Dama Financial Introduces Smart Safe Solution

CALIFORNIA: Dama Financial, the nation’s largest provider of access to banking and financial services for the cannabis industry, has added Dama Smart Safe to its business toolkit.

Smart safes allow business owners to authenticate and monitor their cash at every step of the handling process. With rapid advancements in counterfeit technology, the detection of fake currency with the naked eye has become nearly impossible. Smart safes are equipped with bill validators that significantly decrease the risk of fraud. At the same time, the cash is reconciled automatically, eliminating the need to spend hours doing it manually. 

With Dama Smart Safe, the safe can promptly record any deposit as a credit to the customer’s Premier Business account, providing access to the money the next business day. Dama Smart Safes can be configured to meet the needs of any size operation.

“Cannabis businesses deserve solutions that solve real problems.” said Anh Hatzopoulos, Dama co-founder and chief executive officer. “Between human error and the risk of theft, handling cash has become one of the more difficult processes for any business to manage, so we’re proud to roll out Dama Smart Safe to help cannabis operators improve both efficiency and public safety.”

Comments from Dama Smart Safe customers:

“We love the quick access to funds. It’s like having a bank teller inside our store twenty-four hours a day to accept our deposits,” said Kaz Ajir, co-founder of Grupo Flor, which owns the dispensary East of Eden.

“Dama’s Smart Safe Solution saves our operation hours every single day,” said Monica Gray, chief operating officer of Nice Guys Delivery.

Dama’s other offerings include access to Premier Banking (FDIC-insured accounts), credit, cash management, and merchant services.

Biopharmaceutical Research Company Will Be Among First in the Nation to Receive a License for Federal Cannabis Production 

CALIFORNIA: Biopharmaceutical Research Company (BRC), a specialty pharmaceutical manufacturing and analytical company focused on plant-based therapeutics, will soon be awarded one of the first federal production licenses from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to produce clean, consistent and compliant cannabis for federally approved researchers across the United States.

BRC will be among a select few organizations to receive such a license after the DEA amended regulations within the Controlled Substances Act to begin allowing the cultivation of cannabis for research purposes. Prior to today’s decision by the DEA, only one facility in the United States was federally authorized to cultivate cannabis for research purposes.

“Once finalized, this federal license will forever change the trajectory of our business and the medicinal cannabis industry. The DEA’s leadership will set off a nationwide wave of innovative cannabis-derived treatments, unlock valuable intellectual property and create high quality American jobs,” said BRC CEO George Hodgin, a former US Navy SEAL.

“The BRC team is already familiar with DEA compliance procedures based on our extensive history of controlled substances activity, and our world class staff is ready to hit the ground running on this new business arm that the DEA has authorized. Cultivation and compliance are our bread and butter, and now that we are in a position to receive this license, our best work yet can begin to take shape.”

BRC is already certified by the DEA and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to analyze and test controlled substances, including cannabis and hemp.

“We have invested a great deal of money and waited a very long time for this over the last four years, and this is the validation and the holy grail we’ve been waiting for,” added Hodgin. “With this license, BRC can legally produce quality cannabis and cannabis-derived products that can be used to identify new treatments that can help veterans and all patients struggling with chronic pain, cancer, and countless other illnesses. Equally important, we will also gain valuable insights into the potential dangers and misuse associated with cannabis that will help keep all Americans safe and healthy. We are proud and honored to be one of the first federally legal cannabis companies in the United States.”

The Emerald Cup 2022 Moves to Los Angeles & Adds “Harvest Ball” NorCal Event

CALIFORNIA: The iconic cannabis competition, The Emerald Cup, is proud to announce they are moving the ECA’s (The Emerald Cup Awards) and legendary festival for 2022 to Los Angeles. This news follows a historic 2021 event where the pandemic-proof event went virtual – via hundreds of hours of new and existing content – becoming “The Emerald Cup Channel” on cannabis’ first TV network Social Club TV. A full director’s cut of the event debuted for video-on-demand on 4/20/2021.

Staying connected to their roots the traditional December dates for the Cup will live on as the Emerald Cup Harvest Ball and the beginning of the Road to the Cup.  The event will be the opening of submissions for the Spring 2022 contest and the beginning of the Road to the Cup.  The event will be more intimate than the past and focus on the fresh harvest and genetics.  Tickets will be limited so don’t wait and miss out.  Described as a global gathering of the Emerald Cup tribe in celebration of the traditional harvest time, the event will take place in Santa Rosa, CA over 2 days and will continue to offer education, entertainment and community to their international family and fan base.

“The tribe has spoken and we are making the move to bring our Cup to the world’s largest cannabis community and industry  – Los Angeles” says The Emerald Cup founder and CEO Tim Blake. “Following our most recent, and largest event ever, our community has exploded and we are transitioning to a venue closer to the epicenter of California’s cannabis market. This evolution continues as we cement our place as the most recognized and attended cannabis competition in the world.”

