New Mexico’s Cannabis Legalization Bill Stalls in Senate, Virginia Decriminalization Proposal Clears Legislature: Week in Review

New Mexico’s Cannabis Legalization Bill Stalls in Senate, Virginia Decriminalization Proposal Clears Legislature: Week in Review

Location: Salinas Valley, Calif.

One word to describe your cultivation style: “A hybrid between canna-ag technology and large-scale, year-round production,” Hackett says.

Indoor, outdoor, greenhouse or a combination: Greenhouse

Can you share a bit of your background and how you and your company got to the present day?

Photos courtesy of Riverview Farms

Riverview Farms employs a 75% to 85% female workforce.

I was born and raised here in the Salinas Valley by my parents, Mike and Sylvia Hackett. We were educated here. My parents have been entrepreneurs their whole lives, having multiple businesses—agricultural businesses, commercial real estate, restaurants. After they educated us, I was a St. Mary’s graduate with a business degree. I decided to move back to the Salinas Valley and [start] my career in agriculture at a local, family-owned and -operated company called Church Brothers. I was with them for about five years in the sales department, running their largest account, which was Sysco Food Service. Then, I decided to transition into our family business, which is Riverview Farms.

Riverview Farms was established in 2016 by my dad, Michael Hackett. He was the first cannabis operation in the Salinas Valley to get the exemption to even grow within our county and our city. Riverview Farms is a family-owned and -operated cannabis company that is vertically integrated. We hold nursery, cultivation [and] distribution licenses, so we control everything that we do from seed to sale.

It’s an incredible experience because I get to not only work side-by-side with my dad, who founded our company—he stepped back and put me in the lead position—but [also with] my sister, Lauren, [who] has also come on board and manages our retail division. Now, I would consider ourselves the largest female-owned and -operated cannabis company out of the Salinas Valley and possibly even in the state of California. We’re definitely very proud of that. My mom is our landowner, my sister and I run the company together, and we employ over 75% to 85% of a female workforce. I find that extremely important to me and to the ethics we hold here at Riverview Farms because I just don’t think a lot of companies could say the same about themselves. We employ our people 365 days a year. We don’t stop for a winter or fall crop. We are a consistent, 365-day-a-year supplier, producer [and] grower.

What tool or software in your cultivation space can you not live without?

For our style of growing, which is greenhouse-grown, we are relying 100% on the natural environment. We don’t have any supplemental lighting in the greenhouses. So, the software or tool that I would say comes in most handy for our lead cultivator and our entire team is an atmosphere control system that allows us to monitor the temperature both inside and outside the greenhouses 24/7, 365 days a year. It measures the temperature, the humidity [and] the wind speed both inside as well as outside the greenhouse, which is really awesome. Temperature control is everything. The atmosphere for the plants can greatly dictate the success of the crop. Being sure that we have a tool that we can monitor 24/7 the atmosphere of our greenhouses is very important.

What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your business in the last six months?

The best purchase of $100 or less would be the king-sized Advil at Costco for the headaches that Monterey Country has put on our industry as a whole. I feel that Monterey County has been one of the most challenging counties within the state to work with. My family and I come from ag. We’re looking to run this as an agricultural operation. If you come visit us, no one is stoned. No one is doing anything that’s not on the up-and-up, and [there is] a lack of local enforcement and [the] headache of the hoops that our county is making us go through.

For example, we already report to the state through Metrc—that’s out track-and-trace system. Our county decided to add on CC reporting, which is basically a redundancy of what Metrc’s doing. [There is also a] lack of opportunities for additional licensed retailers. I think that creates a lot of challenges for us and makes it almost impossible to succeed. So, I guess the Advil helps you ease those headache days.

Hackett runs Riverview Farms as she would any other agricultural operation.

What cultivation technique are you most interested in right now, and what are you actively studying (the most)?

The most important thing for us in terms of longevity is finding the strongest genetic library that we can possibly have. Part of being vertically integrated means that we have our own nursery on site, so we generate 100% of our own clones. Finding the plants that are going to do the best— [that are] going to yield the highest, have the highest THC percentage and cannabinoids—and making sure we keep it fresh and consistent is very important to us. Some of the strains that work, for example, in an indoor or outdoor cultivation [operation] might not work well here in the greenhouse model, but I would say the No. 1 thing that Riverview Farms focuses on is making sure we have the strongest genetic library possible.

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

For us, failure is not an option. This is our family’s legacy that we’re putting into this company. I’ve made this 100% my career. My sister has made this 100% her career. We’ve tied up 20 acres—that’s what we cultivate on—of my parents’ commercial real estate to make this a successful business.

We have learned from our mistakes and we grow every time that we are faced with a challenge. Part of being in a new and emerging industry is no one has done production to this scale before, ever, [with] cannabis cultivation. I think for us, [we’re] learning how to be the best grower we can be and how to sustain our business long-term. We’re in it for the long haul. Longevity and consistency and being a sustainable, successful business is really what we’re focused on. Every single crop comes with its own challenges. We’re on a waiting list for power upgrades. We’re dealing with Mother Nature. This is still a plant—not every single crop performs the exact same way, but we always learn from previous challenges and better ourselves for that next round.

