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When Cannabis Votes Don’t Turn into Cannabis Laws | Cannabiz Media

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The 2020 election ended with all state medical and recreational cannabis legalization ballots approved by voters. Specifically, adult-use cannabis was legalized in Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, and South Dakota. In addition, Mississippi voters approved medical marijuana, and South Dakota became the first state to approve medical and recreational cannabis at the same time.

November 3, 2020 was an exciting day in the cannabis industry, but there is still work to be done. Legalizing medical or recreational cannabis by ballot initiative is just the first step. Next, states need to finalize the regulatory frameworks for their cannabis programs, and in the past, some states haven’t entirely listened to the voices of their constituents when crafting and implementing the laws.

We’ve repeatedly seen people vote for medical cannabis or adult-use cannabis, but what the people thought they were voting for changed significantly when government officials developed laws to put cannabis programs into action.

When this happens, “legal” medical or recreational cannabis programs roll out with onerous restrictions that limit access for the people who voted for legalization in the first place. The many restrictions can also cause an imbalance in cannabis supply and demand, which leads to increased prices for patients and consumers.

Reality vs. Expectations in Florida

Florida residents had to deal with this problem after the vast majority of voters cast their ballots in support of Amendment 2 in November 2016. Amendment 2 was a law that would expand the state’s medical marijuana availability significantly beyond the 1,800 residents who qualified for it at the time.

The problem was that Florida lawmakers seemed determined to blend Amendment 2 with existing cannabis laws rather than listening to voters and developing a new regulatory framework. Advocates for Amendment 2 fought against this blended approach citing two primary issues.

First, the proposed blended law would limit the number of approved cannabis growers (who were also the only approved distributors and sellers in a vertically integrated market scheme) to the existing seven.

Second, the law that residents voted in favor of would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as the nine specifically listed in the amendment if the doctor believes the use of marijuana outweighs the potential health risks. The blended rule proposed by lawmakers required that a medical board approves each of the conditions first. Clearly, these two approaches were not in alignment.

Fast forward to 2019 and the state’s vertically integrated structure was still causing problems in the Sunshine State. Such a structure has long been cited as a path to creating cannabis industry monopolies and oligopolies, but Florida rolled out its cannabis program with mandatory vertical integration across the supply chain.

In July 2019, a Florida court ruled that vertical integration is unconstitutional. The case went to the state’s Supreme Court where it still remains with the most recent oral arguments heard on October 7, 2020. The session ended with the high court providing no timeline for when a decision will be made.

Volatility is the Norm in the Cannabis Industry

Florida wasn’t the first state to run into delays and surprising changes when creating and implementing cannabis laws. Massachusetts residents voted in favor of legal cannabis during the November 2016 election, but on December 29, 2016, the Massachusetts House and Senate passed a bill that would delay the opening of marijuana shops in the state by up to six months.

The Massachusetts bill was passed during informal sessions in both legislative chambers without a public hearing or a debate. Making matters worse, only a small number of lawmakers were actually present when the bill passed because many of them were away for the holidays at the time. Ultimately, marijuana sales in Massachusetts didn’t begin until November 20, 2018.

In Colorado, a different kind of volatility has made it difficult for some marijuana retailers to stay in business. When a law passed in 2016 requiring dispensaries and growers to have all marijuana products tested, businesses in some municipalities faced significant challenges to comply. That’s because Colorado’s marijuana dispensaries must obtain state and local licenses to operate. Without both licenses, they cannot get their products tested. Unfortunately, some municipalities didn’t have local licensing systems in place in time to meet the new law’s July 1, 2016 deadline.

The Colorado example discussed above shows how even though residents voted a long time ago to legalize cannabis, the actual laws that are written can make the industry as a whole run quite differently than how voters expected it would when they cast their ballots.

However, the problem happens even before state governments are required to develop cannabis programs. On November 6, 2018, Wisconsin voters in 16 counties and two cities (accounting for nearly half of the state’s residents) were asked to weigh in on advisory referendums related to medical and adult-use marijuana, which appeared on their ballots. Wisconsin residents overwhelmingly approved those referendums by margins of two-to-one, three-to-one, and four-to-one. Unfortunately, the referendums were non-binding, so they didn’t change any laws by themselves.

Can State Governments Bring Votes and Laws Together?

