Cannabis Miracle Drug Breaks Through Legal Barriers

In what is being hailed as a landmark decision and historic first, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first drug with an active ingredient derived naturally from the cannabis plant. The FDA approved the drug, called Epidiolex, because it was proven to be effective in treating patients aged two and older who suffer from some rare and severe forms of epilepsy.

Developed by GW Pharmaceuticals, Epidiolex is derived from cannabidiol (CBD), a component of marijuana that does not cause intoxication. The ruling is historic because it removes a longstanding stigma associated with marijuana and opens the door for other cannabis drugs to gain approval.

Cannabis Gaining Respect

Besides spurring further research, the approval of Epidiolex should engender a more relaxed and open-minded attitude towards cannabis drugs. We recently discussed the shifting attitudes towards cannabis by politicians and the general public as seen in the warm welcome being received by new cannabis manufacturing plants being built.

“This approval is historic in that it allows us, as a pharmaceutical company, to talk about this product in the way that pharmaceutical companies normally talk about their drugs,” said GW Pharma CEO Justin Gover.

Despite a wealth of evidence that cannabis has significant medical benefits, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug that has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Thus, Epidiolex must be approved not only by the FDA, but by the DEA as well before it can be legally dispensed.

GW Pharma CEO Justin Gover sees no problem in the DEA reclassifying cannabis, pointing out that because the FDA’s approval is a determination of an accepted medical use, the DEA must recognize this, and Epidiolex will not remain classified as a Schedule 1 drug.

Hurdles Remain

The recognition that untapped curative powers reside in the cannabis plant is a big step forward in the mainstreaming of cannabis. However, there are still a considerable number of legal hurdles and institutionalized anti-cannabis sentiment that cannabis researchers must deal with.

As researcher Jacci Bainbridge reveals, she and other cannabis researchers are frustrated by the requirements imposed on them, including extra paperwork, committees, planning, and inspections—hurdles, she says, that researchers studying heroin don’t even have to face.

Even as the pendulum swings towards the acceptance of cannabis, the debate about the risks and benefits of cannabis is still being waged. There also are politicians and pundits who continue to demonize cannabis. Although Canada’s Senate voted to legalize cannabis, the bill was passed “over the objections of Conservative senators who remained resolutely opposed,” the Montreal Gazette reported.

Opponents will have an increasingly uphill battle as the medical benefits of cannabis continue to mount. As The Week reported, “The evidence suggests cannabis is a relatively safe drug that provides a host of medical benefits.”

Drug Source Should Not Be an Impediment

As GW Pharma CEO Justin Gover observed, the focus should be on the effectiveness of a drug rather than its origins, pointing out that there are very few medicines prescribed because of their origin as opposed to what they can do for a patient.

Although the FDA’a approval of Epidiolex is a historic milestone, said Gover, when it comes to physicians prescribing the drug, it’s about the efficacy and safety profile. Besides the FDA’s approval of Epidiolex, physicians will recognize the importance of positive studies that were published in The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet, he noted.

What’s Next?

While cannabis has been found to provide relief for a good number of ailments, researchers have only scratched the surface in uncovering its potential uses. “It’s actually quite amazing how little we really know about something that has been used for thousands of years,” said Sachin Patel, a cannabis researcher at Vanderbilt University.

The FDA’s approval of Epidiolex has observers speculating as to what will be the next cannabis drug to win approval. GW Pharma says it is developing a number of potential new cannabis-derived drugs for epilepsy, glioblastoma, and schizophrenia.

Interestingly, Epidiolex is not the world’s first plant-derived cannabinoid prescription drug. That honor goes to another GW Pharma drug called Sativex, which has been approved for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis in numerous countries outside the United States.

According to outsiderclub.com, a former GW Pharma medical director has left the company and is now chief medical officer at a new cannabis drug company that is developing a drug that kills cancer cells.

As the cannabis barriers continue to fall, it seems as if it will only be a matter of time the full spectrum of medical benefits are able to be discovered. As the Outsider Club reported:

“Marijuana is the real deal. It’s here to stay. Legalization timelines are being compressed and expedited. And it’s created hundreds of billions in new wealth.”

