MMJ Producers See Bright Future for Entrepreneurs
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MMJ Producers See Bright Future for Entrepreneurs
Posted by CN Staff on August 08, 2009 at 05:02:09 PT
By Kim Kozlowski, The Detroit News
Source: Detroit News
Michigan -- Now that it can be legally sold in Michigan, Greg Francisco is looking forward to the prospect of cashing in on the state's emerging medical marijuana industry. He may even move from Kalamazoo to Detroit, where he thinks the growth will take off."This is a multimillion dollar industry that is just opening up," said Francisco, a retired school teacher who insists medical marijuana isn't the same pot that some smoked in high school or college. Years of careful cultivation have led to a fluffy, fragrant variety, he says while opening a medicine bottle.
Medical marijuana is already a flourishing industry that is only going to get bigger in Michigan, Francisco and other advocates say. Since November, when voters made Michigan the 13th state to legalize it, opportunists have been organizing, networking and creating businesses to grow the crop, deliver it to the patients and everything in between.Growers, dubbed caregivers, and their patients must be licensed with the state. They may supply up to five patients and can earn about $50,000 annually, estimates Brad Forrester, spokesman for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association.The earning potential for those in ancillary businesses, such as greenhouse supplies, software or hemp clothing, will be significantly higher, Forrester said."There are going to be people who are making millions of dollars, literally," Forrester said.The Michigan Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce sprouted up in Ann Arbor in recent months, along with compassion clubs for the 3,000 state-registered patients, 1,100 caregivers and numerous support organizations. This weekend, 5,000 people are expected at Michigan's first Medical Marijuana Expo, which will offer information and seminars on the law, educational opportunities and tools for start-ups."We can help save the state with cannabis," said Anthony Freed, executive director of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce. "We would be irresponsible if we did not explore the possibilities."It's difficult to assess the economic impact of medical marijuana, even in California, where it has been legal since 1996.But the overall marijuana industry in California is estimated to be valued at $14 billion, according to a state report commissioned by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano.He proposes to legalize marijuana there and tax every ounce $50, so that it can generate $1.38 billion in revenue for California. Meanwhile, Oakland, Calif., last month became the first city in the nation to tax medical marijuana dispensaries. But Michigan is not as progressive, some say.Advocates here are still leery about recent law enforcement action. It's partly why Sen. Wayne Kuipers proposed three bills in the Legislature in June. Although medical marijuana leaders say the proposals would gut the new law, Kuipers said they just seek to clarify vague issues within the law."We're trying to work through the unanswered questions," said Kuipers, R-Holland.Regardless, outsiders and insiders are taking a closer look at the economic opportunities.Los Angeles-based developers of Cannabis, a $2.99 iPhone application, are working with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association and others to expand information about local attorneys, clinics and meetings into the application's database."The whole motivation is to empower medical cannabis patients and the global hemp community to use mobile technology so people can find the resources they need," said co-developer Devin Calloway.Closer to home, clinics have opened in Southfield, Taylor, Detroit, Flint, Lansing and Ypsilanti to issue doctor recommendations for medical marijuana when a patient's family doctor won't."We're really excited to help people," said Amber Rogers, spokeswoman for Great Lakes Marijuana, which runs a clinic in Southfield.Detroiter Kenneth Baker came to the state medical marijuana headquarters earlier this week to sign up for three classes at the expo. Baker, a postal worker who will retire in three years, plans to run a business and is investigating medical marijuana as an option."If medical marijuana takes off, having the knowledge in the industry might give me the edge to be successful," Baker said. "I want to be one of those guys who started early and got in on it."To some, such as Brian Johnson, the burgeoning industry is not about money.Johnson, a cancer survivor, discovered medical marijuana after one chemotherapy session. Unable to eat or drink for three weeks, Johnson smoked marijuana to ease his nausea. Within an hour, he was eating a hamburger.Johnson, a Grosse Isle resident, is now approved to grow marijuana plants for himself and another patient, and plans to help others find relief."After I proved to myself it worked medicinally," said Johnson, "I decided to devote my life to it."Marijuana Expo:Michigan's first Medical Marijuana Expo this weekend will feature classes, products and information for growers and caregivers. Patients can get pre-screened by clinicians.Where: 2520 22nd St., Detroit, -- When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday -- Cost: $10For information: http://www.mmmexpo2009.comSource: Detroit News (MI)Author: Kim Kozlowski, The Detroit NewsPublished: Saturday, August 8, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Detroit News Contact: letters Website: URL: News Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on August 09, 2009 at 10:06:36 PT
Sinsemilla Jones 
I agree with you too. The drug war won't be over but it will change and it will move away from demonizing Cannabis in my opinion and that's what I hope for.
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Comment #9 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on August 09, 2009 at 09:51:48 PT
Your welcome, and thank you for providing the info that prompted me to find the link.I also think we've changed direction, but it's hard to tell how far we've turned around until we get a little further down the road.I'm looking for the sign that says, "Now Leaving Schedule 1".
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on August 09, 2009 at 09:33:39 PT
charmed quark 
I agree. 
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Comment #7 posted by charmed quark on August 09, 2009 at 09:21:40 PT
$10K per patient!
Who, beside the near-rich, could afford to pay this much for medicine? $50K for 5 patients?I realize that super-high-grad "pot" is selling for $450 an ounce, and a patient using 2 ounces a month at this price would pay just over $10K/year, but can your average patient afford this?
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 09, 2009 at 04:36:34 PT
Sinsemilla Jones
Thank you for the link. I am pleased with the direction we are going. We have turned around, in only 6 months, how the Bush Administration dealt with drug issues and we are headed in a much better direction.
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Comment #5 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on August 09, 2009 at 00:22:47 PT
A. Thomas McLellan long but interesting interview by Bill Moyers with the future Deputy Drug Czar about addiction.Alcohol is mentioned a lot. Marijuana isn't mentioned at all!
Interview with A. Thomas McLellan
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Comment #4 posted by josephlacerenza on August 08, 2009 at 09:24:57 PT
Good morning C-News
As with any trade, as long as there is money to be made people will produce and sell said items. As long as drugs remain illegal we will have to pay for the prohib one way or another!!!
U.S. and Britain again target Afghan poppies 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on August 08, 2009 at 07:21:46 PT
Heads Up: Drugs on National Geographic
They are advertising this documentary on NGC and it says it will be on tonight on channel 276 on DirecTV at 10. I'd check to make sure it isn't tomorrow night though.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 08, 2009 at 05:37:25 PT
Penn Psychologist Confirmed for a Top Drug Post
August 8, 2009The Senate yesterday confirmed University of Pennsylvania psychologist A. Thomas McLellan as deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The vote, by unanimous consent, means that McLellan will be the No. 2 to Gil Kerlikowske, the former police chief of Seattle, who was confirmed this year as the office's director, better known as the drug czar.McLellan, a leading researcher in addiction and treatment, will be charged with reducing the nation's demand for drugs.Until his nomination by President Obama in April, McLellan, 60, was executive director of the Treatment Research Institute, a nonprofit he cofounded 17 years ago to study and compare treatments and to translate scientific findings into clinical practice and public policy. - Don SapatkinCopyright: 2009 Philly Online, LLC.URL:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 08, 2009 at 05:24:33 PT
Congress May Ease Law on College Aid
Congress May Ease Law on College Aid for Drug OffendersAugust 3, 2009URL:
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