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U.S.: Groundbreaking Cannabis TV Show Delivers National Network Highs

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Free Speech TV’s "Marijuana Straight Talk" is topping national cable network ratings as a journalistic news outlet covering the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry.

Hosted by media entrepreneur and former NPR news anchor Becca Williams, the national TV show’s “420 special” which aired on April 20 received record viewership, becoming the most popular weekly program to date on Free Speech TV network in 2016.

Based on Rentrak ratings service, Free Speech TV garners approximately 1.2 million viewers per month and reaches nearly 40 million households. The station airs on DirecTV and DISH channels, as well as 200 part-time cable affiliates.

Host Williams is a long-time cannabis advocate and consumer who recognized the potential of a broadcast medium devoted to the controversial subject of marijuana. With riveting candor and hard-hitting commentary, Williams rips through fact, fiction and folly to get to the truth behind America’s misconceptions about the “Green Rush.”

"Marijuana Straight Talk"'s episodes tackle the realities of a rapidly expanding cannabis community. From educational and wellness segments to in-depth interviews and historical narratives, the show creates a cannabis culture that is socially conscious, sustainable and prosperous.

U.S.: National Cannabis Industry Association Platform To Connect Experts, Entrepreneurs

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First-of-its-kind Cannabis Expert Calling Network (ECN®) Kicks Off at NCIA's Cannabis Business Summit and Expo

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) and Brainsy, Inc., are collaborating to launch the Cannabis Expert Calling Network (ECN®), a knowledge-sharing platform connecting cannabis industry experts with entrepreneurs and information-seekers online and via paid telephone consultations.

NCIA members who are experts in their area of the cannabis industry will be invited to set up personalized profiles on the Cannabis ECN system, which allows information-seekers to find and contact them, then conduct over-the-phone consultations at a rate set by the expert.

"With so many new people and businesses entering the cannabis industry, there is a huge demand for knowledge exchange across a range of topics including cultivation and processing, dispensary operations, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, banking issues, and many more," said Aaron Smith, executive director of NCIA.

"The Cannabis ECN will allow high-caliber, experienced cannabis professionals a simple platform to share their expertise with the large number of people seeking them out and be compensated for their time," Smith said.

Vermont: State's First Cannabis-Dedicated Media Platform Launched

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Two Vermont-based entrepreneurs have founded what they say is the first cannabis-dedicated media platform in the state, starting with the launch of Heady Vermont, a news and culture site that analyzes and follows pot developments in Vermont and the surrounding region.

“The Vermont media's done a fantastic job of covering statehouse developments and cannabis news,” said Monica Donovan, managing partner and publisher.

“We sensed a need for deeper coverage that can evolve with the interests and needs of Vermonters as we move towards legalization,” added Editor-in-Chief Eli Harrington.

Heady Vermont produces and publishes daily news and media content on its site HeadyVermont.com — including in-depth features, guest op-eds and third party listings. In addition to content and media creation, Heady Vermont promotes community cannabis events and education.

"Heady Vermont is all at once newsworthy, enjoyable and thought-provoking, calling for accountability and fairness in a growth industry that frequently needs to check in with itself," said Donovan. "There exists a highly diverse variety of interests and positions at stake in the cannabis community. I think this is a great chance to give voice to the chorus making up the emerging cannabis scene in Vermont."

California: National Tech and Cannabis Influencers Convene In SF At New West Summit

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Tommy Chong’s “Choice” Cannabis Brand, Upper Playground, SPARC, Christopher Willits, Lynette Shaw Added to San Francisco’s Cutting-Edge Disrupt Conference

This Friday, nationally-renowned technologists, venture capitalists, media publishers, entertainment brands, and leaders in the multi-billion dollar marijuana industry will converge at the groundbreaking New West Summit.

Tommy Chong’s cannabis brand Chong’s Choice, the iconic San Francisco apparel brand Upper Playground, the award-winning SPARC dispensary, musician Christopher Willits, iconic activist Lynette Shaw, and California Assemblyman Rob Bonta are among the many highlights at New West Summit, this Friday and Saturday Nov. 20-21 at the Parc 55 Hotel San Francisco.

New West Summit’s complete program, curated by David Downs, editor of "Smell the Truth" on SFGate.com, includes 30 panels or keynotes, and approximately 80 panelists from across the spectrum of tech, finance, media and the $10 billion marijuana sector.

“The event’s tight focus and expert programming has garnered us significant buzz, and we’re ecstatic at how well this first Summit has come together," said Summit co-organizers Dean Arbit and Jim McAlpine in a press release. "There’s no better time or place in the world to be discussing the intersection of these industries.”

Summit Highlights:

• Special guest and Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana founder Lynette Shaw will receive Lifetime Achievement Honors Friday.

California: Tech, Media Industry Gathering With Marijuana Investors and Start-Ups

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New West Summit Scheduled for November 20-21, 2015, at Parc 55

New West Summit, which calls itself "the first conference to focus exclusively on the game-changing, disruptive developments in technology, investment and media within the cannabis industry," has announced initial speakers, panelists and sponsors for their November event. in San Francisco.

“The Summit could not occur in a better time or place for our attendees,” said Dean Arbit, co-founder of New West Summit and publisher of Smell The Truth, a cannabis-news outlet in partnership with Hearst Media on SFGate.com. “Interest in the cannabis industry is breaking all-time record highs, and San Francisco is ground zero for the world’s digital economy.”

The legal cannabis space has an estimated $10 billion economic impact in 2015 in the U.S., and the field is rapidly professionalizing and specializing, according to organizers. "There is an immediate, unmet need for a marijuana industry conference tightly focused on the most dynamic, and disruptive segments: applications of high technology, deep capital, and professional branding and content," reads a press release from New West.

Jim McAlpine, co-founder of New West Summit and successful entrepreneur in the Internet and tech space for almost 20 years, said, “it’s a natural fit to establish a disruptive technology conference in this rapidly growing marketplace. I’m proud to be part of the team doing it.”

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