Julie Aitcheson, Author at Green Market Report

Julie AitchesonMay 14, 2021
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Job growth for the United States in April 2021 might not have quite matched expectations with a disappointing increase of 266,000 jobs and an unemployment rate rise for the first time since 2020, but executive search and staffing firm Cannabiz Team’s latest Cannabis Industry Salary Guide for Q2 2021 tells a different story for the cannabis market. With 320,000 full-time cannabis jobs in the U.S., the cannabis industry ranks as the fastest-growing industry in America. As cannabis legalization spreads, projections have cannabis hitting $35 billion dollars in sales and providing 500,000 full-time jobs by 2024. Cannabiz’s report covers the rising demand for skilled staff, how this is driving compensation, and how big-name MSO’s are starting to scout outside of the industry for top-dollar talent.

At present, adult-use cannabis is legal in 17 states and D.C. and medical marijuana is legal in 36, with Connecticut, Minnesota, and Hawaii poised to follow suit. This not only means heightened demand for products, more growing operations, and production facilities coming online, and more business owners applying for licenses, but more jobs all around. Cannabiz’s Q2 jobs guide highlights where the “hot jobs” are in this expanding market, including those within supply chain management, large-scale cultivation, product and brand development, finance and accounting, administrative infrastructure, and retail. Cannabis salaries are up across the board in these sectors and others, with double-digit increases for experienced managers and C-suite executives. The report attributes these increases to competition and a shortage of employees with specialized cannabis experience or transferable skills. 

New recruits from outside the industry are coming from all corners of the U.S. economy, most significantly from the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, agricultural, medical supply, CPG, technology, and retail industries. John Deere, Proctor and Gamble (NYSE: PG), and Tesla are among the country’s largest companies from which multi-state cannabis operations are sourcing recruits. 

Unsurprisingly, California comes in first in the number of total cannabis jobs at 58,000, with Colorado and Florida nearly tied for second with 35K and 31K total cannabis jobs respectively. Oklahoma and Pennsylvania hover at the bottom of the “Top Cannabis Jobs” list by state with 17K and 16K respectively. 

With a cannabis company’s Chief Financial Officer’s earning potential placed at a high of over $400,00 a year according to Cannabiz data, it’s easy to see where those double digit increases fall, especially since jobs at the public-facing retail end, say for a budtender, top out at a high of around $40,000 a year. Lower-paying jobs did see a salary increase as well, though only in the single digits- a gap that stands to narrow as legalization, investment, and expansion maintains momentum for the cannabis industry.

 


Julie AitchesonMay 5, 2021
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The Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has worked for the last 35 years to shift the perception around psychedelics as a treatment tool for mental health issues. Now, with the release of data from its Phase III trial with the FDA for the use of MDMA (ecstasy) to treat PTSD, MAPS’ work has coalesced into findings that could change the mental health treatment landscape as we know it. 

MDMA is on the cusp of FDA approval to treat PTSD, not just for military veterans, but for an array of people who have suffered from abuse and other trauma-inducing events. In 2017, the FDA granted MDMA “breakthrough therapy status” in anticipation of approving it as a medication for mental health, and the release of MAPS’ latest statistically significant findings constitutes a huge leap towards legalization. 

The conversation around the legalization of psychedelic drugs is not new to the mental health community. Trials testing the efficacy of psychedelics such as LSD for mental illness began as early as the 1950s. By the 1960s more than 1,000 papers had been published about LSD as a treatment for depression, alcoholism, schizophrenia, and as an adjunct to psychotherapy. These trials lacked the scientific rigor necessary for legitimacy in the eyes of the FDA, but due in no small part to the work of MAPS, legitimacy is no longer the stumbling block it once was.

