MJ News for 08/07/2014

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/b...opportunities-as-big-companies-hold-back.html




Start-Ups Seize Marijuana Opportunities as Big Companies Hold Back


When Garett Fortune’s brother was found to have cancer in early 2013, it was so advanced that all he could do was to try to live out the remainder of his life in as little pain and discomfort as possible. That meant taking about 30 pills a day, Mr. Fortune said — until his brother tried marijuana.

“I saw him go from 30 pills a day to almost zero,” he said. “It helped his appetite and the nausea. He had a way better quality of life at the end than he would have without the cannabis. It made me a proponent of the industry.”

It also gave Mr. Fortune the idea for a business. With more states legalizing marijuana for medical uses — and, in Colorado and Washington, recreational ones — Mr. Fortune identified one of the industry’s challenges: packaging. The old standby, the resealable plastic bag, was not sufficiently effective, especially for a regulated industry, and Mr. Fortune already owned OdorNo, a company that made odor-proof bags for human and animal waste.

Mr. Fortune proposed a new product, odor-proof and child-resistant marijuana bags, to OdorNo’s advisory board. He expected the members to laugh him out of the room, but they did not. “Every single one of them told me: ‘This is the biggest opportunity on the planet right now. Follow that.’ ”

In May he licensed out production and distribution of OdorNo, and he and his team began building FunkSac in Denver. Although FunkSac bags are awaiting government approval, Mr. Fortune said he had hundreds of thousands of orders from cultivators, dispensaries and wholesalers. The company plans to begin delivering them this month and estimates it will have first-year revenue of about $2 million.

Mr. Fortune said he had been contacted by dispensaries in 17 of the 22 states where medical marijuana was legal. “Right now,” he said, “it’s like drinking from a fire hose.”

To many, today’s cannabis industry resembles a modern-day Gold Rush. Troy Dayton, co-founder and chief executive of the ArcView Group in San Francisco, a network of 250 high-net-worth investors that backs cannabis start-ups, said more than 30 early-stage companies contact it every week. In the last year, he said, the group sent about $12 million in funding to 14 companies.

The size of the legal cannabis industry in the United States, measured by sales of the plant, was $1.5 billion in 2013, according to ArcView, which projects it will reach $2.6 billion in 2014 and $10 billion by 2018 — figures that do not include the growing numbers of ancillary businesses. The entire industry is dominated by small businesses, Mr. Dayton said, both because it is so new and because marijuana’s legality remains murky. Banks, for example, have been reluctant to take deposits or make loans to dispensaries because the drug is still illegal under federal law.

“You can’t have a national business,” Mr. Dayton said, because the laws vary by state. Opportunities for small businesses also exist because the stigma associated with the industry has discouraged bigger companies from getting involved. “You can’t find another industry growing at this clip that doesn’t have any major players,” he said. “That gives the little guy a chance to make a run at this.”

That potential has spawned a wide array of cannabis start-ups — many incorporating novel technologies. Potbotics in New York City has raised almost $3 million from friends and family and has three cannabis-related products in the works, including a “virtual budtender” known as Potbot that it expects to be available for sale next year. A budtender is a dispensary worker who is knowledgeable about and sells marijuana; Potbot is a robot with a tablet-size monitor that is meant to replace the budtender.

The plan is to place Potbot robots in dispensaries and medical facilities where marijuana patients can ask questions and get information. “Dispensary budtenders almost always have an agenda — they are trying to sell what they have most in their stock,” said David Goldstein, a founder of the company, which was started in October. “We created a software and technology platform that is able to talk to patients and educate them about what strains are actually best for their ailments.”

A San Diego start-up, Herbalizer, makes a small, sleek vaporizer with a heating system that took three years and two engineers to develop. Its co-founder and chief executive, Josh Young, previously designed advanced NASA computer systems and military programs; Bob Pratt, a co-founder and the chief technology officer, was a designer of stealth bomber radar systems. And yet, Mr. Young said, the technology behind the Herbalizer “has been the greatest challenge of our lives.”

The vaporizer heats up in seconds and uses a 32-megahertz processor, a 300-watt halogen bulb and a temperature sensor to release active compounds in the plant selectively, without creating smoke. Ninety percent of Herbalizer’s customers use it for marijuana, Mr. Young said, although drug paraphernalia laws prevent the device from being marketed for that purpose (it is sold instead for use with herbs like peppermint and lavender). The company expects first-year revenue of more than $2 million.

