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A Beginner’s Guide to Functional Mushrooms and CBD – Thrillist

Mushrooms are having a moment. Well, perhaps much more than a moment. Foraging for fungi is an ever-popular pastime. As more folks go meat-less, they’re turning to the little forest sprouts for sustenance. We’re even seeing them in cocktails. And as states and cities decriminalized psilocybin, the psychedelic compound naturally produced by hundreds of fungi, more people are learning how they might benefit from hallucinogenic therapy.

In the wellness world, functional mushrooms are showing up everywhere.​ This group of 15 ’shrooms within the estimated 2,000 edible species are recognized to have health benefits beyond nutrition and are non-psychedelic, akin to how CBD is to weed. Instead of replacing CBD as the wellness ingredient of the moment, though, functional mushrooms are joining them in the latest products made to help us feel better, naturally.

The way CBD interacts with the receptors in our bodies’ endocannabinoid systems supports every kind of body function. The endocannabinoid system communicates to our circadian rhythms, appetite, nervous systems, and immune system.

Functional mushrooms work in a similar way and have been used for thousands of years throughout Traditional Chinese Medicine for a variety of targeted uses and general support of immune, respiratory, and cardiovascular health.

As with all supplements or vitamins, it’s recommended to talk to your doctor and do your own research before incorporating these herbs with your usual health regimens. Once you have, here’s a guide to what functional mushrooms can do for you and the best products to try.

Five States to Vote on Legal Cannabis: Ballots & Boundaries | Bloomberg Government – Bloomberg Government


Maybe call it the low-hanging dope principle: It has become tougher for marijuana legalization backers to get their proposals in front of voters, either because the states where cannabis is still illegal have more qualification requirements, unsympathetic public officials, or both.

As NORML’s state policy manager Jax James put it: “We’re getting into the more meaty part of the work.”

And meaty can mean expensive.

A recreational legalization measure made it onto the November ballot in Missouri (Amendment 3) as campaigners raised over $3.7 million, according to the campaign finance tracking website OpenSecrets.org.

Adjusted for inflation, the per-signature cost worked out to being almost seven times higher than the $2.46 per name spent in Colorado in 2012, and three times what California advocates spent to gather weed legalization signatures in 2016, according to Ballotpedia.

The other cannabis questions on this year’s ballot:

  • Arkansas’s (Issue 4) seeks to let 21-year-olds buy marijuana and allow the state to collect a 10% tax on it. That state’s Supreme Court ordered it to go before voters after the board of election commissioners tried to keep it off.
  • The North Dakota initiative lets adults 21 and older own an ounce of the drug or three plants.
  • South Dakotans will again vote on legalizing cannabis and related paraphernalia this fall after the successful 2020 initiative was thrown out in court (Initiated Measure 27).
  • Marylanders will vote on a proposed constitutional amendment (Question 4) to legalize marijuana and direct the Legislature to pass further legislation to create a regulated market.

Meanwhile, bureaucracy worked against initiative proponents in two states.

The campaign for Oklahoma’s legalization measure (State Question 820) missed an Aug. 26 ballot-preparation deadline due to an unusually slow signature count, making it ineligible for the 2022 ballot, the state Supreme Court ruled last week.

And backers of Nebraska’s medical marijuana proposal say they missed a 10-day window to challenge the initiative’s signature count because it took too long. —Tiffany Stecker

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Razor’s Edge Races

The latest in our series spotlighting close congressional contests after redistricting changes.
Today: California’s 22nd District
Where Is It? Central Valley. The district includes most of Kern and Kings Counties and part of Tulare County.
Who Drew It? California’s independent redistricting commission.
2020 Presidential Vote: Joe Biden 55%, Donald Trump 42%
Demographics: 74% Hispanic, 16% White, 4% Black, 4% Asian
Cook Political Report Rating: Toss-Up
Nominees: Rep. David Valadao (R), Rudy Salas (D)

Source: California Citizens Redistricting Commission

What to Watch: Re-electing Valadao is a top priority of House GOP brass led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who’s from a neighboring district. They breathed a sigh of relief when Valadao narrowly advanced in the June primary despite voting to impeach Donald Trump over Jan. 6, 2021; Valadao and Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) are the only Republicans on the Nov. 8 general election ballot who voted to impeach the ex-president. Valadao also bucked most Republicans in voting for Democratic immigration measures like the Dream Act. After redistricting, about 45% of the people in the 22nd District aren’t Valadao’s current constituents. The changes increased Biden’s margin of victory in the district to 12.9 percentage points from 10.9 points in 2020. Salas is a five-term California assemblyman and former Bakersfield city councilman who’s cultivated an image as a pro-business Democrat.
Next edition: Ohio’s 1st Congressional District

