MJBA Communications Chief Stu Zakim To Moderate Panel On Cannabis In The Media At NECANN Boston

Panel of Cannabis media leaders to explore “changing attitudes, access and headlines”

MASSACHUSETTS: As reporting on cannabis migrates to a broader range of media outlets and reporters covering this beat find themselves playing catch-up to deal with the daily developments of a growing industry, MJBA‘s Communications lead, Stu Zakim, will moderate a panel at the upcoming NECANN Conference in Boston.

The panel,  “Cannabis in the Media: Changing Attitudes, Access and Headlines, 2019,” is scheduled for Saturday, March 24 at 3PM, at the Hynes Conference Center.   Zakim will be joined by a roster of senior editors from major media outlets including Dan Adams of the Boston Globe;  David Tran from DOPE Magazine; Kristin Jordan, of Manna Events, a weekly calendar listing of cannabis events and news; Brit Smith, on air personality for WBZ Radio/iHeartMedia Blunt Talk podcast; and Emmy winning sportscaster, now Cannabis-caster, Jimmy Young of Behind The Media and the Between The Weeds show.

“Massachusetts presents the media with an excellent opportunity to showcase and tell the stories behind the birth and continued growth of this industry,” said Zakim.  “I look forward to the insight these media leaders offer to help inform and educate the public and dispense the stigma surrounding Cannabis.”
NECANN_GreenBlackFor complete ticket and schedule information, please visit www.necann.com.

Cannabis Industry Mover And Shaker Party? MJBA Ambassador At Large Is There

By Jake Dimmock,MJBA Ambassador-At-Large

WASHINGTON: Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a special celebratory gathering of the movers and shakers of Washington’s Legal Cannabis Industry. Held at the Hard Rock Cafe, 
and hosted by Jared Mirsky, CEO and founder of cannabis digital agency Wick & Mortar, the “Movers and Shakers” celebration marked Wick & Mortar’s (originally Online Marijuana Design) fifth anniversary.  Jake the Professor made the scene in my capacity as Ambassador-At-Large for the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA).  Great work if you can get it.

Jake and HarleyThe party was a veritable Who’s Who of Industry VIPs, including the Pacific Northwest’s very own David Tran and his crew at Dope Magazine , who were celebrating their acquisition by High Times Magazine.  Other notables included JJ Walker, who runs and operates the new Cannabition Museum in Las Vegas —  home of the 24′  world’s largest functioning bong, Bongzilla, created by Jerome Baker Designs. If you are into weed go see the Cannabition Museum next time you visit Las Vegas.  

Wick & MortarThe very well known grower and author of Marijuana Growers Guide and co-founder of High Times Magazine, Ed Rosenthal was there!  Many of the old school cannabis growers used Ed’s grow guide to make decision about what new grow equipment we needed. We were assured by Ed, the next thing we needed to do for bigger buds was buy more grow equipment!

Also in attendance was the lovely Cheryl Shuman, aka the Martha Stuart of pot. Cheryl is an original cannabis branding pioneer who has inspired many of today’s cannabis influencers, and women of weed.

Tony Greenhand renowned professional joint roller (yeah, it’s a thing) dazzled the party with a turtle shaped masterfully-rolled jay.  Everything was going great until the fire alarm went off. Next thing you know, the Seattle Fire Department arrives just in time to make sure all the movers and shakers were safe.  Strange thing, nobody knows why the fire alarm malfunctioned. Weird right? Everything turned out fine of course, and like the old saying goes, “It ain’t a good party until the authorities arrive.”

The Wink In Weed: Lessons Learned At Seattle Hempfest

By David Rheins

I’m just back from another epic Seattle Hempfest.  The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful regions on the planet, and its volcanic mountains, vibrant cities and evergreen forests never cease to inspire wonder.  I cherish my PNW canna-family, and am humbled at how rich and meaningful have been our shared experiences, as we workers in weed have toiled to reform marijuana law, and establish a legal cannabis industry.

