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Colorado Cannabis Sales Hit a New Low Not Seen Since February of 2017

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Colorado cannabis sales drops

Colorado’s medicinal marijuana industry continued to deteriorate in November 2023, with sales amounting to just $14.5 million, an 11.5% fall from the same month the previous year.

 

This November was the state’s cannabis industry’s fourth straight month of declining sales, indicating a concerning trend. Colorado will likely witness significant declines in marijuana sales for the second year in a row.

 

The “beggar they neighbor” policy of out-of-state consumers crossing over state lines to get their medical or recreational marijuana seems to be dying. As access in the legal and illegal market opens up for consumers, less consumers are headed to early-mover states to get their cannabis.  States like California, Colorado, Massachusetts are seeing sales taper off as new neighboring states like New York, Connecticut, Maine, New Mexico, and Arizona ramp up production and retail locations.

 

Are we finally seeing an “unofficial” effecient market as the amount of cannabis produced on the legal and illicit market is keeping up with consumer demand?  Do people now all have a “plug” they know or can get to where the product is satisfactory for the price? Let’s dig into Colorado’s sales numbers since they have a long and robust history to look at and review.

 

By November 2023, total cannabis sales in Colorado had surpassed $1.4 billion for the year, yet the trajectory suggests that the final 2023 figures will fall well below the impressive $1.7 billion achieved in 2022. In November, combined revenue from both recreational and medical marijuana retailers amounted to $110.5 million, marking the lowest monthly total since February 2017.

 

Specifically, adult-use sales, constituting approximately 87% of total sales in the state, experienced a year-over-year decline of about 16%, totalling $95.8 million. Data released by the Colorado Department of Revenue on Thursday highlighted this concerning trend.

 

Consequently, projections indicate that Colorado’s marijuana sales for the entire year of 2023 are expected to reach approximately $1.5 billion, reflecting a nearly 13% decrease compared to the figures from 2022. Colorado cannabis sales continued to slide in November 2023 Medical marijuana sales in November dipped to $14.5 million, down about 11.5% year-over-year.

 

November marked the fourth consecutive month of sales decreases in Colorado’s cannabis market.

 

Colorado also had their worst 4/20 cannabis sales numbers in over 5 years.

 

It appears the state is headed for its second straight year of significant declines in marijuana sales.

 

Total 2023 cannabis sales in Colorado through November eclipsed $1.4 billion but are on pace to fall well short of the state’s $1.7 billion haul in 2022. as recreational and medical marijuana retailers generated $110.5 million in revenue, the lowest monthly total since February 2017.

 

Adult-use sales – which accounted for roughly 87% of total sales in the state – fell to $95.8 million, down about 16% year-over-year, according to data released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

 

Colorado’s 2023 marijuana sales are on pace to hit about $1.5 billion, which would be down nearly 13% from 2022.

 

A Closer Look at the 4-Month Slump

 

Colorado’s cannabis industry is facing a significant challenge as it contends with a four-month consecutive decline in sales, prompting a closer examination of the underlying factors contributing to this sustained downturn. One critical aspect to analyze is the potential economic and regulatory landscape influencing consumer behavior. Changes in laws, taxation policies, or broader economic conditions may be impacting the purchasing decisions of both medical and recreational marijuana consumers. Additionally, a detailed exploration of market-specific dynamics, such as the emergence of new competitors or shifts in consumer preferences, can offer valuable insights into the reasons behind this prolonged slump.

 

The persistent decline also raises questions about the impact on businesses operating within the cannabis sector and the overall employment landscape. As sales continue to slide, businesses may be forced to make difficult decisions regarding staffing levels and operational strategies. Investigating how companies adapt to these challenging circumstances provides a nuanced understanding of the industry’s resilience and adaptability. Furthermore, examining the response from regulatory bodies and the government is crucial, as policies and support measures may play a pivotal role in mitigating the adverse effects of the sales downturn, fostering an environment conducive to recovery and growth.