Caught Our Eye

  • Supreme Court Preview: A Voting Rights Act dispute could lead to fewer districts where racial minorities stand a strong chance of winning. (Bloomberg News/Greg Stohr)
  • After tabulator breaches, Michigan working to ensure vote system security (Bridge Michigan)
  • Voters divided amid intense fight for control of Congress (Washington Post)

Resources

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To contact the reporters on this story: Tiffany Stecker in Sacramento, Calif. at tstecker@bgov.com; Greg Giroux in Washington at ggiroux@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Katherine Rizzo at krizzo@bgov.com

Functional CBD Mushrooms Guide and Products to Try – Thrillist

Mushrooms are having a moment. Well, perhaps much more than a moment. Foraging for fungi is an ever-popular pastime. As more folks go meat-less, they’re turning to the little forest sprouts for sustenance. We’re even seeing them in cocktails. And as states and cities decriminalized psilocybin, the psychedelic compound naturally produced by hundreds of fungi, more people are learning how they might benefit from hallucinogenic therapy.

In the wellness world, functional mushrooms are showing up everywhere.​ This group of 15 ’shrooms within the estimated 2,000 edible species are recognized to have health benefits beyond nutrition and are non-psychedelic, akin to how CBD is to weed. Instead of replacing CBD as the wellness ingredient of the moment, though, functional mushrooms are joining them in the latest products made to help us feel better, naturally.

The way CBD interacts with the receptors in our bodies’ endocannabinoid systems supports every kind of body function. The endocannabinoid system communicates to our circadian rhythms, appetite, nervous systems, and immune system.

Functional mushrooms work in a similar way and have been used for thousands of years throughout Traditional Chinese Medicine for a variety of targeted uses and general support of immune, respiratory, and cardiovascular health.

As with all supplements or vitamins, it’s recommended to talk to your doctor and do your own research before incorporating these herbs with your usual health regimens. Once you have, here’s a guide to what functional mushrooms can do for you and the best products to try.

Mental wellbeing and alcohol moderation will drive the next phase of growth in functional beverages, predicts Recess CEO – FoodNavigator-USA.com

Mental wellbeing and alcohol moderation will drive the next phase of growth in functional beverages, predicts Recess CEO


Recess​ launched in 2018 with CBD-infused beverages​,​ and says it remains “the clear leader in the CBD beverage category​” with distribution in CBD-friendly states across the country.

However, founder and CEO Ben Witte has been clear from the start that he is “building a brand, not marketing an ingredient,​​​​ and says the CBD-free Recess Mood line ​– launched in 2020 – now accounts for 40% of the business and is on course to generate “well over 50% of sales​” by the end of 2022.

‘We see this as a broader relaxation category with multiple subcategories for us to play in

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA after launching three new Recess Mood flavors and picking up distribution at 1,000 Albertsons stores under multiple banners including Safeway, Albertsons, Pavillions, Shaw’s, and Kings, Witte said he had also secured additional listings in CVS, and struck deals with Fresh Thyme and the airport channel via OTG, with additional authorizations expected.  

The new Mood flavors – which come with a reduced retail price of $3.49 (down from $3.99) – will hit shelves in October, said Witte, who said the brand taps into the key trends of “mental wellbeing and alcohol moderation… we see this as a broader relaxation category with multiple subcategories for us to play in.

Instead of positioning ourselves as a CBD beverage brand, we focused on establishing the usage occasion of ‘taking a Recess’ and developing a leading lifestyle brand focused on marketing a feeling: calm, cool, collected.”

As for the pricing reduction, he said: “We’ve done a lot of work on COGS (cost of goods sold) optimization while still maintaining quality, so we’ve moved to larger co-packers and we’ve got economies of scale. Transportation costs and tolling fees have also stabilized a bit.”

‘We’re developing a leading lifestyle brand focused on marketing a feeling: calm, cool, collected’

He added: “When we talk to retailers, they see alcohol moderation as this mega trend and see the trend of consumers prioritizing their mental wellness, which is going to impact many parts of the store in many categories.

