Heather Allman, Author at Green Market Report

AvatarHeather AllmanMay 30, 2020
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8min480

The issues with cannabis and traditional media are not new. Buying ads, using social media, and other marketing avenues are closed. Paid media continues to … Read More…

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AUTHOR: Heather Allman

PUBLISHER:  CANNABIS LAW REPORT

CLAB / Cannabis LAB, or Cannabis Law, Accounting, and Business —

FOUNDER: Robert Friedman 

EVENT REPORT: Meet the Press: Media & Cannabis, May 14, 2020

EXPERT GUESTS:

MODERATOR: Charles Felix, Cannabis News Florida

 

KEY DISCUSSION:

The issues with cannabis and traditional media are not new. Buying ads, using social media, and other marketing avenues are closed. Paid media continues to be a struggle while earned media seems to be the emerging area of opportunity. We have invited journalists, publishers and public relations experts to explore the landscape, debunk myths and talk about what is real in the world of cannabis and media.

KEY INSIGHTS:

Straight from the experts, here are the key insights that were highlighted at this May 14, 2020 CLAB panel; let the well-crafted, unique editorial submissions begin.

– According to Samantha Gross: “There must be a clear line between sponsored content or paid media, such as ads, and earned media (public relations and editorial content). With editorial content, you esentially receive neutral third party coverage of your product or services.

– According to Charles Warner: “Submit a story that’s balanced, accurate, and without bias and you’ll get my attention.”

– According to Jonathan Small: I want to print 700-800 word stories that accomplish one or a combination of the following goals: to inform, educate, inspire, entertain, or add to the conversation… but it also must be backed by facts and statistics for accuracy.”

– According to Durée Ross: Working with clients in CBD, HEMP, and CANNABIS, I discovered that while all three are essentially the same industry and in the same sphere, they are very different. This is due to cannabis being an illegal scheduled drug, while CBD and hemp are legal through the 2018 Farm Bill. Concerning social media, LinkedIn and Twitter are more professional and not as discriminating against cannabis content as Facebook and Instagram.”

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. For editorial or earned media, media avenues are indeed open for cannabis and hemp companies and services.
  2. You have to do your homework: know who you are pitching and know what they cover.
  3. You need to build a credible professional reputation with publications and editors when opportunities arise by being balanced, accurate and unbiased.
  4. You need to be flexible and creative— your media content must adapt according to the news or media outlet to which you are pitching.
  5. Do not tie your main business email address to a social media account. Take the extra step of creating an email specifically for each social media account; if your account is flagged, your professional business or credibility are not jeopardized.
  6. Paid media continues to be a struggle while earned media seems to be the emerging area of opportunity.
  7. An outlet’s earned media (PR) and paid media (advertising) must be balanced and work together to provide fair, unbiased content to their target audience or readership.

 

CURRENT EDITORIAL INTERESTS:

– From Jonathan Small at Green Entrepreneur:

“I’m interested mainly in how-to submissions, or content that provides a service. Editorial content must bring value to our readers.”

– From Samantha Gross at the Miami Herald:

“My main focus is on Florida stories, especially hemp licensing in Florida and new licenses. Of course, I am always interested in cannabis and CBD content. Just keep in mind that the target audience you are attempting to reach with your content should determine your target media outlet. “

– From Charles Warner at CannaTech Today:

“I’m drawn to innovative stories and stories concerning innovation, whether in hemp or cannabis. I want content that highlights new opportunities in business and outright addresses where these opportunities can be found. Focus your content on problems of any type that need to be solved.”

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Concerning cannabis, CBD, or hemp in print or social media, in order to successfully catch a news outlet’s attention, you must know the difference between PAID MEDIA and EARNED MEDIA, or editorial content.

Be original and innovative in your editorial content submissions.

Finally, generate editorial content aimed at the target audience of the media outlet to which you are submitting.


AvatarHeather AllmanMay 26, 2020
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15min7740

Reprinted with permission from Cannabis Law Report

10 Questions with Hannah Lewis, Senior Director of Operations, GrowHealthy in Florida

In April, in the midst of the current COVID-19 chaos, GrowHealthy bloomed under exceptional circumstances. This Florida dispensary has also flourished in Northwest Florida— but more on that throughout and in my endnotes.