Fund-raising has been tricky for Herbalizer and similar companies. Traditional investors remain leery, said Christian Groh, a partner and the chief operations officer at Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm in Seattle that invests in cannabis start-ups. “In the U.S., marijuana remains a Schedule I narcotic, so you still have this outlaw mentality within the community,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of exuberance now, but I don’t think we’re at the point where we’ll see real institutional money or a Fortune 500 company making a play in this space. Not yet.”

In 2011, Privateer bought Leafly, a Seattle start-up that provides consumer ratings and reviews of marijuana strains, dispensaries and recreational shops. Most dispensaries carry 20 to 50 strains, Mr. Groh said, and the lack of standardization and consistency is a big issue. Leafly has about 80,000 reviews in its system.

“That information has to come from the community right now, because there is no WebMD for marijuana,” said Cy Scott, one of Leafly’s founders. The company also offers tools for dispensaries that let them manage inventory, update menus online and respond to reviews. Dispensaries and recreational shops pay a monthly subscription fee of $200 to $2,000 a month, said Mr. Scott, who expects revenue this year of $3.6 million.

SpeedWeed, a Los Angeles delivery service, allows customers to place an order online or by phone and have it delivered — depending on traffic — within 45 minutes. Although there are hundreds of marijuana delivery services in Los Angeles, AJ Gentile, a founder, said SpeedWeed was the largest. “Delivery services here are typically guys driving around in their car with a big box of weed,” he said.

Mr. Gentile said that SpeedWeed worked only with cultivators its legal team had vetted and that along with its delivery service, it planned to sell proprietary software to dispensaries nationwide. He estimated that the company had 20,000 legal customers and that revenue would double this year, up from $1.7 million in 2013.

Biological Advantage, founded in April, has a system of products it plans to introduce this month that are applied to a marijuana plant’s soil and leaves to enhance photosynthesis. The company’s chief executive, John Kempf, is also founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture, a crop-nutrition consulting company he started that has invested $400,000 in Biological Advantage.

Mr. Kempf said his companies were a bit ahead of the game, anticipating what the market would need. “Growers aren’t yet looking at nutrition as a means for improving the medicinal concentrations in plants,” he said. “But they will.”
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://investorplace.com/2014/08/marijuana-stocks-growlife-hemp/




Why You Must Sell Your Medical Marijuana Stocks NOW!


We’ve been wary of medical marijuana stocks for months — and it turns out with good reason. Federal regulators and prosecutors just came down hard on a group of promoters for allegedly pumping and dumping two of the better-known marijuana stocks.

medical marijuana 185 Why You Must Sell Your Medical Marijuana Stocks NOW!
Source: ©iStock.com/CapturedNuance
If that’s not enough to scare you away from these dodgy penny stocks, then you deserve to be ripped off. After all, federal regulators and the industry’s own self-regulatory agency have been warning investors off medical marijuana stocks for months.

Earlier this year, federal regulators suspended trading in some medical marijuana stocks as they investigated the possibility of a scam.

And sure enough, they found one — a scam that cost investors $2.5 million.

Manipulating Medical Marijuana Stocks
The Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges against four promoters for allegedly manipulating two medical marijuana stocks — GrowLife (PHOT) and Hemp (HEMP). In a nutshell, these con men allegedly ran up the prices of these stocks by buying and selling shares through different brokers or to one another. They then sold high, causing the stocks to crash.

Top 10 Stocks for 2014: Load up on these explosive growth stocks as quickly as you can! Click here to get the Top 10 List — FREE!

From the SEC:

“The SEC alleges that the four promoters bought inexpensive shares of thinly traded penny stock companies on the open market and conducted pre-arranged, manipulative matched orders and wash trades to create the illusion of an active market in these stocks. They then sold their shares in coordination with aggressive promotional campaigns that urged investors to buy the stocks because the prices were on the verge of rising substantially. However, these companies had little to no business operations at the time. The promoters reaped more than $2.5 million in illegal profits through their schemes.”

Hey, it’s a clever way for a con man to separate honest folks from their money. But it’s also a crime.

Indeed, a federal district attorney filed criminal charges against three of the four promoters caught by the SEC.

Beware of Promoters Pushing Medical Marijuana Stock
One of the alleged pump-and-dumpers, Christopher Mrowca, “specifically promoted GrowLife through his Money Runners Group website and predicted that the stock price would nearly double,” the SEC says.

