Update: Medical Marijuana in Ohio

While the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) remained neutral on the initiative that passed two years ago legalizing medical marijuana in Ohio, our members did advocate passionately for specific employer protections that were ultimately included in the law. The employer protections, among other things, are designed to defend an employer’s HR policies, drug screening policies, and procedures. And, the Governor appointed a GCP Board member to Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee; the role is to protect employers’ rights as regulatory proceedings on medical marijuana take place in Ohio throughout the implementation of the program.

Provisional licenses for 24 medical marijuana cultivators have since been named. Certificates to recommend medical marijuana have been awarded to 36 physicians (approximately 50 applied) via the State Medical Board of Ohio. Initial medical marijuana dispensary certificates of operation are expected in September of this year.  For a timeline of the overall program, click here.

As Ohio implements the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, GCP will continue to represent the business community’s interests in Columbus. See this website for regular updates.


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  • Next up: U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Tax Credits to Help Pay Health Care Premiums

    U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Tax Credits to Help Pay Health Care Premiums

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance subsidies can go to residents of any state, a big win for the President, and probably a sigh of relief for more than 6 million people (including approximately 150,00 Ohio residents) that could have been directly impacted.

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance subsidies can go to residents of any state, a big win for the President, and probably a sigh of relief for more than 6 million people (including approximately 150,000 Ohio residents) that could have been directly impacted. 

    The case, King v. Burwell, represented perhaps the biggest legal threat to ACA since the Supreme Court ruled the law was constitutional three years ago. The verdict, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, ensures that consumers purchasing health insurance on the federal exchanges set up in 34 states will continue to be able to do so. 

    “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” wrote Chief Justice Roberts. “The combination of no tax credits and an ineffective coverage requirement could well push a state’s individual insurance market into a death spiral. It is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner.” 

    So, subsides will remain available to help purchase health coverage. The rest of ACA, including the requirement to be insured, was not at issue before the nine justices in this case. And, whether Congress intended for everyone who was income-eligible to get subsidies or not, the court’s decision staves off what would have undoubtedly created confusion – at a time when many small business owners and their employees are often unsure of the right path to take when it comes to deciding on their health care coverage options in general.

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  • Next up: Use Data to Drive Business Growth

    Use Data to Drive Business Growth

    Jason Therrien, president of integrated marketing agency thunder::tech::, explained during a recent COSE Business Growth Boot Camp how business owners can leverage the data their businesses are generating.

    Jason Therrien, president of thunder::tech, begins his Business Growth Boot Camp at the COSE offices.

    You’re sitting on a treasure trove and you don’t even know it.

    Your business is churning out reams upon reams of data about your customers and potential customers. This data could be put to good use in helping you find, retain and convert customers. But the sad part is, you’re probably not utilizing that data to its fullest potential, said Jason Therrien, president of Cleveland integrated marketing agency thunder::tech during a recent COSE Business Growth Boot Camp entitled “2017 Marketing Trends—Staying Ahead of the Marketing Curve.”

    Watch Jason Therrien, president of thunder::tech, give his three top takeaways from his COSE Business Growth Boot Camp Session.

    Why is this business intelligence important? Therrien said by using data, you can follow one of your customers from one step in the buying process to the next. If they drop out at some point, it will be easier for you to ascertain why and then take steps to strengthen that portion of your sales funnel. For example, tracking behavior means your sales team can understand what that potential buyer was doing on your site. If they happened to open a document before dropping out, perhaps you could trigger an email, video or blog post to hit the customer that provides additional information about the product or service they were looking at.

    Taking action

    Marketing automation such as that is an extremely powerful way to market to your audience, he said. For instance, automating an email tied to one of your company’s events is a good way to open a conversation with the segment of your audience that happens to be interested in that particular part of your business.

    So, what’s the best way to start pulling all of this data together? Therrien suggested taking all of the business intelligence you can gather and putting it into specific buckets. Where do your customers seem to want to talk to you? Where are the opportunities for you to talk to them?

    Once you’ve answered those questions, start identifying the types of customers you have based on their data profile (for example, age, education, etc.) Give them real names, such as Gertrude or Madison. Continue to use business intelligence so that you are always developing additional personas.

