Cannabis Educational and Awareness Campaign, “Hmm Did You Know” Debuts On Cable TV

 30-Second Spots Aired On BRAVO, Discovery and The History Channel, Dispelling the Stigma of Cannabis

CALIFORNIA: For the first time in history, cannabis education commercials hit mainstream television this week. A groundbreaking media blitz campaign for the upcoming cannabis online TV network Hmm Did You Know (HDYK) aired a number of :30 commercial spots during primetime programming on stations including BRAVO, Discovery and the History Channel in the greater LA market. Featuring  Senator Positive T.A. Nelson, a seven-term Senator from the island of St. Croix, discussing the science and economic power of medical cannabis, the HDYK campaign suggests that standards are shifting for cannabis marketing in legal states.

The spot, created by 420MEDIA, a Seattle, NYC and Nevada-based digital marketing and media agency serving the legal cannabis industry, is the first in a series that will feature prominent voices in the cannabis industry and community.

“The rationale behind medicinal cannabis is real, the science is real, the economics behind it is real, the health behind it is real,  and the opportunities behind are very real” says Senator Nelson in the spot promoting Hmm Did You Know Online Cannabis Network, a collaborative effort with 420MEDIA to launch an internet based digital video service that provides insight, education, and entertainment in the world of cannabis. The network will give audiences a clear representation of the cannabis plant and industry through premium content, innovative advertising, and a personalized experience.

Cannabis Commericals

“This first cannabis education spot for the HDYK Network marks an important milestone for the cannabis industry. For the first time in history, cannabis industry commercials have now gone mainstream and we are ecstatic to reach large populations during primetime with messages on the benefits of cannabis,” says Kerri Accardi, CEO of 420MEDIA.  “This is just the first of many slated for this cannabis awareness education campaign with other renowned cannabis experts in the sports, medical and entertainment field sharing their wealth of information about benefits of medical cannabis. We are happy to break through and deliver the message that will reach national audiences,” she adds.

The first spot was co-sponsored by 420MEDIA along with several cannabis-based organizations and businesses including:

Humboldt Grace, a woman-owned cannabis strategic consulting company. Founder Lelehnia Du Bois offers her 45 years of experience to educate on the cannabis culture, work with individual, businesses, and organizations to develop successful strategies, and advocate for a healthy and sustainable industry.

The Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) 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 WashingtonOregonColorado,  New York and Ohio and publishes the MJNews Network.

Nature Nurse Products utilize the power of nature and knowledge of medicine to create products that support the biological Endocannabinoid system. Nature Nurse is a beautifully blended and synergistic combination of ancient plant wisdom which has been expanded upon through science to create high-quality, easy to use products to incorporate into everyday life supporting health and well-being.
Curved Papers, a new twist on Rolling Papers, was founded by Michael O’Malley, an MIT-educated entrepreneur whose innovative patented curved design makes joints Easy To Roll.

Vital CBD:  Age Vital pharmacy, research and wellness is your local community and compounding family pharmacy Sarasota. By working in the medical field closely with physicians and patients for several years, their primary commitment is to serve people who suffer from chronic conditions such as pain, inflammatory conditions, and stress.

We did it! We can take cannabis education to the mainstream on TV during Primetime to provide facts with the cannabis industry sponsors,” 420MEDIA’s Accardi said. “I’m humbled. We were able to achieve this five years to the day my Aunt Kathy passed away on October 2nd. I promised her that that I was going to educate the world about cannabis. This is the first in a series to air on TV. I encourage, and welcome cannabis and hemp businesses of any size interested in supporting cannabis education and build their brand awareness to contact us about unprecedented sponsorship opportunities,” she said.

Cannafest Destiny Tour Stops At First Church Of Cannabis In Indy On June 13th, 2018

INDIANA: Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) Founder David Rheins and Curved Papers Founder Michael O’Malley will be featured speakers at the weekly services of the First Church of Cannabis, spreading education and encouragement to Indianapolis’ cannabis community on Wednesday, June 13th, as part of the midwestern leg of their “Cannafest Destiny” educational tour.

