Alameda County California Leverages Automated Cannabis Code Enforcement Program from Adherence Compliance

CALIFORNIA:  Adherence Compliance, a leading RegTech SaaS provider to the cannabis industry, announced the completed implementation of Alameda County’s Cannabis Code Enforcement Program. The program utilizes Adherence’s regulatory code libraries, industry operations training and automated inspection software to monitor and report on code enforcement for cannabis licensees within its jurisdiction.

“The Alameda County Community Development Agency has implemented a comprehensive Cannabis Code Enforcement Program with Adherence Compliance. The program includes cannabis operations training, regulatory code reviews and onsite inspection software. With the Adherence SCORE App, the County can efficiently inspect, monitor, report and rank cannabis businesses. Overall, the program implementation has been a success,” said Edward Labayog, Senior Code Enforcement Investigator for the Alameda County Planning Department.

“By partnering with Adherence, the County has automated the cannabis code enforcement process. With the goal of public safety in mind, the County is monitoring and reporting on multiple categories of cannabis compliance on a routine basis. Adherence is thrilled to support Alameda County,” said Michael J. Hunt, President of Adherence Compliance Inc.

Adherence Compliance was awarded the renewable contract with Alameda County in July of 2018. Adherence’s cannabis compliance programs are in use with multiple regulatory agencies in the United States and Canada.

 

WATCH: Alexa And Siri Star In Hilarious New Parody.

Campaign Promotes the National Day of Unplugging 

What if, instead of answering every command, Siri and Alexa encouraged you to try and figure out a few things…yourself? That’s the premise of the humorous new parody which encourages us to rely less on our digital devices, and “Use It Or Lose It.” Award-winning filmmakers Michael Stusser and Marty Riemer (“Sleeping with Siri”) collaborated on the video to coincide with the National Day of Unplugging (March 1st).

“We wanted to do something fun to bring attention to the National Day of Unplugging,” notes Stusser. “I think the notion of having our “Smart Devices” push back a little bit – “Stop asking so many stupid questions!” is a crack-up. It’s the idea that, If you Google everything, you won’t remember anything.”

dayofunplugging

In the faux-commercial, a man (Stusser) is gently coaxed by his various Digital Assistants to try and use his own cognitive skills – so as to continue to sharpen his memory, math skills and sense of direction. The video pokes fun at how reliant we’ve all become on our newfangled smart “assistants” for even the most simple tasks, and warns of the potential for “digital dementia.”

“The main goal of these projects – tech timeouts and digital blackouts – is just to get people thinking about ways to find balance,” states journalist Stusser. “It’s fine to use Siri to call for reservations, or have Alexa order more toilet paper. But, every once in a while, calculate a tip on your own, or try and remember your Mom’s phone number. If you want to go really crazy – how about committing to a device-free dinner?!”

The filmmakers’ documentary “Sleeping with Siri” illustrated the importance of finding balance in an era of digital madness, and won a variety of film festival awards (including The American Documentary Film Festival, Big Easy, and Hollywood Film Fest).  After the success of the doc, the team created The Tech Timeout Academic Challenge, a program which asks young people to set aside their digital devices for up to a week in order to understand and appreciate concepts like using the library, playing board games, and finding your own way home. The program has been conducted in over 1,000 schools across the country, and is the basis for an upcoming follow-up documentary.

Journalist Michael A. Stusser has written for mental_floss, the New York Times, Village Voice and Seattle Weekly. His “Digital Madness”column appears in the Good Men Project. He is also the author of The Dead Guy Interviews (Penguin USA). Marty Riemer, who did the post-production and direction for the video, runs Twisted Scholar, an educational production company. The cinematographer for the “Use It Or Lose It” video is Mark Goodnow, of The Production Foundry.

“Use It Or Lose It” drops in advance of The National Day of Unplugging – which is on Friday, March 1st and 2nd. Now in its 10th year, this tech-free holiday consists of a 24 hour period from sundown to sundown, to unplug, unwind, relax and do things other than using technology, electronics, and social media. The idea is to disconnect (for a while) from digital devices, and connect with ourselves and our loved ones in real time. 

In the real world, of course, Siri and Alexa will not encourage you to unplug anything. Finding tech-free moments, digital blackouts and screen-free time will only come about by creating those moments for ourselves, one hour at a time, one day at a time. So, why not start now? Why not try the National Day of Unplugging? The mind is like a muscle: Use it… or lose it.

