Washington’s Top Pot Companies Recruit At Seattle Job Fair

WASHINGTON: Washington’s legal marijuana market is heating up. In the first two months of operation, the Evergreen State has generated more than 14 million in recreational marijuana sales, which resulted in more than $3 million in new tax revenues — all that with only a handful of legal pot shops open. Every week the Washington Liquor Control Board issues more recreational licenses for legal growers, producers and processors of pot, and as that production ramps up so does the demand for a wide range of professional services.

The Green Rush is on — cannabis employers are now focusing on hiring and so the Marijuana Business Association hosted a Job Fair to put would-be workers in weed together with new high-paying jobs.

The MJBA Job Fair happened Saturday at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue, WA, and was presented by online job board Weedhire.com, and sponsored by a host of leading canna-employers. AOL Jobs talked to some of them to find out what kind of jobs are being created in this new legal industry, and what kinds of experience and training will best prepare job seekers for an exciting new career in the cannabis trade.


Marco Hoffman,
President, Evergreen Herbal

Marco Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur out of California where he co-founded the Venice Cookie Company. He is modeling his smaller Washington operation after best practices learned at VCC. Evergreen Herbal has quickly established itself, and its 4.20 and infused-Quencher lines – at the top of Washington’s most successful medibles category.

MJBA Job Fair 231A.C. Braddock
CEO, Eden Labs

Eden Labs is a leading manufacturer of extraction technology, the innovator of the Hi-Flo Co2 system, the “Coldfinger” distillation systems and a multitude of protocols for the processing of botanicals. The company, which has deep roots in the food, tobacco and coffee industries, has grown quickly in response to the tremendous growth of the cannabis concentrates market. A.C. is a founding member of Women of Weed, Marijuana Business Association, NCIA and the MJBA Women’s Alliance.

Eden Labs does not micro-manage” A.C. tells AOL Jobs. “Employees must be able to work unsupervised, and will be expected to be responsible in achieving designated deadlines and improving the job role as needed.” Like many in the dynamic new industry, Braddock emphasizes the importance of being a team player with excellent communication skills.

Cannabis Job Fair Draws Hundreds

WASHINGTON:  From security to software, agriculture to transportation, the Marijuana Business Association’s cannabis job fair was unlike any Kevin Donald’s ever attended.

“I would like to understand more about it,” he told one employer at a booth inside a Bellevue hotel.

Donald came all the way from Raleigh for the Marijuana Business Association job fair Saturday. He’s a college professor with a PhD and has never worked with pot.

Just under 500 job seekers networked for opportunities. They ranged from the long time unemployed to career cannabis industry insiders.

Weedhire.Com Sponsors MJBA Job Fair Seattle Saturday, September 27th

WASHINGTON: WeedHire, a premier jobs site for the legal marijuana industry, and the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA), the cannabis industry chamber of commerce, are inviting legal cannabis job seekers to join dozens of employers as the first crop of Washington’s legal cannabis businesses go to market at “Job Fair Seattle,

Sponsors at the historic industry event will include many of Washington State’s top employers who are actively seeking to fill immediate openings in the fast-growing recreational marijuana, medical cannabis and industrial hemp industries, including Viridian Sciences, Eden Labs, CIPS, Blue Line Protection, Evergreen Herbal and Ms. Mary Staffing.

“Washington’s legal cannabis industry is ramping up quickly, and the demand for qualified talent for a wide range of high paying jobs is real. Employers are looking for budtenders, trimmers, salespersons, accountants, bookkeepers, security guards, photographers, writers, designers, developers to name but a few,” said MJBA CEO David Rheins.

Added Weedhire CEO David Bernstein in a YouTube video, “Bring your resume to the MJBA Job Fair this Saturday in Bellevue, WA — sign up for a free Weedhire.com profile or better yet share our short video with friends.”

