Julie Aitcheson, Author at Green Market Report

Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonJuly 6, 2020
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5min4060

Medical cannabis legalization is a fait accompli in thirty-three states and counting and eleven states have legalized recreational marijuana, suggesting a brighter horizon for other restricted plant medicines as well. Enter psychedelic mushrooms, otherwise known as Psilocybe spp., and Susan Chapelle, co-CEO of the newly-launched Havn Life, a company dedicated to developing a range of standardized, quality-controlled psilocybin products to be used by researchers.

Chapelle (whose bio includes being the first female steel rigger in North America, a two-time elected politician, and boasts years spent lobbying for health policy change), launched Havn Life as part of a larger mission to build evidence-informed natural healthcare products that help people manage their own healthcare. 

Developing a reliable, safe, standardized supply of psilocybin, which does not currently exist, is a central part of this broader vision. “A concern that all companies must grapple with as we look to the future of psychedelic medicines is the future of the supply chain,” Chappelle explains. “Havn Life is developing two labs in the South Campus of The University of British Columbia (UBC), where we will develop methodology for growing and extracting Psilocybe spp. These compounds will be available to academics studying psychedelics until policy becomes informed by evidence, and the market opens up to these compounds as approved medication.” But Susan Chapelle and her team do not intend to stop there, she states. “Havn Life is diversified and looking at other psychoactive compounds for use in Natural Health products to get to market using evidence-informed formulations derived from fungus and plants.”

Havn Life’s supply development won’t only benefit their own bottom line, however. “Havn Life is developing a reliable and safe supply chain of psychedelic compounds,” Chapelle says, “an essential component that will enable other companies to move to human clinical trials.” When I asked about the ways in which Havn Life is navigating the regulatory landscape as part of this endeavor, Chapelle informed me that “psilocybin is currently scheduled as a restricted compound by most governments. It is a controlled compound in Canada; however, both animal and human trials can be conducted through an application process to Health Canada. There is still a hangover effect from the ‘war on drugs,’ but ultimately the regulators must absorb the evidence from five decades of clinical research, most of which is peer-reviewed and published.”

Chapelle is unfazed regarding other potential obstacles to realizing her team’s vision for Havn Life. “The amount of collective knowledge and the fact that we are all trailblazers that have worked in nascent industries such as cannabis, technology, and formulations is such an incredible benefit. We have an ability to look at obstacles as challenges to be solved.” With the partnership with the University of British Columbia firmly in place and a diverse team of dedicated professionals, Havn Life’s mission appears anything but impossible. “Civilization has been enjoying mushrooms in both cultural ceremonies and for recreational purposes for eternity,” Chapelle asserts. “Access to a safe, properly dosed, standardized drug supply is long overdue.”

 


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonJuly 2, 2020
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3min1060

Fourth of July celebrations won’t be the same this year, but here’s something that can lift your spirits.

Southern California-based Platinum Cannabis Products, which produces a line of THC-infused chocolates that the website describes as “carefully crafted and palate-driven”,  is bringing a sweet limited edition surprise to cannabis lovers for the 4th of July holiday festivities.  The 20-serving sugar cookie-flavored white chocolate bar with popping candy and patriotic red, white, and blue sprinkles comes in a resealable pouch, packing 5mg of THC per serving.

Of course, if you are like me, a serving of chocolate is whatever size bar comes in the wrapper, so consumers should be careful to check the scored marks delineating each piece to make sure of proper dosage.  There is specific guidance for first-time users, those who haven’t had cannabis in a while, and those who are frequent users. I highly recommend adhering to this guidance, as this pop rock chocolate packs a punch.

I am no lover of white chocolate. In fact, I once jokingly-not-jokingly told my boyfriend that it was a deal-breaker for our relationship when he told me that his favorite cookie was macadamia nut with white chocolate chips. Perhaps it was the “sugar cookie” overtones or pleasant fizz of popping candy in PV’s “All American Chocolate Bar” reminding me of Fourth of July picnics past, but I found the treat quite palatable, with only a very slight “weedy” aftertaste that quickly dispersed. The treat was too sweet for my taste, as all white chocolates are, but as good as any I’ve tried, THC-infused or no.

 The dose of THC imparted an uplifted, noticeably enhanced state of awareness. Visual details came through more sharply and I had a sense of alertness that wasn’t touched by adrenaline like a coffee buzz. More like my dog raising her head to sniff the kabobs sizzling on the grill. In all, I found it quite an agreeable adjunct to a July picnic. Just make sure to keep that resealable pouch in the cooler with the hot dog buns and macaroni salad to keep it safe from the summer heat!


