Tags Posts tagged with "Medical Marijuana"

Medical Marijuana

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Although the Canadian medical marijuana suppliers are larger, Medical Marijuana, Inc. (NASDAQOTH: MJNA) is the largest U.S. marijuana stock right now. This excludes a few larger biotech companies dealing with the development of cannabinoid drugs. Medical Marijuana, Inc. has a market cap of slightly less than $300 million which is surprising in an industry where the annual revenue is projected to hit somewhere in the $50 billion range within the next ten years.

The only answer to this is that the marijuana industry is getting ready for bigger companies to step forward and claim their place; and who better for the job than the tobacco giants such as: Altria Group (NYSE: MO), Philip Morris (NYSE:PM), and Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI). So, is there a major change coming to the medical marijuana industry with big tobacco entering the scene?

Will Marijuana Stocks Make Their Own Path?

In the 1960s and 70s rumors floated around stating that the major tobacco companies were considering going into the marijuana market and that some were trademarking brand names for their potential marijuana products. The rumors led to many denials by the companies themselves and that put the idea to rest for a short amount of time.

On April 1, 2016, the website Abril Uno published an article titled “Philip Morris Introduces Marlboro ‘M’ Marijuana Cigarettes.” The article stated that “the company has been high on the idea of marketing cannabis, and has been monitoring it for some time.” As the name of website translates to ‘April first’, this had been an interesting April Fools’ Joke despite the serious possibility of it occurring.

The overlap possibilities between the tobacco companies and medical marijuana industries are large with some big tobacco companies even entering the vaping market. In 2014, Altria acquired the e-vapor business of Green Smoke for $110 million. In 2013, Reynolds launched its e-cigarette brand named Vuse.

Now yes, that’s not the same thing as entering the marijuana market, but when looking at the numbers for projections in the industry, it only makes sense that there is a place staked out for the large tobacco companies. In the next ten to fifteen years, we may see a large jump in the medical marijuana industry done by big tobacco entering the scene.

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Well, he did it again. Acting DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg restated his oft-voiced opinion recently that “marijuana is not medicine.”

The Washington Examiner stated that he told an audience at a clinic in Cleveland: “If it turns out that there is something in smoked marijuana that helps people, that’s awesome. I will be the last person to stand in the way of that… But let’s run it through the Food and Drug Administration process, and let’s stick to the science on it.”

Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, appearing along with Rosenberg, added: “Should we be reducing the administrative and other barriers to researching that in the government? 100 percent. But what we should not do is make policies based on guesswork. When we do that, what we do is put people at risk.”

This is all outrageous hypocrisy.

Surely Murthy is aware of the Catch-22: Government bodies like the National Institutes of Health won’t fund the very studies he is calling for due to the cannabis’ illegality. Nonetheless, there have certainly been studies—no “guesswork” is needed.

The Hill pointed out that results of a placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial were just recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, finding that administration of the cannabinoid CBD significantly reduces seizure frequency in children with an otherwise drug-resistant form of epilepsy.

The findings prompted the study’s lead author, Orrin Devinsky of New York University’s Langone Medical Center, to pronounce: “Cannabis is approved in 20 countries for spasms in multiple sclerosis, so to say there’s no evidence of efficacy is simply untrue… They have to de-schedule this drug. It’s just not fair to the research and clinical communities, or to the patients. It’s medieval.”

Ironically, the government has at times actually recognized such research on the medicinal value of cannabis and cannabinoids.

In 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services secured a patent—number 6630507—for the use of cannabinoids as antoxidants and neuroprotectants, with potential application in fighting cancer and degenerative diseases. Yet in 2006, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration memo reiterated the official dogma that cannabis has “no medical value.”

This is bureaucratic schizophrenia, which can only be overcome by freeing up the research and taking oversight out of the hands of the DEA, a law enforcement body.

The House bill to remove cannabis from the “schedule list” of controlled substances entirely could accomplish this. The good news is that it actually has a Republican sponsor, Rep. Tom Garrett of Virginia. But whether it can muster enough votes to survive a presidential veto seems dubious—and advocates are still waiting for a coherent Trump position on cannabis.

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A well known dispensary out in Denver called Medicine Man was established on serving medical marijuana patients. However, since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana sales three years ago, some of the store’s patrons have been making medicinal purchases

“There’s less need for medical inventory because we have less medical customers,” said Andy Williams, owner, and CEO of Medicine Man, one of Colorado’s largest legal marijuana stores selling both recreational and medical marijuana. “People don’t want to go through the hurdles to get their cards anymore.”

