• Revolutionizing Cannabis E-Commerce and SEO with Dan Mondello

    In this episode of Grassroots Marketing, we interview Dan Mondello, CEO and Co-Founder of Rank Really High, about the transformative potential of the Joint E-commerce Platform for the cannabis industry. Dan highlights how this seamless and integrated solution outperforms traditional methods like iframes and subdomains, boasting numerous integration partners such as AeroPay, Metric, and Alpine IQ. The discussion covers the unique challenges of marketing cannabis amidst regulatory restrictions and explores how AI could enhance search accessibility. Dan also notes that non-smoking cannabis products might gain more advertising opportunities post-rescheduling.

    AI's Impact on the Cannabis Industry

    Dan and Brasco delve into the profound impact of AI on the cannabis sector, particularly in search engine optimization (SEO). They discuss how AI from companies like Google and Microsoft is evolving to summarize information and generate user responses, potentially shifting away from traditional search results. Dan stresses the importance of cannabis companies ensuring their data is integrated into these AI systems to stay relevant. While this shift will take time, maintaining a strong online presence remains crucial. They agree that human oversight will continue to play a vital role in this transition.

    Optimizing Dispensary Websites for SERPs

    The conversation turns to the critical role of well-optimized dispensary websites in achieving higher search engine rankings. Dan and Brasco emphasize the importance of accurate business information, schema, and customer reviews in building a strong online reputation. They cite the success of the 'Rank Reality High' website as a prime example of effective online strategy. Dan underscores the need to educate clients on using their platform for marketing and creating unique product pages to boost search rankings. He also mentions the risk of homogenization among cannabis dispensary websites, highlighting the necessity for unique, valuable content.

    AI's Impact on Job Market and Businesses

    Dan and Brasco explore AI's growing influence on the job market and the imperative for businesses to adapt. They advocate for viewing AI as a tool rather than a threat, recognizing its potential to revolutionize industries like publishing and media. Businesses must prepare for this shift by adopting a dual approach: combining traditional SEO methods with AI-based strategies. This balanced approach will help companies navigate and thrive in an evolving digital landscape.

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    20m - Jun 17, 2024
  • Preserving Cannabis Genetics and Fighting Dud Disease with James Krouse of Flower Power Genetics

    Grassroots Marketing interviews James Krouse, Founder and CEO of Flower Power Genetics. James delves into the creation of "Adam," a hybrid cannabis strain developed from vintage seeds stored for over 30 years. This strain, a cross between a tropical Sativa and an Indica from the Middle East, aims to preserve genetic diversity and maintain medicinal properties while being adaptable to various climates. James discusses the challenges of hybridizing cannabis, emphasizing the importance of preserving pure genetics amidst the risk of erosion and disease susceptibility.

    James also sheds light on the epidemic of 'Dud Disease' in cannabis plants, an RNA virus embedded in the plant's DNA, affecting over 90% of samples in California. This disease reduces yield, stunts growth, and diminishes the plant's psychoactive properties, posing a significant challenge for the industry as it cannot be detected through standard THC testing.

    The conversation shifts to the pros and cons of indoor versus outdoor cannabis growing. James highlights that while indoor growing offers controlled environments, their genetics are adaptable to both settings. He notes their shorter harvest time of 60 days, specifically bred for medicinal purposes to reduce disease risks.

    James shares user praise for their cannabis products, especially noting the high THCv content which offers benefits like appetite suppression. He explains the role of genetics in determining the plant's medicinal value and the challenges of maintaining high-THC genetics without compromising medicinal qualities. They also discuss the implications of the DEA's recent announcement to reschedule cannabis.

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    23m - Jun 17, 2024
  • Navigating the Challenges of Cannabis on Martha's Vineyard with Brendan McKee

    In this episode of Grassroots Marketing, we sit down with Brendan McKee, Co-Founder, CFO, and COO of Silver Therapeutics, to explore the unique challenges faced by the cannabis industry on Martha's Vineyard. Brendan provides insights into the stringent regulations that restrict cannabis sales on the island, impacting both medical and recreational users. He discusses the complexities of implementing various laws in specific geographical areas and anticipates potential legal disputes.

    We also delve into the seasonality of retail cannabis in the northeast and Silver Therapeutics' expansion plans, aiming to balance quality and quantity. Brendan shares strategies for maintaining a craft cannabis feel within a multi-state operation and highlights their top-selling products, including flower and pre-rolls, which dominate their revenue.

    The episode wraps up with a discussion on the legalization of medical cannabis in Massachusetts, focusing on law enforcement and patient transportation challenges, and a personal recount of Brendan’s experiences with the industry.

