Tommy Chong Will Headline Washington Cannabis Summit on Friday 1/9

WASHINGTON:  Cannabis mega-celebrity Tommy Chong will be headling the Washington Cannabis Summit this Friday, January 9th, 2015.  The stoner activist will be in town to  announce the formation of “2015 Cannabis Project,” which is being launched at the summit.

Tommy Chong will be making a special appearance at a press conference  arranged by C&C Cannabis of Seattle, to take place Friday at 1:30 at at the Pioneer Building, 600 1st Ave, Suite 304.

According to a company press release, the goals of “2015 Cannabis Project” will be:

– To secure Washington State and Seattle as socially responsible leaders in the legal cannabis industry.

– Setting long-term strategies to position Washington State and Seattle as completive contributors to this new industry.

– Guiding other states at replacing prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation.

– Making sure that marketing, advertising and sales does not target minors. Launch programs building public awareness of safe and responsible consumption like was created in the beer industry in the past three decades.

– Create environmentally friendly techniques to grow and process cannabis products including the use of clean solar and hydro power sources.

“If marijuana were taxed similarly to alcohol and tobaccos is now nationally we can help generate billions annually in tax revenues and savings to state and federal expenditures on enforcement” said Pete O’Neil, Managing Member of C&C Cannabis of Seattle.

Megan Ready, Sustainability Director with Tyee Farms explains that “the production, processing, and sales of recreational marijuana in Washington State is an unprecedented, greenfield business opportunity. Social, economic, and environmental benefits can be maximized and negative impacts mitigated if our industry adopts sustainability as a business framework.

Ready goes on to say “the potential economic benefits to the public are substantial. Many living wage jobs are being created. Tax revenue, estimated to be in excess of $500 million annually according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington State, will contribute to programs such as Washington State’s general fund, local budgets, health care, and youth drug prevention programs. The infrastructure needs of the recreational marijuana industry create an exceptional opportunity to partner with organized labor.”

Sexism In Cannabusiness

By TwicebakedinWA

Sexism in the workplace is probably one of the least sexy things to have to talk about, and yet, it is a topic that comes up for women of all industries including those in cannabis.  While sexism may be an uncomfortable topic it is something, especially as a woman, that is hard to avoid.

Let’s face it, sex is used to sell pretty much everything and it is common in our society for women to be objectified in print. Open any cannabis related magazine and you will see multiple examples of beautiful, young, women in sexy poses matched with the latest products for sale.  How does this imagery affect us, our business, and our industry?

In the male-dominated cannabis industry, it is common to be the only female in the lunchroom and have to endure hearing sexist jokes, unprofessional sexual innuendos, inappropriate invites, and a general level of social unsophistication.

While one area of focus might be on men or society’s influence as the culprits, we as women play an important role in changing negative sexism around us. As business owners we are able to set social policies that do not tolerate inappropriate sexual conduct. As women we can respond to unwanted sexism from an empowered place and teach those around us how we want to be treated with a grace that still allows for business to exist. But how?

What is an effective way to react to sexism in the workplace when you encounter it? Is it good to react and speak up against it or hold your tongue in silence and let the moment pass?

How can we as women and business owners stand taller in our power to not allow the sexism that we are exposed to on a regular basis, negatively affect us, or our business environment? Not only that, how can we lead our industry to hold a higher standard of how we depict and treat women?

On Saturday, January 24th at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue, Washington the MJBA Women’s Alliance warmly welcomes Betty Aldworth, Executive Director for Students for Sensible Drug Policy as its keynote speaker. Together with leading women of the cannabis industry she will conduct an open and honest discussion of Sexism In The Workplace.  All women are welcome.

Tickets for this day long event to unite leading women in the legal marijuana industry from Eastern and Western Washington are available online.

