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.

MJBA Communications Chief Stu Zakim To Moderate Panel On Cannabis In The Media At NECANN Boston

Panel of Cannabis media leaders to explore “changing attitudes, access and headlines”

MASSACHUSETTS: As reporting on cannabis migrates to a broader range of media outlets and reporters covering this beat find themselves playing catch-up to deal with the daily developments of a growing industry, MJBA‘s Communications lead, Stu Zakim, will moderate a panel at the upcoming NECANN Conference in Boston.

The panel,  “Cannabis in the Media: Changing Attitudes, Access and Headlines, 2019,” is scheduled for Saturday, March 24 at 3PM, at the Hynes Conference Center.   Zakim will be joined by a roster of senior editors from major media outlets including Dan Adams of the Boston Globe;  David Tran from DOPE Magazine; Kristin Jordan, of Manna Events, a weekly calendar listing of cannabis events and news; Brit Smith, on air personality for WBZ Radio/iHeartMedia Blunt Talk podcast; and Emmy winning sportscaster, now Cannabis-caster, Jimmy Young of Behind The Media and the Between The Weeds show.

“Massachusetts presents the media with an excellent opportunity to showcase and tell the stories behind the birth and continued growth of this industry,” said Zakim.  “I look forward to the insight these media leaders offer to help inform and educate the public and dispense the stigma surrounding Cannabis.”
NECANN_GreenBlackFor complete ticket and schedule information, please visit www.necann.com.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stu Zakim Joins MJBA Publishing Advisory Board

Former Rolling Stone, Playboy and American Media Publicist providing his experience, network and support to the leading media company and cannabis industry association

NEVADA: MJBA Publishing, the parent company behind the influential Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and the publishers of MJ News Network, Marijuana Channel One and MJ Headline News, has announced that Stu Zakim, legendary entertainment industry publicist and founding member of the New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts chapters of the MJBA, has joined MJBA as Chief Communications Officer and Member of its Board of Advisors.

MJBA Corporate Communications Chief Stu Zakim and NORML:'s Keith Stroup

MJBA Corporate Communications Chief Stu Zakim and NORML:’s Keith Stroup

Zakim has provided counsel to a variety of iconic media leaders including Jann Wenner, Bonnie Fuller, Christie Hefner, David Pecker  and their publications — Rolling Stone, Playboy, Us Weekly, Shape and Star magazine among others. A frequent guest on cable tv news programs, Zakim’s PR experience includes campaigns for some of the most popular and successful films and television shows in recent history as an executive at Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures and Showtime Networks.

Stu and NFL Champion Marv Washington

Stu and NFL Champion Marv Washington

“We are thrilled to have Stu Zakim join officially as MJBA’s head of communications and a member of our Board of Advisors,” said David Rheins, MJBA founder and executive director.  “With more than 30 years of experience managing communications for the world’s leading media brands:  Rolling Stone, Playboy, Universal Pictures, American Media and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, his encyclopedic knowledge of communications and his deep professional network will be instrumental as MJBA forges strategic relationships with media and business partners.”

Curved Papers founder Michael O'Malley, MJBA's Stu Zakim and The Blinc Group's Sasha Aksenov

Curved Papers founder Michael O’Malley, MJBA’s Stu Zakim and The Blinc Group’s Sasha Aksenov

““I am thrilled to be expanding my role with the MJBA and its leader Dave Rheins,” Zakim told MJ News. “After a 40 year career of publicizing some of the best known brands, I can’t think of a better next chapter than using my skills to help change the image of and removing the stigma from this amazing plant.”

Curved Papers founder Michael O'Malley and Stu Zakim at the 2018 NYC Cannabis Parade

Curved Papers founder Michael O’Malley and Stu Zakim at the 2018 NYC Cannabis Parade

In its first five years, the Marijuana Business Association has quickly established itself as one of the leading national b2b organizations in legal cannabis. Established to provide business intelligence, professional networking and new business opportunity, MJBA hosts regular industry networking meetups, boot camps and seminars in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and New York and Ohio, with MJBA Massachusetts and MJBA Nevada communities scheduled to activate in Q2 2018.

MJBA Founder David Rheins, 420MEDIA CEO Kerri Accardi and Stu Zakim

MJBA Founder David Rheins, 420MEDIA CEO Kerri Accardi and Stu Zakim

 

Coachella Valley Is Cultivation Central For California Indoor

By Stu Zakim

CALIFORNIA: The Coachella Valley Cannabis Alliance Network (CVCAN) and its second annual cultivation conference this past weekend in Desert Springs CA painted a very positive picture of the state of cannabis cultivation.

CVCAN 4

A series of panel conversations combined with a selection of vendors pointed to Desert Springs and the surrounding area becoming the heartbeat of the indoor grow sector for California.  The attendees were also offered a tour of the grow facility used by CannaDescent, one of the more exciting brands in California, with a look at their grow rooms, dry rooms and the hand roll departments.  As part of that tour the guests were shown a video that detailed CannaDescent’s expansion plans to increase the amount of cannabis they’re producing with added growing space.

“the free ride for cultivators and their power use is over"

“the free ride for cultivators and their power use is over”

One of the hot buttons at the conference was when will California follow Massachusetts with establishing regulations impacting the amount and costs of electricity and water that cultivators will be able to use.   While those costs are high, the Coachella Valley’s weather provides an ideal setting for producers utilizing alternative sources for electricity.  According to Jonathan Cachat, PHd, CTO of SunGrown Zero, a proprietary hybrid-light cultivation facility powered by natural sunlight, “the free ride for cultivators and their power use is over.  We definitely see a trend in the adult use legalized states that are limiting and restricting the levels of electricity for cannabis cultivators and that is one reason the trailer that demonstrates how SunGrown Zero works was such a hit at CVCAN.”

