Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Approves Policy Changes To Proposed Regulations for Adult Use Delivery in Massachusetts

MASSACHUSETTS:  Following a public comment period that closed October 15, the Cannabis Control Commission  on Tuesday approved additional policy changes to its draft regulations that establish two Marijuana Establishment types authorized to provide limited delivery services to adult-use cannabis consumers in the Commonwealth. A final vote on all modifications to Massachusetts’ adult and medical use of marijuana regulations will occur at a subsequent public meeting slated for October 29.

Previously referred to as Limited Delivery Licenses and Wholesale Delivery Licenses, the newly categorized Marijuana Courier and Marijuana Delivery Operator license types discussed Tuesday aim to further the Commission’s mission to ensure meaningful participation in the legal cannabis industry by communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and to satisfy consumer demand that is currently being met by illicit market participants. The Commission’s draft delivery regulations specify that both license types will be exclusively available to Certified Economic Empowerment Priority Applicants (EEAs) and Social Equity Program (SEP) Participants for a minimum of three years, with the exclusivity period beginning once the first Marijuana Delivery Operator commences operations.

To that end, among the additional delivery changes approved Tuesday, Commissioners put in place operations restrictions, modified caps on ownership and control, and limits to financial relationships with third-party technology platform providers in order to prevent entities from dominating this emerging delivery market segment. They include:

  • Requiring that marijuana products out for distribution by a delivery licensee will be associated with a specific, individual order to prevent entities from operating as mobile warehouses or retail stores;
  • Deeming a third-party technology platform provider with any financial interest— including but not limited to, a delivery agreement or other agreement for services—in a delivery license as a person or entity having direct control over that license, and limiting such control by those providers to one delivery license;
  • Preventing a single entity from holding direct or indirect control over more than two Marijuana Delivery Operator or Marijuana Courier licenses, under the Commission’s three Marijuana Retailer or Delivery License cap, and restricting a single Marijuana Delivery Operator to maintaining one warehouse as their principal place of business or operations;
  • Underscoring that the Commission shall maintain on its website its publicly available and searchable source of information about all operating licensees and include delivery licensees; and
  • Revisiting the provisions for Marijuana Delivery Operators two years after the first entity commences operations in the Commonwealth to study the competitiveness and concentration of the license type, and if necessary, responding with further regulatory changes or guidance.

The Commission also approved policy changes that bring the adult-use delivery regulations in line with sister state agency requirements for commercial vehicles and tax collection, including:

  • Requiring that commercial vehicles used to transport or deliver marijuana or marijuana products must comply with applicable Registry of Motor Vehicle (RMV) requirements, but may not include any additional external marking that indicates the vehicle is being used to transport or deliver marijuana or marijuana products;
  • Clarifying that although Marijuana Delivery Operators are not considered Marijuana Retailers under the Commission’s regulations, they must register as a vendor with the Department of Revenue (DOR) and collect and remit marijuana retail taxes in accordance with DOR regulations.

The Commission’s development of Marijuana Courier and Marijuana Delivery Operator licenses follows the promulgation of a Delivery-Only, Delivery Endorsement, and pre-certification licensing process in 2019 which received substantial public feedback during the agency’s current regulatory review period. The Marijuana Courier model represents an evolution of the Delivery-Only License the Commission had previously approved in 2019, and maintains those policies and provisions in order to keep barriers to industry entry low and support participation by applicants with limited capital.

In direct response to public comment received during the initial 2020 regulatory review period, the Commission approved the Marijuana Delivery Operator license authorizing businesses to purchase marijuana and finished marijuana products at wholesale from Cultivators, Craft Marijuana Cooperatives, Product Manufacturers, and Microbusinesses, and sell individual orders directly to consumers. By expanding the delivery operations available to licensees, the Commission also has adopted additional compliance requirements for Marijuana Delivery Operators pertaining to wholesaling, warehousing, white labeling, and sales.

During Tuesday’s meeting the Commission acknowledged the important role of municipalities allowing for delivery licensees to operate within their borders, including the local control provisions in state law. Under the Commission’s draft regulations, licensed delivery service will be able to occur within:

  • A municipality which the delivery licensee has identified as its place of business;
  • Any municipality which allows for adult-use retail within its borders; or
  • Any municipality which, after receiving notice from the Commission, has then notified the Commission that delivery may operate within its borders.

