Cryptocurrencies and Marijuana: Made for Each Other

Cryptocurrencies and marijuana both exist in a gray area in the United States. Although medically legal in 29 states and recreationally in 9, marijuana businesses have some serious limitations. The biggest hurdle to overcome is the banking system, something cryptocurrencies do better than anything else.
Market analysts like the Brightfield Group estimate that the current marijuana industry is worth about $7.7 billion. They also project it to grow to $31.4 billion by 2021. But the legal status of weed prevents that money from flowing through traditional banking channels.
Without access to banking, the industry is forced to struggle getting the investments they need to survive. Without access to investors, small businesses like dispensaries can’t get the money they need to survive financial storms. So many cannabis companies embrace cryptocurrencies as a safer alternative to keeping everything in cash.
Investing in either market is tricky
According to experts like Jim Cramer , host of “Mad Money”, investing in cryptocurrencies and marijuana is equally speculative. In an interview with CNBC Cramer said “As far as I’m concerned, there’s way too much speculation in this sector already.” His main concern is the volatility of these emerging markets.
While marijuana is dealing with an Attorney General that ignores evidence and actively despises the community, cryptocurrencies have a massive bubble growing. Investors rightly fear putting their money into a market that is likely to see massive changes in the near future. The biggest turn off for cannabis is the lack of any guarantees and the significant risk involved.
Over inflated stocks are less of an issue than looming action from the federal government. Something both industries are dealing with but is especially problematic for cannabis. The problem stems from the fact that cannabis is still federally illegal.
The government can choose to take action at any moment
There are only around 500 independent banks that work with cannabis businesses. None of the major names will go anywhere near it as it stands. So thousands of businesses across the nation are unable to accept credit or debit cards.
This creates significant problems for customers, investors and businesses. It increases the likelihood of crime, corruption and introduces human error into every transaction. So many of these businesses are turning to cryptocurrencies which bypass many of the risks of cash.
“Cryptocurrencies and the marijuana industry have a natural intersection,” according to Bryan Meltzer, a partner at the Feuerstein Kulick law firm. He specializes in cannabis clients and was featured on CNBC’s Annie Nova. He explained that using Bitcoin allows operators to avoid having cash on hand while adding a level of transparency to transactions.
Because cryptocurrencies run on blockchain tech, they are an incorruptible digital ledger. They keep records public and ensure every transaction is transparent, legitimate and theft-proof. As more companies embrace the change, it pressures others in the industry to adapt or lose out.
There is still a long way to go
We are still in the early days of both cryptocurrency and marijuana. Although many dispensaries are turning to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, most of the industry is wary. Besides that, several specialized cryptocurrencies like PotCoin and HempCoin divide the market and prevent a single currency from becoming the defacto choice.
Some experts believe the cannabis industry will lead the country to fully embrace cryptocurrencies but it’s too early to tell. If chronic and crypto do become bosom buddies, other industries are sure to follow. If the government cracks down on either or both cryptocurrency and marijuana, it will cost some investors a pretty penny.
Do you use cryptocurrencies to pay for marijuana? What do you think about the future of blockchain payments? What would you do if dispensaries only took cryptocurrency? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Pennsylvania Approves Eight Colleges for Medical Research

