Hemp, Cannabis, and Marijuana: Know the Difference

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Hemp, Cannabis, and Marijuana: Know the Difference

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

hemp

Marijuana use is on the rise. In large part because of new laws surrounding recreational marijuana use and retail businesses in some states. Also because medical marijuana and the use of hemp is becoming a more accepted form of treatment.

This diversification shows growth in our country. But what risks are involved in marijuana use versus CBD oil?  Where do hemp and other related oils fit into the picture? How can you moderate your use if you know it may be interfering with activities like driving and work attendance in your daily life?

 With differences in legalities, levels of intoxication, purposes, you may have a long list of questions. Here are the differences between marijuana and hemp products. These are the potential effects on your body, and how they might impact you in different environments.

Marijuana, Hemp, What’s the Difference?

At this point, virtually everyone knows what marijuana is. But for anyone who needs a scientific refresher or any clarification, marijuana refers to the stems, leaves, buds, flowers, and seeds of two strains of cannabis plants. The cannabis sativa and the cannabis indica plant. The plants contain psychoactive substances that can be eaten, smoked, brewed into a tea, or vaped using  dried herbs. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the substance that causes the psychoactive effect. Out of the different forms of cannabis, marijuana cannabis contain the lowest concentration of THC.

 One of the many forms of cannabis, hashish is the sap that comes from the plant and contains higher levels of THC. When dried and pressed into blocks, the hashish — more commonly referred to as hash — can be smoked or baked into foods to produce a “high” in humans. Similarly, hash oil is a concentrated form of hash taken from the resin. It can smoked or incorporated into foods, as well as ingested orally. Sinsemilla is a seedless, smokable form of cannabis. this contains more THC.

 Medical Uses

As a medical treatment, marijuana can be used to help patients with an assortment of diseases. These range from common maladies such as pain, nausea, concussions, to more rare diseases such as GERD and epilepsy.

 There is also hemp oil and cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which are sometimes confused. Hemp oil, is usually produced from the seeds of the hemp plant. Though it can be produced from cannabis. Hemp oil is used in cooking, moisturizers, and soaps, as well as in making plastics and biofuel. CBD oil is made from the other parts of hemp, like the flowers, stems, and leaves. CBD oil is commonly used for medical treatment, including that of cancer, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and more.

How Will It Impact Me?

 Hemp and marijuana are similar plants. Because of this it is important to know difference between them. Hemp contains much lower levels of THC. The important difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is that hemp oil contains much lower levels of THC. Less than 1 percent, and CBD can have up to 15 percent. With a large range in cannabis products, it is natural to wonder just how strongly the plants will affect you.

 The University of Nevada, Reno reports an increase of drugged driving as the United States moves forward in the legalization of marijuana one state at a time. The report cites a study by PLOS that found over 40 percent of self-reporters admitted to driving while under the influence of marijuana. Though UNR reports that no causality between legal marijuana use and traffic accidents, they do state that THC has a measurable impact on driving.

 Regardless, it is always illegal to drive while on the influence of alcohol or any type of drug, and it’s illegal to transport marijuana from a state in which it is legal into one in which it is not. However, CBD oil and hemp oil are legal in all 50 states and therefore can be taken while travelling and safely used while driving.

 What About My Job?

In the workplace, many employers will perform a drug test before hiring an employee. Though more and more employers located near states where marijuana is legal are not testing for marijuana, employees are usually not allowed to come into work while under the effects. Though CBD oils might show up in a drug test, most reputable products will have low enough levels of THC so as not to show up and should not interfere at work.

 Thoroughly research any product before taking it. When using CBD oils, buy from a reputable source and check the THC concentration. Never drive under the influence of marijuana or other substances that impair driving performance. Whether you live in a legalized state and can enjoy marijuana recreationally or you use cannabis or hemp products for medical purposes, make sure to use them appropriately.

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Published at Tue, 14 Nov 2017 19:17:22 +0000

Hemp Bombs CBD Capsules and Oil: A Perfect Match To Relax!

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Hemp Bombs CBD Capsules and Oil: A Perfect Match To Relax!

Friday, November 17th, 2017

CBD Capsules

Recently I had the oppritunity to try out some products from a very reliable company called Hemp Bombs. They offer a range of quality CBD products like edibles and vape E-liquids. Today I will be reviewing some of there “CBD Capsules” and there “CBD Oil”.

I love the pair that these two make! Low in sugar, easy on the stomach, and great tasting. If you would like to improve your quality of life in any way, this would be a great start!

 From Hemp Bombs

All of Hemp Bombs products are sourced from European Hemp with the highest growing standards, free of pesticides, chemicals, and contaminants. The CBD is extracted via supercritical CO2, widely acknowledged as the premier extraction process. Hemp Bombs then has independent lab tests for all of its products, adding another layer of quality control. Hemp Bombs is a consumer-focused and eco-friendly brand with a great selection of CBD products. See how Hemp Bombs can benefit you today.

