Cynthia Salarizadeh, Author at Green Market Report

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11min6820

So many things have been turned upside down with this pandemic, and saying we live in interesting times would be an understatement. Industries and businesses are being demolished and altered in ways unheard of just a month ago, and a rare few are actually booming. 

For the cannabis industry, one of the biggest changes leading to a boom is that as a whole cannabis is now being considered an “essential” part of life nationwide. The level of legitimacy this brings to the industry would have normally taken another decade. 

Delivery services and curb side pick-up have been implemented across the country also erasing years of necessary effort overnight. But overall, the complete change in cannabis consumer behavior has been one of the most interesting developments to witness for many of us.

As reported by Vice, politics and current events are major sources of anxiety for many in the United States and this leads to an increase of unhealthy behaviors like drinking alcohol, smoking, or eating poorly to cope with what is termed as “headlines distress disorder”.

In times of great stress, the sale of alcoholic beverages has proven to surge without fail. With legal cannabis now implemented around the country, the same is now proving to be true. According to Headset, during this current Coronavirus crisis, US adult use cannabis markets show average daily sales at large increase by 10%.

Sue Bachorski, formerly with Constellation Brands for 30 years and currently with the House of Saka, explained that “historically, alcohol sales frequently rise during times of economic downturn, regional disasters, etc. There is no reason to believe that cannabis sales would be any different and there will likely be a prolonged upswing for the foreseeable future.”

The Numbers Say It All

As of April 2, 2020, Headset released data that shows how the landscape of preferred cannabis products and consumption methods has proven to alter completely.  In the analysis, Headset compares the average daily sales of each product category before the COVID-19 sales bump began (January 1st through March 6th) to the COVID-19 crisis time period (March 7th through March 31st).

Cannabis infused beverage sales have increased by 14% while edibles accounted for a 28% increase. With infused beverages previously only accounting for 1% of the market, this is a big jump for the category. The reasoning for this change in consumer sales makes sense considering the virus attacks your respiratory system, so people would rather eat or drink their cannabis instead of smoking or vaping it. Pre-rolls and topicals have actually fallen by 13%.

I reached out to some key players in these categories to find out why they feel these increases have occurred. Warren Bobrow, co-founder of cannabis infused beverage brand Klaus Apothicaire and a Vices writer for Forbes, told Green Market Report that he felt that “while being quarantined in our homes, it makes perfect sense to further expand our inner space with high quality cannabis beverages and edibles. Smokable products could prove tricky with this particular virus.”

Ben Larson, CEO of Vertosa, said that “in these uncertain and challenging times, it’s an encouraging silver lining to see cannabis consumers increasingly seeking out infused beverages. There are likely several factors affecting the recent rise in sales, but an important takeaway is that infused beverages are typically designed for individual consumption and can be consumed discreetly, which is ideal during social distancing. They are also an approachable, familiar way to consume cannabis for less experienced users and those looking to avoid smoking during this time.”

The Women Stepped Up Their Spending

Beyond the types of products surging, the Headset data showed that even gender sales show a change in behavior during this crisis. While both genders saw significant increases in cannabis spending, females had more than double the sales growth of males. As Headset previously reported, males make up roughly two thirds of cannabis spending on any given day. Therefore, it could be speculated that females were less likely to have cannabis products on hand and more likely to feel a sense of urgency to stock up.

Tracey Mason, CEO of House of Saka, explains that she believes females could be a major driver in these increased category surges because “there is a triangulation of needs that beverages and edibles meet specifically for the female consumer: They offer precise dosing which provides a safe and controlled means by which to experiment, they offer a subtle means of consumption which removes the stigma associated with smoking and vaping and they are multi-use which drives sociability and expands usage occasions. Safe, Subtle and Social, those are the benefits of infused beverages in a nutshell.”

It remains to be seen as to whether these changes will become market altering over the long term, or if it was truly just a panic surge with no real impact. But as far as the change in gender sales, if this pattern continues, brands will need to evolve their marketing campaigns to appeal more to women.  

“Women are often seeking a healthier alternative to alcohol, but want an elevated social experience. To do this with cannabis is ideal. In addition, women want a product that has relatable packaging, tastes amazing, and feels safe. This tends to be achieved with an edible or an infused beverage, so I am not surprised that when their sales surged during the panic buys, they gravitated toward these products. The cannabis consumable sector has come a long way. The existing products have nailed the experience for the female consumer, so this demographic will continue to grow in the coming years,” says founder & president of Viv & Oak, Alana Burstein.
Will It Last?
If the patterns remain the same for edibles and beverages for the duration of the pandemic’s hold on our behavior, which could affect our lives for up to 18 months, it is safe to say that habits may have altered indefinitely with far reaching consequences for the foreseeable future. 

