Former MedMen executives join high-profile marijuana companies

Former MedMen executives join high-profile marijuana companies

Two more MedMen executives have left the company for other cannabis industry jobs:

  • Toronto-based Flower One Holdings announced that Kellen O’Keefe, ex-MedMen senior vice president of business development, was joining its team as chief strategy officer.
  • Meanwhile, multistate operator Acreage Holdings announced it hired MedMen’s former senior vice president of technology, Alfred Miranda, as its new chief information officer.

The news follows departures earlier this year of MedMen’s chief operating officer, general counsel and senior vice president of communications.

Before that, the fiery departure of ex-CFO James Parker led to a pending lawsuit alleging California-based MedMen forced him out.

O’Keefe, however, said he’s “extremely proud” of the work he did at MedMen.

He described his move to Flower One as an opportunity that was too good to pass up.

“I actually think MedMen is in a really great position,” O’Keefe told Marijuana Business Daily.

“They’ve gone through some considerable growing pains … but they are in absolutely the best position they’ve ever been in and in the hands of some of the most capable and talented people in the entire cannabis industry.”

John Schroyer can be reached at [email protected]

Published at Fri, 19 Jul 2019 20:05:44 +0000

Why Marijuana Banking Needs to Change

Why Marijuana Banking Needs to Change

The marijuana stock market has been booming over the past few years. In that time, we have seen company valuations shoot up, as well as investor faith in the market. Despite the massive influx of capital, banking for the industry has yet to catch up.

This means that marijuana businesses and pot stocks have a more than difficult time handling money in their respective companies. New laws, however, maybe going into effect in the near future that could begin to shift this. For now, this is one of the largest issues that the cannabis stock space has had to face.

Where the Issue Lies For U.S. Marijuana Stocks

The U.S. has become the largest area for marijuana stocks to flourish. Despite more than half of the country putting in legislation to allow weed in some form or another, the federal government has yet to fix their stance. The feds currently view cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic. This means that they believe the plant has no medicinal value. In addition, it also states that they believe cannabis has a high potential for addiction.

This, of course, is not factual and has not been proven by any sort of scientific research. The research that has been done has shown the reality to be quite the contrary. Cannabis has a large amount of potential to treat a wide variety of ailments.

Two Marijuana Stocks as an Alternative for Banking

Brinks Company (NYSE:BCO) is considered to be one of the main companies for cannabis banking. Although they are traditionally a money transport service, the company saw a big gap in the market and began to capitalize on it.

Since marijuana businesses do not have access to banks or traditional financial services, they have turned to companies like Brinks. Brinks can handle everything from the safeguarding of money to transport and more. This is a large part of the reason that the company has seen such an uptick in value over the past year or so.

Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR) is not a traditional marijuana stock either. The company operates as an REIT or Real Estate Investment Trust. This means that they own a series of facilities which they then lease out to those wishing to grow cannabis. Although they do not bank for cannabis stocks, they do offer investments where others do not.

The company has also reportedly leased out all of its facilities. This means that their profitability is as high as it could be. The company has consistently given returns to investors in the form of both dividends and stock price increases. As an alternative marijuana stock, they definitely present a solid opportunity to investors across the board.

All in all, marijuana stocks and the companies that offer banking services, seem to be growing in volume. The hopes are high that this can continue to occur throughout the future of the industry. Only time will tell how long the industry can see success while the banking issue continues to stand.

marijuana stocks money

Published at Fri, 19 Jul 2019 14:19:22 +0000

Michigan Cuts Marijuana Licensing Fees in 19 Cities Impacted By Drug War

Michigan Cuts Marijuana Licensing Fees in 19 Cities Impacted By Drug War

Orchid Ventures, a California-based, multi-state cannabis brand, has entered into an agreement to purchase assets from GreenBloom Cannabis Co., a vertically integrated cannabis operator with five retail stores, two cultivation facilities, one distribution entity and six brands across Oregon and California.

Per the agreement, Orchid will acquire five of GreenBloom’s retail outlets, as well as two of GreenBloom’s cultivation facilities in Oregon and a cultivation and processing facility that is in development in California. Orchid will also acquire a wholesale and retail facility from GreenBloom, as well as a distribution facility. To cap off the deal, Orchid is also acquiring six of GreenBloom’s cannabis brands.

The total value of the transaction, which was set in motion on July 2, is estimated at more than $29 million.

Orchid, based in Irvine, Calif., launched in California and Oregon in 2017 with its flagship brand, Orchid Essentials. The brand’s vape products have gained a loyal consumer following, according to Orchid CEO Corey Mangold.

“Orchid’s products lines are currently sold in 350-plus dispensaries across California and Oregon and are handcrafted and designed for maximum flavor and overall enjoyment,” Mangold told Cannabis Business Times. “The company’s proven processes and passion for what it does carry through into its products.”

GreenBloom recognized the power of the Orchid brand, which attracted the company to the deal, according to GreenBloom Co-CEO George Mattia.