Pennsylvania makes history
Pennsylvania is on track to be the first state to license a number of universities to begin scientific studies of marijuana. Just three months after legalizing medical marijuana, the state is taking action to provide peer-reviewed research on the topic. So far, eight universities have research permits in hand.
Governor Tom Wolf announced permit holders.  They include the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania along with the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, the Drexel University College of Medicine, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Penn State College of Medicine, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.
During the press conference, the governor stated, “Today, medical research is so limited by the federal government that only a few doctors can even have access to medical marijuana,” He continued by saying, “Pennsylvania’s premiere medical schools will be able to help shape the future of treatment for patients who are in desperate need not just here, but across the country.” His remarks come after decades of federally enforced policies that limit and all but prevent medical research into marijuana.
Pennsylvania breaks with tradition
Marijuana has a long history in America. Most of that history includes federally managed and funded programs refusing to even look at cannabis medically. Medical and educational institutions are often denied research requests by regulatory and drug enforcement agencies. This makes it all but impossible to find valuable medical insights.
On top of that, the few instances where research is allowed are hampered by inferior product. So far, studies only have product from the University of Mississippi. Unfortunately, the ganja is notorious for being the lowest quality product possible.
Breaking with this long-standing tradition, Pennsylvania is allowing each university to fund and source product from state licensed medical producers. In addition, the researchers get to work directly with the states patients and products. Officials at Pitt stated “It is important to note that Pennsylvania is the first and only state in the country to institute such a program, and we believe that the research that will be conducted by the School of Medicine in collaboration with [University of Pennsylvania Medical Center] will be of great importance in determining the safety, efficacy and effectiveness of medical cannabis products in treating specific diseases,”
Researchers must act fast
There are no official start dates for kicking off the research yet. But state law requires the cannabis studies to begin within six months of obtaining a license. Officials involved with the program hope that their research will lead to groundbreaking advances in our understanding of cannabis.
Because the new research is mandated to use only state qualified and licensed individuals, the pressure is on to find enough support. Pennsylvania patients with one of 21 qualified medical conditions can apply for a card and over 37,000 have already registered to participate in the medical marijuana program.
In addition to patients and providers, the research also requires medical professionals. But according to the health department, over 1,000 physicians are already registered. More than 600 of them are also certified as practitioners.

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Synthetic Marijuana Poisoning Sparks 3 Chicago Arrests

Synthetic Marijuana is causing problems.

A rash of synthetic marijuana fueled hospitalizations recently led federal investigators to the King Mini Mart in Chicago’s west side. There they found three men selling a synthetic version of marijuana called “spice”. After using a drug-test kit on the substance they discovered it was laced with a deadly chemical commonly found in rat poison.
Synthetic marijuana is widely available around Chicago and across Illinois. Despite feeling safe and being widely available, many synthetic cannabinoids are illegal and can cause severe reactions. But loose regulations allow these distributors to get onto store shelves anyways. Despite looking like weed, it often affects people in drastically different ways.
The investigation was launched after authorities noticed a sharp spike in cases of people coming to the ER. Once doctors confirmed that the cases were linked, the hunt was on. In the last month there were at least 107 cases involving the tainted synthetic weed in the Chicago area. With three confirmed deaths and more possible, officials can feel the pressure building.

Police are cracking down.

Once authorities tracked the tainted product back to its source, they needed to get evidence. Agents posing as customers bought packets of spice from the small convenience store before making arrests last week. After taking three people into custody, authorities warned of a continued threat from the tainted product throughout the state.
Prosecutors charged the men with a host of offenses including conspiracy, intent to distribute and sale of controlled substances. Police also confiscated $280,000 in cash and several brands of spice during the arrest. The bust is part of a larger effort to crack down on illicit drugs in Chicago.
So far three convenience store workers are facing charges for selling synthetic marijuana tainted with a deadly chemical called brodifacoum. Chicago police continue looking for more sources of the tainted product. They fear that other locations may have spice contaminated with the same substance.

There are big differences between real and synthetic weed.

Most people understand that there is a difference between natural and synthetic products. But some struggle to identify the actual differences because they equate processed with synthetic. The real difference between the two is what chemicals go into the process.
Natural weed comes from the flowers of a living, breathing plant. It’s easy to find quality information on real weed and its uses. Nobody dies from consuming too much natural weed and some doctors recommend it medicinally.
Synthetic weed is different because technicians produce it in a lab by combining chemicals. Chemists take a bunch of stuff you can’t pronounce and mix it in ways to create something close to THC. These chemicals can combine in dangerous ways and loose regulations help some producers get away with passing them off to unsuspecting consumers.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is tracking similar cases of serious health problems in people were files since March 7th. So get checked out if you experience uncontrolled bleeding from the eyes, ears, and mouth. These symptoms can indicate internal bleeding and led to the death of three victims so far.

