C3RN CANNABIS COMMUNITY CARE AND RESEARCH NETWORK
C3RN IN THE PRESS
Event in Holyoke discussing equity in pot industry draws big crowd
By: Ciara Speller
Posted: Apr 18, 2019 11:40 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 18, 2019 11:43 PM EDT
HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - An event on equity in the cannabis industry was held Thursday night in Holyoke.
The Cannabis Advancement Conference brought dozens of people together at the Gateway City Arts. Big and small businesses working together within the Massachusetts cannabis industry, was the focus of the conference.
The event was hosted by Veterans Alternative Healing, Cannabis Community Care and Research and Joint Venture.
Stephen Mandile, president and founder of Veterans Alternative Healing inc, told 22News, "These are the numbers that are going to improve to the department of veterans affairs that this is something that's working for a lot of veterans. Especially here in Massachusetts where veterans are three times more likely to die of an opioid overdose which is higher than the national average of two times."
This was the second cannabis advancement series in the city.
Original Article: https://www.wwlp.com/news/local-news/hampden-county/event-in-holyoke-discussing-equity-in-pot-industry-draws-big-crowd/1937561786
Cannabis Advancement Series in Massachusetts Will Spotlight Social Equity at April 18 Event
Veterans Alternative Healing, C3RN and Joint Venture & Co. bring industry leaders to Holyoke.
April 17, 2019
The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission was the first state agency in the U.S. to launch a social equity program as part of its broader cannabis business licensing regime. While the platform is in place to address past harms done to neighborhoods and populations by cannabis prohibition, CCC data shows that only 13 percent of all cannabis business applicants fall under the “disadvantaged business enterprise” category—the very demographic that the commission is hoping to support as part of its small business development plans for Massachusetts’ nascent cannabis industry.
It’s a work in progress.
Continuing their Cannabis Advancement Series, the teams from Veterans Alternative Healing Inc., Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) and Joint Venture & Co. will host an event from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. April 18 at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, Mass. The topic: “Cannabis Equity: Big Business and Small Business Working Together.”
Ann Brum, founder of Joint Venture & Co., says that the goal of this event is to bring Massachusetts cannabis professionals together to talk through the social equity angles on all sides of the business development table: big business, small business, private enterprise and public enterprise. The thought is that greater networking among private businesses will prompt greater participation—and success—in the CCC’s public arena.
“It's a combination of communications—being a resource—and talking to those at the local and state level to express some of the barriers and/or challenges that either economic empowerment applicants or social equity applicants are really looking to have direct access to,” Brum says. “Those are a few takeaways: clarity, communication and a sense of confidence in how to navigate the legislation and the application process in a way that's going to be better suited for the applicant.”
The three host groups point to CCC data, as of April 4, that show only 347 out of a total of 3,062 cannabis business applicants claim that “disadvantaged business enterprise” (DBE) status, which includes: women-owned businesses; veteran-owned businesses; minority-owned businesses; lesbian-, gay-, bisexual- or transgender-owned businesses; and “disability-owned businesses,” according to the CCC’s nomenclature.
But if the foundation of the state’s social equity program was a demand for a more inclusive cannabis industry, the numbers aren’t yet on equal footing with non-DBE applicants (2,715, as of April 4, 87 percent of all business applicants).
As part of its social equity program, the CCC unveiled an Economic Empowerment policy, which is “aimed at redressing harms to populations that have been arrested and incarcerated for previous drug laws,” according to the agency.
The biggest barrier to entry for those prospective Economic Empowerment and DBE applicants is funding and simple access to capital, according to a recent WBUR report on the CCC’s own survey of those applicants. As of December 2018, 44 percent of those businesses who’d applied for Economic Empowerment status had not gone on to apply for a business license, citing “difficulty raising money for their business.”
"It’s going to take some time," Cannabis Control Commission Chariman Steve Hoffman said at a public meeting, as WBUR reported. "We will monitor how this process works. We will tweak whatever we need to tweak to make it work. If we need to go back to the legislature and ask for changes in the legislation, we will do so."
Hoffman, as it happens, will be one of the keynote speakers at the Cannabis Advancement Series event in Holyoke on April 18. He’ll be joined by BASK CEO Chapman Dickerson and MRCC Community Director Joe Gilmore, as well.
The first of two panels will get into inclusion and diversity among Massachusetts cannabis entrepreneurship and employment. The panel will discuss how both public and private efforts may work together to produce helpful results. Speakers on that panel include: Hoffman, Stephen Mandile, Karima Rizk, Shamika Rucker and Horace Small.
Following that, the event’s second panel discussion will feature “policy, business, and education models in western Massachusetts for inclusion and diversity, with speakers Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle, Mark Zatryka from INSA, and Jeff Hayden from Holyoke Community College.” Holyoke is located in western Massachusetts, between Easthampton and Springfield (where INSA’s two dispensaries are located).
Further, the organizations will release data compiled through an ongoing Veterans Health and Medical Cannabis Research Study.
“[The series] also raises awareness, big time, about the state of the social equity program in Massachusetts, and that it's the first in the country to really put something like this together,” Brum says. “We really would like to position it as a partnership for the community, the attendees, the panel speakers and our projects. We really want everyone to look at it as: How can we best partner up to make things happen right now?”
Business owners can learn more at the Holyoke event Thursday evening. Registration details for this free event are available at cannacenterofexcellence.org/veteran.
Holyoke Event To Focus On Equity In Massachusetts Cannabis Industry
By BusinessWest Staff April 15, 2019 436
HOLYOKE — Massachusetts is the first U.S. state to implement a statewide social equity program in the cannabis industry and has done so by creating opportunities for those disproportionately impacted by the drug war to have priority access in the industry and broader social-equity program. As the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) gears up in 2019 with targeted technical assistance for economic empowerment and social-equity applicants, opportunity exists to encourage private-sector collaboration and cooperation among big and small businesses in the emerging Massachusetts cannabis industry.
