Cannabis Licensing & Consulting

Medicine Man Technologies Articles

Carrie Roberts, Rob Hunt, & Steve Gormley

 

 

 

Reaching the Finish Line Podcast | Kallen Diggs

January 8, 2017

 

Cannabis Farms On the New Jersey Turnpike? Maybe Sooner Than You Think.

 

I-team Reporter Kelly Choate takes a closer look at Pennsylvania's "Pot Plan" in this I-Team investigation.

 

By Jay Lassiter

 

During a fact-finding trip to Colorado last month, two dozen New Jersey lawmakers, aides, and lobbyists paid a visit to Medicine Man Technologies, one of the state's largest cannabis growers and retailers. The pungent, skunky smell of marijuana groves greeted them as they stepped through the door of Medicine Man Technologies' light industrial facility on the outskirts of Denver.

 

Maria Rodriguez, an assemblywoman from Medford, didn't miss a beat. "That smells like more money in the budget," she quipped.

 

Rodriguez and her colleagues had come to Denver to acquaint themselves with Colorado's booming cannabis industry. For three days they met with Colorado state legislators and regulators, tax officials, and public health researchers. They toured retail cannabis stores, spoke with entrepreneurs, and watched growers tend their crops at sites in and around Denver. 

 

New Jersey's battered, beleaguered budget can use all the help it can get, and Denver's booming economy did not go unnoticed by the visitors. Construction sites littered the city. Turn left, you'd see a massive building project. Gaze right to see three more impressive buildings going up. In Denver, construction cranes were as ubiquitous on the horizon as the snowcapped Rocky Mountains. 

 

Opportunity, not a crime

Marijuana legalization is at a tipping point nationally and state legislators know it. This Garden State crew was planning accordingly, in Denver to "do our due diligence and get this (ending prohibition) thing right," Rodriguez told Leafly.

 

The fact that Rodriguez, a rising young Republican and former deputy commander in the Civil Air Patrol, interpreted the smell of growing cannabis as an opportunity and not a crime, spoke volumes about the change many expect to arrive soon in New Jersey.

 

"I'm concerned that we are missing out," said State Sen. Nick Scutari, the trip organizer. For Scutari, a leader on legalization issues in the State House, the opportunity isn't just about money. He's keen on other benefits, too—like putting fewer of his state's citizens in jail. On average, police in New Jersey make around 24,000 arrests for cannabis every year.

 

More and more of Scutari's constituents are joining his support for legalization. A Rutgers-Eagleton poll taken in June 2016 found that 58 percent of New Jersey residents supported regulated adult-use legalization, with only 39 percent opposed.

 

Of course, that 39 percent includes New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, one of the nation's most outspoken opponents of legalization. So nobody expects a change to happen immediately. But Christie won't be there forever.

 

13 months to prepare

In fact, the onetime presidential contender only has 13 months left in his New Jersey term. Christie has vowed to veto any move towards legalization during his tenure. Just recently, he proudly reiterated his determination to kill any progress on legalization. "You're damn right I'm the only impediment" he said. "And I am going to remain the only impediment until January of 2018." But once his term is done, many here expect cannabis prohibition to fall fairly quickly.

 

The current favorite to replace Christie is Phil Murphy, a former finance executive, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, and ally of Democratic Party stalwart Howard Dean. Murphy's forward-thinking views on legalization could lead New Jersey to become the first state to end cannabis prohibition legislatively.

 

"By carefully watching what other states have already done, we can ensure a legalization and taxation program that learns from their experiences and which will work from the outset," Murphy told Leafly in a phone interview. (He did not make the Colorado trip.) "But we must keep in mind this also is about social justice, and ending a failed prohibition that has served mainly to put countless people — predominantly young men of color — behind bars and behind a huge roadblock to their futures. New Jersey should choose to be a leader."

 

State Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat from rural Salem County, is the most powerful legislator in Trenton. It's a post he's keen to retain in the post-Christie era. Sweeney joined Rodriguez and others in Colorado, and he really liked what he saw.

 

"I was on board before we went, but I am absolutely sold that this industry can be regulated," Sweeney said. "It's safe, it's well managed. Colorado has done an amazing job. "I wish all 120 [New Jersey] legislators saw what we saw in Colorado," he told Leafly."There wouldn't be a [single] no vote. I'm committed to it."

 

"We'll have this firmed up, ready to go, in the very first quarter of the next administration in '18," Sweeney added. "I was on board before we went, but I am absolutely sold that this industry can be regulated. It's safe, it's well managed. Colorado has done an amazing job. This is a game changer for the state of New Jersey."

 

How can New Jersey get it done?

New Jersey's referendum process is unwieldy and expensive. A statewide "yes" vote would have to come in the form of a constitutional amendment, which is an especially blunt instrument for ending prohibition. That's why Scutari and others believe a legislative approach is the superior option.

 

One Colorado legislator told the New Jersey delegation as much.

 

"Our constitutional amendments are too detailed and inflexible," Colorado State Sen. Pat Steadman told the visitors during one informational session.

 

"It would be much preferable to address this issue through statute," Steadman told Leafly in a later follow-up interview. "I would eliminate most of what's in our constitution and move it all to statute, retaining only the most basic concepts of a right to use, possess, and cultivate and directions to the legislature for creating a regulatory framework for businesses in this industry."

