Michelle Janikian, Author at Green Market Report

Michelle Janikian is a freelance writer focused on cannabis policy and trends. In addition to writing for the Green Market Report, she is also a regular contributor to High Times with bylines in Rolling Stone and Teen Vogue. Before dedicating herself to writing full-time, Michelle was the Lead Project Manager at BrainBuzz, a content marketing company focused on the cannabis industry. She has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied writing and psychology. You can follow her on Twitter @m00shian.

Recent Stories by Michelle Janikian
Michelle JanikianJanuary 26, 20184min01

This week, an all-in-one platform for cannabis business owners, Cannabiz Connection, was launched.

The site serves as a social network for “canna-business” owners, as well as a directory of attorneys, consultants, contractors, start-ups, and existing businesses. It’s meant to be a business accelerator and resource, keeping its members up-to-date on things like local regulations.

“I created the all-in-one Cannabiz Connection platform to help people learn, grow and build successful cannabis careers,” says Founder and CEO, Jamie Cooper.

For now, the site is focused on the Michigan cannabis industry, where Cooper is based, but she plans to expand to other states by the end of 2018.

The Cannabiz Connection community will hold quarterly networking events where canna-business owners, along with consultants and other industry players, can meet and socialize in person. They’re also planning an annual Holiday Networking Gala.

In addition, Cannabiz Connection is starting a free weekly webinar series to educate its members on everything related to the cannabis industry. The webinars will be held on Tuesdays from 12-1PM EST, hosted by Founder Jamie Cooper. The first will be held next week, on January 30th, focused on understanding insurance choices and coverage in the cannabis industry. Cooper will be joined by Amanda Kugler and Stephanie Goodman of Bricks and Mortar Cannabis Insurance. Members can register for the webinar here.

Cooper will be joined by our own Editor-in-Chief, Debra Borchardt, on Wednesdays for another weekly broadcast, “Cannabiz & Company: Creating Buzz Around Cannabis Business News”. This one doesn’t require Cannabiz membership and is to broadcast on Facebook Live every Wednesday at 1 PM EST.

Membership is free to business professionals and gives access to the Cannabiz social network, directory, and business building resources. For those looking to advertise their products or services, like consultants or attorneys, a fee will be required.

Cooper is a cannabis industry expert who is also the Founder of Canna Media Works, a full-service marijuana consulting, advertising, and marketing agency. She was recently named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan by Grand Rapids Business Journal, the only cannabis entrepreneur on the list.

Michigan Marijuana Laws

In November 2008, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Initiative was approved by 62.7% of voters, making Michigan the thirteenth state to legalize medical marijuana. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Initiative decriminalized the cultivation and use of medical marijuana by seriously ill individuals who have obtained a doctor’s approval. It allows patients to grow up to 12 marijuana plants and possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana. Qualified caregivers can grow up to 12 marijuana plants for each patient, with a maximum of five patients per caregiver.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol had planned to file petitions with the state after saying it had collected enough signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot. One problem remains, the group is struggling to pay off the professional firm it hired to gather them. Difficulty in raising money to support the group could signal a lack of support for the initiative.

Michelle JanikianJanuary 9, 20184min03

Who Is Jeff Sessions Serving? Survey Data Shows Republicans and Sessions’ Home State of Alabama Support Cannabis Legalization

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is adamantly anti-cannabis, a position he made clear with his termination of the Cole Memo last week.

But where does Sessions’ strong disposition against pot come from? It is the wish of his party and home state of Alabama that he’s adhering to?

According to the numbers – and the news – it looks like Sessions is acting alone on this issue.

In Alabama, both medical and recreational cannabis are illegal, but it is one of 18 states with “CBD-only” laws. In the case of Alabama, CBD products containing 3% of THC or less are permitted for medical-use but are apparently hard to come by.

The Green Market Report’s partners at Consumer Research Around Cannabis surveyed people in the Birmingham, Alabama area last year to see what people living in a deep-south “red state” thought about cannabis legalization. The survey covered 21 counties surrounding the city and not just the more democratic leaning urban areas.

