much for shops in the far-flung corners of legal cannabis states. Some businesses based in in Spokane, Yakima, Telluride, or Aspen will no doubt be bringing in truckloads of cash.

April’s tax season is only part of the problem. If the IRS really wanted to help cannabis businesses pay taxes, said some industry insiders, the agency would make it easier for them to pay payroll and employment taxes. The IRS generally requires those taxes to be submitted both electronically and much more frequently, often making them more of a hassle than income tax payments, Arkley said. “That affects almost all companies.”


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.

Introducing Leafly Wings: High-Altitude Deliveries for High-Altitude Consumers

In 1485 Leonardo da Vinci, having admired birds’ ability to soar through the skies, drew detailed plans for a human-powered ornithopter in an audacious effort to bring the power of flight to man. Four hundred and eighteen years later, the Wright brothers audaciously completed the first powered flight. Yet sometimes, the most innovative technology mankind can harness for the benefit of society is also the simplest. And with that we are proud to announce Leafly’s newest innovation, Leafly Wings.

Place an Order

Code named “Winged Efficiency Emergent Delivery,” our team of dedicated engineers took the phrase “as the crow flies” literally, and Leafly Wings was born. We trained hundreds of eager aves to bring your favorite cannabis strains and products directly to your doorstep, offering high-altitude deliveries for our high-altitude customers.

How to Order Through Leafly Wings

Leafly Wings Budget Budgie delivery option
Ordering through Leafly Wings is simple:

Step 1: Choose your desired product for delivery.
Step 2: Choose your bird delivery option. Leafly Wings is currently in beta and offers three delivery speeds:

  • Express Eagle: 10 minutes or less
  • Crane-abis Courier: 30-45 minutes
  • Budget Budgie: 60-75 minutes (pre-rolls and grams only)

Step 3: Choose your delivery location

Right now Leafly Wings is testing deliveries in Pacific Northwest markets and will expand nationwide to all legal cannabis states as soon as more birds return north from hibernation. If you currently live in Washington state or Oregon, sign up for Leafly Wings by visiting wings.leafly.com.

Try Leafly Wings Today

Want Your Products Delivered Through Leafly Wings?

If you’re a manufacturer or retailer that’s interested in listing your products on Leafly Wings, contact us to get your inventory added!

List your products on Leafly


Standard terms of service apply. Leafly is not responsible for any bird droppings that may end up on your lawn, home, or head during Leafly Wings deliveries. No birds were harmed during the development of this program because Leafly Wings is not actually a real program. Happy April Fool’s Day. Celebrate responsibly.


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.

Which Cannabis Conferences Are Beneficial to Your Business?

The business of legal cannabis is booming, and as interest in the cannabis industry continues to grow, it’s no wonder that a wide range of cannabis conferences are popping up like weeds. Whether you’re a small business looking to expand your reach to more customers, an entrepreneur seeking new opportunities, or a firmly established organization making your presence known, cannabis conferences are a great way to network among like-minded individuals and find new business opportunities.

However, with an industry that is rapidly becoming saturated with cannabis conferences, all of which require significant costs to attend and participate in, it can be difficult to know where to put your priorities and which conferences will be worth a financial investment. It creates a kind of redundancy–many of these conferences feature the same brands and products, creating overlap and repetition.

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For smaller businesses on a tighter budget, it may be tempting to attend every convention, conference, or trade show in an effort to get more eyes on your brand, but it may be a better investment in the long term to choose three or four conferences per year to maximize your budget and your presence.

Kayla Cook, Director of Events for Privateer Holdings (Leafly’s parent company), lent us her expertise on the subject. “The cannabis conference space is a very saturated sector of the industry,” Cook acknowledged. “It’s difficult to decide which conference to attend and which one will give you the best bang for your buck.”

Grow your business with Leafly
Cannabis trade shows are often broad and unfocused, leaving much room for improvement and opportunities. For example, at each larger conference, you can find any number of investors, growers, light manufacturers, extract makers, marketing agencies, production companies, and more. With so many specializations within the industry, some companies may benefit significantly from a conference where another may see return on investment.

