Peggi Clough, Author at Green Market Report

Peggi CloughPeggi CloughFebruary 13, 2018
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5min4550

Valentine’s Day spending by U.S. consumers is projected to reach $19.6 billion in 2018, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. That’s up from $18.2 billion spent last year.

Cannabis shopping for the holiday has increased dramatically as well. Colorado-based point-of-sale software company Flowhub compared last year’s weekend sales before Valentine’s Day versus this year’s and reported a 22% increase in total sales year-over-year. Edible sales jumped a whopping 42% over last year

“With the holidays behind them and the winter months dragging along, consumers are looking for something to celebrate this time of year,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay about overall Valentine’s spending. 2018 looks to be the second highest spending year in the survey’s 15-year history, with the most having been spent in 2016—$19.7 billion.

Valentine’s Day was the fourth most popular holiday for cannabis use last year, according to Eaze’s 2017 State of Cannabis report. The report covers current cannabis trends in California and is published annually. It showed use increased across all major holidays in 2017.

Not just for men, either. Eaze also reported that women’s use of cannabis is increasing, from 25 percent of the total users in 2015 to 35 percent in 2017. Their monthly spending increased last year by 20 percent too. Monthly spending on cannabis is up in all age groups from where it was in 2016.

The gift market and choices for cannabis users have grown exponentially in the past few years. The number of products available on Eaze increased by 323 percent from 2016 to 2017. Last year was the first that saw ready-to-use product use surpass flower use.

In 2017, women were more apt to buy cannabis-related health and wellness products, while men were inclined to choose concentrated forms of cannabis.

Non-cannabis Valentine Statistics

Of the 55% of Americans celebrating Valentine’s Day this year, most plan to buy for their spouse or significant other. They expect to spend an average of $88.98, accounting for $12.1 billion of the total spending. The next largest group receiving gifts is family members, averaging $25.29 each, for a total of $3.5 billion.
Many retail stores are running holiday specials and promotions this week in preparation for Valentine’s Day, and cannabis companies and dispensaries are no exception. Be sure to keep this in mind as you finish your Valentine’s Day shopping.

Coworkers shouldn’t expect to fare well this Valentine’s Day: consumers only plan to spend an average of $4.79 on them, while spending $5.50 on pets.

The biggest spenders are in the 25-34 age group; they plan on shelling out an average of $202.76. Almost half of them—41 percent—plan to give gifts of experience, such as concert tickets or vacations.

Jewelry tops the gift categories. It’s expected to be given by 19 percent of buyers, for a total of $4.7 billion. Two other traditional holiday favorites, flowers, and candy will account for $2 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively.

Retailers still have a chance to make sales from those not celebrating the holiday: 27 percent of people in this group plan to observe the day in some way, either by spending it with friends and family or by splurging on themselves.

“Valentine’s Day has become a holiday consumers take advantage of not only to spoil their loved ones but themselves,” Prosper Insights & Analytics Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said.

 


Peggi CloughPeggi CloughFebruary 2, 2018
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4min4840

A University of Georgia study has found that the use of medical marijuana significantly lowers the costs of Medicare’s Part D program, due to the reduced demand for prescription drugs.

The study, conducted by UGA researchers W. David and Ashley Bradford, looked at prescriptions filled by Part D participants from 2010-2013, which totaled more than 87 million observations. They then checked costs in states where medical marijuana is legal and narrowed the search to nine conditions for which marijuana can treat, including anxiety, depression, glaucoma, nausea, pain, psychosis, seizures, sleep disorders and spasticity.

The results showed that if every U.S. state were to legalize cannabis, $468 million would be saved in Part D costs. That’s a $303 million increase over the money that was saved in the 18 states where medical marijuana was legal in 2013.

“When marijuana becomes a medical option for people, then their use of prescription drugs falls,” said David Bradford, one of the authors of the study. “We think that the only plausible mechanism is that people are shifting at least in part toward using marijuana as medicine.”