At the same time, Mrowca and the three other promoters “engaged in manipulative trading designed to increase the price and volume of GrowLife stock, and they later sold their shares for illicit profits,” according to the SEC.

They allegedly ran the same scam with Hemp, another medical marijuana stock touted on the Internet. One campaign said this medical marijuana stock could have “a REAL Possible Gain of OVER 2900%.”

However, while this promotion was underway — sucking in unwitting marks — the promoters “engaged in manipulative wash trades and matched orders to manipulate Hemp’s common stock before selling their shares for illegal gains,” the SEC contends.

In addition to Money Runners, these medical marijuana stocks were promoted through websites called Explosive Alerts and stockhaven.com.

There are scores of medical marijuana stocks trading on the over-the-counter market. This doesn’t mean all of them are scams. But the SEC and federal prosecutors say at least two certainly are. Why would you risk your hard-earned money to find out if your bet on medical marijuana stocks is on the up-and-up?

Sell your medical marijuana stocks before it’s too late.

As of this writing, Dan Burrows did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.ibtimes.com/marijuana-le...ry-among-biggest-opponents-legal-weed-1651166




Marijuana Legalization: Pharmaceuticals, Alcohol Industry Among Biggest Opponents Of Legal Weed




Opponents of marijuana legalization argue that decriminalizing pot increases crime, creates juvenile delinquents and can even lead to more marijuana-related deaths. But there is another reason for the crusade against marijuana that involves some people losing lots of money as the country becomes increasingly pot friendly, according to a recent report from The Nation and a study by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The biggest players in the anti-marijuana legalization movement are pharmaceutical, alcohol and beer companies, private prison corporations and police unions, all of whom help fund lobby groups that challenge marijuana law reform. In 2010, California Beer and Beverage Distributors funneled $10,000 to Public Safety First, a political action committee, or PAC, that led the opposition to California’s Prop 19. The initiative, if passed, would have legalized recreational marijuana in the state.

Corrections Corporations of America, one of the largest for-profit prison companies in the U.S., has spent nearly $1 million a year on lobbying efforts. The company even stated in a report that “changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances … could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.”

Among the largest donors to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a New York City-based nonprofit that campaigns against teen drug and alcohol abuse, are Purdue Pharma, makers of the painkiller OxyContin, and Abbott Laboratories, which produces the opioid Vicodin. Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, or CADCA, a Virginia-based anti-drug organization, also receives donations from Purdue Pharma, as well as Janssen Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson that manufactures the painkiller Nucynta, according to The Nation.

The reason for opposing marijuana reform is simple: Legal weed hurts these companies’ bottom lines. “There is big money in marijuana prohibition,” the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C., notes in a recent series on marijuana lobbying efforts, including who funds legislation to keep the drug illegal.

Part of the missions of groups like Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and CADCA is to lobby Congress to maintain marijuana’s classification as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning the U.S. government considers the drug as having a high potential for abuse, has no medical use and poses risks to public safety. Nevermind that more than 22,000 people die every year in the U.S. from overdoses involving pharmaceutical drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three out of every four pharmaceutical overdose deaths involve painkillers -- more than heroin and cocaine combined.

“I think it’s hypocritical to remain silent with regard to the scheduling of hydrocodone products, while investing energy in maintaining marijuana as a Schedule I drug,” Andrew Kolodny, a New York psychiatrist and head of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, told The Nation. “I don’t think it’s inappropriate for them to be advocating on marijuana, [but] when we have a severe epidemic in America -- one the CDC says is the worst drug epidemic in US history -- it makes you wonder whether or not they’ve been influenced by their funding.”

The idea is that drug companies want to sell expensive drugs by downplaying the medical benefits of marijuana, alcohol and beer manufacturers do not want to compete for customers with legal pot, and private prisons need to fill their beds with convicted drug offenders. That means marijuana advocates have some pretty large -- and well-funded -- enemies to contend with.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/us/dry-california-fights-illegal-use-of-water-for-cannabis.html




Dry California Fights Illegal Use of Water for Cannabis


NICE, Calif. — An abandoned recreational vehicle was the first clue. In this hamlet two hours north of San Francisco and barely a mile from the largest natural freshwater lake in the state, the trailer sat on a hill, hidden from the main drag. Behind it rose a flimsy fence, tall enough to shield its bounty: 50 marijuana plants in hastily constructed wooden boxes.

