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  • The State Of Cannabis

     

    The North Bay’s cannabis industry is becoming more stable as operators have largely recovered from the stark changes imposed by last July’s regulations. Businesses across the tri-county area are teaming up to form partnerships. With Sonoma County gaining ground as the area with the most activity, Santa Rosa is developing as Northern California’s distribution hub. The change will mean more jobs and a rise in demand for energy-efficient vehicles, distribution permits, and commercial leases.


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  • From Outlaw to Industry Leader

    Dennis Hunter was born ahead of his time, and it cost him roughly a decade of his life, either underground and on the run, or behind bars.


    He co-founded CannaCraft, Inc., the highly successful Santa Rosa-based marijuana production company that makes edibles, cartridges, soft gels, sublingual drops and other products. The company employs 240 people and has its products in 500 dispensaries. CannaCraft is privately held and its brands, ABX, Care by Design and Satori Chocolates are arguably the most widely recognized in the state. Hunter doesn’t disclose an exact number, except to say that CannaCraft’s revenues “rivals and/or exceeds that of the billion-dollar, publicly-traded cannabis companies on the U.S. and Canadian exchanges.”


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  • Sustainable Farming

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    North Bay vineyards are making enormous headway toward goals to become environment and labor-friendly, yet labor advocates and environmental organizations consider the region a long way from sustainability. Starting a conversation that will lead to cooperative efforts is key to finding agreement and helping the wine industry remain financially sustainable.


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  • NewGen Surgical


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  • Dairy Dilemma

     

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    Cows grazing along hillsides and in seaside meadows are a picturesque and familiar sight in Marin and Sonoma counties. Dairy farms have been a local presence for more than 100 years, but these days, the picture behind the scenes is far from idyllic. In many areas across the United States, the dairy industry is in distress, and farms are facing challenges. Chief among them are low selling prices, competition from alternate-dairy products and consumer demand for non-dairy products made from plants.


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  • Employer Drug Testing


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  • Hoby Wedler, Ph.D.


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  • Fair Days


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  • Business is Blooming


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  • Miyoko


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  • Living with Lions


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  • Going Green


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  • Cameo Cinema


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  • Not In My Backyard

    Sonoma County has changed, and not in a good way for some residents of unincorporated agricultural areas. The issue is cannabis, and although some of them supported legalization of marijuana for recreational use, cultivation of the plant close to their homes has impacted them in ways they never expected, intruding on a peaceful lifestyle and forcing them to fight battles they didn’t anticipate. The problems began to emerge soon after California voters approved legalization in November 2016. Sonoma County’s cannabis ordinance didn’t go into effect until November 2018, and in the interim, a Penalty Relief Program allowed existing growers to continue cultivation while they went through the process of applying for permits. New operations also sprang up, however, often with owners from outside the county who had no consideration for either their neighbors or the environment. Many of those growers were unable to comply with the Sonoma County Cannabis Ordinance and are gone now, but the memories and impact of their foray into rural neighborhoods remain.


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  • Wine and Weed Tours

     

    Whether you’ve heard of them or not, been on one, or know someone who has, wine and weed tours are a growing trend in Wine Country, drawing visitors from around the world to experience not just wine sipping, but weed smoking, too. With the excitement over California’s recreational cannabis laws, the cannabis culture is evolving, with several entrepreneurs jumping on the opportunity to start a tour business. But strict regulations and many gray areas to work within can make for a confusing day of tasting.


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  • Are We There Yet

    Picture this: You arrive at your home after a hard day at work. You gather your things, get out of the car and watch it drive off—by itself. It navigates solo to a lot somewhere on the outskirts of town, parks and waits for morning, leaving you with a clear street and, if you have one, lots of space in your garage. Futuristic fantasy? To practical techies in Silicon Valley and automotive makers worldwide, the answer is no, not at all.


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North Bay News and Stories

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Novato Cannabis, BioMarin Expands and Marin IJ Woes

 When it comes to cannabis, Marin’s cities are in a quandary, putting those in that sector and those wishing to open a business in a holding pattern.

Almost 69 percent of voters in Marin approved adult-use of cannabis legalization in 2016 via Prop 64. But as of this writing, mid-May, there is exactly one place in Marin to buy cannabis, Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the oldest dispensary in the country. That said, the Fairfax outlet is only allowed to sell medical cannabis. Voters there recently said “yes” to allowing drivers from Marin Alliance to deliver recreational cannabis within the town limits.

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How your Agribusiness Can Benefit From Mergers and Acquisitions Activity

Agribusiness is the business of agricultural production. Private equity investors, family offices and agribusiness management funds are increasingly investing in agribusiness companies—and for good reason. Several factors make it an opportune time for investment in the space: record fundraising levels and the need to deploy capital; a fragmented industry facing opportunities with capital investment; technology innovation; and growing food demand.

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Russian River Vineyards


Did You Know? Russian River Vineyards’ origins date back to 1890. The site was used primarily as family farmland. In 1930, new owners took control and started to offer food at an eight-seat roadhouse restaurant. There was a ready clientele from travelers using a nearby railroad. The restaurant remains and is still used today to provide local cheeses, charcuterie plates and vegetarian options for wine tasters. The spirit of sharing freshly prepared hot food is still a tradition at the winery. Today, a brick oven is used to churn out pizzas on Sunday afternoons starting in June.

