VANCOUVER, WASH. — Washington’s marijuana business has created a legal occupation that offers career opportunities for bud trimmers, according to The Columbian and The Associated Press.
Read more at: http://marijuana.heraldtribune.com/2015/04/07/marijuana-trimmers-see-career-potential/
“I’ve done everything from pumping gas to remodeling houses, but I think there’s longevity in this,” 32-year-old bud trimmer Kurt Vermillion told The Columbian. “I think there’s lots of growing room in this industry. I want to do whatever they need me to do.”
Bud trimmers make between $12 and $15 an hour and use small scissors to trim away leaves and other things from marijuana buds. Most trimmers work on about a pound to a pound and a half of marijuana per day.
Experienced workers can move up to gardeners or concentrate makers and make $50,000 to $90,000 a year.
For 37-year-old Julie Whittaker, who started trimming buds in November, the job turned out to be less stressful than her former work in the banking software industry.
“I’ve been learning my way as I go,” she said. “I’m intrigued by this whole industry. It’s a big shift for me, and honestly I find it to be better regulated than even my old career in banking.”
Vermillion and Whittaker work at Cedar Creek Cannabis, where Mark Michaelson, head of operations, is eyeing ways to hold onto workers. The company has 14.
“We want to work on employee retention,” he said. “Eventually we’ll have health and dental insurance and full benefits for them, too.”
Clark County has eight growers that have been approved by the Liquor Control Board, and five stores have opened in Clark County so far and two more are planning to open within two months.
Before the legalization of marijuana, bud trimmers migrated from job to job and were paid in cash by the pound and risked arrest. Now, bud trimmers typically make an hourly wage, though some are paid by the pound.
“I think what happens is people think in this industry, people are just hanging out and maybe even smoking,” said 32-year-old Brittny Houghton, 32, whose family owns Cedar Creek Cannabis. “But that’s not what we do. It’s a real job, it’s 9 to 5, you have to be on time, you don’t have to be a smoker, and the quality of the work is important.”
At CannaMan Farms, another marijuana business, owner Brian Stroh said trimmers come from a variety of backgrounds.
“It’s a business that people who work hard can move up in,” he said.
Cannabis boom in 2014: 2014 was a banner year for medical marijuana legislation and 2015 looks to be another year filled with legalization, decriminalization and the expansion of the medical marijuana business. In the state of Colorado $573 Million was spent on medical marijuana with $60 Million collected in taxes whereas in Washington $64 Million was spent on medical marijuana with $15 Million collected in taxes. Is there any wonder why the job economy has also raised in those states? $8 Million was given to marijuana and cannabis research, Alaska and Oregon passed legislation as well as Washington D.C.
Job Growth for Medical Marijuana Workers10,000+ new jobs were created last year with only half of the country having legalized or passing medical marijuana legislation. Considering that 3 new states passed legislation and 6 more states are in play in the coming year the potential for job growth has become exponential. With a total of 4 states out of the 23 legalized states having specific amendments to include recreational smoking and use of cannabis the markets for jobs and career growth has grown as well. The projections made about the industry include nearly $10 Billion in revenue for marijuana-legal states within the next three years and if more states are added to that list the growth in the economy could be even more substantial.
Investment Trading in the Coming Year With the release of the breaking story about Founders Fund investing in Privateer Holdings Inc. opens up a new era in the legitimacy of cannabis entrepreneurship. Larger more privatized firms will take the cue from Founders Fund to begin investing within other businesses in the cannabis industry. Ancillary services are growing every day in the industry and with the existing infrastructure for pot only being developed within the last couple years the time for job growth through investment capital has finally come. The states that stand to make the greatest benefit through medical marijuana jobs are those that didn’t have an infrastructure for manufacturing and growing of cannabis. States such as Alaska and Oregon’s amendments included recreational provisions thus making the demand for medical marijuana greater. Through legalization the economy expands to create new businesses, more jobs and careers, and more tax revenue as a result of sales.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Nearly a year into legalized sales of recreational pot, the two main candidates for Colorado governor mulled the idea of repealing the law in a 9NEWS debate Thursday.
Republican challenger Bob Beauprez (a former congressman) advocated for a statewide vote on repealing the legalized sale of cannabis.
