Sara Gullickson Headlines Shark Tank Event at LA’s First Ever Cannabis Investor Event

In September, Sara Gullickson served as an InvestorsHub Shark at MJAC2017, an international conference where industry professionals from around the globe showcased their businesses to high networth investors. The show was the first ever cannabis investor event in Los Angeles. 

Gullickson, alongside other experts, educated attendees on the current state of the cannabis market and potential opportunities across a full spectrum of industry sectors.

Watch the Shark Tank show on Cannanet.TV and check out Gullickson’s on-site interview with  NBC 4 Los Angeles.


Sara Gullickson Featured on MJAC “Shark Tank” Event

MJAC ‘Shark Tank’ Event (2017)
‘Shark Tank’ – 9 Companies, 7 Minutes, 4 Questions, 1 Winner!

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The future of the legal cannabis industry is looking bright, with new investment opportunities appearing daily. MJAC2017 is a unique environment that allows industry giants from around the world to exhibit their businesses to high networth investors. The event is being run by InvestorsHub, one of the world’s most significant retail investor networks. is proud to have been adopted by this market sector. As the go to website for information on MJ Stocks and cannabis industry related investment opportunities our traffic has been increasing weekly and our forums are buzzing with insight and opinions from our unique audience.

MJAC2017 will showcase the industry’s very best investment options. The best minds in the market will educate and advocate for this unique and rapidly growing sector. We will look at the latest amendments in state law for both medical and recreational use and our expert panels will answer the questions and voice their opinions on the current state and potential future of this budding industry.

Pitch your ideas and businesses to respected heavy weights of the cannabis industry in our Live ‘Shark Tank’ – style event.

Event: MJAC2017 –

Host: Adelia Carrillo is the Founder & CEO of Direct Cannabis Network. Direct Cannabis Network is the leading digital B2B news network highlighting the latest tech, entrepreneurs and innovative companies in the cannabis industry.

MJAC Sharks:

Brett Allan is the Executive Vice President of The Green Organic Dutchman.

Sara Gullickson is a nationally recognized cannabis expert who has been actively involved in the industry since its inception.

Erai Beckmann is a management consultant, whose work is currently helping Humanity Medicine, a cutting edge San Diego, California nootropic cannabis company.

Josh Whitaker is a serialpreneur, startup addict, mentor, and CEO of Team Maryjane, a marketing agency with offices in Colorado and California.

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Licenses

What’s Next for Pennsylvania Licensees

The first round of Pennsylvania provisional dispensary licenses was awarded on June 20, giving winners a December deadline to open their doors. With only six months to turn an application into a reality, time is of the essence.

Over the next 3 months here is a guide to building a strong foundation for your dispensary.

  • Getting three locations up and running is no small feat. Many individuals select their team before submitting their merit-based applications. If your team is not complete, consider:
  • Finding an experienced team that understands state law and compliance, as well as the legal Marijuana Industry. A team should include Project Manager, Interior Designer, Engineer, Architect, as well as your facility staff.
  • An image is everything and in business, it’s all about branding. Here are some guidelines to building brand loyalty and visibility for your operation.
  • Finalize logo design, colors, branding guidelines, and company tagline.
  • Take the time to ensure your brand speaks to your patient community by hosting a focus group.
    Consider hiring a Public Relations & Marketing agency that specializes in the industry to develop your message to drive visibility on a local, regional, and national scale.
  • Start outlining a cohesive strategy for your business that tells your brand story and engages your target audience with the media in mind.
  • Staying agile in order to meet changing rules and regulations is an essential part of overall facility design and layout development. Here are some things to consider:
  • Remodeling is expensive and could cause you to close your doors depending on the changes being made. Ensure that your floor plan can meet increasing patient flow demands as your business grows.
  • Work with your team to make sure your logo, color schemes, and verbiage, are effectively incorporated into your overall facility design.
  • Learn about your surrounding community and its identity. Your facility should embrace and reflect your real estate locality.
  • Security coverage is essential for any business especially the cannabis industry, where operators are dealing strictly in cash.
  • Find a trusted security consultant to source the proper equipment needed for your facility.

