George Mouratidis   |   January 25, 2019

Top Cannabis Headlines

Super Bowl says "NO" to medical cannabis, and big names like Canopy Growth and John Deere look to the hemp industry.
George Mouratidis works as a full-time copywriter and journalist. He is the founder of WeedCopywriter.com, a bespoke content writing agency for the cannabis industry. George is a regular editor for many industry publications, as well as…

Super Bowl Medical Marijuana Commercial Blocked By CBS

Although medical marijuana is now legal in more than half of the US states, Super Bowl and its broadcast network CBS, are not yet ready for it. According to Acreage Holdings, the cannabis company which includes former speaker of the House John Boehner in its board, CBS rejected their proposed spot that was programmed to air on February 3rd.

The advertisement intended to create an “advocacy campaign for constituents who are being lost in the dialogue,” according to the President of the company, George Allen. CBS has yet to comment about the incident as of yet. Acreage is one of the biggest US cannabis companies, with an estimated value of almost $2.5B. With the Super Bowl being the most watched event in the US, the brand hoped to raise awareness about the benefits of medicinal cannabis. Here’s the commercial CBS refused to air.  Here’s the link

Canopy Growth to Invest $100-150 Million in New York Hemp Processing Project

Canadian hemp pioneers Canopy Growth has been granted a license to process and produce hemp in New York State soil, according to a press release distributed by the company. Canopy Growth announced their plans to establish a Hemp Industrial Park in New York and thanked Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer for their unwavering support to the cause of legalization.

“Canopy Growth will establish within the Hemp Industrial Park large-scale production capabilities focused on hemp extraction and product manufacturing within the United States,” stated Bruce Linton.

Although a specific site has not been determined, Canopy Growth expects to invest between $100-150 million in its new endeavor. This is not the first move of the company in New York, as they recently sealed a $4 billion investment with Constellation Brands, a NY-based Fortune 500 company and international producer and marketer of alcoholic beverages.
 

Sensi Seeds Partners With John Deere to Create The Next Gen of Hemp Harvesting Machines

Amsterdam-based Sensi Seeds, one of the oldest cannabis seed banks in the world and their partner company HempFlax (with whom they own vast hemp plantations all over Europe) have joined forces with John Deere. Their goal was to develop a new type of “double cut hemp harvester.”

The main idea behind the new prototype is to combine multiple harvesting steps in one machine. HempFlax started looking for a tool strong enough to perform the job with two headers. The upper header provides the cut of the upper part of the stalks (40-50cm) including the seeds. The lower header cut the remaining stems in pieces of 60-70 cm length with the Hempcut technology. The threshed grains are collected in a hopper of the machine and at full charge can be successively unloaded in a trailer. The cut stem portions are then offloaded posteriorly in a window about 1 m wide.

According to HempFlax CEO Mark Reinders, the Double Cut unit “consists for 95% out of John Deere parts” and is entirely serviceable from local John Deere dealers.

Greenthumb.io: Using AI and Machine Learning to Provide Grow House Metrics

Justin Bowen, CEO of GreenThumb IO, has completed the development of an automated greenhouse solution using AI to interface with smart cameras and a dosing system. Pulling inspiration from projects like Google’s Deep Mind, Bowen and his company aims to build a fully automated cannabis cultivation process in the next two to five years.

In 2018, Bowen built the hardware for smart cameras to collect training data from his own grow facility and has used that data to train neural networks modeled to perform leaf and bud analysis on images. This integrates with his automated dosing system, which is currently set up to feed the plants remotely based on the data that is obtained.

The GreenThumb IO beta is similar to AIs such as Tesla’s auto-steering beta, which can suggest lane changes to drivers but requires human confirmation before taking action. Today, the GreenThumb IO system can send alerts to growers when plants are deficient and recommend measures that can be triggered remotely. This system can be used in any controlled growing environment by installing cameras and automatic dosing mechanisms, or by integrating with a grower’s existing hardware.

 

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