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Just Announced – High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice 2022

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We are stoked to announce the High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice 2022. This will be the largest competition held in history, with more than 3,300 judge kits and 17 categories across recreational and medical products.

To keep things safe and compliant, the competition will feature a digital awards show only. Judging is done from home, and there is no live event. And that’s good news for consumers—judging is open to everyone who is eligible to purchase cannabis in the state!

“The People’s Choice Cups open up the coveted Cannabis Cup judging experience to the world in a time when people need it most,” said Mark Kazinec, High Times Director of Competitions & Events. “Judging is no longer reserved for the Snoop Doggs and Willie Nelsons of the world, and we have 10 times the amount of judge kits available than in previous years.

“While the majority of America is working from home, or not working at all, we now have the opportunity to test and rank quality cannabis products from a wide range of producers from the comfort of our own home to help crown the best in each state. For brands, this is the best way to get your product into the hands of hundreds of new consumers and get real feedback, especially in a time of no live events. For Judges, this is the best job you’ll ever have, and the best way to see which products work best for you.”

Historically, Cannabis Cups have been judged by up to 200 judges is as many as 10 categories. In an effort to keep the competition thriving during the onset of the pandemic in 2020, High Times created our People’s Choice events, opening the door to an ever-increasing number of judges and product categories than ever before.

“In previous years, Cannabis Cups were judged amongst only about 200 judges across eight to 10 categories,” Kazinec continued. “Since the inception of People’s Choice in 2020, we increased the number of judge kits from 200 to 2,000. This April, we are launching the largest-ever Cannabis Cup in history with 17 unique categories across Recreational and Medical products for a total of over 3,300 judge kits. We plan to increase distribution so that every area of Michigan is covered as best as possible. If this year is anything like last year, we expect lines of enthusiasts ready to purchase their kits at the select dispensaries, which may very well sell out within a few days.” 

The High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice Edition is aimed to identify and award the best cannabis products in all of Michigan, all across a wide range of different categories, which are to be judged by the great people of Michigan.

These events wouldn’t be possible without the support from our partners. “A huge shoutout to the team at Red White & Bloom for taking on the Intake process with us which consists of 10-14 long, sweaty days of receiving product, building judge kits, and transporting to retailers. We’ll be announcing our other sponsors and retailer partners soon, all of whom make the success of the Cannabis Cup Michigan possible,” Kazinec shared.

May the best products win!

Michigan Entry Categories:

  1. Rec Indica Flower (4 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  2. Rec Sativa Flower (4 entries Max per Company)  (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  3. Rec Hybrid Flower (4 entries Max per Company)  (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  4. Rec Pre-Rolls (3 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  5. Rec Infused Pre-Rolls (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  6. Rec Solvent Concentrates (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  7. Rec Non-Solvent Concentrates (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  8. Rec Distillate Vape Pens & Cartridges (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  9. Rec Non-Distillate Vape Pens & Cartridges (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  10. Rec Edibles: Gummies (3 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  11. Rec Edibles: Non-Gummies (3 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  12. Rec Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals (3 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  13. MEDICAL Indica Flower (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  14. MEDICAL Sativa Flower (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  15. MEDICAL Hybrid Flower (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  16. MEDICAL Pre-Rolls (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  17. MEDICAL Edibles (3 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)

Entry Requirements:

Flower/Pre-Rolls: (228) 1-gram samples in retail-ready packaging. 3.5 gram samples will not be accepted.

Concentrates & Vape Pens: (228) 0.5-gram samples in retail-ready packaging. 1 gram samples will not be accepted.

Edibles: (100) samples in retail-ready packaging.

Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals: (60) samples in retail-ready packaging.

Entry Pricing:

1 entry: $500

2 entries: $250 each, for a total of $500

3 or more entries: Fees will be waived

www.cannabiscup.com


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EU Cannabis Consumption Increased and Ecstasy Use Decreased in 2021

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A new survey studying the consumption habits of participants in the European Union (EU) reveal that cannabis use has increased, and the use of ecstasy has decreased considerably.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) recently found that cannabis and ecstasy saw the strongest changes in consumption habits. The European Web Survey on Drugs was conducted online between March and April 2021 with the intention of illuminating patterns of drug use to consider in future regulation. Throughout 21 EU countries and nine non-EU countries, the survey recorded answers from those who were 18 or older and had used drugs.

The survey results, published on January 20, recorded the drug use breakdown of the 48,469 participants. “Cannabis was the drug used most, with 93 percent of survey respondents reporting to have used it in the previous 12 months and with little variation between countries,” the survey results state. “MDMA/ecstasy (35 percent), cocaine (35 percent) and amphetamine (28 percent) were the next most reported illicit substances, with the order of the three drugs varying by country. Around a third of respondents (32 percent) reported using more (herbal) cannabis and 42 percent using less MDMA/ecstasy.” The results also show that a group of participants had used LSD (20 percent), a new psychoactive substance (16 percent), ketamine (13 percent) and heroin (three percent).