Gov. John Hickenlooper said a vote on repeal would be “premature,” but agreed there is cause for alarm over the effect the drug might have on young people.
Should Colorado repeal legal marijuana? 9NEWS at 5 p.m. 10/10/14.
Asked if he thought the law should be repealed, Beauprez said he shared the position of a hospital executive who told him, “I think we’re going to have to lead an effort to ask Colorado exactly that question and see if this citizens think this is a step that maybe we’ve gone too far.”
“I think we’re at that point where the consequences that we’ve already discovered from this may be far greater than the liberty, I guess, that the citizens thought they were embracing,” Beauprez said.
“I’m not going to go as far as to say we should lead an effort to make it illegal,” replied Hickenlooper. “But I do think that we have to put more resources to make sure that kids and parents understand that this is not like sneaking a beer out when you’re younger.”
Governors do not have the power under Colorado law to simply call a statewide vote on a ballot issue, but their support of such initiatives can raise the profile and fundraising ability of ballot issue campaigns.
The marijuana industry balked at Beauprez’s suggestion that voters should consider a repeal of the law, known as Amendment 64.
“Bob Beauprez’s statements are misguided,” wrote Mike Elliot of the Marijuana Industry Group. “Repealing Amendment 64 would kill tens of thousands of jobs, destroy thousands of businesses, and return us to a failed policy that emboldens the black market and drug cartels.”
Should Colorado repeal legal marijuana? 9NEWS.com 10/10/14.
Marijuana advocates are fond of noting that marijuana got more votes than President Obama did in Colorado during the 2012 election, with 55 percent in favor.
However, recent polling has appeared to show at least some degree of regret.
A vote on repealing legal marijuana could be forced in one of two ways: a two-thirds vote of the state legislature, or a signature-gathering petition.
The relatively low number of voter signatures required (currently 86,000) to force a vote on issues was a major factor in making Colorado the first state in the nation to legalize cannabis sales to adults, drawing some state lawmakers to advocate for a higher number of signatures for ballot initiatives that would amend the state constitution.
DENVER — June was the best-selling month yet for recreational pot in Colorado, with $24.7 million in total sales, according to state tax collections reported Friday.
Recreational pot sales were up more than 19 percent from May sales, an increase likely attributable to more stores opening.
Since January, Colorado has reaped $29.8 million from marijuana, according to June collections reported by the state Department of Revenue. That figure includes taxes, licenses and fees from both medical and recreational pot.
Recreational pot is inching toward medical pot in total sales.
In January, Colorado’s statewide sales tax on medical pot produced nearly twice the taxes produced by recreational pot. By June, the statewide 2.9 percent sales tax from medical pot brought in less than 20 percent more than the same tax on recreational weed.
Estimates for how much tax revenue legal weed would produce varied widely, with no preceding legal pot taxes on which to guess sales.
An estimate sent to Colorado voters last year projected the annual tax collections from sales and excise taxes on recreational pot at $70 million a year. And in February, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sent lawmakers a budget request that projected some $98 million in pot taxes this fiscal year, which began in July.
The WeedStock Conference is attracting a lot of attention in the cannabis investing space after announcing the lineup for the conference’s VIP tours.
Investors across the country have told Benzinga they are preparing to adjust their investments in the legal cannabis space following announcements they hear at the WeedStock conference, taking place from June 29 to July 1 in Denver.
The first tour will take place on Sunday, June 29
2:00 p.m. pick up at The Westin
2:30 p.m. River Rock Dispensary and Grow
3:30 p.m. Mary Jane Glassworks
4:15 p.m. O.penVape Poolside Party
The second tour will take place on Tuesday, July 1
It’s been five months since residents and tourists alike could buy their first legal bags of marijuana in Denver, and despite the fears of many law enforcers, crime in the city still has not gone up.
According to the most recent available data, during the first five months of 2014, violent crime in the city and county of Denver was down 1.9 percent from the same period in 2013. Rates of aggravated assault, one of the four main types of violent crime that the city tracks, are up 1.5 percent from the same five-month stretch last year, but the other three categories of violent crime — homicide, sexual assault and robbery — have fallen off. Property crime is also down 11.5 percent from the first five months of 2013.
Interestingly, according to Denver’s Department of Safety, burglaries and robberies at the city’s marijuana dispensaries are on track to hit a three-year low, as first reported by The Denver Post.
