Following a night of festivities across the cannabis industry’s spiritual home in Oakland, the final day of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Summit & Expo hit on emerging issues like tax reform and industry-wide packaging standards.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hings started fast on the final day of the NCIA expo: Harborside Health Center’s CEO and co-founder, Steve DeAngelo, and the dispensary’s lead attorney, Henry Wykowski, (one of the top pot tax attorneys in the business) talked about section 280E of the tax code, which prevents legal pot businesses from deducting basic business expenses like rent.
Last November, following Berkeley Patients Group’s victory over the Department of Justice, Wykowski told Cannabis Now that Harborside’s own 280E case is a big domino waiting to fall— the results (either way) will set precedent for the entire industry.
“If we knock 280E out of the box, we’ll lose one of the biggest problems we have,” he said. “Getting rid of 280E will help us a lot in dealing with the tax situation.”
The expo floor was popping off as people decided what specs they wanted on their outdoor cannabis defense drone: NXT Robotics can hook your murdered-out cannabis killbot up with people, fire and smoke detection — you might as well shell out for the license plate reader too, just to make sure it’s your boys at the gate.
NXT Founder, Jeff Dubosse, said leveraging one of the units as a security asset (using a “subscription model”) could save cultivators up to $70,000. You can even have a conversation with the person robbing your grow, depending on the sensor package you go with — for about $13,000 dollars a month.
Jair from Gavita, originally a Dutch company, has had an insider’s view of the cannabis industry since back when he had to tell people his lights were for tomatoes.
“This is one of the better conferences in this industry — we have been doing this now for a couple years,” Jair told Cannabis Now, adding that he enjoys the elevated level of cannabis knowledge among the attendees. “I don’t get a lot of stupid questions, so that’s really exciting for us.”
We asked for his view on the U.S. pot industry and its recent evolution. He expressed excitement and urged caution.
“I’ve been in the U.S. now since 2007, so I’ve been looking at this for a decade. It’s very exciting, I have 25 years in this industry and people ask me about getting in,” he said. “There are a lot of people out there with pipe dreams that would love to blow up your millions — you have to look at track records. There is a lot of money to be made but also a lot of risks. Bubbles are about to get popped.”
Other panels on the five different tracks of the summit included former Cannabis Now Senior Editor — and current San Francisco Chronicle Cannabis Editor — David Downs, who focused on preparing the next wave of pot entrepreneurs for the realities of dealing with a critical (albeit excited) press covering the subject.
“I really wanted them to take away the fact that legacy cannabis brands need to be thinking through their message, their approach and their goals, so that when they market they don’t lose out to new brands who hire people to do that work for them,” Downs told Cannabis Now. “Part of that is the need to cultivate relationships with journalists: we’re not robots, and reaching us still requires a sense of the human aspect of all this.”
Cannabis Now Mini Cup Results
Downs also served as a guest judge for the Cannabis Now NCIA Mini Cup. Other judges included Emerald Cup judge, comedian and Cannabis Now contributor Ngaio Bealum, longtime cannabis advocate Dr. Amanda Reiman and the Cannabis Now editorial team.
After calling for entries on Friday, we now announce the winners:
1st – Gorilla Glue (Tahoe Wellness Cooperative)
2nd – Sasquatch Sap (3C Farms)
3rd – Sour Girl (C.R.A.F.T.)
The winner, Gorilla Glue, was dramatically entered last minute at the Herban Mixer party — a half hour after judging began — to raucous applause. The judges tore through the entries overnight and into Wednesday afternoon.
While few had identical lists of their favorites, the team concurred this was the most appropriate interpretation of how the votes came in. Honorable mention to 3C’s Grape Krush, which received a couple first place votes.
Tahoe Wellness has previously won the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.
LISTEN: Ngaio Bealum talks about his experience judging the Cannabis Now NCIA Mini Cup.
TELL US, have you tried any of our Mini Cup winners?