Benzinga Chicago Cannabis Capital Conference Highlights Women, Minorities

Social equity, preferably known as equity empowerment, was the name of the game at the 15th iteration of the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference (BCCC), which took place at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago on September 13 and 14.  Adult-use cannabis consumption, possession and sales of cannabis products are legal in the State of Illinois.

Through the BCCC series, Benzinga “strives to put a spotlight on the conversation surrounding social equity via panel discussions with organizations that are combating inequality in the cannabis industry, individuals who have been adversely affected by the War on Drugs, and policymakers who are leading the charge on writing legislation to undo the impacts of prohibition,” according to the company event’s website.

​Keeping in line with that mission, Benzinga offer​ed​ discounted conference tickets to owners of marijuana businesses​ that​ have received state certification for their social equity initiatives.

Women + Minorities

Additionally, Benzinga offers scholarships for women and minority-owned businesses. To that end, the company partnered with organizations, including WomenGrow, and Minorities for Medical Marijuana, to showcase their associates on Benzinga’s conference stages and in the exhibit hall.

One of those presenters included Amber Senter of Supernova Women. Despite suffering from Lupus, Senter leads the charge via her 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to empower BIWOC to become self-sufficient shareholders in the cannabis and natural plant medicine space through education, advocacy, and network building.

In the expo hall, female-represented brands were out in full force, including Chicago Norml’s Edi Moore, My Bud Vase’s Doreen Sullivan, MtoM’s Christine Wilson, Illinois Equity Staffing’s Shawnee Williams, HerHighness’ Allison Krongard and Laura Eisman, Budwell’s Sara Hussain, and CannaBellaLux’s Tiffany Woodman, among others.

Women-led brands who pitched from the stage included House of Puff’s Kristina Lopez Adduci, Black Buddah’s Roz McCarthy and 40Tons’s Loriel Alegrete.

In The Ring

Apart from the strong representation of female brands, Benzinga also welcomed more than 150 speakers from top-performing cannabis companies. Three executives of Tyson 2.0, including the legendary heavyweight boxing champion himself, landed on the roster. While retired from the sport, Mike Tyson is now a regular on the cannabis conference tour. During his press conference in the expo hall with former iconic WWE superstar Rick Flair, the latter said, “I love being relevant; and being in marijuana keeps you relevant.”

Mike Tyson, Rick Flair at Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference

Benzinga’s VP of Events, Elliot Lane, is pleased with the level of participation from all avenues.

“Chicago was our 15th iteration of the Cannabis Capital Conference and second this year,” he said. “The turnout of industry executives, investors and media was overwhelmingly positive, and the response from our attendees has been glowing.”

The Envelope Please…

Of special note were the first annual Benzinga Awards. “Finding the best of the best in cannabis is no easy feat, but someone has to do it. So, we assembled a panel of high-level judges to help us determine who are the people and organizations driving the cannabis industry forward,” said Chief Zinger Jason Raznick.

According to Benzinga, the awards celebrate new, creative, innovative and outstanding people, solutions and companies in the cannabis industry.

Benzinga Cannabis Awards

The winners of this year’s Benzinga Awards are as follows:

