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ILGM Affiliate Program Review

ILGM is one of the best affiliates out there

All sorts of companies offer affiliate programs. Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, and Target are just a few big names that fully embrace the affiliate design. But Fortune 500 companies aren’t the only ones that offer affiliate kickbacks.
Cannabis companies are also getting in on the action. I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM) is a well-known online seed company that can ship pretty much anywhere in the world. But they also stand out as offering one of the best affiliate programs anywhere.
Most companies offer a single digit commission, little to no support, and have complicated purchase rules. But ILGM is different and goes above and beyond for their affiliates. They understand the value of each customer and do their best to offer the best value to clients.
People love how fast and professional ILGM is. User Jeri P had great things to say about the experience ordering. They said “Love this company. We received our order in 10’days. To say the packaging was discreet would be an understatement.” With such quick turn around, it’s easy to see why so many people love shopping with ILGM.

ILGM has great rates

But ILGM has more than fast service. They offer affiliates some of the highest rates in the industry. ILGM offers 20% commissions on all sales, no minimum. Every single purchase a referral makes will earn money. On average, their commissions come out to about $25 per sale.
They also have an amazing 90 day cookie period. This gives referrals plenty of time to put together shopping lists and make purchases. Sometimes this even results in multiple orders earning commissions.
But they don’t simply pay affiliates based on the traffic driven directly from their links. ILGM even has a Sub affiliate program for people looking for more than just the minimum. The sub system offers 5% commissions on all sales made through new affiliates brought to the site from existing ones.

They offer loads of support

Unlike many other affiliate programs out there, ILGM provides all their affiliates with promo materials like banners and product imagery. These high resolution resources make integrating the affiliate link incredibly fast and easy. They plug into almost any site with little or no effort and look great on all devices.
In addition to the promo materials, ILGM also offers personal affiliate support. This service ensures every affiliate is able to understand the ins and outs of the ILGM business model. ILGM also provides monthly updates and news through an affiliate newsletter, highlighting the most important changes and updates affiliates need to know about.
They even have a step by step introduction to the business and offer tips on how to best promote it. ILGM went so far as to produce a handy manual highlighting the most important and difficult to understand parts of being an affiliate. For people just getting into affiliate marketing, it can make a huge difference.

Their service is amazing

The best affiliate offer is worthless if the company is unable to provide customers the service they expect. Quick and easy to use menus, easy payment methods and quick delivery are some of the most important elements of great service. Customer service is one area where ILGM truly exells and people aren’t shy to share their experiences.
In a review of ILGM, Michael from the UK says “These came in the mail within a week. Though they took a while to show a tail (about 48hrs in a cup of water) they grew fierce.” But he isn’t the only one to have an amazing experience ordering product.
Little Red also raved about the quality of ILGM’s service in their online review. They said “first time growing, bought the seeds through a gift card. the website is so easy to understand. i will definately [sic] buy again.” With customers loving their service and high quality affiliate resources, ILGM has all the good stuff in one place.
The ILGM website is designed to be easy to use and read. All the terms and services are available online in plain English along with their marijuana growing eBook. The eBook is one of the best resources for new growers and can offer new insights to even the most skilled horticulturist. Affiliate marketers and paying customers get access to the eBook for free so don’t forget to check it out as well.

Let yourself in

ILGM is all about building a strong and vibrant community. One major element of that community is an understanding the importance of privacy. ILGM respects customer and affiliate privacy and ensure all data is secure. You can check out all of their service and offers yourself by going to the website.

cbd oil

3 Things to Look For When Buying CBD Oil

CBD oil, e-juice, and other products are becoming increasingly popular as the medicinal properties of cannabis become more and more mainstream. But unfortunately, the dubious legal status of marijuana in the U.S. and around the world means that regulation of these products is inconsistent at best.
There are many companies jumping on the medical marijuana bandwagon right now, taking advantage of the lack of oversight to sell you cheap, poor quality products – some of which could even be dangerous to your health.
So how can consumers today tell the good stuff from the bad? Research, of course. Before you purchase CBD oil, or any other cannabis product, you should do your homework. Always read product labels carefully, and check out the manufacturers’ website.
Here are the 3 most important things to look for, to ensure that what you’re about to buy is safe, healthy and of the highest quality:

3 Signs of High Quality CBD Oil

1. Check the Source

The best products always start with the best ingredients, and quality CBD oil starts with the soil.
Most CBD products are made from industrial hemp, which is what’s called a hyperaccumulator. Basically, that means that it can grow even in contaminated soil, absorbing heavy metals and other toxins through the roots. This makes it useful for phytoremediation (a.k.a. “soil cleanup”). But it also means that it’s possible for hemp to contain toxic levels of zinc, lead, mercury, arsenic, etc.
So it’s very important to know where your CBD oil sources it’s hemp before you consume it. Look for hemp grown in the U.S. or Canada (where there is strict state regulation), using organic farming methods if possible.
Also note whether the product is made from CBD-isolate (a.k.a. “pure CBD”). These products contain only cannabidiol, and none of the other active plant compounds. Look for “whole plant” or “full spectrum” products instead, as these contain other cannabinoids (CBN, CBL, terpenes, etc.) which interact with the CBD to increase it’s medicinal effects.

