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Patient Advocate since 1977.


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Tommy Chong rumored to be re-appearing at ICBC Berlin

ICBC Berlin - The BERLIN PEACE ACCORDS...putting an end to the world war on Cannabis!

ICBC BERLIN will be held April 12-13, 2018 in Berlin Germany.

Tommy Chong and his CHONGS CHOICE offerings http://chongschoice.us/ were well-received by the international cannabis executives this year and rumor has it he will be there again in 2018.

For more information on this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED event, please go to:

http://internationalcbc.com/berlin-home/


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7 interesting things to know about the marijuana plant.

 

1. It’s Impossible to Overdose on Weed

For cannabis to kill, you need to smoke about 20,000 – 40,000 times the average amount within a short period of time. That’s like smoking over 75,000 joints in one sitting. If you do die, it would not be from the weed itself, but because of the carbon monoxide suffocating you instead.

2. Cannabis Users Have 33% Lower Rates of Obesity

Marijuana reduces the risk of becoming obese by a third. Studies have shown that weed helps your body regulate blood sugars. It is also said that cannabis users eat an average of 600 more calories a day, but still have lower BMIs because weed increases the metabolism. This will cause individuals to be hungrier, but it acts as a digestive aid and utilizes what they eat better.

3. If Cannabis was Legalized in All States, It Would Earn Over $10 Billion in Tax Revenue

State and federal governments have spent an estimated $3.6 billion per year on the prohibition of cannabis. If it were fully legalized, the opposite would happen: it would generate billions in taxes.  According to this infographic, Washington earned $186 million in marijuana tax revenue in their first fiscal year alone.  In May 2017, Colorado hit more than $500 million in tax revenue since recreational cannabis sales started in 2014.

4. Cannabis Can Create More Jobs

According to a new report by Marijuana Business Daily, cannabis-related companies now employ an estimated 165,000-230,000 full- and part-time workers, making the industry a major job generator.  People working in crop farms, marijuana dispensaries,  vaporizer manufacturers, and cultivation lighting businesses are only a few of the tens of thousands of workers who have benefitted from this “budding” industry.

5. Couples That Smoke Weed are Less Likely to Experience Domestic Violence

Because cannabis slows you down, the more it is smoked, the less violence there is. When individuals smoke weed together, they are less likely to engage in domestic violence because they are less aggressive when encountering threatening stimuli.

6. Only 9% of Cannabis Users Become Dependent

While cannabis is not completely harmless, it is less addictive than other substances. When put into comparison with other substances, 15% of alcohol users become addicted, 32% for tobacco smokers, and 23% of heroin users.

7. Moderate Smokers May Have Higher IQs

Carleton University conducted a study finding out that cannabis consumers that smoked around five joints a week had higher IQs than those who did not smoke. Initially they held IQ tests for subjects aged 9 to 12. After a couple years, they had another IQ test when the subjects were between 17 and 20 and categorized by level of cannabis use. The tests results revealed that moderate smokers scored the highest.

One of the biggest problems the cannabis movement faces is that people are uneducated about it. Enlightening them with the truth is one way that can help stop the spread of misinformation. For a society to progress, its people should be more aware and knowledgeable of issues at hand. Through this article, we hope that misconceptions regarding marijuana are cleared out and that people form an opinion of it because of its facts.

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FROM:   https://cannabis.net/blog/opinion/7-marijuana-facts-you-should-share-with-antipot-people?inf_contact_key=10709b4dae8f426b571426db1630689cbeb3b2e00340ad5184f90b50cf0b2e8b


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BREAKING NEWS: GERMAN PHARMACIES SOLD OUT OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA….limited supply not available until September at the earliest.

The Cannabis Shortage Plaguing German Pharmacies

At present, Germany is experiencing massive delays in the delivery of medical cannabis. The supply at most pharmacies is limited to three or four of the 16 available medical strains. More than 10 of Germany’s medically-approved strains originate from the Canadian medical cannabis program, but currently, only smaller stocks of Pedanios’ 18/1 are available — the other five Pedanios Strains are sold out. None of the five strains produced by Tweed are available in German pharmacies.

