Those hoping to cash in on the cannabis crop need to invest their time to carefully research the industry beforehand. Believe it or not, but the marijuana industry has already become a complex one with many different facets.
Money doesn’t just grow on budding trees. For every one canna-businesses that succeeds, nine will fail due to poor planning. Investors need to think about which start-ups actually work.
Before you pack up and head off to weed college (yes, it does exist) here are a wide range of interdisciplinary fields to consider.
The Weed Stock Market
If everyone is looking for gold then sell shovels. At least that’s what experts are saying about the so-called Green Rush. The business community has been abuzz over the latest pot stocks, with venture capitalists scoping out cannabis conferences for the next big thing.
A lawyer from Las Vegas named Bart Mackay is Big Cannabis’ “first billionaire”. His “pot-folio” includes 15.7 million shares in CannaVest.
Advisors warn not to throw all your money into stocks hoping to make a quick fortune. Carefully research any potential investments to make sure they are licensed and accredited. A few nefarious scammers out there are using the cannabis trend. FINRA issued this warning to potential investors about pump-and-dump scams in which con men sell shares in fake companies and then disappear.
Someone has to grow this marijuana plant. Speculators are wondering if cannabis might be the next cash crop. Including the underground trade, experts estimate the size of the US marijuana market to be $10 to $20 billion.
According to the federal authorities, most of the illegal pot in the United States is grown in the countryside and forests by Mexican drug cartels. The DEA routinely stumbles upon a surprising number each year which they destroy in coordination with park rangers and local sheriffs.
For Colorado and Washington, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as illegal grows are being phased out. And in many cases, these growers are part of family businesses, and are people you see at the grocery market, not on America’s Most Wanted.
The medicinal and recreational marijuana sanctioned by some states is produced by licensed grower in high-tech facilities and laboratories. In Colorado, a marijuana producer named Maggie’s Farm promises seed grown crops in 100% custom organic soil hydrated by pure spring water from the local mountains.
A new report by the Marijuana Business Daily predicts that the combined sales of legal marijuana in the United States will reach $8 billion by 2018. As more states legalize and license growers, this number puts a dent in illegal growing.
Entertainment & Celebrities
The marijuana subculture has inspired film and music in the United States for decades, but not as openly as they can today. Now, artists get a legal venue to promote their activities–and can flaunt them freely on social media.
And artists are truly (and wisely) taking advantage of the situation. Wiz Khalifa doesn’t even need to pay for weed anymore because he’s a sponsor for strains and hash makers. In the not-so-distant future, one can imagine a world where artists wear the Weedmaps logo on their hats. The full-fledged assimilation of cannabis into celebrity culture (and films and television and music) is simply inevitable.
The spread of information is vital to any human activity. The marijuana industry grows increasingly more complex, and with it the need for more coverage arises. The emerging cannabis beat calls for marijuana journalists writing for outlets like The Denver Post’s “The Cannabist”, SF Gate’s “Smell the Truth” or the Huffington Post’s Marijuana section.
Events like the Cannabis Cup and Hempfest have been around for ages, but without any sort of competition. That is no more. From the now annual 710 festivals, to weekly gathering at clubs to (yes, really) marijuana-infused symphonies. Then there’s the peripherally related events and festivals like a Coachella or a Bonnaroo–that will eventually accept marijuana sponsors.
Marijuana activists also need to know where they can obtain their medicine and at what cost. New weed-finding websites such as Weedmaps draw millions of visitors per month. While Silicon Valley is the hub of the technology field, marijuana apps tend to stick to Denver or Seattle because there are fewer legal restrictions.
The Scientific & Medical Side
When Washington legalized weed, the state set guidelines insisting that cannabis is tested for potential toxins and for THC levels. In Colorado, if you’re not testing your medical marijuana in a lab and showing your strain’s potency, you’re not taken too seriously or a fair resource for patients and consumers. That’s one reason that CannLabs–a testing lab–just became a publicly traded company.
