Comment

CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: So long 2018!

blog masthead.jpeg

We're cutting out a little bit early this year so this will be our last Curator until 2019. We hope you have a great, fun, safe holiday and new year and we'll see you in 2019!

Let's start with some news of the week

Marlboro owner joins the game
And, is anyone really surprised? 

Cannabis for the Instagram crowd
Cannabition, a new interactive cannabis museum in Las Vegas in sounds cool, including "psychedelic art installations--all tailored for Instagram. (This reminds us of teenage pilgrimages to the West Village of yore and to a temple known to travelers on certain intergalactic byways called Psychedelic Solutions on West 8th. A holy place where other heady readers over 40 may have also leaned valuable lessons.) But back to the present: Is cannabis primed for a social media-friendly museum experience? Hopefully.

Under the tree
Panicked over what to buy this year? Or maybe you haven't even started shopping yet (kudos to you, last-minute shopper.). You're in luck: this piece looks at wares, ornaments and even socks for the cannabis lover in your family/crew/tribe.

Year-end wrap-up
We've had an amazing year, worked with some even more amazing clients, and secured them some great coverage.

In early 2018 (January 1st to be exact) we helped drive media coverage for Berkeley Patients Group first day open to legally sell recreational cannabis. It was a scene and we had every media person on hand, from the Bay Area to national news on to report on the historic occasion.

Another client, Sage, made many lists for its Profiler II Humboldt Special Edition. MGRetailer ran a nice piece with Sage leading the way as a portable cannabis tester for any dispensary or lab.

And, in the fall, we were proud to work with the Coppola (yes, that Coppola) team to help them unveil The Grower's Series. One of our favorite pieces was in Esquire, featuring Francis Ford Coppola looking cooler than ever.

We're also excited to be bringing new clients on board. We're at work with the "Ferrari of vaporizers," Firefly and will be unveiling some exciting new innovations for connoisseurs. We're also at work with the pioneering real estate investment trust Innovative Industrial Partners on some profile enhancements ("Hello, CNN? Is that you calling?"). 

Needless to say, we can't wait for 2019, continue to work with great clients and, really, we feel lucky and honored to work in such a passionate industry.

Comment

Comment

CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 12/7/18

blog masthead.jpeg

Boston slow on the uptake?
Boston is slowly (with criticism) rolling out recreational cannabis shops. Now several city councilors want to "level the playing field for smaller operators who can't afford the expensive licensing process."

Holidaze ideas
Need some gift ideas for your loved ones or for yourself? Stay warm this winter while showing off your passion. 

How we used to use cannabis
Flashback Friday? This is a fascinating piece that looks at how we have used cannabis in the past (thousands of years ago, not the 70s).

Cannabis top 50 places to work
Today's cannabis employees have high expectations. They want and deserve more than just a paycheck. So, what makes a company one of the best places to work? MJRetailer compiled a list of the best 50. We're stoked that our client, Berkeley Patients Group, made the list!

Comment

Comment

CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 11/30/18

blog masthead.jpeg

The hip hood index 
Whole Foods or Trader Joes have always been the barometer for a new neighborhood on the rise. If you were getting a Whole Foods, you made it. (And your rent probably skyrocketed, but that's another story.) The next big thing to bring a neighborhood back from the brink?  An "increasing number of organizations" that work in the cannabis industry.

Will Oregon make cannabis cafes OK?
If a group called The New Revenue Coalition has its way, it might. The group is behind an effort to have the Oregon legislature change the rules so people can have public places to light up, including cafes.

Checking in on Michigan
Michigan's legal adult-use cannabis sales are expected to launch sometime in 2020, but medical cannabis businesses are still struggling to secure state licenses and remain compliant with ever-changing regulations. Add to that, many want to see the medical program succeed before a recreational market takes shape. 

10 cannabis trends for 2019
Missed MJBizCon this year? Leafly has a roundup of top ten takeaways including financing. As in, where the US is getting it. (Hint: CANADA.)

Comment

Comment

CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 11/16/18

blog masthead.jpeg

Yet another article about beer and CBD
We're not complaining, just noting. And, as recreational use is becoming more ubiquitous, breweries, from small to corporations, have been looking for ways to use cannabis or its derivatives in beverages.

Shelf awareness
Across Canada, cannabis packaging includes suggested storing techniques, but currently there is no expiration date printed on cannabis product labels. That's an issue.

Happy Thanksgiving
We're skipping next week's Cannabusiness Curator but here's a post to get you in the mood for Thanksgiving. According to the article, "the most popular way of consuming cannabis this Thanksgiving may just be to cook, baste, bake, batter and grill with the plant." Alrighty then.  

Thoughts on MJBizCon
As MJBizCon wraps up today we wanted to share some thoughts. The show has come a long way since its humble beginnings at the Rio. The attention to detail at so many of the booths, the strong work on building and establishing brands, and the innovation on display is stunning. And the money is here, including rivers of Canadian money. Our industry is changing. It's exciting. We're humbled that we get to work in this space, for all its thrills and frustrations.