MJBA Unveils 2nd Installation of The Road To Prosperity Poster Campaign

WASHINGTON: Think Rosie the Riveter with a passion for cannabis: The Marijuana Business Association (#MJBA), a leading trade organization representing the interests of participants in the fast-growing legal cannabis industry, unveiled the second installation in its “Road to Prosperity” series by artist Michael Guttsen at the monthly meetup of the Seattle MJBA held last night at Magical Butter Studios in Seattle’s SODO district.
The campaign is reminiscent of the Depression-era WPA posters and emphasizes the economic and cultural prosperity available through the legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana. “We are very excited to get delivery of poster #2 in #MJBA “Road to Prosperity” series by artist Michael Guttsen,” MJBA CEO David Rheins announced to the group, “Think Rosie the Riveter of Reform! This poster is dedicated to the MJBA Women’s Alliance, and the 100 strong female-owned cannabis businesses they represent, for setting a new standard in ethical business practices.”
Copies of the poster will be available, FREE, with paid membership, at the upcoming MJBA Job Fair, to be held at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue, WA on Saturday, September 27, 2014.  The event is being sponsored by Weedhire.com job board, and will showcase “High Paying Jobs In Legal Marijuana” from Washington Companies, including: IONIC, Evergreen Herbal, Eden Labs, Viridian Sciences, RMMC, Marijuana Ventures, Blue Line Protection Group, BioTrackTHC and many others.

Marijuana Business Association Coming To Vancouver, WA

By Sue Vorenberg

WASHINGTON: The Marijuana Business Association will be in Vancouver on Thursday, Sept. 18 for a special free Meetup event at the Vancouver Community Library.The meeting will be at the 901 C Street location from 6-8 p.m. and is sponsored by Viridian Sciences, a Vancouver marijuana industry software company.

Looks like a good event for local biz folks to check out and meet others in the industry in Southwest Washington.

“The reason that MJBA does these things is to empower the local community,” said Dave Rheins, CEO and co-founder of the organization. “So we put together these Meetups to share information, make introductions and really learn who is doing what in the area.”

There will be a few vendor tables and speakers on hand to talk about the industry sector here and the issues it faces. Local companies can also sign up to talk to the group by emailing Morgan@mjba.net.

So far MJBA has scheduled a business presentation and a political presentation from Bob Dingenthal, who is running for Congress against Jaime Herrera-Beutler this fall, for the event.

There will also have open networking time and a chance to meet Mike Davis, who will be the group’s independent representative for the region. (Davis, who lives in Brush Prairie, can be reached at 360-624-4115).

“He came to us from doing other association and business groups,” Rheins said. “He’s here to help be a local facilitator and lend business support to the community.”

So far, MJBA has about 300 members across the state, with a handful in Southwest Washington, including Viridian Sciences, Rheins said.

Membership in the group is $250 a year per business.

Rheins will be at the meeting as will others from the organization. I’m planning on attending as well.

Who else is coming?

Cheers,
-SueVo (sue.vorenberg@columbian.com)

 

Cannabis Employers Seek Workers Of Weed At Seattle Job Fair Sat, Sept 27th

WASHINGTON: Hundreds of job seekers will join dozens of employers as the first crop of Washington’s legal cannabis businesses go to market at “Job Fair Seattle,” presented by the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and cannabis industry job board Weedhire.com.

“More than 70% of Washington’s legal marijuana businesses are planning to hire, according to our MJ Research report,” said David Rheins, MJBA CEO and founder.  “The new industry is predicted to create more than 35,000 new high paying jobs in the next year — agricultural jobs, retail jobs, warehousing and transportation jobs, sales jobs, security, legal, accounting and technology.  The Green Rush is expected to reinvigorate communities around the state.”

Vendors at the industry event will include many of Washington State’s top employers who are actively seeking to fill immediate openings in the fast-growing recreational  marijuana, medical cannabis and industrial hemp industries.

“Bring your resume — or better yet, sign up for a free Weedhire.com profile —  and come for a full day of job hunting tools, tips. training, and  face-to-face time with employers seeking to fill immediate openings,” said David Bernstein, CEO of Weedhire.com

“We are very excited to be a Founding Corporate Member of the MJBA and to work with the “chamber of commerce of cannabis” to sponsors these events as an onramp for anyone interested in working in the legal marijuana industry,”  Bernstein said.

