The Wink In Weed: Leap Day Cannabis Industry Report

By David Rheins

Happy Leap Day.  The last two weeks of February have been such a whirlwind of hyperactivity for myself and Team MJBA that I need the extra day to tell you all about it.

On February 17th, MJBA Seattle presented, “Managing Your 502 Business,” a two-hour business boot camp designed to provide Washington’s licensed cannabis companies with “must have” information and best practices.  Sponsored by NWMJ Law, the professional education seminar featured presentations from top industry authorities, including Act Resources, Dani Espinda; Mosaic Insurance’s Norm Ives; business coach Debbie Whitlock and NWMJ Law’s Anne Van Leynseele.

The entire event was recorded, and can be viewed on MJChannelOne:


The very next day, Team MJBA packed up our tent and made our way down to Seattle’s Pier 91 for CannaCon.  The three-day event, February 18th, 19th and 20th, has become a keystone event for MJBA/MJBA Women’s Alliance, one where we participate as exhibitor, and media sponsor.  This year, both Morgan and I were featured speakers,  I had the honor to moderate 10 panels, and conduct a host of 1:1 taped interviews with CannaCon speakers, exhibitors and other industry leaders (special thank you to Darin Bruce and his AV team).

BDS CEO Roy Bingham delivered a keynote at CannaCon

BDS CEO Roy Bingham delivered a keynote at CannaCon

This was MJBA’s fourth CannaCon and I could not help but be struck by both how large and professional the industry and “the business of cannabis” show has become.   Everyone who is anyone in cannabis was present: Washington’s top cannabis regulators came out to participate as panelists, including WSLCB Director Rick Garza, WSDH’s Kristi Weeks, and the WSDA’s Steve Fuller.  This year’s panelists include a very diverse representation from the broad tent of our cannabis community, including long-time activists like Cat Jeter, Kristin Flor, Don E Wirtshafter and Vivian McPeak; legendary growers like Ed Rosenthal, Kyle Kushman and Farmer Tom Lauerman; media personalities like Katherine Grimm and Cheryl Shuman, and a host of power women in cannabis, including Eden Lab’s AC Braddock, Seattle Hempfest’s Sharon Whitson, Washington’s Finest Cannabis founder Crystal Oliver, Cannabis Basic’s Ah Warner, Kush Creams’ Megan Schwarting, and Washington Bud Company’s Shawn DeNae.


On Thursday, February 25th, MJBA Spokane held its February Meetup at a new venue, The Black Diamond.  Jon Legualt, Belladonna Growhouse, was our host and a featured presenter. He shared the stage with Washington’s Finest Crystal Oliver, who updated the group on what’s happening with Spokane’s Clean Air regulations and how they are impacting Eastern Washington producer/processors, and Kevin Oliver, executive director of Washington NORML, who gave the group a report from the legislative fronts in Olympia and Washington D.C.  Front Runner ceo Brian Yauger unveiled his latest offering,, a real-time business intelligence portal designed especially for participants in the legal cannabis industry.


And finally, to close out the month, MJBA New York is hosting a Leap Year Happy Hour at Manhattan’s swanky Gansevoort Hotel. Hosted by MJBA NY’s Stu Zakim and Paul Abramson, the evening of information, community and opportunity takes place at the ultra-hip hotel, located at 420 Park Avenue!

Coming up next: MJBA Portland hosts a special Meetup: “Game On: The Business of Cannabis and Sports,” Wednesday, March 2nd at the On Deck Sports bar.  Sponsored by CannaGuard Security, the event will feature opening remarks by NBA All-Star turned cannabis entrepreneur Cliff Robinson, who’ll debut his new “Uncle Spliffy” brand.  Then an industry panel will discuss the many business opportunites that exist at the intersection of sports and cannabis.  VIP Panelists include Uncle Spliffy’s Linda Miller, Siverback Advisory Groups’ Marc Belsher, and Fore-Twenty Golf’s Matt Enos.

Reserve your spot for this historic discussion here:


MJBA Spokane Moves To New Home With May Meetup

By Morgan

WASHINGTON: More than three dozen leading cannabis industry professionals turned out this week for May monthly meetup of MJBA Spokane this week.  The regular meeting was the first at MJBA’s new location – Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar. The upscale restaurant elegantly situated lakeside created a welcoming environment for cannabis entrepreneurs looking for information, community and opportunity in the rapidly expanding industry.

Among those in attendance were MJBA National Sponsors NORML, represented by Washington NORML Executive Director Kevin Oliver, and Corporate Sponsors Blue Roots.   Tier 3 producer/processor Blue Roots has invested much time and energy building out their producer/processor facility, located southwest of downtown Spokane in a large industrial park. They offer a full cannabis product line, including premium flowers extractions and packaging for brands like Cinex, Super Max OG, Pine Skunk.

brcc-logo-jpg-250pxAccording to company leaders, Blue Roots utilizes a Vertically Integrated Continuous Cultivation System (VICCS)®, which allows the producer to maintain a continual harvest schedule in an efficient and hyper controlled environment, while increasing capacity without increasing the overall footprint.

Featured speaker Margee Chambers from Spokane Clean Air, and a team of experts, discussed the issues surrounding cannabis odor and environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation, both indoor and outdoor. 

20150513_103639Two new companies joined the ranks of the more than 420 businesses already enrolled as business members of MJBA – Spokane Producer,, and Science Solutions, SPC, whose mission is to provide multidisciplinary scientific expertise to inform policy around recreational and industrial cannabis. As new MJBA business members, each company was able to enjoy five minutes of stage time before the targeted group to promote their business, generate new business leads and create long-lasting business alliances. 

20150513_104852Additionally, many members took the opportunity to sign up for sponsorships and exhibition space at next month’s Cannabis Job Fair, taking place June 20th at the Spokane Convention Center from 10:00am to 4:20pm. Vendor tables are $250 for MJBA Members, $500 without membership.