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Apple Is Still A Better Investment Than Cannabis Industry

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Apple Is Still A Better Investment Than Cannabis Industry

The marijuana industry is starting to look like the next big thing. Nearly every major beverage company has either jumped into the cannabis space or they are in talks about bringing their own unique brand of THC or CBD infused drink to market. These types of developments have given pot stocks the appearance of a wounded animal, and all of the wolves and wannabe’s of Wall Street are desperate for a piece.

But the hype is getting ridiculous. It’s to the point where it is almost impossible to do a Google search for “marijuana” without being bombarded by headlines claiming that pot investments are the magic key to financial freedom.

This kind of news is especially misleading for longtime cannabis advocates who have waited decades for their precious plant to be recognized as the cash crop they always knew it could be. Many of these folks are first-time investors, and they are champing at the bit to put their life savings to work for them in the world of weed. Some are not even worried about the potential risks, because, after all, the business of growing and selling marijuana is such a flourishing industry, it can’t miss, right?

Well, not necessarily.

At this point in the game, marijuana stocks are grossly overvalued. Even the best-looking horse in the race could still trip and fall somewhere near the finish line and end up snapping its neck. At the moment, investors are throwing so much money at any cannabis company with a logo and letterhead that price-to-sales ratios for these firms are imbalanced. This means a cannabis business could be worth billions on paper while bringing in less than impressive sales. Many of these stocks are so inflated that they could be construed as better buys than some of the leading stocks on the S&P 500.

But it is all an illusion.

Some experts compare what is happening right now with cannabis stocks to the dot-com boom. And anyone that was part of that nightmare understands that these kinds of speculative investments – the act of dumping cash into what looks like the next best thing — can go south fast. Cryptocurrency is another prime example of investors sucking up to the get-rich-quick dream. Almost always, when people start getting wrapped up in the hype, substantial amounts of money are lost in the end.

If you’re reading this article and thinking, “I don’t give a damn what the experts say, I’m putting my money on weed,” there are still some important details that need to be considered.

First, in order to invest in the cannabis industry, a potential investor must find a securities firm that is willing to advise clients on this particular market. And it can be tricky. Because marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, many investment companies are shying away from these types of trades for fear that they could get caught up in the crackdown tactics of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. And trying to invest in the Canadian cannabis market, which is set to go fully legal in a matter of weeks, can also prove challenging.

Tim Phillips, president of the Illinois-based Jade Investments & Retirement Solutions and financial advisor for Raymond James, told Forbes that each investment operation is “making its own decision as to whether it will trade shares of companies associated with the cannabis market.”

So even if someone wants to invest in cannabis, they may have to do some searching around before tracking down a consultant who is willing to facilitate.

Secondly, since pot stocks are overvalued and especially considering that the cannabis industry is far from reaching maturity, Phillips argues that there are better investments to be had. He believes companies like Apple still have more potential than anything connected to the cannabis.

“We like the Apple story,” he said. “Take this week’s unveiling of the Series 4 Apple watch. The technology is opening a new platform for Apple in the area of health-related devices. The company realizes that most of its revenue was tied to device sales. Now, it wants to increase revenue in services, such as AppleCare and cloud storage.

“We believe this promise of growing revenue in services will help alleviate some of the pressure Apple may have experienced in the past to put up blockbuster numbers with the release of each new iPhone,” he added. “Keeping in mind that every investor’s circumstance is different, it may not be suitable for all, so I would encourage you to speak with a financial professional prior to making an investment decision.”

Other investment professionals agree that Apple is strong. A recent article from Seeking Alpha suggests that the growth behind the company’s service revenue, solid advancements with new iPhones and steady gains after hitting the $1 trillion cap makes the stock a promising buy for long-term investors.

But for those people adamant about investing in the cannabis trade, Phillips says it is best to err on the side of caution.

“I would stress understanding the risks involved, such as the political risks, and exchange rates between Canadian and American currency,” he said. “I would not recommend investing any more money than you are willing to lose.”

Disclaimer: Mike Adams does not own stock in Apple, nor does he have any investments associated with the cannabis industry.

The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Opinions expressed are those of Timothy A. Phillips and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., its affiliates, officers, directors or branch offices may in the normal course of business have a position in any securities mentioned in this report. This information is not intended as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security referred to herein. Investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance may not be indicative of future results.

Mike Adams is a contributing writer for Forbes, Cannabis Now and BroBible. His work has also appeared in High Times. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Article originally found at https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeadams/2018/09/23/apple-is-still-a-better-investment-than-cannabis-industry/

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Marijuana and CBD companies can’t advertise on Facebook and Google, so they’re getting creative – CNBC

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David Bozin used to get cuts and scratches on his arms when it came time to bathe his golden retriever, Jax, who rebelled against the prospect of being dunked in water.