Understandably, edible and beverage brands are predicting continued growth. “We’ve seen exponential growth in our edibles sales at Garden Society and expect that as these shelter in place orders remain in place, we will continue to see growth. We believe this will have an impact on the overall market and consumer trends over the next year,” said Karli Warner, co-founder of The Garden Society

Geoff Doran, founder and CEO of Van Doran Brands, stated that “right now we are watching this trend very closely as edible and infused beverage companies. We aren’t too surprised that there is a current spike with these categories. We think the current spike has a lot to do with the “newbies” that are bored at home and giving cannabis a shot because of easy access they have through delivery, and quite frankly because they have nothing else to do with their days. A lot of the new cannabis buyers tend to gravitate toward a method of consumption that is familiar to them, which is obviously through eating and drinking. We’re excited about this spike because we know people will realize that edibles and cannabis beverages are a great cannabis experience!”


Cynthia SalarizadehCynthia SalarizadehMarch 31, 2020
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5min3870

There are so many disturbing and upsetting developments that have occurred over the last month concerning the global pandemic, Coronavirus, that it is hard to count. But one specific development has been pretty interesting in regard to cannabis legalization. State after sate has determined cannabis to be an “essential” part of life. This is quite the validation the industry has been seeking since prohibition. And with this “essential” new status has come a surge in sales across the board as users stock pile the items they feel they need the most to get through these trying times.

Although sales are surging for the industry overall, one group of license holders have become more essential than others: delivery services. Considering the nature of a viral pandemic and the need to stay as far away from other human beings as possible, it makes sense that having your groceries, alcohol, toilet paper and weed delivered would feel the safest.

States like Louisiana, Pennsylvania and NJ, among many more, have changed their cannabis rules almost completely to allow for either delivery or curbside pick-up. It would have normally taken years to have these services accepted and implemented. Over the next year, as the virus begins to recede, it will be interesting to see if these changes will remain permanent.

Driven Deliveries Inc. announced that over the last 10 days the company has experienced record growth and demand with a greater than 100% increase in sales. Following California’s decision to deem Cannabis deliveries an “essential business,” Driven is increasing infrastructure to provide California customers safe access to legal cannabis through the government mandated quarantine.

“Driven Deliveries was founded on the bedrock principle of enabling universal access to cannabis to California’s population,” said Driven Deliveries’ CEO Christian Schenk. “Driven is the only service that provides deliveries to 92% of California’s population, giving millions of people access to on-demand legal cannabis from the security and safety of their own home during this very difficult time”.

The impact of coronavirus has required Driven to scale its driver network to meet the increase in demand. In an effort to comply with Government orders to stay home, Driven expects further growth as people continue to incorporate delivery services into their new routines.

Finally, Driven continues to innovate in ways to make delivery both easier and safer. Driven’s delivery system allows consumers to leverage electronic payment methods as well as cash, making it significantly more convenient than other options. In addition to the extra steps being taken to ensure safe deliveries through the use of protective disposable gloves and continuous sanitization, Driven is also exploring new ways that technology can be used for a contact free delivery while still meeting the ID verification requirements.

Groups like Driven Deliveries understand that anxiety and stress are increased around the country, and that both medical and recreational customers want access to cannabis without the risk of exposure associated with visiting a dispensary.

Tokr, a Los Angeles-based delivery service, reports a delivery increase of 287 percent since March 12, 2020. The company also says that its average cart size has tripled. “People are really stocking up anticipating they will be home for an extended period of time,” explained Matthew Singer, CO-founder & CEO of Tokr . Its drivers also remain 6 feet from all consumers during delivery transactions, Tokr says.

Delivery has emerged as the ideal way to get your cannabis. It will be difficult for states that had not allowed delivery services prior to the virus to go back to business as usual once things clear up. Cannabis delivery will most likely be a staple to the cannabis industry country-wide moving forward.


Cynthia SalarizadehCynthia SalarizadehJanuary 29, 2020
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As journalists, brand owners and industry professionals, daily we must interact and engage with communication specialists to accomplish a myriad of goals. Like anything, some individuals tend to be more efficient, trustworthy, effective and more of a pleasure to work with overall.

There is nothing more upsetting than wasting time and money on services that do not meet your company’s needs, especially if it can be avoided. So understanding who these people are can help us in our collective decision making when it comes time to scout talent or in hiring firms and consultants.

Over the last year and a half, our team at the Green Market Report has created a running list of the top communication professionals that we feel warrant recognition. After careful consideration among the GMR team, we have selected the top ten that we feel you and your company can engage with effectively.

We feel comfortable recommending each person in this group for their work and accomplishments within their special areas of the industry for communications.

Each one of these individuals rank among the most knowledgeable, influential, helpful and professional to work with.

 

Daniel Yi, Chief Communications Officer at Shryne Group Inc.

Daniel is a seasoned communications executive with more than two decades of experience crafting narratives that connect with audiences.

In 2016, he joined a little known cannabis management firm called MedMen and helped the brand become one of the most recognized names in the industry, earning the company more than six billion earned media impressions in 2018.