  • MOST IMPACTFUL CANNABIS EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR: Ben Kovler, CEO, founder and chairman of Green Thumb Industries 
  • “BRETT ROPER AWARD” FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Nancy Whiteman, founder and CEO of Wana Brands
  • FRIEND OF THE INDUSTRY AWARD: Rep. David Joyce (R) of Ohio told the audience: “God bless you all for taking on this fight. I am going to keep doing my best to help you.”
  • CANNABIS ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR: Mary Bailey of the Last Prisoner Project
  • SOCIAL EQUITY AWARD: Desiree Perez of the The Parent Company
  • BEST CANNABIS LEADER UNDER 40: Luke Anderson, co-founder of Cann
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN BUILDING TRUST: Emily Paxhia, co-founder of Poseidon Investment
  • MOST EFFECTIVE CELEBRITY CANNABIS BRAND: Cookies, founded by Berner
  • CANNABIS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF THE YEAR: US Cannabis Council
  • CANNABIS LIFESTYLE REPORTER OF THE YEAR: Jon Cappetta, High Times Magazine
  • CANNABIS POLICY REPORTER OF THE YEAR: Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment
  • CANNABIS FINANCE REPORTER OF THE YEAR: Tim Seymour, CNBC
  • CANNABIS BUSINESS REPORTER OF THE YEAR: Jeremy Berke, Insider
  • BEST EUROPEAN CANNABIS COMPANY: TILRAY Brands
  • BEST LATIN AMERICAN CANNABIS COMPANY: Khiron Life Sciences
  • BEST CANADIAN CANNABIS COMPANY: Village Farms
  • HOTTEST CANNABIS TECHNOLOGY: Weedmaps
  • BEST CANNABIS LAW FIRM: Foley Hoag, LLP
  • BEST CANNABIS ACCOUNTING FIRM: Crowe LLP
  • BEST INVESTMENT RESEARCH: Scott Greiper, Viridian Capital
  • BEST CANNABIS INDUSTRY ANALYST: Matt Bottomley, Cannacord
  • BEST USE OF CAPITAL: Jushi Holdings
  • MOST INNOVATIVE CANNABIS LENDER: Pelorus Equity Group
  • MOST INNOVATIVE CANNABIS ETF: YOLO – AdvisorShares
  • CANNABIS INVESTORS AWARD – INSTITUTIONAL: Ricky Sandler, Eminence Capital
  • CANNABIS INVESTORS AWARD – PRIVATE EQUITY / VC: Mitch Baruchowitz, Merida Capital
  • BEST CANNABIS RETAIL EXPANSION STRATEGY: Trulieve
  • BEST CANNABIS PARTNERSHIP: TILT, which brought a true social equity partnership to the Shinnecock Indian Nation
  • BEST USE OF CAPITAL: Jushi Holdings
  • BEST M&A DEAL: Flora Growth
  • MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY OPERATOR: Geomat Patented Water Recovery Systems
  • MOST INNOVATIVE CANNABIS BRAND: Miss Grass
  • MOST INNOVATIVE CANNABIS SMALL BUSINESS: House of Saka – Cannabis-infused wines from Napa Valley

The post Benzinga Chicago Cannabis Capital Conference Highlights Women, Minorities appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Benzinga Chicago Cannabis Capital Conference Wows Participants

Social equity, preferably known as equity empowerment, was the name of the game at the 15th iteration of the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference (BCCC), which took place at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago on September 13 and 14.  Adult-use cannabis consumption, possession and sales of cannabis products are legal in the State of Illinois.

Through the BCCC series, Benzinga “strives to put a spotlight on the conversation surrounding social equity via panel discussions with organizations that are combating inequality in the cannabis industry, individuals who have been adversely affected by the War on Drugs, and policymakers who are leading the charge on writing legislation to undo the impacts of prohibition,” according to the company event’s website.

​Keeping in line with that mission, Benzinga offer​ed​ discounted conference tickets to owners of marijuana businesses​ that​ have received state certification for their social equity initiatives.

Women, Minorities, More

Additionally, Benzinga offers scholarships for women and minority-owned businesses. To that end, the company partnered with organizations, including WomenGrow, and Minorities for Medical Marijuana, to showcase their associates on Benzinga’s conference stages and in the exhibit hall.

One of those presenters included Amber Senter of Supernova Women. Despite suffering from Lupus, Senter leads the charge via her 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to empower BIWOC to become self-sufficient shareholders in the cannabis and natural plant medicine space through education, advocacy, and network building.

In the expo hall, female-represented brands were out in full force, including Chicago Norml’s Edi Moore, My Bud Vase’s Doreen Sullivan, MtoM’s Christine Wilson, Illinois Equity Staffing’s Shawnee Williams, HerHighness’ Allison Krongard and Laura Eisman, Budwell’s Sara Hussain, and CannaBellaLux’s Tiffany Woodman, among others.