 

"An issue of this magnitude should be a bipartisan legislative effort," Republican State Sen. Kip Bateman told Leafly. "I'm impressed with what I'm seeing. If we can get this right, it could do a lot of good."

 

A thoughtful, bi-partisan legislative process in Trenton could allow New Jersey to avoid some of Colorado's early missteps. And in today's increasingly pro-cannabis climate, there's little risk for politicians who make ending prohibition a priority.

 

"There's no political downside for pro-pot legislators," said Steadman. "This was not a polarized, partisan debate in Colorado."

 

Public consumption challenges

Public consumption remains a criminal offense in Colorado, a glaring weakness in state law that disproportionally affects minorities, who are more likely to be cited for public consumption.

 

"Public consumption of marijuana should not be a criminal offense," Dianna Houenou, an ACLU of New Jersey official, told Leafly. Houenou accompanied the legislators on their trip."Choosing to craft marijuana laws and regulations in a way that excludes people who have historically been targeted by the failed War on Drugs would prove to be a failure of the promise of racial and social justice that legalizing cannabis offers."

 

For policymakers with a social justice bent, getting the details right is critical. Because what's the point of legalizing cannabis only to keep arresting smokers for public consumption? And it's not just locals who suffer.

 

"Tourists can't smoke in their hotel rooms; they need somewhere to go. Instead of smoking, edibles are easier to consume," Colorado State Sen. Pat Steadman told Leafly. "You can do (edibles) anywhere. But edibles don't have the immediate effect that smoking does, so some people grow impatient and take another dose and end up consuming too much. Current public consumption restrictions—which really apply only to smoking and vaping as a practical matter—create an environment where people inexperienced with edibles may consume too much."

 

At the time of the tour, Denver voters were considering a citywide initiative to allow cannabis consumption in certain businesses and clubs. That measure was approved on Nov. 8, and it may help alleviate some of the public consumption pressure.

 

Arrests down, costs down

There are social justice concerns within Colorado's industry, as well. Carrie Roberts is the client manager at Medicine Man Technologies, a leading cannabis company that runs one of Denver's premiere retail and medical dispensaries.

 

"As a former law enforcement professional, I look at legalization from a totally different perspective." Roberts told Leafly. "Police arrest more people for marijuana arrests than all violent crimes combined.  Each one of those arrests constitutes a human life who will carry the burden of that arrest with them for the rest of their lives, even in states where it is now legal.

 

"In states that have legalized cannabis, the number of marijuana related arrests have plummeted anywhere from a 46% decrease in arrests in Colorado to 98% decrease in low-level marijuana court filings in Washington.  This decrease saves jurisdictions millions of dollars in court costs and law enforcement time, and prevents the criminalization of thousands of people who can continue to be productive members of society."

 

It was a point not lost on Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon, one of three Republicans in the visiting New Jersey delegation.

 

"The earning power of those who become ensnared into the (criminal justice) system is greatly reduced and that costs all of us," O'Scanlon told Leafly. "No one benefits when you have folks stuck in a dead-end job their whole life."

 

These challenges persist even in states where cannabis is now permitted.

 

"Legalization substantially reduces the number of arrests, but the arrests that are still being made are disproportionately higher for other races and ethnicities," Medicine Man Technologies' Roberts told Leafly. "I want to continue to fight for drug policy reform that addresses the law enforcement practices that produce such racial disparities, which cause unrest between citizens and law enforcement that we continue to see in the media almost daily."

 

New Jersey must be mindful to address these issues. A deliberate, legislative process would give the state an opportunity to address the bugs in Colorado's law. Failure to do so would undermined the criminal justice goals that come with cannabis reform.

 

How New Jersey's MMJ patients could benefit

Arguably the biggest beneficiaries of legalization should be medical marijuana users. Ken Wolski who runs the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey, agreed. "Legalization will make medical marijuana much more available," Wolski said in a phone interview from his New Jersey office. "It will change it from a prescription drug to over-the-counter."

 

As the cannabis economy scales up, medical marijuana prices should go down. New Jersey patients currently pay about $450 an ounce for their medicine. In Colorado shops, anyone 21 and older can obtain cannabis for $190 an ounce.

 

There was ample discussion on the how ending prohibition might benefit New Jersey patients who currently pay a 7% tax on their medical cannabis. One legislator imagined a thriving recreational economy offsetting that 7% tariff.

 

But the biggest patient benefits could come with new research that would be allowed under a more open system.

 

Judi Duke of the Colordo-based Cannabis Outreach Education Network had some thoughtful advice for the New Jersey lawmakers: "It's important in planning to include as many people as possible," she said. "Not just policy-makers and researchers, but community members who will be impacted—industry, schools, youth organizations, retirements communities. I've found that you will have more buy-in and support from everyone if they are truly engaged and valued."

 

The taco truck effect

At one point during the 90-minute tour of Medical Man's facility, an employee started yelling "TACO TRUCK!"  while running toward the door. A half-dozen colleagues soon chased after him.

 

It was lunch time. Judging from the response, that must be a heckuva taco truck. Then I realized what that moment symbolized. A robust economic relationship has formed between that taco truck—its owner and employees—and the 80+ employees at the Medicine Man facility. People gotta eat every day. It all adds up to lots of tacos.

 

It's not just about increased tax revenue. There's also a massive knock-on effect for businesses outside the cannabis industry.

 

Like taco trucks.

