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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6 Questions to Ask Before Naming Your Cannabis Company

Top marketers share how to come up with a winning name plan. May 24, 2018 5 min read What’s in a name? Turns out—a whole lot. Your brand’s name is the message that you broadcast to the world. While companies may come and go, their name lasts forever. But too often entrepreneurs treat the naming process as an afterthought, a fun thing to brainstorm about over bagels or a drink, not a serious step of a brand development strategy. Related: Why Brand Name is Important for Start-Ups ? Because the legal cannabis industry is relatively new and booming and because there are so many niche markets within the industry, there are a ton of new naming possibilities. The key is to find a name that both describes the essence of your brand and differentiates you in the marketplace. Here are some key questions to ask yourself. Related: 10 Questions to Ask Before […]

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California’s ‘Pot Desert’ Problem

Although marijuana is legal in the Golden State, there are still large swathes where it’s prohibited. May 18, 2018 2 min read California is the largest market for recreational marijuana in the country, but thanks to some loopholes in the law many residents don’t have access to it. What’s resulted is large swathes of “pot deserts,” in which 40 percent of the state has drive 60 miles or more to find a licensed dispensary, according to the Sacremento Bee. Ironically, the problem lies with the very legislation that made marijuana legal in the first place: Prop 64 legalized cannabis in Cali, but it also gave local governments the power to ban or to regulate it. Guess what many have chosen to do? Related: California Unleashes a Massive Market for Legal Cannabis An expose in the Bee analyzed 284 retail dispensaries issued licenses in the state by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control and found: […]

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DEA Chief’s Congressional Testimony About Legal Marijuana Angered Some, Baffled Many

The nation’s top drug enforcement officer was unflinching in his opposition to legalizing marijuana and apparently not embarrassed by his complete ignorance of the relevant science. May 18, 2018 4 min read It’s hard to know what to make of the testimony on legalized marijuana from Robert Patterson, chief of the Drug Enforcement Agency, before the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month. He attributed deaths to marijuana use but offered no information to back that up. He said he didn’t see “mass incarcerations” of marijuana users, even though FBI numbers show they increased in 2016 (the last year numbers are available). He said he was unaware of the many studies showing that opioid use has dropped in places where marijuana is legal. For example, in Canada, where medical marijuana is legal at the federal level, a recent study showed a “significant reduction” in opioid use in just six months. The […]

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Why Some Veterans Are On the Front Lines to Legalize Hemp

U.S. Armed Forces veterans have had to fight many enemies both on and off the battlefield. One of the most insidious is the opioid addiction that’s arisen as a result of treating their pain and PTSD. A sobering 2011 study found that veterans are twice as likely to die from opioids than non-veterans.  Related: The Opioid Crisis is Forcing Open Minds About the Lifesaving Potential of Medical Marijuana Now some veterans are fighting for the legalization of some hemp products to manage their debilitating symptoms. Last April, a group of veterans descended on the U.S. House of Representatives in D.C. to talk with members of the Cannabis Caucus and the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. The meeting was spearheaded by a retired Marine, Steve Danyluk, who worked with wounded vets at Walter Reed and Bethesda medical centers. “I witnessed what I believe is a policy of over-medicating wounded service men and women with opiates […]

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The 3 Factors That Could Determine Your Success in the #MarijuanaIndustry

Be sure to look into your skill set, the competitive landscape and your potential location before jumping in feet first. May 16, 2018 5 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. If, after considering all of these issues, you’ve decided you want to start a cannabis business, you’ll need to figure out what kind of business you’ll want to start. Three things are key in determining whether your […]

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Bipartisan Concern for Veterans Drives Bill to Allow VA to Research Medical Marijuana

Congress seems to be ever so slowly coming around to popular opinion on the merits of medical pot. April 26, 2018 3 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It’s not receiving the fanfare bestowed on many of the issues surrounding marijuana, but a new bill introduced in Congress with bipartisan support is calling for more study on the potential for medical marijuana. Behind it is an issue that unites both political parties and has become a focus of many pro-marijuana stances: providing help to veterans. The new bill calls on the Veterans Administration to conduct research into how marijuana could be used to treat disabled veterans. Among them is the potential use of cannabis to treat pain and reduce reliance on opioids, a drug that has led to an epidemic of overdoses. Related: Trump Basically Says Obama-Era Marijuana Policies Aren’t Going to Change “Never a better time.” Rep. […]

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A Closer Look at the Cannabis Market from #StartYourOwnCannabisBusiness

Before you jump into starting a cannabis business, find out what the outlook is for this currently booming industry. April 25, 2018 5 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 An important thing to know before getting into the marijuana industry is what the current market looks like. Since most of the top analytics firms in the space collaborated in New Frontier Data’s “The Cannabis Industry Annual Report: 2017 Legal Marijuana Outlook,” you can use their figures as reference. As per New Frontier Data’s estimates, legal cannabis sales in North America reached about $6.6 billion in 2016; recreational marijuana sales accounted for roughly 29 percent of that figure, while the remaining 71 percent went […]

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Where to Find Funding for a Cannabis Business

With limited funding options, almost no loans available and countless new cannabis businesses emerging every day, where does an entrepreneur go for capital? April 20, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The following article is based on excerpts of Javier Hasse’s book Start Your Own Cannabis Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound Finding financing for a business is never easy. Even when small business loans are accessible, loan payments and interests can often be an unbearable burden for a startup. Now, if finding money for a regular business is hard, getting a cannabis business funded is a lot more difficult. Despite the increasing number of financial institutions servicing the cannabis industry, credit is still very rarely available for marijuana businesses. “Getting funding for a cannabis business presents very unique challenges because you can’t just get an SBA, or small business loan, and banks are not […]

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John Boehner Succeeded in Politics Opposing Marijuana but in Retirement Has Joined the Medical Marijuana Industry

The former Speaker of the House says he now recognizes the potential for medical pot to treat vets with PTSD and people addicted to opioids. April 17, 2018 3 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. He was against it until he was for it. Republican John Boehner, the former Speaker of the House, once said he was “unalterably opposed” to marijuana legalization. But the meaning of “unalterable” seems to have altered. This month, he joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, among the largest cannabis companies in the United States with cultivation, processing and dispensary operations. The company operates in 11 states with headquarters in New York City. “My thinking on cannabis has evolved,” Boehner said in a tweet. Related: A Tale of Neighboring Countries and Their Very Different Legal-Marijuana Banking Systems Veterans, Research Boehner is joined on the Acreage Holdings advisory board by William Weld, the […]

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Hemp Is the Multibillion-Dollar Cannabis Opportunity Few Have Heard About

If the move to make it legal succeeds, entire industries could be revolutionized. April 17, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Today, the U.S. is the world’s largest consumer of hemp products. But because of the federal prohibition imposed on cannabis and hemp, the U.S. is importing an estimated $100 million of hemp products each year. That $100 million could soon be going back to American farmers and businesses, thanks to the recent introduction of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The bill, announced by McConnell and supported by a bipartisan group of senators, would “legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of controlled substances.” This isn’t the first time McConnell or one of his colleagues has introduced such a bill. Actually, it’s the sixth — similar bills were introduced in 2005, […]

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