Search Results for: the business

Founder Of Nation’s First Black-Owned Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Keynote “The Business Of Cannabis”

Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 atEmmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY

NEW YORK:  Chanda Macias, MBA, PhD, a Washington, D.C.-based cell biologist and patient advocate who founded National Holistic Healing Center and Chairwoman and acting CEO of Women Grow, LLC, will be keynote speaker at a free day-long conference aiming to help New Yorkers of color to join the ranks of those who own legal cannabis and hemp businesses.

Elected officials including New York State Attorney General Tish James will join medical clinicians, grassroots community and health organizers, attorneys and cannabis/hemp entrepreneurs among the line-up of national, regional and local expert speakers and workshop facilitators for “The Business of Cannabis,” 9:30  a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, February 23, 2019, at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn.  Acquiring a cultivation or dispensary license, careers in cannabis/hemp, equity, social justice and policy reform, parenting and the role cannabis/hemp in medicine, self-care and community wellness are among workshop topics that will be discussed at the one- day event. Women Grow, Minorities for Medical Marijuana, CannagatherMinority Cannabis Business AssociationCannaclusive and Cannabis Cultural Association have partnered with Emmanuel Baptist Church to bring this education to the community.

Featured cannabis and hemp experts from across the country include the renowned Knox family of American Cannabinoid Clinics, who are pioneers of integrative cannabis medicine; Jesce and Jeannette Horton of NuLeaf Project; Christine De La Rosa of The People’s Dispensary;  Dr. Oludare Odumosu of Ilera Healthcare; Dasheeda Dawson of MJM Strategy; and Amy Holdener of Citva.

The conference aims to amplify and help fix what is a clear problem: Too few people of color are critically involved in what is, by turns, a growing and profitable cannabis/hemp marketplace and a healthcare sector struggling to ensure that patients of color are served by culturally competent cannabis/hemp vendors.

“The cannabis industry must become a more equal and inclusive business space. But this cannot happen without connecting directly with the people in communities of color,” says Rosalind “Roz” McCarthy, founder and CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana.

Says Gia Morón, executive vice president for Women Grow: “This is a critical time for women and people of color to learn about the opportunities in this multi-billion-dollar industry.”

And the Rev. Anthony Trufant, an author, nationally noted church development consultant and senior pastor of Brooklyn’s 4,000-member Emmanuel Baptist Church: “We see the injustice and irony of having so many people of color criminally charged, incarcerated and in court because of what, by current laws, are often petty marijuana-related crimes.”

He continued: “As New York’s governor joins the chorus of elected officials and others wanting to totally legalize marijuana, the faith community must coalesce with strategists, experts and entrepreneurs at the forefront of helping people of color launch cannabis and hemp businesses that might ease sick people’s pains while generating income for owners of these enterprises.”

Emmanuel Baptist Church is located at 279 Lafayette Avenue (corner of St James Place) in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.  Please visit for free tickets.

MJBA Portland Hosts “Game On: The Business of Sports and Cannabis” Panel 3/2/16

OREGON: At last month’s Cannabis Collaborative Conference in Portland, NBA All-Star Cliff Robinson announced the creation of his cannabis brand, “Uncle Spliffy.”  The announcement garnered a tremendous among of media attention, and served to highlight the many intersections between sports and cannabis.

On Wednesday, March 2nd, 6-8:30PM at On Deck Sports Bar in Portland, Oregon, the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) will host a panel discussion, “Game On: The Business of Sports and Cannabis.”  Sponsored by CannaGuard Security,  the professional education event will explore the many business opportunities that are manifesting around the intersection of sports and cannabis, including celebrity endorsements; cannabis as a performance enhancement; cannabis as part of a natural, healthy lifestyle; and medical marijuana as sports medicine.