There is also a demand for doctors to write prescriptions for medical marijuana (while it still exists) and for scientists to conduct research on cannabis’ effects. And then there’s the creative, botanist aspect: genetic engineering of new strains can be considered the evolution of modern medicine.
Marijuana doesn’t just grow into little joints. The manufacturing role falls into the production category. Making dabs or hash oil is a chemical process that requires a lot of skill, and these extract artists are redefining pot’s potential. Beyond dabs, there’s a plethora of infused products that rely on the extract method–including (yes, really) an aphrodisiac.
Marijuana dispensaries also sell a variety of cannabinoid-infused edibles from candied corn to strawberry soda that are concocted with extracts.
It’s not just medical anymore–this is a stoner’s world now. Retailers will be doling out most of the green-gold in the upcoming rush. And it’s not difficult to sell people weed. But retail goes beyond weed. There’s marijuana clothing lines emerging, there’s cannabis tours to sell, and of course, there are bongs on bongs on bongs. With marijuana’s growing acceptance, people will just feel more and more comfortable showing and wearing their true colors: green, green, and green.
And it’s all only going to keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger…
Taken from Marijuana.com.
Higher Taxes, Less Revenue
One of the main purposes of marijuana legalization is to undercut the dealers of the black market. But this is only possible if the prices of the legal market can compete with those of the black market. The idea is to get cannabis users to stop buying illegally and start buying from the legal, regulated market.
Not only is the recreational markets in Colorado and Washington competing with the black market, they are also competing with the medical marijuana market. If dispensaries and black market dealers can sell top quality cannabis for, say, $15 a gram, but the recreational market can only provide $20 a gram prices, the recreational market is going to suffer, and possibly die.
Legal recreational cannabis can be brought to market at a much lower price than black market cannabis, as long as supply can keep pace with demand. It can be grown out the open at a much cheaper price than in an elaborate hidden grow room in someone’s house. The problem, of course, is taxes. Getting tax revenue from legal marijuana is great, but if taxes are too high, they will ultimately suppress the revenue.
If people go to the black market, they pay no taxes. And the tax revenue from an unsold once of legal recreational cannabis is $0. The less people that frequent the legal market, the less revenue that will flow into the coffers. So it’s in everyone’s interest to keep taxes low; the lower the taxes, the more people who will buy from the legal market. If the black market can be crippled and people only buy from the legal market, tax revenue will be maximized.
Low taxes, high revenues. A win-win for everyone.
Why Does The NFL Hate Marijuana?
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon tested positive for marijuana, which violated the NFL’s drug policy. The positive test resulted in an overly-harsh one year suspension. Josh Gordon wasn’t caught harming someone in conjunction with consuming marijuana, nor was he even caught consuming or possessing marijuana. He had marijuana in his system, which means that within the 30 days leading up to the test, Josh Gordon had consumed marijuana. It wasn’t even during the season; it was during the off season.
Compare that to the suspension handed down to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. Ray Rice beat up his fiancee in a casino elevator to the point that she was knocked out. Ray Rice is going to be suspended two games. If you have any marijuana in your system at all, and have harmed no one, you get suspended for an entire NFL season. But if you beat up a woman to the point she is unconscious you get suspended two games. How is that fair? Why does the NFL hate marijuana so much?
There are two NFL teams that are from states where marijuana is completely legal – the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. There are many more teams that are from states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes. Yet, despite some form of marijuana being legal in those states, the NFL will still suspend players if legal marijuana is found in those player’s systems. These players can drink as much as they want, and take as many prescription drugs as they want, and that’s fine. But the second it’s determined that they have taken even one hit of marijuana or taken one bite of a marijuana edible, the hammer is dropped.
What is the goal of the NFL’s policies? Is it to keep it’s players from harming themselves? Because if so, it’s worth pointing out that pharmaceuticals damage your organs, while marijuana does not. Is it to keep players from harming others? Because if so, it’s worth pointing out that Josh Gordon didn’t harm anyone by testing positive for marijuana, yet Ray Rice knocked out a defenseless woman. Ray Rice would have to knock out seven more women to get a comparable suspension to Josh Gordon’s suspension. To say that NFL’s policies are inconsistent is an understatement.