 

Amidst the ongoing slump, an exploration of shifting consumer behaviors becomes imperative to comprehend the broader market dynamics. Whether consumers are altering their preferences, exploring alternative products, or reacting to external economic uncertainties, understanding these behavioral shifts is vital for predicting future trends. Unraveling the complexities of this four-month decline involves a comprehensive analysis of economic, regulatory, and consumer-related factors, providing stakeholders with actionable insights to navigate the current challenges and position themselves strategically for the future.

 

Assessing the Implications for the Cannabis Market

 

The examination of Colorado’s cannabis sales in 2023 in comparison to preceding years highlights a challenging landscape within the state’s marijuana market. The significant disparity between the current revenue figures and the remarkable $1.7 billion achieved in 2022 underscores the gravity of the ongoing decline. A thorough analysis of this trajectory is imperative to discern patterns, anomalies, and underlying factors contributing to the market’s downturn, providing crucial context for evaluating the industry’s overall health and adaptability.

 

Assessing the implications of the sales decline extends beyond immediate financial concerns, delving into the potential long-term effects on Colorado’s marijuana market. This sustained decrease raises questions about its impact on investor confidence, business strategies, and the broader economic contributions of the cannabis sector to the state. Stakeholders, including policymakers, businesses, and investors, need to carefully consider these long-term implications to make informed decisions about their continued involvement and support for the industry.

 

Exploring how businesses within the cannabis market are adapting to the challenging conditions is essential in understanding the industry’s resilience. An analysis of potential shifts in focus, such as diversification of product offerings or exploration of new markets, provides insights into adaptive strategies employed by businesses. Understanding these responses contributes to a broader comprehension of the industry’s capacity to navigate evolving market dynamics, showcasing the creativity and flexibility of businesses within Colorado’s cannabis sector.

 

Examining the 16% Drop in Adult-Use Sales

 

In November 2023, Colorado’s recreational cannabis sector, representing 87% of total sales, experienced a substantial setback with a pronounced 16% year-over-year decline in sales, totalling $95.8 million. The implications of this downturn, highlighted by data from the Colorado Department of Revenue, necessitate a thorough investigation into the factors influencing this specific market segment and the potential ramifications for the broader cannabis industry.

 

The sharp decline in adult-use sales directly impacts the overall revenue landscape within Colorado’s cannabis market, accentuating the sector’s significance. The reasons behind the 16% drop involve a nuanced exploration of consumer preferences and regulatory dynamics. Changes in what consumers seek in recreational cannabis products, coupled with shifts in regulatory frameworks, may be contributing factors. Understanding these elements not only offers insights into the present market dynamics but also enables anticipation of potential shifts in consumer behavior that could shape the industry’s trajectory in the future. Amidst these challenges, assessing strategies for recovery becomes essential, as businesses within the recreational cannabis sector may need to reassess marketing approaches, diversify product offerings, or explore innovative avenues to revive consumer interest. This exploration not only sheds light on the resilience of businesses operating in the recreational segment but also underscores their adaptive capacity to navigate and recover from evolving market conditions.

 

Bottom Line

 

Colorado’s cannabis industry witnessed a concerning downturn in November 2023, with medicinal marijuana sales hitting a nearly 7-year low at just $14.5 million, marking an 11.5% decline from the previous year. The four-month consecutive slump in sales raises alarm, prompting an in-depth examination of economic, regulatory, and consumer factors contributing to the decline. Despite total cannabis sales surpassing $1.4 billion by November, projections suggest a significant drop compared to the impressive $1.7 billion achieved in 2022. This challenging landscape prompts a closer look at the long-term implications on investor confidence, business strategies, and the industry’s economic contributions, emphasizing the need for adaptive measures and strategic recovery strategies within the cannabis sector.

 

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Australia Cannabis: Recreational Use Legislation Update

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Australia is said to have one of the highest cannabis prevalence rates in the world and public attitudes to its use are shifting. North American, European and other cannabis companies looking for investment opportunities would do well to follow these shifts.

