venerdì 28 aprile 2017

Colorado Set to Prohibit Cannabis Co-op Growing Operations

April 10, 2017

DENVER (AP) — Colorado was set Monday to outlaw marijuana growing co-ops soon after the state Senate unanimously approved a bill making it a crime for people to cultivate recreational cannabis for other people. The bill supported by the office of Gov. John Hickenlooper passed 35-0 but it was unclear when he would sign it.

There are no state estimates on how many collective recreational marijuana growing operations exist in Colorado, though they are popular among users who share the cost of electricity, water and fertilizer to grow their cannabis.
Colorado Will Allow Medical Cannabis Use While Awaiting Trial

Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, but it has a nagging black-market problem. Law enforcement and state lawmakers attribute the black-market problem in part to weak restrictions on who can grow cannabis.

The Colorado state constitution authorizes people over 21 to grow their own cannabis, or to assist someone else in growing. That language allows groups to designate a single “farmer” to care for their marijuana plants, allowing them to avoid cannabis taxes that approach 30 percent, depending on the jurisdiction.

But police groups and Hickenlooper, a Democrat, have called on lawmakers to curb the practice of assisting other recreational cannabis users.

The bill had already passed the House.
Colorado Weighs Strategy to Guard Against Federal Cannabis Crackdown

The governor plans to sign another bill this week in the state’s crackdown. It limits the number of marijuana plants that can be grown in a home to 12 plants, which would force medical marijuana users authorized to grow more than 12 plants to grow it in agricultural or commercial locations or to buy it from dispensaries that tax marijuana.

Hickenlooper plans to sign that bill this week, his office said.

The bill passed Monday also provides $6 million a year in marijuana tax revenues to give law enforcement agencies more money to investigate illegal cannabis growing operations.

Colorado Set to Prohibit Cannabis Co-op Growing Operations

giovedì 20 aprile 2017

Members Of Congress Seek To Help Cannabis Businesses With Tax Reforms

Debra Borchardt , CONTRIBUTOR, I write about retail and cannabis. 
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Members of Congress on Thursday tried to throw the cannabis industry a legislative lifeline on taxes. The Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017, introduced in the House by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and in the Senate by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) today, would allow state-legal cannabis businesses to take normal business deductions like any other legal business. Known as 280E, the tax code provision prevents cannabis businesses from taking normal business deductions related to sales.

Section 280E originated during the Reagan years when a convicted cocaine trafficker wanted to take a tax deduction for his illicit business. Congress rejected the idea and created 280E to keep other drug dealers from trying to do the same thing. It basically says that a person can't take a business deduction if that business trades in a controlled substance.

Since marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, marijuana companies have been unable to take the standard deductions that most companies take for granted. "Cannabis businesses aren't asking for tax breaks or special treatment," said National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) executive director Aaron Smith. "They are just asking to be taxed like any other legitimate business. NCIA and its members appreciate this strong support for a fair approach, and we're especially proud to newly gain that support from Rep. Curbelo."

If you aren't a business owner you may not realize that this is typically how profits are calculated. They start with gross income, subtract expenses to determine taxable income and then pay taxes on this final amount. Since cannabis companies cannot deduct expenses, they pay taxes on the higher amount, which can sometimes be 70% or more, according to NCIA.

"State-legal cannabis businesses have added tens of thousands of jobs, supplanted criminal markets, and generated tens of millions in new tax revenue," Smith said. "States are clearly realizing the benefits of regulating marijuana and we are glad to see a growing number of federal policy makers are taking notice."

Dan Devlin, co-founder of cannabis edible company Zoots said, "Our industry contributes to local communities just like any other sector, and it's estimated the legal marijuana industry will contribute $730 million in tax revenue to Washington alone in 2018-2019. However, current tax codes place legal marijuana businesses at a disadvantage to succeed and make profits because we're not permitted to deduct standard businesses expenses from our federal taxes. It's important we are taxed fairly and this legislation could have a huge impact on the industry's potential to grow and prosper."

The New Federalism Fund, a non-profit organization, believes that that 280E is an example of federal overreach into state-based industry. "We intend to do everything we can to help get this bipartisan legislation passed," said Neal Levine, Chairman of the New Federalism Fund. “Thanks to the groundwork laid by Rep. Curbelo, Rep. Blumenauer, Sen. Wyden and Sen. Paul, we have the opportunity to create a fair and equitable tax system for an industry that employs over 100,000 people in 28 states and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue each year.”

