Five Things To Know Before Joining The Cannabis Industry

By Sue Vorenberg
Cannabis Daily Record

WASHINGTON: Legal cannabis may be the fastest growing industry in the country right now, but how do you know if it’s the right fit for you?

Working in the industry comes down to a lot more than just a love of pot. Whether you’re looking for a career as a bud trimmer, budtender, grower or anything else, it’s important to keep in mind that the rules in this young industry aren’t well established – and joining it isn’t for the faint of heart.

Still think you’re ready to go? Here are five things to consider before jumping in:

1. Every business is a startup business.

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Why does it matter if a business is old or new? It comes down to money and structure.

Established industries offer jobs with benefits, stability and often a well-thought-out chain of command.

Don’t expect that in the cannabis industry.

The oldest marijuana businesses – at least legal recreational ones – have only been around for about a year and a half. Most don’t offer health or retirement benefits, and with markets in legal states still in flux, there’s no assurance that your job will still be there in six months.

Management and human resources aspects of these businesses may also not be as well thought out as you’d find in other industries. If you want to work for a good company, do some research first, ask questions about how employees are treated, and don’t just jump at the first offer that comes along.

 

Legal Or Not, The Pot Business Is Still Wacky

COLORADO:  Legal or not, the business of selling weed in the U.S. is as wacky as ever.

The tangle of rules and regulations that govern whether and how it can be grown, bought and sold cause major headaches for marijuana businesses — and enticing opportunities for those who want to exploit it.

At the heart of the complexity lies a basic disagreement. The federal government views marijuana as an illegal narcotic like heroin, with “no currently accepted medical use.” But 23 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized pot for medical purposes. In Colorado and Washington State, it can be bought for recreational use, just like alcohol and tobacco.

Laws differ from state to state and sometimes from county to county. A bumper crop of consultants and shady public companies have bloomed, promising to show entrepreneurs and investors how to navigate the twisted way to success and fat profits. Consumers have an array of high-quality, pot-related products to choose from — but they must also discern truth from hope in the many claims about the supposedly wonderful things pot can do.

 

Fading Raymond WA Becomes Port For Pot Entrepreneurs

WASHINGTON:  After voters legalized marijuana in Washington, Seattle nightlife entrepreneur Marcus Charles went hunting for a depressed timber town.

Owner of the Crocodile Café and co-founder of the Capitol Hill Block Party, Charles wanted to jump into the emerging pot industry. His first impulse was to find a city with vacant industrial space and a hearty appetite for new jobs. That led him away from the booming communities around Puget Sound.

His first stop was Shelton in sleepy Mason County. But Shelton’s elected officials were divided about hosting pot merchants in the hamlet. So Charles moved on to the Port of Willapa Harbor in Raymond, a city of 2,900, about 25 miles south of Aberdeen.

Most young people leave Raymond — where Nirvana played its first gig at a house party — after high school and don’t come back, said Port Manager Rebecca Chaffee. “We were a logging and fishing town and those jobs have largely disappeared,” Chaffee said.

But Charles has become a pied piper of pot producers and Raymond a magnet for marijuana businesses, with pending applications for 31 state-growing licenses on Port land. And that’s made Raymond emblematic of job-hungry communities embracing legal pot merchants while more affluent areas such as King County’s Redmond Ridge turned them away.

 

Limits On Marijuana Advertising Land Colorado In Court

COLORADO: Two publications have sued Colorado in federal court over restrictions that prohibit the state’s legalized recreational marijuana industry from advertising on television, radio, online or in most print publications.

High Times magazine, which caters to marijuana enthusiasts, and Westword, a Colorado alternative weekly newspaper, said in a suit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Denver that the rules were “unjustifiably burdensome” and violate free speech rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. [Read more…]

Legalization Of Marijuana To Boost Pot Tourism

COLORADO:  Marijuana users in Colorado and Washington are counting down the hours before the western US states become the first to legalise recreational pot shops on January 1.

Blazing a trail they hope will be followed in other parts of the United States, cannabis growers and others are also rubbing their hands, while tax collectors are eyeing the revenue the newly-legalized trade will generate.