PanXchange Launches Industrial Hemp Pricing

COLORADO: PanXchange, a Denver-based OTC physical commodity exchange and price reporting provider, today successfully launched its industrial hemp indices, becoming the first company to offer such pricing data to the market. PanXchange now delivers spot market pricing to its members, publishing on a monthly basis, and plans to launch trading capabilities in Q3 of this year.

Prices will be offered for the following hemp products:

  • FOB Portland, Oregon Hemp Biomass
  • FOB Portland, Oregon Crude Oil
  • FOB Denver, Colorado Hemp Biomass
  • FOB Denver, Colorado Crude Oil
  • FOB Lexington, Kentucky Hemp Biomass
  • FOB Lexington, Kentucky Crude Oil

While there have been other attempts to launch hemp trading, those efforts ultimately fizzled partially because of their non-optimal timing. With the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill on December 20, 2018, the industrial hemp industry is now primed for a period of rapid growth. Previously, despite industrial hemp’s wide array of end uses, including paper products, textiles, plastics, cannabidiol (CBD) and construction materials, it had been outlawed since the 1970s.

The increased product supply and the 2018 Farm Bill’s new federal distinction between hemp and marijuana have paved the way for hemp to be viewed as a commercial commodity. United States industrial hemp production has increased on an exponential scale, growing from 9,770 acres planted in 2016 to more than 25,000 acres planted in 2017. While the official figures have not been published by the USDA for 2018, preliminary estimates forecast similar growth to what was seen between 2016 and 2017.

PanXchange CEO Julie Lerner commented, “We’re excited to bring transparent pricing and instant market access to another new commodity, particularly a budding commodity like hemp that is just now establishing a legitimate market. The industrial hemp market is brimming with potential, and given our deep commodity experience and track record in nascent markets like frac sand, PanXchange is the perfect company to provide this market structure solution that commercial producers have been looking for.”

Hemp becomes PanXchange’s second U.S.-focused commodities market, after the launch of frac sand in 2017. PanXchange was the first company to create a market in frac sand, and saw tremendous growth in 2018, with its client base presently representing 45 percent of all sand traded (on and offline). PanXchange’s hemp market will follow the same blueprint as frac sand. If interested in learning more about PanXchange’s industrial hemp products, please contact info@panxchange.com.

Top Buying Trends In Vaporization 2018

By Tom Buckland

There has been a surge in the number of people vaping in the last few years. A study by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that over 40 million people use electronic cigarettes. Since 2012, there has been a shift from tobacco to e-liquid. This is mainly because of the health problems associated with smoking that have become well-known, not to mention smokers find vaping cheaper than purchasing regular tobacco sticks.

Now in 2018, vaping is more popular than ever and with popularity come trends.

Here are some of the biggest vaping trends of the year:

Better Mods

One of the biggest trends we’ve seen this year has come from the rapid growth of mods.  They are relatively new to the vape scene but their ability for customizing the experience has been a major factor to this.

2018 has seen better and more efficient mods available on the market. The batteries have gotten bigger, giving vapers longer usage from their devices. The mods have also been developed to be more compatible with these batteries, as well as the varying sizes of tanks and coils. This all ties back into the customization point.

In particular, one of the biggest winners of 2018 in terms of mods are Juuls. They have become so popular that the phrase ‘Juuling’ has become part of the culture.  According to Bloomberg, the company responsible for their creation, Juul Labs, is now worth over $15 billion. Considering it has only been a year since it split from its parent company, Pax Labs, the speed of growth is incredible.

Juuling has got so big that according to Wells Fargo, over 70% of all US e-cigarettes are Juuls. But all this popularity has not gone unnoticed, and in some ways not for the better. A lot of Juul users are young people. There have been arguments that Juuls are creating more of a problem because, instead of vaping being used as a method to quit smoking, young people are using it as a way to start. Of course, with moderation and regulation, this can be prevented.

Cloud chasing is on the rise

One of the biggest draws of vaping comes from the ability to create clouds that look awesome. It’s a skill that brings together a who different side of the community, some of which don’t even have a nicotine concentration. These people just vape for the fun of it. With the rise of cloud chasing has seen the increase of VG content in the make-up of e-liquid.

Compared to most of the other substances that create vape clouds, VG produces some of the thickest around. This is because VG, or vegetable glycerine for its full name, is responsible for distributing the nicotine and flavorings in the solution before it vaporizes.

