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West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed a bill that makes his state the 29th to allow medical use of marijuana. West Virginia is the sixth state to legalize medical marijuana in the last year and the third (along with Ohio and Pennsylvania) to do so through the legislature. In the other three states: Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota, voters approved ballot initiatives authorizing medical marijuana last November.

West Virginia’s new law recognizes marijuana as a treatment for patients with terminal illnesses or any of 14 specified conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and intractable pain. Patients whose doctors recommend marijuana will be able to obtain it in the form of pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures, liquids, and vaporizable extracts from state-regulated dispensaries. The dispensaries will not sell buds for smoking or marijuana edibles, although patients can prepare their own at home. The law does not allow home cultivation, and patients can legally possess no more than a month’s supply at a time.

Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) stated, “This legislation is going to benefit countless West Virginia patients and families for years to come. Medical marijuana can be effective in treating a variety of debilitating conditions and symptoms. It is a proven pain reliever, and it is far less toxic and less addictive than a lot of prescription drugs. Providing patients with a safer alternative to opioids could turn out to be a godsend for this state.”

One downside to West Virginia’s law is a new standard for driving under the influence of marijuana that erroneously equates impairment with a blood THC level of three nanograms per milliliter. That’s even lower than the unfair and unscientific five-nanogram cutoff that Colorado and Washington adopted when they legalized marijuana for recreational use. As MPP notes, West Virginia’s DUID standard “could make it illegal for some patients to ever drive, since many patients have THC levels at this amount or greater many hours or days after last administering cannabis.”

West Virginia’s rules put it on the less liberal end of a medical marijuana spectrum that ranges from highly permissive (e.g., California) to highly restrictive (e.g., New York). Eight of the 29 medical marijuana states also allow recreational use. Medical use was approved by ballot initiative in 14 of those states, beginning with California in 1996. In the rest, as in West Virginia, medical marijuana laws originated in the state legislature.

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Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a federal health council, found that people over the age of 60 are consuming more alcoholic beverages than they were two decades ago. These findings, which were published in the latest issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, shows that the older generation appears to be more hell bent than ever on drinking themselves into an untimely grave.

An examination of 145,000 responses from the National Health Interview Survey from 1997 to 2014 found a steady increase in the number of people who are now hitting the bottle. Traditionally, men have been more likely to be die-hard boozehounds than their females counterparts, but the most recent analysis shows women are not far from catching up.

Lead study author Rosalind Breslow stated, “The prevalence of drinking has been higher in older men than in older women. It still is, but the gender gap has been narrowing over approximately the past two decades.”

The study found that roughly 54% of men and 38% of women over the age of 60 claimed to be “current drinkers” back in the late nineties. By the time 2014 rolled around, both group’s booze-soaked endeavors experienced a significant increase. Now, nearly 60% of men and 48% of women drink at least 12 alcoholic beverages a year, the report shows.

Sadly, the binge drinking mentality among the older demographic is spiraling out of control. Both groups are now engaging in this risky behavior more than ever before, the report found. Although the majority of the discussion today surrounds how marijuana might help tame the opioid epidemic, there is some evidence that shows medicinal cannabis can also be used as a substitute for booze.

A study of California medical marijuana patients published in a 2009 edition of the Harm Reduction Journal found that around half of these people were using pot to stop drinking in excess. The study was later replicated twice, each time coming up with similar results. It is also worth mentioning that marijuana has been proven to be much safer choice than alcohol.

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The windows will soon open on the Tumbleweed Express Drive-Thru, the nation’s first legal drive-thru marijuana dispensary. Located in a converted car wash space in Parachute, Colorado, the dispensary will sell weed from 4 p.m. to midnight on the weekends, giving buyers late-night access. Naturally, the shop is planning to open on April 20, better known as 4/20.

CEO Mark Smith stated, “I didn’t set out thinking this would be national news. I didn’t have some big epiphany. I just saw a need for our customers.” Smith is the latest in a line of cannabis entrepreneurs, including celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and Snoop Dogg, taking advantage of increasing mainstream interest in weed consumption.

