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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 10/11/19

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East coast farms step outside
The winds sure do blow from west to east. Where on the west coast, outdoor green buds have been a thing for decades, indoor grows back east typically happen indoors. That's changing.

Canadian cannabis investors: One year later
The legalization of cannabis in Canada was supposed to be a catalyst - the most powerful one yet, investors and analysts alike thought - that would launch companies in the young but potent industry to new heights. Instead, nearly one year later, it's been a "nightmare."

Two things you need to know, now
Robert O'Shaughnessy, our co-founder, has a couple of thoughts on what our industry is facing as we inch closer to 2020. Read them here.

New CBD study aims to raise the woof
The first-of-its-kind study wants to determine whether CBD can relieve symptoms of arthritis in dogs. Neither the researchers or the dog owners "will know which subjects are receiving the placebo or the other two medications."

Jonathan Adler goes green
In case you don't know who Adler is, he's one of the world's leading designers, famous for everything from vases to teapot to home furnishings. So, to recap, the same guy who designed something you probably bought at Target is now designing stash jars.

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Two things you need to know about our industry right now

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I just spent two days at NCIA’s 3rd Annual California Cannabis Business Conference. In talking with friends, colleagues, clients and just by walking the floor, there are a few obvious challenges dominating the industry conversation these days and I think they’re worth sharing here.

Challenge No. 1: The unexpected vape crisis
Our industry has enough growing pains or pushback from anti-cannabis forces, thank you very much. And that’s what makes the vape crisis so ...infuriating. These same forces are grabbing the pitchforks and want to ban vaping, they want to ban flavored cartridges, and states that have no laws on the books are freaking out. Hell, even places like Berkeley are freaking out.   

The consensus and science is not clear, to be sure. But it does seem there are dispensaries (without licenses) operating openly that sell fake and untested cartridges. Unsuspecting people buy the knockoffs (made for pennies in China) thinking the product has gone through rigorous testing. The problem is made worse because states like California seems categorically unable or unwilling to enforce existing laws and take steps to close the doors on folks operating without licenses. And so instead of focusing on passing legislation that fixes some of the problems that result from what is a regulatory mess in California, we all now have to deal with this.

And speaking of operating without licenses, those doing so are not paying the gigantic tax that the rule followers area paying and are not subjecting themselves to the rigorous testing and approval that the legit companies are doing. This means that the unlicensed operations are selling product for sometimes 2/3 the price of the legit shops. So folks paying taxes and creating jobs and doing payroll and all that stuff are being penalized. Not fair!

The clear answer to this crisis is to welcome regulation with open arms.

Challenge No. 2: The myth of the green rush
So many companies, brands, bankers, are trying to enter this space thinking everybody will get rich. And although a few are doing well, many are…not. Take a look at the Toronto stock exchange prices for cannabis brands a year ago to today. Many are down 75%. And the road to profitability is especially challenged by inconsistent rules and regulations across states, and inconsistent enforcement within states. This means that the money people hope to make is not the “get rich quick” kind.

It’s feeling a little like e-commerce and 1999 all over again. Are we ready for a big correction that might be lurking?

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 10/4/19

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Oregon considers banning vapes
Oregon's governor is considering banning vaping across the state, compounding an existing issue of an overabundance of flower. It could be a lose-lose for the state's farmers.

Interview with LA's 'pot czar'
Cat Packer is executive director of the City of LA's Department of Cannabis Regulation. In her position since 2017, Packer regulates and enforces cannabis legislation in the country's biggest market, which includes over 4 million people. Listen in!

Cannabis: the job creator
In a new report, New Frontier Data forecasts that under full federal legalization the cannabis industry could produce nearly $130 billion in additional tax revenues and over 1 million jobs nationwide. Full legalization would result in more legal businesses participating in the market, more consumers participating in the legal market, and more employees on official payrolls, resulting in $8.4 billion in payroll taxes.

University nabs research green
The Oregon State University's Global Hemp Innovation Center (GHIC) has received a $1 million gift from Oregon CBD whose founders graduated from the college. The GHIC was launched in July and includes 40 faculty members from 20 disciplines. The private donation will fund research into hemp's industrial applications and use in consumer goods and health products.

Californians: Legalization is a good thing
In a new poll conducted by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies for the Los Angeles Times about California's pot laws, 68 percent of respondents said that legalization has been a good thing for the state. But when it came to pot shop geography, 63 percent of those surveyed said that they want to see a dispensary in their community.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 9/27/19

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Banking on cannabis
We're pretty sure you've heard the news but, yes, the banking bill passed as the House approved legislation to pave the way for financial institutions and insurance companies to serve state-legal marijuana businesses without fear of federal reprisal. Fist bump.

It just keeps growing and growing
A new report by New Frontier Data and Global Cannabinoids reveals that total legal sales of cannabis in current legal states are projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% over the next six years, to reach nearly $30 billion by 2025. The report also found that an estimated 38.4 million U.S. adults consume cannabis at least once annually, from either a legal or illicit source, while 36% of cannabis consumers report using cannabis daily.