 

attendees were also offered a tour of the grow facility used by CannaDescent, one of the more exciting brands in California

attendees were also offered a tour of the grow facility used by CannaDescent, one of the more exciting brands in California

For all the attendees, the highlight of the event came when Desert Springs Mayor, Scott Matas, praised the influx of tax revenue the cannabis industry is producing for his city and their budget projections for fiscal 2019 including new schools, parks and police officers saying they couldn’t do it without them.  He anticipates the new Coachillin Office Park, which will be entirely devoted to cannabis businesses, will be a major draw for all kinds of development.  If ony that message could get to Washington DC!

 

Interest Remains High For Investment At New Jersey Cannabis Symposium

By Stu Zakim

A crowd of over 300 Cannabis investment enthusiasts attended the second edition of the NJ Cannabis Symposium in Newark NJ last week to hear two panels discussing the financial and investment opportunities that are and will be available to people involved in the Cannabis industry in New Jersey.

The hottest topics during the networking sessions last Thursday night in Newark NJ were a combination of Governor Murphy’s efforts towards legalization of adult use cannabis and his just announced expansion of medical cannabis mixed in with a lot ofs “was that Keith Stroup,” referring to NORML’s founder who was one of the featured speakers.

keith and brian and mrs

The evening got off to a standing ovation for Stroup, who, as the night’s first speaker, took the group on a journey through his first experiences with the plant in 1965 through today, declaring his continued passion for “Smoking Weed.”   Stroup was there to also announce a new service that NORML will offer a directory of attorneys with cannabis practices beyond criminal law as the need has grown beyond that specialization.  He thanked NJCS hosts Joshua Bauchner, Ellie Siegel and Gary Rosen who brought the idea of expanding the listing to Stroup and NORML.

The panels, moderated by BSC Group CEO Brian Staffa and NJ Cannabis Insider Editor in Chief Justin Zaremba, gave the audience a very thorough overview and insights into the what a legal industry will look like, what will be required to get into it and advice.  One of the crowd pleasers was the name badges that were color coded to say if you were looking for money, investing money or just an expert networker, which made the three networking sessions so worthwhile.

nj cannabis symposiumAccording to John Perricone, CEO of SunGrown Zero, a proprietary hybrid-light cultivation facility powered by natural sunlight and with precise climate control that delivers the lowest operating costs and highest profit margins of any Cannabis facility design, said he had been to many shows through his 20 years as a cultivator and thought the show delivered very good advice and information for the NJ industry.

BSC’s Staffa added “The interest in medical expansion licensing and adult use licensing continues to escalate daily and my phone does not stop ringing! It was exciting to see such a diverse group united in their enthusiasm for this new industry.”

The NJ Cannabis Symposium was hosted by BSC Group, Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC, Marcum LLP and Longview Strategic. Sponsors include BioTrackTHC, Gottlieb, Rackman & Reisman, PC, Wilson Safe Company, The Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and Bridge Strategic Communications LLC.

 

Announcing MJ Business Network: A News Release Distribution System For The Cannabis Industry

WASHINGTON: Recognizing the communications and marketing needs of people involved or getting involved with the expanding cannabis business, the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) has launched a press release distribution system that targets the media, both mainstream and industry specific reporters, who cover the cannabis industry.

As one of the cannabis industry’s leaders in helping assist and educate businesses through our workshops and meet-ups, one of the issues MJBA leadership constantly hears from its members in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, Nevada, Oregon, New York and New Jersey are questions about Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing; how do we do it, how much should it cost, what should it look like and other related questions.

Introducing MJ Business NetworkMJBA is often sourced by media who are focused on this exciting business, which, through the years, has allowed us to cultivate the key reporters, both in mainstream media like the Seattle Times, NBC News and Variety, as well as industry outlets like DOPE, MG, Freedom Leaf, etc.

They’ve taken that expertise and extensive data base of media to build MJ Business Network as a solution and mechanism to help all kinds of businesses in the industry get their message in front of those who can help boost their brand.  Their media contacts include digital, print and broadcast newsrooms, individual reporters and editors, consumers, news portals, websites, news syndicators, bloggers, social media networks and more.

MJ Business Network provides the following services to its clients:

  • Distribution of  your news release via the cannabis industry’s largest proprietary content distribution network – MJ Headline News –http://www.mjheadlinenews.com– and its app for IOS and Android phones – as well as the video assets they have such as MJ Channel One, your video source for cannabis news.
  • Posting client’s news release through their highly trafficked Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
  • Delivering client’s message, whether a news release or a video feature, into the inbox of the journalists that cover cannabis for them to consume.
  •  Integrating photos, charts and video into their message that will help the message be read, seen and acted upon.  Multimedia is proven to drive engagement. Photos, videos, and infographics increase press release views significantly.

Pricing information is available upon request. For more information contact Stu Zakim at stu@mjba.net.

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:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68iRB9vebNQ&w=420&h=315]

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.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_ewkwNh5kc&w=420&h=315]

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, MJTicker.com, a real-time business intelligence portal designed especially for participants in the legal cannabis industry.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy5YgjDTntE&w=420&h=315]

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: