Study: Couples who smoke marijuana are less likely to engage in domestic violence

Marital marijuana?


A new study by researchers at the University of Buffalo finds a significantly lower incidence of domestic violence among married couples who smoke pot. “Couples in which both spouses used marijuana frequently reported the least frequent IPV [intimate partner violence] perpetration,” the study concludes.


These findings were robust even after controlling for things like demographic variables, behavioral problems, and alcohol use. The authors studied data from 634 couples over nine years of marriage, starting in 1996. Couples were administered regular questionnaires on a variety of issues, including recent drug and alcohol use and instances of physical aggression toward their spouses.


Previous research on the relationship between marijuana use and domestic violence has largely been based on cross-sectional data (that is, data from one point in time), and those findings have been mixed: some studies found links between marijuana use and/or abuse and domestic violence, while others did not. The Buffalo study is one of the few to use data collected over the course of decades to examine the question, putting it on solid methodological ground compared to previous work.


The authors caution that while these findings are predictive–meaning couples who smoke are less likely to commit domestic violence–they don’t necessarily draw a causal line between the two behaviors. Among the connections they hypothesize, “marijuana may increase positive affect, which in turn could reduce the likelihood of conflict and aggression.” Translation: stoned people are happy, and happy people don’t fight.


Another possible mechanism: “chronic [marijuana] users exhibit blunted emotional reaction to threat stimuli, which may also decrease the likelihood of aggressive behavior.”


Since some of the data used in the study is now nearly two decades old, the authors would like to see if these findings would hold true among current newlyweds, particularly in light of “the trend toward marijuana decriminalization in the United States and potentially more positive attitudes toward its use.”


The authors said that more research also needs to be done on other dimensions of marijuana use, including abuse, dependence, and withdrawal, all behavioral states that may have different effects on how spouses interact with each other.


Nonetheless the paper is a solid contribution to the marijuana literature, and we’ll need a lot more like it as the country seems to move toward overall legalization. In fact, the DEA significantly bumped up the federal government’s marijuana production quota this year, in order to provide the raw material for more research on marijuana use.


We’re also learning a lot from Colorado’s legalization experiment, and a Brookings Institution paper out this week (Washington’s Marijuana Legalization Grows Knowledge, Not Just Pot) finds that the state is “devoting resources to tracking its experiment in an unusually meticulous way, with lessons that extend well beyond drug policy.”


Perhaps most significantly, the Buffalo study was funded partially by a grant from the National Institute for Drug Abuse. Marijuana reformers have strongly criticized NIDA’s institutional biases against marijuana legalization in the past, including restrictions the agency has placed on the availability of marijuana for research purposes. But the fact that NIDA is funding studies like this one suggests that it, like much of the country, is beginning to change its tune.

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2014 Emmys: Marijuana takes center stage

LOS ANGELES –  The 66th Annual Primetime Emmys might have lacked in laughs, but it still managed to hit plenty of “high” notes.

Monday night’s telecast was peppered in jabs and jokes centered on pot – which is legal for medical purposes in the state of California – and perhaps signifies how vast the movement is gaining acceptance across the country.

“Cable is looking at Netflix the way Justin Bieber looks at One Direction, through a cloud of marijuana smoke,” host Seth Meyers said in his opening monologue, mocking the pop prince’s various alleged encounters with marijuana-centric controversies.

Haley Delany later praiseD her “Louie” TV father Louis C.K in a pre-taped video for educating her on “how to properly hold a joint,” while Jimmy Kimmel took aim at actor Matthew McConaughey for selling his television “for a conch shell full of weed.” Amy Poehler took the marijuana antics one step further by declaring that McConaughey and his “True Detective” co-star Woody Harrelson are “menu items at most marijuana dispensaries.”

Singer Adam Levine also gave us a small fist pump in support of the legalization of marijuana in the United States. But it was Sarah Silverman’s weed-promoting antics throughout the evening that garnered the most attention.

“This is my pot, my liquid pot,” she enthused on the red carpet, pulling out her vaporizer pen and later insisting that her purse must-haves are a “phone and pot… and gum.”

The comedienne went on to win the award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Special for her HBO Comedy Special “Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles,” kicking off her shoes and running fiercely to the stage where she declared that “we’re all just made of molecules and we’re all hurling through space right now.”

