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ūüĆŅ A Battle of NY Cannabis Proposals ūüĆŅ

ūüĆŅ A Battle of NY Cannabis Proposals ūüĆŅ

Welcome back to our weekly newsletter, which outlines recent cannabis news you need to know about related to entrepreneurship, finance, legal, medicine, science, and technology.

A battle begins between executive and legislative proposals for NY legalization. Companies make plans for potential cannabis product recalls. The CEO of MedMen steps down. And new studies are released covering cannabis and Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Big News! On February 18, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (availability subject to change) will be CannaGather’s keynote speaker in New York to discuss the future of federal cannabis legalization, joined by Karim Webb, Founder and CEO of 4thMVMT (the largest social equity cannabis company in the U.S.). February 18 also marks our CannaGather Boston launch, where we will partner with the National Cannabis Industry Association for a night of cannabis legislative updates and great networking.

Interested in getting involved in New York’s legalization efforts? Join CannaGather on February 26 as we host an important event in Albany to help drive the conversation on legalization and ensure social equity components stay front and center.

The CannaGather community welcomed in another new market last Thursday, with Detroit hosting a night to remember. Michigan began state-licensed sales of recreational cannabis in December 2019, setting up Detroit as a premium hub for new opportunities in the Midwest. Speaking at the event was Nick Zettell, Co-founder, Treasurer, and Campaign Manager at MI Legalize, and Matt Abel, Founder of Cannabis Counsel.

Be sure to join us at a CannaGather in your city, where we continue to network and explore the latest progress in our communities as the reach of cannabis increases. 

Know someone who is just as cannacurious as you are? Be sure to share this newsletter to keep them in the loop!

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// CannaGather Calendar

(TODAY) February 4 // Los Angeles, CA // CGLA February 2020

February 13 // Baltimore, MD // Being Black in Cannabis

February 18 // New York, NY // Future of Federal Legalization with Senator Chuck Schumer

(NEW MARKET) February 18 // Boston, MA // CannaGather Boston Kickoff

February 19 // Orange County, CA// CGOC February 2020

February 19-20 // Boston, MA // Northeast Cannabis Business Conference, Hosted by NCIA (Use Discount Code CG30)

February 26 //¬†Albany, NY //¬†CRTA2.0 ‚Äď Creating Opportunities, Equitably?

// Entrepreneurship

Make a Plan for Product Recalls

A public service announcement to all the cannabis cultivators out there: watch out for a product recall, as 2020 is slated to see recalls at an increasing rate. Contaminants such as yeast and mold pose a serious threat to healthy marijuana plants, and the potential impacts caused by these contaminants vary. In the last few months of 2019, we saw the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment recall cannabis sold throughout Colorado, impacting more than 144 dispensaries, 11 manufacturing facilities, and 3 cultivation centers throughout the state. So how can canna-cultivators prepare for what could be coming down the pipeline?
 
Cultivators and other related businesses should be prepared with a plan¬†in place to ‚Äúefficiently and safely get tainted products off the market.‚Ä̬†This includes identifying and cordoning off the contaminated plants, in addition to knowing who to contact in the event of product contamination and preparing to work closely with local regulators. It‚Äôs¬†also important to note that transparency is key.¬†According to¬†Marijuana Business Magazine, in times of a potential product recall, ‚Äú[cooperation] and honesty from the business experiencing a recall helps regulators quickly and efficiently handle the process.‚Ä̬†The establishment of a procedure in the event of a product contamination can help retain consumer trust and save businesses from the costly and often reputation-damaging experience of a recall.

What This Means and Why You Care: The increase of tainted products cropping up has the potential to impact a variety of entrepreneurs, so it can’t hurt to be prudent. Having a plan in place for a costly product recall can help businesses get back on track in a safe, quick, and efficient way.

// Finance

Market News This Week

MedMen, a premium North American cannabis retailer, announced that Adam Bierman, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, has decided to step down as Chief Executive Officer, effective February 1, 2020. He has also agreed to give up his Class A super voting shares in the company. The board of directors is now forming a committee of directors that will be responsible for identifying and appointing a new CEO, considering internal and external candidates. For now, current Chief Operating Officer & Chief Technology Officer, Ryan Lissack, is named the Interim CEO. Mr. Bierman will continue to serve on the board of directors.

Monthly magazine and cannabis brand¬†High Times has made the decision to abandon its efforts to be listed on the NASDAQ, a goal their parent company pursued since mid-2017. ‚ÄúOur largest misgiving is that High Times had hoped to be public by now,‚ÄĚ said Executive Chairman Adam Levin.¬†‚ÄúBut given the market‚Äôs volatility in the cannabis sector, we also believe this may have been a blessing in disguise for our company and shareholders alike. We are now more focused and realigned.‚ÄĚ

Marijuana Business Daily, a media and events company that produces the world‚Äôs largest and most trusted cannabis business trade show (MJBizCon),¬†has¬†acquired Emerald Scientific‚Äôs¬†The Emerald Conference, a technical and comprehensive science conference in the cannabis industry. ‚ÄúSince 2016, MJBizDaily has partnered with Emerald Scientific to produce the Science Symposium pre-conference event at MJBizCon. That partnership created the foundation for the acquisition, which allows MJBizDaily to immediately increase its reach in cannabis science and research.‚ÄĚ

What This Means and Why You Care: This week saw some major announcements from top players in the industry. The range of moves (executive shuffling, decisions on going public, and M&A) highlights the variation in strategies and successes of different cannabis companies.

