DJ Snoopadelic and Kokane Headline Oklahoma Hempfest September 7-9th

NEW DATES. OKLAHOMA HEMPFEST RESCHEDULED:  Oklahoma Hempfest Rescheduled; New Dates June 7, 8 & 9th 2019

By Scott McKinley

Who could imagine Oklahoma going for Medical Cannabis?  After the state just claimed the crown for most incarcerations,  the people have truly spoken with this one.

Being an 8-year member of Seattle Hempfest, I know the power of a “Protestival” done right. This will be my third year of sponsoring a stage in Seattle and networking with all the entrepreneurs to make the 3-day event happen, and so naturally I decided it would be a perfect timing idea to bring the official Hempfest to my home state of Oklahoma.  With the teachers all at strike and a good portion of the proceeds going to them, I banked on state question 788 to pass.

I flew in to my home state of Oklahoma to meet with the group who created Rocklahoma to begin the planning. For public and political support, we flew in Seattle City A Attorney Pete Holmes,  Seattle Hempfest’s Vivian McPeak, Patrick Saint from the Twenty22 Many Foundation, and Ashley Heddy the head of traceability training from BiotrackTHC.

We had a panel set up by Senator and gubernatorial candidate Connie Johnson.   We toured the venue Lost Lakes, and fell in love with the layout. It’s the perfect place.  I put all the pieces together and presented the idea.  Along the way, I had many partners and friends say I was wasting my time because Oklahoma would never legalize.  I reached out to Snoop Dogg’s camp, as I had worked with him in the past, and he had the dates — September 7-9 — open.

All the pieces have come together.  We lined up the investors, the venue, the state, and the artists —  all while awaiting the vote.  So you asked for it, Oklahoma, and you will get it:  the first annual Oklahoma Hempfest headlined by DJ Snoopadelic, and the Legendary Kokane — the most featured artist in the world. — with 3 days and 4 stages of artists and speakers.  In the tradition of Seattle Hempfest, this will be a free to the public event and will have speakers in between each artist performing on all stages.  Stay tuned for more details!

Done Deal: Helix TCS And BioTrackTHC

COLORADO: Helix TCS, in conjunction with its strategic capital partner, Rose Capital, completed the closing of its merger with BioTrackTHC on June 1st.  Zachary L. Venegas will continue as the CEO of Helix TCS, and will assume the role of Executive Chairman for the combined company.  Patrick Vo will continue as CEO of BioTrack.

“The closing of this merger is a landmark event for Helix and BioTrack from a strategic and operational perspective. As a combined company, we are unique in the industry in serving virtually every segment of the market – whether it is compliance software through BioTrack, the wholesale marketplace through Cannabase, security, transport, or cash services through Helix, or the advisory that we can provide customers due to our data infrastructure.  We continue to support our clients in whatever challenges they face in becoming safer, stronger, and more profitable, whether they operate in the U.S. or internationally.  At the same time, investors will see margin improvement as reporting and administrative costs are spread across a much larger revenue base and costs are rationalized.

“As a combined company with $12MM in 2017 revenue, we will continue to generate greater value for clients and shareholders. Helix’s unrelenting focus on strategy and disciplined execution will allow Biotrack to further harness the spirit that made it a market pioneer, with significant market share in government, dispensary, and grow segments of the seed to sale market, and translate that spirit into renewed technological innovation and leadership.

“This transaction represents the next step in our evolution as a market leader.  It is also another milestone achieved by using our team’s deep experience in strategy, entrepreneurship, M&A, and frontier markets to build a world-class company,” stated Mr. Venegas.

North Dakota Awards Medical Marijuana Seed-to-Sale Tracking Contract To BioTrackTHC

NORTH DAKOTA: The North Dakota Department of Health, the government agency responsible for implementing the state’s voter-approved medical marijuana program, has awarded the contract to BioTrackTHC to develop and implement the state’s medical marijuana seed-to-sale traceability system.  The system will allow designated regulatory officials to enforce compliance across the state’s marijuana seed-to-sale supply chain, providing transparency and accountability over the licensed medical marijuana compassion centers.