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Work/Life/In Focus

Why did Sebastiani saddle a high-end wine with an onerous name like Gehricke? “What I loved about the name is that it’s a mouthful, difficult to pronounce and read. Gehricke is an old family town [in Sonoma County] from the 1800s to 1900s,” says Sebastiani, who spent time exploring the local countryside as a young boy. “There was also a street, Gehricke Road, named after them. They were just a family that owned a piece of dirt, and no one knows what happened to them. I was intrigued by the name—a gritty Sonoma County back road name.” For Sebastiani, Gehricke wine is a tribute to one such road.

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Fern Bar


During the late ’70s and early ’80s, a “fern bar” was American slang for an upscale tavern, known for its cocktail selections. They were popular meeting places for young singles and were typically decorated with ferns, retro sofas and faux Tiffany lamps. The new Fern Bar, located at The Barlow in Sebastopol, offers a hip, sophisticated nod to that era, complete with a modern space, hanging foliage and a selection of inventive garden-to-glass cocktails.

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Float the Boat


I will caveat this rant with the proclamation that I love living in the Napa Valley. There is no place I would rather live and raise my family. That being said, I feel like the area has gotten more overpriced and exclusionary than ever. I have to wonder if in catering to the all mighty tourist, have we overlooked the very people who live in our communities. Those that make the Napa Valley what it is today—one of the most amazing wine regions in the world.

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Sue Conley and Peg Smith, Cowgirl Creamery

Sue Conley and Peg Smith didn’t always live in the Bay Area—they had to migrate west, like true cowgirls. The co-founders of Cowgirl Creamery and Tomales Bay Foods met at the University of Tennessee after Conley’s upbringing in Washington D.C. and Smith’s formative years in the southern U.S. Before becoming artisan cheese pioneers, Peg spent 17 years at Berkeley’s visionary restaurant, Chez Panisse, and Sue co-owned Bette’s Oceanview Diner, also in Berkeley.

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On The Road To Driverless Cars

So, I bought a new car. My new ride is 2019 Lexus ES 300h (for hybrid), though the all-electric Chevy Bolt was tempting, in this day of four-buck gasoline, as was the new Tesla Model 3. It’s also crammed with new technology.

The Evolving Face of Cannabis

Welcome to NorthBay biz magazine’s inaugural Business of Cannabis issue. When I started working for the magazine as a freelance writer eight years ago, I would never have guessed I’d be writing about cannabis within the pages of a business-to-business magazine. But California is a state that always makes a grand entrance, often leading the way in the nation. It was the first state to approve the medical use of cannabis in 1996 through Proposition 215, which was then considered a significant victory for medical marijuana. And the legalization of recreational cannabis through Prop 64 in 2018 underscores the trailblazing ways of our Golden State.

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Aseem Das

As the founder of World Centric, a producer of compostable food service and tableware products, Aseem Das has the future in mind, just as he did when working on artificial intelligence for NASA before founding his Petaluma-based company.

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Distilling Winemakers

Making wine is no simple task. Wine grapes are only harvested once a year, whereas beer and spirits—which are mostly grain based—can be made just about whenever the mood strikes the producer. While a winemaker can hope to make 40 or 50 vintages of wine over a lifetime, a brewer of beer or a distiller of whiskey can potentially make thousands of batches.

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Work/Life/Green

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) compiles data each year from the USDA to provide a quick cheat sheet, listing produce that has the most—and least—pesticide residue. Following is EWG’s 2019 shopper’s guide to the dirty dozen and clean 15.

Targeted Advertisements on the Internet

We’ve all had the experience of visiting a website about, say, the best patio furniture to buy, and then seeing advertisements for patio furniture as we visit other websites. I recently visited the Wealthfront website (www.wealthfront.com) to learn more about their cash account, which currently pays 2.51 percent. Now I see ads for Wealthfront when I’m on Facebook and other sites that display ads. Most people find ads that follow them around the Internet either magical or creepy.

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Cannabis: Is It Safe


If you need a reminder about the “target market” for drug sales, try watching an episode or two of The Price is Right. Two recent episodes included 13 ads for pharmaceutical products, including Humira, Jardiance, Dupixent and Farxiga. Equally impressive were the warnings about possible side effects, including muscle weakness, trouble breathing or swallowing, blurred vision, bruising, stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, nervousness, yeast infection, respiratory tract infection, skin rash, pink eye, oral herpes, keratitis, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, ear infection, nosebleed, constipation, changes in urination, low blood pressure, high blood potassium, anemia, hair loss, kidney failure, and, oh yes, death.

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Work/Life/Biz

There are the meetings that drone on and on, the meetings where everyone is fiddling with their smartphones, and the meeting that someone hijacks and leaves you wondering why you’re even there. According to a survey of professionals by Salary.com, meetings ranked as the No. 1 productivity killer. (Dealing with office politics was No. 2.) But there are strategies for running an effective meeting. Here are seven tips to make them more productive.

 

 

In this Issue

From Outlaw to Industry Leader

Dennis Hunter was born ahead of his time, and it cost him roughly a decade of his life, either underground and on the run, or behind bars. He co-founded CannaCraft, Inc., the highly successful S...

The Evolving Face of Cannabis

Welcome to NorthBay biz magazine’s inaugural Business of Cannabis issue. When I started working for the magazine as a freelance writer eight years ago, I would never have guessed I’d be ...

The State Of Cannabis

  The North Bay’s cannabis industry is becoming more stable as operators have largely recovered from the stark changes imposed by last July’s regulations. Businesses across the tri...

See all...

  

 

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