The Wink In Weed: Why You Should Join Me At CCC PDX

By David Rheins

2018 will be a crucial year for the legal cannabis industry.  Five years after the first adult-use marijuana marketplaces opened in Colorado and Washington, our industry has grown large and gone mainstream.  Big and getting bigger, with the opening of the California and Nevada markets, Oregon is now part of a contiguous legal West Coast spanning from Canada to Mexico. CannaFest Destiny has never seemed more apparent, and competition never more fierce.

Legal cannabis production has never been higher, while wholesale prices have never been lower.  The harsh reality for an industry that is hyper-competitive, overtaxed and over-regulated, is that for most licensees profit margins have never been tighter.  Many mom and pops have already sold out, and many more are on that fence.  Add to this the recent saber rattling of drug-warrior-turned-Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, and it is easy to see that for many in the industry, 2018 has begun as a time of great uncertainty and anxiety.

CCCPDX issues an industry call to action

CCCPDX issues an industry call to action

As I wrote in my “Open Letter to Jeff Sessions,”  now is the time for industry leaders, businesses and supporters to stand united.  We must show that not only has our legal industry become a vital engine of reform and economic activity —  generating hundreds of millions in new tax revenues — but we have reinvigorated communities across the country by creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

The industry has arrived at a critical juncture in its evolution, and Oregon is on the front lines of the fight for an independent legal industry.  As the Cannabis Collaborative Conference’s Mary Lou Burton puts it, “The CCC has grown up with the industry in Oregon.  Now three years into full legalization, we no longer need to offer cannabis 101 education.  Now we are focused on education geared towards successfully and profitably operating in the current environment. ”

Differentiate: The commercialization and mainstreaming of the legal cannabis industry has put enormous pressure on licensees , who must focus on building brand equity and establishing effective marketing practices that will allow them to stand out from the competition.  I’m delighted to be moderating the marketing panel discussion at CCC this year, where along with canna-brand experts Stephen Gold, The Daily Leaf; Sean Lucas, NUG Digital Marketing; and Ryan Michael, KindTyme, we will discuss the top branding and marketing trends  that every canna-marketer must know. 

Activate: Congressman Earl Blumenauer will once again deliver a keynote speech at the conference. “This is a call to action.” he said in response to the Sessions announcement. “It’s time for anyone who cares about cannabis to mobilize to defend state marijuana laws.”

Burton added, “come together with fellow law abiding and tax paying professionals in the Cannabis Industry and unite!  CCC 4.0 provides the perfect opportunity to ban together and show the media and the world that we will not back down.”

REGISTER TODAY and receive $50 off (promo code: CCC50)

Post Sessions: CCC PDX Calls For Industry Mobilization

Congressman Blumenauer said in response to the Sessions announcement that this is a call to action. It’s time for anyone who cares about cannabis to mobilize to defend state marijuana laws
 
So…what can we do now?
Come together with fellow law abiding and tax paying professionals in the Cannabis Industry and unite!  CCC 4.0 provides the perfect opportunity to ban together and show the media and the world that we will not back down.
REGISTER TODAY and receive $50 off (promo code: CCC50)
 
WHY TO ATTEND?  It’s time to be profitable!
The CCC has grown up with the industry in Oregon.  Now three years into full legalization, we no longer need to offer cannabis 101 education.  Now we are focused on education geared towards successfully and profitably operating in the current environment.  
 
