Wink-In-Weed: Cannabis Class Is In Session

By David Rheins 

Class is in session for participants in Washington’s legal cannabis trade.  Coming off of the collegial CCC show in Portland, Team MJBA is back in Western Washington this week continuing our quest to provide professional education and promote best business practices for our nascent industry.

Collaboration was the theme of CCC 2016

Collaboration was the theme of CCC 2016

On Tuesday, February 13th,  6-8:30 at the Factory Luxe  in Seattle, MJBA and NWMJ Law will present,“Managing Your 502 Business,” a 2-hour bootcamp designed to review essential business basics, tools and best practices that every I-502 licensed business should follow.  Attorney Anne Van Leynseele, NWMJ Law, will lead the this 2-hour interactive bootcamp, aided by a VIP Panel of cannabis business experts, including Norm Ives, Mosaic Insurance, CPA Dani Espinda, and business consultant Debbie Whitlock.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mshbd7MS3E&w=560&h=315]

Seating is limited, so reserve your place today!

Thursday, February 18 is the start of CannaCon,  a 3-day celebration of all things canna-business at Pier 91 on Seattle’s waterfront.  This year marks MJBA’s fourth CannaCon.   It has been truly amazing to witness as the show and the industry develop together. CannaCon founder Bob Smart was one of MJBA’s first business members, joining us back in the fall of 2013!

In preparation for the show, Bob, Dave Mesford and I paid a visit to KLAY 1180 AM last week, appearing on “The 411 on 420” talk show, hosted by Amy Ansel and Darrel Bowman.

The 411 on 420, hosted by Amy Ansel and Darrel Bowman

The 411 on 420, hosted by Amy Ansel and Darrel Bowman

Billed as “the world’s largest cannabis marketplace for products, services and ideas” the 2015 Seattle event claimed more than 11,000 attendees, over 200 exhibitors and 50 educational sessions, with over $6 million in business conducted on the floor.”  This year’s CannaCon promises to be even bigger, with a complete sell out of exhibitor booths, and an all-star lineup of speakers.  The event seminar schedule features three separate tracks: Cultivation, Technology and Business Development, and includes some of the industry’s top voices, including Ed RosenthalAh Warner, Megan Schwarting, Farmer Tom Lauerman, Aaron Pelley, Don Wirtshafter and Kyle Kushman

Canna Con 2016

I will have the honor of playing moderator for much of the Business Track sessions on Thursday and Friday.  We’ll cover a host of important topics. I’m particularly excited about our “Town Hall” session Thursday at 1PM with Washington’s top cannabis regulators: WSLCB Director Rick Garza, Washington Department of Agriculture’s Steve Fuller, and the Washington Department of Health’s Kristi Weeks.

MJBA’s Morgan will be moderating and participating on a Women in Cannabis Panel, along with Crystal Oliver, Danielle Rosellison, Sharon Whitson and Shawn DeNae.

Marijuana Channel One will be capturing all the excitement. Look for our live streaming and tweets, and our exclusive interviews with industry thought leaders here.

Report: Detroit Has 148 Marijuana Dispensaries

MICHIGAN: A new report pegs the number of marijuana dispensaries in Detroit at 148.

Prior to the report, Detroit public officials could not say how many dispensaries there are, partly because they are opening at such a rapid pace but mostly because the city does not keep track of them.

The City Council is debating proposed licensing regulations. A public hearing is set for 10 a.m. Monday.

Want To Sell Medical Marijuana In New York? It Could Cost You $30 Million

NEW YORK: In business, you have to spend money to make money. In the New York medical marijuana industry, you may just be spending money.

Medical marijuana was legalized in New York in July 2014; however, the licenses to sell were just announced July 31 of this year. Applicants had to pay a refundable registration fee of $200,000 along with a non-refundable $10,000 fee. For a comparison, in Oregon, the application fee is $4,000 and in Massachusetts, there is a Stage One application fee of $1,500 and a Stage Two application fee of $30,000.

Of the 43 businesses that applied, five companies — Bloomfield Industries, Columbia Care NY, Empire State Health Solutions, Etain and PharmaCann — were awarded licenses. Of the states that have legalized marijuana, some — like Florida and Minnesota — also restrict the number of license holders, while others, such as Colorado and California, grant much greater access to licensees.

Victoria’s First Pot Vending Machine Now Up And Running

CANADA: Medical marijuana users in Greater Victoria can now get their prescription filled by a vending machine.