Of the categories studied, it was found that annual prescriptions decreased by 3,645 doses per doctor for pain and by 1,280 doses for depression. This is particularly noteworthy, considering the enormous increase of opioid use for chronic pain in the U.S.

The only condition of the nine that didn’t show a decrease in prescription costs was glaucoma. This is most likely because the eye pressure caused by glaucoma is only reduced by cannabis for one hour, so additional medication is usually needed.

The researchers also did an analysis on drugs that are not associated with cannabis treatment, such as blood thinners and antibiotics, and did not find a difference in the prescription drug patterns between states with and without legalized medical marijuana.

Part D is Medicare’s prescription drug program funded by the federal government to lower the costs of drugs for Medicare recipients. It’s only available to people age 65 and older and accounts for about 20 percent of total U.S. healthcare costs. The Part D budget was $103 million in 2013, so the savings shown in the study would be about one half of a percent.

Still, it’s enough of a savings to spur the Bradfords to now expand their research to include Medicaid prescription data, as the drug savings for the entire population could be much greater. The Bradfords note that “previous studies have suggested that Medicare patients may make up a relatively small percentage of people who use medical marijuana and that only 13–27 percent of people who used medical marijuana were ages 50 and older.”

Marijuana is currently legal for medical purposes in 29 states and in Washington, D.C., though specific state laws vary. The federal government still classifies it as Schedule 1 substance, however, so Medicare refuses to cover the cost even if it’s recommended by a doctor. Since it would violate federal law, doctors may not prescribe cannabis; they may merely recommend or suggest its use, instead.

Even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved the use of marijuana for medical uses, it has approved three cannabinoid-based medicines that are derived from synthetic sources. This could indicate at least some acknowledgment by the FDA of the benefits of medical cannabis.


Peggi CloughPeggi CloughJanuary 31, 2018
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4min7420

The 2018 Cannabis Price Index has been released by automatic cultivator device company Seedo, revealing the cost of marijuana in 120 cities worldwide. The report also indicated the amount of tax revenue cities could gain through legalization.

Thirteen U.S. cities were featured in the study, which was comprised of 120 cities worldwide. The cities included those where marijuana is legal, partially legal, and illegal. The price of cannabis was calculated per gram and total consumption in metric tons. The revenue potential was figured for a city were it to tax at the average U.S. marijuana rate and the rate of the most popular brand of cigarettes.

In the U.S., Washington, D.C., was found to have the most expensive cannabis in the U.S., at $18.08 per gram, while Seattle was found to have the lowest price at $7.58 per gram. The legalization of cannabis in a city did not appear to have an impact on its price.

New York was found to have the highest consumption rate of the 120 cities, so it was not surprising that it could potentially have the highest tax revenue gains if cannabis was taxed at the average U.S. marijuana rate.

“This study has revealed some incredible insights into the kind of tax revenue that legalizing weed could generate,” says Uri Zeevi, chief marketing officer at Seedo. “Take New York City for instance, which has the highest consumption level in the study at 77.44 metric tons of cannabis per year. If they taxed marijuana at the average U.S. cannabis tax level, the city could make $156.4 million in potential tax revenue per year. This is equivalent to providing nearly 3 months’ worth of free school meals to every single public school kid in New York City.”

Even cities that fell lower in rank could see significant tax revenue through legalization. Chicago could gain $52 million annually if cannabis were taxed at the average marijuana rate, and nearly $120 million if taxed at the same rate as cigarettes.

The 2018 Cannabis Price Index was put together by Seedo, producer of an automated hydroponic growing device that allows users to grow cannabis or other plants from their home. The purpose of the report was to show the need for continuous legislation and to show trends in cities that have already legalized cannabis.

