Looking forward to relaxed hemp regulations, a new analysis estimates that the CBD market could explode — and outpace marijuana
The Brightfield Group is a subscriber-driven market research firm that published a 2018 market overview and analysis on hemp-derived CBD, today. Their view through rose-colored glasses reads like a marketing document outlining the best-case-scenario for CBD's future. Some key, regulatory factors appear to have been overlooked.
November 13, 2018 - Vancouver, BC – Isodiol International Inc. (CSE: ISOL) (OTCQB: ISOLF) (FSE: LB6B.F) (the “Company” or “Isodiol”)announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, IsoBev International Inc. (“IsoBev”), has executed an agreement with Brew Hub, LLC (“Brew Hub”) for the exclusive development and manufacturing of hemp, cannabis, hemp-derived, and cannabis-derived beverages in what the companies believe is among the most significant alternative beverage deals in the industry.
Washington state has issued its first-ever research-specific cannabis license to Verda Bio, a Seattle pharmaceutical company, according to a story in The Stranger.
The more common producer license does not technically allow breeding of cannabis in the interests of developing new strains or doing research. If a producer were to grow plants just to study them, or attempt to keep the seeds, it would be illegal — anything that is not sold must be destroyed.
Verda Bio aims to develop new strains of cannabis that contain uncommon and largely unstudied cannabinoids. Recent research revealed that there are 21 or more cannabinoids that have not been formally identified, even in commercial cannabis strains.
“The first year of the project is going to focus on breeding plants that produce chemicals outside of THC. … We don’t believe that the plants that we want to do research on exist yet.” — Jessica Tonani, CEO of Verda Bio
Washington created the new research-class license in 2016. A written review of projects and scope of future research must be done for any company applying for the license. Verda Bio is the first company to navigate that process, having spent the last two years working through the approval process.
No one else has applied yet for the license.
“I think universities are still pretty scared about federal repercussion about partnering with people in what is perceived to be a federally illegal system. But we are hoping that changes,” Tonani said.
On Friday, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) promised that the Farm Bill will be passed in an upcoming lame duck session of Congress, the Murray Ledger & Times reports.
McConnell said finishing the unified 2018 Farm Bill was one of his top priorities. While legislators are debating work requirements for food stamps, McConnell said the industrial hemp legalization clause is not in question.
“It will be in there, I guarantee you that.” — Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in the report
The 2014 Farm Bill lapsed on September 30. Lawmakers could not agree on several provisions for its replacement before going into recess for the midterm elections, though existing programs remain funded through December. Congressional leaders promised to reconvene in a lame duck session later this year to continue work on the Farm Bill.
The main disagreement has resulted over a Republican push to add work requirements to the federal food stamp program, SNAP. Industrial hemp seems secure in the bill’s current draft, though some advocates have worried that lawmakers might decide not to approve the new bill in favor of extending the 2014 Farm Bill for three more years.
McConnell’s re-commitment to passing the 2018 Farm Bill — instead of abandoning it in favor of other options for funding farm programs — shows promise for the historic legalization of industrial hemp.
Cannabis consumers have long prized potency (a high THC content) as one of the main factors that makes a particular strain more desirable. Though traditional demand for THC has caused an oversaturation of high-potency products, many consumers are starting to prefer less intense products that are lower in THC and higher in the non-intoxicating compound called cannabidiol (CBD).
THC and CBD are both cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, but they’re different in many ways that may influence your next dispensary purchase.
What Are High-CBD Cannabis Strains?
CBD is typically the second-most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis, but this isn’t always the case. A strain may deliver CBD and THC in the following ratios:
High THC, low CBD (e.g.,10-30% THC, trace amounts of CBD)
Balanced CBD/THC (e.g., 5-15% THC and CBD)
High CBD, low THC (e.g., 5-20% CBD, THC under 5%)
High-CBD strains tend to deliver very clear-headed, functional effects without the euphoric high associated with high-THC strains. They’re typically preferred by consumers who are extremely sensitive to the side effects of THC (e.g., anxiety, paranoia, dizziness). A high-CBD strain would also be a great choice for someone needing to medicate throughout the day to control pain, inflammation, anxiety, or other chronic conditions.
Balanced CBD/THC strains will be a little more euphoric than CBD-dominant strains, though they’re much less likely to induce anxiety, paranoia, and other negative side effects. Strains like these tend to be the most effective for pain relief, and they’re also well-suited for THC-sensitive consumers who’d like a mellow buzz.
CBD strains can be consumed just as you would THC strains. You can smoke or vaporize CBD-rich flower, eat a CBD-infused edible, swallow a CBD oil capsule, apply a CBD lotion, or use a CBD tincture sublingually. Hemp products also contain CBD, though it is a less efficient source and lacks the beneficial chemical diversity of cannabis-derived CBD products (more on that here).
