We came and we conquered our first marijuana convention. From the speakers to the companies present it was an incredible time for the industry.
Watch the videos below and read about our favorite speakers including Bruce Barcott, Stephen Goldner, Daly Sky Jones, and Fiona Ma. Also we give our favorite picks for the Cannapitch event.
And then there was SnapChat...
The MMJ Investor Summit
was an eye opening experience...
The new markets in MMJ session had some wonderful speakers. We were most intrigued by Bruce Barcott, Dale Sky Jones, and Stephen Goldner.
Bruce Barcott & The Major Needs
in the MMJ Industry
Bruce Barcott is an environmental journalist who has submitted articles to organizations such as National Geographic and The New York Times. He spoke about the major needs in the MMJ industry from journalism, Legal, HR, and other areas that apply to the industry.
He gave a lecture on how marijuana is still lying in the dark for most people, a surprising only 1 in 4 marijuana patients that have medical cards tell their main physicians. He spoke about the key to investing in marijuana companies is to find the organizations that are public about what they are doing, speak to their local state representatives, and that look into their state's regulations. Another main point Bruce made was that the recreational and the medicinal variations of the marijuana industry are vastly different. As an investor you must choose companies that specialize in one of these, medical or recreational. Companies that mix the two are not a smart investment according to Bruce because of the very different needs for the two.
Dale Sky Jones & Mitigating Business
Risk Through Advocacy
It’s still a movement, it's our responsibility to change the law federally and on a state level was the ringing sound within the passionate Dale Sky Jones. Jones is the Executive Chancellor of Oaksterdam University and is an OG of horticulture. She brought up the terms that are now used by people in the industry and outside of it such as degenerate, overdose, users, and recreational. These terms give a "drug addict" overtone to the world of marijuana. The correct term is consumer of products.
She also expounded how the term recreational is a negative term for the industry. By saying recreational the industry is put back into the old stereotype of pot head, drug addict, and stoner. By calling the use of marijuana medicinal the consumer is now thinking of marijuana in the correct light. The federal law is proclaiming that the recreational user is a criminal, that the dispensary owners are criminals, and that anyone that has to do with marijuana is a criminal. The real truth behind this is that we are all business professionals capitalizing on an ever growing industry that helps people with medical needs. Thanks for clearing that up Miss Jones, we thank you.
Stephen Goldner & Life After Legalization: Here Comes The FDA
"It's a magic money moment..."
was the starting remark by toxicologist, lawyer, and FDA advisor Stephen Goldner. Stephen was the inventor of the drug methadone and gave his wisdom to the coming age of legalization for marijuana.
Stephen's main concept for the audience was to invest in cannabis before legalization. Anyone that get's in now will be part of the "magic money moment". Talking about the industry Stephen brought up the fact that the marijuana industry is already a proven concept. The customer base is already there and they are all loyal customers. This truly is a magic money moment Stephen.
As an advisor to the FDA Stephen spoke about how the FDA is very willing to work with cannabis companies for a profitable future. One of the main topics of debate for the FDA was the recent CBD Letters sent out by the FDA. Stephen described the letters and gave the audience the real facts on the letters. First the FDA did not take any products off the shelf, which is a real win and sign of the FDA's fair treatment of the marijuana industry. Second the FDA's only complaint about the CBD products was the drug claims on the product. The FDA ruled that the drug claims be taken off the products and that was that. We have never heard of this side of the FDA, who knew? What a wonderful turn of events.
But what does big pharma think of the marijuana industry? They see dollar signs as well Stephen assures us. The Over The Counter market for marijuana is booming and very untouched. With the FDA and big pharma playing nice with cannabis companies the next few years will be very promising for the company that can get approval from each. Stephen brought up the fact that if you have a 10 MG dose of THC in a pill form one can ship it over state borders as long as it is FDA approved, very interesting Stephen. As for the medicinal value of marijuana, who provides the expertise on this section? Doctors. Mister Goldner was very very excited at this characteristic of the industry. Saying that doctors are the best way of distribution for new customers and larger profits, all perfectly legal. Imagine pharmaceutical reps walking into doctor's offices ready to sell medicinal capsules at a premium with the stamp of FDA approval and big pharma behind your business.
This truly is a "magic money moment".
The Latest News In Cannabis Banking
Presented By Fiona Ma
Fiona Ma got her MBA, got Married, and got down to business. She sits on San Francisco's board of directors as Chair Woman and helps tax payers get educated and equal treatment. This includes the cannabis tax payer, and yes cannabis businesses pay taxes.
Fiona shared her wisdom about state tax for the marijuana industry which is quite a task considering all the grey zones that live within our industry. 44 million in sales tax a year and only 25% of dispensaries know how to pay their taxes, this must be fixed. So you are a dispensary and you would like to pay your taxes to keep from being raided and shut down, how do you do this? Well as Fiona put it, it's difficult. There is no category for marijuana dispensary on a tax document. And there is a 20% fee for paying your taxes in cash. Well why not pay your taxes with a credit line or bank account? Because medical marijuana dispensaries can't get bank accounts because the banks don't play nice with a federally illegal product. Currently Fiona Ma and others are working on establishing a private bank for cannabis in the federal reserve which will be the first for cannabis bank and make the industry much much more legitimate.
So what do you do? You go to Fiona Ma. She spoke about how San Francisco is passing a bill soon that does not charge dispensaries a fee for paying taxes with cash. That's one nice step in the right direction, but what about the banking issue, or even more pressing is the issue of staying in the dark or being out in the open and risking imprisonment?
When asked about these issues Fiona said it's simple, you must be in the open about your business and you must talk to your local government officials and play nice. No more sulking in the corner and avoiding taxes because you don't know what to do. The new cannabis business owner must reach out to their government officials like Fiona Ma for help and recognition that they are trying. If you ever find yourself standing in front of a jury you will be happy you did so.
Below are some quick tips from Fiona for business owners:
- When funds go outside the country into sovereign bank accounts, the owner of the funds is at a very high risk other country's laws on marijuana
- The Federal Reserve is a private industry for profit and not a government agency
- They can go back up to 3 years for taxes from your business
- San Francisco is trying to create an amnesty program for people in the industry
- California will put in a bid for 1 system to track payments for every dispensary
- Cannabis meets health and wellness
- Digital healthcare
- Virtual doctor services 24/7 to doctor
- $49 per month
- Talk at any time
- 30% conversion from registered customer to paying member
- Answering and date base for questions
CBD and oil from cannabis
Syringe free packaging
New packaging without stigma
Dabbing packageing as well