Nevada Marijuana Sales Beat Projections by $5 Million a Month

By Rick Schettino
NOV 21, 2017

The state of Nevada had projected that its new recreational cannabis market would yield $50 million in additional tax revenue during its first 12 months. They’re on pace to beat that number handily.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal runs the numbers from the Nevada Department of Taxation to find that far more legal cannabis is being sold — and taxed — than the state had anticipated. For the month of September, Nevada dispensaries beat the state’s sales projections by more than $5 million, netting $27 million in sales for the month.

Recreational cannabis became legal in Nevada on July 1, 2017.

July and August also beat projections, with the month of August seeing $33 million in cannabis sales, and July pulling $27.7 million.

Nevada essentially taxes cannabis three times, with a 15% excise tax on wholesale transactions, the standard 8.1% Nevada sales tax, and an additional 10% cannabis retail sales excise tax.

Patients who buy cannabis in Nevada with a medical ID card are not subject to the 10% excise tax.

The taxes collected cover the local government’s cost of regulating the industry, with the remaining funds going to the state’s public education fund.

At the current pace, recreational-use cannabis sales will total more than $350 million in Nevada’s first year in the market.

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California Issues Commercial Regulations For Cannabis Businesses

By Rick Schettino
NOV 21, 2017

In anticipation of the January 1st “green rush” bonanza of California officially adopting adult recreational use of marijuana, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued 278 pages of rules and regulations governing its sale. In a November 16 release, the bureau announced its guidelines that will combine medicinal sales and recreational sales under one regulatory framework.

These guidelines are just an interim, emergency first set of rules for businesses who intend to begin operation on January 1, 2018. Licenses that any business receives will only be valid for 120 days, in hopes of a permanent framework being prepared in the early months of 2018.

“Now, it’s going to go from the gray areas to the very black and white,” San Diego attorney Michael Cindrich told KUSA. “If you have a state license, you’re legal. If you don’t have a state license, you’re illegal.”

Notably, dispensaries are required to be located at least 600 feet from a school under the new rules. Dispensaries cannot remain open past 10 p.m. and must have 24-hour video surveillance.

The regulations have consumer ramifications as well. Serving sizes cannot exceed more than 10 mg of THC, and products cannot be manufactured in the shape of animals, fruits, or other shapes that might appeal to children.

The big snag is the requirement that dispensaries receive a legal permit from local authorities before they can apply for a state permit. Most localities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, will not have their permit process in place by January 1.

The California cannabis market is currently valued at about $7 billion.

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New Research Suggests Cannabis Could Help Heart Failure Patients

Doctors expected that cannabis use would pose a risk for heart failure patients, but found that the opposite was true. They also found that cannabis users were less likely to die in the hospital.

A research team has made the discovery that cannabis may have benefits for those suffering from heart problems. At a recent meeting of the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions, Dr. Oluwole Adegbala, medical resident at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey, presented the findings of an unpublished study on the link between cannabis use and heart failure. Previous research has suggested links between cannabis use and heart problems, and the research team fully expected to find evidence supporting claims that cannabis users were at greater risk of heart-related health problems.

Instead, the team was “surprised” to find that cannabis users were less likely to experience atrial fibrillation (A-fib), an irregularity of the heartbeat that can worsen the symptoms of heart failure, compared to non-users. Dr. Adegbala and his colleagues analyzed a database of over 6 million patients suffering from heart failure who were admitted to the hospital between 2007 and 2014. Around 23,000 of these patients reportedly used cannabis but were not considered dependent on the drug, and another 1,200 patients were considered dependent cannabis users, LiveScience reports.

The research team found that the non-dependent cannabis users were 18% less likely than non-users to experience A-fib, and were also 46% less likely to die in the hospital. The dependent cannabis users were 31% less likely to develop A-fib and 58% less likely to die in the hospital than non-users. Researchers adjusted their data to account for age, socioeconomic status, and use of other drugs, and discovered that their findings were still solid.