What Are the Medical Benefits of CBD?
The list of conditions CBD may help with is ever-expanding. Here are some of the most common conditions and symptoms patients combat with CBD:
Epilepsy and seizure disorders
Pain and inflammation
PTSD and anxiety
Though clinical and anecdotal evidence suggests CBD’s benefits in managing different conditions, it became most famous for treating a rare and debilitating form of pediatric epilepsy. Dravet’s Syndrome is notoriously resistant to current approved treatment methods. Sufferers are plagued by seizures, often up to hundreds a day, that worsen as they age and can be life-threatening. Currently, treatment methods include having the child wear an eyepatch, specialized diets, and brain surgery, but all have mixed success rates.
How to Find the Best CBD Cannabis Product for You
One of the earliest success stories involves a young girl named Charlotte who was given an ingestible oil derived from Charlotte’s Web, a CBD strain that was specifically developed to provide her with all the benefits of the drug without the high. In less than two years, Charlotte went from a monthly seizure count of 1,200 to about three. Other success stories followed and more parents have begun to speak out, particularly parents who are desperate for access to this life-saving treatment.
This video highlights Charlotte and her disorder, as well as the promising treatment of high-CBD strains to help alleviate her symptoms.
CBD has no lethal dose or known serious medical side effects, but it is still federally illegal. Furthermore, the idea of using cannabis-derived compounds for pediatric conditions remains a touchy subject in a culture where cannabis has been stigmatized.
Although THC is best known for its mind-altering euphoria, it too has important medical benefits. There’s some overlap in what CBD and THC can treat, but THC is particularly effective in relieving nausea, appetite loss, insomnia, among other symptoms. Many patients find that a balance of CBD and THC offers the best symptom relief as the two work together synergistically.
What Are Some High-CBD Strains I Can Try?
Keep in mind that CBD levels may vary from crop to crop—even from plant to plant. However, below are some strains that have been bred to contain higher CBD levels, so they might be a good place to start. Check the map on their strain page to see if these are sold at a dispensary near you. We also recommend checking with dispensaries about the specifics of their strains’ CBD levels. It’s always a good idea to purchase only lab-tested products that clearly state the CBD/THC levels so you know what kind of experience to expect.
During yesterday’s midterm elections, voters delivered a resounding message across the country in support of reforming cannabis laws.
Michigan voters approved adult-use legalization while voters in Utah and Missouri resoundingly embraced medical cannabis reforms. The plant’s only defeat this election season was in North Dakota, where voters rejected a bill that would have established the least restricted cannabis market in the country.
There were also some indirect victories for cannabis last night, including the defeat of incumbent Texas Rep. Pete Sessions and several gubernatorial victories by pro-cannabis candidates.
Michigan voters approved Proposition 1 in a comfortable 56-44 percent margin, making Michigan the tenth state to legalize adult-use cannabis. Under the initiative, adults 21 and older can possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and cultivate up to 12 plants in their own home. Retail sales may not launch until sometime in 2020, but cannabis will become legal just 10 days after the election results are officially certified.
See our in-depth coverage to learn more about Michigan’s legalization victory.
Missouri voters saw three opportunities to legalize medical cannabis on their ballot yesterday, but only one of them soared far ahead for an easy 66-34 percent victory.
Missouri’s Amendment 2 was approved ahead of another constitutional amendment and a statutory amendment. Amendment 2 was seen as the safest and most progressive option, containing one of the lowest tax rates of any medical cannabis proposal (just four percent) as well as the stipulation that funds generated by the program will go to health services for military veterans and to funding the new program’s regulatory agency(s).
Amendment 2 was endorsed by NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project.
Missouri is the 31st U.S. state to legalize medical cannabis.
Utah voters approved Proposition 2, which aims to establish a comprehensive medical cannabis program, in a narrow 53-47 percent victory.
While victory is sweet, medical cannabis was more or less guaranteed already for the state of Utah after advocates reached a compromise last month with the bill’s opponents, mainly lawmakers and the Mormon Church. Proposition 2’s passage, however, means cannabis patients are significantly less likely to suffer without access if lawmakers were to renege on their agreement (which is a concern that has bothered some advocates).
“The passage of Proposition 2 illustrates just how broad support has grown for medical marijuana in the U.S.,” Matthew Scheich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a written statement. “Even in socially conservative states like Utah, most voters recognize marijuana has significant medical value, and they believe it should be available to patients who could benefit from it.
The details of Utah’s Proposition 2 may be subject to change, but as it stands the initiative would allow patients with a physician’s approval to purchase up to two ounces of cannabis or up to ten grams of CBD or THC oil every two weeks. Patients who live at least 100 miles from the closest dispensary would also be allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants at home.
