Understanding Cannabinoids: CBN vs CBD
While there are many cannabinoids that may enhance the therapeutic effects of hemp products, the most common renowned product is the phytochemicals in the Cannabis genus that contain the tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This is the substance that is responsible for all of the psychoactive effects of cannabis. CBD has long been associated with the variety that offers up the best help benefits without offering up the high that the THC gives to users.
While the CBD may not be the feature that is in all of the hemp products, it’s a by-product of the THC. Hemp Genix, Wholesale CBD Oil in Forest Acres, has 80% purity compared to competitors at 17%-40%. The CBN doesn’t bind to the body’s cannabinoid receptors like the THC does. It’s long been known to give a stronger sedative effect when it’s used in combination with the THC.
At Hemp Genix, all of our products are made with 100 percent USA, Zero THC and 80 percent purity Wholesale full-spectrum CBD oil in Forest Acres. This is carefully derived from a variety of cultivars of hemp which contain an abundance of cannabinoids.
A lot of people are very familiar with CBD or Cannabidiol. This is found in highly concentrated amounts in a variety of products. However, there are lots of cannabinoids that are found in hemp. These have shown a variety of benefits in studies. All of our products offer you full-spectrum hemp oil. This also includes all of our cannabinoids that are found in the plant. We don’t want you to miss out on any of the benefits.
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This is the most abundant cannabinoid in the hemp oil. It makes up 90 percent of the content of cannabinoid. It’s non-psychoactive and the focus is on how it benefits the body via the hemp oil. It has minimal affinity for CB1 or CB2 receptors. The main focus on interaction is in the endocannabinoid system and it acts as an indirect antagonist toward the cannabinoid antagonists. This, in turn, may allow the CBD to temper the high that is caused through the THC. Wholesale CBD Oil in Forest Acres from Hemp Genix are over 80 percent pure and CBD makes up the majority of the Oils weight. Industry averages and nearly all of the other products with cannabinoids and brands average in at 17 to 40 percent purity.
What’s The Difference Between CBD And CBN?
Cannabis has a number of cannabinoids in which the most abundant are the levels of THC. There are 9 tetrahydrocannabinol as well as CBD and CBN. This is the active ingredient that makes you high. The THC is in the plant and the CBD is the precursor and the CBN is the metabolite of the THC. As the cannabis ages, the THC level breaks down into the CBN.
This also leads researchers to believe that the CBD might give some protection against ecstasy-derived neurotoxins or long-term depletion of the serotonergic receptions. While this is still speculation, it’s investigating further. The CBD is usually present in significant enough quantities in such products as hashish or cannabis resins. However,r it’s also in the herbal cannabis referred to as skunk in smaller amounts.
Overall, the CBN is a great cannabinoid that offers up a varied range of therapeutic applications that work together with the rest of the “team” in order to offer up the best possible results. Clearly, more clinical trials are required to see how else it can benefit patients.
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In 2010, Dr. Bruce Bedrick, a chiropractor from Philadelphia, sold his practice and moved to Arizona. It wasn't for the weather (he says he can't wait to move back east) and it wasn't to retire (he's still working).
He did it, like many others in his cohort, because of what's being called the "Green Rush"—a move out west to take part in one of the most exciting, risky, and (perhaps) profitable enterprises today: the medical marijuana trade.
Within a year, Bedrick set up shop in Scottsdale and launched Kind Clinics, a full-service marketing and consulting company that helps entrepreneurs open and manage dispensaries. For Bedrick, business is booming. He reports that he's already working with about 70 dispensaries, which, by his estimation, makes him the largest medical marijuana consulting company around today.
"Absolutely, people see it [as a gold rush]," Bedrick says. "But there's more to it than that. There's a bit of freedom here. There's finally an awareness for compassion. I work with oncologists, attorneys, and pharmacists. These people truly understand the benefit of the herb."
According to See Change Strategy, a think-tank that conducted an industry-wide analysis of the medical marijuana trade, the current national market for cannabis is $1.7 billion. By 2016, the market could surge to $8.9 billion. To give some perspective, that's more than the annual GDP of The Bahamas—by about a billion dollars.