But the oddities didn’t end there. A distracted Silverman attributed her questionable actions to “feeling weird” having just watched the Robin Williams tribute, and insisted that she wasn’t stoned.

“I don’t drink. I like to have a puff as a treat at appropriate times,” she continued, also noting that she brought some pot-based goods for later in the evening.

MORE: Sarah Silverman: Yes, I got high after Emmys

However, the nonsensical rhetoric was particularly evident after she was asked what her Jewish mother would think of her accepting such an award sans footwear.

“Well my Jewish mom wears overalls with two different color socks so I think she’d go, think it was cool. But don’t tell anyone I’m doing this. They just hurt, the shoes just hurt,” Silverman rambled. “They’re very nice. They’re by Geppetto. I remember that because he made Pinocchio and also clearly designed shoes for the Nazi war effort. Don’t be mad at me.”

Even when the cameras weren’t rolling, Silverman’s potentially pot-peppered ways went on. As she left the Nokia Theater and made her way down the street to the Governor’s Ball, her heels still in her hand, Silverman seemed strung out about missing her purse – abruptly stopping in her tracks to try and sort the matter out.

The pot-themed awards show wasn’t lost on audiences either.

“Was this the first Emmys since pot was legalized or something?” one viewer tweeted, others called it something of a “stony night” while another quipped: “let’s give it up for the real winner tonight – I’m talking of course, about pot.”

As it stands, 23 states and DC have legislation allowing medical marijuana usage; with the issue of decriminalizing pot use altogether a growing topic of debate ahead of the 2016 Presidential election.

But the promotion of pot at the Emmy Awards is likely just the beginning. According to multiple reports, the hand-held Haze Vaporizer by Haze Technologies will be featured in the official Oscars 2015 gift bag. While e-cigarettes have previously been nestled in the goodie bag, this will mark the first time a marijuana-focused vaporizer will be rolled – pun intended – inside.


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Legal Marijuana Financing Straddles Green Rush and Dot-Bong Bubble

Venture capitalists and entrepreneurs are eager to invest in the cannabis industry from its seed phase. But they must get through a haze of regulations and legitimacy. 


This past January 1, toasting the New Year gained new meaning in Colorado, as the state’s voter-backed referendum in favor of legalized recreational marijuana went into effect. Since the measure passed, more states are joining the circle of legal pot sales. Washington State opened the door to legal sale of recreational marijuana use in July, and 23 more states have legalized marijuana for medical use, whereas 13 states shot down such laws. Marijuana legalization is a pending ballot measure in three states: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.


The Marijuana Policy Project claims to have raised $2.3 million this year for campaigns to end the prohibition of marijuana across the country. According to the Washington, D.C., lobbying group, the drug will be legalized like alcohol in 19 states plus the District of Columbia by 2019. Expectations that more states will follow Washington and Colorado’s lead in legalizing marijuana for recreational use have ignited a so-called green rush that’s also seen as a dot-bong bubble in the making.


The industry may thrive or vanish in a puff, depending on the federal government, which still deems the drug illegal and on the same DEA categorization schedule as cocaine. Since 2010, 150 California dispensaries have been shuttered by the federal government, according to the ArcView Group, a San Francisco–based angel investor and market research firm geared toward legal marijuana. Other investment risks include backlash from local politicians, tax-accounting restrictions and competition with the black market, estimated at $18 billion to $30 billion in sales nationally, ArcView wrote in a report.


Nonetheless, some investors attest that it’s time to “harness the green wave,” echoing the slogan of San Francisco–based firm Poseidon Asset Management. Morgan Paxhia, a former financial adviser with UBS, and his sister, Emily Paxhia, launched Poseidon last October. The firm, which declined to state how much it has in assets under management, is launching a hedge fund that invests in cannabis and hemp-related assets.


Another marijuana investment entrepreneur, Leslie Bocskor, the founder of Las Vegas consulting and investment firm Electrum Partners, plans to start raising funds during the fourth quarter, including via a hedge fund that will invest in all things cannabis. Absolute returns or not, Bocskor, who has 27 years of Wall Street experience, is confident that the sector is primed for expansion. If the legal cannabis market grows anywhere near the illegal market, sales should double every year for five to six years, he says. “And still that’s not talking about the biotech, life sciences and pharmaceutical industry,” adds Bocskor. “This may be the biggest opportunity I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, and maybe the biggest opportunity we’ll see in many lifetimes.”


