420MEDIA Trailblazers In Cannabis: Stacy Thompson, Founder Women of Cannabis Conference

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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’s featured trailblazer is Stacy Thompson, Founder of the Women of Cannabis Conference.

1. Tell us about your Company

Women of Cannabis emerged because I saw a need to empower women as the industry continues to grow. With the rise of the female entrepreneurs and women leaders, it is pivotal to the cannabis industry to create and accept an environment where we step it up and stand together. The opportunity is here for women to pioneer this industry and hold higher level positions in companies. According to Marijuana Business Daily, women make up 27% of the industry, which is higher than the average other industries. When creating this event, I reached out to women I respect and admire and asked them to get involved. The most amazing thing is they are, rapidly! Together we can achieve greatness.  As an entrepreneur myself, a large problem that often stands in our way are women getting to know and meet other women in this business. I knew I had to build an open community like this. Women of Cannabis evolved into an amazing conference to start the conversation. I envision leaders building other leaders, lifting us to our fullest potential.  


2. Why did you choose the cannabis/hemp business?

I realized the opportunity to enter a brand-new market, and as an entrepreneur I found my place in this industry. It all started when I decided to go back to using cannabis after I stopped -while my kids were tweens and went on the doctor prescribed Adderall for my ADD instead of cannabis.  I quit because of the fear of having the “drug” talk with them and me using “pot”.  When they got older, I decided to go back to using cannabis.  Once I uncovered the truth about cannabis, I couldn’t do anything but join forces with others to break the stigma about this plant. The only way we are going to do that is if we all work together. We all want the same outcome, this plant to be free for all to use.

3. What change will your firm address in the industry? Does it address an unmet need?

We are hoping to empower women to take the chance and go for it!  Creating bonds, leadership, and unity as we maneuver through the legalization and laws changing along the way.  Together we can accomplish much more, so providing a space for that is our goal.


4. What has been the reaction to your product/service/technology?

The reaction to the Women of Cannabis conference has been overwhelming.  I am so excited for the women that have stepped up and have agreed to be a part of the conference.  We have an amazing lineup of speakers, Dr. Dina Browner, Wanda James, Larisa Bolivar, Renee Gagnon, Kalee Hooghkirk, Sierra Riddle, Nurse Juhlzie Monteiro, Nurse Heather Sobel, Carrie McClain and more coming. We are in for a treat to have all of these women trailblazers on one stage!

5. Are there any upcoming milestones for your company?

We have had such a great response for this conference, that we have been asked to take it on the road, add more breakouts, more speakers, more days… So, we shall see what the future holds for Women of Cannabis, but I do know one thing: we are not going anywhere.

Where can readers learn more?

Please check out our website, www.womenofcannabisconference.com for more information on our speakers that will be joining us, and how you can be a part of ‘herstory’ in Vegas!

Visit us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram: @WofCanna

Minority-Focused Cannabis Business Accelerator Accepts Its Inaugural Round Of Applicants

First participants made up exclusively of women, economic empowerment, and minority owned small businesses.

MASSACHUSETTS: Sira Naturals, a Massachusetts-based registered marijuana dispensary (RMD) group, has accepted the inaugural class of applicants into the Sira Accelerator program, its small-business accelerator designed to help entrepreneurs navigate and succeed within the emerging regulated cannabis industry.

From an initial response of more than 400 applicants, three groups were chosen based on the quality of the teams and viability of the products. The three companies include: Healing Tree Edibles, a women-owned producer of craft cannabis infused edibles and pet snacks based on Cape Cod; Hothouse Holyoke, an aspiring craft cannabis cultivator and product manufacturer based in the disproportionately impacted community of Holyoke; and 612 Studios, an Economic Empowerment applicant based in Boston that produces a women’s and couples’ cannabis infused product line.

“We looked at hundreds of inspiring and enthusiastic entrepreneurs during our application process, and these three successful applicants have demonstrated a vision and dedication to their work that is second to none,” said Michael Dundas, president and chief executive officer of Sira Naturals. “Sira Naturals is grateful to have the opportunity to share what we have learned throughout our journey as an organization, and to accelerate these small businesses to enormous success. Many of the other groups that applied showed tremendous potential and we hope to work with many of them in the future.”

