‘Nurse Heather’ Is Bringing Cannabis Education To A Mainstream TV Audience

CALIFORNIA: For more than a dozen years, Nurse Heather has been on the cutting edge of medical cannabis education.  Beginning April 20th, 2021, she’ll be taking that knowledge, and her cannabis nurses’ perspective, to a mainstream TV audience in her new role as host of “Nurse Talk”  — one of three on-demand programs debuting on 420MEDIA’s ANewCannabisChannel.com

Each episode of Nurse Talk will feature one-on-one  conversations with leading cannabis nurses, doctors, patients, pioneers, and celebrity athletes, exploring answers to common questions about medical cannabis, with a particular focus on understanding the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoid therapeutics, and dosing.

MJNews’ David Rheins had an opportunity to sit down with Nurse Heather this week for an exclusive conversation, during which she explained that her relationship with the plant began as a teenager, where like so many she was introduced to marijuana as a recreational social lubricant.  It was only many years later, as a practicing healthcare professional, that Nurse Heather discovered the powerful medicinal benefits of medical cannabis. A knowledge that she learned directly from from her cannabis-using patients — not through nursing school, professional education, or other healthcare professionals who remained largely ignorant and skeptical of the plant.

As that firsthand patient and clinical experience grew, Nurse Heather began to share that knowledge with other healthcare professionals, and soon became a “go to resource,” public speaker and community leader, picking up the appellation “Cannabis Nurse Heather” along the way. 

Nurse Heather was invited to join an New Mexico dispensary license, assuming the responsibility of sharing with the dispensary staff all she had learned along her journey. She immersed herself on a mission to learn everything she could about the science of cannabis, participating at conferences like Patients Out of Time, Marijuana for Medical Professionals where first discovered the endocannabinoid system.

That knowledge blew “the top of my head off” she told MJNews, “I couldn’t unlearn it, and as a matter of fact I had to share it. It became a passion of mine to help educate my colleagues.”

“Nurse Talk” will debut on April 20, 2021, available for on-demand via Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android and iOS.

Eaze Releases 2020 State Of Cannabis Report: “How Cannabis Consumers Responded To Crisis”

Analysis of consumer choices in 2020 across the world’s largest cannabis market offers important lessons for emerging markets nationally and globally

CALIFORNIA:  Eaze, California’s largest legal cannabis marketplace, today released its sixth annual Eaze Insights State of Cannabis Report. The 2020 report, “How Cannabis Consumers Responded to Crisis”, looks at aggregate consumer trends driving the world’s largest cannabis market in a year rocked by unprecedented cultural, economic and public health challenges.

The report aggregates Eaze’s proprietary data to illustrate the behavior of the over 400,000 consumers who purchased via the platform in 2020. With 6.5 million legal deliveries completed to-date, Eaze can offer unique insights into how 2020 impacted consumption, uncovering patterns that can be generalized to markets nationally and globally.

Key findings include:

  • Consumers relied on cannabis delivery during quarantine. Consumer demand driven by COVID-19 led to significant increases in the number of new deliveries and order size.
  • Calls for social justice elevated equity brands. 2020 saw a greater demand for social equity products, underscoring increased consumer awareness – especially among customers over age 30 – about the importance of BIPOC-owned brands.
  • Edibles won the year. Edibles became the most popular product category across major markets and age groups, reflecting the public health focus on COVID’s respiratory impacts. Cannabis drinks especially benefited from the shift to Zoom socializing.
  • A tough holiday season increased consumption. Consumers used more cannabis over the 2020 winter holidays, when many celebrated without their families.
  • Cannabis helped us stay sexy at home. Consumers increasingly relied on weed to increase their sexual satisfaction during stay-at-home orders.
  • Cannabis won the 2020 election. Cannabis legalization in Arizona, New Jersey, Montana and South Dakota united voters on both sides of the aisle and outpaced presidential candidates in key states. In Arizona, Mississippi and New Jersey, cannabis got more votes than either presidential candidate. Consumer anxiety, meanwhile, fueled a demand uptick as votes were tallied.

“In this crisis year, cannabis emerged as an essential product and a unifying political issue,” said Ro Choy, CEO of Eaze. “Consumers relied on delivery during the pandemic and policymakers in emerging markets should look at the data and anticipate how robust demand for legal delivery will work in their communities. The report also shows consumer excitement for social equity brands, affirming that putting money in the pockets of BIPOC entrepreneurs is good business and a direct way to address the War on Drugs.”

The full report can be found here.

