How Hemp CBD Products Are Made: CBD Protein Powder With Manitoba Harvest – Leafly

This article is presented by Manitoba Harvest, dedicated to crafting quality hemp foods from seed to shelf.

In the final episode of our How Hemp CBD Products Are Made video series, we learn how the hemp food company Manitoba Harvest overcame the obstacles involved in crafting a CBD-rich protein powder. To that make the most out of every seed, their team of food scientists employs a variety of techniques to blend hemp protein concentrate and broad-spectrum hemp extract with other nutritious ingredients.

The result is a consistent serving of protein packed powder that makes it easy to add CBD, along with vitamins and minerals,  to a post-workout drink, a breakfast smoothie, or anywhere else you want it in your diet.

Brandless’ New CEO Is Dumping Its $3 Price Point, Hitting The Stores And Going Big On CBD – Forbes

Brandless CEO John Rittenhouse

Brandless’ new CEO John Rittenhouse is bringing products to stores.

©2019 Stephanie Pool

Brandless’ new CEO John Rittenhouse finds himself waking up at 1:30 in the morning, trading notes with Tina Sharkey, the e-commerce startup’s founder and ex-CEO who left after investors, including megafund SoftBank, grew frustrated with its money-bleeding operations. Rittenhouse, the ex-COO of, admits it’s a work in progress—but he has a plan.  

Brandless will switch to selling its private-label household products—say, its adult gummy multivitamins—from online-only to in stores, as well. It has abandoned the goal of selling most products for around $3, a price point that prevented it from capitalizing on the basic grocery store strategy that mixes low-margin goods with higher-margin items. “The average order value today needs to move from $48 to probably $70 or $80,” he says.

His biggest, and probably riskiest, gambit: launching a line of cannabidiol (CBD) products and creating a standard for testing the non-psychoactive compound in products that doesn’t even exist today. 

“I think there’s a significant white space from a CBD standpoint, and we are uniquely positioned to capitalize upon it and make it a category killer,” Rittenhouse says from Brandless’ downtown San Francisco offices, laying out his vision publicly for its first time.  

In other words, put one foot back into the retail stores Brandless customers presumably had left behind. And catch the CBD wave.


Brandless CEO John Rittenhouse

©2019 Stephanie Pool

If he can do it, Rittenhouse predicts he can turn the company profitable by 2021 and into a billion-dollar-revenue business by 2023. “What I’m doing is I’m trying to move as quickly as I possibly can here to get line of sight on profitability,” he says.

He’s not there yet, though. The company, while in talks with retail partners, has yet to ink a deal to get its wholesale items in stores. CBD products are potentially a massive market that New York-based investment bank Cowen projects could amount to $16 billion in sales by 2025, but it remains in a regulatory gray zone with a patchwork of different state laws. The federal government has yet to set a standard around CBD products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stepped in when companies make claims about the health benefits of CBD, which is frequently sought after for pain relief or relaxation, but it hasn’t created regulations around safety or standards.  

Selling into stores (and becoming a CBD testing standard) wasn’t the plan when Brandless first launched. Two years earlier, Brandless had burst onto the e-commerce scene with a vision that young, internet-savvy consumers would want to buy organic, artisan or other specialized foods (say, cruelty-free or free-trade) online, for cheap. Led by Sharkey, who brought charisma and credibility from the first wave as founder of iVillage, a media brand for women, and serial entrepreneur Ido Leffler, the company pledged to strip out the “brand tax” for luxury, high-quality goods so that most items would sell for $3. Brandless went head-to-head with niche startups like Thrive Market and major retailers like Walmart, Target and Amazon.

By July 2018, SoftBank led a $240 million investment in the company at a valuation over $500 million—an unusual show of faith for a year-old e-commerce business. Many direct-to-consumer companies had tried to build healthier, organic products, but they were typically centered around one product category, like the Honest Co. for baby products. SoftBank liked that Brandless had a roadmap for products that included everything from pets to home goods to food, says SoftBank Vision Fund managing partner Jeff Housenbold. “They were creating better for you, better for the earth, better value products across a multitude of vertical categories, and that’s what attracted me,” Housenbold says.

It just didn’t make money, hobbled by high costs for shipping, that $3 price point and quality problems, according to ex-employees who spoke to tech news outlet The Information. In January 2019, the company moved up-market when it introduced a new $9 tier of pet and personal products. But two months later, Brandless laid off 13% of its staff. The $240 million investment had been tranched, meaning the money was only doled out if certain markers were hit, and it hasn’t been paid out in full. 

Online Retailers Private Brands

Products costing $3 or less on display in 2018 in the lab of the online retailer Brandless in San Francisco. It’s now raising prices above the $3 bar.