"The numbers are potentially astronomical in this burgeoning new field," Bedrick says.
See Change would seem to agree. "The growing acceptance of medical marijuana is providing business operators and investors with unprecedented opportunities," the authors note. "See Change expects these markets to enjoy 99 percent growth in the next five years just in existing markets, with more than 20 potential new markets opening."
Still, there's one giant caveat to keep in mind: it's illegal. "However, investment and business development will continue to be dampened until the federal government definitively changes its position on the legality of medical marijuana," the report notes.
Although law enforcement has largely turned a blind eye to most dispensaries, the fact remains: the sale of marijuana, for any use, is considered illegal by the federal government. So if you're considering opening a medical marijuana dispensary, you'll be dealing with plenty of hurdles: regulatory, compliance, financials, as well as the quandaries any typical business owner faces, including marketing, logistics, and human capital. A few experts weigh in on how to mitigate those risks and create a sound and profitable enterprise.
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How to Open a Medical Marijuana Dispensary: A Bit of Background
About forty years ago, Congress officially placed marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Essentially, the government concluded that the drug had a high potential for abuse. In other words, this legislation "cemented marijuana's de facto prohibition," according to See Change.
In the mid-90's, many activists began to rally around the drug's purported medicinal benefits. The Medical Marijuana Project was founded in 1995 to "increase public support for non-punitive, non-coercive marijuana policies" and to gain influence in Congress. A number of studies, both public and private, were funded to test the veracity of marijuana's medicinal worth. One such study in 1999 found that "The active ingredients in marijuana appear to be useful for treating pain, nausea and the severe weight loss associated with AIDS," according to the The New York Times.
Slowly, states began to adopt legislation to make it easier for medical marijuana to be disseminated.
"Over the past 15 years, led by California, 15 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted laws permitting some form of marijuana consumption or distribution for medical use," notes the See Change Strategy study. "These laws have been adopted by public referendums as well as legislation."
In 2009, the Obama administration ordered federal prosecutors not to prioritize legal action against medical marijuana dispensaries that comply with state laws. This controversial decision has been critical to the growth of the medical marijuana industry.
"These conditions have combined to produce the first legal marijuana markets in modern times," the authors note. "This emerging market presents unique opportunities to entrepreneurs and investors as well as unique risks."
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How to Open a Medical Marijuana Dispensary: The Challenges of the Trade
"The largest challenge that medical cannabis faces is that it is still federally illegal in the eyes of the federal government," says Kris Lotikiar, a co-author of the Medical Marijuna Markets report. "You're going to be running a criminal enterprise."
Lotikar, whose background is in renewable energy and business strategy, explains that while there's been a drastic reduction in the prosecution and raids of dispensaries, the overarching fact is that the dispensary business poses a number of difficulties for an entrepreneur, especially in raising capital, finding investors, and setting up merchant accounts with banking institutions.
Of the 300 respondents to See Change's survey, 34 percent "cite regulatory compliance, not customer demand or securing supply, as the number one challenge," while "24 percent cite securing financing as the most pressing business challenge."
There's also difficulties in the human resources department. Namely, Lotikar says, "You reduce the number of employees who are willing to work for you."
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How to Open a Medical Marijuana Dispensary: Where You Can Open and What to Do
If you're planning on opening a dispensary, first check with state officials to navigate the local laws and ordinances that will govern your dispensary's actions. Because medical marijuana dispensary laws vary so much from state to state, and there's not always one department set up to govern the medical marijuana trade, Bedrick recommends that an entrepreneur should first check with the Department of Health Services as a good starting point.
Then, you'll need to go through a licensing process. Some states, like California, don't restrict the amount of dispensaries in a certain zone, unlike other states, like Delaware, that bid out dispensary licenses sparingly. Entrepreneurs should also check with local officials on how to incorporate the business. Some states require all dispensaries to be non-profits, while others can be registered as C-Corporations.
Considering there will be quite a high degree of competition, Bedrick says any dispensary entrepreneur must have a solid business plan, ties to the community, and a squeaky clean record.
