Connect with us

Cannabis

Why So Few Banks Are Involved In The Cannabis Industry This Year

Published

on

Very few banks in cannabis industry

Business is business, as the proverb goes. Commerce should be impersonal and money changing hands, regardless of what sector, keeps the wheel of capitalism turning. However, in a concerning turn of events in finances reveals something alarming. In a recent report from The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a federal economic data journal, it seems that very few banks and credit unions are currently involved with the cannabis industry. In fact, this might be an all-time low in several years.

The July, 2020, FinCEN report finds that only 695 banks and credit unions in the entire nation had existing active ties to any marijuana businesses. If this number seems concerningly low, that’s because it is. This is the lowest number in a long while. It is even lower than the previous financial quarter of the year, which cruised at around 710 such entities. This scarcity of bank involvement may leave the the cannabis industry in dire straits, if unchecked.

FinCEN chart shows drop in banks with cannabis industry

The exact causes for this downturn seem unclear, but several theories abound

The reasons for the pulling-out of financial entities are varying. The most clear answer must be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which over months razed global economies to dust. Many cannabis companies, retailers and producers alike were subject to government mandates during lockdown that reduced productivity and growth. However, it must noted that many cannabis employees received the ‘essential worker’ designation, and several retailers remained open.

Another explanation is more confusing, and if true, bears scrutiny. Several bank representatives already admit that the pandemic, coupled with drops in business traffic, led to mismanagement. This in turn delayed several accounting benchmarks, and many current cannabis retailers may have been left out of the count. This count usually factors in SAR (suspicious activity reports) and new customer sign-ups, as metrics to their tallies. A shortage of manpower in the banks’ workforces may also be responsible for this.

The biggest reason may due to not including the hemp industry in the cannabis industry

The term ‘cannabis’ refers to the entire plant, technically. However, due to the various applications of each part of the plant, three broadly different categories emerged from its products. Recreational cannabis consists of the part of the plant consumed for the purpose of psychoactive pleasure. Medicinal cannabis is the herb or its distillates that treat various illnesses, such as arthritis. Both of these two are considered controversial and unavailable in most parts of the world.

However, the third is hemp. This hemp comes from the fibers of the stalks. Interestingly, this product’s universal appeal lies in its uses as a durable material in ropes, fabric and footwear. Because of few restrictions (but several ridiculous regulations in some states) it often faces exclusion from cannabis revenue tallies. This year, the somewhat flourishing hemp trade did not contribute to the cannabis industry finances.

Several politicians push for increased federal cannabis industry protections, but things look bleak

The USA’s biggest blunder throughout the years amounts to sheer stubbornness to change. Many campaigned for nation-wide cannabis legalization throughout the years, but aside from a few states’ permits, federally it remains illegal. Even now, as many voice their support for cannabis regulation and legalization, staunch opposition persists. If action is not taken at the federal level to safeguard the fledgling industry, it may die out soon.

For more updates on the legislative and political changes on cannabis, stay tuned. Also, check out how another developed country deals with cannabis legalization here.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cannabis

Cannabis Home Delivery Services Likely to commence in Massachusetts

mm

Published

on

CCC is planning to allow cannabis home delivery services in the state of Massachusetts.

The CCC has agreed upon setting up a substructure for beginning cannabis home delivery services in the state of Massachusetts. The organization has presented a draft highlighting a timeline and new industry rules for starting the delivery services. Operations may begin in about a month.

The Commission has proposed an outline that would permit two types of delivery licenses for operators. Its limited delivery license would allow authorized personnel to make deliveries from CCC licensed retailers and dispensaries. Furthermore, the wholesale delivery license would allow operators to buy cannabis in wholesale directly from the cultivators. The purchased commodities will be allowed storage at a CCC approved warehouse facility. Warehouses are required to have a docking facility or sally port for a secure loading of delivery vehicles.

In additio.3n to these requirements, the CCC’s delivery draft regulations has fixed a $1,500 application fee for the licenses. Along with this, a $5,000 annual license fee for limited delivery licensees and a $10,000 annual license fee for wholesale delivery licensees is also proposed. As per the initial drafts, the CCC has decided to relinquish the application fee and first year license fee for limited delivery licensees. In the second year, the fees will be halved.

Chairman Steven Hoffman has pushed the Commission to provide finalized delivery regulations by October 20th. In the light of this, the CCC will shortly open a public comment period on the delivery regulations.

