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Hip-Hop Mogul Jay-Z Invests in Cannabis Retail Platform Flowhub |

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Cannabis point-of-sale platform Flowhub announced on Tuesday the closing of a $19 million round of strategic funding, including significant participation from venture capital firms Headline and Poseiden as well as a personal investment from entrepreneur and hip-hop billionaire Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. 

The new round of funding for Flowhub brings the total amount of capital raised for the company to $50 million with a valuation of $200 million, according to a statement from the cannabis dispensary payment transactions processor.

“We are thrilled to announce this capital raise,” said Kyle Sherman, founder and CEO of Flowhub. “Headline is an incredible, Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, Poseidon is a pioneer investor in the cannabis industry, and Jay-Z is a cultural and creative global force no matter the industry he is involved in.”

“I couldn’t think of a better group to be working with as we take this company to the next stage,” Sherman added. “This funding not only underscores the significant value that Flowhub provides to our customers, but also the maturation of the cannabis industry at large. We remain committed to developing innovative products that help our retail customers run better businesses.”

Flowhub processes in excess of $3 billion in cannabis transactions annually, providing more than 1,000 marijuana dispensaries a retail sales platform to serve their customers while maintaining compliance with strict regulations. The company will use the new round of funding to accelerate its expansion into emerging cannabis markets while developing new products for its expanding line of services.

Supporting Cannabis Social Equity

The company also plans to use the new funding to support and grow its social equity program, which was launched by Flowhub in June to invest in communities adversely impacted by the War on Drugs. 

Through the program, eligible social equity cannabis business owners can receive Flowhub’s POS retail management and compliance software for only $4.20 per year, which represents a reduction of 99.97 percent over regular pricing. The discount is available for up to three years at the social equity owner’s first cannabis dispensary business location.

The Flowhub social equity program also provides participating cannabis retailers with the company’s Stash inventory management and Greet customer check-in mobile apps, as well as the View mobile analytics app and free implementation of the technology. 

To date, Flowhub has awarded more than $1 million worth of software products to eligible cannabis entrepreneurs participating in the program. More information about the Flowhub cannabis social equity program is available online.

Software Allows Debit Transactions at Cannabis Dispensaries

Because of the continued illegality of cannabis at the federal level, most banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions do not offer traditional banking services to cannabis businesses, even those operating legally under state law. As a result, most dispensaries are forced to conduct transactions with their customers and suppliers via cash.

“We’re still a cash industry, and it’s 2021,” Sherman told Forbes. “It’s hard to believe when we barely have cards in our pocket anymore with Apple Pay.”

Flowhub’s POS software addresses the cash issue by allowing customers to use their debit cards to make sales transactions at cannabis dispensaries. But instead of being processed as a debit card sale, the transaction is technically an ATM withdrawal.

“It’s not really debit, but it feels like it,” Sherman said.

Jay-Z and Cannabis

Jay-Z’s stake in Flowhub isn’t his first foray into the cannabis industry. In 2019, he became the brand strategist for Caliva, where he developed his signature high-end cannabis brand Monogram. The following year, Caliva, Monogram and Left Coast Ventures were acquired through a SPAC deal that produced the Parent Company, where Jay-Z heads the social equity venture fund.

“When Jay says, ‘I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man,’ it’s true,” said Sherman, recalling a sample of Jay-Z’s well-known lyrics. “He’s got incredible business acumen—he really knows how to surround himself with brilliant people and build great companies.”



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Dr. Bronner’s Funds Psilocybin Legalization Effort in Connecticut

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Dr. Bronner’s is pushing for psilocybin reform once again. According to state filings, Washington D.C.-based New Approach PAC, a lobbyist group, funded $14,000 between August and September to local firm Grossman Solutions to promote drug policy reform in Connecticut. Dr. Bronner’s is among New Approach’s biggest donors.