NBA All-Star Cliff Robinson will kick off “Game On: The Business of Sports and Cannabis”  by debuting his “Uncle Spliffy” cannabis brand. Then MJBA Founder David Rheins will moderate a VIP Panel discussion featuring Uncle Spliffy’s Linda MillerMatt Enos, Fore Twenty Golf, Marc Belsher, Silverback Advisory Group; and College football coach turned cannabis technologist Brian Yauger, Front Runner as we discuss exciting business opportunities that are manifesting at the intersection of sports and cannabis.

MJBA Professional Education Seminars are well known for bringing together top players in from the cannabis industry, for the sharing of reliable, actionable business intelligence.


Striking Oil: The Business of Edibles, Topicals and Concentrates Is Jan 21st In Tacoma, WA

The Marijuana Business Association and Front Runnerpowered by TetraTrak, have announced their first Professional Seminar of 2016: “Striking Oil: The Business of Concentrates, Edibles, and Topicals.”

The half-day MJBA Professional Seminar takes place on Thursday, January 21st, 2016,1PM-6PM, at the Red Lion Hotel in Tacoma, WA. Hosted by The Marijuana Business Association and business intelligence firm Front Runner, “Striking Oil” will provide I-502 Producers, Processors, Retailers, and industry professionals with an in-depth look at Washington’s emerging marketplace for cannabis concentrates, oils, edibles and topicals.

The legal cannabis marketplace has evolved well beyond the bud, and today Edibles, Topicals, Concentrates and Oils represent the fastest-growing segments for Washington’s legal cannabis industry.  MJBA and Front Runner will kick off the afternoon with a detailed parsing of the LCB sales numbers to date, with forward-looking analysis from Front Runner CEO Brian Yauger.

CannaSol Farms founder Jeremy Moberg will deliver the keynote address, providing his prospective as one of the state’s leading Producer/Processors, and an outspoken advocate for naturally-grown cannabis. He will focus his remarks on the needs for Washington producer/processors to self-regulate.

Exciting new cannabis-infused products and concentrates bring with them a host of new business challenges for our emerging industry, including how to create best practices and common standards for Contaminants/PesticidesDosing and Packaging, and Lab Testing/Quality Assurance.  To provide their insights into these pressing issues and others, MJBA has assembled subject matter experts from Washington’s top cannabis companies to serve as our VIP Panelists.

Leading subject matter experts from Db3 (Zoots) , Mirth Provisions (Legal) , Eden Labs, Cannabis Basics, Avitas, Kush Creams, Mary’s Medicinals, The Goodship, Ethos Extracts, Robotanical, Spot, Integrity Labs, Landrace Labs, Dama, Amoebic Extracts, (and many others) will lead discussions on Edibles; Topicals, Concentrates and Lab Standards.

Industry Thought Leaders Speak at MJBA/Front Runner Seminars

Industry Thought Leaders Speak at MJBA/Front Runner Seminars

Tickets are $99 in advance/$125 Day of Show. MJBA Members and Front Runner Subscribers receive special discount!

Reserve your tickets here:

“Striking Oil” VIP Sponsors include Robotanical, Eden Labs, Cannabis Basics, PayQwick, Avitas and Great Pacific Packaging. .


Everyone uses cash because banks, which are federally regulated, aren't keen on the idea of getting into business in an industry that is still federally illegal.

Avitas_Logo (1)

Great Pacific Packaging Vector Logo Horizontal-01


California’s Green Rush, The Business Of Marijuana In The Golden State

CALIFORNIA:  The following 4 segments are from a KPIX 5 News in-depth look at the marijuana business in California since it became the first state to legalize the use of medical pot 17 years ago.

VIDEO: SEGMENT 1 (of 4):
In this segment host Veronica De La Cruz introduces a report by Joe Vazquez on the explosion in illegal marijuana grow operations and the environmental impact of those activities.


CannaCon Showcases The Business Of Buds

WASHINGTON: Under the massive, round roof of the Tacoma Dome, a button-down crowd from across the state gathered last weekend for CannaCon, billed by its organizer as the largest cannabis business conference in the nation.

