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What are our privacy rights? And how has COVID-19 changed things?



Since the imposition of emergency measures in response to COVID-19, some of the biggest questions that we have had as Canadians revolve around privacy and individual rights. Once simple tasks, like going to a restaurant or a coffee shop, have become complicated landmines, speckled with uncertainty.

So, what are our privacy rights? And how has COVID-19 changed things?
It may surprise you to learn that your right to privacy is not a constitutionally protected right under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

However, there are other sections of the Charter that have been used to invoke privacy rights under the law.

For example, the right to life, liberty and security of person, as guaranteed under section 7, or the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure, under section 8. Both of these protected rights – along with a myriad of other statutes and laws – have been used to develop and entrench privacy rights in Canada.

While privacy is considered a fundamental right, it is not absolute.
There are certain limitations on our right to privacy, and those limitations increase when we move from the private sphere into the public sphere. For example, it is a long-established legal principle that people are afforded fewer privacy rights when driving in their vehicles than when
sitting in their homes. And – generally speaking – the further we venture out, the less privacy we can expect. Consider that we are routinely subject to baggage scanners and other personal security measures including pat-downs and retinal scanning at points of travel. When crossing international
boarders, travellers are subject to questioning by boarder officials whose powers are vast. Until recently, we would have never contemplated such intrusions on more beign trips, like say to the corner store.

But the point is, when it comes to privacy – context is key. This means that your right to privacy will be largely dependent on the situation that you are in – both time and place. And during a time of national emergency and global pandemic, you can expect that your personal rights in the public sphere will become somewhat reduced.

This is becoming increasingly evident as businesses start to re-open.
Many restaurants, for instance, are asking patrons to leave personal contact information prior to dining in. The rational is to aid with contact tracing, should a positive case of COVID-19 be confirmed. By notifying people who may have been exposed to the virus, the risk of further transmission is lowered. So far, this has proven to be an effective tool against the spread of
novel coronavirus.

While some diners may be uncomfortable with this idea, it is important to remember that dining out is a privilege – not a right. Where a privilege is involved, privacy rights may not be so strictly applied.

Moreover, leaving simple contact information – such as a name and a telephone number – is no more invasive than leaving such information for the purposes of a securing a reservation or being added to a wait list. So long as the establishment maintains close control over the information, and destroys it within a reasonable timeframe, the risk of misuse is mitigated. Things become more convoluted, though, where more substantive invasions of privacy are concerned. Consider, for example, having your temperature taken in order to enter a coffee shop or completing a personal health questionnaire prior to having your nails done. While these intrusions may make us uncomfortable, they could become a normal part of our daily routines. The question about how legally problematic such measures are will be largely dependent on how the information is collected, stored and used. And, of course, the on-going issue of consent. After all, taking informed steps to enter a public space – like a restaurant or a hair salon – is quite different than being monitored without your consent or knowledge. Recent revelations about how health officials have been using things like credit cards and loyalty programs to monitor for potential COVID-19 exposure pose more significant quandaries about where individual privacy ends and public safety begins. Many were shocked to hear Dr. Bonnie Henry admit to accessing this type of personal information without consent from common points of purchase, such as grocery stores, in order to administer public health protocols.

While public safety is a significant concern, we should still be mindful about what liberties we are willing to trade without question. Over time, seemingly reasonable, small sacrifices can give way to major violations.

When it comes to privacy, we should never stop asking – how far is too far?



NEW: Delta 10 THC Disposables – Lightweight, Compact & Easy-to-use



Delta 10 THC disposables are small vapes, rechargeable and pre-filled with a ready-to-use blend of Delta 8, Delta 10 THC & terpenes. Just open the pack and vape.

To make life easier, Delta 10 THC disposable vapes are draw-activated, which means it will start on the first draw. As they are lightweight, compact & so easy-to-use, thay are the perfect product for travelling, or when you need a discreet solution. Many people also prefer using disposables over vape cartridges, since they offer a maintenance-free solution, so they are now becoming a very popular product.

While most of the disposables look the same from the outside, the true secret is to find the perfect vape juice, with the right blend of cannabinoids and terpenes. To help you identify the right product for your needs, we have created a short-list of the best Delta 10 THC disposables. If you want a lightweight, compact and easy-to-usey device, the products below are your best choice.

As always, the most attractive Delta 8 and Delta 10 deals are offered to the subscribers of the Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter. Subscribe below to be included.


Delta 10 THC Disposable Vapes – Premium Bundle

Lightweight, Compact & Easy-to-use

Delta 10 Disposable Vape Bundle

Need a winning product? Take Delta 10 THC on-the-go with these lightweight, compact & easy-to-use disposables, currently on sale! With the prefect blend of Delta 8, Delta 10 THC & terpenes, the new ‘Euphoria Collection‘ disposables offer us an unforgettable vaping experience.

Each bundle includes the following carts: Blue Candy Kush (Indica), Ekto Kooler (Sativa) and Wedding Cake (Hybrid).

TIP: Choose the 6-pack and get an additional 25% discount using the Delta25 coupon code. That’s only $22.5/cart, the lowest price anywhere for Delta-10 Disposables!

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Blue Candy Kush Delta 10 THC Disposable Vape – INDICA

Blue Candy Kush Delta 10 THC Disposable Vape

If you want a strong Indica disposable, the the Blue Candy Kush Delta 10 THC disposable vape is your best choice. With a mouthwatering tart berry aroma and a subtle floral undertone, the Blue Candy Kush disposable is second to none and tastes as good as it sounds. 

Effects: As a blend of Delta 8, Delta 10 and Indica terpenes, you can expect to feel a bit heavy in your body coupled with an uplifting mental high.

Best time to use: This disposable is better to use at the end of the day when you need to chill after along-day at work.

Current deal: Choose between 1-pack and 10-pack and get an additional 15% discount when using Testers coupon code.

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(With Testers coupon code)

Buy the 6-pack bundle and SAVE BIG on Delta 10 THC disposables:

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Ekto Kooler Delta 10 THC Disposable Vape – Sativa

Ekto Kooler Delta 10 THC Disposable Vape – Sativa

If you want a clear Sativa disposable, the Ekto Kooler is the one for you. This strain is a cross between California Orange and Gorilla Biscuit, giving  it a clear citrus taste. Ver refreshing.

Effects: You can expect to get an uplifting cerebral high throughout the day.

Best time to use: This disposable is better to use for day-time, especially during the weekends when you don’t really need to do anythging demanding.

Current deal: Choose between 1-pack and 10-pack and get an additional 15% discount when using Testers coupon code.

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(With Testers coupon code)

Buy the 6-pack bundle and SAVE BIG on Delta 10 disposables:

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Wedding Cake Delta 10 THC Disposable Vape – Hybrid

Wedding Cake Delta 10 THC Disposable Vape – Hybrid

If you want an Hybrid disposable, you should try the new Wedding Cake disposable. This strain is a cross between Triangle Kush and Animal Cookies, resulting in an Indica dominant hybrid. Need a little peace and quiet, Wedding Cake is your choice!

Effects: Expect to feel calm and easy for both your mind and body.

Best time to use: Pick this one if you need day-time relief.

Current deal: Choose between 1-pack and 10-pack and get an additional 15% discount when using Testers coupon code.

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(With Testers coupon code)

Buy the 6-pack bundle and SAVE BIG on Delta 10 THC disposables:

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Why Disposable Vapes Are So Popular?

There are many reasons why disposables are so popular and why you should get yourself the new Delta 10 disposables.