With two new dispensaries open in Pensacola and Tallahassee, GrowHealthy is expanding its retail footprint and doing so using some innovative approaches. As announced by PRNewswire on April 8, 2020, GrowHealthy Expands to North Florida with Store Openings in Tallahassee and Pensacola, which are their first “Emerald Coast” locations:

With continued growth in the pipeline, GrowHealthy moves towards two-pronged expansion in Northwest Florida, with the openings of the brand’s first retail locations in Tallahassee and Pensacola. These dispensaries will allow patients within Florida’s panhandle access to premium quality cannabis products and expert brand representatives and resources.”

On April 26, 2020 Pensacola News Journal announced GrowHealthy opens new dispensary in Pensacola, offers curbside service: “What if businesses outside of food service also offered curbside services? What would that look like, and how would that open up even more opportunities for business growth? GrowHealthy, a new medical marijuana dispensary at 7817 N. Davis Highway in Pensacola, is poised to take on that challenge.”

On May 8, 2020, I had the opportunity to interview Hannah Lewis, Senior Director of Operations for GrowHealthy, Florida, and we discussed at length the brand’s newly opened stores in Tallahassee and Pensacola, its overarching mission, and its innovative patient programs implemented here in Florida.

CANNABIS LAW REPORT Q#1: Talk to me about your move into the Panhandle. Why choose Pensacola and Tallahassee in the Northwest Florida region as choices for the start of your planned 2020 retail footprint, a robust expansion that looks toward geographic growth with more than half a dozen stores planned through the first half of 2020.

In fact, in May alone, two additional stores opened in Cape Coral and Clearwater-Largo.

HANNAH LEWISThere is enough room in the Florida market for all of us and each dispensary and brand offers slightly different attitudes, products, and prices. Each brand has its own focus. 

We saw the need within our company for a large-scale logistics hub for our movement into the Northwest part of the state. GrowHealthy made its first move into the panhandle with the new 3,300 square foot retail space located in Tallahassee, Florida. 

The brand’s 14th dispensary in Pensacola will serve the patient population in the Pensacola area.

These two fledgling GrowHealthy locations serve perfectly to serve the continuously growing patient population of Northwest Florida. This is a population extending to the state’s vast veteran and aging patients who want quality, consistent products to be conveniently offered at an affordable cost.”

CLR Q#2: According to the brand’s website, “GrowHealthy has a state-of-the-art facility optimized with the tools and technology necessary to create all-natural medicinal treatments for patients.”

Sum up the GrowHealthy mission for me in your own words.

HL: To help people live their happiest and healthiest lives with high-quality medication. Also, we want to be advocates for self-health and alternative healing.”

CLR Q#3: You have set a precedent opening under these circumstances, and risen to the challenge indeed. You were the first brand to offer curbside pickup in the northwest Florida region and the only dispensary to offer same-day delivery in select areas. 

Please talk a bit about opening new stores under the current circumstances and offering only curbside delivery pickup at all of your locations

HL: “In medical cannabis, there is always room for a new approach, no matter the circumstances, and we’re up for the challenge. We decided to proceed with our planned location openings, simultaneously launching our curbside takeaway and our brand’s innovative new e-commerce platform.

We are striving to effectively shift storefront transactions to curbside or delivery via convenient online ordering.”

CLR Q#4: In what ways specifically are you shifting traditional in-store shopping to safer, contactless transactions?

HL: GrowHealthy is working diligently to ensure all patients are able to receive their medication while maintaining social distance by, as I mentioned earlier, shifting dispensaries to curbside takeaway or delivery only, removing any need for patients to enter stores. 

Products are available for call-in and online ordering via the new GrowHealthy site, which takes a quantum leap towards providing patients with the best online experience in medical cannabis. 

This new website and e-commerce platform offer numerous user-friendly experiences while providing patients with product details, including deeper insights and information about products, services, ingredients, THC levels, terpenes, and more. 

Patients can also easily place orders online for home delivery or curbside takeaway of products. In order to retrieve curbside pick-up orders, patients will call the dispensary to notify them of your arrival. When you are next in queue, a gloved staff member will step outside to accept payment and provide you with your purchased items.

