WeedWorthy News Network

Hot off the press cannabis, marijuana, cbd and hemp news from around the world on the WeedWorthy News Network.

“I knew Prop 64 would pass, and that was fine with me,” recalls Rev. James K. McKnight, Pastor of the Congregationalist Church of Christian Fellowship in South Central Los Angeles, where low-level cannabis convictions are among the highest in the state. “The law promised social equity, social justice, second chances."

But no one told him it was going to take years to take effect.

The state of Missouri is investigating a St. Louis company that it says approved 600 fake medical marijuana certifications.

The state believes Lou Moynihan, 33, knew or participated in the fraudulent activity that likely occurred through telemedicine visits when the company, WeedCerts, launched last year.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the state said someone improperly used Dr. Allison Medlin's name to certify patients.

Medlin said she only learned someone was forging her signature when a WeedCerts patient called asking for her medical records.

Hundreds of patients are now scrambling to recertify and the integrity of Missouri's medial marijuana patient-approval process is in question.

Six months in, the supply concerns continue for adult-use cannabis sales at Nature’s Treatment of Illinois in Milan.

While some of it is an understandable growing pain of a state wading into recreational sales, Matt Stern, CEO and NTI’s owner, continues to point to the way the state set up its industry.

Major cannabis companies such as Green Thumb Industries, with a cultivation center in Rock Island, are what’s known as multi-state operators, or vertically-integrated businesses that grow cannabis and own retail dispensaries to sell it.

So an independent dispensary like Nature’s Treatment of Illinois, with its original Milan location and its second location in Galesburg, is at the mercy of cultivators.

The General Assembly recently passed a bill to help police enforce marijuana laws without hindering the state’s young hemp farming industry.

But prosecutors and police say it won’t change how they handle suspected marijuana cases.

Cannabis was already a challenging marketplace driven by regulatory requirements and gray areas on both the federal and state level. Then the pandemic hit in 2020, upending PR and marketing planning for businesses large and small. All the PR efforts that may have been effective last year or even at the beginning of this year have very likely stopped working due to everything that’s going on. With everything is in constant flux, how can cannabis businesses effectively reach their desired target audiences, let alone determine the right messaging? It’s a delicate balancing act even at the best of times, but it can be done by following a few key guidelines. Here are five tips for maximizing your PR efforts in today’s world.

How Can These Two Pot Stocks Prove Their Stability to Investors?

Since the inception of Cannabis & Tech Today, we’ve spoken with industry-leading female entrepreneurs to discover their secrets for success. In this exclusive panel, they share their concerns, their advice, and their experiences as some of the first women to pioneer the space.

What’s one of the biggest issues you would fix in the cannabis industry?

Shanel Lindsay is the inventor of the NOVA decarboxylator and the founder of Ardent Cannabis. Image courtesy Shanel Lindsay.

Accountability is a long-term goal for industries that are intrinsically tied to racial justice. Cannabis is one of those industries.

While it seems the news cycle has possibly shifted its focus from the Black Lives Matter movement to other issues, righting systematic wrongs is still an important ongoing responsibility for entrepreneurs within the cannabis and hemp industries. That's why one group of business owners is inspiring cannabis to stay the course with The Accountability List.

A Detailed Look at Cannabis Sales in California, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada

MCN examines the factors affecting the falling value of cannabis stocks and investigates whether investing in the industry is worth the risk in 2020.

Growth opportunities remain in cannabis, but it requires creativity, enterprise and knowledge, according to top investors.

Take this for an investing conundrum: Where do you put your money in an industry with enormous upside but where many companies don’t yet make profits? An industry where some states consider it “essential business” but the country considers its product illegal? Or an industry where the illicit market is potentially three times bigger than legal sales?

Welcome to cannabis investing, where massive potential and heartbreak live side by side. But opportunity does exist for savvy players, even amid a global pandemic that threatens practically every American business sector.

Ontario’s privately-run cannabis stores will no longer be permitted to deliver or offer curbside pickup once an emergency order issued by the province in response to COVID-19 expires.

“As our province carefully moves towards recovery, the (emergency order) to temporarily allow for cannabis retail curbside pickup and delivery will end when the declaration of emergency expires, along with other temporary measures that had been put in place to support people and business during the public health emergency,” said Richard Clark, communications director for Ontario's Finance Minister, in an emailed statement.

Part of building a returning customer base is investing in a company brand; however, dispensaries in legal markets across are regulated differently state-by-state, limiting the options for traditional marketing, such as radio or TV ads, billboards, distribution of brochures in public spaces, and more.

In many states, retailers are permitted to sell merchandise donning cannabis company logos and other branding—such as clothing, mugs, rolling papers, vaporizers and other products. Retailers are using those opportunities to their advantage to increase awareness beyond their dispensary doors.   

A Detailed Look at Cannabis Sales in Illinois, Maryland and Massachussetts

We are pleased to share with our readers overviews on three Eastern cannabis markets compiled by BDSA for the month of April. BDSA offers a full understanding of the evolving cannabis market though several offerings, including its GreenEdge Retail Sales Tracking, Consumer Insights, Industry Intelligence and CBD Market Monitor divisions.

As Arkansas’ medical marijuana industry blossoms, with the state issuing more licenses for cultivation centers and dispensaries to serve more than 60,000 authorized Arkansas patients, cultivators are pushing back against a narrative that short wholesale supplies have kept prices too high for some patients to buy.

“The argument for issuing additional grow licenses was based on the idea that cultivators charge too much for cannabis,” one grow operation executive told Arkansas Business. “They said basically that there’s no supply and patients can’t get their medicine. That’s simply not true. We welcome competition and the issuing of new licenses, but not under a false premise.”

Cannabis is legal in a majority of states but remains illegal at the federal level. This legislative divide creates uncertainties that dissuade most federally regulated banks from servicing the cannabis industry. With banking providers in short supply, cannabis businesses are struggling to earn and maintain the same access to financial services as their peers in traditional retail industries.

Cannabis and its derivative products are all the rage right now. State after state legalizes its recreational use and dispensaries all over the country are making loads of money. The medicinal aspects of the plant are also heavily taken advantage of by big pharmaceutical companies, with new, branded drugs being released with cannabis as their primary component. 

Your company’s records are the most reliable way to prove business growth and regulatory compliance. While you might claim that your company has experienced exponential growth, you need evidence to back it up. Savvy investors (the kind with whom you want to business) aren’t going to take your word for it alone. Nor will the government. But both will require proof, which makes a strong records retention process a critical piece to any cannabis operation.

So, what needs to be recorded, and how do you take the pain out of the process? Here are four tips for successful records retention.

The U.S. Hemp Industries Association (HIA) has appointed two new members to its board of directors. HIA named Tim Gordon, Chief Science Officer at CBD maker Functional Remedies, and Todd Runestad, an editor at the New Hope Network & Natural Products Insider website, to board positions, the Association announced in a press release.

“The addition of these two on our already stellar board creates the foundation needed as hemp industries expand globally,” said HIA President Rick Trojan of Colorado-based Hemp Road Trip.