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GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH: NASDAQ) was given notice today that their drug, Sativex, which is used for treating spasticity in multiple sclerosis was rejected by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) because apparently it is not cost-effective.

NICE said that the modest benefits did not justify the high cost of Sativex. During the review, the agency concluded that the drug was not worth using. The average patient usually takes four sprays of Sativex a day, which costs around $8.95. For some patients the cost could be higher, since the maximum daily limit is 12 sprays.

Sativex won a UK regulatory license around five years ago and is currently approved in over 20 countries. However, as with other drugs in the UK a key determinant in how widely the drug will be used is the view of NICE.

“There are better ways to improve care for people with MS,” said Paul Cooper, a consultant neurologist at the Greater Manchester Neuroscience Centre, who chaired the guideline group.

The market has seen a surge in the interest for cannabis as a therapeutic treatment since the passing of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Canada’s move to legalize medical marijuana at the federal level.

Shares of GWPH have not reacted favorably to this news and are down over 1.5% in pre-market trading. GWPH hit a record high earlier this year when another one of their drugs, Epidiolex, produced promising results in children with hard-to-treat epilepsy. Since then, shares have sold off over 25% and are looking for a bottom. Technical420 has a favorable view on the long term outlook of GWPH and think this just a hiccup. GWPH trades on the NASDAQ exchange, has Wall Street coverage (Bank of America and Morgan Stanley both have Buy ratings on GWPH), and they have high institutional ownership 43% (for a cannabis stock at least).

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Relax & Eat Cookies!

The Canadian medical marijuana program is setting a precedence that many hope the US will soon follow.  However, being the first country in North America to federally legalize marijuana means that the Canadian program also has a few flaws.  Some of the weaknesses of MMPR include prohibiting Licensed Producers (LPs) from advertising which dampens market growth.  It requires all sales to be made by mail thus eliminating dispensaries which have the potential to up-sell many cannabis products at the point of sale.  And, more prominently, MMPR completely overlooks regulations for the edibles and extracts markets.  This means that in Canada, it is illegal for anyone to possess lotions or other products that may contain extracts such as edibles and nutraceuticals.

This oversight of regulation led to the ruling of a British Columbia Court of Appeals judge that deemed the law unconstitutional. The case began in 2012 when Owen Smith was arrested while baking marijuana infused cookies to distribute at a cannabis club for patients with severe illnesses.  He was charged with possession of THC with the intent to distribute—the THC being baked into the cookies! The original judge ruled in favor of Mr. Smith however, the government fought to appeal the ruling.

The British Columbia Court of Appeals August 2014 ruling is considered a minor victory since the issue has become even more complicated.  You see, since the original arrest and case in 2012, parliament has passed the MMPR, so the judge’s ruling that MMAR was unconstitutional does not apply to the new law.  The newer MMPR program simply replaced state-monopolized production and the ability for patients to grown their own supply with controlled and highly regulated licensed production, it still does not address the issue of extraction and prohibits consumption of any alternative methods such as edibles, oils, or capsules.  The law specifies that the only form permissible is the dried cannabis flower.

While many agree that the ruling is a pivotal case and positive sign for the cannabis industry.  Kirk Tousaw, a cannabis lawyer in British Columbia explained that LPs in Canada are prohibited from making edibles or concentrates but it will allow for a patient of an MMPR to make their own.  He points out that the normal extraction process requires the use of butane and is not safe to do in a residential area.  Even baking with cannabis should not be something attempted by an amateur.  It is difficult for a novice user to obtain proper dosing and could result in edibles that are too potent, causing adverse side effects when ingested.

In summary, the Canadian law was found unconstitutional on the grounds that enforcing only consumption of the dried cannabis plant imposes upon ones civil liberties.  People who have a prescription for marijuana should have the right to choose how they consume their medication.  If the true focus of the MMAR and MMPR is safety, it would go completely against the current arguments of the government to continue to ban LPs from producing extracts. Furthermore, if patients are to be granted legal access to derivatives, then it should be open for all to enter the industry and left to those who have sufficient knowledge and experience.  In the near future, one can expect that Canada will likely reform the current law to allow LPs to work with extracts but for the time being, the responsibility of extraction and creation of edibles is on the shoulders of the patient.