“We’re seeing velocities for Recess Mood on par if not stronger than our CBD line, and it’s filling a consumer need for retailers that can’t bring in CBD. There are also multiple ingredients here that we can utilize around mood and relaxation, whether it’s CBD magnesium, adaptogens, nootropics and so on, and these functional ingredients are going to be combined in different ways.”

Recess products typically sit in the functional beverage sets along with kombucha and other gut health drinks, energy drinks and other better-for-your beverages, said Witte: “Kombucha is over-spaced, so we see drinks like Recess that are offering a proposition around mental wellness are taking space from kombucha, although every retailer is different.”

Formulation: ‘Not tired, not wired…’

Depending on the flavor, the Recess Mood line contains combinations of magnesium-l-threonate* and botanicals such as l-theanine, lemon balm, and American ginseng, which are all associated in consumers’ minds with calm and relaxation, said Witte, who says fans of the brand cite multiple usage occasions from a morning beverage to start the day on the right note, an afternoon moment of calm, after work to decompress, or as an alcohol alternative.

Recess – which is careful not to make any hard claims on pack, and uses fairly woolly phrases such as “to get you to the place you want to be” ​and „adaptogens to help maintain balance” – ​does not list the amounts of magnesium or botanicals in its Recess Mood line, but Witte insists it is using meaningful amounts that deliver a discernable effect for most consumers.

“We’re not just sprinkling it in as we think it’s very important that people are able to feel something when they drink our products and we have 1,000s of testimonials to support that, although people react to functional ingredients differently.”

Recess_Mood-sept22

The new Recess Mood Flavors are Raspberry Lemon, Grapefruit Tangerine, and Lime Citrus, which will join Strawberry Rose, the brand’s top selling SKU. To further differentiate its two product lines (Recess, and Recess Mood), Recess is also phasing out the three Mood flavors that also exist within the Recess CBD lineup: Peach Ginger Mood, Blood Orange Mood, and Black Cherry Mood. Image credit: Recess

CBD: ‘You’re operating in a constrained addressable market with a patchwork of state-based regulations’​

The original Recess products – infused with a combination of botanicals and 10mg of CBD from a broad spectrum hemp extract – are continuing to do well, although the regulatory uncertainty at a federal level has held back many major retailers from entering the market, said Witte.

We see both product lines coexisting, and we do see a lot of momentum on the CBD side of the business. We now have 24 states that have passed state-based regulations of some kind​​ [permitting the sale of CBD-infused foods or supplements] and that is causing some mainstream retailers like Sprouts and Wegmans to build out the category.​​

“Large alcohol distributors like Southern Glazer’s, Breakthru Beverage Group and RNDC have gotten into the space over the past year, but it’s definitely an unusual business situation to navigate because you’re operating in a constrained addressable market with a patchwork of state-based regulations and I do think you will see a lot of brands not be able to make it to the other side, and I think we’re still some time away from Target, Whole foods or Walmart from carrying CBD beverages.”

Asked about the CBD beverage landscape, he said:It’s been pretty wild. Since we launched, there’s probably been 100 CBD beverage brands that have launched, but not very many have built a very geographically distributed footprint. If you look at just measured channels, we’re 50% bigger than the number two brand, and that doesn’t take into account independent accounts such as New York City bodegas and liquor stores where we have a really large business, as well as our e-commerce business.”

’We’re not competing with LaCroix’

Quizzed about the challenges of selling premium beverages to consumers with constrained budgets in a period of rampant inflation, beverages such as Recess “are not competing with LaCroix​​,” pointed out Witte.

“When people drink a can of Recess they’re drinking it instead of alcohol or cold brew coffee or kombucha, and interest in the proposition that CBD offers – helping people feel calm and balanced and relaxed – is only accelerating, if anything.”​​

‘There was this kind of Gold Rush mentality and everyone became a hemp farmer and a CBD extractor’​

So what is happening on the supply side?

When the 2018 Farm Bill passed​​​, which removed industrial hemp from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act but did not suddenly make CBD and other cannabinoids legal in foods, beverages and supplements, “there was this kind of Gold Rush mentality and everyone became a hemp farmer and a CBD extractor,” ​​says Witte.

“And basically the supply got ahead of the retail addressable market and prices came down.”