“We are very excited about this opportunity and I can’t wait to start working,” said Leah Samura, one member of the husband and wife team that makes up 612 Studios. “As an Economic Empowerment applicant, the barriers to entry in the cannabis industry are extremely high. This program is so unique and valuable in how it can help our company make the transition to the regulated marketplace.”

“When we moved to Massachusetts we deliberately chose Holyoke as our new community,” said Audrey Park, co-founder of Hothouse Holyoke which has applied to the Cannabis Control Commission for Cultivation and Product Manufacturing licenses. “We believe that the cannabis industry has the economic potential to give back to disproportionately impacted communities and we want to be a part of this movement.”

“This is truly a historic moment in the cannabis industry,” said Michelle Bennett, founder of Healing Tree Edibles. “For a small business like mine, the Accelerator offers the potential to reach a much wider market than I could achieve on my own,” she said. Healing Tree currently manufactures cannabidiol-infused pet treats.

The goal of the program is to provide cannabis entrepreneurs an immediate path-forward in product development, slicing through barriers to entry, and accelerating them to profitability. The Sira Accelerator provides access to world-class lab technology, workspace, and executive mentorship. Additionally, each small-business receives an allotment of Sira Naturals-produced cannabinoid substrate, or cannabis oil, that is invaluable to product development, and often the most prohibitive hurdle for these small businesses to overcome.


420MEDIA Trailblazers In Cannabis: Jeff Binder, CLS Holdings CEO & Chairman

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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’s featured trailblazer is Jeff Binder, CEO and Chairman of CLS Holdings USA Inc.

1. Tell us about your Company

CLS Holdings USA, Inc. is a diversified cannabis company that, subject to receipt of certain anticipated license approvals, acts as an integrated cannabis producer and retailer in Nevada and plans to expand to other states. CLS stands for “Cannabis Life Sciences,” in recognition of the company’s patented method of extracting various cannabinoids from the marijuana plant and converting them into products with a higher level of quality and consistency. Our business model includes licensing operations, processing operations, processing facilities, sale of products, brand creation and consulting services.

2. Why did you choose the cannabis/hemp business?

I may have to thank McDonalds for the inspiration! I have a juris doctorate degree from the National Law Center, George Washington University School of Law. I practiced law in Chicago. Five years after joining the firm, l had the good fortune of representing one of the firm’s clients, Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s. Ray instilled in me good business practices and he helped me open my eyes to the world of entrepreneurship. I entered this industry very early and that is why CLS is well positioned to seek and act on opportunities of an industry in its infancy. We understand the challenge and responsibility that goes with such an undertaking with my experience.


3. What change will your firm address in the industry? Does it address an unmet need?

With new states enacting new legislation on both medicinal and recreational adult use in cannabis, our company intends on becoming an active participant in the ever-expanding marketplace by making strategic acquisitions along with continued organic growth of our existing platform in Las Vegas. We are particularly intrigued by states like Massachusetts, who are on the cusp of implementing a robust adult use marketplace. We are also actively pursuing opportunities for our patented proprietary processing technology and have started the build-out of our first facility at our Nevada location and are entering dialogue and discussion with many of the prominent players in Canada.

4. What has been the market reaction?

We understand that this is a marketplace that requires knowledge and the ability to rapidly access the capital markets to be in a position to win and/or execute on some of these unique opportunities. It’s our view at CLS that we are in the very beginning stages of a rapidly developing legal cannabis marketplace with new rules and regulations, which are becoming more favorable. CLS should be able to rapidly grow its existing business along with making substantial accretive acquisitions. It is our goal in the coming years to create and maximize shareholder value by generating revenues with fundamental support.