As a former journalist, Daniel understands and believes in the power of narrative to change minds and hearts. In the span of a 10-year career at the Los Angeles Times, he covered several beats and later transitioned to marketing communications and public relations, helping organizations like the Port of Long Beach, the County of Los Angeles and Edison International connect with diverse audiences.

Today, Daniel is the chief communications officer of Shryne Group, a vertically integrated cannabis enterprise focused on California, the largest, most mature legal cannabis market in the world.

 

 

Rosie Mattio Founder & CEO of Mattio Communications

Rosie is the founder and CEO of MATTIO Communications, the preeminent cannabis marketing agency in the U. S. She helped usher in the New Cannabis Age, garnering global media coverage in mainstream publications for clients, including the first cannabis article ever published in Oprah Magazine.

Over the past year, her New York firm has grown alongside the industry, adding marketing and communications services for clients, including content, SEO, investor relations, event planning, and influencer marketing.

Today, Rosie is considered a market maker in the world of cannabis. She has been acknowledged in High Times Female 50, and Forbes Fifteen Powerful and Innovative Women In Cannabis. MATTIO Communications has been named in MG Magazines Top 50 Cannabis Employers and Green Entrepreneur’s Top 100 Cannabis Companies.  Ranked the #1 cannabis PR firm by Greenmarket Report, Rosie is a strategic powerhouse, industry connector and influencer. 

 

 

Jason Erkes, Chief Communications Officer at Cresco Labs 

Jason joined the leadership team of Cresco Labs as their Chief Communications Officer and Spokesperson in 2018 after working with the company as a consultant since its inception. Cresco Labs (CL:CSE), based in Chicago, is one of the largest vertically integrated multi-state operators in the United States. The company has a mission to normalize and professionalize the cannabis industry and bringing in subject matter experts like Erkes greatly helps Cresco move closer to that goal.

Erkes has been a journalist, political advisor, entrepreneur, Influencer, turnaround expert and philanthropist. He has been identified as a “rising star” as a Crain’s Chicago Business “40 under 40”, won Emmy Awards for excellence in journalism through his work at ABC and FOX News, and received national political recognition as a recipient of the prestigious Reed Award from Campaigns & Elections Magazine.

Erkes has been instrumental in helping craft and share Cresco’s narrative overseeing the company’s media relations, employee relations, investor communications as well as working cross-functionally with all departments on any external communications.  Most recently he facilitated the company’s launch for Illinois adult-use sales achieving a record one billion earned media impressions in the first week for their Sunnyside* Dispensaries.

 

Gia Moron, Founder and CEO of GVM Communications, Inc

Gia is the Founder and CEO of GVM Communications, Inc. a public relations, brand & business development consulting firm launched in 2012. She has a team of consultants & freelancers work with an array of clients in the Arts, Education, Financial Services, Diversity & Inclusion, Publishing, Sports & Entertainment, Technology, and Wellness.

In 2015, the firm expanded its services into the cannabis industry. Gia leverages her 25+ years of experience in corporate communications, and her firm remains equally vested in diverse markets of business ranging from: (Non-Profits, privately owned to Publicly traded Fortune 500 companies. The firm has a client base that ranges from small to mid-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, authors and celebrity clients).

Prior to launching her firm, Gia was a Media Relations Officer in the Corporate Communications department for fifteen years at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. While at Goldman Sachs, Gia oversaw various business areas from Private Equity, Urban Investment, Investment Research and Technology to the firm’s organizational focus on Corporate Engagement, Diversity, Recruiting, Human Resources and Corporate Services. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Gia was Director of Promotions and Publicity for six years at The Fremantle Corporation, an international television distribution, and production company. 

 

Linda Marsicano, VP Corporate Communications at Green Thumb Industries

Linda Marsicano joined Green Thumb Industries in February 2018 as Vice President of Corporate Communications and manages all aspects of media and public relations. She has more than 20 years of experience in communications working for publicly traded companies, private entities and nonprofit organizations.

Her background includes leading external communications for Fortune 500 nuclear power company Exelon Corporation, serving as Vice President of Corporate Communications for Playboy Enterprises, and Vice President of Public Relations for mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate. She has also overseen public relations for medical societies and not-for-profit professional associations. Linda has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Miami University in Ohio.

Marsicano serves on the advisory board of the Civic Leadership Foundation, an educational organization dedicated to preparing under-served young people for college, career and active citizenship. She lives in Chicago with her husband and 12-year-old twin daughters.

 

Alex Howe, Head Of Corporate Communications at Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc.

Howe has two decades of experience working in corporate strategy and communications for cannabis, consumer, technology, Fortune 50 and sports and entertainment companies and has helped launch dozens of companies and build brands across industries.

Howe is currently the Head of Corporate Communications for Harvest Health & Recreation Inc., a vertically-integrated cannabis company with one of the largest and deepest footprints in the U.S., where he leads communications and strategy focusing on patients, consumers, media, regulators, investors, local communities and partners.