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonJune 16, 2020
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6min3610

The shared history between cannabis and the LGBTQ+ community is long, including the landmark moment when HIV/AIDS activists pushed through medical marijuana legalization in California in 1996. There is a commonality of lived experience as well. As articulated by Laila Makled and Caroline Phillips in an April 2019 article for The Washington Blade, “Both cannabis and LGBTQIA community have lived on the fringes of society for decades, navigating a country where their acceptance was, and often still is, hard to attain.” 

Several cannabis companies are stepping up to support and commemorate Pride month. In addition to donating $15,000 to GLAAD for Pride month, edibles brand Kiva Confections has re-released their tropical-flavored Proud Camino gummies. San Francisco-based company SPARC has launched its exclusive Unicorn OG cartridge, and is donating $1 per sale to the GLBT Historical Society. Peak Extracts is offering a Pride promo with 10% off of their entire line of tinctures and topicals, and purchases of Aster Farms’ limited edition Rainbow Chip Pre-Rolls and a Coolhaus pint will benefit Los Angeles based LGBTQ+ charities. 

But Pride month is not happening in a vacuum. We are in the midst not only of a global pandemic, but a global uprising of citizens in the face of systemic racism and police brutality against Black people.  Though many cannabis companies have made strong gestures of solidarity with the fight for racial equality during Pride month, such as Envy CBD which posted a “How to Support Your Community” primer on its website, few are stepping up on the monetary end, at least not yet.

Black communities have long been disproportionately affected by the criminalization of marijuana (as reflected in this report published by the ACLU), and black trans women of color are even more vulnerable to police brutality than their cisgender counterparts. “Trans people who have done street economy work are more than twice as likely to report physical assaults by police officers and four times as likely to report sexual assault by police” according to Blueprint for Equality, published by the National Center for Transgender Equality. In case you missed it, “street economy” includes the sale of marijuana in places where its recreational use is still a crime. 

Many Pride event organizers have offered to dedicate their marches and rallies to solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, such as the All Black Lives Matter march in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 14. The organizers made inclusivity an explicit theme of their protest, which helped to highlight the invisibilization of black trans people that occurs within the context of racial justice.

The annual Pridefest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was canceled altogether to center the concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement. With all of the crossover between cannabis, LGBTQ+ and Black communities, it seems a natural step that in addition to “sharing the mike” with Black voices, cannabis companies might be moved to share the spotlight and profits from their promotions as well. With two weeks left of Pride 2020, there’s still time. 

 

 

 


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonJune 11, 2020
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6min1810

The summer of 2019 pales in comparison to the turmoil of pretty much every month of 2020 thus far, but was still notable for at least one high-profile public health crisis. August 2019 saw a noted rise in vaping-related illnesses. The vaping crisis prompted the Food and Drug Administration to initiate comprehensive laboratory testing and ongoing investigations of cases in order to regulate the use of vaping products.

Vape sales for key states hit a high of $160 million in August 2019 according to the new State of Legal Cannabis report by Arcview and BDSA. By September, those sales dropped to $126 million.  Once it was determined that illegal manufacturers were the root of the problem, branded vape sales started to slowly recover. Fourth-quarter 2019 sales still showed signs of decline, but in December sales picked up by 11%.

States and the vaping industry are still waiting on concrete federal guidelines, and in the meantime, many manufacturers of vaping hardware and associated products are downsizing or disbanding due to the one-two punch of the vape crisis and Covid-19. 

Blinc Remains Resilient

There is at least one hopeful story on the vape industry horizon, however, and that is the resilient growth and success of The Blinc Group. The Blinc Group’s business model is built on a tripartite foundation of innovation, quality, and safety, and it seems to be working. Where many companies suffered lethal blows from the vape crisis and Covid-19, The Blinc Group has maintained a focus on expansion and upgrading their facilities to improve safety standards. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Arnaud Dumas du Rauly, CEO of The Blinc Group. 

Arnaud Dumas du Rauly is also the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Chairman of Standards on Vaping Products and the Chairman of the European Commission on Standards on Vaping Products. In other words, The Blinc Group is serious about safety. This focus led to slower initial growth and higher product pricing than the industry standard, but with earnings for 2020 already matching earnings for all of 2019, The Blinc Group is seeing a major return on its investment. 

