What is THCA and What Are its Benefits?

Marijuana compound formula THCA

Marijuana compound formula THCA

Whether you are super familiar with cannabis or not, odds are high that you have heard of THC. THC is the chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects you feel when you consume cannabis . As the cannabis industry continues to evolve and we learn more about the plant and its makeup, there are other molecules that may not be as popular, but are just as important. tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or better known as, THCA is one of them.

In recent years, THCA has gained momentum in regards to its popularity because of its health benefits, which are varied from those of THC and even CBD. Check out the information below to gain a better understanding of THCA. 

For a more hands-on explanation of the benefits, or recommendations for products, be sure to head on into your local weed dispensary.

 

THC’s Precursor

One of the easiest ways to understand THCA is to think of it as the precursor to, or the earliest stage of, THC. Contrary to popular belief, if you consume raw or live cannabis – as in, eat the plant straight from the ground or even eat raw nuggets – you will not get high. That is because in order to have the psychoactive effects, cannabis must be dried out or heated. 

If you leave the plant out to dry, or if you expedite the process and use heat, THCA slowly converts to THC. If you use heat, the process is known as decarboxylation, which simply describes what happens when you smoke or vaporize flower. So whether that’s in an oven baking your favorite edibles, or smoking flower using a lighter and a pipe or a blunt, heating THCA turns it to THC, giving you the psychoactive effects. 

 

THCA Benefits

So now that you know the process and what THCA is, how does it help?

While research on THCA and its health benefits is fairly in the early stages of development, from what has been gathered in recent years, there is solid evidence that points to THCA being a pivotal part of cannabis-related medicine as the industry makes leaps and bounds moving forward. In the preliminary studies, researchers have unearthed some of the following benefits:

  • Anti-Inflammatory: THCA possesses anti-inflammatory properties that could help aid in the treatment of such diseases as arthritis and lupus. In a 2021 study using mice, THCA also showed great potential as a treatment for fatty liver disease thanks to its ability to work as an anti-inflammatory.

  • Neuroprotective properties: If you have a family history of neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, THCA could contain neuroprotective properties to help slow or prevent the development of these diseases.
  • Anti-emetic: For those who suffer from chronic nausea or appetite loss, THCA has anti-emetic properties to help counter some of these issues. In another study done on rats, THCA was more effective in reducing nausea symptoms than CBD or THC.

  • Anti-proliferative: THCA also has anti-proliferative qualities as well, which means that it can help inhibit the growth of cancer cells that are responsible for creating tumors. Notable studies have been conducted in regards to it aiding in prostate cancer. 

In other studies, patients have reported that THCA helped with their muscle spasms, insomnia, and general pain. Consuming raw cannabis is similar to consuming other healthy and nutritious plants directly from the earth, such as avocados, kale, green tea, or garlic. While this research regarding health benefits is in the very early stages, it is exciting to know that more is on the horizon, and hopefully, will become a standard treatment for some of these ailments. 

However, with all of these benefits, more studies need to be done to solidify their medicinal abilities. 

 

The Legality 

Much like CBD, opting for THCA products is a great choice for those who would like to utilize the health benefits, but don’t want any of the psychoactive effects from THC. However, unlike CBD, THCA can only be used or consumed in states where THC is legal. So before making a purchase of any kind, be sure to check out this list to see where your state lands on various cannabis laws. 

As of 2021, the FDA still lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug. According to the FDA website, this is “due to its high potential for abuse, which is attributable in large part to the psychoactive effects of THC, and the absence of a currently accepted medical use of the plant in the United States”. 

So, for the time being, if your state outlaws THC, it is best to avoid THCA as well. If CBD is legal where you live, try harnessing the healing properties of CBD instead, which also has many medical benefits without any of the psychoactive effects. Keep in mind that chemically speaking, CBD and THCA are still different, as one is a cannabinoid and one is an acid. 

 

Where is THCA found?

Every high strain of THC that has not yet gone through the decarboxylated process contains THCA. Here, these cannabinoid levels are just about as high as a freshly harvested or live cannabis plant. Because of this, raw cannabis parts can actually be juiced and used in health smoothies, capturing the benefits of THCA.

If it’s legal in your area, search around for a juice or smoothie bar that specializes in making THCA or cannabis-infused drinks. Not only are you sure to find something delicious, but also comes with a myriad of health benefits as well. 

 

Here to Help

We here at From the Earth are more than just a weed dispensary or a place to shop. We know that education is the cornerstone of cannabis, and becoming knowledgeable on the various forms of cannabis makes a world of difference when purchasing products. If you have questions that span beyond what you’ve read here, that is great! Please come inside and visit with one of our well-trained staff members. 

We have a variety of locations that you can visit as well, from our cannabis dispensary in Long Beach all the way to Hanover, Michigan. So you’re not limited to just one shop. No matter which store you choose, or what part of the country you are in, we guarantee top-notch customer service from highly-informed employees. 

