Big labour sees growth potential in California’s marijuana fields

Unions have caught a whiff of a rare opportunity to organize a whole new set of workers as recreational marijuana becomes legal in California.

The United Farm Workers, Teamsters and United Food and Commercial Workers are looking to unionize the tens of thousands of potential workers involved in the legal weed game, from planters to rollers to sellers. The move could provide a boost to organized labour’s lagging membership – if infighting doesn’t get in the way.

The United Farm Workers, co-founded by iconic labour leader Cesar Chavez, says organizing an industry rooted in agriculture is a natural fit and growers could label their products with the union’s logo as a marketing strategy.

“If you’re a cannabis worker, the UFW wants to talk with you,” national vice-president Armando Elenes said.

But United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents grocery-store employees, meat packers and retail workers, registered its intent to organize cannabis workers across the country.

“We would hope they respect our jurisdiction,” UFCW spokesman Jeff Ferro said.

Teamsters organizer Kristin Heidelbach said there’s no need for unions to battle each other. There will be plenty of workers needing representation as small cannabis businesses run by “happy stoner” types give way to large pharmaceutical corporations, she said.

The green rush that begins in 2018 is an opportunity for unions to regain influence that began declining in the late 1950s, said David Zonderman, a professor of labour history at North Carolina State University. But discord between unions could upend it. As could resistance from cannabis-business leaders.

“Are they going to be new-age and cool with it,” Mr. Zonderman said, “or, like other business people, say, ‘Heck, no. We’re going to fight them tooth and nail?'” Last year, California voters approved sales of recreational marijuana to those 21 and older at licensed shops beginning Jan. 1.

Cannabis in California already is a $22-billion (U.S.) industry, including medical marijuana and a black market that accounts for most of that total, according to University of California, Davis, agriculture economist Philip Martin. Medical marijuana has been legal since 1996, when California was the first state to approve such a law.

Labour leaders estimate recreational pot in California could employ at least 100,000 workers from the north coast to the Sierra Nevada foothills and the San Joaquin Valley, harvesting and trimming the plants, extracting ingredients to put in liquids and edibles and driving it to stores and front doors.

Other pot workers have organized in other states, but California should be especially friendly territory for unions, said Jamie Schau, a senior analyst with Brightfield Group, which does marketing analysis on the marijuana industry.

The state has one of the country’s highest minimum wages and the largest number of unionized workers across industries. Its laws also tend to favour employees.

At least some workers say they’re open to unions.

“I’m always down to listen to what could be a good deal for me and my family,” said Thomas Grier, 44, standing behind the counter at Canna Can Help Inc., a dispensary in the Central Valley community of Goshen.

The dispensary – with $7-million in yearly sales – sells medical marijuana.

Called a “bud tender,” Mr. Grier recently waited on a steady flow of regular customers walking through the door to pick out their favourite strain.

So far, no unions have contacted him, he said. Mr. Grier gets along with his boss and said he doesn’t want to pay union dues for help ironing out workplace disputes. But he hasn’t discounted the possibility of joining.

After recently entering the marijuana industry, Los Angeles resident Richard Rodriguez said one sticky traffic stop three months ago converted him into a “hard core” Teamster. He’d never been in a union until this year.

Mr. Rodriguez said an officer pulled him over delivering a legal shipment of pot and detained him for 12 hours as he was accused of following too closely behind a truck.

A union lawyer stepped in, and Mr. Rodriguez said he was released without being arrested or given a ticket.

“Most companies can’t or are unwilling to do that,” he said, “because employees are easily replaced.”

To read more visit: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/us-business/big-labour-sees-growth-potential-in-californias-marijuana-fields/article37429504/

Top 3 Reasons Women Consume Cannabis

Ever wonder what the top 3 reasons women consume cannabis were? Luckily, a cannabis lifestyle brand has the answers you want.

A recent survey reveals the top 3 reasons women consume cannabis. This in-depth study of women and cannabis use comes from the female-focused cannabis lifestyle brand Van der Pop. Their goal was to learn more about the demographic they aspire to serve to the highest standard. Here’s what else the survey found.

