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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 8/10/18

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Tiny territory goes big
The tiny US territory known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CMNI) just took a big step toward ending marijuana prohibition. With a margin of 18-1, a new bill will create a legal framework for the sale and purchase of recreational cannabis in the Pacific islands, which lie just north of Guam.

Luxury branding
As the cannabis industry grows, there's going to be new markets that form within the marijuana industry, most notably, luxury cannabis products. Here's a pleasant side effect: companies that specialize in cannabis packaging and design could experience a boom in sales, too.

California (Il)legal cannabis sales
California's legal cannabis first quarter sales and tax revenues were lower than forecast. Why? A new survey by Eaze thinks California has a "long way to go in making it easy to get safe, legal and affordable cannabis." The survey found that 1 in 5 Californians purchased cannabis from the illicit market in the past three months. And, 84% of those are highly likely to repeat that behavior in the future due to the illicit market having cheaper products and no tax.

HR, payroll and cannabis
Wurk announced the launch of its new website designed to help cannabis businesses of all sizes discover the technology they need, while learning about Wurk's updated offerings to provide managed HR and payroll services.

Headline of the week
'Red Shark' car to be displayed at new Las Vegas cannabis museum

The iconic "Red Shark" Chevy Caprice, mentioned in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," will be on display to the public for the first time. The 1973 convertible is at Cannabition, the new cannabis museum inside Neonopolis, for the next six months. Huh.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 8/3/18

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The 'Shark Tank' of cannabis?
It's called the "The Marijuana Show," described as "Nine savvy and engaging entrepreneurs pioneering a multi-billion dollar marijuana industry compete for mentorship and investment." Got a cool ideal? This might be the place.

This is your brain on...
Who doesn't remember the 80s commercials with your "brain on drugs"? The egg being fried in a pan? Now there's a gentler PSA for cannabis. The new one shows an egg not frying but being prepared ... into a healthy delicious omelet.

When Starbucks met cannabis
And it makes perfect sense. What the former Starbucks manager learned at Starbucks is easily translated into a cannabis dispensary. Lots of cool products and accessories, a comfortable space, identifiable branding, friendly staff.

Oregon: Too much cannabis?
It knows all about cannabis. It was legalized for medical in the 90s. Three years ago, recreational came on board. The problem? It might not know how much cannabis it has, because it lacks regulatory oversight of the industry, particularly growers. What's the end game here? It's anyone's guess at this point. 

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 7/27/18

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 The 2018-19 NCIA Marketing & Advertising Committee (that's Robert, the new chairman, in the middle). 

The 2018-19 NCIA Marketing & Advertising Committee (that's Robert, the new chairman, in the middle). 

Having a crisis? Read this.
Higher Ground (and our own Robert O'Shaughnessy) is proud to play a role in the NCIA's Marketing & Advertising Committee—and are even more proud to announce the publication of the Crisis Communications Manual for Cannabis, unveiled at yesterday's Cannabis Business Summit. Learn how to identify, prevent and respond to crises to protect your business and our industry. 

On a further note (and speaking of the NCIA) Robert was also named chairman of the Marketing and Advertising (MAC) committee this week. Congrats, Robert!

Massachusetts: One month later
It's been a month (or so) since cannabis has been legal here and from the looks of it, the growing pains sound all too familiar. Some counties it's illegal, there are banking issues and lab licensing issues. For some of us, it's deja vu all over again. 

LA and cannabis: Bank on it?
Los Angeles voters might OK the creation of the country's "first public bank in 100 years this fall, unlocking an alternative to 'too-big-to-fail,' profit-driven banks that critics say prey on Americans each day." This could be a game-changer: no cash would be safer and easier for so, so many reasons.

Smoking cannabis decreasing?
Here's compelling proof: In 2014, around 67% of Colorado's legal marijuana purchases were for smokeable cannabis flower. Today, that number has dropped to only 44 percent as the sales for potent concentrates has doubled to 31 percent. Oregon marijuana flower sales dropped seven percent last year, and in California flower sales are down three percent from just the beginning of the year. Read why.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 7/20/18

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California labs are being flooded
Labs are the key quality controllers in the state's legal cannabis supply chain, right? California has 38 million people with just 31 cannabis lab licensees. This means one thing: they're overwhelmed.

Cannabis accelerator opens in Portland
Oregon has launched an accelerator program and co-working and events space dedicated to boosting women entrepreneurs and their cannabusinesses. It's more than that: its goal is to help women-owned cannabusinesses obtain venture-capital funding and grow.

New law, new jobs in Massachusetts
As Massachusetts jumps on board the cannabis train, new jobs will be created. The industry will rely on a diverse range of professionals and employees (as you know it's way more than just growing). For instance? Creating cannabis-infused baked goods and sweet concoctions means there will be openings for people with culinary expertise. Here's what other talents will be needed.