Looking back, Sharkey says the long-term plan wasn’t trying to build a three-dollar store. “That wasn’t the business strategy,” she says. Long term or not, Brandless was burning through cash, and its board, particularly SoftBank’s investors, wanted to see it turn a profit. They sought someone with more retail operations experience, according to a person familiar with the talks. By May, when the board quietly brought on Rittenhouse, they were in need of some kind of fix. 

“Tina was exceptional at the vision standpoint and at building brand and buzz and social media impressions, but Tina is not a retailer and not an e-commerce person, not a pick-pack-and-ship, so she didn’t have that experience set,” Housenbold says. 

Unit economics are tricky though when it comes to selling items online, and Brandless isn’t the first e-commerce startup to stumble trying to make low-cost work on the web. Los Angeles-based Hollar, which was trying to build an online dollar store, also swapped out CEOs in 2018. Several have made a play for stores, which helps secure better bulk pricing and lowers the cost by removing shipping fees. It also expands the customer pool when people have a chance to see and feel the product, says Cowen analyst Oliver Chen. Mattress company Casper sells its mattresses in Target. Minted, the art and design company, sells some of its artwork in West Elm and its greeting cards in Target. 

“The future of retail is bricks plus clicks,” Chen says. “The risk factor is that you don’t necessarily have as much control over the brand experience.” 

Rittenhouse is used to rolling up his sleeves in tricky retail situations. The 63-year-old e-commerce veteran had been a director at Target, followed by stints as a vice president at Michaels and LVMH, and CEO of fashion startup Moda Operandi. He’s now serving on boards of companies like meal kit company HelloFresh and Jumia, often described as the Amazon of Africa. “He was always very, very quick to grasp all of the different things that are on our plate right now and how they relate to the long-term strategy, and could seamlessly switch back and forth between the two,” HelloFresh CEO Dominik Richter says.

Rittenhouse’s first step at Brandless was to try to slow the online business burn and focus the online products around wellness, beauty and sustainability. Other business lines, like baby and pets, will become part of its strategy selling into physical stores. “Because if for every package that you ship on the internet you’re losing money, if you step on the marketing gas (which can be extremely expensive) you drive revenue, but you also drive burn,” Rittenhouse says.

He’s tapping into his retail connections and hitting the road with Sharkey to strike wholesale deals. The company hasn’t signed any yet, but described itself as “in negotiations” with major retailers about adding Brandless goods to their in-store lineups. 

“Some things are more suited towards grab-and-go, and some things are more suited to the Web, and so we are calibrating what makes sense.” Sharkey says.

#BrandlessLife Pop-Up With Purpose

Brandless cofounder and former CEO Tina Sharkey had already experimented with Brandless pop-up stores.

Getty Images for Brandless

Then there’s his CBD strategy. Brandless plans to launch its own CBD line in the future, but to start, it’s going to allow other brands into its online store for the first time. Selling tinctures, lotions and edible gummies should help with margins. One CBD vendor the company is considering has an average price point of $73 a product, Rittenhouse says. He’s also retooling the food safety lab in Minneapolis to be able to analyze CBD products for purity and create a new “gold standard” CBD sales—despite one not having been set by regulators yet.

There are early indications that Brandless’ consumers want this, argues Rittenhouse. The company has been advertising CBD products on its website for two weeks and already saw 10,000 people sign up to get notified when they are available. 

Still, the transition won’t be easy. When asked if there were layoffs to its over 130-person staff coming in the future, Rittenhouse wouldn’t rule out that the company’s retooling may mean different personnel needs—it could mean less, or more.

“I understand what good looks like. I’ve been there done that before; I know where the pitfalls are,” he says. The aim is to get Brandless “positioned well, not only for the shareholders, but for its employees.”

E-Cigarette & Vaporizer Market 2019-2024 with Marketing Status Analysis, Major Manufacturers, Strategic Trends Growth, Revenue – Financial Planning

E-Cigarette & Vaporizer

Global E-Cigarette & Vaporizer Market report 2019 is an important factual for the companies and other individuals who are excited in knowing E-Cigarette & Vaporizer market current trends and statistics. Market research report offers high-quality insights and in-depth information of E-Cigarette & Vaporizer Industry. This report also with growth trends, numerous stakeholders like investors, CEOs, traders, suppliers, analysis & media, international Manager, Director, President, SWOT analysis i.e. Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threat to the organization and others.

Top most List manufacturers/ Key player/ Economy by Business Leaders Leading Players of E-Cigarette & Vaporizer Market Are:

  • Njoy
  • V2
  • International Vaporgroup
  • Vaporcorp
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  • FirstUnion
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  • Innokin
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Saint Jane Luxury CBD Beauty Serum Is Perfect for Sensitive Skin – Glamour

A little over a year ago, I interviewed top dermatologists about the CBD trend, the cannabis-derived cure-all that was beginning to blow up. An avalanche of CBD-spiked products started hitting shelves, each claiming that the weed compound would solve every skin woe imaginable. While I believed in the ingredient’s potential, it didn’t take long before it all started to feel pretty gimmicky.

