Technology is Cultivating Strong Roots in the Cannabis Industry

Technology is Cultivating Strong Roots in the Cannabis Industry

Most individuals do not think about technology when they think about the budding cannabis industry, however, several different aspects of the industry rely heavily upon technology. Just recently the tech giant Microsoft made an announcement that they will be providing Azure cloud services for compliance based software that will serve the cannabis industry. To many people, this not only shows that technology has a big part to play in the success of the industry, but also shows that the times are truly changing surrounding how the industry is viewed by existing companies as well as the general public.
Since the uptick in technology has been occurring over the past few decades, technology has played a very small role in the cannabis culture and industry as it has been highly illegal. That was until legalization started to sweep across the country. With the legal cannabis market being predicted to be worth more than 21 billion dollars by 2020, everyone including small tech startups and well-known tech brands are wanting to get their piece of the pie.
Let’s take a look at a few of the companies that are utilizing technology to help fuel the cannabis industry to success from web design and graphics all the way to software that helps businesses remain compliant with state laws.
Flowhub has to be one of the most well-known tech companies within the cannabis sector. They currently provide services to cultivators and retail owners in Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska. Flowhub offers several different services and platforms that are helping businesses in the cannabis industry succeed.  Flowhub is most well-known and utilized for their seed to sale tracking and point of sale services. They also offer a cloud-based software-as-a-service platform that can be utilized via iOS devices as well as the web.
DankCreative is a graphic design company that helps to produce state of the art graphic designs for businesses in the cannabis community including logos and headers for websites and more.
GreenRush is an e-commerce platform utilized for linking medical marijuana patients with providers in their area. The founder and CEO pf GreenRush, Paul Warshaw, compared GreenRush to being the GrubHub of the medical MJ industry. Medical marijuana patients looking to locate products at local dispensaries or for delivery can simply log in and browse the available selection, making purchasing medical marijuana easier than ever before.
As you can see there are quite a few ways in which technology is really helping the industry excel and we are just getting started. It would be no surprise to see a major increase in tech companies entering into the industry over the coming months and years.
image: shutterstock

California Resident Made it Through Customs with Cannabis

California Resident Made it Through Customs with Cannabis

Traveling with cannabis is one issue that all medical marijuana patients will face if they ever go on vacation or have to travel for business. Just because you leave your home state or home country doesn’t mean that whatever symptoms or ailments that you utilize medical marijuana for stays back home. Medical marijuana patients deserve the right to be able to travel with their medication just as people are able to openly travel with their deadly, addictive, and harmful pharmaceuticals.
Thanks to what is being called a loophole in New Zealand law, visitors to the country as well as residents are able to travel freely into the country with any medication that they are prescribed. This also includes cannabis for those with documented recommendations.
Just recently a California resident by the name of Rebecca Reider was able to travel through customs in New Zealand with her medical marijuana, after previously being charged with illegal importation of marijuana into the country. The law only allows for visitors to have a one-month supply of medication with them so Rebecca was able to clear customs with one ounce of cannabis total.
Rebecca had previously been charged with trying to enter the country with cannabis but won the case in a Nelson District Court after Judge Peter Hobbs ruled that the consequences of the conviction were not in line with the severity of the crime according to the Sentencing Act.  Sue Grey was the representing attorney for Rebecca and stated;

“There was no good reason to criminal sanction a person who was using prescribed pain relief for good reason.”