According to the numbers, 60.2% of respondents in Alabama support cannabis legalization, for medical and/or recreational use. That number is very close to the Pew Research Center’s national average of 61%.

When analyzed according to political beliefs, the numbers didn’t vary significantly; 55.3% of self-identifying “conservatives” in Birmingham also support cannabis legalization, for medical and/or recreational use. Again, this number was very close to the Republican national average taken by Gallup last year, which reported 51% of conservatives support full legalization.

Clearly, Sessions isn’t taking cues from his political party or home state. According to the Consumer Research Around Cannabis data, only 13.9% of the Birmingham respondents disapproved of cannabis legalization – putting Sessions in a small minority.

The Republican Response

On top of that, many powerful Republicans have come out publicly denouncing Sessions’ move against the Cole Memo last week. Including Republican Senator from Colorado, Cory Gardner, who told Sessions that the Department of Justice will not receive approvals for their nominees until Sessions reverses his marijuana policy.

Even President Trump “promised” to keep marijuana legalization a state issue during his campaign. But Sessions continues to act in defiance of his political party, home state, and the American people, 71% of which oppose a federal crackdown on states with legal cannabis, according to a Quinnipiac poll. He must be fighting for all those “good people” who “don’t smoke marijuana.”

Michelle JanikianDecember 22, 20176min00

It’s the final countdown to Christmas, and if you’re like me, you still have some last minute shopping to do. But, have no fear! The Green Market Report has you covered for the cannabis enthusiasts in your life, both in legal states and nationwide. It can be a stressful time of year, but we’ve collected the best holiday strains and products to help ease your elf on the shelf anxiety and make your cannabis-loving friends and family happy as can be.

  1. THC Designs: 12 Holiday Strains

For the 12 days of Christmas, THC Designs has released 12 festive cannabis strains complete with holiday aromas and flavors, like spices, pine, and sugar plums. They have uplifting sativa-dominant strains for holiday parties, like XJ-13, as well as hybrids and indica-dominant strains to help with stress, migraines, and other pains the holidays can induce, like GG #4, Lemon Meringue, and Gelato #33. With 12 options to choose from, there is something for everyone on your shopping list.

“These strains will help get consumers into the holiday spirit and manage holiday stress during one of the best, but busiest, times of the year,” said Co-Founder Ryan Jennemann.

  1. Daily High Club’s Signature Smoking Supply Box

Daily High Club boxes are stuffed with high-quality smoking supplies like premium rolling papers, filters, and glass pieces. Because there’s no actual cannabis included in the kits, they can be shipped to all 50 states, making them a great gift for your 420-friendly family nationwide. Just in time for the holiday season, they teamed up with legendary pot-activist, Tommy Chong, to create Chong’s Choice box curated by the king of cannabis himself.

  1. Lowell Farms: One Ounce Tasting Flight

For your cannabis-loving buds in California, Lowell Farms has released their own gift box, filled with eight 1/8th jars of premium, organic flower. Lowell has become one of the biggest names for pre-rolls in the state, and with this gorgeous limited edition and hand-crafted box, you and your loved ones can taste them all.

  1. Nutritional High Chocolates

For your edible loving, chocolate-fanatic friends in Colorado, Nutritional High has just released two chocolate bars for the holiday season. They have a premium milk chocolate bar and a dark chocolate with sea salt bar, each containing a total of 100 mg of THC, 10 mg per serving. These gourmet chocolates were the vision of CEO Jim Frazier, who manufactured chocolate for 20 years before entering the cannabis industry.

  1. CBD Goodies

CBD was all the rage this year, so treat your loved ones (or yourself) to some premium CBD products this holiday season. Phivida makes a CBD-infused iced tea specially designed to improve GI health, as well as other CBD products. Cannabinoid Creations also makes CBD drinkables, like CBD Hemp Soda in five different flavors, including ginger ale and honeydew melon.

