Cultivating Business with Women Grow

Women Grow, a group that was started in Denver in 2014, empowers female entrepreneurship in the cannabis industry. Monthly meetings allow members an opportunity to meet each other and learn about emerging business trends. Industry experts share their knowledge during a panel discussion and attendees are encouraged to swap business cards and do some serious networking during the social time that is built into each meeting’s agenda.

I attended a recent meeting of the San Diego chapter of Women Grow, which was founded two years ago. I arrived in time for the pre-meeting mixer and quickly found members eager to share their experiences with the organization.

Best friends Katie Moodie and Brooke Brun are partners in KB Pure Essentials, a San Diego company that offers a line of CBD wellness products. Brooke suffers from a severe form of epilepsy that, untreated, subjects her to an average of three grand mal seizures daily. Traditional pharmaceutical treatments were effective, but the high doses she required left her with depression and other side effects.

Read more at High Times

Prosecutor Charges Marijuana Business Attorney

An attorney who successfully returned money seized from a dispensary owner has now been changed with criminal action. The case is being called “vindictive prosecution.”

It appeared Bonnie Dumanis had lost. As San Diego’s district attorney, Dumanis had seized more than $324,000 from a local medical marijuana distributor during a January 2016 raid. But in May, with no charges filed against James Slatic, the operation’s owner, and no indication any charges were coming after almost a year and a half, a judge ordered Dumanis to return $100,000 seized from the personal bank accounts of Slatic and his family.

The money was expected within 10 days. For Dumanis, who is exiting the post on July 7 following a rare decision to resign mid-term, it would be an embarrassing footnote on her career.

Read more at Cannabis Now

San Diego Celebrates Hemp History Week

Many of the uses and benefits of hemp were on display at the International Cannabis University (ICU) in San Diego, California for a celebration of Hemp History Week. The event on June 4 also took advantage of the date (6/4) to celebrate recreational cannabis use, legalized with the passage of Prop. 64 (get it?!?) by California voters in 2016.

Dion Markgraaff, cannabis activist and organizer of the festivities, said the goal of the event was to educate the public on the sustainability and versatility of hemp.

“To me, the cannabis movement is an educational movement,” he said.

Read more at High Times

Political Candidates Courting Ganjapreneurs

It seems the days of cannabis businesspeople clamoring for the ears of politicians may be coming to an end.

Two candidates for San Diego County elected offices recently spoke at the monthly meeting of a marijuana industry trade group. The Association of Cannabis Professionals event was held at a café in the San Diego, California neighborhood of City Heights. A standing room only crowd spilled out of the area that had been reserved for the meeting.

First up to speak was Dave Myers, who claimed to be the only Democrat to run for San Diego County Sheriff in the last 60 years. Myers is currently a Commander in the Sheriff’s Department, where he has worked for 32 years.

Read more at High Times

Pot Companies and Consumers Connect at Farmers Market

Cultivators and makers of concentrates and other marijuana products had direct access to their customers at the San Diego Cannabis Farmers Market. The event was held outdoors at a Four Points by Sheraton hotel in California’s second largest city.

In order to comply with current regulations, a doctor’s medical marijuana recommendation was required for entry, but it was evident the crowd was also eager to celebrate recreational use with the passage of Prop. 64, as a party atmosphere prevailed.

It didn’t take shoppers long to get in the right frame of mind, with free hits and dabs available at every turn. The reggae rhythms were dropped down only long enough for special events, such as giveaways and competitions.

Read more at High Times

How One Police Department Took the Green Out of St. Paddy’s Day

On March 17, the San Diego Police Department rolled out two new mobile drug testing machines in the city’s historic Gaslamp District, an area known for its nightlife and the home of an annual St. Patrick’s Day block party.

The DrugTest 5000 tests oral swabs for cannabinoids, opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, benzodiazepines and methadone. The devices are rechargeable and portable, weighing in at about 10 pounds and approximately the size of a home coffee maker.

The DrugTest 5000, manufactured by German manufacturer Dräger with U.S. operations based in Irving, Texas, hit the market in 2009 and is currently in use in about a dozen U.S. states, Europe and Australia. A California judge in 2016 found the machines to be scientifically reliable in a vehicular manslaughter case.

Read more at High Times

San Diego County Supervisors Vote to Kill MMJ Dispensaries

Last week, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to ban medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation in the unincorporated areas of California’s second most populated county.

The two dispensaries already licensed to do business and three more in the process of opening would be allowed to operate for five years in order to recoup the investments made in accordance with current regulations. At the end of that time, the businesses will be forced to close. The decision does not affect businesses located within the 18 incorporated cities of the county.

The action of the board went against the wishes of the county planning commission, which recommended allowing medicinal dispensaries and cultivation-only facilities. The planning commission also suggested outdoor cultivation be allowed on county agricultural land beginning in 2018.

Read more at High Times

Take A Peek Inside This San Diego Marijuana Lab

As the cannabis industry continues to be legalized and regulated, the need for analytic laboratories to test marijuana products is a growing business opportunity.

PharmLabs, an accredited analytic laboratory in San Diego, California, has been testing the waters of this emerging market since 2011 and is poised to expand substantially now that Prop. 64—which legalizes personal possession and cultivation of cannabis, as well as allows for regulated commercial activity—has been passed.

Greg Magdoff, CEO and co-founder of PharmLabs, began the company after acquiring at auction a gas chromatograph, one of the key pieces of lab equipment used in the testing of cannabis and its products.

Read more at High Times

San Diego Pot Businesses Dodge Bullet, For Now

The legal marijuana industry in San Diego, California avoided a complete ban on the commercial cultivation, processing, distribution, and testing of cannabis products this week, with a unanimous vote of the city council to direct city staff to study the issues further and report back within nine months.

An amendment to the land use laws for California’s second largest city in response to the passage of Prop. 64 last year, the proposal had seemingly been rushed before the council as a “direct docket” item, circumventing normal channels of committee and public review. The proposal also rejected a previous recommendation from the City Planning Commission to allow the business activities under discussion.

The hastiness of the action was evident, as council members struggled in front of packed council chambers to compose amendments concerning outdoor home cultivation and to request further study of the proposed bans. Councilmember David Alvarez, who supports a regulated cannabis industry, noted “…a lot of the issues being raised today could have been handled had we gone through a different process.” Council President Myrtle Cole, who is responsible for the council agenda, did not return a call by the end of day Wednesday to explain why the proposal was listed as a direct docket item.

Read more at High Times

First Major California City To Welcome Recreational Weed

San Diego just lost a pro football team to Los Angeles, but take heart, jilted NFL fans: You just gained legal recreational marijuana. And the way things stand now, if L.A. wants any weed, it will have to come to you.

As The San Diego Union Tribune is reporting, the Southern California city became the first major urban area in the state to prepare for the recreational cannabis sales allowed under Prop. 64, the marijuana legalization ballot measure overwhelmingly approved by voters in November.

It’s legal for all adults 21 and over in California to consume, possess and cultivate marijuana, but the only places where cannabis can be legally purchased are existing medical marijuana dispensaries. Retail marijuana stores may open as early as Jan. 1, 2018—a deadline dependent on state and local lawmakers getting work done. Cities and counties need to explicitly allow dispensaries, and state lawmakers need to craft statewide rules for recreational marijuana cultivation, testing and sales.

Read more at High Times