As the maker of the most modern, integrated, and scalable cannabis manufacturing solution, MaxQ has deep cannabis industry expertise. Contact us to learn more about the latest trends and management solutions in the cannabis manufacturing industry. 

 


New Feature in Advanced Billing: Generate Date Calculation

In the upcoming Release 18 of Advanced Billing for Acumatica, we added a requested feature for calculating a “generate date” based on the contract terms. If you have contract invoice terms of 30 days, meaning the bill is due 30 days after the invoice date, and you want to have the due date entered as the date of the generated invoice, the Advanced Billing system will calculate the date for you.

First, enter a contract and set the terms to 30 Days. Make sure “Back Off Generation Date by Term Date” is checked.

Next, Auto Generate Billing Schedule.

Contract schedules are created with the correctly calculated dates. Notice the beginning date of the contract and distribution period is still 8/1/2018, but the generation date has been recalculated to be 7/2/2018, so the due date of the invoice will be 8/1/2018.

MaxQ is a provider of advanced Acumatica business solutions across a wide range of applications and industries

Contact us to learn more about how MaxQ for Acumatica solutions can help your business.


A Big Shift in Attitude Is Positive for Cannabis Industry

The winds of change are blowing across the country as politicians and the public turn from hostility to a more accepting and welcoming attitude towards cannabis. The removal of political roadblocks is good news for cannabis manufacturers, as the market seems to have reached a tipping point with more and more states legalizing cannabis and the worldwide market expanding.

The expansion of cannabis manufacturing is continuing at a rapid pace throughout the United States. We’ve reported on new factories cropping up in Florida, Nevada, and California, and now another new plant is set to open in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the second cannabis operation to open in that state.

Getting on the Cannabis Bandwagon

As the number of cannabis manufacturing plants increases, we are seeing a steady stream of stories about changes to state laws, new permits being issued to manufacturers, and comments from state officials and local populations about the positive impact the cannabis industry is having on their region.

This turnaround is significant because even medical cannabis has taken a hit from politicians who have conflated medical and recreational marijuana while demonizing cannabis to the public. The tone is changing as we hear positive statements from politicians like Cedar Rapids city manager Jeff Pomeranz, who had only praise for the new cannabis plant in his district.

“It’s twenty-one new jobs, manufacturing in Cedar Rapids, it will be good for the people of Iowa, and it makes sense for Iowa’s second-largest city to have a plant,” said Pomerantz.

The Cedar Rapids plant is being built by Iowa Relieve, a subsidiary of Acreage Holdings, one of the largest medical cannabis manufacturers, with cultivation, processing, and dispensary operations in 12 states. Like MedMen and other major cannabis manufacturers, Acreage Farms is expanding rapidly and has plans to set up operations in New York, Florida, and Maryland this year. The company also has plans to become a publicly traded company in Canada.

Citing the growing recognition of the benefits of medical cannabis, Acreage Farms observed that, “As cannabis becomes legal across the country, we’re witnessing a pivotal moment in medical research and treatment — the kind of shift that changes lives for millions.”

No Federal Crackdown  in Massachusetts

Another positive sign for the cannabis industry is U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling issuing a statement that his office essentially will not interfere with the public consumption of recreational cannibis, which became legal in Massachusetts as of July 1. Lelling said his office would limit its enforcement activity to out-of-state sales, sales to minors, and organized crime.

As Jason Williams reported, this is big news and signals a huge win for the cannabis industry. “Even staunch opponents like Lelling are bending to the awesome might of this growing juggernaut,” said Wiliams.

Hope is seen on the federal level as well. As The New York Times reported, President Trump recently said he would likely support a bill introduced by Senators Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren to leave it up to individual states to legalize marijuana. This view is in “stark contrast” to the tough stance Trump and his administration have taken towards cannabis previously, said the report.

This new bill comes on the heels of a bill introduced by Senator Charles Schumer in April that would decriminalize cannabis on a federal level.