Josh Gordon is going to appeal his suspension August 1st. How the NFL will react to the appeal is tough to say. Considering Josh Gordon is the only NFL player ever to achieve 200 yards receiving in back to back games, the NFL may lower his suspension to get him back on the field to help sell tickets and NFL merchandise. But if so, the NFL’s motive will be to make money, not to do what’s right. If the NFL truly wanted to do what’s right, Josh Gordon wouldn’t be suspended at all for marijuana.
The Foria Trials: An Evening With the World’s First Cannabis Sex Lubricant
When I think of marijuana I think of crowded, smoke filled cars full of rowdy teenage boys. I think of hushed conversations, carefully chosen hiding spots, and paper thin lies mumbled under the disapproving gaze of my parents. Growing up, weed symbolized the big and mysterious world that lay beyond the bounds of the suburbs in which I grew up. It was an excuse to explore (that search for a sunday night 8th often led my friends to parts of our hometown we’d never seen before) a bridge that spanned all forms of social stratification and an act of (relatively) harmless rebellion.
It was also an excuse to hang out with girls.
Where as I would have felt ridiculous asking a girl to come hang out with me sober, I felt completely justified asking her to come smoke a bowl with me. Where I was awkward, confused and overwhelmingly horny, weed was cool, calm and consistent. It delivered every time, and so it should come as no surprise that the time I spent chasing girls in high school was also spent smoking weed. The two went hand in hand.
I arrived at college with the knowledge that marijuana was a powerful aphrodisiac. Granted, there was next to no empirical evidence to prove my point, it was more of an innate sense of how things worked. A one on one smoke session was about as intimate as things could get. Little did I know I was acting in accordance with thousands of years of human history.
Of all the benefits the cannabis plant offers humanity, its aphrodisiacal effects get by far the least ink. In a culture that understands the female orgasm about as well as most people understand cloud computing, the benefits of a safe, effective and natural female pleasure enhancer may be far greater than we can imagine.
Enter Matthew Gerson, a seasoned entrepreneur and creator of one of the most exciting cannabis products to grace the market with its presence: Foria.
Foria is, among other things, the only FDA approved treatment for sexual dysfunction in females, as compared to the 24 options available to men.
It’s also the inspiration for one of the most sensual, not to mention hilarious add campaigns I’ve seen in a long time. The teaser trailer tastefully depicts a women in the grips of an earth shattering orgasm, in a way reminiscent of this commercial from Ben Stiller’s Zoolander.
Continue reading this HERE. Oh, and watch the video.
Activist: Marijuana tourism should be welcomed in Colorado, not feared
After reading Erik Raschke’s guest column in The Cannabist on July 23, I found myself feeling unsettled and almost angry.
Former Denverite Raschke has lived in Amsterdam for eight years, and in his column he gleaned from his experiences in the Netherlands and dreamed up a Denver overrun with pot tourists who “do not care about Denver if they litter or curse or make fools of themselves, because they are on vacation and they have paid for the right to act any way they want.”
Is there anyone out there (other than Raschke) who thinks pot tourists are more obnoxious or disrespectful than the thousands of out-of-towners who come to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival, Oktoberfest or other such alcohol-focused events?
Before we get too deep in this counterpoint to Raschke’s piece, a little about me: I’m a 56-year-old cannabis activist who has lived in Denver off and on for 15 years. I lived in Amsterdam for four years, and I continue to split my time between Denver and Amsterdam, where my Dutch partner is from and where we’ve owned and run a pot tourism company together since 2006. I’ve used cannabis daily for 42 years, and I’ve never been sick or seen the inside of a hospital, something I attribute directly to cannabis use.
So yeah, cannabis is my thing.
I have seen a lot of pot tourism in Denver. I’ve led a few cannabis and culture tours here, and we’ve been doing those kinds of tours in Amsterdam for years. But perhaps the biggest difference between pot tourists in the Netherlands and their equivalents in Colorado is the coffee shops.