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“I’d suggest defining what your business goals are prior to buying your conference pass,” Cook encouraged. “Many conferences have different focuses and specialize in different topics within the industry, so doing a little research before you commit will be well worth it.”

With interest in cannabis rising in mainstream society, there are more conferences popping up in states without medical or adult-use cannabis markets, raising the question, once again, if it’s worth the investment to attend a conference, particularly one in a state where there’s no chance of expanding your business.

Gavin Newsom speaking at a cannabis conferenceLieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom speaks at a cannabis conference. (Courtesy of Matt Emrich Photography)

When asked if there’s any value to attending cannabis conferences in states without medical or adult use legalization markets, Leafly’s Event Production Assistant, Bennett Kaplan, offered some advice. “It’s good because there is brand exposure to a new audience,” Kaplan explained, “but be wary: There’s not much to be earned.”

He pointed to the recent example of Leafly as the first and only cannabis brand to officially sponsor the popular SXSW festival in Texas, a state with a limited CBD law and no access to any form of cannabis. The presence of multiple cannabis companies served to offer information about safe, legal cannabis consumption in a state that still carries major penalties for cannabis. “The culture is moving forward without the laws moving forward,” Kaplan observed.

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At the conference, Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer of SXSW, also recognized the positive impact of having a cannabis company in sponsorship. “We’ve definitely had cannabis-related panels and presentations at SXSW in previous years, but probably never as much as we have on the 2017 schedule,” he said. “I think the increase in sessions reflects the overall growth of this industry—and the fact that more and more so-called mainstream entrepreneurs are seeing the kinds of opportunities that cannabis presents.”

“The culture is moving forward without the laws moving forward.”

Bennett Kaplan, Leafly Event Production Assistant

As for the smaller, lower cost conferences, it may seem like the better choice, but that’s not always the case. Low-cost events can attract lower-quality vendors and participants, so even though it may be tempting to take part in every event, it’s important to recognize which events will be the most valuable for your business.

Here are some of the conferences that we have found to be valuable:

MJBiz Conference in Las Vegas

The MJBiz Conference is the premier B2B event in the cannabis industry. It is one of the more expensive conferences, but it has an incredibly large attendance of high-quality vendors, and many would consider it to be the forefront cannabis industry trade show. The company hosts an annual conference in November, but recently started offering a spring conference as well.

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NCIA Cannabis Business Summit

The NCIA Cannabis Business Summit is considered of the most influential cannabis shows in the United States, hosted in Oakland, California, and featuring more than 4,500 cannabis industry attendees. This one of the longest-standing B2B conferences, and aside from the annual Business Summit, the organization also hosts quarterly caucus events for industry networking.

International Cannabis Business Conference

This is one of the first and best international cannabis business conferences, and the event will be exhibiting Europe’s first B2B cannabis conference hosted in Berlin, Germany this April 2017.

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New West Summit

New West Summit is one of the first cannabis conferences to specifically focus on technology, investment, and media in the cannabis space, making it a more unique cannabis trade show experience.

DispensaryNext

DispensaryNext is a two-day conference & expo focused on the next generation of products, services, and strategies for cannabis dispensaries. It is specifically designed for cannabis dispensary owners, managers, marketing directors, and those in the process of building dispensaries in emerging markets.

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Lift Cannabis Expo

Lift is Canada’s largest and most forward-thinking event in the cannabis industry, and it’s attracted attendees from across the world for events in two major Canadian cities, Vancouver and Toronto.

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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.

13 Fantastic Women-Owned Dispensaries to Support

There’s a lot of discussion about diversity in the cannabis industry, but in terms of a gender gap, cannabis is actually more welcoming for female leaders than many other career paths. That said, there’s still a definite gap. The best way to help close it? Support the many fantastic female-owned businesses already out there. After considering countless submissions, the following are thirteen of our favorites across North America.