CT Insider reports that a task force in Connecticut is examining the efficacy of psilocybin mushrooms for use in therapeutic settings. House Bill 6296, sponsored by Representative Josh Elliot and four other representatives, created a task force responsible for studying the efficacy of psilocybin for a variety of conditions—a key step in legalizing psilocybin for therapeutic purposes. Grossman Solutions will help New Approach engage with Connecticut’s psilocybin task force.

“New Approach’s mission is to end the senseless and destructive policies of the War on Drugs and replace them with policies that prioritize public health, science, healing and community instead of criminalization,” Ben Unger, director of psychedelic policy for New Approach told CT Insider. “We approach this work knowing that the fight to end the drug war is a political fight, and we need to run professional and strategic political campaigns to make progress.”

The task force examining psilocybin includes several current state legislators, academic researchers, clinicians from Yale, University of Connecticut and Midstate Medical Center, and representatives from several state agencies. It also includes former state representative Jesse MacLachlan.

CEO David Bronner is the grandson of company founder Emil Bronner. He said his goal is to free psychedelics, specifically legalization of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes, adding it’s exactly what his grandfather would have done. “The passion of my grandfather was to unite spaceship earth,” Bronner said. “We honor that legacy in different ways,” among them “integration of psychedelic healing in medicine and therapy.” Bronner also said that he believes “psychedelic medicine can really help people heal and wake up, and grapple with pressing problems.”

The funding arrived with a little bit of luck. Bronner admitted that his company experienced “windfall profits from being a soap business in the time of COVID,” and appropriated $15 million for advocacy—half of which went straight toward drug policy reform.

Dr. Bronner’s and Psilocybin Efforts

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps are known for organic materials and sustainable practices. The company was founded in 1948 by Emmanuel “Emil” Bronner, selling castile soap after fleeing from the Nazis in Germany under a rise in fascism. The family’s roots go further back, with soap-making skills dating decades.

More recently, the company shifted its main focus on organic and sustainable practices. Many of the company’s products already contain hemp extracts and/or CBD, among other useful ingredients. Earlier this year, the brand launched into the food market, using organic materials. The company added chocolate to Dr. Bronner’s line of products after the company learned that many of the farmers in Ghana who supply its Regenerative Organic Certified Serendipalm (used in Dr. Bronner’s soaps) also grow cocoa.

In 2019, Dr. Bronner’s pledged support of psilocybin efforts in Oregon, including a public endorsement of Oregon’s statewide Psilocybin Therapy Service Initiative of 2020 (PSI 2020), Oregon’s statewide Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act of 2020 (DATRA), as well as Decriminalize Nature’s efforts to decriminalize natural psychedelic plant medicines in cities around the country including in Oregon.

Oregon Measure 109, the Psilocybin Program Initiative was on the ballot in Oregon as an initiated state statute and approved on November 3, 2020. “We were the major financial backer of Oregon’s 109 measure,” Bronner said.

In November 2020, Dr. Bronner’s released a cannabis-scented soap bar to benefit a new consumer education and crowdfunding campaign to promote the regenerative organic cannabis standard, Sun+Earth Certified. The scented soap bars contain specific terpenes found in cannabis for a unique smell.



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The Top Spot to Buy Weed in Canada

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Visiting Canada for the first time is exciting for any cannabis user since it’s legalized on a national scale there.

We take a look at the hottest cannabis store making noise and give an inside look at the available products for sale there.

Finding The Best Cannabis And Concentrates For Sale

dank-cannabis-store-canada

Canada has its own fair share of dispensaries that have made a reputation for themselves. The Dank cannabis stores stand out like the Cookies Weed stores in the USA. 

The Dank dispensaries are located in the Ogen/Lynnwood area of Calgary and a new location coming soon to Dover, is making quite the reputation for its one-stop-shop.

This dispensary offers a full array of products; ranging from flower strains potent to nearly 30% THC, baked, caked or candy edibles, a variety of concentrates and topical creams.

Whether you’re looking for 420 friendly smoke or a natural pain remedy, it’s on the menu. You may even be lucky enough to score a pineapple express vape cartridge. If smoking cannabis isn’t your thing, the high-quality CBD and THC products available, ranging from beverages to oils, are a great alternative.