Veterans Alternative Healing Inc. (VAH), Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN), and Joint Venture & Co. are hosting an event on Thursday, April 18 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on the topic of “Cannabis Equity: Big Business and Small Business Working Together.” To register for this free event, visit www.cannacenterofexcellence.org/veteran.
As the CCC continues to actively bolster the state’s social-equity program, a complimentary and collaborative effort from the private sector can help ensure that those disproportionately impacted by the drug war have meaningful inclusion in the cannabis industry.
As of April 4, the CCC has received 3,062 total applications, but only 347 (13%) from companies identified as ‘disadvantaged business enterprise’ (DBE). To date, 87% of applicants did not identify as a DBE, 0.3% were disability-owned, 0.9% veteran-owned, 1.4% LGBTQ-owned, 2.3% minority-owned, and 2.9% women-owned, and 4.9% identified as two or more DBE types. The lack of diversity is clear, and as the CCC baseline study reports, capital is the largest barrier to entry for minority businesses. In addition to other efforts the CCC is taking to address identified barriers, it is also actively looking for qualified training vendors for the social-equity program expected to launch this year.
Keynote speakers for the event include Cannabis Control Commissioner Steve Hoffman, BASK CEO Chapman Dickerson, and MRCC Community Director Joe Gilmore. Two panel discussions will be held at the event. The first will focus on inclusion and diversity in entrepreneurship and employment, and ideas for constructive collaboration across the industry. Speakers include Hoffman, Stephen Mandile, Karima Rizk, Shamika Rucker, and Horace Small. The second panel will focus on policy, business, and education models in Western Mass. for inclusion and diversity, with speakers Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle, Mark Zatryka from INSA, and Jeff Hayden from Holyoke Community College.
Study data from the VAH, C3RN, and UMass Dartmouth’s ongoing Veterans Health and Medical Cannabis Research Study will be released at the event as well.
Veterans interested in participating in the study will complete an anonymous online survey and see how their results compared to other participating veterans’ answers. All study participants will receive access to cannabis-related discounts, attend monthly support groups managed by VAH, and can elect to participate in additional clinical cannabis studies. The study team has partnered with the Massachusetts chapter of Disabled American Veterans, Revolutionary Clinics, AmeriCann, BASK, the Botanist, the Healing Rose, INSA, and Central Ave Compassionate Care. Study media sponsors include NECANN, SENSI magazine, and Weedmaps. For participating in the study, veterans will receive discounts from the following cannabis and wellness companies in Massachusetts: Revolutionary Clinics, AmeriCann, BASK, the Botanist, the Healing Rose, INSA, and Central Ave Compassionate Care. Veterans can take the survey at www.cannacenterofexcellence.org/veteran.
Original Article Here: https://businesswest.com/blog/holyoke-event-to-focus-on-equity-in-massachusetts-cannabis-industry/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ann M. Brum
Joint Venture & Co
HOLYOKE CANNABIS EVENT TO FOCUS ON EQUITY IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY AND MA VETERANS CANNABIS STUDY DATA RELEASE
April 12th, 2019 – Holyoke, MA
Massachusetts is the first U.S. state to implement a state-wide social equity program in the cannabis industry and has done so by creating opportunities for those disproportionately impacted by the drug war to have priority access in the industry and broader social equity program. As the CCC gears up in 2019 with targeted technical assistance for economic empowerment and social equity applicants, there is the opportunity to encourage private sector collaboration and cooperation among big and small businesses in the emerging MA cannabis industry.
Veterans Alternative Healing Inc. (VAH), Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN), and Joint Venture & Co are hosting an event in Holyoke, MA on April 18 at Gateway City Arts on the topic of Cannabis Equity: Big business and small business working together. Register for the FREE event here: www.cannacenterofexcellence.org/veteran.
As the MA Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) continues to actively bolster the states social equity program, a complimentary and collaborative effort from the private sector can support to ensure those disproportionately impacted by the drug war have meaningful inclusion in the cannabis industry.
As of April 4, the CCC has received 3,062 total applications, and only 347 (13%) from companies identified as “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). To date, 87% of applicants did not identify as a DBE, 0.3% were disability-owned, 0.9% veteran-owned, 1.4% LGBTQ-owned, 2.3% minority-owned and 2.9% women-owned, and 4.9% identified as two or more DBE types. The lack of diversity is clear, and as the CCC baseline study reports, capital is the largest barrier to entry for minority and small owned businesses. In addition to other efforts the CCC is taking to address identified barriers, the CCC is also actively looking for qualified training vendors for the social equity program expected to launch this year.
With over 3,000 applications into the state, the majority of new applications and total are located in Central and Western Massachusetts.
The second 2019 Cannabis Advancement Series event in Massachusetts will be held on April 18, 2019 at Holyoke Gateway City Arts and will focus on discussing the issues of meaningful equity in the cannabis industry, and how big and small business can work together in Massachusetts, and specifically in Western MA.
Keynote speakers for the event include Cannabis Control Commissioner Steve Hoffman, Veteran CEO Chapman Dickerson from BASK, and MRCC Community Director, Joe Gilmore. Two panel discussions will be held at the event. The first will focus on inclusion and diversity in entrepreneurship and employment, and ideas for constructive collaboration across the industry. Speakers include Commissioner Steve Hoffman, Stephen Mandile, Karima Rizk, Shamika Rucker, and Horace Small. The second panel will focus on policy, business, and education models in Western MA for inclusion and diversity, with speakers Mayor Alex Morse from Holyoke, Mayor Nicole LaChapelle from Easthampton, Mark Zatryka from Insa, and Jeff Hayden from Holyoke Community College.
Study data from the VAH, C3RN, and UMass Dartmouth ongoing Veterans Health and Medical Cannabis Research Study will be released at the event as well.