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    17m - Jun 17, 2024
  • Florida's Medical Marijuana Program Could Soon Include Adult Use

    Aaron Bloom, CEO of DocMJ discusses the potential expansion of Florida's medical marijuana program to include adult use, the challenges faced by senior citizens in accessing medical marijuana, and the current state of the industry.

    We look at the impact of the expansion on the medical marijuana program, and how it could create new opportunities for patients and MSOs alike.

    We also emphasized the importance of education and accessibility for patients, particularly senior citizens, and highlighted the need for a clear framework for pharmacies to dispense cannabis products.

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    23m - Jun 10, 2024
  • The Culinary Cannabis Company and Their SEDDS Technology for Rapid Effects

    The Culinary Cannabis Company, founded by Kate and Dave Nadolski, specializes in cannabis-infused culinary products utilizing SEDDS technology for rapid effects. They emphasize precise dosing, taste, and potency while meeting FDA standards. Collaborating with dispensaries, they offer controlled-dosage selections ranging from 2.5mg to 10mg per serving, with a focus on allergen-free options. Their innovative approach integrates cannabis seamlessly into culinary creations, ensuring high-quality, safe products for consumers seeking sophisticated cannabis experiences.

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    20m - Jun 10, 2024
  • Sol Care Rituals and Prioritize Your Mental Wellbeing

    Sol Care Rituals founder Marisol Ledezma shares how she launched her business about a year and a half ago and is approaching her two-year anniversary. She also speaks about her company's offerings for the mind, body, and soul, including a new line called Luna.

    Sole Care's Founding and Marisol's Journey: Marisol shared her personal story behind her establishment of Sol Care, a wellness brand focused on self-care rituals. She explained that her experience in the corporate world became toxic, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, leading her to prioritize her mental wellbeing. Marisol highlighted her dedication to promoting mental health and her personal experience of how cannabis has improved her well-being. We also discuss Marisol's positivity as a key factor in her success, and Marisol confirmed that soul care rituals have been a defining factor in her recovery.

    Quality Products and Mental Health Initiatives: Marisol also discusses their shared commitment to quality products and supporting mental health initiatives. Marisol also emphasized her personal philosophy of giving back and improving herself through meditation and a spiritual mindset, which led her to prioritize charitable contributions. She mentioned that she donates 3% of her products to organizations like the Wellness House for Cancer, which not only provides mental health services but also has a spiritual component.

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    22m - Jun 3, 2024
  • Plant Stress and Sustainable Tissue Culture Approaches

    Grassroots Marketing speaks with Kevin Brooks, CEO of Conception Nurseries who discussed the importance of quality and consistency in the cannabis industry, highlighting Conception's proprietary true clone technology, which guarantees genetically identical plants with consistent quality.

    He also emphasized the benefits of tissue culture in addressing plant stress, reducing environmental impact, and ensuring compliance with good manufacturing practices.

    Kevin discussed the company's services, including providing true clones, cold storage banking, and satellite lab services. They also touched upon the company's expansion and the growing demand for their services.

    We conclude with an emphasis on risk reduction, revenue increase, sustainability, and the intricacies of the sterile tissue culture process.

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    18m - Jun 3, 2024
  • 280E Post Cannabis Rescheduling and 471C Tax Code Provision and Risks

    We speak with Todd Polyniak, Sax LLP Head of Cannabis Practice, and a seasoned expert in the cannabis industry. We discussed the 471C tax code provision. This provision allows small businesses to identify specific inventory items for cost calculations that would otherwise be disallowed under 280E. However, utilizing 471C is risky, as it could trigger audits and penalties if the IRS disagrees.

    They also discussed the potential implications of cannabis legalization, including the implementation of an excise tax similar to those on alcohol and tobacco, and the potential for challenges with rescheduling cannabis from a controlled substance to a less restricted category. While Todd is optimistic about the future of the cannabis market, Brasco believes that the IRS will find ways to recoup their tax write-off losses and that some companies might attempt to reclaim them through re-auditing, though the success of this strategy remains uncertain.

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    21m - Jun 3, 2024
  • Botanical Sciences and The Georgia Outlook on Cannabis

    We interviewed Gary Long, CEO of Botanical Sciences. Gary shared his extensive background in healthcare and his transition into the cannabis industry. He noted the importance of legitimizing the cannabis industry, especially in Georgia where his company is based. Gary also detailed how they built a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and implemented contemporary technology to ensure the production of high-quality, pure, and effective medical cannabis products.

    FDA Rescheduling of Cannabis and Implications: Gary discussed the recent FDA rescheduling of cannabis from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3 and its implications for the medical and research communities. We highlighted the potential benefits of this move in advancing evidence-based medicine and the shift in public opinion and engagement by the medical community. Gary agreed and predicted the move would lead to increased interest from organizations, entities, and a focus on the science behind cannabinoids in medical training. There are still significant restrictions in place that could hinder the level of research, expressing uncertainty about the future until the official change in the law.

