George Mouratidis   |   March 01, 2019

Weekly News in Cannabis - March 1st

New genomics research from Israel, blockchain taxes coming to California, and stocks see a surge.
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…

New Gene Technology Could Take Guesswork Out of Picking Cannabis Strains

Israeli geneticists at the company NRGene have just unveiled groundbreaking research into cannabis genomics. According to scientists, these new findings could significantly help cannabis researchers increase their yields earlier in the growing process.

News of this discovery comes shortly after NRGene announced it was partnering with the American cannabis growing company Kayagene. Both companies are interested in using the latest genomics software to improve commercial cannabis farming.

The technology NRGene used to accomplish this major goal is called DeNovoMAGIC. According to the company, this genomics processing system can sift through a bewildering array of genetic material with an error rate of only 1 in 3Mbp at max.

Leaders at both Kayagene and NRGene are extremely satisfied with these results. They both believe this is only the beginning of using advanced genomics technology to improve the agricultural cannabis industry.

California Cannabis Companies Could Soon Use Blockchain To Pay Taxes

One California assembly member believes using blockchain technology could make it easier and safer for local cannabis companies to pay their taxes. To make this idea a reality, Mr. Phil Ting has proposed a bill (AB 953) that would allow cannabis companies to send the state taxes using virtual coins.

Since THC remains a Schedule I drug under federal law, cannabis companies often have issues delivering their taxes to the State of California. Currently, these companies are forced to transport physical money in armored trucks to government agencies.

Ting and his supporters believe using blockchain technology could cut the risks and costs associated with transporting physical money. According to AB 953, cannabis companies would have the option of using secure virtual coins with the USD as collateral for taxes.

In addition to using cryptocurrencies, Mr. Ting supports reducing the taxes currently placed on cannabis companies. Ting believes if taxes were lower, more unlicensed companies would be willing to work with the state.

New UNM Study Suggests THC More Effective Than CBD

Although CBD has become the darling of the cannabis industry, recent research suggests the psychoactive compound THC offers greater medicinal benefits. The University of New Mexico (UNM) authors behind this study hope their data proves that THC has far more potential than getting users “high.”

For this study, UNM researchers collected data on cannabis use from the Releaf App. Founded in 2016, the Releaf App was created to educate patients on cannabis use and help them monitor their symptoms.

As they analyzed the information on the Releaf App, study authors found that patients who were using medical marijuana with a higher THC content experienced better results than those using only CBD. Indeed, the authors went so far as to say CBD had minimal effect on symptom severity. By contrast, THC seemed to improved patients’ sense of well-being without noticeable side effects.

While study authors note that medical marijuana does carry many short and long-term risks, they believe it’s crucial for more scientific research to be done on the healing properties of THC.

Pepper International Exec Says Pot Stocks Have More Room to Run

Successful investor Carol Pepper recently told reporters she believes cannabis stocks offer the best growth potential in the US stock market. Although most cannabis stocks have already risen a great deal, Pepper says the Canadian cannabis names offer exceptional growth in the coming years.

Ever since Canada legalized recreational marijuana, Canadian-based cannabis stocks have been on a roar. Companies like Cronos Group have already gone up over 100 percent in 2018 on the NYSE.

Although cannabis stocks have been on a roll, Pepper still believes these companies can grow. She doesn’t think the comparison between Bitcoin and cannabis is applicable because marijuana is a physical commodity that’s increasingly regulated by international governments.

Pepper is particularly interested in the growth of the medical marijuana industry. In an interview with CNBC, she noted how numerous studies now show marijuana can help with diseases ranging from epileptic seizures and rheumatoid arthritis.

Tilray’s Stock Soars After Announcing Multi-Million Dollar CBD Deal

The Canadian cannabis pharmaceutical company Tilray just announced a 317 million dollar deal with hemp producer Manitoba Harvest. Tilray executives believe this partnership will help their company compete globally in the CBD market.

Indeed, Tilray and Manitoba Harvest are interested in sending CBD products into the US market by the summer of 2019. In addition to CBD oils, Manitoba Harvest leaders said they are working on CBD capsules and CBD liquid tinctures.

Both companies also announced they would ensure all of their CBD products meet the US FDA’s rigorous standards.

American investors appear to be happy with Tilray’s new deal. Shortly after Tilray announced this news, the company’s stock soared almost 5 percent on the NASDAQ.

Although low-THC hemp cultivation was decriminalized in the 2018 US Farm Bill, there are still many restrictions on the cultivation and sale of cannabis-derived products. Currently, ten US states and all Canadian provinces have legalized recreational marijuana.

 

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