Friday, November 14, 2014

Legal Issues

My father was a character (he taught himself to drive by taking cars for a 'test drive' off a sales lot and gave me a unique set of rules growing up. Rule 1. Don't get caught. Rule 2. Run real fast. Rule 3. Have a good lawyer. Rebelling is a good thing. Because of my father's example, I became a very, honest individual. I do keep in the back of my mind a collection of 'Good Lawyers'. They are useful. It seems like the Jerk factory is working overtime and not enough people want to settle disagreements like adults. The best one that I have encountered in Washington State for the Cannabis Industry would be Benjamin Schuster.
I met Benjamin Schuster with the Washington Cannabis Institute. He knows law and doesn't hide behind perception, behind organizations. This is the person that I do my best to call when I have time available in Seattle because he has a great brain for this. He is one of the best people to know in the industry. You can reach Ben at 206-818-0564 or ben@nwcannabislaw.com.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Get it Dry and move it out

I have done everything from sun drying on screens to thousands of feet of industrial dryers. As a kid on my grandparents strawberry farm, we took screens and saw horses and dried berries. As an adult, I dried hundreds of thousands of pounds of apples commercially. Dehydrating consumables has been around since the dawn of time. Time can be money and if you have more things than to watch buds dry then I want you to look at dehydration.

Artificial dehydration is easy as everything is uniform. It literally works like this: Hot air + time = moisture loss through a membrane. Hot air holds more moisture than cold air. If you go too fast then risk shocking the membrane. (It's like searing a steak). The nonconformity of organic material makes it challenging and brings artistry to science. You put in controls and adjustments and that compensates for the seemingly random nature of vegetation.

The secret to stopping bacteria and mildew is moisture control. Living Cannabis plants have about 80% water. Fungi likes product with more than 15% moisture. If it is below 10% then it is brittle and can break apart. (Depending on what you are doing this low moisture level may be desired!)The sweet spot is between 10% and 15%. You want this moisture level uniform throughout the product.

Most are afraid of oven drying because it can lead to harsh product. (Remember that seared steak I was talking about?) Even grey mold dies if plants are carefully and quickly dried. Oven-cured pot rots less than air or sweat-cured crops. The risk is oxidizing the THC and reducing its potential. I am not going to tell you all of the secrets. The recommendations that I have seen is keep it below 200 Fahrenheit and no longer than 10 minutes under heat.

When you start adding checks to the moisture level, you will see some things happen. You will find out that it does not dry in a uniform manner. There will be plateaus where your pot keeps the same moisture for a long time and valleys where it dries quickly. A hot product will speed up extraction of moisture while increased airflow will pull it from the outside. There are limits to drying product.

Just like growing, controlling the environment, you control the quality of your product. What happens to your process if it is raining or temperature is below freezing? Are you checking the moisture content of the air? How are you maintaining the moisture level? By asking and answering questions, you create a process for excellent finished product.

There is even machines like the CannTrol Vulcan 50 which is designed to go into a 1300 square foot room and dry 50 lbs of weed in 7 to 10 business days. If you have $20K extra and quality smokable product in about a 1/3 of the time then this is an option.

If you have product that is hanging around for weeks in drafty warehouse then you are not making money and you are just exposing yourself to risk. Look at improving your drying process.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Halloween Edition

As a dad with an eight year old, I have the time of my life with Halloween. We dress up in costumes, carve pumpkins, trick or treat. We love the holiday. It is a tradition. Heck, even my parents met on a Halloween. I was wondering how legalized marijuana was going to effect this holiday.

I started looking around. How many poisoning in the last 50 or so years? The truth in the matter is that the odds of encountering doped candy from a stranger is close to winning the lottery twice, the same day. Until 2000, there hadn't been a single case of a stranger tampering with candy and getting a child sick. It just doesn't happen. The one that sparks the biggest fear was from an insurance fraud case in 1974.

Edibles from a 502 Retailer have labeling guidelines. They will look something like the cookie to the left with the dosage and information clearly marked. What are the odds that someone is going to slip your kid a $40 cookie when spending $7 for a bag of little Snickers bars to hand out seems like a lot. If you want to take a look at the requirements then look at 314-55-105. It is a pretty ugly base and doesn't look like your typical Halloween candy.