As the fastest-growing industry in the U.S., legal marijuana sales are estimated to increase from $1.5 billion in 2013 to more than $2 billion this year. Given its growth rate and expectations that more states will legalize medical and recreational marijuana use, revenue for the sector could top $10 billion by 2018, according to New York–based Viridian Capital & Research, which opened shop in June to provide market data and corporate services specifically on cannabis companies. Publicly traded cannabis companies have managed to raise $31.3 million from private equity and venture capital players this year, according to Viridian. Usually private equity and venture capital firms tend not to invest in publicly traded companies; however in the case of cannabis-related companies, those that are publicly traded are almost all penny stocks and are not gathering much money from the over-the-counter (OTC) market. If privately held companies are included, Viridian estimates the sector raised more than $50 million in private equity and venture capital investments. The firm counts 29 mergers and acquisitions in the sector so far this year, worth, as of August 7, $31 million this year, according to Viridian.


But the mainstream investing community, skittish over unpredictable application of federal law, lack of access to banking, the possibility of scams and sky-high valuations, has mostly stayed away from cannabis. The stigma creates more market inefficiencies or mispricings and therefore greater potential for returns, says Gold Hood, senior analyst at Codexx Capital in Houston, which specializes in marijuana investing. Most growers are allaying investors’ worries by promising full repayment of starting capital within two years, on top of equity, or a percentage of revenue income, she says.


Investment risks abound. Valuations for some companies are not just high — they’re stratospheric. Las Vegas–headquartered GrowBLOX Sciences (otcqb:GBLX) is valued at approximately $35 million on the over-the-counter market as of August 22, according to the company, which says it has raised $5 million and stands to raise another $30 million. It plans to grow marijuana plants in trademarked GrowBLOX (otcqb:GBLX) cultivation chambers, invented by CEO Craig Ellins. He asserts that these 256-cubic-foot boxes will ensure a sterile, uniform growing environment. The company plans to build a 30,000-square-foot facility just two miles from Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport and expects to be up and running by February 2015. Yet GrowBLOX (otcqb:GBLX) hasn’t sold a single bud and is waiting for a state licensing approval.


“While the cannabis industry is forecasted to show revenue growth of 63.6 percent in 2014, and a five-year compound annual growth rate of 148.1 percent, these growth rates do not support current sector multiples,” Scott Greiper, president and founding partner of New York consulting firm Secure Strategy Group, wrote in an e-mail. “These multiples will come down across the board when second-quarter 2014 results are released, as the sector declined by 36 percent in terms of stock performance during that period.”


The 75 publicly traded cannabis companies that Viridian tracks were trading at an enterprise value to trailing 12-month revenue ratio of nearly 118 as of the first quarter of 2014. By contrast, Apple and Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s two most profitable companies, sport enterprise value-to-revenue ratios of 3.34 and 1.11, respectively.


Most publicly traded cannabis-specific companies provide secondary products and services such as growing equipment, biotech research, vaporizers and security systems. All but one — Advanced Cannabis Solutions, trading at $4.35 a share and valued at $59.3 million — are penny stocks that trade on the OTC market, which does not guarantee transparency, such as company information and SEC reports.


Alan Brochstein, founder of the 1,500-subscriber cannabis newsletter 420 Investor, says that about 25 percent of the cannabis businesses he’s examined are illegitimate. After dozens of conversations with industry insiders, he believes that 9 out of 10 cannabis penny stocks will fail.



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Legal Marijuana for Parents, but Not Their Kids

When the antidrug educator Tim Ryan talks to students, he often asks them what they know about marijuana. “It’s a plant,” is a common response.

But more recently, the answer has changed. Now they reply, “It’s legal in Colorado.”

These are confusing times for middle and high school students, who for most of their young lives have been lectured about the perils of substance abuse, particularly marijuana. Now it seems that the adults in their lives have done an about-face.

Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado and in Washington, and many other states have approved it for medical use. Lawmakers, the news media and even parents are debating the merits of full-scale legalization.

“They are growing up in a generation where marijuana used to be bad, and maybe now it’s not bad,” said Mr. Ryan, a senior prevention specialist with FCD Educational Services, an antidrug group that works with students in the classroom.