CBD Oil

What Is CBD?

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a compound that is derived from Cannabis, or Hemp. To be legally compliant, CBD is sourced from the stalks of low-THC, Industrial Hemp. CBD has been found to have many therapeutic effects for its users because of the way it interacts with the body’s Endocannabinoid System, with CB1 and CB2 receptors. Some of the reported benefits are better sleep, pain relief, and overall improvement in mood.

So What Did I Think?

 CBD Capsules

Well let me first start off by saying I don’t take pills. I have a very sensitive stomach. Any multivitamin or pain reliever I swallow is usually a battle. So I avoid taking pills all together usually.

However, Hemp Bombs CBD Capsules  are very gentle on my stomach, I can notice when I am digesting them because I will start to feel more comfortable and relaxed. Some mornings I will have a bit of anxiety, thinking of things I need to do that day can sometimes contribute to these feelings. CBD really helps subside this feeling and helps me start my day off on the right foot.

Also the feeling last throughout the day, although it is different. It is a more subtle feeling. I would say the CBD Capsules really helps enhance your mood. I just feel like things are a little easier to deal with, stress isn’t so “stressful”

I have yet to try them out when I am totally stressing out. Now that I think about it, I have not been stressed much at all ever since I started regularly taking CBD. However I would like to see how they effect someone that is having a “melt down”. I bet these green babies would help quite a bit!

CBD Oil

As for the CBD Oil, I felt it was a great complement to the CBD Capsules. I like to use the CBD Oil at night before bed. It has a very pleasing peppermint flavor, so using  it after you have brushed your teeth is no big deal. If you are the type of person that suffers from restless legs, or insomnia, I really recommend CBD products before bed. I LOVE the quality of sleep I get now. For the past few years I have not be dreaming or remembering my dreams.

Now I dream every night! It’s awesome! Also, If a couple of nights after large meals I had alot of bloating and discomfort. I tried using CBD Oil to help with digestion. On both instances within 15 mins I was feeling great again!

So Give It A Try

So there are many uses for CBD products to help improve your quality of life in many ways. If you are new to the world of medical cannabis and hemp products you can’t got wrong with hemp bombs! I recommend the CBD Capsules for the day and the CBD Oil for the night, the perfect match to relax!

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Published at Fri, 17 Nov 2017 17:13:01 +0000

Monetize Medical Marijuana in Canada

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Monetize Medical Marijuana in Canada

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

canada marijuana

The growing legalization of marijuana not only provides recreational and medical opportunities but business ones as well. Not only can you set up a shop in legalized states, you can also plant businesses in other legalized countries. Since marijuana is becoming legal in more states and countries now, it may be worth investing in the growing medical marijuana industry or edibles industry.

With its close proximity to the United States, Canada is a prime candidate for such a venture. Canada serves as a great liaison for medical tourism with the United States. Several provinces already have out-of-country processes for medical procedures. Certain areas in Canada offer booming business opportunities.

There are just a few important safety and legal factors to keep in mind. Like knowing the difference in marijuana legalization or medical programs between the two countries. In fact, Forbes reports that many marijuana businesses struggle due to a lack of knowledge. In the report, Forbes cites the main infractions according to marijuana business regulatory compliance experts. They include security and surveillance regulations, labeling and packaging, business records, and transport and storage.  All categories with failing rates.

Marijuana legal experts can help clients understand and comply with regulations. The laws can be difficult to navigate and prosecutors can be especially hard on marijuana misuse. In addition to following proper regulations, there are a few other factors to keep in mind while getting your international marijuana business off the ground.

Benefits of Medical Tourism for:

Medical tourism is when a patient seeks medical care outside of their country or state. Though this might seem extreme, medical costs in the U.S. continue to increase at an alarming rate. Many patients are looking for international medical care. According to medical transportation experts, medical tourism is becoming so common that commercial air ambulance services are now available.

Medical tourism can have several benefits for patients. In many cases, patients can get the same medical procedures out of the country for a much lower cost. Even bringing down a potential six-digit bill to a more manageable five-digit one. It can also give patients waiting on a transplant or blood transfusion a higher chance of getting what they need. This is especially important if a patient needs an immediate operation and doesn’t have time to wait for an available donor in their country.

Additionally, travelling for a medical procedure can be a way to circumnavigate restrictive laws. It gives patients the freedom to make decisions without the limits of local legislation. Overall, medical tourism offers patients an alternative option for care that can be better for them without compromising the quality of services. Plus, it offers the extra opportunity to visit a new culture.

Investing in Multiple Locations

Taking advantage of business opportunities doesn’t necessarily mean you have to move. In fact, you can multiply your profits by investing your business in multiple locations. You could potentially have a location in the U.S. and one in Canada. Of course, starting a business is no small task and will require extensive organization and planning.

