Julie Aitcheson, Author at Green Market Report

Julie AitchesonOctober 27, 2021
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Delta-8, a psychoactive compound similar in effect to delta-9 (which is what most people are talking about when they refer to THC), has been slipping through legislative loopholes around the country, including in strictly anti-recreational states like South Carolina, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Even in states where recreational use is legal, delta-8 products are not held to the same legal requirements as delta-9. Though delta-8 has a slightly different chemical structure that supposedly makes it less potent than delta-9, an independent study commissioned by CBD Oracle Lab analyzed 51 delta-8 THC products and found that 76% of them contained illegal levels of delta-9 THC. How illegal? In at least one case, a staggering 7700% over the legal delta-9 limit. The average amount of delta-9 THC in all products tested by CBD Oracle Labs was 6.6%, 22 times higher than the federally legal limit.

Dangerous Delta-9 Levels

So how is delta-8 making it so easily into the hands of recreational consumers, including people who may be particularly vulnerable to its dangerously inconsistent THC levels such as the underage and mentally ill?  The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp containing less than .3 percent delta-9, which leaves the field open for delta-8 as long as it comes from hemp and stays under the limit for delta-9. The fact that it is synthetically made have also kept it off of certain regulatory radars, though warnings from the FDA and CDC as well as disturbing testimonials from Delta-8 users are causing some huge blips which may lead to a larger lockdown on what some companies are marketing as “weed light”.

Oracle Labs Tests Delta-8

An investigation from the US Cannabis Council found illegal levels of delta-9 THC in products for sale all over the country, which prompted CBD Oracle Lab to undertake a study to address three primary questions: whether a consumer gets delta-9 when purchasing a delta-8 product; whether a consumer gets as much delta-8 as the company claims, and whether the consumer will get any residues from the manufacturing process alongside cannabinoids. The outcome of the investigation showed a strong presence of delta-9 as well as a serious deficit in the degree and depth of impurities testing that is taking place. Also alarming were labeling inaccuracies and the ease with which minors can obtain these dangerously inconsistent products.

The study breaks delta-9 THC content in delta-8 products by type, revealing that vape pens and concentrates have the highest levels (at 13.11% and 12.51% respectively) and edibles contain the least at .09%. This implies that consumers should assume that vaping products or concentrates, readily available at gas stations and smoke shops alike, will be far above the limit with an average of 9.25% delta-9 content. On average, the products tested were 513 times higher in delta-9 than their reported amounts. In terms of reporting, CBD Oracle Lab also found that some companies fake or manipulate their COA results, and 34 out of the 51 products tested were only tested for potency and not impurities.

As far as delta-8 getting into the wrong hands goes, while there are occasionally age verification systems in place (though only 6 out of the 44 companies whose products were purchased had them), some companies simply use pop-ups asking the user to confirm their age while others use nothing at all. This problem is compounded by product packaging, which is often designed to resemble typical gas station snacks like Cheetos and cereal bars. Young people who use cannabis are particularly vulnerable to the reduced capacity for cognitive and response inhibition caused by THC.

Psychotic Episodes

There is also ample evidence that those with mental illness who consume THC have a higher risk of psychosis or at least psychotic symptoms, with heavy cannabis users experiencing a fourfold increase in the risk of psychosis than non-users.  Consumers shouldn’t rely on the packaging for an accurate sense of delta-8’s effects and how vulnerable they might be to them. Half of the 51 companies studied contained no warning labels at all and some only mention possible “impairment” or “sensitivity”, and as the CBD Oracle Lab study shows, these downplayed side effects can be just the tip of a very large iceberg.

 

 


Julie AitchesonOctober 22, 2021
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Trick or treat times are looming in all of their ghostly glory and cannabis companies are rolling out their seasonal offerings to tempt those whose door-to-door candy soliciting days are past. Candy Tracker, launched by data and tech company Numerator (which provides weekly insight into consumer buying behavior) shows that their efforts are paying off, with the pre-Halloween candy buying period capturing a record number of consumers in 2021.

Halloweed

Significantly, Numerator’s analysis shows that consumers are buying more candy despite decreased advertising, reflected in the fact that candy-related ad spending is down 29% from what it was in 2020 and 34% from 2019. This bodes well for cannabis companies rolling out the orange and black carpet for Halloween as they are likely to see a hefty return with a smaller investment of advertising dollars. 