Women-led brands who pitched from the stage included House of Puff’s Kristina Lopez Adduci, Black Buddah’s Roz McCarthy and 40Tons’s Loriel Alegrete.

Another Tyson KO

Apart from the strong representation of female brands, Benzinga also welcomed more than 150 speakers from top-performing cannabis companies. Three executives of Tyson 2.0, including the legendary heavyweight boxing champion himself, landed on the roster. While retired from the sport, Tyson is now a regular on the cannabis conference tour. During his press conference in the expo hall with former iconic WWE superstar Rick Flair, the latter said, “I love being relevant; and being in marijuana keeps you relevant.”

Benzinga’s VP of Events, Elliot Lane, is pleased with the level of participation from all avenues.

“Chicago was our 15th iteration of the Cannabis Capital Conference and second this year,” he said. “The turnout of industry executives, investors and media was overwhelmingly positive, and the response from our attendees has been glowing.”

The Envelope Please…

Of special note were the first annual Benzinga Awards. “Finding the best of the best in cannabis is no easy feat, but someone has to do it. So, we assembled a panel of high-level judges to help us determine who are the people and organizations driving the cannabis industry forward,” said Chief Zinger Jason Raznick.

According to Benzinga, the awards celebrate new, creative, innovative and outstanding people, solutions and companies in the cannabis industry.

The winners of this year’s Benzinga Awards are as follows:

  • MOST IMPACTFUL CANNABIS EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR: Ben Kovler, CEO, founder and chairman of Green Thumb Industries 
  • “BRETT ROPER AWARD” FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Nancy Whiteman, founder and CEO of Wana Brands
  • FRIEND OF THE INDUSTRY AWARD: Rep. David Joyce (R) of Ohio told the audience: “God bless you all for taking on this fight. I am going to keep doing my best to help you.”
  • CANNABIS ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR: Mary Bailey of the Last Prisoner Project
  • SOCIAL EQUITY AWARD: Desiree Perez of the The Parent Company
  • BEST CANNABIS LEADER UNDER 40: Luke Anderson, co-founder of Cann
  • ACHIEVEMENT IN BUILDING TRUST: Emily Paxhia, co-founder of Poseidon Investment
  • MOST EFFECTIVE CELEBRITY CANNABIS BRAND: Cookies, founded by Berner
  • CANNABIS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF THE YEAR: US Cannabis Council
  • CANNABIS LIFESTYLE REPORTER OF THE YEAR: Jon Cappetta, High Times Magazine
  • CANNABIS POLICY REPORTER OF THE YEAR: Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment
  • CANNABIS FINANCE REPORTER OF THE YEAR: Tim Seymour, CNBC
  • CANNABIS BUSINESS REPORTER OF THE YEAR: Jeremy Berke, Insider
  • BEST EUROPEAN CANNABIS COMPANY: TILRAY Brands
  • BEST LATIN AMERICAN CANNABIS COMPANY: Khiron Life Sciences
  • BEST CANADIAN CANNABIS COMPANY: Village Farms
  • HOTTEST CANNABIS TECHNOLOGY: Weedmaps
  • BEST CANNABIS LAW FIRM: Foley Hoag, LLP
  • BEST CANNABIS ACCOUNTING FIRM: Crowe LLP
  • BEST INVESTMENT RESEARCH: Scott Greiper, Viridian Capital
  • BEST CANNABIS INDUSTRY ANALYST: Matt Bottomley, Cannacord
  • BEST USE OF CAPITAL: Jushi Holdings
  • MOST INNOVATIVE CANNABIS LENDER: Pelorus Equity Group
  • MOST INNOVATIVE CANNABIS ETF: YOLO – AdvisorShares
  • CANNABIS INVESTORS AWARD – INSTITUTIONAL: Ricky Sandler, Eminence Capital
  • CANNABIS INVESTORS AWARD – PRIVATE EQUITY / VC: Mitch Baruchowitz, Merida Capital
  • BEST CANNABIS RETAIL EXPANSION STRATEGY: Trulieve
  • BEST CANNABIS PARTNERSHIP: TILT, which brought a true social equity partnership to the Shinnecock Indian Nation
  • MOST INNOVATIVE CANNABIS SMALL BUSINESS: House of Saka – Cannabis-infused wines from Napa Valley

