Software Wars Slings And Arrows, Cease And Desist

WASHINGTON: MJ News Network has been reporting on the ongoing software wars between participants in the cannabis compliance, or so called “traceability” or “seed to sale” software arena.

Last week we reported on widespread accusations in social media that the official LCB portal, whose use is mandated for all licensees, contained security flaws — a charge the LCB flatly denied.

This week, following a meeting of the Marijuana Business Association in Seattle, MJ News Network was contacted by WeedTraqr, with accusations that BioTrackTHC, the author of the official LCB software, of “hacking” their system in a blog post on the company site. After attorneys for BioTrackTHC contacted WeedTraqr, the accusatory post was removed, but WeedTraQR’s Eric Ogden remains defiant:

Hi David, …so last night after MJBA BioTrackTHC tried to hack WeedTraQR. David [Busby] wrote a blog about this… We only have a couple hundred followers on our FB page and I was hoping you might share or at least ‘like’ our blog post… Check it out! Thanks! Eric
checking it out now.

They sent a cease and desist letter about 20 minutes ago claiming we are libelous! …we have documented proof of their hack attempt…
I read your blog.

before we had to pull it?
what will you do about the “cease and desist” demand from BioTrackTHC?

They faxed a letter from their attorney in FLA claiming our blog was libelous and demanding a cease and desist.

so we pulled the blog and posted a public response with documentation of the hack

We’ll get an attorney to respond. It’s not libelous if it’s true and we have proof

Attorney recommendation?
Chat Conversation End
MJ News Network contacted BioTrackTHC’s COO Patrick Vo, who passed along a copy of the response that he sent to WeedTraQR management:

WeedTraQR Management,

If you feel that you have been the victim of an internet crime, BioTrackTHC strongly advises that you contact the FBI’s Seattle office at 206-622-0460 so that the authorities can get involved and get to the bottom of this and so you can leave BioTrackTHC out of your problems. 

The information that you have provided thus far suggests that the attack came from Seattle by a user using the Google Chrome browser on a Mac OSX operating system.  TJ Ferraro is in Fort Lauderdale and uses the FireFox browser on Linux Slackware.  On top of that, to think that TJ would use his @biotrackthc email address in an attack is laughable.  It appears that your site allows anyone, even a six-year-old in another country, to sign-up with any email address they choose without an email verification process. 

We can assure you that BioTrackTHC was in no way involved in any attempted “hack”, and your continued baseless insinuations will not be tolerated and legal remedies will be pursued to the fullest extent possible.  

Washington’s Marijuana Compliance Software At Security Risk? LCB Says No

WASHINGTON: Reports that the software powering Washington State Liquor Control Board’s I-502 Portal contained serious security vulnerability have circulated widely on Reddit and across the cannabis industry blogs in the past several weeks.

MJ News Network asked the author of that software, BioTrackTHC, to clarify.  The company CTO, Patrick Vo, passed along a note from Liquor Control Board spokesperson Brian Smith that flatly denies the reports.

We reprint the contents of that memo here, in its entirety:


From: Smith, Brian E (LCB) ‪<brian.smith@lcb.wa.gov>‬

Date: Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 4:02 PM

Subject: LCB Follow Up

To: Patrick Vo <patrick.vo@biotrackthc.com> 

 

It has been reported online that Washington State’s recreational marijuana seed-to-sale traceability system has shown potential vulnerabilities that could lead to the software system being compromised. It has also been reported that the system could be temporarily shut down.

 

We are confident in the security of the system. As with any steward of private data, we ensure that strenuous precautions are taken to prevent any vulnerabilities. Our vendor has scanned the system and has seen no evidence of anomalies or any breach.

 

The Washington State Liquor Control Board and our vendor, BioTrackTHC, were not contacted for comment or fact-checking before this story was published. We recognize that attempts to hack an organization’s software systems is commonplace in today’s society.  We will continue to ensure that the system is protected using the latest and best security practices.

  

Brian E. Smith

Communications Director

Washington State Liquor Control Board

360-664-1774


 

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 …

Washington’s Top Pot Companies Recruit At Seattle Job Fair

WASHINGTON: Washington’s legal marijuana market is heating up. In the first two months of operation, the Evergreen State has generated more than 14 million in recreational marijuana sales, which resulted in more than $3 million in new tax revenues — all that with only a handful of legal pot shops open. Every week the Washington Liquor Control Board issues more recreational licenses for legal growers, producers and processors of pot, and as that production ramps up so does the demand for a wide range of professional services.