The two will participate in the weekly services of The First Church of Cannabis, led by Grand Poohbah Bill Levin.   Levin and the Church first made international news back in the spring of 2015, after the group sued then Governor Mike Pence, and the State of Indiana, over the right to use cannabis as a sacrament in church services. The suit argues that cannabis consumption is protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a controversial law championed by Pence, that some have used as defense of discriminatory behavior against LGBTQ, Muslim, and other minority communities. That it could be used to protect cannabis would be ironic, given (now Vice President) Pence’s longstanding disapproval of marijuana use.

"Victory is having cannabis as our church sacrament."

“Victory is having cannabis as our church sacrament.”

It’s been a long, drawn out process, but after more than 3 years in the courts, a decision in the lawsuit will be announced by the end of June. “We are currently waiting for a verdict from our case,” Levin told MJ News Network. “The case ended on May 30th 2018, and the Judge has 30 days to render a verdict. We are obviously VERY OPTIMISTIC about the outcome.”

When asked if a victory meant that consumption of cannabis would be added to the weekly services, the Grand Poohbah assured us: “Yes. Victory is having cannabis as our church sacrament.”

And where will the sacrament, still illegal under Indiana state and federal law, come from? “We have church members in legal states who will gladly help us celebrate on this great day of religious freedom,” the Grand Poohbah assured us.

Levin and MJBA Founder David Rheins both grew up in Indianapolis and were colleagues and fellow pioneers in the independent music and publishing scene back in the 1980s.   “I’m thrilled to be back in my hometown,” said MJBA’s Rheins, “As a Hoosier who experienced first-hand the challenges facing those whose religious beliefs or lifestyle did not conform with the norm, it is an honor to be able to return with the good news that things are changing for the better. Federal Prohibition is ending, and legalization brings jobs, tax revenues and opportunity to Indiana.”

What does it mean to have the MJBA and Curved Papers address the congregation?   “I’m excited to see national businesses finally recognizing Indiana’s potential in the cannabis industry. It is an honor to welcome MJBA and Curved Papers here at The First Church of Cannabis,” Levin said.

Curved Papers supports the political activism of the cannabis community nationwide,” Michael O’Malley told MJNews. “Our Cannafest Destiny Tour with MJBA, and our licensing agreement with NORML contribute to the promotion of personal freedom and  the communication of accurate up-to-date information about the legalization movement. “

The Cannafest Destiny Tour first began in 2016, and has made stops in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.  The Midwestern leg of the tour will include stops in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

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.

NORML-MJBA-CURVED

“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.

Acorn Paper Creates New Division Targeting The Cannabis Industry

CALIFORNIA: Acorn Paper has launched a new division to meet the paper, packaging, janitorial/sanitation and custom promotional needs of the Cannabis industry. Branded as Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging (APCP), this division will address the entire cannabis supply chain to growers, manufacturers, distributors and consumer facing retail products. Acorn Paper is positioning itself to become a packaging industry thought leader in the fast-growing cannabis industry.

To lead this division, Acorn has hired Brad Davis as the APCP Product Category manager. A trailblazing senior sales, marketing and business development executive, Davis has a proven record leveraging innovation to drive revenue and market share growth. Davis’ background includes several C-suite corporate sales executive posts, at major digital media organizations including Disney, AOL and Comcast. He also brings substantial experience with entrepreneurial initiatives. A recognized “lifestyle brand expert” in fashion, parties & events, he was recently recognized by Angeleno Magazine as one of Los Angeles’ “Modern Men.”

“Acorn Paper and Packaging are using their years of experience in meeting standard and custom packaging needs for a variety of industries, for the rapidly changing cannabis supply chain- due to both state regulations and the changing marijuana consumer,” Davis told MJ News Network.  “APCP (Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging) has been created to dedicate specific, focused resources on meeting the needs of all aspects of the cannabis and related products industry.”

Davis will manage day to day operations of the division, including sales and marketing initiatives with general management responsibilities. Davis will work with the 90+ sellers in the Acorn Paper sales organization, and will initially focus efforts on the West Coast, with plans to offer a national footprint and e-commerce solutions in the coming year. A new destination URL will debut shortly: www.cannabispckg.com.

David Weissberg, CEO & President of Acorn, said, “We recognize the tremendous opportunity that the cannabis industry presents to our company. This will be a $70B industry in just a few years, and Brad Davis is the perfectly positioned executive to lead our initiatives in the space.”