2. Extraction Method

Another important thing to consider is the extraction method, or how the CBD oil was derived from the plant. Some manufacturers use chemical solvents like butane, propane or hexane to extract their product. Oils produced in this way can contain dangerous carcinogens (a.k.a. substances known to cause cancer). Avoid these products at all costs.
Ethanol extraction is a somewhat safer method, which results in a cleaner product and higher concentrations of CBD and other cannabinoids.
But the gold standard is what’s called “supercritical CO2 extraction,” a method that uses carbon dioxide gas under extreme cold and pressure. This requires more expensive equipment – which of course generally means a more expensive product – but it results in the cleanest, safest, and highest quality CBD oil on the market.

3. Independently Tested

Perhaps the most important thing of all to look for is product that has been inspected and tested by an independent laboratory. After all, manufacturers are out to make money, and many of them will make false claims if it will help them sell more product.
Only buy CBD oil from a manufacturer whose claims have been tested and verified by an impartial 3rd party lab. And don’t be satisfied with a simple seal on the label! Go online to the seller’s website to find out exactly where their product was tested. If you really want to be sure, request a “Certificate of Analysis”. If such a certificate is not available, then you’d best find another supplier.
As laws continue to shift in favor of hemp and medical marijuana, increased regulation and oversight will improve the safety and quality of all cannabis products on the market. But for the time being, it’s up to us to be smart consumers, to educate and protect ourselves.
Knowledge is power, after all.

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Will Mexico Be The Next Country To Legalize Marijuana?

On July 1st, Mexico elected a new president named Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The president elect won a landslide victory based on his promise to fight corruption and rebuild the economy. He wants to cut the pay of government officials and expand social programs – like increased pensions and universal college education. He wants to support Mexican farmers by fixing prices for crops and equipment.
He also wants to end Mexico’s violent drug war, using “abrazos, no balazos” (“hugs, not bullets”).

You Can’t Fight Violence with Violence

In 2006, then-president Felipe Calderón mobilized the Mexican military to take to the streets to fight organized crime. Since then, more than 100,000 lives have been lost – more than 200,000 by some estimates. And yet drugs are as available as they’ve ever been, and the cartels are just as powerful.
López Obrador has a different strategy in mind. “Why do people grow poppies?” he asks. “Because they have nothing to eat! You can’t fight violence with violence. This is an evil we have to fight by doing good, by creating economic growth, jobs and well-being.”
One of López Obrador’s more controversial proposals is offering amnesty to certain criminals involved in the drug trade. In a public forum in Mexico City, he said he would even consider the legalization of all drugs across the board.
“Legalization of drugs is a subject that should be debated,” he said. “Why not address it? And why not, if that is the right thing to do, approve it and let the government carry it out?”
“There are those that argue that this is why we have a lot of violence, because of prohibition,” he added.

Moving Mexico Forward

But is this just political rhetoric, or can we really expect drastic changes in Mexico’s drug policy? To get a better idea, take a look at his pick for Mexico’s next Secretary of Interior, Olga Sánchez Cordero. The former Supreme Court official has a history of supporting progressive policies. And in a recent interview with the AFP, she expressed her support for decriminalization of drugs, starting with marijuana.
“We have to start thinking about the decriminalization of drugs. Obviously marijuana,” she said. Adding, “I will propose to Andrés Manuel the decriminalization of marijuana, its planting, harvesting, sale and recreational use.”
In another interview on W Radio, Sánchez Cordero elaborated, “Canada has already decriminalized, and so have several states in the United States. What are we thinking, to keep killing ourselves when others have already decriminalized? We’re going to try to move forward.”
These statements indicate that Mexico’s incoming administration will likely push for legalization – of marijuana, at least, if not more. And with López Obrador’s MORENA party (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional, or National Regeneration Movement) winning a majority in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, he may just have the support he needs to do it.
But Andrés Manuel will not be sworn in to office until December 1st. So until then, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Which States Are Most Likely to Legalize Pot in 2018?