Howe formerly served as president and co-founder of Powerplant Global Strategies, the first strategic partnerships, communications and investor relations firm exclusively focused on the legal cannabis industry. At Powerplant he worked closely with many of the best-known companies in the cannabis industry, including PAX, Arcview, Merida Capital Partners, I Heart Jane, THC Design and many others. In 2018, he was named one of Marijuana Venture magazine’s “40 Under 40.”

Prior to joining Powerplant, Howe was a director at fama, North America’s premier boutique PR firm for technology companies, where he launched startups and developed thought leadership campaigns for enterprise companies in the B2C and B2B spaces. Before fama, Alex was a vice president at Global Strategy Group in New York City, where he provided public affairs support, digital, traditional and crisis communications and produced award-winning campaigns for Google, Formula 1, UFC, Nestlé Waters, Time Warner, Inc. and the New York Road Runners.

 

Shawna Seldon Mcgregor, Founder & CEO of Maverick Public Relations 

Shawna Seldon McGregor is the founder of Maverick Public Relations, which was established in 2018 and quickly garnered recognition as one of the most effective cannabis PR agencies.

McGregor’s cannabis and hemp experience is unparalleled, working from the inception of adult-use in Colorado to bring brand messaging to the national stage and working closely with national and trade reporters, as well as infiltrating specific emerging markets. With two decades of experience in New York City and Denver, McGregor has deep experience representing a multitude of sectors including health & wellness, biotech, agribusiness, associations and media. Her mission is to provide big agency expertise with outstanding client service by seasoned and knowledgeable communications expert.

She’s passionate about good journalism and wants to see the Fourth Estate not just survive but thrive. She is hands-on, sincere, genuine and responsive, and oversees a diverse team based in metro Denver, California, Florida and Pennsylvania.

 

Lewis Goldberg, Managing Partner at KCSA Strategic Communications

Lewis is a Managing Partner at KCSA and oversees the firm’s public relations practice.For more than 20 years, Lewis has worked to implement eminence, thought leadership, and public affairs programs designed to build business and garner fairer valuations.

Lewis developed a campaign mentality working in national, state and local politics for U.S. President Bill Clinton, U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli and then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. He designs programs with a specific business objective in mind, a targeted timeframe, attention to maximizing limited resources and a measurable ROI.

In 2015 Lewis helped found KCSA’s cannabis practice and has become recognized as one of the most effective strategic thinkers in this growing field. He is the co-host of KCSA’s weekly podcast, The Green Rush, and speaks regularly at conferences on the use of strategic communications to achieve specific business objectives.

 

Evan Nison, Founder & CEO of Nison Co.

Evan Nison is the youngest member of the NORML Board of Directors and sits on the Board of Directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. He is the founder of the PR firm NisonCo, which connects leaders in the legal cannabis, medical marijuana, and hemp industries with influential journalists across the U.S. and world. As part of his mission to build socially driven businesses, he co-founded Whoopi & Maya, a women’s-focused cannabis brand with actress Whoopi Goldberg and fellow NORML board member Rick Cusick. He then went on to co-found Emerald Farm Tours, a Northern California-based cannabis tour company to give the public a transparent hands-on view of the cannabis industry from seed to sale, and Bloody Good Vape & Smoke, a smoke shop in New Jersey he founded with a victim of cannabis prohibition who was held in jail for a year awaiting trial.

Evan has been mentioned in news sources such as the NY Times, CNN, Politico, USA Today, NBC New York, Bloomberg TV, Forbes, and has been profiled in The Cannabist, Civilized, Ithaca Times, Home News Tribune, The Marijuana Times, and the Sun Times. He also received the 2011 NORML Student Activism Award and High Times Freedom Fighter Award for his advocacy. He also received one of the pens used to sign the New York 911 Good Samaritan Law and New York medical marijuana law for his involvement in the passage of both bills.

Heidi Haller Groshelle, Founder & CEO of Groshelle Communications

After four decades of technology public relations, which included launching consumer products like the first plasma TVs, the first mobile phone for kids, and the first flying car, Heidi tackled the cannabis industry in 2015. Heidi’s passion for the plant has allowed her business to thrive with a stellar client roster including PHILTER Labs, PLUS Products, PrestoDoctor, CannaBiz Connections, TraceTrust, and Solful Dispensary to name a few. 

In the past five years, Heidi has introduced the first cannabis-infused gum, rolled out the first line of doctor-designed and approved cannabis topicals, and launched dozens of cannabis brands onto the national stage. 

Heidi has earned numerous accolades for her work including the Hermes Award, Bulldog, and Communicator awards. Heidi’s unique approach to cannabis (and her stellar client roster) has given her a reputation as a leader in the cannabis market and more importantly as a champion of all women in the industry.

 



8min5710

Bethlehem, Penn. (July 16, 2019) — The Hemp Heals Hockey Wellness Camp is a first-of-its-kind camp that will include hemp educational sessions in its week-long training schedule led by former NHL player, Riley Cote. Campers ranging from 10 to 17-years-old will spend the day hitting the ice and wrap up with an informational discussion about mindfulness, and the healing and nutritional benefits of hemp paired with yoga.