Cannabis Entrepreneur Helps Communities Impacted by Marijuana Laws

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LONG BEACH, Calif. — When life gets stressful, cannabis is one way Lionel Tate relieves his stress. But just an eighth of an ounce of marijuana changed the course of his life.

Long Beach, CAMar. 29, 2021 /Spectrum News/ — In 2015, things were actually looking up for Tate. At the time he was chasing his dream of becoming a chef, starting culinary school, and was about to sign a lease for a new apartment.

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That was until he was pulled over by an LAPD officer.

“I was caught with an eighth of weed, and I had my rent money in my sock,” he said. “The officer put two and two together, and said I was drug dealing because they found [$2,000 cash and marijuana.]”

Tate was arrested on felony drug dealing charges and spent four days behind bars.

Although he wasn’t convicted of the charges, Tate was sentenced to three years’ probation.

“It’s just ironic to know how profitable [marijuana] is but also it incriminates a certain [group] of people,” Tate said.

As a cannabis entrepreneur, David Moss believes it’s his responsibility to create change for communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana laws.

“Here we are in a growing industry, where every month it seems like a new state legalizes [cannabis] and we’re out here legally operating trying to make a lot of money,” Moss said. “Meanwhile people are locked up in prison. It’s just not right, and the majority of the people that are locked up are Black and brown.”

Tapping into his passion for philanthropy, Moss started From the Earth Foundation, a non-profit focused on justice reform.

When he heard Tate’s story, he felt compelled to help.

Moss is the chief development officer of From the Earth, a cannabis dispensary in Long Beach. The company is developing a brand of cannabis called “Not Just Another Eighth”, inspired by Tate, who will have financial equity in the brand.

“We call out to other cannabis operators to do the same thing. Take on the same challenge. Find and create ways to be philanthropic,” said Moss

Moss also partnered with Planet Froth Productions to produce a documentary, Not Just Another Day. The film uses Tate’s story as a call to action for marijuana reform laws, as well as asking cannabis companies to build an equity industry by hiring from the communities that are still being targeted for marijuana crimes.

4 Ways Medical Marijuana Can Help People

Doctor writing prescription for medical marijuana

Doctor writing prescription for medical marijuana

Many have said that marijuana contains elements that can aid our bodies in many ways. Though we still don’t know much about the drug, and federal testing has been difficult due to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) deeming it a Schedule I drug. This categorizes it alongside harsh drugs like heroin and LSD. 

While there are still about six states which have marijuana fully illegal, others are starting to open up to the idea of at least legalizing medical marijuana. Because of this, more medical marijuana dispensaries are beginning to pop up across the country. If you are interested in seeing your state’s laws on marijuana, this is a great resource. 

 

What We Know

As of right now, the FDA has only approved the use of medical marijuana for those who suffer from two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. 

However, many universities and researchers are doing their best to study the drug in states where the drug is legal. They have seen many benefits to using marijuana for medical reasons to treat several issues many Americans face. These include a number of ailments that cause chronic pain like peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain from diabetes), cancer, chemotherapy, muscle and joint problems and so much more. A study from 2019 also showed that many seniors turn to cannabis to find relief from arthritis and even back pain. 

 

What is Medical Marijuana?

Just as there are many different strains and parts of the cannabis plant, there are many different forms of medical marijuana. Including derivatives of marijuana and synthetic versions. The synthetic forms typically do not give the high feeling traditional marijuana gives, but still gives its health benefits. 

One form of medical marijuana is made up of Marinol, a synthetic form of the delta-9-THC compound found in the marijuana plant naturally. Marinol is typically prescribed to those who have a lack of appetite, vomiting or nausea due to AIDS or cancer, or from the treatment of these conditions. Marinol is only prescribed to those with severe conditions, like those mentioned above. 

Those who do take Marinol can sometimes feel some of the effects traditional recreational marijuana gives such as joy or euphoria, however, it also has its downsides. Marinol can also cause things like upset stomach, paranoia, drowsiness, and unusual thoughts. 

 

Senior woman with arthritis pain holding hand

4 Ways Medical Marijuana May Help You

There are many health benefits we have discussed to marijuana and its properties, but what kind of things can it actually treat? There are a number of conditions that marijuana is said to help with, such as an appetite stimulant, pain reliever, anti-convulsant, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory and much more. 

Although the FDA has only approved the use of medical marijuana for rare forms of severe epilepsy as discussed above, many researchers have found it helps with many other conditions. Some of which include, chronic pain, glaucoma, IBS, and more. 

 

 

 Pain Relief

Many people have turned to marijuana for pain relief. Whether from a disease like cancer or arthritis pain, marijuana has been shown to help many find healing without the use of prescription drugs. 

One study done by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that participants favored an indica strain from a sativa. As we know, indica strains to give more feelings of calmness and relaxation, while a sativa promotes more energy and a boost in mood. 