As you can imagine after all of this, Rebecca was very excited when she was able to successfully travel and enter into the country recently.  Rebecca is not the only one celebrating either. Recent polls show that 82% of the citizens in New Zealand feel that cannabis should be legal for combatting terminal pain and 64% believe that possession and consumption of small amounts should be legalized or at least decriminalized. Looks like New Zealand feels the same way as the rest of the world when it comes to the draconian laws surrounding cannabis. Recent polls since 2014 show that over 50% of Americans also support marijuana legalization.
Whether or not a patient can travel with their medicine should not even be a question or concern. If someone utilizes a medicine whether it is chemical or plant based there should be no laws that prevent them from accessing said medicine. Plain and simple.
image credit: Druglawed/Facebook

Thornton Has Had a Change of Mind in Regards to Retail Cannabis

Thornton Has Had a Change of Mind in Regards to Retail Cannabis

When marijuana was legalized for retail/recreational purposes in the state of Colorado in 2012, cities and counties had the ability to restrict the retail market from existing within their borders. Many cities decided to do just that. Thornton, the state’s 6th largest city right out said no to all retail cannabis related businesses. 4 years later, though, they are starting to see what they are missing out on. A recent 5-4 vote by the Thornton City Council will change that moving forward. Starting Sept. 1st the city will start accepting applications from individuals who wish to open a dispensary in the city.
The change will allow for 4 retail marijuana dispensaries to open within the city limits, which is one in each quadrant. During the city council meeting where the vote took place, there were many opponents who did not like the idea of retail marijuana stores opening up shop in their cities. Many of these prohibitionists stated things such as it would “increase youth consumption.” I’m not sure where they are getting their information but since cannabis was legalized in the state, consumption by young adults and youth has decreased.
There are strict regulations surrounding where the dispensaries will be able to open specifically including but not limited to the following;
-At least 1,000 feet away from schools
-No less than 500 feet away from day care centers
-No less than 500 feet away from drug treatment centers
Applicants wishing to open a dispensary in the city will be graded on a point system much like potential applicants are vetted in Aurora.
The changes voted on by the council also pave the way to allow for marijuana testing facilities down the road. They will not, however, be allowing for cultivation facilities or infused-product makers.
Once sales begin the city stands to make some big bucks that will go to benefit the city as well as the communities of residents that live there. Estimates show that the city could stand to make anywhere between $1.5 million and $2.5 million annually from the taxes they will collect on retail marijuana sales. Can you imagine what $1.5 million could do for a city? This is the exact question that got the gears in the minds of many of the city council members turning in the direction of supporting retail sales in the city. While it may sound sad that money was the driving factor, just think about how much the city will gain from this decision!
image: Ed Andrieski, The Associated Press

Introducing the ACMPR Canada New Cannabis Regulations

Introducing the ACMPR – Canada's New Cannabis Regulations

The ACMPR officially goes into effect today in Canada which makes changes to the old MMPR. What does this mean for the citizens of Canada? Canadian citizens with a medical card now have access to growing their own cannabis. Per every gram prescribed to be used by a medical card holder each day, they are allowed to grow up to five indoor plants or two outdoor plants. This means if the doctor recommended the patient 3 grams per day, they could cultivate 15 plants indoors or 6 outdoors. Plants are not allowed to be grown near child care facilities, schools, playgrounds, or public areas that are frequented by children. It is recommended that all grows be locked and secured as well. Cannabis products that are being cured are to be locked in child-proof containers according to recommendations from Health Canada.

Patients are also able to take on another unique aspect and choose a designated cannabis grower to cultivate their medication. This law is making many people happy because on average, 5 indoor growing hydroponic plants can produce over 50 ounces of herb. This gives medical marijuana patients in Canada a new outlook on growing medicine. They’re also able to augment their supply of cannabis by supplementing orders from online dispensaries throughout Canada such as Weedism or Bud Xpress.

One of the conditions, in order to become a designated grower for someone, is to not have any felony drug convictions on your record in the past 10 years. The list of qualifying conditions to receive cannabis patient status in Canada ranges from PTSD and nausea to vomiting and cancer-related pain.

One of the major problems facing Canadians who are looking to utilize cannabis as an alternative treatment to dangerous and deadly pharmaceutical prescription drugs, is a shortage of medicinal supplies from state licensed vendors. There are said to be 34 licensed cannabis dispensaries across Canada. According to the ACMPR, all starting product must be purchased from one of these licensed facilities in the form of seeds or clones. The problem many patients face is simply running out of medicine which could be detrimental to their regimen.

