CEO of US marijuana company MedMen says Oregon, Colorado are 'horrible markets' to be in

  • CNBC's Jim Cramer sits down with Adam Bierman, the co-founder and CEO of the marijuana dispensary operator whose stores have been dubbed the "Apple Stores of weed."
  • Bierman explains why Oregon, Washington and Colorado are not considered ideal markets for weed retail.

Marijuana dispensary operator MedMen sees major hurdles in operating in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, where pot is medically and recreationally legal, co-founder and CEO Adam Bierman told CNBC on Monday.

Bierman, whose company functions in California, Nevada, New York and Florida, called the first three fully legal U.S. weed markets "horrible markets to be in" in an interview with "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer.

"[It's] good for business that those are tiny markets that, in the grand scheme of things, maybe matter not that much," the CEO said.

"What's really important to understand is every market since those markets came online [has] been supply constrained, so limited licenses and, most importantly, especially for the MedMen's case, the most arduous retail zoning restrictions known to man," Bierman continued.

While MedMen is licensed to operate in the United States, where some of its retail locations have been affectionately dubbed the "Apple Store of weed," the company is publicly traded in Canada on the Canadian Securities Exchange and the OTCQB Venture Market.

In early June, the Canadian Senate voted to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide. The move would make Canada the first and only country in the G-7 to fully legalize marijuana.

But Bierman won't stop at Canada.

"From the beginning, we've been the 'Why not?' people," he told Cramer. "Why can't you build a billion-dollar business in this industry? Why not? Why can't you take the biggest U.S. weed company and make it public and available for people to own all over the world? Now, there's a lot of roadblocks in that kind of an attitude and we can't list here in the U.S., so we have to list in Canada and, unfortunately, that's the only place to go. Now, fortunately, it is a place to go and they've been great partners."

According to MedMen, some of the company's California stores bring in over $20 million a year in revenue. When the company reaches $1 billion in revenues, Bierman said he'll "look at what's next."

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Part of MedMen's mission is to make marijuana mainstream, as illustrated by its latest marketing campaign, "Forget Stoner." The visual ads attempt to buck the "stoner" stereotype with photos of professionals and others who say they use marijuana.

It could even help stem the opioid epidemic sweeping the United States by offering individuals an alternative solution to prescription pills, Bierman said.

"The concept of a stoner or a stoner image is something that's yesteryear," the CEO said. "This is about Chardonnay moms. This is about working dads. This is about marijuana substituting and replacing, you know, other things that people are already utilizing that, in some instances, are detrimental to their health."

How To Treat Eczema With Cannabis


Cannabis has an ever-growing list of medical applications. In the 29 states with medical marijuana programs, dermatologists are explaining to patients with skin conditions, such as eczema, that cannabis can be an effective, and all-natural treatment. Here’s a definitive guide on how to treat eczema with cannabis.

Eczema: A Brief Overview

Eczema is the overarching name for a variety of dry skin conditions. Namely, eczema includes redness, itchiness and dry patches. It’s often located on joints, hands and feet, but can occur anywhere including the face, scalp and eyelids. Eczema is common in both children and adults, who generally experience sporadic flare-ups.

There is no longterm cure for eczema. Typically, dermatologists recommend using sensitive skincare soaps and moisturizers. Many cases, however, require prescription ointments and creams that often contain steroids.

People develop eczema for a number of reasons, many of which are difficult to detect. Environmental factors, allergies and stress can cause outbreaks. For many with eczema, dry, cracked skin, itchiness and redness are a lifelong issue. Most eczema care is preventative with moisturizing and avoiding certain soaps and toxins.

How Cannabis Can Treat Eczema


According to the National Eczema Association, cannabis can be an effective treatment for eczema. Research demonstrates that cannabinoids have anti-itch, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties–all of which make it an effective tool for coping with eczema.