In this study, they found that those who preferred an indica strain found help with things like headaches, joint pain, spasticity, and neuropathy. One thing to note with this study is that there was no controlled setting. People were able to use as much or as little marijuana for their pain as they felt necessary and simply reported back their findings.

 

 

Appetite Stimulant

It is known that cancer and AIDS patients go through an increased weight loss and loss of tissue due to their illnesses. Though a controversial subject, medical marijuana has shown many ways in which it can help those with these diseases. Not only helping with pain relief, depression, and anxiety but also an increase in weight gain. 

The use of oral, or smoking, medical marijuana has been used to help treat anorexia in AIDS patients and shown to be the quickest way to get the THC into the system and increase in appetite. A soluble or edible substance, as many know, tends to take longer for the liver to digest which can take hours for it to kick in. 

 

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The first to connect IBS with medical marijuana was researcher Ethan B. Russo. While there is not much research to back up a direct link between using medical marijuana to help with IBS, many, like Russo, think that it can. 

Russo theorized that IBS and other health conditions were direct results of a deficiency in the cannabinoid chemicals that our own bodies produce. He also pointed out that IBS is often seen alongside other health conditions such as migraine headaches and fibromyalgia, which Russo theorized may also involve the endocannabinoid system in the body. 

While much research is still needed and being done, some studies have looked at the effectiveness of Midinol, a synthetic form of medical marijuana that we discussed earlier in this post.  

 

 

Inflammation

Both cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have been proven to alleviate inflammation brought about by inflammatory related pain conditions. CBD and THC also help to prevent inflammation by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

There are a number of ways in which you can use medical marijuana to help relieve inflammation. The quickest way to feel quick relief is from smoking or vaping marijuana. However, if smoking isn’t your thing you can always try edibles, solubles, patches, or topicals. Edibles can take longer to kick in but patches can quickly enter your bloodstream through your skin. Topicals are also a great alternative as they can target a direct area to alleviate inflammation pain, are long lasting and are non-psychoactive. 

While research is still needed to determine exactly how medical marijuana can help to treat a variety of illnesses and pains more in depth, we do see a lot of benefits from the drug already. If you are in need of relief, visit your local medical marijuana dispensary and talk to our staff to see how marijuana can help you. 

California-Based Operator From The Earth Closes First Licensing Agreement

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From The Earth's retail footprint expands to Los Angeles

LOS ANGELESNov. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — From The Earth, Inc. (“FTE”), the full spectrum U.S. cannabis lifestyle company, announced today it has signed its first licensing agreement with Los Angeles-based licensee, ACES LA Inc. Under this agreement, FTE will execute its first complete management takeover at a licensed retail store.

Located at 738 N. Highland Ave., From The Earth Highland is expected to open to adult-use customers in March, 2021. This agreement allows FTE to leverage its product expertise, market familiarity, vendor relationships and advanced training programs to bring the Company’s quality products and customer service to a wider audience.

The agreement also enables ACES LA Inc., one of the city’s social equity license recipients, to gain immediate market exposure through FTE’s vast consumer and advertising network.

“Since receiving our license last year, we have been searching for a local business partner that has not only demonstrated its financial prowess in this challenging industry but also understands the importance of supporting their community,” said Arrion Jafari, Principal of ACES LA Inc. “Entering this agreement with From The Earth was an opportunity that we could not afford to pass up, and we believe this will put us light years ahead of where we would be as a standalone operator.”

“The entire From The Earth team is thrilled to enter this agreement with ACES LA, and we are confident in our ability to bring their vision for a more equitable industry to fruition,” said Dan Zaharoni, CEO of From The Earth. “Each retail location is deeply invested in its consumers and local community, and we are excited to bring our quality products and services to Los Angeles.”

From The Earth has been approved for 12 retail locations in CaliforniaMissouri and MichiganCalifornia consumers can find From The Earth dispensaries in Santa AnaPort HuenemeLong Beach and soon, Moreno Valley. For more information on store locations and FTE’s family of brands, please visit fromtheearth.com. 

About From The Earth Inc.

From The Earth Inc., a full spectrum cannabis lifestyle company founded by Kintu Patel and Jayson Quinones, comprises multiple entities and projects that make up a vertically integrated cannabis enterprise. With a team of experts in cultivation, manufacturing and retail sales, From The Earth Inc. has utilized cutting-edge technology, a commitment to quality and experienced personnel to create one of the most recognizable and well-respected brands in the cannabis industry. From The Earth dispensaries have captured market share throughout California and will soon be exported to locations throughout the U.S.

The New Vanguards of Southern California: From The Earth

From The Earth

Although the Golden State’s regulated cannabis industry has yet to live up to its incredible potential, dozens of companies are setting new standards with their elegant branding, eye-catching design and groundbreaking consumer experiences.

Among these new leaders, companies like March and Ash, Calma and From The Earth have helped spark a resurgence of Southern California cannabis retail, combining business savvy and substance with the right amount of flash to appeal to a broader market. These forward-thinking businesses not only offer consumers a massive selection of products in a boutique retail setting, but have the infrastructure in place for expansion.

