How To Pick A Cannabis Consultant Or Lawyer For Your AGCO Retail Dispensary In The Greater Toronto Area Or Ontario

CANADA:  The regulation of cannabis in Canada has come a long way to where it is today. Since the federal legalization took place, it has proven to be an area that is performing relatively well. However, it’s still a sector that’s highly regulated; in essence, a prospective business owner has to go through stringent processes before being granted a license to operate.

To increase your chances of being granted a license, it’s always recommended that a person seeks legal and consultancy assistance. There are several cannabis consultants in the Greater Toronto and Ontario. Choosing one can be the difference between success and failure.

The purpose of a cannabis consultant is to provide their clients with vital information especially in the areas that they are lacking in knowledge. Besides the horticultural aspect of consultancy, a good adviser should also educate potential business owners about the facility design.

The following is a detailed guide that’ll help you with finding the right cannabis lawyer or consultant:

Things to Consider When Choosing a Cannabis Consultant or Lawyer

Given the popularity of the cannabis industry, it’s quite unfortunate to learn that multiple unscrupulous firms have cropped up claiming to be cannabis consultants. To make matters worse, many naive business owners have fallen prey to them. Here’s how you can avoid such pitfalls and pick the right adviser.

Probing the Advisers

When you’ll be looking for the right adviser, it’s very important to thoroughly vet the person. If you notice that a prospective consultant is quite reserved or hesitant in giving you answers, that may be an indication that he or she isn’t worth hiring. Consultants are vastly knowledgeable and are very quick to offer advice. Some of the questions you shouldn’t fail to ask include the number of years they’ve been in the field, relevant credentials and certification, their current and past clients, and the amount of time he or she will dedicate to you.\

Watch out for the red flags

As you search for the most qualified adviser who’d help you, it’s also good to be on the lookout to avoid anything that can potentially ruin your chances of getting a license. Some examples of red flags you should watch out for include; being asked for equity, a consultant who’s reluctant to track time, not being treated as a partner, and avoiding to answer your questions adequately.

Identify your Needs

Before you seek consultancy services, you should first and foremost understand the specific needs of your business venture. This will help you in determining the particular type of consulting you require as well as providing you with a clear picture of the amount you’ll be willing to pay for that service. Due to the complexity of this industry, this area tends to be a field that has many consulting firms. Thus, you should only go for a person who specializes in a particular niche.

On many occasions, business owners find themselves requiring more than one consultancy service. Even though it may appear costly, the person seeking the services will end up gaining a lot in the long run.

Understanding the Consultancy Process

When it comes to cannabis consultancy, different business owners usually have varying needs. The consultancy process tends to follow three fundamental stages.

Problem definition

This stage usually seeks to identify the particular need of the client and how he or she can work along with the consultant to facilitate a successful outcome.

Business Licensing

Apart from facing other startup challenges, acquiring a cannabis license is usually a difficult hurdle on its own. This step involves acquiring the right license for the client’s business.

Compliance 

For your business to remain operational, it should always comply with the set guidelines in the industry. The Consultant’s work at this stage would be to ensure that your business remains compliant and attains profitability

Conclusion

Getting the help of a cannabis adviser or lawyer is a crucial step before anyone begins operating a cannabis retail dispensary. For any consultancy services to work perfectly, there has to be a positive relationship between both parties. Honesty and timely communication can help in cementing a solid relationship. If you’re searching for the appropriate adviser in Greater Toronto or Ontario, be sure the following the guidelines provided above.

Terrapin Announces Plans For Hoboken Dispensary

Begins local process for medical cannabis with community impact plan

NEW JERSEY: Terrapin has announced plans to open a medical cannabis dispensary in Hoboken, with a social equity community impact plan that has the support of the community’s nonprofit sector.

Minority-owned Terrapin has plans to open a dispensary in Hoboken at 86 River St. After nearly three years of outreach to the community, Terrapin is ready to begin the local zoning process, preparing paperwork to move through local zoning boards. Terrapin wanted to wait until it had the support of the North Jersey community before making any announcements.

“As always, Terrapin is focused on planting local roots,” said Chris Woods, the founder, owner and CEO of Terrapin. “We are so thankful to our partners in the Hoboken community who have welcomed us with open arms. We are excited to serve these communities as responsible corporate actors in meeting the needs of cannabis patients, while also leaving a positive community footprint.”

An expanded cannabis industry means potential for long-lasting community partnerships. As part of its commitment to local North Jersey communities, Terrapin has identified several nonprofits and organizations to work with to create a beneficial footprint for its neighbors. Much of the focus is on diversity in workforce and economic development.

