News and nuggets for cannabis industry practitioners in the Midwest and beyond.

Save the Dates! Upcoming Grown In Learning virtual programs 

Next month, Grown In begins a monthly series of live programs focusing on cannabis industry innovation, education and professional connections. 

On April 21, Grown In’s Chief Learning Officer Eric Davis will convene a panel focusing on cultivating talent in the highly complex and compliant cannabis industry.

On May 18, Mike Fourcher will discuss banking best practices for cannabis companies. 

On June 16, cannabis industry operators, investors, executives and aspirants will convene for the Summer 2021 Grown In Cannabis and Capital Summit, our second in a series of quarterly programs focused on capital formation, raising money and generating stakeholder value in the cannabis industry. 

If you and/or your organization are interested in participating in these programs in any capacity, please email to learn more.   

Additional upcoming events of note include the Southern Illinois Cannabis/Hemp Symposium on Saturday, March 20. The virtual event will focus on topics ranging from growing and processing to lab analytics and medical uses. 

On March 22 and 23, Illinois Women in Cannabis will hold its second annual conference: Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a Post-Covid-19 World. The consecutive day mornings sessions include keynote presentations from Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer Danielle Perry, Green Thumb Industries board director Wendy Berger, and Joline Rivera from Kitchen Toke and Red Belly Honey. 

The National Union Credit Administration penalizes Michigan’s Live Life Credit Union 

In what American Banker believes to be “the first example of U.S. regulators calling out a financial institution for compliance failures specific to the cannabis industry” and that “explicitly mentions marijuana”, the National Union Credit Administration last month penalized Fraser, Michigan-based Live Life Credit Union for compliance irregularities. 

Live Life, which has $69 million in assets and 150 cannabis-related banking clients, to date has processed compliance-heavy records manually. Some suspicious activity went unreported or was reported late, acknowledged CEO Karla Haglund. 

As part of the penalty, Live Life has until April to automate its processing. 

Dutchie raises $200 million at a $1.7 billion valuation, acquires Leaflogix and Greenbits

Bend, Oregon-based Dutchie, which develops software for cannabis businesses, recently closed a $200 million Series C venture round Led by New York-based Tiger Global Management. 

Proceeds from the investment, which also included participation from former Starbucks CEO and Chairman Howard Schultz and an affiliate of blue chip Silicon Valley venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, were used at least in part to acquire cannabis point of sale software firms Leaflogix and Greenits. 

Dutchie provides online ordering and delivery services in Michigan, which hastily approved cannabis delivery a year ago at the onset of Covid-19 shutdowns, as well as online ordering in Illinois and Missouri. 

San Francisco-based cannabis ordering and delivery company Eaze also announced this week that it would enter Michigan in partnership with former Detroit Lion wide receiver Calvin Johnson. 

While cannabis operators are required to use state-approved systems including Metrc in Michigan and Missouri and BioTrack in Illinois, many choose to layer on additional seed-to-sale software solutions for additional capacity and what many believe to be superior user experiences. 

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.