A Medical Patient’s Experience in a Recreational Cannabis Market

When the State of Nevada announced it’s plans to implement recreational cannabis sales on July 1st of this year, I was elated. Cannabis has not only been proven to have medicinal benefits for a wide variety of health issues, but it can also induce relaxation, creativity, an elevated mindset, and even can help you lose weight! Plus, the war on drugs has been an overt failure, and making a substance that is less dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes illegal is asinine. But, I digress.

 

After my initial excitement about what recreational cannabis could mean for the progress of the cannabis industry in Nevada, I started thinking about the number of individuals that consume cannabis. I also started thinking about the number of tourists from all over America and the world that visit Vegas per year. Then I started to get nervous. I’m a medical patient, and I use cannabis to treat a variety of symptoms from depression, anxiety, and IBS. I rely on access to cannabis to feel better. I started wondering, amidst distribution disputes, if getting medical cannabis would be more difficult. (After about a month of recreational sales, we have heard these fears were unfounded). I went to a few different dispensaries to see for myself.

 

Luckily, my experience overall was pleasant. There were a TON of people lined up to buy cannabis, at all hours of the day, but most dispensaries have implemented separate lines for medical patients so that your wait time is shorter. I timed myself, and I spent under 30 minutes in most dispensaries, from check in to cash out. I was also worried about pricing. We’ve all heard rumors that 8ths were going to jump from $25 to $80! In reality, the price hike was modest – about a $10 – $15 increase across the board. But what about a cannabis shortage?! I will admit, dispensaries were running out of my favorite strains a bit quicker than usual, but there was still a wide selection to choose from, and some dispensaries have even reserved particular strains for medical patients only!

 

After all was said and done, I found that my anxiety over the issue was largely unnecessary. I ended up with concentrates, flower, edibles, and even a transdermal patch, paid a moderate amount, and spent way less time that I was anticipating waiting in line. The cannabis industry in Nevada is stepping up to meet the demand of both recreational and medical patients. As distribution licenses are awarded and dispensaries fine-tune their processes, I think the entire experience will remain positive for everyone.

4 Things You Should Know About New Recreational Cannabis In Nevada

Nevada’s new cannabis laws go into effect on July 1st.

This year alone the city has welcomed more than  17,000,000 visitors and that doesn’t even include the summer months.

Come July 1st Nevada locals and the millions of visitors age 21 and up will soon be able to walk into a dispensary and purchase cannabis similar to dispensaries in Denver

Here are four things you should know before making Nevada the next stop for your next canna vaycay. 

How much is this going to cost me? 

The wholesale tax that dispensaries pay when purchasing product has increased as part of Adult Use.  There will also be different taxes applied to transactions dependent upon whether you are a medical patient or a recreational customer. 

Where Does The Money Go? 

 

Revenue from the tax on Nevada’s recreational sales is projected to stimulate approximately $7.5 billion in economic activity in the first seven years of sales. That’s a lot of cash! So here’s where it’ll go.

The state’s Opportunity Scholarships are slated to receive a whopping $20 million boost. An additional $25 million is slated to go to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), with the remainder going to the State’s general fund. 

Do I Still Need My Medical Marijuana Card? 

Yes! It will save you money in the long run because medical cannabis products will be taxed at a lower rate than recreational sales. Beginning July 1st, recreational customers will have a 10% excise tax applied to their transactions. 

What’s the Legal Limit? 

State possession limits are still capped at 2.5 ounces for medical patients and 1 ounce for recreational consumers.

The current law that limits medical marijuana patients to 70 grams in a two-week period is also ending under the new provisions.

Planning a trip to Vegas? Check out CannabisInVegas.com for info on the top dispensaries and must have products in Sin City!

Everything You Need To Know About The D.C. Cannabis Scene

Our nation’s capital legalized cannabis back in 2014, but there’s no tax-and-regulate system in place, meaning there’s still a long way to go before D.C. becomes the District of Cannabis.

Here at Social Media Unicorn, our team is constantly keeping our fingers on the pulse of cannabis scenes across the nation and abroad. If you’re heading to the District as a cannatourist, here are some tips you need to know.

Dispensaries Are All But Non Existent

Unlike California, Nevada, Colorado, and Oregon, all states where those 21+ can legally consume cannabis, D.C. cannabis laws are a bit more ambivalent. Today residents and visitors alike are bound by frustrating laws that allow possession, but prohibit sales. In short, scoring legal weed in D.C., while pretty easy, gives off the feel of an old school street deal, and arrests for still-illegal deals have hit pre-legalization levels.

