KUSHMART at 6309 Evergreen Way has been temporarily closed by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.
The store’s license has been suspended from June 12th through June 27th.
According to the notice posted on the door of KUSHMART, the violations involved sales or service to a minor and and allowing a minor to frequent a restricted area.
KUSHMART is one of five licensed retail marijuana shops within the Everett city limits.
According to the502data.com websitethe Everett KUSHMART location has sold more than $33 million dollars in retail marijuana since opening in 2014, paying more than $12 million dollars in excise tax to Washington State.
A Bend-based cannabis firm faces a $15,000 fine and is barred from harvesting for 34 days while its growers permit is suspended, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced Thursday.
The OLCC cited Oregrown for seven violations of state regulations. Oregrown’s license violations stem from a former employee and stockholder who took marijuana seeds and plants from its growing facility to an unlicensed location in January 2018.
The OLCC revoked the marijuana worker permit and issued a letter of reprimand to Oregrown’s former shareholder and head grower, Justin Crawn. He will not be able to work in any legal marijuana business in Oregon without a worker permit.
“These are very serious offenses,” Matthew Van Sickle, OLCC public affairs specialist, said in an email. “But because Oregrown presented evidence that it was the victim of a theft, there were mitigating circumstances for Oregrown. The apparently responsible party has been penalized to the full extent of the commission’s power by revocation of his worker permit, and has also agreed to return the stolen seeds to the licensed system.”
Oregrown’s suspension, which begins at 7 a.m., July 20 and ends at 7 a.m., Aug. 23, means the company cannot transfer or harvest product, but can water and tend the plants, Van Sickle said. The fine must be paid by July 15, according to the agreement.
About a quarter of what the company sells in its stores is grown in-house, said Alex Tinker, Oregrown’s attorney.
This is not the first OLCC violation for Oregrown. In July 2018, the company’s then-president, Hunter Neubauer, was sanctioned for making false statements and had his worker permit suspended for 23 days. The company’s processing license was suspended by the OLCC for 46 days, and Oregrown was fined $4,950.
Neubauer is currently the co-founder. Previously he was chairman of the board.
In May, the cannabis company settled an acrimonious lawsuit filed in Deschutes Circuit Court against the former head grower Crawn. In the lawsuit Oregrown alleged that under Crawn’s care, the company’s growing facility in Tumalo was a complete loss and didn’t produce any shelf-worthy flower. The company discussed parting ways with Crawn, and he took 51 seed packets and at least one clone of all but one strain from the Tumalo facility.
Oregrown was founded in 2014 by Aviv Hadar, his mother, Tsiona Bitton and Crawn, according to the lawsuit. Later Kevin Hogan, Neubauer and Peter and Patricia Neubauer joined the company as shareholders and directors, filings show.
“The OLCC’s actions were something that arose out of violations that a former employee committed,” Tinker said. “Hopefully this will be the end of a long story.”
The impact of the suspension on the company’s revenues will depend on harvest cycle, Tinker said.
“Oregrown is struggling to minimize the impact of the suspension, but there’s no way to eliminate it,” Tinker said. “It won’t be catastrophic, but it will be substantial.”
Interesting to watch how this will play out for social use cannabis.
Oregon, another state that is forward thinking on cannabis but also has its strict “Clean Air” act and hasn’t like CO worked out how to deal with both issues so people have the right to both clean air and to smoke cannabis. It looks as though in both states the only way to go will be to treat cannabis like tobacco.
We shall see….
Here’s the announcement.
New law amends Colorado Clean Indoor Act to ban vaping indoors
DENVER: Starting Monday, July 1, vaping will be prohibited indoors in most public places. The new law aligns smoking and vaping by adding vaping to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which already prohibited smoking indoors in most public places.
The change comes as Colorado high school students are found to vape twice as much as the national average. Evidence shows that strong smoke-free policies reduce the likelihood that young people will start smoking.
