East of Eden Cannabis Co.’s Grand Opening and other Grupo Flor News!

Please Join us for our Grand Opening of East of Eden Cannabis Co.
Our doors are open, but our official Grand Opening is scheduled forSaturday, November 3, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. at 514 Work Street, Salinas, California.
This is the first of several East of Eden Cannabis Co. retail stores planned across the State of California.
“After a long road, we are thrilled that our doors are finally open, and we are now able to serve the residents of Salinas, the Central Coast and beyond. East of Eden Cannabis Co. plans to be an integral part of the community and economic development of this region, providing over 110 jobs between our supply chain operations,” said Paul Henderson, Grupo Flor CEO.
East of Eden Cannabis Co.’s 4,500 sq. ft. facility is conveniently located off Highway 101 at the John Street exit. Offering unparalleled service and a customized experience, clients discover a unique setting unlike many cannabis retail stores, with a well-lit, airy and spacious environment designed with comfort in mind. Clients are greeted by sales associates, eager to educate while encouraging the freedom of exploration.
“We strive to create a unique model, unlike other cannabis retail stores. Critical elements of great retail design converge with the unique display needs of cannabis products to create an atmosphere that allows for exceptional service to the customers. Clients can efficiently shop and move to checkout within minutes,” said Mike Bitar, President of East of Eden Cannabis Co. and Co-Founder of Grupo Flor.

Grupo Flor’s Paul Henderso & Gavin Kogan to Moderate Workshops at the 2018 Monterey Cannabis Summit
Building California Brands – Moderator: Gavin Kogan, Chief Branding Office & Co-Founder of Grupo Flor
Marketing and branding is what is going to lead the evolution of the California cannabis industry. This panel will discuss the importance of marketing and branding California cannabis companies and products in an industry rife with hurdles. You’ll hear from marketing pioneers who have creatively forged ahead building and launching brands and products throughout the state. The panel will also explore innovative approaches on how to differentiate your brand based upon positioning the benefits of the region.
The Commerce of Cannabis: Investing and Raising Capital – Moderator: Paul Henderson, CEO, Grupo Flor
This panel will focus on the wide range of funding opportunities for both large and small-scale cannabis businesses and the realities that ensue in these types of partnerships. The panelists will discuss the legal responsibilities and ramifications for both the investors and the invested party; what potential investors are looking for and expect from these investments, and; the types of investments to pursue, whether it’s for start-up, expansion and/or upgrading purposes.

Federal Legislative Look
According to Pew Research Center, about six-in-ten Americans (62%) say the use of marijuana should be legalized, reflecting a steady increase over the past decade. The share of U.S. adults who support marijuana legalization is little changed from about a year ago – when 61% favored it – but it is double what it was in 2000 (31%). Read more… 

State Legislative Look
California’s proposed marijuana business regulations continue to evolve, this time in an updated draft of permanent industry rules released on October 19 by state officials.
The proposed rules – from the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, Department of Food and Agriculture and Department of Public Health – touch on areas including marijuana delivery, packaging and events.  Read more… 

Guest Feature: Mat Yourkee

Colombia Turns A New Leaf
Mat Yourkee, Guest Journalist
While CA continues to receive the most amount of attention in the developing cannabis economy, the recent $4B investment by Constellation in Canopy Growth was largely fueled by interests in the developing international markets. Not only is the U.S. behind in terms of national cannabis economic development, it is quickly falling behind other nations that are more progressive, like Portugal, Germany, Israel, Argentina, Colombia and of course, Canada.
Mat Youkee is a consultant and journalist covering Latin America from his base in Bogotá, Colombia. Since May 2018 he has published The Colombia Cannabis Investor , a free monthly business intelligence publication focused on the Colombian medical marijuana industry. He tweets at @matyouke.
Birds of Passage , Colombia’s nomination for this year’s Oscars, tells the story of tribal conflict for control of marijuana drug routes in the country’s northern regions in the 1970s. The story is a timely and tragic reminder that, before Colombia became synonymous with cocaine, it was a hub for high-quality grass for American counterculture.
Today Colombia is in a different place. Over a decade of strong economic growth was capped, in 2016, with a peace treaty with the FARC, the largest guerrilla army. But the fertile soils and ample sunlight still make a great place for growers. Today, a rapidly developing regulatory framework is allowing local and foreign firms to build a legal medical marijuana industry. Read More!