The Survey

While medical marijuana programs, and to a lesser extent legalized recreational weed, are spreading throughout the United States, our neighbors to the north gear up for a nation-wide lift on cannabis prohibition. It seems that both countries are moving toward a happier, greener future. But we can’t make any meaningful changes without data!

The Seattle-based cannabis lifestyle brand, Van der Pop, primarily serves female clientele. To better understand the needs and concerns of their client base, they conducted a survey. The survey attracted a grand total of 1,530 women in the United States and Canada. They found that the top 3 reasons women consume cannabis are to manage pain and symptoms of various illnesses, alleviate stressand just to relax. To put it into numbers, 27 percent of women use weed for pain relief, 17 percent use it to relax and 31 percent use it to combat stress and anxiety.

Other Results

Despite the spreading legalization and acceptance of cannabis, an overwhelming 70 percent of women who consume cannabis think that there is a negative stigma attached to the herb. Furthermore, 66 percent of women surveyed reported hiding their usage at one point or another.

But stigma or not, North American women of all walks of life embrace cannabis. The survey also had a section for mothers who consume weed. 38 percent of Mary Jane-lovin’ moms even said that it made them “more patient and playful” with their kids. Furthermore, 46 percent of mothers reported that they would rather their children choose cannabis over alcohol. And the majority of mothers (89 percent!) surveyed talk to their kids about responsible cannabis use.

Van der Pop

Van der Pop calls itself “The Cannabis Digest For Discerning Women”. Located in Seattle, it was founded by April Pride with the goal of serving women who are both novices and veterans in the world of cannabis.

“It’s time to put the image of the under-achieving stoner to rest and have a frank conversation about where cannabis fits in the modern woman’s life,” Pride says.

Van der Pop’s website hosts an advice column, weekly newsletter and features about women in the legal cannabis industry. It even has an online store where you can buy accessories like grinder cards, vaporizers, and elegant containers. They also even sell hemp seed oil-infused skin care products!

Final Hit: Top 3 Reasons Women Consume Cannabis

We’re glad we have more data about women and cannabis use. But we also can’t help but lament the fact that so many women are still feeling the effects of the antiquated stigma attached to cannabis consumption. While the “stoner stigma” negatively affects everyone, it seems that women feel a sharper impact. This may be due to a combination of a lack of reliable information about cannabis and old-fashioned sexism. To combat this, it’s imperative that more women who consume cannabis speak up about their usage. An open dialogue about cannabis use could very possibly reduce and eventually eliminate the stigma attached to it.

To read more visit: https://greenrushdaily.com/top-reasons-women-consume-cannabis/

Medical Marijuana Reverses Tobacco Caused Ischemia

I don’t think I am making a controversial statement here by saying that weed is probably safer than tobacco. Sure, we are still producing minor carcinogens when combusting cannabis—but without all of the gross additives in cigarettes.

Aside from the big one (cancer), smoking cigarettes can cause a whole plethora of other problems, one being Thromboangiitis obliterans (TO), a disease that displays itself as the clotting of capillary blood vessels in the arteries/veins of our digits (fingers and toes) from inflammation of surrounding tissue. A case study out of Israel found that extensive use of cannabis reversed the effects of TO.

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of how cannabis may be doing this, let’s quickly go over some of the medical terms we will be seeing. Though the patient exhibited signs of Buerger disease (another name for TO), it was found because of what is called ischemia.

Ischemia is essentially the dying of tissue (skin/muscle)  due to lack of nutrients (i.e. glucose, oxygen, etc.) from poor blood circulation. This lack of blood flow was caused by the clotting from T.O. The disease is a direct result of tobacco use, whether it is smoking or chewing. While the mechanism by which tobacco produces these symptoms is unknown, the only people who have Buerger’s disease smoke tobacco. Interestingly, it appears as though men have a greater likelihood of acquiring Buerger’s disease, though this could be attributed to a higher rate of tobacco usage with men.