 

"Ancillary business opportunities are enormous," Matt Best told Leafly. Best is a senior consultant at Medicine Man Technologies. "We've seen significant business opportunities created within consulting, legal and professional services, commercial and industrial real estate, security, HVAC, mechanical and electrical engineering, and packaging."

 

"None of those industries are plant-touching," Best added, "but every plant-touching operator needs those services. The economic impact for these industries, while often overlooked by policymakers, is significant."

 

NJ's liquor industry wants in

The New Jersey contingent wasn't limited to legislators. There were lobbyists on the Colorado trip, too—some of them from unexpected quarters. Like the liquor industry.

 

"If they have their way, cannabis legalization would simply be an offshoot of the liquor industry," one source, who spoke off the record for candor's sake, told Leafly.

 

Drug reformers in New Jersey have a soft spot here. Elected officials (mostly Democrats) could be open to the liquor industry's "don't reinvent the wheel" message, which argues that the state's liquor distributors and retailers already know how to properly handle a state-licensed intoxicant.

 

The thought of profit-driven liquor companies locking up the cannabis market sends shivers down the spine of many who use cannabis for medical purposes.

 

So even as many on the fact-finding trip were allied in their interest in ending cannabis prohibition, they held quite different visions of what a post-prohibition industry might look like.

 

Back home in Trenton

Upon their return, the legislators who made the Colorado trek briefed the New Jersey media. Their overall impression: two thumbs up.

 

State Sen. Nick Scutari, who led the delegation, declared that "the highly regulated program in Colorado appears to be a great success."

 

Republican State Sen. Kip Bateman agreed."Heroin overdoses in Colorado are way down. So are DUIs, and so is crime. That's important in New Jersey, because in Hunterdon County and Ocean county [heroin addiction]  is an epidemic."

 

"What also jumped out at me," Bateman added, "is how secure [the cannabis stores] are as far as keeping it away from children. They had armed guards at the door to prevent anyone under 21 from entering the facility. So they're aware of the concerns with keeping this away from children. It was a real eye-opener."

 

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon landed in a more neutral position. "I'm not here today to endorse legalization," he said. "What I am here to say is that as we move through this deliberative process, it's every legislator's job to get the kind of information that we got on this trip. We grilled law enforcement, regulators, and revenue folks. So far, the evidence and data that we have favors legalization by a wide margin."

 

O'Scanlon was also keen to explore a statutory scheme for municipalities hosting legal cannabis sites, which would allow them to exercise some control over taxes levied in their own towns.

 

One legislator confessed that she had slipped away from the official tour to do some reconnaissance on her own. Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt is the chair of the Assembly Committee and the mother of two children. As a powerful committee chairman, she'll be called upon to ensure that the needs of New Jersey's children are front and center.

 

"We did a little bit of touring incognito," she said. "We grilled the gentleman behind the corner about the products themselves."

 

And?

 

"Those products looked sterile," Assemblywoman Lampitt said. "They didn't look like they were marketed to children. That was a concern for me as someone who heads up the Committee on Women and Children. I also leaned that Colorado created their own warning stamp that goes on each and every cannabis product. Visually, these products look completely different from, say, a regular brownie or a regular cookie. So they've gone to great lengths to ensure that these products don't look like something that would be readily consumed by a child."

 

"Colorado really has learned throughout this whole process," Lampitt concluded. "We don't have to duplicate exactly what they did, but we can learn from their experience. We'll be looking at California, Arizona, Massachusetts and Maine to see how they progress as well. I was afforded this opportunity [to go on this trip] and I'm gonna use to it to work with colleagues to actually formulate what I think New Jersey needs to do to move forward."

 

 

Leafly

November 26, 2016

 

New Study Suggests Cannabis Could Help Ease The Opioid Epidemic

 

I-team Reporter Kelly Choate takes a closer look at Pennsylvania's "Pot Plan" in this I-Team investigation.

 

By Kit O'Connell | @KitOConnell

 

'I like to say that instead of cannabis being a gateway drug into harder drugs, I think that we might see cannabis being used as a gateway drug out of our current opioid epidemic,' a cannabis industry consultant with a background in law enforcement tells MintPress News.

 

AUSTIN, Texas — A new study suggests that cannabis could help ease the deadly opioid epidemic in the United States.

 

Participants reported "a notable decrease in their use of conventional pharmaceutical agents," including a 42-percent drop in the use of opiates, according to the pilot study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology on Oct. 13.

 

The study also suggested that the cognitive function of some medical marijuana users improved over a three-month period.

 

However, the authors warn that the study's sample size was too small to be considered conclusive. Twenty-four patients were involved in the initial sample, and 11 returned for follow-up tests on their cognitive abilities three months after initiating treatment.

 

"While intriguing, these findings are preliminary and warrant further investigation at additional time points and in larger sample sizes," the authors wrote.

 

Despite its preliminary nature, the Frontiers study joins a growing number of anecdotal reports that cannabis may help chronic pain patients reduce their use of prescription painkillers and help addicts ease the symptoms of withdrawal.

 

Carrie Roberts, a legal cannabis industry consultant with a background in law enforcement, told MintPress News that she's excited about the potential benefits of cannabis in treating addiction.

 

"I'm really passionate about how cannabis can be a solution to our current opioid epidemic," she said.

 

Roberts is a senior consultant at Medicine Man Technologies, where she helps new businesses navigate thecomplicated legal and regulatory landscape of the cannabis industry. And as a recovering alcoholic and someone whose best friend died of a heroin overdose in 2004, she said she has experienced, firsthand, the suffering caused by addition.