“Their parents are telling them not to do it, but they may be supporting legalization of it at the same time.”

Antidrug advocates say efforts to legalize marijuana have created new challenges as they work to educate teenagers and their parents about the unique risks that alcohol, marijuana and other drugs pose to the developing teenage brain.

These educators say their goal is not to vilify marijuana or take a stand on legalization; instead, they say their role is to convince young people and their parents that the use of drugs is not just a moral or legal issue, but a significant health issue.

“The health risks are real,” said Steve Pasierb, the chief executive of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “Every passing year, science unearths more health risks about why any form of substance use is unhealthy for young people.”

Already nearly half of teenagers — 44 percent — have tried marijuana at least once, according to data from the partnership. Regular use is less common. One in four teenagers report using marijuana in the past month, and 7 percent report frequent use — at least 20 times in the past month.

Even in the states where marijuana is legal, it remains, like alcohol, off-limits to anyone younger than 21. But the reality is that once a product becomes legal, it becomes much easier for underage users to obtain it.

This summer, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids released its annual tracking study, in which young people were asked what stopped them from trying drugs. Getting into trouble with the law and disappointing their parents were cited as the two most common reason young people did not use marijuana. The concern now is that legalization will remove an important mental barrier that keeps adolescents from trying marijuana at a young age.

“Making it legal makes it much more accessible, more available,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “This is the reality, so what we need to do is to prevent the damage or at least minimize it as much as possible.”

Drug prevention experts say the “Just Say No” approach of the 1980s does not work. The goal of parents should not be to prevent their kids from ever trying marijuana.

Instead, the focus should be on practical reasons to delay use of any mind-altering substance, including alcohol, until they are older.

The reason is that young brains continue to develop until the early 20s, and young people who start using alcohol or marijuana in their teens are far more vulnerable to long-term substance-abuse problems.

The brain is still wiring itself during adolescence, and marijuana — or any drug use — during this period essentially trains the reward system to embrace a mind-altering chemical.

“We know that 90 percent of adults who are addicted began use in teenage years,” Mr. Pasierb said. “They programmed the reward and drive center of their teenage brain that this is one of those things that rewards and drives me like food does, like sex does.”

Studies in New Zealand and Canada have found that marijuana use in the teenage years can result in lost I.Q. points. Mr. Pasierb says the current generation of young people are high achievers and are interested in the scientific evidence about how substance use can affect intelligence.

“You have to focus on brain maturation,” he said. “This generation of kids wants good brains; they want to get into better schools. Talk to a junior or senior about whether marijuana use shaves a couple points off their SATs, and they will listen to you.”

Because early exposure to marijuana can change the trajectory of brain development, even a few years of delaying use in the teen years is better. Research shows that young adults who smoked pot regularly before the age of 16 performed significantly worse on cognitive function tests than those who started smoking in their later teenage years.

Drug educators say that one benefit of the legalization talk is that it may lead to more research on the health effects of marijuana on young people and more funding for antidrug campaigns.

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids plans to continue its “Above the Influence” marketing campaign, which studies show has been an effective way of reaching teenagers about the risks of drug use. The campaign does not target a specific drug, but it teaches parents and teens about the health effects of early drug use and tries to empower teens to make good choices.

“Legalization is going to make the work we do even more relevant,” Mr. Pasierb said. “It’s part of the changing drug landscape.”


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(VAPO) Focus List Company Update

Vaporin Issues Letter to Shareholders Click here to read the entire press release

MIAMI, FL–(Marketwired – Aug 19, 2014) – Vaporin, Inc. (OTCQB: VAPO), a distributor and marketer of vaporizers and e-liquid products, today releases Shareholder Update and company outlook.

To our shareholders,

Thus far in 2014 we have achieved over $600,000 in revenue and an average gross profit margin of 40% from our operations in the vaporizer, e-liquid, and ecig vending machine market. We have secured a web presence, implemented new distribution outlets, and laid the groundwork for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015. We have focused our resources on the vaporizer and e-liquids space as we see this as the stronger segment of the marketplace. Several key industry analysts have identified the increased growth in vaporizers. To this end we have aligned the Company with well-known and respected distributors for our brick and mortar revenue driver through convenience stores along with implementing an effective online sales program. Our goal is to become the market leader in the vaporizer and e-liquids market so these results are reassuring to us and in turn our shareholders that we are doing everything we can to gain a first mover advantage within this space.

