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Cannabusiness stats prove legalization, innovation are rebranding the industry

(BUSINESS NEWS) We’ve got the details on the 2016 State of Cannabis report – the industry is growing rapidly, and the cannabusiness stats are impressive.

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The state of the industry

Continued cannabusiness success stories are helping combat stigma surrounding legal marijuana use. Eaze, a Californian medical marijuana delivery service, just released some new stats on the state of the cannabusiness industry.

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As we’ve mentioned, the cannabusiness industry is maturing. It’s not just a phase, and people are finally starting to take the medical benefits seriously. Medical marijuana services are on the rise and growing in popularity. According to Eaze’s 2016 State of Cannabis report, someone places an order with them every 30 seconds. That’s up 100 percent from 2015, when Californians were placing orders every minute.

Erasing the stigma

This isn’t some college dorm drug ring. It’s a legitimate business, and investors are paying attention. Launched in 2014, Eaze became the most-funded start-up to date, raising $25 million overall.

Legal marijuana sales are expected to be in the tens of billions over the next four years.Click To Tweet

Destigmatizing is half of the battle when it comes to expanding access to medical marijuana. Services like Eaze and spreading knowledge about the benefits of medical marijuana. As a result, Californians in the study are now more comfortable with cannabis use for medical purposes.

Their Favor-like service takes away the danger factor associated with acquiring marijuana. Those with a valid Physician’s Recommendation are able to order weed just like any other product and feel like a normal person instead of a shady criminal.  Whoever is delivering isn’t a necessarily skeevy frat boy or sketchy dude in an alley. There is an accountability factor beyond the legal terms and conditions of Eaze’s service.

Generational growth

Astoundingly, baby boomers are the fastest growing segment using Eaze. Even more surprising, Eaze saw a 25 percent increase in orders from baby boomers over the past year while millennials actually dropped three percent.

In fact, baby boomers spent more money per month than any of the app’s younger generations.

Boomers spent 36 percent more on cannabis than millennials per month.

If this doesn’t scream destigmatized, I don’t know what does.

New scientific studies have played a huge role in changing public perception about medical marijuana. According to Eaze’s data, marijuana is “quickly becoming a preferred alternative to alcohol and opioids.”

Fully 82 percent of respondents reduced their alcohol consumption because of access to medical marijuana while 11.6 percent even reported they have completely stopped drinking alcohol since they are able to legally access cannabis. Additionally, 95 percent of respondents who have used opioids to manage pain report they now take less painkillers.

Weed over wine?

Eaze’s study also shows orders spike around 7pm, suggesting marijuana is replacing a nightly glass of wine. Another cultural shift is seen in the increasing popularity of vaporizer cartridges. In the last year, vaporizer cartridge sales increased by 400 percent. Eaze explains that vaporizers provide “a new form of immediate relief.” One out of every three customers ordered a vaporizer cartridge in 2016 compared to a mere seven percent in 2015.

People are also likelier to order during holidays or three-day weekends. This means cannabis is potentially being used in a more mainstream celebratory manner like alcohol.

Consuming legal marijuana is now seen as a legitimate form of celebration or relaxation by many Californians.Click To Tweet

Although California has a reputation as the hippie cousin, some conservative states are changing their minds about marijuana laws and use. Even in notoriously straight-laced Texas, citizens plan to gather at the state capitol during Constituent Advocacy Day to lobby for marijuana policy reform and it’s conservative politicians leading the legalization charge. Seriously Reform supporters are organizing in support of bills that could remove some criminal possession penalties and expand the Compassionate Care Act to include more patients.

Be a pioneer

The landscape of marijuana consumption is changing, and companies in states where cannabis is legal are finding marketing strongholds. Platforms like Eaze show how profitable the cannabusiness industry can be for those who are willing to put aside stigmas and pioneer new methods of customer satisfaction.

#Cannabusiness

Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

Business News

You should apply to be on a board – why and how

(BUSINESS NEWS) What do you need to think about and explore if you want to apply for a Board of Directors? Here’s a quick rundown of what, why, and when.

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board of directors

What?
What does a Board of Directors do? Investopedia explains “A board of directors (B of D) is an elected group of individuals that represent shareholders. The board is a governing body that typically meets at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight. Every public company must have a board of directors. Some private and nonprofit organizations also have a board of directors.”

Why?
It is time to have a diverse representation of thoughts, values and insights from intelligently minded people that can give you the intel you need to move forward – as they don’t have quite the same vested interests as you.

We have become the nation that works like a machine. Day in and day out we are consumed by our work (and have easy access to it with our smartphones). We do volunteer and participate in extra-curricular activities, but it’s possible that many of us have never understood or considered joining a Board of Directors. There’s a new wave of Gen Xers and Millennials that have plenty of years of life and work experience + insights that this might be the time to resurrect (or invigorate) interest.

Harvard Business Review shared a great article about identifying the FIVE key areas you would want to consider growing your knowledge if you want to join a board:

1. Financial – You need to be able to speak in numbers.
2. Strategic – You want to be able to speak to how to be strategic even if you know the numbers.
3. Relational – This is where communication is key – understanding what you want to share with others and what they are sharing with you. This is very different than being on the Operational side of things.
4. Role – You must be able to be clear and add value in your time allotted – and know where you especially add value from your skills, experiences and strengths.
5. Cultural – You must contribute the feeling that Executives can come forward to seek advice even if things aren’t going well and create that culture of collaboration.