Both of these products only contain CBD – sans THC – so they’re legal to ship to all 50 states. Plus, CBD doesn’t have psychoactive properties like THC, so it’s perfect for a loved one that’s curious about the medical benefits of cannabis, but doesn’t want to get “high”. I’m looking at you, grandma!

  1. Club M 24K Box

This last gift is ideal for that person who appreciates the finer things in life. Named the 24K MBox because it’s actually worth $24,000, it’s filled with 120 curated cannabis products and includes a two-year subscription to Club M, a private, VIP cannabis concierge service used by celebrities.

“Here at Club M, we have seen the California cannabis market blossom, and I thought this was a timely offering and these products represent not only the best, most notable items of 2017, but it also reflects the increasing expectations of the sophisticated cannabis consumer,” said Club M Co-Founder, Chris Husong.

Extremely limited, there are only five total available boxes this holiday season and only in California. However, for that exclusive someone in your life, it really is ideal. Included is a crystal-encrusted vaporizer with over 200 individually placed Swarovski crystals, 10 hand-rolled, gold-foiled cannagars, Royal Tips 24K gold blunt tip with 420 diamonds, limited edition strains, edibles, and topicals, plus 3.5 ounces of the highest quality flower from brands like THC Designs. Each category, (edibles, vapes, tinctures, concentrates, and flower) has 24 unique products included, and it’s available until New Year’s Eve if they don’t sell out.

Michelle JanikianNovember 9, 20178min00

Green Economics Part 5: Sports Preferences

In a new study recently conducted by Green Market Report in conjunction with Consumer Research Around Cannabis and their partner Local Sports Insights (LSI), the sports preferences of cannabis consumers around the country resulted in a win for the NFL and football overall.

Professional football beat out other sports by far with 55.1 percent of interviewees saying they regularly follow the NFL. It defeated professional baseball (MLB), which 36.2 percent of consumers confirmed watching, pro-basketball (NBA), which was chosen by 36.1 percent of consumers, and pro-hockey which raked in 27.8 percent of the vote.

According to the study, the most popular college sport among consumers was also football, which 31.6 percent of consumers watch, followed by college basketball, which 25.7 percent are fans.

“The NFL has been the most successful professional sports league over the past couple of decades – supplanting Major League Baseball. In many ways the league’s success mirrors our nation when it comes to income, age, and education,” said Vice President of Consumer Research Around Cannabis, Jeffrey Stein.

Some of the cannabis consumer averages were on par with national averages, according to a recent Gallup study. Gallup found 57 percent of the population to be professional football fans found that very close to the Green Economics average for cannabis users of 55.1 percent. The national average was also close for professional basketball (40 percent) and ice hockey (28 percent), but the rest had significant differences.

“I was surprised that football was number one,” said Co-Founder and CEO of the Green Market Report as well as recognized cannabis influencer, Debra Borchardt. “I really thought basketball would’ve been number one since it’s a sport followed by more young people and is growing in popularity, while ratings have been falling for football.”

According to Local Sports Insights, 26.4 percent of adults over 18 follow professional basketball. And 36.1 percent of cannabis users follow the NBA. So, technically LSI found that NBA popularity is indeed 37 percent higher among cannabis users than the average person.

The numbers shouldn’t be that surprising considering how much legal cannabis delivery sales increase before the Super Bowl. In 2016, Eaze reported there was a 47.5 percent increase in cannabis deliveries in California from 2-3PM, the hour before kick-off. When the Denver Broncos were in the Super Bowl in 2016, Sally Vanderveer, President of Denver’s largest dispensary, Medicine Man, told Forbes: “We saw a 30-40% uptick in sales from Thursday to Sunday [before the Super bowl]”. Interestingly, Local Sports Insights found 50.5% of Broncos fans have used marijuana in the past year.

What may be surprising is the profile of NFL fans who also consume cannabis. Green Economics found the average age is 37 with a median household income of $60,387. In addition, 33.2 percent of NFL fans are college graduates and 13.5 percent are business owners.

