May 15th In NYC: CannaStocks2019 Q1 Investor Conference

CaptureCannaStocks2019 Q1 Investor Conference takes place today (May 15, 2019) in New York City. 

For Investment Professionals, Accredited Investors, and Financial Media

8AM-6PM – Reservations required. Send an INQUIRY to bruce@cannastocks2019.com

OTC Markets Group, 300 Vesey Street, NYC 10282

Featuring: Presentations, Q-and-A, and Panels with select OTC Markets Group leaders in the Cannabis sector. Themes to be explored: innovation, consolidation, international expansion, specialization, legalities, and advertising. 

Companies presenting: KushCo Holdings, Acreage Holdings, MariMed, Emerald Bioscience, OrganiGram Holdings, Sproutly, Emerald Health Therapeutics, Supreme Cannabis Company, Canopy Rivers, 1933 Industries, AXIM Biotechnologies, GSRX Industries, and New Frontier Data will provide an industry overview about current market trends. Investors unable to attend can watch a video webcast of the conference.


To pre-register for the webcast, click HERE:
https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/_tFRCmZEyPCjvvoruG4-KO?domain=tinyurl.com

There is no charge for access to the webcast. Those unable to view the webcast on May 15 will find it archived and for later viewing on the Virtual Investor Conferences website.

Don’t Rain On My NYC Cannabis Parade

By Stu Zakim

It was a cold rainy Saturday May 4 in NYC as the 49th annual NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally began its roster of speakers before heading from Herald Square to Union Square Park. Emcee Leo Bridgewater encouraged the crowd, many under umbrellas, to embrace the chant “What do we want? JUSTICE. When do we want it ? NOW, as speakers addressed the social injustice issues that have plagued the marijuana industry.

mjbacurvednycparade

As the parade began, the skies opened again, but, as the marchers, escorted by NYC’s finest, felt nothing as they focused on the mission at hand – drawing attention to the fight for Cannabis legalization in NYC and NJ. And, yet, as if karma, upon arrival at Union Square, the clouds disappeared, the sun came out and the rally kicked off in front of a crowd that easily topped 5000.

The crowd was addressed by a number of speakers, including local NYC officials like recently-elected New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried (District 75, Manhattan) as well as Cannabis industry leaders like Joy Beckerman, Michael O’Malley of Curved Papers and others.

RainNYC
The musical lineup featured some amazing performances from  Clip Payne’s 420 Funk Mob (including members of Parliament-Funkadelic), Brooklyn’s High & Mighty Brass Band, the CCB Reggae All Stars (formerly the High Times Cannabis Cup Band), rappers Cambatta and SCRIBE the Verbalist, and the East Village’s SoulCake.

nyccannabisparadeband

The NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally’s coalition partners included Empire State NORML, Women Grow NYC, Drug Policy Project, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Cannabis Cultural Association, Start SMART New York, New Jersey Cannabusiness Association, High NY, Revel, LatinoJustice, Hemp Industry Association, Patients Out of Time, Marijuana Business AssociationGreen Party of New York State, A Rebel Minded Society, Freedom Leaf, Honeysuckle, Infuzes and Good Deed Entertainment.

The Event sponsors are Dutch company Sensi SeedsEtain Health, one of New York’s medical cannabis providers with dispensaries in Manhattan (142 E. 39 St.), Yonkers and Kingston; hemp supplier Tonic; grow-box manufacturer SunBud SolutionsCannaGather; Presto DoctorCurved Papers; and TribeTokes.

stuandfriends

The day ended with a massive 420 smoke out at 4:20; it was a very successful event.

Historic Times Square Billboard Puts Cannabis & Honeysuckle Mag On High For NYE

NEW YORK: After a landmark year of growth and expansion, the cannabis community will ring in the new year with its first ever Times Square billboard placement. Honeysuckle Magazine, a nationally distributed print and digital publication celebrating audacious women and bringing counterculture to the masses, and its cannabis brand partners will make history by openly advertising on Times Square billboards on one of New York’s busiest and most iconic nights of the year.

Video spots featuring Honeysuckle and its partners will air around 100 times from 5PM on December 31st up to 2AM on January 1st in Times Square, which has become a worldwide symbol of ushering in an auspicious new year. LA-based designers created poppy artistic compilations, spearheaded by chief designer, retro, b (founder and CEO of ARM), chief animator Désha Stewart (creator of Comet Me Bro and Spacegirl and Bark Bark) and animator Aaron Daniel Seigo (Sack of Justice Productions.) These videos also evoke the bold, edgy visual choices that have come to define the publication (retro, b designed the cover and much of the artwork for Honeysuckle’s recent edition ONE, now available at Barnes and Noble nationwide) and celebrate the magazine’s 2018 highlights. Find the billboards along Seventh Avenue at 42nd and 49th Streets.