In addition to this legislation, Rep. Blumenauer introduced the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act was in the House, and it would establish a federal excise tax on cannabis, starting at 10% and rising to 25% in the fifth year after passage.

Other pieces of legislation include the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), which would regulate marijuana like alcohol by inserting marijuana into the section of the U.S. Code that regulates "intoxicating liquors." The oversight authority would move to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and away from the DEA. It would also establish a permitting system to cover the cost of that oversight.

Earl Blumenauer
The Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap (RAMP) Act, introduced by Sen. Wyden and Rep. Blumenauer in their respective chambers, is more encompassing and covers a broad range of issues at the federal level, including banking and tax fairness for businesses, civil forfeiture and drug testing for federal employees. The two Oregon officials see the provisions in this bill, collectively, along with the other two bills introduced today, as the "Path to Marijuana Reform."

The Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, introduced by Sen. Wyden, contains the provisions included in the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act and the Regulating Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. "The flurry of bills on the Hill today are a reflection of the growing support for cannabis policy reform nationally," said Smith.

While all these pieces of legislation have been introduced, the industry is mostly focused on April 28th, the day that the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment could expire. This amendment has kept the Department of Justice from spending any money on taking action against cannabis businesses in states when it has been legalized. It will be renamed the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment and it must be included in the spending package for FY2017 in order to keep the provision from expiring.

Do these bills have a chance of advancing? With conservatives in charge of the subcommittees that would need to move them forward, the odds may not be good. Rob Kampia Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project said that they almost have the votes to pass the McClintock-Polis Amendment in the house. This legislation protects adult-use marijuana the same way the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment does. Kampia said that in 2015, the House rejected it with a 206-222 vote. The vote count now stands at an indecisive 196-195 with 44 votes unknown. He doesn't have a good vote count for the Senate, but it is slightly more democratic.

Smith believes that with polls showing Americans overwhelmingly approving of legalizing marijuana, lawmakers could begin to respond more favorably to marijuana legislation.

venerdì 14 aprile 2017

Global ganja: Cannabis policies rapidly evolving

Around the world, policies around marijuana are evolving as quickly - if in different ways - as they are in the United States

PUBLISHED: MAR 2, 2017, 9:54 AM 
By Brooke Edwards Staggs, The Cannifornian

Americans seem to have a persistent notion of what marijuana policies look like around the world.

The vision sold by Hollywood and globe-trotting backpackers is of people free to get high by the canals of liberal Amsterdam, or on the beaches of laid-back Jamaica, while anyone caught with a joint in Phuket risks landing in a Thai prison for life.

But none of these notions really ring true. Around the world, cannabis policies are evolving as quickly — if in different ways — as they are in the United States.

“When I started here five years ago, there wasn’t a single jurisdiction in the world that had legal marijuana,” said Hannah Hetzer, senior international policy manager with Drug Policy Alliance, whose action group backed California’s cannabis initiative in November.

A few regions have long tolerated limited recreational consumption, such as the Dutch city of Amsterdam, where pot is sold in some coffee houses without police interference, and Spain which is home to a growing cannabis social club scene. But just half a decade ago, no country or jurisdiction had actually legalized weed.

Domestically that changed in 2012, when Colorado and Washington voted in recreational marijuana. Since then, six more states – including California – have since followed suit, with 28 states now permitting medical marijuana.

Given our country’s key role in the international war on drugs, the rise of legalization domestically is, in the view of some, ironic. And Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, says that while cannabis remains illegal federally (and a crackdown on state laws might yet be coming from the Trump administration) the U.S. now leads the world when it comes to “designing and implementing innovative cannabis regulation policies.”

California in particular broke new ground with the Nov. 8 passage of Proposition 64. Nadelmann said it is the first legalization initiative to incorporate a number of social justice components, such as removing criminal penalties for most marijuana-related crimes and dedicating tax revenues to communities hard-hit by the war on drugs.

Yu-Wei Luke Chu, an economics professor in New Zealand who studies marijuana polices, said his country is taking steps toward legalizing medical cannabis and, as part of that process, is following legalization experiments in the United States.

But even as the U.S. paves the way, marijuana policies are shifting rapidly in places as diverse as Canada, Israel and Morocco.

