A Full KushKrew Recap Of CannaCon Seattle 2018

CannaCon’s slogan is “where the cannabis industry does business.” I was blown away by the wide variety of businesses on the CannaCon Seattle 2018 convention floor. On top of a packed floor full of booths, there were three days of talks and seminars designed to further educate the industry in business, science, and industry standards. This year’s three keynote speakers were Gov. Jay Inslee, Former President Of Mexico Vicente Fox, and a renown geneticist from Nova Scotia, Canada,  Sean Myles.

Keynotes And Seminars

CannaCon Seattle 2018 featured a different keynote speaker each day and dozens of other seminars on topics like business, retail, cultivation, extraction, marketing, branding, finance, science and, genetics. Washington Governor Jay Inslee ended day one with a progress report on the traceability issues involving LeafData. He also thanked the industry for all of their hard work promised to keep standing up to Jeff Sessions’ anti-cannabis rhetoric.

Former President of Mexico Vicente Fox applauded Washington’s cannabis industry for its innovation, promoted the idea of free cannabis trade throughout North America, and announced the CannaMexico World Summit. On the final day, geneticist Sean Myles explained how his research reveals that cannabis strain names don’t reflect their true genetic profiles and that indica, sativa, and hybrid classifications are basically meaningless.

I focused my time on the science seminars, specifically terpene knowledge. I learned a fair amount of new knowledge. It’s good to know that portion of the industry is focused on unlocking the secrets of terpenes and how they interact with our cannabis experience outside of smell and taste.

CannaCon Seattle Main Floor

The CannaCon Seattle 2018 floor was filled with hundreds of vendors. Producers, processors, retailers, and users could all find something to pique their interest. The floor was covered with bowls of free candy in every variety you could think of, plus there was free merchandise, stuff for sale, grab bags, raffles, artwork, and displays. It was a celebration of the cannabis industry and all its many facets.

I was blown away at the level of industrial technology that is entering the cannabis space, especially on the producer/processor side of the industry. The floor was filled with automated conveyor belts, labelers, sticker machines, cartridge filling machines and many other automated devices designed to improve speed and efficiency during cannabis production. Some other services I saw included graphic designers, brand consultants, cannabis publications, analytics labs, data, and technology companies, surveillance companies, safe-makers, nutrient companies, and many others.

Cannabis concentrates still make up a small space in overall cannabis sales, but it’s clear how popular concentrates are becoming. The amount of extraction technology was almost overwhelmingly present on the floor. Extraction companies had the newest extraction tanks and setups, the latest rosin presses, purge ovens, scientific glassware of all shapes and sizes, and other highly scientific materials designed to make concentrates.

Cannabis users and budtenders were able to find just as many booths aimed at increasing their cannabis product knowledge. Brands like Mammoth Labs and Bodhi High had people at their booth spitting knowledge about how their concentrates are made. The booth that I learned the most from was True Terpenes, who create food grade organic terpenes. At their booth, there were terpenes being dispersed through humidifiers, giving you a concentrated aroma profile for six of the most common terpenes. Finally putting names to certain cannabis aromas is such a huge step for my strain reviews. That “lime candy” smell I love from the Banana Split strain is limonene. That distinct haziness you get from the Dutch strains? Terpinolene. That overwhelming pine-needle smell comes from Alpha-Pinene. I took home a personal terpene kit to help identify prominent terpenes in my strain reviews to further educate my readers.

CannaCon Seattle 2018 Final Thoughts

You could feel the love and enthusiasm for cannabis throughout the entire conference. Whether it was in the Mammoth Labs VIP lounge sipping free coffee or lemonade while eavesdropping on everyone discussing their favorite booths. In the seminars watching focused attendees take notes and ask questions, or on the floor watching wide-eyed on-lookers admire the technological upswing the industry has undergone.

Every CannaCon seminar I attended taught me something new. Besides Inslee and Fox, I focused on seminars dealing with terpenes and genetics. People within the industry have been whispering about misleading strain names and lack of terpene knowledge for a while now, and many of these suspicions were confirmed by science and research this past weekend. I’m personally excited that terpene research is increasing because cannabis effects are determined by so much more than a simple indica, hybrid, and sativa designation and THC test results. Learning how cannabinoids and terpenes interact through the entourage effect will completely change how cannabis is bought and sold at the retail level.

