Ganjapreneurs are cashing in on Colorado's booming medical pot business

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Shogun, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Shogun
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    Shogun Free: Mudholes Stomped

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    I knock on the locked door of the nondescript one-story building not far from downtown, willing away my anxiety.

    "Can I help you?" A security guard peers from behind the door, eyeing me suspiciously. He's an older guy, probably somebody's grandpa, but he gives me a look that says he doesn't have a problem tangling with a whippersnapper like me.

    "I have an appointment," I stammer. I have Xeroxed medical records and $200 in cash to prove it. At that, the security guard is all smiles.

    "Come on in," he offers, opening the door wide and beckoning me into one of Denver's most successful medical marijuana dispensaries.

    I'm here to become a state-certified medical marijuana patient. If I succeed, I'll have access to one of the fastest-growing — and unusual — businesses around.

    Colorado voters legalized marijuana for medicinal use in 2000 with the passage of Amendment 20, but until recently, the state's medical marijuana community was small and fairly inconspicuous. As of January, 5,000 people had applied to the state registry, and there were less than two dozen dispensaries selling pot.

    But that's changed, thanks to the Obama administration's move in March to end most dispensary raids, as well as a Colorado Board of Health decision in July that did nothing to limit the number of patients that medical marijuana dispensaries can have. As of June 30, the Colorado medical marijuana registry had swelled to more than 10,000 applicants, with the state receiving more than 400 new applications each day. To meet that demand, at least seventy Colorado dispensaries have opened, forty in the metro area alone.

    Many of these are operated by what insiders are calling a "second wave" of ganjapreneurs — savvy, experienced businesspeople and professionals. Some honed their chops running ventures that have nothing to do with marijuana; others are opportunists from the heady California dispensary scene who see a new market ripe for investment.

    In the meantime, legal consultants, insurance companies and real-estate brokers are carving out their own niche, building industry-wide infrastructure for a form of commerce that never before existed.

    Whether any of it is truly legal — and whether any of it will last — is anybody's guess, because marijuana, after all, is still illegal under federal law. And although Amendment 20 allows people in Colorado to use pot for medical reasons, the law says nothing about dispensaries or whether buying and selling marijuana at them is legal. ("Growth Industry," February 5.)

    "I saw it coming," says Colorado Attorney General John Suthers about the growth of the dispensary industry, of which he disapproves. "Even when we looked at the amendment in 2000, it was very purposely designed, in my opinion, by the advocates so it was so broad you could drive a truck through it."

    Cities and towns aren't waiting for Suthers and his colleagues to sort the laws out. To deal with the reality of a business model that isn't going away, one municipality after another is looking into their zoning or planning codes, and some have passed dispensary-specific rules, like where they can be located and what type of signage is allowed.

    I'm not waiting, either. Past the security guard, I can see a brightly lit, professional-looking operation. People shuttle paperwork to and fro, chatting and laughing. It's a far cry from a drug-dealing operation — though a familiar smell lingers in the air. No time for second thoughts: I'm already late for my appointment.

    I step inside, ready to get medicated.

    Denver News - Ganjapreneurs are cashing in on Colorado's booming medical pot business - page 1
     
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  2. Jay Canuck
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    Jay Canuck by Crom you'll pay!

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    just legalize it and tax it for Christsakes already!
     
  3. Coloradomtnman
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    Coloradomtnman Rational and proud of it.

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    That's right! Woohoo!

    Its legal in Denver!

    Dude.
     
  4. eots
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    eots no fly list

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    a friend of mine just got a job selling legal weed...he gets 18$ an hr..for looking them up on his rolodex..and weighing out the amount requested..and recording how much of their monthly allotment they have received...it is top rate weed..its all people with MS..cancer.. etc
     
  5. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    i get depressed when i run out of pot...will that work?
     
  6. Shogun
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    Shogun Free: Mudholes Stomped

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    a friend of mine from the west coast brought back his Medical card and validated paperwork. I have to say, I'm not a big fan of the farcical nature which permeates the "legality" of pot these days but.... hey.. smoke em if you got em.
     

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