“My number one thing was Corey and his staff,” Mattia told Cannabis Business Times. “I’ve been carrying Orchid products in my stores since they came to Oregon. I think they’ll be one of the premier brands, if they’re not already. There aren’t really a lot of brands out there in the market nationally, and everyone is still trying to get used to this as we’re still in a new industry. Orchid was recognized. … That’s what made me attracted to it, is their customer loyalty.”

“We’ve proven that if we can be successful in Oregon—a state that’s already gone through price compression and consolidation—we can not only survive in other territories, but flourish.”

-Corey Mangold, CEO, Orchid Ventures

Orchid also shares GreenBloom’s overall goal to build a profitable company and create jobs for local communities.

“We’re after building a real team,” Mattia said. “Our goal is to make sure that every one of our assets is profitable, … [to] have good relationships, and just do good, honest business. That’s one of the main things that attracted me to the Orchid deal.”

The GreenBloom acquisition will allow Orchid to increase its cost of goods sold, streamline its supply chain in California and Oregon, and develop best practices and training protocols to aid in its brand expansion, Mangold said.

“California and Oregon are our home states and will continue to serve as the proving grounds and testing grounds for product and brand development, allowing us insight directly into retail through stores we’re acquiring through this transaction,” Mangold said. “The cultivation facilities are great revenue generators and also allow us to develop and test our own genetics and develop products that are truly differentiated.”

Being forged in the fires of Oregon has made Orchid resilient, Mangold added. “Oregon is a great state to be in because its market is seasoned and it’s highly competitive. We’ve proven that if we can be successful in Oregon—a state that’s already gone through price compression and consolidation—we can not only survive in other territories, but flourish.”

The ultimate goal, Mangold said, is to continue building multiple brands across multiple states—and, eventually, countries—in order to create a global cannabis brand.

Published at Fri, 19 Jul 2019 15:57:00 +0000

Female Founders in Their 50s Are Starting Cannabis Companies to Take Care of Their Own

Female Founders in Their 50s Are Starting Cannabis Companies to Take Care of Their Own

Jennifer Chapin, the cofounder of Kikoko, recently recalled how she was “laughed out of the dispensaries” when she tried to sell her low-dose cannabis-infused teas in her company’s early days. Three years later, Kikoko’s teas, which come in sachets and canisters wrapped with pink-and-purple stripes and cartoon flowers promising benefits such as “Sensuali-tea” and “Tranquili-tea,” are sold through over 300 storefronts and delivery services across California.

“We are a women-centric, women-owned, women-operated company,” Chapin declared to a room full of women at Arcview, a conference for cannabis investors, in Los Angeles in February. “By women, for women.”

Arcview welcomes investors irrespective of gender, but Kikoko had sponsored a women-only “tea party” (with unmedicated tea) to facilitate some female-friendly networking and announce that the company was seeking capital for expansion into new product categories, with minimum investments starting at $1 million.

Courtesy, Kikoko

Founders of female-focused cannabis startups like Kikoko may soon be laughing all the way to the bank—and they’re getting there by looking beyond millennials, and catering to women in their 40s, 50s, and beyond. Executives such as Chapin, who is 55, are listening to older women’s wishes for low-dose cannabis products that address concerns such as sleep, anxiety, and sexual pleasure, and positioning their companies at the very lucrative intersection of women, weed, and wellness.

Wellness, women, and weed

It’s a market that’s growing. Women control the majority of household purchases, and according to the US Consumer Expenditure Survey, single women over 45 spend about $640 per year on personal care items and $400 annually on drugs. As legalization takes hold, those products are increasingly likely to contain—or even be replaced by—cannabis. According to sales data and a survey of 4,000 cannabis consumers by the San Francisco-based delivery platform Eaze, the number of female cannabis consumers nearly doubled in 2018, and with their growth outpacing men, women are on track to be half of the cannabis market by 2022. Female baby boomers on the platform grew by nearly a quarter between 2017 and 2018.

Kimberly Kovacs, the cofounder and CEO of MyJane, which delivers “curated cannabis” boxes  to women (think Birchbox-meets-Eaze), was also at Arcview. That same week, her company was acquired by the cannabis logistics conglomerate MJIC for an undisclosed sum, after completing just three weeks of deliveries. MJIC CEO Sturges Karban was unabashed about the acquisition’s main attraction.

“Women are the new targets of the adult-use cannabis wellness sector,” wrote Karban, in a press release. “Yet their needs are not being addressed by the cannabis industry.”

“We don’t call that micro-dosing. We just call that normal.”

Getting stoned is not chief among those needs, Kovacs found when MyJane conducted a survey of women in Orange County, CA. When I asked what was, she didn’t skip a beat: “Sleep,” she said. “100%.”

“I don’t want to take an Ambien,” said Kovacs, who is 52, with blonde hair and clear blue eyes. “I don’t even want to take Melatonin … half a cup of tea, I sleep through the night.” (MyJane includes Kikoko tea amongst its offerings in its boxes.)

Courtesy, MyJane

In addition to better sleep, women told MyJane they were seeking relief from pain, anxiety, and stress. Many hadn’t used cannabis before and said they wanted their THC—the chemical compound that results in feeling high—in very low doses.