Marijuana Retailers and Micro businesses with Delivery Endorsements will be required to inform their host municipality law enforcement authorities, including police and fire departments, about plans to deliver marijuana and marijuana products directly to consumers.

Tuesday’s session followed multiple public meetings and public comment periods held in June, July, August, and September covering proposed changes across both sets of Commission regulations. To review regulatory drafts, meeting summaries, or minutes from those discussions, visit MassCannabisControl.com. To access video recordings of previous meetings, visit the Commission’s Facebook or YouTube channels. After the Commission reconvenes October 29 to vote on the final adult and medical use of marijuana regulatory changes, those provisions will be submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office for their review and promulgation.

Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Issues Second Amended Quarantine Order for Vaporizer Products

Cannabis Control Commission Issues Second Amended Quarantine Order for Vaporizer Products

Following the agency’s three-phased testing and public comment period, licensees may retest and release, or destroy quarantined products subject to order requirements

MASSACHUSETTS:The Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) has issued a Second Amended Quarantine Order Applying to Vaporizer Products following three phases of testing and a public comment period which examined conditions that could allow for the retest and sale of vaporizer products that were previously quarantined since December. Under the second amended order, licensees may retest and release—or destroy—certain products with enhanced warning labels, depending on testing and remediation outcomes, and compliance with Commission regulations and policies. The order emphasizes that measured, transparent testing mitigates, but does not eliminate, all public health risks posed by quarantined vaporizer products.

This latest action modifies previous Commission quarantine orders issued in November and December 2019 and related investigative findings from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that identified vitamin E acetate (VEA) as a chemical of concern among people with e-cigarette, or vaping, product-use associated lung injury (EVALI). On December 12, 2019, the Commission issued the First Amended Quarantine Order authorizing licensees to sell newly manufactured vaporizer products, but requiring that more than 600,000 vaporizer products manufactured before December 12, 2019 remain subject to quarantine.

“Since the Commonwealth declared a vaping public health emergency last fall, the Commission has dedicated significant energy and resources to investigating the additives, hardware, and storage practices that licensees use to produce and sell cannabis vaporizer products,” Commission Executive Director Shawn Collins said. “Fortunately, repeat tests of licensed product samples did not return any detectable levels of VEA; unfortunately, they did establish that heavy metal contamination may increase in vaping products over time.

“This new order seeks to strike a balance between those products that can be retested or remediated safely for sale or repurposing with proper warning to patients and consumers, and those that cannot. As the nation continues to learn more about the broader health implications of vaping in all forms, I urge patients and consumers to understand the risks when they choose to consume any cannabis vaporizer product.”

The Commission’s regulations require all marijuana products to undergo contaminant testing, including testing for heavy metals, by an Independent Testing Laboratory accredited to the International Organization for Standardization 17025 (ISO/IEC 17025: 2017) and in accordance with the Commission’s Protocol for Sampling and Analysis of Finished Medical Marijuana Products and Marijuana-infused Products.

Under the second amended order, previously quarantined products may be:

  • Disposed. Licensees may voluntarily dispose of previously quarantined vaping products at any time, subject to Commission disposal regulations.
    • Production batches that previously failed both Commission-initiated tests for heavy metals shall be deemed unable to be remediated and face mandatory disposal, if, after two attempts at remediation, the product does not pass testing for heavy metals. Respondents may dispose of such products voluntarily or upon receiving an order of destruction from the Commission.
  • Retested and Released. Previously quarantined products may be made available for sale if they are first retested and deemed compliant with the Commission’s regulations and policies, subject to conditions specified in the order.
  • Reclaimed. Previously quarantined products may also be repurposed into other products using the reclaimed marijuana oil, although any new product manufactured with that oil must undergo testing and include a statement indicating to the patient or consumer that the product was manufactured with previously quarantined material.

If, after two attempts at remediation, retested or reclaimed products do not pass testing for heavy metals, they will be considered unable to be remediated and must be disposed. Vaporizer products with original testing dates in excess of one year are considered expired and may not be dispensed, sold, transferred or otherwise conveyed until another screen for all contaminants, excluding pesticides, is conducted. In accordance with Commission regulations, licensees must notify the agency of any vaporizer product test result exceeding acceptable levels for heavy metals and describe the method for remediation or disposal.

