News

News on the cannabis industry from around the globe. Keep an eye out for Viridian Sciences featured articles!

Quality Controls and Medical Cannabis: What We Can Learn from Pharma

When we discuss growing and producing medical cannabis, we must think of it as a medicine. By definition, it is a substance intended to assist you with a medical condition, to help you feel better and not harm you. Drugs produced in the pharmaceutical industry go through extensive quality controls to ensure a level of safety for the consumer or patient. Yet when we talk process and quality controls in medical cannabis production, there is still a lot to learn.

Budtenders: Providing Education and Customer Service

Budtenders represent the front line of any cannabis dispensary, and as such they are responsible for fostering a valuable customer service experience that will have clients returning in the future. However, the role of budtender goes much deeper than simply providing customer service. If you want to develop a profitable business with deeply embedded customer loyalty, you can do no better than to hire an exceptional team of budtenders to provide your patrons with useful information and a memorable customer service experience that will keep them coming back for repeat sales.

California Releases Draft Lab Testing Regulations

Last Friday, the Bureau of Marijuana Control, the regulatory body overseeing California’s cannabis industry, released a set of proposed regulations for the lab testing market. The regulations are somewhat comprehensive, covering sampling, licensing, pesticide testing, microbiological contaminants, residual solvents, water activity and much more.

Regulatory Overreach: Are California’s Lab Rules Too Strict?

With California moving into a more regulated market, some are concerned the state may be overregulating the market with strict, unnecessary rules. The Bureau of Marijuana Control, California’s agency in charge of regulatory oversight for the cannabis industry, released a set of proposed draft regulations for lab testing recently.

Implementing a HACCP Plan in Cannabis Processing

Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) is a robust management system that identifies and addresses any risk to safety throughout production. Originally designed for food safety through the entire supply chain, the risk assessment scheme can ensure extra steps are taken to prevent contamination.

Human Error? No Problem

If you are in the business of growing cannabis, you should be aware of the common reasons for production losses, how to address root causes and how to prevent future occurrences in a sustainable way. Human error is the number one root cause identified in investigations for defects in the cultivation business. Sadly, little is known about the nature of these errors, mainly because our quest for the truth ends where it should begin, once we know it was a human error or is “someone’s fault.”

10 Marijuana Myths Exposed

We have all probably talked to someone that has said at least one of the below statements… “Legal pot will target kids!” “Kids will think pot is OK!” “Teen use will skyrocket!” “Productivity will suffer!” “Roads full of stoned drivers!” “Today’s pot is seven-times stronger!” ”Marijuana addicts are filling rehabs!” “Legal pot will target minorities!” “What’s next, legalized meth?” “Legal pot will drive up social costs!”     Read more here in the High Times article:...

DC Residents Want to Know Where to Get Weed

Our nations capital recently made it legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana and able to grow up to 6 marijuana plants (3 of which could be mature at a time), problem is, no one knows where to purchase the marijuana plants and/or the legal packaged weed. Read more here in the High Times...

Integration With Tellermate

Viridian Sciences is happy to announce integration with Tellermate’s Intelligent Cash Counting system! The need to count cash is universal however, the management processes are diverse and varied. For this reason, we offer a range of electronic cash counters from simple stand-alone units to feature rich, multi-till connected solutions, all designed to help you reduce cash loss, save time and gather cash counting information....

Meet the Women Pushing Pot in D.C.

Marijuana legalization is getting some help from Women. More and more women are standing up and taking the reins of leadership of new legal marijuana businesses. In pantsuits and blowouts, blazers and high-fashion buns, 60 or so members of Women Grow, a newly launched national network of female marijuana entrepreneurs, gathered at the National Press Club on Thursday morning for a press conference ahead of a two-day lobbying tour of Capitol Hill. There wasn’t a Bob Marley T-shirt in sight. Read more here in the National Journal...

