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The United States marijuana industry has come under attack and this attack is being fueled by false statements and claims from various members of the White House administration.

Yesterday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein added fuel to the fire when he appeared before the Senate and House Appropriations committees.

Rosenberg called marijuana an unlawful drug from a legal and scientific perspective, and said it is properly scheduled under Schedule I. He also said that the Cole Memo remains its policy for the moment and that there may be an opportunity to review it in the future.

Cannabis is an Effective Treatment for Millions in America

Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia allow for use of medical cannabis. The medical cannabis industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people.

With almost 2 million patients across the country, the medical marijuana industry is just getting started and has already improved daily life for millions-on-millions of people across the globe.

Cannabis Legalization Provides Relief

Painkillers have become a serious issue in the United States. During the past 15 years, America has seen a tremendous growth in both the sales of prescription opiates and the number of people who die each year from abusing them. Researchers from the RAND Corporation and the University of California-Irvine (UCI) may have found the answer and that is marijuana.

The researchers discovered a reduction in the number of opioids related overdoses, as well as a reduction in number of admissions to addiction treatment center in states that legalized marijuana. The researchers also found that these states experienced significant reductions in both measures if they also legalized marijuana dispensaries.

A study conducted by the University of Georgia in 2016 reported a significant reduction in Medicare Part D prescriptions (the Medicare prescription drug benefit that subsidizes prescription drug costs) in states that have legalized medical marijuana, including an 11% reduction in pain-related prescriptions.

In 2014, a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association reported a 25% decline in accidental opioid deaths in states where medical marijuana is legal.

Improving Daily Life Across the World

Cannabis can treat countless debilitating diseases and improve the daily life of millions of people around the world.  Despite all the fake news being reported from the White House pertaining to medical cannabis, the facts don’t lie.
Although the United States is led by an Attorney General who has called the use of medical cannabis as desperate and said it is only slightly less awful than heroin, cannabis continues to save lives every day.

Cannabis is a medicine and it is time for the United States to treat it as one.

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This morning, Vancouver based company First Bitcoin Capital Corp (BITCF) announced its second Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The cryptocurrency craze has been hot lately with many seeing uncapped potential within the market itself; bitcoin has taken a major role in this latest excitement. But now it looks like the marijuana industry could be ready to see a new currency, WEED.

First Bitcoin launched its first ICO for “Altcoin” and now has announced its second ICO for its cryptocurrency with a coin named WEED. There are similar currencies out there such as POTCOIN but obviously if you have anything called “WEED” in a marijuana related industry, it could become that much easier to identify. WEED coin takes advantage of the same Bitcoin Blockchain, Omni protocols as their previously launched Altcoin.

“WEED commemorates the global legalization of marijuana and is the next paradigm of money for all things cannabis” according to the company. There is one caveat though. Besides actually having an account to buy cryptocurrency, in order to purchase WEED, apparently traders will need to send a different coin (1 President Johnson coin -$GARY) to the company’s bitcoin wallet. 1 GARY is around $0.023 right now, where 1 bitcoin is about $2,825.

In the company’s press release, they specifically state that in order to insure receipt of the WEED coin upon transferring GARY to the company’s address, people will need to use their own personal Omni Wallet addresses and not an exchange provided wallet. The reason for this is that they may not be prepared to credit those WEED tokens to the senders’ accounts.

“Upon 6 confirmations, the WEED coins will safely arrive in your personal Omni Wallet. This process is fully automated and requires no manual processing by the issuer of WEED.”

So, it looks like two of the most speculative markets are converging with the launch of this latest ICO. We can only imagine what else will come of the growing marijuana industry as mainstream industry work to gain market share via a multitude of ways. This new cryptocurrency is just another example of how legal marijuana is attracting businesses of all shapes and sizes right now.

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Canada plans to legalize recreational cannabis before July 1, 2018, and the industry continues to steal headlines as this has created great opportunity for both companies and investors.

Although the opportunity is significant, the process of becoming a licensed medical cannabis producer is very lengthy and expensive. These factors have resulted in the country having a supply and demand issue for the medical cannabis market.

Legal recreational cannabis is supposed to significantly increase the amount of cannabis in demand and Health Canada, which is responsible for the regulation of the medical cannabis market has made it easier for companies to get the required licenses.