“By the way, we don’t call that micro-dosing,” said Kovacs. “We just call that normal.”

Ding-dong, Avon calling

Both Chapin and Kovacs referenced Avon—the 135-year-old cosmetics company known for its door-to-door saleswomen. “I don’t want to go to a dispensary,” said Kovacs. “I don’t even want to go to the grocery store anymore!”

“I don’t want to go to a dispensary. I don’t even want to go to the grocery store anymore!”

Instead, these companies strive to deliver both products and education in personal and familiar settings, outside dispensaries. Part of what they’re doing is teaching their customers how to use the range of new products available in the sector.

MyJane’s customers create online profiles answering questions about their symptoms, food allergies, preferences, and prior experience with cannabis. Then, a female “ambassador” from the company arrives at a customer’s doorstep on the agreed-upon date and time to deliver a box of selected products and walk the recipient through each one.

Kikoko’s teas are sold via dispensaries and delivery services, but the company also holds tea parties which include a “cannabis 101” slideshow about the plant’s history and benefits. Chapin estimates that in 2018, the company held over 100 of these events in private homes, country clubs, and retirement communities throughout California. (It was at a Kikiko tea party in Santa Monica that Chapin and Kovacs first met.)

Courtesy, Kikoko

Anyone for a cuppa?

Kikoko’s website has a page for people who want to host their own “High Tea Parties,” complete with downloadable images for invitations, tips (take public transit), and a Pinterest page of suggested menu items.

“We envision an army of women throughout the state of California,” said Chapin, of the consumers she hopes to recruit into hosting high teas.

Bridgett Davis, the founder of the Los Angeles-based cannabis topicals brand Big Momma’s Legacy, is also building a business based on older women customers—using a similar model of cohosting tea parties with local cannabis brands at private homes to slowly build her business from the ground up.

“It’s a group of maybe 10 to 15 of my golden girls,” she said of a typical event. “I have a variety of clients, from white ladies in Brentwood to old grandmas in Compton.”

Quartz/Jenni Avins

Bridgett Davis, the founder of Big Momma’s Legacy.

Davis agreed that a familiar setting and privacy were crucial to her customers, who use her salve and roll-on oil to ease the pain of rheumatism and sciatica, and said she’s counting on her “golden girls” to help her grow her business.

“I cannot ask for better brand ambassadors, and they’re not paid,” she said. “It’s grass-roots, and I’m building it bit by bit. When one of my seniors talks to their friend, their friend is listening.”

Riding the wellness wave

With the global wellness industry now worth an estimated $4 trillion worldwide, it’s little wonder that cannabis companies such as MyJane, Kikoko, and countless others position themselves as purveyors of supplies for self-care rather than recreation. And women—especially those in middle-age—are frequently caring not only for themselves, but also for their friends, children, and aging parents. (Kovacs told me she supplies her father with topicals for his arthritis, and her mother with tea for sleeping.) No wonder they’re tired.

Getty/manonallard

Don’t bogart that joint, girlfriend.

Both Kovacs and Chapin came to cannabis by way of a woman close to them suffering as a result of cancer. In Kovacs’ case, it was her mother-in-law, who eased her post-surgery pain and reduced her opioid use with cannabis. In Chapin’s, it was a dear friend who used edibles to aid her sleep and appetite, but was getting pummeled by high dosages. Both women saw the opportunity for products that spoke to women’s wellness.

Plus, noted MyJane cofounder Cara Raffele, “There’s a trust gap in healthcare for women.” Indeed, as Quartz’s Annaliese Griffin has written, that trust gap has made women particularly receptive to wellness brands that address their health concerns, respect their pain, and speak to them personally.

During her presentation at Arcview, Chapin said at one point, “we’re really tired of taking Ambien.” A women near me whispered under her breath: “That’s so me.”

Published at Mon, 20 May 2019 21:58:56 +0000

Is This Marijuana Stock On The Rebound

Is This Marijuana Stock On The Rebound

Cronos Group Inc. is a marijuana stock that operates as a diversified and vertically integrated cannabis company. This marijuana stock saw a rise in the shares by 12% since the beginning of June. This pot stock offers production and distribution platforms of medical marijuana, as well as cultivation of cannabis oil. The shares of this cannabis stock recently saw a sudden upswing in the market. The rise in the share value is accredited to both the broader market and the company’s main peers. The Cronos Group completely swayed over its rivals Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis and Aphria (APHA). Is This Marijuana Stock a Contender

Is This Marijuana Stock Back on The Rise

After investors saw this was a good marijuana stock to buy, the share started to soar. Cronos Group quickly became the subject of scorn. It was also labeled as “the most overvalued pot stock”. So understanding what happened that the shares of this pot stock saw an upswing is important. This cannabis stock’s performance in comparison to most of its peers can be attributed to the Wall Street action. Recently, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Christopher Carey upgraded Cronos from a sell to a buy.

An additional reason for the increase could from a statement made by the CEO of the company Mike Gorenstein. The announcement was made at an event hosted by the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY). He said that Cronos would “move aggressively into the U.S. hemp CBD market and indicated that action would be taken in the relatively near future”.