Kris Krane, another co-author of the See Change report agrees.
"The right candidate is a business-minded entrepreneur who cares about the issue and cares about doing it right, and can handle a certain degree of risk," he says. "This is an industry that is very much in its infancy, where regulations are not clearly defined. There is the threat of federal involvement, and anybody getting involved has to be comfortable with a certain degree of risk, but recognizing that the long term rewards—both in financial and social cause—can be extremely high."
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How to Open a Medical Marijuana Dispensary: The Costs and Revenues You Can Expect
"You better be well-funded," says Bedrick. "This is not for the faint of heart."
Considering legal and consulting fees, an entrepreneur can expect to dole out between $30,000 to $100,000 just to make an application, according to Bedrick. Then, if you are granted a license, then you'll need to do a build-out, which will run you $100,000 to $300,000. After you've built the store, then you'll need the product. And if your state also allows a cultivation location, that will run you anywhere between $200,000 to $400,000.
Though it will vary widely, start-up costs average out to around a quarter of a million dollars, according to Bedrick. Kris Krane, author of the See Change report, said that some entrepreneurs paid as little as $40,000 while others paid as much as $500,000.
"For somebody wanting to start a dispensary or cultivation center, start-up costs are going to involve getting through the regulatory structure, which can be quite complicated and quite difficult," says Krane. "If someone is going to do this right, they're going to want to hire good lawyers, a good CPA, and a good consultant."
And how much can you make?
"It's a loaded question," says Bedrick. "It can be anywhere from failing to doing very well and making $100,000 a month in revenues."
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How to Open a Medical Marijuana Dispensary: The Ancillary Benefits of Opening a Dispensary
While dispensaries are the obvious business model for those looking to break into this industry, there are perhaps less obvious altenratives.
"Demand for marijuana has produced a number of business opportunities," See Change reports. "Other entrepreneurs are providing marijuana infused products including edibles, tinctures and salves. Development and sales of smoking and non-smoking paraphernalia for consumption are on the rise."
Bedrick would agree. He says that while some patients enjoy smoking the medicine, there is a considerable move and market share toward the edibles. What started out as a couple percentage points of the market share is now up to about 15 percent. Medicinal marijuana can even be made into sodas, bars, elixirs, and lozenges. "Some people just don't like smoking," he says. "This makes it easier to take."
And where there's a growing market, there's always a few creative types lurking behind the scenes.
Russell Perry, who owns Keane, a creative advertising agency in Tempe, is working on concepts to promote medical marijuana dispensaries.
"I think what's really kind of awesome for people in our industry is the opportunity that lies ahead," he says. "Unlike opening a CPA firm, where there's a preconceived notion of what that brand is supposed to look like, it seems like this is a wild-wild-west. We're on the ground floor trying to shape it. Who knows what's going to happen in 10 to 15 years."
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Down the dirt roads on the hills of Northern California, where small farmers have been growing marijuana and evading the authorities for decades, the anticipation before election day, when the state will vote on a recreational marijuana ballot, is high. But many of the farmers will vote "no" on Proposition 64, the statewide ballot measure that could legalize marijuana for adults over 21. The farmers want marijuana to be legal, but they think the proposed law puts big business interests ahead of the small farmer.
Ruby Steinbrecher, a lawyer and the chair of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance, an advocacy and educational group for marijuana cultivation businesses in California, says many long-time marijuana farmers from Sonoma and up to Humboldt County will vote no on 64, which will propose the passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), on Tuesday.
"There is a big fear that the big interests are about to come in and crush the small growers," says Steinbrecher. "We know consolidation is coming, we know things will change, but we don't want the small businesses that have been around for a long time to go away completely because this is the culture of who we are and what we do. We need to protect it."
The main complaint about the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) is that it is not as friendly to the small farmers as the medical marijuana laws are. If passed, the California state government will issue unlimited growing licenses in five years time, which means big companies will be able to buy as many licenses as they want to create mega-marijuana farms.
