Cleveland Cannabis Influencers Gather At MJBA To Celebrate Opening Of Ohio Medical Marijuana Program

By Michelle Blank

There was a new energy and excitement in the air this past Thursday night as the Cleveland Chapter of the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) held its January Meetup, hosted by Steve Baden at the law offices of Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis.

TraceyDwyerBloomThe meeting of Cleveland-area professionals fell on the night after the official start of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Program, with four dispensaries opening their doors to the public. The Forest of Sandusky and Cresco Labs CY+ made the official first two sales with Ohio Valley Natural Relief LLC and The Botanist following closely behind.

To the gathered MJBA attendees – lawyers, healthcare professionals, patients, advocates and entrepreneurs — there was a newfound excitement that Ohio’s mmj program, created when House Bill 523 was passed in 2016 and signed into law by Governor John Kasich, is finally becoming reality after more than two years of delay.

janmeetup2clevelandThe official total sales for the first day totaled $75,000, with 8.7 pounds of legal cannabis being sold. To date, 3,575 patients have legally registered with the State as Medical Marijuana Patients, with those numbers expecting to grow daily.

mjbacleveland3The packed room had representatives from Buckeye Relief, a Level 1 Cultivator; Herbology Dispensary, The Clubhouse Dispensary; The Cleveland School of Cannabis; Dr. Solomon Zarraa, with Compassionate Cleveland; Michael Bush, National Cannabis Insurance, and many other industry professionals who came together to network, share information and build community.

Alicia Reaves, co-founder of Midwest CannaWomen, kicked off the meeting with a passionate speech about her organization and why she decided to form her group to help women become more involved in the State’s Medical Marijuana Industry. “I started Midwest CannaWomen because I have been in the industry since May 2017, and I have attended events and networked… and I never see myself. There is a lack of women – especially minority women – in CEO or even supervisory positions in the Cannabis Industry. I want to provide opportunities and resources for all women, so that they may have a place in the industry.” She is definitely becoming a voice to be heard!

MJBAClevelandSpeakerTracey Dwyer, Regional Patient Outreach Director of Bloom Medicinals, then took the floor to educate participants on her company’s Dispensaries located here in Ohio and throughout the United States. “What makes Bloom Medicinals an exceptional dispensary experience is our commitment to clinical excellence, superior product, and above all – deep compassionate care for our patients.”   Ms. Dwyer also fielded many questions and spurred conversations amongst the crowd on various topics including the State’s 21 Qualifying Medical Conditions and Ohio’s daily dosage of 2.8 Grams – dubbed what is now known as an “Ohio Tenth”.

cleveland4As is customary at MJBA events, the crowd lingered well after the speakers wrapped up to network, with business cards being exchanged and industry relationships being formed.

What a great way to start 2019. Ohio – I think we are officially going somewhere!!

MJBA Cleveland hosts meetings bi-monthly. For more information on how to become a member, please visit mjba.net

 

 

 

MJBA Launches Ohio Chapter June 12th, Interest High As September 8th Deadline Approaches

OHIO: The Marijuana Business Association (MJBA), a leading national trade association for participants in the legal cannabis industry and publishers of the MJ News Network, will host its debut meetup in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of the midwest leg of it national “CannaFest Destiny” educational tour that includes stops in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

The professional networking event will be held at the law offices of Meyers, Roman on June 12th, 6:30-9PM.  Featured speakers will include Michael O’Malley, founder of Curved Papers; Michelle Blank, President and Robin Ann Morris, Founder & CEO of the MaryJane Agency; Steven Baden, Attorney-At-Law, Meyers, Roman; and MJBA founder David Rheins.

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Medical marijuana became legal under House Bill 523 on September 8th, 2016. Under the bill, administered by The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, people with certain medical conditions, upon the recommendation of an Ohio-licensed physician certified by the State Medical Board, will be able to purchase and use medical marijuana. It’s taken the state two full years to roll out the program, keeping patients and caregivers, along with would-be participants in the legal mmj industry, waiting and frustrated.

Ohio's Medical Marijuana Control Program

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program

Interest in legal cannabis, one of the fastest growing segments in our economy and a major engine for both job creation and tax revenue generation, has never been higher.  Michelle Blank, President and Robin Ann Morris, Founder & CEO of the MaryJane Agency, decided to organize the Cleveland meetup because they wanted to create a Business Forum for leaders in Ohio’s Cannabis community to gather and collaborate in a professional environment.  “We are so excited to be affiliated with bringing MJBA to  Ohio and feel this is a great avenue for Principals in this area to learn from each other and grow their businesses,” Ms. Blank said.

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Steven L. Baden, Attorney at Law featured presenter, and venue host for the group’s inaugural meetup commented, “Being involved with helping MMJ businesses take root and thrive in Ohio fits perfectly with MJBA’s mission and is why I’m part of getting MJBA established in Ohio.”

The MJBA was instrumental in the establishment of Curved Papers,” Michael O’Malley told MJ News Network. “We joined as business members in Denver in January 2015, where we introduced Curved Papers to Colorado’s cannabis industry leadership, and we are honored to be able to participate in the launch of the MJBA Cleveland and MJBA Ohio communities.  We’ve grown and prospered through our association with the MJBA, and are proud to serve as National Sponsors, traveling across the country on this “Cannafest Destiny” tour.

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“As a native midwesterner, born and raised in Indiana,  I’m thrilled to be able to come back home and help Ohio’s nascent cannabis business community,” said David Rheins, MJBA founder and executive director. “We look forward to helping to shape common market standards, providing market intelligence, and developing best ethical business practices for all participants in the emerging legal marijuana industries.”

Attendance at the June 12th MJBA Cleveland event is FREE to MJBA Members and qualified industry professionals and caregivers.  Space is limited, so please RSVP to reserve your spot here.