Health Canada Streamlines Application Process

In late May, Health Canada announced that it has made some changes to streamline the application process to become a licensed medical cannabis producer. These changes will also increase overall production.

Since the licensing program came into effect in 2013, 45 medical marijuana production licenses have been granted (currently 428 companies applying to become licensed cannabis producers). Some of the changes announced by Health Canada include:

• The hiring of new employees to speed up the application process
• Permitting licensed producers to manage production based on their vault capacity
• Increased freedom to modify and expand their facilities

The biggest change announced by Health Canada pertains to production management. Under the new regulations, licensed producers can increase production within their facility to the maximum they are authorized to store, based on the capacity and security level of their vault(s) or safe(s). This will allow licensed producers to better manage production as necessary to meet demand.

Also, licensed producers will be able to store low-value cannabis waste products in a secure area outside of their vault. This will immediately impact the storage capacity of the LP’s, enabling increased production of finished cannabis products.

An Industry Ready to Bounce Back

Although these companies have been very attractive and profitable investment opportunities, they have been under significant pressure this year and the stocks have come well off its 2017 highs.

Several analysts warned cannabis investors about the massive investor fatigue plaguing cannabis licensed producers. One of the best way to protect yourself against this trend is by focusing on companies that have differentiated itself from its peers. We want to highlight five these companies and explain what and if they have a competitive advantage.

• Canopy Growth: The largest and most diverse licensed producer in Canada. The company has made two large acquisitions in the last two years (Bedrocan and Mettrum Health) and is an attractive stock due to its global presence (Australia, Canada, and Germany), its continued execution and track record, its improving fundamentals, and its management team.
• Aphria: One of the lowest cost producers due to its greenhouse production style. The company has made investments in the burgeoning United States cannabis industry and is levered to states like Arizona and Florida.
• Aurora Cannabis: One of the fastest growing licensed producers and has one of the strongest balance sheets when compared to its peers. Through acquisitions and investments, Aurora has become levered to international markets like Australia and Germany
• Cannabis Wheaton: Operates under a streaming model and does not actually touch the plant. Has secured deals with 17 producers across Canada. The shares have plunged after announcing a new financing deal and we continue to monitor trading after Cannabis Wheaton announced that Hugo Alves was appointed as President and Director of the company.
• Emblem Corp: The company is focused on two major markets. The development of biotech treatments derived from cannabis and the production of high-quality cannabis. Emblem has come off its recent lows and seems to have found a bottom. This is a stock to watch.

Disclaimer: Pursuant to an agreement between MAPH and Cannabis Wheaton (KWFLF) we were hired for 30 Days to publicly disseminate information about (KWFLF) including on the Website and other media including Facebook and Twitter. We are being paid $150,000 (CASH) for and were paid “0” shares of restricted common shares of Cannabis Wheaton. We may buy or sell additional shares of (KWFLF) in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, provide public dissemination of favorable Information.

Authored by: Michael Berger

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2017 has been a year to remember and we are not even at the mid-point yet…

From the largest country in the European Union to entire continents, 2017 has been highlighted by the opening of new, major cannabis markets. This theme has been consistent over the last few years, and it is just getting started.

Australia is Becoming a Hotspot for Cannabis Businesses

In February, the cannabis industry recorded a major milestone after the Australian Parliament passed a measure which made it the first continent to legalize medical marijuana.

Cann Group Limited (ASX: CAN) was the first Australian company to be licensed by the Office of Drug Control for commercial medical cannabis cultivation and production. The company has facilities in Australia’s northern and southern region and is currently expanding both of its facilities to satisfy expected future demand.

Cann Group’s expansion project is fully funded and the company is focused on completing the buildout of its facilities, securing licenses for expansion purposes, and executing on its business plan.

In late May, Cann Group received the necessary permits to commence cultivation and will plant their initial crop in the next few days. The company expects to harvest its initial crop in early August if everything goes to plan.

Canadian Producer Set Sights on Australia

In March, Cann Group announced that Aurora Cannabis (ACB.V) (ACBFF), a licensed medical cannabis producer in Canada, acquired 19.9% of the business and became the cornerstone investor ahead of its initial public offering (IPO).