 MDMA showed efficacy for treating PTSD in six MAPS Phase II trials, providing a cost-saving and clinically beneficial treatment for those with severe or extreme chronic PTSD resulting from any cause. The Phase III trial is the first of any psychedelic-assisted therapy. It was a randomized, blinded study designed under an FDA-approved Special Protocol Assessment. 90 patients with severe, chronic PTSD were enrolled in the trial and randomized to receive either MDMA or a placebo. The results, according to the lead author of the paper, Jennifer Mitchell, Ph.D., were significant. “People with the most difficult-to-treat diagnosis, often considered intractable, respond just as well to this novel treatment as other participants. In fact, participants diagnosed with the dissociative type of PTSD experienced a greater reduction in symptoms than those without the dissociative subtype.”

The Phase III trial data revealed that 67% of the group who received MDMA no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis after three treatment sessions (compared to 32% of the placebo group). 88% of participants in the MDMA sessions experienced a clinically significant reduction in symptoms, as opposed to 60% of the placebo group who received therapy alone. Mitchell attributes MDMA’s effectiveness to its role as a catalyst in therapy, which often involves recalling, and frequently reactivating, previous trauma. “The unique ability of MDMA to raise compassion and understanding while tamping down fear is likely what enables it to be so effective.”

Researchers are currently enrolling participants in a second Phase III trial and MAPS is formulating plans for additional studies to evaluate MDMA’s efficacy for mental health conditions not yet explored, as well as other protocols beyond one-on-one sessions, including group therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy focused on couples. The fact that MDMA is currently classified as a Schedule I drug and defined as having “no medical benefit” means that the only way to receive MDMA-assisted therapy right now is through clinical trials. However, the FDA has given its blessing to an expanded access program so that 50 patients can access MDMA-assisted therapy before it is approved and MAPS has committed to confronting accessibility and equity issues from its own side of the table. While not a sure thing, with MAPS’ latest data and continued efforts in alignment with FDA requirements the hoped-for 2023 FDA approval of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD is closer to becoming a reality than ever before.


Julie AitchesonMay 4, 2021
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A 2020 report by Oasis Intelligence showed that 16 percent of moms have been inclined to purchase cannabis during the pandemic, which is not surprising given the fact that women have been disproportionally impacted by job loss, homeschooling responsibilities, and combining caregiving with a work-from-home schedule.  Despite the encouraging numbers stating that half of all adults in the US have received at least one dose of the vaccine, states like Michigan are providing ample evidence that the pandemic, and therefore pandemic-driven cannabis consumption, is not yet behind us. In fact, a recent National Retail Federation survey predicts that Mother’s Day spending will hit a record high of $28.1 billion dollars this year, up $1.4 billion from 2020. On average, consumers plan to spend $16 more than they planned to spend last year when most of the country was in lockdown.

Even before the pandemic, the industry was seeing notable growth in cannabis purchases by mothers and businesses responded in kind, creating products specifically geared towards the consumer needs of the mom demographic. Cannabis company Mother and Clone offers a discreet line of sublingual nano-sprays that allow customers to consume a small, metered dose, then wait an hour or so and take more if needed. To ring in this year’s celebration of the matriarchs in our lives, companies such as Kyoto Botanicals are offering 20% off promotions on products like their BREATHe CBD-infused facial serum, WARM(th) Body Balm and, for the fur baby moms, low-strength bacon beef flavored CBD dog treats

Autumn Brands’ co-founder and self-proclaimed “Canna Mom” Autumn Shelton is a vocal advocate for both her Nourishing Joint and Muscle Salve and the benefits of better sleep, reduced inflammation, and less anxiety that so many cannabis products afford to hard-working mothers just like her. “This has been an incredibly challenging time for us all,” Shelton says. “Moms have had additional stress. As a mom, the combination of cannabis and going on a run is the perfect recipe. When I come back from my run, I am present and an engaged mom ready to sit with my kids and do a puzzle.”

Cannabis is popular among many as an alternative to alcoholic beverages, and more than a few “wine moms” are switching from Clos du Bois to cannabis cocktails for their end-of-day wind-down, minus the hangover, dehydration, and extra calories. Good Stuff Beverages created a line of cannabis-infused beverages for just such occasions, using natural ingredients and light, fresh flavors like the ones found in their cannabis-infused Strawberry Hibiscus Lemonade sweetened with honey. If you’re hooked on the idea of a more traditional commemoration, Mello CBD Sea Salted Caramels are a sweet twist on the standard box of chocolates, and with 15 mg of CBD in each piece, she won’t have to bite all of them to find her favorite. 

