Cannabis 101: Why Education is Important to the Industry
Knowledge is power, whether you have it or need it.
In the past few weeks this has been a recurring theme to the many activities that we have engaged in above and beyond client work. Whether it was participating as a faculty member of a seminar, attending the Department of Taxation Workshops, or attending panels at the Vegas Cannabis Summit, knowledge is an important commodity.
Teaching: Medical & Recreational Marijuana in Nevada
Sharing knowledge is important as the marijuana industry grows and matures. One of our founding partners, Jessica Velazquez, had the opportunity to present a guest lecture “Taxes and the Treatment of Cannabis Income” at the recent Medical & Recreational Marijuana in Nevada seminar as a member of the distinguished faculty on Friday July 28th. Her presentation was well received and highly informative, nothing less than we would expect given her years of experience as a CPA and her dedication to the needs of cannabis businesses. She has shared even more professional advice in an article that is coming out soon in Marijuana Venture magazine at the end of the month.
Sharing Information: Department of Taxation Workshops
From July 24 – 27 we attended the Department of Taxation’s workshops on the proposed regulations. Most of the regulations discussed were lifted directly from the regulations that govern the medical marijuana market. Of the proposed regulations that were new are mandates for educating bud tenders. That is not to say that bud tenders didn’t receive training before just that they have to be trained on how the new regulations affect sales and be knowledgeable about the new information patients and recreational users have to be told. A concern that was raised was whether or not their would be an educational outreach to consumers that explains the benefits of seeing cannabis as a whole plant as opposed to just going in and demanding the strains with the highest THC potency. Part of this concern was the effect that such consumer demand would have later on at cultivation when decisions have to be made about strain performance in the market. As long as consumers associate their experience only with THC potency the demand for higher potency strains may increase. This concern touched on another which was the feasibility of limiting consumer purchases of concentrates to 1/8 of an ounce up to 1750mg. This was addressed in public comment because it is unclear how it could be enforced from a law enforcement standpoint and limits consumer purchases to less than the legally allowable limit depending upon the type and potency of concentrate they choose to purchase. By the end of the workshops it was clear that though the majority of the proposed regulations were uncontested, some would need further consideration before a final proposal of the regulations could go through the remainder of the process. Workshops like these allow input from stakeholders and the community and offer an opportunity to share knowledge and expertise in drafting regulations.
Learning: Vegas Cannabis Summit (VCS)
Sometimes the best opportunities for growth come from learning from the experiences of others. That is
accomplished in a number of ways but community panels at events like the Vegas Cannabis Summit offer a fun educational opportunity. Though there were many panels that were informative one of the panels stood out for the way it addressed current market concerns and that was the Building Cannabis Brands, Traditional & Social Media Marketing & Entertainment panel with Social Media Unicorn’s Krista Whitley on July 28th. Some familiar faces from the Department of Taxation’s workshops were on hand to ask the panel questions about how to navigate the narrow waters that are marketing and advertising in cannabis given the numerous regulatory restrictions. They focused on the many ways to brand your cannabis business and the methods that shouldn’t be used as well.
As the industry matures, education is becoming an important commodity that will help consumers understand their product better, it will help businesses grow while remaining compliant, and it will help to inform regulators and lawmakers when crafting regulations and laws that affect the industry and the consumers who rely on it. Knowledge is power, and using that knowledge to benefit the marijuana industry has the potential to bring out the best of what the industry has to offer.