From The Earth

After opening two retail stores in Southern California and branching out of state to open a shop in Michigan, From The Earth’s CEO, Dan Zaharoni, was feeling stymied.

“You always feel like you should be bigger,” he says. “We want to have larger dispensaries with a much more luxurious environment, kind of like a Whole Foods vibe.”

So when it came time to open the company’s third store in California, Zaharoni wanted to break through and create something that truly signified who the company is and where it is heading.

And in Long Beach, From the Earth was able to do that because it built the 8,300-square-foot flagship store from the ground up, allocating 3,300 square feet for the company’s distribution hub and setting up the rest as a template for the retail chain’s future endeavors.

Through the wooden fixtures, abundant plants and a hanging wall garden, the store’s interior design illustrates the connection people have with their environment and the planet. The floral patterns along the walls that include pink, purple and fuchsia cannabis leaves embrace cannabis culture and are symbolic of the company’s reverence toward the plant.

“We really go back to an organic, hippy-trippy, retro vibe, like the flower-child days of the ‘60s and ‘70s, in our stores,” Zaharoni says. “As a company that really promotes the organic, healthy way of life that cannabis promotes, we wanted our environment to match that.”

The return-to-nature spirit aligns with the company’s mission of “Learn, Live and Grow” but behind the scenes, From The Earth has built an infrastructure geared toward expansion.

 

The company is already in the process of building two more Southern California stores and has a licensing agreement in place to rebrand another operator’s shop into a From The Earth location.

From The Earth is also licensed to open five dispensaries in Missouri, one of which is already built and waiting for the green light to open from state regulators. The Missouri shops will carry a similar aesthetic as their Golden State counterparts, while ensuring each location fits well with the personality of its community.

“When we go to new locations, we like to have local people as our partners,” Zaharoni says. “I don’t want to go to Missouri and try and do that by myself; I want to find Missouri people who know the Missouri way of life and partner with them.”

In California, From The Earth has licenses for retail, delivery, distribution, manufacturing and as an event organizer, as well as a proprietary delivery service it intends to bring to other states eventually. But its emphasis is squarely on the retail sector.

“All the ancillary pieces that we have are really to support retail,” Zaharoni says. “We have our own brands that come from our manufacturing facility. We self-distribute so that we’re working with the manufacturers to bring the products into our stores. All of it is leading up to the retail experience.”

Within the next year, Zaharoni expects the chain will have tripled in size to a total of 12 retail stores. And to fuel the company’s expansion, From The Earth has filed documentation to complete its initial public offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

“We are going to be the first American cannabis company to go public in Israel,” he says. “That’s going to put us in the position to access the capital market, and we’re going to become a very acquisitive group. We’re going to be doing a lot in the next year.”

From The Earth Appoints Courtney Dorne as President

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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13, 2020 — From The Earth (“FTE”), the full spectrum U.S. cannabis lifestyle company and 2019 Weedcon Dispensary of the Year, today announced the appointment of Courtney Dorne, a successful entrepreneur and proven leader in the cannabis space, as FTE’s new President.

Dorne has over 25 years of experience in executive leadership positions with specialties in marketing and sales, product development and operations management. She joins FTE from Vertical Companies where she was the former President of Brands, responsible for new business development and edible product development. Dorne was central to building and launching multiple unique Vertical-owned brands across the U.S., one of which she spearheaded as the original creator and designer. Prior to Vertical, she spent 20 years as President of Fresh and Ready Foods of Nevada working to grow the business she helped start while still in high school. In her very first leadership role, Dorne successfully increased annual sales from $1.7M to 25M, effectively managed three manufacturing facilities with a total of 500 employees and negotiated all major management contracts.

“Courtney has been tremendously impressive in expanding high-growth companies and brings with her an instinct for leading teams and building valuable industry relationships,” said Dan Zaharoni, CEO of From The Earth. “We are thrilled to have a talented professional who clearly understands the cannabis market join our leadership team.”

Since 2010, Dorne has been a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), initially joining the Las Vegas chapter and currently participating in the Hollywood chapter where she is included in the chapter’s leadership ladder. She has held multiple leadership roles throughout her membership, previously as Chair of WBN (Women’s Business Network), and currently as the organization’s Pacific Regional Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

About From The Earth
From The Earth, a full spectrum cannabis lifestyle company founded by Kintu Patel and Jayson Quinones, comprises multiple entities and projects that make up a vertically integrated cannabis enterprise. With a team of experts in cultivation, manufacturing and retail sales, From The Earth has utilized cutting-edge technology, a commitment to quality and experienced personnel to create one of the most recognizable and well-respected brands in the cannabis industry.