The drive-thru counter is subject to the same strict regulations as all other recreational marijuana dealers. No one under the age of 21 is allowed on the premises; in this case, that includes the back seats of cars. And the substance is not allowed to be visible from outside the dispensary. Security measures must also be in place. However, for the town of Parachute, population 1,100, marijuana sales are an important component of the local economy, accounting for nearly 30% of the 2016 sales tax revenue. Cannabis sales have also been contentious, with a ban in place prior to 2015. With the weed market booming across the state, however, Parachute appears to be joining the bandwagon.

Parachute Town Manager Stuart McArthur said in February, “We think the drive-through is a very creative and innovative idea.” The state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division added that it was not aware of this business model “ever coming up before,” giving the shop its claim to fame. Tumbleweed Express Drive-Thru’s big opening day is set to coincide with the unofficial national holiday celebrating cannabis culture.

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Being the oktober-fest of marijuana smoking, 420 has been a worldwide holiday for stoners and business men alike. Although there are far more myths surrounding the date than there are facts, why out of all the other 364 days of the year did this magical day fall on the 20th of april?

Thanks to the people at los Angeles Times and Huffington post, we were able to find out the true story behind 420, for the sake of clarity lets look at the false reasons behind 420.

420 is not the number of compounds in marijuana.
420 is not police code for marijuana violations
420 is Adolf hitlers birthday, but just trust that it is not where the word tradition comes from

the real beginning of this wonderful tradition started with a group of teens from Marin County, California called the Waldos. The group consisted of Mark Gravitch, Dave Reddix and Steve Capper, who initially concealed their identity to protect their adult lives. To do so they used Ramones-style code names such as Waldo Mark, Waldo Dave and Waldo Steve, they even created a 420 flag that dates back to the 1970s, which dates way back than a lot of the reasoning behind the number 420(except for hitlers birthday).

The real reason why the Waldo’s chose this number was because 4:20 was the time they would meet up every single day to search for a legendary lost marijuana crop near the point Reyes coast guard station.

According to the Waldos, they were just typical marijuana-lovin’ high school students that heard about some guy in the coast guard who was forced to abandon a plot of marijuana plants in a field in Point Reyes.

They agreed to meet at a statue at 4:20 every single day, where they would smoke and wander the wilds of point Reyes looking for this mystical field.

Despite this wondrous approach, they never uncovered the hidden field, but they did manage to create a code that allowed them to hide their marijuana use from parents and teachers alike.

It is very likely that 420 would have ended as a legacy between those 3 friends, but luckily Waldo Dave’s older brother was a great friend of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh.

After learning the phrase from the group of teens, Phil and the rest of the grateful dead co-adapted the term and ended up spending the next 35 years touring and promoting the number 420 and smoking pot.

420 and pop culture

After it had finally been adopted by the stoner community, the famous number began to find its way to all kinds of funny places.

For example, every single clock in the film pulp fiction was set to 4:20, a new marijuana legislation bill in California was called state bill 420. The Denver interstate mile marker 420 was stolen so frequently that they had to replace it with mile marker 419.99.

Although it ended up taking almost half a century, 420 has made it into the big-leagues, way further than those kids in Marin county could have every imagined.

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2017 has really been the year for marijuana in the united states, 28 different states have led the initiative in the legalization of its medicinal use. The real beauty starts to exert itself when you look at all the goods that are a product of its harvest, because when broken down weed can be used as hemp for physical products or for its medicinal cannabinoid but either way they are becoming more and more present in households today.

Without adieu here are the top 10 marijuana trends in no particular order

1. Personal Home grow solutions

As marijuana continually becomes more accepted in households, people are starting to grow their own marijuana. This opens a new market for companies that create solutions for home growing. States are also becoming more lenient as to the amount of plants you can have. for example, in Maine each household is allowed to have 12 plants and in Alaska it is double that. Since growing marijuana indoors is extremely heavy on the utility bills a lot of companies have been trying to create different methods for us to harvest marijuana without racking up a hefty electricity bill.

2. Delivery

The next big thing that is growing a lot in recent news are marijuana delivery services, just as companies like uber-eats and grub hub make food delivery a one-click mission. Companies like California cannabis delivery startup Eaze have gathered more than 25 million dollars in multiple rounds of financing in order to become the largest provider of on-demand cannabis. As they do remain ahead numerous delivery services are trying to copy Eaze’s business model to service what will be the worlds largest recreational cannabis economy.

