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The great race to become the World’s weed supplier

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Submitted by Marijuana News on Fri, 10/11/2019

Companies vying to be the biggest cannabis producer in America or Canada are wasting their time and suffering from a crippling lack of vision. The real play is to make a bid to become the worldwide leader in global cannabis exports — like firms in Jamaica and Lesotho as well as Canada are attempting to do — and the window of time to get in is closing fast, according to one entrepreneur with clear-cut plans to curb that market.

Though recreational cannabis is now available in two countries, medical marijuana is legal in about 50 and not every country produces adequate supply to fulfill domestic demand. Over the long-term, the thinking goes, cannabis will become like any other agricultural commodity and production will shift to the locale where costs are lowest. But so far, the limited export game has been dominated by a few players, most of whom are either occupying a very limited lane or banking on the future.

An example of the former, Bedrocan in the Netherlands, produces cannabis solely for the government authority, which then exports most of it to Germany. Bophelo Bioscience and Wellness, a startup recently acquired by a Canadian-firm and based in tiny Lesotho, the first country in Africa to legalize cannabis, is an example of the latter. Somewhere else is a company like Fotmer Life Sciences in Uruguay, which is hoping to supplant both.

The world’s most popular illicit drug, cannabis boasts at least 263 million users worldwide, according to a New Frontier Data estimate, who in turn consume $340 billion worth annually, most of which is still on the underground market. At the moment, with so few legal companies producing cannabis and even fewer exporting, it’s a seller’s market. That state of play — flux, uncertainty, opportunity — will last only about another five years, said Jordan Lewis, an American entrepreneur who is Fotmer’s CEO.

Fotmer was in the news much last week as the company prepared its first shipment of export cannabis: 22 pounds, headed for medical cannabis patients in Australia. After that, Fotmer hopes to start competing with Bedrocan and begin shipping cannabis flower and oil to Germany, with up to 220 pounds or so per month headed out of the country to global customers, as he told Reuters.

Most of that will go to Europe, which “right now represents the single largest market in the next five years,” Lewis told Supplychainbrain.com.

The window for producers to charge high prices, before a reliable global supply floods the market, is now through 2024, he added, with high THC oils and plants to preserve their value longer than CBD products.

The modest first shipment is a tiny fraction of the company’s capacity. Fotmer currently has government approval to produce up to 10 tons of flower and 5 tons of oil, said Lewis — who added that he’s asking the Uruguayan government to allow him to grow 15 times that, in order to curb that global market. (He’s also shopping for a “large strategic partner” to provide the estimated $60 million of start-up capital needed to grow all that cannabis.)

If Lewis is right and producers in other companies join in, Fotmer may be well positioned to remain competitive, an outlook shared by other analysts. As New Frontier Data noted in a global market analysis released earlier this year, South America is considered a future hub for cannabis production thanks to an agreeable climate and low labor costs.

If countries decide that domestic suppliers are preferable and throw up tariffs, Lewis’s play could disappear. Or perhaps the best praxis is to play off of the incredible hype around the cannabis industry and get acquired. The point is that in a world obsessed with the next big thing, cannabis is very quickly approaching critical mass, and entrepreneurs are slowly catching on.

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Authored By: Cannabis Now

Article category: Marijuana Business News

DEA affirms hemp’s new status, sends notice that plant is legal

Published August 26, 2019

More than six months after hemp was made legal in the United States, federal drug authorities have updated their guidance to remind law enforcement that hemp is no longer a controlled substance.

A notice posted Monday by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cited the 2018 Farm Bill in noting that “certain forms of cannabis no longer require DEA registration to grow or manufacture.”

The agency went on to say that “hemp, including hemp plants and cannabidiol (CBD) preparations at or below the 0.3 percent delta-9 THC threshold is not a controlled substance.”

The DEA notice didn’t change the law or make hemp legal; that occurred last year.

But because the agency had yet to remind national law enforcement through its regular bulletins that hemp is legal, some hemp businesses found themselves fighting legal confusion about the plant’s status.

Attorneys who represent hemp clients told Hemp Industry Daily that the DEA statement is an overdue affirmation of cannabis legality.

