Legal Marijuana rakes in $70 million in taxes for Washington.
States like Colorado, Oregon and Alaska in the United States probably made a smart move when they legalized cannabis. The state of Washington joined the bandwagon in 2014. It raked in $70 million in taxes from legal marijuana sales in its first financial year.
Over $257 million worth of legal cannabis were sold in hemp shops, according to the Liquor Control Board in Washington. The sales generated about $64 million in excise tax by 1st July 2015. The state had set a forecast of $36 million in tax revenue from cannabis sales for the first financial year.
Legal marijuana could become a substantial source of tax revenue which will help fill gaps in the budget. The revenues could be used for projects like road maintenance. The fact that a single state can make some good money cannot go unnoticed by policy makers. Many states could follow suit and legalize cannabis, in a bid to increase government revenue.
Voters legalized recreational cannabis in 2012. The first hemp shop opened in July 2014. Concerns about shortages were to blame for the delay in the opening of pot shops.
A recent survey showed that 56% of voters in Washington approve of their state’s cannabis laws, while 37% were opposed. The percentage of the population that is opposing the laws has decreased from 44% in 2012 when there was voting for marijuana legalization.
The survey further showed that 77% of voters feel that cannabis laws have not affected their lives (positively or negatively). There is increasing support over the legalization of cannabis.
How much marijuana?
Washington’s cannabis businesses sold about $1.5 million worth of marijuana every day as of 1st July 2015, according to the state’s Liquor Control Board. There were about 160 retailers in the state.
Over 22,000 pounds of marijuana were sold and 700,000 products infused with cannabis (solid and liquid). About 60,000 pounds of marijuana flower was harvested by state cultivators. Over 6 million square feet of plant canopy has been set aside for marijuana cultivation, decreasing the possibility of shortage.
Do you want your cannabis shop to be the best dispensary in Seattle? and the whole of the State? Then it is important to understand everything about the business, before even submitting your application. Failure to understand how things work in the cannabis industry can lead to costly mistakes , which can result in your business being closed or your license getting cancelled. For this reason, you need to receive a weed business education. In the state of Washington, there are so many schools and colleges that are offering courses on how to manage marijuana related businesses. It is quite easy to get enrolled and a proper education on how to run your cannabis business.
In spite of marijuana remaining illegal under federal law, states like Washington are showing that the herb has the potential to become a significant source of government revenue. It could even outperform the organic food industry, especially if more states embark on legalizing it.
The local and state governments in Washington have set aside adequate land for cultivation, keeping shortage at bay. Majority of citizens support the legalization of cannabis by their state governments, which gives other states another reason to legalize marijuana.
There is a lot of speculation about more states legalizing marijuana. 10 states are expected to legalize it in 2016. If the first financial year is anything to go by, then pioneer states like Washington and Colorado will show a significant increase in government revenue, and arguably could be even more developed in future.
Cannabis entrepreneurs have been expressing their concern about their inability to deal with banks for quite some time now. Presently, they conduct their businesses almost entirely on cash basis. This exposes them to a big security risk. Cannabis entrepreneurs cannot open or maintain bank accounts or accept credit cards easily like other businesses. Banks have been reluctant to provide services to marijuana businesses for fear that they might be victimized by the authorities for violating money-laundering laws as well as other federal regulations and statutes. If any bank is caught transacting any business with recreational marijuana dispensaries Denver or any other marijuana-related business, it risks being shut down by the federal agencies because to them, marijuana remains illegal. For this reason, banks will not do business with processors, growers, as well as retail shops. In addition, they will not deal with employees and contractors of marijuana-based businesses. Below here are three ways cannabis entrepreneurs can solve the banking problem:
-They can use smaller banks
One of the ways cannabis entrepreneurs can try to solve this problem is by dealing with small banks in a very quiet way. This will help them avoid drawing the attention of other people to their activities. However, should the authorities find out that a certain bank is providing banking services to marijuana dispensaries; it risks shut down by federal authorities for contravening money laundering laws. For this reason, these activities must be conducted as discreetly as possible.