Stay tuned for Part II of my “What’s Next for Pennsylvania Licensees” that will outline the last three months of planning before opening dispensary doors. Licensees looking for assistance or a detailed Application Review may email

Those interested in applying for a Dispensary License in the second round may schedule a complimentary consultation by emailing

Want to learn more from Sara, click here to read more articles.



More than 200 Arkansans have medical pot ID cards, state health officials say

 Some 220 Arkansas patients have already received medical marijuana registry identification cards, less than a month since state Department of Health (ADH) officials began accepting applications to allow citizens to obtain pot by prescription for medical purposes.

Still, it could still be several months before patients can gain access to medical cannabis with the likelihood that cultivation and dispensary facilities to grow and sell will not be operational until early 2018 or later.

ADH began accepting applications for medical marijuana registry identification cards on June 30. As of July 21, ADH spokeswoman Karen White told Talk Business & Politics, there have been 222 completed and approved applications since state health officials began receiving those submissions at the beginning of July.  That tally is updated by ADH every Friday, White said.

Storm Nolan, spokesman for the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association (ACIA), said he is not disappointed with the number of patient ID applicants because the deadline is still nearly two months away.

“There won’t be any medical cannabis available probably until early next year,” Nolan said. “I don’t think people are in a rush, but we are trying our best as an association to get the word out to patients to get their applications in now so when the time comes, there won’t be a flood to (ADH) and there won’t be big delays.”

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has also published the requirements for submitting bids for up to five operators to grow and cultivate medical marijuana under the constitutional amendment that was approved by voters in the November 2016 election. The commission also began accepting those applications on June 30 with the final deadline being Sept. 18. State policymakers have said they expect the first sale of medical marijuana in Arkansas to take place in early 2018.

Under the Freedom of Information Act provisions for the medical marijuana regulations passed into law during the recent 2017 legislation session, state open records law exempts the Commission from releasing any information that might give an advantage to one competitor or bidder, said former Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration (ADFA) spokesman Jake Bleed.

Sara Gullickson, CEO & founder of

“We don’t want applicants to FOIA competing applications in an attempt to gain an advantage. For that reason, we will not be releasing any information derived from applications until the application window closes in September. I can tell you the number of applicants however. So far, that number is zero,” said Bleed, who is now part of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s communication team.

And although there have been no applications submitted to the state over the first 30 days, Nolan said he is not overly concerned about the process. The Fort Smith-based real estate developer, who still plans to file an application for a marijuana cultivation facility in Fort Smith, said some prospective bidders for the cultivation facilities also are concerned that some of their information might be “FOIA-able” once the Commission receives their applications.

“We don’t want people to be concerned like there is not going to be an industry. There are going to be plenty of applications,” Nolan said of the five cultivation facilities and 32 dispensary licenses the state plans to award.

Once applications for cultivation licenses are delivered to the Commission, those accepted will be time-stamped and applicants must then submit a payment voucher for the required fee of $15,000. Applicants will be able to modify a submitted application at any time prior to the final deadline, which will be subject to the state FOIA act. Applicants must also provide proof of assets or a surety bond in the amount of $1 million and proof of at least $500,000 in liquid assets.

Sara Gullickson, CEO and founder of, said she has consulted with several companies preparing to file applications between now and the Sept. 18 deadline. Gullickson was actively involved in Arkansas’ legislation draft process and advocated for a merit program instead of a lottery for selection of the cultivation and dispensary licenses at the Commission’s public hearings.

She told Talk Business & Politics that the application process is competitive and costly, suggesting that applicants could spend up to $100,000 to submit a bid for a license.

“That makes it imperative for applicants to plan ahead and exercise due diligence,” she said.

Besides Arkansas’ stringent financial standards, bonding requirements and drafting requirements for cultivation and dispensary licenses, applicants must also submit an exhaustive essay and blueprints concerning their projects, go through rigorous background and credit checks, and provide pro forma financial projections for the operations of marijuana growing facilities and retail locations.