Additionally, GrowHealthy offers free statewide delivery with no minimum cost of purchase.”

CLR Q#5: On that note, tell me about GrowHealthy’s new, free, rapid delivery program TrailBlazer™ that promises safe, same-day delivery via GrowHealthy.com? 

HL: “TrailBlazer™ is a fast, convenient, and transparent method for patients in need of rapid relief. We had our recent launch of TrailBlazer™ in Orlando where it is now being pilot tested, with plans to expand to additional markets soon.

TrailBlazer™ is an easy-to-use service that dramatically reduces wait times by delivering products to patients on the same day they order. No waiting for relief. No need to travel.”

CLR Q#6: Patient feedback on TrailBlazer™ so far?

HL: Patients loving the same day convenience, which is reflected in our 95% 5-star Patient Experience Rating.”

CLR Q#7: Your hopes for this store within the community, or what do you want to offer the Florida market that’s new or innovative?

HL: We want consistent, proven experience, taking our time, refining this process of rapid delivery through TrailBlazer™ before implementing it in all of our dispensaries throughout the state.

Systemwide, we are activating curbside first, then TrailBlazer™. The goal is not to be first but to be the best option for the location. The goal is effective, consistent medication when a patient needs it, not days later.

Once the state opens back up to normal in the future, after the COVID-19 crisis, we do have plans to interact with the various Florida communities we serve through collaborations with veteran groups, condition-based support groups, and other civic organizations.

We have plans to hold events that will teach medical cannabis education and awareness to patients and the public. GrowHealthy also plans on participating in various community events that help strengthen Florida and our patients.”

CLR Q#8: GrowHealthy offers a wide variety of medical cannabis products. You carry the popular, effective RSO and your limited edition Signature Blend Series.

What caught my attention was the distinctly tiered price structure, with lower prices and smaller product sizes being offered. Was this an intentional move?

HL: “Yes, that decision absolutely intentional. We wanted to offer trial sizes that are more individualized —not to play into a ‘new market’ but to offer patients economical variety to try for their condition. This gives our GrowHealthy brand a broader consumer base appeal due to both accessibility and affordability.

A healthy variety of size options and price points allows for patients to try a product for efficacy and consistency before purchasing a large amount.

Diversity is very important to us. The brand’s reasoning is that we can create loyal patients who benefit from lower price points and smaller product sizes while simultaneously garnering new patient interest— because all patients will have options and choices. Their health and wellness is back in their control. 

Again, there truly is enough room in the Florida cannabis market for a different approach and we are different.”

CLR Q#9: What specific goals does GrowHealthy have in mind for Florida’s medical cannabis program and registered patients?

HL: Partially, by eliminating waste for patients. We have tiered prices and varied sizes which equals no wasted money or additional expense for patients. They can purchase a smaller size, in milligrams, of our product at a lower cost to them. If the product works for them, the larger sized options are also available. 

Also, TrailBlazer™, our rapid/same-day delivery will equal no wasted time for patients who need fast, effective medical cannabis relief.”

CLR Q#10: Can you give me a future sustainability goal for GrowHealthy— what are your brand’s plans to reduce the collective cannabis [carbon] footprint?

HL: “An important future goal of ours is to reduce overall cannabis waste by moving to 100% paperless, electronic transactions, with all product educational materials and receipt put together and sent to the registered patient in one email or message notification.

That means no wasted trees and that’s a good thing for all of us, in Florida and beyond.”

CLR AUTHOR ENDNOTES:

¹ According to the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana’s Weekly Updates for May 2020, GrowHealthy has steadily improved sales throughout the state which has 14 medical cannabis licensees. Since opening the two Northwest Florida locations, GrowHealthy has drastically moved up in the Florida state dispensary ranking.

The latest figures show GrowHealthy’s product milligram sales are currently growing faster than other companies, such as Liberty Health Sciences and VidaCann. GrowHealthy ranked #8 on the interview date of May 8, 2020, but currently rank #5 as of the latest May 22, 2020 figures.

² iAnthus Capital Holdings entered the state of Florida market more than a year ago with the acquisition of GrowHealthy; they are publicly traded under OTCMKTS: ITHUFGrowHealthy Website.


