Hey, it's 4/20. Do you know where your news is?

 In Portland,  Serra  is delighting customers.

In Portland, Serra is delighting customers.

Newsflash: It's 4/20. 

Actually, no, that isn't a newsflash. If it is, you're probably in the wrong industry. But because it is 4/20, you're probably not doing a lot of news reading. (If we're lucky, you've gotten this far). Hopefully your sales are soaring high and maybe you might be. 

So instead of our usual news roundup (where each week we diligently pour through the web to find you the finest cannabis news possible), we present some possible events you might attend and a couple of items that caught our eye this week.

Happy 4/20 Day! 

High design
It's no secret that dispensaries are getting fancier. Here are two we've recently visited. In downtown Portland, Serra is delighting customers. With sleek design (featured in gobs of design magazines), they also offer something called Happiness Hour, featuring in-house demos and other special offers. Also in Portland (there's a trend here), is one of the first CBD-only shops. The CBD Hemp Store (not the most original name) offers shoppers the chance to peruse CBD products in the store or online. If you're not quite ready to go into a cannabis shop with tons of THC, this might be your place.

Dropping their latest
SPARC, a San Francisco medical marijuana dispensary, totally gets it. They've collaborated with @jazzdispensary to launch an exclusive limited edition 45rpm single. Private Stock #001 features Bobby Rush's funk nugget, "Mary Jane" and Rusty Bryant's tried and true burner "Fire Eater" on the flip. The 45 will be available at all 4 Sparc locations on April 20, 2018.

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Some choice 4/20 events

Berkeley's own BPG (one of our rad clients) has a whole day of events planned with extended hours and will be the only dispensary in the Bay Area open from 6am-10pm on 4/20. The first members to arrive will take advantage of our Sunrise Specials, and enjoy coffee, donuts, and other fun giveaways.

Los Angeles will have tons of events going on. This one caught our eye: Magic Bus Experience: A Multi-Sensory 4.20 Event. It's a 60,000 square foot psychedelic wonderland "comprised of multiple whimsical environments inspired by marijuana culture." Four words: Adult-sized Pillow Fort. It's all day (until 4:20).

San Francisco will have its Annual 420 Gathering on Hippie Hill. For more than 50 years (!!), Hippie Hill has served as the iconic cultural landmark and gathering point for annual 4/20 celebrations, with nearly thousands of revelers attending 4/20 at Hippie Hill in 2017. This year will be no different.

Denver is having a Mile High 420 Festival. The event will have three stages of entertainment, with local craft and food vendors set up throughout the day. The festival is free to attend. Also in Denver is Myxed Up 420. The shop will be celebrating throughout the day, giving away free merchandise and munchies as the Myxed Up party bus is parked outside for legal, social pot consumption (21+). The party is free to attend, but RSVP on Facebook first.

In Boston, it's 420 Paint & Smoke BYOC. Paint and Smoke and enjoy live performances, giveaways, vendors, raffles and free paint and art supplies. In Western Mass in Worcester Canna Bros Presents: The 1st Annual 420 Ganja Galla, featuring Art Exhibits 4pm, VIP Cocktail and Appetizer Pre Mixer presented by Canna Bros Catering and musical Performances.

If you're in DC, wait a day (4/21) and attend the National Cannabis Festival. The concert features a headlining performance by hip-hop royalty Cypress Hill (but come for a whole day of music and good vibes).

Seattle's Hempfest (for members only-sign up for $15) will gather, raise spirits and reaffirm its convictions. There will be pizza, dessert, DJ's, music, & a raffle to support Jimmy Romans who is serving 30 years for cannabis distribution. 

In Portland? Local brewer Coalition is putting on the (first?) CBD Beer Fest. They'll have several CBD beers on tap, and a panel discussion.





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Boehner evolves
No doubt you've heard about John Boehner and his newly improved opinion on cannabis. But just in case, he casually mentioned on Twitter that his "thinking on cannabis has evolved" (and he's looking to get into business). 

Has he come to regret any role he had in his years with that big R next to his name including the role of his party in the history of mass incarceration for possession of this plant? Was there a particular strain passed among friends that caused him to see the light, and, if so, can we get some? 

Our take: de-stigmatization is a good thing, so this is a good thing. Plus maybe he can put in a good word with his buddies at DOJ to leave us alone.

