In ‘This Week in Cannabis’ we want to help you uncover leading cannabis news, industry insights, scientific discoveries and more. Our hope is to help educate the greater public on the many uphill battles we still need to achieve prior to legalization. There are still a lot of laws, regulations and problems that cannabis companies and consumers are faced with.

This Week in Cannabis: March 8th-14th 2020

Another up-and-down week for the cannabis industry. While the CBD niche (if you can even call it a niche at this point!) continues to regulate and refine itself, other aspects of the industry seem to be taking two steps forward and one step back. 

Here’s what happened in the first week of March, 2020.

Cannabinoids with a Twist

It’s no secret that hemp and cannabis can be hard to grow. The path from seed to plant to final production is a long one — and some biotech companies are trying to circumvent it by growing their cannabinoids in the lab. 

CEO of Hysasinth Bio, Kevin Chen, tells project CBD that he’s “focused on engineering strains of yeast to produce the active compounds of cannabis without having to grow plants. 

The reason? “There are several advantages to industrial fermentation, including efficiency gain, especially with larger scale production. It’s a lot faster and easier for a higher yield.” Some nutraceuticals are already produced through this type of fermentation. We’ll see if CBD is next.

Sephora Raises the Bar for CBD Beauty Brands

Beauty giant Sephora recently announced “rules” by which CBD beauty brands must abide by. CBD beauty brands hoping to be featured on their site , at least. 

 “We’re excited to introduce Sephora’s new ‘CBD Standards’ to help provide transparency and assurance to clients as they look to navigate this growing beauty category,” Sephora’s Vice President of Merchandising tells Byrdie

The rules themselves are pretty spot on. 

The first specifies that CBD products must be made with full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD, not isolate. The second rule states the CBD has to be tested a minimum of three times; the third says certificates of analysis (COA’s) which reflect on all of this testing must be available to consumers upon request. If a brand claims a product has 1,000 milligrams of CBD per bottle, its COA should confirm that amount. Finally, the fourth rule is that CBD products must meet Sephora’s Clean Beauty Standards. 

Sephora’s ban on CBD isolates is especially interesting. While it’s generally agreed upon that CBD is more effective when combined with other cannabinoids (much like Vitamin C is much more effective with Vitamin E), it’s still unclear how Sephora will define “full spectrum” or “broad spectrum.”

Perhaps the retailer’s decision has something to do with the FDA; they may try to claim CBD isolate as a pharmaceutical drug at some point in the future. Regardless of motive, Sephora’s new standards are bringing some much-needed clarity to the CBD industry!

Cannabis Use Increases Among Seniors

Recent research from JAMA says the number of 65+ Americans who use cannabis has doubled since 2015. 

Actually, it doubled between 2015 and 2018 — senior partakers may be even more commonplace now.  “Marijuana use among seniors is not bouncing up and down like with other drugs,” NYU professor Joseph Palamar, a co-author of the JAMA study, told CNN. “It’s a straight line up.”

Just don’t expect this trend to move the needle much for major cannabis businesses. Californian septuagenarian Carol Collin reports that just one “little cube” (of cannabis gummy) a night is enough to help her  sleep better.

An Anti-Cannabis, Racially-Profiled Arrest

This is part of the “one step back” we referred to earlier. A disturbing video published by the New York Daily News on March 5th shows 20-year-old Fitzroy Gayle being accosted and eventually assaulted by 6-7 members of the NYPD, just for being suspected for possessing cannabis

Gayle repeatedly asks officers what crime he’s being charged with, to no avail. All this over a joint or two.

Cannabis for Women’s Health: A Rich History

March 8th is International Women’s Day, and guess what — cannabis is great for women’s health! 

That’s what the historical records point to, at least. Even Queen Victoria was treated with cannabis tinctures to combat her menstrual cramps.These tinctures were prepared by her personal physician, Sir John Russell Reynolds, who after 30 years of working with cannabis declared it “of great service in cases of simple spasmodic dysmenorrhoea.

Ancient cultures also used cannabis to facilitate less painful childbirth, a practice that for better or worse is still a little taboo today. 


To Sum Things Up

So, that’s a wrap! This Week In Cannabis highlighted three important topics:

  • Cannabinoids are now being lab tested and grown to keep up with demand.
  • Cannabis use among seniors and women is alive and well, for a good reason.
  • Large corporations, like Sephora, see the benefits of CBD! 

All in all, the industry is still marching forward, one step at a time. And at Key to Cannabis, we couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of it. 

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