A similar situation will likely play out for Nevada’s marijuana dispensaries when recreational marijuana sales go into effect July 1. The first four states that have already legalized recreational marijuana sales are Oregon, Alaska, Washington and Colorado which have all seen a drop in the number of active medical card-holding patients.

Will Recreational Pot Sales Be More Dominant Over Medical Sales

For nearly two years since Nevada’s first dispensary opened in July 2015, medical marijuana has been the only source of legal weed. Nearly 28,000 Nevadans currently hold medical cards, and thousands of other purchases come from out-of-state buyers through the state’s reciprocity program, which honors medical cards from other weed-legal states.

Williams’ dispensary opened in December 2009 to serve medical patients, but quickly moved away from that model when recreational sales started in 2014, he said. Medicine Man’s name now seems ironic, given more than two-thirds of its customers are recreational buyers and Williams gets less than half of the medical patients he once did.

In Colorado, medical cardholders were down more than 34,000 at the end of 2016 from the program’s peak high of nearly 129,000 patients in June 2011.

Other out-of-state dispensary owners have reported a similar decline in medical pot buyers — from Oregon, where state cardholders fell from 78,015 less than two years ago to 67,141 per the state’s most recent tally, to Alaska, where cardholders fell 40.6 percent from January 2015 to the start of this year.

“I think more people here have decided not to go the medical route because of the high price tag on getting a card,” said Eli Bilton, CEO of Attis Trading Dispensary in Portland, Oregon. “It’s hard to make up for a $400 annual card if you’re not always buying a lot of product.”

While recreational sales have yet to start in Nevada, the state’s medical cardholder count continues to rise, reaching a record high of 27,952 in April, the last month of data available. Yet the process of applying for a medical card, similar to those in other states, requires both money and time.

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The Canadian stock market was closed for Victoria Day yesterday and today, three marijuana stocks reported several significant developments. We have highlighted these developments below to help you focus on important trends sweeping the industry.

New Cannabis IPO to Raise $50+ Million

One of newest and most differentiated Canadian cannabis producers, Cannabis Wheaton (CBW.V: TSX Venture) (KWFLF) announced a $50 million private placement and engaged a syndicate of agents co-led by Eight Capital and Canaccord Genuity.

The firm is selling special warrants and convertible debenture units and will use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes, for the financing of its streaming partners pursuant its streaming agreements, and for general and administrative expenses.

Cannabis Wheaton is off to a great start after the company reported that MMCAP International Inc. SPC intends to subscribe for up to $20,000,000 of the offering. The offering is expected to occur on June 21st and the company granted the underwriters an over-allotment option which increases the offering to $57.5 million.

Cronos’ Breaks Ground on a Brand New 315,000 sq. ft. Facility

Today, Cronos Group’s (MJN.V: TSX Venture) (PRMCF) wholly-owned licensed producer, the Peace Naturals Project broke ground on a 315,000 sq. ft. expansion that includes a 286,000 sq. ft. production facility, a 28,000 sq. ft. greenhouse, and an additional 1,200 sq. ft. extraction lab.

Upon completion, the facility is expected to be the largest purpose-built indoor cannabis production facility in the world. The facility is expected to complete by November and fully operational by summer 2018. This expansion will bring Peace’s total estimated production capacity to 40,000 kg a year.

The facility is designed to GMP certification standards and will include:

  • An area for proprietary genetic breeding
  • Pharma lab for cannabinoid and terpene extraction, identification, and formulation
  • R&D space for analyzing metabolite enhancement and new lighting technologies
  • Tissue culture laboratory
  • Industrial-grade kitchen
  • Processing infrastructure that supports production from other facilities

Cronos is breaking ground on the greenhouse today and the facility will be used to collect data and implement advanced cultivation techniques that can be replicated at its other production facilities. The company’s extraction lab will augment capabilities in both purification and recombination of cannabinoid compounds to create innovative formulated products. The greenhouse and lab are expected by the end of the summer.

Aurora to Supply Resources to Support a Groundbreaking Legal Case

Today, the Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM) reported an investment by Aurora Cannabis (ACB.V) (ACBFF) that is of a different nature than its prior investments.

CFAMM announced that Aurora has committed financial and other resources to support Gordon Skinner’s defense in what might be a potentially precedent-setting medical cannabis insurance coverage case. CFAMM has been providing strategic support to Skinner and Aurora’s resources will ensure that Skinner can defend his case.