During our interview, du Rauly spoke passionately about emissions, one of the industry’s primary safety issues. Because oils can undergo a change of state when they are vaporized, it is not possible to fully assess the potential toxicity of a product without testing emissions, typically using something called a “puffer machine”. This type of testing is not yet required in the U.S., but du Rauly is evangelical about its importance, not just for his company but industry-wide.

When the Covid-19 crisis hit and customers became more health-conscious in their buying behavior, The Blinc Group found itself in high demand with its start-to-finish supply chain control, a ten-year relationship with manufacturing facilities in China (which enabled them to keep their production on track as Covid-19 peaked there), and components that are ISO and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) compliant. It also allowed them to consolidate a position in the Canadian market, which is a highly regulated environment that few vaping product manufacturers in the U.S. are prepared to navigate. 

Arnaud Dumas du Rauly admits that research has not yet caught up with the cannabis industry in terms of product safety, but in his own words, “the DNA of the company is making sure that safe products get out there.” The Blinc Group’s current trajectory suggests that success is also part of their genetic makeup.

 


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonJune 3, 2020
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5min5170

The summer of 2020, like the rest of the past year, is shaping up to be fraught with tension, unrest, and anxiety, but at least one thing is certain. There will be hot days (in the northern hemisphere, at least) and people will be thirsty, not just for cold, refreshing beverages, but for the opportunity to relax, unwind, and connect in whatever form is available to us in the months to come.

Sometimes soda, iced tea, or a tangy lemonade do the trick when temperatures rise, but sometimes an “adult beverage” is in order to take the edge off of these very edgy days. With favorite local watering holes either closed or restricted by limited seating and social distancing, grocers and liquor stores are stocking up on wine, beer, cocktail mixers, and alcohol-enhanced sodas to enjoy at home. Meanwhile, some companies are hatching more innovative ways to beat the heat. Enter mood33, House of Saka, and Cann Social Tonics.

Mood33 heralds the debut of its new hemp-infused herbal tea line with descriptives like “soulfully delicious” and “mindfully sweetened”, a surefire way to attract all of the hemp-minded Whole Foodies out there. Boasting 33mg of organic, American-grown hemp extract per bottle in blends that include botanicals, tea, and real fruit juice, mood33’s beverages offer more than a way to slake your summer thirst. With names like “Joy”, “Passion”, and a “Wellbeing” blend that includes 133mg of caffeine from guayusa and green tea, these drinks offer an alternative to the intoxicating effects of that IPA or chilled martini, and all at 70 calories or less.

House of Saka takes a different approach, as a Napa-based company focusing on “wine-style” libations for those disinclined to give up the grape. House of Saka is an all-female-run company focused on crafting alcohol-free, cannabis-infused wines for the luxury market. Their first release, the rosé-inspired Saka Pink, is “rosé-inspired”, and at 5mg of THC, 1mg of CBD, and only 16 calories per serving, consumers can feel good about that second glass.

As an herbalist and dedicated Whole Foodie myself, Cann Social Tonics caught my eye with its attention to wholesome ingredients and inventive infusions like Grapefruit Rosemary and Cardamom Blood Orange. Each beverage in the line is sweetened only with 100% organic agave nectar from Mexico and juices that are not from concentrate. With 2mg of THC and 4mg of CBD per can, Cann Social Tonics promises a fizzy summer fix with plenty of feel-good ingredients to ensure that the next morning is as pleasant and brain fog-free as the night before.

While you may not be able to stroll into your neighborhood tavern and order one of these plant-centric beverages over the counter, there are other ways to get your cannabis-infused mocktail this summer. Mood33 lists twenty-five grocery locations carrying their products in the U.S., as well as an online ordering option. Cann is available at dispensaries listed on their website and by delivery and House of Saka is also available at select dispensaries. Cheers!


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonJune 1, 2020
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7min2960

With terms like “social distancing”, “quarantine”, and “safer at home” orders now common parlance thanks to the Covid-19 global pandemic, it seems an odd time to forge ahead with opening new retail establishments, yet several determined cannabis companies are betting on a better future and doing just that.