-Creation of sellers’ credit unions
Fourth Corner Credit Union
Cannabis entrepreneurs have tried to come up with many different ways of trying to solve their problems with the federal government on the issue of legally dealing with banks. One of the solutions they have come up with is the creation of sellers’ credit unions. These credit unions offer certain services that are normally offered by financial institutions such as offering credit to their members well as accepting cash from the members.
According to reliable sources, only a very small fraction of banks and credit unions take money from legal cannabis businesses. This means that if more credit unions could be established, many cannabis entrepreneurs could get access to banking services and therefore reduce the risks associated with holding large amounts of cash within business premises or in their homes.
A good example of a credit union that was established after some states began legalizing recreational marijuana is the Salal Credit Union in Washington State. It was started as a pilot program immediately the state of Washington began authorizing retail sellers and producers to open accounts with them.
Banks having difficulty with federal laws
Credit unions need to work more diligently with cannabis–related businesses in order to ensure that they meet federal guidelines as well as state laws. The credit unions have to monitor accounts for anomalies and also provide armored car pickups of the cash from retail outlets.
-Embracing closed payment systems
Some cannabis entrepreneurs are working with closed payment systems. This is where a third-party middleman handles bookkeeping and banking in order to relieve some of the burden on the banks. However, this arrangement does not reduce the risk involved in handling large amounts of money where employees could be robbed or even killed in the process.
In order to enhance security of his or her money, a cannabis entrepreneur has to hire former military or police officers who will be responsible for depositing money into the ATMs of a bank. The cannabis entrepreneur does not have a credit card or a signature account at that particular bank. He works through a third party and the bank can terminate this relationship at a moment’s notice.
These are some of the ways cannabis–based businesses can try to solve their cannabis banking problems.
Now that cannabis has been legalized in some states in the US as well as other places in the world, people are getting to talk more about it than they used to in the past. Most people do have very strong opinions on cannabis, while others display a lot of ignorance on the same subject. Here below are some curious cannabis anecdotes that might easily draw a smile:
1. The first one is from Bob Marley. He said the following: ‘’ When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself’’.
2. Willie Nelson is a musician, actor, writer and an activist. He said the following: ‘’I think people need to be educated to the fact that weed isn’t a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong?”
3. Another quote from Willie Nelson goes like this:’’ The biggest killer on our planet is stress and I think the best medicine is and always has been cannabis’’.
4.Carl Sagan said the following:’’ 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’’.
5. Peter Tosh said the following:’’ I don’t smoke marijuana, man. Marijuana is a girl from Cuba … Ganja is a bird from Australia, I smoke herb’’.
6. Bob Hobbs, an actor and comedian said the following:’’ Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit unnatural?
7. Terence McKenna was quoted as having said the following:’’ If the words ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own conscience , then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on’’.
8. Barack Obama, the current president of the USA said the following: ”When I was kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point’’.
9. Here is an interesting quote from Sebastian Marincolo:’’ The legalization of weed can’t be a dangerous experiment – the prohibition is the experiment, and it has failed dramatically, with millions of victims around the world’’.
10. Richard Neville was quoted as follows:’’ is marijuana addictive? Yes, in the sense that most of the really pleasant things in life are worth endless repeating’’.
11. William F. Buckley Jnr was quoted as having made the following observation concerning cannabis: “The amount of money and of legal energy being given to prosecute hundreds of thousands of Americans who are caught with a few ounces of marijuana in their jeans simply makes no sense – the kindest way to put it. A sterner way to put it is that it is an outrage, an imposition on basic civil liberties and on the reasonable expenditure of social energy.”
12. And lastly, a quote from Bob Marley:’’ Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction’’.
The above 12 anecdotes on cannabis and its consumption are some of the best around. I hope they make your day.
Marijuana edibles are becoming increasingly popular with each passing day. Many of them are transforming into sophisticated creations that offer stiff competition to pastries and candies, especially where recreational cannabis is legal.