AvatarHeather AllmanMarch 25, 2020
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15min2460

AUTHOR: HEATHER ALLMAN

ON THE BURNER— Interview with Arman Zeytounyan, CEO and Co-Founder of EcoWaste in California

The “Beast” in this scenario is cannabis sustainability, and the distinct lack thereof. The market for change is wide open, and here’s the perspective of one man and the vision of one California company who is getting an edge in the sustainability market due to the cannabis waste removal and compliance services they offer.

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS:

EcoWaste ensures compliance every step of the way for the security of your cannabis license. EcoWaste provides an exceptional, reliable and proven cannabis waste disposal.

EcoWaste believes there’s a better way to conduct cannabis waste management, combining the right knowledge and provide a solution that is effective and embraces the regulations.

EcoWaste was founded by Avo Gasparian and Arman Zeytounyan in 2016. It started as a organic, or green, waste disposal service for the food and construction industry. During these early stages EcoWaste began testing our process and setting up a durable infrastructure.

—  — —  — —

CANNABIS LAW REPORT: Why did you get into this particular business?

ARMAN ZWYTOUNYAN: “Before starting EcoWaste, I was already a part of a specialized waste company. My business partner started BioWaste in 2011, which performs solely medical/biohazard waste management disposal service.

In early 2018, we began to receive inquiries for cannabis waste. At that point, we reached out to some friends in the industry to learn more. After doing some research on the cannabis compliance regulations, we concluded that cannabis waste is a service that we are perfectly suited to manage for the industry.”

—  — —  — —

CLR: Is EcoWaste and recycling a component that is required in the California cannabis regulatory framework?

AZ: “The cannabis regulations in California don’t require a cannabis business to use our service or to recycle the waste they generate. They do, however, require that the waste is handled in a way that decreases the possibility of under the table actions.”

—  — —  — —

CLR: Do you think it should be a required component of any states medical cannabis regulatory framework?

AZ:Absolutely. Biases aside, the biggest value a company like ours provides is compliance. Having a third party correctly dispose of cannabis waste greatly decreases the opportunity involved in illicit activities. Recycling itself is a good habit for anyone to get into of course. That being said, cannabis is a green waste and there’s a lot of potential for re-purposing the material. The challenge is the volume needed to see real results isn’t there yet since California is still majorly a black market.

Surely, part of the issue with it being labeled “green waste” is that licensees don’t yet know how to execute proper recycling or consumer renewability of a Schedule I-tainted product. “

—  — —  — —

CLR: What one thing you do in your line of work that you feel is the very most important, that makes the most impact? Why?

AZ:Easily it’s the compliance service we provide. When you’re a part of an industry that’s so new, it’s important to focus on the long term.”

Just because something isn’t being enforced or otherwise emphasized today doesn’t mean the hammer won’t fall tomorrow.”

AZ: “Many people overlook the value waste management has to offer, but that’s not the wisest approach. Our compliance value comes in when a cannabis business owner’s integrity is questioned. Are they doing anything illegal with their products? Well, by taking advantage of our compliance service owners are able to confidently prove they are not engaging in anything illicit.” 

—  — —  — —

CLR: I know you are currently only in California; however, what are your plans for the future of cannabis recycling & sustainability? Or what would you like the future of cannabis sustainability to look like?

AZ:Geographical expansion is something we are certainly working towards. But as of now, we’re really excited about working with other sustainability-focused brands to co-create products that are biodegradable and can be put back into the supply chain, although it’s not as simple as many would think.”

 —  — —  — —

CLR: Give me examples of one easy renewability solution for (a) companies? one easy renewability solution for (b) dispensaries?

AZ: Currently it doesn’t exist. Our waste exports have been put on hold and recycling companies are not doing well right now. A dispensary will typically generate plastics and glass, but most recycling companies that have the infrastructure to do something with them won’t accept it because it’s cannabis waste. Small “mom and pop” operations might be interested in the plastics but recycling glass from the cannabis industry is extremely challenging.”

—  — —  — —

CLR: Is there one easy renewability solution for (c) end user consumers?