Uruguay shocked the world in 2013 when it became the first country to fully legalize cannabis, Nadelmann said. Two years later, Jamaica passed a bill decriminalizing up to two ounces of marijuana. And countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, from Chile to Colombia to Puerto Rico, now are looking to permit medical marijuana and remove criminal penalties for adults who use it recreationally.

Weedmaps, an Irvine-based company that maps and rates marijuana dispensaries, now has offices in Barcelona, Toronto and Berlin, where Germany’s newly approved medical marijuana program slated to roll out in March.

There are a handful of places where marijuana policies are moving the opposite direction, Hetzer noted, such as the Philippine government’s brutal crusade against anyone who consumes cannabis or harder drugs. But other regions of both Asia and Africa are considering loosening their harsh stances, she said, including Thailand and Ghana.

“We are definitely a world away from where we were five years ago,” Hetzer said. “And I think we will only continue to see marijuana reform… pick up steam.”

New policies

Here’s a quick look at six countries (aside from the United States) with marijuana policies worth noting:

Israel: Since legalizing medical marijuana in 1992, Israel has become the global leader in cannabis research. Israel’s Ministry of Health treats tens of thousands of patients with medical cannabis.

Recently, the Israeli government took steps to decriminalize recreational marijuana, with minor possession likely to soon result in fines rather than criminal records.

Canada: Our neighbor to the north has run a federal medical cannabis program for more than a decade. And in 2016, the courts upheld patients’ right to grow cannabis at home, finding that a federal proposal to limit patients’ rights was not “in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he plans to make good on his campaign promise to also legalize recreational marijuana throughout the country, probably within the next 24 months.

“Justin Trudeau was I think, more or less, the first national political candidate to run (and win) on a campaign platform that included legalizing marijuana,” Nadelmann said. “I think it’s going to represent a major step forward.”

Uruguay: While American legalization schemes (with the exception of Washington, D.C.) have created robust commercial markets aimed at generating new tax revenue, Uruguay went the opposite direction when it legalized marijuana in 2013. Hetzer, of the Drug Policy Alliance, said the South American nation’s policy is all about fighting organized crime. That’s why Uruguay committed to making legal cannabis cheap enough (about $1 a gram) to match black market prices.

The country has been “remarkably slow” in actually rolling out their cannabis program, Nadelmann noted. But he said they haven’t shown signs of backing down from their commitment to eventually make it happen.

Australia: A year ago, the land down under became the first continent to legalize recreational marijuana. Regulators since then have been working on details of how that program will work.

On Feb. 22, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt announced that imported medical marijuana will be made available to patients within weeks.

The Netherlands: Since it’s home to the marijuana tourist mecca of Amsterdam, many people have long believed that marijuana is legal in The Netherlands. But the government actually just tolerates recreational consumption in so-called coffee shops, with no legal way for people to cultivate and sell cannabis to those businesses.

That appears poised to change. This month, Dutch lawmakers voted to permit cultivation.

“It now looks quite possible that The Netherlands may formally move towards legalization next year,” Nadelmann said. “Some very smart people are betting 50-50 that the Dutch would finally get past the backdoor issue and actually move toward full legalization.”

Mexico: If Canada does legalize cannabis this year or next, Mexico will be the last country in North America with no legal pot laws. But Mexican leaders have taken steps recently toward legalizing medical marijuana and decriminalizing recreational pot. President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke about the limited benefits of prohibition during a 2016 United Nations drug summit.

Public support still isn’t behind legal weed in Mexico, Nadelmann noted. It’s shot up from just 7 percent a decade ago to around 37 percent today.

Tough on pot

Some countries where marijuana remains illegal in at least some cases:

Japan: Possession for recreational use illegal; punishment up to 5 years in prison.

Malaysia: Possession of 7 ounces or more punishable by death.

Nigeria: Possession illegal; up to 12 years in prison for personal use and up to life in prison for trafficking.

Saudi Arabia: Possession for recreational use illegal and punishable by six months or more in jail; possession for sale can result in execution.

United Arab Emirates: Possession illegal; punishment up to 4 years in prison.

Sources: JapanToday; Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse; United Nations.