Nonprofits and organizations Terrapin partnered with include: 

  • WomenRising, a Jersey City-based nonprofit that assists women and families in North Jersey with counseling, economic development and advocacy. Terrapin has pledged to assist in creating an employment pipeline by connecting WomenRising alumni to potential employment opportunities within Terrapin. Terrapin also has pledged financial support to the organization.
  • Oasis, A Haven for Women and Children. The Paterson organization’s mission is to change the lives of women and children by breaking the cycle of poverty through compassionate programs designed to feed, clothe, educate and empower women and children in need. Terrapin will work on an employment pipeline with the organization, while providing volunteers in the form of directors to develop mentorships and training.
  • Project Help, a group dedicated to serving homeless veterans in northern New Jersey. The nonprofit has been able to expand services to include financial support and legal assistance. One initiative Terrapin has pledged to support is to assist veterans suffering from PTSD. There has been a strong nexus between medical cannabis legalization and assisting veterans, and Terrapin would like to see that momentum grow. Terrapin helped to launch VetForce in Pennsylvania, a security firm for the cannabis industry. Terrapin has plans to assist with a similar program in New Jersey where veterans run security for the cannabis industry.
  • Hudson Pride Center, the LGBTQ+ Community Center for Hudson County. Hudson Pride offers a variety of health, support and social services to the LGBTQ+ community. Hudson County has the largest LGBTQ+ population in the State of New Jersey and Terrapin has long stood as an ally to this community. We will work to educate the local community about the medical efficacy of cannabis, especially for conditions that might be relevant to the LGBTQ+ community, like anxiety and HIV/AIDS. Terrapin will also work with the group on a jobs pipeline.
  • United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). Terrapin has entered into a Labor Peace Agreement with the Union to avoid labor disputes and to promote harmonious labor relations.

“Terrapin recognizes that partnerships between the business and nonprofit sectors create synergies which benefit individuals and the larger community,” said Roseann Mazzeo, S.C., WomenRising Executive Director. “Workforce development is critical to our mission of assisting women and their families to achieve self-sufficiency and live safe, productive and fulfilling lives. We look forward to working with Terrapin in developing additional opportunities to support this mission.”

Social equity job fair 
Terrapin also has plans for a job fair with an emphasis on social equity. Terrapin will model the program after a similar event the company held in Michigan, where Terrapin provided resources to socio-disadvantaged communities looking for access to a new cannabis industry. Drawing upon our experience with Color of Cannabis, Terrapin will place a focus on diversity as it establishes operations in Hoboken.

Color of Cannabis provides technical business support, mentorship training, and partnerships for people of color and stakeholders negatively impacted by cannabis prohibition. The group will oversee a social equity informational session and resume-building workshop for Terrapin in New Jersey, holding the event virtually if COVID-19 prohibits in-person gatherings. Those who attend the informational session will receive valuable resume-building and interview tips to improve chances of employment. Participants will be encouraged to attend a Terrapin job fair and Color of Cannabis will screen resumes to ensure diversity in hiring.

Support from community leaders 
Terrapin partnered with several high-profile figures in the Hoboken community, including Joseph Castelo, a second-generation descendant of Galician Spanish immigrants who dreamed about building up the community that gave him and his family so many opportunities. Joe, a filmmaker and entrepreneur, has provided fundraising platforms and events for GLAAD, The Water Project, the Boys and Girls Club, and he has donated to numerous local charities. Antique Bar and Bakery, the Hoboken restaurant Joe co-owns, donates food to the community’s homeless shelter. Antique’s senior employees and Joe have also mentored local youth interested in pursuing careers in the restaurant business. Joe himself has extended employment opportunities to ex-inmates, an exercise that has been tremendously successful.

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Chris Woods and his team at Terrapin,” Castelo said. “Terrapin’s culture aligns strongly with our commitment to serving the local community. We are thrilled to enter into a partnership to work with Terrapin to bring more opportunity and diversity to Hoboken’s workforce, while also offering access to patients who need medical cannabis. We look forward to a long relationship.”

Accountability
Terrapin has established several boards to reflect a commitment to Hoboken. The volunteer-based advisory boards include counseling on community impact, workforce development, and medical cannabis efficacy. The boards will convene at least twice a year to ensure that Terrapin is remaining true to its mission of positively impacting the local community, while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of medical cannabis.