The new law also increases the distance from public entrances where people can smoke or vape from 15 to 25 feet. Studies show to completely avoid exposing others to secondhand smoke in an outdoor area, a person who is smoking may have to move as far away as 25 feet. According to statewide surveys, outside the doorway to a building is the most common place Coloradans report “having to put up with” secondhand smoke.
“We all deserve clean air to breathe without having to worry about secondhand smoke or breathing in vape chemicals. It makes sense to align the law for e-cigarettes with traditional cigarettes,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The new law will help protect customers and service industry employees at restaurants and bars, for example, from the cancer-causing chemicals, heavy metals and nicotine that are in the vapor that comes from vape devices.
Fouser Environmental Services LTD, a laboratory based in Versailles, Kentucky, became the first cannabis testing laboratory accredited in the state last week, according to a press release. The American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) announced the lab’s successful accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2017.
“We congratulate Fouser Environmental Services on becoming the first cannabis testing laboratory accredited in the state of Kentucky. Their completion of this milestone in such a timely manner through the A2LA accreditation process is a testament to their hard work and commitment to quality”, says Adam Gouker, A2LA General Manager. “A2LA realizes the vital role that accreditation plays in the cannabis industry to support compliance with regulatory requirements, and we are thrilled to see that our service has been adopted in a new state. We look forward to our continued relationship with Fouser Environmental Services in the provision of their accreditation needs.”
Fouser Environmental Services has been an environmental testing lab in Kentucky for more than 30 years. A statement by the lab in the press release says they want to support the hemp industry as it continues to grow in Kentucky. “It is our great honor to be the first A2LA ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited laboratory for cannabis testing in the Commonwealth as we continue to strive to perform accurate analysis and release reliable data to the growing hemp industry within Kentucky and throughout the country,” reads the press release.
Core values often get wrapped into buzzwords such as sustainability, locally sourced and organic. In the first part of a series of four articles exploring greenhouses and the environment, we’re going to take a look at indoor vs. outdoor farming in terms of resource management.
Full disclosure; I love the fact that I can eat fresh blueberries in February when my bushes outside are just sticks. Is there a better way to do it than trucking the berries from the farm to a distribution plant to the airport, where they’re flown from the airport to a distribution center, to the grocery store and finally to my kitchen table? That’s a lot of trucking and a lot of energy being wasted for my $3.99 pint of blueberries.The largest generation in the history of the country is demanding more locally grown, sustainable and organic food.
If those same blueberries were grown at a local greenhouse then trucked from the greenhouse directly to the grocery store, that would save diesel fuel and a lot of carbon emissions. People who can only afford to live near a highway, a port or an airport don’t need to ask a pulmonary specialist why their family has a higher rate of COPD than a family who lives on a cul-de-sac in the suburbs.
Fact: 55% of vegetables in the U.S. are grown under cover. The same energy saving principles apply to indoor cannabis and the reasons are consumer driven and producer driven. The largest generation in the history of the country is demanding more locally grown, sustainable and organic food. They want it for themselves and they want it for their kids.
The rapid proliferation of greenhouses over the past ten years is no coincidence. Millennials are forcing changes: organic fruit and vegetables now account for almost 15% of the produce market. A CNN poll last month revealed that 8 of 10 of registered Democrats listed climate change as a “very important” priority for presidential candidates. The issue is not party I.D.; the issue is that a large chunk of Americans are saying they’re worried about the direct and indirect impacts of climate change, such as increased flooding and wildfires.
So how does the consumer side tie into the cannabis industry? Consumers like doing business with companies who share their values. The hard part is balancing consumer values with investor values, which is why many indoor growers are turning to cultivation management platforms to help them satisfy both constituencies. They get the efficiency and they get to show their customers that they are good stewards of their environment. The goal is to catch things before it’s too late to save the plants. If you do that, you save the labor it costs to fix the problem, the labor and the expense of throwing away plants and you reduce pesticide and chemical usage. When that happens, your greenhouse makes more money and shows your customers you care about their values.
