From the growers to the dispensers, the investors to the politicians, and the green in your bong to the green in their pockets, we're bringing you the detailed happenings in the budding wide world of business.
The "Apple Store of Pot" Opens
The marijuana dispensary visit is a ubiquitous experience in states like Denver and Washington as well as medical states like New Jersey, Oregon, California, Maine, and dozens of others. Yet, surely with the explosion of new marijuana legislation on the ballots from Alaska to Florida, the business of selling and branding pot will inevitably evolve as would any other product. Even now we're seeing the first signs of it with dispensaries like Euflora -- positioned conveniently in the 16th Street Mall, "probably the most visited tourist destination in Colorado."
Jamie Perino explains "Euflora was created to appeal to consumers who like the 'Starbucks, Apple (Store) kind of feeling.'" The weed is kept in clear containers along rows of table tops so that customers can examine and even smell each strain before they decide which one they'd like to take home. Moreover Perino placed tablets next to each contained with the most up-to-date information of the specifics and characteristics of each strain. This trend is sure to continue as dispensaries begin to uniquely brand themselves and seek to build customer loyalty.
A Marijuana Tour Operator Goes Public Via Reverse Merger
Pladeo Corp -- which was previously only known for a failed experiment in creating free chat rooms -- issued at least 2.5 million shares as a means to buy four cannabusinesses in Colorado: Mary Jane Tours, Mile High Times, Dab City Radio and Mary Jane Entertainment. Collectively Pladeo is rebranding itself as the Mary Jane Group. A description from the company reads:
"Mary Jane Entertainment is conveniently located off a major highway. Our radio program reaches thousands of listeners and Mile High Times is distributed to marijuana-related businesses. This keeps our brand in the forefront through multiple channels of distribution."
Moreover, they are also offering tours under titles like "Mid Day Burn," "Up In Smoke" and "Chronic Art." The descriptions couldn't be more telling:
"Do you consider yourself a connoisseur of high-grade cannabis? Whether you’re a pro-smoker with Michael Phelps’ lung capacity or just a good ol’ fashioned stoner, the Up In Smoke Tour is just the right fit for you! We’ll pick you up, from your downtown hotel in one of our limousines or party buses, and whisk you around the city."
All we can say is the tourism business surely owes many thanks to the Colorado legislators who opened the door for recreational marijuana.
Television's First Chief Cannabis Correspondent
Fusion TV (a joint venture between Disney-ABC and Univison) is touting author and journalist Ryan Nerz as the first Chief Cannabis Correspondent. Their recent hire will "contribute to the channel's digital and television platforms and will also host a limited half-hour show called 'The Cannabusiness Report' which focuses news and opinion about the marijuana industry nationwide."
Nerz wrote a book called "Marijuanamerica: One Man’s Quest to Understand America’s Dysfunctional Love Affair with Weed" in an attempt to disseminate the complicated relationship the U.S. has with marijuana. We wish him the best of luck in his new position and can't wait to see what they've got in store over at Fusion!
How many pot shops does LA really have?
There has been some disagreement over how many actual marijuana dispensaries reside in Los Angeles, but recent tax filings may have shed some light on the actual number. To begin with, over 450 pot shops have filed for renewals to pay LA taxes this year. That poses a problem right off the bat because it is triple the amount that is allowed under California's Proposition D. And that number doesn't even count shops who are late to register or never even registered at all.
"My impression overall is that fewer are operating now," Don Duncan, the California director of Americans for Safe Access, told the LA Times. "But it's so hard to quantify." For starters tax records offer one clue at least: About 1,100 medical collectives are registered to pay business taxes in LA.
Attorney David Welch disagrees with Duncan's assessment. "People are aware that they're being targeted for enforcement and they're refusing to renew. I don't think it should be used as an indication that medical marijuana collectives are closing down."
Though the hard number may remain a mystery, it seems safe to say the Los Angeles marijuana scene is thriving and just waiting to be unleashed in a post-prohibition era.