The kids are alright
A high school sophomore recently won the local science fair for research on the relationship between cannabis and cancer. For the project, they examined the "effects of cannabinoids on squamous cell carcinoma, the second most prominent form of skin cancer, often spurred by excess UV exposure and tanning beds." Nice work. Our last science fair years ago involved a lame volcano that fizzled out.

Hops and cannabis
We're fans of botany. We love hops. We love cannabis. That said, the cannabis beer scene (yeah, that's a thing) is growing quickly. One example: a new company, CERIA, plans to brew cannabis-infused beers that are "very different to the ones that have entered the market so far." Intriguing.

Canada, Coffee, Cannabis
The Second Cup, a huge Canadian coffee chain says it plans to "open a network of recreational cannabis dispensaries, starting in Western Canada and then potentially moving east to other provinces where the drug is expected to soon be legal." Whoa.

Headline of the week
Cannabis museum to open in July in downtown Las Vegas

And it's going to feature a 360-degree theater.




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Pain in the ad
Placing ads for popular cannabis brands is still a huge hassle. And that mega-huge social media site we won't mention by name? Dream on. Here's how brands are working around this. (If you need help navigating, hit us up.)

Getting energized
Indoor cannabis farms are gobbling up megawatts of electricity. The energy requirements are massive. However, this might lead to a more thoughtful approach to growing, with cannabis growers leading the way to saving energy.

En masse in Massachusetts
Massachusetts companies that want to "operate retail marijuana stores in Massachusetts submitted a whopping 218 applications on the first day businesses could apply for recreational MJ business permits." 

And that's just for a place in line for licensing.

Watch us at NECANN
Speaking of Massachusetts, last month we spoke at NECANN in Boston. In case you missed our presentations, we shot some video. Check them out here. 

2018 Oscar swag bags: more magic
You're familiar with the swag bag at the Oscars, right? Performers and presenters get a bag every year with some super fun stuff. This year, cannabis played a role (and by "role" we mean bags full of product) thanks to cannabis swag bags.

Headline of the week
The Bumpy Road to Becoming the Martha Stewart of Cannabis

Hopefully it doesn't involve jail time. 




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Back to school
When the Cleveland School of Cannabis began its first introductory classes on marijuana in January 2017, the facility's small staff was overwhelmed with interest from prospective students. In other words, it's been a huge success.

Is the black market alive and well?
"Market disruption" is something usually reserved for tech but it's quickly becoming a term being used for cannabis. For now, product in California is available for retail, but some brands are in short supply. But? "The black market appears to be thriving anew-invigorated by dissuasive taxes on growers, plus licensing fees and frustrations over difficulties of entering the legal economy." The plot will thicken.

On a roll
New Frontier Data's new study, Cannabis In the U.S. Economy: Jobs, Growth and Tax Revenue, 2018 Edition, forecasts that under full federal legalization cannabis has the potential to create cumulatively $105.6 billion in federal tax revenue and 1 million new jobs by 2025. And, here's a cool nugget: If full legalization occurred in all 50 states today, there would be an excess of 654,000 jobs, and would increase to 1 million jobs by 2025.

More about NECANN
Good to see you in Boston at NECANN last weekend. Big props to my co-panelists, Beth Waterfall, David Day, Sirita Wright and Holly Alberti. Don't fret if you missed the session. We'll be uploading it to our YouTube page very soon!

Headline of the week
How to make a cannabis birthday cake

It's our birthday next month (hint hint). 




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Listen in
We love podcasts. We love history. We love (obviously) cannabis. Enter: a new podcast called "Great Moments in Weed History with Abdullah and Bean. The LA Times describes it as a "THC-trivia-packed adventure focusing on the relationship between pot and cannabis-culture heroes." 

From the NFL to cannabis entrepreneur
Ricky Williams, the Miami Dolphins, early retirement, then going back to the NFL. It all seems so long ago. And now? Williams just launched Real Wellness by Ricky Williams (RW), a cannabis-based wellness brand created for the health-conscious cannabis consumer.

Cannabis in Texas
Companies in the cannabis industry in Texas must "navigate conflicting state and federal laws, risk backlash from banks and state agencies, and overcome the stigma of selling a product that some consider dangerous or taboo." Read why.