Will This Marijuana Stock Be A Buy Or a Sell

This is all that was needed to be heard by Bank of America’s Christopher Carey to change his tune on Cronos stock. Carey wrote to investors that Cronos entering the U.S. hemp CBD market would be a major catalyst for the stock. Thus, investors will probably soon be hearing more about Cronos’ plans to enter the hemp-derived CBD market in the United States.

The success of the Cronos Group is maintained by its big partner Altria. Altria who invested around $1.8 billion in Cronos in exchange for a 45% stake in the company. With, this big influx of cash the company would be able to execute its plans of expansion in the U.S. There is a high possibility that the company could heavily leverage its connection with Altria to launch hemp CBD products in the U.S. The long-term prospects for the company still appear to be quite good and it could be set to be a major player in the U.S. hemp market and the global cannabis market.

Published at Fri, 19 Jul 2019 16:00:52 +0000

Female Founders in Their 50s Are Starting Cannabis Companies to Take Care of Their Own

Female Founders in Their 50s Are Starting Cannabis Companies to Take Care of Their Own

Jennifer Chapin, the cofounder of Kikoko, recently recalled how she was “laughed out of the dispensaries” when she tried to sell her low-dose cannabis-infused teas in her company’s early days. Three years later, Kikoko’s teas, which come in sachets and canisters wrapped with pink-and-purple stripes and cartoon flowers promising benefits such as “Sensuali-tea” and “Tranquili-tea,” are sold through over 300 storefronts and delivery services across California.

“We are a women-centric, women-owned, women-operated company,” Chapin declared to a room full of women at Arcview, a conference for cannabis investors, in Los Angeles in February. “By women, for women.”

Arcview welcomes investors irrespective of gender, but Kikoko had sponsored a women-only “tea party” (with unmedicated tea) to facilitate some female-friendly networking and announce that the company was seeking capital for expansion into new product categories, with minimum investments starting at $1 million.

Courtesy, Kikoko

Founders of female-focused cannabis startups like Kikoko may soon be laughing all the way to the bank—and they’re getting there by looking beyond millennials, and catering to women in their 40s, 50s, and beyond. Executives such as Chapin, who is 55, are listening to older women’s wishes for low-dose cannabis products that address concerns such as sleep, anxiety, and sexual pleasure, and positioning their companies at the very lucrative intersection of women, weed, and wellness.

Wellness, women, and weed

It’s a market that’s growing. Women control the majority of household purchases, and according to the US Consumer Expenditure Survey, single women over 45 spend about $640 per year on personal care items and $400 annually on drugs. As legalization takes hold, those products are increasingly likely to contain—or even be replaced by—cannabis. According to sales data and a survey of 4,000 cannabis consumers by the San Francisco-based delivery platform Eaze, the number of female cannabis consumers nearly doubled in 2018, and with their growth outpacing men, women are on track to be half of the cannabis market by 2022. Female baby boomers on the platform grew by nearly a quarter between 2017 and 2018.

Kimberly Kovacs, the cofounder and CEO of MyJane, which delivers “curated cannabis” boxes  to women (think Birchbox-meets-Eaze), was also at Arcview. That same week, her company was acquired by the cannabis logistics conglomerate MJIC for an undisclosed sum, after completing just three weeks of deliveries. MJIC CEO Sturges Karban was unabashed about the acquisition’s main attraction.

“Women are the new targets of the adult-use cannabis wellness sector,” wrote Karban, in a press release. “Yet their needs are not being addressed by the cannabis industry.”

“We don’t call that micro-dosing. We just call that normal.”

Getting stoned is not chief among those needs, Kovacs found when MyJane conducted a survey of women in Orange County, CA. When I asked what was, she didn’t skip a beat: “Sleep,” she said. “100%.”

“I don’t want to take an Ambien,” said Kovacs, who is 52, with blonde hair and clear blue eyes. “I don’t even want to take Melatonin … half a cup of tea, I sleep through the night.” (MyJane includes Kikoko tea amongst its offerings in its boxes.)

Courtesy, MyJane

In addition to better sleep, women told MyJane they were seeking relief from pain, anxiety, and stress. Many hadn’t used cannabis before and said they wanted their THC—the chemical compound that results in feeling high—in very low doses.

“By the way, we don’t call that micro-dosing,” said Kovacs. “We just call that normal.”

Ding-dong, Avon calling

Both Chapin and Kovacs referenced Avon—the 135-year-old cosmetics company known for its door-to-door saleswomen. “I don’t want to go to a dispensary,” said Kovacs. “I don’t even want to go to the grocery store anymore!”

“I don’t want to go to a dispensary. I don’t even want to go to the grocery store anymore!”

Instead, these companies strive to deliver both products and education in personal and familiar settings, outside dispensaries. Part of what they’re doing is teaching their customers how to use the range of new products available in the sector.

MyJane’s customers create online profiles answering questions about their symptoms, food allergies, preferences, and prior experience with cannabis. Then, a female “ambassador” from the company arrives at a customer’s doorstep on the agreed-upon date and time to deliver a box of selected products and walk the recipient through each one.

