News & Resources

The Cannabis Industry Voice


NCIA hosts a weekly podcast with guest members who share their experiences, challenges, and successes operating businesses serving the legal cannabis industry. The show is hosted by NCIA’s Communications Manager, Bethany Moore.


The Latest

Advocacy
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In Studio at #CannaBizSummit: Next Level Edibles and BALCA

Listen to this special episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice, brought to you from the podcast studio on the show floor of the 7th Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo held December 15-17, 2021, in San Francisco, CA, with your host, Bethany Moore! Also, don’t forget about NCIA’s 8th Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo […]
Listen to this special episode of NCIA's Cannabis Industry Voice, brought to you from the podcast studio on the show floor of the 7th Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo held December 15-17, 2021, in San Francisco, CA, with your host, Bethany Moore! Also, don’t forget about NCIA’s 8th Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo in San Francisco this July 20-22!
Brothers Anthony Jenkins and Cartier Jenkins share a similar experience with depression and anxiety/PTSD. Anthony was diagnosed with depression and anxiety after hitting a low point during the 2007 recession and Cartier was diagnosed with depression and PTSD after returning from military duty overseas. When they were prescribed medications, both found that the artificially made products made them feel worse and did not provide therapeutic relief. Thus, they felt hopeless about their conditions, that is, until they discovered the healing benefits of cannabis. Drawing from his interest in baking from a young age, Anthony began infusing his gourmet creations, providing a delicious (yes, absolutely drool-worthy) and discreet way to medicate without the stigma of other cannabis vehicles such as a blunt. Cartier, on the other hand, became passionate about the cannabis cultivation/distribution process and entered the industry as a broker, gaining invaluable knowledge and expertise on the plant itself. Thus, the origin of Next Level Edibles and their hand-crafted gourmet edibles infused with high-quality cannabinoids and terpenes, and in the process, the birth of their infused coconut oil. Now, asides from their critically-acclaimed baked goods, their cannabis oil provides the home chef a way to create their own infused delicacies. Alvaro Portillo has worked in the legal California cannabis industry for the last 6 years. He fell in love with the cannabis industry after seeing all of the benefits and positive impacts that the plants have on the lives of patients, family, and friends. Alvaro has had the opportunity to help set up a company in the California legal market in operations and learn how to grow cannabis from a scientific standpoint. He was involved in the design of the facility and helped with the implementation of standard operating procedures from cloning and propagation to pheno hunting, flowering harvesting, curing, and packaging with compliance. And ensure that only the best products are taken to market time after time. Alvaro is currently working on his own business plan to fill the needs of an ever-changing cannabis market. In his new role as BALCA Latin America Director, he has the opportunity to create relationships in Latin America with like-minded companies and organizations in the cannabis industry.  

Advocacy
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The Full Spectrum of the Hemp Industry with NCIA’s Hemp Committee

Tune in to this episode to learn more about the full spectrum and gray areas of the hemp industry with NCIA’s Hemp Committee, including Liz Mason and Keith Butler. Liz Mason is the Director of Operations at Aurum Labs and Aurum Hemp. Both companies focus on compliance testing for Marijuana and Industrial Hemp products. They […]
Tune in to this episode to learn more about the full spectrum and gray areas of the hemp industry with NCIA's Hemp Committee, including Liz Mason and Keith Butler. Liz Mason is the Director of Operations at Aurum Labs and Aurum Hemp. Both companies focus on compliance testing for Marijuana and Industrial Hemp products. They were one of the first certified cannabis testing labs in Colorado and in the U.S. They are USDA, ISO 17025 accredited, and Colorado state-certified. Keith was brought into the world of cannabis advocacy in 1979 and in 1987 joined the hemp revolution started by Jack Herer. Beginning his first formulations company in the early 90’s manufacturing supplements Keith has never stopped learning from the natural world. With backgrounds in law, science, manufacturing, and distribution Keith has traveled the world as an ambassador of the plant. In 2019 Keith co-founded OP Innovates which stands for Our Plant, Our Planet to manufacture and distribute products utilizing the natural absorption methods of Naturia+™ an organic Patent-Pending cannabinoid delivery method Keith co-invented.  

