MJBA Launches Ohio Chapter June 12th, Interest High As September 8th Deadline Approaches

OHIO: The Marijuana Business Association (MJBA), a leading national trade association for participants in the legal cannabis industry and publishers of the MJ News Network, will host its debut meetup in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of the midwest leg of it national “CannaFest Destiny” educational tour that includes stops in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

The professional networking event will be held at the law offices of Meyers, Roman on June 12th, 6:30-9PM.  Featured speakers will include Michael O’Malley, founder of Curved Papers; Michelle Blank, President and Robin Ann Morris, Founder & CEO of the MaryJane Agency; Steven Baden, Attorney-At-Law, Meyers, Roman; and MJBA founder David Rheins.

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Medical marijuana became legal under House Bill 523 on September 8th, 2016. Under the bill, administered by The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, people with certain medical conditions, upon the recommendation of an Ohio-licensed physician certified by the State Medical Board, will be able to purchase and use medical marijuana. It’s taken the state two full years to roll out the program, keeping patients and caregivers, along with would-be participants in the legal mmj industry, waiting and frustrated.

Ohio's Medical Marijuana Control Program

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program

Interest in legal cannabis, one of the fastest growing segments in our economy and a major engine for both job creation and tax revenue generation, has never been higher.  Michelle Blank, President and Robin Ann Morris, Founder & CEO of the MaryJane Agency, decided to organize the Cleveland meetup because they wanted to create a Business Forum for leaders in Ohio’s Cannabis community to gather and collaborate in a professional environment.  “We are so excited to be affiliated with bringing MJBA to  Ohio and feel this is a great avenue for Principals in this area to learn from each other and grow their businesses,” Ms. Blank said.

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Steven L. Baden, Attorney at Law featured presenter, and venue host for the group’s inaugural meetup commented, “Being involved with helping MMJ businesses take root and thrive in Ohio fits perfectly with MJBA’s mission and is why I’m part of getting MJBA established in Ohio.”

The MJBA was instrumental in the establishment of Curved Papers,” Michael O’Malley told MJ News Network. “We joined as business members in Denver in January 2015, where we introduced Curved Papers to Colorado’s cannabis industry leadership, and we are honored to be able to participate in the launch of the MJBA Cleveland and MJBA Ohio communities.  We’ve grown and prospered through our association with the MJBA, and are proud to serve as National Sponsors, traveling across the country on this “Cannafest Destiny” tour.

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“As a native midwesterner, born and raised in Indiana,  I’m thrilled to be able to come back home and help Ohio’s nascent cannabis business community,” said David Rheins, MJBA founder and executive director. “We look forward to helping to shape common market standards, providing market intelligence, and developing best ethical business practices for all participants in the emerging legal marijuana industries.”

Attendance at the June 12th MJBA Cleveland event is FREE to MJBA Members and qualified industry professionals and caregivers.  Space is limited, so please RSVP to reserve your spot here.

The Wink In Weed: CannaFest Destiny Takes MJBA To Las Vegas

MJBA Expands National Footprint, Relocates HQ To Silver State

By David Rheins

This summer I undertook a cross-country, coast-to-coast, “CannaFest Destiny” road show. Sponsored by Curved Papers, the MJBA tour made ‘official’ stops in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Indiana, Massachusetts and New York. We gathered in small groups and large, hosting meetups, participating in panel discussions, exhibiting and speaking at trade shows, investor summits and Hempfests. We exchanged ideas, shared our dreams and committed to working together to build a truly sustainable, profitable and ethical legal industry.

The MJBA held court at Indianapolis’ oldest political venue, the storied Antelope Club, where alongside Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis and the Indiana Chapter of the Libertarian Party, where we discussed ways that Hoosiers can participate in the Cannabis and Hemp revolution today.

The CannaFest Destiny Tour generated excitement and positive press – in local newspapers and radio, on podcasts, through Facebook feeds and social media – opening eyes and making new allies and friends all along the way.

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Having spent much of the past 5 years working to build the legal cannabis industry in the Pacific Northwest and Colorado, it has been exciting for me to witness CannaFest Destiny at work: how each new state and local community is incorporating and modifying best practices from Washington, Colorado and Oregon to create a unique legal marketplace tailored to the needs and sensibilities of the local culture.  While laws, rules and regulations vary widely, I found a common spirit of community and cooperation and commitment to building a fair and responsible industry.

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Nowhere did I witness more radical change in such a short time as Nevada.  It has not been too many years ago that possession of a seed or stem in the Silver State would get you 20 years, and trafficking could earn you life behind bars.  Today, Las Vegas is home to the biggest of the industry trade shows (though recently the Casino and Gaming Commission has discussed banning the legal cannabis industry from Casinos) and nearly 150 licensees grow, process and sell some very fine cannabis.

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The state passed its medical marijuana initiative in 2000, and its recreational initiative in 2016.  Adult use sales began on July 1st and since that time Nevada has outpaced the launch of both the Colorado and Washington markets.  With 42 million tourists visiting annually, Las Vegas is ground zero for the next wave of the legal market, heralding in the era of Commercialization and Normalization. Demand has challenged supply, overwhelming a short-lived monopoly by the alcohol distributors and causing major bottleneck. Pains of growth are inevitable and signs that legalization, once the exclusive province of the liberal West Coast, has now reached the mainstream. Las Vegas is where America (and the world) comes to play – and the players want their legal weed.

True to our mission to provide reliable business intelligence, professional networking and business opportunity to participants in legal cannabis, the Marijuana Business Association has decided to relocate its HQ to Las Vegas.  An ideal location to service the expanding national footprint of the MJBA, Las Vegas offers cheap and easy travel, amazing entertainment venues and one of the fastest-growing legal cannabis marketplaces in the world.   In addition to hosting meetups and professional education events, we will be in a better position to support our growing MJBA Chapters in Oregon, California and Washington, while simultaneously growing our presence on the East Coast – expanding MJBA New York and launching MJBA Boston.

MJBA is Amazing

We’re taking on new partners, and soon will be unveiling a more robust suite of member benefits, including meaningful discounts on the industry’s most important trade events and media opportunities, a new b2b technology platform, and exclusive members-only invitations. Stay tuned to this space!