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 Silverstreet, 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 Silverstreet. 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 Silverstreet 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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Editor's note: This article is part of Inc.'s 2015 Best Industries report.
In the beginning, Pete Williams grew medical marijuana in his basement. He grew strains with names like White Widow and Sour Diesel, and it was good. Eventually, Pete's older brother Andy joined him and the business soon became too big for the basement. Five years later, Medicine Man is one of the largest and most successful cannabis dispensaries in the state of Colorado. With two retail locations, one in Denver and the other in Aurora, the company produced 7,000 pounds of pot and made $8 million in revenue in 2014.
The Williams brothers--along with their sister, Sally Vander Veer, who helped with Medicine Man's launch and came on as CFO in 2013--are one of the many success stories in Colorado's $1.5 billion legal weed industry. According to a report by Convergex Group, the state's 300 licensed marijuana businesses generated $350 million in revenue in 2014, a figure that's expected to grow by 20 percent this year.
Out of the basement.
In 2008, the recession crippled Pete's custom tile business. After 18 years of marriage, he and his wife got divorced, and he needed to make money to support his two children. A friend gave him 16 pot plants, each one small enough to fit inside a Dixie cup, and told him there's good money in "caregiving," or growing weed for medical patients. A born tinkerer, Pete built a complex grow system incorporating hydroponics and aeroponics techniques. That first year, he made $100,000 out of his basement selling to dispensaries.
President Obama declared state-legalized medical cannabis a "low priority" for law enforcement the following year. That's when Andy came down to the basement with a plan. "I'll be the businessman and you be the green thumb," Andy, now the president and chief executive of Medicine Man, remembers telling Pete.
With a loan of just over a half-million dollars from their mother, the brothers leased a 20,000-square-foot space in a warehouse in Denver's Montbello neighborhood and built a state-of-the-art hydroponics-based system. At that time, the brothers were selling wholesale, but in December 2010 a new law was enacted requiring cannabis growers to sell their product directly to customers. Andy and Pete built a dispensary in the front of the warehouse and ceased their wholesale business.
By 2013 Medicine Man was able to buy the warehouse and had generated $4 million in revenue. But with the legalization of recreational marijuana on the horizon, Andy knew the company needed to raise more money to expand their grow facility and up production in preparation for a spate of new customers. He pitched cannabis angel investor network ArcView Group in California and secured $1.6 million in funding.
"Andy was the right entrepreneur at the right time for an investment opportunity. At the end of the day, it's clear Andy thought all the way through the pieces of the puzzle," says ArcView CEO Troy Dayton. (Neither Dayton nor ArcView is a Medicine Man investor.) "In a nascent industry, companies get traction not only when they are early but when they are a great business and composed of great people--Andy has both."
On January 1, 2014, the first day sales of recreational marijuana were officially legal, Medicine Man sold 15 pounds of pot and made close to $100,000. Meanwhile Pete, Andy, and Sally have been looking ahead to a day when cannabis becomes legal nationwide. To ensure another revenue stream, the trio created Medicine Man Technologies, a consulting firm that offers turnkey packages to entrepreneurs who want to start pot business. Medicine Man Technologies, which has helped clients build medical facilities in New York, Illinois, Florida, and Nevada, will become a publicly traded company on the over-the-counter market this summer.
The challenges of being a potpreneur.
In spite of the safe haven Colorado has created, pot businesses still face at least two major hurdles: First, until major banks decide it's safe to bring on marijuana clients, the businesses must deal exclusively in cash. Medicine Man, which says it brought in $50,000 a day in December, has had to invest heavily in security measures. Its two locations are equipped with a total of more than 100 cameras trained inside and out, as well as bulletproof glass and doors. The company has also hired security company Blue Line Protection Group to supply armed guards for the dispensaries and warehouses, and armored trucks to run money from the safe to pay bills, the government, and vendors.
Cannabusinesses also face extremely high taxes, in some cases exceeding 50 percent. But thanks to Pete's super-efficient grow operation, which produces a gram of marijuana for the comparatively low cost of $2.50, Medicine Man has been able to slash prices for the customer while staying profitable--so even after the state takes its cut, the company's margins are 30 to 40 percent, Sally says.
It's easy to look at the Williamses, or watch them on MSNBC's reality show Pot Barons of Colorado, and believe they have the life. The trio seem to be sitting on top of the Mile High City's legal weed industry, but they didn't get up there without personal sacrifice. For example, Andy's decision to give up a stable job to launch Medicine Man cost him his marriage.
"One thing people don't understand is that the entrepreneurs who started the industry in Denver are pioneers in the truest sense. What it takes to be a pioneer is vision, the ability to see something, and the courage to go after it despite the risks," he says. "The risks weren't just about money--they were about our reputations, our freedom, and our families. People risked everything for it."
After years of dealing with all those risks and sacrifices, the Williamses now say they're ready to put their feet up and enjoy the rewards of building the "Costco of marijuana." The siblings are currently in talks with private equity firms regarding an acquisition. They put the current value of the 80-employee business at $30 million, and say it will bring in $15 to $18 million in revenue in 2015.
"We began this whole thing with an end game in mind," Pete says. "We're all in our late 40s and we don't want to work for the rest of our lives."
He adds that they're willing to sell their majority stake, but they'd like to hang on to 5 to 10 percent. "If we don't sell out, [an acquiring company] will buy our biggest competitor," he says. "If we hook up with the right people, Medicine Man can be a household name like Pepsi or Coke. [People will say,] 'Go get me a pack a Medicine Mans, honey.'"