Kikoko’s teas are sold via dispensaries and delivery services, but the company also holds tea parties which include a “cannabis 101” slideshow about the plant’s history and benefits. Chapin estimates that in 2018, the company held over 100 of these events in private homes, country clubs, and retirement communities throughout California. (It was at a Kikiko tea party in Santa Monica that Chapin and Kovacs first met.)

Courtesy, Kikoko

Anyone for a cuppa?

Kikoko’s website has a page for people who want to host their own “High Tea Parties,” complete with downloadable images for invitations, tips (take public transit), and a Pinterest page of suggested menu items.

“We envision an army of women throughout the state of California,” said Chapin, of the consumers she hopes to recruit into hosting high teas.

Bridgett Davis, the founder of the Los Angeles-based cannabis topicals brand Big Momma’s Legacy, is also building a business based on older women customers—using a similar model of cohosting tea parties with local cannabis brands at private homes to slowly build her business from the ground up.

“It’s a group of maybe 10 to 15 of my golden girls,” she said of a typical event. “I have a variety of clients, from white ladies in Brentwood to old grandmas in Compton.”

Quartz/Jenni Avins

Bridgett Davis, the founder of Big Momma’s Legacy.

Davis agreed that a familiar setting and privacy were crucial to her customers, who use her salve and roll-on oil to ease the pain of rheumatism and sciatica, and said she’s counting on her “golden girls” to help her grow her business.

“I cannot ask for better brand ambassadors, and they’re not paid,” she said. “It’s grass-roots, and I’m building it bit by bit. When one of my seniors talks to their friend, their friend is listening.”

Riding the wellness wave

With the global wellness industry now worth an estimated $4 trillion worldwide, it’s little wonder that cannabis companies such as MyJane, Kikoko, and countless others position themselves as purveyors of supplies for self-care rather than recreation. And women—especially those in middle-age—are frequently caring not only for themselves, but also for their friends, children, and aging parents. (Kovacs told me she supplies her father with topicals for his arthritis, and her mother with tea for sleeping.) No wonder they’re tired.

Getty/manonallard

Don’t bogart that joint, girlfriend.

Both Kovacs and Chapin came to cannabis by way of a woman close to them suffering as a result of cancer. In Kovacs’ case, it was her mother-in-law, who eased her post-surgery pain and reduced her opioid use with cannabis. In Chapin’s, it was a dear friend who used edibles to aid her sleep and appetite, but was getting pummeled by high dosages. Both women saw the opportunity for products that spoke to women’s wellness.

Plus, noted MyJane cofounder Cara Raffele, “There’s a trust gap in healthcare for women.” Indeed, as Quartz’s Annaliese Griffin has written, that trust gap has made women particularly receptive to wellness brands that address their health concerns, respect their pain, and speak to them personally.

During her presentation at Arcview, Chapin said at one point, “we’re really tired of taking Ambien.” A women near me whispered under her breath: “That’s so me.”

Published at Mon, 20 May 2019 21:58:56 +0000

Female Founders in Their 50s Are Starting Cannabis Companies to Take Care of Their Own

Female Founders in Their 50s Are Starting Cannabis Companies to Take Care of Their Own

Jennifer Chapin, the cofounder of Kikoko, recently recalled how she was “laughed out of the dispensaries” when she tried to sell her low-dose cannabis-infused teas in her company’s early days. Three years later, Kikoko’s teas, which come in sachets and canisters wrapped with pink-and-purple stripes and cartoon flowers promising benefits such as “Sensuali-tea” and “Tranquili-tea,” are sold through over 300 storefronts and delivery services across California.

“We are a women-centric, women-owned, women-operated company,” Chapin declared to a room full of women at Arcview, a conference for cannabis investors, in Los Angeles in February. “By women, for women.”

Arcview welcomes investors irrespective of gender, but Kikoko had sponsored a women-only “tea party” (with unmedicated tea) to facilitate some female-friendly networking and announce that the company was seeking capital for expansion into new product categories, with minimum investments starting at $1 million.

Courtesy, Kikoko

Founders of female-focused cannabis startups like Kikoko may soon be laughing all the way to the bank—and they’re getting there by looking beyond millennials, and catering to women in their 40s, 50s, and beyond. Executives such as Chapin, who is 55, are listening to older women’s wishes for low-dose cannabis products that address concerns such as sleep, anxiety, and sexual pleasure, and positioning their companies at the very lucrative intersection of women, weed, and wellness.

Wellness, women, and weed

It’s a market that’s growing. Women control the majority of household purchases, and according to the US Consumer Expenditure Survey, single women over 45 spend about $640 per year on personal care items and $400 annually on drugs. As legalization takes hold, those products are increasingly likely to contain—or even be replaced by—cannabis. According to sales data and a survey of 4,000 cannabis consumers by the San Francisco-based delivery platform Eaze, the number of female cannabis consumers nearly doubled in 2018, and with their growth outpacing men, women are on track to be half of the cannabis market by 2022. Female baby boomers on the platform grew by nearly a quarter between 2017 and 2018.

