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TORONTO, Jan. 28, 2021 /CNW/ - PRESS RELEASE - The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TGOD), a producer of premium certified organically grown cannabis, has announced the launch of RIPPLE Gummies by TGOD, Canada's first cannabis-infused confectionary product to offer a scientifically validated 15-minute onset. They will initially be available in Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba, with plans to expand distribution across the country once provincial listings are received.

RIPPLE Gummies are made using certified organically grown cannabis, real fruit juice and all-natural flavors and colors. Each pack contains two precisely dosed 5mg THC gummies for a total of 10mg, the maximum allowed under Canada's Cannabis Act.

RIPPLE Gummies leverage the same fast-acting proprietary technology used in quick-dissolving RIPPLE powder, which rapidly became one of the top-selling SKUs within the cannabis beverage category due to its scientifically validated 15-minute onset, a first in Canada. 

"Canadian cannabis consumers love our quick-dissolving RIPPLE powder for its proven dose-controlled delivery mechanism; it offers a faster-acting, more standardized, and discreet alternative to most products currently on the market. With RIPPLE Gummies, we are bringing to market another proven product which has been a top seller where sold in the United States," commented Sean Bovingdon, TGOD's chief financial officer and interim chief executive officer. "RIPPLE Gummies offer another convenient option for Canadians to consume their desired dose of cannabinoids with a unique, predictable onset of action."

As part of its licensing agreement with Stillwater, TGOD plans to further expand its RIPPLE offering with additional flavors, Honey Infusion CBD and Mango Balance, scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2021.

AUSTIN, Texas (Jan. 28, 2021)—PRESS RELEASE—Fluence by OSRAM, a global provider of energy-efficient LED lighting solutions for commercial cannabis and agriculture production, has announced the appointment of Jordon Musser to chief product officer. 

Musser joins Fluence from Dallas, Texas-based Flex Lighting Solutions, a division of Flex that provides LED high-bay fixtures to commercial and industrial facilities throughout the world. Musser served as Flex Lighting Solutions’ global head of commercial and horticulture LED products and technology, developing horticulture lighting solutions for commercial cannabis and agriculture growers.

“Fluence is at an exciting, critical junction in our growth,” said David Cohen, CEO of Fluence. “As the demand for LED technology continues to grow, Jordon’s deep product design and development expertise will strengthen Fluence’s product roadmap to meet the diverse needs of global cultivators. We’re thrilled to welcome Jordon to Fluence’s leadership team and look forward to the continued development of our leading LED solutions.” 

During his tenure at Flex Lighting Solutions, Musser served in various product development, design and engineering roles across multiple company divisions. His award-winning work in the company’s commercial products, aviation and defense sectors foreshadowed his future success overseeing Flex Lighting Solutions’ horticulture division. Musser was responsible for growing the nascent division to its current stature: a multi-department global organization delivering LED technology to customers throughout the world.

“After spending a number of years in the horticulture lighting space, I’m honored to join the team at one of the industry’s leading manufacturers,” Musser said. “I’ve seen how innovative lighting solutions are empowering growers to deliver high-quality food and medicine to their customers and was particularly attracted to Fluence’s dedication to researching how light can yield a healthier, more sustainable world. I’m eager to work closely with the global research team and apply the latest in photobiology research to Fluence’s expanding portfolio.”

Arizona launched its first adult-use cannabis sales Jan. 22, with the state’s mature medical cannabis industry—which was legalized by a voter-approved initiative in 2010—pivoting quickly to meet the demands of a broader consumer base.

The Mint applied for adult-use licenses at its dispensary locations in Mesa and Tempe when the application became available Jan. 19.

“[Regulators] were saying it wasn’t going to take until March to make a decision, that once you applied and put in all your paperwork for your rec license, as long as you had enough employees to be able to service [the adult-use market] and you had all the requisites, they were going to process [the application] in two to three days,” says Raul Molina, The Mint’s co-founder and chief operating officer .

Photo courtesy of The Mint
The Mint planned to launch adult-use sales at 4:20 p.m. on Jan. 22, but lines had formed around the building by 1 p.m., after the company sent out text and email notifications.

Around midday on Jan. 22, The Mint received word that its adult-use applications had been approved, and it immediately sent text and email notifications to its customer base, announcing that it would launch its first adult-use sales at 4:20 p.m. that same day. As soon as the alerts went out, Molina says people started showing up, and the dispensaries had lines around the building by 1 p.m.

Arizona is currently experiencing a cold snap, Molina says, with rain and temperatures in the 40s, but the bad weather has not deterred customers, who continue to line up at The Mint’s dispensary locations.