Then he learned that dogs, like humans, respond to the properties of cannabidiol, also known as CBD, a cannabis compound that helps the body relax without producing intoxicating effects. Bozin got to work on a line of CBD-infused dog products, including a dry shampoo and puppy treats, that he calls ZenPup.

But in trying to find customers for his new company, Bozin faces a unique challenge in today’s market. He doesn’t have access to Google, Facebook or Instagram (owned by Facebook), which have banned CBD and marijuana promotions. The two dominant online advertising platforms account for 57 percent of the U.S. digital ad market, according to eMarketer, and almost all emerging brands today count on Google’s search ads and Facebook’s precision targeting to efficiently get the word out.

“Facebook is not the end all, be all. Instagram is not the end all, be all,” Bozin told CNBC. “Does that mean you’re not going to see as much traffic at the get go? Sure. But at the end of the day the most important point is conversion,” or getting people to buy your products, he said.

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in 10 states and Washington, D.C., and available for medical purposes in many others parts of the country. CBD is a bit more complicated because the laws are murky.

Currently, 47 states allow some form of CBD sales. The 2018 Farm Bill, which Congress passed this week, allows states to decide if CBD products made from hemp can be sold in their jurisdiction. However, it doesn’t protect the products from the Food and Drug Administration, which can penalize companies for making inaccurate health claims.

“We avoid talking about anything too specific about what the product will do,” said Cary Smith, senior vice president at agency North 6th Agency. “If you come from an educational standpoint, you skew towards less restrictions, and have a bit of a larger organic reach.”

With so much uncertainty in the market, Google and Facebook have shied away from allowing marijuana and CBD advertising, taking a similar approach to how they handle tobacco and related paraphernalia. When it comes to alcohol, Google prohibits companies from targeting underage users or promoting unsafe behavior, while alcohol advertising on Facebook has to adhere to local laws.

In the absence of Google and Facebook, ZenPup has been forced to find alternative ways to launch its products. The co-founders, who worked in marketing and public relations, are spending time building relationships with media companies, high-end dispensaries and pet accessory retailers, along with other brands that might be open to partnering with a CBD provider. They’re finding popular social media influencers, who can support the products organically on their accounts.

ZenPup has also focused on clean, attractive packaging so that it’s appealing for “shelfies,” or staged product photos that people post on their feeds.

“Those younger consumers are looking for something different from an aesthetic standpoint, that also is top quality and at a good price point,” said Nicholas Weatherhead, ZenPup’s chief marketing officer and co-founder.

Other approaches are available to CBD companies, depending on the specific industry. Hillary Wirth, media director at the agency Noble People, said there are plenty of ways to get your brand in the right place.

To promote Viceland’s digital show “Weed Week,” in April Noble People bought local and national TV ads with DirecTV and Comcast, as well as on channels like IFC , USA and BBC America, and focused on pornography site Pornhub. There are also digital ad networks like like Traffic Roots that allow marijuana and CBD ads.

“So you can’t advertise on Facebook or Google – it’s not the end of the world,” said Wirth. “There are plenty of other media channels that will get you contextually next to relevant weed content.”

Noble People got creative in other ways. The firm organized a Washington, D.C., Viceland event to allow people to “Smoke Weed with Jeff Sessions.” But it wasn’t the former attorney general — just a man from Wisconsin with the same name.

Another approach is storytelling and finding a narrative that can generate PR.

For example, branding agency Abel told the story of Charlotte’s Web, a dietary supplement company named after Charlotte Figi, a young girl who suffered from epileptic seizures. With the help of CBD, Figi was able to to reduce her seizures and improve her health.

With “brands like Charlotte’s Web, the founders, who are very positive about the cannabis opportunities, have been able able to use PR as a marketing channel,” Abel CEO Julian Shiff said. “The word of mouth is so strong they are developing a tribe around their brand.”

Sponsoring sporting events and concerts are effective ways to find brand resonance. Smaller gatherings can work as well. Recess, which makes a CBD-infused seltzer, holds information events at places like hip-hop yoga chain Y7 Studio and samplings at Rise by WeWork. The company is based around a beverage, but it’s really trying to sell a lifestyle, said CEO and founder Ben Witte, who used to run mobile strategy for ad tech company AdRoll.

Witte said Recess has reached 50 times its projected sales this year, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The product is mostly sold online, but is also available in New York City stores.

“The most important thing is to have a clear mission and purpose,” Witte said. “The best way to communicate that mission and purpose is not through a Google or Facebook ad.”