Education

SEO Optimization for Cannabis Websites with Dmytro Syvak

Learn more about SEO Optimization for Cannabis Websites with Dmytro Syvak, Business Development Specialist at MjSeo Agency. The mission of MjSeo agency’s cannabis marketing experts is to help customers become world-famous by means of a well-thought-out SEO strategy, and increase their profits hundreds of times. MjSeo exclusively focuses on SEO strategies for the cannabis segment. […]
Learn more about SEO Optimization for Cannabis Websites with Dmytro Syvak, Business Development Specialist at MjSeo Agency. The mission of MjSeo agency’s cannabis marketing experts is to help customers become world-famous by means of a well-thought-out SEO strategy, and increase their profits hundreds of times. MjSeo exclusively focuses on SEO strategies for the cannabis segment. It offers tailored services, including customer needs analysis and SEO. Its customers have seen their traffic surge and their websites have risen to the top of search engine rankings. The company’s personalized promotional tactics help companies thrive in the digital space. Keyword Research is just one of the many SEO instruments that can help to attract more customers. Keywords help users find your website and allow search engines to rank it. But it is not a good idea to just stuff the page with keywords — you can be banned for this because search engines become even more advanced. Think about your target audience, what products or services are they interested in, how will they look for it? You can also use various online tools that help collect keywords. If you have a website, the first step would be Technical Audit, as this plays an important aspect of future optimization. You could have great links, good content, but if the website has a poor technical part, the search engine would not recommend it. The funny part here is that when you tell someone that the technical part needs to be done first they think it is something complicated and not important.

Advocacy
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Perspectives on Social Equity in Cannabis and R&D Horizons

Learn more about Perspectives on Social Equity in Cannabis and R&D Horizons with Jim Makoso of Lucid Labs in this episode. We saw Jim at #MWCannaBizCon in Detroit recently where we hosted a social equity workshop and Jim and I chatted a lot about what’s happening in the industry. NCIA has a DEI Committee as […]
Learn more about Perspectives on Social Equity in Cannabis and R&D Horizons with Jim Makoso of Lucid Labs in this episode. We saw Jim at #MWCannaBizCon in Detroit recently where we hosted a social equity workshop and Jim and I chatted a lot about what’s happening in the industry. NCIA has a DEI Committee as well as a DEI Scholarship Program for licensees. We start by talking about those state-by-state programs that are writing social equity licensing provisions into their state laws at the get-go rather than as an afterthought. Massachusetts was one of the first to do so. That’s an encouraging step in the right direction at the state level. In Jim’s home state in Washington, there are still some struggles there in getting full equity in their cannabis program. With that, we talk more about what Jim is seeing on the ground there. As far as what else is on the horizon for our industry, I get really excited when we see more sophisticated research and products with various cannabinoids, not just the old CBD and THC “salt and pepper” combo. Now we can buy gummies specifically designed for sleep that features the cannabinoid CBN or CBG. We discuss what Jim is seeing out there as far as new products. Jim Makos is the CEO of Flowe Technology and Director of Lucid Lab Group. Jim holds board seats in several organizations including serving as Vice-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee with the National Cannabis Industry Association. In Washington State, Jim is an active member of the Technical Assistance & Mentorship Workgroup in the Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force, a working group formed under the Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities Before entering the cannabis industry, Jim cut his teeth on Wall Street as a finance professional. Recognized by industry peers as having expertise in processing and extraction technologies, Jim regularly contributes to printed publications in addition to speaking at some of the largest industry events around the country.

Advocacy
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In Studio at #MWCannaBizCon: Hello Manito and Paragon Payroll