My own mom has developed a close and personal relationship with CBD gummies over the last few years, and uses them daily to help her with anxiety and sleep. She finds herself in the company of none other than Martha Stewart, who has found her way into the hemp market with her Mother’s Day Sampler of CBD gummies, with 10 mg of CBD isolate per gummy. Packaged in a linen-textured drawer box, Stewart is both on-brand and on-trend this Mother’s Day, though I’m sure for most moms opening their special day surprises, it will be the thought that counts.


Julie AitchesonMay 3, 2021
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Up until now, the cannabis market in Texas has been limited, to say the least. Its medical cannabis Compassionate Use Program has fewer enrolled patients and businesses than most other states, and their restrictions put them in the bottom 11 (out of 47 programs) for accessibility nationwide. But between a recent $25 million investment by one of the largest privately-held multi-state cannabis operators in the U.S. (Parallel) in a cannabis cultivation, production and retail facility in San Marco Texas, and breaking legislative gains including over a dozen pieces of cannabis-related legislation submitted for consideration in 2021, that is about to change.  

Parallel’s investment reflects the growing demand for medical cannabis products in Texas. This financial commitment expands Parallel’s ability to meet the growing demand for medical cannabis products in Texas. The company has planned a 63,000 square-foot facility that is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the San Marcos region. The company also recently introduced its goodblend retail brand a retail brand of Parallel that just launched the first cannabis capsules for patients registered in the Texas Compassionate Use Program. These capsules are the fifth medical cannabis format option offered through the company’s Surterra Wellness branded product line, and the fourth first-to-market product innovation that it has launched in Texas in the last eight months. 

and the lower House chamber’s passing of H.B. 1535 on Thursday would help expand Texas’ marijuana program for those suffering from chronic conditions. Currently, the state’s cannabis program serves those suffering from grave diseases such as terminal cancer, intractable epilepsy, seizure disorders, and multiple sclerosis, but if the bill gets passed into law, those with chronic pain, non-terminal cancer, and PTSD would gain access as well.  The bill would also raise the THC cap from 0.5% to 5% and make it possible for those in the medical cannabis program to have access to higher doses. 

This followed the passage of H.B. 2539 in the legislature by just a day, which would lessen the penalty for possession of up to two ounces of marijuana concentrate to a misdemeanor. On Friday, the Texas legislature passed H.B. 441 which, if signed into law, would make possession of less than four ounces of marijuana a misdemeanor as well.

According to a recent University of Texas poll done in collaboration with The Texas Tribune, a large majority (60%) of Texans support the possession of cannabis for medical and recreational use, while only 13% of respondents believe it shouldn’t be legal for use of any kind. For the record, the latter describes the stance of Texas governor Greg Abbot when Texas legislators legalized the use of medical cannabis in 2015. Though he appears to have had a change of heart since then, the original laws were among the most restrictive in the country, resulting in a low number of business licenses awarded and a similarly low percentage of Texans to whom cannabis would be available. This is the original climate that Parallel’s watershed investment and proposed legislative measures are seeking to proactively improve, which many Texans hope will lead to greater access for those in need, criminal justice reform, and economic growth for the U.S.’s second-largest state. 


Julie AitchesonApril 22, 2021
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Earth Day 2021 is upon us, and cannabis companies across the industry are mobilizing to take “sustainability” from buzzword to business practice by the time April 22nd rolls around. Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson as a national teach-in on the environment to raise awareness about issues like pollution and pesticide use. While the cannabis industry has long been associated with the word “green”, the environmental impacts of production, packaging, distribution and materials sourcing for products like vape pens are often anything but.