Compact & perfect for on-the-go

In the recent years, the technology around disposable vapes has continued to improve so now they can come in compact sizes. Most disposable vapes come in sizes that can easily fit in most pockets, making them the perfect on-the-go product.

The are discreet

While there is nothing wrong in vaping cannabinoids, some people like to keep it private for themselves. The new Delta 10 Disposables are the most discreet and portable option for vaping Delta 10. If you need a discreet device, you might find them to be exactly what you were looking for.


If you want a products that is 100% idiot-proof then disposable vapes are your best choice. The truth is that they couldn’t possibly be any easier to use…  Just open the pack and vape, no prior experience is needed.


The new Delta 10 disposables are about as lightweight as it gets.  No one want to carry with them something big and heavy, so the lightweight nature of disposables is a great plus. After all we just won’t have something heavy sitting in our pocket all day.  Disposables ae so lightweight that you’ll forget you’re even carrying them with you…

The don’t leak

Forget about the days when your vapes were leaking all over your bag. One of the major advantage of the new disposables is that they’re designed to be leakproof.  Sometimes we keep on forgetting how much vape juice can be lost due to leaks within our tanks or cartridges.  Swith to disposables and don’t ever think about it again.

Buy the 6-pack bundle and SAVE BIG on Delta 10 Disposables

Delta 10 Disposable Vape Bundle

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Having a product and want to promote it for you? Please contact us or email [email protected]

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Affiliate disclaimer: We work hard to find and verify the best products, so we may include affiliate links to support the maintenance and development of this site.

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Best Vegan Cannabis Recipes and the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet



Although the connection between food and health is quite complex and significant, the medical community and mainstream media still places very little emphasis on the importance of a natural diet. Roughly 160 million people in the US suffer from hypertension, heart disease, and/or diabetes, and most primary care physicians would rather prescribe them a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs (many of which carry the risk of dangerous side effects) when the answer to their health problems could be as simple as changing what they eat.

Enter the world of plant-based diets. Every year, a growing number of people are cutting out meat, excess sugar, sodium, and products with preservatives and artificial ingredients in exchange for better health and longevity. Some people are becoming vegetarian, some vegan, some full-time, some part-time, but regardless, the interest in these types of diets is on the rise.

A vegan diet is comprised of only plant-based foods. People who choose to follow this diet avoid all animal products including meat, dairy, eggs, and sometimes even honey. Some people go vegan for health reasons, while others make it a lifestyle choice. Many vegans choose this way of life citing animal welfare, environmental benefits, and sustainability.  

A large number of vegans also avoid cosmetics, clothing, and other products that contain both animal DNA as well as artificial ingredients. The urge to go all-natural can spill over into many other areas of life, especially medicinal practices. In addition to changing diets, many health-conscious individuals are looking at natural alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs as well. Note that most western medications DO contain animal products, or at the very least, extensive testing on animals was conducted in order to get that product on the market.

Research suggests that the number of cannabis users who are vegan is significantly higher than vegans in the general population, indicating that pot users are among the growing number of people seeking healthier options in all areas of life.

Food is the best, and there are a million interesting edibles on the market for cannabis! Whether you like your cannabis edibles sweet, or salty, (or vegan), there’s something for everyone. Some are higher in CBD, some in THC, and some are made with delta-8 THC, the alternate form of THC on the market, which produces slightly less psychoactive effect, and a more energetic, clear-headed high. No matter how you like to consume cannabis, there are plenty of options, so make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter, your source for all the most up-to-date cannabis information, as well as access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products.

The Rise of Veganism

Numerous studies and surveys report that around 3% of the people in the United States are fully vegan, and an additional 5% are vegetarian. Worldwide, an estimated 79 million people are following plant-based diets. Because plant-based diets are rich in nutrients, and low in saturated fats and preservatives, they are ideal for preventing many diet-related, preventable chronic diseases.

Data from numerous other sources indicates that this rise has been particularly large over the last couple years, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, a report from the Plant-Based Foods Association found that sales of vegan and vegetarian foods increased by 90% overall during the pandemic, and specifically, plant-based meat products saw a 148% rise. Another report from HappyCow, an online resource for vegans, found that during the pandemic, more vegan and vegetarian restaurants opened than closed. It’s one of the few industries that thrive while many others shuttered.

Although the root causes of the shift are related to health and environmental concerns, it seems that social media is playing a substantial role in fueling the flame of curiosity. A number of popular celebrities have been following a vegan diet for years including Billie Eilish, Woody Harrelson, Zac Efron, Natalie Portman, and Miley Cyrus, just to name a few. On Instagram, #vegan has more than 90 million posts and the vegan groups on Facebook have hundreds of thousands of followers.

Giles Quick, director at market researcher Kantar Worldpanel, said: “The vegan market has changed fundamentally in the last six or seven years – it’s now for everyone. “Social media has brought it to the forefront of customer’s minds, and the mainstream. It’s not seen any more as a choice for life, but as a choice for one meal, one moment, for one or two days a week.” Flexitarianism, part-time vegetarianism or veganism, is becoming increasingly popular.

Grocery store chains and fast food restaurants around the world are starting to take notice. In the US, a popular brand of easy frozen products that are completely plant-based, Morningstar Farms, makes a variety of plant-based burger patties, “chicken” patties, meatless meatballs, and more. And a range of fast-food companies, including McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, and Carl’s Jr. are providing vegan/vegetarian options to their customers.

Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that roughly 40 percent of annual deaths are preventable, and a leading cause of what’s driving the high number of deaths is a poor diet. Nutritional diseases include some obvious deficiencies or excesses (ie vitamin deficiency and excess of saturated fats), obesity, and eating disorders, as well as chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. There are also a number of other disorders, like allergies, that aren’t necessarily caused by food, but do respond to dietary treatments.

According to a survey of more than 1,000 adults, almost 50% of people who expressed interest in going plant-based, were doing so for health-related reasons. Weight management was high on the list, as well as the need for more energy, reducing mucus, and improved sleep, all of which can benefit from a healthier diet.

Vegans and vegetarians also typically consume less calories than people on a standard Western diet, meaning they have a lower body mass index and are less likely to become overweight or obese. In the United States, roughly 72% of adults 18 and older are overweight, and 41% are obese. Additionally, almost 20% of children ages 2-17 are overweight or obese. Obesity doubles a person’s mortality risk, and a significant contributor to numerous chronic health conditions.

A large scale study completed in 2019 found that consuming less animal products and bumping up your vegetable intake was directly linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and death. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), saturated fats raise cholesterol which greatly increases a person’s risk of heart attack, stroke, and other heart-related diseases. Meat, cheese, and butter are leading sources of saturated fat in our diets. Plant-based foods are also a leading source of dietary fiber, another factor that contributes to better heart health.

Eating plant-based has also been credited for lowering a person’s risk of cancer by around 15 percent. There are a couple reasons for this. First, a lot of the meat we consume is carcinogenic itself, like deli meat and a large portion of red meat. Second, plants are high in fiber, vitamins, and other beneficial phytochemicals that are known to protect against cancers. The International Agency for Research on Cancer claims that meat-heavy diets have primarily been linked to colorectal, prostate, and pancreatic cancers.

And finally, one of the largest studies on vegan diets found that eating plant-based can greatly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease that effects how the body regulates sugar and which can lead to severe complications if left untreated. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 is preventable and treatable, despite the fact that nearly 32 million Americans suffer from this disease.