Cannabis’ use as an eczema treatment goes as far back as Dr. Henry Granger Piffard, the founder of the world-renowned journal, JAMA Dermatology. Dr. Piffard, who lived from 1842 to 1910 was a leader in the study of dermatology.

He writes in the first textbook ever published on dermatological remedies, “a pill of cannabis indica at bedtime has at my hands sometimes afforded relief to the intolerable itching of eczema.”

Cannabis is effective largely because the skin contains cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, a web of neurotransmitters and receptors that exists throughout the whole body. The body’s endocannabinoid system, which has cannabis receptors that interact with other naturally forming cannabinoids, such as those found in cannabis, make’s marijuana such an effective medicine. Through communication with the skin’s cannabinoid receptors, phytocannabinoids found in cannabis can reduce itching and redness.

Cannabis also treats eczema by controlling a bacteria that commonly causes it. Staphylococcus aureus colonization is a normal bacteria found in humans. Its side effects don’t always require treatment, but can lead to severe cases of eczema. According to the National Eczema Association, the most common cannabinoids can control outbreaks of this type of bacteria.


Another benefit of cannabis when it comes to eczema is that topical THC lotions can reduce inflammation. Not only can cannabis reduce the look and itchiness associated with eczema, but it can control the bacteria responsible for the infection. Cannabis’ effectiveness goes beyond homeopathy.

Why Cannabis Is Better Than Traditional Eczema Medication

For some cases of eczema, dermatologists will prescribe steroid creams. Over time, the body builds up a resistance to this type of cream, which means you have to use larger amounts and up the dosage of your prescription.

Steroid cream can thin your skin, and can even cause rosacea. Worse than that, steroid cream can seep into your bloodstream through the skin. This can increase your blood pressure and blood sugar levels and affect your hormones over time.

Steroid cream is not meant for continued use, though it’s often prescribed as an indefinite cure for eczema. This is why knowing how to treat eczema with cannabis could be better for your health in the long run.

How To Treat Eczema With Cannabis Topicals


Just because cannabis can treat eczema doesn’t mean that any cannabis cream will work. People with eczema typically have sensitive skin, which means that certain terpenes can cause skin irritation.

Look for products that are designed for irritated and inflamed skin. Don’t use cannabis topicals made for joint pain, for instance. Stick with something that is mostly CBD rather than THC.

As always, be wary of where you’re buying your topicals. Cannabis regulation is in its infancy, which means that anything could be in your moisturizer. This could include pesticides, heavy metals or other skin irritants. As with any moisturizer or oil you purchase at a drug store, go for the most organic topical you can find.

To avoid something that will aggravate, rather than soothe, your eczema, go to a dispensary rather than buy something online. States with legal medical or recreational marijuana have better regulations. Remember that the FDA has not approved medical marijuana for anything, including eczema.

Final Hit: How To Treat Eczema With Cannabis

Refrain from using steroid cream by treating eczema with all-natural cannabis topicals. Through the interchange between marijuana’s cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system in the skin, you can reduce inflammation, redness and itchiness. However, take time to research the topicals before trying to remedy any skin condition with cannabis.

Weekly Legislative Schedule: Marijuana Bills in CO, CA, and NJ, Get Hearings


Colorado lawmakers schedule a hearing on consumption club licenses for Tuesday; two California bills will also go before a committee this week, the first proposes banning certain types of butane sales, the second seeks to unbind hemp’s restrictive definition. And in New Jersey, another bill considers removing their 2-ounce limit for medical marijuana.

It’s Springtime in North America – and the fluctuation of political might is on full display. As Trump hunkers down for another Stormy week and Ted Nugent lashes out at the Parkland teens for speaking truth to power, this week’s legislative efforts to reform America’s marijuana laws seems … perfectly logical by comparison.



A bill to create public consumption licenses for marijuana shops in Colorado will receive a hearing on Monday before the Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee. First assigned to the committee on March 19, Senate Bill 211will be heard at noon in committee room 271.