So go out have fun this holiday. Halloween is one of the safest holidays out there (be watchful of traffic). Legal Marijuana will have little impact on Halloween except for fear driven posts. Here a video to share:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Croptober Fest!!! Oct 25


Did you go to Hempfest? How about Cannabis Cup? Who wants a event closer to home? The 25th is fast approaching. In what you save in gas, you can meet some of the people that are changing the Cannabis Industry here in Washington State. Yes, there are both Medical and Recreational businesses here so it is an excellent networking resource.


Cause M is a great group. I have been trading information with them for a few months and got to meet them for the first time at the Spokane CCSE mixer. I have attended a few of their meetings on Wednesday nights and you really never know who is going to pop in with some ground breaking information. Last weeks meeting, we worked on selecting what was important for this next legislative session.

The location for Croptober is:

Yakima Valley Hop & Brew Supply
702 N 1st Ave
Yakima, WA 98902

Tickets: Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 12:30 PM to 11:30 PM (PDT)
Don't Bogart this info, share and get involved.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Why I hate the excise tax on 502 and why you should too.

It drives revenue to the state and this is a great thing. A lot of money to the state, Spokane Review estimates $25,000,000 by next July. As I became involved with the industry and found more professionals, I could see some serious problems that are not thought out. Some people have leapt without understanding a How do excise taxes impact the business owner with a sole proprietor or LLC Corporation? Where is it going to be spent?

1. The Excise Tax is part of your gross receipts. It is not written off so you pay more for your insurance policy. I had a client come to me yesterday with a story of another agent telling him to exclude the excise tax from his gross receipt. The simplest way is the amount of money to get product out the door is your gross receipt.
2. The business owner has to list the tax with the IRS as profit. That’s right say hello to higher income taxes to the Feds. The comfort is that when you retire, you will enjoy the higher contribution that you made if Social Security is still around.
3. Say goodbye to reduced Health Insurance Premiums if you are planning on using the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) on the individual level. The figures are based on your income level so if you have a modest production that you are paying $100,000 in taxes and squeezed out $15,000 in personal income instead of no cost health insurance then you are paying the full amount. Since the Health Insurance is in a transition figuring out premium levels for the next couple of years this could mean thousands if you are an older citizen or have a large family. Your staff can get some great benefits for low cost however whoever is taking the tax burden will be paying higher premiums for their health insurance.

I have known several successful entrepreneurs in the medical marijuana industry stay away from Recreational for some of those three reasons. You can find me at CCSE, Cause M and other organizations for the industry talking about how to improve your Cannabis business. I spend money and time to help hire lobbyist to get the laws written to improve our industry.

My biggest beef is that 50% of the funds go to a program that ended in 2013 and the legislatures are fighting over which special interest receives the funds. It is Cannabis money and It needs to be put to a good use. If this isn’t a reason for rewriting laws then I don’t know what is.

If the excise tax stays in place then the Recreational Cannabis Industry will struggle with profits. If it moves to a pass through tax then at least the business owners have some tools for the profitability of their business that other industries have the luxury to use. Get involved with professionals in the Industry. Time is running out and a lot of work has to be done to create functional laws. Help keep the dream alive by owning your business.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pizza and Cannabis; that is a no brainer if I ever heard of one, food that mellows you out with both carbohydrates and THC. Even Peyton Manning has talked about how well his pizza places are doing thanks to Colorado’s recreational marijuana laws. In a recent interview, Peyton states, ‘There’s some different laws out here in Colorado. Pizza business is pretty good out here, believe it or not, due to some recent law changes’ So what if you want to create the fusion of Cannabis Pizza? What are our options?

1. Who wants a road trip to Mega Ill in Vancouver, BC? They put together a marijuana friendly establishment serving pizza. A patient owned establishment where other patients can relax and medicate.
2. To a dispensary near you. Podey Pizza is selling sauce, the world’s first cannabis infused pizza sauce. They are in dispensaries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington State and Colorado. A 5 ounce jar for only $20 containing 300 mg of medical cannabis per jar. The owner says the sauce is slightly sweet and uses tomatoes mixed with cannabis laced safflower oil.
3. Go down to your local access point and get yourself some Ghee or infused oil and go to town. To make pizza all you need is some bread like substance, a sauce, cheese and some toppings. Don’t go too heavy with the meds replace the oils with an appropriate amount. When I get bored, I can slap a pizza together and do it over a bed of coals in a Dutch oven so all the flavors fuse together.