Furthermore, participants from the Western Balkans (which is made up of a Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo) also echoed the high consumption of cannabis, and decreased use in other substances—especially ecstasy. “Most respondents (91 percent) reported using cannabis in the previous 12 months, followed by cocaine (38 percent), MDMA/ecstasy (22 percent) and amphetamine (20 percent). Again, around a third of respondents (32 percent) reported using more (herbal) cannabis and 34 percent using less MDMA/ecstasy.”

In terms of where these substances were consumed, 85 percent of participants in the EU and 72 percent of the Western Balkans used these substances at home, rather than at public venues. It also takes into account that the motivation for cannabis use at home was because of a multitude of reasons. Participants wanted to relax, get high in order to improve sleep, but their use of MDMA or ecstasy was used to attain “euphoric and socialising [sic] effects.”

The study result breakdown states that the information shared by the 50,000 people included in the survey is just a small portion of the EU, but still offers a useful glimpse into the changing habits of residents. “While web surveys are not representative of the general population, when carefully conducted and combined with traditional data-collection methods, they can help paint a more detailed, realistic and timely picture of drug use and drug markets in Europe. Over 100 organisations [sic] took part in the initiative, including the Reitox national focal points, universities and NGOs.”

EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel shared a statement regarding the goal of this survey, and the amount of participation needed from organizations to sort and analyze the data. “Web surveys are a key ingredient in our monitoring of Europe’s shifting drugs problem,” Goosdeel said. “They help us reach an important target population through innovative online methods. Today’s results reveal the wide variety of drugs available across Europe and provide valuable information on emerging trends and changing patterns of use during the COVID-19 pandemic. An impressive 100 organisations [sic] joined us this time in building, translating and disseminating the survey, ensuring that this is now an invaluable tool to help tailor our responses and shape future drug policies.”

Other studies in the U.S. have shed light on other topics related to cannabis, such as targeting teens with ads on social media or an updated Gallup survey that shows that a majority of Americans support legalization.

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3 tips for making a cannabis grow operation sustainable without breaking the bank 

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Image for a Sustainability in Cannabis Cultivation series(This is the second installment in a series examining sustainability in cannabis cultivation. Read Part 1 here.)

Environmental sustainability in cannabis cultivation operations sounds nice in marketing material, but in practice, marijuana growers need to turn a profit to keep their companies alive.

So how can a cannabis grower do both?

“Balancing the health of the pocketbook with the health of the planet is a step that all cannabis facilities should consider regardless of their own worldviews, because it just makes sense,” said Av Singh, cultivation expert at Nova Scotia-based Flemming & Singh Cannabis.

Three key areas to consider when thinking about improving a cannabis operation’s impact on the environment are:

  1. How to add financially viable sustainability.
  2. How to work sustainability into a business plan.
  3. How to ensure a return on a sustainability investment.

To gain some advice and insights, MJBizDaily spoke with three cultivation experts.

Here are their thoughts.

  1. How to add financially viable sustainability.

Singh recommends growers start with a “trash inventory” to take stock of what is lost to the landfill.

“When you find that the majority of your waste is in rockwool or coco blocks or it’s in foot covers and pesticides, or that most of your money is being spent on electricity or water – you now have real information which you can act on for some more cost-effective and sustainable solutions,” he said.

For example, foot covers are not costly, but they add trash.

Instead of assuming that foot covers are the only way to minimize pathogens, do an environmental scan and test where pathogens are truly a problem, Singh added.

“Sustainable business practices and profitable businesses are not necessarily mutually exclusive,” said David Kessler, chief science officer of Billerica, Massachusetts-based Agrify Corp., which makes hardware and software for indoor cannabis cultivators.

“Making choices based on sustainability can often lead to a more successful enterprise.”

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Kessler recommended growers looking to improve sustainability focus on the following areas:

Cultivation room environmental management: Sizing HVAC systems for a cultivation room is more like the requirements for an indoor pool than a factory, Kessler said.

“Managing the temperature in a grow room is easier than controlling the humidity, a problem that compounds with increased plant density,” he added.

“Also, consider more than the price and the size of your HVAC equipment. Consider the operational efficiency.”

Lighting selection: Electricity is one of the primary cultivation cost drivers, according to Kessler.

Choosing energy-efficient LED lighting over high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs can reduce energy consumption by more than a third, he added.

Fertigation automation: This can reduce the amount of water used by a cultivation operation. It also eliminates human error and reduces the amount of spent water and fertilizer, according to Kessler.

