Welcome to the first edition of our weekly cannabusiness column, which will cover emerging sectors of the cannabis industry.
We will be taking you, our cherished readers, behind the scenes at the most revolutionary cannabis businesses is the US, and it is our hope to inspire smooth entry into the cannabis economy.
A little about me: In November 1996 I directed the HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup Video in Amsterdam. All were giddy at the passage that month of Proposition 215 in California, which had medicalized the use of marijuana after a $10,000,000 ad campaign spearheaded by Dennis Peron, a veteran San Francisco civil rights activist. Through a thick cloud of marijuana and hash smog, Dennis repeatedly proclaimed at the Cannabis Cup press conference that, “All marijuana use is medical!” It was a radical statement.
Since then I have watched the cannabis industry evolve based on a variety of perceptions -- criminal, medicinal, recreational, agricultural, nutritional, spiritual. As I travel around the US teaching marijuana business and law seminars for Cannabis Career Institute, I meet hundreds of people using their skills from the non-pot world in the cannabusiness. Accountants, doctors, graphic designers, security guards, carpenters, electricians, et al. retool their business strategies to cater to dispensaries, growers, drivers, lobbyists and politicians.
Measuring the economic impact of such an amorphous economy is hugely time consuming. Restaurants, hotels, clothing stores, art galleries and bike shops are funded and sustained with marijuana money. Arizona and Nevada politicians have created a booming application business for medial marijuana dispensary licenses, upping the ante as public interest grows.
What if President Obama reschedules marijuana tomorrow and lets states decide how to classify it? Will Nevada's soon-to-exist $25,000 medical marijuana dispensary licenses be rendered moot? Will the state agency regulating them be dissolved?
In the classic Civil War love story Gone With The Wind, Rhett Butler embraces chaos to make money by selling weapons, lumber, women and booze to the highest bidder in any army. He was fully aware that the war economy would end without warning. Differing approaches to marijuana regulation provide the same fleeting opportunity. For those ingrained with traditional corporate values it is hard to embrace the transitory nature of the American marijuana business.
According to the Federal government the entire industry is illegal, despite vague utterances to the contrary from the Justice Department. That is a heavy yoke to bear for the most promising industry in the world and America's best hope for economic recovery.
The good news? We're ready.
Next Week: Marijuana Stocks: The New Bubble: Publicly-traded cannabis companies are targeted by shifty stock brokers. Find out how.