Before CannaCon Seattle 2018, I truly didn’t grasp how all-encompassing the cannabis industry has become in such a short amount of time. I felt a sense of pride walking around with my camera and media badge around my neck, knowing I’m a small part of it all. The industry isn’t perfect and will encounter more complications, but there’s so much to be proud about. I walked away from CannaCon Seattle 2018  with a better understanding of how many moving parts the cannabis industry has and how hard everyone is working behind the scenes to keep them moving smoothly.

Before CannaCon Seattle, I had a strange fear that the proverbial rug was going to be pulled out from underneath me. I didn’t really understand how cannabis journalism was paying my bills and it felt like the checks would stop at any time.

After CannaCon Seattle, I feel the rug firmly beneath my feet and that it isn’t going anywhere. To see how cannabis is touching people from all walks of life and businesses from all facets of science, agriculture, retail, finance, and business motivated me to put even more work into my craft. I need to make sure I’m pulling as much weight as the hardworking people I met at CannaConSeattle 2018.

ORDER NOW USING KUSHMART’S ONLINE MENU SYSTEM. CLICK HERE TO ADD TO YOUR CART!

KushMart opened in November 2014 and has been a top-ranked recreational pot shop since day 1. We’re located at 6309 Evergreen Way STE C minutes off of Interstate 5. With ample parking, you will be in and out in no time and with our amazing selection and best prices you will have a smile on your face.

Pearl Jam In Seattle Summer 2018

The Pacific Northwest is home to many different music legends. One of them is Pearl Jam. The band just announced that they are set to play two separate shows in Seattle later on this summer. These performances are called “The Home Shows” and are scheduled for Safeco Field. Check out the video below to learn more!

These shows are special. Staying away from shows in their home region for quite some time, these performances are equally as impactful as they are exciting.

They plan on pledging one million dollars to Seattle’s homeless issue. With this contribution planned, the band also aims to raise another ten million dollars over the course of the year.

Cannabis is known to be a life-saving option for many addicts who also are part of the homeless population in Seattle and Washington state. Providing resources to those people is huge to reducing addiction, crime, and saving lives.

For tickets and information visit PearlJam.com.

KushMart opened in November 2014 and has been a top-ranked recreational pot shop since day 1. We’re located at 6309 Evergreen Way STE C minutes off of Interstate 5. With ample parking, you will be in and out in no time and with our amazing selection and best prices you will have a smile on your face.

FOR MORE CANNABIS RECOMMENDATIONS,  STRAIN AND CANNABIS LEGALIZATION  INFORMATION, FOLLOW KUSHMART’S BLOG

KushMart’s Loyalty & Rewards Program Helping Customers Save BIG

Learn more about KushMart’s daily deals, product drop alerts, and the loyalty rewards program. These resources will help you get the most out of the money you spend at KushMart. Taking advantage of the daily deals is a good way to save money and try something out of your comfort zone. Get alerts directly to your phone to keep track of new product releases and your rewards program points.

Daily Deals

 Monday 20% off Edibles

Tuesday 15% off Top Shelf Flower

Wednesday 10% off Dabs

Thursday 10% 0ff Cartridges 

Friday 10% off prerolls

Sunday 10% off Half Ounces

Product Drops

Be the first to learn about the latest product drops. Some strains like Wedding Cake or Lemon G are highly coveted in the industry. With our program, you can get the drop on their releases with text message alerts straight to your phone, plus you can stop them at any time.

Save Points & Earn Discounts

Sign up for rewards and earn points every single time you shop at KushMart. You make a quick account with a username and password and keep track of your points through text messages, email, or an account dashboard. I like to save my points for days I’m hurting for cash, so I can still get my favorite top-shelf brands for a solid discount.

daily deals

Wedding Cake is one strain you don’t want to miss. This one usually sells out fast. It’s minty sweet that provides a memorable high.