OK, let’s now get into the story. How did the doctor know to prescribe cannabis, especially when this relationship between medical marijuana and TO had never before been looked at before? The truth of the matter is that the doctor did not initially prescribe pot.The patient, who we will refer to as Bob, was a heavy smoker, nearly 2.5 packs of cigarettes per day. Bob came into the hospital with severe pain in his foot; he had a massive infection and ischemia due to T.O. It had progressed so bad that Dr. Robinson recommended an amputation below the knee. Bob refused and opted to self-medicate with marijuana, twice daily. After the first six months, his pain had reduced, and it continued to reduce for the next two and a half years. During this time, he also cut back on his cigarette smoking.

With the first six months down, Dr. Robinson was able to prescribe Bob medical cannabis in the form of what is called MCT (medical cannabis treatment), and Bob’s MCT dosage steadily increased over the course of a few years. After three years of MCT, and antibiotics for the initial infection, Bob’s ischemia had almost completely reversed—leaving minimal scarring.

Dr. Robinson attributed the cannabis’ action to the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD, gradually returning blood flow to the ischemic limbs. He did note, however, that this is a case study, and no statistical significance can be attributed to cannabis’ effects on ischemic-reversal until further research is done. Until then, I think this is a beautiful study further showing the potential for cannabis in modern medicine and society!

To read more visit: https://hightimes.com/health/science/medical-marijuana-reverses-tobacco-caused-ischemia/

Hemp-Based Wellness Goes Mainstre

Want to know why hemp CBD has earned strong sales growth in the natural health and wellness sector? These five big reasons explain it…

Hemp is hot – and it’s soaring popularity impacts multiple retail markets. No longer associated with Cheech and Chong or excessive use of the word ‘dude,’ hemp-based products earned $170 million in sales last year, according to market research firm Brightfield Group.1

The U.S. is the largest consumer market for hemp products worldwide, and the market for hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) is on track to reach an astonishing $1 billion by 2020, representing a 55% compound annual growth rate.23

CBD made from hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive ingredient associated with marijuana. Often called hemp oil, hemp CBD is now sold in most states and online, making it more accessible than marijuana-derived CBD.4

Hemp CBD market overview
Understandably, demand for hemp CBD products is strongest in states where marijuana is difficult to buy, mostly in the Midwest.5 In terms of distribution channels, Brightfield reports 65% of sales come through e-commerce websites, followed by smoke shops (18%) and dispensaries (9%), as well as health stores and doctor’s offices.

The top five online brands are CW Hemp, PlusCBD Oil, HempMeds (RHSO), Elixinol and CannazALL.6 Among CBD Hemp makers, only three are publicly traded companies with sales of $100,000 or more: CV Sciences, Medical Marijuana, and Laguna Blends.7 This means small and medium players across the U.S. are fueling the market’s massive growth.

5 reasons hemp CBD is so hot
Want to know why hemp CBD has earned strong sales growth in the natural health and wellness sector? These five big reasons explain it:

  1. Versatility
    Hemp products are available in the form of balms, capsules, and drops across diverse product categories such as nutritional supplements, skin care products, beverages, foods, recreational and medicinal uses.8Hemp seeds can be pressed and made into hemp oil to make such items as cleaning products, body care products, building materials, health food, textiles, and plastics.9 Supermarkets have increased their offerings of plant-based milks, including hemp varieties.10
  2. Therapeutic value
    Consumers increasingly turn to hemp CBD products help to solve common health care conditions. For instance, hemp CBD items are used to improve skin health, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote weight loss, digestion and joint pain relief, among other health conditions.11 Among the food and beverage categories, hemp seeds are considered the most nutritious seeds in the world, used for thousands of years as an edible source of fiber.12
  3. Millennial demand
    Boston Consulting Group found 10% of Millennials are cause-driven, environmentally-minded consumers who love hemp-based, recycled, eco-friendly products.13 This generation also greatly values health and wellness. Millennials particularly crave healthy, fresh, on-the-go foods that are convenient – including prepared hemp seed salads. As such, hemp is being marketed to Millennials as a nutrient-rich superfood, as it is high in omega 3 and antioxidants.14
  4. Mainstream appeal
    Several retail giants sell hemp CBD products, adding to the booming industry. Hemp-based clothing and other textiles are readily accessible through companies like Patagonia and REI, plus smaller suppliers.15Walmart.com offers multiple lines of CBD products. However, rather than sell CBD products directly, Walmart uses their website as a third-party seller, meaning the retail giant assumes no legal liability. Amazon is also a third-party provider of CBD products.16Although hemp products are legal, certain retailers distance themselves from these items to mitigate risk to their brand and avoid liability. For instance, although Target advertised four hemp supplement products on their website, the company promptly removed them following media attention.17 While sales of cannabis-derived products could be allowed under certain state-based marijuana programs, selling such products across state lines is illegal. That said, Target sells other hemp-derived food and beauty products, including hemp-seed hearts and hemp-based milk, soaps and shampoos.18
  5. Legislative changes
    While hemp CBD is legal as long as it’s under 0.3% THC content, Americans also demonstrate changing attitudes toward the legalization of recreational marijuana in California and Nevada, which contributes to hemp CBD’s popularity. To date, 31 states have passed legislation that allows hemp farming in line with the 2014 Farm Bill.19 Currently, only 15 states allow CBD, in addition to the 28 states plus Washington DC, which have legalized medical marijuana, Forbes reports.20