Comment

Comment

CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 11/9/18

blog masthead.jpeg

Cannabis post-election round up
Election day and daylight savings time -what a week! Still jonesing for election day cannabis news and results? We put together a handy look at what won and what didn't (we're looking at you North Dakota). Check it out here. 

Coppola unveils new cannabis product
Yes, that Coppola, the Oscar-winning director, is launching a limited collection called the Grower's Series. It includes three cannabis flower strains and comes housed in a mock wine bottle with a glass pipe, rolling papers, and a matchbox to go with a gram of each flower. Higher Ground was stoked to work with him and his team to get some great coverage, like this piece in Esquire.

Dispensaries get design makeoverThis piece looks at how design is helping change people's perceptions of dispensaries and profiles one that offers "clean and minimalist interiors." Please more of this? We're still seeing way too many dispensaries with all the charm of a basement grow room.

Join us at MJBizCon this month
We'll be prowling the showroom floor, meeting new people, and hopefully meeting YOU. Want to grab a beverage and talk marketing or just hang out? Get in touch!

Comment

Comment

Post-election cannabis round up

Untitled design.png

It’s the day after. Many states had cannabis on the ballot. Was it a green wave? Who won and who lost? Here’s a round up of cannabis news across the country.

Michigan legalized the recreational use of cannabis, and Utah and Missouri legalized it for medical use (as of this writing). We were pulling for North Dakota but it failed in its attempts to legalize recreational cannabis.

In California, they elected a pro-cannabis governor and re-elected a pro-cannabis senator. Bonus: They also kicked out a couple of anti-cannabis lawmakers.

Kudos to Utah for voting to allow medical cannabis, several Ohio cities approving local decriminalization measures, while a number of Wisconsin counties and cities strongly approved nonbinding ballot questions calling for cannabis reform.

And, as we write this, Sessions has been fired. Your guess is as good as ours what that means for cannabis.

Be sure to read our weekly Cannabis Curator on Fridays for more!

Comment

Comment

CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 11/2/18

blog masthead.jpeg

Viva Mexico and cannabis 
Mexico's Supreme Court this week deemed the country's marijuana prohibition law unconstitutional, bringing America's neighbor one step closer to marijuana legalization. (Our northern neighbors, well, you know...). This is the fifth time the court has deemed this unconstitutional. Once the Supreme Court reaches a similar decision in five separate cases, the standard set by the rulings applies to the country's entire court system. Wow.

Coke and cannabis
Welp, that whole thing turned out to be untrue. Coca-Cola announced last month it was considering the possibility of getting into the cannabis biz.  Now the CEO is saying, nope, no plans now. You listening Pepsi? Or, maybe we should all hail the LaCroix of cannabis?

Headline of the week

John Boehner Wants to Help You Make Millions in Cannabis!As the teens like to say, "cringey."

Join us at MJBizCon this month
We'll be prowling the showroom floor, meeting new people, and hopefully meeting YOU. Want to grab a beverage and talk marketing or just hang out? Get in touch!

Vote!
This is a super important election. Hopefully you registered. Please vote on Nov. 6. If you need more info, go here. Vote. 


Comment

Comment

CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 10/26/18

blog masthead.jpeg

Wisp in Target stores
No, not here, in Canada and Europe. Target Group Inc., has announced an exclusive licensing, distribution and central processing agreement for Canada and Europe with CannaKorp Inc. for its patent-pending Wisp Vaporizing system. The Wisp™ is a pod-based herbal vaporizing system that uses precisely measured, sealed and tested Wisp™ Pods containing dried, ground herbs that will be produced and packaged by Target in Canada. Dream on.

Boss moss
Botany. Cool, right? Case in point: The recent discovery of another source of a cannabinoid from a plant that is a relative of moss called liverwort. One genus of the plant, Radula, boasts a handful of species that produce a chemical that is a lot like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from Cannabis sativa.

San Francisco creates cannabis committee
It's role? Advise the Board of Supervisors and mayor on issues relating to cannabis, such as implementation and enforcement. The committee will be made up of stakeholders in the city's cannabis industry.

Enjoy cannabis while (fill in the blank)
Entrepreneurship is alive and well, especially when it comes to cannabis and doing other stuff. Drink a beer ... with cannabis. Work out ... with cannabis. Enjoy a dinner ... with cannabis. The latest? Get your nails done (you guessed it) ... with cannabis!

Join us at MJBizcon next month 
We'll be prowling the showroom floor, meeting new people, and hopefully meeting YOU. Want to grab a beverage and talk marketing or just hang out? Get in touch!

Don't forget to vote
Yes, we're wagging our fingers at you. This is a super important election. Hopefully you registered. Please vote on Nov. 6. If you need more info, go here. 


Comment

Comment

CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 10/19/18

In case you didn't know, Canada, after 95 years of prohibition, has legalized cannabis.  Here's a quick rundown on what you need to know.

So, what's legal?Pre-rolled, fresh or dried flowers, and cannabis oil are all permitted under the law. Cannabis edibles - like pot-infused jelly beans, peanut butter and coffee - won't be legal for another year. 