// Legal

A Battle of NY Cannabis Proposals

Now that there is potential support from New York politicians to legalize recreational cannabis, the state needs to figure out how it would spend the money from its sales (estimated to be $300 million annually). Last week, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued his push for legalization at his¬†state budget address, voicing¬†that he believes¬†‚Äúthe budget is the opportunity, frankly, to make some tough decisions¬†and work through tough issues that without the budget can often languish, and I suggest that we get it done in the budget.‚Ä̬†More recently, a¬†state¬†legislative proposal¬†was released,¬†sponsored by Sen. Liz Krueger and Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes.

Cuomo‚Äôs idea is to have¬†cannabis¬†revenue¬†‚Äúdeposited in a state cannabis fund to be spent on everything from administration, to substance abuse treatment, public health education, to research on cannabis uses.‚ÄĚ But many Democratic legislative leaders¬†are concerned that this plan doesn‚Äôt specify revenue streams to communities most impacted by prohibition.¬†Cuomo‚Äôs administration says the reason for the omission of these revenue specifications is¬†to ensure ‚Äúflexibility as the industry grows and changes.‚Ä̬†Buffalo‚Äôs Peoples-Stokes signaled that she would not support his proposal if revenues are not diverted to these communities, adding that ‚Äúhe probably will try to make sure that there are resources invested in communities of color that have been (disaffected), but quite honestly, he‚Äôs not governor for life.‚ÄĚ

What this means and why you care: Now that a slate of political leaders in New York have come out supporting legalization in 2020, the conversation is shifting to specifics. Executive and legislative plans will be debated moving forward, with social equity aspects of these proposals front and center. 

// Medicine, Science, & Technology

Cannabis for Alzheimer’s Treatment

A recent study¬†published in the Journal of Pharmacopuncture¬†aimed to discuss the research trend of Alzheimer‚Äôs disease treatment using cannabis. The study was conducted by¬†searching publications dating back to August 2019, and focused on full-text or abstracts of these publications. The¬†results ‚Äúimplied that the CBD components of cannabis might be useful to treat and prevent [Alzheimer‚Äôs] because CBD components could suppress the main causal factors of [the disease]. Moreover, it was suggested that using CBD and THC together could be more useful than using CBD or THC alone.‚ÄĚ

Dementia is a term used to describe symptoms that impact memory, performance of daily activities, and communication abilities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, where patient’s symptoms get worse with time and affect memory, language, and thought. The number of patients with dementia has been gradually increasing and is predicted to reach 81.1 million by 2040. It is also estimated that 10% of the population aged 65 and older will suffer from the disease in 2025, with no solid treatments for a cure, while standard medications only focus on delaying dementia or recovering symptoms. 

What This Means and Why You Care: This study, along with additional research, can help lay the foundations for medical cannabis use related to dementia treatment. Look out for further studies to to understand how cannabis can help these patients and others with different brain disorders.

// Community

CannaGather Detroit Kickoff

The CannaGather community welcomed in a new market last Thursday, with Detroit hosting a night to remember. Michigan began state-licensed sales of recreational cannabis in December 2019, setting up Detroit as a premium hub for new opportunities in the Midwest.

Speaking at the event was Nick Zettell, Co-founder, Treasurer, and Campaign Manager at MI Legalize. Born and raised in Michigan, Nick has been an ardent and active supporter of cannabis policy reform since his time as an undergrad at the University of Michigan where he headed up the local chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. While a student, Nick became the lead event manager and creative director for the Ann Arbor Hash Bash Rally. Shortly after graduation, Nick co-founded the MI Legalize board in 2015 with the goal of finally legalizing cannabis for adult use. As a policy reform advocate, Nick has a  demonstrated record of success in local, state, and organizational policy change.

Also joining CannaGather Detroit was Matt Abel, Founder of Cannabis Counsel, P.L.C. Matt has been a criminal defense lawyer in Michigan for 27 years. He founded Cannabis Counsel, a Michigan law firm entirely devoted to cannabis clients and cases, providing both business advice and legal counseling, as well as criminal defense of marijuana cases throughout Michigan. He is a lifetime member of the NORML Legal Committee and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and a member of Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, the National Lawyers Guild, Americans for Safe Access, and the legal committee of the ACLU of Michigan. Mr. Abel is former legal counsel for Michigan NORML, and is currently the Executive Director of Michigan NORML.

Big News! On February 18, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (availability subject to change) will be CannaGather’s keynote speaker in New York to discuss the future of federal cannabis legalization, joined by Karim Webb, Founder and CEO of 4thMVMT (the largest social equity cannabis company in the U.S.). February 18 also marks our CannaGather Boston launch, where we will partner with the National Cannabis Industry Association for a night of cannabis legislative updates and great networking.

Interested in getting involved in New York’s legalization efforts? Join CannaGather on February 26 as we host an important event in Albany to help drive the conversation on legalization and ensure social equity components stay front and center.

Do you want to join the CannaGather team? We would love to have you on board as we grow! You can email CannaGather founder Josh Weinstein at josh@cannagather.com for more info.

Written by Justin Bernstein

Contribution by Michela Proto

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