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Categories Archives: Smokator Blog

Can CBD oil ease pain for pets?

Pot for pets? It may be the next step in the ever-evolving legitimization of medicinal marijuana, and a trio of South Florida companies are competing to become the Blue Apron of cannabis oils for pets. Three companies formed in recent years are selling cannabidiol (CBD) products that owners and enthusiasts claim might be more effective than traditional veterinary medicines at treating chronic pain, inflammation and anxiety in dogs and cats. But their growth prospects face a big hurdle: While early research suggests that the treatments show promise, the legality of the products are widely disputed, preventing pet owners from buying them at their favorite chain pet store or through the most popular e-commerce sites. That hasn’t stopped Delray Beach-based Prana Pets, Plantation-based King Kanine and Fort Lauderdale-based Diamond CBD from joining a growing number of new companies around the globe that promote and distribute CBD oil products, including oral liquids, chews, balms and spra..

How Gov. Inslee’s marijuana pardon plan measures up

LONGVIEW — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Friday he will offer pardons to people convicted of minor marijuana possession between 1998 and 2012. But those offenders may be better off under other alternatives available to clear their names. Someone pardoned under Inslee’s plan, for example, would still have to answer “yes” to the question “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” on housing and other forms, although they would be able to clarify they have been pardoned. A pardon does not expunge a crime from someone’s record. By contrast, getting a conviction “vacated” wipes away a sentence and can set aside a guilty verdict. But vacating a sentence comes with certain requirements that a pardon doesn’t, and a spokesman for the governor’s office said Inslee’s pardon plan can be easier to access. “A pardon is going to have less impact than if one would have vacated a conviction,” Governor’s office Deputy General Counsel Tip Wonhoff said by email Tuesday. However, pursuing Insle..

The future of pot in Washington: State regulators talk marijuana ahead of 5-year anniversary of sales

SPOKANE — Nearly five years on, regulators of Washington state’s legal marijuana industry say there’s more work to be done on keeping pot out of the hands of children and assisting growers facing falling revenues due to a glut of product. “We need to be well-positioned for an eventual national legalization, and what does that require,” said Jane Rushford, who chairs the three-member policy-making arm of the Liquor and Cannabis Board, in an interview Monday recorded for The Spokesman-Review’s Newsmakers podcast. “How do we get really smart about doing the things we can do now?” Representatives of the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board will meet at Spokane City Hall on Wednesday to consider changes to rules governing the labeling and visual appeal of cannabis products, just one of many regulatory issues that have cropped up in the now multibillion dollar industry. That includes candies, cookies and other sweets that board members had originally considered to remove from shelves beginnin..

Main Street Marijuana near $100 million in sales

Downtown Vancouver’s Main Street Marijuana has consistently held an unbeatable lead as the state’s highest-selling recreational cannabis store, and it’s quickly approaching a major milestone: passing $100 million in total lifetime sales. The store’s owners expect to cross the threshold on Jan. 15 or 16. “We’re the first one in the state to do it,” says Adam Hamide, one of the store’s three co-owners. “That’s a lot of tax dollars we’re taking out of the hands of criminals.” The store’s net sales stand at approximately $68 million — with more collected for state marijuana taxes and sales taxes. The marijuana taxes are collected by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, and the funding is distributed to a variety of state agencies, as well as local governments to help fund enforcement efforts. According to a board report, the state took in $319 million in marijuana revenue in 2017. It said $145.7 million of that total went to fund health care services, $96.6 million went to ..

Oregon again sees huge 2018 marijuana harvest

SALEM, Ore — For the second year in a row, Oregon cannabis farmers have harvested more than a million pounds of usable marijuana. The huge harvest (more than 453,592 kilograms) is again driving down prices for consumers and putting pressure on growers who aren’t getting the price they hoped for after a similar phenomenon in 2017, The Bulletin reported Thursday. Oregon’s cannabis market is limited to sales within the state’s borders, yet the state of about 4 million people has 1,107 licensed active producers and another 900 producers seeking licenses from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. There is also no cap on the number of licenses issued by the state, but the commission did place a temporary freeze on new applications last summer to try to address the glut. “Everyone is concerned about this,” said Adam Smith, Craft Cannabis Alliance executive director. “You’ll see people going out of business in the spring when it’s planting time. There are far too many in the industry in di..