Although every crop comes with its own unique set of challenges, Hackett remains focused on making Riverview Farms a sustainable business that produces consistent product.

What advice would you give to a smart, driven grower about to enter the legal, regulated industry? What advice should they ignore?

If I were new to this space and coming in, I would really do my research. If you’re in the state of California, which county is really working best with their growing operations? You want to be in a county where [cannabis is] widely accepted, and the regulators are actually trying to understand the challenges that growers are faced with and understand that it’s a commodity-based business. [Do] your research into where you’re actually going to be putting your cultivation space and [make] sure it’s sustainable. Rent, taxation, distribution fees—it really adds up very quickly. It’s a money pit, and you have to be prepared to sustain your business. [Make] sure that you’re in the best possible area that’s setting you up for success long-term because a lot of people enter into these high-end leases and think they’re going to turn a profit immediately, and that’s not always the case. In any start-up business, it takes time to generate cash flow and there are a lot of expectations in terms of compliance. It’s a very exciting industry to get into, but also one of the most challenging industries I’ve ever worked in. The United States is still against you—[cannabis is] still not federally regulated. There’s a big red target on your back always. [You have] payroll, taxes, crop loss, construction, power upgrades—there are so many things that you’re faced with on a daily basis that you may not see in the beginning or you don’t think it will affect you directly, but it affects us all. It catches up with any business, so be prepared.

Some of the biggest and most talked about brands, companies [and] retailers in the industry, unfortunately, are failing tremendously due to the amount of investor capital they’ve taken in and some of the poor business decisions that have been made. So, just because it’s potentially a big or widely known name in the industry, do your research. Make sure that’s a company that can pay you on your product. Some of the biggest retail names or some of the biggest brand names are not paying their vendors because they’re in so much debt that they’re in fear of closing down businesses. There are huge walkouts of employees who were once paid these large salaries but are now doing large-scale exits of 50, 100 [or] 150 employees. Six months ago, they were the talk of the town, like “Oh my gosh, are you in Shop x?” or “Are you carrying Brand x?” Some of these very hyped-up retailers or these very hyped-up brands have not been sustainable due to the companies’ lack of organization and financial independence. So, I guess my advice would just be to keep your circle small of who you’re doing business with and make sure that you are very aware of people’s cash flow. Not all business is good business. Do your research into who you do business with and who you’re selling to.

Riverview Farms cultivates greenhouse-grown cannabis on 20 acres of family-owned land in Monterey County, Calif.

How do you deal with burnout?

Because we’re a family-owned and -operated business and because our headquarters is actually on our cultivation site, we keep a very tight-knit community atmosphere. My employees see [me], my sister and my dad on a daily basis—we’re very active in the day-to-day activity. So, ultimately, we always have a list of people wanting to come and work with us. We’re very fortunate and very blessed that in Salinas Valley specifically, we employ a very large amount of ag labor. In the other local commodity crops—such as lettuce, broccoli, spring mix, berries, artichokes [and] wine grapes—most of those are only seasonal opportunities, so only about six months of the year are those crops growing here, and then the other six months, they’re moving to Yuma, Ariz., so you have to uproot your family if you want consistent work. At Riverview Farms, because we’re choosing to grow 365 days per year, we can offer that consistency in terms of workflow. So, we are very fortunate to have opportunities to bring on additional staffing [to avoid burnout].

How do you motivate your employees/team?

I really try to go above and beyond for our Riverview family. I make sure that every single month we do an appreciation barbeque or, as it gets hot, I’ll grab snow cones or Jamba Juice for everybody. [Sometimes it’s] just going out and having lunch and talking with our people about what’s going on. We’ve very involved, making sure they’re treated with the utmost respect because without them, we wouldn’t have a business.

Things [can be] as simple as proper meal breaks, clean lunch areas [and] making sure our restrooms are sanitized daily. You would think that these are all common-sense requirements for this industry, [but] I’ve heard horror stories of people who have worked at other grows or other operations, even locally, who aren’t treated to that same high standard. I think the way we motivate is by ensuring that we are doing best practices, not only on a day-to-day basis, but also making sure that we’re working hard but have a lot of fun, too. For senior management, we do appreciation days, we do Christmas parties, we do team bonding events. I really try to make sure that we stay very engaged with one another.

One of Hackett’s goals is to have a strong genetic library to maintain high yield and a robust cannabinoid profile.

What keeps you awake at night?

What really keeps me awake at night is knowing how skewed the perception of our industry really is. I feel that our county sees [cannabis], as a collective group, as the enemy, and that makes it very challenging. I don’t feel like our local jurisdiction wants to see cannabis succeed in our county, which is a real bummer. What really keeps me up at night is knowing that we just constantly have that big target on our back, and instead of working together and being transparent and educating people, I feel like our local county is so closed off to learning about our industry and growing together and making it a successful and safe business for our state and our community. What bothers me or what irks me is knowing that we don’t have that support, and I wonder if it would be different in other counties or in other jurisdictions, where it would be a little bit more well-received.

What helps you sleep at night?

