Coke Eyes Cannabis-infused Wellness Drinks As Market For CBD Beverages Expands

Coca-Cola is looking at pitching cans of cannabis-infused wellness drinks to consumers in the latest bid by a big beverage behemoth to tackle the budding market for potentially potent enhanced potables.

“Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world,” the company said in a statement issued in response to a report from the Canadian BNN Bloomberg new service.

BNN reported that Coca-Cola was in talks with cannabis producer Aurora Cannabis to make marijuana-infused wellness drinks. Aurora Cannabis did not confirm that it was in talks with Coke, but the company’s chief executive did acknowledge that it had been in conversation with several beverage makers over the last few months.

Drinks infused with either cannabinoid-like CBD, which has medicinal, pain-relieving qualities, and THC, which gets users high, have become popular in states in the U.S. where the drug is legalized and in Canada where it has been fully decriminalized nationally.

The experiments in better sales through new chemistry come at a time when demand for both beer and bubbly sodas is slowing. Beer is being supplanted by booze and wine among American consumers (or a rising number of teetotalers are eating into sales of both). Meanwhile, sugary drinks also have seen their popularity dwindle as new consumers reach for the kombucha rather than the Coke.

Continue Reading at TechCrunch

Hearing Set on Columbia County Cannabis Moratorium

A public hearing will be held next month to take comments on a moratorium halting new cannabis operations in Columbia County.

Commissioners last month enacted the moratorium on applications for production, processing or retail operations. The moratorium did not affect the one retail cannabis store in the county or an indoor grow operation approved by the county hearing examiner before the moratorium was enacted.

The resolution for the moratorium stated the current county code governing recreational and medical cannabis operations “allows for too much public safety issues and concerns, disallows for appropriate moderation and is in need of complete revision to ensure only suitable development occurs.”

Union-Bulletin

Forget Protein Shakes. The Newest Workout Supplement? Marijuana.

Like many other fitness-minded young professionals, a 25-year-old Boston resident named Cameron adheres to a fairly typical pre-workout routine. There’s the 20 minutes of stretching, generally followed by some light cardio.

As marijuana legalization has pushed the drug further toward the mainstream — and a longstanding social stigma has begun to dissipate — more individuals are taking up before hitting the weight room, sports field, or mixed martial arts mat.

While the idea might seem inherently counterintuitive — weed, after all, is a substance more commonly paired with Doritos than deadlifts — there is a passionate contingent that swears by it.

“It’s a weird phenomenon, but it’s an increasingly common phenomenon,” says Peter Grinspoon, a primary care doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of the book “Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction.” “The fact that a lot of people are saying it helps them can’t be ignored.”

Research into marijuana’s benefits has been notoriously scant, due in large part to the drug’s federal classification as a Schedule 1 substance — meaning that, along with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy, it’s deemed to have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” And the few studies that do exist offer relatively little insight into the drug’s effects during physical activity, beneficial or detrimental.

Read the full article at Boston Globe

California’s Race to the Top on Cannabis

In essence, San Francisco is resetting the clock on the War on Drugs, at least for cannabis. The city is expanding upon Proposition 64, the state law that went into effect this year that makes amnesty for weed-related crimes a condition for legalizing cannabis in California.

As incredibly progressive as that ordinance is, San Francisco is not alone in attempting to work racial equity into the new legalized cannabis landscape. Cities across California and other states are upping the racial equity quotient in various ways, in what looks like a race to the top for seeking true racially and economically inclusive outcomes. As city leaders scratch their heads over how to realize real racial equity in policymaking, the legalized weed experiment is acting as the test case and is already proving itself sticky enough that cities are almost competing to be the most weedfully woke.

It’s not just the historically uber-liberal Bay Area that’s embarking on this. Los Angeles also has a cannabis social equity program that prioritizes business permits for people with low incomes, who have lived in an area ravaged by the drug war, have criminal records (because of past weed prohibition), and who plan to hire at least half of their workforces from local residents. Both Oakland and L.A. are also prioritizing permits for people who don’t personally fall under this criteria but are willing to finance or lease space to applicants who do.

