Cannabis Financing Companies Need To Infuse Good PR

By Bill Bongiorno

With the passage on the ballots in nine states last Fall, cannabis is now legal in some form in 29 states.  Everyone wants to get into the game and the cannabis rush is on.  This includes more traditional bankers and Wall Street executives.  The trend is growing of more leaving the tired landscape of stocks and bonds for a different kind of green – financing cannabis companies in the U.S. that are in desperate need of capital.  Why?  Because cannabis is still federally illegal.  Typical bankers, investment firms, accountants, lawyers and the usual suspects of consultants are now entering the scene as well as financial advisors.

But how does a financial company, be it publicly traded in Canada or a private equity firm based in New York establish itself as credible, legitimate and viable in an industry that has a stigma of the stoner?

Enter public relations, which doesn’t have the barriers to entry or legal requirements of say an accounting or legal firm.   That is the beauty of it.  Traditional media have flocked to covering cannabis as the trend towards legalization is clear. The rise of cannabis journalism is also undeniable as Cannabis Now magazine recently wrote about it its latest issue.

Financial companies operating in the cannabis space are letting priceless marketing slip through their fingers as savvy companies such as iAnthus Capital Management swallows up the media attention, along with stock volume, investors, and deal flow.

The need for a clear and concise message, along with astute company positioning and a winning traditional and social media strategy are imperative as the business landscape in cannabis becomes ever more competitive.  A recent Forbes column by a great cannabis journalist Julie Weed points to the need to use social to drive a business or product:

So how does one go about getting this media attention?  It always comes down to telling a great story.  This is how you win your share of “ink.”  Also going to the right cannabis reporter at the right time with that right story is key.

Playing off the constant stream of news in the cannabis space is also an imperative.  Having the talking points and quotable quotes set to go to the right journalists when news is imminent or breaking is how you get into mainstream media, such as Bloomberg, US News and others.

Friday Night, Inc. is the perfect example of how our firm seized the opportunity around the full legalization in Nevada and the cannabis shortage news after implementation by securing national top tier media coverage:

The coverage secured helped the tiny public company trade above 3 million shares.

It’s great to be in Cannabis Now and Cannabis Business Daily and talking to people with an interest in the space, but for high impact, having a name brand household name media outlet cover you is like gold.

The articles become marketing material to use in pitch decks, investor meetings, and other business worthy endeavors when proving your business model and value proposition is paramount.

So, when planning your cannabis business strategy, don’t forget to get some hits in the mainstream media and infuse your growth with some public relations grow.


 

Bill Bongiorno is President of Blue Chip Public Relations, Inc., a firm specializing in working with financial and alternative investment companies including the cannabis industry. 

 

North Carolina Farmers Race To Plant Industrial Hemp aka “Carolina Gold”

NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina farmers are picking up the pace in planting what they believe will be the next cash crop… industrial hemp. The “Carolina Gold,” as one North Carolina fourth generation farmer referred to industrial hemp, is expected to bring in a huge potential source of income among farmers in the state. Thus far, Hemp, Inc.’s licensed farming associates in North Carolina have secured over 150 pounds of CBD-rich hemp seeds which are currently being planted in order to be harvested by September/October. CEO of Hemp, Inc. Bruce Perlowin says that amount of CBD-rich hemp seeds along with the 17 acres of high-CBD clones they are planting in North Carolina and Colorado will be one of, or, the largest CBD hemp grows in the United States (approximately 550 acres total).

“Since North Carolina farmers can source domestic seed for planting industrial hemp, it’s almost a race in the Tar Heel state to see who can get the seeds and the clones in the ground first. Everyone wants to try their hand at the lucrative crop. And with Hemp, Inc.’s Hemp University educational symposiums, teaching farmers how to grow hemp for profit, the learning curve isn’t as massive as it once was,” said Perlowin.