The indoor change is happening rapidly because people realize that technology is driving increased revenue while core consumer values are demanding less water waste, fewer pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.Let’s add some more facts to the indoor-outdoor argument. According to an NCBI study of lettuce growing, “hydroponic lettuce production had an estimated water demand of 20 liters/kg, while conventional lettuce production had an estimated water demand of 250 liters/kg.” Even if the ratio is only 10:1, that’s a huge impact on a precious resource.
Looking at the pesticide issue, people often forget about the direct impact on people who farm. “Rates in the agricultural industry are the highest of any industrial sector and pesticide-related skin conditions represent between 15 and 25% of pesticide illness reports,” a 2016 article in The Journal of Cogent Medicine states. Given the recent reports about the chemicals in Roundup, do we even need to continue the conversation and talk about the effects of fertilizer?
I’ll finish up with a quote from a former grower. “The estimates I saw were in the range of between 25%-40% of produce being lost with outdoor farming while most greenhouse growers operate with a 10% loss ratio.”
The indoor change is happening rapidly because people realize that technology is driving increased revenue while core consumer values are demanding less water waste, fewer pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Lastly, most Americans simply have a moral aversion to seeing farms throw away food when so many other people are lined up at food banks.
Whether your cannabis business is a start-up in its infancy, or established with a loyal customer following, the product packaging you use is essential to building and maintaining your brand. The packaging is the first thing a potential customer sees, and it creates that critical first impression. While the primary function is to contain, protect, and market your products, your packaging is a reflection of your company to the customer. In many ways, the package is the product. Partnering with a quality plastic packaging manufacturer for your cannabis products will increase your success.
Bottles made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) have become widely-accepted packaging options within the cannabis industry. There are many plastic bottle manufacturers, but how do you find the right one? In short, seek a manufacturer who makes quality products that are unlikely to present downstream problems for your company, provides services and options that align with things you feel are important, and wants to build a long-term relationship with you so both of your businesses grow faster through strategic partnership.
What to Look for in a Plastic Bottle Manufacturer
As you search for a packaging partner for your cannabis business, here are a few key things to look for:
Bottles That Visually Support Your Brand
It’s essential to partner with a manufacturer who understands the importance of defect-free plastic bottles. Does everything about your packaging convey a sense of trust for your customers? Defects in plastic bottles typically occur during the manufacturing process.
For instance, excessive side taper on the bottles can result in uneven, wrinkled labels that are hard to read and make your product look unprofessional. If flashing on the bottle bottom is not removed, it creates a poor printing surface and results in a poor brand impression.
Partnering with a manufacturer who understands that plastic bottle defects diminish brand presence and who continually strives to remove defect-producing problems out of their manufacturing process is of utmost importance. This avoids many downstream quality problems and helps to keep the focus on growth and off of damage control.
Bottles That Minimize Risk and Waste
Product recalls or safety concerns can be a result of cloudy bottles or material trapped in the resin that makes the plastic packaging look dirty or contaminated. These situations can erode consumer confidence in your brand or expose the customer to risk.
Sub-par plastic bottles can lead to inefficiencies on your filling lines, lost production time, and product that cannot be sold. These situations lead to reduced profitability and negatively impact your bottom line. It’s never good when filled packaging or product has to be thrown away because problems are identified on the filling line.
Worse yet is when your product reaches the point of sale and the problems are identified at the dispensary or by a consumer. For example, over time, an improper seal between the plastic bottle and cap can cause flower to be excessively dry. In turn, when this flower is dispensed to the consumer it can lead to overfilling to make up for weight loss. And some consumers just don’t like their flower to be too dry, resulting in lost sales. Does the defective product get shipped back or trashed at the point of sale location? In either case, this results in the dilemma of wasted product that can’t be used and extra costs that eat into your profitability.
