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  • March 24, 2021 2:53 PM | Anonymous

    As the only state with a medical cannabis excise tax, advocates persuasively argue that patients in Washington State suffer undue hardship. To address this, Senator Karen Keiser introduced legislation to eliminate the 37% excise taxes on qualifying purchases by registered patients. The bill (SB5004) passed out of the Commerce & Gaming Committee, with passage appearing likely.

    Many medical patients meet their needs by purchasing in retail stores without officially registering with the state as medical patients. As a result, the number of medical purchases is understated, as is the fiscal note for the bill which bases its analysis on the current portion of cannabis sales that are DOH-certified as 0.05%.  Using this metric, the fiscal note estimates an annual loss of state tax revenue of about $5 million. With the opportunity to purchase products for 37% less than the adult-use price, it’s a safe bet that there will be a significant shift toward obtaining medical cards and purchasing medically-endorsed product.

    What does this mean for your business?

    In the short term, to remain competitive, retailers should consider pursuing a medical endorsement, as sales will likely shift to medically endorsed products. In the long term be prepared for a potential increase. Although Washington has the highest excise tax in the country, the shift will have a huge impact on revenue and the state will be looking for other ways to offset the loss.

  • March 16, 2021 10:10 AM | Anonymous

    Washington State’s cannabis industry is one of the most compelling consumer markets in the world. It’s also fiercely competitive. But even in a world of steep competition, Craft Cannabis Coalition believes that it is urgently important for the leaders of our industry to come together for collaboration, conversation, and networking. CCC created this kind of collaborative space during our February 3rd event: “Building Buyer Relationships: Winning in a Competitive Industry” where some of Washington State’s industry experts shared their best practices for forming strong buyer partnerships in the cannabis industry.

    Sponsored by Sprague Israel Giles Insurance Company and moderated by CCC Board Chair Eric Gaston of the Evergreen Market, the event featured an esteemed panel including Shea Hynes of Lux Pot Shop, Ari Emadi of Green Theory and Higher Leaf, Liv Nagler of Pax, and Chuck McKeen of Heylo. In addition to the panel’s wisdom, other producers and retailers attending the event added to the conversation as well, including representatives of Zips Cannabis, Clearly Vape, Cinder, Craft Elixers, C4, and other local businesses.

    The event focused on sharing best practices in buying and selling from both the perspective of the producers and processors as well as from the perspective of buyers and sellers. Here are some of the highlights:

    “What promotes a strong buyer relationship from both sides?”

    Communication, trust, and consistency.

    • ·         It’s important to me to make sure that my buyers know that if we say we’re going to do something, we’re going to get it done.” -Liv Nagler, Pax
    • ·         “Be patiently persistent, and stay on top of all of your accounts. I’ve set the expectation with all of my accounts that I’m going to send my menu on this specific day . . . they know that they will get that email from me at the same time each week, which is really important in building consistency.” -Chuck McKeen, Heylo
    • ·         “We try to be a really strong partner. We could have a good product, a good price, and beautiful packaging. We could have all that, but I also try to be a really strong partner in making sure that we can manage your multiple shops that we have to deliver to so that we can make it seamless.” -Jamie Hoffman, Craft Elixers

    “For the retailers, what gets a new product on your shelf?”

    Products who offer educational opportunities, marketing materials, and capacity for long-term partnership.

    • “Providing educational materials and marketing materials can really help to engage customers. It is easier to sell products in our stores when there is an educational component. I look for brands who are willing to work with us on that piece.” -Cameron Gibbons, Cinder
    • “I ask, is this product going to sell? Is this going to add value to our menu? And if it sells, if it’s profitable, and it becomes popular, can this vendor keep up with the volume and turn over product? Can we build a partnership and keep that rhythm going? I want to work with someone who can supply us on a consistent basis.” -Ari Emadi, Green Theory & Higher Leaf

    “How much of a factor is price?”

    It’s definitely a factor.