California Bureau Of Cannabis Control Issues Notice Regarding Billboard Advertisements On Interstate And State Highways

CALIFORNIA:  On January 11, 2021, in the case of Farmer v. Bureau of Cannabis Control (Bureau) & Lori Ajax, the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court entered a formal judgement ruling that Section 5040(b)(3) of the Bureau’s regulations is invalid.

 

 

This means that Section 5040(b)(3), which only prohibited billboard advertising within a 15-mile radius of the California border on an interstate or state highway that crosses the California border, is no longer in effect. Therefore, a licensee may not place advertising or marketing on a billboard, or similar advertising device, anywhere on an interstate or state highway that crosses the California border, as indicated in Business and Professions Code section 26152(d).

To comply with the law and regulations, licensees may not place new advertising or marketing on any interstate highway or state highway that crosses the California border. Licensees should also begin the process of removing current advertising and marketing that meets this criteria.
Licensees that have questions regarding complying with court’s ruling may send them to BCC@DCA.CA.GOV.

California Cannabis Authorities Publish Proposed Regulations to Facilitate Financial Services for Cannabis Businesses

CALIFORNIA: The California state cannabis licensing authorities—Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Food and Agriculture and California Department of Public Health—provided notice to the public of proposed emergency regulations to implement the provisions of Assembly Bill 1525 (Jones–Sawyer, 2020). The proposed regulations are intended to facilitate greater access to financial services for licensed cannabis businesses that face challenges obtaining banking, insurance and other financial services commonly available to other businesses.

The proposed regulations create a pathway for licensees to authorize sharing of non-public information with selected financial institutions and provide a mechanism for financial institutions to more readily conduct the federally required reviews of the cannabis business. By reducing the burden of providing financial services to cannabis businesses, more financial institutions may be willing to provide services, thereby reducing the need to keep cash on hand and improving public safety.

The proposed regulatory text and supporting documents can be viewed at the following links:

Following the required minimum five working-day notice to the public, the licensing authorities will file the emergency regulations with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The five calendar-day formal public comment period will begin when OAL publishes the proposed regulations as being “under review” on its website.

Cannabis Licensing Authorities Consolidation Part Of Governor’s Proposed State Budget

CALIFORNIA:  Governor Newsom’s fiscal year 2021-2022 budget proposal released today includes a proposal to consolidate the three state licensing authorities into a single Department of Cannabis Control. This proposal was first announced in January 2020 but was delayed due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. If approved by the Legislature, the new Department will be created on July 1, 2021.

In an effort to improve access to licensing and simplify and centralize regulatory oversight of commercial cannabis activity, the Governor’s Budget proposes to consolidate licensing and associated regulatory functions into a single state Department. This proposal seeks to better serve stakeholders including cannabis businesses, local governments, and members of the public by acting as a single point of contact as well as leverage existing funding in a more efficient way by reducing redundancies. Further, it seeks to establish uniform operations and procedures that will streamline processes for applicants and licensees and offer better service and coordination.

The three state licensing authorities have begun to prepare and plan for the consolidation and, most importantly, to ensure continuity of operations. We are committed to making this transition in a manner that reduces unnecessary disruption to the marketplace and California businesses. Our team members will remain available to applicants and licensees as they continue their routine business activities.

WM Holding Company, the Leading Technology Platform to the Cannabis Industry, to List on Nasdaq Through Merger With Silver Spike Acquisition Corp.

  • WM Holding Company, LLC (“WMH” or “WM Holding”) operates Weedmaps, the leading online listings marketplace for cannabis consumers, and WM Business, a comprehensive software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) subscription offering for cannabis retailers and brands
  • The merger advances WM Holding’s mission to power a transparent and inclusive global cannabis economy and capitalize on its position as the largest technology provider in the sector
  • The estimated post transaction equity value of the combined Company is approximately $1.5 billion and provides up to $575 million of gross proceeds through the approximately $250 million of cash held-in-trust by Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. and a fully-committed common stock PIPE of $325 million
  • As a result of outsized demand, the PIPE offering was significantly oversubscribed and upsized, including investment from funds managed by AFV Partners, the Federated Hermes Kaufmann Funds and Senvest Management LLC along with a $35 million commitment from Silver Spike Capital
  • WM Holding’s executive officers will retain 100% of their equity in the combined company, which will have approximately $100 million of cash on hand after closing

CALIFORNIA: WM Holding Company, LLC and Silver Spike Acquisition Corp., a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, announced today a definitive agreement for a business combination that would result in WMH becoming a public company. The combined company will be led by Chris Beals, Chief Executive Officer of WMH, and is expected to remain listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Company Overview

Founded in 2008, WMH operates Weedmaps, the leading online listings marketplace for cannabis consumers and businesses, and WM Business, the most comprehensive SaaS subscription offering sold to cannabis retailers and brands. The Company solely provides software and other technology solutions and is non-plant touching. WMH has grown revenue at a CAGR of 40% over the last five years and is on track to deliver $160 million in revenue and $35 million in EBITDA for 2020.

