Depending on where you live and your sociopolitical education, your view of the cannabis industry might be skewed. Many people still hold this antiquated view of a bunch of hemp wearing unkempt hippies sitting around in a circle stuffing marijuana into bags. Most of us know better. In states where marijuana is at least legal for medicinal use a strong technical infrastructure is being built around the cannabis business. From dispensary management software to mobile applications and cannabinoid research, the cannabis industry is getting a 2.0 upgrade. Read More
A new report finds that youth use rates and traffic fatalities have remained stable, marijuana arrests have dropped and revenue is flowing in.
When Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, opponents of the measures warned that ending the longstanding prohibition on weed would wreak havoc on society. The fiscal benefits associated with taxed and regulated marijuana wouldn’t be worthwhile, they said, because more children would end up using the drug and high drivers would terrorize the roadways.
Those dire predictions haven’t come true, according a new report by the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit that lobbies for progressive reform of drug laws. In fact, legalization has had a negligible effect on rates of youth marijuana use and traffic fatalities in Colorado and Washington ― and in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., which have all since approved marijuana for recreational use. At the same time, marijuana arrests have plummeted and total revenue from legal weed has surged past $500 million.
On TV and billboards, the fight against legalizing marijuana is about health, safe communities and our children’s future. But for Big Pharma and Big Tobacco – who fund these anti-marijuana efforts – it’s really about the bottom line. For years, large corporations and well-heeled lobbyists have blocked the legalization of marijuana for medical use or recreational use in order to protect their own profits.
Florida’s failed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for medical use illustrates how money, and not morals, motivates this issue.
This year, the anti-amendment group, Drug Free Florida, spent millions on ads to get Floridians to believe medical marijuana was harmful even if it has repeatedly been proven to have many health benefits. It is ironic that the group ran ads implying children would be unsafe if Florida’s initiative passed when the group’s founder set up a drug rehab program shuttered after several allegations of false imprisonment, abuse and torture of children.
America has a long and storied history with marijuana. Once grown by American colonists to make hemp rope, by 1970, it was classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic. Possession of it was — and is — a federal crime, despite the fact that in recent years 25 states have legalized medical marijuana and four states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use.
Author John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, traces the history of America’s laws and attitudes toward cannabis in his new book, Marijuana: A Short History. He tells Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies that the recent shift in public policy is, in part, a recognition of the drug’s medicinal value, which became apparent in San Francisco during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.
Cowen and Company released an extensive report on the cannabis industry today, suggesting the recreational market could grow to $50 billion by 2026. While this isn’t the first time that an investment bank has issued research on the industry (Bank of America Merrill Lynch last December and Ackrell Capital in February), the effort was very broad, with ten different analysts weighing in.
Vivien Azer, the lead analyst on the report “The Cannabis Compendium: Cross-Sector Views on a Budding Industry,” joined the company from Citigroup in 2014 as its analyst for Beverages and Tobacco and has now assumed coverage for Cannabis as well. Separate from the sector report, she initiated coverage on Kush Bottles (OTC: KSHB) with an “Outperform” rating. This is the first time that a leading investment bank has provided coverage on a cannabis stock that trades on the OTC. KSHB is a packaging company based in California with operations in Colorado and the Pacific Northwest as well that generated an estimated approximately $8mm in the year ending 8/31/2016. Read More
In the 2014 paper published in Milbank Quarterly entitled Waiting for the Opportune Moment: The Tobacco Industry and Marijuana Legalization, researchers poured through 80 million pages of tobacco industry documents previously kept secret and found that marijuana has surfaced again and again as a subject of either potential new revenue or as a competing product.
“In many ways, the marijuana market of 2014 resembles the tobacco market before 1880, before cigarettes were mass produced using mechanization and marketed using national brands and modern mass media,” they wrote. “Legalizing marijuana opens the market to major corporations, including tobacco companies, which have the financial resources, product design technology to optimize puff-by-puff delivery of a psychoactive drug (nicotine), marketing muscle, and political clout to transform the marijuana market.”
Graduate students at Berkeley-Haas are conducting a case study on an African American cannabis entrepreneur to explore both the flourishing cannabis market and the industry social justice and public policy issues.
MBA students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business are preparing to publish one of the first business school case studies on the cannabis industry. The case, “Cannabusiness in Washington D.C.,” will profile Corey Barnette, owner of two cannabis businesses — a cultivation center and a dispensary, both in Washington D.C.
The case study, lead authored by associate professor Rui de Figueiredo and co-authored by MBA students Jamaur Bronner, Mohsin Alvi and Deena Malaeb, will explore the business opportunities evolving from the nation’s budding market and the public policy and social justice issues surrounding the industry. The study will be published later this month in the Berkeley-Haas Case Series and the California Management Review.
Summary of MED Disciplinary Actions for 2015
5 most common types of violations:
- Failing underage compliance checks (16 individual citations, 7 business citations).
- Recordkeeping/METRC compliance issues (22 citations).
- Inadequate camera coverage or inadequate security for recording devices (18 citations).
- Failing to disclose all owners or financial interests (5 citations).
- Failing to ensure employees wore badges (5 citations).
Other categories of violations with about 5 citations each include: Not using RFID tags, making product transfers to marijuana businesses that were not commonly owned, improper waste disposal and recording, and not maintaining transport manifests.
As compliance departments try to map out their next steps following the vote by the U.K. to leave the European Union, they can best serve their companies by maintaining a steady hand and advocating the business doesn’t make any hasty decisions until the situation plays itself out further, said one compliance officer. “One of the most important things compliance teams can bring to their company in face of what seems to be earth-shattering information is the calm of staying the course and being prepared for change as it comes,” said Louis A. Sapirman, associate general counsel and chief compliance officer at business information provider Dun & Bradstreet.
This compliance “Dream Team” has an unmatched depth of expertise.
CS Compliance Systems, developers of CannaScore – the world’s first real-time regulatory compliance auditing software for the cannabis industry, announced it has recruited several leading compliance experts from around the nation.