    • “When looking at retailing, we have three things we’re looking at: our product, our price, and our placement. Price is important. That doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be low price. It just means that it has to be set for a reason. We’re happy to pay high price for high quality cannabis, but it needs to be priced accordingly.” -Shae Hynes, Lux Pot Shop
    • “There’s no such thing as bad cannabis, just improperly priced cannabis. As long as it makes sense within the context of our store, our menu, and our market, you don’t need to be the cheapest or try to undercut. It just needs to make sense.” - Ari Emadi, Green Theory & Higher Leaf

    “For the vendors and producer processors, what are some successful strategies in finding your way onto a retailer’s shelf?”

    Leverage discounts, provide samples, and build relationships with the budtenders.

    • “Do something unique. As a product designer and developer, if you’re selling that same stuff that everyone else is selling and getting frustrated, ask yourself, ‘What is unique about your product that would make a difference in a store?’ If the store is packed, and there’s no room, do a few months of discounts to get the traction going.” -Preston Hall, Clearly Vape
    •  “Budtender samples still work wonders, and retailers aren’t getting that many of them. They cost money, but they go a long way in building hype within the store.” -Shae Hynes, Lux Pot Shop
    • “For Heylo, it’s about making every strain a unique experience, so one way we separate ourselves with Spotify playlists . . . We also try to communicate and educate not only the budtenders but the customers about the product. Just getting the order is the first step. There are so many other steps past that where we will work with you to make Heylo successful in your store.” -Chuck McKeen, Heylo
    • “The budtenders are the gatekeepers for me, especially during COVID times when I’m not able to get in the store and have vendor days . . . Every interaction with a budtender is going to have a lasting effect, so even if that’s just a short visit where I’m dropping off a couple pieces of swag and saying hello, they will remember that next time they’re going to sell.” -Liv Nagler, Pax

    “For the retailers, what are some of the reasons that you have dropped a vendor?”

    Compliance Issues, lack of professionalism.

    • “The easiest decision to drop a vendor is when there are blatant compliance issues, specifically inventory-related compliance issues, like labeling and barcodes.” -Ari Emadi, Green Theory & Higher Leaf
    • “Professionalism is key. One of the main areas that unprofessional behavior manifests is when vendors come in, so eager to get in the store and sell their product that they talk about pricing on the sales floor in front of customers.” -Shae Hynes, Lux Pot Shop

    “What changes would you like to see CCC advocate for on the regulatory landscape to make things better, not just for our industry but for your companies in particular?”

    • Branded Merchandise
    • Giveaways
    • Increasing vendor sample size
    • Preselling product

    CCC thanks all members who participated in the conversation and looks forward to facilitating future discussions.

    Know someone in the cannabis industry who may be interested in these types of events? Invite them to join CCC!

  • February 08, 2021 6:23 AM | Anonymous

    CCC members, today we’re requesting your feedback on HB 1463 which would regulate high-potency concentrates.

    Specifically, this bill would ban any concentrate over 30% THC from being sold to adult use cannabis customers.

    This bill would require concentrates over 30% THC to be sold exclusively through medically endorsed retail locations to registered medical patients or their providers.

    This bill would also prohibit the sale of any concentrate, regardless of THC percentage, to persons under 25 years of age, unless they are a registered medical patient.

    A hearing on HB 1463 is set before the Commerce and Gaming Committee for 2/12/21 at 10:00 am.

    1463 Regulating the sale of marijuana concentrates with a THC level greater than 30 percent.pdf

  • February 02, 2021 2:58 PM | Anonymous

    The Craft Cannabis Coalition is actively engaging on issues important to your business. As a CCC member, we deeply value your input. Today we are actively seeking your feedback on HB 1443, Social Equity in Cannabis.

    In 2020, the Washington State Legislature passed HB 2780 which established a legislative task force on social equity in cannabis. The purpose of the task force is to provide recommendations to the LCB, the governor and the legislator regarding the issuance and reissuance of existing retail cannabis licenses and policies that will facilitate development of a cannabis social equity program. Recommendations from the task force were due by December 20, 2020. However, due to Covid-19 delays, the task force has not yet made any formal recommendations.

    Last week, House Bill 1443 was filed and a hearing is scheduled before the Commerce and Gaming Committee on February 5, 2021 at 9:30 am. Among other things, the bill seeks to 1) establish a technical assistance pilot program for social equity applicants; 2) directs all forfeited, revoked, canceled, and/or unissued licenses to be prioritized for social equity applicants; 3) adds two producer license holders to the task force; 4) directs the task force to consider specific items as part of its recommendations, including the issuance of new retail and producer / processor licenses.