Listen to this special episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice brought to you from the podcast studio on the showfloor of the Midwest Cannabis Business Conference and Expo held September 22-23, 2021, in Detroit, MI, with your host, Bethany Moore! In this series of episodes, we asked attendees how they felt being at the #MWCannaBizCon […]
Listen to this special episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice brought to you from the podcast studio on the showfloor of the Midwest Cannabis Business Conference and Expo held September 22-23, 2021, in Detroit, MI, with your host, Bethany Moore! In this series of episodes, we asked attendees how they felt being at the #MWCannaBizCon show after 18 months of not hosting in-person events because of COVID-19, as well as what issues in cannabis policy are most important to them, plus insights into the future of the cannabis industry and policy. Also, don’t forget about NCIA’s 7th Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo in San Francisco this December 15-17!
Chris Cantergiani is a veteran storyteller with more than twenty years of experience producing engaging content in Albuquerque, Atlanta, Boston, Washington D.C., and Cleveland. I’m passionate about collaboration and working with a team to achieve a common goal. Hello Manito is a boutique cannabis marketing and video production studio focused on elevating premier brands to the next level. Our Emmy award-winning team crafts educational, inspirational content, and data-driven strategies. Full-service production services include videography, video editing, drone photography & video, storyboarding, web design, social medial strategies, and media coaching. They are a video production, creative content, and experiential marketing agency that crafts stories, strategies, and movements. Powered by Emmy award-winning journalists and producers, we inform others and inspire them to engage, connect and act. Melissa Allison with Texas-based Paragon Payroll, Inc., founded in 2007, has been providing full-service payroll and human capital management (HCM) solutions to the cannabis industry since 2016 with the goal of helping legitimize cannabis businesses. They are the premier provider of payroll, workforce management, and talent management solutions to businesses of all sizes, from the single-store dispensary to the multi-state operators. Their solutions are designed and packaged to meet each client’s individualized needs. Since its inception, Paragon has been serving clients in complex and highly regulated industries. This experience translates to a robust understanding of the many challenges cannabis companies face in payroll and HR departments – managing 280e; unions and CBAs; and highly dynamic workforces. Paragon’s MRB-compliant bank enables them to offer the payroll and human capital management services that other industries have easy access to – without the threat of being kicked off just because you are in the cannabis industry.
 

Community
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Moving Toward Earth-Digestible Packaging in Cannabis

Hear from NCIA’s Packaging and Labeling Committee abuot moving toward earth-digestible packaging in cannabis with Nick McCormick and Kelly Williams today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice. There’s a lot of packaging in our industry and our guests are on the Packaging and Labeling Committee at NCIA, and while some of the packagings is really interesting […]
Hear from NCIA's Packaging and Labeling Committee abuot moving toward earth-digestible packaging in cannabis with Nick McCormick and Kelly Williams today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice. There’s a lot of packaging in our industry and our guests are on the Packaging and Labeling Committee at NCIA, and while some of the packagings is really interesting and innovative, what’s also true is that it contributes to waste and there’s an environmental sustainability issue that as an industry we need to address. So we start by talking more in general and about the environmental issues with all the packaging in our industry. Then we dive into the direction they think the cannabis industry should be going, as well as what changes can we make to get fewer plastics and cardboard to hold our products. The challenge here is that we need our products to be CHILD-PROOF, and honestly, sometimes they’re so hard to open, they’re Bethany-proof, and adult-proof, too. Nick McCormick has over 25 years in the printing industry, ranging from graphic design and production to his current role in business development. Nick specializes in flexible packaging with an emphasis on food & beverage; cannabis, wine & spirits. He serves on NCIA’s Packaging & Labeling Committee helping to mold packaging guidelines for the cannabis industry. Taylor is one of the top five graphic communications companies in North America. Headquartered in North Mankato, Minnesota. Kelly Williams is a supplier for Nick’s company, Taylor, and is a recognized thought leader in the flexible packaging industry. Most recently, he has become a highly sought expert for brands, retailers, packaging manufacturers, and raw material suppliers seeking knowledge and guidance on compostable product development. Kelly has given countless talks, panels, interviews, and webinars throughout his career. He has authored numerous technical papers, marketing articles, and has several patents in polyolefins.    

Advocacy
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In Studio At #MWCannaBizCon: The People’s Ecosystem