Local Sports Insights found that 48 percent of all surveyed women follow professional football. There were more men than women who follow the NFL that use cannabis: 65.5 percent were men and 34.5 percent were women.

This research not only kills the stereotype that “stoners” don’t like sports, but shows how Americans are choosing to relax in states where cannabis is legal. Considering the popularity of alcohol during sporting events, cannabis could be a safer alternative and help prevent drunk driving, domestic abuse, and hangovers associated with NFL games.

The NFL still doesn’t allow its players to consume cannabis, although many activists are fighting to change that, like former lineman for the Chicago Bears, Eben Britton.

“Cannabis can help NFL players on multiple levels,” said Britton. “First and foremost our federal government owns a patent on cannabinoids ‘as neuroprotectants and antioxidants’… cannabis should be at the top of the NFL’s list of substances to help combat concussions and CTE. The second way cannabis could directly benefit NFL players is as an alternative to opiates. In most cases, I believe pro football players would rather consume cannabis than opiates. Cannabis may also be used in conjunction with opiates to help mitigate negative side-effects and ease withdrawal symptoms.”

Using cannabis as an alternative to opioids for pain is becoming a popular idea. Plus, many believe cannabis can help opioid addicts wean off the powerful substance in the midst of an epidemic in the U.S.

“This study was encouraging because the most vocal advocates for allowing cannabis as an alternative to deadly pain medications are professional football players,” said Cynthia Salarizadeh, Co-Founder of the Green Market Report. “The NFL helps provide an appropriate platform for their fight with their massive visibility. Hopefully their owners will listen and allow their players the right to choose what medication they use for their pain management.”

The NFL is worth $9 billion annually, but they could still benefit from allowing cannabis brands to sponsor teams and events. Not to mention, the benefits the plant can have for its players. Considering cannabis’ popularity spreading into more mainstream communities, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a cannabis commercial during the SuperBowl this year.


Michelle JanikianSeptember 14, 20174min00

Following two separate, significant security breaches over the last year, on Tuesday night, September 12, 2017, the state of Nevada announced that it will be changing its seed-to-sale track and trace compliance system from Leaf Data Systems to Metrc for all marijuana establishments. All Nevada cannabis companies, which includes dispensaries, cultivation facilities, and extraction facilities, have until November 1, 2017, to make the switch.

Nevada is breaking a five-year contract with MJ Freeway (creators of Leaf Data Systems) signed in March 2016 with this new deal. The original contract with MJ Freeway was estimated to be worth $603,393 for five years. The new deal with Metrc is estimated to be worth $816,000 for four years.

In late December 2016, Nevada’s Division of Public and Behavioral Health’s medical marijuana database was hacked. More than 11,000 medical marijuana applicant’s personal information was released on the internet.

Just days later, in early January 2017, MJ Freeway was hacked in a separate attack. This caused hundreds of marijuana businesses, like dispensaries, to go offline, making sales and transactions next to impossible across the U.S.  Then, MJ Freeway was hacked again in June 2017, when source code information was posted on Reddit and Gitlab.com. 

Nevada cannabis businesses are permitted to continue using other, approved seed-to-sale software as long as they transmit their data to Metrc.

Metrc, along with MJ Freeway and Biotrack THC, is the leading cannabis seed-to-sale tracking companies in the U.S., providing transparency and accountability to the industry. Metrc’s other state contracts include Colorado, Oregon, Maryland, Alaska, and recently, Michigan and Ohio. Metrc also bagged the big kahuna of contracts – California. The size of the state’s market is considered to be the biggest prize in the software market.

Metrc is owned by Franwell, an established track-and-trace technology company for agriculture and food products.

Since Metrc was founded in 2013, it has traced over 5 million cannabis plants.

Michelle JanikianSeptember 11, 20177min00

Israel’s leading cannabis brand Tikun Olam is licensed in the U.S. as, Tikun. The lifestyle brand features the famous  Avidekel, along with five other proprietary strains, and they are all available throughout the state of Nevada. Nevada has been serving the medical marijuana community since 2015 and began serving the adult use market on July 1, 2017.