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Youtube Creators Get Shut Down for Cannabis

Youtube creators  are shut out

Video streaming is so popular, that Youtube and Netflix account for over 70% of peak internet traffic in the U.S. Billions of people watch Youtube creators every day. The sheer volume made Google purchase Youtube for $1.65 billion in 2006.
The company grows and thrives off user-created content. Many Youtube creators made fortunes off the site by attracting millions, then billions of views. Even small creators could earn enough money to support themselves by catering to a niche.
But recent trouble with advertisers is hurting the community Youtube works so hard to cultivate. Known as the “Adpocolypse” because of the size of the exodus, many longtime creators can no longer support themselves on the platform. In response to the lost revenue, Youtube has had to implement significant changes to their algorithms and updated their terms of service.

Youtube is shutting down an increasing number of marijuana accountsYoutube Creators

Despite their best efforts, the ad revenue has not returned to pre-Adpocolypse levels. So Youtube has slowly increased the number of accounts they take action against. This includes demonetizing videos, removing content and shutting down accounts.
Cannabis based content is the most recent community sacrificed to the altar of capital. Since marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug, Google can’t advertise next to it without making special accommodations. So they are simply cutting those channels out of their network with little to no warning.
By giving no warning, the ensure the creators cannot send their viewers to alternative platforms. Unfortunately for longtime creators like CustomGrow420, Jorge Cervantes and StrainCentral, they are no longer welcome on Youtube. There is little any creator can legally do about it either.

The marijuana community is confused

Unlike previous changes, this one didn’t come with a press release or a warning. Accounts in good standing for years and with millions of followers are suddenly gone, with only a vague email about enforcing community guidelines. Even massive companies like Leafly got hit with the ban hammer.
The most frustrating part about this is that the enforcement of community guidelines get applied unevenly. There are tons of videos that break the community guidelines without suffering an instant dismissal. Not only that, but some cannabis channels remain active while others simply disappear in the blink of an eye.
Youtube still hasn’t made a statement about the reason or method behind the recent culling. Creators wait with baited breath for any word on what can keep their channels alive. But they may want to start looking for a new home sooner rather than later.

Finding a new home might be hard

Other communities need to relocate relocate after leaving Youtube. Pro gun channels ended up hosting their content on Pornhub before the site updated their terms of service and sent them packing again. Cannabis might get similar treatment if the new site feels the migration is damaging to their brand or bottom line.
Instagram and Vimeo are strong contenders for the move. They might not like the idea of hosting the worlds cannabis community and kick them off the same way Pornhub did with the gun community. In the end, people looking to make marijuana content will likely have to create their own hub.

Which would you love to see recreated on another platform? Would you migrate to a new video sharing platform because of them shutting down cannabis content? Let us know in the comment section!


5 Exciting Cannabis Stocks of Today

The United States is a hotbed of exciting cannabis stocks. States from one ocean to the other are passing laws legalizing production, distribution and most importantly, taxation of marijuana. Yet the federal government still officially bans marijuana in all its forms.
This dual standard is a major challenge for the multi-billion dollar industry. Federal law makes it almost impossible to profit from weed in the traditional sense. But public opinion and state laws have shifted significantly in the last couple decades.
Despite many setbacks, the cannabis community is making great strides towards full legalization. One area of the canna-economy seeing amazing growth is the stock market. Current reform allows for a growing number of exciting cannabis stocks to benefit by taking advantage of the relative tranquility around marijuana. So we put together a list of the 5 best opportunities for investors right now.

MPX Bioceutical: Undervalued

Perfect strategic execution and leveraging in the most competitive marijuana markets across the U.S. are two reasons MPX Bioceutical Corp. (MPX.CN) (MPFEF) is so attractive. They even set a new personal record in early April with a $4 million revenue announcement from their sales of cannabis and concentrates in Arizona alone.
As MPX brings on a fourth dispensary and a concentrate production facility later this year, their profits are projected to continue to rise. This leads to a bullish stance on MPX with the company’s favorable leverage in Maryland, Massachusetts and Nevada. Comparing them to Canadian companies with comparable numbers, MPX is currently undervalued with significant upside.