The region’s first pot vending machine is now up and running at the BC Pain Society on Quadra Street. A spokesperson for the dispensary says one of the benefits is that the product will be handled by fewer people before reaching the buyer.
“Between the time it’s packaged and the time it’s dispensed and opened by the purchaser, nobody has contact with it.”

Staffing Firm Specializing In jobs In The Marijuana Industry Opens In Pueblo

COLORADO: A brand new staffing company specializing in jobs in the marijuana industry is holding a hiring event Tuesday.

Grasshopper Staffing in Pueblo opens Tuesday and is kicking off their new business with an event for prospective employees from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Organizers say there will be interviews on the spot. Find more information here.

The company can help prospective employees through licensing procedures and provide payroll services for employers.

The company’s Facebook page has a “Featured job” each day – from Master Cannabis Cultivator to Bud Tenders and Trimmers.

CannaCon, Large Pot Expo, Draws Crowds In Seattle

WASHINGTON: A marijuana-enhanced barbecue sauce is among the products on display at a large cannabis expo in Seattle.

CannaCon is a three-day event that runs through Saturday. The expo features seminars as well as exhibitors offering products for all aspects of the medical and recreational marijuana industry in Washington state.

Comedian Tommy Chong, famous as half of the 1970s duo “Cheech and Chong,” was among those promoting products at the event. Chong posed for photos with fans in between talking to potential business customers.

The Best Industries for Starting a Business in 2015

The old adage that timing is everything in business is incomplete. When it comes to launching a successful startup, the other crucial ingredient is identifying a new, untapped market opportunity. Breaking into any industry is hard, but certain sectors are particularly ripe for new entrants.

Inc.’s annual look at the best industries for starting a business is based on interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and industry experts, plus reams of the latest research on hot niche sectors. While it’s still early days for most of these fields, the first-movers are already well on their way to proving long-term viability. Read on to see where entrepreneurs are laying the groundwork for the fast-growing companies of the future.

Legal Marijuana

Legal marijuana has become big business in the U.S. since Colorado licensed vendors to sell recreational cannabis at the beginning of 2014. While the industry hasn’t been around long, the first companies growing and distributing marijuana and related products are seeing very strong demand. Revenue for medical marijuana growers has risen 16 percent per year since 2009, reaching roughly $2 billion in 2014, according to IBISWorld.

Witnessing The Birth of An Industry: MJBA CEO David Rheins Looks Back At 2014

By David Rheins 

2014 has been an amazing year for those of us on the front lines of the legal cannabis movement. Thanks to the support of the now 300+ cannabis business members, dozens of sponsors and thousands of supporters, the b2b trade group I run, Marijuana Business Association (MJBA), has grown rapidly.  We’ve been busy during our first full year of operations helping our young industry lay the foundation for what will be one of  Washington State’s — and eventually the nation’s — major economic drivers.  Here are some of the year’s highlights:

Women of Weed

Women of Weed

As the industry grows, so do we: MJBA business groups now meetup regularly in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, and Spokane, WA. And in the first quarter of 2015, we’ll expand these networking events to support cannabis business communities in Denver, CO and Portland, OR.

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In the past year we’ve focused most of our energies helping to build Washington’s nascent legal cannabis business community. Focusing on our core values of providing reliable business intelligence, community and opportunity, MJBA organized two major b2b Vendor Fairs this year — both at Seattle’s Magical Butter Studios.  Our inaugural MJBA Vendor Fair in March 2014, came just as the first recreational marijuana licenses were being issued by the LCB.  That historic event, sponsored by leading edible company Evergreen Herbal, saw more than 300 businesses participate – with 25 sponsor/vendors.  Our second iteration,  MJBA Vendor Fair Summer, sponsored by Blue Line Protection Group, happened just days before the opening of Washington’s first legal pot shops and saw 20 vendors and 200 attendees who made crucial contacts and business deals.

Evergreen Herbal chief Marco Hoffman on stage at Vendor Fair.

Evergreen Herbal chief Marco Hoffman on stage at Vendor Fair.

MJBA_VendorFairPicsAnimation

In between those two events, we launched the MJBA Women’s Alliance with an elegant power luncheon at the Columbia Tower Club, featuring a keynote speech by LEAP’s Diane Wattles Goldstein, guest appearance by Cheryl Shuman. Ah Warner, Cannabis Basics founder, and creator of Women of Weed, was presented with a lifetime achievement award.

MJBA Women's Alliance Luncheon

MJBA Women’s Alliance Luncheon

Later in May also saw the debut of MJBA’s first Professional Education Seminar, “Canna Business and the Law.” Sponsored by Canna Law Group and emceed by CNBC’s Al Olson, the event featured VIP Keynotes by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and WSLCB Member Chris Marr.

