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Colorado: Weed Sales Set New Monthly Record At $117.4M

April 2016 set a record for highest monthly total marijuana sales in Colorado.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Colorado's monthly cannabis sales broke a record with their highest total yet: $117.4 million worth of flower, edibles, and concentrates sold in April 2016.

The state Department of Revenue reported that marijuana shops sold almost $76.6 million in recreational cannabis for April, significantly passing the previous high-water mark of $62.2 million for December 2015.

In comparison, recreational sales increased more than 80 percent from $42.4 million in April 2015. Medical marijuana sales for the month also were going strong at $40.8 million, which is a 22 percent increase from the previous month.

The record-setting sales also meant a healthy revenue payoff for the state. There are three different taxes on Colorado’s recreational cannabis — the standard 2.9 percent state sales tax, a special 10 percent sales tax and a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale transfers, which is earmarked for school construction projects. The more than $5.5 million collected in excise tax is a monthly record from when recreational sales began in January 2014, and brings the yearly total to $16.7 million.

Colorado: Proposed Ballot Initiative Would Eliminate 80% of Cannabis Products

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A proposed initiative to install a new cannabis-related measure into the Colorado Constitution would effectively end Colorado’s successful first-in-the-nation effort to permit the sale of recreational cannabis to adults, according to industry experts BDS Analytics.

The initiative would impose limits on cannabis product format and would restrict all cannabis products to a maximum 16 percent THC content. Drawing from its database of more than 10,000 products in Colorado and its wealth of data analysis professionals, BDS Analytics concludes that products on the market today that generate more than 80 percent of cannabis revenue would be banned.

In addition, almost every edible product (which account for 11.5 percent of sales) would have to be repackaged, according to the company.

“When we first encountered the proposed language we quickly understood it would have a dramatic effect on the market, and so we immediately began a meticulous analysis of how it might change the landscape for commercial cannabis,” said BDS Analytics CEO Roy Bingham. “Unfortunately, our instincts were correct.

"Should the initiative become a part of the Colorado Constitution, it would hobble Colorado’s fastest-growing industry,” Bingham said.

Maryland: More Cultivation Licenses Could Avoid Medical Marijuana Shortage

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A cannabis consumer advocacy and watchdog organization with offices in Maryland has issued a report ahead of the state's anticipated summer rollout of their medical marijuana program, asking policymakers to increase the amount of cultivation licenses.

After reviewing and analyzing consumption data in states with legal marijuana programs, and comparing that data to the potential number of patients, the Cannabis Consumers Coalition (CCC) calculated a potential shortage of 41,066 pounds, even if plants are grown under ideal conditions.

Maryland expects 125,000 patients to register, about 15,000 more than are registered in Colorado, which has hundreds of cultivation facilities. Maryland has a higher population than Colorado, and allows for more medical conditions to qualify for medical marijuana authorizations. In addition, Maryland accepts out-of-state patients.

These factors could result in several thousand more people registering as medicinal cannabis patients. "In comparison to Colorado, which has about 600,000 less people than Maryland, 15 cultivation centers seems very low," according to the CCC.

The report assumes that the currently allowed 15 cultivation licenses will be for substantially sized cannabis grows that are consistently high-yielding. Maryland hasn't issued licenses, so there's no way of knowing the square footage of proposed cultivation centers.

California: Gov. Brown Vetoes New Hash Crimes Bill

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday vetoed a bill which would have created new penalties for making hash oil with flammable chemicals like butane. Brown said the state already has enough laws, and a prison overcrowding problem, and doesn't need to make the problem worse.

The Golden State has seen a rise in explosions and fires caused by the extraction of cannabis concentrates using volatile solvents like butane, reports David Downs at East Bay Express. But it's already against the law to make butane hash oil (BHO) in Cali. Arson and criminal negligence are also already crimes there.

Assembly Bill 849, from East Bay Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, would have created a new crime carrying prison sentences of up to six years for BHO blasters who hurt others. The bill passed the California Assembly -- unanimously! -- on August 31.

But Gov. Brown vetoed AB 849 and eight others for good measure, blasting reationary, "get tough" laws that result in prison overcrowding but don't do a damn thing to improve public safety.

"Each of this bills creates a new crime -- usually by finding a novel way to characterize and criminalize conduct that is already proscribed," Brown said. "This multiplication and particularization of criminal behavior creates increasing complexity without commensurate benefit.