Cote, retired Philadelphia Flyers left winger and founder of BodyChek Wellness and nonprofits the Hemp Heals Foundation and Athletes for CARE, will be coaching young athletes on the ice and educating them about the benefits of hemp to aid in recovery and overall well-being in classroom sessions. Cote developed BodyChek hemp-derived products after experiencing the natural pain management and recovery benefits first-hand.

The camp is free and will consist of warm-ups, on-ice play, educational sessions and special guest speakers. Parents of participants can also see what the hemp hype is all about during a condensed educational session on Friday, July 26. Media attendance is welcome and encouraged.

 

What: Hemp Heals Hockey Wellness Camp

When: July 22-26, 2019

Activities for the week include:

Monday, July 22 – Thursday, July 25: 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • Off-ice warm up and training
  • On-ice training
  • 30-minute classroom session including topics such as:
  • Nutritional benefits of hemp: a complete superfood, digestible protein source and an ideal ratio of essential fatty acids.
  • Hemp innovation: a hempcrete workshop featuring a hemp house on wheels and education about the viability and endless uses of the hemp plant.
  • Hemp wellness and recovery: managing pain and inflammation, and promoting proper sleep to optimize performance and recovery.
  • Mindful exercise and yoga

Friday, July 26: 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • Off-ice warm up, training and games
  • Full ice scrimmage
  • Two 30-minute classroom sessions; one for campers and one for parents
  • Mindful exercise and yoga
  • Special appearances including two-time Stanley Cup winner and former Philadelphia Flyers star Dan Carcillo

Where: Steel Ice Center

320 E. 1st. Street

Bethlehem, PA 18015

Interview Opportunities:

  • Riley Cote, retired NHL athlete and founder of BodyChek Wellness and the Hemp Heals Foundation and Athletes for CARE, will be available during the week to speak to the media about this first-of-its-kind camp, BodyChek Wellness products and the mission of his nonprofits.
  • Participants at the camp
  • Parents of the participants

About the Hemp Heals Foundation

The Hemp Heals Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 2011 by former NHL player, Riley Cote. Through education and innovation, the organization supports sustainable agriculture practices, sustainable health and clean natural medicine, while focusing on a holistic approach to optimum health. Guided by the core belief that keeping our bodies nourished with more plant-based whole foods helps keep our mind, body and spirit healthy, the Hemp Heals Foundation is working to build and sustain a healthier society and planet. To learn more about the Hemp Heals Foundation, visit hemphealsfoundation.com.

About BodyChek Wellness

BodyChek Wellness, founded in 2017 by former NHL player Riley Cote, develops high-quality, sustainable hemp-derived products that support positive change, balance and recovery in individuals from all walks of life. The company lives by the philosophy that there is an athlete in all of us and everyone can benefit from a natural solution for pain relief, improved sleep, and mental health management. By implementing BodyChek products into a larger wellness regimen, BodyChek’s hope is that individuals experience a better road to recovery and achieve balance, something every body deserves. For more information about the company and its products, visit bodychekwellness.com.

About Athletes for CARE

Athletes for CARE (A4C) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping athletes find support, opportunity and purpose after a career in sports. Founded in 2016, A4C creates a community to help athletes leverage their influence to give back and build meaningful relationships; advocates for the health, safety and wellbeing of more than two billion people of all ages who compete annually in sanctioned sports globally; supports research efforts that have a direct impact on the quality of life of athletes; and educates the public about effective alternative treatment options for mental and physical illnesses such as chronic pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD, CTE, TBI, substance abuse and opioid dependency. For more information about A4C, visit athletesforcare.org.

###

Media Contact:

Kayla Weimer

kweimer@wearecsg.com

720.726.5431

Onsite Contact:

Ashley Cote

ashley@bodychekwellness.com

302.540.9947


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3min13800

This week the all new media platform, Flowertown, a rapidly growing cannabis media and marketing brand, and CohnReznick LLP, one of the largest accounting and consulting firms in the country, announced that they will be teaming to deliver a comprehensive suite of services to the cannabis industry.

The strategic relationship was a response to an opportunity in the burgeoning cannabis marketplace that the two groups recognized and decided to collaborate to fill. The goal is to work together to provide comprehensive professional resources for industry participants looking for strategic growth and the delivery of compliance services. Additionally, the two intend to accelerate reliable consumer education.

Flowertown CEO, Dean Waters, told Green Market Report that, “In a time where consumers have so many questions about cannabis, Flowertown aspires to be the Good Housekeeping for the industry. Its education first mantra holds the hand of consumers while educating and then guiding them to safe, legal, and trusted brands and retailers.”

Flowertown is comprised of a group of marketing professionals that have been moving the needle in crowded,
general consumer markets for years. The Flowertown platform, advertising services, and influencer network has a unique offering that the company feels has cracked the code in introducing the benefits of cannabis to the general consumer market. This new relationship with CohnReznick creates an even more robust offering on a level the industry has yet to see.

