Women Are Disappearing From the Cannabis Industry. Why?

The industry’s most powerful women are working to fix it. May 21, 2019 12 min read This story appears in the June 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » When cannabis was legalized in Oregon, many people saw business opportunity. But Amy Margolis saw something more specific: She saw business opportunities for women.  Margolis was a criminal defense attorney in Portland and had spent a decade defending cannabis growers who’d been caught by the police. Once the state legalized bud, she turned to corporate law and helped local entrepreneurs enter the industry. “I just pivoted with my clients,” she says. And as she did, she says, she saw women flood into the marketplace. They were starting dispensaries, creating new products, and, like her, providing needed services to cannabis entrepreneurs. The industry struck her as more equitable than others, where men tend to dominate the upper ranks. But she wouldn’t say that […]

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7 Stats to Know About Legal Cannabis and CBD This 4/20

It’s not the outlaw celebration it once was, but that was the goal all along, wasn’t it? April 20, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. While many Americans may think of April 20 or 4/20 as a “stoner” holiday, that kind of thinking is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Cannabis is available for medical or adult use in more states than ever before and its stigma is steadily  fading. In fact, according to Pew Research, a record-high 62 percent of Americans say the use of cannabis should be legalized. Consumers across the country are incorporating cannabis into their regular routines thanks to the wide variety of products available. 4/20 is now celebrated all year round! 2019 marks the start of the second year of legal adult cannabis in California, the world’s largest legal market, and yet significant hurdles remain for consumers […]

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These Entrepreneurs Are Letting the Sun Shine on Indoor Cannabis Cultivation

Vera Cultivation is combining the energy efficiency of greenhouses with the precision of an indoor grow. April 12, 2019 7 min read Brought to you by Marijuana Venture As competition increases within the cannabis cultivation sector, newcomers need every advantage to be profitable. They don’t have time to lose as part of a “learning curve.” They can’t rely on the reputation of an established brand. They are entering the industry at a time of mass consolidation, falling wholesale prices and increasing scrutiny by consumers, investors and regulators alike. Yet, new operators do have one significant advantage compared to their well-established peers: They have the benefit of watching the market unfold before investing countless hours and millions of dollars in an emerging, immature and constantly evolving market. The three co-founders of Vera Cultivation — CEO Alex Park, chief operating officer Harrison Somoza and chief production officer Eric Haughton — have waited […]

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Why This Cannabis-Infused Beverage Is Being Marketed Like a Health Drink

Mood33 is about feeling good more than feeling high — and the design of its packaging has to make that clear to consumers. April 10, 2019 3 min read Cannabis-infused beverages are making a stir in big business. In 2018, Constellation Brands — purveyors of Corona beer and Svedka vodka — invested $4 billion in a Canadian marijuana company. And in December, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced a $100 million project to develop cannabis beverages. That might feel like fierce competition for cannabis-bev entrepreneurs, but Michael Christopher simply sees it as proof that his timing is right. Last year, he launched Mood33, a California-based startup that sells cannabis-infused sparkling tonics. To stand out, he’s positioning his drink as a wellness product, focusing on health benefits and natural ingredients rather than pushing the buzz the beverage delivers. Here’s how he created packaging for an elixir that’s more about getting healthy than getting high. […]

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Curaleaf Signs Distribution Deal With CVS for Hemp Products

The long anticipated move of cannabis products into mainstream stores is underway. March 22, 2019 2 min read Brought to you by Marijuana Business Daily Massachusetts-based Curaleaf has inked a deal with the CVS pharmacy chain to begin selling hemp products at 800 stores in 10 states. The distribution deal was announced during Curaleaf’s investor and analyst call to discuss its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings. Curaleaf Hemp lotions and transdermal patches will start hitting store shelves this week, company executives said. “All large retailers are figuring out their hemp strategy and will address that in 2019 because there is such a huge product demand,” Curaleaf CEO Joseph Lusardi said on the call. CVS has more than 9,800 stores in the United States. Curaleaf’s fourth-quarter revenue totaled $32 million, up from $6.3 million for the same period a year earlier, while full-year sales nearly tripled year-over-year to $77 million. Net losses totaled $16.5 […]

