Posts tagged with "Cannabis"

Cannabis courses and degree programs are multiplying like weeds

August 6, 2019

A big challenge for employers in the nearly $14 billion global market for legal marijuana is not a shortage of applicants—but a lack of qualified applicants, according to a recent report by Quartz.

“We have one of the biggest industries developing without any trained professionals,” says Jamie Warm, co-founder and CEO of Henry’s Original, a Mendocino County, California-based cannabis cultivator and distributor.

Instead, he’s pulling staff from packaged goods industries such as liquor and fashion, where the “particular business feels like their experience translates,” he says, but there’s still a “learning curve.”

However, that’s about to change, as universities and colleges nationwide start offering courses and degrees in cannabis cultivation, distribution, and retailing.

This autumn, Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, will offer the undergraduate course, Cannabis: Biology, Society and Industry.  The course will explore the history, culture, pharmacology, breeding, horticulture, and legal challenges associated with cannabis in an effort to inform and stimulate new ideas towards solving these problems—motivating future plant breeders, horticulturists, farmers, pharmacologists, and entrepreneurs to be successful in the cannabis industry.

Even more in-depth is the program being offered at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.  has launched a new Master of Science (MS) in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to support patients and the medical cannabis industry, add to existing research in the field, and develop well-informed medical cannabis policy.

Based at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in Rockville, Maryland, the two-year program blends online learning with face-to-face experiences, and is designed for any individual who has completed his or her undergraduate degree and is interested in pursuing a career in the medical cannabis industry.

The MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics is the first graduate program in the country dedicated to the study of medical cannabis. It aims to meet the needs of all individuals interested in advancing their knowledge about medical cannabis, including health care professionals such as physicians, nurses, and pharmacists; scientists and regulators; growers and dispensary owners; and policy and industry professionals.

“Medical cannabis has been legalized in 33 states, including Maryland, as well as in Washington, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School of Pharmacy. “This number is only expected to increase in the future, fueling a demand for an educated workforce that is well-trained in both the science and therapeutic effects associated with this medicinal plant.

She continues, “Our MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics has been critically designed to prepare students to meet this demand. Innovations in instructional design throughout the curriculum will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive impact on communities across the United States.”

two-year program starts in late August, which also is when the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia will offer the first of four courses in a new MBA option for students interested in studying the cannabis industry.

And in Canada, which last year became the second country in the world to legalize weed nationwide, McGill University plans to offer a graduate degree in cannabis production starting in 2020.

The growing number of colleges adding degrees and courses in cannabis (there are also online cannabis certificate programs out there) reflects a hot industry with needs for both high-level and broad-based skills, whether in horticulture, chemistry, entrepreneurship, pharmacology, policy and regulation, communication, or the law.

Jamie Warm, who has interviewed ex-employees of Nike and Tesla for jobs at Henry’s, said in an interview with Quartz that his company has just over 100 employees now and expects to double its headcount by next year. He says that in addition to management skills and agricultural know-how, there’s a need for people with startup experience who are comfortable with “tackling things at more of a grassroots level.”

There’s also the obvious challenge of attracting professionals to an industry that is not completely legal in most countries, including the United States.

Research contact: @qz

Chew on this: CBD edibles have not been approved yet by the FDA

February 11, 2019

Last year, Americans bought $264 million worth of hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) products—from oils and tinctures, to serums and creams, to gummies and brownies, to CBD infused drinks that include smoothies, quenchers and more, according to the Hemp Business Journal.

But that doesn’t mean it’s legal everywhere. In fact, last week, New York City’s Department of Health embargoed cookies and other pastries containing the cannabis compound that had been on sale at restaurants and health food emporiums around the Big Apple.

And according to Eater New York, other cities also prohibiting the sale of CBD-infused foods and drinks.. During the first week of this month, Maine’s health officials announced a ban on CBD edibles, saying that the food additive has not been approved yet by the FDA.

Indeed, according to the Food and Drug Administration, CBD-infused products cannot be sold yet as dietary supplements or food additives.

However, the popularity of CBD continues to increase—largely based on word-of mouth about its nonaddictive calming properties, as well as its therapeutic uses in the alleviation of epileptic attacks and other disorders; including migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, glaucoma, and PTSD.

What exactly is CBD? It’s a non-psychoactive chemical compound (which means it doesn’t get you high) that is derived from cannabis.  It’s also a different compound than THC, so it won’t show up on a drug test.

And consumers are sold on it, even if the FDA isn’t on-board yet. In fact, a report released last September by the Brightfield Group, predicts that the hemp-derived CBD market will reach sales of $22 billion by 2022—outpacing  the market for cannabis.

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Pot luck: If New York legalizes marijuana, who would cash in?

December 20, 2018

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo knows what he wants in his Christmas stocking: Funding to pay for crucial subway repairs. And while he has never been an advocate for legal marijuana, Cuomo now thinks that statewide recreational use by adults could be the best way to “sweeten the pot.”

Indeed, the Big Apple is looking for about $37 billion to upgrade its antiquated underground system of trains, tracks, and tunnels—and  Cuomo now has been convinced that he can raise the revenue by legalizing adult-use recreational marijuana within the next year, according to a report by Real Money.