Veterans interested in participating in the study will complete an anonymous online survey and see how their results compared to other participating veterans’ answers. All study participants will receive access to cannabis-related discounts, attend monthly support groups managed by VAH, and can elect to participate in additional clinical cannabis studies. The study team has partnered with the Massachusetts Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Revolutionary Clinics, AmeriCann, BASK, The Botanist, The Healing Rose, Insa, and Central Ave Compassionate Care. Study media sponsors include: NECANN, SENSI Magazine, and Weedmaps. For participating in the study, veterans will receive discounts from the following cannabis and wellness companies in Massachusetts: Revolutionary Clinics, AmeriCann, BASK, The Botanist, The Healing Rose, Insa, and Central Ave Compassionate Care. Veterans can take the survey here: www.cannacenterofexcellence.org/veteran
Cannabis Advancement Series Event #2:
April 18, 2019 – 5:30 - 9:30 PM
Gateway City Arts, Holyoke, MA
Register for a free ticket here: www.cannacenterofexcellence.org/veteran
To learn more about the Veterans Citizen Science Study or Cannabis Advancement Event Series and how to get involved as a participant, event sponsor, or partner, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: https://cannacenterofexcellence.org/veteran or visit https://vahinc.org/
About Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN)
Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) is a public benefit corporation (B Corp) based out of Worcester, MA that specializes in providing high-quality research and analytic services related to the impacts of medical and adult-use recreational cannabis. C3RN is currently establishing a nonprofit research entity to house a virtual Cannabis Center of Excellence and all academic research activities. As a social justice-oriented research and analytics company, C3RN specializes in designing, monitoring, and evaluating models of integrating adult-use and medical cannabis to positively impact social, clinical, and public health outcomes. C3RN runs and national anon cannabis consumer and patient survey in addition to a veterans health and cannabis research study in Massachusetts. Learn more at: www.canncenterofexcellence.org
About Veterans Alternative Healing (VAH)
Veterans Alternative Healing provides education, services, support, advocacy and opportunities for and to veterans interested in utilizing alternative healing approaches and methodologies in treating ailments or conditions which affect them mentally, physically, emotionally, or psychologically thereby reducing the use of opiates and other pharmacological drugs used to suppress and temporarily manage pain, symptoms, and mental health concerns without stigma. Learn more at https://vahinc.org/
About Joint Venture & Co (JVC)
Joint Venture & Co is a Boston-based business development agency partnering up with entrepreneurs, non-profits, and small businesses to facilitate their communications needs, increase their market value and brand exposure. They take a holistic approach to position their client’s message and mission to a standard of influence, trust and integrity. https://jointvco.com/
Survey Seeks to Improve Medical Access to Cannabis for Veterans
DENVER, CO / ACCESSWIRE / April 4, 2019 / In an effort to explore how medical cannabis can help veterans, AmeriCann, Inc. (OTCQB: ACAN ), a cannabis company that is developing cultivation, processing and manufacturing facilities, announced that it has partnered with the Veterans Health and Cannabis Citizen Science Study in Massachusetts. The research is led by Cannabis Community Care and Research Network(C3RN) and UMass Dartmouth CharltonCollege of Business in collaboration with Veterans Alternative Healing (VAH).
The Veterans Health and Cannabis Citizen Science Study seeks to understand veterans’ current health status, treatment regimens and medications, current use of cannabis, and issues related to the quality of life, access to insurance options, service history and demographics. In addition to contributing to policy and advocacy through this study, participants will be able to see their results and how they compare to others who take the survey. Veterans who participate in the study will also receive discounts at partner medical cannabis dispensaries in Massachusetts, including AmeriCann’s preferred partner BASK. The survey is open to all U.S. veterans nationwide: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AmeriCannVets
“We are proud to be a partner of this important research with C3RN and Veterans Alternative Healing,” says Tim Keogh, CEO of AmeriCann. “These organizations are doing incredible work to remove the stigma around medical cannabis and increase education and access for all, especially our veterans. We look forward to seeing what this study finds and how it can be helpful to veterans.”
The study tools were designed with input from a researchers at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, UMass Dartmouth, and C3RN’s team of researchers, data scientists, and industry experts. The study was approved by the UMass Dartmouth Institutional Review Board (IRB) and findings are planned to be published in a leading peer-reviewed journal and other leading conferences and forums.
“Cannabis has the potential to benefit thousands of veterans,” says Dr. Marion McNabb, CEO of C3RN. “Our research will help us further understand the medical uses of cannabis as a treatment for many conditions veterans suffer from, including chronic pain, PTSD, anxiety and depression. We are grateful for the support of our partners like AmeriCann for helping to make Massachusetts the hub of medical cannabis research.”
AmeriCann, through its preferred partner BASK, previously partnered with C3RN on a first-of-its-kind anonymous national cannabis consumer and patient survey, with a focus on the Massachusetts market. Through the pilot project in September 2018, researchers found that 73 percent of BASK patients are using cannabis to reduce the use of unwanted prescription medications. Common health conditions treated with medical cannabis patients included chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.
The veterans study was launched at the Cannabis Advancement Conference on Sunday, March 3, at District Hall in Boston. The conference was the first event of the six-part Cannabis Advancement Series designed to eliminate the stigma around cannabis. The event series is led by Veterans Alternative Healing (VAH), C3RN and Joint Venture & Co. The second event will be held on April 18 in Holyoke, Mass and will focus on social equity in the cannabis industry. Preliminary data from the Veterans study will also be presented on April 18. To learn more about the Veterans Citizen Science Study or Cannabis Advancement Event Series and how to get involved as a participant, event sponsor, or partner, visit: https://cannacenterofexcellence.org/veteran or https://vahinc.org/
AmeriCann is developing the Massachusetts Cannabis Center (MCC), a one million square foot sustainable cannabis cultivation and processing facility in Freetown, Massachusetts. The first phase of the facility is scheduled to open and be ready for cannabis cultivation, processing, and infused product production in the summer of 2019. AmeriCann intends to open similar facilities in states in which cannabis is legal for medical and adult use.
