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Clark County cannabis market booming

Clark County cannabis market booming

The Columbian / Associated Press

It’s been three years since Clark County’s first cannabis businesses appeared, and this corner of Southwest Washington has grown into the fifth largest cannabis market in the state, according to sales and excise taxes collected. What started out as a chaotic industry with major supply-side issues has dramatically changed and matured into a both a revenue generator and a job creator for the region.

“Locally Clark County stacks up quite well (in the Washington cannabis market),” said Gareth Kautz, co-owner of the High End Market Place dispensary in Uptown Village. “We have some of the best weed in the state, some of the best low-cost product in the state and one of the best medical processors (Fairwinds Manufacturing) — if not the only one — in the state.”

Clark County today has 23 growers and processors and 13 stores clustered in Vancouver and Battle Ground, the only two jurisdictions that allow cannabis businesses. Those operations employ 250 or more, although there is no formal tally.

By excise taxes collected, Clark County ranks fifth in the state, behind King, Spokane, Pierce and Snohomish counties. From 2014 through 2016, Clark County residents paid about $34 million in excise tax, which helps fund addiction health services, research and public schools, among other things. In comparison, King County, the largest market, paid about $116 million over the same time period.

Clark County’s retail stores have done especially well, capitalizing on their close proximity to the Portland market. Vancouver’s largest dispensary, Main Street Marijuana, is also the largest store in the state, with $41 million in sales since 2014. That store expanded last year with new locations in Vancouver and Longview. The Herbery also expanded to three stores — all in Vancouver — since its first location opened in 2015. Together those stores have netted $23.1 million since opening. New Vansterdam had the third-highest sales in the area, with $22 million since 2014. And a host of other dispensaries including High End Market Place, High 5 Cannabis and the Cannabis Country Store are all in the $5 million to $7 million range since opening.

The story is a bit different on the grower/processor side, however.

A maturing industry

A maturation and sorting out of the grower/processor industry has led to stiff competition for dispensary shelf space and basic survival — and some smaller farms are starting to get crushed.

“It’s definitely changed,” said Brian Stroh, owner of Cannaman Farms, the first licensed grower in Clark County and the third one in Washington state. “There’s so much supply. You have to stay relationship driven with stores, otherwise you may not get shelf space. It’s a very capital-intensive business, and there’s constant downward price pressure.”

Originally the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board limited the canopy — the amount of cannabis allowed to be grown — to about 2 million square feet total. The agency also licensed the first stores in 2014 before there was enough product on the market to sell, which led to spikes of $40 a gram for a product that now generally sells for between $8 and $14.

Since that time, WSLCB has further expanded canopy to about 12 million square feet, and has allowed growers in its three-tiered canopy system to expand production as well. But that, in turn, has led to a bit of an oversupply, Stroh said.

“Family farms, small farms, are having problems unloading everything they grow,” Stroh said. “And in general if you lose one crop, you lose too much money to stay in business.”

Cannaman Farms, for instance, had problems with crop loss after an electrical fire broke one night. It’s taken a long time to recover, he said.

“We’ve had a lot of failures,” Stroh said. “It’s a very capital-intensive business for sure. But we’re in the same boat as a lot of people. It’s a struggle. Payroll, rent, bills, these things aren’t just a given. There’s not a lot of people making money right now.”

At least two small Clark County growers have gone out of business already. One failed after burglars stole a harvest; the other closed due to pesticide issues.

Kautz said he sympathizes with the struggles small growers face.

“Most of these growers are one harvest away from going out of business,” Kautz said. “I’m talking about the big guys, too. If you lose one crop, you’re in a lot of trouble.”

Still, not all small farms are struggling. Skord, a Tier 2 grower in Battle Ground, has been successful using a slow roll-out strategy, said owner Joshua Anderson.

“We’re trying to not oversaturate stores, so our plan is to have one store in each community,” said Anderson, who in Vancouver sells through High End Market Place.

“So far, that’s worked out for us. It’s been advantageous for us to demand the price we want and to have some exclusivity in stores. Our reputation is spreading and we’re doing very well.”

Growing big

Two of Vancouver’s larger grower-processors also are doing very well — Cedar Creek Cannabis and Fairwinds Manufacturing. Each has its niche.

Cedar Creek, operated by Clark County native Mark Michaelson, has found its niche by providing consistent quality, which has led to an unusual problem. Its products are now found in more than 20 stores statewide, but at least a dozen more stores want to buy product from the company. Michaelson doesn’t have enough supply to meet all the demand.

“We can’t expand fast enough,” Michaelson said. “We’re afraid of losing market share if we don’t expand faster. We’re actually hoping to buy more grower licenses at some point.”

From 2014 to 2016, Cedar Creek had $3.6 million in statewide sales. It sold $800,000 more in the first five months of this year.