Financial advisor and author Craig Anthony advises that to best manage multiple business incomes at once, you should focus your efforts and keep your businesses separate. Firstly, focusing your efforts requires choosing one location to begin with and start manifesting the second one only after the first is running well. This will help keep the process cleaner, allow you to focus on one business at a time, and help prevent spreading your resources too thin.

Secondly, keeping your business separate will help maintain that balance as both business locations grow. Not only is this important for accounting purposes, but it will help you evaluate the profitability of each separate location and ensure that you are investing in the best way possible.

Going into the marijuana business has many benefits but requires extensive knowledge of the varying laws and regulations about it. This includes everything from shipping laws, to driving under the influence of marijuana, to knowing the different regulations of the neighboring states or provinces. Monetizing medical marijuana in Canada from the U.S. may not be easy, but it can be a rewarding enterprise to go into.

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 14 Nov 2017 20:35:58 +0000

Michigan’s Marihuana License Educational Sessions Focus on Application Procedures, Not Substantive Guidance

Michigan’s Marihuana License Educational Sessions Focus on Application Procedures, Not Substantive Guidance

Michigan’s Marihuana License Educational Sessions Focus on Application Procedures, Not Substantive Guidance

by Hilary Vigil

On Wednesday, November 8, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and its Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR) kicked off the first of a series of six educational sessions on Medical Marihuana Facility Licensing. LARA’s staff presented information about the two online platforms that will be used to apply for facility licenses and to track and inventory cannabis plants and products once facilities are open for business. The session did not, however, address many of the substantive questions that arise out of Michigan’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (“MMFLA”).

The first half of the session included a step-by-step walk-through of Accela, the platform that applicants will use to apply online for facility licenses. LARA confirmed that applicants may submit a paper application instead of using Accela, if they prefer. The Accela presentation highlighted the platform’s functionality, but it did not provide any insight into how LARA plans to interpret key provisions of the MMFLA. For example, LARA did not address how the emergency rules to be issued later this month will interpret statutory disclosure requirements and ineligibility criteria for an applicant’s affiliates. LARA also did not reveal the contents of certain disclosure forms that applicants and their affiliates will be required to submit as part of the application. While many industry hopefuls were wishing for much-needed guidance, it appears that answers will be provided only when the State’s emergency rules are issued.

The second half of the session consisted of an overview of the statewide monitoring system, Metrc, that the state and industry members will use to track marihuana growth, processing, transportation, testing, and sales. The training touched on everything from how the cloud-hosted online system will track plants and products using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to how medical marihuana business owners will interface with the system, as well as how the state will use the system as a regulatory and compliance tool. Metrc staff reassured applicants that there will be more training and interactive support available to licensees who use the system once licenses have been issued.

Metrc will function mainly to log facilities’ employees and tasks, and to track marihuana inventory by location in each facility. Compliance investigators from the state will be able to scan an entire room of marihuana plants or products at once using an RFID scanner that reads an RFID tag attached to each plant or product. Licensees will use Metrc to assign a plant ID number and corresponding tag to each immature plant that will remain with the plant through its vegetative and flowering cycles. The system also facilitates harvest tracking in batches. During processing, licensees must assign package ID numbers to each product batch. Packages will be labeled with a new RFID tag. Metrc also facilitates transfers of plants and products between facilities; for example, a grower must assign its plants and their ID numbers to a secure transporter and then to the processor when transferring cannabis to a processing center. Each facility is responsible for the plants and packages corresponding to the ID numbers in its Metrc log, and compliance investigators will be able to compare inventory manifests in Metrc with plants and products physically present at each facility. Metrc aims to make regulatory compliance procedures efficient, but it also aims to provide value to facilities required to use the system.

Although Metrc was not created for the express purpose of managing or organizing businesses, facilities will receive some business management tools from the system. For example, facilities will be able to input information about marihuana strains, inventory items other than cannabis plants and marihuana products, and track weights and waste through the growing and processing stages. In its presentation, Metrc staff emphasized that enterprising facilities can use the system to analyze the regulatory data captured, to perform supply and demand forecasts based on moisture loss and waste data, and to calculate cost of goods sold. Information stored on Metrc will only be accessible on the industry side by the facility licensee and on the regulatory side by the state. The secure information will not be available to the general public.

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 09 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

7 Top Hacks to Get Best Performance from Firefly 2 Vaporizer

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7 Top Hacks to Get Best Performance from Firefly 2 Vaporizer

Friday, November 10th, 2017

fire fly with girl

So you’ve got your hands on the exquisitely crafted Firefly 2. You feel like the luckiest vaper on earth! But also you feel like you could be getting more out of this little beaut. Well, as with everything in this modern life, there are numerous Firefly 2 hacks out there. To make sure you’re always getting the best out of your vape session, we’ve outlined the top 7 hacks below!