Patients who suffer from cancer, leukemia, epilepsy, and other dangerous life-threatening illnesses cannot afford to go days or weeks without their medicine. Cannabis truly does work. It’s not like being without pharmaceuticals from the doctor for a week. Medical marijuana patients in Canada are having to turn to the dispensaries, which the government says are operating illegally, in order to receive the medications they so desperately need. The problem is Canada already has countless marijuana dispensaries that are set up and serving the people successfully.

The people have even spoken and it’s very clear that they want dispensaries. The Canadian government, however, has a different plan that includes strict regulations and iPad-like stores. This also brings up the issue of cost eEffectiveness. The low-income population of Canadians across the country falls short of being able to afford access to medical cannabis. This is a group that is making sure this problem gets the necessary attention that it needs to become solved.

Many patients that are working with licensed government facilities have run into the issue of them not having a consistent supply. This has not been an issue with dispensaries. In fact, many times if a patient cannot find their medicine through a licensed entity, they will find it at a dispensary. It is also not uncommon for dispensaries to provide free medical cannabis to patients who can not afford it. This cannot be said about governments anywhere. The new ACMPR is definitely an improvement and a step in the right direction but Canada still has a long ways to go before they truly implement a program that will work well for the people.

Oregon on Track to Make a Lot of Money from Retail Cannabis Taxes

Oregon on Track to Make a Lot of Money from Retail Cannabis Taxes

The Oregon retail cannabis market has traveled a rough road since being legalized back in 2014. When the citizens of the state voted to legalize retail cannabis for adults over the age of 21, there was already an existing medical marijuana program in the state. In 2015, on October 1st, medical marijuana dispensaries in the state were able to start selling a limited selection and quantity of cannabis to retail consumers over the age of 21.
The Money is Rolling In Already
When sales began in October there were no immediate taxes applied to the sale of retail cannabis. This changed on the 1st of January when the state implemented a 25% sales tax on all recreational cannabis sales in the state. So far since January when they started collecting taxes, the state has collected almost 25.5 million dollars in taxes from retail or recreational marijuana sales. This figure was released on October 22nd by the Oregon Department of Revenue and includes the sale of all marijuana-based products, including marijuana-infused edibles which went on sale in June on the retail Market.
The 25% tax that is currently being charged on retail recreational sales in the state is expected to decrease to just 17% on October 1st. This is when the Oregon Liquor Control Commission takes over the regulation and oversight of the recreational market. The state is estimating that by the end of the year they will have collected roughly 44.4 million dollars in marijuana taxes. Not too shabby for the first year of taxed sales in the state!
According to estimates, it is going to cost the state almost 29 million dollars to regulate marijuana of which 12 million will be covered by retail cannabis taxes. The remaining balance will be covered utilizing the money that comes from licensing marijuana businesses in the state. Whatever is left from the marijuana taxes at that time will be distributed according to the original laid out formula in the law.
Where All the Money  Is Going to Go
The law states that 40% of the taxes will go to the state’s common school fund and 20% of the taxes collected by the state will be used for mental health, drug, and alcoholism services. 15% of the left over taxes will go to the Oregon State Police, 10% will be going to city law enforcement and 10% will go to county level law enforcement officers. The remaining 5% will go to the Oregon Health Authority for early intervention, prevention, and treatment services for alcohol and drug abuse.
image credit: merryjane.com