5. Are there any upcoming milestones for your company?

We just announced that CLS has executed two Letters of Intent (LOIs) to enter the rapidly growing Massachusetts market, which has been operating as a legalized medical jurisdiction since 2015 and has approved legalized recreational use. We agreed to loan $5 million to In Good Health, a licensed medical dispensary in Brockton, Massachusetts. Along with the loan, CLS will have an option to acquire it. The Brockton dispensary was the second licensed dispensary in the state and has been operational since September 2015 and is currently servicing 17,000 registered patients and delivering to 1,700 homes with key product offerings of flower, concentrates, vapes, edibles, pre-rolls and tinctures.

We continue to be enthusiastic about Oasis Cannabis in Las Vegas. The opportunity that we saw two years ago is developing along the lines that we anticipated. We have a strong team in place that has substantial knowledge of the cannabis marketplace in Las Vegas and the US. We are also incredibly excited about the prospects of our City Trees Brand. We currently have distribution in 25+ dispensaries in the Las Vegas marketplace are working on making it one of Las Vegas most recognizable cannabis brands.

Where can readers learn more?

Readers can visit our page for our dispensary by visiting https://oasiscannabis.com/

For additional information on CLS, please visit: http://www.clsholdingsinc.com

420MEDIA Trailblazers In Cannabis: Keiko Beatie

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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’ll profile a noteworthy business pioneer, and ask each 5 questions. This week’s featured trailblazer is Keiko Beatie, Director of Education for Coral Cove Cannabis Jamaica.  A practitioner of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Holistic Medicine since the 1970’s, Ms. Beatie’s passion for the plant has expanding with focusing on education to the community for patient care. She speaks at many mainstream and cannabis conference across the country on topics of edibles, topicals, patient care, minorities in cannabis, how to create a business in cannabis.

1. Tell us about your Company

I see myself as one who shares and provides an outreach of the cannabis and hemp opportunities, this is Green Wave Relations. I am a speaker, writer, consult and assist in judging various completions, primarily edibles and topicals. Coral Cove Cannabis Jamaica, I’m the Director of Education. We are the first of its kind all-inclusive cannabis resort focused on education of cannabis for better health and well-being. With cultivation on site with the Rastafarian Church with 3 private lagoons, spa treatments, relaxation and with education programing being offered on various topics.

2. Why did you choose the cannabis/hemp business?

I first started out with relating to cannabis as am activist after seeing people needs for this plant as a medicine. I knew from personal experience the comforting aspects that the cannabis plants are capable of achieving. But the medical breakthroughs were far more beneficial to the community and patients in need were being denied. I wanted to be there to spread the word, share, educate and support awareness of the plant. I feel it’s more a passion to share that has transpired into a business. Maybe the cannabis/hemp industry chose me, as it’s an honor to be a part of it share for those to have access to a simple amazing plant.

3. What change will your firm address in the industry?

Does it address an unmet need? What I personally address in the industry is the desire to focus on de-schedules of the plant, education to the mainstream to demystify about cannabis use for health and well-being. For Coral Cove Cannabis is being one of the first of its kind all-inclusive cannabis education resorts that include kayaking, snorkeling and various types of cannabis education elements on the sandy beaches of the Caribbean waters. What both these aspects have to offer is to continue the normalization of utilizing the plant in an acceptable format and hopeful betterment for all who so desire.

4. What has been the reaction to your product/service/technology?

Since I’ve been part of the industry and community for a few years, I’ve had the pleasure to be part of various presentations. The reaction to my part within the industry and community has been positive for the most part. I’ve pushed the envelope as its only by moving forward within the confines of social awareness we may demystify the plant and the past propaganda that was established again it back from the 1937 Marijuana Tax Bill. Some are tentatively to make comment and others are egger to make queries. I’m here for the mainstream to ask, as we all learn together. For Coral Cove Cannabis the reaction has been very exciting, to many it’s a life-long dream come true. For a facility to be made available to enjoy cannabis while in a welcoming resort setting and education of cannabis with top notch professionals offering their knowledge to guests in a lovely setting of tranquil blue waters. The reactions have been absolutely exuberating!