“As we begin implementing North Dakota’s medical marijuana program, the state needed a medical marijuana tracking system to assist in implementing a well-regulated program,” said Jason Wahl Director of the Division of Medical Marijuana within the North Dakota Department of Health. “We are excited to begin working with BioTrackTHC who has a successful record in implementing traceability systems in other states.”

Usable marijuana will be available to qualifying patients who have a debilitating medical condition as defined by state law and are registered through the Division of Medical Marijuana.  State law allows for the registration of up to 10 compassion centers: two (2) grower/manufacturing facilities and eight (8) dispensaries in the state.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to partner with the Department of Health and are excited to collaborate with them to ensure the program gets off the ground transparently, with sound design, and on time,” said Patrick Vo, President and CEO of BioTrackTHC. “We look forward to playing a key role in bringing safe access to medical marijuana for all North Dakotans through a proven and secure track and trace system.”

BioTrackTHC now holds eight (8) state-level government tracking contracts as well as one (1) with the city of Arcata, CA., making them a leading provider of government traceability systems in marijuana.  Having never missed a government traceability system deployment deadline and having demonstrated experience in implementing and maintaining both government and private-sector marijuana seed-to-sale systems in medical and recreational markets, the company looks forward to applying its expertise to maximize the success of another emerging market. BioTrackTHC’s goal is to help the industry to thrive by demonstrating that marijuana programs can operate with transparency and accountability, providing peace of mind to stakeholders and ensuring safety for the patients and the community.

 

WSLCB Update: Current Information On The Traceability Transition Important Message to Marijuana Licensees

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) has reached a critical juncture in our transition from the current traceability system to the new traceability system. Despite diligent efforts by LCB staff and the new vendor, all critical tasks will not be complete by the end of our contract with the current vendor on Oct. 31, 2017.

Contingency Plan in Effect Nov. 1
To ensure you are prepared, we have made the critical decision to prepare to implement our contingency plan.
Ensuring that we roll-out a quality, market-ready product is our priority. We are working closely and efficiently with our new vendor, MJ Freeway. Based on feedback from the training sessions and demonstrations with our Traceability Advisory Committee, the new product, Leaf Data Systems, the new non-commercial, free system will work well for the roughly 25 percent of licensees who use it. We will provide a timeline for implementation this week.
 Four Key Things to Know Regarding Contingency
  1. The information that we are requesting via the contingency plan is information that you are currently required to collect and retain;
  2. There is no halt to business during the contingency period. You may conduct business as usual. That includes transfers, sales, harvest, etc.;
  3. As you do today, you must keep a record of all required activity associated with your business. If you have a third-party, commercial software provider consider contacting them to review your coverage. Some software systems may capture traceability transactions for later reporting which may minimize your manual reporting requirements.; and
  4. The LCB will continue to enforce rules and regulations during this period.
Licensees will be able to conduct business as normal during this time frame. You must keep records of all traceability activities that occur during contingency operations and must update the new Leaf Data System with those activities when it goes live. On the left side of this webpage are links to FAQs, reporting documents, and specific information that licensees will need during this interim period.

WeedTraQR Seed-to-Sale Software Certified For Oregon

WASHINGTON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has approved WeedTraQR cannabis seed-‐to‐sale tracking software as a validate software provider for Oregon’s recreational marijuana program. The Seattle-based company has developed a platform that is compatible for integration with Oregon’s Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) to meet the inventory traceability needs of the state’s producer, processor, wholesaler, and research.

Operational for over two years in neighboring Washington, with a rapidly expanding roster of clients, WeedTraQR lends proven expertise and hard‐earned credibility to Oregon’s fledgling system. WeedTraQR’s software will allow recreational cannabis producers, processors, and wholesalers to electronically transmit complete and accurate inventory and sales data into the state’s mandatory CTS, saving time and reducing the risk of error.

All OLCC recreational marijuana licensees must participate in Oregon’s CTS; they can choose an approved third-party provider to integrate company sales and inventory data with the state’s system. One of only four providers validated for use by producers and processors, WeedTraQR pragmatically solves the inventory‐tracking requirement in this early industry stage, turning traceability from burden to competitive advantage by supplying clients with data analytics and other operational resources.