Dr. Adegbala told LiveScience that his team was not able to identify the exact reasons why cannabis might decrease the risk of A-fib or mortality for heart failure patients. Previous research in animals has found that high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, two risk factors for A-fib, can be reduced by activating cannabinoid receptors. Dr. Adegbala also noted that cannabidiol can reduce inflammation, which is another risk factor for A-fib. Despite their positive findings, the research team does not recommend that heart failure patients begin using cannabis as a treatment until further research can be conducted to support or refute the findings of this study.

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Corona Invests In The Marijuana Green Rush

Constellation brands, which brews Corona beer, made headlines today, as it becomes the first major wine, beer and spirits company to get in on the Green Rush.


Talk about getting ‘twisted.’

For the first time ever, a major player in the wine, beer and spirits industry is set to link up with the rapidly expanding cannabis market, as the company that brews the popular Mexican brand beer Corona has just claimed its own stake in the marijuana green rush.

Two Worlds Collide

Constellation Brands, which also distills Svedka vodka, just invested a whopping $191 million in the Canadian-based cannabis company Canopy Growth Corporation.

The chunk of change is good for a 10 percent stake in the marijuana corporation, but the deal comes with an option for Constellation to purchase an additional ownership interest in Canopy in the future.

Since the acquisition, Constellation shares increased almost one percent during premarket trading.

The move is viewed as a risk by some, considering cannabis is still illegal on a federal scale. Constellation remains the only alcohol-business to take said risk, but chief executive Rob Sands told the Wall Street Journal that it’s a calculated move and believes he now has a leg up on his competition.

“We’re obviously trying to get first-mover advantage,” Sands said.

Sands also added that he thinks it’s only a matter of time before cannabis is legalized on a federal level.

”We think that it’s highly likely, given what’s happened at the state level,” Sands said.

While just eight states (AlaskaCaliforniaColoradoMaineMassachusettsNevadaOregonWashington) and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis, there are 22 other states that have legalized medical marijuana, and that number is expected to grow. Canopy Growth happens to be the biggest licensed producer of medical marijuana in Canada, with a valuation of C$2.2 billion.

Canada is also set to legalize recreational cannabis by July 18, which bodes well for the Canada-based company. Edibles and cannabis-infused beverages are projected to be legalized the following year, which would seemingly set up a large payout for Constellation.

Corona Invests In The Marijuana Green Rush

Despite cannabis’ increasing legality in the United States, Constellation says it doesn’t anticipate selling its products in the U.S. until the plant is legalized on both a state and federal level.

Regardless of U.S. policy, there is still significant profitability to be had in Canada alone.

Many pre-existing drug companies currently utilize the plant in their medications, and a Canadian index of marijuana stocks, calculated by research house Canaccord Genuity, indicates cannabis stocks have risen as much as 36 percent over the past month.

According to analysts, a short-term option for Constellation could be developing non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages to be sold only in Canada upon legalization. It has been estimated that this untapped market alone could be worth around $5- $10 billion.

Eight Capital analyst Daniel Pearlstein believes the investment will have a significant impact on a variety of industries, including alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies.

“This move is a complete game changer, not only for Canopy but also for the entire industry,” Pearlstein said.

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Your Stake in the $22 Billion Dollar Cannabis Industry

Is now the right time to invest in the Cannabis Industry?

As of this year, cannabis is legal in 29 states plus the District of Columbia, and the number is rising.

The Cannabis Stock Index is up 26.4% month-to-date.

~30,000 new cannabis companies have entered the space this year.

There is a noticeable trend here that seems to be pointing towards, yes.

The Spark

Five years ago, Colorado and Washington legalized the adult use of marijuana, sparking what is now one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S.

The industry has since been growing at a 16% compounded annual growth rate.

By the end of 2020, it’s projected to double in size from $22 billion in 2017 to $44 billion.

U.S. Cannabis Industry Total Economic Impact: 2013-2020 in Billions (Marijuana Business Daily)

What was once a taboo is changing the minds of constituents and investors alike.

