Marijuana Sector News

On May 30, 2014, the House of Representatives approved a bill which included an amendment that prevented the DEA from pursuing marijuana business activities in states where it is already legal.

Written By: Michael Berger

The House voted to cut funding for the DEA, but apparently they are still pursuing these businesses. Why does the DEA still pursue, why do they still care? With so many much more serious problems today in the United States why does the DEA continue to focus on the selling of marijuana is states where it is already legal, especially after the House of Representatives cut funding directly related to those activities? The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has been tracking investments made in state-sanctioned marijuana business in the United States.

Blame Canada?

Due to the regulatory nature of the United States cannabis industry, Canada has been a major beneficiary of fund flows from U.S. investors.

“We really like the Canada model, which is really unlike any other in the world,” said Christian Groh, a co-founder of Seattle-based private equity firm Privateer Holdings, one of the largest players in the medical marijuana sector. “What we’re doing here does not violate local, state and federal law (in Canada).” To ensure that Privateer wasn’t doing anything that had the potential to violate United States federal law, they created a subsidiary which is based out of Canada.

If the DEA decided to pursue companies that are helping fund the cannabis industry, these companies would be facing serious charges.

Timothy White works as a national risk specialist for a firm that helps banks detect and report money laundering. Mr. White said, “U.S. investors in Canadian marijuana firms could be violating drug trafficking and money laundering laws. That is two violations of U.S. federal law. I don’t see there is any way around that.”

To date, there haven’t been any prosecutions by U.S. authorities of investors in Canada. This may be due to the fact that the DEA’s funds have been cut and they have limited investigatory resources to pursue retail investors

Walking the Line

The DEA does not care about Joe Schmo who is investing a couple thousand dollars in marijuana companies. They are interested in going after the big fish, like the private equity firms or institutional investors who are bringing big dollar into the industry.

“The larger institutions have a lot to lose and face a lot of scrutiny because of everything else they do,” said Brian Vicente, a partner at Vicente Sederberg in Denver. “They are not interested in taking that risk at this moment, and that opens up space and opportunities for smaller firms.”

Moves like this by the DEA are restrictive and counterproductive to a market that is making strides to improve the way people live in North America. These strict regulations prevent big firms from stepping in, which ends up preventing the industry from reaching its growth potential.

The marijuana industry does not only consist of people trying to smoke weed and get high. You have pharmaceutical companies that are researching the cannabis plant and developing better treatments for many diseases. The DEA and FDA need to take their heads out of their asses and realize they have no idea what they are talking about. It makes no sense that a drug like cocaine and methamphetamine have LESS RESTRICTIVE schedule that marijuana.

President Obama once said, “It is time for change.” Well why don’t you stop talking about it and start doing something about it. This has gone on for long enough, how many young children must die before we enact change?

 

In the last two years discussion about marijuana legalization, decriminalization, and potential medical applications, has exploded across the United States.

The pro marijuana sentiment has swept the nation, receiving more widespread support than ever before across gender, socioeconomic, ethnic, and age barriers. The current political and social climate for marijuana in the United States is the apogee of a journey that started slowly years ago.

In the 1970s some of the earliest legislation that decriminalized marijuana was passed in a handful of statesmarijuana-map spread across the country. The past two decades brought a gradual and timid shift towards public acceptance of marijuana use, through the legalization of medical marijuana in states like Oregon (1998), Maine (1999), Colorado (2000), Nevada (2000),
Montana (2004), New Mexico (2007), Michigan

(2008), New Jersey (2010), and Massachusetts (2012). The real expedited progression came, however, in 2012 when Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana use. In the first four months of legalized sales in Colorado, sales reached $202M creating statewide tax revenue of $11M. Despite the initial fear of a pot-driven crime spike, burglaries were down 5% in those months. The short term positive economic effects of the opening of 340 recreational and medicinal pot shops in Denver, cannot be compared to long term effects, like intoxicated driving highway deaths, because legalized marijuana is still a new development.