The cannabis industry has been operating under a cloud because of a conflict between federal and state laws. As Inc. reported, if these statutes pass, there could finally be a resolution to the “odd reality” in which selling a joint could land you in jail under federal law and give you a paycheck under state law.

As the maker of the most modern, integrated, and scalable cannabis manufacturing management solution, MaxQ has deep cannabis industry expertise. Contact us to learn more about the latest trends and business solutions in the cannabis manufacturing industry. 


Power BI Gives Businesses Super Powers

Since Microsoft’s Power BI launched as part of Office 365 in July 2013, it has evolved at a rapid pace and blossomed into a full-blown feature-rich modern business intelligence tool.

In July 2015, Power BI had 45,000 users worldwide. Today that number has grown to more than 5 million users.

What makes Power BI such a compelling business tool is a combination of strong data visualization capabilities, ease of use, and affordability (starting at free, with a Pro version priced at $10 per user per month). Moreover, Power BI can be accessed from the cloud, run as a desktop app, embedded in applications, integrated with other business planning tools, and optimized for mobile devices.

BI Barriers Fall

Years ago, obtaining the capabilities that Power BI provides required complex and expensive systems that had to be implemented by specially trained data scientists. A data scientist would develop a design concept and hope it would deliver the results you desired. Because of the cost, complexity, and specialized skill requirements, only the largest enterprises with the deepest pockets could afford these types of BI systems.

Power BI has changed the game, enabling small and midsize organizations to perform analyses and visualize data in ways that previously were prohibitively complex and expensive. Rather than the long development periods required to build these systems in the past (often weeks, months, and years), users can get accurate and actionable results in only a few hours. Moreover, real-time updates can be used to enable business managers to leverage a continual flow of insights.

Seeing how Power BI has been deployed by real-life companies shows the benefits that can be gained, as well as the ease and speed with which a Power BI application can be set up and immediately begin delivering useful insights.

Real-Time Insights Pay Dividends

Pizza Express in the UK was able to gain real-time insights and improve its business operations by deploying Power BI. As part of its strategy to expand worldwide, the company migrated all its data to the Azure cloud, created a data warehouse, and began using the data to make decisions based on its customers’ preferences.

Real-time monitoring comes from a tool called Event Stream that was built using Microsoft Event Hub and Data Factory. Besides giving managers an up-to-the-minute view of the business, it allows Pizza Express to track customer activity and make personalized offers. While in the past, building a tool like this would have been complex and time-consuming, Pizza Express was able to set it quickly using ready-made Microsoft tools.

Power BI has enabled Pizza Express to aggregate sales, customer, and operational data that used to reside in different places. The system enables the management team to combine all its key performance indicators (KPIs) to gain a comprehensive look at the company’s sales data, customer preferences, and profitability. Thirty regional managers can access the performance data on mobile devices to view results by region, area, and individual restaurant.

As Pizza Express IT director Siobhan Fagan noted, having precise information on demand means the company can be agile, decisive, and respond much better to its customers.

Better Management Through Power BI

The use of Power BI by Howell-Jones, a law firm in the UK, shows how not only law firms, but many types of agencies, can benefit from Power BI. As Howell-Jones operations director Chris Cato notes, personalized dashboards with complex data could be spun up in minutes by non-IT staff to deliver insights throughout the firm. Team leaders could use Power BI to manage caseloads across entire teams, distributing work to maximize collective output.

The Howell-Jones management team was able to generate high-level visual reports that were updated in real-time, which they could drill down into to analyze all aspects of the business, such as lawyer’s workloads, fees vs. targets, billable hours vs. targets, time from enquiry to billing, cross-department work referrals, and more. In addition, financial insights that previously were available exclusively to the management team could be surfaced and shared around the business.

The marketing team could see real-time inquiries and divert spending to take advantage of opportunities as they arose. The marketers also could drill into the data to refine their strategy based on the results of individual campaigns, how initiatives converted to new clients, and the lifetime value of marketing investments.