I was born with Netherton syndrome, an autoimmune condition that manifests in recurring rashes, hypersensitivity, redness, dryness, and flaking. Over the years I’ve tested many products and found what works best for me, but I’m always curious about new treatments that could potentially do an even more effective job of soothing my skin. Cannabidiol (the chemical term for CBD) has shown clinical promise in reducing inflammation, but I had yet to try one that made a noticeable difference. The CBD serums and creams I tested didn’t cause flare-ups or adverse effects, but they also didn’t do much of anything. I was resigned to the fact that CBD beauty was just well-marketed hype until I stumbled upon the Saint Jane Luxury CBD Beauty Serum.

A few weeks ago, I went to my parents’ house (where they have AC) for the weekend. My skin was not in its best state with the weather being so hellishly hot, and hibernating in air conditioning sounded like heaven. Sadly, the combination of the humid outside air mixed with the moisture-wicking AC wreaked havoc on my already irate complexion. I ended up avoiding mirrors just so I wouldn’t have to look at the angry red patches that were quickly developing. After a few days went by with little improvement from my usual routine, I decided to see if anything else could help my situation. (This is the part of the story when things start looking up.)

With its chic black and gold packaging, Saint Jane’s serum instantly stood out to me, but the true test was for what lay inside. I was pleasantly surprised by how hydrating it felt when I squeezed a few droplets onto my chronically dry hands. I was completely mind-boggled by the results. A mere few minutes after slathering the rich, silky serum onto my skin, I looked in the mirror to find that the redness taking over my face had dialed down dramatically. In the days that followed, I didn’t use any other products with it; I simply applied it in the morning right after washing my face with a gentle cleanser and again at night. I marveled at how I woke up to instantly glowier, calmer-looking skin. My face tends to look much redder than my neck when it’s irritated, but a single application changed that. The texture on my cheeks had somehow evened out overnight—I have my fair share of over-the-counter products that impart good results, but none had ever alleviated my symptoms so quickly.

Kaleigh Fasanella

The State’s First 'Economic Empowerment’ Cannabis Shop Is Set To Open In Boston – WBUR

Dorchester native Kobie Evans and his business partner, Kevin Hart, both African American, were recently granted a provisional license to open Boston’s first recreational cannabis shop, in the neighborhood’s Grove Hall area.

Pure Oasis, the first marijuana store in Massachusetts to benefit from the Cannabis Control Commission’s (CCC) economic empowerment program, is expected to open by late October.

When Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, the state became the first in the nation to include a mandate prioritizing disenfranchised groups as a way to assist people disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

Evans and Hart, just friends at the time, were hanging out one afternoon talking about the barriers people of color and black men face in order to be successful in Massachusetts. This was at a time when the Boston Globe Spotlight Team had published a series on race that highlighted, among other things, data from a 2015 report finding that the median net worth for black American households in the Greater Boston region was $8, compared to $247,500 for whites in the same area.

Kobie Evans, left, and Kevin Hart are partners in Pure Oasis, which is set to be Boston's first recreational pot shop. (Courtesy of Mike Whittaker)Kobie Evans, left, and Kevin Hart are partners in Pure Oasis, which is set to be Boston’s first recreational pot shop. (Courtesy of Mike Whittaker)

Knowing how issues related to income inequality serve as a function of access to wealth-building business opportunities, the pair decided that they should take advantage of the social justice initiative in the marijuana legislation to access a potential gateway to closing the racial wealth divide they faced in the city as black men.

They began by researching the details of the long and complicated process involved in getting into the newly legalized cannabis industry. Three years later, they are the first applicants to receive provisional approval to open a recreational dispensary in Boston.

Having grown up in similar situations of poverty and racial and economic inequality, Evans and Hart qualified for the economic empowerment program.

Evans, a real estate agent, and Hart, a health care practice manager, both lived in areas with high rates of arrests related to marijuana. Evans grew up in Dorchester’s Uphams Corner neighborhood when the war on drugs began to wreak havoc on Boston’s communities of color through what most residents saw as racial discrimination by law enforcement.

“Growing up, I can visibly remember walking down the street and being slammed into a storefront by police, being asked for ID just because I was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Evans said. “This was normal for men of color in my neighborhood.

“Many of my peers faced the tough risk of selling drugs because of the lack of employment opportunities due to discriminatory practices. Many of the kids I grew up with ended up in jail, and some of them are still there.”

Hart, who now resides in Randolph, grew up in similar conditions in Baltimore and Virginia, where stop and frisk was the norm for black men.

Requirements for the state CCC’s social equity program include having a past drug conviction or being the spouse or child of someone with a drug conviction; or having lived in an “area of disproportionate impact” for at least five years; and having an income that doesn’t exceed 400% of the federal poverty level. Applicants must have resided in the state for at least 12 months.

