Julie Aitcheson, Author at Green Market Report - Page 2 of 7

Julie AitchesonJune 11, 2021
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8min13210

Dad’s come in all shapes, sizes, and pronouns, but whomever you’re honoring this Father’s Day, cannabis companies are lining up to make sure those 4/20-loving father figures are well-celebrated. Whether your pops is a CBD-loving sports enthusiast, a special occasion smoker or a full-on Canna Dad, there is a green gift idea out there to bring a smile to any face.

High 90’s, a flavored cannabis brand, offers a selection of eight different flavored pre-rolls (including Gelato, Pink Lemonade, and a lemon lime soda flavor called “Double Cup”) that are particularly popular with Millennials. With 30-40% THC concentrate in every roll, High 90’s uses natural terpenes to create their unique flavors. Given that, according to a 2020 Headset report on the demographics of cannabis consumers, Millenials lead Gen X, Gen Z and Baby Boomers in marijuana consumption these days, a special treat from High 90’s may be just the thing.

If the dad in your life is of the sporty variety, Terravita’s Sport + Exercise collection offers plant-based energy supplements, muscle rubs and soothing bath soaks that combine natural remedies and CBD for targeted benefits ranging from stamina and endurance to stress management.  For the dad that likes to take that get-fit energy outside, Offield brings its CBD sports drink into the mix, containing not only hydrating electrolytes, CBD and adaptogens but the amino acid L-theanine to keep nerves soothed even when the heart is pumping.

If mellow trumps sporty in your dad’s lifestyle playbook, then a deeper dive into the old days of grass that didn’t kick you’re a– may be in order. Dad Grass offers organic CBD pre-rolls for that “lazy-day feeling of smoking a J” without the head trip of THC. (The company also offers a “Mom Grass” version as well as some sly merch like pre-rolls that come in cassette tape, sardine tin, or hardware packaging to keep the kiddos out of your stash.)  And as long as you’re helping to set a chill mood on dad’s day, why not throw a soy wax blend Four Twenty Candle by Homesick into that gift basket? With mood-lifting notes of bergamot, cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli and musk rounding out the scent of good, clean weed, this candle has all of the soothe and none of the stink.

But what better pathway to a dad’s heart than through the stomach? Athelas’ THC-infused chip dips in ranch, french onion, and southwestern flavors pack 10 mg of THC into each container if savory flavors float your father’s boat. If sweet is more his thing, Satori S’mores chocolate-covered marshmallow minis rolled in graham cracker crumbs and infused with 5mg of THC each will take him back to those carefree days at summer camp before the thought of fatherhood ever crossed his mind. So whatever smokeable, spreadable, soakable or edible treat might be your favorite patriarch’s pleasure this year, 2021’s most innovative brands have this Father’s Day covered. 

Can’t get dad PGA tour tickets? Gift him another luxury –  MONOGRAM’s No.01 OG Handroll,  a one-of-a-kind offering for a one-of-a-kind dad that implements a proprietary rolling technique that allows the flower to burn slowly and evenly for multiple sessions. The latest offering from MONOGRAM, the first cannabis line from Shawn ‘JAY-Z’ Carter, the OG Handroll is a one-of-a-kind pre-roll taking inspiration from the smoke experience of a premium cigar for a one-of-a-kind dad. Hand-rolled using a proprietary technique, the OG Handroll is designed to burn slowly and evenly for multiple sessions so dad can unwind well past the holiday.

For dads always on the go,  Caliva Flowersticks and Fun Uncle Cruisers vapes make the perfect convenient gifts that are both discrete and easy to tote along. Fun Uncle Cruisers are the perfect gift for the dad always on the go. Available in 5 best-selling strains as 510 Universal cartridges, all strains test over 80% THC making them a sensational value for the quality and flavor. Fun Uncle Cruisers come in an array of delightful flavors and are available in hybrid, indica, and sativa.

For the dads that like a sweet treat DELI Nickels Gummy Rounds are deliciously chewy and fruity, sugar-dusted and deliberately affordable meaning you  won’t break the bank. To further celebrate the rockstar dad in your life, Caliva is also offering 25% off Mind Your Head products (the cannabis line from Mickey Hart, 2x Grammy award-winning percussionist for the Grateful Dead) from 6/17 to 6/20.