Oregon: Thriving Hash Oil Market Skyrockets Demand For Marijuana Trim

BHOShatterSlab[NWCannabisNursery.com]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Many of us can remember just a few years ago when it wasn't too hard to find free marijuana "trim," the leaves snipped from harvested cannabis flowers. Hell, quite a few growers had so much of the stuff, they threw it in the trash. How times have changed.

Trim has become a lucrative element of the cannabis economy in places like newly legal Oregon, where it's become a sought-after commodity in the state's thriving market for cannabis concentrates and infused edibles, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.

Trim has gone from free, almost being considered garbage, to fetching up to $400 a pound in Oregon. While $50 a pound was the norm just a couple years ago, $250 is closer to average now. (Cannabis flowers typically sell from $1,400 to $3,000 a pound on Oregon's wholesale market.)

One of the under-examined aspects of this green rush is the fact that it's made it much more difficult for cancer patients and their families to find full extract cannabis oil (FECO), popularly known as "Rick Simpson Oil" or RSO, because that same trim which would have gone into making FECO through an alcohol extraction process is now often diverted into making butane hash oil (BHO), favored by many recreational consumers.

Oregon: Cascade Botanical Redesigns Vacuum Ovens For Cannabis Industry Use

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Cascade Botanical on Monday announced the release of its newest TVO-2 and TVO-5 vacuum ovens, which have been designed specifically to meet the needs of professional cannabis extractors.

The company also announced the availability of the new CB 2052 by Welch, an oil-free membrane vacuum pump that offers the identical performance of the Welch model 2052B-01 at a retail cost of about $1,000 less.

The new ovens come standard with a more advanced temperature controller offering new features and functions along with built in over temperature protection. Other improvements include quarter-turn Swagelock valves, a digital vacuum gauge and a retransmit port that allows time, temperature and vacuum data to be exported and logged.

In addition, both models are TUV SUD certified, making them the first vacuum ovens in the industry to carry a safety certification from an accredited third party testing lab at no additional cost to the customer, according to Cascade Botanical.

“Unlike the first generation of Cascade Botanical TVO-2 and TVO-5 ovens, which were modified versions of products developed for the aerospace, electronics, and medical industries, these new models have been built from the ground up to accommodate the unique workflow and needs of cannabis industry professionals,” said Mary Babitz, CEO of Cascade Botanical.

Global: Flat Iron Hash-Making Process 'Rosin Tech' Goes International

JeffChurchAKAReverendCannabis[Ganjapreneur.com]

"From buds to dabs in 30 seconds"... is it too good to be true? In their most recent podcast episode, Ganjapreneur.com, a website dedicated to cannabis industry news and culture, investigates the origins and rapid growth of a new hashish manufacturing process known as "Rosin Tech."

The interview, which is hosted by Shango Los of the Vashon Island Marijuana Entrepreneurs Alliance (VIMEA), features Jeff Church, a hashish and medical cannabis expert and the founder of ThincPure, a Washington State medical cannabis extracts manufacturer.

In the interview, Church (also known as "Reverend Cannabis") describes how Rosin Tech came onto the scene in the medical cannabis world and how it has spread rapidly, largely due to videos and photos on Instagram, originating with a user named "Soilgrown." He also describes how it has quickly disrupted the cannabis extracts market, due to the fact that it is so inexpensive and accessible for medical cannabis patients.

Describing how the process works, he said "Basically what it is, is you take a piece of silicon-coated parchment paper, baking paper, and fold it in half and you put a piece of flower in there. Soilgrown’s original method was to take a flat iron which is just your basic hair straightener, $20 or less [...] but you basically just, you’ve got your bud in between a parchment and you squeeze it with this hot iron."

The result, Church said, can be on par with hash produced by highly specialized and expensive hydrocarbon extraction technology.

U.S.: American Chemistry Society's Annual Meeting Looks At Cannabis

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In yet another sign that the cannabis industry is going mainstream, marijuana extraction expert and Evolab CEO Alex Cahoj will give a presentation at the American Chemical Society’s 249th Annual National Meeting on Monday, March 23, evolab announced on Monday. ACS is the world’s largest scientific society.

The ACS invited Alex to educate their membership on his methods, bringing together an old-line, mainstream science society and a cutting-edge cannabis producer.