Seattle Attorney Pete Holmes was a keynote speaker at Canna Business & The Law

Seattle Attorney Pete Holmes was a keynote speaker at Canna Business & The Law.

MJBAProfessionalEducationSeminar

Pete Holmes and Chris Marr take questions

In June the MJBA moved into its HQ in Bothell, WA.  And to commemorate the occasion, we held an MJBA Women’s Alliance Held a picnic at the compound, with more than 70 cannabis ladies pitching in for “pot luck.”

In July, we launched the South Sound Tacoma MJBA meetup at Surge Tacoma. The first event was over-capacity and demonstrated that the need to support cannabis business was not just a Seattle phenomenon

Those getting into the marijuana industry today are getting a leg up on the growing wave of competition. The New York Times recently covered the industry that is now receiving financial backing from several networks of investors that are ready to plunge millions into the industry.

South Sound supports a robust MJBA community

For 4 days in August, MJBA was a VIP Sponsor of Cannacon V1.0 at the Tacoma Dome. Our MJNewsNetwork and Marijuana Channel One on YouTube covered the event extensively.  Canna personality Radical Russ Belville interviewed key MJBA business members for his 420 Radio Network.

LCB's Randy Simmons and David Rheins at CannaCon

LCB’s Randy Simmons and David Rheins at CannaCon

In August, MJBA also hosted a benefit for NORML at its Bothell HQ.  The event was sponsored by Blue Line Protection Group, O.pen Vape, Evergreen Herbal and Washington Bud Company.  NORML founder Keith Stroup, travel author Rick Steves, cannabis celebrity Cheryl Shuman, Washington NORML founder Kevin Oliver and High Times Editor Rick Cusick were all in attendance.  The event raised $1500 for NORML.

NORML's Keith Stroup, David Rheins and Kevin Oliver

NORML’s Keith Stroup, David Rheins and Kevin Oliver

In August, MJBA Women’s Alliance sponsored a benefit for the Pink Gene Foundation at Suite at the Hyatt in Bellevue.  $1000 was raised via a silent auction of donated wares from MJBA’s generous business members and sponsors.
PinkGene

Washington Bud Co's Shawn DeNae and attorney Stephanie Boehl

Washington Bud Co’s Shawn DeNae and attorney Stephanie Boehl

We held our first ever MJ Research listening summit in August, which informed our second MJBA Professional Education Seminar, “Technology & Your Cannabis Business”  held at the Motif Hotel in Seattle. Sponsored by CIPS, the event featured keynote presentation by Jamen Shively and ICCCO, and featured five all-star expert panels.

Ben Livingston Emceed MJBA's Technology & Your Cannabis Business Seminar

Ben Livingston Emceed MJBA’s Technology & Your Cannabis Business Seminar

MJBA at CannaCon 2014

MJBA’s David Rheins being interviewed at CannaCon 2014

In September, MJBA launched the Vancouver Meetup. The Mayor of Vancouver proclaimed the day “Cannabis Hemp Awareness & Marijuana Safe Usage Day” – Viridian Sciences was host, and Congressional candidate Bob Dingethal spoke to the group.  And we’d like to thank Danille Ulvila with Life Gro for hosting our most recent Tacoma Meetup at her impressive Life Gro facility.

Viridian Sciences hosted MJBA Vancouver's first meetup

Viridian Sciences hosted MJBA Vancouver’s first meetup

 

MJBA held its monthly Seattle meetups at Magial Butter Studios in SODO

MJBA held its monthly Seattle meetups at Magical Butter Studios in SODO

In September, MJBA launched MJBA Job Fair, a historic gathering of Washington Cannabis Industry’s employers and job seekers. Presented by Weedhire.com, and sponsored by Viridian Sciences, Eden Labs and Blue Line Protection Group, the event attracted more than 400 attendees, with 30 employer sponsors and more than 140 job openings.  We even hosted a “Marijuana Is Safer Than Unemployment” Fashion Show!

 

Job Fair Seattle was a huge success

Job Fair Seattle was a huge success

Eden Labs' CEO AC Braddock on the runway at the MJBA Jobs Fair in Seattle.

Eden Labs’ CEO AC Braddock on the runway at the MJBA Jobs Fair in Seattle.

In November, the Women’s Alliance hosted “The Power To Lead,” a day of inspiration, information and celebration, featuring Ladybud publisher Diane Fornbacher and financial guru Debbie Whitlock.