“We are always looking to bring other trusted advisors to the table for our clients in this ever-changing and developing industry,” said Waters. “CohnReznick brings a tremendous amount of professional experience and technical expertise in the cannabis space. Our marketing sensibilities combined with their proven track record with both established and emerging industries creates a suite of services that will be paramount as cannabis brands and retailers break into the mainstream marketplace.”

Ira Weinstein, Cannabis Industry Leader for CohnReznick added, “We have been serving the cannabis industry for over two years and see the challenges companies are experiencing when it comes to synthesizing finance, tax and accounting issues in support of sophisticated marketing and building a brand. Flowertown’s commitment to consumer education and normalization aligns perfectly with CohnReznick’s commitment to professionalism and corporate responsibility in this space. We believe our collaboration with Flowertown brings a new level of sophisticated professional solutions that will help push this industry forward.”


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5min39182

Today MTech Acquisition Corp. and MJ Freeway LLC announced the completion of their merger to form the Akerna Corp. MTech Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: MTEC), the first US-listed Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) focused on acquiring a business ancillary to the cannabis industry, and MJ Freeway, a leading seed-to-sale regulatory compliance technology provider and developer of the cannabis industry’s first enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, has now become the first compliance technology company in the cannabis space to be traded on Nasdaq. Jessica Billingsley also becomes the first female CEO from the cannabis industry to lead a company that will trade on the exchange.

“As legalization of cannabis expands across the world, we believe it is imperative that businesses, patients, consumers, and governments have the tracking and compliance technology they need to make informed decisions and comply with applicable regulations. We believe Akerna is well suited to meet these needs with the ability to scale rapidly across the world and offer a robust and innovative platform for growing industry demands,” stated MJ Freeway Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer Jessica Billingsley.

In addition to her role as CEO, Billingsley also serves on the Akerna Board of Directors and is joined by senior leadership from MTech: Scott Sozio, Tahira Rehmatullah and Douglas Rothschild. The Board of Directors of Akerna also includes Emery Huang, Matt Kane, and Mark D. Iwanowski, who were formerly members of MJ Freeway’s Board of Directors. Roger McNamee, who served as senior advisor to MJ Freeway’s Board of Directors, will act as Senior Advisor to the Board of Directors of Akerna.

The business combination between the two companies was approved at a meeting of MTech stockholders today. In connection with the transaction, MTech and MJ Freeway combined to form Akerna Corp. (“Akerna”). The shares of common stock and warrants of Akerna will begin trading on The Nasdaq Stock Market tomorrow, June 18, 2019, under the symbols “KERN” and “KERNW,” respectively. The company also announced raising $9.2 million prior to this closing.

“We are very pleased to close this transaction and look forward to capitalizing on the substantial operating and financial benefits we believe the combination will create. From here, we believe we are well positioned to pursue our acquisition strategy to drive transformation for future growth in the regulatory technology sector,” commented Scott Sozio, CEO of MTech. “We believe comprehensive, compliant, scalable technology solutions will underpin the industry’s rapid growth, and serve as a backbone for sustained success.”

Roger McNamee, Senior Advisor to the Akerna Board of Directors added, “Cannabis companies that want to be leaders are adopting MJ Platform, because it is the only ERP product with the technical foundation to support multi-line and multi-location operations. This transaction will enable MJ to better support customers manage high growth and complexity as the industry transitions from local to a global scale.”

Upon the closing of the transaction, the former MJ Freeway equity holders exchanged their securities of MJ Freeway for securities of Akerna, and the former equity holders of MTech exchanged their securities of MTech for securities of Akerna. As a result of the former MJ Freeway equity holders beneficially own approximately 62.7% of Akerna’s outstanding shares of common stock (including the shares held in escrow and unvested restricted shares); the former MTech stockholders beneficially own approximately 27.7% of Akerna’s outstanding common stock; and the investors in MTech’s previously-announced private placement that closed concurrently with the business combination beneficially own approximately 9.6% of Akerna’s outstanding shares of common stock. Legal counsel for the business combination was provided by Graubard Miller (MJ Freeway) and Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP (MTech).

 


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5min24620

Located along the central coast of California you’ll find farms of berries, lettuce, and garlic. That is, until you hit Sparx Cannabis in Monterey County. The family-owned and vertically-integrated cannabis lifestyle company has recently announced the acquisition of multiple licenses that allow the company to cultivate and distribute cannabis and cannabis-derived product across the state of California.

Who is Sparx Cannabis?
Sparx Cannabis sets out to be the premium flower producer for the everyday cannabis consumer. Dedicated to being a leader in the industry, the company plans to do so by implementing multiple unique and sustainable practices throughout its technologically-advanced and solar-powered greenhouses.

“We have some of the most advanced technologies and greenhouses on our Sparx Cannabis properties, and these licenses will help us not only create and grow our products but distribute it statewide,” said Sparx Cannabis Co-founder Chandler Halpern. “We have incredible locations in one of the most fertile areas in the entire country to grow and greenhouses that are unlike anything that has been built on the central coast of California. With these licenses, we are planting our flag in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry.”