    A copy of the bill is attached. Please provide feedback no later than Thursday, February 4, 2020.

    Thank you.

    HB1443 Social Equity In Cannabis.pdf

  • January 22, 2021 8:08 AM | Anonymous

    The Craft Cannabis Coalition is actively engaging on issues important to your business. As a CCC member, we deeply value your input. Today we are actively seeking your feedback on two specific bills that would impact our industry.

    Cannabis Commission: This bill would create a Washington State Cannabis Research Commission for the enhancement of the safe production of cannabis and to materially advance the industries of growing and processing cannabis. The Commission would be funded by a 0.290% tax on gross proceeds of sales at wholesale of marijuana, including mature marijuana plants, immature marijuana plants or clones, marijuana plant tissue culture, and marijuana seeds; and by a 0.145% surcharge on gross proceeds of sales at wholesale of marijuana products ready for consumer.

    Craft Cannabis Production Bill (HB 1260). This bill would establish a new class of craft cannabis licenses, authorize 50 new craft cannabis producer/processor licenses prioritized for social equity applicants, allow for direct sales to consumers by craft cannabis licenssees, and establishes a cannabis policy task force.

    Copies of the bills are attached.

    Cannabis Research Commission.pdf

    HB 1260 Craft Cannabis Production Bill.pdf

  • January 13, 2021 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    With the 2021 legislative session now underway, the Craft Cannabis Coalition is actively engaging on issues important to your business. As a CCC member, we value your input and seek your feedback on two specific bills that would impact our industry.

    Homegrows: House Bill 1019 seeks to allow, with some limitations, individuals 21 years or older to produce or possess six plants in their residence. The CCC supports this bill as it will further normalize the use of cannabis and provide an opportunity for direct consumer education regarding cannabis production. A copy of the bill can be found here:

    Medical Marijuana Excise Tax Exemption: Senate Bill 5004 seeks to provide an excise tax exemption for medical marijuana patients. The CCC supports this bill because it will increase affordable access for medical marijuana patients and potentially increase overall retail cannabis sales.

    A copy of the bills can be found here: 

    House Bill 1019 - Home Grow.pdf

    Medical Excise Tax Exemption SB 5004.pdf

    Please let us know your position on these bills and whether you have any concerns about our support for them.

  • December 23, 2020 12:06 PM | Anonymous

    Our members, the producers, processors and retailers in Washington state, are nothing less than pioneers. With little visibility and no road map, you took a leap of faith and risked it all to launch your business. Make no mistake, the road has not been easy. Just as the industry began to achieve some level of stability… a pandemic, social unrest, fires… you know how the story goes.

    To survive and thrive, we need to create a network of producer, processors and retailers who can share stories and provide support to one another. And we need to create a space for cannabis businesses to connect, communicate and learn together.

    The CCC is here to protect your interests and help you grow your business. In addition to actively lobbying to achieve common sense regulation, we are building a community – a place where you and your employees can connect with peers to discuss challenges, explore opportunities and celebrate wins.

    Thank you for being a part of our community. As we move into 2021, we encourage you to engage with our board and staff, attend our unique industry events and take advantage of exclusive discounts and benefits from our preferred partner network.

    As a member of the CCC, you are not just part of a trade association, you are a part of our family.

    We look forward to supporting you and celebrating your success in the new year!


    Joanna Monroe, Executive Director

  • December 15, 2020 1:39 PM | Anonymous

    What will 2021 hold? That seems to be the million-dollar question these days. While most curiosity about the year ahead centers on the implications of COVID-19, the CCC-sponsored Industry Outlook event on December 2 provided a space to ask the experts about the future of the cannabis industry in Washington State.

    Headset CEO Cy Scott and National Cannabis Industry Association Media Relations Director Morgan Fox shared their expert insights on both market trends and political agendas that will impact craft cannabis in our state in the coming months.

    Market Trends
    Good news! In Washington State, the cannabis market is growing. Scott used retail data to present real-time cannabis market insights, including these highlights for 2020:

    • Monthly cannabis sales growth in Washington State increased between 15 and 45% since January 2020.
    • Flower sales have dominated the charts, followed by vapor pens, pre-roll, and concentrates.
    • Average per-item prices have increased throughout the year, from both a retail and wholesale perspective.
    • Women continue to be a growing customer demographic in Washington state.