Gullickson said her consulting firm, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is working with a limited number prospective clients in Arkansas and helping them wade through the demanding applications process. In the past, her firm has provided dispensary and cultivation consulting services for numerous medical pot applicants across the U.S., including California, Florida, Hawaii, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“Right now what is happening is that a lot of the applicants are needing to start to prepare not only the application sides of things and get their investors vetted, but put together their 25-page narrative section to showcase to the state how their facility is going to work,” she said. “I think the one thing that people kind of wait on is putting these plans together and then they become this really labor-intensive process. So Sept. 18 is a really health deadline to get everything done, but we are obviously we are urging everyone to get it done sooner, rather than later.”

Once all the applications are completed by the fall deadline, Gullickson said there will be an “anxious” waiting period and lull between the time Commission grades the submissions and announces the winners.

“That’s when the real work starts,” Gullickson said. “Right now everything that we are doing now is like playing ‘pretend.’ It’s like we are writing a college thesis paper and kind of getting everything in line. And once (ADH) pulls the trigger on us, then we have to take everything we’ve been playing pretend on and turn into an actual real project.”

Like Nolan, Gullickson said she believes there will be a robust list of candidates submitted to the Commission in advance of the September deadline. She said up to 75 legitimate candidates could emerge from the process which will make Arkansas’ medical cannabis industry a model for surrounding states.

“So those are the real numbers, but if you talk to people in Arkansas at a dinner, a social event, or even some of these public hearings, everybody and their brothers … or 50% of the population is applying,” Gullickson said. “When it comes down to the actual real players that have the investment, who have the real estate to really pull this off, we will see about 15 people apply for every license that is awarded.”

The medical marijuana expert, who also provides business development and planning services for cannabis entrepreneurs after the application process, said the industry will take on a new life once cultivation farms and dispensaries begin holding “grand opening” ceremonies a year from now.

“I think right now that is too far in the future for people to wrap their brain around,” she said.


A Guide to Successfully Launching a Legal Cannabis Business

The legal cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing in the U.S. Entrepreneurs have flocked to cannabis as the next big thing. Whether you’re interested in cultivating and selling cannabis, financing operations or anything in between, this guide will introduce you to this fledgling industry.

As cannabis shifts from the black market into the world of legal, regulated business, the industry has experienced unprecedented growth in a short time. Entrepreneurs of all stripes – from cultivators to distributors to tech experts – have jumped into the fledgling industry to get a piece of the multi-billion-dollar pie. The rapid growth of the cannabis industry, in both medical and recreational markets, shows signs of continuing; in other words, cannabis is still on the ground floor.

If you’re considering starting a cannabis business, whether it touches the plant directly or provides support and ancillary services, now is the time to get informed and involved. This guide will serve as a primer to help you get the ball rolling on your own entrepreneurial cannabis endeavor so that you’ll be seeing plenty of green in no time!

The birth of an industry

Medical and recreational cannabis use is legal in a total of 26 states, plus Washington D.C. An additional three have decriminalized cannabis, reducing possession under certain amounts to a civil charge rather than a criminal one. The rash of legalizations began with California’s passage of medicinal cannabis measure Proposition 215 in 1996 and culminated in Colorado and Washington’s legalization of recreational cannabis in 2012. Since then, the dominoes have continued to fall, and now eight states, plus D.C., boast recreational cannabis use laws. In just 20 years, what was previously a black-market product has become the cash crop of a new industry.

However, as the cannabis industry rises to prominence – multiple estimates place anticipated growth eclipsing the $20 billion mark by the early 2020s – the federal government maintains cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. That means cannabis is considered an illegal substance with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Despite the federal prohibition, the governing document of the day is the Department of Justice’s 2013 missive known as the Cole Memorandum, which states the feds won’t interfere with cannabis operations that are abiding by their state’s legal framework. Unfortunately, the prohibition still causes problems for the fledgling cannabis industry, especially when it comes to financial housekeeping.

Still, even with this albatross around its neck, the legal cannabis industry is a burgeoning one. The Arcview Group, a cannabis investment and research organization, found that 2016 revenues from the young industry had eclipsed $6.7 billion, which represented a 30 percent increase over 2015 sales.

