IN THE PRESS
Needham, MA Over 250 people braved the cold for the 3rd annual Cannabis Summit by The New England Real Estate Journal at the Sheraton Needham on March 7th.
The first panel was held from 8:30 – 9: 30 a.m. and was moderated by Beth Waterfall of ELEVATE Northeast. Topics included design solutions for retail and medical dispensaries, growing facilities and testing labs. Other speakers included: Brian Anderson of Anderson Porter Design; Nicholas Fair of Consulting Engineering Services; Robert Rose of A/Z Corp.; and Michael Novak of Meridian Associates.
Shown (from left) are Panel 1: Michael Novak of Meridian Associates; Nicholas Fair
of Consulting Engineering Services; Brian Anderson of Anderson Porter Design;
Robert Rose of A/Z Corp.; and Beth Waterfall of ELEVATE Northeast.
There were discussions on site challenges, to which Novak pointed out issues such as getting enough power, or if it is a retrofit, will there be enough parking.
Fair spoke about commissioning, and if you realize there is a problem you want an insurance policy on the facility. Rose agreed regarding 3rd party commissioning that gives you extra eyes on the development project itself.
There was talk about energy usage and how the cost of power needs to factor in your site selection. Rose commented by saying gas is a better alternative leading to sustainability and a low carbon footprint.
Anderson brought up how the industry hasn’t normalized yet, and it will help when the FDA provides guidelines to help growers and manufacturers.
Asked about predictions for the future, Novak said that once it is normalized, it will be steady. Fair commented on how over 60% of consumption is non-flower now. It is mostly oils, so there will be a wider acceptance in the future with more regulatory oversight.
Shown (from left) are Panel 2: Kelly Pappas of Foster Sullivan Insurance;
Michael Ross of Prince Lobel; Valerio Romano of Vicente Sederberg;
Mike Ginty of Digital Guard Force; and Camilo Basto of ABG Commercial Real Estate.
The second panel was held from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. and was moderated by Camilo Basto of ABG Commercial Real Estate. Topics included real estate investments in the cannabis industry, security, zoning, permitting and insurance issues. Other speakers included: Michael Ross of Prince Lobel; Mike Ginty of Digital Guard Force; Valerio Romano of Vicente Sederberg; and Kelly Pappas of Foster Sullivan Insurance.
The panel was asked about zoning and Romano mentioned how originally, zoning was industrial, and now it is moving to more commercial and retail. “There is a lot of opportunity here for one to invest in real estate without actually ever touching the plant, and really turning your regular industrial building into something that can have a lot more value,” said Romano.
Ross explained how it is becoming much harder to find locations, but the rewards are still there.
There was a lot of discussion on security. Pappas spoke about the insurance side of the topic and mentioned how landlords and property owners need to make sure the Criminal Act Exclusion Clause is covered in the event of a loss by the tenant. “Theft is one of the major concerns that insurance carriers have, it’s a cash business, so being able to show to the underwriter of the carrier that you have this amazing security program in place is going to be crucial in the application process,” said Pappas. Other insurance issues include liability and chance of explosions.
Ginty said, “Having not only cameras and alarms, and maybe a security guard, it’s really important to have those internal controls and fully developed plans and policies in place, as well as monitoring.” He also brought up how owners should make sure their cameras have forensic capability.
Shown (from left) are Panel 3: Derrell Black of M4MM; Joseph Gilmore of MRCC;
Marion McNabb of C3RN; and Heather Parsons of Keller Williams.
The third panel was held from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. and was moderated by Heather Parsons of Keller Williams. Topics included cannabis businesses in disproportionate communities and marijuana business and the general public. Other speakers included: Marion McNabb of C3RN; Joseph Gilmore of MRCC; and Derrell Black of M4MM.
Parsons asked the panel how cities can embrace cannabis. McNabb mentioned how communities need to understand more about cannabis by providing date, facts and the medical value. Gilmore brought up how educational events are important for municipalities. According to Black, it is important to connect with neighborhood leaders, such as churches.
“The community should be an integral component when you are trying to acquire a cannabis license. If you can get people to these important association meetings, you can affect different things like where the zoning is going to be allowed, or if cannabis is going to even be allowed in the town in general,” said Gilmore.
“We need to all come together as nonprofit organizations and real estate agencies, and try to get more educational buildings up, such as community centers in disproportionate areas, so people, neighborhood leaders and the older people will know the pros, not just the cons about cannabis. We can teach them about the medical perks, and we can get people off of pills and injections and try to see if they can follow the cannabis route,” said Black.
On the subject of what people can do to make the industry more inclusive for disproportionate communities, McNabb spoke about the Cannabis Control Commission’s (CCC) Social Equity Program, which would ensure their inclusion.
The New England Real Estate Journal would like to thank the following sponsors for this event:
Gold Sponsor: CATIC National Commercial Services.
Corporate Sponsors: Elevate Northeast; Vantage Builders, Inc.; A/Z Corp.; CES; M.C. Andrews Co., Inc.; Foster Sullivan Insurance; Prince Lobel; ABG; Meridian Associates; and Digital Guard Force.
Vendor Sponsors: Anderson Porter Design; U.S. Pavement Services, Inc.; and Inspired Technology and Communications, LLC.
Media Sponsor: Sensi Magazine.
Please join NEREJ at its next summit – Nashua/Manchester/Bedford, New Hampshire – on August 25th at the Event Center at the Courtyard by Marriott Nashua, 2200 Southwood Dr., Nashua, N.H.
For more information or speaking/sponsor opportunities, please contact Rick Kaplan at email@example.com or call 781-878-4540.
By Shira Schoenberg – Springfield Republican/MassLive.com
Mar 18, 2019, 6:27am EDT
This story first appeared on MassLive.com.
Iraq War veteran Stephen Mandile was prescribed 57 medications over 10 years of treatment through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and pain from a spinal cord injury.
Eventually, he tried to kill himself.