While tourists and marijuana enthusiasts descended on Seattle’s more lighthearted Hempfest, this much smaller group was on a serious mission — learning how to cash in on the slow but growing legitimization of the legal cannabis industry in Washington. Pot smoking was not allowed. Instead of the music, celebrations and speeches going on in Seattle, the event was peppered with a wide range of seminars, entrepreneurial product vendors, growers, lawyers, insurance agents, accountants and even a group trying to set up a marijuana commodities exchange.

In the middle of all that action, a new business group, the Marijuana Business Association, worked to round more people into its fold. The Seattle-based group has opened a handful of offices around the state and plans to open one in Vancouver on Sept. 19th, said CEO Dave Rheins.

“Despite all the challenges, this industry is being built,” said Rheins, looking out at the wide array of booths. “This culture isn’t new, the product’s not new, but what is new is the whole business side. And we have a lot of education to do.”

What’s new is legitimization of a long-stigmatized product. It’s a new industry, with Washington and Colorado as test cases for legalization. Rheins notes that it will take a bit of time for the market to sort out — and weed the bad businesspeople from the good ones.

The Business of Legal Marijuana: People Are Getting Rich, Should You Get In?

NEW YORK:  The line stretched nearly around the block. To people passing by on New Year’s Day, it looked like a queue for the latest iPhone release or for tickets to a Justin Timberlake concert. Few onlookers strolling down Denver’s 16th Street Mall, the epicenter of the state capital’s tourist industry, would have guessed they were witnessing the first state-sanctioned sales of recreational marijuana in the United States.

To say that the owner of this small but opportunistically located cannabis shop appeared overjoyed would be an understatement. He was in the zone, racing up and down the line, managing crowd control, and handing out tickets that preserved customers’ spots in line — there wouldn’t have been enough room in a Whole Foods to absorb the crowd, much less in his roughly 2,500-square-foot store. [Read more…]

Taking Marijuana Out Of The Black Market: Why The Business Community Needs To Lead

COLORADO: The future of marijuana legalization hangs perilously in the balance. While some may view decriminalization as a fait accompli, the reality is that the results of initial implementation efforts in Colorado, Washington, and the other pioneering states of legalization will significantly impact the direction and momentum for subsequent efforts. The stakes could not be greater. [Read more…]

Curt’s Cannabis Corner: Business Ethics in the Cannabis Industry

A primary focus of emerging cannabis companies is social equity and inclusion. Such pinnacle issues beg those in the C-suite and middle management to consider the overarching issue of business ethics. This includes methods and programs to expedite the adoption and implementation of inclusivity, sustainability, and social responsibility programs in an industry that has yet to mature and find its stride. 





Business Ethics

In The

Cannabis Industry


By Curt Robbins



Standards & Regulation

With legalization comes regulation. Most regulations are imposed at the governmental level. However, in some areas, such as quality assurance and advocacy, guidelines emerge at the industry segment level.   

The current focus of such management and operational standards involves product transparency and accountability to both consumers and distribution channels. This represents a small step toward ethical business practices in which players are accountable for their supply chain and overall strategy. 

According to many thought leaders, becoming a better corporate citizen necessarily involves business ethics. These ethics and their practice must exceed a simple accounting of how profits are spent. These practices must define and, arguably, power strategies regarding revenue and reinvestment.

Several tools are available in this arena. Assessing and benchmarking the ethics of the practices of a business can be aided by Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting standards. This modern corporate management methodology involves equal elements of environmental stewardship, social equity, and regulatory oversight.  

Mika Unterman & ESG 

In 2018, Canada shocked the worldincluding itselfwhen it legalized adult-use cannabis at the federal level. Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver have since become cultural and financial epicenters within the Canadian adult-use cannabis marketplace.

Mika Unterman is founder of the Apical Ethical Cannabis Collective in one of those epicenters, Toronto. Her expertise is in business intelligence and the commercialization of the once-underground culture of cannabis into the now legaland heavily regulatedindustry of cannabis. One of Unterman’s core passions is that all companies in the emerging industry might understand the potential benefits of ESG. 

