AOL Turns to Grow Room Communications CEO For Insight into the "Green Rush"
AOL investigates what today's medical marijuana businesses are doing to stand out in the crowd. The article focuses on Lotus Medical, a MMC in Denver that takes a unique approach to their MMC
"We don't put pot leaves on anything. My office looks like a lawyer's office and we run a really tight ship across the boards. That normalcy is what throws everyone off, but it helps us generate consistent sales month after month."
The article also lists challenges to joining the "Green Rush" including "finding and securing a space to be used as a dispensary; getting financing from a bank; and getting a grow warehouse to create your product. After that, you have to keep up with a slew of paperwork regarding your licenses; you have to find, hire, train and retain reliable employees; you have to keep abreast of the constantly changing laws regarding MMJ selling, growing and dispensing; and you have to keep a steady flow of good quality product on your shelves so that you can keep repeat clients coming back."
AOL reporter Gwen Parkes turned to medical marijuana marketing experts, Grow Room Communications, for input on why a patient chooses a center and how to keep repeat clients coming back:
"While price matters, it is only one component of why a patient chooses a center. Other driving factors that bring patients into dispensaries are the experience, the owner, the quality of the product and the variety of the product." said Elizabeh Robinson, owner and founder of Grow Room Communications in Denver, Colo.
Read the full AOL article here.
MMCs Having a Hard Time Breaking Even
According to today's Releaf section of the Colorado Springs Independent, Colorado Springs MMC owners are "feeling hamstrung by expensive requirements and fees imposed by the Colorado Department of Revenue, where just the applications required last year came with a fee of $7,500 to $18,000. Additionally, recently released rules mandate expensive electronic monitoring and point-of-sale systems, among other costly requirements."
Colorado Springs "expects to charge local centers an initial business license application fee of $4,800, and then require $3,000 annually thereafter; this, in addition to $500 annual license fees for almost every employee. Meanwhile, the city sales tax office is bringing in nearly $50,000 to $60,000 each month."
In addition to the expensive requirements, the cost of medical marijuana is "falling through the floor" with prices dropping from $400-$560 an ounce last November to $200 an ounce today.
Will this stifle the medical marijuana industry in Colorado?
Medical marijuana marketing experts, Grow Room Communications, say no, "Its all part of new industry growing pains. Prices are coming down for a myriad of reasons. Consolidation, increasing efficiency of growing operations, the maturing of the industry and a continuing increase in the sophistication of business operations all translate to reductions in price."
Read more in the Colorado Springs Independent article here.
CNN Money Features Grow Room Communications CEO - Making Millions as a MMJ Center Owner
In Colorado, running a Medical Marijuana Center (MMC) is no more profitable than running a liquor store?! Turns out it can be — but it depends on how you're marketing your dispensary.
This morning CNN Money published an article entitled, “Where are all the marijuana millionaires?”
The article praises Colorado for its attempts to manage and develop an industry most states are trying to shut down citing the fact that, “Of the 15 states that allow the medical use of marijuana, Colorado is the only one with a government-sanctioned, for-profit distribution model up and running.”
But, the article goes on to say, most ganjapreneurs are disappointed with the states regulations and think they have gone too far.
Recent regulations include, “detailed surveillance requirements at dispensaries and meticulous inventory tracking. A bill introduced in the state legislature threatened to ban the sale of edible marijuana products like pot brownies — bestsellers that shop owners rely on ” before patient outcry convinced the sponsor to drop the measure.”
CNN Money reporter Greg Campbell turned to medical marijuana marketing experts, Grow Room Communications, for input on what it truly takes to make a medical marijuana business successful:
“A year and a half ago, you just had to have a door and be open for business in order to have a business," says Elizabeth Robinson, the CEO of a medical marijuana-focused public relations company, Grow Room Communications. "But any time something goes from being a movement to being an industry, there are growing pains. All these regulations are par for the course, for any business.”
Read the full CNN Money article here.
A New Bill Aimed to Protect Working Medical Marijuana Patients in California
The Sacramento Bee has reported that former state Assemblyman Mark Leno has introduced another bill aimed to protect working medical marijuana patients. How will states reconcile the legality of employee patients use of medical marijuana? Should legislation treat one class of patients different than any other class of patients? Placing others at risk can never be an acceptable option, but ultimately, how should impairment be defined and measured?
Read more in the The Sacramento Bee here.
Obama Addresses America's Questions on Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana is a major concern for the Americans in 2011. In a recent YouTube interview with Presidnet Obama, he responded to questions directly from American citizens. The top 10 questions all concerned the "war on drugs," legalizing marijuana, and “embracing industrial hemp as a 'green' initiative to help farmers.”
The popularity of marijuana law reform has not only caught the attention of the president but also the mainstream media. Many major outlets have devoted considerable time and ink to the story, pushing out articles such as “Mr. President, American Wants to Know About... Marijuana” and “Obama is urged to talk about drugs.”
Obama’s YouTube Interview: Listen to the president answer MMJ related questions here.
Hashtag Chats 101
Grow Room Communications is committed to teaching the MMJ industry a few things about social media marketing. So here is your lesson for the day: Hashtag Chats 101!
Hashtag chats are Twitter conversation that occur at a pre-determined time and on a pre-determined topic. Hashtag chats are a great place for learning about a specific topic but they have an additional value in the networking experience they offer.
Check out this list of 15 hashtag chats you should be following.