⅔ of the population is for the legalization of cannabis.

This year alone, 31% of americans will begin living in cannabis-friendly states.

Clearly there is a bright future ahead.

The Problem

The growth is tangible, but the risks are substantial.

Cannabis is still federally illegal and labeled a Schedule I drug.

Some cannabis stocks hoping to make it big still have to wait for this to change.

Those that don’t still have to follow highly regulated state laws and some existing companies are limited in their ability to sell across state lines.

For investors, the opportunities to profit from a legitimate company who sells marijuana products are scarce.

For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has only approved a grand total of three cannabinoid-related drugs: AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX), and Insys Therapeutics (NASDAQ:INSY).

As mentioned above, upwards of 30,000 new cannabis businesses have entered the cannabis space this year.

This means a highly saturated market that investors have to shuffle through to separate the good from the bad.

Your Stake in The Green Rush

So, how can investors get involved while reducing their risk profile?

One solution is to invest in companies that don’t actually touch the plant.

Just imagine the profit gained from those who sold shovels during the gold rush.

The idea is the same with ancillary service companies, supporting the industry’s growth while sidestepping a lot of the risk.

Cannabis businesses who support the industry with real estate, technology, equipment needs, etc., make up a large, yet often undervalued part of the industry.

It’s hard to pinpoint just how much money has poured into ancillary service companies supporting cannabis businesses, but the number falls easily into hundreds of millions.

These companies are benefiting from the industry growth and the extended freedom to sell products and services across the U.S.

But again, the space is crowded with startups, and it can be hard to decipher the promising from the weak.

One ancillary service company to look at is Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG) who generated 2.8 billion with 10% of the revenue coming from the hydroponics companies it acquired.

The spotlight is also on Doyen Elements, who just launched its IPO and is giving retail investors the opportunity to buy into it before the company’s planned stock market listing.

Doyen Elements has purchase agreements for 16 different businesses spanning across all areas of the cannabis industry.

Recently the company made headlines for beginning construction on a 234,000 sq. ft. grow facility, one of the largest in North America.

The company also plans to list on the OTCQX after the offering closes.

In closing, while there is a lot of risk involved when investing in the cannabis industry, the potential upside makes it well worth the research and diligence to find the right way to get involved.

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Oregon Distributes $85 Million in Legal Cannabis Tax Revenue

Oregon is reaping the green benefits of its legal weed industry to the tune of a cool $85 million. Having legalized marijuana in 2014, Oregon has finally begun to distribute the tax dollars that the state has collected, after a two-year wait.

Wait, What Took Oregon So Long To Distribute Its Legal Cannabis Tax Revenue?

The reason is that the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), which oversees the state’s legal marijuana program, had to first reimburse the administrative costs associated with setting up and implementing the program.

The OLCC took out a loan for $13 million to cover the initial setup costs, agency spokesman Mark Pettinger explained to the King5 television station.

Now that the money has been paid back, it’s time to distribute the tax revenue to various health, educational and law enforcement programs across the state.

How Does Oregon Distribute Its Legal Cannabis Tax Revenue?

Here’s a break down of where the money is going, according to the Oregon Department of Revenue:

  • $34 million will benefit the state school fund.
  • $17 million will go to the mental health, alcoholism and drug services account.
  • $17 million will go to Oregon cities and counties.
  • $12 million will go to the Oregon State Police.
  • $4 million will go to the Oregon Health Authority.

And apparently this is just the tip of the iceberg. Oregon’s weed sales have far exceeded all expectations.

“I am glad to hear that the revenue is finally being distributed,” Anthony Johnson, the chief petitioner of Measure 91 told the Oregonian. “This is what the voters intended. It shows that legalizing and regulating cannabis can help generate revenue for important governmental services.”

During just the first three months of this year, roughly 11,000 pounds of weed were sold in the state’s approximately 300 legal dispensaries, for total sales revenue of $43.7 million, generating some $13.4 million in sales tax revenue.