The election is still a ways off, but one state has legalized pot already in 2018.
Vermont made history back in January by becoming the first state to ever pass a recreational cannabis law through the legislature – as opposed to putting it up for a popular vote. And there are almost a dozen states that are slated to have cannabis legislation on the ballot in November.
So which states will be the next to legalize, and join Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts and D.C.? Here are the top contenders…

The Top Three

1. New Jersey
Democrat Phil Murphy was elected governor of New Jersey running on a very progressive platform, which includes support of marijuana legalization. He promised to sign a recreational use bill into law – if the Democrat led legislature can send one to his desk.
There are currently two proposed bills: one would legalize recreational use for adults 21 and over; the other would decriminalize possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis. But polling shows that New Jersey voters are pretty evenly split, with 49 percent in favor of legalized pot, and 44 opposed. So there is no guarantee that either of the proposed bills has enough support to make it to the governors desk.
2. Michigan
In Michigan, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has been hard at work to get a legalization measure on the 2018 ballot. They needed 252,523 signatures on their petition, and they collected and submitted more than 360,000 signatures. Now they’re waiting on the Secretary of State’s office to verify the signatures. If confirmed, then the Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative will be up for a popular vote on November 6th. And with recent polls showing 61 percent in favor of legalization, there’s a strong chance that the measure could pass.
3. Connecticut
Earlier this month, an appropriations committee in Connecticut voted to approve house bill 5394, a recreational marijuana bill. The bill calls for state officials to develop a plan for the legalization and regulation of cannabis, as well as expanding substance abuse treatment, education and prevention. The plan is due to be completed by October 1st, at which point it would have to be voted on by the General Assembly, where it still faces some strong opposition.

Other States to Watch:

New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Delaware have all formed committees to evaluate the impact of recreational marijuana markets in their respective states. They are facing the reality of their neighbors – Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont – passing recreational cannabis legislation. The committees are to put forth recommendations for the state legislature, but whether we see any bills up for a vote this year is still up in the air.
Ohio is still working on a recreational marijuana measure, but the deadline to get it on this year’s ballot is rapidly approaching and nothing has been submitted so far. They need to submit the measure and petition more than 305,000 valid signatures by July 4th in order to vote on it in November. And their failed bid in 2015 shows that organizers in Ohio are struggling to bring the interested parties together on this issue.
Finally, Oklahoma and Utah both have medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot this year. And a number of other states have bills being considered that would legalize medical marijuana, including Wisconsin, Kentucky, Missouri and South Carolina.

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5 Reasons People Smoke Recreational Weed

There are way more than 5 reasons people use marijuana recreationally.

It doesn’t matter if it’s because MMJ patients don’t get to keep their guns or because you don’t want a paper trail. Some people use weed without getting a medical card. We call these people recreational users and believe these are the top 5 reasons they smoke weed.
While medical patients smoke weed to cure cancer or leukemia, recreational stoners usually smoke for one of the 5 reasons on this list. Some may buck the trend and not conform, but I hope these modern day unicorns are compelled to let us know in the comments how they diverge.

Chilling out

Modern life is full of bullshit that you kind of have to deal with. Mouthing off at work will get most people fired which leads to a host of bad experiences. But that doesn’t make dealing with the crap coming your way any easier. Without a release valve, tension builds until you want to explode at something.
So people smoke to help them deal with the stress of things like exams, getting a divorce or a hard day of work. These people decide to smoke weed instead of lash out destructively in other ways. In a day when a diploma increasingly requires bullet dodging abilities, having a non-violent way to unwind that won’t destroy the body is pretty attractive.

Improving media5 reasons

Everybody knows that smoking weed makes most movies better. Plays, operas and concerts also benefit from toking on some sticky icky. Getting high makes short term memory pretty much worthless. But this is a benefit because it allows you to experience a familiar event as though it were new.
Do you remember what it was like to hear your favorite song the first time? How about a joke so dumb you can’t stop laughing at how bad it is? Now imagine getting that experience over and over and you will begin to understand. Weed makes bad movies hilarious and great movies bend minds in the best of ways.

Dealing with annoying people/situations

We all know that one person who makes your blood boil just by being in the same room as you. We’ve all also wondered if we should smoke before dealing with a terrible situation you simply need to be present for. High stress situations like visiting in-laws or getting a roommate dealing with ‘personal space’ issues often demand a level of calm unavailable to an active mind.
Instead of spending the entire party thinking about how you want to even the score, getting high can give you the ability to simply think about something else. It’s hard to be mad at someone when your thoughts are consumed with the fact that cheese is just moldy milk. Especially when you start trying to figure out to turn expired milk into cheese.