What would these cannabis delivery licenses mean for licentiate?

These delivery permits would allow licensees to supplement retail stores and provide new channels of recreational marijuana purchase.. Obtaining delivery licenses would provide a boost to small businesses. This is because the barriers to obtaining retail licenses are much more pronounced than the delivery category.

According to Commissioner Britte McBride, who wrote the regulations, “What we’ve done in addition to creating those two license types is also to establish new fees and fee structures, to require warehousing for wholesale delivery licensees, to authorize white labeling for wholesale delivery licensees. We’re defining specific operational requirements that will be in addition to the general operational requirements, and we are amending existing relevant regulations to incorporate the license types and the activities that they can undertake,”

Is it too early to allow cannabis home delivery services?

Is the requisition of cannabis really going to be just a phone call away?

For marijuana opponents, the idea of getting such convenient doorstep delivery is surely not going to be taken in good spirits. According to ballotpedia, about 46.34% of voters in Massachusetts were against the legalization of marijuana and its regulation as alcohol in 2016. For this particular segment of the population, home delivery of the drug may be an advancement that is taking place too fast. There will be concerns related to identity thefts, rise in crime rates, and products falling into wrong hands, particularly children.

Contrary to this, for the advocates of marijuana, this advancement of licenses would allow them a much needed convenience. Look at this from the perspective of bed-ridden medical marijuana patients. Leaving beds, let alone houses, is a painful endeavor for this segment of marijuana users. If other medications are already being delivered to their doorsteps, why cant medicinal marijuana join the delivery market?

For the recreational users, home deliveries might prove catalytic in reducing the stigma attached to marijuana usage. For years, marijuana has been shelled with the “not in my backyard” attitude. Despite of being advocates, most marijuana users have had to hide their association with the drug to curtail themselves from the society. If home delivery vans arrive right at the door step, it may lead to a normalization and acceptance of marijuana at some point.

Why allow delivery now?

Delivery of medical marijuana is not a new concept, even in the state of Massachusetts. Almost six authorized medical dispensaries have provided this service to registered patients since 2018.

If more licenses are granted for more legal businesses, illegal delivery services may be controlled right in infancy. In addition, this will also provide low cost business opportunities to aspiring market entrants.

The government provides no support to the marijuana industry due to its illegal federal status. By creating such opportunities at the state level, barriers to entry may be successfully reduced.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Cannabis

Study Shows No Significant Mental Effects In Elderly Patients Using Medicinal Cannabis For Chronic Pains

Published

on

Cannabis for chronic pain doesn't impair brain

The elderly, often subjected to various medical conditions, need therapies and treatments as much as any other age group. Yet unfortunately, some point out that the field sometimes doesn’t get as much attention as younger groups. That may explain why pediatric doctors greatly outnumber geriatric specialists. And then, there does exist the tendency for the elderly to be more likely to be dismissed, compared to younger patients. Regardless, one of the most common aliments in the elderly is that of chronic pain in different parts of their aged bodies. Luckily, medicinal cannabis may hold the solution for them, as numerous experts find its properties useful for old people.

A recent study from Israel set out to ascertain whether or not weed would harmfully affect the cognitions of a sample of aged individuals. The participants included both middle-aged individuals and the elderly ones, as both seemed likely to have chronic pains. Furthermore, because the aim was to find effects on cognition, both types had fully-developed brains. What the scientists found may further the needle for the campaign to normalize medicinal cannabis.

The study set up strict controls and parameters to keep it as accurate as possible

The problem that arises with any diverse sample is the presence of individual differences. If not adjusted for, these can lead to a skewed data set and make the results questionable. In this case, the researchers strove to ensure all participants were as similar as possible. They were all above the age of 50, and no significant history with alcohol abuse or hard drugs. Some of the participants were on medicinal weed licenses, meaning they actively used it regularly. Others used it very sporadically. However, all abstained from cannabis use at least 3 hours prior. They also had similar education levels and all medically recognized as mentally sound.

The study included exactly 63 licensed individuals with the remaining 62 unlicensed. The male to female ratio was also about half and half, so sex didn’t affect the results. This almost even split served to better reproduce a normal distribution with acceptable standard deviations. Furthermore, they used a reliable software called ‘CogState’, which comprises of computerized cognitive exams. These exams covered everything required, from memory to attention spans.

