The Cannabis Breathalizer is Here

As we head into the final days of Autism Awareness Month, it’s important to acknowledge the link between medical marijuana use and autism. In a study, cannabis was found to be a “well-tolerated, safe, and effective option” to relieve certain autism symptoms.

Do you or anyone you know have insight on the link between autism and cannabis? Reach out to us! We would love to hear from you.

Join us on April 30 for a live CannaGather Digital: Piecing Together the Puzzle: A Conversation About Cannabis & Autism. You can RSVP here (use promo code jbdigital for a discount). This week, we host Dr. Sandra Carrillo (President of the Colombian Medical Association of Cannabis Medicine), Mieko Hester-Perez (Healthcare Ambassador at CannaSafe Analytics), and Dr. Rachel Knox (endocannabinologist & certified cannabinoid medicine specialist). They join us for an in-depth conversation on the complicated relationship between medical cannabis and autism.

Would you like to sponsor our weekly LeafletEmail me for more information. 

Make sure your canna-curious friends and colleagues are up to date on the latest news. Share this newsletter to keep them in the loop.

// CannaGather Calendar

April 30 // CannaGather Digital // Piecing Together the Puzzle: A Conversation About Cannabis & Autism

Our live, online events feature insight from the cannabis industry’s top thought leaders and ensure our community stays up-to-date without leaving the house.

If you’d like to speak at, sponsor, or otherwise collaborate on a CannaGather Digital, let us know!

// Entrepreneurship

Together with Safe-Reach

Growing & Selling With Smart & Trackable Online Marketing

While some brands and retailers have waited to get involved with digital for various reasons, COVID-19 has forced single shops, brands, MSO’s, delivery services, and pretty much everyone else to look into quality solutions for online customer acquisition and remarketing. Safe-Reach, a complete ecosystem for online advertising, has been helping top cannabis brands with this for two years. “It’s not matter of if your cannabis business should be online, it’s about how effectively you’re doing it,” says Safe-Reach founder Adam Schlett.

Digital marketing is a loaded and broad term. Just like SMS or email marketing to your CRM is a part of digital, so is new customer acquisition, site remarketing, and consumer analytics. Safe-Reach helps a variety of clients with all budget ranges, from single store mom and pop shops to MSO’s, by providing media campaigns for new customer acquisition, remarketing, and on-page and campaign analytics. They work with the online menu partners on a company’s page to track ad spend back to total sales. In short, the company helps cannabusinesses figure out who’s buying what and how to sell more to them online.

What this means and why you care: You might think that all digital banner ad products look the same, but there are many nuances on how to get your ads live, how they are tracked, and what information can be derived for future marketing. Much of this depends on who you’re working with, and firms like Safe-Reach can deliver results through strategy, good tech, data, and ad operations.

// Finance

Federal Funds for Cannabis Businesses

Small marijuana businesses may soon get access to federal COVID-19 relief funds. The Emergency Cannabis Small Business Health and Safety Act would make cannabusinesses eligible for three Small Business Administration (SBA) services: the Paycheck Protection Program; Economic Injury Disaster Loans program; and Economic Injury Disaster Loans Emergency Grants program.

Right now, federal prohibition prevents SBA from providing these funds to cannabis companies, as well as to any service provider that works indirectly with the industry (such as accounting or law firms). This bipartisan bill would ensure that a business can’t be excluded from the coronavirus relief programs based on their status as a state-legal cannabis company. It would also include language to make sure SBA officials are not punished for providing these programs to the industry.

“As Congress seeks to provide relief to small businesses across America, chief among those being left out are state-legal cannabis businesses that are essential to communities and have met the demands of this crisis,” cosponsor Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said. “We should include state-legal cannabis in federal COVID-19 response efforts. Without providing these businesses the relief needed to carry out the recommended public health and worker-focused measures, we are putting these hard-working people, and ourselves, at risk.” 

Cosponsor Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) added that that marijuana businesses “are major employers and significant contributors to local economies in Colorado and across the country” and so they “should receive the same level of support as other legal, legitimate businesses and be eligible for SBA relief funds during this COVID-19 crisis.”

What this means and why you care: The industry already faced disproportionate financial burdens, and the current landscape has only made things more difficult. As many businesses fight to survive, advocates and some lawmakers are stepping up to make sure cannabis companies are included in crucial programs, now and in the future.

// Legal

Legalization Efforts in NY and NJ

New York: Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, comprehensive cannabis policy changes seemed likely in 2020. Lawmakers and advocates hoped an end prohibition would be accomplished through the annual budget, but the coronavirus outbreak in NYC and throughout the state caused the April deadline to come and go without success. Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D) would still like to see it move forward this year. “I can’t commit that it will, because it’s not my call whether or not things go on the floor or not, but I do know that it’s something I’m pushing for,” she said, adding that she still believes “there’s time in this legislative session to get it done.” You can listen to the assembly majority leader’s recent cannabis comments here.

New Jersey: Last year, lawmakers failed to enact reform legislatively, but a proposal to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state will appear on this November’s ballot. A new poll shows that 61% of respondents plan to vote yes, while 34% said they would vote no. Unsurprisingly, support was highest among Democratic respondents (70%), but 40% of Republicans said they would vote in favor of the referendum as well.

What this means and why you care: Progress related to cannabis reform has stalled in many states due to the COVID-19 crisis. Governments have shifted priorities to make sure the outbreak is contained. But hope is still alive โ€” advocates are doing what they can to push things forward is this time.

// Medicine, Science, & Technology

The Cannabis Breathalyzer

A startup gearing up to manufacture the first cannabis breathalyzer raised $30 million dollars last week and published a study outlining how the hand-held device would work. Oakland, California-based Hound Labs says that their product is designed to help employers and police figure out if a person is too high to work or drive. The primary innovation is its ability to “distinguish between people who have used cannabis legally (in the past) from people who are currently impaired, either while driving or on the job.” The first-of-its-kind product, which also measures blood alcohol content, is set to be rolled out this winter.

Today, police use field sobriety tests (like walking in a straight line), as well as urine and saliva tests, but these methods only identify cannabis use in the past few days โ€” not in the moment. Hound’s published study suggests that their product could detect recent use. The company has raised a total of $65 million and has a notable investor pool including “Law & Order” executive producer Dick Wolf.

What this means and why you care: Employers and law enforcement have yet to find a reliable way to tell if someone is too high to work or drive. The marijuana breathalyzer by Hound Labs could be the solution for many looking to implement a better alternative.

// Community

A 4/20 to Remember

We asked readers of last week’s Leaflet what they got up to on 4/20, and it was nice to hear that many had a positive day. A big thank you to everyone who shared their story with us! Here’s how a couple CannaGather community members spent their days.

Yo Cannabis! was launched by Marty Monaco with a Facebook live stream Weed Comedy Show at 4:20pm. He had planned a major live event at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC, but as Marty says, he decided to “make some lemonade out of all the lemons.”

Maria, owner of both a restaurant and a design agency, has had her hands full amid the COVID-19 shutdowns. The day had been another stressful one, but she made sure take a step back at 4:20pm for a much-needed canna-break. While watching the sunset that evening, Maria reached a level of calmness that stuck with her for days to come.

Would you like to become a sponsor of our weekly Leaflet? Email me for more information.

Interested in joining the CannaGather team? Reach out to us. We would love to have you on board as we grow.

Make sure your canna-curious friends and colleagues are up to date on the latest news. Share this newsletter to keep them in the loop.

Written by Justin Bernstein

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