New Doors Open  

As these case studies show, Power BI is a game changer, making possible analyses and visualizations that had previously been too difficult and too expensive for most businesses. While the examples above involve the hospitality and legal sectors, the same techniques can be applied to any type of business to realize similar benefits.

We’ll continue looking at how Power BI is unlocking new possibilities across various industries in future posts.

MaxQ Technologies provides state-of-the-art Power BI solutions and incorporates Power BI within advanced business solution suites. Contact us to learn more about Power BI and how your business could benefit from a Power BI solution.

 

 


Cannabis Market Goes Ballistic

We knew the cannabis market was hot, but the latest studies show the cannabis industry skyrocketing beyond analysts’ previous expectations. Surprised that legalization and demand are expanding the cannabis market at such an accelerated pace, analysts are scrambling to revise their projections upward.

“While it seems every year means a new monstrous projection about the size of the cannabis market, this year’s projection is especially large,” cannibisnow.com reports.

The latest “State of Legal Marijuana Markets” report by Arcview Group and BDS Analytics, which cannibisnow.com considers the “gold standard of marijuana industry data research,” shows the global legal cannabis industry tripling over the next five years, reaching $32 billion dollars by 2022.

Cowen & Co. sees even bigger growth, raising its estimate of the legal cannabis market by a whopping $25 billion and projecting the cannabis industry will hit $75 billion in sales by 2030. Cowen says that its previous forecast of a total cannabis market of $50 billion by 2026 is no longer valid because “new forecasts suggest that the market is already that size.”

Grand View Research’s recent study sees the global medical marijuana market reaching a value of $55.8 billion by 2025. Over the past few years, the number of companies operating in the cannabis market has increased exponentially, the study says, and the market is expected to expand significantly because of legalization in several countries and the high demand for medical and recreational cannabis.

Legalization Drives Expansion

Even these bullish forecasts pale in comparison with that of European investment bank Bryan, Garnier & Co., which sees the legal global cannabis market poised for growth of more than 1,000% over the next decade, reaching $140 billion by 2027.

Legalization seems to be creating its own momentum, the report says, citing the legalization of cannabis worldwide as the driver behind a “rapidly expanding industry.”

Similarly, Market News Updates reports that the international cannabis industry “continues to blaze red hot” based on the findings of the Brightfield Group, which sees the market growing at a compound annual growth rate of 60% each year and reaching more than $30 billion by 2021. As with other market analysts, the Brightfield Group sees deregulation and increased consumer interest as the driving factors.

Surprising Global Growth

Arcview VP David Abernathy said the most surprising thing contributing to the cannabis market’s accelerated growth this year was the rise of international markets. Arcview analyst Tom Adams agreed, arguing that Germany’s move to make cannabis flower available for medical use in pharmacies was the big news of 2017 from a worldwide perspective. “The tables have turned in favor of legalization across the world,” said Adams.

Grand View Research sees Europe eclipsing North America as the largest market for legal cannabis by the end of its forecast period, with a 55.6% share in 2025. Arcview voiced a similar view, noting that Europe, which has 739 million people and more than $1.5 trillion in healthcare spending, has the potential to be the largest medical cannabis market in the world. South America and Australia also are seen as large burgeoning markets.

As money.cnn.com reports, the game is about to get a lot bigger as more and more North American territories join the legal cannabis market. In California alone, the opening of recreational dispensaries in January boosted the pool of legal marijuana users from 17 million to 47 million.

Analysts see the North American cannabis market accelerating further in 2018 as legal markets begin taking off in Canada, Massachusetts, Florida, and Nevada, with Maine, Vermont, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, West Virginia, and very likely New Jersey, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Arizona following suit.

Pot Tops Soda Pop

In sizing up the surging cannabis market, Bloomberg observes that sales of legal marijuana are projected to eclipse those of soda pop in 2030 based on Cowen & Co.’s projection that the U.S. legal cannabis industry will reach $75 billion in sales by 2030.

Comparing cannabis with other commodity markets, a case can be made for the cannabis market being larger than that of corn, cotton, wheat, and coffee based on UN data that valued the illegal cannabis market at more than $140 billion in 2003. The global market for coffee, which is one of the world’s most valuable commodities, is valued at about $100 billion per year.

