Cannabis Mom, Podcasting Boss, and Bravo TV Fan, Jenny Blaze

Tune in to learn more about Cannabis Mom, Podcasting Boss, and Bravo TV fan, Jenny Blaze today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice. Jenny Blaze is a Digital Entrepreneur, Content Creator, Cannabis Advocate, and host of GoodPods #8 in the Top 100 Indie TV Reviews Chart, the Bravo & Blaze with Jenny Blaze podcast.

She is focused on bridging the gap between mainstream pop culture media and the Cannabis industry to modernize the perception of cannabis consumption and empower others to safely & confidently come out of the “Green Closet” through the launch of her new podcast, Cannabis Mom Boss.

A Conversation with the Cannabis Regulators Association

A Conversation with the Cannabis Regulators Association with Dr. Gillian Schauer, CANNRA today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice only on The Cannabis Radio. Dr. Gillian Schauer was elected CANNRA’s first Executive Director in 2021 and served as a Senior Advisor to CANNRA before the organization’s founding. Dr. Schauer has worked in public health and policy for nearly two decades and has a decade of experience working with federal and state agencies on cannabis policy, data monitoring, and research translation.

She has a Ph.D. from Emory University, a Master of Public Health from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University. The Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) is a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization of government officials involved in cannabis regulation across more than 40 states and territories.

Designing Cannabis Facilities With Mindful Sustainability

Tune in to learn more about designing cannabis facilities with mindful sustainability.

Facilities Design Committee, Kevin Quinlan serves on NCIA’s Facilities Design Committee, and is a principal of the Chicago-based engineering firm Mintropy.

He is a professional mechanical engineer, specializing in the design of HVAC, plumbing, and process systems for the cannabis industry. Using his experience in traditional engineering methods throughout his past, he applies his team’s depth of knowledge to create efficient and economically sound solutions for cultivation and processing facilities.

Taking a custom approach to each project, Kevin has experience working in the traditional design-bid-build method, as well as in the design-build arena. Since Mintropy’s inception, he has led design projects for cannabis, commercial, industrial, and government buildings.

Since legalization in the state of Oregon in 2015, Kevin began working with the indoor agriculture community to further refine and innovate the design features for the cannabis cultivation sector, which he now brings to the midwest and elsewhere.

The Rise of Cannabis Consumption Lounges: Risk and Opportunities

Tune in to learn more about the rise of cannabis consumption lounges: risks and opportunities, with Mathew Grimes (The Grimes Law Group), and Jodi Green (Miller Nash), members of NCIA’s Risk Management and Insurance Committee.

Cannabis consumption lounges: what they are, how they work, why they exist, and why we need or want them? We compare a business model like this to something else that already exists in the alcohol industry, bars. Also for fine cigars, there are special cigar lounges. We talk about how cannabis consumption lounges are similar, and how they are different. We also dive into personal experiences our guests have had with consumption lounges so far.

Evolutions In Vaporizer Technology and Cannabis Oil Cartridges

Learn more about evolutions in vaporizer technology and cannabis oil cartridges with Mike Hogan of Thompson Duke Industrial today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice only on The Cannabis Radio. Today we start by talking about the vaporizer market. The devices are one part, as well as the actual cannabis oil formulas go into the cartridges. There’s a kind of standard, mass-produced vape pen battery you can get for $10, and most cartridges fit them, but there are also proprietary designs that require specific pods or cartridges. So we ask, what other evolutions of the vaporizer designs and technologies have you seen?

On the other hand, there’s the oil, as we mentioned, and we saw a health crisis hit our industry in 2019 and NCIA published a white paper on the vaping crisis. The issue was with the vitamin E acetate being used in the formula, and Massachusetts even banned vape pens entirely for a while. We discuss the reports that this was putting people in the hospital with lung infections.

New Dispensary Facility Design Trends In Cannabis

Learn more about new dispensary facility design trends in cannabis with Andy Poticha, Cannabis Facility Construction today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice only on The Cannabis Radio. Founder and CEO of Cannabis Facility Construction, a division of Mosaic Construction, a national design-build firm based in Northbrook, Illinois. Since 2015, Andy helped CFC become a national industry leader in full-service cannabis facility design-build working with multiple MSOs, independents, and start-up cannabis companies across the country. Currently, CFC has built and is in process of working on over 80 cultivation facilities, processing centers, and dispensary projects in 12 states.