Colorado’s Pot Revenue Goes Up in Smoke

Contrary to what we have seen in articles on the web, the recent announcement that citizens of Colorado will be getting a tax refund from the state was due to marijuana tax money. Not true. “These refunds are being caused by a little-known provision and the economy,” said Hoover, whose organization, CFI, provides independent analysis of fiscal and economic issues facing Colorado. “All we’re concerned about is making sure the story about why the refunds are occurring gets told properly. It’s gotten mangled.” Read more here in the article from the Dairly...

How Banks Are Transforming Canada’s Cannabis Industry

The Canadians are doing this right.  In the USA it is hard for pretty much anyone wanting to get into the legal marijuana business, it is hard to get loans, most have to find creative ways to have bank accounts.  In Canada, that is not the case. In the U.S., possessing and selling marijuana is a federal crime, so banks have ignored this emerging market. In Canada, financial institutions are beginning to back corporate cannabis producers. Read more here in the NPR...

State Rep Commits Cannabis Civil Disobedience In Front Of Committee

New Hampshire state representative Kyle Tasker gave testimony on cannabis legalization at a recent criminal justice committee meeting. During his testimony in front of the committee, and in front of a state police officer, Tasker pulled out a bag of cookies, a vaporizer, and what appeared to be a bottle of cannabis tincture, which he claimed came from his “personal stash”. Read more here in the 420Magazine.com...

Battle for Hemp Legalization Heating Up!

Hemp is the hot pot topic in WA DC these days. The bill, the “Industrial Hemp Farming act of 2015” is taking off and gaining a good following. The economic argument for industrial Hemp legalization is a strong one as well.  The U.S. hemp industry is already achieving $500 million in annual retail sales according to some estimates with huge potential for growth.  All of this economic activity has been due to imported hemp.  As Senator Rand Paul put it  we are importing our hemp and “…exporting our profit.” Read more here in the KWAYnews.com...

Everyone in Olympia Has a Pot Plan

Currently there are 2 new plans in Olympia WA to make changes to the medical and recreational marijuana laws.  One is good…the other not so much… The first plan: A confusing approach from Senator Ann Rivers (R-La Center) to keep the medical system separate from recreational sales. In general, the separate markets concept is supported by many medical marijuana activists. The problem: Rivers’s bill originally sought to ban all forms of smokable pot and still requires patients to join a registry (a hugely unpopular idea in some circles). The second plan: A reasoned approach from Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) that combines the medical and recreational markets, but also fixes some key pieces of the legalization law by allowing home grows for anyone 21 and older and simplifying the tax structure. It’s supported by Alison Holcomb, who authored the state’s legalization initiative, as well as Seattle city attorney Pete Holmes. But the Kohl-Welles bill has yet to get a hearing in the committee where it was sent: Commerce and Labor, chaired by Senator Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane). Read more here in the article from The...

Women and Cannabis

As the legalization of cannabis in more and more states takes hold, it is the women who are emerging as the industry leaders. Women are an integral part of the cannabis industry as growers, caregivers, users, entrepreneurs, scientists and executives. As canna-businesses continue to explode in the U.S., more women are emerging as industry leaders with strong economic and political influence. Yet, despite the power that women in the cannabis industry wield, its still often feels like a “boys club.” Read more here in the Culture...

Testing Flower Power

Legal marijuana is starting to roll out in Oregon with some bumps being found along the way.  Testing is a a big one that is being debated as the rules for measure 91 are hammered out. Marijuana consumption by adults 21 and over begins July 1, 2015. In the mean time, the way marijuana is tested for THC and CBD content as well as mold and other contaminants is in a hot debate over what actually constitutes a batch to be sent in to be tested. But THC and CBD levels vary. For example, the higher on a plant a bud sprouts (and the more light it gets while growing), the higher you’ll feel when you smoke it. Users who want to moderate their THC and CBD intake have only lab results to rely on. Read more here in the Willamette Week...

First-ever Legal Marijuana Store on US/Canada Border Open For Business

A new reason for our neighbors to the north, Canada to come visit the green of Washington State! A brand new retail marijuana store has opened on the Canada/US border in the town of Blaine WA.  Evergreen Cannabis The owner of Evergreen Cannabis says Canadians are already adding the pot store to their cross-border shopping list of gas, milk, clothing and other items that sell for less in Washington state. Read more here in the Cannabis Culture...