Unfortunately, the current I502 guidelines for processors does not allow for the creation of pizzas. Ie. No dairy, not self-stable, no oil blends etc. It may be a while before the restrictions are eased. So you are going to need some help if are a customer at the I502 retail stores.

One of the groups that are working on those guidelines is the CCSE. There is a meet up this Friday in Spokane. If you want things like Cannabis Pizza available from a Retail store then you should check it out. If you want to find more meds for your access point then you want to check it out. Oh yeah, I am making the drive from Central Washington so say hi and be friendly.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Do not wait too long to order packaging.

With product getting ready to be harvested and Holiday season looms closer, we are getting down to the wire to have custom printing being done. Referrals help every small business so let them know Matt sent you . I did project management for 6 years with Banta MDC and have talked shop with them directly or their team members. We are at the edge of the Christmas Season for printing so it may be tricky to get a print run in. If they behave poorly then let me know and I will drop them from my list of referrals.

1. I would talk with Mike Norberg with Emerald City Graphics. He can be reached by cell at 206-898-4378 or email at miken@emeraldcg.com. I used them 15+ years ago for Microsoft jobs and he brought them into the cannabis industry.

2. The box maker, Constance Langigan is the sales supervisor 877-991-1295 or Conniel@boxmaker.com. They have one of my favorite presses on the coast and I have used them. It is the same type that Leo used in Catch Me if You Can. Great resource if you are going with the labels. I ran into this crew at Cannacon and I have used them in the past for a lot for specialized runs because of their quality.

3. Joe Holden with High Quality Packaging, I met at Cannabis Cup and he was up from California. His website is www.hqpackaging.com. His email is joeholden@hqpackaging.com. His phone number is 909-568-3573. He had generic bags that were ready to go with a sealer and a label and you would be set.

If you need a graphic artist for a logo or design, I have been using Sarah Steever. She and her partner dropped off the corporate life to build their own business from an RV in the woods. They have been doing web and design for years. She can be reached at 360-402-2674. Yes, she did my logo, website and set up my email.

I have had more than one call from a panicked processor and packaging is just part of the process Do not wait until the last minute and expect an miracle. If it seems overwhelming then give me a call and I can give you some pointers. I won't run your projects but I can help you with some of my experences.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Veterans and Pot

I was at the Seattle Cannabis Cup last weekend and made it a point to catch the panel for Veterans. I am a Desert Storm Veteran and there are a bunch of us in the industry. The panelists were an interesting selection from Michigan and Vancouver. It really needed some local flavor. With some panelists who wore lab coats and some that wore combat boots. It was great finding guys that have walked a mile in my boots. I went almost 20 years without knowing anyone from my unit was still alive. There have been times where I have adopted other brother in arms to keep them or myself moving forward. It is rough to get through however with work our brothers don’t have to go through the destruction that we did.
This is important. If you or a loved one is experiencing PTSD then get some help. Seriously, most of us walk away because of not wanting to deal with more service crap. I am going to tell you that waking up with night terrors suck, getting a flashback from a laser rock show sucks, constantly scanning crowd’s sucks, and feeling negative about everything sucks, etc. If you want to end the world of suck or help end the world of suck then you are going to need help.