What helps me sleep at night is knowing that I have an incredible team that I can rely on to get this done 365 days a year, knowing that were are in full control of our business, being vertically integrated and family-owned, and knowing that I don’t have any outside investors expecting unrealistic returns on a profit. We’re being modest and growing at a rate that we can actually afford to and [we’re] being sustainable for the long haul.

Because we’re part of the Salinas Valley, which is known as the “Salad Bowl of the World,” it’s so important that we are thinking about our environment and being sustainable. We want to be eco-friendly and conscientious as much as possible. For example, in our greenhouses, we use drip irrigation to make sure we’re not overwatering [or] overfeeding our plants, but then we’re also recollecting that water at the end of its cycle and reusing it here on the farm.  We also reuse and sanitize all of our pots throughout our operations, so we’re not going through as much plastic. Even the style in which we grow—being a greenhouse cultivator, relying on 100% natural UV light and not using any supplemental lighting in our greenhouses is growing green in the natural way. Whatever you’re getting is true to that time of year—during the colder or winter months when you’re not getting as big a bud structure or as high a THC percentage, that’s true and natural to the time of year in which we’re growing. When we have full sun in spring and summer and we have these big buds and high THC, that’s because we have the UV light. We’ve also added a special topping to our roofing, [which] helps us save on our heat bill by about 20% to 30%.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for style, length and clarity.

Published at Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:00:00 +0000

Industrial Hemp Manufacturing LLC, A Wholly Owned Subsidiary Of Hemp Inc (OTCMKTS:HEMP), Fulfills a $1 Million Sales Agreement For – DrillWall

Industrial Hemp Manufacturing LLC, A Wholly Owned Subsidiary Of Hemp Inc (OTCMKTS:HEMP), Fulfills a $1 Million Sales Agreement For – DrillWall

Industrial Hemp Manufacturing LLC (IHM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Hemp Inc (OTCMKTS:HEMP), has entered
a $1 million sales accord for its proprietary kenaf hemp blended natural loss
circulation material (LCM) – DrillWall. LCM is aimed at the oil and gas
drilling industries. The agreement is valid for one year.

IHM receives first payment of $30,000

Bruce Perlowin, Chief Executive
Officer of Hemp, said its subsidiary IHM received the first payment of $30,000.
It has shipped DrillWall in January 2020. Industrial Hemp has received the
second payment of $60,000 on February 3, 2020, for the second batch of
DrillWall. The company expects to ship material worth $90,000 this month and
$150,000 worth DrillWall in March 2020. It will ship the balance material
throughout the rest of 2020.

Non-toxic and non-soluble in water

IHM produces DrillWall and
other industrial products in its manufacturing facility in Spring Hope, North
Carolina. The LCM – DrillWall is manufactured using hemp cellulose and kenaf.
It is non-toxic and non-soluble in water.

The biodegradable drilling
fluid additive finds wide usage in oil field drilling applications. Major gas,
oil, and water companies are using DrillWall. The product also acts as a
lubricating agent and borehole stabilizer. It eliminates differential sticking.
DrillWall plugs the leakages faster. It is economical, too, when compared to
other LCM materials.

The demand for industrial
hemp worldwide would reach $26.6 billion by the year 2025 from $4.6 billion in
2019, growing at a CAGR of 34%. Bruce said the company will distribute LCM
consistently throughout the contract period. The company is pleased with the
growing interest in DrillWall. It is the best option for purchasers searching
for non-toxic substitutes for their operations. IHM expects to generate more
revenues through aggressive sales efforts.

Featured in the Kingman Daily Miner

Hemp Incis featured in a leading news source – the Kingman Daily Miner.
According to the article published in The Kingman Daily Miner, Hemp Inc will
silently introduce brick-and-mortar retail stores – The King of Hemp Store in
Kingman, Arizona, in March 2020.

Products in The King of Hemp Store

Hemp Inc will sell products
like hemp denim jeans, pants, conditioners, hemp shirts, handbags, purses,
backpacks, jackets, shampoos, topicals, CBG, and CBD products through The King
of Hemp Store.

Published at Wed, 12 Feb 2020 13:06:00 +0000

Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB) Announces Impairment Charges Of $752.79 Million: Michael Singer Becomes Interim CEO: Downsizes Workforce

Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB) Announces Impairment Charges Of $752.79 Million: Michael Singer Becomes Interim CEO: Downsizes Workforce

Amid increasing expenses by almost
four times the sales, Aurora Cannabis
Inc (NYSE:ACB)
downsizes the workforce and assumes impairment charges of
$752.79 million. The company has cut 500 jobs that include 25% of the corporate
positions.

Aurora Cannabis maintains 3,400
employees in 34 nations worldwide. A majority of the announced job cuts are
from the contract workforce. The company expects to save $9 million CAD through
cost-cutting measures. Aurora Cannabis has posted an EBITDA loss of $40 million
CAD in Q1 2020. The company has to post quarterly revenues of $140 million CAD
to reach the breakeven. According to analysts, Aurora Cannabis may reach the
breakeven by Q4 2021.

