2020 State of Cannabis Industry and Purple Lotus

2020 State of Cannabis Industry and Purple Lotus

2020 State of Cannabis Industry and Purple Lotus

A message from our Founder, Matt

 

Wow, what a year for the cannabis industry! Those of us who have been in the cannabis business for a decade or more are consistently blown away by how fast cannabis is being accepted in mainstream society and the sweeping changes to legislation occurring across the country.

As supporters of the NCIA, NORML, and Weed for Warriors project, we are proud to be part of the movement to continue the acceptance and legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational marijuana. As one of the oldest and most recognized retail stores in the country, we have seen firsthand for many years how cannabis can change lives, not only through the use of cannabis individually and socially but also through the economic benefits. According to Leafly, there are currently over 240,000 people employed in the legal cannabis industry.

Being labeled as an essential business in California has increased the caliber of talent and services available to us as an organization.
This access to talent will propel companies like Purple Lotus in the cannabis industry forward into 2021 as we utilize more standardized systems for business intelligence and data integration. A focus on current and new technologies to increase efficiencies and exposure to markets will allow companies who are prepared to take advantage of what has become a much different market this year.

While 2020 was an unprecedented challenging year for the world, there were many bright spots in Cannabis that should be celebrated before we move into 2021. Let’s review some of the major bright spots.

Essential Needs Business

This one was huge. Contrary to what many people think, cannabis companies have very high overhead in adhering to regulations and limited to no access to credit lines. Dispensaries shutting down during this time would have put most out of business. On March 20, 2020, California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, classified all cannabis operations as essential businesses that should remain open during the shutdown order issued the day before. This action was followed by 27 more states classifying cannabis as an essential business and expanding the ways customers and patients can receive cannabis. Cannabis retail stores such as Purple Lotus expanded their delivery areas, put contactless payments and purchase methods in place, created express curbside pick-up options, and led the way in the management of Covid regulations. One thing Cannabis companies are very good at is following government regulations!

State Reform

During the 2020 General Election, a total of seven states approved measures to either decriminalize cannabis, legalize cannabis, or allow medical cannabis use. Following the 2020 general election, there are currently 48 states and four territories with some form of medical cannabis access, as well as 13 states and the District of Columbia that now permit adult-use of cannabis.

Federal Reform

On December 3rd, 2020, the US House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or MORE Act, which decriminalizes cannabis by removing it from the Federal Controlled Substances Act and clears the way to erase nonviolent federal marijuana convictions. The bill is currently unlikely to pass in the US Senate, but this was the first time a chamber of Congress has voted on federal marijuana decriminalization, much less approved it. This was a critical step for the industry as we continue to fight to be treated like other businesses regarding taxing, banking access, and federal acceptance. In addition, the incoming Biden-Harris Presidential Administration has pledged to support federal legalization of cannabis with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris stating that “under a Biden-Harris administration, we will decriminalize the use of marijuana and automatically expunge all marijuana-use convictions and end incarceration for drug use alone.”

There is still much work to do to continue building the momentum that has been created through years of efforts to further access and protection of the rights of cannabis patients and recreational users. While each person and organization should research all organizations and contribute where they feel their resources are utilized best, Purple Lotus has worked with the following organizations and can speak to their commitment and results-based performance towards affecting cannabis change. The organizations we contribute to and vouch for are:

The Marijuana Policy Project www.mpp.org
National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) www.norml.org
National Cannabis Industry Association www.thecannabisindustry.org

TreezPay

Purple Lotus scrambled this year to uphold our commitment to our customers to provide cannabis excellence through convenient access to the largest variety of cannabis and un-matched customer service and experience. Our core values of Humility, Excellence, and Resilience produced the following exciting opportunities for us to support our Lotus Family during 2020 and moving forward. Some of the brightest examples are:

  1. Purple Lotus was able to provide a total of over $2 million in cash discounts to our loyalty member customers during 2020 due to us producing our own flower and foregoing the ROI on our cultivation investment to ensure we provided accessible, good cannabis in the form of our Astro branded flowers and Purple Lotus pre-rolls and cartridges.
  2. Purple Lotus launched the Purple Lotus Prime cartridge brand, designed to be as good or better than the major cartridge brands at a portion of the cost. This product was a great addition to the Purple Lotus Family’s selection and became by far our most popular cartridge within only a few months.
  3. Purple Lotus expanded our delivery service incredibly. Throughout the year, we substantially increased the areas and customers we serve while reducing our delivery times throughout the year. Currently, 20% of Purple Lotus customers are choosing delivery as a convenient option to get their cannabis. In early 2021, we will be launching a first of its kind mobile application that will provide the most convenient, quick, and intuitive way for our customers to experience cannabis excellence.
  4. Contactless payment and curbside service were implemented due to the pandemic and have become popular options to our customers. We are obsessed with our customers’ experience and could not be more thrilled about new options for them to experience cannabis excellence.
  5. During the year, Purple Lotus contributed over $8 million towards the economy in the form of taxes and charitable contributions while hiring amazing and wonderful team members.