America’s Smartest Cities Love Pot

Not a coincidence at all that a recent survey shows that smart people love pot. 🙂 The survey ranked cities across the nation based on the percentage of residents aged 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree or greater level of education. The top three most educated cities are all college towns with thriving cannabis industries in states employing different models of marijuana regulation. Read more here in the High Times...

Medical Marijuana in Texas Gets Free Advertising During Super Bowl

During the super bowl February 1, 2015, a commercial aired in Texas and only Texas advertising the upcoming news for the evening. In that ad for the news was a free commercial for medical marijuana legalization featuring a 9 year old little girl with seizures. Texas legislators are already set to take up two cannabis-related bills which have already been filed, including a penalty reduction billfor small amounts of marijuana, and a CBD-only bill. A full medical marijuana bill is also on the way, and miss Bortell has been working hard, along with many others, to bring awareness of the need to pass legislation this session. Read more here in the Texas Cannabis Report...

Rethinking Marijuana Strains: Did we get it wrong?

Seems after more than 40 years we may have gotten the genetics of marijuana all wrong!  What you thought was one genetic…is really another… It seems Richard Evans Schultes, the man who created the original taxonomy for cannabis in the 1970s, misidentified a C. afghanica plant as a C. indica plant. That one mistake began 40 years of confusion which has only been dispelled by McPartland’s research this year. Read more here in the Leafonline.com...

Legal Marijuana Sales Grow 74% in 2014

It is pretty clear that the legalization of Marijuana is paying off big time.  Sales of recreational marijuana has grown 74% in 2014 according to the investment firm ArcView. The investment firm ArcView Group, which also performs cannabis research, claims in its State of Legal Marijuana Markets that the legal marijuana business skyrocketed 74 percent in 2014, from sales of $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion in 2014. The report states that California, Colorado, Washington, Arizona and Michigan have all seen their markets grow to more than $100 million, and that Colorado, which led the way as the first active adult use market, sold $805 million worth of marijuana in retail and wholesale. Read more here in the Breitbart.com...

Tommy Chong brand marijuana coming to Washington rec stores

As if there were not enough reasons to attend this years Cannacon event in Seattle WA on February 19-21… Debuting for the first time in Washington State at the recreational marijuana stores, TOMMY CHONG BRAND MARIJUANA! “We’re taking it to the next level,” Minehart said. “We are making sure that this is the best adult-use, I-502 cannabis that there is. It’s been tested more than once. It’s all top strain, all top of the plant. … It’s going to have a special seal on the packaging to prevent counterfeiting. We’re really going to take it up … to say this is a brand that you can trust, and if you consume it, you’ll know we signed off that this is the best and the real deal.” Read more here in the Seattle PI article: http://blog.seattlepi.com/marijuana/2015/01/28/tommy-chong-brand-marijuana-coming-to-washington-rec-stores/#30129101=0  ...

International Cannabis Business Conference Day 2: Getting Down To Business

International Cannabis Business Conference is gearing up to be a very exciting and informative event! Day two kicks off with travel guru Rick Steves, a true hero in the cannabis movement, especially those in Oregon who saw him tour the state preaching the gospel of cannabis legalization on his own dime. Steves, a self-made businessman himself, will share the knowledge gained from helping two states legalize cannabis, as he hopes that California will join the rest of the West Coast and legalize marijuana in 2016. Following Rick Steves, the Cannabiz 5000 panel features cannabis industry pioneers and veterans Debby Goldsberry, Amber Senter (one of my all time favorites in the marijuana world!), Dean Arbit, Liana Held and Kyndra Miller to discuss the ins and outs of dealing with marijuana laws and regulations, deal with the IRS, brand your business and adapt quickly in a changing marketplace and legal landscape. Read more here in the Weed Blog...

Great News for our Vets Regarding Treatment for PTSD!