As Charlotte Valeur, a Danish-born former investment banker who has chaired three international companies and now leads the UK’s Institute of Directors, says, “We need to help new participants from under-represented groups to develop the confidence of working on boards and to come to know that” – while boardroom capital does take effort to build – “this is not rocket science.

When?
NOW! The time is now for all of us to get involved in helping to create a brighter future for organizations and businesses that we care about (including if they are our own business – you may want to create a Board of Directors).

The Harvard Business Review gave great explanations of the need to diversify those that have been on the Boards to continue to strive to better represent our population as a whole. Are you ready to take on this challenge? We need you.

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Business News

Everyone should have an interview escape plan

(BUSINESS NEWS) A job interview should be a place to ask about qualifications but sometimes things can go south – here’s how to escape when they do.

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interview from hell

“So, why did you move from Utah to Austin?” the interviewer asked over the phone.

The question felt a little out of place in the job interview, but I gave my standard answer about wanting a fresh scene. I’d just graduated college and was looking to break into the Austin market. But the interviewer wasn’t done.

“But why Austin?” he insisted, “There can’t be that many Mormons here.”

My stomach curled. This was a job interview – I’d expected to discuss my qualifications for the position and express my interest in the company. Instead, I began to answer more and more invasive questions about my personal life and religion. The whole ordeal left me very uncomfortable, but because I was young and desperate, I put up with it. In fact, I even went back for a second interview!

At the time, I thought I had to put up with that sort of treatment. Only recently have I realized that the interview was extremely unprofessional and it wasn’t something I should have felt obligated to endure.

And I’m not the only one with a bad interview story. Slate ran an article sharing others’ terrible experiences, which ranged from having their purse inspected to being trapped in a 45 minute presentation! No doubt, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mistreatment by potential employers.

So, why do we put up with it?

Well, sometimes people just don’t know better. Maybe, like I was, they’re young or inexperienced. In these cases, these sorts of situations seem like they could just be the norm. There’s also the obvious power dynamic: you might need a job, but the potential employers probably don’t need you.

While there might be times you have to grit your teeth and bear it, it’s also worth remembering that a bad interview scenario often means bad working conditions later on down the line. After all, if your employers don’t respect you during the interview stage, it’s likely the disrespect will continue when you’re hired.

Once you’ve identified an interview is bad news, though, how do you walk out? Politely. As tempting as it is to make a scene, you probably don’t want to go burning bridges. Instead, excuse yourself by thanking your interviewers, wishing them well and asserting that you have realized the business wouldn’t be a good fit.

Your time, as well as your comfort, are important! If your gut is telling you something is wrong, it probably is. It isn’t easy, but if a job interview is crossing the line, you’re well within your rights to leave. Better to cut your losses early.

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Business News

Australia vs Facebook: A conflict of news distribution

(BUSINESS NEWS) Following a contentious battle for news aggregation, Australia works to find agreement with Facebook.

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News open on laptop, which Australia argues Facebook is taking away from.

Australia has been locked in a legal war against technology giants Google and Facebook with regard to how news content can be consumed by either entity’s platforms.

At its core, the law states that news content being posted on social media is – in effect – stealing away the ability for news outlets to monetize their delivery and aggregate systems. A news organization may see their content shared on Facebook, which means users no longer have to visit their site to access that information. This harms the ability for news production companies – especially smaller ones – from being able to maintain revenue and profit, while also giving power to corporations such as Facebook by allowing them to capitalize on their substantial infrastructure.

This is a complex subject that can be viewed from a number of angles, but it essentially asks the question of who should be in control of information on a potentially global scale, and how the ability to share such data should be handled when it passes through a variety of mediums and avenues. Put shortly: Australia thinks royalties should be paid to those who supply the news.

Australia has maintained that under the proposed laws, corporations must reach content distribution deals in order to allow news to be spread through – as one example – posts on Facebook. In retaliation, Facebook completely removed the ability for users to post news articles and stories. This in turn led to a proliferation of false and misleading information to fill the void, magnifying the considerable confusion that Australian citizens were confronted with once the change had been made.

“In just a few days, we saw the damage that taking news out can cause,” said Sree Sreenivasan, a professor at the Stony Brook School of Communication and Journalism. “Misinformation and disinformation, already a problem on the platform, rushed to fill the vacuum.”

Facebook’s stance is that it provides value to the publishers because shared news content will drive users to their sites, thereby allowing them to provide advertising and thus leading to revenue.

Australia has been working on this bill since last year, and has said that it is meant to equalize the potential imbalance of content and who can display and benefit from it. This is meant to try and create conditions between publishers and the large technology platforms so that there is a clearer understanding of how payment should be done in exchange for news and information.

Google was initially defiant (threatening to go as far as to shut off their service entirely), but began to make deals recently in order to restore its own access. Facebook has been the strongest holdout, and has shown that it can leverage its considerable audience and reach to force a more amenable deal. Australia has since provided some amendments to give Facebook time to seek similar deals obtained by Google.

One large portion of the law is that Australia is reserving the right to allow final arbitration, which it says would allow a mediator to set prices if no deal could be reached. This might be considered the strongest piece of the law, as it means that Facebook cannot freely exercise its considerable weight with impunity. Facebook’s position is that this allows government interference between private companies.

In the last week – with the new agreements on the table – it’s difficult to say who blinked first. There is also the question of how this might have a ripple effect through the tech industry and between governments who might try to follow suit.

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