    Georgia Marijuana Rescheduling and Expansion Concerns: We discussed the implications of the recent rescheduling of marijuana in Georgia. Gary highlighted that this change will allow independent pharmacies in Georgia to legally dispense medical marijuana, as per the state's law, without the fear of DEA reprisals. He emphasized that this change will make it possible to distribute the product to a wider population of patients across the state. We also raised concerns about how this rescheduling could potentially expand the medical marijuana program in Georgia, given the current number of registered patients. Gary clarified that the rescheduling itself wouldn't change Georgia's position on delivery methods.

    Georgia's Ban on Smokeable Products and Market Trends: Gary clarified that the sale of smokeable products, including vape and flour, was prohibited in Georgia, a stance that would only change through the legislative process. He mentioned a product called S. 2, an edible option, as a possible alternative. Gary predicted that the market for medical cannabis would expand in the next few years, possibly including smokeable and vapeable products, and even move towards adult use given Georgia's growing population and progressive trend.

    Partnership With Georgia Pharmacies for Medical Cannabis: Gary alsodiscussed their partnership with Georgia's independent pharmacies for the dispensing of medical cannabis to patients. Gary highlighted the growing interest in the initiative, with over 150 pharmacy operators now engaged, and emphasized the importance of transparent dialogue with pharmacy operators.

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    26m - Jun 2, 2024
  • Bossiee Budz with the Godmother of Cannabis Nicole N'Diaye

    Nicole N'Diaye, a Principal at Bossiee Budz and board member of the Cannabis Association of NY, shared her journey from a medical cannabis user to an entrepreneur in the industry.

    She emphasized proper cultivation practices, discussed educational opportunities for industry entrants, promoted homegrown cannabis initiatives, and highlighted the need for strategic planning and business acumen. We also covered obtaining licenses, educational initiatives, homegrown cannabis programs, engagement strategies, strategic business approaches, and industry growth and success stories.

    Nicole also highlighted the recent changes in regulation allowing home grow for those 21 and older in New York State, and her plans to acquire a research license to conduct specific research types in New York, with cannabis being listed as an agricultural crop opening up funding opportunities. She also filled us in on their affiliate program to assist people in getting started with home-growing, including educational resources and equipment.

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    19m - May 27, 2024
  • Grön and Their Chocolate-Infused Cannabis-Focused Edibles

    Christine Smith, the founder and CEO of Grön, discussed the origins of the name and Christine's background in architecture and land use entitlement. Over the course of 10 years, Gron has grown steadily, providing chocolate-infused products that have found success in a niche of the edible market dominated by gummies.

    They discussed their company's expansion strategy, which operates under a reverse licensing model. This approach allows the company to partner with local entities, gaining control over production and ensuring meticulous oversight at every stage. Christine explained that the company does not grow or produce oil, but instead focuses on making edible products, using a blend of distillate and live rosin, and adding minor cannabinoids to create specific effects. The company's expansion plan is deliberate and strategic, targeting three new markets annually. They currently have six markets in Canada and one in the US, with plans to open in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

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    19m - May 27, 2024
  • Jacana Wellness and Jamaica's Rich Botanical Heritage

    Alexandra Chong, CEO at JACANA discusses her company's mission to establish a strong Jamaican brand for cannabis, grown naturally and sustainably. They cultivate and use over 70 medicinal plants for their range of wellness products, including CBD-infused topical creams, oils, and gummies. The team highlighted their position as the largest vertically integrated cannabis producer in Jamaica, with a focus on wellness and expanding into other plant-based and fungi categories. They emphasized the importance of their products being made in Jamaica and the traditional methods of cultivation and harvesting, while also maintaining the highest quality standards.

    They also discussed the authenticity and cultivation of cannabis in Jamaica. They emphasized the importance of authenticity, noting that many international cannabis brands appropriate Jamaican culture without truly incorporating Jamaican-grown cannabis into their products. They also highlighted their commitment to organic cultivation and their aim to blend traditional growing techniques with modern scientific advancements to produce high-quality cannabis.

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    28m - May 27, 2024
  • Cannabis Creative Group's 2024 Cannabis Marketing Plan

    Dan Serard, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Cannabis Creative Group, shared insights on the 2024 cannabis marketing plan.

    The discussion highlighted the importance of personalized digital marketing strategies tailored to individual business needs, diversifying advertising channels beyond social media due to federal restrictions.

