It looks like after two years of technical approval, Massachusetts is finally planning on allowing medical cannabis to go forward with the opening of the state’s first dispensary. Still, while this is great news overall for the industry, it looks like there is a long way to go before medical cannabis really gets off the ground in this region.
Last month, we finally got the good new that the federal government came out with a set of regulations for banks to follow when dealing with legal cannabis dispensaries, thereby helping to encourage financial institutions to take on this new business, rather than force dispensaries and other marijuana businesses to stay as cash only organizations. But has this actually worked? It seems that in some cases, banks have opened their doors to legal cannabis, but others seem as reluctant as ever.
Many states are now lucky enough to have legal recreational and medical cannabis programs, and those states are reaping all the benefits of being able to go to the dispensary and simply buy some pot for a medical condition, or even just for fun. Of, course, we realize that this crop has to be grown somewhere, and then maintained and sold. But we don’t always think about the fact that it is precious cargo that is still expensive, sought-after, and federally illegal, and as such, it needs to be guarded.
Kimmi is the founder for Philippine Mom for Medical Marijuana. Yes, just call her Kimmi – no last name, just like Cher, Madonna and Bono. She is now the emerging face of medical marijuana in the Philippines, an initiative being pushed on a very conservative cultural landscape.
Bob Marley must be singing in his grave. What Marley sung about in some of his songs – legalizing marijuana – has come true. The Jamaican Parliament has legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana last February 25, 2015. After all, how long can marijuana remain illegal in the land of the Rastafarians who smoke it as a sacrament and puff it as a healing herb?
On September 6, 1988, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young decided to place marijuana in Schedule II. It was a historical and defining decision in the history of medical marijuana. But what does it mean when a drug is categorized as Schedule II? The DEA classifies drugs, substance and some chemicals into five categories of schedules based on their acceptable medical usefulness or dependency potential. Schedule I drugs are those that DEA deem dangerous and severely addictive. Thus, Schedule I drugs have stricter controls and harder to obtain compared to other drugs in Schedules II, III, IV and V. By moving marijuana to Schedule II, qualified patients can have easier access to it upon fulfilling legal protocols.
The great Jamaican singer Bob Marley was one of the world’s best-selling artist of all time with record sales of more than 75 million. Known for his unique voice, distinct songwriting and soulful songs, Marley garnered worldwide following with his captivating reggae music. Marley peddled the thought of legalizing pot by singing songs about marijuana.
1976: Robert Randall wins legal battle to use marijuana to treat his glaucoma On November 24, 1976, Robert Randall, a man who was afflicted with glaucoma, won a case against the US Government when he was absolved from criminal charges for using marijuana to treat his glaucoma.
MARIJUANA WARRIOR: ROBERT RANDALL The Life and Times of the First American Who Fought for Medical Marijuana
“You will be blind in five years,” this was the poignant conclusion of an ophthalmologist to Robert Randall after his eye check-up in 1972. Randall must have received the diagnosis with shock and sadness. After all he was a young 24-year old American who have life ahead of him. Although the early symptoms of glaucoma troubled him during his early adolescence, the Randalls dismissed his eye trouble as mere by-product of Robert’s bookish nature. The ophthalmologist further advised Randall to start learning Braille.
In 1964, Raphael Mechoulam stunned the world with his groundbreaking research on cannabis when he successfully synthesized tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary active element in marijuana. Mechoulam’s pioneering work on THC paved the way for other developmental research on medical marijuana. The Israel-born professor stripped the global bias on the weed and gave people a glimpse on its chemical healing nature.
Due to all the legal cannabis available in America today, it seemed that maybe the whole “spice,” or synthetic cannabis, craze, was finally over. Spice, or K2, was originally touted as a healthy alternative to marijuana, before this was completely debunked and the drug was made illegal. But unfortunately, the other day over two dozen people got sent to a Mississippi hospital due to the drug.
In light of recent successful seizure treatment for children in South Jersey, parents are calling for medical marijuana research to help further these possibilities. The little girl who is sparking all of this is Tatyana "Tuffy" Rivera of Camden County, who has suffered from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, since she was ten months old. Because of her condition, she can suffer up to 300 seizures of a day, which sometimes last for as long as ten minutes. The prescriptions she was taking for the condition weren’t working, and as a result, she had to wear a helmet all the time, and was rarely able to venture away from a couch or a bed.
With more states deciding to full-scale legalize all the time, everyone has their eyes on Arizona to see if they will make the next big and decisive move. It would totally make sense for Arizona to decide to take the plunge and go all the way; they did $112 million in medical sales last year, making them one of the leaders in the country, and the numbers they have been reporting so far this year are even more impressive.
It’s 2015, and we as a country are making great steps towards being a progressive society. Gay marriage and minority rights are gaining favor, we are taking steps to explore space and advance medicine to extend lifespans, and we are legalizing marijuana, finally repealing the tired old laws that treat cannabis as though it is a deadly drug rather than a natural plant. But sadly, things aren’t all positive. The news is still dominated by stories of racial crime and hate, and this sadly extends to the cannabis industry. That’s right; most people getting involved with legal weed are white, and minority groups are still largely shying away from the world of kosher pot.
Oregon has had recreational cannabis for a while now, but they are still facing a lot of hurdles in order to get going with the new industry. In fact, they have been facing these since back when only medical marijuana was allowed in-state. One of the things that the local government has done to put a damper on things is to enact temporary bans on the industry in light of these new laws.
It’s no secret that the cannabis industry is doing wonderfully and hitting its stride now that more and more states are legalizing and decriminalizing, so it should come as no surprise that the industry is projected to hit a whopping $8 billion by the year 2018, according to some economists. While these predictions were made almost a year ago, it now certainly seems that they are coming true, based on the growth of the industry so far and the numbers from last year’s sales.
In many service professions, it is common just to hire whoever looks good, has good customer service skills, or has a little bit of experience in a similar job. These are the jobs that we often, sometimes unfairly, refer to as “unskilled labor.” However, in the world of legal cannabis, it is becoming common practice for dispensaries to want to hire budtenders who have plenty of knowledge of medicine or business practice, and who are ambitious and really want to rise in the industry. This is undoubtedly a product of this growing industry and the potential it has to launch all kinds of trade jobs into full scale careers.
Weed lovers across the world are in for interesting times. It’s as if governments across the world are beginning to relook their laws with respect to weed after considering Carl Sagan’s words, “The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”
With the growth of the cannabis industry in legal states, and the inevitable move towards full legalization on a nationwide level, people are starting to think and talk seriously about investment opportunities in the world of legal marijuana. And it makes sense - like those who had the opportunity to invest in the first sodas, alcoholic beverages, and cars, we are poised on the brink of being able to put our money into something that has the potential to make us millions. But how risky is this new opportunity, and how does one go about investing in this brave new world? We have provided an outline of how people are getting involved in this, as well as the dos and don’ts of cannabis investing.
It was only a matter of time before the world of cannabis joined forces with the world of celebrity endorsements, like every other major money making venture in the Western World. And recent celebrity endorsements have taken the new era of legal cannabis marketing to a whole new level, with some of the biggest names in the previously underground industry getting on board.