Follow the Money

Another sign of the cannabis market’s surging value are the steeply climbing valuations of publicly traded cannabis companies like Canopy Growth Corporation, whose stock price has risen from $1 to $24, an increase of 2,081%, over the last two years. As Wealth Daily notes, marijuana is no longer an underground drug pedaled by criminals, rather “a viable industry that’s making investors an absolute fortune.”

As cannabis legalization becomes more widespread and cannabis production increases, the price of cannabis will continue to drop, which will continue to put pressure on manufacturers’ margins. Since 2015, the wholesale price of marijuana has fallen from around $2,100 per pound to $1,600 per pound.

For cannabis manufacturers, competition will intensify as investment dollars pour in and more producers enter the market, causing margins to shrink even further. Besides successful branding, manufacturers will look to gain competitive advantages by employing advanced cultivation technologies and cannabis management systems that streamline operations, control costs, and maximize efficiency.

As the maker of the most modern, integrated, and scalable cannabis manufacturing solution, MaxQ has deep cannabis industry expertise. Contact us to learn more about the latest trends and management solutions in the cannabis manufacturing industry. 


How Do the Different Revenue Recognition Methods in Acumatica Affect Revenue Recognition?

In this series, we answer real-life questions from Acumatica users

QUESTION: How do the different revenue recognition methods in Acumatica affect revenue recognition?

ANSWER:  Recognition methods determine how a deferred revenue or expense amount will be distributed over a defined number of periods. Within Acumatica, you can specify a particular recognition method in the settings of each deferral code on the Deferral Codes form, and can assign a deferral code to a line of an invoice or bill. Revenues can be deferred in a number of ways and over different time periods that you select. Besides choosing a recognition method, you must input the beginning and end dates.

Acumatica enables you to choose the revenue recognition method that best meets your needs. Following are examples of five recognition methods that can be selected within Acumatica ERP, including:

  • Evenly by Periods
  • Evenly by Periods, Prorate by Days
  • Evenly by Days in Period
  • Flexible by Periods, Prorate by Days
  • Flexible by Days in Period

The screen below shows an invoice generated in Acumatica for $7,500 of revenue that is recognized evenly over a five-quarter schedule:

Evenly by Periods

With the Evenly by Periods recognition method, the amount to be recognized is distributed evenly among all included periods. The number of recognition periods is defined by the value you specify in the Occurrences box for the deferral code on the Deferral Codes form.

The screen below shows how you set the Deferral Code for Quarterly Evenly by Periods over a three-period range:

The screen below shows the deferral schedule that is generated:

Evenly by Periods, Prorate by Days

With the Evenly by Periods, Prorate by Days method, the amount to be recognized is distributed evenly among recognition periods (the number of which is defined by the value specified in the Occurrences box on the Deferral Codes form). The first and last periods are counted together as one recognition period and the amount to be recognized for each is proportional to the number of days in each period.

The frequency of occurrences depends on the number of financial periods you select in the Every X Period(s) box. The installment amounts for the first and last periods are calculated based on a full-period amount that is proportional to the number of days each installment should cover.

The screen below shows how you set the Deferral Code for Quarterly Evenly by Periods, Prorate Days over a three-period range:

The screen below shows the deferral schedule that is generated:

Evenly by Days in Period

With the Evenly by Days in Period method, the amount to be recognized is distributed by periods with a proportional division by the number of calendar days in each period. The number of recognition periods is defined by the value specified in the Occurrences box in the deferral code settings on the Deferral Codes form. An occurrence is a recurring recognition event for which a recognition transaction is generated. The frequency of occurrences depends on the number of financial periods you select in the Every X Period(s) box.

The screen below shows how you set the Deferral Code for Quarterly Evenly by Days in Period over a three-period range:

  

The screen below shows the deferral schedule that is generated:

  

 Flexible by Periods, Prorate Days

With the Flexible by Periods, Prorate by Days method, the amount to be recognized is distributed evenly among periods, with a proportional division by days among the first and last periods. The first and the last periods may be less than a full period, depending on the start recognition date and the final recognition date specified in a particular document (such as AR invoice). The number of recognition periods is defined by the recognition dates specified in a document.

