Lieutenant Governor, Juliana Stratton Among First Customers
The State of Illinois began the sale of legal marijuana from January 1st and business exploded into life right from the get-go. Thousands of people queued up on a freezing New Year’s Day to spend an astonishing $3.2Million on cannabis products. Among those queuing was the Lieutenant Governor, Juliana Stratton. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation stated that some 77,000 transactions took place. Illinois is the 11th State to legalize cannabis.
Illinois marijuana lovers have sent a huge signal to the federal government as thousands queued overnight outside the few dozen outlets across the State. Cresco Labs runs 5 stores in the State, their CCO Jason Erkes said, “I don’t know how today could be more successful, some people camped out in front of our Champaign store.”
It seems that the biggest problem facing the retailers was simply logistically dealing with the incredible demand. Cresco Labs reported that one of their shops started running out of products as early as 9:00 am. The company also reported that it served 3,145 customers who spent an average of $135 each on a total of 9,258 products. Several other retailers reported that they have had to impose purchase limits in order to conserve stocks.
Best Day Ever For Legal Marijuana
On the whole, though, this was a hugely successful first day. Elected government officials are showing strong support and the Marijuana Business Daily predicted that sales could reach some $2.5Billion.
Sales by far outdid expectations with the president of Phoenix-based 4Front Ventures, Kris Krane saying, “It’s more than I expected, I got here at 5 a.m., and the line was already the entire length of the parking lot. Now, it’s wrapped around the parking lot and all the way down the street.”
Huge queues were reported across the state. Here is a video report from the TMJ4 TV station:
4Front Ventures, owns Mission Illinois, a shop on Chicago’s South Side. They opened in mid-2017 selling medical marijuana. The store had the biggest sales day in its history on New Year’s Eve 2019 and immediately broke that record in just four hours on New Year’s Day. Krane added, “Yesterday was our biggest sales day ever in 2½ years. We sold as much by 10 a.m. this morning,” Krane said. “If we had double the POS stations, we’d have double the numbers.” This was in spite of a POS problem that saw all sales cease for a 20 minute period. This happened prior to 7:00 am.
Lieutenant Governor Stratton made a purchase of edibles at Cresco’s Sunnyside shop. This kind of endorsement from such a high ranking official must be seen as a huge boost for the legal marijuana market. If the destigmatization of marijuana was the aim, it is fair to say that this launch succeeded above and beyond all expectations.
Some customers did state that they had experienced surprise at some of the high prices. With one stating, “I got a little bit of sticker shock … So other people are going to feel it, too. It was pretty limited and way too expensive.” This will be of some concern to some of the sponsors of the legal marijuana bills. Many have expressed concern that poorer areas, predominantly black or brown communities, have felt the brunt of the ‘war on drugs’.
Still Challenges Ahead
The business of legal marijuana will have its teething troubles. However, any are expressing their intention to spend a little more in order to stay on the right side of the law. It is, though, apparent that others will seek illegal products when faced with a large price differential.
One Chicago resident, Kevin Chandler, said that he believes this price differential will mean that many consumers will still buy flower from the illicit market, whilst those seeking edibles or vape cartridges, for example, will take the legal route.
It remains to be seen how long it will take for all this to settle down. It is though a huge step forward for the business.
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Buyers Guide to Legal Cannabis Dispensaries
Maria Loreto writing in Fresh Toast this week has come up with a handy buyers guide for people visiting legal cannabis dispensaries for the first time. It’s full of useful information. From the perhaps obvious, take your ID with you to legal rules and regulations.
Legal Cannabis Dispensaries are Classed as Essential
During the Coronavirus, pandemic rules are ever-changing but classing marijuana as essential goods means that many are shopping for the first time.
Check out Maria’s full story on the Fresh Toast Website
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6 Top Women Cannabis Advocates
The whole cannabis industry is very much an equal opportunity platform. As such many top women cannabis advocates have become household names around the globe. All nationalities and religions have their place in what is becoming one of the fastest-growing industries on Earth.
6 Top Women Cannabis Advocates
1: Mara Gordon
As top women cannabis advocates go they don’t get any better than Mara Gordon. She is the woman behind Aunt Zelda’s, the pioneering, developer of cannabis-based plant medicines. A long time advocate of medical marijuana she is a researcher as well as a successful entrepreneur. With a background in process engineering, she has created marijuana medicines that are used bu thousands of people all over the world. She is outspoken against some of the more dubious advocates in the industry and has given some amazing Tedx Talks.
She co-founded Aunt Zelda’s in 2011, which originally operated as a collective and as regulations were constantly added and changed in California she created a standardized range of CBD oil products and made them commercially available. They specialize in strain-specific, full-spectrum medicines that have high concentrations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds.
In addition to her many Tedx Talks Mara has appeared on stages before audiences all over the World. She has been featured in the award-winning documentary Weed the People and such films as The Medicine in Marijuana, Mary Janes: Women of Weed.
Emily Paxhia co-founded Poseidon Asset Management of which she is now Managing Partner. She is graduate Skidmore College, gaining a B.A. in Psychology in 2002 and New York University from where she earned her M.A. in Psychology in 2008. Poseidon is thought to be the longest-running cannabis investment fund in the World. It has $105 million in assets under management.
This was a huge task to undertake in the early days. Persuading people to invest in cannabis was not easy. In the 6 years since she formed the company, things have certainly changed. As she herself puts it, “6 years later, finding those service providers is much easier. They now have about 6 years of an investable landscape to look back on and see what it looks like. And you can sometimes extrapolate what that might look like for the future.”
