Tag: Industry

Mainstream Marketing Focuses on Cannabis Industry to Capture ‘Stoner’ Audience

Innovative marketing is not just about being original. It’s about knowing the experience the audience will enjoy and bringing it to them at the next level. It’s a mantra The World’s Best Ever (aka TWBE) has been dabbling in since 2014, when the Webby-nominated culture website launched a creative marketing portal specializing in cannabis.

David Wilfert, “editor-in-charge” and co-founder of TWBE, created the portal after being approached by independent entertainment company A24 to dream up ideas for Kevin Smith’s film, Tusk. Their first project, “Toke N’ Tusk,” was a cannabis-focused campaign that included two Tusk-branded strains of medical marijuana available for sale at Buds & Roses in Studio City. They also bought digital media on High Times, Cannabist, Dangerous Minds, Boing Boing, and a few other cannabis-friendly sites with lots of reach. Not only were the studios and executives thrilled by the promotion, their campaign reached the print edition of the New York Times.

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Interested in opening more doors of perception, TWBE’s creative agency is now inside 182 dispensaries in Southern California campaigning on behalf of the recently released movie The Hero. A feature film written by Brett Haley and Marc Basch, The Hero is about Lee Hayden, an aging actor (played by Sam Elliot) confronting mortality who spends his days reliving old glories and smoking too much cannabis with his former-co-star-turned-dealer Jeremy (played by Nick Offerman) until a surprise cancer diagnosis brings his priorities into sharp focus.

TWBE worked with the film’s distributor, The Orchard, for a first-of-its-kind movie industry media buy, creating a custom sixty-second trailer targeting cannabis-friendly audiences. The trailer played inside dispensaries, giving a niche market the opportunity to connect with the film and hopefully go see it in the theaters. Campaign efforts kicked off June 7th, with The Hero opening on June 9th to positive reviews.

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I spoke with Wilfert about marketing popular culture in this new space for cannabis and how TWBE lives in this kind of creative thinking process.

(Courtesy of The Orchard)(Courtesy of The Orchard)

Leafly: How did TWBE initially approach The Hero campaign? 

David Wilfert: The Orchard knew that they had a great film in The Hero. They also knew that it had a great pot angle that was overlooked in their general marketing. Familiar with the work we had done before, The Orchard sent us a screener and asked us to see what we could do to reach this consumer demographic. We came back with a deck full of ideas, and the one they loved the most was this intriguing media buy in the cannabis space.

“You don’t want to entirely alienate those who don’t consume, and at the same time you don’t want to turn off the consumer. If the idea is executed well, everyone wins.”

David Wilfert, Co-Founder, The World’s Best Ever

Was the studio apprehensive about cutting another version of the trailer specifically for cannabis enthusiasts?

No way. The Orchard was 100% onboard for the “stoner” version. The input from the top guys and the director [Brett Haley] definitely helped shape it. It was a real collaborative effort.

What was the attitude of the dispensaries you approached to involve? Did you have to buy TV’s for some of them to show the trailer?

I had come across a company called APOP media, who had installed TV sets in all of these locations. When I discovered it, they had only been displaying ads for weed products, and partial episodes of Weediquette. I knew that the movie business needed in. No matter if it’s a film with a cannabis hook or not, pot and cinema go hand in hand, and I think in time they’ll started getting traditional consumer ads. Pot smokers also do everything that non-pot smokers do.

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Who is the cannabis target demographic?

For The Hero, it was any and all pot smokers, but specifically those who visit SoCal dispensaries where we are displaying the advertisements. The beauty of the cannabis consumer is that they are anyone from your grandmother to your dad, to your sister, brother, uncle, aunt, or mother. It can be a real family affair if you love it. We try to find a familiarity between them all.

What are the challenges associated with bridging the marketing gap between mainstream culture and cannabis? Are there any differences for mainstream movie culture?

It’s really about a respectful focus when connecting pot to the mainstream. You don’t want to entirely alienate those who don’t consume, and at the same time you don’t want to turn off the consumer. If the idea is executed well, everyone wins.

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How do you follow current cannabis consumer behavior? With so much change in the industry every day, what ways do you think TWBE can adapt?

We work closely with dispensaries to enhance their packaging and presentation. In turn, we are able to observe their customers and gain insight on their preferences. Keeping up on the B2B magazines is necessary as well, since they are full of useful data and forecasting. As avid consumers ourselves, we can pick the trends we see the most promise in, and mold them into future packages. I think it’s also important to look into the past. The paraphernalia boom in the 70s is not unlike the green rush of today.

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TWBE is super skilled at thinking outside the box. What TWBE strategies make an innovative approach to marketing? And how do you apply those concepts to cannabis marketing?

Any company that has the balls to approach us is a dream client. They come wanting a fresh perspective, and we give them a no-fear approach to their projects. It’s way easier to reign in ideas than it is to expand on them. Our approach is the same regardless of the industry: Do something different, do something cool, and make the client stoked to see reward from their risk.

What is the incredible cannabis customer experience?

For me that would be a knowledgeable budtender and a curated selection of really great pot. It’s a rare combination. Just like everyone who eats in a restaurant should work a day as a waiter, every consumer should be required to trim an ounce of bud to understand what it takes to deliver a quality product.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

With Emergency Rules, Vegas Gears Up for Nevada’s July 1 Cannabis Launch

With the July 1 launch of Nevada’s adult-use cannabis market less than a week away, state regulators in Nevada are rushing to make sure all regulations are in place before doors open at dispensaries—some as early as the stroke of midnight.

Officials in Clark County and Las Vegas have approved a combined 37 dual-use permits for medical marijuana dispensaries to begin selling adult-use cannabis. And yes, there’s one on the Strip.

Saturday’s festivities were up in the air as recently as last week, after a Carson City judge ruled in favor of alcohol wholesalers who sued, arguing that the ballot measure approved by voters in November gives them exclusive rights to cannabis distribution licenses in the state for 18 months.