 Small business website “The Balance” itemizes the expenses associated with opening a storefront, which include licensing fees, rent, inventory, staffing, and equipment to name a few.  To open even a small business in an inexpensive city or town can cost thousands of dollars. Factor in the extra costs retailers will have to swallow to stay within Covid-19 guidelines for reopening such as plexiglass cashier guards, protective equipment for staff, and restrictions on the number of customers allowed in the store at any one time, and the overhead becomes untenable for many current and aspiring shop owners.

New Dispensaries

Despite these factors, companies like cannabis product manufacturer Green Thumb Industries, cannabis testing laboratory Cannasafe, and cannabis retailer Canna Provisions are expanding their enterprises.

Green Thumb Industries (OTC:GTBIF)  announced that it would be opening its fourth retail location in the Las Vegas, NV area on May 13, as well as the eighth store in Illinois on May 28. This makes for a total of forty-five storefronts nationwide for Green Thumb, with four new locations opening since the Covid-19 crisis began. 

Green Thumb’s approach involves an emphasis on efficient curbside pick-up and delivery strategies to safeguard customer and staff safety. In a May 26 press release about the new Illinois location, Green Thumb Industries founder and chief executive Ben Kovler stated that his company has “continued to move forward through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to provide jobs and much-needed access to well-being through the power of cannabis during these difficult times, as demonstrated by the opening of Rise Niles, our fourth opening since the crisis began.”

Cresco Labs  (OTCQX:CRLBF) opened Sunnyside River North, the first Illinois adult-use dispensary in Chicago in the prestigious River North neighborhood. Sunnyside opened for adult-use cannabis sales on May 28th for online orders and in-store pick up that day through a pop-up retail experience. “We are thrilled to be opening the first adult use store in Chicago under the state’s new legislation and to provide an example of what normalized and professionalized cannabis looks like with a location in a traditional business district, a local and diverse operating team and a tremendous amount of community input and support,” said Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs’ CEO and Co-founder.

Cresco Labs has said it has implemented procedures system-wide to eliminate wait lines, crowding, and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and the River North location will launch with online orders only through Sunnyside.shop. Once customers receive a text notification that their order is ready, they can check-in at the Guest Experience Center at 22 W. Hubbard to be entered into the virtual pickup queue.

Meanwhile, Cannasafe has announced the opening of three new ISO-accredited laboratories in Oregon, Florida, and Illinois to help meet the increased demand for cannabis during the pandemic. Canna Provisions has opened a new storefront in Easthampton, MA with another in nearby Holyoke slated to open shortly. Another Lee, MA location shut down due to the pandemic will also be reopening. Canna Provisions is using a quick transaction model involving ID checks, a wireless ATM card reader, and frequent sanitizing to facilitate safe customer interface while offering additional support via Zoom links and instructional videos to help customers understand the new system. 

These considered moves by some of the industry’s best-known names have all of the makings of successful ventures, especially given the attention to the potential infection hazards inherent in storefront retail. Still, as demand for cannabis continues strong and companies build capacity to meet that demand, it remains to be seen whether Covid-19 and a potential “second wave” will frame a gamble on the future of in-person sales as one worth taking or not.


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonMay 22, 2020
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5min5380

Leafly, the largest cannabis website in the world, issued its fourth annual Cannabis Industry Jobs Report in February, roughly a month before the outbreak of Covid-19 was officially declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Leafly’s report revealed that America remains the legal cannabis industry’s biggest employer despite a downturn related to “a slow-growing Canadian market, shrinking investment capital, a national vaping health crisis, and layoffs at some of the industry’s leading brands.”

The future still looked bright for jobs in the legal cannabis industry, designated by Leafly’s report as the fastest-growing job sector in the United States as of early February 2020. But now that the Covid-19 pandemic has detonated an economic bomb across the globe, the future of cannabis employment may look decidedly different.

In an April article for legal website FindLaw by staff writer Bridget Molitor, JD articulates the various jobs that the legal cannabis industry offers. These jobs include roles in growing, producing, manufacturing, and sales, but given persistent concerns about the perils of working in close proximity to others, the cannabis industry will need to pivot a greater proportion of its workforce towards more autonomous models for its job market to remain viable.

Work-from-home cannabis careers were out there before Covid-19 crashed the economy, and by the looks of listings on popular job search websites like Monster and Indeed (not to mention industry-specific sites like Vangst, 420 Careers and Ganjapreneur.com), opportunities to work from home are more abundant than ever. Remote sales, online support, brand ambassadors, content writers, and web designers are in high demand. 