Some very exciting news for our Vets: PTSD Research Receives $2 Million For Pot Grant From the State of Colorado! “We will be studying using marijuana to treat chronic resistant Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 76 veterans,” said Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of MAPS. “Half will be treated at Johns Hopkins and half will be treated in Phoenix under the direction of of a doctor.” Some $107,000 of the $2 million will be paid to purchase marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Read more here in the Mainstreet.com...

Proposal In Washington To Shut Down Dispensaries, Legalize Cultivation

There is a new proposal for the Washington legal marijuana trade, Senator Kohl-Welles would like to see the laws in Washington be more like those of Oregon, Colorado and Alaska, where anyone 21 and over can legally grow up to 6 plants at home. According to a press release sent Tuesday by Senator Kohl-Welles, the proposal would “phase out collective gardens and unregulated dispensaries”, while directing the Liquor Control Board to increase the number of licensees under the recreational cannabis system. Qualified patients would be given the opportunity to apply for a waiver to receive cannabis tax-free, and the measure would establish a “medical marijuana endorsement to the marijuana retailer license to allow retailers to hold themselves out as knowledgeable in the medical use of marijuana.” In addition, the proposal would legalize the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants for everyone 21 and older. This move would simultaneously decrease the amount of plants a patient can cultivate from fifteen to six. “The main intent of my bill is to simplify and unify the two systems so that complex gray areas and dangerous illicit markets will eventually cease to exist”, says Senator Kohl-Welles. Read more here in the Weed Blog...

Washington Marijuana Traceability System Software: Cover-up or Sour Grapes? You Decide

The story continues regarding Washington State’s troubled marijuana traceability system. Recently, a flaw in the software was uncovered showing that users identities could be exposed to hackers and identity thieves. Read on and decide for yourself here in the Cannabis Business Executive article: http://www.cannabisbusinessexecutive.com/2015/01/follow-letter-editor-commentary/ Found the below quote on their page: PS: It may just be a coincidence, but www.cannabisbusinessexecutive.com has been under cyber-attack since we posted this story.   Link to original article from Cannabis Business...

The marijuana effect

This article and video aired on CBS News: 60 Minutes on January 11, 2015.  It is a very indepth look at a Marijuana operation.   Reed and watch the video from CBS News 60...

Growers struggle with glut of legal pot in Washington state

With the completion of the first legal outdoor marijuana harvest, there is an over abundance of product available to the retail stores.  This has caused a flip in the market. “It’s an economic nightmare,” says Andrew Seitz, general manager at Dutch Brothers Farms in Seattle. State data show that licensed growers had harvested 31,000 pounds of bud as of Thursday, but Washington’s relatively few legal pot shops have sold less than one-fifth of that. Many of the state’s marijuana users have stuck with the untaxed or much-lesser-taxed pot they get from black market dealers or unregulated medical dispensaries — limiting how quickly product moves off the shelves of legal stores. Read more here in the Yahoo News...

International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco

Early bird pricing for the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco will expire at midnight on Friday, January 16th. We want to make sure that all who want to attend have the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets. The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco on February 15th and 16th. For more information, please visit us online at www.internationalcbc.com or...

Update : Major Cyber-Security Flaw in Washington State’s Cannabis Tracking System!

Thanks to all for the input on such an important topic. We thought long and hard on how best to inform our cannabis industry peers of this potentially intrusive security risk within the WSLCB traceability system. Washington state is a pioneer in the legalization of cannabis in the US and we are a leading cannabis technology company, as such, we felt obligated to present found security risks in the current system while collaboratively working to resolve and improve the health of our WSLCB tractability moving forward. Although this security vulnerability was undetected in the WSLCB Tractability system since the launch in July 2014, we commend the state for their effort to fix the issues quickly once they were alerted to the problem and solution(1/12/15). Due to the length of time this network was insecure and in our opinion no way for the state to know if your data has actually been compromised. Below are the minimum steps we suggest users of the State’s system take to ensure they once again have a secure connection to the WSLCB tractability system moving forward: Step 1: Go to the Washington state system at https://wslcb.mjtraceability.com/ Step 2: Click on “Licensee Login”               Step 3: Click on “Forgot your password?”, fill out your e-mail address and UBI number then click on “Reset...