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But according to state Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Kapstein, as long as retail stores sell products that meet packaging and labeling requirements that were adopted at an emergency meeting held Monday, the July 1 launch can proceed as planned.

Not all areas will see stores open, however. Some cities have enacted local bans on adult-use cannabis. In Henderson, for example, the City Council in February approved a six-month moratorium on adult-use cannabis sales.

Emergency Regulations Adopted

The Nevada Tax Commission held a meeting Monday to adopt emergency regulations  that govern adult-use marijuana packaging and labeling.

Some regulations were already in place. Gov. Brian Sandoval had already approved rules that bar cannabis products that appeal to kids and require labels indicating the amount of THC contained in a product.

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The new regulations, according to the Las Vegas Sun, prohibit any cannabis packaging that depicts cartoon characters, mascots, action figures, balloons, or toys that might appeal to children. Advertising also can’t depict anyone under the age of 21 and cannot appear in publications or other media if the audience is more than 30% children. Advertising at sports or entertainment events at which people younger than 21 are allowed to attend will also be prohibited.

And in addition to labels indicating THC levels, products must also carry warnings against driving while under the influence.

The full emergency regulations, which are good for 120 days, are included in a PDF at the end of this article.

State Moving Forward With Licenses

Despite the legal hiccup with the alcohol distributors last week, Taxation Department spokeswoman Klapstein says officials are moving ahead full bore into day one of legalization.

More than a hundred letters have been sent to medical marijuana businesses conditionally approving them to join the adult-use market, according to the Record Courier. That includes cultivators, processors, edibles producers, and dispensaries across the state.

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Medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to sell adult-use cannabis if they have more in stock than they need for medical cardholders. Klapstein said auditors will be on the lookout to make sure dispensaries don’t stock up on excess cannabis before Saturday’s launch.

Yes, There Will Be a Dispensary on The Strip

Party animals in Las Vegas this weekend will be pleased to learn that cannabis can be purchased at a few dispensaries that are either on the Las Vegas Strip or just a stone’s throw away.

Essence Vegas, which has two locations in the city, will be open to customers at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. Adults can visit either the Essence-Strip or Essence West location.

Reef, another shop near the Strip, will also launch adult-use sales immediately after midnight. The store has announced that State Sen. Tick Segerblom, who has championed legal cannabis in the Silver State, is scheduled to make the first purchase of the night.

Las Vegas ReLeaf will also be open on July 1. The store is located less than a block away from the Strip.

Not near Vegas? Visit Leafly’s dispensary finder to locate a Nevada cannabis store near you.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Growing Demand Drives Flurry of Aussie–Israeli Cannabis Partnerships

An Israeli company will partner with an Australian one to help boost clinical education opportunities around medical cannabis. The two companies, iCAN: Israel-Cannabis and Melbourne-based LeafCann have announced a joint-venture to collaborate on a range of initiatives including medicinal cannabis research, product development, and education.

The venture will be called iCAN: Australia, and, according to LeafCann Group CEO Jaroslav Boublik, the companies will “develop global clinical education initiatives to bridge the gap between public demand and practitioner education.”

Despite significant interest in medical cannabis in Australia, a slow rollout and onerous application process has frustrated patients seeking access to treatment. Nationwide, only 41 patients in the country have been prescribed medical cannabis through an authorized prescriber.

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With the move, LeafCann becomes the latest of several Australian medical cannabis companies to partner with Israeli firms and researchers. MMJ Phytotech has a license agreement with the Israeli Yissum Research Development Co. as well as research links with Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem. And on the education front, the Israeli cannabis start-up accelerator Cann10 recently announced that it will be running Australia’s first medical school course on cannabis at Deakin University.

For iCAN: Australia’s part, the joint venture will develop educational programs within Australia’s Registered Training Organisation framework. According to an iCAN spokesperson, that means it will be eligible for healthcare workers’ required continuing professional development credits, will be endorsed by medical colleges and the government, and will also be tax deductible for medical professionals to attend.

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The programs, meant to address what’s seen as dearth of formal medical cannabis education opportunities in the country, “are designed by highly credentialed medical educators and will provide training that contributes to recognised professional certification and diplomas for Medical Practitioners including GPs, specialists, nurse practitioners, nurses, aged care workers and pharmacists,” spokesperson Daniel Goldstein said in a statement. “We will look to take this curriculum outside of Australia as well and become qualified for continuing education credits in different geographies.”

Education is just one focus of the partnership, which will also “bring world-class cannabis products to the Australian market” according to Saul Kaye, CEO of iCAN: Israel-Cannabis. That’s about as specific as the companies have been on the product front. The joint venture has tight-lipped so far, saying only that “Our products will cover a range of indications and are being prioritized according to the state of the clinical science, critical demand and regulatory limitations.”

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Although it isn’t growing cannabis yet, the Australian half of the partnership, LeafCann, has already submitted licences for cultivation, manufacturing and R&D in Victoria, and it plans to seek licenses for further operations in Tasmania. If Australia decides to allow medical cannabis exports—as the Office of Drug Control has signaled it will—the joint venture will look to offer its products globally.

As regulations settle and ease in Australia, partnerships like that of iCAN: Australia are likely to become more common as companies in Israel, a cannabis R&D leader, aims to capitalize on a growing industry in Australia. In update delivered last week, Bill Turner, the head of Australia’s Office of Drug Control, said that 90 manufacturing and processing license applications had been received. Although the government has been accepting applications since November 2016, almost a third of all applications received so far have been submitted in the past month and a half.

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The crush of activity suggests that despite ongoing regulatory uncertainty and the volatility of cannabis penny stocks, the Australian medical cannabis industry is still attracting eager investment.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Puerto Rico: Young Generation Creating an Island of Cannabis Opportunity

I’m an hour and one tequila into a cocktail party in San Juan when I meet the duo who call themselves the “canna-hoods” of Puerto Rico.