Higher VG content also gives vapers a less intense feeling on the throat when inhaling, boosting its popularity. As such, the more that people are seeking to perform vaping tricks, the more that VG is wanted, so companies are using it more in their products. You are now likely to find most e-liquids with a VG/PG ratio of around 70/30. In some cases, you’ll now find e-liquids that are 100% VG.

More nicotine salts

Another vaping trend of 2018 has been the rapid increase in the use of nicotine salts. These work differently to the regular way of extracting nicotine, where ammonia is used to separate the nicotine from the salts of tobacco leaves. Nicotine salts, on the other hand, do not require any harmful chemicals to extract the nicotine. Instead, the salts are being directly extracted from the leaves themselves. Ammonia is a well-known carcinogen so avoiding its use in the extraction process is a huge win for vaping.

One of the biggest winners of the nicotine salt trend is, once again, the popular mod Juul, meaning that the biggest users are younger people. There are plenty of other advantages of using nicotine salts, such as their ease of use, their portability and above all else, they are a much healthier option. They’re also great for those that don’t like the feel of vape hitting the throat. Nicotine salts are a lot smoother than regular freebase nicotine e-liquids.

Finally, with the concentrations of nicotine less available in e-liquid due to TPD regulations, nicotine salts can provide a more satisfying hit.

Conclusion

These are four of the most popular vaping trends of 2018. With 2019 just around the corner, vaping is sure to grow even more. We are excited to see what the next biggest trends will be.

 

MTech Acquisition Corp. And MJ Freeway Announce Merger Agreement

NEW YORK: MTech Acquisition Corp., the first US-listed Special Purpose Acquisition Company focused on acquiring a business ancillary to the cannabis industry, and MJ Freeway, a leading seed-to-sale technology provider and developer of the cannabis industry’s first enterprise resource planning platform, announced today they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Following the consummation of the transaction, MTech and MJ Freeway will become subsidiaries of a newly-formed holding company to be listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market. Following the closing of the transaction, if there are no redemptions by MTech shareholders in connection with the MTech shareholder vote to approve the transaction, it is currently anticipated that the combined entity will be debt free and have over $60 million of balance sheet cash to take advantage of strategic growth opportunities.

MJ Freeway is a seed-to-sale technology provider, with more than 30% of the global cannabis technology market based on management’s estimates. MJ Freeway has tracked more than $10 billion in sales for its clients in Australia, Europe, South America, New Zealand, Africa, Canada, and the United States in 29 states and the District of Columbia. MJ Freeway’s software, MJ Platform®, includes compliance tracking of cannabis from seed-to-sale, as well as enterprise scale business management tools across the entire supply chain. In addition, its Leaf Data Systems® software solution enables governments to track cannabis plants from seed-to-sale to help ensure patient, public and product safety.

“We built MJ Freeway to be the technology infrastructure for the cannabis industry,” said Jessica Billingsley, Co-Founder & CEO of MJ Freeway. “With access to public capital markets and additional balance sheet strength as a result of this transaction, MJ Freeway will accelerate its growth and broaden its product offering as we strive to meet the ever-expanding demands of a highly complex and heavily regulated industry.”

Current MJ Freeway investor and Senior Strategic Advisor to the Board, Roger McNamee, added, “Cannabis companies that want to be leaders are adopting MJ Platform because I believe it is the only product with the technical foundation to support multi-line and multi-location operations. MJ Freeway prepares customers to manage high growth and complexity as the industry transitions from local to global scale. MJ Freeway’s merger with MTech will enable a smart growth strategy to capitalize on the industry’s continuing growth.”

Scott Sozio, Chief Executive Officer of MTech, commented, “We believe technology solutions that empower operators to efficiently and compliantly run their business, with tools that track the full vertical from cultivation to consumer, are critical to the industry’s long-term success. We believe MJ Freeway provides the most robust seed-to-sale software technology available today, positioning the company for enormous growth as the legalization of cannabis expands throughout the country and the world. We are excited for MTech to be able to invest in MJ Freeway at what we believe to be a very attractive valuation.”

“This merger will prove valuable over the long-term. Not only will it allow us to grow our current lines of business, it will accelerate our dominant market share in the cannabis SaaS space and also allow the company to make strategic acquisitions and expand its reach into related industries,” noted Emery Huang, Senior Partner of Batu Capital, a MJ Freeway investor, and a current board member of MJ Freeway.