Looking ahead, he added: “We continue to see a lot of activity in Congress, which is fed up with the FDA’s inaction in creating a national regulatory framework as you can see in a recent letter​ written to the FDA by the sponsors of the CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act​. We still believe it’s a question of when, not if, the FDA acts.”

*Some animal studies show magnesium-l-threonate is more effective at increasing magnesium ions in the brain and improving cognitive function than magnesium sulfate.

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It’s Claudia Winkelman 1 David Beckham 0 in battle of the CBD brands – The Grocer

Cellular Goods had luck on its side when football celebrity David Beckham invested a stake in the CBD brand.

While myriad competitors were struggling to get noticed in the nascent CBD category, it was fantastic publicity for the brand. And a 13-times oversubscribed IPO in February 2021 raised £13m. It seemed ‘Golden Balls’ had struck again as, within hours, the share price soared by 300% over its initial £25m valuation. 

But luck never holds forever. By the end of last year the share price had fallen from its 20p high back to near its 5p starting point as losses mounted. It’s been pretty much downhill ever since. And the final straw was when the Food Standards Agency effectively told Cellular back in April to stop trading its ingestible CBD product, becoming the headline casualty of the new novel foods regulations for the category. 

It’s a cautionary tale not just on the perils of investment but on the particular challenge of the CBD category – one that offers such enormous potential, but also has had so many regulatory hurdles to overcome. 

But there are secret opportunities inside every failure, and this week fellow CBD player Cannaray announced a reverse takeover into Cellular Goods that instantly propels it on to the stock market. 

Having secured millions in investment, and the backing of TV’s Claudia Winkleman to spearhead its marketing, Cannaray’s plans for an IPO shortly after its 2019 launch appeared to be scotched by the pandemic. But the takeover gives it a public platform that would have been impossible with a conventional IPO, with flotations as rare as hen’s teeth in the current volatile market.

With the deal valued at £18.6m for Cannaray shareholders – some £4.4m of which is an expected earnout due in a year – it is well short of the “north of £100m” post-IPO valuation the company had mentiond in early 2020 as its target. Even so, it’s a milestone for the company, as well as the CBD market more broadly.

As outgoing chairman Clive Sharpe says: “Everybody is looking for how to realise the opportunity in the CBD sector, because there’s endless potential, but you need scale and good management teams to do it.”

He’s not alone in this thinking. Last week Tenacious Labs, a CBD company that is pressing the government to adopt more business-friendly cannabis regulation, named Bill Oldham as chair to lead a “build and buy strategy” across M&A.

Oldham “is a highly experienced operator with considerable expertise scaling up consumer brands around the world”, said Tenacious Labs CEO Nicholas Morland. “With his knowledge, expertise and network of contacts, we believe he will be critical in accelerating our growth in the months ahead.”

Tenacious Labs has already begun this strategy with the purchase of CBD petcare brand Rover’s Wellness in August. This followed two other acquisitions since Tenacious’s launch, the company having previously bought female-focused CBD brand Press Pause and white-label manufacturer SZM, which now operates as TL Manufacturing.

Taken together, these two plays show an appetite for consolidation in the CBD market, especially given much-needed clarity from the FSA over the novel foods process following a chaotic inception.

It also shows the UK is in an attractive position to host any consolidation. With its respected legal frameworks, sizeable pharma industry and the CBD novel foods regime, it’s an opportunity that business and our growth-obsessed new government would be advised to grab with both hands. 

CCELL Develops Partnership with Dutch Botanicals to Initiate Live Rosin R&D Project – PR Newswire

SHENZHEN, China, Sept. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — CCELL®, the world’s leading technology brand focused on creating trendsetting vape hardware products and advanced vaporization technology, announced today that it has formed a partnership with Dutch Botanicals, one of the top living soil cultivation and extraction technology companies specializing in solventless live rosin processing in Colorado, to develop an initiative to further the research and development of live rosin vaporizer cartridges.

Live rosin is a solventless cannabis concentrate, extracted via filtered ice and water, with heat and pressure completing the process. For this initiative, Dutch Botanicals will fill CCELL’s high-quality 510 cartridges with expertly formulated live rosin concentrate made with trichome and terpene-rich cannabis plants to provide consumers with the safest and best vaping experience possible. COOKIES will sell these products at its retail locations in Colorado and analyze consumer purchasing trends to better understand how people consume live rosin for vaping. Recently Dutch Botanicals’ Grumpz Living Soil Live Rosin Cart received Third Place Award in the „Non-Distillate Vape Pens” category at the 2022 Colorado High Times Cannabis Cup.

„We are excited about this partnership because it allows us to work with leading brands to educate consumers that CCELL’s cartridges, which utilize revolutionary ceramic heating elements, can be used with a wide-range of oils including live rosin,” said Brad Li, Global Chief Commercial Officer at CCELL®. „It is our mission to stay ahead of industry trends and continue to innovate atomization technology and vaporization products.”

„Living soil live rosin is one of the best combinations of organically grown cannabis and solventless extraction, as it preserves and presents cannabis terpenes as naturally as possible,” added Jenny Tran, CEO of Dutch Botanicals. „Dutch Botanicals is proud to partner with CCELL® and COOKIES to offer more consumers a high-quality live rosin vaping experience.”

„We are excited to carry DB products in our Colorado Cookies stores and happy the batteries are catching up to the quality of the product to not burn the product,” said Daniel Firtel, Co-Founder and President of TRP.

About CCELL®

CCELL® is a technology brand and global innovator in the portable vaporizer space that revolutionized the industry by introducing the ceramic heating component. CCELL® was born in the headquarters of Shenzhen Smoore Technology Limited, which has more than 10 years of expertise in the vaporization industry. With advanced R&D resources, patented technologies, strong production capability, and reliable quality control systems, CCELL® is recognized around the world for its exceptional vaporization technology and top-quality devices.

Learn more about CCELL® at www.ccell.com as well as on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About Dutch Botanicals

Dutch Botanicals is a Colorado-based, REC licensed cultivation and processing company focused on living soil organic cultivation, live rosin, and live rosin cartridge development. Dutch Botanicals believes that managing the soil with scientific methods is imperative to its ultimate success. The company is guided by its passion for producing products of the highest quality, worthy of the extraordinary endowment gifted to their plants by their soil.

Learn more about Dutch Botanicals at www.dutchbotanicals.com as well as on Instagram.

About TRP

Founded in 2019, TRP is a retail, cultivation, and distribution platform purpose-built to solve the challenges of regulated cannabis. TRP combines decades of investment, legal, regulatory, and real estate experience with know-how from long-standing cannabis operators. TRP’s operations cover 14 states and 2 countries, and exclusively produce and sell the most recognized cannabis brands in the world including Cookies, Dr. Greenthumb’s, Insane, and more. (www.trp.co)

SOURCE CCELL

Germany Versus The United States: Which Will Legalize Cannabis First? – Forbes

For years, Americans have been trying to predict how the U.S. federal government would respond to the proliferation of state-level cannabis legalization. Early on, we wondered whether the federal government would preempt early adopting states’ efforts to legalize adult use of cannabis, which didn’t happen as a majority of states have now legalized cannabis in some form. As states continued to jump on board the adult-use trend, we wondered whether the federal government, in an effort not to be outdone by states, would then be motivated to federally legalize cannabis. However, the opposite happened— what little guidance the Obama-era Department of Justice provided was ultimately reversed during the Trump Administration.

So, here we are, in a state vs. federal limbo in the U.S. regarding cannabis. And, despite renewed enthusiasm in a federal legalization after Democrats won the White House and both chambers of Congress, cannabis reform legislation has yet to make it to President Biden’s desk.

Now, the focus of reform has shifted to the likelihood of slow, federal “semi-legalization” through incremental change in the form of legislation providing safe harbor for cannabis banking and research, absent full legalization. Federal half-measures recognizing existing state legal industries, if you will.

However, the importance of passing a more contemporary federal policy on cannabis in the United States is more prevalent than ever. During this long period of wide-ranging speculation over federal legalization, more than 30 states have adopted medical and/or adult-use cannabis programs, while both Canada and Uruguay have legalized adult-use cannabis at the federal level.

Governments around the world are contemplating their path forward for legalization due to the perception that public health and safety can be better served by public-private regulatory partnerships based on product safety and scientific research. Europe is of particular interest on this front, as countries across the continent have adopted medical-use policies, with Germany seeking adult-use legalization in the near future.

Why take the time to compare trajectories for federal legalization between, say, the U.S. and Germany? For starters, it’s fun, but also because Europe is a large market that lacks a large market presence for cannabis. According to one report from Prohibition Partners, the European market is set to grow from €230.7 million in 2020 to more than €3 billion in 2025, with Germany itself set to compose more than half of that market until 2024.