Michael
Singer becomes an interim CEO

Terry Booth, the
present chief executive officer of Aurora Cannabis, will retire, and Michael
Singer will act as an interim CEO. Singer assumed the role of executive
chairman last year. Co-founder, Booth will act as an advisor and continues on
the board. The company is searching for a permanent CEO. Its shares declined by
13% in the after-hours trading.

The net revenues
of Aurora Cannabis in Q2 is expected to be in the range of CAD 50 million and
CAD 54 million. Its revenues in the same period last year are CAD 54.2 million.

Aurora Cannabis
made changes to certain credit facilities that include removing some covenants
and options for refinancing at maturity. According to analysts, the company may
not be able to pay the loan of CAD 360 million, which is due in August 2021.
Aurora Cannabis is criticized for aggressive expansion worldwide amid uncertain
demand. The company has not set any timeframe when it will become profitable.

Executive changes at other firms 

Aurora Cannabis
joins the league of companies (Sundial Growers, Supreme Cannabis, and Canopy
Growth) that made executive change. The change is on the backdrop of
disappointing sales and mounting costs.

An analyst at New
York based O’Neill, Andrew Kessner, said we need not expect a major change from
Singer as an adviser because he is already at the helm of the company. It is
only an indication to the market that the company is making changes.

Published at Fri, 14 Feb 2020 13:05:24 +0000

Colorado Department of Agriculture Adds Six Products to List of Pesticides that Can Be Used on Cannabis

Colorado Department of Agriculture Adds Six Products to List of Pesticides that Can Be Used on Cannabis

Location: Salinas Valley, Calif.

One word to describe your cultivation style: “A hybrid between canna-ag technology and large-scale, year-round production,” Hackett says.

Indoor, outdoor, greenhouse or a combination: Greenhouse

Can you share a bit of your background and how you and your company got to the present day?

Photos courtesy of Riverview Farms

Riverview Farms employs a 75% to 85% female workforce.

I was born and raised here in the Salinas Valley by my parents, Mike and Sylvia Hackett. We were educated here. My parents have been entrepreneurs their whole lives, having multiple businesses—agricultural businesses, commercial real estate, restaurants. After they educated us, I was a St. Mary’s graduate with a business degree. I decided to move back to the Salinas Valley and [start] my career in agriculture at a local, family-owned and -operated company called Church Brothers. I was with them for about five years in the sales department, running their largest account, which was Sysco Food Service. Then, I decided to transition into our family business, which is Riverview Farms.

Riverview Farms was established in 2016 by my dad, Michael Hackett. He was the first cannabis operation in the Salinas Valley to get the exemption to even grow within our county and our city. Riverview Farms is a family-owned and -operated cannabis company that is vertically integrated. We hold nursery, cultivation [and] distribution licenses, so we control everything that we do from seed to sale.

It’s an incredible experience because I get to not only work side-by-side with my dad, who founded our company—he stepped back and put me in the lead position—but [also with] my sister, Lauren, [who] has also come on board and manages our retail division. Now, I would consider ourselves the largest female-owned and -operated cannabis company out of the Salinas Valley and possibly even in the state of California. We’re definitely very proud of that. My mom is our landowner, my sister and I run the company together, and we employ over 75% to 85% of a female workforce. I find that extremely important to me and to the ethics we hold here at Riverview Farms because I just don’t think a lot of companies could say the same about themselves. We employ our people 365 days a year. We don’t stop for a winter or fall crop. We are a consistent, 365-day-a-year supplier, producer [and] grower.

What tool or software in your cultivation space can you not live without?

For our style of growing, which is greenhouse-grown, we are relying 100% on the natural environment. We don’t have any supplemental lighting in the greenhouses. So, the software or tool that I would say comes in most handy for our lead cultivator and our entire team is an atmosphere control system that allows us to monitor the temperature both inside and outside the greenhouses 24/7, 365 days a year. It measures the temperature, the humidity [and] the wind speed both inside as well as outside the greenhouse, which is really awesome. Temperature control is everything. The atmosphere for the plants can greatly dictate the success of the crop. Being sure that we have a tool that we can monitor 24/7 the atmosphere of our greenhouses is very important.

What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your business in the last six months?

The best purchase of $100 or less would be the king-sized Advil at Costco for the headaches that Monterey Country has put on our industry as a whole. I feel that Monterey County has been one of the most challenging counties within the state to work with. My family and I come from ag. We’re looking to run this as an agricultural operation. If you come visit us, no one is stoned. No one is doing anything that’s not on the up-and-up, and [there is] a lack of local enforcement and [the] headache of the hoops that our county is making us go through.

For example, we already report to the state through Metrc—that’s out track-and-trace system. Our county decided to add on CC reporting, which is basically a redundancy of what Metrc’s doing. [There is also a] lack of opportunities for additional licensed retailers. I think that creates a lot of challenges for us and makes it almost impossible to succeed. So, I guess the Advil helps you ease those headache days.

Hackett runs Riverview Farms as she would any other agricultural operation.

What cultivation technique are you most interested in right now, and what are you actively studying (the most)?