He says things got better after he started using medical marijuana when the first Massachusetts dispensary opened in 2015. “I was able to get off of all my other medications and have an improvement in quality of life from making the switch to cannabis," Mandile said. “It helps me with pain and other issues more than any other medication really could without turning me off completely and not being able to feel anything.”
Mandile, of Uxbridge, is now director of community outreach for a new Massachusetts nonprofit, Alternative Treatment for Veterans. The coalition formed to teach veterans about the medical benefits of marijuana, and to advocate for their increased access to medical marijuana.
“Veterans are an extremely important population because they face a myriad of health conditions after service that are often overlooked and underserved,” said Marion McNabb, CEO of the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network, or C3RN, which is spearheading the effort.
McNabb said marijuana has shown promise for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and chronic pain — all conditions likely to affect veterans.
As part of the new effort, different groups are working together to conduct a research study on veterans, create a new education and advocacy nonprofit and run a series of conferences around the state focused on veterans and marijuana use.
“It’s just time we honor those who have served and offer more support at both a state and national policy level that can create systemic change in a sustainable way,” said Ann Brum, founder of Joint Venture and Co., a Boston-based business development agency that is helping coordinate the conferences.
Advocates say while marijuana may help veterans with many ailments they are likely to experience, veterans have a particularly difficult time accessing medical marijuana because it is still illegal under federal law. Many veterans receive health care through the VA, where doctors cannot prescribe medical marijuana and benefits do not cover it. Veterans may lose access to other medications if they test positive for marijuana use.
“We’re trying to combine our efforts to collect some data and some research to change policy at the VA,” Mandile said.
Mandile said he hopes to help create an environment where a veteran can be open with their primary care doctor about using marijuana without facing stigma. “We want to make it a holistic thing — your doctor knows everything you’re doing so they can help you,” he said. “We don’t want a veteran to not have that option just because of the state they live in.”
The mission of Alternative Treatment for Veterans will be to raise awareness about veterans and marijuana use, support research, and advocate for veterans’ access to marijuana. It is working with C3RN to launch the research study, together with UMass Dartmouth researchers.
For the study, veterans will be asked to complete an anonymous online survey to provide information about their service and medical history, cannabis use and consumption preferences, history of opioid addiction, and barriers in accessing medical marijuana.
The survey is open to all veterans, not only those living in Massachusetts.
McNabb said several dispensaries will give discounts to veterans who take the survey. The veterans will also be invited to attend monthly support groups and participate in clinical cannabis studies.
The research findings will ultimately be used to lobby state and federal officials on marijuana-related issues. McNabb said the goal is to advocate for veterans to have access to medical marijuana, for VA clinicians to prescribe it and for VA benefits to cover it.
Disabled American Veterans Department of Massachusetts, the state chapter of a national organization that has assisted veterans for more than 40 years, is involved with the initiative.
Dan Stack, department adjutant of Disabled American Veterans Department of Massachusetts, said medical marijuana can potentially help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. Some of these veterans have been taking opioids to alleviate pain, and some struggle with addiction.
“You have veterans suffering with chronic pain, on opioids, who can no longer be on opioids because of the addictive factor, they look to alternative sources to alleviate their pain,” Stack said.
Stack said he hopes the study can provide better information to veterans and can be used to lobby VA officials.
“There are many studies out there that show medicinal cannabis is a good treatment program for people suffering from stress or chronic pain,” Stack said. “But there’s never been a study that specifically looks at veterans and how they would benefit from this.”
The coalition is also holding a series of six conferences around the state focused on de-stigmatizing marijuana use, reviewing research findings, and increasing education for veterans. Upcoming conferences will be held April 18 in Holyoke and June 20 in Worcester.
Veterans Cannabis Research Survey - by Ashley Payne | Mar 13, 2019 | Bask News
On Sunday, March 3, 2019, Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) along with Veterans Alternative Healing Inc. and Joint Venture & Co. launched the Cannabis Advancement Series. The event, which took place in Boston’s District Hall, focused on supporting and educating Veterans and their families about medical cannabis advocacy, access, and research. Keynote speakers included Commissioner Shaleen Title of the Cannabis Control Commission, Dr. Peter Grinspoon a primary care physician and instructor at Harvard Medical School, and Jan Roberts the Director of Translational Research at the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health in New York. Live footage from the conference can be found here. Additional conferences are scheduled to take place across the state of Massachusetts, see below for dates and locations.
Stephen Mandile, the founder of Veterans Alternative Healing Inc a 501(C)(3) NON-PROFIT organization, began his public journey for cannabis advocacy in February of 2016 when he stood on top of a news van in front of the Massachusetts State House to fight for affordable and safe access to medical cannabis for Veterans. Today, Mandile’s organization focuses on helping Veterans obtain affordable access to medical cannabis in order to help reduce prescription opioid use and overdose. According to a 2018 report by the Department of Public Health, Massachusetts Veterans are at a higher risk of dying from an opioid overdose than the rest of the population.
Veterans Alternative Healing Inc, has partnered with seven dispensaries across Massachusetts, including Bask in Fairhaven, to offer the Veterans Care Program. Through this program, Veterans who are registered with the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana program with a rating of 100% Service Connected Disability will receive up to 40% off their medical cannabis purchases per month. The organization’s goal is to reduce the costs of medical cannabis to help reduce the number of prescription opioids used by Veterans.
According to a survey conducted by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, 83% of members agree cannabis should be legal for medicinal purposes. With cannabis listed as a Schedule I Drug at the federal level, Veterans are unable to receive medical cannabis through government programs that are subsidizing the cost of prescription drugs. At this time, there is very little research available in America about medical cannabis use by Veterans. Understanding that one of the first steps toward policy change is collecting research and data, members of C3RN and Veterans Alternative Healing along with UMass Dartmouth, formulated an anonymous Veterans Health and Cannabis Citizen Science Survey. The project has also partnered with Disabled American Veterans (DAV) of Massachusetts. According to Veterans Alternative Healing Inc., “Anonymous data collected from the survey will be analyzed and a policy memo will be prepared for the DAV to be used for state and federal level advocacy to increase access to medical cannabis for Veterans who wish to have alternative options for managing their health conditions.” Veterans of the US Military who are age 21 and older may take the survey to help contribute to cannabis policy and advocacy.