Listen to this special episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice brought to you from the podcast studio on the showfloor of the Midwest Cannabis Business Conference and Expo held September 22-23, 2021, in Detroit, MI, with your host, Bethany Moore! In this series of episodes, we asked attendees how they felt being at the #MWCannaBizCon […]
Listen to this special episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice brought to you from the podcast studio on the showfloor of the Midwest Cannabis Business Conference and Expo held September 22-23, 2021, in Detroit, MI, with your host, Bethany Moore! In this series of episodes, we asked attendees how they felt being at the #MWCannaBizCon show after 18 months of not hosting in-person events because of COVID-19, as well as what issues in cannabis policy are most important to them, plus insights into the future of the cannabis industry and policy. Also, don’t forget about NCIA’s 7th Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo in San Francisco this December 15-17!
Hear from Christine De La Rosa and Frederika Easley from The People’s Dispensary. Now The People's Ecosystem, it was created to serve the most vulnerable of our population. The People’s Dispensary creates spaces and curates products that enhance the lives of our communities, individually and collectively. They believe that cannabis is an alternative medicine that is a basic human right. Christine is passionate about the industry that saved her life. At the top of her tech career, she almost died from complications of undiagnosed Lupus. In 2015, she found cannabis as an alternative to treat her lupus. No longer bound to 11 pills a day or monthly infusions, she was inspired by her experience to open Benefit Health Collective in 2016, along with her three co-founders to help those who most need access to cannabis. Together they have grown a profitable multi state dispensary and a fiercely sought after national social equity model and enterprise now known as The People’s Dispensary. Christine sits on the board of the Access and Innovation Project and is a committee member of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. Frederika brings with her over a decade of campaign development and crisis management experience. With a focus on stakeholder engagement, coalition building and inequity work. She is excited to work on addressing harm and proposing equitable solutions in the cannabis industry. “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will”. ~Frederick Douglass Host of weekly podcast and newsletter “The People Are Blunt” Co-Chair of NYCCIA/HVCIA Social Equity Committee and member of Amnesty Committee Member of NYCIA Social Equity and Regulatory Committee. We spoke at the NCIA Midwest Cannabis Business Conference on The Importance of BIPOC in the Supply Chain from Seed to Sale.


Community
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The Intersection of Banking Reform and Cannabis Retail

Learn more about the intersection of banking reform and cannabis retail with Alexander Lipnik, AeroPay, and Peter Su, Greencheck Verified. Alex Lipnik is the Head of Strategic Partnerships at AeroPay, a digital payments platform for the cannabis industry. In his role, he works with ancillary technology companies – including delivery, eCommerce, and POS providers – […]
Learn more about the intersection of banking reform and cannabis retail with Alexander Lipnik, AeroPay, and Peter Su, Greencheck Verified. Alex Lipnik is the Head of Strategic Partnerships at AeroPay, a digital payments platform for the cannabis industry. In his role, he works with ancillary technology companies – including delivery, eCommerce, and POS providers – to create seamless payment experiences for cannabis businesses and consumers alike. He also serves on NCIA’s Retail Committee. Peter Su, Green Check Verified, Peter Su is a member of NCIA’s Banking and Financial Services Committee and chairs the banking and financial services committee for the New York City Cannabis Industry Assoc. Peter is a certified cannabis banking professional (CCBP) as well as a Certified Commercial Cannabis Expert (CCCE). We start by talking about the SAFE Banking Act, which passed through the U.S. House a handful of times but always gets stuck in the Senate. Cannabis businesses are still struggling with cash-heavy retail operations. NCIA has pointed to how having so much cash floating around is actually a public safety issue attracting criminals with nefarious intentions. Getting into the nuances of SAFE Banking and how that would actually impact cannabis companies, particularly retailers who are dealing with customer transactions on a daily basis. We talk about if it were to pass and get signed into law by President Biden and the whole nine yards tomorrow, what that would actually mean for cannabis retailers?


Advocacy
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Elite Athletes as Cannabis Advocates at #CannaBizSummit

Tune in to hear more from elite athletes as cannabis advocates at #CannaBizSummit. Generally speaking, more and more athletes have been coming forward to help destigmatize, and also advocate for the plant to be used for health issues like chronic pain and injury. It’s a little different than celebrity-like a musician or actor coming forward […]
Tune in to hear more from elite athletes as cannabis advocates at #CannaBizSummit. Generally speaking, more and more athletes have been coming forward to help destigmatize, and also advocate for the plant to be used for health issues like chronic pain and injury. It’s a little different than celebrity-like a musician or actor coming forward as an advocate like Melissa Etheridge and Whoopi Goldberg. Athletes bring a bit more story to the game here. Anna Symonds is a retired Women’s Premier League rugby player with a 20-year rugby career that included a Division I National Championship, national All-Star selection, and a Sydney (Australia) Premiership Championship. She has also won four national championships in Touch Rugby and competed for the USA at the 2015 Touch World Cup. An advocate and educator, Anna speaks regularly about the therapeutic benefits of cannabis for elite athletes and the wider population alike. She served on the Oregon Cannabis Commission’s Research Leadership Subcommittee from 2020-2021. Anna is an Ambassador for various nonprofits including, the Last Prisoner Project. Rachael Rapinoe won an NCAA national championship with the University of Portland in 2005, played pro soccer in Europe in 2010, and eventually retired to pursue her passion in the health and fitness industry. Leveraging her BS in Life Sciences and MS in Health & Exercise, Rachael went on to build a top performance training company and lifestyle apparel brand with her sister, US Soccer star Megan Rapinoe, both in Portland and nationally. After working for the University of Portland women’s soccer team as the head performance coach, Rachael left to co-found Mendi– an athlete and active consumer-focused cannabis brand helping people thrive naturally.