3. Weed TV shows

Aside from marijuana having the most famous cameos in television today. This makes a lot of room for marijuana based television shows. Unlike weeds, these shows are taking place in a different America meaning that they have a vast consumer base which will facilitate its growth. Who doesn’t like a good stoner tv show.

4. Synthetic CBD

Another market that is growing rapidly is the harvesting of synthetic CBD, although this technically doesn’t have marijuana in it, it is a product of the controversy against CBD products. Every single day companies like Corbus pharma(OTC:CBRP) struggle with the FDA in attempting to green light synthetic CBD based medicine. Their drug Resunab, currently in phase 3 testing, is said to be released in 2019 as one of the best CBD alternative medicines today.

5. Craft marijuana

Like alcohol, people are beginning to see the differences in different marijuana depending on its source. This opens up a new lane for artisanal medicinal marijuana as people are beginning to smoke lavishly packaged strains and medicinal products. Companies like défoncé chocolates make luxury chocolate bars that just so happen to be medicated with quality cannabis. Every day more cannabis companies are beginning to embrace the farm-to-table approach for marijuana, this will continually open a path for craft-weed.

6. Safer/easier consumption

the biggest controversy today with marijuana is the methods of which it is consumed. Because smoking is so shunned upon in todays world. Many companies have been making the move to safer consumption both for recreational and medicinal relief. Portable vaporizers like the PAX 3 and the Puffco plus allow consumers to discretely inhale marijuana while on the go. As edibles also provide longer/more therapeutic doses a lot of companies are moving to uniquely packaged and marketed edibles for mass-consumption.

7. Micro dosing

Micro dosing is a great way to receive a lot of medicinal marijuana benefits without the high that is usually associated with THC. Companies like Kiva Confections have been creating micro-dose friendly products that are uniquely packaged for the masses. Recent studies have actually indicated that micro dosing might actually have more of a positive effect than macro dosing, that being said this market is poised for growth during 2017.

8. Sports

Today many athletes like Ronda Rousey and Ricky Williams have become advocates for stopping marijuana testing in sports leagues to allow athletes to use marijuana as medication. Many professional athletes turn to the use of medicinal marijuana to treat pain and head injuries as they continue to reject opiate-based prescribed medicine

9. Product design

Although most of the products in this industry were made based on utility , the tables are beginning to turn as style becomes more present in a variety of products. The world of glassware is also receiving a makeover as visionaries like marijuana activist jane west recently raised a million dollars in capital for a new glassware collection, it’ll be very interesting to see the stylistic choices of vendors as marijuana gets more trendy by the day.

10. Los Angeles as the new marijuana capital

Its time for Denver to move over, there’s a new capital for marijuana according to Medmen capital CEO Adam Biermen. As the marijuana market in Los Angeles amounts to roughly 1 billion dollars, easily overshadowing the mile high city. The city is actually expected to pass a law that clears the path for a proper marijuana licensing program which will open up the flow into the recreational market.

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Medical marijuana will be grown on up to 24 licensed sites statewide, subject to some of the highest fees in the country, under the final rules recently presented to legislators. The cultivator portion of the rules, which also details the application and license fees for retail dispensaries, product processors and testing labs, cleared the Ohio legislature’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review without objection from the panel.

The rules will be officially filed later this month and take effect before the May 6th statutory deadline. Rules and regulations for retail dispensaries, product processors and testing labs are still being revised, but must be in place by September 8th. Columbus attorney David Patton raised concerns about banning license applicants with criminal records. Ohio law allows people convicted of certain crimes, to be determined by regulators, to be eligible for marijuana business licenses if the offenses occurred more than five years prior.

Patton said the rules don’t set a hard line between which offenses qualify or disqualify someone and the state is setting itself up for a lawsuit. Under the rules, a first-degree misdemeanor conviction or guilty plea doesn’t “automatically disqualify” someone to obtain a license or work as a key dispensary employee if it occurred more than five years ago. Possessing more than 200 grams of marijuana, or a little over 7 ounces, is a felony charge in Ohio.

