420MEDIA Trailblazers In Cannabis: Norman Ives, Broker & Cannabis Specialist Worldwide Facilities

Trailblazers In Cannabis

Digital marketing agency 420MEDIA and the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) have joined forces to create a series highlighting entrepreneurs trailblazing the cannabis scene. Each week, we profile a noteworthy business pioneer, and ask each 5 questions. This week we talk to trailblazer Norman Ives, Insurance Broker and Cannabis Specialist at Worldwide Facilities. 

Tell us about your company: 

Established in 1970, Worldwide Facilities is a national wholesale insurance broker, managing general agent and program underwriter. For nearly 50 years our team of insurance specialists have provided innovative solutions to the specialty US and international insurance markets. More recently through a combination of organic growth, recruitment and acquisitions Worldwide Facilities has aggressively expanded presence, standing and financial strength more than tripling its size to more than $1.5 billion in premium and is among the four largest wholesale brokers in the US.

Norm at MJBA Booth

Why did you choose the cannabis/hemp business?

Did I choose the cannabis industry, or did it choose me? It was not long after Initiative 502 passed in Washington legalizing the production and sales of adult-use/recreational marijuana that I started receiving inquiries from business owners and investors trying to understand what kind of insurance policy options were available for a marijuana license holder and other marijuana related endeavors. Not long after some of the first policies issued to license holders I began speaking business networking groups like the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and Washington Marijuana Association (WAMA) to help educate the community and committed myself to volunteering in the community like the non-profit Cannabis Coalition for Standards and Ethics (CCSE) and later The Cannabis Alliance. I am honored to be able to contribute my time and energy in support of the cannabis movement and the many amazing, caring, compassionate individuals who have been doing this meaningful work at great risk and often their own expense to deliver meaningful healthcare services to some of our communities most vulnerable members.

norm at dope mag party

What change will your firm address in the industry? 

Progress & solutions!  With more than 20 years of experience in the nutraceutical space, Worldwide’s NutraRisk practice group is already the recognized leader delivering insuring products for dietary supplements, CBD, vitamins, health, nutrition and naturalist products. The expansion into regulated cannabis is a natural progression of our continued commitment to its core institutional strengths. Over the course of the last year, they have done more than any other insurance organization to improve the market following the launch of two new insurance carriers (both highly regarded A+ XV carriers) including their best in class, exclusive cannabis offering that was announced in September of 2018.

MJBizCon on the bus

What has been the reaction to your product?

Over the past four years I have placed more than 1,000 policies generating $4.5 million in insurance premium delivering insurance protection to more than $400 million dollars in legal/regulated cannabis sales.

What have been some key milestones for you? 

This past year, I have been honored to serve as an elected board member of The Cannabis Alliance, Washington State’s largest and most influential non-profit advocating for the advancement of a vital, ethical and sustainable cannabis industry.

I am proud to serve my fellow insurance professionals as a panelist for Business Insurance Master Class “Cannabis Cover” held in Denver & Los Angeles in March 2019.

This spring I have been invited to speak by the Defense Research Institute, Washington DC, to the international organization of attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation for their May 2019 installment of “Marijuana Law”.

Where can readers learn more?

Nives@wwfi.com

LinkedIn:              https://www.linkedin.com/in/normanives/

Instagram:           @Cannabiznorm

Twitter                 @CannaBizNorm

 

 

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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CCSE Hosts Banking, Taxes & 280E Industry Panel On July 24th

WASHINGTON: Federal tax code 280E is the single largest hurdle for any entrepreneur attempting to create a sustainable Cannabis business. Although the sale of marijuana is legal in several states, it remains illegal under federal law, and Revenue Code 280E bans most deductions and tax credits given to businesses selling Schedule I and II controlled substances, which includes marijuana.Under current tax law, Section 280E allows marijuana businesses to deduct only their cost of goods sold  all other normal and ordinary business expenses are rejected by the IRS, including marketing, training, transportation, etc. So where does this leave you, as a legitimate business owner? Is it possible to succeed under these restrictions? The answer is yes, but it requires education and creativity.

The Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics (CCSE), a 501(c)(6) nonprofit, will be hosting a panel discussion on financial issues affecting the Washington cannabis industry on Thursday, July 24th from 5:30pm – 7:30pm, followed by a one-hour mixer.  The panel will be held at the Armory Loft #3, inside the Center House at the Seattle Center.The panel includes some of the brightest minds tackling the 280E issue today in order to help you succeed and gain the knowledge required to overcome this daunting obstacle in the Cannabis industry. The discussion will focus on 280e and inventory accounting, best practices for managing the finances of a cannabis business, as well as access to banking. It will be sure to be a very interesting and lively discussion!Members of the panel include:

Dean Guske, CPA

Dean has over 26 years experience in the areas of taxation, accounting, and business consultation.  In addition, he has become the leading expert in Washington state regarding the proper filing of tax returns for the cannabis industry.  He regularly speaks to CPAs and industry leaders regarding IRC 280e and its impact on federal tax returns.

John Davis
John is the CEO of Northwest Patient Resource Center, serves as the Executive Director of the CCSE, and is also on the Board of Directors of both Seattle Hempfest and the National Cannabis Industry Association.  John is a longtime entrepreneur and drug policy activist.

Carmella Houston
Carmella is the Vice President of Business Services at Salal Credit Union, which is currently beta testing with licensed I-502 businesses in Western Washington.  Carmella started the Business Banking division at Salal CU three years ago.  Carmella has more than 20 years of banking experience including: regulatory oversight, commercial real estate lending, construction and business lending.

Todd Arkley, CPA (moderator)
Todd started Arkley Accounting Group in order to focus on small businesses and the cannabis industry.  He has over 13 years experience in private industry, in roles ranging from controller to CFO.  His current clients include both medical and 502-licensed businesses, as well as ancillary businesses supporting the cannabis industry.  Todd currently serves as Treasurer on the CCSE Board of Directors.

The Great MMJ Tax Debate

MJ NEWS NETWORK EXCLUSIVE. WASHINGTON: Black Diamond, a former coal mining town 45 minutes south of Seattle, held a great debate on the future of medical marijuana yesterday. The event was organized by MMJ Universe and it’s owner Deidre Finley, who have been on the forefront of Washington’s medical marijuana movement by providing a safe access point for medicine and educational seminars for patients. [Read more…]