The cannabis market in the U.S. is expected to double over the next five years as the majority of U.S. adults support having legal access to cannabis. Despite these expectations of growth, cannabis users in the U.S. are still a small sub-segment of the population today, and retail density is still low across the majority of states with regulated legal cannabis markets. The regulations related to these markets are often complex and disparate across states as well as cities and counties within regulated states. Cannabis itself is a highly complex and non-shelf stable consumer product. These dynamics present a challenging and sometimes uncertain environment for consumers seeking legal cannabis products and for businesses selling to cannabis users while operating in a compliant fashion.

WMH addresses these challenges with its Weedmaps marketplace and WM Business SaaS subscription offering. Over the past 12 years, Weedmaps has grown to become the premier destination for cannabis consumers, with over 10 million monthly active users and over 18,000 business listings across every U.S. state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico with a legal cannabis market. Clients of the Company maintain listings in 9 international countries outside of the U.S. Through the Weedmaps website and mobile apps, WMH provides consumers with information regarding cannabis retailers and brands, as well as the availability of cannabis products, facilitating product discovery and online order-ahead for pickup or delivery by participating retailers.

The Company’s cloud-based WM Business SaaS subscription offering provides cannabis retailers with an end-to-end operating system to access valuable users, grow sales and scale their businesses at a compelling return-on-spend. This “business-in-a-box” functionality ranges from integrations supporting product menus that have online order-ahead, delivery order fulfillment software, data & analytics, a point-of-sale solution and a wholesale marketplace. WMH has been investing in and optimizing its WM Business software solution to also facilitate compliance for businesses amidst the complex, disparate and constantly evolving regulations governing the cannabis industry. Underlying this compliance functionality is a proprietary and sophisticated rules engine that is a core underpinning of the WM Business SaaS platform.

Chris Beals, WMH’s Chief Executive Officer, will continue to lead the Company along with the existing management team. Silver Spike’s CEO and Chairman, Scott Gordon, will join the merged company’s Board of Directors upon completion of the transaction.

The Emerald Triangle, Sonoma & Del Norte Participate In First-Ever Research Study Of Northern California’s Cannabis Economy

HUMBOLDT COMMUNITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER TO ESTABLISH ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY

THROUGH GRANT FROM THE CALIFORNIA BUREAU OF CANNABIS CONTROL

ECONOMIST ROBERT EYLER OF SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY TO LEAD RESEARCH IN PARTNERSHIP

WITH THE CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR RURAL POLICY AT HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY

 

CALIFORNIA:  Northern California’s cannabis industry will become the focus of a pioneering study examining the economic impact of industry upon the region.  The Humboldt Community Business Development Center (HCBDC), has partnered with the California Center for Rural Policy at Humboldt State University, and Sonoma State University for a comprehensive look into the impact of cannabis farming, manufacturing, distribution, and retail sales on the overall economy of a research area which includes the legendary Emerald Triangle (Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino counties).  The HCBDC will develop the study through a grant from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.

“It is widely understood that cannabis is a significant economic driver in rural northern California, yet four years into the regulation, legalization, and taxation of California’s cannabis industry we still do not have real, data-driven research and analysis on what is the true economic impact of the cannabis industry,” says Natalynne DeLapp, HCBDC Executive Director.  “This grant will provide resources to answer long-standing questions, will help establish a baseline by which to measure the economic health of the cannabis industry, and by which public policies can be evaluated for efficacy for years to come.”

A chief cash crop in the area for decades, there has never been a thorough analysis of the role of cannabis to the local economy of rural Northern California. The study which also encompasses Del Norte and Sonoma counties will begin to harvest data in early 2021 on such issues as the impact of cannabis on the private and the public sectors, cannabis prices on the licensed and unlicensed markets, job creation, and taxes and government and administrative costs.  Some of the questions this  study will seek to address include:

  • How much cannabis is produced by the North Coast cannabis community?

  • How much is the region contributing to California’s GDP?

  • How long have businesses been in the community and how much do they contribute to state and local taxes?

  • How many people are employed; how much is paid in wages?

  • How much are cannabis businesses paying in licenses, permits, and fees?

“This proposal helps policymakers, advocates, private business, and local residents understand the economics and business aspects of the cannabis business as a combination of agriculture and manufacturing with supply-chain partners to deliver goods to retail and customers,” says economics professor Robert Eyler, Dean, Sonoma State University’s School of Extended and International Education, who will be leading the study.  “This framing gets us away from the conversation of illegality and about how these businesses (similar to the wine or craft brew industries) harvest a crop that becomes a manufactured product.”

