We’re working right now to prepare Cannabis 2018 (see event info here), but we’d also like to get your opinion on the future of our growing event. Where would you like to see Cannabis 2019 hosted? Take our poll here.
Top photo: CBT Archives
Little Rock, AR – The Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB) embarked upon two historic firsts for the state on Tuesday. After eighty years of prohibition, the ASPB held the first meeting of the Industrial Hemp Committee where the committee voted on and passed a draft of proposed regulations. These historic firsts mark the beginning of the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program that will bring production, development and commercialization of Industrial Hemp to the Natural State, according to a press release.
Approximately 40 farmers, breeders and ancillary business representatives filled the audience as Mary Smith, author of the regulations and ASPB Seed Division Director, read through the proposed regulations. Appointed members of the Industrial Hemp Committee reviewed and approved a few motions to change small details in the regulations before voting to approve the draft. The Committee members are Chairman Jerry Hyde, Bruce Alford, Russell Bragg, Robert Campbell, Matthew Marsh and Barry Walls.
The ASPB and Smith were praised for their exemplary efforts in developing the historic regulations. During the process of drafting, the ASPB looked to other states’ programs for best practices, met with local businesses and took public comments. Tree of Life Seeds CEO and Director of Hemp Advancement at the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association, Jason Martin, commended the board's efforts, stating, “The Arkansas State Plant Board and the Industrial Hemp Committee have been a pleasure to work with. Their comprehensive work and due diligence are building a Hemp program that will serve as a model for other states that will soon implement similar programs.”
Top image courtesy of the Arkansas Plant Board
OAKLAND, California — January 31, 2018 — Bloom Farms, one of California’s manufacturers and distributors of cannabis products, donated its one millionth healthy meal to the state’s nonprofit food banks in January, 2018, CEO Michael Ray announced this week, according to a press release.
“From the start, we wanted to build a business that contributed to the communities we live and work in on many levels,” Ray said. “Donating our one-millionth meal shows that we’re succeeding for our customers, who have purchased one million of our products and appreciate that we are working toward the greater good, and for California’s most vulnerable families who have received the gift of nutritious food.”
“I’d like to thank our customers, our dispensary partners and our 70 employees across California for making this possible,” Ray said. “We’ve seen the tremendous impact corporate responsibility initiatives in traditional industries have had and milestones like this go a long way to showing the impact cannabis companies can have and changing perceptions of the cannabis industry.”
For every Bloom Farms product sold--be it a Rose Gold Highlighter vapor pen or a Full-Flower Hand Roll joint--the one-for-one cannabis business donates money to food banks across California to cover the cost of sourcing and distributing a healthy meal; one Bloom Farms item sold has equaled one healthy meal donated since the Bay Area company started its one-for-one program in December 2015.
Bloom Farms directed its remaining 2017 donations--as of mid-October--to the Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa, supporting Californians in need and those affected by the wildfires, which Bloom Farms Founder & CEO Michael Ray and his family have also endured in the past.
"Having experienced the total loss of our family farm just two years ago in the Butte Fire, it broke my heart to see all of those affected in the Northern California fires,” said Ray. “We all need to take care of each other. We will continue our efforts to provide any relief that we can."
More than 5.4 million Californians don’t know where their next meal is coming from-–and that includes the 2.1 million children who may go to bed hungry each night, according to the California Association for Food Banks. The state’s food insecurity rate is nearly 14 percent, and a teenage Ray saw this first-hand while growing up in Calaveras County, CA, with childhood friends who oftentimes were drawn to his family’s house for home-cooked meals.
“Back then we were simply having my friends over for dinner, but I didn’t realize the severity of the situation until I got a little older,” said Ray, who founded Bloom Farms in mid-2014. “Today, one in seven Californians don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That’s a lot of people, and we need to be there for them.”
"Partnering with Bloom Farms has made all the difference for World Harvest LA and its clients,” said Glen Curado, CEO of World Harvest LA Food Bank. “They not only contribute financially, but their staff volunteers with us as often as they can. It's an amazing company with extraordinary staff.”
Upon learning about Bloom Farms’ recent milestone, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services President and CEO Blake Young responded: “What an incredible accomplishment! One million meals is no small feat, and donations like these from Bloom Farms are so impactful in our community. Every single person can get involved in some way and help fight hunger. Congrats to Bloom Farms on reaching this impressive mark.”
In addition to its one-for-one program, Bloom Farms gives its employees four hours of paid volunteer time every month to dedicate as they see fit-–and many of them choose to spend those hours working in one of the organization’s partner food banks.
“Our one-for-one program extends beyond the act of giving. It provides our employees with an actual sense of purpose,” said Ray. “Good people can work anywhere, but being a Bloom Farms employee and participating in these volunteer days and knowing that every purchase gives back to our most vulnerable neighbors gives us all something beyond a paycheck.”
Bloom Farms also engages California communities outside of its one-for-one program. In the last 12 months the business has donated to the Calaveras County Butte Fire relief efforts, hosted Cannabis Career Fairs and Bloom Fit yoga classes in San Francisco and Los Angeles and sponsored renowned cultural events including the San Francisco International Film Festival, Wanderlust and the Mill Valley Film Festival.
“Bloom Farms is a different kind of cannabis company, and our customers know that when they choose our products,” said Keith J. Hart, Bloom Farms’ Social Good Manager. “Our company’s vision is to change the conversation around cannabis and one of our core values is to give something amazing back; our food bank partnership allows us to do both and we are excited to share this milestone with them.”
In July 2017, Bloom Farms was recognized as one of the Top 100 corporate philanthropists in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times--placing them alongside other companies including Google, eBay, Levi Strauss & Co., Twitter, Microsoft, Bayer, Adobe, The Gap, PayPal and Salesforce.
For more information, visit http://getbloomfarms.com/.
San Francisco will retroactively apply California’s marijuana-legalization laws to past criminal cases, District Attorney George Gascón said Wednesday — expunging or reducing misdemeanor and felony convictions going back decades.
The move will affect thousands of people whose marijuana convictions brand them with criminal histories that can hurt chances for finding jobs and obtaining some government benefits.
Proposition 64, which state voters passed in November 2016, legalized the recreational use of marijuana in California for those 21 and older and permitted the possession up to one ounce of cannabis. The legislation also allows those with past marijuana convictions that would have been lesser crimes — or no crime at all — under Prop. 64 to petition a court to recall or dismiss their cases.
Top photo courtesy of Adobe Stock
Cannabidiol, or CBD, would become legal for anyone in the state of Indiana under legislation unanimously approved by the full House.
There are several bills dealing with the issue this session, in both chambers. The measure approved Tuesday takes the simplest approach.
It defines CBD as a byproduct of the cannabis plant that contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, a psychoactive ingredient. And it legalizes CBD. Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy), the measure’s author, says cannabidiol should be treated like an herbal supplement.
Cannabis Business Times’ interactive legislative map is another tool to help cultivators quickly navigate state cannabis laws and find news relevant to their markets. View More