We start off by talking about what’s new and trendy in cannabis facility construction and design. We start with retail dispensaries, which are customer-focused, public-facing, and see a lot of traffic, both on foot and literally with cars, which poses the question, what’s this new design feature you recently helped design for a dispensary in West Virginia? “Drive-thru cannabis” is an interesting new way to serve customers, reminding us of the “brew thrus” in the Outer Banks, NC, which was a new concept back then but now drive-through liquor stores are more common. This is ideal for certain types of customers but not others.

This design features really center around the customer needs, customer expectations, etc, like you don’t order a filet mignon at a drive-through. You want to sit down for a full dining experience, to draw a comparison, versus wanting a quick snack and getting in and out. As far as other facilities in the cannabis industry that are NOT so customer-facing like the cultivation facilities and manufacturing facilities. We talk about if there are any new design trends there to talk about or some standards that have developed through trial and error over the years.

Myths and Misinformation About Cannabis Banking Services

Tune in to learn more about myths and misinformation about cannabis banking services with Green Check Verified CEO Kevin Hart today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice. Green Check Verified is a leading provider of cannabis banking solutions and expert advisory services for financial institutions. He is an experienced, passionate, team-oriented leader that has held executive positions in venture-backed technology companies. Hart specializes in developing strategic plans coupled with organizational development with strong metrics-driven execution to achieve the next level of results. His diverse experience includes strategic planning, start-up and/or expanded business strategies, organizational development, sales organizations, and operational execution. All with exceptional executive relationships and BOD development.

Taking a look at the big picture, dispelling the misinformation and myths about banking in the cannabis industry, all of the challenges, and we know the SAFE Banking Act has passed the U.S. House six times now but died in the Senate. So there’s a lot of cash-heavy operations happening out there, but there is SOME KIND of banking services being used in our industry. We can use our debit cards at certain dispensaries for an extra fee, for example. Let’s say Congress passes some comprehensive federal legalization legislation or the standalone bill the SAFE Banking Act somehow makes its way to the President’s desk and gets signed into law. The idea is that this will allow banks to work with cannabis companies without getting in trouble with the DOJ. So we talk about what would that look like from Kevin’s perspective. Bigger picture, federal legalization will likely lead to opening up interstate commerce and even international commerce for our industry which would open up a whole new can of worms. We dive into what would the relationship between bankers and cannabis companies look like in that scenario.

Navigating The Process of Cannabis Technology Patents

Learn more about navigating the process of cannabis technology patents with Paul Coble and Scott Seeley. Paul is an intellectual property attorney with Harris Bricken and Chair of NCIA’s Cannabis Manufacturing Committee; Scott Seeley is an intellectual property attorney with Eastgate IP and is an Organizer of the Cannabis Manufacturing Committee.

We dive into some high-level topics surrounding patents in the cannabis industry. You can get a patent for just about anything, you just need to be the first person to invent it and submit the paperwork. Everything in our houses like paper towel rolls had patents, so now in the cannabis industry, we’re wrapping our arms around patents for things like vaporizer technology, and plant genetics. So to start, we ask what are the impacts of a patent, and what does it mean for a company.

Next, we define the challenges we’re seeing. There is a problem with bad patents being issued in the cannabis space, so we dive into what is a good patent versus a bad patent. We also discuss how they are being used in the cannabis space, as well as why they are important for cannabis operators.

 

Crafting New Jersey’s Cannabis Laws & Regulations

Tune in to learn more about crafting New Jersey’s cannabis laws & regulations with Fruqan Mouzon of Fox Rothschild. Fruqan helped craft the adult-use cannabis legislation in New Jersey, giving him a very unique perspective on the market in that state. We discuss what his role was and what the process was like writing that legislation, as well as what he believes were the mistakes and lessons learned in hindsight. Fruqan also explains some of the unique aspects of New Jersey’s cannabis market versus other states with legal cannabis, including social equity licensing provisions in the law.

A partner in the national Cannabis Law Practice Group at Fox Rothschild, he played a central role in New Jersey’s successful effort to legalize recreational marijuana. As former General Counsel for the New Jersey Senate Majority, Fruqan worked closely with legislative leaders to craft the state law that cleared the way for adult-use cannabis in the Garden State.

Fox Rothschild is A national law firm with 950 attorneys in more than 70 practice areas and is a true pioneer in the field of cannabis law. Fox was among the first major law firms to embrace the industry and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top cannabis law firms in Chambers USA.