“For decades, rural northern California counties have incorporated the cannabis economy as an unplanned economic development strategy. This research will help these jurisdictions formulate long-term strategies to incorporate a significant, previously illegible, sector of their economies into a more sustainable, resilient future for their communities,” says Dominic Corva, Co-Director, Humboldt Interdisciplinary Institute for Marijuana Research (HIIMR), Humboldt State University.

California: Notice Regarding State Stay-At-Home Order Issued December 3, 2020

CALIFORNIA:  On Thursday, December 3, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a new Stay-at-Home Order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to continue facilitating a consistent approach across the state to slow the spread of COVID-19. This order goes into effect at 12:59 p.m. on December 5 and will be applied on a regional basis. If a region falls below the 15% ICU threshold, it will have 24 hours to implement the Stay-at-Home Order. The order will remain in effect for at least three weeks. Learn more about this order.

 

The order continues to identify certain services as essential and these services can continue operations while the Stay-at-Home Order is in effect. Cannabis businesses remain essential businesses under the order. To ensure public and employee safety, the order limits the number of people on a cannabis retail premises to 20% of the capacity of the retail location. Cannabis licensees can otherwise continue to operate in the same manner they are now, including activities allowed by approved disaster-relief requests, provided their operations comply with state and local rules and regulations. To determine if your region is subject to the stay-at-home order, please visit: COVID19.CA.GOV.

Any licensee that continues to operate must adopt social-distancing and anti-congregating measures, and must follow the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease at all times.

The Governor recently announced  programs to provide financial assistance to certain small businesses. This includes immediate tax relief from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) in the form of automatic filing extensions, interest-free payment plans, or a hiring tax credit of up to $100,000 to offset income or sales and use taxes. Information about these programs can be found at CDTFA’s COVID-19 web page. You can also learn more about the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant, including availability and eligibility, by signing up for updates from the California Office of the Small Business Advocate. Below are resources for employers, employees, and public safety:

California Bureau Of Cannabis Control Announces Public University Research Grant Funding Recipients

CALIFORNIA: The Bureau of Cannabis Control (Bureau) announced that it has awarded $29,950,494 in public university research grant funding to universities across California.

“The research conducted through these public university grants will provide critical information for evaluating our legal cannabis system and its impacts,” Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief Lori Ajax said. “This research will be a valuable tool to inform future cannabis policy in California.”

Research proposals had to fall within one of the several specified categories, including public health, criminal justice and public safety, economic, environmental impacts, and the cannabis industry. A detailed description of the list of research subjects for grant funding can be found in Revenue and Taxation Code section 34019.

In total, the Bureau received more than 100 applications for grant funds up to $2 million for any specific proposal. After a thorough review process, the nearly $30 million was awarded to the following public universities:

Public University Awarded Funding Research Proposal
UC San Francisco  

$2,000,000.00

Comprehensive Analysis of Developmental Cannabis Exposure on Brain, Immune, and Sensory Systems
 

UC Santa Barbara

 

$1,999,191.00

Surface Water Emissions from Cannabis Cultivation Sites: Quantity, Quality, Toxicity, and Relationships to Farmers’ Practices
CSU

Dominguez Hills

 

$1,866,311.00

 

Cannabis Industry in South Bay Los Angeles

UC

Berkeley

$1,827,596.00 Local Regulation of Cannabis in California
UC Los Angeles  

$1,429,001.00

Impact of Cannabis Potency on The Properties, Composition, and Toxicity of Inhaled and Second-Hand Smoke
UC San Francisco $1,384,466.00 Effects of Chronic Cannabis Use on Endothelial Function
 

UC Irvine

 

$1,351,556.00

Exploring Cannabis Policies and Practices That Influence Adolescent Use: Evolution of Local Cannabis Law, Products, Sales, and Marketing
 

UC San Diego

 

$1,321,833.00

The Public Health Impact of Cannabis Legalization in California: A Comprehensive Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis by Age, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, and Regions
UC Los Angeles  

$1,082,815.00

Assessing the Feasibility and Consequences of Implementing a Cannabis Potency Tax in California
UC San Francisco  

$1,067,483.00

The LEAF Study: Lung Effects and Function Associated with Cannabis Use
UC Los Angeles  

$1,048,857.00

Study of Employment Conditions and Equity in California’s Cannabis Industry
 

UC San Francisco

 

