Crashing the party: Viceâ€™s Rachel Pick infiltrates a cannabis business conference in Manhattan and tells us about the less typical breed of pot enthusiasts, the Marijuana Men. One of the “Don Dopers”Â at that conference may well have been Willie Franklin, a former packaging contractor for the defense industry, who has decided itâ€™s time to put a lid on cannabis. Franklin says his new business comes in response to anticipated federal regulations on pot. At the state level, every legislative pen stroke means the birth or death of whole industries. Colorado may be witnessing one such birth, that of the cannabis club. Whatâ€™s next? Somewhere to put all the money cannabis-related businesses make. Financial services providers are eager to establish the first cannabis bank. Meanwhile, pundits are quick to point out the challenges â€“ regulatory, ethical, and otherwise â€“ Big Cannabis is likely to create. One such challenge: chemical pesticides and the role government can take in regulating cannabis production.
On the heels of this newly-created commerce is, of course, bureaucracy. The Influence magazine calls the Washington State cannabis market â€œone of the most tightly regulated industries in America.â€ In Colorado, caps on grow licenses, and odor ordinances dominate local cannabis legislation. Critics of the Colorado system say â€œitâ€™s no paradise,â€ and fear the fallout on the stateâ€™s young people. They also tie the rise in parolee drug busts to the legalization of cannabis. Contrast this to a recent Washington Post editorial suggesting that legalization is better than decades of failed prohibition, at least when it comes to hurting the cartels. What is certain about Coloradoâ€™s cannabis market is that neighboring states loathe it. There hasÂ still been no decision, however, onÂ the tenuous lawsuit brought by Nebraska and Oklahoma. That said, Idaho appears to be all for legalization. No word yet on how Wyoming would feel. And even less on what the Obama Administration is going to do, if they do anything at all.
Along Massachusetts Bay itâ€™s turning out to be no tea party. This week, a special state senate committee released an anticipated report on the potential legalization of cannabis. The stateâ€™s governor and attorney general, and the mayor of Boston, writing in the Boston Globe, argue that the state shouldnâ€™t fully legalize the drug, and they say itâ€™s because of the kids. Their comments seem in line with the reputedly â€œscathingâ€ committee report.
The Liberal government of Canada has a lot to juggle when it comes to cannabis. Everyone wants to weigh in on how not to legalize the drug, but, so far, thereâ€™s no consensus on how to move forward. Meanwhile, there may be some strong incentives for the United Kingdom to legalize cannabisâ€¦a billion of them, to be exact.
Finally, the snafu in Augusta causes more disgust: the devil is in the details in Maine.