Overall crime in Denver, combining the violent and property crime data, is down 10.1 percent so far this year.
Five months of legal marijuana sales is likely not enough time to identify strong social trends. But evidence of a crime wave simply has not materialized since sales began Jan. 1 — despite a raft of dire predictions to the contrary.
“Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana and pot for sale everywhere,” Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver said in a 2012 statement. “I think our entire state will pay the price.”
Crime rates may not have gone up, but revenue is soaring. In January, the first month of recreational sales, pot shops generated $14 million although only a comparatively small number had opened at that point. Shops took in another $14 million February, followed by $19 million in March and nearly $22 million in April, likely bolstered by the 4/20 marijuana holiday that brought tens of thousands of tourists to Denver this year.
Since Jan. 1, nearly $18 million has been added to state coffers in tax and licensing fees from Colorado’s recreational and medical marijuana markets. Medical marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2000.
Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said in February that he expected combined sales from medical and recreational cannabis in the state to reach nearly $1 billion in the fiscal year that begins in July. Later, he predicted that Colorado will collect about $114 million in taxes and fees during the same period.
Denver’s crime statistics during the first five months of retail marijuana align with a report recently published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE showing that legalizing medical marijuana causes no increase in crime, and may in fact reduce some violent crime, including homicide.
Currently, 22 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use and at least three other states appear poised to join them. Colorado and Washington state have both legalized recreational marijuana, with sales in Washington expected to begin later this year.
Recreational cannabis also closed the gap with medical marijuana. The state’s medical cannabis dispensaries posted about $32 million in sales in April – roughly $10 million more than the revenue reported by recreational shops. In January, when rec stores first opened, medical marijuana revenues were about $17 million higher than retail sales.
Medical marijuana sales dipped on a month-to-month basis in both March and April, while recreational cannabis transactions rose.
During the first four months of the year, recreational stores have posted revenues of roughly $70 million. At that pace, sales will top $200 million for the year. Medical marijuana dispensaries have recorded $133 million in sales through April and are on track to hit nearly $400 million.
The Colorado Department of Revenue estimates that the state brought in $5.3 million in tax revenue from recreational and medical sales combined in April, which is up from $5 million in March.
The tax figure bumped the state’s total revenue from marijuana taxes and business licensing fees to $17.9 million since Jan. 1.
Cannabis reviewer Jake Browne reviews a strain called Super Lemon Haze at the Medicinal Wellness Center in
Zachary Armstrong/Listen Productions
Here is just another example of a Cannabis Industry Job
In Colorado, reviews of pot are fast eclipsing fuddy duddy reviews of wine, restaurants, cigars and pretty much everything else.
Since January, the Denver Post has been running a culture-of-cannabis website called The Cannabist. It reviews every conceivable variety of pot (recreational marijuana is legal in the state) but also pot’s accouterments, including pipes, vapor pens, cuisine prepared with pot and outdoor activities made more enjoyable by being high.
Ricardo Baca, 37, the Post’s marijuana editor and founder of The Cannabist, tells ABC News the site has been a huge hit (no pun intended) since its January debut. He declines to quote numbers for how much traffic it has gotten, but says, “We launched three or four days before recreational sales of marijuana started in Colorado, and we came out of the gate strong. The traffic has been unreal.”
His two freelance critics, Ry Prichard and Jake Browne, have reviewed 29 varieties so far, including Oaktown Crippler, Death Star, Blueberry, Stevie Wonder, Tahoe OG and, most recently, Maui Waui.
Browne’s review of Maui Waui — less than glowing — starts off positively enough: The “decently thick buds” exhibit hairs that are “almost an impossibly pale orange against a washed-out green. Think the Miami Hurricanes hat that Vanilla Ice used to sport.”
Its aroma, he writes, has been described by some as tropical — “a mix of suntan lotion and frozen drinks.”
“The smoke was sweeter than expected,” he writes. “Immediately I felt a tingle in my nose that was less like a limb falling asleep and more like a pre-sneeze.”
Did Maui Waui induce the “Zen-like state of consciousness,” he had hoped it might?
“Nope.” A slight headache followed, he wrote.
In this respect — the description of the mental and physical effects of consumption — the Cannabist’s reviews waft far above and beyond standard reviews of, say, veal piccata.
