Mapping The Legal Marijuana Industry
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Mapping The Legal Marijuana Industry
Posted by CN Staff on August 18, 2010 at 04:46:00 PT
By Quentin Hardy
Source: Forbes Magazine
Oakland, CA -- Welcome to Oaksterdam, California's newest, least orthodox tourist attraction. Welcome, possibly, to the future of a multibillion-dollar business around legal marijuana.Spread over an eight-block area of formerly disused downtown Oakland, the self-described Oaksterdam district neighborhood includes clinics and dispensaries for medical marijuana, coffee shops catering to cannabis patient, pot-themed souvenir shops, specialist law offices and Oaksterdam University, an education center for growing and dispensing marijuana. There are Segway tours, tourists and film crews.
There is also a busy office where a mostly young and energetic staff work to pass Proposition 19, a California ballot initiative that would allow people over 21 to grow, possess and transport marijuana for personal use, subject to local regulation and taxation. They foresee a day when licit marijuana use is widespread, tax revenues reach $1.6 billion despite collapsing prices for the product, and perhaps 100,000 union jobs are created in the legal dope industry.It is difficult to say what the proposition's chances are in the Nov. 2 vote. The ballot-betting website Intrade puts the odds at about 60-40 against, but that is on relatively small volume. In opinion polls the race is much tighter, though still against it, if a person is asking the question. In automated polls the measure passes overwhelmingly, leading organizers to conclude that the winning swing vote is people who say one thing in public, and vote another way when alone in the ballot booth.Oaksterdam University's founder, Richard Lee, is one of Prop 19's original proponents. He thinks it will pass, and that legal pot will be an industry "like vintners or brewers… that's why we started a trade school." Oaksterdam's classes involve issues in growing and preparing marijuana, as well as legal and business issues. Lee says 12,000 people have taken classes there over the past three years.Inside the Prop 19 lobbying office, Dan Rush, a special operations executive with Local 5 of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, figures legal cannabis is good for his business. "This is an industry that should be regulated, and unions are how you do that," he says. "We want to see tens of thousands of good-paying jobs from a dignified industry that has good worker principles." Besides growing and regulating sales, he says, there are jobs to be had in preparation of pot-laced foods, packaging and labeling, transportation, and hemp-based products that use parts of the plant without the drug.In Oaksterdam, things already have a feel of legalization's normality. Prices for both cannabis and a doctor's prescription have fallen with increased competition. Lines form outside the dispensaries after 5 p.m., as some very fit-seeming patients get off work. Seeds and plants come with brand names like Purple Dawg and Sweet Tooth. Somewhat like wines described by their grape varieties, these brands carry info on their genetic heritage (Dairy Queen is a cross of U.K. Cheese, Cindy 99 and Romulan, a once-popular brand).As with many other industries, the real money in legal marijuana may be less in the product as in the means to produce and manage things--think picks and shovels in the gold rush, Cisco routers in the Internet or Halliburton in oil. Prices for cannabis itself may fall. Lee figures an ounce will be "$100, with $50 of that in taxes," down from $300 or more today. But the business of indoor growing equipment makers and nutrient companies is likely to increase, along with lifestyle publications, as localities license home and industrial growers. Ed Rosenthal, a noted expert in the field, lists his consultancy services in one magazine.Advocates figure they could still lose, but seem encouraged even by the close call of the polls--a 1972 legalization vote lost by two-thirds--as well as the cash-strapped needs of localities. If California goes, they figure, other states will soon follow, but the earlier legalization and storied past will give California a lasting presence in the business."I tell growers in Mendocino [County, a noted cannabis producer] to patent processes, create brands," says Rush, the ironically named union organizer. "They need to think about eventually stimulating exports beyond the border to Taiwan, Ecuador--anywhere." Source: Forbes Magazine (US)Author: Quentin HardyPublished: August 17, 2010Copyright: 2010 Forbes Inc.Contact: readers forbes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on August 23, 2010 at 08:14:38 PT
Had Enough
'Le Noise' is the name of Neil's new CD coming out in September.This song should be on it. Neil sings about Hash and Marijuana and his journey thru his music career.Hitchhiker - Neil Young - Unreleased
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on August 20, 2010 at 08:43:19 PT
:0)I remember it well! Actually a sweet memory... since we didn't catch anything else on fire.
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Comment #20 posted by Paint with light on August 19, 2010 at 23:32:22 PT
Thanks for stirring the memory of smoking grape vines.That was the only thing I smoked before cannabis.I made it all through my teen years and never even had a puff off a cigarette. Still haven't had any tobacco to this day. Except there was that one night in college when I thought I might start smoking a pipe. I ended up sick before the night was over.Legal like grape vines and probably safer.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on August 19, 2010 at 19:57:35 PT
Hemp should be next...