Veganism and Cannabis

Although research in this area is sorely lacking, the bit of data we do have shows that more cannabis users are following a plant-based diet than the general population. A study conducted by industry research firm, Brightfield group, in California, the world’s largest cannabis market, found that both vegans and vegetarians are more likely to be frequent cannabis users.

Roughly 3 percent of American adults identify as vegan, whereas 6 percent of cannabis users are vegan and 8 percent are vegetarian. This implies that cannabis users are growing increasingly aware of, and concerned about, what they consume and how it impacts their health and the environment.

This applies to food, hygiene products, and medicine – which includes cannabis quality. Market data found that 40 percent U.S. cannabis users (both medical and recreational) would pay more for organic flower strains and other products. Companies that grow organically, provide certificates of analysis and/or safety testing, and provide gluten-free, non-GMO, all-natural options are dominating the industry.

Vegan Cannabis Butter, Cooking Oil, and Cannamilk

Before we get to the actual recipes, we need to start with the basics. All of the recipes I am providing you here contain either cannabutter, cannabis cooking oil, or cannamilk. Of course, for this article, we will be doing vegan versions of our favorite cannabis infusions.



  • 7-10 grams of cannabis flowers
  • 2 cups of plant-based milk (soy, almond, coconut, cashew, or whatever your preference is)


  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Weed grinder
  • Large saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Jug with lid
  • Cooking thermometer


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°F.
  2. Grind up the cannabis buds using a weed grinder or scissors. You want the pieces to be small and equal sized for proper decarboxylation.
  3. Line a baking sheet or pan with parchment paper scatter your ground cannabis in a single layer.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes to decarb (to learn more about the importance of decarboxylation, click here).
  5. Toss the cooked cannabis flower in a large saucepan, add the vegan milk and whisk everything together. Cook until temperature reaches 220°F.
  6. Adjust your heat source accordingly to maintain temperature (this is VERY important), continue stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.
  7. After 45 minutes, remove the saucepan from the burner and allow the infusion to cool.
  8. Once cooled, put your fine mesh strainer over the jug, and use it to strain the cannamilk. Most of the plant matter should get filtered out during this process. You can run it through the mesh a second or even third time if needed.
  9. Put the lid on the jug and make sure it’s properly sealed, and store your cannamilk in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Cannabis cooking oil


  • 7 grams cannabis decarbed
  • 1 lb. cooking oil such as coconut, olive, avocado, canola


  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Large saucepan
  • Large bowl


  1. To decarb flower, read above
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over low heat until thoroughly warmed.
  3. Add the decarbed cannabis to the oil. Stir to mix.
  4. Continue to cook over low heat for 3 hours. Stir occasionally. Do not allow the oil to get too hot, it should not boil or simmer.
  5. Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place it over a large, heat-safe boil. Carefully pour the oil through the cheesecloth, allowing any excess oil to strain through.
  6. Allow the oil to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.



  • 3 1/2 grams decarboxylated cannabis flower
  • 2 cups vegan butter


  • 2 Mason jars
  • Large pot
  • Cheesecloth


  1. To decarb flower, see above
  2. Place the cannabis in a mason jar and add vegan butter, leave at least 1-inch of room at the top. Tightly close the lid and place the jar in a large pot. Fill with water, ensuring the water level does not exceed the top of the jar and lid (the water level only needs to be above the butter level). Heat on high until simmering, then drop thes heat to a low simmer for 3-4 hours.
  3. Carefully remove the jar from the water and let cool enough to handle. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth into the second mason jar. Let cool completely and store in the refrigerator.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert

Now then, it’s time to share with you a few of my all-time favorite vegan recipes that I’ve collected over the years. Whether cannabis infused or not, these vegan recipes are incredible, and you have options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert. All of these recipes are 100% plant based and use only natural, healthy ingredients.

Vegan cannabis chia seed pudding


  • 1 cup of vegan cannamilk
  • 1 cup of unsweetened plant-based milke (almond, soy, coconut milk, or similar)
  • ½ cup of chia seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • Fruits and other toppings (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, mix together your cannamilk, unsweetened non-dairy milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  2. Place the mix into mason jars or other airtight containers.
  3. Shake the container well or stir before placing it in the fridge covered. If it is convenient, stir the mix every 1-2 hours, at least for the first one or two times. It will take around 6 hours for the mix to be ready, and it can store for 5-6 days in your fridge.
  4. Serve your chia seed pudding either by itself or with some additional fruits or other toppings. Some ideas include berries, bananas, or whatever your favorite fruit is, granola, honey, nuts, granola, coconut flakes, etc.

Infused butternut squash quinoa salad


  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 small 2-pound butternut squash peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons cannabis-infused oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sugar dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (or pecans, walnuts, or similar)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or parsley
  • Arugula, spinach, or other mixed greens


  • 3 tablespoons cannabis-infused oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the red onion in a small bowl and cover with water. Set aside. (This preserves the onion’s flavor but with less intensity)
  2. Place the butternut squash in the center of a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat, then spread the squash into a single layer.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. While the squash is baking, bring the broth (or water) and quinoa to a boil in a medium pan. If you are using water, add ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand with the lid on for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then transfer to a large serving bowl.
  5. In a small bowl or large measuring cup (or a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid), combine the dressing ingredients: olive oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Drizzle enough of the dressing over the warm quinoa to moisten it, then stir to combine.
  6. Scrape the roasted butternut squash and any pan juices into the bowl with the quinoa. Add the cranberries, seeds/nuts, and thyme/parsley. Drain the red onion then add it to the bowl. Toss to combine, adding dressing as desired.
  7. Serve at room temperature over mixed greens

Vegan cannabis alfredo


  • 12 ounces fettuccine or pasta of choice, for serving
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons cannabis-infused cooking oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, cashew/soy/coconut also fine
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning (to taste)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain, then add it back to the pot and cover until the sauce is done.
  2. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Pour the hot water over the cashews and let soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil (or water) in a small pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, until fragrant and the onion is translucent.
  4. Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Add them to a blender along with onions/garlic, unsweetened almond milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt. Blend until very smooth.
  5. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir. If the noodles are still hot, you may not need to cook it any more. If you want, heat the pasta with the alfredo sauce on low heat until warm. Serve immediately.

Vegan Canna-Banana Pudding


  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/4 cup cannamilk
  • Sweetener of choice, such as 1 tbsp pure maple syrup, honey, agave, or sugar.
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • optional 1/8 tsp turmeric for color
  • optional 1 tbsp vegan butter or coconut butter, for richer taste (and you can even do cannabutter for a double dose)


  1. In a small pot over medium heat, combine banana, sweetener, optional ingredients, and 1 cup of the milk of choice.
  2. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk with the cornstarch.
  3. Once banana mixture is warm, whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
  4. Cook on low heat, whisking occasionally, until thick.
  5. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla. Serve hot or cold with vegan wafers.

Final Thoughts

Veganism, and even vegetarianism, is not for everyone. However, if you happen to be suffering from any number of chronic illness, many of which are diet-related, then you might be able to benefit from reducing your intake of animal products. Use the above recipes to get an idea of how delicious vegan food can be, most people I serve these dishes to can’t even tell that they are vegan – and to top it off, they’re all loaded with potent cannabinoids and tasty cannabis terpenes. Game over… it doesn’t get much better than that.

Thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your hub for all things cannabis-related. We hope you enjoyed this article on vegan trends in the cannabis industry. Remember to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one and exclusive deals on flowers, edibles, and other products.

