Category Archives: 4/20

Fall 2018 Cannabis Agenda Philosophy


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As we head towards Fall in just two days, we enter into the next chapter for the cannabis industry here in Massachusetts.  Some great events happened during the summer and we dealt with even more obstacles that caused minor setbacks.  Years after passing Question 4 and we still have many kinks to work out.  In the midst of all of this excitement over legalizing cannabis, some weren’t prepared for some shocking disappointments that came afterwards.

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For the records, setbacks were going to happen one way or another.  That’s the thing about being a PR pro – you knew it would come with complications, so you brainstorm ideas to help solve the problems.  You ponder about the most creative and distinguished solution on how to prevent total chaos from happening.  Whether it is dealing with financial issues or various political roadblocks, every angle of the business must be worked out.

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But on the bright side, we have more time on our hands.  We could utilize this time to prepare a better strategy for the recreational market.  Medical cannabis has been flourishing over the past six years, so now its time for the recreational market to shine.  Now would be a better time than ever to throw recreational businesses into the mix.

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And yet, why stop there with just recreational and medicinal when you can mix cannabis with entertainment.  4/20 yoga sessions and cannabis cafes are just some of many amazing ideas that would thrive well with its audience.  Cannabis can easily be incorporated with many fun activities, especially around the city of Boston.

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So as we enter into the new season, it’s time for new changes within the cannabis industry.  New changes that could bring about an incredible experience one couldn’t possibly have dreamed of.  If we just go back to the source of the product itself, it is only then that we take full advantage of its magnificent effects.

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Fall is a time of change, so be prepared for new and surprising changes here in Massachusetts.

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Coca-Cola’s CBD-Infused Beverage


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Many businesses these days are looking to dip their toes into the cannabis industry.  Companies, both small and big, see the major potential the cannabis industry has for its audience.  Cannabis is the fastest growing industry in the nation and businesses are giving it a chance.  As more states legalize recreational use, more and more businesses are jumping in on the bandwagon to cash in on their rewards.

As a matter of fact, some major corporations are starting to look towards cannabis as a means of a unique strategy for their business.  One such big corporation, Coca-Cola, is dabbling with the idea of producing…cannabis-infused drinks.

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Coca-Cola is in talks with Aurora Cannabis (based in Vancouver, Canada) about producing cannabis-infused drinks for their audience.  Their strategy is to produce drinks infused with CBD in order to relieve pain, rather than infuse them with THC.  The infamous beverage company has been watching the cannabis drink market very closely these days.

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This news comes as Canada prepares to legalize cannabis within their country, following US states that are legalizing for recreational use.  Canada has been adapting the ways paved through legal states in America.  The special partnership between Coca-Cola and Aurora would mark the first entry of a major manufacturer of non-alcoholic drinks into the market.

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It is quite a PR miracle to see a major beverage company like Coca-Cola diving into the cannabis industry.  Not only is the industry paving the way for cannabis businesses, but also for other businesses as well.  Even though not much as been said about what the new drink will be, this is still a major step in the right direction for both companies.  Coca-Cola sees the benefit the cannabis industry has on its audience, so it only makes sense for them to work with Aurora Cannabis to push a unique drink.

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In the end, Coca-Cola is one of many major corporations that will become 4/20 friendly in the near future.  As the cannabis industry continues to take off, other companies will utilize cannabis into their own business plans as well.

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Be on the lookout for a new CBD-infused drink by Coca-Cola, coming to a dispensary near you.

Cannabis Credit Union – Fall 2018


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One of the trickiest aspects about the cannabis business is the finances.  Even with cannabis legalization successfully sweeping the nation, there are still businesses struggling to work out financial negations.  This is because many of these establishments are FEDERAL banks, meaning they work with the regulations and standards laid out by the federal government.  With these strict standards intact, these banks can provide very little help with cannabis businesses.

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Massachusetts is one of the legal states that is still having trouble solving this financial problem.  There are businesses that are able to take sales through debit or credit card; even still, other businesses operate on a cash-only business.  But that’s all about to change this fall.

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GFA Federal Credit Union will become the first financial institution in Massachusetts to offer banking services to recreational cannabis companies.  This step will not only allow consumers to pay for their purchases with their plastic cards, but it will also help cannabis businesses avoid the expensive and risky procedure of a cash-only operations.  This credit union will start serving clients on October 1st.  They will be offering basic services such as checking accounts, cash managements, wire transfers, payroll, and bill payments.

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After a year of research and preparations, GFA Federal Credit Union is ready to wade into the recreational cannabis industry.  GFA holds just over $500 million assets, making it smaller than national giants such as Bank of America Corp. or State Street Corp.  Even still, its simpler portfolio and status as a federal credit union should make it much easier for GFA to conduct business with cannabis companies without dealing with any federal scrutiny or endangering their investments and clientele.

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This bold move strikes as a huge benefit for both the cannabis industry and its audiences.  Cannabis businesses will be able to conduct better banking work to make their businesses more profitable.  Customers will be able to use their debit or credit cards to purchase their cannabis; even better, businesses could offer them gift cards with prepaid credit inside.  Offering payment via debit/credit cards will help cater financial needs for all audiences alike.  Dispensaries won’t have to install a small ATM machine within the building, being that they will have more economic freedom for their business.

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And that’s the big takeaway with this PR miracle – economic freedom.  Businesses can become more creative in solving their economic problems with these banking tools at their disposals.  Whether they want to conduct more purchases with plastic cards or create a better payroll plan, cannabis businesses will be provided with more tools ever to do that and more.