Davis is “Proud to represent one of the largest privately held packaging companies on the west coast. With their long history of success and vertical focus in areas from agriculture to wine, addressing the needs of the entire cannabis supply chain is a natural addition to the Acorn family.”

Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging has recently became a corporate sponsor of the MJBA (Marijuana Business Association) and will have presence at trade shows and conferences, including MJBizCon throughout 2018.

“Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging chose to join MJBA, as our first professional trade association partnership, to augment the thought leadership MJBA has demonstrated over the past 6 years,” commented Davis. “Our goal is to help the cannabis industry understand the ways experts in brand marketing and  packaging can impact consumer sales and maximize effective fiscal management throughout the cannabis supply chain.”

Brad Davis can be reached at bdavis@acorn-paper.com or at 323-980-8353.

New Jersey Cannabis Symposium Is January 25th At NJPAC

NEW JERSEY:  In anticipation of the changes coming to cannabis laws in New Jersey in 2018, a group of cannabis industry professionals in the Garden State have put together a half day session that will explore and educate those interested in knowing how to prepare to enter this fast growing industry.

The New Jersey Cannabis Symposium, scheduled to take place on January 25 from 5-9pm at the NJPAC in Newark, will bring together an unprecedented set of resources for individuals, companies, and investors, supports an effort to catalyze early-movers who want prepare to position themselves well for participation in the New Jersey adult-use cannabis.

Among the panels and workshops that are on the agenda are:

    • Legislative Updates & Expectations for Program Timelines
    • Business & License Opportunity Assessment
    • Application Overview, Requirements & Timeline
    • Preparing an Application – What to Expect & Mistakes to Avoid
    • What you can/should be doing leading up to the formal process & Why
    • Real Estate Opportunity Insights & Zoning
    • Hierarchy of Operational Decision Making – How the order of your choices can dictate your long term success or failure
    • Facility Considerations
    • Business Plan & Pro Forma
    • Tax & Financial Information
    • Influence Mapping
    • Equipment & Talent Sourcing, etc

“As the news about New Jersey’s move towards approving adult use cannabis took on traction with the election of Governor Phil Murphy, we found there was also a lot of misinformation being circulated,” said Brian Staffa of the BSC Group, one of the hosts for the New Jersey Cannabis Symposium.  “We see this unique event as a way to  draw a roadmap for the months and years ahead, noting unique attributes about NJ’s current program, and drawing comparisons to how other states’ programs have evolved.”

“We see this event as a way to detail the required/recommended resources for applicants, and at the same time help ancillary companies to understand the process and needs of applicants, and how they can position themselves to serve the market effectively,” said Joshua Bauchner of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, a law firm co-hosting the New Jersey Cannabis Symposium.

Early Bird discount is $100 off through December 31.  For more information CLICK HERE.

The New Jersey Cannabis Symposium is being hosted by BSC Group, Ansell Grimm & Aaron PC, Viridis Security Group, Marcum LLP, Longview Strategic, and the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association.

Featured Sponsors include the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA), 420 IT Solutions, KCSA with others joining on.

TetraTrak’s Brian Yauger: Building Better Business Intelligence Technology

WASHINGTON: Brian Yauger has a game plan for bringing better business intelligence to the legal cannabis industry.  A Texan with Republican political leanings, the former NCAA football coach at first blush seems an unlikely figure to be heading one of Seattle’s hottest canna-tech firms, TetraTrak LLC, but Yauger believes his career as a big time college football coach was ideal preparation.

“Coaching turned out to be the perfect training for running a technology business,” Yauger tells MJNewsNetwork.  “You scout the field and competition, and you hire smart people to coach the positions that are not your strength.  Then you work tirelessly to put together a game plan.  Once you are comfortable with your plan you put it into action and then make adjustments on the fly as the game progresses.  You don’t get too high when things go right and you don’t get too down when things go wrong. You just keep pushing towards the goal line.  I think if you were to replace the words ‘game plan’ with ‘business plan’ and the word ‘adjustments’ with ‘pivots’, it is the exact description of how to run a business.”

Yauger Presents at MJBA Front Runner Seminar in Spokane

Yauger Presents at MJBA Front Runner Seminar in Spokane

Yauger relocated to Seattle in mid-June, 2014, looking to be a part of the Green Rush.  By February 2015 had founded TetraTrak, by opening a business checking account with $4600.  Within 6 months, Front Runner Data dashboard and searchable database Front Runner Data was cash positive.  Growing the company by establishing key strategic relationships with the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA), where he presents the monthly MJ Research Report, and several of its member technology companies, TraceWeed, and PayQwick.