For more information about these organizations and the Cannabis Advancement Conference, visit the C3RN and Veterans Alternative Healing Inc. websites.
Bask is a proud sponsor of the Cannabis Advancement Series and a proud participant of the Veterans Health and Cannabis Citizen Science Survey. Veterans who are 21+ and patients of the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana program will receive 125 Bask Loyalty Points upon completion of the anonymous survey. Patients with a rating of 100% Service Connected Disability also qualify for 40% off their purchases at Bask each month through the Veterans Care Program. As a Veteran owned and operated dispensary, we understand the importance of affordable access to medical cannabis and alternative healing. If you have any questions about the survey or the Veterans Care Program, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Original Article can be found here: https://www.cometobask.com/blog/veterans-cannabis-research-survey/#
Article Source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/marijuana/2019/03/01/veterans-need-medical-marijuana-should-not-have-worry-about-finances-new-group-says/nWL2XAytUIv2jdKt3zE24K/story.html
Veterans in need of medical marijuana ‘should not have to worry about finances,’ new group says
Stephen Mandile, an Iraq veteran, credits medical marijuana with his recovery from a suicide attempt and addiction.
By Naomi Martin GLOBE STAFF MARCH 02, 2019
To hear Iraq veteran Stephen Mandile tell it, his recovery from a suicide attempt and opioid addiction started when he and his wife sat down in 2015 to discuss money.
“Are we ready to pay for more medicine?” Mandile recalled asking. He suffered severe pain from injuring his spinal cord in a Humvee crash and received free opioids from the Department of Veterans Affairs. He wanted to switch to medical marijuana — but the change could cost his family $1,500 a week since the VA wouldn’t pay for the federally illegal drug.
Now, Mandile, 41, says he enjoys life again thanks to cannabis. He’s involved with a new nonprofit, Alternative Treatment for Veterans, that launched Friday along with the Massachusetts chapter of the Disabled American Veterans to research veterans’ marijuana use and advocate for their expanded access to cannabis.
“Veterans are promised an earned benefit” of medical care, Mandile said. “They should not have to worry about finances when they’re trying to heal and start their recovery.”
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At a Friday news conference at the State House, the new group announced its first research project starting Sunday: an anonymous online survey asking veterans about their use of marijuana and other drugs, and the benefits or negative effects.
It’s a starting point for future research that will likely delve deeper into the science behind cannabis’s therapeutic potential for conditions common among veterans, such as pain, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression, said Marion McNabb, CEO of Cannabis Community Care and Research Network.
“We have to think about cannabis as a tool in the public health toolkit,” McNabb said. “You can’t replace all medications with cannabis, but it is worthy of inquiry under good scientific and clinical supervision.”
In Massachusetts, veterans are three times more likely than the rest of the population to die of an opioid overdose, according to a Department of Public Health report last year. That’s a higher disparity than nationwide.
Until a few years ago, published reports show, the VA heavily prescribed opioid painkillers to treat chronic pain. About 60 percent of veterans returning from Middle East deployments and 50 percent of older veterans suffer chronic pain, according to the VA.
The new nonprofit’s research will be used to advocate for state and federal policies to expand veterans’ ability to obtain marijuana, McNabb said.
Medical marijuana can provide symptom relief because it contains compounds called cannabinoids, which can act to balance the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which regulates mood, sleep, and pain, said Dr. Staci Gruber, director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery at McLean Hospital, who is advising the nonprofit.
But, she said, the medical community has more questions than answers because of the lack of validated studies.
“Massachusetts should be a leader in medical cannabis research,” Gruber said. “It’s my hope we’re able to move the ball down the field in a way that adds meaningfully to the conversation in the country and the world.”
Federal marijuana decriminalization would be most effective in enabling the VA to cover marijuana costs, Mandile said, but in its absence, there are other possible reforms. Through his efforts, he said, eight of the state’s cannabis retailers offer discounts to disabled veterans.
Massachusetts could also enact a law similar to one in Illinois, where veterans can receive a medical marijuana card simply by submitting VA records, Mandile said.
On Friday, Cannabis Control Commissioner Kay Doyle teared up as she recalled having to avoid the topic of battle around her grandfather, a World War I veteran.
“There was nothing I could do to treat the wounds I couldn’t see, but even as a young child, I could feel,” Doyle said. “That is why I am so grateful that Alternative Treatment for Veterans has been created. . . . We must do our best to explore all treatment options.”
Keith Cooper, CEO of Revolutionary Clinics, said his dispensaries in Somerville and Cambridge serve nearly 500 veterans.
“This is long overdue,” Cooper said. “The industry needs more credible information and research to reduce the stigma of cannabis use.”
Steve Creedon, 67, a Navy veteran who served in Puerto Rico during the Vietnam era, attended the event Friday. He used marijuana for 25 years to treat anxiety and pain related to a foot injury.
“My real hope would be that this evidence persuades the federal government to decriminalize marijuana and turn it into the medicine that we’ve all discovered now.”
The group asks veterans to take its survey starting Sunday at cannacenterofexcellence.org/veteran.
Original Article: https://www.cometobask.com/blog/international-womens-day-cannabis-industry/
Women in the cannabis industry - International Women's Day
by Ashley Payne | Mar 6, 2019 | Bask News | 0 comments
The cannabis industry, historically a male-dominated industry, has seen a spike in the number of female employees across the nation. Today, women in the cannabis industry hold roughly “42% of the executive positions at ancillary services companies…and 35% of medical dispensaries and recreational stores,” according to the Marijuana Business Daily. In Celebration of International Women’s Day on Friday March 8th, we are recognizing some of the women in the cannabis industry in Massachusetts.