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Welcome Aboard Mike and the whole Technical420 team!

Technical420 (www.technical420.com) is proud to announce it’s new position as an in house analyst for MarijuanaStocks.com.  Technical420 will provide MarijuanaStocks.com with unique content and analysis highlighting publicly traded cannabis companies.

Technical420 has developed a proprietary analytics program that merges technical, fundamental and momentum data to yield the most comprehensive, all-inclusive analysis possible. Technical420 utilizes a specialty terminal service provided by Thomson Reuters that sends real time company quotes, news and financials to obtain this raw data faster than you would find elsewhere. Technical420 will utilize this terminal to provide MarijuanaStocks.com with updates in real time as soon as they hit the tape

Technical420 is the only cannabis analytics service that incorporates qualitative data mining into their platform. They accomplished this feat by teaming with Isentium LLC, an industry leader in data mining technology.  Technical420 is able to ingest millions of finance related tweets and other “soft” data and use it to determine how such information affects market sentiment. Technical420 is looking forward to being able to bring over this unique approach to analyzing cannabis companies over to MarijuanaStocks.

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Yep, It’s Really Happening…

3D printing and the unlimited potential of what they could possibly do has been a hot topic for quite a while now. People have been talking for years about how the use of 3D printers could exponentially reduce the time it takes for creating prototypes for industrial parts and not to mention the money that could be saved.

All of those things are really just the tipping point as to what is possible with 3D printing. Imagine someday being able to end world hunger with the printing of food, or saving lives by printing human organs.

An Israeli company is already merging the aspects of 3D printing and therapeutics.

In a recent report by Forbes, Syqe Medical has been working to develop a pocked sized, 3D printed inhaler. The inhaler could be used to accurately dose medical marijuana patients with cannabis. Syge Medical has taken things a step further and all devices will be enabled with Wi-Fi technology so that doctors can connect in real time to monitor and ensure accurate levels of dosing.

The report goes on to mention Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS), who is one of the world’s largest 3D printing companies. Stratasys is the company responsible for engineering about three-quarters of the 3D printed parts for the inhaler. Using the fact that 3F printing is still fairly new, Stratasys was able to accelerate delivery of these inhaler parts well ahead of schedule.

Possibly even more interesting than the gaining popularity of 3D printing, is the concept of marijuana patients accurately being able to be potentially dosed with such exact doses of cannabis. Syqe Medical hopes that by making the dose specific and easy to administer, that they will be able to persuade the public, physicians, and perhaps regulatory agencies around the globe that the product is a safe and effective form of dosing cannabis.

As interesting as it is, there is definitely still a long way to go. While advancements continue to happen, the possibility of this happening for patients in the US is most likely a long way off.

The challenges that medical marijuana faces in the US are numerous. It still remains a schedule 1 drug, as determined by the Drug Enforcement Agency. That makes it more of a challenge to gain broader approval for medical use nationwide.

Another challenge is that it has yet to be determined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and doctors as to if medical marijuana could ever be considered a mainstream therapy.

Lastly, the long term affects of using marijuana change depending on what the source of the information is. While there is a lot of  potential for cannabis as a therapeutic source, the timeframe in which people want to see it because mainstream may be a lot longer than people want.

 

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Marijuana Stocks and the Wolf of Weed Street Join Forces to Increase Awareness in the Public Cannabis Space

http://www.MarijuanaStocks.com (Marijuana Stocks) and The Wolf of Weed Street (The Wolf) are pleased to announce the two entities are combining their resources and will be working together to provide an industry leading portal of information for the public cannabis market. As the marijuana industry continues to grow so does the community of those interested in learning more about the market opportunity. Marijuana Stocks and The Wolf are dedicated to providing their followers with accurate, up-to-date information about the overall industry and the public companies operating within it.

The two entities are merging under http://www.MarijuanaStocks.com where The Wolf’s current community will have a dedicated section for live chat room interaction as well as message board, blog, and forum posting. This new website will serve as a central hub for Marijuana Stocks News, Cannabis Industry Articles & Trends, the Best Marijuana Stocks to Buy via the site’s Focus List & Political Marijuana News and overall market & industry insight.

