This Week In Cannabis

Florida Overdoses on Poor Campaign Tactics
The fight to legalize medical marijuana in Florida has been a contentious battle. For example, take a look at the latest ad from the ‘No on 2’ campaign’s Facebook page. The image depicts a male/female couple with their arms around each other, the male sporting a “marijuana cookie” in his back-pocket, and a headline that reads, “Will the new face of ‘Date Rape’ look like a cookie?”

This ad does nothing but propagate a misunderstanding of sexual assault and exposes Florida voters to outdated (Reefer Madness throwbacks, anyone?), misguided scare-tactics. To call their recent political campaigns shady would be an understatement, but it speaks to Florida politicians’ long history of anti-marijuana propaganda, a majority of which has come from the chairman of “Drug Free Florida,” Cartlon Turner (yep, that’s the same guy that is often referred to as Reagan’s Drug Czar, having served as the former President’s adviser on drug abuse policy during his administration).

Turner’s claims over the years include, but are not limited to, “marijuana leads to homosexuality and aids,” “weed has more cancer causing compounds than cigarettes,” and “it’s not about medicine, it’s about legalization of drugs, and marijuana is their choice to start”.

The best combat to ignorance is knowledge. Sadly, Carlton Turner, ‘Drug Free Florida’, and ‘No on 2’ obviously missed that memo.

Green with a Hint of Gold
Outside of discussing tax revenues (and Colorado has quite a lot of it), the business of marijuana is not given the attention it merits. And so, Marijuana Business Daily guest columnist, Emily Paxhia, has taken an interesting look at those companies involved in the burgeoning “green rush” that are most likely to prove attractive to investors.

She breaks down those companies most likely to appeal to green backers into five categories:

  • Ancillary companies — because they provide products and services without getting their hands “dirty” actually handling marijuana (and as such avoid deep Federal scrutiny as well as the same stringent regulations) they will have less to deal with—including overhead.
  • Scalable Companies — using the examples of temperature control for growing marijuana and testing practices, she identifies those companies who can scale their operations both upwards and laterally into associated fields as being another place investors might look to plop their bags of cash.
  • Innovators — dubbing them as “first movers,” the ability to identify and define new opportunities before they happen, these out-of-the-box market innovators will give investors real bang for their buck as they get to those untapped resources first.
  • Disruptors — this R&D-intensive, problem-solving endeavor will rely on a company being able to bring efficiency to a landscape that is largely inefficient through large, well-implemented changes.
  • Environmentally Conscious Companies — “green” puns aside, the eco-friendly push has long been a motivating force. As well as improving efficiencies, it dots the “i”s for environmentalists as well as anti-marijuana lawmakers who could use it as ding against marijuana growers.

In Short Supply
Huffington Post’s rotating photo caption “High and Dry in Pot County” pretty much covers what is happening in California right now as a result of the statewide drought. Growing marijuana has become a difficult proposition for farmers, as water is scarce throughout the growing regions in California. As a result the industry is in some potential jeopardy. Maybe Washington State can help with some of their surplus. Oh wait….

Getting Higher Up the Chain
One thing that is not drying up in California, according to the Huffington Post, is the support from lawmakers around the topic of legalization in the Golden State. One in particular, Democratic Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, has indicated that the “right initiative” will get his support to campaign for recreational marijuana legalization on the 2016 ballot.

Of course there is a lot of wiggle room around the conditional phrase “if it is the right initiative” but should the medical marijuana bill currently being debated in the legislature (SB 1262)  get a handle on regulating the medical side, it could go a long way in influencing that decision.

Seeds of Change
Marc Emery is safely back home in Windsor Ontario after a 5-year stay in a U.S. prison according to Reuters (courtesy of Cannabis News). Canada’s “Prince of Pot” was jailed for shipping marijuana seeds across the border (or “conspiracy to manufacture marijuana” as the DEA saw it).

Ironically, the DEA saw his 2005 arrest as a coup against legalization efforts. And yet, while jailed, Colorado and Washington legalized recreational use and 23 states along with Washington D.C. now have legal medical marijuana programs.