Furthermore, Arcview projects that by 2021, the industry will bring in $21 billion. That’s a whopping compound annual growth rate of 20.97 percent if the projection holds. No wonder investors and entrepreneurs alike are clamoring to get some skin in the game.

A variety of business

With big numbers like $6.7 billion in sales in 2016, you might be thinking the window of opportunity has mostly closed, but industry insiders told that it’s still early in the game. Stuart Titus, Ph.D., president and CEO of industrial hemp company Medical Marijuana Inc., said startups of all stripes still have ample opportunity to launch, grow and succeed in the cannabis space.

“The whole industry itself is at the very ground-floor level,” Titus said in an interview at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition. “We’re certainly nowhere near maximizing what we could do. Look at alcohol prohibition. All of a sudden, legalization spurred industries and businesses … We think the same is true for this industry.”

Cannabis businesses come in all shapes and sizes. Most people think of massive cultivation operations or dispensaries with jars full of shimmering, green buds. Those are certainly key elements of the industry; however, many cannabis entrepreneurs never even touch the plant itself. These include logistical support businesses, like distribution and transportation companies, or technology companies, such as dispensary software development or high-tech infrastructure for grow houses, for example.

Science is also a huge driver of the cannabis industry, much like other agricultural endeavors. Labs are needed for testing the potency and genetics of cannabis flowers, extractors are required for harvesting oils, and ongoing research provides insights into the specifics of cannabis for medical treatment. Glass blowers, vape purveyors and edibles creators are also in high demand. [Want to find out more about where the opportunities lay? Check out the tips from these industry insiders.]

“I believe there is plenty of opportunity. It’s the very, very early stage [for] everything from medicinal to recreational, support industries and infused products,” Titus said. “Creative minds, unique products and delivery methods will just continue to move along as time goes, and I think there’s ample opportunity for people to make a significant business opportunity in this incredible industry.”

Regulatory landscape

The state of the industry remains very much in flux. Beyond the federal prohibition, or perhaps because of it, varying state frameworks have led to a fragmented industry that looks very different based on geography. Everything from licensing to reporting can be vastly different between states, making it difficult for a company to expand simply. Experience gained in Colorado, for example, does not necessarily translate to the New York market.

“Since we’re not a federally recognized industry, there are many things that are affected,” said Sara Gullickson, CEO of, a consulting service for marijuana entrepreneurs. “In terms of regulations, every single state program varies. They’re crafting programs specifically for their environment. So, things that are important in Arkansas might not be as important in Ohio and so we’re seeing that kind of flesh out.”

As knowledge of the industry improves, newer markets are including mandates that don’t exist in older markets. For example, Gullickson said, Arizona’s legal cannabis program includes no mention of testing, while newer markets mandate testing to ensure that cannabis is a safe, quality medical product for patients to use before it hits the market.

The lack of federal policy has created a sort of experimental period, where states are borrowing what works from one another and trying to scrap what doesn’t, Gullickson said. While the federal prohibition creates a lot of confusion and many problems, this trial and error period has been a good thing for the industry’s evolution in her estimation.

“I’m a little bit more optimistic than most. I almost think if the feds stepped in and pushed something down everybody’s throat there’d be a lot of resistance; how could the feds come up with something that’s uniform, implemented across U.S. that works in every state?” Gullickson said. “It’s something that’s necessary but also scary, because we do know what we’re doing in different states and there are some really good programs. We don’t want something to come into play that diminishes what good we’re already doing.”


For businesses that touch the plant, licensing and permitting is essential. The process varies state by state and can be rather arduous. In addition to outlining policies and procedures, applicants are required to provide an overview of who comprises their organization and to prove that what they say is true. According to Gullickson, balancing a level of detail in applications of limited length has become a skill set of its own in the consulting industry.

“About three or four years ago, when you were sending applications, everyone threw in the kitchen sink – thousands and thousands of pages to confuse people and hope they wouldn’t read it,” she said. “Now, the application process is often to describe in five pages what your operation looks like. You need someone to communicate to an uneducated audience what your policies and procedures look like. We had to sharpen our skillset to be as granular as possible in limited characters.”

