Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Crowdfunding Cannabis: Inside the Cannabis Industry’s First Attempt at Equity Crowdfunding via Leafly

Crowdfunding Cannabis: Inside the Cannabis Industry’s First Attempt at Equity Crowdfunding via Leafly.com

This article is sponsored by Med-X, Inc., an emerging cannabis company working to secure equity crowdfunding for its venture. By innovating all-natural products, Med-X will provide safe and healthy cultivation practices and education to the emerging $3 billion cannabis industry. This article was originally published on Leafly.com on 1/15/16. 

On June 19, 2015, the floodgates of equity crowdfunding were opened with a historic legislative provision: Regulation A+ of Title IV of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012. And with cannabis among the fastest-growing industries in America, it was only a matter of time (and a short one at that) before the two nascent industries collided. On December 16, 2015, Med-X, Inc. became the first cannabis company in the nation to kick off an equity crowdfunding campaign.
Signed into law by President Obama, the JOBS Act tasked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with developing and enacting regulations that both “facilitate capital formation and promote investor protection,” with an eye toward bolstering the national economy. With the SEC’s enactment of Title IV, individuals without accreditation became eligible to invest directly in private companies for the first time since the 1930s. Unlike on standard crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, equity crowdfunding allows investors to receive a compensatory stake in the company, instead of the company amassing money given freely by participants.

In effect, the SEC’s decision opened the door to millions of accessible dollars that private companies hadn’t been allowed to reach for, let alone touch, in the past. Yet this money wasn’t just ripe for the taking. Before becoming the first cannabis company to pursue it, Med-X spent years laying the groundwork for a multi-faceted company that not only earned the qualification from the SEC but also appealed to an intrigued yet tentative audience of potential cannabis industry investors.

The Making of Med-X

Med-X was officially founded in 2014, but co-founders Matthew Mills and Dr. David Toomey, along with Med-X board member Dr. Allan Kurtz, had been networking together since 1999, and the idea for Med-X had begun percolating as early as 2011. Explains COO Mills, “We decided when this sector started to ripen, ‘Hey, we could create a lot of jobs and get cannabis into a more natural state where it’s safer for everyone.’” Given the medical background of Dr. Toomey and others on the team, the company took a natural “first, do no harm” stance on medical cannabis, espousing principles of health and education and positing that the products used to grow and cure medical cannabis should be strictly regulated.
In the five years leading up to the company’s official launch, the founders worked on research and development of the Nature-Cide All-Purpose product line, Med-X’s all-natural and exclusively licensed insecticide. Nature-Cide All-Purpose was registered with the EPA in all 39 of the required registration states, and the product began to receive acceptance and approval from the agricultural departments of states including Washington and Colorado for use on cannabis. At the same time, Med-X set out to expand into cannabis education and cultivation. The company launched The Marijuana Times, a digital media magazine, and built a laboratory for the cultivation, extraction, and research of concentrated high-CBD medical cannabis strains.
The funding for these initiatives didn’t come out of thin air; prior to the passage of Title IV, Med-X had already launched an equity offering that targeted traditional private investors and secured an initial round of funding. Still, the Med-X team was keeping an eye on the rollout of the JOBS Act, and making advanced plans to pursue equity crowdfunding. “One of the reasons why we were the first is because we were preparing for it,” says Mills. “Back in 2014, we launched an accredited investor offering that enabled us to do a general solicitation of investors. We knew Regulation A+ was coming, but we wanted to be ready.”
Before any companies, cannabis or otherwise, could pursue equity crowdfunding, they would need to qualify with the federally-administered SEC. Given cannabis’s problematic presence on the federal government’s list of Schedule I drugs, Med-X was aware that the nature of its business might be a sticking point. Still, it was among the first to apply and receive qualification once Title IV had been enacted.
“We were astonished by the rapid response from the SEC [on our qualified application],” recounts Mills. “The response was very favorable to us. We were surprised by that, and so was everybody else…As far as we know there were only two other companies that were qualified prior to us, neither of which was in the cannabis industry.”