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How This Food-Delivery Entrepreneur Pivoted to Cannabis-Delivery

Dispensaries can be confusing and intimidating experiences for consumers. The startup Dutchie makes it as easy as ordering a pizza. February 27, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Cannabis had just been legalized for recreational use in Oregon, so I and everyone else in my town lined up, sometimes for an hour, outside the busy dispensaries. When I finally got to the counter, I had mere minutes to read the menu and even less time to discuss it with the budtender and make an informed decision. It was a terrible customer experience. That’s when it hit me: What if I could just go online, educate myself about the products available at each dispensary, determine which was right for me, click a button, and have them delivered straight to my home? Related: Her Dad Founded the Emerald Cup and Now She Is Co-Producer of […]

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Seniors Are the Cannabis Market Few Companies Are Targeting

The cannabis industry’s fixation on millennials risks overlooking older consumers who have more money to spend and more health issues to address. January 9, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When it comes to the booming cannabis industry, it seems every company is focused on the millennials – and rightfully so. They, along with the upcoming Gen Zers, are the generation more likely to be considered “risk takers,”, currently are the biggest users of cannabis products and companies’ marketing tactics are putting a more youthful, hip spin to cannabis. And while targeting this demographic provides a plethora of opportunity (what millennial wouldn’t want a CBD-infused matcha almond-milk latte every morning?), companies are missing a huge opportunity by not looking at another demographic: seniors. As more states begin legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, the older generations — part of the “conservative experimenter” […]

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The Cannabis M&A Boom Is Looking Like the Dot.com Boom. Here’s How to Avoid the Bust.

Cannabis company valuations are reaching dizzying heights, which is what often happens to valuations before they fall. December 24, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When you’ve had a front-row seat to an industry boom and bust — it sticks with you. I worked in institutional equities in the early 2000s, and I saw the rise and fall of the young internet. Today, I’m the chief operating officer at a major cannabis company. From where I sit, it’s easy to hear some disturbing echoes of the overheated dot-com days in the current cannabis market. Just since July, we’ve had a couple billion dollar-plus cannabis deals, and plenty in the hundred million dollar range as well. Just like in the bad old days at the turn of the 21st century, everyone is looking to either buy or sell. Back then, a big part of my […]

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Big Business is Cashing In On the Cannabis-Fueled Green Rush

With projections in the billions, it shows no signs of slowing. December 11, 2018 5 min read “California presented to people a new model for the American dream — one where the emphasis was on the ability to take risks, the willingness to gamble on the future.” Historian H.W. Brands was referencing the California Gold Rush of the mid 1800s when he wrote these words, but he could have been writing about the Green Rush that is taking place right now. Like the Gold Rush, the Green Rush got its start in California, but instead of being a flash-in-the-pan industry, green is growing and spreading across the entire country like wildfire, and just getting bigger. It began in 1996, when the Golden State became the first to legalize medical marijuana in the U.S. Since then, 33 states and Washington, D.C., have followed, with ten of those giving the legal thumbs-up […]

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5 Opportunities for Entrepreneurs to Capitalize on America’s New Relationship with Cannabis

Take a look at the many potential, profitable and egal products to consider from what used to be seen as an evil weed. November 20, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The acceptance of marijuana, both as a safe recreational drug and as a substance with medicinal value, has grown across the United States. Currently, 31 states and the District of Columbia have legalized this substance at some level. In addition, nearly every state has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of pot, and the federal government is considering removing hemp from the controlled substances list. Related: 9 Business Ideas for People Looking to Cash in on the Marijuana Boom This is great news for entrepreneurs considering a cannabis-based startup, and there are many profitable options beyond the highly regulated growing and dispensing businesses. Here are five great opportunities that offer lower risks along […]