3D Cannabis Centers (Denver, CO / Salida, CO)

Best Marijuana Dispensaries Owned by Women

Founded by Toni Savage Fox, 3D Cannabis Centers cemented its spot in cannabis history as the site of the first legal recreational cannabis sale, at the Denver location on January 1, 2014. Since then, Savage Fox has opened an additional location in Salida and used her fame and influence to make waves in the industry through organizations including NORML, NCIA, Women Grow, Marijuana Policy Project, and many more. The 3D team ensures their cannabis is of utmost quality by keeping a full-time scientist and full-time engineer on staff, and backing their products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. When you stop by the Denver store in particular, be sure to peek into the state-of-the-art on-site grow room to see plants and clones being coaxed toward full maturity.

MiNDFUL (Various locations, CO / Chicago, IL)

MiNDFUL, headed up by CEO Meg Sanders, has been recognized by Women Grow as the largest woman-led cannabis company in America. The dispensary chain, which is dedicated to growing exceptional craft-quality cannabis, has five locations spanning the medical and recreational industries in two very different states, Illinois and Colorado. In Colorado, visit stores in Denver (medical and recreational), Colorado Springs (medical), Berthoud (medical), or Aurora (recreational); in Illinois, check out the Addison location on the fringe of Chicago.

Etain (Various locations, NY)

Best Marijuana Dispensaries Owned by Women

Spurred into action by her mother’s suffering from ALS without access to cannabis, Etain founder Amy Peckham secured one of five New York dispensary licenses and went into business with daughters Keeley and Hillary Peckham. The family-owned and -operated chain now includes four locations: Albany, Kingston, Syracuse, and Yonkers. The dispensary’s commitment to offering safe, clean, and consistent products is recognized and appreciated by patients in New York’s still-budding medical cannabis industry.

Simply Pure (Denver, CO)

Best Marijuana Dispensaries Owned by Women

As the first black female dispensary owner in Colorado, Wanda James is an industry pioneer as well as an inspiration. In fact, James didn’t even realize she was a first until someone told her, and rightly asserts that there should be far more like her in the industry. Prior to owning a dispensary, she served on Barack Obama’s finance committee in 2008, and currently works as CEO of Simply Pure, which she co-owns with her husband Scott Durrah. A trailblazer at the epicenter of America’s legal adult-use cannabis culture, James, along with her team, places an emphasis on procuring the highest-quality cannabis available on the market.

4:20 Friendly (Spokane, WA)

Owned and operated by wife-and-wife team Carol Ehrhart and Alissa Taylor, 4:20 Friendly does a wonderful job of being just that — friendly. In addition to the invariably cheerful budtenders and welcoming atmosphere, the Spokane store stands out for its focus on cannabis-infused topicals and edibles (though rest assured that the flower and concentrate selections are expansive as well). 

Canna West Seattle (Seattle, WA)

Best Marijuana Dispensaries Owned by Women

Owner Maryam Mirnateghi used knowledge gained from years in the medical industry (she founded medical dispensary Fusion in 2011) to open Canna West Seattle after Washington transitioned from a medical to an adult-use market. The classy yet cozy pint-sized storefront is a convenient neighborhood stop for West Seattleites, and Mirnateghi’s experience and connections in the industry allow her to consistently offer great product at great prices.

AHHS WeHo (West Hollywood, CA)

Alternative Herbal Health Services’ West Hollywood location is run by Dr. Dina (a nickname bestowed by her close friend Snoop Dogg), widely known as the queen of medical marijuana in the LA area and basis for the main character of the TV show Weeds, along with her co-founder, Jason Beck. Billed as the oldest medical dispensary in SoCal, AHHS WeHo prides itself on serving a huge variety of patients with one of the widest-ranging selections of products in the area. The dispensary is also committed to cannabis-related activism, frequently donating time and money to legalization efforts. 

Sahara Wellness (Las Vegas, NV)

Best Marijuana Dispensaries Owned by Women

As an all-female-owned operation, Sahara Wellness stands out in the Las Vegas cannabis scene. It’s a warm, welcoming dispensary — elegantly appointed with rock and wood accents, an electronic menu, and plenty of art on the walls — that attracts locals and tourists alike for a wide array of flowers, concentrates, edibles, and more. Fun fact: The owners didn’t realize until after securing their store location that its street number is 420.