Evolab is a pioneer in the use of chromatography and CO2 to produce pharmaceutical-grade cannabis extracts. Cahoj, who has overseen more than 2,000 cannabis extractions, has been invited to give a presentation titled “Safety and Health Standards of Cannabis Extractions with an Emphasis on CO2.”

“People have been concentrating cannabis for thousands of years,” said Alex Cahoj, founder and CEO of evolab. “We’re building on that tradition using the latest technology.

"Unfortunately, not all of the new methods in use today are safe – for workers, consumers or the environment," Cahoj said. "At my company we are committed to producing cannabis extracts that are pure, raw and potent – in a manner that is completely integral – using only CO2.

"We never use hydrocarbons like butane or additives and cutting agents," Cahoj said. "We’re dedicated to developing healthier, more efficient technology for extracting cannabis – and I’m grateful that a prestigious scientific organization like the American Chemical Society is interested in learning about our methods.”

California: Court Rules Cannabis Concentrates Count As Medical Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Dab-haters be damned -- "concentrated cannabis" qualifies as medical marijuana, a California appellate court in Sacramento has ruled.

The unanimous decision by a three-justice panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal last week disagreed with an earlier ruling by El Dorado Superior Court Judge James R. Wagoner, reversing that judge's ruling that a medical marijuana patient violated probation by possessing concentrated cannabis, reports Denny Walsh at The Sacramento Bee.

Sean Patrick Mulcrevy was charged in 2013 with unlawful possession of a concentrated cannabis, a misdemeanor, and was accused of violating his probation because of his failure "to obey all laws."

Judge Wagoner had reviewed the existing legal language indicating that cannabis concentrates are covered by California's Compassionate Use Act (CUA), the 1996 voter initiative that made the state the first to legalize medicinal use of marijuana with a doctor's authorization. But Wagoner rejected the authority as "unsound" and ruled that "the (CUA) does not apply to concentrated cannabis" because the act doesn't define "marijuana," refer to concentrates or incorporate statutory definitions of either term.

Concentrated cannabis is, according to the California Health & Safety Code, "the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from marijuana."

Arizona: Parents Want Marijuana Extract Legalized For Son, 5; Pressing State Officials

JenniferJacobZanderWelton

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana extract has been the most effective treatment for their son's seizures, according to the parents of a 5-year-old boy in Arizona who on Monday filed a lawsuit to force state officials to include cannabis extracts as legal products under the state's medical marijuana law.

Arizona's medicinal cannabis act, approved by voters in 2010, allows patients to use "any mixture or preparation" made with dried marijuana flowers, reports Fernanda Santos of The New York Times. The parents, Jacob and Jennifer Welton, have been crushing flowers and mixing them in with applesauce, but they say that's become difficult for their son, Zander, to eat after brain surgery last year.

They don't want to buy cannabis extract -- available on the black market -- for fear of being arrested.

"We're not criminals," said Jennifer Welton, 30, who works in the enrollment department of the University of Phoenix. "We just want what's best for our son."

Zander's parents decided to ask for medical marijuana for him after seeing a CNN documentary featuring the story of a girl from Colorado whose seizures were almost eliminated after using a cannabidiol-rich (high CBD) strain of cannabis. CBD, while non-psychoactive (there's no "high" associated with it), shares many of the medical benefits of THC.

Washington: Legal Marijuana Draft Rules Facing Opposition

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Washington state's proposed rules for newly legal marijuana aren't even 24 hours old yet, but are already under attack by critics.

The draft regulations -- 46 pages of them -- were released on Thursday, reports Oregon Public Broadcasting, and they cover everything from where cannabis can be grown to the criminal history of those who apply for licenses.

Under the proposed rules, anyone who wants to be involved in the legal marijuana business would have to submit to a background check. This even includes the financial backers of marijuana businesses; any felony convictions in the past decade would likely disqualify applicants.

The locations where cannabis will be grown has resulted in much discussion. The Board wants to limit grows to secure buildings or greenhouses, indoor cultivation only.

Another limitation in the proposed rules -- a ban on hash, hash oil and other concentrates extracted from cannabis, unless they're infused into an edible product -- is generating lots of controversy.

"I believe that the products that we're producing have received a bad rap because of the nickname BHO, butane extracted hash oil," Jim Andersen, who works with a company called XTracted, said.

Butane is often used to extract the THC, Andersen said, but he claimed if it's done right it leaves no chemical traces; he plans to fight the ban on marijuana extracts.

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