To get off something else

Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam applauds visitors during the Senate session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

People will try all sorts of things to get over an addiction. Most treatments perform little better than chance. But amazingly, recent scientific studies show that cannabis significantly promotes opioid addiction recovery.
The effects are strongest when the weed is dosed out by doctors instead of by drug dealers. But even the seeds and stems peddled by the U.S. government show signs of actually helping people. The anecdotal evidence for getting off common vices like cigarettes and alcohol is also pretty compelling.

Because it’s better than other drugs

There are a ton of drugs on the market. MDMA, crack, cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, caffeine, and a million others constantly compete with weed for users. But marijuana beats them out for several reasons. The biggest reasons are that weed is cheaper, less harmful, easier to get a hold of and can be dropped at any time.
The lack of hangover and ability to stop using at any time make weed especially nice. Unlike alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, prescriptions and club drugs, nobody has ever died from marijuana alone. So when times get tough, cutting out weed is as easy as not buying it.

Do you agree with our 5 reasons people smoke recreational weed? Know someone this list describes perfectly? It’s OK if you fall into more than one group. Let us know how this list stacks up to your experience in the comment section!

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Holland Takes Sessions to Federal Court

David Holland is here to defend marijuana.

Holland is a member of the legal team representing 5 plaintiffs in an ongoing suit against the current Attorney General.But he is no fledgling looking to make a name for himself. He is a litigator in New York City and the legal director of Empire State NORML. He also used to be on the High Times Magazine legal team and is a member of the New York Cannabis Bar Association.
So when it comes to productive stoners, he is one of the shining examples. But he feels that the current state of marijuana enforcement is unsustainable. Holland’s firm is suing Sessions and the DEA. The suit claims the classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act is unconstitutional.
Their list of reasons include it violates rights surrounding travel, business and racial discrimination against communities of color. Basically, the law works to discriminate and criminalize communities that don’t have the power or money to resist. Sessions and the DEA failed to get the case dismissed.

The case is going forward.

Holland’s legal team managed to convince US District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein to let the case go forward. That decision was made in large part because of the personal experiences the plaintiffs had with medical marijuana. The medical efficacy of cannabis to treat patients suffering from a variety of ailments is so apparent, the court has to reconsider the constitutionality of the law.
Despite the strong support showed by the judge, it is still too early to break out the champagne. Despite a mountain of evidence showing the opposite, Jeff Sessions continues to blame marijuana for the opioid epidemic. And with almost no pressure from the White House to change his stance, there is little to stop him from waging a emotionally motivated war against the American population.
Attorney General Sessions is the same person that thought the KKK was OK. At least until he found out some of them smoked marijuana. And he is the same person who said “I can’t remember” in one form or another over 26 times when asked under oath. The performance showed how willing he is to stonewall and deflect about his questionable activities.

The CCC believes marijuana prohibition is racist.

Some plaintiffs claim that people of color are disproportionately targeted for prosecution for marijuana offenses. Armed with scientific evidence and confessions, the Cannabis Cultural Association (CCA) went to bat for its members. We still don’t know how Judge Hellerstein will rule on the racism claims presented by the CCA. But Judge Hellerstein seemed unconvinced by opening statements showing that the Nixon administration admitted to criminalizing marijuana for the express purpose of suppressing minorities and social backlash against the Vietnam War.
Both sides of the case are preparing for a long battle. But despite the court clearly favoring marijuana reclassification, there are many hurdles to overcome. One major hurdle is making sure the court doesn’t pass off the problem to a dysfunctional and ideologically insane Congress. But Holland hopes to keep that from happening.
There is always the possibility the court will decide to ship the final decision over to Congress because of the political controversy surrounding marijuana. But proving its controversial is harder than ever for Sessions defense team. There are more than 30 states and the District of Columbia that already passed legislation legalizing marijuana in some form. With so many, there isn’t much controversy left. But don’t underestimate the vitriol and determination of the diminutive lawyer from Alabama.

Do you think the court will reschedule marijuana? Do you think the Attorney General is doing the right thing or mad with power? What would you do if cannabis became federally legal tomorrow? Let us know in the comments below!

Main Benefits of Herbal Vaping for Anxiety and Depression

Main Benefits of Herbal Vaping for Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are ailments that affect many people, and some of the solutions that have been suggested to deal with this condition include using herbs. Many people don’t like to use medications and prefer to get treated using herbal methods or natural remedies.
This is how herbal vaping comes. The solution is all natural and comes with great benefits for those suffering from depression and anxiety. One of the reasons this is a viable solution is because medications come with other side effects that may prove challenging to cope with. Here are few of the benefits you will gain from herbal vaping for depression and anxiety.