Emily has reviewed thousands of companies within the cannabis industry and has worked with countless professionals in different positions. She has sat on the boards of three portfolio companies and acts as an adviser to many other teams. Emily remains very active in the decision making and ongoing investment oversight processes for Poseidon. Working closely with her partners, she creates well-thought deal structures and oversees proper governance.
In addition to all this, Emily supports policy groups and has been board members of the Marijuana Policy Project and the Board of Athletes for CARE and Treehouse Global Ventures. She remains one of the most respected women in the industry and is certainly one of our favorite top women cannabis advocates.
3: Martha Stewart
It would be easy to write a whole book about Martha Stewart, not just a paragraph here. Born in Jersey City in 1941, She attended Barnard College of Columbia University, began a career as a stockbroker, Became a TV chef and author, produced her own magazine, and a famous TV presenter. She has long been one of our top women cannabis advocates.
In 2004 she was famously found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of an agency proceeding, and making false statements to federal investigators. She received a 5-month jail sentence.
She teamed up with her friend Snoop Dogg to present TV shows once again and once again began presenting her own TV cooking programs. In 20198 she teamed up with Canopy Growth, a Canadian marijuana company. Together they have developed a range of hemp-derived products. Using CBD, the range caters to pets, in order to help them live healthy, active lifestyles.
4: Tulsi Gabbard
Tulsi Gabbard is a giant when it comes to top women cannabis advocates. She was a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, serves as U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. She is the first Hindu member of congress and was a candidate for the Democratic nomination of the Presidency.
Born in 1981, she is a long time advocate for the legalization of marijuana. In fact, in her formal Presidential campaign address, she launched a scathing attack on a justice system that, “puts people in prison for smoking marijuana while allowing corporations like Purdue Pharma, who are responsible for the opioid-related deaths of thousands of people, to walk away scot-free with their coffers full.”
She sponsored the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act. This would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, allowing states to make their own choices about cannabis policy.
She has been responsible for cosponsoring many cannabis-related bills. In April 2019 she introduced legislation that is designed to end prohibition by federally de-scheduling cannabis. She said of the bill, “This is affecting those dealing with opioid addiction, this is affecting farmers, this is affecting small business owners, this affecting our veterans and those who are locked up in our broken criminal justice system because of this prohibition. That’s what my bill seeks to do: end prohibition very simply.”
5: Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopeeeee for Whoopi, that’s we say! One of the first truly big female stars to put her head above the parapet in support of the cannabis movement. In 2016, together with Herbalist Maya Elizabeth, she founded the Whoopi & Maya range of marijuana-based PMS treatments. This truly pioneering company was a conversation starter for marijuana. They offer a range of bath soaks, salves, and tinctures.
Sadly the pair split in February 2020. The company folded. However, Whoopi remains a staunch advocate for Cannabis treatments. Some cited differences between the two whilst others claim it was the constantly changing laws in California that simply became too much for them.
Whoopi has been outspokenly in favor of marijuana since her teens when she smoked weed to help with menstrual cramps. She remains one of the top women cannabis advocates.
6: Dr. Lakisha Jenkins
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins is a master herbalist. With a doctorate in naturopathy, she is a member of the American Herbalist Guild and a founding board member of the California Cannabis Industry Association. Her impact on legal cannabis in California has been immense. She has written many laws to legalize weed in the Golden State. She is an expert at marrying herbs with CBD to create authentic n natural medicines.
Her life has not been without tragedy, and that is what drives her on. Her daughter Kiona was diagnosed with brain tumors in 2002 at the age of 8. Back then, of course, all CBD derivatives were illegal and Dr. Jenkins was forced to look on helplessly as her daughter’s illness took her. Kiona passed away in 2006.
Dr. Jenkins says of the event, “I was informed that the State of California knows what’s better for my daughter than I do and that if I did anything different than conventional treatment, then I’d be acting outside of medical advice and that I would be a threat to her. Unfortunately, I was forced to accept, but while she was going through chemotherapy and radiation, I started researching and studying for my doctorate, and figuring out other holistic alternatives.”
Dr. Jenkins’ ancestry is Choctaw Indian. She drew upon her heritage to study natural herbs and medicines. Apart from being one of the top women cannabis advocates in the World, she is a strong voice for minorities trying to work in the cannabis industry. As she puts it, “There’s a privilege that is associated with being a white male in this country, you don’t have that same type of fear that other minority groups or other people do and you’re more in a position to take a risk in jumping into this industry.”
We salute her and the difference she is making for women, minorities, and the cannabis industry in general.
This is by no means a complete list of top women cannabis advocates nor is it intended to be. There are more and more women now making their marks in the cannabis industry. Politicians, celebrities, growers, and users, entrepreneurial women are coming together strongly in support of our favorite herb. Long may it continue.
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The value of the European Cannabis Market is €240 million:
Unbelievable figures are coming out of the European cannabis market. Sales for 2019 are an amazing €240 million ($260 million). This means that it is feasible that the European market could in the near future overtake the American market.
Alfredo Pascual an International Analyst for MJBizDaily states in his report “This report provides industry leaders and investors interested in the European markets with a realistic estimate of current market sizes and a detailed analysis of the countries where the most opportunities exist.”
Exciting Figures For the Cannabis Market in Europe.
The signs are that the initial market trends are mainly medical but recreational cannabis use is bound to follow. Pascual again, “While the long-term expectation of Europe being a massive medical and, eventually, recreational the cannabis industry continues to show promise, this report highlights the reality of the market today, including the actual sales and the regulatory frameworks that exist in the main European markets.”
Check out the full story on Marijuana Business Daily
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