Terrapin’s history as a pioneer
Founded in Boulder, Colo. in 2009 as one of the first licensed medical marijuana providers in the country, Terrapin has led the industry as a pioneer. Expanding to New Jersey serves as a homecoming for founder Chris Woods, whose family resides in the state. What started as a one-man business in an office park in South Boulder has blossomed into a national company with more than 300 employees.

Terrapin operates six dispensaries and four cultivation/processing facilities in Colorado. In addition to its Colorado operations, Terrapin operates a licensed grower/processor medical marijuana facility in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, and it recently launched a medical cannabis grower facility in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“We have a proven track record that ensures that we will fit in with the fabric of this community,” Woods added. “The relationships we have developed with the community allow us to serve as a responsible partner who is invested in the future of Hoboken and North Jersey.”

Curaleaf Opens New Cannabis Dispensary In Clearwater, Florida

New Location Marks Curaleaf’s 29th Storefront in Florida and 89th Nationwide

FLORIDA: Curaleaf Holdings, a leading vertically integrated cannabis operator in the United States and one of the largest cannabis operators in Florida, announced today that it has opened a new dispensary in Clearwater, Florida, marking its 29th retail location in the state.Curaleaf Clearwater, located at 2082 Gulf to Bay Boulevard, will carry a wide range of Curaleaf and Select brand products. Select, known as America’s #1 cannabis oil brand now available in 12 states, launched earlier this month in Florida with Select Elite Live, the brand’s new enhanced live resin product, which combines high-quality THC oil and live resin high-terpene extract. The company also recently launched the first-to-market Curaleaf sublingual tablets. The Clearwater location is the first of three new medical dispensaries the company plans to open in the market this quarter.

“Curaleaf remains committed to the Florida market and its patients by providing high-quality medical cannabis products and new consumption formats that make cannabis accessible for all,” said Joe Bayern, President at Curaleaf. “We are thrilled to open Clearwater and support the health and wellness needs of more Floridians.”

Florida’s continued growth in patient registration makes it one of the nation’s fastest-growing medical cannabis markets in the country. Currently, there are over 394,000 medical patients enrolled in the Florida program – about 1.8% of the state’s population – with approximately 5,000 new patients joining each week.

In response to COVID-19, Curaleaf continues to implement new policies and procedures, including curbside services and contactless and cashless payment through approved credit and debit card services, to keep patients, customers and employees safe during this time. To see Curaleaf’s dispensary locations in Florida, please visit www.curaleaf.com/locations/#florida.

Acreage Announces Sale Of Maryland Dispensary

NEW YORK: Acreage Holdings, Inc., a vertically integrated, multi-state operator of cannabis licenses and assets in the U.S., today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with an undisclosed buyer, pursuant to which the Buyer, when permitted by state law, will purchase all of the issued and outstanding membership interests of Maryland Medicinal Research & Caring, LLC. MMRC is licensed to operate a medical cannabis dispensary in Baltimore, Maryland.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Due to regulatory restrictions regarding license transfers, the Buyer, upon approval by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, will enter into a managed services agreement with MMRC until the requisite time has elapsed before Acreage and the Buyer can close the transaction under the definitive agreement.  Closing of the transaction is contingent upon regulatory approvals.

“The sale of our Maryland dispensary is another step forward in our refocused strategy to accelerate our pathway to profitability,” said Bill Van Faasen, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Acreage. “It follows our divestiture in North Dakota, plus other cost-cutting measures completed earlier this year.  We are moving forward with our refocused plan as quickly as possible and we will continue to update shareholders on our progress as new events transpire.”

Planet 13 Awarded Nevada Dispensary License

Planet 13 awarded Nevada retail cannabis license through settlement of the lawsuit against the Nevada Department of Taxation

NEVADA:  Planet 13 Holdings Inc., a leading vertically-integrated Nevada cannabis company, today announced it has agreed to a settlement of its ongoing lawsuit against the Nevada Department of Taxation and other parties which subsequently joined the litigation. As part of the Settlement, Planet 13 is receiving one provisional adult-use dispensary license in unincorporated Clark County, Nevada. The License will be used to re-open Planet 13’s former dispensary located at 4850 Sunset Road in Las Vegas, Nevada that closed on October 30, 2018 (the “Medizin Dispensary”).

“We’ve always known that as one of the top operators in Nevada, responsible for 9% of the state’s sales, we deserved to win a license from the Nevada Department of Taxation. Although we are not happy with how long the process took for us to obtain the license to re-open our original location, we are thrilled to be able to service our loyal customers who supported Planet 13 from day one,” said Larry Scheffler, Co-CEO of Planet 13. “The Medizin Dispensary at 4850 Sunset Road in Las Vegas is a fully built-out 4,750 sq. ft. store that offers the same dedication to customer service, high-quality products, and innovation that Planet 13 is known for, all in a compact footprint designed to compliment its local neighborhood.”