The post Benzinga Chicago Cannabis Capital Conference Wows Participants appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Meet Adam Wilks, Mike Tyson’s Not-So-Secret Weapon

For many, the very idea of smoking some super chronic herb with the wall-of-muscle/force-of-nature otherwise known as Mike Tyson is a dream come true. But for Adam Wilks, that’s his Sunday ritual. As Chief Executive Officer of the Tyson 2.0 brand, Wilks has been on a winning streak as of late, and no one has benefitted from his business acumen more recently than the former boxing world heavyweight champion. For starters, he’s resurrected Tyson’s cannabis business cred after the well-documented missteps the boxing legend endured at Tyson Ranch.

Wilks is an affable raconteur and the capitalist specialist with the Midas touch who just recently helped secure another $9 million for Tyson 2.0 in Series A funding led by JW Asset Management. Following the successful launch of Tyson 2.0—the cannabis brand has expanded to 20 states in the US and has sold more than 4,000 pounds of cannabis in North America in a single year—Wilks says that he’s just getting started. 

The longtime venture capitalist tells us that by applying rules of the trade he learned in the frozen yogurt industry (he worked closely on the red-hot Pinkberry brand), he’s helped lead Tyson 2.0 to one of the biggest brand launches in the history of adult-use cannabis. On his days off, he says he also happens to chill with arguably the greatest natural boxer in our planet’s history, swapping stories and tripping the light fantastic well into the night. Now, that’s a ringside seat I’d happily pay for.

So, who is Adam Wilks? And where is he taking Tyson 2.0? We have so many questions, and the seasoned executive agreed to sit down for an exclusive, most telling conversation.

Cannabis Now: The big news right now is that Tyson 2.0 just completed a big capital raise. In the face of a very challenging moment for the industry, with cannabis prices falling, how are you feeling about the next year to come? 

Adam Wilks: I am very excited about our growth. We started very lean, but now we are starting some major expansion. We have signed 20-plus state licensing deals and are operational in 13 of those. We have lots more new products coming out, and we’re also in Canada with a number of international deals in the works. 

CN: Is having the right team the difference between Tyson 2.0 and his past ventures in cannabis with Tyson Ranch? A lot of people don’t realize that even Rocky lost his first fight.

AW: Tyson Ranch was mismanaged and did not have the right experience mixed with cannabis know-how to pull it off. We did just bring on our new CMO from Anheuser Busch. We brought our chief legal officer on from Bad Boy Records. So, we have built an elite team.

CN: As the CEO of Tyson 2.0, how did you go from tires and yogurt to a weed executive?

AW: I have been in this weed industry for almost a decade. I have been a cannabis user for over 20 years. I started off investing in 30-plus cannabis brands, then Mike and Chad Bronstein, the CEO of Fyllo, came to me and said, “Hey you need to run this thing.” When I was in the yogurt world, we were licensing Pink Berry across the US. We had the hottest celebrities at the time promoting our yogurt. We had lines out the door in Beverly Hills. So, I was able to take a lot of the expertise in the franchise world, providing marketing support, licensing of the brand and SOPs to our partners. 

CN: How hands-on is Mike on the selection of strains and varieties? Is he very involved in the day to day?

AW: I never expected him to be into it this deep, but yes, Mike is as connected to the product as he possibly could be. For almost every Sunday for the last year, at either my house or Mike’s house, we have been sampling products—flower, edibles, beverages, concentrates, vapes—and I bring Mike everything we’re trying to roll out. I will bring Mike 20 vapes and ask him to give me his top three picks. We have a cookie coming out in October—a collab with one of the top cookie manufactures in California. I gave Mike seven different brands of cookies, and he not only picked the company he liked best, but also created a completely new variety of oatmeal chocolate chip, which was his favorite flavor of cookie growing up. Every single product we put out goes the same way. It costs us more money and it takes longer to roll out, but in the end it’s authentic.