AmeriCann (OTCQB: ACAN ) is a cannabis company that is focused on developing Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and implementing proprietary agricultural technology (Ag-Tech) for a new generation of sustainable, state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation and processing properties.
AmeriCann will use greenhouse technology which is superior to the current industry standard of growing cannabis in warehouse facilities under artificial lights. According to industry experts, by capturing natural sunlight, greenhouses use 25 percent fewer lights, and utility bills are up to 75 percent less than in typical warehouse cultivation facilities. As such, AmeriCann’s Cannopy System enables cannabis to be produced with a greatly reduced carbon footprint, making the final product less expensive. Additionally, greenhouse construction costs are nearly half of warehouse construction costs.
More information about the Company is available at: www.americann.co, or follow AmeriCann on Twitter@ACANinfo.
Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) is a public benefit corporation based out of Somerville, MA that specializes in providing high-quality research and analytic services related to the impacts of medical and adult-use recreational cannabis. As a social justice-oriented research and analytics company, C3RN specializes in designing, monitoring, and evaluating models of integrating adult-use and medical cannabis to positively impact social, clinical, and public health outcomes. C3RN has over 80 years of collective experience in cannabis, healthcare, life sciences, chemistry, public health, data science, and academic research. C3RN provides cannabis and health research and data analytic services, and consulting around cultivation, extraction, life sciences, technology, and medical cannabis patient care. C3RN runs a monthly Cannabis Science, Education, and Networking series in Massachusetts to showcase the latest cannabis innovations, evidence, and best practices. For more information about C3RN’s research, events, and services, please visit: www.cannaresearchnetwork.com. Contact Dr. Marion McNabb, CEO of C3RN at email@example.com for more information.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) (which Sections were adopted as part of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995). Statements preceded by, followed by or that otherwise include the words “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” “prospects,” “outlook,” and similar words or expressions, or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “should,” “would,”“may,” and “could” are generally forward-looking in nature and not historical facts. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any anticipated results, performance or achievements. The Company disclaims any intention to, and undertakes no obligation to, revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, a future event, or otherwise. For additional uncertainties that could impact the Company’s forward-looking statements, please see the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-1, which the Company recently filed with the SEC and which may be viewed at www.sec.gov.
1550 Wewatta Street
Denver, CO 80202
www.americann.co @ACANinfo onTwitter @AmeriCann onFacebook @AmeriCannIncon Instagram AmeriCann, Incon LinkedIn
Teak Media + Communication
SOURCE: AmeriCann, Inc.
Needham, MA Over 250 people braved the cold for the 3rd annual Cannabis Summit by The New England Real Estate Journal at the Sheraton Needham on March 7th.
The first panel was held from 8:30 – 9: 30 a.m. and was moderated by Beth Waterfall of ELEVATE Northeast. Topics included design solutions for retail and medical dispensaries, growing facilities and testing labs. Other speakers included: Brian Anderson of Anderson Porter Design; Nicholas Fair of Consulting Engineering Services; Robert Rose of A/Z Corp.; and Michael Novak of Meridian Associates.
Shown (from left) are Panel 1: Michael Novak of Meridian Associates; Nicholas Fair
of Consulting Engineering Services; Brian Anderson of Anderson Porter Design;
Robert Rose of A/Z Corp.; and Beth Waterfall of ELEVATE Northeast.
There were discussions on site challenges, to which Novak pointed out issues such as getting enough power, or if it is a retrofit, will there be enough parking.
Fair spoke about commissioning, and if you realize there is a problem you want an insurance policy on the facility. Rose agreed regarding 3rd party commissioning that gives you extra eyes on the development project itself.
There was talk about energy usage and how the cost of power needs to factor in your site selection. Rose commented by saying gas is a better alternative leading to sustainability and a low carbon footprint.
Anderson brought up how the industry hasn’t normalized yet, and it will help when the FDA provides guidelines to help growers and manufacturers.
Asked about predictions for the future, Novak said that once it is normalized, it will be steady. Fair commented on how over 60% of consumption is non-flower now. It is mostly oils, so there will be a wider acceptance in the future with more regulatory oversight.
Shown (from left) are Panel 2: Kelly Pappas of Foster Sullivan Insurance;
Michael Ross of Prince Lobel; Valerio Romano of Vicente Sederberg;
Mike Ginty of Digital Guard Force; and Camilo Basto of ABG Commercial Real Estate.
The second panel was held from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. and was moderated by Camilo Basto of ABG Commercial Real Estate. Topics included real estate investments in the cannabis industry, security, zoning, permitting and insurance issues. Other speakers included: Michael Ross of Prince Lobel; Mike Ginty of Digital Guard Force; Valerio Romano of Vicente Sederberg; and Kelly Pappas of Foster Sullivan Insurance.
The panel was asked about zoning and Romano mentioned how originally, zoning was industrial, and now it is moving to more commercial and retail. “There is a lot of opportunity here for one to invest in real estate without actually ever touching the plant, and really turning your regular industrial building into something that can have a lot more value,” said Romano.
Ross explained how it is becoming much harder to find locations, but the rewards are still there.
There was a lot of discussion on security. Pappas spoke about the insurance side of the topic and mentioned how landlords and property owners need to make sure the Criminal Act Exclusion Clause is covered in the event of a loss by the tenant. “Theft is one of the major concerns that insurance carriers have, it’s a cash business, so being able to show to the underwriter of the carrier that you have this amazing security program in place is going to be crucial in the application process,” said Pappas. Other insurance issues include liability and chance of explosions.
Ginty said, “Having not only cameras and alarms, and maybe a security guard, it’s really important to have those internal controls and fully developed plans and policies in place, as well as monitoring.” He also brought up how owners should make sure their cameras have forensic capability.
Shown (from left) are Panel 3: Derrell Black of M4MM; Joseph Gilmore of MRCC;
Marion McNabb of C3RN; and Heather Parsons of Keller Williams.