The Green Rush is on — cannabis employers are now focusing on hiring and so the Marijuana Business Association hosted a Job Fair to put would-be workers in weed together with new high-paying jobs.

The MJBA Job Fair happened Saturday at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue, WA, and was presented by online job board Weedhire.com, and sponsored by a host of leading canna-employers. AOL Jobs talked to some of them to find out what kind of jobs are being created in this new legal industry, and what kinds of experience and training will best prepare job seekers for an exciting new career in the cannabis trade.


Marco Hoffman,
President, Evergreen Herbal

Marco Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur out of California where he co-founded the Venice Cookie Company. He is modeling his smaller Washington operation after best practices learned at VCC. Evergreen Herbal has quickly established itself, and its 4.20 and infused-Quencher lines – at the top of Washington’s most successful medibles category.

MJBA Job Fair 231A.C. Braddock
CEO, Eden Labs

Eden Labs is a leading manufacturer of extraction technology, the innovator of the Hi-Flo Co2 system, the “Coldfinger” distillation systems and a multitude of protocols for the processing of botanicals. The company, which has deep roots in the food, tobacco and coffee industries, has grown quickly in response to the tremendous growth of the cannabis concentrates market. A.C. is a founding member of Women of Weed, Marijuana Business Association, NCIA and the MJBA Women’s Alliance.

Eden Labs does not micro-manage” A.C. tells AOL Jobs. “Employees must be able to work unsupervised, and will be expected to be responsible in achieving designated deadlines and improving the job role as needed.” Like many in the dynamic new industry, Braddock emphasizes the importance of being a team player with excellent communication skills.

MJBA Unveils 2nd Installation of The Road To Prosperity Poster Campaign

WASHINGTON: Think Rosie the Riveter with a passion for cannabis: The Marijuana Business Association (#MJBA), a leading trade organization representing the interests of participants in the fast-growing legal cannabis industry, unveiled the second installation in its “Road to Prosperity” series by artist Michael Guttsen at the monthly meetup of the Seattle MJBA held last night at Magical Butter Studios in Seattle’s SODO district.
The campaign is reminiscent of the Depression-era WPA posters and emphasizes the economic and cultural prosperity available through the legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana. “We are very excited to get delivery of poster #2 in #MJBA “Road to Prosperity” series by artist Michael Guttsen,” MJBA CEO David Rheins announced to the group, “Think Rosie the Riveter of Reform! This poster is dedicated to the MJBA Women’s Alliance, and the 100 strong female-owned cannabis businesses they represent, for setting a new standard in ethical business practices.”
Copies of the poster will be available, FREE, with paid membership, at the upcoming MJBA Job Fair, to be held at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue, WA on Saturday, September 27, 2014.  The event is being sponsored by Weedhire.com job board, and will showcase “High Paying Jobs In Legal Marijuana” from Washington Companies, including: IONIC, Evergreen Herbal, Eden Labs, Viridian Sciences, RMMC, Marijuana Venture, Blue Line Protection Group, BioTrack THC and many others.

Marijuana Business Association Coming To Vancouver, WA

By Sue Vorenberg

WASHINGTON: The Marijuana Business Association will be in Vancouver on Thursday, Sept. 18 for a special free Meetup event at the Vancouver Community Library.The meeting will be at the 901 C Street location from 6-8 p.m. and is sponsored by Viridian Sciences, a Vancouver marijuana industry software company.

Looks like a good event for local biz folks to check out and meet others in the industry in Southwest Washington.

“The reason that MJBA does these things is to empower the local community,” said Dave Rheins, CEO and co-founder of the organization. “So we put together these Meetups to share information, make introductions and really learn who is doing what in the area.”

There will be a few vendor tables and speakers on hand to talk about the industry sector here and the issues it faces. Local companies can also sign up to talk to the group by emailing Morgan@mjba.net.

So far MJBA has scheduled a business presentation and a political presentation from Bob Dingenthal, who is running for Congress against Jaime Herrera-Beutler this fall, for the event.

There will also have open networking time and a chance to meet Mike Davis, who will be the group’s independent representative for the region. (Davis, who lives in Brush Prairie, can be reached at 360-624-4115).

“He came to us from doing other association and business groups,” Rheins said. “He’s here to help be a local facilitator and lend business support to the community.”

So far, MJBA has about 300 members across the state, with a handful in Southwest Washington, including Viridian Sciences, Rheins said.

Membership in the group is $250 a year per business.

Rheins will be at the meeting as will others from the organization. I’m planning on attending as well.

Who else is coming?

Cheers,
-SueVo (sue.vorenberg@columbian.com)