Illegal Grow Ops in Humboldt Being Targeted for Environmental Harm

Illegal Grow Ops in Humboldt Being Targeted for Environmental Harm

We recently released an article about how marijuana arrests are still a significant thing in the state of California. Despite medical marijuana being legal since 1996 and a very lenient regulation system surrounding it, it is not stopping the state or the national forest service from spending money to crack down on marijuana grows. Humboldt County has long been known for the delectable cannabis grown on its land and still to this day it is estimated that over 25% of the local economy stems from marijuana.
USA Today recently rode along with a team hired to go air bound and locate illegal cannabis grows in the area, many of which are located deep inside unpopulated parts of national forests. Many of the illegal grows that they are targeting are causing detrimental harm to the environment through deforestation and dumping fertilizer rich waste into rivers. Unfortunately, the large amounts of unpopulated areas in Humboldt county is a mecca for cultivators.
Due to the very lax and highly unregulated “legal” market in the state, it is hard for law enforcement to truly be able to target illegal grows thus they are starting to utilize environmental laws rather than criminal laws surrounding cannabis to come down on these harmful operations. A lot of the operations that are found in violation of environmental laws are illegal operations with plans to distribute cannabis illegally out of state rather than legally to the California medical marijuana industry.
This is a downside to the fact that prohibition is still highly in effect across the nation. If the prohibition of cannabis were to be eradicated like it should be, people could simply grow at home and essentially over a short period of time it would force out the mass majority of the black market. If people did not have to grow in fear, chances are their methods of cultivation would leave little to no harmful footprint on the environment.
The majority of the grows being targeted in California currently are all about money and they have had a significant negative impact on small family farms that have been thriving in the area for decades which are passionate about the land as well as the art of cultivating high-quality medicine. The Humboldt County government would like to see any illegal growers currently in the area transition into the legal market, however, they know that not all of the cultivators on their land want to thus the continued efforts to flush them out before they do more damage to the environment.
images: usatoday

European Cannabis News Update

European Cannabis News Update – The Highs and Lows

It seems that the news coming out of America pertaining to cannabis is quite abundant. Things, however, are quite different in Europe. This does not mean that there isn’t any news surrounding cannabis coming from Europe. In fact, there have been several recent updates. Let’s take a look at some of the recent developments with cannabis in Europe.
CROATIA: Back in October of 2015, Croatia decided to soften the relevant legislation and legalized cannabis for medical use. This made them the very first country in the Balkans to permit legal access to medical cannabis for patients who suffer from serious illnesses. The purchase of marijuana, however can only be made legally from pharmacies. The Croatia government has partnered with a Canadian company to import its products to Croatia for distribution. Patients will have access to two varieties of liquid capsules that contain the active medicinal ingredients found in cannabis. This shows great progress as this will be the first export of Canadian cannabis. It is a big step for Croatia. The health ministry warned that it remains illegal to grow marijuana and that medical marijuana can only be legally prescribed by doctors.
ITALY: Recently the Italian government made a decision to update their draconian cannabis laws including ones that could have prosecuted scientists that worked in labs that performed medical marijuana research. The recent changes to the law now prevent this kind of situation from occurring. This was a good start, however, it did not do much for patients who utilize cannabis as a medicine. On July 25th, legislation was presented in Italy’s lower house that proposes the legalization of cannabis as well as a distribution system. Italy’s Parliament will continue debating other cannabis-friendly legal reforms and will also discuss adult-use. Politicians will have to decide if the bill will pass through to the upper house for a final approval.  Senator and Deputy Foreign Minister Benedetto Della Vedova, expressed his support openly for both cannabis legalization and the parliamentary group(Intergruppo Cannabis Legale) that supports more cannabis friendly policies.
GERMANY: Germany is the biggest country in Europe and every change in German Cannabis policy has a big impact in the European Union. Germany’s Minister of Health, Hermann Groehe, announced that next year the country will start a medical cannabis program. With Germany being the biggest country in Europe, this also means that they will be home to the largest population of individuals who would benefit from legalization. For many years, the Netherlands has been the primary source for German patients to obtain cannabis. As Cannabis has become more popular over the last few years, the Netherlands can no longer guarantee that they can keep up with the demand going forward. Also, the German population has realized that the cost would be cheaper for them if they built their own supply chain. They plan to cultivate and produce their own medicinal marijuana and the cost for the patients’ treatment is expected to be covered by their insurance companies. German Justice plays a catalytic role in these changes. Just recently the German Court ruled that a seriously ill man has the right to grow his own medical marijuana when he asked for his right to be confirmed. The German Federal Administrative Court (the highest court in the German justice system) made a landmark decision(one that cannot be appealed or overturned) and ruled in favor of a multiple sclerosis patient’s rights to cultivate their own cannabis at home for medical purposes.
ENGLAND: A few months before the infamous Brexit occurred, there was a big debate on whether the policy of the country should change to be softer than it was. A grassroots movement campaigned for that change and managed to collect more than 200,000 signatures for a petition requesting a more cannabis friendly legal framework. As with every debate, all the opinions were heard. Some studies performed by the Institute for Social and Economical Research made predictions that a legal cannabis market would cut the UK deficit by £1.25 billion. The government seemed to realize the economic aspect of the issue and that legalization could mean huge profits during these difficult times of economic crisis.  Despite the fact that the debate surrounding legalization is still pending in England, events such as the Product Earth Expo are showing promise for the future.
Unfortunately, we cannot report that things are equally promising in France.
FRANCE: Although France wants to be known as a liberal and free country, when it comes to Cannabis, the laws are very strict. Cannabis use has been illegal in the country since 1970. Even the smallest of amounts are punishable by one year in prison and a $4,200 fine. In a recent interview, the socialist minister Jean-Marie Le Guen stated that “prohibition had not caused drug use to fall”, and members of his party expressed their disappointment and called decriminalization “a bad idea.” The one and only medical cannabis product that was supposed to be legally available in the country since January of 2014, is still not available for those who need it. Many individuals speculate that the reason why stems directly to the French alcohol industry as they see cannabis as a threat, just like the alcohol industry in the U.S.