Legal pot industry toasts banner year

PORTLAND — The past year was a 12-month champagne toast for the legal marijuana industry as the global market exploded and cannabis pushed its way further into the financial and cultural mainstream. Liberal California became the largest legal U.S. marketplace, conservative Utah and Oklahoma embraced medical marijuana, and the U.S. East Coast got its first commercial pot shops. Canada ushered in broad legalization, and Mexico’s Supreme Court set the stage for that country to follow. U.S. drug regulators approved the first marijuana-based pharmaceutical to treat kids with a form of epilepsy, and billions of investment dollars poured into cannabis companies. Even main street brands like Coca-Cola are considering joining the party. “I have been working on this for decades, and this was the year that the movement crested ,” said U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat working to overturn the federal ban on pot. “It’s clear that this is all coming to a head.” With buzz building acr..

Oregon may look to export marijuana

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Marijuana could take the next step toward joining pinot noir and craft beer on Oregon’s list of famous exports, under a proposal likely to go before state lawmakers in the new year. The Statesman Journal reports that the Craft Cannabis Alliance, a business association led by founder and executive director Adam Smith, is working with legislators to let Oregon start exporting pot to other legal-weed states by 2021. Among them is Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, who said he also plans to reintroduce provisions from Senate Bill 1042, a similar proposal that died in the statehouse in 2017. This comes as the state’s legal weed industry has faced plummeting prices over the past year due to demand not keeping up with supply. Also at issue is whether bad actors are funneling marijuana into the lucrative black market. The proposals represent how advocates are trying to move pot onto the forbidden superhighway of interstate trade, which is fraught with regulatory roadblocks...

Marijuana businessman and former federal inmate faces new legal problems

SPOKANE — Cip Paulsen, a former federal inmate-turned marijuana businessman, is fighting for control of his firm in court against angry investors and new drug charges. Paulsen’s licensed marijuana business, Growstate, is in the hands of a court-appointed receiver after three early investors sought repayment of their initial $625,000 investment in 2014. Financial documents filed with the court last week indicate debts totaling more than $5 million, a bulk of it five-figure monthly utility bills from Avista Corp. for powering the roughly 130,000-square-foot former Costco warehouse on Third Avenue in Spokane where the pot was grown. To save on those electric costs, Paulsen recently switched to processing existing plants for oils and extracts, rather than growing marijuana, according to court filings. Even if Paulsen can pay off his creditors, it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to retain his business. A pair of arrests earlier this year on drug possession and driving under the influence..

Oklahoma quickly becoming medical marijuana hotbed

OKLAHOMA CITY — The rollout of statewide medical and recreational marijuana programs typically is a grindingly slow process that can take years. Not so in Oklahoma, which moved with lightning speed once voters approved medical cannabis in June. The ballot question received 57 percent support and established one of the nation’s most liberal medical pot laws in one of the most conservative states. Six months later, the cannabis industry is booming. Farmers and entrepreneurs are racing to start commercial grow operations, and the state is issuing licenses to new patients, growers and dispensary operators at a frantic pace. Retail outlets opened just four months after legalization. By contrast, voters in North Dakota, Ohio and neighboring Arkansas approved medical pot in 2016 but have yet to see sales begin amid legal wrangling and legislative meddling. “I think we really are the wild, wild West in many respects,” said attorney Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish, whose firm in Norman represents..

Budweiser maker teams up with medical pot firm to explore drinks

NEW YORK — The maker of Budweiser is partnering with medical cannabis company Tilray in a $100 million deal to research cannabis-infused drinks for the Canadian market. The alliance announced Wednesday is the latest foray by a major beer company into the cannabis business in Canada, which legalized recreational marijuana in October. Anheuser-Busch InBev and Tilray Inc. said each would invest $50 million in the project to study non-alcoholic drinks containing cannabidiol, or CBD, which some claim has calming and healing affects, and THC, the cannabis compound known for its psychoactive effects. Belgium-based AB InBev, the owner of more than 500 beer brands including Budweiser and Stella Artois, said it will participate in the project through its subsidiary Labatt Breweries of Canada. “Labatt is committed to staying ahead of emerging consumer trends,” said Labatt Breweries President Kyle Norrington. British Columbia-based Tilray has products available in 12 countries and operations ..