Cannabis experts from around the world were at the MJBiz Conference in Las Vegas last week sharing knowledge and best practices for the cannabis business.
They discussed issues ranging from the lung disease epidemic of caused by vaporizers to the challenges of corporate integration around mergers and acquisition and the future of the retail industry.
Hemp.im is the world’s cannabis news resource. Millions of people use this application to discover the latest information about marijuana, hemp, and cannabis alike. It also covers the entire spectrum of companies involved in the hemp industry giving users more insight, also covering hemp stocks listed in the US, Canada, and other markets.
Recovering from the vaping epidemic
So what can legal cannabis vape manufacturers and retailers do to protect themselves from the effects of the vaporizer crisis? Antonio Frazier, Vice President of Operations for CannaSafe in Los Angeles, stated that the number one tactic is to stay within existing regulations. At the MJBizCon event, Frazier stated that “Testing, properly understanding their hardware, getting more information for their customers and patients about the safety of their products,” when addressing a panel on the topic of the epidemic.
Douglas Fischer, the general consultant for Greenlane, whose headquarters are located in Florida, said that given that the problem comes mainly from the illicit market, several measures can or need to be taken besides simply educating consumers. Besides just “testing” the substance itself, this includes: knowing the supply chain, learning about the hardware as well as the plants, advocating for the right regulations, and doing emissions tests besides just testing the substance itself.
According to Neal Levine, CEO of the Cannabis Trade Federation, the industry should be responsible and adopt regulation stating “because it shows everyone the difference between regulated and unregulated products.”
Critical communication during mergers and acquisitions
According to Julius Kalcevich, CFO of iAnthus Capital Holdings: “Buying a licensed cannabis company is a way to get around the time, costs and headaches involved in starting a business from the very beginning, but it brings its own set of challenges.”
Kalcevich credits mergers and acquisitions with the growth of iAnthus, which has grown from a four-person operation to a 750-employee company with operations in 11 states. He cited the importance of ensuring that the team is aware of any changes in management at all times.
Consumers expect uniformity in products sold at the retail level
It can be hard to have consistent offers on the shelves in cannabis markets where growers and manufacturers of infused products have not reached full production. According to Mark Passerini, Executive Vice President of Operations for Michigan-based Mission Dispensaries, it’s essential to maintain a reliable product line to keep consumers happy.
Passerini, whose company operates dispensaries in five U.S. states, went on to state that customers “want consistency in what they buy and want to see the same pressure on the shelves every time.” If a retailer is not vertically integrated, cultivating, and maintaining supplier relationships is the way to achieve the goal. Passerini suggested long-term contracts as a way to avoid the lack of a regular customer product.
Passerini recommends that “operators should consider long-term contracts with suppliers in order to maintain a consistent product line for consumers.”
Reducing legislative priorities can offer faster progress
Recently, pro-cannabis legislation made historic progress on Capitol Hill, when a major U.S. House committee pushed forward a federal legalization bill. The Social Justice Focused Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Expansion Act of 2019 could very likely open up huge business opportunities for legal cannabis across the country, similar to the federal legalization of hemp.
Such indicators show that there is more support among lawmakers than there was in the past, however, according to Saphira Galoob, executive director of the National Cannabis Round Table, and David Mangone, policy director of The Liaison Group, no further legislative movement is likely by the end of the year.
MJBizCon speakers recommended that in order to support legislation they focus on and prioritize one particular bill this year: the Law on Security and Banking Justice (SAFE), and have asked senators, especially Republicans to support the legislation as well.
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