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Delta-8 THC Threatens Legal Cannabis Industry



Let’s be honest, the cannabis market is becoming a cut-throat one, with everyone looking to make a buck, a range of low-level and possibly dangerous products on the market, and a rush by local governments to save revenue by outlawing what they can’t regulate. This brings up the question of whether a hemp-derived THC like delta-8 threatens the revenue of the legal cannabis industry, and explains why recreational states are quickly banning it.

Delta-8 THC runs the gamut from accusations that it threatens the legal industry, to governments like Texas which recently failed to fully criminalize it. What’s all the fuss about? Well, this alternate form of THC gives a milder psychoactive high, doesn’t create the anxiety that delta-9 can, and leaves users with more energy and less couch locking. There are very good reasons why delta-8 is liked by so many, and we have an array of great Delta-8 THC deals that can get you started with this new form of THC.

What is hemp-derived THC?

In short, THC and CBD are the two more prevalent cannabinoids in a cannabis plant. Some plants, which we use the term ‘marijuana’ for as a differentiator, have more than .3% of THCA in the plant, whereas the term ‘hemp’ implies cannabis with less than .3% THCA, and a higher amount of CBDA. The reason I use the terms ‘THCA’ and ‘CBDA’, instead of ‘THC’ and ‘CBD’, is because THCA and CBDA are the precursor acids that are found in cannabis flowers, and the actual compounds for which these measurements are made in fresh and dry plants. THC and CBD occur only after decarboxylation. Even the term ‘THC’ really isn’t a good one, as that merely stands for ‘tetrahydrocannabinols’, and the THC of interest is specifically delta-9.

It is much easier to extract THCA from marijuana plants since there’s way more of it there. In hemp plants, it only exists in small amounts, but CBDA exists in larger amounts. This CBDA can be converted into CBD, and then into delta-9 by way of a solvent and some processing. Realistically, this is not the issue, though. The issue, is that it can also be used to source delta-8 THC.

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Delta-8 THC is also naturally occurring, like delta-9, and is produced through the oxidation of delta-9 when it comes into contact with oxygen. This happens at an extremely low rate, however, so in order to produce enough to be used in products, human processing help is needed. This has caused an argument as to whether delta-8 should be considered a synthetic, and bound to laws related to THC synthetics.

The delta-8 legality issue

What should be pointed out about delta-8, is that while there is still talk of a federal loophole, and while it seemed briefly like this might be the case, it never was the case at all. Even if it had been, the US government ended all discussion of its federal legal status by officially adding it to the DEA’s Controlled Substances list, as an alternate name for ‘tetrahydrocannabinols’, along with delta-9, for regulation under DEA criminal code 7370. This wasn’t totally necessary in my opinion, as , even without considering it synthetic (which is indeed debatable), its still an analogue of delta-9, and therefore illegal due to the Federal Analogue Act.

.3% for processing or final products, which rules out the ability to use it anyway. As stated, whatever debate there was, ended with the Controlled Substances list update. However, why this is happening is a very good question, as delta-8 itself has not been found to be dangerous, but merely the possible processing techniques that can use harsh chemicals. I’ve said it several times already, but this means all that’s needed is regulation in the delta-8 industry, not an illegalization of it.

The reason we’re talking about this at all, is because the 2018 US Farm Bill legalized hemp production and the production of hemp-based products. The perceived delta-8 loophole gave the impression that THC could legally be sold, leading an industry to sprout up around it. Delta-8 isn’t merely a half-brother to delta-9, it has its own impressive list of characteristics that actually make it a better option for many recreational and medical users. This is primarily because delta-8 has not been shown to produce the anxiety and paranoia of delta-9, and it’s associated with less couch-locking effect, a slightly less intense psychoactive high, more energy, and a clearer-head.



It’s no wonder that recreational users who experience anxiety with delta-9 would like this product, and the same for medical users who don’t want to be weighed down during treatment. As delta-8 produces nearly the identical list of medical benefits, it therefore provides a really great workaround for some of the issues associated with delta-9. And so, legal or not, the industry has been pushing it out, with some worried that this hemp-derived THC will cannibalize legal THC sales. This is what’s being spoken about now in Washington state.

How delta-8 threatens the legal industry

First and foremost, any black market like delta-8 threatens a legal industry, that’s just the nature of it. So what’s going on here, is essentially no different than the legal industry fighting the standard cannabis black market, which it already is doing a lackluster job with, likely because of high prices due to taxes. In that sense, complaining about delta-8 is kind of useless, and simply highlights that its a black market product. Let’s be honest though, delta-8 threatens the legal industry way less than the standard cannabis illicit industry does, and this is not likely to change.

The complaint being made, regardless of how relevant – or even true it is, is that marijuana growers in Washington are afraid they’ll be put out of business by the growing delta-8 market. The reason given by growers, as per mjbizdaily, is that its cheaper to convert CBD into delta-8 and 9, than to grow marijuana plants. This sounds a bit suspect to me, since both cases involve growing cannabis plants, with the former method requiring extra processing, thereby likely making it more expensive. It sounds more like these growers are simply angry that they’re legal, and competing with an illegal part of the industry.

statement made, talks about “the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both to Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, or any other marijuana compound that is not currently identified or defined in the RCW, the WAC, or both.”

This clarifying statement came about because products were being sold that were in violation of the State’s law, which only allows pre-approved marijuana-infused products. Legal products must be grown and produced by licensed cultivators and producers. It was found that products were being sold containing other cannabinoids, like delta-8, and other additives.

The states that have moved to illegalize delta-8, like Colorado and Vermont, did so under the guise of safety, rather than closing a tax loophole. With statements about the possibility of dangerous processing (which, is actually a worthwhile fear, just not one being handled properly). The first concern of the WSCLB is that CBD is being altered to make synthetic equivalents of compounds found in the cannabis plant. Once again, remember synthetics are always illegal. The second issue is that these compounds have then turned up in regulated markets, though they are unregulated. These products are not allowed for sale under i-502, which governs marijuana products for sale, and makes sure all relevant parties are in concert with the RCW (Revised Code of Washington).

The RWC – which regulates controlled substances, makes clear that both synthetic and non-synthetic cannabinoids are covered under the term ‘tetrahydrocannabinols’, making both kinds Schedule I compounds. Under ‘unfair and deceptive practices’, the RWC states that it’s a deceptive practice to sell or manufacture “any product that contains any amount of synthetic cannabinoid.”

However, the illegality is not clear-cut, because the RWC allows for exemptions, mainly in the form of a legal recreational cannabis market. Whether this exemption of a controlled substance therefore counts for both delta-9 and delta-8 is debatable, and many see the overall statement as not clarifying delta-8 illegality. Regardless of possible future court debates, the current standing is that Washington’s LCB disallows synthetic cannabinoids from entering the legal market.

2014 which notes that 1/2 of all respondents currently used, or had used synthetics, and yet no truly negative issues were mentioned. Whereas a study like this indicates that synthetics are used by a large percentage of cannabis users, government sites rarely make mention of total usage, instead focusing on negative cases without giving a frame of reference in terms of whether the numbers given represent a large or small percentage of the total.

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It does the same thing with vapes, talking up 68 deaths over more than a decade of time, while failing to make the immediate comparison to the 480,000 that die every year from smoking. It’s some of the worst fear marketing out there. The government has spread intense fear over compounds like K2 and Spice, yet people aren’t falling down dead, or having issues en masse, which creates a logical quandary. If they are so bad, how are so many people using them without a problem? This subject presents a massive contradiction between what the government is warning, to what’s actually going on. In fact, the government has no issue with pushing synthetics like Dronabinol, the only difference being that this is an approved pharmaceutical product that puts money in the government’s pocket.