The DEA also announced Monday that it will expand research on higher-THC varieties of cannabis classified as marijuana.

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“Any displays, sale or solicitation of CBD oil is illegal and individuals involved are subject to federal investigation and prosecution.”

CBD oil, sold in stores throughout Ohio, is illegal and can carry a felony charge

CBD oil, sold in stores throughout Ohio, is illegal and can carry a felony charge

By Shannon Houser | October 9, 2018 at 9:49 PM EST – Updated October 10 at 11:26 AM

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) – CBD oil is available online, in every state and is commonly found on store shelves across Northeast Ohio; however, it’s illegal and can result in a felony charge.

So, why the big confusion over the chemical compound?

“I got pulled over in a traffic stop and long story short, they found CBD oil,” said Robert Faulkner.

It was July of last year when Faulkner was arrested in Richland County.

“I tried it for my anxiety. It didn’t work for me at that particular time and I just threw it in the back on my truck,” he said.

Faulkner said he bought it from a store in Columbus. He said the oil was made and manufactured from a hemp store in Cincinnati.

“I never went to the store and thought I was buying something that would potentially put me in prison,” he said.

Faulkner was slapped with two counts of aggravated possession of drugs. He’s awaiting a grand jury trial for the felony charges.

Here in Ohio, you cannot possess CBD oil. The laws aren’t stopping people from buying it and it’s not stopping stores from selling it.

Faulkner believes the reason is there is so much confusion about the law.

“I didn’t knowingly obtain everything illegal. I went to a store to try to help me with an issue I have,” said Faulkner.

THC is the chemical compound responsible for the high in marijuana. The DEA says they’ve learned through science, that CBD will always contain some amount of THC, even trace amounts that won’t get you high.

But given the presence of THC, the over-the-counter oil is illegal.

Cleveland 19 found two local stores with shelves full of CBD oil.

According to the DEA:

“Any displays, sale or solicitation of CBD oil is illegal and individuals involved are subject to federal investigation and prosecution.”

We found in some states, like in Texas, police are raiding stores who are selling CBD oil.

So why isn’t that happening here if it’s illegal?

The DEA wouldn’t say, but did say stores selling it aren’t immune from federal investigation.

Faulkner says he hopes officials and lawmakers can help make the laws more clear so this doesn’t happen to someone else.

“I have an ankle monitor on right now. I have to go check in with probation. I spent four days in jail. This is impacting my life seriously, for something I bought in at the store to just try to help my anxiety.”

CBD is covered by Ohio’s medical marijuana law–and will be available to those with a medical marijuana card.

The FDA recently approved a CBD oil medication that is used to help treat epilepsy.

It can only be prescribed by licensed doctors.

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Why we must repeal prohibition

This Pharmaceutical Company Wants To Prove Cannabis Destroys Cancer

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Submitted by Marijuana News on Wed, 06/07/2017 – 08:25

CURE Pharmaceutical, a technologically-based drug delivery platform and its partner, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology will be conducting a clinical study to test whether cannabinoid compounds will reduce or eliminate cancerous cells.

Can cannabis really make cancer disappear?

Cannabis as a cancer treatment not only for it symptoms but as a possible cure has been hotly debated and researched for some time.

Federally, the government does accept that cancer-related side effects such as decreased appetite, nausea and pain relief can be treated with cannabis, but as for cancer itself, patients and those in the medical field have only been able to anecdotally link cannabis to the destruction of cancerous cells and tumors.

CURE Pharmaceutical is researching this link head on, in its first ever clinical study of this nature. Brian Higuera, the father of a 4-year-old liver cancer patient says there’s a strong possibility after he witnessed the shrinking of his daughter’s liver tumors, along with one that fully disappeared; all after being administered CBD oil.

The tumors are believed to have been removed due to her cannabis use in which [a brand of] CBD (called Real Scientific Hemp Oil) was a major portion of the cannabinoids in her oil along with THC and CBN.

[But] without a study to prove the cannabis oil is what cause the tumors to disappear, many say she is an anecdotal testimony.

