Episode 346 – Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

Andrew Livingston and first-time guest Ngiste Abebe join host Heather Sullivan to talk about the growth in legal marijuana jobs and the pressing need to address social equity disparities within the entrepreneurial community. Produced by Shea Gunther.

News & Links:
New York Governor Reveals Amendments To Marijuana Legalization Plan Weeks Before Budget Deadline | Marijuana Moment

New Jersey Lawmakers Send Marijuana Compromise Bill To Governor’s Desk, Setting Stage For Legal Sales | Marijuana Moment

Oregon marijuana firms enjoy booming market fueled by pandemic, consumers shunning illicit suppliers | Marijuana Business Daily

Photo: Beverly Yuen Thompson/Flickr

Watch the Information, Education & Empowerment Summit 2021

With a new year ahead of us and a new administration in place, it will take multiple conversations to better the cannabis industry and right the wrongs of the War on Drugs and systemic racism. 

To spark these conversations and begin building a more inclusive cannabis industry, Weedmaps and Green Enterprise have joined together to produce a two-day virtual conference — Information, Education & Empowerment Summit, being held from February 22 – 23. 

Green Enterprise, a partnership between Digital Venture Partners and Black Enterprise, is a media resource for Black Americans entering cannabis entrepreneurship. Green Enterprise will virtually gather their audiences to inform, educate, and empower Black and POC entrepreneurs with new opportunities, skills, knowledge, and experience needed to be successful in the cannabis industry. Weedmaps is the event’s presenting sponsor.

“Since the inception of Green Enterprise, our goal has been to bring authentic stories to illustrate the successes achieved by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color operating within the emerging global cannabis industry. Our work with Weedmaps has already shown amazing progress in supporting our work to establish Green Enterprise as an authority in Black Cannabis media,” said  Andrew Farrior, producer of Green Enterprise.

When and where do I stream it? 

  • When: Feb. 22 – 23 2020 1 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST. 
  • Where: You can watch it at Green Enterprise’s streaming page, which is here

What will I be watching? 

At this virtual summit, you will hear from successful entrepreneurs, Black business owners, and other leaders in the space throughout a series of panel discussions. Topics covered will include social impact and justice, social equity, raising capital and general economics, tips for investing, and other areas specific to successfully entering and participating in the cannabis industry for BIPOC individuals.

Here is the session agenda:

Some of the speakers are: 

How is Weedmaps involved in the summit? 

As a sponsor and participant in the virtual summit, Weedmaps looks to contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with Green Enterprise to produce this important event and continue to share our company’s commitment to building an equitable industry,” said Juanjo Feijoo, Weedmaps Chief Marketing Officer. “As legalization continues to move forward across the country and as the cannabis industry grows, we have a responsibility to not only address the wrongs inflicted on minority communities through the War on Drugs but also create a more inclusive economy at scale. The challenges are many, but creating a forum for open discussion and education with key industry decision-makers is more often than not the necessary catalyst for real change and solutions to occur.”

Weedmaps will be programming a panel discussion called “Together for Access, Equality, and Legalization” led by Ru Johnson, Roz McCarthy, and Cedric Haynes. This discussion will focus on the importance of cannabis organizations working together to build a more equitable industry. 

The panel will also discuss WM TEAL (Together for Equity, Access & Legalization), a Weedmaps initiative that provides tools and resources to social equity-qualified entrepreneurs and businesses in the cannabis industry.

Why watch?

The cannabis industry is booming and more Americans are historically aware of the tragedy of the War on Drugs and its lasting effects. Now, more than ever, is an important time for Black and POC to be equipped with all the right skills and information to successfully participate at the forefront of this industry as it becomes more widely accepted. By bringing entrepreneurs and thought-leaders together, we can view the cannabis industry through complex lenses that will make an impact socially, racially, and economically.

And cannabis is entering new conversations and interests. Cannabis can be intertwined with countless other industries like wellness, agriculture, tech, sports, food, and music. Knowing how Black and POC entrepreneurs can influence cannabis’s direction will only make for a better, healthier, and more inclusive industry and culture. With this in mind, Green Enterprise and Weedmaps hope to drive thoughtful conversation around the challenges minorities have faced and the pathways toward success. The business opportunities ahead for Black and POC entrepreneurs are well-worth going after, and this summit aims to lay it all out for this community and their allies. 