When: September 27th, 2014

Where: Red Lion Hotel, 11211 Main Street, Bellevue, WA 98004

Who Should Attend: Cannabis Industry Employers, Recruiters, and Job Seekers

Advanced Admission: $20; $25 Day of Show

HIGH PAYING JOBS in WASHINGTON’S LEGAL MARIJUANA INDUSTRY. GREEN RUSH starts here

Cannabis Industry Demands Reliable MJ Metrics and Business Intelligence


Ben Livingston

Successful businesses need market data and research to maximize their profits. This is certainly true in the nascent legal cannabis industry, where entrepreneurs often work with minimal information about their customers, their competitors, or overall market capacity and trends. With retail cannabis prices creeping over $30 per gram in some Washington pot shops, imagine if a competitor opened nearby charging 25% less. Especially when there is such volatility in the legal cannabis markets, these are metrics that industry professionals need to know, and know quickly.

 

MJ Research helps the cannabis industry understand what is happening on ground in legal cannabis states with aggregated market data, professional research panels, customer needs analyses, and other market research tools. The company is an outgrowth of the Marijuana Business Association, the largest cannabis entrepreneurs’ organization in Washington State. One of the top complaints expressed by MJBA members is lack of information about market forces, regulatory interpretations, and their competition in the cannabis world. MJ Research is our response to that feedback.

 

Our flagship research product is the MJ Research Industry Panels. Participating on these panels are legal cannabis businesses who have agreed to regularly provide data and survey responses to MJ Research. Through these panels we gain valuable insight into legal cannabis businesses and today’s marijuana marketplace.

 

MJBA started the project by conducting a survey of I-502 licensees and applicants, and by holding a “voice of the customer” workshop where business people came together to discuss their needs and concerns. This workshop was held in August at the MJBA headquarters with participation from over 50 cannabis businesses. Listening sessions were facilitated by Ben Livingston (Center for Legal Cannabis), Greta Carter (Cannabis Training Institute), Jon Hofer (RMMC Consulting), Jim MacRae (MJ Research), and David Rheins (MJBA).

 

At this workshop, MJ Research launched three different research panels specific to cannabis producers, processors, and retailers. Participants, which include many of the state’s first licensed pot shops and cannabis growers, will regularly provide sales numbers and other anonymized data to MJ Research. This feedback will be published in the MJ Research Report to help inform the emerging cannabis market, from entrepreneurs to customers to regulators and more.

 

Our first workshop and survey were designed to help steer our future research, and we received a great deal of feedback on the primary challenges faced by cannabis businesses in Washington State. It is interesting and informative, and we have summarized some of that feedback in the sidebar data.

 

MJ Research is actively inviting cannabis businesses to join the MJ Research Industry Panels. We are also pursuing strategic partnerships with payment processors, staffing companies, and others to obtain industry-related data to further fuel our cannabis business analytics. If your company is interested in these opportunities, please contact us: info@mjba.net, subject line: MJ Research.

It’s A Carnival, But It’s Our Carnival: 2014 Seattle Hempfest

By Keith Stroup

I just returned a few days ago from the annual Seattle Hempfest, the 24th version of this extravaganza, and I thought I might share some of my reflections on this extraordinary and unique event.

First and foremost, Hempfest is truly an enormous undertaking that requires several days of long hours to assemble the stages and hundreds of individual exhibitor and vendor booths; three days of long hours to manage, including a security team to guard the park overnight and provisions to feed the hundreds of volunteers each day; and then several days of equally long hours to disassemble everything, clean the grounds and replace any damaged turf.

And keep in mind this is an all-volunteer event sponsored by Seattle Events, a not-for-profit corporation, and is also free to the public. The event costs the Hempfest organization nearly $900,000 to put on, and that money is raised largely from vendors, exhibitors and sponsors. The volunteer effort is headed by Hempfest co-founder and Executive Director Vivian McPeak. McPeak leads a core group of volunteers who meet year around to plan for the next Hempfest, and who run a downtown store called Hempfest Central selling all sorts of hemp-based products.

