Oral CBD Found to Prevent COVID-19 Infection in Humans

Oral CBD Found to Prevent COVID-19 Infection in Humans

New research found cannabidiol (CBD) effectively blocks SARS-CoV-2 replication in human cells. The study was published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances

A team of 33 researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Louisville found people taking 100 milligrams-per-milliliter of high-purity CBD returned positive COVD-19 tests at a lower rate than control groups who did not take CBD. 

Research was conducted on three different groups: humans, human lung carcinoma cells,  and mice.

Scientists hoped to determine if the cannabinoid would regulate the antiviral inflammatory response. 

Initially, researchers pretreated lung cells with CBD two hours prior to infection with the virus.

After 48 hours, researchers found “CBD potently inhibited viral replication under non-toxic conditions.”

The study went on to test three SARS-CoV-2 variants and concluded their ability to infect cells was also inhibited by CBD. 

Combining CBD with THC at a one-to-one ratio suppressed the efficacy of CBD in combating the virus.

Trials were then conducted with mice to determine if an equivalent effect could be found. Mice were treated with CBD for a week before being exposed to SARS-CoV-2. They were then treated for an additional 4 days with CBD.

The findings provided an important insight into the cannabinoid’s effectiveness. “CBD treatment significantly inhibited viral replication in lungs and nasal turbinates … During this period, the mice showed no signs of clinical disease,” the study stated.

“These results establish the pre-clinical efficacy of CBD as an anti-viral drug for SARS-CoV-2 during early stages of infection.”

Finally, researchers analyzed 1,212 patients from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative.

Patients with medically-similar backgrounds were selected for the study.

The research team chose individuals with a history of seizure-related conditions, and subdivided them into those using CBD to treat their symptoms and those who did not use CBD.

Patients using high-potency CBD had significantly lower COVID-19 infection rates than patients from the non-CBD control group.

“Our results suggest that CBD and its metabolite 7-OH-CBD can block SARS-CoV-2 infection at early and even later stages of infection,” the study stated.

This research adds to other recent studies linking cannabis to treatment for the novel coronavirus.

While these findings are clinically significant and a vital step in furthering the fight against COVID-19, the study’s authors advise against using non-medical formulations of CBD as a preventative or treatment therapy at the present time.


#CBD #Hemp

Oral CBD Found to Prevent COVID-19 Infection in Humans


January 22, 2022 1:08 am

A Q&A with Brandon Barksdale, CEO of Dalwhinnie Enterprises LLC

A Q&A with Brandon Barksdale, CEO of Dalwhinnie Enterprises LLC

Dalwhinnie Enterprises is a cannabis brand that started in Ridgeway, Colorado. Based in the San Juan Mountains in Western Colorado, the company includes brands like Dalwhinnie Farms Cannabis, Shift Cannabis, Ridgway Hemp Company and the Dalwhinnie Farms Boutique in Aspen, Colorado.

Brandon Barksdale has about a decade of experience in cannabis. He has worked for small startups and large multi-state operators. Most recently, he has worked with CohnReznick’s Advisory Practice. At CohnReznick, he worked alongside the Dalwhinnie team, helping them launch their boutique in Aspen. Since joining the team as their new CEO, Barksdale has shifted his focus to expansion, scalability and operational excellence, using things like GMPs and other certifications to improve quality and consistency.

We caught up with Barksdale to learn about his experience, his new role, entrepreneurship, social equity and what it means to be a minority leader in the cannabis space.

Cannabis Industry Journal: You have an impressive background before joining the cannabis industry full time. What made you take the leap into this space? Tell us about your background.

Brandon Barksdale: The majority of my background is driven around transforming businesses cross functionally, specifically in operations and finance. When it comes to the cannabis industry, it still lacks maturity; so being able to apply key performance indicators, benchmarking, controls and analytics can drive the industry, and more specifically, our organization, to operational excellence.

Brandon Barksdale, CEO of Dalwhinnie Enterprises LLC

While I was in the professional service space, I was an advisory leader within our cannabis industry group. I was able to be involved and work with organizations at differing levels of maturity, guiding corporate strategy and functional and operational improvement before fully jumping in to lead this organization. Dalwhinnie was the perfect opportunity to use my previous experience to instill value to the company as it continues to scale and grow.

CIJ: With a such a big portfolio of cannabis clients, why leave all that behind to take the reins at Dalwhinnie?

Barksdale: Simply put, I was eager to roll up my sleeves and drive a single organization through its growth lifecycle. When you’re working with and cycling through multiple clients, you’re supporting them from a strategic perspective and providing value and direction but the execution is left to the operational teams internally to follow through. No matter how detailed the plan or deeply you are involved you are still third-party. During scope changes and ramping up and down there’s always some momentum that gets lost. I want to focus on one company, to really tie myself to its DNA, so that I can better be in the driving seat toward success and operational excellence.

Dalwhinnie stands out because of their unwavering focus on quality and the integrity of the brand. To that end, I want everyone within the organization to succeed and to nurture a healthy company ecosystem that allows for professional development, training and being an industry leader. We have a really big opportunity here to set the standard for what quality looks like going forward and what it means to really care about the product that you’re putting out into the marketplace.

CIJ: Dalwhinnie Farms has a cool location in Ridgway, Colorado at the base of the San Juan Mountains and sustained by the snowmelt from the Uncompahgre River.  How does this make Dalwhinnie cannabis different?

Barksdale: There is no doubt that growing at a high elevation with different seasonalities is a challenge. However, every region on Earth presents its own benefits and challenges as it relates to cultivation. You can use the comparison to different regions of wines. Wine from Bordeaux and wine from Napa are going to have different profiles because of all the unique factors of climate, water, humidity, aging practices, etc.

Dalwhinnie Farms in the Sun Juan Mountains

This is one of the things that will make the future of cannabis very interesting. There are multiple elements and variables that help tell the story of the product through its experience of growth. Just like there are tons of wine regions and varietals, there are hundreds of cannabis strains and exponentially more crosses where one can discuss multiple facets of what makes that particular product unique. It is one of the things that will continue to evolve in the cannabis market and one of the most exciting components—knowing that we are still on the way to creating a unique and original marketplace!

CIJ: The Dalwhinnie Farms retail store in Aspen is a unique cannabis dispensary. What is the retail strategy moving forward?

Barskdale: Every cannabis wholesaler, and most markets, are feeling the pressure of price volatility and retail is one of the best-known ways to help stabilize an organization. Our strategy is to stay as nimble and creative as we can, focusing on continuing to build out the success of our flagship Aspen dispensary as well as partnering and entertaining retail expansion opportunities. Our strategy is not to ignore that fact, but to act as perceptively as we can to broaden our retail footprint.

The Dalwhinnie Boutique in Aspen, CO

CIJ: Tell us about your short-term goals for Dalwhinnie.

Barksdale: When I came onboard with Dalwhinnie, I hit the ground running. I had some history with Dalwhinnie and the family of companies so I was lucky to have a head start and insight toward necessary changes. Short term goals included attention to production expansion initiatives, operational changes that moved us closer to excellence, and fine-tuning our GMPs. My eye is also focused on company culture, performance management, and constantly pushing the envelope on quality. While always of importance, we want to continue as a pioneer on cultivation and manufacturing standards as it relates to quality in organics.

CIJ: And what are your long-term goals for the company?

Barksdale: Mentioned as a short-term goal, I want to move toward GMP and GACP manufacturing standards and create a continual cycle of improvement as we move through our expansion and growth plans. In the future, multi-state operations and partnerships are also a big part of our strategic direction. We aim to continue to provide an elevated cannabis retail experience at our flagship location and to expand our retail footprint in the marketplace.

CIJ: There’s been a focus on racial disparities in the cannabis space and the need to improve social equity and opportunities for minorities. How do you hope to support equity and help drive change?

Barksdale: We are at a turning point in the industry where substances are becoming legal, yet so many people are still suffering from nonviolent, non-serious offenses related to cannabis. It is unavoidably apparent and it is something that deserves significant attention and commitment. Every company that is operating in this space should take a level of responsibility to help address or support reparations in some fashion whether that be through jobs, access, and/or partnerships.

There should be an obligation to support some type of social equity improvement project as it relates to the cannabis industry. Some legacy states and now new states coming online, are attempting to course correct by making it a part of the compliance or access components for licenses.

There is still a lot of work to be done. I am working through the strategies that work for us as a company. I am actively exploring how to incorporate opportunities into our operating and business model.

As a women-owned company and myself being a minority leader, it is on the forefront of our priority list to come up with a comprehensive plan and commitment to supporting social and equities in this space.

The post A Q&A with Brandon Barksdale, CEO of Dalwhinnie Enterprises LLC appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

A Q&A with Brandon Barksdale, CEO of Dalwhinnie Enterprises LLC


January 19, 2022 8:04 pm

Is Tilray Stock a Buy Post Fiscal Q2 Results?

Is Tilray Stock a Buy Post Fiscal Q2 Results?

Canadian cannabis giant Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) announced its fiscal second quarter of 2022 results last week. The company reported net revenue of $155 million in Q2 which was an increase of 20% year over year. Tilray attributed these gains to its expansion in verticals that include alcohol as well as hemp-based wellness.

Despite an uptick in sales, Tilray’s gross margin reduced by 7% to $32.8 million as the Canadian cannabis market continues to wrestle with oversupply issues resulting in lower-priced products. Alternatively, Tilray claimed its cost-reduction program is running ahead of schedule and it expects to save $100 million by 2023, up from its earlier forecast of savings of $80 million.

Tilray reported a net income of $6 million in Q2, compared to a year-ago loss of $89 million. The fiscal second quarter was also the 11th consecutive quarter where Tilray reported an adjusted EBITDA. This figure stood at $13.8 million in Q2.

Tilray stock rose by 15% in the two trading days following its Q2 results.

What impacted Tilray in Q2 of fiscal 2022?

Tilray explained its Q2 results were solid as it has successfully built a cannabis and lifestyle brand. Further, the company continues to benefit from its scale, global distribution capabilities as well as operational excellence allowing it to increase sales and maintain profitability despite macro-economic headwinds.

Last year, Tilray completed its merger with Aphria making the combined entity the largest cannabis producer in Canada in terms of market share and sales. Tilray maintained its leadership position in the country despite market saturation and rising competitive challenges.

The company enjoys strong brand recognition and is focused on ensuring an adept pricing environment. It also believes marketing adjustments will allow Tilray to aggressively capture market share going forward.

Germany is the largest medical cannabis market in Europe where Tilray has a 20% share. It’s well-positioned to capture the adult use cannabis market as well in Europe, if and when cannabis is legalized in this region.

Tilray, similar to most other producers aggressively acquired companies in the past. Its acquisition of the U.S.-based SweetWater Brewing and Manitoba Harvest provides it a foothold in the world’s largest cannabis market. These two companies have invested in product innovation to enhance awareness and distribution.

Further, SweetWater and Manitoba Harvest are profitable and provide Tilray an opportunity to launch THC-based products in the U.S. when pot is legalized at the federal level.

What next for TLRY stock?

During its earnings call, Tilray disclosed its new parent name called Tilray Brands. It reflects the company’s evolutions from a Canadian licensed producer to a global consumer packaged goods company with a leading portfolio of cannabis and lifestyle CPG brands.

german flag

Tilray aims to post annual sales of $4 billion by 2024 which is quite optimistic given analysts expect revenue to grow to $980 million in fiscal 2022 and $1.2 billion in fiscal 2023. In order for Tilray to reach its lofty goals, it will have to acquire other licensed producers resulting in shareholder dilution.

Germany is expected to legalize marijuana at the federal level, making it the largest country to do so in terms of population. Tilray already has an EU GMP-certified facility operating in Germany which can increase production capacity to accommodate demand from the adult use segment.

Bottom Line: Is Tilray Stock a Buy Post Fiscal Q2 Results?

While Tilray’s stock gained pace, following its Q2 results, investors should understand that it was estimated to report revenue of $171 million in the quarter. Despite the cost synergies enjoyed by Tilray, the adult-use market in Canada is crowded as well as highly fragmented and should consolidate in the upcoming years which will allow companies to improve the bottom line.

Tilray stock is valued at a market cap of $3.2 billion which suggests its forward price to sales multiple is over 3x. Unlike most cannabis producers in the U.S. Tilray continues to post an adjusted loss making it a high-risk bet at current multiples.

The post Is Tilray Stock a Buy Post Fiscal Q2 Results? appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

Is Tilray Stock a Buy Post Fiscal Q2 Results?


January 19, 2022 5:15 pm

More Research Links Cannabis to Treatment for Novel Coronavirus

More Research Links Cannabis to Treatment for Novel Coronavirus

Compounds found in cannabis prevented the novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19, from penetrating healthy human cells. The findings were published in the Journal of Nature Products

Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), two compounds commonly found in cannabis, have potential to fight the virus that causes COVID-19. During a chemical screening, researchers from Oregon State University bound spike proteins found on the virus and blocked a step the pathogen uses to infect people. 

The research was conducted in a laboratory setting and did not involve human trials. The compounds effectively combat the SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant and the beta variant.  

“Orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids, isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2,” the study’s authors said.

Cannabis, also known as hemp, is used in a variety of products ranging from food to fiber to fuel. Its versatility extends into healthcare. 

It’s currently being researched as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, appetite loss, Crohn’s disease, cancer, and many other illnesses. 

This is not the first research to have linked cannabinoids as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus. 

Eybna Technologies CEO Nadav Eyal published research last year detailing the effectiveness of a cannabis terpene formulation, NT-VRL, in treating or preventing infection from the disease that causes COVID-19.

“We came up with a formulation containing 30 different terpenes,” Eyal said. “The NFT-VRL formulation blocked the penetration of the coronavirus to the cells.”

Terpenes are hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants such as cannabis. They are responsible for each plant’s unique smell and taste. Eyal’s research has linked these compounds to therapeutic effects as well. 

“We were able to show that terpenes by themself are not just smell and taste, but they are actually effective and have their own medical value. So this was important for the conversation of how we can basically take the cannabis plant and make it into a real medicine,” said Eyal.

Eybna’s research is now undergoing human trials. To hear more about this discovery, listen to Eyal’s interview on Episode 71 of Cannabis Tech Talks or read his profile in the winter issue of Cannabis & Tech Today.


#CBD #Hemp

More Research Links Cannabis to Treatment for Novel Coronavirus


January 13, 2022 11:53 pm

Top Five Insurances Cannabis Businesses Need in 2022

Top Five Insurances Cannabis Businesses Need in 2022

Cannabis remains one of the fastest growing industries with no signs of slowing down. According to a recent article in Forbes Magazine, the legal cannabis market is poised to grow 20-30% per year to the tune of $50 billion by 2026.[1]With great opportunity comes numerous risks. Claims and lawsuits against cannabis businesses are increasing in frequency and magnitude. As an insurance broker who specializes in the cannabis industry and works with a wide variety of cannabis, hemp and CBD businesses in every state where cannabis laws are established, our recent analysis has unveiled the top five insurances your cannabis business needs in 2022.

  1. General Liability

General liability is the most essential coverage your business needs to protect you from a variety of claims including personal injury, bodily harm, property damage and other situations that may arise including slander, libel, copyright infringement and more.

Since general liability is not always required to obtain a cannabis license, many businesses are tempted to forgo the expense. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as one single lawsuit has the potential to cripple your business. With a comprehensive, cannabis-specific general liability insurance policy in place, your insurance company, not you, will pay medical expenses and property damage claims from third parties, in addition to hefty legal fees and fines.

  1. Property & Casualty Insurance
P&C insurance is an important part of your security and protection plan.

If you own a dispensary, grow operation, warehouse, testing facility or any other type of cannabis business with inventory, you need to protect your assets from potential loss or damage. Property & casualty (P&C) insurance safeguards your business against common and costly perils such as a fire, lightning, explosion/implosion, and even less common – but still possible – risks like riots, strikes and terrorism.

P&C insurance not only pays for damages to your business property resulting from a covered loss but it also covers the contents within your place of business, including office furniture, computers, inventory and other assets essential to your business operations. There are policies that will also provide the funds required to keep your business afloat until the damages from the loss are repaired. Any cannabis business with a physical property and location(s) should have a comprehensive property and casualty P&C policy in place.

  1. Product Liability/Product Recall

Recently, we’ve seen a dramatic influx of product liability claims, and in particular, product recalls. Lawsuits have ranged from a single plaintiff seeking damages for personal injuries to class action lawsuits where a defective product is tied to an entire group of claimants.

control the room environment
Preventing contamination can save a business from extremely costly recalls. Having the right insurance can prevent a recall from becoming costly in the first place.

As a cannabis business owner, you can be sued for any damage resulting from products that cause harm to others, this includes false advertising, mislabeled or defective products. No matter where you are in the supply chain, your business could be held liable. The process of defending litigation or reaching a settlement agreement can completely drain a company’s resources. You’ll have to deal with regulatory compliance, producing and distributing product warnings, recalling products, claim investigation, product testing and additional risk assessment.

Product liability insurance is often overlooked, especially by small to mid-size businesses. However, your cannabis business needs this type of coverage if you sell any goods or products that end up in the hands of the public. In fact, your business may be contractually obligated to have product liability insurance. One such lawsuit is enough to fold a business due to costly legal fees and fines, as well reputation damage beyond repair.

Product liability insurance is designed to protect your cannabis company from claims that can happen anywhere along the supply chain, including product contamination, mislabeled products, false advertising or defective products. With proper coverage, your insurance company will pay for damages and legal expenses if you are sued, up to your policy limits. Your product liability policy will also cover any medical expenses for those who are harmed by your business. Making sure your insurance policy includes product liability insurance should be a top priority in 2022.

  1. Cyber Defense/Data Breach Insurance

Cyber fraud and data breaches are two of the greatest risks facing cannabis companies in 2022. With so much cash pouring into the space, cannabis businesses of all sizes are bulls-eye targets for cybercriminals. Even the smallest of cannabis businesses are at risk of data breaches because they are part of a larger interconnected network of seed to sale vendors. These types of crimes can have detrimental effects on your business in numerous ways. In the case of a data breach resulting in the disclosure of a third party’s private information, the third party could sue your business. The SEC could also find your company negligent in cyber fraud cases and impose significant fines.

By forgoing cyber defense & data breach insurance, your business will be solely responsible for expensive legal bills, significant revenue losses and hefty fines and penalties from regulators. Cyber defense & data breach insurance is a must-have coverage in 2022, and beyond, to protect your business from cybercrimes.

  1. Directors & Officers Insurance

If you are looking to secure venture capital or funding from investors in 2022, and/or attract and retain qualified leadership, you need directors & officers (D&O) Insurance. D&O protects corporate directors and officers, as well as their spouses and estates, from being personally liable in the event your company is sued by investors, employees, vendors, competitors, customers, or other parties, for actual or alleged wrongful acts in managing the company. In the event of litigation, your D&O insurance will cover legal fees, fines, settlements and other expensive costs.

D&O is often the most overlooked coverage because many cannabis businesses are independently run, and no one foresees the potential for operational failures and mismanagement. However, businesses with any sort of vision for growth should make D&O a top priority. It not only protects your current executives and board members but is critical in attracting leading talent in the space, as well as drawing in new investors to scale up your business. In fact, we’re seeing more prospective investors and board members requiring D&O insurance prior to engaging with a company to ensure they are fully protected in the event of litigation.

When it comes to mitigating risk in this business, the stakes are sky high. Cannabis companies that have not incorporated risk management into their business/operational plans will need to in 2022. It all boils down to the THREE P’s: being “Proactive, Prepared and Protected.”

The post Top Five Insurances Cannabis Businesses Need in 2022 appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

Top Five Insurances Cannabis Businesses Need in 2022


January 11, 2022 4:52 pm

Emerald Holding Acquires MJBiz for $120 Million

Emerald Holding Acquires MJBiz for $120 Million

In a press release sent out today, Emerald Holding, Inc. announced they have completed their acquisition of MJBiz for $120 million.

Emerald Holding, Inc. is a large, publicly traded business-to-business events producer and content conglomerate with a number of publications and events in industries like design, equipment, retail, safety & security and technology. Founded in 2013, the company has become a leading operator of B2B trade shows in the US, with their largest shareholder being the Toronto-based investment group called Onex Corporation.

MJBiz, founded in 2011, is known in the cannabis industry for their content platform, MJBizDaily, as well as the world’s largest cannabis trade show, MJBizCon.

As part of the agreement to acquire MJBiz, Emerald Holding will retain senior management in the company for day-to-day operations. The agreement also includes the potential for future payments, depending on the company’s performance through the end of this year.

Hervé Sedky, President and CEO of Emerald Holding, says they have been big fans of the MJBiz brand for a long time. “We have long admired MJBiz’s sterling reputation for being the most trusted event and content producer serving the business side of the cannabis and hemp industries and their respective participants,” says Sedky. “This is a transformational acquisition for Emerald as it represents an important next step in the implementation of our strategic initiatives and underscores our commitment to evolve and grow our customers’ businesses 365 days a year.”

The two founders of MJBiz, Cassandra Farrington and Anne Holland, will stay on with the company in a consulting capacity. According to Farrington, who is also chair of the MJBiz Board, says they went with Emerald because they value the company’s uniqueness. “Our organization has experienced massive growth since its inception, initially as a how-to resource to help dispensary owners run their businesses better, into our position today as the leading commercial resource for the cannabis sector,” says Farrington. “Integrating with a larger organization provides the additional resources and channels to unlock the next phase of MJBiz’s growth and is the right next step in our evolution as a business.”

The post Emerald Holding Acquires MJBiz for $120 Million appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

Emerald Holding Acquires MJBiz for $120 Million


January 4, 2022 4:25 pm

A Conversation with the Founders of Veda Scientific: Part One

A Conversation with the Founders of Veda Scientific: Part One

Leo Welder, CEO of Veda Scientific, founded the business with Aldwin M. Anterola, PhD in July of 2019. A serial entrepreneur with experience in a variety of markets, he came to the industry with an intrigue for cannabis testing and analysis. After teaming up with Dr. Anterola, co-founder and chief science officer at Veda Scientific, they came together with the purpose of unlocking possibilities in cannabis. From the beginning, they set out with a heavy scientific interest in furthering the industry from a perspective of innovation and research.

Through discussing their clients’ needs and understanding their complex problems, the two realized they wanted to start a lab that goes well beyond the normal regulatory compliance testing. Innovation in cannabis looks like a lot of things: new formulations for infused products, better designs for vaping technology or new blends of genetics creating unique strains, to name a few. For the folks at Veda Scientific, innovation is about rigorous and concentrated research and development testing.

With the help of some very sophisticated analytical chemistry instruments, their team is working on better understanding how volatile compounds play a part in the chemometrics of cannabis. From varietals and appellations to skunky smells, their research in the chemistry of cannabis is astounding – and they’ve only begun to scratch the surface.

In this two-part series, we discuss their approach to cannabis testing, their role in the greater industry as a whole and we go down a few cannabis chemistry rabbit holes and find out that what we don’t know is a lot more than what we do know. In part one, we get into their backgrounds, how they came into the cannabis industry and how they are carving out their niche. Stay tuned for part two next week where we delve deep into the world of volatile compounds, winemaking, the tastes and smells of cannabis and chicken adobo.

Aaron G. Biros: Tell me about how you and your team came to launch Veda, how you entered the cannabis space and what Veda’s approach is to the role of testing labs in the broader cannabis industry. 

Leo Welder, CEO of Veda Scientific

Leo Welder: I’m an entrepreneur. This is my third significant venture in the last fifteen years or so. So, I was intrigued by cannabis legalization broadly, because it is such a unique time in our history. I was always interested in participating in the industry in some way, but I didn’t see where would be a good fit for me. I used to meet monthly with a group of friends and fellow entrepreneurs for dinner and discussions and one member started working on the software side of the industry. He mentioned the testing element of cannabis in one of our meetings. I latched on to that and was intrigued by the concept of testing cannabis. I began to research it and found the role that testing plays in the cannabis industry is really significant. I found out that regulators rely pretty heavily on labs to make sure that products are safe, labels are accurate and that consumers have some protections. So, I thought that this is a space that I thought I could really find a calling in.

So, from that point I knew I needed to find a subject matter expert, because I am not one. I have business skills and experience in some technical fields but I am not a cannabis testing expert by any means. So, with that I started to look at a few different markets that I thought may have opportunity for a new lab, and I came across Aldwin’s business; he had a cannabis testing lab in Illinois at that time. I reached out to him, talked to him about my vision for the space and his thoughts and his vision and we really started to come together. From there, we researched various markets and ultimately chose to approach Santa Barbara County as our first foray together into the cannabis testing market.

Aldwin M. Anterola: As Leo mentioned, he was looking for a subject matter expert and I am very much interested in plant biochemistry. Which means I like to study how plants make these compounds that are very useful to us. For my PhD [in plant physiology], I was studying how cell cultures of loblolly pine produce lignin. Our lab was interested in how pine trees produce lignin, which is what makes up wood. Wood comes from phenolic compounds. You’ve probably heard of antioxidants and flavonoids – those are phenolic compounds. After my PhD, I wanted to do something different so I decided to work with terpenes.

I picked a very important terpene in our field, an anti-cancer compound called Taxol, produced from the bark of the yew tree. You have to cut trees to harvest it. We have ways of synthesizing it now. But at that time, we were trying to figure out how the tree produces that terpene. Of course, I’m interested in any compound that plants make. My interest in terpenes led me to cannabinoids which turn out to be terpenophenolics, thus combining the two interests in my professional field.

Aldwin M. Anterola, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at Veda Scientific,

So that’s the scientific and intellectual side of why I became interested in cannabis, but practically speaking I got into cannabis because of a consulting offer. A company was applying for a cultivation license, wanted to have a laboratory component of their business in their application, and hired me to write that part of their application. I was very familiar with HPLC, and had a GC/MS in the lab. I also have a background in microbiology and molecular biology so I can cover every test required at that time, and I knew I could research the other analytical techniques if necessary.

So, they did not get the license, but I figured I’d take what I wrote, once I received permission, and set up an independent laboratory together. But it’s hard to run a lab and be a professor at the same time. Also, the busines side of running a lab is something that I am not an expert in. Fortunately, Leo found me. Before that, I really got excited about this new industry. The concept of cannabis being now accessible to more people is so interesting to me because of how new everything is. I wanted to be involved in an industry like this and help in making it safe while satisfying my curiosity in this new field of research. As a scientist, those are the things that excite us: the things we didn’t have access to, we can now do. It opens up a whole new room that we want to unlock. It was my intellectual curiosity that really drove me. This opened up new research avenues for me as well as other ventures if you will. How can I be more involved? I thought to myself.