Headline of the week

The World's First Plane Made From And Powered By Cannabis

There are so many "flying high" jokes to be made but we'll just let the headline speak for itself.

Meet us in Boston this weekend!
Hey! We are headed to New England for

NECANN this weekend to present (one session on marketing and the other on how we crushed it with PR for a client on California's first legal day of recreational sales). Will you be there? We'd love to meet you. Let's connect!




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Lies, damned lies, and statistics
Cannabis has been the victim of a series of lies meant to stigmatize those who use the herb, particularly over the past century. However, as science on the subject moves forward, researchers are proving these ridiculous theories as simply false. Here are five that really stand out.

Design meets cannabis
Meet Say Hi, a "highly edited online marketplace where consumers can find the types of sophisticated, design-minded cannabis products you can't find in the locked glass closet of your local deli." The site is beautifully designed and curated, natch.

Marketing cannabis
This is a solid piece that explores four ways to market your cannabis product or service. Facebook isn't anywhere near the list. (And if you need guidance with your marketing, you can always call us.)

Boston bound
Hey! We are headed to New England for NECANN in a couple of weeks to present two wicked awesome presentations (one on marketing and the other on how we crushed it with PR for a client on New Year's Day). Will you be there? We'd love to meet you. Let's connect!




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Wedding bells and buds
We wonder if we're living in the golden age of cannabis? Will we look back at the cusp of the '20s and think, "remember when all of this amazing and fabulous stuff went down?" Like? Like cannabis weddings!

Not so fast
Remember the blurb we ran last week that mentioned the dude running for congress (with a joint in his hand in his ads)? The former FBI guy? Not quite. According to the FBI, he was never in the FBI (though he did have a "support role.") If you're going to fabricate something, at least do it with an organization that doesn't check this kind of stuff for a living.

Dissolvable cannabinoid powder
It's flavorless, odorless, and with a faster time of onset. Dissolvable cannabinoid powder is "an innovation that has the potential to change the edibles landscape from here on out. But what exactly are dissolvable cannabinoids, how are they made, and what value can they offer?" Read more here.

Not your mom's mom
Move over wine moms! There's a new mom on the block, generating a new industry for new products including sprays, drinks, drops, and oils.

Women in cannabis
It's March, meaning it's Women's History Month. Women have made tremendous contributions to the cannabis industry (many times overlooked) and are making an even bigger impact in legal states. This piece looks at the history of women in cannabis. Happy Women's History Month!




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A new day and a new line
The Hemp Excellence is offering a line of beauty products, including "body lotions, lip balms and CBD capsules, aimed at ethnic minorities." The products are available at two beauty shops that cater to women of color in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Hand work
Nail art. You know it. You've seen it. And now comes "tiny canna-inspired designs like pot-leafs and dripping oil to nails that actually contain marijuana leaf bits." Need more proof? Search #weednails on Instagram.

We heart (great) branding
Like? Like Vancouver-based designer Ben Frey, who's worked on packaging for 1964 Supply Co. Leafly sat down with him to talk cannabis and branding.

The faces of cannabis
Miss Grass, an elevated lifestyle shop and publication for women, cannabis and good living, has released a video called the Faces of Cannabis. They interviewed 30 women to understand how they integrate cannabis into their lives. It's an awesome video. Watch it.

Headline of the week
'Cannabis Candidate' calls for legalizing marijuana, joint in hand

He really is holding a smoking joint in his advertisements. Oh, and he's a former FBI agent.




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Cannabis 101
Everything you wanted to know about cannabis but were afraid to ask? This guide, by High Times, is an excellent introduction to anyone looking to "inform themselves about the reality of cannabis."

Beyond the buzz(words)
What exactly does it mean to be a "sustainable and organic" business in the cannabis industry? Leafly sat down with one company that might be achieving both. Learn how.

Women-owned cannabis media co. launches
And, they're aiming to highlight and increase minorities in the legal marijuana industry through their new media company, Estrohaze.

A history lesson of cannabis journalism
A look at the good, bad and ugly of the new cannabis journalism. Of course the opening salvo that sets the stage is Maureen Dowd's piece in 2014. We all remember that one, right?