The most important thing for us in terms of longevity is finding the strongest genetic library that we can possibly have. Part of being vertically integrated means that we have our own nursery on site, so we generate 100% of our own clones. Finding the plants that are going to do the best— [that are] going to yield the highest, have the highest THC percentage and cannabinoids—and making sure we keep it fresh and consistent is very important to us. Some of the strains that work, for example, in an indoor or outdoor cultivation [operation] might not work well here in the greenhouse model, but I would say the No. 1 thing that Riverview Farms focuses on is making sure we have the strongest genetic library possible.

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

For us, failure is not an option. This is our family’s legacy that we’re putting into this company. I’ve made this 100% my career. My sister has made this 100% her career. We’ve tied up 20 acres—that’s what we cultivate on—of my parents’ commercial real estate to make this a successful business.

We have learned from our mistakes and we grow every time that we are faced with a challenge. Part of being in a new and emerging industry is no one has done production to this scale before, ever, [with] cannabis cultivation. I think for us, [we’re] learning how to be the best grower we can be and how to sustain our business long-term. We’re in it for the long haul. Longevity and consistency and being a sustainable, successful business is really what we’re focused on. Every single crop comes with its own challenges. We’re on a waiting list for power upgrades. We’re dealing with Mother Nature. This is still a plant—not every single crop performs the exact same way, but we always learn from previous challenges and better ourselves for that next round.

Although every crop comes with its own unique set of challenges, Hackett remains focused on making Riverview Farms a sustainable business that produces consistent product.

What advice would you give to a smart, driven grower about to enter the legal, regulated industry? What advice should they ignore?

If I were new to this space and coming in, I would really do my research. If you’re in the state of California, which county is really working best with their growing operations? You want to be in a county where [cannabis is] widely accepted, and the regulators are actually trying to understand the challenges that growers are faced with and understand that it’s a commodity-based business. [Do] your research into where you’re actually going to be putting your cultivation space and [make] sure it’s sustainable. Rent, taxation, distribution fees—it really adds up very quickly. It’s a money pit, and you have to be prepared to sustain your business. [Make] sure that you’re in the best possible area that’s setting you up for success long-term because a lot of people enter into these high-end leases and think they’re going to turn a profit immediately, and that’s not always the case. In any start-up business, it takes time to generate cash flow and there are a lot of expectations in terms of compliance. It’s a very exciting industry to get into, but also one of the most challenging industries I’ve ever worked in. The United States is still against you—[cannabis is] still not federally regulated. There’s a big red target on your back always. [You have] payroll, taxes, crop loss, construction, power upgrades—there are so many things that you’re faced with on a daily basis that you may not see in the beginning or you don’t think it will affect you directly, but it affects us all. It catches up with any business, so be prepared.

Some of the biggest and most talked about brands, companies [and] retailers in the industry, unfortunately, are failing tremendously due to the amount of investor capital they’ve taken in and some of the poor business decisions that have been made. So, just because it’s potentially a big or widely known name in the industry, do your research. Make sure that’s a company that can pay you on your product. Some of the biggest retail names or some of the biggest brand names are not paying their vendors because they’re in so much debt that they’re in fear of closing down businesses. There are huge walkouts of employees who were once paid these large salaries but are now doing large-scale exits of 50, 100 [or] 150 employees. Six months ago, they were the talk of the town, like “Oh my gosh, are you in Shop x?” or “Are you carrying Brand x?” Some of these very hyped-up retailers or these very hyped-up brands have not been sustainable due to the companies’ lack of organization and financial independence. So, I guess my advice would just be to keep your circle small of who you’re doing business with and make sure that you are very aware of people’s cash flow. Not all business is good business. Do your research into who you do business with and who you’re selling to.

Riverview Farms cultivates greenhouse-grown cannabis on 20 acres of family-owned land in Monterey County, Calif.

How do you deal with burnout?

Because we’re a family-owned and -operated business and because our headquarters is actually on our cultivation site, we keep a very tight-knit community atmosphere. My employees see [me], my sister and my dad on a daily basis—we’re very active in the day-to-day activity. So, ultimately, we always have a list of people wanting to come and work with us. We’re very fortunate and very blessed that in Salinas Valley specifically, we employ a very large amount of ag labor. In the other local commodity crops—such as lettuce, broccoli, spring mix, berries, artichokes [and] wine grapes—most of those are only seasonal opportunities, so only about six months of the year are those crops growing here, and then the other six months, they’re moving to Yuma, Ariz., so you have to uproot your family if you want consistent work. At Riverview Farms, because we’re choosing to grow 365 days per year, we can offer that consistency in terms of workflow. So, we are very fortunate to have opportunities to bring on additional staffing [to avoid burnout].

How do you motivate your employees/team?

I really try to go above and beyond for our Riverview family. I make sure that every single month we do an appreciation barbeque or, as it gets hot, I’ll grab snow cones or Jamba Juice for everybody. [Sometimes it’s] just going out and having lunch and talking with our people about what’s going on. We’ve very involved, making sure they’re treated with the utmost respect because without them, we wouldn’t have a business.

