Tag: startup (page 1 of 14)

Investing in Cannabis Interviews David Drake, Founder and CEO of Cannabis Reports

David Drake, founder and CEO of Cannabis Reports, was recently invited to speak with Investing in Cannabis about the importance of foundational data based on accurate cannabis information.


Investing in Cannabis tells the stories of the hardworking members in the cannabis industry, including regulators, founders, investors, and pioneers.

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Drake was interview by Brandon David at the Oakland offices of Investing in Cannabis, where the two engaged in an awesome conversation about the future of a fledgling cannabis industry.

You can watch the full video below, or via the original source: Investing in Cannabis (May 22nd, 2016).

Building an Industry on Data and Good Information

Cannabis information varies widely, and accuracy has been an issue as our community tries to build trust with those still skeptical about cannabis.

David Drake, Founder and CEO of Cannabis Reports

David Drake, Founder and CEO of Cannabis Reports

The topics brought up in the interview stem from Drake’s underlying mission at Cannabis Reports. Here are some of the key points of discussion presented by Drake:

  • Promoting education and helping customers feel more comfortable by making information available and open and transparent. People should be able to develop their own relationships with cannabis, and people should be able to do this at their own pace.

    The Genealogy of the Strain: Blue Dream

    The Genealogy of the Strain: Blue Dream

  • Understanding that there is a strain called Blue Dream, but that different cultivators will produce different versions of that strain. Being able to discuss cannabis strains at deeper levels of specificity.
  • Genealogy can be an important factor as patients try to find what works for them. Experiences with different strains are at a personal level, and the recommendation engine ties that information back to landraces.
  • In 2008, Smoke Reports started as a research project to get all of the strain data into one place.61LcSrqvvuL
  • Building a dataset, hundreds of sources not just Big Book of Buds, by manually entering seed company and strain history information. That is how we are able to have a recommendation engine based on these landraces.
  • Helping business in the cannabis space. It is very important to Drake that data does not get lost again like it did for Overgrow.com in the early 2000s. Open APIs allow developers and technologists to start with foundational tech and not have to do their own massive research.circuit_leaf_dropshadow-676x685
  • Leafly closing down the API hurts the development community. Drake does not have an exclusive attitude.
  • “We just want to deliver GB of data to folks.”
  • We do not believe there is a winner or owner of the data. With this thinking, we can then build in a more open and collaborative way.
  • Cannabis Reports team does not even use the word ‘competitor’. Our structure and organization of Cannabis Reports makes every company a potential partner. Working together means helping people at a larger scale.Ccov4DJUEAAcqhU
  • Data is available for free for API users. Producers and dispensaries pay small monthly fee for their listing and admin tools, but developers do not have to pay any money.
  • The underlying question: Is cannabis going to be an open space, or is it going to be a private me vs. you community?
  • Been very interesting for Drake to explain the Cannabis Reports mission to investors with more traditional mindsets. Sticking to the goal of providing small business owners and technologists underlying tools so they can do their jobs better without gathering all their own data.dispensary-devices
  • Cannabis Reports is silently become a major support pillar for the cannabis industry and community.
  • One of the biggest things we are trying to do right now is to develop the open cannabis future. We want to see if there is a possibility for developing open standards for operation. If we as an industry and community can agree and adopt standards in the open, we can be very powerful moving forward as one unified group.

Brandon David, Host of Investing in Cannabis

The entire team at Cannabis Reports wants to extend a huge “Thank You!” to Brandon David and the Investing in Cannabis team! This was a great opportunity for us to capture a glimpse of the positive cannabis future we are working toward.

For the most up to date info on Cannabis Reports, follow us on Twitter, and like us on our Facebook page.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.

Register for the Free Online Cannabis Entrepreneur Summit: May 21st and 22nd

Whether you own a cannabis business, are thinking about entering the industry, or simply want to learn from cannabis experts, then you have to check out the Cannabis Entrepreneur Summit.

This online event is offered to the world for free by Green Flower media. Don’t forget to register here for free access to the entire event.


The Entrepreneur Summit will take place this Saturday and Sunday (May 21-22), and will feature two days packed with expert speakers and business panels. One of the speakers is the founder and CEO of Cannabis Reports: David Drake.

David Drake, Founder and CEO of Cannabis Reports

David Drake, Founder and CEO of Cannabis Reports

During a Sunday morning slot estimated to begin just after 11am, Drake will discuss technological responsibility in cannabis, and the many considerations business owners should review as they build their companies. Last week, Drake gave us a preview of what to expect from his presentation on technology.

Below is an approximation of the schedule for the Cannabis Entrepreneur Summit:

Day 1 – Saturday, May 21

Approximately 9:00 – 10:30

Speaker 1 – Niche – Patrick Rea

Speaker 2 – Products – Julianna Carella

Speaker 3 – Products – Aeron Sullivan


Approximately 10:40 – 12:45

Speaker 4 – Max Montrose

Speaker 5 – Shango Los

Speaker 6 – The Future – Steve D


Approximately 1:45 – 3:15

Panel 7 – Better ways to raise funds

Speaker 8 – Investments – Emily Paxia

Speaker 9 -Data – Roy Bingham


Approximately 3:25 – 5:00

Speaker 10 – Protecting Strains – Reggie Gaudino

Speaker 11 – Legal – Luke Stanton

Panel 12 – Creating Better Cannabis Content

Day 2 – Sunday, May 22nd

Approximately 9:00 – 10:30

Speaker 13 – Hemp – Paul Benhaim

Speaker 14 – Growing – Chuck Rifici

Speaker 15 – Compliance – Amy Poinsettia


Approximately 10:40 – 12:45

Speaker 16 – Exec’s Enter Industry – Meg Sanders

Speaker 17 – Tech – David Drake

Speaker 18 – Investments – Scott Greiper


Approximately 1:45 – 3:15

Panel 3 – How to help change laws

Speaker 19 – Pitching – Francis Priznar

Speaker 20 – Licensing – Kris Krane


Approximately 3:25 – 5:00

Panel 4 – Start-Up Stories 

As you can see, the many topics being discussed at this free summit should be understood by anyone who wants to find success in the cannabis industry.

The Cannabis Reports team will be covering the Cannabis Entrepreneur Summit both days on our Facebook pageTwitter, and Instagram, including articles recapping the presentations at the end of each day.

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