Ganja Goddess (Seattle, WA)

Best Marijuana Dispensaries Owned by Women

As Seattle’s first woman-owned pot shop, Ganja Goddess makes everyone feel welcome yet aims to cater especially to a female clientele. Feminine touches to the décor and layout of the store (think jewelry-style display cases situated below sparkling chandeliers) as well as a focus on products ladies love keeps clients coming back to the well-known and well-respected SoDo location, owned by Tara Wells.

Breeze Botanicals (Ashland, OR / Gold Hill, OR)

Best Marijuana Dispensaries Owned by Women

Owner Brie Malarkie was the first in Oregon to secure an OLCC retail license, which let her turn her Gold Hill and Ashland medical dispensaries into adult-use cannabis hubs in Southern Oregon. A focus on organic cannabis grown according to USDA standards characterizes the shop’s mission, but community involvement is also important: for instance, Breeze Botanicals plays host to a local food and art boutique that promotes other Southern Oregon artists and artisans. 

National Holistic Healing Center (Washington, DC)

Owner Chanda Macias, who holds a PhD as well as an MBA, is more than qualified to run one of Washington, DC’s best-loved canna-businesses, the National Holistic Healing Center (NHHC). The medical dispensary, which offers a notably wide selection of cannabis flower and derivative products, is laser-focused on patient satisfaction, and budtenders don’t hesitate to go the extra mile to ensure that customers leave with the perfect treatment for their condition.

Higher Leaf (Bellevue, WA / Kirkland, WA)

Best Marijuana Dispensaries Owned by Women

Higher Leaf owner Molly Honig has made her two recreational stores into destinations for discerning consumers in Bellevue and Kirkland. The first multi-store dispensary chain exclusively serving Seattle’s Eastside, Higher Leaf stands out for the sophisticated and soothing atmosphere at both its stores and a curated selection of high-quality products, particularly concentrates.

Queens of Cannabis (Toronto, ON)

Best Marijuana Dispensaries Owned by Women

Founded and run by a female couple, Queens of Cannabis is billed as Toronto’s only all-female owned and operated dispensary. It’s an outspokenly LGBTQ-positive space, and compassion is apparent everywhere, including deals for veterans, seniors, patients with disabilities, and patients with native ancestry. As such, supporting the store is making a statement in favor of equal rights and compassion for all. Editor’s note: Queens of Cannabis currently is currently working to reopen their retail storefront, but continues to deliver to members.

There are without a doubt many more outstanding female-owned operations out there. Don’t see your favorite local stop on this list? Share it in the comments!


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 Rise of Craft Cannabis: Signs of a Maturing Industry

The art of cannabis has come a long way from the days of the dime bag, when you had no idea where your cannabis came from, what kind of pesticides or growing methods produced it, or even what strain it was. These days, in the legal cannabis marketplace, you have your choice of the best of the best of “craft cannabis.”

What Is ‘Craft Cannabis’?

medical marijuana flowers plants

In states like Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, the craft consumer experience is taking off. Microbreweries are exploding and creating hand-crafted microbrew beers for every season and occasion. Coffee has become an artisanal experience, with careful attention paid to the slow roasting of coffee beans for the best flavor. On the culinary side of things, there has been a rise in organically produced, farm-to-table meals, and consumers are more conscious than ever about the products they choose to partake in.

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These craft experiences can be made even more exceptional with the introduction of high-quality, carefully-cured craft cannabis. Craft cannabis is exactly what it sounds like: cannabis that has been lovingly crafted with the greatest of care. When paired with other craft delights, the resulting confections can elevate an already top-shelf experience. Coffee and cannabis pairings join flavor and aroma, along with heady effects, for a new and unique caffeinated experience. Wine tasting has long been an activity for the seasoned wine connoisseur, so why not pair a bold cabernet with a fruity indica like Blackberry Kush? And as long as microbrews are on the rise, a sweet spicy strain like Red Dragon pairs perfectly with a hoppy India Pale Ale.