Yes, safety issues do exist, which is why the industry should be regulated. This is exemplified by the vitamin e-acetate issue in vape cartridges, and other additives that have caused problems. We don’t want harsh chemicals in our products. But, way more importantly, we also don’t need opiates all over the place. Yet these drugs, which accounted for approximately 75,500 deaths between March 2019 and March 2020 in the US, are still given out in huge amounts, and in every state that has banned delta-8 because of safety concerns. It makes considerably more sense that governments are concerned with losing money, more than being worried about our collective heath. Or for that matter, the loss of profit to some producers in a competitive market.

Yeah, delta-8 will cut into other cannabis product revenues, because that’s how life works. Just like Walmart takes money away from higher end stores. Markets work off competition, and if marijuana growers are unhappy with another relevant product cannibalizing their sales, they should rethink their own strategies. But one thing for sure is, the government will never care about this. Not federally, and not on any state level.


This particular news story is no different than those of other states that have outlawed delta-8, or even the federal government. No government wants to lose tax revenue because of unlicensed products. The better question now is, why isn’t delta-8 being regulated to end this problem? My guess? The government already knows it can’t get it under control, or is waiting for a pharmaceutical version that its willing to push for its own cut. As far as the idea that delta-8 threatens the legal industry, sure, but that’s mainly related to tax collection. As far as marijuana growers losing out, they might, but that’s life in competitive markets, and they should really stop complaining.

Welcome to, your one-stop-shop for the relevant cannabis-related news worldwide. Stop by daily to stay on top of what’s going on in the ever-changing world of legal marijuana, and sign up to receive our newsletter, so you never miss a story.

Legal Cannabis Market Just Can’t Compare to the Black Market
The Question of Delta-8: Recreational or Medicinal? The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc), the Best Delta 8 THC Deals and the Best Delta-10 THC deals Colorado Just Banned Delta-8 THC! Who’s Next?
The US Government Secretly Illegalized Delta-8 THC Texas First State to Say ‘No’ to Delta-8 THC Criminalization
Misconceptions About CBD Explained – For One, It’s Psychoactive!

Cannabis Remains Schedule I After UN Vote

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Cannacurio Podcast Episode 36 with Kevin Hart of Green Check Verified | Cannabiz Media



In the latest episode of the Cannacurio Podcast from Cannabiz Media, I speak with Kevin Hart, CEO and Founder of Green Check Verified, a leading provider of cannabis banking solutions and expert advisory services for financial institutions.

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Cannacurio Podcast Episode 36 Transcript

Ed Keating: This is the Cannacurio podcast by Cannabiz Media, your source for cannabis and hemp license news directly from the data vault. So welcome to the podcast powered by Cannabiz Media. I’m your host, Ed Keating. On today’s show we are joined by Kevin Hart, CEO and founder of Green Check Verified, a SaaS solution that helps financial institutions serve the legal cannabis industry. Kevin, welcome to the show.

Kevin Hart: Thanks, Ed. Always a pleasure to talk to you.

Ed Keating: Yeah, same here, same here. Kevin and I go sort of way back. Our companies both started around the same time, around like 2015, I think, is when we kicked off at Cannabiz Media. That’s about the same time for Green Check, correct?

Kevin Hart: Yeah, it is. That’s when we started looking at this problem.

Ed Keating: Awesome.

Kevin Hart: I remember our early meetings.

Ed Keating: Yeah, indeed, indeed. And the fact that we actually both happen to be based in Connecticut, which is not all that rare. There are actually a number of cannabis service providers here in the state, even though it has few license holders. Although we’ll talk more about that later, because that’s about to change. 

So Kevin, although I know you, I’d love for you to share your background. How did you come into the cannabis industry, and what did you do before?

Kevin Hart: Sure. So I’m a nerd by trade. I started out in late seventies as an assembler, a COBOL programmer. I then went to work for an enterprise software companies, global customer bases. My propeller got old bent and rusted through the years, but I’m still technically dangerous.

What led me to the cannabis industry is the iPads in the airports that you see across the US. I did that project when I was running the largest independent Apple dealer in the world. It was a company called Tekserve in New York City. 

You wouldn’t think there’d be applicability to that, but I was approached to build a point of sale system based upon the iPads in the airports, because back in 2015, when you went to dispensary, you did not know what was available. You did not know it was available. You did not know the different modalities and the entourage effect and things like that.

And so I was flying around the country, meeting with cannabis businesses, including places like Harborside. They were the [inaudible 00:02:15] back then. Go to the source if you really want to learn what’s going on. They were actually on their third point of sale at that point in time. But the more I worked with them and the more I understood their operations, and I like to understand the complexity of the problem in totality before you build a technology, I kept hearing about the banking challenge.

I shelved the whole point of sale thing and said, “Okay, that’s where I want to try to figure out how do we solve that complex problem? How do you take two highly regulated industries that would love to work together, cannabis and then banking and financial and business services, and how do you connect them together?” And that became the data business process puzzle we sat up out to solve.

Ed Keating: Interesting, because as you probably know, Cannabiz Media for three years running has done our point of sale market share report where we called every dispensary in the United States and ask what point of sale are you using? I think last year we did something like 14,000 phone calls outbound to try and get information. 

And I think at the end of the day, we found there were at least 80 point of sale software vendors. So it’s a pretty crowded space, and the top five have like 80% of the share and everybody else is scrounging around with a couple of installs. So it sounds like you made the right choice to pivot toward the money as opposed-

Kevin Hart: It serves me well once in a while.

Ed Keating: Indeed, indeed.

Kevin Hart: Experience. Experience.

Ed Keating: So in terms of like the software and the product, I come from like a legal compliance software background, worked on a lot of sort of processes where you’re trying to help automate things that can be done frequently, that have high risks and that because of the repeatability you want to have good research and whatnot. 

So I looked at this and it looked like there’s kind of like an interviewer intake. You run it against the knowledge base that you’re probably always updating. And then you’re producing some sort of artifact. I mean, that’s sort of the model I had my head, but I’m not sure if that’s the model for you in terms of the intake, research, and artifact. Could you sort of walk us through what the big pieces are of Green Check Verified?

Kevin Hart: Sure. And you know, that’s a parallel, but we actually have a slightly different take on it as you could imagine. So the first thing that we knew that we had to do is we had to be able to work within the banking system, not around it. The banks, financial institutions, were never going to look at this industry if they ever thought there was any snip of anything that was wrong. So that became our stake in the ground.

And then what we did is I applied the supply chain of commerce thinking over the supply chain of product. Okay? So people talk about point of sale. We were just talking about that and seed to sale. Every one of those touch points has a commerce aspect to it, which is where the banks really are concerned. How does that money?

I have a lot of background in supply chain. So as you started looking at where those touch points are and base points, how does a financial institution know they’re letting good money in and keeping the bad money out? You have to be able to provide the proof points. You just can’t say, “The state gave me a license. Here’s my duffel bag full of cash. Here’s a spreadsheet that says what I did.”

No. They need a little bit more than that. And so we look at account identification, account enablement, and account onboarding, how does an FI know who this business is. There’s a lot of rules and regulations about beneficial ownership. Do they have a valid lease that? Do they know what that looks like? 

You know what these things are, but the FIs need to learn what that looks like in the cannabis space. And so account identification, there’s that one aspect, but then it comes down to the money, right? It always comes down to the money.

Ed Keating: Always does.