WeedTraQR claims to be the first ‘meta’ traceability software, reporting to the CTS in both Washington (BioTrackTHC) and Oregon (Metrc), making it an appealing option for companies with national aspirations and for those who currently license products in multiple states who want a consistent interface for all facilities.

Touted by Washington’s recreational industry as the easiest‐to‐use, most efficient and responsive inventory platform in the cannabis space, WeedTraQR will focus on producers and processors in Oregon and will also support wholesale and research licensees.

“We like that we’re taking  a platform agnostic, commodity equipment, agile SaaS model to the cannabis industry. It’s a major advantage to be able to run your grow or processing facility traceability from any mobile device, like a tablet or your smart phone, ”  said company co-founder Eric Ogden.  “We’re technology disruptors. We’re unique in that we’re aligned  with the industry first, while providing competent  and reliable governmental support and reporting.”

Hawaii Selects BioTrackTHC For State’s Medical Marijuana Program

HAWAII: The Hawaii Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance has selected BioTrackTHC as the winner apparent for its state contract for tracking the production, transportation and sale of medical marijuana.

“The development of a healthy and successful medical cannabis program is a top priority for Hawaii, and we are extremely proud to have been chosen to be a critical part of it,” said Patrick Vo, CEO, BioTrackTHC. “The islands of Hawaii are truly unique and we very much look forward to applying our expertise in solving the cannabis traceability challenges unique to Hawaii.”

BioTrackTHC’s government software solution will provide the Hawaii Department of Health real-time visibility into the seed-to-sale tracking data of every licensed medical marijuana dispensary in the state, including plant and inventory quantities, production activity, laboratory testing results, transportation activity, and dispensing activity.

This marks the fifth cannabis-related government contract won by the company. BioTrackTHC‘s seed-to-sale Traceability System for government agencies is currently being utilized by the states of WashingtonNew Mexico, and Illinois, and is in the process of implementation by New York. The company’s Enterprise System for businesses is used in more than 1,500 medical and recreational cannabis facilities in 23 states, Washington D.C.CanadaJamaica and South America. These technologies enable government agencies and businesses to track every plant and every fraction-of-a-gram of cannabis throughout the production lifecycle—cultivation, harvest and cure, quality assurance testing, transportation, destruction, and sale—bringing transparency, accountability, and meaningful insights to cannabis operations.

The Hawaii Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in November of last year and posted a Notice of Award naming BioTrackTHC on December 28, 2015.

Spokane’s First Cannabis Job Fair Draws Huge Crowds

WASHINGTON: Nearly 900 eager job seekers turned out for Spokane’s first ever cannabis job fair this past weekend, many of them lining up as early as 7:30 to drop their resumes off and meet some of eastern Washington’s leading cannabis industry employers.

Organized by the Marijuana Business Association, and presented by Washington NORML and the Islander, MJBA Job Fair Spokane was held at the Spokane Convention Center and featured employers and exhibitors included leading cultivators Washington’s Finest Cannabis, Blue Roots Cannabis, Triple T Farms, Kush Comfort Farms, and Buddy Boy, who were looking for trimmers and agricultural help; leading cannabis brands including Evergreen Herbal, Cannabis Training Institute, 420MEDIA, Analytically Correct, Mosaic Insurance, PayQwick, BioTrackTHC, Miller Soils, WeedTraQR, and Dope Magazine.

The Inlander publisher Ted McGregor delivered the keynote address, using the occasion to look back on the first year of Washington legal cannabis (the state’s first recreational shops opened on July 8, 2014).  Ted gave a shout out to Spokane resident Mike Boyer, the first recreational pot consumer in the state who subsequently lost his job after a workplace drug test confirm his legal consumption, who was in attendance at the fair optimistically seeking employment opportunities.  He drew parallels between the end of alcohol prohibition and today’s unravelling of the failed war on drugs.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz6ENqeR8Dc&w=560&h=315]

Business Intelligence expert Joe Armes, Analytically Correct, preceded the keynote, and delivered the MJ Research Jobs Report in which Analytically Correct estimates WA State recreation cannabis direct industry jobs to be 3,000 – 4,000 by the end of 2015 and 5,000 – 6,000 by the end of 2016.