ESG is “an actionable commitment that companies can invest in to make the world a better place,” writes Unterman in an article for the Alan Aldous PR and digital strategy agency in Toronto. “ESG investing relies on independent ratings that assess what a company says and does for the environment, social justice, and governance issues,” explains Unterman in the article. 

The Interview

Curt’s Cannabis Corner conducted the following exclusive interview with Mika Unterman in August of 2021. The goal is to educate cannabis industry professionals in our reading audience about the topic of ESG and ethical standards that they may desire to adopt and promote.  

Curt Robbins: “Mika, thank you for taking the time to share your expertise in business ethics and, more specifically, ESG and social consciousness within the burgeoning cannabis industry.”

Mika Unterman: “Thank you for having me. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to speak on this topic.”

CR: “Mika, you have your finger on the pulse of business ethics within emerging legal adult-use cannabis markets such as the United States and Canada. What are the leading companies doing right in terms of ethics and ESG?”


MU: “The only thing I can say for certain is that it’s being discussed. What’s unique about cannabis as an industry is that most of the workforce is millennial and most of the consumers are millennial and Gen Z. The inclusivity, sustainability, and social responsibility initiatives of businesses are important to these demographics. It’s certainly being discussed when it comes to marketing initiatives.

“In terms of action, I’ve seen a wide range. Most ambitious have been cannabis investment funds that focus on small BIPOC-owned businesses. Some ESG reports have emerged within the last year. There have also been donations to specific social justice causes. But that is not the same as fundamentally changing the way you do business to build up the resilience of communities, both human and natural.”

CR: “The Apical Ethical Cannabis Collective website describes the cannabis industry as ‘fast paced and bootstrapped.’ Can you elaborate?”

MU: “As with any new industry or startup company, the work seems to never end. Not only is there very rarely a formal, tested process on which to rely, but the rules of the game are constantly changing. The challenge is like changing a tire without stopping the car. You have to figure it out as you go. Most companies are comprised of a relatively small team. That is very energy expensive in terms of human capital.

“The cost of compliance is very high. That’s what I mean when I say ‘bootstrapped.’ Planning and paying for a facility with the appropriate quality, security, and environmental mitigation equipment requires a long runway and heavy capital. Workers in the cannabis space will often hear from employers that they simply can’t pay market rate for their services and work…that there isn’t enough cash.”

CR: “What are emerging companies doing wrong in terms of embracing and implementing ESG programs?”

MU: “Not thinking about it early enough and not incorporating it into the business strategy from the beginning. Some confuse ESG and the practices around inclusivity, sustainability, and social responsibility to be more like charitable giving. Something you do after the profits are made. But ultimately, ESG is about how you run your business every day.”

CR: “What can small operators, who employ from three to 20 employees, do to understand the benefits of ESG and implement their own programs and standard operating procedures?”

MU: “I think these small businesses are the ones with the potential to take the most action. Larger companies are inhibited by bureaucracy and red tape. Small businesses can be nimble, try things, fail fast, and try again, in an iterative path to true improvement for all parties affected or involved. Another big benefit: Done properly, ESG programs can be both sustained over the long term and their benefits quantified by cynical accounting.

“The best way to start implementing ESG is to be open to asking yourself questions. This includes identification of all stakeholders and externalities. The environment is almost always an important one.”   

CR: “What can the United States learn from Canadaand what can Canada learn from the terms of their respective ESG implementations?”

MU: “In this case, it might be the blind leading the blind. I think we have much more to learn from the European Union and Japan in terms of how we incorporate the cost of externalities into our business and how we are accountable to society. We must create an industry that is built for our environment and all in societynot on its shoulders.”


WM Holding Company, LLC, a Leading Technology Platform to the Cannabis Industry, Completes Business Combination With Silver Spike Acquisition Corp.