For those willing and able to venture out in states like California and Colorado, which declared both medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries “essential businesses” during the lockdown, jobs as cannabis delivery drivers are also on the rise. In April, reporter Luke Winkie followed up on an earlier story for The Goods, which publishes market-oriented content for Vox. Winkie checked back in with an L.A. area cannabis delivery driver who he interviewed in a previous article. The driver confirmed that business had “never been better” due to panic buying and the “stay-at-home” order. 

It may be a long time before the 6 feet social distancing rule becomes a thing of the past. Until then, retail establishments need to find ways to maintain sales volume without endangering customers. While this will mean there could be fewer employees on the sales floors, it also means a surging need for workers to process and package online and phone orders for mail, vehicle delivery, and curbside pick-up. 

The legal marijuana industry sustained multiple hits to its profit margin in 2019, and still managed to maintain its status as a dominant sector of the U.S. jobs market. With that crucial advantage, and if the ubiquity of remote cannabis-related jobs crowding the job boards is any indication, the industry may be poised to weather the economic crisis better than most.


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonMay 12, 2020
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5min7170

It is not news that medical marijuana companies are constantly innovating to offer cannabis-derived products specifically formulated for those suffering from life-threatening and debilitating illnesses such as autism, cancer, and epilepsy. What doesn’t regularly make the headlines is the fact that many of them are creating and partnering with non-profit organizations in order to support providers and patients in turning that life-saving (or at least life-enhancing) corner. 

Hope Grows For Autisma nonprofit aimed at improving the lives of families affected by autism through research, education, and the advocacy of medical natural treatments was founded by Erica Daniels. Daniels is the mother of an autistic child, and her quest for a better quality of life for her son and family led her to discover the overwhelming significance of diet and medical cannabis in addressing her child’s autism. Her organization’s mission inspired a partnership between Hope Grows For Autism and medical marijuana company Zelira Therapeutics (formerly Zelda Therapeutics, which merged with Ilera Healthcare to form Zelira) in the creation of their HOPE™ range of products, which are formulated specifically for autism spectrum disorders. These products are olive oil-based tinctures that include Hope 1, which has a 1 to 1 THC:CBD ratio, and Hope 2, with a THC:CBD ratio of 5 to 1.  These formulas were created with the specific challenges of autism in mind, and have become bestselling items for Zelira.

Then there is The Flowering HOPE Foundation, a non-profit started by Jason Cranford, founder of medical marijuana company Haleigh’s Hope. The Flowering HOPE Foundation facilitates safe, lawful access to medical marijuana for individuals suffering from multiple ailments including Crohn’s, cancer, and epilepsy. Flowering HOPE also participates in petitioning and lobbying for clearer regulatory guidelines around marijuana access and use, such as this case profiled by PR Newswire involving a challenge of the DEA’s classification of hemp oil and CBD products as Schedule 1 substances. 

No profile of medical marijuana companies flexing philanthropic muscle on behalf of those in need would be complete without a mention of Colorado flagship company, Charlotte’s Web. Charlotte’s Web enjoys an active partnership with the Realm of Caring Foundation, a non-profit that provides education for patients and healthcare providers, research, and support to families in need of access to medical marijuana. The organization seeks to build a supportive community among those benefiting from the use of medical marijuana in their healing protocols and providing the latest research to inform decisions about treatment. 

This community-building aspect, which all of the aforementioned non-profits share, is particularly valuable to families who do not find the support they need for their medical marijuana treatment protocols from health insurance companies and the larger medical community.  As the science of crafting highly targeted formulas for some of today’s most challenging medical conditions becomes ever more refined, it is both evident and encouraging that some of the industry’s leading medical marijuana companies remain committed to serving the people behind the profits.

 


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonMay 5, 2020
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8min7700

Gift-giving can be a stressful exercise, particularly when you want your gift to make a statement and even more so when that statement is along the lines of “Thank you for giving me life, keeping me alive, and making my life better.” It’s a tall order, but one that is possible to fill, especially if your search includes cannabis-related products.

Cannabis data intelligence company Headset rounded up some figures on buying behavior related to Mother’s Day, to the benefit CBD companies looking for a sales figure boost and shoppers eager to commemorate the mothers in their lives with the perfect gift. According to Headset data, there were noticeable spikes in specific categories, including topicals, tincture, and sublingual products. Sales in both the “Bath Salts, Soaks, and Scrubs” and “Transdermal Products” categories rose 32%, while lotions, creams, gels, oils, and lubes saw smaller but still significant increases. 