The Medizin Dispensary was closed on October 30, 2018, to transfer the license to the Planet 13 SuperStore located next to the Las Vegas Strip. During the last full quarter of operations, Q3 2018, the Medizin Dispensary generated $4.9 million in revenue with a gross margin of 53%. The Medizin Dispensary requires no additional CAPEX to open.

Acreage Announces Opening Of The Botanist Dispensary in Florida

NEW YORK: Acreage Holdings, one of the largest vertically integrated, multi-state operators of cannabis licenses and assets in the U.S., today announced the opening of The Botanist in Spring Hill, Florida, a suburb of Tampa.  The medical cannabis dispensary is Acreage’s first retail location in the state.

With the opening of the dispensary, located at 10520 Spring Hill Road, Acreage now owns or has management services, consulting or other agreements (including pending acquisitions) for 32 operational dispensaries in 13 states, including 14 The Botanist branded dispensaries.

Developed by Acreage, The Botanist is both a retail and product brand, deeply rooted in health and wellness, and focused on the holistic power of cannabis to help individuals live balanced lifestyles. The Botanist offers a wide selection of cannabis-derived products and features a “science meets nature” retail design reminiscent of a 19th century botanist laboratory. Offering a warm and inviting environment in which to learn about the healing properties of the cannabis plant from trained patient care specialists, the Spring Hill Botanist dispensary includes a private consultation room, The Botanist’s signature “green foliage wall,” and much more.

Acreage Announces Grand Opening Of The Botanist By Compassionate Care Foundation in Atlantic City

The Botanist by Compassionate Care Foundation is the first The Botanist dispensary to open in the state of New Jersey

Acreage-Holdings

NEW JERSEY:  Acreage Holdings, one of the largest vertically integrated, multi-state operators of cannabis licenses and assets in the U.S., today announced the opening of The Botanist by Compassionate Care Foundation on Saturday, February 22, 2020, by its business partner, New Jersey’s Compassionate Care Foundation, Inc., a New Jersey nonprofit corporation. Acreage and CCF are parties to a services agreement with CCF under which Acreage delivers its operational expertise, product development capabilities, and The Botanist retail dispensary brand.  On November 15, 2019, Acreage and CCF entered into a reorganization agreement which will result in CCF becoming a wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary of Acreage.  Closing of the transaction is subject to state approval.

The medicinal cannabis dispensary is located on the Atlantic City Boardwalk at 1301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey. With the opening, Acreage now owns or has management services, consulting or other agreements for 31 operational dispensaries in 12 states, including 13 The Botanist branded dispensaries.

Developed by Acreage, The Botanist is both a retail and product brand, deeply rooted in health and wellness, and focused on the holistic power of cannabis to help individuals live balanced lifestyles. The Botanist CCF offers a wide selection of flower-only products and features a “science meets nature” retail design reminiscent of a 19th century botanist laboratory. Offering a warm and inviting environment in which to learn about the healing properties of the cannabis plant from trained patient care specialists, The Botanist CCF’s design includes a “SEED BAR” education station, a private consultation room, The Botanist’s signature “green foliage wall,” and much more.

iAnthus Expands Nevada Footprint With Agreement To Acquire Vertically Integrated Northern Nevada Operator

NEVADA:  iAnthus Capital Holdings, which owns, operates, and partners with best-in-class regulated cannabis operations across the United States, announced that its U.S. subsidiary has entered into an agreement to acquire WSCC, Inc. (“Sierra Well“), a leading Nevada-based vertically licensed cannabis company with two dispensary locations and over 20,000 square feet of cultivation/production facilities in Reno and Carson City.

The acquisition will enhance iAnthus’ presence and accelerate growth efforts in Nevada, which represents an approximately US$640 million adult-use and medical cannabis market growing at over 20% annually, based on data made publicly available by the Nevada Department of Taxation. In conjunction with its current operations, iAnthus’ footprint will be as follows:

  • 6 dispensary Nevada licenses across the state, which includes two currently operating dispensaries under the Sierra Well brand.
  • 50,000 square feet of Nevada cultivation and processing capabilities to further capitalize on strong production and distribution capabilities in the state (MPX-branded products, including award-winning concentrates and recently launched edibles, are currently sold in over 40% of dispensaries in Nevada).
  • Pro forma open dispensary count of 29 stores nationwide.