Millennials, cannabis and Canada
A recent survey by Intercept Group of millennials in North America found that over 50% of Canadian respondents demonstrated some interest in the emerging cannabis market--most notably edibles, skin care, and the workplace. Take note, marketers and advertisers!

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 7/13/18

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Manage relationships and regs
Sure, the market is flooded with point of sale, inventory, processing, warehousing and order entry systems tailored specifically for cannabis companies. But, what sets CRM systems apart? Regulations. For instance? CRM apps like WebJoint have customized data tracking and reporting features that comply with the widely varying state and local rules.

Happy 7/10
Summertime. So many holidays, so many chances to celebrate ... everything and anything. Here's one from earlier in the week: 7/10, or Dab Day. What's the story behind it? Wonder no more. 

Portland gets a CBD café
It's not a smoking lounge, and there's no flower or oil for sale. It's something entirely new--a chocolate and coffee counter, where the baristas possess the knowledge of learned budtenders.

California cannabis arrests down since legalization
According to the California Attorney General cannabis arrests decreased by 56 percent in 2017, the first year where recreational cannabis was legal in the state, compared to 2016. And felony cannabis arrests decreased by 74 percent.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 7/6/18

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A little extra in your beverage
A new startup is planning to make a cannabis-enhanced beverage aimed at Canada's multi-billion-dollar beer market. And they're not the only ones!

The black market rolls on in Cali
Despite legalization in January in California, the illicit market (the one that was around wayyyy before legalization) might still be leading the market. And nowhere is this a bigger problem than in LA County.

Did you mellow your dog out on the Fourth?
The Fourth of July. BBQs. Beers. Sunshine. Good times. And illegal (and legal) fireworks scaring the bejesus out of poor Fido. Every year, dogs flip out, hide, or worse, run away from home. Enter cannabidiol chews, oils and dog treats. Some say these help poor dogs during the explosions in the sky. So, did you try it this year? Did it work?

Massachusetts muscles its way to the top
According to New Frontier Data, cannabis sales in the Bay State are projected to rise from $52M in 2016 - when the only sales were medical marijuana - to $1.07B in 2020, with the vast majority being recreational sales. Many think that the state might become an anchor market on the East Coast.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 6/29/18

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Massachusetts: Legal starting Sunday
This Sunday, recreational marijuana sales are legal in Massachusetts. Have attitudes on marijuana changed since the 2016 ballot question, when a little more than 53 percent of the state voted to legalize recreational marijuana?

THC-infused 'sparkling beverage'
Another post about beer and cannabis? Well, this one's a wee bit different. Lagunitas (of course!) has released Hi-Fi Hops. OK, so it's not technically a beer (they call it an "IPA-inspired sparkling beverage"), but it will come in cans in both 5mg and 10mg of THC. It will be on California dispensary shelves in July.

Oklahoma legal cannabis? OK.
Oklahoma voters have voted to legalize medical marijuana. Question 788-the ballot initiative to legalize medicinal cannabis use statewide-was approved by a comfortable margin, with a buffer of over 100,000 votes.

Wine vs. weed: Oregon edition
There have been many battles between wine growers and cannabis growers in NorCal. And now, they're heading to Oregon wine country. There really is no "bad guy." How this pans out is anyone's guess.

New Netflix show? Meh.
Have you watched the new Netflix cooking show centered around cannabis? Forbes did, and they were not impressed. (That's two strikes for Netflix, right?)

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 6/15/18

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Gifts for dads
It's Father's Day on Sunday. Do you have a gift for dear-old dad? Maybe it's a tie? Or maybe a wallet? Or maybe it's a ... stash bag? This piece has you covered for cannabis gifts for your cannadad. 

Colorado says no to cannabis cafes
The game-changing bill would have made Colorado the first state in the nation to have a law that made cafes OK. However, this week Colorado's governor vetoed it.

Cannabis usage keeps keepin' on
Cannabis consumption is on the rise in America and Canada, according to the 2018 Civilized Culture Poll. There was an 11% increase in people who use cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes compared to the figures from the 2017 poll. That's a jump up from 30% last year to 41%.

Dispensary name generator
Are you opening up a dispensary soon? Looking for a cool name? You're in luck! Civilized has put together a dispensary name generator just for you! Our name (if we were opening a dispensary) is: Ye Olde Bud Cooperative. But, seriously, if you need help with a name and branding, call us!

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 6/8/18

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California cannabis candidates clean up
There was a primary election this week and in California, pro cannabis candidates did very well. This bodes well for the state and maybe the country. As California goes, so does the rest of the country, right?

Don't forget the east
But wait! This piece says the cannabis businesses that have the best long term positioning and highest company valuations are emerging  in ... the east coast. 