 
There’s something for everyone at the CCC 4.0.  Session topics include:
  • Growers meet Buyers – wholesale, retail, processors
  • Ask the budtender – find out what’s hot & what’s not
  • State of the Industry; Congressman Blumenauer
  • OLCC Updates, Seed to Sale training, Q&A
  • Cameron Forni and Matt Morgan- “The Journey of a Cannabis Business”
  • Energy Pavilion – Energy reduction costs & rebates
  • Banking Panel with Maps & Salal Credit Unions and OR Dept of Treasury
  • Cannabis Connex & Investor Lounge buying? selling? meet with cannabis valuation experts & investors
  • Moving across state lines – Expansion, licensing
  • Processing overview and post-extraction experts
  • Science utilization; DNA mapping, terpenes, scent control
  • Running the business more efficiently
  • Collaborate with 120 industry vendors
  • Product will be on display
  • Investor Forum: accessing capital, securities law, trademarks, attracting investors, California update, Investor due diligence & partnerships

MJBA’s Rheins Leads All-Star Panel On Canna-Marketing At CCC in PDX

In today’s hyper-competitive legal cannabis industry, excellent branding and marketing is essential.  It’s “Differentiate Or Die” says MJBA executive director David Rheins.  “It used to be that farmers could rely upon the quality of their crops and their reputation in the local community.  With commercialization, the quality and desirability of the product, must be communicated through meaninful branding, appealing packaging, and solid marketing.”

Rheins will be moderating a panel of leading cannabis industry marketeers at the 4th Annual Cannabis Collaborative Conference in Portland, January 24th.  The marketing panel will feature a number of top canna-brand experts including Stephen Gold, The Daily Leaf; Sean Lucas, NUG Digital Marketing; and Ryan Michael, KindTyme, as we discuss the top branding and marketing trends every canna-marketer must know.

  • Differentiate or Die!  Marketing Panel
  • 12:00 – 12:45pm, January 24
  • Room D204 (Seats 50)
  • Speakers: Dave Rheins, Sean Lucas, Ryan Michael and Stephen Gold

    Moderating the ancillary businesses panel at CCC

    David Rheins Moderating the marketing panel at CCC

Miss CCC PDX? Conference Videos Now Online

 “Cannabis 101” Series Includes More than 24 Hours of Video on Everything a Businessperson Needs to Know in Order to Run a Successful Cannabis Business

OREGON –  The Cannabis Collaborative Conference (CCC) today announced the launch of “Cannabis 101,” a series of instructional videos for entrepreneurs who wish to enter the cannabis industry, according to CCC producer Mary Lou Burton.

“For the first time on video, entrepreneurs looking to get into this industry find everything they want to know about running a successful cannabis business,” Burton said. “We’re offering more than 24 hours of video that covers everything from business plan to sales.”

Available for download at https://ccc-con.com, the series was produced using footage from more than 70 speakers and 30 sessions given at the 2016 Cannabis Collaborative Conference and includes content from experts in all areas of the industry.

Highlights of Cannabis 101 include:
Oregon Regulatory Updates from Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director;

280E – Save Tax Dollars- Learn how to minimize the impact of code section 280E. Learn what expenses are included in COGS and also what expenses are deductible;

Dispensary/ Retailer Session – Learn from experts how to prepare a business plan that will assist in finding investment dollars to fund a cannabis business. Important info on executing a license application, understanding compliance and in starting a retail cannabis business;

Producer/ Processor Session – Information to create a timeline for a build-out of a grow, inclusive of identifying property and the most efficient design, as well as build-outs of a commercial kitchen or concentrates lab;

Packaging Your Product – Learn how to set a brand apart through unique packaging offerings accompanied with a marketing driven approach;

Seed-to-Sale Technology – Software solutions and integration with the state system. Find out what is needed to track an operation, while learning how to be most efficient with workflow;

Investing in the Cannabis Industry – A review of the law and regulations concerning who can invest in the cannabis industry and how, both directly and indirectly. Offers suggestions on maximizing investor participation;

State of the Affairs from an Overarching Industry and Federal Perspective – Aaron Smith, NCIA;

Concentrates, Extracts and Edibles – Understand the intricacies and how they fit into the marketplace. Also: regulations for packaging and labeling;

Sourcing the Right Products and Services for a Grow Operation – Understand how to source the right product for a grow operation, cultivation techniques, and the value in choosing the right lab for testing;

Creating a Powerful Brand – Proper branding is necessary to put a powerful punch behind a business: three marketing professionals offer mind-blowing recommendations;