5. Are there any upcoming milestones for your company?

For myself personally, I’m the Head Judge of Edibles at the prestigious Emerald Cup 2018, and a contributing writer for one of the most visited websites for cannabis education Marijuana.com. Regarding Coral Cove Cannabis we will be presenting in 2019 Autism and Cannabis Seminar with the Whole Plant 4 Autism Non-Profit organization, Cannabis Nurse Continuing Education Weekend and the establishment of our on-site facility “The Park” at Coral Cove for events and gatherings supporting our mission of health and wellness education of cannabis.

Where can readers learn more?

Readers may find out more information at our website www.coralcovejamaica.com or feel free to contact me at greenwaverelations@gmail.com

420MEDIA Trailblazers In Cannabis: Sproutly Canada CEO Keith Dolo

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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’ll profile a noteworthy business pioneer, and ask each 5 questions. This week’s featured trailblazer is Keith Dolo, President and CEO of Sproutly Canada.

1. Tell us about your Company

Sproutly is a licensed producer of Cannabis in Canada and is positioning itself to develop and bring to market unique consumer products with a focus initially on beverages. We have a purpose-built facility for the production of high grade cannabis based in Ontario as well as a ground-breaking technology that will revolutionize how cannabis is formulated into a wide range of products such as alcohol replacements, functional beverages, consumables, topicals and variety of other products. Sproutly recently acquired, in a transformation acquisition, Infusion Biosciences Canada, the first company to produce a truly water-soluble natural cannabis solution. It’s revolutionary to the entire cannabis industry so we are extremely excited to bring it to market.



2.  Why did you choose the cannabis/hemp business?

For me personally, the development and growth expected within the cannabis industry represented an opportunity to be part of a growth initiative that is poised to have an incredibly drastic impact on the global market. It is a rare occasion when the legalization, decriminalization, or mainstream adoption of a product such as cannabis, can have such an impact on so many different facets of life around the world. Most people only consider cannabis as something you smoke and view this a short-term play to allow people the ability legally smoke or consume cannabis recreationally, this is so much greater than that. Cannabis will be broad reaching, have massive implications and impacts on the pharmaceutical industry, the beverage industry, the pet food industry, nutritional food product markets, and beauty products amongst many others. Being part of something this exciting, not only in Canada but globally was the key driver in getting me involved.

With all the large beverage companies looking at or investing into the sector, it provides validity to what we are working on here at Sproutly. The recent announcement of Molson entering the Canadian cannabis scene, or the rumors of Coca-Cola in discussions to enter the industry, allows investors and consumers to start recognizing that Cannabis will have a large impact on existing products from alcohol to tobacco companies. The majors are looking at how to position and hedge themselves moving forward, it’s exciting.

3. What change will your firm address in the industry? Does it address an unmet need?

For Sproutly, we have positioned ourselves to stand out and provide access to what some are calling Cannabis 2.0 the ability to be produce products that bring additional consumers into the cannabis industry that have previously sat on the sidelines. Our cannabis products will be seen in everything from edibles, to beverages, to topicals, to health and wellness products both recreationally and medically. We have the ability to produce two unique products that once launched in the market will stand apart from their competitors, our Bio-Natural Oils and our Infus2O product.

The INFUS2O product is the first truly water-soluble cannabis solution that does not need massive amounts of sugar or chemicals to mask the bad tasting flavor of a chemicals currently used in cannabis beverages and the solubility of INFUS2O has also solved the rapid onset and off-set problems that currently plague cannabis consumables. People will be able to consume our liquid cannabis in any drink, that’ the idea here.  Like alcohol that is processed by the body through the blood stream, the effects of our product will be felt in 5 minutes and will last as long as 45-90 minutes, like having an alcoholic beverage.  The big advantage over existing oil products in edibles and beverages will be the ability to know the timeframe of the effect, as opposed to eating a product, where the person does not know when they will feel the effect or when it will wear off, it’s the answer people are searching for.