 

"We've demonized and stigmatized and criminalized addiction for so long and we shouldn't be treating addicts like criminals," Roberts said. "We need to treat them like human beings."

 

An unprecedented epidemic of addiction to heroin and opioid drugs is unfolding in the United States, and many experts agree that previous ways of approaching the issue are proving ineffective. On Nov. 17, the surgeon general issued a detailed report, "Facing Addiction In America," which urges medical professionals and policymakers to treat addiction as a chronic illness, rather than a moral failing on the part of the addict.

 

"A lot of time people remain as addicts because the process of going through withdrawal and getting clean is a very painful process," Roberts said.

 

However, cannabis can relieve many of the worst symptoms of opiate withdrawal. "It helps relieve nausea, it helps relieve pain, it helps relieve anxiety," said Roberts.

 

Some doctors are beginning to investigate the potential benefits of cannabis for drug addiction treatment in their practice. In an October interview for The Establishment, Dr. Sue Sisley, an Arizona-based family physician, said that she's seen the benefit of cannabis in her patients, many of whom are veterans. She continued:

 

"Cannabis has been a really successful intervention for a lot of guys who have been stuck on opioids for years. They micro-dose cannabis throughout the day to help manage the opioid withdrawal syndrome."

 

Sisley, who is also involved in a study of the benefits of cannabis in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, was instrumental in lobbying the American Legion to pass a resolution calling on the government to ease access to medical marijuana.

 

"There are some doctors and physicians and people working in addiction medicine who are saying what we've currently done isn't working, we're not solving the [addiction] problem, and who are looking to step outside of that traditional box," Roberts told MintPress.

 

While opponents of cannabis legalization sometimes suggest cannabis is a gateway drugthat concept has little scientific merit. In fact, Roberts said the opposite may be true.

 

"Instead of cannabis being a gateway drug into harder drugs, I think that we might see cannabis being used as a gateway drug out of our current opioid epidemic," she concluded.

 

 

MintPress News

November 25, 2016

 

I-Team: Pennsylvania's "Pot Plan"

 

I-team Reporter Kelly Choate takes a closer look at Pennsylvania's "Pot Plan" in this I-Team investigation.

 

By Kelly Choate | kchoate@pahomepage.com

 

KLINE TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- After passing landmark legislation this spring authorizing medical marijuana, the commonwealth is now in the process of trying to figure out how it works.

 

I-team Reporter Kelly Choate takes a closer look at Pennsylvania's "Pot Plan" in this I-Team investigation.

 

Despite medical marijuana laws in more than two dozen states, including Pennsylvania, the product is still illegal under federal law, which means there are legal implications of growing, processing, and dispensing medical marijuana.

 

That doesn't mean businesses aren't interested in this new industry.  In fact, it's quite the opposite.

 

 

Inside Van Hoekelen Greenhouses in Kline Township, the poinsettias are prospering just in time for the holiday season.

 

Alex Van Hoekelen said it may not be long before marijuana plants are growing on this Schuylkill County property.  He applied for one of the first permits to grow medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

 

The medical marijuana program was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on April 17th.  Full implementation of the program isn't expected until at least late next year.

 

Department of Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy said one of the biggest accomplishments so far is the development of temporary regulations for growers and processors.

 

She said the department received nearly 1,000 comments from members of the community, the medical marijuana industry, and legislators.

 

The regulations outline the financial, legal, and operational requirements needed by individuals to be considered for a grower processor permit as well as where the facilities will be located.

 

The regulations also address an electronic tracking system, maintenance of equipment, sanitation and safety, tax reporting, and insurance requirements -- to name a few.

 

Matt Best is a Senior Consultant for Medicine Man Technologies -- a Colorado-based consulting company for the cannabis industry.

 

He said potential growers, processors, and dispensaries are eyeing Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program, especially since similar programs in neighboring states have been slow to take root.

 

According to a study by New Frontier Data, 68% of investors are now open to businesses that touch marijuana.

 

Van Hoekelen said he plans to follow the regulations and work with local officials to make sure his business blooms.

 

As the Department of Health continues to work on the implementation of the medical marijuana program, officials are collecting information from Pennsylvania residents who may be eligible patients.

 

You can take a confidential survey to share your thoughts.

 

HELPFUL LINKS:

 

Van Hoekelen Greenhouses: www.vanhoekelen.com

 

Pennsylvania Department of Health: www.health.pa.gov

 

Medicine Man Technologies: www.medicinemantechnologies.com

 

PA homepage

November 21, 2016

 

Medicine Man (MDCL): A Leading Indoor Cultivator

 

There is certainly no wrong way to cultivate cannabis, as anyone growing cannabis plants in their basement can attest. But, there's definitely a right way to cost-effectively grow high-quality plants. Expert cultivators optimize key performance indicators like pounds per light, grams per watt, or grams per square foot of flower canopy, since utilities and labor tend to be the most expensive component of any indoor grow operation.

 

Medicine Man Technologies Inc. (OTCQB: MDCL) provides consulting services covering all aspects of cannabis cultivation for both the newly minted operator in a state just coming online to an existing cultivator wishing to improve their overall efficiencies as well as outcomes. The company's expert team has experience in a wide variety of cultivation methods making it an excellent solution for most any operation.