The War on Drugs Is Burning Out

Every day brings us closer and closer to winning the war on drugs…as in stop fighting about it. Legalizing Marijuana is proving to not be the end of the world as some who are against it prophesized.  In fact, studies are showing that crime is down, DUII’s are down, access by the under 21 crowd is down. Leading at the ballot box from Alaska to Washington, D.C., Americans are charting a path to a saner national drug policy Read more here in the Rolling Stone article: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-war-on-drugs-is-burning-out-20150108#ixzz3OFDhJgpJ...

Marijuana Traceability System Software Security Flaw Could Shut Down Washington Recreational Program

Recently a major security flaw in the Washington State Marijuana Traceability System Software was discovered that could expose customers private information making it easy for hackers and identity thieves to acquire and exploit. In a posting titled, Major Cyber-Security Flaw in Washington State’s Cannabis Tracking System!  by Viridian Sciences | Jan 12, 2015 | Blog, News |, the article begins with a tongue-in-cheek mock ad that says: Hack the Washington State Marijuana Traceability System in 3 Steps: “Sniff” insecure network traffic. Wait for a licensed marijuana business to log in to the state system Log-in to the state traceability system using your new credentials.” Read more here in the Cannabis Business Executive...

Need A Career Change?

As more and more states start legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical use, new careers are coming online. One of the careers: 12. Web & Software As mentioned previously, companies like Leafly are blazing the trail into the online space when it comes to the marijuana industry. Other companies, like Viridian Sciences and WeedMaps, are making their own way. Software to help run marijuana businesses is essential, and can include things like accounting programs and product management systems. Companies like WeedMaps and Leafly are there to assist cannabis users in finding the product they’re looking for, and creating an online community. The article mentions 16 careers for the budding marijuana industry, take a peak. Read more here in the Wall Street Cheat Sheet article: http://wallstcheatsheet.com/business/16-jobs-being-created-by-the-marijuana-industry.html/?a=viewall...

Update : Major Cyber-Security Flaw in Washington State’s Cannabis Tracking System!

We wanted to post an update to our recent news post “Major Cyber-Security Flaw in Washington State’s Cannabis Tracking System”. It seems as though the system has been fixed, and all logins are now going through SSL by default. While we do applaud the state for fixing the underlying issue, we heavily recommend ALL USERS of the state cannabis tracebility software to reset their passwords to ensure they are secure once...

Major Cyber-Security Flaw in Washington State’s Cannabis Tracking System!

Here is our CEO Justin’s response to our release: I am the CEO of Viridian Sciences, a SAP OEM partner with a focus on the global Cannabis and Hemp industries. Our company has been working on integrating with the Washington State cannabis “Seed-to-Sale” traceability software built by BioTrackTHC.   Under their contract with the state, BioTrackTHC was given the task of building a state system.   The contract states that the “contractor will at all times maintain network, system, and application security that, at a minimum, conform to the current cyber security Standards set forth and maintained by the Center for Internet Security.”  This contract can be found at:http://www.cisecurity.org” –  Model Contract WSLCB K546. Although this site lists an array of security options and methodologies, the current security vulnerability found in the BioTrackTHC system could be extremely detrimental to businesses and ultimately put peoples’ lives in danger. The type of security breach is exactly the situation that the state obviously intended to be avoided.   Viridian Sciences has not only noted a major hole in the security of the Washington state cannabis tracking system and in our opinion BioTrackTHC and/or the state had full knowledge of this fact and has greatly misled the licensed participants. Any reasonable developer, even a beginner, should have spotted this problem.  They have failed to live up to the responsibility owed to the citizens of Washington and this deception is costing the licensed participants both time and money in the process.   BioTrackTHC programmatically tells the users that they are logging into a secure system when they are, in fact, not.  The program forces popup messages that state...