It's a free-for-all, right?Well, no. There are several aspects of cannabis consumption that are still illegal. Users must be 18 or 19 (depending on the province) to purchase, and there are strong penalties for those caught selling to minors. Canadians will be limited to the number of plants they can grow themselves, and can only hold 30 grams (one ounce) on their person in public at a time.

I'm going to Canada...right nowHold off. For now, what tourists can find on shelves is going to be "pretty restrictive."  Difficulty buying cannabis as well as lack of variety makes Canada an unlikely destination for cannabis tourists for the time being.  

Who are the players in Canada?
Plenty! Here's a quick breakdown of the most prominent brands, the products they are linked to, and who makes them. Our hot take about Canada? You can now openly invest in cannabis (such as buying stocks) and we're going to see a lot of Canadian dollars coming into the US. 

Non-Canada news: Join us at NECANNHey New Englanders! Our own Robert O'Shaughnessy will be at NECANN this weekend, on Saturday from 3-4 p.m. He's moderating the Second Annual PR & Marketing Roundtable: Standing Out in an Increasingly Crowded Cannabis Industry.The panel will cover topics like how to get the attention of media, how to review data to maximize ROI, how to manage social and marketing in an era where Google and Facebook are oppositional, digital tips like web do's and don'ts, and brand building guidelines. Stop by. Listen in. Say hello!

Comment

Comment

CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 10/12/18

blog masthead.jpeg

Facebook stops blocking search results
Less than a week ahead of the legalization of adult recreational marijuana sales in Canada, Facebook will end a block on cannabis and related search results for pages on its platform. Our own Robert O'Shaughnessy is the current chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association's Marketing and Advertising Committee (MAC) and the group is actively working on advocacy around this very issue. 

While more details will be shared about the MAC team's efforts in the coming weeks, Robert said today that, "We hope this indicates an opened-mindedness from Facebook that will also apply to states in the US who choose to end the old prohibitions against this amazing plant."

Survey says: Yes, we'd try it if it was legal
If you were a hot dog, would you eat yourself? Maybe. But if cannabis was legal in the U.S. would you try it? Most definitely. According to a new survey of 1,000 US consumers, more than half of the survey's respondents said they would likely try recreational cannabis if or when it becomes legal.

(Yet another) huge corp set to make billions
It's not our imagination that there's a beer/wine/coffee meets cannabis story every week. The latest? One of the biggest producers of alcohol in the world is investing in the growing cannabis industry. Constellation Brands is set to buy a massive $4 billion worth of Canopy stock, boosting its ownership stake in the company and could make billions of dollars. Heartwarming. 

For the love of all that is good, register!
In November's midterm elections, voters in Michigan and North Dakota will vote on ballot initiatives that would legalize cannabis for recreational purposes in those states. And voters in Utah and Missouri will vote on medical marijuana. Do you live in one these states? You're registered to vote, right? And really, eligible voters across the US just MUST register to vote. November is a make or break moment people. Listen to what Taylor Swift says if you won't listen to us. VOTE!

Next-level retail
MedMen recently rolled out its luxury brand in Las Vegas and offering a high-touch retail experience for shoppers. Its products will sit alongside check-out and multilingual touchscreen menus in an Apple store-like environment. This, we think, is the first salvo in how cannabis and retail will complement each other (in legalized states, natch).

Comment

Comment

CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 10/5/18

blog masthead.jpeg

Who's making money with cannabis?
That's a loaded question and this piece by the Guardian goes deep on how marginalized groups like patients, disabled people, veterans - early champions of legalization- are finding "themselves ill-equipped to compete against well-capitalized corporate refugees looking to jump on the bandwagon."

Advertising cannabis = minefield
We're a cannabis marketing agency (in case you hadn't noticed). We love it when trade pubs write about the industry, or in this case, talk about it. Adweek's latest podcast discusses regulations around advertising cannabis products (that are determined individually by states) and how brands have to be extra creative (and extra careful) with their marketing efforts. Do they ever.

Tour de Toke
Breweries have had great success in doing tours of their facilities then handing out samples. Well, the city of Ontario is proposing new rules for recreational cannabis that would allow licensed producers to sell marijuana to consumers at cultivation facilities. We're so down with that.

FDA loosens reigns on CBD?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appears to be softening its stance on CBD. It seems some officials believe that CBD should not be included in the DEA's list of banned substances at all. Call us cautiously optimistic?

Comment

Comment

CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 9/28/18

blog masthead.jpeg

Jumping on the cannabis bandwagon?
Congrats! We love new businesses and the spirit of it all. Here are some caveats and solid tips before you jump in though. 

And you said we were being paranoid
Not a newsflash: the country's largest tobacco companies (and pharma, too) are eyeing the cannabis industry. The question becomes how much control these corporate giants will have over the industry, what they will do to cannabis products, and how these changes will occur. (See: large beer brands swooping in and buying up successful regional and local breweries.)

Cannabis-infused drinks officially a thing
It's pretty much all Canada news all the time what with the upcoming national legalization. There's also a lot of buzz floating around about cannabis-infused beverages, from beers to sodas, and what's going to happen up north.

Are you a cannabis expert?
Most people aren't, but this piece looks at those that are experts who have spent years researching the latest trends and reports about cannabis. Here are six things they look out for when researching.

Comment