“That illegal cannabis use is so high in countries that still carry the death penalty, such as Pakistan and Egypt, those in power ought to see how desperately new legislation is needed,” said Zeevi. “By removing the criminal element from marijuana, governments will then (be) able to more safely regulate production, take away power from underground gangs, and as we’ve shown in this study, generate huge tax revenues.”

The fifth highest consumer of cannabis worldwide, Cairo, could gain the most in revenue if it taxed marijuana at the U.S. cigarette tax rate. It could earn close to $385 million dollars a year if cannabis were legalized there. Its average price is $16.15 a gram, the twelfth highest in the world.

Not surprisingly, Singapore, the world’s lowest consumer of marijuana, would reap the least tax benefits if legalized, less than $250,000 annually.

Worldwide, it was found that the most expensive cities for cannabis, where it happens to be illegal, were Tokyo, Seoul, and Bangkok. Least expensive were Asuncion, Bogota, Quito, where it is partially legal, and Jakarta, where marijuana possession can be punishable by life in prison or death.


Peggi CloughPeggi CloughDecember 13, 2017
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4min10270

Yvonne DeLaRosa Green received the Business Woman of the Year Award by the Industry Power Women (IPW) on November 16 in Las Vegas. DeLaRosa Green was honored with the prestigious award for her entrepreneurship and activism in the cannabis industry.

“I feel so honored to receive the first Businesswoman of the year award from IPW—it’s a culmination of a decade of compassionate care and activism and the beginning of a new era in the cannabis industry,” said DeLaRosa Green.

DeLaRosa Green first became acquainted with the medical cannabis industry when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was dismayed by the choice of dispensaries with which she had to take her mother, so she decided to open her own. After being awarded the first Cannabis Business License in Los Angeles, she opened an upscale dispensary and art gallery.

As founder and owner of 99 High Art dispensary in Venice Beach and 99 High Tide in Malibu, DeLaRosa Green is not only one of the few minority dispensary owners in Los Angeles, but she’s also the owner of the only licensed dispensary in Malibu. 99 has been named one of the best dispensaries by Rolling Stone Magazine, LA Weekly and High Times Magazine.

DeLaRosa Green is also a celebrated actress and activist who uses her position as a celebrity to educate others on the cannabis industry and the benefits of cannabis. She is a shrewd businesswoman, compassionate advocate, and pioneering activist—all reasons she was named the IPW Business Woman of the Year.

The launch event was a brunch with mimosas the same week as MJBizCon, the biggest cannabis industry event in the country. They presented three awards to women who have broken boundaries and who continue to lead the way for women in the industry, including The Business Woman of the Year award, Influencer of the Year, and an award for Leadership.

“The launch at MJBizCon is important because last year the issue of how women are viewed was encapsulated by the scandal #meatgate, where an edible company covered a woman with deli slices as a platter,” said co-Founder Ophelia Chong. “This year, the launch of IPW shows the power women have, the changes we have made, and most importantly, that we do this because the industry does not deign us a piece as a ‘feel-good’ move. It is because we are a major part as entrepreneurs and consumers and should be recognized as so.”

IPW is an organization created in 2017 by Cynthia Salarizadeh, founder, and CEO of the Salar Media Group, Debra Borchardt, founder of the Green Market Report, and Ophelia Chong, founder of Stock Pot Images, to offer women in the cannabis industry networking, support, and camaraderie.


Peggi CloughPeggi CloughDecember 12, 2017
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4min4090

Amber E. Senter was honored with the Leadership Award by the Industry Power Women (IPW) at their brunch and awards show on November 16 in Las Vegas. The Leadership Award was presented to Senter for her influence on the cannabis industry and her role in the advancement of women in it.

Senter has had successful careers both in and out of the cannabis industry. She is a Coast Guard veteran and has spent her life helping others. Senter also had a lucrative career providing design and marketing services to Fortune 500 companies.