To ramp up production, the company recently rented a 20,000-square-foot facility in Kelso, in addition to its current operations in Vancouver. The plan is to expand the grow operation at the Kelso site while also ramping up cannabis oil and concentrate production in Vancouver, he said.

“Probably the most important thing that gets you on store shelves is consistency,” Michaelson said of his success. “Consistency of the quality of the product. Consistency with the lab results. That, and relationships. The relationship you have with your retailer is critical. They take care of you and your customers, and you take care of them as well.”

Finding and retaining quality employees has been a good strategy for keeping his products consistent, he added.

“We don’t pay our help minimum wage,” Michaelson said. “When you find good people, you have to pay them well to keep them.”

Fairwinds may have found a niche by becoming the most diverse and unusual grower and processor in the state.

The company, owned by James Hull, a mechanical engineer who used to build military ships, is one of only a handful of Washington businesses that makes Department of Health-compliant medical marijuana wellness products.

Fairwinds got into the market early with cannabis infused coffee and K-Cup compatible beverage pods, which made a national splash on a handful of TV networks fascinated by the novelty factor. Since then the company has built a reputation for having very clean, easy-to-consume products like tinctures, pills and vapes.

At the same time, Hull has also worked with scientists and patients whenever possible to develop products for the medical side of the industry, although Fairwinds’ products are available through the recreational market as well.

Those products include Flow, a topical gel which can be used externally to alleviate pain; menstrual relief suppositories; rectal suppositories to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease; and more recently a pill-based product called PTSFree, aimed at veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The PTSFree product was developed with Operation Ward 57, a veterans group based in Seattle. Fairwinds gives a portion of the proceeds to the group, and recently completed a fundraising effort with The Herbery which netted $5,000 for the nonprofit.

“We want to lead this industry with information, science and facts,” Hull said. “And we want to help people along the way.”

So far, Hull’s business model is paying off. Fairwinds is the largest producer-processor in Clark County, netting $6 million in sales from 2014 to 2016, and another $1.7 million through May 2017.

“Fairwinds has been blowing up — and they’re blowing up everywhere,” Kautz said. “They have everything down to a science.”

Both Fairwinds and Cedar Creek are likely immune from the shakeout that’s consolidating smaller growers and driving some out of business, but both companies also remain aware of the threat.

“Thousands of licensed growers are out there, but that’s going down,” Michaelson said. “I think we’ll end up with somewhere around 100 of them in the end, out of the 1,000 or so that are out there. Personally, I don’t want to be the biggest, or even the absolute best necessarily — I just want to be one of the biggest and the best.”

Clark County marijuana market

Local marijuana businesses

Growers/processors: 23

Retailers: 13

Total excise tax paid: $43 million

Note: Operations are legal only in Vancouver and Battle Ground

Clark County’s biggest grower/processors, total sales 2014-2016

Fairwinds Manufacturing, $6 million

Agrijuana, $3.9 million

Cedar Creek Cannabis, $3.6 million

Sunshine Farms, $2 million

Skord, $1.6 million

Cannaman Farms, $480,000

Local retail marijuana sales:

2014: $5 million

2015: $38 million

2016: $50 million

Total: $93 million

Local marijuana grower/processor sales:

2014: $0

2015: $4 million

2016: $10 million

Total: $14 million

Local marijuana excise tax collected:

2014: $2 million

2015: $14 million

2016: $19 million

Total: $34 million

Statewide marijuana dispensary sales:

2014: $31 million

2015: $323 million

2016: $696 million

Statewide marijuana grower/processor sales:

2014: $19 million

2015: $163 million

2016: $413 million

Statewide marijuana excise tax collected:

2014: $16 million

2015: $129 million

2016: $256 million

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 20 Jun 2017 23:54:47 +0000

Study links legalized pot with increase in car crash claims 

Study links legalized pot with increase in car crash claims 

The Columbian / Associated Press

DENVER — A recent insurance study links increased car crash claims to legalized recreational marijuana.

The Highway Loss Data Institute, a leading insurance research group, said in study results released Thursday that collision claims in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon went up 2.7 percent in the years since legal recreational marijuana sales began when compared with surrounding states. Legal recreational pot sales in Colorado began in January 2014, followed six months later in Washington, and in October 2015 in Oregon.

“We believe that the data is saying that crash risk has increased in these states and those crash risks are associated with the legalization of marijuana,” said Matt Moore, senior vice president with the institute, which analyzes insurance data to observe emerging auto safety trends.

Mason Tvert, a marijuana legalization advocate and communications director with the Marijuana Policy Project, questioned the study’s comparison of claims in rural states such as Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana with Colorado, Oregon and Washington that have dense population centers and how that affected the study’s findings.

“The study raises more questions than it provides answers and it’s an area that would surely receive more study, and deservedly so,” Tvert said.

Researchers accounted for factors such as the number of vehicles on the road in the study and control states, age and gender of drivers, weather and even whether the driver making a claim was employed. Neighboring states with similar fluctuations in claims were used for comparison.