Co-sponsored by State Sen. Vicki Marble (R-23rd District) and Rep. Jovan Melton (D-41st District), the bill proposes to allow licensing for individuals who operate retail marijuana shops. Under the proposed bill, those licensed for public consumption would be prohibited from serving prepared food or alcohol on-site. All marijuana products consumed on-site would need to be purchased from the licensed marijuana business/club for individuals over 21. In other words, patrons would be prohibited from bringing their own supplies.



California AB 3112 was introduced by Assemblyman Tom Grayson (D- 14th District) and is scheduled for hearing at 9 a.m. April 3, before the Assembly Public Safety Committee. Held in room 126 at the state capitol, the committee will consider the bill’s proposal to institute new state regulations for the restricted sale of butane. While the sale of small canisters utilized for personal lighters would still be considered lawful, the sale of larger canisters would be deemed unlawful under this proposed legislation. According to California Assembly Bill 3112, anyone who violates the proposed legislation would face a civil penalty of $2,500.

California Senate Bill 1409, a bipartisan bill that proposes changes to California’s industrial hemp laws, will receive a hearing at 9:30 p.m. March 3 before the Senate Agriculture Committee. SB 1409 suggests the deletion of an exclusionary mandate that industrial hemp seed growers be certified on or before January 1, 2013. Furthermore, the bill proposes to modify the current and restrictive definition of “industrial hemp.” Under Chapter 1 of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, industrial hemp is strictly viewed as a “fiber or oilseed crop.” This legislation would nullify and remove the requirement that industrial hemp be cultivated as a fiber or oilseed crop only. Ostensibly, this bill could allow California’s industrial hemp growers to utilize their harvest for the production of hemp-derived CBD products.

New Jersey


In New Jersey, A 3421, seeks to remove the current 2-ounce limit and expands access to edibles and oils. Designated as “Jake Honig’s Law,” this legislation will receive a hearing at 7 p.m., March 5, before the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

The legislation stipulates that alternative treatment centers may make medical marijuana available to patients in oil form, removes a restriction that made edible forms of medical marijuana available only to qualifying patients who are minors, and removes the current 2-ounce limit on the quantity of medical marijuana that may be dispensed in a 30-day supply. Additionally, the bill proposes authorizing a patient’s physician be allowed to recommend “medical marijuana in any quantity” for their 30-day supply. And if the recommending physician fails to specify a quantity, “the amount dispensed will be at the discretion of the alternative treatment center,” according to the proposed legislation.

Also on the calendar this week

Marijuana legislation introduced to the 2018 Connecticut General Assembly will receive a public hearing on Tuesday at noon. House Bill 05582 provides for the taxation of retail marijuana products, after legalized sales are authorized. HB 05582 will receive a public hearing before the Finance, Review and Bonding committee.

Legislation introduced in Tennessee seeks to enact the “Medicinal Cannabis Act” and would establish a medical marijuana commission for the regulation of cannabis-related healthcare. Tennessee Senate Bill 1710 is scheduled for a Senate Judiciary Hearing March 3, at 1 p.m. in the Cordell Hull Building.

On March 4 at 10:30 a.m., two Hawaiian bills will be heard in conference room 211 by the Senate Ways and Means committee. Hawaii House Bill 2741 proposes making the cost of medical cannabis a reimbursable expense to be covered by health insurance companies, and House Bill 2742 seeks to establish the Office of Medicinal Cannabis Control and Regulation within the state’s Department of Health. The proposed legislation would designate the Office of Medicinal Cannabis Control to regulate and administer the registration of qualifying patients and primary caregivers –  and all medical marijuana dispensaries.

Studies Link Legal Marijuana With Fewer Opioid Prescriptions

 Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may.

Pot can relieve chronic pain in adults, so advocates for liberalizing marijuana laws have proposed it as a lower-risk alternative to opioids. But some research suggests marijuana may encourage opioid use, and so might make the epidemic worse.