Despite the heavy regulation of the cannabis market at both the city and state level (and maybe the federal level if Senator Cory Booker has it his way), there has still been immense growth in revenue and profits in this field. According to the 2017 Cannabis Industry Annual Report, from New Frontier Data, “The legal cannabis market was worth an estimated $6.6 billion in 2016, and annual sales are projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16% to reach more than $24 billion by 2025.” And that’s only based on the states where weed is currently legal.

Read the full article at CityLab

Cannabis Is Now Legal in California

California has now joined a number of states changing their approach to marijuana, which marks exciting times for national drug reform. If you’re over the age of 21, it is now legal to grow up to six plants and possess up to an ounce (!) on your person.

While the state’s residents have already been celebrating the news, tracking down a spot to purchase your recreational weed may prove a little difficult in these early days.

However, this may not indicate the end of drug dealers pedaling marijuana, as taxes are expected to raise the retail cost of the pot up to 70 percent higher than the street price. Nonetheless, It’s a very, very happy new year for Californians.

Papermag

Mike Tyson Is Building a 40-Acre California Weed Resort

Mike Tyson has been a boxer, an actor, a monologuist, and an animated detective, but now it looks like the former heavyweight champion wants to take a bite out of California’s new legal weed game.

According to the Blast, Tyson and two business partners—Robert Hickman and Jay Strommen—have plans to build a massive “cannabis resort” on 40 acres of desert land in California City. The trio broke ground on the property back in December and are getting things rolling now that California has officially legalized marijuana.

It seems like the rest of the Mojave Desert land, though, will earn Tyson Ranch its “resort” title. The Beast reports that there will be “premium ‘glamping’ campgrounds and cabins” for people to stay in, an amphitheater for live music, and a factory for marijuana edibles.

The resort’s land isn’t far from Edwards Air Force Base, and the Blast reports that the ranch will be staffed mostly by veterans and will be committed to helping those in the armed forces, as CBD, a marijuana compound that won’t get you high, has been used to treat PTSD.

Read more at Vice

With New Cannabis Cafes, You Can Smoke ‘Em Where You Bought ‘Em

Sometime soon in Massachusetts, you’ll be able to walk into a cafe, ask for a marijuana product, and consume it right there without heading home first.

The state agency responsible for regulating legalized marijuana approved a policy on Monday that will allow for such establishments, so-called “cannabis cafes,” to open — where one can buy a cannabis product and then legally consume it on the premises, just like buying a drink at a bar.

Like bartenders in restaurants in bars, marijuana servers must be trained properly. Such training will focus on helping them identify customers who are too intoxicated to be served more. The commission also agreed that businesses licensed to serve cannabis, should not be allowed to serve alcohol.

Cannabis proponents like Michael Latulippe are pleased with the prospect of on-premises cannabis businesses. Latulippe is a registered medical marijuana user and a member of the state’s Cannabis Advisory Board.

Public safety officials still have concerns. Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael is another member of the commission. He says its important regulations are put in place to prevent people from driving while under the influence of marijuana.

Read more at New England Public Radio

New Cannabis Rules Go Into Effect January 1

Several new rules and regulations for legal cannabis in Colorado have been finalized and will go into effect January 1, 2018, according to the Marijuana Enforcement Division. The MED had been holding stakeholder meetings and accepting public feedback on many of the proposed rules since September; they include updates to packaging regulations, a new state program for medical cannabis research and more.

Many of the new rules are a result of 2017’s legislative session, with amendments to existing laws and new bills forcing updates that affect both the industry workforce and consumers. HB 1034, HB 1261, SB 187 and SB 192 will change employee training methods, business location transfers, product contaminate testing, concentrate wholesalers and packaging and labeling.

Most of the rules were made to increase youth, consumer, and employee safety, the MED says, such as new packaging and labeling requirements that are designed to decrease interaction with minors.

The MED will continue to issue industry bulletins and tips for stakeholders on how to comply with the new rules as they go into effect.

