States Are Taking Steps to Encourage Minority Marijuana Entrepreneurs to Enter The Marijuana Industry

States have taken it a step further than legalizing marijuana: some are actually encouraging minority marijuana entrepreneurs to enter the market for legal marijuana sales and start their own marijuana businesses! Could we be living in better times for the cultivation, sale, and us of marijuana?

The kind of healing of old wounds and restitution for past injustices inherent in these policies is incredibly encouraging for the burgeoning legal marijuana industry. This is especially true after decades of drug prohibition laws that were enforced with a disproportionate effect of violence and repression on black and Hispanic communities in the United States.

In the Associated Press report on this welcome development for minority marijuana entrepreneurs, the AP featured a photograph of Andre Shavers and told his story.

Shavers, a black minority marijuana entrepreneur who runs a marijuana delivery business in Oakland California, is a living, personal example of the positive changes that have been set in motion by the ascendancy of the legal marijuana movement in American politics.

He was once sentenced to five years of probation on felony charges after police authorities broke into his house (in an area of Oakland with some of the most heavy-handed police enforcement) and found a quarter ounce of the harmless plant.

Now Oakland and other cities and states with legal marijuana laws presently on the books are making an effort to make amends to minorities for the damage marijuana prohibition has done to their families and communities.

According to statistics gathered by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, African-Americans accounted for 5.6 percent of the Golden State’s population, but made up a disproportionate 16 percent of marijuana arrests in 2015.

Oakland officials have now approved a policy that sets aside half of the city’s marijuana licenses for low-income residents who have been convicted of a marijuana crime or who live in a neighborhood ravaged by the fallout from the heavy handed prohibition enforcement.

In Washington state, where recreational marijuana businesses were legalized by ballot proposition in the 2012 election, Brian Smith, a spokesman for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, said the board is looking at ways to ensure minorities are well represented among licensees, including the use of targeted outreach to ethnic communities to diversify the licensee pool.

Just about 3 percent of retail marijuana license holders in Washington are African-American, roughly tracking the percentage of the population in the state where 3.5 percent of Washington residents are black. Like California, in 2015 African-Americans made up a disproportionate share- 11 percent- of marijuana arrests.

Recreational Dispensaries in Nevada Set to Legal Sell Marijuana in One Month

If everything proceeds without any delays, recreational dispensaries in Nevada are about to join a select few other U.S. states in which retailers are legally selling marijuana to customers for recreational purposes, to be used the way millions of Americans use alcoholic beverages on a daily basis.

People in Nevada, both residents and the Sagebrush State’s many tourists, without fear of sanction from their government or marginalization from their society will be able to freely make a choice about their own body and consciousness, and utilize the uncanny effects, of a marvelous molecule, in a notorious and highly valued plant to unwind, relax, enhance their social interactions, increase their creativity levels or ability to gain deep insights, or even improve their ability to appreciate music or food.

That’s just on the consumer side. Meanwhile planters, distributors, vendors, advertisers, and enterprising small business startups will be able to freely and openly engage in peaceful commerce in the trade of this highly sought after plant. It’s a monumental sea change in how our society is constituted, and if the examples of Colorado and other states who are further along this path now are any indication, it’s a change that will enrich and enliven our world.

Even though it became legal to possess and use marijuana in Nevada on January 1st after the passage of Question 2 last Fall, opening up retail marijuana businesses and recreational dispensaries in Nevada will not be legal until a month after the application deadline has elapsed.

The CEO of one medical marijuana dispensary in Nevada said of the new change which will soon see recreational dispensaries in Nevada spread like wildfire: “I think we have the potential of being the new marijuana hub of the country, taking that crown off Colorado and putting it on Nevada, namely Las Vegas,” adding:

“We have the best nightclubs, the best hotels, the best restaurants, the best shows and now we’ll have hopefully the best cannabis experience as well. I’m really excited to see… in a year or two how much that [tourism] number grows. I think it’s had a positive effect on Colorado and Washington that don’t have the allure that Las Vegas has.”

The impact of legal marijuana on tourism in Nevada, and the impact of the state’s vibrant tourism industry on recreational dispensaries in Nevada will be closely watched. It seems to be the perfect storm for a lot of enterprising individuals and businesses to make a lot of money, while making Nevada a “greener” place to live and visit.

How to Acquire Medical Marijuana Legally

Acquire Medical Marijuana Legally

Medical marijuana is rapidly polarizing as a treatment option among people suffering from chronic pain and disease, especially since 29 states across the US have legalized it. Despite its legalization, medical marijuana isn’t available to everyone who desires it. The use and distribution of medical marijuana is monitored closely and there is a way to acquire medical marijuana legally: a medical marijuana card.

Having this card lets you acquire medicinal marijuana completely. However, it can be quite confusing and almost impossible to get the card. This is because doctors are not so quick to prescribe this treatment to their patients. You will find this to be the case when compared to the prescriptions you receive for other pharmaceutical drugs. There are fewer considerations to make and patients only need to fulfill a few specific requirements before they start using.

Fortunately, with the correct information and guidance, you can acquire medical marijuana legally. Here are the 3 key requirements that will help you start the process:

Requirements to Acquire Medical Marijuana Legally

1.      Proof of Residence

First, you need to provide proof of residence. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is not legal, sadly for you, your journey ends here. However, stay up to date with the news and as soon as you find that medical marijuana is legal in your state, you can move on to the next step.

