Author Archives: Anne Wallace


How Oregon Should Tax Marijuana

How Oregon Should Tax Marijuana

Not you, not me, tax the man behind the tree. Unfortunately, discussions of tax policy sometimes never get beyond this point, but setting tax policy is like building infrastructure.


Trimmigrants and Temps

National Public Radio’s recent story about “trimmigrants” was, for many listeners, the stuff that turns hair white. Far from hearing about the $500 that young seasonal trimmers can make for a 14-hour day, parents waited tensely for the phrase “shallow grave” at the end.

million dollar market

DC May Open Up $130 Million MJ Market

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, Washington, D.C., will likely vote to legalize recreational marijuana. It is the most heavily favored to succeed of the four marijuana ballot initiatives. Yet, as far as the investment community is concerned, this has earned a yawn and a big “So what?”

Alternative Banking

Cannabusiness and Alternative Banking

As marijuana businesses in Colorado and Washington found themselves suddenly without working ATMs last week, it became painfully clear, yet again, that the industry has to find a way out of the banking dilemma created by the conflict between state and federal laws regarding marijuana’s legal status.


Marijuana Investing for the 99 Percent

Marijuana and mutual funds are not concepts usually found in the same sentence. Marijuana investments are notoriously volatile. A mutual fund, on the other hand, is the sort of stodgy vehicle that middle-aged people use to build retirement savings.

Reform Team

Passing the Torch for Marijuana Reform

Ethan Nadelmann, Founder and Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, recently addressed the ArcView Investors Chicago Forum about the need for new marijuana capitalists to step up to the task of supporting drug law reform. In a nutshell, his message to new investors was that without continued focus on changing the law, there will be no place for investments to go.


Why Young Oregon Voters Matter

When advocates of legalization look at the polls, it is hard to be worried about Oregon. There are always reasons to fret, but Measure 91 looks more likely to pass than ballot initiatives in Alaska or Florida. A SurveyUSA poll from early August showed Oregon voters supporting legalization at 51 to 42 percent, with 6 percent undecided. Should we let Oregon coast and focus on the other races?

Conference Ideas

Marijuana Conferences Spark Ideas

Some invisible business spirit once whispered, “If you build it, they will come,” (or its variant, “If you book them, they will come). The hectic marijuana business conference schedule for the winter and spring suggests that marijuana entrepreneurs are not waiting for Election Day.

New York State of Marijuana

Voter Turnout for Marijuana Legalization

The countdown to Election Day has begun in earnest. For legalization advocates in Alaska, D.C. and Oregon and medical marijuana reform in Florida, the focus has shifted to voter registration and turnout. Many states will be observing National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 23, in advance of local deadlines by which voters must register


Philly Gets Decriminalization Right

As recently reported, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will sign a compromise measure to decriminalize personal possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana, with the penalty dropping from possible jail time to a $25 fine. Philadelphia got it right in two major ways.


“Big Ag” to Begin MMJ Cultivation in Illinois

Illinois’s Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act establishes a 4-year pilot program allowing the cultivation and dispensing of marijuana for medical purposes. Although the law became effective in January, 2014, much of this year has been spent building the regulatory framework necessary to administer the program.

Edibles Testing

Colorado Testing Edibles by Year’s End

Colorado is building a reputation as the national laboratory for getting marijuana mostly right, and the edible side of the industry is no exception. However, edibles present their own set of challenges from the regulatory perspective. Challenges range from the agricultural to the pharmaceutical to child safety.

I-502 Lawyer

Zoning Laws vs. Washington’s I-502

Tedd Wetherbee has Washington State approval, issued under the provisions of Initiative 502, to open a marijuana business, and he leased a storefront in the town of Fife to do so. Earlier this summer, however, the Fife City Council adopted zoning regulations that went beyond the usual restrictions on location, signage and hours of operation, to ban all marijuana businesses in town.


Daunting Outlook for Alaska

Prospects are starting to look dicey for Ballot Measure 2, which would legalize marijuana in Alaska. Smart Alternatives to Marijuana, the brainchild of legalization foe Kevin Sabet, has seized the advantage, and polls are now running 49 to 44 percent against, a shift from the 55 percent approval rate in early 2014.


SAM is the Invisible Opposition

Legalization seems to be losing ground in Alaska, where, in the latest Public Policy Poll, 49 percent of those polled said they would vote “No” on legalization, with 44 percent saying “Yes” and 8 percent “Not sure.”


D.C.’s Dispensaries Poised to Prosper

Medical marijuana has been legal in the District of Columbia since 2010, but dispensaries did not begin opening until the spring of 2013. They have had a pretty rugged year, operating within the confines of a highly restrictive law. That may be about to change, however, because the District’s Council has made moves.


Investing in the Grow-It-Yourself Market

Anyone who has ever succumbed, credit card in hand, to the siren song of a garden catalog that arrives during a February snowstorm realizes that there is money to be made from hobby gardeners. But when the crop is marijuana, the motivation is more likely to be medical than horticultural.


How to Hire a Marijuana Business Attorney

Budding entrepreneurs of all strains need two kinds of advisers: an accountant and an attorney. Leaving accounting aside for the moment, let us focus on what to look for in a marijuana business attorney, given the friction between federal and state law where marijuana businesses are legal and regulated.

Sector Conference for Women

Weed Women Connect and Create Investment Opportunities

Pot culture has been described as testosterone-fueled boys’ club in which women are objectified as “hot pot babes.” What happens on the stoner side of things seeps insidiously into the world of policy reform and legitimate business. Statistics are scarce, but the legal marijuana industry also seems to be heavily male dominated and more than a little alien for many businesswomen.


Give Us the Research — We Can Handle It

Many were puzzled earlier this spring when Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State legislature reached a deal to legalize medical marijuana, but only in vaporizable form and only for a list of conditions that changed up until the last moment.

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