• HERB Cannabis Investment by Shopify, Joe Montana - A Sign of the Times

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    What started off as The Stoner's Cookbook, today secured $4.1 million in prestigious seed funding from Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke, COO Harvey Finkelstein and Liquid 2 Ventures, a firm owned by NFL legend Joe Montana, just to name a few.

    In 2015, owner Matt Gray acquired and rebranded the existing site as HERB and began populating it with articles and videos related to cannabis.  Since then, the company has grown to 200 million views per month, reaching 5.3 million unique viewers.

    And the plan is to keep growing.  With the new investment, the company plans to expand to LA and New York and open studios for video content creation.  

    But they aren't stopping at that.  

    herb

    "We don’t see ourselves as just a website. We were always setting out to build a

    technology platform." said Gray.

    HERB is just the latest (and Canadian) example of well-funded and highly visible cannabis content creation and curation platform.  

    American cannabis technology platform MassRoots has 900,000 registered users and displays top menu items like 'Strains', 'Products', 'Dispensaries', 'News' and 'Learn'.  

    After confirming you are 19 years old, MassRoots displays a guide to help you find 'strains you will love' and presumably pick up at one of the listed dispensaries which advertise on the service.  A win-win model for the strain growers, retailers and MassRoots the marketer and advertising medium. The 'Learn' page displays post after post of useful, relevant topics pertaining to the ever-evolving US cannabis industry.

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    Last week, MassRoots announced that it was purchasing cannabis-compliance technology platform CannaRegs.  

    "The CannaRegs software-as-a-service (SaaS) enables dispensary owners, law firms, investors, consultants, and municipalities to track cannabis regulations, both implemented and proposed, in real-time, ensuring they stay compliant with state and local law."

    -- MassRoots Inc.

    As the investments and buy-outs suggest, cannabis, content marketing and technology are becoming inter-twined and attracting notice from big league venture firms and other technology companies which offer derivative services.  It seems inevitable that other large technology players will be cutting their own path into this market.

    One can only expect to see lines continue to blur as cannabis takes over social norms and alters people's thinking from a generation ago.

     

    Info for this post from Herb.co and Massroots.com.

     

     

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  • Nixon Created the Mexican Cartels: Now Legalization is Killing Them

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    In 1971, President Richard Nixon launched the $1 Trillion war on drugs in America.  This created a void in supply which was quickly filled by imports from the Mexican drug cartels. Now, American legalization is killing them.

    The Mexican drug cartels may have seen their days in the sun. 

    As cannabis legalization dawns across the US, the drug trafficking landscape is eroding.  As it turns out, the more local supply of legal cannabis exists domestically, the less cartel cannabis can be found migrating north across the U.S./Mexico border.  This is putting quite a dent in their cash flow.

    A new report from U.S. Border Patrol demonstrates a sharp drop in cannabis seized at the border.  This drop clearly coincides with American states legalization medical and recreational cannabis.

    In fact, the Washington Post reports, cannabis seizures at the southern border has crawled to their lowest point in over 10 years - to only 1.5 million pounds.  This is down from a peak of four million in 2009.

    Speaking to Anti-Media, the source of this article, Amir Zendenham of Z420.tv stated that:

    "The economics of the cannabis industry show us that with healthy competition in the market, prices drop, quality rises, violence diminishes, and peaceful transactions increase. As constant new research emerges detailing the plant’s benefits, the negative stigma of using cannabis, both medicinally and recreationally, is diminishing, raising the demand for high quality product."

    “Colorado, for example, is experiencing an economic boom that has never been seen in the state. The biggest issue in Colorado today is what to do with the huge amounts of revenue and economic success the state is gaining as a result of legalization. The Colorado model has proven that legalization reduces crime rates, cuts prices, pushes unfavorable competition out of the market, provides cleaner products with heightened transparency, and increases the standard of living for society as a whole."

    “The only people hurt by continued societal acceptance and legalization of cannabis are the cartels and their friends, who have flourished for decades as a result of drug prohibition.

    “As legalization spreads across the U.S. and the rest of the world like wildfire, I predict the industry will soon become one of the most dominant and beneficial industries humanity has ever seen.”

    Continued legalization has created a severe drop in prices in the illicit cannabis food chain.  "Two or three years ago a kilo [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90," a cannabis farmer in Mexico said in an interview. "But now they're paying us $30 to $40 a kilo.  It's a big difference.  If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they will run us in to the ground".

    Pot consumers are also starting to see the difference.  Low quality Mexican cannabis is hard to find in states which have legalized, while prices for high quality home-grown domestic pot have steadily increased.

    These developments will also curb violence in Mexico, as cannabis profits used to buy guns dry up.

    Legalizing will also save the U.S. a great deal of money.  As Mint Press News reported:

    "Since Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs in June 1971, the cost of that "war" had soared to over $1 trillion by 2010.  Over $51 billion is spent annually to fight the drug war in the United States, according to Drug Policy Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to promoting more humane drug policies."

    In fact, Colorado became the first state to generate more tax revenue from cannabis than alcohol in one year -- $70 million.

    Maybe it's time for the U.S., Mexico and other countries to embrace the Portuguese and Irish model of treating addiction to drugs like an addiction to alcohol or cigarettes, using rehabilitation, not incarceration, to tackle the problem.

