Dialing For Dollars: Vanity Phone Numbers For Marijuana Businesses

NEW YORK: A leading provider of vanity toll-free and local phone numbers, RingBoost, has announced the availability of special vanity phone numbers for marijuana businesses. The recent legalization of marijuana around the country has led to steep competition in this booming industry. Vanity phone numbers provide instant credibility and brand recognition in a way no other market tool can.

“The immediate goal for local brick-and-mortar businesses is to generate more phone calls and more foot traffic,” said Paul Faust, a senior vice president for business development at RingBoost. “This is as true for marijuana businesses as it is for any other business. More phone calls means more chances to earn new customers. Industry research has shown that phone leads convert ten times more often than web leads into paying customers, which means marijuana businesses who make use of a branded phone number such as 541-YES-WEED will have a tremendous competitive advantage in their markets.”

RingBoost is currently offering a variety of options for marijuana dispensaries, including local phone number options in four or seven digits in most local area codes (e.g. 541-383-WEED, 541-YES-WEED), and powerful toll-free options, including 1-800-CANNABIS, which is available for exclusive use in individual markets in states where marijuana is legal.

Cannabis Market Creating Jobs

NEW YORK: The fast-growing cannabis market is expected to create more jobs in the United States. According to the 2017 Legal Marijuana Outlook, published by New Frontier Data, the cannabis industry is expected to create 283,422 jobs by 2020, with an implied growth rate of more than 17 percent compounded over the next four years.

The accelerating pace of cannabis legalization is considered as the main factor that drives the growth of legal cannabis market, which will further create more business ventures and boost the economy.

Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, said, “While we see a potential drop in total number of U.S. jobs created in 2017, as reported by Kiplinger, as well as an overall expected drop in GDP growth, the cannabis industry continues to be a positive contributing factor to growth at a time of potential decline, however, with a projected total market sales to exceed $24 billion by 2025, and the possibility of almost 300,000 jobs by 2020, it remains a positive economic force in the U.S.”

NWMJLaw Bootcamp Series: Employee Management And Conflict Resolution

WASHINGTON: As the industry evolves and businesses get past the initial pressures of getting licensed and through the first few months of operations, we see two issues emerge that are worth an in-depth exploration.

This week in Seattle, Aaron Pelley and Anne van Leynseele of NWMJ Law will lead an open discussion with stories from the frontline about employees and conflicts. This event, held Tuesday, June 21st at the MJBA Seattle June monthly meetup.

The third in a business bootcamp  for Washington’s licensed cannabis business owners, the discussion will cover a wide range of situations that arise in these areas including: hiring and firing; how to set employee performance standards; NDA and non-compete contracts; AVN risks; and partnership disputes. Do not miss these two seasoned cannabis attorneys as they share real world situations and offer their sound advice on how to avoid troubles and tips on solving problems before they cause damage to your company.

 

Leafly Founders Depart, Raise Cash For New Marijuana Business Intelligence Startup

WASHINGTON: After five years, the founders of marijuana strain and dispensary database Leafly are moving on to their next cannabis-related startup.

Cy ScottBrian Wansolich, and Scott Vickers — who launched Leafly in 2010 — are the co-founders of Headset, a new Seattle-based startup that’s building a business intelligence platform for the fast-growing marijuana industry.

headset-product-details-mobile-r1Headset, which just raised about $450,000 of a $750,000 seed round from Poseidon Asset Management and a group of angel investors, offers what Scott describes as a market research and analysis tool similar to NielsenNPD or IRi, but for customers in the marijuana supply chain.

The idea is to give marijuana retailers, processors, and growers better insights and intelligence for their business, ultimately helping them make more money and offer better customer service.

“We’re staying in the cannabis industry but are tackling a different problem,” said Scott, who’s taking on the CEO role for the new company.

Headset’s platform provides a number of operational insights. For example, retailers can be immediately notified when stock is low of a particular product that’s been selling well, or find out if a specific strain isn’t flying off the shelves like it used to. Meanwhile, product manufacturers can access sell-through data, all-commodity volume information, and a competitive set analysis, among other insights.

Cannabis: Silicon Valley’s Hot New Sector

CALIFORNIA: Wearing a straw hat and a big grin, farmer Casey O’Neill is busy greeting customers at a Saturday farmers’ market in Mendocino County, Northern California. “Another day in paradise,” he calls out, as one approaches. Fresh broccoli, courgettes and spring onions are on display on his table, all grown at his farm.

Next to the vegetables is a different kind of crop: mason jars full of marijuana buds, bearing handwritten labels such as “Lemon OG” and “Ogre Berry”. A bong sits at the front of the table, for sampling. “Wow, is that really grown outdoors?” says one shopper who takes a hit. Cannabis-infused honey, lip balm and chai tea are for sale at nearby stands.