“This is common,” said Michael Lockett, the chief building official here in Lake County, giving a tour of the now-derelict plot, where a pipe ran from a stream to a large water tank.

It was just one of hundreds of illegal marijuana operations in Lake County, officials said, some of which have been diverting water for thousands of plants.

The scene has been repeated across Northern California. Amid the state’s crippling drought, many communities are fighting not the mere cultivation of cannabis — which is legal in the state, though subject to myriad restrictions — but the growers’ use of water. Marijuana is a thirsty plant, and cultivating it at a time when California residents are subject to water restrictions has become a sticky issue.

When a statewide drought emergency was declared in January, “the first thing we wanted to address was water theft and marijuana,” said Carre Brown, a supervisor in Mendocino County, a major cannabis hub west of Lake County.

By mid-July, the sheriff there, Thomas D. Allman, had already caught growers siphoning water from springs because wells had run dry too early in the season. “I have told my marijuana team, ‘I want you to fly the rivers, fly the tributaries; let’s prioritize the water diversion,’ ” Sheriff Allman said.

In July, Lake County enacted an ordinance that demanded that growers account for their water supply; as in Mendocino, the county also has a tip line to identify violators. “It’s very pointedly meant to stop a lot of what we’re seeing — the illegal diversions, damming up of creeks, tapping into springs that may be on someone else’s property,” said Kevin Ingram, the principal planner for Lake County.

Late last month, federal and state agents raided the Yurok Indian Reservation in a move requested by tribal elders to halt illegal marijuana farms whose water use threatened the reservation’s supply.

Using Google Earth imagery, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has estimated that outdoor marijuana cultivation in Mendocino County and Humboldt County doubled between 2009 and 2012, with what the agency described as disastrous effect. A marijuana plant can consume five to 10 gallons of water, depending on the point in its growth cycle. By comparison, a head of lettuce, another of California’s major crops, needs about 3.5 gallons of water.

Not all marijuana growers are cavalier about their water use. Swami Chaitanya, 71, has been tending — and smoking — cannabis for decades. “I grew my first plants in the shadow of the Bank of America in San Francisco on Telegraph Hill in the early ’70s,” Mr. Chaitanya said. (He adopted the name Swami Chaitanya after studies in India, and prefers it to his given name, which he asked not to use.)

Now ensconced in an off-the-grid farm in Mendocino County, Mr. Chaitanya and a few helpers produce a small crop of medical marijuana plants for an Oakland dispensary. Their beds are watered daily from tanks fed by a spring on the property. To minimize the environmental impact, he said, he recycles his wastewater. This year, he has also reduced the number of plants, he said.

“Most people we know are saying, ‘We’re growing less because of impending drought,’ ” Mr. Chaitanya said. “We have a responsibility.”

Environmentally minded marijuana growers say that illegal operators and water guzzlers are giving them a bad reputation. Seth Little, 28, an organic medicinal marijuana grower near the Lake County town of Clearlake, said neighbors could be resentful. “They just think that we’re all kind of dooming everything,” he said, “and stealing everybody’s water, and dumping chemicals into the aquifers.”

Mr. Little, who has been growing marijuana for nearly five years with a special irrigation system designed to minimize water use, said many fellow growers had been heedless of the water problem. “A large percentage of them are just really not environmentally aware; they’re not in compliance,” he said.

But the artisanal ways of Mr. Little and Mr. Chaitanya can conflict with the demands of the market and, sometimes, the law. Because there are countywide restrictions on the number of marijuana plants even legitimate growers may keep, Mr. Chaitanya said, they have an incentive to make those plants as robust as possible — and that means using more water. Mr. Chaitanya suggested that the problem was exacerbated by confusing regulations.

Sheriff Allman of Mendocino County was skeptical of this. “That sounds like logic they’ve made up after smoking a joint,” he observed.

But, he added, the environmental offenders are not the stereotypical marijuana grower.

“Old hippies are not our problem — old hippies get it,” Sheriff Allman said. “They’re going organic; they’re doing water reduction.” So are “young hippies,” he continued.