This isn’t to say that companies aren’t getting creative during candy’s spookiest season. Michigan cannabis cultivator Fluresh is giving its Fast-Acting Drink Enhancer (THC-infused) a promotional boost with some seasonally-inspired recipes like “Zombie Brain Cannabis-Infused Jell-O Shots” and Insa has launched its limited edition Pumpkin Pie Caramel Crumble THC-infused chocolate bar. With specials on favorite weed varieties and bongs crafted to look like skulls or classic horror villains, there is not shortage of ways to mark October 31st, but the as Numerator’s data suggests, candy is king when it comes to Halloween. 

Increased Candy Sales

This Halloween uptick is a continuation of an overall positive trend in candy consumption, which is up from both 2019 and 2020. Sales of seasonal candy are up 29% in the second half of 2021 compared to a year ago and 43% from figures posted two years ago. Non-seasonal candy as an everyday purchase is up 19% against 2020 numbers and 24% from sales in 2019. Numerator’s data shows that consumer trips to purchase their daily fix of the sweet stuff is up 12% from a year ago. According to Phil Stanley, Global Chief Sales Officer for The Hershey Company (which has experienced sales increases commensurate with this trend) higher sales figures include early and mid-season activities like decorating, baking and movie nights, with a likely increase in activities like parades, parties and trick or treating now that vaccines are easing some Covid anxiety. 

 


Julie AitchesonOctober 14, 2021
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From college football to the NFL, nothing says Game Day like a lively tailgate scene complete with BBQ and beers or wine and cheese and a lot of sloshing Solo cups paraded around stadium parking lots. But with the rise in popularity, not to mention the legality, of cannabis, tailgaters and entrepreneurs alike are looking to swap Solo cups for smokes, edibles, and the like. With football season finally back in full-ish swing, cannabis companies in Michigan (the nation’s third-largest recreational cannabis market) are getting in on the action with exclusive tailgating products and activations. 

The college market is a particular focus of these new tailgate-tailored products. College students’ cannabis consumption in 2020 reached an all-time, historic high unseen since 1983 according to the National Institute on Drug abuse’s annual “Monitoring the Future” study. The study also showed that more than four in every ten college students reported using marijuana in 2020, and the increase occurred in similar proportions among college-aged respondents who aren’t in school. Alcohol usage, meanwhile, was less common in 2020 than in previous years, including binge drinking, getting drunk, and overall alcohol use. The decline has been ongoing over the last few decades and the low is also “historic” according to the principal investigator of the study, John Schulenburg. Alcohol usage was “significantly lower” in 2020 than just a year prior in 2019, with increasing legalization and the pandemic highlighted as likely factors.

This is all to say that the college tailgating crowd isn’t only primed for some grit and glory on the gridiron, but for a creative range of products and events that offer alternatives to boozy barbecues. Lansing-based Pure Options sent out an invite to Michigan State fans to an all-season tailgate in front of Spartan Stadium. Michigan cannabis company SKYMINT recently launched their Tailgate Collection, which includes cannabis-infused gummies “Varsity Blue” and “Green Machine” as well as the terpene-heavy “Tailgate Vape”.   To celebrate the annual Michigan vs. Michigan State game, SKYMINT will host a tailgate party at their East Lansing location on October 30th.  The event will feature food, games and podcast hosts sports columnist Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal and sports podcast host Jason Knick.


Julie AitchesonOctober 1, 2021
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The impact of Covid-19 on shopping behaviors is a matter of great concern not only to retailers but economists, city planners, public health officials and a whole slew of other interested parties. A 2020 survey of online consumers in 9 different countries produced by The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and titled “Covid-19 and E-Commerce”, found that the pandemic has accelerated a shift towards online shopping.

The survey also suggests that the shift towards a digital retail world may be permanent. This news has sparked some intriguing innovations in the cannabis retail space, including the rise of “immersion retailing”, which seeks to create all-inclusive, multi-sensory shopping experiences that lure customers off of their couches and back into stores.

Planet 13

Planet 13’s (OTC: PLNHF) flagship store in Las Vegas recently added a new 80-feet wide LED wall in the expanded dispensary showcasing immersive entertainment (like lions breaking through the wall, vines growing up to the ceiling and much more creating an incredible visual experience for customers). The dispensary also has a Willie Wonka style production window where customers watch edibles and beverages being produced and interact with products on flat screens. There is a choreographed Orb drone show over the dispensary floor, an interactive floor in the grand hallway, and a giant laser graffiti wall.