To learn more, visit greenenterprise.live and weedmaps.com/black-lives-matter

The post Watch the Information, Education & Empowerment Summit 2021 appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// New Mexico adult-use marijuana bill advanced by state House panel (Marijuana Business Daily)

// South Dakota AG abandons effort to defend adult-use marijuana initiative (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Washington Lawmakers Approve Drug Decriminalization Bill In Committee Vote (Marijuana Moment)


These headlines are brought to you by Cova Software, the number one dispensary point-of-sale system in North America! Swing over today to see why two thirds of all Canadian cannabis stores run on Cova software, which is also the fastest growing dispensary software in the U.S., with more than a hundred new client dispensaries open for business in January alone!


// New York Governor To Send Amended Marijuana Legalization Plan To Lawmakers Amid Criticism (Marijuana Moment)

// Massachusetts medical cannabis patient numbers top 100,000 (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Michigan’s marijuana industry surpasses Oregon in cannabis jobs report says (Michigan Live)

// Recreational pot sales have more than doubled since Maine’s market launch (Central Maine)

// Mississippi Senate Approves Alternate Medical Marijuana Program Hours After Defeating It (Marijuana Moment)

// Canopy unloads British Columbia cannabis greenhouses at large loss (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Cannabis spurs creative but unrealistic ideas study shows (Marijuana Business Daily)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: imageMatters1/Flickr

Friday, February 5, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, February 5, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Illinois Sets New Marijuana Sales Record In First Month Of 2021 (Marijuana Moment)

// New York Lawmakers Slam Governor’s Marijuana Legalization Plan While Touting Legislature’s Own Bill (Marijuana Moment)

// Virginia Marijuana Legalization Bills Clear Procedural Floor Hurdles Ahead Of Friday Deadline (Marijuana Moment)


These headlines are brought to you by the upcoming Homegrown Weed Summit, the first and only online event dedicated to teaching you how to grow elite cannabis from seed to harvest right in your home. The Homegrown Weed Summit is coming up on February 15 and will feature four days of online events with noted cannabis pros like Tommy Chong, Danny Danko, and Ed Rosenthal. You can learn more about the Homegrown Weed Summit and get your free ticket now over at HomeGrownWeedSummit.com!


// Legal recreational cannabis sales in Canada outstrip illicit spending for first time (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Jazz Pharmaceuticals Is Buying GW Pharmaceuticals in $7.2 Billion Deal (Green Market Report)

// Funding for marijuana companies surges after Democrats win control of White House Congress (Marijuana Business Daily)

// California cannabis agency creates uproar by revoking 300-plus business permits then reinstates most (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Washington Lawmakers Introduce Long-Awaited Bill To Decriminalize All Drugs And Expand Treatment (Marijuana Moment)

// MassRoots Wants To Be The Greatest Come Back In the Cannabis Industry (Green Market Report)

// Michael Thompson Freed After 24 Years In Prison For Marijuana Sale Now Crowdfunded Campaign Buys Him A Home (Inquisitr)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Else Olofsson/Flickr

5 weed products Kika Keith can’t live without

For Kika Keith, tackling the beast of reforming cannabis social equity in Los Angeles has been a long journey, one she never expected would last for as long as it has. 

Keith is a single mother to three girls, serial entrepreneur, cannabis advocate, founder of Life Development Group, co-founder of the Social Equity Owners and Workers Association (SEOWA), and now a Social Equity cannabis retail license owner. As a South-Central Los Angeles native, she was raised in a household and community where there wasn’t much of a stigma around cannabis.

“My parents were always into alternative medicine and I was raised with the value that what we need for our health comes from the ground. I was blessed with that awareness of the benefits of cannabis and kind of parlayed that into the industry in 2007,” Keith shared with Weedmaps.     

Keith stepped into the industry with a line of infused chlorophyll water and partnered with Virgil Grant, another Black cannabis pioneer and dispensary owner from Los Angeles. In 2018, California passed the California Cannabis Equity Act that would allow for the development and operation of cannabis equity programs aimed at including the minority communities who had been adversely affected by cannabis criminalization, according to the City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation

When Keith heard of this program bringing some form of reparations to her own community — as well as a valuable business opportunity — she thought she would apply, get the ball rolling with her business, and see a real dynamic change after the program was released. But that wasn’t the case. 

Rising above failing cannabis equity programs 

The complications after the legalization and regulation of cannabis in California continued to persist, laid out in Weedmaps’ recent docuseries, Uprooted, in which Keith shared her experience as an applicant struggling in Los Angeles’s Social Equity program. 