Plus Products: Exciting

exciting cannabis stocksPlus Products (Private) gets us really excited. Significant increases in edible manufacturing and distribution market share in California over the last year is attractive. Their product line has expanded from the initial infused gum to include gummies. Additionally, they secured new manufacturing facilities and equipment, significantly increasing their production capacity.
This exciting cannabis stock is well capitalized and showing strong revenue numbers. Plus is on track to continue growing well into the future. The management team has a track record of success and has recently brought on some strategic additions to the board of directors. They plan to present a initial public offering later this year so keep an eye on them.

Sunniva: Attractive

Sunniva Inc. (SNN:CNX) (SNNVF) are a Canadian cannabis firm on track to become the largest vertically integrated cannabis company in Canada and California. They broke ground on their California cGMP Campus in late 2017 and hope to have it operational by the third quarter of 2018. The two-phase building plan includes the construction of a 325,000 sq. ft. facility and on-site dispensary in the first phase.
By strategically leveraging commercial real estate and merchant banking relationships, Sunniva can produce up to 100,000 kg of dried flower and trim. They are also creating long-term sales agreements with big retailers and distributors in California and Canada like Canopy Growth Corp. (WEED.TO) (TWMJF). We are bullishly favorable about their ability to capitalize on markets, their strategic relationships and supply agreements.

High Hampton: CUP Worthy

High Hampton (CSE:HC) (HHPHF) is focused on leading the global cannabis distribution market. They plan to increase their market share by using strategic initiatives and agreements like equity, royalty and leasing directly owned property. Plus, their 10.8 acre Coachella, California property is currently pursuing a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for cultivating and manufacturing.
Nobody involved with this exciting cannabis stock is taking any chances and the team engaged strategic partners early to ensure a flawless buildout. But with their focus on increasing California market share and a solid growth strategy, High Hampton is an attractive opportunity for investors to capitalize on the issuance of a CUP.

Phivida: High-Quality CBD

The burgeoning medical CBD market is full of opportunities for investors and the companies they support. Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE:VIDA) (OTC:PHVAF) is leading the pack, especially with their hemp oil extracts. They offer a premium line of functional foods and nutraceutical supplements infused with CBD.
Their current products include hemp oil, tinctures, juices, teas and vitamin shots infused with CBD. But Phivida also has some new senior executives geared towards driving growth and increasing the value of their proprietary products. By focusing on their hemp-derived products, adding senior executives and expanding their product line, Phivida makes us very bullish.

How do you feel about our picks for most exciting cannabis stocks? What stocks do you find attractive and why? Let us know in the comments!


Canada Still Hashing Out Cannabis Act Details

Canada Wants More Time To Review Cannabis Act

In an interview last Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that recreational cannabis is on track for summer. This promise comes despite significant push-back from Canadian senators for a delay in the implementation of the new law. Officials claim that they may need up to a year for consultations with indigenous communities before implementing the Cannabis Act.
The committee in charge of the talks say the government needs the extra time to ensure “culturally sensitive” materials are available to indigenous peoples to warn of the risks of consuming cannabis. Officials also want to finalize negotiations for revenue sharing with First Nations before the law goes into effect. First Nations government representatives want to make sure they get a fair share of the millions of dollars in taxes Canadians expect to come in.
Beginning in 2018, all cannabis providers in Canada must be authorized by Health Canada to provide dried marijuana, fresh flower, or cannabis oil to patients. The government has created a list of all authorized providers under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations. The list is available to review and download on the Health Canada Website.

Some Providers Aren’t Fully On Board

Health Canada takes compliance seriously. They have a number of enforcement tools including suspending or revoking licenses. Non-compliance can also lead to prosecution so providers have a major incentive to conform to the regulations.
Despite the ramifications, there are approximately 300 medical marijuana providers across the territories operating illegally. Law enforcement is aware of them and taking action to shut them down. But until the Cannabis Act is passed and implemented, dispensaries don’t have to follow standards so shutting down bad actors is a challenge.
The lack of oversight means that many Canadian dispensaries obtain their product from the black market. Patients needing clean medicine put themselves at risk when purchasing from these providers. So many patients bypass the mess and grow their own. But there are still many rules and regulations Canadians need to learn and follow when growing their own medicine.