Community
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Harnessing Terpenes, Sensory Effects, and Replacing Opioids

Learn more about harnessing terpenes, sensory effects, and replacing opioids with Eybna CEO and Co-founder Nadav Eyal. Eybna is a pioneering cannabis technology company and terpene manufacturer headquartered in California and R&D center in both Colorado and Israel. Nadav’s professional background is rooted in the field of data science. Nadav has long been passionate about botanical […]
Learn more about harnessing terpenes, sensory effects, and replacing opioids with Eybna CEO and Co-founder Nadav Eyal. Eybna is a pioneering cannabis technology company and terpene manufacturer headquartered in California and R&D center in both Colorado and Israel. Nadav’s professional background is rooted in the field of data science. Nadav has long been passionate about botanical medicine and how it can offer a more effective medicinal treatment than pharmaceutical products. In 2014, Nadav founded Eybna with a mission to bring the health benefits of cannabis to broader populations worldwide. The mainstream is starting to wrap their heads around cannabinoids, but terpenes are the next level of the science of cannabis. Nadav explains first of all, what terpenes really are and what they can do for human health. For example, lavender has a calming effect on my anxiety, and lemon lifts the mood, and so on and so forth, so as far as harnessing terpenes and their sensory effects, we dive into more about that. Cannabis is really breaking barriers, replacing opioids/narcotics – underscoring an NCIA white paper focusing on how cannabis is a viable solution for replacing opioids.

Community
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Insights into National and International Market Trends

Learn more about Insights into National and International Market Trends with Kelly Nielsen. Kelly is the Vice President of Insights and Analytics with BDSA. She leads the Insights and Analytics team and engages with clients to generate insights from a vast quantity of data to make informed business decisions and drive results. Together with her […]
Learn more about Insights into National and International Market Trends with Kelly Nielsen. Kelly is the Vice President of Insights and Analytics with BDSA. She leads the Insights and Analytics team and engages with clients to generate insights from a vast quantity of data to make informed business decisions and drive results. Together with her team, she works with manufacturers, retailers, and investors to deliver unmatched insights and analytics to drive their businesses forward. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, BDSA is the premier global cannabis market research firm helping businesses improve revenues, reduce innovation risk, and prioritize market expansion. We start by talking broadly about the cannabis movement which is beyond national and now global. We dive into who the players are in this global market and what we expect to see in the next five years or so. Here in the U.S., we’ve had a few years to watch what’s happened in the first states to legalize adult-use like Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington. We talk about what trends emerged from that journey and if we expect that to hold true in other emerging markets. Also, what lessons we learned watching these last 6 years. There are also these new emerging markets especially on the east coast as we’re watching Massachusetts and Michigan for example, plus New York and New Jersey. Different demographics, different cultures, different customers, but the same plant. With that, we talk with Kelly about what is she is expecting to see from these markets.

Advocacy
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In Studio at #MWCannaBizCon: Rocky Mountain Reagents and Sticky

Listen to this special episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice brought to you from the podcast studio on the showfloor of the Midwest Cannabis Business Conference and Expo held September 22-23, 2021, in Detroit, MI, with your host, Bethany Moore! In this series of episodes, we asked attendees how they felt being at the #MWCannaBizCon […]
Listen to this special episode of NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice brought to you from the podcast studio on the showfloor of the Midwest Cannabis Business Conference and Expo held September 22-23, 2021, in Detroit, MI, with your host, Bethany Moore! In this series of episodes, we asked attendees how they felt being at the #MWCannaBizCon show after 18 months of not hosting in-person events because of COVID-19, as well as what issues in cannabis policy are most important to them, plus insights into the future of the cannabis industry and policy. Also, don’t forget about NCIA’s 7th Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo in San Francisco this December 15-17!
Tune in to hear from Liz Geisleman, Rocky Mountain Reagents, and Chris Jackson, Sticky. Liz Geisleman came to Rocky Mountain Reagents, Inc. in 1998 with a move to Colorado. When she was Director of Sales and Marketing, Liz was instrumental in expanding custom manufacturing markets. RMR now manufactures custom product lines for several companies. Custom projects vary from custom labeling current products to custom product development, including formulation, packaging, and labeling. Liz is currently the Vice President and continues to play an active role in all aspects of the business today. Chris Jackson was previously a candidate for Pontiac City Council and State Representative (29th District). Excited to explore entrepreneurial endeavors in a new & emerging market, Chris partners with the Sticky brand of operations (a cannabis operation) that is rapidly expanding in Michigan. He is the company’s leader of Government & Legislative Affairs, Social Equity, and serves as its Community Benefits Liaison and Social Equity Lead. His efforts were recognized recently when he was selected as a member of Oakland County’s 40 under 40. Chris witnessed how cannabis prohibition directly impacted urban America and is dedicated to reversing the negative damage caused.