Another titan of the industry, Canopy Growth (WEED.TO) (TWMJF) has also entered the Australian medical cannabis industry through a partnership with AussCann (ACNNF). Canopy Growth is the largest licensed medical cannabis producer in Canada and the company will help AussCann increase market share and capitalize on the Australian cannabis market.

Canopy is not only one of AussCann’s largest shareholders but they have also granted them royalty-free access to their intellectual property as it relates to cultivation, supply, and manufacturing of medicinal cannabis.

The Marijuana Train Has Left the Station

Marijuana legalization may not be a top priority for the United States right now, but change is occurring all over the world. The global marijuana industry has gathered support from many high-ranking officials over the last two years which has increased overall support for the reform of restrictive laws.

Progress toward this goal is hampered by political realities, such that cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I substance. It is time for change and for the authorities to recognize its medical benefits and to remove some of the restrictions that are not supported by scientific research.

Not only is this a medical necessity, but it just makes good business sense.

Authored By Micheal Berger

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The thought of genetically modified marijuana gives me the creeps. It conjures up visions of greedy agricultural giants like Monsanto creating a secret, enhanced strain from seeds they developed in an underground deep frozen bunker.

Genetically altered strains have not yet made their way onto the marketplace; however, some agricultural experts like Dr. Reggie Gaudino of the Berkeley-based Steep Hill cannabis laboratory say it’s only a matter of time.

Why Does Marijuana Need GMO’s

“The cannabis industry should be aware that sooner rather than later, there will be big ag at play in this industry,” Gaudino said, according to the Eureka Standard-Times. “And big ag uses exactly these techniques. We’re working to help the current population of farmers and breeders retain relevance when big ag comes knocking on the door.”

Following the passage of Proposition 64, local farmers have two years to press their luck before companies outside the state can enter the cannabis market and until 2022 before grow sizes can reach above an acre, according to the Cannifornian.

Other researchers, like Phylos Bioscience’s CEO Mowgli Holmes in Oregon, disagree with Gaudino.

Holmes thinks the industry and consumers would never accept genetically modified organisms within the cannabis space.

“I don’t think there is anything that GMOs could do for cannabis that we need that couldn’t be done by advanced plant breeding techniques,” Holmes said. “GMOs can make cannabis that glows in the dark, but we don’t need that.”

Labs like Phylos Bioscience and Steep Hill, both formed within the past decade, are now using DNA sequencing techniques on various strains of cannabis to unlock what makes marijuana tick.

While we all would like to know more about cannabis science—especially as CBD and medical marijuana become increasingly important—most of us want our weed to be grown as naturally as possible and preferably outdoors.

According to Will Houston’s article, areas like Humboldt County have already distanced themselves from any GMO cannabis market that may arise and are instead working to embrace a regulated industry of environmentally conscious and organic farming practices.

In a different interview with Gaudino, Ganjapreneur broached another important topic: individual strains that growers have been developing over these years and what to do about their intellectual property rights, including patenting their strains.

Gaudino explained:

“At some point, big agriculture, Monsanto, Dow Agrosciences, the pharmaceutical industry, they’re all going to jump on the bandwagon once everything goes from schedule I to schedule II… A savvy observer of the industry will see that the movement is gaining momentum and is moving towards that direction. Why is that important?”

“That’s important because every strain that is publicly available for sale right now basically becomes open source. Patent law states that you can’t apply for a patent of any kind on anything that’s been being sold for a year or more. The message that Steep Hill is trying to get out is, if you’re a breeder, the best thing that you can be doing right now is breeding your butt off.”

“Finding those nuances, going after those new unique strains, trying to develop better phenotypes so that you can have some relevance a few years down the line. There’s not a single grower who seriously has the power to compete with the likes of the Monsanto or Dow Agrosciences.”

“The only thing left then is to put your stake in the ground and to really protect your strains so that when everything that’s on the shelves now becomes open source, you have something better to offer the community. That’s exactly the message we’re trying to do.”

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At the office of Monterey County’s Treasurer-Tax Collector, armed- guards now stand watch over the parking lot and lobby door. A recently restored front office now serves as a secure drop-off point for taxpayers hauling big bags full of cash. A fleet of state-of-the-art currency counters stand ready to quickly record unprecedented sums of paper bills. And the regularly scheduled armored truck pickups are now passing through at a swifter clip.