All users of the site are encouraged to participate as the site features a section “Content Submission” where users have the ability to submit everything from in-depth corporate profiles, political news, marijuana articles and trends and everything in between. The submissions that are published can garner the authors up to $50.00 per published submission.

The Wolf commented, “Joining our two well-respected and growing communities is a great thing for the marijuana sector as a whole. This new website will provide quality information about an industry that is still emerging and peaking the interest of our country from Main Street to Wall Street. Our mission is to keep a real time “ear to the ground” so to speak with regards to the regulatory progress state to state, along with the public companies entering & making headway in the marijuana space. We will also provide an outlet for authors to pen thought provoking & entertaining articles about marijuana sector & ancillary opportunities that currently exist.”

About Marijuana Stocks (http://www.MarijuanaStocks.com

Marijuana Stocks (http://www.MarijuanaStocks.com) is your best resource for today’s budding cannabis industry. Whether you’re looking for the best marijuana stocks to buy, marijuana political news, trends and articles within the cannabis industry and so much more, MarijuanaStocks.com is your destination for it all. Their goal is to become the central hub for all who are seeking current Marijuana Stock News as well as cannabis industry, political and social news, articles, trends & overall insight, delivered in a way that we all can relate to.

About The Wolf of Weed Street (http://www.WolfofWeedStreet.com)

The Wolf is one of the most recognized personalities in the public cannabis space being one of the first to gain a strong online following based on his trading success. http://www.WolfofWeedStreet.com was one of the first online communities that enabled members to interact in real-time with other traders interested in the public marijuana market. The Wolf offers his members real-time trade alerts and information about the overall industry that could have an effect on the public markets. He has been sought after as an expert in the space and has developed relationships with industry insiders and analysts always having his ear to the ground about what’s coming up next.

co·nun·drum noun meaning: a confusing and difficult problem or question.

As with any start-up company, capital is crucial to growth. But unlike other businesses, marijuana companies deal with a federally illegal substance.  This leads to one of the biggest issues that businesses involved in the cannabis industry face today – limited access to capital.  Earlier this year, the Obama administration attempted to address the concerns of US banks about lending money to legalized marijuana businesses by offering to provide guidelines on how to navigate these state-legal-yet-federally-illegal business transactions. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/15/us/us-issues-marijuana-guidelines-for-banks.html?_r=0  Unfortunately, the guidelines have not been sufficient to sway bankers into opening the vault doors and providing loans to these types of organizations.

Don Childears, CEO and president of the Colorado Bankers Association, wrote an editorial for the Denver Post.  In his essay he stated, “[guidance] cannot change the fact that marijuana is against federal law.  It cannot change water into wine.”  http://mmjbusinessdaily.com/top-co-banker-yellow-light-is-not-enough/ The bottom line is that banks are monitored by regulatory agencies and these guidelines do not shelter bankers from prosecution or other sanctions which could include fines, cease and desist orders, and/or professional bans. http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_25088814/banker-group-says-only-congress-can-open-their

The lack of accessible funds has pushed marijuana entrepreneurs to become creative in their quest for capital.  Recently, the Two Rivers Water & Farming Company (OTC:TURV), announced an agreement in which it will sell and then lease back property in its own portfolio. (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/two-rivers-enters-farmland-sale-111500993.html)  TURV takes advantage of the arbitrage opportunity for water rights in Colorado near the Colorado Arkansas River Basin.  The core business is to acquire irrigated farmland that contains senior water rights and convert this land from feed crops to fruit and vegetable crops. TURV recently began a new division called GrowCo which seeks to provide greenhouses, equipment, and water for the legal marijuana industry.  The sale and lease back business transaction will allow the company to obtain capital to fund its upcoming greenhouse projects while still being able to use the land for farming all without risk of diluting the company’s stock.