This is technically a business party, a reception for press and presenters attending tomorrow’s AgroHack conference (a tech-agriculture-sustainability mashup), so they’re introduced to me simply by their names: Carmen Portela and Gaby Pagan. They’re the co-founders of Growth Leaders, a consulting company they created to shape the island’s nascent medical cannabis industry.

We find a table in the least noisy corner of the balmy, boozy restaurant patio and Portela and Pagan slide into an easy conversation that reveals how serious they are about their work, but also how much fun they’re having. In the past year they’ve scoped out grow operations in California, Florida, and Jamaica. They’ve hit eight conferences and workshops, including the annual Marijuana Business Conference in Las Vegas. “We juiced that one,” Portela says.

Gaby Pagan, left, and Carmen Portela: TK TK TK. (Colleen Kimmett for Leafly)Monticello owner Gaby Pagan, right, teamed up with Carmen Portela to create the cannabis consulting firm Growth Leaders. (Colleen Kimmett for Leafly)

Their mission, Portela says, is to “develop an ecosystem of the cannabis industry for it to be more inclusive.” Meaning an industry that prioritizes organic products and sustainable growth while making room for the small players who have been part of the underground cannabis community for years.

“We hustle with heart,” Portela tells me. Hence the Robin Hood reference.

In many ways, Portela and Pagan capture the spirit of the emerging medical cannabis sector in Puerto Rico. They are millennials with marketable skills who face the relatively high costs of living in San Juan and must create their own path to success on an island where 60 percent of the workforce is unemployed. They could easily chase careers in the mainland United States. Plenty of their peers have. But the Growth Leaders entrepreneurs have a deep desire to stay in Puerto Rico and create jobs here, at home, in an industry that could actually be good for the health of both people and the planet.

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Puerto Rico: A U.S. territory on the same growing latitude as Jamaica, and a consumer base of 3.5 million residents. (gregobagel/iStock)Puerto Rico: A U.S. territory on the same growing latitude as Jamaica, and a consumer base of 3.5 million residents. (gregobagel/iStock)

Ramping Up Quickly

Governor Alejandro García Padilla authorized the medicinal use of cannabis in 2015, and a legal regulatory framework is now working its way through government in the form of Senate Bill 340. Current regulations allow vaping, but prohibit smoking of the flower. Qualifying conditions include cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and migraines.

Julian Marley’s company JuJu Royal is here. So is Colorado-based United Cannabis, and Canada’s CannaRoyalty.

With 3.5 million people, Puerto Rico’s population is about the size of Connecticut, but it’s a territory, not a state. As such, it’s not subject to federal tax laws, including IRS rule 280E, the one that prohibits cannabis businesses from claiming normal expenses. So the Caribbean island has business advantages the US mainland can’t offer. As a result, there’s been a flood of recent investment in the cannabis sector, all of it, as per Puerto Rican law, moving through majority-owned Puerto Rican companies.

Natural Ventures PR, one of the island’s first players, has already established a 100,000 square-foot cultivation facility and a 30,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Caguas, an inland city about 15 miles south of San Juan.  The company now has licensing deals with CannaRoyalty, an investment firm based in Canada, and JuJu Royal, a Colorado company founded by Julian Marley. United Cannabis, a biotech corporation headquartered in Denver, recently partnered with San Juan-based Herbal Biotech Pathways Lab to establish a joint venture to market its Prana brand cannabis products.

The licensing process is expensive. Fees range from $5,000 to $10,000 for a manufacturing license and $20,000 for a dispensary license. Currently there are 17 dispensaries, eight cultivation facilities, four manufacturing facilities, and two laboratories approved by the Health Department. As of January, 2017, there were 114 dispensaries, 46 cultivation facilities, and 32 manufacturing facilities that had been pre-qualified for the approval process.

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Inside Track for Some

Pagan, who owns a smoke shop called Monticello on San Juan’s up-and-coming Loiza Street, told me that as she saw the industry develop, she felt a sense that “this is not fair.” When I asked what she meant, Portela jumped in.

“Like in any other state, if you have the money and the means, you have a license,” she said. “You get a cultivation and a manufacturing license—even if you don’t have any type of expertise.”

“This was an industry before it was legal,” noted Pagan.

One of their goals is to build a network of “creatives and innovators” who don’t have the capital to invest on the production side but could find opportunities in branding, marketing, and design.

“I’ve come from an industry that’s been illegal for a long time, so we’ve always had a kind of ‘whatever’ attitude towards the product. It has been tacky,” said Pagan. “Now, as the industry evolves, you have designers coming in, you have creatives coming in, and I’ve seen that trend in my store.”

Regenerative partner Frances Aparicio: 'I want to give great jobs. I want people to work with me, not for me.' (Colleen Kimmett for Leafly)Regenerative’s Frances Aparicio: ‘I want to give great jobs. I want people to work with me, not for me.’ (Colleen Kimmett for Leafly)

They’d like to develop a greener network of collaborators to build the cultivation and manufacturing sector here. So far, for example, no one in Puerto Rico is doing licensed outdoor or organic grows—and this on a Caribbean island that’s at almost the exact same latitude as Jamaica, which is world renowned for its outdoor cannabis grows.

When Parleta and Pagan met in 2015, they immediately connected over their shared cannabis politics. Together, they bring different strengths to the venture. Portela started her career in the Puerto Rican tourism bureau. That helped her develop a familiarity with the workings of government procedure and bureaucracy.  Pagan, by contrast, has been a fixture in her neighborhood’s growing independent arts and culture scene, opening Monticello not long after she graduated from the University of Puerto Rico.  “Gaby,” said Portela, “is the true nature of the industry.”

Today the duo serve as ambassadors of a sort, parsing Puerto Rico’s shifting regulatory landscape for investors abroad (“when it comes to regulations here, if you’re not in the know, it’s very complicated,” says Parleta), and bringing back useful intel, translated for a Spanish-speaking audience here.

‘I Want to Contribute to Puerto Rico’

At the conference, working a booth at the trade-show section of the conference, I met one of the young entrepreneurs of the type that Pagan and Parleta seek to target.