2.      Eligible Condition

You should be suffering from a health condition that makes you eligible for medical marijuana. The list of eligible conditions will differ from state to state so make sure you go through your local laws for more information on the subject. Serious, incapacitating, or terminal diseases, such as glaucoma, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and cancer are on almost every list. Other conditions, such as anorexia, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s disease, wasting syndrome, nausea, Alzheimer’s, hepatitis C, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease and depression are also usually on the list.

But it is important to remember there are some areas that focus more on the symptoms instead of the condition. Here, a doctor will decide whether you qualify or not. If you are able to verify through an examination that you suffer from chronic pain that is a result of a condition which is not listed on the on the eligibility list, you might still have a shot at being eligible.

3.      Doctor’s Documents

The final and most crucial step to acquiring your medical cannabis card is finding a doctor to prescribe it. Keep in mind that not every doctor will be comfortable with prescribing medical marijuana. Hence, you might have to go back and forth before you finally find a doctor who will do it for you. Fortunately, there are doctors and medical cannabis clinics that specialize in working with patients who need medical marijuana.

If you manage to prepare all these documents, you can acquire medical marijuana legally.

Benefits of Medical Cannabis for Veterans Dealing with PTSD

Veterans Dealing with PTSD

Waking up with a cold sweat, ringing ears, horrifying flashbacks, and night terrors. This is what life is like for numerous veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is common among veterans in the US. Studies confirm that over 20% of the soldiers who witnessed the war in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. Another study estimates that 200,000 plus veterans from the Vietnam War had to deal with the same disorder. It is important to uncover treatment options for veterans dealing with PTSD.

The Drawbacks of Conventional Treatments for Veterans Dealing with PTSD

Doctors typically deploy a combination of clinical therapy and medicines to combat the symptoms of PTSD. Most of the time, these options are not effective. Anti-depressants work but also come with well-known side effects and risks. Even though they are effective at dulling the pain of PTSD, they can bring along a series of issues that will require additional medical attention. Since veterans are in a never-ending search for something that works , many of them are now turning to medical cannabis. This natural plant is as effective in relieving pain as pills, but without the adverse effects.

According to a recent decision by the Drug Enforcement Administration, clinical trials are in progress that will help prove the effectiveness of medical cannabis as a treatment for veterans dealing with PTSD. At present, only six states in the US allow citizens dealing with this disorder to get a medical cannabis card, which means there is still room to grow.

How Medical Cannabis Benefits Veterans Dealing with PTSD

However, veterans who do have access to medical cannabis are actually benefiting from the drug in the following ways:

Medical cannabis is fast acting and versatile. Patients who rely on the drug have great flexibility in both the kind of medicine they use and the way they consume it. There are hundreds of strains of cannabis, where each possesses its own special medical benefit. Users also have complete control of their dose. They can choose to ingest, apply or smoke as little or much as they want. In addition, antidepressants take a long time to work and call for a long tapering time in case the user decides to switch medications or stop using them. On the other hand, medical marijuana has no such repercussions.

There is a low risk of addiction and withdrawal symptoms with cannabis. With traditional PTSD medication, there is a serious risk of addiction that can bring unbearable withdrawal symptoms once the user stops using them. With medical cannabis, however, veterans dealing with PTSD are at a far less risk of withdrawal and physical addiction, resulting in an enjoyable and safer experience. In fact, some doctors are prescribing medical cannabis to their patients for overcoming addiction with a 75% success rate.

Investing in The Marijuana Industry Promises Huge Returns

Investing in the marijuana industry has never looked more lucrative.

investing in the marijuana industry yields big returns

Earlier this year, Forbes astounded its audience by noting that 2016 marijuana sales in the US states where it’s legal outmatched the Dot-Com boom of the early 2000s.

They based this on a report by Arcview Market Research, which is the market leader in data research for legal marijuana market in the United States. According to Arcview, legal marijuana sales in North America grew to $6.7 billion in 2016.

As Forbes Magazine observed, by comparison the entire US GDP during the Dot-Com era grew at 22% versus the 30% growth we’ve seen in the marijuana market to achieve those kind of number sin 2016. And remember that at the time, the dot-com expansion was considered unparalleled in its scope and magnitude.

Arcview’s editor, Tom Adams wrote:

“The only consumer industry categories I’ve seen reach $5 billion in annual spending and then post anything like 25% compound annual growth in the next five years are cable television (19%) in the 1990’s and the broadband internet (29%) in the 2000’s.”

At the rate the marijuana industry is growing, we can reasonably project legal cannabis sales north of $20 billion by the year 2021 just five years from now.

Consumers clearly value marijuana for its psychoactive effects, the characteristic “high” caused by the THC in its leaves, rewarding consumers with relaxation, greater enjoyment of their company and surroundings, increased insight, and greater creativity.

Many consumers use marijuana the way American workers have used alcoholic beverages since this country was founded, as a way to unwind after a hard day’s work. The demand for legal marijuana is undoubtedly robust and hardly flinching at federal prohibition of cannabis and cannabis products.

Investing directly in marijuana dispensaries themselves or cannabis farms is just one way of investing in the marijuana industry. Another is to invest in the various auxiliary businesses the provide support and business infrastructure to this multi-billion dollar boom industry.