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L.A. makes cannabis moves
Los Angeles has approved a new Cannabis Department head to oversee City Hall's new Department of Cannabis Regulation, a vote that comes as officials prepare for legalization of recreational marijuana in California.

CBD-infused water
A handful of cannabis companies are coming up with innovative new ways to tap into the health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). In particular, CBD-infused water

Baking, er, banking services opens in Fla.
Orlando-based First Green Bank is giving new meaning to its name by offering financial services to cannabis businesses. It appears to be the first financial institution in Florida to serve the state's medical cannabis industry.

Wine & weed - Never boring
California is preparing to hand out licenses to marijuana businesses on Jan. 1. As a result, many are eyeing Northern California's winemaking regions as a pot of gold. One acre of cannabis grown in Northern California can be worth more than $1 million. Whoa.

CannaBus Culture Film Fest
In Fort Collins next month? CannaBus Culture Film Fest, who recently screened movies in Brooklyn are on their way to Colorado. They're screening cannabis themed short films and features at The Lyric Cinema in Fort Collins on September 22nd and 23rd. Want to see if the fest is coming your way. Go here.




Will the exit number be 420? We hope so. 
Here's one way to save a small, abandoned town. Nipton, CA, population 20, has been bought and will be turned into a "weed lover's oasis in the desert, complete with marijuana retail outlets, cultivation facilities and even cannabis mineral baths." 

Dust off your resumes
The state of Massachusetts is assembling a five-member board to oversee recreational and medical marijuana across the state.

The Pepsi Generation
A former Pepsi factory that sat vacant for a decade is being retrofitted as an indoor cannabis grow - one of the largest in Colorado. We're curious to see how many former, large manufacturing and commercial facilities will follow suit. If we were commercial Realtors? We'd be all over this kind of stuff. 

We're running out of clever 'app' headlines
A new app, The Knalysis Wellness Tracker, helps consumers pick the best strain for them, from treating chronic pain, sleeping or relaxing. Here's what's even cooler: The company is collecting hard data to support medicinal cannabis use. The data "collected by Knalysis could sway lawmakers in the United States and other countries that haven't legalized medical marijuana yet."

Headline of the week!
Move over canned foods, make room for canned pot.
It's uncanny. (We try.) 




Could cannabis lessen sports head injuries?
A recent major study on brain damage among former professional football players found that the brains of deceased players that were studied showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition linked to head trauma. There might be a solution to lessen concussions: cannabis.

Cannabis meets affordable housing
Los Angeles is looking into the possibility of setting up a public bank to do business with marijuana dispensaries. The twist?  Said bank would focus on providing financing to small businesses and developers of affordable housing.

New trends in cannabis business
A new report is out that identifies several trends in the industry. Up there are new luxury brands (inevitable) as well as the emergence of software management companies - and data - like required seed to sale tracking. All that data being gathered? It's gold for many.

We do
Guess which next industry has jumped on the cannabis bandwagon? Weddings! In Colorado, Cannabis Wedding Expo is a new event where brides and grooms can meet marijuana vendors and get info on wedding services like day-of coordination, overall planning, floral arrangements, and cannabis open bars.

Headline of the week
Sen. Cory Booker Wants to Make Marijuana Legal Across U.S.- Could That Curb Opioid Epidemic?

Booker introduced a wide-reaching bill this week that would drop the federal prohibition on marijuana and even encourage states to legalize the drug.

And, while we're on the subject, a congressional committee voted last week to extend protections of state medical marijuana programs against federal interference.




San Francisco Approves 'Office of Cannabis'
We've been following this and posting about it. One thing we want to know: will there be an Assistant to the Regional Manager

Forecasting Sales Of New Cannabis Products
Sure, it's sounds a bit wonky but it goes deep. And if you're an entrepreneur? Read this before you print business cards.  

Float on?
Can you partake on a boat, even in states where it's legal? That's a big fat no. According to the US Coast Guard, "it remains illegal to consume while on a boat in US waters-even if you're in a state that has legalized cannabis."