Today’s consumers have grown up with the annual tradition of Earth Day and the heightened environmental awareness it promotes. Studies show sustainability is a factor driving customers’ buying decisions. Recent research by IBM revealed that nearly six in 10 consumers surveyed are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact, and nearly eight in 10 indicated sustainability is important to them. Many will be looking for cannabis products that align with their cleaner, greener values.

A diverse group of North America’s leading cannabis cultivation and manufacturing experts formed the Sustainable Cannabis Coalition (SCC) earlier this year. The SCC will work proactively with industry cultivation and manufacturing peers and vendors to promote proven sustainability best practices that can be implemented at scale across the cannabis market. The SCC will be a resource providing foundational best practices to further promote the economic benefits of sustainability as the industry continues to grow. 

The SCC founders include Cohn Reznick, Anderson Porter Design, Valiant, Wholly H2O, Cloud Farming, Argus Controls, Gro iQ, Trulieve (OTC: TCNNF), Byers Scientific, 365 Cannabis, GMP Collective, Omega Equipment, and Supply, Simplifya, PathogenDx, Grow Generation (NASDAQ: GRWG), and Outlaw Technology. These industry leaders are foremost experts in data-driven business strategy, facility design, facility construction, water use, pathogen detection, energy consumption, waste disposal, economic and social impact, vertical farming, ERP and seed to sale systems, lighting, air emissions, extraction, packaging and data-driven monitoring and optimization of environmental control systems. 

Brands Tackling Sustainability

Eco-conscious cannabis consumers make up a large percentage of the marijuana-consuming population and their preference for buying environmentally-friendly products has motivated many businesses to clean up their act. Other companies have made sustainable practices a cornerstone of their business model. Nugg Club, a cannabis subscription box company, employs a model that is 90% more efficient than on-demand delivery services, resulting in over 250,000 pounds of carbon emissions saved each year. On top of that, Nugg Club’s boxes are 100% recyclable, made out of 80% recycled materials, and printed with nontoxic soy-based ink.

If you want to make sure that the contents of your subscription boxes have a similarly small carbon footprint, several companies have stepped up their sustainability game to meet the rising demand for greener products. California-based Summerland, which sells premium hand-made bongs and pipes, makes its smokeware in small batches made from pure clay. Stone Road grows its biodynamically-grown cannabis on an off-grid, family-run farm using only solar power and artesian water sourced from directly under the farm. All Stone Road products come in 99% recyclable packaging made from 100% post-consumer recycled goods. This year the company will start using rice protein isolate to create packing material, sourcing fully recycled glass jars and reclaimed ocean plastic to make their child-resistant lids.

Kin Slips sublingual strips’ new packaging uses 75% less plastic than the previous version. It is entirely recyclable and made from Tinplate (the same material from which soup cans are made), which is easy to recycle and sort due to its magnetic nature and existing infrastructure. ALT’s liquid THC drink mixer is packaged in recyclable glass vials with sustainably sourced aluminum lids, while Marley Natural’s line of elevated smoking accessories features sustainably grown black walnut. Greening the cannabis industry will take more than responsible products and packaging, but Earth Day 2021 will see more focus on sustainable practices than ever before as companies increasingly co-prioritize planet and profit, hopefully to the benefit of both.

Eaze’s private label brand Everyday is an environmentally conscious brand, with recyclable packaging created using wind energy. By partnering with master indoor growers, the Everyday team has curated a range of high-quality flower strains for customers with discerning taste. Everyday starts at $45 for an eighth of flower.

Sana Packaging is working to make sustainable packaging more accessible by reducing the cost of its 100% reclaimed ocean plastic pre-roll tub by 30% and reducing materials used by 25%. The sustainable company also makes packaging from 100% plant-based hemp. The Bureau creates a variety of innovative and sustainable cannabis packaging designs made from biodegradable plastic and paper. Their products are customizable to meet each client’s specific needs and budget.