Banking blues
Are you a cannabis business owner dealing with a bank account? So, what should a cannabis business do to get a legitimate account with a real financial institution? Plain and simple, make it as easy as possible for the bank or credit union to abide by the FinCEN guidelines. This awesome blog explains more.

Four buzzwords you need to know
There are four hot buzzwords making the rounds in our industry. The top 2? "branding" and "sustainability." Brands will need to learn to speak to new consumers in a different way. "Mainstream society--the prime target for cannabis--the 30-something professional, don't want to feel edgy." Great piece. Give it a read. 

Nice package
Speaking of brands, packaging is integral to brand building. And for cannabis businesses, it's "growing in importance in increasingly competitive--sometimes even oversaturated--markets." Like beer and wine, your brand needs to tell a story and connect with your customers. If you thought packaging was kind of boring, read this. 

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 6/1/18

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Maryland gets moving
Hey hon - did yous hear the news from Maryland? With 102 dispensaries open, more and more terps are in the bathtub now. 

Overcoming marketing hurdles
Are there challenges of advertising cannabis companies through digital media channels? That would be a huge yes. Is there an answer? A solution? While many innovators are working on the digital riddle, social media influencers continue to be a huge help.

A new kind of tea party
In L.A., there's a tea brand that's helping put on "high tea" parties, private events "where women can sample cannabis tea in a setting that's non-intimidating for the uninitiated."

And don't forget the cupcakes
Cannabis cupcake company Jade & Jane just released single serving, recreational 10mg THC-infused cupcakes. Jade & Jane's products are available to retail customers through licensed Colorado recreational dispensaries.  

Tasting rooms in Oregon?
Maybe? Some cannabis retailers hope "that someday soon, tasting rooms can be added to retail establishments, just as they may be added to wineries and breweries." And maybe someday, cannabis flight samplers? We can only hope.

Headline of the week
How to Finance Your Cannabis Business Without Relying on Friends and Family

What about neighbors?

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 5/25/18

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Regenerative ag the next big thing?
As commercial cannabis farms grow (in more ways than one), being sustainable will become more of a challenge. How does one define sustainable? Sure, it's the same as growing any kind of crop: amending soil, plant diversity, and a thriving ecosystem. Enter regenerative agriculture.

Unhoppy brewer
SF brewers Black Hammer were among the first to sell CBD-infused beer. And now, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has sent them a cease and desist production of its CBD beers. Why? CBD isn't on a list of approved non-standard beer ingredients. What the what?

Hydropothecary launches HEXO
Hydropothecary this week introduced HEXO, a new brand for the recreational adult-use cannabis market. They'll continue to use its existing Hydropothecary brand for the medical cannabis market. Interesting take: two separate brands for each. Smart move.

Interesting factoid
In 2017, sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the U.S. were nearly nine times higher than Oreo cookies, which puts cannabis almost on par with America's collective spending on Netflix subscriptions. That's just one of three insightful stats shared by MJBiZDaily.

Understanding potency testing
The purpose of potency testing is to "demonstrate compliance, accurately label products and ultimately obtain a certificate of authenticity from an accredited third-party lab." That's according to Alexander Makowski, chief scientist at Sage Analytics (and our awesome client who was featured in Cannabis Business Times recently).

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 5/18/18

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Merger mania
Add four more big companies to the merger game (it's getting hard to keep track). Baker Technologies, Briteside, Sea Hunter, and Sante Veritas Holdings, have announced a merger to produce the "first fully integrated, multi-national cannabis company focusing on delivering a broad array of industry solutions." They're calling themselves TILT.

Cannabis chains
No, not the shackled kind, but franchises. This piecelooks at one company that's hoping to set up a franchise of shops throughout Oregon. Locals might not be stoked (since much of the money is coming from out of state) but buyers might be. One thing you can say about franchise shops? They're consistent.

Canada, cannabis and beer
Canada's beer industry is "expressing concern that the recreational marijuana market is going to cut into its profits, and it wants the government to raise the proposed tax to level the playing field."

California's cannabis sales in Q1?
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) has released revenue numbers for cannabis sales in the first quarter of 2018: $60.9 million since January 1, 2018. Shwing.

Zine envy
We do a lot of poking around the internet to bring you the freshest news each week. And, as part of that, we read a lot of slick magazines, digital pubs, blogs, local paper zines, you name it. We're stoked at all of the great reporting on the industry happening right now. 

Each week we'll bring you a favorite. This week? Herb.Started out as The Stoner's Cookbook, re-branded as Herb they not only cover cannabis (news, politics, lifestyles) but in their own words: "We are not the couch-locked stoner caricature sketched by politicians with a hidden agenda and a lack of imagination."

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