The third panel was held from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. and was moderated by Heather Parsons of Keller Williams. Topics included cannabis businesses in disproportionate communities and marijuana business and the general public. Other speakers included: Marion McNabb of C3RN; Joseph Gilmore of MRCC; and Derrell Black of M4MM.
Parsons asked the panel how cities can embrace cannabis. McNabb mentioned how communities need to understand more about cannabis by providing date, facts and the medical value. Gilmore brought up how educational events are important for municipalities. According to Black, it is important to connect with neighborhood leaders, such as churches.
“The community should be an integral component when you are trying to acquire a cannabis license. If you can get people to these important association meetings, you can affect different things like where the zoning is going to be allowed, or if cannabis is going to even be allowed in the town in general,” said Gilmore.
“We need to all come together as nonprofit organizations and real estate agencies, and try to get more educational buildings up, such as community centers in disproportionate areas, so people, neighborhood leaders and the older people will know the pros, not just the cons about cannabis. We can teach them about the medical perks, and we can get people off of pills and injections and try to see if they can follow the cannabis route,” said Black.
On the subject of what people can do to make the industry more inclusive for disproportionate communities, McNabb spoke about the Cannabis Control Commission’s (CCC) Social Equity Program, which would ensure their inclusion.
The New England Real Estate Journal would like to thank the following sponsors for this event:
Gold Sponsor: CATIC National Commercial Services.
Corporate Sponsors: Elevate Northeast; Vantage Builders, Inc.; A/Z Corp.; CES; M.C. Andrews Co., Inc.; Foster Sullivan Insurance; Prince Lobel; ABG; Meridian Associates; and Digital Guard Force.
Vendor Sponsors: Anderson Porter Design; U.S. Pavement Services, Inc.; and Inspired Technology and Communications, LLC.
Media Sponsor: Sensi Magazine.
Please join NEREJ at its next summit – Nashua/Manchester/Bedford, New Hampshire – on August 25th at the Event Center at the Courtyard by Marriott Nashua, 2200 Southwood Dr., Nashua, N.H.
For more information or speaking/sponsor opportunities, please contact Rick Kaplan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781-878-4540.
By Shira Schoenberg – Springfield Republican/MassLive.com
Mar 18, 2019, 6:27am EDT
This story first appeared on MassLive.com.
Iraq War veteran Stephen Mandile was prescribed 57 medications over 10 years of treatment through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and pain from a spinal cord injury.
Eventually, he tried to kill himself.
He says things got better after he started using medical marijuana when the first Massachusetts dispensary opened in 2015. “I was able to get off of all my other medications and have an improvement in quality of life from making the switch to cannabis," Mandile said. “It helps me with pain and other issues more than any other medication really could without turning me off completely and not being able to feel anything.”
Mandile, of Uxbridge, is now director of community outreach for a new Massachusetts nonprofit, Alternative Treatment for Veterans. The coalition formed to teach veterans about the medical benefits of marijuana, and to advocate for their increased access to medical marijuana.
“Veterans are an extremely important population because they face a myriad of health conditions after service that are often overlooked and underserved,” said Marion McNabb, CEO of the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network, or C3RN, which is spearheading the effort.
McNabb said marijuana has shown promise for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and chronic pain — all conditions likely to affect veterans.
As part of the new effort, different groups are working together to conduct a research study on veterans, create a new education and advocacy nonprofit and run a series of conferences around the state focused on veterans and marijuana use.
“It’s just time we honor those who have served and offer more support at both a state and national policy level that can create systemic change in a sustainable way,” said Ann Brum, founder of Joint Venture and Co., a Boston-based business development agency that is helping coordinate the conferences.
Advocates say while marijuana may help veterans with many ailments they are likely to experience, veterans have a particularly difficult time accessing medical marijuana because it is still illegal under federal law. Many veterans receive health care through the VA, where doctors cannot prescribe medical marijuana and benefits do not cover it. Veterans may lose access to other medications if they test positive for marijuana use.
“We’re trying to combine our efforts to collect some data and some research to change policy at the VA,” Mandile said.
Mandile said he hopes to help create an environment where a veteran can be open with their primary care doctor about using marijuana without facing stigma. “We want to make it a holistic thing — your doctor knows everything you’re doing so they can help you,” he said. “We don’t want a veteran to not have that option just because of the state they live in.”
The mission of Alternative Treatment for Veterans will be to raise awareness about veterans and marijuana use, support research, and advocate for veterans’ access to marijuana. It is working with C3RN to launch the research study, together with UMass Dartmouth researchers.
For the study, veterans will be asked to complete an anonymous online survey to provide information about their service and medical history, cannabis use and consumption preferences, history of opioid addiction, and barriers in accessing medical marijuana.
The survey is open to all veterans, not only those living in Massachusetts.
McNabb said several dispensaries will give discounts to veterans who take the survey. The veterans will also be invited to attend monthly support groups and participate in clinical cannabis studies.
The research findings will ultimately be used to lobby state and federal officials on marijuana-related issues. McNabb said the goal is to advocate for veterans to have access to medical marijuana, for VA clinicians to prescribe it and for VA benefits to cover it.
Disabled American Veterans Department of Massachusetts, the state chapter of a national organization that has assisted veterans for more than 40 years, is involved with the initiative.
Dan Stack, department adjutant of Disabled American Veterans Department of Massachusetts, said medical marijuana can potentially help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. Some of these veterans have been taking opioids to alleviate pain, and some struggle with addiction.
“You have veterans suffering with chronic pain, on opioids, who can no longer be on opioids because of the addictive factor, they look to alternative sources to alleviate their pain,” Stack said.
Stack said he hopes the study can provide better information to veterans and can be used to lobby VA officials.
“There are many studies out there that show medicinal cannabis is a good treatment program for people suffering from stress or chronic pain,” Stack said. “But there’s never been a study that specifically looks at veterans and how they would benefit from this.”
The coalition is also holding a series of six conferences around the state focused on de-stigmatizing marijuana use, reviewing research findings, and increasing education for veterans. Upcoming conferences will be held April 18 in Holyoke and June 20 in Worcester.