Insurance industry groups have been keeping a close watch on claims when auto accidents across the country began to go up in 2013 after more than a decade of steady decline. Insurance companies found several possible factors at play in the spike that included distracted driving through texting or cellphone use, road construction, and an improved economy that has led to leisurely drives and more miles driven, as well as marijuana legalization.

“It would appear, probably not to anyone’s surprise, that the use of marijuana contributes to crashes,” said Kenton Brine, president of the industry group Northwest Insurance Council that represents companies in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. He added: “It would be difficult to say that marijuana is a definitive factor, lacking a citation, in a significant number of crashes to say that what we’re seeing here is a trend.”

The Highway Loss Data Institute said its study examined claims from January 2012 to October 2016.

“The problem here is that it’s a pretty new experience,” said Carole Walker of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, an industry group that covers Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. “This is the first study that has been able to isolate legal pot as one of the factors.”

Eight states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana for adults.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety spokesman Russ Rader adds that alcohol impairment remains one of the biggest concerns on the road.

“While we have proven countermeasures, proven strategies for reducing alcohol impaired driving, there are a lot of unanswered questions about marijuana and driving,” Rader said.

A study released last year by AAA’s safety foundation found legal THC limits established by states with legal marijuana have no scientific basis and can result in innocent drivers being convicted, and guilty drivers being released.

Moore of the Highway Loss Data Institute said they hope the study’s findings will be considered by lawmakers and regulators in states where marijuana legalization is under consideration or recently enacted.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:37:53 +0000

Investor Ideas Talks to Ian Tostenson, Director of ParcelPal and President & CEO of B.C. Restaurant & Food Services Association

Investor Ideas Talks to Ian Tostenson, Director of ParcelPal and President & CEO of B.C. Restaurant & Food Services Association

POINT ROBERTS, WA –(Marketwired – June 20, 2017) – www.Investorideas.com, a global news source covering leading sectors including technology, cannabis, and food and beverage, releases an exclusive podcast interview with Ian Tostenson, Director of ParcelPal (CSE: PKG), (OTC PINK: PTNYF) and President & CEO of the BC Restaurant & Food Services Association.

Ian talks about how technology is changing the restaurant industry and how ParcelPal can play a role as an “Uber-like” company providing on-demand delivery to customers.

Hear the full podcast interview here: http://www.investorideas.com/Audio/Podcasts/061917-IanTostenson.mp3

Ian discusses his background in the sector, which spans over twenty-five years and included Cascadia Brands, who owned Granville Island Brewery, Kelowna Wines, Sandhill and a fifty percent interest in Burrowing Owl. He also chaired the BC Wine Institute for five years before entering the restaurant sector.

“The BC restaurant industry is a $12 Billion dollar industry with 180,000 employees and is a very significant contributor to our economy. As the business becomes more competitive, we have more technology being applied to make it more effective and more efficient.”

He went on to say, “We live in a world of immediacy and Amazon has wired our DNA so when we want something, we want it now. ParcelPal started off initially as business to business and was the first introduction of this Uber-like service here. Kelly, the CEO, has innovated and realized there is an incredible opportunity with business to consumer and it will have a profound effect on my organization to deliver a technology company like ParcelPal to the industry that could affect different streams of business like home delivery, which is becoming a more important part of the industry both in Canada and in the US. The US is ahead of us and we are seeing restaurants that are not opening up for retail operation but simply opening up kitchens to deliver food to people’s homes. I think ParcelPal is well positioned to seize on that trend.”

When asked what made ParcelPal different from services like Skip the Dishes or DoorDash Food Delivery he said, “I think it’s the fact ParcelPal is home-grown. They are good at customizing solutions, understanding what their values are, what customers want and are building their technology to adopt what customers want vs. a cookie cutter approach.”

Ian also talks about some of the current challenges facing the restaurant industry including labour shortages and how his passion project H.A.V.E. Café can help fill that gap, while also providing a much needed opportunity to the Vancouver Eastside community.

Mr. Tostenson is President and Chief Executive Officer of the British Columbia Restaurant & Food Services Association. He spent most of his career as President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascadia Brands Inc. In addition, Mr. Tostenson was British Columbia’s second chairman for the British Columbia Wine Institute, a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and a recipient of Business in Vancouver’s Under 40 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He has served on the board as a director and was the President of the David Foster Foundation for over 22 years. He co-founded H.A.V.E. Café which focuses on helping people in the Downtown Vancouver Eastside.

About ParcelPal Technology Inc. (CSE: PKG), (OTC PINK: PTNYF)
ParcelPal is a technology driven logistics company that connects consumers to the goods they love. Customers can shop at partner businesses and through the ParcelPal technology receive their purchased goods within an hour. The Company offers on-demand delivery of merchandise from leading retailers, restaurants, medical marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores in Vancouver and soon in major cities Canada-wide.