Firefly 2 : Be Master of your Flight path

As you may already well know, our beloved Firefly 2 is a portable vaporizer. The Firefly 2 heats your material solely via convection with super-heated air. This makes it different than most other vapes out there. The best thing about the Firefly 2 is that YOU are in control!

Firefly 2 gold

Image Source: Namaste Vapes Canada

The Firefly 2 offers superb flavor for a portable vaporizer while remaining extremely efficient. Its chamber efficiently vapes as little as 0.1g of dried material. The draw itself is always smooth and never harsh. So if you choose to vape, herbs or concentrates, you can rely on the velvety vapor your Firefly 2 will produce. One of the other great aspects of the Firefly 2 is the on demand heating. The Firefly only heats up when in use so there’s no wasted herb between draws and you’re getting all the goodness.

So now that we’re all nice and cosy, let’s get down to the tips and tricks that will improve on an already golden child of a vape:

 Getting Started with the Grind

Firefly 2 grinder

First things first, let’s take a look at the herbs you’re grinding. It’s important to remember not to grind too much at once. Don’t over-grind the herb. The convection heating system in the Firefly 2 will never work well with super small ground herb.

Basically your Firefly 2 don’t want none unless it’s got buns hun, so the chunkier the better! This leaves more surface area for the the hot air to circulate around the herb. It will vaporize all the tastiness for you to enjoy. It also means the herbs will be vaporized more evenly, reducing wastage.

You can break up your herb by hand, but sometimes that method can take away from the taste. Uneven chunk size can lead to uneven vaporization. Ideally, try to get your vapor lovin’ hands on a grinder and give your herb a few spins in it.

Grinders generally provide a more even grind. It’s easier to make sure all the goodness makes it into the chamber. You’ll might notice that your hits are a bit bigger and a little more potent.

An App to Keep you “Appy”

fire fly app

The next step in making sure you’re ready for you Firely 2. Download the Firefly Vapor smartphone app. Available for free download for Android devices from the Google Play Store and for iOs from the Apple Store. This app makes the Firefly 2 wonderfully accessible to everyday vapers. It gives you complete control over you session. The Firefly Vapor app allows you to fine tune your temperature. Settings allowing for the most precise vaporization.

It also allows you to switch your Firefly 2 from dry herb to concentrate mode! Dry herb mode has a few different heat levels to choose from. You can experiment it with to find your favourite temperature.

Concentrate mode has a single temperature that is perfect for vaping concentrates. Concentrate mode is the highest temperature available. But be warned that your dry herbs may burn. This would be a terrible waste!

Ensuring Herbalicious Vaping

Here’s a few tips and tricks to make sure you’re getting the best out of you dry herbs. Load the oven with coarsely ground herbs, avoid any massive chunks. The oven on the Firefly 2 has a capacity of 0.15g but will still provide tasty vapor when two thirds full.

If the oven is too tightly packed, you won’t be able to get a good hit out of your Firefly 2. The hot air you’re pulling in and around the herbs won’t have enough room to circulate. It wont be vaporizing as effectively as with a less packed oven.

Admittedly there is a small learning curve with this process of packing the oven. But it’s just like riding a bike – once you know, you know! If you find you losing power in your hit, try stirring the contents of the oven. You can also empting them onto the lid of the Firefly 2. After scrape back into the oven so that they are “upside down”.

It’s important to make sure that the glass vapor path on your Firefly 2 is free of any gunk or debris. This could affect the taste of your vapor. Also, make sure the magnetic lid is fully sealed onto the body of the vaporizer lest vapor could escape!

Concentrate on This

The trick to vaporizing concentrates is not to overload the pads. Instead, experiment first with smaller doses (around the size of a sesame seed) so you can start to understand each other. This will help with keeping your Firefly 2 clean, because concentrate gunk is the gunkiest, and also prevent you from suffering any super strong hits. Remember, concentrates are exactly what they say on the tin – concentrated! As nice and tasty as any vapor is, too much will still sicken you, and the last thing we want is you going off your favourite flavours. Concentrates can also take a little longer to heat up so experiment with cigar-style puffs until you see and/or taste vapor and then try a deep inhale to get the process started.

Keep it clean

Cleaning you Firefly is like cleaning your room – you should do it often! But don’t worry, it’s a much more pleasurable task and you won’t find any mystery socks lurking in there (Well, you shouldn’t anyway). When your vape required cleaning will, of course depend on usage and build up of gunk, but if you can keep you Firefly 2 vaporizer sparkly and clog-free, your vapor will always be pure and tasty so it’s totally worth doing it fairly often.

It’s generally a very straightforward job and much easier if you do it immediately after a session, when the stainless steel and the window on the cover are still warm. Just take a paper towel or handkerchief and wiping away gunk or residue that tends to build up on the window and the area around the oven. If you wait for the Firefly 2 to cool down, you’ll need a little bit of alcohol to help wipe all the gunk out. If for no other reason, remember you need to clean your vape because damage caused by neglect of cleaning will void the warranty!