Our guest helped craft the adult-use cannabis legislation in NJ, so which gives him a very unique perspective on the market in that state. We talk more about what that process was like, what Fruqan’s role was officially, as well as who he worked with to accomplish all this. More specifically, New Jersey of course is an east coast state, and we’re seeing all these little colonial states get on board with cannabis in recent years. We dive into what are some of the other unique aspects of New Jersey’s cannabis market that Fruqan can point to or explain for us. We are really encouraged to see more states including social equity licensing in the regulations from the get-go rather than as an afterthought, and we’d like to hear more about what we can expect from New Jersey. Also in that respect how its cannabis market will reinvest and perhaps alleviate some of the damages done by the war on drugs.

The New Cannabis and Hemp Symbol Standardization

Tune in to learn more about the new cannabis and hemp symbol standardization with NCIA’s Cannabis Manufacturing Committee and Facilities Design Committee members Darwin Millard of TSOC and David Vaillancourt of The GMP Collective.

The big exciting news here is that the global cannabis/hemp industry now has a universal symbol designated by ASTM International. Hooray. It looks like a yellow triangle with the cannabis leaf in the center and is pretty straightforward. But first, we back up by reminding our listeners what ASTM International is and does. In the last few years, we’ve had a hodgepodge of symbols imposed across various states here in the U.S. and Canada for packaging and even on the edibles themselves … which have been all across the board and problematic in some cases. We ask our guests what they have seen so far before this ASTM symbol came out. Back to the logic of the design of the symbol itself, we dive into the rhyme and reason for the triangular shape, the yellow color, the very obvious leaf plant in the center, and so on.

 

The Future of Social Equity and Interstate Commerce

The Future of Social Equity and Interstate Commerce with Mark Slaugh from NCIA’s DEI Committee today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice. CEO and owner of iComply, Mark works in the specialist sector of compliance for the medical, retail, and hemp industries and has over 13 years of experience in cannabis industry development, consulting, and operational compliance and over 22 years experience in regulations and risk management. He is a qualified expert witness on cannabis compliance and regulations in Colorado. iComply provides operational compliance services and validation of over 200 cultivation, manufacturing and processing, and dispensing facilities since 2011, and iComply consults for a variety of communities, organizations, and governments.

We dive into the intersection of DEI issues and how interstate commerce plays into that. First, we define what interstate commerce is and why the industry as a whole wants to achieve this. We talk about how social equity licensees and operators going to be impacted when federal legalization finally happens and we have some form of interstate commerce available to the cannabis industry. So currently in our 36 states with legal medical cannabis and 18 with adult use, most if not all have some form of social equity program giving black and brown business owners more equality in our industry. We talk about what’s working so far currently, as well as where it falls short.

Mark Slaugh is a leading niche asset for the dynamic cannabis market worldwide. His innovative work in cannabis compliance, regulatory affairs, policy monitoring, political reform, and social justice reflects an extensive understanding of cannabis, its benefits, and its social transformation from illicit “vice” to a legal substance under licensing and regulation. Mark progressively works to move this new market forward at political, policy, and operational levels. He represents objective knowledge about cannabis and its economic, social, and political implications on society as a trusted resource for the media, marijuana businesses, and governments. He regularly speaks at National and International conferences on topics regarding policy, market development, and operational cannabis compliance. All today on The Future of Social Equity and Interstate Commerce with Mark Slaugh, DEI Committee on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice.

Sorting Through The Chaos of Expanding Into New Cannabis Markets

Tune in to learn more about sorting through the chaos of expanding into new cannabis markets with Jennifer Spanos from CannaBusiness ERP today on Cannabis Radio. Jennifer Spanos is the VP of Product and Vertical Strategy at CannaBusiness ERP. She has 15+ years of experience in cannabis and food software and operations, working to maximize the efficiency and profitability of customers’ businesses. Jennifer started out doing research and development for food companies, launching new products across North America. She is currently based in Ottawa, Canada, and has a Bachelor of Science in Food Science from the University of Guelph. CannaBusiness ERP is the go-to answer for cannabis cultivators and processors seeking a software platform to manage their entire business. More than basic seed-to-sale or compliance-only software, CannaBusiness ERP tracks production, inventory, sales, finance, quality, and clients.