Due to the lengthy import and export process, Canadian cannabis could return to the German market in September, at the earliest. Shortages from Canada are not the only problem, Dutch producer Bedrocan has not been able to deliver all of its six available medical strains.

On July 17th, medical patients in Germany reported that all wholesalers are currently sold out, posting on self-help network Cannabis as Medicine (SCM) and the German Hemp Federation’s (DHV) forums. Only a few pharmacies that pre-stocked the sought-after medicine can still provide for patients. Patients must, therefore, call their pharmacy before visiting the doctor, ask which of the few strains are available, and then request to have their medicine placed on hold. If a pharmacy can not fill the order of a prescribed strain, the patient’s prescription is effectively invalid. The patient then must revisit the doctor to obtain a valid prescription for an available strain.

The Number of German Patients Has Exploded

The current law for cannabis as medicine has been in existence for four months. In that time, the number of medical cannabis users has risen unpredictably fast. In the case of two of the largest health insurance companies, by mid-July, more than 3,100 patients had applied for reimbursement of medical cannabis prescribed by their doctor. The insurance company Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) published the only concrete figures on these applications.

According to the TK’s reports, 863 applications for reimbursement had been received by July 7, 522 of which were approved and 341 were rejected. Germany’s largest health insurance fund, the AOK, received roughly 2,300 applications by the same date but did not publish figures on approved or rejected applications.

The number of individuals who have applied for reimbursement from the two other large and numerous small insurance companies is not yet known. In view of the total number of insured persons in Germany, experts estimate there are several thousand unreported cases of pending reimbursement applications. In addition, there are no statistics available on patients who have received a cannabis prescription without applying for reimbursement. Maximilian Plenert, a member of the board of directors of the Federal Association for Accepting Drugs and Human Drug Policy (akzept.e.V.), was invited as an expert on medical cannabis to several German Bundestag hearings. On request from Marijuana.com, Plenert said he estimates that on the basis of the numbers and feedback received, about 10,000 patients have obtained medicinal cannabis flowers from pharmacies since the introduction of the law in March.

Due to these unforeseen developments, many cannabis patients are currently confronted with a shortage of supply. The German Hemp Association (DHV) has received numerous reports of affected patients who are currently waiting for their medicine. After all, those affected simply do not need “Cannabis Flos,” but one or more strain varieties, each with a specific active ingredient profile.

Currently, German patients are completely dependent on imported cannabis. They only receive what is not needed by the Dutch and Canadian cannabis programs. The imminent legalization in Canada will only exacerbate this problem, as bottlenecks are already expected in Canada by July 2018. In addition, it is far easier and less bureaucratic for Canadian producers to use the domestic recreational market instead of struggling with lengthy export- and import-licensing procedures.

The German Pharmacists Rejoice

While many health insurance companies continue to oppose cannabis for reasons beyond the exorbitant costs, pharmacists appear to be enjoying their new role. As the Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung reported recently, the majority of German pharmacies welcome the new law. Three out of ten pharmacists said the new law had a positive impact on the demand. However, the additional examination of the medicine represented a considerable effort, and 98 percent of pharmacists surveyed complained. This is probably why they charge almost 10 Euro per gram for the high effort of checking, repacking, and labeling cannabis medicine. The survey found that 30 percent of pharmacists have no opinion on the new regulations, while one in five oppose it.