The new studies don’t directly assess the effect of legalizing marijuana on opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Instead, they find evidence that legalization may reduce the prescribing of opioids. Over-prescribing is considered a key factor in the opioid epidemic.

Both studies were released Monday by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

One looked at trends in opioid prescribing under Medicaid, which covers low-income adults, between 2011 and 2016. It compared the states where marijuana laws took effect versus states without such laws. The comparison was done each quarter, so a given state without a law at one point could join the other category once a law kicked in.

Results showed that laws that let people use marijuana to treat specific medical conditions were associated with about a 6 percent lower rate of opioid prescribing for pain. That’s about 39 fewer prescriptions per 1,000 people using Medicaid.

And when states with such a law went on to also allow recreational marijuana use by adults, there was an additional drop averaging about 6 percent. That suggest the medical marijuana laws didn’t reach some people who could benefit from using marijuana instead of opioids, said Hefei Wen of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, one of the study authors.

The other study looked at opioid prescribing nationwide for people using Medicare, which covers people 65 years or older and those with disabilities. Every year from 2010 through 2015, researchers compared states with a medical marijuana law in effect to those without one. Fourteen states plus the District of Columbia had such a law from the beginning of that time; nine other states joined them during the years the study covered.

Researchers found that Medicare patients in states with marijuana dispensaries filled prescriptions for about 14 percent fewer daily doses of opioids than those in other states. Patients in states that only allowed them to grow pot at home showed about 7 percent fewer doses.

W. David Bradford, an economist at the University of Georgia in Athens who’s an author of the second study, said the results add to other findings that suggest to experts that marijuana is a viable alternative to opioids. The weight of that evidence is “now hard to ignore,” said Bradford, who said he thinks federal regulations should be changed to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for pain treatment.

The two studies have some limitations, Dr. Kevin Hill of Harvard Medical School and Dr. Andrew Saxon of the University of Washington in Seattle wrote in an accompanying editorial.

For one thing, they don’t reveal whether individual patients actually reduced or avoided using opioids because of the increased access to marijuana. The findings in Medicaid and Medicare patients may not apply to other people. And the results may have been skewed by some characteristics of the state populations studied, they wrote.

They called for states and the federal government to pay for more studies to clarify the effect of marijuana use on opioid use, saying such research is needed for science to guide policy-making.

Follow Malcolm Ritter on Twitter at @MalcolmRitter. His recent work can be found here.

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

This City in Canada Wants To Ban All Public Cannabis Consumption


Months away from national legal recreational marijuana, this city in Canada wants to ban all public cannabis consumption. Lawmakers in Calgary, the capital and largest city in Alberta, and hoping to pass a bylaw that would only allow marijuana smoking indoors.

The Bylaw: What We Know So Far

If approved, Calgary residents would face $50 to $100 in fines in caught smoking marijuana outside. The only place where residents would be able to consumer cannabis would be a private home.

If passed by a council committee, this law would strictly limit legal cannabis consumption. If you live in an apartment or don’t own your home, you may not be able to smoke indoors in the first place.

This legislation would not apply to those with medical marijuana licenses or to specifically designated ‘cannabis gardens’. The concept behind these spaces is similar to a beer garden. They will also be strictly regulated.

So far, the rule for a cannabis smoking area is that it has to be separate from beer and cigarette designed areas.


You’ll also have to bring your own weed because Alberta law dictates that you can’t smoke cannabis in the same place where you bought it.

The Problem With Banning Outdoor Cannabis Use

This law will be difficult, and probably costly, to enforce. How do you distinguish between medical and recreational users? To police everyone smoking marijuana outside will require more police and more government funds.

Les Hagen, described as a tobacco control advocate by the Calgary Herald, argues, “We think it’s [the bylaw] impractical. It’ll lead to widespread violations and stigmatization as well. Anyone who is using cannabis in public, it will be seen as breaking the law.”

