Category: Events (page 2 of 18)

Cannabis Entrepreneur Summit, Day 2: May 22nd, 2016

This is the second article covering the Green Flower Cannabis Entrepreneur Summit. You can find our coverage of the first day here.

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Green Flower, founded by Max Simon, is a media company that is committed to expressing cannabis in a positive and responsible manner. Sunday marked the second and final day of the Cannabis Entrepreneur Summit, which hosted thousands of viewers from all over the world.

Paul Benhaim: The Wide-Open Business Opportunities in Hemp

Sunday started off with a presentation by Paul Benhaim of the hemp company Elixinol. Benhaim has been involved in hemp solutions at an industrial scale since 1993. The theme of his presentation was that hemp has the potential to improve many aspects of modern culture, including industrial, environmental, and health benefits.

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Benhaim was pleased to address the changing paradigm surrounding a plant that can help clean up a lot of the world, replacing fossil fuels and massive deforestation with a simultaneously medical and industrial organism.

Chuck Rifici: Business Lessons Learned from One of the World’s Largest Cannabis Cultivators

Chuck Rifici of Nesta Holding is a major player in the realm of cannabis investment. Rifici founded the cannabis mega-producer Canopy Growth (formerly Tweed Marijuana). During his presentation, Rifici addressed the many regulations governing the cannabis industry, and stressed the importance for business owners and operators to educate themselves on all of the rules.

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Rifici also discussed the potential for success that can come about by isolating an issue and creating your own advantage in a niche area of the market. In this way, embracing the regulations, monitoring shifts, and capitalizing on opportunities is the cannabis entrepreneur’s best strategy.

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Finally, Rifici discussed the power of ideas and execution. To secure the best investors, you need to have an exceptional team that is capable of staying in stride with legal shifts.

Max Simon Interviews Evan Eneman from Casa Verde Capital

Evan Eneman has a pretty enviable job: he works with Snoop Dogg at Casa Verde Capital, an investment group that focuses on the ancillary services that will support the cannabis industry. Eneman confirmed the importance of business owners to remain vigilant and be prepared for any pending changes.

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Evan Eneman (Right) from Casa Verde Capital

Being aware of the industry’s current landscape is good, but for true success with investors, you also need to be able to gather data about your company’s place within the industry. Engaging education should be assigned to every product so that people understand your company’s mission as well as the business narrative about your solutions and services.

Amy Poinsett: Better, Faster, Easier Ways to Operate a Fully Compliant Cannabis Company

Amy Poinsett is the CEO of MJ Freeway, one of the most prolific tracking softwares available to handle business compliance in the ever-changing cannabis industry. Poinsett gave an incredibly informative speech on the best ways to create a compliant business.

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In addition to discussing MJ Freeway as a compliance platform, Poinsett played out the five aspects most important for a business owner seeking to be compliant: perform due diligence, determine your applicant requirements, your local regulations, industry-wide tracking requirements, and ultimately labeling and packing regulations.

Meg Sanders: Why It’s the Right Time for Entrepreneurs and Executives to Enter the Cannabis Industry

Meg Sanders remembers 2009 as a magical time. The Colorado cannabis industry was just formulating after the federal government made claims to reduce attacks on cannabis businesses, and Sanders found herself seeking to create a truly health-conscious business for patients.

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Now, six years later, Sanders is the CEO of Mindful, an incredibly respected and well-known cannabis brands in America today. After viewing her presentation, cannabis entrepreneurs can gain a deeper appreciation of the obstacles that previous business owners have gotten out of the way.

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The advancements in technology and opportunities has certainly set the table for new businesses to start without as much friction as in the past.

David Drake: Best Technology Practices for Cannabis Businesses

David Drake, founder and CEO of Cannabis Reports, gave an awesome presentation at the Green Flower Entrepreneur Summit on Sunday. Many of the experts discussed advanced business issues like licensing, compliance, and investments. Drake took a step back to describe what is required for a small business to develop a solid technological foundation.

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Drake has given many presentations on cannabis technology, but for this presentation, he really stressed the basics of technology in business, covering phone and email set-up, and the importance of setting up systems that respect sensitive personal information in this emerging industry.

Scott Greiper: Follow the Money: The 12 Sectors of the Cannabis Industry Where Investment Dollars Are Going

Scott Greiper is the founder and President of Viridian Capital Advisors. During the Entrepreneur Summit, Greiper explained how expertise needs to be considered as business set themselves up for investment and growth.

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Building a solid and proficient team was a theme throughout the summit, and Greiper reinforced how important it is for businesses to make sure they get the proper financial checks, ethical business practices, and operational proficiency before they move to far along.

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Greiper has unique insights into the flow of capital in the cannabis industry, and made a very powerful statement about the industry as a whole already having enough demand to support robust consumer markets. However, because the marketplace is saturated with inexperienced business owners, it is hard to find complete executive teams that are diverse, experienced, and talented in both the cannabis space and in general business practices.