Lovely green cannabis scones
The state of Colorado seems to be far ahead of other states that have legalized recreational marijuana, including California and Washington. According to Elise McDonough, an event designer at High Times and also the author of High Times Cook Book, several brands of cannabis edibles in Colorado contain the same information that you would normally find on a box of cookies or candies. The makers of these marijuana edibles are also required to state the amount of active THC in each of their products. The state of Colorado considers 10 mg of marijuana to be a single dose, while retailers cap a single dose at 100 mg per unit, irrespective of whether it is an entire bar of chocolate or a single slice of cheesecake, or any other unit of marijuana edibles.
Marijuana edibles and the emergence of professionalism in the production process.
The professionalism that we are seeing today when it comes to making marijuana edibles is a relatively new development. In the past, people used to think of pot brownies every time you mentioned edible marijuana. The image it used to evoke was of a sloppy, amateurish baking process that made products that were far from being elegant. Presently, in all the states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, the production of edible cannabis has become more professionalized and complex, applying new forms of technology that are now available. This means that marijuana and the culinary arts is no longer the preserve of a few users; it has become a serious business.
Across the United States, THC-infused edibles are increasingly being produced by professional chefs who have been trained in prestigious culinary institutes across America. These chefs bring their formal training and curiosity to produce new and sophisticated products that are more appealing to consumers. Although this trend is quite new in many states, it is quickly catching up.
Compliance with legal requirements.
Production of marijuana edibles is regulated by the state. Those who make them need to have a deep and detailed understanding of all the legal requirements governing the production of these edibles in addition to applying their formal training. These regulations have been made necessary in order to control the use of cannabis edibles. There have been cases of over-consumption, consumption by children, as well as accidental consumption of these products, especially in Colorado, which was among the very first states to legalize recreational marijuana. Other states that have legalized the use of recreational marijuana have found it necessary to introduce laws that govern the production of marijuana edibles in order to avoid these issues.
Dfferent edibles for different effects
The following are some of the compliance requirements that have to be met by the producers of cannabis edibles.
-The kitchens in which these products are prepared from are regulated by the state’s food safety requirements and medical marijuana regulations. This is because they are regarded as commercial kitchens. These kitchens contain all the equipment that is normally found in a commercial kitchen including stand mixers, refrigerators, sinks, large tiered ovens, a pantry with all the staple baking ingredients, as well as a set of prep tables. The only unique ingredient that sets apart these kitchens from the usual commercial kitchens is the presence of a place reserved for purified oil that is honey-colored and rich in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The oil is extracted from cannabis plants.
– Drinkable cannabis products: In Colorado there are new regulations requiring all drinkable cannabis products to come in childproof, resaleable packaging. Because of these rules, Dixie Elixir, and Edibles, a popular cannabis brand in Colorado, took its THC- infused drinks off the market. They had no other recourse than to comply with the new regulations.
-Baked products: Across all states that have legalized, the general rule is that cannabis edibles have to be baked products. In addition, the market demand is largely in favor of brownies, cookies, and granola. Candies are banned because they are more appealing to children and therefore, present a bigger risk.
More than just mints
-Packaging: The law requires marijuana edibles to be placed in heat sealed, opaque bags. They should also be completely childproof. In addition, the packages should be clearly labelled with details about the potency of THC, a list of ingredients, a product description, as well as state specific bar codes. They can also contain the company’s logo, whose size is regulated by the requirements of a particular state.
-New products and changes to existing products: Any new products that are introduced into the market or any changes to existing products, such as ingredients, oil content, or flavors, are subject to the regulatory pre-clearance process. In short, the process involves an external lab that is supposed to take random product samples in order to carry out tests on them and establish whether they contain the ingredients they claim to contain. The process is also supposed to establish whether the potency of cannabis edibles is accurate. For example, if the label on a particular cookie indicates that it has 5mg of THC, it should fall within a reasonable margin of error; if not, the testing company will not issue a certificate of analysis.
-Potency of THC must be accurate: This is a very critical requirement that must be met. In addition, the distribution of the oil must be uniform throughout a particular marijuana edible or batch.