Ladybud Publisher Diane Fornbacher keynoted "The Power to Lead"

Ladybud Publisher Diane Fornbacher keynoted “The Power to Lead”

A couple of days later in November, MJBA Research published its first market research report, and held its third Professional Education Seminar:  “Dollars & Sense: Risk & Financial Planning for your Cannabis Business.” Sponsored by RMMC Consulting, the daylong event included a robust vendor area, and a daylong series of panels, including an hourlong Q&A with LCB Deputy Director Randy Simmons. 7 expert panel focused on actionable advice for the more than 200 I-502 licensees and applicants on their major areas of concern: financing and money management; insurance and risk; security, distribution and transportation; merchant service; business intelligence. MJ Freeway sponsored the 4:20 happy hour.

 

Dollars and Sense of Risk & Financial of Your Cannabis Business

Dollars and Sense of Risk & Financial of Your Cannabis Business

Just under 500 job seekers networked for opportunities to work in WA's legal marijuana industry.

500 job seekers came to MJBA Job Fair Seattle

In December 2014, the Company held its first annual “Cannabis Xmas Bazaar: Hot Pot Products for the High Holidays,” an historic showcasing of marijuana-themed products and innovations with participation by over 20 independent vendors and 150 members.   And, to top it all off, we were honored to be nominated as “Best Cannabis Association of 2014” in the Dope Industry Awards.  All in all, I’d say it was a fantastic first year in the life of a Green Rush startup.

Can’t wait to share what next year brings.  Hope you’ll stay tuned.  In the meantime, here’s wishing everyone a safe, happy, hempy holiday season.

The Cannabis Elders at the Dope Industry Awards

The Cannabis Elders at the Dope Industry Awards

 

Leafly sponsored Sativa Santa at MJBA Cannabis Xmas Bazaar

Leafly sponsored Sativa Santa at MJBA Cannabis Xmas Bazaar

Farmer Tom "Sativa Santa" and Seattle Hempfest's Vivian McPeak

Farmer Tom “Sativa Santa” and Seattle Hempfest’s Vivian McPeak

Michael Stusser and Higher Ground TV captured this year's Hot Pot Products

Michael Stusser and Higher Ground TV captured this year’s Hot Pot Products

MJ Research Report: Washington Hits First $1M Day for Legal, Recreational Cannabis Sales

By Joe Armes

WASHINGTON: On Wednesday, November 26th the state of Washington achieved a milestone the industry has been anticipating for months; the first time single-day recreational cannabis transactions (producer, processor and retail sales) broke the one million dollar barrier.  Given this milestone was achieved with 75 retail stores in operation, we can anticipate that this will be a regular occurrence once the majority of the state’s allocated 334 stores are licensed and in operations.

Here are other highlights from the Washington State Recreational Cannabis Business Intelligence Dashboard:

  • Thanksgiving day sales drop off to just under $148K indicates the $1M sales on the day before was likely due to consumers making cannabis purchases in advance of Thanksgiving festivities and due to stores being closed on Thanksgiving day.
  • Comparing Friday over Friday sales there is no indication that Washingtonians had a “Green Friday” the day after Thanksgiving as sales on Friday the 28th were in line with typical Friday sales.
  • The second anniversary of passing I-502, November 6th, is the second highest sales day, next to the 26th, with over $930K in sales.
  • Sales continue to grow at a steady pace. This sales growth appears to be driven by increased access for consumers to retail locations and a consistent supply of cannabis in the market.
  • The two weeks with most sales occurred in November.  The week of November 2nd (includes the 6th) is the largest sales week so far with over $4M in sales and the week of November 23rd is the 2nd largest with over $3.6M in sales.

If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com.

About Joe Armes: Joe is the founder of Analytically Correct, a data analytics services company that provides custom analytics solutions that transform data into insights to allow decision makers to focus on what adds most value. His passion is to work with organizations with deeply rooted causes to help them gain access to the knowledge needed to make timely and informed decisions/

 


 

 

Strategies: Pole Position In The Cannabis Industry

 

Starting a business within a highly regulated sector is tough. Starting a business in a highly regulated sector in which the rules are still being written is even more difficult.

That’s the challenge Justin Dufour faces now that Oregon voters have approved the sale and recreational use of marijuana by adults. Dufour’s company, Viridian Sciences, makes management software for businesses serving the cannabis market. Ideal clients include producers, processors, laboratories, retailers and government regulators. In early November, he debuted Viridian’s software at the Marijuana Business Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, and he’s even contemplating buying a national charter bank …