In Colorado, public smoking is outlawed, and only a few cannabis clubs have been licensed to allow on-site consumption. Ask a public official where you can legally get high and they’ll likely tell you: “A private home.” It’s very limited.
Meanwhile pot tourists in Holland can smoke in the same coffee shops where they purchased their cannabis. The shops offer comfortable places to partake, some with outside terraces on public streets, and they have beverages on sale to boot. Some of these coffee shops open at 6 a.m. and stay open until at least 11 p.m., so there are plenty of places to partake (besides in front of Raschke’s house).
We should actually thank the pot tourists in Amsterdam. The smell of cannabis in the air is part of the city’s spirit.
More to read HERE.
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Since the legalization of recreational cannabis use, Colorado has seen an increase in marijuana tourism. People like the idea of going to a state where they can legally toke up, and in response, the state has left it up to the individual facilities to decide if they want to allow smoking in their hotels.
While some lodgings remain hesitant to be seen as marijuana friendly, for fear of whatever reputation they may acquire, others are quick to accommodate guests. One such hotel, the First Inn in Archuleta County, is even welcoming in tourists with a giant “420 friendly” sign out front (pictured above).
Still, the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act limits all smoking to at most 25 percent of rooms, which means that to consume pot or tobacco in a non-smoking room, one would be putting the hotel at risk.
Some hotels allow smoking on the balcony or right outside the entrance; however, although Colorado state law allows for recreational cannabis use, it’s not legal to do so in public areas, especially in places where minors can be exposed to it.
So toking up on the street next to your room may not be the safest way to do it. It’s important to remember to remain discreet about your drug use, considering the fact that the laws surrounding legalization are still new and experimental.
But that isn’t stopping some venues from knowingly opening up their doors to smokers.
For those who are curious as to where they can find cannabis-friendly accommodations in Colorado, there’swww.coloradopotguide.com (which also includes a guide to weed friendly hotels), where users can find a map listing of all the hotels welcoming to stoners.
Likewise, because of the hesitance some hotels display towards advertising themselves to stoners, Colorado residents have taken to renting out their private property to those seeking a ganja getaway.
While it is difficult to find a place to smoke in Denver- the kind of coffee shops and smoke lounges you would come across in Amsterdam are still not legal in Colorado- dispensary owner Hank Borunda has taken it upon himself to build a smoking garden and deck area outside of his shop in Pueblo, to divert some of the tourism from Denver.
Thus far, these are two of the few places where public or outdoor smoking is legal. But if Colorado can legalize pot, I’m sure in no time they’ll have public places to accommodate this amendment.
And when that happens, you can expect Denver to truly become the “new Amsterdam.”
Iowa cancer patient recently convicted for growing herb takes vacation in pot-friendly Oregon
Benton Mackenzie doesn’t have much time left. The angiosarcoma eating away at his blood vessels and leaving fist-sized tumors on his skin is in the final stages. He’s in pain. It’s why he chose to grow cannabis at his parent’s Iowa home where he lives with his wife. It was worth the risk, a risk that ultimately led to his conviction for cannabis cultivation earlier this month along with his wife.
Without much strength or time left, though, Mackenzie wants to be comfortable. So he’s travelled from Iowa to Oregon where he can legally purchase cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation. It’s likely a last trip for Mackenzie, his wife and their son. And one he is already enjoying.Mackenzie was looking forward to patient-donated cannabis and high-CBD oil to possibly slow the cancer’s growth and give him a little bit more time.
“I have word there will be fresh juice for me right when I get off the plane,” 48-year-old Benton Mackenzie told the Quad-City Times this week. “I’m going to hit that like it’s going out of style.”
Cops raided Mackenzie’s home in June of 2013, finding 71 pot plants along with about a month’s worth of pot treatments as well as pages and pages of logs that Mackenzie was keeping to track the progress of his cannabis cancer treatment. You know, the type of evidence that should prove that the guy wasn’t growing to illegally sell pot but to safe his life? Yeah. That kind of evidence. Unfortunately, that kind of evidence isn’t allowed in a pot trial in Iowa, so Mackenzie had to face trial and was eventually convicted.