Veterans Cannabis Research Survey - by Ashley Payne | Mar 13, 2019 | Bask News
On Sunday, March 3, 2019, Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) along with Veterans Alternative Healing Inc. and Joint Venture & Co. launched the Cannabis Advancement Series. The event, which took place in Boston’s District Hall, focused on supporting and educating Veterans and their families about medical cannabis advocacy, access, and research. Keynote speakers included Commissioner Shaleen Title of the Cannabis Control Commission, Dr. Peter Grinspoon a primary care physician and instructor at Harvard Medical School, and Jan Roberts the Director of Translational Research at the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health in New York. Live footage from the conference can be found here. Additional conferences are scheduled to take place across the state of Massachusetts, see below for dates and locations.
Stephen Mandile, the founder of Veterans Alternative Healing Inc a 501(C)(3) NON-PROFIT organization, began his public journey for cannabis advocacy in February of 2016 when he stood on top of a news van in front of the Massachusetts State House to fight for affordable and safe access to medical cannabis for Veterans. Today, Mandile’s organization focuses on helping Veterans obtain affordable access to medical cannabis in order to help reduce prescription opioid use and overdose. According to a 2018 report by the Department of Public Health, Massachusetts Veterans are at a higher risk of dying from an opioid overdose than the rest of the population.
Veterans Alternative Healing Inc, has partnered with seven dispensaries across Massachusetts, including Bask in Fairhaven, to offer the Veterans Care Program. Through this program, Veterans who are registered with the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana program with a rating of 100% Service Connected Disability will receive up to 40% off their medical cannabis purchases per month. The organization’s goal is to reduce the costs of medical cannabis to help reduce the number of prescription opioids used by Veterans.
According to a survey conducted by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, 83% of members agree cannabis should be legal for medicinal purposes. With cannabis listed as a Schedule I Drug at the federal level, Veterans are unable to receive medical cannabis through government programs that are subsidizing the cost of prescription drugs. At this time, there is very little research available in America about medical cannabis use by Veterans. Understanding that one of the first steps toward policy change is collecting research and data, members of C3RN and Veterans Alternative Healing along with UMass Dartmouth, formulated an anonymous Veterans Health and Cannabis Citizen Science Survey. The project has also partnered with Disabled American Veterans (DAV) of Massachusetts. According to Veterans Alternative Healing Inc., “Anonymous data collected from the survey will be analyzed and a policy memo will be prepared for the DAV to be used for state and federal level advocacy to increase access to medical cannabis for Veterans who wish to have alternative options for managing their health conditions.” Veterans of the US Military who are age 21 and older may take the survey to help contribute to cannabis policy and advocacy.
For more information about these organizations and the Cannabis Advancement Conference, visit the C3RN and Veterans Alternative Healing Inc. websites.
Bask is a proud sponsor of the Cannabis Advancement Series and a proud participant of the Veterans Health and Cannabis Citizen Science Survey. Veterans who are 21+ and patients of the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana program will receive 125 Bask Loyalty Points upon completion of the anonymous survey. Patients with a rating of 100% Service Connected Disability also qualify for 40% off their purchases at Bask each month through the Veterans Care Program. As a Veteran owned and operated dispensary, we understand the importance of affordable access to medical cannabis and alternative healing. If you have any questions about the survey or the Veterans Care Program, send us an email at email@example.com
Original Article can be found here: https://www.cometobask.com/blog/veterans-cannabis-research-survey/#
Article Source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/marijuana/2019/03/01/veterans-need-medical-marijuana-should-not-have-worry-about-finances-new-group-says/nWL2XAytUIv2jdKt3zE24K/story.html
Veterans in need of medical marijuana ‘should not have to worry about finances,’ new group says
Stephen Mandile, an Iraq veteran, credits medical marijuana with his recovery from a suicide attempt and addiction.
By Naomi Martin GLOBE STAFF MARCH 02, 2019
To hear Iraq veteran Stephen Mandile tell it, his recovery from a suicide attempt and opioid addiction started when he and his wife sat down in 2015 to discuss money.
“Are we ready to pay for more medicine?” Mandile recalled asking. He suffered severe pain from injuring his spinal cord in a Humvee crash and received free opioids from the Department of Veterans Affairs. He wanted to switch to medical marijuana — but the change could cost his family $1,500 a week since the VA wouldn’t pay for the federally illegal drug.
Now, Mandile, 41, says he enjoys life again thanks to cannabis. He’s involved with a new nonprofit, Alternative Treatment for Veterans, that launched Friday along with the Massachusetts chapter of the Disabled American Veterans to research veterans’ marijuana use and advocate for their expanded access to cannabis.
“Veterans are promised an earned benefit” of medical care, Mandile said. “They should not have to worry about finances when they’re trying to heal and start their recovery.”
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At a Friday news conference at the State House, the new group announced its first research project starting Sunday: an anonymous online survey asking veterans about their use of marijuana and other drugs, and the benefits or negative effects.
It’s a starting point for future research that will likely delve deeper into the science behind cannabis’s therapeutic potential for conditions common among veterans, such as pain, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression, said Marion McNabb, CEO of Cannabis Community Care and Research Network.
“We have to think about cannabis as a tool in the public health toolkit,” McNabb said. “You can’t replace all medications with cannabis, but it is worthy of inquiry under good scientific and clinical supervision.”
In Massachusetts, veterans are three times more likely than the rest of the population to die of an opioid overdose, according to a Department of Public Health report last year. That’s a higher disparity than nationwide.
Until a few years ago, published reports show, the VA heavily prescribed opioid painkillers to treat chronic pain. About 60 percent of veterans returning from Middle East deployments and 50 percent of older veterans suffer chronic pain, according to the VA.
The new nonprofit’s research will be used to advocate for state and federal policies to expand veterans’ ability to obtain marijuana, McNabb said.