MJ Research Report: Washington State 2015 Legal Pot Sales Outlook: $350M To $495M

By Joe Armes

Washington: 2014 was a groundbreaking year for legal recreational cannabis in Washington State.  The year was about setting the groundwork for the future with opening of the first recreational cannabis businesses and establishing a steady supply for the market. While the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) won’t have the complete December sales data published for another couple days it looks like the year will end with approximately $64M in sales and 99 licensed retail stores.  Once the complete data is available we will provide a 2014 summary with key business insights.  While we begin this new year with myriad of concerns to address including medical cannabis, local bans, price levels and tax structure the theme for cannabis businesses in 2015 appears to be growth.  In this addition of the MJ Research Report we take look at what growth predictions we can make for 2015 with the help of a crystal ball and some statistical modeling (okay, it’s mostly statistics).

Daily Average Sales Forecast

Daily Average Sales Forecast

Utilizing the 25 weeks of sales data we have from 2014, Analytically Correct has modeled Washington State’s legal recreational cannabis sales for 2015.  We enter 2015 with many unknowns that might impact the overall market.  This is where the crystal ball comes into play.  The forecast assumes that sales continue on the current track.  Action from Washington State legislature or federal government, unstable/unobtainable pricing, change in the rate of license approvals from the LCB, prevention of business operations by counties or municipalities, etc. all could have an impact on actual sales (some of which could be positive impacts).  Here are the key predictions from the forecast:

  • Approximately $424M in combined producer, processor and retailer sales for Washington State in 2015 (95% statistical confidence interval for the forecast ranges from ~$350M to ~$495M)
  • Over $1M in average daily combined producer, processor and retailer sales by July 2015 (95% statistically confident)
  • Approximately 250 active retail stores in operation by the end of 2015 (95% statistical confidence interval for the forecast ranges from ~225 to ~275)

If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com.

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About Joe Armes: Joe is the founder of Analytically Correct, a data analytics services company that provides custom analytics solutions that transform data into insights to allow decision makers to focus on what adds most value. His passion is to work with organizations with deeply rooted causes to help them gain access to the knowledge needed to make timely and informed decisions.

Washington Celebrates Hot Pot Products For The High Holidays

WASHINGTON: Live from the GreenPole, Higher Ground hit the Hot Pot Product Bazaar for the High Holidays! Check out the greatest gifts on Earth for cannabis connoisseurs!

And if you’re lucky, Sativa Santa will pay you a visit this year! (Make sure to leave him milk and cookies…) Thanks to the wonderful sponsors and MJBA (Marijuana Business Association)!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pHecNBpk0M&w=560&h=315]

Smoke Swipes: Highlights From My Interview With Tommy Chong

By David Rheins

I had the pleasure of speaking to cannabis icon Tommy Chong about his latest brand endorsement — Tommy Chong’s Smoke Swipe, how the world has come around to his way of thinking, and his dream getting everyone in America — and the world — stoned.

Q: Good morning Tommy Chong.  First of all, thank you for speaking to MJ News Network this morning.  We’re huge fans of yours from way back. Speaking of which, you started out as a counterculture cannabis clown, and are now one of the most respected and widely quoted voices of legal pot.  How did that happen?

A: Well, I was always on the right track, and it was just a matter of everybody finally caught up with me.

Q: There was a little more than that. You went up the entertainment ladder of success – winning Grammy’s and having successful films — and then you had an encounter with the law that got you more politicized. Or were you always politicized?

ChongSwipeNoBG.jpg

A: No, they forced me into that role. I was very happy just being the stoner. They gave me a choice, I could go to jail, or watch my son go to jail for selling bongs, which was legal where we were, and only illegal because of Federal law and the paraphernalia law in Pennsylvania. That act alone, politicized me totally.  I became what they wanted me to become or what they thought I was.

Q: That action ricocheted, and the culture caught up, and now what was once counterculture is now mainstream commercial culture.  That brings us back to why we’re having this conversation.  The Tommy Chong name has become a well-known brand; you’ve associated yourself with a number of commercial products, dispensaries, causes, and politicians — how do you decide what products are right for the Tommy Chong brand?

A: We’re using the shotgun effect. We’re taking on everything. And if it floats, if it catches the public eye, then we won. But if it doesn’t, it is just hit and miss.  It’s just like doing a music album, you don’t which song is going to be the hit, until you finish everything. And it is usually the one that you hated the most.