Cannabis Investment: Why Equity Crowdfunding?

Shortly after Title IV went into effect, equity crowdfunding marketing agency CrowdfundX (unaffiliated with Med-X) accepted Med-X as one of its inaugural clients. Given that Med-X had seen success in securing traditional funding from accredited investors, the team is frequently asked why it chose to pursue equity crowdfunding, too.
“We’ve been asking ourselves the same question,” says Mills, who explains the conclusion the group reached: “Think of people who invest in companies to say they were a part of it even without getting equity – what will it be like when they get equity? People want to be a part of this kind of thing.”
This spirit of inclusion mirrors the communal spirit that has traditionally surrounded and supported the cannabis industry regardless of its legality. Admittedly, as the first cannabis company to pursue these sorts of investments, Med-X must contend with the newness of equity crowdfunding (and accompanying confusion over rules and regulations), as well as potential hesitations of would-be investors as they consider whether to participate in an industry that has yet to be legalized federally. Still, Med-X contends that its team’s combined years of experience in natural product development, digital media, medicine, and finance will be enough to quell investor uncertainties.
To date, Med-X has received over $1.2 million in reservations. While these indications of interest are non-binding, they do suggest that Med-X’s conjectures aren’t unfounded. There indeed seems to be a receptive market for crowdfunding cannabis and an engaged community willing to bring legitimacy to a highly stigmatized industry.
To learn more about Med-X, visit their equity crowdfunding campaign page at https://www.startengine.com/startup/med-x.
Disclaimer regarding forward-looking statements:
MED-X, INC. does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act (US.CSA). The company does grow cannabis for research and development purposes only.
An offering statement regarding this offering has been filed with the SEC. The SEC has qualified that offering statement, which only means that MED-X, INC. may make sales of the securities described by that offering statement. It does not mean that the SEC has approved, passed upon the merits or passed upon the accuracy or completeness of the information in the offering statement. You may obtain a copy of the offering circular that is part of that offering statement from.
MED-X, INC. 8236 Remmet Avenue, Canoga Park, CA 91304
You should read the offering circular before making any investment.
This campaign may contain forward-looking statements regarding predicted business performance, operating results, financial condition and other aspects of the company, expressed by such language as “expected,” “anticipated,” “projected” and “forecasted.” Please be advised that such statements are estimates only and there is no assurance that the results stated or implied by forward-looking statements will actually be realized by the company. Forward-looking statements may be based on management assumptions that prove to be wrong. The company and its business are subject to substantial risks and potential events beyond its control that would cause material differences between predicted results and actual results, including the company incurring operating losses and experiencing unexpected material adverse events.
Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Best News for Independent Artists and Musicians - Gigmor



I remember loving to sing more than I loved most things.  I remember not knowing why people kept asking me to sing for them.  I thought they must just like Disney movies as much as I did.  Then people started to pay me with ice cream to sing more.  Before I knew it, I was on stage.  Well an altar, because it really began in Mass singing hymns in a choir. 


When people keep applauding, you don't stop.  You don't stop when the crowd loves what you have to offer.  On top of that, singing and performing, that's the only time I felt at peace, the only time I was completely myself.


I certainly do miss these feelings.  I have played at the Parish Room at the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd where I earned my first $100 for performing at a real venue.  A gig I got because I knew someone at Live Nation who happened to book the venue and happened to see my Facebook post about wanting to play gigs.  Another time I played an open mic night at the only bar in a one lane town in Hope, Alaska and brought the bar to sing along with me to a cover of Joan Osborn's "One of Us." Other live shows were open mic nights and National Anthems for college and professional sports games.  All this after 15 years of musical theater, I still struggled with the idea that I could make a living as singer.


I taught myself to play guitar over seven years.  Still not perfect, but it enabled me to write my own songs and perform them.  I always knew I would "make it." Whatever that meant. I can imagine a lot of musicians have trouble putting their guitars away. Or if not away, at least not played as often or out of the house.  And my two guitars collect dust and my microphone rests in a drawer with all the cords neatly packed away.


