5 Notable Cannabis Headlines – 11/19

Green Wednesday makes records, hemp becomes mainstream with Whole Foods, and legalization makes significant progress. Check out these can't-miss stories from last week!

“Green Wednesday”: A Black Friday for Cannabis Products?

The day before Thanksgiving could become the Black Friday for cannabis users, according to reports by CNBC. Retailers are pushing for the designation of a “Green Wednesday,” a day in which the everything cannabis related (from edibles to accessories) would go on a significant sale. Professionals report a sharp increase in the sale of marijuana-related gifts this Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Therefore they want to promote it as a shopping holiday, similar to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

According to the cannabis analytics company Headset, sales on Green Wednesday last year were double than those of any other typical Wednesday. In Washington, Nevada, and Colorado, recreational sales alone raked in a total of 11 million dollars, making this the biggest day for cannabis retailers after 4/20. After all, the consumer pool for marijuana products will only keep growing. Massachusetts was the latest state to legalize cannabis, with more to follow soon.

New Jersey Schedules Hearings for Cannabis Legalization Next Week

After a long period of backtracking and dispute, the New Jersey legalization program is finally back on track. Reports from NJ.com suggest that state lawmakers will begin voting on the legalization of marijuana for adults over 21. Legislative hearings on proposed bills to expand the current medical marijuana program are set to start next week.

This news comes months after negotiations over a legalization deals led to a stalemate. The disagreement between Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Governor Phil Murphy over the tax rate and regulation of the industry have put the bill on the backburner for a while now. However, Sweeney told the media that he did not want to wait any longer. “We have been talking, and it's time to move forward,” Sweeney told reporters. “Hopefully, we can get to an agreement with the governor.”

Hemp to Become a “Top 10” Product for 2019 According to Whole Foods

According to Whole Foods’ team of seasoned “trend-spotters” (a group of experts with extensive experience in product sourcing and consumer behavior), hemp is one of the products expected to make a real impact in 2019. The analysts believe that hemp products are going to become one of the ten hottest trends of the season.

“Hemp hearts, seeds and oils are nothing new to food and body care lovers — they’re in everything from waffle mix to dried pasta,” the company wrote in a press release. “But a new interest in the potential benefits stemming from other parts of hemp plants has many brands looking to explore the booming cannabis biz. While CBD oil is still technically taboo, (prohibited in food, body care, and dietary supplements under federal law), retailers, culinary experts and consumers can’t miss the cannabis craze when visiting food industry trade shows, food innovators conferences or even local farmers markets.”

Even though CBD’s legality is still shrouded in a fog of legal uncertainty, hemp products seem to become a staple commodity. The 2014 Farm Bill allowed the cultivation of hemp for research purposes, but as far as everyone else is concerned, this non-psychoactive version of cannabis is still classified as illegal. However, this is expected to change soon, as the House and Senate are looking to reform the existing legislation.

Utah Medical Cannabis Proposition Gets 113,000 More Votes Than All Congressional Candidates Combined

Cannabis was the biggest winner of the midterm elections in Utah, as Proposition 2 that voted for its legalization got 113,000 more votes than all of the congressional candidates combined. According to local news sites, Utah voters showed up in record numbers for this election. And it seems like medical cannabis was a big issue for them.

“There were many reasons, I think, for people to turn out for this election,” said Connor Boyack, president of the Utah-based Libertas Institute. According to him, the numbers show that cannabis legalization was “deeply personal” for them.

In total, 1,065,630 people voted for the medical marijuana initiative (Proposition 2). Medical marijuana got more votes than any other statewide race, 2,800 more votes than the two main US Senate candidates, and a whopping 113,000 more votes than all of the 13 candidates combined.

First Cannabis Health Researcher Hired by Canadian University

Yang Qu will be the first researcher to serve as a cannabis health researcher at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. Following the country’s full legalization of cannabis in October, this hire is the first of more to follow. Funding for the position has been provided by the Toronto-based pharmaceutical company Tetra Bio Pharma. Qu spent the last five years at Brock University studying synthetic versions of plant compounds. At his new post, he will use his knowledge to focus exclusively on the health benefits of cannabis. “We know something about the medicinal value of cannabinoids, about the major two cannabinoids, THC and CBD,” Qu said to reporters. “The information about other cannabinoids that also accumulate in the plant are very scarce, so this is an area that we need to study.”

Qu pointed out that the production of cannabinoids depends on the existence of particular genes that, according to him, could be transferred from the cannabis plant to other microorganisms. “Potentially, you could produce very pure compounds,” he added.

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