Julie AitchesonApril 21, 2021
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4/20 and Earth Day 2021 are both upon us this week, and with those dates comes an opportunity to take a good, hard look at the environmental impacts of the cannabis industry as well as legislative responses to those challenges. Resource use and extraction, air and water quality, and waste management are just a few of the environmental issues confronting indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse cultivation operations. Worth a staggering $61 billion, the cannabis industry is profiting heavily from its current practices, so it stands to reason that legislators are looking to heightened restrictions, green incentives, and higher permitting and licensing fees to offset some of the environmental costs of production and manufacturing.

Aside from the many negative impacts of illegal grow operations, including the use of banned insecticides, illegal diversion of stream water, and unchecked chemical runoff, legal operations can still pack a devastating environmental punch. Soil degradation increased load on water and energy infrastructure systems, and carbon and volatile organic compound emissions from terpenes all have scientists, activists, and lawmakers scrambling to make sure the cannabis market’s booming profits don’t come at the expense of planetary health.

The Puget Sound Clear Air Agency in Washington State has imposed a requirement that recreational marijuana producers and processors comply with air quality regulations after they have obtained licensing. This involves paying a fee for a Notice of Construction permit that details odor control equipment and solvent usage information, as well as submitting a plan view of the facility, a schematic drawing of the HVAC system, and an environmental checklist among other requirements. In California, state government-run Water Boards require permitted growers to register water rights and follow strict guidelines that include prohibitions on diverting surface water from April through October and irrigating with stored water during the dry season. Any non-consumer wastes produced in cannabis operations manufacturing vape cartridges and pens in the state are required to be managed by electronics recyclers, which puts California ahead of most states in this particular practice.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection prohibits “the emission into the outdoor atmosphere of any malodorous contaminants”, which has shut down more than one processing hemp drying operation in the state while encouraging others to upgrade their generators and air scrubbers to keep business running. Other states such as New Jersey have regulated certain areas as protected lands, such as shellfish habitat, wetlands, and riparian zones, which require special permits or authorization in order to be used for cannabis cultivation. 

In Colorado, Boulder has city codes that require marijuana businesses to utilize renewable energy to offset 100% of their electricity consumption as part of Boulder’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan.  In addition, several local governments in Colorado, in conjunction with the state, have prepared a “Cannabis Environmental Best Practices Guide”, but as long as adherence to measures such as these remains elective or wildly variable from state to state, both illegal and legal marijuana operations will continue to stymy efforts to ensure that that the cannabis boom is not a bust for the environment.


Julie AitchesonApril 14, 2021
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Enterprise software company Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN) just released a Flash Report tracking buying trends related to this year’s 4/20 cannabis consumption holiday, and the news for the industry is favorable. The weekend preceding 4/20, which lands on a Tuesday this year, is pegged by Akerna’s predictive data as the most significant sales weekend of the year. On Friday, April 16, the Flash Report anticipates a 50% growth in daily sales from its 2021 average, with a total industry sales figure of $85,000,000. Saturday through Monday look strong as well, with figures ranging from $50,000,000 (on Sunday, historically the lowest cannabis sales days) to $78,000,000 on Saturday. By the time Tuesday hits, the daily retail sale of legal cannabis is expected to gross $95,000,000 nationally, bringing total 4/20-related sales to $370,000,000 in the U.S. if Akerna’s data proves accurate.

The Flash Report offers a breakdown of category sales and sales percentage by demographics such as gender (using a male and female binary) and age. Flower is forecast to top products sales in the five days of 4/20 spending, constituting 49% of sales (up 4% from the 2021 daily average). Cartridge pens are predicted to come in at 31% while Concentrates and Infused Edibles sit in third and fourth place at 11% and 8%. Men are likely to lead women in purchasing, with 63% of males stocking up to ring “Weed Day” over 38% of females.

According to Akerna’s numbers, 30-40 year-olds will make up 31% of consumers during this period, with under 30’s coming in at 29%, 40-50 year-old’s at 20%, 50-60 year-olds at 12%, and just 8% of folks over 60 hitting the dispensaries, shops and online retailers. The average order total will likely be up about $10, boosting the average spend per customer from $93.48 to around $105.00. The number of products purchased is predicted to go up as well, with a 30% increase from 2021.