Among the market-goers is a bright-eyed entrepreneur, Michael Steinmetz, a native of Venezuela based in San Francisco. He chats with farmers and shows around new staff members, who wear green T-shirts displaying the name of his company, Flow Kana.

The concept behind Flow Kana is simple: delivering farm-to-table cannabis that is organic and grown outdoors. Several of its partner farmers are at the market. When a Flow Kana customer orders some of O’Neill’s Ogre Berry strain, the buds will arrive at their door with a little label saying, “Grown by Amber & Casey”.

Oregon’s MBank Now Nixing All Pot Accounts After Colorado Plan Fizzled

OREGON: Just two months after Oregon-based MBank pulled back on a promise to work with the marijuana industry in Colorado, the $170-million institution said it is dropping its cannabis clients entirely.

CEO Jef Baker said MBank doesn’t have the “resources necessary to manage the compliance” requirements for banks maintaining accounts with legal marijuana businesses.

But others familiar with the bank’s situation said the move from the marijuana space was forced by regulators who recently audited bank records over an extended period, eventually downgrading the institution’s rating and indicating marijuana deposits might be too risky to handle.

The bank has been under scrutiny because of a prior consent agreement with federal regulators that was the result of financial problems it had a few years ago. But now, regulatory examinations that normally were taking about two weeks suddenly were taking six, according to people familiar with that process.

MJBA’s Cannabis Job Fair Brings Together Top Employers and Job Seekers

WASHINGTON: The legal cannabis industry in Washington is poised to scale in 2015, as more licensed retail stores come online and relatively low price points drive consumer demand.  According to the latest MJ Research report, Washington’s cannabis industry has surpassed $100M in sales in its first 33 weeks of legal sales, and that is in turn creating jobs.In response, many canna-businesses are getting into hiring mode.

The legalization of marijuana has created thousands of new jobs — 10,000 in Colorado last year.  This year that trend will only continue, as more stores open and more product becomes available.

This weekend in Seattle, the MJBA Job Fair will become ground zero for those interested in a career in legal cannabis — bringing together Washington State’s top cannabis industry employers and HR professionals and industry thought leaders with local job seekers.

MJBA Job Fair March 3, 2015 at Red Lion Hotel Bellevue WA

MJBA Job Fair March 3, 2015 at Red Lion Hotel Bellevue WA

The full day event includes a 2015 Jobs Outlook, and featured employer presentations from Producers, Retailers, Processors and service providers. Author and motivational speaker Tiffany McVeety will speak on “Being Your Own Boss” and CTI’s Greta Carter will talk about the importance of training and certification.

Job candidates will have the opportunity to take the stage and deliver their 60-second elevator pitch.Last fall’s MJBA Job Fair garnered tremendous publicity, and attracted approximately 500 people, according to organizers. More than 30+ employers turned out as sponsors seeking to fill more than 140 jobs. This year’s event, is being sponsored by RMMC Consulting, Eden Labs, Cannabis Training Institute, Viridian Sciences, 420MEDIA, and Weedhire.com, and looks to be even larger.

Here are some highlights of the media coverage of Job Fair Seattle last fall:

http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2014/09/29/washingtons-top-pot-companies-recruit-at-seattle-job-fair/

http://www.bellevuereporter.com/business/277490131.html

http://viridiansciences.com/first-pot-job-fair/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuBKheGPvcE

CannaCon Showcases The Business Of Buds

WASHINGTON: Under the massive, round roof of the Tacoma Dome, a button-down crowd from across the state gathered last weekend for CannaCon, billed by its organizer as the largest cannabis business conference in the nation.

While tourists and marijuana enthusiasts descended on Seattle’s more lighthearted Hempfest, this much smaller group was on a serious mission — learning how to cash in on the slow but growing legitimization of the legal cannabis industry in Washington. Pot smoking was not allowed. Instead of the music, celebrations and speeches going on in Seattle, the event was peppered with a wide range of seminars, entrepreneurial product vendors, growers, lawyers, insurance agents, accountants and even a group trying to set up a marijuana commodities exchange.

In the middle of all that action, a new business group, the Marijuana Business Association, worked to round more people into its fold. The Seattle-based group has opened a handful of offices around the state and plans to open one in Vancouver on Sept. 19th, said CEO Dave Rheins.

“Despite all the challenges, this industry is being built,” said Rheins, looking out at the wide array of booths. “This culture isn’t new, the product’s not new, but what is new is the whole business side. And we have a lot of education to do.”

What’s new is legitimization of a long-stigmatized product. It’s a new industry, with Washington and Colorado as test cases for legalization. Rheins notes that it will take a bit of time for the market to sort out — and weed the bad businesspeople from the good ones.