Closures That Work With The Bottle
The closures for the bottles are also an important part of your cannabis packaging. Can your packaging partner manufacture and supply plastic closures that assure complete functionality to protect your product? Closures produced by the same manufacturer as the bottles ensures that the closure and bottle function correctly together. A one-stop-shop approach will save you time and money.
The cannabis industry is growing quickly and faces many complex regulatory challenges, including regulations for child-resistant packaging. Many states have their own unique cannabis packaging requirements which must be strictly adhered to. Are their bottle and closure pairings compliant with current regulations and those that are under legislation for the future?
Customization for Your Brand
Can the cannabis packaging manufacturer customize their products to your exact design and specifications? Your product is unique, and your packaging should reflect that. Make sure your brand stands out with the exact image you want to project. There should be “depth” in your supplier: can they do more than just sell you packaging that already exists?
A Safe Resin Source
Another important aspect of safety is country of origin. Plastic bottles and closures manufactured overseas may have impurities in the resin or colorant that could leach or bleed into your products. They may not have documentation of origin or comply with FDA regulations. Your plastic packaging partner should be able to provide this documentation so you can rest assured that your bottles are manufactured under strict guidelines for the safety of your consumers and that your product won’t be affected.
Commitment to Sustainability
To many consumers, packaging made from recycled materials is important. Does your packaging supplier have a strong commitment to environmental sustainability? There is strong market support for carbon-friendly alternatives. Progressive plastic packaging manufacturers are actively working to provide alternatives to plastics made from fossil fuels and instead, using resins produced from renewable resources (i.e. sugarcane). By partnering with a supplier that provides alternative and recycled materials, you enhance your brand by appealing to a growing segment of environmentally concerned consumers.
As your business grows, can your packaging partner grow with you? It’s important that they are able to keep up with the demand for your product and that their supply chain can match your manufacturing needs. As you add to your product line, are they capable of continuing to offer new and innovative packaging? A manufacturer that has a strong business model for growth will benefit you now and for the future.
A Real Cannabis Packaging Partner
Your cannabis business should develop a true partnership with your packaging supplier. They should invest in your success and care about your business. Businesses depend on one another for continued growth – look for a knowledgeable partner that is responsive, courteous and dependable now and for years to come. The best suppliers realize that there is more to a relationship than just the financial transaction of buying packaging.
Additionally, the best cannabis packaging suppliers understand that consistency in the manufacturing process is essential. Using virtually perfect bottles time after time not only reduces waste but helps build consumers’ trust in your brand. Consistency saves you three precious commodities – time, hassle and money.
Remember, a brand consists of more than just a logo and company name. It identifies who you are, what your company stands for and the integrity of your product. Quality cannabis packaging will reinforce your company standards and attract consumers to your product – consistently defining you as a quality provider with integrity in the marketplace. Improving your bottom line and meeting your company’s financial goals is at stake. Is your cannabis packaging partner going to help you grow?
There’s no denying that the cannabis industry is experiencing a boom. While it feels a bit like the wild west, many organizations are riding a wave of (mostly) positive publicity as opportunities increase for cannabis products and distribution.
From a public relations standpoint, relying on this initial excitement, however, is shortsighted at best. As regulations allow for increased competition in many markets such as cannabis dispensaries, manufacturers and distributors, we must find new ways to creatively garner positive attention while staying compliant with regulations.
But what do you do after the initial excitement fades? How do you individualize your company to make it stand out and sustain within the market? For many, the solution is held within a strategic community relations program.
No matter the size or reach of the organization, we encourage many of our clients, especially those in the cannabis industry, to engage with their immediate communities. Not only does this demonstrate that you’re invested in the well-being of your neighbors, but can provide long-term benefits, such as brand loyalty and improved public image.
