Eaze Announces Major Expansion Of Social Equity Menu In Los Angeles

Menu expansion promotes Black-owned cannabis brands, establishes industry-leading support for equity license holders, and encourages conscious consumption

CALIFORNIA: Eaze, California’s largest marketplace for legal cannabis, today announced expanded efforts to support an equitable cannabis industry: A major menu expansion in Los Angeles featuring Black and POC-owned brands, and the Social Equity Partners Program, a multi-point initiative to assist and elevate equity license holders.

Eaze’s Social Equity Partners Menu, which already features well-recognized brands Cloud 9, KGB Reserve, and SF Roots in Northern California, is debuting all of its equity brands in the greater Los Angeles market and welcoming LA-based Dreamt, Blaqstar Farms, and Bay Area-based James Henry SF and Oakland Extracts to the menu.

The menu makes it easy for consumers to support a diverse industry, and address the War on Drugs’ disproportionate effects on the BIPOC community, by putting their dollars toward these brands. Customers can simply visit Eaze.com to order products, which range from unique flower to prerolls to a sleep-aid vape pen.

In a first move for the cannabis industry, Eaze announced its multi-point Social Equity Partners Program, which provides brands with financial and operational support to help them scale and succeed on Eaze and beyond. Specifically, Social Equity Partners are eligible for a variety of benefits, including:

  • Preferred financing and payment structuring
  • Discounted access to Eaze Partner Portal data
  • Incorporation into the Eaze supply chain
  • Marketing and public relations support

Brands on Eaze’s Social Equity Menu must either hold a social equity license, or be actively engaged in the application process for an equity license in a city or county. Since Eaze launched its equity menu in the Bay Area market, social equity brands have been well received by consumers with high and consistent demand. To date, social equity brands have sold nearly $1M of products on the Eaze platform.

“We’re proud to offer these incredible brands industry-leading terms that support their growth by addressing chronic small business challenges that include access to capital, tight cash flow, and customer education,” said Darius Kemp, Eaze’s Head of Equity and Change. “Shopping these brands is one of the best ways consumers can support equity and consume conscientiously.”

“Consumers are more thoughtful than ever about the products they consume and ensuring they come from a brand that aligns with their values, and cannabis is no exception,” said LA-based Blaqstar Farms’ Founder and CEO Bryant Mitchell. “Eaze is an exceptional partner for Black-owned cannabis brands, allowing us to step into the spotlight and reach consumers who not only want a fantastic product but want to know their dollars are going towards a new generation of Black cannabis entrepreneurs.”

Eaze’s equity menu includes:

  • Blaqstar Farms: The son of the first Black police officer in the city of Orange, Texas, Bryant Mitchell grew up and saw many peers, family members and friends lost to and affected by the War on Drugs. It wasn’t until 2001, after he graduated college and went into consulting in the Bay Area, that he became immersed in cannabis and saw the results of pain relief and so many other benefits. These professional and life experiences led Bryant to establish Blaqstar Farms in 2012 in Los Angeles. A selection of Blaqstar Farms products, including premium flower The Glue, Thin Mint and Orange Rose to prerolls Boss OG, Doc OG, Super Sour and F3, are available the week of September 14 on Eaze.
  • Cloud9: Degi Simmons, founder of Oakland-based Cloud9, has been involved in cannabis commerce and culture since the earliest days of Proposition 215. As a beneficiary of Oakland’s Koncepts Cultural Gallery, an organization promoting art and education funded by Better Us dispensary, Degi partnered with cultivator and DJ Clayton Whitaker to form Cloud9 in 2010. A selection of Cloud9 flower, featuring Sour Diesel for sativa and Runtz for indica, are now available on Eaze.
  • Dreamt is an award-winning science-backed sleep aid created by Carolina Vazquez Mitchell, a nationally recognized cannabis scientist. Dreamt’s 45-night pen and 30-night tincture contain THC, CBD, melatonin, valerian root, and terpenes, and are now available on Eaze.
  • James Henry SF: Co-founders Henry Alston and James Victor are on a mission to improve the stigma surrounding cannabis consumption through quality branded products and Black entrepreneurship. By partnering with accomplished medical doctors and scientists who understand the medical value of endocannabinoid therapy, James Henry SF promotes responsible consumption for a responsible lifestyle. A selection of James Henry SF flower, including hybrids Donnie B and True Ryder and social flower Lemon Jack and Tropical Slice, are now available on Eaze.
  • KGB Reserve: KGB stands for killer green bud, the main ingredient used in all of their products. As a self funded equity company based out of Oakland, KGB Reserve is grateful for its place in the legal cannabis space. They stand for unity and believe in equality. Currently known for their top shelf infused products, KGB Reserve has consistently been on Eaze’s list of top 10 pre-roll brands in the Bay Area since its launch. KGB Reserve’s Sauce Pen, Bambino and Torpedo products are now available on Eaze.
  • Oakland Extracts: Oakland Extracts, a Black-owned business, began as a way to bring the community together. Founders Terryn Niles Buxton and Aaron Tran saw prices climbing with legalization and realized there was a need for people in Oakland to have access to quality cannabis at an affordable price. Over the years, they fine-tuned a proprietary technique that allows for maximum terpene retention. Oakland Extracts’ Red Congolese Cookie Crumble Wax is now on Eaze.
  • SF Roots: Founder and CEO Morris Kelly started in the cannabis industry 13 years ago making edibles under Proposition 215 for local collectives, then launched Greencuredelivery cannabis delivery service in 2015. “Equity is about leveling the playing field for companies who paved the way for this economic green rush,” said Kelly. “We’re this industry’s originators, it’s about getting consumers to support equity brands every day. We are partnering with Eaze to ensure that happens.”

Eaze has long worked to help build a more equitable cannabis industry. With access to capital serving as one of many barriers for new entrepreneurs in the space, Eaze launched Momentum—a business accelerator to cultivate the growth and success of underrepresented cannabis business founders—in September 2019. Eaze’s social impact work also includes a partnership with Code for America to help clear 250,000 low level criminal offenses; a permanent 25% discount for U.S. veterans; partnerships with Success Centers SF and the San Francisco AIDS project; and a $25,000 contribution to the NAACP, among others.

To learn more about Eaze’s Social Equity Partners Program, read our latest blog from Darius Kemp.

Helix Technologies Launches Nation’s First Online MMJ Reciprocity Platform In New Mexico

COLORADO:  Helix Technologies, announced today that New Mexico’s online medical marijuana reciprocity portal is live and has been serving out of state patients living or vacationing in New Mexico for almost a month as of this writing.

The system, which is the first of its kind for US medical cannabis programs, allows state regulators to electronically register and track out of state patients into the patient registry. The system decreases time and costs associated with paper only patient registries and allows the state to track and enforce dispensing limits in real time to prevent potential diversion to the black market.

The new platform benefits all stakeholders in the New Mexico industry as it allows out of state patients a convenient way to access medical cannabis while enjoying the many outdoor and cultural opportunities in New Mexico. Since going live with the reciprocity module on July 1st, more than 1,700 out of state patients have been registered for the program. “We’re encouraged by the ability of this platform to assure people visiting New Mexico get the medicine they need when cannabis has been recommended as a treatment by their medical provider at home,” said New Mexico Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program Director Dr. Dominick Zurlo. “We appreciate the efforts of Helix Biotrack to work with us toward the goal of assuring visiting patients experience uninterrupted treatment and relief for their medical conditions.”

“We are always looking for ways to work with our Government partners to improve transparency, ease of use, and ultimately public safety,” said Helix Biotrack COO Dr. Moe Afaneh. “This is the first step towards digitally bridging states’ medical markets, while ultimately improving access for patients looking to explore New Mexico, bringing in new patients for the industry, and saving everyone time and money in the process. We’re very proud to bring another industry-first innovation to Seed to Sale Tracking, with more to come.”