Home Cultivation Remains a Political Issue

The production of medical cannabis in Germany could begin much faster if the licensing of the producers was a less bureaucratic than the current procedure. According to the recently founded Cannabis Agency, the earliest date to supply pharmacies with medicinal cannabis products is mid-2019. Allowing patients to grow cannabis could mitigate the problem of supply bottlenecks. But this solution, much like under ex-Premier Harper in Canada, is not politically viable in Germany. The federal government still carries out numerous trials against patients who have applied for the cultivation of a few plants to meet their medical needs. If the supply remains inadequate through 2019, the German Health Ministry will continue to losethese trials against cannabis patients.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett

ABOUT AUTHOR

Michael Knodt is an expert on cannabis politics and cannabis culture across Europe. Born in North Germany, Michael has been living in Berlin since 1990. He initially studied history and journalism before receiving his certification as a carpenter. Since then, Michael has made regular visits to countries where cannabis is cultivated, such as Jamaica and Morocco. He has worked as a freelancer for Weedmaps, Vice Magazine Germany, Sensi Seeds and numerous German-language cannabis magazines since 2004. From 2005 to 2013, Michael was the Editor-in-Chief of Germanys biggest cannabis periodical. He also is the face and presenter of the most popular program on cannabis prohibition and just launched a new channel called “DerMicha.” Aside from his journalistic work, Michael is a cannabis patient, activist, sought-after speaker on conferences and congresses, and a father of two.


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Isodiol and Canopy Growth sign agreement re: Pot.o.Coffee

Isodiol International Inc. Signs Definitive Licensing Agreement With Canopy Growth Corporation for Canadian and International Distribution

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Isodiol International Inc. (CSE:ISOL) (OTC:LAGBF) (Frankfurt:LB6A.F) (the “Company” or “Isodiol”) a global cannabis innovator specializing in the development of pharmaceutical and consumer products is pleased to announce it has signed a licensing agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation (“Canopy”) (TSX:WEED) (https://www.canopygrowth.com). 

Canopy Growth is the world’s premier cannabis company that operates a collection of diverse brands and curated strain varieties, supported by over half a million square feet of indoor and greenhouse production capacity. Under this licensing agreement, Canopy Growth will have the right to manufacture and distribute the Company’s “Pot-O-Coffee” and “Pot-O-Tea” branded marijuana infused single serve K-Cup products in Canada and certain other markets internationally as federal regulations allow. Licensed products include caffeinated and de-caffeinated product lines as well as Isodiol’s single serve “Pot-O-Coco”. In addition to the Canadian rights, Canopy Growth shall have the right of first refusal to sell the “Pot-O” brand products in any territory outside of the US, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

“This distribution agreement has us positioned to increase our global footprint with the largest cannabis company in the world. We will continue to develop our Pot-O-Coffee product lines with ready to drink and cold brew products while working with Canopy Growth for international distribution channels. The Pot-O-Coffee brand is well recognized, and adding additional products to this line will continue to strengthen its market presence,” stated Isodiol’s CEO Marcos Agramont.

The availability of the various licensed products in Canada and elsewhere will differ depending on applicable laws and regulation. While Canadian law does not yet permit the manufacture and sale of marijuana infused products, the Company anticipates that such products will be permitted in the near future. Furthermore, currently proposed regulations which would permit the sale of infused products, would not allow such products to contain both marijuana and caffeine. As such, the specific product offerings in Canada and elsewhere may be limited. The Company will provide additional updates as regulations are adopted and as product roll-out plans are developed.

About Isodiol International Inc.

Isodiol International, Inc. is the market leader in pharmaceutical grade cannabis compounds and the industry leader in manufacturing and development of consumer products. Isodiol’s nutraceutical division is the pioneer of many firsts for Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), including 99% pure crystalline isolate, micro-encapsulation, and nano technology for the highest quality consumable and topical skin care products.

Isodiol’s growth strategy includes the development of over-the-counter and pharmaceutical drugs, seeking joint ventures and acquisitions to expand its portfolio of brands and subsidiaries and will aggressively continue International expansion into Latin America, Asia and Europe.


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The Five Biggest Marijuana Myths and How To Debunk Them – by Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and a Senior Policy Advisor at Freedom Leaf

MYTH 1: Legal Cannabis Is Responsible for the Opioid Epidemic

Recent claims by the Trump administration that marijuana use is leading to the alarming rise in opioid abuse are not supported by the available evidence. In reality, numerous studies have found just the opposite.