How it Works
Through the ParcelPal iOS app, customers enter their address and view a list of merchants available in their neighborhood. Once the customer makes a selection, they simply place the order and pay online through ParcelPal secure ordering platform. The order is then prepared by the restaurant and brought directly to customers by a ParcelPal driver anywhere they choose to be in Vancouver. Customers will also have the option to order and pick it up themselves.
www.parcelpal.com/

ParcelPal Technology Inc is a featured company on Investorideas.com

Visit: http://www.investorideas.com/CO/PKG/

About Investorideas.com – News that Inspires Big Ideas
Investorideas.com is a meeting place for global investors, featuring news, stock directories, video, company profiles, interviews and more in leading sectors.

Disclaimer/Disclosure: Investorideas.com is a digital publisher of third party sourced news, articles and equity research as well as creates original content, including video, interviews and articles. Original content created by investorideas is protected by copyright laws other than syndication rights. Our site does not make recommendations for purchases or sale of stocks, services or products. Nothing on our sites should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or securities.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:22:16 +0000

Morneau and Provinces Talk Pot and Taxes

Morneau and Provinces Talk Pot and Taxes

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau met with provincial counterparts this week to talk pot and taxes, among other things.

With Ottawa delegating legal distribution and consumption details to the provinces, all eyes were on Morneau.

The twice-a-year meeting had to live up to its otherwise officially dull agenda — to facilitate a “co-ordinated approach to the taxation of cannabis.”

Or how the provinces interpreted the meeting: what can we squeeze from Ottawa?

Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao said Quebec should have “equitable sharing of tax revenue,” which I take to mean legal equitable interest in the legalization model, rather than “fair” or “impartial” sharing of tax revenue.

Equalization payments clearly demonstrate why I would have my suspicions over his choice of words.

While Quebec sniffed around for federal funds like an anteater, Manitoba got wet feet like a duck.

“We’re not ready yet!” cried some bureaucrat in Winnipeg, his echo carrying through the office and on down the corridors. Eventually making its way to Manitoba’s finance minister who told Morneau that their government was feeling a bit “rushed” about the whole thing.

Just not ready, so to speak.

Interestingly enough, Ottawa didn’t care and instead pushed for a low taxation rate, fearing that too high of a tax burden would undermine their efforts to eradicate the “black market.”

Which goes to show how nefarious the Liberal deficit and tax hikes are. Morneau and the Liberals know exactly what grows an economy and what doesn’t.

Low taxes and minimal infringement on entrepreneurs generate prosperity. Throw in a frugal population and a high savings rate, and you’ve got yourself a pretty prosperous government since the Liberals would be getting more bang for their buck on the taxation front.

But Morneau and the Liberals have gone the opposite direction, anticipating a $23-billion year-end deficit and raising taxes on the middle class. Task Force Liberal Anne McLellan even said cannabis legalization would cost Canadians money before any revenue could be realized.

And don’t let these deficit numbers fool you, it takes 31 years to count to one billion. There is a staggering amount of debt in the Canadian economy and asset prices are only as good as the inflated stock market.

Government debt isn’t like household debt. Governments can endlessly borrow funds by putting a newer generation of taxpayers up as collateral. Yet, this scheme rests on a planet of finite resources.

So Morneau knows exactly how the economy works.

Meanwhile, federal-provincial coordination is nothing new nor unexpected. That cannabis legalization is on the agenda only goes to show how effective breaking the law can be.

So let’s keep overgrowing the government until we’ve freed the weed, and then let’s overgrow them some more.

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 21 Jun 2017 03:42:53 +0000

This July 1st, celebrate Canada and cannabis at Cannabis Day

This July 1st, celebrate Canada and cannabis at Cannabis Day

If you love Canada and cannabis, come celebrate Cannabis Day at Thornton Park this July 1st in Vancouver!

Cannabis Day has always been the perfect event for all of the proud Canna-dians out there, and this year there’s even more to celebrate because it is Canada’s 150th birthday.

For this milestone year, Cannabis Day has been moved from the Vancouver Art Gallery to Thornton Park, located on the northern corner of Terminal and Main, directly in front of Pacific Central Station.

It’s interesting to note that Cannabis Day 2017 will be somewhat historic as it will be going down as the last Cannabis Day to be held while cannabis is still technically illegal. That is all set to change Cannabis/Canada Day 2018. So if you’ve never checked Cannabis Day out before, this is your last chance to gain the bragging rights that you’ve been coming to Cannabis Day since before it was legal!

Be sure to check out all the goods and goodies at the famous Cannabis Day Farmer’s Market, groove to the live music, and listen to industry experts and activists such as Jodie Emery and Dana Larsen.

The Farmer’s Market always draws thousands of people, and if you’d like to be a vendor, tables are free and without reservations, but please keep in mind that space is limited and it’s first-come, first-served.