$1,038,782.00

Public Health Impacts of State Policies Mandating Point-of- Sale Warning Signs Regarding Cannabis Use During Pregnancy
UC Davis $1,034,730.00 Understanding the Impact of Cannabis Use in Early Psychosis
UC San Diego  

$987,738.00

Evaluating the Impacts of Packaging and Labeling on Cannabis Edible Use among Youth
UC San Francisco $952,540.00 California Cannabis Poisonings Under Proposition 64
 

UC Los Angeles

 

$896,794.00

Assessing the Impact of Proposition 64 on Cannabis Use, Maladaptive Cannabis Use, Cannabis Use Disorder Treatment, and Public Health
UC San Diego  

$887,101.00

The Role of Cannabidiol in Anandamide-Related Improvement in Alexithymia and Health Outcomes
UC Los Angeles  

$781,707.00

A Demographic Analysis of the California Licensed Cannabis Industry and Consumer Market
UC Los Angeles  

$758,517.00

The Impact of Cannabis Marketing on California’s Youth: Neuro-Behavioral Studies for Informing Policy
 

 

UC Davis

 

 

$726,816.00

Cannabis Industry: Assessment of the Location, Structure, Function, and Demographics of Licensed Cannabis, Focusing on Geographical Price Differences, and Differential Impacts of Local Prop-64 Related Regulations on the Competitiveness of Licensed Businesses
UC

Berkeley

 

$658,306.00

Transformation of Unregulated Cannabis Cultivation Under Proposition 64
 

 

UC Davis

 

 

$655,564.00

Economic Impacts: Market Prices for Licensed and Unlicensed Cannabis and the Effects of the Current and Alternate Cannabis Tax Structures and Tax Rates on the Private and Public Sectors in California, Including Government Administrative Costs and Revenues
 

 

UC Davis

 

 

$562,240.00

Environmental Impacts of Cannabis Cultivation in California As Affected by the Farm Economics of Licensed and Unlicensed Cannabis Production, Including Effects of Testing Regulations and Compliance with the Criminal Prohibition of Unlicensed Cannabis
 

UC

Berkeley

 

 

$489,762.00

Assessing Environmental Impacts of Cannabis-Related Noise and Light Disturbance to Inform Management of California Wildlife
UC

Berkeley

 

$465,902.00

Examining Tribal Sovereignty Over Cannabis Permitting on Native Ancestral Lands
CSU

Humboldt

$464,997.00 Cannabis Business Entrepreneurs and Jobs
UC Los Angeles  

$414,183.00

Understanding the Impact of Cannabis Marketing on Cannabis Use Disparities Among Sexual and Gender Minority Youth
UC

Berkeley

 

$328,916.00

Cultivation Bans, Local Control, and the Effects and Efficacy of Proposition 64
UC

Berkeley

 

$319,091.00

Cannabis and Wildfire: Current Conditions, Future Threats, and Solutions for Farmers
UC

Berkeley

 

$314,417.00

Cannabis Water-Use Impacts to Streamflow and Temperature in Salmon-Bearing Streams
UC

Berkeley

$270,269.00 The Effect of Local Cannabis Regulation on Property Prices
UC San Diego  

$235,039.00

Evaluating Risks and Benefits of Cannabis Use by Older Adults: A Pilot Study
CSU

Humboldt

 

$183,015.00

The Economic Impact of Cannabis Legalization in Rural Northern California
 

UC Davis

 

$144,949.00

California Cannabis Workers: Perceptions, Beliefs, and Knowledge of Occupational Health and Industry Hazards

California Bureau Of Cannabis Control Announces New API For License Search Data

CALIFORNIA:  The Bureau of Cannabis Control announced the launch of a new Application Programming Interface (API). The API allows stakeholders to obtain license data that can be integrated into their own software. Users may use the API to obtain information for a single license, a list of licenses, or the entire license directory in a single request. The data available through the API mirrors the publicly-available data in the Bureau’s license search and is updated nightly.

“The API was developed to provide stakeholders with an additional tool to access the Bureau’s licensing data and to provide greater flexibility in utilizing that information,” Bureau Chief Lori Ajax said.

This API allows users to access all the publicly-available Bureau licensee data in a convenient comprehensive format. The information available through the API allows the user to confirm with certainty that they are not supporting an illegal cannabis business. Third party software application providers can utilize the API to go ‘straight to the source’ instead of relying on self-reported data from businesses or manually looking up every retailer.

To get started, please consult the API User Guide here – https://bcc.ca.gov/about_us/documents/iservices_api_user_guide.pdf. The guide contains step-by-step instructions about how to receive licensing data from the Bureau through the API.

For questions or issues not addressed by the API User Guide, please contact the DCA iServices API Team at the following email address: iservices@dca.ca.gov.