Planet 13 Las Vegas is the largest cannabis store in the world at 112,000 square feet, is not actually a store in the conventional sense but more of an “entertainment concept”. This concept includes Budtender greeter/concierges, beautifully merchandised products, special shop-in-shop areas where top brands showcase their offerings, Trece restaurant with signature cocktails, Purc café for gourmet coffee, and a new merchandise and collectibles store. Future plans for the as-yet-unmaximized space include a large consumption lounge inspired by the Las Vegas nightclub scene where customers can enjoy products on site. Planet 13 has taken this model to California with the recent opening of its 55,000 sq-ft Orange County cannabis SuperStore, and it has acquired licenses for expansions into Florida and Illinois.  

Alchemy

Toronto-based Alchemy is an independent retailer offering an immersive and experiential shopping alternative. It is the brainchild of former triathlete Richard Browne, who envisioned Alchemy as “a museum where you can touch, feel, and interact with the elements.” This is accomplished, in part, through a playful approach to interior design which eschews the conventions of dispensary aesthetics and focuses instead on what Alchemy’s multidisciplinary designer Paolo Ferrari refers to as “a cerebral experience infused with artistry, nature, and technology.” From the kaleidoscopic visuals on display for waiting guests to flower showcased in custom “smelling-globes”, Alchemy’s creators leave no stone unturned when it comes to enticing the senses and giving the in-person shopping experience an edge over the convenience of click-and-pay.

Cannaffornia

Cannaffornia, one of the newest immersion retail experiences to make the scene, offers two of California’s largest consumption lounges at 5,000 square feet each, situated on a 100-acre campus in southern California’s Imperial Valley. The location is strategic in its attempt to capture travelers transiting through Arizona, California, and Mexico. Cannaffornia boasts two large retails stores, Queen of Dragons and The Other Guys, which stock top brands and invite consumers to sample the goods in one of their spacious lounges before committing to a purchase.

Global management firm McKinsey & Company attributes the shift towards digital retail in the Covid Era to three change forces—economic downturn, preference shifts, and digital acceleration. With consumers sticking to trusted brands, spending less, shopping less often and sticking closer to home, the cannabis industry’s gamble on immersion retailing faces some significant obstacles. Some industry innovators are turning those obstacles into opportunities to change the retail landscape. 


Julie AitchesonSeptember 30, 2021
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You may have heard of “functional fitness” (which trains the body for activities performed in daily life) and  “functional nutrition” (a philosophy that promotes the use of food as medicine to prevent and alleviate diet and lifestyle-related diseases), but have you heard of “functional mushrooms”? If you’ve been down the aisle of a Whole Foods in the last few years, you undoubtedly have, but in case you haven’t, functional mushrooms include strains like Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Chaga that aren’t only a food source but have beneficial properties that can positively impact health. These multitasking mushrooms have been showing up everywhere from coffee to candy bars, and while initially, they were giving cannabis a run for its money as the latest wellness trend, many companies are now blending THC or CBD and medicinal mushrooms to create “super” supplements, edibles, and other products to tempt the health-conscious consumer.

Cookies, an international cannabis brand, just launched Caps by Cookies THC, which is a three-in-one capsule formulation that blends non-psilocybin organic medicinal mushrooms and potent cannabis compounds. The mushrooms for Cookies’ formulation, which are high in beta-glucans, ergosterol, full-spectrum and grown to maturity, are provided by mushroom extract manufacturer Nammex and encapsulated by Blue River

But Cookies isn’t the only company marrying mushrooms with cannabis. TerraVita now offers two formulations, Relax CBD capsules and Shroom capsules, which blend mushrooms with CBD. TerraVita’s Shrooms bled contains Reishi, Cordyceps, and Lion’s Mane in a formula geared towards fortifying the immune system, relieving stress, and boosting cognitive function, while the Relax formula combines Reishi with the ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha, GABA, and L-Theanine to calm and restore.

Pantry’s Good Day Bites are getting attention for their line of superfood bites which contain 5 milligrams 1:1 THC:CBD as well as adaptogens and functional mushrooms. Pantry solicited the culinary expertise of nutritionists, doctors, and Michelin star chef Michael Magliano to come up with their line of medicinal treats. The line also includes Nite Bites and Cacao Keto Bites, which contain mushrooms, adaptogens, and cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and CBN. Pantry’s website has a dosage calculator to help customers figure out how much of these dime-sized chocolates to consume in order to achieve the desired quantity of “good vibes”.

