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.