The spots will mark a public advertising debut for many brands, with focus on minority and women-owned entities such as The WeedHead™, helmed by acclaimed cannabis industry trailblazer Dasheeda Dawson; My Bud Vase, an official selection of the Academy Awards Gifting Suite; and the NYC-based luxury brand Happy Munkey. A full list of participating brands – both in and outside the cannabis sector – is available below.

Honeysuckle’s splashy intro to 2019 comes on the heels of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement to put adult-use cannabis legalization on New York State’s docket. It’s also perfectly timed to get fans of the countercultural publication ready for the upcoming BLACK issue, releasing nationwide in late February. Several brands featured in the billboard campaign will also be part of this groundbreaking edition, a deep dive into African-American culture that examines serious questions around race, historical legacy, arts and entertainment, activism, prison reform, women’s issues, and stories from the street.

Brand partners in the New Year’s Eve Times Square billboard campaign: Cannabis Network Media, Curved Papers, DSGNR DRVG, Elixinol, Happy Munkey, HRTBRK studios, Kelly’s Bar, The WeedHead™, MTracTech, My Bud Vase, Nutrafuels, Restorative Botanicals, retro, b, Your CBD Oils.

Curaleaf New York Teams With CanPay To Offer Electronic Payment To Medical Cannabis Patients

Curaleaf to Launch Medical Cannabis Delivery Service, Starting in the Hudson Valley, In the Coming Weeks

NEW YORK:  Curaleaf New York announced that it is teaming up with CanPay to give patients a quicker, easier and cashless option to pay for medical cannabis products. By working with CanPay, Curaleaf continues to expand access to life-changing treatments that provide relief for thousands of patients suffering from cancer, PTSD, chronic pain and other conditions.

This announcement comes in advance of Curaleaf’s planned launch of a new home delivery service, which is expected to begin operating in the Hudson Valley in the coming weeks. All delivery service for medical cannabis will utilize and be paid for through the CanPay app.

CanPay is the world’s first and largest transparent debit payment solution for the cannabis industry that allows cannabis patients to pay for purchases straight from a checking account. Patients with a valid driver’s license, checking account and working email address can easily create an account on the CanPay app or website. After registering for CanPay, patients will easily and quickly be able to receive medical cannabis home delivery or pay for medical cannabis products at the Curaleaf dispensary.

“Curaleaf is committed to expanding access to this critical treatment option that has already improved the quality of life for thousands of New Yorkers,” said Michelle Bodner, CEO of Curaleaf New York. “We are excited to work with CanPay to provide an easy, cashless payment option for patients and look forward to launching our new home delivery service in the coming weeks.”

“This partnership with Curaleaf is about helping thousands of medical cannabis patients across New York get access to much-needed medicine in a way that is safe and familiar,” said Dustin Eide, CEO of CanPay. “Rather than having to leave their home, visiting an ATM, taking out cash, and paying the associated fees, Curaleaf’s patients can enjoy the convenience of paying with CanPay at the time of their delivery; and it is totally free for them to use. Not only does signing up for CanPay take just a few minutes, paying with CanPay is highly secure and allows medical cannabis patients to shop like they do everywhere else.”

Curaleaf New York operates medical cannabis dispensaries in Newburgh, Plattsburgh and Forest Hills, Queens that provide patients with access to medical-grade cannabis products and counseling. In addition, Curaleaf New York will be opening a fourth location in Carle Place on Long Island in November

Manhattan D.A. Vance Ends Prosecution Of Marijuana Possession And Smoking Cases

New “Decline-To-Prosecute” Policy Follows National Review of Public Safety in Jurisdictions Where Marijuana is no Longer Criminally Prosecuted

NEW YORK: Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today released the D.A.’s Office’s new policy to decline to prosecute marijuana possession and smoking cases, effective tomorrow, August 1. The policy, which is included below, is expected to reduce Manhattan marijuana prosecutions from approximately 5,000 per year to fewer than 200 per year, a 96% reduction.

“Every day I ask our prosecutors to keep Manhattan safe and make our justice system more equal and fair,” said District Attorney Vance. “The needless criminalization of pot smoking frustrates this core mission, so we are removing ourselves from the equation. Our research has found virtually no public safety rationale for the ongoing arrest and prosecution of marijuana smoking, and no moral justification for the intolerable racial disparities that underlie enforcement. Tomorrow, our Office will exit a system wherein smoking a joint can ruin your job, your college application, or your immigration status, but our advocacy will continue. I urge New York lawmakers to legalize and regulate marijuana once and for all.”

The D.A.’s new “decline to prosecute” policy was distributed last week to Manhattan Assistant D.A.s, as well as to the New York City Police Department, Office of Court Administration, and public defense organizations.

DA Cy Vance

D.A. Renews Call on New York State to Legalize Marijuana

New Marijuana Policy

The full text of the policy follows.

Beginning on August, 1, 2018, the Office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession and smoking cases (PL § 221.10(1) and PL § 221.05). Assistant District Attorneys should use the new “DP-Marijuana” template in ACT6 to decline to prosecute an arrest. There are two limited exceptions to this policy. A prosecution may be appropriate in either of the following circumstances:

— Cases against sellers: Examples include observation sales where PL § 221.40 cannot be charged, or possession of large quantities of marijuana individually packaged for sale (10 bags or more).