Not only does would this legislation be difficult to enforce, but it would also stigmatize a substance that will be completely legal by the end of the summer. This is just one example of how provincial governments are discriminating against cannabis, despite upcoming legalization.

Others are critiquing this measure for unjustly limited legal cannabis consumption for those living in shared spaces and for those who do not own homes.


Even Those Supporting This Legislation See Its Flaws

City Council member Shane Keating supports this legislation but believes that the city should create spaces for outdoor marijuana use. Keating explains, “I have no sympathy for those who deem that they have to smoke cannabis regardless of how it affects others around them.”

This does not, however, mean that Keating is completely against cannabis. He believes that edibles and inhalers are a better solution, though the former won’t be legal until 2019.

Keating is in favor of cannabis-specific locations, describing, “There may need to be certain places where you consume it like a lounge.” This sort of policy is already in place in Ontario.

Marijuana Divides Calgary Residents

This city in Canada wants to ban all public cannabis consumption, though its residents are conflicted on the matter. In a report on cannabis published in February, 55 percent of Calgary residents surveyed supported regulating marijuana like alcohol. This would mean barring public consumption. Only 32 percent voted to treat cannabis like tobacco in public places.

Contrastingly, 43 percent those surveyed in late 2017 voted to permit outdoor cannabis use. 19 percent of Calgary residents in that survey hoped that cannabis would be controlled like alcohol.

Final Hit: This City in Canada Wants To Ban All Public Cannabis Consumption

Next week, a committee will decide on the legislation that would ban public marijuana consumption in Calgary.

Considering the restriction already placed on indoor cannabis consumption, some are saying that this bylaw is impractical. It would also be a step in the wrong direction in terms of cannabis tolerance.

With Calgary residents divided on the issue of outdoor smoking, we’ll have to wait and see what happens next week.

Landlord Sues San Bernardino Over Marijuana Regulations


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman who owns a business that claims to be California’s largest landlord of marijuana businesses sued the city of San Bernardino to overturn its pot regulation ordinance that could bar her from the industry.

Stephanie Smith, the owner of a business called Bubba Likes Tortillas, said in the lawsuit filed Friday in San Bernardino County Superior Court that the city’s new law could create monopolies and also prevent her from renting property to pot growers and other marijuana operations.

The dispute dates back to December when a fortified building Smith owns was raided, cultivation operations her clients were operating were shut down and 35,000 marijuana plants were seized. Smith was not involved with pot growing and she was not arrested or charged, her attorney Ben Eilenberg said.

After the raids, a judge invalidated a voter-approved measure to regulate marijuana operations and San Bernardino City Council passed its own measure to replace it earlier this month.

The new rules said anyone — from a permit applicant or an employee of a cannabis business to the owner of a property — could be barred from the commercial cannabis business in the city if they had violated local or state laws related to the industry or if they had failed to report income from it.

Smith is concerned that could apply to tenants — or even her company — because the businesses raided in December were in the process of being licensed, Eilenberg said. They received approval letters to operate a week after they were shut down, but the law appears to make them ineligible to get licenses.

“This misguided ordinance is a backdoor ban that continues the city’s illogical campaign against a legal product,” Smith said in a statement. “Any person who has ever had anything to do with cannabis is banned for life from entering the legal market under this ordinance. It is not what the voters want and it makes no sense.”

Eilenberg said it could also apply to businesses that operated in the murky days when medical marijuana was loosely regulated. Cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco have given priority to license businesses that operated under medical marijuana regulations to get into the broader retail market that opened Jan. 1.

“San Bernardino is taking the opposite tack and guaranteeing that anyone in the city who operated prior to this law has to remain in the black market,” Eilenberg said.

The lawsuit said the ordinance would violate the constitutional right to due process by disqualifying tenants or Smith without ever granting them an administrative or criminal hearing.

The lawsuit also claimed the city law could create monopolies of certain types of marijuana operating licenses.

