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: June 14th-20th, 2020
Though the world at large still seems stuck in tumult and chaos, the cannabis world is actually doing pretty well. New studies continue to affirm CBD’s utility (and safety!), hemp regulations keep getting more sensible, and cannabis cultivation is still getting more effective. Here’s what happened this week.
Cannabis Cultivation Goes High-Tech
“COVID is accelerating companies’ plans and technology implementation,” reported Dr. Jon Vaught, CEO of Front Range Biosciences, to MJ Biz Daily. Common implementations include automated HVAC, water, and fertilization programs, pre-roll machines, and yes, even robots (a.k.a. sophisticated seedling transplant machines).
Whether this trend turns out to be a good thing for the overall economy or results in even more economic disparity remains to be seen…Despite all this innovation, the best cannabis bud is still trimmed by hand.
Cresco Labs Gets Diverse
For those unfamiliar, Cresco Labs is one of the United States’ largest vertically-integrated cannabis companies. Cresco just appointed Michele Roberts, a prominent trial lawyer and the NBPA’s executive director, to their Board of Directors.
This is significant for more than one reason. “Michele will provide a unique perspective at a critical time of continued growth and expansion in the industry,” said Cresco’s CEO to Business Wire.
Michele is also a person of color—the first person of color to sit on Cresco’s board. “We are advocates of a more diverse and inclusive cannabis industry,” affirms their CEO. Seems like a small move in the right direction.
Does Cannabis Really Help COVID-19?
According to this scientist’s breakdown the truth isn’t so simple, and one shouldn’t trust every catchy news headline they read.
We’ll spare you the science-details (feel free to read them over at Project CBD) and instead leave you with the scientist’s conclusion: “Despite the news headlines that you may have read, this cannabis scientist will tell you that we are still a very far way off from considering cannabis as a legitimate candidate for preventative or therapeutic treatment of COVID-19 infections.”
As is often the case with divisive issues, it seems that there are smart people on both sides of the CBD-for-COVID-divide.
CBD Liver Safety Study Begins to Take Form
A very important study is set to begin this July. The goal? To find out if CBD has any detrimental effects on the human liver…in real life. So far, seven hemp companies, including Charlotte’s Web and American Shaman, have stepped forward to contribute funding.
One unique thing about this study is that it’ll be completely observational. Instead of subjecting lab rats to weird mixtures of CBD and other substances, it’ll seek to reassure the FDA that CBD is totally safe for humans and human livers.
“The regulators want (data),” Charlotte’s Web Chief Cultivation Officer, Joel Stanley, told Hemp Industry Daily. “And the consumers need it to clear the air on these products, as far as safety is concerned. They deserve that, so we as an industry should jump in to give that to them.”
Move over, concrete. 2020 could be the year that more sustainable alternatives like hempcrete take over. European companies are stepping in to produce all sorts of hemp-derived construction materials and building products.
Their reason is partly economical. “We want to continue investing in non-CBD business lines,” HempFlax CEO, Mark Reinders, told Hemp Industry Daily. “I think this is the right moment to step in, because we will be the industry to rebuild the economy.”
Another benefit of making the switch: Hemp-based building materials are great for the environment. They’re easy to produce, don’t generate much carbon, and have high thermal efficiency, which could also reduce heating and cooling costs.
To Sum Things Up…
All in all, it’s been another good week for cannabis. One thing we did not mention was the looting that some inner-city dispensaries have been facing…but it’s far from limited to the cannabis industry, anyways. As far as we can tell, the future is still bright for cannabis!
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