SIU boasts an impressive cannabis program, thanks largely to Dr. Anterola’s work there. 

Back in 2014, I introduced cannabis research to our university [Southern Illinois University] and set up an industrial hemp program, which was DEA-licensed I gathered faculty that would be interested in studying hemp and cannabis and we now have a whole cannabis science center at the university. I teach a course in cannabis biology and because I also teach medical botany to undergraduate students, I was able to introduce [premed] students to the endocannabinoid system. Anyway, I can go on and on.

Outside of that I became involved with the AOAC and ASTM, and became a qualified assessor for ISO 17025:2017. I have been a member of the American Chemical Society since 2000 but there were no cannabis related activities there yet until relatively recently. But when they had the new cannabis chemistry subdivision, I am happy to participate in there as well . There are many avenues that I took to begin dabbling with cannabis, be it research, nonprofits, teaching, testing and more. Cannabis has basically infiltrated all areas of what I do as an academic.

Leo: I read his resume and I was like this is the guy! So back to your question, what’s Veda’s role as a testing lab in this space? What are we trying to build? We spent a lot of time trying to figure out what we wanted to be in this space. We came to understand that labs are not the tip of the spear for the market; that would be the growers, the retailers and the processors. We are a support, a service. We see ourselves as a humble, but competent guide. We provide the data for the tip of the spear, the people pushing the industry forward with support, data and the services to make sure they have the tools they need to build these great companies and great products with good cultivation practices and more, leading everyone to the next level of the cannabis industry. Our job is to support innovation, to provide quality compliance testing, to of course ensure safety, while also providing great R&D to these innovative companies.

Aldwin: I’d like to add a bit to that thought. Okay so that’s who we are, but what are we not? Because as Leo said I had a testing lab before we met [Advanced Herbal Analytics]. From there, I approach it as safety testing, making sure that before it gets to the end consumer, we are sort of like gate keepers keeping consumers safe. That’s one side to it, but we are not the people who are trying to make sure that none of the products get to the market. For some, that’s how we’re treated as.

People often look at testing labs like the police. We are not the people trying to limit products to market. Our approach is not to find faults. There is another way of being a testing lab that is less about finding faults in products and more about finding uniqueness. What makes your product different? With this new approach, we are much more focused on helping the best products make it to the shelves.

Aaron: Given that all state licensed labs have to provide the same tests as the other labs in that state, how does Veda differentiate itself?

Leo: Location was the first thing. We picked Santa Barbara County intentionally. We knew that some of the biggest operators, some of the most forward-thinking innovators were setting up shop here. Looking down the road, not just this year or next year but very long term, we wanted to start building a great, sustainable company. We wanted to build a brand that those kinds of companies would be receptive to. Building better and greater products. There’s one other lab in the county and that’s it. Whereas there are clusters of labs in other parts of the state. Part of the draw to Santa Barbara for us was that it is such a small, tight-knit community. We have worked very hard to build relationships in our community and to understand their challenges, helping them however we can.

Location and relationships. Getting to know the challenges that different size customers face, be it our greenhouse customers versus outdoor customers, or large-scale operations versus smaller manufacturing operations, the challenges are all different. Some people care about turnaround times, some more about R&D. If we understand our client’s problems, then we can provide better service. We see ourselves as problem solvers. We lean heavily on our technical team members like Aldwin, who not only have tremendous amounts of experience and education, but also great networks to utilize when a customer needs help, even when it falls outside of our local expertise.

The GCxGC/MS instrument, used for Veda’s advanced R&D testing

Last but certainly not least is the advanced R&D testing that we do. When we first started, we started talking to farmers and manufacturers trying to understand their challenges. What data were they not getting? How would a testing lab better serve them? So, we started investing strategically in certain instruments that would allow us to better serve them. We’ll get into this later as well, but we invested in a GCxGC/MS, which allows us to get more visibility into things beyond the typical panels, like more terpenes and other volatile compounds including thiols and esters. We did that because we knew there is value in that. The data our customers were getting prior just wasn’t enough to put together really great breeding programs or to manufacture really consistent products, you know, to move toward that next level of innovation in the industry.

Aldwin: Leo mentioned advanced R&D and it’s basically the same approach that I mentioned before. It’s not just telling you what you can and cannot do. It’s about asking them what do you want to do and what do you want from a lab? If we have a problem, let’s see if we can solve it. That’s how the GCxGC/MS came into play because we knew there was a need to test for many terpenes and other volatile compounds. The common complaint we received was why two terpene profiles differ so much from each other, even from the same genetics.

This is something that would actually give the customer, the cultivator or the manufacturer: data about their product that they can actually use. For consistency, for better marketing and other reasons. We are trying to help them answer the questions of ‘how can I make my product better?’

You know, for example, clients would tell us they want something that has a specific taste or smells a certain way. Nobody is telling them what makes the flavor or smell. There is a need there that we can fill. We are trying to provide data that they, the customers, need so that they can improve their breeding programs or their formulations. Data they can use, not just data they need in order to comply with regulations. They would ask us what we can do. We listen to our customers and we try and help as best we can. We don’t know every answer. We are discovering there is a lot more to terpenes than what you can find on a traditional one dimensional gas chromatogram. Some of the terpene data that our clients had previously is not really actionable data, which is where the GCxGC/MS is helping us.


In part two, we delve deep into the world of volatile compounds, winemaking, the tastes and smells of cannabis and chicken adobo. Stay tuned for part two coming next week.

The post A Conversation with the Founders of Veda Scientific: Part One appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


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A Conversation with the Founders of Veda Scientific: Part One


December 29, 2021 7:14 pm

Legalizing Will Save 1.1% of all Rx $

The US could save $500,000,000 annually in prescription drug costs if medical marijuana was legal, and that’s just the Medicare Part D costs.

Extrapolated to all US prescription costs not just Part D (disabled and retired), the annual savings is almost $4 billion, 1.1% of all prescription drug expenditures.

With the 51-year lie of marijuana in Schedule 1 and “no medical value,” FDA has long done everything it could to protect its Big Pharma patrons.

Read more at: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-21/real-reason-pharma-companies-hate-medical-marijuana-spoiler-alert-it-works

Pot Taxes: Epic Fail

Don’t be so quick to embrace marijuana taxes. There shouldn’t even be a tax: savings from non-enforcement is an order of magnitude greater. Adding taxes on top of that is double-dipping. They’re shooting themselves in the foot with high taxes; take budget from the drug squad windfall savings instead.

Even a mere 0.0001% tax demands an armed bureaucracy prepared to use all its powers and might to enforce its mandate under penalty of your death at the end of a qualified immunity gun. A bureaucracy’s prime motive is to grow and increase power and staff, so it’ll only get bigger and demand an ever-higher tax.

It’ll never actually be legal if any tax is owed the government, instead it’ll be like the old days of Revenooers busting stills in the woods.

Just. Say. No.

Easy Solution For US’s SCND Problem

What’s the US going to do about the U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (SCND) Treaty, the mother of all drug laws? I suggest do what Uruguay, Paraguay, The Netherlands, Jamaica, and Canada do, and soon Malta, Luxembourg, and Thailand will do, and what the government already did to many Native American treaties: ignore it.

Good thing none of the 50 US states are signatories, 10A FTW. That treaty created this federal vs state antagonism, a daily Constitutional crisis since 1996. It’s the way our system was designed; it’s not actually illegal in the state just federally, and that’s an acceptable outcome in this interim transitional period we are in.

And who pushed Geneva to write said treaty? None other than Harry Anslinger. He perceived the Constitution didn’t allow him to marshal a national police force so h used a tax stamp to determine legality. A blatant 5A infringement, it was ruled unconstitutional in 1969.

Almost every marijuana state still has laws against marijuana on the books, Schedule 1 in each’s CSA. But legality in America is determined by enforcement, not necessarily any of thousands of new laws written every year.

And if there’s actually no law against what you’re doing but the cop doesn’t like you, it’s still illegal in that he will arrest you and drop charges later. Conversely, if you’re a Senator’s son you are indeed fortunate, no matter how many kilos of blow are in your trunk. Therefore legality is defined by enforcement and they don’t enforce marijuana laws as much as they once did in legal states. That’s why I include The Netherlands in the list, because if enforcement defines legality then gedogen = legal.

And in our system states are free to legalize weed as long as they’re able to literally keep the Feds at bay. That truce was once called the Cole Memo, then the Ogden Memo. AG Sessions tore them up and Biden never reinstated them, but budget amendments did much to get cases tossed federally.

So they switched tactics, today’s New Normal: seize assets but don’t prosecute; cash and Ferraris don’t have standing to argue their case in court. And if you do it, they’ll prosecute. A jury or a Circuit Court of Appeals let alone the US Supreme Court will never hear a case, no matter how much Justice Thomas wants to.

Despite the increase in state-legal activity the federal is also seeing a massive budget off-balance sheet infusion from it, right when it should be scaling back on state-legal marijuana enforcement. Besides the cost savings there’s no fear of finding it unconstitutional, which S1 is 4 ways. Both the theft of assets which is fruit of the poison tree, Schedule 1. The New Normal encourages corruption of federal agents and makes a mockery of the 4th, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 16th Amendments.

That’s how the US states can flip off the UN and get away with it. They aren’t signatories and the US Constitution allows states to be “laboratories of democracy.” The UN obviously didn’t expect a federal not to be able to whip its regions and provinces and cantons into shape. Like a few areas in Europe, each US state is essentially a similar autonomous region. And like in the US some of those regions are allowing common sense marijuana reform; laboratories of democracy.

Here’s the source of Schedule 1’s “no medical value“ in the 1937 hearings for the MTA, Anslinger’s Scientists For Hire:

Candidate questionnaire draft

Candidate questionnaire draft

Having given money to Democratic candidates in the past, I’ve been getting calls from candidates asking for my support.

I’m working up a questionnaire to see whom to support; here’s a draft. There will be more questions; suggestions welcomed.

Do you support taking away the carried interest tax advantage for hedge fund operators?

Do you support increasing the federal estate tax?

Do you support eliminating planning opportunities that allow avoidance of the federal estate tax?

Do you propose to let marijuana companies start deducting their advertising and marketing expenses on either federal and North Carolina tax returns?  That is, would you take away the 280E Selling Expense Tax on the books now? 

Do you support government rather than for-profit private marijuana retailing in North Carolina?

My own answers would be yes to all questions except the fourth one about 280E.  


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Candidate questionnaire draft
December 13, 2021 11:11 pm

Remembering Bob Dole

Remembering Bob Dole

I was a big fan of Bob Dole when I worked for Congressional tax-writing committees in the 1980s.  He chaired the Senate Finance Committee until he became Majority Leader, and he stayed on the committee.  He was a statesman in his own way, and funny.  After Dole died, Al Franken started claiming to be the funniest living ex-Senator.

Here’s some marijuana tax trivia.  Bob Dole inserted the 280E Selling Expense Tax into the tax law in 1982 when he was Senate Finance Committee chair.  I was on the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation then, and must have known about 280E back then, because the staff had proofed the technical explanation of the entire bill during Congressional downtime for staff, but I didn’t work on it.

Dole got the idea from Senator Bill Armstrong (R-CO) who was on the Finance Committee.  Armstrong was a pretty shrewd operator.  He was described by Dole as the “the father of tax indexing” – a change called the most dramatic tax law development in a generation by Ken Kies on the right and Jim Wetzler on the left.  So that makes Armstrong a key figure in tax policy.  280E is hated by the marijuana industry, but by making advertising and marketing non-deductible, 280E keeps the noise down.  


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Remembering Bob Dole
December 11, 2021 7:04 pm

Nonprofits Focus Lens on Delta-8-THC

Nonprofits Focus Lens on Delta-8-THC

On December 2, ASTM International, released a whitepaper called “Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol and the Need to Develop Standards to Protect Safety of Consumers.” On the same day, the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) launched an expert panel, drafting commentary and providing recommendations to protect public health. The two organizations are working in tandem to better educate the public as well as regulators on the science behind the risks that delta-8-THC products pose to the public.

The chemical structure of Delta 8 THC.

ASTM has been working in the cannabis industry through their D37 committee since March of 2017. Soon after the D37 committee launched, they began crafting cannabis standards and have grown their membership and subcommittees considerably over the past few years. USP has also been involved in the cannabis space for quite some time, developing reference standards and offering guidance for the cannabis testing market.

The ASTM whitepaper details the current landscape for hemp-based products that contain delta-8-thc derived from CBD. It includes information on what the cannabinoid is, how it’s produced, the emergence of delta-8-thc in hemp markets and the need for better safety and performance standards.

David Vaillencourt, frequent CIJ contributor and ASTM International member, says they want to identify how we can maintain public safety when it comes to delta-8-THC. “Products containing delta-8-THC are widely available to consumers despite the known and unknown risks to consumer health and safety,” says Vaillencourt. “The topic is much deeper than simply the presence of delta-8-THC. Rather it is about defining how to label products containing potentially intoxicating cannabinoids and identifying what safeguards need to be in place to minimize the risk of impurities that can further impact consumer health.”

In addition to the technical information provided, ASTM’s whitepaper also discusses the risks of synthetic cannabinoids to public health and the regulatory landscape surrounding delta-8-THC. USP’s whitepaper discusses the chemical process that creates delta-8-THC, the unregulated market and offers guidance on how to regulate the cannabinoid with labeling and testing rules.

Dr. Ikhlas Khan, chairman of USP’s expert panel on cannabis, says we need a lot more research.  “The fact of the matter is that little is known about the products labeled as containing delta-8, so much so that the FDA and CDC have both released advisories about the products,” says Khan. “Depending on how the products are produced, unknown impurities may be introduced, including minor and synthetic cannabinoid compounds that are not naturally occurring in cannabis.”

Delta-8-THC is not inherently unsafe, says Dr. Nandakumara Sarma, Director of Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines for USP. But as we’ve covered this before, the methods that manufacturers use to produce delta-8-THC could have harmful byproducts present in final products. “Synthetically derived cannabinoids are not necessarily inherently unsafe if they are quality controlled and shown to be safe,” says Dr. Sarma. “By using public quality standards, we can help in controlling the quality of the products and set appropriate limits for impurities.”

The folks at USP and ASTM will host a presentation on the two papers during ASTM’s 2nd Global Workshop on Advancing the Field of Cannabis through Standardization, to be held virtually Dec. 14, 2021. Click here to register.

The post Nonprofits Focus Lens on Delta-8-THC appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


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Nonprofits Focus Lens on Delta-8-THC


December 7, 2021 8:53 pm

A Closer Look at Village Farms

A Closer Look at Village Farms

Village Farms International (NASDAQ: VFF) manages and operates greenhouse facilities in North America. They’ve worked with growers for over 30 years and started supporting cannabis growers in 2017.  The company was founded by Michael A. DeGiglio and Albert W. Vanzeyst in 1987 and is headquartered in Delta, Canada. But is Village Farms stock a strong buy?

What is Village Farms International?

Village Farms International has a long history of managing and operating energy efficient grow facilities for agricultural crops. This includes cannabis, recently, and vegetables which bring in over $200 million in revenue annually.

Their 2021 acquisition of Pure SunFarms, one of Canada’s best known cannabis brands, gave them around $17 million in extra revenue and a large opportunity in the flower competition in Canada. Current goals have them taking 20% of the flower market share. They also deal in vapes, oils and infused edibles.

Bottom Line: Is Village Farms Stock a Strong Buy?

Village Farms stock shows plenty of promise. They have a large footprint in Texas as well, supporting hemp cultivation and processing into CBD products for distribution in the USA. With a small stake in Altum International, they also have a presence in Asia.

Excitingly, their subsidiary Balanced Health Botanicals, has come out with their Synergy Collections of SKUs (cannabinoids such as CBDA, CBG, and CBG with non-hallucinogenic mushrooms and Kava roots). These products will come as tinctures, capsules and drinks (around 31 SKUs pending) and should diversify their product offerings even more.

Their revenue remains strong, with adjusted EBITDA up 49% YoY and Pure SunFarms reporting 12 straight quarters of positive adjusted EBITDA. They have a lot of cash and are paying off their debt and recent acquisition costs quickly. With really low P/S, Price/Book and EV/Revenue ratios (all under 4) we see a bargain price now for a company that should slowly grow for the next six quarters.

Village Farms stock presents a longer buy and hold opportunity but the recent price drop (37% in 1 year?!) is making much more of an enticing deal now.

For all these reasons we rate VFF as Strong.

83% of Cannin’s fundamentals prove true within 30 days or less on 100+ recommendations over the past 3 years.

The post A Closer Look at Village Farms appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


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A Closer Look at Village Farms


December 6, 2021 11:29 pm

Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 4

Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 4

Natural cannabinoid distillates and isolates are hydrophobic oils and solids, meaning that they do not mix well with water and are poorly absorbed in the human body after consumption. Cannabinoid oils can be formulated into emulsions to form a fine suspension in water to improve bioavailability, stability and flavor. Vertosa is a cannabis infused ingredients company specializing in emulsion technologies. Their technology can be found in a range of CBD and THC containing beverages found on shelves today.

We spoke with Austin Stevenson, chief innovation officer at Vertosa, to learn more about emulsification technology and some of the challenges in testing cannabis infused beverages. Stevenson joined Vertosa in 2019 after spending time as a cannabis advisor at CanopyBoulder as an entrepreneur in residence. Prior to Vertosa, Stevenson ran the hemp and CBD analytical testing laboratory business unit for Eurofins.

Aaron Green: How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?

Austin Stevenson: I got involved in the cannabis industry nearly seven years ago, when I was an advisor to an accelerator in agriculture technology in Africa. I went to the MIT Innovation Laboratory, and I saw a whole bunch of farmers cultivating green leafy vegetables in the middle of the Kalahari Desert, which piqued my curiosity. I learned that it was all done via hydroponic indoor cultivation and freight containers. I got back to the US and put my detective hat on, and learned that it was really the cannabis industry that was driving innovation in terms of indoor and sustainable agriculture. At that point, I took it as an opportunity to dive in and started, again, as an advisor at an accelerator in Colorado. From there, I’ve been on the amazing cannabis journey.

Green: And how did you get involved with Vertosa?

Austin Stevenson, Chief Innovation Officer at Vertosa

Stevenson: I became an advisor at CanopyBoulder to a few software companies and got on the founding team there as well as at a few cultivation companies and other license types across the supply chain. Immediately before Vertosa, I ran the business unit for hemp and CBD testing at Eurofins, one of the world’s largest analytical chemistry laboratories, specializing in Ag Pharma. My clients were your traditional retailers: CVS, Kroger. Our team analyzed thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of SKUs of infused products.

At one point I had to tell one of my clients at Eurofins, that all of their beverage SKUs were failing potency tests. Their supplements, OTC products, some of the confections, cosmetics, were all passing, but the beverages were failing potency testing. Cannabinoid ingredients were floating to the top, sinking to the bottom, even leaching into the can liners. It just wasn’t working, so we had to tell them that those beverages could not go to market. On this same day, I happened to run into my longtime friend and business partner in the industry (now Vertosa CEO) Ben Larson at a conference in Oakland, who was running the Gateway Incubator at the time, but had met our other partner and founder, Dr. Harold Han. Ben told me, “I have this PhD chemist, a surface chemist from BioRad. He’s been experimenting with techniques, taking cannabis oils and turning them into fast acting emulsions for beverages. I’d like for you to check it out because I’m considering building a business around this.” I said, “Alright, show me the technology. Let me take it back to the lab, analyze it, verify it, and then try it. See if it works.” Lo and behold, it did. I fell in love with the product. I saw the problem firsthand at my lab and now I saw a solution, so I knew that the next part of my cannabis journey would be to join Ben and Harold in building a business together focused on being the number one technology solving the problem of stability and potency for the infused beverage market.

Green: What is the core technology of Vertosa?

Stevenson: Our focus at Vertosa is being the best delivery mechanism for cannabinoids. That means that we have a portfolio of different technologies that we’re using to take cannabis oils and turn them into fast-acting liquid emulsions, as well as powder-based APIs. When we began, we were using nano-emulsification. We are using nanotechnology in the food space, with a few different methods for creating those nano-emulsions, to infuse a diverse range of different products – everything from seltzer waters to dealcoholized wines and teas.

Green: So, it’s a portfolio of products with the basic idea of encapsulating the oil into smaller components. Can you highlight some of the challenges when you were first developing the product with testing? My assumption is that it was relatively new for testing labs. How did you support method development with them so that you are accurately reporting cannabinoid content?

Stevenson: The biggest problem that we faced at Vertosa is that there’s no one size that fits all. The chemistry of an infused seltzer water is different than the chemistry of a dealcoholized wine. The reason is because, quite literally, the ingredients are different. They’re different products. When we’re making the emulsions for these beverages, all the ingredients have to be compatible – the ingredients in the emulsion as well as the ingredients in the beverage. We’ve had to design a portfolio of different emulsions for different beverage types to ensure compatibility in any scenario, otherwise there could be instability, causing separation between the emulsion and the ingredients.

Additionally, we’ve seen challenges in the packaging type as well as the manufacturing techniques, specifically sterilization, thermal processing, chemical treatment, or the lack thereof. These three core variables (ingredients, packaging, and manufacturing technique) are where all the challenges in potency testing arise. For example, you have an infused beverage that is going to be packaged in an aluminum can. There is a polarity between cannabinoids and the can aligners that ultimately could create leaching, or an absorption type of effect.

At Eurofins, we would see beverages that were supposed to contain CBD in the can but were testing at 0 milligrams, despite manufacturers confirming that they had added the CBD. All the CBD had been absorbed into the can liner. Our teams of method development chemists and management had learned to acid rinse the can liner so that we would be able to capture the cannabinoids and identify them. That was a step that we had to learn through trial and error, and we were able to bring this over and build upon this at Vertosa.

Here at Vertosa, the biggest challenge in the lab currently is that there aren’t consistent methods for analyzing beverages. Every lab has different standards, and the instrumentation hasn’t always been calibrated. To ensure that these low dose beverages are measured properly, you have an accurate LOQ to identify the cannabinoid content. Part of the challenge is that the analytical chemistry community has only started to collaborate here recently, literally in the last few months as the AOAC made a call to action for methods for beverage.

At Vertosa, we’ve had to work together with the labs and ask if they have a method for developing beverages. It’s a three-step approach: we send a lab the oil, the emulsion, and the finished product, and ensure that the accurate cannabinoid profile is being diluted across the entire chain to make sure that each step the instrumentation has been calibrated the correct way. We want to make sure that they calibrate it into the HPLC and that the correct cannabinoid profile is always consistent in the finished product. It’s a lot of intimate hand-holding with the labs.

Green: So, you took it upon yourself to go out and get the methods validated, anticipating the need for finished goods testing with your customers and partners?

Stevenson: That’s right. From the beginning, we understood that the problems we are setting out to solve are consistent potency testing and accurate dosing. We wanted to be able to say confidently that when you work with us, you’re going to pass potency tests every time. And if you don’t, we’re going to uncover the reasons why.

For us, we have been able to provide that consistent and reliable ingredient. And yes, there’s been stumbles along the way, but those stumbles are the learnings that make us better. In the beginning, we had just one formula but the chemistries of different beverages vary too much for that to work. We also know that packaging type and manufacturing processes play a role. So, we now have a portfolio of different emulsions, such as conventional, natural, and organic, that can work with any given varibale and that have verifiable potency.

We anchor ourselves to the promise that our clients will pass potency, because that’s the biggest problem most brands have.We know the ingredients inside and out – knowing how heat plays a role, how polyphenols play a role, how oxygen plays a role, and helping the labs and our brand partners succeed while minimizing all the risk and pain that they go through with failed potency. You’d be surprised how many people are using the wrong product in formulation. A new client will come to us frustrated after adding CBD isolate powder to their beverage and seeing it fail potency tests. That’s where we’re able to come in and correct the course.

Green: Someone comes in with a magic wand. What do they solve for you?

“Efficacy research is the most interesting aspect of industry research to me.”Stevenson: If I had a magic wand, I would use it to accelerate efficacy research to validate and verify specific cannabinoids/terpene formulas for targeted effects. In other words, I’d love to have a peer-reviewed, scientifically validated cannabis formula for any desired effect, like anxiety or pain relief, aid in sleep, or increased energy, for example. At Vertosa, we’re currently investing in third party academic research to empower our clients with validated information; however, it takes a lot of time, money, and effort conducting research and clinical trials. It’s a long but essential and beneficial process!

Green: What trends are you following in the industry?

Stevenson: In the world of edibles and ingestibles, I’m extremely interested in exploring onset times and bioavailability technologies, as well as trends in ingredients. More of our clients are interested in rapid onset times so that consumers feel the effects within minutes of consumption, removing some of the stereotypical hesitation around edibles and wondering when “it’ll hit.” It’s also fascinating to explore and integrate minor cannabinoids as well as active and functional ingredients and how they interact together in an ingestible.

I’m also extremely interested in keeping up with changing regulatory policy around consumption lounges and access in recently recreational states. Open consumption lounges are a fantastic solution to further normalizing cannabis usage and decentralizing alcohol in our culture, as consumer behavior is increasingly reflecting a move away from alcohol towards more health-conscious choices.

Green: What are you most interested in learning about?

Stevenson: Efficacy research is the most interesting aspect of industry research to me. Most of us cannabis professionals are passionate about the plant, and anecdotally know how cannabis can be used to improve quality of life. However, the scientific and academic community needs to see hard evidence. As we build the industry in a post-prohibition era, there is more access to research grants to evaluate the efficacy and safety of cannabis. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has identified four (4) key areas of cannabis research eligible for grant funding: (1) cannabinoid research (2) cannabidiol research (3) endocannabinoid system, ECS research, and (4) therapeutic effects of cannabinoids. It’s the latter two, ECS and therapeutic effects, that really spark my curiosity. At VERTOSA, we’re spending a lot of time and resources with our Scientific Advisory board to help accelerate this research, and I’m personally excited about the forthcoming discoveries we make, which will help our entire industry grow and thrive!

The post Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 4 appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


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Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 4


December 2, 2021 7:20 pm

At Delic Labs, We Have a Dream: A Cannabis Better Future

At Delic Labs, We Have a Dream: A Cannabis Better Future

Many people associate cannabis with eco-friendly, counter-cultural movements, but we know the environmental impacts of the cannabis industry are significant. Given the climate crisis, cannabis production companies have a responsibility to ensure future demands of the industry are met in an environmentally sustainable way. We also know that as the world is seeing the impacts of climate change, consumers are changing their spending habits 1. As a result, companies also have the financial incentive to seriously consider implementing more environmental policies, to align their interests with the interests of consumers. Unfortunately, restrictions on cannabis research and the legal industry create barriers to implementing many environmentally friendly alternatives in production. However, this does not give us an excuse to do nothing while we wait – there are many steps that can be taken while we work to overcome these barriers. Our team at Delic Labs aims to help companies ensure the environmental and economic sustainability of the cannabis industry. So, we did some research and developed the Cannabis Better Future (CBF) concept, a guide that considers the impacts of cannabis cultivation and processing on the environment. The pillars of CBF are:

  1. Use of renewable/recyclable materials in production

The packaging used for legal cannabis products is infamously excessive. A standard 3.5-grams of dried cannabis is estimated to come packaged in more than 70 grams of plastic. This seemingly redundant packaging is done to meet regulations surrounding cannabis packaging that often require single-use plastic with labels and warnings at specific sizes 2. Despite this, there is work being done to get biodegradable packaging approved in the industry.