 

In this article, we will take a look at how the company is positioned to solidify its lead in the cultivation space with its pending acquisition and the launch of a new service called Cultivation Max.

 

Optimizing Cultivation

There are a fixed number of variables to manage when it comes to cultivation, including but not limited to genetics, nutrients, cultivation methods, pest management, environmental management, harvest methods, and labor. Indoor cultivators generally achieve five or six harvests per year, while greenhouses might have three or four harvests per year, and outdoor cultivators would typically have only one harvest per year.

 

The best indoor grow operations can achieve two or more pounds per light, one gram per watt, or 50 plus grams per square foot of canopy per harvest cycle. Often times, these are levels that professional grow operations can achieve with a significant investment in the right technologies and personnel to control for the aforementioned variables. Exceeding these metrics might require a significantly greater investment in new technologies that could increase the payback period.

 

A Better Solution

In August, Medicine Man Technologies Inc. announced an agreement in principle to acquire Pono Publications Inc. and Success Nutrients Inc. The acquisition would include the Three A Light™ cultivation publication that has sold more than 800 copies at $500 a piece. By the end of the year, Three A Light™ plans to release its 'Professional Grade' guide that will be sold exclusively to Three A Light™ and Medicine Man Technologies licensed grade clients.

 

The new cultivation protocol pioneered by Three A Light™ has already achieved documented yields in the 125 grams-per-square-foot of flower canopy per harvest range and is deployable in both greenhouse and indoor-based cultivation facilities. In terms of the aforementioned key performance indicators, that translates to about three pounds per light over a 32 square foot table compared to the two lights traditionally placed over the same square footage – a significant improvement. It should be noted that these performance metrics are also dependent upon the genetics deployed and the performance metrics noted herein are generally achieved over twelve plus strains of differing cannabinoid profiles.

 

Compelling Model

Medicine Man Technologies recently announced an Interim Products and Services Support Agreement with Pono Publications and Success Nutrients. This interim agreement allows the companies to work together synergistically while the final details of the acquisition are hammered out. In essence, the companies will combine forces almost as if the acquisition were completed, sharing revenues and expertise and marketing support to build each of the businesses involved.

 

Medicine Man Technologies has already begun to market this new cultivation service, referred to as Cultivation Max. The service differentiates itself from the competition by guaranteeing that the client's cost per pound will drop while generating additional revenue from the delta in performance gains over the client's current level of harvest in terms of dried cured flower. In other words, the company only generates revenue when its customers realize a tangible improvement in pounds per light and customers only pay when they realize a benefit that tangibly boosts their revenue. The fees generated for these services typically correspond to providing design services and a percentage of the improvement related revenue stream so clients are not burdened with fees that do not clearly reflect improvement.

 

Success Nutrients – the other part of the acquisition – is the culmination of two years of R&D and intensive testing. As nutrients specifically formulated for the cannabis industry, the company has generated $100,000 in sales in July as customers embrace the products. These are recurring revenues since cultivators must purchase nutrients over time for each harvest, which yields another compelling aspect of the business model. Success Nutrients is the recommended and exclusive nutrient line for the Cultivation Max service.

 

Looking Ahead

Medicine Man Technologies Inc.'s pending acquisition of Pono Publications Inc. and Success Nutrients Inc. could solidify its position as a leading provider of cultivation technologies. Rather than waiting, the companies are forging ahead now to bring the benefits of their combined experience and technologies to a competitive market full of growers in need of increased efficiency. With a compelling business model in place, investors may want to consider the company as a unique growth opportunity in the cannabis industry.

 

For more information, visit the company's website at www.medicinemantechnologies.com.

 

 

CFN Media Group | Ryan Allway

October 24, 2016

 

Colorado's cannabis industry draws out-of-state interest

 

DENVER -- Colorado marijuana operations are serving as a cannabis classroom for lawmakers across the country.

 

This week, a delegation of Democrats and Republicans from the New Jersey legislature are spending time in Colorado hoping to learn the successes and challenges facing the industry.  Medical marijuana sales are currently legal in the Garden State.  Lawmakers are considering pushing legislation allowing for recreational sales.

 

Democratic state Senator Nicholas Scutari helped organize the trip.

 

"It looks to be the new gold rush," said Scutari. "To come here, put boots on the ground, and take a look around and see how it's going and talk to the people on the front lines of this emerging market is something you can't replace," he said.

 

It's easy to understand the out of state interest. Colorado's dispensaries have seen a record setting summer.

 

In August - medical and recreational sales raked in $126-million dollars. In July, $122.7 million.

 

Carrie Roberts of Medicine Man Technologies has hosted similar tours of the Denver facility.

 

"We get to help people in emerging markets be able to replicate that same kind of technology and deployment without having to make those mistakes," said Roberts.

 

New Jersey already has medical marijuana.

 

It's looking to avoid some of the snarls including how to package edibles and how many plants you can grow at home.

 

"We've learned a lot based on the Colorado experiment which I like to call it.  And I want to replicate to some degree and then improve upon it in certain areas," said Scutari.

 

As New Jersey ponders what to do next, several western states will decide on recreational sales on election day.

 

 

Mark Stewart | The Denver Channel - Denver ABC

October 18 2016

 

Pot soda, marijuana treats for anxious dogs. NJ lawmakers see it all in Colorado

 

DENVER - Minutes after a group of New Jersey lawmakers entered the stark industrial Medicine Man marijuana cultivation center, an employee in blue scrubs rushed between them, pushing a plastic cart filled with pots containing a dozen leafy, two-foot-tall cannabis plants.