And in this business, it is almost the same thing. You can have some pet projects, but sometimes the simplest one will hit everybody’s imagination and that is the way it has been with this. The weird thing about this business is that there is no downside for me.  I like pipes, I like papers, I like bongs, every day is like Christmas for me in this business.

Q: I love it. It is interesting that you bring up Christmas, because MJBA is hosting the first ever “Cannabis Xmas Bazaar on December 6th at Seattle’s Magical Butter Studios.  And we’ll be showcasing products like Tommy Chong’s Smoke Swipe — part of a whole commercial suite of products and gift items that will be available to cannabis consumers this holiday season.

Q: Why did you decide to create Tommy Chong Smoke Swipes?

A: It was created by some business guys that had a problem: they’d go to do their 4:20 smoke and come back into the office and everybody knew what they’d been doing.  And they realized that their was no product out there that would wipe the smoke off their clothes, and so they developed this swipe.

Later they found out it worked great on tobacco smoke, cigar smoke and other smells like dog smells and so the product really has multi-use besides just making sure that your mother or your grandmother…that you’re not reeking when you come in for Thanksgiving dinner.

Q: Culturally, when the country seems to be going legal. We’ve got now not only Washington and Colorado, but with the recent elections Alaska and Oregon, and the District of Columbia, and cities in Maine and Michigan and throughout the country are moving legal. Why do you think we need something that is going to inhibit pot smoke? It reminds me of the old “Smirnoff leaves you breathless” campaign. You know when we were still feeling the after effects of prohibition.

A: The thing is, it is a smell. And not everybody enjoys that smell. And it also puts you in a category — you know, pothead category. So there are a lot of businessmen types — on Wall Street especially — they smoke up regularly. Or policeman, doctors, lawyers — I know judges who smoke — and they have to go to great lengths to protect their image. It is for professional people who cannot afford to have that pothead image.

Q: Does that mean we won’t be seeing a Tommy Chong line of Cannabis fragrances for those of us who enjoy the smell of sativa in the morning?

A: No, not really. Although I tell you, that is a good market. I could see a woman’s perfume, or especially a man’s cologne.

Q: We could call it ‘Dank Love’

A: Yeah, it is an aphrodisiac. Remember in the movie Annie Hall, she could only make love to Woody if she was high? So the smell, just like the word — when you talk about pot their is a body memory that kicks in — and all of the sudden you can recreate your stoner moment. That would be a good product to look into.

Q: MJNN reaches an audience of cannabis business folks.  I run the Marijuana Business Association. If one of our members had a business idea for a Tommy Chong product, how would they contact you, and would you be interested in that?

A: Yes, they can reach me at my web site, on Facebook, or via my Instagram and twitter @TommyChong. So there are lots of ways to get a hold of me.

Q: I remember seeing an old Dylan documentary where Bob was bemoaning the fact that everyone he met wanted to get Bob stoned. And I think, gosh, if that was Bob Dylan’s problem in the 60s, I can only imagine what it your life is like. What’s it like to be Tommy Chong where obviously everyone you meet wants to get high with you?

A: It’s great. When I was on Dancing with the Stars just recently, I made a promise that if won the mirror ball, I was going get everybody in America high. Well, I got eliminated in the semi finals, so I made a statement on the web site that I am going to keep my promise. I’m going to smoke with everybody in America, that’s my goal. And when I do that, I’m going to smoke with everybody in the world.

Q: Well, we love that and are going to help you achieve your goal. MJNN reaches hundreds of thousands of folks and I’d love to see if we could do a live synch up from our Hot Pot Products for the HIGH Holiday celebration in Seattle, and have you get high with folks all over America, and we’ll broadcast it via the internet and all our various channels.

A: Well, what we can do is have a national day of getting high.  I was going to do a national day of “OMing” so we can tie it together with that.

Q: Marijuana and meditation?

A: Well, there are a lot of people who don’t like to get high — for one reason or another. So while we are getting high, they can “OM.”

Q: Yes, that’s right. They can meditate for us.

A: So, let’s do that.