Patients Have Some Protection

Medical users aren’t allowed to let others smoke, import or export their cannabis, seeds, or derivatives. That includes things like hashish, concentrates and even resin. It doesn’t matter if they grew it themselves or if they purchased it from a licensed provider, sharing is strictly forbidden.
But if you so happen to have marijuana seeds on hand and a medical license, you are in luck. In 2016, a British Columbia judge ruled that medical cannabis users are allowed to grow at home. With the right documentation from the Government, some Canadians are allowed to grow marijuana seeds for medical use legally.
However, until the Cannabis Act is finalized, it is still illegal to produce and distribute marijuana for recreational purposes. This makes the delay a major concern to people trying to get ahead of the curve. Another year of debating can lead to millions of dollars in lost revenue and thousands of patients without access to safe products.

Do you think the delay in implementing the new Cannabis Act is justified? Is Health Canada doing the best thing for patients and the population at large? How do you think the government should handle the situation? Let us know in the comments section!


Medical Marijuana on Wheels in Lakewood

If you’re in the medical marijuana game, Nugrunner is a name you’ll likely hear a lot more as it continues to grow in and around Lakewood, California.
Nugrunner is a niche marijuana delivery service that caters to the Lakewood medical cannabis community. The company physically carries strains from its menu to showcase its variety for a more authentic dispensary experience that lets customers inspect its available products. The Nugrunner delivery team operates in full compliance with California Proposition 215 and is available to assist Lakewood patients by phone.
Here are some recent facts on medical marijuana:

  • Medical marijuana sales in 2017 alone were greater than three billion dollars.
  • The average price per ounce of high quality marijuana in the U.S. as of 2017 is over $320.

There is absolutely no doubt that the demand for and popularity of medical marijuana is growing amongst Americans.
The Menu
Lakewood medical cannabis users can find more than 100 top-notch marijuana items. Nugrunner offers a full inventory of professionally cultivated cannabis strains such as Purple OG, Cocoa Kush, Jawbreaker, Tangie, and Bob Marley.
Nugrunner’s menu of extracts includes a large variety of vape cartridges by Bhang, FlavRX, and Kurvana as well as shatters and concentrates from Doughboy and THClear. Lakewood patients can medicate with delicious marijuana-infused brownies, CBD cookies, cereal bars, and gummies or orally apply a few drops of specially formulated Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid tinctures. Nugrunner also offers strain-specific prerolls by Kurupt and G-Stick to accommodate patients who prefer to spark one up and medicate the old-fashioned way.
Nugrunner welcomes first-time patients with the choice of an eighth of flower for the exclusive price of $40, two additional grams of flower, three eighths of flower for $100, or two grams of shatter for $50. Lakewood Veterans, seniors, students, and medical marijuana patients with disabilities will receive a 10% discount.
You can take advantage of Nugrunner’s daily deals with discounts on top-shelf flower strains and concentrates. You’ll be able to enjoy bundle deals on flower on Sunday and Thursday and receive five grams of flower for $50. Feel free to replenish your stock on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and pick up five grams of flower for $55 or three eighths of flower for $100. On Tuesdays, Lakewood patients can find two grams of shatter for $50 or three eighths for $100.
The Process
First-time Nug Runner patients are required to text a valid copy of their California recommendation and ID and have both documents available at the time of delivery for in-person verification. Nugrunner offers free delivery for orders $40 or more and charge a five dollar fee for orders under $40. Nugrunner delivers within an hour and only accepts cash as payment.
Service Locations
Nugrunner delivers high-grade marijuana to medical marijuana patients in Northern Orange County including Lakewood, Placentia, Brea, La Habra, and Cypress. Nugrunner extends their delivery services to cannabis consumers in Whittier, Downey, Stanton, Cerritos, and Anaheim.
Next time you have a need for medical marijuana in the Lakewood area, considering using Nugrunner. They are safe, reliable, and guaranteed to deliver a quality medical product.