Hit Me Like That Snare. More, More More

When trying to maximise your hit, it’s best to start with the simple things so make sure that the lid of the Firefly 2 is on tight and the the mouthpiece has been inserted correctly – you will hear/feel a click.

Another hack for getting bigger puffs on the go is placing a concentrate pad, included as an accessory in the box, on top of the herb in the oven chamber. The idea behind this is that the metal pad acts as a conductor for the heat passing through the chamber effectively adding conduction heat to the vaporization process. This works to a certain extent, but be careful when you approach higher temperatures as the pad may burn your herb and taint the vapor’s otherwise delicious taste.

Tackling a Slow Starter

girl using fire fly

As an on-demand vaporizer, the Firefly 2 will only heat up when you take a draw from it. This means there isn’t a lot of heat built up during the early puffs of your session, but we can help you with that too. In order to get the fuller hit first time, you need to get the vaporization started before you take a big draw.

A few sips of the mouthpiece is enough to get the air to heat up. Once heated it will flow through the oven chamber in and around the herb. Once you notice you Firefly 2 start to produce a little bit of vapor, that’s your cue to take a long 7-10 seconds draw.

If you take a long, steady enough draw, the Firefly 2 will give a little whistle and that’s your sign the your vape is ready to go. Other than that, you can try yelling Jiminy Cricket, but I don’t know what kind of vape expert he is! And always let your vapor be you guide!

And there you have it , our best tips, tricks, hacks and general advice for getting the most out of your Firefly 2. With it’s compatibility with herbs and concentrates and supreme functionality it truly is much, much more than a pretty face!

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 10 Nov 2017 08:24:32 +0000

Michigan Gets Recommendations for Medical Marijuana Rules, New Advisory Panel Members

Michigan Gets Recommendations for Medical Marijuana Rules, New Advisory Panel Members

Michigan Gets Recommendations for Medical Marijuana Rules, New Advisory Panel Members

Back in August, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced the formation of “work groups” to provide input as LARA adopts emergency rules to govern activities under the State’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). Organized around the MMFLA’s five license types, those work groups met last month. At today’s meeting of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board, LARA unveiled summaries of the work groups’ recommendations.

Processors

  • THC limits: labels should indicate THC mg per unit versus per package; if limits are set on a per package basis, should be 1000 mg, with dose size indicated.
  • Security and safety protocols should be required.
  • Product regulation: edibles should be shelf-stable and not require refrigeration; edibles should be tested to ensure safe consumption after 90 days in storage.
  • Product remediation: if marihuana fails mold tests, the batch should be tested again; if it fails for pesticides, all of the batch should be rejected and destroyed.

Growers

  • Labs should be licensed first to avoid bottlenecks as the system comes on-line.
  • Pesticides: State should provide list of approved and unapproved pesticides.
  • State’s capital requirements should allow buildings to count toward asset requirements.
  • “Stacking” of multiple grow licenses: no consensus; some favored free market, others wanted protectionism for small growers.

Safety Compliance Facilities

  • Mold testing should be modeled on some set of national standards.
  • Quarterly quality assurance testing should be conducted.
  • On-site testing should be allowed, with lab employees going to growers.
  • Edibles should undergo long-term storage testing to establish expiration dates.
  • Action should be taken against facilities that have product repeatedly fail tests.

Provisioning Centers

  • Daily purchase limits: 2.5 ounces flower or equivalent; perhaps a monthly limit.
  • Packaging: labels should identify product, quantity, batch and lot number, allergens, expiration date, warnings and instructions. Should not be enticing to children.
  • Training for employees should be required.

Secure Transporters

  • Standards should address security and storage limits.
  • Vehicles should have 360 degree camera coverage visible inside, lockable barriers that prevent driver access to cargo, shatterproof windows, and ability to notify law enforcement of emergencies.
  • 24/7 operation should be allowed.
  • Drivers should have flexibility to alter routes.
  • The BIG debate: should drivers be allowed to carry firearms?

The recommendations above are obviously the tip of the iceberg; the work groups covered far more than was reported. LARA will now use these recommendations as the State develops emergency rules.

Going forward, it is unclear if the work groups will continue. The work groups were instituted by LARA because the MMFLA required the Governor to appoint an Advisory Panel by March 20, 2017, and Gov. Rick Snyder did not do so. At the time, the Governor’s office explained that the Panel could not be appointed because it must include representatives of different types of MMFLA licensees, and no licenses would be issued until sometime in 2018. The position of the Governor’s office changed, however, as just last week, the Governor announced appointments for the other specified categories. Those appointments include:

  • Roseville Police Chief James Berlin, representing police.
  • Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, representing sheriffs.
  • Wayne County Director of Commission Affairs Alan Helmkamp, representing counties.
  • Attorney for Michigan Townships Association Catherine Kaufman, representing townships.
  • Medical director of Doc Greens Clinic Dr. Saqib Nakadar, representing physicians.
  • Accountant Paul Samways of Cannabis Accounting, representing patients.
  • Grand Rapids Planning Director Suzanne Schulz, representing cities and villages.