In 2011, Gallup reported that a record of 50% of Americans supported marijuana legalization. In 2013 Pew Research Center published survey results concluding that 52% of Americans supported legalization, and Gallup released a second study recording a new high of 58% support. More recently in February of 2014, Pew announced an increase from 52% to 54% of Americans in support of cannabis legalization. It is important to note that the United States Federal government still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance as of 2014. The trend of state-by-state marijuana legalization will be put to the test in the upcoming election cycle. Stephen Gutwillig of The Huffington Post reported that although it is an off election, it is an important one for drug reform policy. Most prominently, Oregon voters have the chance to pass Measure 91, which could make Oregon the third state to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults. Alaska, one of the earliest states to legalize medical marijuana in 1998, will vote on Measure 2, a proposition for statewide legalization of marijuana, which would make it the first politically red state to legalize recreationally. Florida will vote to legalize medical marijuana. California residents will vote on a softening of penalties for 6 crimes, including bringing simple drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor. Washington D.C., home to a radical decriminalization law change earlier this year, will vote for or against Initiative 71, a bill legalizing consumption, possession, and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana.

The social acceptance of marijuana use, or perhaps the openness of the positive opinions that people have toward its legalization is at a level that has not been seen before. It is becoming more mainstream and accepted to speak out openly for the legalization of marijuana. Leaders of the movement have risen to widespread popularity on various social media outlets. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, previously spoke out against pot use, but now has recanted those beliefs, apologized for his alleged misjudgments, and stated that he mistakenly believed that the DEA had sound scientific proof when it placed marijuana in the category of the most dangerous drugs. The trend toward general acceptance and state-by-state legalization has made impressive bounds in recent years, but will continuously be tested by election cycles, and critics of marijuana legalization.

marijuana-indexThe legalization of marijuana medicinally and recreationally created a rapid, exponential growth in the “Marijuana Sector” (MJIC Marijuana Index marijuanaindex.org) of the stock market. This sector, comprised mainly of companies with little to no revenues and sub penny share prices, has captured the interest of thousands of day traders and investors within the last year. Many of these companies are publicly traded over the OTC Market because of their small market capitalizations. The marijuana sector is comprised of companies that produce anything marijuana related from marijuana plants, to cannabis-based products, to vaporizers, or marijuana farming accessories, and more.

During the spring of 2014, the marijuana index experienced a massive rise in price from around $3 per share to over $8 per share. During this time both traders and investors saw fortunes arise from no name companies that had no tangible merit other than being situated in a sector that was exploding from the national media buzz created by the marijuana legalization hype. Everyday stocks in the sector went up steadily, especially when legalized sales began in Colorado. This was the “Pot-Com” or “DotBong” bubble; smaller scale but comparable to the tech bubble of the late 1990s. Next came the crash, the “bubble burst”. The share prices, inarguably overvalued, for many pot stocks fell drastically from highs. The sector as a whole was inflated and grew inorganically through media hype and an unprecedented surge in volume. A combination of profit taking, loss cutting, regression to the norm, and institutional selling created a large drop in volume and price. Most weed stocks now sit nearly 50% down from highs, with hundreds of unwitting investors hoping for a rally in the sector.

What does the future hold for marijuana stocks? There are a few companies that are making real strides to develop meaningful products, pay off toxic debt, reach new markets, increase assets, decrease liabilities, produce revenues and grow organically, and these are the companies that are worth investing in long term regardless of the intraday day trading and recent decline in share price. Other companies will continue to fade away, because of incompetent leadership, poor products, dilution, and insurmountable debt. The current battle faced by the marijuana sector is that it has become too active in day trading and profit taking, which prevents natural quarterly growth that should come from investments in growing speculative companies. The weed sector should see an increase in volume around election time, but states merely decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana either medically or recreationally will not bring the stocks back to the all time highs that they once tested. Real growth will come from revenue created for the companies through legalized sales of their marijuana related products.

Going forward, the sector will have to face competition from large tobacco or pharmaceutical companies once they decide that it will be profitable to enter the marijuana business. It will be a massive obstacle for OTC companies to compete with corporations that have advertising budgets larger than the market caps of most weed stocks in the Marijuana Index. Perhaps the best move for a potential marijuana investor, is to wait for the stock to find a bottom that represents a true valuation, and then take a position in a company that you believe in for future success, whether that comes in the form of natural growth or a buyout from a larger company. Regardless of the long-term future of the marijuana sector, the next few months and years should provide opportunities for high risk high reward growth that are worth examining.

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BizAuctions, (BZCN: OTCPK) has been taking steps to position themselves to become a player in the rapidly growing cannabis industry.