Thankfully, this is happening—or will happen if given the chance—all around the country.

Marijuana tax revenue is expected to exceed $2.3 billion by 2020 in the United States and create up to 300,000 jobs. Think of all those social, educational, housing and drug counseling programs that can be funded with these tax dollars. Who wouldn’t want to be part of one of the fastest growing industries in the United States? Why not tell your congress people that you’d like to be!

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Zenapay Latest PoS Bitcoin Solution to Enter Projected $50 Billion Cannabis Market

US cash-intensive cannabis businesses (420s) are looking for ways to meet customer demand while struggling under federal prohibition. Cryptocurrencies are increasing in popularity with 420s, and now Zenapay is entering the market with its own bitcoin solution.

Also read: Indospace Allows Cannabis Merchants to Accept Bitcoin Effortlessly

Cannabis Cash

The US states comprising its contiguous west, if outliers include Alaska and Nevada, is home to fifty-two million people. That is an enormous market. They also happen to be the bulk of states that have legalized cannabis for personal use, medicinal use, and sale.

Tension arises between all such states and the federal government because the federal government does not agree with voters’ will.

Zenapay Latest POS Bitcoin Solution to Enter Projected $50 Billion Cannabis Market

Beyond criminality, issues of banking and finance come into play. The federal government is given wide jurisdiction over banking and money, and financial institutions are wary of  running afoul of federal laws.

In practical terms this means bank accounts, access to lines of credit, and myriads of financial products are in practice forbidden to 420 companies.

Much as it was on the black market, 420s are reliant almost exclusively upon cash.

Mounds of cash on hand is not only a logistical nightmare in a modern economy, it’s also a real security issue. And with twenty more states coming online, passing slimmed-down versions of legalization/decriminalization, the cannabis market is looking for relief.

Bitcoin Solution

“Statistics from financial services firm Cowen & Co showed legal cannabis was a $6 billion industry last year, and is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2026,” RT onlinereports.

Population numbers and these projections are enticing payment service providers into the cannabis market.

The latest such example is a company out of Chicago, Epazz. It’s an over-the-counter publicly traded business software concern, betting rollouts early winter of this year in Apple’s App Store, and later for Android, will go a long way in making 420s more efficient and safer.

Zenapay Latest POS Bitcoin Solution to Enter Projected $50 Billion Cannabis Market

Zenapay is a one percent transaction fee, point-of-service (POS) solution. It boasts online and in-store bitcoin purchases capability using proprietary software, allowing for customer anonymity and for 420s to lessen cash burdens.

“We are filling a large need in the cannabis community,” the company’s press release quoted its CEO Shaun Passley. Merchants, he said, “due to the stringent limitations by the standard banking systems” simply cannot be banked.

A PoS with bitcoin functionality eliminates these issues.

Entrepreneurial bitcoiners, regardless of niche, are constantly looking for POS services to keep accounting straight as they look to drop cash dependency for bitcoin.

If it proves successful, Zenapay says it will offer payroll services, e-commerce stores, inventory tracking, and compliance features going forward.

What do you think? Are 420s a welcome addition to the bitcoin ecosystem? Are solutions preserving anonymity finally ‘getting it?’ Tell us in the comments below! 

Images courtesy of: Original Strains Seed Bank, Green Rush Daily.

At there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

Disclaimer: None of the information on is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Investing in Cannabis? Consider Going Global With Canadian Companies

With so many American states legalizing medical and adult-use cannabis, it’s no surprise that entrepreneurs are joining the rapidly growing industry. Federal illegality, though, makes it tough for these pioneers and their investors to make money.

Canadian cannabis companies are active on five continents, so investors may participate globally without leaving Canadian securities.

Scaling a business that’s prohibited from selling product outside the state in which it’s produced is quite challenging. Add the onerous federal 280E tax—which disallows normal business expenses and can lead to income tax being due even when a company isn’t even profitable—and it’s no wonder that we aren’t seeing a bull market in cannabis producers or retailers.