Read the full article at West Word

Cannabis May Be Replaced by Beer’s Best Ingredient for Pain Therapy

Cannabidiol, one of the active chemicals in marijuana, is having a moment. While the science remains inconclusive, there’s growing traction for its use as a therapeutic agent for cancer and schizophrenia, and for its inclusion within more cosmetic items, like CBD-infused bath bombs and acne creams. What makes CBD novel is that it, unlike THC, is a cannabinoid chemical that comes without the high — although as a fixture of a Schedule I drug, in some places, it still comes with the stigma.

In October, Isodiol International Inc.)), a company that claims it is “the largest global industrial source of CBD hemp oil worldwide,” announced its plan to release the market’s first CBD products derived from hops — the cone-shaped flowers responsible for flavoring and stabilizing beer.

While 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana in some form, all cannabis extracts, including CBD, are still ruled federally as Schedule I substances. With the attorney general post belonging to Jeff Sessions, that ruling won’t likely change anytime soon. Hops, meanwhile, are legal everywhere.

As cannabidiol continues to be explored for its therapeutic potential as a treatment for disorders that include, but aren’t limited to, anxiety, schizophrenia, and cancer, it will be interesting to see whether other companies and universities follow Ursodiol in the study of CBD derived from hops. The illegality of cannabis has made it difficult for scientists to research its benefits, but hops could be a promising route when it comes to exploring how CBD can help people heal.

Read the full article at Inverse

Big Weed Will Capitalize On Cannabis At Any Cost To Society

Cigarettes are good for your health. There’s no such thing as global warming, so keep on burning coal. Benzodiazepines like Valium are a godsend — “mother’s little helper.” “Anything’s possible when you learn to handle Smirnoff.” These are some of the vintage ads and canards that we look back upon today with wonder.

What’s stupid is our collective amnesia about what happens in a democracy when a forbidden fruit hits the market: namely, capitalism at its worst. The response of capitalism to legalized cannabis will be to capitalize, as is its nature. To imagine that there will be no Big Weed akin to Big Tobacco is stupid. Consolidation is assured, and Big Weed will be run by executives from the other Big Bad Wolves.

The health benefits of “medical marijuana” will one day be equated with the disservice done by a generation of doctors who overprescribed opiates and benzos, the previous generation of doctors being suckered into smoking and recommending Camel cigarettes as good for you.

Read more at The Star

Study: Cannabis May Reduce Number Of Premature Deaths In The United States

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ‘nearly 900,000 Americans die prematurely from the five leading causes of death.’ Those five leading causes of death are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, and unintentional injuries. According to the CDC, 20 to 40 percent of those premature deaths could be prevented. And according to a study from last month conducted by Indiana University, cannabis could play a big part in significantly reducing the number of premature deaths in America if medical cannabis was legalized nationwide.

Per the study:

To date, no studies have attempted to estimate impacts of Cannabis use on premature death that include both adverse and beneficial effects on physical health. Marijuana use is estimated to reduce premature deaths from diabetes mellitus, cancer, and traumatic brain injury by 989 to 2,511 deaths for each 1% of the population using Cannabis. The analysis predicts an estimated 23,500 to 47,500 deaths prevented annually if medical marijuana were legal nationwide.

Full article at Weed News

How Much Does Cannabis Cost Where You Live?

Cannabis has intrigued me since the first time I consumed it in the early 1990’s. Since that time I, as many others had before me, got particularly fascinated in the types of cannabis that people consume across the country, as well as how much cannabis costs in each state. 

It’s one of the most talked about things in the cannabis world. I find that type of web chatter is more insightful for gauging a state’s cannabis scene than looking at databases.

Perhaps it will change over time, but as of this posting, they have grams for $3.75. As far as I know, that includes tax. That’s an eighth for less than $15, and it’s been lab tested and perfectly legal to anyone over the age of 21. To be clear, I don’t have any affiliation with the linked to the dispensary, but I have consumed the $3.75 gram and it was some decent stuff. I have heard of dispensary ounces being as low as $79 in Oregon.