Government bureaucrats are said to ‘look for the cat’s fifth leg.’

Jim Rodriguez, 34, is the co-owner of Cultivana, which imports Magical Butter machines and distributes them to dispensaries on the island. Rodriguez, who has worked as a salesman and a chef, was already making edibles in his kitchen when “the cannabis industry in Puerto Rico began with the gossip, and then the boom.”

He and some friends decided to create a company and market the product. Getting certified to do so was really difficult, Rodriguez told me. He blamed the government, saying it “buscarle la quinta pata al gato”– it looks for the cat’s fifth leg, which is to say, makes things unnecessarily complicated.

“People really want this,” he said. “They need to work harder than in the States, but it’s possible.”

Rodriguez tells me that he and his partners are all in their 30s, have all put their own money into the venture so far, and have kept their day jobs for now. “So we are 24-hours-seven working,” he says. “But we have big faith in this industry, and we want this industry to be here, in Puerto Rico.”

The Cultivana crew: Bringing Magical Butter machines to Puerto Rico. (Colleen Kimmett for Leafly)

It’s a sentiment I heard again and again at the conference: the desire, especially from millennials, to build an economy on the island that can actually support the kind of lives they want to live.

I heard it from Frances Aparicio, a 28-year-old promoter and partner in the Regenerative Group, a medical cannabis holding corporation he and his best friend started two years ago. He told me that he believes the economic crisis is an opportunity for entrepreneurs like him.

“I want to contribute to Puerto Rico,” he said. “This is the most important thing. I want to give great jobs. I don’t want minimum federal wage; I hate that. I want people to work with me, not for me.”

Aparicio says there’s a shift happening in the mindset of Puerto Rican millennials, away from the “colonialist thinking” that once held up mainland America as the land of milk and honey. “This is Latin America,” he tells me. “And we need to think globally.”

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Some are Moving Cautiously

The Regenerative Group includes three partners from Puerto Rico, one from Colorado, and one from China. Aparicio tells me the Colorado partner, who wishes to remain anonymous, has put about $2 million into the licensing and construction of a cultivation facility. The company plans to build three dispensaries on the island as well.

Aparicio said that he’s cautious about moving too quickly. “I’m very careful with the funds that we have,” he told me. “I know a lot of people who are burning a lot of cash. . . one thing I’ve learned in life is being first is not going to win every time.”

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A Bottlenecked MMJ Card System

One of the barriers to developing the medical cannabis market in Puerto Rico right now is the fact that the government’s MMJ card system is bottlenecked. 10,000 individuals have applied for medical cannabis cards but only around 4,000 have received them. According to one recent report, there is only one staff member and one card printing machine at the department.

Problem: One government worker, one medical marijuana card-making machine, and 10,000 applicants.

Bigger players with deep pockets might be able to lose money until the user market grows, but new and emerging players don’t have that luxury. Aparicio co-founded the Puerto Rico Medical Cannabis Association to educate, lobby, and campaign on behalf of users. How frustrating is the application backlog?  Aparicio himself has a medical card from California but is still waiting on his ID from Puerto Rico.

Aparicio’s group recently launched a petition (#sialaflora) calling for the flower itself—one of those most affordable means of accessing cannabis—to be included in the legal regulatory framework.

They’re also trying to educate the populace about cannabis. Despite the fact that many young people are in favor of legalization, Puerto Rico remains a very conservative Catholic place.

Hector Santiago, an agronomist who works in the plant nursery business, recently started a cannabis-focused company called Be Better (which he tells me has pre-approval from the government for a cultivation license. He keeps his finger on the public pulse via his public radio show, Manos a la Tierra (Hands in the Earth). The show is about “everything agricultural,” he told me, “but I focus a lot on cannabis, and I receive a lot of callers who want to talk about this topic.”

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Jobs They Need in an Industry They Love

Santiago says most young people under 35 are enthusiastic. Seniors 65 and older are “very, very religious,” and they often initially opposed any form of legalization. They become more receptive, he said, when they realize that cannabis can be used to treat symptoms of glaucoma, fibromyalgia, and cancer. It’s the middle-agers, 40 to 60, Santiago said, who seem the most difficult to convince. “We were raised to believe that this is bad, this is not good, that it’s from the hell,” he said. “That’s the mindset that we have to change.”

Puerto Rico might not have to wait for islanders to change their minds. Puerto Rico’s current regulations include a reciprocity clause, which opens the possibility for individuals with medical marijuana cards from states like California and New York to use them on the island. This “canna-tourism” angle is what makes Puerto Rico particularly interesting to industry leaders on the mainland—particularly executives with companies based in New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts. If the cannabis market’s potential is realized in Puerto Rico, more ambitious young people like Carmen Portela will be able to stay on the island, “and get the jobs they need in the industry they love.”

“I mean,” Portela said, “why would you want to leave this paradise?”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Data Dive: Cannabis Sales Keep Climbing in Washington and Colorado

The two first movers within the United States legal cannabis industry—Washington and Colorado—have both seen solid, year-over-year sales growth over the first four months of each year, according to data from state regulators.

Compiling sales numbers from both the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, and the Colorado Department of Revenue, Leafly was able to visualize just how much each state’s legal cannabis industry has grown during the past few years.

In the first graph, below, you can see that sales increased in both Washington and Colorado from 2016 to 2017 in the January–April quarter.Washington saw the biggest difference, with first four months of 2017 yielding year-over-year sales increases of 55% to nearly 80%. Colorado’s sales increases, though positive, were much mellower than those in the Evergreen State.

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Similar were seen from 2015 to 2016, as Washington’s cannabis industry—which launched after Colorado’s—began to hit its stride and make significant gains over two years. Washington saw year-over-year increases of more than 100% in each of the first four months of 2016. Again, Colorado’s total sales increases were slower and steadier, holding around 30% to 40%.