Kevin Hart: Always comes down to the money. And so what we developed is a compliance rules engine that looks at the inventory, the sales, and the financial performance of a business at the detailed transaction level. We run it through our patent pending compliance rules engine that says that this transaction was to a valid person for a valid product at the right point in time, up against the rules and regulations, either in a medical only, or adult mixed use state, because those things change depending on the product potency, et cetera, as you know, and it passed all the other rules and regulations at that exact point in time. 

Therefore it gets the green check. Hence the name. It’s verified, and that money can enter the US banking system. The financial institution and the examiners can look at that with confidence and understand the ethicacy of it, and then all the reporting associated with it.

Ed Keating: So interesting. I mean, one thought that just popped in my head as you were speaking was, as you’re checking against that knowledge base, which is a key component of most of the products I’ve worked on the last 20 years, that knowledge base in the middle. Is part of that knowledge base sort of the tax rates and things like that? Like was the proper tax applied because we’re in Denver as opposed to Connecticut? Does that come into play yet, or is that a future part of Green Check Verified?

Kevin Hart: That would be a future part, because right now we’re attacking access to financial and business services. So the bank wants to know that you’re paying your taxes. You’re not delinquent. Your business isn’t going to be seized. 

But for them to be able to take, again, the commerce aspect of your operation and create those depository accounts and all the other services they want to offer you, they want to know that the money that you’re presenting for deposit matters. And then the rest follows later. 

Early on we were looking at the tax as a method to work with the states, but the states started looking at seed to sale, et cetera. So just like we weren’t trying to solve point of sale problems, we aren’t going to try to solve the tax problems.

Ed Keating: Yeah. Yeah. Early days for me was working for one of the largest compliance tax publishers in the country. It’s a fascinating, messy, messy area, but certainly one word. Because you’re at that transaction level, there’s probably a lot of interesting data there. So certainly things to think for further on, perhaps.

Kevin Hart: Oh yeah. Mm-hmm.

Ed Keating: So dialing back into how long you’ve been in business and building this technology, I’m curious, as a guy who’s been at this for a while, how much pivoting have you guys had to do, and how has the space changed? Because we’ve certainly had to make changes to Cannabiz Media a lot. I don’t feel totally whipsawed, but it’s definitely been a dynamic five years. Has that been true for you as well?

Kevin Hart: In some regards 100%. I mean, working within the banking system, never around it, that has been a core. Earlier on, I had this idea of how we could actually become a bank and move money to the Marshall Islands through Malta, et cetera. We almost bought a bank in Malta. I wish we had.

Ed Keating: As one does.

Kevin Hart: Oh, gosh. Because this was pre crypto. You and I would not be talking if I had bought that bank in Malta back then. But anyways. There were a couple of other things that we thought that we really had to identify the individual in terms of a KYC. 

But for the banks, it’s know your customer’s customer, know your customer’s business that matters more. So we kept some of those tenets, but we realized that the challenge for us was, and for everybody is, the rules and regulations are constantly changing. I mean, it’s almost daily, right? We’re going to talk about Connecticut, but boom, just like that. 

And so how does that compliance rules engine and then the number of point of sale systems that are out there that are varied, and the fact that they’re changing those things, how do you ingest that data and keep the compliance rules engine, and keep that banking relationship going? That’s what matters. And so we spent a lot of time thinking about how to make it work. And then we wrote the system. We didn’t write the system and then try to back our way into thinking current.

Ed Keating: Right. Yeah. You don’t want to sort of beat it into submission.

Kevin Hart: No. No, no, no.

Ed Keating: Now in looking out at some of the stakeholders that you have to deal with, not all financial institutions are created equally. So, who’s willing to bank in this industry. Is it just credit unions? Are true banks that maybe aren’t federally insured, are they able to play in this space, or is it hard to find partners out there?

Kevin Hart: Well, it’s easier to find partners than it used to be. Okay? That definitely has changed. I think the current administration, or the belief that the current administration is going to make this easier, and that SAFE Banking Act is going to pass at some point in time… We can talk about what that looks like later… But more financial institutions are in. 

We have five publicly traded banks in our portfolio. We have a $40 million credit union. It’s the same software. It’s the same opportunity, because they’ve seen the opportunity of these cannabis businesses, the demand is there. Back to supply and demand, right? The demand is there. 

The supply for these financial institutions has to be available for the cannabis businesses, but it also has to be done at a reasonable rate. Okay? And then it also has to be able to scale so that the financial institutions have an incentive to, one, start a program, but also maintain that program.

Ed Keating: Yeah. No, that makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense now in terms of finding these institutions and others to work with. I always like to ask on a podcast, what’s your go to market strategy? Do you pick one state at a time and try and get all the stakeholders? Or one financial institution at a time, one MSO at a time? How do you figure that out, Kevin? I’m sure it’s a complex equation.

Kevin Hart: Well, we have over 4,000 clients to date. We cover every state, but one. Alaska. Okay? Right now. We have financial institutions that will cover any state, and by the end of June, we’ll have over a thousand CRBs actually on the platform.

Ed Keating: And CRB is a cannabis related business, right?

Kevin Hart: Right. Dispensary, grower, manufacturer, supplier, cultivator, any level one plant touching business. Shout out to Steve Kemmerling. He gets mad if you don’t give him that recognition. So any level one plant touching business actually can bank on the Green Check platform because of the compliance rules engine.

So when we look at it, there are people that raise their hand. So obviously we want to answer those phone calls. There are states where there are more market opportunities than not. In the early adopter states of California, Oregon, Washington, candidly, we didn’t even try to go after them in the beginning, because there were a lot of people that had manual programs. 

I’ve heard this more times than not. All they want to be able to do is get through an exam. I don’t want to ace my exam, which was kind of a head-scratcher for me from a banking perspective. But we look at markets that are emerging and/or have that opportunity. And yet, we end up in all those other markets as a result. So we’re pretty prescriptive in our outbound approach, and we’re very receptive on the inbound approach.

Ed Keating: Yeah. Now, in terms of stakeholders, you’ve touched on this a little bit, but I’m just curious, almost like from a strategy standpoint. Who are the stakeholders that need to make you successful? Because in having seen you speak a number of times at conferences, I think you referenced regulators, license holders, financial institutions, Green Check Verified, like who else is at the table, or needs to be in order for this whole process to work because it touches a lot of people?

Kevin Hart: Well, certainly within the financial institution itself, there’s three key sets of stakeholders. So the way we refer to it is that you have to convince compliance that they can do this. So “can” the operative word. But then you also have to be able to demonstrate and show to the board and the C-suite why they would do this. And then ultimately when those three things are aligned in that triangle of influence, then you get to the how, which is Green Check. Green Check enables all of that.

So that’s the approach. And when we’re talking to any of those constituencies and your ideal client profile, so standard technology sales approach there in that regard, what you really want to make sure is that they’re talking to and are armed to talk to the people that they need to talk to. 

So how does the compliance team convince the C-suite or enable the C-suite to be able to have those four conversations? How do they both enable that? How do you go to your examiner? How do you talk to your insurance provider? How do you talk to your corresponding bank that says you’re going to get into this? 

Nobody likes a surprise, but when you create that opportunity and that ecosystem of shared information and documented approach that has gone through your audits and exam cycles, people start to become more comfortable. So there is a bit of a flywheel effect.