Cannabis Retailer From The Earth Makes Social Justice A Priority

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Since its inception, From The Earth, a minority-founded and operated cannabis retailer, has made diversity and inclusion within the industry a top priority. Proving they walk the talk, FTE recently formed a partnership with Fruits of Our Labor, a black-owned business that employs ex-convicts to manufacture a wide range of vaporizers and glass blunts. For both FTE and Fruits of Our Labor, which was founded in Maryland by 22-year-old Alvin Edwards, this relationship is a great way of helping people and communities adversely affected by the war on drugs.

“I’ve been in philanthropy the last 25 years,” said David Moss, chief development officer at FTE. “It’s a big part of my core values. For FTE, we pay forward and give it back. It’s not all about making a buck.”

The partnership came into being after Edwards reached out to Mars Wright, a transgender activist and influencer, who also serves as FTE’s social media marketing director. Edwards, who is part of the trans community, had been following Wright on social media and decided to contact Wright after launching Fruits Of Our Labor.

Wright then brought the idea of a partnership with Fruits Of Our Labor to the FTE team and shortly after, FTE placed Edwards’ first major order. Currently, the products will be stocked in all FTE dispensaries across California, Michigan and Missouri. According to FTE’s Moss, FTE is not taking any equity in Fruits Of Our Labors.

Edwards began his business after saving $5,000 from revenue he generated from a retro video game shop he operated with a friend. With that money, he purchased a small rental building to found and incubate Fruits Of Our Labor, which now has a staff size of 15.

Edwards hopes the partnership with FTE will be a steppingstone for other similar partnerships and have a beneficial effect on struggling black communities.

“I want to show that you can be black and not rely on people and build it yourselves,” said the Baltimore native. “It can really be a big market for this area. Right now, we don’t have real leaders for this. I want something that will be positive and rebuild our communities.”

Presently, medical marijuana is legal in Maryland but not adult use.

Moss said the partnership with Fruits Of Our Labor is the first of its kind for FTE. He said FTE is hoping to ink other relationships similar to this partnership. Right now, for example, FTE is in the final stages of producing a “mini documentary” on a young black man who was arrested for possessing a small amount of marijuana.

“This was a good kid,” said Moss, describing the subject of the project. “He was in culinary school, had dreams of becoming a chef and owning a restaurant. We’re hoping to help him create brands and he participated with royalties and equities. We’re looking to do all sorts of things with social justice and leveling the playing field.”

From The Earth Announces Listing on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

Expects to Complete Initial Public Offering in Q4 2020

From The Earth (“FTE”), the full spectrum U.S. cannabis lifestyle company and 2019 Weedcon Dispensary of the Year, today announced that it has filed the applicable documentation required to complete an initial public offering (“IPO”) on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (“TASE”). Israeli investment firm Radhan, through its CEO Eden Ozeri and Founder Yuval Barak, has acted as financial advisor for FTE with attorneys Ilanit Landesman Yogev and Niv Sivan, partners in Herzog Fox & Neeman (“HFN”), as the Company’s local legal team. Radhan and HFN will continue in their capacities through the IPO.

“Selecting the appropriate market, partners and investors to support our long-term development has led us to the Israeli market,” said Dan Zaharoni, CEO of From The Earth. “I am very excited to launch our public offering with the support of a strong, local team with deep connections. This is a pivotal moment in the history of our company, and as we look to the opportunity ahead, we are well positioned as a company with strong and deeply rooted corporate values which will guide us on our next phase of growth.”

About From The Earth
From The Earth, a full spectrum cannabis lifestyle company founded by Kintu Patel and Jayson Quinones, is comprised of multiple entities and projects that make up a vertically integrated cannabis enterprise. With a team of experts in cultivation, manufacturing and retail sales, From The Earth has utilized cutting-edge technology, a commitment to quality and experienced personnel to create one of the most recognizable and well-respected brands in the cannabis industry

3 Best Practices for Cannabis Business Owners During a Crisis

3 best practices for cannabis retail business owners during a crisis

Three Best Practices for Cannabis Retail Business Owners During a Crisis

Kintu Patel
By: Kintu Patel
CONTRIBUTOR

Chief Operations Officer at From The Earth

Retail companies across the country have been forced to adapt to the abrupt changes in consumer habits and business regulations caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.

While many industries feel encumbered by this new retail environment, legal cannabis has risen to the occasion and found inventive ways to operate as an essential business while keeping surrounding communities safe.

Dispensaries are leading by example in the retail space by embracing proactive solutions in order to engage with customers, protect the safety of their employees, and give back to local communities.

As a business executive who has worked in the legal space for nearly a decade, I believe that these recent disruptions can highlight the industry’s resilient and inclusive spirit. In this time of unprecedented uncertainty, savvy cannabis retailers have redefined best practices in the industry that will likely persist even after The Great Lockdown ends.

Here are three key takeaways of the best practices cannabis companies can lean in to.

Embracing the modernization of cannabis retail
In many ways, the pandemic has served as a much-needed catalyst for modernization in the industry.

Unlike mainstream retailers, most dispensaries were operating in brick and mortar stores and only a select group of retailers were offering delivery services up until last month. Due to social distancing guidelines, many of these practices have changed almost overnight. Retailers must now have a streamlined e-commerce platform and offer delivery or pickup services in order to survive this crisis.