With the distribution licenses, Sparx Cannabis plans to sell various high-quality sativa and indica-based products through dispensaries state-wide.

Environmentally-controlled automated cannabis facilities

Sparx Cannabis has over 100,000 square feet of cultivation space that is divided between two environmentally-controlled automated cannabis facilities. The first, Harkins Grow, is currently in the fifth harvest and each harvest has been producing approximately 600 pounds of high-quality cannabis flower. At Harkins Grow, the facility also has the ability to produce clones.   

At this cultivation site, the 3,800 plants are trimmed by hand to ensure the high standards Sparx Cannabis has for its products is met. The site also utilizes state-of-the-art drying containers that are able to dry the product more efficiently than other methods on the market.

Sparx Farms is the second sustainable cultivation site the lifestyle cannabis company operates. This location has one of the newest state-of-the-art greenhouses and over 10,000 clones. The company plans to harvest every two weeks.

Along with producing quality cannabis flower for California, Sparx Cannabis has a commitment to the community. The company looks forward to creating jobs in the Monterey County and adding open positions to the booming industry. According to a recent report more than 10,000 jobs will be added to California’s cannabis market in 2019.

The Sparx Cannabis Plan for the Future

Sparx Cannabis Co-founder and President Jared Helfant said, “The newly acquired licenses for cultivation and distribution will allow Sparx Cannabis to truly expand our presence in the cannabis sector with the high-quality cannabis flower that we strive to provide to our customers. With these licenses we have acquired, we are excited to demonstrate to the cannabis community the quality of our products and further establish our everyday cannabis lifestyle brand.”

In addition to producing high-quality cannabis for the everyday consumer, the company wants to eliminate the stigma that has followed the industry for decades. They plan to do so by being a community-focused company that strives to be as eco-friendly as possible. They are proud to be one of the first farms to have technologically-advanced greenhouses and state-of-the-art LED lighting that provides the highest-quality nutrients for the plant.

 


Cynthia SalarizadehCynthia SalarizadehApril 24, 2019
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New Leaf Data Services, LLC (NLDS), the cannabis and hemp industry’s only independent Price Reporting Agency, has officially launched a pricing vertical for hemp called Hemp Benchmarks®.  It is now collecting, assessing and reporting on the wholesale price of biomass, dry flower, clones, seeds, crude hemp oil, refined hemp oil and CBD isolate.

As hemp is considered the future for the cannabis plant as a global commodity, the launch of this platform is a major step in the right direction. This signals to Wall Street that the commodity is ready for prime time trading.

“With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill last year, the hemp market is poised for massive growth with unprecedented interest from farmers, processors and consumers, fueled in part by the extraordinary demand for CBD-based products. Industry participants will be seeking price transparency to analyze and navigate what we believe will be a dynamic and chaotic market as the projected supply and demand for hemp and hemp derived end-products comes into focus over the next few years.” said Jonathan Rubin, CEO of NLDS. “We are pleased to offer the market another independent reference benchmark to support strategic, operational and investment related decisions.”

These new assessments expand NLDS’ portfolio of benchmarks, which include more than eighty weekly benchmarks covering the wholesale price of cannabis in legal U.S. and Canadian markets through its Cannabis Benchmarks® division.

“We expect volatile hemp and CBD markets until supply and demand reach an equilibrium,” noted Rubin. “Price Reporting Agencies play a critical role in managing risk associated with volatile markets, enabling buyers and sellers to transact with confidence, support fundamental analysis by investors and equity analysts, and provide definitive benchmarks for commodity traders.”

 


Cynthia SalarizadehCynthia SalarizadehApril 23, 2019
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CNBC’s Tim Seymour To Interview Peter Miller, CEO of Slang Worldwide

NEW YORK, April 23, 2019 /AxisWire/ After a major success at the One World Trade Center in NYC, The Green Market Summit brings its financial and business acumen to Chicago on May 7, 2019 with keynote speaker Tim Seymour of CNBC’s Fast Money.

Hosted by the Green Market Report, the cannabis industry’s premier financial news organization, the one-day event will feature exclusive information on finding jobs in the cannabis industry, building a national cannabis brand, insight into the business of vapes, the pricing of hemp ahead of a futures market, investing in women-led cannabis companies and important updates for the Chicago market. The keynote interview between Tim Seymour and the CEO of Slang Worldwide, Peter Miller, will take place from 11:00 to 12:00 PM.

“Green Market Report has seen the early signs that Illinois will be a major force in the cannabis industry” said Green Market Media Co-founder and CEO, Debra Borchardt. “Instead of waiting until after it happens, we want to be a part of the beginning. This conference will bring together the companies that see the promise of Chicago’s cannabis future and the residents and investors that will make it a success.”