Cannabis Day goes from 12-7pm, but make sure to set your watch for the massive smoke-out at 4:20pm to enjoy a different kind of fireworks.

So let the good times and joints roll this Canada Day at Thornton Park with one of the best ways to spend your July 1st- celebrating Cannabis Day with thousands of fellow Canna-dians.

Also, be sure to check out our Vancouver 420 2017 videos- highlights and the full live show.


(Why?)

Published at Mon, 19 Jun 2017 18:31:54 +0000

Nevada judge mulls suit over July 1 recreational pot startup

Nevada judge mulls suit over July 1 recreational pot startup

The Columbian / Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A judge in Nevada is trying to decide whether the state’s first sales of recreational marijuana should begin as scheduled July 1 despite complaints from alcohol distributors.

Lawyers for the liquor distributors and the Nevada Department of Taxation are expected to go before Judge James Wilson in Carson City on Tuesday to argue the case.

Wilson granted a temporary restraining order May 30 blocking licensing of pot distributors under the ballot measure voters approved in November.

The liquor distributors argue the law dictates they get the first shot at the equivalent licenses for recreational marijuana.

The state says it has the authority to license medical marijuana dispensaries to play that role on a temporary basis from July 1 through Dec. 31.

The Nevada Cannabis Coalition says any delay could cost the state millions of dollars a month in tax revenue targeted for schools.

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 13 Jun 2017 16:33:41 +0000

Researchers find increased pot use by college students

Researchers find increased pot use by college students

The Columbian / Associated Press

CORVALLIS, Ore. — A study by Oregon State University researchers has found college students at an undisclosed large public university in the state are using more marijuana since recreational pot became legal two years ago.

The Register-Guard reports the researchers’ study was published Wednesday in a journal called Addiction. The study found increased use is mainly by students who are binge alcohol drinkers and by students who are under the legal pot consumption age of 21.

OSU researchers also found increases at six out of seven universities around the country. But the unnamed Oregon university rose above the others with the highest increase.

Data for the study came from 10,924 undergraduate students ages 18 to 26. The researchers also used existing data, previously collected by the University of Michigan.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 15 Jun 2017 16:11:21 +0000

Volcano Vaporizer Review: The Best Desktop Vaporizer in Today’s Industry

Volcano Vaporizer Review: The Best Desktop Vaporizer in Today’s Industry

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  • FEATURES & DESIGN

  • PERFORMANCE

  • VAPOR QUALITY

  • VALUE FOR MONEY

Shop Volcano Vaporizer

There are two kinds of vape enthusiasts.

First, you have the recreational users.

These are the individuals who usually use the vaporizers to relax during their free time.

Then there’s the second type of users that make use of vaporizers medically.

In the past years, there are a growing number of people who are using their vaporizer as a medical device. With changes in legislation, you now have a growing market of medical cannabis users in need of vaporizers that can deliver THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.

But let’s admit it. Times have changed.

And no matter what type of vape enthusiast category you fit in, there’s a rise in the number of people looking for high-quality vaporizers.

And what do vape connoisseurs go for?

Vape connoisseurs look for excellent vapor experience regardless if it’s for a medical or recreational purpose.

But unfortunately, not all vaporizers can give you this.  Then, there’s the Volcano.

The Volcano vaporizer has changed the landscape of the vaporizer industry. It has set the bar of what vaporizers should look like and how it should perform. And it is the device that has successfully surpassed expectations since the early 2000s.


What’s The Volcano Vaporizer

The Volcano is a vaporizer made by one of the best vaporizer companies today, Storz and Bickel. It is the same German company that made the Mighty, Plenty, and Crafty. And over the years, Storz and Bickel kept the Volcano as the top product for both desk and portable vaporizers.

Despite the age of this model, The Volcano is still considered as the gold standard of vaporizers in the industry. The Volcano, over the years, has been known for its user-friendly design, durability, and great overall performance.

As for its appearance, it has a pyramid shaped construction for stability when placed on the table. Though you may hesitate to purchase the Volcano vaporizer,  mainly due to its hefty price tag, it is definitely something worth investing if you are a serious vape enthusiast. It’s one of those items that you simply can’t live without once you tried it.

What exactly makes it so special?

For starters, it is made of the best materials. It makes use of stainless steel and durable medical grade materials that ensure the cleanliness of its output. It is also the type of vaporizer that provides you with options whether you like using a balloon or a tube when vaping.

The vaporizer has been designed to reach an optimum temperature for vaporization. And an evidence of such is the clean taste that you get from the vapor. Though the device will be cycling on and off, you can guarantee that you are not getting off the optimum temperature zone with the Volcano. According to experts, you can expect that the device won’t be off by 5 degrees from the optimum temperature zone.