— Demonstrated public safety threat: A case where there is additional information from the NYPD or from our Office which demonstrates that the individual otherwise poses a significant threat to public safety, and an Office supervisor agrees with that assessment. Examples include a defendant currently under active investigation for a violent offense or other serious crime.

Assistant District Attorneys must state on the record at arraignment that ‘the case falls within one of the limited exceptions to our marijuana policy.

Sealing Past Marijuana Convictions

In light of the D.A.’s new policy and the decriminalization of marijuana offenses in other states, the D.A.’s Office has been working with public defense organizations and criminal justice stakeholders to proactively seal past marijuana convictions en masse in Fall 2018.

Ending the Prosecution of Low-Level Offenses

Since 2010, D.A. Vance has markedly reduced unnecessary incarceration and collateral consequences in the justice system by ending the prosecution of tens of thousands of low-level offenses annually.

On February 1, 2018, D.A. Vance ended the criminal prosecution of subway fare evasion (known as “turnstile-jumping”), except in limited cases where there is a demonstrated public safety reason to prosecute the offense. In 2017, the D.A.’s Office prosecuted more than 8,000 fare evasion cases. In 2018, following the first six months of the D.A.’s “decline-to-prosecute” policy, Manhattan fare evasion prosecutions are down -96.4%. The D.A.’s policy also contributed to a 90% reduction in arrests for fare evasion in Manhattan. According to the NYPD, transit crime is down -4.51% citywide in 2018.

Marijuana, Fairness and Public Safety: A Report on the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana in the United States

As described in the Report’s Executive Summary, “our office has, over the past several months, gathered data and conducted interviews with dozens of prosecutors, regulators, and law enforcement representatives from states that have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. Our purpose was to understand the challenges that will need to be anticipated by lawmakers in our state. This work has yielded valuable insights into how responsibly to frame any future laws and regulations to avoid negative impacts on public safety.” The D.A.’s Office “stand[s] ready to advise and assist any participant in the important ongoing discussions about legislative reform of our state’s marijuana laws.”

The Report further notes that black and Hispanic individuals in neighborhoods of color continue to be arrested for marijuana offenses at much higher rates than their similarly situated counterparts in predominantly white communities. Such arrests can significantly impact job searches, schooling, family members, immigration status, and community involvement. Yet, sanctions imposed after arrest, fingerprinting, and court appearances are almost always minimal or non-existent. “As a result,” the Report concludes, “large numbers of New Yorkers become further alienated from law enforcement and removed from community participation at an enormous cost to the criminal justice system, for virtually no punitive, rehabilitative or deterrent purpose.”

Preexisting Marijuana Policy

Recognizing the racial disparities inherent in enforcement and negative collateral consequences for those charged, District Attorney Vance has vocally advocated for the statutory decriminalization of marijuana possession since 2012. In 2017, D.A. Vance issued one of the most lenient marijuana policies in New York State, under which individuals accused for the first time of smoking in public received a 90-day Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (“ACD”), and those accused for the second time received a 180-day ACD. If these individuals remained arrest-free for the duration of these periods, their cases were dismissed and records were sealed.

NYC Cannabis Parade Redux: A Month Ago Today

By Michael O’Malley

NEW YORK: New York Gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon thrilled the crowd on a perfect Spring Day.  I had taken the opportunity that Steve Bloom, Editor of Freedom Leaf and Celebstoner.com, had given me to speak at the NYC Cannabis Parade on May 5th seriously, because it seemed to me like the chance of a lifetime for a New Yorker to stand up in Union Square to say anything.

So I wrote and wrote everything I could think of saying. In the end, I thought if I only get to say one thing what would it be? Vote. But I forgot to say it.  It’s funny the month-a-versary is Primary Day in eight states. At least here I’ll remember to say, it’s an election year people! November 6th. Be there.

New York Gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon thrilled the crowd on a perfect Spring Day.

New York Gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon thrilled the crowd on a perfect Spring Day.

Here’s what I wound up saying on that fine Saturday:

“Hello New York! Hello New York Cannabis Community!”

“I want to thank Steve Bloom for inviting me to represent innovators and entrepreneurs in the cannabis space. He was the first one to write a product review of Curved Papers.”

“I invented a new kind of rolling papers. They’re curved, that makes it easy to roll.”

“I got one fun fact: the first big rally in Union Square happened on 4/20! It was April 20th, 1861.”

“You guys know who NORML is? Yeah. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law. NORML. We need ’em more now than ever. They are like the New York Yankees of Legal Weed. And Keith Stroup is like the Babe Ruth of Legal Weed.”

“Keith says “we’re not just talking about marijuana, we’re talking about personal freedom.” Okay? But they say there are Red people and Blue people. We need a big red, white and blue party. Even Met fans and Yankee fans should get along!”