Q: OK. I will follow up with that. Anything else you like to share with our readers?

A: Yes, we have a new strain, the first official Tommy Chong strain, called ‘Chong Star’ at Marisol Gardens in Pueblo Colorado. That is where it is grown and manufactured. And we are going to be offering it to all the dispensaries in Colorado, and eventually around the world. It is the strain that I want to get everybody high on.

Q: Thank you again for everything you’ve done. You’ve been an inspiration to me personally since the 70s. It is just amazing how you have not only been the voice of counterculture, but now have helped to make that voice mainstream, and all along with humor and entertainment. It reminds me of John Lennon’s approach: make them laugh, and make them fucking think about it. And you are changing the world, and we thank you for what you are doing.”

A: OK. Well, let’s stay together, and let’s do it together!

Listen to David Rheins’ full interview with Tommy Chong here:

MJ Research Report: Washington Surpasses $40M In Recreational Marijuana Transactions

By Joe Armes

WASHINGTON: The Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and Analytically Correct are pleased to announce the release of the first MJ Research Report and business intelligence dashboard on the eve of the cannabis industry event: The Dollars and Sense of Risk & Financial Management.

We are providing the MJ Research Report as an industry resource for business intelligence.   The report will cover analysis of key issues, events, trends and will provide critical insights for businesses in this new marketplace. What is business intelligence? Business intelligence is a set of strategic tools and processes used to analyze data and convert it into insights decision makers need to make informed decisions.

The most impactful business intelligence combine a specific business’s data with market data to provide a clear understanding of the business’s relationship to the market.  This is why CIO’s rank business intelligence and analytics as their company’s top technology priority. Once only available in research and science fields that required highly accurate analysis, the rapidly increasing amount of data available for analysis and the increased processing power of personal computers is now making tools for business intelligence accessible to all organizations.

MJ Research Report Dashboard

MJ Research Report Dashboard

In support of Washington’s recreational cannabis industry we are providing the business intelligence dashboard with key market information. Here are a few highlights from the business intelligence dashboard of the industry’s performance this year:

  • Washington State has now surpassed $40M in recreational cannabis business transactions. That will bring in the state over $10M in tax revenues.
  • 64 retail stores have recorded sales and 80 retail stores have approved licenses
  • Chelan County leads the state in producer sales with over $231K in sales thus far and Clark County has the most retail sales with over $3.3M in sales.
  • 10%, 11% and 4% of the producer, processor, and retailer license applications have been approved.
We are providing the MJ Research Report as an industry resource for business intelligence.   The report will cover analysis of key issues, events, trends and will provide critical insights for businesses in this new marketplace.

We are providing the MJ Research Report as an industry resource for business intelligence. The report will cover analysis of key issues, events, trends and will provide critical insights for businesses in this new marketplace.

If you are interested in learning more about business intelligence and its use in the industry please attend the Business Intelligence panel at The Dollars and Sense of Risk & Financial Management event on November 22nd from 3:45 pm to 4:20 pm.  If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com.

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Joe Armes is the founder of Analytically Correct, a data analytics services company that provides custom analytics solutions that transform data into insights to allow decision makers to focus on what adds most value. His passion is to work with organizations with deeply rooted causes to help them gain access to the knowledge needed to make timely and informed decisions.

The Heart of Leadership: Why Women + Pot = Power

By Blair Lyonev

What would an industry led by women look like? The MJBA Women’s Alliance dares to ask.

Tattooed, buttoned-up, pencil-skirted, dreadlocked, twenty-something-to-seventy-something, wide-eyed, canny, high-octane, high-test, high-heeled, serene, essentially-oiled, blown out, crunchy, sleek, seasoned, demure, loud-mouthed, smart-assed, mothering, laughing, crying, drinking, pot-friendly women.

These are the women who assembled in a hotel conference room in the well-to-do Seattle ‘burb of Bellevue for the Marijuana Business Association’s (MJBA) Women’s Alliance gathering. They came to network and hear from guest speakers Diane Fornbacher – activist, writer and owner of the online magazine Ladybud, and Debbie Whitlock, an entrepreneur and financial coach who specializes in improving cash-flow for women-owned businesses. They, and other MJ luminaries, all spoke on the night’s theme, “The Power to Lead.”