Although this adjustment period was cumbersome for several dispensaries at the beginning, most are now hitting their stride and utilizing digital tools to elevate cannabis consumer experiences. Since the legal industry is still in its infancy, most customers have not yet established a sense of brand familiarity as they have for mainstream products such as beverages or activewear.

This is where budtenders have traditionally bridged the gap by providing customized product recommendations and consumption guidelines in person. In an effort to preserve this vital consumer education and engagement channel, many dispensaries have opted to live stream budtender product demonstrations and Q&A sessions on platforms like Instagram and Zoom. Employing social media solutions not only provides additional accessibility for current customers but also creates an opportunity to reach new customers who previously were not able to physically visit the dispensary.

Retailers are also embracing digital platforms to create a safe and compliant environment for consumers who either choose to shop in-store or cannot get products delivered. Several dispensaries have rolled out virtual queueing services that allow recreational and medical customers to safely wait inside their cars while their pickup orders are being fulfilled. Medical dispensaries have also taken a cue from healthcare providers by offering telemedicine consultations to patients who have inquiries about dosage or consumption.

Fully integrating services like e-commerce and social media seminars and telemedicine into retail operations will not only streamline the experience for consumers but also allow the industry to stay competitive against mainstream product companies once cannabis is federally decriminalized.

Prioritizing employee safety and well-being
Recent headlines have highlighted how several national corporations were slow to provide adequate protective gear and compensation to essential workers during this pandemic, drawing ire from workers and lawmakers alike. Cannabis retailers have a unique opportunity to proactively demonstrate the industry’s genuine regard for dedication to health and well-being by making sure all retail staff has the resources they need to stay protected.

Many retailers have already taken safeguards like providing temperature checks, masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer to every employee interacting with customers and implementing stringent hygiene and social distancing protocols. Prioritizing the physical and mental well-being of staff is often the first step to ensuring a safe and positive retail experience for all.

Cannabis’ essential business status allows the industry to act as one of the few job creators during a period of staggering unemployment. Dispensaries that are expanding their delivery and pickup services should recruit within their surrounding communities to help local residents find gainful employment. Taking measures to actively contribute to local economies will set a positive example for corporate stewardship in mainstream industries.

Integrating community outreach in retail business models
The cannabis industry has been a community-driven business since the very beginning of the legalization movement, and several companies are now exemplifying the industry’s values by contributing financial and medical resources to local relief efforts. In recent weeks, vertically-integrated operations began manufacturing and distributing hand sanitizer, retailers partnered with cannabis brands to donate a portion of sales to food banks and community centers, and several cultivators donated their own personal protective equipment to medical workers.

For the majority of cannabis companies, these outreach efforts are not merely charitable gestures. They reflect a deep-seated sense of responsibility to serve and benefit surrounding communities. Retailers that integrate these principles into their corporate business models will not only be able to cultivate genuine and lasting relationships with their customers but can also play a critical role in normalizing the role of cannabis in modern society.

In all of my years working in the industry, I would have never expected to be warmly welcomed at police stations and children’s hospitals with a hand sanitizer delivery. In these challenging times, it is important for cannabis businesses to support any organization in need of help, even if they have not historically been allies on the legalization front. Underscoring the industry’s inclusive attitude and tangible contributions to society can help dismantle existing stigmas and start constructive conversations about the benefits and applications of the plant.

As the industry navigates through these extraordinary circumstances, retailers should allow their best practices to reflect the best aspects of legal cannabis as a whole. Cannabis companies have a momentous opportunity to show the country how we can lead as productive members of our business and social communities. Our actions during this crisis will likely determine how we are perceived for decades to come, and it is time to demonstrate how truly essential our services are.

 

Better Business: Industries Band Together to Fight Coronavirus

Better Business: Industries Band Together to Fight Coronavirus (Excerpt)

 

The coronavirus has impacted every aspect of the world, from how Americans shop and socialize to how they travel and work. Businesses are experiencing unprecedented disruptions in day-to-day operations, whether from social distancing requirements or changing attitudes towards spending.
In spite of the challenges, companies across a wide swathe of industries have found ways to give back to communities in their time of need. Here’s how several industries have reallocated their resources to give back:
 
CANNABIS 
Cannabis companies may have been left out of the federal stimulus plan — but that hasn’t stopped many from rising to assist in the fight against coronavirus.
“As a cannabis company, we are used to the short end of the stick,” said Dan Zaharoni, CEO of cannabis multistate operator From the Earth. “As horrific as this crisis is and as much as we hope it ends soon, I think it has also given us an opportunity to show how mainstream our industry is … and that we are taking action as a responsible steward of the resources and as a good neighbor in our community.”