CN: So, what is the end game here, especially with the potential of cannabis being federally legal? Will you guys become the Starbucks of weed?

AW: For us, it’s more about bringing high-quality cannabis products to the masses that Mike’s approved. When Mike, Chad and I put this this thing together, it was all about authenticity. We didn’t want it to just be another celebrity brand.

CN: How important are the partners you work with for the licensing of the brand?

AW: Very important. In Canada we could’ve partnered with a number of larger growers, but the quality did not meet our standards. So, what we did is go to the craft farmers who are growing the best weed we could find in Canada. A very small farm but with super high quality is what Mike wanted. This is all in line with our mission of bringing the best quality cannabis to the masses. For a US example, Pennsylvania is one of the best markets for us by revenue and because we have partnered with one of the best cultivators there, G Leaf. They are amazing.

CN: Mike is obviously into plant-based medicine. Does this extend beyond cannabis to other aspects like psilocybin?

AW: Weed yes, he will smoke weed every day. It makes him happy, and everyone likes it when he’s happy. Also, mushrooms he is a big fan of. He does micro dose regularly. Plant-based medicine has connected him on a deeper level. He has talked about this a lot on how psilocybin has helped strip him of ego. It has helped open him up to his own humility.

CN: Is Tyson 2.0 mostly focused on current consumers, or are you also trying to bring in people who typically only buy their weed off the black market?    

AW: We all grew up buying weed on the streets, but now there’s so much bad stuff in the weed, and now we can legally test it and see what clean weed truly is. You never know what you’re getting out there on the streets. We would like to continue to use Tyson and the brand to get people safe, tested and secured cannabis from legal dispensaries. We do a lot of work with nonprofits for expunging criminal records, most recently with the Weldon Clemency Project, advocating for clemency for those serving time for marijuana offenses. It’s all a mix of positioning the industry and using a name like Tyson to get people off the streets. 

CN: Having reached so much success within the first 7 months of launching, what do you see the next two years looking like for you and Tyson 2.0?

AW: I am beyond grateful for all the support we have gotten so far and the team we have put together, but I think we are just scraping the surface. The US is a huge market, but there are eight billion people on this planet to bring plant-based medicine to. There are so many places around the world where the option to use cannabis as a medicine is not there yet. My personal goal is to bring Tyson 2.0 to everyone around this world—to give everyone the equal chance and opportunity to try it for their own mental and physical health, as I do for myself. Mike is all about educating the world about his journey with what plant-based medicine has done for him and spreading the cannabis love around the world. 

CN: Can we expect Mike to be back in the ring any time soon? Perhaps an exhibition match?

AW: He would love to fight again; I don’t want him to. Mike has done such a good job being an entrepreneur, he is crushing it right now. We got the largest cannabis brand in the world right now by geographic coverage. After a night on the road, we were chilling out, smoking and eating edibles, and Mike said to me, “Adam, I want to fight again…I want to fight Lennox Lewis.” I said, “Mike buddy, we’re not fighting right now, we’re focused right now, we got Tyson 2.0.” 

The post Meet Adam Wilks, Mike Tyson’s Not-So-Secret Weapon appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Mike Tyson to Begin Selling Ear-Shaped Cannabis Edibles 

Mike Tyson is certainly a man who wears many hats: World-renowned boxer, cannabis entrepreneur, husband and father, podcast host, actor, cultural icon, and at one time in his life, a man who bit the ear off another man’s head, a piece of it anyway. The 1997 fight when Iron Mike Tyson took a bite of Evander Holyfield’s ear is perhaps the most bizarre and memorable moment in boxing history.  