The second amended order also specifies labeling requirements for all vaporizer products sold by licensees in the Commonwealth, including, but not limited to those products that are retested or reclaimed in accordance with the second amended order:

  • Labels on previously vaporized products that pass retesting and are made available for sale must disclose, “This product was previously quarantined. Passed retesting for heavy metals and Vitamin E Acetate. Store at room temperature.”
  • Labels on previously vaporized products that have their marijuana concentrate reclaimed for other marijuana products must disclose, “This product was produced using previously quarantined concentrate. Passed retesting for heavy metals and Vitamin E Acetate. Store at room temperature.”

Retailers and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MTCs) must include in the sale of vaporizer products a disclosure that the patient or consumer may request to inspect a copy of the product’s associated testing results. Disposable and reusable vaporizer pens also must include a product insert that identifies the materials used in the device’s atomizer coil. Any quarantined vaping product that is resold also must include the item’s original packaging date.

The Commission has mandated that Marijuana Product Manufacturers retain certain records pertaining to marijuana vaporizer ingredients, additives, devices, component parts, or other materials purchased from any manufacturer or supplier; the name and business address of the manufacturer of any cartridge, battery, atomizer coil (and its materials used), hardware, or other component of marijuana vaporizer products; and the Certificate of Analysis for each thickening agent, thinning agent, and terpene infused or incorporated into a marijuana vaporizer device during production.

Starting last December, the Commission conducted three phases of testing into vaporizer products manufactured and sold by licensees. Results are available on the Commission’s website under MassCannabisControl.Com/Documents.

The Commission’s first two testing phases investigated VEA and heavy metal (lead) levels in samples of vaporizer products collected from geographically diverse locations. Phase III involved confirmatory tests of certain products that failed for heavy metal concentrations above the acceptable limits for inhalation (500 ppb), and found varying results, to suggest that heavy metal contamination may increase over time. Testing limitations identified during the investigation included limited sampling scope, product batch homogeneity, inconsistent extraction procedures for testing finished cartridge samples, and lack of known sources of metal contamination. VEA has not been detected in any Commission-initiated testing.

After testing methods precluded reliable results, the Commission determined further investigation and collaboration was necessary before issuing a second amended order pertaining to the quarantined vaping products. A survey was issued on July 2, 2020 to obtain public comment from government, industry, scientific, and public health stakeholders, among other constituents, including patients and consumers, to help identify the root cause of the heavy metal contamination, the health effects of elevated lead levels, and whether heavy metal content within vaporizer products could become more prominent without use over time or post-use. The survey closed on July 14, 2020 and public comments are currently available on the Commission’s website under MassCannabisControl.Com/Documents.

The Commission continues to research and evaluate information relative to vaporizer device product manufacturing processes and safety standards in furtherance of its obligation to ensure a safely regulated industry.

USDA To Present At Oregon Hemp & CBD Connex Conference

OREGON: The HEMP & CBD CONNEX CONFERENCE will take place January 29-30, 2020 at the Portland Expo. 

GROWING HEMP IS NOT THE “FIELD OF DREAMS”
What you need to know before you grow: From seed to harvest to shelf, invest in two days in educating yourself in all aspects of the industry.

When the farm bill passed in December 2018, there were 500 farmers growing 11,000 acres of hemp. We saw a demand for hemp biomass and smokable flower with a limited supply. Biomass was selling for $35-$45 a pound. Fast forward to 2019: this looked like the “Field of Dreams”. Applications increased to 1,900 farmers registered and over 60,000 acres farming hemp. We estimate that over 50% of the crops failed in 2019 for many reasons: lack of planning, bad genetics, and harvest and drying roadblocks. Mother nature brought record rainfall and a hail storm that damaged over 1,000 acres. With any new industry and no limit to how many acres could be grown, farmers planted too many acres, not realizing the massive undertaking and hurdles they would encounter. In 2019, farmers soon realized this was not the “Field of Dreams” with overproduction and prices plummeting to $5-$15 per pound and finding reputable buyers makes for a challenging year.

The Hemp & CBD Connex Conference is a collaboration of the entire hemp supply chain from seed to harvest to products on the shelf. Invest two days in educating yourself in all aspects of the industry. Here is your chance to have one-on-one contact with the pros that will guide you in best practices for your business. Oregon & Washington Department of Agriculture and the USDA will present updated rules and regulations and offer clarity to the confusing, evolving nature of these regulations. The conference will feature hands-on displays and demonstrations, will address roadblocks and offer solutions for best production and profit. Visit the “Farmers, Processors & Buyers Lounge” to consult on selling your biomass. Learn about crop insurance, farmer co-ops, futures contracts and partnering with processors for splits and toll processing.