 

There was a scramble by the legislators and their aides to clear a path, and then chuckles and "wow"s.

 

"Oh, my God, It's like a celebrity just came through," Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon (R., Monmouth) quipped - referring to the pot, not the worker.

 

Led by State Sen. Nick Scutari (D., Union), a municipal prosecutor, four Democratic and two Republican lawmakers spent more than an hour at the sprawling growing center as part of their excellent adventure - or three-day educational experience, as they would describe it - in the Mile-High City. Their mission - to determine if recreational marijuana use should be legalized in New Jersey.

 

On Tuesday, the lawmakers spent the day viewing thousands of pot plants and inhaling the intense smell, caught glimpses of workers preparing bottles of marijuana soda, and learned that Colorado also sells marijuana-infused products for dogs to relieve anxiety.

 

But while Colorado allows adults to purchase these products and up to one ounce of marijuana at a time for $100 to $250, it's unclear whether New Jersey will follow the same path.

 

Most of the contingent said they had not decided whether they would support a bill Scutari plans to reintroduce soon to legalize recreational marijuana. He introduced a similar measure two years ago but it never got enough support to come up for a floor vote.

 

But times are changing and the momentum seems to have picked up after four states and the District of Columbia took the legalization leap. Five other states will ask voters to decide Nov. 8.

 

New Jersey lawmakers say they will have to wait until Gov. Christie, an opponent of legalization, ends his term in January 2018. But they want to get the debate started in the Garden State, where only medical marijuana is now sold.

 

"There's been a lot of talk about legalization in New Jersey and I want to be informed on the successes and pitfalls of it. I'm not necessarily against it but I'm here to learn more and be better informed," said Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (R., Burlington).

 

National polls show a majority favor legalization. A Rutgers-Eagleton poll last year found 58 percent of New Jersey residents would support such a law.

 

Medicine Man Technologies, the operating arm for the grow center, handles the advertising, licensing, and other business details. Carrie Roberts, who led the tour, said the company also has eight clients in Pennsylvania who want to obtain licenses to open cannabis manufacturing and retail facilities when that state implements its medical marijuana program in the next two years.

 

She said she could not disclose the clients' names but said the company also worked with lobbyists to get the law passed in Pennsylvania and other states.

 

In Denver, the Medicine Man grow center, one of the larger facilities in the state, is a 40,000-square-foot, noisy warehouse with 100 employees. It has more than 12,000 cannabis plants that are grown from clones, nurtured under green and red LEDs in different rooms, cooled with fans, and eventually harvested, dried, and put through a tumbler that separates the buds from the rest of the plant.

 

Then the cannabis is processed and sold. The discarded parts are used to manufacture oils, tinctures, and other cannabis products.

 

During Tuesday's tour, a worker wearing a green headlamp walked toward one of the flowering rooms. The worker had to check on plants that were sleeping in a dark room; a white headlight would "stress the plants out ... make them think the sun suddenly came up at night," said Matt Best, another tour guide. The lighting and temperature are all controlled to optimize growth, with the electricity bills reaching about $35,000 a month.

 

The whole process takes five to six months, Best said.

 

"The plants grow themselves, but these guys care for and maintain them," said Jordan Wellington, an attorney with the Vicente Sederberg firm, which focuses solely on cannabis business clients, and sets up tours for lawmakers and others interested in the billion-dollar cannabis industry in Colorado. The state was the first to legalize marijuana, in 2012. Businesses opened two years later.

 

"It's a weed," laughed State Sen. Kip Bateman (R., Somerset), marveling at the Medicine Man operation. Earlier he said that he was open-minded about legalization. "As long as the right restrictions are in place it could work in New Jersey," he said.

 

Bateman, who also is a municipal prosecutor, compared the retail dispensaries to "jewelry stores where everything is kept behind glass cases" and the items are closely monitored.

 

Best said the plants would naturally grow more than 12 feet tall, but Medicine Man controls the growth and allows them to reach heights of three to four feet. "We maximize the canopy, the sea of green," he said, saying trimming helps produce more buds.

 

During the tour, Best showed the New Jersey delegation plants that will be used to produce East Coast Sour Diesel, which he said is a popular strain.

 

"I'm just sucking it all in, no pun intended, but what I mean is, the industrial side of this brings it to a level of sophistication I had not expected," said Assemblyman Jim Kennedy (D., Union), a redevelopment consultant for Burlington City and other towns.

 

The "Ramblin' Express" white tour bus next took the delegation to the Dixie Elixirs manufacturing operation, which opened inside a former bread-baking plant in Denver two years ago.

 

There the group saw some of the products - lemonade, watermelon, root beer and other flavored cannabis drinks that are bottled and then sold in special childproof canisters in dispensaries they own.

 

Chuck Smith, the chief operating officer, said the 8.5-ounce bottles, which contain 10 milligrams of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, sell for about $22 each. The company, which employs 110 workers, also sells cannabis chocolate bars, cannabis mints, and even cannabis dog products to help with a canine's anxiety.