Marion McNabb, CEO and Co-Founder of the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN)
Marion McNabb, DrPH, MPH is the CEO and Co-Founder of the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN), a Massachusetts-based cannabis research company aiming to improve the evidence-base related to medical cannabis therapies. C3RN runs a virtual cannabis center of excellence, leveraging digital technologies to improve collaboration and research partnerships between the academic, clinical, and cannabis communities. C3RN, with UMass Dartmouth, is leading a two-year open cannabis consumer and patient research study to assess the impact on health, social, and economic outcomes. In March 2019, C3RN launched an open Cannabis Veterans and Veterans Family member research study with partners UMass Dartmouth and Veterans Alternative Healing (VAH). C3RN and VAH will co-host an event series in 2019 focused on science, education, and breaking cannabis stigma in Massachusetts through community engagement. C3RN is an approved qualified training vendor for the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s social equity training program.
Dr. McNabb holds over 15 years of global public health field experience implementing and evaluating sexual reproductive health and rights and technology-focused programs mainly in many African countries, Vietnam, and Haiti. Most recently, Marion consulted with UNICEF New York to draft a Global Approach for Digital Health for over 130 countries and consulted with HealthEnabled, a global digital health consulting firm, advising the Ugandan and South African Ministry of Health on the use of digital tools to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV. Prior, Dr. McNabb was a Senior Digital Health at Pathfinder International, where she led the development of a digital health global strategy, designed SMS-based behavior-change programs and clinical case management mobile applications and referral systems in Haiti, Nigeria, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and other low-income settings. Dr. McNabb holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from St. Louis University in African and African American Studies, a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) from Boston University School of Public Health.
Dr. McNabb is well-known and highly respected in the Massachusetts cannabis community for her work to improve cannabis policy through research. Her work with C3RN to create and conduct cannabis research studies throughout Massachusetts has provided the industry with effective insights to help improve medical cannabis access and policy. When asked about the future for women in the cannabis industry, Dr. McNabb replied, “Women are leading the charge in the cannabis industry and [it’s] great to see a higher number of female-owned companies and leadership in this industry. For all the new women, there are great opportunities to make your place and career in a new industry, and lots of women-centric resources for ensuring success as a female.” Veterans who are interested in participating in the C3RN/Veterans Alternative Healing, Inc. anonymous survey can follow the link here.
JoAnne Lepannen, Executive Director, Chief Compliance Officer, Patient Education Specialist, & more – Bask, Inc.
JoAnne Lepannen holds many titles including Executive Director, Chief Compliance Officer, and Patient Education Specialist at Bask dispensary in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. After retiring from the practice of law, she joined the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC) as Executive Director and President. It was in Rhode Island where she met Chapman Dickerson, CEO and founder of Bask who, at the time, was cultivating cannabis as a caregiver in the state of Rhode Island.
When medical cannabis was legalized in Massachusetts, Lepannen joined Dickerson, Tim Keogh, and Melanie Dixon on the board of directors for Bask. As a Patient Education Specialist at Bask, Lepannen provides one-on-one consultations with patients to ensure they receive the education needed prior to making a purchase. Through her work, Bask is able to uphold its mission to provide patients with access to medical cannabis in a safe and clean environment with knowledgeable staff and educational resources.
Ann Brum, Founder of Joint Venture & Co.
Ann M. Brum, an industry professional, and founder of Joint Venture & Co., a Boston-based business development agency, has embarked on a very ambitious goal; to make any client; from a timid first-time cannabis user to a large dispensary to a healthcare organization, comfortable with both personal and business decisions in the cannabis and wellness arena.
For the past 10 years, Ann has dedicated herself to deciphering and clarifying these industries through information, support and organizational development. The emerging medical marijuana and adult-use market, along with a seemingly endless amount of wellness services, has overwhelmed consumers and the public. She achieves this goal by creating authentic, connected experiences and out-of-the-box thinking between the public, community organizations, and industry. Joint Venture & Co. is an extension of a personal dedication to promoting wellness by delivering real-time information on the cannabis market. Her pride lies in facilitating healthy exploration of wellness alternatives while reducing risk. These goals are achieved through informed decision making, support, information and clarity to the market, consumers and health care professionals.
As a female entrepreneur in the cannabis industry she notes, “I’ve had so many moments of feeling, ‘can I really do this?’ I had to stop overthinking it; just go for it, be honest with myself and our clients. Embrace riding the wave, and you’ll find yourself living a life that is simply satisfying.” Ann recently teamed up with social justice and policy advocates from C3RN and Veterans Alternative Healing to launch the Cannabis Advancement Series in Boston.
Ashley Payne, Marketing Manager – Bask, Inc.
Ashley Payne is the Marketing Manager at Bask, a registered medical cannabis dispensary in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Payne got her start in the cannabis industry soon after leaving a local marketing company in March of 2018. Initially, she performed a variety of roles at the dispensary, giving her a better understanding of the daily operations of the small business. After a few months, Payne noticed how her previous experience in marketing could help shape Bask’s marketing strategies. Her work can be viewed across social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn, the company’s website, and the weekly e-newsletters.
A graduate of Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia with degrees in Communication Studies and Musical Theater, Payne moved to Massachusetts just two weeks after graduation in 2013. After working in sales for Apple and management at a Marriott Hotel, she decided to start a small business making all-natural dog treats where she got most of her initial marketing experience. “When I started my job at Bask, I was nervous about going into an industry that I knew very little about. I was nervous about what some of my friends and family would think, especially being from the south where perceptions of cannabis aren’t always positive. I knew I was walking into a brand new world and to be honest, I was a bit scared,” explains Payne about her entry into the cannabis industry.