Total eclipse
Next month in Oregon there's going to be a total solar eclipse. And? It might break state sales of cannabis.

Headline of the week
5 celebrity dads who use marijuana

Here's a hint: Their first name of one of the five is "Willie."




Massachusetts might tag on tax
State House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement this week on a revamped version of a Massachusetts' voter-approved marijuana law that would allow retail pot sales to be taxed at a maximum 20 percent rate.

Meanwhile in Sonoma County
Craft cannabis is becoming a cousin to craft beer in Sonoma County, thanks to companies like San Francisco Patient and Resource Center (SPARC).

Nevada looking at cannabis tourism
Our question is this: How would this affect Vegas? One official is quoted as saying: "I do think we have the potential to be the marijuana tourism capital of the world." We kind of agree.

Headline of the week
Jay Leno drives a car made out of cannabis
(This is real. Really.)




Commercial space meets cannabis
How hot is the Denver market for industrial warehouse space being used for cannabis? Marijuana grow operations are commanding lease rates two to three times higher than the average for comparable properties. So, yeah, blazing hot.

Wine, cannabis, and big money
There's the wine industry. There's the cannabis industry. The two go hand in hand. But, as a business, the growing cannabis boom has many wine makers worried.

Things that make us go 'hmmmmm'
The world of DIY cannabis concentrates just got a big boost from an unexpected source: Walmart. Yes, that Walmart.

Vending machine for cannabis?
Has someone finally figured out the vending machine concept? Maybe. A company has rolled out a biometric vending machine for booze and cannabis that dispenses with the usual ID checks - as long as customers pre-register to use it. 

A brief history of the vape
They're getting smaller, more techie, and they've seen a whopping 500% growth. Whoa. 

Cannabis shortage?
Yep. In Nevada. And it's a little more complicated than just not having enough.




Vegas rolls the dice
With July 1 looming, (when it all becomes legal) local officials are in panic mode to enact emergency rules to make things run smoothly. Yeah, they had a year to get ready, but there's no fault here. Regs are complicated.

Hey, ladies (and moms)
New survey says: It turns out that the modern marijuana user is likely to be a woman - and maybe even a parent.

Branded bad
Well, THIS is distressing. A proposed bill in California (really, Cali?) would ban cannabis-branded hats, t-shirts and other merchandise. Wearing stuff is like, half the fun. In fact, I'm wearing my awesome Higher Ground trucker cap as I write this.

Lynnette Shaw comes out swinging
"I'm the first P.O.W. to be released in the War on Drugs." Great line from Lynnette Shaw. She recently re-opened her famous dispensary after years of government battles. That's a line from her recent press conference announcing the opening. Higher Ground is proud of being a part of her homecoming.  

Three out of four Utah voters say yes
Utah's neighbors to the west, south, and east all have legal, regulated cannabis markets for both medical and adult use. Now a new poll suggests that Utah voters want to legalize medical cannabis in their state, too.




Don't call it a comeback
You've probably heard of Lynnette Shaw. After years of legal battles, the self-styled godmother of medical marijuana dispensaries in California, has reopened her dispensary. It's a great David and Goliath story. Higher Ground is proud we could help tell her bad-ass story to the media. Here's one of them. 

The daily grind
Do you grind at home? Like coffeeshops, why don't dispensaries grind their own so you don't have to? Two reasons: freshness and potency.

Cash me outside
The marijuana industry is still largely a cash-only business. This means the cannabis security and cash logistics space is heating up with recent deals and strong earnings. Here's a solid look at the players. 

Huge changes in Cali?
This week, California began the path of firming up its cannabis rules. Open for discussion: the ability to sell medical and recreational in same spots, standards for organic marijuana, pot samples at county fairs and permitting home deliveries. We're watching this one closely. 