     


    This article is based on Nick Bernabe's great article (Legalizing Weed Has Done What 1 Trillion Dollars and a 40 Year War Couldn’t). This article is republished under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Nick Bernabe and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific.

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  • Expect greater marijuana law enforcement in legal states: White House

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    Earlier this afternoon, the White House said that legal cannabis states should expect "greater enforcement" from the federal government.

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said today that although federal marijuana law enforcement is a Department of Justice issue, he expets to see "greater enforcement" of recreational marijuana laws, because "there is a big difference between the medical use....that's very different than the recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice will be further looking into."

    This is breaking news.  We will continue to report on developments.

    For up to date information, visit https://cnn.com

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  • Is President Trump Axing the Drug Czar? Report

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    Cannabis advocates are in a spin over a report that the White House has included the drug czar's office on a list of agencies it is considering for elimination.

    The New York Times has obtained an internal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memo which put the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) alongside a group of other agencies which Republicans have long sought to cut.  Alongside the aforementioned office is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

    Unlike the other programs listed in the leaked document, the ONDCP has not historically been featured as such a prominent target for elimination by mainstream Republicans.  The closest they have come, was a former proposal to cut funding, but never to eliminate the agency.

    Under then-Chairman Mike Pence, the group wrote:

    "There is no solid evidence that media campaigns are effective in either preventing or reducing the use of illegal drugs.  Savings: $1.3 billion over ten years ($631 million over five years)"

    Any agency abolishment of this caliber would need to be approved by Congress.  At the moment, the inclusion solely means that the agency is under consideration.  However, Mick Mulvaney, OMB's new director, regularly voted for marijuana policy reform amendments as a congressman, so it is plausible that that the axe could fall.

    Alan Rappeport, the New York Times reporter who first broke the story with his colleague Sharon LaFreniere, told MassRoots in an email that there was no explanatory language in the OMB document justifying the proposed cut, simply that is name was listed amongst other programs.

    While political perspectives are mixed, police do not necessarily share the view that abolishing the agency is the right move.  The Fraternal Order of Police expressed its "deep concern" about the possible elimination of the office in a letter to President Trump.  "Our nation is currently facing an epidemic of opioid-related deaths -- drugs now kill more people than gunshot wounds or car crashes", Chuck Canterbury, the group's national president, wrote.  "The ONDCP plays a vital role in coordinating a national strategy to fight drug trafficking and reduce illegal drug use."

    One person who should be especially interested in ONDCP's fate is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R).

    Christie and President Trump reportedly discussed drug policy over lunch last week.  Days later, the New York Post reported that he told his staff he will be taking a White House job.  Aides to both parties quickly shot down this rumour.  It was suggested, however, that Christie may compete to head an "independent opioids task force", something which may be required of the ONDCP is eliminated.

    The previous administration's drug czar Michael Botticelli resigned at prior to the new administration.  In a recent interview, he said that the new administration has not asked for his advice. "And we had no contact with anyone on the Trump transition team before I left," he said.  "It's giving me and other people pause about to what extent this administration considers this a priority."

    Potential extinguishing the rumours, Acting ONDCP Director Kemp Chester sent an email last week to stakeholders saying that the office is "still working hard" with Trump's team to "develop his drug policy framework for our nation going forward."

    Also Politico recently reported that Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the President, "has taken ownership of opioid-abuse and and veterans affairs, a portfolio Trump cares deeply about."

    Finally, ONDCP.gov redirects to a blank "placeholder' page, and an anonymous website called ONDCP Watch has a running counter of how long the agency has been offline, which is since President Trump took office on January 20th.

     

    Information for this article was compiled from Tom Angell's article on MassRoots: Will Trump Fire The Drug Czar?

     

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  • ParcelPal Earns Full Approval on Shopify

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    This week, the delivery service ParcelPal announced that the beta status of its app has been removed and that all clients are now free to download the plugin on the Shopify platform.

    Shopify is, of course, the world's favourite e-commerce platform provider whose environment allows small and large businesses to effectively conduct business on the web.

    ParcelPal had a very successful six-month beta stint on Shopify, roping about 20 vendors who installed and used the plugin.

    Calling itself the "Uber of delivery", ParcelPal is Vancouver's first and only "same day" or "on demand" delivery service providing speedy arrival of food, liquor, retail merchandise and even..yes..medical cannabis.

    ParclPal's recent platform expansion to include liquor store and marijuana dispensary businesses will allow the Company to target as many as 300,000 potential new customers.

    With Canadian cannabis legalization on the horizon and medical cannabis already being legal in 26 states, ParcelPal has positioned itself at the precipice of this exploding industry in hopes of capitalizing on the convenience customers receive from "on demand" ordering and delivery.

    ParcelPal claims ".. as more Canadian cannabis vendors migrate from brick and mortar storefront dispensaries into the online market, their members will be able to take advantage of the seamless order-delivery procedure which conveniently delivers your product the "same day" or "on demand" which claims that members can receive their package "in an hour".

    President Kelly Abbott states, "The launch of the ParcelPal Shopify App continues to move our Company towards a consumer-driven shipping solution by allowing consumers and businesses access to the ParcelPal network. This is another important step on the road to a North American footprint."

    Check out more about ParcelPal here.

    Information for this article was based on the original article from Yahoo! Finance.

    At BioReleaf, we offer same-day delivery in Ottawa of your medical cannabis products.

    Need to be connected to a doctor to get your prescription?  We can connect you, just click here to message us.


     

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