The screen below shows how you set the Deferral Code for Flexible by Periods, Prorate Days:

The screen below shows the deferral schedule that is generated:

Flexible by Days in Period

With the Flexible by Days in Period method, the amount to be recognized is distributed among periods, according to the number of calendar days in each particular period. The start date and the final date of the recognition process is specified individually for each line of a particular AR document (such as AR invoice or cash sale).

The screen below shows how you set the Deferral Code for Flexible by Days in Period:

The screen below shows the deferral schedule that is generated:

MaxQ is a provider of advanced Acumatica business solutions across a wide range of applications and industries

Contact us to learn more about how MaxQ for Acumatica solutions can help your business.

 


MS Dynamics SL Credit Card Security Fix

Microsoft Dynamics SL users have encountered a problem in which their application crashes when they attempt to transmit a credit card transaction. The problem is rooted in the TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol, the cryptographic protocol that provides security over a computer network.

The steps to resolve the issue are as follows:

  1. Open Windows Powershell as an administrator
  2. Run the following script: [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol which should return the following results:

As you can see, only include Tls as opposed to Tls12

  1. Run the following scripts:

Set-ItemProperty -Path ‘HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\.NetFramework\v4.0.30319’ -Name ‘SchUseStrongCrypto’ -Value ‘1’ -Type DWord

Set-ItemProperty -Path ‘HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\.NetFramework\v4.0.30319’ -Name ‘SchUseStrongCrypto’ -Value ‘1’ -Type Dword

  1. Restart Windows Powershell and run the first script once again: [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol, which should now return results that include TLS 1.2

References to TLS 1.2:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa380516(v=vs.85).aspx

Example of Merchant’s requirement to move to TLS 1.2:

https://support.payeezy.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002769907-Payeezy-Gateway-Security-Protocol-Update-to-TLS-v1-2

MaxQ Technologies is a  Microsoft Gold Business Partner and creator of advanced Microsoft Dynamics business solutions. Contact us to learn more about how MaxQ solutions for Microsoft Dynamics can help your business.


MedMen Takes Cannabis Manufacturing to the Next Level

We have been following the industrialization of cannabis manufacturing as the cannabis industry expands rapidly into a booming multi-billion-dollar business. An indicator of where things are heading is the large-scale expansion of MedMen, which is multiplying its production capability by creating three ultra-modern cannabis manufacturing operations in Nevada, California, and New York.

MedMen launched the first of its new large-scale cannabis factories in April in Sparks, Nevada.  At the opening ceremony, MedMen CEO Adam Bierman described the plant as the most advanced cannabis facility in the world.

In May, MedMen began construction of a factory in Desert Springs, California, which is scheduled to open in 2019. A third factory will be built in Utica New York starting sometime this year.

The Desert Hot Springs and Utica facilities will duplicate the $15 million Nevada plant, which features a 26,000-square-foot greenhouse with a fully controlled environment and a 19,000-square-foot manufacturing wing. Each factory will be capable of producing 10,000 pounds of high-quality cannabis annually.

Raising the Bar with Agriscience

MedMen’s Nevada plant produces premium-grade cannabis products using the latest agronomic technology and sustainable techniques. The facility features state-of-the-art greenhouses manufactured in Holland, within which the company employs advanced growth methods while adhering to standards of the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

The cannabis plants are raised in a closed-loop, completely controlled environment in which computers monitor the temperature, humidity, and light to which the plants are exposed. All water used in the growing and processing of cannabis plants is recycled, and no pesticides are used.

Contamination is kept to a minimum by requiring workers to don lab coats, scrubs, shoe slip-ons, and hair nets, and to immerse their hands in special scouring machines before entering the work environment.

Quality Control & Cloning

An advanced cultivation technique employed in the MedMen plant is a tissue culture lab that multiplies the cannabis plants through micro-propagation. Exceptional strains of cannabis plants are divided into multiple pieces to replicate them exactly and ensure consistency across all products.