Click here to read the entire press release

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Change at the top in bid for marijuana permits

Claim on resume halted action on 2 marijuana dispensaries

Kevin Fisher, executive director of a company that won provisional licenses for two Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensaries in June, resigned his position this weekend after recent reports that he had wrongly claimed on the dispensary applications that he had a college degree.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have arrived at this decision,” Fisher wrote to the board of directors of New England Treatment Access Inc. “But given the current climate regarding the error I included in my resume, I feel that this action is necessary to ensure that [the company’s] mission to deliver the highest quality patient education and cannabis therapies continue unencumbered.”

The letter, dated Saturday, is the latest chapter in a high-stakes and increasingly contentious state process to select companies for coveted marijuana dispensary licenses.

New England Treatment Access is the only company to receive more than one of the 11 provisional dispensary licenses awarded by the state two months ago. Nine other applicants were knocked out of the running over questionable finances and for providing misleading information in a selection process riddled with controversy.

State health officials had let New England Treatment go forward with plans to open medical marijuana dispensaries in Northampton and Brookline, even though a company hired by the state to screen applicants had detected the missing degree problem in April. After the discrepancy about Fisher’s academic claims was reported by the Globe last week, the state put those licenses on hold

In a separate letter to state regulators, also dated Saturday, the company’s chief financial officer, Arnon Vered, wrote that New England Treatment had accepted Fisher’s resignation. The letter assured the state that Fisher would no longer be a member, director, or officer of the company, and will have no role in its governance.

“We regret that the discrepancy in Mr. Fisher’s resume has caused a distraction from the mission of the Department of Public Health to provide qualifying patients with access to the highest quality dispensaries possible,” Vered wrote. “While we have confidence in Mr. Fisher’s expertise, experience, and achievements in Colorado, we understand that his mistake, though perhaps unintentional, was careless.”

Vered’s letter said that he would be assuming the role of executive director and chief operating officer of the company, positions that Fisher resigned.

State health department spokesman Dave Kibbe said in an e-mailed statement that his agency had received New England Treatment’s letter and is reviewing the company’s proposed management changes. He said the company’s two provisional licenses remain on hold, and he declined to comment further.

Fisher, the owner of a marijuana business in Colorado, had said on his application that he had earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Youngstown State University, but the school has no record of his receiving any degree.

When first asked about the degree discrepancy by the Globe earlier this month, Fisher said he thought he had been awarded a degree. After state regulators put the company’s licenses on hold, New England Treatment sent the state a letter last week saying that several life-changing events — the death of Fisher’s mother and his estrangement from his father — during Fisher’s final college semester so affected him that he couldn’t focus on whether he actually graduated.

In its latest letter to state regulators, the company said that its structure is not based on Fisher alone, but instead on a team that includes experts in a variety of fields, including patient education, security, and cultivation. The company, it said, “has already made deep investments in critical products and services that will be very beneficial to qualifying patients seeking access to the highest-quality therapies.”

It also said that the company is on track to be among the first to open dispensaries, due to its “hard work and significant investment.”

“Our cultivation and processing facility is just weeks away from being ready for inspection,” the letter said, “and we have budgeted to hire 50 new employees in the next six months.”

New England Treatment also told regulators that continuing to keep its two licenses on hold would have a “negative impact” on patients.

“It would also have an adverse effect on those communities counting on the economic benefits that will come with our cultivation and registered medical marijuana dispensaries in the form of jobs, spending, and, revenue,” the letter stated.


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Guest Column: The 5 Types of Cannabis Companies Most Likely to Get Investment Money

By Emily Paxhia

Many startups in the cannabis industry are seeking capital as the “green rush” intensifies, promising to make investors wealthy in exchange for some much-needed cash.

But a fair share of these businesses struggle to find money, even though the financing pool is as deep as its ever been.

Seasoned investors in the cannabis space often look for companies with certain characteristics, and businesses that fit the bill stand a much better chance of cementing a deal than those that do not.

With that said, here are five types of companies that are attractive to investors in the cannabis industry:

#1. Ancillary Companies

Companies that touch the plant – retail stores, dispensaries, cultivation operations and infused products manufacturers – can offer great margins and the potential for rapid growth.