As announced in Hemp, Inc.’s last press release, the company has already purchased its first industrial NuAxon Tech CO2 Supercritical extractor from NuAxon BioScience, the manufacturer and producer of the world class, large capacity CO2 Supercritical Extraction equipment. With the industry’s expanding CBD market and ever-increasing consumer CBD sales over the past few years, executives are set to purchase its second CBD Extractor this year as well. The Hemp Business Journal projects the CBD market will “grow to a $2.1 billion market in consumer sales by 2020 with $450-million of those sales coming from hemp-based sources.” David Schmitt, COO of Hemp, Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary, Industrial Hemp Manufacturing, LLC (IHM), has been researching CBD extraction methods and manufacturers for the past 2 years and feels confident Hemp, Inc. will greatly benefit from the in-house CBD extraction method.

Medical Marijuana NY-Based Biotech Company Enters Clinical Trials

NEW YORK:  AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc., a world leader in cannabinoid research and development, has entered clinical trials on treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with the Company’s CanChew Plus cannabidiol (CBD) gum at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Human Clinical Trials Detail Include:

  • Controlled-release hemp oil CBD chewing gum and matching placebo gums will be tested for the clinical studies
  • The amount of the hemp oil CBD gum is set at 50mg of CBD per serving
  • Per the trial protocol patients can use up to 6 chewing gums a day to control their stomach cramps, bloating, pain and other symptom
  • The main study outcome is perceived pain reduction. Furthermore, the study will record general relief and change in stool frequenc

The clinical trial will include a group of 40 patients, age 18-65, diagnosed with IBS according to ROME III criteria to determine the effectiveness of CanChew Plus in alleviating IBS symptoms

“The clinical trial at Wageningen University is the first of its kind to treat IBS symptoms by cannabinoid-containing chewing gum, and we look forward to sharing updates from the trial with you,” added Anastassov.

 “With positive outcome from the IBS clinical trial, we will be ready to proceed immediately with further trials on our pharmaceutical grade CanChew Rx products to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. We are committed to finding research-based cannabinoid

Recent Recreational And Legal Marijuana Expansions Boost Cannabis Related Travel Experiences

FLORIDA: Cannabis companies are capitalizing on the overwhelming growth and demand throughout the industry, creating unique services and products that are producing significant revenue streams.

One of the fastest growing sectors in leisure travel appears to be the legal cannabis industry that targets individuals who want to learn more about potential investment opportunities in the cannabis and legal marijuana business market space, while experiencing a Napa Valley type of luxury vacation. Puration, Inc and ML Capital Group have partnered to introduce Cannabis Tourism to the New York Times reported 1.2 billion international travelers worldwide.

The Cannabis Tourism Service will initially target what the Denver Post reported as Colorado’s $19 billion tourism industry. Additional Cannabis Tour destinations are in the works.

Americas Largest Hemp Processing Facility & Milling Operation Nearing Completion

NEVADA: An industrial hemp decortication facility, spearheaded by Hemp, Inc. wholly-owned subsidiary, Industrial Hemp Manufacturing, LLC (IHM), is in the final stages of completion. “Industrial hemp is reclaiming its rightful place in America as demand for this environmentally friendly natural fiber continues to increase due to the economic benefits. Hemp, Inc. is strategically positioned at the forefront of this industry. We are definitely ahead of the curve in being able to process industrial hemp and manufacture products made from hemp,” said David Schmitt, COO of IHM.

According to Schmitt, the hemp processing plant which will have assembled the industry-leading hemp processing machinery is expected to be officially completed soon with a skilled team of employees on deck. “This morning, we are positioning the milling machinery in its permanent location so that it can be secured into place. We also have meetings at the end of this week with the air handler manufacturer to ascertain when we can expect the machinery on-site. Once the air handler and dust collector are on-site, we’re looking to hire specialized contractors to assist with securing all of the equipment in place, which should save us over 3 to 4 weeks in time. While I can’t say the exact date of when the air handler and dust collector will be onsite, once it is here, my best guestimate would be 3 weeks for us to have both mills operational.”

Once the milling machinery is operational, Hemp, Inc. will be able to produce their Lost Circulation Materials (LCMs) and other oil absorbent products. “Our 70,000 square foot commercial industrial hemp processing facility and milling operation, on 9 acres makes Hemp, Inc. the largest industrial hemp processor and manufacturer in America and with the addition of our milling facility to produce other hemp-based products, we have strategically expanded our worldwide industrial base,” said Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc..