Understanding Risk Exposure- Navigate the legal risks of entering the cannabis space through a panel covering the many facets of potential legal exposure, investment, employment, policy, local jurisdictional regulations, and nuances of applications;

Genetic Sequencing to Drive Traditional Cannabis Breeding – Basic science around cannabis genetics that will allow it to advance as fast as the rest of the agricultural world.  By linking particular traits, such as pest-resistance, to specific genetic markers and using DNA sequence to “read” those;

New Technology for Indoor Growing – Integration of new technologies, including automated controls, LED lighting and numerous sensors into the horticultural environment promise efficiency and success;

Wholesaler and Distributor Workshop – Learn from experts that currently own distribution businesses and are making the transition into the adult use space.  Topics include compliance, building strategic partnerships, product procurement and methods for creating strong distribution sales;
Cliff Robinson- “Uncle Spliffy” – Speaks about being a passionate cannabis advocate who firmly believes that the herb helped him deal with the physical and mental stress of being a professional athlete for 18 years

Cannabis 101 educational videos are available online for $149 unlimited access or $29 for 48 hour access.

Wink-In-Weed: Cannabis Collaboration, Fun and Games

By David Rheins

This week’s column is dedicated to the importance of collaboration, fun and games in the cannabis industry.  Now for me, marijuana has always been experiential –  a mind expanding, humor producing, cosmic giggling good time. Long before it was medicine or big business, pot was fun.  Our cannabis counter-culture has morphed into legal industry, and our local community is evolving into broader coalitions: disparate factions all working together towards a common goal of raising the awareness and acceptance of the political, medical and commercial possibilities that the end of prohibition brings.

Moderating the ancillary businesses panel at CCC

Moderating the ancillary businesses panel at CCC

At canna-gatherings great and small, collaboration is taking center stage. So much so that CCC (formerly Cannabis Creative Conference) changed the name of last week’s trade show in Portland to ‘Cannabis Collaborative Conference.”  There,  at the Portland Expo Center, straight-laced regulators from the OLCC joined former-NBA basketball stars turned pot-entrepreneurs, wonky economists and well-heeled canna-technologists in emphasizing the possibilities that are possible for the new industry if we can only learn to work together cooperatively.

NBA Star Cliff Robinson, aka "Uncle Spliffy" delivers keynote at CCC 2016 in Portland, February 4, 2016.

NBA Star Cliff Robinson, aka “Uncle Spliffy” delivers keynote at CCC 2016 in Portland, February 4, 2016.

Working and playing together. Participating at cannabis industry events — as speaker, panelist, exhibitor or attendee —  while certainly not all ‘fun and games’, does mean being a part of a small, tight-knit collegial community.  One tends to see a lot of the same faces on the cannabis trade show circuit.  As a rule, most of us truly like being with each other, commonly greet each other with hugs and kisses, and frequently sneak off together to share a toke and a smile.

Farmer Tom Lauerman and friends

Farmer Tom Lauerman and friends

Cannabis is a community sacrament that leads to shared activities. Cannabis is a business and social lubricant, and an enhancement to our favorite activities. Forget Coca-Cola, things go better with cannabis: nature, sports, sex, music, video, and games.

Speaking of fun and games, imagine my delight when I arrived back in Seattle to find two separate packages on my doorstop: both cannabis games!   Now that pot is legal to purchase and consume for adults in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and DC, a consumer demand is quickly developing for “things to enjoy while legally high.”  One new product seeking to fill that need is ‘Cannabis The Card Game’, from Weed Games. Cannabis TCG is a fill-in-the blank Q&A card game designed to be fun and educational.   “After consuming Cannabis, lab mice are known to begin______.”  teases one card.

Now that pot is legal in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and DC, a burgeoning cannabis consumer demand is developing for things to enjoy while legally high!

Now that pot is legal in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and DC, a burgeoning cannabis consumer demand is developing for things to enjoy while legally high!