Another issue, says Steinbrecher, is that farmers in Northern California, most of whom have been cultivating marijuana long before the laws started to change, are just learning how to deal with the new medical regulation laws passed under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act in 2015, which gave the industry a much needed clear and robust framework to support a legal industry. The new recreational laws add confusion to that process, she says.
"We are just wrapping our heads around the new medical laws passed last year," says Steinbrecher. "We are busy focusing on that and throwing in new regulations for a recreational market adds a thick layer of complications and issues to the huge paradigm shift of legalization."
California has long operated in a gray market. In 1996, voters passed Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana but did not offer a framework or regulatory body to manage the industry. As California's industry becomes legitimate, the farmers need to change the way they have done business for years.
"Many people never kept business records as a precaution [in case of a police raid]. If you were cultivating cannabis, you'd keep business records on scraps of paper and burn them after the harvest," says Steinbrecher, who is also the president of Madrone California, a collective of small marijuana farmers who have come together to help each other stay compliant under the new laws. "Legalization is overwhelming; we need more time to adapt."
According to polls, Proposition 64 is likely to pass in California. If it does, that means marijuana would be legal for recreational use in every state along the west coast of the U.S. The ArcView Group, a network of marijuana angel investors, says if California passes a law for recreational use, the national marijuana market could go from $7 billion last year to $22 billion in four years. There are similar measures in Arizona, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts. As for medical marijuana, Florida, North Dakota, Arkansas, and Montana are voting to legalize medical use. But as California is estimated to grow the bulk of the country's marijuana, all eyes are on the state to see what happens. If California legalizes recreational use, there is a good chance that many other states will follow in the coming years, which will in turn put more pressure on the federal government to change federal law.
Hezekiah Allen, who grew up on his family's marijuana ranch in Honey Dew, California, sold the land and started lobbying for small marijuana farmers and businesses in 2014, with his group the California Growers Association. He has fought to get many concessions for small businesses included in the medical regulation laws passed under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act in 2015. He says if AUMA passes he will have to start working to get farmer-friendly regulations amended into the new law. The group has a neutral stance on 64, but he says he will vote no.
"Is the goal to make marijuana millionaires? Or to make all these criminals in the hills small-business owners? We want to make business owners out of the farmers who have been working in the shadows for decades," says Allen.
He is also against the rule that allows companies to buy unlimited number of licenses in five years, as he believes it will beget mega cannabis corporations that will threaten the livelihoods of small farmers.
"Small farms are good for California. Right now, the state is home to a diverse group of boutique and craft farms, but 64 will accelerate consolidation," says Allen. "It's going to be messy, it'll be a fight, but I am not discouraged. We will just work to put amendments in that will support small business."
Another aspect of AUMA that Allen believes goes against small businesses is a flat tax structure across the industry; multimillion-dollar businesses will be taxed at the same rate as a boutique grower. The taxes under AUMA will be imposed at harvest, so cultivators will have to pay before getting it inspected for quality and potency, which could end up hurting farmers if the yield doesn't turn out as planned or if mold or pests infest the flowers. This could hurt a small-business owner who lives harvest to harvest, says Allen.
Allen says AUMA does have positive aspects, including the fact that most people will not go jail for marijuana offenses. But much of the work he did to help support small businesses got undone as the campaign raised $20 million to get on the ballot and pay for ads, Allen says.
Another aspect of legalization that farmers will have to get used to, Steinbrecher says, is a shift in culture and attitudes towards the government. She grew up around marijuana cultivators and says she is excited for the industry to become a legitimate part of the economy. But the farmers, who have been persecuted by drug agents dropping out of helicopters to cut down pot crops and arrest the owners since the start of the domestic drug war, are just learning how to trust and deal with the government and regulators, she says. The isolated communities of the hills, the main producers of marijuana sold in retail shops in San Francisco and Los Angeles, want to be licensed and regulated, but in order for it to work, she says, all the farmers need to be on board. But since 64 has been divisive, she says if California doesn't move into legalization slowly, many farmers will just continue operating in the black market.
"We need to show that legalization works and that the government isn't this big, scary man," says Steinbrecher. "Once the farmers all have their licenses and know they will not be busted anymore, that's when it's time to expand to recreational. This will take time."
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