This story was first published on

lunedì 10 aprile 2017

Medical Marijuana, Inc. Subsidiary HempMeds® Brasil To Hold Country's First-Ever Symposium On Medical Cannabis For Health Professionals

Company to Educate Brazilian Medical Community on Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis, Importation Rules to Provide Patients Greater Access

NEWS PROVIDED BY Medical Marijuana, Inc. Mar 30, 2017, 09:00 ET

SAN DIEGO, March 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Medical Marijuana, Inc. (MJNA), the first publicly traded cannabis company in the United States, today announced that its subsidiary HempMeds® Brasil will hold the Country's first-ever symposium dedicated to providing the Brazilian medical community with information about the medical value of cannabidiol (CBD) and how to legally import CBD into the country for patients.

The Company's first symposium on medical cannabis, which will take place on April 4 in Rio de Janeiro, is part of the Company's goal to educate health professionals on the therapeutic uses of cannabis and will feature renowned medical experts and pioneers in the field like Dr. Saul Garza Morales, pediatric researcher and neurologist in Mexico and Chief Executive Officer of Medical Marijuana, Inc. Dr. Stuart Titus. Both will share on the specific therapeutic benefits of CBD, as well as gaining access to medical cannabis for improving health and quality of life.

Dr. Garza will also share the positive results of a recent study he conducted on the effects of Medical Marijuana, Inc.'s Real Scientific Hemp Oil-X™ (RSHO-X™) product in treating children with severe epilepsy, in which 86 percent of the 39 patients he studied experienced statistically significant (greater than 50%) reduction in motor seizures. Seventeen percent of the children were fully seizure free for a 4-month period, which is quite remarkable for this advanced epilepsy population ("the worst of the worst," according to Dr Garza).

"I'm looking forward to participating in this forward-thinking symposium held by HempMeds® Brasil, which serves an invaluable purpose to those in Brazil who suffer needlessly in silence by helping the gain access to CBD hemp oil products," said CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc. Dr. Stuart Titus. "We are proud of our Company for having educated thousands of doctors and patients alike on medical cannabis and are dedicated to not only continuing educating health professionals on the plethora of benefits that medical cannabis provides to treat several types of indications, but also how to best gain access to these products so that we can work together in strengthening the lives and livelihoods of those we serve."

"With the results of two studies performed in Mexico utilizing RSHO-X, we are thrilled to see the scientific validation of our proprietary products," Dr. Titus continued. "While other groups may offer CBD, we believe that the recap of the recent study by Dr. Saul Garza Morales puts us in a space where the medical community can potentially replicate his results with Brazilian and other Latino populations of epilepsy children. It is especially thrilling to note seizure reductions as well as other quality of life improvements for families - all which make their lives much easier. We look forward to ongoing scientific inquiry utilizing our products and this Brazil Symposium will hopefully kick off additional research on the therapeutic benefits of botanical CBD."

In May 2015, HempMeds® Brasil became the first company to offer legal medicinal cannabis products to Brazil after receiving import approval for those suffering from specific medical conditions. The Brazilian government now waives import taxes for RSHO, subsidizes its cost and covers the product under the Country's health insurance. In addition, 2017 marked the first time that Brazil's National Health Surveillance agency ANVISA granted the filling of a prescription for RSHO™ to help patients combat the effects of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.

About Medical Marijuana, Inc.
Our mission is to be the premier cannabis and hemp industry innovators, leveraging our team of professionals to source, evaluate and purchase value-added companies and products, while allowing them to keep their integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. We strive to create awareness within our industry, develop environmentally-friendly, economically sustainable businesses, while increasing shareholder value. For details on Medical Marijuana, Inc.'s portfolio and investment companies, visit

To see Medical Marijuana, Inc.'s video statement, click here. Shareholders are also encouraged to visit the Medical Marijuana, Inc. Shop for discounted products.

About HempMeds® Brasil
HempMeds® Brasil currently has three cannabis products approved for importation into Brazil as a prescription medication. The company had the first-ever cannabis product allowed for import into Brazil and its products are currently subsidized by the Brazilian government, under their health care system. As of 2015 ANVISA has allowed cannabidiol treatments for any medical condition a doctor sees could help the patient. HempMeds® Brasil has had doctor prescriptions for Epilepsy, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Cancer, Autism, Multiple Sclerosis and Chronic Pain to date and is working on additional approvals for multiple indications.

This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements and information, as defined within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and is subject to the Safe Harbor created by those sections. This material contains statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements by definition involve risks, uncertainties.

