Weekly News in Cannabis & Hemp - April 19thCanadian consumers balk at the high price of legalization, a former Israeli Prime Minister joins the industry, and China partners with Israel for medicinal hemp. These stories and more in this week's cannabis and hemp industry headlines.
Canadian Cannabis Prices Can’t Compete
A video report on Global News this week addressed a growing concern of Canadian cannabis consumers – the price. According to the report, consumers are finding legal cannabis costs almost 57 percent more than black market cannabis. Some reported legal grams selling around $14 per gram, while black market prices are closer to $7 or $8.
Although Canadian producers chalk it up to the price of regulation and lab test for clean products, many consumers say they’ll continue to purchase illegally produced marijuana to avoid the price hike. However, many suggest the increase in price is merely a matter of supply and demand, and as other Licensed Producers come online the price will naturally fall with the increased cannabis supply.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Joins Cannabis Industry
Univo announced Ehud Olmert, former Prime Minister of Israel joined the company as an investor and professional adviser. Currently the head of Israel’s Public Council for Healthy Lifestyles, Olmert is also a board member for Genesis Angels, a venture capital firm.
Olmert stated for the Jerusalem Post, “After I examined Israel’s top medical cannabis companies, I chose to contribute my experience and knowledge to Univo because I believe that Univo has the best chance of becoming an independent entity when it comes to manufacturing and distributing top cannabis-based products. I am thankful for the opportunity to step in and help this company become a global leader.”
China Buys into Israel Cannabis
In other breaking news out of Israel, the Chinese healthcare giant, Thalys, and Israel-Cannabis, iCAN, just announced an agreement to focus on medical hemp. Thalys hopes to leverage the partnership to help advance the medicinal hemp industry in China.
The Jerusalem Post quoted Saul Kaye, the CEO of iCAN regarding the partnership, "Thalys will help iCAN’s portfolio companies enter the world's most populous consumer market. Thalys, which plans to co-invest in iCAN’s portfolio investments that address Chinese market needs, will have exclusive cooperation rights on iCAN's incubated start-ups and we will have matching stakes in new investments. I am honored, humbled and proud to work cooperatively with one of China's leading medical technology companies,” he said.
Colleges Adding Cannabis Curriculum
The State Journal-Register reports several colleges are beginning to add curriculum to prepare students for careers in the cannabis industry. From Northern Michigan to the University of California at Davis, all across the nation, colleges are adding programs such as medicinal plant chemistry, cannabis law, and various horticulture and cultivation paths. Additionally, a community college in Illinois will offer a program tailored to training budtenders with the necessary information to guide medical cannabis patients accurately.
As the industry grows, so will the demand for the workers to sustain the business. However, although there will be more jobs to fill, the minimum qualifications will likely climb as well, thus increasing the competition in the job market. Education is a critical aspect of the growing legitimacy of the cannabis and hemp industries.
Micro Waste Opens Research Center
In a press release, Micron Waste announced the official opening of a new waste treatment innovation center in Vancouver this week. As the operational headquarters for the research team, Dr. Bob Bhushan, CTO will lead the research and development of new waste treatment targets such as food processing, agribusiness, and others.
Micron already offers a waste unit designed for the cannabis industry. The Cannavore™, a turn-key, mobile waste treatment process turns cannabis waste into water, which can be recycled and reused to save on resources and expense. President and CEO, Alfred Wong, is speaking Friday, April 26th during the O’Cannabiz Toronto conference about the cannabis waste solution and future goals for research.
Virginia Tech Student Wins Award for Hemp IPM
The Roanoke Times reported Kadie Britt, a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech Department of Entomology, won the school’s Alwood Extension Award for her work in integrated pest management in hemp. Britt’s research explores hemp defoliation by the brown marmorated stink bug and the corn earworm, plus suitable host plants for cannabis aphids. Britt stated for the article, “I am interested in insect relationships with cannabis systems, particularly on a chemical level.”
Hoping to continue with her research in agricultural entomology, she also said, “It’s absolutely the most interesting thing to me,” she said, adding that she also wants to “spread the word that entomology exists and that it’s an exciting and important career option.”