“I’m talking about people that move here in April, grow marijuana as fast as they can until October,” Sheriff Allman said. “The 20-year-old kid who wants to make his million bucks, and he’s using these steroid fertilizers. He doesn’t care about how much water he uses, or what he puts in the soil.”
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/139...s-first-medical-cannabis-facilities-in-canada




Cannabis Science In Final Negotiations To Establish Its First Medical Cannabis Facilities In Canada


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 7, 2014 /CNW/ -- Cannabis Science, Inc. (OTC-QB:CBIS), a U.S. company specializing in cannabis formulation-based drug development and related consulting, is in the final stages of launching a new joint venture company for the purpose of acquiring, financing, building, owning and operating medical cannabis facilities, including dispensaries and growing operations, throughout Canada.

The Company believes that this joint venture has the potential to expand the Company's operations outside of the United States and to allow the Company's entry and expansion into Canada's marketplace.

"Acquiring cannabis facilities in Canada represents a compelling business opportunity developed through our focus on collaborative innovation and takes one of our international initiatives to the next level," said Chad S. Johnson, Director, COO and General Counsel of the Company. "We are excited to be working jointly with our partners, which allows us to leverage our respective global research knowledge and resources to facilitate the Canadian operations. The Company also intends to use these facilities for research and development purposes in addition to the selling of the cannabis products under relevant laws and regulations. More to come."

While the Company is optimistic about the potential for commercialization of cannabis products, it recognizes that, as with the acquisition and development cannabis facilities, the process can be lengthy and without assurances.

About Cannabis Science, Inc.

Cannabis Science, Inc., takes advantage of its unique understanding of metabolic processes to provide novel treatment approaches to a number of illnesses for which current treatments and understanding remain unsatisfactory. The Company works with leading experts in drug development, medicinal characterization, and clinical research to develop, produce, and commercialize novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment for illnesses caused by infections as well as for age-related illness. Our initial focus is on skin cancers and neurological conditions.

Forward Looking Statements

This Press Release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, that are not historical facts, and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected and projected. A statement containing words such as "anticipate," "seek," intend," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "project," "plan," or similar phrases may be deemed "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance, but reflect CBIS management's current beliefs, based on information currently available. Some or all of the events or results anticipated by these forward-looking statements may not occur. A number of factors could cause actual events, performance or results to differ materially from the events, performance and results discussed in the forward-looking statements.

Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include the future U.S. and global economies, the impact of competition, and the Company's reliance on existing regulations regarding the use and development of cannabis-based drugs. Cannabis Science, Inc., does not undertake any duty nor does it intend to update the results of these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Cannabis Science, Inc.
Dr. Dorothy Bray, CEO & Director
www.cannabisscience.com
[email protected]
[email protected]
Tel: 1.888.777.0658

Investment Inquiries
Robert Kane, CFO & Director
[email protected]
Tel: 1.561.420.4824

Cannabis Science, Inc.
Raymond C. Dabney, Management Consultant, Co-Founder
[email protected]
Tel: 1.310.650.3788

SOURCE Cannabis Science, Inc.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://blog.seattlepi.com/marijuana/2014/08/05/cannabis-company-rolls-out-seattle-ad-campaign/




Cannabis company rolls out Seattle ad campaign


As part of the new normal in Washington’s legal pot world, a locally-based cannabis company is rolling out (or rolling up?) the United States’ first marijuana billboards Tuesday in locations throughout Seattle.

The ads come from Dàmà Cannabis, owned by Seattle-based New Leaf Enterprises, and they’re only part of a larger ad campaign that will unfold throughout the month at major Seattle events.

The company plans to advertise its oils and other products on more than 15 billboards throughout the Puget Sound area for the next six months, complying with state I-502 laws prohibiting ad placement near schools, churches and cemeteries.

The first five billboards are going up Tuesday in Queen Anne (two in this area), West Seattle, Sodo and Rainier Valley, according to the company.pot ad2

The ads, as New Leaf Enterprises put it, “(capture) Pacific Northwest lifestyle moments for recreational marijuana.” They notably avoid pothead stereotypes perpetuated by Jack in the Box commercials and also steer clear of graphically depicting the products.

The company hopes to expand its exposure in a couple weekends, when an airplane banner is planned to wave over CenturyLink Field Aug. 15 during the Seattle Seahawks’ first pre-season game against the San Diego Chargers. That same weekend, a 3,000 square foot banner will fly above the area of Hempfest, which runs Aug. 15 to 17 in Centennial, Myrtle Edwards and Olympic Sculpture parks on Elliott Bay.

The new ads might be a bit jarring for some, though a welcome change for others in the billboard and airborne advertising landscape. Regardless, the mainstream advertising of cannabis products is yet another example of marijuana emerging from the shadows.
 
Top