Written By: Michael Berger

The company recently filed an amendment to their Articles of Incorporation with the State of Delaware. The amendment stated that BZCN is changing their name to CannaGrow Holdings, Inc., which will take effect on November 1, 2014.

BZCN is led by CEO Delmar Janovec, who states, “We have been working diligently over the last several months with consultants and counsel to move forward with the new Colorado Project. Dr. John P. Janovec, Consultant to the Company, has been instrumental in this process with his extensive knowledge of Botany along with his Horticultural experience. The Company expects to be making some very exciting and significant announcements in the near future as we finish dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s” on contracts, leases, and agreements.” Dr. John P. Janovec who earned his Ph.D in Botany from Texas A&M University in 2000 has 20 years of experience in biodiversity research and conservation support, as well as agroforestry and community education. He has years of experience working and leading teams in a variety of different and extreme agricultures and has had many research papers and books published by pristine universities. Dr. Janovec, has performed years of field work in countries in South America such as Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Mexico. His experience in the field of botany provides us with assurance that working in Colorado should be a breeze.

The writing was on the wall with what the company was doing and we believe that they did their due diligence to ensure that they make a smooth transition into the cannabis industry. During mid-July, BZCN signed a lease for an office in Centennial, Colorado. This move comes only a few days after the company entered into an agreement with Hoban & Feola, a law firm based out of Colorado that specializes in providing legal advice for companies that want to enter the cannabis industry. A few days after they signed the lease, BZCN hired a consultant with a Doctorate in Botany and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture to assist the company explore potential opportunities in the medical and recreational cannabis industry in Colorado. Shortly after meeting with the consultant, the company hired, Rod Clawson, a logistics manager of a 30,000 sq. ft. botanical and plant facility as an officer to oversee the company’s expansion into the Medical-Recreational Cannabis industry.

BZCN kept things pretty close to the chest prior to making all of these moves. In early June, BZCN provided a shareholder update which stated that the company was refining their business model and exploring new opportunities. A few days later the company filed notice of corporate action with FINRA where they reported an amendment to their articles of incorporation. Concurrently, the company reduced the total number of authorized shares from a whopping twenty billion to two billion, a great move in our eyes. Up to this point the company never stated that they were entering the cannabis space but you could tell that a change was coming.

Technical420 is favorable on the moves being made by BZCN and we think that they are taking steps in the right direction. They filed disclosure statements with OTC markets for their 2013 annual year and for the first quarter of 2014 towards the end of June. If BZCN continues along this path we see the potential for up-listing to the OTCQB, which will provide investors will increased transparency and visibility into their growth initiatives. For investors that have a stomach for risk, BZCN may be right up your ally. They offer the potential for high returns over a short period of time if they continue to act on initiatives set by management.  We would like to encourage readers to put this one to the test…read the following press releases and see if you come to the same conclusion… BZCN might very well be on their way to becoming a contender in the Colorado Cannabis Industry.

Recent Press Releases:

BizAuctions Files Name Change Amendment

BizAuctions Files Name Change Amendment Accesswire (Fri, Oct 3)


BIZAUCTIONS INC Financials EDGAR Online Financials (Thu, Sep 4)


BizAuctions-Hires Executive to Oversee Expansion into Colorado

BizAuctions-Hires Executive to Oversee Expansion into Colorado Accesswire (Thu, Jul 31)


BizAuctions-Hires Consultant to Assist in Exploring Opportunities in Colorado

BizAuctions-Hires Consultant to Assist in Exploring Opportunities in Colorado Accesswire (Fri, Jul 18)


BizAuctions-Signs Lease for Office in Centennial, Colorado

BizAuctions-Signs Lease for Office in Centennial, Colorado Accesswire (Tue, Jul 15)


BizAuctions Executes Engagement Agreement With Hoban & Feola, LLC Law Firm in Denver, CO

BizAuctions Executes Engagement Agreement With Hoban & Feola, LLC Law Firm in Denver, CO Marketwired (Fri, Jul 11)


BizAuctions Files Disclosure Statements With OTC Markets

BizAuctions Files Disclosure Statements With OTC Markets Marketwired (Mon, Jun 30)


BizAuctions Files Notice of Corporate Action With FINRA

BizAuctions Files Notice of Corporate Action With FINRA Marketwired (Thu, Jun 19)


BizAuctions — Shareholder Update

BizAuctions — Shareholder Update Marketwired (Mon, Jun 16)

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.

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

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