I want to talk first about Steven Lull and Dakota Serna. They are out of Michigan and have a great cause. Help, healing Veteran’s with music and medical marijuana. If you can send their Green Union project some love then please do. Their Facebook page. It was rough hearing about the same BS on how poorly Veterans are treated by the VA and the end result of having to walk away and do self-treatment. There are only a few Veterans that will talk about those problems of attempting to drown problems with booze and pills only destroy our lives. Yes, in my 20s I had two people quit drinking because they tried to keep up with my drinking. Some of us found other ways to heal ourselves.
The big question, How do we get Dr Sue Sisley to Washington state to do research? She was at the edge of doing clinical research on the effects of Cannabis on PTSD veterans that were not responding to treatment. She had the money and ready to go when a non-veteran politican decided to do everything in his power to get her fired and the research terminated. With I502 in place and tax money rolling in, 50% was suppose to go to Washington Basic Health. That program went away in 2013 as the Affordable Care Act went into place. We could use the funds to support a Washington Cannabis Research or even help support low income medical patients purchase medical cannabis. What about putting our industry's money to use for what it was intended, people needing healthcare?
The three big things that can help a Veteran get out of the world of pain that is PTSD.
1. Fellowship. The more that you are plugged into a community then the better off you will be. The darkest hours will be when you are alone or even worse with people who haven’t seen the terror that man can create. I cannot stress how important it is to find a battle buddy to pull you through when you feel you can’t get up. There will be times that they help you and times that you help them.
2. Cannabis. This can help. It has something to do with Cannabinoids and how they interact with the human body. The National Cancer Institute recognizes benefits of Cannabis.The US Government is starting to study how Marijuana affects PTSD. There are strains that work better than others for PTSD. Why do we have fewer suicides with Cannabis use? Why do we have fewer deaths Opioid deaths with Cannabis use?
3. When you make it up to your feet, it is your duty to help the other guy up. Seriously, service doesn’t stop when you make it to the big PX. We all break but are only broken if we stop helping out.

One of the most therapeutic times in my life was when I spent in Clear Lake California. We ran chainsaws and cut fire wood during the day. After we sold our firewood, we would head to the Eagles for a cold beer. At night around the campfire we would blaze up under the stars and talk about what ever demons would come into our head before we crawled in our bedding to start the cycle again. It didn’t matter that my buddies were from a different war or different ages. It mattered that we could share the experience and move forward in our lives after leaving there.
We need to keep more Veterans alive and healthy. We need more groups that are willing to work with Veterans and PTSD. I don’t talk about it much because remembering the world of suck because it does hurt. It hurts but I can still keep going. If it helps one more of my brothers and sisters to keep going, one more legislature to adopt a friendly position for the cannabis industry or a doctor to try and ease a patients suffering then I have helped another Veteran get closer to standing on their feet.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hey, I needed to shout out to CCSE. The last meeting had some very good details. If the Cannabis Industry then this is the group to be in. During the meeting here were some highlights.

1. Erik Johansen from the Washington State Department of Agriculture talked about how they determined their approved list. It is not an easy task as they have to work with the Liquor Control Board (they regulate because of Initiative 502) and Washington State Department of Health (they regulate because of Initiative 692) it was important that not every organic product is on this list. Pest do happen and how a grower handles it can affect the end result.
2. Jon Davis talked about 3 major issues:
a. Department of Revenue issuing letters for taxes. There are two out there and then they will be springing into enforcement to collect revenue. This is a major way to be shut down.
b. Puget Sound Clean Air requires a permit in 4 counties. If you are growing in one of the four counties that they enforce then get the permit. Smell is treated as an environmental issue. This is another way that an operation can be shut down.
c. There is a thief that has hit a few locations. He got to watch him struggle on the video playback. Keep your alarms operating and product in a safe after hours. (This meets the conditions if you have your product insured for theft).
3. If you have gone through licensing for a I502 site and want to talk about it then contact the CCSE because next meeting there will be several people talking about their experiences.

Cannabis Cup 2014. Is this weekend Sept 6 and 7th. It is at the Comcast Arena (2000 Hewitt Ave, Everett)
In Denver 40,000 attended. It will have a ton of stuff for the industry. Doors open at noon on Saturday
I am planning on attending a couple of panels including ‘The Military Veteran and Cannabis’ and ‘The Art of Edibles’. I will be meeting a couple of business partners so let me know if you need me to keep an eye out for something. I am keeping things on the cheap and have an air mattress in Bothell to take care of the accommodations.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The next Generation of Retailers