A month-by-month look at Colorado’s sales data suggest the state’s legal cannabis market tends to grow around 30% each year.

The table below shows the growth between Colorado’s first year of legal cannabis, 2014, and its second full year of legal sales, 2015.

State Year Month 2014 Total Year 2 Month 2 2015 Total % change
Colorado 2014 January $45,869,275.86 2015 January $62,359,275.86 36%
Colorado 2014 February $50,359,620.69 2015 February $66,194,793.10 31%
Colorado 2014 March $54,117,413.79 2015 March $72,175,896.55 33%
Colorado 2014 April $53,783,103.45 2015 April $71,864,862.07 34%

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Toronto Police Raid Seven City Dispensaries

Exactly one week after Toronto Mayor John Tory announced impending crackdowns on the city’s illegal-yet-plentiful cannabis dispensaries, Toronto police made good on the promise, executing a series of dispensary raids across the city yesterday morning.

The targets: all seven Toronto storefronts of the BC-based Canna Clinic, along with five Toronto residences and three Vancouver residences.

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Details on the dispensary raids come from the Toronto Star, which reports “[o]fficers at the scene said they were going to arrest the staff members and seize all illegal drugs.” (Also seized: dispensary workers’ cell phones and all money connected to sales.) Staff members exiting one of the raided storefronts told the Star they expected the clinic to reopen within the next few days.

Ultimately, six people were charged in yesterday’s raids, and are due in court today. “Toronto police did not provide information about the charges those individuals will face,” reports the Georgia Straight.

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Stay tuned for more on the raids and the fallout. For now, please enjoy this million-dollar quote obtained by the Star, from a Toronto cop involved in the raids: “It’s not like we want to be doing this, it’s a waste of everyone’s time.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Cannabis Tax Rates: A State-By-State Guide

Here’s how each state stacks up in terms of state taxes, excises taxes, and wholesale taxes on both medical and retail cannabis.

Click on a state to jump down to its tax guidelines.


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Alaska

  • Medical: No tax
  • Wholesale tax: $50 per oz on flower, $15 per oz for stems/leaves

For more information, please visit the Alaska Department of Revenue – Tax Division.

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Arizona

  • Medical: 6.6% state tax + 2-3% optional tax in cities

For more information, please refer to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Rules & Statutes.

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Arkansas

  • Medical: 4% state tax

For more information, please refer to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission.

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California

  • Medical: Certain medical marijuana sales are tax-exempt
  • Retail: 15% excise tax
  • Wholesale: $9.25 per ounce of flowers, $2.75 for leaves

For more information, please refer to the Tax Guide for Medical Cannabis Businesses.

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Colorado

  • Medical: 2.9% sales tax
  • Retail: 2.9% sales tax + 10% excise tax
  • Wholesale: 15% excise tax

For more information, please refer to the Marijuana Taxes File at the Colorado Department of Revenue.

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Connecticut

  • Medical: $3.50 per gram

For more information, please refer to the Marijuana and Controlled Substances Tax.

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Delaware

  • Medical: No tax

For more information, please refer to the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act Regulations.

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District of Columbia

  • Medical: No tax
  • Retail: No retail sales allowed

For more information, please refer to the Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program.

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Hawaii

  • Medical: 4% excise tax, 4.5% tax on island of Oahu

For more information, please refer to the State of Hawaii Medical Marijuana Program.

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Illinois

  • Medical: 1% pharmaceutical tax
  • Wholesale: 7% tax on cultivators/dispensaries

For more information, please refer to the Medical Cannabis Cultivation Privilege Tax Law.

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State-by-State Guide to Cannabis Advertising Regulations

Maine

  • Medical: No tax
  • Retail: 10% sales tax

For more information, please refer to the Sales of Medical Marijuana and Related Products and Recreational Marijuana in Maine.

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Massachusetts

  • Medical: No tax
  • Retail: TBD

For more information, please refer to the Medical Use of Marijuana Program.

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Michigan

  • Medical: 3% sales tax

For more information, please refer to the State of Michigan Tax Policy Newsletter.

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Minnesota

  • Medical: $3.50 per gram

For more information, please refer to the Minnesota Controlled Substance Tax.

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Montana

  • Medical: 4% from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018; 2% after June 30, 2018

For more information, please refer to the Montana Marijuana Bill (SB0333).

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Nevada

  • Medical: 2% excise tax
  • Retail: 10% excise tax
  • Wholesale: 15% excise tax

For more information, please refer to the Nevada Department of Taxation Medical Marijuana Tax.

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New Hampshire

  • Medical: No tax

For more information, please refer to the Therapeutic Cannabis Program.

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New Jersey

  • Medical: 7% sales tax

For more information, please refer to the Medical Marijuana Alternative Treatment Center Taxation.

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Leafly’s State-by-State Guide to Cannabis Testing Regulations

New Mexico

  • Medical: No tax

For more information, please refer to the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program.

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New York

  • Medical: 7% excise tax

For more information, please refer to the Excise Tax on Medical Marijuana.

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North Dakota

  • Medical: No tax

For more information, please refer to House Bill 1430.

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Ohio

  • Medical: TBD

For more information, please refer to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.

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Oregon

  • Medical: No tax
  • Retail: 17% state tax + 3% optional local municipality tax

For more information, please refer to the Oregon Department of Revenue Marijuana Tax Program.

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Pennsylvania

  • Wholesale: 5% excise tax

For more information, please refer to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Medical Marijuana Tax.

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Rhode Island

  • Medical: $25 per plant tag for patients/caregivers

For more information, please refer to the Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act § 21-28.6-15 Medical marijuana plant tags.

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Vermont

  • Medical: Exempt from the Vermont Sales and Use Tax

For more information, please refer to the Taxation of Sales of Medical Marijuana and Related Paraphernalia.

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Washington

  • Medical: 37% excise tax
  • Retail: 8% state tax + 37% excise tax

For more information, please refer to the Department of Revenue – Taxes Due on Marijuana.