Sierra Well was founded in 2014, and opened its Reno location in 2015 and its Carson City location in 2016. On an unaudited standalone basis (prepared in accordance with US GAAP), Sierra Well’s last quarter annualized revenue was approximately US$16 million with an EBITDA (non-IFRS) margin above 20% and positive net income.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020, subject to customary regulatory approvals including approval of the license transfers by the Nevada Department of Taxation. Upon closing of the transaction, the Sierra Well dispensaries will be renamed under the Company’s Be. brand, which is being launched nationwide in October 2019.

“Strengthening our foothold in one of the most successful adult-use cannabis markets is consistent with our strategy to deliver iAnthus’ nationally recognized products in premier markets,” said Hadley Ford, CEO of iAnthus. “This strategic transaction will allow us to scale our Nevada operations, add talent, and solidify both our retail and brand presence in both the Northern and Southern portions of the state.”

“We’re excited to join the iAnthus team and look forward to expanding our business with the expertise of a tried and tested multi-state operator,” said Steven Nightingale, Chairman of the Board of Sierra Well. “We at Sierra Well see this partnership as a perfect fit, one that will allow our dynamic workforce to deepen their ability to provide top-notch service and products to the communities of Reno and Carson City.”

Harvest Health & Recreation Acquires Only Licensed Dispensary In Casa Grande, Arizona

ARIZONA: Harvest Health & Recreation, a vertically integrated cannabis company with one of the largest and deepest footprints in the U.S., announced today the acquisition of Arizona medicinal cannabis dispensary Leaf Life in a transaction that includes the only cannabis dispensary in Casa Grande. Leaf Life will be transitioned to operate under Harvest’s House of Cannabis stores, known for top operational standards, best-in-class experiences and products and expert teams in developing trusted, quality-driven retail stores with a focus on bettering the community.

“Arizona is the third largest medicinal cannabis market in the United States, yet too many in our communities still do not have adequate access to dispensaries that offer the high-quality medicinal products and expert staff required to improve patient education and treatment outcomes,” said Harvest Executive Chairman Jason Vedadi. “Harvest is committed to ensuring the strongest operational standards for our industry on a national scale, and we are particularly proud of this acquisition in our home state of Arizona because it enables us to further improve patient access to high-quality medicinal cannabis products.”

“We chose to structure a sale with Harvest because we believe in their commitment to Arizona and their future success,” said Ricky Hendrickson, Leaf Life’s Vice-President . “As a testament to that belief we have agreed to a two-year lockup on the stock portion of our agreement and are confident we’ll be part of the Harvest family for the long-term.”

Arizona continues to be a priority market for Harvest with large scale growth projections this year. This transaction will expand Harvest’s industry leading position on operating licensing rights to include more than 210 retail and processing facilities in 17 states and territories across the U.S. Most recently in Arizona, Harvest opened Glendale’s first medical dispensary, and announced a six license acquisition from Devine Hunter, Inc. Harvest now has rights to operate up to 18 dispensaries and cultivation/processing facilities in the state, strengthening their leadership position as the largest operator in the market.

 

 

Cresco Labs Continues Its Illinois Expansion With Regulatory Approval For Three Dispensaries

ILLINOIS: Cresco Labs Inc., one of the largest vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the United States, today announced that it received approval from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) for Cresco’s previously announced acquisitions of licensed medical cannabis dispensaries MedMar Rockford and MedMar Lakeview, located in the popular Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago. The IDFPR also approved Cresco’s acquisition of PDI Medical, a medical cannabis dispensary located in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, which was purchased by the Company in November 2018. The MedMar dispensaries are Cresco Labs’ fourth and fifth dispensary acquisitions in Illinois bringing the Company’s footprint to five dispensaries in its home state.

“Illinois is at the forefront of our nation’s evolution of the cannabis industry, and with these three dispensary approvals, Cresco has reached the maximum level of dispensaries any single company can own and operate in our home state,” said CEO & Co-Founder Charlie Bachtell. “We have already achieved the highest market share of any operator in Illinois and our prospects for accelerated growth are promising with the recent implementation of the Alternatives to Opioids program that began on February 1st. Illinois has opened access for patients by eliminating the three-month waiting period as well as requirements for fingerprinting and background checks for all patients with any qualifying condition. With a doctor’s approval, a patient can now receive a medical-use cannabis card in just one day.”

In addition to its five dispensaries in Illinois, Cresco operates three cultivation and processing facilities across the state.