Instant results

A lot of medications for depression and anxiety may take days to for their effect to kick in, but in the case of herbal vaping, the results kick in almost immediately. This is useful if you are suffering from severe symptoms and you would not want to wait for long. Vaping herbs makes you to feel better within a shorter period of time and you can continue with your duties without the worry that the same problem will recur. This is one of the Three Benefits Of Vaping For Anxiety discussed here that you should gain from.
Most importantly, you will not need to worry about side effects that occur when you are put on medication because this is a natural remedy that allows you to deal with depression and anxiety in a gradual acceleration. The herbs can also help in other things apart from helping you deal with depression and anxiety.

Quality sleep

One of the key benefits of herbal vaping is that it helps to improve the quality of sleep you get. Even traditional medications cannot guarantee this, but when you embrace herbal vaping you will certainly enjoy a better experience where you can get better quality sleep. There are a lot of herbs suitable for good sleeping that will also keep you asleep. Some of the most effective that you could choose include lavender, chamomile, marijuana, and lemon balm. They promote sleep and when you vape them you will enjoy the effects much faster.

Calming effects

One thing about someone who is suffering from anxiety is that they will be extremely concerned about getting calm. To help such people dispel the fear and enjoy a calming effect, it is recommended to embrace herbal vaping. The herbs get into the system of the user quickly and this means you can almost instantly enjoy the calming effect. Something you have to know about vaping is that it gives you a clean dose of the herb as you will not be smoking, which leads to inhaling of smoke that could impact your health in a bad way. This means you are able to wipe out any symptoms of anxiety without putting your health at risk.
If you are considering dealing with depression and anxiety, you should consider embracing herbal vaping, which gives you a clean alternative to smoking while also helping you to improve your condition. The results from this are instant and you are able to avoid the side effects that come with taking pharmaceutical drugs.

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How to Take Modern Day Dabbers To New Heights

Vaping industry is gradually growing with new ideas and models being invented and fitted in the vapes to make the vaping experience fun and easy. Well, this has also led one of the leading vape manufacturing company referred to as Puffco to come up with a new sleek design of a vaping pen that will give you the best results. What makes the vaping device stand out from the traditional pens is the designing that is unique, and yet it also contains some other features found on the e-nail and the dab rig. Another excellent feature found on this device is the fact that more than one person can share it. This gives you an opportunity to enjoy your vaping moments with your buddies.
Why should you consider getting one of this improved dabber?

The Design

Unlike other vaping devices where you have to either select portable or a tool to use on top of the desk, this new puffco peak is designed for both purposes. The shape of the pen is done in a triangular form which allows you to hold it with one hand or even place it on the desk for the same purposes. The flat and stable design on the base side will enable it to sit correctly on the counter for easy use.

The presence of the Intelligent Temperature Calibration (ITC)

This feature is widely found on some of the top shelf portable vaporizers, and now you can also see it in this newly invented dabber. The fundamental work of the feature is to automatically adjust its temperature based on the current temperature to get the same exact experience after every inhale. So this allows you to enjoy your vaping moments without worrying about the heat of the e-liquid.

Ceramic and Glass Materials

Another excellent feature that makes this peak to stand out is the materials used in its making. The peak has ceramic material which is equipped to ensure that it lasts for long and retains its original texture even after extended usage. As we all know, ceramic materials are resistant to abrasion and also to high temperatures. Meaning you can wash your peak comfortably without worrying about damaging it, and this also allows you to vape comfortably without getting your hands heated up. Therefore, the material used for vaping does not stick to the pen giving you a new and fresh experience on every new vape.
The other likeable element on this vaping peak is the glass structure which is equipped to serve the same purposes as the ceramic materials. Check out some of the benefits for having a glass bubbler on the peak at Puffco Peak Review.

Excellent Battery

With puffco, you don’t have to keep on carrying the ignitor or a lighter as it performs with the use of electricity. The battery is rechargeable and stays for long hours before you recharge it for use. This feature gives you some privacy since no one will be alert in the case where you are lighting the peak, unlike the traditional ones which require you to use lighter.
If you need a more advanced and easy to use dabber, then get yourself this new puffco peak. It is made of excellent and sturdy materials that make your vaping to be comfortable and fun too. Maintaining its cleanliness is natural considering the elements are easy to wash. Therefore, giving you a new and better vaping experience for every use.