    Strategies included email marketing for engagement, organic content for SEO, and targeting specific demographics effectively by aligning messaging with consumer emotions and values to strengthen brand connections. Dan advised against direct competition with larger companies, recommending niche platforms aligned with target audiences' interests, and suggested budget allocation strategies for gradual investment based on audience responses before scaling up efficiently. 

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    24m - May 20, 2024
  • The Roles of DEA and FDA in the Cannabis Legalization Process

    Stanley Jutkowitz, Senior Counsel with Seyfarth Shaw LLP discusses the recent DEA decision to reschedule cannabis from schedule one to schedule three, with potential less restrictive schedules.

    Stanley provided legal insights on the implications of this move, while highlighting the controversy surrounding cannabis legalization and rescheduling.

    We also explored the roles of DEA and FDA in the legalization process, emphasizing the complexity of the legal landscape with multiple agencies involved and conflicting treaty obligations and federal laws. We also discussed regulatory challenges and legal implications of cannabis, including the distinction between hemp and marijuana, taxation and decriminalization, and the current state of legalization and regulation in the US.

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    27m - May 20, 2024
  • Aeriz and Sustainable Aeroponic Cannabis Cultivation

    Aeriz, led by Ryan Thomas, excels in sustainable aeroponic cannabis cultivation with a focus on quality, sustainability, and innovation. Their product range includes hash oil-infused pre rolls and unique offerings like hash drops, known for consistent highs.

    Expanding into Illinois, Arizona, and soon California markets, Aeriz prioritizes building relationships with dispensaries while balancing high-volume production and premium quality. Ryan Thomas shares insights on overcoming marketing challenges amidst evolving market dynamics.

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    22m - May 20, 2024
  • BENZINGA FLORIDA 2024-Dustin Hughes with Rad Source Technologies

    Daron Babin speaks with Dustin Hughes, Senior Account Executive at Rad Source Technologies. Since 1997 Rad Source Technologies has been the expert in providing renewable, non-isotope, ionizing radiation replacements for self-shielded gamma irradiators. 

    Pass state mandated testing levels with 99.9% confidence. Their patented photonic decontamination™ technology is the only remediation solution that penetrates the entire flower for cannabis decontamination without destroying the flower or chemically modifying it.

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    6m - May 7, 2024
  • BENZINGA FLORIDA 2024-Cannabis Employee Stock Ownership Plans

    Daron Babin catches up with Darren Gleeman, the managing partner of MBO Ventures, the cannabis industry's only investment bank dedicated to Employee Stock Ownership Plans.

    MBO Ventures is the cannabis industry’s only investment bank dedicated to Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) which make the negative tax implications of 280E irrelevant. They hold a patent pending for its groundbreaking ESOP methodology. This methodology played a pivotal role in executing the cannabis industry’s first three inaugural ESOPs.

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    7m - May 7, 2024
  • MJ Attache High-end Luxury Cannabis Accessories

    Grassroots Marketing welcomes Christy Fuicelli, the founder of MJ Attache. She shared insights into the creation of high-end luxury cannabis accessories, highlighting the discreet yet luxurious Anthony bag priced at $2150. Drawing from personal experiences, Fuicelli identified a market gap and emphasized innovative designs using Italian leather. Fuicelli's dedication to meeting diverse consumer needs within the cannabis community while maintaining elegance and functionality was evident. 

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    16m - May 6, 2024
  • BENZINGA FLORIDA 2024-Sandra Bergman with ESBE Marketing

    Sandra Bergman, the founder and CEO of ESBE Marketing, emphasized the significance of effective loyalty programs in retail cannabis operations.

    She stressed the need for businesses to analyze loyalty program performance through metrics, engage customers beyond discounts, and promote loyalty programs through in-store execution.

    Strategies for incentivizing bud tenders were explored, including tying incentives to loyalty sign-ups and utilizing various touchpoints within dispensaries. Sandra underscored the importance of offering tailored rewards based on customer preferences and creating a personalized customer experience.

    She advised on loyalty program management, suggesting a balance between incentives and financial considerations, efficient point redemption, and clear communication about points balance, expiration dates, and reward qualifications.

    Sandra also highlighted the importance of iterating on loyalty programs to enhance customer experience and drive consistent foot traffic through transparent communication and measures like point expiration policies

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    15m - May 5, 2024
  • High Seas Dispensary: Exotic Aquarium Attractions, Quality Products, and Community Engagement

    Legal cannabis businesses in California are hindered by limited city approvals, leading to the growth of the illicit market. Michael Moussalli's High Seas dispensary stands out through its ocean conservation theme, commitment to sustainability, and personalized shopping experience. Exotic aquarium attractions along with a focus on quality products and community engagement, High Seas aims to innovate and lead in sustainable cannabis retail practices.

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    23m - May 5, 2024
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