CannaTech Tel Aviv & PsyTech Summit Postponed

New Dates

PsyTech Summit: June 14-15, 2020

CannaTech Tel Aviv: June 15-16, 2020

ISRAEL: In light of developing circumstances with the COVID-19 coronavirus and based on recommendations from the Israeli Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CannaTech Tel Aviv and PsyTech Summit are postponed.  PsyTech Summit will take place June 14-15 and CannaTech, June 15-16, 2020.

Saul Kaye, CEO of iCAN: Israel-Cannabis commented: “Our number one concern is the health and safety of our attendees and speakers, our partners, our colleagues and our vendors. While we are disappointed to postpone both CannaTech Tel Aviv and PsyTech Summit, we are very confident it will be worth the wait.

“We thank our sponsors and attendees for their understanding and wish all those affected by the virus our very best. We are fully committed to create beautifully crafted events in June that will showcase the brands and solutions that fuel this industry.”

U.S. District Court Dismisses TCPA Lawsuit Against Eaze, Upholding The Ability Of Legal Cannabis Industry To Enter Binding Contracts

eaze

Ruling sets important precedent for both California’s legal cannabis market and legal cannabis industry in America

CALIFORNIA: Eaze Technologies, Inc. today announced that it obtained a complete dismissal of Williams v. Eaze, Inc., a putative nationwide class action lawsuit brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), by successfully enforcing the arbitration agreement in its Terms of Service.

In her lawsuit, Plaintiff Farrah Williams, attempted to circumvent the arbitration agreement in Eaze’s Terms of Service by arguing that cannabis contracts cannot be “formed” because cannabis is illegal under federal law. The court rejected this claim, thus preserving the ability of cannabis businesses, operating where cannabis is legal under state law, to enter into and enforce basic contracts with customers, individuals, and other businesses.

“This ruling is enormously important for the entire industry, as contracts across California and nationally could have been invalidated had the court found for the Plaintiff,” said Andrea Lobato, Chief Risk Officer at Eaze. “We are pleased to have successfully defended the basic right of legal cannabis companies to enter into contracts.”

After substantial briefing and argument led by Boies Schiller Flexner partners, Albert Giang and Michael Roth, the district court concluded that a proper contract had been formed, delegated other disputes to the arbitrator, and dismissed Plaintiff’s nationwide class action. Specifically, while noting that the case raises interesting issues about “ganjapreneurship,” the Court concluded that Eaze’s business “is legal under California state law” and arbitration was required under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).

“The court correctly found that cannabis companies are not barred from forming and enforcing basic contracts, and that Eaze’s business is legal under California state law,” said Giang. This ruling sets an important precedent for California’s legal cannabis market, and more broadly for the legal cannabis industry in America.

 

Leafly Announces Leafly Learn Online Education Platform for Training & Certifying Budtenders

WASHINGTON: Leafly, the world’s leading cannabis resource, today announced Leafly Learn, an online education platform created to empower cannabis retail workers to serve customers with confidence. To celebrate, Leafly is hosting a 16-city tour across North America to bring Leafly Learn directly to budtenders. Leafly Learn and the Budtender Education Tour will teach budtenders about the science of cannabis and how it can be applied to budtender best practices in order to help customers discover the products best suited for their needs.

“Budtenders are the face of the cannabis industry and the frontline for guiding customers toward products that will work best for them,” said Rebecca Kelley, content director at Leafly. “We built Leafly Learn with an understanding of the crucial role budtenders play in educating customers, and created this learning platform so that budtenders everywhere can feel supported in their careers and have more confidence in their product recommendations.”

Leafly Learn will be exclusively available to retailer clients of Leafly, who can use the curriculum and the newly unveiled Leafly Cannabis Guide to provide training to budtenders as part of their professional development. According to the 2019 Leafly Jobs Report, there are more than 211,000 jobs in legal cannabis, many of which are budtenders new to the industry. According to a recent industry report, more than 90 per cent of consumers seriously consider a budtender’s recommendation when making a purchase decision, highlighting the need for budtender education efforts like Leafly Learn.