Things [can be] as simple as proper meal breaks, clean lunch areas [and] making sure our restrooms are sanitized daily. You would think that these are all common-sense requirements for this industry, [but] I’ve heard horror stories of people who have worked at other grows or other operations, even locally, who aren’t treated to that same high standard. I think the way we motivate is by ensuring that we are doing best practices, not only on a day-to-day basis, but also making sure that we’re working hard but have a lot of fun, too. For senior management, we do appreciation days, we do Christmas parties, we do team bonding events. I really try to make sure that we stay very engaged with one another.

One of Hackett’s goals is to have a strong genetic library to maintain high yield and a robust cannabinoid profile.

What keeps you awake at night?

What really keeps me awake at night is knowing how skewed the perception of our industry really is. I feel that our county sees [cannabis], as a collective group, as the enemy, and that makes it very challenging. I don’t feel like our local jurisdiction wants to see cannabis succeed in our county, which is a real bummer. What really keeps me up at night is knowing that we just constantly have that big target on our back, and instead of working together and being transparent and educating people, I feel like our local county is so closed off to learning about our industry and growing together and making it a successful and safe business for our state and our community. What bothers me or what irks me is knowing that we don’t have that support, and I wonder if it would be different in other counties or in other jurisdictions, where it would be a little bit more well-received.

What helps you sleep at night?

What helps me sleep at night is knowing that I have an incredible team that I can rely on to get this done 365 days a year, knowing that were are in full control of our business, being vertically integrated and family-owned, and knowing that I don’t have any outside investors expecting unrealistic returns on a profit. We’re being modest and growing at a rate that we can actually afford to and [we’re] being sustainable for the long haul.

Because we’re part of the Salinas Valley, which is known as the “Salad Bowl of the World,” it’s so important that we are thinking about our environment and being sustainable. We want to be eco-friendly and conscientious as much as possible. For example, in our greenhouses, we use drip irrigation to make sure we’re not overwatering [or] overfeeding our plants, but then we’re also recollecting that water at the end of its cycle and reusing it here on the farm.  We also reuse and sanitize all of our pots throughout our operations, so we’re not going through as much plastic. Even the style in which we grow—being a greenhouse cultivator, relying on 100% natural UV light and not using any supplemental lighting in our greenhouses is growing green in the natural way. Whatever you’re getting is true to that time of year—during the colder or winter months when you’re not getting as big a bud structure or as high a THC percentage, that’s true and natural to the time of year in which we’re growing. When we have full sun in spring and summer and we have these big buds and high THC, that’s because we have the UV light. We’ve also added a special topping to our roofing, [which] helps us save on our heat bill by about 20% to 30%.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for style, length and clarity.

Published at Fri, 14 Feb 2020 21:15:00 +0000

Pot Stocks To Watch: Fighting For The Top Space in the Ancillary Market 

Pot Stocks To Watch: Fighting For The Top Space in the Ancillary Market 



Pot Stocks To Watch: Fighting For The Top Space in the Ancillary Market  | Marijuana Stocks | Cannabis Investments and News. Roots of a Budding Industry.™





































Published at Fri, 14 Feb 2020 20:49:57 +0000

Puration Inc (OTCMKTS:PURA) Mobilizes Funds Of $5 Million To Support Acquisition Of Cannabis Infused Edibles, Beverages, Topical Operations

Puration Inc (OTCMKTS:PURA) Mobilizes Funds Of $5 Million To Support Acquisition Of Cannabis Infused Edibles, Beverages, Topical Operations

Puration Inc
(OTCMKTS:PURA)
expects
to receive a $5 million investment. The company will use the funds to support
the takeover of cannabis edibles, beverages, and topical operations. It already
divulged plans to clinch the market opportunities by acquiring smaller
companies engaged in cannabis infusion operations. According to the analysis by
several investment analysts in the cannabis space, consolidation is on the
cards wherein larger firms acquire smaller cannabis companies.

Withdraws funds for
acquisitions

Puration will withdraw funds when required to
support the acquisitions. It will repay the debt in stock at a share price of $0.10.
The company secures the debt with acquired assets. It expects to make a
takeover offer in the next ten days. 

Demand continues
to grow for CBD

Goldman Research surveyed on behalf of
Puration to know the demand for CBD in the wake of comments issued by the US
FDA. Puration will use the survey results to gauge its approach to the CBD
market. The survey measured the consumer’s reaction to the negative comments
issued by the US FDA in respect of CBD. According to the survey, the comments
of the FDA have little impact on consumer sentiment, and the demand for CBD
continues upward.

Brian Shibley, Chief Executive Officer of
Puration, said the survey provides the feedback because the company pursues
options to expand cannabis-infused beverages production. It will include CBD
infused topical and edibles in the production to meet the growing demand. He
said the investment comes at a time when the company is moving forward
aggressively to expand the production of CBD infused consumer products besides
acquisitions.

Formal offer for
CBD infused confections operation

Puration expects
to make an offer for CBD infused confections operation within ten days. The
target company is engaged in the production of CBD infused Gum and CBD infused
Gummies. Following the takeover, Puration would merge the CBD confections
business into its existing operations. It expects that the demand for CBD
infused Gummies would reach $6.9 billion by the year 2025.

Puration is
engaged in the production of EVERx sports water to meet the growing demand for
the sports nutrition market. The company also distributes EVERx in Africa, the
US, Europe, and Latin America.