There are three primary stages (the Share Parker Memorial Main Stage; the Peter McWilliams Memorial Stage; and the Ralph Seeley Memorial Stage, all named for beloved legalization activists who are no longer with us) spread along a narrow piece of parkland called the Myrtle Edwards Park. The park extends more than a mile along the downtown Seattle waterfront, from which an array of bands perform each day, with several speakers scheduled for brief 5-minute speeches between music sets (while the next band is setting-up). Some of the prominent speakers this year included Congressman Dana Rohrabacher from CA, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and public television travel guru and author (and NORML board member) Rick Steves.

There is also a separate tent called the Hemposium, where panels are scheduled each day focusing on the politics of legalization along with cultivation techniques, and edibles and concentrates. Most Hempfest attendees, however, seem to enjoy strolling the grounds lined with literally hundreds of organizational booths and food vendors (no alcohol is permitted), enjoying the colorful crowd and the live music. Attracting a crowd to the more serious panels is a challenge each year, as most of the estimated 90,000 people attending each day are there to relax and have fun, not to attend seminars.

The first thing one becomes aware of when entering the Hempfest is the rather long, narrow walkway from the entrance just to get to the event itself; and just when you think you have reached the center of things, you realize the park continues for more than a mile, with every inch lined with booths and vendors on both sides. If one is speaking at one of the distant stages, you have to allow as much as an hour or more to wade through the crowds on the narrow, crowded pathways to arrive at your destination. Most attendees seem to come for the day, making one big loop through the park to catch a glimpse of everything, before picking a comfortable place to spend time listening to music and speeches at one of the stages, before starting the trek out of the park and back to reality.

Also, anyone attending for the first time would be amazed at the colorful and creative look of many who attend. Although the majority are ordinary-looking folks who have come to enjoy a day in the park with other marijuana affectionados, a fair number clearly see the Hempfest as an opportunity to fly their freak-flags. People with bazar clothing and costumes, and sometimes face and body paint; a few were topless with marijuana leaves painted strategically on their bodies. It is, after all, a counter-cultural celebration of personal freedom.

After my first Hempfest, I told a friend that I had discovered the answer to the question of where all the hippies from Woodstock had gone: I saw them at the Hempfest!

And everyone is in a celebratory mood, enjoying the scene and soaking-in the good vibes. Since alcohol is not allowed anywhere in the park, there are no drunks, no fights and none of the problems one might find in a crowded beer garden. Instead those who want are high on some form of marijuana, and all are feeling mellow and celebrating the reality that marijuana has now been legalized in Washington state.

NORML, along with WA NORML, always has a booth near the main stage (the NORML Women of Washington have another booth nearby), next to the High Times booth, which allows us to hang out with our friends from the magazine, and back each other up if someone needs to leave to deliver a talk at some distant stage. With the two biggest brands in the legalization field being next to each other, that is always a popular area with lots of foot traffic. But by mid-afternoon on all three days, the park is jam-packed with people and it is a challenge to keep the crowd moving, regardless of where one is located in the park.

On the first evening, Hempfest throws a special party at the Hemposium tent for all speakers (and there are more than 100) along with their adult guests and those who have purchased VIP tickets. On the second evening there are no official events, but generally there are a couple of private, invitation-only parties. This year one party was sponsored by WA NORML,the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and O.penvape, a company that sells small pen vaporizers; and the second by DOPE Magazine and Dutch Master, a cultivation nutrient company. For most of us who have a booth at the event, we are exhausted by the end of the day, and can barely drag our ass to an evening party. But as you would imagine, these are terrific parties. Good food; great marijuana in all sorts of varieties, and an open bar. What’s not to like?