Specifically, researchers have linked legal marijuana access to lower rates of opioid use and of hospitalization and mortality from it. A 2016 study by the University of Michiganreported that chronic-pain patients reduced their opioid use by 64% when cannabis became available.

In Israel, researchers found similar results in a cohort of patients with treatment-resistant pain, reporting a 44% reduction in participants’ opioid consumption after medical cannabis was introduced. That substitution can result in saved lives. In March, the authors noted in Drug and Alcohol Dependence that medical-marijuana legalization was associated with significant reductions in opioid-related hospitalizations.

Similarly, a 2014 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine determined that legalizing medical cannabis is associated with a reduction of as much as 33% in deaths attributable to the use of prescription opiates and heroin.

marijuana mythsMYTH 2: Consuming Marijuana Lowers Intelligence

The source of this often-repeated claim is a 2012 longitudinal study by Madeline Meier and colleagues that associated the persistent use of cannabis prior to age 18 with lower IQ in middle age. However, a separate review of that data, published in the same journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, , disputed any direct link between cannabis use and declining IQ. It argued that Meier’s team had failed to properly control for potential confounding factors, such as subjects’ socio-economic status. After accounting for those variables, the author theorized that the true effect of early-onset cannabis use on IQ “could be zero.”

More recent longitudinal studies also dismiss the notion that cannabis use impairs IQ. A 2016 British study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology assessed IQ and educational performance among a cohort of 2,235 marijuana-using teens and non-users. “[T]he notion that cannabis use itself is causally related to lower IQ and poorer educational performance was not supported in this large teenage sample,” the authors concluded.

In 2015, researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Minnesota evaluated whether marijuana use was associated with changes in intellectual performance in two cohorts of adolescent twins. Participants were assessed for intelligence at ages nine to 12, before they had any involvement with marijuana, and again at ages 17 to 20. Investigators found no dose-response relationship between cannabis use and IQ decline. They also saw no significant differences in performance between marijuana-using subjects and their non-using twins.

“In the largest longitudinal examination of marijuana use and IQ change… we find little evidence to suggest that adolescent marijuana use has a direct effect on intellectual decline,” they concluded. “[T]he lack of a dose-response relationship and an absence of meaningful differences between discordant siblings lead us to conclude that the deficits observed in marijuana users are attributable to confounding factors that influence both substance initiation and IQ rather than a neurotoxic effect of marijuana.”

marijuana myths freedom leafMYTH 3: Cannabis Smoke Exposure Is More Damaging to the Lungs Than Tobacco Smoke

While some studies have linked chronic marijuana-smoke exposure to higher instances of cough, phlegm and bronchitis, science has refuted claims that cannabis inhalation causes the sort of serious respiratory diseases commonly associated with smoking tobacco.

Specifically, the largest case-controlled study ever to investigate the respiratory effects of marijuana-smoking reported that it was not associated with lung-related cancers, even among subjects who reported smoking more than 22,000 joints over their lifetimes.

“We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” the study’s lead researcher, UCLA pulmonologist Dr. Donald Tashkin, stated in 2006. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect” among marijuana-smokers—who had lower incidences of cancer than non-users.

Cannabis consumers can mitigate their exposure to the toxic gases produced by burning plant matter by using a vaporizer, which heats marijuana flowers to a point where cannabinoid vapors form, but below the point of combustion. Clinical studies assessing vaporization report that these devices all but eliminate subjects’ potential exposure to gaseous toxins and are “an effective and apparently safe vehicle for THC delivery.”

marijuana myths freedom leafMYTH 4: States with Regulated Marijuana Markets Experience Surges in Violence

Contrary to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ claim that “there’s more violence around marijuana than one would think,” states that license the production and distribution of marijuana have not seen an uptick in violent crime. In fact, many jurisdictions have had less violent crime since legalization.

2014 study published by researchers at the University of Texas reported that the enactment of “medical-marijuana laws precedes a reduction in homicide and assault…. In sum, these findings run counter to arguments suggesting the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes poses a danger to public health in terms of exposure to violent crime and property crimes.”