The meeting came just two days after Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C voted to approve sweeping pro-pot initiatives. Shawn DeNae, founder of the Washington Bud Company, and the event’s Mistress of Ceremonies, opened with a meta-note on the evening’s agenda:

“We are pioneers. For the first time in history we are poised to lead an entire industry – and we are doing it with guts, tenacity and tears.”

Her statement summed up the flavor – and fervor – of the palpable collective desire in the room: to claim and capitalize on a brand new industry with a fresh, uniquely feminine brand of leadership.

Pot Potentials

Helmed by Morgan, the MJBA Women’s Alliance is a trade organization that hosts networking events to “support, educate, and connect” women trying to gain a foothold in the cannabis industry.

As a whole, the fledgling pot industry has had a galvanizing effect on the country: thousands are quitting their jobs and moving to newly legal states, pouring their savings into start-up ‘canna-businesses,’ risking potential jail time, wading through the nitty-gritty of intractable state laws, and riding out moratoriums, hoping that – once though the legislative mire – they will strike green gold.

Besides the allure it holds as a potential economic boon, the nascent MJ industry also represents a kind of hinterland for the enterprising ‘ganga-preneur,’ a place where personal values and ambition might blend to create a more whole, expansive, and human business model. Conversations around legalization inevitably reflect on this as a “historic moment,” one that invites – or even demands – a new ethos in the business sphere.

Guest speaker Debbie Whitlock invoked several pivotal points in female-led activism: the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 for women’s suffrage, the first meeting of the Daughters of Bilitis in 1955 for lesbian civil rights, and the inaugural publishing of Ms. Magazine in 1971. She then asked the crowd, “Who here is ready to add your name to that list?”

The cannabis plant, its subtle, once-maligned capacities now in the process of being integrated into the public moral imagination, has become a metaphor of a greater cultural trend towards ‘authentic entrepreneurship’ by women – aka: using one’s natural gifts and powers to make an honest buck.

“Our lives dictate that we must get out of our comfort zones to evolve the species,” noted Diane Fornbacher in her talk. “And the cannabis movement is an excellent vehicle for that.”

As such, women are recognizing the ‘Green Rush’ as not only ripe for profit, but as a new and malleable industry that could be infused with more ‘feminine’ values of cooperation, sustainability, and inclusivity.

“The invitation for women in the cannabis industry is to come together,” Whitlock remarked. “Collaboration is key. There is no reward for soldiering on by yourself.”

Alliance member Aubrey Armes, a Seattle-based Life Coach and Human Resources professional, noted that in most business settings there is “A fear of being totally transparent. It is perceived as a weakness. But in my experience transparency can invest you with a kind of power.

“Inclusivity is simply the capacity to hold space for everyone. You’re allowing for people’s humanity – which means you’re also allowing for their greatness.”

Why Going ‘Small’ Means Big-Picture Gains

Fortune magazine recently revealed that, despite the fact that there are more women CEOs in big Fortune 500 companies now than at any other point in history, women still hold only 5.2 % of the their total number.

However, a report by The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute, states that women are creating small businesses and new jobs at a rate that surpasses their male counterparts and greatly exceeds their current contribution to U.S. employment. The study forecasts that female-owned small businesses, currently comprising 16% of total U.S. employment, will generate 5 million new jobs in the United States by 2018 – a full third of the 15.3 million new jobs projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Also of note – they are achieving these numbers in large part without the more top-down, paternalistic style long practiced by the male-dominant business establishment. The evening’s first speaker, AC Braddock, CEO of Eden Labs, revealed that her company has grown 400 % in the last year – and has done so with a completely lateral structure.

“There is no hierarchy. Everyone works in teams. Sometimes it’s hard to get people to speak up. But I tell them, ‘I need to hear what you have to say.’”