At this point I reversed my reversible Mets/Yankees Jacket and Stu Zakim of MJBA, who had done a great Curved Papers commercial for me in his introduction, chimed in with, “Look at that fashion statement! A true New Yorker!” And with that we started threw out free rolling papers and Curved Papers t-shirts to the audience. The whole thing was so much fun!

I unveiled my sacrilegious reversible Mets/Yankees jacket. Unthinkable! It’s a symbol of diametrically adversarial parties finding common ground and unity at a higher level.

I unveiled my sacrilegious reversible Mets/Yankees jacket. Unthinkable! It’s a symbol of diametrically adversarial parties finding common ground and unity at a higher level.

“Everybody get along! Happy Cannabis Parade!”

Stu said. “Go MJBA!”

“MJBA says pop culture is pot culture.”

“Happy Cinco do Mayo!”

“Remember The Kentucky Derby!” Which was also that day, and just about to start.

“Good Shabbos!” Stu added for good measure.

Emcee Amanda Reyes came out to extroduce us, but I had to add …

“CCA NORML!” Because the big news of the day was an announcement that Cannabis Cultural Association was turning into a new NORML Chapter.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beXsW6yaVQs&w=560&h=315]

Here’s the really long version of the speech that would have taken forever and put everyone to sleep if they didn’t give me the hook halfway through:

Hello New York! Hello New York Cannabis Community!

I’m Michael O’Malley. Like most people, I was born in Brooklyn. I’m eighth of my parents 14 kids. I’ve invented a new kind of rolling papers! Yes, a new kind of rolling papers that are easy to roll. They have a patent-pending easy to roll curved edge.

A lot of good rolling papers have come from New York. E-Z Widers, Raw, Bambu. They are all from New York. And now Curved Papers.

Growing up in Brooklyn, going to Holy Innocents in Flatbush, I never imagined I would have a chance like this. Or that it would be because of weed!

Thanks Steve Bloom (of Freedom Leaf) for inviting me to speak, primarily as an innovator and entrepreneur in the cannabis space.

I finished my speech yesterday and it timed out to 4:20. I only have three minutes, so I’ll have to talk fast. No problem. Everyone from my neighborhood talks really fast.

My invention, Curved Papers, with the easy to roll curved edge, solve the centuries old RYO (Roll Your Own) problem: if you’re not careful to keep your edges parallel, your front corner doesn’t tuck, it goes up. Our innovation is super simple, and genuinely makes it Easy to Roll.

I’d like to lend some encouragement to the work we’re doing and the fun we’re having here. I guess I was invited because I made a cool invention and started a company. The business and commerce opportunities with weed are important.

We call the West-to-East Green Wave of legalization and mainstreaming: Cannafest Destiny!

We call the West-to-East Green Wave of legalization and mainstreaming: Cannafest Destiny!

 

I love New York! I’ve worked in every building in Manhattan. When people ask me where I’m from, I usually say Penn Station. The Beatles, The Rolling Stone, High Times, Saturday Night Live, Gangs of New York; I’m a life-long fan of New York pop culture, and as David Rheins of MJBA says, “Pop Culture is Pot Culture.” We call the West-to-East Green Wave of legalization and mainstreaming: Cannafest Destiny!

It brings us all to Union Square today. Fun fact: the first big rally in Union Square happened on 4/20! Yes, April 20th, 1861, at the start of The Civil War. The Confederates had attacked Fort Sumter, and the Civil War was joined. Union supporters gathered here to demonstrate their resolve and their readiness to respond. True story. Have you ever seen Gangs of New York? I’ve watched that movie 500 times. Martin Scorcese.

Don’t let history be a thing of the past. Fast forward over 100 years later, this parade we’re having today was founded here in the revolutionary times of John Lennon and the Yippies, after the end of the Sixties. Those were the days of the founding of NORML, too. Like I always say, fifty years of NORML, 30 years of HEMPFEST, next thing you know, weed is legal.

michael with mjba button

But the Pot Parade very much started here, like traffic lights, labor laws, and so many other modern progressive thinking.

The Global Marijuana March came later and they merged and now the whole thing is over 40 years old, with 40 global chapters. I think this is actually the 47th in New York City.

At Curved Papers, we’re in touch with people in many cities around the world marching today in solidarity. We want to give a special shout out to Toronto, where we started making the papers. They have a great parade up there today.

Now the “Global Marijuana March” is “the NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally.” I’m very proud Curved Papers could be a part of it this year. I was going to do a cheer for the Marijuana Movement in New York, like, say “Hello Marijuana Movement,” and go:

Give me an M! [Throw one.] M!

Give me an A! [Throw one.] A!

Give me an R! [Throw one.] R!

Give me an I! [Throw one.] I!

Give me an H! [Throw one.] H!

Or would it be give me a J?  Forget it.

Is it Marijuana, with a “J,” or Marihuana with an “H?” It doesn’t matter how you spell it, or what name you prefer – cannabis, marijuana, ganga, dope, pot, mary jane – they’re all good. As Keith Stroup, the Founder of NORML, says, “We’re only incidentally talking about marijuana – what we’re really talking about is personal freedom.”