Kimberly Kovacs, the cofounder and CEO of MyJane, which delivers “curated cannabis” boxes  to women (think Birchbox-meets-Eaze), was also at Arcview. That same week, her company was acquired by the cannabis logistics conglomerate MJIC for an undisclosed sum, after completing just three weeks of deliveries. MJIC CEO Sturges Karban was unabashed about the acquisition’s main attraction.

“Women are the new targets of the adult-use cannabis wellness sector,” wrote Karban, in a press release. “Yet their needs are not being addressed by the cannabis industry.”

“We don’t call that micro-dosing. We just call that normal.”

Getting stoned is not chief among those needs, Kovacs found when MyJane conducted a survey of women in Orange County, CA. When I asked what was, she didn’t skip a beat: “Sleep,” she said. “100%.”

“I don’t want to take an Ambien,” said Kovacs, who is 52, with blonde hair and clear blue eyes. “I don’t even want to take Melatonin … half a cup of tea, I sleep through the night.” (MyJane includes Kikoko tea amongst its offerings in its boxes.)

Courtesy, MyJane

In addition to better sleep, women told MyJane they were seeking relief from pain, anxiety, and stress. Many hadn’t used cannabis before and said they wanted their THC—the chemical compound that results in feeling high—in very low doses.

“By the way, we don’t call that micro-dosing,” said Kovacs. “We just call that normal.”

Ding-dong, Avon calling

Both Chapin and Kovacs referenced Avon—the 135-year-old cosmetics company known for its door-to-door saleswomen. “I don’t want to go to a dispensary,” said Kovacs. “I don’t even want to go to the grocery store anymore!”

“I don’t want to go to a dispensary. I don’t even want to go to the grocery store anymore!”

Instead, these companies strive to deliver both products and education in personal and familiar settings, outside dispensaries. Part of what they’re doing is teaching their customers how to use the range of new products available in the sector.

MyJane’s customers create online profiles answering questions about their symptoms, food allergies, preferences, and prior experience with cannabis. Then, a female “ambassador” from the company arrives at a customer’s doorstep on the agreed-upon date and time to deliver a box of selected products and walk the recipient through each one.

Kikoko’s teas are sold via dispensaries and delivery services, but the company also holds tea parties which include a “cannabis 101” slideshow about the plant’s history and benefits. Chapin estimates that in 2018, the company held over 100 of these events in private homes, country clubs, and retirement communities throughout California. (It was at a Kikiko tea party in Santa Monica that Chapin and Kovacs first met.)

Courtesy, Kikoko

Anyone for a cuppa?

Kikoko’s website has a page for people who want to host their own “High Tea Parties,” complete with downloadable images for invitations, tips (take public transit), and a Pinterest page of suggested menu items.

“We envision an army of women throughout the state of California,” said Chapin, of the consumers she hopes to recruit into hosting high teas.

Bridgett Davis, the founder of the Los Angeles-based cannabis topicals brand Big Momma’s Legacy, is also building a business based on older women customers—using a similar model of cohosting tea parties with local cannabis brands at private homes to slowly build her business from the ground up.

“It’s a group of maybe 10 to 15 of my golden girls,” she said of a typical event. “I have a variety of clients, from white ladies in Brentwood to old grandmas in Compton.”

Quartz/Jenni Avins

Bridgett Davis, the founder of Big Momma’s Legacy.

Davis agreed that a familiar setting and privacy were crucial to her customers, who use her salve and roll-on oil to ease the pain of rheumatism and sciatica, and said she’s counting on her “golden girls” to help her grow her business.

“I cannot ask for better brand ambassadors, and they’re not paid,” she said. “It’s grass-roots, and I’m building it bit by bit. When one of my seniors talks to their friend, their friend is listening.”

Riding the wellness wave

With the global wellness industry now worth an estimated $4 trillion worldwide, it’s little wonder that cannabis companies such as MyJane, Kikoko, and countless others position themselves as purveyors of supplies for self-care rather than recreation. And women—especially those in middle-age—are frequently caring not only for themselves, but also for their friends, children, and aging parents. (Kovacs told me she supplies her father with topicals for his arthritis, and her mother with tea for sleeping.) No wonder they’re tired.

Getty/manonallard

Don’t bogart that joint, girlfriend.

Both Kovacs and Chapin came to cannabis by way of a woman close to them suffering as a result of cancer. In Kovacs’ case, it was her mother-in-law, who eased her post-surgery pain and reduced her opioid use with cannabis. In Chapin’s, it was a dear friend who used edibles to aid her sleep and appetite, but was getting pummeled by high dosages. Both women saw the opportunity for products that spoke to women’s wellness.

Plus, noted MyJane cofounder Cara Raffele, “There’s a trust gap in healthcare for women.” Indeed, as Quartz’s Annaliese Griffin has written, that trust gap has made women particularly receptive to wellness brands that address their health concerns, respect their pain, and speak to them personally.