One attendee, a consultant for a management software company that caters to the cannabis industry, reflected on how women bring invaluable assets to start ups that want to go the distance:

“Women are going to be listeners. We’re leading with passion and empathy, and that makes any business foundation stronger. When people feel protected they offer better ideas and there is more creativity. You can take more risks and the company as a whole evolves faster.”

In fact, these more sentient and relational attributes might provide the first inspiration – and push – to get a business off the ground.

Prior to the founding of Ladybud, Diane Fornbacher worked as a journalist but discovered that her values weren’t necessarily reflected in the publications she wrote for.

“I’m an artist, a feeler, a crier, a spiritual person. That’s where I’m coming from,” she said. “I didn’t see a lot of art, or testimonials in these magazines. There were no families represented, no in-depth journalism. And I was tired of filtering my ideas through other people.”

So she did her own thing. The result? A top ranked women’s lifestyle publication that covers all things cannabis – law, business, food, fashion, wellness – and family.

 

Leadership, Found.

 

Some of the hurdles for women taking leadership roles in the cannabis – or any other industry – are internal. For decades women have witnessed and absorbed negative associations with holding power. Because of this, a woman might perceive total ownership and power as being potentially harmful, something that would cause them to neglect or abuse the people they love, to be abandoned should they eclipse their male partner, or be attacked as selfish or domineering – and therefore inherently lacking in ‘femininity.’ As a result, part of their psyche might resist claiming leadership.

“There has been a shift in how we perceive power,” says Debbie Whitlock. “The old male-dominated culture was about ‘power over.’ But for women, we don’t want ‘power over,’ we want ‘power to.’ Power to serve, to create, to move forward, to stay in or leave relationships.

“In all the years I’ve been a financial advisor, I would ask women why they weren’t leaving unhealthy relationships, and they would say, ‘I can’t afford to leave.’ Money made them feel like they were being held hostage. So it’s necessary for other women to stand up and say – it’s ok to have that kind of power, and we need to provide models for it.”

Diane Fornbacher spoke of how her early childhood experiences in an abusive home where she was “Told to be quiet, to not cry and not explain myself,” mirrored her experiences in the adult professional world. But it was these very experiences that provided the impetus for her to become an advocate and leader – someone who now seems hard-wired to kick up a stew.

“We are the redeemers; we’re giving birth to a new industry – reaffirming that we’re here for a reason,” she says. “I didn’t know I was a leader. I just knew that I was pissed off and needed to do something.”

It is this quality of resiliency that many of the women present at the event spoke of as most salient in women’s leadership – as inherently feminine.

“We are excellent problem solvers,” said one attendee, “And start-ups are nothing but problem solving. There’s so much tactical skill in launching, branding, and making a business successful.”

While the more receptive capacities to listen, to connect, to create space for other people’s gifts, to support body, environment, and family-friendly systems in a professional setting are important, it is their resourcefulness, tenacity, and ability to spot opportunity, to follow their instincts and vision – sometimes past prudence – that is the key to women’s success.

“Women are incredibly persistent,” says Whitlock. “We’re crafty. We find ways to keep things moving forward. And when things are going sideways, the bat signal goes up, and the community descends on us with pints of ice cream and glasses of wine! It’s a survival instinct. The cannabis industry is igniting a particular capacity in us. I’m overwhelmed by the passion I’ve seen.”

On the whole, the women offered a horizontal and profoundly engaged vision of leadership for the budding cannabis industry. They are standing on a threshold, a borderland between memory and imagination that could shape its direction and provide a template for other industries.

“What does leadership mean to me?” asked Diane Fornbacher in the conclusion of her talk. “It means agony. It means beauty. It means I fail but I know I tried. It means I’m not making a million bucks. But I can sleep at night.”

 

 

 

 

A Look At Legalizing Marijuana In The US

Nearly half of all states have legalized medical marijuana, with Colorado and Washington serving as bellwethers for recreational use, and the US is amid an end to a prohibition on par with that of alcohol. But just how will the Green Rush grow? And why is it attracting some surprising advocates among doctors, entrepreneurs, politicians, attorneys, and businesspeople?