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West Virginia

  • Medical: No tax
  • Wholesale: 10% excise tax

For more information, please refer to Senate Bill 386.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

In California, Many Growers Will Stay Underground

Real Talk: Some Growers Will Remain Illicit

He's not an illicit grower, but he understands their dilemma: Hezekiah Allen works to create an easier pathway into the legal industry as a lobbyist for the California Growers Association.He’s not an illicit grower, but he understands their dilemma: Hezekiah Allen works to create an easier pathway into the legal industry as a lobbyist for the California Growers Association. (James Tensuan for Leafly)

Editor’s note: This week (June 19, 2017), Leafly launches a four-part series on California cannabis farming by Paul Roberts, author of “The End of Food.” Roberts examines the choices California cannabis growers face as the state enters the legal era: Scale up, build a craft brand, join a cooperative, or go deeper underground. Today: What happens to those who choose to go deeper underground?

Here’s an unhappy fact about California’s newly legalized cannabis market that reform advocates don’t talk much about: Most of the state’s existing cannabis farmers probably won’t be going legal.

There are an estimated 50,000 growers in California. Not all will go legal.

In some cases that decision will be an act of rebellion. After decades defying prohibition and dodging arrest, some long-time growers have no interest in submitting to a world of regulations, testing, and taxes.

But for other farmers, skipping the legal market will be more an act of desperation: these farmers will try to make the transition to licensed production—either by scaling up, going the craft route, or joining a co-op—only to be thwarted by the tough new realities of farming in a time of rising regulation and ever-thinner margins.

Whatever the cause, with the arrival of a state-licensed medical and adult use market in 2018, these frustrated farmers will likely to do one of two things.

Many will probably retire from farming, or perhaps shift to other, non-farming roles in the new legal cannabis sector. But a not-insignificant number of them will probably keep growing for the illegal market. And while some of that off-the-books weed may stay in California, most will enter the national black market.

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Just how many of the state’s current population of farmers, estimated at between 50,000 to 80,000  by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, will opt for the black market is impossible to know. But anecdotal accounts, by law enforcement officials, industry consultants and many farmers themselves, suggest that the number could be quite high.

And if that’s the case, it could create serious headaches for everyone from law enforcement officials to, especially, advocates for national legalization efforts, for whom California was supposed to be a shining example of legalization success. If the state’s cannabis goes “all over the country,” warns Hezekiah Allen, a cannabis farmer-turned-lobbyist for the California Growers Association, “the DEA and Jeff Sessions will rightfully start putting the pieces together.”

California Grows More Than It Consumes

Seat of Power: The California State Capitol in Sacramento, where lawmakers will set the regulations that shape the legal cannabis industry. Seat of Power: The California State Capitol in Sacramento, where lawmakers will set the regulations that shape the legal cannabis industry. (James Tensuan for Leafly)

In some respects, the export scenario was inevitable, given that California has always produced more cannabis than state residents can legally consume. For every pound of cannabis that California growers produce and sell legally, another four pounds are produced for the black market, according a February analysis by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center for the California Bureau of Marijuana Control. Much of that surplus currently goes out of state.

One-fifth of existing cannabis farms could meet the entire state’s market demand.

And, paradoxically, legalization will only worsen that over-supply dynamic. As those California farmers who now export try to go legal and sell their product at home, the state’s already well-supplied legal market will become even more saturated. That will drive wholesale prices even further below the break-even point for small farmers, and lead even more of them to consider staying in the black market.

Of course, there are factors that could disrupt this self-feeding death spiral. Legalization will spur more consumer demand, which will absorb some of that oversupply. But judging by the experience from other adult-use states, that post-legalization demand growth simply won’t be sufficient to absorb all the cannabis that will be coming from older farms as well as the new mega-scale factory farms.

The implications are significant. Allen, the California Growers Association lobbyist, estimates that when legalization has been fully implemented in California, the state’s legal market could be supplied by perhaps 8,000 smallish farms. That’s perhaps one-fifth of the number thought to be operating today. “Best case, seventy percent of my community goes out of business,” says Allen.

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The ramifications of that kind of reduction haven’t gone unnoticed by California’s political establishment. Lawmakers and regulators are deeply worried by the prospect of massive unemployment. Small-scale cannabis farmers employ as many as 250,000 full- and part-time workers, according to the California Growers Association. An investigation by Leafly News earlier this year estimated that California’s current medical cannabis industry (which does not include the illicit market) supports more than 43,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

But, again, the real downside may be how California’s continued exports tilt the legalization debate in other states and at the federal level. As Lauren Michaels, a cannabis policy expert with California Police Chiefs Association, puts it, “when you have other states, and a nation as a whole, that are still skeptical of legal cannabis,” a huge amount of oversupply from California doesn’t create the “best optics” for national reform.

Coaxing Growers to Go Legal

Hezekiah Allen's pin hints at his cause: Growing a legal industry with room for legacy growers. Hezekiah Allen’s lapel pin hints at his cause: Growing a legal industry with room for legacy growers. (James Tensuan for Leafly)

So, that’s the bad news about the fourth pathway for California’s existing cannabis farmers. The good news is that this dire scenario has led lawmakers in Sacramento to consider measures to help small farmers go legal—or at least slow the process of attrition so that existing farmers can make less problematic exits.

Last fall, for example, the state created a “cottage farm” license for smaller growers. The license is cheaper and easier to get. Because it caps production at 2,500 square feet of greenhouse space or 25 mature plants (half the scale of the next-biggest license type), the cottage license may help allay the anxieties that many local governments have about larger cannabis farms—anxieties that have delayed licenses and frustrated small farmers.

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The cottage law “sent a signal to local governments,” says Max Mikalonis, a former legislative staffer who helped draft the state’s medical cannabis law for California Assemblyman Tom Bonta. (Mikalonis now lobbies for cannabis firms at K Street Consulting in Sacramento.) “A county that might not be comfortable with having, say 50 plants on a one-acre lot, might be more comfortable with 25 plants or less.”