Enterprising companies are even offering marijuana tours to cash in on tourists expected to be attracted to a Netherlands-style pot culture – including in Colorado’s famous ski resorts.

“Just the novelty alone is bringing people from everywhere,” said Adam Raleigh of cannabis supplier Telluride Bud Co. [Read more…]

WA State Gets Paperwork For 179 Marijuana Businesses In Whatcom County

WASHINGTON: The number of applications for marijuana stores in Bellingham outnumbers the city’s Woods Coffee shops, Starbucks cafés and Haggen grocery stores – combined.

Last week marked the deadline for the first wave of pot entrepreneurs to apply for a license and get in on Washington’s newest industry.

On Christmas Eve, the state Liquor Control Board released names and addresses of more than 3,700 businesses that submitted paperwork in the initial one-month window for applications.

A total of 179 businesses, or 4.8 percent of the statewide total, hope to open in Whatcom County. By comparison, about 3 percent of Washingtonians live here.

Colorado Pot Businesses: We’re Going to Run Out of Weed

COLORADO: On New Year’s Day, some Colorado marijuana dispensaries are set to become the first in the nation to legally sell weed for recreational use.

But it hasn’t been a ride on Easy Street. In addition to trying to clear the hoop maze of local and state licensing issues in time for Jan. 1, local potpreneurs in the Centennial State say a cannabis shortage could strike within a week’s time after opening for business.

Medical marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2010, and The Denver Post reported earlier this year that there are just under 700 medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, which require customers to have a red card, given to them by a physician, in order to purchase weed. According to the Associated Press, only 160 of those stores have applied to sell recreational pot, which they can only sell to adults over 21 during mandated hours of business. (Which means there will be no late-night stops at the pot shop.)

Those working to comply with regulations and open for recreational sales in 2014 say demand is going to quickly outstrip supply.

“We are definitely going to run out of cannabis. The question is when,” says Denver’s Discreet Dispensary owner Toni Fox, who expects to be cleared to open on Jan. 1 and estimates her shelves will be cleaned out by Jan. 6.

 

Colorado Marijuana Shop Owners Racing To Bag Safety

COLORADO:  Child-resistant packaging is a pillar of Colorado’s rules for recreational pot shops, approved as a requirement months ago to reduce the risk of accidental ingestion by young children.

But several business owners say they are struggling to find vendors that manufacture the proper bags or can supply enough to meet demand in time for the opening of the first stores Jan. 1.

All retail pot products leaving shops — from buds to brownies — must be placed in opaque and child-resistant packaging.

“A number of our members are having an incredibly difficult time,” said Mike Elliott, director of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group, the state’s largest marijuana business group. “We’re all looking for ways to comply with this rule, and everyone is worried we’re not going to be able to, basically.” [Read more…]

Colorado Marijuana Shop Owners Racing To Bag Safety

COLORADO:  Child-resistant packaging is a pillar of Colorado’s rules for recreational pot shops, approved as a requirement months ago to reduce the risk of accidental ingestion by young children.

But several business owners say they are struggling to find vendors that manufacture the proper bags or can supply enough to meet demand in time for the opening of the first stores Jan. 1.

All retail pot products leaving shops — from buds to brownies — must be placed in opaque and child-resistant packaging.

“A number of our members are having an incredibly difficult time,” said Mike Elliott, director of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group, the state’s largest marijuana business group. “We’re all looking for ways to comply with this rule, and everyone is worried we’re not going to be able to, basically.” [Read more…]

First Rush Of Pot-Business Applications Turned In To WA State

WASHINGTON: Pot entrepreneurs eager to get into the state’s new recreational-marijuana industry started submitting license applications Monday.

By 2 p.m., 299 applications had been received at the state Department of Revenue (DOR), the first stop in the application process.

While business was brisk at DOR there were no long lines of pot entrepreneurs at the agency’s offices.

Everyone is being encouraged to apply on-line because it is more convenient, said DOR spokeswoman Beverly Crichfield. Still, some folks “just sort of trickled into” DOR offices Monday, Critchfield said. [Read more…]