Ed Keating: Interesting. Yeah. That’s a good analogy. Just jumping ahead a bit, in terms of like strategy point of differentiation, how do you segment the market? I think as we’ve been looking at license holders and the companies that own them for the last five years, we have some views in our head. There are MSOs, there are SSOs, et cetera, but how do you break apart who’s most likely a client as you look across the industry?

Kevin Hart: That’s up to our FI partners, candidly, because we enable all that. So we have some FI partners that only want to talk to MSOs, or we’ll only talk to somebody who’s a $250 million plus annual run rate business. They’re not interested in the other market segments for their own reasons. Okay? And they testify that. 

We have other folks, again, if it’s a $40 million credit union, how many clients can they actually take on before their concentration ratios start to become a challenge for them? And they always have to look at their exit and liquidity strategy. So that’s why we built all of this information into the platform so that you can actually monitor your program. So this is where I will get on a soap box. I promise it will be fast and you can edit this out.

People talk about cannabis banking. That sentence is backwards. This is about banking cannabis. Okay? And it’s not just flipping the words around. Okay? The verb is banking. Okay? Cannabis is the noun and the industry that you’re going to bank. You have to be able to run an entire banking program. You can’t just look at it in pieces and slices of information. It all has to be available to you in one umbrella. All the information. All the decision points. All the accents. And then the audit trail of what you did all has to be available to you. That’s how banks run for any other business, right? This is so highly regulated that it requires even that extra level of information.

Ed Keating: Yeah, it’s interesting. Because typically with anything, a piecemeal approach is not the best way to do it. You really need to have a strategic or environmental understanding of what’s happening there. So I like how you change that phrase and how people need to think about the industry. 

So sort of part and parcel with that, let’s talk about how our two companies work together. Your firm uses Cannabiz Media, and I’m curious how that helps you and how your team utilizes the Cannabiz Media licensing database to hopefully achieve some of your goals.

Kevin Hart: Well, it’s interesting. You were talking about earlier how that information that you have, and when we first met each other. I remember that meeting very well in our conference room down in Science Park. We kind of both looked at each other at the end and go, “I think you’re onto something, but I’m not sure I see it.” Right? And we kind of constantly keep running into each other.

And I have to say, I’ve said this even outside this podcast, I love how your company has evolved and what it does. I think hands down you present that data the best, and the reason why, where we really enjoy it and why it’s relevant. And I’ll let a trade secret out here and watch how fast other people copy this. You can not go to a banker and say the cannabis industry is $50 billion, okay?

There’s no context for them. Okay? You can’t go to a bank, and I say, Toledo, Ohio, because I like Toledo. You can’t go to a banker in Toledo, Ohio and say, it’s whatever the number is for Ohio. It’s a $3 billion industry. There’s no context to that. You have to get it to what’s the context for them. 

And for us to be able to use your information, your technology, to identify what that market’s really like, that helps us identify those FIs that we should talk to. And it helps them understand what that business is, because they know these cannabis businesses, as they drove by a dispensary or they heard there’s a cultivator over here.

But there’s still that perception versus reality that’s out there. And the information that you guys have is just so exceptional. It helps us keep our thinking clear.

Ed Keating: That’s great. I know there’s one CEO I’ve interviewed on the podcast before and he said the way he used it as a C-level executive is when the board calls and says, “I’ve got questions,” he says, “I’ve got answers. Because I’ve got Cannabiz Media, I can say how many cultivators are here in this valley of California or whatnot.” So that’s great to hear.

And I think you’re right about the context piece, because when I talk to people about Connecticut, like, “Oh, well, there’s some cannabis licenses here.” One, we know how many there are. But the interesting thing for me is how many hemp licenses there are in Connecticut. It vastly outstrips the number of cannabis licenses. Most people don’t know that because it doesn’t get the play, but it’s information that is available.

So I was going to ask you, from a hemp or CBD space, does that come into play at all for your financial institutions? Is that an issue for them, or because it’s kind of federally legalized it’s no longer a hurdle for those businesses?

Kevin Hart: It does come into play because a lot of folks still think that’s a toe in the water. And then what we actually show them is that you can in a more compliant fashion and easier actually bank a marijuana business than you can a hemp business, because of the information that’s available. And it’s information that you can extract.

Within the CBD and hemp space, there’s a lot of gray area there, right? Is it [inaudible 00:21:51], is it not? Who’s saying it is? Who isn’t? In the marijuana space, I mean, these are controlled products and you have a lot more information. And so we’ve had people approach us to say, “Oh, I never want to do marijuana. I want to talk about this.” We walk them through it. And they’re like, “Oh, I never want to do hemp or CBD. Let me get into the marijuana space.” We have mixed-use customers, but-

Ed Keating: It’s like are you a highly regulated business? So, for example, probably about a year or so ago that Florida licensed or allowed to be licensed, anybody who wanted to sell CBD. We added like 5,000 records to our database. And all they really asked people to do is check a box if you’re going to sell CBD. And as I looked at the data and analyzed it, it was sort of who you’d expect. It was every grocery chain, every gas station chain, every convenience store.

And why Kevin? Well, because they already deal in heavily regulated products, like gasoline, lottery tickets, tobacco, maybe fireworks, whatever. But all that stuff, they already have a whole compliance scheme for dealing with this. CBD, check that box too. Okay. Next. And it made sense. 

Whereas I think other states just aren’t quite sure how to regulate that or if they want to dip their toe in. So interesting, because I think we’re going to see more of these products coming down the pike and seeing them in our local stores here in Connecticut and whatnot. Cumberland farms I’m sure will be selling CBD.

Kevin Hart: Right across the street. Right across the street, yeah. So the most fascinating thing about this, Ed, to me is, okay, so here you have the federal government, marijuana is illegal, and then you have all these states actually creating these programs. Okay? And very well-defined programs. Now you talk about hemp, CBD, and let’s flip the script. The federal government now said, “Go ahead and do what you want.” Okay. Farm Bill and everything else, you can go do this. And then the states are like, “Hold on, hold on. I don’t know what to do.”

Ed Keating: Yeah. Right. And some of them-

Kevin Hart: They’re from the same plant.

Ed Keating: And some of them have advocated license creation to the feds. Like, yeah, we’re not going to issue licenses in the state, the feds can do it. So yeah, it’s definitely made for a messy situation. So it’ll be curious. I mean, as this industry moves in fits and starts, it’s a challenge for all the, all the stakeholders.

So thinking of that, we’ve got expanding markets, we’ve got New Jersey, New York, Arizona. So the question I have for you, Kevin, is when a new state comes on or is about to come on, what does that mean for you? Do you immediately start reaching out to the financial institutions that serve New Jersey or do you have to wait for something else to happen, like licenses to be issued? What is that timeline like when a state goes legal or is about to become legal?

Kevin Hart: There isn’t a state that has a program or is about to have a program that we already don’t have a physical presence in, because this is about being prepared and this is about understanding why you may do that. You don’t have to wait for the laws to pass. You have to be ready to act upon what those laws look like. And in any of those states, right, there are startup businesses, there are startup costs. Start identifying those. Start establishing those financial relationships.

So we go into every state and we create outbound marketing, and we educate them about what the market was expected to look like. Here are the things that you should be thinking about and are you interested? And this helps identify the forward-thinking financial institutions in those states that want to be ready.

Ed Keating: So are you guys sort of, if you will, like the financial ambassadors, like perhaps the first people will knock on their door that says, “Listen, we’re in 40 states already. You guys are next. Listen to what we have to say.” How does that happen?

Kevin Hart: Yeah. That’s exactly what we do. And we reach out to them. Again, everybody else is going to start doing it now, but you know, that’s fine.