The word marijuana never meant anything bad to me, that negative vibe was created by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst who didn’t want the hemp industry to overtake paper. So he launched a campaign – yellow journalism – the dawn of Fake News – to exploit the anti-Mexican racism of his day!

NORML is The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law. They’ve been fighting for legalization and getting people out of jail for 50 years. They’re like the New York Yankees of legal weed, and Keith is like the freaking Babe Ruth. Like I always say, “50 years of NORML, 30 years of HEMPFEST, next thing you know, weed is legal.

We have designed and produced 100% organic hemp rolling papers that will help support them. We need NORML now more than ever.

"we're very proud to be associated with NORML. This commercial program will help sustain the world-changing work that NORML does to protect personal freedom and reform our nation’s marijuana laws."

“We’re very proud to be associated with NORML. This commercial program will help sustain the world-changing work that NORML does to protect personal freedom and reform our nation’s marijuana laws.”

New York has been the largest marijuana market in the world for decades, and probably still is. The no flower thing is a mixup, but legalization will work out. The medical programs here and in all our neighboring states are evolving. I heard at Cannabis Learn that they were going to allow flower in PA by Memorial Day. And in Florida soon, too. There is no reason to try to force people away from smoking the flower. Nobody gets cancer from smoking marijuana. Flower, paper and fire. That is a simple, natural way that has worked for centuries. Stay close to the plant!

There’s only 9 states down. 41 to go.

We can achieve the rule of law without racism and the oppression of women and children. But only by voting. Election Day is Tuesday November 6th: Register (now), Educate (yourself and others), and Vote. Find someone who doesn’t vote and get them to register and vote.

The two party system is not that bad. Who’s in power goes back and forth. The will of the majority and the rights of the minority. It’s fair. Trump and the 1% are trying to dismantle government. Capitlism gone wild. Reform is necessary, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

There are only four things wrong, and people are working on them. Gerrymandering, voter access, lobby reform and campaign finance reform. Barak Obama and Eric Holder are working on gerrymandering. That’s when the ruling party distorts the electoral districts to make sure they can never lose an election. Voter Access! Lobby reform and campaign finance reform, starting with Citizens United. Don’t lose faith in democracy. Don’t lose faith in government.

Engage in political action. Support your local activists and advocates. Know your representatives, and bother them all the time. Vote. That’s the main thing. Register and vote Nov. 6th.

Today people are polarized by the incredible influence of contemporary media. There are red people and blue people. But in real life, most people seem to agree on most things. What we need a big red, white and blue party. We always need to find ways to work together to get the big things done right.

Only 14% of Americans are marijuana smokers, but 80% of Americans support the rights of states to legalize it. And over 80% support medical marijuana in their state.

Curved Papers is a national sponsor of The Marijuana Business Association. If you want to find out about opportunities in Cannabis, The MJBA is a great place to start. Curved Papers also sponsors and supports many aspects of the legalization movement. Always let us know when your group is having a cannabis event.

 

Curved Papers is a national sponsor of The Marijuana Business Association.

Curved Papers is a national sponsor of The Marijuana Business Association.

Some business advice to the inventive or entrepreneurial: I invented Curved Papers when I was 20 years old. Keep track of your good ideas. When the time comes, make a business plan, and get the capital you need to make it happen. This is capitalism. Right now there is a lotta money going down in the cannabiz. Investors are a dime a dozen, so if you’re an inventor or entrepreneur, don’t let them tell you the opposite. You need to protect your ideas. Immediately file a provisional patent, which only costs $100 and covers you for a year. This is one reason we have a government, by the way. Figure out the right way to do your thing, and if it requires capital, find partners who have what the project requires, and make a fair deal, in writing. Work with partners you trust, but be formal. You don’t want to own 100% of nothing.

Curved Papers also sponsors and supports many aspects of the marijuana movement, legalization, medical applications, veterans, women, criminal justice, anti-racism, sustainability, and personal freedom.

Smoking a joint is still the #1 way to consume cannabis, a natural and economical way.  Doctors and nurses agree: it’s generally a fine way to take your meds. Nobody gets cancer from smoking joints. It burns at relatively low temperature, and it is easy to moderate dosage. And everybody agrees it’s a very nice way to get high, and fun to do with friends.