4. What has been the reaction to your product/service/technology?

At this point, it’s been extremely positive. Obviously, with any new disruptive technology, there exists a necessity to prove it out from a scientific standpoint as well as consumer response perspective…we are working hard on both fronts. With now over 200+ consumer tests completed, the response has been consistent, and the feedback of the fast onset / fast offset has been verified. For validating the products within a lab testing environment, we are currently partnering with an analytics laboratory in Washington state and a soon to be announced Canadian partnership in order to finalize the analytical testing methods on our products as well as other cannabis oils that have been diluted into beverage products. More to come on that in the next few months…

5. Are there any upcoming milestones for your company?

We are working extremely hard on a number of projects and milestones that will move the company forward on many fronts. One vertical, in our strategy, is to solidify business joint ventures with existing CPG/beverage companies that have recognized brands. We are working on selecting the right partnerships with companies that are as forward thinking as we are and can move quickly and nimbly to complete formulations and have products ready for launch when the legalization of these products commences in 2019. We feel we will advance the Sproutly brand much quicker with multiple companies than finalizing a relationship with one company. We are also in the process of determining our international expansion plans, specially the European Union and the countries that support legal cannabis within their regulatory framework. The company is very new, receiving it’s licence to cultivate Cannabis from Health Canada in June, going public in July, closing the acquisition of Infusion BioSciences Canada in August, now executing on it’s business plan through the fall months leading up to legalization in Canada. We are excited for what is to come and what we can share with our shareholders and future users of the Sproutly products in development.

 Where can readers learn more?

We are working on our US OTCQB listing requirements currently which will drive more marketing activity and traction in the US over the coming months. Readers can always sign up on our website for up to date information at www.Sproutly.ca or simply stay tuned to the cannabis content platforms such as 420MEDIA for more to come.

Social media: https://twitter.com/SproutlyCanada

420MEDIA Trailblazers In Cannabis: Meet Cannabis Nurse Heather Manus

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Digital marketing agency 420MEDIA and the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) have joined forces to create a series highlighting entrepreneurs trailblazing the cannabis scene. We’ll ask each of these industry pioneers the same 5 questions.  This week, we meet Nurse Heather Manus, RN, the founder of the Cannabis Nurses Network. 

1. Tell us about your Company

Established in 2015, Cannabis Nurses Network is a global network of registered nurses who include Endocannabinoid System health, and implement cannabinoid therapeutics to support our patients’ journey to holistic balance.  We are empowering nurses through education, opportunity, recognition, and advocacy.

Cannabis Nurses Network provides continued education courses and empower our nurses with ongoing professional development opportunities. Our members have unprecedented opportunities to connect with other industry professionals, participate in thought-leader action projects, advance their expertise and influence the future of cannabis medicine.

We honor, recognize and support nurses’ successes and the diligent work being conducted by individual cannabis nurses worldwide. Cannabis Nurses Network provides our platform for recognition of outstanding nurses, and their efforts within the community are shared and celebrated.

Our organization insists on advocating for the health, well-being and professional safety of nurses and patients embarking on their cannabis nurse journey.

Cannabis Nurses Network poster2. Why did you choose the cannabis/hemp business?

As nurses and healthcare professionals, we are taught extensively about the 11 human body systems and how to assess and think critically to address relevant or potential health issues. However, healthcare professionals are not currently being taught about the 12th body system; the Endocannabinoid System, which is the largest receptor signaling system in the human body, responsible for systematic homeostasis and balance.

As more states and countries are legalizing cannabis and cannabinoids for human use, it is imperative that nurses and healthcare professionals have knowledge and understanding of the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid therapeutics.

In addition, the cannabis industry is the fastest growing industry in the United States, providing a multitude of opportunities for “Cannabis Nurse Entrepreneurs” to emerge and shine.

3. What change will your firm address in the industry? Does it address an unmet need?

Cannabis Nurses Network prides itself on identifying and addressing unmet needs within the healthcare and cannabis industries, and are continuously bridging these gaps. CannabisNursesNetwork.com is home to the only online Cannabis Nurses Media and Cannabis Nurses Directory, designed to promote Cannabis Nurses and their businesses to the public.

Additionally, the Cannabis Nurses Network Conference is the only conference in the world, dedicated to providing continued learning, by educating Cannabis Nurses on the science, research, and practical applications of advancing endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid therapeutics care and knowledge. The Cannabis Nurses Network Formal Awards Dinner is our way of recognizing and honoring outstanding Cannabis Nurse Leaders.

nurse heather awards show4. What has been the reaction to your product/service/technology?