Not only does the smoke of Death Star have “a pronounced tangy earthiness,” writes Browne, but its effect is “highly euphoric but extremely grounded at the same time. I found my legs tethered to the ground with my head meandering in the sky.”
Browne, 31, tells ABC News he feels he has a three-fold responsibility to readers: He needs to tell them what variety they’re getting; what it smells like and looks like; and how it will affect them.
He says he used to work as a bartender, and would have to recommend wines. “Now, what I do is like being a sommelier of marijuana.”
Say what you will about the morality of marijuana, now that 22 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and counting have passed some type of pot-friendly legalization, selling weed is big business.
Medicinal and recreational pot sales could bring in ridonculous revenues and taxes. Colorado, for instance, is expecting an 18-month boost of more than $600 million, according toCNNMoney. The state of Washington is expecting $190 million in fees and taxes between 2015 and 2019, the Huffington Post reports.
And the emerging marijuanaconomy is creating new jobs.
The cannabis industry “is predicted to grow by 64 percent, to over $2 billion, in 2014,” according to the pro-weed website High Times. “Reports also predict that 14 more states will likely legalize marijuana for adult recreational use by 2018, potentially creating upwards of a $10 billion marijuana industry in the United States.” And a marijuana industry job site, 420 Careers, reports exponential demand for marijuana-related employment.
People waited for hours in lines at a recent marijuana job fair, according to Facebook posts.
Others see opportunities. “College students facing more costly tuition see employment opportunities in cultivation and distribution,” says Josh Meisel, co-director of the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research and co-author of a new study of young people in Northern California — a region known for pot cultivation — College Students Working In The Marijuana Industry. “Though this is likely the first study to quantitatively describe the extent of student cannabis-related employment, I would expect that we would find similar, if not greater rates of student cannabis-related employment were we to replicate the study in states which have legalized cannabis.”
To be sure, federal law prohibits marijuana production. But some states exhibit more lenience. Recreational participation is legal in Colorado and Washington. In California, the Humboldt study points out, “a person may produce marijuana for themselves or others for medical purposes.”
Based on more than 500 responses, the study by the institute at Humboldt State University identified a dozen paid marijuana-related jobs in Northern California alone. But there are additional new jobs in other states as well. In fact, the Cannabis Career Institute promotes seminars in cities across America to guide people who want to work in the budding industry.
“The US marijuana industry is developing quicker than any other industry. The rapid growth is generating hundreds of new jobs,” Dan Kingston, president of 420 Careers, said on High Times.
And there is no telling what sort of professions — medical, legal, financial — will be created in the future as the result of changing attitudes toward pot.
But for now, here are 13 jobs — a baker’s dozen — for people looking to join the growing industry:
1. Budtender … to deal with partakers. Like a bartender, wine sommelier or pharmacist, the budtender listens to the customer and recommends the appropriate strain. In a video on the CCI site, “Bud Whisperer” Jason Scoby speaks to aspiring budtenders about assessing certain aspects of cannabis, such as “how the pods break apart … the color of hairs … and powder mold.” Powder mold, he points out, can be harmful.
2. Marijuana Journalist … to cover the budding economy. While traditional editing and reporting jobs are going up in smoke, news sites in Colorado and Washington are hoping to attract new readers — and weeders — by expanding their coverage.
3. Grow Site Owner/Operator… is involved in “making decisions about all aspects of production including location, hiring workers, fertilizer and supply acquisition, processing, sales, and distribution. Owners receive the net profits after paying all the costs of growing the marijuana. Operators receive a share of the net profits,” according to the Humboldt report.
4.Edibles Producer…creates cannabis products you can eat.
5.Trimmer… harvests and processes “the cannabis plant from large, leafy, flowery stalks into small, individual, dried buds,” the Humboldt report explains. “The work is sticky, tedious labor. Trimmers are paid hourly or by weight of finished product processed. Compensation is in the form of cash and/or cannabis.”
6.Salesperson… involves getting the cannabis from producer to customer, the report states. “Compensation is earned through markup from wholesale price.”
7.Petitioner … gathers signatures on pro-cannabis petitions for advocacy groups, such asDemocracy Resources.