Premium THC and CBD products

Capable of suiting an amateur or avid cannabis user, this weed store has kept convenience in mind. You can not only view their full menu online and instant message live with a budtender, but they now offer online pre-ordering.

dank-dispensary-menu

With weed delivery in Calgary falling a bit behind, Dank Cannabis allows you to shop safely distance, and they’ll have your order ready for pickup. You can also swing by the store, see the product and feel the vibe first hand and utilize their self-serve check-out option.

About as easy as lighting a pre-roll, you could say. Either way, your experience in this Calgary cannabis store is sure to be unique and customized to you.

Online Menu For Easy In-Store Pickups

Find everything from cannabis seeds for cultivating your own plants, to infused lotions to help with aches and pains. The Dank dispensary has a vast menu and option to order online for a faster in-store picking up option.

With enthusiastic, super friendly, and passionate budtenders, you’ll feel like you are a part of the club – the Dank Club to be exact. They offer a rewards program for its dankest of members. Save daily on featured buds, promotions, freebies, and more.

And what’s a cool weed store without cool weed store swag? The Dank merch, including clever hats and stoner girl tees, can’t be missed. In addition – don’t forget to check out their under $20 product section!

If you’re in the area, or now have a reason to be, this Calgary cannabis store is a great first stop for all your weed-related needs. With a 30-gram legal purchase limit, we could say it’s a great last stop, too. It wins our top spot for sure. 

Head over to their website today to view their full menu at dank.ca, and be sure to sign up for their newsletter.





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The Winners of The Cannabis Cup Massachusetts: People’s Choice Edition 2021

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The cannabis cup is virtual this year—virtually awesome, that is, with our People’s Choice Edition making it possible to judge safely from the comfort of your home. Here are the well-deserved winners of the Cannabis Cup Massachusetts: People’s Choice Edition 2021.

Thank you to all the judges who put their hearts and souls into judging the competition entries to help crown the best of Massachusetts! This is the first-ever High Times Cannabis Cup to be held in “The Bay State” of Massachusetts. We can’t wait to return next year!

For more info on how to become a judge and to sign up for updates, please visit CannabisCup.com/preregister.

Indica Flower

Massachusetts
Courtesy of Bountiful Farms

First Place: Bountiful Farms – Secret Formula

Massachusetts
Courtesy of Northeast Alternatives

Second Place: Northeast Alternatives – Runtz

Massachusetts
Couresy of Rythm

Third Place: Rythm – Brownie Scout

Massachusetts
Courtesy of Apothca

Fourth Place: Apothca – Vanilla Gorilla

Massachusetts
Courtesy of Trulieve

Fifth Place: Trulieve – Banana OG

Sativa Flower

Courtesy of Happy Valley

First Place: Happy Valley – Super Lemon Haze

Courtesy of Bountiful Farms

Second Place: Bountiful Farms – Piña Grande

Courtesy of Berkshire Roots

Third Place: Berkshire Roots – Orange Chemeleon

Courtesy of Rythm

Fourth Place: Rythm – Tahitian Punch

Courtesy of Apothca

Fifth Place: Apothca – Honolulu

Hybrid Flower

Courtesy of Happy Valley

First Place: Happy Valley – White Wedding

Courtesy of Northeast Alternatives

Second Place: Northeast Alternatives – Ice Cream Man

Courtesy of Nature’s Heritage

Third Place: Nature’s Heritage – Crescendo

Courtesy of Sira Naturals

Fourth Place: Sira Naturals – Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Rev Clinics