But some investors are still concerned about placing capital with companies that are technically illegal at the federal level. The political risk is simply too high.

For this reason, ancillary companies are currently very appealing to investors.

These types of businesses – which provide products and services to the industry but don’t handle marijuana – provide some shelter from legal issues and the risk of policy fluctuations.

An ancillary company also typically isn’t subject to the same rules and regulations as cannabis-touching businesses. So they are less complex, and their expenses can be lower.

Additionally, margins for companies that grow and sell marijuana are expected to diminish over time as the industry expands and more cultivation operations enter the market – providing investors with yet another reason to target ancillary businesses.

#2. Scalable Companies

Investors are interested in companies that can expand beyond cannabis and into other sectors over time.

A company involved in controlling the climate of a grow room, for example, can apply its technology to agriculture in general or in-home climate control.

We know that the current methods for maintaining an even temperature and humidity are fairly inefficient and costly. Improving this will be a focus of many aspects of society going forward – creating immense opportunities for companies involved in the space.

Another example: Testing being done to understand various compounds or undesirable elements (mold, pesticides, etc.) in the plant or extract can have applications in other industries. Consumers are increasingly looking to understand what they are putting into their bodies, so there’s a good chance some of the methods tied to cannabis testing can apply to other types of products people consume or ingest.

These types of scalable cannabis companies provide a hedge against the risks of the marijuana sector and also can make for a richer investment in the end.

#3. Innovators

It might sound like Business 101, but companies that serve a unique need in the industry – those that create markets instead of join them – are ahead of the game when it comes to landing money.

Companies that are anticipating issues or exploring opportunities before the competition pique investors’ interest. This can involve anything from developing cultivation efficiencies to preparing for diversification of the marketplace.

There are a lot of companies all trying to do the same thing right now. Investors are going to dive into areas that are untapped and look hard at “first-movers” in these spaces.

We recently attended a growing expo where a good 60% of the exhibitors were selling variations on the same product: plant nutrients. I am sure there are a lot of key differences, but if your company can serve a unique need – something that few, if any others, are addressing – you’ll stand out to investors.

However, it’s important for entrepreneurs to consider how long that unmet need will exist. Investors will want to know how a company plans to thrive in an evolving space, and they’ll want to understand the potential exit strategy.

For example, banking is a significant issue for many companies in the industry. A business that can help address this issue must provide a solution that would still be relevant when the banks decide it is safe to participate. Otherwise, it’s not an ideal investment.

Same thing with data collection. There will be large corporations entering the space when they feel the federal government is on board, so investors will want to place capital with a company that has anticipated change accordingly.

Keep in mind that innovation doesn’t have to be incredibly technical. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most impressive.

#4. Disruptors

Similar to innovators, disruptors are very appealing because they offer the potential for huge returns.

This industry has been underground for so long that inefficiencies and ineffective processes have become commonplace. The companies that come into the space and are willing to make wholesale changes to the deeply entrenched methods are going to stand out.

But be forewarned: This requires some serious research and development.

And it’s important to point out that disruptors should look to work with growers, not against them. Most growers are wary of any potential disruption to their crop, as this could seriously impact their business in a given cycle.

The same is true for dispensary owners who are working hard to stay compliant with state regulations. They cannot really afford the risks, so working to solve problems within those guidelines is critical.

#5. Environmentally Conscious Companies

This is a “green” industry in more ways than one. New companies that develop efficiencies for energy and water use or costs (and ideally all three) are very attractive to investors.

Not every investor cares as much about this, but it is critical in our examination of companies.

There are several reasons that we value environmentally conscious companies.

For one, it simply doesn’t seem practical for a fledgling industry to continue with poor practices in this regard.

And as I mentioned earlier, the margin compression of the future will drive the need for improved growing efficiencies.

ConferenceMBCE Guest Column: The 5 Types of Cannabis Companies Most Likely to Get Investment MoneyWe are in a severe drought in California, and some states are instituting water bans for cannabis companies. As the industry tries to gain broader appeal, it will be more difficult to “sell” the idea if environmentalists or policy-makers who are trying to preserve resources are against cannabis.

Furthermore, investors want to see that companies are looking at products made from recyclable material – rather than cramming landfills with paraphernalia or byproducts of the industry.

This is the chance for the marijuana industry to show that is a hub for progress and innovation. More investors will enter an industry that has staying power through respectable practices and foresight.