Patton recently said, “Nobody wants criminals involved in the medical marijuana program, but the fact is most of the people who understand this industry have been engaged in medical marijuana activities and recreational activities for decades.” Justin Hunt, chief operating officer for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, said the pertinent offenses are clearly listed in the rules.

Hunt stated, “The authority we have is broad to draft the rules; that help us establish a safe medical marijuana program and ensure a safe, consistent supply for the patients that will ultimately rely on this medicine.” Ohio’s medical marijuana law, passed in June 2016, allows people with one of 21 medical conditions to buy and use marijuana if recommended by a physician. Most of the details about the program, such as who will grow and sell marijuana and how much patients can buy, were left to the commerce department, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and Ohio State Medical Board.

The Department of Commerce plans to begin accepting applications for cultivator licenses in June, after a few weeks of answering questions from interested parties. Applicants must meet certain financial criteria, have local approval for their proposed site and submit security and quality assurance plans, among other requirements. The rules and regulations have not substantially changed in the five months since first proposed by the department, despite concerns about the pricey license fees and out-of-state investors having an advantage over Ohioans.

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Americans think it’s safer to use marijuana than opioids to relieve pain, but they were less comfortable with children and pregnant women using the drug to treat medical conditions, according to a recent Yahoo/Marist poll. Two-thirds of the respondents in the telephone survey said opioid drugs such as Vicodin or OxyContin are “riskier” to use than marijuana, even when the pain pills are prescribed by a doctor. Only one in five said marijuana was riskier than opioids. The rest weren’t sure.

Every day, an overdose of prescription opioids or heroin kills 91 people, and legions more are brought back from the brink of death. Some 2 million Americans are thought to be hooked on the pills. Last month, President Donald J. Trump appointed an opioid commission to look into the problem. Marijuana by itself is not fatal. Doctors technically don’t prescribe it for pain or other purposes but most states that allow medical marijuana do require patients to get a doctor’s written recommendation to purchase it to treat their conditions.

Among those answering the Yahoo/Marist poll, 83% said the drug should be legal nationally for medical treatment. However, 70% said it is not acceptable for pregnant women to use marijuana to reduce nausea or pain. And the survey respondents were about evenly divided on whether marijuana should be recommended for children if it were legal. The survey respondents were deeply divided on how Trump should approach marijuana: 38% said he shouldn’t be as tough about enforcing federal laws against recreational marijuana use as President Barack Obama, whose policy generally was to leave states alone.

Another 30% said Trump should take a harder line than Obama, while the rest weren’t sure or said Trump should treat it about the same as Obama did. Trump’s administration has sent mixed messages to the 28 states and Washington, D.C., in violation of federal drug law when it comes to marijuana. Trump said as a candidate that states should be allowed to tinker with marijuana laws. However, new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said marijuana is dangerous and marijuana changes by states should not be allowed. There has been no action yet by the U.S. Justice Department or any other federal agencies to crack down on states violating the Controlled Substances Act, which bans marijuana for any use.

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VPR Brands

 VPR Brands, LP (OTC PINK: VPRB) released 2016 fourth quarter and full year revenue and financials. 2016 revenue totaled $1,580,676, which represents a 4,620.85% increase over 2015 revenue of $342. , For 2016, VPR Brands had a gross profit margin of 30.42%, gross profit of $480,852 and a net operating loss of $327,757.

Fourth quarter 2016 revenue totaled $972,322, representing a 59.82% increase over third quarter 2016 revenue of $608,354. Fourth quarter 2016 operating margins were down slightly compared to the third quarter 2016 to 29.03%, with $282,298 in gross profit and a net operating loss of $206,174.

“The acquisition we made in 2016 was a bold move that has added incremental business and value to the Company for the last half of 2016 and has given us a running start into 2017. We believe that the Company is now well positioned to take advantage of the growing cannabis market segment,” said Kevin Frija, CEO of VPR Brands, LP. “We will continue to stay focused on our mission of building long-term value for the Company, both organically or through additional acquisitions that make sense for the Company.”

“I couldn’t be more excited for our portfolio of brands, our team of people, our great clients, our strategic alliances and our growth potential within the rapidly expanding cannabis space. Although 2016 was a short year for us, I believe we have set a solid foundation for growth that we can build upon for years to come,” commented Daniel Hoff, COO of VPR Brands, LP.