Another bit of state help: A so-called appellation law will protect the brand value of geographic locations by prohibiting cannabis producers from using place names in their marketing unless the products actually come from those locations.

These sorts of regulatory moves can help ensure that the regulated marketplace provides opportunities for existent growers. But ultimately, says Allen, state lawmakers must embrace the idea that California’s legal cannabis market has room for producers of all scales and business models. Such a marketplace, he says, will provide more jobs and offer more diverse and higher-quality products.

But to make that happen, Allen says, lawmakers, regulators and other stakeholders can’t get carried away by the idea that scaling-up is the only path to survival. “There is no reason why a price crash is inevitable,” Allen says. “These well-capitalized [cannabis producers] have every incentive to pretend it’s inevitable, but that’s actually just [a reflection] of their agenda.”

The agenda of the state and the public, Allen argues, is very different: a diverse, unconsolidated cannabis marketplace with room for all scales and production models. “Commoditization, quantity over quality—it is not an inevitability, nor is it a desired outcome,” Allen says. “Except for the people who stand to benefit from that kind of consolidation.”

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Emerald Triangle Growers Scale Up Together in Co-Ops

‘Run By the Farmers, For the Farmers’

Amber and Casey O'Neil, founders of the 40-member Emerald Grown cooperative, help independent farmers lower their costs by working together. Amber and Casey O’Neil, founders of the 40-member Emerald Grown cooperative, help independent farmers lower their costs by working together. (James Tensuan for Leafly)

Editor’s note: This week (June 19, 2017), Leafly launches a four-part series on California cannabis farming by Paul Roberts, author of “The End of Food.” Roberts examines the choices California cannabis growers face as the state enters the legal era: Scale up, build a craft brand, join a cooperative, or go deeper underground. Today: Independent farmers find a safe haven in agricultural cooperatives.

Markets, like ecosystems, respond to massive disruption with a wave of experimentation and adaptation—and that’s certainly been the story in California’s cannabis sector. Ever since legalization upended the decades-old status quo, players have scrambled to develop new business strategies to exploit the chaos—or simply survive it.

By coordinating harvests and pooling crops, co-op members can deliver the bulk shipments that wholesalers increasingly demand.

Some, like Jai Malloy, have scaled up. Others, like Sam Edwards in Sonoma, have moved to the other end of the scale continuum with a “craft” strategy.

Yet the reality is that many existing cannabis farmers lack the resources or expertise to carry off either of these strategies—or, at least, carry it off all on their own. For many of these growers, the solution has been a strategy that borrows from both large- and small-scale producers—the cannabis co-operative.

A case in point is Emerald Grown, a forty-member co-operative located in the town of Laytonville, in the Emerald Triangle’s Mendocino County. Founded three years ago by farmers Amber and Casey O’Neill, the co-operative follows a strategy of adaptive mimicry: using collective action to achieve the scale efficiencies of larger operators. By sharing seeds, expertise, and other resources, for example, co-op members can significantly boost their individual yields.

By pooling their cash, they can afford attorneys and consultants to navigate local regulations. And, most significantly, by coordinating harvests and pooling their crops, co-op members can deliver the large bulk shipments that California’s cannabis wholesalers increasingly demand.

Most of Emerald Grown’s members farm on less than 5,000 square feet, says Casey, which makes it very hard for an individual farmer “to deliver the kind of consistently large volumes that big buyers now want.” But collectively, says Casey, they can play in the big leagues.

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Teaming Up to Compete

That sort of collective muscle is essential at a time when small farmers must not only compete with much bigger producers, but must also deal with a cannabis “downstream” – distributors, wholesalers, and retailers—that is becoming just as big scale.

Like Washington and Colorado before it, California is seeing signs of retail sector consolidation and the emergence of mega-retailers and dispensary chains with enough market share to squeeze cannabis suppliers, much as big-box grocery chains squeeze their own suppliers. In fact, some big urban dispensaries want to compete directly with cannabis producers by building their own cultivation operations. (Oakland’s iconic Harborside medical dispensary, for example, is launching an industrial-scale greenhouse operation in Monterey County’s Salinas Valley.)

Meanwhile, there will be further price pressure from a new generation of distributors and “platforms,” such as delivery services like Eaze, an app-based service that is using rapid service and big-data analytics to dominate California’s medical cannabis delivery market.

For all these reasons, says Amber O’Neill, eventually, “every producing community is going to need a cooperative serving it–something run by the farmers and for the farmers.”

Gaining Popularity in the Emerald Triangle

Hard work, smart growing, and the local co-op have allowed Amber and Casey O’Neil to create an idyllic farming life in Laytonville, Calif. (James Tensuan for Leafly)

The O’Neils say there are at least half a dozen similar organizations across the three counties of the Emerald Triangle. Some have emerged from the informal, self-governing collectives that have loosely coordinated cannabis production since the state decriminalized medical cannabis in 1995. Other organizations are coalescing around specific geographies or communities.  In neighboring Humboldt County, for example, a growers alliance called Humboldt’s Finest has been launched to market five local sun-grown flower lines developed jointly by botanists and “maverick growers”.

The structure and methods of these new collective organizations will likely vary. Where Emerald Growers follows strict state guidelines for member-owned agricultural co-operatives, others have morphed toward more commercial entities, such as limited liability corporations or “mutual benefit” corporations.

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Yet whatever the structure, these organizations will perform broadly similar functions—pooling members’ output, resources, and skills in order to boost scale and efficiency while preserving and enhancing whatever makes their product unique. Some co-operatives, for example, will centralize their processing by leasing or even building space for joint processing and for storage.

Cooperatives will also play a consultative role, helping smaller farmers deal with the complexities of licensing and testing, or improving their growing methods to ensure better price premiums. And, importantly, co-operatives will give growers more negotiating leverage with wholesalers, retailers, distributors and other market intermediates that want to control growers’ access to consumers. In fact, in some cases, co-operatives themselves are getting into the retail space: Emerald Grown is considering applying for a state license that would allow it to open several storefronts.