MJ Research Jobs Report

MJ Research Jobs Report

420MEDIA and Kerri Accardi were in the house, hosting an open casting call for their upcoming web series, Hmm…Did You know.   A panel of cannabis cultivators from Washington’s Finest Cannabis, Farmer Tom Organics, Kush Comfort Farms talked about careers as a pot farmer.  Other featured speakers included Luc Nelson, Cannabis Training Institute; Kevin Oliver, Washington NORML; Melissa Braddock, Eden Labs; Norm Ives, Mosaic Insurance; Dan McMahon, BioTrackTHC, Aubrey Armes, Analytically Correct HR; Eric Ogden, WeedTraQR; Isaac Curtis, UFCW; Crystal Oliver, Washington’s Finest Cannabis; Terry Polyak, PayQwick; Kerri Accardi, 420MEDIA; Heather Gehrman, Evergreen Herbal; and Jon Hofer, RMMC Consulting.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG7Fqt_G_Zg&w=560&h=315]

 

Will Work For Weed

WASHINGTON: Start practicing your elevator pitch — the 60-second speech to land you a dream job in the cannabis industry.

The Marijuana Business Association is hosting a job fair and networking event featuring up to 50 cannabis employers and keynote speakers from across the state. Spokane is host to the third MJBA job fair to date. MJBA co-founder David Rheins says upward of 100 jobs were filled at last year’s job fair in Bellevue.

“You can’t find a cannabis job on Craiglist or Monster.com,” he says. “This is an unprecedented opportunity to meet this many employers who are hiring in one room.”

So bring your résumé.

Employers including BioTrackTHC, Triple T Farms, Blue Roots Cannabis and the Walla Walla Cannabis Company will be on hand, alongside speakers like Eden Labs CEO AC Braddock, who will address cannabis business models and the gender pay gap. Both skilled and unskilled workers in industries as varied as web design and agriculture are encouraged to attend.

“This green rush is unlike other economic booms,” Rheins says. “There are more opportunities in this new market, and employers are looking for workers across the spectrum — from insurance salesmen, to growers, to bankers, to security guards.”

MJBA is a Seattle-based trade organization founded in 2012. The organization is 420 businesses strong, with chapters across Washington, Colorado and Oregon. MJBA provides networking and business platforms for the recreational marijuana industry, with sponsored banking seminars, meetups and job fairs.

“We have a very mature cannabist culture, but an underserviced industry that doesn’t have the tools to function,” Rheins says. “When voters approved the commercialization of cannabis, it didn’t provide a framework for real estate, or insurance, or the very basic business principals that this emerging industry needs to flourish under such scrutiny.”

The association essentially teaches “Business 101” to the hundreds of mom-and-pop stores that have opened since I-502 passed. The job fairs aim to not only highlight, but normalize professional trades in the marijuana industry, and bring together the once-underground community.

“Our disadvantage — our lack of infrastructure — is also our biggest advantage,” Rheins says. “We can build a more intentional market.” ♦

Spokane Cannabis Job Fair • Sat, June 20, from 10 am-4:20 pm • Free • 21+ • Spokane Convention Center • 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. • mjba.net • (425) 892-9221

 

New Mexico Department of Health Awards Medical Cannabis Software Government Contract to BioTrackTHC

NEW MEXICO: The New Mexico Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Program has awarded BioTrackTHC™, a division of Bio-Tech Medical Software, Inc., a contract for the provision and deployment of an integrated patient and provider tracking software application. This award makes BioTrackTHC the cannabis industry’s first company with marijuana regulatory technology contracts in two states, following the company’s existing contract for the state of Washington’s Marijuana Seed-to-Sale Traceability System.

“I commend the New Mexico Department of Health on its comprehensive RFP process in securing the right technology and team for the state’s needs,” said Steven Siegel, CEO, BioTrackTHC. “Our experience implementing compliance technology in this sector will serve the state and the public well in maintaining a reliable and efficient regulatory infrastructure.”

The New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program (MCP) was created under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act to allow for the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system.  In pursuit of its mission, the MCP issued an extensive RFP on July 22, 2014for a software solution to maintain regulatory compliance. After extensive proposal evaluations and live software demonstrations, BioTrackTHC achieved a marijuana industry first: back-to-back government contract wins.