Last Saturday, I got a golden ticket from Green Star Cannabis in Spokane. It allowed me to cut to the front of the line. I had to check it out. My wife and I jumped in our car and drove from Wenatchee to Spokane. What would make me drive 170 miles, when there is a retail shop across the river? This is what I found.
The owner is an active participant in building industry. He worked with the LCB throughout the entire process. He hand-picked his staff of bud tenders for their skills. He picked a clever location. He worked with insurers, producers, processer and the medical side. He designed the entire shopping experience for the customer.
Some of the examples:
1. The store is located at 1403 N Division Street. It is in a little mall setting with a Pizza Pipeline and a Krav Maga studio. Yes, it is with in hopping distance of munchies supplies.
2. The store has a very open floor structure with plenty of staff on the floor. We were able to get one on one service. All of the Cannabis supplies are kept behind a locked cage. This keeps his staff safe from any type of smash and grabs. As an insurance guy this makes me doubly happy.
3. While I was there the owner had a local producer stop by. The grower is months away from starting however they maintain a positive relationship. He is moving from cash only to business standards of invoices and purchase orders. The producer understood how to set price based on cost of goods instead of picking a random number.
4. Price is why he wins. He was the first one that I saw with $12 a gram. It was such a price that we went had lunch and came back. This was a mid range THC at about 1/2 the cost of other stores that I have seen. How was he able to do what everyone said was months away?

It is real simple. The owner is a professional that surrounds himself with other professionals and is growing the industry. He could be running a cheese store and his business principles would carry through and make him successful. If you want to see a successful shop up and running then Green Star in Spokane is where you want to be.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Producter/Processor Boost

I got a call from one of my I502 growers in Northern Washington State. He was wondering what I saw that impacted him from Cannacon: 1. It is time to stop running with Scissors guys. Check out this wand trimmer. It is like giving your flowers a buzz cut with all the trim going neatly into a vacuum. EZtrim is out of Colorado and makes quick work of your buds. I got to meet James who is the fabricator and he had to admitt that this was one of the coolest things he has ever built.
2. Have you seen the ziplock looking bags in some of the stores? Does your product deserve something better? I have used the presses at Emerald City over 15 years ago for Microsoft. Mike Norberg can be reached by cell at 206-898-4378 or email at miken@emeraldcg.com. Mike is fellow processor and has helped produce some quality packaging. He is also a member of CCSE so do not be affraid to ask. 3. Leafbuyer.com works well for the Medical but it can also be applied on the recreational. (A dispensory that has frequent discounts, will want to use this). What happens when you develop the next Skywalker and want to share it to the world. These are the guys that you want to work with. 4. I want you to be thinking of fillers. We had a gentleman run through the CCSE booth on Thursday that talked about fillers that were accurate for 1 oz weight fills. They were getting up to 12 fills a minute so your slow point will be your sealer. This is the type of automation that you want to be looking at:
What you do, is split the line and have multiple sealers. There are many of us that understand automation in Eastern Washington. An Experenced mechanic that can help set up your line is worth their weight in gold, be sure to take into account cleaning equipment. I saw more than one piece of machinery that would have left things a mess for clean up. If you are doing a mono harvest tier 1 or any of the tier 2s and 3s then you need to automat quickly or else your operation will consume large ammounts of labor.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Spokane with Retail

This Saturday, August 23st starting at 9:00am to 9:00 pm Green Star Cannabis will be open!They are a state licensed Retail STore open to the public and can serve anyone 21 or older. The location is: 1403 North Division, Suite A; Spokane, WA The phone number is 509-919-3398 The Web is www.greenstarcan.com Sam is a great guy and I have been waiting patently for his launch for a few months now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Medical Marijuana in Central Washington