More companies, such as Knot Plastic, are using plant-based materials to provide medical-grade biodegradable alternatives to single-use plastic 3. As members of the industry, we should support these companies and call for regulations to approve biodegradable packaging. As for immediate actions that can be taken, we can turn to companies that reduce the amount of plastic from the industry that ends up in landfills. The Tweed x TerraCycle Cannabis Packaging Recycling Program accepts all cannabis containers from licensed producers in Canada – free of charge – and melts down the plastic to create new products 4. This includes tins, plastic bags, tubes and bottles with child-proof caps. The program has saved more than 165,000 containers from ending up in landfills.

  1. Upcycle biomass waste

It is estimated that for every pound of cannabis harvested, up to 4.5 pounds of plant waste is generated 5. Cannabis biomass waste can be discarded in four different ways: via landfill, composting, in-vessel digestion or incineration 6. Cannabis bio-waste usually ends up in landfills because this is the cheapest method. However, landfill disposal represents a missed opportunity for companies to use biomass waste for economic and environmentally-friendly uses.

Converting biomass for other uses will drastically limit waste

To reduce landfill waste, some companies are looking at sustainable bio-circular solutions, where cannabis biomass is converted into something of industrial use such as compost, bio-plastics and paper packaging for cannabis products 7.  The easiest way to reuse cannabis biomass with current regulations in place is to upcycle it to produce compost and greywater that can be used for industrial cultivation 8. Currently, bleach is commonly used to remove THC from biomass, making it unfit to be used for these purposes 6. However, Micron Waste Technologies Inc. have shown enzymatic denaturation can be adopted on the industrial scale to remove THC from the biomass, resulting in reusable water and compostable matter 8. Turning to this alternative method would also reduce the amount of required fertilizer and replace bleach with a more environmentally-friendly solution.

  1. Recycle production side streams

Terpenes are the compounds in cannabis that give it distinctive aromas and flavors sought after by consumers.During the cannabis drying stage, over 30% of terpenes can be lost along with the water phase from the product 9. This terpene-containing water phase gets trapped in drying rooms and decarboxylation ovens and is usually thrown out. To reintroduce the terpenes in their products, companies usually purchase them 10.However, they instead could be recapturing terpenes that are otherwise going to waste, and re-introducing them into their products. Recapturing terpenes would not only reduce the production and shipment energy that goes along with purchased terpenes, but also the costs of buying them.

There are many other wasted by-products that can be recycled. Ethanol that has been used as extraction solvent can be reused as cleaning solvent, reducing the need to purchase ethanol separately for cleaning purposes. Further, the condensation caught in HVACs can be recycled to water plants.

  1. Optimize production energy efficiency
LED lights use less energy and omit less heat than other more traditional options

A study by Summers et al. 11 found that from producing one kilogram of dried cannabis flower, the emitted greenhouse gasses emissions range from 2,283 to 5,184 kg of CO2. Electricity used for indoor cultivation is the major culprit in producing these emissions. In fact, over $6 billion is spent annually to power industrial cannabis growth facilities in the U.S. alone12. Growing outdoors is significantly more energy efficient; however, non-auto flowering, high-THC cannabis plants depend on the specific timing of daylight (and darkness) to grow properly 13. Optimal conditions for these plants are not always achievable in outdoor setting. Meanwhile, auto-flowering plants that are hearty outdoors are generally lower in THC content 14. Promoting research into generating more stabilized cannabis cultivars may help outdoor growing be a more feasible solution. Given the recent work being done with genetically modified and transgenic plants, upregulating THC production in cannabis and increasing the heartiness in different climates is well within the realm of possibility 15–17.

In the meantime, cultivation facilities can do their part to maintain a controlled growth environment with reduced energy waste. Companies that are still using high-intensity sodium lights should consider switching to high-efficiency LED bulbs 12. These are a good alternative option as they produce less heat, and as a result, require less mechanical cooling. It has been shown that many plants, including cannabis, might even do better under blue-red LED lights 18,19. Growth under these conditions correlated with an increase in THC and CBD levels, and overall larger plants 18. In addition to low energy consumption, LED lamps have flexible mobility and a tunable spectrum range. This makes it possible to mediate the spectrum specifically for cannabis crops by controlling each spectral range and manipulating spectral quality and light intensity precisely. Finally, lights can also be brought closer to plants, to further reduce the amount of mechanical cooling needed.

  1. Utilize high-precision processes

Reducing energy use while maintaining production rates can only be done if the process is optimized. Our own research improves process optimization in the cannabis industry. A key component of industrial optimization is reducing wasted time on various machines. For cannabis producers, this machine “junk time” can accumulate when the instrumentation is not progressing the reaction.

Reducing energy use in this case means ensuring machines are not in operation if they are not progressing the reaction. For example, many companies spend approximately two hours on the decarboxylation step because decarboxylation is always complete after two hours 20; however, decarboxylations are often complete in as little as thirty minutes 21. Companies can save energy by installing a monitor on decarboxylation systems to stop reactions once they are complete.

Reducing the environmental impacts of the cannabis industry is crucial to combat the developing climate crisis. While lifting restrictions on cannabis research and mitigating stigmas surrounding the legal industry will be what ultimately paves the way for meaningful changes toward a sustainable industry, cannabis companies cannot wait for regulatory changes to occur before considering eco-friendly practices. As outlined by CBF, there are existing actions which all companies can take to reduce their carbon footprint immediately. Delic Labs, and many other companies we have noted, aim to support companies in making these decisions for a better future for cannabis.


References:

  1. Statista Research Department. Share of consumers worldwide who have changed the products and services they use due to concern about climate change in 2019. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1106653/change-made-consumer-bevaviour-concern-climate-change-worldwide/ (2021).
  2. Akeileh, O., Moyer, E., Sim, P. & Vissandjee Amarsy, L. Chronic Waste: Strategies to Reduce Waste and Encourage Environmentally-Friendly Packaging in Canada’s Legal Cannabis. https://www.mcgill.ca/maxbellschool/files/maxbellschool/policy_lab_2020_-_strategies_to_reduce_waste_and_encourage_environmentally-friendly_packaging_in_canadas_legal_cannabis_industry.pdf (2020).
  3. Bauder, P. Ry Russell of Knot Plastic️: 5 Things We Must Do to Inspire the Next Generation about Sustainability and the Environment. (2020).
  4. Waste360 Staff. Tweed, TerraCycle Take Cannabis Packaging Recycling Across Canada. (2019).
  5. Peterson, E. Industry Report: The State of Hemp and Cannabis Waste. CompanyWeek (2019).
  6. Commendatore, C. The Complicated World of Cannabis Waste Generation (Part One). Waste 360 (2019).
  7. Drotleff, L. Cannabis-based packaging and paper could reduce waste, promote sustainability. MJBiz Daily(2020).
  8. Waste 360 staff. Micron Secures U.S. Design Patent for Waste Treatment Tech. Waste 360 (2019).
  9. Challa, S. R. DRYING KINETICS AND THE EFFECTS OF DRYING METHODS ON QUALITY (CBD, TERPENES AND COLOR) OF HEMP (Cannabis sativa L.) BUDS. (2020).
  10. Erickson, B. Cannabis industry gets crafty with terpenes. chemical and engineering news (2019).
  11. Summers, H. M., Sproul, E. & Quinn, J. C. The greenhouse gas emissions of indoor cannabis production in the United States. Nature Sustainability 4, (2021).
  12. Reott, J. How Does Legalized Cannabis Affect Energy Use? Alliance to Save Energy (2020).
  13. When To Plant Cannabis Outside: A State By State Guide. aPotforPot.comhttps://apotforpot.com/blogs/apotforpot/when-to-plant-cannabis-outside-a-state-by-state-guide/ (2020).
  14. 15 Pros And Cons of Autoflowering Cannabis. aPotforPot.com https://apotforpot.com/blogs/apotforpot/15-pros-and-cons-of-autoflowering-seeds/ (2019).
  15. Ye, X. et al. Engineering the Provitamin A (β-Carotene) Biosynthetic Pathway into (Carotenoid-Free) Rice Endosperm. Science 287, 303–305 (2000).
  16. Giddings, G., Allison, G., Brooks, D. & Carter, A. Transgenic plants as factories for biopharmaceuticals. Nature Biotechnology 18, 1151–1155 (2000).
  17. Hu, H. & Xiong, L. Genetic Engineering and Breeding of Drought-Resistant Crops. Annual Review of Plant Biology 65, 715–741 (2014).
  18. Wei, X. et al. Wavelengths of LED light affect the growth and cannabidiol content in Cannabis sativa L. Industrial Crops and Products 165, (2021).
  19. Sabzalian, M. R. et al. High performance of vegetables, flowers, and medicinal plants in a red-blue LED incubator for indoor plant production. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 34, (2014).
  20. LunaTechnologies. Decarboxylation: What Is It and Why Is It Important? LunaTechnologies.
  21. Shah, S. et al. Fast, Easy, and Reliable Monitoring of THCA and CBDA Decarboxylation in Cannabis Flower and Oil Samples Using Infrared Spectroscopy. (2021).

The post At Delic Labs, We Have a Dream: A Cannabis Better Future appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

At Delic Labs, We Have a Dream: A Cannabis Better Future


December 1, 2021 5:17 pm

Artisanal Cannabis Extraction – An Interview with Precision Founder Nick Tennant

Artisanal Cannabis Extraction – An Interview with Precision Founder Nick Tennant

Cannabis and hemp derived concentrates are a rapidly growing product category. Formed by extracting cannabis using a variety of methods including ethanol, butane hash oil and CO2, concentrates find their way into consumer packaged goods as ingredients for infused products or as stand-alone products such as resins, rosins, distillates and hash.

Precision Extraction Solutions (Precision) was founded in 2014 to provide equipment and services to cannabis and hemp processors. In October 2021, Agrify (NASDAQ: AGFY) purchased Precision in a $50M cash and stock deal. The move positions Agrify to offer end-to-end infrastructure solutions for cannabis cultivators and processors.

We interviewed Nick Tennant, SVP of Innovation at Precision, now a division of Agrify. Nick founded Precision after seeing a need for quality equipment in concentrate processing. Prior to Precision, Nick was involved in a vertically integrated cannabis business in Michigan where he gained experience in cultivation, extraction and retail.

Aaron Green: How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?

 Nick Tennant: I’ve been in cannabis about 17 years now. I had family in Colorado and California who I started to interface with around 2006. Around 2008, Michigan passed their cannabis law, and we were one of the first businesses to get licensed. The subsequent five years from that law getting passed, up to 2013, I did pretty much everything in terms of commercial cannabis – cultivation, retail, edible manufacturing, you name it. Concentrates didn’t really exist in a meaningful way; the products definitely were there, but the technology wasn’t. I looked at technology at the time and it was very primitive, so we made a shift to focusing on concentrates. We launched Precision in 2014 and we basically shot out of a cannon, doing a million dollars in sales in our first 90 days. Since then, we grew the company up to 60 employees and substantial amounts of revenue. We sold Precision to Agrify in October of this year.

Green: Tell me about that transition from a cannabis products company to an equipment manufacturer.

Nick Tennant, SVP of Innovation at Precision Extraction Solutions

Tennant: It was a gradual transition. As I started to see the extraction niche expand, I really started to put more time and resources into it. When we launched Precision and were met with such success in just the first 90 days, I knew that I had to abandon everything else I was doing to focus on this. My former partners took over the businesses, like the grows. We worked out individual circumstances regarding how I was going to leave those businesses and focus full time at Precision.

Green: So, big news recently with the acquisition, congratulations on that! Tell me about Agrify and why a deal with Agrify made sense to you.

Tennant: The strategic rationale is that we are providing an end-to-end infrastructure solution. They have the horticultural aspect, an excellent public vehicle, and plenty of cash on the balance sheet to continue to scale the business and acquire additional constituents within the cannabis infrastructure. Getting to the point where you can exit the businesses, it’s a long road, and our business is very niche. We were seeking to partner with t a bigger player in the industry with more resources that would help us to scale what we were trying to do, and Agrify was the perfect fit.

Green: You’ve got several areas of focus at Precision ranging from ethanol extraction, distillation, and butane hash oil (BHO) extraction. Where are you focusing the business going forward?

Tennant: Going forward we want to provide that end-to-end one-stop shop infrastructural solution for any cannabis products company. We want Agrify to become the dominant and fastest growing player in the cannabis industry for infrastructural solutions, whether that’s horticulture or extraction. We’re continuing to expand our product portfolio into other niches so that if you’re building a cannabis facility, you only need to come to one company and the process is as simple as possible.

Green: What kinds of products are you seeing the consumer gravitate towards?

Tennant: I think that cannabis will remain to be very artisanal because of the uniqueness of the plant. If you look at similar industries, I could compare it to craft beer or winemaking. I think that hydrocarbon and water hashes will continue to play a substantial role. I also think that ethanol and distillate-based products will hold market share just like the Budweiser and Kendall Jacksons of the world.

People love the native sort of essence of the plant, that this is a plant sort of bestowed upon us by the universe with all these unique healing and restorative properties. I think that trying to capture those properties and that native essence of what’s going on within the genome of the plant and translate that into a product is going to be the theme that continues to dominate, and I think that for several reasons. For the same reason somebody will go to Whole Foods, and they’ll buy the local organic grown fruit or vegetables, people are going to gravitate towards artisanal cannabis products. People that consume cannabis, generally speaking, are more naturalistic or homeopathic than most.

Green: Precision has technology for a range of extraction methods where the focus has been on cannabis. Are you seeing any new markets outside of cannabis?

Tennant: Yes. We’ve dealt with varieties of different botanical extraction companies over the years, but they’re a very small segment of our business. We’re a cannabis business. Non-cannabis extraction may make up less than 1% of our business so it’s very small.

Green: What trends are you following in the cannabis industry?

Tennant: Consolidation, I would say, is a big one. MSOs are consolidating and buying up the small players. The second major trend is regulation, and what’s going on in DC. Beyond that, you obviously have new states coming online, shifting consumer trends, things like that. I would say these last two are less impactful from a macro standpoint, but nonetheless, still things that we follow.

Green: Following up on consolidation, do you see a demand for larger systems now?

Tennant: I’d say 95% of what we do is under 2000 pounds a day, which we consider artisanal. You’re not going to see large scale production consolidation because you have fragmentation by state. It would be most efficient for a cannabis manufacturer to manufacture everything in one location but it’s just not possible with the state laws. It’s very fragmented. Somebody like a Trulieve might have 20 different manufacturing operations, all running similar processes. Perhaps we will see more upon national legalization and the opening of state borders.

Green: What in your personal life or in the cannabis industry are you most interested in learning about?

Tennant: I am constantly learning. That’s just how my brain is, and the type of person that I am.  I’m interested in a variety of topics, but I think I’m most interested in how capital markets are going to materialize and substantiate around the federal legalization because we’re in this weird space of cannabis. It’s weird, because you have a boom industry that’s generating massive amounts of revenue and massive amounts of tax dollars, but you must remind yourself that there is no real liquidity in this market, meaning you can’t finance things. A typical cannabis company that wants to go out and get capital is getting rates between 16 to 18%. There’s just a capital restriction since cannabis is a Schedule I substance, and these large lenders don’t want to play into that.

The question in my head and the big catalyst for the entire industry is: what happens when we get a descheduling, decriminalization and/or legalization on a federal level? How does that affect the large funds sentiment to deploy this zero-interest rate capital that we’re seeing in the rest of the world? We’re seeing it in mortgages. We’re seeing it in every aspect of the world. There’s free money printing, but it’s not flowing into cannabis because those federal laws are prohibiting it as such. Ultimately, as more infrastructure comes online, these companies are not going to have to scrape by to build a $3 million lab. They can finance it at a reasonable interest rate, and the infrastructure can come online.

That’s going to be better for the consumer. There will be more infrastructure, more products, more research and development, more retail locations. Everything gets better, more convenient, and more robust. I would think that finance interest rates are the largest lever within the industry right now, and because of that, you’ll likely see cannabis capital markets go pretty crazy when legalization comes around.

Green: Okay, great. That concludes the interview.

Tennant: Thanks, Aaron.

The post Artisanal Cannabis Extraction – An Interview with Precision Founder Nick Tennant appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

Artisanal Cannabis Extraction – An Interview with Precision Founder Nick Tennant


November 30, 2021 7:17 pm

October 2021 Office of Women's Health e-Update

October 2021 Office of Women's Health e-Update October 2021 Office of Women’s Health e-Update Anonymous (not verified) Mon, 11/22/2021 – 10:09

Detailed Description
FDA Office of Women’s Health newsletter, with a Message from the Associate Commissioner, Women’s Health Highlights, Call To Action, and upcoming Meetings.

 

Mammogram Detection

Message from the Associate Commissioner

Dear Women’s Health Colleagues,

Many of us know someone who has been affected by breast cancer—a friend, mother, sister, or maybe even yourself. Each year, approximately 255,000 women get diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States and 42,000 die from the disease.¹

Mammograms continue to be the best primary tool for breast cancer screening. Although screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find cancer early, when it is easier to treat. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month serves as a great reminder to ask your healthcare provider about scheduling your mammogram. We invite you to learn more about mammograms here.

While breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women and top causes of cancer related deaths; heart disease is a leading cause of death for both women and men. Diet is an integral component to preventing and treating heart disease. By limiting sodium, which is a component of salt in our diets, we can help prevent diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.

In an effort to improve nutrition and reduce disease burden, FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN) issued a final guidance which provides voluntary short term sodium reduction targets for food manufacturers, chain restaurants and food service operators in an effort to decrease diet-related diseases. Please take a moment to learn about FDA’s nutrition efforts and steps you can take to reduce sodium in your diet.

Sincerely,

Kaveeta Vasisht, M.D., Pharm.D.
Associate Commissioner for Women’s Health
Director, Office of Women’s Health

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

Below are links to specific COVID-19 topics and the latest vaccine fact sheets, with a full list of the latest COVID-19 information from the FDA here.


CALL TO ACTION

Woman Jogging

Bone and Joint Health National Action Week is observed on October 12-20. More than 10 million people in the U.S. have osteoporosis. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is more common in older women. Even though osteoporosis affects mostly older women, prevention starts when you are younger. No matter your age, you can take steps to build bone mass and prevent bone loss.

For more information on osteoporosis, click here. Download our osteoporosis fact sheet or order in bulk for distribution to the women in your community at www.fda.gov/womenshealthpubs.


WOMEN’S HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS

FDA Permits Marketing of E-Cigarette Products, Marking First Authorization of Its Kind by the Agency

The FDA announced it has authorized the marketing of three new tobacco products, marking the first set of electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products ever to be authorized by the FDA through the Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) pathway. 

Do Not Use Needle-Free Devices for Injection of Dermal Fillers

The FDA is warning the public and healthcare professionals not to use needle-free devices such as hyaluron pens for injection of hyaluronic acid (HA) or other lip and facial fillers, collectively and commonly referred to as dermal fillers or fillers. 

The FDA is aware of serious injuries and in some cases, permanent harm to the skin, lips, or eyes with the use of needle-free devices for injection of lip and facial fillers.

Specific Lots of Aerosol Sunscreen Spray Products by Coppertone: Recall – Due to the Presence of Benzene

Coppertone is recalling twelve lots of five Coppertone aerosol sunscreen spray products manufactured between the dates of January 10, 2021 and June 15, 2021. Coppertone has identified the presence of benzene in these lots. Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen. Exposure to benzene can occur through inhalation, oral, and skin and it could, depending on the level and extent of exposure, result in an increased risk of cancers including leukemia, and blood cancer of the bone marrow and other blood disorders which can be life-threatening.

Youth E-cigarette Use Remains Serious Public Health Concern Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

A study released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that more than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students reported currently using e-cigarettes in 2021, with more than 8 in 10 of those youth using flavored e-cigarettes.

Risk of Exposure to Unsafe Levels of Radiation with Safe-T-Lite UV WAND

The FDA issued a safety communication to warn consumers that use of the Max-Lux Safe-T-Lite UV WAND may expose the user or person nearby to unsafe levels of ultraviolet-C (UV-C) radiation and may cause injury to the skin, eyes, or both after a few seconds of use.

The FDA is aware that consumers may use the Max-Lux Safe-T-Lite UV WAND to try to disinfect surfaces and kill germs in the home or similar spaces. The FDA recommends that consumers consider using safer alternative disinfection methods, such as general-purpose disinfectants.

Essure: Update on Adverse Event Reports

The FDA remains committed to providing updates on the safety profile of Essure, a permanently implanted birth control device for women. Although Essure has not been available for implantation in the U.S. since December 2019, the FDA continues to monitor the product’s safety through an FDA-required postmarket surveillance study and other activities. FDA is providing an update on the adverse event information received by Bayer (the company that manufactured Essure) as required in the April 24, 2020 variance from Medical Device Reporting requirements.

All Ultrasound Gels and Lotions by Eco-Med Pharmaceutical: Class I Recall – Due to Risk of Bacteria Contamination

All ultrasound gels and lotions manufactured by Eco-Med are being recalled due to risk of bacterial contamination with Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc). The FDA independently confirmed that distributed product tested positive for bacterial contamination. The use of affected ultrasound gels and lotions contaminated with Bcc may lead to serious infections, including bloodstream infections, which may result in sepsis or death.

Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) Devices Potentially Associated with Procedural Outcome Differences Between Women and Men

The FDA issued a Letter to Health Care Providers about the potential for differences in procedural outcomes between women and men undergoing implant of an LAAO device. A recent publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Cardiology indicates that major adverse events and lengthened hospital stay may be more common in women compared to men.  

It’s a Good Time to Get Your Flu Vaccine

Fall is here, and it is time to get your seasonal flu vaccine. It’s best to get vaccinated before flu viruses start circulating. Flu viruses typically spread in fall and winter, with activity peaking between December and February. Getting your FDA-approved flu vaccine now can lower your chances of getting the flu.

FDA Takes Steps Aimed at Improving Quality, Safety and Efficacy of Sunscreens

The FDA took steps aimed at improving the quality, safety, and efficacy of sunscreens as part of its implementation of new authorities for certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. In the short term, these new authorities essentially preserve status quo marketing conditions for these sunscreens. However, the agency proposed revisions and updates to those requirements related to maximum sun protection factor (SPF) values, active ingredients, broad spectrum requirements, and product labeling, among other provisions.

FDA Authorizes Software that Can Help Identify Prostate Cancer

The FDA authorized marketing of software to assist medical professionals who examine body tissues (pathologists) in the detection of areas that are suspicious for cancer as an adjunct (supplement) to the review of digitally-scanned slide images from prostate biopsies (tissue removed from the body). The software, called Paige Prostate, is the first artificial intelligence (AI)-based software designed to identify an area of interest on the prostate biopsy image with the highest likelihood of harboring cancer so it can be reviewed further by the pathologist if the area of concern has not been identified on initial review.

FDA Approves First Biosimilar to Treat Macular Degeneration Disease and Other Eye Conditions

The FDA approved Byooviz (ranibizumab-nuna) as the first biosimilar to Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) for the treatment of several eye diseases and conditions, including neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), a leading cause of vision loss and blindness for Americans aged 65 years and older. Byooviz is also approved to treat macular edema (fluid build-up) following retinal vein occlusion (blockage of veins in the retina) and myopic choroidal neovascularization, a vision-threatening complication of myopia (nearsightedness).

Microneedling – Getting to the Point on Benefits, Risks and Safety

People are using microneedling in a variety of ways, from reducing the appearance of scars to treating fine lines and wrinkles to improve their appearance.

If you are thinking about having a microneedling procedure, the FDA recommends you choose a health care provider who is specially trained in microneedling. Talk with the provider to determine if you are a good candidate for microneedling—not everyone is. And discuss the benefits and risks, including the risk of infection if the microneedling tools are not cleaned or used properly.

Pfizer Expands Voluntary Nationwide Recall to include All Lots of CHANTIX® (Varenicline) Tablets Due to N-Nitroso Varenicline Content

Pfizer is voluntarily recalling all lots of Chantix 0.5 mg and 1 mg Tablets to the patient (consumer/user) level due to the presence of a nitrosamine, N-nitroso-varenicline, at or above the FDA interim acceptable intake limit. As alternative suppliers have been approved in the United States, Pfizer is undertaking this precautionary measure.

Long-term ingestion of N-nitroso-varenicline may be associated with a theoretical potential increased cancer risk in humans, but there is no immediate risk to patients taking this medication. The health benefits of stopping smoking outweigh the theoretical potential cancer risk from the nitrosamine impurity in varenicline.

FDA Releases Quiz About Prescription Drug Promotion and the Bad Ad Program

The FDA’s Bad Ad Program released the Bad Ad quiz to test your knowledge about prescription drug promotion and the FDA’s Bad Ad Program. The Bad Ad Program helps to ensure that information from prescription drug promotion that health care providers may use to inform their assessment of the risks and benefits of a drug is truthful, balanced, and not misleading. 

5 Things to Know about Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol – Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as delta-8 THC, is a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, of which marijuana and hemp are two varieties. Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant but is not found in significant amounts in the cannabis plant. As a result, concentrated amounts of delta-8 THC are typically manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD).

It is important for consumers to be aware that delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use in any context. They may be marketed in ways that put the public health at risk and should especially be kept out of reach of children and pets.

Updates on Philips Respironics CPAP, BiPAP, and Ventilator Recall

The FDA updated the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about this recall on FDA.gov: Philips Respironics CPAP, BiPAP, and Ventilator Recall: Frequently Asked Questions.


Pregnancy Registry

Pregnancy exposure registries are studies that collect health information on exposure to medical products such as drugs and vaccines during pregnancy. 
Learn more about pregnancy registries today!


Participate in Upcoming FDA Meetings

Visit FDA Meetings, Conferences and Workshops to find out about available meetings.