Popular marijuana edibles in Colorado
The following are some of the most popular cannabis edibles in the state of Colorado:
This is one the most popular cannabis edibles on the market at present. They are actually chewy, bite-sized chocolate toffies containing 70 mg of ganja per piece.
–Medically Correct: This is a line of chocolates that includes pea nut butter budda budda bars, chocolate bars filled with bananas and walnuts as well as monkey bars. Also on offer are ‘’Top Shelf Extracts ‘’. These are various types of concentrated weed products, such as hash oil. There is also Sweetstone candy, a product of a THC company that makes also medicated gummy bears.
– Mountain Medicine: This is a company that makes pastry products of counter quality, including the ‘’High Times’’ Cannabis cup “blueberry pie bar”, an award winning product. Another of their products is the “walnut joy coconut chocolate” which contains a 300 mg dose per serving.
Whenever you visit a recreational marijuana dispensary, you can seek guidance from a dispensary budtender as to which brand of cannabis edibles will give you the best experience.
The legalization of medical marijuana in some states within the USA has led to the establishment of various types of businesses, including growers, shop owners, glass artists, bakers, pot tour operators , venture capitalists, as well as Amsterdam -style ‘’coffee shops’’. For instance, in the state of Washington alone, about 4 000 marijuana business license applications have been filed up to the end of august this year.
A report by Arc View Market Research shows that marijuana business has a market estimated at $ 2.34 billion. This shows that Marijuana business is growing at a very fast rate; even faster than the smart phone market. It is becoming very attractive to investors but they must be well prepared to face the potential challenges.
However, despite the fact that you can make it big in this business, there are many hurdles that you must be prepared to clear before hitting the home stretch. They include the following:
-It is still considered illegal by the federal government
Though several states have made marijuana business legal, the federal government still considers it illegal. Even though the Obama administration has promised to stand down, there are no guarantees that marijuana business will be fully legalized any time soon. Presently, banks cannot provide checking accounts as well as loans to marijuana business because of the fear of being prosecuted for money laundering. The saving grace is that new banking guidelines are currently being formulated.
-Risk of cannabis business being regarded as immoral
Historically, many investors have boycotted alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and other similar businesses on moral grounds. This has led to a reduction in demand for such products and ultimately, the price of these products. This usually happens because of consumer backlash or boycott. Eventually, investors feel insecure about investing in this potentially lucrative business. Additionally, it explains why well- known IPO underwriters tend to stay away from this lucrative business. However, there are a number of marijuana venture firms that have come up, including Emerald venture Capital as well as ArcView Group of San Francisco. In order to be successful in this business, a firm must demonstrate a scalable, broad, and legal cannabis market in perpetuity. Many firms are beginning to reach this point.
The economic impact of marijuana
-Resistance from big tobacco firms
Growing marijuana can be immensely profitable. This means that many tobacco farmers will feel compelled to switch to marijuana farming. If this happens, big tobacco firms can feel threatened and are likely to try as much as they can to drive small marijuana firms out of business.
Marijuana business is still new and this means that it inevitably faces significant unknowns such as price stability, regulatory complexity, as well as black market competition.
In addition, just like tobacco litigation in the 1990s, marijuana business could also become a victim of class –action lawsuits over yet -unknown health risks.
Anything related to marijuana, from its cultivation to selling, is highly regulated and controlled even in states where it is legal. This presents a big challenge since you can only operate your business within the stipulated laws, failure to which you can be prosecuted and probably made to pay hefty fines.
Well, these are some of the challenges that you are likely to face in you decide to venture into the lucrative business of marijuana business. There are huge opportunities for growth if you stay focused on your goal.
Companies like Leafly are blazing the trail into the online space when it comes to the marijuana business. Other firms, like WeedMaps and Viridian Sciences, are making their own way. Software to help run marijuana companies is important, and can include things like product and accounting management systems. Companies like Leafly and WeedMaps are there to help marijuana users in creating an online community and locating the product they are looking for.