Emerging Markets are a really exciting opportunity here in the United States and we imagine the same in Canada. In just the last few years of legal cannabis, we’ve seen the growth in our industry to the point where MSOs are now stepping up and out and expanding into new states. This kind of move is a great sign for our industry overall, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. So, we imagine being a large cannabis company that’s well established in a single state, like California or Colorado, for example, getting to the point where you’re ready to bring your product to a new state like Massachusetts. New York in particular right now is still sorting out their regulations. We dive into what the process is like for an operator, as well as what they should know in order to set themselves up for success.

 

How Cannabis Companies Pivoted Marketing During COVID

Tune in to hear more about How Cannabis Companies Pivoted Marketing During COVID with Dan Serard today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice. Dan has been working in the cannabis industry for over four years. Currently, he heads business development and strategic partnerships for Cannabis Creative Group – a top marketing agency in the cannabis industry. He is a member of many cannabis associations and serves as a committee member of the NCIA’s Marketing and Advertising Committee. Cannabis Creative Group (CCG)’s services include branding, strategy, packaging, SEO, SEM/PPC, social media, and email marketing, and has been a leader in digital marketing in the cannabis industry since 2017.

We bring up that 5 letter word that we’ve all learned to adjust to as much as we can in the last two years… COVID. It definitely impacted everyone including the cannabis industry, however, we have deemed an “essential business” in most places which were kind of groundbreaking for me at least. So we talk more about how COVID has impacted our industry, and what Dan has been seeing in how it’s changed how the cannabis business is marketing their products and getting customers in the door. So as we’re mostly vaccinated and the hospitals are moving in the right direction as far as cases go, in-person events are returning, maybe we’re over the big scary hump here. But we dive into what can we expect in the future as long-term or even permanent changes because of what we’ve been through. As well as what should we be thinking about as an industry as we move forward.

Education and Training for Cannabis Industry Professionals

Learn more about education and training for cannabis industry professionals with Mila Marshall and Dale Sky Jones today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice. They discuss how the committee helps identify emerging topics in the cannabis space. They also discuss the challenges surrounding education in cannabis for those just entering the industry, as well as those who are long-term veterans of cannabis.

Mila Marshall is a doctoral candidate in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. She currently is the Principal Owner of Herb & Planning Associates where her small firm focuses on the intersection between the environment and the economy. Mila serves as an adjunct instructor of cannabis for City Colleges of Chicago, creator and co-host of the podcast To Be Blunt with Mila and Boom, creator/Committee Chair of the BIPOC Banking and Cannabis Summit, and is a current Education Committee member for NCIA.

Mila is coordinating the NCIA Educator’s Roundtable Webinar on April 29th to bring together educators of all kinds to discuss needs and gaps in the educational space, as well as share resources and network with one another.

Dale Sky Jones began working with patients in 2007, joining OU’s education and cannabis policy reform as a spokeswoman for the first legalization voter initiative. Dale became President & CEO of Oaksterdam University in April 2012 after a four-agency federal raid. Now, Oaksterdam is proud of more than 50,000 alumni from over 100 countries. OU offers Business, Horticulture, Budtending, Extractions, and Manufacturing Programs and is contracted by the Cities of Los Angeles and Palm Springs to provide technical assistance for professional and workforce development for the Social Equity Program. Dale continues to work towards federal de-scheduling and the legacy of quality education for the cannabis industry.

Governor Jared Polis of Colorado, Cannabis Industry Champion

Tune in to this episode as NCIA’s Bethany Moore speaks with Governor Jared Polis. Polis born and raised in Colorado, is an entrepreneur, education leader, and public servant. Prior to becoming Governor in 2019, Polis brought medical experts, advocates, attorneys, and scientists to D.C. to legitimize cannabis legalization in the national conversation, and led the way for new market opportunities for agriculture while serving as the Congressman for Colorado’s 2nd Congressional district. From growers to producers to every strain of innovator in between, Governor Polis remains committed to ensuring that the success of Colorado’s fast-growing cannabis industry can be cultivated by all. We begin with why he supports these issues.

Even as a Representative in the House before becoming Governor, our guest was a co-founder of the first Congressional Cannabis Caucus back in 2017. We dive more into his reasoning for being a vocal supporter of cannabis reform when it was still a fringe issue. We also talk about more of Governor Jared Polis’s efforts over the years including introducing the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act many times during his time in Congress. This would have rescheduled cannabis entirely. We’re still dealing with challenges with banking and taxes in our industry. Now the CAOA has been introduced in the Senate, which has similar goals. The CAOA is much more comprehensive, so we talk more about the letter he sent to Congress with feedback about the CAOA.