I thought this was where my life was going until Gigmor.  


Gigmor is a musician only social platform. Now we've all heard of ReverbNation and other platforms and God knows we've all used craigslist to find band mates or gigs, but I feel hope that there is a solution out there for indie artists.  We love to perform.  We all have day-jobs.  Maybe that can change.  Maybe I really can rock the casbah!  And maybe even I can make a few bucks, or more than a few, fingers crossed.


Right now, Gigmor already has a social platform that connects musicians to each other. Which is great.  You don't have to scour the internet of everything, you are only looking for performers.  It really does narrow down the search, by a lot.  I am also less scared as a female to look for band mates, because Craigslist is pretty scary.  


Gigmor has just announced that it is partnering with MUSIC BOX San Diego where the venue will book Gigmor Artists directly from the platform for gigs.  This is a great opportunity and hopefully just the beginning of a long list of venue partners that will aim to discover new talent and provide paying gigs for emerging artists.  I really am excited.


The MUSIC BOX, takes place of the former, ANTHOLOGY, and increased their capacity from 250 to over 700.  It's a great new venue and I look forward to checking it out, and hopefully maybe even playing a gig there!!  


It's amazing to think that someone out there is trying to bring the music business into the 21st century. Finally, someone is on the side of the artists, the music creators, the people who just want to sing! For so long record companies and executives are the only ones who make the big bucks and by then they've molded their indie artist into a cash machine.  I just want to play the way I want to play.  I want to feel the hot lights.  I want to connect to audience with my stories and my voice that has been silent for too long.  


This is the kick in the butt I needed to get out there and play again.  Thanks to Gigmor, I think I'll plug in that amp, set up the mic and rock on.









MORE ABOUT GIGMOR
Gigmor is currently running an equity crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine.  When funded, Gigmor plans to use the funds to build a mobile app and develop the platform into a digital booking engine, where bands and artists can book a gig directly.  Never before have artists and venues been able to connect.  Gigmor aims to provide matching and ratings (GigScore) based on proprietary metrics to aids talent buyers in hiring the right bands for their venues.  

Fear not, my fellow indie musicians: CHANGE IS FINALLY COMING!  

Check out this video that explains what they are up to here 

My Gigmor Profile

SASKA'S SAN DIEGO, CA

PARISH ROOM, HOUSE OF BLUES - SUNSET

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY - NATIONAL ANTHEM

SEAVIEW BAR - HOPE, ALASKA 





Monday, July 6, 2015

The Very Best of Sharks! #Sharkweek

SHARKS! SHARKS SHARKS!
A photo posted by Alexandria Embleton (@alexinhwood) on

MR. SHARK




MEME SHARK

LEFT SHARK

 


Imma EatchYo Legs...Dunna, Dunna... FAMILY GUY SHARK





FACEBOOK CHAT SHARK




CAT SHARK




PIG SHARK


LAND SHARK

A photo posted by Alexandria Embleton (@alexinhwood) on

SHARK BAIT OOH HA HA




STREET SHARKS




SHARKNADO




SHARKALANCHE




Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Taking on the Pain of Others Can Cost You Your Health

Do you take on the pain of others?  Does a sad Facebook post from an acquaintance bother you for days on end?  Do you lie awake at night worrying about the troubles of your family and friends and wish you could make their problems and sadness disappear?  Is your emotional health taking a toll because you spend so much time caring for the distant pain of the world around you?

YOU ARE A VERY SPECIAL KIND OF PERSON, but there is a healthier way to show empathy and care for the ones you love.

You may be thinking...but I am always weighed down by this pain and the events and ailments that burden my friends.  How does this make me special?  Aren't I just a worrier?  Why can't I just let all these emotions go?  Why can't I be happy, and can I, when I know there is so much suffering?  Why am I so sensitive to everything around me?  Why do I feel like I notice things about people and feel them and others don't?

It is very possible that you are an Empath and a Highly Sensitive Person. An empath or healer if you like that term, truly takes on the pain of the people around them.  Empathy is just that and is not something everyone possesses.  I know people who cannot feel empathy at all and do not understand why a person would care that deeply about another.  That saddens me, but it also makes me envious at times that they don't feel constant pain and sadness by absorbing the world's pain.