Although our sales are not segregated by brand or product category, our primary revenue source is from vaporization devices specifically created for use with medical cannabis and recreational marijuana. These devices are specifically created for use with extract oils and concentrates which are vaped, providing optimal results and the best experience for patients and recreational users. Vaporizers are far more convenient and discrete compared to traditional cannabis use methods. These units are compact, easy to carry and concealable. Modern cannabis vaporizers do not emit distinct and lingering odors that are affiliated with traditional marijuana use. We believe that portable vaporizers as the fastest growing delivery mechanism for marijuana. Our team is currently working with other market leaders within cannabis growth and extraction to innovate and further educate the marketplace on its advantages.

About VPR Brands LP:

VPR Brands is a technology company whose assets include issued U.S. and Chinese patents for atomization related products including technology for medical marijuana vaporizers and electronic cigarette products and components. The Company is also engaged in product development for the vapor or vaping market, including e-liquids, vaporizers and electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes) which are devices which deliver nicotine and or cannabis through atomization or vaping, and without smoke and other chemical constituents typically found in traditional products. For more information about VPR Brands, please visit the Company on the web at www.vprbrands.com.

Forward-Looking Statements: 
This news release contains statements that involve expectations, plans or intentions, and other factors discussed from time to time in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These statements are forward-looking and are subject to risks and uncertainties, so actual results may vary materially. The Company cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. The Company disclaims any obligation subsequently to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events.

Contact Information: 

VPR Brands, LP 

Kevin Frija CEO 

(954) 715-7001 

info@vprbrands.com

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Marijuana Stocks

The cannabis train has left the station and this has left states searching for solutions to best capitalize on this emerging opportunity.

Last week, Michigan announced the creation of an agency to centralize all aspects of cannabis industry in the state. The agency dubbed the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation believes that a centralized service will streamline cannabis regulations and allow businesses to operate more efficiently.

This development is exciting as it represents a significant change in the way cannabis is regulated by states. We expect this program to be closely watched by other states and its progression will something to keep an eye on.

LARA Director Shelly Edgerton said, “BMMR’s organizational structure puts Michigan at the forefront of state medical marijuana regulation. Many other states have various licenses and patient programs spread throughout different departments and agencies.”

Cannabis Support at All-Time Highs

Cannabis support in the United States has grown significantly over the last two years and we are reaching a tipping point. Despite the increased support, concerns among cannabis supporters have increased following recent commentary from the newly appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

March data from the General Social Survey showed growing support for legal cannabis in the United States. The number of Americans who think cannabis use should be legal increased to 57% from 52% in 2014.

Another interesting finding from this data pertains to the growing number of people (70%) against the federal government’s enforcement of prohibition laws in states that have legalized cannabis.

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The recently passed state budget eliminates a cap on New York’s prospering industrial hemp industry. That will allow more farmers to be able to research, grow, and process a crop that could turn into a million dollar business. The industrial hemp industry’s first hurdle is also the biggest misconception most people have about.

SUNY Morrisville Researcher Jennifer Gilbert Jenkins stated, “It is related to marijuana is what most people think. But industrial hemp does not have any THC in it.” It’s THC that creates the marijuana plant’s high. However, the biological connection between marijuana and hemp continues to create a roadblock for growing a crop that farmers cultivated in New York state more than a century ago.

So while there are still major Drug Enforcement Administration regulations in place regarding acquiring seed and transporting industrial hemp, the New York’s loosening of rules around the industry opens up farmers to a crop that has earnings potential. Processed hemp is already sold locally, valued for its high protein content. Jenkins stated, “You can walk into your Wegmans and buy a bag of hemp seeds just like you can buy a bag of sunflower seeds. You can buy hemp oil, you can buy hemp meal to use in shakes and smoothies.”

However, most of the hemp products sold in New York right now come from Canada and China. Jenkins, who’s researching the best ways to fertilize hemp in the field, says New York isn’t the only state that sees potential in industrial hemp. That may be spurring New York state to move quickly. Jenkins said, “The state who get the grows happening faster are going to benefit more.” They’re going to be out ahead.” New York state will be holding a hemp summit later this year in the Southern Tier to highlight the challenges and opportunities to grow the industry.

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