Growing cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes was legalized under federal law in 2016. Low-THC hemp foods were then legalized federally in 2017. Recreational use, though, remains prohibited under federal law. Similarly, at the state and territory level it is mostly illegal to use, possess, grow, and sell cannabis. Despite these continuing prohibitions, there are legislative trends toward legalization.

If passed, the Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 would change the federal landscape. It would legalize cannabis for adult recreational use in Australia. The Bill would establish the Cannabis Australia National Agency as a statutory agency to register cannabis strains and regulate cannabis activities. These activities include growing and possessing plants, manufacturing and selling cannabis products, operating cannabis cafes, and importing and exporting cannabis products.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee is presently conducting an inquiry into the Bill. Submissions have now closed and public hearings have opened. The Committee’s reporting date is May 31, 2024. The Bill is expected to be debated in federal parliament later this year. At the same time, cannabis legalization bills are now being debated in several Australian states.

Despite shifting public attitudes, federal legalization may still be a way off. While the federal Bill has been promoted by a minority party, it does not enjoy the support of the ruling party or the major opposition party. It also lacks the support of the Australian Medical Association.

Stay tuned for updates on Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 and all thing Australian cannabis. And please reach out to us if you are interested in doing business in Australia.



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Why Is Everyone Suddenly Eating Magic Mushrooms and Having Wild Sex?

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New Study Reveals That Magic Mushroom Consumers Have Better Sex Lives


Magic mushrooms have been on a heyday, thanks to the numerous health and therapeutic benefits it has been proven to offer. These include, but are not limited to: treating anxiety and depression, PTSD, OC, suicidal thoughts, and other mental illnesses.

However, we’re only starting to discover the myriad of benefits that the humble magic mushroom has. Now, there’s even new science suggesting that psilocybin can help improve sex lives.

 

In what is believed to be the first-ever study to delve deeper into the connections between sex and arousal with magic mushrooms, researchers have discovered fascinating findings. Investigators at the Imperial College London surveyed almost 300 individuals before and after taking magic mushrooms. They focused on two subject groups: individuals who consumed psychedelics for recreation or wellness, and those who were consuming it for clinical study purposes to analyze its impacts on depression. Thanks to the data, they were able to pull incredible insight into the link between sex and psychedelic experiences.


The data shows that on average, there are improvements on several areas pertaining to sexual function for as long as 6 months after psychedelic experiences. Psychedelic consumption has been shown to positively impact arousal, sexual satisfaction, enjoyment, self-esteem, connection, communication, and attraction to one’s partner – all of which contribute to better sex lives. For the group who were taking magic mushrooms as part of a clinical trial for depression, nearly half experienced improvements when it came to interest in sex, satisfaction, and arousal. In contrast, individuals who are treated with popular pharmaceutical antidepressants usually say that their sex lives are negatively impacted.

 

“We believe this is the first scientific study to explore the effects of psychedelics on sexual functioning. Our findings suggest potential implications for conditions that negatively affect sexual health, including clinical depression and anxiety,” said Tomasso Barba, the study’s first author, and a PhD candidate at the Centre for Psychedelic Research.

 

“This is particularly significant given that sexual dysfunction, often induced by antidepressants, frequently results in people stopping these medications and subsequently relapsing,” they added.  


In addition, it’s nothing short of fascinating that the results showed that the improvements in sexual function were observed for up to 6 months among some participants. However, it’s important to note they didn’t study performance while high on the drug, which is how many people on psychedelics experiment with sex: while on magic mushrooms.

 

“It’s important to stress our work does not focus on what happens to sexual functioning while people are on psychedelics, and we are not talking about perceived ‘sexual performance’,   they emphasized.

 

They do call for more studies on the subject. “While the findings are indeed interesting, we are still far from a clear clinical application, because psychedelics are yet to be integrated into the medical system. In future, we may be able to see a clinical application, but more research is needed,” said Dr. David Erritzoe.

 

Can Psychedelics Unlock The Key To Better, More Satisfying Sex?

As millions of us are plagued by mental health disorders, ranging from everyday anxiety to more severe depression, our sex lives will naturally suffer.