Public company to be named WM Technology, Inc. and common stock to begin trading on the Nasdaq under symbol “MAPS” on June 16, 2021

CALIFORNIA:  WM Holding Company, LLC, a leading technology and software infrastructure provider to the cannabis industry, announced today that it has completed its previously announced business combination with Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. (Ticker: “SSPK”).

The transaction was unanimously approved by SSPK’s Board of Directors and was approved at a special meeting of SSPK stockholders on June 10, 2021. In connection with the closing, SSPK changed its name to WM Technology, Inc. The ticker symbol for the common stock will change from “SSPK” to “MAPS” and will begin trading as such on the Nasdaq Stock Market on June 16, 2021.

Founded in 2008, WMH operates Weedmaps, a leading online listings marketplace for cannabis consumers and businesses, and WM Business, one of the most comprehensive SaaS subscription offerings sold to cannabis retailers and brands. The Company provides software and other technology solutions and is non-plant touching. WMH has a history of growth since its inception. From fiscal year 2014 through 2020, the Company grew revenue at a CAGR of 35% and expanded its gross margin rate from 92% to 95%. For the year ended December 31, 2020, WMH generated $162 million of revenue, net income of $39 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $43 million.

WMH’s senior management team will continue to lead the now combined company, including Chris Beals (Chief Executive Officer), Arden Lee (Chief Financial Officer), Juanjo Feijoo (Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer), Justin Dean (Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer), and Brian Camire (General Counsel).

“We are excited to complete this business combination, which will further advance our mission to power a transparent and inclusive global cannabis economy, further solidify our position as a leading technology platform to the cannabis industry, and accelerate our growth,” said Chris Beals, Chief Executive Officer of WMH. “We continue to benefit from strong, sustainable macro tailwinds as cannabis legalization advances throughout the U.S. and internationally. As a public company, we now have an even stronger platform to advocate for legalization, social equity and licensing in many jurisdictions, while providing cannabis businesses with the tools needed to succeed in a highly complex world of regulations. We are well positioned to continue scaling the Weedmaps marketplace in service of our users, while expanding the functionality of our WM Business SaaS offerings in service of our clients.”

Scott Gordon, CEO and Chairman of SSPK, commented, “We are proud to complete the combination of Silver Spike and WMH, further establishing Weedmaps as a leading online listings marketplace for cannabis consumers and businesses, and WM Business as the most comprehensive SaaS subscription offering sold to cannabis retailers and brands. We believe WMH is the most compelling investment opportunity in cannabis today and as a public company, WMH is uniquely positioned to deliver on its vision of helping licensed cannabis businesses thrive while driving growth and returns for shareholders.”

Transaction Overview

The transaction provides $579 million of gross proceeds primarily comprised of $254 million of cash from SSPK’s former trust account and $325 million of cash from a private investment in public equity (PIPE), not including transaction fees. The PIPE is anchored by investors including funds and accounts managed by AFV Partners, the Federated Hermes Kaufmann Funds and Senvest Management LLC along with a $35 million commitment from Silver Spike Capital. $125 million in proceeds will be delivered to the balance sheet of WMH as primary capital, including to pay transaction expenses and used to fund the company’s planned growth, including further scaling its cloud-based WM Business SaaS subscription offering, and growing its active user base and business listings in the U.S. and international markets. $455 million in proceeds will go to existing WMH equity holders. WMH’s executive officers have rolled 100% of their equity holdings as part of the transaction. A more detailed description of the transaction can be found in the definitive proxy statement filed by SSPK with the SEC on May 26, 2021.


Rothschild & Co. served as exclusive financial and capital markets adviser and Cooley LLP and Dentons LLP served as legal advisors to WM Holding Company, LLC. Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated and Piper Sandler & Co. served as joint placement agents and financial advisors. BTIG, LLC, Canaccord Genuity LLC, JMP Securities LLC, and Trust Securities, Inc. also served as capital markets advisors and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as legal advisor to Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Jonathan Dennis served as legal advisors to the founders of WM Holding.