Variations in laws are to be expected while cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, but state and local rules should always adhere to the voice of the people. In many cases, that hasn’t happened. A vote for medical cannabis or adult-use cannabis isn’t always turning out the way many voters envisioned it would.

Already, there are concerns about new cannabis markets in the states that legalized on November 3rd. In New Jersey, lawmakers are planning to introduce legislation to implement the recreational market quickly, but there are concerns that small businesses and minorities may not have enough opportunities to join the market with the 12 existing license holders expected to automatically qualify for adult-use licenses.

Time will tell which states get it right for their residents, but at least the first step has been completed with four more states approving recreational cannabis and two more states approving medical cannabis during this election cycle.

Originally published 1/25/17. Updated 11/6/20.

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Source: https://www.cannabiz.media/blog/when-marijuana-votes-dont-turn-into-marijuana-laws

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Irish start-up raises funds to get farmers to grow hemp using drones

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An Irish start-up has just raised $5.3 million (€4.5 million) in financing to provide loans to farmers in Ireland and across the world to encourage them to grow hemp for use in cannabidiol (CBD) products.

Co Meath-based Greenheart CBD, which was founded by Paul Walsh and Mark Canavan two years ago, uses drones and artificial intelligence to help maximise crop cultivation by continually monitoring plant health.

The company, which previously secured a government licence to grow hemp with farmers in Co Wicklow, has developed a number of organic CBD products for consumers that have full traceability “from seed to shelf”.

CBD is the lesser-known compound found in the cannabis sativa plant; its more famous sibling, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the active ingredient in marijuana.

Having recently signed a major distribution contract with Uniphar to distribute its products, the company is now looking to expand its supply chain. It has managed to grow, in retail terms, $12 million worth of crop so far from 10 acres in Ireland but now wants to secure more hemp, particularly from the developing world.

Cannabis association

Despite the growing popularity of CBD products, many farmers find it difficult to obtain financing from banks for hemp production due to its connection with cannabis. Greenheart is therefore stepping in to lend directly to them via smart contracts, which are built on blockchain technology.

Farmers essentially sign up for a package that allows them to start growing hemp immediately. As well as seeds, they get a drone and other smart technology that allows them to produce the purest crop at a decent yield. Greenheart then buys the crop from them.

The drones are used to continually monitor the health of the crop, and they have retractable arms that can remove weeds, pick buds and so on.

“There hasn’t really been an upgrade in terms of technology in agriculture since the introduction of the tractor but I believe that drone technology could change everything,” said Mr Walsh.

A typical loan to a farmer using the company’s lending model could be anywhere between $500 to $50,000 over five years, with interest at 5 per cent. Greenheart estimates that a farmer in the developing world might typically realise $1,500 per annum from existing cash crops but that they could get $2,500 per crop cycle from an acre of CBD cultivation.

Full traceability

According to Mr Walsh, its model could transform the livelihoods of farmers while also giving the company access to the highest-quality hemp, while consumers get full traceability of products that aren’t harmful to the environment.

“Greenheart CBD has committed itself to making a difference in today’s world with a unique and original approach to helping smallholders climb from the poverty trap,” said Liam Robertson, chief executive of Alphabit Fund, which has led the $5.3 million fundraiser.

The company is shortly to publicly launch the Greenheart Punt, a digital token that can be bought and sold. The €5.3 million raised has come from investors buying some of these tokens with others to be made available more widely shortly. One punt is equivalent to $0.10 with 150 million tokens minted in total.

Those who have tokens will be able to use them to access Greenheart products at a significant discount. Money raised via the punt will also help the company finance the purchasing of new land for CBD production, and go towards building a decortication plant to enable an expansion into other product lines, including insulation materials and bio-plastics.

Greenheart is already in profit and has secured over 2,500 customers since it launched in January 2020.

Source : https://www.irishtimes.com/business/agribusiness-and-food/irish-start-up-raises-funds-to-get-farmers-to-grow-hemp-using-drones-1.4534453

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4 Tips to Market Your Marijuana Dispensary

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Even Marijuana Needs Marketing

Marijuana has become a household name. It has already turned that page of history when speaking about weed or smoking it was considered illegal and was punishable. Nowadays, people have a more accepting attitude to the preferences of others and many of them advocate for diversity of opinions and choices. Marijuana, cannabis, and weed, in general, have always been the subject of hot debates, but one thing is clear. People need them for various reasons. Some use marijuana to get that feeling of satisfaction, to feel happy, while others opt for it for recreational purposes. This means that the owners of marijuana dispensaries and shops already have a long-developed customer base. The only thing remaining is to target them carefully and market your product correctly to win their loyalty and trust.