TetraTrak takes advantage of the incredible amount of public data available from Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board.  Through its online portal, the LCB makes regularly publishes detailed market and company data, but in hard to consume spreadsheet format. The Front Runner Data service parses all the cumbersome Washington data into an easy to read dashboard and searchable database, so market participants can see who is selling what to whom and for how much.  To add even more value, Yauger and his team of analysts compile the data, add analysis, and publish it out to subscribers for $99 a month.  TetraTrak is currently building out a free service, with near real-time streaming data called MJTicker.com, which is expected to debut in the next few months as an advertising supported offering.

Yauger presenting to Front Runner and MJBA "Striking Oil" Seminar in Tacoma

Yauger presenting to Front Runner and MJBA “Striking Oil” Seminar in Tacoma

Hundreds of companies have already subscribed to his service in Washington, and the company is now raising money, and will use the proceeds of its raise to expand its service to include the legal markets of Oregon, Colorado and Alaska.

Bringing the dashboard to life, Front Runner and MJBA host quarterly professional education seminars called The Front Runner series, targeted panel discussions for licensees. These half-day workshops drill down into the official LCB numbers, parsing the wholesale and retail marijuana sales data into salient consumable chunks. MJBA’s David Rheins then leads panel discussions with the industry’s leading authorities – licensees, subject matter experts, and government regulators – and facilitates audience Q&A. Highlights of these panels are currently made available on YouTube via MJBA’s Marijuana Channel One, with full-length downloads of the seminars, in addition to live webinars, in the works.

“Relationships in the industry are everything,” Yauger explained.  Through organizations like the MJBA we have been able to network with other companies in the industry and grow very quickly.”

Canna-Technologists Adam Mauro, Leaf Logix, Eric Ogden, WeedTraQR, and Brian Yauger, TetraTrak at an MJBA mixer

Canna-Technologists Adam Mauro, Leaf Logix, Eric Ogden, WeedTraQR, and Brian Yauger, TetraTrak at an MJBA mixer

On the print front, Front Runner has teamed with Seattle-based Marijuana Venture Magazine to publish a monthly snapshot of Washington’s cannabis marketplace, and is in development with several other syndicated media programs.

Last week, as MJNewsNetwork was preparing this profile, Fox Sports was in town to profile Yauger. The story of how an all-American jock went from college coaching to cannabis is topical. Sports and cannabis is making national headlines, and trending up the twitersphere these days, with a number of high profile athletes from the NFL, NBA, NHL and UFC calling for the removal of the ban on medical cannabis.  Just last month, Yauger was a featured panelist at MJBA’s “Game On: The Business of Sports and Cannabis,” alongside NBA All-Star Cliff Robinson, and in other ways sees a convergence of his old sports and new cannabis careers.

NBA All-Star Cliff Robinson, Marc Belsher, Sliverback Advisors, and Yauger panelists at Game On: The Business of Sports and Cannabis in Portland

NBA All-Star Cliff Robinson, Marc Belsher, Sliverback Advisors, and Yauger panelists at Game On: The Business of Sports and Cannabis in Portland

 

Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan’s son Payton Ryan will be coming to work for TetraTrak after he graduates from college in May.   “Every football fan is familiar with the Ryan family,” Yauger said.   “The Ryan family is to NFL football what the Kennedy’s, Clinton’s, and Bushes are to politics.  Rob Ryan gave me my start in coaching and was my mentor.  We want to do the same thing with his nephew Payton.”

The cannabis technology field is super competitive, and the business intelligence segment of the marketplace is filled with first rate players.  Denver-based BDS, Washington, DC-based Frontier and Seattle-based Headset only the most prominent of the canna-tech firms seeking to build go-to metrics and analysis for this dynamic new marketplace.  All the competition motivates Yauger to push that much harder, “I work 70-90 hours most weeks, and not one minute of it has felt like work.  Building Front Runner and MJTicker and watching my little company that started out of necessity grow and become relevant in the industry has been so much fun.  I can’t wait to take it to the next level.”