Notably, cannabis patients in Utah will not be allowed to smoke their medicine, relying instead on edibles, vaping, and other consumption methods.
Utah is the 32nd U.S. state to legalize medical cannabis.
North Dakota experienced the only cannabis defeat of the midterms. It was the first true legalization attempt in a resoundingly conservative state.
Voters rejected the state’s legalization initiative with a 59-41 percent majority. The proposal — which would have removed all penalties for cannabis from state law and allow anyone 21 or older to cultivate and sell the plant with no limitations, tax-free — was considered by some to be the most progressive legalization attempt ever undertaken in the U.S.
Legalize ND, the advocacy group behind North Dakota’s legalization push, posted the following message to their social media outlets this morning:
“Last night was not the result we wanted. We were outgunned in money, and the majority of voters said no. But we cannot give up. Our advocacy does not end. In the new legislative session, WE MUST fight tooth and nail for decriminalization of marijuana possession, and gear up for 2020. Start contacting your newly elected legislators now.” — Written statement from Legalize ND
While only four states voted on statewide cannabis initiatives, there were many other cannabis-adjacent elections that are worth noting.
Incumbent Texas Rep. Pete Sessions (R) lost to Democratic challenger Colin Allred, a former NFL player. During his time in the House, Sessions personally blocked dozens of cannabis proposals from consideration. In fact, Sessions has been such a staunch opponent to anything cannabis that Marijuana Policy Project founder Rob Kampia worked with other advocates to launch a PAC earlier this year dedicated to unseating him in the midterms.
Five Ohio cities — Dayton, Fremont, Norwood, Oregon, and Windham — approved cannabis decriminalization laws, raising the total number of cities in Ohio with decriminalization on the books to 11.
Voters in 16 Wisconsin counties signaled support for reforming cannabis laws in the form of advisory questions. These questions appeared on the ballot but will not reflect any changes in state or county law — they were merely meant to gauge interest in the issue.
Last but not least, pro-cannabis candidates won gubernatorial races in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano weighed in with a written statement following the election:
“In four states — Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois — voters elected Governors who openly campaigned on a platform that included legalizing adult marijuana use. In two other states — California and Colorado — voters elected Governors who have a long history of spearheading legalization reform efforts. And in Maine and in New Mexico, two of the nation’s most rabid marijuana prohibitionists, Paul LePage and Susana Martinez, have been replaced by Governors who are open to enacting common-sense cannabis reforms.”
TRENTON — The state Legislature has yet to produce a pair of bills to legalize recreational marijuana and expand the state’s medical cannabis program, but Senate President Steve Sweeney says he has the votes lined up to pass both measures by the end of September.
“There’s some people that will never support it and there are some people who are just hedging their bets because there’s not a bill to look at,” Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said during a wide-ranging sit-down interview with POLITICO.
Still, the Senate president said he‘s certain he and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) will secure the necessary votes in their respective chambers to pass both measures.
“I’m confident we‘ll get to 21 and 41,” Sweeney said, referring to the minimum number of votes needed for passage in the Senate and Assembly, respectively. “I‘m not going to get to 28, but I’m confident I’ll get to 21 votes and the speaker will find 41.
“Don’t be surprised when people who say they were against it vote for it,” Sweeney said, predicting some Republican support.
A U.S. District Judge in New Jersey has ruled that an employer can indefinitely suspend an employee for his doctor-prescribed medical cannabis, The Daily Journal reports.
Ardagh Glass in Bridgeton, New Jersey did not allow medical cannabis patient Daniel Cotto Jr. to return to work after he refused a drug test. Cotto claims his employer knew about his use of medical cannabis, which was prescribed for chronic pain due to a severe neck and back injury in 2007. Cotto has provided a doctor’s note saying he is capable of operating machinery while medicated.
Cotto filed a lawsuit against Ardagh Glass which argued that, by not allowing him to return to work, the company had violated New Jersey‘s anti-discrimination laws and the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA), which allows Cotto to be prescribed medical cannabis.
U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler’s decision found that the point of law allowing Ardagh Glass to deny Cotto his work hinged on mandatory drug testing. Under the language of CUMMA, Kugler wrote, an employer cannot be compelled to waive a drug testing requirement.
Other judges across the nation have delivered mixed rulings regarding medical cannabis for employees, including other decisions in New Jersey. In July, a Workers’ Compensation Judge ruled that Freehold Township, New Jersey had to pay for an injured worker’s medical cannabis treatment. That ruling ran counter to the decision in Cotto v. Ardagh Glass, and more contradictory rulings can be expected until federal legalization cleans the slate.