It is known that for many of us, especially women, mental health is critical to sexual satisfaction and pleasure. Sure, it’s an integral part of being human – experiencing sexual joy and arousal, but when we’re suffering from hard-to-treat mental conditions, it can be difficult to enjoy sex. Perhaps that’s where the potential of psychedelics, such as magic mushrooms, come in.

 

When one is struggling with family conditioning, previous traumas, depression, and self-acceptance, pleasure can be shameful and even painful to even address. But psychedelics can help open us up mentally, and challenge past thoughts that have to do with social conditioning, receiving love and pleasure. All in all, psychedelics can help create new mental pathways that make it easier for us to receive pleasure.

 

These days, it’s no longer uncommon for couples to medicate with psychedelics together. And we don’t just mean magic mushrooms: MDMA, LSD, and ayahuasca are other forms of healing psychedelics that can help couples work through their own traumas and issues together, and as a result, enjoy better sex.

 

In another study from 2021, researchers utilized interviews to conduct a qualitative study to understand the impact of microdosing MDMA on male and female couples whose ages ranged from 20 to 35 years old. The interview questions were focused on how microdosing psychedelics affected their sexuality, confidence, relationship satisfaction, inhibition, and openness.

The participants reported that microdosing did indeed have a positive effect on sexual well-being as well as other aspects, most especially because of its ability to reduce anxiety and stress. As a result, they experienced heightened sexual pleasure, desire, and communication. Overall, they reported better sex and they attributed it to microdosing.

 

Conclusion

 

Aside from these studies, psychedelics are already an accepted tool for young people all around the world to help them improve many aspects of their lives, including sex. It is becoming clear that the ability of psychedelics to help where pharmaceutical medications fail in treating everyday mental illnesses and stress that hinder sex lives, can transform how we relate, show up, and communicate in our intimate relationships. We hope to see more studies on the subject so we can learn more about the specifics involved, and the magic that psychedelics brings into human lives.

 

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How Can Cops Tell the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

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Researchers funded by the federal government have unveiled novel techniques for distinguishing between marijuana and hemp by precisely measuring the THC levels in both flowers and edibles.

 

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a branch of the Justice Department, is championing the findings from two research endeavors it sponsored, focusing on refining cannabis lab testing. These findings are being disseminated to specific law enforcement agencies.

 

The primary goal of these projects was to streamline testing procedures to address the increasing backlog in crime labs, exacerbated by the federal legalization of hemp with THC levels of up to 0.3 percent under the 2018 Farm Bill. This legalization has complicated cannabis-related cases.

 

According to a recent update by NIJ, existing testing methods fall short of accurately quantifying THC levels in samples. However, the researchers supported by NIJ have made a breakthrough by utilizing two distinct forms of mass spectrometry—gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and direct analysis in real time-high-resolution mass spectrometry (DART-HRMS)—to isolate THC content, along with other cannabinoids.

 

Pioneering Techniques

 

The GC-MS methodology was pioneered by a team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), enabling them to extract THC from samples and conduct precise cannabinoid content analysis. The Department of Justice (DOJ) initially disclosed in 2020 its allocation of $350,000 in funding to NIST for this research endeavor.

 

Conversely, the DART-HRMS approach presents a solution to another complexity in cannabis testing encountered in forensic laboratories. This method facilitated the determination of THC levels in various products such as baked goods, candies, beverages, and plant materials with minimal pre-treatment requirements.

 

Rabi Musah, the primary researcher on the DART-HRMS team, envisions that the accelerated utilization of DART-HRMS for THC detection in cannabis samples could mitigate testing backlogs, reduce chemical reagent expenses, and streamline analysis protocols, as noted by NIJ.

 

NIST’s GC-MS technique has already catalyzed the development of new standard operating procedures for laboratories, with outcomes integrated into training procedures for law enforcement entities like the Montgomery County Police Department and Maryland State Police.

 

Furthermore, in 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a call for portable marijuana analyzers to expedite cannabinoid profile identification and aid in differentiating between marijuana and hemp.