Also, the vaporizer offers options for different vaping preferences. It caters to both herbs and concentrates. And the good news is that regardless of what you actually prefer, both equally taste good on the Volcano vaporizer.

As mentioned earlier, the device can be attached to either balloon or pipe. And what exactly does it mean? Vaping enthusiasts can enjoy vaping alone, or they can even have a bag that can be passed around with friends.

Digital vs. Classic Volcano

By 2007, the Storz and Bickel decided to improve the Volcano by releasing a digital version of the superb vaporizer. Are you still trying to compare which one is better? Maybe, you haven’t decided yet whether or not you are switching from the classic analog Volcano to the digital version?

Here are some key differences that you need to know:

The first thing that you might notice about the Digital and the Classic Volcano is the price. The newer version is pricier than the already expensive Classic Volcano. If the Classic Volcano costs somewhere around the $500 range, you can expect the Digital version to be somewhere around the $600 to $700.

What makes the Digital Volcano much expensive than its predecessor?  One of the things that make the Digital Volcano better is precision. With its digital controls, you can input the exact temperature and get exactly the heat that you want for your herbs.

One of the things that make the Digital Volcano better is precision. With its digital controls, you can input the exact temperature and get exactly the heat that you want for your herbs.

Next, the Digital version also has a new and improved auto-shutoff feature just in case you forget that you are still using the device. This feature helps preserve the heating element and to save energy in the process.

Does it make the Classic an obsolescent version of the Volcano?

In truth, this isn’t really the case. The Classic Volcano works just fine. You can still expect high-quality sessions with the Classic version, it’s just that Storz and Bickel found a way to even improve the already impressive design of the Volcano. In addition to this, you will hear some connoisseurs to actually prefer the older version saying that the Classic Volcano is actually a much more dependable vaporizer because of its durability.

In case you’ve purchased the Digital version though, you have nothing to worry about since the warranty is going to cover for all of this.

For the additional $130 to shift from Classic to Digital Volcano, is it worth it?

In reality, for the slightest difference between the two Volcano Vaporizers, it isn’t really worth it. If you have the resources to burn, not to mention a taste for something hip, then, by all means, you should go for the Digital Volcano.

Easy and Solid Valve Sets

Aside from the digital and the classic versions, you also have to decide whether you like the Solid or the Easy Valve version.

In case you are wondering which system suits you better, there are only main two points that you will need to consider.

One, do you want a maintenance free option? Second, do you like to save money? Unfortunately, you can’t choose both a maintenance-free and economical option when choosing between the Easy and Solid Valve Volcano Vaporizer.

Still confused on what to choose?

Let’s take a closer look at the solid and easy valve to know the pros and cons of both options.

The Solid Valve is made up of high quality and durable stainless steel and heat-resistant plastic. One of the perks of choosing solid valve is the customizable balloon size options. The Solid Valve offers a higher quality chamber and mouthpiece than the Easy Valve.

It is also the type of valve that will allow you to save a good amount of money on maintenance. However, you have to deal with the fact that you have to clean it regularly.

On the other hand, there’s the Easy Valve option. This system is best known for its maintenance free design perfect for people who simply want to vape and not worry about anything. However, though users save a lot of time from cleaning the vaporizer, it costs more yearly to have this system. It costs around $25 yearly in contrast to the $5 to $10 per year cost of Solid Valve.

How Does The Volcano Work?

What makes the vaporizer such a great device that produces the highest quality vapor?

If you are still wondering by now, Storz and Bickel simply did everything correctly.

For instance, they’ve offered a large heating area that allows the herbs and oils to get heated evenly. By the time you decide to use the device, what you get is a consistent vapor that feels perfect. And with excellent temperature control, you can guarantee that the material doesn’t get burned. And because of this, it isn’t surprising why The Volcano is used in some parts of the world as a medical device.

It is also a highly versatile vaporizer. Unlike other vaporizers that only allows you to stick to one type of vaping method, this vaporizer offers the best of both worlds.

Are you the type who shares his or her sessions with friends? Or are you the vaping enthusiast who loves warm vapor on your sessions?

This vaporizer offers both a balloon and a whip method.

Balloon method has become highly popular not only for people who shares his or her sessions but also for people who love to cool their vapor first. Once the balloon has been filled, you can take it out of the Volcano and latch the mouthpiece for your enjoyment. When using the balloon method, just make sure that you are not going to fill it up too full since it could burst.

To make the Volcano from filling the balloon, simply hit the green temperature button right in front of the vaporizer.

Also, make sure that you are taking out the ingredient chamber when you are not filling the balloon. If not, you can easily burn your entire supply. Though you don’t have to turn the system off, you still have to get the herbs and oils out in between sessions.

Whip method is another way to enjoy the Volcano’s exquisite vapor. Though it isn’t as good as the balloon method in terms of taste, it does offer some perks such as being able to control the vapor better. Also, if you are tired of passing the balloon to your friends, the Volcano allows up to 4 whip attachments all at once. In fact, you don’t need to also remove anything to enjoy your session.