Court Rules In Favor Of The Motorist Pulled Over In Kansas With CO Tags

Court Rules in Favor of the Motorist Pulled Over in Kansas with CO Tags

In December of 2011, a gentleman by the name of Peter Vasquez was pulled over on a Kansas highway while traveling alone at night, away from his home state of Colorado. He was pulled over and his car was searched based on the justification that he was traveling from a state that was known for being a “drug source” simply because marijuana is legal in Colorado. The search yielded absolutely no illegal substances and he was let go. The situation did not end there, though. Just recently the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled that the two Highway Patrol officers from Kansas that pulled Peter over, had indeed violated his constitutional rights. This ruling changes the law and it now states that officers are no longer able to pull over motorists in the state of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah on the basis of their license plate originating from a legal cannabis state.
This violation of Peter’s constitutional rights is obvious and it is great to see that the court agreed. The situation that occurred with Peter luckily brought into light how police feel they can utilize their badge to do as they wish. When police officers go through training and are hired to a squad, they take an oath to protect and serve the members of their community. Pulling over a motorist on a highway such as Peter Vasquez simply because his license plates were from a state that allows its residents to have legal access to a safe natural medication and safer recreational choice than alcohol, is not protecting and serving. It is in the basic form nothing other than harassment.
The case of Peter Vasquez is not just an isolated incident either. There have been numerous reports of motorists from CO being detained and their cars being searched based only on the premises that they had CO license plates. Take for example 70-year-old Darien Roseen. Darien owns a home in CO and in Washington State. While traveling through Idaho going between his homes, Darien started being tailed by Idaho State Trooper Justin Klitch. Mr. Roseen started to feel uncomfortable as the Trooper continued following him, so he decided to pull into a rest area. This is when Trooper Klitch detained Darien.
His reasoning was that Roseen had failed to use a signal and had tapped the curb when pulling into the parking spot at the rest area. The real reason though was quickly apparent after the officer immediately accused him of “having something in his vehicle that he should not have,” simply because he had CO plates and was a licensed medical marijuana card holder. This is when Roseen consented to a search and was detained in the back of a cruiser and taken to the local sheriff’s dept while another officer drove his car to the station and the car was searched entirely. The search of course returned absolutely no marijuana and he was later let go without another mention of the traffic infractions he had originally been detained for.
Hopefully as time progresses this type of harassment will naturally go away as more states choose to follow in the footsteps of Colorado and legalize responsible adult use of cannabis.
image: wikimedia