When asked about her experience as a woman in the cannabis industry she said, “It’s been almost a year since I started at Bask, and I have to say it’s the best decision I ever made. When I walked in the door and met Chappy and Tim [the CEO and President of Bask], they were so welcoming and I knew this is where I was meant to be. We’re fortunate at Bask to have so many women working in every department from cultivation and processing to sales and patient education. When I attend cannabis conferences and trade shows, women are definitely outnumbered by men. I can be tough sometimes for women in the cannabis industry, especially because many women aren’t very vocal about their cannabis use. I meet people all the time who are surprised when I tell them that I’m also a medical cannabis patient. I think having more women in the cannabis industry is one way we can help end the stigma around cannabis. We could help change the perception of who is using cannabis simply by telling people ‘I am a woman. I work in the industry. And I use cannabis.’ It’s time we change the negative perceptions of the ‘lazy stoner’ stereotype and show people that someone can choose to consume cannabis and still be a contributing member of society.”
Michelle Bennett, Founder of Healing Tree Edibles
Michelle Bennett started Healing Tree Edibles LLC, a CBD-infused edibles business based out of Cape Cod, in 2018 after falling and shattering her ankle. Using infused chocolate to replace prescribed opiates for pain, she was able to stay pill free throughout her healing. Bennett, with more than 25 years of experience in the food service industry, started Healing Tree Edibles as a way to offer “a healthy way of healing” with organic, gluten free, non-GMO, low sugar and sugar-free edibles as an alternative to traditional edibles, which are typically high in sugar.
As a result of her injury and lack of mobility, Bennett noticed her senior dog was gaining weight and having frequent arthritic flare ups. That’s when she began creating CBD-infused dog treats to help ease her dog’s pain and inflammation. “Just like our other products, these too are gluten-free and organic, ” explains Bennett. When asked about her experience in the cannabis industry, she replied, “The cannabis industry here in Massachusetts moves faster than the speed of light for just one person to be able to succeed. I’ve brought my cousin, Sarah Gibbs, a Johnson and Wales Culinary Graduate, on board to be my partner.”
Maintaining a cannabis business on Cape Cod does not come without challenges as many towns have voted against the adult-use cannabis industry, including ancillary businesses. Her advice to women interested in starting a business in the industry, “It’s a tough road to make these dreams become a reality. Long hours, constant battles, times where you just feel like giving up…’DON’T! You need to reach out and ask for help and guidance as it’s not easy by any means…changes happen hourly, but if you want to make it, don’t give up. ‘Slow and Steady wins the race. This won’t happen over night no matter how fast the industry moves.”
Natalie Moniz, Patient Education Specialist – Bask, Inc.
Natalie Moniz is a retired clinical social worker who began her role in the cannabis industry as a patient educator in September 2018 at the Bask dispensary in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Using her previous work experience, she is able to apply her clinical skills and knowledge of cannabis to help patients navigate this new frontier of personal empowerment with self-medication of cannabis.
Moniz started to grow her own cannabis soon after becoming a certified patient due to not being able to obtain a caregiver who was already growing for patients. “I became fascinated with the cannabis plant and soon realized using cannabis to relieve pain really was a very complex issue. Although there have been great strides made in a short time discovering the healing potential of this life affirming plant, there is much left to learn,” Moniz explains.
Her passion about medical marijuana’s potential to help patients help themselves is what interested her in joining the cannabis industry. Moniz encourages women who share the same passion to join the cannabis industry whether that passion is in cultivation, patient education, or sales roles. “As in so many other male dominated professions, this industry needs more balance with an increase of women in all areas of the industry.” Her advice to women interested in joining the cannabis industry, “You can make a difference!”
HIGH TIMES Original Article: https://hightimes.com/culture/people/high-folks-beautiful-existence-heals-with-cannabis/
This breast cancer survivor’s relationship with cannabis redefines what it means to be connected to spirit and present in your power.
Published March 4, 2019 By Lyneisha Watson
Editor’s Note: Welcome to one of our newest bi-weekly columns, High Folks: the cannabis-infused version of Humans of New York, in which we take an intimate look at people’s relationships with our most beloved plant. The connection between humans and cannabis is primal, dynamic, and profound. But it’s something that’s increasingly overlooked in the new age of weed. So in an effort to combat the superficiality of cannabis in the social media-age, High Times is proud to present to you a collection of work that highlights one of life’s most beautiful gifts: connection.
Beautiful Existence’s life is guided by the spiritual relationship she has with cannabis. Her connection with the plant exceeds mundane human understanding because when she was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer in 2015, cannabis nurtured her like a mother back to perfect health. As a way of saying thank you, Existence goes throughout the world to connect and guide others who have heard the call and felt the spirit of Mother Ganja.
“I never realized it but my first impression of cannabis was when I moved into a farmhouse the summer before first grade,” Existence tells High Times.
In 1978, seven years after Richard Nixon launched (the failed) War on Drugs, Existence moved with her family to Rochester, Washington, into a 100-year-old farmhouse located in the legendary Rainbow Valley. The room that the previous owners used to grow cannabis would eventually become her bedroom.
“I literally watched the adults dismantle track lighting and take huge bags of seeded marijuana out of the closet space and burn it in the field,” she says. “It wasn’t until I was in college that I recalled my memory of the farm and realized that the plant had always been there.”
Existence understood the spiritual component of her life and hardships, and she treated her 2015 cancer diagnoses no differently. “I had already suffered multiple experiences in my life prior to this where I had had the rug pulled out from underneath me and had to pick myself up.”
At the time of her diagnoses, she was working as a marketing and media director for the third largest spiritual center in the country and living between Boulder, Colorado, and Seattle, WA., so she had access to a multitude of spiritual resources. She immediately approached her illness from a very holistic and spiritual perspective and attacked it with everything she had.
Courtesy of Beautiful Existence
When she began using cannabis to treat her cancer, medicinal strains and Rick Simpson Oil were being phased out because in the state of Washington recreational consumers were looking for strains that were high in THC and low in CBD, making it difficult for Existence to find the right strain.