8. Packaging and Flower Cure Person… organizes inventory. The position, posted on 420 Careers by Giving Tree Wellness Center near Phoenix, “is not for extremely social people, as you are in a small room with only a few people each day.”
9.Collective Member Relationship Specialist… will act as a liaison for medical marijuana delivery services, such as Papa Ganja in California.
10.Marijuana Educator… to teach people about the medicinal aspects of pot for groups such as Medical Marijuana Tampa in Florida.
11.Extraction Technician …to help make infused products. For example, EZchemconsulting is looking for extracters on the Cannajobs message board.
Colorado’s cannabis industry has added roughly 1,000 to 2,000 new cannabis jobs since recreational sales began on Jan. 1, according to a local industry organization.
The Marijuana Industry Group (MIG) estimates that 10,000 workers in the state are directly involved with cannabis, with 10% to 20% of them joining the industry in the last five months. The estimates include those employed by dispensaries, retail stores, cultivation sites and infused products companies but not the thousands of workers who support the industry, such as lawyers, real estate professionals and consultants.
The job growth reflects the success of Colorado’s recreational cannabis market. Retail marijuana stores in the state have generated nearly $50 million in sales through March, with revenue increasing each month this year. Medical marijuana sales have held steady as well.
Most of the job growth has come on the recreational side, though the medical cannabis industry still employs more workers overall.
Jane West, owner of Edible Events Co., at the Space Gallery in December. “We are encouraging women to come out of the woodwork,” said West, founder of Women Grow. “We need their voice in this industry.” (Cyrus McCrimmon, Denver Post file ,)
Christie Lunsford used to feel so lonely.
As a medical marijuana caregiver, she would attend cannabis industry meetings and be the only woman in the room.
“The first time I saw another female, I was really excited. That was in 2010,” said the 43-year-old Denver wife and mother, who has branched out to cannabis marketing, product development and sales.
These days, she attends some cannabis-industry meetings that are all-women — and all about women. What began several years ago with a trickle of women tiptoeing into the brave, new weed world has turned into a stream in Colorado.
This summer, the state will have its own cannabis network for women, Women Grow. The new organization will stage educational symposiums and regular monthly events where like-minded women in the industry can connect and mentor or be mentored.
More than two dozen women in the Denver area, ranging in age from late 20s to mid 60s, are running large grow operations, opening storefronts and developing topical products and edible lines. Women are selling marijuana-friendly real estate, creating software for the industry, taking the reins at cannabis testing labs and climbing into leadership roles in the policymaking and legislative arena.
The intent is to tip the statistics that show nearly half of men admit to having tried marijuana but only a third of women have.
They are persuading more women to try to consider cannabis by staging pot-themed events that appeal to the more feminine side of users, including spa and yoga retreats, upscale culinary and art soirees, bachelorette parties and even symphony and marijuana mashups.
Las Vegas is poised to become the Disneyland of weed
Think of all the new Cannabis Jobs
They won’t have neon signs, drive-thru windows, or 24- hour wedding chapels attached to them. But Las Vegas marijuana dispensaries will be massively profitable tourist attractions that could deepen the entire nation’s relationship with weed. At least that’s the hope of the 109 applicants who entered the heated competition for Vegas’ first medical marijuana dispensary and grow-room licenses in time for Tuesday’s deadline.
Nevada voters legalized medical marijuana way back in 2000, but the state only recently enacted regulations to allow people to open pot businesses legally. Unincorporated Clark County — not to be confused with Clark County, which contains the city of Las Vegas proper — includes the flashy 4.2-mile gambling corridor known as the Las Vegas Strip. It’s home to mega-casinos like the Bellagio and Caesars Palace and became the first jurisdiction to draft its licensing requirements. Those requirements look a lot like the ones that control its lucrative gambling industry: they favor high rollers and are geared towards reaping massive profits. THROW LEGAL MARIJUANA INTO THE MIX, AND YOU’VE GOT A POTENTIAL STATESIDE AMSTERDAM
Although only medical marijuana is legal in Nevada now, a petition has been filed to legalize weed for recreational use, and it’s expected to pass by 2016. As it is, Vegas is known as a place where out-of-towners can come and get crazy for a weekend, because “whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Throw legal marijuana into the mix, and you’ve got a potential stateside Amsterdam. As a result, Vegas has turned into a serious land grab for would-be marijuana entrepreneurs. “Anybody who ever had any ambition to do something in the cannabis industry, whether they’re from CO, CA, they’re all looking at Las Vegas,” says Leslie Bocskor, founding chairman of the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association, and a consultant and investment advisor to the cannabis industry at large.
