Tag: california

The Spark: The Best High Art Walks in North America

With the summer months boasting longer evenings and warmer nights, it is the perfect time to explore your city and discover all the creativity it has to offer. And what better way to enjoy that creativity than with an elevated mind? After all, cannabis, whether used as inspiration or simply for viewing pleasure, has been a point of artistic influence for years.

So take a stroll through your local art walk after puffing on a pre-roll, and see just how gorgeous, interesting, creative, and thought-provoking myriad types of art can be when paired with the perfect strain. Below, we list some of the best art walks in major markets. Check out our picks, and who knows—you just might stumble upon the next Picasso.

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Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

San Francisco Creates Centralized ‘Office of Cannabis’

Ahead of legal, adult-use sales kicking off next year, San Francisco has created a new office to serve as a hub for all things cannabis.

Approved at a meeting this week by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the Office of Cannabis will handle license applications and fees for the city and county, field questions and complaints, interact with state-level regulators, and act as an information repository for the public. It’s set to open by the end of the year.

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According San Francisco Chronicle reporter Rachel Swan, the ordinance creating the office passed on the same day as the municipal budget, which earmarks funds to get the office off the ground:

The city budget included $700,000 to fund three Office of Cannabis positions — a manager, a principal analyst and a management assistant — along with overhead, website development and public outreach. Mayor Ed Lee also set aside $665,227 this year for five new Department of Public Health employees who would help oversee permitting for medical cannabis dispensaries.

The city currently has 39 permitted dispensaries and 28 pending applications.

During discussion of the ordinance, several of the supervisors raised concerns about race and gender equity in the cannabis industry, noting that the Bay Area has struggled to diversify its tech industry. In response, according to the meeting minutes, Supervisor Ahsha Safai moved to add language meant to promote inclusivity.

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“The Office shall ensure that the perspectives of communities that historically have been disproportionately impacted by federal drug enforcement policies are included and considered in all policy decisions,” Safai’s amendment says. It’s not yet clear what that will look like from a practical standpoint.

Following debate and amendments, supervisors passed the ordinance unanimously.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

The Future of California Cannabis Depends on Rain

Water in California is a notoriously hot commodity. As a state that’s spent more time in a drought than out of it during the past five years, legalizing a new, water-intensive agricultural crop—especially when that crop has the historical baggage that cannabis does—is a complicated process.

Done carelessly, cannabis grows can have profoundly negative impacts on nature, polluting waterways with pesticides and clearing trees and shrubs that help support a healthy ecosystem. This is especially true of illegal cultivation, which has bled into national forests and other protected land in recent years.

On the flipside, when done thoughtfully, cannabis uses a lot less water than California’s other agricultural staples, such as almonds, said Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association—and it offers a considerably higher profit margin.

“We’ve got a [water] crisis on our hands in California, and it’s much bigger than cannabis,” Allen said.

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In an effort to balance environmental concerns with marijuana’s projected $7 billion market, California is ushering in a bevy of rules and regulations related to water use. In June, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a cannabis omnibus bill that, among other things, sets standards for organic marijuana and establishes environmental protections.

“It’s not going to be, ‘No you can’t grow.’ It’s going to be, ‘No you can’t grow unless you store enough water.’”

Hezekiah Allen, California Growers Association

The bill, SB 94, includes a provision that allows regulators to restrict cannabis cultivation if they determine it’s causing environmental harm. Specifically, it bars the Department of Fish and Wildlife “from issuing new cannabis licenses or increasing the total number of plant identifiers within a watershed or area, if the board or the Department of Food and Agriculture finds, based on substantial evidence, that cannabis cultivation is causing significant adverse impacts on the environment in a watershed or other geographic area.”

In other words, the goal is to limit cultivation to only what California’s ecosystems can support.

The clause is similar to one tucked into Proposition 64, which voters passed last year to legalize adult-use marijuana. It requires each individual cannabis plant to display a unique ID number—and it says that if a particular watershed can’t support additional cultivation, no new plant identifiers will be issued.

That means growers won’t be able to plant where there’s not enough water to support their crops—something that could spell disaster for cultivators who rely solely on water from watersheds, said Allen, a former grower who now focuses full-time on public policy.

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California currently plays host to roughly 40,000 to 80,000 cannabis growers, according to estimates from both industry groups and the US Drug Enforcement Agency. To stay afloat, cultivators will need to focus on sustainability, Allen said, such as storing rainwater during the wet months for use during the dry summer.

“It’s not going to be, ‘No you can’t grow,’” he said. “It’s going to be, ‘No you can’t grow unless you store enough water.’”

The overarching goal of the legal framework around water use is to require growers to be “good stewards” of water if they want to continue operations unimpeded, said Allen, noting that cannabis can actually be grown on a very small footprint using “barely any water” compared to California’s other primary cash crops. Most cannabis-producing regions in the state, he said, could rely completely on captured rainwater to irrigate.

But while rainwater is free, the equipment to capture and store it can cost a pretty penny. Allen said cultivators need to formulate realistic business plans that fold in the cost of a rain-catchment system. For a in Northern California, that could cost approximately $250,000 to $300,000.