With 30+ educational seminars and nearly 60 speakers, the CCC 6.0 Hemp + CBD Connex offers educational sessions, providing up-to-date data on Regional and Federal legislation. We are honored that USDA Under Secretary, Greg Ibach has the Chief of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Plan for the USDA, Bill Richmond, joining us to review and provide updates on the Interim Hemp Regulations. Ben Thiel, USDA Risk Management Agency Regional Director, will discuss NEW Hemp Crop insurance as well as Whole Farm Revenue Protection. Regionally, both Oregon and Washington will be providing updates via their Departments’ of Agriculture representatives, Sunny Summers and Steve Howe, and via their cannabis programs with Steve Marks and Rick Garza.

Dr. Jeffrey Steiner from the Oregon State University Global Hemp Innovation Center will touch on Hemp Research. Economic analysts Beau Whitney and Chase Hubbard will discuss issues regarding economic impact and global market hemp supply chain that limited the market in 2019, and what it will take to be successful in the future. Additional topics below will be covered by representatives from the likes of Big Sky Scientific, Canopy Growth, CO2 Dynamics, Empower Bodycare, Lazarus Naturals, Strength of Hope and Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm.

The INDUSTRIAL HEMP SHOWCASE will feature displays of the many industrial uses made from hemp-fiber, including hempcrete, biofuel, livestock feed, paper, rope, bioplastics. The is even discussion about Hemp as a replacement for Kevlar. Hemp offers many different uses that can promote a more sustainable world. Hemp products can be recycled, reused and are 100% biodegradable. Proponents of hemp claim that it can help reduce global warming because it takes out large amounts of carbon dioxide per acre, more than most plants.

The CBD MARKETPLACE, a shop within the expo, will offer a wide variety of hemp and CBD products to review and purchase, from health food products, topicals, transdermal patches, edibles, beverages, pet brands and much more. On January 30th, consumers are invited to try products, meet the producers and consult with medical professionals about the benefits of CBD products.

In this 6th year of the conference, we explore the expansion of the Hemp industry highlighting the vast potential of HEMP and CBD products. We are grateful for the many people who donated their time to help others in this industry, including top pros and regulators sharing their insights. We’re proud to offer this conference at an amazing value compared to other higher-priced events. Oregon is at the forefront of establishing a business model that can be shared with other states. We’re focused on fostering the innovators so they can learn, share and help build the industry. The Hemp & CBD Connex Conference is brought to you by the Cannabis Collaborative Conference.

 

Oregon And Washington’s Top Marijuana Regulators In Conversation At 2019 Cannabis Collaborative Conference

OLCC to Provide Program, Rules Updates at Portland Expo on January 23, 2019

OREGON: The top regulators from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board will reprise their conversation on the state of the legal cannabis industry in their respective states at the 2019 Cannabis Collaborative Conference (CCC).

On Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 9 a.m. at the Portland Expo Center, OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks, and WSLCB Director Rick Garza, will talk about the similar and different issues regulators are working on in Oregon and Washington.

Their conversation will be the keynote kick off for the 2019 CCC and will include observations about testing standards and consumer safety, product demand, and the work to standardize regulations across state lines as more states legalize adult use cannabis.

OLCC policy staff will also be on CCC panels discussing: OLCC Policies & Rules – Three Years in the Making, What’s Next?, OLCC Compliance Updates,Regulations and Profitability: A Listening Session, Hemp Rules and Regulation Updates, and The Future of Enforcement.

During both conference days – Wednesday, January 23, and Thursday January 24 -policy experts from the OLCC and other state agencies including:  Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Department of Revenue, and Oregon Water Resources Department will be available to answer questions at the OLCC booth on the conference exhibit floor.  Look for the state regulators at Booth 125 at the southwest end of the exhibit floor.

For OLCC Marijuana Program licensees and medical marijuana registrants participating in the OMMP Marijuana Tracking program, the OLCC will present information sessions at the Portland Expo Center, in the lobby of Building E next door to the Cannabis Collaborative Conference covering Recreational Marijuana Program and Rules updates, a Packaging and Labeling program update, and an OMMP Marijuana Tracking Program update.  Admission to the conference is NOT required to attend the OLCC programs.

Register for the OLCC information sessions here

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.