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This week we attended the Portland Cannabis Creative Conference and it was, as the events in this industry tend to be, a lot of fun. The conference was attended about 600 folks, largely entrepreneurs with a handful of accredited investors. For my part, I went into the conference strictly looking to make some friends in the local industry, which went incredibly well.

There were rather few public companies in attendance; both Surna (OTC: SRNA) and General Cannabis (OTC: CANN) were present, with General Cannabis opting with the over-the-top lounge + booth plan, and Surna going for the fairly standard booth + product approach. Both companies were happy to be there and presented quite well, but company representatives agreed it was a fairly mild event by comparison to some held elsewhere this year.

I did find a lack of presence from Kaya Holdings (OTC: KAYS) to be strange. This is their market, and their people, and really should have been a sort of coming out party for them but instead they ceded the floor to private dispensaries like Chalice Farms, who dominated the trade show floor.

There was a bit of excitement lacking which I found strange at first, but quickly realized it was simply due to the sheer amount of industry veterans at the event. Growers there had been growing for many years, some longer than I’ve been alive. Consultants had spent the last couple years building their brands and in-house consulting processes, and investors largely knew what they wanted. There were far more full-service consultants at this conference than I expected. When I asked what attendees needed, most of the time it wasn’t money or help, it was simply sales and clients. Most of these people had been doing their thing for a while.

This was a stark contrast to some shows from even just 6 months ago where many great brands were still getting their feet wet.  There were still plenty of entrepreneurs just getting started, but it seemed like the brands in Oregon have been at this game for a while, and were just waiting for the legislative whistle to blow.

Largely, the sentiment on the Oregon cannabis industry is positive. the OLCC and the Oregon Cannsbis Business Council both expressed optimistic tones about the shape of legislation and speed of business growth.

I think winner of the show goes to Cannaguard Security; a security firm that seems to have cornered the market in the Oregon industry. Almost every booth had a Cannaguard partner sign, and it was hard to go somewhere without seeing the trademark green shield. If there’s a sure winner in the Oregon market, it’s probably these guys.

The Investor Forum on July 28th went very well. There was a big interest from everyone in market research, which MJIC Inc. was happy to provide in partnership with New Frontier Financials in their new Oregon market special report, available here.

The impression I got is that the industry in Oregon is collectively holding its breath, waiting for the final regulations from the OLCC to be published. Insiders understand this game now, and have gotten used to quickly reacting to legislative surprises.

We then spent some time in a local dispensary called The Green Planet in Beaverton, but we’ll tell you about that tomorrow night.



John Downs, COO of MJIC Inc. interviews with the 420 Radio Show at the Cannabis Creative Conference, in Portland OR. MJIC Inc. is actively investing in cannabis sector opportunities.


Oregon’s tax structure gives it a competitive advantage over other recreationally legal states.


General Cannabis (OTC: CANN) put forward a strong showing, including representatives from the recently acquired Iron Protection Group.

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Via the Washington State Liquor Control Board, 20 May 2015.

While this isn’t good news for the industry, we think its important to report. As custodians of a brand new sector, we need to build an industry that is safe, responsible and accountable.

Marijuana compliance checks: 4 of 22 recreational marijuana stores sell to minors
OLYMPIA – Four Western Washington recreational retail marijuana businesses recently failed compliance checks conducted by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB). Officers, working with underage investigative aides, checked 22 businesses for sales of marijuana to minors. The first checks represent an 82 percent no-sales-to-minors compliance rate.

The four businesses will be cited for selling marijuana to minors. The individuals who sold the marijuana will be referred to their respective prosecuting attorney’s office for potential criminal prosecution.

First Marijuana Compliance Checks
The WSLCB and local authorities regularly conduct compliance checks of area businesses licensed to sell alcohol. The checks, conducted May 15-18 in Skagit, Snohomish, Kitsap, Pierce and Cowlitz Counties, were the first marijuana compliance checks. The checks followed a recent communication to all licensees that enforcement officers were beginning compliance checks and recommended best practices for avoiding an illegal sale.