The Facts on D.C. Cannabis Laws

It is legal for a person who is at least 21 years old to possess two ounces or less of marijuana, transfer one ounce or less of marijuana to another person who is at least 21 years old, however so no payment or any other type of exchange of goods or services. 

Statistics from the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department show a large increase in the number of distribution busts in 2016, with the 220 arrests more than doubling the number seen in 2013, the year before residents voted to loosen pot laws.

So, Selling Cannabis Is Still Illegal? 

In short, yes. While residents are welcome to cultivate up to six marijuana plants and possess marijuana-related  paraphernalia – like bongs or rolling papers, congress has blocked regulated dispensaries. So how do visitors legally obtain cannabis if you can’t buy it?

Tech Has Taken Care of That

“Marijuana events are going on all the time now,” the Gentleman Toker, a D.C. cannabis blog explained. Also, so-called weed “search engines” like LeafedIn also offer a way to find opportunities to get the gift of cannabis. 

The Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System

An appropriately titled 2013 survey, “Ignorance Is Not Bliss,” revealed that only 13 percent of U.S. medical schools teach the endocannabinoid system to future doctors. With more and more patients are turning to it for relief, there’s certainly a need to be familiar with the endocannabinoid system.

The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a naturally-occurring network of receptors that is spread throughout the entire body. This system controls some of our most vital life functions, including our immune system, memory, appetite, sleep pattern, mood, and pain sensation.

The three main components of the endocannabinoid system are as follows:

  • Cannabinoid Receptors – found on the surface of cells
  • Endocannabinoids – small molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors
  • Metabolic Enzymes – break down endocannabinoids after they are used

There are currently two known major cannabinoid receptors; CB1 and CB2. Though they’re certainly not the only cannabinoid receptors, they were the first discovered and therefore remain the most-studied.

Unlike THC, endocannabinoids are naturally produced by cells within the human body. Like the plant cannabinoid THC, they are molecules that bind to and activate cannabinoid receptors.

The final piece of the endocannabinoid puzzle is comprised of the metabolic enzymes that quickly destroy endocannabinoids as soon as they are used. The enzymes responsible for this rapid breakdown are FAAH and MAGL. Their work ensures that endocannabinoids are used efficiently. This differentiates endocannabinoids from other molecular signals (such as hormones or classical neurotransmitters) which can persist for several seconds or minutes, or be stored for later use.

Of course, this is only a high-level overview of the human endocannabinoid system. Unfortunately, cannabis research is extremely limited – due to its federally illegal status – which prohibits government institutions (like the FDA) from conducting clinical studies. However, cannabis research is growing like a weed (pun intended) and each year, studies reveal even more about this intricate network within our bodies.

Marijuana Legalization Affects Real Estate: Here’s How

Industry publications cannot stop talking about marijuana legalization and its impact on the real estate market. And when we say that we don’t just mean marijuana news outlets.

The mainstream business and investing communities have really taken notice of legalization, and the conversation is building as new policies form nationwide. Experts and investors now believe they can project what will happen to the real estate market once a state passes a medical or adult-use legalization measure. 

Here’s what we know so far about what happens to real estate values in emerging legal cannabis markets

Heavy Competition

If you know about the licensing process for cannabis companies, then you probably know there are a ton of zoning regulations involved. These can vary by state and even by city, but they usually limit dispensaries and manufacturers to extremely limited areas of town. The jist of the rules is that policymakers don’t want cannabis to be cultivated, processed or sold near schools and parks, residential zones and other sensitive areas. 

That being said, finding an appropriate operations site can be stiff competition for license applicants. This allows property owners in industrial and other ideal zones to ask a premium price or rent for their cannabis-friendly real estate, which in turn bumps up prices close by.

Exodus

Something else to consider about new legal cannabis markets is that many people from out-of-state will soon be clamoring to move there. Be they “medical refugees” who can’t access cannabis in their home state, budding entrepreneurs and job seekers following the opportunity, or enthusiasts who would simply rather enjoy their hobby in peace, they’re all looking to find a place to live. 

More demand for real estate always drives prices up. The cannabis movement just happens to be one of the strongest uniting movements driving visibly huge demand for real estate.


Increasing the value of real estate is only one of hundreds of ways that cannabis legalization stimulates our economy. Regulated cannabis markets create jobs and livelihoods for thousands of people, provide affordable and effective medicine to our most vulnerable and provide a healthier way for people of legal age to recreate and enjoy their lives.