 Buddha Teas, HempWorks, and 7 Wonders Mushrooms are also recruiting functional mushrooms to the cause of optimal health, with more companies rallying to the trend. Consumers can expect to see more products that celebrate the synergy of cannabis and functional mushrooms, as scientists hustle to provide the research to keep up with (and substantiate) the combination’s growing popularity. 


Julie AitchesonSeptember 23, 2021
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The power of the social media influencer has evolved from a curiosity of internet culture to a fixture of the modern-day marketplace, and one that brands across sectors ignore at their peril. Brands that are having their social media pages deleted for content violations are now relying on influencers to help market their products, and cannabis brands are no exception. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), in particular, has a low tolerance for the marijuana industry, freely deactivating or restricting accounts dedicated to cannabis content where there has been a perceived breach of terms of service or user complaints. But on Instagram perhaps more than anywhere else online, the influencer reigns supreme—a reality that is helping to keep marijuana companies in the social media spotlight.

Over the past year, brands like Canndescent, Papa & Barkley, Hervé, and cannabis subscription box service Nugg Club have utilized influencers to promote their products, to great success. Nugg Club in particular has worked with over 1200 influencers since July 2020, and 700 influencers so far in 2021. Cannabis companies are tapping influencers from a range of demographics, including mommy bloggers, eccentric performers like Kimmy Tan, and food bloggers who are a good match for their brands in order to flog their products. Consumers are watching, and spending, accordingly. Influencers have a ready-made platform and attentive audience, with recent studies showing that social media influencers have 16 times higher engagement rates than paid media and media-owned alternatives. Social media sites tend to be more lenient with individual content, which makes influencers an ideal adaptation to online regulations around promoting cannabis.

With a billion monthly users, Instagram holds a lot of marketing potential for companies, as well as the power to deflate a campaign before it truly begins. Instagram is a major pipeline of information and communication for consumers, and when it closes that pipeline down due to brands attempting to sell or promote the sale of drugs on their pages, the disruption can be devastating. Cannabis companies are permitted to have a presence on the platform in order to raise awareness or talk about cannabis-related issues like legalization, but this can be a slippery slope towards inducing the sale of cannabis, linking to e-commerce sites that sell it, or baldly marketing products. These, at least on Instagram, are major no-no’s. 

Once an account is deleted it can be reinstated under certain circumstances, but the lapse in outreach capability can be the difference between a successful brand and a fail costing millions of dollars. Many companies have launched protests over inconsistencies in Instagram’s implementation of their terms of service, claiming a lack of clarity and specifics regarding what content is and is not allowed. Whether it is the rules themselves or the enforcement thereof that is inconsistent, the impact of social media silence on businesses and the trend towards tapping social media influencers to pick up the marketing slack is indisputable.


Julie AitchesonSeptember 21, 2021
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Cannabis data and analytics specialist Headset just released its latest report comparing US medical and recreational cannabis market development, bearing results that reveal sales patterns and unifying trends across the industry.  The report’s findings are grounded in the context of the predominant pattern of a three-step process in cannabis market development, including prohibition, medical access, and adult-use legalization. 

Though there are exceptions to this evolution where markets leapfrog medical use and go straight from cannabis prohibition to adult-use legalization, flagship states like California, which approved medical use in 1996 but took another twenty years to allow adult-use cannabis, follow a more predictable pattern. The report compares California’s slower rollout to Illinois accelerated process, evident in its shorter six-year span between medical and recreational legalization. 

The Medical To Rec Jump

Due to the time-tested predictability of this market pattern, industry analysts are using it to make sense of the past, paint a clearer picture of the present, and forecast future sales patterns in states such as New York, New Jersey, and Montana, which will all be transitioning to recreational use this year. Headset’s report also looks at cannabis markets in Illinois and Michigan, which made the medical-to-recreational transition fairly recently, and Colorado and Oregon, which jumped on that bandwagon much sooner. Overall, analytics show significant growth when markets first transition to adult-use, as illustrated by Illinois’ 226% gain in the period between the January 2020 launch of their recreational market to July 2021. Michigan’s recreational use program may have had a more sluggish start, but its total adult-use sales still saw a whopping increase of 1077% over the same period.