Advocacy
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The Journey From The Illicit Market to Regulated Industry

Learn more aboutt The Journey From The Illicit Market to Regulated Industry with Tony Frischknecht. Tony is the founder of Essential Extraction Corporation, based in Loveland, Colorado, which supplies the necessary tools and knowledge for anyone to be able to extract their own botanical essential oils. In 2005, Tony got his start in the medical […]
Learn more aboutt The Journey From The Illicit Market to Regulated Industry with Tony Frischknecht. Tony is the founder of Essential Extraction Corporation, based in Loveland, Colorado, which supplies the necessary tools and knowledge for anyone to be able to extract their own botanical essential oils.
In 2005, Tony got his start in the medical marijuana industry in Fort Collins, Colorado. He founded a small, marijuana caregiving business called Highway to Healing. In the following years, he was involved in a number of cannabis businesses, including O.penvape, Organa Brands, and Ideal Harvest. He is also the author of a book called “From Black Market to The Man”, sharing his experience in the cannabis industry, and has a podcast called, Plant Problems Podcast.
Many of us understand that this legal industry wouldn’t exist without the years and years of advocacy on behalf of hundreds of cannabis activists across the country, from California to Washington, D.C. Bethany was in Maryland in the 2000s and was involved in medical patient advocacy with Americans for Safe Access, when it a much different time for cannabis policy. We dive into some of Tony's memories on this subject and much much more.
 

Community
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A Deeper Dive Into Standards Development In Cannabis

Tune in to take a deeper dive into standards development in cannabis with David Vaillencourt, GMP Collective today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice. David Vaillencourt, CEO of The GMP Collective, and his team at The GMP Collective bring decades of pharmaceutical and food industry best practices to cannabis and hemp. He also chairs NCIA’s Facilities […]
Tune in to take a deeper dive into standards development in cannabis with David Vaillencourt, GMP Collective today on NCIA's Cannabis Industry Voice.
David Vaillencourt, CEO of The GMP Collective, and his team at The GMP Collective bring decades of pharmaceutical and food industry best practices to cannabis and hemp. He also chairs NCIA’s Facilities Design Committee. We’ve talked recently about standards development in other areas, including the ASTM which we just began to scratch the surface of, so let’s dive deeper into the relationship between ASTM Standards and the work going on inside the cannabis industry to align them. We discuss why ASTM is a federally recognized organization. We also talk about the next steps after Federal legalization and global markets coming into play. We look to the north and south of us, Canada and Mexico are nipping at our heels if not surpassing us in legalization efforts. David explains how he sees the ASTM standards playing into this into the future.


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The Science of Standardization in Cannabis With Darwin Millard

Learn more about the science of standardization in cannabis with Darwin Millard, The Spock of Cannabis. Darwin Millard (aka The Spock of Cannabis) is a cannabis (marijuana and hemp) industry thought leader with over 14-years of hands-on extraction and product manufacturing experience. Darwin specializes in mechanical and solvent-based extraction methodologies for isolating highly volatile terpene […]
Learn more about the science of standardization in cannabis with Darwin Millard, The Spock of Cannabis. Darwin Millard (aka The Spock of Cannabis) is a cannabis (marijuana and hemp) industry thought leader with over 14-years of hands-on extraction and product manufacturing experience. Darwin specializes in mechanical and solvent-based extraction methodologies for isolating highly volatile terpene phenolic secondary metabolites from botanicals. He is an Executive Committee Member of ASTM International’s Technical Committee D37 on Cannabis and serves as the Subcommittee Vice-chair for D37.04 on Processing and Handling and the Subcommittee Co-chair for D37.07 on Industrial Hemp. Darwin uses his vast knowledge of the cannabis industry, international affairs, and regulatory frameworks along with his passion for phytocannabinoid preparations and the cannabis plant, in general, to help his clients make the complex, simple. Darwin Millard is the creative influence behind companies such as Millard Masonek Solutions, Plant Consulting Group, and Nutrawerx, and provides educational services, regulatory development guidance, and creative approaches to problem-solving.