In addition to the above appointees, the MMFLA provides that the Advisory Panel must include the Attorney General and the directors or designees of LARA, Michigan State Police, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

As for the representatives of the MMFLA’s license classes, Gov. Snyder stated that he will appoint those members once licenses have been issued. Whether LARA will look to work groups for industry input in the interim remains to be seen.

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

(Why?)

Published at Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Michigan Seeks Comment on Tax Treatment of Marijuana Sales

Michigan Seeks Comment on Tax Treatment of Marijuana Sales

Michigan Seeks Comment on Tax Treatment of Marijuana Sales

The Michigan Department of Treasury (the “Department”) recently released a draft Revenue Administrative Bulletin (“RAB”) entitled Marihuana Provisioning Center Tax and Sales and Use Tax Treatment of Marihuana. An RAB is a directive issued by the Bureau of Tax Policy. The following is an excerpt from the Department’s website describing RABs, generally:

Its purpose is to promote uniform application of tax laws throughout the State by the Bureau of Tax Policy personnel and provide information and guidance to taxpayers. A Revenue Administrative Bulletin states the official position of the Department, has the status of precedent in the disposition of cases unless and until revoked or modified, and may be relied on by taxpayers in situations where the facts, circumstances and issues presented are substantially similar to those set forth in the Bulletin. A taxpayer must consider the effects of subsequent legislation, regulations, court decisions and Bulletins when relying on a Revenue Administrative Bulletin. See RAB 1989-34 for further information.

The draft RAB explains the marihuana provisioning center tax imposed by the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (the “MMFLA”) and the sales and use tax treatment of marihuana and marihuana-derived products under both the MMFLA and the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (“MMMA”). While the draft RAB makes conclusions (discussed below) regarding significant marihuana tax issues, it has not been finalized and thus should not yet be relied upon by taxpayers. The draft RAB is open for review and comment to the general public until November 6, 2017.     

The draft RAB makes conclusions on the following three issues: (i) a provisioning center tax, (ii) return and remittance requirements, and (iii) sales and use tax.

Provisioning Center Tax

The MMFLA imposes a tax on gross retail receipts of a provisioning center (dispensary) at a rate of 3 percent. Because the tax applies to all gross receipts, the Department concludes that the provisioning center tax is not limited to marihuana-derived products. Rather, the tax also includes non-marihuana sales such as paraphernalia, clothing, food and other tangible personal property or service. In essence, under the Department’s interpretation, all retail sales made by licensed provisioning centers are subject to the provisioning center tax.

Return and Remittance Requirements and Procedures

The MMFLA requires provisioning centers to remit the provisioning center tax to the Department by 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter for the preceding calendar quarter. The draft RAB states that the remittance must be accompanied by a form prescribed by the Department. The form will require a disclosure of the provisioning center’s gross quarterly retail receipts as well as the amount of provisioning center tax due.

The Department is proposing that the return and remittance of tax will be required to be submitted electronically through Michigan Treasury Online. One significant issue not addressed in the draft RAB is how unbanked businesses are supposed to make payments if the only means the State allows is an online system.

Sales and Use Tax

Under current law, the General Sales Tax Act (the “GSTA”) imposes a 6 percent sales tax on the gross proceeds of all persons engaged in the business of making sales at retail. Similarly, the Use Tax Act (the “UTA”) imposes a 6 percent tax for the privilege of using, storing or consuming tangible personal property in Michigan, if no sales tax has been paid on that property.

The draft RAB states that all retail sales of marihuana and marihuana derived products by a provisioning center will be subject to sales tax. Further, a registered caregiver under the MMMA “may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marihuana.” Under the MMMA, the compensation received by the caregiver does not constitute the sale of controlled substances. Accordingly, a caregiver’s service is a non-taxable service and not subject to sales tax. The Department, however, is taking the position that a patient who receives marihuana from a caregiver will be subject to a use tax at a rate of 6 percent of the purchase price of the marihuana. The use tax is supposed to be remitted and reported annually on the patient’s Michigan Individual Income Tax Return.

Finally, the draft RAB states that marihuana-infused products (i.e., edible substances, beverages, etc.) are not eligible for the sale/use of food exemptions under the GSTA and the UTA because they are consumed for their medicinal value rather than nutritional purposes.

When it comes to calculating the amount of sales and use tax, the draft RAB states that the sales and use tax bases include the 3 percent provisioning center tax. By way of example, the draft RAB sets forth the following illustration:

“ABC, Inc. is a provisioning center. ABC sells marihuana to Customer for a sales price of $100. ABC is liable for $3 in tax under the MMFLA (i.e., provisioning center tax). ABC also is liable for sales tax based on 6 percent of $103, which amounts to a sales tax liability of $6.18.”