Ed Keating: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it makes sense. I mean, as these states come on and obviously there’s lots of others in the industry that try and guess market size or future market size, which is always a-

Kevin Hart: Do your homework. Just do your homework. Use Cannabiz Media. The information is available.

Ed Keating: It truly, it absolutely is. It absolutely is. So speaking of homework and home state, Connecticut. I just got the email from Governor Lamont a couple hours ago that he’s going to sign it once it makes it to his desk, which could be a matter of hours, maybe tomorrow. I’m sure, like me, you’ve read all 300 pages of the regulations.

Kevin Hart: We actually have.

Ed Keating: Of course you did. Of course you did. You have to.

Kevin Hart: The guy who wrote the Connecticut program originally, the medical program, works at Green Check.

Ed Keating: I met him at your offices,

Kevin Hart: John Gadea. Trust me. He’s read it.

Ed Keating: Yeah, yeah. That’s great. So what’s your take? I mean, it’s full of all sorts of compliance stuff, some interesting license stuff, social equity pieces. I mean, there’s a lot there.

Kevin Hart: There’s too much. Okay? 300 pages, right? 300 pages of legislation translates into how many pages of rules and regulation? I don’t know how you unpack all that and actually make it implementable. And I’m super happy that they put a lot of the social equity clauses in there. Way past due and that needs to happen. 

But I think, in Connecticut, the land of steady habits, one of our steady habits is over-complicating things, unfortunately. And I think with 300 pages we might’ve gone a little too far and over complicated.

The other thing I think, the unfortunate thing, that I think is going to happen is it’s going to get jammed up in the courts. I think you’re going to see some lawsuits come out just based upon the fee structure that they’re looking to put on existing businesses. To charge an existing dispensary a million dollars to create an adult license, or $3 million for the growers, there’s no other fee structure like that anywhere.

Ed Keating: It’s a good point. I mean, as we were talking about in preparation for today’s broadcast, we were just looking at other states. Because back in 2017, Cannabiz Media wrote a book called the Marijuana Licensing Reference Guide where we looked at all the states and all the rules and regs and how they were different. It was kind of a by-product of building the database. 

One of the things that we looked at was fee structure, tax structure, and whatnot. You know, just simply what does it cost to get a license in Oklahoma? $2,500. What’s it cost to renew a license? $2,500. Okay. And we’re at a million dollars to get a license. 

Or Arizona, which has a rather robust program. It’s been around for years. They decided to issue adult licenses. Now they gave the ability to the med license holders to get an adult license. So that was kind of a built-in easy to implement program. $25,000 was the fee. And they all did it within the first month. And many did it within the first 72 hours. Like, “Hey, that’s an easy deal. $25,000 and I double the value of my license. Sure.”

So, yeah, I agree. Those are some pretty big fees. The only other state that’s coming up with fees like that, that I’ve seen lately, is our neighbor, Rhode Island. They have some pretty ridiculous fees as well. So I don’t know what that’s going to do since so many of our MSOs own a lot of these licenses.

Kevin Hart: But there’s still our independence here in Connecticut. If you look at 280 and everything else, I mean, quick math. You’d probably have to sell $5 million worth of product to generate a million dollars in income to just pay the fee. And you’re still not making any money still. So how long is it going to take to sell five million. You’ve got to pay the million and then you’re still chasing your profitability.

Does it enhance the value of your business? 100%. But are you going to put that much money out and bet on the [inaudible 00:30:15], especially when a dispensary, what did they say? For every 25,000 people in population versus 2,500 for a liquor store? You know, you’re adding a lot of competition nearby.

Ed Keating: Right, right. Although I remember currently looking at the state of New York. It’s like one dispensary for every 500,000 people because they weigh undered that one. So yeah, it’s definitely going to have, as you said, a lot of lawsuits. I mean, it follows a cycle where, yay, you got passed. Yay celebration. Now it’s going to be 18 to 24 months before anything happens because of the lawsuits and all the other stuff that’s going to happen. And they’re going to have to take those 300 pages of rules and regs and figure out where to go next.

But let’s take it to another level, looking at the federal level. So for all the years I’ve been in the industry, there’s been talk about banking and tax reform for the cannabis industry. What’s your take on that? And what impact would that have on Green Check Verified if suddenly things got closer toward federal regulation? Does that impact your business at all? Is it a boost? Is it a hindrance? Is it, who knows?

Kevin Hart: It’s gas on an open flame. It’s a gigantic boost. I really firmly believed this, and we talk to a lot of people, so it’s not just me free time thinking. We’re at the BSA low bar today for this industry. As more and more states come online and as more mixed programs, medical and adults, I mean, those lines are being blurred. You know, the federal government is never going to just simply green light this industry.

The cannabis domestic market, and you know these numbers way better than I, Ed. But domestic cannabis sales, legal, illegal, et cetera, combined is about a hundred billion dollars a year. Right? So right now, today, we’re talking about $20, $25 billion that are going to dispensaries or licensed cultivation. $75 billion in commerce is still going on. The Treasury Department under no circumstances is ever going to go, “Green light. Let it into the banking system.” Not going to happen.

So SAFE Banking Act, for all its language, there’s a few things. Okay? It says you will be able to bank compliant cannabis businesses without fear of prosecution. It’s not a period at the end of that sentence. Okay? The comma says, provided you’re following all the rules and regulations. So Washington can’t help themselves. There will be more rules and regulations.

We touched on the Treasury Department. They’re not going to just green light all the illicit money coming through. The BSA is at the low bar it is today, and I firmly believe too, because you’re looking at decriminalization of the plant, the product, et cetera, et cetera, not talking about expungement or any of those other things. What you’re going to see in the very near future in a corollary is interstate commerce. Now it’s going to get even more complicated for source and use of product, supply chain of commerce, supply chain of product.

And I firmly believe in the next five years, you’re going to see international cannabis commerce. There’s a reason why all that product comes from Mexico. Perfect grow climate, et cetera. We have million square foot growth facilities here in Connecticut. Cost per pound versus tons that you’re going to get out of Mexico, and so the costs.

So there’s just a lot of variables are going to come. And I think the folks in Washington are going to take that longer term view and say, “Okay, how do we not create these problems? How do we put the control points in so that they don’t become problems?” So again, with the compliance rules engine at its core, I think it puts Green Check in an exceptional position.

Ed Keating: Yeah. No, I agree. And with the international piece, that is quite interesting because we already see that happening now with Canada doing some exporting. But how long will that business last? Because in Europe, there are a lot of places that have really great grow environments that could become sort of like the green bread basket, I’ve heard it described, of Europe and supply all the continent. 

Like in Portugal, Spain, et cetera, places where they can grow wine and other things just like California, why not do that here instead of shipping stuff across from Canada as a liquid or biomass from Columbia? I mean, that just is complicated and expensive.

So, well, it’s certainly been a dynamic five years and a dynamic interview today, Kevin. So I want to thank you for joining us. This has been great. I look forward to seeing you hopefully at a conference in person before too long. We’ve already sent our salespeople out to a couple of them so far in the past couple of weeks.

Kevin Hart: Are you going to be in Vegas in August?

Ed Keating: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Kevin Hart: I will be there. We’ll get together in person.

Ed Keating: Excellent. Excellent.

Kevin Hart: It’s odd we’ll have to go to Vegas when we’re only probably 30 miles apart here.

Ed Keating: Yeah, I know. Right. True. True. True. So, well, thank you. I’m your host, Ed Keating. Stay tuned for more updates from the data vault.

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