Jake The Professor and Don Skakie talk Washington Homegrow

Jake The Professor and Don Skakie talk Washington Homegrow

It is a treat to spend time with legends: Farmer Tom Lauerman, Jake The Professor, Grandma Cat Jeter, Kevin and Crystal Oliver, AC Braddock and Fritz Chess, David Tran, Vivian McPeak, Joy Beckerman, Nurse Heather Manus, Ah Warner and so many others.  This year we were honored to have USVI Senator Positive Nelson, who was traveling with a video crew from 420MEDIA,  visit with us.  I first met Terence, who is universally known as ‘Positive’, at a High Tea at Seattle’s Green Labs Farms a few years back, when as moderator I had the privilege of introducing the pro-pot and “positive living” politician to the cannabis community.  Look for great things from the Senator and USVI (pot tourism anyone?) soon.

The canna family gathers every year at Hempfest

The canna family gathers every year at Hempfest

Seattle Hempfest for me has always seemed like the ‘State Fair of Weed.’  Tens of thousands of people — of every age, shape and size — streaming through a labyrinth of vendor booths, food trucks and tents, smoking weed, hanging out and listening to advocates preach to the choir, and bands sing about “Mary Jane.”  This year was no different, a little smaller — a couple fewer stages due to lack of sponsorship support — and smokier, as a result of raging fires in Canada and Eastern Washington.

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Eden Labs’ Fritz Chess, Flower Girls Queen MJ, and MJBA Ambassador At Large Jake The Professor

At the Curved Papers/MJBA booth, and at a series of industry parties, I had the opportunity to reconnect to my industry friends and colleagues. What I heard was a consistent narrative: these are make or break times for Washington licensees.  Competition is fierce and getting fiercer.  Wholesale prices are brutally low for producers, and while sales remain strong at retail and gross revenues are high, profits are elusive and unfair taxes still eat up most of the profits.  For licensees the choice is straightforward: differentiate or die.

Much of our conversation revolved around the mainstreaming of cannabis — and the impact that the $4B USD investment that Constellation Brands just made with Canopy Growth would have on the mom & pops. The game has gone from grassroots to international overnight, and for the smaller players there is tremendous pressure to scale.  Undercapitalized businesses are putting their licenses up for sale, or looking for partnerships and mergers.

 

DOPE celebrated its 7th Anniversary with a “Golden Ticket” Party

Cannafest Destiny.  The West Coast is the fertile birthplace of the legal cannabis industry.  While NORML, established in 1970, can rightfully claim authorship of the political legalization and reform movement, the business — and more importantly the community — started in California, Oregon, Washington (and British Columbia).   The legitimate markets that we have created out West have blazed bright, sparks have now inspired entrepreneurs, activists, investors and politicians across the country — from Maine to Maryland, Michigan to Oklahoma. Our duty and opportunity is now to export the incredible experience and knowledge to these new emerging markets.

In a weird wrinkle of federal prohibition, Legal Cannabis has become international, before it has become a national industry!  Our neighbors to the north are rapidly ramping up their legal cannabis industry, and positioning themselves globally with distribution deals in emerging European, Caribbean and South American markets. Public Canadian companies are gobbling up American brands, and deals are now measured in the billions.

Jeremy MIller is organizing Viva Las Hempfest!

Jeremy Miller is organizing Viva Las Hempfest!

No where can we witness the mainstreaming of marijuana better than Las Vegas.  Neon billboards on strip.  24/7 retailers with drive thru.  Las Vegas, once upon a time among the harshest places in America to be caught with a seed or a stem (an infraction that could land you 20 years in the hoosegow) now actively planning the opening of consumption lounges and canna-friendly hotels.  No peace, love and tie dye hippie culture here.  Just the business of entertainment.  It is fitting then that the next stop for the Cannafest Destiny tour will be Las Vegas Hempfest on November 3&4th — Viva Las Hempfest! Hope to see you there!