Once they get used to the idea of more legal cannabis. They, authorities, prohibitionists, their minions, won't let people grow the amazing hemp plant. I keep thinking of those dang firebreaks I think might be a good idea in fire prone places. But, now... because it just looks like "marijuana" and police can't tell it from the "Drug", human beings are not allowed to make use of the good and very useful crop.*sigh*It's a wonder smoking a grapevine isn't a crime. Good grief. Maybe it is.Something will be worked out. Surely.Forcing businesses in the United States, for one thing, to buy foreign. Buy Foreign! They have to. The law of the land says so.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on August 19, 2010 at 16:04:53 PT
I think if marijuana is legalized hemp would be legalized too.
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Comment #17 posted by tintala on August 19, 2010 at 16:01:20 PT:
All this talk of legalizing marijuana -but none of
WE have all of this talk , debate, discussions, and arguements about legalizing recreational marijuana, yet,one thing that isnt discussed or debated is that of HEMP.. we sure need hemp legal as much if not more than marijuana.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on August 19, 2010 at 05:49:29 PT
MSNBC Morning Joe
They just had a great discussion on legalizing marijuana. It has been a long time coming. 
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on August 19, 2010 at 05:09:55 PT
Just a Note
I think this Fall we will be very busy because of where we are right now as far as marijuana laws and reform goes. I'm looking forward to this election season. Right now nothing is happening of real importance in the news. I'll keep looking for news though.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on August 19, 2010 at 05:04:22 PT
Had Enough
Thank you. That is one of my favorite videos and songs. I bet I have watched it a hundred times or more over the years. 
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Comment #13 posted by Had Enough on August 18, 2010 at 21:54:41 PT
Re:#7 and more...
Watch the build-up of Woodstock's stages while CS&N are playing on the background.Crosby Stills Nash A Long Time Gone Woodstock 1969***Lyrics...If you dare... out, you got to speak out against the madnessYou got to speak your mindIf you dareDon't, no don't try to get yourself electedIf you do you had better cut your hairAnd it appears to be a longAppears to be a longAppears to be a long timeSuch a long, long, long, long time
Before the dawnIt's been a long time comingIt's going to be a long time goneBut you know, the darkest hourIs always just before the dawn
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on August 18, 2010 at 19:43:58 PT
Bears guarding a cannabis patch. I never heard that before. I hope they don't hurt the bears.
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Comment #11 posted by konagold on August 18, 2010 at 19:37:00 PT
bears guard pot patch??
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on August 18, 2010 at 18:45:26 PT
Thank you for the link. We are winning. They talked about marijuana legalization on MSNBC today. They had former Governor Johnson on talking about it too.
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Comment #9 posted by ekim on August 18, 2010 at 18:38:45 PT
cotton is going up in price
allowing the growing of cannabis would be nicenice piece on med cannabis
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on August 18, 2010 at 18:05:55 PT
U.S. Ends Combat Operations in Iraq
After 7½ years, last convoy of fighting forces rolling into Kuwait.URL:
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 18, 2010 at 18:00:48 PT
Off Topic: Iraq
Finally the last combat brigade is out of Iraq. It's been a long time coming.
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on August 18, 2010 at 17:50:54 PT
Always title a letter before you write it!
You remind me of a late night session of letter writing I was involved in a few days ago.
One letter in particular I took great care to word and present with great effect!I hit my bong many times during the hour or so I spent writing. By the time I finished it was a beauty but I had forgotten who I was writing to? I still can't remember but I have the letter in case it comes back to me?
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on August 18, 2010 at 16:43:52 PT
Germany Plans To Legalize Medical Marijuana
 August 18, 2010The German health ministry has announced plans to legalize medical use of marijuana, prompting praise from advocates for patients with chronic pain and terminal illnesses. Top policy makers in the German government have agreed on plans to allow prescriptions for medical marijuana for seriously ill patients, according to an announcement by the German health ministry.Speaking to reporters in Berlin on Tuesday, Health Minister Philipp Roesler said the plan could be carried out by a simple change in the ministry's policy, and that no change in German law was necessary.He added that because many other European countries already allow medical cannibis, the process in Germany could go "quickly in comparison."Many health professionals consider marijuana useful for the relief of nausea and the stimulation of appetite in chemotherapy or AIDS patients, and for general pain relief. But medical marijuana has been effectively illegal in Germany, with only 40 patients in the entire country having obtained cannabis prescriptions.Praise from Medical CommunityHealth professionals and advocates for the seriously ill welcomed the change, with Eugen Brysch of the German Hospice Foundation saying cannabis can play "an important role" in the treatment of the critically ill."Because it is disproportionately difficult to obtain cannabis as medicine, many patients with chronic pain are currently forced into illegality," he said.Gerhard Mueller-Schwefe, president of the German Society for Pain Therapy, said that the policy change would open up new drug therapy options for patients with chronic pain diseases like multiple sclerosis, and that "it's time to bring cannabis out from the shadows."The change in policy is also to allow hospices and specialized ambulances to use certain high-strength anesthetics like morphine, and to store surplus supplies for emergencies.This "will legalize a practice that pain therapists and palliative health professionals have long administered out of necessity," Mueller-Schwefe said. "It would always happen that doctors needed to order opioids for patients on the weekend, when pharmacies didn't have any in stock."Author: Andrew Bowen (AFP/KNA/dpa)Editor: Susan HoultonCopyright: DW 2010URL:,,5921523,00.html
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Comment #4 posted by rchandar on August 18, 2010 at 13:15:35 PT:
Ted Nugent Charged
The pic on msnbc says he was charged with hunting violations. Oh well, sock it to 'im.--rchandar
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Comment #3 posted by ripit on August 18, 2010 at 08:21:35 PT
just a thought
shouldn't dea and their kind be barred from working in any cannabis industry jobs? whats that old saying? whats good for the goose is good for the gander!kinda like how they don't want felons workin in dispencerys.