East of Eden Cannabis Co.
East of Eden’s first retail store will open its doors in October, a grand opening day will be announced soon. Unlike most cannabis retail competitors, East of Eden’s customers will be met with iPad-carrying sales associates, eager to educate while encouraging freedom of exploration.

New Faces Join the Grupo Team
Chief Operating Officer – Chuck Drake
Charles (Chuck) Drake joins Grupo Flor as its newest Chief Operating Officer. Chuck, who previously served as a consultant for Grupo Flor’s Harkins Indoor Grow Project, is a consultant, project manager, private equity investor, and founder of several services and support companies in the resource and industrial sectors.  Prior to taking on his current roles, Chuck led a team to develop a series of deep-water robotic drilling tools, founded an offshore mineral exploration company, was active in commercial real estate brokerage, and worked at Merrill Lynch Equity Capital Markets in London, UK. Previously, he served for 8 years as a U.S. Naval Aviator. Chuck received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1986, and an MBA in 1996 from London Business School.
Sales Development Representative – Anna Quinlan
Anna joins Grupo Flor as the newest sales development representative for the Northern California – East Bay region. Anna has over a decade of sales and marketing experience ranging from pharmaceuticals to advertising to the outdoor and fitness industries. She’s new to the cannabis industry and excited to be part of a growing field that’s poised to shape the economic, agriculture, and legal landscape of California. Anna received a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Westmont College.
Human Resources Generalist – Diana Biddle
With hopes of expanding recruiting and building a strong company culture, Diana Biddle joins Grupo Flor as its first Human Resources Associate. Diana has extensive experience in managing complex human resources and safety programs in the automobile and agriculture industries and hopes to bring her human resources knowledge and experience to Grupo Flor’s rapid growth and development.

Federal Legislative Look
The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved legislation to force the Department of Justice to issue more licenses to grow marijuana to be used in research. The move comes despite opposition from some drug policy reform groups and Democrats who objected to provisions preventing people with certain criminal records from participating in cultivation operations. Republican leaders agreed to revisit the language as the bill moves to the floor.

State Legislative Look
On August 31, the Legislature adjourned for the 2017-18 legislative session. In addition to the hot end-of-session bills, like wildfire liability and net neutrality, some cannabis bills were still being debated on the Floor. Of the many cannabis-related bills, three have already been signed and one vetoed by the Governor. Twenty-three never made it fully through the legislative process, and these are the 13 bills pending Governor action before the September 30th deadline: Read More!

Local Look
The 2018 Monterey Cannabis Summit is the first conference of its kind on the Central Coast to bring together the knowledge and expertise of cannabis professionals and business and community partners in California’s fastest growing region in the cannabis industry – which blends old school growing and Big Ag .
On December 13 and 14 2018, the Monterey County Cannabis Industry Association (MCCIA) hosted Summit takes place in the heart of Monterey at the Portola Hotel and Spa. MCCIA’s dedicated Board and staff aim to attract leaders and stakeholders in all aspects of the industry – from cultivators, state and local regulators, manufacturers, suppliers, agriculture, organics, investors and so on.
The Summit is a two-day event featuring tours of facilities of some of our industry leaders for early registrants, a cocktail reception, a luncheon with a keynote speaker, breakfast and four workshops delving into the most pressing cannabis issues facing the state and the region. The intent of the summit is to foster collaboration and growth by bringing together a vast array of professionals and enthusiasts from all aspects of the cannabis community.
The 2018 Monterey Cannabis Summit will partner with, and directly follow, the Organic Grower Summit taking place in Monterey on December 12 and 13. Launched by the Organic Produce Network (OPN) and California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), the Organic Grower Summit will bring organic growers, producers, and processors to Monterey for two days of education, information and networking opportunities with their production supply chain and support service providers.

Grupo Flor opens its first retail space

With the recent incredible $4B investment by Constellation Brands (Corona) in Canada’s Canopy Growth, the global markets are standing at attention with lots of media focus. This is just the kind of market action that could dislodge the U.S. government from its cannabis position, which prevents the U.S. from participating in a major evolving global market.
While global markets have gathered attention, California remains the industry bellwether. Grupo Flor’s rapid development of its wholesale operations, opening of its first retail space in September and new key hires, pushes the Company to the forefront of this market’s evolution.
What follows are some of the key highlights of this growth.