CURE’s CEO, Rob Davidson looks to move beyond the anecdotal stage and provide solid proof to back up cases like Sadie’s. His goal is to prove the efficacy of cannabis with hard science behind it.

There is strong anecdotal evidence, but we want to put some science into it. First, we’ll do an in vitro study and see the effects on cancer cells. We can get into human trials pretty quickly in Israel.

Getting doctors onboard

Much of the reason that cannabis is kept from many patients is due to its federally illegal status. For this reason, not only is cannabis testing for cancer treatment sparsely conducted, but many physicians are left unable to prescribe cannabis legally.

Former Chief Resident at Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, Bonnie Goldstein says that studies like the one conducted by CURE can be highly beneficial in helping doctors prescribe cannabis to patients.

I currently take care of many patients, both adults and children, that have life-threatening advanced cancers and so far, I have been unable to match cannabis treatment to the patient’s specific cancer sub-type.

Initial studies show that different cancers respond to the anti-neoplastic effects of different cannabinoids. This research will answer this question and will allow physicians like myself to tailor treatment for cancer patients.

The study comes on the heels of CUREs announcement that the company will be entering the pharmaceutical cannabis sector. If so, many more studies that prove cannabis’ effects as a cure could be on the horizon and can appeal to many more in the medical profession who wish for more options to successfully treat patients.

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Lawmakers eye THC content of state’s industrial hemp

For Immediate Release

May 3, 2017

Lawmakers eye THC content of state’s industrial hemp

FRANKFORT—Industrial hemp legally grown in Kentucky is not considered marijuana. It has only a fraction of THC—or tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive compound—found in marijuana. And state regulators aim to keep it that way.

Around 100 pounds of industrial hemp grown under Kentucky’s three-year old Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program were destroyed just three weeks ago after the state found the crop had a higher THC level than the law allows. An April 13 Associated Press article on the destroyed crop reported that it registered THC levels of between 1.2 and 0.4 percent, or slightly above the federal and state legal limit of 0.3 percent.

Kentucky mandated 0.3 percent as the legal THC limit for industrial hemp grown in the state four years ago when it passed legislation allowing industrial hemp production as part of a state pilot program cleared by the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill. Hemp grown under the state program is routinely tested—as the destroyed crop was—to ensure that its THC level falls at or below the legal limit.

Questions about the destruction of the non THC-compliant crop were raised today before the state legislative Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee by Rep. Kim King, R-Harrodsburg. King asked for more information about what happened with the crop from representatives of Atalo Holding of Winchester and Sunstrand of Louisville, two companies that process industrial hemp at their facilities.

Atalo Holdings Chairman Andrew Graves said the crop is question was a variety most commonly grown in the western U.S. “In this climate, when it’s grown, the THC level tends to be a higher level than it should be.” He said there wasn’t any question that the crop needed to be destroyed.

“It’s not a problem with us. We are used to regulated industries—tobacco is heavily regulated—and so this is as well,” said Graves.

King said she is pleased the system worked.

“I’m very, very inspired and I’m very, very hopeful that the system caught a portion of the crop that tested above the legal limit,” said King. “I just wanted some additional discussion on that.”

Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, mentioned the use of industrial hemp in the production of CBD or cannabidiol oil, which is extracted from hemp. CBD oil reportedly helps with balance, mood, sleep, appetite and can help relieve pain. It has also been known to help with epilepsy. And, since the oil is made from low-THC hemp, it doesn’t create the sensation of being high, like marijuana can.

Hornback asked Graves and others testifying before the committee if medicinal products made from industrial hemp, including CBD oil, are more effective if the THC level is above 0.3 percent. Atalo Holdings Research Officer Tom Hutchens said that, as of yet, is unknown.

“We don’t know the answer to that, truly, because there hasn’t been enough research. I think it will probably get (to a) higher (level) somewhere along the line, but all of this has to do with the national scope,” said Hutchens.

Graves said he’d like to see Kentucky increase its legal limit of THC in industrial hemp from 0.3 percent to 1 percent to improve plant breeding options. That would give Hutchens “some leeway, where he wouldn’t be under the scrutiny of law while he’s trying to breed some new variety that could be indigenous to Kentucky and beneficial to farmers here,” he said.