Panel with Amanda Reiman, Sarah Holyhead: How You Can Help Change Cannabis Laws

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After lunch, Amanda Reiman (Drug Policy Alliance) and Sarah Holyhead (Marijuana Policy Project) were joined on stage by event host Max Simon (Green Flower) to discuss the process of legal change when it comes to cannabis laws.

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Specifically, the panel meant to highlight the ways in which the community can help support cannabis activists. Both women agreed that the most effective strategy is to first lay a groundwork of support, so that politicians see that the cannabis conversation is being had by many of their constituents.

Speaking to local and state politicians is a perfect opportunity to express positive cannabis attitudes and making sure they understand the importance of consistent access to cannabis. For businesses, it is also important to stress that future tax revenue for that politician’s locality will be influenced by local cannabis ordinances and taxes. It is important that cannabis businesses and politics understand that their interests are very much aligned.

The takeaway from this panel was that involvement from the community is necessary at all levels of government, but especially in local municipalities where the majority of decisions are made.

Francis Priznar: Designing Your Perfect Pitch – Hitting Notes Cannabis Investors Need to Hear

Francis Priznar is the Senior Vice President of The ArcView Group. Priznar has an incredible amount of experience when it comes to mentoring companies in their start-up and mid-level growth periods. His presentation was perfect for anyone who is seeking investment. In step-by-step fashion, Priznar details the best methods for developing a strong and concise pitch.

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A good pitch will introduce the business to investors or potential partners and leave them wanting to know more. The ‘more’ is where it starts getting tricky. Priznar reinforces how necessary it is for your company mission and narrative to be succinct and express precisely what you hope to accomplish.

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On those lines, investors want to know about the business and how it will relate to the rest of the industry. Good data and industry insights are necessary to be able to answer questions from investors about potential opportunities, operating costs, and general market trends.

Kris Krane: What are the Real Licensing Opportunities Emerging in Cannabis Markets?

Kris Krane is President of 4Front Advisors, and helps would-be cannabis businesses determine the best opportunities for operating legally within the cannabis industry. Licensing is one of the most arduous aspects of the cannabis industry. There are a limited number of permits available and there are a lot of things that can keep you from actually being granted a license.

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During his presentation, Krane discusses how state laws vary, and the importance of understanding the regulations of the regional cannabis market in which you want to operate. For instance, some states only accept applications from people who are permanent residents. Other states do not allow for certain types of extraction methods that have become prevalent in the more advanced cannabis markets.

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Krane’s Speech is vital information for those seeking entry into the cannabis industry, as he is able to clearly explain the ways in which cannabis licensing is both similar to and different from other consumable industry practices.

Start-Up Stories Panel: Michael Steinmetz and Mathew Gerson

The final panel of the Entrepreneur Summit featured Michael Steinmetz, co-founder and CEO of Flow Kana, and Mathew Gerson, founder and CEO of Foria. Both of these industry leaders are actually executives of relatively young businesses.

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Steinmetz gave the audience insight into how Flow Kana’s services came to be, and how he was personally inspired to build products for the farmers who work os hard to bring high quality cannabis flowers to market.

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Mathew Gerson has helped to create one of the most talked about cannabis products available in shops right now. Foria’s mission is to combine sensuality, pleasure, and wellness into one product that combines plant medicine with pleasure. Gerson explains how the inspiration came from a past relationship, and that sometimes successful businesses can be created around a “hunch.”

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Cannabis Reports covers cannabis events that display the importance of education. You can read our coverage from Day 1 of the Entrepreneur Summit. Please feel free to join the discussion in the comments section below, or through our Facebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

Cannabis Entrepreneur Summit, Day 1: May 21, 2016

Join the cannabis business community for the Cannabis Entrepreneur Summit, provided to the world for free by Green Flower. Register now for this online event, 9am-5pm on May 21st-22nd. Cannabis Reports will be providing live coverage and updates through our blog and social media channels.

Today was the start of the Cannabis Entrepreneur Summit by Green Flower. It’s a free, virtual cannabis conference with over 30 speakers that opens up the industry to those on the outskirts, as well as those who are already involved.

The inspiring and educational livestream event began with an emotional video by the company which depicted individuals “Coming Out Green” and expressing both the miraculous benefits and the negative stigma that cannabis brings to their lives. Then, after an introduction by Green Flower founder Max Simon, the speaker roster began presenting.

Patrick Rea: How To Find Your Unique Niche In The Cannabis Industry

The founder of cannabis startup accelerator CanopyBoulder has witnessed the inception of several startups, and gave his steps for discovering your own unique niche as an entrepreneur. First, get active and involved. Then, assess yourself and your talents honestly, while studying industry segments and how you can best apply your skills. Lastly, start building your team and execute. Just as Patrick said, all great things take time, including great business ideas. Some of the biggest future companies in the cannabis space haven’t even been started yet!