Sproutly Canada CEO Keith Dolo On Water-based Cannabinoid Technologies

CANADA:   Sproutly Canada Inc (CNSX:SPR) CEO Keith Dolo outlines how Sproutly’s development of water-based cannabinoid technologies, allowing the body to absorb THC and CBD compounds through water-solubility, rather than traditional oil based absorption.

The benefit of water-soluble cannabinoids is the quickened onset and offset times of cannabinoid ingestion while providing a higher level of control pertaining to dosage and duration. Sproutly looks forward to marketing their edible and beverage products to the public in Canada next year as consumables become legal in Canada.

For more information, log on to www.sproutly.ca.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbNEhwYJMXc&w=560&h=315]

Cannabis CRM Platform Baker Secures $8 Million In Series A Funding

COLORADO:  Baker, a leading software platform for marijuana dispensaries and brands, announced that it has secured $8 million in Series A funding, bringing its total amount of capital raised to $11.75 million.

The round was led by Poseidon Asset Management, a VC firm that specializes in cannabis.  The raise will fuel the company’s rapid growth. Baker recently acquired Seattle-based Grassworks, the industry’s second largest CRM platform, and is increasing its Washington presence with a new office. The company plans to open additional offices in Los Angeles in 2018 to support its expected growth in California.

“We’ve built the industry’s leading CRM product, and now we’re truly focused on providing a platform to allow Baker and our partners to offer best-of-breed solutions to our massive retail network. Our products help dispensaries make more money, which is why we’ve experienced such tremendous growth this year,” said Joel Milton, CEO of Baker. “This funding will allow us to continue to execute on our platform strategy, and help all of our clients grow their businesses — including those in California gearing up for adult use.”

The Denver-based software company has a data-driven approach designed so dispensaries can keep their customers happy and loyal, while increasring revenue. With its recent acquisition, Baker’s software is being used by more than 700 dispensaries in 16 states. This year alone, the company grew its staff from 18 to more than 50 full time employees, making Baker one of the largest tech companies in the industry.

MassRoots To Acquire CannaRegs

COLORADO: MassRoots has announced the acquisition of CannaRegs, a leading technology platform that tracks changes in cannabis regulations and taxation at the municipal, state, and federal levels.

MassRoots, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire CannaRegs in a stock deal valued at approximately $12 million. The closing of the acquisition is subject to closing conditions as fully detailed in MassRoots’ Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on August 23, 2017.

Founded by former Federal Reserve regulator Amanda Ostrowitz in 2014, CannaRegs will be critical in helping the California adult-use market stay compliant. As one of the premier technology companies in the cannabis industry, CannaRegs is recognized for leading the movement with majority female leadership at its helm.

“We hope that this acquisition will expand MassRoots’ compliance offerings, consolidating the most important operations for cannabis businesses into one central platform,” said MassRoots CEO Isaac Dietrich. “We expect with MassRoots’ resources and relationships, we can grow the number of businesses utilizing CannaRegs and significantly increase MassRoots’ contractually-obligated monthly recurring revenue.”

MassRoots is a cannabis social network that allows users to research cannabis strains and product information, locate dispensaries and products, and read the latest in cannabis news. The CannaRegs software-as-a-service (SaaS) enables dispensary owners, law firms, investors, consultants, and municipalities to track cannabis regulations, both implemented and proposed, in real-time, ensuring they stay compliant with state and local law.

This acquisition, when closed, is expected to cement MassRoots’s consolidation of the business-to-business software market, along with recent acquisitions of Odava, a leading point-of-sale platform for cannabis-related business, and Whaxy, an online menu-management and consumer loyalty platform. When completed, the CannaRegs acquisition will enable businesses to easily update their operational procedures and report to regulators through the MassRoots platform.

CannaRegs Logo

“The cannabis industry is increasingly becoming compliance-centric and even minor changes in municipal regulations can have a significant impact on  day-to-day operations. CannaRegs has made it easy for businesses, regulators and attorneys to track regulatory changes in real-time, often for less than the cost of one billable hour,” said CannaRegs Founder and CEO Amanda Ostrowitz, who is also a licensed attorney. “By becoming part of MassRoots’ expanding portfolio of technology offerings, we will be able to realize strong synergies in the development and distribution of our platform. We look forward to aggressively growing our market share in California and other key markets.”

In California alone, there are 539 local jurisdictions with different regulations, tax rates, and zoning laws related to the cannabis industry. With the upcoming adult-use market set to open in 2018, local jurisdictions are currently writing new regulations and cannabis entrepreneurs are doing their best to stay up-to-date.