Justifying his sudden turnaround on legalizing pot, the governor said in a speech before the New York State Bar Association on December 17, “The fact is we have had two criminal justice systems: one for the wealthy and the well-off, and one for everyone else,” Cuomo said in describing marijuana laws that he maintains “for too long [have] targeted the African-American and minority communities.”

During the midterm elections, the New York state government shifted to Democratic control and it was expected that the new lawmakers would fully legalize cannabis, after approving medical marijuana last June. So, Cuomo really is just getting ahead of this expected move, Real Money notes.

Financial experts agree that legalization could raise much-needed revenues for the state. Last May, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer published a report estimating that the New York statewide cannabis market could see up to $3.1 billion in annual sales, with up to $1.1 billion generated in New York City alone. In terms of tax revenue, legal cannabis could generate up to $436 million for New York state and $336 million for New York City.

Other states already have profited immensely off their marijuana sales. In 2015, Colorado collected $135 million in legal marijuana tax revenue. And during the first five days of sales in Massachusetts, the state’s two pot shops pedaled more than $2.2 million worth of legal marijuana products.

Cuomo probably isn’t thinking just about the tax dollars, but also is looking at job creation. A study published by Joblift shows that cannabis career growth in California is steadily declining, while New York State is experiencing a strong market. New York is now third in terms of gross domestic product and is experiencing a “surge in medical marijuana job postings,” with the study saying it could hold “the most potential for overall growth in the sector.”

Cuomo does not want New York to lose these jobs to neighbors, such as New Jersey and Massachusetts, which also are legalizing cannabis use.

Next comes the question that investors want answered: Who is poised to capitalize on the New York market?

Cannabiz Media is a company that tracks license holders in states around the country. According to its data, it looks like MedMen Enterprises is poised to be the big winner as a result of its acquisition of PharmaCann, which had the highest number of permits awarded in the state. MedMen acquired PharmaCann for $682 million in an all-stock deal back in October. The transaction not only doubled the reach for MedMen, but expanded its presence in New York.

Vireo Health is next on the list, Real Money reports. Vireo is a physician-led multi-state medical cannabis company that says It is “committed to safely alleviating pain by providing patients with best-in-class cannabis products and compassionate care.” This company is still private, although it did raise $17 million back in August and said it is planning on going public at some point.

And number three would be Columbia Care, which isn’t public yet but soon will be following a merger with Canaccord Genuity Growth. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. Columbia Care was selected to be one of five licensees in Virginia and became the first U.S. company licensed in the European Union. It was recently awarded one of the six new licenses in New Jersey.

To date, eight U.S.  states have legalized recreational marijuana use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Washington, D.C., also allows the recreational use of marijuana.

Research contact: @WallandBroad

How does your garden grow?

June 6, 2018

Americans are not afraid to get their hands dirty: This year, U.S. gardeners reported spending a record $47.8 billion on lawn and garden retail sales, the highest ever, with a record average household spend of $503—up nearly $100 over 2017, based on the findings of the 2018 U.S. National Gardening Survey.

What’s more, there are nearly 200,000 participating members from coast to coast in the National Garden Clubs—with a club in every state and about 60 more affiliated organizations.

The latest research on American gardening, conducted on behalf of Garden Research by Research Now/SSI, finds that the proportion of older gardeners is holding steady (35%) , but that  more Millennials than ever before—those between the ages of 18 and 34—are digging in, too. “From small beginnings with a succulent here and a houseplant there, the under-35s are now truly engaged in the full range of gardening activities.” says industry analyst Ian Baldwin.

Aside from gardening equipment, plants, and fertilizers, what is the younger generation of gardeners buying? Knowledge. Rather than getting glossy, coffee-table books, many of these gardeners are glomming on to gardening apps and advice from gardening websites.

Also trending this year? Container gardening and landscaping are setting new highs in sales. “More and more consumers are choosing not to dig holes in their leisure time. If they have the finances, they are investing in raised beds,” says Baldwin.

Indoor gardening also is making a big comeback, with 30% of all households buying at least one houseplant. Baldwin says the movement hearkens back to the ‘190’s and 1980s, “when no home was complete without various sizes and shapes of non-flowering plants in pots or macramé hangers, acting as cheap room dividers.”

And, for the first time this year, the survey offered information on cannabis gardening to the 33 million U.S. heads of households (27%) who say that it should be legal to grow for personal use, and to the 15% of households (19 million) who say they would grow cannabis if it were legal to do so. This is of special interest, the researchers noted, to the males between the ages of 18 and 34 who reported increased participation in lawn and garden activities (from 23% in 2016 to 27% in 2017).

Finally, each state seems to have a favorite when it comes to ‘the most popular planted flower”: In Alabama, for example, pansies are the go-to bloom, with sales of $3.8 million—and are usually the first annuals to bloom (The official state flower is the camellia.) In Alaska, it’s geraniums; in Colorado, petunias; and in Hawaii, begonias.

However, nationwide, the most popular flower to grow–—based on findings of a poll of 30,000 U.S. gardeners by Bombay Outdoors— is the rose; followed by zinnias, lilacs, and irises.

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