Keep on rolling!  Follow us @curvedpapers on all platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cynthia Nixon To Speak At NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally This Saturday, May 5

In its 47th year, the Event starts in Midtown and marches to Union Square Park for an afternoon rally

NEW YORK, N.Y. – New York’s longest running annual pro-cannabis event, the NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally, returns for its 47th year this Saturday, May 5. Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon will be speaking at 2:30 pm in Union Square Park. Nixon is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic Party nomination. She recently stated: “In 2018, in a blue state like New York, marijuana shouldn’t even be an issue. If there was more political courage coming out of Albany we would have done this a long time ago.” A powerful slate of elected officials, including two state legislators and three City Council Members, will be speaking from stages in Midtown and Union Square Park throughout the day. They elected officials are:

  • NY State Senator Jesse Hamilton (State Senate District 20, Brooklyn/Queens)
  • NY Assembly Member Richard Gottfried (State Assembly District 75, Manhattan)
  • NYC Council Member Rafael F. Espinal (City Council District 37, Brooklyn)
  • NYC Council Member Jumaane Williams (City Council District 45, Brooklyn) and a candidate for New York State Lieutenant Governor
  • NYC Council Member Donovan Richards (City Council District 31, Queens)

The Event begins at 11 am with a pro-legalization speak-out at the assembly point at W. 31 St. and Broadway. State Sen. Hamilton and Council Member Williams will be among the speakers at W. 31 St. At 12:30 pm, the parade marches down Broadway to Union Square Park, where speakers and musicians will engage and entertain the crowd from 1-5 pm.

Additional speakers include: 

  • Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels who is now using medical marijuana to treat Crohn’s disease
  • Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)
  • Joy Beckerman, President, Hemp Industry Association (HIA)
  • Joel Giambra, Former County Executive of Erie County and candidate for Governor
  • Yasmin Hurston, President, New York Minority Alliance
  • Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Governor
  • Tanya Osborne, NYC/Bronx Market Leader, Women Grow
  • Leo Bridgewater, President, NY/NJ chapters, Minorities for Medical Marijuana
  • Cristina Buccola, Esq., member, New York Cannabis Bar Association
  • Justin Strekal, Political Director, National NORML
  • Shira Adler, Author, The ABCs of CBD

The performers are:

  • Immortal Technique
  • Chief Rocker Busy Bee
  • Lord Digga da Highsman
  • Real One
  • Lunar Tourists
  • Ismael Levi
  • King Ras Pedro
  • Comedian Rob Cantrell

Check out the full lineup of speakers and performers here.

The Event’s emcees are the Cannabis Cultural Association’s Jake Plowden, Nelson Guerrero, Amanda Reyes and Joseph A. Bondy. The NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally’s Coalition Partners are: Drug Policy Alliance, Women Grow NYC, Empire State NORML, High NY, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, CannaGather, Hemp Industry Association, Patients Out of Time, Marijuana Business Association, New York Minority Alliance and the Green Party of New York State. The Event sponsors are the Dutch company Sensi Seeds; Etain Health, one of New York’s registered medical cannabis providers with dispensaries in Manhattan (142 E. 39 St.), Yonkers and Kingston; Curved Papers; and Flower Power Coffee Co.


STATEMENTS FROM EVENT SPEAKERS AND PERFORMERS 

Cynthia Nixon: “I believe it’s time for New York to follow the lead of nine other states and Washington, DC and legalize recreational marijuana. There are a lot of good reasons for legalizing marijuana, but to me it comes down to this: We have to stop putting people of color in jail for something that white people do with impunity. Ninety percent of the New Yorkers arrested for marijuana are black and Latino, despite the fact that whites and people of color use marijuana at roughly the same rates. The consequences follow people for the rest of their lives, making it harder for them to get housing or jobs. In addition to ending a key front in the racist War on Drugs, regulating and taxing marijuana would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for our people and create important agricultural opportunities for our state. The simple truth is for white people the use of marijuana has effectively been legal for a long time. Isn’t it time we legalize it for everyone?”

NY State Senator Jesse Hamilton: “Nine states and the District of Columbia have decided to legalize and regulate marijuana. By joining these states, New York would allow law enforcement to prioritize real public protection needs. Alongside broken windows policing, our outdated marijuana laws direct police resources, court time and the justice system’s authority at people who are not violent, not dangerous and do not pose a threat to the public. We must continue to work towards the day that New York rejects the deeply flawed policies of the past, embraces sensible reform and passes the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.”

NY State Assembly Member Richard Gottfried: “We need to move beyond the outdated and broken marijuana prohibition model to a sensible tax-and-regulate system. But that’s only part of the solution.  Even in states with legal adult marijuana use, there is still evidence of unequal law enforcement practices targeting minority c communities. We must ensure that those most victimized by the criminalization of marijuana benefit from the social and political progress around the issue, including reforming criminal justice processes and ensuring widespread participation in the marijuana business boom.”

NYC Council Member Jumaane Williams: “We must expand out medical marijuana program to include all those who can benefit from its use,” adds Council Member Williams. “We also should rapidly move towards the full legalization of marijuana, expunge state criminal records of past users and create a pathway for all New Yorkers to benefit economically from this industry, not just a select few chosen by the Governor.”  