How much does cannabis cost where you live, and what is the quality level? Some parts of America are still picking seeds out of bricks, while some states have regulated dispensaries. If you live in a state that has prohibition, do your part and fight for reform so that you can enjoy the freedoms that people in legal states do. No state left behind!

Weed News

Can Weed Make You a Better Athlete?

Cannabis is the perfect medicine for athletes,” says retired NFL offensive lineman Eben Britton over the phone, stating matter-of-factly what’s still, generally, considered taboo. (In the world of modern cannabis advocacy, you’re never talking about “weed,” “pot,” “marijuana,” or “cannabis”.)

That hypothesis is the impetus behind Athletes For Care, a new nonprofit of which Britton—alongside 26 other athletes from the NFL, NBA, NHL, and UFC—is a founding member. The organization is dedicated to promoting a holistic, alternative approach to athlete wellness, both for those still playing and retirees. Cannabis is but one part of the wellness package—albeit an important one.

Many of the athletes involved, including former NFL players Eugene Monroe and Nate Jackson, already have a history of cannabis advocacy. The goal of Athletes For Care is to allow them to come together and create what Britton calls a “safe space” for athletes interested in alternative medicine, as well as those simply looking for support after leaving the infrastructure of professional sports.

Read the full article at Bleacher Report

Cannabis tax goes before voters in Santa Rosa

Should Santa Rosa tax cannabis businesses to help offset the cost of regulating the fast-growing industry?

There is no formal opposition to the measure. Tawnie Logan, executive director of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance, said her group of cannabis growers supports the city’s plan.

“It’s a good framework that’s representative of a tax structure that’s more approachable for the industry,” Logan said. “It’s still a little high but it’s far more accessible than the rates proposed by the county.”

Cannabis businesses in the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County face much steeper taxes under a measure approved by county voters in March. It allows the county to tax cannabis businesses up to 10 percent and doesn’t lock in rate increments. Marijuana industry players, including the grower’s alliance, opposed the ballot measure, which passed by a 3-to-1 ratio.

Santa Rosa City Councilman Chris Rogers, a member of the council’s three-person cannabis policy subcommittee, said he believes the city’s measure strikes a balance between making sure the city can cover costs associated with the newly regulated local pot industry and “not setting the tax so high it gives people incentive to stay in the black market.”

Santa Rosa cultivators would initially be taxed at 2 percent of gross receipts or $5 per square foot of cultivation space. The starting rates for dispensaries would be 3 percent and it would be 1 percent for manufacturers.

These tax levels wouldn’t change for two years, and any subsequent increases would also be locked in place for two years. A supermajority of five votes on the seven-person City Council would be needed to increase the rates above 5 percent.

City officials have said the tax would allow it to address the impact of the cannabis industry while bolstering revenues for general city purposes.

The Press Democrat

How Beta Blockers and Weed Can Save You From Hulking Out

Beta blockers are lovely little prescription drugs that cause the effects of adrenaline to be blocked. This helps the heart relax and allows you to calm the fuck down. They are used to manage a ton of different conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, migraines, glaucoma, fibromyalgia, and generalized anxiety disorder. Many of these conditions can also be treated with cannabis, so it’s a good thing that beta blockers and weed make such a kick-ass team.

Chronic pain is a perfect example of how beta blockers and cannabis work together awesomely. Bodies in pain produce excess amounts of adrenaline, thanks to our “fight or flight” response. This abundance of adrenaline can make pain sufferers feel like the Hulk—and not in a fun way.

Taking beta blockers can simmer down your adrenaline and consuming cannabis can calm your pain, which can help make patients feel like normal people again.

Cannabis has been shown to increase your heart rate, so it’s a good thing that beta blockers are designed to slow that shit down. Beta blockers also tell your blood vessels to open up—which improves blood flow AND the flow of cannabis through your bloodstream, which allows your meds to work more effectively.

There are several different kinds of BBs and each one is slightly differently than the others, so you may have to try a few before you find the one that works for you—kind of like dating, but with pills. “Hulking out” in an adrenaline rage can be fun occasionally…but beta blockers are there for the times when you just wanna pet a bunny and chill.

Merry Jane