Another creative venture is the marijuana business financial cooperative which was enacted roughly four months ago in Colorado.  Unfortunately, the program has not had any applicants.  It requires any business seeking to start one of these co-ops to obtain permission from the Federal Reserve.  As one insider stated, “It’s a very small game of chicken right now, with neither side wanting to commit too much without having a sense of how it will play out.” (http://www.thecannabist.co/2014/09/14/little-progress-building-pot-banking-co-op-since-became-law/19664/)

In the effort to provide entrepreneurs the capital necessary for expanding operations, the private sector is stepping up to bridge the gap.  Chuma Holdings, Inc.(OTC:CHUM), formerly CannaMed Corp., http://www.cannamedcorp.com/pressreleases/2014/cannamed-announces-name-change-and-trading-symbol-change provides financing and financial aid to collectives, dispensaries, producers, and product businesses through alternative funding and financing solutions specifically targeted to the emerging cannabis industry.  CHUM goes well beyond the services normally provided by the banking system to help the companies they are investing in become more efficient and achieve higher success.  CHUM provides lines of credit, property financing, commercial loans, and convertible notes, as well as, regular banking and payment processing solutions.  In addition, they offer services that help ensure compliance with state regulations, consulting for commercial build out and equipment, turnkey operations including human resource issues such as payroll and workmen compensation, help with supply chain monitoring, research and development, and other services such as branding, marketing, and increasing sales.

Combined, the management team of CHUM has over thirty-two years of successfully navigating the legalized cannabis industry in California and has helped over 500 dispensaries and production facilities.  CHUM has designed a lending platform termed the Chuma Compliance Index (CCI) – a 120 point scoring system that determines if a company is eligible for financial assistance.  This system combined with the experience and expertise of management allows the company to mitigate financial risk and maximize returns.

CHUM will continue to target California which currently has the largest state-market in the US; surpassing both Colorado and Washington which have recently legalized recreational use for adults.  Plans to expand into other state-markets are in the works as CHUM seeks to raise $10 million through private placement that will be used to broaden its customer base and improve its core business.  http://www.cannamedcorp.com/pressreleases/2014/cannamed-q2-2014-shareholder-report-on-capital-raise-important-events-and-new-506c-private-placement This is a more traditional approach to raising capital, which will in turn create a source of alternative funding to other businesses in the cannabis industry.

Overall, one could argue that the inability to secure capital through traditional means may have proven to be a blessing in disguise.  Banks are in the business of making money.  Even if a business goes bankrupt, banks that made loans to those companies are generally repaid the principal.  Banks do not seek out ways to help businesses thrive, they simply collect payments.  One does not have to look far in our history to see how the greed of bankers drove the housing market into collapse giving loans on top of loans for home values that did not have a material backing.  One can only ponder the potential negative consequences the cannabis industry may have had to face if banks were getting involved.  It is with the entrepreneurial spirit that marijuana will find a way to flourish in the country.  So for now, the US banking industry can sit on the sidelines and salivate over the potential profits this booming multi-billion dollar industry is preparing to provide to those with the ability to see just how green the future is going to be.

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Marijuana Stocks

Marijuana Industry, How You Doin’?

 

Nearly Nine Months into the First Year of Recreational Legalization, How has the Face of the Industry Evolved?

Within the last several months, the marijuana revolution has hit a fever pitch.  After a “trial” period where states watched the results of Colorado’s efforts to become the first to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the results have concluded that tax benefits from that move made a considerable impact.

Colorado Leads the Charge

The state collected nearly $20Million in its first fiscal quarter alone (medical & recreational sales) and month over month, the numbers support strong growth as well. Since January, revenues increased 110% from $3,519,756 to $7,407,450 in July (the state’s most recent revenue posting).

During the first six months of legalized recreational marijuana, only owners of medical marijuana businesses could apply to open recreational marijuana stores. Pot shops were only allowed to sell marijuana that they grew themselves, similar to the state’s medical MJ program but that’s all about to change; Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry is about to get a lot larger.

July marked the first time any adult Colorado resident could apply for a retail marijuana business license. Newly licensed marijuana businesses can begin opening in October, and at that time the recreational marijuana industry will be allowed to specialize in one aspect of the business if they choose.  Retail stores will no longer be required to grow the marijuana they sell and can elect to purchase marijuana from independent growers.

According to a recent Huff Post article, Toni Fox, owner of 3D Cannabis Center in Denver thinks that wholesale and retail prices will come down at most stores and there will still be an excessive amount of harvested cannabis available and unneeded.

Washington State still Trying to Get Its Footing

The second state to open for legal recreational sale, Washington, has faced some obstacles during its infancy within the new industry. A report released by Moody’s, the credit agency, finds that the exorbitant amount of taxes in conjunction with other options like medical marijuana and even the “black market” are to blame for WA’s early stutter step.  “The tax structure in Washington State is likely to be a major deterrent for consumers who do not see the value in obtaining the product from a storefront as opposed to a medical dispensary,” writes Moody’s Analyst Andrea Unsworth, the report’s author.