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9 Totally Normal Business Considerations That Are Completely Different in the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis is a multi-billion dollar industry completely unlike any other. And that is not entirely a good thing. November 7, 2018 4 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Entrepreneurs are very, very interested in cannabis. But how do you break into a multi-billion dollar a year industry that differs from the rest? I founded Green Rush Daily, a cannabis media company, and within two years sold it to High Times magazine for seven figures. Are you considering opportunities in the legal cannabis industry? If so, based on my experience here are nine things you should think about before entering the cannabis industry. 1. Exit strategy Most importantly of all, how will you sell a cannabis business after you’ve built it? An essential part of any business plan should be your exit strategy. Keep in mind that you may not be able to use the federal banking system at all. […]

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10 Ways Companies Are Getting Creative With Cannabis. Is One of These Segments for You?

Forget using cannabis just to get high. Today, companies are using it to make shoes and soap, building materials and auto parts. November 5, 2018 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This year, 2018, has been a great one for cannabis, due to the spread of legalization and the strong economic promise of this new industry. Although cannabis is often associated with the smoking of marijuana to achieve a high, companies are finding very different, new and creative product uses for the substance. Below are 10 ways companies are getting creative with cannabis. Related: Cannabis Industry Likely to Employ More Than 400,000 By 2021, Study Projects Beverages Forget smoking; now you can drink cannabis. Beverage companies throughout the United States and abroad are creating drinks infused with CBD, or the cannabis compound cannabidiol, which contains no THC and is therefore non-psychoactive. Although cannabis still remains illegal in most states, […]

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Massachusetts Is Helping Legal Cannabis Businesses Get Started in Areas Hit Hardest by War on Drugs

The wildly disproportionate drug arrest rates in communities of color have made it harder for minorities to benefit from legal marijuana. August 30, 2018 4 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. In Massachusetts, public officials want to share a piece of the cannabis economic pie with those in communities that have faced a disproportionate impact from the War on Drugs. The groundbreaking program is led by the state Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). The goal is to offer support in obtaining a license for potential cannabis business owners in areas previously heavily targeted by drug law enforcement. Many of those people live in the state’s predominately black and Latino neighborhoods, according to the CCC. Residents of those communities were arrested and incarcerated at higher rates than others, according to the CCC. The result has been “long-term ill effects” on families and neighborhoods. “We now have the opportunity […]

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Canada Makes Marijuana Farmers Eligible for Government Agriculture Programs

Canada, where marijuana will soon be legal nationwide, is now treating cannabis as just another crop. August 16, 2018 3 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Canadian officials have decided that the country’s cannabis farmers are eligible for federal funding that supports innovation and sustainability efforts in agriculture. The decision in Canada happened as the country gears up to launch a nationwide, regulated cannabis industry on Oct. 17. It’s yet another stark contrast to what is happening in the United States, where marijuana businesses still operate in a system where their product is illegal at the federal level. Related: Just to Keep an Open Mind, What Are Some Arguments Against Legalizing Marijuana? Farm Aid The U.S. has similar programs to support farmers but, with marijuana still listed as an illegal Schedule I drug in the U.S., that cash is not available for those who grow cannabis. U.S. […]

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Special Ops Guard a Budding Business

More and more marijuana companies are turning to former members of America’s elite fighting forces to keep their product, and their cash, safe. June 28, 2018 3 min read The following feature is excerpted from TIME Marijuana: The Medical Movement available at retailers and on Amazon.  When you are involved in an industry that is exploding with product and profits, important details can get lost in the shuffle. Details like security. “Some of these cannabis growers will stick a million in cash in a gym bag, throw it on the passenger seat and drive it down to Salem with a joint in their mouth,” says Garrick Fernbaugh, co-founder of the elite tactical-training and security-service company Red Frog in Oregon. “That’s maybe not the best way to go about that, and that’s where we come in.” Fernbaugh, a Navy SEAL for 20 years and a former government contractor, is part of […]

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Hangover-Proof Beer Infused With THC and CBDs? Cheers!