Fast-forward a couple of decades and now, Mike is putting a new and somewhat comedic spin on that gory incident from his past by introducing a new line of ear-shaped edibles: Mike Bites, and they come complete with a small chunk of ‘cartilage’ missing, for the sake of keeping things accurate. Although “Mike Bites” sounds like more of a warning rather than the name of sweet, delicious candy, that’s exactly what you’re getting with this product. A treat that packs a punch. And don’t worry, Mike released a statement saying that “These ears actually taste good!” Likely because they are made with pot-infused sugary goodness, as opposed to blood and flesh  

Celebrity products are fun, but not many are as memorable as these ear-shaped gummies. We’re excited to give them a try when they become available. In the meantime, stay current on everything important happening in the industry by subscribing to the THC Weekly Newsletter. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!


About the fight  

Evander Holyfield was a four-time heavyweight champion when he and Tyson fought. The infamous ear-biting incident was actually the pair’s second fight, as they had faced off seven months prior at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In the first match, Holyfield won during the sixth round.

Even though Holyfield won the first fight, was still the underdog going into the next fight; and despite being a four-time champ, Holyfield had been uninspiring in his fights after returning from a brief retirement in 1995. During their highly anticipated second match, Tyson was angry because Holyfield hit him with a few headbutts, and he retaliated by biting off a section of his right ear and spitting onto the canvas.

Iron Mike was immediately disqualified, but the occurrence marked what probably is still to this day, the strangest, most memorable, and perhaps the most gruesome interaction in the history of boxing. Interestingly enough, Holyfield and Tyson are on ok terms these days, and Tyson even gave the speech when Holyfield was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.

Tyson 2.0 and Mike Bites 

Mike Tyson initially started selling cannabis-based products under his Tyson Holistic brand in 2016. Over the years, he has launched several cannabis-related ventures, notably Futurola, his popular brand of papers and prerolls. Additionally, his well-known and wildly successful pot farm in SoCal, Tyson Ranch, generates a reported monthly revenue of roughly $500 thousand.  

Tyson 2.0 is Mike’s newest company, and the brand under which “Mike Bites,” will be released. Online, Tyson 2.0 describes itself as “a premier cannabis company formed with legendary boxer, entrepreneur and icon Mike Tyson.” The company’s mission is “to produce innovative, high-quality cannabis products known for purity, precision, and wide accessibility. In 2021, the company expanded its sales to over 100 locations in California.” 

Tyson 2.0 Mike Bites

Each red, ear-shaped gummy contains 10 milligrams of THC – in compliance with California Bureau of Cannabis Control regulations, which is where the gummies will be sold. You can order them from his website if you live in a legal state, or find them in dispensaries around California. 

The former boxer’s use of the plant as medicine dates back to two decades ago. “I was an opiate user most of my life. I’m bipolar, tripolar, and manic-depressive. I’m all these damn things. So I took all these pills and got worse. I became obese, I became a zombie. So I changed my whole life, I started smoking and I didn’t use opiates anymore. I lost 45 pounds. My life turned around,” he recounted in a 2019 interview with Weedmaps.  

Also, Tyson recommends the use of cannabis in athletes: “I think all sportspeople should smoke marijuana if they choose to. I’m not pressuring anybody. I’m just telling people who are like me, who experience pain from a long career, [to consider] cannabis.”  

A little more about edibles  

Cannabis edibles are trending big time. Not only do they offer many advantages that smoking simply does not, such as discretion, no carcinogens, and more dosage control; but for most users, they also provide a much more potent and long-lasting high.

But why do cannabis edibles affect our bodies so differently than smoking or vaping? Just like anything else that goes through our digestive systems, cannabis edibles need to metabolize before the effects can be felt. It’s not an instant sensation like the aforementioned alternatives would be and it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in, but the effects last much longer. 

When eaten, the body converts all THCs into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is a very potent endocannabinoid. So, what’s the science behind this? To summarize, it all boils down to two factors: the drug-metabolizing enzymes in your GI tract, and blood flow to the liver. When you first eat a cannabis edible, various enzymes in the GI tract begin digesting the food. From that point, blood flow from the GI tract goes through the liver where all these enzymes are metabolized, then the blood continues to general circulation. When the metabolites are formed, that’s when you get the effects of 11-hydroxy-THC. 