There is a healthy way to be an empath and from what I am learning, it takes some effort and understanding that you are gifted.  An empath should not feel burdened by this gift, but blessed that their soul has the capacity to embrace other souls.  The thing to remember is that it is NOT your responsibility to ease others pain, or take it on for them.  As mental processes go, you may feel that if you ignore your friend's suffering, it is like you don't care or aren't acknowledging that they are going through a hard time.  But holding onto these emotions will end up becoming physical ailments from the toxic nature of negative thoughts and feelings.  Think of it this way.  If you feel sad for a friend, it doesn't take away their sadness.  No matter how you react or hold onto their suffering, they are the ones that must overcome.  As an empath it is wise to feel compassion and let them know that you understand, but to let the pain and weight pass right through you.  Holding onto years and years of other people's pain, seriously can cause chronic illness, depression and much more.

A photo posted by Alexandria Embleton (@alexinhwood) on

I am very interested in this topic since I am surrounded by empaths and have at times been one myself.  My mother and sister share this beautiful quality and literally lie awake, feeling the weight of the world.  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great social tools, but can also make this worse.  Hearing about a friend's miscarriage, divorce or loss of a loved one is information we take on just by logging into our social networks.  On top of that, the news and other worldly problems are in our faces every day and not from the television, but on our mobile phones.  We are bombarded with messaging and bad news.  How can one stay above the water with all this weight?

Let it go.  Let it pass.  Feel the pain for a second and let go the responsibility of feeling that pain.  The more you indulge the worse you will feel and while you are sympathetically trying to understand and make the world a better place, the problem will still be there because it is not yours to solve.  It's almost selfish to try to take away another's pain.

Pain begets learning.  A person must overcome their own obstacles to truly learn and build the tools THEY need to keep on going.  Trying to take away that process, will never benefit the sufferer, and suffering for them doesn't make them suffer less.  Take a breath.  Tell them you understand.  Listen.  Love.  Open your arms.  And then walk away and visualize the pain pass through you.  Do not hold onto it.  Do not try to make it smaller.  Do not wallow in it's sadness and give their pain, power over your happiness.

It is okay to be selfish.  A selfless person is rarely happy, fulfilled, or healthy.  It is unhealthy to lose oneself completely.  A proper empath is self-aware of their gifts and learns to use their gift of love and exercise compassion for those around them.

If you feel like this is a path you would like to read more about, I definitely recommend reading

Self-Care for the Self-Aware: A Guide for Highly Sensitive People, Empaths, Intuitives, and Healers by Dave Markowitz.


Stay tuned for more on this topic as I discover more on my own path.

xo,
alexinhwood
Monday, June 29, 2015

Trich: From the Beginning to Where I Am Now

My journey has been an odd one since January 2013...when I began to feel a change in my hair texture.  I don't know if the change occurred because of natural aging and hair does over time or if it was the addition of anti depressants to my daily routine.  I have always been a fidgeter, a nervous type of person.  Easy to startle and not fond of being poked or tickled or touched without warning.  Since I can remember I have loved the softness of my hair and have always played with it, braided it, unbraided it, braided it again and just always twisting and twirling.  I never thought anything of it really and only a few people seemed to notice.  As I got older, I looked a little childish twirling my hair so I began to pay more attention to it and lessen that habit around others.

Well, in 2013, somehow my hair texture was different and as a certain hair twirler, fidgeter, OCD type person, I began pulling out and inspecting these hairs.  They were soooo curly, so different, so course compared to my perfectly straight and smooth head of hair.  To me they just did not match, or feel pleasing to me while I twirled and braided.  So out they went.  It seems that I didn't quite understand it and didn't need an explanation really until I had created a wider part and two small bald spots on my head.  I felt like a crazy person that I could let this happen, when my hair meant so much to me.

