“There are no heroes in politics. Each of us has a responsibility to do good by each other and move this industry forward,” said Sephida Artis, National Cannabis Party (NCP) co-founder and national director.
Conferences and the connections made during these events can be a powerful tool for moving the industry forward. That was especially evident during day three of the Emerge Virtual Cannabis Conference & Expo.
Innovators from every vertical came together to share their expertise.
Putting Politics on the Blockchain
The day kicked off with the NCP calling on all cannabis enthusiasts to unite for political change. The NCP is using emerging technologies to drive their movement.
“Emerging tech will allow us to inject policy into the marketplace,” said NCP Emerging Technologies Board of Directors Representative Kamea LaFontaine.
The party plans to use blockchain to support and empower its members. Its transparency and security provide an ideal platform for ensuring transactions (ie: votes) are counted and protected.
“The NCP is dead set on making sure politicians are held accountable for what they’re promising and that there’s transparency so people can get involved and drive that change for the industry,” said Artis.
Their passion for the cannabis community was a powerful start to the day.
Legislation and Compliance Focus for Day 3
If your business was impacted by the vape shipping ban, the Cannabis Vape Products vs Congress session offered some insight. Speakers Tami Wahl, government affairs and public policy advisor, and Chris Day, founder of the Global Cannabis Network Collective, led the discussion.
“This is a backdoor measure to get at the cannabis and hemp industries,” said Wahl. The “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act” prevents the USPS from shipping vaping products. The ban has been delayed but is impacting thousands of cannabis companies in its scope.
Wahl is working to help the postal service navigate this issue. She hopes to develop a solution that could bridge consumer safety and the needs of entrepreneurs.
Sustainability and Safety
Solutions to the packaging problem are in high demand. How can the industry move away from petroleum-based plastic toward renewable options like hemp?
Dama Distributing CEO and Founder Cole Gibbs specializes in hemp plastics and with more investment could establish a high-volume production facility that would have implications far beyond the cannabis space.
Any single-use plastic can be made with hemp plastic, from toothbrushes to hair combs to soda bottles.
He said while his hemp plastic costs a few cents more, it’s a small price to pay.
“It’s more expensive than the traditional model. Even recycled plastics are more expensive than virgin plastics. The beauty is that our products aren’t dollars more than traditional plastics and we’ve found consumers are willing to pay for it,” said Gibbs.
Part of building a sustainable industry is using safe business practices. All it takes is a few bad actors using low-quality manufacturing practices to create bad press for the entire sector.
The Vaping and Federal Legalization session touched on this, noting heavy metals and glues used in low-quality vaporizers. These poor quality products could cause lung damage and create a bad name for the vape industry as a whole. CEO of Orchid Ventures Corey Mangold, who led the session, advised all vaping companies to use emission tests.
This form of testing collects the vapor from the device and analyzes its contents, offering companies true insight into their product quality.
Another often neglected area of manufacturing is the grinding process. Poor quality grinders can damage trichomes, alter moisture content, and degrade flower quality.
STM Canna Technical Support Associate Christopher Mendoza and Chief Revenue Officer Jessica Ferranti led a discussion around proper grinding techniques, noting that most grinder tech was adapted from other industries.
STM developed the Revolution Grinder to address this gap in the market and offer a more gentle and efficient solution for high-volume processing.
3 Days of Serving the Community
Another theme of the Emerge conference seemed to arise organically rather than being a set focal point, and that was a desire to serve the community.
Mahala Herron discussed her sustainable CBD lifestyle brand, Hala Hemp, noting it’s her passion for people and the planet that really drive her ambition. “I want to make sustainability not only accessible, not only cool, but normal,” said Herron.
Jon Goldman, SVP of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate Affinity also has a passion for helping people.
He realized there were many in the cannabis space who felt they couldn’t qualify for a home loan because of the federal prohibition of cannabis and cannabis-related banking transactions.
“A lot of people in the cannabis industry think they can’t get loans … that is simply not true,” said Goldman.
He warmly welcomed audience questions and even offered his personal cell number to attendees should they have any mortgage-related concerns to discuss with him.
The day ended with an hour long conversation with MC and record producer Redman. The multi-talented musician is known for his films and music advocating for the plant.
His newest venture with the NCP could pave a real path to federal legalization by uniting millions of pro-cannabis voters across the country.
“I’m fascinated by how far we’ve come with this plant,” said Redman. He discussed his many current projects, from co-founding the NCP to his radio show Muddy Waters on SiriusXM, as well as his upcoming album release of the same name Muddy Waters 2.
“I feel like there’s not anything I can’t do. Throw me in the fire and I’ll do it,” said Redman.