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Marijuana Company Merger

Marijuana Research Grows

Posted June 14, 2013 at 4:35PM

In an encouraging bit of news from the emerging marijuana sector, two of the leading marijuana research and testing companies have announced a merger. This move will create a single leading research and testing entity, and it should mark a big step forward for cannabis research and development.

From the press release:

marijuana stocks“We’ve worked hard to maintain a position of leadership for Steep Hill in the fields of cannabis testing and analytics,” said David Lampach, CEO and co-founder of Steep Hill Laboratories, Inc. “With this merger, we’ve achieved a new level of expertise and research ability that will ensure that Steep Hill-Halent will remain at the forefront of these fields and will also open up new avenues for providing clients with world class research, consulting, and testing methodology to further advance the industry.”

Steep Hill Laboratories, Inc. was founded back in 2008. It’s located in California and is an independently owned and operated cannabis screening facility.

The company’s analytical technology helps ensure quality control for marijuana for medical use, and it generally helps the medical marijuana industry at large by upholding stringent standards and industry protocols. In fact, Steep Hill has on occasion worked for both state and federal governments in this capacity.

Meanwhile, Halent Scientific, Inc. was established back in 2011 as a company that offers quality assurance, safety screening, research, and content services to patients and physicians. Till date, the company has tested more than 4,000 samples and can claim one of the most comprehensive cannabinoid profile databases in the entire industry.

All of this is good news as states like Colorado, Washington, and Massachusetts pursue legislative measures to tighten up the standards for medical marijuana as an industry. Given that the medical marijuana market is still very much an embryonic one, it’s extremely important that high quality standards be set and maintained as quickly as possible. Not only would it ensure consumer safety (to state the obvious), but more importantly, it would increase trust all around.

Right now, for example, it’s quite difficult to get banking and legal services to cover marijuana businesses compared to just about any other business venture. Part of that, of course, is due to the fact that the federal legal structure still has not caught up with changes at the state level, and so continues to view marijuana-involved activity as criminal.

However, it’s also because the whole thing is just so new, and the shift from “criminal activity” to “decriminalized” is a very big one and not something that a lot of people have yet recognized. Against this background, the merger of Steep Hill and Halent provides a modicum of reassurance as far as the validity of the marijuana enterprise is concerned.

For example, Steep Hill introduced the QuantaCann, a non-destructive cannabis testing device, which has since come into use by dispensaries and growers alike on a broad basis—the device is widely used across California and now is making headway in Washington, Michigan, and Colorado. The company is already working on a revised version of the technology.

The National Shift on Marijuana

With Vermont’s recent move to decriminalize possession (limited to one ounce) and replace prison sentences with fines, it’s clear that there is a national shift underway to say, in short, that weed is not much of a big deal.

As NPR reports, most recent polls (on a national level) find that Americans don’t really care much about marijuana and think it should be legalized en masse. Unfortunately, there’s also a national “War on Drugs” that encompasses marijuana. If anything, marijuana is actually a central focus of this war now that cocaine is no longer the epidemic it once was. And that means there are a lot of federal dollars at stake.

Should we reasonably expect marijuana to float out of the Fed’s clutches in such a scenario? That’s what marijuana entrepreneurs are betting on, and really, it’s easy to see why. State by state, decriminalization and legalization are spreading hand in hand.

The federal government can’t realistically remain opposed to the voice of the nation. And companies like GrowLife (OTCBB: PHOT), Medical Marijuana Inc. (OTCBB: MJNA), and others are rapidly establishing themselves in a period of heavy consolidation as operators to watch out for from an investor’s point of view.

 

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