The data used to inform Akerna’s Flash Reports is derived from MJ Platform, a provider of cannabis compliance software for the marijuana industry. Sales projections are based on market adjustment calculations and represent the entire US market as an aggregate. In a previous Flash Report, Akerna noted that the St. Patrick’s Day stimulus check drop led to the largest cannabis sales day of the year, which may contribute to the projected boost in 4/20 sales as well. Expanding legalization measures, a competitive retail market, and creative product development to reach a broader demographic of consumers may also contribute to the uptick. Whatever the main drivers may be, Akerna’s sales predictions herald a very happy 4/20 for the cannabis industry.


Julie AitchesonMarch 31, 2021
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Cannabis Social Equity Programs such as the one pending roll-out in Long Beach, California are intended to address a disparity of representation within the cannabis industry. Despite the fact that communities of color have historically been more likely to be profiled, arrested, and charged for drug-related crimes, they find themselves disadvantaged and discriminated against when they attempt to enter the cannabis market legally.

What this looks like is untold numbers of men and women still sitting in prison for the very actions that are now yielding staggering profits for white business owners. Currently, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Michigan, and Illinois are all implementing their own versions of social equity programs, but whether or not these attempts are succeeding or even truly equitable is far from clear.

Social Equity Isn’t Financial Equity

Mae Bereal, CEO of LAV8  and a social equity participant in the city of Long Beach, recently spoke at a Long Beach City Council meeting to address disparities in the city’s social equity program as it is currently conceived. A voter-driven ballot initiative was passed in 2017 that allowed for 32 dispensaries within the city limits. These licenses were disbursed according to a lottery system, with no regard for social equity issues. Emily Armstrong, the assistant to the City Manager of Long Beach and manager of Long Beach’s Cannabis Social Equity Program, describes how the city sought to remedy the oversight by creating the Cannabis Social Equity Program, which allows equity business certain benefits throughout the licensing process. Additionally, on March 16, the City Council voted to approve a feasibility study to allow for eight additional cannabis retail licenses available only to social equity applicants.  

When asked why the number of dispensaries allotted to social equity applicants was limited to 8 when there were already 32 dispensaries licensed to non-members, Armstrong responded that “the Councilmember who brought the item forward limited it to eight equity dispensaries, but I am not sure what the thought behind that number was. Within the study, staff will be looking to see if eight is a reasonable number of equity dispensaries or if that number should be expanded or decreased.”

Long Beach’s Cannabis Social Equity Program benefits include various forms of assistance, but according to Bereal, there are serious deficits in the template and equity members will be the ones to pay the price. As a child of divorce having grown up in two cities, Bereal qualifies as a social equity partner in both Long Beach and Los Angeles, where these disadvantages have proven devastating to many individuals attempting to start businesses with program support. 

“Once you have a building and it’s properly outfitted, then you get the first installment of money, Bereal explains. “But how do you get the building? How are you able to bring it up to code? Then once you have everything set, you have this license that is worth a crazy amount of money, but you then don’t have the funding to maintain the facility and outfit it with the hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment that you need.” Bereal is aware of numerous instances where larger companies simply sit back and wait for these businesses to fail, then swoop in to acquire their licenses for a fraction of what they’re worth. “People have lost their buildings, their businesses. I know people who have become homeless, lost their cars, everything.” 

Though Long Beach’s social equity program template includes application workshops, fee waivers, and direct technical assistance, Bereal’s testimonial suggests that a far more comprehensive model will be necessary to ensure that social equity partners do not fall victim to predatory companies or investors. Without ongoing support and long-range financial planning, it seems unlikely that aspiring entrepreneurs from the communities most impacted by the War on Drugs will have a truly equitable shot at success.

 


Julie AitchesonMarch 24, 2021
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Monday, March 22, 2021, was an important day for the vape industry, marking the comment period deadline for revisions to the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, which were included in the 2021 omnibus spending bill recently passed by Congress. These changes prohibit Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) from being sent to consumers through the United States Postal Service, influencing other common carriers such as Fed Ex, which announced it would ban the delivery of vaping products as of March 1, 2021.