The statements in this press release have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. The Company does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act. The Company does sell and distribute hemp-based products.

Public Relations Contact:
Andrew Hard
Chief Executive Officer
CMW Media
P: 888-829- 0070

SOURCE Medical Marijuana, Inc.
Related Links

giovedì 6 aprile 2017

02 aprile 2017

La discussione della legge è ripresa, ma il testo rischia di essere annacquato. Tra calcoli politici e resistenze del fronte cattolico, Cecconi, presidente di Ascia, spiega perché la cannabis nel nostro Paese è destinata a rimanere un tabù.

di Attilio De Alberi

In Parlamento è da poco ripreso l’esame della legge sulla legalizzazione delle droghe leggere. Ormai è dal maggio del 2013 che si prova a modificare la legislazione sulla cannabis sia per quanto riguarda la coltivazione e l’uso personale per “motivi ricreativi” sia per motivi medici e terapeutici. L’iter è stato così lungo, e rischia continuare a esserlo, a causa dell’ostruzionismo dell’ex-Ncd, ora Alternativa Popolare. La legge era infatti approdata in Aula lo scorso 25 luglio per poi essere rimandata in commissione.

PD TENTATO DAL COMPROMESSO. Favorevoli sono la maggioranza del Pd (al cui interno resiste però una fronda contraria), il M5s e Sinistra italiana. Forza Italia è divisa, con un certo numero di esponenti possibilisti. Nettamente contrari Lega Nord e Fratelli d’Italia. Quindi, teoricamente, la legge avrebbe i numeri per passare. Ma il Pd sembra esser pronto al compromesso per non minare le sue alleanze, alfaniani in primis. Intanto l’Italia rimane indietro sulla legalizzazione della cannabis, almeno rispetto ad altri Paesi europei come Spagna, Belgio, Olanda, Inghilterra, Svizzera e Portogallo.

L’IPOCRISIA DIETRO L’ERBA. Per Giancarlo Cecconi, fondatore e presidente di Ascia, l’Associazione per la Sensibilizzazione alla Canapa autoprodotta in Italia, nata nel 2010 ai tempi della legge fortemente proibizionista Fini-Giovanardi, il problema è sia politico sia ideologico. Senza contare il pregiudizio prevalentemente cattolico nei confronti della cannabis. «Alla fine», spiega Cecconi a Lettera43, «dietro tutto questo c’è una grande ipocrisia».

DOMANDA. A che punto è esattamente l’iter parlamentare sulla legge per la legalizzazione delle droghe leggere?
RISPOSTA. Finalmente la legge è ritornata in commissione Giustizia: questo vuol dire che comincerà la trafila di audizioni, modifiche e accorpamenti vari per poi arrivare in Aula ed essere discussa.

D. Si può prevedere quando arriverà in Aula?
R. Temo sia azzardato fare delle previsioni precise.

D. La maggiore opposizione arriverà dagli alfaniani di Alternativa Popolare…
R. Qui sta il nodo politico: l’opposizione al disegno di legge arriva dalla componente più dichiaratamente cattolica ed è trasversale perché comprende anche una parte del Pd e di Forza Italia. La stessa componente che la fa da padrona in tutte le battaglie per i diritti civili.

D. Cosa si aspetta Ascia?
R. La situazione mi pare chiara: passerà la cannabis terapeutica in nome di una forma di pietas, appunto cattolica, ma continueranno a venire penalizzati gli altri usi.

D. Eppure, almeno stando a uno studio australiano, la cannabis distrugge meno neuroni dell’alcol…
R. È una delle contraddizioni che stiamo cercando di evidenziare da almeno un decennio.

D. In che senso?
R. Crediamo sia necessaria un’educazione a livello sociale per guidare e moderare l’uso non solo della cannabis, ma anche dell’alcol e del tabacco.

D. È possibile?
R. Certo: il tasso di alcolismo, per esempio, è sceso notevolmente rispetto agli Anni 50, proprio grazie a decenni di educazione e prevenzione.

D. Una politica simile potrebbe essere applicata anche all’uso della cannabis?
R. Sì, e questo è uno dei punti fermi della nostra azione: non basta legalizzare la cannabis, bisogna educare i cittadini al suo uso.

