ROBOTS AND DRONES ENTER THE CANNABIS BUSINESS

Security systems, cameras and armed guards have dominated the cash-rich cannabis business since the inception of legal medical and recreational marijuana laws.  Recently, drones and robots have been introduced to defend against outside threats to businesses’ valuable and vulnerable assets as well as to minimize the often-costly consequences of human error.

Mechanically, robots and droids can conduct a complex series of actions automatically and efficiently with the capability of alerting human monitors when they detect that something is wrong.   They differ from armed guards because they ‘don’t shoot back at intruders’ and ‘can take a gunshot better than humans’’.  Though there is a chance that they will soon arm the robots with pepper spray.

Canndescent, a grow in Desert Hot Springs uses Hardcar Security to monitor and secure the perimeter of their site. A UGV, or Unmanned Ground Vehicle, made by a group called Intellos, provides the evening patrol and delivers more assurance than the visions of a lonely night guard falling asleep or playing video games at his post.

Recently, Eaze, a cannabis delivery company demonstrated the use of a drone at the Cannabis Cup in San Bernadino.  A spokesperson for the company said “We see it in the future.  It’s on the horizon”.

Automation seems to be all over the industry.  Smokey Point Productions in Washington has automated the seeding, feeding and trimming processes in their cultivation business and find it to be incredibly efficient.  “This saves me from having a person mix the nutrients and do it manually”.  A person however is used to place the product in a package but then the machine finishes the process when it seals, bar codes and counts the packages.

With the industry on a trajectory to very rapid increased growth, it only follows that the size of grow operations and delivery warehouses will need to embrace automation and the use of newer more efficient ways to deal with their volume and demand for speed.

VEG PayQwick

HIGH SOBRIETY?

 

 

 

 

 

 

It may be counterintuitive, but what if marijuana is not a ‘gateway” drug to other more dangerous drugs at all, but rather is quite the opposite?

Made possible by the growing legalization of marijuana, rehabilitation centers like High Sobriety in Los Angeles are overseeing the use of marijuana as a substitute for more potent drugs and as a bridge to the addict’s new sober life.

Dr. Marks Wallace is the University of California San Diego’s chairman of the division of pain medicine in the Department of Anesthesia and has treated hundreds of patients with marijuana over the past five years to help in the transition off opiates. He like others do agree that more studies are needed for this specific use.

Even though a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences “found no evidence to support or refute the conclusion that cannabinoids are an effective treatment for achieving abstinence in the use of addictive substances”, the group did find strong evidence that cannabis and related compounds can be used to treat chronic pain in adults. As chronic pain is a different animal, experts remain skeptical if this applies to wean people off opioids.

Psychiatrist Dr. Mark Willenberg, who treats addicts and oversaw research at the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, calls it completely absurd! He says that it doesn’t work and it is like “trying to cure alcoholism with valium”.

The idea for this type of treatment is a result of several emerging factors in the world of addiction. There has been an explosion in the number of opiates consumed in this country and an increased death toll to go along with it. The traditional 12-Step program requiring abstinence with its prohibitive costs often leads to relapse and failure. A recent JAMA Internal Medicine study found that states with medical marijuana laws have seen lower rates of death from opiate overdose. The Schedule 1 label by the federal government has made funding for additional studies to test this hypothesis, sparse. A combination of these and other factors have led to alternative ways to treat addicts.

The national opioid epidemic will continue to encourage and necessitate the need for better options as the climate of addiction treatment struggles to find a better way.

written by VEG PayQwick

Cashing in on Cannabis; CannaCon’s Banking Panel

Marijuana’s profitability is no secret. Since Washington legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, recreational marijuana sales in the state have totaled over $1 billion, translating to over $250 million collected in taxes. Such substantial sales, however, have also brought problems in the form of cash.

Because of marijuana’s federal status as a Schedule I substance, financial institutions continue to deny banking services to state licensed marijuana businesses. Consequently, these businesses have been forced to deal in cash and suffer the sometimes lethal consequences.

There are, however, licensed marijuana businesses who have broken free from cash with the help of third party platforms like PayQwick. Licensed marijuana businesses can now easily access regular businesses bank accounts, cash management and bill pay services and the ability to send and receive electronic payments. These businesses also enjoy the added benefit of compliance services, which keep them operating in line with all of the state’s regulations.

To learn how to break free from cash, marijuana business owners and those considering the marijuana industry can attend CannaCon’s banking panel, “Cashing In On Cannabis – Compliance, Banking and Cash Management” on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 11:30 am in seminar room two. Moderated by MJBA CEO and Co-Founder David Rheins, the panel consists of Kenneth Berke, Christine Masse and Myles Khan.

Ken is the Co-Founder and CEO of PayQwick, Inc., a compliance, cash management and electronic payment processing platform that has facilitated regular business bank accounts for over 200 licensed marijuana businesses throughout Washington. He is also an attorney with 29 years of experience and has advocated for the legal marijuana industry before regulators throughout the U.S.

Christine Masse is a partner at Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, where she leads the government and regulatory affairs practice group and specializes in representing businesses in highly regulated industries with their transactional, regulatory, and public policy needs. She also leads the firm’s tribal team, providing counsel to various Northwest Native American tribes and organizations on matters such as marijuana.

Myles is a legal officer at Foundry Law. His practice focuses on corporate, entertainment, intellectual property, business development, cannabis and regulatory matters. Myles also owns Buddy’s, one of Washington’s most prominent marijuana retailers.

The panel will focus on how businesses can reduce their cash use, secure bank accounts and remain compliant. Attendees will be able to ask questions of the panelists.