The Act was recently revised to include a mailing ban on any vape device or product whether it contains nicotine or not. The impacts of this revamped bill on the vaping industry would be seismic, with groups like the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) rallying consumers to make their voices heard before the comment period ended on the 22nd.

The USPS Rule on Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail in the pending bill includes products that are legal under many states’ laws, including California’s. In a template letter provided to those who wish to speak out against the revisions, CCIA states that while “the undersigned businesses and organizations unambiguously support restricting the sale of tobacco and nicotine to minors”, the proposed changes to USPS “could unintentionally regulate products that Congress had no original intent of capturing” to the extreme detriment of small businesses across the country. “This blanket limitation on mailing nicotine products,” the letter continues, “will completely cripple entire industries, including manufacturers of hemp-derived and botanical aromatic products and services.”

Should the federal government overrule these objections, opponents argue that the impacts would be felt beyond vaping, nicotine, and cannabis consumers. The beleaguered USPS, which is already floundering in the face of falling revenues, would suffer from the decline in mail volume as well as the cost of implementing more comprehensive restrictions. Users of botanical medicines like hemp-derived CBD who rely on vaping as a delivery system would struggle with access, and companies that have shifted to reliance on mail order models, particularly during the pandemic, would lose a primary source of revenue during an especially tenuous time.

Sellers who do no register or comply with these new regulations, which are set to take effect 90 days from passage, would be subject to severe penalties, including up to three years in prison. The revised bill will require companies to take on more administrative costs, as well as the aid of legal counsel in many cases, to ensure compliance and ascertain if they will even be able to function within the new regulations.

With the comment deadline now passed, it remains to be seen whether the vaping industry will manage to turn the tide on the latest version of the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act. A law that, according to American Vaping Association President Gregory Conley, “is not a law designed to regulate the mail-order sale of vaping product to adults; it’s an attempt to eliminate it.”

 


Julie AitchesonMarch 22, 2021
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Whether through research, writing, entrepreneurship, investment, or artistic endeavor, women are making important inroads in the emerging psychedelics market. A 2020 Global Drug Survey found that women are more likely than men to use LSD and magic mushrooms to treat psychiatric conditions and emotional stress.

“It’s time we stepped into our power and psychedelics can help us do that,” says Zoe Helene, founder of environmental feminist collective Cosmic Sister. Helene coined the term “Psychedelic Feminism”, which is a sub-genre of feminism that embraces the transformational power of psychic plants, and she isn’t the only one who sees the potential of psychedelics to positively impact women’s lives.

Susan Chapelle, Havn Life’s (OTC: HAVLF) executive vice president for research and development, sees massive growth in integrating psychedelics into women’s health. She points to the war on drugs, which disproportionally impacted women and low-income communities, as evidence of a political bias that continues to deprive these demographics of access to safe and effective plant medicines due to restrictive regulations. By creating a safe, standardized supply chain for researchers, Chapelle hopes to break down this bias and get psychedelics to those who could most benefit, women included.

As Ann Barnes, CEO of Edica Naturals and co-director of Red Light Holland (OTC: TRUFF) says, “Now, the massive amount of research being done by the psychedelic community will truly help women- this will be an imperative part of women’s health.” According to the American Psychiatric Association, every year one in five women in the US has a mental health problem such as depression, PTSD, or an eating disorder, which makes Barnes’ prediction sound more like realism than optimism.

 The APA also states that twice as many women suffer depression as men, and twice as many women are likely to experience anxiety or PTSD– conditions which psychedelics are most commonly used to treat. In 2020, Data Bridge Market Research projected that the psychedelic drugs market would reach $6.5 billion dollars by 2027, growth at least partially attributed to factors such as the increasing prevalence of depression and mental disorders and the increasing acceptance of psilocybin as an effective treatment. With women at the forefront of a mental health revolution working to incorporate psychedelics into treatment protocols and a large and growing population of women in need of the benefits these substances offer, the economic future of the psychedelics market could very well be female.

 


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