On January 30th, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission ruled that the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Elevator Industry Welfare Trust Fund committed discrimination by denying coverage for the medical cannabis Skinner uses to manage chronic pain and other conditions resulting from a work-related injury that left him permanently impaired. Following the decision, the Board of Trustees filed an appeal against Skinner and the Commission in the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. The appeal has been set for October 2, 2017.

Founded in 2014, Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM) is a federal non-profit, patient-run organization dedicated to protecting and improving the rights of medical cannabis patients. CFAMM’s goal is to enable patients to obtain fair and safe access to medical cannabis with a special focus on affordability, including private and public insurance coverage.

We want to commend Aurora on its commitment to improving the cannabis industry and supporting patients in need. This decision may have a lasting impact on the sector and could change the landscape of the Canadian medical cannabis industry.

 


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

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In a data-driven business environment, everyone is waiting on the most up to date statistical reports to show what direction consumers are spending their money. As a relatively new industry, the legalized marijuana sector still is working on how to best assist consumers and discern trends to sort out the hype from the reality. That’s created a whole new side business in marijuana: data analytics.

A company that has stepped to the forefront in this area is New Frontier Data. The company has partnered with Baker Technologies, which provides customer relationship management and marketing automation platforms to cannabis businesses, for access to an immense database of legal marijuana transactions.

In April, based on this data, the company released its annual “The Cannabis Industry Report: 2017 Legal Marijuana Outlook.” They uncovered some interesting trends.

Medical marijuana dominates the market. Recreational marijuana is otherwise known as the adult-use marijuana which has been the center of much of the recent media attention, partially because of its reflection of the wholesale change in how millions of Americans view marijuana. Voter have now made recreational marijuana legal in eight states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.

However, the report found that consumers of medical marijuana — legal in more than half the states — buy much more frequently and spend more than recreational users. The report included the following findings:

In 2016, recreational users shopped for cannabis, on average, every 14 days and spent $49 per transaction. That same year, medical marijuana users shopped every 10 days and spent $136 per transaction. In 2017, medical marijuana sales are expected to total $5.3 billion, with a projection to reach $13.2 billion annually by 2025.
In 2017, recreational marijuana sales are expected to reach $2.6 billion, with a projection to reach $10.9 billion by 2025. The numbers provide needed insight for entrepreneurs looking to enter the retail cannabis business, New Frontier Data CEO Giadha Aguirre De Carcer said in a news release.

“Given the size of the market, knowing who your customers are, how and when they shop, and what they buy are fundamental building blocks of developing any effective retail strategy,” he said.

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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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VPR Brands

VPR Brands, LP (VPRB) Files Annual Financial Statement (10K) After Market Close On Monday 4-17-2017

Click Here: VPRB10K For Full 10K Filing

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.


Pursuant to an agreement between MAPH and VPRBrands, we were hired for a period of 90 days to publicly disseminate information about (VPRB) including on the Website and other media including Facebook and Twitter. We are being paid $45,000 (CASH) for or were paid “ZERO” shares of unrestricted or restricted common shares. We own zero shares of (VPRB) which we purchased in the open market. We may buy or sell additional shares of (VPRB) in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, provide public dissemination of favorable Information. PLEASE READ OUR FULL PRIVACY POLICY & TERMS OF USE & DISCLAIMER

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There are dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries in cities across Michigan, and Detroit has 61 marijuana shops open for business. However, by this time next year, the landscape for marijuana around the state could be completely different. That’s when the state will start officially handing out licenses to cultivators, testing facilities, transporters, and dispensaries.

The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is beginning to gear up for the task of regulating a new, and potentially very lucrative, business in the state. The medical marijuana business is projected to generate revenues of more than $700 million, and if a ballot proposal goes to voters in 2018 and the market is opened for recreational use, too, those revenues will easily surpass $1 billion. Shelly Edgerton, director of LARA stated, “Most states have had two years to get this going. For us, this is a huge endeavor.”

Andrew Brisbo, who has served as LARA’s licensing division director, has been named as the director of the newly created Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. He will be in charge of the department that could grow to nearly 100 employees who investigate all license applicants and ultimately regulate the medical marijuana business and administer the system that tracks medical marijuana from seed to sale.

LARA approved a $447,625 contract with a Florida based company to provide the monitoring system. They also provides a similar service to Colorado, which was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. Right now, there are 240,000 people who have gotten medical marijuana cards that allow them to use weed legally to treat a variety of conditions. They are served by 40,000 state-approved caregivers, who can grow up to 12 plants for each patient and who are allowed up to five patients each.