Last month, I suggested that investors looking to capitalize on cannabis legalization would be wise to explore international options. While the United States has yet to embrace cannabis legalization at the federal level, several other countries have created federally legal medical cannabis programs.

Our neighbors to the north and south are on board. Mexico recently legalized (but hasn’t yet implemented) medical cannabis. Canada’s federally legal medical cannabis program now serves more than 200,000 patients nationwide. Uruguay has legalized cannabis and allows it to be sold in pharmacies.

While countries on five continents (not Asia or Antarctica) have embraced medical cannabis at the federal level, investors should pay particular attention to five regions that show particular promise. The good news is that there are Canadian companies active in all five, which means investors may be able to participate globally without trading in securities all over the world.


When it comes to legal cannabis investment opportunities, Canada is the king. Health Canada, which oversees the medical program, has issued 62 licenses to about 50 medical cannabis companies, and 23 of these licensed producers (LPs) trade publicly. Five even trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the equivalent of our own New York Exchange, including Aphria, Aurora Cannabis, CanniMed Therapeutics, Canopy Growth and MedReleaf.

These companies are positioning for full legalization in July by expanding their production capacity and ramping up their extracts expertise. Canada was slow to permit cannabis concentrates, but concentrates are now driving industry growth, despite the fact that they remain highly restricted (oil only, with THC potency capped). In addition to serving a larger market following legalization next year with a broader array of products over time, including edibles most likely, many of the Canadian LPs also have global operations.

The publicly-traded LPs include not only these global titans but also some smaller producers positioning for legalization with their craft cannabis offerings. If you want to stay on top of the Canadian industry, we have developed a resource for investors at New Cannabis Ventures.


Germany legalized medical cannabis in early 2017, and is currently in the process of licensing companies for production. For now, its market is small and being supplied with imported products, mainly from Canada. What makes this market so interesting, besides the large population (83 million) is that medical cannabis will be distributed in pharmacies and health insurance will cover it.

I’m not aware of any publicly-traded German companies that have announced an interest in entering the sector, but several Canadian companies are either supplying the market now or have announced plans to apply for a production license, including ABcann, Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth, Cronos Group, Maricann and MedReleaf. Other European countries are already liberalizing, and Germany’s program will likely lead to other countries implementing similar programs.


The market is very limited in Australia for now, with most of the industry focused on research. There are a few companies with production licenses, though, including publicly traded Cann Group and Auscann Group. Several others are not yet licensed but trade publicly, and the market has been in a bit of a bubble this year.

Investors interested in Cann Group or AusCann Group can gain exposure through Canadian companies like Aurora Cannabis, which owns about 20% of Cann Group; or Canopy Growth, which owns about 10% of Auscann.

South America

While Uruguay has legalized the adult use of cannabis, Colombia and Chile have legalized medical cannabis. Auscann Group has a partnership with the only license holder in Chile. International Cannabis Company is a publicly-traded company in Canada that operates in Uruguay. Canopy Growth has established a joint venture in Brazil, which permits medical cannabis on a limited basis. I expect to see two other Canadian companies that operated in Colombia go public in 2018.


Perhaps the global cannabis research leader, Israel permits medical cannabis but doesn’t yet have a very developed industry, though that’s likely to change soon.

Cronos Group, a company that wholly owns two Canadian LPs and has stakes in several others, announced a deal last month to establish Cronos Israel and build a facility on Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, targeting initial annual production of 5 million grams at a cost of less than C$0.50 per gram. Given the country’s reputation for innovation, its unique genetics and the potential to export to Europe, I expect to see more deals like this one.

The bottom line: There is a world of opportunity for cannabis investors, and perhaps the best way to play it is by investing in Canadian LPs that are actively pursuing global opportunities.

Next up: How Canadian companies are funding the U.S. cannabis industry. Talk with you in three weeks.

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CANADA Canada’s Largest Cannabis Producer Is Doubling in Size

Canada’s largest licensed cannabis producer is about to get even bigger. On Wednesday, Canopy Growth Corp. announced that it will develop up to 3 million square feet of additional greenhouse capacity in British Columbia.