 

In a separate initiative, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced in 2019 its pursuit of a device capable of distinguishing between hemp and marijuana, particularly since the legalization of the former crop.

 

The ramifications of hemp legalization became evident in Texas, where marijuana possession arrests decreased by nearly 30% from 2018 to 2019 after the state legalized the non-intoxicating cannabis crop. Subsequently, prosecutors in Texas dismissed numerous low-level cannabis cases following hemp legalization. In 2020, officials announced that laboratories would no longer conduct testing in misdemeanor cases, citing capacity limitations within the Department of Public Safety.

 

Meanwhile, stakeholders in the hemp industry and agricultural officials nationwide are urging Congress to increase the THC limit for hemp to one percent by dry weight. A researcher from the Department of Justice recently questioned the rationale behind the current 0.3 percent THC limit, suggesting it was arbitrarily based on a decades-old anecdote.

 

Advancements in Law Enforcement Procedures

 

The integration of novel testing methods heralds a significant shift in law enforcement strategies concerning cannabis-related cases. Crime lab forensic studies have advanced to a new level of paradigm with the use of the DART-HRMS method and the GC-MS technology developed by NIST. Law enforcement officers will be able to distinguish between marijuana and hemp with remarkable accuracy thanks to these state-of-the-art approaches, which promise increased precision and efficiency. By integrating these advanced technologies into routines for standard operating procedures and training, law enforcement organizations are providing their staff with the necessary resources to handle the complex terrain of changing cannabis laws.

 

This revolutionary method improves the ability to conduct investigations and makes it easier to comply with state and federal laws on cannabis. Law enforcement organizations may ensure compliance with the ever-changing legal framework pertaining to cannabis cultivation, distribution, and use while efficiently upholding justice with the use of these cutting-edge tactics. Officers will be better prepared to handle the issues raised by the legalization of cannabis and its effects on law enforcement procedures as they become used to these innovative techniques.

 

Legal and Regulatory Implications of Hemp Legalization

 

The legalization of hemp with THC levels of up to 0.3 percent under the 2018 Farm Bill has sparked significant legal and regulatory ramifications. This legislative shift has not only complicated cannabis-related cases but has also necessitated a reevaluation of existing law enforcement protocols. As prosecutors and law enforcement officials grapple with the distinction between marijuana and hemp, the landscape of criminal justice procedures undergoes notable evolution. The dismissal of numerous low-level cannabis cases in states like Texas following hemp legalization underscores the profound impact of this legislative change on law enforcement practices.

 

Furthermore, the proposal to raise hemp’s THC limitations to 1% of dry weight is indicative of continuing discussions about federal cannabis legislation. The debate over THC restrictions highlights the necessity for a nuanced approach to cannabis regulation as advocates for legislative changes, including agricultural officials and hemp sector players, are in favor of it. In the meanwhile, the Department of Justice’s examination of the present THC restriction of 0.3 percent emphasizes how crucial evidence-based policymaking is to determining how cannabis legislation will develop in the future. Stakeholders from a variety of industries must negotiate the tricky convergence of legal, scientific, and sociological factors surrounding the legalization of hemp as regulatory frameworks continue to change.

 

Bottom Line

 

The integration of novel cannabis testing methods, including DART-HRMS and GC-MS, marks a significant advancement in law enforcement’s ability to differentiate between marijuana and hemp, streamlining investigative procedures and ensuring compliance with evolving legal frameworks. These state-of-the-art technologies promise heightened precision and efficiency, empowering law enforcement agencies to navigate the complexities of cannabis-related cases with unprecedented accuracy. As debates surrounding THC limits and federal cannabis legislation persist, stakeholders must engage in evidence-based policymaking to shape the future of hemp regulation. By staying abreast of legal and regulatory developments, law enforcement agencies can adapt their procedures accordingly, ensuring justice is served while upholding compliance with the law, thus paving the way for more effective practices in the dynamic landscape of cannabis legalization.

 

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