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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 1/18/19

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Governor's cannabis scorecard released
NORML released its 2019 Gubernatorial Scorecard, rating US governors based on where they stand on cannabis policy. Twenty-seven US governors received a passing grade of 'C' or higher (22 Democrats, 5 Republicans). Of these, nine US governors - all Democrats - received an 'A' grade, marking a significant increase since 2018, when only two governors received 'A' grades.

Cannabis spending goes higher
Worldwide consumer spending on legal cannabis is expected to reach an estimated $12.2 billion in 2018, a significant jump from $9.5 billion in 2017, according to a new report from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics. The report forecasts that spending will accelerate in 2019, jumping 38% to $16.9 billion, and going on to reach $31.3 billion in 2022.

Is Texas ready to join the club?
Will this be Texas' year? Will lawmakers build a viable medical cannabis program or limit patients' access to effective medicine? Currently, only "registered patients with intractable epilepsy who have exhausted other treatment alternatives can purchase low-THC CBD oil-the only form of cannabis that's legal in the state." Currently, there are two key medical cannabis bills in action. Do the right thing, Texas.

Get answers to Michigan's legalizationNCIA's State Regulations Committee is hosting an interactive webinar to help answer pressing questions, like what happens next and what should market entrants be doing to get ready. Join Maureen McNamara, Michael Cooper, and Barton Morris as they help fill in the blanks for adult-use regulation in Michigan. Register here.

Come meet us in Boston!
We're hitting the new year running and will be attending the Seed to Sale show in Boston next month. We'll be walking 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!

We're in LA, too
We're also attending The North American Cannabis Summit on January 28-30 in Los Angeles. The summit will feature public health officials, government representatives, and regulatory, health, science, social justice, and equity professionals from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico discussing the most pressing and debated topics surrounding cannabis. Let's connect!

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 1/11/19

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Sustainable is more than a word
Being a sustainable business is a slippery slope. What does it really mean? Recycling? No or less chemicals? Energy-efficient building? Our industry is no different. It's hard enough to be sustainable but are state regs getting in the way to make it even more difficult?

Eat, drink and be Mary
Cannabis-infused food and drinks are the top two dining trends chefs expect to see in 2019. Mostly made with CBD, diners we presume will get the health benefits and more interesting tastes. (We have to admit our experience with cannabis-infused food and drink has been a bit, um, different if you catch our drift.)

Mass cafes
Massachusetts might be on the road to licensing cannabis cafes. Several recommendations were made this week on "regulations which must still be approved by the full Cannabis Control Commission before any cafes or home delivery businesses can open." Pack a lunch. That sounds like a long road ahead. 

Come meet us in Boston!
Speaking of Massachusetts, we'll be attending the Seed to Sale show in Boston next month. We'll be walking 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!

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: Happy New Year!

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You take a few days off and the whole industry goes crazy. OK, we're exaggerating but still, some interesting developments to end the old year and begin the new one. If you missed our year-end roundup, check it out here. Happy New Year!


Farm bill signed. What's next?
Over the holiday break, a new $867 billion farm bill was signed into law. It could be the "first real step the federal government has taken towards legalization almost 50 years."

Definition of not great again 
Speaking of the federal government, hemp farmers in Utah are ready to roll! Great news. Wait, what's that? They have to pass an FBI background check before commencing? And the folks who do that are being furloughed? Cough government shutdown cough.

Appetite for apps
Ordering cannabis from an app in California is not super earth-shattering but when the BBC starts writing about it? It's legit. In fact, one app has seen an 80% increase in sign-ups since January 2018 when recreational cannabis officially became legal in the state.

California: One year later
Speaking of California and legalization, where is it since last January? According to the New York Times, its "experiment in legalization is mired by debates over regulation and hamstrung by cities and towns that do not want cannabis businesses on their streets." Welp.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: So long 2018!

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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.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 12/7/18

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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!

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 11/30/18

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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.)

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 11/16/18

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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.

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 11/9/18

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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!

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Post-election cannabis round up

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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!

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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 11/2/18

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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. 


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CANNABUSINESS CURATOR: 10/26/18

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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. 


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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!

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