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October 2021 Office of Women’s Health e-Update

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FDA Office of Women’s Health newsletter, with a Message from the Associate Commissioner, and Women’s Health Highlights

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#CBD #Hemp http://www.fda.gov/consumers/collaborate-and-connect/october-2021-office-womens-health-e-update November 22, 2021 3:09 pm

New leader in tax-haters’ contest

New leader in tax-haters’ contest

A new marijuana legalization bill by freshman Republican U.S. House Member Nancy Mace of South Carolina imposes a tiny three- percent ad valorem tax on the drug, which is not enough to offset the disappearance of the current 280E Selling Expense Tax (which applies only to federally illegal drugs).

To prove how anti-tax she is, the bill adds a “Moratorium” – no increase in that tiny tax for 10 years, unless three-quarters of each House agrees to an increase.  Now that moratorium can be rescinded by a simple majority Act of Congress at any time:  One Congress cannot bind another.  Still the filibuster (requiring 60 Senate votes) could be repealed by a simple majority Act of Congress at any time, but that time has not come.  I know of no current rule tying Congress’s hands on taxes.

In any event, if you’re looking for anti-tax sentiment, the Mace bill tops the list.


#CBD #Hemp
New leader in tax-haters’ contest
November 20, 2021 9:13 pm

The USDA & Controlled Environment Agriculture: A Q&A with Derek Smith, Executive Director of the RII

The USDA & Controlled Environment Agriculture: A Q&A with Derek Smith, Executive Director of the RII

Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is a hot area of investment right now for the USDA, holding the promise of improved efficiencies and productivity for indoor growing operations. The cannabis industry, long accustomed to indoor growing has emerged as a spearhead in CEA innovation.

The Resource Innovation Institute has been supporting cannabis enterprises as a non-profit entity since 2016, providing a benchmarking platform called Power Score to help cannabis cultivators be more efficient with resources in their growing practices. Recently, RII submitted a proposal to the USDA to bring best practices from the cannabis industry to other CEA crop producers. They have also recently been responding to the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, providing comments to frame an energy and environmental policy framework for future federal regulation.

We interviewed Derek Smith, executive director of Resource Innovation Institute (RII).  Derek engages RII’s advisory bodies, including the Strategic Advisory Council and Technical Advisory Council Leadership Committees and develops global partnerships and oversees the organization’s policy work. Prior to RII, Derek was CEO of Clean Energy Works and policy advisor to the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

Aaron Green: What are RII’s plans for the USDA? I understand you’ve also been working on the CAOA recently?

Derek Smith: We’ve been working in cannabis for five years, publishing best practices and capturing data to inform governments and utilities on how much energy is being used. Our mission is to help producers become more efficient in their use of resources. In addition to informing policies that support producers, we also engage utilities to help them evaluate efficient technologies, so they can put incentives on them and so they can help buy down the cost for cannabis producers to install more efficient technologies.

We submitted a proposal to the USDA, saying we’ve been doing all that in cannabis. This was under the banner of a Conservation Innovation Grant, which is an innovation funding mechanism from the USDA. They specifically wanted something related to indoor agriculture and energy and water efficiency. So, we essentially said, we’ll give you a three-year project that will basically be the blueprint for the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry to transform itself toward a more sustainable production path. This applies to both the urban vertical farms growing leafy greens, as well as the growing greenhouse sector that is producing a range of crops, from tomatoes, to berries, to leafy greens to mushrooms, hemp, etc.

We’re essentially taking the Power Score benchmarking platform that we’ve been serving cannabis producers with to help them understand how competitive they are relative to the rest of the data set that we have on energy use and on water use and opening that platform so that more producers of other types of crops can use it. It also feeds into their Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) reporting needs.

We’re going to write a series of best practices guidance for CEA producers, covering a number of topics: facility design and construction, lighting, HVAC, irrigation and water reuse, controls and automation. This will all be very similar to what we’ve done in cannabis. These best practices guides are peer reviewed by subject matter experts throughout the supply chain. A lot of the supply chain in cannabis is the same in CEA. So, we’re bringing them all together to give this kind of good guidance to the producer community.

Green: You started with cannabis and created these white papers. Now you’re branching out into the larger CEA space?

Smith: Exactly. The federal government is literally funding us to develop a green building rating system like LEED, or like the Living Building Challenge, but for the CEA industry for indoor agriculture. The cannabis industry can leverage this federal investment and basically ride right alongside of it so that we can create a “LEED for weed” type of certification system.

Derek Smith, Executive Director of Resource Innovation Institute

That’s one of the main features in our comments to the CAOA when they asked, “what else should we be thinking about on any number of topics as it relates to federal cannabis regulations?” We proposed an energy and environment policy framework for federal cannabis regulation. We did that in partnership with a group called the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Education and Regulation (CPEAR). We just held a webinar two weeks ago. Hawthorne Gardening Company was featured on there as well. They’re very supportive of the federal government playing a “carrots rather than sticks” role as it relates to cannabis energy and environmental policy issues.

That’s essentially our platform at the federal level. The stuff that the USDA is funding us to do will come back and benefit the cannabis industry, because we’ll have this broader set of best practices guidance, data, etc. And then we’ll be able to leverage the federal investment into a certification system for the cannabis industry.

Green: The specific comments you made to the CAOA were primarily related to this energy efficiency certification system work you’ve been doing?

Smith: Yes. It’s more resource efficiency – it’s broader than just energy efficiency. Well, it was three things. So, I’ll just unpack this quickly. One, is learn from the states that have already initiated some form of regulation or support on helping producers be more efficient. Massachusetts is one example. They put lighting requirements on the industry that don’t explicitly mandate LEDs, but it comes close to that. California passed an energy code that will take effect on January 1 of 2023, that also has lighting requirements.

Green: Is this applied to all greenhouse growers?

Smith: Yes, at a certain size and level of energy usage. In California, it’s the first market where their Title 24 regulations apply not just to cannabis, but to all horticultural operations. Yes. So that’s what we’re seeing is that cannabis is sort of the tip of the spear for the way governments are thinking about policy for indoor agriculture more broadly. We’re trying to get them to focus more on having the federal government play a supportive role. The states are doing the regulation, the federal government can be more focused on carrots, not sticks, right?

So, back to the list of three things. Number one is learn from the states. Don’t add regulatory stuff, just learn what’s going on, and then decide about how to act. Number two is recognizing the need for data. So, supporting state requirements on energy and water reporting like Massachusetts, Illinois, California – a lot of states have either enacted reporting requirements, so the producers must tell the state how much energy and water they’re using and they’re using the Power Score benchmarking platform, which has a compliance function for free to do that reporting. Then what we’re doing is helping everybody understand what the aggregate data is telling us. We protect the producer’s confidentiality, and we’re building this valuable data set that’ll inform the market about what is the most efficient path going forward.

Then the third thing is focused on carrots, not sticks. For example, support the development of a certification system that recognizes leadership, that’s based on a market driven voluntary action by a producer where they say, “I’ll be transparent with my data, because I’d like to be showcased as a leader and get recognition for the good work I’ve done to create an efficient operation.” Then there’s valuation through the real estate transaction as well because you even have a plaque on your building that says this is certified to this agricultural standard.

That’s all the vision that we’re laying out, and we’re looking for partnerships at the MSO level to join in and be recognized and get in the queue as leaders for the investments they’ve made in efficiency.

Green: Great, thank you Derek. That concludes the interview.

Smith: Thanks, Aaron.

The post The USDA & Controlled Environment Agriculture: A Q&A with Derek Smith, Executive Director of the RII appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

The USDA & Controlled Environment Agriculture: A Q&A with Derek Smith, Executive Director of the RII


November 5, 2021 7:54 pm

Cannabis Safety & Quality: An Interview with the Founder of CSQ

Cannabis Safety & Quality: An Interview with the Founder of CSQ

The supply chain for consumer cannabis products is complex, involving cultivation, extraction, manufacturing and packaging. While global best practices exist for Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), the certifications are not tailored to the cannabis industry.

CSQ has developed tailored standards for the cannabis industry to assist cannabis companies in improving their quality. As a division of ASI, a woman-owned business that’s provided safety solutions to the food industry since the 1940s, the CSQ standards were built in 2020 to meet ISO requirements, GFSI requirements and regulatory cannabis requirements from seed-to-sale. CSQ is the first cannabis certification program to meet the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements with plans to be benchmarked in 2022.

We interviewed Tyler Williams, CTO and founder of CSQ. Tyler founded CSQ after working at ASI – a family-owned food safety company in St. Louis.

Aaron Green: Nice to meet you, Tyler. How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?

Tyler Williams: It’s kind of a long story, but it’s a good story. My mom worked for ASI for 15+ years. That company has been around since the 1940s and is one of the oldest food safety companies in the world. The owners were ready to sell about five or six years ago, and my mom ended up using a small business loan to purchase the company. That’s how I got started in a food safety and dietary supplement space.

About three to four years ago, we started getting inquiries from cannabis companies asking about GMP audits and certification and different things. We started doing certifications to our GMP food processing standard or dietary supplements depending on what they wanted but realized that there were a lot of things that weren’t applicable to cannabis companies or there were extra things needed for cannabis companies. That’s how I started working with cannabis companies to start developing the CSQ certification program and it has just kind of grown over the years.

Tyler Williams, CTO and founder of CSQ

We currently have four standards at the CSQ level. CSQ plans on being benchmarked to GFSI which stands for Global Food Safety Initiative. We plan on going through that process to get the benchmark next year. There are four standards underneath CSQ: one for growing and cultivation; one for extraction; one for food and beverage edibles; and then cannabis dietary supplements. We’re looking to add standards for cosmetics, cannabis contact packaging materials, retail and consumption lounges.

Last year, when we were doing our pilot audits, we realized that the CSQ standard was great for medium to big sizedMSOs because they’re already doing these best practices. It’s easier for them to, you know, implement a few things, and then get certified, whereas for the smaller guys who might be coming from the illicit market, it’s a lot harder – it’s a lot bigger jump from them to go from zero to 100. Last month, we released our unaccredited cGMP, cGMP+, cGAP and cGAP+ standards. The difference between the regular and the plus is that the plus has HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) and then it also includes a recall module where the site must do a mock recall while the auditor is on-site.

CSQ doesn’t perform the audits. We license the use of our standard to accredited certification bodies and then they must get accredited to be able to certify companies under the CSQ name.

Green: Can you tell me a bit about the genesis of CSQ and the structure of the organization?

Williams: We’re a for-profit company. We thought about going the non-profit route but it’s a lot more intricate and a lot more people involved when you go that route. Our parent company is ASI, and we are under the ASI global standards division which is responsible for developing standards. So, CSQ is one of those standards under that brand and that’s kind of the foundation of it. We have two licensed certification bodies right now. ASI has a certification body, and they are one of our licensed CBs and then WQS, who’s based out of North Carolina and has a big presence in South America which is great because we’re starting to get inquiries from companies in South America as well.

Green: How do you go about building industry awareness and acceptance of the standard?

Williams: Building awareness really started with going out to the medium- to large-sized companies and saying, “Will you open your doors and let us come and basically do all these audits for free at your facility just so we can kind of get a baseline across the industry?” So, that started the conversation with industry. The MSOs in the medium- to large-sized companies, are more ready to go through the certification process because they know that federal legalization is around the corner. They know these things are going to have to be in place already so they’re just doing it as preparation. There isn’t much demand for retailers right now like there is in the food and or dietary supplement space. So that’s where the demand is really coming from – wanting to self-regulate in preparation for federal legalization.

Most of our outreach is education-based. We speak at a lot of conferences. We host a lot of webinars and free events and things like that, just to get the word out about CSQ. A lot of people know what GMPs are, or know that they should be following GMPs, but they don’t necessarily know how to get from point A to point B. Our job is to educate them that it’s not as hard as they think it is and it’s not as expensive as they think it is. The cost of an audit is relatively inexpensive. What I always tell people is the sooner you start preparing, the cheaper the whole process is. What happens a lot of times is a facility will not build out their facility to GMP specifications, and then they want to get GMP certified so they must move the hand washing station from the back of their facility to the front where the employee entrance is or things like that. The sooner these companies start thinking about it, the better and that’s basically what we’re trying to do is just educate the industry about that kind of preparation.

Green: cGMP and cGAP are perhaps more broadly accepted outside of the cannabis industry. Do cGMP and cGAP fall under the CSQ certification?

Williams: There are four ingredients that make up the CSQ standard. There are industry best practices, which are specific to just the cannabis industry. There are good manufacturing practices, or good agricultural practices, that are just accepted globally. Then we look at the Codex Alimentarius, which is the global food code. Every country mustwrite their federal rules on food based off this standard. We use the Codex when we’re talking about edibles and things like that. And then the last aspect of CSQ is the GFSI benchmarking requirements. So that’s kind of the basis of our program, making sure that the auditors have certain amount of audit hours, and we have training and processes in place for that. That’s where the GFSI benchmarks are coming out. So, all those four things kind of really create the CSQ standard.

Green: There are clear internal benefits to a company for holding to a quality standard. What are the downstream benefits to the companies that have CSQ? How do the end-users know about it?

Williams: I come from the food industry and if you go to the grocery store, you just assume that everything’s safe.Consumers don’t even think about the certifications that those companies must get to even be able to sell their product in retail stores. They don’t necessarily put those certifications on the packaging material, because as a consumer “SQF” means nothing to most consumers, right? It would only mean something if you’re in the industry.We’re trying to be different with CSQ and get more consumers aware of it. One of the things that we have is a database of certified facilities. Consumers will be able to say, “Okay, maybe I’m interested in this new brand. Are they certified to this program or not?” and be able to see that. We’re also trying to get companies to put the CSQ logo once they’re certified on their marketing materials.

Now, one thing that we cannot do yet is put the logo on the finished product packaging, because we don’t have a testing addendum, but we’re working on that. There’s not a lot of demand for it right now and it’s more expensive audit costs, where you’re talking about lab tests, and things like that. So, it’s something that we’re working on, but we haven’t fully developed yet.

Green: Next question is around d-8 THC and federal regulations. What’s your position on d-8 and how are you thinking about d-8 trends in the future?

Williams: d-8 THC itself as a product, I think it’s fine. I think if it’s made safely, we know all the components I think it’s fine from that aspect. The problem that we have right now is it’s not regulated. That’s where I think we need to have these states that have legalized THC or hemp to then implement rules and regulations and bring d-8 THC into those rules and regulations. And so maybe then it’s only those licensed facilities that are inspected by the state that are producing those products and not just some guy out of his garage. I think a lot of people right now are just wanting to ban it completely and I don’t think that’s the best approach. There’s nothing wrong with the product itself, it’s just how it’s being produced right now in the gray area where no one’s regulated.

Green: What in your personal life or in cannabis are you most interested in learning about?

Williams: I love what I do. I’m always looking at and reading regulations and then trying to learn something new. I’ve been going through organic certification training right now. At some point, CSQ will probably go down the route of having some sort of organic certification. So that’s been kind of what I’ve been working on and learning right now. But I’m a sponge and I like to absorb new information about the industry.

Green: Thanks Tyler, that concludes the interview!

Williams: Thanks, Aaron!

The post Cannabis Safety & Quality: An Interview with the Founder of CSQ appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

Cannabis Safety & Quality: An Interview with the Founder of CSQ


October 28, 2021 2:43 pm

Registering Trademarks in the Cannabis Space

Registering Trademarks in the Cannabis Space

As the legality and availability of hemp and non-hemp cannabis products continues to grow, having strong, recognizable brands will become increasingly important in order to stand out from the competition. Unfortunately, strong brands invite knock-offs and can require aggressive policing. Registering your trademarks makes policing much easier, but registration of marks used to sell hemp and non-hemp cannabis products requires strategy and forethought.

Why Register?

Trademark rights flow from use, so a registration is not required for enforcement. However, “common law” rights based on use alone must be proven in each instance, and you must show that your use of the mark has been sufficient such that consumers recognize and associate it with your goods or services. This can be difficult, expensive and time consuming. Also, common law rights are territorially limited. Even if you can prove such rights in Oregon (for example), you may have no right to prevent use of your mark in other states. State trademark registrations are similarly limited, but are presently all that is available for marks used exclusively to sell non-hemp cannabis products.

By contrast, a federal trademark registration provides the registrant a nationwide, exclusive and presumed right to use the mark in association with the designated goods and services. In addition, counterfeit use of a federally registered trademark can lead to statutory damages. That is, you don’t have to prove an amount of harm—a court may simply award damages based on statute. Yet another benefit is the ability to file based on an “intent to use.” You can thereby reserve a mark nationwide for up to three years before you must show use. Federal registration is available for marks used to sell hemp products, but with some strict limitations as discussed below.

Use in Commerce Requirement

Federal registrations are issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the Office) once an application is approved and use in commerce is demonstrated. To satisfy the “use in commerce” requirement, an applicant must show that a mark is being used in association with the sale of goods or services that are legal to trade under federal law. Sale of products not legal under federal law simply does not count to establish trademark use for purposes of federal registration. This is where the vast majority of federal trademark applications for use with cannabis products get rejected. A search of the federal registry shows that, of over 8000 trademark applications for products containing cannabis extracts, only about 1,300 have resulted in registrations. But these 1,300 illustrate that there is a path to success.

Allowable Goods

The Office traditionally rejected all applications for use with products containing any cannabis extracts under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the Farm Bill, created an exception to the CSA for hemp, defined therein as cannabis extracts containing < 0.3% THC by dry weight. Based on this, the Office began allowing applications provided they designate only goods having 0.3% THC content or less. But even that limitation isn’t sufficient for some types of goods.

FDAlogoUnless specifically disclaimed, the Office will assume the presence of CBD in products containing cannabis extracts, regardless of THC quantity. On that basis it will reject applications for hemp products that are ingestible (food, drinks, nutritional supplements, etc.), or that claim a medical or therapeutic purpose, under the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA). The FDCA requires Federal Drug Administration (FDA) endorsement to add “drugs” to such products, the FDA classifies CBD as a “drug,” and the FDA has authorized only a few products that include CBD. Thus, an allowable good that is ingestible or therapeutic must not only contain the low THC disclaimer, but must also state an absence of CBD. Notably, the Office has not been rejecting products on the basis that they contain CBG (cannabigerol) or other naturally occurring non-THC, non-drug cannabinoids.

Are the Goods Sold Really Allowable?

Of course this scheme of word-smithing designations to obtain allowance of federal trademark registrations invites error, if not fraud. Registrations are subject to cancellation if use of the mark with the designated goods is not maintained, or if it can be shown that the registration was fraudulently obtained. Thus, critical to a claim of use is that the applicant offers products that actually meet the designation description. The Office does not check for THC levels or CBD presence, and most purveyors of hemp products don’t either. Indeed, there is not even a standardized method for measuring these things. However, studies show that more than half of hemp products either purposefully or accidentally misrepresent their actual THC and CBD levels.i Though legally untested, this presents a potential problem for many existing federal registrations.

If a mark registered for use with goods having < 0.3% THC is found to be used only with products that actually have a greater amount of THC in them, the registration could be canceled. The same fate could befall a registration for goods claiming to have no CBD that, when tested, actually do contain more than trace levels. Even if non-hemp cannabis products are legalized under federal level, registrations obtained with THC and/or CBD limitations would still require the registrant to use the mark with products meeting such limitations.

Keeping Evidence for Insurance

So long as a registrant has maintained use of the registered mark “in commerce” in association with the designated goods, the registration is insulated from attack based on claims of non-use or fraud. The fact that the registrant also uses the mark for goods that are not legal on the federal level is of no consequence to the registration. Thus, it is wise to include in the product lineup under the brand to be protected at least some good that meets the present requirements for federal trademark registration.

One option is to include a product where the only cannabis extract is from hemp seed oil. Without even testing it, you can be reasonably assured that such a product will contain little or no CBD or THC. Another option short of testing is to obtain a certification or warrant from your supplier that particular ingredients truly are hemp, i.e., have < 0.3% THC by dry weight. This could be relied on as evidence should no original product be available for testing to show that use was legitimate at the time registration was obtained. If you can’t obtain such a certification, testing the occasional sample and keeping records over time would also work. Product samples can now be tested for THC content for around $100 per sample, with results back in about a week.ii

Zone of Natural Expansion

Though non-hemp cannabis products cannot be covered directly by federal registrations, a federal registration for CBD/hemp products can have spillover benefits. This is because the scope of a registration may expand to cover things similar to what is designated. The question comes down to likelihood of confusion. Imagine a company holds a registration covering LOOVELA for “nutritional supplements containing hemp seed oil having no CBD and < 0.3% THC by dry weight.” It would be logical for a consumer to assume that non-hemp cannabis products sold under the LOOVELA mark would likely be made by the same company. Thus, provided the company actually sold products complying with its designation, it could assert the CBD-based registration to prevent sale of LOOVELA branded non-hemp cannabis products. Also, should such products be legalized federally, the company would likely be the only applicant able to obtain an additional federal registration for LOOVELA for use with them, because any competing attempt would be confused with their pre-existing registration for CBD/hemp products.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the law in this space is evolving rapidly and is nuanced. Every situation is unique in some way, and there are many reasons an application may fail or a registration may be attacked that are not addressed above. But there is value in obtaining a federal registration for your hemp brands, and there is an overall strategy to be employed for brand protection in the cannabis space.


The content above is based on information current at the time of its publication and may not reflect the most recent developments or guidance. Neal Gerber Eisenberg LLP provides this content for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek advice from professional advisers with respect to your particular circumstances.

References

  1. See, e.g., Bonn-Miller, Marcel O., et al., “Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 318, No. 17, pp. 1708-09 (Nov. 7, 2017); Freedman, Daniel A. and Dr. Anup Patel, “Inadequate Regulation Contributes to Mislabeled Online Cannabidiol Products,” Pediatric Neurology Briefs, Vol. 32 at 3 (2018).
  2. See, e.g., www.botanacor.com/potency/

The post Registering Trademarks in the Cannabis Space appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

Registering Trademarks in the Cannabis Space


October 25, 2021 3:15 pm

Identify Stoned Drivers

Identify Stoned Drivers

Testing drivers for cannabis impairment is something I’ve been thinking about just a little with legalizers in North Carolina and California.  Some of this thinking is theirs.

One argument prohibitionists use against legalization of marijuana is that stoned drivers are a menace to everyone on the streets and roads.  Marijuana is much less impairing than alcohol, but stoned driving worries people.

Figuring out which cannabis-consuming drivers make the roads unsafe is hard.  With alcohol, breath and blood tests produce numerical results that allow “per se” determinations of intoxication:  if the amount of alcohol in a driver’s system reaches .08 percent, or some bright-line numerical threshold, they’re guilty.

Finding a bright-line threshold for marijuana seemed like a way to find stoned drivers.  Colorado, for instance, started out saying that 5 nanoliters per (milliliter?) of some THC chemical in blood were per se evidence of intoxicated driving.  That was a political bone thrown to folks worried about the issue so as to get legalization passed.

Impaired driving is a battle NC NORML is fighting here, so they propose a five-minute roadside test for impairment, not involving bodily fluids.  

To expand on that:  Maybe some jurisdiction will say, “No conviction for cannabis-impaired driving without video evidence.”  No video, no probable cause, no search, no arrest, no nothing.  

The discussion below aims at that result.

If setting a bright line number of minutes (say five) the police can acquire roadside behavioral evidence of intoxication is worth pursuing, how might a five-minute rule interact with blood, oral fluid, or breath tests that detect active THC? (We can test hair and urine to show use, but they don’t show intoxication.  they only detect non-psychoactive metabolites which don’t affect driving.  Only blood, oral fluid, or breath tests detect active THC. o one even supposes a hair test shows intoxication.)

No conviction without failing both tests?  (Presumably failing video-recorded the roadside behavioral test is ultimately a jury question – does the community think this person is impaired?  Jury questions usually get plea-bargained away these days.)  But what if someone shows no THC or alcohol or anything in bodily fluids or breath but does terribly on the behavioral test?

Anyway, if failure on both tests is required for a conviction, what’s the order of testing?

1.  Police administer blood, oral fluid, or breath test and then, if it shows (enough?) THC have a go at the roadside behavioral test?  How quickly do results come back from the tests?

Or 

2. Police administer a roadside behavioral test and if police say the suspect failed, then administer a blood, oral fluid, or breath test?  And when the police say the driver failed the behavioral test, who oversees the police’s determination?  A magistrate eventually?  A magistrate on Zoom immediately?  A jury (or prosecutor evaluating the case to present to a jury)?

Not my field . . . 


#CBD #Hemp
Identify Stoned Drivers
October 18, 2021 4:47 pm

Regulatory Capture: Friend or Foe?

Regulatory Capture: Friend or Foe?

I wonder what free market conservatives think of the regulatory capture in North Carolina SB711:  New N.C.G.S. section 90-113.122 would say the Medical Cannabis Production Commission is to have two industry representatives among its 11 members. 

Is that bad, because regulatory capture is bad, or good, because regulation is bad, so weakening it is good?


#CBD #Hemp
Regulatory Capture: Friend or Foe?
October 18, 2021 12:07 pm

Tissue Culture Cultivation Can Transform the Way We Grow Cannabis

Tissue Culture Cultivation Can Transform the Way We Grow Cannabis

The cannabis industry is approaching a crossroads. While cultivators must ensure they are getting the greatest yield per square foot, an increasingly competitive landscape and sophisticated consumer means growers must also balance the need for volume with quality, consistent and award-winning cannabis strains.

Tissue culture propagation represents a significant leap forward in cannabis cultivation, ultimately benefiting both the grower and the consumer. The proprietary technology behind our sterilization and storage process results in the isolation of premium cannabis genetics in a clean, contaminant-free environment. Since our inception, we’ve been focused on setting a higher standard in medical (and one day adult use) cannabis by growing craft cannabis on a commercial scale through utilization of this cutting-edge cultivation technique. When taken in total, Maitri boasts access to a library of 243 unique cannabis strains, one of the largest collections in the U.S.

Trouble with Traditional Cultivation

Pathogens, insects and cross contamination all threaten the viability and value of cannabis plants. In many ways, current cannabis cultivation techniques compound these issues by promoting grams per square foot above all else and packing plants into warehouse sized grows where issues can quickly spread.

In these close quarters, pests can swiftly move from plant to plant, and even from generation to generation when propagating from clones or growing in close quarters. Similarly, pathogens can leap between susceptible plants, damaging or killing plants and cutting into a cultivator’s bottom line.

Hemp tissue culture samples

Of particular concern is hop latent viroid. Originally identified in hops, a genetic relative of cannabis, this infectious RNA virus has torn through the cannabis industry, endangering genetics, causing sickly plants and reducing yields. Plants cloned using traditional methods from an infected mother are vulnerable to the disease, making hop latent viroid a generational issue.

Minimizing or even eliminating these threats helps to protect the genetic integrity of cannabis strains and ensures they can be enjoyed for years to come. That is where the sterilization stage in tissue culture cultivation stands out.