Leaflink, a wholesale cannabis e-commerce marketplace, posted data that showed a 8.54% overall market share increase during the week after Mother’s Day last year, compared to its average weekly increase of .94%. Leaflink attributes this leap to a massive restocking of vape cartridges after Mother’s Day shoppers cleaned the shelves prior to the holiday. So you’re clearly not the only one thinking green for your mother’s special day, but with all of the products on the market, from the new to the tried and true, where to start? Here are some of this year’s highlights.

A Mother’s Day bundle from luxury CBD product manufacturer TribeTokes includes a tincture, face mask, eye cream, and travel-sized eye gel that offers $40 in savings with an additional 20% discount when you enter MAGICALMAMA20 at checkout.

 

Or say it with Kiva Confections’ THC-infused edibles, including their light dose 2.5 mg Petra Mints, or the popular Terra Bites (5mg per dose), which come in flavors like dark chocolate espresso bean and blueberry milk chocolate.

Valhalla Confections offers a different take on the sweet Mother’s Day treat with cannabis-infused gummies that come in flavors like “Sattiva Tangerine” and “Indica Sour Watermelon”. MedTerra CBD has gummy-loving mummies looking for a THC-free treat covered with three different gummy varieties (“Stay Alert”, “Keep Calm”, and “Sleep Tight”) to make her day special.

Not every mother dreams of bubble bath and sweet treats, so for her watchmaker Time Concepts offers its 420 Waldos Mary Jane Series. These timepieces, which retail at $150, boast a cannabis plant image at the watch face’s twenty-minute mark, with another plant outline imprinted on either side of the watchband. Every watch sold supports cannabis legalization.

Whether you are looking to gift the mama in your life with cannabis-related products for topical pain relief (such as Papa Barkley’s Releaf Balm or Releaf Body Lotion),

 

 

a potent tincture to alleviate stress and tension (e.g. Funky Farms Alaskan Ice Tincture or Kat’s Naturals “Relax”),

 

or a celebratory sip made with one of Mood33’s hemp-infused herbal teas, there are gift ideas aplenty and little reason to let Mother’s Day pass by unmarked. 

but one of the most exciting cannabis gift’s one can give a mom on Mother’s Day is a bottle of the luxurious infused beverage from House of Saka’s Napa Valley collection Saka Pink. This familiarity of holding a glass of wine at night provides for the perfect perfect micro-dosed  experience to any Mom looking to relax.


Julie AitchesonJulie AitchesonApril 30, 2020
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3min3490

April 29th was a challenging day for major marijuana producer, Canopy Growth. In a statement to the Canadian press, Canopy Growth Corporation announced its most recent round of cuts, which saw 200 staff members laid off from Canadian, U.S., and U.K. offices. This brings Canopy Growth’s current layoff total to 1,000 employees, including Covid-19 furloughs. According to reporting by Canadian news outlet OttawaMatters.com, which was present for the briefing, Chief Executive David Klein framed the cuts as Canopy Growth’s shift in focus from being first to being best. This, after a mid-April shake-up in which the company shed 85 full-time workers and closed some facilities. The lay-offs were announced during a group Zoom call, which Kate Dingvall’s reporting for Forbes Magazine revealed lasted only two minutes.

Canopy Growth, which became the first publicly traded cannabis company in North America in April 2014, has built a variety of brands over the years, including Tweed, Spectrum Therapeutics, DNA Genetics, and Maitri. The company struggled to realize a profit due to several factors, including a glut of hemp, slower-than-anticipated development in the Canadian market, changing regulations, and fluctuating demand. The decision to downsize personnel and operations to focus on products that are proven earners with proven demand is Canopy Growth’s latest viability strategy. 

This strategy includes closing two of the company’s largest greenhouses, both in British Columbia, as well as restructuring global operations in Africa, South America, and beyond. Plans for opening a new greenhouse in Ontario were also scrapped, as Canopy shifts the focus of their growing operations from greenhouses to outdoor sites, which are less costly to establish and manage. (These were not permitted by federal regulations until after the company had already invested heavily in greenhouse facilities). Billed as the world’s largest marijuana company, these cutbacks will hardly bump Canopy Growth down to bush league status, but the restructuring of this industry heavyweight is still big news, and will likely have a sizable impact on the cannabis market moving forward.



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