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With Germany likely to play a pivotal role in the trajectory of the European cannabis model, it’s worth examining both the tailwinds and headwinds facing legalization in the country, and how they compare to the factors affecting federal policy in the U.S.

The German Outlook

When the “traffic light coalition” formed between the Social Democratic Party, the Greens, and the Free Democratic Party in 2021, it included cannabis legalization in its plans for the new German government. That gave them four years to accomplish legalization, but time is getting tight to get cannabis legalization over the line.

In the lead-up to a formal proposal, Germany held listening sessions with a wide range of stakeholders to solicit input into what the country’s cannabis market could look like. The nation’s health agency is currently working on official legislation for legalization and is set to roll it out to the public in late 2022 – at which point the four-year timeframe for legalization will already be halfway over.

While the best-case scenario would be to pass that legislation through the Bundestag in early 2023, the traffic light coalition government will need to compromise with some powerful opposition parties, such as the Christian Democrats. The legislation will also have to garner support in the German Bundesrat and will need to navigate compliance with European Union law and in particular the Schengen Agreement, which criminalizes non-medical cannabis commerce.

However, with Germans now showing slightly more support for legalization than continued prohibition – part of a broader trend in favor of legalization across Europe – and the assistance of countries like Malta and Luxembourg, those compromises seem likely to happen. The question is shifting rapidly from “if” Germany will legalize cannabis to “how” it will do so.

The American Outlook

Each passing day before this fall’s midterm elections represents a decreased likelihood of sending any of these bills to President Joe Biden’s desk, but that doesn’t mean that conversations aren’t being shaped for future calendar years.

Republicans are increasingly showing support for decriminalization, and the U.S. population now overwhelmingly supports legalizing cannabis (a 2021 Pew Research survey found 91 percent of American adults support at least medical legalization, while fewer than one in 10 opposed legalization entirely), meaning there could be significant momentum for legalization moving forward.

As with most political issues in Washington, the biggest obstacle for federal cannabis legalization is the hyper partisanship on this issue and a limited number of session days in the remainder of this Congress. There is still significant disagreement both within and between the two major parties about what the best path forward should be for cannabis legislation largely.

One thing that is clear is that Congress generally tends to be gravitating towards incremental cannabis policy changes ahead of full comprehensive federal reform or descheduling. For instance, the SAFE Banking Act allowing for cannabis banking has passed the House of Representatives with Republican support seven times but has yet to be successful in the Senate. There are ongoing discussions about expanding the scope of the bill by attaching it to other incremental pieces of legislation in an effort to garner enough support to pass the Senate. Republicans have proven to be warming up to the concept of cannabis reform via bills that incrementally acknowledge the product.

Who Will Go First?

The question still remains: will Germany or the U.S. legalize cannabis first? For Germany to cross the line first, it will have to find a way to navigate the complexities of European Union law while establishing a path for cannabis imports. Beyond that, proponents will also need to generate broader support in Berlin among the Christian Democrats, who are traditionally opponents of legalization.

By contrast, the U.S. will continue to legalize and establish their respective state markets because comprehensive legislation at the federal level is less likely to be approved at the same rate.

The more realistic scenario for the U.S., however, remains more incremental change at the federal level through legislation on cannabis banking and research. Meanwhile, de facto legalization can be achieved through states continuing to legalize cannabis individually.

Ultimately, the nod goes to Germany given that full legalization is already on the federal agenda, and there is better than a coin flip’s chance that the country is able to achieve the needed compromises at home while successfully navigating the dynamics of international law.

Opinion: Free up the cannabis market – Financial Post


Removing CBD products from the Cannabis Act would have several immediate benefits for consumers

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Last week Ottawa announced that the Cannabis Act, passed in 2018, will finally get its long-overdue mandatory review, which was supposed to take place in October 2021.

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Regulators will have to answer some tough questions regarding Canada’s legalization experiment. As Liberal MP Nathanial Erskine-Smith conceded: “We didn’t get it perfect, or exactly right the first time, and this is an opportunity to make sure we get it right going forward.” One of the core priorities of the expert panel reviewing the act is better understanding how the legal market can stamp out the illegal market, which is still prominent.