The new law keeps that system in place but also creates five categories of medical marijuana licenses for cultivators of up to 1,500 plants, testing facilities, transporters, dispensaries and the seed-to-sale tracking. The dispensaries will be taxed 3 percent on their gross receipts, and that money will go back to the state and local communities. The state is still coming up with an application and licensing fee schedule, which will cover the cost of regulating the industry, an estimated $18.6 million, according to Governor Rick Snyder’s budget proposal for the department.

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A recent proposal aims to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina. The bill lays out the development of a medical marijuana supply system and aims to create a program administered by the UNC system called the North Carolina Cannabis Research Program. The program would conduct studies to determine the safety and efficacy of cannabis as medical treatment and then develop guidelines for the appropriate physician administration and patient use of medical cannabis.

The political director of the marijuana advocacy group NORML, Justin Strekal, said the proposal is comprehensive and includes a long list of conditions that doctors could prescribe marijuana to treat. He stated, “Some other states have gone a much more conservative approach in terms of what they will consider marijuana to be a treatment for.” Strekal said there are states that only legalize cannabidiol, or CBD (oil derived from a strain of marijuana without psychoactive effects).

Strekal said, “The CBD-only is really great at treating the kids with refractory epilepsy, but as far as the much more holistic approach that can be used to treat a whole host of ailments, it’s important to have access to the whole plant. So, as far as medical marijuana bills go, we’re very happy with what’s being introduced in North Carolina.” But the federal administration and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions have been increasingly critical of states legalizing marijuana in recent months.

He recently said, “I, as you know, am dubious about marijuana. States can pass whatever laws they choose, but I’m not sure we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold on every corner grocery store.” Whether Sessions and the new administration will actually enforce the federal status of marijuana remains unclear. Strekal said data suggests legalization of medical marijuana could reduce opioid dependency in the state.

Research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center found the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25% lower in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Strekal said, “The data is very conclusive that marijuana can be a pathway out of addiction rather a gateway in.”

Executive director of Drug Free America Foundation Inc., Calvina Fay, said she doesn’t think the proliferation of marijuana reduces drug-related deaths and overdoses. “Is there a state that has reduced their opioid problem and legalized marijuana? Yeah, I’m sure there is,” she said. “But there’s no proof that marijuana is the cause of that.”

In a speech to Virginia law enforcement in March, Sessions said marijuana proliferation will not staunch the effects of the opioid crisis. Sessions stated, “I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana; so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful.”

However, criticisms of medical marijuana are outdated and not based on scientific fact, Strekal said. He stated, “To maintain the same classification of marijuana in the realm of heroin is absolutely absurd. It’s unfounded, and it’s unfathomable to deny patients access to a substance that will alleviate their suffering.”

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South Carolina Representative Eric Bedingfield used to oppose all marijuana use until his son lost a battle with opioid addiction and died from overdose. The conservative Republican co-sponsored marijuana legislation. Bedingfield recently stated, “My mindset has changed from somebody who looked down on it as a negative substance to saying, this has benefits.”

Bedingfield now believes marijuana may successfully help addicts wean themselves from a dependence on opioids. He also believes marijuana may be an alternative to prescription medications like OxyContin.

Almost twenty years after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, efforts to let patients legally access marijuana are slowly taking root in the South. Out of 28 states that allow medical marijuana, only two of those states are in the south. Arkansas and Florida voters approved theirs through November’s ballot. A law signed in Louisiana last year, also not yet in effect, does not allow the vaping or smoking of marijuana.

This year’s renewed push in South Carolina is supported by some of the state’s most conservative legislators, such as Bedingfield, whose opinions have shifted due to personal losses or the pleadings of parents and pastors in their districts. Three years ago, state legislators passed a very narrow law permitting patients with severe epilepsy, or their caregivers, to legally possess cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive oil derived from marijuana. Bedingfield voted against that idea.

Bill Davis, a Christian author who leads a Bible study for people fighting drug addiction, said he was bedridden before trying marijuana. Diagnosed two years ago with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease with no cure, he was put on an experimental drug with “horrible side effects.” Davis said, “I had to decide whether I wanted to die of lung disease or kidney or liver failure.” Then he started vaping marijuana, which he says allows him to control the amount of CBD and THC he receives. He said, “I’m praying this state will allow me to be treated legally for me to live” using “a plant that God made.”

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