Tip #1. Personal Values

Surprisingly, personal values play a significant role in choosing marijuana over other types of relaxing and recreational activities. Studies have shown that young adults, especially, highly value their health and well-being. However, as this period is probably the most stressful among the others in the human lifespan, young adults very often need something to unwind and have some rest. For these purposes, they can choose weed. Research has shown that young adults consider marijuana healthier than alcohol, and it has become an essential part of their emotional wellness.

Tip #2. Teach New Ways

This can be very applicable to adults and baby boomers. Thinking that marijuana can be interested only to youngsters is the very right step to cutting down a large part of your potential buyers. It turns out that baby boomers have been also interested in marijuana for years; however, they refrained from using it due to societal constraints. As a result, the boomers might not be very well aware of the new and healthier ways to consume marijuana. The best approach here is to advertise and educate boomers on the health benefits of it. On the other hand, it would be great to train your staff to be welcoming to boomers. The latter usually seek information and are very keen on learning and trying something new.

Tip #3. Use Personas in Your Marketing

Personas are a very powerful tool when it comes to marketing. When you do market research, you will see that certain population groups are especially interested in your product. Those groups can be broken down into subgroups based on their gender, occupation, location, etc. For each of them, you can create a persona – a representative figure which accumulates the interests and the motives of these groups in one person. You can name her or him the way you want; the important thing here is that you can consider that persona’s internal frame of reference every time you present a new product. You can use him or her to find out whether that new offer will work for that particular group or not. Based on various reasons, like the frequency of their purchases or benefits they want to get, you can come up with something even better.

Tip #4. Use customized items.

Using custom-printed items would do a great favor to any marijuana dispensary. It is something that helps stand out and promote your business without putting much time and effort into creating something new. Ganjaprint, an all-inclusive store of custom-branded promotions for dispensaries and smoke shops provides a big variety of lighters, bags, matches, grinders, jars and rolling papers, and much more. The best thing about Ganjaprint is that the dispensary-owner can order its logo to be printed on any product, which will make it more recognizable and would differentiate it among the others. For example, Ganjaprint has already come up with designs for refillable custom clipper lighters with a 72-hour rush print offered. Using their website, you can order these lighters or any item that you want choosing the colors and the location.

Marijuana’s Four

By carefully using the tips above any shop owner can make sure that he/she targets the right audience and communicates the products in the right way. On one hand, knowing your customers and speaking in their language would serve the need to win their hearts. On the other hand, applying for the services of Ganjaprint and ordering your unique items will help your product be in use longer than any alternative to it.

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Cannabis

4 Tips to Market Your Marijuana Dispensary

Avatar

Published

on

Even Marijuana Needs Marketing

Marijuana has become a household name. It has already turned that page of history when speaking about weed or smoking it was considered illegal and was punishable. Nowadays, people have a more accepting attitude to the preferences of others and many of them advocate for diversity of opinions and choices. Marijuana, cannabis, and weed, in general, have always been the subject of hot debates, but one thing is clear. People need them for various reasons. Some use marijuana to get that feeling of satisfaction, to feel happy, while others opt for it for recreational purposes. This means that the owners of marijuana dispensaries and shops already have a long-developed customer base. The only thing remaining is to target them carefully and market your product correctly to win their loyalty and trust.

Tip #1. Personal Values

Surprisingly, personal values play a significant role in choosing marijuana over other types of relaxing and recreational activities. Studies have shown that young adults, especially, highly value their health and well-being. However, as this period is probably the most stressful among the others in the human lifespan, young adults very often need something to unwind and have some rest. For these purposes, they can choose weed. Research has shown that young adults consider marijuana healthier than alcohol, and it has become an essential part of their emotional wellness.

Tip #2. Teach New Ways

This can be very applicable to adults and baby boomers. Thinking that marijuana can be interested only to youngsters is the very right step to cutting down a large part of your potential buyers. It turns out that baby boomers have been also interested in marijuana for years; however, they refrained from using it due to societal constraints. As a result, the boomers might not be very well aware of the new and healthier ways to consume marijuana. The best approach here is to advertise and educate boomers on the health benefits of it. On the other hand, it would be great to train your staff to be welcoming to boomers. The latter usually seek information and are very keen on learning and trying something new.