Monterey County is among the many towns in California and counties discovering a tough reality as they position themselves for a share of the state’s newly legalized marijuana proceeds: Tax collecting in cannabis country comes with its share of obstacles. And there’s no “how to” guide.

“It’s been a challenge just to craft all of this from scratch,” county Treasurer-Tax Collector Mary Zeeb stated from her office in Salinas. As of the first of this year, all licensed medical pot growers in unincorporated Monterey County owe Zeeb’s office $2 for every square foot they farm. That’s thanks to a measure passed by an overwhelming 74 percent of the county’s voters last November, who decided that if cannabis is going to be a mainly-legal local industry, the county treasury might as well get in on the action.

Among the list of questions that city fiscal analysts and county councilmembers are now puzzling over:

• What is the “sweet spot” tax rate that will keep local budgets in the black without chasing growers and vendors back into the black market?

• Who exactly are the officially licensed weed dealers in their jurisdiction?

• When taxing an industry that is effectively barred from the traditional banking sector, what do you do with all their cash?

• And just how do you audit a pot farm anyway?

“We set up our processes, and we hoped that they were going to work. So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that they mostly have,” says Zeeb, now processing the first quarter of collections.

Monterey County records taking in roughly $700,000 from 60 farmers. Those tax bills were based on self-report yield data from the farmers themselves, but once all the permits are finalized, Zeeb says each grower will be taxed based on his or her permitted acreage.

“This is kind of the startup period,” she says. “We had a very steep learning curve.”

Monterey County isn’t the only local government learning on the fly. This past election, more than 30 cities, and nine counties put marijuana tax propositions on the ballot. All but two were approved—and more measures have been scheduled during special elections ever since. These taxes mainly apply to medical marijuana but were designed to include recreational marijuana once the state begins issuing permits no sooner than the beginning of next year.

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Marijuana-Stocks- cannabis-trump

The marijuana sector is one of the quickest growing industry’s in the country — projections for this year could add up to billions of dollars in sales. However with a new administration at the wheel in Washington, D.C., one that is potentially less favorable to legalization, marijuana entrepreneurs and investors alike are dealing with a difficult time.

Startups, analysts, and investors convened this week at the Marijuana Business Daily’s Conference and Expo just outside the nation’s capital in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The issue on everyone’s minds: what the marijuana industry is depicted as under a Trump presidency, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Press Secretary Sean Spicer have indicated the possibility for sterner enforcement at the federal level, where marijuana is technically illegal. The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to request for comment.

“I am concerned about what I am hearing, but we’ve been through several administrations at this point, and this is a matter of states’ rights,” stated Christie Lunsford, COO of Pro MAX Grow, which sells LED horticultural lighting for licensed marijuana growers and is based in Tappan, N.Y.

“I think the impact we will see coming out of Washington, D.C., is fewer investors coming into space … fewer people launching businesses direct to the plant — cultivation, dispensing and manufacturing. That’s where you’re going to see people not wanting to enter the cannabis space,” she stated.

To date, the growth of the industry is undeniable, with marijuana legalized for recreational use in eight states and Washington, D.C., and for medicinal use in 30 states and Washington, D.C., per Marijuana Business Daily.

Projections differ among industry critics, yet the numbers are large. Marijuana Business Daily makes a prediction that retail sales will hit $6.1 billion for 2017 and the industry could have a maximum economic impact of close to $68.4 billion by 2021; GreenWave Advisors set there prediction at $7.7 billion for 2017 and $30 billion by 2021 if recreational and medicinal cannabis is legalized through the entire country

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Although the United States legal cannabis train has already left the station, President Donald Trump’s first 100 days have raised some concerns.

The best way to describe his first 100 days is something like a rocket fueled roller coaster and we want to highlight the top 5 developments that have transpired thus far.

• West Virginia became the 29th state to legalize medical cannabis after Governor Jim Justice signed legislation to create a legal program in the state. The program will allow patients suffering with terminal illnesses or any of 14 specified conditions access to cannabis.
• Jeff Sessions has been shut down once again as the budget bill that passed to prevent a government shutdown contained a provision known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which has United States cannabis business owners breathing a sigh of relief. The provision will make sure that no portion of Department of Justice’s budget will be allowed to be used to attempt to fight state laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana.
• After Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions he does not expect there to be a federal crackdown on legal cannabis. Governor Hickenlooper said Sessions called the Obama administration’s guidance on marijuana not too far from good policy.
• Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly called marijuana a potentially dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs the day after he said that cannabis is not a factor in the United States’ current fight against narcotics.
• In February, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attempted to link cannabis use to the opioid addiction crisis plaguing the United States. He said the President understands the value of medical cannabis for those in need, but recreational cannabis is an issue for the Department of Justice to provide further clarification.