Now that the amended hemp bill has been signed into law in North Carolina, home to Hemp, Inc.’s industrial hemp processing facility, the North Carolina Hemp Commission now has the power to write the rules and approve them. Shareholders can expect lucrative business opportunities for Hemp, Inc. In the Spring of 2017, the company is looking to possibly grow and harvest a very large hemp crop on up to 50,000 acres which can all be processed at Hemp, Inc.’s industrial hemp processing facility.

“As mentioned in our press release yesterday, we expect Congress to remove industrial hemp from the Federal Controlled Substances Act very soon, which would declassify it as a Schedule 1 drug because it’s not. Hemp is a plant from the cannabis family like marijuana but possesses a very low THC content and you cannot get high by smoking it. Hemp is not marijuana and it has a plethora of uses,” said Perlowin.

Massachusetts Issues First Medical Marijuana License

MASSACHUSETTS:  The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued the state’s first certificate of registration for a marijuana dispensary.

The certificate was given to Alternative Therapies Group, Inc., allowing it to begin growing marijuana for medical use.

Before the company is allowed to sell or transport marijuana, the dispensary will need to undergo additional oversight, including inspections of its transportation plans and testing of its plants once they are grown.

Alternative Therapies Group has been approved to operate a dispensary site in Salem and a cultivation site in Amesbury.

Novus Enters Into Exclusive Agreement With TKO Organics To Provide Medical Marijuana & Fulfillment Services To MedPlan Patients

WASHINGTON:  Novus Acquisition & Development Corp. (PINKSHEETS: NDEV) (“Novus”), a provider of health insurance and insurance-related services under the “MedPlan” brand through its subsidiary Novus Medical Group, Inc., today announced an agreement with TKO Reserve, LLC aka Turnkey Organics LLC. “TKO” to act as a third-party administrator of Novus’ MedPlan, handling quality control, order processing, and delivery coordination to patients in Washington, Arizona, Oregon, California, Colorado, Nevada and Michigan.

“Finding suppliers is a big challenge in this industry,” said Novus Acquisition & Development Corp. CEO Frank Labrozzi. “The TKO Organics’ products stand out from a market that is flooded by entrepreneurs growing mediocre strains using subpar techniques. Quality control and standardization is the key, while this agreement provides the company with an adequate supply of medical marijuana for its growing number of MedPlan patients.”

TKO Organics is a fully-operational indoor organic medical cannabis growing and production facility in compliance with the Washington State Medical Use of Marijuana Act (RCW69.51A). By leveraging cutting-edge indoor growing technology and proprietary extraction techniques, the company will help standardize products for Novus’ MMJ patients with optimal cannabinoid ratios and other beneficial characteristics. The extraction techniques and new genetic varieties pioneered by the TKO will provide Novus’ patients with medicine that has been known to aid in treating or relieving debilitating medical conditions. In a testament to its growing line-up of high quality products, TKO recently won second place at the High Times Seattle Cannabis Cup for their Slips product that they produce via a joint venture with Oakor.

Under the exclusive agreement, TKO Organics will work as an outsourced administrative arm for Novus Medical Group, handling quality control, delivery coordination, distribution to dispensaries, and providing a user-friendly ordering process to Novus MedPlan patients in Washington, Arizona, Oregon, California, Colorado Nevada and Michigan.

 

What’s Up With The Multi Level Marketing Of Hemp-Derived CBD?

If you’re involved in any way in the Cannabis industry – whether you’re a patient, advocate, or cannabis business person – chances are, you’ve heard about Kannaway, or its “Buzz Launch,” or Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO), or hemp vape, or Hemp Meds Px, or Medical Marijuana Inc., or CannVest, or all of the above. And you’ve probably even gotten annoying, overbearing email spam in your personal or business accounts, and maybe even spammy-sounding “testimonials” in social media groups you moderate, soliciting you to join in this “great” new business opportunity.

The whole topic has caused a huge deal of conflict in the Medical Cannabis community, with many pertinent questions hotly debated and largely unanswered. So what’s the real deal with Kannaway? Are these companies all related? Is hemp-derived Cannabidiol legal? And what’s the deal with the Multi Level Marketing?

It’s confusing on many levels, to say the least. But some of these questions have already been answered by trustworthy sources.