The move, part of a newly announced joint venture with a large-scale British Columbia-based greenhouse operator to form BC Tweed Joint Venture Inc., will more than doubles Canopy’s cultivation footprint, according to a company release.

The BC greenhouses currently grow peppers, CEO Bruce Linton said in the release, and the company will spend several million dollars to adapt them for cannabis cultivation. The majority of the resulting product is expected to be sold on Canada’s domestic market.

“The Joint Venture allows us to expand our operational footprint for greenhouse production while increasing our institutional knowledge of operating large-scale greenhouses,” Linton said. “Our cannabis expertise already operating the largest cannabis greenhouse in the sector combined with experience of our new partner’s extensive large-scale greenhouse production record, is great news for our customers and investors.”

The deal will increase Canopy’s total greenhouse production footprint to approximately 2.3 million square feet and includes an option to grow that footprint to 4 million square feet. The venture also expands Canopy’s operations into six Canadian provinces, part of what the company says is a plan for international growth.

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Packaging has been a challenge for cannabis companies eager to get their products on the market while adhering to regulations.

That’s why “medical marijuana was one of the hot topics at the recent PACK EXPO Las Vegas/Healthcare Packaging EXPO,” according to Packaging World.

At the expo, Presto Products Co.’s Todd Meussling gave an interview on opportunities for packaging companies to work with the cannabis industry, as well as regulations challenges. Presto is a market-leading supplier of products ranging from private label food and disposer bags to packaging closures to soil stabilization materials to specialty stretch films. See the full interview here.

Meussling said, “Whether it’s medical or adult use – one statistic I came across that’s very interesting is that by 2020, the cannabis industry will be at approximately $17 billion. To put that in perspective for packagers, the natural cheese market right now is at about $12 billion.

“So there’s — outside of medical — 20,000 commercial uses for cannabis. When you look at it from a packaging standpoint, every one of those products is going to have an application.”

Meussling said the most common product categories with packaging needs have been inhalants, topicals like lotions, and then edibles, “which is the most substantial category that I see growing.”

Meussling said the packaging industry has the solutions and methods to package, for example, medical cannabis cookies, because they have the experience of packaging cookies. The new element will be the child-proofing requirement that will need to be added, he said.

In 2014, packaging was the ‘Wild West’ as companies tried to get their products on the market quickly. “We’d see products that were over-packaged and under-packaged,” Meussling said.

“The challenges that they’re faced with as I understand are a result of regulations,” he said, adding that there is room for standardization and automation in manufacturing cannabis packaging.

The need for child-proof and odor-proof packaging has led to a variety of industry-specific cannabis packaging companies, including Marijuana Packaging, Green Rush Packaging, and more.

Garett Fortune of FunkSac founded his company after noticing the need for child-proof packaging. “I saw some major gaps for packaging cannabis and noticed that there weren’t currently any packaging that utilized child-lock features to prevent accidental consumption,” he told Cashinbis in 2015.

Cannabis product packaging regulations are similar to those of other legal drugs. For example, they need to be tamper-proof and clearly labeled, with qualifications for any health benefit claims.

California’s 2015 Assembly Bill 266 established packaging requirements for cannabis flowers and edibles throughout California. The California Bureau of Marijuana Control enforces these cannabis packaging laws by imposing fines or revoking the licenses of businesses, according to Green Rush Packaging. Green Rush also lists these requirements:

  • Packaging must be clearly labeled as a cannabis or marijuana product.
  • The label can’t have any cartoons or other elements that make it attractive to children.
  • Labels also need to list information related to the cultivation of the medical marijuana in the product, including the source and the date.
  • For dried cannabis flowers or leaves, the business needs to list the weight of product in the package.
  • For cannabis edibles, food labeling including whether or not allergens are in the product is required by law.
  • Perhaps most importantly for cannabis businesses in California, the label needs to contain precise information about the active chemicals in marijuana, including THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.

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