California-based From the Earth is one of many cannabis companies leveraging its manufacturing capabilities and connections to chip in on the fight against coronavirus, despite a challenging year for the cannabis industry.
From the Earth allocated equipment and resources in its manufacturing facility in Desert Hot Springs, California, to make hand sanitizer for local hospitals and first responders. The multistate operator is currently producing about 20 to 25 gallons of FDA-approved sanitizer per day in the hopes of distributing about 100 gallons of sanitizer per week to hospitals and police departments across California and Michigan.

New England Treatment Access (NETA), a Parallel subsidiary which operates several Massachusetts-based dispensaries, partnered with more than a dozen cannabis companies to manufacture and donate hand sanitizer. Together, the group hopes to donate some 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer weekly to Massachusetts hospitals, even though the state has designated adult-use cannabis nonessential, taking a substantial bite out of sales.

“It is our mission to help improve the health and wellness of the people we serve. While this initiative is outside of what we typically do… it’s certainly something that we can do in this very very unique time to supplement those efforts especially at a time we are so restricted in terms of what we can offer,” said Amanda Rositano, regional president for Parallel Massachusetts.

Multistate operator Cresco Labs partnered with 90 restaurants across eight states in which it operates to deliver as many as 650 meals to its workforce daily. It’s Cresco’s push to protect its workers’ health while also supporting an industry that has been decimated by social distancing measures and forced closures in many states. The company has also taken to hiring laid off service industry workers as it attempts to maintain a robust workforce to support its essential operations.

“It is a way to show how our industry can be essential and how people can depend on it. It’s also a way we can support our local communities and work with regulators to show them how important this industry is,” Cresco Labs spokesperson Jason Erkes said.
Sublime Canna is employing a similar approach, hiring out-of-work temps, in Oakland, California.

Vape and accessories company Cloudious9 donated much-needed infrared thermometers to the San Francisco Fire Department and has leveraged its supply chain and connections abroad to help agencies source scarce personal protective equipment.

Cannabis extracts company Moxie donated 300 gallons of hand sanitizer to St. Francis Hospital Group in Southern California, as well as distributing hand sanitizer and homemade masks to dispensary partners, staff, and delivery customers. The company said it is in talks to produce hand sanitizer and masks at cost for larger hospital groups.

The coronavirus pandemic is just the latest blow for the cannabis industry, which has struggled after a particularly brutal year. Having disrupted most global industries in various ways, the pandemic has brought both victories and losses for the nascent cannabis industry.
When San Francisco became the first locality to designate cannabis businesses as “essential” services, sparking a wave of similar action across cities and states, the industry celebrated. Retail shops and delivery services also noted surges in demand in advance of lockdown measures as cannabis patients and enthusiasts alike rushed to stock up.

But when it came to federal assistance, the cannabis industry, which is still federally illegal, did not qualify for disaster relief perks like Small Business Administration-funded loans. The snub hasn’t, however, discouraged cannabis companies from contributing in various ways to the fight against coronavirus as a gesture of thanks and support for their local communities, first responders and those most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“As cannabis entrepreneurs, we are very lucky to get the support from our communities and local governments,” From the Earth’s Zaharoni said. “We want to give back. We want the communities that we are operating in to understand we are a vital part of their ecosystem, and when they are in need we are going to be there for them.”

— Chloe Aiello
 
 

From The Earth Expands to Kansas City, MO

Featured on FOX4, Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A popular California marijuana retailer soon will be part of five medical marijuana dispensaries opening in the Kansas City area.

The first “From The Earth” shop is getting ready to open at 62nd Street and Troost Avenue in August.

Workers have been busy renovating a former fast food restaurant into a medical marijuana dispensary.

Though the public health emergency has shut down so-called non-essential businesses, marijuana shops are on the essential list in Kansas City.

And the industry has continued to move ahead to begin selling cannabis later this year.

Other Missouri cities, including Springfield, Mo., have shut down marijuana businesses, even CBD oil shops, as non-essential.

In addition to the Troost location, there also will be “From The Earth” shops on Independence Avenue, Southwest Boulevard, Raytown, Mo., and in Independence, Mo.

“We are pretty much on the economic dividing line of Kansas City right here,” said Nate Ruby, president of Onyx 7. “A mile to the west, I think the average income is about $175,000. One mile to the east it’s around $30,000. So I thought this would be a great centralized location to kind of bring together two communities through cannabis.”

If social distancing continues through the summer, Ruby says his dispensary on Troost Avenue will offer delivery service from the first day it opens. The storefront also includes a drive through window for pickup of medical marijuana products.

Ruby says Missouri currently has about 45,000 medical marijuana patients, and has been adding about 1,000 new registrations a week.

All five “From The Earth” dispensaries are scheduled to open by the end of the year to meet the growing demand.