New York state of mind
A new study (we love studies) on cannabis usage in New York City found that over 1.3 million New Yorkers reported using cannabis in the past year and many of them are residents younger than 34 years old.

New LA joint: more than artisanal chicken
LA's Lowell Cafe (to be opened soon) is the country's first legal cannabis restaurant. Inside the restaurant and lounge, patrons can navigate menus of joints, bong service, dab rigs and other cannabis treats that they can then consume inside the cafe, alongside ... wait for it ... farm-to-table dishes.

Headline of the week7 Celebrities Who Recently Made The Leap Into The Cannabis Biz

Shouldn't the headline be Celebrities Who Haven't Recently Made The Leap Into The Cannabis Biz?

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 9/20/19

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Advertisers put on notice
This week, the Bureau of Cannabis Control published two notices outlining existing statutory and regulatory requirements for all advertising or promoting of commercial cannabis by licensees and non-licensees in the state of California. They're serious: Failure to comply with the requirements for advertising may lead to significant financial penalties, as well as suspension or revocation of a license.

#SAFEBankingAct vote next week?
A message from the National Cannabis Industry Association: A vote is expected next week in the House of Representatives. As we wait for the vote on the SAFE Banking Act in the House, there is still time to call your Members' offices and tell them to VOTE YES on the SAFE Banking Act. Find your Representatives by clicking here and check NCIA's Congressional Scorecard to see where they stand on our industry's issues.

Clients in the news! Innovative Industrial Properties is transitioning into long-term leases with its latest acquisition: a four-property portfolio in Southern California. "From the tenant's perspective, these facilities are mission-critical for their businesses, and they prefer to maintain long-term control over these facilities," says CFO Catherine Hastings. Read more from GlobeSt.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 9/13/19

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Join us and learn!
Cannabis Marketing Association and the California Cannabis Industry Association will present a free online panel discussion on the state of cannabis marketing in California. Hear from California's top cannabis marketing experts-including our own Robert O'Shaughnessy-on how to grow your brand and enhance market knowledge. Sign up here.

Clients in the news
We're thrilled to have our client, Berkeley Patients Group, featured in a three-part series in Cannabis Business Times. In the first piece, Étienne Fontán shares their origin story, borne from a passion for cannabis and the patients it serves. So inspiring.

And another client in the news
On a podcast actually. James Bean of Seeds Here Now drops some inside scoop about seeds, the industry, and the general future of cannabis. Listen in!

Pass the, well, you know
Meet the founders of Dutchie, a startup whose software is used by cannabis dispensaries that pay the startup a monthly subscription fee to create and maintain their websites, as well as to accept orders and track what needs to be ready for pickup.

Cannatourism in Canada hits some snags
Canadian tourism bureaus use controlled substances such as alcohol to entice people to attend wine cycling tours or craft brewery events, but when it comes to cannabis tourism the same push is virtually non-existent. That needs to change say some.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 9/6/19

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Know your history
Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals believes that if you want to have a successful future in the cannabis industry, you have to understand the history of cannabis. Watch and learn in this video interview.

Less teen use?
According to a new study of American high school students, legalizing medical cannabis has actually led to a drop in its use among teenagers. Possible theory?

As cannabis laws become more lenient, "parents may be increasing their supervision of their children, or changing how they talk to them about drug use."

Dispensing some solid advice
Y
es, there's a need for dispensaries to be attractive. It's also become important to make dispensaries more friendly for people who are walking inside for the first time. That includes more than just selling - it involves education and technology to build loyalty. Takeaway? Build an experience for customers.

Big, like billions big
According to a report by Prohibition Partners, the North American cannabis industry could reach $47.3 billion annually by 2024, with the U.S. comprising $44 billion of the market in the next five years,

We wish we could be there
Actor and comedian Seth Rogen is hosting a canna-friendly, adults-only charity carnival to raise money for Alzheimer's research. The Hilarity for Charity County Fair, which will be held in Los Angeles next weekend, will feature a range of comedians, celebrities, rides, food--and cannabis.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 8/23/19

New Art Gallery/Cannabis Emporium in L.A.
The downtown L.A. store will boast a 29-foot installation by Hollywood street artist RETNA, a tunnel with projected LED art, a vape pen customization bar, and plenty of budtenders.

Drink up, eventually
The spirits industry is looking to incorporate cannabis and hemp in the distillation process--a practice that's also testing the limits of current spirits labeling laws. Have no fear, one company, Sono1420, a Connecticut-based distillery, is now producing "hemped whiskey."

Get out the green vote
You might be aware that there's an election in 2020. This piece breaks down some of the implications it might have on cannabis, from the presidential race, national races, and even some state ones. Buckle up, it's gonna be a rough ride.