Washington has implemented a three-tier excise tax (of 25 percent) at the production, wholesale and retail levels. The excise tax is in addition to the consumers’ state and local sales taxes, and to the state business and occupation tax all businesses in Washington pay. In all, Moody’s estimates an effective tax rate of 44 percent at the retail level. Why would anyone elect to pay a higher tax when getting approval for medical marijuana is reportedly relatively easy?

Currently, Washington State exempts medical marijuana from the additional excise taxes so it is only subject to the 9.6 percent sales tax.  By comparison, Colorado, the only other state where the sale of recreational marijuana is legal, has a 15 percent excise tax only on the wholesale level and a 12.9 percent tax on retail sales.

Washington’s forecasters last revisited their estimate in June and anticipated $51.2 million in revenues from fees and taxes for the 2015 to 2017 budget and more than two times more for the following two years.

New Markets for Medical: New York, Florida, Illinois

On June 20, 2014, the New York state legislature approved a bill that would allow patients to use marijuana for limited medical therapeutic purposes by means of “non-smokeables”.  This includes oils, waxes, edibles, and even vaporizers for alternatives to packing a pipe or rolling up the plant in paper.

The bill also sets forth a very specific certification process by which a practitioner certifies that the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or “palliative benefit” from the use of marijuana. Only patients aged 21 or over who suffer from one of the ailments specified in the bill—cancer, HIV/AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, certain spinal cord injuries, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, or Huntington’s disease—will be eligible to use the drug as part of their treatment.

Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law on July 7 but the bill will not take effect until 18 months after its signing.  Supporters and medical providers are turning their attention to the state’s efforts to implement the program and whether any additional diseases will become eligible for treatment. The potential for market share is massive in New York as the bill has specified that the state will only award five contracts to grow marijuana.  Each of the five growers will be able to operate up to four dispensaries, meaning there will be only 20 dispensaries across the state.

Florida has initially taken a much more prudent approach in consideration of the movement. Governor Rick Scott signed a law on June 16 allowing for the limited use of a special strain of marijuana called “Charlotte’s Web” to treat those suffering from epilepsy, cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  This strain named for a Colorado girl whose epileptic seizures have shown some response to the drug, is not for smoking, and is specially cultivated to be very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Similar to New York, five dispensary licenses will be awareded to “professionals who have operated plant nurseries for at least 30 consecutive years and are producing at least 400,000 plants”. The regulations for the five centers are similar to dispensary rules in other medical marijuana states where the state will conduct background checks on owners and employees, and dispensaries must meet heavy security requirements and strict licensing guidelines; an operator must also post a $5 million bond before opening.

In a recent press release, Florida could hold a lottery to decide which companies receive the five licenses to cultivate cannabis and sell cannabidiol extract, with the winners forced to pay a $150,000 fee for the permit (on top of the $5m bond).

Furthermore, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, only 41 nurseries meet the criteria.  According to the draft rules, if more than one nursery in one of the five geographic regions applies for a license, the state would hold a lottery for the regional license.

Under a law signed by Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois children and adults with epilepsy will be allowed to use marijuana to ease their symptoms.  The move to add epilepsy and other seizure disorders to the list of conditions legal to treat with marijuana or its extracts comes as numerous states have made medical use of the drug legal; most notably, New York.

Though the pool for the IL marijuana market is small (the total market is expected to be 10,000 to 30,000 patients, according to Dan Linn, executive director for the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) this is yet one more step in the right direction for the loosening of laws surrounding marijuana.  More and more states have continued to pursue options similar to NY and IL so even given the smaller user population, the numbers (Sourced from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the State of Illinois) are fairly significant especially when considering this marketplace has yet to be truly tapped.

Dispensary supplies will come from licensed growing operations. One cultivation center will be in each Illinois State Police District and all growing operation staff and dispensary staff must be licensed by the state. Grow center applicants need at least $500,000 in cash, and must pay a $25,000 non-refundable application fee. Dispensary applicants need $400,000 in cash and must pay a $5,000 non-refundable application fee.   As far as the taxes go, they are a bit different from Washington states’; Cultivators will pay a 7%  “privilege tax” on sales to dispensaries and patients/caregivers will pay a 1 percent sales tax.