D. Quanto pesa la cultura cattolica nel ritardo italiano?
R. Parecchio. Nella cultura cattolica, per esempio, il vino è considerato il sangue di Cristo e quindi è accettato. La cannabis invece no, anche se 2 miliardi e mezzo di persone nel mondo la usano per motivi religiosi e spirituali. Alla fine questa è una forma di fondamentalismo.

D. Anche un Papa illuminato come Francesco sembra seguire questa linea.
R. Sì, e infatti poco tempo fa ha lanciato l’ennesimo anatema contro la legalizzazione

D. La coltivazione della canapa a uso industriale però è stata legalizzata.
R. Sì, stiamo parlando di canapa senza Thc e questo, bisogna ammetterlo, è un passo avanti. La nostra associazione ha recentemente distribuito piante di canapa in una Fiera organizzata a Roma.

D. Dietro il traffico delle droghe leggere c’è la mafia. Lo stesso Raffaele Cantone ha bocciato il proibizionismo. Cosa ne pensa?
R. È ovvio che la mafia ha tutto l’interesse a mantenere illegale l’uso e il commercio di queste sostanze: stiamo parlando di un traffico sommerso di diversi miliardi. Questo ormai l’hanno capito in tantissimi, tra cui lo stesso sindacato della Polizia.

D. A livello penale va detto che l’assunzione di cannabis non è più illegale.
R. Sì, ma ne è vietata la coltivazione: ed è su questo che il traffico delle mafie fiorisce, proprio perché l’assuntore di questa sostanza continua a non poterla comprare legalmente o coltivarla. Ripeto: la legalizzazione a 360 gradi, insieme con una seria campagna di educazione renderebbe tutto più semplice e più sano.

D. E lo Stato ci potrebbe persino guadagnare. In Colorado, per esempio, dove la cannabis è legale, nelle casse pubbliche arriva 1 miliardo di dollari l’anno in tasse.
R. Non mi sorprende: in Italia si stima che, se ci fosse la legalizzazione, lo Stato potrebbe incassare tra i 5 e i 7 miliardi di euro.

D. E cosa dice l’Europa?
R. La posizione è sempre la stessa: ogni Stato può legiferare autonomamente anche calpestando i diritti civili.


lunedì 3 aprile 2017

Le Herbe Brings Ultrasonic Technology to Cannabis Beverages

front-1-minCannabis beverage manufacturer Le Herbe wants to help consumers get their buzz faster, and has partnered with ultrasonic liquid processing company Qsonica to develop new methods of extraction, preservation, and processing of drinkable cannabinoids.
Using ultrasonic technology, Le Herbe is able to shrink down the psychoactive chemicals in cannabis, THC and CBD, so that they’re more quickly absorbed by the body. The consumer is said to feel the high about 20 to 30 minutes after drinking and the effects can last for up to eight hours.
Prior to getting involved in cannabis beverages, Qsonica worked primarily in biotech labs, using its particle-shrinking technology on a smaller scale. According to Le Herbe spokesman Vincent Cali, this is the first time Qsonica has worked on a larger commercial scale.
“It’s about getting a functional ingredient to be stable so it is better absorbed into your body,” Cali said.
According to Cali, absorption is enhanced 10-fold, however, there is no scientific consensus yet on whether the ultrasonic process affects the length or intensity of the high.
The process is also cost-saving and energy-saving. Marijuana beverages can be a cost-prohibitive category for startups, Cali said, and ultrasonic processing is efficient.
Le Herbe was founded in Seattle in 2014, two years after Washington state legalized the possession and sale of recreational marijuana. The company produces several ready-to-drink marijuana beverages, including a green tea, a cold brew coffee, and Coco Loco coconut water, all of which contain 10mg of THC. The company also sells a marijuana cocktail mixer and a tincture.
Beverages still only make up a relatively tiny portion of the emerging U.S. marijuana market. According to marijuana industry analyst Headset, as of June, 2016 beverages were the sixth most popular category and only made up 3.7 percent of all cannabis transactions. While total unit sales have increased, their overall share of the market has decreased.
In comparison, edibles — including candy, cookies, and other food items — are the second most popular category behind the plant, making up 13.1 percent of sales. Pre-rolled joints, vape pens, and concentrates are also ranked above beverage.
The Headset report was released prior to four additional U.S. states, including California, voting in November to legalize the possession, use, and sale of recreational marijuana. However, recreational markets in those states have yet to be established.