Hemp CBD is emerging as a powerful retail trend, impacting grocery, pharmacy, apparel and health and beauty, among other categories. To gain a competitive advantage, retailers and suppliers can educate consumers by emphasizing the wide range of health, wellness and therapeutic applications hemp CBD products offer. Retail companies must also stay up-to-date with evolving political, competitive and consumer trends to stand out and sell in this thriving market.

1, 9, 11, 12. Hemp Seeds Aren’t Just for Hipsters Anymore and Are Going Mainstream. Be Healthy. July 19, 2017.
2, 19. The Growth of the Hemp CBD Markets. Business Insider. May 2, 2017.
3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Borchardt, Debra. Hemp Cannabis Product Sales Projected To Hit $1 Billion In 3 Years. Forbes. August 23, 2017.
8. Consumer Demand and Wave of Innovation in CBD Cannabis Market Exploding. Business Insider. July 25, 2017.
10. Clark, Melissa. Vegan Ice Cream Enters a Golden Age. The New York Times. July 21, 2017.
13. Van Petten, Vanessa. he 6 Gen Y Spending Types: Which One Are You? LearnVest. July 10, 2012.
14. Rivero, Tanya Rivero. Wall Street Journal. The Hemp Craze Comes to Salads. July 10, 2015.
15. Pot’s parent plant produces all sorts of benefits. The Spokesman-Review. September 28, 2017.
16, 17. Thompson, Chris. Target Pulls CBD Products After Offering Them Online. Freedom Leaf. September 29, 2017.
18. Wallace, Alicia. Update: CBD oil hits national stage with Target.com — briefly. The Cannabist. September 28, 2017.
20. CBD and Hemp Sales Projected to Remain Strong. The New York Times. October 4, 2017.

Legal Pot Sales Will Hit $10 Billion This Year

North American cannabis sales have once again managed to shatter expectations, with legal pot sales set to hit $10 billion this year

It’s no secret that the cannabis industry is a lucrative one, but it appears we may have underestimated just exactly how lucrative it might be.

While plenty of experts expected the industry to see rapid growth in North America, no one could have predicted the extent to which it’s happening right now.

Record-Breaking Highs

According to a report from Arcview Market Research, retail cannabis sales are set to increase 33 percent from 2016’s figures and hit the $10 billion mark in 2017.

Additionally, researchers believe 2018’s number will increase by an even higher percentage, due to the pending legalization of recreational pot in several prominent areas.

“Aside from cryptocurrency, there is simply no other industry changing as rapidly or as unevenly as the cannabis sector,” said Troy Dayton, CEO of The Arcview Group.

Canada, for example, is set to legalize recreational pot on July 1, 2018. It will become the second country to ever do so after Uraguay did so back in 2013. Canada will, however, own the distinction of being the largest (and most prominent) country to federally legalize the plant.