Temp settings and how to use it?

The Volcano can be considered an extremely user-friendly vaporizer. Though it does look a bit intimidating at first, using the device even for the first time is quite a breeze.

To use the device, you need to press the heat button. Next, you will have to wait for around three to five minutes before the device reaches the temperature that you want for your sessions. If you are using the Classic Volcano, you can make use of the operating dial that ranges from 1 to 9. Each number represents a specific temperature. As for most users, they usually start getting the right taste once the setting hits 6.

On the other hand, if you are using the Digital version, the Digital Volcano has an LCD display that reads the preset temperature you are currently using for your session. To adjust the temperature, you will need to press the “+” and “-” buttons to get to the right temperature.

Of course, there are a number of things at play when it comes to the vapor quality that you are going to get from your device. From how fine you grind the herbs, to the type of herbs and oils that you use.

It is also worth mentioning that the Digital and the Classic version have different temperature spectrums. Though both can only go as high as 446°F, The Classic Volcano can only be set as low as 266°F while the Volcano Digital can dip as low as 104°F.

Does it make a huge difference? For most people, it really doesn’t matter since most users don’t go lower than 300°F to enjoy their sessions.

How exactly do you get the best results?

For starters, it is highly suggested that you pick the best quality herbs and oils. Next, you can start on lower temperature settings. Once you notice that you are not getting but hot air, you can then move the setting up by turning the temperature up slowly. This method prevents you from burning your material, not to mention you can also compare the vapor from different settings.

Conclusion

You probably won’t find a better vaporizer than the Volcano today. In fact, regardless if you prefer the digital or the classic version, it doesn’t really matter. The same goes which system you’d like to have whether you prefer the easy or the solid valve system.

Why use the vaporizer? Volcano provides the ultimate vaping experience that meets both the requirements of recreational and medical users. It is also compatible with both balloon and whip methods giving you different options to enjoy.

And though it is quite an investment, you pay for what you get. It is made of high-quality parts designed for serious vaping connoisseurs.

Shop Volcano Vaporizer


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Published at Sun, 11 Jun 2017 18:54:55 +0000

Toronto Board of Health says “Decriminalize now”

Toronto Board of Health says “Decriminalize now”

On June 12, 2017, Toronto’s Board of Health voted unanimously to “immediately decriminalize the possession of non-medical cannabis for personal use” on the recommendation of Dr. Eileen de Villa, the Medical Officer of Health for Toronto.

The board also endorsed her proposals that the minimum age to buy cannabis in Ontario be set at 19 which puts it on the same page as alcohol, and also supported her call for equity training for cannabis law enforcement to ensure fair treatment of groups already disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system.

Finally, common sense prevails! Is this a sign of things to come? Only time will tell because whether or not the federal government will heed their call is still up in the air since PM Trudeau has not only asked police to continue enforcing the current laws up until legalization, he has said the Liberals will not decriminalize in the lead up to it.

I think the question to ask here is “Why ruin more lives, especially when it will be legal in a year?”.

This question was one of the main reasons for Dr. de Villa’s recommendations to the board as she wrote “a significant number of young Canadians will continue to obtain criminal charges before cannabis is legalized” in a late May report.

Is the government’s refusal to decriminalize cannabis just one last hurrah for Prohibition as Bill Blair throws a bone to his buddies in law enforcement? 

Also, it’s worth noting that in the name of protecting health and minimizing the harms of use, not everything the Toronto Board of Health supports is going to make cannabis businesses or enthusiasts happy- the board also wants strict controls on marketing and advertising (such as plain packaging) and the regulation of edibles (including setting maximum amounts of THC and banning products that may be too appealing to children).


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Published at Thu, 15 Jun 2017 19:12:15 +0000

Former marijuana enforcement officer, entrepreneur indicted in massive Colorado trafficking ring

Former marijuana enforcement officer, entrepreneur indicted in massive Colorado trafficking ring

A former Colorado marijuana enforcement officer and a Denver-based marijuana entrepreneur already the target of fraud allegations were indicted in connection with a suspected massive illegal marijuana trafficking ring that operated throughout the state.

A grand jury cast a wider net after the March indictments of 16 people in an allegedly illegal marijuana trafficking ring led by Michael Stonehouse, and on June 7 indicted former Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division officer Renee Rayton and three others. According to court records and the indictment obtained by The Cannabist, warrants were filed for the arrest of Rayton; entrepreneur Scott Pack, whose businesses Harmony Green LLC and HGCO LLC also were charged; and Travis Bridle and John Edward Loos, both growers and suspected middlemen in the operation.