The most fulfilling aspects of establishing the Cannabis Nurses Network has been witnessing the professional growth and confidence of individual nurses who are engaging in the many opportunities that CNN has to offer. From authoring media articles to participating in the official Cannabis Nurses Speakers Bureau, nurses are learning, growing, and leading the way towards a revolution in healTHCare. Since establishing the organization in 2015, Cannabis Nurses Network has been touching and empowering the lives of nurses worldwide, and we’ve only just begun.

5. Are there any upcoming milestones for your company?

Cannabis Nurses Network has been leveling up in 2018; releasing the official online CannabisNursesNetwork.com website during National Nurses Week in May; providing professional development opportunities for nurses interested in advancing their knowledge base and career in Cannabis Nursing.

2019 will mark the 4th year of continued nursing education through the Cannabis Nurses Network Conference (CNNC). CNNC is a unique 3-day educational opportunity for nurses, healthcare, and licensed wellness professionals who are interested in advancing their expertise in cannabis medicine.

Cannabinoid research is being conducted worldwide. Where better to educate medical health professionals than sunny San Diego, California; home of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.  Attendees will learn about science, research, and clinical applications related to the human endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid therapeutics from world-class experts during CNNC.

Meeting and mingling with authors, researchers, and presenters while engaging in once-a-lifetime networking opportunities during the CNNC Mixer and Formal Dinner experiences.  To balance out an intellectual and stimulating program, attendees will have the opportunity to engage in an immersive, heal the healer, self-care experience. Leaving our guests feeling balanced, empowered, knowledgeable, confident, and connected. 

CNA EventWhere can readers learn more?

Contact Info:

Social Media Links:

○      https://www.linkedin.com/in/naturenursern/

○      https://www.facebook.com/cannanurse/

○      https://www.facebook.com/cannanursesnetwork/

Additional Links: 

Cannabis Nurses Network Conference 2019





The Best Industries for Starting a Business in 2015

The old adage that timing is everything in business is incomplete. When it comes to launching a successful startup, the other crucial ingredient is identifying a new, untapped market opportunity. Breaking into any industry is hard, but certain sectors are particularly ripe for new entrants.

Inc.’s annual look at the best industries for starting a business is based on interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and industry experts, plus reams of the latest research on hot niche sectors. While it’s still early days for most of these fields, the first-movers are already well on their way to proving long-term viability. Read on to see where entrepreneurs are laying the groundwork for the fast-growing companies of the future.

Legal Marijuana

Legal marijuana has become big business in the U.S. since Colorado licensed vendors to sell recreational cannabis at the beginning of 2014. While the industry hasn’t been around long, the first companies growing and distributing marijuana and related products are seeing very strong demand. Revenue for medical marijuana growers has risen 16 percent per year since 2009, reaching roughly $2 billion in 2014, according to IBISWorld.

The Marijuana Industry’s Accidental Entrepreneurs

COLORADO:  With more states legalizing the use of marijuana for medical and even recreational purposes, more entrepreneurs are going into the pot business. Some are opening dispensaries, some are starting grow houses and some are baking up a mass-market version of “hash brownies” or other edible products.

And then there’s Mike LeBlanc and Rick Simler. They’re just looking to sell plastic containers.

LeBlanc and Simler are marketing specially designed containers — think plus-size childproof pill bottles — that are often required of dispensaries in states where marijuana can be legally sold. (And in such states, laws governing packaging can be very specific, since the goal is to keep pot out of the hands of minors, just as is the case with prescription drugs.) But LeBlanc and Simler, whose company, Compliant Cannabis Packaging, is based in the marijuana industry epicenter of Colorado, aren’t pot professionals by trade. In their regular lives, they work for a packaging company, Lenertz Industrial Supply. Still, they saw an opportunity to take their knowledge and sales savvy when it comes to packaging and apply it to pot, so they started Compliance Cannabis Packaging as a division of Lenertz and began offering dispensaries a product that they say is better than what’s currently available.