A 2012 federally funded study published by UCLA researchers also reported that the proliferation of medical-cannabis retailers in urban areas “was not associated with violent-crime or property-crime rates.” It speculated that the dispensaries might actually reduce neighborhood crime, since many hire their own door security, have security cameras and take other steps to deter would-be criminals.

Data from states that regulate recreational marijuana sales yield similar results. In Washington, after voters legalized adult use in 2012, violent crime declined 10% statewide. In Colorado, which legalized adult use the same year, rates of violent crime and property crime dropped in Denver afterwards. Crime rates have similarly decreased in Portland, Ore., according to the libertarian Cato Institute. (Oregon legalized adult use in 2014.) Overall, Cato’s researchers concluded that concerns about legalization leading to more crime have largely been exaggerated.

marijuana myths freedom leafMYTH 5: Cannabis Legalization Is Linked to a Rise in Traffic Fatalities

While some studies have found that THC-positive only drivers have a slightly higher risk of motor-vehicle accidents than drug-free drivers, it’s still significantly lower than the risk of accidents associated with driving after consuming alcohol. According to a study of 2,000 fatal crashes published in Injury Epidemiology in March, drivers who tested positive for alcohol were more than 10 times likely to have an accident than drivers who tested positive for THC. (Drivers who tested positive for both were more than 15 times as likely.)

Most importantly, data from states that have liberalized marijuana’s legal status show no uptick in motor-vehicle crashes. “[O]n average, medical-marijuana law states had lower traffic fatality rates than non-MML states,” researchers at Columbia University reported in the December 2016 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. “Medical-marijuana laws are associated with reductions in traffic fatalities, particularly pronounced among those aged 25 to 44…. It’s possible that this is related to lower alcohol-impaired driving behavior in MML-states.”

A 2011 assessment of traffic-fatality data from Colorado yielded a similar conclusion: Legal medical marijuana was “associated with a nearly 9% decrease in traffic fatalities, most likely due to its impact on alcohol consumption.”

In March, a Congressional Research Service report, “The Marijuana Policy Gap and the Path Forward,” concluded that there was “no trend identified in the percentage of drivers testing positive for marijuana,” either by itself or in combination with other drugs/alcohol, “for those involved in traffic fatalities and who were tested for drugs or alcohol” in Washington state after legalization. A similar review of motor-vehicle crash data by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, issued in December 2016, noted that the “risk of crashes while driving under the influence of THC is lower than drunk driving.”

If you enjoyed this Freedom Leaf article, subscribe to the magazine today!

About Paul Armentano

Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and a Senior Policy Advisor at Freedom Leaf. He also serves on the faculty of Oaksterdam University. Mr. Armentano’s writing and research on marijuana policy have appeared in well over 750 publications, scholarly and/or peer-reviewed journals, as well as in more than two dozen textbooks and anthologies. He is the co-author of the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (2009, Chelsea Green), which has been licensed and translated internationally, and more recently, The Citizens’ Guide to State-by-State Marijuana Laws (Whitman Books, 2015). Mr. Armentano is the 2013 Freedom Law School Health Freedom Champion of the Year and the 2013 Alfred R. Lindesmith award recipient in the achievement in the field of scholarship.

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“This business owner has been doing everything he has to under the law,” Kristin Heidelbach, a Teamsters international representative, said in a statement. “(Police) are finding ridiculous reasons to go in and do this.” Organized labor has made inroads with the cannabis industry in multiple states, and the Teamsters have signed labor peace agreements with “multiple” California companies, according to the release.

July 20, 2017

Raid on Los Angeles marijuana grow has Teamsters up in arms

raid by local police on a marijuana cultivation facility in Los Angeles has a chapter of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters crying foul.

A spokeswoman for Teamsters Joint Council 42 called the raid on THC Design “ridiculous,” according to a news release.

THC Design runs three cultivation operations in the L.A. area, according to the release, and has been raided twice since April.