 

jhefler@phillynews.com

856-779-3224@JanHefler

www.philly.com/burlcobuzz

 

Philly.com, The Inquirer, Jan Hefler

October 19 2016

 

Southwest Cannabis Conference Brings "The World of Tomorrow" to the Phoenix Convention Center

 

Doug Ducey received free tickets to the second annual Southwest Cannabis Conference, but event organizer Demitri Downing isn't holding his breath for the Arizona governor to attend. Downing says he also sent complimentary passes to Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Secretary of State Michele Reagan, but they wouldn't be shocking no-shows either. All three oppose Proposition 205, the initiative on November's general-election ballot that allows voters to decide to whether to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use in Arizona.

 

"This is a giant educational summit for Prop 205," Downing says of the conference. "There are so many aspects to the marijuana discussion. If people want an overview, that's what this is for."

 

The theme for this year's conference is "The World of Tomorrow." Speakers include doctors, lawyers, legislators, investors, consumers, and business owners who will focus on topics like job creation, economic development, the future of Arizona's medical-marijuana program, and different models for regulating personal use.

 

Says Downing: "We all see a giant shift in policy coming."

 

Sponsored by Vapen Clear, Weedmaps, and New Times, the conference kicks off Friday, October 14, at the Phoenix Convention Center with a Cannabis Boot Camp presented by Medicine Man Technologies that will teach attendees about cultivation, dispensary laws and licensing, marketing, making marijuana edibles, and more.

 

"It's like going to college," Downing says. "Like going to business school."

 

More than 300 exhibitors will fill the hall, and more than 60 guest speakers from the industry are slated to speak, including include former NFL defensive end Marvin Washington, pain-management specialist Dr. David Tonkin, AZ NORML director Mikel Weisser, and cannabis chef Payton Curry.

 

Washington will participate in a panel on cannabis-derived alternatives to prescription painkillers.

"A lot of athletes are using CBD [cannabidiol, one of the least psychoactive chemical compounds in cannabis] for pain management instead of Percocet and Vicodin," Washington explains. "I'm not saying [opioids] don't work — they do work — but the side effects are too numerous to name, and if you're on that opiate prescription routine for 10 to 12 years, once your NFL career is over it's kind of hard to stop."

 

Tonkin, a Springfield, Missouri-based physician, will speak on the pain-management panel as well. "We've done studies in our clinics and given CBD to patients, and their opioid consumption has gone down by 30 to 60 percent," Tonkin says. "That's great for the patient, so you don't have to write [prescriptions] for so many narcotics. The risk of overdose or addiction goes down quite a bit."

 

Downing says last year's conference drew about 6,000 attendees; this year, he expects up to 8,000 visitors, perhaps including a smattering of state legislators, whom Downing says are all invited. "A number of Democratic legislators have expressed that they're attending," he says.

 

"Regardless of whether politicians agree or not, there is going to be access [to cannabis]," Downing adds. "Once it's transparent, accountable, taxed, and regulated, then people can begin to talk about it."

 

The Southwest Cannabis Conference & Exhibition takes place October 14-16 at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street. Tickets cost $99 per person for Friday's Cannabis Boot Camp; a one-day pass for Saturday or Sunday costs $50; two-day passes are $75. Visit swccexpo2016.com for more information.

 

 

Pheonix News Times, Niki D'Andrea

October 13 2016

 

Medicine Man (MDCL): Building a Leading Cannabis Brand Warehouse

 

CFN Media Interview with Brett Roper, Founder and COO of Medicine Man Technologies (MDCL)

The cannabis industry in the United States is expected to reach $50 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Cowen & Co., which represents more than eight times its current size. Given the high level of legal uncertainty and relative newness, the industry remains highly fragmented with a large number of small companies and few large companies. These dynamics have left the door open for innovators to build future billion dollar companies.

 

In this article, we will take a look at one company that has already built a name for itself in cannabis consulting and plans to become the leading brand warehouse.

 

Building a Base in Consulting

Andy Williams and his brother Pete Williams started Medicine Man in December of 2009 to become the Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) of marijuana. Six years later, the iconic Colorado dispensary became a $17 million per year juggernaut and the founders decided to branch out by partnering with Brett Roper (co-founder and COO of MDCL) to provide cannabis consulting and branding services to cultivators, dispensaries, and other cannabis companies throughout the U.S.

 

Medicine Man Technologies Inc. (OTCQB: MDCL) began in April 2014 as a consulting practice designed to help aspiring cannabis companies build their businesses. By leveraging their experience running a Tier III cultivator and dispensary in Colorado, the company has already helped clients across many states (Medicine Man Technologies currently has 19 active clients in 11 states including Puerto Rico) develop similar operations, as well as other companies obtain licenses in states where the drug has been legalized.

 

These consulting agreements not only provided the company with early revenue, but also positioned them as a market leader and created a valuable database of contacts for the next phase of its business – to become a ‘brand warehouse’ for the cannabis industry. With all of the pieces in place, the company is now looking to expand into this new vertical and diversify away from purely consulting to deliver significant value to shareholders.

 

Becoming a ‘Brand Warehouse’

Medicine Man Technologies’ long-term goal is to become a leading ‘brand warehouse’ for the cannabis industry in much the same way that Procter & Gamble Inc. (NYSE: PG) has become a brand leader in consumer care products. By leveraging its public company status, the company plans on making a series of strategic acquisitions of valuable cannabis brands across the value chain, ranging from packaging to nutrients to production.