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Cannabis consumers now have the option to pick and choose not only which strains fit their preferences, but the growers they want to support and which branding appeals to them the most. Furthermore, they can research every detail before making a purchasing decision.

Factors That Contribute to the Craft Cannabis Experience

Marijuana

To the average cannabis consumer, the difference between hand-trimmed cannabis flowers and machine-trimmed might not mean much, but an experienced connoisseur may recognize that buds trimmed by machine lose potency, flavor, and trichomes.

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There are other factors to consider as well. Growing techniques, as well as the use of organic methods as opposed to harsh chemicals, may appeal to the health-conscious cannabis consumer more than a large-scale producer relying on mechanically-operated systems and pesticides.

Craft marijuana grown without the use of pesticides requires extra care and attention, making sure that each plant does not get infected with spider mites or grow mold, which can devastate a crop. Maintaining steady temperature control, as well as other factors related to humidity and air filtration, can also significantly increase the yield and quality of a crop.

Traditionally, one of the areas commonly associated with the birth of craft cannabis is the Emerald Triangle, a forested region in California immersed in the cultivation of cannabis before legalization was but a twinkle in a legislator’s eye. True Humboldt, based in Humboldt County, produces sustainable sun-grown cannabis in the heart of cannabis country with quality, tradition, and community in mind.

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As any cannabis enthusiast can tell you, not all strains are created equal. However, when it comes to carefully cultivated cannabis, a great strain can be made even better with the right growing techniques and a master cultivator.

For example, Leafly conducted an experiment last year to determine which Washington state cannabis producer had cultivated the best Blue Dream on the retail market. They’re all the same, right? Nope. Our discerning judges all concluded that one grower’s Blue Dream stood out above the rest. Artizen Cannabis, with a perfectly reasonable price point of $13.25 per gram, took top honors with universal agreement among the judges.

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Marketing Craft Cannabis

Marijuana
A great product only goes so far, especially when it comes to legal marijuana. Craft cannabis goes all the way from seed to sale, which means marketing and packaging make as much of a difference in the end product as how the strain is grown and cultivated. However, a few extraordinary examples prove that it is possible to stay within the strict labeling and packaging regulations and still have a beautiful product.

Gold Leaf Gardens‘ exceptional packaging goes beyond the bare minimum. Packaging one’s cannabis in a glass jar is more expensive than packaging it in a sealed plastic package, but it helps the cannabis retain its shape and is more visually appealing to consumers. Gold Leaf not only packages its cannabis flowers in glass jars with cork lids, the brand also ensures the integrity of its pre-rolled joints by enclosing them in a cork-stopped glass tube, embossed with Gold Leaf Gardens’ signature gold and black label.

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Although there are many people who purchase cannabis on a budget, with the plethora of options available on the retail market, it’s understandable that discerning consumers are willing to spend a bit more for a better product. And, as our Blue Dream experiment shows, the best product is not always the most expensive, and vice versa.

Remember: Craft cannabis does not necessarily require more funding to make a better product. Rather, it requires patience, care, and attention to detail.

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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.

Colorado Weighs Strategy to Guard Against Federal Cannabis Crackdown

DENVER (AP) — Colorado is considering an unusual strategy to protect its nascent cannabis industry from a potential federal crackdown, even at the expense of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax collections.

A bill pending in the Legislature would allow cannabis growers and retailers to reclassify their recreational pot as medical pot if a change in federal law or enforcement occurs.

The bill would allow Colorado’s 500 or so licensed recreational growers to instantly reclassify their cannabis.

It’s the boldest attempt yet by a U.S. marijuana state to avoid federal intervention in its cannabis market.

The bill would allow Colorado’s 500 or so licensed recreational growers to instantly reclassify their cannabis. A switch would cost the state more than $100 million a year because Colorado taxes medical marijuana much more lightly than recreational marijuana — 2.9 percent versus 17.9 percent.

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The measure says licensed growers could immediately become medical licensees “based on a business need due to a change in local, state or federal law or enforcement policy.” The change wouldn’t take recreational marijuana off the books, but it wouldn’t entirely safeguard it either. What it could do is help growers protect their inventory in case federal authorities start seizing recreational marijuana.