Original Article at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/14/facebook-google-dont-allow-cbd-ads-so-zenpup-has-to-get-creative.html

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How Cannabis Could Become The Next Real Estate Disrupter – Forbes

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Outdoor restaurant renderingDesign by M-Rad Inc.

For a while it looked like the best thing to bring to a neighborhood was a new Whole Foods grocery store. One study showed that homes in these neighborhoods would appreciate at a much faster rate than if they were near a Trader Joe’s (and both were better than a Starbucks). Another sign a neighborhood is on the cusp of revitalization is when the yoga studios start vying for space with the arthouses. Usually it is not long after that the expensive coffee shops and cupcake stores start showing up at street level. But now that so many states have passed laws favorable to the marijuana movement, the next big thing to bring a neighborhood back from the brink just might be the increasing number of organizations that work in the industry.

Downtown Los Angeles could be the first case study to see this phenomenon in action. Next month, a seven-story building in the heart of Los Angeles’ Jewelry District will open up, filled with tenants who all have cannabis somewhere in their job description. The 67,000-square-foot Green Street Building (the name is in reference to its anchor tenant, the Green St. Agency, which works solely with clients in the marijuana industry) will house everything from co-working spaces to an art gallery, dispensary, restaurant, law firm, luxury spa and lounge. Real estate investment company Bow West Capital purchased the property last year for a reported $14 million. Once open it will be the largest real estate space dedicated to cannabis in the U.S.

“The buildings in [the Jewelry District] have not received the proper upkeep, allowing for low sale prices of the buildings but also requiring full renovations,” said Matthew Rosenberg, CEO and Founder of M-Rad, Inc, the design team behind the project. “With the prosperity and funding in the cannabis industry on the rise, this is a perfect combination for this exciting new industry to make this area their home, with Green St. being the catalyst.”

While there are not many residential properties for sale within the Jewelry District itself, data from Realtor.com shows the few that are on the market have a median asking price of $525,000. Surrounding neighborhoods vary quite a bit with the neighborhood of Florence-Graham about five miles away to the southwest seeing median list prices of $440,000 compared to Greater Wilshire a few miles to the northeast seeing median list prices of $1.7 million.

Lounge renderingDesign by M-Rad Inc.

M-Rad took the 1913 building and completely renovated the interiors to create mixed-use spaces that cater both to the requirements of offices and restaurants as well as the unique needs of cannabis companies. They needed to create the right proportion of an open-plan design matched with a set of cloistered, secluded rooms for those who want privacy. Here are some images of the interior provided exclusively to Forbes.

For example one concept for behind the hidden door of the library bookshelf could be the Bud Bar, with a custom-designed table. (Interested? A Forbes contributor put together a Gift Guide which includes some of the most unique marijuana rolling papers, with some that are made from gold and others that look like money.)

Concept of tableDesign by M-Rad Inc.

The lounge, MOTA—which if, like me, you didn’t know is a Spanish slang term for marijuana (at least one dispensary out there has ascribed the words Medicine Of The Angels to the letters, but the term doesn’t have its origins as an acronym)—will complement the restaurant which may prepare cannabis-infused menu items and have a U-shaped bar designed specifically for potential cannabis tastings. It will also have fully transparent windows into the kitchen so guests can see the food being prepared. Sound-proof rooms are also available for private meetings and the Flower Room can be a designated smoking area. [Update: The design team followed up after this was published to clarify these features are just in concept stage and have not been confirmed or approved. No cannabis products will be sold on site based on current plans.]

MOTA Cafe renderingDesign by M-Rad, Inc.

“The companies who are part of the building are some of the biggest players in the industry,” says Rosenberg. “Which will bring in high-level clientele and investors who may feel encouraged to invest in the development of the area. The building itself will host a number of cannabis-related programs such as cultural activities and gastronomic experiences which will attract new clientele.” Some of the big names affiliated with the project are prolific investor Gary Vaynerchuck, who is a 50% stakeholder in Green Street Agency, and Vicente Sederberg LLC, dubbed The Marijuana Law Firm, is one of the tenants.

Typically neighborhood revitalization follows the pattern of stores opening up on a neglected city block one retail space at a time. But this model is different. By bringing a critical mass of companies to the neighborhood all at once, the sudden influx could accelerate the resurgence all the more quickly. Los Angeles’ Jewelry District could become a major player in a matter of months, not years.

Follow me on Twitter @amydobsonRE

Article originally found at https://www.forbes.com/sites/amydobson/2018/11/27/cannabis-as-real-estate-disrupter-how-the-largest-marijuana-retail-space-plans-to-revamp-a-district/

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[Winner] November 1, 2018 Giveaway (Episode 2)

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Brady Shepherd wins our 2nd Rate.Review.Win! Giveaway!

hosted by Automatic Weapons

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