Since that time, I have struggled with Trichtillomania or Trich and we call it.  It's not OCD but more like the lack of impulse control and it's something I have had to face straight on.  There is no ignoring it and I don't know if I'll ever have a 100% no pull life, but I hope to.

For the last 5 years, I have done a lot of soul searching.  I've worked through crippling anxiety and hopeless depression and come back from it.  I am healthier now than I have ever been and with a better understanding of myself an an appreciation for my unique gifts.  I've worked with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which certainly has helped my battle with anxiety and depression and has become a safe place to grow, ask questions and to not feel so alone.  Because of this self-work, I feel a certain calmness that I never thought was possible, thanks to my "ME TEAM."  I call them my "me" team because they are all there for me in my corner to help me become my best self.  My Therapist doesn't psychoanalyze me. She listens.  And man, what a different a life can be when you have someone to do just that. Listen.  We are working together to realize the triggers of my trich and ways to forgive myself for how harsh I am on my own flaws and failings and to better love the imperfections that make me who I am.



In 2014, I was diagnosed with ADHD and suddenly everything made sense.  Another member of the "ME TEAM" has made it possible for me to slow down, listen, absorb and complete things.  I never thought it would be possible, and now it is.  Now I am not fighting to say something in a crowd, or interrupting people, or acting out, or doing so many things I thought I needed to do, because I can think beforehand.  Once I realized this and tested out which cocktail would help me be my best self, I began to see the possibilities of a real career.  I had the ability to finish a project without breaking down and to handle stress more easily.  I was able to listen contently to someone explain something and share their stories without me trying to bud in with my opinion so I wouldn't forget what I wanted to say.  I also realized so much why I worked better while playing with my hair, or biting my nails or tapping my foot, because I always needed my brain to be stimulated so I could focus.

While I got healthier on the anxiety/depression side of life and got rid of my eating problems, the anxiety or the whatever it is, comes out in the form of trich.  Whatever I can't control or understand or manipulate, I know I can ease some type of imbalance my making my hair more perfect, by locating imperfections and removing them.  It's a feeling of success and then immediately a sense of failure, because I pulled out another beautiful strand of hair, contributing to another empty spot on my head.  I don't want to do that.  I don't want to have this problem.  But it happens without me knowing.

So how does one retrain themselves to not do something they know they do, but they do without thinking?  I've joined online communities.  I've heard of people shaving their heads and joining support groups and attending conferences.  There\s a unique network of us that have BFRB's or Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors.  From hair pulling to skin picking to much more, many people struggle with BFRB's and are not sure how to get through it and are surrounded by families and friends that do not understand and offer little support.  To stop, is not something you can just do.

It makes me sooo sad to hear stories of teens living with their parents who just make their child feel worse because of this odd problem.  Making a trich sufferer feel bad about their habit doesnt make ANYTHING BETTER.  "Trichsters" as we have been known, are very sensitive people and already are trying their best to be better.  Compassion is what we need and support.  Tell us we are beautiful and help us on bad pull days.  If someone comes to you for help, listen.  Punishing a friend or child for having these odd BFRB's only makes them feel more alone and more imperfect.

A photo posted by Alexandria Embleton (@alexinhwood) on

To be pull-free or pick-free is a goal for all of us, but it's the habit that gets in the way and there isn't enough research to pin-point why we do what we do.  Instagram has been a helpful tool for me to connect with others and to also share my days with those who are on the same path.  It's hard to admit to have this odd problem, but we are all human and none of us are perfect.  Each of us has some weird thing, quirk, or issue we wish we didn't.

Do you have trich?  Do you struggle with this also?  Feel free to email me @ alexinhwood@gmail.com and connect with me on my social profiles.  I think we can all help each other stay strong and to support each other.  You are not alone.  You are beautiful with or without eyelashes or eyebrows.  Wigs are fun and so are clip ins!  No matter what your journey may be, I am here to help and I understand.  But remember: LOVE THYSELF
A photo posted by Alexandria Embleton (@alexinhwood) on
I plan to share more of my progress and I am working to grow back the bald spots and aim to be pull-free.