Scott County District Attorney Mike Walton claims he had no choice but to try and convict the deathly ill Mackenzie. If he didn’t, he says he would have been legalizing medical cannabis in the state by default. Walton points out that he chose not to pursue seizing Mackenzie’s parent’s property. What a nice guy.
“If he’s not prosecuted, do I prosecute anyone who claims to grow medical marijuana?” Walton said to theSioux City Journal. “Aren’t I just changing the law for Scott County? And is that right, or should the law be changed in Des Moines for the whole state?”
Because of prior drug charges for some mushrooms back in 2000 and a possession charge in 2011, Mackenzie could face up to fifteen years in prison, which he says would certainly be a death sentence. Charges against Mackenzie’s parents were dropped, but it’s unlikely they’ll do the same for Mackenzie according to Walton.
But for now, he’s enjoying the freedom of Oregon, where out-of-state patients can apply for and receive a state-issued medical cannabis card. Though the prices are high (around $350 an ounce for the high-CBD strains he is looking for), Mackenzie says he’s had numerous Oregonians offer to help him out on his vacation.
The Ground Floor Of The Marijuana Industry
Legal marijuana will bring with it a burgeoning industry that will create millions of jobs and produce billions of dollars in profits and tax revenue. Now is the time to get in on the ground floor of this industry, but care must be taken; the floor is shaky and full of people looking to make a quick buck.
Those type of people will not last: those without a long-term plan will fade quickly, as will everyone who attached to them. Beware of those who make big promises without backing them up with solid plans and numbers. Don’t invest money in an industry you know nothing about. If you want to grow cannabis, you better know how to grow cannabis and how to sell it for a profit. If you want to make grows lights, you better know everything there is to know about grow lights and how to sell them for a profit.
In other words, do your research before you spend a penny. If you already know how to grow cannabis, learn more about it. Be an expert in your craft and always be willing to learn more. Make sure you know your competition. Plan for as many contingencies as possible.
In other words, don’t go buying stocks online because you think the marijuana industry is the next big thing and you want to cash in. If you do buy stocks, find out everything you can about the company before investing any money. What are their plans? Who is their competition? Is there a market for their product or will it be replaced by something more efficient soon? Are they prepared to navigate a new industry and can they adapt to what is sure to be many changes in that industry?
It seems silly to write an article that basically says “be careful with your money,” but here we are. Many are getting swindled when just a little bit of research would avoid the whole situation.
Tennessee Farmers Could Pop Hemp Crops in 2015
On Tuesday July 1 of this year, Tennessee officially joined the ranks of those states that have passed laws allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp for research purposes. And if all goes well, state-authorized plots of hemp crops could be popping up as soon as May 2015.
Now that the legislation has been formally signed into law, it’s up to Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture, which will manage the industrial hemp program, to formulate the rules and regulations.
According to David Waddell, administrative manager for the department’s Consumer and Industries Services Division, classifying hemp as a legal crop presents Tennessee with an opportunity to explore the surplus of financial possibilities that hemp cultivation has to offer.
“We’re getting in on the ground floor,” Waddell explained.
Although individuals interested in applying for hemp cultivation licenses will have a number of regulatory hoops to hop through, Waddell was quick to point out that the close monitoring of the farmers and their crops will help educate the Department of Agriculture about hemp.
“So that you won’t be confused with an illegal grower,” Waddell affirmed. “We really want to know a lot about what is going on so we can use it as a learning process.”
Oh yeah, and there’s that whole we-can’t-distinguish-pot-from-hemp thing. Oy.
There’s been a lot of inquiries from people that are interested in growing industrial hemp in the Bible-belted state but there’s still the issue of obtaining seeds needed to pop the crops.
Would-be Tennessee hemp farmers: “We can legally grow hemp! Hemp, hemp, hurray! Now. Who has seeds?”
Will the idiocy that is the war on hemp and marijuana ever come to an end?
One can only hope.