I got grilled the other day on how to get medical marijuana. There are a ton of reasons. To give you an idea here is one such list that I found:
Agoraphobia,
AIDS Related Illness,
Alcohol Abuse,
Alcoholism,
Alopecia Areata,
Amphetamine Dependency,
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS),
Angina Pectoris,
Ankylosis,
Anorexia,
Anorexia Nervosa,
Anxiety Disorders,
Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease,
Arthritis,
Asthma,
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD),
Autoimmune Disease,
Back Pain,
Back Sprain,
Bell's Palsy,
Bipolar Disorder,
Brain Tumor Malignant,
Bruxism,
Bulimia,
Cachexia,
Cancer,
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,
Cerebral Palsy,
Cervical Disk Disease,
Chemotherapy,
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,
Chronic Pain,
Chronic renal failure,
Cocaine Dependence,
Colitis,
Conjunctivitis,
Constipation,
Crohn's Disease,
Cystic Fibrosis,
Damage to Spinal Cord Nervous Tissue,
Degenerative Arthritis,
Delirium Tremens,
Diabetes,
Depression,
Diabetic Peripheral Vascular Disease,
Diarrhea,
Diverticulitis,
Dysthymic Disorder,
Eczema,
Emphysema,
Endometriosis,
Epididymitis,
Epilepsy,
Fibromyalgia,
Gastritis,
Genital Herpes,
Glaucoma,
Graves Disease,
Headaches, Cluster,
Headaches, Migraine,
Headaches, Tension,
Hemophilia A ,
Henoch-Schonlein Purpura,
Hepatitis C,
Hereditary Spinal Ataxia,
HIV/AIDS,
Hospice Patients,
Huntington's Disease,
Hypertension,
Hyperventilation,
Hypoglycemia,
Impotence,
Insomnia,
Inflammatory autoimmune-mediated arthritis,
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD),
Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED),
Intractable Vomitting,
Lipomatosis,
Lou Gehrig's Disease,
Lyme Disease,
Lymphoma,
Major Depression,
Malignant Melanoma,
Mania,
Melorheostosis,
Meniere's Disease,
Motion Sickness,
Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS),
Multiple Sclerosis (MS),
Muscle Spasms,
Muscular Dystrophy,
Myeloid Leukemia,
Nail-Patella Syndrome,
Nightmares,
Obesity,
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,
Opiate Dependence,
Osteoarthritis,
Panic Disorder,
Parkinson's Disease,
Peripheral Neuropathy,
Peritoneal Pain,
Persistent Insomnia,
Porphyria,
Post-traumatic arthritis,
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS),
Prostatitis,
Psoriasis,
Pulmonary Fibrosis,
Quadriplegia,
Radiation Therapy,
Raynaud's Disease,
Reiter's Syndrome,
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS),
Rheumatoid Arthritis,
Rosacea,
Schizoaffective Disorder,
Scoliosis,
Sedative Dependence,
Seizures,
Senile Dementia,
Severe Nausea,
Shingles (Herpes Zoster),
Sinusitis,
Skeletal Muscular Spasticity,
Sleep Apnea,
Spasticity,
Spinal Stenosis,
Sturge-Weber Syndrome (SWS),
Stuttering,
Tardive Dyskinesia (TD),
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ),
Tenosynovitis,
Thyroiditis,
Tic Douloureux,
Tietze's Syndrome,
Tinnitus,
Tobacco Dependence,
Tourette's Syndrome,
Trichotillomania,
Viral Hepatitis

I live in Central Washington and here is the quick for it.

1. Get a recomendation from a Doctor or pacticing physician. We have several groups in Central Washington to help out for a small fee. Patients for Patients Medical opertate in Wenatchee, Spokane, Kennewick and Yakima. Phone 888-204-1260 or email patientsforpatients114@gmail.com. Their prices range from $75 renewals to $120 for New w/o records. The other group that I know about is North Cascades Healing for $100 call 509-393-8706. Tracy is good peoples and is up in Wenatchee at least once a month.

2. Once you have your script, then keep it with you. A good collective or dispensory will check regularly. Everyone is different in products that they offer. The price and experence is very different than retail. To give you an example, I paid $20 for a prerolled and would have paid less than half of that at a medical marijuana location.

When in Seattle, I would check out Martin Martinez. He has been running Lifevine since 1998. I have heard him talk about growing at the Washington Cannabis Institute, a coupld of times. He is amazing.

In Wenatchee, Wenatchee Valley Holistic Health. They are located at 1415 S Wenatchee Ave. They have a full service smoke shop with patient Rewards Card and Assessories. The phone number is (509) 888-4170. I first met Pam at a Wenatchee City Council meeting.

In East Wenatchee, it goes with out saying the Chronic Releaf Center. I have known Dan and Christine for a few years now. They have a great selection of medibles. Check their freezer for icecream! They are at the top of Grant Road. Call (509) 415-1357.
Talk with your budtender to see what they recomend for your treatment. I am not going to get into the Indica verse Stavia arguement because I geek out on the insurance and business so that they can geek out on the meds. A little bit of Cannabis Education can go a long way.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Recreational Guide for Local Governments in Washington State

Have you seen this map?