Emily Paxhia is a founding partner at Poseidon Asset Management, a San Francisco-based fund that invests in cannabis companies


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Colorado aims to produce more legal pot

Colorado is faced with an unexpected problem: It needs to grow more legalized recreational pot. Only about 60% of marijuana sold in Colorado is the legal variety, so the state must ramp up its efforts to compete with the black market.

Seven months after Colorado legalized recreational pot, the state has an unexpected problem. It needs to grow more.

Because even though sales have surged, only about 60% of the marijuana sold is the legal variety. The rest is either illegal or grown unregulated in the so-called gray market, where unlicensed citizens can grow for their own use.

Colorado residents and visitors will consume an estimated 287,000 pounds of marijuana in 2014, but only about 170,000 pounds will come from legal medical or recreational outlets, according to a report commissioned by the state Marijuana Enforcement Division.

The rest, about 118,000 pounds, or 41%, is expected to be produced by people who can legally grow up to six pot plants for personal consumption, registered caregivers who provide marijuana to medical patients, and black market producers, including gangs, who operate outside the Colorado legal system.

As a result, Colorado state regulators are trying to increase the amount of marijuana produced and sold by legal retailers.

“Right now, we are pretty significantly under what should be produced,” said Ron Kammerzell, deputy senior director of enforcement for the state Department of Revenue.

“What that does is, (it) raises the prices and if the price is too high, then we can’t compete with the black market and that was our ultimate goal — we wanted to eliminate the black market,” Kammerzell said.

However, new data comparing demand for marijuana in Colorado with the legal supply suggest that criminal enterprises could stay in business.

MORE: Colo. pot market far larger than predicted

“Basically, the state is trying to ensure that the amount that is being grown in Colorado equals what the demand is,” said Mike Elliot, executive director of Marijuana Industry Group, a trade association for the state’s marijuana industry. “If there is too much, then people want to take it out of state or sell to kids (minors), and if there is too little, then the black market will fill in the gaps.”

Reducing the black market is not only a state goal but also a federal priority.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole issued a memorandum last year that listed selling to minors, exporting marijuana out of state and enriching the black market as offenses to be avoided in order to keep the Justice Department on the sidelines in states where pot is legal.

Although the state, federal government and legal marijuana businesses all hope to undercut the black market, their ideas about how to do so vary dramatically.

Marijuana retailers say supply isn’t the issue. The real problem is price.

“After the cost of producing each pound, I still have to pay a 15% excise tax, licensing fees, huge rent because landlords overcharge marijuana dispensaries, and when I pay federal income tax I can’t deduct like a regular business,” said Brian Ruden owner of Starbud, Altermeds and Tree of Wellness medical and recreational outlets in Denver, Colorado Springs and Louisville, Colo. “I am selling an eighth (of an ounce) for $60 when the street price is about $25.”

On average, state, local and federal sales taxes on recreational marijuana are just over 21%, while the taxes on marijuana for medical uses are about 7.6%. The federal government still categorizes marijuana as a dangerous illegal drug, but it collects tax revenue on its legal sale in Colorado and Washington.

The black market benefits from the high taxes, too — because its products can be sold for much less.

“I have had locals come in here without their med cards, and ask what our recreational prices are and just turn around and leave,” said Nelson Figueiredo, a “budtender” at Medicine Man dispensary in Denver. “They have friends who can sell them pot much cheaper.”

As the Colorado industry continues to grow, regulators hope to allow steady growth of the legal market.

“We really want to do this in a very predictable and controlled way,” Kammerzell said. “I think what we are seeing is that the biggest driver right now is supply, and that is what we intend to address.”


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Focus List Portfolio Performance Update 8/13/2014

Focus List Portfolio Performance Update

It’s been 1 week since we announced our first three Focus List companies. We owe you a profile for (TURV) which is currently being worked on and will be released very soon. In the meantime let’s take a look at how each company is doing since we announced them on August 6, 2014 at the low of day. :

As you previously stated we own ZERO (0) shares of any company on this focus list nor have we EVER owned a share of any company on this focus list. Below we will use the example of “10,000 shares” but it is just that an example again we own zero shares.