As noted above, the draft RAB is open for review and comment to the public until November 6, 2017. Anyone wishing to offer comments to the Department should email the Department’s tax policy division at treas_tax_policy@michigan.gov .       

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

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Published at Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

3 Digital Marketing Trends for Cannabis Business

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3 Digital Marketing Trends for Cannabis Business

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

cannabis business

The cannabis industry is unique. When it comes to establishing a cannabis business or brand, you can’t follow the typical strategies. The usual advertising channels are either unavailable or forbidden due to complex regulations.

As a cannabis entrepreneur, you need to think differently. For this reason, we’ve written this article to help you leverage the digital marketing trends for your cannabis business.

Cannabis Business Marketing Trends

Go Mobile

Make sure that your website is mobile friendly. By this, we mean you need to ensure that it suits the needs of your potential audience.

When you prepare your cannabis website for a “mobile first index” it assumes that Google will rank desktop versions of the sites based on how good they are on mobile. The consequences of this can be severe. For example, if you have content on the desktop version that doesn’t display on mobile, your  search engines ranking will suffer.

With today’s technologies, there’s no excuse to only have a desktop version. Did you know that at least 40% of a website’s traffic comes from mobile devices or tablets? That’s a significant chunk of your audience that you’re ignoring! Let’s not forget the fact that people use mobile devices for research or when they’re close to making a purchase.

Some of the most common questions on mobile devices are the location of dispensaries, the hours they’re open and what strains they have in stock. These are questions your audience needs answering. So, ignore mobile at your own peril!

Multi-Channel Marketing

Modern consumers are bombarded by marketing messages every day. People have become inured against traditional advertising and marketing efforts.

As a cannabis business owner, you can’t afford to focus solely on a single marketing channel. Instead, we’ve seen a rise in multi-channel marketing for cannabis brands or services. Deploying methods like affiliate and content marketing, influencers, displays and ecommerce can boost your visibility and improve sales.

The key to success here is to never forget to measure.Every channel you employ needs to be constantly evaluated for results. When you use data collection, you can easily determine what works and more importantly, why it works. This will allow you to make changes on the fly and maximize your chances of success.

Websites for Humans

Effective web design goes beyond using fancy animations or beautiful stock pictures. It should be both interesting and friendly for actual human use!

Did you know that you can easily increase the rate of conversion by simply having a website that is easy to use? Visitors shouldn’t have to engage in multiple clicks to get the information that they want. A good cannabis website should guide visitors to what they’re looking for. It should also have a clear call to action. For example, they should tell potential customers how to add products to their shopping cart or how to sign up for coupons.

Make sure your cannabis site is optimized for desktop and mobile. Since you don’t know what platform visitors are using, you should do your best to not alienate them. Ensure your contact information is clearly visible and up to date. All of your information should be easily understood and easy to navigate. And don’t forget to create, curate and distribute content that is relevant to your target demographic.  Everything you post should engage, entertain and educate your cannabis audience!

Conclusion

As the cannabis industry evolves, new marketing trends will emerge and overtake the market. Did you find any of these trends useful? Is there a trend that you’ve spotted and would like us to cover?

Let us know in the comments!

Oh, and don’t keep this information to yourself. Be sure to share this with your family and friends.

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 24 Oct 2017 08:33:00 +0000

Honest Blunts: Honestly Great Pre Rolled Blunts!

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Honest Blunts: Honestly Great Pre Rolled Blunts!

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

honest blunts

From Honest Marijuana Co.

Honest Blunts are the world’s first organic, hemp-wrapped, whole-flower, machine-rolled blunts. Yeah, we know, that’s a lot of hyphens. But what it boils down to is that Honest Blunts provide the highest quality cannabis and the most consistent smoking experience available on the market today. Sound like a bold claim? It is! But we’re ready to stand behind each and every Honest Blunt we sell. What gives us so much confidence? We grow every piece of the Honest Blunt—from seed to sealed product—and we know everything that goes into our blunts…and everything that doesn’t.

My Expierience With These Honestly Great Organic Blunts

Blunts

What do you get?

My first expierience with Honest Blunts was a great one for sure. First, they come packed in nitrogen for freshness. A very nice touch indeed. The blunts come in a very nice and compact tin. The tin is about the size of a can of mints. These blunts are %100 cannabis. Thats Right! At first glance the blunts look like they are wrapped in cigar paper. However they are wrapped in organic hemp paper. Six come in a tin and depending on your tolorance to THC and the amount you smoke, they can last you the day or the week.

How Was The Flavor?

Awesome! Very Smooth blunts with a subtle sweetness. I enjoyed every puff. I feel the nitrogen packaging really played a roll in the flavor department for sure!

How Was The Wrap?