    During the Q&A portion of the event, Scott fielded questions about how processors and retailers can best leverage the holiday sales boom, why Colorado’s market has grown faster than Washington’s, and how the craft industry might be impacted by rising wholesale costs.

    The Political Side
    Fox shared updates on how political agendas on the national level could impact Washington state and fielded several questions from members, including these:

    • How can Washington state cannabis market itself on the national level?
    • Can changes in federal policy help small businesses?
    • What steps should Washington state be taking in anticipation of the passing of the MORE act?
    • Can the cannabis industry expect any relief from upcoming COVID stimulus legislation?

    Both Scott and Fox articulated excitement that the year ahead holds plenty of opportunity and growth for cannabis in Washington State.

    CCC thanks all members who participated in the conversation and looks forward to facilitating future discussions.

    Know someone in the cannabis industry who may be interested in these types of events? Invite them to join CCC!

  • November 27, 2020 4:34 PM | Anonymous

    Our 2021 Industry Outlook event is rapidly approaching! In anticipation of this event, we would like to introduce our guest speakers, Cy Scott, and Morgan Fox. These experts will share their perspectives on the cannabis industry in Washington and nationally.

    Join us December 02, at 4:00pm.

    Register Here

    Cy Scott
    Cy Scott is co-founder and CEO of Headset, Inc., turning retail data into real-time cannabis market insights. Headset helps companies in cannabis succeed by promoting better decision making via market intelligence offerings and operational insights in a sleek, intuitive and easy-to-use package.

    Prior to founding Headset, Cy co-founded Leafly. Since Leafly’s inception in 2010, Cy helped grow the site into the world’s leading cannabis information resource, a model of a successful ancillary brand in this new emerging industry. Along with his work at Headset, Cy founded a monthly Cannabis Tech Meetup hosting cannabis entrepreneurs and technology developers, which has now expanded into multiple regions throughout the US. Cy’s favorite strain is Tangie.

    Morgan Fox:

    Morgan Fox is the Media Relations Director for the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), the oldest, most established, and most broadly representative cannabis trade association in the United States. As a professional cannabis policy reform advocate and communications specialist since 2008, Morgan has been featured in hundreds of print, radio, television and online outlets and has been directly involved in dozens of successful state ballot initiative campaigns as well as legislative victories at both the state and federal levels. He was most recently Director of Communications at the Marijuana Policy Project before becoming the chief spokesperson for NCIA in 2018.

  • November 23, 2020 10:56 AM | Anonymous

    The old adage goes “When you need a friend in government, it’s too late to find one.” As a small business owner in the cannabis industry, how can you gain access to those who make decisions about your businesses? To protect your interests, you have to build relationships with the decision makers. Opening those doors often requires supporting candidates financially. This is why Craft Cannabis Coalition launched a Political Action Committee (PAC). We launched just a little over a month ago, and have already raised more than $50,000 to invest in candidates who support and understand the cannabis industry.

    What’s a PAC?
    A PAC is a group formed (by an industry or an issue-oriented organization) to raise and contribute money to the campaigns of candidates likely to advance the group's interests. Advocating for our members is an integral part of Craft Cannabis Coalition’s mission and we frequently spend time meeting and educating legislators on the issues important to CCC members. Being able to contribute to a legislator’s campaign provides a higher level of access and awareness for issues affecting the cannabis industry. By establishing a PAC, we can receive contributions from our members that can be used to directly contribute to a candidate’s campaigns.

    Why should I give to a PAC?
    Craft Cannabis Coalition’s PAC brings your concerns directly to our legislators. Of course, you meet on your own with your legislator anytime, but contributing to a PAC allows us to pool our resources as a craft cannabis community, which gives your voice more weight. PACs demonstrate credibility and help us build our influence amongst the decision makers in our state. Laying out the Washington craft cannabis industry’s top concerns by explaining how a certain regulation could (or does) impact our businesses helps legislators better understand potential laws being introduced – and ideally leads to decisions that do not adversely impact you.

    To learn more or donate, contact Joanna Monroe.

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