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While the wonders of rainfall may work fine for Northern California growers, the approach runs into problems in the arid climes of Southern California. By Allen’s calculations, based on the average amount of water needed per square foot of grow space, a cultivator with a 100-square-foot cultivation area would need to capture 15 inches to 18 inches of rain per year to effectively irrigate. While this past winter was California’s rainiest season in 122 years—with the state, on average, receiving a whopping 27 inches between October 2016 and February 2017—that’s far from the norm. The five seasons prior saw record low rainfall throughout the state, with many Southern California cities getting less than 10 inches per year.

“These are unique requirements for cannabis cultivation, recognizing the impacts that we’re seeing out there in the watershed.”

Erin Ragazzi, State Water Resources Control Board, Water Rights Division

The rules governing water use in cannabis are complex and intertwined. They include statutes born of cannabis laws as well as regulations promulgated by various state agencies. Earlier this month, the State Water Resources Control Board released its 117-page draft cannabis cultivation policy, which aims to ensure that water diversion and waste disposal don’t harm wetlands, water quality, or animal habitats. The rules apply not only to commercial medical and commercial adult-use cultivators, they also govern home growers.

“These are unique requirements for cannabis cultivation, recognizing the impacts that we’re seeing out there in the watershed and where these grows are taking place,” said Erin Ragazzi, assistant deputy director of at the State Water Resources Control Board’s water rights division.

Under the agency’s regulations, cannabis cultivators will be allowed to divert water from streams during the wet, winter months as long as a given waterway’s flow is above a certain level. If water drops below that pre-designated mark, growers will be barred from tapping in.

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During the dry season, Ragazzi said, cultivators will be banned from diverting water no matter what the conditions.

“Water supply will always be a concern in the state of California. It’s exacerbated in years when we have lower supplies,” she said.

(ksteffens/iStock)

The new draft policy acknowledges California’s “size and geographic diversity,” explaining that within the state’s 163,696 square miles, there are 800 miles of coastline, multiple mountain ranges, and hundreds of scattered valleys. These factors all lead to “highly variable climate, precipitation and drainage patterns,” which is why water board has divided the state into 14 different regions, each with varying requirements around how much water needs to be present in a stream before that water can be used to grow cannabis.

“It doesn’t matter where the water comes out of the tap. It matters where the water comes out of the ecosystem.”

Hezekiah Allen, California Growers Association

Much of the conversation around water regulation is currently focused on outdoor grows, particularly in California’s agricultural epicenters such as the Central Valley and Emerald Triangle. Indoor growing is going to be “particularly tricky,” said Allen of the California Growers Association.

Most indoor cultivators will have to pump water from their respective municipal agencies—but will only be allowed to do so if the water the agency is receiving is eligible for use by a cannabis grow. Los Angeles, for example, owns municipal reservoirs but also buys imported water to supplement supply. If it turns out the municipal agency is in fact getting its water from a federal dam or watershed that’s overextended, the grow won’t be allowed to use it, Allen said.

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“It doesn’t matter where the water comes out of the tap,” he explained. “It matters where the water comes out of the ecosystem.”

Which is something that many cannabis cultivators along the North Coast haven’t seem too concerned with, according to Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club of California. Growing medical marijuana has been legal for 20 years, she said, yet many of the cultivators know nothing about water rights, regulations, or protecting the environment from pesticides, she said.

“They’re allowed to grow this stuff, and they’re doing it in a way that’s creating substantial harm for plants, for the waterways, for animals,” said Phillips. “Marijuana growers are part of California’s agricultural industry, and, I think until relatively recently, they’ve seen themselves as being different.”

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The North Coast has been impacted significantly by both legal and illegal grows, Phillips said. Cannabis, can cause erosion, contaminate wildlife habitat, and leave behind debris or toxins. This may be in part because cannabis growers have tended to be located in more remote areas, sometimes out of reach of patrolling water enforcers, she said. Non-cannabis farmers are more typically located within agricultural districts, subject to oversight and familiar with water-use practices (including water cuts) that historically haven’t been imposed on cannabis growers, she said.

The Sierra Club tried to change this through its involvement in prior legislation that aimed to hold cannabis cultivators to the laws of the Fish and Wildlife Department and State Water Resources Board, which all other state agricultural operations are required to follow.

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“What if every farmer in the San Joaquin Valley did not obey the law?” she asked. “Can you imagine what a mess it would be?”

In short, while there’s been regulation, there so far hasn’t been much education or enforcement, said Phillips. That stands to change under new state laws and cannabis regulations, which allocate the funds needed to hire staff, implement educational programs, and build out an enforcement team.

California will almost assuredly face droughts in the future. Some farmers are already looking north. But if the state’s emerging water-use rules work out, the newest legal crop—considered one of the largest—may be able to keep on growing.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

The Leafly Marketwatch: What Percentage of Your Dispensary Visitors are Out-of-State?

We usher in 2016 with the hope that a few states will join Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. as newly minted members of the legal cannabis club. In the meantime, we took a closer look at the states that are currently operating legal retail cannabis dispensaries to see where exactly their visitors are coming from. What percentage of out-of-state folks is curious about what Colorado, Washington, and Oregon have to offer?