 

These acquisitions would not be rebranded under the Medicine Man name, but rather, keep their own brand equity that has built up over the years. At the same time, the acquired companies will realize significant gains through economies of scale by being under the same roof. A great example is the company’s August announcement of plans to acquire Pono Publications and Success Nutrients, which have lighting and nutrient products on the market. A couple of weeks earlier, Medicine Man announced an agreement in principle to acquire Capital G LTD, a holding company for the Funk Sac, Odorno, and Commodigy brands.

 

The goal with these acquisitions is to build a seed-to-sale portfolio of products and services that it can offer in conjunction with its consulting services. By doing so, the company is able to help aspiring cannabis companies do everything from obtaining licensing and establishing best practices to acquiring the right equipment and technologies to becoming operational and grow their business over the long run or, as the company itself puts it in the mission statement, Medicine Man Technologies is a family of brands revolutionizing the cannabis industry.

 

Most recently their new cultivation partnership should allow the company’s clients to achieve cultivation performance metrics in the three-plus pounds-per-light range, or 600 grams per square foot of flower canopy, in an industry that has in the past considered two pounds-per-light and 300 grams per square foot of flower canopy to be strong performance. This new service is now referred to as Cultivation MAX, and MDCL already has new clients in the California marketplace desiring to improve their results in a similar manner.

 

Looking Ahead

Medicine Man Technologies represents a compelling opportunity within the cannabis industry. With existing revenue and a growing client list from consulting, the company is well positioned to capitalize on the next phase of its business plan and become a leading ‘brand warehouse’ within the cannabis sector. The company has already started making acquisitions across the value chain and aims to become a one-stop shop for cannabis companies.

 

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.medicinemantechnologies.com or visit their profile on CannabisFN at http://www.cannabisfn.com/mdc/medicine-man/.

 

 

Ryan Allway | CFN Media Group

October 3 2016

 

Additional Stories

 

Matt Koesters | WCPO contributor (September 25 2016) Could marijuana become a treatment for heroin addicts?

 

ABC 6 On Your Side, By Liz Bonis, WKRC (September 8 2016) Can medical marijuana help addicts transition off heroin and opioids?

 

Cleveland.com (September 8 2016) Colorado marijuana businesses optimistic about Ohio medical marijuana law (video)

 

Forbes Magazine (August 27, 2016) Act 16 legalized Medical Marijuana in PA! How Long Till Patients Have Access?

 

Forbes Magazine (August 27, 2016) Four Cannabis Entrepreneurs Share Their Strangest Moments

 

New Cannabis Ventures (August 12, 2016) Medicine Man Technologies to Issue $12.6mm in Stock to Buy Pono Publications and Success Nutrients

 

The Denver Post (July 28, 2016) Marijuana industry ditches burnout image for "suit and tie" approach to DNC

 

Leafbuyer (July, 2016) Leafbuyer presents The 2016 Power List

 

OEN OpEdNews.com (June 27, 2016) Pot-Powered Family Business, Growing Like a Weed in Denver

 

Sprout News (May 11,2016) Medicine Man Technologies Knows How To Launch Your Dispensary

 

Philly Voice (May 20, 2016) - This weekend, the business of pot comes to Philly

 

Inc. ( April 20, 2016) - The Marijuana Business Is Really the Real Estate Business

 

MJINews - Marijuana Investor News (April 15, 2016) Medicine Man Technologies Inc. Shows A Profit In Its First Full Year Of Operations

 

Marijuana Business Daily (April 14, 2016) With Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana a Reality, Attention Turns to Regulations

 

New Cannabis Ventures ( April 2, 2016) 7 Experts Discuss Best Practices On Taking Your Cannabis Company Public

 

PR NewsWire (March 23, 2016) Medicine Man Technologies to Present at MoneyShow Cannabis Investing Virtual Event on March 30

 

New Cannabis Ventures (March 23, 2016) Cannabis Investing Virtual Event Features Canopy Growth, MassRoots and Medicine Man Technologies

 

US News and World Reports (March 17, 2016) How to Invest in Marijuana Legalization

 

Marijuana Business Daily (January 5, 2016) A Look Ahead: Marijuana Retail, Cultivation & Industry Trends to Watch in 2016

 

Westword (September 14, 2015 )Taking Stock of Colorado's Marijuana Industry - Westword Magazine article about Medicine Man Technologies becoming a publicly traded company

 

CFN Media Group CFN Interview with Andy Williams - CEO of Medicine Man

 

CNN (January 24, 2015) Colorado's Booming Marijuana Industry - Medicine Man was featured in this recent CNN story about our Grow Technology.

 

The Denver Post (January 19, 2014): Family-owned pot shop in Denver seeks to become national player

 

The Denver Post (June 15, 2014): Reluctance of banks leaves pot shops looking for secure practices

 

TIME Magazine: Pot's Money Problem

 

Playboy: Chronic Insecurity

 

Denver Business Journal: Colorado's dispensaries will be its first recreational marijuana sellers as well

 

Orlando Business Journal: 5 ways to capitalize on medical marijuana

 

Natural Products Insider: Recreational Marijuana: How One Denver Dispensary Is Soaring to New Highs

 

Slate.com: A Look at Medicine Man, One of Colorado's Largest Marijuana Dispensaries

 

Fox 31 Denver: Colorado pot pioneers will soon rake in the green

 

BBC News Tour: Inside a Colorado marijuana factory

 

NBC's Today Show: Medicine Man Denver on The Today Show 1-27-14

 

Katie Couric Show: Katie Couric Goes Inside a Marijuana Store