Those wanting to get involved in Nevada’s weed industry will have to take part in a bifurcated process: first apply for a permit with the county, then apply for the state’s approval. The state has not opened up its application process yet. And unlike most states in the country with legal medical marijuana, Nevada’s cannabis market will be for profit. That is, dispensaries won’t have to operate as collectives or cooperatives the way they do in California, for example. Nevada will also allow what’s known as “full reciprocity”: people with medical marijuana cards from other states will be able buy cannabis in Nevada without having to get a new prescription or card. They’ll simply sign an affidavit when they enter their first dispensary. (And they’ll have to stick to that dispensary, exclusively, for one month before trying another one.) “PEOPLE WHO AREN’T COMFORTABLE GETTING ON AN AIRPLANE WITH THEIR MEDICINE … CAN GET [IT] WHEN THEY ARRIVE IN NEVADA.”
Nevada officials are hoping this will make the state even more friendly to tourists, and those in the cannabis industry agree. “People who aren’t comfortable getting on airplanes with their medicine now know they can get their medicine when they arrive in Nevada,” says Kris Krane, a Phoenix, AZ-based consultant for the marijuana industry who also runs an incubator for startup cannabis companies. Colorado and Washington have fully legalized weed for recreational as well as medicinal use, so in theory it would seem like those states would be bigger markets for cannabis. But those with knowledge of the marijuana industry believe that Nevada, and Vegas in particular, represents an even greater opportunity.
According to a recent survey by Love Home Swap, a home and rental trading site, the Las Vegas Strip attracted 39 million tourists last year, making it the most visited tourist attraction in the world over both the Eiffel Tower and Times Square. If even as small as 1 percent of tourists have — or obtain when they arrive — a medical marijuana card and buy weed in Vegas, the numbers will be huge. “We’re looking at anywhere from a $600 million to $1.5 billion yearly market in Vegas,” says Derek Peterson, CEO of the Irvine, CA- based hydroponics company, Terra Tech, who applied for licenses.
Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech (Terra Tech)
The competition is fierce: there are only 10 dispensary licenses being allocated for unincorporated Clark County, with a similarly limited number for growing operations, processing outfits (where marijuana could be turned into edibles), and testing labs. And the application requirements are enough to scare away all but the richest and best-connected players: prospective cannabis business owners have to prove they have $250,000 in liquid assets, on top of $35,000 in application and registration fees. They also have to submit to extensive background checks, not unlike those required for “unlimited gaming licenses” that are required to operate casinos in the state.
ANYBODY WISHING TO LEGALLY SELL WEED NEAR THE STRIP BETTER BE SQUEAKY CLEAN AND MAJORLY BANKROLLED
“There’s a saying in Nevada that it’s harder to get an unlimited gaming license than it is to become a Secret Service agent guarding the president,” says Bocskor. Likewise, anybody wishing to legally sell weed near the Strip better be squeaky clean and majorly bankrolled.
The similarities between the county’s gambling regulations and its weed-market regulations are by design. “We have had a great experience with licensing gaming institutions, and we’ve brought that concept to bear here,” says Richard “Tick” Segerblom, state senator for Nevada’s District 3, which encompasses the Strip. But don’t expect to see the Steve Wynns of the world — big-league casino operators — opening up pot clubs. Segerblom says the Nevada Gaming Commission and State Gaming Control Board have made it clear they would not look kindly on that, given that pot is still federally illegal. “They’re very protective of our [gambling] industry, and they don’t want to do anything that will run afoul of the feds,” Segerblom says. Applicants will also be graded on how much income tax they’ve paid to the state of Nevada, making it necessary for out-of-state players to partner up with well-heeled local businesspeople to get an edge. Derek Peterson is an example of somebody who wasn’t scared away by the rules. A recognizable name in the nation’s burgeoning marijuana industry, the former Morgan Stanley investment banker operates a cooperative cannabis dispensary in Oakland, CA, called Blum, and is also the CEO of Terra Tech, which is a public company selling hydroponic grow equipment.