Washington, D.C. — PRESS RELEASE — The nation’s largest marijuana policy organization, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), has announced the election of Sal Pace to serve as Chair to the Board of Directors. 

"We're very excited to have Sal as our new chair,” said MPP Executive Director Steve Hawkins. “Sal is a recognized leader in the cannabis reform arena having used his platform as an elected official to advance common sense reforms. With tremendous passion and an in-depth knowledge of cannabis policy issues, he is an excellent choice to lead our board." 

Pace has held elected office as a county commissioner in Pueblo County, Colo., and as a Colorado State Representative, during which time he served as House Minority Leader. Pace is widely recognized as one of the nation’s most knowledgeable former elected officials on the subject of marijuana policy.

"Sal Pace has brought a pioneering effort both in the Colorado cannabis program and his leadership nationally. I count Sal as a valuable and essential ally in my work for cannabis reform," said U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chair and founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

During his time in the General Assembly, Pace played a leading role in developing Colorado’s medical marijuana model, earning him recognition as the “face of regulation” from local news media. He served on several policy and legislative interim committees focused on cannabis, and he founded a national organization of local elected officials, Leaders For Reform, in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ rescission of the Cole memo.

Montana Rep. Matt Regier (R-District 4) is drafting legislation to amend I-90, the ballot initiative voters approved in November to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, according to a local KULR8 report.

Regier plans to introduce bills that would give more cannabis tax revenue to human services, as well as allow licensed dispensaries to advertise their products, the news outlet reported.

I-90 levies a 20% sales tax on adult-use cannabis, and earmarks roughly 10% of the revenue for the state’s general fund, with the rest directed toward conservation programs, substance abuse treatment and veterans’ services, according to KULR8.

Regier’s new legislation aims to make human services, like substance abuse treatment, a priority, the news outlet reported, as well as protect state departments’ funding.

“We’ve seen in other states that have legalized recreational marijuana, that there is fallout to state agencies, and there needs to be money there for that, instead of asking the taxpayer to pick up the tab,” Regier told KULR8.

North Dakota lawmakers are considering legislation to update the state’s medical cannabis program, according to The Bismarck Tribune.

Legislators heard several bills Jan. 26 that would expand the list of qualifying conditions, allow edible products, and permit registered patients and caregivers to grow their own plants, among other changes.

Rep. Matt Ruby’s (R-Minot) H.B. 1359 focuses on patient advocacy, and would restructure the state’s medical cannabis advisory board to include members from cannabis manufacturing and retail facilities, as well as patients, The Bismarck Tribune reported. The bill would also increase the number of designated caregivers for each patient from one to three, and would eliminate the state’s $50 designated caregiver application fee.

Another bill, Rep. Gretchen Dobervich’s (D-Fargo) H.B. 1391, would allow North Dakota’s medical cannabis patients to access edible products in the form of soft or hard lozenges, the news outlet reported. A similar proposal from Dobervich was defeated in 2019, according to The Bismarck Tribune.

The House Human Services Committee also heard Rep. Marvin Nelson’s (D-Rolla) H.B. 1400, which would expand North Dakota’s list of qualifying conditions to include those that “a health care provider determines is appropriately treated by the use of medical marijuana,” The Bismarck Tribune reported. The legislation would also allow patients to submit medical records to qualify for the state’s medical cannabis program, rather than obtaining approval from a medical provider, according to the news outlet. The bill would also create a temporary medical cannabis card for qualified out-of-state patients, as well as establish a program for unannounced inspections at cannabis retailers, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

In Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s fantastic book titled Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, he explains the concept of gains made through volatility (negative events). For example, he describes airplane crashes as making the airline industry stronger. Each crash is studied (via its fragility) and lessons are learned and incorporated into the industry as a whole. These lessons have led to dramatic drops in airplane crashes (antifragile) over the past 50 years.

Taleb also addresses the economy head-on by showing that our political leaders consistently make decisions to smooth out every bump in the economic road, creating complacency with risk taking that allows fragility to build up in the system (think the 2008-2009 financial crash). Complacency and 100% stability can be a killer.  

How can we apply this antifragile concept to cannabis given that the cannabis industry is hyper-volatile? The intention is to create a situation where the very nature of the fragility within the cannabis industry can benefit your firm when big, negative events occur. Looking to other industries can give us valuable insights into how companies can benefit from negative events.

Here are some negative events that can affect your cannabis business:

The price of cannabis flower crashes due to overproduction.The regulatory scheme in a particular state becomes more rigorous and/or expensive.A product category crisis. (The vape crisis is a good example.) An economic crisis that results in the drying up of investment capital.A key counter-party or relationship goes kaput.  For example, the wholesaler you’ve been relying on is suddenly out of business as a result of financial mismanagement, poor execution or, as recently happened to some farms in Oregon, a fire burning your business to the ground.