California-based Cannabiniers is preparing to debut five varieties of suds for cannabis lovers. June 25, 2018 6 min read After a long, hard day’s work, the chance to enjoy a couple of cold ones sounds great. Not so great? The hangover, dehydration and other health downsides that can accompany alcohol. So, what if you could enjoy a tasty craft brew that delivers a buzz without the headache? That’s exactly what a San Diego startup called Cannabiniers, which manages cannabis brands, wants to deliver and is already advertising on YouTube. In mid-July, its brand Two Roots Brewing will release five non-alcoholic THC and CBD-infused beer varieties in California and Nevada: a lager, a blond ale, a wheat, an India pale ale and a stout. Each will eventually be available in THC-dominant, CBD-dominant and hybrid 1:1 options. (CBD-infused cold-brewed ice coffees and teas will be available nationwide from Two Roots’ sister company, Just Society, the first week of […]

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Will President Trump Really Support States’ Rights On Marijuana?

He appointed an anti-marijuana zealot to be Attorney General but political realities seem to be part of his calculations. June 16, 2018 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Earlier this month, President Donald Trump told reporters he would “probably” support federal legislation that officially turns the issue of marijuana legalization over to the states. The key word is “probably.” As it stands now, while 30 states have legalized marijuana for medical or adult use, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level. Legislation backed a bipartisan coalition in Congress has been introduced to allow states to go forward with legalization with no risk of interference from federal prosecution. “We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes,” Trump told reporters. That one statement has given rise to hopes among marijuana entrepreneurs and consumers that the pathway will be cleared for legal use of […]

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Branding Your Business & Crafting Your Story in the #CannabisIndustry

Learn the essentials about getting your business ready for its market debut. June 14, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following excerpt is from The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc. and Javier Hasse’s book Start Your Own Cannabis Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound This article is part of our series on How to Start a Cannabis Business. We seek to promote financial inclusion through cannabis. In previous articles, we’ve looked into numerous aspects of getting into the marijuana industry, including questions you should ask yourself before jumping in and where to find funding. Until a few years ago, most cannabis brands weren’t especially sophisticated. However, this is no longer the case. If you’ve ever seen legal cannabis products in a store, you must have noticed how cool, modern and beautiful they look. Of course, this is the result […]

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How My Cannabis Poem Landed on 8 Billboard Charts

A pitch letter to Lin-Manuel Miranda ends up on a hip hop record. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If you look at many of the top tracks and on the Billboard charts, you’ll notice most of the subject matter deals with love, partying, or inhabiting Chris Brown’s body. So, I could not help but be completely surprised, dazed, almost confused, when I found out that an album featuring my scolding rap on cannabis legalization had hit not one, but eight different Billboard Charts, including the numero uno (#1) on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, #9 on Rap Charts, and #11 on Independent Charts. The album, The Whoodlum Ball, was produced by Smith & Hay, DJ Whoo Kid, and Ranna Royce. It features big-name rappers, cool up-and-comers and O.G.’s like Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Inspectah Deck, Twista, Lil Windex, Riff Raff, and Parliament-Funkadelic’s Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey. So, how did I, a humble […]

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Cryptocurrency and the Allure of a Cashless Cannabis Industry

Marijuana prohibition never stopped marijuana sales. Blocking legal marijuana businesses from the legal banking system isn’t working, either. May 24, 2018 3 min read The legal marijuana industry in the United States is awash in cash. Literally. With reports that cannabis businesses generated almost $61 million in tax revenue for California in just the first quarter of recreational marijuana sales, it’s important to remember that the money moving through the marijuana financial system is almost 100 percent in cash. Why? Most banks won’t touch money from legal marijuana businesses because cannabis remains a Schedule I illegal drug at the federal level, meaning banks in the strictest sense risk committing crime providing the industry ordinary commercial banking services. That leaves marijuana entrepreneurs working in a cash-only world. It’s more than just inconvenient. It makes it more difficult to create a safe environment for both employees and customers. It makes it next-to-impossible […]

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