Not every area is friendly to Recreational Marijuana in Washington State. Yes, there are uptight people when it comes to promoting business and are fearful of change. If you are in a yellow or red spot then changing local government is a priority. Even if a law suit does it's job and opens the area up, you will have potental spoilers in positions of power.
This brings me to Prosser. They have a store by the name of Altitude. My mother was down in Prosser for a Wine Tour and stayed in a hotel across the street. She was more than a little fascinated by it because they had a pretty steady traffic going in and out but when ever a local talked to her, they mentioned that 'they didn't know what they were going to do?' One of their group went over to take a look and was taken back by all of the 'No' signs that made it feel unfriendly.
The locals have instituted a Moratorium for more Cannabis Businesses going in and it seems to be a bit of a stand off from all parties.
So how as business owners do we bridge gaps in the communty? How do we make our store tourist friendly? How does a tourist safely consume? (hint, hint hotel owners). Here is an excellent oppertunity to expand the food, wine and weed tours and make an amazing desitination in Eastern Washington.
Oh by the way, when I showed my mom an Extractor, she has used them for years to extract oils from other plants and was even thinking of starting a side business. So if she gets serious, I will be sure find someone that can use her 50+ years of experience creating food products.
Have fun and never be surprised by the direction of business.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Some Final thoughts and cool products from Cannacon.

Saturday in Tacoma, I wanted to walk through the event as customer. My money went to support Cannacon and I didn't want special treatment. I asked two questions to make it simple. What seperates you from everyone else? and Why are you in the Cannabis Industry? I waded through many different vendors, packagagers, merchandizers, Point of Banking systems, other Insurance guys (yes, it is fun to talk with other guys to remind myself why I Insure the Cannabis Industry!) and a ton more. There was a wide varity of answers from some that started with healing themselves or a loved one with Marijuana to others that were there for the money. This is some of the collection of cool people doing cool things and not just for the money: 1. Scott Zabrek he can be reached at Scott@URVape.com. Why I recomend talking to Scott is really simple, Branded Vape Pens for $15 minimum order of 500. It is an easy way for any retailer or dispensory to set themselves appart with a quality item. He is out of Florida and can drop ship anywhere in the US. This is what his Unbranded Pen looks like:
2. Want to do some Extraction? I got to talk with Alex Winchester of Terpp Extractors .They use Open Source Plans and had some real Inexpesive gear to get going. If you were looking at trying to do an extraction for a first time or small batches then call Alex. 3. Paul Mihara of SpokaneOrganics@gmail.com 509-991-8180. Paul has 3 Indoor Growing Stores in Spokane. He has about 30 years under the lights and still had the smile on his face Saturday Night. Great person to know still has caluses on his hands. 4. Do you want an ATM in your Lobby? Do you want an ATM in your lobby that is serviced by professionals? Do you want one with a reasonable fee that you can collect a few quarters on each transaction? IAN Bolyard of NW ATM SERVICES LLC email at IAN@NWATMSERVICES.COM, phone 503-516-4320. Tell them that I sent you, he has some very sharp machines that can increase any businesses cash flow with out service problems. 5. Do you want a merchandzir to set up your glasswhere and products? You want to focus on your store and not inventory. Then Teri and Jonathan have a model that I call 'Instant Headshop'. For a fee they come in set up displays and then come in on a regular basis to restock and resupply and hand you an invoice for the goods that you sold. They order in bulk and pass the savings on to you. They run AlderEgo. 6. Check this out:
If you are not a 502 and want some really cool products then talk to Mark of Siddhi Bhang Infusions. He runs his shop out of White Salmon, WA and has product all up and down the I5 corridor. The takes methods that he learned in India and applies those traditions to everything he does. His product line can add some serious elligence to any storefront plus they make a great cup of coffee. 7. OK, Here is the last fun one for the day. Aquarius Cannabis I sat down with Jenna Schuck, the director of corporate communications for about 15 minutes. What if you love the industry and want to grow something recogized through out the West Coast? Using great processes to produce great products, they are going to move a ton of Cannabis. Some of it can be yours. They are looking for investors on both participation and financal side. If you want to be part of a Team in the Industry then here is your oppertunity. So that was some thoughts on the first Cannabis Trade show in Tacoma Washington. I have to thank the CCSE for letting help out at the booth. I recomend everyone checking them out and joining if you want to build the Cannabis Industry. It was great seeing the big daddy of Cannbis Insurance, Mike Aberle from MMD Insurance. Because of his compassion, I am able to do what I do and help out the Cannabis industry with Insurance.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Yesterday was another great day at Cannacon. I had a short shift but it was so valuable. I got to meet another of George's instructors! Jaitegh 'JT' Singh Esq was up from Florida! You never know on how big something is until you have a look from several different angles. I let him know that there was a Cannabis College Seminar going on right now in Portland. He was thinking of heading down to Pasadena to see a 420 College seminar on George's home turf because how awesome would it be to see where teaching about the cannabis industry began? The big questions that I was getting yesterday. 'How does Health Insurance fit with Medical Marijuana?' Since I am an expert in the state for both, I had to chime in a couple times about case law being set. (Yes you can talk with me about the Washington Health Exchange for those Insurance Questions as well.) Yes, that is correct there has been one where a judge ordered a health insurance company to pay for medical marijuana treatment. This is the breakdown: Back in May of 2014, Gregory Vialpando, was found by a doctor to suffer from "some of the most extremely high intensity, frequency, and duration of pain," out of thousands of patients he had seen, the ruling stated. The state's Court of Appeals voted unanimously on Monday to uphold a previous workers compensation court decision that also ruled in favor of the 55-year-old former mechanic, who suffered a lower back injury in 2000, according to court papers. The Santa Fe mechanic's former employer, Ben's Automotive Services, and its insurer, Redwood Fire & Casualty, had objected to reimbursing the man for using medical marijuana as treatment, citing the drug's illegality under federal law. Albuquerque attorney Peter White, who represents the mechanic, said he is not aware of any other state where a workers compensation board has approved a patient's reimbursement for medical marijuana. "It's an important decision for workers so seriously injured they would be bound to a lifetime of narcotic medications," White said. Tamar Todd, a staff attorney with the Drug Policy Alliance, said she had not heard of a similar ruling as this decision by the New Mexico Court of Appeals. "It might be fairly unique," she said. Medical pot is allowed in New Mexico and 20 other states as well as the District of Columbia, but it remains illegal under federal law. Voters in Washington state and Colorado in 2012 voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge James Wechsler's written opinion found the employer and its insurer failed to cite a specific federal law they would be forced to violate by reimbursing the man for his medical marijuana treatment. So yes in the insurance world, a few of us are looking at medical marijuana very seriously. It is one of the reasons that I do visit dispensaries and collective gardens, insure them and offer expert advice on how to protect and grow their business.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Doing the Right thing at Cannacon