To kick off this initiative, Leafly is taking Leafly Learn on the road to 16 cities across North America, meeting directly with thousands of budtenders to provide hands-on training based on the Leafly Cannabis Guide:

Leafly Learn Budtender Education Tour

  • Phoenix, AZ: October 7, 2019
  • Los Angeles, CA: October 10, 2019
  • Portland, OR: October 12, 2019
  • Vancouver, Canada: October 17, 2019
  • Seattle, WA: October 24-25, 2019
  • Calgary, Canada: October 30, 2019
  • Chicago, IL: November 4, 2019
  • Detroit, MI: November 5, 2019
  • Toronto, Canada: November 8, 2019
  • Boston, MA: November 11, 2019
  • Baltimore, MD: November 13, 2019
  • Orlando, FL: November 19, 2019
  • Miami, FL: November 21, 2019
  • Oklahoma City, OK: December 1, 2019
  • Denver, CO: December 4, 2019
  • Las Vegas, NV: December 9, 2019

“I was a budtender before I worked at Leafly, and I know a thousand questions come your way when helping customers select the right products. As the cannabis market expands and more people make careers of budtending, it’s a huge priority for us at Leafly to ensure budtenders have the support and education they need to make cannabis a positive experience for all customers,” said Maria Sharp, manager of partnerships and education at Leafly.

Retailers interested in Leafly Learn and the Budtender Education Tour can find more information here.

Eaze Launches Momentum Cannabis Business Accelerator

Program includes ten entrepreneurs; $50,000 grants; ten weeks of business-development courses; marketing and retail resources; access to industry-defining investors

CALIFORNIA: Cannabis marketplace Eaze and partners Ultranative and Bail Capital today announced the launch of Momentum, a business accelerator to cultivate the growth and success of underrepresented cannabis business founders. Access to capital is one of many enormous barriers for new entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. The Momentum program is a small but important step in addressing that issue.

The inaugural class will include ten participants who will receive a $50,000 grant; participate in a ten-week education program led by 40 industry volunteer experts; and have access to Eaze’s ecosystem of business, marketing and retailer resources. At Momentum’s conclusion, participants will pitch to industry-defining investors for the opportunity to raise additional funds to grow their businesses.

“Starting a new cannabis business can be especially challenging for entrepreneurs who have been historically marginalized or victimized by the War on Drugs,” said Jen Lujan, Director of Social Impact at Eaze. “All cannabis operators have a responsibility to help build a diverse and equitable industry, and Momentum is another way Eaze and our partners are supporting this important goal.”

Licensed founders — and those in the process of applying for licenses — who have faced social and economic barriers to entering the legal cannabis market are eligible to apply at Eaze.com/momentum. Applicants will be evaluated on a combination of potential for success, lived experience, and current barriers to entry. Applicants with THC businesses must be licensed through state and local jurisdictions; CBD businesses must be a part of the Federal hemp pilot program.

An advisory committee of investors, community advocates, and business leaders who have worked to create a diverse and equitable industry will evaluate applicants and choose Momentum’s participants. The committee includes:

  • Cannaclusive Co-Founder Mary Pryor
  • California Urban Partnership CEO Malaki Seku Amen
  • CEO of Make Green Go La Wanda Knox
  • Padre Mu Delivery and Distribution co-founder and SF Equity Working Group co-founder Ramon Garcia
  • Ultranative Co-Founder Ford Smith
  • Bail Capital Partner Zack Carpenter
  • Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Steve Hawkins
  • Leune CEO Nidhi Lucky Handa

“We see a huge opportunity to partner with Momentum as part of our efforts to build a diverse industry, while providing support and resources that small businesses in the cannabis industry need to become more profitable and sustainable,” said Smith.

“Momentum creates an exciting opportunity to build and expand relationships between founders and industry leaders working together to form a strong and equitable cannabis industry. We’re honored to partner with Eaze to support unique brands, increase revenue for impacted communities, and ultimately achieve greater diversity in cannabis culture,” said Amen.

Momentum is part of Eaze’s overall commitment to addressing the impact of the War on Drugs on local communities. Eaze’s social impact work includes a partnership with Code for America to help clear 250,000 low level criminal offenses; a permanent 25% discount for U.S. veterans; and partnerships with Success Centers SF and the San Francisco AIDS project, among others. Interested Momentum applicants can find more information at Eaze.com/momentum. Program sponsors include: Ultranative, Bail Capital and Select.