A Costly Process

Although the program has made room for 123 social equity permits, the CCC has so far received only 10 applications. With a majority of economic empowerment applicants being small, local, minority-owned businesses, they are often at a disadvantage due to lack of financing options. Expenses just to apply for state business licenses can reach as high as $50,000 to $60,000.

“The process isn’t easy, and it would be a lot easier if we had a pile of money to hire a big lobbying firm to set up meetings with mayors, but that’s not the case,” Evans said. „Being the little guys makes the process difficult to impossible.”

Evans pointed out that financing the initial costs isn’t the only issue economic empowerment applicants face.

Another hurdle is the process to secure a Host Community Agreement (HCAs) from municipalities. “The hardest part of the process is the politics that are involved,” he said. State law requires applicants for marijuana business licenses to enter into agreements with host communities before the CCC will consider an application.

HCAs allow a municipality to collect a fee of up to 3% of a business’ gross sales for up to five years, so long as the fee is “reasonably related” to the impact of the marijuana establishment. Evans and marijuana advocacy groups alike contend that this is a botched portion of the law, as many of these agreements appear to go beyond the law, allowing for extra payments in the form of donations and extending the five-year timeline, which present additional obstacles for small businesses and economic empowerment applicants seeking to enter the cannabis business.

“The law was written with loopholes in the areas that were supposed to benefit people of color, making it harder for us in the end,” said Evans. “We want Massachusetts to be in favor of small, local, minority-owned companies, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.”

On Monday, there was a hearing at the State House about the barriers to entry the HCAs present for local small businesses.

Despite the many disadvantages, Evans and Hart encourage future and current cannabis entrepreneurs not to give up; circumstances under the law are always changing, they note. “When we first started off, lawmakers weren’t talking about marijuana cafes and delivery services,” said Evans. “Some of the new things they’re rolling out can sometimes change in your favor.”

The two plan to hire people from the community, including those with criminal records, in order to ensure that the community benefits economically from their shop. Pure Oasis, they say, will eventually become a business incubator providing technical assistance to community members interested in opening their own small businesses in the marijuana industry.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the name of the CCC equity program from which Pure Oasis received its provisional license. We regret the error.

This story was originally published by the Dorchester Reporter. WBUR and the Reporter have a partnership in which the news organizations share stories and resources to collaborate on stories.

This Is The Most Marijuana-Friendly Congress In History – Forbes

With the House and Senate heading into a month-long August recess this week, it’s a good time to look back at what lawmakers have accomplished so far this year when it comes to marijuana reform: It is unquestionable that the 116th Congress is the most cannabis-friendly Congress in history.

Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call


Seven months into the session, there have already been seven hearings on cannabis, a marijuana banking bill passed a key committee and the full House adopted a far-reaching amendment to block federal interference in state legalization laws. And those are just the highlights.

„Congress has never moved this far, this fast on marijuana policy, period,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said in an interview.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who has worked for decades to end marijuana prohibition, said that those „long overdue efforts to reform our outdated cannabis laws are finally resonating in Congress.”

„Bills to address policy failures in cannabis banking, veterans access, decriminalization and restorative justice have started moving through the legislative process,” he said.

Here’s a comprehensive rundown of the immense amount of cannabis progress made on Capitol Hill in 2019:

Votes On Marijuana Legislation

In June, the House of Representatives voted 267 to 165 to approve a measure for the first time that prevents the Department of Justice from spending money to intervene in the implementation of state and territory marijuana policies.

The body also approved, via an uncontested voice vote, a similar measure shielding the cannabis laws of Indian tribes as well as another adding the U.S. Virgin Islands to an existing law covering local medical marijuana programs. An additional amendment the House tacked onto the same bill directs the Food and Drug Administration to establish a process for regulating CBD in foods and dietary supplements.

Separate appropriations legislation that cleared the House in June contained language upon introduction to prohibit the Treasury Department from punishing banks for maintaining accounts for state-legal cannabis businesses. That legislation also deletes a longstanding rider that has blocked Washington, D.C. from spending its own local tax dollars to legalize and regulate marijuana sales. No lawmaker from either party attempted to completely strip the banking language or add the D.C. ban back in.

The Senate has not yet taken up its versions of these spending bills, so it remains to be seen if the chamber will support similar amendments during committee markups or floor consideration. In cases where the body does not adopt identical proposals, it will be up to bicameral conference committees to determine what makes it into final legislation sent to President Trump’s desk.

In July, the House passed via voice vote an amendment to end a Department of Veterans Affairs policy that denies home loans to military veterans because they work in the marijuana industry. The underlying bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), also contains a separate measure added in committee that would let military branches grant reenlistment waivers to personnel if they used marijuana once, or were convicted of a misdemeanor cannabis offense, while off duty. The Senate version of NDAA doesn’t have these marijuana riders, so it will come down to a conference committee to decide if they are included in the finished package.