Nice to see you!
We enjoyed meeting you at the Cannabis Marketing Association (CMA) Tuesday Night Reception in Oakland! Thanks to Organa Brands for sponsoring. In case you missed it, the evening featured fabulous entertainment, delicious hors d'oeuvres, and incredible adult libations at the wonderful Gallery EVB. Good times, people. Good times. 




Here comes Orygun
An economist is forecasting Oregon could soon rival Colorado in cannabis sales. Or maybe not, thanks to a few factors. One thing is for sure, says a new report: Oregonians smoke pot at a higher rate than neighboring Washington residents.

7 Prince songs that refer to reefer
Prince. Damn it. Still hard to believe he's gone. But, his music lives on through songs. Here are seven of them that refer to cannabis.

Cannabis and craft beer
Can budding (get it?) cannabis entrepreneurs learn from craft brewers. Totally. Here's a line from an article that explains it better than we could: "Like craft beer in its early days, cannabis brands are challenged by confusion in the marketplace brought about by preconceptions, misconceptions, and inexperience."

Headline of the week
We love a well-crafted headline. Here's our fave for this week: Canadians Bogart Cannabis Deals In America. Heh. 

Come meet us!
Please join us and the Cannabis Marketing Association (CMA) for the Tuesday Night Reception presented by Organa Brands following the National Cannabis Industry Association's Cannabis Business Summit.We'll have fabulous entertainment, delicious hors d'oeuvres, and incredible adult libations in a unique new venue, Gallery EVB, in the heart of downtown Oakland. June 13. Book it. Click here for more info. 




What's in a name? Plenty.
Some call it weed, some call it marijuana. But there's a shift in referring to it as just cannabis. The word marijuana has an interesting, exploitative backstory.

Cannabis - The new (new) dot com boom
Remember the heady days of the dot com boom? (Let's not talk about the bust.) One recent piece suggests that the cannabis industry is the new boom. But, will it crash?

Your grandparents might be sleeping better
Cannabis, according to doctors, nurses and caregivers who work with seniors, is an effective treatment for elderly people and others who suffer from insomnia, says this article.

Wine or cannabis? How about both?
Oregon's legalization of recreational cannabis two years ago created room for entrepreneurial cross-pollination ("wine and weed") in California. And now, Oregon joins the game.




Cannabis drug cuts seizures in children
According to the Guardian, a new drug derived from cannabis has been shown to reduce the convulsive seizures experienced by children with a severe form of epilepsy by nearly a half. Wow. 

Cannabis and Bob Dylan's story
Bob Dylan in 1966: "But opium and hash and pot-now, those things aren't drugs. They just bend your mind a little. I think everybody's mind should be bent once in a while." Yep. Still cool.  

DIY growing
Thinking of growing your own? It's possible. It's pretty easy. But there are things you need to know.

Cannabis canine conundrum continues
Many humans are turning to medical cannabis to treat their pets. But does it work? 

Round-up of new cannabis products
The Portland Mercury offers some reviews of new products - can you spot the fake one? We did. 




Canada's road to legalization
It looks like Canada is possibly on its way to legalizing recreational cannabis use - but the path to get there has been a bit rough.

And in Washington...
This week Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill that changes the cannabis laws in the state, including forward progress on legalizing growing pot at home and creating the country's first state-run organic certification program for weed. (Insert fist pump here.) 

A look at what's up with High Times' former editor. You know you've made it when the New Yorker profiles you. 

Speaking of making it
If you would've told us five years ago that dispensaries would be featured in Architectural Digest...well, yeah. (PS: It's a great, visual piece.)

Come join us!
We're presenting at this month's Bay Area Cannabis Marketing Association (CMA) meeting on May 24th at 6:00pm in Santa Rosa. Panelists include Angie Monette Harrison, Principal, 421 Group; Zack Darling, CEO, The Hybrid Creative; Danny Zlatnik, Esq., Rogoway Law Group, and yours truly, Robert O'Shaughnessy, Co-Founder & Partner, Higher Ground Agency. Hope to see you there!