Ultimately, cultivators and dispensaries looking to score a license should be prepared to spend between $150,000 and $200,000 navigating the process, Gullickson said. For larger companies aiming for a sort of “super license,” costs balloon from $500,000 to $750,000.


Another problem caused by the federal prohibition centers on banking. Many banks are hesitant to do business with cannabis-related companies, while others refuse outright. Working with cannabis industry businesses is a risk for banks – on one hand, it opens the bank up to additional oversight and liability; on the other, there is a palpable fear that a federal crackdown could result in seized assets and a business catastrophe.

The lack of conventional banking options has led cannabis entrepreneurs, especially those that touch the plant, to work primarily in cash. Not only is that dangerous – cannabis entrepreneurs are regularly targeted for robberies – but tracking cash payments for tax and regulatory purposes is incredibly difficult.

“It’s crippling right now. You don’t realize how important banking is until you don’t have it – just giving employees a paycheck is just brutal,” said Keegan Peterson, CEO of payroll and HR company Wurk. “In a cash environment, it’s difficult to even prove you paid [your employees], or your vendors, or your tax liability.”

Moreover, cannabis businesses are often unable to open a traditional line of credit, limiting a common, early-stage option for additional growth financing. That means bootstrapping or raising money from friends, families and angel investors is often the most common way young companies gain a foothold.

Luckily, the industry has developed some workarounds in the meantime. Angel investors willing to take the risk provide a lot of startup and growth capital, and several startup accelerators and incubators have burst onto the scene to help their cohorts get to the next level.

Venture capital firms tend to play it closer to the vest but are also intently watching the industry and making some preliminary investments. Still, the industry is holding its collective breath in hopes that the federal prohibition will soon be lifted, opening access to traditional banking and improving cannabis’s already immense growth prospects.

David Goldstein, CEO and co-founder of medical cannabis software company PotBotics, told it’s important for a startup to allocate resources effectively, regardless of whether conventional banking becomes available soon or not. He also advised newcomers to bring in people with professional expertise elsewhere that can apply their knowledge to the cannabis industry.

“What we see is that it’s been tough to get institutional investment. Wealthy individuals that are passionate either because they went through chemo and cannabis helped or because they see the growth potential; those are the two types of investors we see,” Goldstein said. “I think institutional money is coming … but it’s important for a startup to run lean but at same time bring in people who maybe worked in other industries … so they can add their expertise to bring this out of [the] black market into white collar.”

Resources for aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs

Are you ready to get your career in cannabis off the ground? Here are some additional resources you should consider consulting as you plan your next move.

Adjacent Capital – A venture capital firm working exclusively in the cannabis space, across several sectors within the industry, Adjacent Capital is a potential source of financing for cannabis entrepreneurs looking for growth capital.

Arcview Group – Serving as both a network of angel investors and a research organization, The Arcview Group has established itself as a mainstay in the cannabis industry. Whether you’re looking for funding opportunities or quality market research, The Arcview Group is a reliable source.

Canna Advisors – Canna Advisors is run by Diane and Jay Czarkowski, former owners of a vertically integrated medical cannabis dispensary. Canna Advisors specializes in consulting and licensing across several states. – Run by Gullickson, a seven-year veteran in the industry, offers experienced guidance through the licensing process for cannabis dispensaries. also maintains business planning tools, pro forma tools and other resources to guide your planning.

iAnthus Capital Management – An investment firm that raises money as a publicly traded entity on the Canadian markets and directs funding toward U.S.-based cannabis companies, iAnthus Capital represents a creative solution to the dearth in conventional financing available to the legal American cannabis industry.



Trump Can’t Reverse Marijuana Legislation

Jesse Ventura is a jack of all trades. 

He started his career as a U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Expert. He eventually became a professional wrestler, actor, author, television host and political commentator. He debuted his political career by running for governor.

As the 38th Governor of Minnesota (from 1999 – 2003) he accomplished several achievements including overseeing Minnesota’s property tax reforms. After his stint as governor, Jesse decided to fight for the legalization of cannabis.