After a plant is divided, its pieces are regrown in a growth chamber for 20-40 days before being transferred to an acclimatization/vegetation room. The plants are nurtured in a flowering room with a 25,000-plant capacity that makes the facility one of the largest cannabis manufacturing facilities in operation. Lighting is adjusted to suit different phases of the growing process.

Modernized Manufacturing

State-of-the-art machinery pervades the entire MedMen operation. The trim room features a floor-to-ceiling safe that stores up to 1,000 pounds of flower and huge grinding and rolling machines that crush the flower and pump out thousands of pre-rolls.

The extraction room houses a double-barreled extractor nicknamed “Mustang Sally” that compresses CO2 in the cannabis and produces crude terpenes.

The refining room has most of its equipment enclosed in glass so that staff can view all stages of the process of refining terpenes, CBDs, and other extracts.

The facility also includes an in-house laboratory to ensure consistency and plant optimization. Test samples are taken throughout the manufacturing process to determine whether all cannabinoids are being extracted from the plant material, whether the potency is in the target range, and whether all impurities have been removed.

The facility has two kitchens that produce chocolates and baked goods. Over time, MedMen plans to produce tinctures, lotions, edibles, and drinks under its own unique brand, similar to Costco’s Kirkland line.

Setting the Standard

MedMen says it is “writing the book on the modern cannabis industry, from how facilities are designed and constructed to setting the bar on quality and excellence.”

Besides creating world-class manufacturing facilities, the company is raising the bar on dispensaries as well. In April, MedMen opened a new flagship retail outlet on Fifth Avenue in New York City that mimics the look and feel of Apple stores. The elegantly designed shop is staffed by well-trained sales assistants and equipped with iPads for customers to browse and research products.

MedMed currently operates 12 cannabis outlets in California, Nevada, and New York, and plans to expand the number of dispensaries in Nevada from one to three. The company’s Sun Valley facility is used primarily as a research and development site to test different cultivation techniques and technology, such as LED lights.

As The Cannabis Trend Report 2018 notes, driven by a revolution in cannabis research and farming techniques, the marijuana industry in five years will look very different than it does today. MedMen is among the companies leading the way in developing the manufacturing techniques that will make the next generation of cannabis production a reality.

As the maker of the most modern, integrated, and scalable cannabis manufacturing solution, MaxQ has deep cannabis industry expertise. Contact us to learn more about the latest trends and management solutions in the cannabis manufacturing industry. 

 


Power BI Desktop Adds Filtering and Sorting in the Data View – Finally!

Veteran Excel users like myself, who use filtering and sorting in the data view of Power Pivot, were surprised and disappointed to find that Power BI lacked this capability. Early on I would build and debug a model in Power Pivot and would then import the Excel file to Power BI (this also allowed me to set a date table, another missing Power BI feature that has since been added).

Lately I have been building models in Power BI, but many times have been forced to use Excel to debug and validate the data. Finally, with the June release of Power BI, we no longer need to resort to using Excel, making Power BI Desktop much more productive.

Above: A Power BI Desktop screen showing the tool’s new sorting capability.

Contact us to learn more about how Power BI solutions for Acumatica and Microsoft Dynamics can help your business.


Cannabis Packaging Gets Sophisticated

As cannabis products and user tastes become more sophisticated,  cannabis package design is following suit. With exotic names and novel products now an integral part of cannabis manufacturers’ retail and marketing strategies, creative packaging has become a way for producers to distinguish their brands.

The packages seen in dispensaries today are a far cry from the plastic sandwich bags that were the common way of distributing marijuana in the days before cannabis became legalized. Legalization also has brought new laws that define what is required and what is disallowed in cannabis packaging.

Childproof Protection

Twenty-four states have introduced laws governing the packaging of cannabis products. While their guidelines may differ, a common factor across all the states’ laws is the requirement that cannabis packaging be tamper-proof and child-resistant. The laws also aim to prevent children from gaining access to cannabis products because of improper labeling and packaging.