Headline of the week
Well, CBD-Infused Sports Bras Are Now a Thing
A new line of women's workout wear will be equipped with time-released CBD topicals sewn directly into the fabrics. Huh.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 8/16/19

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Four-letter word to success?
If you want to be successful as a cannabis investor, the four-letter word you need to become familiar with is ... what? Any guesses? Here's a hint from the post: "In order to succeed as a cannabis investor, you're going to have to be patient and allow for the proper amount of time to pass for the industry."

States graded for medical cannabis
A new report is out rating states and how they see medical cannabis deployed against the opioid epidemic. Some examples: Illinois (A-), New York (B-), and California (B+). Oklahoma, Ohio, and Florida all made heartening progress, two Bs and a C (up from Fs in 2015).Texas? F.

California's cannabis industry: we're back
After a rocky transition to regulated adult-use sales in 2018, California's legal cannabis market is currently on track to grow 23% in 2019 to $3.1 billion. That's the gist of a new report released by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics this week.

Cool nugget: the average consumer in California is 44; 39% of Gen Z and millennials and 41% of Gen X reported consumption in the past six months, compared to just 20% of Baby Boomers and older generations.

Headline of the week
Blue Apron meets Chia Pet for growing cannabis

A good headline should make readers click, we certainly did.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 8/9/19

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Listen in
Agency co-founder Robert O'Shaughnessy recently appeared on the popular podcast Money Matters where he discusses his experience starting out as a writer who quickly needed a crash course in SEO.

(Trust us, it's helpful to have someone that uses both sides of their brain around here!) Give it a listen!

A new kind of tea
Arizona Iced Tea is getting into the market for cannabis-infused gummies and drinks in the U.S. and Canada, "seeking new avenues for growth after losing ground in its core tea business." Well, of course they are!

Miami advice
Miami Dade College is offering classes and a certificate program that'll "prepare students for jobs in the medical marijuana industry." Courses will include biology and chemistry of cannabis, as well as the plant's historical usage and evolving regulation.

Green real estate
The real estate industry is one that's close to our hearts. With cannabis and CBD becoming multibillion-dollar industries, it was only a matter of time before they teamed up. This piece looks at an LA luxury real-estate agent who recently held a "cannabis open house" at a $3.5 million home. (Spoiler alert: He got an offer three days later.)

Headline of the week
CBD Is More Popular Online Than Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, and Kale
Kale? Really?

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 8/2/19

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Mass. rolls out 'social equity program'
Pure Oasis, the first cannabis store in Massachusetts to benefit from the Cannabis Control Commission's (CCC) social equity program, is expected to open this fall. Massachusetts became the first in the nation to include a "mandate prioritizing disenfranchised groups as a way to assist people disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs."

Facebook sued by OK dispensaries
Seven Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensaries have sued Facebook, claiming the social media giant placed them in "Facebook Jail" for posting about their operations. The lawsuit by the Oklahoma dispensaries is the latest of a flurry of complaints by cannabis companies against Facebook and other social media sites, such as Instagram. This will get interesting.

Speaking of social media...
In Canada, Snap Inc. and Twitter Inc. will begin running ads for cannabis products from licensed Canadian producers, testing restrictive laws in Canada on marketing cannabis. Bold move.

Here comes big alcohol
One by one, the largest beer companies in the world have announced their intention to "create drinkable marijuana products. So brace yourself for an onslaught of alcohol-free weed beers and weed seltzers and weed fruit punches."

Museum of Weed opens this weekend
We reported on this unusual museum a few weeks back and now it's time to open. Running through September 29, the museum features 30,000-square-feet of exhibits on cannabis history, science, and culture, plus a full cafe and merch shop. Bummer: They won't be actually selling cannabis. Admission? $35.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 7/26/19

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New crew at NCIA's MAC committee
Our co-founder Robert O'Shaughnessy's tenure as Chair of the NCIA's Marketing & Advertising Committee (MAC) ended this week. Jeanine Moss (AnnaBis), who was vice-chair, becomes chair. Amy Larson (Simplifya) becomes vice-chair. Robert is now chair emeritus and will continue to advise the committee on its mission to educate the community on standards, strategies, best practices, and community advocacy. Kudos to Robert and good luck to Jeanine and Amy, who will lead the charge into 2020!

Cannabis investments are hot
For investors who want to take part in the action without trying to pick "an individual company, there are now multiple funds that focus on this rapidly growing sector." But are there too many options out there?

Oregon tax going ... somewhere else?
According to a new audit, there hasn't been any public reporting on about 94% of the total cannabis tax allocations, which is about $7.7 million across Oregon? What's the deal with that?

What's in a name?
Don't call it the M word. Pot? We're not super in love with the word. Weed? Sure. Grass? What are you a narc? Anyhow, this piece looks at the search for a new name. (Cannabis is fine but...). Anyhow, try not to chuckle reading some of the names used for cannabis agents heard when arresting drug dealers: Bambalachacha, Burritos Verdes, Green Goblin. And our favorite: Smoochy Moochy Poochy.


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