The impact of adult-use legalization on the medical market is less predictable and more state-specific. While Illinois medical use sales initially held steady once adult-use legalization passed, Michigan saw 75% growth in medical sales between January 2020 and July 2021. Still, the proportion of total cannabis sales to medical patients in Michigan has steadily declined since the introduction of the recreational market, and Illinois saw a steady decline over the first quarter resulting in an all-time low of 20.9% in July 2021. However, Colorado and Oregon, two of the most mature recreational markets in the country, offer some evidence that adult-use legalization is not necessarily a death knell for medical use. Oregon’s medical sales have held steady at 8-12% since the beginning of 2020 with Colorado topping that over the previous twelve months at between 18-20%.

Medical Patients Spend More

Buying behavior differences between recreational and medical use consumers can impact the market as well. Headset data shows that medical consumers tend to purchase more product at one time (a metric they refer to as “basket size”) than recreational consumers, giving Oregon as a prime example, where pre-tax average basket size for medical patients over a 90 day period was a staggering 99% larger than that of recreational use customers. Consumer differences carried over into preferred consumables as well, with medical patients trending higher in concentrate consumption versus the recreational user predilection for edibles and pre-rolls. 

In the end, lower taxes, higher potency THC products and more knowledgeable staff and sales experience give the medical use market enough of an edge that it shows some promise of holding its own, even with the advent of adult-use legalization. Given the astronomical growth spurt of new adult-use markets, however, Headset’s latest findings suggest that medical cannabis will be lucky to maintain its ten to twenty percent of total market share.

 


Julie AitchesonSeptember 3, 2021
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It’s that time of the month again when cannabis industry wholesale marketplace LeafLink releases LeafLink Insights Flash—a roundup of data-driven insights regarding category sales, state-by-state performance, and pricing analysis designed to help businesses identify new opportunities and accelerate growth. Every month brings its own set of highlights that point to important trends, market shifts, and recommendations for what it all means for businesses. This time it could be that the category winner flower is losing its market share power.

The August 2021 Insights Flash yielded some key takeaways, including the fact that the wholesale cannabis industry grew by 43% in July 2021 YoY (Year over Year), with top-performing brands like Item 9 Labs, Jeeter, Spectra, Platinum Vape, CannaPunch, and LTRMN leading the charge. Average sales per seller grew 1% year over year, with the average spend per buyer increasing 6%. But all was not rosy for cannabis’s most popular consumable. Flower took a hit this summer, seeing the largest drop in platform market share from June 2021 to July 2021. Despite a 6% dip in sales and a .74% drop in market share, flower held its dominant position for the month of July with 36% of GMV. Pre-rolls saw the largest increase during July, gaining .84 percentage points month over month and making it the first time the category led in share growth since 2020.

Within the US, Nevada gained the top spot as the fastest-growing state in Gross Merchandise Value (i.e., the volume of goods sold via customer-to-customer or e-commerce platforms), with a 25% increase in GMV compared to the same period a year ago. LeafLink gathers market-specific information and conducts comparative analyses for key states each month, with Alaska, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan joining Nevada for inclusion in the data collection. This analysis showed, among other things, that although Nevada retailers in the 2nd quintile spent 27% more than those in the same quintile in Alaska, the difference in the order of frequency ends up making this group of retailers worth 171% more on a monthly basis in Alaska.

LeafLink’s Insight Flash also charts consumer trends to create a visual representation of the competitiveness of seven categories of cannabis products (flower, cartridges, pre-rolls, topicals, accessories, concentrates, and edibles/ingestibles). This information, which this month demonstrated that (for the first time) a single state (Nevada) had both the most and least competitive categories. Ingestibles in Nevada made up 14% of sales while being sold by 54% of brands in the state. Flower made up 36% of sales while being sold by 26% of brands. This type of data helps industry professionals to position themselves to capitalize on where the market is headed based on current trends, as well as painting an overall picture of the cannabis industry’s current overall trajectory.


Julie AitchesonSeptember 2, 2021
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The global cannabis beverage market is estimated to reach $2.8 billion by 2025 and is projected to see a growth rate of 17.8% from 2019 to 2025. As consumer behavior shifts from carbonated soft drinks to health sodas and legalization gains more footholds across the country, the cannabis beverage market pivots to offer consumers potent and flavor-forward beverages that offer a fresh take on the time-honored ritual of “kicking back with a cold one”. Innovative technologies are likewise flourishing, a development that both drives and responds to growth in the cannabis beverages market.