Published at Thu, 13 Feb 2020 13:19:00 +0000

Top Mexican Senator Says Marijuana Legalization Bill Will Be Approved This Month

Top Mexican Senator Says Marijuana Legalization Bill Will Be Approved This Month

Sen. Julio Menchaca of the ruling MORENA party, who serves as president of the Justice Committee, said this week that legislation to legalize cannabis has “already circulated to the members” of key panels following “many exercises of open parliament.”

The Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that Mexico’s ban on the personal use and possession of marijuana is unconstitutional and it initially set a deadline of October 2019 to amend the policy. But while lawmakers came close to voting on a bill late last year that was approved by a series of committees, they requested a deadline extension at the last minute, and the court approved it.

Congress now has until the end of April to legalize cannabis, but Menchaca said “we hope to take it out in the Senate this month.”

“Prohibition has generated a lot of violence in the last 100 years,” he said, including fostering “the creation of an organized crime.”

Read More

Published at Thu, 13 Feb 2020 15:41:48 +0000

20200214-news-sin

20200214-news-sin

600x300
Majority Of Kentucky Residents Back Legalizing Marijuana For Any Purpose, Poll Finds As Medical Hearing Approaches
Nine out of 10 Kentucky residents support legalizing medical marijuana, and almost 60 percent say cannabis should be legal under “any circumstances,” according to a survey released on Wednesday.

Published at Thu, 13 Feb 2020 15:49:15 +0000

Governors Across U.S. Step Up Push To Legalize Marijuana In Their States

Governors Across U.S. Step Up Push To Legalize Marijuana In Their States

State legislatures across the U.S. have convened for new sessions over the past month, and a growing number of governors are taking steps to push lawmakers to include legalizing marijuana as part of their 2020 agendas.

At least 10 governors have gone so far as to put language ending marijuana prohibition in their annual budget requests, or used their State of the State speeches to pressure legislators to act on cannabis reform.

Some are proactively addressing the issue, while others appear to be mostly reacting to support that has already built up among lawmakers. But altogether, it’s clear that top state executives are now taking marijuana more seriously than ever before.

Here’s a look at how governors are taking action on marijuana as 2020 legislative sessions get underway.

Read More

Published at Tue, 11 Feb 2020 21:10:25 +0000

CO2Meter Inc. Launches New CM-7000 Multi-Sensor System

CO2Meter Inc. Launches New CM-7000 Multi-Sensor System

RELATED: You can find Jushi’s “Best Companies” profile here, the other “Best Companies – Dispensaries” profiles here and the other“Best Companies – Cultivators” profiles here.

Cannabis Dispensary caught up with members of Jushi’s human resources team to discuss hiring diverse candidates and retaining them as employees. These HR team members include Nichole Upshaw, VP of human resources; Clifton Lambert, senior manager of human resources; and Sarah Harned, HR generalist at Jushi’s Beyond/Hello group of dispensaries in Pennsylvania.

Cannabis Dispensary: What do you see as the cannabis industry’s role in destigmatizing cannabis and employment opportunities in cannabis among communities of color, where people may be wary of entering the industry or using cannabis due to being disproportionately impacted by prohibition?

Clifton Lambert: I think just overall, that’s really our focus as part of being a cannabis company. We want to make sure that we’re looking for individuals in those communities. We advertise specifically to those areas and we also, in the interview process, focus on people who may have had a background in that area and we make it known that, ‘Hey, it’s actually okay to come into this industry.’ Sarah is doing more with the day to day from an interview perspective with those individuals. What’s your opinion there, Sarah?

Sarah Harned: I can tell you that we advertise the job postings we do have on many different platforms so they reach a bunch of different folks.

We have gone to a couple career fairs, one specifically for cannabis opportunities, and it was the [Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities’ Cannabis Opportunities Conference]. They specifically target marginalized communities.

CL: To add to that, just more on the list standpoint—one, targeted recruitment is one piece that we focus on. Two would be company training that surrounds diversity. At the end of [2019], myself and Sarah went to the stores and … we did this all over the company but mainly for the retail staff: We included a large portion of diversity training and not only focused on the communities of color, but just in general, underrepresented individuals altogether—people of color, LGBTQ communities, looking at ways how we can make those individuals feel more comfortable, not only by thinking of and considering the things that you’re saying to individuals but promoting an understanding that, ‘Hey, this is a safe place to work, and we want you to be comfortable.’ That really matters to the company in general.

CD: What do you think makes a company an inclusive place to work, and why should blacks, Latinos, Latinas and members of the LGBTQ+ communities consider working for Jushi?

CL: I think from the get-go—our president, Erich [Mauff]—he’s from South Africa, and diversity is really a big thing in those communities. We really wanted to, from the top down, try to build a company that had diversity all the way through. Within the cannabis industry, there’s limited people who have experience in this industry just because it’s so new. I think that it’s just getting out in the community and helping people understand what we do and how this company formed and what our values and goals are and that everyone is equal at the end of the day. We promote that open-door policy to encourage people to ask questions, to challenge the status quo, and we listen to those things and we take action.