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Future-Proofing Environmental Sustainability in Cannabis

Learn more about future-proofing environmental sustainability in cannabis with Will Vizuete and David Vaillancourt today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry. Dr. William Vizuete, Ph.D., is Chief Scientific Officer, and co-leads the Byers Scientific Emissions Analysis division, and is a key member of the Byers Mitigation Technologies division product research and development team. Dr. Vizuete is also […]
Learn more about future-proofing environmental sustainability in cannabis with Will Vizuete and David Vaillancourt today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry. Dr. William Vizuete, Ph.D., is Chief Scientific Officer, and co-leads the Byers Scientific Emissions Analysis division, and is a key member of the Byers Mitigation Technologies division product research and development team. Dr. Vizuete is also a radio DJ on WXYC 89.3 FM and specializes in Jazz and Jamaican Music. David Vaillancourt, founder, and president of The GMP Collective — specializes in assisting cannabis and hemp businesses to ensure profitability and compliance through repeatable quality by design principles, formally known as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). David Chair’s the NCIA’s Facilities Design Committee. We talk more about Future-Proofing, which is a topic many NCIA committees have been focused on and discussing across the board for months now, with lots of great blog content on our website to refer to. We dive into the basic idea behind what “future-proofing” means aside from simply preparing for the future. The cannabis industry is doing our own thing in a lot of ways and going above and beyond. We discuss where the crossover between what we’re doing on our own to future-proof versus what rules and regulations are out there that require or encourage this at the state or federal level, as well as preparing for federal legalization and what’s coming in the future.  

Community
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How COVID has Changed Recruiting And Hiring in the Cannabis Industry

Learn more about how COVID has changed recruiting and hiring in the cannabis industry with Kara Bradford of Viridian Staffing, and Bryan Passman, Hunter + Esquire. Kara is Co-Founder and Chief Talent Officer of Viridian Staffing. Founded in 2013 as the first professional, full-service staffing, recruiting & HR consulting firm in the cannabis industry. Bryan […]
Learn more about how COVID has changed recruiting and hiring in the cannabis industry with Kara Bradford of Viridian Staffing, and Bryan Passman, Hunter + Esquire. Kara is Co-Founder and Chief Talent Officer of Viridian Staffing. Founded in 2013 as the first professional, full-service staffing, recruiting & HR consulting firm in the cannabis industry. Bryan is the Founder of cannabis industry talent acquisition firms Hunter + Esquire and The GIGG®. Much has changed in the last year and a half or more. We talk about how the COVID pandemic has changed all of our lives, and this is true in the cannabis world as well, though we were considered an essential business during those lockdowns as well. Workers kept working in the cannabis industry, albeit a little differently. There was a time when everyone wanted to work in the cannabis industry and hundreds of resumes were coming in. It’s a little different now, and we’re even seeing lower-wage jobs in non-cannabis companies offering much higher salaries/wages and benefits in order to attract employees. We dive into if it’s a candidate’s market now as well as what does that looks like now from the recruiting and hiring standpoint. Our industry sees the traditional cannabis enthusiast applying for jobs of course, but also individuals with advanced skills from other industries coming to cannabis in order to apply those skills from other industries to ours.  

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Standards in Cannabis Food Manufacturing