Here are four reasons why businesses in the cannabis industry should be investing in community relations outreach:
1. Initial Publicity Only Lasts So Long
Like the gold rush, businesses are looking to help themselves to a slice of the cannabis pie. And understandably so. In 2018, the industry earned nearly $10 billion in the U.S. last year, creating 64,389 jobs, according to CNBC. With the newness of the industry comes a lot of excitement and media attention. While this attention is great for those first-to-market trailblazers, as competition increases, the newsworthiness will dwindle.So, what’s the best way to gain awareness without blatantly advertising? The answer is giving back.
For examples of this, look no further than the tech industry. Remember when apps (or websites if you want to go way back) used to be a big deal? In order to stand out in a crowded marketplace you must be different and have a story to tell. Making a meaningful connection through outreach will help you succeed long after the first wave of publicity fades away.
2. Regulations Rule
In many ways, your hands are tied when it comes to advertising or promoting a cannabis business versus a traditional retail product or location. In some states, it’s almost entirely off the table. So, what’s the best way to gain awareness without blatantly advertising? The answer is giving back. Community outreach programs through philanthropic efforts will help build your business, create brand awareness and bring people together. Community relations is a critical part of getting the word out even in the face of strict regulatory guidelines. And the best part – it can be inexpensive to do. As an added bonus, you make friends and create advocates in the process.
3. Combat the Stigma
In some states and communities, cannabis still faces a bad rap. Currently only 33 states have legalized medical cannabis, while 11 states have legalized cannabis recreationally. And even with growing legalization and acceptance, the industry must still combat outdated stigmas and misgivings. By making your business a reputable part of the community you will build trust and loyalty. Take this as an opportunity to educate the community about the facility and meet staff members.
4. Stay in Good Graces
Community relations is a great way to create ambassadors out of community leaders and influencers. Simply put, people are more interested in supporting an organization that supports them in return. Show that you’re invested in your neighbors and ingrained in the success of the local business community. As an added bonus, community involvement will also help boost public image and build the morale of employees. This is important for long-term success of your company as well as employee retention.
No matter what your reason for implementing a community relations initiative, you’ll find it to be a great addition to your public relations strategy.
The best part- community outreach doesn’t have to be extravagant, either. Coat drives, food drives or volunteering time with local events are all great ways to show your support for the community while raising your own profile.
As the cannabis industry continues to grow and competition increases, you’ll feel good about setting the bar high as a responsible and thoughtful invested member of your local business community.
Baby steps…”Possession of up to two ounces or less of marijuana in New York State will be treated as a violation instead of a crime, with fines dropping to as low as $50.” Also expungement of “many low-level marijuana convictions across the state.”
The NY Times Reports
New York lawmakers, having fallen short in a push to fully legalize marijuana, have agreed to further decriminalize possession of the drug and automatically expunge many low-level marijuana convictions across the state.
The measure, which would treat possession of up to two ounces of marijuana as a violation instead of a crime, is a significant change in a state in which tens of thousands of residents have been arrested for small-scale possession.
The agreement came after months of negotiations in Albany failed to establish the type of fully legalized industry embraced in nearly a dozen other states, including California, Washington and Alaska.
Still, the measure agreed to on Thursday by the Democrat-led Legislature, and backed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, also a Democrat, was still considered a step forward for those pushing for lessening drug penalties, particularly the expungement of records
Integrity also filed for a temporary restraining order, which is scheduled for a hearing on Monday. Integrity is asking the court to stop Juniper Biolabs from selling any of the product. The damages represent the revenue that was promised.
When the two companies entered into the agreement, Integrity’s owner was told that Bend’s Juniper Analytics Inc. was a partner in the lab, said Matt Goldberg, a Portland attorney hired by Integrity.
That relationship and the price Juniper promised were two key reasons Integrity chose the firm, Goldberg said.
The two companies signed an agreement in January, but by May, the deal unraveled.
The bill passed the Assembly by a 66-to-5 vote, with six abstentions. The Senate passed the bill by a 31-to-5 vote.
“The medicinal uses of marijuana have been proven safe for years, and yet, in New Jersey we have arbitrarily restricted patients’ access since our program’s inception,” said bill sponsor Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, in a statement.