NYC Council Member Donovan Richards: “It’s a weird time when New York City finds itself to the right of former House Speaker John Boehner, but unfortunately that is where we are with about 17,000 marijuana arrests in 2017. We must stop the practice of flooding our prisons with marijuana offenders and disproportionally impacting communities of color now. Marijuana is not a threat to our public safety and our youth cannot wait any longer as a one minor mistake can stick with them for the rest of their life”

Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU): “I have no doubt that recreational marijuana will soon be legal in New York – as it should be. The criminalization of marijuana has resulted in racial and social injustice because of its disparate enforcement, and has denied its use as another tool in the war against opioid abuse. And we need to make sure that when it is legalized that workers in the industry are treated with dignity and respect, and have a union voice. The sooner marijuana is legalized the better.”

Immortal Technique: “For the entirety of my musical career I have been a huge proponent of the decriminalization of marijuana. Since I was a young man I began to research and learn about hemp and cannabis, and especially about it’s connection to the prison industrial complex. It’s for this reason that I have continued to support the movement. The idea of transformative justice is not just to correct the laws that are on the books treating weed smokers like murderers, it’s also the need, the inescapable necessity, to deal with the convictions that have sent thousands to prison and burdened them with criminal records. I will continue to fight not only to decriminalize it, but also to battle for transformative justice because without it, all the recent change in marijuana laws become meaningless.

NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally Is May 5th

The 47th Annual Parade starts in Midtown and marches to Union Square Park for an afternoon rally

NEW YORK: New York’s longest running annual pro-cannabis event, established by The Youth International Party (Yippies) in 1971, the NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally, returns for its 47th year on May 5.   A powerful roster of elected officials, including two state legislators and three City Council Members, will be speaking from stages in Midtown and Union Square Park throughout the day.

They include:

• Assembly Member Richard Gottfried (State Assembly District 75, Manhattan)

• State Senator Jesse Hamilton (State Senate District 20, Brooklyn/Queens)

• Council Member Rafael F. Espinal (City Council District 37, Brooklyn)

• Council Member Donovan Richards (City Council District 31, Queens

• Council Member Jumaane Williams (City Council District 45, Brooklyn) and a candidate for New York State Lieutenant Governor

NYC Cannabis Parade is May 5

NYC Cannabis Parade is May 5

The Event begins at 11 am with a pro-legalization speak-out at the assembly point at W. 31 St. and Broadway where State Sen. Jesse Hamilton and Council Member Williams will be among the speakers. At 12:30 pm, the parade marches down Broadway to Union Square Park, with speakers and music starting at 1 pm in the park and continuing until 5 pm.

“Nine states and the District of Columbia have decided to legalize and regulate marijuana,” says Senator Hamilton. “By joining these states, New York would allow law enforcement to prioritize real public protection needs. Alongside broken windows policing, our outdated marijuana laws direct police resources, court time and the justice system’s authority at people who are not violent, not dangerous and do not pose a threat to the public. We must continue to work towards the day that New York rejects the deeply flawed policies of the past, embraces sensible reform and passes the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.”

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act is currently being considered by the New York State legislature.  “We must expand out medical marijuana program to include all those who can benefit from its use,” adds Council Member Williams. “We also should rapidly move towards the full legalization of marijuana, expunge state criminal records of past users and create a pathway for all New Yorkers to benefit economically from this industry, not just a select few chosen by the Governor.”

Additional speakers and performers include: 

• Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers (RWDSU)

• Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Governor

• Joel Giambra, Former County Executive of Erie County and candidate for Governor

• Immortal Technique

• Chief Rocker Busy Bee

• Lord Digga da Highsman

• Real One

• Davey Fresh

• Ismael Levi

• Comedian Rob Cantrell

Check out the full lineup of speakers and performers here.

The Event’s emcees are the Cannabis Cultural Association’s Jake Plowden, Nelson Guerrero, Amanda Reyes and Joseph A. Bondy.  The NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally’s Coalition Partners include Drug Policy Alliance, Women Grow NYC, Empire State NORML, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Hemp Industry Association, Patients Out of Time, Marijuana Business Association and the Green Party of New York State.  The Event sponsors are the Dutch company Sensi Seeds, and Etain Health, one of New York’s medical cannabis providers with dispensaries in Manhattan (142 E. 39 St.), Yonkers and Kingston.

The Fresh Toast Launches In NYC

NEW YORK: The Fresh Toast, a new lifestyle/entertainment platform offering a destination for delight, discovery and sides of cannabis and soon to be music & comedy, launched last week in NYC.   The Fresh Toast is redefining the perception of cannabis globally by becoming a daily destination for readers looking for some morning delight……but will also redefine the perception of cannabis globally.

Guests gathered  for the NYC launch including journalists, editors and publishers from “The New Yorker,” “The Today Show,” Huffington Post, CNN, Yahoo, Amazon TV, “US Weekly,” “The Daily News,” executives from HEED, J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, Atlantic Records and MWW. During the evening, Keith Shocklee from Public Enemy mingled with Wall Street, socialites, business leaders and models.

The Fresh Toast has a variety of content each day…from food, drink, celebrity and pop culture…to cannabis: the much maligned, but quickly-becoming-legal-plant that over 45 million people in North America use every year.