Media selection: Choosing a sustainable growing media such as coco coir over peat-based substrates reduces the depletion of peat bogs, Kessler said.

“Peat fields house roughly one-third of the world’s soil-sequestered carbon, the harvesting of which releases tremendous amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change,” he added.

Switching from hydroponics to organic or living soil is another way cultivators can make their operations more sustainable, according to Ryan Douglas, a Florida-based cannabis consultant.

“Soil-based substrates are teeming with microorganisms that constantly break down organic matter and slowly release nutrition to the crop,” he said.

“This minimizes the amount of additional fertilizer required, and the soil can be used more than once.”

Use appropriate caution, however.

Soil-borne pests, difficulties sourcing raw ingredients and problems ensuring sufficient volume for commercial-scale production can result in a steep learning curve for cultivators new to soil growing, Douglas added.

  1. How to work sustainability into a business plan.

Singh doesn’t recommend setting a specific budget for sustainability.

Instead, the operation should maintain a healthy work environment. It also should maintain optimal quality and continue to reduce production costs, he added.

“Hopefully, you can, over time and with proper management, increase your efficiency,” he said.

“The savings from these efficiencies should go toward meeting your sustainability goals.”

A good business plan will weave sustainable practices and initiatives throughout, mindful of the costs and contemplating the benefits, according to Kessler.

For example, buying grow media in bulk can offset cost differences and allow for more sustainable options.

Douglas said cultivators should focus on staying profitable when wholesale marijuana flower prices are about $500 a pound, much lower for hemp flower.

They can do so through a combination of process improvements, automation and sustainable cultivation practices.

“Focusing only on sustainability at the cost of profitability makes no business sense,” he added. “A cultivation business that’s (environmentally) sustainable but not profitable is not a sustainable business.”

  1. How to ensure a return on the investment.

Climate-smart cultivation practices can help lower a crop’s overall cost of production and decrease a company’s exposure to variations in the supply chain, according to Douglas.

For example, living soils provide their own nutrients and can be used repeatedly, whereas hydroponic facilities rely on single-use substrates that require the constant addition of mineral fertilizers, he added.

“Sustainable operations are also less reliant on global supply chains,” Douglas said.

“If your 100,000-square-foot facility grows in coconut shell fiber sourced from Sri Lanka and there’s a disruption to the worldwide supply chain, now what?”

Choosing to adopt environmentally sustainable practices doesn’t necessarily equate to less profit, according to Kessler.

The ongoing savings of energy-efficient cultivation systems pay for themselves in short order.

“Now, more than ever, consumers vote with their wallets. If you make sustainability a core value, tie it to your brand identity,” he added.

“Let sustainability and environmental conscientiousness drive consumers to you.”

Bart Schaneman can be reached at bart.schaneman@mjbizdaily.com.

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Cannabis company BC Craft Supply seeks creditor protection

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Vancouver, British Columbia-based BC Craft Supply Co. filed for temporary protection from creditors under Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act while the craft cannabis firm pursues restructuring.

The filing imposes an automatic 30-day stay of proceedings, protecting the company from any claims of creditors while it pursues restructuring, with Vancouver-based Crowe MacKay & Co. acting as trustee.

BC Craft Supply warned investors in August of “significant doubts as to the ability of the company to meet its obligations as they fall due.”

The company said day-to-day operations will continue throughout the process as it looks to restructure and put forward a proposal to creditors.

The objective of the filing, per the notice, “is to regain the company’s financial footing although there can be no guarantee that the company will be successful in securing further financing or achieving its restructuring objectives.”

Failure to achieve the financing and restructuring goals will likely result in bankruptcy, the company warned.

According to the most recent financials, BC Craft Supply lost 2.4 million Canadian dollars ($1.9 million) for the nine months ended June 30, 2021.

That left the company with only CA$105,801 in cash at the time. Revenue in the same period was CA$801,276.

In 2019 and 2020, BC Craft Supply lost CA$54.2 million and CA$35.6 million, respectively.

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BC Craft Supply is the first Canadian cannabis company to seek creditor protection this year.

A number of companies have sought creditor protection as competition in the cannabis industry intensifies.

In December, British Columbia-based Ascent Industries was granted creditor protection by the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

In 2020, Kitchener, Ontario-based cannabis cultivator James E. Wagner Cultivation (JWC) entered creditor protection as part of a debtor-in-possession loan deal with cannabis sector lender Trichome Financial.

The Toronto-based lender ended up acquiring JWC’s assets, possibly providing a blueprint for reviving struggling, deeply indebted marijuana producers.

Shares of BC Craft Supply are traded on the Canadian Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CRFT.

Matt Lamers can be reached at mattl@mjbizdaily.com.

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