1. GrowBLOX Sciences, Inc. (otcqb: GBLX) View Our GBLX Report Here

Date Added: August 6, 2014

Price Alerted: $1.15

Position: 10,000 shares

Current Price: $1.19

Current Percentage Gain: +3.48%

Monetary Gains: +$400.00

2. Vaporin, Inc. (otcqb: VAPO) View Our VAPO Report Here

Date Added: August 6, 2014

Price Alerted: $0.064

Position: 10,000 shares

Current Price: $0.067

Current Percentage Gain: +4.69%

Monetary Gains: +$30.00

3.Two Rivers Water & Farming Co (otcqb: TURV) Coming Soon

Date Added: August 6, 2014

Price Alerted: $1.11

Position: 10,000 shares

Current Price: $1.12

Current Percentage Gain: +0.90%

Monetary Gains: +$100.00

The current monetary start of our Focus List Portfolio was a hypothetical $23,240.00. The Focus List Portfolio is currently positive 2.28% which monetarily translates into +$530.00 bringing the on paper value of our focus list to $23,770.00



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CSO Andrea Small-Howard, PhD of GrowBLOX Sciences, Inc. to Be Interviewed Live on Clear Channel Business Talk Radio – August 13th, 2014

LAS VEGAS, NV–(Marketwired – Aug 12, 2014) – GrowBLOX Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB: GBLX) announced today that Chief Science Officer (CSO) Andrea Small-Howard, PhD, MBA, will be interviewed live by host Michael Yorba on Clear Channel Business Talk Radio’s The Traders Network Show. In this exclusive 2-segment interview, Dr. Small-Howard will discuss the science and research behind The Company’s indoor agriculture technology that allows controlled growth for the manufacture of toxin-free, natural medicinal-grade cannabis. We encourage shareholders, analysts, industry professionals and all interested parties to tune in and listen live via Clear Channel’s nationally syndicated iHeart Radio stream.

Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 
Start Time:  8:00am ET | 5:00am PT | 7:00am CT (U.S.) 
Network: Clear Channel 
Station: DFW 1190AM KFXR
Show: The Traders Network 
Host: Michael Yorba 
Live iHeart Radio Stream:

About Clear Channel: Clear Channel’s Media and Entertainment division has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America with 243 million monthly listeners. It serves 150 cities through 850 owned radio stations in the U.S., as well as more than 140 stations in New Zealand and Australia.

About Michael Yorba: Mr. Yorba is the founder of Yorba Media and featured host on Clear Channel. For the past six years he has produced and hosted “The Traders Network Show” broadcasted live daily on Clear Channel DFW 1190AM KFXR from 6am – 7:30am and 2pm – 3pm CT, Monday-Friday.

Michael Yorba interviews the front-page Titans about the latest in capital markets, CEO milestones, trading tools, real estate acquisitions and market trends. Learn how the experts use risk management techniques to build fully diversified portfolios and what it takes to put up big board earnings. It’s a fast moving, high-energy show that presents stocks, commodities, bonds, forex, derivatives, real estate, political trends, technology trends, crowd funding and impact investment insights in a new light and keeps the audience asking for more… shift your thinking and join us as we deliver “tomorrow’s ideas today” on Clear Channel’s The Traders Network Show.

About GrowBLOX Sciences, Inc.: GrowBLOX Sciences, Inc. is a medical marijuana research and biotechnology company that has developed proprietary indoor growing chambers specifically designed for medical cannabis cultivation. The GrowBLOX™ chamber allows for completely controlled growing conditions, ensuring the manufacture of a consistent, toxin-free, natural and medicinal-grade product. The Company believes that the advantages of a controlled environment over traditional outdoor or greenhouse growing, will empower the public, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries to embrace cannabis as an effective treatment for a myriad of serious medical conditions.

Forward-Looking Statements

Except for historical information contained herein, the statements in this release are forward-looking and made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are inherently unreliable and actual results may differ materially. Examples of forward-looking statements in this news release include statements regarding the payment of dividends, marketing and distribution plans, development activities and anticipated operating results. Factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include such factors as the Company’s ability to accomplish its business initiatives, significant fluctuations in marketing expenses and ability to achieve and expand significant levels of revenues, or recognize net income, from the sale of its products and services, as well as the introduction of competing products, or management’s ability to attract and maintain qualified personnel necessary for the development and commercialization of its planned products, and other information that may be detailed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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