Nevada, who legalized recreational weed this past July, saw $27 million in sales during its first month of retail. Due to its early success, the state is now expected to expand the industry by introducing cannabis tourism, something that is, by and large, expected to exponentially increase its profits.

But perhaps the biggest contributing factor to another exponential increase is California’s recreational weed market, which will debut in just under a month on January 1.

As it stands, California’s medical marijuana industry (which has now existed for over two decades), is as big as the markets in Colorado, Oregon and Washington… combined. The introduction of recreational pot is poised to drive the market to new highs.

Final Hit: Legal Pot Sales Will Hit $10 Billion This Year

Currently, Arcview projects the legal cannabis market to reach sales of $24.5 billion by 2021. However, this number remains simply an educated guess, as the same experts could not predict the $10 billion figure we are seeing today.

Growth in the burgeoning marijuana market remains exclusively dependent upon states changing their own laws regarding the plant. If certain states like New Jersey, which is currently in discussions to legalize the plant, manage to do so successfully, there’s no telling just how high the market could rise.

And if it ever becomes legal on a federal scale, those original projections would be shattered. Although at this point, that doesn’t seem likely by 2021.

Regardless, what’s happening now is a step in the right direction.

To read more visit: https://greenrushdaily.com/legal-pot-sales-will-hit-10-billion-year/

Why The Green Rush Means A New High In Real Estate Markets

What exactly is causing this new high in real estate markets? As it turns out, cannabis legalization is beneficial to a wide variety of businesses.

Is cannabis legalization causing a new high in real estate markets? Experts in the field seem to think so. Images of people relocating to other states in search of better access to the medicine they need may come to mind. But it’s not just people looking to consume legal weed who are causing a new high in real estate markets. It’s the people who are looking to grow it.

Follow The Green

Now that more states are starting to get in on the Green Rush, more business owners and growers are making their love of the plant public. Marijuana industry hopefuls find themselves making what might be the most important decisions of their lives. Or at least, of their career aspirations. They are considering the possibility of completely uprooting their lives to follow the green. Literally.

Real estate agents and other professionals in the field have noticed a recent boom in the demand for suitable spaces for those in the legal cannabis industry. While it would be understandable to think that the spaces in demand are storefronts, this is not actually the case.

Those working in the property and real estate realm say that the majority of people moving to states with legalized cannabis are looking for appropriate buildings to grow their plants.

The Grass Is Always Greener

So why is the demand for space overwhelmingly for growing, rather than selling?

Part of the reason may be due to the amount of red tape involved in opening and operating a dispensary. The process for obtaining a permit or a license to legally sell cannabis varies state by state. It gets even more specific on a micro level. Different towns, cities and municipalities have their own local ordinances regarding the legal marijuana industry.

Because of this, and because of the increasing need for plants and products, many are choosing to get their hands dirty and sink their nails into the cultivation side of things. And while growing cannabis outdoors is less expensive than indoor grow operations, those in the know are choosing to bring their plants inside.

Although the allure of a less expensive grow operation is strong, the factors working against that option is stronger. A successful outdoor grow is dependent on consistent climate, including ideal levels of humidity, sunshine and rainfall. It’s hard enough to accomplish that, but then you also have to consider things like plant-ruining pests and environmental catastrophes like wildfires.

Cultivating cannabis indoors makes it easier for growers to control all of these variables. This control makes indoor growing, although more expensive, appealing to those in the industry. And so, growers are renting out large, industrial spaces. Once they secure their venue, they’re able to customize it to their liking and tailor it to their specific needs.

Final Hit: Why The Green Rush Means A New High In Real Estate Markets

In true “rush” fashion, nearly every industry is affected by the spreading legalization of cannabis.

While some are finding relief in getting easier legal access to the herb, others are taking advantage of the new business opportunities legalization presents. For growers, this means that they can openly rent spaces to cultivate their plants, which in turn is causing a new high in real estate markets. If nothing else, the evidence is clear and compelling: cannabis legalization stimulates all areas of the economy.

To read more visit: https://hightimes.com/news/green-rush-means-new-high-real-estate-markets/