In March, the House Financial Services Committee voted 45 to 15 to approve a bill to let banks service marijuana businesses without being punished by federal regulators.

Much of the progress on cannabis legislation so far this year is due to the fact that Democrats won control of the House and thereby replaced former Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX)—who lost his own reelection bid—with new Chairman James McGovern (D-MA). The panel is responsible for preparing legislation for floor action and, among other things, decides which amendments are allowed to be voted on by the full body. Under Sessions’s control, the GOP majority blocked every proposed cannabis measure from advancing for the past several years. McGovern has allowed nearly all marijuana amendments to be considered on the floor, with the exception of one that had technical issues in violation of House rules.

It is worth noting that it hasn’t been all legislative victories for drug reform activists this year on Capitol Hill. A measure that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) filed to remove roadblocks to research on the medical benefits of psilocybin, MDMA and other psychedelics was soundly defeated on the House floor, with a number of Democratic leaders joining the GOP in voting against it. And Blumenauer withdrew his own amendment to let Department of Veterans Affairs doctors issue medical cannabis recommendations after the administration pushed back against it. Planned committee votes on other veterans-focused marijuana legislation were canceled and haven’t yet been rescheduled.

And while supporters had anticipated a House floor vote on the cannabis banking bill prior to the August recess, that did not happen, and expectations have now shifted toward action in the fall.

Hearings On Cannabis Issues

An unprecedented number of hearings have already been held on Capitol Hill this year to zero in on specific issues caused by the growing gap between federal and state cannabis laws.

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing on financial services access for marijuana businesses on July 23—a surprise to advocates following the earlier refusal of Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) to commit to considering the issue while cannabis remains federally banned. While the event was poorly attended by panel Republicans, it at least signals the GOP-controlled body’s willingness to discuss key reforms. It is unknown if or when the committee will vote on pending marijuana banking legislation that is currently cosponsored by nearly a third of all senators.

The Senate Agriculture Committee convened a July 25 hearing on federal officials’ efforts to implement the legalization of hemp that was part of the 2018 Farm Bill signed into law by President Trump late last year. Among those who testified were representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.

On the House side, the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security gathered on July 10 for a hearing on the need to end cannabis prohibition at which every witness—including the one called by the panel’s minority Republicans—supported far-reaching federal marijuana reform. Lawmakers from both parties also broadly voiced support for ending or scaling back prohibition, with most disagreement centering on how to achieve change instead of whether changes are needed.

The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee held two hearings this year at which legislators discussed proposals to increase military veterans’ access to medical cannabis. During a full panel session in June as well as a separate earlier meeting of the Subcommittee on Health, a key focus was on bipartisan proposals to force the Department of Veterans Affairs to at least study medical marijuana.

Also in June, the House Small Business Committee discussed challenges facing firms in the cannabis industry, including a lack of access to federally backed low-interest loans.

In February, the House Financial Services Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee convened to discuss banking access issues for marijuana businesses, a hearing that preceded full committee passage of legislation on the issue.

Marijuana Bills From Key Sponsors

No fewer than 61 individual cannabis-focused bills have been filed in the first seven months of the 116th Congress, and that doesn’t count a number of broader large-scale bills that happen to contain cannabis provisions. Beyond the sheer volume of legislation—already nearly the most in any single two-year Congress despite the fact that barely a quarter of the current one has so far elapsed—the names of the lead sponsors signal how seriously cannabis reform is now being taken on Capitol Hill

From committee chairs to presidential candidates, many of the most serious players in the House and Senate are stepping up to play leadership roles in the fight to reform federal marijuana laws.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who strongly influences crime and drug policy as House Judiciary Committee chair, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential contender, teamed up to file companion bills that would not only federally legalize marijuana but invest in programs aimed at repairing some of the damage of the war on drugs.

House Small Business Committee Chair Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) introduced legislation to let marijuana firms utilize loans and other programs from the Small Business Administration and to increase the cannabis industry’s access to insurance coverage.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) filed bills to deschedule cannabis and set aside funding to support expunging prior convictions.

Every Democratic senator and representative currently running for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination has signed onto far-reaching cannabis legislation, with some taking extra initiative as the lead sponsors of bills.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), for example, filed a proposal called the Marijuana Justice Act, which would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and punish states with discriminatory prohibition enforcement by withholding certain federal funds. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is a lead sponsor of bipartisan legislation to exempt state-legal marijuana activity from the CSA. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) filed bills to deschedule marijuana and to research hemp’s potential uses for everything from products for public school lunches to clearing contaminants from nuclear sites.

Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MI) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), as well as Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Tim Ryan (D-OH)—all also presidential candidates—have signed onto cannabis reform proposals.

While Democrats have been much more likely to introduce or cosponsor marijuana reform bills so far this Congress, some measures have garnered significant bipartisan support.

Legislation to let banks serve cannabis businesses without fear of being punished by federal regulators, for example, has 206 House cosponsors—nearly half the chamber’s entire membership—including 26 Republicans. A companion Senate bill has 31 lawmakers signed on, including five GOP senators. And Warren’s bill, known as the STATES Act, also has five Republican cosponsors, with the companion House version touting 19 GOP signers.

Report Language On Cannabis

Beyond advancing legislation containing marijuana reform provisions, the House Appropriations Committee has included language directing federal agencies to take action on cannabis issues in several reports attached to spending bills this year.

In a document corresponding to legislation to fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, the panel expressed concern that cannabis’s current federal classification impedes science, writing that „restrictions associated with Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act effectively limit the amount and type of research that can be conducted on certain Schedule I drugs, especially marijuana or its component chemicals and new synthetic drugs and analogs.”

“At a time when we need as much information as possible about these drugs to find antidotes for their harmful effects, we should be lowering regulatory and other barriers to conducting this research,” the panel said, directing the National Institute on Drug Abuse to “provide a short report on the barriers to research that result from the classification of drugs and compounds as Schedule I substances.”

A separate report for legislation funding the Department of Justice urges the Drug Enforcement Administration to „expeditiously process any pending applications for authorization to produce marijuana exclusively for use in medical research,” expressing frustration that the federal government has so far not acted on more than two dozen pending proposals to grow cannabis for scientific studies.

A document attached to the Financial Services and General Government spending bill encourages the Office of Personnel Management to „review its policies and guidelines regarding hiring and firing of individuals who use marijuana in states where that individual’s private use of marijuana is not prohibited under the law of the State.”

„These policies should reflect updated changes to the law on marijuana usage and clearly state the impact of marijuana usage on Federal employment,” the report says.

Legislation on Agriculture, Rural Development and Food and Drug Administration funding has an attached report urging federal officials to issue hemp legalization regulations „as soon as possible” and identify “lawful federal regulatory pathways for CBD foods and dietary supplements if such pathways are consistent with protection of the public health.”

The committee also included a passage in the report attached to a bill funding the Department of Veterans Affairs decrying the „Department’s denial of home loan guarantees to Veterans solely on the basis of the Veteran’s documented income being derived from state-legalized cannabis activities” and directing it to provide an update on efforts to „prioritize investments in research on the efficacy and safety of cannabis usage among the Veteran population for medicinal purposes.”

Looking Ahead

There’s still nearly a year and a half left to go in the 116th Congress, and legalization advocates are hopeful that far-reaching reforms can pass one or both chambers, potentially making it to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

Michael Collins, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, said that things are „off to a great start in the House,” calling the Judiciary Committee hearing and the introduction of its chairman’s bill „highlights” so far.

„But there is so much more to be done before we can celebrate undoing the horror that is marijuana prohibition,” he added.

Most immediately, activists will be watching to see if the House moves to pass cannabis banking legislation and potentially Judiciary Chair Nadler’s comprehensive marijuana reform bill when Congress returns from the August recess this fall.

Blumenauer, the pro-legalization congressman, said that he hopes the body will consider Nadler’s descheduling legislation „before the end of the year.”

„This is our blueprint in action, and I expect our momentum to continue,” he said, referring to a memo he issued to Democratic leaders last year laying out a committee-by-committee process through which the the party could build support toward ending cannabis prohibition in 2019.

On the other side of the Capitol, it remains to be seen whether the Senate Banking Committee will take up that chamber’s version of the cannabis financial services proposal following the hearing the panel held in July, or whether broader reforms such as the STATES Act or other marijuana legislation will be allowed to advance under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

While bill introductions, hearings and report language are undoubtedly positive steps forward—especially in a quantity never before seen on Capitol Hill—they in and of themselves don’t change any laws, get anyone out of jail or repair the harms of the drug war.

Strekal, of NORML, said that „lawmakers are increasingly playing catch up with their constituents.”

„It’s our job as advocates to ensure that, as these elected officials evolve, they navigate their positions towards sound public policy, not simple political expediency,” he said.

But even if no other marijuana action were to happen on Capitol Hill this or next year—as unlikely as that would be— it is clear that the 116th Congress has already been the most marijuana friendly in history.

Best Quality CBD Gummies for Wellness – Boing Boing

Boing Boing is proudly sponsored by Sugar and Kush!

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Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Unlike the more well-known cannabinoid THC that gets you “high,” CBD can be extracted from industrial hemp, which is legal nationwide under the Hemp Farming Act included in the 2018 Farm Bill.