KushMart opened in November 2014 and has been a top-ranked recreational pot shop since day 1. We’re located at 6309 Evergreen Way STE C minutes off of Interstate 5. With ample parking, you will be in and out in no time and with our amazing selection and best prices you will have a smile on your face.

FOR MORE CANNABIS RECOMMENDATIONS,  STRAIN AND CANNABIS LEGALIZATION  INFORMATION, FOLLOW KUSHMART’S BLOG

Cannabis Industry Patiently Awaits Cannabis Traceability Resolution

Respect My Region previously reported that LeafData would black out temporarily during its initial launch on Jan 1. That turned out to be incorrect because LeafData never launched and instead was delayed a second time.

LeafData’s newest projected release is February 1st.

It’s been over three months since the Washington State Liquor Cannabis Control Board (WSLCB ) gave MJ Freeway an estimated $3.1 million to replace Washington’s cannabis traceability system.  With little to show for it, the collective cannabis industry is frustrated.

Seed-To-Sale Traceability In Limbo

Some worry the WSLCB  is putting the entire industry at risk during a time when Attorney General Jeff Sessions has increased anti-cannabis rhetoric and rescinded federal marijuana protections, also known as the Cole Memo. Washington’s cannabis industry has generated over $2.9 billion dollars in total revenue since its inception. It’s created thousands of jobs and is funding numerous state programs such as law-enforcement, Medicaid, public health programs and cannabis research.

The WSLCB increased all producer/processor fees to pay for LeafData’s creation. An I-502 producer/processor who wishes to remain anonymous told Respect My Region their annual fee increased by 38 percent. Senate Bill 5130 came into effect on June 30, 2017, and increases licensee renewal fees until June 18, 2018.

MJ Freeway is the technology and data consulting company that built LeafData for Washington’s recreational cannabis industry. All cannabis products must be tracked from seed to sale. This means that each product has a strict chain of custody it must go through at each stop on it’s path to retailers. This helps the state prove to the federal government that product is staying out of the black market.

The Unified Contingency System

While MJ Freeway and the WLCB finish LeafData, there’s no state provided traceability system in place, but there is a contingency plan in effect. The WSLCB ’s contingency plan consists of manually filling out spreadsheets they generate. The amount of information required for traceability compliance is unrealistic to complete by hand. Some retailers don’t accept WSLCB  generated spreadsheets according to an anonymous I-502 producer/processor. This forces producer/processors to pay for the third-party contingency system.

BioTrackTHC launched the Unified Contingency System (UCS) to help licensees with data collection during this time. The UCS is a completely privatized clone of BioTrack’s traceability system. It was created with cooperation other third-party traceability software providers: WeedTraqr, Greenbits, GrowFlow, TraceWeed, MisterKraken, S2Solutions, and DopePlow. This allows licensees to conduct traceability work on BioTrackTHC without manually filling out spreadsheets. The data is collected and will be transferred to LeafData’s system when it’s ready.  BioTrackTHC is asking for a $50 monthly fee from all licensees using the UCS.

It’s important to note that BioTrackTHC is under no obligation from the WSLCB or anyone to operate the UCS.

Why BioTrack Bowed Out

BioTrackTHC held Washington’s previous traceability contract. They were replaced by MJ Freeway when they couldn’t come to terms with the state for a contract extension. BioTrackTHC’s CEO Peter Vo wasn’t confident in the newest bidding terms laid out by the WSLCB and pulled out. He wasn’t confident the newest contract followed the Cole Memo’s strict conditions, which could be detrimental to the entire industry.

Vo is speaking about the WSLCB ’s request that MJ Freeway allows for larger “lots” entered into the system. A “lot” is a labeled batch of flower that has been tracked through all its various production stages and is on its way to the retailer.

The Cole Memo allowed a five-pound lot limit. BioTrackTHC’s system wouldn’t allow you to enter lots into the system above five-pounds. The WSLCB  asked MJ Freeway to allow larger lot entries but with the  Cole Memo out of play, it’s possible this might not matter anymore.