Named the “Academy Awards of Cannabis” by Rolling Stone, The Emerald Cup, has celebrated excellence in organic, sun grown and now indoor cannabis with over 35 catagories and awards across the product spectrum from flower, concentrates, topicals and edibles. Attracting countless attendees and special guests over the years, including top talent including The Roots, Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti, Rebelution, Chelsea Handler and SantiGold. Joining the calendar and complementing The Emerald Cup, the new Harvest Ball is an opportunity for the community among the cannabis industry to serve as a first opportunity to submit entries for the 2022 Emerald Cup Awards, but will also host a diverse marketplace, high-wattage musical performances and expert panel discussion on trends and innovation and in the industry.

Key elements of The Emerald Cup Harvest Ball will include:

  • Featuring the fresh harvest of the growing season with a focus on new genetics

  • Marketplace

  • Emerald Concert Stage

  • Kickoff to the 2022 Emerald Cup Contest

  • A Sanctuary Space honoring plant medicine with educational and entertainment programming

  • Area 101 (Where it all started)

  • Regenerative Agriculture Garden Activation

  • VIP Parties

  • Food, Beverages and Cannabis

“With over 17 events, starting with our first in 2004, the Cup has always been a fixture on the cannabis and festival calendar with our early December presence,” shared Tim Blake.With the pandemic forcefully changing, and evolving us, we moved this year’s event to April. The response from our community, entrants and audience was resounding, this new timing was better for growing and cultivating the most optimum entries for competition. Our new event the Harvest Ball  continues to open the space for our community to bond and share information in the wake of a time of massive change across all parts of cannabis. What this experience is teaching us is that our industry thrives on communication and collaboration. We are confident the Harvest Ball will quickly blossom into a must-attend in all our calendars.”

Dama Financial, Leading Provider of Access to Banking & Financial Solutions for Cannabis Businesses, Announces Completion of $12.6 Million Growth Equity Raise

Dama will leverage the new round of investment to accelerate its already impressive growth, continue to address the lack of financial service products being offered to the cannabis industry, recruit top talent, and scale the business with the backing and support of its investors.

CALIFORNIA: Dama Financial, the premier provider of access to banking and payment solutions through its FDIC-insured banking partners for the rapidly growing legal cannabis industry, today announced the completion of its $12.6 million Series B funding round, bringing Dama’s total funding to approximately $24 million to date. The round was led by a group of strategic new investors.  Currently serving over 7% of the legal cannabis businesses in California, operational in 12 states and with over 50,000 consumers with digital wallets in the United States, Dama has processed over $2 billion in transaction value since inception.

“In one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, Dama is bringing desperately needed financial services to businesses and consumers alike that are safe, secure, compliant and efficient,” said Anh Hatzopoulos, CEO and Co-founder at Dama. “We have spent four years building a platform to enable safe, compliant financial services for cannabis businesses and now is the time to take Dama to the next level.”

“Dama has brought together the right team and technology that will position them as a clear payment solutions leader in the cannabis industry for years to come,” said Dan Englander, of Ursula Investors. “Dama continues to innovate solutions for the serious payments problems faced by the industry and we are excited to see that accelerate. ”

Since November 2020, six new states have passed legalization measures for cannabis and a record-high percentage of Americans now support legalization. The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing in the world with the global cannabis market expected to hit $47 billion and U.S. sales of legal cannabis expected to quintuple by 2025. According to Arcview Research, legal cannabis sales in 2019 grew by 46% to $14.8 billion, which represents the highest annual rate of growth to date. Dama’s payment solutions solve complicated banking problems for cannabis dispensaries and facilitate seamless consumer transaction at mobile points of sale.

The Emerald Cup Launches TV Channel For 2021 Edition of Award Show On SocialClub

CALIFORNIA:The Emerald Cup announced they will be going virtual and global for the first-time during their 2021 edition. Long known as the “Academy Awards of Cannabis” the iconic global cannabis competition will launch their own CTV channel on the SocialClub TV platform on April 5, 2021. With countless hours of linear programming launching over the all 6 days leading into the live-cast of the world-renown The Emerald Cup 2021 Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 11, 2021.

Fans of the event – new, old and all across the planet – will be able to enjoy:

  • High wattage exclusive live-musical and comedy performances (line-up revealed later this week)
  • Insider access to the judging of awards with special appearances by B-Real (Cypress Hill/Dr. Greenthumbs), Jimi Devine (LA Weekly) and Abdulluh Saeed (Great Moments in Weed History Podcast)
  • A visual history of iconic moments from The Emerald Cup in a documentary format
  • A full library of past The Emerald Cup shows spanning 17 years of events
  • Fireside chats with leading names across the cannabis, and now psychedelic industry
  • Expert filled educational panels concerning topics including “The Cannabis Plant: Terpenes And Beyond”, “The future of Cannabis Genetics Around The Globe” and “Real Social Equity: Creating Impact not Impressions”
  • Interviews with hosts and founders Tim and Taylor Blake, Willie Nelson Lifetime Award recipient Winona LaDuke and many more

 

‘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.