The Colorado Springs Independent List of Resources for MMJ Businesses
The Colorado Springs Independent has composed a list of businesses in a variety of industries that offer services and resources to the the medical marijuana industry. Are you in need of an MMJ-friendly accountant, electrician or attorney? Look no further!
Be sure to take note of the listed MMJ-friendly public relations agencies. There is only one: Grow Room Communications. We cover all your marketing and business development needs! Click Here for the full list
Top 10 Business Quotes of 2010: Guess who is #1?
BusinessNewsDaily has complied a list of the top 10 business quotes from 2010. Included in the countdown are representatives from Fortune 500 companies including American Express, PayPal, and even the former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury!
But the #1 business quote of 2010 comes from the Grow Room Communications CEO, Elizabeth Robinson: “(Marijuana) is a medicine. And the industry needs to act more like the pharmaceutical industry in the way it presents itself. This is not a Cheech and Chong movie.”
Read more in the BusinessNewsDaily article here.
MMJ tax revenue turns lights back on in Colorado Springs and restored City bus service
In Colorado Springs streetlights will be turned back on in 2011. Saturday bus service is also coming back and parks and medians will once again receive trash cans and TLC. All thanks to their surging medical marijuana industry, which has provided a $50,000 a month increase in sales and use tax collections.
Read more in the News First 5 article here.
News Corp’s The Daily set to launch January 17
Apple and News Corp are reportedly set to launch The Daily, the first iPad-only news publication. The joint “newspaper” will have no website and no print edition. The only way to get it will be to download The Daily via iPad application. Content will be pushed out daily and will sell for 99 cents a week via a push subscription. A new billing method that is sure to entice other app developers.
Read more about The Daily here at All Things Digital.
Be sure to look for Grow Room Communications in the inaugural issue.
Meet The Marijuana Business Report: A 100% business-minded media outlet for the medical marijuana industry
DealFlow Media has launched The Marijuana Business Report; a subscription only newsletter focused completely on the business side of medical marijuana. Top stories include: "Arizona passes Medical Marijuana Act by slim margin," "Cannabis-based drug Sativex is gaining international approvals" and "California cities pass sales tax initiatives."
The Marijuana Business Report will be published twice monthly. Read more about The Marijuana Business Report and download the first issue for free here!
Tremendous job DealFlow! Definitely a must-read.
Is Marijuana Union Battle Brewing?
San Francisco is beginning to think that unionizing the medical marijuana industry would not only "promote rules as well as standards and practices" but also help to protect dispensaries from city officials whims.
Would the addition of a "union-made" label to your medical cannabis increase your comfort level about how your medicine is grown?
Read more in the San Francisco Weekly blog story here.
Medical Marijuana Businesses Need to be Aware of the IRS
All medical marijuana dispensaries, collectives & infused products businesses must read this article. It is essential that you are aware of IRS guidelines when filing your tax returns
Learn more in the exclusive article from Luigi Zamarra, CPA and Chief Financial Officer from Harborside Health Center in Oakland, California here. The article was reprinted at FindMyPot.com with express permission.
Looking for the professionals in the medical marijuana industry? They were all at the Plant Medicine Expo
The lofty goal of the Plant Medicine Expo was to "raise the level of legitimacy around [medical marijuana] among the patient and healthcare provider communities," and it is safe to say they succeeded.
We are moving out of the "Stoner Age" and into a time where smoking marijuana doesn't mean you are a burnout. The Grow Room Communications team was thoroughly impressed by the professionals who both exhibited and attended the conference. Most everyone we spoke with was interested in cleaning up the industry's image and ready to advance their businesses to the next level. PME-goers were anxious to learn how to grow their business and target their messages to the right audience.
The exhibit floor was packed with booths for book keeping services, tracking systems, POS software, MMJ universities, activist groups, and more...But the best booth award goes to Patient’s Choice of Colorado who fully stocked their huge table with plenty of water bottles and a movie theater popcorn machine. Genius! We were hooked all weekend.
The biggest highlight of the weekend was the debate (well, conversation) between Law & Order SUV's Richard Belzer, Stan Garnett, District Attorney for Colorado’s 20th Judicial District, Tom Gallagher Councilmember At-Large, Joshua Kappel, Outreach Director for Sensible Colorado and Charlie Brown, Denver City Councilman.
They addressed crucial issues including medical marijuana in the workplace, state vs. federal control, and host of policy issues. The debate ended with Charlie Brown declaring that if this industry wants to influence politicians and legislation we must maintain a professional appearance and construct educated messages that aim to raise the bar for MMJ advocates. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
The 1st Plant Medicine Expo & Healthcare Provider Conference Conference
The Plant Medicine Expo & Healthcare Provider Conference debuts September 25th & 26th at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel. Far from the current norm for medical marijuana conferences, the Expo brings together physicians, industry thought leaders and business-to-business organizations focused on the continued advancement of the medical marijuana industry.
TGI Healthworks of New York is the lead organizer of the conference and has been developing conferences focused on various diseases and treatments for over 10 years.
Richard Belzer, star of Law & Order SVU and cancer survivor will moderate a debate Saturday, September 24th at 4:30pm.
Grow Room Communications will be onsite throughout the event and available for initial consultations during exhibit hours.
ATTN Veterans: Presentation of your VA card and stating you heard of the expo from Grow Room Communications will provide you FREE ENTRY to both days of the event.