These examples are enough to illustrate the potential for negative events and to use in setting up a framework to thrive from the resulting chaos. Some of this may seem counterintuitive, but stick with it and know that this article is meant to jumpstart your thinking as it relates to upping your game in cannabis business risk management.

As French philosophers like to say, knowledge is historically contingent and based on power relations at any specific time. If this is so, then your knowledge of how to be successful in cannabis is also historically contingent and may just be historically out-of-date or just plain historically irrelevant. And needless to say there is always a firm more powerful than yours trying to set the agenda.

Annapolis, MD — PRESS RELEASE — On Jan. 26, the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition held a virtual press conference in support of Del. Jazz Lewis’ (D) comprehensive legalization bill, H.B. 32 — The Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, Inclusion, Restoration, and Rehabilitation Act of 2021. A recording of the press conference is available here.

H.B. 32 would legalize personal possession and home cultivation of cannabis for adults, automatically expunge past cannabis offenses, establish a social equity program to ensure inclusion in the industry from disproportionately impacted communities, and reinvest a significant portion of tax revenue to endowments to Maryland’s four HBCUs and communities hardest hit by the war on drugs.

"This legislation will mark a turning point in Maryland history and signify a new way Maryland handles social equity and restorative justice. And hopefully, it will help frame racial equity for other states contemplating legalization,” said Lewis..

Fifteen states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana for adults 21 and over. According to a February 2019 Goucher poll, 57% of Marylanders support cannabis legalization.

Coalition members supporting HB 32 include: Progressive Maryland, National Working Families Party, 1199 SEIU, Maryland NORML, Marijuana Policy Project, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, and Casa de Maryland.

Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Sen. Jeff Brandes have filed complementary bills to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Smith’s H.B. 343 would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older, while Brandes’ S.B. 710 revises “the sales tax exemption for the sale of marijuana and marijuana delivery” for cannabis purchases, the news outlet reported.

The legislation would allow adults to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis or products containing up to 2 grams of THC, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, but smoking cannabis in public would remain illegal.

Florida Sen. Tina Polsky and Rep. Nicholas Duran have filed legislation to protect public employees who use medical cannabis, according to a local WMFE report.

The bill would bar public employers from firing, demoting or suspending employees who test positive for cannabis, as long as they are enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program, the news outlet reported.

Employers would still be permitted to take punitive action against employees who use medical cannabis on the job, WMFE reported, as well as those whose job performance suffers as a result of their medical cannabis use.

Polsky introduced similar legislation last year to protect private employees enrolled in Florida’s medical cannabis program, according to the news outlet, but the bill did not receive a hearing.

Kentucky Sen. Steve West has introduced a medical cannabis legalization bill, according to a local WMKY report.

West’s Senate Bill 92 would allow practitioners to recommend medical cannabis to their patients, and would legalize the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, sale and delivery of cannabis products in the state, the news outlet reported.

West’s proposal joins Rep. Jason Nemes’ House Bill 136, a separate medical cannabis legalization proposal that was reintroduced earlier this month after stalling during last year’s legislative session.

After a judge ruled that cannabis billboards are illegal on California roads that cross state borders, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) has issued a notice announcing new rules for the advertisements.

Under the new regulations, cannabis companies cannot place new billboard ads on any interstate highway that crosses the California border, and businesses must remove any current billboards placed along these roads.

The new policy affects about three dozen state and interstate routes, according to an ABC 10 report, but cannabis billboards are allowed to remain on highways that are entirely within California’s borders.

NOVATO, Calif., Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Trym, a pioneering cannabis cultivation software company, is pleased to announce the release of Touchless Harvesting, a patent-pending technology that allows cultivators to compliantly and expeditiously scan, weigh, and record plant tags while harvesting cannabis plants via a mobile device.

Touchless Harvesting saves cultivators time by providing the most efficient method for recording each plant's weight in accordance with state regulations without touching their mobile devices.

Touchless Harvesting helps growers:

save hours harvesting and remain in strict compliance with CDFA.scan plant tags via a phone or tablet without touching the device.complete harvests without ever logging into METRC.automate weight recording via Bluetooth scale integrations.keep sticky, trichome-covered fingers off their mobile devices.

"At Trym, we're all about helping cultivators save time and streamline their operations. That's why we created Touchless Harvesting. It's a burden to harvest cannabis plants in California due to regulations that require tediously weighing each plant and reporting the weights to the state via METRC. Touchless Harvesting is the fastest way to harvest cannabis plants and report to METRC," says Trym CEO Matt Mayberry. "The feedback so far has been fantastic and we look forward to expanding our reach in 2021."