Fifth Place: Rev Clinics – Gelato #33

Pre-Rolls

Courtesy of Nova Farms

First Place: Nova Farms – Southie Sundaze Infused Blunt

Courtesy of Yamna

Second Place: Yamna – Tropicanna Cookies Cannagar

Courtesy of Triple M

Third Place: Triple M – Triple Monster Infused Pre-Roll

Courtesy of Kush Mints

Fourth Place: Insa – Kush Mints Pre-Roll

Courtesy of Funky Monkey

Fifth Place: Funky Monkey – Tropic Truffle Monkey Bones Pre-Roll

Concentrates

Courtesy of Rythm

First Place: Rythm – Energize Durban Live Resin Sugar

Courtesy of Bountiful Farms

Second Place: Bountiful Farms – Garlic Juice Live Rosin

Courtesy of Nova Farms

Third Place: Nova Farms – Southie Adams – GMO Live Hash Rosin

Courtesy of Northeast Alternatives

Fourth Place: Northeast Alternatives – Tangerine Cookies OG Diamonds

Courtesy of Berkshire Roots

Fifth Place: Berkshire Roots – Zombie Virus Crumble

Sativa Vape Pens

Courtesy of Insa

FIrst Place: Insa – Clementine Sativa Vape

Courtesy of Pioneer Valley

Second Place: Pioneer Valley – Mango Super Silver Haze Sativa Vape

Courtesy of Fernway

Third Place: Fernway – Red Headed Stranger Sativa Vape

Courtesy of Happy Valley

Fourth Place: Happy Valley – T. Sage Sativa Vape

Courtesy of HÅVN Extracts

Fifth Place: HÅVN Extracts – Durban Poison Solventless Terpene Sativa Vape

Indica Vape Pens

Courtesy of Church

First Place: Church – Watermelon Zkittlez Indica Vape

Courtesy of HÅVN Extracts

Second Place: HÅVN Extracts – Hindu Kush Solventless Terpene Indica Vape

Courtesy of Rove

Third Place: Rove – Skywalker Indica Vape

Courtesy of Rythm

Fourth Place: Rythm – Brownie Scout Indica Vape

Courtesy of Insa

Fifth Place: Insa – Zlife Indica Vape

Edibles: Gummies

Courtesy of HÅVN Extracts

First Place: HÅVN Extracts – Lemon Sour Amnesia Gummies

Courtesy of Happy Valley

Second Place: Happy Valley – Strawberry Margarita Gummies

Courtesy of Marmas

Third Place: Marmas – Blue Raspberry Gummies

Courtesy of Cannatini

Fourth Place: Cannatini – Cranberry Lime Mojito Gummies

Courtesy of Insa

Fifth Place: Insa – Black Cherry Sleepy Drops

Edibles: Chocolate Non-Gummies

Courtesy of Insa

First Place: Insa – Double Caramel Sea Salt Chocolate Bar

Courtesy of Coast Cannabis

Second Place: Coast Cannabis – S’mores Chocolate Bar

Curtesy of Koko Gemz

Third Place: Koko Gemz – Cookies & Cream Chocolates

Courtesy of Pioneer Valley

Fourth Place: Pioneer Valley – Habañero Dark Chocolate Bites

Courtesy of Cheeba Chews

Fifth Place: Cheeba Chews – Trifecta Caramel Taffy

Edibles: Fruity Non-Gummies

Courtesy of Hi Burst

First Place: Hi Burst – Raspberry Lemonade Fruit Chews

Courtesy of Forbidden Fruit

Second Place: Forbidden Fruit – Dried Mango THC Slices

Courtesy of Berkshire Roots

Third Place: Berkshire Roots – White Peach Roots Fruits Pâte de Fruit

Courtesy of Nova Farms

Fourth Place: Nova Farms – Strawberry Honey Sticks

Courtesy of Incredibles

Fifth Place: Incredibles – Fruit Trio Tarts

Topicals and Tinctures

Courtesy of Treeworks

First Place: Treeworks – Daily Drops Sunrise Punch

Courtesy of Happy Valley

Second Place: Happy Valley – Remedy Tincture

Courtesy of Sira Naturals

Third Place: Sira Naturals – Nordic Goddess Body Balm

Courtesy of Doctor Solomon;s

Fourth Place: Doctor Solomon’s – Doze Drops

Courtesy of Insa

Fifth Place: Insa – Tropical Express Tincture



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