Tara Sue Sharp dotes over a skillet of mushrooms. She sips a cannabis oil-infused mocktail as she readies a meal for a small group of guests. Even though Sharpe has cooked these farm-to-table mushroom tostadas dozens of times before, she’s extra careful now as she adds the key ingredient: a tablespoon of homemade cannabis oil slowly drizzled over over the already-simmering vegetables.
As the force behind PotLoveDinners, based in Framingham, Sharp and her partner Jon Yvon are one of a growing number of entrepreneurs that have built pot-adjacent businesses in the wake of marijuana’s legalization in Massachusetts. Infused dinners in particular have made a splash in greater Boston, as local private chefs attract curious diners by pairing inspired dishes worthy of “Chef’s Table” with cannabis and serving them in a safe space.
“We drew inspiration from the love of the cannabis plant, changing the stigma around consumption, and cuddling up in bed watching ‘Bong Appetit,’ ” said Yvon.
Chefs use oils, butters, tinctures and terpenes to infuse dishes with (usually) low doses of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary active ingredient in cannabis, which makes users feel “stoned”), and/or CBD (a non-intoxicating cannabinoid) so diners can achieve their desired high throughout the multi-hour meals.
Pushing far beyond the cliched edible fare of weed brownies, local cannabis chefs put food first: a country pork terrine wrapped in speck, presented alongside bread and butter pickles and a medicated asparagus puree; or a Georges Bank scallop crudo topped with lacto-fermented red onion, lime juice, toasted pepitas and CBD tomato salt.
Before the twentieth century, cannabis was used as a sort of medicine to treat asthma, coughs, migraines, and insomnia. However, due to the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, or the THC-derivative, cannabis became illegal and was removed from the list of registered medicines.
Now, cannabis is rapidly emerging around the globe as countries begin to reverse the laws and legalize its medicinal use again. While most countries are exploring opportunities within the medical cannabis sector, the proliferation of recreational cannabis is rapidly spreading throughout the western hemisphere of the world.
Currently, the U.S. and Canada dominate the recreational sector, however, countries in Latin America are also looking to legalize cannabis for adult-use. The series of countries moving towards legalization is also part of the cause of this explosive market, as demand pours in from around the world.
According to data compiled by Zion Market Research, the global legal marijuana market was valued at approximately USD 16.71 Billion in 2017 and is expected to generate revenue of USD 62.96 Billion by 2024. Additionally, the market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 21% during the forecast period from 2018 to 2024. Biome Grow Inc. (OTC: BIOIF) (CSE: BIO), General Cannabis Corp. (OTC: CANN), Emblem Corp. (OTC: EMMBF) (TSX-V: EMC), The Supreme Cannabis Company (OTC: SPRWF) (TSX-V: FIRE), Terra Tech Corp. (OTC: TRTC)
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Recently, Canada became the second country and first G-7 nation to legalize cannabis entirely, joining Uruguay in an exclusive club. Canada’slegalization has also encouraged other countries to follow in its steps and enter into the cannabis marketplace. Despite only two countries having legalized cannabis entirely, there are still multiple nations that have adopted medical cannabis legislation such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Colombia, Brazil, and Australia.
Nevertheless, the global industry still remains within its infancy stage, and countries like Canada and the U.S. are helping the industry grow. “Canada has just become the first major economy to legalize adult-use cannabis federally, giving domestic players a first-mover advantage to supply and serve international markets,” said the Canadian branch of PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Canadian licensed producers (LPs) have a unique opportunity to establish a global leadership role in the industry at a time when many jurisdictions are considering legalizing cannabis.
In fact, Canadian businesses have the opportunity to influence foreign policy development thanks to this country’s leadership position on cannabis. Already, most of the prominent Canadian companies have invested in countries with strong medicinal markets – including Australia, Israel and Germany – and some have set their sights on investments in Columbia, Jamaica and South Africa (primarily through Lesotho), to name just a few locations.”
Biome Grow Inc. (OTCQB: BIOIF) (CSE: BIO) also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: BIO). Earlier last month, the Company announced, “a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU” or the “Agreement”) providing Biome with preferential access to a high quality and low cost supply of Cannabidiol (“CBD”) concentrate from CBD Acres Manufacturer Inc. (“CBD Acres”).
The MOU is for a period of five years pursuant to which Biome may acquire up to 20,000 kilograms per year of sun-grown, hemp-based CBD extract from CBD Acres using its unique Nano lipid, solventless extraction process.
CBD Acres is founded by Canadian hemp farming pioneer, Mark Gobuty, who is also the founder of the Peace Naturals Project, Canada’s first Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations licensed cannabis grower. CBD Acres is currently working with 4,500 acres of hemp farmland in Canada, including 1,000 acres of organic grow, which it expects to produce volumes that are equivalent to a 180 million square foot indoor cannabis production facility under the Canadian Cannabis Act.
‘Through this Agreement Biome is demonstrating a cannabis company can offer significant quantities of high-quality product at industry disrupting economics with a made in Canada product. This can also be accomplished without spending substantial capital to build internal production facilities. Moreover, Biome will now be in a position to supply both its domestic and international customers with affordable medicinal and therapeutic products based on CBD in the volumes that are required.’
‘CBD Acres is thrilled to have the visibility of a long-term partner for its bulk products business entering the market in the second half of 2019, and more importantly a strategic partner focused on commercialization in key medical-CBD markets, allowing CBD Acres to focus on growing and extraction innovation as well as its consumer products business,’ said CBD Acres CEO Mark Gobuty.
Biome is considered a “related party” to CBD Acres as such term is defined in Multilateral Instrument 61-101 – Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions (“MI 61-101”) on the basis that Jacob Capital Management Inc., a significant shareholder in the capital of the Company, is also a significant shareholder in the capital of CBD Acres. However, due to the service-type nature of the arrangement with no commitment or obligation for Biome to utilize the service provided by CBD Acres or to acquire an asset or assets from CBD Acres, the MOU is not considered to be a “related party transaction” as defined under MI 61-101.”