Industry Trends & Potrepreneurs

From food trucks to coffee shops Potrepreneurs are positioning to cash in on this new cash crop. For instance food company, MagicalButter is taking its “Samich” truck to US cities where marijuana is now legal, and its journey began in April in Denver; “Samich”, the company says, stands for “Savory Accessible Marijuana Infused Culinary Happiness.” MagicalButter pledges that each product will be packed with between 30 and 100 milligrams of THC; this constitutes a healthy daily dose, according to Medical Jane, the marijuana enthusiast site.  The truck’s signature “Samich” sandwich consists of nut butter, jelly, and banana and they also produce truffle popcorn made with ganja.

As if a mobile MJ food truck wasn’t enough, there’s a budding business turning toward one of the world’s most heavily consumed beverages; coffee.  Marijuana customers in Washington state will soon be able the purchase marijuana-infused coffee called “Legal” that promises to give customers a caffeinated high if all goes to plan.  Product developer Adam Stites told the MyNorthwest.com, “The coffee drinks give you an uplifting head high. We call it the wake and bake drink.  We want the experience to be more similar to that if you had a nice IPA or glass of wine. We don’t want to pack so much THC into every one of our drinks that it’s unpleasant, especially for people that are just getting into marijuana.”

The cold coffee will be sold in glass jars that each contains approximately 20 milligrams of THC and will come in plain and cream and sugar flavors. The interview also cites that “Legal” will also feature three juice-based sparkling sodas: Rainier Cherry, Lemon Ginger and Pomegranate. Each is made with fresh juices and a different strain of cannabis for differing effects.

Finally on the list of unique businesses coming out of Washington is something that almost every American has used one in his or her life: delivery!  That’s right, according to the Daily Mail, University of Washington students Josiah Tullis and Megh Vakharia have launched a phone app to deliver cannabis to recreational and medical-marijuana users.

“We’re delivering green to make green!”

Their app, Canary, is a smartphone application that will allow verified members in Seattle and Denver to order different strains of cannabis from dispensaries and producers the company has partnered with. The amount a customer can order (in ounces or grams) depends on the state law, according to the app’s website.

Canary abides by all recreational and medicinal cannabis laws on a state-by-state basis. When a member first signs up, the app requires proof that a potential member is able to enjoy cannabis legally in his or her state – they take a picture of their ID or medicinal marijuana card during signup and send it through the app for verification. Once verified, users are good to order.

The company charges an extra 10 to 25 percent on top of the cost of the pot, and gives a cut to the courier.  “Because the exchange of money (the point of sale) happens at the brick-and-mortar dispensary, Canary complies with the current I-502 rules and regulations [in Washington],” Tullis, a sophomore studying design, explained to Geekwire.  And if you’re wondering what to do when you get the munchies when the food truck and coffee shops are closed, Canary also has a catalog, which includes popular food and drink items to satisfy the hungriest of appetites.

Who’s Next?

Based on my findings, there are some states that may be next to pull down the barriers of legalized recreational marijuana, but I doubt it’s the states you’re thinking at this point. For example, a historically Liberal state involved in this industry, California (a hotbed for the medicinal marijuana movement early on) has all but been shut down from passing a bill for legalizing recreational sale to the public.  LA Weekly reports that California’s “California Cannabis Hemp Initiative”  (CCHI) didn’t even qualify for the ballot after lacking the appropriate number of qualified signatures, yielding only about 300,000 out of the 550,000 signatures needed, to push it to an actual vote.  There may be a slim chance after CCHI re-filed paperwork to try and meet an April 18th deadline in order to qualify for a November 2014 vote, but if they can’t get the signatures, this law is looking at a 2016 re-visit (and a new presidential election year).

So if this long-time, pot friendly state is falling by the wayside for legalizing recreational sale, who’s really in the running to join the likes of Colorado and Washington State?  In my opinion, there are a few major contenders.  First, I feel that Alaska may be the forerunner in this heat for the next state to legalize recreational marijuana. August 19th marks the day of reckoning for the state at which point Alaska voters will weigh in on recreational marijuana being taxed like alcohol.