Trym launched Touchless Harvesting with longtime partner and customer FloraCal Farms in Santa Rosa, CA. Using Trym, FloraCal Farms was able to harvest, weigh, and report 680 plants all before lunch. Efficiency and compliance are top priorities for the FloraCal team who harvest every week in their 20,000 sq.ft. cultivation facility.

"The Touchless Harvesting feature is a great convergence of efficiency and compliance," says Andrew Rayl, director of compliance for FloraCal Farms. "It allows us to remain in full compliance with even the most conservative interpretations of harvest regulatory requirements without sacrificing any time."


North Dakota Rep. Jason Dockter has sponsored an adult-use cannabis legalization bill, despite his opposition to legalizing cannabis in the state, according to The Dickinson Press.

Dockter believes legalization is inevitable as more states regulate cannabis within their borders, the news outlet reported, and says lawmakers should draft a legalization proposal instead of leaving the issue in the hands of a ballot initiative campaign.

North Dakota voters approved medical cannabis legalization in 2016, but rejected a 2018 measure that would have legalized adult-use.

Legalize ND backed a 2020 campaign to get adult-use legalization in front of voters last year, but ultimately refocused its efforts on the 2022 election after the COVID-19 pandemic largely derailed its signature gathering efforts.

Dockter’s House Bill 1420 would allow adults 21 and older to use, possess and transport up to one ounce of cannabis or an equivalent amount of edible cannabis products, The Dickinson Press reported. Cultivators and dispensaries would be licensed under the bill to produce and sell cannabis products, according to the news outlet, and the state Health Council would ultimately establish rules to regulate these businesses.

New York, New York - January 26, 2021 - PRESS RELEASE - Green Check Verified (GCV), a regtech provider of compliant cannabis banking solutions, has announced a partnership with Laika, an enterprise-ready compliance platform, to provide financial institutions with an extra layer of compliance oversight in the rapidly-growing cannabis banking space. 

Legal in 37 states, of which GCV is currently operating in 22, this $13B industry is of particular interest to banks and  credit unions looking for low cost deposit growth, increased fee revenue and strong commercial partnerships with local business owners. As financial institutions increasingly capitalize on this huge market opportunity, GCV’s partnership with Laika will help streamline its own internal compliance and security programs, providing additional assurance for all Green Check clients and partners.

"Having led vendor risk management for one of the largest financial institutions in the world, I am in a unique position to help fast growing technology companies build scalable security practices," said Eva Pittas, founder of Laika. "We're excited to be working with Green Check Verified - their seasoned team of entrepreneurs coupled with its innovative regtech platform will be pivotal for FIs looking to enter the legal cannabis banking space."

“At GCV, everything we do is hyper-focused on compliance,” said Kevin Hart, CEO of Green Check Verified. “We continue to identify ways to reduce risk and allow FIs to bank cannabis confidently and securely. By partnering with Laika, we are not only leveraging our internal regulatory technology expertise, but banks and credit unions will benefit from having the additional oversight from a third-party vendor, adding an extra layer of compliance associated with cannabis banking.”

Laika is an enterprise-ready compliance platform that enables growing companies to compete on the same level as any large organization. The collaboration between Laika and GCV empowers financial institutions entering the highly regulated industry of banking cannabis to satisfy internal vendor due-diligence requirements. Board and examiners are increasingly demanding that cannabis programs not only satisfy specific regulations but that individual firms showcase they are a fully compliant vendor, from top to bottom.

DENVER, Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- PRESS RELEASE -- GrowGeneration Corp., a national chain of specialty hydroponic and organic garden centers, has announced the acquisition of Indoor Garden & Lighting, a two-store chain of hydroponic equipment and indoor gardening supply stores serving the Seattle and Tacoma, Wash., area. The company will be consolidating its current Seattle operation into the acquired stores. This acquisition brings the total number of GrowGen hydroponic garden centers nationwide to 40 stores.

"We're thrilled to kickstart 2021 with our acquisition of Indoor Garden & Lighting, which boasts a strong commercial customer base and a talented team of grow professionals," said Darren Lampert, GrowGeneration's CEO. "This deal expands our footprint in the Pacific Northwest and puts us in close proximity to Tacoma's large commercial operators. With the addition of Indoor Garden & Lighting, we expect Washington's thriving adult-use market to generate annual revenues of $10 million for GrowGen."