For more detailed information, please see MassRoots’ Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on August 23, 2017.

 

Legal Medical Marijuana Delivery Arrives In San Jose

CALIFORNIA: Eaze, the leading marijuana technology company, announced its official launch in San Jose today. Residents with a valid medical marijuana recommendation can now use Eaze to place orders for marijuana delivered on demand by a licensed dispensary. Residents in need of a recommendation can connect to a doctor on demand from their phone using the EazeMD app. Deliveries will be fulfilled by The Guild, a San Jose licensed dispensary.

In October 2016, San Jose reversed its ban on medical marijuana delivery. Under the city’s previous delivery ban, San Jose struggled with over 30 prominently advertised unlicensed delivery services. The new ordinance permits delivery by licensed dispensaries, and received widespread support from patients, collectives, law enforcement, and community members.

“There was a strong desire for patients to have safer access to the medicine recommended to them by their doctors. It’s great to see the San Jose City Council be responsive to the needs of its constituents, and we hope other California communities will follow suit,” said Jim Patterson, CEO of Eaze. “Eaze’s mission has always been to help dispensaries provide a safe and professional cannabis experience, and we are proud to now be servicing San Jose patients.”

As cannabis regulations continue to evolve across California, data is playing a key role in their development. As the largest marijuana technology platform, Eaze is proud to work with local regulators across the state, including the San Jose City Council and law enforcement agencies, to help them better understand how technology can help provide safe access to cannabis and insight into consumer preferences.

“Legalizing deliveries is simply smart public policy,” said Reverend Jethro Moore of San Jose. “It impacts neighborhoods disproportionately affected by a failed prohibition policy in that legal delivery provides a path to legitimate employment for people traditionally over-prosecuted and replaces illegal street dealing. Our neighborhoods will be safer and the way San Jose is regulating deliveries means youth will not have easy access to cannabis.”

Available in nearly 100 cities throughout California, Eaze helps patients receive safe, regulated deliveries from compliant dispensaries in less than 20 minutes.

New Report from Eaze Shows Record Legal Marijuana Use in California

CALIFORNIA: Following decades of stigmatization and prohibition, a new data report titled, Eaze Insights: State of Cannabis 2016, reveals that Californians are increasingly comfortable with marijuana use and are embracing its benefits. The new report released today by Eaze, the fastest growing marijuana technology company, draws insights from the user behavior of more than 250,000 patients across the state of California utilizing the platform. The report also includes survey responses from 5,000 Californians.

Key findings include:

  • Usage doubled over last year: In 2016, medical marijuana was ordered via the Eaze platform every 30 seconds, twice as often as in 2015.
  • Vaporizers on the rise: In 2015, fewer than 5 percent of orders contained a vape cartridge. In 2016, that number increased to 20 percent, meaning 1 in 5 deliveries contains a vaping product. Meanwhile, traditional flower (dried marijuana plant) sales dropped from 80 percent to below 50 percent for the first time.
  • Baby Boomers and women driving interest: Marijuana usage by Baby Boomers is up 25 percent from 2015. They also spent $185 a month on marijuana, more than any other age group. Marijuana use by women in all age groups, meanwhile, grew by 30 percent.
  • Marijuana is the new glass of wine: Orders spiked nightly around 7 p.m. – about the time many typically open a bottle of wine – and more than 75 percent of people surveyed said that using marijuana has caused them to reduce their alcohol consumption.
  • An alternative to addictive painkillers: Opioids have been a common method for pain management over the years, but the harmful side effects have people looking for alternative medicine. Out of consumers who’ve used opioids for pain management, 98% reported using less thanks to marijuana.

“These data points all point to the same thing: the normalization and mainstream acceptance of marijuana use,” said Jim Patterson, CEO of Eaze. “Americans are increasingly educated about the benefits of marijuana use, and as the industry continues to grow up and offer professional, easy-to-understand products, we expect that to continue. In 2017, we’ll see the rise of products that are low barrier to entry, low dose, and designed to be used occasionally by professional, working people.”

This report is just one example of how Eaze uses its platform to uncover unique insights and help educate and inform the entire cannabis ecosystem. As the largest and most funded technology company in the medical cannabis industry, Eaze has access to an unprecedented amount of data. Eaze leverages that data to generate insights on patient demographics, preferences and behaviors that drive the industry forward.

Other insights from the report include most popular marijuana strains, trends in different cities across the state and the impact marijuana use has had on lowering opioid and alcohol use. The full report can be found here.