While Colorado’s hands off approach to marijuana legalization has been shown to achieve success, Washington heavily-regulated marketplace has led to some challenges. Because of high tax rates on not only consumers but retailers and producers who find that many expenses are not typically tax-deductible, some users find it more economical to purchase from the black market. Likewise licensing regulations for producers has resulted in some product shortage with resulting highly driven prices and a more limited offer at retail outlets.
Shows the current acceptability of marijuana
Users of marijuana and cannabis will eventually be as common as beer drinkers throughout the States. This is the goal for the reform of marijuana laws. But nobody today is bothered about being arrested for the possession of alcohol other than those who produce it illegally or those who abuse it and cause social or physical harm. It is still looked on as a recreational vice but, as its use is so prevalent, it seems just part of society. Compare that to the social attitude of marijuana acceptance 40 years ago. Nowadays the consumer is really the judge. You might raise your eyebrows at the thought of seeing adverts for marijuana at football games or branded joints being advertised on TV, but that future is not so far away when the vast profits from advertising lure in the big players.
In spite of some ingrained prejudice that will always remain in pockets of society, legal marijuana has become more acceptable in the general public´s eye. As of the 2014 midterm elections, the District of Columbia in addition to 23 states have laws recognizing the validity of medical use. Four states have laws legalizing the recreational usage of marijuana. But, for many, marijuana legalization still remains controversial.
It´s norml to support marijuana legalization
The chain of supply and demand needs to run smoothly as there are instances where not enough individuals or companies are permitted to grow the product. This has happened in Washington with the result that there have been shortages at retail outlets with the effect that users could be driven back to obtaining weed through the black market. The same argument applies to sales tax: it should be low enough to stop consumers buying from illegal dealers.
Rigorous regulation has always been a starting place for corruption. Price-fixing for personal gain within syndicates is often a threat but more than anything will be the variance in legality from state to state. As laws change when you cross a state line, the federal government will have to consider the overall constitutionality of this new and promising industry sooner than later.
Marijuana is called by many names, but just like the names, opinion on this subject varies as well. Some people love this plant, some hate it, some keep raising it to the heavenly heights, and others keep trying to bury it. People who are pro marijuana claim that this plan is completely harmless and that it can cure various types of diseases and conditions. Other guys claim that even though there is a possibility that this plant can cure something, there are some side effects that are irreversible, and that can destroy us, both physically and mentally.
However, even though we have these discussions today, it wasn’t so in the past. This plant was being used by humans for thousands of years. They have been using it both for medicinal purposes and as a recreational drug. Cannabis was found in graves over 3,000 years old, but the modern people think of it as a drug. Modern people have thought of it as such for some time, but it was made official in 1970, when marijuana was officially declared a schedule 1 controlled substance, which means that it is a drug with no medical use and with potential to ruin a person’s body and mind. Finally, when the penalty for selling this plant was made equal to the penalty of selling fire arms, it was made obvious that cannabis is as dangerous as weapons.
But people have recently started thinking about cannabis as something different; as a mean of reaching a healthier body and a healthier state of mind. Even some of the states have approved the use of medicinal marijuana and even the federal government seems to be moving in that direction. People have started looking at the science behind marijuana in a new way and this plant that was once a very big taboo it is starting to be extremely popular for all those people who are seeking remedies. More and more people are in need of thins plant to cure their condition, because they believe that this plant is a God send for all the patients.
However, we need to look at this issue very objectively. Just because there are some people who enjoy this plant, does not mean that it only has positive effects, and that it is a cure to all the known and unknown illnesses. Far from it! It was proven that cannabis can help people who are suffering from pain, spasms, are having sleeping disorders, etc. However, saying that this magical plant can cure cancer is pretty farfetched. In fact, there is not one single piece of evidence that would support that claim.
So, what we need to do is to look at this issue with great objectivity, because we cannot allow our affection to something cloud our final judgment. We need to look at all the evidence and only then reach a decision about this, but since the experiments with medicinal marijuana are still in development, we will need some time to gather all that evidence.