In the latest raid, law enforcement agents seized cannabis plants based on an allegation the company was stealing power to fuel the grow. The raid resulted in a $2 million loss for THC Design, according to the release.

The company decided it would have to shutter the grow, meaning 50 employees – who had all recently been unionized with the Teamsters – will be out of work.

THC Design reached an accord with the Teamsters last week on a labor peace agreement, according to the release.

“This business owner has been doing everything he has to under the law,” Kristin Heidelbach, a Teamsters international representative, said in a statement. “(Police) are finding ridiculous reasons to go in and do this.”

Organized labor has made inroads with the cannabis industry in multiple states, and the Teamsters have signed labor peace agreements with “multiple” California companies, according to the release.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union is also a staunch ally of marijuana businesses.

 

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Commentary about Western Europe – by Ben Ward CEO of Maricann – on CNBC

Forget the US. Here’s where medical marijuana is really taking off

  • There is a global shift in cannabis towards Western Europe.
  • That’s where the action in medical marijuana is really heating up.
  • Investor’s focused solely on the U.S. are missing the huge potential overseas.
Benjamin Ward, CEO of Maricann Group Inc.
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David McNew | Getty Images

There’s a groundswell of support for cannabis legalisation in the United States, with 29 states, as well as Washington D.C. approved for medicinal cannabis, and eight for lifestyle use.

Things are farther ahead in Canada. Regulations for production and sales have been in place for over three years, and the federal government has introduced a timeline to full federal legalisation for lifestyle use in July 2018. Capacity in Canada for lifestyle alone is projected to reach “5 billion dollars per year to start,” according to a recent report from Deloitte.

Yet, while many investors focus on opportunities stemming from Canada’s upcoming legalization – plus the longer-term investment potential in what will likely be a growing number of American states – they are missing the global shift in cannabis towards Western Europe. That’s where the action is really heating up.

The population of the United States is approximately 325 million. There are 35 million living in Canada. But compare that to the European Union’s population of 510 million. Germany, with more than 80 million people alone, legalized medicinal cannabis in January of this year. Add that to Italy’s nascent existing medicinal cannabis program.

“European markets are increasingly important to the cannabis sector. Each has a well-funded medical system, residents who seek natural and complementary therapies, and a government-supported mandate to stop the rising tide of opiate addiction related to chronic pain treatment.”

These European markets are increasingly important to the cannabis sector. Each has a well-funded medical system, residents who seek natural and complementary therapies, and a government-supported mandate to stop the rising tide of opiate addiction related to chronic pain treatment.

Taken together, these and other European examples show that we’re seeing traditionally conservative attitudes shift as medicinal cannabis is legalized.

That also means investors in cannabis who focus solely on North America are missing the huge potential found across the Atlantic.

Those investors restricting their cannabis investments to this side of the ocean – and in the United States in particular – are left navigating an array of legislation on a state-by-state basis, prohibitive out-of-state investment regulations, and a prohibitive tax code. These investors miss the boat as they churn through such choppy water.

In Germany, cannabis will be produced by licenced producers and distributed to pharmacies like any other medication, with each prescription eligible for full reimbursement from health insurance.

In their patient-driven markets, Germans, Italians and other Europeans are demanding the alternative of cannabis over opiates.

In our view, people who think opiates are the only answer to pain relief have a similar mis-perception as people who still think medicinal cannabis is nothing more than smoking up with their doctor’s permission.

They are both wrong.

In short, medical cannabis is about personalized and effective medicine. It’s not about getting high.

The Europeans know that, as we do in North America.

As Germany moves smartly down this path of medicinal cannabis, the rest of Europe will soon follow. And to ignore 500 million people in a stable economy is a mistake.

We’re at the start of the global revolution. We all need to be looking to Europe next.

Commentary by Benjamin Ward, CEO of Maricann Group Inc., a vertically-integrated greenhouse producer and distributor of medical cannabis. Toronto, Canada-based Maricann is now building global teams in rapidly expanding European markets as well.

For more insight from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.