Please follow my Twitter and Instagram for posts and updates regarding #trich and other wellness tips.

The following books/products and people are helping me with my journey and I would recommend each to anyone that suffers...

BOOKS

Amazon
Buy it on Amazon

HAIR PRODUCTS

WELLA:

Oil Reflections Anti-Oxidant Smoothing Oil

Buy at Ulta.com
VIVISCAL Hair Filler Fibers
Buy at ulta.com

SALON IN A BOTTLE
Buy on website
Great for trouble spots and ways to make hair seem thicker

CLIP ONS

Excited that my hair is growing longer. I finally can get it all up into a cute bun for bad pull days when I need to get it out of my way. Sitting and watching TV and driving are my biggest challenge since I'm not doing anything with my hands and naturally go to play with hair and braid it or feels it or my go to " put it up and then take it down and then put it up again" that drives my family crazy because it's distracting and also seems so unnecessary to them. When my ADHD meds wear off, I have trouble at home when I'm relaxing and don't have enough focus on much of anything. I am mindful and working all these things because I cannot wait for the day when there are no bald spots to hide and my hair is thick and fluffy again! #roadtorecovery #trich #nopullday #anxiety #wellness #ADHD #supportoninstagram #hairapy #lovethyself
A photo posted by Alexandria Embleton (@alexinhwood) on





Thursday, June 25, 2015

Film Festivals and Fun: Summer 2015

Los Angeles Premiere @ USC
Trailer




The Warning takes on handheld camera and continuous long form acting scenes with this adventure / horror film.  Despite multiple warnings from the universe, three high school friends reunite to bust or prove the urban legend of Satan worship in Colorado while their troubled pasts confront them.  Some people felt sick in the front rows from the camera movements, but I did not.  I liked the long scenes, where cut wasn't an option for the director as it feels at times, more like a stage play than film.  Jeff Allen and Tiffany Joy Williams outshine their co-star, Summer Moore with convincing acting and genuine performances.  The film definitely feels like an older horror film, where some parts come off funnier than maybe intended.  The scare factor is low, as this situation is less scary and more spooky due to the location, darkness, sounds and the unknown as it surrounds the trio and forces intimate conversations between the films key players.  The ending seemed to wrap up quickly and definitely came out of nowhere.  Great shock for the ending and enjoyed the film style.  

Jeff Allen and Aleksandria [Alexandria] Embleton 
attend the Film Independent Member Reception 
June 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Source: Getty Images
More on Jeff Allen (Actor/Producer)
@yesjeffallen

LAFF Screening for "FAN GIRL"

I enjoyed Kiernan Shipka is this teeny-bopper film.  It rides the surface of what could've been a deeper look into what inspires millennials as they navigate a socially connected online world with the one right in front of them.  What I would've killlllled for to have Instagram in high school as a way to express myself, instead of Xanga pages, pre-Facebook MySpace profiles and AIM profile captions.  
Kiernan shines and definitely brings fullness to her character which is so NOT Sally Draper, thankfully.  Kiernan's Talulah Farrow would've been my hero at 15 and I think she will be for plenty of young teens out there, ready to scoop up this film and the chance to enjoy many new songs from ALL TIME LOW, the real life band featured throughout the film and who's newest album, Future Hearts, just hit top 10.  

This pop-punk loving, Dashboard Confessional singing emo kid (during the 2000s) definitely wants this soundtrack and parents won't mind it either.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

CHRIS HANSEN is back with web-series: Hansen vs. Predator - UPDATED




SUCCESSFULLY FUNDED!! 
Chris Hansen is my hero.  This is the Kickstarter video from his camp and I already got my BACKER BUNDLE to help fund his new show.

http://instagram.com/hansenvpredator

Support CHRIS HANSEN in scaring away all the creepy dudes out there and to educate those who are unaware of the threats online.














I will update this post as the campaign goes on, 
until then, HAVE A SEAT!


Tweet Chris Hansen -> @ChrisHansen








Until the new show airs, we will just have to stick to 
watching reruns on MSNBC and YouTube

THE RAW TAPES - 3