Cultivation of up to 12,800 acres of industrial hemp for research purposes has been approved by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) for 2017. That is nearly three times the acreage approved for industrial hemp cultivation in 2016, according to a press release from the KDA. Kentucky has “the largest state industrial hemp research project program in the nation,” the KDA reports.

Some funding for hemp processing in Kentucky has come from the state’s share of the national Master Settlement Agreement, a 1998 multi-billion dollar agreement between major tobacco companies and 46 states including Kentucky. Spending of those funds are overseen by the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee.

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First new hemp strain bred for US farmers

By: Chris Conrad

Retail Hemp field crop

A new industrial hemp cultivar has passed the THC hemp trials managed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the first hemp seed variety bred for the US to pass a Department of Agriculture hemp trial in any state.

Thomas Jefferson was a jealous hempseed breeder who allegedly brought Chinese seeds in from France in the 1790s to mix with the European strains. Later the US Department of Agriculture adopted an aggressive program to breed plants that were drought resistant and climate or soil specific for different parts of the United States and came up with some of the best hemp strains in the world. That all came to an end with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, when hemp farming was essentially banned. The national seed banks died out when the federal Drug Enforcement Agency took control in the 1970s and destroyed them in the name of the Drug War.

Act of Congress opened the way for new hemp seedlines

In February 2015, Congress passed the hemp amendment to the Farm bill and opened new avenues for cannabis hemp. Two years later, Rely™ by New West Genetics has become the first modern hemp variety bred for the U.S. to pass Colorado Department of Agriculture hemp trials. The plants have a stable THC content below 0.1 percent, compared with the federal standard of 0.3 percent or less.

“This is a landmark victory for New West Genetics, as well as hemp production in the United States overall,” said Wendy Mosher, CEO for New West Genetics. “The use of regionally bred hemp seed for production is imperative for the US hemp industry to succeed, and we hope that the results for Rely™ act as a catalyst for other U.S. hemp product makers to recognize the benefit of regionally bred varieties – better yield, disease resistance, sustainability, etc. and demand those be used for their products.”

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A Beginner’s Guide to Hemp Oil, the Cannabis Product That’s Legal Right Now

 

 

By Hannah Sentenac Thu., May 29 2014 at 7:00 AM

With medical marijuana on everyone’s lips (in more ways than one), people are buzzing about weed, hemp, cannabis, THC, CBD, and all kinds of other related terms that you might or might not understand. It’s OK — this is confusing stuff.

Leave it to Cultist to offer a little clarity about one such topic you’re probably hearing a lot about: hemp oil. From "cannamoms" to Whole Foods salespeople, lots of folks are touting the benefits of this product. But what is it, exactly, and what does it do?

See also: How to Become a Medical Marijuana Millionaire in Ten Easy Steps

So what is this stuff?
Let’s start with what hemp oil is not. It is not marijuana. It does not get people high. Both originate from the same plant, but marijuana is cultivated for the buds (which have to be carefully raised for that specific purpose). They’re also grown differently.

The oil has only trace amounts of THC, the psychotropic component in weed. Instead, it has higher concentrations of cannabidiol, or CBD, which is the medicinal boon people are all atwitter over.

"You’ll see two kinds — hemp oil drawn from the plant and hemp oil drawn from the seeds. Ours is drawn from the mature stalks of the hemp plant," says Andrew Hard, director of public relations for HempMeds, a California company whose hemp oil products are sold all over the world. The stalk and seeds don’t fall under the definition of what the U.S. government dubs marijuana, he says; that’s why the products are legal in all 50 states.

Aw, man. So it won’t get me stoned?
Sorry, man. Let’s put it this way: The medical marijuana bill that recently passed the Florida House would allow patients with cancer and conditions that result in chronic seizures or severe muscle spasms to use marijuana pills, oils, or vapors that contain 0.8 percent THC or lower and 10 percent CBD or higher. Right now, those things are illegal.

HempMeds’ Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO), as a comparison, has 15.5 to 25 percent CBD by volume but only trace amounts of THC.

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