Peterson set up a separate LLC solely for the purpose of applying for licenses in unincorporated Clark County, hoping to run two dispensaries and two grow operations. He hired a lobbyist and an established Las Vegas law firm with experience applying for gaming licenses to put together his 500-page application. His business plan includes a shuttle service to transport people from casinos to his dispensaries. Peterson will find out if he got the licenses he applied for in June, but then must also apply for a permit at the state level. “WILL THEY DO WHAT STRIP CLUBS DO, WHERE THEY PAY TAXI DRIVERS TO BRING THEIR GUYS THERE?”
In general, so-called Sin City is acting conservatively with its first steps into marijuana capitalism. No big flashy signs are permitted, no dispensaries are allowed on the Strip itself (though near the Strip is fine), and businesses can only operate during daylight hours. “Nevada isn’t what people think on the outside — we have a tolerance for many things, but we move sort of slowly into those things,” says Joe Brezny, executive director of the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association. “How will these places advertise?
Will they do what strip clubs do, where they pay taxi drivers to bring their guys there? Or are you going to give the hotel concierge an incentive to recommend your club?” says Lisa Mayo-DeRiso of Mayo & Associates, a Las Vegas consulting firm working with several cannabis business applicants. “It’s still an unanswered question.” Steve D’Angelo, executive director of Harborside Health Centers (Steve D’Angelo) Steve D’Angelo, a longtime marijuana activist and executive director of the Harborside Health Center medical marijuana dispensaries in Oakland and San Jose, CA, says he believes the cannabis industry in Vegas should take pains to differentiate itself from the casinos, or risk a culture clash.
In a white paper he wrote, entitled: “Opportunity or Peril: The Economic Potential of Cannabis Tourism in Las Vegas,” D’Angelo advocated for self-contained cannabis-themed resorts, complete with cannabis film festivals and museums, hotel rooms with hemp sheets and in-room vaporizers, and cafes serving salads with organic hemp-seed dressing. The alternative, he writes, is a scenario where patients “ingest” cannabis in their hotel rooms, casino bathrooms, public walkways, shows, and nightclubs. “Wafting smoke and seeping aromas will confront and disturb families and children along with much of the existing adult clientele,” he writes ominously. In other words, casinos and cannabis, at least in D’Angelo’s opinion, don’t mix. That said, D’Angelo is also throwing his hat in the ring in Nevada — just not in unincorporated Clark County. He says he objects to the county’s stipulation that all its weed must be grown indoors, rather than in more environmentally friendly greenhouses. D’Angelo was cagey about exactly where he’d be applying for a cannabis business license, but says he was excited about the potential of downtown Las Vegas, which Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh has been trying to reengineer into a playground for artists and tech startups. (Downtown Las Vegas is in a different jurisdiction from the Strip. It belongs to the city of Las Vegas, as opposed to the Strip, the Airport, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which belong to unincorporated Clark County.) The city of Las Vegas is expected to begin its licensing process soon. Meanwhile, the rest of the country continues to find Vegas’ vision compelling enough based on past history. The place is less a city than a state of mind — one where you’re free to live out your fantasies, including the naughty ones. “People who love cannabis will come to Las Vegas,” says D’Angelo. “We need to create an all-encompassing, immersive cannabis experience, not just be vending little bags of pot.”
Courtesy of The Joint Blog, Cannabis News, Cannabis Jobs, Cannabisjobs.us
It’s been an incredibly busy, and productive year thus far for the cannabis reform movement, and the past month has been a shining example of this progress. Here’s a look at some of what’s been accomplished.
On March 21st, Utah’s governor signed into law a proposal which legalizes cannabis extracts (such as oils and tinctures) for medical purposes. The measure takes effect on July 1st.
On March 31st, Washington D.C.’s mayor signed a measure into law which removes criminal penalties for the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. The new law reduces the penalty from an arrestable misdemeanor, to a $25 ticket.
On April 13th, Kentucky’s governor signed a bill which allows universities in the state with a school of medicine to produce and distribute the cannabis extract cannabidiol to qualified patients who receive a recommendation from one of the university’s physicians. The measure would also allow anyone enrolled in an FDA trial (two such trials were approved by the FDA last year) to be legally treated with cannabis oil.