This episode was brought to you by Bridge West CPAs, one of the first accounting firms in the world to focus solely on the cannabis and hemp industries.

 

Robbery, Theft, and Other Crime Risks in Cannabis

Learn more about robbery, theft, and other crime risks in cannabis with Kevin Mullins, Vice President, 3SI & Doug Esposito of AssuredPartners, members of NCIA’s Risk Management and Insurance Committee today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice on Cannabis Radio. With the recent increases in theft and robberies in cannabis dispensaries, the NCIA’s Risk Management and Insurance Committee is hosting this podcast to discuss how these crimes are affecting the industry and best practices to mitigate the risks. Exclusion from the banking system and high-value product inventory for canna-businesses tempt criminals looking for an easy and lucrative way to steal or rob. Because of the expansion in the industry, cannabis is a likely target for criminals and drives the need for risk mitigation solutions that consider the likelihood of crime and how to best prevent it.

In this podcast, we bring together leading experts in cannabis insurance and security risk. The episode provides insight on issues facing the industry as well as best practices and regulatory standards to combat rising crime risks.

Social Equity-Focused Business Delivery Services In Colorado

Tune in to learn more about social equity-focused business delivery services in Colorado with Better Days Delivery, Michael Diaz-Rivera. Better Days Delivery Service is based in Denver, Colorado. The company collaborates with Colorado’s leading dispensaries and provides a seamless add-on service to both clients and customers. They operate 16 hours a day to provide the most convenient options for service to their client customers. As an official third-party transporter, they can and will also help navigate the delivery permit application process for your business as well.

Michael is involved in NCIA’s DEI Program, including a scholarship membership for your first year, and they do great things like host supportive and information-sharing conference calls, and so on. This is made up of people from across the country. We dive into Michael’s involvement in other social equity-related groups or activities here in Colorado at the state level. We know there are challenges to being a social equity business license holder or applicant, and most often the biggest challenge is access to capital. And also knowledge and know-how. So we hear more about those challenges, but more importantly, how is Michael navigating around them, and what kind of support he is getting from the community along the way.

Lobbying Congress Virtually as an NCIA Evergreen Member

Hear more about lobbying Congress virtually as an NCIA Evergreen Member with Khurshid Khoja.
Khurshid is founder of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, P.C., a California business law firm. Khurshid founded the law firm in 2012, which represents clientele from across numerous sectors in the legal cannabinoid industries, on regulatory, start‐up, corporate, intellectual property, finance, and other commercial and transactional matters. Khurshid currently serves as Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association, serves as co-chair of NCIA’s Policy Council, and as outside general counsel to Students for Sensible Drug Policy. He has previously served on the Board and Policy Committee of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, California State Treasurer’s Cannabis Banking Working Group, as a Founding Board member and General Counsel of the California Cannabis Industry Association, and as a mentor and member of the Selection Committee for the Arcview Investor Network. Among other honors, Khurshid was profiled in The National Law Journal’s first-ever Cannabis Law Trailblazers’ list, he’s been named to the annual Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list multiple times, has received SSDP’s Unsung Hero Award multiple times, and Arcview Investor Network’s Outstanding Member Award.

 

In Studio at #CannaBizSummit: Solonje Burnett and Marc Ross

Bethany Moore interviews two renowned social justice activists in Solonje Burnett (Co-founder at Humble Bloom) and Marc Ross (Head of Impact and ESG for Vicente Sederberg) on the expo floor at NCIA’s Cannabis Business Summit and Expo held December 15-17, 2021, in San Francisco, CA.

Solonje Burnett is a consultant, creator, breathwork guide, speaker and the co-founder and CEO of Humble Bloom. Humble Bloom is the leading NY based cannabis culture brand focused on consciously curating inclusive and intersectional communities with a goal of crafting an equitable and sustainable industry for all. 

Marc Ross is the Head of Impact & ESG and co-chair of the Environmental, Health and Safety Practice Group at Vicente Sederberg LLP. He provides counseling and consulting to the cannabis, hemp, and entheogen industries on all things ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance), CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion), community engagement, employee engagement, strategic philanthropy, sustainability, and other associated areas.