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10 Most Interesting Females in Cannabis

It’s difficult to consume news media these days without getting a taste of cannabis. In just the past few months, Colorado passed $1 Billion in annual sales faster than any state in history and built schools with the tax revenues; Nevada weathered a battle with alcohol distributors to open REC more quickly and successfully than anyone anticipated; Vermont, New Hampshire and New Jersey are moving forward; California hopes to right its messy REC rollout and create a market as big as all the other states combined … then US Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to bring the whole house down by rescinding the Cole Memo. Phew!

On the ground, many of the greatest victories in the fight for legalization and opportunity are being won by women. Following are The 10 Most Interesting Women in Cannabis in 2018.

  1. Priscilla Vilchis, CEO of Cali Premium Produce 

Pricilla Vilchis is the CEO of Cali Premium Produce, which focuses on medicinal cannabis products. Premium Produce was chosen from 500 applicants to win 2 cannabis licenses in Nevada (one for cultivation and one for production) which it manages through its 25,000 square foot, $6 million Las Vegas cultivation and laboratory facility. The Company and has also won the same 2 licenses in the Los Angeles city of Lynwood. Queen of the Desert is its flagship brand, a nod to Vilchis who is the youngest female license winner in Nevada and first minority female to win a California license. Previously in her career in healthcare, Vilchis quickly built and grew several multimillion-dollar businesses, and learned first-hand of the devastating effects of opioids, for which she believes Premium Produce products are an effective and less dangerous alternative.

  1. Alexis Bortell, plaintiff in a Federal lawsuit against the US Government

is small but mighty. Now 12-years old, she is one of several plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against the United States which claims the Controlled Substances Act violates Americans’ fundamental right to travel, as well as the Commerce Clause of the Constitution and the First, Fifth, Ninth and 14th amendments. Alexis suffers from intractable epilepsy so severe that after trying 20 different medications, doctors settled on Felbatol, which is so powerful it includes a “black box warning” – the most serious kind the US Food and Drug Administration will put on a medicine – to flag its extremely dangerous side effects. As a last ditch alternative, her doctors recommended a CBD tincture and THC spray. The medicinal cannabis combination worked, and her seizures have stopped for the past 3 years. Alexis’ family lived in Texas, where cannabis is not legal, and had to move to Colorado to use life-saving cannabis. 

  1. Lori Ajax, the first Chief of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control

 

Lori Ajax, the “Cannabis Czar of California” was formerly Chief Deputy Director at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which helped convince Governor Jerry Brown to appoint her to build the regulatory

infrastructure for the nation’s most populous state. Well, the CBCC certainly ain’t the DMV. Ajax’s challenge is to lead the anticipated multi-billion dollar California industry in which municipalities have the first line of control over licensing. Each California city can legalize or outlaw cannabis businesses, of certain types or all together. Cannabis companies that win local licenses can then apply for state licenses. Several major municipalities missed the January 1 REC opening, but Ajax has remained steadfast and reassuring. She’s done an outstanding job of proactively communicating directly with the industry through personal appearances, speaking and meeting with industry participants at a head spinning number of events. The message is resonating: “We’ll get there together.” 

  1. Ruth Epstein, Financial Advisor and Investor; Founding Partner of BGP Advisors

 

A few years ago most finance professionals thought it was too edgy to enter the cannabis industry. Ruth Epstein jumped in with both feet – as an investor and as a financial advisor to small companies with big potential. In analyzing cannabis opportunity, she calls on her 10 years as a Goldman Sachs investment banker working on corporate finance and M&A deals for Yahoo, Wired, AutoZone, Dell Computer, Marcus Cable, FAO Schwarz, and Safeway, among many others. In addition to her IPO, high yield debt and private placement work at Goldman, Ruth has raised capital for a hedge fund, successfully sourced and negotiated the acquisition of a media sales company, oh and by the way, funded and produced two feature films. In between appearances at conferences sponsored by ArcView and MedMen who invite her to share her expertise, she serves as interim COO/CFO for Treez, a leading Silicon Valley-based cannabis software company. 

  1. Fiona Ma, CPA, California State Board of Equalization

While running for California State Treasurer in 2018, Fiona Ma, CPA, retains her seat on the State Board of Equalization – the taxing agency for the State of California, where she represents 10 million people in 23 counties. For years before the current crop of politicos decided they might put a toe in the cannabis waters, Ma has publicly championed solutions to the cannabis banking crisis. She gained understanding and perspective on the issue the old-fashioned way – she took dozens of trips to farms in the Emerald Triangle area and listened. What she heard shocked her, and made her realize how many serious issues, from proper reporting and taxing of billions in revenues, to public safety (how will California cannabis businesses – which are unbanked due to federal regulations – safely move the anticipated $1 Billion in cash to pay their taxes on April 15th?), to simply calling 911 when you have a basement full of cannabis? Ma realized the cash/banking conundrum was the linchpin for all these problems. With a B.S. from the Rochester Institute of Technology, an M.S. in Taxation from Golden Gate University, and an MBA from Pepperdine, she’s uniquely qualified to create an innovative solution: a California-only public bank. 