“It wasn’t until I got a chance to be around the growers and the people that had been apart of the medicinal advocacy within the state that I really understood what I needed to get and that was the concentrates,” Existence says. “I had so many mineral deficiencies… I had to completely detox and change my entire life. And [cannabis] showed me this: in healing, you need to have the concentrates and you need to have the strains. So, I’ve been going across the country and advocating for that for three years.”
In February 2019, a report by Swiss researchers shows that dabbing cannabis concentrates allows users to inhale more THC and CBD into their lungs than smoking, which, in essence, allows for more of the healing benefits of the plant to impact the body.
While looking for her perfect strain–which happened to be Charlotte’s Webb–and connecting with the plant more, she began to dive deeper into advocacy work. “The plant spirit has shown me all these different levels of what she has known,” says Existence. “[She] has been evolving with us as a species for thousands of years.”
In her advocacy work, she’s also helped states like Massachusetts build sustainable equity programs that help communities at the state and local levels.
One of the programs Existence works with is Cannabis Community and Research Network (C3RN). C3RN’s focus is advancing science, research, and best practices in the cannabis industry. In December 2017, C3RN won the first Boston University Cannabis Startup Competition, in which Existence helped build their initial website. CEO Dr. Marion McNabb says Existence has been a huge help because of her wealth of knowledge regarding the cannabis industry.
“She’s been a consistent mentor, friend, and help in designing programs and making connections to help advance science, research, and education in the industry with us,” Dr. McNabb tells High Times. “She’s provided strategic alliances and insights for us on how we can collectively advance social justice and rigorous science and research together.”
But Existence doesn’t just work in advocacy. She’s also the mother of 2 sons, a co-owner of HER Cannabis Line, creator of the Flower of Life Cannabis Tarot Deck, and is a mentor to those seeking to connect with themselves and cannabis on a deeper level.
In September 2014, Kerri Jade was en route to Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida–a school in which she earned a full-ride softball scholarship–when she got into a car accident. The trauma from the experience ignited a fear of death within Jade. But that all changed after connecting Existence on Instagram for guidance.
“[Existence] has absolutely guided me in putting the puzzle pieces together of self-healing, self-awakening, and seeing a broader spectrum of what this life is about,” Jade says, who is now a student of Existence. “It’s so cliché that her name is Beautiful Existence because it fits her so perfectly.”
Existence believes the plant saved her for multiple reasons. “She knew that I would go out, and show, and help, and make a definitive difference with it rising up in the world.”
And Existence has done exactly that: spread the healing wisdom of Mother Ganja.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Joint Venture & Co
CANNABIS RESEARCHERS AND VETERAN’S ADVOCATES LAUNCH YEAR-LONG CANNABIS ADVANCEMENT EVENT SERIES
February 15, 2019 – Worcester, MA – Today, Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN), Veterans Alternative Healing (VAH), and Joint Venture & Co (JVCo) announced the launch of the 2019 Cannabis Advancement Series, a series of six cannabis science and community events held around Massachusetts designed to continue breaking the stigma around cannabis. The 2019 Cannabis Advancement Series will begin March 3 at District Hall, Boston, followed by Holyoke in April 18, Worcester in June 20, North Shore in August 22, Fall River in October 24, with the culminating event in Boston December 5.
The six events held around the state will host high-level speakers and educational content surrounding topics including: medical and adult-use cannabis, Veteran’s and their family members focused care, equity and diversity in the cannabis industry, research, cultivation, extraction, industry best practices, business and entrepreneur, and general health and wellness.
At the launch event on March 3 from 11 to 4 PM at District Hall in Boston, speakers will include Dr. Lester Grinspoon, retiree from Harvard medical School, Dr. Peter Grinspoon, MGH, Commissioner Shaleen Title, MA Cannabis Control Commission, among other esteemed speakers. The full agenda can be found at www.cannacenterofexcellence.org/veterans.
Cannabis industry and healthcare vendors will have booths with built-in networking time for business to business and patient/consumer interactions. The event will be free and open to the general public. For booth or sponsorship opportunities, please visit: www.cannacenterofexcellence.org/veterans or visit https://vahinc.org/
Register to attend the FREE March 3 launch event: https://www.cannacenterofexcellence.org/event- 195018
About Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN)
Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) is a public benefit corporation (B Corp) based out of Worcester, MA that specializes in providing high-quality research and analytic services related to the impacts of medical and adult-use recreational cannabis. As a social justice-oriented research and analytics company, C3RN specializes in designing, monitoring, and evaluating models of integrating adult-use and medical cannabis to positively impact social, clinical, and public health outcomes. C3RN provides cannabis and health research and data analytic services, and consulting around cultivation, extraction, life sciences, technology, and medical cannabis patient care. In 2018, C3RN hosted a monthly Cannabis Science, Education, and Networking series in Massachusetts to showcase the latest cannabis innovations, evidence, and best practices. Learn more at: www.canncenterofexcellence.org
About Veterans Alternative Healing (VAH)
Veterans Alternative Healing provides education, services, support, advocacy and opportunities for and to veterans interested in utilizing alternative healing approaches and methodologies in treating ailments or conditions which affect them mentally, physically, emotionally, or psychologically thereby reducing the use of opiates and other pharmacological drugs used to suppress and temporarily manage pain, symptoms, and mental health concerns without stigma. Learn more at https://vahinc.org/
About Joint Venture & Co
Joint Venture & Co is a Boston-based business development agency who has embarked on a very ambitious goal; to make any client; from a timid first-time cannabis user to a large dispensary to a healthcare organization, comfortable with both personal and business decisions in the cannabis and wellness arena. Learn more at https://jointvco.com
Feb 17, 2019 Original article, South Coast Today: https://www.southcoasttoday.com/special/20190217/bask-in-fairhaven-nominated-for-best-medical-dispensary-in-massachusetts
Bask in Fairhaven nominated for Best Medical Dispensary In Massachusetts
By The Advocate
Posted Feb 17, 2019 at 8:01 PM
FAIRHAVEN — As Fairhaven pushes toward recreational marijuana sales, the town’s only dispensary, Bask, has been nominated for an honor.