The laws prohibit names and imagery on the packaging of cannabis products that would mislead children into thinking the products were intended for children. In Oregon, for example, the state’s Liquor and Control Commission (OLCC) ruled that “kid-friendly” names like “Girl Scout Cookies,” “Candyland,” “Cinderella 99,” and “Charlotte’s Web” were prohibited.

Double Standard

However, as Allie Beckett on marijuana.com points out, these naming prohibitions do not apply to alcohol, a more dangerous substance for which there are numerous childlike brand names on the market, such as “Hello Kitty.” The underlying aim of the cannabis naming laws, she suggests, could be to restrict cannabis producers from using the international trademarks of giant corporations like Disney.

Another requirement among seven states that have legalized cannabis (Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Oregon) is that cannabis packaging must be opaque, with the product unable to be seen until the container is opened. Here too, cannabis is being restricted in ways alcohol is not. Being able to see a cannabis bud’s color and texture is part of its allure, just as a liquor’s color is part of its attraction for consumers.

Creative New Designs

Despite the restrictions, innovative packaging designs are emerging as more top-tier professional package designers get involved. Award-winning designer Edward Kilduff has fielded the Pollen Gear line of cannabis containers that includes glass jars, plastic rectangles, and zipper pouches.

Kilduff said he came up with the idea for his line of marijuana packaging after he learned that many people were using his EVAK coffee container to store their marijuana. What people were looking for were containers that were airtight and childproof. He said he researched the cannabis package design space and found that “there were not any design guys who were creating solutions.”

Elegant and Artistic Designs

Another firm that has developed a distinctive styling for its cannabis brands is Canndescent, which has introduced packaging to match what it calls its “ultra-premium” product line. A guiding principle in the design was to create a clean look that would be less intimidating to new cannabis buyers and attractive enough to entice experienced connoisseurs.

Also taking an artistic approach to cannabis packaging is the 1964 Supply Co., which recruits world-renowned artists to visualize the company’s line of cannabis products that are crafted to provide “a selection of strains to suit every mood.”  The artists supply packaging imagery for products with colorful names like Train Wreck, Super Silver Haze, Blue Dream, and Strawberry Diesel.

Tuna-Style Cans Seal in Freshness

Another cannabis packaging trend that is gaining popularity is the tuna-style can. This type of packaging hermetically seals the cannabis product in nitrogen after removing the oxygen. Oxygen and light are enemies to preserving the freshness of cannabis, and oxidation will degrade the plant material and cause mold, yeast, and other potentially harmful bacteria to form.

Although the tuna-style method has been used in the food industry for many years, only recently have companies like West Coast Cure and N2 Packaging Systems begun to apply it to cannabis packaging. As N2 Packaging Systems CEO Scott Martin points out, preserving the freshness of cannabis in this manner is probably more of an asset to larger-scale producers that want to keep their product consistent as supply ramps up. That way, he noted, the consumer always experiences the product as fresh as the day it was packaged.

Environmentally Friendly Packaging

With marijuana being so closely associated with the social consciousness of the ‘60s, it is no surprise to see the green movement informing the packaging of cannabis. Reusable and biodegradable packaging is becoming more popular not only because of its environmental friendliness, but to save money as well.

Among the packaging companies providing eco-friendly cannabis packaging, Sun Grown Packaging boasts of being the first to file a patent for a recyclable, compostable, child-resistant cannabis package. A cannabis grower that exemplifies the concept of responsible farming is Lowell Herb Co., which has fully embraced the philosophy of organically grown cannabis and all-natural packaging materials.

As we can see, cannabis product packaging has taken a big leap beyond the rudimentary packaging of the counterculture days. As cannabis consumption and manufacturing continue to expand exponentially, we can expect to see a similar rise in the innovation and artistry that is transforming the packaging of cannabis products.

As the maker of the most modern, integrated, and scalable cannabis manufacturing management solution, MaxQ has deep cannabis industry expertise. Contact us to learn more about the latest trends and business solutions in the cannabis manufacturing industry.