Like cloning, tissue culture propagation offers faster time to maturity than growing from seed, allowing for a quicker turnaround to maximize utility of space, without overcrowding grow rooms. However, it also boasts a clean, disease-free environment that allows plants to thrive.

Tissue Culture Cultivation

Tissue culture cultivation allows for viable plant tissue to be isolated in a controlled, sterilized environment. Flowering plants can then be grown from these stored genetics, allowing for standardization of quality strains that are free of contamination and disease from the very beginning. Tissue culture cultivation also takes up less room than traditional cloning, freeing up valuable square footage.

A large tissue culture facility run in the Sacramento area that produces millions of nut and fruit trees clones a year.

This propagation process begins with plants grown to just before flowering and harvested for their branch tips. These branch tips undergo a sterilization process to remove any environmental contamination. This living plant material (known as explants) gets fully screened and tested for potential contaminants.

If it passes, the sample is stabilized and becomes part of the Maitri genetic library for future cultivation. If any contamination is discovered, the plant is selected for meristem isolation, an intensive isolation technique at the near cellular level.

Once sterilized and verified to be clean, the samples — often just an inch tall — are isolated into individual test tubes in our proprietary nutrient-rich medium for storage indefinitely. The cuttings are held in these ideal conditions until tapped for cultivation. This process allows Maitri to maintain an extensive library of clean, disease-free cannabis genetics ready to be grown.

Benefits for Medical Cannabis Patients

Tissue culture creates exact genetic replicas of the source plant

One of the chief benefits of tissue culture propagation is that it creates exact genetic replicas of the source plant. This allows growers like Maitri to standardize cannabis plants, and thus the cannabis experience. That means patients can expect the same characteristics from Maitri grown strains every time, including effects, potency and even taste and smell. Keeping reliable, top quality strains in steady rotation ensures patients have access to the medicine they need.

Preserving Plant Genetics

Beyond the benefits that tissue culture cultivation provides for the patient, this approach to testing, storing and growing cannabis plants also goes a long way towards protecting cannabis genetics into the future.

Cannabis strains are constantly under assault from pests and disease, potentially destroying the genetics that make these strains so special. Over-breeding and a dwindling demand for heirloom strains also threatens the loss of some individual plant genetics. Having a collection of genetics readily available means we can quickly cultivate strains to best meet consumer demand. Additionally, maintaining a rich seed bank that features both legacy and boutique strains allows us to have options for future tissue culture cultivation or for future new strain development.

Advancing Cannabis Research

Due to federal prohibition, researching cannabis, especially at the university level, can be extremely difficult. Additionally, the cannabis material that researchers have access to is largely considered to be subpar and wildly inconsistent, placing another barrier to researching the physiological effects of the plant. Clean, safe and uniform cannabis is a necessity to generate reliable research data. Utilizing tissue culture cultivation is a smart way to ensure researchers have access to the resources they need to drive our understanding of the cannabis plant.

The post Tissue Culture Cultivation Can Transform the Way We Grow Cannabis appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

Tissue Culture Cultivation Can Transform the Way We Grow Cannabis


October 8, 2021 2:56 pm

Tissue Culture Cultivation Can Transform the Way We Grow Cannabis

Tissue Culture Cultivation Can Transform the Way We Grow Cannabis

The cannabis industry is approaching a crossroads. While cultivators must ensure they are getting the greatest yield per square foot, an increasingly competitive landscape and sophisticated consumer means growers must also balance the need for volume with quality, consistent and award-winning cannabis strains.

Tissue culture propagation represents a significant leap forward in cannabis cultivation, ultimately benefiting both the grower and the consumer. The proprietary technology behind our sterilization and storage process results in the isolation of premium cannabis genetics in a clean, contaminant-free environment. Since our inception, we’ve been focused on setting a higher standard in medical (and one day adult use) cannabis by growing craft cannabis on a commercial scale through utilization of this cutting-edge cultivation technique. When taken in total, Maitri boasts access to a library of 243 unique cannabis strains, one of the largest collections in the U.S.

Trouble with Traditional Cultivation

Pathogens, insects and cross contamination all threaten the viability and value of cannabis plants. In many ways, current cannabis cultivation techniques compound these issues by promoting grams per square foot above all else and packing plants into warehouse sized grows where issues can quickly spread.

In these close quarters, pests can swiftly move from plant to plant, and even from generation to generation when propagating from clones or growing in close quarters. Similarly, pathogens can leap between susceptible plants, damaging or killing plants and cutting into a cultivator’s bottom line.

Hemp tissue culture samples

Of particular concern is hop latent viroid. Originally identified in hops, a genetic relative of cannabis, this infectious RNA virus has torn through the cannabis industry, endangering genetics, causing sickly plants and reducing yields. Plants cloned using traditional methods from an infected mother are vulnerable to the disease, making hop latent viroid a generational issue.

Minimizing or even eliminating these threats helps to protect the genetic integrity of cannabis strains and ensures they can be enjoyed for years to come. That is where the sterilization stage in tissue culture cultivation stands out.

Like cloning, tissue culture propagation offers faster time to maturity than growing from seed, allowing for a quicker turnaround to maximize utility of space, without overcrowding grow rooms. However, it also boasts a clean, disease-free environment that allows plants to thrive.

Tissue Culture Cultivation

Tissue culture cultivation allows for viable plant tissue to be isolated in a controlled, sterilized environment. Flowering plants can then be grown from these stored genetics, allowing for standardization of quality strains that are free of contamination and disease from the very beginning. Tissue culture cultivation also takes up less room than traditional cloning, freeing up valuable square footage.

A large tissue culture facility run in the Sacramento area that produces millions of nut and fruit trees clones a year.

This propagation process begins with plants grown to just before flowering and harvested for their branch tips. These branch tips undergo a sterilization process to remove any environmental contamination. This living plant material (known as explants) gets fully screened and tested for potential contaminants.

If it passes, the sample is stabilized and becomes part of the Maitri genetic library for future cultivation. If any contamination is discovered, the plant is selected for meristem isolation, an intensive isolation technique at the near cellular level.

Once sterilized and verified to be clean, the samples — often just an inch tall — are isolated into individual test tubes in our proprietary nutrient-rich medium for storage indefinitely. The cuttings are held in these ideal conditions until tapped for cultivation. This process allows Maitri to maintain an extensive library of clean, disease-free cannabis genetics ready to be grown.

Benefits for Medical Cannabis Patients

Tissue culture creates exact genetic replicas of the source plant

One of the chief benefits of tissue culture propagation is that it creates exact genetic replicas of the source plant. This allows growers like Maitri to standardize cannabis plants, and thus the cannabis experience. That means patients can expect the same characteristics from Maitri grown strains every time, including effects, potency and even taste and smell. Keeping reliable, top quality strains in steady rotation ensures patients have access to the medicine they need.

Preserving Plant Genetics

Beyond the benefits that tissue culture cultivation provides for the patient, this approach to testing, storing and growing cannabis plants also goes a long way towards protecting cannabis genetics into the future.

Cannabis strains are constantly under assault from pests and disease, potentially destroying the genetics that make these strains so special. Over-breeding and a dwindling demand for heirloom strains also threatens the loss of some individual plant genetics. Having a collection of genetics readily available means we can quickly cultivate strains to best meet consumer demand. Additionally, maintaining a rich seed bank that features both legacy and boutique strains allows us to have options for future tissue culture cultivation or for future new strain development.

Advancing Cannabis Research

Due to federal prohibition, researching cannabis, especially at the university level, can be extremely difficult. Additionally, the cannabis material that researchers have access to is largely considered to be subpar and wildly inconsistent, placing another barrier to researching the physiological effects of the plant. Clean, safe and uniform cannabis is a necessity to generate reliable research data. Utilizing tissue culture cultivation is a smart way to ensure researchers have access to the resources they need to drive our understanding of the cannabis plant.

The post Tissue Culture Cultivation Can Transform the Way We Grow Cannabis appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

Tissue Culture Cultivation Can Transform the Way We Grow Cannabis


October 8, 2021 2:56 pm

Solvent Remediation – The Last Step for Safe, Clean Hemp Extraction

Solvent Remediation – The Last Step for Safe, Clean Hemp Extraction

Botanical extraction is not specific to cannabis and hemp, and it is anything but new. Rudimentary forms of plant extraction have existed throughout history and evolved with high-tech equipment and scientific procedures for use in pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements and botanicals.

In food production, examples of hydrocarbon extraction processes are commonplace. Nut, olive and vegetable oil production use solvents to extract the oils. Decaffeinated coffee uses hydrocarbon extraction to remediate the caffeine, and making sugar from beets, or beer from hops, also requires solvents.

As such, the FDA has set guidelines for the amount of residual solvents considered safe for consumers to ingest. Yet, without FDA guidance in cannabis and hemp, many products aren’t being tested against these standards, and consumers will ultimately pay the price.

Understanding solvent remediation technology and processes

If we use ethanol extraction as an example, the extraction process is relatively simple. First, we soak the biomass in denatured or food-grade ethanol, ending up with a final solution that is 90-95% solvent. Then, we perform a bulk removal of the solvents, which takes out most, but not all, of the solvent. The next and final step should be to strip the remaining solvents from the extract entirely.

Stripping remaining solvents in bulk requires the right equipment.

But, in order to do so effectively, you need the right equipment, and unfortunately, this is where many producers fall short. Many producers use a vacuum oven to apply heat while reducing the headspace pressure to lower the solvent’s boiling point and evaporate it off.

However, it’s a static environment in a vacuum oven, which means the material is stagnant. So, the process may effectively remove the solvents close to the surface, but solvents deep inside the material tend to get trapped without some type of agitation or mixing.

The appropriate final step to complete solvent remediation is wipe-film distillation, which feeds small volumes into a column, which is then wiped into a very thin film and heated under vacuum pressure. Although the equipment necessary is costly, this last step removes any residual solvents from the product to create a safe, effective and consumable product.

Residual solvents present huge risks

As stated, many of the same solvents used in cannabis and hemp extraction have been considered safe in food production for decades. Reviewing chemical data sheets, many of the acceptable limits on solvents were determined for ingestion, which is fine for edibles and tinctures, but many cannabis and hemp products are intended for inhalation or vaporization.

Just a few of the dozens of various products types on the market today, extracted with a variety of different solvents

Unfortunately, some solvents can have negative health impacts, especially for those using cannabis or hemp for medical purposes or with compromised immune systems. Plus, as a therapeutic and recreational substance, consumers may be consuming more than the recommended amount, as well as using the products several times a day. Unfortunately, long-term exposure or repeated inhalation of these residual solvents hasn’t been thoroughly researched.

For example, inhaling ethyl alcohol (ethanol) can irritate the nose, throat and lungs. Extended exposure can cause headaches, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and unconsciousness. Repeated exposure can affect the liver and nervous system.

In the food industry, hexane is approved for extracting spices or hops, and this solvent is widely used in cannabis and hemp extraction. However, if used in an inhalable product, chronic exposure to hexane could be detrimental, with symptoms including numbness in the extremities, weakness, vision problems and fatigue.

Consumers deserve transparency

In the industry’s earliest days, companies were tight-lipped about their processes, the chemicals they used and how they removed them. Everyone thought they had the “secret sauce” and didn’t want to share their approach. Today, companies are more open about what they use, how they process it and providing that necessary transparency.

Lack of quality and consistent regulations in these industries creates confusion for the consumers and loopholes for producers. Some producers test for everything under the sun, and some producers know exactly which labs will pass their products, regardless of test results.

While the regulatory bodies are distracted by the amount of THC that might linger in products, getting sick is overshadowed by the risk of getting high. In the meantime, consumers are left to their own devices to determine which products are safe and which are not.

Although testing mandates and regulations will help clean up the industry, until then, consumers need to demand full-panel COAs that not only show cannabinoid potency but also accurately display the test results for residual solvents, pesticides and heavy metals.

The post Solvent Remediation – The Last Step for Safe, Clean Hemp Extraction appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

Solvent Remediation – The Last Step for Safe, Clean Hemp Extraction


October 6, 2021 10:34 pm

Why is Cannabis Use Gaining Traction With Pro Athletes?

Why is Cannabis Use Gaining Traction With Pro Athletes?

Most people don’t think of professional athletes as cannabis enthusiasts. Athletes value motivation, self-discipline, and health.

People who use cannabis are often thought to hold a very different set of values.

But as the research around cannabis expands, and people become more comfortable discussing their use of the plant, these stereotypes are crumbling.

The two worlds of athleticism and cannabis use can coincide and, in fact, often do. But until recently, that was a taboo concept for professional athletes to endorse.

In 2004, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) created a list of prohibited substances for professional athletes. WADA banned all forms of cannabinoids until 2018 when cannabidiol (CBD) was removed from the list.

WADA noted CBD is being researched for “a variety of medical purposes,” but did not say why they removed the substance from the list. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) remains a banned substance during competition. 

As a result, several major sporting institutions have since changed their policies around cannabis.

Some say it has therapeutic potential; others say it’s okay because it doesn’t affect athletic performance. But what does the research say?

Athletic Recovery

Danielle McCartney. Photo courtesy of Danielle McCartney.

Pain is a fact of life for elite athletes, and it’s something trainers spend a lot of time and effort trying to reduce. Fewer aches and pains lead to more training, faster recovery, and better overall performance.

Muscle soreness is caused by the breakdown of muscle fibers, which creates an inflammatory response.

According to research by Danielle McCartney published in the Journal Sports Medicine – Open, a bit of inflammation actually helps the muscle repair.

Still, too much can delay recovery and cause prolonged pain. This is where CBD could be a valuable tool.

McCartney looked at several CBD studies conducted with rats. Consistently, researchers found mid- to high-doses of CBD encourage the body to create anti-inflammatory cytokines.

The cytokines reduce inflammation and therefore reduce pain.

It’s worth noting that research on ibuprofen (an anti-inflammatory) has shown it can actually reduce inflammation too much — limiting the effectiveness of exercise in building new muscle.

Whether CBD could have this same effect requires further research. 

McCartney also noted studies with rats have shown CBD can lessen the effects of a concussion. Concussed rats treated with CBD show less aggression, depression, and pain.

Human trials have linked CBD to reductions in pain, though to a lesser extent than THC.

Cannabinoids can also relieve stress, which could be helpful for athletes with performance anxiety.

All of McCartney’s research calls for more studies with a particular focus on dosing, noting that often a moderate amount of CBD is more helpful than a high or low dose.

Certificates of analysis for CBD products are essential for ensuring effective dosing.

Creating Access

The growing body of research around cannabis is forcing its way into public knowledge.

Policymakers in the world of professional sports are taking notice. The National Basketball League (NBA), the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), and the Ultimate Fighting Championship recently changed their policies to be more forgiving of cannabis use.

Scoring Points with the NBA

Isiah Thomas. Photo courtesy of Isiah Thomas.

The NBA and NBPA are not conducting randomized tests for cannabis during the 2020-21 season.

NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement, “Due to the unusual circumstances in conjunction with the pandemic, we have agreed with the NBPA to… focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse.” 

Isiah Thomas, former Detroit Pistons All-Star and one of the NBA’s top fifty players of all time, said to Cannabis & Tech Today he feels there is a place for cannabis in professional sports.

“How can we reduce inflammation, how can we get better sleep? The plant has scientifically been proven to work in those two areas. From an athlete standpoint, if you can reduce inflammation, reduce pain, and get better sleep, it definitely will help your performance out on the floor,” said Thomas.

The UFC Fights Back

In January 2021, the UFC stated it would no longer punish athletes who test positive for cannabis, specifically THC.

In a statement to MMA Fighting, UFC representatives said they made their decision after reading a report submitted to Congress by the Department of Transportation in 2017. 

The report states there isn’t a currently accepted standard for determining marijuana impairment. There is no way to know if THC was ingested hours or weeks before the test was conducted.

As such, UFC will only punish fighters if they are visibly under the influence of marijuana during a competition.

These updates only apply to the USADA and do not influence state athletic commissions. In Nevada, for example, the state athletic commission still has a 150 nanogram limit on THC.  

Gaining Ground in the NFL

Reuben Droughns. Photo courtesy of Reuben Droughns.

In early 2020, just before the pandemic stole international headlines, the NFL changed its drug testing policy.

Players will no longer be suspended for positive marijuana tests, and the drug testing period lasts only the first two weeks of training camp.

To earn a positive result, players must have 150 nanograms of THC in their system, rather than the former standard of 35 nanograms.

The change coincides with the NFL’s announcement that it’s seeking alternatives to opioids.

They’ve asked a committee to study the potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids, including CBD, as possible alternatives for pain management.

The league’s Chief Medical Officer Alan Sills said to The Washington Post, “I think it demonstrates the spirit of cooperation we have around our health and safety issues… Both of these committees are about providing the best health care we can to players.”

For many current and former players, the policy updates are a welcome change. Former Super Bowl champion Reuben Droughns said to Cannabis & Tech Today, “This medicine is probably actually what kept me sane throughout my football career.” 

From reducing pain to relieving stress, athletes in nearly every field are finding uses for cannabis.

The recurring message from policymakers both in sports and in politics is the demand for research.

Before people in positions of power can endorse this substance, they need to feel confident it won’t cause harm and could actually benefit users.

Until the research is there, which can’t happen until cannabis is removed from the Schedule I controlled substance list, athletes will have to continue to fight for their right to access. ϖ


#CBD #Hemp

Why is Cannabis Use Gaining Traction With Pro Athletes?


October 4, 2021 11:00 am

Why is Cannabis Use Gaining Traction With Pro Athletes?

Why is Cannabis Use Gaining Traction With Pro Athletes?

Most people don’t think of professional athletes as cannabis enthusiasts. Athletes value motivation, self-discipline, and health.

People who use cannabis are often thought to hold a very different set of values.

But as the research around cannabis expands, and people become more comfortable discussing their use of the plant, these stereotypes are crumbling.

The two worlds of athleticism and cannabis use can coincide and, in fact, often do. But until recently, that was a taboo concept for professional athletes to endorse.

In 2004, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) created a list of prohibited substances for professional athletes. WADA banned all forms of cannabinoids until 2018 when cannabidiol (CBD) was removed from the list.

WADA noted CBD is being researched for “a variety of medical purposes,” but did not say why they removed the substance from the list. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) remains a banned substance during competition. 

As a result, several major sporting institutions have since changed their policies around cannabis.

Some say it has therapeutic potential; others say it’s okay because it doesn’t affect athletic performance. But what does the research say?

Athletic Recovery

Danielle McCartney. Photo courtesy of Danielle McCartney.

Pain is a fact of life for elite athletes, and it’s something trainers spend a lot of time and effort trying to reduce. Fewer aches and pains lead to more training, faster recovery, and better overall performance.

Muscle soreness is caused by the breakdown of muscle fibers, which creates an inflammatory response.

According to research by Danielle McCartney published in the Journal Sports Medicine – Open, a bit of inflammation actually helps the muscle repair.

Still, too much can delay recovery and cause prolonged pain. This is where CBD could be a valuable tool.

McCartney looked at several CBD studies conducted with rats. Consistently, researchers found mid- to high-doses of CBD encourage the body to create anti-inflammatory cytokines.

The cytokines reduce inflammation and therefore reduce pain.

It’s worth noting that research on ibuprofen (an anti-inflammatory) has shown it can actually reduce inflammation too much — limiting the effectiveness of exercise in building new muscle.

Whether CBD could have this same effect requires further research. 

McCartney also noted studies with rats have shown CBD can lessen the effects of a concussion. Concussed rats treated with CBD show less aggression, depression, and pain.

Human trials have linked CBD to reductions in pain, though to a lesser extent than THC.

Cannabinoids can also relieve stress, which could be helpful for athletes with performance anxiety.

All of McCartney’s research calls for more studies with a particular focus on dosing, noting that often a moderate amount of CBD is more helpful than a high or low dose.

Certificates of analysis for CBD products are essential for ensuring effective dosing.

Creating Access

The growing body of research around cannabis is forcing its way into public knowledge.

Policymakers in the world of professional sports are taking notice. The National Basketball League (NBA), the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), and the Ultimate Fighting Championship recently changed their policies to be more forgiving of cannabis use.

Scoring Points with the NBA

Isiah Thomas. Photo courtesy of Isiah Thomas.

The NBA and NBPA are not conducting randomized tests for cannabis during the 2020-21 season.

NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement, “Due to the unusual circumstances in conjunction with the pandemic, we have agreed with the NBPA to… focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse.” 

Isiah Thomas, former Detroit Pistons All-Star and one of the NBA’s top fifty players of all time, said to Cannabis & Tech Today he feels there is a place for cannabis in professional sports.

“How can we reduce inflammation, how can we get better sleep? The plant has scientifically been proven to work in those two areas. From an athlete standpoint, if you can reduce inflammation, reduce pain, and get better sleep, it definitely will help your performance out on the floor,” said Thomas.

The UFC Fights Back

In January 2021, the UFC stated it would no longer punish athletes who test positive for cannabis, specifically THC.

In a statement to MMA Fighting, UFC representatives said they made their decision after reading a report submitted to Congress by the Department of Transportation in 2017. 

The report states there isn’t a currently accepted standard for determining marijuana impairment. There is no way to know if THC was ingested hours or weeks before the test was conducted.

As such, UFC will only punish fighters if they are visibly under the influence of marijuana during a competition.

These updates only apply to the USADA and do not influence state athletic commissions. In Nevada, for example, the state athletic commission still has a 150 nanogram limit on THC.  

Gaining Ground in the NFL

Reuben Droughns. Photo courtesy of Reuben Droughns.

In early 2020, just before the pandemic stole international headlines, the NFL changed its drug testing policy.

Players will no longer be suspended for positive marijuana tests, and the drug testing period lasts only the first two weeks of training camp.

To earn a positive result, players must have 150 nanograms of THC in their system, rather than the former standard of 35 nanograms.

The change coincides with the NFL’s announcement that it’s seeking alternatives to opioids.

They’ve asked a committee to study the potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids, including CBD, as possible alternatives for pain management.

The league’s Chief Medical Officer Alan Sills said to The Washington Post, “I think it demonstrates the spirit of cooperation we have around our health and safety issues… Both of these committees are about providing the best health care we can to players.”

For many current and former players, the policy updates are a welcome change. Former Super Bowl champion Reuben Droughns said to Cannabis & Tech Today, “This medicine is probably actually what kept me sane throughout my football career.” 

From reducing pain to relieving stress, athletes in nearly every field are finding uses for cannabis.

The recurring message from policymakers both in sports and in politics is the demand for research.

Before people in positions of power can endorse this substance, they need to feel confident it won’t cause harm and could actually benefit users.

Until the research is there, which can’t happen until cannabis is removed from the Schedule I controlled substance list, athletes will have to continue to fight for their right to access. ϖ


#CBD #Hemp

Why is Cannabis Use Gaining Traction With Pro Athletes?


October 4, 2021 11:00 am

Can Oral CBD Effectively Help Arthritic Patients?

Can Oral CBD Effectively Help Arthritic Patients?

The cannabis plant is one of the most dynamic and versatile plants on earth, which is why it can be used for so many things.

Every cannabis plant contains various levels of dozens of different cannabinoids. 

One of the most well-known cannabinoids is cannabidiol (CBD).

CBD is now arguably the most popular cannabinoid on earth, surpassing THC

A big part of that is due to the favorable legal status that is applied to CBD in many jurisdictions across the globe.

The CBD cannabinoid is now infused into many products, from gummy candies to tinctures to topical rubs. Oral consumption methods are particularly common, however, are they effective?

Oral CBD And Arthritis

Consuming CBD products orally is a popular consumption method. 

It’s exactly like it sounds – oral consumption is consuming CBD products by eating/drinking them.

A team of Dutch researchers recently conducted a study involving the oral administration of synthetic CBD to see if it helped osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis patients.

The study involved a total of 129 patients, some of which were provided synthetic CBD and the rest being provided a placebo over the course of 12 weeks.

“We found neither clinically nor statistically significant effect of CBD for pain intensity in patients with hand osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis when compared to placebo,” the study’s authors reported.

“Additionally, no statistically significant effects were found on sleep quality, depression, anxiety, or pain catastrophizing scores.” the researchers stated.

Important Study Limitations To Consider

It’s important that readers know that the results of this study come with a series of limitations.

For starters, this study obviously involved synthetic CBD rather than real CBD, which could play a role in the CBD’s efficacy.

Another important factor is that this study only involved oral administration of CBD. Fortunately, there are many other ways to consume CBD products.

Topical administration of cannabis via a salve, lotion, or other rub is a consumption method that is likely common amongst arthritis sufferers. Smoking/vaporizing is another one.

As always, make sure to talk with a medical professional prior to starting a medical cannabis treatment regimen


#CBD #Hemp
https://cannatechtoday.com/can-oral-cbd-effectively-help-arthritic-patients/
September 29, 2021 11:00 am

How Hemp Clothing Could Help Save the World

How Hemp Clothing Could Help Save the World

According to a study conducted by NASA, pandemic restrictions reduced global nitrogen dioxide concentrations by nearly 20%.

Humanity’s temporary confinement created an immediate decline in air pollution. 

Stay-at-home orders forced many to drastically change daily routines to adjust to the unprecedented new normal.

This included less time spent traveling or driving and more time working from home. 

People are starting to see their impact on the environment and how a small act like driving less can create drastic change.

Staying at home eliminated daily distractions that prevented people from reflecting on important issues like sustainability.

Many people are now more aware of how to lessen their carbon footprint.

For a lot of people, that journey starts at the closet. 

Airing Out the Fashion Industry’s Dirty Laundry 

All photos courtesy of Jungmaven.

In a study conducted shortly after the pandemic began, 67% of fashion consumers considered the use of sustainable materials to be an important purchasing factor.

When searching for clothing brands, environmentally conscious companies can be a deciding factor on whether consumers purchase from them. 

While the fashion industry isn’t often brought up in conversations about sustainability, it’s one of the leading culprits of unneeded waste, water pollution, plastic pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

In fact, according to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), we globally produce a staggering 13 million tons of textile waste each year, 95% of which could be reused or recycled.

The most common fabrics found in the clothes we buy — cotton, nylon, and polyester to name a few — are often laden with harmful petrochemicals and pesticides.

Plus, they use a lot of water to produce.

From cultivation to production, hemp could be the sustainable solution the fashion industry needs to do their part for a better planet. 

Pamela West, a devoted hemp fashion activist who shared her expertise at the Spring Emerge Virtual Cannabis Conference & Expo, emphasized the importance of being aware of where our clothes are made, as the manufacturing process is extremely dirty from an environmental perspective. 