Authored By: Michael Berger

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Marijuana-stocks-california repbublic

California is making a powerful effort to gain control of its unruly medical marijuana industry. State regulators released a draft of new regulations this past Friday which is intended to force order on the loosely organized marketplace which was created more than twenty years ago.

The proposal would set the first comprehensive rules and regulations for growing, testing, transporting and selling medical marijuana in the state that is home to 1 in 8 Americans.

This past year registered voters agreed to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults in 2018. The state is faced with the challenging task of trying to govern a vast, emerging cannabis industry with a calculated value of $7 billion.

Similar rules and regulations are currently being created for the recreational marijuana industry. Yet still there are some differences, and a bill in the Legislature backed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown seeks to square the recreational pot law with the rules for medical marijuana.

Hezekiah Allen, president of the California Growers Association, an industry group, called the draft rules “a major step toward a well-regulated cannabis industry.”

However, he added in a statement that “there is still a lot of uncertainty as the Legislature works to better balance” the various proposals.

For medical marijuana users in California, the proposed rules will have no immediate impression. The draft of rules and regulations that are being developed is expected to take months to review and improve. They do not go into effect until Jan. 1 when recreational marijuana use also becomes legal.

The Bureau of Marijuana Control said in a statement that it’s attempting to establish a “coherent regulatory framework for an established industry that has not been comprehensively regulated by the state.”

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For more than 50 years, Israeli scientists have been researching the medical benefits associated with cannabis and the country’s pro-cannabis standpoint has made it attractive to several cannabis-focused biotech firms.

Although the Israeli cannabis research and development efforts are unmatched by any country, the growth of the North American cannabis industry has caught Israel’s attention.

The Canadian recreational cannabis movement has been the story of the year so far, but Israel is not too far behind as its cannabis initiatives are starting to gain traction in some of the world’s largest markets.

Israeli Cannabis Company Continues to Expand

Tikun Olam is one of Israel’s leading suppliers of medical cannabis and has been operating under a license from Israel’s Ministry of Health since 2007. From plant to patient, Tikun Olam is a vertically integrated company and the founder of the world’s first professional cannabis nursing clinic.

The company has been capitalizing on the United States legal cannabis market and Tikun Olam plans to enter Nevada’s cannabis market and continue to expand its presence in the United States following the completion of its pilot program in Delaware.

Tikun Olam will enter the Nevada market and will be licensed to sell its products through a non-exclusive agreement with CW Nevada and its chain of dispensaries. The nature of the agreement will enable Tikun Olam to increase its market share within Nevada and enter new dispensaries as the state’s cannabis market continues to grow.

T.O. Global LLC CEO Bernard Sucher said, “Tikun Olam is the gold standard for pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis production in both Israel and Canada. The U.S. cannabis market is becoming more sophisticated, looking beyond high-THC content to demand medically-proven, quality products for therapeutic cannabis use as part of a healthy lifestyle.”

A Global Focus

From Israel to the United Sates, from Canada to Australia, Tikun Olam has been executing on the burgeoning global cannabis industry.

In 2014, Tikun Olam entered a partnership with MedReleaf, a licensed Canadian medical cannabis producer. The partnership has been successful and is focused on treating Canadian patients.

Last year, Tikun Olam expanded into the United States and established a subsidiary, Tikun Olam USA. The company also recently said it would be working with Medifarm of Australia, which is Queensland’s first medical cannabis cultivation license.
A Company to Watch

Tikun Olam is privately held and we think this is a company to watch as it continues to execute on its business plan and increase it leverage to the rapidly growing legal cannabis market, which is the fastest growing in industry in the world.

Although cannabis is a cash crop, companies like Tikun Olam are learning about the plant’s incredible ability to treat medical ailments and debilitating diseases.


Authored by: Michael Berger

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