Ventura recently gave a keynote speech at the Cannabis World Congress Business Expo in New York City (CWCBExpo). It is the preeminent trade show for the cannabis industry. Cannabis connoisseurs of all fields joined the party; from marijuana and hemp farmers, to cannabis activists and thousands of like-minded individuals. He said the experience was truly refreshing.

Individuals in the legal cannabis industry form a united front. 

Jesse Ventura learned how the united front was working to get the federal government to accept the marijuana industry. “When it comes to economics, let me put the state of marijuana to you in this way: If Trump reverses state law, he’ll be crippling if not bankrupting the states that have legalized marijuana,” Jesse said. According to Jesse, over half of the states have now legalized marijuana (medical, recreational, or both).

As a result, the states are receiving millions of dollars in tax revenue. If Trump reverses state law regarding cannabis, then there will be a country-wide budget crisis. When all the revenue sources are outlawed, where will the money come from?

Jesse explained why reversing marijuana legislation will change the nation.

Jesse gave a great analogy using the auto industry bail-out. He said that about $80 billion of tax payer money was used to bail-out the auto industry. The auto industry gets to pay back their debt over time.

There is not going to be a bail-out when marijuana legislation becomes reversed. It’s like saying that a multi-billion dollar industry will vanish over-night. The domino-like fallout would cause hundreds of thousands of Americans to become unemployed. The resulting economic chaos includes millions of dollars in unpaid mortgages, bankruptcies and tax shortfalls in every state in the Union .

According to a report by New Frontier Data, the marijuana industry is on-track to create a quarter of a million jobs by 2020. The marijuana industry was worth $7.2 billion in 2016 and is compounding at a rate of 17 percent annually. Medical marijuana sales will grow from $4.7 billion to $13.3 billion by 2020. Recreation sales are also booming from $2.6 billion in 2016 to $11.2 billion by 2020.

There is real danger for the financial health of the country.

Jesse reiterates again, “If Trump reverses state law, he’ll be crippling if not bankrupting the states that have legalized marijuana. This action go against the will of the people who voted for legalized marijuana. The action will cause yet another economic collapse.” It’s hard to argue with Jesse’s facts and reasoning.

Colorado currently has a $1.3 billion thriving cannabis industry. And that industry is paying for their student’s scholarships, police stations, libraries, new streets and bridge repair. When the money stops flowing with no replacement, how is Colorado supposed to recover from the loss.

California will earn $1 billion in cannabis tax revenue by 2018. In California, they expect to bring back American farms by growing hemp fields in rural areas that are struggling for a chance to thrive. But reversing marijuana legislation would crush the hopes of reviving American agriculture.

The cannabis industry is an American workforce comprised of American entrepreneurs, employees, and customers. And it’s not practical to expect business owners to outsource labor, production or processing to other countries. So businesses have to find a work-around.

Cannabis business owners will always find a way to thrive.

Due to federal law, American cannabis owners are expected to stay up-to-date on all cannabis related laws and regulations. And cannabis business owners struggle to keep up with the new marijuana legislation while trying to run a business. And they can’t even get a bank loan or find a safe space to store their money.

The community will find a way to succeed, even though marijuana legislation seem to be working against them. If the worst-case scenario happens, Jesse says that American cannabis business owners will go Canada and set up shop there.

Many marijuana refugees could go to Puerto Rico because the IRS Tax Code 280E does not apply. Mexico just legalized medical marijuana, so we can expect many owners to set up shop there too. Cannabis isn’t going to disappear, it’ll just get relocated along with its billions.

Jesse says, “The president doesn’t have the power to overturn votes”.

At the CWCBExpo, Jesse pled with cannabis business owners to not maximize profits to secure a golden parachute when things go south. Jesse said, “That’s not the united front the American cannabis industry is after.” The united front he talks about at the CWCBExpo are thoughtful business owners who’ve seen cannabis legislation change over time. They are also doing all that they can to work with lawmakers and educate citizens to continue that trend.

Jesse says that the cannabis industry is about innovation as much as it is about fighting against oppression. When the American people vote to legalize something, it should become legalized. The government doesn’t have the right to overturn that vote. American industry is about creating a better place for everyone and for future generations to come.