“The reality is that there are other products that have recycled hemp, or recycled plastic. These things exist. The access is the hard part, because hemp is expensive,” said West.

“You want to look at the labels of your clothes and what’s in them. Look at where they were made, and how the people who made them were treated.” 

Changing the World One T-Shirt at a Time

Due to the negative stigma of the cannabis plant, it’s historically been very difficult to access sustainable hemp clothing.

The revolutionary passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, which made it legal to grow hemp in the United States for the first time since it was banned in 1937, finally gave designers access to hemp.

For the first time, they could legally change their manufacturing structures and move away from the traditional cotton industry. 

Rob Jungmann. Photo courtesy of Jungmaven

Rob Jungmann, owner and founder of popular hemp clothing brand Jungmaven, has been working in the world of hemp fashion since creating his first hemp t-shirt in the 90s.

When Jungmann started, he was working out of a tiny surf shop in Central America, back before hemp fashion was even a term.

“I see the market for hemp growing every year. In the 1990s we had to make detailed hangtags explaining all the benefits of industrial hemp — people would kick us out of stores thinking it was weed,” said Jungmann. “The shirts were heavy and stiff, yet people wanted lightweight and burnout tees, so it’s changed considerably in 28 years.”

While Jungmaven no longer uses hangtags to describe hemp’s benefits, the company still takes part in hemp advocacy work.

They raise awareness about the many uses of hemp and why its regenerative qualities make it such a desirable alternative to resource-intensive fabrics.

During the pandemic, protesters have been vocal about environmentalism and Jungmann emphasized that fashion is a form of activism. 

“What we choose to wear says both who we are and what we stand for. Making beautiful, high-quality hemp clothing is our way of creating a medium through which we can all demand change with our dollars and express what kind of future we want to live in,” said Jungmann.

“Choosing a hemp tee is a small, simple act — but it’s one that can change the world. Hemp’s potential to mitigate climate change is one of the greatest opportunities of our generation.”

Hemp is the Future 

Ethical, informed buyers create better opportunities for more clothing companies to incorporate hemp, supporting American hemp farmers in the process.

Transparency with how the clothing is made is an incredibly important factor for consumers.

Jungmaven, as well as outdoor clothing company Patagonia, builds trust with their customers by sharing their activism, certifications, and where their fabrics are sourced on their websites.

It’s because of this transparency that consumers named Patagonia the company in America with the best reputation, according to the 2021 Axios-Harris Poll 100. 

“The clothing industry is a dirty industry and contributes up to 10% of the pollution driving the climate crisis. Patagonia believes that what you buy is what the industry will become and informed buyers will force the clothing industry to drop their dirty practices,” said Patagonia spokesperson Corey Simpson. 

Hemp is an eco-friendly crop that truly gives back to the world in more ways than one. The plant is biodegradable, avoids soil erosion, and absorbs toxic materials from the soil.

The only high you’ll get from purchasing hemp clothing is knowing you’re helping to reduce the waste the fashion industry has built over the years. 

Thankfully, hemp clothing is starting to make headway into the mainstream, with clothing lines like Levi Strauss and Nike experimenting with hemp in their products.

People are starting to see that we have the power to repair the environmental damage that we’ve inflicted upon the Earth, but we have to act fast. If you’re on a mission to help save the world, it’s best that you dress the part. ϖ


#CBD #Hemp
https://cannatechtoday.com/how-hemp-clothing-could-help-save-the-world/
September 28, 2021 11:00 am

Marijuana policy reading

Marijuana policy reading

Drafting a pamphlet: “What North Carolinians Need To Know About Marijuana Money.” Here’s what I’m thinking for background reading references:  

For marijuana issues generally, I don’t know a better place to start than Mark Kleiman’s Marijuana Legalization:  What Everyone Needs to Know (2d ed. 2016, with Caulkins and Kilmer, under $20), which inspired the title here.  A more technical 2015 analysis by Kleiman and others for the State of Vermont is in the public domain at https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR864.html.

Kleiman’s work is a little dated; a recent multi-author issue of the B.U. Law Review provides a good update in the public domain. https://www.bu.edu/bulawreview/2021/07/14/volume-101-number-3-may-2021/.

For an ideological prohibitionist view, the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, https://learnaboutsam.org, provides online material and offers a book for sale.  

An anti-prohibition view is thought through in a free online book by the U.K. Transform Drugs Foundation: https://transformdrugs.org/publications/how-to-regulate-cannabis-a-practical-guide


#CBD #Hemp
Marijuana policy reading
September 25, 2021 2:25 pm

Hemp Cake As An Alternative Ingredient For Sustainable Meat?

Hemp Cake As An Alternative Ingredient For Sustainable Meat?

The hemp plant is one of the most versatile plants on earth, with humans having made use of the hemp plant for centuries for many purposes.

As hemp advocates will be quick to point out, the hemp plant has the ability to clothe, feed, and in many cases heal. It’s a truly amazing crop.

Hemp grows much faster than most trees and can even be used to decontaminate soil, especially soil that is contaminated with heavy metals.

Food-products made from hemp are particularly popular among consumers, including hemp milk and hemp seed. 

The results of a recent study could one day lead to hemp being in even more things that we eat.

Evolving Consumer Demands

Many consumers are becoming more conscious about what they eat, and understandably so. What we eat plays a very important role in our overall health.

Sustainability is another major concern, and so it is no coincidence that consumers are increasingly looking for sustainable meat products.

Sustainable meat is specifically created via regenerative practices and processes with the goal of lowering meat’s carbon footprint.

Producing sustainable meat involves the addition of various ingredients for storage purposes to help preserve the meat, among other things. Hemp is one of those ingredients.

Hemp Cake As A Sustainable Meat Ingredient?

Researchers recently conducted a study in which they examined hemp cake, a by-product of cold pressing oil from hemp seeds, as an alternative ingredient in sustainable meat.

They specifically looked at hemp cake’s impact “on the physicochemical and textural properties, oxidation, and sensory acceptance of cooked and vacuum-packed meatballs during refrigerated storage”

“The addition of 7.4% hemp cake enhanced the amount of dry matter and reduced the content of water. Lightness (L*) and redness (a*) values reduced significantly with higher levels of hemp supplementation.” the researchers stated.

“The results indicate that hemp cake, a material considered mainly as waste, may be destined for food purposes and be an alternative ingredient for the production of sustainable meat products.” the authors concluded.


#CBD #Hemp
https://cannatechtoday.com/hemp-cake-as-an-alternative-ingredient-for-sustainable-meat/
September 24, 2021 11:00 am

Lean Management in a Cannabis Lab

Lean Management in a Cannabis Lab

Lean management or Lean thinking is a process for continuous improvement that can be applied to any business. Most frequently Lean is attributed to the manufacturing sector due to its origins in Japan at the Toyota Motor Company. Lean originated in post-war Japan where resources were scarce as the country rebuilt itself after World War II. The scarcity of resources forced the Japanese to do more with less which manifested itself within the Toyota organization as the Toyota Production System from which Lean originated.

Today, Lean thinking is being applied to every industry and we believe that the cannabis industry, and in particular laboratories, can benefit tremendously from its principals.

What Is Lean and How Does it Apply to Cannabis?

Lean thinking is a set of powerful tools for any business or organization that wants to be the best in their industry and deliver superior value their customers. This is especially relevant to the fast-growing cannabis and hemp testing industry where customers demand fast turnaround times and error-free results.

The reason that Lean applies to all businesses and especially the cannabis industry is because of its focus is on eliminating waste. Waste comes in many forms including defects, waiting time, extra motion, excess inventory, transportation, over production, over processing and underutilized talent.

Companies that adopt Lean management eliminate waste using a wide variety of tools that help surface issues and eliminate the root causes. When companies eliminate waste, they simultaneously improve both their speed and quality, two attributes that customers really care about. Given the fast-changing nature of the cannabis industry and differences state by state, we believe that using Lean thinking to eliminate waste is critical to being a top performing business in the cannabis industry.

One important tool that many businesses begin with is known as 5S or 6S. At our laboratory we recently implemented 6S to organize both our office and laboratory spaces. 6S is a process improvement tool that stands for Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain and Safety. The process involves each technician or analyst assessing their areas and asking critical questions such as: Can I easily reach everything I need for this test or process? Is there wasted motion due to the placement of items within the lab? Can I easily tell how much consumable inventory I have on hand at a glance?

This process also helps improve safety because the workspace is better organized, easier to navigate and designed with safety in mind. Each person is responsible for maintaining their workspace and regular audits by rotating teammates, helping drive continuous improvement to our 6S. It is a fundamental process for any business starting to adopt Lean thinking.

Another very helpful process that any cannabis business can implement is the Gemba walk. Gemba is the Japanese word for “actual place” and refers to the place in a business where value is created for the customer. Value in our cannabis business is created in our testing lab. By improving everything in our testing lab we improve our quality and speed for our customers. In our laboratory we begin the Gemba walk as a team reviewing our key performance indicators (KPIs). From there, the management team visits each station to review additional KPIs and discuss any issues that group may be having. We try to surface issues, however small they may be, so that they are solved and hopefully eliminated. This process is key to helping us keep a pulse on the lab, engaging employees and better understand the improvements that need to be made.

How to Implement Lean Processes

labsphoto
Without quality results, a testing laboratory does not really have a product or service to offer

Lean thinking is a very accessible set of tools. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to implement because of the dedication that it requires. Implementing Lean and changing the culture requires a significant amount of time, investment in training and management commitment. Time and capital for training can be scarce at some businesses in the cannabis industry. For the businesses with capital, it is extremely important that management commit to implementing Lean and changing their culture. Without the support of the executive team most businesses stop implementing new procedures and revert to how they are used to operating. It is also common for changes in management to result in lean becoming deprioritized in place of a new initiative.

If the executive team is inexperienced in Lean management, it will be important to find a Lean consultant that can guide the training and events. A Lean consultant should be able to provide you with thorough training on each tool and help your business implement them in real time to improve the business. The training and knowledge gained during these events are extremely valuable and practical tools that every employee can use.

Results From Implementing a Lean Organization

If a business is able to successfully implement Lean management the results for their customers can be dramatic. In the laboratory setting, turnaround times will be reduced, and more importantly, will remain consistent despite fluctuations in sample volume. Faster turnaround times for cannabis companies means that they can bring inventory to market faster which can be critical for supply constrained businesses.

Additionally, implementing Lean helps reduce the number of errors, rework and retests so the quality of the results for the customer is dramatically improved. Root cause issues are solved, processes are updated and then shared with the entire team so that everyone can learn and benefit from the improvement. Without quality results, a testing laboratory does not really have a product or service to offer so it is critical to get it right every time.

All areas of the cannabis industry are becoming more competitive, and it is important for every business to make sure they can stay competitive considering changing market dynamics. Lean management has helped businesses in other industries stand apart from the rest and we believe that the cannabis industry will be no different. Academic literature has studied and documented the positive impact that Lean has on businesses globally. Lean management has repeatedly shown that businesses that can truly implement Lean thinking in everything that they do will have an inherent advantage because they’ll be faster, more agile, higher quality, more efficient and focused entirely on creating value for their customer.

The post Lean Management in a Cannabis Lab appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


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Lean Management in a Cannabis Lab


September 22, 2021 3:41 pm

Now Seeking Leaders in Sustainability

Now Seeking Leaders in Sustainability

There’s no argument that the cannabis industry has made some serious global strides in the past few years. 

For many people, the act of purchasing cannabis out in the open in dispensaries that resemble Apple stores is still hard to comprehend. 

While it’s an exciting time, it’s an industry that needs sustainable solutions for many of its sectors. Cultivation, packaging, and retail businesses all have room to improve their environmental stewardship.

Fortunately, the cannabis industry is still fairly young. According to research conducted by New Frontier Data, the legal cannabis market will continue to grow and is expected to reach $43 billion by 2025. 

This industry is only going to get larger, which means there’s an opportunity to make positive, sustainable changes that will impact the world. 

Seeking Sustainable Leaders

The cannabis plant is incredibly eco-friendly, so how can we reflect that with more responsible production practices? One company working for change is Tiny E Paper Company.

Tiny E Paper produces 100% pure hemp paper from hemp stalks and pre- and post-extraction waste from CBD. During a presentation at the Emerge Virtual Cannabis Conference, Founder and CEO Erica Halverson emphasized the importance of sustainable leadership.

“We have a really awesome opportunity and responsibility right now, and we cannot squander that by doing it the wrong way. We have a chance to really be a model for the world right now in what sustainability means, and what it means in practice, rather than just saying it,” said Halverson. 

We are still very much a budding industry. By carrying out sustainable practices we can help build global trust and cleaner medicine, while also helping the world.

The 2021 Sustainable Leadership Awards

Cannabis & Tech Today partnered with Regennabis for this year’s Sustainable Leadership Awards to highlight individuals and businesses making sustainable practices foundational for their work in the industry.

We’re using the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals as a guide to help define what it means to build a sustainable business model.

The awards are seeking applicants using sustainable practices in several sectors, from water conservation and eco-friendly packaging to social impact and the cannabis event with the smallest carbon footprint. 

Nine different categories showcase how broad the term sustainability is and how a company can make an impact in a variety of ways. 

Categories include: water conservation, energy use, innovation, packaging, stewardship, event impact, ESG, social impact, and SDGs. Learn more with this link.

Companies Changing the Game

Since starting the Sustainable Leadership Awards in 2019, we have showcased innovative, game-changing companies, taking what it means to “go green” to another level. 

During the 2019 award ceremony, which took place MJBizCon in Las Vegas, Cannabis & Tech Today CEO Charles Warner explained why the awards were created.

“We realized that sustainability is something that is incredibly important for this burgeoning industry and it’s up to us to take charge and lead the way, because if we don’t do it, it’s going to be forced upon us in regulations. It’s our sandbox to really push the envelope towards sustainability,” said Warner. 

We have had a lot of amazing winners over the years, many of whom have continued to excel since being awarded their custom engraved plaque. 

Companies like LumiGrow, Surna Packaging, Polyscience, and Solar Therapeutics – just to name a few.

If those names look familiar, it’s because not only are they doing amazing work, they’ve been featured in an issue of Cannabis & Tech Today, another prize awarded to each award winner. 

Solar Therapeutics Director of Marketing and Communications Derek Gould offered advice to operators looking to become more sustainable after the company’s win. If overwhelmed, take it step-by-step. 

“You don’t have to go all-in on sustainability right off the bat. There’re a lot of low-hanging fruit and very easily implemented, inexpensive ways, and procedures that can make your facility at least start to be a little bit more sustainable. It’s imperative we start really considering this approach to cultivating cannabis,” said Gould. 

How to Apply

If your company deserves to be recognized for mastering eco-friendly practices, giving back to your community, or being an example of conservation, we would love to learn more about you. 

Any cannabis business operating in accordance with state and local regulations in North America may apply. 

All applications must be submitted by October 10, 2021. Apply here.

Each entry is $199. One entry per category. 

Winners will be awarded a custom plaque, a profile in Cannabis & Tech Today, and a spotlight session at our Emerge Virtual Cannabis Conference & Expo. 

Being sustainable is a team effort and the pandemic only made it more evident how well this industry works together.

We can’t wait to see which inspiring companies will apply for this year’s Cannabis & Tech Today Sustainable Leadership Awards. Sign up for the Cannabis & Tech Today newsletter to stay up to date.


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https://cannatechtoday.com/cannabis-techs-sustainability-leadership-awards-taking-applications/
September 21, 2021 11:00 am

Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 4 – LifeTonic

Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 4 – LifeTonic

Russell is the CEO of NES Technology Holdings, a technology development and marketing company that operates Vapor Distilled and LifeTonic Brands. NES Technology Holdings has invented a technology portfolio of more than 160 granted and pending patents that cover inventions across several high-value industries, including cannabis, beverage, fragrance and nutraceuticals. The company is currently in license acquisition diligence processes with 7 of world’s 10 largest fragrance companies and has received a joint venture offer from a $3 billion fragrance company to produce perfumes with its extraction technology. It is also launching ionized cannabis beverage products that provide effects as quickly as alcohol in Nevada and Colorado this fall.

Vapor Distilled invented and commercialized an evaporative extraction process with 40 international patents granted and pending that, along with CO2 extraction, is one of only two fundamentally new extraction processes invented in the last 50 years. Instead of using solvents or hydrocarbons to extract oils from plants, evaporative extraction directly evaporates essential oils from plants and condenses the evaporated compounds into an extract. The process takes less than two seconds to complete and extracts higher levels of volatile terpenes than existing extraction methods. Vapor Distilled has built a fleet of commercial-scale extraction machines and has supplied some of the cannabis industry’s largest brands. The company is currently licensing its evaporative extraction technology within the perfume industry and is marketing an aroma hop extract to replace the dry hopping step when making beer.

LifeTonic invented a drug delivery technology with 56 patents pending and granted, that turns oil-based plant compounds like CBD and THC into electrically charged cannabinoid ions that dissolve completely in water without emulsifiers or additives. When cannabinoids are ionized, absorption is significantly enhanced and their effects can be felt in minutes. The effects of a LifeTonic ionized CBD beverage can be felt by most people in less than 5 minutes, whereas the effects of a LifeTonic ionized THC beverage can be felt by most people in less than 8 minutes. For reference, typical onset times for cannabis beverages are 30 minutes or longer. LifeTonic beverage technology will allow cannabis beverages to work as quickly as alcohol, enabling cannabis to become a social drink.

Russell Thomas, CEO of Vapor Distilled and LifeTonic

We spoke with Russell Thomas, CEO of Vapor Distilled and LifeTonic about his cannabinoid evaporation process and rapid onset beverage technologies. Thomas is a career entrepreneur and inventor with 21 years of experience inventing and protecting intellectual property. Russell’s team has generated more than 160 granted and pending patents. Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Thomas worked in the cleantech industry.

Aaron Green: How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?

Russell Thomas: I came to the cannabis industry from the cleantech industry where I worked on technologies that improved the fuel economy of vehicles. I saw opportunities in the cannabis industry to improve cannabis extraction, which was one of the most important supply chain verticals in cannabis. Every product, from edibles to beverages and vape products, requires a cannabis extract. Any product that needs to be accurately dosed requires an extract. The old way of making edible products with cannabis butter was simply not viable as the industry matured, and most people were rapidly moving away from smoking cannabis and embracing vape products. Even with the entire industry almost completely dependent on extraction, no fundamental innovation was occurring. The primary ways that cannabis was being extracted were chemically intensive. The cleaner methods, such as CO2 extraction, were slow and expensive for terpene recovery. I saw this as a great opportunity to provide a better solution within a primary funnel of the cannabis supply chain.

We commercialized an extraction technology that evaporates cannabinoids directly from plant material in the form of vapor, and then recondenses that vapor back into an essential oil. The entire process takes less than two seconds to complete and preserves fragile terpenes. That technology, called Evaporative Extraction, is the foundation of Vapor Distilled.

Green: What timeframe was that roughly?

Thomas: We capitalized our company in 2015 and began selling wholesale extracts in 2017.

Green: Can you talk more about the evaporative extraction process?

Thomas: Our process works in a similar way to a cannabis vaporizer, but on a massive scale. Our extract is literally recondensed cannabis vapor. In one step, we extract, refine, and activate cannabinoids. On one end, plant material goes in the machine, and on the other end, extract and depleted plant material comes out. Our total extraction time is less than two seconds if you measure the time from when the plant material goes into the extractor and when the extract is condensed.

The LifeTonic logo

A continuous feed of dry plant material is introduced into a heated air stream. The air stream pneumatically conveys the plant material through a series of turbulent, heated evaporation chambers. Upon entering the evaporation chambers, volatile plant compounds are instantaneously distilled from the plant material. A centrifugal separator removes the depleted plant material from the air stream. The air stream is rapidly cooled, causing the volatile plant compounds to condense into an essential oil.

We achieve nearly total activation of THCA to THC simultaneously during extraction and, on average, we extract approximately two to four times more terpenes than a conventional extraction process. The cannabis industry is rampant with exaggeration about terpenes, but we are the only cannabis company negotiating a joint venture with a $3 billion fragrance company to produce perfumes, and I think that says a lot about our process.

Green: Is the extract coming out then as an oil?

Thomas: Our extract comes out of our machines as a fully-activated, high-terpene content, full spectrum oil. Unlike the THC crude that emerges from other processes, our extract requires no further distillation, activation or refinement. You can put it straight into a product.

Green: How about terpene recovery?

Thomas: This is by far what we do best. We excel with the recovery terpenes and volatile compounds from plant material. From day one, we noticed that our evaporative extraction process yields about two to four times more terpenes by mass compared to traditional extraction methods.

While we started as a cannabis company, we recently received a compelling joint venture offer from a $3 billion fragrance company to produce perfume products with our technology. We are also under NDA with 7 of the world’s 10 largest fragrance companies to complete diligence processes to license our extraction technology.

As part of our licensing diligence process, we are performing paid fragrance extraction research for three multi-billion-dollar fragrance companies. Our evaporative extracted fragrance extracts are presenting a broader and more complete range of volatile compounds compared reference samples. We are also seeing substantially improved yield of volatile fragrance compounds. Combined, this gives us the advantage of being able to produce more extract at a lower cost, while also producing a superior product. This combination is how licensees can take market share away from any fragrance company that does not have access to our technology, and it is why we are seeing so much rapid traction in this area.

We have also extracted hops with our technology. If you’ve ever smelled a traditional hops resin, it smells good, but the smell doesn’t fill the room. If you put just a drop of our hops extract on any surface, the entire room will smell strongly of a premium IPA beer. It’s so potent you don’t want to get it on your hands or clothes because you will smell like beer for hours. It’s powerful and wonderful stuff!

Green: What is your business model?

Thomas: At our core, we are a technology development and licensing company. We first identify what we believe to be critical verticals and bottlenecks in high-value industries, then we develop and patent highly differentiated and disruptive technology solutions that we believe exist nowhere else. We then demonstrate both market fit and viability at scale through proof-of-concept sales of branded and high-profile, white-labeled products produced with our unique technologies. Finally, we systematically license and exit the various portions our IP portfolio though the orchestration of highly competitive bidding processes that promote both defensive and strategic acquisitions of our technologies. We are currently at the final phase of our model with licensing our extraction technology, and we are receiving offers as part of a competitive bidding process.

Green: Okay, let’s change gears here and start talking more about LifeTonic and your cannabinoid ionization technology. Can you talk high level about the onset times of cannabinoids in different matrices and media?

Thomas: Through LifeTonic, we invented 56 international patents granted and pending cannabinoid ionization technology that compresses the normal onset time of cannabis beverages from 30 minutes down to just a few minutes. Our cannabinoid ionization technology can also be used as a rapid onset vape alternative when sold in a breath spray format. We are currently selling hemp-based versions of these products through LifeTonic.com, and we are bringing THC versions of these products to market in Nevada and Colorado this fall and winter under the brand name LifeTonic.

All conventional and even nano-emulsified cannabis edibles and beverages take a long time to work. A cannabis chocolate can take 45 minutes to two hours before the effects kick in. Cannabis gummies are faster, but it still takes half an hour to 45 minutes to feel the effects. The very best nano-emulsified cannabis beverages take about a half an hour to work on average, if you are lucky. That long of a time delay effectively eliminates the social aspect of consuming cannabis, so most people instead choose to vaporize or smoke cannabis.

If you look at the largest investments that have been made across cannabis, some of the most prominent have been made by alcohol companies. Constellation Brands invested nearly $4 billion into Canopy Growth, with a mission to find an alternative to alcohol in cannabis. Molson Coors has partnered with Hexo and AB InBev has partnered with Tilray, both with that same mission. Even after all this effort and investment, cannabis beverages represent just a sliver of the market because current cannabis-based beverages take too long to work. The fastest ones on the market, on average, take around a half hour to kick in.

Imagine going to a bar and knowing that every time you got a shot of tequila or a shot of whiskey it’s going to take thirty minutes or more for the effects to even begin to kick in. That would be terrible. That would be the end of social drinking. Unfortunately, that is how a conventional cannabis beverage works.

You can’t really get a social drinking experience with cannabis yet, so most people vape it because it’s fast. But a lot of people don’t want to smoke something; in fact, they don’t want to inhale at all. So, we saw beverages as a huge opportunity. How do we make cannabis beverages work as fast as alcohol? That’s what our ionization technology delivers. From all the people we’ve surveyed – hundreds of people – they say that they reliably feel an onset within about seven to eight minutes with our technology. That is just about as fast as a shot of tequila or whiskey.

“With our partners, we will be featuring LifeTonic beverage products on tap in a cannabis cocktail lounge right off the Las Vegas strip, where social consumption rules are welcoming.”What we’ve done is very different from available nanoemulsion technologies. All those technologies try to mix oil and water, and oil and water don’t mix. In a nanoemulsion, you mix cannabis, a carrier oil, an edible detergent and water, and then you run it all through an ultrasonic homogenizer that breaks the cannabinoids and oil into microscopic droplets suspended in water. There are a lot of styles of nanoemulsions, from spray-dried nanoemulsions to liquid liposomal encapsulations, and they all confer certain absorption benefits when compared to straight-up oil absorption. But still, even the microscopic oil droplets suspended in water are quite large compared to what we have done, and still take quite a long time to digest.

We looked at the cannabis molecule and we said, “You know what? If we can put a strong negative charge on it, if we can ionize it, then we can make it behave more like a dissolvable salt instead of an oil.” When we treat it this way, the cannabis molecule dissolves completely in the water without emulsifiers or additives. When something is dissolved, there is no nano-emulsion droplet size. It is single molecules dissolved water. A single ionized cannabinoid molecule is about 1,000 times smaller than an average nano-emulsion droplet – and this greatly enhances absorption. The onset speed of ionized cannabinoids compared to nanoemulsions is measurable as just a few minutes instead of a half hour or more.

We have 56 granted and pending patents on LifeTonic’s ionization technology. We can ionize THC, CBD, CBG and CBD – most cannabinoids are compatible. There are also several herbal products that are compatible with our ionization technology, like the curcuminoids in turmeric, which are normally very hard to get into water. We can also ionize the eugenol that is in cloves. Ionized eugenol is an intoxicant, so we have big plans for alcohol alternatives outside of cannabis.

We’re using this technology to enter the Nevada cannabis market with one of the largest dispensary chains and cannabis product manufacturers in Nevada. With our partners, we will be featuring LifeTonic beverage products on tap in a cannabis cocktail lounge right off the Las Vegas strip, where social consumption rules are welcoming. We’ll craft every kind of cocktail you can imagine, only without alcohol. All these beverages will work in a matter of minutes to provide the first true social drinking experience with cannabis. After you enjoy a beverage, you may purchase a package of ionized THC beverage powder sachets in the cannabis cocktail lounge or at any of the dispensaries within our distribution network. You can pour the powder into any beverage, and it becomes a friendly, fast-acting THC beverage that will get you high, but not leave you with a hangover. We will also be selling a breath-spray format that works almost as quickly as vaping.

