Cashing In On Cannabis: CannaCon’s Banking Panel

By Sahar Ayinehsazian

Since Washington state legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, recreational cannabis sales have totaled over $1 billion, translating to more than $250 million collected in new taxes. Such substantial sales, however, have also brought problems for licensees in the form of cash.

Because of marijuana’s federal status as a Schedule I substance, financial institutions continue to deny banking services to state licensed marijuana businesses. Consequently, these businesses have been forced to deal in cash and suffer the sometimes lethal consequences.

There are, however, licensed marijuana businesses who have broken free from cash with the help of third party platforms like PayQwick. Licensed marijuana businesses can now easily access regular businesses bank accounts, cash management and bill pay services and the ability to send and receive electronic payments. These businesses also enjoy the added benefit of compliance services, which keep them operating in line with all of the state’s regulations.

To learn how to break free from cash, marijuana business owners and those considering the marijuana industry can attend CannaCon’s banking panel, Cashing In On Cannabis – Compliance, Banking and Cash Management” on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 11:30 am in seminar room two. Moderated by MJBA CEO and Co-Founder David Rheins, the panel features industry experts Kenneth Berke, Christine Masse, John Vardaman and Myles Khan.

Ken Berke is the Co-Founder and CEO of PayQwick, a compliance, cash management and electronic payment processing platform that has facilitated regular business bank accounts for over 200 licensed marijuana businesses throughout Washington. He is also an attorney with 29 years of experience and has advocated for the legal marijuana industry before regulators throughout the U.S.

Christine Masse is a partner at Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, where she leads the government and regulatory affairs practice group and specializes in representing businesses in highly regulated industries with their transactional, regulatory, and public policy needs. She also leads the firm’s tribal team, providing counsel to various Northwest Native American tribes and organizations on matters such as marijuana.

Myles Harlow Kahn is a legal officer at Foundry Law. His practice focuses on corporate, entertainment, intellectual property, business development, cannabis and regulatory matters. He is also the owner of Buddy’s in Renton, one of Washington’s most prominent marijuana retailers.

John Vardaman is Executive Vice President & General Counsel of Hypur, makers of technology enabling financial institutions to service cash-intensive businesses in accordance with legal compliance requirements. He helped author the Cole Memorandum, the DOJ document outlining how financial institutions can bank marijuana businesses in states where cannabis has been legalized.

HONU Wins “Best Cannabis Brand Design” 2016 in MJBA/OMD Poll.

WASHINGTON:  Cowlitz county Tier 3 producer HONU was named “Best Cannabis Brand Design 2016” in an online poll published by Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and Online Marijuana Design (OMD Agency).  More than 1500 votes were cast in the MJBA/OMD Facebook Survey, which asked cannabis industry participants to vote for the best cannabis brand designs of 2016.

HONU’s Hawaiian-flavored design featuring a stylized sea turtle garnered the brand a total of 245 votes.  “Turtles have always been important to the local Hawaiian people as they provided spiritual influence, tools, food and clothing. But the Hawaiians never “took” from the turtles lightly, they always revered the turtles,” the company’s website proclaims. “We have chosen this as the name for our business as it embodies what we hold sacred as a team.”

honuteam

Results of the vote were announced at the recent “HOT BOX: The Best Marijuana Design and Packaging 2016” seminar in Tacoma. Team Honu was on hand to accept the award from MJBA founder/executive director David Rheins.  The Hot Box seminar took place June 2, 2016 in the historic Union Bank of California building in Tacoma, WA.

The event was produced by the Marijuana Business Association. Online Marijuana Design was the event’s presenting sponsor.  VIP Sponsors included Great Pacific Packaging, DCG One, PrintWest, Pearson Packaging, 420WholesalePack.com, Tryst Print Solutions, Foundry Law Group, Farmer Tom, NWMJLaw, Higher Ground TV, Curved Papers, Guts and Glory, Ganjapreneur, 420Media and Freedom Leaf.

Second place with 186 votes went to Renton, WA retailer Buddy’s. The jazz-themed pot shop was named after proprietor Myles Kahn’s grandfather, Buddy Kahn, a famous Salsa musician and band leader. The hip design of the company’s branding, with a strong retro music feel, was crafted by Guts and Glory creative director Michael Guttsen.

Buddys Poster

With its dramatic Italian glass jar, and a ‘fresh-picked locally’ design approach branding, Tier 1 producer Green Bluff Greenhouse took third place with 157 votes. Specializing in rare, old school Sativa’s, the small grower is quickly gaining a big reputation for quality. Green Bluff owner Rick Lynn Roening was on hand to accept the award.

Dramatic Italian glass jar Green Bluff Greenhouse

Dramatic Italian glass jar Green Bluff Greenhouse

Fourth place went to Tier 2 indoor producer SKöRD Marijuana, whose bold black and cream design and iconic umlauts proudly resonate with Scandinavian heritage.   The company produces flower, concentrates and infused edibles.

skord marijuana logo

Rounding out the Top 5 Best Cannabis Brand Design of 2016 is Curved Papers.  With an “Easy To Roll” theme and a eco-friendly minimalist package that emphasizes the brand value – a new shape for rolling papers that is a true innovation.

curvedpapers3

Company founder Michael O’Malley and his daughter Grace were on hand at the Hot Box seminar to accept their award.

Curved Papers' Michael and Grace O'Malley

Curved Papers’ Michael and Grace O’Malley

 

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