When MJ Freeway was awarded Washington’s traceability contract, LeafData wasn’t built yet. A common practice in the technology industry is to build the platform after the contract is awarded. This allows MJ Freeway to build LeafData to the WSLCB’s exact specifications for the interface, tracking, alerts, audits, reports, etc., Jeannette Ward said. Ward is the Global Marketing & Communications Vice President for MJ Freeway.

The original rollout date of Oct. 1 was aggressive and “shorter and faster than any system had been rolled out,” Ward said.

MJ Freeway Deals With Data Security

The October 1st goal was set because it was the end date of BioTrackTHC’s contract. The WSLCB  delayed LeafData for further system tests. Around this time, Vo and WeedTraQR CEO David Busby conducted a personal investigation into a suspicious email sent from LeafData to several cannabis retailers. It contained information not publicly available and suggested that LeafData and MJ Freeway’s data security could have been compromised.

MJ Freeway was already dealing with security breachesservice outages and losing a Nevada contract in 2017, leading critics to question if MJ Freeway was capable enough to handle Washington’s traceability needs and if the WSLCB had made a mistake awarding them the contract.

The WSLCB  said the Washington State Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) assessed the security risks, but Vo says the WSLCB  declined to give him physical proof of OCIO’s check. The date was pushed back to January 1st and was set to allow for three months of additional testing, but that deadline was missed as well.

Industry  Prepares For LeafData Installation

According to Ward, the WSLCB  pushed back LeafData’s installation to February 1st so third-parties would have more time to integrate and licensees would have more time to train on LeafData. Ward also believes the lack of integration was due to lackadaisical licensees, not LeafData’s system stability. She says their system was ready to go, citing two successful integrations prior to the recent delay.

“Some people don’t do their homework until the night before,” Ward said.

GrowFlow representative Tom Wilson told Respect My Region the reason for the most recent delay was because LeafData, simply isn’t ready.

“There are around 30 outstanding bugs in the system, and the WSLCB  did not want to go live with such a buggy system,” Wilson wrote in an email.

If LeafData does go live on Feb. 1, there is a timeline of events that are supposed to happen. These events break ground for the LeafData installation. One of these events, known as a “code freeze,” was scheduled for January 14th and there isn’t sound proof that happened, per an anonymous I-502 producer/processor. This leads some to fear another delay is inevitable or the system will launch with unresolved bugs.

LeafData might only serve roughly one-fourth of licensees. Around 75 percent of licensees use a third-party traceability providers that are helping with the UCS. Critics argue I-502 producer/processors were forced to pay for LeafData when most won’t use it, to begin with, plus those who want to use it can’t because it isn’t operational.

Diego Pellicer is a Seattle cannabis retailer currently using the UCS but is planning on switching to LeafData when it launches. Jesse Leach is the General Manager and says the UCS is working fine, although it’s adding more work for the inventory crew.

Leach believes the WSLCB did their best when they were forced to scramble and find a new traceability suitor after their first option, Metrc, didn’t work out. Leach says Metrc bailed on the contract and forced the WSLCB to find a new suitor. An anonymous I-502 producer/processor says they and other producer/processors raised hell and forced the WSLCB to find something better than Metrc. The next closest bid was MJ Freeway.

At the end of the day, the industry is still trudging along. Several budtenders Respect My Region spoke to have no idea there is a traceability problem, to begin with. This means the UCS is working. But, the cannabis industry didn’t pay millions of dollars for a contingency plan, they paid for LeafData. The industry simply won’t know if LeafData will work properly until February 1st arrives, or if it will even arrive at all.

“We’re all just trying to get back to the way it was,” Leach said.

KushMart opened in November 2014 and has been a top-ranked recreational pot shop since day 1. We’re located at 6309 Evergreen Way STE C minutes off of Interstate 5. With ample parking, you will be in and out in no time and with our amazing selection and best prices you will have a smile on your face.

FOR MORE CANNABIS RECOMMENDATIONS,  STRAIN AND CANNABIS LEGALIZATION  INFORMATION, FOLLOW KUSHMART’S BLOG.