Coming Soon East of Eden Retail Space
Located in the heart of the Salinas Valley and right off a major Highway 101 exit (John Street), our new retail space, East of Eden Cannabis Co. is opening its doors in September 2018. The name is a nod to the Steinbeck roots that run deep in the local community.
The space is designed with comfort in mind, mixing the feel of a classic art gallery with rustic industrial design. Unlike most cannabis retail competitors, East of Eden’s customers will be met with iPad-carrying sales associates, eager to educate while encouraging freedom of exploration.
“The store design and atmosphere converge to create a space that incorporates critical elements of great retail design, and addresses the unique display needs of our products. This allows us to deliver exceptional service to our customers,” said Mike Bitar, President of Retail Operations and Co-Founder of Grupo Flor.

New Faces Join the Grupo Team
Grupo Flor welcomes Danny Perez, our new Packaging and Inventory Manager who joins our team after spending over ten years with Keurig Green Mountain. Danny is an expert in inventory management and organizing teams, and will play a critical role in implementing new processes and procedures for FlorX distribution.

Federal Legislative Look
Welcome to the Cannabis Industry, Wall Street!
Financial heavyweights Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch are officially dabbling in the in the Cannabis Industry. Bank of America and Merrill Lynch are financing New York-based Constellation Brands’ investment of 4 billion Canadian Dollars (3.8 billion USD) in Canopy Growth of Smiths Falls, Ontario, while Goldman Sachs advised on the deal. You can read more about the transaction here.
The transaction appears to be the first mega cannabis investment to involve major US-based financial institutions.
“Wall Street can no longer ignore the pace, the amount of money being raised and the growth underway in this industry,” said Scott Greiper, vice president at Viridian Capital Advisors in New York.
“We’re going to see more and more of this, because this is how Wall Street banks make their money – doing deals of this size.” Morgan Paxhia, co-founder of San Francisco-based Poseidon Asset Management, agreed. “The size of the deal, the premium to the closing price and the institutions involved are all strong signs of confidence about the industry’s direction,” he said.

State Legislative Look
California Cities Push Back Against Home Deliveries, but the State Bureau of Cannabis Controls Sees it Differently
When California released its first draft of permanent industry regulations last month, perhaps the most significant shift was a clarification to allow licensed cannabis delivery businesses to sell to residents in any city or county in the state, regardless of whether that jurisdiction had banned cannabis commerce.
That policy led to a letter to regulators from the League of California Cities this week in which the municipalities contended the state was undercutting their power to regulate local cannabis activity.
However, the state Bureau of Cannabis Control sees the situation differently, saying the change would clarify what has always been the case: A licensed marijuana delivery can be made to any jurisdiction within the state.

Local Look
MCCIA To Hold First-Ever Monterey Cannabis Summit
The 2018 Monterey Cannabis Summit is the first conference of its kind on the Central Coast to bring together the knowledge and expertise of cannabis professionals, businesses and community partners in California’s fastest-growing region in the cannabis industry blending together old school growing and Big Ag .
On December 13 and 14, 2018, the Monterey County Cannabis Industry Association (MCCIA) hosted Summit will take place in the heart of Monterey at the Portola Hotel and Spa. MCCIA’s dedicated Board and staff aim to attract leaders and stakeholders in all aspects of the industry – from cultivators, state and local regulators, manufacturers, suppliers, agriculture, organics, investors and so on.
If you register between now and September 20 you’ll receive Early Bird pricing and save $100. Click here to register today!

Good Standing
By Jennifer Rosenthal Iverson, Esq.
Jennifer is a local cannabis and criminal defense attorney and Vice President of MCCIA. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect an official position of the Association.
By now all operators in the County should have submitted their conditional use permit and building permit applications. If you did not submit building permits and/or your conditional use permit, the County will no longer consider you in good standing . If you are not in good standing at the County level you cannot continue operating.  Be aware, the County will be conducting site visits and inspecting both building conditions and canopy size. In the event the County red tags the site, all cannabis operations will be forced to stop and there is a possibility plants will be cut down.
Another local requirement is the business registration form submittal. The business registration form reports to the County Tax Assessor your actual canopy size so you are not overtaxed to the full amount of your temporary state licenses. It is important to note that this form reports your square footage for the entire fiscal year. The County requires that you report the maximum amount for the entire year, despite whether or not that the canopy size fluctuates during that time period. In essence, the County is taxing you quarterly on the maximum amount of square footage you will have at any point in time throughout the year. The County’s fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30. The form can be found on the County’s cannabis website and it must be submitted to the County Tax Assessor in order to remain in good standing.