Conclusion  

These edibles are not yet available for sale, but should be very soon. Hopefully in time for my next trip to California so I can try them out for myself. Remember, here at CBD Testers/Cannadelics, we love products – whether they come from a dispensary or online retailer, we love to learn about what’s out there and share our findings with you.  

Hello and welcome! You’ve made it to CBDtesters.co/Cannadelics.com, the #1 web spot for the most comprehensive independent news coverage of the cannabis and psychedelics industries. Join us whenever possible to stay in-the-loop on the ever-changing landscape of cannabis and psychedelics, and subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always on top of what’s going on.

Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Mike Tyson to Begin Selling Ear-Shaped Cannabis Edibles  appeared first on CBD Testers.

Chad Bronstein: Data, Synergy and Being the Best

Over the past three years, Chad Bronstein has raised over $100 million across public and private markets, and he’s only getting started. The entrepreneur is the brains behind three successful companies, Fyllo, WeSana and Tyson 2.0, which provides a wide range of services in cannabis and psychedelics. Bronstein is here to help the cannabis industry grow in the myriad of ways that he can. 

While Bronstein’s full-time job is as the founder and CEO of Fyllo, he wears many hats as the executive chairman and co-founder of WeSana and the chairman of Tyson 2.0, which he co-founded with Mike Tyson. As head of Fyllo, his main day-to-day gig, there are already over 4,500 brands employing their services and buying data on a daily basis. 

Photo Credit: Al Yeager

Fyllo Knows Data

Fyllo’s reach is extensive in the cannabis industry. The company is assisting cannabis supply chains with compliance-first solutions to handle the industry’s regulatory environment, as well as opening their eyes to their customers’ true interests. “That’s what we’re able to tell brands now,” Bronstein said. “This customer has a different attribute that you’re not targeting, different behaviors that you don’t know just by his typical behaviors, and that’s what we do.”

Given that the cannabis industry is constantly evolving, Fyllo wants to keep companies up to speed. “The key is the markets change all the time and local jurisdictions are ever-changing, and it’s hard to stay afloat with what’s going on in those local jurisdictions,” Bronstein said. “What we’ve been able to do is have real time automation that allows the top MSOs, SSOs and brands to stay ahead of what’s going on in the global markets.”

Bronstein is not an entrepreneur in the cannabis space who’s all talk. He always backs himself up with the facts and the stats. “And we’ve done it—you see New York, New Jersey and Connecticut come on board, we are prepared for it,” he added. “Now a lot of the law firms are using our platform as new states come on board. And so, I think that’s what the market likes about us; we make it easier for them to be able to stay on top of all the regulations.”

Photo Credit: Al Yeager

Ensuring Brand Synergy and Skyrocketing Sales

Bronstein sees his company as a “flywheel,” doing a bit of everything with the simple goal of making business simpler for its partners. “Columbia Care, for example, they work with us for compliance, they work with us for SMS and MMS, because of 10 DLC,” he added. “They work with us for advertising, driving sales into their stores, and they work with us for compliance. The biggest thing that when we started Fyllo was, to solve fragmentation, not to have to use multiple different platforms for different things. Our whole premise of Fyllo is to make it more synergistic. We are building a full-scale flywheel that makes cannabis operations easier.”

To make operations easier, Fyllo aims to expand companies’ brand, reach, and of course, sales. “We work with all the major MSOs, SSOs and brands, because as we know, cannabis is a very performance-driven space, and we’re showing that [in that] the space we’re able to drive within sales,” Bronstein said. “I think that now brands are starting to realize, and MSOs, that brand equity matters, and you can have a big presence in the Midwest, but in the West Coast, you don’t have that presence. Brands are starting to realize they have to actually start to even advertise that top of the funnel, because in cannabis, mostly everything is lower funnel. Let’s drive sales; everything’s monetary. Now they’re starting to realize, okay, we need to really build brand equity across the region, so people know when they’re walking into California, that they’re getting the same product that they walk in to get in Illinois.”