Compliance checks are proven tools to reduce the sale of age-restricted products to minors. Investigative aides assist officers with compliance checks. These individuals are from 18 to 20 years old. They must either present their true identification or none at all if asked by a clerk.

Administrative Penalties
Liquor enforcement officers are empowered to issue Administrative Violation Notices to businesses that fail compliance checks. Fines or temporary license suspensions can be issued depending on the severity of the infraction or the frequency with which a business has been cited. Sales to minors are considered the most serious violations because they present a threat to public safety. Businesses cited for Sale to a Minor face a 10-day suspension or $2,500 fine. Businesses who receive three public safety violations within three years face license cancellation.

Businesses that sold marijuana to a minor

Mary Mart
3005 6th Avenue Ste. B (Tacoma)
Emerald Leaves
2702 6th Avenue (Tacoma)
Green City Collective
13601 Highway 99 Suite B (Everett)
Purple Haze
4218 Rucker Ave. (Everett)

Businesses that did not sell marijuana to a minor

Westside 420 Recreational
4503 Ocean Beach Highway (Longview)
Freedom Market
820A Westside Highway (Kelso)
1006 California Way (Longview)
Longview Freedom Market
971 14th Avenue Suite 110 (Longview)
420 Holiday
2028 10th Avenue (Longview)
Diamond Green
4002 South 12th Street (Tacoma)
Rainier Downtown
112 South 24th Street (Tacoma)
1703 SE Sedgwick Road Suite 113 (Port Orchard)
Greenway Marijuana
4851 Geiger Road SE (Port Orchard)
420 Pot Shop
1374 SE Lund Avenue (Port Orchard)
HWY 420
1110 Charleston Beach Road West (Bremerton)
6309 Evergreen Way (Everett)
Bud Hut
11603 Highway 99 (Everett)
Herbal Nation
19302 Bothell Everett Highway (Bothell)
High Times
1519 Highway 99 (Lynnwood)
Euphorium Lynnwood
20925 Cypress Way Suite 104 (Lynnwood)
Local Roots Marijuana
212 West Winesap Road Suite 101 (Bothell)
High Society
8630 South March Point Road (Anacortes)

The WSLCB mission is to promote public safety and trust through fair administration and enforcement of liquor, tobacco and marijuana laws. Per 2015 legislation, on July 24, 2015, the agency will change its name to the Liquor and Cannabis Board. It will retain the WSLCB acronym.

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We recently partnered with MJINews and New Frontier Financials to bring you the absolute best leading data and analysis on the cannabis industry, for investors, operators and legislators. While we enjoy making money trading cannabis stocks, we are also keenly interested in helping to turn cannabis into the next great American industry, and in helping investors find the best data with which to help them make investment decisions. There is a lot of data out there, and the New Frontier reports are simply the top tier. They present important data in a visually appealing way, and distill it in a way that makes sense and is actually useful for you.

This week we had the opportunity to sit down with Giadha De Carcer, CEO of New Frontier Financials, to broadly discuss the cannabis market, and talk about some of the value offered by her reports.

Thanks for watching, and we’ll continue to bring you the best information the industry has to offer. If you’d like to purchase the reports, you can check them out at the following links:

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From the Editor, 25 February 2015, 7:30PM CST

 In a few hours, cannabis will be legal in Washington D.C., as approved by an overwhelming majority (64%) of voters in November. The Republican controlled Congress maneuvered to prevent city officials if they tried to “use funds to implement” the new law, but that has simply had the ironic effect of blocking regulation, not blocking the democratic vote of the people.

So at midnight, we will see a truly historic event. For the first time, America will wake up with cannabis legal in the Capital city, but still federally illegal. This type of hypocrisy surely will not stand the test of time, and is most certainly a milestone in the battle against prohibition. Nobody is exactly sure how this will shake out, though. If police continue to make arrests for possession, prosecutors will have a difficult time landing a conviction with that law on the books. Moreover, any D.C. defense attorney worth her salt will be jumping at the chance to defend one of these cases.

Moreover, D.C. possession will actually be far less restrictive than in the states that have adopted legalization policies. While consumption is still banned in public and on federal land, citizens can possess up to two ounces and can give up to an ounce as a gift. Even better, adults may grow and maintain up to six plants at home; though only three mature at any one time.