Founded in 1995, by Mike Long, Indoor Garden & Lighting has operations in Tacoma and Mountlake Terrace. GrowGen plans to close its current Seattle storefront and consolidate it with Indoor Garden & Lighting's Mountlake Terrace location. GrowGeneration also plans to operate out of Indoor Garden & Lighting's 10,000-square-foot warehouse in Tacoma. As part of the deal, Long and his team of cultivation experts will join GrowGeneration. 

The Indoor Garden & Lighting acquisition is the company's first acquisition this year, and follows yet another quarter of record earnings. Earlier this month, the company pre-announced fourth-quarter revenues of $61.5 million, bringing full-year 2020 revenue to $192 million, up 140% from 2019. Same-store sales increased 63% for full-year 2020, compared to the previous year. The company also raised its 2021 revenue guidance to $335 million-$350 million, and raised its 2021 adjusted EBITDA guidance to $38 million-$40 million. GrowGen plans to have 55 garden center locations by the end of 2021.

LEAMINGTON, ON, Jan. 26, 2021 /CNW/ - PRESS RELEASE - Aphria Inc., a global cannabis-lifestyle consumer packaged goods company, has announced the addition of topicals to its award winning adult-use brand Solei. Known for its occasion-based offerings, our Solei Topicals will join a range of other formats currently available, including whole dried flower and pre-rolls, smoke-free oils, oral sprays, soft gels, and vapes.

Solei is the first brand from Aphria's portfolio to enter the topicals market with its lineup including three of its popular Moments: Unplug (Lavender), Balance (Orange Citrus), Free (Cucumber Mint) and Free Unscented. Solei Topicals have been carefully formulated to provide consumers with the highest potency topical currently available in the Canadian market (500mg of cannabinoid per container) and a superior texture comparable to a premium non-infused cream - rich to the touch. 

"Adding topicals to our Solei brand product line up is a natural expansion, and an exciting format offering for Aphria. Topicals are one, if not the most, accessible cannabis format available today, making it appealing to a large segment of consumers," said Irwin D. Simon, chairman and chief executive officer of Aphria Inc. "We are listening to the needs of our consumers. The team worked hard to create a cream with a range of premium scents, providing a compelling and relevant product for consumers."

Solei Balance and Unplug topicals are currently available online and in select retail stores across Ontario and will be rolling out in other markets in the coming months. Solei Free and Free Unscented topicals will be available in select markets starting February 2021.

Solei Topicals will be available in the following variants:

Free Unscented – 500mg CBD Free (Cucumber Mint) – 500mg CBD Balance (Orange Citrus) – 250mg THC, 250mg CBD Unplug (Lavender) – 350mg THC, 150mg CBD

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has filed proposed emergency regulations with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to implement Assembly Bill 1525, which became law in September to provide the state’s licensed cannabis businesses broader access to financial services.

The new law provides a safe harbor for banking institutions doing business with cannabis companies and essentially makes it easier for cannabis businesses to start relationships with banks.

A five-day public comment period on the proposed rules began Jan. 22, according to a CDFA press release, and written comments must be mailed, emailed or faxed to both the OAL and the CDFA:

U.S. Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) has reintroduced the Marijuana 3-to-1 Act to federally reschedule cannabis, as first reported by Marijuana Moment.

Stuebe’s proposal, which is identical to a measure he put forth last session, would move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Although rescheduling would lift the burden of tax code 280E and make cannabis research easier, per Marijuana Moment, the move would not end federal prohibition entirely.

Los Angeles, CA -- January 25, 2021 -- PRESS RELEASE -- GKUA Ultra Premium, the cannabis brand co-founded by Lil Wayne, the artistic giant and connoisseur of cannabis, has announced that its cannabis products and strains will be available across Colorado in select dispensaries starting on Jan. 27.

"GKUA is about inspiring people, it’s about a feeling. Now Colorado will get to experience the quality and potency of that GKUA,” said Lil Wayne.

GKUA Ultra Premium first launched December 2019 in California. GKUA Ultra Premium flower is sourced from the most experienced growers, who produce strains that are very limited and incredibly potent with some of the highest natural levels of THC available. GKUA partnered with award-winning Harmony Extracts, in Colorado to bring these potent, terpene rich strains, along with incredible oils, live sauces and live concentrates to the state.

“We are thrilled to bring GKUA Ultra Premium to our third state,” said Beau Golob, president and co-founder of GKUA Inc. “Harmony is known for their incredible portfolio of cannabis products. They are the perfect partner for GKUA in Colorado. Their cultivators and expert lab teams know exactly what specific qualities, purity and potency are needed to produce GKUA products. Colorado is the oldest adult-use market in the U.S., and we’re excited to bring an ultra-premium product to customers who know and appreciate quality.”

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