Julie AitchesonMay 26, 2021
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CBD watchdog Leafreport just released findings from a study revealing that 56 percent of pet products have inaccurate label claims. As is the case with products formulated for humans, this can lead to a waste of money at best and unanticipated negative health outcomes at worst. Leafreport sent 55 pet CBD products for independent testing at Canalysis Laboratories in Las Vegas. Most of the products tested were CBD oils but there were also some edibles and topical products in the mix. At Canalysis, technicians tested the products and recorded the results in certificates of analysis. Leafreport then compared the amount of CBD shown on the COAs to the advertised CBD content of each product and looked at what other cannabinoids were detected by the tests. The results suggest that despite the progress made regarding consistent quality and potency of products, there is still a ways to go.

It’s no secret that reliable testing of CBD and THC levels in products is challenging, particularly when it comes to edibles. In a recent study by Johns Hopkins, researchers discovered that only 17 percent of edibles were accurately labeled in regards to THC concentration while only one product tested with an accurate THC to CBD ratio.  

Consistent with similar findings on CBD products for humans, Leafreport found that pet edibles and topicals are usually less accurate than oils and tinctures, with many companies scoring particularly poorly for their edible pet products. Furthermore, when a company claims that a product contains “full-spectrum CBD”, as many edibles marketed towards pet owners do, that means that the product should contain some level of THC (.3% or less). Despite this, 22 out of the 55 products tested by Leafreport had no THC at all. Only 44% of the tested products had CBD levels within 10% of the label, which is required for an “A” rating in the report. Some products were off as much as 98.5 percent from the label’s claim. 

Most products (58%) contained more CBD than advertised. Pet CBD oils actually performed reasonably well, but poor results for edibles and topicals negatively impacted the overall accuracy of CBD pet product labeling. Of all of the products tested, standouts for label accuracy included a CBD oil from Joy Organics and both CBD chews and oil from Seattle-based company Austin and Kat. Some of the worst results were posted by Petly CBD’s Small Dog Tincture, which was 36.9% off from the advertised amount, while Blue Moon Hemp’s CBD Dog Tincture contained only 11.2 mg of CBD instead of the advertised 250 mg. These results are certainly enough to make pet owners sit up, take notice, and demand greater accuracy in advertising, not just for the sake of their budgets but for the health and well-being of their furry friends.


Julie AitchesonMay 20, 2021
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The results of Field Trip Health Ltd.’s (OTC: FTRPF) first annual “State of Mind” survey hold few surprises for those who have followed the news around the effects of the pandemic on mental health. Field Trip Health is the largest provider of psychedelic therapies in the world and initiated this survey to look into the state of mental and emotional health in the U.S., and to get a sense of how receptive respondents are towards incorporating psychedelics into treatment. 

Though there have been positive stories about those who took time to reconnect with family, enjoy a slower pace of life, and exercise more during the Covid crisis, over eight out of ten Americans surveyed by Field Trip reported at least one symptom of depression. This contrasts with the 76 percent of respondents who self-identified their mental health as “good” or better, which demonstrates a possible lack of understanding around the metrics of mental health and as well as a disparity between those metrics and self-perception. Younger Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 posted the highest results in self-reported symptoms of depression, while only 10 percent of those 65 years and older reported the same. Out of all respondents surveyed, a striking 1 in 4 reported that they have felt that they would be better off dead or thought of injuring themselves. 

Field Trip’s survey also revealed that while a substantial number of respondents (42%) are relying on the support of a therapist, counselor, or other mental health professionals for support, many Americans have turned to drugs and other vices as coping mechanisms to deal with negative thoughts or emotions. Those mechanisms include alcohol (with 37% reporting increased consumption since the pandemic began), porn, overeating, and gambling. The use of prescription medications and opioids increased as well. The survey also revealed that women were more likely than men to indicate negative mental health states and appear to have borne the brunt of negative mental health outcomes during the pandemic in addition to (and no doubt compounded by) the negative impacts on their professional and financial security.

While the survey results might not have been encouraging as far as the current state of mental health in the U.S. is concerned, it was optimistic regarding the role psychedelics might play in addressing the fallout from the last fifteen months of pandemic stress. Despite the fact that 70 percent of Americans reported never having tried psychedelics, a full 37 percent would support the use of psychedelic-assisted therapies after a description of the process, 24% would be open to trying those therapies, and 23% of respondents were curious to learn more about them. With more states making moves to legalize the use of psychedelics for the treatment of mental illnesses including PTSD and other trauma-related disorders, the receptivity to psychedelics as a therapeutic adjunct reported by Field Trip suggests that when those therapies become available, there will be a sizable population ready to seek them out.

 


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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5min17840

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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5min14810

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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12min27060

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.


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