Medical marijuana can provide symptom relief because it contains compounds called cannabinoids, which can act to balance the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which regulates mood, sleep, and pain, said Dr. Staci Gruber, director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery at McLean Hospital, who is advising the nonprofit.
But, she said, the medical community has more questions than answers because of the lack of validated studies.
“Massachusetts should be a leader in medical cannabis research,” Gruber said. “It’s my hope we’re able to move the ball down the field in a way that adds meaningfully to the conversation in the country and the world.”
Federal marijuana decriminalization would be most effective in enabling the VA to cover marijuana costs, Mandile said, but in its absence, there are other possible reforms. Through his efforts, he said, eight of the state’s cannabis retailers offer discounts to disabled veterans.
Massachusetts could also enact a law similar to one in Illinois, where veterans can receive a medical marijuana card simply by submitting VA records, Mandile said.
On Friday, Cannabis Control Commissioner Kay Doyle teared up as she recalled having to avoid the topic of battle around her grandfather, a World War I veteran.
“There was nothing I could do to treat the wounds I couldn’t see, but even as a young child, I could feel,” Doyle said. “That is why I am so grateful that Alternative Treatment for Veterans has been created. . . . We must do our best to explore all treatment options.”
Keith Cooper, CEO of Revolutionary Clinics, said his dispensaries in Somerville and Cambridge serve nearly 500 veterans.
“This is long overdue,” Cooper said. “The industry needs more credible information and research to reduce the stigma of cannabis use.”
Steve Creedon, 67, a Navy veteran who served in Puerto Rico during the Vietnam era, attended the event Friday. He used marijuana for 25 years to treat anxiety and pain related to a foot injury.
“My real hope would be that this evidence persuades the federal government to decriminalize marijuana and turn it into the medicine that we’ve all discovered now.”
The group asks veterans to take its survey starting Sunday at cannacenterofexcellence.org/veteran.
Original Article: https://www.cometobask.com/blog/international-womens-day-cannabis-industry/
Women in the cannabis industry - International Women's Day
by Ashley Payne | Mar 6, 2019 | Bask News | 0 comments
The cannabis industry, historically a male-dominated industry, has seen a spike in the number of female employees across the nation. Today, women in the cannabis industry hold roughly “42% of the executive positions at ancillary services companies…and 35% of medical dispensaries and recreational stores,” according to the Marijuana Business Daily. In Celebration of International Women’s Day on Friday March 8th, we are recognizing some of the women in the cannabis industry in Massachusetts.
Marion McNabb, CEO and Co-Founder of the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN)
Marion McNabb, DrPH, MPH is the CEO and Co-Founder of the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN), a Massachusetts-based cannabis research company aiming to improve the evidence-base related to medical cannabis therapies. C3RN runs a virtual cannabis center of excellence, leveraging digital technologies to improve collaboration and research partnerships between the academic, clinical, and cannabis communities. C3RN, with UMass Dartmouth, is leading a two-year open cannabis consumer and patient research study to assess the impact on health, social, and economic outcomes. In March 2019, C3RN launched an open Cannabis Veterans and Veterans Family member research study with partners UMass Dartmouth and Veterans Alternative Healing (VAH). C3RN and VAH will co-host an event series in 2019 focused on science, education, and breaking cannabis stigma in Massachusetts through community engagement. C3RN is an approved qualified training vendor for the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s social equity training program.
Dr. McNabb holds over 15 years of global public health field experience implementing and evaluating sexual reproductive health and rights and technology-focused programs mainly in many African countries, Vietnam, and Haiti. Most recently, Marion consulted with UNICEF New York to draft a Global Approach for Digital Health for over 130 countries and consulted with HealthEnabled, a global digital health consulting firm, advising the Ugandan and South African Ministry of Health on the use of digital tools to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV. Prior, Dr. McNabb was a Senior Digital Health at Pathfinder International, where she led the development of a digital health global strategy, designed SMS-based behavior-change programs and clinical case management mobile applications and referral systems in Haiti, Nigeria, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and other low-income settings. Dr. McNabb holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from St. Louis University in African and African American Studies, a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) from Boston University School of Public Health.
Dr. McNabb is well-known and highly respected in the Massachusetts cannabis community for her work to improve cannabis policy through research. Her work with C3RN to create and conduct cannabis research studies throughout Massachusetts has provided the industry with effective insights to help improve medical cannabis access and policy. When asked about the future for women in the cannabis industry, Dr. McNabb replied, “Women are leading the charge in the cannabis industry and [it’s] great to see a higher number of female-owned companies and leadership in this industry. For all the new women, there are great opportunities to make your place and career in a new industry, and lots of women-centric resources for ensuring success as a female.” Veterans who are interested in participating in the C3RN/Veterans Alternative Healing, Inc. anonymous survey can follow the link here.
JoAnne Lepannen, Executive Director, Chief Compliance Officer, Patient Education Specialist, & more – Bask, Inc.
JoAnne Lepannen holds many titles including Executive Director, Chief Compliance Officer, and Patient Education Specialist at Bask dispensary in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. After retiring from the practice of law, she joined the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC) as Executive Director and President. It was in Rhode Island where she met Chapman Dickerson, CEO and founder of Bask who, at the time, was cultivating cannabis as a caregiver in the state of Rhode Island.
When medical cannabis was legalized in Massachusetts, Lepannen joined Dickerson, Tim Keogh, and Melanie Dixon on the board of directors for Bask. As a Patient Education Specialist at Bask, Lepannen provides one-on-one consultations with patients to ensure they receive the education needed prior to making a purchase. Through her work, Bask is able to uphold its mission to provide patients with access to medical cannabis in a safe and clean environment with knowledgeable staff and educational resources.
Ann Brum, Founder of Joint Venture & Co.
Ann M. Brum, an industry professional, and founder of Joint Venture & Co., a Boston-based business development agency, has embarked on a very ambitious goal; to make any client; from a timid first-time cannabis user to a large dispensary to a healthcare organization, comfortable with both personal and business decisions in the cannabis and wellness arena.