Green: What kind of validation studies have you done?

Thomas: We have conducted several broad market studies for our ionized products and almost all people report a profound onset within a few minutes. We have not completed a formalized clinical trial, but we are closing a major funding round that will allow us to do so. We plan to begin controlled pre-clinical trials focused mainly on ionized CBD because it’s far easier to get FDA approval for clinical trials on CBD than for THC. Our studies will monitor a couple dozen volunteers with a functional MRI and watch the change in the brain using our oral spray and beverage products compared against a standard CBD tincture control. We know that we’re going to see fast action because everybody who uses it says that a feeling develops in minutes.

Green: What geographies are you active in and exploring?

Thomas: CBD and hemp products from our extraction technology have been sold in every US state and parts of Europe. Additionally, hemp-based CBD and CBG versions of our ionized products and ionized turmeric products have been sold in several states through our LifeTonic.com, our ecommerce site. We have also sold white labeled versions of our ionized products through partner brands. We will be launching THC versions of our ionized products with our partners Nevada this fall. We expect THC versions to also be available in Colorado this winter.

Green: So, you are creating the powders on site?

Thomas: Yes. We manufacture ionized CBD, CBG, eugenol and turmeric beverage powders on site. We also manufacture and fast acting ionized sprays. These products are sold through our own retail site and we white label for other brands. Per our long-term licensing strategy, these sales establish market viability through sales. Selling products and establishing market viability prior to licensing significantly increases the value of our licenses and exits. It’s very important to answer the question: Do people buy it and do people love it? So far, we like the feedback!

On the THC side, we manufacture ionized products through partners in each cannabis state that we enter. We manufacture the ionizing base here in Colorado, then we ship it to other states where our partners add the THC and package it in LifeTonic-branded packaging. The analogy is that we sell a proprietary Coca-Cola formula without the caffeine, then our partners add the caffeine and bottle it in Coca-Cola branded bottles. In this way, we ensure that the hardest part of our process is controlled house to ensure consistency and quality across all states. It also allows us to be a non-plant touching business, since we only sold upstream base products that did not contain THC. We pick the best manufacturing and distribution partner in each cannabis state and grow from there.

Green: What’s the one thing you’re most interested in learning about?

Thomas: Increasing the bioavailability of cannabis. I have been most passionate about making cannabis work as quickly as alcohol and giving people an alternative to inhaling it through smoking or vaping. That’s definitely what we’ve been most excited about as a company.

Green: Okay, great. That concludes the interview!

Thomas: Thank you Aaron!

The post Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 4 – LifeTonic appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


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Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 4 – LifeTonic


September 20, 2021 8:48 pm

3 Tips for Partnering With a Hemp Inspection Lab

3 Tips for Partnering With a Hemp Inspection Lab

After spending their early careers in a third-generation, family-owned testing laboratory for commodity grains, Kia Adams-Mikesh and Mark Adams, along with their father and grandfather, Mike and Steve Adams, turned their attention toward hemp.

They realized there was a need for unbiased third-party testing laboratories and decided to bring their expertise to the budding hemp industry.

The brother-sister team launched Adams Independent Testing (AIT) in 2019 with a focus on providing Certificates of Analysis (COAs) to buyers and sellers of hemp, testing for potency, pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, terpenes, microbials, and more. 

Especially in the hemp industry, quick turnaround times and attention to customer service are essential.

Existing wait times for results were often between one and four weeks — unacceptable for formulators, processors, and farmers who cannot afford to let biomass languish in a barn or warehouse, waiting for their COA.

When preparing for your hemp inspection, here are three things to look for:

Understand your state’s regulations.

Buyers and sellers of any commodity often choose to pursue certificates to prove their product is free from contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals or mold.

The USDA has laid the foundation for hemp regulation, such as making sure the THC level is below 0.3%.

Still, variances are common when it comes to state regulations. Some states only have regulations for finished products, while others only regulate smokable hemp.

Other states have no regulations at all.

In such a new industry, the rules are always changing. Choosing to test for as many contaminants as possible helps ensure the highest quality product from start to finish.

Sample your product correctly.

While there are standard regulations for grain sampling, hemp sampling best practices lag behind.

One common example has to do with biomass stored in large plastic totes.

Many people will simply scoop biomass from the top of one tote, which does not give a representative sample.

Instead, use a probe or other sampling apparatus to get all the way to the bottom of the tote, then the middle, and finally the top.

The other key is to sample from multiple totes, which might represent different fields or strains.

This “bottom, middle, top” method works for extracts, too.

Know how to read your COA.

It’s one thing to receive a COA and another thing to decipher it. There’s no governing standard for consistency among testing results, and different labs handle and represent data differently. 

Hemp buyers and sellers must look at the “limits of quantification,” which refers to how closely laboratories test for particular analytes, such as THC.

One lab may set 0.01% as the limit of quantification, while another may use 1% for the same analyte.

The second lab wouldn’t detect a reading for anything under 1%, even if the THC measured above the USDA’s limit of 0.3%.

The test isn’t technically fraudulent, but it’s a red flag.

Cannabis labs, for example, likely don’t usually set limits of quantification as low as 0.3%.

In this type of situation, partnering with an unbiased third-party lab offers an important advantage. ϖ

Learn more at https://hempinspection.com or follow on Instagram at @hempinspection.


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https://cannatechtoday.com/3-things-to-know-when-partnering-with-a-hemp-inspection-lab/
September 17, 2021 11:00 am

5 Cosas que Debe Saber Sobre el Delta-8 Tetrahidrocannabinol – Delta-8 THC

5 Cosas que Debe Saber Sobre el Delta-8 Tetrahidrocannabinol – Delta-8 THC 5 Cosas que Debe Saber Sobre el Delta-8 Tetrahidrocannabinol – Delta-8 THC Anonymous (not verified) Thu, 09/16/2021 – 12:02

Detailed Description
Los productos de Delta-8 THC no están aprobados por la FDA y pueden ponerle en riesgo.

Audience

Topics
Public Awareness

English

El delta-8 tetrahidrocannabinol, también conocido como Delta-8 THC, es una sustancia psicoactiva que se encuentra en la planta de Cannabis sativa, de la que la marihuana y el cáñamo son dos variedades. El Delta-8 THC es uno de más de 100 cannabinoides producidos naturalmente por la planta de cannabis, pero no se encuentra en cantidades significativas en la planta de cannabis. Por ello, las cantidades concentradas de Delta-8 THC se fabrican normalmente a partir de cannabidiol (CBD) derivado del cáñamo.

Es importante que los consumidores sepan que los productos de Delta-8 THC no han sido evaluados ni aprobados por la FDA para su uso seguro en ningún contexto.  Pueden comercializarse de forma que ponen en peligro la salud pública y, sobre todo, deben mantenerse fuera del alcance de los niños y las mascotas. 

A continuación, se presentan 5 cosas que debe saber sobre el Delta-8 THC para mantenerse a usted y a sus seres queridos protegidos de productos que pueden suponer graves riesgos para la salud:

1. Los productos de Delta-8 THC no han sido evaluados ni aprobados por la FDA para su uso seguro y pueden comercializarse de forma que ponen en riesgo la salud pública.

La FDA está consciente de la creciente preocupación sobre los productos de Delta-8 THC que se venden actualmente en línea y en las tiendas. Estos productos no han sido evaluados ni aprobados por la FDA para su uso seguro en ningún contexto. Algunas de las preocupaciones incluyen la variabilidad en las formulaciones y las etiquetas de los productos, el contenido de otros cannabinoides y terpenos, y las concentraciones variables de Delta-8 TCH. Además, algunos de estos productos pueden estar etiquetados simplemente como “productos de cáñamo”, lo que puede confundir a los consumidores que asocian “cáñamo” con “no psicoactivo”. Además, la FDA está preocupada por la proliferación de productos que contienen Delta-8 THC y se comercializan para usos terapéuticos o médicos, aunque no hayan sido aprobados por la FDA. La venta de productos no aprobados con afirmaciones terapéuticas sin fundamento no sólo constituye una infracción de la ley federal, sino que también puede poner en riesgo a los consumidores, ya que no se ha demostrado que estos productos sean seguros o eficaces. Esta comercialización engañosa de tratamientos no probados plantea importantes problemas de salud pública porque los pacientes y otros consumidores pueden utilizarlos en lugar de las terapias aprobadas para tratar enfermedades graves e incluso mortales.

2. La FDA ha recibido informes de eventos adversos relacionados con productos que contienen Delta-8 THC.

Desde diciembre de 2020 hasta julio de 2021, la FDA recibió informes de eventos adversos tanto de consumidores como de las fuerzas policiales que describían a 22 pacientes que consumieron productos con Delta-8 THC; de ellos, 14 se presentaron en un hospital o sala de emergencias para recibir tratamiento después del consumo. De los 22 pacientes, 19 experimentaron efectos adversos tras consumir productos alimenticios que contenían Delta-8-THC (por ejemplo, brownies, gomitas). Los eventos adversos incluyeron vómitos, alucinaciones, problemas para mantenerse en pie y pérdida de conciencia.  

Los centros nacionales de control de envenenamiento recibieron 661 casos de exposición a productos con Delta-8-THC entre enero de 2018 y el 31 de julio de 2021, 660 de los cuales ocurrieron entre el 1 de enero de 2021 y el 31 de julio de 2021. De los 661 casos de exposición:

  • El 41% implicó una exposición no intencional al Delta-8-THC y el 77% de estas exposiciones no intencionales afectaron a pacientes pediátricos menores de 18 años.
  • El 39% afectó a pacientes pediátricos menores de 18 años.
  • El 18% requirió hospitalizaciones, incluyendo niños que requirieron ingreso en la unidad de cuidados intensivos (ICU, por sus siglas en inglés) tras la exposición a estos productos.

3. El Delta-8 THC tiene efectos psicoactivos y embriagantes.

El Delta-8 THC tiene efectos psicoactivos y embriagantes, similares a los del Delta-9 THC (es decir, el componente responsable del “subidón” que pueden experimentar las personas al consumir cannabis). La FDA está al tanto de los informes de los medios de comunicación sobre productos con Delta-8 THC que hacen que los consumidores estén “drogados”.  La FDA también está preocupada por el hecho de que los productos con Delta-8 THC probablemente expongan a los consumidores a niveles de la sustancia mucho más elevados que los que se dan de forma natural en los extractos crudos de cáñamo. Por lo tanto, no se puede confiar en el uso histórico del cannabis para establecer un nivel de seguridad para estos productos en los seres humanos.   

4. Los productos de Delta-8 THC a menudo implican el uso de productos químicos potencialmente dañinos para crear las concentraciones de Delta-8 THC que se afirman en el mercado.

La cantidad natural de Delta-8 THC en el cáñamo es muy baja, y se necesitan productos químicos adicionales para convertir otros cannabinoides del cáñamo, como el CBD, en Delta-8 THC (es decir, conversión sintética). Las preocupaciones con este proceso incluyen:

  • Algunos fabricantes pueden utilizar productos químicos domésticos potencialmente nocivos para fabricar Delta-8 THC mediante este proceso de síntesis química. Se pueden utilizar productos químicos adicionales para cambiar el color del producto final. El producto final de Delta-8 THC puede tener subproductos potencialmente dañinos (contaminantes) debido a los productos químicos utilizados en el proceso, y hay incertidumbre con respecto a otros contaminantes potenciales que pueden estar presentes o producirse dependiendo de la composición de la materia prima inicial. Si se consumen o inhalan, estas sustancias químicas, incluidas algunas utilizadas para fabricar (sintetizar) el Delta-8 THC y los subproductos creados durante la síntesis, pueden ser perjudiciales.
  • La fabricación de productos de Delta-8 THC puede llevarse a cabo en entornos no controlados o antihigiénicos, lo que puede dar lugar a la presencia de contaminantes nocivos u otras sustancias potencialmente dañinas.   

5. Los productos de Delta-8 THC deben mantenerse fuera del alcance de los niños y las mascotas.

Los fabricantes están envasando y etiquetando estos productos de forma que puedan resultar atractivos para los niños (gomitas, chocolates, galletas, dulces, etc.).  Estos productos pueden comprarse en línea, así como en una variedad de establecimientos, incluyendo tiendas de conveniencia y gasolineras, donde puede que no haya límites de edad sobre quién puede comprar estos productos. Como se ha comentado anteriormente, se han producido numerosas alertas de centros de control de envenenamiento que implican a pacientes pediátricos que estuvieron expuestos a productos que contienen Delta-8-THC. Además, los centros de control de envenenamiento de animales han indicado un fuerte aumento general de la exposición accidental de las mascotas a estos productos. Mantenga estos productos fuera del alcance de los niños y las mascotas.

¿Por qué está notificando la FDA al público sobre el Delta-8 THC?

Una combinación de factores ha llevado a la FDA a proporcionar a los consumidores esta información. Estos factores incluyen:

  • Un aumento de los informes de eventos adversos a la FDA y a los centros de control de envenenamientos del país.
  • La comercialización, incluida la comercialización en línea de productos que resulta atractiva para los niños.
  • Preocupación por la contaminación debida a los métodos de fabricación que en algunos casos pueden utilizarse para elaborar productos comercializados de Delta-8 THC. 

La FDA está trabajando activamente con socios federales y estatales para seguir abordando las preocupaciones relacionadas con estos productos y vigilando el mercado en busca de quejas sobre los productos, eventos adversos y otros productos emergentes derivados del cannabis de potencial preocupación. La FDA advertirá a los consumidores sobre problemas de salud pública y seguridad, y tomará medidas, cuando sea necesario, cuando los productos regulados por la FDA infrinjan la ley.

Cómo reportar quejas y casos de exposición accidental o eventos adversos:

Si cree que tiene un efecto secundario grave que supone un peligro inmediato para su salud, llame al 9-1-1 o la sala de emergencias de su localidad. Se alienta a los profesionales de la salud y a los pacientes a que comuniquen las quejas, los casos de exposición accidental y los acontecimientos adversos al programa MedWatch de Información de Seguridad y Reporte de Eventos Adversos de la FDA:

Para más información sobre el Delta-8 THC:  RED DE ALERTA DE SALUD DE LOS CDC (HAN, POR SUS SIGLAS EN INGLÉS) – añada el enlace cuando esté disponible

La Asociación Americana de Centros de Control de Envenenamientos (AAPCC, por sus siglas en inglés) mantiene el Sistema Nacional de Datos sobre Envenenamientos (NPDS, por sus siglas en inglés), que alberga registros de casos no identificados de información recopilada de las personas que llamaron durante la gestión de la exposición, y llamadas de información sobre envenenamientos gestionadas por los centros de control de envenenamientos del país (PCC, por sus siglas en inglés).  Los datos del NPDS no reflejan todo el universo de exposiciones a una sustancia concreta, ya que puede haber exposiciones adicionales que no se reporten a los PCC; por lo tanto, no debe interpretarse que los datos del NPDS representen la incidencia completa de las exposiciones a cualquier sustancia en los EE. UU.  Las exposiciones no representan necesariamente un envenenamiento o sobredosis, y la AAPCC no puede verificar completamente la exactitud de cada informe.  Las conclusiones basadas en los datos del NPDS no reflejan necesariamente las opiniones de la AAPCC.
 

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5 Cosas que Debe Saber Sobre el Delta-8 Tetrahidrocannabinol – Delta-8

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#CBD #Hemp http://www.fda.gov/consumers/articulos-en-espanol/5-cosas-que-debe-saber-sobre-el-delta-8-tetrahidrocannabinol-delta-8-thc September 16, 2021 4:02 pm

FDA Issues Warnings on Delta-8 THC Products

FDA Issues Warnings on Delta-8 THC Products

On September 14, the FDA published a consumer update on their website, seeking to educate the public and offer a public health warning on delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as delta-8 THC.

For the uninitiated, delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid that can be synthesized from cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp. It is an isomer of delta-9 THC, the more commonly known psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. Delta-8 THC does produce psychoactive effects, though not quite as much as its better-known cousin, delta-9 THC.

FDAlogoDue to loopholes in federal and state laws, namely the 2018 Farm Bill specifying that hemp must contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC is technically legal across the country. It grew in popularity across the United States very quickly over the past year, largely due to online sales.

Following the surge in sales, a number of states including Colorado, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington have implemented some form of regulation or outright ban on products containing delta-8 THC. Christopher Hudalla, president and chief scientific officer of ProVerde Laboratories, told Chemical & Engineering News that he has a lot of safety concerns about the whole delta-8 THC craze. Hudalla says he’s more concerned about the processing involved to produce it in large quantities. “These are pretty aggressive synthetic conditions that use strong acids,” Hudalla says. “They might be using strong bases to neutralize. They can use metal catalysts. I hear different people doing it different ways.”

The FDA’s consumer update included this picture at the top of the page

The FDA shares similar concerns. Their fourth point in the consumer update mentions that delta-8 THC products “often involve use of potentially harmful chemicals” in its production. They even claim that some manufacturers might be using unsafe household chemicals to synthesize delta-8 THC. “The final delta-8 THC product may have potentially harmful by-products (contaminants) due to the chemicals used in the process, and there is uncertainty with respect to other potential contaminants that may be present or produced depending on the composition of the starting raw material,” reads the FDA report.

In their consumer update, they note that between December 2020 and July 2021, they received 22 adverse event reports. Of the 22 reports, 14 were hospitalized following ingesting a delta-8 THC product. Notably, those reports included reactions consistent with symptoms from overconsumption of delta-9 THC, such as vomiting, hallucinations, trouble standing, and loss of consciousness.

The chemical structure of Delta 8 THC.

The FDA says that national poison control centers received 661 cases of delta-8 THC products, with 41% being unintentional exposure, 39% involved pediatric patients and 18% required hospitalization.

In the consumer update, they tell the public that delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated by the FDA and that they “may be marketed in ways that put the public health at risk.” This includes marketing it as a hemp product, which it is. Still though, many consumers associate hemp products with somewhat innocuous things, like CBD oil, which is mostly harmless.

The FDA also mentions in the update that delta-8 THC does have psychoactive and intoxicating effects. The FDA says they are notifying the public about the delta-8 THC due to an uptick in adverse event reports, marketing that is appealing to children and concerns regarding manufacturing with unsafe chemicals and contaminants.

The post FDA Issues Warnings on Delta-8 THC Products appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

FDA Issues Warnings on Delta-8 THC Products


September 15, 2021 9:30 pm

GPS and GCNC Join Forces to Build a Stronger Cannabis Industry

GPS and GCNC Join Forces to Build a Stronger Cannabis Industry

Gateway Proven Strategies (GPS.Global), a team of sustainable cannabis, hemp, and CBD consultants, recently acquired the Global Cannabis Network Collective (GCNC). 

The GCNC, founded by Chris Day and Jillian Reddish, is a growing network of cannabis professionals working to accelerate international cannabis trade.

While Day and Reddish will continue to operate the GCNC, they will also be overseeing GPS executive positions and joining the GPS Board of Directors.

Day and Reddish will assume the titles of Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President for Communications, respectively. 

“The GCNC is known for a culture of C-Suite members who understand the value in knowledge shared across sectors and cultures. That understanding is also an essential ingredient in the collaborative client relationships that GPS is known for. By expanding this ecosystem of cannabis leaders, everybody wins,” said Day.

“The GCNC will continue to operate as it has but this acquisition provides more support and depth of expertise to serve the goals of GCNC members worldwide.”

Prior to founding the GCNC, Day created Project Evolve, which is a marketing think tank for small or emerging businesses to gain marketing leadership skills, business expertise, and hands-on experience within the cannabis space.

On the GCNC’s website, Day said he spent years creating trusted partnerships and now wants to collectively build an industry, supporting other businesses in the process. With the GPS partnership, Day will be doing just that.

This acquisition will open new pathways for GPS to further support the development of cannabis as an economic accelerator.

The company will be working with sizable and modest companies, well-capitalized individuals, capital fund managers, and global governments to minimize risk and responsibly maximize return.


#CBD #Hemp
https://cannatechtoday.com/gps-and-gcnc-join-forces-to-build-a-stronger-cannabis-industry/
September 15, 2021 9:00 am

Royal Blend CBD Gummies Reviews – 10 Shocking Reasons To Use It

Royal Blend CBD Gummies Reviews – 10 Shocking Reasons To Use It

Royal Blend CBD Gummies are a clinically-tested product made of natural ingredients to assist consumers in treating their stress, depression, anxiety, mental pain, chronic pain, melancholy, and other diseases of the body. 

The daily consumption of this product will boost the overall mental health of the consumers naturally. 

This product comes in the form of tasty gummies, which consumers will have to chew daily by following all the terms and conditions of the product. 

These chewable gummies are made of a natural extract of pure hemp CBD and other natural components so that users of the product can easily reduce their stress, depression, anxiety, acne, and other mental torments. 

These tasty gummies come in different colors, sizes, and shapes. 

What To Know More Click Here Royal Blend CBD Gummies

What Are Royal Blend CBD Gummies?

This is a scientifically tested formula that is composed of a variety of natural ingredients so that various mental torments of the consumers can be addressed easily and naturally. 

This CBD gummy product will provide various therapeutic benefits to the consumers so they can easily improve overall health and get rid of all kinds of pains and inflammation of the body. 

This CBD gummy is an all-natural product, which is made of natural ingredients with the help of which users can overcome all kinds of mental torments of the body. 

Royal Blend CBD Gummies are made of gelatin and various other natural substances to give a natural boost to the overall health and fitness of consumers.

 Check here Available Discount Price Royal Blend CBD Gummies

What Natural Ingredients Are Used In Making These Royal Blend CBD Gummies?

All the components used in making these CBD gummies are known to be pain-curing, effective, natural, safe, pure, and 100% free from all kinds of adulterated and toxic components. 

With the daily consumption of these CBD gummies, consumers of this product will not get high and they will not be suffering from any psychoactive effects. 

These CBD-based gummies will boost the overall health and fitness of the consumers. 

This CBD gummy product will make sure that consumers do not suffer from any sort of mental pain, stress, depression, acne, high and low blood pressure, hypertension, skin diseases, and so on. 

Royal Blend CBD Gummies are made of natural ingredients that are helpful in treating several mental and physical health ailments of the consumers naturally.

 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Consuming These Royal Blend CBD Gummies?

  • The daily consumption of these CBD-based gummies will surely treat depression, stress, anxiety, mental pain, headache, and other health issues. These CBD gummies will not let consumers go through these mental torments anymore in their life.
  • Royal Blend CBD Gummies are useful for treating insomnia and other sleeping disorders. These tasty gummies will cause sleepless nights and sleeping disorders naturally and easily. 
  • These CBD-infused gummies are prepared with natural and pain-curing ingredients. And consumers can easily deal with all their mental torments. These CBD delicious gummies will boost the overall health of the consumers easily.
  • The consumption of these gummies will make sure that consumers do not suffer from pain and inflammation of the joints. As per the makers of these gummies, with the daily consumption of these gummies, the health of joints and muscles will also improve with no side effects.
  • The daily use of these CBD gummies will enhance the overall health and fitness of the consumers. These CBD gummies will cure the overall mental health of the consumers with no side effects.
  • These CBD gummies cure the problem of high and low blood pressure by maintaining the blood circulation of the body naturally. These CBD gummies will easily address the blood flow of the body. 
  • The metabolism of the body will also be cured and boosted naturally. These CBD gummies will easily take care of the metabolic rate of the body with no side effects. These CBD gummies will also boost the immunity of the body due to which consumers become able to fight stress, depression, viruses, infections, and other health problems.
  • The daily consumption of these CBD gummies will also deal with respiratory diseases such as breathing problems, etc. These CBD-infused gummies will easily take care of the overall health and fitness of the consumers. 
  • As per the makers of these gummies, the daily utilization of this CBD gummy product will deal with cancer and hazardous diseases of the consumers. 

 

What Is The Procedure Of Consuming These Royal Blend CBD Gummies?

To use these CBD-infused gummies, consumers of this product will have to use the product daily and under the guidance of the doctor. With the doctor’s permission, consumers will have to use this CBD gummy product daily and once in the morning and once in the evening by complying with all terms and conditions of the product. 

Royal Blend CBD Gummies will deliver various therapeutic benefits to consumers. 

This CBD gummy product will easily and naturally remove stress, depression, anxiety, high and low blood pressure, acne, and other mental torments of the consumers.

Where To Buy These Royal Blend CBD Gummies?

To buy these Royal Blend CBD Gummies, consumers can make a visit to the official site of the product and from the site, they can easily buy this CBD gummy product with no side effects. 

These CBD-infused gummies will be available at some cheap and affordable prices. On the official site, consumers will have to fill the form by filling in all the required details such as name, address, city, and so on. 

Once the form is filled with all the basic information then, the product will be delivered within a week. 

In case, consumers find any difficulty in filling the form or if they want to know about the product then getting in touch with the customer care of the product would be the most effective and most suitable option.

 Order Now Royal Blend CBD Gummies Official Website

 

Who Is Not Eligible To Consume These Royal Blend CBD Gummies?

  • Royal Blend CBD Gummies are not made to be consumed by people who are below the age of 18. If you are a person who is under the age of 18 then, you are not allowed to use this CBD gummy product.
  • If you are a pregnant lady and breastfeeding mother then the consumption of these CBD gummies will not be good for your health and body. And that’s why do not forget to take the advice of the doctor.
  • If you are suffering from big diseases then consumption of these CBD gummies will not be effective in this case also.
  • If you are addicted to smoking and drinking then the consumption of these gummies will also not be good in this case as well.

The Ultimate Words On Royal Blend CBD Gummies:

With the daily consumption of these gummies, consumers can get rid of all kinds of mental and physical health issues such as stress, depression, anxiety, acne, hypertension, mental pain, and so on. 

This CBD gummy product will easily let consumers improve their overall health and fitness and all kinds of mental torments are cured naturally. 

These little size gummies are useful for alleviating stress, depression, mental pain, acne, and other issues. 

Royal Blend CBD Gummies are made for men and women who are above the age of 18 and comply with all the terms and conditions of the product. 

These CBD-infused gummies will take care of the entire health and lifestyle of the consumers.  


#CBD #Hemp
https://cannatechtoday.com/royal-blend-cbd-gummies-reviews-10-shocking-reasons-to-use-it/
September 7, 2021 11:00 am

Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 3 – RealSleep

Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 3 – RealSleep

Sleep health is a large and growing global market. According to Statista, the global market value of the sleep market was $432B in 2019 with an expected CAGR of 6.3% from 2019 to 2024. Supplements are a growing category of popular sleep health products with common ingredients including melatonin, valerian root, and more recently cannabinoids such as CBD and CBN.