Focusing on distributing cannabis social equity was the key to adequately structuring a fair, legal, local marketplace, and Los Angeles failed to do just that. At the time, only a small number of the approved applicants were Black, while the majority of them were white. Rumors of corporate and government corruption were uncovered while Keith, along with countless other low-income applicants directly affected by arrests during the War on Drugs, had given up almost everything, holding onto empty retail properties and waiting for years to become cannabis license holders.

“I think the program started off with good intentions, but from a very capitalist perspective. They passed these laws without any processes or procedures, no access to capital, no education for a law that exists.” This is why Keith founded and co-founded the organizations Life Development Group and (SEOWA) to begin educating her community on local cannabis rules and regulations and applying pressure to the city to uphold the law that was in place. 

“Fortunately, that became our strength because the law did exist and it was on paper. So then it was just a matter of us rallying and doing our grassroots mobilization to educate the community on how significant it is to be a part of this brand new industry.”

By providing education on city cannabis laws to her community, and winning a successful lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, Keith and her team won 100 additional licenses, including one for herself. After raising $1M for her property last year, her retail storefront on Crenshaw is finally well on its way to opening day — an unbelievably proud moment for herself and her community.

“Our small victories in this have empowered a community and have been a great model nationally for how communities can stand up and realize that you don’t have to come in with your hand out begging for a position to be in this.” 

As a Black woman making an impact in cannabis social equity, she sets an example for Black and Brown folks, that making the firm stance in not compromising in the world of cannabis business and law will continue to show others within the community they can, in fact, own a significant market share within an exponentially growing industry.

Kika Keith’s favorite weed

Growing up in South-Central Los Angeles with friends and family who accepted cannabis, on top of being raised by a Rastafarian dad, Kika Keith has been surrounded by the plant since she was young. It’s safe to say she definitely knows a thing or two about quality California-grown weed cultivated by local and Black-owned brands.

Here are the brands and products Kika Keith can’t live without.

Blaqstar Farms

One of her favorite Los Angeles-based legacy growers is Blaqstar Farms. Their artisan indoor-grown weed is known to be pure and potent. “I love to support black-owned brands. My favorite is the Lemon OG. It’s really smooth, it has a bold flavor, and I’m a flower girl at the end of the day!”

California Cannabis

When Keith just wants to mellow out, her go-to is the line of teas at California Cannabis. Virgil Grant, her friend and former partner, is the owner of this iconic Los Angeles dispensary. Their tea flavors include lemon, raspberry, and peach. “I definitely love sippin’ on that,” she said, smiling.

Peakz Co.

Peakz Co. is another Black-owned luxury cannabis brand Keith loves. Her favorite of theirs is The Woo, one of their signature strains. This Oakland-based brand is owned by Jesse Grundy who was also pioneering cannabis licensing equity activism in his local community in the Bay Area. 

Bel-Air Cannabis Co.

Bel-Air Cannabis Co. is a Los Angeles favorite of Keith’s. When she’s out and about, she likes to keep a Bel-Air pre-roll in her purse.

Gorilla Life

Keith has her own line of infused chlorophyll water that is a perfect alternative to edibles for when you want to watch your sugar intake. Gorilla Life is my brand. I like edibles but a lot of them are sugar-based. GorillaRx is a healthy beverage line that’s sweetened with agave so you don’t have to worry about the sugar in it — I can get my energy in and also get a nice little high off of it as well.”

Featured photo by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

The post 5 weed products Kika Keith can’t live without appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Chuck Schumer Lists Marijuana As A Priority In First Post-Election Cannabis Comments (Marijuana Moment)

// Massachusetts city drops onerous ‘impact fee’ on cannabis businesses (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Top New York Official Responds To Marijuana Advocates’ Criticism Of Governor’s Legalization Plan (Marijuana Moment)


These headlines are brought to you by the upcoming Homegrown Weed Summit, the first and only online event dedicated to teaching you how to grow elite cannabis from seed to harvest right in your home. The Homegrown Weed Summit is coming up on February 15 and will feature four days of online events with noted cannabis pros like Tommy Chong, Danny Danko, and Ed Rosenthal. You can learn more about the Homegrown Weed Summit and get your free ticket now over at HomeGrownWeedSummit.com!