Stimulus 2021: A Message from Our Founder

Stimulus 2021: A Message from Our Founder

Stimulus 2021: A Message from Our Founder

From the beginning, the Purple Lotus has always approached its service and commitment to the City of San Jose, with our customers best interests in mind. With 2020 in close, we have had the honor of serving the community for over a decade. However, it feels like just yesterday when my wife was working the front desk, while I budtended and packed up orders. Our humble beginning was our way of starting our small family here in San Jose, the Lotus Family. From the first 10-20 patients a day, and a modest staff, to the 120 team members we currently have in-house, and the 1000+ faces we get to see walk through our doors daily, we’ve always been dedicated to making a commitment to our customers by providing quality product, and customer service alike.

We’ve seen the happiness of our community as their families grew, and they shared the milestone’s of birthdays, graduations, weddings, and promotions, as if we were part of their families too. Ten years is a long time, and with the good, we’ve too experienced the tough times and tragedies that life inevitably puts in front of all of us.

The Purple Lotus was always a unique dispensary. A family run operation with compassionate roots, and a strong desire to affect the lives of their community in a positive way. Whether your wallet had a $1 or $100 bill, we had something for everyone, and made sure we treated all equally. Priding ourselves on being the “People’s Club,” we’ve built a strong foundation not only with the city and nonprofits, but through touching the lives of individuals in a very personal way.

While other stores took on outside investments and have had prettier storefronts than us at times, the Lotus has always been funded by the community, for the community. As a family and as an organization, we have always felt strongly about our sense of responsibility to the community that has supported us through it all.

2020 has been different than anything any of us have ever seen. The human toll has been incredible, the loss of lives has been beyond what we could have imagined previously, and the pandemic mental health crisis has only begun. Between being hidden, being masked all year, and being isolated from our friends and family, we need each other now more than ever.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the power of hope. I talk to customers every day who are going through the toughest times of their life, they are still fully confident that the near future is bright for them and their family. People are making the most of what they have, as we have seen restaurants and retail operations constantly adapting to changing Santa Clara County Pandemic Regulations, people working remotely, using freelance skills and “making it happen”. I have never felt more proud to be part of a community thriving amidst change.

The Purple Lotus continues to stay committed to doing everything we can to support our customers, whom we consider Purple Lotus Family. While the US stimulus and State support for Covid-19 is causing a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, we will be offering a 100% guaranteed, approved with a smile, Purple Lotus Stimulus to all of our customers for the entire month of January 2020.* In addition, for our customers who are experiencing extreme hardship, we will be offering opportunities to receive cannabis at a discounted rate of up to 25% off.**

Cannabis is important during times of high emotions, uncertainty and struggles. While we can’t solve the Covid-19 crisis or many of the other issues challenging our society, our corner of the world is cannabis and we are committed to supporting our community through compassionate cannabis excellence more than ever. After all, we couldn’t have done the last 10 years without you.

Let’s all take good care of each other, we deserve it. And remember, Live ~ Love ~ Lotus.

*Valid Sunday – Thursday
**Cannot combine discounts

TreezPay

Everything You Need to Know About Using TreezPay

Everything You Need to Know About Using TreezPay

Everything You Need to Know About Using TreezPay

The recent rush towards cannabis legalization in many states has been a blessing. The industry employs 120,000 people and continues to generate windfall profits. We’re talking $7.3 billion in cold-hard-cash from around 7,500 dispensaries as of 2019.

Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. Leaving dispensaries to face some unique challenges. Like not being able to get insurance and only accepting cash payments.

These caveats leave many dispensaries vulnerable to crime. Enter TreezPay.

TreezPay is the first fully integrated cannabis payment software to hit the market. It combines Stronghold’s payment infrastructure with Treez’s cannabis retail software for a sublimely seamless customer experience.

Read on and we’ll tell you all about TreezPay, what the benefits are, and how to get started with it.

What Is TreezPay

Treez’s software is a one-stop-shop for all elements of the cannabis business. Literally, everyone uses it. From growers to retailers.

It helps retailers effortlessly track all aspects of their business, including compliance, inventory, analytics, employee and customer management, and order fulfillment.

Up until now, however, making digital payments to dispensaries was messy and practically nonexistent. Adding additional steps and opportunities for security breaches.

Stronghold provides financial technology infrastructure and payment capabilities to underserved industries, like the cannabis market. Stronghold then works to meet the unique needs of these industries, creating comprehensive solutions.