Tip #3. Use Personas in Your Marketing

Personas are a very powerful tool when it comes to marketing. When you do market research, you will see that certain population groups are especially interested in your product. Those groups can be broken down into subgroups based on their gender, occupation, location, etc. For each of them, you can create a persona – a representative figure which accumulates the interests and the motives of these groups in one person. You can name her or him the way you want; the important thing here is that you can consider that persona’s internal frame of reference every time you present a new product. You can use him or her to find out whether that new offer will work for that particular group or not. Based on various reasons, like the frequency of their purchases or benefits they want to get, you can come up with something even better.

Tip #4. Use customized items.

Using custom-printed items would do a great favor to any marijuana dispensary. It is something that helps stand out and promote your business without putting much time and effort into creating something new. Ganjaprint, an all-inclusive store of custom-branded promotions for dispensaries and smoke shops provides a big variety of lighters, bags, matches, grinders, jars and rolling papers, and much more. The best thing about Ganjaprint is that the dispensary-owner can order its logo to be printed on any product, which will make it more recognizable and would differentiate it among the others. For example, Ganjaprint has already come up with designs for refillable custom clipper lighters with a 72-hour rush print offered. Using their website, you can order these lighters or any item that you want choosing the colors and the location.

Marijuana’s Four

By carefully using the tips above any shop owner can make sure that he/she targets the right audience and communicates the products in the right way. On one hand, knowing your customers and speaking in their language would serve the need to win their hearts. On the other hand, applying for the services of Ganjaprint and ordering your unique items will help your product be in use longer than any alternative to it.

source link:platodata

 

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Cannabiz Media Client Spotlight – Shield Compliance | Cannabiz Media

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Shield Compliance is a comprehensive compliance management platform for banking cannabis-related businesses. The company’s focus is on transforming the way cannabis banks and legal marijuana financial institutions manage risk, comply with regulations, and satisfy operational demands across the United States.

Cannabiz Media recently spoke with Tony Repanich, President and Chief Operating Officer at Shield Compliance, to learn more about how he and his team use the Cannabiz Media License Database to support their business development, data intelligence, and license verification processes.

Why Does Shield Compliance Subscribe to the Cannabiz Media License Database?

Shield Compliance subscribes to the Cannabiz Media License Database for access to reliable industry intelligence and licensing data for the cannabis industry. “We rely on the Cannabiz Media License Database to bring information into our platform,” shares Tony Repanich. “It’s an important part of our license verification process and our licensed data set.”

Thanks to the reliable data in the Cannabiz Media platform, Tony and his team save a significant amount of the time and frustration previously required to find the data they need to do their jobs. 

Tony explains, “There are a lot of states that make it very difficult to get information about the licenses they’ve issued and the enforcement actions they’ve undertaken. Where we can get direct state integration to get data, we do that. However, where we need an additional uplift in terms of boots on the street or boots on the phone and keyboard to get the information from states that are more difficult to deal with, we rely on the Cannabiz Media License Database to bring that information into our platform.”

Bottom-line, Tony says, “The Cannabiz Media team has done a great job bringing together that information and having diligence around filling those gaps.”

What’s Next for Shield Compliance?

A big focus for Shield Compliance in the near future is its new onboarding solution. Tony explains, “We brought our new onboarding solution to market at the end of 2020, and it’s really helping our bankers streamline the onboarding process and creating a much better client experience. We’re really excited to get that in front of more bankers this year.”

With more states legalizing cannabis and launching new cannabis programs, Shield Compliance is focusing on future trends and the evolving industry. “We’re having a lot more conversations with bankers that we’ve never talked to in the past, like New York and New Jersey,” Tony shares. “We’re also having a lot more conversations with bankers about their willingness and ability to lend, which is great for the industry.”

For more information about Shield Compliance and to hear additional insights from Tony Repanich, follow the link and listen to Cannabiz Media’s recent Cannacurio podcast episode featuring Tony as the special guest.

To learn more about how subscribing to the Cannabiz Media License Database can help your business like it helps the team at Shield Compliance, follow the link and schedule a free demo.

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Source: https://www.cannabiz.media/blog/cannabiz-media-client-spotlight-shield-compliance

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