Best Scientific Glass Bong Brands

Best Scientific Glass Bong Brands

With the ever-increasing popularity of marijuana, there are more and more bong brands popping up every day. How is the inexperienced or even experienced user supposed to pick a piece based on the name alone? Even online research on most bong brands will yield minimal amounts of information. The best way to find out is to try different brands out yourself or hear what others have to say about them. Scientific glass with percolators are hottest in 2016. According to research and user feedback we’ve compiled a list of the best scientific bong brands on the market today.
5. Grav Labs
When it comes to affordability and functionality grav labs is where its at. The company uses borosilicate glass just like the most legendary glass blowers in the game. The company has been in the game since 2004 and their designs are only getting more innovative as time goes on. If you’re looking for smoother hits without breaking the bank you should look into grav labs extensive selection. There are options for dry herbs and concentrates. They have water pipes for under $100 and some others that are about $300 for users seeking high quality functional glass.
4. Mobius
The stereo matrix percolator bong by Mobius glass is one of the best pieces for filtering smoke. The two matrix percolators offer tons of diffusion without too much drag. You’ll be able to rip this thing til you’re out of breath from how smooth the smoke will be. Many other companies have been attempting to replicate this design but none seem to pull it off like Mobius does. Mobius has other percolator designs that offer significant diffusion with less drag. So there’s something for every kind of smoker.
3. Sovereignty
Sovereignty has a variety of glass but they are kings when it comes to dry herb tubes. Old school tubes were a bitch to clear but the peyote pillar water pipe by Sovereignty Glass is about a foot tall and quite easy to clear. Smoke travels through a dry chamber then down through a tube in the center of the 12 glass pillar percs. The smoke is then diffused through a “peyote ball” percolator before being shot up through the pillars with water bubbles. After this the smoke and bubbles dance together at the top chamber before sending you the smoothest, milkiest hit you’ve ever taken. SG has other designs for smokers who rather focus on smoother or faster hits. If you’d like a balance of the two the Peyote Pillar is a fan favorite.
2. Toro
Toro glass has gained a significant fan base over the years. Based out of upstate NY, Toro has some of the freshest looking and nicest functioning pieces on the market. They have large tubes for dry herb smokers and smaller rigs for concentrate users. All of their glass is scientific looking with a toro label printed on. Toro’s come in a huge variety of colors and designs. Users looking for a concentrate with minimal drag that’s easy to pull for a long time might want a single macro, which only has 2 holes for diffusion. Concentrates don’t need to be diffused because you’re pretty much just getting THC or CBD and no added carcinogens when doing dabs so a smaller piece with less diffusion will do just fine. However, some people still find dabs too hot on their throats so Toro has designs like the jet percolator which diffuses heavier than a single mac for less hot hits.
1. Mothership Glass
Mothership Glass is the only company on the market to laser etch their logo and percolators. The expensive laser used to create these designs makes water pipes by mothership glass impossible to replicate. If you want a mothership piece you’re going to have to have over $1000 to spend. The company only makes a limited number of pieces so that collectors don’t see a decrease in the value of their mothership pieces. Most Mothership pieces feature a one or more seed of life percs which are 18 hole diffusers that heavily cool smoke or concentrate vapors before they reach your throat and lungs. The straight faberge, exosphere, ball rig, and faberge egg designs by Mothership Glass all turn the entire piece into a percolator. Mothership has some of the most innovative and best-functioning glass on the market. They have truly set the standard for high-end scientific glass.
image: Grav Labs/ Facebook