// New Mexico Governor Pushes For Marijuana Legalization In State Of The State Address (Marijuana Moment)

// Police In New Jersey’s Largest City Continue Marijuana Arrests At Pre-Legalization Rate (Marijuana Moment)

// Maine labs receive go-ahead to start testing adult-use cannabis (WGME 13 CBS)

// Martha Stewart Launches Pet CBD Products ()

// Arizona’s initial adult-use marijuana licensing leaves some cities underserved (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Lawmakers in Costa Rica ask government to speed up medical cannabis debate (Tico Times)

// Did iAnthus Bankers Conspire To ‘Wipe Out’ Shareholders? (Green Market Report)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: John Brighenti/Flickr

Friday, January 22, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is seen in a closely-cropped photograph as he speaks to another man. Gov. Cuomo is wearing a blue suit with a red tie and has his head tilted down as he looks up intently in mid-speech.

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, January 22, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Cuomo’s New York Marijuana Legalization Plan Draws Mixed Reviews From Advocates (Marijuana Moment)

// Massachusetts cannabis retailers sue state over delivery regulations (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Aurora Cannabis Raises $125 Million at $10.45 (New Cannabis Ventures)


These headlines are brought to you by Atlantic Farms, a Maine-based multistate cannabis business with operations in Maine and Massachusetts. Atlantic Farms is looking for people to help it grow and evolve as investors. Open up TheAtlanticFarms.com for more on the company and email info@theatlanticfarms.com to learn about investment opportunities.


// Cannabis MSO Verano announces $100M subscription receipt financing (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Harborside Upsizes Offering To $27 Million (Green Market Report)

// Canada’s ‘croptober’ surge pushes cannabis inventory over 1 million kilograms (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Valens Company Unloads Oil Inventory At Discount Prices Stock Plunges (Green Market Report)

// Illinois Awards $31.5 Million In Marijuana-Funded Grants To Repair Communities Harmed By Drug War (Marijuana Moment)

// Washington State Marijuana Homegrow Bill Draws Smooth Reception At Initial Hearing (Marijuana Moment)

// Some Cannabis Growers Are Still Counting Cost of Wildfires but Most Say the Industry Dodged a Bullet (Green Entrerpreneur)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Third Way Think Tank/Flickr

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Marijuana firm Verano plans to go public at reported $2.9 billion valuation (Marijuana Business Daily)

// New Jersey Lawmakers Advance Revised Marijuana Sales Bill With Floor Votes Expected This Week (Marijuana Moment)

// Arizona Releases Draft Marijuana Regulations To Implement Legalization Vote (Marijuana Moment)


These headlines are brought to you by Green Worx Consults, a company specializing in project management, workflow mapping and design, and Lean & 6 Sigma process. If you could use help making your business better at business, get in touch with Green Worx Consults.


// Colorado retail cannabis sales already eclipsing record-setting 2019 (Marijuana Business Daily)

// South Carolina Can Legalize Medical Marijuana In 2021 Republican Lawmakers Say (Marijuana Moment)

// Feds’ Post-Election Warning: Marijuana Still Banned For Federal Workers Despite State Legalization (Marijuana Moment)

// Hexo doubles down on cannabis beverages cuts loss to CA$4.2 million (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Executives No Longer Spooked by Pot Jobs: Cannabis Weekly (Financial Post)

// Marijuana MSO Cresco Labs doubles loan size to $200 million (Marijuana Business Daily)

// $66 will get you a hand-rolled joint from Jay-Z’s cannabis brand Monogram (GQ)


Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Pictures of Money/Flickr

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, September 29, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Croptober Is Going Up In Smoke Amid Wildfires: Cannabis Weekly (BNN Bloomberg)

// Nebraska Activists Unveil New Medical Marijuana Initiative For 2022 Following Supreme Court Defeat (Marijuana Moment)

// Massachusetts marijuana regulators close in on cannabis home delivery plan (Mass Live)


These headlines are brought to you by Atlantic Farms, a Maine-based multistate cannabis business with operations in Maine and Massachusetts. Atlantic Farms is looking for people to help it grow and evolve as investors. Open up TheAtlanticFarms.com for more on the company and email info@theatlanticfarms.com to learn about investment opportunities.


// In South Dakota voters have to shout twice to legalize marijuana (Leafly)

// New Jersey Marijuana Campaign Launches First Ad As Poll Shows Support For Legalization Referendum (Marijuana Moment)

// Oregon Hemp Litigation: Does Oregon’s Eviction Moratorium Apply to Cannabis Businesses? (Canna Law Blog)

// Top Illinois And Michigan Officials Give Marijuana Legalization Advice To Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor (Marijuana Moment)

// Coronavirus outbreak has led more to support N.J. ballot question on legal weed, poll finds (NJ.com)

// iAnthus Recapitalization Dismissed By Judge (Green Market Report)

// Where to find Maine’s recreational marijuana stores (Leafly)


Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Christopher Michel/Flickr