Bask, Inc. (Bask), a registered marijuana dispensary in Fairhaven, was recently nominated as the “Best Medical Dispensary” by the New England Cannabis Network (NECANN), according to a news release. The nomination comes as Bask prepares to celebrate its one-year anniversary of opening the doors to patients in Massachusetts and is finalizing applications to serve the adult-use market.
In February of 2018, Bask officially opened its doors medical cannabis patients throughout Southeastern Massachusetts.
According to the release, the Bask team is grateful for the nomination, and made sure to note that it is the only dispensary from Southeastern Massachusetts nominated for title of Best Medical Dispensary. “As a locally owned and operated business, to have Bask put the SouthCoast on the map, competing against dispensaries in Boston and Worcester, means a lot to our team and the support from our community” said Bask CEO, Chapman Dickerson.
According to NECANN, the New England Cannabis Community Awards are designed to shine a spotlight and show appreciation for the cannabis community as a whole throughout New England. These awards offer a chance to recognize people and organizations who have made great contributions to the cannabis industry and communities throughout New England. The winners will be announced during the NECANN Conference March 22nd, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.
Other organizations nominated for awards include Veterans Alternative Healing, which works with Bask to help veterans reduce use of prescription opiates and provide access to safe and affordable cannabis. The partnership offers discount programs for veterans with 100 percent service connected disabilities.
Another organization, nominated for “Best New England Cannabis Non-Profit”, is Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN). Recently, Bask and C3RN teamed up with UMass Dartmouth to create a cannabis survey that was distributed to patients at Bask and other participating dispensaries in Massachusetts.
“We’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with these organizations that share a common goal of providing adults with safe access to cannabis products and expanding cannabis research. I’m excited to see what 2019 will bring,” Ashley Payne, marketing manager at Bask, said in a statement.
PRESS RELEASE: Indoor Harvest Corp to Form Cannabis Joint Venture with C3RN and IGBR
HOUSTON, Jan. 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Indoor Harvest Corp (OTCQB: INQD), is a precision agriculture technology company, focused on producing bio-pharma grade Cannabis for the wholesale and research Cannabis markets, as well as development of next generation personalized medicines. The Company is pleased to provide its shareholders guidance for 2019.
Special Meeting of Shareholders
The Company is hosting a virtual special meeting of shareholders on January 31, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. (Central Time). Common stockholders and Series A convertible preferred stockholders who were record holders on December 7, 2018 will be able to attend the special meeting, vote, and submit questions during the meeting via live webcast by visiting www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/INQD. To enter the Special Meeting, you must have your 16-digit control number that was mailed to shareholders of record on December 21, 2018. If you were a shareholder of record on December 7, 2018 and have not received a proxy statement from the Company, please email email@example.com.
The purpose of the meeting is to amend and restate the Company’s certificate of formation in order to increase the amount of shares of capital stock authorized to be issued, to grant the Board of Directors (the “Board”) “blank check preferred stock” authority allowing the Board to fix the terms and issue new series of preferred stock without the approval of the holders of the Company’s common stock, to explicitly permit stockholders of different classes of the Company’s capital stock to vote as a single class with regard to changes to the certificate of formation, and to decrease the vote required for the approval of fundamental actions and fundamental business transactions.
The Board believes it is in the best interests of our shareholders to increase the number of authorized shares of capital stock and to allow the Board to issue preferred stock and to fix its terms without further approval of the holders of Common Stock in order to give us greater flexibility in considering and planning for future potential strategic transactions, including mergers, acquisitions and business combinations, as well as other general corporate transactions, as further discussed below.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support of Indoor Harvest and to express my appreciation for your commitment to the Company. The Cannabis industry experienced some significant events over the last 18 months and we believe that things are just getting started. I and the rest of the management team are working hard to position the Company for success as the industry develops, grows, and becomes more mainstream. It is an important proxy vote and we encourage you to support it by voting YES.
Without the support of at least 2/3s of the shareholders, we will not be able to issue additional shares for the Company to raise vitally needed capital to continue operations and to move forward with management’s plans. It is important for you to vote YES.
The proxy will allow the Company to increase our Authorized Shares of Common Stock from 50m to 200m which in turn will provide us with currency to complete strategic acquisitions and form strategic partnerships as well as raise additional capital”, stated Daniel Weadock, Chief Executive Officer of Indoor Harvest Corp.
Moving Corporate Headquarters to Boston, Massachusetts
Management is currently moving the base of operations and focus to the Boston area to take advantage of what it believes to be an attractive environment for Cannabis companies since Massachusetts has now legalized both medicinal and recreational Cannabis. The state is also offering a Cannabis research license, which provides a unique opportunity to do research & development on the medicinal side of the Cannabis industry.
Management is working to deploy our integrated aeroponic technology platform, on our own and with partners in the Boston area, to demonstrate and showcase our belief in the technology’s ability to significantly reduce operating costs while increasing yield and quality. Deployment of our integrated aeroponic technology platform will also allow us to continue research and development of the technology with the goal of moving towards commercialization.
We have been working the Boston market for the last year developing relationships on the ground with what we believe to be strategically aligned and vertically integrated potential partners. Two of these relationships include: Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) who are working on the creation of a global virtual center of excellence for the Cannabis industry, and Integrated Genetics & Biopharma Research LLC, which is expected to provide boutique commercial grade genetics and tissue culture services to cultivators and researchers in Massachusetts.
Joint Venture between Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (“C3RN”) and Integrated Genetics & BioPharma Research (“IGBR”)
The Company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) towards a proposed joint venture by and among C3RN and IGBR. Under the MOU, the Company will work with C3RN and IGBR to develop a business plan to acquire a license to conduct research on medical Cannabis. The joint venture group will conduct research on the use of Controlled Environment cultivation technology to influence how Cannabis plants express different chemical profiles to further development of next gen bio pharmaceutical grade products.