Building Top Brands

Fyllo has created plenty of goodwill and opportunities for Bronstein in the cannabis industry. The company led to his partnering with Mike Tyson and WeSana, which is a life science company focused on treating traumatic brain injury and mental illness through psychedelics. “Tyson 2.0 is something that stemmed from Fyllo and WeSana when I met Mike,” Bronstein recalled, “And because of my relationships in the cannabis space, I was able to really structure and create a good brand around Tyson 2.0.”

The brand had a successful launch in Colorado, and by January, will expand to 17 markets, including California. “The key for me is finding really good CEOs, so that if I start a company, that I have a good operator run it, and I was able to find that for Tyson 2.0,” Bronstein added. “And then me and Daniel partnered on WeSana, and we just have really good teams in place.”

“Daniel” is none other than the two-time Stanley Cup winner, Daniel Carcillo, who played for the Chicago Blackhawks. WeSana now does positive, not only successful, work with the World Boxing Council and The University of South Carolina. “The story is that Carcillo reached out to me on LinkedIn and said, ‘I see what you’re doing at Fyllo, I’d like to talk to you about what I’m doing in CBD and psychedelics,’” Bronstein said. “I fell in love with the story. I wanted to jump on that train, because I knew a lot about psychedelics and invested in it.”

Bronstein was moved by Carcillo’s story, which involved treating a series of concussions and 164 fights with the treatment of psychedelics. “We said, ‘fuck it, what’s another challenge to go into destigmatizing something?’” Bronstein added. “I was passionate about Daniel’s story, and how he cured himself with it. I asked Aristotle Loumis, who’s also a part of Fyllo and a couple other people, ‘Hey, you want to come help when I build this with Daniel?’ And they said, yes, and so we put some resources together and got up-and-running.”

Bronstein’s goal isn’t only to expand in the world of sports, but to also ensure progress in the study and treatment of trauma through psychedelics. “The passion that Daniel had was to help not just athletes, but also women of domestic abuse, veterans, properly prepare for injury or treatment afterwards so that they’re optimizing their brain health,” Bronstein said. “I think that at the end of the day, we’re trying to expand. I would say NASCAR is another one where in the racing world, we’ll expand to. NFL, I can’t speak on their behalf yet, but that’s something obviously we would like to pursue. It probably needs this level of treatment and, like we said, destigmatizing, that’s why we partnered with Mike, the World Boxing Council, and other groups that are willing to be more proactive to bring this kind of care.”

The Ultimate Bronstein Key to Success

It goes without saying, but Bronstein has plenty on his plate to manage on any given day. The entrepreneur never has a typical workweek or workday. Every day is an exciting new challenge. “I couldn’t be here without my investors and my team,” he said. “I think when people ask me this question a lot, ‘Chad, are you focused? Do you have enough time to do all the things you do?’ And my answer is I do, and I am focused, because I have a good team behind me to delegate and execute, and investors that support us.”

Not only do those investors support Fyllo, but they also trust the company leadership. “When you look at the synergies between companies, all the same investors invested in each company, which means that they believe in our recipe for success,” Bronstein added. “They believe that I do have the time to focus, and that we have the right team behind us to execute. I think that’s the key to my success, is building the team and having the right players behind me that believe in what we’re doing and that are along for the ride.”

Always surround yourself with the best, as they say. Bronstein, who studied sociology in college and originally didn’t imagine a career in the cannabis industry, is as much of a driven teambuilder as he is a businessman. “My passion is working with people and building teams,” Bronstein concluded, “and that’s why I was able to start other companies as well as Fyllo, because it’s all about the person that runs the team that I’m behind that person, and so that’s my skill set.” With the right team behind him, once again, Chad Bronstein is only just getting started. 

Read this story originally published in High Times February 2022 Issue in our archive.

The post Chad Bronstein: Data, Synergy and Being the Best appeared first on High Times.