Liposomal and nanoemulsion delivery systems, clean, water-soluble nanotechnology, and ionization technology are just some of the ways that companies are raising the bar on absorption and therapeutic benefit when it comes to cannabis drinks. Bioavailability has been an ongoing problem in the cannabis beverage market along with ascribing a specific potency or benefit to cannabis drinks. Nanoemulsion in particular seems to be a promising technological advancement, with a global market value that could rise to $14.91 billion by 2025. Nanoemulsions are “fine oil/water dispersions stabilized by an interfacial film of surfactant molecule”, which gives them an edge over products requiring external oils or fats since they can be brought into the brain more quickly. 

Quicksilver Scientific has refined their nanoemulsion process for use by heavy hitters in the cannabis industry such as Truss CBD USA, a joint venture between Molson Coors and HEXO Cannabisnew to create a U.S. line of non-alcoholic hemp beverages. ECS Brands employs biomimicry in its hemp water, which naturally replicates the way the body absorbs fat-soluble compounds. A combination of stabilized gold hemp seed oil and bioactive saponins from green tea provides enhanced bioavailability of oil-soluble cannabinoids and other nutrients by a purported factor of 500-1000%. Ionization technology, used by companies like LifeTonic (maker of “socially empowering” CBD and CBG beverages), converts cannabinoids from neutrally-charged oils into electrically-charged ions capable of dissolving in water. This means that the molecules can be absorbed directly into the mouth before even entering the digestive tract. 

Converting cannabinoids and other fat-soluble nutrients into water-soluble constituents has turned a lingering problem into big business and big science for cannabis companies, and it seems like everyday businesses are claiming the fastest rate of absorption or the purest formulation. Consumers are demanding and getting, more bang for their buck as cannabis delivery systems are refined to deliver on the promised benefits of adding a little cannabis to their beverage equation.


Julie AitchesonAugust 16, 2021
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Though it may not feel true with record high temperatures scorching the country from West Coast to East, fall is waiting right around the corner and with it Black CannaBusiness Magazine’s second annual Black CannaConference & Expo. The event will take place on November 18-20th at the Ernest M. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, where hundreds of BIPOC Cannabis founders, professionals and consumers will be coming together to network, educate and be educated by some of the most high-profile professionals in today’s market.

Few if any people of color in the cannabis industry would question the need for such a “big tent” event to support and promote BIPOC cannabis professionals, but for the less-informed www.blackcannaconference.com provides some sobering statistics. Not only are less than 4% of all cannabis businesses black-owned, but black executives make up only 7% of the cannabis C-suite contrasted with the 70% taken up by white males in the top 14 largest cannabis companies. Black farmers make up only 1.4% of the country’s 3.2 million farmers– a deficit related in part to limitations placed on those with drug-related felony convictions seeking to open cannabis-related businesses and the fact that Black people are still four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession. 

Data sourced from the Cannabis Impact Fund website states that Black Americans are six times more likely to be arrested for any form of drug use, despite the similar rate of drug use between Black and white people. Kristi Price, founder and CEO of KRMA Media, Inc. (parent company of Black CannaBusiness Magazine) is excited to step into a live format this year (last year’s event was held virtually due to the pandemic) and emphatic that “the only way to address this staggering racial disparity is by educating and connecting not only the Black cannabis community but also our industry allies.”

The Black CannaConference & Expo, which bills itself as attracting the largest gathering of BIPOC cannabis professionals, is a community-focused conference with a packed slate of more than 40 influential speakers spearheaded by Dr. Chanda Macias, CEO of Ilera Holistic Healthcare. Macias is the country’s first Black female founder of a medical cannabis company and the first announced speaker at an event that will also include dynamic workshops and rapid-fire “Blazing Stage” sessions that offer quick, tangible takeaways to an open forum of those seeking both education and action steps. Topics will focus on the state of Black cannabis business from social equity and Black politics to capital funding and cultivation. 

The Black CannaConference and Expo will donate proceeds from each ticket purchase to the Cannabis Impact Fund, a non-profit which operates on the pillars of racial justice, environmental sustainability, and community engagement with the mission of promoting, creating, and showcasing social impact in the cannabis industry.  


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