Pack, whose businesses hold 14 marijuana licenses, played a “pivotal” role in the Stonehouse drug-trafficking organization responsible for illegally producing and selling millions of dollars worth of marijuana across state lines, according to the grand jury’s indictment. Earlier this year — in a lawsuit first reported in April by Denver Westword — Pack and Rudy Saenz, who was indicted in March, were sued by former investors who claimed they lost close to $1 million because of the duo’s fraudulent scheme.

Investigators claim that Rayton, a former Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputy who joined Colorado’s MED in 2015, left her enforcement division job in the fall of 2016 after Pack offered her a 6-month, $8,000-per-month position as a compliance consultant. She started working for Pack — and pocketing cash from illegal operations — barely two weeks after leaving her post, investigators allege, in violation of state licensing policies requiring a six-month “cooling off” period before former employees can work in an industry related to their oversight.

During her involvement with Pack and his Harmony & Green businesses, Rayton also told a source that she was aware of compliance breaches and said “that she knew ‘(Department of Revenue) employees’ who would help the (drug-trafficking organization) ‘get legal,’” according to the indictment.

Officials for the 18th Judicial District in Arapahoe County said they do not comment on open cases. Pack, Rayton, Bridle and Loos could not be immediately reached for comment.

A spokeswoman for the state’s marijuana regulatory agency said via email that MED was “actively engaged” in the investigation. She also noted that Rayton’s alleged illegal activity occurred after she left her job on Nov. 2, 2016.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we requested that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation conduct a formal and independent investigation involving matters related to the Marijuana Enforcement Division,” said Lynn Granger, communications director for the Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees MED.

Rayton was charged with violation of state licensing authority and conspiracy to commit the cultivation of more than 30 plants of marijuana. She was released after posting a $5,000 bond, court records show.

Pack was charged with 11 counts, all felonies: Pattern of racketeering under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act; conspiracy/endeavoring under COCCA; two counts of conspiracy to distribute or possess or intent to distribute 50 pounds or more of marijuana; conspiracy to commit cultivation of marijuana more than 30 plants; two counts of securities fraud; money laundering; forgery; tax evasion; and attempt to influence a public official. A warrant is out for his arrest, and his bond has been set at $1 million, court records show.

Pack’s companies were charged with: conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 pounds of marijuana; cultivation of 30-plus marijuana plants; and two counts of securities fraud.

Bridle and Loos, who investigators alleged illegally cultivated marijuana for sale out of state, also served as middlemen in the shipments and payments, the indictment claimed.

Loos was charged with two counts: conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute 50 pounds or more of marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to court records. Bridle was charged with conspiracy to distribute, distribution of 50 pounds or more of marijuana, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Bond for each was set at $250,000 and warrants have been issued for their arrests.

‘A front for a successful illegal marijuana trafficking organization’

Pack and Saenz were 50-50 partners in Harmony & Green LLC, an asset holding company and licensing business; Pack created HGCO to obtain marijuana licenses, according to allegations in the June 7 indictment. During the course of two years, Pack obtained 14 marijuana licenses for the firm, but he kept Saenz’s identity as an owner cloaked from the state.

Pack never disclosed to the state that his business partner was a man who was barred from obtaining a marijuana license nor that there were investments made from out of state or country, investigators allege.

Harmony & Green’s scheme involved soliciting investors for money to build out warehouses that had been leased or bought by Pack’s father, Michael Pack. The younger Pack and Saenz deceived investors, saying they had invested millions of their own money when they had not, and they misrepresented a $678,000 annual revenue stream that did not legally exist, according to the indictment.

Under the guise of a licensed Colorado cannabis business, Harmony & Green and HGCO served as a front for the drug-trafficking organization, investigators claim, noting that the businesses never made a single legal sale of cannabis in their two years of operation.

Pack and Saenz reeled in $1 million during 2016 from the illegal distribution of marijuana, investigators allege.

“All of this was done under Scott Pack and Rudy Saenz’s scheme of using HGCO LLC as a shell company, which essentially provided licenses that Harmony & Green LLC could never hold,” investigators alleged. “Harmony & Green LLC then scammed unknowing individuals into investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to a company, which never once sold legal marijuana in the state of Colorado, but provided a front for a successful illegal marijuana trafficking organization.”

Eight of the 16 people indicted held active or expired licenses for operating a marijuana business in Colorado, The Denver Post reported in March.

The story has garnered national attention, and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited The Denver Post in a recent letter to Congress framing his opposition to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which prevents Justice Department funds from being used for prosecutions in states with medical marijuana laws. The letter dated May 1, 2017, was published Monday by MassRoots, a marijuana social media company.

“Drug traffickers already cultivate and distribute marijuana inside the United States under the guise of state medical marijuana laws,” Sessions wrote. “In particular, Cuban, Asian, Caucasian and Eurasian criminal organizations have established marijuana operations in state-approved marijuana markets. The individuals in these organizations often find a place for themselves within state regulatory systems.”

This story is developing and will be updated

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Published at Tue, 13 Jun 2017 17:44:01 +0000