Treez and Stronghold United

With this collaboration between Treez and Stronghold, the ACH payment processing is done directly on the dispensaries’ website. No additional log-ins, consistent branding for the consumer, and peace of mind for all parties.

TreezPay launched in April of this year. Right in the midst of Covid-19 lockdowns and unprecedented challenges. It’s not an overstatement to say the launch happened at a critical time, allowing people easier access to vital medicines.

Since the initial launch, nearly 50% of all dispensaries have adopted it. Insiders expect the number of dispensaries that use Treez to continue to climb in the coming months. This collaboration between Treez and Stronghold may just be the most important union for the cannabis industry yet.

 

TreezPay

Benefits of TreezPay

In an ever-growing digital marketplace, having a seamless digital transaction is critical. Both to the customer and the business.

Many people have asked; how do you use Treez? Can you pay for weed online with Treez? And the answers are, quite easily and a resounding, yes!

TreezPay has streamlined the online purchasing process for those dispensaries using the software. Some of the best things about TreezPay include;

Security
Stronghold is an industry leader in secure payment processing. All of your personal information is encrypted and stored securely with Stronghold. But the checkout process happens entirely on your dispensary’s website.

No more semi-sketchy cash ATM’s, or cash only purchases. Brilliant.

Contactless Purchase
The threat of Covid-19 isn’t going away any time soon. TreezPay allows customers to enjoy contactless shopping and payment experiences.

You can get the medicines you need without having to risk safety at any point in the transaction. Minimal contact, secure check-out, and your favorite cannabis in your hands quickly.

Speed
Once you make your first purchase through the integrated platform, you can pay with one click from your device. Skip the lines and breeze on in. Pick-up your pre-paid goodies super-fast.

We all know that speed and convenience play a major role in how we spend our hard-earned cash. Until TreezPay hit the scene, cannabis dispensaries were at a disadvantage in this regard.

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Other FAQ’s About TreezPay

TreezPay seems almost too good to be true, right? But there are no tricks here, only treats.

Are there any surprise fees with TreezPay?

Nope. You won’t pay any additional bank fees for TreezPay transactions. There is a flat $2.50 fee for each purchase. Sort of like the out-of-network ATM fee.

It’s really secure?

Really, really secure. Stronghold has an excellent track record. They handle payment processing for many industries and ranked #1 high-risk merchant service provider in 2018 and 2019.

So, does this mean you deliver?

Yes, it absolutely does! Place your order online, pre-pay with one click, sit back, and relax as you wait for your courier. We do have some order minimum requirements for delivery, you can see more here.

The new TreezPay software has been a game-changer for the cannabis industry. We are beyond excited to be part of the growing family of dispensaries that are using TreezPay. We think you will love the streamlined TreezPay experience too.

How to Get Started with TreezPay

Getting started with TreezPay is really easy.

You don’t need to download any apps, but you do need to have online banking set up with your institution. If that’s in place already, simply go to your favorite dispensaries website and let the shopping begin!

After you place an order through the online menu you will be asked to confirm that you will be using TreezPay. Then, you will receive a text message or email with a secure link to take you on to TreezPay.

From there, you will securely sign-in with your bank, linking it with a Stronghold account. Once you’ve created and logged in to your Stronghold account, you will simply confirm your order is correct, the totals are accurate and then click Pay.

After your first order, the dispensary will remember you and the checkout flow can be completed with one click. The whole process is so easy it’s almost ridiculous.

What Will You Buy With TreezPay?

Purple Lotus prides itself on providing you with superior customer service in a comfortable atmosphere, every time. We offer a wide range of cannabis and cannabis products for every taste and budget.

And now we can do all that even better, thanks to TreezPay. Order online and have your goodies delivered right to your door. Or, order online and stop by for quick, pre-order pickup. Whatever your needs are, we are here to meet them.

If you have any questions about TreezPay or our product line please reach out. Our Budtenders are ready to provide you with excellent customer service every step of the way.

3 Things to Look for when Choosing a Cannabis Oil Vaporizer

3 Things to Look for when Choosing a Cannabis Oil Vaporizer

3 Things to Look for when Choosing a Cannabis Oil Vaporizer

Whether you’re thinking of switching from smoking cannabis to vaporizing, or your 510 thread just isn’t cutting it anymore, finding the right vaporizer can be a daunting task. With the overwhelming selection of oil vapes on the market, it’s important to make educated decisions that will help you get the most out of the cannabis plant. Here are 3 questions you should ask your budtender before choosing a vaporizer:

1. What type of heating element does it use?

Most vaporizers use a wick and coil heating system. Given that the steel coil has a very small surface area, it needs to generate a very high temperature in order to heat the entire wick and the oil that’s in indirect contact with the oil. This creates hot spots that significantly exceed the boiling temperature of the oil causing some of it to overheat and combust rather than vaporize. The result is impure vapor with a rough or harsh taste. If you’ve ever experienced a metallic or burnt taste to your vapor, then that vaporizer was most likely using a wick & coil heating element. 