The ordinance would allow 17 commercial marijuana businesses in the city, but there are 19 different types of licenses that could be issued — everything from growing pot, to transporting it, testing it and selling it.

A city spokeswoman did not immediately comment on the case.

Colorado Plans To Survey Residents On Weed Consumption And Driving


The Colorado Department of Transportation is encouraging Coloradans to “join the cannabis conversation” about driving under the influence. The new initiative, called The Cannabis Conversation, seeks input from cannabis users and non-users alike. Officials want to hear the opinions, habits, behaviors and other thoughts people have about marijuana and driving. But as Colorado plans to survey residents on weed consumption and driving, the actual impact of legal cannabis on traffic safety isn’t fully understood.

The Department of Transportation hopes their drugged driving initiative will help the state develop practical solutions and assuage public concerns.

Colorado Department Of Transportation Launches Drugged Driving Initiative

Around midsummer last year, newspapers in Colorado began running stories that recreational cannabis use was contributing to a spike in driving accident fatalities.

The Denver Post, for example, ran a story in August reporting that more drivers involved in fatal crashes were testing positive for marijuana use. Yet the authorities quoted in that story admitted that the numbers cannot definitely be attributed to recreational legalization.

The issue is further complicated by the fact that testing for cannabis consumption is tricky. Different detection methods test for consumption in different windows.


Did a driver involved in a fatal accident used cannabis prior to getting behind the wheel? Were they high while they were driving? Or did they just consume cannabis at some point in the past?

In short, the correlation of the data is strong. But proving causation is a different and more difficult matter. In their search for answers, Colorado plans to survey residents on weed consumption and driving.

Colorado’s Drugged Driving Problem By The Numbers

Police, public safety officials, and victims families all say the numbers are too high to ignore. Between 2013-2016, drivers involved in fatal accidents in Colorado rose from 627 to 880, about a 40 percent uptick.

In the same period, drivers who tested positive for alcohol in those fatal crashed increased 17 percent. However, the number of drivers who tested positive for cannabis jumped from 47 in 2013 to 115 in 2016, a 145 percent spike.

Those numbers sounded the alarm for many public health and safety officials in Colorado. And CDOTs drugged driving initiative is the first significant step toward addressing what is undeniably a real concern for many.


Many suspect the root of the problem is cannabis users’ perception that driving high isn’t a major concern. And that’s why Colorado plans to survey residents on weed consumption and driving.

Officials want to better understand why some cannabis users don’t seem to take the dangers associated with high driving very seriously. And more importantly, what it will take to make these drivers change their minds.

Final Hit: Colorado Plans To Survey Residents On Weed Consumption And Driving

The Department of Transportation’s survey is completely anonymous and only takes about five minutes to complete.

Questions range from the practical to the highly subjective. How often do you drive? Consume cannabis? And do you think society still stigmatizesmarijuana use?

The survey also wants to know where you consume cannabis, how you consume it, and who/where you get it from.

Midway through the survey, you have the feeling you’re being interrogated about your cannabis lifestyle in general, not just about your thoughts on driving.

But right about around question ten, the survey takes a turn back to questions that aim at the heart of the issue. Do you drink when you smoke? Do you drive? And when you are high, how do you get around? Are your stoned friends giving you a lift?

The survey, overall, is this odd blend of informative and perceptual questioning. Gathering data about real cannabis habits but also asking people to reveal how they think other people view them.

And more interestingly, how capable they think law enforcement is at identifying drugged driving.

Do you think cannabis makes you a better driver? What would convince you not to drive high? If you knew cops were just as good at catching high drivers than drunk drivers, would you drive high less often?

At the end, the survey pivots to what feels like a pop quiz about the legality of driving under the influence of cannabis.

The answers to these types questions are obviously “yes,” but CDOT isn’t sure people really understand the law. And finally, the most interesting question. Who would you believe, who would actually convince you, if they told you driving high was unsafe?