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Julianna Carrella: How To Build A Cannabis Products Company The Right Way

The Founder & CEO of Auntie Dolores started off by retelling the story of her first dispensary experience, in which she saw lots of unhealthy, un-tasty edibles on the shelves. She developed a quality gourmet brand called Auntie Dolores and more recently, the Treatibles CBD line for pets. She says that building brand trust is more important than in any other industry because the customers are most often patients with special needs and sensitivities. Products say what they are supposed to say on the package, and do exactly what they are expected to do, are the ones that eventually develop into the most amazing products.

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Aeron Sullivan: How To Open Up More (And Better) Distribution Channels For Your Cannabis Products

According to the CEO & Founder of Tradiv, cannabis business all comes down to the product, placement, and promotion. Advertising and promotion regulations will be changing soon to allow for more growth in the last area, but for now, distribution and fulfilment are the last pieces that come together for an efficient business model. Cannabis acts as both a commodity and a retail consumer product. Price points fluctuate based on supply and the brands in play. Assessing quality is hard to objectively measure – that’s why brand and reputation helps bring the quality home. Aeron shared three tips to succeed in cannabis distribution: build an aggressive sales team, use marketing to support your sales efforts, and always be diversifying channels.

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Max Montrose: Budtenders- Things They Should Know About Patient Care But Often Don’t

In Colorado, nail technicians, massage therapists, tattooists and piercers, all must be trained and licensed. There is no such requirement for budtenders. Training is typically in-house, with no real chemical education about the plant. Or, they can use a resource like Trichome Institute, which Max Montrose founded for this exact purpose.

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There’s a fundamental lack of education among industry insiders and physicians about how products are made, and how cannabinoids react within the body. They don’t know how to help their patients navigate this space any more than budtenders do. It’s important to listen to patients’ specific goals and be able to match products in order to give them a pleasant and therapeutic experience. The future of cannabis is in responsible vending practices. Employees must know rules and regulations of the industry, as well as the science behind it.

Shango Los: Online Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Cannabis Business & Build Your Brand

For those just starting out today, Facebook and Instagram are the major social media channels for the cannabis industry, says the cannabis industry podcaster for Ganjapreneur. The easiest way to execute a strategy is to begin photographing everything and anything that resonates with your brand. Avoid using slang to “look cool” – educate yourself on the culture to identify authentically with your target audience. If you aren’t comfortable creating social media content, hire young up-and-comers to inject genuine attitude into your posts. It also never hurts to co-brand campaigns with other companies that you work with, from oils and infusions to LED lighting, Shango advises entrepreneurs to always think creatively.

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Steve DeAngelo: The Future Of Cannabis

According to Harborside’s founder, the worst of the darkness has passed, and the light is within reach. There’s been plenty of positive news lately, such as the recent DEA victory recently for Harborside and a Marin County dispensary, and only ten states left without some form of cannabis reform. New regulations, and potential outcomes of the presidential race, may cause some pain and hardship for some members of the cannabis community, but nothing can roll back the states’ progress. Crime and drug overdoses are down in states where cannabis laws have been reformed, showing a demonstrated track record of community service that will reinforce cannabis advocates’ efforts worldwide.

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Alan Brochstein, Joel Milton, Holly Alberti: Better Ways To Raise Funds For Your Cannabis Business

This panel discussed the myriad fundraising strategies in the space. Holly, Founder and CEO of Healthy Headie Lifestyle, puts her faith in research and development in order to recognize whether or not an idea or business model is going to be sustainable. Joel, CEO of Baker Technologies, said it is incredibly useful to have legal documents in place as soon as possible; no need to spend thousands on lawyers, it’s best keep things basic and straightforward. Alan Brochstein brought a media perspective to the table, as he has reported on publicly traded cannabis companies since 2013. He says institutional funding is no longer big in the cannabis industry, as the SEC has been cracking down on unethical actors. Until federal law changes this will be shaky ground for traditional institutional investors.

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All agreed that entrepreneurs should keep it simple when possible, always staying relatable to the target audience. This is what convinces investors that ideas will work on the long-term. Additionally, all the coaching and connections in the world will not help you get investment funding – it’s all about the conversation and ability to build trust in the company, the team, and the longevity of the idea.

Emily Paxhia: Crucial Investment Lessons From One Of The Most Prolific Cannabis Investors In The World

Emily is the CoFounder of Poseidon Asset Management, which she started with her brother in 2014 as one of the first cannabis-focused equity firms. Her journey of discovering the cannabis industry began after her father experienced medical problems. Then, she and her brother set out to form Poseidon to fund and grow new, next-level companies in the cannabis space. Emily’s goal with her company has never been about money alone – it’s about making an impact and helping people in need. Her lessons were to invest only if you can improve upon a company’s circumstance, and to pay attention to every detail, including the team and investment history.