Learn more about Standards in Cannabis Food Manufacturing with Merril Gilbert and Rhiannon Woo. Merril Gilbert is the Co-founder and CEO of TraceTrust, a nationwide cannabis and hemp manufacturing compliance company advocating for safe consumer experiences through HACCP training and Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) Certifications. Merril has 25 years of experience working in the food […]
Learn more about Standards in Cannabis Food Manufacturing with Merril Gilbert and Rhiannon Woo. Merril Gilbert is the Co-founder and CEO of TraceTrust, a nationwide cannabis and hemp manufacturing compliance company advocating for safe consumer experiences through HACCP training and Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) Certifications. Merril has 25 years of experience working in the food and beverage industry and has been working in cannabis for over 6 years. Merril is the past chair of the NCIA's Education Committee and a current member of the Risk Management and Insurance Committee. Rhiannon is the Co-founder and Chief Science Officer of TraceTrust. She is a sought-out leader in Food Safety development and protocol and is an expert in Good Agricultural Practices, Good Harvesting Practices, Good Manufacturing Practices, HACCP, and the Food Safety Modernization Act. She is the Secretary of NCIA’s Hemp Committee. The cannabis industry considers itself a wellness industry, so when we’re consuming cannabis in any form, we always want to do good for our customers and not cause harm. Staying compliant and having a good understanding of these standards of food safety and GMPs is part of the solution here. Cannabis doesn’t have FDA oversight (YET!) but we as an industry are certainly looking to the future and getting our ducks in a row now. We talk about what other benefits would a cannabis manufacturer experiences, in your perspective, by embracing food safety, GMPs, and making their operations more sophisticated in this respect. This underscores the importance of collaboration and education, including NCIA’s committees which are really setting the stage for more sophistication, more education on these issues, through blogs and podcasts like this, and both of our guests are on an NCIA committee. Both guests talk a bit about their experiences collaborating in NCIA committees for the benefit of the whole industry, both operators and consumers.

Advocacy
/ Community
/ Education

CBD Products and Food Safety Regulations

Learn more about CBD Products and Food Safety Regulations with Tim Lombardo of EAS Consulting today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry with Bethany Moore. Tim Lombardo is Senior Director for Food Consulting Services. Tim is a widely regarded expert in food safety and microbiology with over 25 years of direct experience leading these programs at a variety […]
Learn more about CBD Products and Food Safety Regulations with Tim Lombardo of EAS Consulting today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry with Bethany Moore. Tim Lombardo is Senior Director for Food Consulting Services. Tim is a widely regarded expert in food safety and microbiology with over 25 years of direct experience leading these programs at a variety of manufacturing facilities. Tim’s direct experience includes dairy, infant formula, baked goods, nuts and nut products, fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, spices, color flavors, and other ingredients, and many others. He is a Lead Instructor through the Food Safety and Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) in Preventive Controls for both Human and Animal Foods, is certified in Thermal / Aseptic Processing and Sterilization through the Better Process Control School, and is a Lead Instructor for the HACCP Controls Alliance. We jump right into the regulations for hemp and CBD products at the state level versus what we’re seeing coming from the FDA. We all talk about preparing for the federal legalization of cannabis, but the hemp-derived CBD market is already getting the attention of the FDA. We also talk about the popularity of dog treats infused with CBD among pet owners, especially around the 4th of July with animals to help animals that are frightened of the loud fireworks, creating another significant CBD food sector.



Community
/ Education

Harnessing Celebrity Brands and Endorsements in Cannabis

Learn more about harnessing celebrity brands and endorsements in cannabis with Dan Shapiro. Dan is the Associate General Counsel at Greenlane Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNLN), one of the largest global sellers of premium cannabis accessories and CBD products. Prior to joining Greenlane, Dan worked at CAA in the Sports Business & Legal Affairs division. Dan […]
Learn more about harnessing celebrity brands and endorsements in cannabis with Dan Shapiro. Dan is the Associate General Counsel at Greenlane Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNLN), one of the largest global sellers of premium cannabis accessories and CBD products. Prior to joining Greenlane, Dan worked at CAA in the Sports Business & Legal Affairs division. Dan is the Founder and Inaugural Chair of the Cannabis Division of the American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries and a member of NCIA’s State Regulations Committee. We are certainly seeing a lot in the news about athletes using cannabis. With the Olympics happening this summer as well, there’s debate about whether cannabis is “performance-enhancing” but others see it more as a pain recovery for injuries. We all remember Michael Phelps the Olympic swimmer getting in some trouble many years ago. There’s the cannabis product itself, the flower, the pre-rolls, the extraction brands and so on that celebrities participate in. But the accessory space, in particular, is what Dan wrote about in the blog most recently, so this includes vaporizers and grinders. Celebrities endorse all kinds of products all the time, like make-up lines, face creams, perfume, so seeing them move into the cannabis endorsement space seems to be helping to normalize our industry. We dive into how this is evolving going forward as we see the expansion of legalization across the country, state by state, and preparing hopefully for federal legalization.

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