    Therrien said as your business continues to utilize more and more of the data it’s sitting on, you’ll have a clearer understanding of why certain personas are converting in some places, but not others. And data will help you identify trends such as these sooner.

    Deeper Dive

    Want to dig a little bit deeper into the topics discussed above? Consider:

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  • Next up: Webinar: Grow Your Business with Email and Social Media

    Webinar: Grow Your Business with Email and Social Media

    Understand what you need to do to leverage the power of email marketing and social media campaigns to engage with customers.


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  • Next up: Use Email and Social Media to Grow Your Business

    Use Email and Social Media to Grow Your Business

    Understand what you need to do to leverage the power of email marketing and social media campaigns to engage with customers.

    Understand what you need to do to leverage the power of email marketing and social media campaigns to engage with customers.


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  • Next up: Use Video to Amplify Your Marketing and Drive Results

    Use Video to Amplify Your Marketing and Drive Results

    Using video to promote your business can really kick your marketing up a notch. Read on for tips to getting started, with a specific focus on using social media’s live video components.

    Video is a popular way to connect with people and it’s a tactic that’s here to stay. John Sammon, CEO of Sixth City Marketing, presented a recent WebEd Series Webinar focusing on how to use video to enhance your business’ marketing strategy and boost your bottom line. (Scroll to the bottom of this article to view the webinar in its entirety.)

    Video can be effectively used to:

    • Put a face to your business;
    • make a personal connection with your pitch;
    • showcase your company’s culture;
    • broadcast what you’re up to at a live event (conference, etc);
    • differentiate your company; and
    • show off a product or service in detail—go live with it and do a walk thru of it.

    Creating a more formal video and purchasing the necessary equipment can be costly. Sammon recommends that if you’re just beginning to dip your toe in the world of videos, start on your social sites.

    Facebook: When most people think of live video options they think of Facebook. And with good reason—Facebook algorithms reward you for using live video by pushing them to the top of newsfeeds. Live videos can drive ten times more comments and shares because of the connection between users.

    YouTube: The live components are easy to navigate on YouTube, which is the second-highest used search engine.

    LinkedIn: LinkedIn Live is available only in Beta testing currently but is expected to corner the market on professional working life connections.

    Here are some live video tips you can use as you start out:

    Live video tip No. 1: It doesn’t have to be perfect. While it’s true that live video cannot be edited, your audience is aware of that and understands that your videos won’t be flawless.

    Live video tip No. 2: Tell all your friends. Especially as you’re just starting out and looking to build your audience, alert your friends when you’re going live so you know you have people tuning in. Have them type in some questions to give you the opportunity to interact with your viewers.

    Live video tip No. 3: Keep it short and sweet. Video on social sites should be brief segments so that you keep the attention of your audience, which tends to have a short attention span.

    Live video tip No. 4: But don’t be afraid to go a little longer when appropriate. If you’re showing off a new product or service, you might want to really go into detail to hook your audience. Don’t worry as much about brevity in these cases.

    Live video tip No. 5: Provide value. Release a product, make a big announcement—make sure you’re offering insight or something else of value to your viewers.

    Live video tip No. 6: Show off your credibility. Feature a regular industry news wrap up, talk about what you’re up to at a conference or speaking engagement, or show your audience what’s going on at an event you’re attending. Steps like this can show you’re committed to being proactive in the industry, lead you to be identified as an industry expert and help build your credibility.

    Live video tip No. 7: Watch the metrics. The great thing about video is you can get statistics on how much it’s viewed, when people drop off, etc. Keep an eye on these numbers and use it to drive your decisions on what kind of content, length of videos, day and time, frequency and other important elements.

    Once you are done with your live video, you need to continue marketing it. Here are some things to consider as you’re doing that:

    Market it tip No. 1: Reuse the video. You made a live video on Facebook and now it’s living on your timeline. From there you can export it and embed it on your homepage, or wherever you want to feature it.

    Market it tip No. 2: Optimize the video. Make sure the title and description of the video contain keywords that will make it easily searchable.

    Market it tip No. 3: Hashtag and link it. Include hashtags that are recognizable for your business and industry. And also make sure you include in the description a link back to your website.

    Follow other companies making live videos and check out what they do—or just jump right in and start playing around with it. As you do more video, you’ll become more comfortable with doing video, and you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.


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