During her presentation at Arcview, Chapin said at one point, “we’re really tired of taking Ambien.” A women near me whispered under her breath: “That’s so me.”

Published at Mon, 20 May 2019 21:58:56 +0000

Spyder Cannabis Signs Supply Agreement For Premium Hemp Products And Unveils Their New SPDR(R) Line

Spyder Cannabis Signs Supply Agreement For Premium Hemp Products And Unveils Their New SPDR(R) Line

Spyder Cannabis Inc. (TSXV: SPDR) (“Spyder“), an established cannabis and vape retail operator intending to become one of North America’s leading hemp-infused medical and lifestyle company, today announced that it signed its first hemp agreement for the supply of full spectrum products to support Spyder’s debut of a hemp infused product line to be sold across the U.S. under its SPDR(R) brand.

Spyder is expanding its chain of hemp-infused medical and lifestyle product shops with their new brand called SPDR (R). These boutique shops will stock Spyder’s SPDR (R) branded hemp infused products developed for an aging, health and wellness demographic. Spyder will offer a wide array of hemp-infused product offerings including; muscle balm, face oil, body lotion and bath salts, as well as hemp-infused tinctures, capsules and sprays. In addition, hemp is a natural source of CBD, the non-intoxicating component of cannabis that can be used for health and wellness purposes in jurisdictions where legally permitted.

The hemp industry is booming and has the potential to become a $22 billion business by 2022, according to cannabis-focused research firm Brightfield Group. “Spyder plans on executing an aggressive expansion plan to create a significant retail brand in the U.S. hemp market,” stated Daniel Pelchovitz, CEO and President of Spyder. “We are very pleased to partner with this producer which will provide the product formulation and packaging to help create a premium product line for consumers across the U.S.”

The initial launch will feature four distinct hemp-derived products; Balms at 125mg and 500mg strength, tinctures at 300mg, 500mg and 1,000mg strength, soft gel capsules at 15mg strength and a pet line starting with tinctures at 300 mg strength.

About Spyder Cannabis

Founded in 2014 Spyder is an established chain of three high-end vape stores, and two cannabis accessory stores, in Ontario, with locations in Woodbridge, Scarborough, Burlington, Pickering and Niagara Falls. The Spyder brand is defined by its high-quality proprietary line of e-juice, liquids and exclusive retail deals, dispensed in uniquely designed stores creating the optimal customer experience. Spyder is building off this leading retail, distribution and branding eCig and vapes company and is pursuing expansion into the legal cannabis and hemp derived market. Spyder has developed a scalable retail model with plans to create a significant footprint with targeted and disciplined retail distribution strategy focusing on Canadian retail and U.S. boutique retail and kiosks in high traffic peripheral areas.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

For more information, please contact:

Spyder Cannabis Inc.
Dan Pelchovitz
President & Chief Executive Officer
Telephone: (905) 265-8273
Email: dan@spydervapes.com

Bullseye Corporate
Crystal Quast
Bullseye Corporate
quast@bullseyecorporate.com

Cautionary Statements

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

This news release includes statements containing certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws (“forward-looking statements”). Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as “plan”, “continue”, “expect”, “project”, “intend”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “may”, “will”, “potential”, “proposed” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur..

These statements are only predictions. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the projections contained in the forward-looking statements throughout this news release. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made. Any number of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.

To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/46346

copyright (c) newsfile corp. 2019

Published at Thu, 18 Jul 2019 12:47:03 +0000

Cannabis Oil ‘Significantly’ Improves the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease in Small, First-of-its-Kind Study

Cannabis Oil ‘Significantly’ Improves the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease in Small, First-of-its-Kind Study

In the first study of its kind, cannabis oil has been shown to significantly improve the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and the quality of life of sufferers.

In a randomized, placebo-controlled study, researchers from Israel have shown that cannabis can produce clinical remission in up to 65% of individuals after 8 weeks of treatment, even though – contrary to previous medical thinking – the treatment was shown to have no effect on gut inflammation.

Lead researcher Dr. Timna Naftali explained: “Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of medical conditions, and studies have shown that many people with Crohn’s disease use cannabis regularly to relieve their symptoms. It has always been thought that this improvement was related to a reduction in inflammation in the gut and the aim of this study was to investigate this.”

The Israeli team from Tel Aviv University recruited 46 people with moderately severe Crohn’s disease, and randomized them to receive 8 weeks of treatment with either cannabis oil containing 15% cannabidiol and 4% tetrahydrocannabinol or placebo. Symptom severity and quality of life were measured before, during, and after treatment using validated research instruments. Inflammation in the gut was assessed endoscopically and by measuring inflammatory markers in blood and stool samples.

Published at Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:21:51 +0000

California government report finds regulators are unable to fully oversee the state’s marijuana market

California government report finds regulators are unable to fully oversee the state’s marijuana market

A new audit by California’s Department of Finance found regulators have a long way to go before they have a solid handle on the state’s cannabis industry.

The report concluded – despite having established a “structural foundation” for managing the legal marijuana industry – the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC)’s “current status and location of personnel is not sustainable to provide effective and comprehensive oversight of cannabis activities.”