For the past 10 years, Ann has dedicated herself to deciphering and clarifying these industries through information, support and organizational development. The emerging medical marijuana and adult-use market, along with a seemingly endless amount of wellness services, has overwhelmed consumers and the public. She achieves this goal by creating authentic, connected experiences and out-of-the-box thinking between the public, community organizations, and industry. Joint Venture & Co. is an extension of a personal dedication to promoting wellness by delivering real-time information on the cannabis market. Her pride lies in facilitating healthy exploration of wellness alternatives while reducing risk. These goals are achieved through informed decision making, support, information and clarity to the market, consumers and health care professionals.
As a female entrepreneur in the cannabis industry she notes, “I’ve had so many moments of feeling, ‘can I really do this?’ I had to stop overthinking it; just go for it, be honest with myself and our clients. Embrace riding the wave, and you’ll find yourself living a life that is simply satisfying.” Ann recently teamed up with social justice and policy advocates from C3RN and Veterans Alternative Healing to launch the Cannabis Advancement Series in Boston.
Ashley Payne, Marketing Manager – Bask, Inc.
Ashley Payne is the Marketing Manager at Bask, a registered medical cannabis dispensary in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Payne got her start in the cannabis industry soon after leaving a local marketing company in March of 2018. Initially, she performed a variety of roles at the dispensary, giving her a better understanding of the daily operations of the small business. After a few months, Payne noticed how her previous experience in marketing could help shape Bask’s marketing strategies. Her work can be viewed across social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn, the company’s website, and the weekly e-newsletters.
A graduate of Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia with degrees in Communication Studies and Musical Theater, Payne moved to Massachusetts just two weeks after graduation in 2013. After working in sales for Apple and management at a Marriott Hotel, she decided to start a small business making all-natural dog treats where she got most of her initial marketing experience. “When I started my job at Bask, I was nervous about going into an industry that I knew very little about. I was nervous about what some of my friends and family would think, especially being from the south where perceptions of cannabis aren’t always positive. I knew I was walking into a brand new world and to be honest, I was a bit scared,” explains Payne about her entry into the cannabis industry.
When asked about her experience as a woman in the cannabis industry she said, “It’s been almost a year since I started at Bask, and I have to say it’s the best decision I ever made. When I walked in the door and met Chappy and Tim [the CEO and President of Bask], they were so welcoming and I knew this is where I was meant to be. We’re fortunate at Bask to have so many women working in every department from cultivation and processing to sales and patient education. When I attend cannabis conferences and trade shows, women are definitely outnumbered by men. I can be tough sometimes for women in the cannabis industry, especially because many women aren’t very vocal about their cannabis use. I meet people all the time who are surprised when I tell them that I’m also a medical cannabis patient. I think having more women in the cannabis industry is one way we can help end the stigma around cannabis. We could help change the perception of who is using cannabis simply by telling people ‘I am a woman. I work in the industry. And I use cannabis.’ It’s time we change the negative perceptions of the ‘lazy stoner’ stereotype and show people that someone can choose to consume cannabis and still be a contributing member of society.”
Michelle Bennett, Founder of Healing Tree Edibles
Michelle Bennett started Healing Tree Edibles LLC, a CBD-infused edibles business based out of Cape Cod, in 2018 after falling and shattering her ankle. Using infused chocolate to replace prescribed opiates for pain, she was able to stay pill free throughout her healing. Bennett, with more than 25 years of experience in the food service industry, started Healing Tree Edibles as a way to offer “a healthy way of healing” with organic, gluten free, non-GMO, low sugar and sugar-free edibles as an alternative to traditional edibles, which are typically high in sugar.
As a result of her injury and lack of mobility, Bennett noticed her senior dog was gaining weight and having frequent arthritic flare ups. That’s when she began creating CBD-infused dog treats to help ease her dog’s pain and inflammation. “Just like our other products, these too are gluten-free and organic, ” explains Bennett. When asked about her experience in the cannabis industry, she replied, “The cannabis industry here in Massachusetts moves faster than the speed of light for just one person to be able to succeed. I’ve brought my cousin, Sarah Gibbs, a Johnson and Wales Culinary Graduate, on board to be my partner.”
Maintaining a cannabis business on Cape Cod does not come without challenges as many towns have voted against the adult-use cannabis industry, including ancillary businesses. Her advice to women interested in starting a business in the industry, “It’s a tough road to make these dreams become a reality. Long hours, constant battles, times where you just feel like giving up…’DON’T! You need to reach out and ask for help and guidance as it’s not easy by any means…changes happen hourly, but if you want to make it, don’t give up. ‘Slow and Steady wins the race. This won’t happen over night no matter how fast the industry moves.”
Natalie Moniz, Patient Education Specialist – Bask, Inc.
Natalie Moniz is a retired clinical social worker who began her role in the cannabis industry as a patient educator in September 2018 at the Bask dispensary in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Using her previous work experience, she is able to apply her clinical skills and knowledge of cannabis to help patients navigate this new frontier of personal empowerment with self-medication of cannabis.
Moniz started to grow her own cannabis soon after becoming a certified patient due to not being able to obtain a caregiver who was already growing for patients. “I became fascinated with the cannabis plant and soon realized using cannabis to relieve pain really was a very complex issue. Although there have been great strides made in a short time discovering the healing potential of this life affirming plant, there is much left to learn,” Moniz explains.
Her passion about medical marijuana’s potential to help patients help themselves is what interested her in joining the cannabis industry. Moniz encourages women who share the same passion to join the cannabis industry whether that passion is in cultivation, patient education, or sales roles. “As in so many other male dominated professions, this industry needs more balance with an increase of women in all areas of the industry.” Her advice to women interested in joining the cannabis industry, “You can make a difference!”
Dr. McNabb on Morning Edition WBUR/NPR with Bob Oakes Discussing the MA Vape Ban November 7, 2019
Worcester, MA 01608
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