The blunts where wrapped well. However half of them would begin to unwrap as I would smoke them. This was not a big deal however it was kind of  bothersome. I prefer the organic hemp wrap to traditional tobacco blunt wraps. They had a very smooth enjoyable quality. The wrap burned evenly with no runs.

Wrapping Thing Up

Overall I would recommend Honest Blunts to anyone looking for a quality enjoyable smoking experience. I honestly loved my time spent with the Honest Blunt And I look forward to the day we meet again!

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 24 Oct 2017 09:45:06 +0000

Major Michigan Announcements: Licensing Checklist, Proposed Capitalization Requirements, Other Important Standards

Major Michigan Announcements: Licensing Checklist, Proposed Capitalization Requirements, Other Important Standards

Major Michigan Announcements: Licensing Checklist, Proposed Capitalization Requirements, Other Important Standards

At today’s meeting of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (Board), the State’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) unveiled a checklist for medical marihuana license applications, announced proposed capitalization requirements, and sought public input on other regulations for marihuana facilities.

All of this activity comes as LARA prepares to issue emergency rules for operators under Michigan’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). As regular readers of this blog know, the State will begin accepting applications for medical marihuana operations on December 15. LARA will be releasing emergency rules next month, and is preparing for a “road show” to provide details to the public.

One of the most hotly anticipated rule topics under the MMFLA is the level of capital LARA will mandate potential applicants to demonstrate. LARA today announced that it is recommending that all applicants be required to show access to liquid assets sufficient to cover capital requirements, fees and assessments, and some period of operational costs. While LARA has not yet defined what types of funds may be used to satisfy capital requirements, the Department will require that a CPA attest to an applicant’s ability to access funds. LARA’s recommended requirements are as follows:

  • Class A (500 plant) Grower: $150,000
  • Class B (1,000 plant) Grower: $300,000
  • Class C (1,500 plant) Grower: $500,000
  • Processor: $300,000
  • Provisioning Center (retailer): $300,000
  • Secure Transporter: $200,000
  • Safety Compliance Facility (testing lab): $200,000

The above capital requirements will be applied on a per license basis for applicants who seek multiple licenses. Thus, someone seeking to hold 5 Class C licenses would have a capital requirement of $2,500,000. Someone seeking to vertically integrate with a Class B license, processor license, and single store would have a requirement of $900,000.

Not surprisingly, LARA’s proposed numbers were the source of great controversy and debate. Board Members David LaMontaine and Vivian Pickard expressed concern that the numbers could prevent small businesses and incumbent caregivers and dispensaries from obtaining licenses. Board Members Don Bailey and Nichole Cover, however, noted that the requirements are far lower than many other states, and that the State has an interest in ensuring that licensees are viable, as struggling businesses may be more tempted to divert marijuana outside of the regulated system.

During public comment, many speakers echoed the concerns of Mr. LaMontaine. Others took issue with the concept that capitalization should be examined in reference to liquid assets. They pointed out that many existing caregivers, as well as more prepared applicants, have already made their capital expenditures for equipment and buildings. Such assets, they argued, should thus be counted toward fulfilling the State’s requirements.

In addition to capital levels, LARA also discussed proposed insurance requirements. LARA is considering requiring $100,000 in premises coverage, vehicle insurance consistent with Michigan’s no-fault requirements, and some level of insurance for professional liability and pollution. Participation in workers’ compensation insurance will also of course be required.

LARA next announced its proposal for THC limits in infused products. The Department first explained that LARA will not have any potency limits applicable to extracts or concentrates, as the State does not consider them to be infused products. Rather than having blanket THC limits, LARA will impose limits on 3 categories of infused products, as follows:

  • Edibles: 500 mg THC per container, 50 mg THC per serving.
  • “High potency” products (tinctures): 1000 mg THC per container.
  • Topicals: 6% THC by volume.

All products must test for homogeneity within +/- 10 percent.

Finally, LARA announced its intention for daily purchase limits. LARA ultimately determined that the daily purchase limit should equal the possession limit under the State’s Medical Marihuana Act, which is 2.5 ounces of flower or the equivalent for infused product. Although some Board members took the position that LARA should impose weekly or monthly limits, to prevent patients from acquiring the maximum every day, the Department responded that its analysis of the law is that the State does not have the authority to set such limits.

LARA will take the feedback from today’s meeting and use it to craft final emergency rules, which we anticipate to be released next month. LARA will also incorporate recommendations from work groups formed to advise it on these rules—those recommendations will be the subject of another blog post in the immediate future.

After revealing its intent with regard to those specific rules topics, LARA announced that it has prepared a licensing checklist, which was made available at the end of today’s meeting. While not all-inclusive, and subject to change, the checklist will allow potential applicants to begin to assemble the materials needed to apply for a license. That checklist should be made available on the Department’s web site shortly.

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

(Why?)

Published at Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000