After moving to California to work full-time in the cannabis industry, Senter co-founded Leisure Life, a lifestyle and infused edibles company, where she is Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Her infused popcorn was well-reviewed in 420Reviews. Senter is also CEO and co-founder of the preroll brand California Rolls. Her vast knowledge of both medical and recreational cannabis are revered by others in the industry, making her a sought-after speaker at business conferences.

In 2015, Senter co-founded Supernova Women, a nonprofit organization committed to helping women of color prosper in the cannabis industry. Supernova Women focuses on helping women network and on empowering them through education.

Since becoming Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Magnolia Wellness and COO of Eureka Management Services, Senter has continued to mentor and lead women, especially women of color, who look to her for coaching and as a role model.

Amber E. Senter at the IPW brunch.

The IPW launch event was a brunch event with mimosas the same week as MJBizCon, the biggest cannabis industry event in the country. They presented three awards including The Business Woman of the Year award, Influencer of the Year, and the award for Leadership.

“The launch at MJBizCon is important because last year the issue of how women are viewed was encapsulated by the scandal #meatgate, where an edible company covered a woman with deli slices as a platter,” said co-Founder Ophelia Chong. “This year, the launch of IPW shows the power women have, the changes we have made, and most importantly, that we do this because the industry does not deign us a piece as a ‘feel-good’ move, it is because we are a major part as entrepreneurs and consumers and should be recognized as so.”

IPW is a networking organization for female entrepreneurs and business leaders in the cannabis industry. It was started in 2017 by Cynthia Salarizadeh, founder and CEO of the Salar Media Group, Debra Borchardt, founder of the Green Market Report, and Ophelia Chong, founder of Stock Pot Images, in order to give women an alliance and an opportunity to support one another. IPW plans to recognize exceptional women in the cannabis industry at an annual awards ceremony.


Peggi CloughPeggi CloughDecember 8, 2017
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4min21790

Amanda Reiman, Ph.D., MSW, was presented with the Influencer of the Year Award by the Industry Power Women (IPW) last month in Las Vegas. Reiman received the award for her continuous research and contributions to the cannabis industry.

“I like to think of myself as a mentor more than an influencer. I teach people how to think, not what to think. Hopefully winning this award means I have achieved my goal of being a mentor to women in this industry.” said Reiman.

Reiman’s interest in the cannabis industry was piqued when she first became aware of the culture of medical cannabis dispensaries in Oakland. She was surprised and encouraged by what she called the “social model of cannabis care.” This led her to public health research, with a focus on cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs.

When she worked as Manager of Marijuana Law and Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance, Reiman fought to bring about a legalization initiative recognizing how the war on drugs unjustly impacted people of color. She also taught at UC Berkeley, School of Social Welfare, for 11 years, where she offered students a supportive environment in which they could talk about difficult issues.

Reiman is currently Vice President of Community Relations at Flow Kana, a branded cannabis distribution company that works with small, outdoor farmers. There she continues to coach women who are new to the industry. In addition to that, she is the Secretary of the International Cannabis Farmer’s Association, a non-profit that advocates for research and policies that favor sun-grown cannabis cultivation through traditional farming methods. Her career achievements, along with her work mentoring women, are examples of why Reiman was chosen for the IPW Influencer of the Year Award.

“The launch at MJBizCon is important because last year the issue of how women are viewed was encapsulated by the scandal #meatgate, where an edible company covered a woman with deli slices as a platter,” said co-Founder Ophelia Chong. “This year, the launch of IPW shows the power women have, the changes we have made, and most importantly, that we do this because the industry does not deign us a piece as a ‘feel good’ move, it is because we are a major part as entrepreneurs and consumers and should be recognized as so.”

IPW was founded by Cynthia Salarizadeh, founder, and CEO of the Salar Media Group, Debra Borchardt, founder of the Green Market Report, and Ophelia Chong, founder of Stock Pot Images, to give women in the cannabis industry an environment of support and strength. IPW plans to host an annual awards ceremony recognizing outstanding women in the industry.



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