Thanks to the citizens of D.C. for voting for positive, common sense change. Prohibition is on its way out, as people of the nation see that a world with cannabis is actually pretty great. And thank you for joining us on this historic journey, we’re with you all the way.

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As Cannabis goes mainstream, two very different cultures try to make it work.

For the last year, we’ve had the opportunity to meet and interact with a strange and wonderful mix of people that are drawn to the world of cannabis investing. We have noticed a growing relationship, a marriage of sorts, between the cannabis crowd and the business world. Although this seems to be a marriage that neither wants, both desperately need it, because the stakes are too high to get it wrong.

This isn’t the ceremony, cannabis isn’t fully legal yet. This is just the rehearsal; the first time both sides of the family really get to meet and interact. Gathered before our altar today are the metaphorical bride and groom. Her, well-dressed in a pinstripe business skirt and blouse, her hair up in a no-nonsense bun. He, bearded and a scruffy, casually sporting his favorite pair of jeans and a t-shirt featuring a picture of Marc Emery. Neither seem too pleased with the arrangement, but here they are.

Truth be told, the bride and groom don’t really like each other. She thinks he’s smelly and he thinks she doesn’t “get it”. They are both probably right. But she has a lot of money and political influence that he needs to help go fully legal and mainstream. And he has experience and insider connections that she absolutely needs to be successful. Together, they’ll be able to make a legal cannabis dynasty that will take care of both families for a long time.

On the bride’s side, there are some well-dressed, wildly successful men and women. They come from eclectic business backgrounds; finance, agriculture, the tech sector. They see cannabis as an amazing investment opportunity and wouldn’t miss this wedding for the world. They understand that the emerging market can and will generate a whole swath of economic activity that they can capitalize on. Some of them have limited experience with cannabis, some haven’t even tried it. But for many that’s hardly a concern, they simply require a niche, a plan, some skill and some capital and they can make their way. Many are just blue collar men and women interested in escaping the 9 to 5 soul-crushing rat race that is the American worker’s existence. They are optimistic about the prospect of legal cannabis, though they are wary of the groom’s strange family.

“These people are positively unemployable. What am I supposed to do with someone who has two felonies?” whispers a businessman. “I wish we could have the plant without all of the riff raff. Cannabis leaves…bong hits, how are we supposed to market this?”, says another. One woman leans in, “You know, if we keep the barriers to entry high enough, they won’t be able to compete.” The others nod in agreement and proceed to discuss methods of minimizing tax losses.

The groom’s side is a decidedly different crowd. They vary in age and status; many in their teens and twenties, a large number of middle-age and middle-class folks, some octogenarians. Some on this side are brilliant farmers, scientists, and students. Some have been fighting for legalization for decades and many bear the scars. A good many have felony charges, have faced employment discrimination, police intimidation and constant social stigma. They have tattoos and clothes made from hemp. These are the consumers, and they are equally excited about the prospect of legal cannabis. No more hiding their favorite social activity from the police, no more dealing with sketchy drug dealers. Finally, their lifestyle will be mainstream. But they are not at all pleased about the bride’s family showing up.

Where was big business during the decades of fighting for legalization? Nowhere to be seen. And what will happen to the cannabis culture with these people involved? Will it become just another commodity, to be shrink wrapped and sold at Wal-mart?

“Sellouts!”, the consumers sneer across the aisle, “Damn carpetbaggers.” One woman shouts, “We should just restrict it to personal grows! Nature shouldn’t be sold!” The others nod in agreement. One man pipes up, “We should restrict businesses to just locals”, the others nod affirmatively. “Those greedy bastards don’t know a spliff from a blunt!”

The human cost of these arguments are perhaps lost on the majority. There’s another party to the wedding that really just wants the ceremony to conclude so that she can get her medicine. The flower girl sits quietly in the aisle, her chemotherapy treatments have left her bald-headed and sleepy-eyed. She tugs impatiently on the dress of a nearby woman, “Do you think they’ll be done arguing soon?”

We hope so. But probably not.

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