Adapting, Surviving Means Sacrificing

Nature’s pest control at work on the O’Neils’ cannabis leaves. (James Tensuan for Leafly)

Yet these very strategies point to another inescapable reality: many smaller scale cannabis farmers may not want to make the kind of adaptations that may be essential to survival. Case in point: to get the volumes that wholesale buyers now demand, Emerald Grown has had to push some members to focus on a smaller number of popular strains—a strategy that has resulted in commercially viable volumes but has irked some long-time farmers.

Some farmers ‘are having to give up the strains that they really love’ to survive in the market.

Casey O’Neil, farmer and co-op founder

“It’s bittersweet,” Casey says, “because people are having to give up the strains that they really love just because there’s not enough of it to really compete in the marketplace.”

Similarly, some farmers are reluctant to embrace the sort of rule-dominated operations that legalization will require—a reluctance Amber says deserves careful attention. “One of the things I say to folks is, ‘you’ve got to prepare yourself to be more professional than you’ve ever been in your life, as far as being a really good bookkeeper and running your business fully transparently and paying all of your taxes,” she says.

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Compliance with the regulations “is like a whole other job to add to the farming,” she adds. “So if folks don’t feel like they are going to follow through with all of those steps, I don’t recommend it, because there is not going to be any ‘half-way’ legal. If you’re not prepared to go the full distance, you should really re-evaluate whether this is what you want to be doing.”

That may seem like a deeply personal decision—yet it’s one whose impact will go well beyond the lives and livelihoods of individual farmers.

The reality of California’s cannabis market is that most small farmers simply won’t be able to make the transition to legal operations. Some will try and fail. Others, put off by the bureaucracy and sharp competition, won’t even try. Amber says some of the older farmers she and Casey know are simply going to retire. But others will likely take a different path and will continue to sell their product in the black market. Just how many of California’s tens of thousands of small farmers will end up taking this fourth option is impossible to know right now. But if the numbers are as large as some industry observers fear, it could have a huge, and not entirely positive, effect on the success of legalization in California and beyond.

Background image by James Tensuan


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

As Cannabis Comes Out of Black Market, Regulators Face Scrutiny

DENVER (AP) — Take a black-market business that relies on cash. Move the business out of the shadows by giving it government oversight. Hire new regulators to keep watch on the business, all without any experience regulating a brand-new industry.

“Marijuana is unique because it’s so front and center in the public eye.”

Lewis Koski

The result can be a recipe for government corruption.

Recent cases in Colorado and Washington are the first known instances of current or former cannabis regulators being accused of having improper dealings with the industry. The two recreational marijuana states are the nation’s oldest, approving legal marijuana in defiance of federal law in 2012.

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A pair of cases several years into the legal-weed experiment might not seem like much, but they give a black eye to all marijuana regulators and fuel old fears about the criminal element’s influence.

In a case that has caught the U.S. Justice Department’s attention, former Colorado marijuana enforcement officer Renee Rayton is accused of helping cannabis growers raise plants for illegal out-of-state sales.

State investigators say the cannabis warehouse inspector quit her job last year and immediately went to work for the illegal marijuana ring, taking an $8,000-a-month job.

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A June 7 indictment says Rayton told the cannabis growers she could help them “get legal” through her contacts at the Colorado agency that oversees the marijuana industry. The indictment says Rayton had “vast knowledge” of marijuana regulations and “must have been aware” that other defendants in the case were growing cannabis illegally.

She is charged with conspiracy to illegally grow cannabis. Rayton’s attorney told The Associated Press she is innocent.

In Washington, the state agency that regulates cannabis recently fired an employee who leased land to a prospective marijuana grower.

Marijuana licensing specialist Grant Bulski was leasing 25 acres to a marijuana entrepreneur for $2,834 a month, The Spokesman-Review reported . That violated Washington rules prohibiting state cannabis regulators from having a financial stake in the business. Bulski was not charged with a crime.

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Messages left at numbers for a Grant Bulski in Olympia weren’t returned.

Cannabis isn’t the first product in the U.S. to go from illegal to legit. Alcohol and gambling made similar transitions last century.

But since recreational marijuana remains off-limits in most states and in the U.S. government’s eyes, a massive black market remains.

“Marijuana is unique because it’s so front and center in the public eye,” said Lewis Koski, who became Colorado’s top marijuana enforcement officer after regulating the gambling and alcohol industries.

Now a government consultant who teaches public policy at the University of Colorado-Denver, Koski said government employees who regulate any business face tension. Regulators know the industry they’re monitoring well. And in the case of the marijuana business, those regulators have no guidance from federal authorities and little precedent to rely on.

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And because the federal government considers all cannabis business illegal, making it difficult for those businesses to access banking products as basic as checking accounts, the cannabis industry remains cash-heavy.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Colorado case last month when he asked Congress not to renew a spending provision that prevents the Justice Department from spending tax money to interfere with state marijuana laws and businesses.

“It would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions,” Sessions wrote in the letter first obtained by cannabis social network Massroots.com.

The Colorado and Washington cases were uncovered by state officials, not federal drug authorities. They highlight how critical it is for states to tightly regulate a business still coming out of the black market, Koski said.

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“Both sides — government agencies and the industry — are working hard to establish credibility,” Koski said. “So it makes it more concerning when you have people going back and forth.”

Ethics watchdogs say the Colorado and Washington cases should spur cannabis states to beef up ethics commissions charged with monitoring conflicts of interest by government employees. Michigan, a medical-marijuana state, passed a 2016 law banning even relatives of its marijuana oversight board members from having any financial stake in the cannabis industry.

Poorly staffed ethics offices in some marijuana states aren’t prepared to stop regulators leaving to work for the industries they once monitored, said Aaron Scherb, national legislative director for the government watchdog group Common Cause.

“It’s like trying to keep water out of a sinking boat — you can do it for a while, but it’s only a matter of time,” he said.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.