RealSleep is a cannabinoid formulation company developing personalized products to improve sleep outcomes. RealSleep’s product strategy has been developed by top scientists and sleep experts, and clinically tested to aid individuals seeking to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and cut down on sleep disturbances. Their studies have shown that 90% of people taking RealSleep have reported experiencing better sleep immediately

We spoke with Michael Kamins, co-founder and partner of OpenNest Labs and RealSleep, about RealSleep’s innovation in personalized formulations for better sleep. Kamins founded RealSleep as an incubated company under OpenNest Labs, where he is also a founding partner. Michael is the Chief Community Officer of the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation, and just led the world’s largest study on CBD and general health with Wholistic and Radicle Science, where he is also an advisor. Prior to RealSleep, Michael worked in tech where he was an early employee at Musical.ly (now TikTok) building brand partnerships.

Aaron Green: How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?

Michael Kamins, co-founder and partner of OpenNest Labs and RealSleep.

Michael Kamins: I got into the industry professionally about two and a half years ago, but my relationship with the plant goes back to high school. Prior to jumping into this space, I was working primarily in digital media. I was an early employee at Musical.ly, (eventually rebranded as TikTok), leading global music partnerships and growth. I helped grow that business by leveraging the social capital of music artists and celebrities and doing partnerships with record labels. At the end of 2018, I really saw the opportunity in the cannabis space. One of my best friends in Los Angeles, Dr. Jeff Chen, someone I did my MBA with at UCLA, became the founder and executive director of cannabis research at UCLA Medical. Seeing all the clinical research that he was doing and the objective health outcome data coming out of that research was really a huge inspiration to me. I saw a massive whitespace and opportunity to help build that bridge between the medical community and the cannabis marketplace. There’s been almost a century of cannabis prohibition setting back our scientific understanding of the plant. We know more about the rivers and plants in the Amazon than we do about the composition and compounds within the cannabis plant with regards to their wellness benefits.

I met my partners, Tyler Wakstein, Kris Bjornerud and Max Goldstein and we started a cannabis venture studio called OpenNest Labs, which is building out a diversified portfolio of cannabis consumer brands. We are focused on leveraging our collective experience at building ventures and communities and rallying those communities around a brand.

Over the last two and a half years, it’s been super exciting building brands that you see on shelves. We’re still in the early stages right now of building brand loyalty. A lot of cannabis consumers are still going into dispensaries and asking, “what is the cheapest product that I can buy with the highest potency?”

Green: Tell me about RealSleep, how did you come up with the idea and what is the basic concept for the end user?

Kamins: RealSleep comes from the passion that I had developed for medicinal aspects of the cannabis and hemp plant, thinking about not only THC and CBD – which are two major cannabinoids in the plant – but also thinking about the other 120 plus cannabinoids, each with their own unique properties.

It turns out that half the world’s population suffers from one poor night of sleep a week, and sleep issues lead to the highest rate of other comorbidities. We were thinking about the addressable sleep market, with ourselves being a part of that market, and wanting to build products that would help not only ourselves, but the countless other people around the world that suffer from poor sleep too, as it impacts their daily lives.

I’ve had issues with sleep myself. I have a genetic hearing condition called tinnitus. It’s a ringing in your ears that other people can experience environmentally from exposure to loud noises. I’ve had loud ringing in my ears my entire life even in quiet situations, like right before I go to sleep. I’ll often be lying in bed awake for an hour or two unable to sleep with the ringing. Everyone else on the team has had their own sleep issues and realized the profound negative impact of lack of sleep on other areas of health and wellness, whether it be next day energy or immunity.

We felt that by leveraging our access to the medical research community and even running clinical research on our own to validate the efficacy of the product relative to other products on the shelves, we could create a product that was safe and effective. We came across a clinical trial on insomnia and CBD by one of our research partners, the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation. What we saw from a lot of that anecdotal data was that CBD, and hemp in general, really helps to provide restful and restorative sleep.

CBD and CBN are two highly effective compounds for sleep and melatonin is by far the most widely researched and used over the counter sleep aid. We are sourcing clinical research on other ingredients such as valerian root, L-Theanine and GABA, and the list of ingredients goes on. We were interested in formulating a product that incorporates these safe and effective ingredients.

We noticed from our research and our access that sleep is as unique to an individual as their fingerprint. Take brainwave patterns when you are sleeping as an example. No one person’s patterns are the same. You could essentially identify an individual based on those patterns. One solution, or one product, is not going to help everyone. So, we worked with UCLA and the head of their laboratory of sleep and circadian medicine, a gentleman by the name of Dr. Chris Colwell, to understand the science of sleep. He is one of the most renowned sleep researchers in the world and is the head of our scientific advisory board for RealSleep. We’ve done clinical studies with over 900 people and 10,200 nights of sleep and used this data to develop a personalization engine in the form of a quiz that takes 90 seconds and allows us to map ingredients to specific answer selections. From these answers we deliver products that are customized to the individual consumer specific to their unique needs

We’re proud of the journey that we’ve gone on to understand the science and research behind sleep and to develop this personalization engine variations of products that work for each individual and their unique needs.

Green: Tell me how the questionnaire and personalization engine works. I understand the ingredient profile will change based on the customer’s responses?

Kamins: Sleep impacts an individual’s general health and wellness. For me, if I don’t sleep well, my next day is filled with anxiety, and that anxiety leads to worse sleep; it’s a vicious cycle. For other people, it could be a metabolic issue that leads to poor sleep or poor sleep that leads to weight issues. The list of other health issues and diseases linked to poor sleep goes on. So, while we’re looking at combating sleep to prevent other health issues down the road, one person who’s looking to get better sleep to improve one aspect of their life could be different from another person and the area of life they are looking to improve upon.

The quiz is essentially a combination of validated, reliable and flexible measures of patient reported outcomes. We use a combination of gold standard patient reported sleep questionnaires, one of which is called the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, another being the RAND MOS scale, and others. We also work with our scientific advisory board and machine learning experts to advise us on customizing these questions with logic. We then use the responses to generate the appropriate formulations for our customers.

The questions cover everything from very specific questions on sleep, like sleep latency (the time it takes to get the bed) or sleep fragmentation (the number of times you wake up in the middle of the night) sleep duration, sleep quality, and then other areas of health that you’re looking to improve upon. Examples include metabolism, cardiovascular health, skin health, anxiety and stress. So, all these things factor into the different ingredients that we layer into the formulation.

Let’s say you don’t have a problem getting to sleep, but you wake up a lot of times in the middle of the night. Your formulation might be very different from someone who has trouble getting to sleep, but they don’t wake up in the middle of the night. Overall, one of our big goals with the formulation of all these products is that they increase your next day cognitive alertness by giving you that high sleep quality and restorative sleep. We don’t want to make anyone groggy the next day. Because overall, what you’re trying to achieve with sleep is you want to be ready to go the next day and be able to perform at your peak.

Green: So, you mentioned CBD, CBN and melatonin already as ingredients. Are there any other ingredients?

Kamins: Depending on what your answer selections are for the quiz, we will layer in L-Theanine, valerian root, Ashwagandha and even some of the other novel cannabinoids like CBC (cannabichromene). We have about 24 different ingredients that we can layer in, so it just depends. When you look at all the permutations and combinations of formulations and dosages, it’s in the trillions. From a supply chain standpoint, we’ve simplified it in a way that makes it very easy to funnel people into one of many predefined combinations of ingredients and dosage levels.

Our algorithm is an unstructured machine learning algorithm. The more people that take the quiz and the more people that provide feedback on their sleep score makes our programming and our personalization engine smarter.

Green: How does your manufacturing and packaging work?

Kamins: We have a strong relationship with a pharmaceutical partner that we have been growing even before RealSleep. It is a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility underneath a regional health care provider in the state of California. Everything they do is incredible. It’s a state-of-the-art facility and focused on complete transparency and building the products with the highest efficacy and safety profiles. They’re based in LA, and they’ve been such a pleasure to build our supply chain with.

Green: What kind of trends are you looking at in the formulation space?

Kamins: From a cannabinoid side, there’s been a bit more of a look towards some of the novel cannabinoids that have traditionally catered to a niche consumer base that is educated on cannabis. From being inside the industry, it’s very easy for me to talk about all the different cannabinoids, but a lot of people still don’t even know the difference between THC and CBD.

Our goal overall is to build efficacious products and educate people on all the different formulations and the different ingredients going in. Outside of cannabis, this year we’ve seen a large boom in consumer demand for Ashwagandha. There’s just so much hype around it in terms of how it impacts stress and energy and even libido, which is interesting. It’s probably the hottest non-cannabinoid ingredient that we’ve seen. Specific to sleep, the combination of L-Theanine and GABA and how they potentiate each other is impactful. Then there’s valerian root, which has been a big one over the last few years for sleep.

Green: Last question. What are you most interested in learning about?

Kamins: A personal interest of mine over the last few years is understanding from a scientific perspective, each of the cannabis compounds in greater detail. I think part of it is just really the curiosity to know the unknown. We’re at a point in the industry where there are still so many unknowns on the science-side of cannabinoids.

My passion for science has led me to support medical researchers in the space, so much so that I am an advisor and chief community officer to a nonprofit medical research organization called the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation, which to date has funded over six and a half million dollars in human clinical trials with cannabinoid rich therapeutics. One we’re currently conducting at UC San Diego is studying the impact of CBD on autism and other neurological conditions. That’s given me incredible exposure to research in the space. I am also a strategic advisor to a for profit medical research organization called Radicle Science, which is a very swiftly running clinical research for CBD and other cannabis brands in the space.

All in all, I’m driven by the possibilities that come with continuing to unlock the science behind the plant. By doing so, we can innovate products with efficacy and can educate people who are uninformed about the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, which will in turn benefit the industry and society. Striving for research breakthroughs and being transparent about our findings is going to help us destigmatize cannabis and legitimize the industry. 

Green: That concludes the interview. Thanks, Michael!

Kamins: Thanks, Aaron.

The post Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 3 – RealSleep appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 3 – RealSleep


September 3, 2021 5:39 pm

Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 3 – RealSleep

Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 3 – RealSleep

Sleep health is a large and growing global market. According to Statista, the global market value of the sleep market was $432B in 2019 with an expected CAGR of 6.3% from 2019 to 2024. Supplements are a growing category of popular sleep health products with common ingredients including melatonin, valerian root, and more recently cannabinoids such as CBD and CBN.

RealSleep is a cannabinoid formulation company developing personalized products to improve sleep outcomes. RealSleep’s product strategy has been developed by top scientists and sleep experts, and clinically tested to aid individuals seeking to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and cut down on sleep disturbances. Their studies have shown that 90% of people taking RealSleep have reported experiencing better sleep immediately

We spoke with Michael Kamins, co-founder and partner of OpenNest Labs and RealSleep, about RealSleep’s innovation in personalized formulations for better sleep. Kamins founded RealSleep as an incubated company under OpenNest Labs, where he is also a founding partner. Michael is the Chief Community Officer of the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation, and just led the world’s largest study on CBD and general health with Wholistic and Radicle Science, where he is also an advisor. Prior to RealSleep, Michael worked in tech where he was an early employee at Musical.ly (now TikTok) building brand partnerships.

Aaron Green: How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?

Michael Kamins, co-founder and partner of OpenNest Labs and RealSleep.

Michael Kamins: I got into the industry professionally about two and a half years ago, but my relationship with the plant goes back to high school. Prior to jumping into this space, I was working primarily in digital media. I was an early employee at Musical.ly, (eventually rebranded as TikTok), leading global music partnerships and growth. I helped grow that business by leveraging the social capital of music artists and celebrities and doing partnerships with record labels. At the end of 2018, I really saw the opportunity in the cannabis space. One of my best friends in Los Angeles, Dr. Jeff Chen, someone I did my MBA with at UCLA, became the founder and executive director of cannabis research at UCLA Medical. Seeing all the clinical research that he was doing and the objective health outcome data coming out of that research was really a huge inspiration to me. I saw a massive whitespace and opportunity to help build that bridge between the medical community and the cannabis marketplace. There’s been almost a century of cannabis prohibition setting back our scientific understanding of the plant. We know more about the rivers and plants in the Amazon than we do about the composition and compounds within the cannabis plant with regards to their wellness benefits.

I met my partners, Tyler Wakstein, Kris Bjornerud and Max Goldstein and we started a cannabis venture studio called OpenNest Labs, which is building out a diversified portfolio of cannabis consumer brands. We are focused on leveraging our collective experience at building ventures and communities and rallying those communities around a brand.

Over the last two and a half years, it’s been super exciting building brands that you see on shelves. We’re still in the early stages right now of building brand loyalty. A lot of cannabis consumers are still going into dispensaries and asking, “what is the cheapest product that I can buy with the highest potency?”

Green: Tell me about RealSleep, how did you come up with the idea and what is the basic concept for the end user?

Kamins: RealSleep comes from the passion that I had developed for medicinal aspects of the cannabis and hemp plant, thinking about not only THC and CBD – which are two major cannabinoids in the plant – but also thinking about the other 120 plus cannabinoids, each with their own unique properties.

It turns out that half the world’s population suffers from one poor night of sleep a week, and sleep issues lead to the highest rate of other comorbidities. We were thinking about the addressable sleep market, with ourselves being a part of that market, and wanting to build products that would help not only ourselves, but the countless other people around the world that suffer from poor sleep too, as it impacts their daily lives.

I’ve had issues with sleep myself. I have a genetic hearing condition called tinnitus. It’s a ringing in your ears that other people can experience environmentally from exposure to loud noises. I’ve had loud ringing in my ears my entire life even in quiet situations, like right before I go to sleep. I’ll often be lying in bed awake for an hour or two unable to sleep with the ringing. Everyone else on the team has had their own sleep issues and realized the profound negative impact of lack of sleep on other areas of health and wellness, whether it be next day energy or immunity.

We felt that by leveraging our access to the medical research community and even running clinical research on our own to validate the efficacy of the product relative to other products on the shelves, we could create a product that was safe and effective. We came across a clinical trial on insomnia and CBD by one of our research partners, the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation. What we saw from a lot of that anecdotal data was that CBD, and hemp in general, really helps to provide restful and restorative sleep.

CBD and CBN are two highly effective compounds for sleep and melatonin is by far the most widely researched and used over the counter sleep aid. We are sourcing clinical research on other ingredients such as valerian root, L-Theanine and GABA, and the list of ingredients goes on. We were interested in formulating a product that incorporates these safe and effective ingredients.

We noticed from our research and our access that sleep is as unique to an individual as their fingerprint. Take brainwave patterns when you are sleeping as an example. No one person’s patterns are the same. You could essentially identify an individual based on those patterns. One solution, or one product, is not going to help everyone. So, we worked with UCLA and the head of their laboratory of sleep and circadian medicine, a gentleman by the name of Dr. Chris Colwell, to understand the science of sleep. He is one of the most renowned sleep researchers in the world and is the head of our scientific advisory board for RealSleep. We’ve done clinical studies with over 900 people and 10,200 nights of sleep and used this data to develop a personalization engine in the form of a quiz that takes 90 seconds and allows us to map ingredients to specific answer selections. From these answers we deliver products that are customized to the individual consumer specific to their unique needs

We’re proud of the journey that we’ve gone on to understand the science and research behind sleep and to develop this personalization engine variations of products that work for each individual and their unique needs.

Green: Tell me how the questionnaire and personalization engine works. I understand the ingredient profile will change based on the customer’s responses?

Kamins: Sleep impacts an individual’s general health and wellness. For me, if I don’t sleep well, my next day is filled with anxiety, and that anxiety leads to worse sleep; it’s a vicious cycle. For other people, it could be a metabolic issue that leads to poor sleep or poor sleep that leads to weight issues. The list of other health issues and diseases linked to poor sleep goes on. So, while we’re looking at combating sleep to prevent other health issues down the road, one person who’s looking to get better sleep to improve one aspect of their life could be different from another person and the area of life they are looking to improve upon.

The quiz is essentially a combination of validated, reliable and flexible measures of patient reported outcomes. We use a combination of gold standard patient reported sleep questionnaires, one of which is called the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, another being the RAND MOS scale, and others. We also work with our scientific advisory board and machine learning experts to advise us on customizing these questions with logic. We then use the responses to generate the appropriate formulations for our customers.

The questions cover everything from very specific questions on sleep, like sleep latency (the time it takes to get the bed) or sleep fragmentation (the number of times you wake up in the middle of the night) sleep duration, sleep quality, and then other areas of health that you’re looking to improve upon. Examples include metabolism, cardiovascular health, skin health, anxiety and stress. So, all these things factor into the different ingredients that we layer into the formulation.

Let’s say you don’t have a problem getting to sleep, but you wake up a lot of times in the middle of the night. Your formulation might be very different from someone who has trouble getting to sleep, but they don’t wake up in the middle of the night. Overall, one of our big goals with the formulation of all these products is that they increase your next day cognitive alertness by giving you that high sleep quality and restorative sleep. We don’t want to make anyone groggy the next day. Because overall, what you’re trying to achieve with sleep is you want to be ready to go the next day and be able to perform at your peak.

Green: So, you mentioned CBD, CBN and melatonin already as ingredients. Are there any other ingredients?

Kamins: Depending on what your answer selections are for the quiz, we will layer in L-Theanine, valerian root, Ashwagandha and even some of the other novel cannabinoids like CBC (cannabichromene). We have about 24 different ingredients that we can layer in, so it just depends. When you look at all the permutations and combinations of formulations and dosages, it’s in the trillions. From a supply chain standpoint, we’ve simplified it in a way that makes it very easy to funnel people into one of many predefined combinations of ingredients and dosage levels.

Our algorithm is an unstructured machine learning algorithm. The more people that take the quiz and the more people that provide feedback on their sleep score makes our programming and our personalization engine smarter.

Green: How does your manufacturing and packaging work?

Kamins: We have a strong relationship with a pharmaceutical partner that we have been growing even before RealSleep. It is a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility underneath a regional health care provider in the state of California. Everything they do is incredible. It’s a state-of-the-art facility and focused on complete transparency and building the products with the highest efficacy and safety profiles. They’re based in LA, and they’ve been such a pleasure to build our supply chain with.

Green: What kind of trends are you looking at in the formulation space?

Kamins: From a cannabinoid side, there’s been a bit more of a look towards some of the novel cannabinoids that have traditionally catered to a niche consumer base that is educated on cannabis. From being inside the industry, it’s very easy for me to talk about all the different cannabinoids, but a lot of people still don’t even know the difference between THC and CBD.

Our goal overall is to build efficacious products and educate people on all the different formulations and the different ingredients going in. Outside of cannabis, this year we’ve seen a large boom in consumer demand for Ashwagandha. There’s just so much hype around it in terms of how it impacts stress and energy and even libido, which is interesting. It’s probably the hottest non-cannabinoid ingredient that we’ve seen. Specific to sleep, the combination of L-Theanine and GABA and how they potentiate each other is impactful. Then there’s valerian root, which has been a big one over the last few years for sleep.

Green: Last question. What are you most interested in learning about?

Kamins: A personal interest of mine over the last few years is understanding from a scientific perspective, each of the cannabis compounds in greater detail. I think part of it is just really the curiosity to know the unknown. We’re at a point in the industry where there are still so many unknowns on the science-side of cannabinoids.

My passion for science has led me to support medical researchers in the space, so much so that I am an advisor and chief community officer to a nonprofit medical research organization called the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation, which to date has funded over six and a half million dollars in human clinical trials with cannabinoid rich therapeutics. One we’re currently conducting at UC San Diego is studying the impact of CBD on autism and other neurological conditions. That’s given me incredible exposure to research in the space. I am also a strategic advisor to a for profit medical research organization called Radicle Science, which is a very swiftly running clinical research for CBD and other cannabis brands in the space.

All in all, I’m driven by the possibilities that come with continuing to unlock the science behind the plant. By doing so, we can innovate products with efficacy and can educate people who are uninformed about the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, which will in turn benefit the industry and society. Striving for research breakthroughs and being transparent about our findings is going to help us destigmatize cannabis and legitimize the industry. 

Green: That concludes the interview. Thanks, Michael!

Kamins: Thanks, Aaron.

The post Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 3 – RealSleep appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

Leaders in Cannabis Formulations: Part 3 – RealSleep


September 3, 2021 5:39 pm

Colorado to Bolster Hemp Testing Rules, Rollout Delayed

Colorado to Bolster Hemp Testing Rules, Rollout Delayed

Earlier this year, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced a plan to introduce new testing rules for the state’s growing hemp industry. Under the new regulations, hemp products must be tested for residual solvents, heavy metals and pesticides, in addition to making sure they contain less than 0.3% THC.

The CDPHE are planning on a gradual rollout to prevent any supply chain issues or a lab testing bottleneck, similar to what we’ve seen in other states launching new testing requirements in years past, such as Arizona or California. Well, the Colorado rollout appears to be hitting similar snags and because of supply chain issues related to instruments and consumables in laboratories, the implementation of those testing rules is somewhat delayed. What was originally supposed to be implemented over the summer was pushed back to an October 1 deadline, and that deadline has now been pushed back to 2022.

The pesticide testing list to be implemented January 1, 2022

As a result of supply chain shortages and the learning curve to test for such a wide range of pesticides, Colorado is opening hemp testing to out-of-state labs in an effort to stay on schedule with the rollout. Dillon Burns, lab manager at InfiniteCAL, a cannabis testing company with locations in California and Michigan, just completed an audit with the CDPHE in their work to get certified and start conducting hemp testing for businesses in Colorado.

Burns says they’re well-acquainted with the list of pesticides because of how similar the list is to California’s requirements. “For the pesticide testing rules that were supposed to go into effect on August 1st, it’s basically the same list as California just with slightly different action levels,” says Burns. “I would say these action limits are generally stricter – they have much lower LOQs [limits of quantification].”

The pesticide testing list (continued) to be implemented January 1, 2022

Come January 1, 2022, they are expecting an additional 40 pesticides to be required under the new rules. “But currently, it’s still unclear when these regulations will actually go into effect,” says Burns. The full pesticide testing list is currently slated to be implemented on April 1, 2022.

The supply chain issues referenced above have a lot to do with what the state is asking labs to test for. Previously, most of the pesticides tested for under Colorado’s adult use and medical cannabis programs could be analyzed with an LC/MS. A handful of pesticides on the new list do require GC/MS, says Burns. It’s entirely possible that a lot of labs in Colorado just don’t have a GC/MS or are in the process of training staff and developing methods for using the new instrument. “Cleanliness of these instruments is such a priority that it takes time to acquire the right skill set for it,” says Burns.

Dillon Burns, Lab Manager at InfiniteCAL

The new testing rollout isn’t just another compliance hurdle for the cannabis industry; these rules are about protecting public health. Dillon Burns said he’s seen hiccups in California with the amount of new hemp farmers getting into the space. “The hemp products we’ve tested in California often fail for pesticides,” says Burns. It’s a lot easier in most states to get a license for growing hemp than it would be for growing adult use cannabis. “You’ll see a lot more novice growers getting into hemp farming without a background in it. They’ll fail for things they just haven’t considered, like environmental drift. We see a lot of fails in CA. Hemp is bioaccumulating so it presents a lot of problems. If they’re not required to look for it, they weren’t monitoring it.”

When asked how the market might react to the new rules, Burns was confident that Colorado knows what they’re doing. “I don’t anticipate that [a testing bottleneck] happening here. The regulators are reasonable, supportive of the industry and opening it up to out-of-state labs should help in preventing that.”

The post Colorado to Bolster Hemp Testing Rules, Rollout Delayed appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


#CBD #Hemp

Colorado to Bolster Hemp Testing Rules, Rollout Delayed


September 2, 2021 4:22 pm

Ad valorem excise taxes are not the way to go for marijuana. 

Ad valorem excise taxes are not the way to go for marijuana. 

Ad valorem excise taxes are not the way to go for marijuana.  Ideological adversaries agree on that, if on little else!  The left-leaning Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy warned, in a detailed report, that ad valorem price-based “ad valorem” taxes on marijuana are a recipe for trouble when prices go down – as they do in every jurisdiction where legalization takes hold. https://itep.org/taxing-cannabis/  

More recently, the right-leaning Tax Foundation has joined the warning:  “states risk losing out on forecasted revenue if prices continue to go down.” https://taxfoundation.org/safe-banking-act-state-marijuana-revenues/

We needn’t use ad valorem taxes at all for marijuana.  The bill phases ad valorem taxes out, but keeps them too long, then compounds the error by de facto freezing them.  

The draft sticks precisely to the early 2017 design of the old Blumenauer-Wyden bill, with ad valorem taxes for five years before switching to “specific” (non-ad valorem) taxes, only at that late date taxing flower by weight and concentrates by THC.  See http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/327694-marijuana-legalization-grows-closer-with-senate-tax

2017 is a long time ago for a drug that was first legalized in 2012; we’ve come a long way in what we know since then.

That five-year delay may have had some possible justification in 2017, but not now.  But even then, ad valorem taxes were outdated.  Sure, no one was taxing anything by THC content then – but several states had already worked out taxing raw plant matter by weight, the state of the art tax system in 2017.  In the intervening four years since the 2017 bill, Canada, legalizing in 2018, moved straight into taxing flower by weight immediately, and concentrates by THC content about a year later.  No five-year delay!  The system up north seems to be humming.  Lots of states tax by weight already, and Canada has the gold standard using both bases, weight and THC.  I don’t know why we don’t just go ahead and copy it — now.

Taxing by price means that when the pre-tax price goes down, taxes do, too. So do after-tax prices.  Low taxes and cheap weed are not on some people’s wish list, but not everyone’s. After legalization, pre-tax prices are bound to wither.  Fully legal marijuana won’t sell for hundreds or even dozens of dollars per ounce, pre-tax.

But price taxes create another problem. In case of “vertical integration” like a farm-to-market operation, the bill shies away from taxing the actual price the consumer pays, so it imagines an artificial — and probably arbitrary — “constructive sale price” in section 5903.   This is the amount one person, who is both retail clerk and farmer, supposedly pays his farmer self as a wholesale price.  Shenanigans galore!  Colorado has this kind of unworkable producer price tax on the books but, finding it doesn’t work, has quietly given up. Colorado taxes producers by weight instead of by the de jure price-based ad valorem method in related party transactions.  Nevada taxes producers by weight instead of the de jure price-based ad valorem tax on its statute books, last I heard – in all transactions.

— Sent to sponsors of U.S. Senate marijuana bill.


#CBD #Hemp
Ad valorem excise taxes are not the way to go for marijuana. 
September 1, 2021 7:03 pm