Marijuana Farmers Unlikely To See Farm Tax Perks

COLORADO:   Marijuana farmers and agricultural tax breaks are the next wrinkle facing the states that have legal weed as lawmakers debate how to tax the product while it’s growing.

Legislatures in both Colorado and Washington are taking a look at pot farmers this session. [Read more…]

Obama Ignores America’s Fastest-Growing Industry in State Of The Union Address

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: During last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama made the controversial declaration that he would sign an executive order raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour for federal contract workers. Notably absent from his speech was any mention of the fastest-growing industry in America, an industry that has consistently and voluntarily paid its workers above the minimum wage, even at lower skilled entry level positions. [Read more…]

Legal Marijuana Businesses Should Have Access to Banks, Holder Says

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Thursday that lawful marijuana businesses should have access to the American banking system and that the government would soon offer rules to help them gain it. The rules are not expected to give banks a green light to accept deposits and provide other services, but would tell prosecutors not to prioritize cases involving legal marijuana businesses that use banks.

“You don’t want just huge amounts of cash in these places. They want to be able to use the banking system,” Mr. Holder said at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. “There’s a public safety component to this. Huge amounts of cash, substantial amounts of cash just kind of lying around with no place for it to be appropriately deposited, is something that would worry me, just from a law enforcement perspective.” [Read more…]

Legal Marijuana Businesses Should Have Access to Banks, Holder Says

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Thursday that lawful marijuana businesses should have access to the American banking system and that the government would soon offer rules to help them gain it. The rules are not expected to give banks a green light to accept deposits and provide other services, but would tell prosecutors not to prioritize cases involving legal marijuana businesses that use banks.

“You don’t want just huge amounts of cash in these places. They want to be able to use the banking system,” Mr. Holder said at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. “There’s a public safety component to this. Huge amounts of cash, substantial amounts of cash just kind of lying around with no place for it to be appropriately deposited, is something that would worry me, just from a law enforcement perspective.” [Read more…]

The Business of Legal Marijuana: People Are Getting Rich, Should You Get In?

NEW YORK:  The line stretched nearly around the block. To people passing by on New Year’s Day, it looked like a queue for the latest iPhone release or for tickets to a Justin Timberlake concert. Few onlookers strolling down Denver’s 16th Street Mall, the epicenter of the state capital’s tourist industry, would have guessed they were witnessing the first state-sanctioned sales of recreational marijuana in the United States.

To say that the owner of this small but opportunistically located cannabis shop appeared overjoyed would be an understatement. He was in the zone, racing up and down the line, managing crowd control, and handing out tickets that preserved customers’ spots in line — there wouldn’t have been enough room in a Whole Foods to absorb the crowd, much less in his roughly 2,500-square-foot store. [Read more…]

High Times Launches $100 Million Growth Fund Despite Climate Of Uncertainty

NEW YORK: Why is everybody buzzing about silly ol’ David Brooks? We have more important pot-related news to talk about.

High Times, the largest cannabis-related publication in the world, recently announced that it is making moves to establish a private equity fund to provide legitimate pot startups with much-needed capital. [Read more…]

High Times Launches $100 Million Growth Fund Despite Climate Of Uncertainty

NEW YORK: Why is everybody buzzing about silly ol’ David Brooks? We have more important pot-related news to talk about.

High Times, the largest cannabis-related publication in the world, recently announced that it is making moves to establish a private equity fund to provide legitimate pot startups with much-needed capital. [Read more…]

Marijuana Businesses May Get Good Banking News In Early 2014

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Marijuana businesses may not yet get a full green light on the banking rights that non-marijuana businesses already enjoy, but they are likely to get a “yellow light” as soon as the new year, Jack Finlaw, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper‘s  chief legal counsel, said on a joint call Thursday.

“What we’re being told,” Finlaw said on the call hosted by Drug Policy Alliance, “is probably in the first quarter of 2014 there will be some guidance issued that’s comparable to the Cole memo from the Department of Justice that will give, maybe not a green light, but a yellow light to banks to allow them to do business [with marijuana businesses] — to take deposits, to set up checking accounts, to set up small business loans, to allow these businesses to accept purchases through debit cards or credit cards, to allow what normal businesses are allowed to do.” [Read more…]

Marijuana Businesses May Get Good Banking News In Early 2014

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Marijuana businesses may not yet get a full green light on the banking rights that non-marijuana businesses already enjoy, but they are likely to get a “yellow light” as soon as the new year, Jack Finlaw, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper‘s  chief legal counsel, said on a joint call Thursday.

“What we’re being told,” Finlaw said on the call hosted by Drug Policy Alliance, “is probably in the first quarter of 2014 there will be some guidance issued that’s comparable to the Cole memo from the Department of Justice that will give, maybe not a green light, but a yellow light to banks to allow them to do business [with marijuana businesses] — to take deposits, to set up checking accounts, to set up small business loans, to allow these businesses to accept purchases through debit cards or credit cards, to allow what normal businesses are allowed to do.” [Read more…]

Drug Agent Joins Budding Industry

WASHINGTON: Government officials regularly leverage their public-sector experience into more lucrative jobs in high finance. One former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration supervisor is giving that track a new twist.

Patrick Moen, a longtime DEA agent, has left a post leading a federal team in Portland, Ore., that combats heroin and methamphetamine trafficking to join a private-equity firm that invests solely in businesses tied to the budding legal marijuana industry.

“The potential social and financial returns are enormous,” says Mr. Moen, who is becoming managing director of compliance and senior counsel of Privateer Holdings Inc. “The attitudes toward cannabis are shifting rapidly.”

A DEA spokesman declined to comment. [Read more…]