Seattle city attorney proposes marijuana home grows and more

If this proposal goes through, then Washington would be on par with Oregon, Alaska and Colorado on the rules for legalized marijuana both recreational and medical. If passed, it would make it legal to grow up to 6 marijuana plants at home. On Monday, Seattle city attorney Pete Holmes issued a sweeping policy proposal that calls for allowing people to grow pot at home, establishing vapor lounges and folding unregulated medical-cannabis dispensaries into the new state recreational system. Read more in the KIROtv.com...

Marijuana Legalization Can Proceed in DC

Despite attempts by politicians in the 2014 election to block the legalization of marijuana in Washington DC, the new attorney General Karl Racine says legalization can move forward. Provisions added to the federal spending bill by members of Congress suggested that the marijuana legalization initiative would not become a reality. However, after a lot of analysis, and poor wording in the federal spending bill, it appears that attempts to stop implementation didn’t work. Washington D.C.’s new Attorney General agrees. Read more here in the Weed Blog...

Seattle May Not Issue Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licenses

Washington State is still sending mixed signals to the Medical Marijuana community on whether or not it will actually be issuing licenses for dispensaries to operate in the state. Washington reminds me a lot of how it was in Oregon before Oregon’s Legislature legalized medical marijuana dispensaries (officially legalized, no ‘grey area’). Dispensaries are all over the place in Washington. By not licensing and regulating them, it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, and the State of Washington is losing out on revenue everyday in the process. It’s time that Washington put in place clear rules and regulations for dispensaries so that the industry can operate above reproach, and help the State with much needed tax and fee revenues, like Oregon is doing now. Read more here in The Weed Blog...

Meet the Man Who Discovered Weed’s Secret Ingredient

Professor Raphael Mechoulam originally asked the National Institute of Health in the US for a grant to study cannabis he was turned down. “They told me, ‘Come back to us when you choose another subject—marijuana is not an American problem,’” the 84-year-old Israeli professor recalls. More than half a century later—after becoming the first scientist to isolate THC, having a long, successful career dedicated to discovering cannabis and its effects on the body, and now being referred to in Israel as the “Grandfather of Marijuana”—professor Mechoulam still sounds a little proud when he mentions how fast the NIH changed its mind. Read more here in the Vocativ.com...

Pot-smoking moms tired of being judged by wine drinkers

There is a huge stigma on moms who choose marijuana as their drug of choice to relax and stay focused on the myriad of tasks facing them on any given day.  Rather than reach for an alcoholic beverage, they choose to reach for a bong loaded with cannabis. “If I wanted to, I could sit with a glass of wine in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other, with a cigarette pressed between my lips, under the influence of prescription narcotics — all the while holding my child in my lap,” says Serra Frank, founding director of Moms for Marijuana and mother of two, ages 9 and 12. “Everywhere we look our families are bombarded with advertisements for these drugs. Our societies benefit from taxes placed on the manufacture and sale of these drugs. Yet, we can’t make the decision to choose one of the most commonly used drugs, one that has proven to be much safer than all the rest? That’s just not logical.” Read more here in the Today Parents...

Marijuana on Wall Street as pot goes public

As more states legalize recreational marijuana, entrepreneurs are sprouting everywhere including on Wall Street as pot is now starting to be publicly traded in across the table stock trades.     Read more here in the Mashable.com article: http://mashable.com/2014/12/15/marijuana-growers-go-public/#:eyJzIjoiZiIsImkiOiJfa3BybzVqYWN1Zmx4dmI5OCJ9...

The first e-commerce was a drugs deal

40 years ago students at two technical colleges arranged the first marijuana drug deal via the internet. In 1971 or 1972, Stanford students using Arpanet accounts at Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory engaged in a commercial transaction with their counterparts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before Amazon, before eBay, the seminal act of e-commerce was a drug deal. The students used the network to quietly arrange the sale of an undetermined amount of marijuana. Read more in The Guardian article here: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/apr/19/online-high-net-drugs-deal  ...