The science is developing, but people use CBD widely with claims that it acts as an anticonvulsant, analgesic, anxiolytic and a gentle sleep aid. With and without the presence of other cannabinoids, CBD is used to help with PMS, and as a support for focus, and against anxiety.

Pet owners are now dosing their pets with veterinary formulations of CBD to calm them down during thunderstorms or when traveling. (Editor’s Note: DO NOT GIVE YOUR PETS THC, or CBD products that are formulated for humans. Talk to your veterinarian first.)

If you want to find the best quality CBD gummies, oil, vape or edibles though… good luck. The market is flooded with junk.

Unhealthy CBD Products

If you take a look at the vast variety of CBD products available on the market now, it’s difficult to rationalize how you could think of most of them as health and wellness products. The market is full of CBD infused candies packed with sugar more suited for a trick-or-treat bag than an item you might find in a medicine cabinet. You’ll find hard candies, jelly beans and chocolate bars full of CBD, a veritable candy store.

Unregulated CBD Industry

Then there is the fact that the CBD industry still isn’t regulated. Increasingly, science tells us that bottles of CBD oil, edibles and vapes often don’t even contain the quantity of CBD the labels claim, if they contain any CBD at all. Some products that claim not to contain THC do contain THC, which can cause people to get arrested or lose their jobs.

Responsible companies are paying third-party lab testing companies to prove their products are what they claim, but many companies don’t bother to pay for third-party verification simply because there is no regulatory body forcing them to. How can anyone trust an industry that continuously cuts corners or does not grasp that a wellness product should also be a healthy product? The large volume of unhealthy CBD products eliminates an entire consumer base that struggles with severe medical conditions and need to follow strict diets. Those individuals are the ones that may benefit the most from the medicinal properties of CBD.

Pure Unflavored CBD Oil

For the most part, the only CBD products available that anyone with a severe medical condition is likely to consider is a pure unflavored CBD oil. Most doctors are not going to recommend you use your lungs as a delivery system for anything, especially if you already struggle with a medical condition, which eliminates CBD vape pens. That means patients can drip an oil that tastes like hemp, which frankly just does not taste all that good, under their tongue or swallow it. An unflavored hemp oil goes well in most any food though, so there certainly are ways to disguise the taste and make healthy food with CBD at home. If your diet is geared towards trying to get your body to transition into ketogenesis, a process where the body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates, making keto CBD edibles should not be a problem with a pure CBD oil. There are ways of flavoring products to help improve their taste without compromising on health. It would be logical for CBD companies to focus on those sorts of flavoring methods.

Best Carrier Oils for Bioavailability

Something else to consider when shopping for the best CBD products is the oil used. Some oils are better for carrying CBD through the body than others. Bioavailability is how much CBD can be absorbed into the body to truly give it a chance to soothe pains and stress. Traditional olive oil works well enough, but its thickness makes metabolizing it more difficult and reduces bioavailability relative to a thinner oil. The general consensus is that an MCT oil is the best sort of carrier for CBD. An MCT oil derived from coconuts seems to be the best one with a hint of coconut flavor that most people seem to like.

Laura Brenner and Sugar & Kush CBD

Laura Brenner had stage 3 ovarian cancer in her early 30s. She adopted a lifestyle focused on healthy foods and exercise, in which hemp oil played an important role. Laura read about how people helped their bodies battle cancer, and how cannabis is said to help people de-stress, and get a better night’s sleep. She transformed her kitchen into a laboratory and made hemp oil. She believes hemp oil played a major role in giving her body the strength it needed to eradicate the disease, and she was inspired to create a CBD product for people who really need it. That is why she started Sugar and Kush CBD. Her products are designed to be safe for diabetics, people who have gluten allergies, and people just focused on their overall health and wellness.</>


In your search for the best quality CBD gummies or oils, bear in mind that you need to do your homework. A growing number of consumers are purchasing their CBD products online, since most convenience or grocery stores are not going to provide a certificate of analysis. A CBD product sold in a dispensary may have THC in it, as the CBD may be extracted from the drug-type cannabis plant instead of industrial hemp. If you are looking to avoid failing a drug test or getting high, then you want to avoid anything with THC. Look for a certificate of analysis from a third-party lab to verify that the product actually contains CBD and the amount of milligrams found on the label. If you are going to add CBD into your daily regimen along with your vitamins and supplements, make it healthy. You don’t need CBD products giving you cavities or making your triglyceride count leap up on the results of your next blood work. Also, determine what sort of oil the CBD has been infused into so you can get the most out of your CBD dosages. In general, you don’t want to trade in your overall health for the analgesic and anxiolytic properties of CBD.

FDA warn company about illegally marketing CBD products – Medical News Today

Curaleaf has recently come under fire from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for selling „unapproved” cannabidiol products and making „unsubstantiated claims” about their health benefits. The FDA have issued a letter informing the company that failure to correct the violations may result in legal action.
hemp oil
The FDA warn that many companies illegally sell and advertise CBD products as cures for serious health conditions.