DEI in the Cannabis Industry and at NCIA

Learn more about DEI in the cannabis industry and at NCIA with Mike Lomuto today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice with Bethany Moore only on Cannabis Radio. Prior to his hire as the DEI Manager, Mike volunteered for two years in leadership of the NCIA’s DEI Committee. In his current role, Mike is tasked with building sustainable DEI at NCIA, supporting Social Equity members, and implementing initiatives to foster greater DEI nationwide. Previously, Mike co-founded Dao Mastery, a business development program to help cannapreneurs thrive and grow generational wealth.

We start by chatting more about Mike’s work here at NCIA working with DEI Scholarship Recipients and finding DEI Program Sponsors to support all the programming. At this point, we’ve offered over 200 membership scholarships to Equity License Holders and Applicants. So we talk more about those individuals and their companies and which we’ve been featuring recently in Equity Member Spotlight blogs on our website.

Even further than that, we thankfully brought back our in-person trade shows in recent months, both the Midwest Cannabis Business Conference we held in Detroit last September, and then our Cannabis Business Summit & Expo in San Francisco in December. Both of which hosted day-long Social Equity Workshops. We talk more about those workshops and what the participants are experiencing at those.

In Studio At #CannaBizSummit: Jade Fire and Hunter + Esquire

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!


Jade Fire and Hunter + Esquire today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice.

Insights into the Cannabis Extraction Market with Dominick Monaco

Tune in to this episode to learn Insights into the Cannabis Extraction Market with Dominick Monaco, City Trees/CLS Holdings today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice. Dominick Monaco, Pharm.D. is Director of Laboratory Operations at CLS Holdings, Inc. He manages City Trees’ production and distribution activities in Nevada. Dr. Monaco oversaw formulating and manufacturing Louisiana’s first-ever Medical Marijuana tinctures in tandem with Louisiana State University’s AgCenter. Dr. Monaco graduated from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in 2010 and has been involved in the legal cannabis industry since 2012.

We take a deep dive into extraction technology and the extraction market, and what to do if you’re entering into the cannabis extraction side of the industry. Sounds like you’re going to need a couple of things right off the bat, 1 being the cannabis cultivator, and 2, being the equipment itself. It’s really exciting that every year that goes by, we see more and more states legalizing cannabis either for medical or adult-use sales. We talk about how that plays into the extraction and production side of the cannabis industry, where the market is concerned, such as Northern California’s needs and wants, versus Boston, Massachusetts.

Stories from an Oakland Native Dispensary Owner – Tucky Blunt Jr, Blunts + Moore

Hear from Blunts And Moore with Tucky Blunts today on NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Voice with Bethany Moore. Alphonso (Tucky) Blunt Jr. is the owner of both Proud Papas clothing and Blunts + Moore dispensary, is a 5th generation Oakland native, that has opened the 1st dispensary under Oakland’s Cannabis Social Equity Program. Blunts + Moore opened its doors on November 24th, 2018 and is proudly driven by the vibrant, hard-working local community, and striving to make cannabis accessible to all of its consumers in a safe and comfortable environment.

The owner of both Blunts + Moore dispensary, and Proud Papas clothing is a fifth-generation Oakland native, that has opened the first dispensary under the City of Oakland’s Equity Program. While growing up in Oakland, California during the war on drugs era, he managed to stay out of trouble and maintain a 4.0 GPA and a full-time job while in high school. He was also using and selling cannabis. Cannabis sales to him was another form of employment. In 1999 while on an errand with his grandmother, she had him go to a dispensary, from that day forward his mission was to own one for himself, so he could sell cannabis legally.

He worked at and was a vendor for multiple bay area dispensaries from 1999-to 2004. In 2003 he attempted to become an owner of a dispensary and was told blacks would never own in this business. In 2004 he was arrested for possession with the intent to sell, and given 10 years of felony probation with a 4-way search clause. Still determined to learn more on the legal side, he attended and graduated from Oaksterdam University in 2008. In true path formation, had he not been arrested, he would not have qualified for the Equity program… Now as the 1st person to open a dispensary under Oakland’s Equity program, he is finally continuing on that path of ownership. His goals and values are still spiritual and family-driven. He is looking to change the face of the cannabis industry, one location at a time. Blunts + Moore opened its doors on November 24th, 2018 to a huge crowd, great food, and lifted spirits. A native-born son, selling cannabis legally in Oakland!

 

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 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.

 

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 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.

 

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. 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.

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 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.

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 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.

 

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 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.

 

 

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 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.

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