 

WSLCB Changes Reporting Requirements In Response To Leaf Traceability System Disruptions

WASHINGTON: The Liquor and Cannabis Board this week took action to address challenges faced by cannabis licensees following the most recent software changes to the Leaf Traceability System.

It is the Board’s intent to provide some reporting flexibility to facilitate licensees’ ability to comply with state laws and regulations in light of the challenges created by the changes to the system.

In Board Interim Policy (13-2019), signed July 23, 2019 and effective immediately, the Board eased certain traceability reporting requirements for licensees.

The Board is committed to working with licensees, labs, and integrators to ensure their business operations can be maintained without compromising public health and safety. As such, effective immediately, the LCB will allow licensees, labs, and integrators flexibility to develop workarounds to problems directly associated with the lab test data and manifest information that remain unresolved by recent fixes to the System. These workarounds may vary from the lab test and manifest standards delineated in WAC 314-55-102 and WAC 314-55-085 to the extent necessary and so long as the workarounds continue to meet the following four conditions.

  1. Report Workarounds. Any workaround adopted by licensee or integrator must be reported to the LCB prior to use. A dedicated email address is provided for that requirement.
  2. Maintain Traceability. All labs, licensees, and integrators must maintain records ensuring all product is traced from producers to retail sales.
  3. Maintain Test Accuracy. Any traceability workaround must not compromise or misrepresent true test results of products involved in Quality Assurance (QA) testing.
  4. Maintain Product Safety. All products must maintain accurate packaging, labeling and all pesticide requirements.

For a complete list of Board Interim Policies, please visit the Liquor and Cannabis Board website at lcb.wa.gov.

Global Cannabis Business Leaders, Scientists, Technologists & Thought Leaders Gather For CannaTech Cape Town, South Africa, November 24 – 26, 2019

ISRAEL: As the global medical cannabis market continues to expand and increasing numbers of countries around the globe legalize its use, the renowned CannaTech Summit will take place for the first time on the African Continent in Cape Town, South Africa, November 24 – 26 at The Lookout, V&A Waterfront.

With estimates that the cannabis and associated products market could be worth R27 billion by 2023, this immense potential has led to a boom in regional cannabis interest and investment.

CannaTech Cape Town will bring together industry leaders from across the African Continent and around the world known for their significant and ground-breaking contributions to the global medical and recreational cannabis market in all fields including Agricultural Tech and Innovation, Business and Finance, Policy and Regulation, Science and Medicine.

“The global interest in Africa’s cannabis market and South Africa’s recent legislative acceptance of cannabis makes Cape Town the perfect destination for CannaTech. Following South Africa, several African countries, including Swaziland, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, are examining legalizing cannabis cultivation for medical or industrial applications.  We are thrilled to bring some of the world’s leading companies and investors to CapeTown to meet with their counterparts to discuss a range of business and technological issues and work with like minded professionals who understand the immense global health and business potential of medical and recreational cannabis moving forward,” said Saul Kaye, Founder and CEO of iCAN:Israel-Cannabis. “As someone born in South Africa, I am especially looking forward to establishing ties throughout the entire continental cannabis eco-system,” he added.

POSaBIT Begins Trading On The Canadian Securities Exchange

CANADA: POSaBIT Systems Corporation, a leading financial technology company delivering unique blockchain-enabled payment processing and point-of-sale systems for cash-only businesses with a focus on the cannabis industry, today announced that following the completion of its reverse takeover transaction it has begun trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) under the ticker “PBIT”.

“This is a significant achievement for POSaBIT and we are proud to make this important transition from the private to the public markets,” said Ryan Hamlin, co-founder and CEO of POSaBIT. “The past year has been an exciting one for the company, marked by a series of milestones. We continued to expand geographically in the California, Colorado and Washington markets, successfully completed the acquisition of DoubleBeam, and rolled-out a fully-integrated POS and payments platform that fulfills an unmet need in the cannabis industry. Our service is now in use at over 120 cannabis merchants across various US states. We are pleased with our traction in the market, as demonstrated by our strong year-to-date growth, and are very encouraged by the continued momentum we saw as we closed out 2018.”