I think that those voices that you mentioned—they’re very not well-represented in many companies, and a lot of companies have really taken that action to put it out there and say, ‘Hey, we support these communities.’ And that’s what we’re doing. We’re doing just that. We’re putting that message out and making it known across our company. And again, through that word of mouth aspect, we’re putting that out there into the community and through these job fairs that Sarah’s attending, and we’ll continue to do more outreach like that in the future to really draw in a more diverse community.

CD: How does Jushi help minority employees acquire or expand upon intergenerational wealth that may otherwise be difficult for them to obtain and retain?

CL: 401(k) is a great offering [of ours]. About 27% of the companies in cannabis actually offer 401(k), so us actually having all of those normalized benefits in the marijuana industry is pretty cool, first off.

We do have the opportunity for individuals to purchase stock in the company, and it’s a nice part about being a public company. It gives the employees the opportunity to invest in the company. From there, that opens up the door to wealth. I’ve learned myself, coming into this company, I wasn’t very familiar with stocks and things like that. Being of the community of color myself, that’s something that you don’t know much about. It’s just really not talked about in those communities. I think that when we did the training and we went around to all the different locations, that was a part of it. We talked about stocks and how you can have ownership in the company and what you need to do to be able to purchase those stocks. I think that went over very well. We saw people actually asking questions and showing interest in the company, and I think it gives the employee a different type of buy-in when you can say, ‘Hey, I actually have a little bit of ownership in the company.’ And it’s very affordable right now as well, so [we’re] encouraging people to take advantage of the stocks while they’re at the price they are now. Hopefully in the future, we all do a good job to pay off wealth for everyone. So, that’s been really big amongst the staff to have that opportunity, especially those individuals coming from smaller companies we’re bringing into this company and building a larger company from the ground up with everyone having that opportunity to put a dollar in.

CD: You mentioned 401(k) and that not a lot of companies offer that. Do you have access to banking? What’s your relationship to that whole topic, and can you talk about how that might affect some of this?

CL: In general, it is a challenge to operate in the cannabis industry when it comes to banking, payroll, any type of 401(k)-related items because it’s still federally illegal. That poses a challenge there itself. When you think about it, yes, there are challenges with banking, but a lot of those relationships are determined by the bank itself and if they are comfortable working with cannabis companies. We do our due diligence and seek out banks that are cannabis-friendly, that already are working with cannabis companies and have that experience already in this industry. So, yes, it is a challenge, but we’ve been able to overcome it by really developing strong relationships with banks that are operational in this industry already.

CD: I read in a blog post on Jushi’s site that being a multi-state operator, the company hopes to offset overhead costs for individual operations. Has Jushi seen greater profit margins because it’s an MSO or because it has multiple locations, and in turn, have those marginsif it has seen greater profit margins—allowed for more hiring or the payment of higher wages to employees, including employees of diverse backgrounds?

CL: I can answer it to an extent. I can’t really answer to the dime if it’s increased our margins. We’re still in that startup mode right now, and profitability is just really not there from an overall perspective. But in general, when you’re looking at it from a shared services perspective, we have our shared services center here in Boca, which supports all of our operations out in the field. And I think when you have that shared service centralized—a centralized structure from the corporate aspect—that allows you to do more with the field. You have more opportunity for operational positions that can actually support the business … . Let’s say an individual out in the field contacts us, we’re able to solve problems probably 10 times faster than having several different departments all over in several different states.

CD: Broadly, what are some of the challenges of hiring and retaining a diverse workforce?

SH: Fortunately, we don’t have a high turnover rate, so each store is relatively small-staffed, like 10 to 15 patient consultants. After a store is open, I find that I don’t have to do too much hiring at all, which is great.

CL: I think that’s probably contributed to the culture, too. My first time in the stores was back at the end of last year. And it’s really interesting how much of a family dynamic that they have. It’s like each individual business is its own small business. But at the end of the day, they all still collaborate with each other, so that in general—and I think that comes from the leadership that’s out there in the field—[is] really driving that type of family-oriented environment. I think it helps keep people with the company, and like she said, we really haven’t had hardly any turnover.

CD: Are there any practices or programs that Jushi has borrowed from other industries or companies to promote diversity that you’ve found to be effective?

Nichole Upshaw: We come from a very diverse set of backgrounds that serves us really well here, but something that I think we all would say we’re experiencing for the first time is that in cannabis, and especially medical, which, of course all states have started off medical—your customer, they’re patients, they’re medical marijuana patients—that has benefited us greatly for hiring diversity because all different types of people are coming in to purchase medical marijuana and have different ailments. We are really fortunate that the people that we literally see every single day are this wide range of people for us to recruit.

Clifton and I were in Illinois last week onboarding two new dispensaries that we purchased, and after I talked to every employee at the store that I was at—there were like 20 employees—and the range of age diversity—I was so impressed. They worked together so incredibly well. So, it is really something unique to see, wow, we’re able to bring in these very different people. Any type of different diversity, whether that’s age, sex, sexual orientation, race—and the way there is no issue with the way that they work together because they have this common belief in their core that cannabis makes people’s lives better—they connect on that, and it is really cool to see.

Published at Tue, 11 Feb 2020 22:13:00 +0000

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