If you are in the cannabis industry then you really should check it out. Today was day one of Cannacon in Tacoma, WA. A trade show for the Cannabis Industry a few years ago was unheard of. It is about 100 vendors offering different information about different aspects of the industry. There was staffing, banking services, security, production equipment, marketers. testing, etc. I saw a few old friends like Ed from Analytical360. He operates one of the Premier Labs for the Northwest. I first met Ed last year with George at Washington Cannabis Institute. With an industry so young and changing so quickly. It is important to keep abreast what is going on. The next seminar that George is running is in September in Seattle. The reason that I do these things for the community. I have volunteered about 12 hours this weekend to support the CCSE. They compliment my goals of moving the Cannabis Industry forward. Being a part of 200+ cannabis companies that are not only part of history but are creating history. It is awesome working with people instead of always being against competitors. There was also the announcement today by MMD Insurance that there is up to a 10% discount for members of the CCSE. I find it very cool getting that discount for people that are just starting out. I also told Lara that I would not be surprised to see 5 insurance guys sign up. We already had an agency ask. As you can see, I met a ton of people today. There was a few that I trying to meet for a while. Shout out to Blewett Group: I have been hearing good things all week from Jo and Tamara, it was good to put some faces to the stories. Culture Magazine. I have been promoting your stories for years and it was great finally meet some guys that have intereviewed two of our members. The most interesting was Russell McGregor from Olympia Hempfest. He had a great attitude in building community.I hope that I will be able to head down there this next year and show him some love. So the key thing is if you are not building and supporting community then what are you doing with your business? I would rather meet a ton of friends that I was able to help than to calculate everyone on a profit and loss statement.

Canna/Con

Day one!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014