  1. Christine Ianuzzi, Managing Partner, Leading Edge Expos

Many of the women on this list have made a huge impact on our industry in a very short time, and are very visible because of it. Christine Ianuzzi is all about the former, with little of the latter. Which is just fine, because her work is all about your success. Ianuzzi is managing partner of HA Bruno, a family-owned trade show business, which includes Cannabis World Congress & Business Expositions (CWCBExpo) which will draw thousands of cannabis professionals to its Los Angeles, New York City, and Boston events in 2018. Her events are so big and well organized, it’s safe to say a very large number of opportunities in our industry started in or were aided by CWCBE. An electrical engineer by training (she holds a Master’s Degree in Information Systems Technology from Polytechinic University) with management skills (MBA from Baruch College) she built a robust career in broadcasting with ABC, HBO before joining the family business to fill the demand for world-class conferences in the cannabis industry. As she has modestly described herself, “I’m not a cannabis entrepreneur, but I am a trade show entrepreneur that is providing a forum for the legal cannabis business person.” 

  1. Tracy Ryan, Founder and CEO of Canna Kids

When Tracy Ryan’s daughter Sophie was an 8-month old infant, the family received awful news: the baby had a brain tumor. Doctors said a 13-month regimen of chemotherapy was the only option, and that the tumor would never go away. Tracy responded by focusing her prodigious energy on finding effective treatment. She was put in touch put in touch with Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, who were filming a documentary about how cannabis oils kill cancer in pediatric patients. In combination with the chemotherapy, “… Sophie was put on high-concentrated THC and CBD cannabis oil… After 13 months of chemo and high doses of cannabis oil, Sophie’s brain tumor was about 85 to 90 percent gone.” This success led Tracy to push research further for the benefit of kids like Sophie. She now leads CannaKids, California-based cooperative with a focus on supplying medical cannabis oil to adults and children looking for holistic relief for serious health conditions, specializing in pediatric cancer, autism, epilepsy and beyond. CannaKids works in collaboration with some of the world’s leading cannabinoid researchers, and provides CannaKids’ Honey Gold tinctures “created by a team of PhD scientists that specialize in organic chemistry.” 

  1. Giadha Aguirre de Carcer, Founder and CEO, New Frontier Data.

 

Giadha de Carcer is the Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, the foremost big data company in the cannabis industry. An entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience, she has worked in investment banking, defense, technology, and telecommunications, and successfully launched and operated four data-driven ventures including one holding the original patent application behind solutions such as Progressive’s Snapshot and Verizon’s Hum. Half-Italian and half-Cuban, she’s fluent in French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese; and has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations & Trade from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Arts in International Security from Georgetown University. Giadha and her work have been featured through large media outlets and in documentaries and books including Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Fox News, CNN Money, and “Breaking the Grass Ceiling”, among others. She is also an official member of the Forbes Technology Council. In a recent interview, Giadha revealed her aspiration for the cannabis industry: “One of the most important issues I would love the industry to focus more on is diversity. Not only is it personally close to my heart, but it also represents an unprecedented opportunity in the cannabis industry today … [which] has already provided unique opportunities for women to shatter the proverbial glass ceiling, and born of a movement, it continues to foster equality in a way I have never experienced before.  That said, we must do more and remain vigilant to protect opportunities for minorities, people with disabilities, people different ethnicities and genders… while it might sound like the pop-issue of the moment, data shows that better decision-making and companies are more profitable when they hire for diversity.” 

  1. Kirsten Gillibrand, US Senator (D-NY)


I was going to include Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for her 2017 efforts to legalize and clean up banking regulations, and for co-authoring a letter to President Trump this week urging him to protect state cannabis rights in the wake of (Attorney General Jeff) Sessions’ rescission of the Cole Memorandum. However, a deeper dive into women who have invested serious political capital political to help support our industry leads us to Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democratic Senator from New York. In March, 2015, Gillibrand co-sponsored The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act (CARERS) which seeks significant reforms in marijuana policy in the U.S. It was the first medical marijuana bill ever to be introduced into the U.S. Senate. In June, 2017, Gillibrand (D-NY) – along with Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Al Franken (D-MN), and Mike Lee (R-UT) – reintroduced the (CARERS) Act as a bipartisan bill that would allow Americans to access medical marijuana in states where it is legal without fear of federal prosecution AND permit doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend medical marijuana to veterans to treat serious injuries and chronic conditions.