C3RN runs a network of academics, Cannabis industry participants, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders interested in advancing collaborative and community-driven science approaches in Cannabis research in Massachusetts. C3RN also leads, in collaboration with UMass Dartmouth, a Cannabis consumer and patient citizen science research study, and partners with local Cannabis businesses to improve evidence-based patient care in Massachusetts. In October 2018, C3RN was selected as qualified training vendor for the Cannabis Control Commission’s (“CCC”) social equity program, pending further contract negotiations with the CCC. C3RN intends to leverage these strengths in this joint venture, with a focus on social equity and advancing rigorous Cannabis research.
“It is very exciting for C3RN to start on the process of obtaining a research license to study Cannabis in Massachusetts as our company spent significant time advocating for the inclusion of research as an adult-use license category here in Massachusetts. Through this MOU with Indoor Harvest and IGBR, we are ready to take the next step towards licensure and to continue to generate scientific evidence and highlight best practices at the forefront of the industry,” said Dr. Marion McNabb, CEO of C3RN.
IGBR is seeking dual licensure (Cultivation and Research) within Massachusetts under the recreational marijuana regulations 935 CMR 500.00. IGBR is an industry leader in intellectual property and best practices in propagation, cultivation, and Cannabis genetics. IGBR is also currently in possession of over 100 of the most desired strains and elite clone-only cuts on the recreational and medical Cannabis market. Mr. Dan Weadock, Indoor Harvest’s CEO, is also a co-founder of IGBR and acting as its CEO.
“Our genetic research and development is based on both data and decades of Cannabis experience. We have established proprietary criteria and analytics in selecting cultivars that drive the market and provide cultivators with a distinct genetic advantage,” stated Douglas Klier, Founder and Chief Science Officer at IGBR.
The proposed joint venture will work to identify and publish best practices for cultivation of Cannabis through rigorous research and development. Additionally, the joint venture group aims to provide data and develop partner-specific research studies and objectives with academic and other research institutions.
“As part of the ongoing change management efforts and repositioning of Indoor Harvest, we have executed this MOU to help imagine a collaborative research and development effort between three strategically interrelated organizations. We believe this effort will provide the opportunity to create transformative intellectual property that can be leveraged for the collective gain of both the joint venture and its constituent entities”, stated Dan Weadock, CEO of Indoor Harvest and Co-Founder and CEO of IGBR.
The Company intends to secure consensus among impacted stakeholders and work towards definitive agreements between the MOU parties and to secure funding during the second quarter of 2019, pending the approval of shareholders in passing the needed increase in the Company’s authorized capitalization at the special meeting.
Texas Compassionate Use Program Pending Applicant
The Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Alamo CBD, is currently a pending applicant to produce Cannabis in Texas under the Compassionate Use Program. As of December 17, 2018, only 576 patients were registered with the Compassionate Use Registry out of an estimated pool of 150,000 eligible patients. The Company and many advocates believe the state’s approval of just three producers has led to low participation in the program.
State Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, has filed a measure to expand the list of medical conditions that qualify for medical Cannabis under the Compassionate Use Act, to include illnesses such as Crohn’s disease, terminal cancer, autism, and PTSD. The measure would also remove the 0.5 percent cap on the amount of THC that medical Cannabis products sold under the Compassionate Use Act are legally allowed to contain.
Connor Oakley, Executive Director of the Medical Cannabis Association of Texas (MCAT), believes that enough pro-medical Cannabis candidates won seats in the Texas Legislature to finally enact major medical Cannabis legislation. “We feel that we finally have the votes to get some of our bills passed,” Oakley said. “We have support from both sides of the aisle this time.”
Currently there are a total of 13 Cannabis related bills being filed for the 2019 Texas legislative session. Additionally, the Texas Republican Party approved medical Cannabis and industrial hemp reforms in the summer of 2018. Due to the mounting support for Cannabis in the state, the Company believes the Compassionate Use Act will be expanded during the 2019 legislative session and that pending applicants such as Alamo CBD will be allowed to proceed forward. There is no guarantee of expansion, however, or that any of the filed measures will pass.
Summary Guidance for 2019
Management believes that working with these organizations and others like them in Massachusetts positions us well to move our agenda forward and provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate our technology and how it can be used to significantly decrease operating costs while increasing yield, potency and quality.
While pursuing strategic partnerships and building our demonstration showcase, management is also working to clean-up the Company’s balance sheet and to position us for a potential merger or strategic investment involving other vertically aligned Cannabis industry companies. Management is actively pursuing a number of these opportunities. The goal of this effort is to find a strategic partner that will bring revenue and cash flow to the Company as well as provide the opportunity to put our technology in the field.
Management believes that its efforts in Massachusetts and further developing strategic partnerships will allow the Company to successfully continue operations and create real shareholder value. We encourage you to vote YES on the proxy and give management the tools it needs to grow and expand our business while enhancing shareholder value.
About Indoor Harvest Corp
Indoor Harvest Corp (OTCQB: INQD), is a precision agriculture technology company focused on delivering pharmaceutical grade Cannabis for researchers, and the development of next generation personalized medicines. The Company is a pending applicant to produce Cannabis under the Texas Compassionate Use Program and is seeking additional licenses in the State of Massachusetts.
This release contains certain “forward-looking statements” relating to the business of Indoor Harvest and its subsidiary companies, which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “estimates,” “believes,” “anticipates,” “intends,” expects” and similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to be materially different from those described herein as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Certain of these risks and uncertainties are or will be described in greater detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements are based on Indoor Harvest’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on Indoor Harvest. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting Indoor Harvest will be those anticipated by Indoor Harvest. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond the control of the Company) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Indoor Harvest undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.
Indoor Harvest Corp
Dan Weadock, Chief Executive Officer
Dr. McNabb on Morning Edition WBUR/NPR with Bob Oakes Discussing the MA Vape Ban November 7, 2019
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