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Roy Bingham: The Data About What Cannabis Consumers Are Actually Buying At Dispensaries

Data, like the information compiled by Bingham’s firm, BDS Analytics, is giving entrepreneurs lots of insight into what types of cannabis products are most desired in the patient and consumer community, the most popular cannabinoid dosages, and the relative success of dispensaries and manufacturers. As far as retail sales go, most people still go for classic flower. However, concentrates and edibles are extremely fast-growing fields in both Washington and Colorado, and the trend should follow in other states as key reforms take place next year. Roy’s advice is to always be data-centric. Facts, figures, numbers, and visualizations help you make decisions, identify problems and solutions, and connect with customers.

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Try This! with Mandee Lee

Green Flower Media’s weekly product review show offered an exclusive live demonstration of the Stashlogix cannabis carrying cases. The bags are odor-proof, durable, fit all the essentials, and are secured by built-in combination lock – perfect for cannabis consumers who happen to be parents or frequent travelers.

Reggie Gaudino: How To Protect Yourself And Cannabis From The Inevitable Entry Of Big Pharma & Big Agriculture

Reggie has had a relationship with cannabis for decades. He’s the VP of Science at Steep Hill Laboratories, and he believes that cannabis will inevitably end up within the jurisdiction of the mainstream health care industry. He explained how different types of patents can help cannabis entrepreneurs protect themselves, and their products, both legally and financially. There are options for cultivators to patent proprietary strains, as well as for cannabis businesses who want to patent intellectual property. He advises to research the costs prior to seeking any patents on your particular product or business model.

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Luke Stanton: How To Avoid The Costliest Legal Mistakes That Happen Every Day In The Cannabis Business

Luke is the Managing Partner & Founder of Frontera Law Group. He spent years studying criminal justice prior to getting into the cannabis industry, where his firm specializes in dispute resolution. He advises entrepreneurs to stick to the skill set that they excel at, before trying a lot of new things in this space.

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According to Luke, here are the top five mistakes new cannabis entrepreneurs make:

  1. Assuming cannabis is an easy business.
  2. Straying too far from your core competencies.
  3. Trying to do everything on your own.
  4. Getting into the partnerships with the wrong people.
  5. Not following basic rules and regulations.

Panel: How To Create Better Cannabis Content That Builds Your Brand And Following

DOPE, Green Flower, MG Magazine and Civilized all came together to discuss the state of cannabis media, the content strategies being used, and how to create effective and compelling content for your brand. One piece of advice was to focus on diverse subject matter that relates to more people – for example, travel and music can bring “outsiders” into the cannabis culture because of their interests. For B2B publications and marketing efforts, a specific purpose must be served in order to give readers the value they crave.

Cannabis Reports will be covering the event both days on our blog and throughout our social media platforms. You can engage with our team both days that weekend between 9am and 5pm on our Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Gamers Unite! Level Up Wellness Center to Host Super Smash Bros Tournament, Saturday May 21st

Cannabis and video games have always done very well together. The team at Level Up Wellness Center has built their San Leandro delivery service to serve the entire community, but video game enthusiasts have a special place in this company’s heart.

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This Saturday, May 21st, Level Up will be hosting their first “Video Game Event.” The convention starts at 11am and continues until 10pm at the San Leandro Marina Community Center (15301 Wicks Blvd. San Leandro, CA 94579).

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This event does not require a medical cannabis card, and is open to everyone. You can register here for the event, or show up before the entry cut-off at 12:30pm.

The Main Event: Super Smash Bros Tournament (Project M)

Level Up Wellness Center has set the main competition as a Project M tournament. Project M is a modified version of the 2008 version of Super Smash Bros Brawl for Wii. The game was redesigned to play in a similar fashion to the original Super Smash Bros (N64, 1999) and Super Smash Bros Melee (GameCube, 2001).

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By taking characters from Brawl, and reverting gameplay back to the physics and attack precision of the earlier skill-based versions of Super Smash BrosProject M became a highly popular modded version of Nintendo’s classic fighting game.

Project M has a very interesting history and work on the game halted in 2015, although Nintendo never demanded that the Project M dev team cease operations. Still, the game was download hundreds of thousands of times and still carries an avid following.

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Even though the Project M tournament will be the highlighted competition at Saturday’s Tournament and Smashfest, the team at Level Up Wellness expects side games to break out immediately.

Everyone is encouraged to bring their preferred Super Smash Bros set up, whatever version that may be. (Level Up will be bringing some old school versions themselves).

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Cannabis Reports covers interesting events involving members of the cannabis community. For the most up to date info on Cannabis Reports, follow us on Twitter, and like us on our Facebook page.

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