Weed. Ganja. Marijuana. Pot. During the opening session of the heady 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival held in June of this year, references to the potent plant were the keynote kicker. An intellectual with enviable wit, David G. Bradley, owner of the Atlantic Media Company, delivered an opening monologue that imagined some 250, type-A festival speakers high on Colorado cannabis, enlivening a crowd of CEOs, politicians, doctors, and thinkers with scenarios such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pulling her tempted husband into a car with a reference to her memoir, “We’re making hard choices, Bill.”

But all jokes aside, this international platform—which eventually staged a very serious conversation on marijuana between Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Katie Couric—is illustrative of an escalating national debate embracing medical marijuana and its rapid-fire industry growth. And for many close to the cause, weed is no laughing matter, posing hard choices indeed.

Pot chatter is pervasive throughout the US, whether at dinner parties or on the floor of Congress. In Atlanta, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent, who was once vocally anti-pot, passionately discusses the benefits of cannabis in his second documentary film, Weed 2: Cannabis Madness. In Nevada, State Senator Tick Segerblom and Congresswoman Dina Titus are championing bills that favor post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) medical marijuana research and protect the rights of legal users. In Los Angeles, former talk-show host and celebrity Ricki Lake is producing a new documentary, Weed the People, which follows cancer-stricken children and the use of cannabis as medicine. In Denver, Tripp Keber, founder and CEO of Dixie Elixirs and Edibles, is launching his latest edible product, Dixie One. And just a 20-minute drive from Keber’s new 40,000-square-foot Colorado headquarters, Governor Hickenlooper is repeatedly quoted as stating that we are in the midst of one of the “great social experiments of the 21st century.”

Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) Founder to Provide Valuable Guidance for WeedHire & Cannabis Industry

NEW JERSEY:  WeedHire today announced that it has selected David Rheins as a member of its Cannabis Industry Advisory Board.

David Rheins is founder of the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA). The MJBA a.k.a. “Chamber of Commerce of Cannabis”­ provides intelligence, ethical business practices and networking for participants in the legal marijuana, mmj and hemp industries.

A proven business leader with 25+ years’ experience building and operating best-of-breed media and marketing organizations, Mr. Rheins has an impressive track record in growing new business and revenues for Internet, media, and advertising sales organizations including Rolling Stone, SPIN, iVillage, Corbis, Time Warner and America Online.

“We are privileged to bring Mr. Rheins on board to assist us in navigating the direction of both WeedHire as well as employment within the legal marijuana industry.” Stated David Bernstein CEO of WeedHire. “This partnership makes sense as we share the same ideals as the MJBA which is to establish integrity and legitimacy, create common market standards, provide market intelligence, and develop best ethical business practices for participants in the emerging legal marijuana industry – including commercial hemp, medical marijuana and recreational marijuana for adults. David’s commitment to the betterment of the industry is un-parallel in his work within the MJBA.” Bernstein added.

“The legal cannabis industry is acting as a giant economic engine that will provide thousands of high-paying new jobs for a diverse workforce. It is my honor to join with Weedhire.com to help create the innovative technology and business programs needed to support this emerging marketplace.” Stated David Rheins, Founder & CEO of the MJBA.

WeedHire.com was launched in May 2014 as the premier marijuana jobs site for the legal cannabis industry

Stoners Trade Tie-Dye T-Shirts For Wall Street Suits

NEW YORK: Josh Gordon would cut a dashing figure in a suit. He grew up in Miami, Fla., as the son of two private wealth managers and saw himself going into the same field. He enrolled in Fordham Graduate School of Business, moved to the Upper West Side and had some interviews for jobs with investment banks.

But, it turns out, a suit’s not his style.

It was at Fordham that, for a class project four years ago, he did research into the new legal marijuana economy. Some people’s eyes get red around marijuana; Gordon’s filled with dollar signs. The budding economy was in need of some refinement, and he saw a plan.

He soon built a prototype: a sleek tin carrying case for joints — something that would do for doobies what the velvet bag does for Crown Royal.

“You go into a dispensary and buy $100 worth of cannabis and it’s coming in that bag you got when you were going to school,” the 27-year-old says in a glass-lined conference room on West Broadway.