The results indicated that regular cannabis use to treat chronic pains left no significant impact on cognition in the elderly

By all standards of scientific research methodology, the study mainly came out as a success. The results showed the initial hypothesis proved correct, and cannabis caused no major mental changes. In practically all participants, cognition was on par with normal levels and the frequent cannabis users did not vary much from rare users. Hence, the paper claimed that treating chronic pains with CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) would leave no lasting mental effects.

However, one interesting and alarming finding the study showed was an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease from cannabis. In addition, regular users also showed elevated frequencies of depression. The former of these may occur due to smoking cannabis rather than eating it. However, it does corroborate what a recent American Heart Association (AHA) paper claims.

While the study did have some limitations, it still shows important findings for those on the fence about medicinal weed

No truly scientific study can claim to have zero room for improvement. While they accounted for most extraneous factors, the biggest factor was the cross-sectional aspect. This means that due to broad generalizations about samples, the study cannot definitively establish cause and effect. Also, they didn’t account for previous medicinal histories.

However, the study still puts to rest many fears about brain damage from weed. For more on medicinal cannabis, stay tuned!

 

Continue Reading

Cannabis

Why New Jersey’s Telemedicine For Prescription Cannabis Is A Big Deal

Published

on

Telemedicine now available for prescription medicine in New Jersey

Earlier this month, legislation in New Jersey seems like it may take a turn in favor of medicinal cannabis using ‘telemedicine’. In a world, and nation, devastated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, even visiting a physician may prove deadly. After all, hospitals, now overrun with emergent coronavirus cases, may become cesspools of airborne pathogens. Even healthcare providers still face significant risk of infection in their line of work. And this despite them donned in full protective gear and thoroughly disinfected regularly. As a matter of fact, going out anywhere public unnecessary remains inadvisable by the WHO and health authorities.

Recently, the members of the New Jersey state assembly convened to talk about various concerning issues. One of the biggest and most immediate issues, the plight of millions of patients needing prescription drugs at home, needing resolving. This especially held true of those requiring medicinal cannabis treatments, a drug not available at every nearby pharmacy. Therefore the members ruled to permit the use of telemedicine, a game-changing new service in the United States.

Telemedicine holds the key to quality healthcare in the middle of a dangerous pandemic

Not many outside of the medical field would immediately know what the concept refers to. Broadly speaking, telemedicine refers to any healthcare practice done without the patient and physician needing to interact in person. Looking at the etymology (the origin of the word), it’s all in the name (translating to long distance medicine). Therefore, video conferencing consultations between the patient at home and the doctor is an example of telemedicine. In addition, the purchase and delivery of prescription drugs from and to home online also counts as such.

So while it may not seem like anything more than ‘Zoom/Amazon but for medicine’, this is a gross understatement. Regular meetings, related to business, casual chatting and interviews, already occurred online before COVID-19. That classes and work began conducting over video conferences wasn’t anything unforeseeable as the pandemic grew. However, in traditional medical schools, few students receive training for how to treat patients online. After all, a good diagnosis usually comes with thorough rapport, careful inspection of the body and various examinations. So now the COVID-19 pandemic has doctors scrambling to learn an entirely new modality of work. And the concept of sitting safe at home while your lifesaving drugs come to you, risk-free is incredible.

The move comes unexpectedly, as cannabis legislation in New Jersey still holds some previous prejudices

The truth of the matter is that the United States is still a nation where recreational cannabis usage is federally illegal. And medicinal cannabis, despite modern scientific studies extolling its proven health benefits as a therapeutic agent in many conditions, as well. That means that the ‘default’ law for any state is that the drug is banned, with even possession resulting in criminal offence. The only state exceptions to this practice worked hard to exempt themselves. Even in New Jersey, recreational cannabis remains off the table, but medicinally it gained allowance.

As a result, the cannabis industry, which makes everything cannabis related (from hemp to CBD oils), doesn’t do well here. There simply isn’t a big enough market for products in states where cannabis is literally banned. In the case of New Jersey, only specially licensed dispensaries can legally sell prescription marijuana. Law makers historically have shown very little care to make medicinal weed more accessible, in addition. Furthermore, even healthcare providers may show hesitance to prescribe cannabis due to the amount of legal work required by state laws.

All in all, this move signals a step in the right direction. Hopefully, patients will receive their medications soon and safely.

 

Continue Reading

Trending

error: Content is protected !!