Unlike California, Alaska was able to collect the proper amount of signatures (at least 30,169) in order to get the legislation pushed onto a ballot.  Should this be approved, Alaska would become the 3rd state to legalize recreational marijuana; enabling the state to cash in on the advantage of its tax benefits as well.

Currently proposed in Alaska’s “Act to tax and regulate the production, sale, and use of marijuana,” are several key points.  First, the bill enacted would impose a $50 per ounce (or proportionate) excise tax on the sale or transfer of marijuana from a cultivation facility to a retail store or marijuana product manufacturing facility. It would also allow Alaskan citizens who are 21 or older to “possess, use, show, buy, or transport marijuana accessories” in addition to allowing the operation of retail stores.

Beyond Alaska, there are a few other “long money” bets for votes on the subject.  Included in these are several “decrim” (decriminalized) states like Maine, who recently legalized the possession of up to 2.5oz for adult citizens 21+ in Portland. Then there’s New Hampshire, who just had a bill to legalize and tax marijuana like alcohol pushed to the House, which if approved, will get a shot at the Senate; and, of course California (assuming the April 18th deadline is not met). Up for vote in November will be Washington, D.C., Oregon, and Florida.

In addition to these states that are on “simmer”, preparing to boil, many supporters in other states are working hard to get more laws passed that will beef up medical marijuana programs, decriminalize personal possession, and/or start the process for putting new legislation on the table in hopes of legalization for recreational sale and use.  One thing’s for sure: the Marijuana Industry boom is happening right in front of our eyes and by this time next year, there could be a whole new face to the economy  as well as the Cannabis marketplace.

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Washington legal marijuana prices could drop if harvest rises

Although recreational marijuana is now legal in Washington State, high prices are still sending people to the streets to buy black market marijuana.

Mary Van de Graaf, who owns Mill Creek Suite A, which is one of two licensed retailers in Union Gap says the legalization and licensing of the plant hasn’t actually done much to combat street sales. Street dealers don’t test their product, pay income taxes and verify age of customers.

“I have customers come in and say they would like to buy from me, but it’s just so much cheaper on the black market,” Van de Graaf said.

Retailers in the Yakima Valley pay wholesale prices anywhere from $8-$15 per gram, which is about the same as the street value of the untaxed, illegal version which goes for $10-$20 per gram depending on the quality.

Retailers then have to charge between $25 and $40 to make sure all of their expenses are covered. State excise tax is 25 percent on all retail sales; there is federal income tax (with no deductions allowed federally) and operating costs, including monthly bills for startup loans. After all that is paid, most retailers are left with less than a 5 percent gain to pay those monthly bills, operating costs and wages to employees.

Her clients so far have been limited to older, more affluent visitors. Many would-be buyers enter their stores, sniff a few buds and say they like the idea of buying legally but flat out admit they intend to stick with their illegal sources until prices come down.

Things are improving and will hopefully continue to improve. Storeowners are able to keep their doors open for now and that’s an improvement.

Van de Graaf opened her shop on July 23, just a couple weeks after the state’s first wave of stores opened, but had to close seven days later because of a lack of product led to empty shelves.

Doors opened again on August 9th and sales have been steady since then.

She is also spending only 30 minutes on the phone each day instead of hours, talking to suppliers.

Before this fall, a majority of the marijuana available for retail sales in the state had come from primarily indoor growers. Indoor growers typically have higher electric bills than their colleagues in the Eastern part of the state growing with sunlight.

Retailers like Van de Graaf are predicting and hoping that the boost in supply from the sun-grown harvests will finally let them cut their prices in half this fall.

Tim Thompson, owner of Altitude in Prosser thinks lowering prices might finally start luring customers away from the black market.

“I think at $15 (per gram) we would,” Thompson said.

Owner of Station 420 in Union Gap, Adam Markus also thinks prices will drop by half but doesn’t think they will stay that way for long.

In the past week, Markus has traveled to Spokane twice and once to Seattle to meet with growers trying to get enough product to keep his shelves full.

There was a day and a half last week last week with no marijuana in small packages.

“There wasn’t any available,” he said.