The keynote interview will explore Miller and the SLANG team’s track record of best selling brands, global distribution and strategic partnerships and the future for brands in the industry. SLANG Worldwide, the leading portfolio of cannabis consumer packaged goods, sells some of the best performing cannabis products in the US’ largest legal markets and has worldwide distribution including 12 US states.

“As Illinois voters continue to support full cannabis legalization, the size of the market already makes it one of the larger growth opportunities in the industry,” stated Tim Seymour of Seymour Asset Management & CNBC. “I am very excited to be talking to some of top companies and leaders in the state at the Green Market Summit in Chicago on May 7th.”

Peter Miller is a cannabis industry veteran and was the co-founder of Mettrum Health Corp., which, in 2017, was sold to Canopy Growth Corporation for aggregate consideration of approximately $430 million. Tim Seymour is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Seymour Asset Management (SAM).  He is a recognized voice within the investment community as a trader and market strategist on CNBC and was recently added as a Board Member at cannabis packaging company KushCo Holdings Inc.

“As Chicago is home to some of the world’s most enduring consumer brands, I am thrilled to discuss SLANG Worldwide’s winning brands and distribution strategy at Green Market Summit’s inaugural Chicago event,” said SLANG Worldwide CEO Peter Miller. “Cannabis is a massive and ever-evolving market opportunity; Green Market Report is sure to inspire Chicago’s business community with dynamic conversations.”

Join the industry’s leading financial minds and public as well as private companies as they review the economic landscape of the cannabis industry.

Located in downtown Chicago at the UBS Tower on One North Wacker Ave, the event is made possible through event partnerships with Cresco Labs, Treehouse Global Ventures, Cresta Management, MMLG Brands, NewLeaf Data, and KCSA Strategic Communications. Following the Summit, there will be a private event featuring music by Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root with Dirk Miller in the stunning Winter Garden. This dramatic space is an 85 foot tall glass atrium featuring a the “Gem of the Lakes” bronze statue and fountain.

Tickets for the event and early bird pricing are still available, but spacing is limited. For more information, please visit: www.GreenMarketSummit.com or www.eventbhang.com/event/the-advanced-economic-state-of-cannabis/23

WHAT:Green Market Summit: The Advanced Economic State of Cannabis

WHEN: May 7, 2019

WHERE:UBS Tower One North Wacker, Drive, Chicago, IL 60606

AboutGreenMarketReport:

The Green Market Report (GMR) is headquartered in the Financial District of New York City with an office in Los Angeles. GMR is poised to be the center for trustworthy business, financial and economic news and intelligence. The site offers coverage on financial matters including news briefs on business, cultivation, and extraction, cannabis company stock prices, and wholesale cannabis pricing. For more information, please visit www.greenmarketreport.com or email info@greenmarketreport.com. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @GreenMarketRpt.

MediaInquiries

Cynthia Salarizadeh

Green Market Media

Cynthia@salarmediagroup.com

(856) 425-6160


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PORT RICHEY, FL, April 2, 2019 /AxisWire/ — Garyn Angel, CEO and founder of MagicalButter and inventor of the award winning MB2e botanical extractor, “MagicalButter machine,” was honored by High Times Magazine for his contributions shaping the global cannabis industry. This is the second year in a row Angel has been named High Times’ 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis.

Angels invention, The MagicalButter MB2e, is the world’s first countertop botanical extractor designed for creating recipes infusing the essence of healthy herbs into butter, oil, grain alcohol, lotions, and more. In 2012, Angel also founded the Cheers to Goodness Foundation, a unique, non-profit charity dedicated to uplifting medical refugees. The organization provides financial assistance to patients in need of specialized medical treatment, most recently donating MB2e machines to medical marijuana patients in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

“The top 100 of anything is an incredible honor, but High Times 100 Most Influential—when it’s the hottest industry in the world—really inspires us to work harder and continue to deliver products that our customers really love,” says Angel. “The DIY edibles market has really just begun, and MagicalButter is confident we’ll expand the shelf space we’ve created.”

MagicalButter’s groundbreaking products are distributed across North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The Port Richey, Florida, based company has spurred a global edible DIY market through providing consumers and patients with the tools and knowledge to decarboxylate, extract, infuse, create and store edibles and medibles at home.

Every year, The High Times 100 celebrates the 100 most influential people in the cannabis world, from entrepreneurs and activists to entertainers, politicians, cultivators and more.

About MagicalButter

MagicalButter is an entirely new category of products. The MagicalButter machine MB2e is the world’s first countertop botanical extractor designed for creating recipes infusing the essence of healthy herbs into butter, oil, grain alcohol, lotions, and more. Most important are the amazing benefits of certain plants people all over the world are discovering can be used to enrich their health. MagicalButter products are consistently affordable, easy to use, made from premium quality materials, and offer peerless customer service from TeamMB. As a team, we own the company, we design the products, we use them, we truly care about quality and about each customer—and our fans tell us it shows in the personalized attention they receive. Together We Win. https://www.magicalbutter.com



About Us

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