Ready to position yourself as a serious player in this industry? Call our genius team of marketers at Social Media Unicorn today. 

Weed Revolution: Reforming Markets To Watch in 2017

Activists used to have to chant “legalize it!” but now it’s almost hard to keep up with all the reforms happening nationwide. It’s no longer all about Denver, Seattle and San Francisco. Every major market in the U.S. will have their time to shine eventually, each learning from their predecessors. 

Learning how to adapt and sell cannabis in emerging markets is key for ambitious entrepreneurs. Keep your eyes on the prize by following these four hot markets over the next six to seven months: 

California

Industry eyes are on California while businesses are scrambling to decode a new book of regulations, which have been largely missing from the state’s laws since 1996. California is the unofficial cannabis capital of the world, with the largest number of consumers, cultural events, dispensaries and individual product brands.

Nevada

Unlike its neighbor to the west, Nevada’s recreational cannabis market is set to come online this summer, with dispensaries opening to the legal public in early July. We might be biased, but we think our home state has the most potential of all! With millions of fun loving, legal-aged tourists passing through Las Vegas each year, you can bet that many of them will be taking advantage of our world class cannabis by the end of this year.

Ohio

The state of Ohio dodged a bullet a few years ago by rejecting an adult-use legalization initiative that would have created a monopoly among a handful of cultivators. Now, they’re ready for a more inclusive approach with their medical marijuana program, the rules of which are still being written. Once the regulations are neatly tied up, this market is expected to become one of the largest in the midwest region.

Florida

One of the states that will likely shape future cannabis reform, both in the South and on the East Coast is the Florida market. Though still somewhat restrictive when compared to the big markets out west, it’s more inclusive than the “CBD-only” policies in Georgia, Tennessee and Texas. Florida’s dispensaries will not be permitted to retail products with a high THC dosage, but there will be identification cards issued in the next 9 months.


Ready to make an impact in your local market? Or maybe you’re looking to expand. Having Social Media Unicorn on your team will supercharge the process. Give us a shout! 

Cannabis In Canada: Becoming A Global Leader

The legalization of cannabis, either as a medicine or for recreational consumption, isn’t just a hot topic in the US. Other countries are facing the same demands from their populations: to legitimize and decriminalize cannabis. What has been interesting is the different approaches countries have taken in tackling this issue. Here in the US, the marijuana movement has been predominantly at a State level, but is there a better way to do this? Let’s take a glance at what our friendly northern neighbors are up to with cannabis in Canada.

The Federal Approach

The biggest difference in how Canada is handling cannabis is that they chosen to start at the top and then work downwards. Canada tackled the issue of cannabis as a country first, working towards providing structure and guidance to each province to round out their marijuana programs to best fit their own populace and economic needs. While the first attempt at regulating marijuana came into being in 2001, there have been many changes since then in regards to fine tuning the program to keep making it better. The latest news is that Canada is on track to make cannabis legal across Canada for adult use by July of 2018, putting it on track to be the second country in the world opting for complete legalization.

Federal Licensing

Because legalization is working from the top down, federal agencies are involved from the very beginning. Health Canada (sort of like the US’s FDA) issues the licenses for growers and distributors. This doesn’t mean that they won’t need business licenses in their home provinces, but the fact that the rules are the same across the country puts every ganjapreneur on relatively even footing. Their agricultural department is involved, supporting and helping the government to put together beneficial guidelines to help improve the industry. Local law enforcement is receiving guidance from national agencies, uniting local agents and providing valuable input on  how to regulate such a system.

Business Benefits

One of the biggest problems here in the US is that while some states are embracing cannabis, the country has not, despite a recent Gallup poll suggesting 60% of Americans support legalization. This means that because marijuana is still federally illegal, cannabis businesses are extremely limited. Federal banks cannot deal with them, large ad agencies don’t want to touch them, and most landowners won’t work with them. Marijuana as an industry has grown exponentially despite these serious limitations. What we are seeing in Canada is that because it is supported on a national level, these cannabis companies are able to play on the same business fields as other industries. They can work with national banks for loans and services and are also able to be publicly traded. Their potential for growth is much less inhibited than their US counterparts.

While the legalization of cannabis is not a new issue, it has been interesting to see how each country around the world has gone about tackling it. Countries such as Uruguay, where cannabis is legal, and soon-to-be legal Canada will be leaders in this global trend. Whether they intended to be or not, countries like Canada will be looked upon as an example of cannabis legalization.

Tell us what you think about cannabis legalization both here in America and around the world.

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