Ventura tried to add an air of calm to the storm that surrounds American government today. Tax money makes a great difference in the communities that generate it. Taxes should go toward schools, roads and libraries and cannabis taxes actually do.

American business owners should not be worried that Trump or any president will revert business regulations. It takes more than sitting at a tiny desk and signing a piece of paper. And it takes effort to erase the best thing going for America right now. But that doesn’t mean he won’t try. Unfortunately, Jesse Ventura doesn’t believe he can succeed.



Woman-Owned Consulting Agency Outpaces Medical Marijuana Competition With Pennsylvania Dispensary License Wins

Dispensary Permits extended its successful track record to eleven states with two Pennsylvania license wins out of 27 permits issued.

PHILADELPHIAJune 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Dispensary Permits, a national marijuana consulting agency, announced two dispensary license wins in Pennsylvania extending its license acquisition success to eleven states.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health received more than 500 application packages for 27 dispensary permits and 12 grower permits.

“Though the Pennsylvania program has drawn some criticism it has moved quickly and has been pro-active for its patient community. I am thrilled to have been a part of the process. These application wins start a whole new phase of business,” stated Founder and CEO Sara Gullickson.

Established in 2010, Dispensary Permits is one of the longest standing firms in the industry offering seed to sale services with hands on support to medical marijuana entrepreneurs.

At the forefront of one of the fastest growing industries in the nation, Gullickson’s extensive licensing experience has given other entrepreneurs a competitive edge. She helps clients identify their unique core competencies and package them in a manner that resonates with their community.

“Everyone has their own personal roadmap to success and I am here to assist the next generation of cannabis entrepreneurs execute their plans and achieve their goals with style and grace,” explained Gullickson.

Market research group ArcView is already estimating that Pennsylvania will represent 9.2% of the nation’s $22 billion cannabis market.

For more information or to set up an appointment with Dispensary Permits please visit or call 602-621-0648.

About offers seed to sale consulting services with hands on support to medical marijuana entrepreneurs. For those looking to break into the industry or those who have previous experience with owning or operating a dispensary, cultivation, manufacturing or testing facility, can create custom crafted solutions to provide support and guidance for both novice and expert medical marijuana entrepreneurs.

As one of the longest standing medical marijuana consulting firms, has developed strategies to guide clients through state regulated medical marijuana application processes.

For more information or to set up an appointment with Dispensary Permits please visit, email, or call 602-621-0648.

Media Contact: Sara Gullickson, Dispensary Permits, 612-965-4980,

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:



Arkansas Offers Broad Medical Program and Healthy Window for Applicants

Over the past few months, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission (AMMC) has held weekly meetings to finalize application processes, inviting community members and industry leaders to share their opinions.

What has unfolded is a broad, patient-focused program thoughtfully designed with the state economy in mind.

I may be one of the few people in the industry excited about Arkansas, but I believe the state is going to be an important addition to the legal cannabis market.

Here are the highlights:


  • Arkansas will provide reciprocity allowing access to patients from other states. This is a huge boost to the current state population.
  • Arkansas will allow for flower (Pennsylvania, New York, and Minnesota medical programs does not).

Application Details

    • The application will be graded on a merit-based system.
    • Applications will be “de-identified”. Commissioners will not know the city in which the dispensary/cultivation facility is located, though they may or may not see the zip code/county.
    • The commissioners have agreed to a 20-page limit, and have agreed to read all 20 pages, but may not commit to reading the addenda (supporting documentation).
    • Bonus points will be awarded as a check mark – applicants awarded all points or none.
    • Ability to operate a Dispensary or Cultivation Facility is weighted at 50% of the application.
  • Pharmacist Consultant required by law for dispensaries. 
    • Dispensaries that plan on cultivating will have a more in-depth application process to cover both Dispensary and Cultivation Facilities.

Program Timeline

  • July 1: Arkansas application published and the first day that applications will be accepted (this date is subject to change).
  • September 18: The 90-day application window closes, last day applications will be accepted.

