Browsing: Cannabusiness

04202018_bruce_polis_420_0019 (1)Kenzie Bruce

Colorado’s cannabis history stretches much further back than November 2012, when voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana. The state’s skunky roots were planted decades earlier, when home growers and college students began creating a real Rocky Mountain High. Now, some of their sons and daughters are helping to shape the current commercial market.

Lama Brand Cannabis owner Tony Karas grew up in Evergreen, and, after graduating from Colorado State University nearly twenty years ago, slowly waded into the pot industry with his friends. Today, the avid fisherman and father runs his own cannabis supply company, Lama Brand, growing award-winning strains while still sharing laughs with the people he grew up with.

smoking-pot-marijuana-420-civic-center-2019-collinJacqueline Collins

Colorado’s legal marijuana sales finally took a fall in September, according to data from the state Department of Revenue, and past trends indicate that this dip is likely to continue until next spring. However, 2019 is still very much on pace to become the highest-selling year ever for the state’s legal pot industry.

Colorado dispensaries racked up over $155.4 million in sales in September, DOR data shows. That’s a drop of over 10 percent from August — but still rises almost 13 percent over the same month in 2018. Recreational sales accounted for more than $126.8 million in September 2019, according to the figures, while medical sales came in at $28.6 million; they’ve been on a $25-to-$30 million plateau for over a year now.

pot_zero_grow-buds-marijuana-holschuc-2018Jake Holschuh

In a random assessment conducted by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment in September, Denver dispensaries failed health inspections for mold and yeast. Westword studied reports for tests conducted at 25 dispensaries over a two-day period, and at twenty of them, some form of cannabis tested over the state’s limit for total mold and yeast. That’s an 80 percent failure rate. Many of the failing products came from outside growers whose marijuana had already passed state tests.

The results of the assessment and what they might mean for city and state pot programs are still under review by the DDPHE, which won’t publish its report on the study for some time. But the department acknowledges that concerns over contaminated cannabis inspired the test. In 2019 alone, Colorado has seen a handful of commercial pot recalls over mold concerns. Rumors of shady practices to pass mold testing abound, and industry insiders also gripe about the state’s testing process for mold, as well as the lack of context that most testing labs provide for mold and yeast specificity.

mason_jar_winter_collins20180216_049 (1)Jacqueline Collins

Colorado has banned the state’s marijuana industry from adding vitamin E acetate, the chemical additive linked to vaping illnesses by federal health officials, to products meant for inhalation.

On November 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a potential culprit behind the recent vaping illnesses: vitamin E acetate. However, Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division had already prohibited the additive as an ingredient days earlier, and also banned two more ingredients with connections to short- and long-term health issues. In addition to vitamin E acetate, polyethylene glycol (PEG) and medium chain triglycerides (MCT oil) are now ruled out for marijuana products meant for inhalation.

jeremy (1)Courtesy of Lagunitas

If the White Claw memes and CBD sections at liquor stores haven’t tipped you off, let us be the ones to tell you that the beer business is struggling. Non-alcoholic drinks and less caloric options have made the once-thriving craft-beer industry look for new ways to satisfy your thirst.

Lagunitas Brewing Company, already known for its love for cannabis, took a natural route toward the pot-infused side of things. The brewery’s Hi-Fi Hops drink, a hoppy seltzer infused with CBD, THC or both, hit Colorado dispensaries this fall, giving users a terpene-filled splash of cannabinoids. To learn more about how the drink is made and the loving history that Lagunitas has with the plant, we chatted with Hi-Fi head brewer Jeremy Marshall.

img_1171Westword

The Green Solution, one of Colorado’s largest marijuana dispensary chains, announced today, November 5, that it has been purchased by a publicly traded cannabis corporation.

According to the Green Solution’s representatives, Columbia Care Inc. has agreed to buy the Green Solution and its twenty dispensaries across Colorado for approximately $140 million. The deal also includes the Green Solution’s growing facilities and infused-product brands — of which there are many — as well as three more dispensaries that haven’t opened.

den_011217_veritas_grow_slentz038Scott Lentz

Denver recently conducted random tests of more than two dozen local dispensaries to learn more about potential yeast and mold issues with marijuana, and the results weren’t good.

On August 19, the City of Denver sent a notice to every licensed marijuana dispensary in the city, warning that investigators would be conducting random assessments at about 25 stores in the coming weeks “to evaluate contaminants in products on store shelves.”

“Each sample will be tested for pesticides and total yeast and mold by a state- and ISO-certified marijuana testing facility. Results of their respective testing will be shared with each facility and will also be shared broadly within a write-up of results,” the announcement read.

the_green_solution_collins20171215_008 (1)Jacqueline Collins

College students looking for courses next semester may have a new option, as Denver-based Cannabis Training University’s curriculum on the burgeoning pot industry is now offered in two and four-year institutions in the United States, with plans to expand into Canada.

Online Cannabis Education, CTU’s online set of courses for cannabis entrepreneurs, growers, chefs and more is already offered at Mount Wachusett Community College and Worcester State University in Massachusetts, where recreational cannabis was legalized in 2016. But CTU CEO Jeff Zorn says he plans to expand the course to more colleges in other states.

img_8803 (1)Jacqueline Collins

Cannabis use and the cannabis business in general have gone mainstream, but the people responsible for marketing the plant still have to jump through a lot of hoops. After all, there’s a reason that you haven’t seen cannabis commercials on TV or billboards for dispensaries: Pot still isn’t that legal.

To help emerging pot companies navigate the odd, evolving world of promoting cannabis, Lisa Buffo founded the Cannabis Marketing Association. Since launching the group in Colorado, she’s built a network of chapters in nine of America’s largest legal and medical markets. We recently caught up with Buffo to learn more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into selling us all that legal weed.

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