2018 Corporate Milestones

  • For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2018, the Company generated USD $1.39 million in revenue (with cost of sales of USD $1.4 million), a 266% increase over the prior year comparable period (and an increase in cost of sales of 226% over the prior year comparable period).
  • The Company expanded its footprint in California, Nevada, Oklahoma, Colorado and Washington.
  • In February 2018, POSaBIT completed the acquisition of DoubleBeam, which specializes in POS payment processing for the Hospitality sector.
  • The Company enhanced its payment service offering by developing incremental features to sell and accept both Litecoin and Bitcoin for purchases, as well as perform EMV card compliance on debit card transactions – helping merchants navigate complex payment requirements.
  • POSaBIT designed and released a new front-end POS console that is uniquely suited for cash-only merchants such as the Cannabis industry. This entirely new console offers an array of key features, including loyalty programs, in-store digital menus, online ordering / in-store pickup, inventory management, state seed-to-sale compliance, and customizable discounts.
  • POSaBIT also completed all of the necessary state requirements to support the Leaf system, a seed-sale track and trace software system used by regulators in the State of Washington.
  • The Company moved its corporate headquarters to a larger location in Kirkland, WA, which will support continued growth and expansion plans.
  • Pursuant to private placement financings undertaken in conjunction with the listing, POSaBIT generated gross proceeds of $1.3M.

“We believe our all-in-one payment and POS solution provides a unique and compelling offering that enables cash-only businesses, like those typical to the cannabis industry, to provide their consumers with an alternative to cash, while still satisfying retail customer experience expectations,” Hamlin added. “We believe the cannabis industry represents a large and growing opportunity for our offerings. With the successful completion of our listing on the CSE, we are pleased to have the additional capital needed to accelerate our growth in this rapidly expanding market. Our solution fills an unmet need, enables merchants to remain compliant in a highly regulated industry, and drives sales. We think this is a winning combination that will fuel our growth in 2019.”

POSaBIT was founded and incorporated in 2015 and is led by a team of executives with deep expertise across the technology space. POSaBIT Co-founder and CEO Ryan Hamlin brings over 27 years of software development, management experience, and entrepreneurship, including founding PlaceFull in 2011 and holding former leadership posts at Microsoft and MSN. Co-founder Jon Baugher heads up sales execution, revenue growth, and customer success utilizing his 28 years of global hardware and software technology sales experience. Full biographical information for the leadership is available here.

 

Dauntless Announces Acquisition Of Soro Software

Acquisition brings CRM and business intelligence functionality to GIANT platform

WASHINGTON: Dauntless, Inc. has acquired Soro Software, Inc., announcing an agreement to combine forces and move forward together. 

“We’re super excited about working with Dauntless!”, said Soro CEO Jerry Tindall. He says, “Our companies just clicked so well together; it was a no-brainer”. Dauntless CEO, Clark Musser, said “We’ve both got best-in-breed software offerings for the cannabis industry. Joining teams cements our place as both a pioneer and leader in both the emerging US and Global cannabis industry”. The combined company will operate under the Dauntless name.

Dauntless is best known for their Point-of-Sale solution Korona and seed-to-sale product TraceWeed. Both products will soon be rebranded. Soro offers the leading cannabis-specific CRM & Sales Enablement platform for Growers, Processors, and Distributors. “Combined, we offer true end-to-end solutions for the cannabis industry. No one else can handle the needs of growers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers like we can. Whether your business is just a few people or an enterprise, we’ve got you covered,” says Tindall.

The combined companies intend to integrate their offerings into a global cannabis-industry platform called GIANT. Dauntless COO Brady Miller says “There are over 87,000 cannabis related businesses in the world today. We’re able to connect them all together to allow both information and physical products to flow freely between businesses. We’re leading the charge on making cannabis one of the best-connected industries on earth”. The products offered previously by each company will continued to be sold both individually or as part of the larger suite.