Unlike the common wick and coil systems, ceramic heating elements deliver diffused heat over a wider surface area for gentler and more controlled vaporization that eliminates burn and unwanted by-products. The result is clean, great-tasting vapor. 

2. How does the device heat the oil?

Most devices operate with a simple “on/off” switch: you draw and it heats to its factory-set temperature. . However, each oil is made up of a unique blend of terpenes & cannabinoids, that all vaporize at different temperatures. Many brands fail to take that into account and give their devices arbitrary temperature settings that are oftentimes inaccurate. 

So rather than choosing a one-size-fits-all 510 thread with a pre-set temperature or a vaporizer where you have to guess the temperature yourself, look for vaporizers that automatically change their temperature based on the cart you’re using.

3. What type of oil can I use with this vaporizer?

The cheapest and most common oil on the market is “distillate”. It’s made by stripping the THC off discarded cannabis materials, like stems and leaves. That isolate then needs to be supplemented with synthetic or botanical terpenes and cannabinoids. The result is usually a high THC % oil that will get you high, but the effect typically isn’t euphoric or well-rounded.

Live resins or rosins, the highest quality cannabis oils, exist at the other end of the spectrum. They’re typically the closest thing to fresh flowers and are made without distillate, fillers, or cutting agents. Live resin extracts are known for a well-rounded, clean experience because they contain a true “full-spectrum” of cannabinoids and terpenes that contribute to the “entourage” effect – all active compounds working together in natural harmony. Live resins typically preserve more of the natural terpenes from the plant, so you get great flavour and aftertaste with every draw.

In light of the recent vaping crisis, it’s more important than ever to find brands that you can trust. Premium brands like Airgraft and A Golden State are teaming up to create an unrivaled vaporization experience that delivers the full taste & benefits of the cannabis plant. Using a ceramic element and tailored heating algorithms for each oil, Airgraft takes AGS’ terpene-rich, high potency live resin to create pure, potent cannabis vapor that stays true to the flower. And with a myriad of app features to customize your experience, Airgraft is the clear choice for anyone looking to elevate their vaporizer game.

cannabis measurements

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Growing Fire with Connected Cannabis

Growing Fire with Connected Cannabis

Growing Fire with Connected Cannabis

Written by the Connected Cannabis Team

Connected isn’t new to the game by any means. Starting back in 2009, our founders opened up their first dispensary in Sacramento, California under the name Fruitridge Health & Wellness, with limited cash and one modest line of credit. Being in the retail market, we quickly learned that there was a complete lack of high-quality cannabis on the market and it was really difficult to find the type of quality that we were looking for at the time. And so began the humble beginnings of the first Connected grow operations in 2010, although, we had no brand name at the time. We popped up a 5,000 square foot warehouse and 36 grow lights across the street from our dispensary and began testing every growing technique known to man at the time.

Our team caught their first big break in 2011 with a strain fondly dubbed “The Godfather,” a cross between OG Kush and Grandaddy Purps. By strategically introducing stressful growing conditions, we produced a strain that was unlike anything else on the market at the time (legal or otherwise). The strain was unrivaled in color, potency, flavor, and scent. People from all over flocked to our dispensary to get a taste of The Godfather putting our humble shop on the map in California.

The following year, in 2012, federal crackdowns forced many businesses like ours to cease operations. Our team spent the next couple years laying in wait; planning our next moves. After some spontaneous introductions, in our first year as an official brand, we won multiple Cannabis Cup awards for our indoor, outdoor and concentrates. Flavors like Biscotti, Gelato 41 and Gelonade got global recognition and went on to be some of our legacy strains. In 2019 Connected joined forces with Alien Labs and started to embark on their first official breeding program. We built our R&D program to ensure that we will never become complacent.

We are constantly engaging in new breeding trials. One we are most excited about is an upcoming Chem D x Biscotti. Chem D is an old school strain that helped kick off the gasoline fueled strain lineage. By crossing it with Biscotti, we anticipate the most unique terp profiles that we may have ever grown. The magic that guides our breeding program is not just following what everyone else is doing in the market, but taking risks to mashup flavors and create something completely new that no one else is putting out there.

Our products range from our top-shelf indoor, mixed light, and sungrown flower to live resin concentrates and premium pre-rolls. Make sure you check out our new 100% Live Resin pens that are made with 100% fresh frozen buds. That means you can chill out and take a deep breath in knowing that what is going into your lungs doesn’t contain anything other than what nature intended and Connected cultivated. Fire in, Fire out!

cannabis measurements

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