The existing research on the health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), an active ingredient in cannabis, has so far yielded mixed results.

For instance, some studies have found that CBD consumption may lower the risk of bladder cancer but raise that of prostate cancer.

When it comes to using CBD as a treatment for cancer, there haven’t been enough clinical trials or studies in humans to prove that the extract has such a benefit, though some molecular experiments and studies in mice have suggested that the compound could inhibit tumor growth.

However, insufficient evidence of the therapeutic benefits of CBD hasn’t stopped some companies from marketing CBD products as „effective” in the treatment of cancer, chronic pain, and Alzheimer’s disease.

One such company is Curaleaf, which presents itself as a „leading […] medical and wellness cannabis operator in the United States.” The company sells a host of „medical-grade” cannabis products in various strains and concentrations.

The FDA have recently issued a letter, warning the company that they are illegally selling CBD products under the misleading claim that they can „prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure serious diseases.”

The FDA have published the letter in full on their website.

Consumers 'beware’ of CBD products

Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless comments on the necessity of the FDA warning.

He says, „Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims — such as claims that CBD products can treat serious diseases and conditions — can put patients and consumers at risk by leading them to put off important medical care.”

„Additionally, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, effectiveness, and quality of unapproved products containing CBD,” continues Dr. Sharpless.

According to the FDA, the therapeutic claims made by Curaleaf are that their CBD products „treat cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, opioid withdrawal, pain, and pet anxiety,” among other conditions.

The FDA warning letter includes some examples of such misleading claims:

  • „CBD has been demonstrated to have properties that counteract the growth of [and/or] spread of cancer.”
  • „CBD has been linked to the effective treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.”
  • „CBD has also been shown to be effective in treating Parkinson’s disease.”
  • „What are the benefits of CBD oil? […] Some of the most researched and well supported hemp oil uses include […] anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, and even schizophrenia, […] chronic pain from fibromyalgia, slipped spinal disks, […] eating disorders, and addiction.”

The acting FDA commissioner warns that companies such as Curaleaf „deceive consumers and put them at risk by illegally selling products marketed for therapeutic uses for which they are not approved.”

Consumers should beware of purchasing or using any such products.”

Dr. Ned Sharpless

As a result of such misleading claims, caution the agency, consumers may fail to get proper medical care and diagnoses. The FDA urge people to seek professional healthcare and advice to best treat serious illness.

The agency further warn that if Curaleaf fail to respond to their letter within 15 working days, clearly saying how they plan to correct these violations, the FDA may pursue legal action, such as seizing Curaleaf products and placing an injunction on the company.

Illinois legal marijuana law sponsor’s wife takes job with cannabis company – Crain’s Chicago Business

The wife of one of the architects of Illinois’ new law legalizing recreational marijuana has landed a big job with an Elmhurst-based cannabis company.

Revolution Florida, a sister company of Illinois-based marijuana grower and dispensary Revolution Enterprises, named Candace Gingrich vice president and head of business development for the firm’s newly expanded operations in the Sunshine State.

Gingrich is a national LGBTQ activist and half-sister of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. She’s also the wife of Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat who was chief House sponsor of the cannabis bill that passed earlier this year.

In a statement, Revolution said Gingrich will “help lead the company’s expansion to Florida” but also serve as the firm’s “ambassador” to the LGBTQ community. “Candace’s skill sets in creating partnerships, marketing and advocacy, and our shared passion for social equity, made Candace a natural choice,” said CEO Mark de Souza.

Cassidy said in a phone interview she sees no conflict of interest in her spouse accepting the post, and rejected the notion that the job appears like a reward for services rendered.

“I sought an ethics opinion and got it cleared” by the House ethics officer, Cassidy said. Beyond that, she added, Revolution “has gone above and beyond to make sure Candace had no role in Illinois, just to cover appearances.”

Cassidy noted she’s been working on legal pot since she arrived in the General Assembly in 2011. She and Gingrich were married two years ago.

Cassidy said Gingrich will commute to Florida on occasion but continue to spend much time here.

Noon update: A spokeswoman for Revolution Enterprises says Gingrich will receive no stock options and no profit share, only her salary, and emphasizes her work will be for the Florida sister company and not the Illinois parent. 

But a company statement notes that, per state law, the legal limit on Gingrich working for the Illinois company will lift after two years. That’s how long the new law bans lawmakers and their family members from holding a financial interest in an Illinois cannabis license-holder.

And for those who might want to know how much Gingrich is making: „Revolution never discloses employee salaries,” says the spokeswoman. 

I’ve got calls into Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan and GOP House Leader Jim Durkin to see if they’d like to comment on the matter. No response yet. Madigan voted for the measure; Durkin voted against.