Source: https://fox4kc.com/news/coronavirus-hasnt-slowed-plans-for-medical-marijuana-in-kansas-city/

Desert Hot Springs Cannabis Company Using Production Line to Make Hand Sanitizer for Health Care Workers

Edward Reyes, left, and Steven Sharble of From The Earth manufacture hand sanitizer at the THC extraction facility to be given to local hospitals and first responders in Desert Hot Springs, April 2, 2020. (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)

A Desert Hot Springs cannabis company has found a way to repurpose their extraction facility as a hand sanitizer production line for the benefit of health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

From the Earth LLC makes THC distillate at its extraction facility located on the 160-acre Coachillin’ Canna-Business Park on Indian Canyon Drive. It opened in January, just a few months before the heightened spread of the coronavirus put a strain on much-needed sanitation supplies.

CEO Dan Zaharoni said one of his investors mentioned that their extraction equipment could be used for making hand sanitizer just a few days before California’s shelter-in-place order kicked in, around the same time demand for such products began to grow and the supply began to tighten.

After checking out newly issued guidelines with the Food and Drug Administration, Zaharoni figured out his company could order the simple ingredients — including ethyl alcohol — and produce 70 to 100 gallons of hand sanitizer week.

“It’s part of our civic duty,” Zaharoni said. “We’re very happy we have the facilities and the resources that we can help out during this crisis, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Typically the facility creates THC distillate, a kind of cannabis concentrate used in vape pens or edibles. The multi-step manufacturing process means that certain pieces of equipment aren’t in use at all times, so employees at the facility can mix up the hand sanitizer without affecting their current production timeline.

Once produced and packaged, the hand sanitizer will be donated to hospitals in the communities where From the Earth has facilities — the Coachella Valley, Ventura County, Pomona and Long Beach, Zaharoni said.

Production started this week and will continue for the foreseeable future.

“We’ll continue pushing out as much as we can produce, as long as there are people out there who can use it, as long as there’s a need,” he said.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group says the cost of hand sanitizer has skyrocketed since the World Health Organization declared a state of emergency on Jan. 30. The price is at least 50% higher than the 90-day average as the coronavirus spreads, U.S. PIRG said.

Like From the Earth, various companies have responded: some distillers began making hand sanitizer, as has CannaCraft, a Santa Rosa-based manufacturer that will donate the tubes to nonprofits, customers, employees and essential businesses.

The FDA announced guidelines for donated hand sanitizer on March 20, while acknowledging “significant supply disruptions for alcohol-based hand sanitizers.” The agency said it wouldn’t take action against any companies that stick to the guidelines even if they’re not recognized drug manufacturers.

Source: The Desert Sun
Melissa Daniels
April 2nd, 2020

An Important Message from our CEO about the Coronavirus

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE:

From The Earth has always been committed to serving our community and supporting our customers as they learn about cannabis, live with the benefits, and grow as individuals. In continuing this mission, and as a result of recent COVID-19 developments, we wanted to take a moment to communicate how we intend to protect the health and wellness of our team, members, brand partners, and general public.

Over the course of the past week, the concern regarding the impact of COVID-19 has heightened and so have our efforts to ensure your health and safety. It is our top priority and we will continue monitoring developments to adjust our strategies according to recommendations made by the CDC, federal, local, and state agencies.

Our current approach implements strategies to best protect our team and members, including the following measures:

  • To limit person-to-person contact, launching curb-side pickup option and protocol.
  • Reinforcing protocols surrounding health, hygiene, and cleaning throughout our locations and corporate office. Special attention is being paid to areas such as our lobby, showroom, display screens, countertops, common-use touchpoints, seating surfaces, and an overall increase in frequency of cleaning of our facilities.
  • Additional sanitizer will be placed throughout our locations and we encourage you to use it upon contact with any surfaces or people.
  • Maintaining regular internal communication to keep our teams informed of latest adjustments as they occur.
  • Suspension of all business-related travel and in-person meetings.
  • Reviewing and instituting measures to encourage self-monitoring and responsible symptom awareness, including providing our employees with an additional 5 days of sick leave the rest of 2020.

We ask that all members and staff stay home should they be experiencing symptoms of any illness, especially that of the flu. While the cannabis community is one of sharing, we encourage mindful consumption as a preventative measure as well.

Over the years, we’ve come to know many of you and understand that several of our members depend on the benefits achieved through use of the products we provide. Our medicinal members, who are at heightened risk, are dear to us and one of the most important reasons why we do what we do, so we ask that you please keep them in mind when moving in public spaces. We are doing everything we can to remain operational and able to provide support for our medicinal members.

In addition to the above measures and in anticipation of further developments, over the next few days, we will be launching our new curbside pick-up option in an effort to limit person-to-person contact.  In advance, we appreciate your patience as we roll out this new process. More information on this to follow.

Finally, and most importantly, I want to personally thank you for trusting us and remaining confident in our dedication to our community and each one of you individually. It is not an easy decision to encourage our team or members to stay home, as you are the very individuals who allow us to do what we love, in an industry we love. However, we know that such preventative measures will help to ensure the safety of all members of our communities, around the nation.

Dan Zaharoni,
Chief Executive Officer
From The Earth, LLC

(877) 278-1016