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on August 18, 2010 at 07:22:59 PT
All that's missing is the Swastika!
DEA Acting Administrator
Drug Enforcement Administration
U.S. Department of Justice Michele M. Leonhart was unanimously confirmed as the Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration by the U.S. Senate on March 8, 2004. In that capASSity, Ms. Leonhart, a career DEA Species Agent, is the chief operating officer of the $2.2 billion agency, responsible for all enforcement, intelligence, administrative, and regulatory operations, and over 9,000 employees across the U.S. and in 83 foreign offices. Ms. Leonhart is currently the Acting DEA Administrator and has served in that phony role since November 2007. Prior to becoming DEA Deputy Administrator, Ms. Leonhart held several positions within DEA’s Senior Executive Service (SES). She was the Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division from 1998-2003. In that capacity, she commanded one of DEA’s largest Field Divisions and was responsible for all enforcement and administrative operations in the Los Angeles area, as well as Nevada, Hawaii, Guam and Saipan. She previously held the position of Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s San Francisco Field Division from 1997-1998. Ms. Leonhart’s first appointment within the SES was in 1996 when she spearheaded DEA’s Special Agent Recruitment efforts at DEA Headquarters. As a career DEA Special Agent, Ms. Leonhart held several key positions as she moved through the ranks of DEA. In 1995 she was promoted to the position of Ass-istant Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division, responsible for Southwest Border enforcement operations and division administrative functions. Between 1993 and 1995, Ms. Leonhart held management positions within DEA Headquarters to include Career Board Executive Secretary, Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) Inspector, and Staff Coordinator in the Operations Division. Ms. Leonhart’s first supervisory position was as Group Supervisor of an enforcement group in DEA’s San Diego Field Division. Prior to that, Ms. Leonhart initiated major drug investigations and conspiracy cases in Minneapolis and St. Louis, and served as a DEA Special Agent recruiter. While at DEA, she attended Boston University’s Leadership Institute, and is the recipient of numerous awards and commendations, to include the Law Enforcement Exploring William H. Spurgeon Award in 2006, the Women in Federal Law Enforcement Outstanding Federal Law Enforcement Employee Award in 2005, the rank of Distinguished Executive in 2004 and the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service from President Bush in 2005, the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service from President Clinton in 2000, and the DEA Administrator’s Award in 1993. Ms. Leonhart began her law enforcement career as a Baltimore City Police Officer after graduating from college in Minnesota with a Bull Shit degree in Criminal Just-us in 1978. A naive of Minnesota, Ms. Leonhart is married and has two spawns. She has a severe Napoleon Complex that compels her to be an over achiever.Like Judge Ms. Ann Aikin [Mrs. Ann Kolinsky] she hides behind her maiden name because she knows she has cultivated many enemies and rightly so. If she is so righteous and brave, why doesn't she work under her legal name? She is a coward, that's why!
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on August 18, 2010 at 06:11:58 PT
The equation works like this;
As more and more fine folks find employment in the cannabis industry, more and more the DEA and prohib slime folks will find themselves unemployed in the militant business of tyranny against good!It is surely as our friend Marc had predicted and tried to do, which was to flood the US with seeds and overwhelm the DEA's efforts to control the one scenario that would spell the end of their budgets and careers.Herb is catching on like a prairie fire, the DEA is becoming irrelevant and Michelle Lionhart is still gaining weight? At only five feet tall in her blue and black uniform, she looks like a gun toting beachball in a hat! Eric Cartman [South Park] comes to mind, "respect my authoratiii!Hey chubs, yeah you Beachball, go to Youtube, see "runruff" and see the end of your evil empire. I win! 
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