It noted the agency’s enforcement staff has dozens of unfilled positions and a vacancy rate approaching 80%, making it harder for regulators to ensure the legal supply chain is running the way it’s supposed to.

Here are the basics of the situation:

  • The audit was aimed at determining the effectiveness of the BCC’s enforcement program and cost.
  • The report, released in early July, focused solely on the BCC, which is responsible for licensing and overseeing marijuana retailers, testing labs, distributors, microbusinesses and events.
  • The other two agencies that regulate growers and manufacturers were not part of the audit.
  • The audit period was July 2016 to January 2019.

The report highlighted that as of January, only 75 out of 219 authorized personnel had been hired at the BCC and suggested that more staff is required before the agency can do its job properly.

BCC spokesman Alex Traverso said that, as of early July, staffing had increased to 87, meaning the BCC still had 132 positions to fill.

The report also found that revenues to the BCC were lagging far behind projected income.

The audit found that as of January, the BCC had brought in just about $2 million in business licensing fees, far short of the total $201 million that was expected to materialize by June 2019.

As of July, Traverso said, revenues had grown to a total of $15.3 million, out of which more than $10 million was collected last month.

The BCC was founded in 2016 as part of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).

The agency originally was designed to oversee the state’s medical marijuana industry but then was also tasked with regulating recreational cannabis businesses after voters approved adult-use MJ in November 2016.

Since then, the industry landscape has transformed substantially, with final regulations adopted in January and thousands of temporary MJ business licenses expired or transitioned to provisional or annual licenses.

The illicit market, meanwhile, has continued to flourish as agencies such as the BCC ramp up.

Limited picture

The audit’s scope did not extend to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), which regulates marijuana growers, or the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), which oversees cannabis manufacturers.

No audits of those two agencies regarding their cannabis-industry duties are being performed, a Department of Finance spokesman said.

The audit also didn’t take into account enforcement efforts by the Division of Investigations (DOI) at the Department of Consumer Affairs, which is where industry complaints about unlicensed MJ operators are forwarded, BCC chief Lori Ajax noted.

That means the audit doesn’t offer a complete accounting of the BCC, according to Ajax.

“Close to 80% of our complaints are on unlicensed (operators) and get referred to the (DOI), but they didn’t look into that or how effective that is, and they didn’t look at CDFA or CDPH, so it was just on one portion of enforcement,” Ajax said.

She also noted that a big reason the BCC hasn’t completed staffing is because it is still working on opening new regional offices around the state, including in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The biggest takeaway is … how much work got done, how we constantly – even though the priorities may have changed and the statute may have changed – we still got the job done,” Ajax said.

Enforcement issues

Perhaps most notable in the audit is the picture painted of the BCC’s inability to effectively combat lawbreaking cannabis operators, a situation expected to change over time and a job shared with the Division of Investigations.

Out of 68 authorized enforcement staff positions, only 15 had been hired as of January – a 78% vacancy rate, the audit noted.

In a response letter to the audit, Consumer Affairs Chief Deputy Director Christopher Shultz noted the number of authorized staff positions has increased every year since the BCC was founded.

The approved staffing:

  • Originally was fewer than 10 staff positions but went to 10 in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
  • Was 102 in 2017-2018.
  • Stands at 219 in the current fiscal year.

Shultz defended the performance of BCC staff, writing: “The Bureau has consistently met and exceeded its statutory mandates.”

The report also found the BCC had, as of January, not taken any “formal disciplinary actions” against any MJ companies but had initiated 120 investigations and performed 824 license inspections.

By the end of January, 5,680 business complaints had been filed with the BCC. Of those, 3,232 were resolved or referred to another agency, leaving “a backlog of in-progress complaints totaling 2,448 … with 559 complaints greater than six months old.”

A majority of the complaints filed were from Los Angeles County.

BCC’s Traverso reported:

  • The latest figures include 8,665 complaints filed with 6,097 closed and 245 still open.
  • Of the total, 2,323 were forwarded to the Division of Investigations.

Shultz objected to a finding in the audit that the BCC wasn’t prioritizing certain complaints that could impact consumers, stressing: “Complaints that are determined to be under the Bureau’s purview are reviewed and prioritized by the potential impact on public health and safety.”

The BCC also expects the number of complaints to keep increasing as the industry grows, according to the audit.

Regulatory expansion

The BCC has continuously expanded its staff and capabilities since 2016, Shultz wrote in his response.

“The Bureau’s management strategy has been, and continues to be, to meet its constantly changing statutory mandates,” Shultz noted, adding that laws surrounding the BCC’s responsibilities and specific authority “have changed significantly multiple times each year the Bureau has been in existence.”

The audit also reported “revenues are projected to increase as the program becomes more established and additional annual licenses are issued.”

Not only is the BCC ramping up staffing, enforcement and licensing efforts and more, Ajax said, but the Department of Investigations also will be expanded, meaning there will be more search warrants served on unlicensed MJ businesses as time goes on.

John Schroyer can be reached at [email protected]

Published at Wed, 17 Jul 2019 10:30:57 +0000