Next Steps for Applicants

The Arkansas application process will be vigorous and competitive, especially for dispensary applicants who plan on cultivating. Stakeholders should hire a cannabis consultant with the expertise to strategize and navigate license complexities.

When meeting new clients, I always start with a few questions to get a better understanding of their industry interest and budget. For current licensees, is offering special packages to help businesses strategize and scale nationally.

As a consultant, I know licensing can be overwhelming, but we are here to help and make the process less stressful while setting individuals up for success.

To learn more, read Sara’s previous article on Arkansas:  Here



Program Encourages Women to Get Involved in Marijuana Production

It’s one of the fastest growing industries in the nation, legal and medical marijuana. According to one report sales of weed are on track to top $3 billion nationwide this year. Now there is a seminar teaching women how to break into the industry.

It’s an industry that is dominated by men and continues to expand. Four states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana so far, and half the country allows medical marijuana.

Many budding entrepreneurs think now is the time to nab a piece of the pot pie, they’ve started a program to get more women started in the business.

“I’ve met people that are basically doing every kind of business, it’s just gearing that business toward marijuana,” said Lisa Francine Carter.

Lisa Francine is one of about 100 attendees at the Women Grow Networking event. She’s at the event to learn more about the cannabis industry, in which men account for 85% of the power players.

“Women account for 80% of household purchases, and 85% of healthcare decisions, so Women Grow felt like the feminine touch was left out of the industry a bit,” said Sara Gullickson.

The events provide both men and women with connections in the industry.

“It’s a safe place for people involved in the industry to go and share ideas about the cannabis industry,” said Gullickson.

Right now there are only 126 facilities in Arizona that cultivate and sell medical marijuana.

“Here there’s like a huge opportunity for growth because it’s a small amount of dispensaries covering a large population,” said Carter.

The trajectory for the cannabis industry is on the upswing, and many are seeing green, hoping to capitalize on the industry which is in its infancy in Arizona.

“There’s no doubt this business is going to keep booming and why not get in while it’s a small group of people,” she said.



CWCB Expo In New York Was A Huge Success

The Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo took place this last week in New York, and by every measure it was a smashing success. The first Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo (CWCB Expo) took place four years ago, and so much has changed since that time. With so many different cannabis events popping up seemingly every week, the CWCB Expo stands out over the cannabis event white noise.

Keynoting the event was New York Senator Diane Savino, who has been an advocate for cannabis reform in New York for awhile now, and sponsored the legislation that legalized medical cannabis in New York. Senator Savino spent time preaching the merits of medical cannabis at the event alongside retired NFL player Marvin Washington, who also spoke at the event. The duo made headlines and did a lot to help educate event participants.

Reverend Al Sharpton also delivered a keynote address at the CWCB Expo, and had the soundbite of the event. “”We will not allow our people to be locked UP from the drug war AND locked OUT of the industry.” said Al Sharpton. Al Sharpton has made comments about opposing cannabis in the past, citing his upbringing in the church, but he has recognized that cannabis prohibition has a disproportionate impact on the African American community, and that it is time for a change. Al Sharpton’s message at the event was that there needs to be more diversity in the cannabis industry, which is something that I absolutely agree with.

Arguably the biggest news to come out of the event was the announcement of a new organization by another keynote speaker, political strategist Roger Stone. The organization is called the United States Cannabis Coalition. The main goal of the organization appears to be to convince United States President Donald Trump to end federal cannabis prohibition. More details were not revealed at the event, but at least one other keynote speaker at the event, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, felt that the organization was on the right track enough that he expressed his support for the organization and planned to join it. With Roger Stone being a close ally of Donald Trump, it will be extremely interesting to see where things go.

I had several friends attend the event, and every single one of them said that it was awesome and that they plan on attending the CWCB Expo’s upcoming events in Los Angeles (September 13-15) and Boston (October 4-6). As the events draw closer expect me to blog more about who the keynote speakers will be, and other info about the event. The CWCB Expo has a proven track record of bringing out quality speakers and providing amazing education to the crowd in attendance, so I am eager to see who will be speaking at the next two events.