  1. An-Chi Tsou, Cannabis Consultant


An-Chi Tsou, PhD, made her cannabis bones as Senior Policy Advisor working with Lori Ajax at the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation under the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) where she “developed, analyzed, evaluated, and negotiated state policies and regulations regarding medical cannabis.” To best understand and serve the diverse stakeholders from all corners of the industry, she organized a statewide listening campaign for over 3,300 industry members. These experiences helped her form Tsou Consulting, a public affairs firm that specializes in advocacy, political strategy, regulatory guidance and compliance, policy development and writing, and educational outreach for cannabis and healthcare issues. She earned a BS at Smith College, and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in Bioengineering and Engineering Science.

marijuana payments

Tips On Processing Payments For Marijuana Companies

Marijuana is generating billions of dollars every year.
In 2016 alone, legal sales of medical and recreational marijuana reached $6.7 billion. Up from $5.4 billion in legal sales during 2015. In 2017 we saw even more growth as the market reached $10 billion and employed hundreds of thousands of people across the country. And the trend is projected to continue as more states move to pass marijuana reform.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any challenges. Medical and recreational dispensaries, producers, refiners and manufacturers all face significant financial hurdles. The biggest challenge is finding a financial institution that will accept and process their payments. The majority of institutions will close or refuse to open accounts for clients in the marijuana field.
But there is hope for cannabusinesses. While the largest banks won’t work with cannabis there are banks that do. Small banks and credit unions make up a vast network of options that can offer a dizzying array of features. But sometimes finding the relevant information is harder than expected. So below are a few tips to help you find the right institution.
Ensure The Payment Processor Understands Your Business
There is a lot of red tape around marijuana because of its schedule 1 status. It means that any mistake in financial records might lead to catastrophe. Any financial institution you rely on needs to understand the right and wrong ways to submit paperwork or process transactions. If the bank or processing company you are looking at doesn’t, you might be setting yourself up for failure.
But don’t forget that they need to work with your prospective clients as well. It doesn’t help to accept credit cards if none of your clients own the cards you accept. Your financial institution should be able to process MasterCard, Visa, Discover and other options.
Work With A Company That Offers You Options
Modern banking and payment processing institutions have a vast arsenal of tools available to them. And you don’t have to choose a bank that services the cannabis industry exclusively. Payment processors that work with high risk businesses like dating, gambling, and traveling websites often prove themselves a solid option for savvy business owners.
Some of the perks of working with payment processors like this include fraud protection tools, transaction monitoring and chargeback/error protection. They aren’t for everyone but the benefits can outweigh the risks for certain businesses. Just make sure they offer the services you need before signing up with them.
And don’t forget to look for a company that offers solutions to problems such as technical support and website assistance. Most even offer these services 24/7 at no additional cost so you can deal with issues whenever they arise. And beware contracts that don’t have an exit clause or other way for you to leave if things don’t work out.
Avoid Gateway, Set-Up And Monthly Fees
Fees are a part of banking but some are more harmful than others. Gateway, set-up and monthly fees all work to eat away at any potential profit. Because of the volatility of the cannabis market, many institutions charge additional fees to help ensure themselves against loss. These additional and hidden fees build up quickly and can lead to unexpected ruin.
Before signing up with any financial institution, make sure to read and understand the terms and conditions. Because there are a variety of possible local options in addition to internet-based alternatives, there is no reason to agree to these fees. After reviewing the paperwork and checking any applicable CBD merchant accounts, compare the services carefully before finally choosing one for your marijuana business.
Ensure Everything Is Transparent
Ask your payment processing company what strategies they have in place to deal with increased sales and profits. Small companies may be fine processing a couple thousand dollars a month, but put a few thousand dollars a day on them, and they simply can’t keep up. This can lead to them to abandon your business right when you need them most.
But don’t be afraid to start small. Sometimes all you need is a foot in the door to open up real possibilities. A small payment processor or other financial institution isn’t s problem if you don’t have massive or growing income. Unless you sign a long-term contract with no exit clause, you can transfer to a better fitting company when it suites you.
However, financial institutions work best when they are permanent part of a long term solution. And everyone needs to be up front and direct about what their goals are. If the institution isn’t transparent about how their logistics or fees, they will always be a liability to your business. But if they are transparent, payment processors can be a vital part of your financial foundation.
Do you have a tip for cannabusiness owners browsing payment processors? Did a hidden or transactional fee send you into a wild panic? What tips did I miss? Let us know in the comments below!