 

The Wink In Weed: Reflections On An East Coast Pot Show

By David Rheins

Summertime is tradeshow season for the cannabis industry, and like all industry participants, I spend a fair amount of my time on the road, carefully choosing from all the events that fill every available weekend between May and October.

This month, I made my way to the sprawling Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City for the second annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo (CWCBExpo), June 15-17.  The Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) was honored to serve as media sponsor, exhibitor at CWCBExpo, and I was invited to serve as featured speaker.

My talk, “The ROI of Professional Cannabis Networking,” stressed the importance of cooperation and community. Using the backdrop of MJBA’s new trade campaign, “The Marijuana Business is Amazing,” which features tiny business folk groping their way through a giant garden maze, I emphasized that the marijuana business is amazing, but it’s nearly impossible to succeed in it without some help.

The marijuana business is Amazing.

The marijuana business is Amazing.

Speaking of mazes, the Jacob Javits is the granddaddy of convention centers  – an enormous, sprawling facility on the banks of the Hudson River on the city’s west side, and there is a certain credibility and significance to hosting a cannabis industry trade show at the giant venue.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-qLGtxQJzc&w=420&h=315]

As a former New Yorker (I spent 20 years at places like Rolling Stone, SPIN Magazine and AOL Time Warner) who has been living in Seattle for enough years to consider myself a West Coaster, it is always a blast to come back to “the city.” New York is in constant motion and change, with new restaurants, stores and building construction remaking familiar streets into new experiences.

 New York, the epitome of fast-paced, has entered the legal cannabis space slowly.  The Empire State has “legalized” medical marijuana in a very restrictive and limited manner, with only a few doctors who will prescribe cannabis, and then only for the most severe of ailments. There are only a couple of dispensaries that provide very expensive, non-smokeable forms of cannabis, and no participating insurance companies. New York is years behind the legal cannabis marketplaces of Denver, Seattle or Portland.

MJBA Booth CWCBExpo

MJBA Booth CWCBExpo

But legal cannabis is coming, and there was a palpable buzz among attendees at CWCBExpo. Thousands filled the trade show floor to visit some 100 vendors – smallish by cannabis industry standards – and many of them playing in the CBD space.  With more than a whiff of snake oil, many of the CBD products for sale at the show were derived from foreign industrial hemp, and dubious purity and utility.

Heavy on financial, professional services and media exhibitors, this is not the West Coast cannabis marketplace – where we have hundreds of legal cannabis farms producing thousands of branded products sold through hundreds of retail outlets.  Out West, we have a vibrant marketplace, with fine flowers, oils, concentrates, edibles and topicals – while the East Coast still sees cannabis through a narrow medical window.

Evolution begins with education, and CWCBExpo featured a great lineup of speakers – including keynotes from former NFL superstars Leonard Marshall, who along with a panel of professional athletes discussed CTE and CBD, and NORML founder Keith Stroup, who walked us through the history of the marijuana reform movement, and Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

Keith Stroup CWCBExpo

NORML Founder Keith Stroup keynotes CWCBExpo

Attendees tended to fall into one of four buckets – out-of-towners from emerging markets like Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, who came looking for tips on how to start their own legal cannabis industry; investors, circling the room looking for undervalued opportunities; media, with everyone from Crain’s NY Business to PC Magazine covering the show, and the pot press – Cannabis Now, Dope, Freedom Leaf and MJ Headline News exhibiting; and newbie’s looking for the on-ramp to the Green Rush.

David Tran and David Rheins

DOPE Magazine CEO David Tran and MJBA Founder David Rheins

NYC is the heart of our contemporary American culture, and while in town I was able to meet with some of my former colleagues from big media and marketing.  The conversations we shared, and their palpable interest in getting involved in the legal cannabis industry, were demonstrably different from the conversations we shared only a year or two ago.  Marijuana was being openly smoked at all the private parties I attended this trip – and not just at CWCBExpo parties, but also at the private gatherings with my media/marketing friends – and everyone I spoke with was exploring ways to get involved.

There is a sense that federal prohibition is dying fast, and that the mainstream is finally ready to embrace legal pot.

Curved Papers Founder Michael O'Malley talks to Crain's NY Business

Curved Papers Founder Michael O’Malley talks to Crain’s NY Business

 

For the past 4 years out West, we’ve been building a commercial marketplace, working out the kinks and logistics and laying the regulatory and tax foundations for a scalable industry.  The keys to resolving our two remaining challenges – establishing financial and the cultural (e.g. mass media) normalcy – lie in the East, in the media and money of New York City, and the legislators and lobbyists of D.C.

 

AK Ventures' Kerri Accardi and MJBA's Stu Zakim

AK Ventures’ Kerri Accardi and MJBA’s Stu Zakim

I see it as my personal mission, and that of the MJBA, to connect the East Coast media and marketing communities  – with their financial resources and business discipline  – to the West Coast’s nascent but fast-growing community of entrepreneurs and subject matter experts.   CWCBExpo was an excellent beginning to establishing these bridges. I look forward to building relationships, and the legal cannabis industry, one professional connection at a time.