And because there are thousands of people in Seattle from the newly legal marijuana industry all across the country, there are generally a couple of late night private parties that one only learns about through word-of-mouth. Just the type of parties I would have enjoyed when I was a little younger, but generally pass-up today. I am an old guy, and my internal clock just does not accommodate a lot of late parties!

The Hempfest theme this year was “Time, Place and Manner,” focusing on the need under the new WA legalization law to limit one’s smoking to private situations. As their website states, the “Seattle Hempfest seeks to advance the cause of Cannabis policy reform through education, while advancing the public image of the Cannabis advocate or enthusiast through example.” They want to encourage responsible use, while celebrating all things marijuana-related.

This was further reflected in a new feature this year; 21 and older smoking tents (called Adult Lounges) at two locations within the park. Of course lots of attendees also smoked as they strolled the grounds, and there were no arrests, but it was nonetheless a thoughtful gesture by Hempfest (something they were urged to do by the Seattle police department) to include these fully-legal smoking areas this year, intended to avoid anyone having to worry about receiving a citation for public smoking and at reducing youth exposure to pot smoking during Hempfest.

By the end of the three-day event, I was exhausted and happy to head home to Washington, DC. But the make-believe world that is the Seattle Hempfest is an annual spectacle I look forward to attending each year. There really is nothing quite like it anywhere.

Sent from iCloud

Keith Stroup

NORML Legal Counsel

keith@norml.org

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.

Tech Mogul Jamen Shively Keynotes “Technology And Your Cannabis Business” Seminar Weds, Aug 27 In Seattle

WASHINGTON: All industry eyes will be on technology-turned-marijuana mogul Jamen Shively, the former Microsoft strategist best known as the man behind premium retail pot brand Diego Pellicer, as he delivers the keynote speech for “Technology & Your Cannabis Business” seminar at Seattle’s ultra-hip Motif Hotel.

Shively’s much-anticipated talk before the elite gathering of Washington’s leading cannabis and technology brands, will reportedly focus on the state of the emerging industry, and how he is providing support to the worldwide cannabis & hemp industry through his new venture, the International Coalition of Cannabis Companies & Organizations ICCCO .

Joining Shively will be Randy Simmons from Washington Liquor Control Board, the agency overseeing Washington’s nascent legal marijuana business; along with John Davis, co-founder and Executive Director of the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics (CCSE); Patrick Vo, COO, of BioTrackTHC; Dr. Dominic Corva, Executive Director at Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy; Cannabis Training Institute’s Greta Carter, and many other industry thought leaders.

Technology & Your Cannabis Business Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Motif Hotel, Seattle, WA

Technology & Your Cannabis Business
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Motif Hotel, Seattle, WA

The full-day business seminar, targeting participants in Washington’s legal cannabis industry – growers, processors, retailers and the professional services providers who support them — is being organized by Seattle-based Marijuana Business Association (MJBA), a b2b organization called “the chamber of commerce for cannabis” by NBC News, and sponsored by Cannabis Industry Professional Services (CIPS).  Journalist/Activist Ben Livingston will act as Master of Ceremonies.

“Technology & Your Cannabis Business” is the first in a series of professional education seminars that the Marijuana Business Association is hosting as a service to its members,” explained MJBA chief executive David Rheins. “Earlier in the month, we invited I-502 licensees and applicants to participate in an online policy conducted by MJ Research.  More than three dozen business pioneers participated in the survey. We then invited them to a listening summit, where we conducted a “voice of the customer” facilitated conversation — through which we’ve identified the key industry pain points. Technology — from compliance software to grow-room automation — was at the top of the list. In response, MJBA has organized this professional forum where all the key stakeholders can gather together to work through possible solutions.”

At Wednesday’s show, packaging technology, grow room automation and compliance software are the hot topics. “We’re delighted to have senior representatives like the WSLCB’s Randy Simmons, BioTrackTHC’s Patrick Vo there all under one roof, there to directly engage with end-user licensees to address this critical and time-sensitive issues,” Rheins said.

Tickets are $100 for MJBA members, $150 non-members, and are available online, and at the door.

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