Colorado

We took a look at the last six months of data and broke out visits to Colorado dispensary pages by their state of origin, excluding Colorado so we could focus on out-of-state visitors.

Out-of-state traffic to Colorado dispensary pages on Leafly
Click on the image for a larger version

 

As you can see from the bar graph, the top two states sending traffic to Colorado’s dispensary listings on Leafly are Texas at nearly 33% and Florida at close to 11%. Interestingly, neither state has a legal recreational or medical marijuana market in place, although they did recently pass low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil laws. Florida has selected growers for its program, but no cannabis oil has been dispensed yet. Texas, meanwhile, does not expect to be operational until 2017.

Why are two highly restrictive states so interested in Colorado? An obvious answer is tourism. Unlike Washington and Oregon, which are tucked away in the northwest corner of the United States, Colorado is ideally situated closer to the middle of the country, making it an ideal location to visit. And despite the Colorado tourism director insisting that cannabis is not a major tourism draw for the state, both a state survey and our data suggest there’s definitely growing interest in checking out Colorado’s legal cannabis market.

Colorado is also becoming a more attractive place to live for a myriad of reasons. A number of people from illegal states, dubbed “marijuana refugees,” have migrated to Colorado for legal access to cannabis that can help treat themselves or their family members suffering from diseases. Young college graduates are also flocking to Colorado, and the real estate market has increased by double-digits post-legalization thanks in some part to a population boom and the cannabis industry producing more jobs (which means more people can afford to buy homes). It’s possible that in addition to tourist interest, pro-cannabis or cannabis-curious people who are considering moving to Colorado may be checking out the state’s dispensary pages to see what the legal market has to offer.

Washington

As with Colorado’s data, we analyzed the last three months’ worth of visits to Washington dispensary pages.

Out-of-state traffic to Washington dispensary pages on Leafly
Click on the image for a larger version

 

Nearly 40% of out-of-state visits to Washington dispensary pages come from California, with Oregon taking 2nd place with just over 14%. Both states’ proximity to Washington makes the data largely unsurprising, as it’s a relatively easy road trip or flight away for a quick getaway.

Another possible explanation for California’s traffic numbers is that there’s been a recent influx of people relocating from California to Washington. Between 2004 and 2013, over 339,000 moved from the Golden State to the Evergreen State. Washington’s recent tech industry boom, comparatively cheaper cost of living, and yes, legal cannabis are certainly all perks to moving further north.

Oregon

Oregon’s traffic data looks like a reversal of Washington’s, with over 39% of out-of-state traffic coming from its northern neighbor and 30% originating from California.

Out-of-state traffic to Oregon dispensary pages on Leafly
Click on the image for a larger version

Again, tourism is a likely factor here since Oregon is sandwiched between Washington and California, making it an appealing destination for a quick cannabis-friendly weekend getaway.

Business Takeaways

Why should dispensary owners and managers care about which out-of-state visitors are coming to their dispensaries? From a business perspective, it’s always an advantage to know your customers and their background so you can cater a personalized experience and convert their interest into a sale. Consider the following tips to help your business seem especially appealing to an out-of-towner:

Educate and Inform.

Out-of-state customers may need a little more education about cannabis, so offer more dedicated customer service and guidance to make your visitors feel at ease. Remember, they’re not experts and may even feel a little intimidated surrounded by a roomful of products that are still illegal in their state, so make them feel comfortable and be available to answer any questions they have. You may even want to put together a pamphlet or binder that contains some basic Cannabis 101 information that may benefit your out-of-state clientele.

Personalize the Experience.

Make your business seem appealing to a diverse pool of tourists or visitors. For example, if you have a retail dispensary in Colorado and know that a lot of people from Texas are likely to frequent your business, consider going the extra mile and work on your Texas charm – talk barbecue, Texas sports teams, local fashion, or anything that might put a smile on your visitor’s face. Or you could offer a few vanity strains, such as Cali Kush to a California native or Blue Bayou for someone hailing from Louisiana.

Offer Out-of-State-Friendly Products.

Pre-rolls are great for visitors since they might not have traveled with a vaporizer or bong, and lower-THC strains or edibles are a good idea as well for any tourists that are new to cannabis and don’t want to feel overwhelmed. (Just make sure you explain proper edibles dosing to your customers!)

Embrace Cannabis Tourism.

Colorado seems to be having an identity crisis with its cannabis tourism and doesn’t want to be cemented as the place to go for legal green. But honestly, what’s so bad about embracing the tourism angle? Sure, Washington, Colorado, and Oregon have a lot more to offer than just legal retail cannabis, but if the appeal of it brings visitors across state lines, it’s a win-win for the local economy. There’s a saying that goes “A rising tide lifts all ships,” meaning retail cannabis attracting visitors from different states brings in not just cannabis tax income, but benefits hotels, restaurants, local attractions, etc. So why not put a smile on your face and greet your out-of-state visitors with outstretched arms and an open mind? They’re bringing you business, after all!

Check out our previous Marketwatch analyses, and learn more about how Leafly can help grow your cannabis business.

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Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.