The provision is getting a lot of attention in the marijuana industry following recent comments from members of President Donald Trump’s administration. White House spokesman Sean Spicer has said there’s a “big difference” between medical and recreational cannabis.

Sponsors of the bill call it a possible exit strategy for the new industry. It’s hard to say how many businesses would be affected, or if medical cannabis would flood the market, because some businesses hold licenses to both grow and sell marijuana in Colorado.

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The state had about 827,000 marijuana plants growing in the retail system in June, the latest available data. More than half were for the recreational market.

“If there is a change in federal law, then I think all of our businesses want to stay in business somehow. They’ve made major investments,” said Sen. Tim Neville, a suburban Denver Republican who sponsored the bill.

If federal authorities start seizing recreational cannabis, Colorado’s recreational marijuana entrepreneurs “need to be able to convert that product into the medical side so they can sell it,” Neville said.

Medical and recreational cannabis are the same product. The only difference between them is how they are used.

His bill passed a committee in the Republican Senate 4-1 last week.

But it’s unclear whether the measure could pass the full Colorado Senate or the Democratic House. Skeptics of the proposal doubt the classification change would do much more than cost Colorado tax money.

“It’s a big deal for our taxation system because this money has been coming in and has been set aside for this, that and the other,” said Sen. Lois Court, a Denver Democrat who voted against the bill.

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Schools would be the first casualty of a tax change. Colorado sends $40 million a year to a school-construction fund from excise taxes on recreational cannabis. It’s a tax that doesn’t exist for medical marijuana.

Other items funded by recreational cannabis in Colorado include training for police in identifying stoned drivers, a public-education campaign aimed at reducing teen marijuana use, and an array of medical studies on marijuana’s effectiveness treating ailments such as seizures or post-traumatic stress disorder.

The proposal comes amid mixed signals from the federal government on how the Trump administration plans to treat states that aren’t enforcing federal drug law.

Spicer said the president understands the pain and suffering many people, especially those with terminal diseases, endure “and the comfort that some of these drugs, including medical marijuana, can bring to them.”

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But Attorney General Jeff Sessions has voiced doubts about marijuana’s medical value.

“Medical marijuana has been hyped, maybe too much,” Sessions said in a speech to law enforcement agencies in Richmond, Virginia.

Marijuana activists say giving the industry an option to keep their inventory legal is a valuable idea for recreational cannabis states. They point out that a change in federal policy wouldn’t make the drug magically disappear from the eight states that allow recreational use, along with Washington, D.C.

“It would be very harmful to the state if it reverts back entirely to an underground market,” said Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization activist group.

If the bill becomes law, Colorado would be the first legal state to take action to protect producers from a federal drug crackdown, marijuana analysts said.

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Oregon Senate Approves Plan to Shield Cannabis Consumer Info From Feds

A bill pending in the Oregon Legislature aims to shield the names and other personal information of cannabis buyers by making it illegal for shops to keep an internal log of customers’ personal data, a practice that is already banned or discouraged in Colorado, Alaska and Washington state.

Other states such as California are considering proposals that would bar local and state law enforcement from cooperating with federal authorities on investigations into cannabis operations that are legal in their jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, members of Congress from some legal cannabis states have talked about trying to block federal intervention in marijuana states. Congress could reclassify marijuana so medical use is allowed, or it could try to block federal enforcement of marijuana prohibition through the federal budget.

But the proposed Colorado change may be a longshot effort.

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Medical and recreational cannabis are the same product. The only difference between them is how they are used, and the U.S. Controlled Substances Act says marijuana has no valid medical use. Federal health regulators have rejected repeated attempts to carve out a legal place for marijuana use by sick people.

Sponsors concede there are no promises that reclassifying all that cannabis as medicine would stop a federal crackdown.

But they say Colorado shouldn’t sit idly by and wait to see if the Trump administration starts enforcing federal drug law by attacking businesses that are legal under state law.

“This bill allows the industry to know there is something after tomorrow, whatever tomorrow may bring,” Neville said.


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.