To play ‘Cannabis The Card Game’, you’ll need your own legal cannabis, rolling papers (included with the game)/ blunt wraps, a bong/pipe or vaporizer, munchies, a grinder or all of the above!  Add paper and pen if you are attempting to keep score (completely unnecessary).

In a separate package I uncover another addition to the canna-games category, ‘Roll a Bong’, a board game dedicated to the community of marijuana smokers, who enjoy smoking while playing board games.  Billed as a “rolling and smoking game for the whole joint,” all players are encourage to contribute weed to the “Community Dish” at the start of the game.

‘Roll a Bong’, a board game dedicated to the community of marijuana smokers, who enjoy smoking while playing board games.

‘Roll a Bong’, a board game dedicated to the community of marijuana smokers, who enjoy smoking while playing board games.

Things to do in Oregon when you’re stoned: Both of these pot-smoker games would find an ideal home at Portland’s NW Cannabis Club, which I had the pleasure of visiting last Tuesday before the CCC show.  The members-only private club offers daily, monthly and annual memberships (beginning at $10/visit). Membership entitles you access to the expansive club room, the dab bar, where you are welcome to use their dab rigs, and a very cool landscaped outdoor patio area, complete with fire pit and local art installations.

The members-only private club offers daily, monthly and annual memberships (beginning at $10/visit).

The members-only private club offers daily, monthly and annual memberships (beginning at $10/visit).

MMJ activist Don Skakie has found a second home at the club, traveling regularly from his home in Renton, Washington since most of his local mmj farmer’s markets have shut down.  He summed it up his love of community for me while we were enjoying the crisp February night air, “Some people collect antiques, but for me this is a hobby. Whenever I can, I like to get together with my cannabis family and just hang out.”

2016 Cannabis Collaborative Conference Is Feb 3-4 at Portland Expo

OREGON: The 2016 Cannabis Collaborative Conference (CCC), a two-day convention and networking event focused on the business side of the fast-growing cannabis industry, will take place February 3 and 4 at the Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center (Portland Expo Center), according to CCC producer Mary Lou Burton.

Featuring more than 80 cannabis industry speakers, including a keynote address from former NBA All-Star/former Portland Trail Blazer and cannabis advocate Cliff Robinson, the CCC is expected to draw more than 2,500 attendees seeking to network and visit interactive workshops and hands-on demonstrations for the purposes of gaining knowledge and insight into one of the fastest-growing agricultural businesses in North America – the cannabis industry.

“Following on the heels of the Cannabis Creative Conference held this past summer, we are calling this a ‘working conference,’” Burton said. “Which illustrates we are growing collectively and are united to create a vibrant, successful industry.”

With more than 90 exhibitors, the CCC will showcase the newest available technology, from security systems to planting processes to retail point-of-sale. Additionally, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) will provide workshops on its new Cannabis Tracking System (CTS), in partnership with CTS vendor Franwell Metrc, and will have small group sessions and hands-on interactive demonstrations both days.

As part of the conference, CCC will host the Marijuana Investor Summit Boot Camp for more than 100 investors and entrepreneurs coming from all parts of North America. Produced in partnership with the Cannabis Collaborative Conference, Marijuana Investor Summit and Signal Bay, this half-day seminar, taught by industry experts and successful marijuana entrepreneurs and investors, will provide prospective investors and entrepreneurs insight on this rapidly growing market.

“This conference provides a recipe for success, essentially guaranteeing significant improvement for a cannabis-based business,” Burton said. “Anyone who’s interested in this industry or wants to become a real player in it will be here.”

The Cannabis Collaborative Conference hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 3, and 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Thursday, February 4. Those interested in attending can register here: 

Major sponsors of the Cannabis Collaborative Conference include Chalice Farms, CannaGuard Security, MRX Labs, DOPE Magazine, Cannley, and MJ Freeway Business Solutions.

The Cannabis Collaborative Conference and the Cannabis Creative Conference are produced by Portland-based Bravo! Event, which, for nearly 30 years, has produced large-scale corporate, trade and social events throughout the Pacific Northwest.