Markus predicts prices will drop for a few months while the outdoor-grown supply is available

2014 statistics aren’t available yet but Jodie Underwood, a spokeswoman the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s regional office in Seattle said there’s an increase this year in illegal grows on tribal lands, public lands and in backyards.

On Monday, authorities seized 20 pounds of processed marijuana and 43 plants in Zillah. The same day, police also arrested two men they accuse of stealing medical marijuana from a home in Selah.

As of Tuesday, there were 235 state licensed marijuana producers, though not all have started growing. Klickitat County had 12, Kittitas County five, Benton County six and Grant County two.

Yakima County had one, Orgrow in Moxee.

All marijuana businesses are banned in the unincorporated areas of Yakima County, and the city of Moxee only allows producers and processors, no retail stores. A majority of growers would prefer to grow outside of city limits where what is cheaper and there is more space.

Pot growing crews must be on the lookout for pests and mold and must manage canopy density and regulate water. Most growers in Kittitas haul water in by truck because of the Department of Ecology’s moratorium on new wells.

“It’s a challenge,” said Cliff Hughes, owner of Hydro Light near Cle Elum.

At least two of the Kittitas County growers aren’t completely outdoors.

Slowly licensed producers are growing enough pot that retail store owners hope to eventually lower prices enough to slow down the black market, one of the major justifications for Initiative 502, passed by state voters nearly two years ago.

“We’ll slow it down, yeah,” said Mary Van de Graaf, owner of Mill Creek Suite A, one of two licensed retailers in Union Gap.

Original Source: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Bigger-harvest-could-lower-Wash-legal-marijuana-prices-277911661.html

What a View!

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia already have passed laws allowing medical marijuana in some form, beginning with California in 1996. In the coming months, Florida may become the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana.

The coming election represents a major catalyst for the marijuana stock market. With three states, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, voting on legalizing marijuana for recreational use, companies that operate in those states are poised to generate increased revenue.

In Colorado, sales from recreational marijuana surpassed medical sales for the first time in July 2014. The sale of recreational marijuana has show significant growth since January and doubled in only seven months.

marijuana-market-overview

Washington State has seen the total revenue generated from recreational marijuana double month over month. During July, Washington State generated $3.2 million in revenue. During August they generated $7 million. We expect to see these numbers increase due to the state not even operating at maximum capacity due to government regulations.

STATES PENDING LEGALIZATION MARKET POTENTIAL

OREGON- voting on legalizing marijuana for recreational use

  • 6 Million people over the age of 25
  • 270,000 people said they consumed marijuana within the last month

FLORIDA voting on legalizing medical marijuana

  • 5 million people over the age of 25
  • 635,000 people said they consumed marijuana within the last month

ALASKA voting on legalizing marijuana for recreational use

  • 465,000 people over the age of 25
  • 50,000 people said they consumed marijuana within the last month

WASHINGTON DC voting on legalizing marijuana for recreational use

  • 440,000 people over the age of 25
  • 31,000 people said they consumed marijuana within the last month

0 2529

Insys Therapeutics, Inc. (INSY: NASDAQ) announced that the FDA granted them orphan drug designation for their treatment of glioma. A glioma is a type of tumor that arises from the glial cells of the brain or, less commonly, the spine. Glioma accounts for approximately 30% of all brain and central nervous system tumors and 80% of all malignant brain tumors.

INSY was previously granted this designation for their treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and two rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.
Orphan drug designation is granted to drugs that treat rare diseases that affect less than 200,000 patients in the U.S. The designation provides the drug developer with a seven-year period of U.S. marketing exclusivity, as well as certain financial incentives that can help support its development.

INSY has 7+ years of research and development experience in the pharmaceutical cannabinoid space. They manufacture pharmaceutical CBD and pharmaceutical dronabinol (THC) at their FDA-inspected and DEA approved facility in Round Rock, Texas. INSY submitted a Drug Master File (DMF #28255) for its CBD active pharmaceutical ingredient. The company believes that they are the only U.S.-based company with the capacity to produce pharmaceutical cannabinoids in scalable quantities.

INSY is up over 50% since early August and think they have a legs left to its run due to their extensive pipeline of drugs, as well as them trading on the NASDAQ exchange. The stock has been on a nice run recently and positive results from FDA testing should help push the stock to the low to mid 40s.

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