Extensive research from Israeli scientists, like the “godfather of cannabis” Raphael Mechoulam, helped Tikun Olam cultivate the world’s first high-CBD strain, Avidekel, back in 2011. Avidekel, like Charlotte’s Web or AC/DC here in the U.S., doesn’t produce a psychoactive effect like smoking a strain high in THC, making it great for people who hadn’t considered using cannabis before. It does, however, have many medical benefits, including easing pain and reducing seizures for both adults and children. Bernard Sucher, CEO at Tikun described how it helped “an older woman who was able to start cooking and holding her grandkids again after using Avidekel tincture [and] kids going down from hundreds of seizures weekly to none at all.”

The Tikun line ranges from “Alaska”, a daytime use, high-THC sativa known for its invigorating effects that may help with pain, depression, and gastrointestinal issues, to three high-THC indicas: “Eran Almog”, “Erez”, and “Or”. These night care strains can ease both physical and mental tension and are great for sleep, nausea, pain, and spasms.

Tikun’s most innovative strain, “Midnight”, is a sativa with equal parts THC and CBD, with about 12% of each. It is known to keep people functional and motivated, can be used in either the day or night and is great for different types of pain and anxiety.

Tikun is unique because all of their strains were developed according to patient feedback. They collect patient reactions from a first of its kind “cannabis clinic” affiliated with their dispensary in Tel Aviv. At the clinic, nurses assist medical marijuana patients to find the right treatment course as well as collect data.

“It helps us to understand which strains are working for which conditions. It helps us see the entire strain and the entire patient holistically,” Sucher explained. “Our strains were purpose-bred for specific concerns.” The interdisciplinary research approach is much easier to do in Israel; the small nation does not have the federal restrictions and multi-agency review that stalls research here in the U.S.

Most strains have a few options when it comes to forms of consumption including flower, vape cartridges, tincture, topical cream, and lozenges. Tikun’s extracts are made using only single strain CO2 oils with no additives or adulteration. This is to stay true to the “entourage effect” of their well-researched strains, ensuring extracts keep the same cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids as the original plant. Plus, not only are all strains “organic”, but all ingredients in their edibles, topicals, and tinctures are organic as well as nontoxic, catering to those looking for a natural alternative to healing and wellness.

“I think one of the differentiators of our strains is that unlike an OG-based strain from California, which was enhanced season-by-season by growers who were given anecdotal information… we actually noted down week by week, month by month the results from a real diverse group of patients, who were able to tell us precisely how they were helped by each strain… So that enabled us to develop really strong products based on a really wide test market with a formalized feedback mechanism,” Sucher said.

With their U.S. launch, Tikun is planning to start collecting patient feedback here too. After all, America has the largest and most profitable legal cannabis industry in the world. But, unlike in Israel, Tikun will not have the freedom to team up with local universities and hospitals because of federal restrictions regarding cannabis research.

Tikun is, however, collaborating with local American cultivators to understand the local terrain, climate, and state regulations. This partnership between experienced Israeli and local American growers has resulted in some of the highest quality and abundant yields in the industry.

“We see cannabis as a lifestyle enhancing alternative to many traditional pharmaceuticals and drugs which are used to combat an average headache, need to sleep, muscle pain or stress,” explained Sucher. “By using cannabis in an intentional way, using the tools and tricks we picked up helping sick patients, the elderly, and people who aren’t likely to consume cannabis for any other reason, we’re able to help people tailor a treatment plan that works in their daily lives… Our goal is for cannabis to be something you work with to enhance your life not to control [it].”

In Hebrew, Tikun Olam, the brand’s full name in Israel, means “healing the world,” and that’s exactly what they plan to do. Their goal is to bring a health and wellness revolution to the U.S.

“We are working with our local partners to bring the Tikun brand, our knowledge, scientific research and expertise to all the states in which medical cannabis is legally regulated. We will be looking to expand to numerous West Coast states throughout 2017.”

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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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