AZ: The most practical approach a consumer of cannabis can participate in is by returning their packaging to the dispensaries and letting the dispensaries include that with their waste programs. Most of the licensees that we work with are in the process of forming a workable solution for the end user aspect that fits within the state compliance guidelines.” 

—  — —  — —

CLR: What do you see for the future of cannabis sustainability and cannabis nationwide?

AZ: “I have hopes for cannabis sustainability. It may be very biased of me but there’s certainly potential for the cannabis industry to play a big role in biodegradable products. Naturally, hemp will be a big piece of that but cannabis waste consumers typically favor sustainability which ultimately means companies will have to find solutions that appeal to that.” 

“70% of our licensees inquire about cannabis waste sustainability and cannabis waste recycling.”

—  — —  — —

CLR: What one piece advise have you along the way that you wish you someone had told you when you first started out?

AZ:Hm, picking one piece is the hard part! But I would say be fast but patient. If something isn’t working out, scrap it, re-adjust, re-apply and repeat. At the same time being patient while you continue that process, but I mean real patience. We’re talking about years of patience not months.

—  — —  — —

CLR: Your view of current cannabis sustainability (or lack thereof) in 10 words or less?

AZ:Not enough volume yet to yield real long term results. – Got 10 exactly : )”

—  — —  — —

CLR: What advice can you offer to those individuals interested in starting a business similar to yours in any state?

AZ: “Be prepared to get your hands dirty. Anybody that thinks their above doing “their level’ in waste management is set to fail. Trucks break down, clients get confused, rain causes delays, employees get sick, and so on. As a logistics company you have to do whatever needs to be done to provide the client exceptional service.”

—  — —  — —

CLR: If in a vertically integrated program are you for or against state government compliant of renewability and cannabis waste?

AZ:Against. I believe cannabis companies should be required to follow certain procedures to maintain safe practices and responsible procedures however requiring recycling would be disastrous for business owners. Sustainability does not have stability. Waste is a very broad category and there are thousands of ways to be sustainable. But so far there isn’t a one size fits all.

There are different approaches for different situations, waste sub types, geographical areas, and so on. Thus, requiring companies to recycle will only put business owners in a position to not be in compliance. Sustainability is about education, testing, and patience.

Although we can offer limited solutions at a corporate level, many dispensary licensees haven’t yet figured out how to properly execute a compliant and successful end-user recycling program.”

—  — —  — —

CLR: What advice can you offer to the states as a whole concerning cannabis sustainability and the importance of utilizing it to the fullest extent, even to the point of state-governed compliance?

AZ: “Education. People need to understand how the waste world really works. It’s really confusing and contradicting. There are so many different waste processes and they each yield different results. I think it is vitally important that we continue doing research and testing and finding ways to make it interesting for consumers to pay attention to.”

“We do have several licensees telling us they get more and more patient requests for on-site recycling options and availability; that’s a great thing.” 

AZ: “We are also looking into the possibility of offering group education so that our existing licensed clients, the state’s cannabis employers, can learn more about cannabis waste renewability options and state-compliant rendering.” 

—  — —  — —

DOWNLOAD

Use this checklist to ensure any cannabis business remains compliant with the State of California.

California Cannabis Waste Compliance rules via EcoWaste:

  1. Do not sell, transfer, donate, or give away any cannabis waste.
  2. Dispose cannabis waste only in a secured waste receptacle specifically designated for cannabis waste.
  3. Keep cannabis waste in secured designated waste location on licensed premises until it can be collected.
  4. Make cannabis goods into cannabis waste by rendering the goods unusable and unrecognizable at minimum by removing any packaging.
  5. Record date and time the cannabis goods were rendered into cannabis waste.
  6. After collection obtain a manifest from hauler that indicates the date and time of each collection and confirmation of disposal at the solid waste or composting facility.
  7. Maintain records all activity related to the generation and disposal of the cannabis waste.
  8. These regulations are subject to change at any time per the State of California Code of Regulations and the Bureau of Cannabis Control.
  9. *Note if you are using our cannabis waste disposal services we provide the following for your business and records secured waste receptacles, date, time, and weight of cannabis waste when collected (via manifest), date, time, and weight when cannabis waste is either disposed of at a solid waste or composting facility (via manifest).


About Us

The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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