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According to the Ontario Cannabis Store’s own report, the legal market has made significant gains since 2018 but still only accounts for 59 per cent of all cannabis consumed. So what can be changed in the Cannabis Act to target the 41 per cent of cannabis that continues to be supplied by the illicit market?

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First, CBD products, those containing cannabidiol but either no or very little THC, which is what produces the high, should be removed from the cannabis act altogether. Products that are not intoxicating and have a significantly lower risk profile shouldn’t be treated the same as cannabis products that include THC.

Removing CBD products from the Cannabis Act would have several immediate benefits for consumers. The first is that it would exempt CBD products from the heavy-handed marketing, branding and plain packaging restrictions set out in the Cannabis Act. Regulating cannabis the same way as tobacco is regulated was a mistake, given the important differences in risks among the various cannabis products. But regulating CBD products like tobacco is downright comical. To end the joke, we should treat any CBD product with a THC concentration of less than 0.3 per cent (the U.S. legal standard) as a natural health product and exempt it from the rules and regulations of the Cannabis Act.

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On the producer side, removing CBD products from the Cannabis Act would help licensed producers make use of the glut of cannabis that ends up being destroyed as a result of oversupply — an oversupply that fails to lower prices because excise taxes create an artificially high price floor, while the excise tax stamp regime landlocks finished product within provincial boundaries. Fully 26 per cent of the legal cannabis produced in Canada in 2021, 426 million grams, ended up being destroyed because of oversupply. If CBD were removed from the act, this excess cannabis could be used to create CBD products, which could be sold at other retail outlets, not just licensed cannabis stores, thus significantly expanding buying opportunities for consumers.

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On marketing and branding, the rules should be re-written to mirror what Canadians accept for alcohol. Cannabis is no more and arguably much less dangerous than alcohol, so its sale to adults shouldn’t be more strictly regulated. This wouldn’t just be for consistency’s sake, either. People who buy their cannabis in the illicit market need to be aggressively marketed to if the government wants to keep growing the legal market. Marketing and branding rules that are far less paternalistic than those currently in place would be a huge step forward in allowing retailers and producers to reach consumers still buying outside the legal regime.

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Regarding product and price, some simple steps would go a long way. First, the 30-gram limits on both purchase and possession in public should be scrapped. There are no such purchase restrictions for alcohol: an adult of legal age can walk into a liquor store, more often than not owned by the government, and buy as many bottles of liquor as they please. If consumers can buy more than a lethal dosage of alcohol from a government store, they should be able to buy more than 30 grams of cannabis from legal retailers.

Regarding edibles and beverages, the act should either remove the 10mg THC restriction or significantly increase it. This restriction gives a leg-up to the illegal market, where edibles are often 10 to 20 times more potent. If legal edibles are to compete, they have to be comparable products.

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Finally, as far as price regulation goes, the legal market needs to be much more competitive. Significantly simplifying and lowering the excise tax would help cannabis to be produced at lower costs and sold at lower prices, thus making it more attractive for those still buying illegally. Replacing the $1/gram minimum tax with a flat percentage would give a significant competitive boost to the legal market.

It is worth celebrating that 59 per cent of the cannabis market is now legal but serious changes are needed to crack down on the remaining 41 per cent. If the Cannabis Act is not amended to make the legal market more consumer-friendly, efforts to grow the legal market may fail.

David Clement is North American affairs manager with the Consumer Choice Center.

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CBD Medizen – Sacramento Observer

By Russell Stiger Jr. | OBSERVER Correspondent

Arden Stories: CBD Medizen

Holistic healing has been around for a long time, and CBD Medizen wants to offer you an alternative to certain ailments.

“The majority of the products here I actually formulate,” said Dr. Michael Scott owner of CBD Medizen, who takes into account potency and efficacy. “Our tinctures, our pain creams … everything.”

Dr. Scott acknowledged that sometimes when patients seek treatment for certain symptoms such as pain or insomnia, they may get a general blend of tinctures that also may be administered for anxiety. CBD Medizen, however, individualizes treatments. CBD Medizen offers a specific formula for insomnia that differs from its formulas for pain relief or anxiety. The insomnia formula includes CBD, the strong sedative CBN and melatonin. Dr. Scott makes sure to research brands, products and botanicals that create an efficacious, therapeutic mix.

“We manufacture our products specifically for people’s challenges,” Dr. Scott said.

For more, look up CBD Medizen on Instagram @CBDmedizen or visit cbdbymedizen.com.