Headline of the week
'I'm a pot evangelist': meet America's dope queens

Three things: 

1. No one writes a headline like the British.

2. This is actually a solid article about women entrepreneurs fighting the stigma. 

3. That headline certainly made us look. 




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First sanctuary city for cannabis?
The Berkeley City Council voted this week to declare the city a sanctuary for recreational marijuana. The resolution "prohibits Berkeley's agencies and employees from using city resources to assist in enforcing federal marijuana laws or providing information on legal cannabis activities." Wow.

California keeps rolling
California might be the place to get a job "helping marijuana growers, processors, and sellers or work in adjacent services including legal advice, marketing and security for the nascent industry." That's according to ZipRecruiter and Julie Weed's latest piece for Forbes.

They heart cannabis
Early predictions are already pouring in from Wednesday's Valentine's Day (you remembered, right?). Valentine's Day spending by U.S. consumers is projected to reach $19.6 billion in 2018, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. That's up from $18.2 billion spent last year. Billion. With a "b."

Headline of the week
This Couple's Wedding Included $8,000 Worth of Cannabis

And? It was all donated.




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A true hophead beer?
The parallels between beer and cannabis have been told and retold (by us too) many times. When the two meet, it's always fascinating. In Canada (they're like one step ahead of the U.S., aren't they?), a company has filed a patent for the "world's first beers brewed from the cannabis plant." Sure, there have been beers and wines laced with cannabis but not the whole plant.

Legal spa in Denver
We just wrote a post on why we don't use marijuana or weed when writing about cannabis but we just can't get over the phrase, "weed yoga." Sure, you can always partake then go to a yoga class. However, an application in Denver has been submitted for a social consumption application in hopes of becoming the first "fully licensed, state-legal cannabis spa." Hopefully the city will be flexible with licensing.

Valentine's Day chocolates: Extra Love
If you're panic-buying a cheap heart-shaped box of chocolates on the 14th at the local drugstore, carry on. If you're thinking ahead, live in California, and your significant other is a cannabis aficionado? You might want to check out some of these sophisticated cannabis-infused chocolates. They had us with the packaging.

California ups equity
You no doubt heard that San Francisco announced it's wiping out or reducing sentencing for all cannabis-related crime convictions, misdemeanors, and felonies, dating back to 1975. This must-read piece looks at how "cities across California and other states are upping the racial equity quotient in various ways, in what looks like a race to the top for seeking true racially and economically inclusive outcomes."

NY Times strongest op-ed piece yet
It's titled, Marijuana Can Save Lives and they come out swinging with this nugget: 

Marijuana isn't a gateway drug to opioid addiction; it's a safer alternative to pain medicines. Mr. Sessions's vow to crack down on marijuana will only make the opioid epidemic worse.

Grrrl Power
Here's a cool round-up of woman-owned and based cannabis companies. Of note: Stonedware Company, "design-centric smoking wares for the aesthetically inclined." Beautiful and discreet (and we like the name). 




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It reigned in January
Early January seems so far away, what with the Sessions kerfuffle. So, did it affect sales of cannabis? Not even close. January was the biggest selling month (yet) for legalized cannabis. Shocker: California played a huge role. On January 1st the country's most populous state - and the world's sixth-largest economy - officially launched an entirely new industry within its borders. Bring on February. 

Pack your bags for a trip
Here comes cannabis tours in California. Emerald Farm Tours will allow customers to "reserve spots on a 10-person cannabis club and culture tour of either San Francisco or Berkeley/Oakland." The company is started by our longtime friend (and the guy who launched the Bay Area CMA with me) - you know him, you love him - Victor Pinho ladies and gentlemen. Victor told me, "We're motivated by our love for cannabis, and we are proud to share with you some of the things that make California's cannabis culture remarkably unique." Victor's inspiration? Rick Steves. We are so down with that.

A different kind of powder
Bon Appétit magazine recently launched Healthyish, a site dedicated to simple, healthy recipes. We're huge fans. And, while looking for some sort of Instapot (pun intended) easy, weekday dinner recipe we stumbled across Mondo. Says Healthyish, "one serving of Mondo is nothing like a typical high. It's great for creative energy: bright and peppy." And it comes in a small, attractive glass jar. Cool.

Not using the "M" word
Though it's not our official policy, we've made it a point amongst ourselves to stop using the word "marijuana" when speaking and writing about cannabis. (Don't Google our page, we probably missed a couple. We're trying.) Alex Halperin looks at the history of the word, its racist roots, and if we should still be using it.