On April 14th Maryland’s governor signed two cannabis proposals into law, one to decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis, making it a simply $100 ticket for someone’s first offense ($250 for their second offense, $500 for subsequent offenses), and one to legalize medical cannabis, including a minimum of 94 state-licensed dispensaries.
On April 16th Alabama officially legalized medical cannabis extracts with the governor’s signature of Senate Bill 174. The new law allows the University of Alabama’s Department of Neurology to prescribe, produce and distribute low-THC cannabis extracts to those with seizure disorders. The bill is being funded by $1 million from the state’s Education Trust Fund.
On April 18th Wisconsin’s governor signed a measure into law which legalizes the possession, use, production and distribution of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound of cannabis.
If there was any doubt that the industry is in its budding infancy all one had to do was look at the thousands of people waiting with resumes in hand in lines that stretched several blocks.
The OpenVAPE Cannabis Job Fair featured 15 different businesses associated with recreational marijuana sales, and it had turn people away by the day’s end.
With this industry and the way the money’s coming in, this is the place to be right now
One of the local medical marijuana dispensaries that has since added recreational sales has said they have increased sales over 300%. We actually need to hire more folks to help with that traffic and that added revenue.”
According to newly released statistics from the state, $14 million was spent on marijuana purchases in January.
There is still some question about how successful the pot industry will be, but analysts say it is sustainable and still not near its peak.
“It has been a very harsh economic environment for over a decade, and this industry has a lot of very exciting opportunities for young people,” said Michael Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group.
Only people who were 21 and over were being admitted to the fair, and the huge line that wound around Delaware Street and down 10th Street was filled with all sorts of people. The first job seeker in showed up at 6 a.m. and waited for 5 hours.
Event organizer Todd Mitchum said the job fair was just the first of its kind, but that there will be more.
“We’re going to keep nurturing this industry and keep nurturing the environment so the job seeker has a place to go. Because people want to be a part of something.
Dustin Dove (credit: CBS)
“I’m just looking for something in the industry,” said Dustin Dove, who promised the CBS4 crew who interviewed him he was just smoking nicotine with his vapor pen while he was waiting in line. “It’s kind of been a dream of mine ever since the medical movement got started and really got big … opportunity knocks.”
Job openings at the fair ranged from things like graphic design and web developers to accountants and IT directors, but Ramirez said because he runs a dispensary he’s also looking for talented “budtenders” and “leaf trimmers.”
“The trimmers work behind the scenes at the warehouse and they handle the plants and clip off the excess leaves to get it ready for sale,” he said.
A total of $3.5 million of tax revenue for the state was generated in January. Elliot said marijuana has also opened new economic doors and floated parts of the state’s economy that otherwise would be sinking.
“The marijuana industry has taken up about 3 million square feet of commercial real estate. Imagine for a moment that was all vacant property and what that would do to our economy and to property values. It would be awful,” Elliott said.
Marijuana has created such a boom that the state is still trying to catch up to the sale of the drug’s potential, and the towns and counties that have put moratoriums in place to block such sales are feeling the effects.
Legislators are now considering a task force to study the impact on areas where recreational pot sales aren’t allowed.
Elliott says leaders of such municipalities have chosen the dark ages instead of a new day.
“Those communities that are opting out are kind of doing a head-in-the-sand approach, because drug dealing is still going to happen in their communities, they’re just choosing not to control it,” he said.
Cannabis News – The Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows that 78 percent of those individuals that participated in the polling support legalizing marijuana for medicinal dedications and 40 percent of those polled are in support of legalizing the plant for any purpose adults see fit.
The poll in question validates a previous polling released back in May which was conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati which revealed that approximately 80 percent of those Kentuckians that participated supported the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. Furthermore, May’s polling View Post results share similarities with the most recent survey due to the fact that 38 percent of t those polled stated that they favor the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.
Earlier this year Kentucky lawmakers approved a measure that legalizes the cultivation of hemp for industrial and commercial purposes once the federal government grants states the right to legally cultivate the crop. The latest surveys show that Kentuckians not only want to bring an end to the prohibition of hemp farming but also are very eager to see the reforming of the current laws regarding marijuana. All of those supporting legalization also know how much money will come in to the state for Cannabis Jobs.