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We still have many kinks to work out with this recreational market in Massachusetts, but GFA took a major step in the right direction.  Getting the banks towards the 4/20 side will only propel this industry further here in America.

And with that, it is now time for banks to take part in this great green rush happening in this nation.

Final Thoughts for This Week 9/15


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This week has been a week of changes, particularly within certain subcultures.  Paradise announced their final events for the weekend while Elon Musk consumed a blunt with Joe Rogan during an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience.  And speaking of cannabis, NYC opened up their first CBD-infused restaurant in Queens called Adriaen Block.

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One culture is losing its significance in Boston while another is only expanding even further.  The gay community may have lost their treasured nightclub in Cambridge, yet many other bars are still open for business.  Even with this tragic PR nightmare, medical dispensaries are still popping up all around the city.  But even with the 4/20-themed cultural shift happening, will it ever fill that hole within their rainbow-themed hearts?

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We must not simply pass the buck towards gay dating apps like Grindr or Scruff for the tragic demise of Paradise.  That thought process only simplifies the problem with a somewhat obvious solution.  There is MORE happening with these PR stories if you read it well enough.  In the midst of gentrification, we are seeing various subcultures clashing among each other to cater with their niche audiences.  Paradise serves the gay community (and others of the LGBTQ society) while medical/recreational dispensaries conduct business with various cannabis consumers within Massachusetts.

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Rather than subcultures trampling over each other, they should learn to work WITH each other.  Cannabis and gay-themed businesses could work exponentially well in the right light.  A cannabis company could plan an edible-themed pop up at a gay bar or nightclub.  In the meanwhile, LGBTQ-themed dispensaries could really stand out from their competition.  The creative possibilities become endless once the roadblocks are taken away.

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It will be sad to see Paradise closing its doors this weekend after seven years.  All we can do is hope that something even better comes along the horizon.  Who knows, maybe the cannabis industry could hold the key answer for creating more gay-themed businesses around the city.

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With that, we’ll see what other surprises are in store for both the LGBTQ and cannabis community.  If these two powerful subcultures work together, a lot of amazing businesses will be popping up around Boston as well as the state of Massachusetts.

Adriaen Block – A CBD-infused Dining Experience


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When it comes to fine dining, you can’t look any further than New York City.  New York City offers some of the most exclusive eateries within its neighborhoods.  With ideas like Indian fusion or a ramen noodle place catered specifically to introverts, New York City provides some of the most unique dining experiences imaginable.

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With cannabis laws being more relaxed in the Big Apple, more opportunities are presented for chefs all across the city.  As a matter of fact, chefs have already been creating artistic dishes that contain THC.  These special dishes are being made underground and out of the public eye.  But one restaurant in the Queens neighborhood mix their food and drinks with…CBD.

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Image result for Adriaen Block Astoria

Adriaen Block is known as the first CBD bar and restaurant in New York City.  Every option available, both drinks and food, contain CBD oil as one of their ingredients.  You can find Adriane Block in Astoria, within the Queens neighborhood.

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Their starter boards include charcuterie, sliced cheese, and Vinetta.  Choose from one of their classics like fried calamari or hand-cut steak tartare.  They even come with juicy burgers such as The Block Burger.  This burger comes with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, nueske’s bacon, and AB CBD sauce.  You can get your burger with truffle fries or with other side entrees such as French fries, potato gratin, couscous, cream of spinach, and AB CBD sauce.

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Other main entrees include the certified Angus Hanger Steak and Faroe Island Wild Salmon.  Their desert menu features Crêpes, Key Lime Pie, and Molten Chocolate Cake (all of which can be topped off with some CBD whipped cream!).

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While dining on those delicious CBD-infused entrees, you can wash them down with one of these tasty CBD cocktails.  You can choose from eight CBD cocktails from boozy (alcohol) or zero-proof (non-alcohol) side.  The rolled fashion on the boozy side features aperol, pineau des charentes, and angostura bitters.  On the other side is the Kombucha Garden, which comes with passion fruit kombucha, seedlip garden, and mint.  This is instance where you can choose what kind of CBD experience you want, whether with or without alcohol.

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All of these delicious foods and cocktails, with every order mixed with CBD oil.  It was a creative idea being passed around in the underground, but now its finally being made in the public eye.  Just the positive buzz we need generated for the cannabis industry.  This is the kind of PR miracle that will propel this industry further around America.

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First it was Adriaen Block to introduce an entire restaurant incorporating their service with CBD.  Now’s the time for cannabis’s popular cannabinoids to come out into the spotlight and into the kitchen.  Why stop with one restaurant when we can segment the concept with other types of food.  We have the opportunity to infringe this idea food types such as Italian, Irish, Mexican, Chinese, French, Swedish, German, and many others.

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Its creative restaurants like Adriaen Block that will open up this window of opportunity for restauranteurs alike.  New York City sets high standards in their fine dining experience, so incorporating cannabinoids like THC or CBD will only push them even further.  Not only that, but other cities will incorporate that product strategy into their own business as well.  Who knows, maybe Los Angeles will create CBD-infused taco dishes or Boston may serve CBD clam chowder (which would make for a FANTASTIC Boston-themed cannabis dish!).

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For now, let’s celebrate the release of NYC’s first CBD restaurant and bar Adriaen Block. It’s like they always say – bong appétit!