Learning to Learn Again

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Humans are often paralyzed by their own education. We have a tendency to quit learning once we think we know something. I am the worst at this. I hate revisiting my education and relearning things.

But this is very necessary to succeed in the human experience. We must not stop learning…..ever.

It is humbling to come to understand that we are not as smart as we thought we were. When we consider ourselves to be educated on a certain subject, we move from a desire to learn about it, to a false sense of security on the subject that discourages further learning. It is unfortunately human nature.

We miss out on a lot of learning by the assumption that we are already educated and do not need to take the time or energy to learn anything else.

Where cannabis legalization and freedom are concerned, there is a lot that has been learned and assumed; but there is still SO much more to figure out.

The most interesting thing to consider when looking at cannabis and the cannabis market is that this is a rapidly evolving beast right now. Everything we beileve we know about cannabis this very minute is likely to change in the coming months and years. The systems in place now for producing and distributing cannabis will cease to exist and will eventually be replaced with a more robust and commercialized market. That is inevitable.

In the current market, at least where it is semi-legal- but also where it is not, retail is king. The retailer controls the market and serves as a gatekeeper to the public.

Why? Because most of the companies producing cannabis have a hell of a lot to lose and choose to fly under the radar. You usually do not know the name or the company that produced the weed you are smoking. There is no heavily branded product market where marketing and demand fuel the marketplace. But you can be sure that it will one day…and likely soon.

Everything we know about the price of cannabis will evolve as the black market ceases to exist. Right now there is a very inflated market price that considers risk into the equation.

Risk limits supply. A lot of growers keep it to 99 plants, but what happens when the risk is gone and farmers are growing tons of weed in the light of day with no risk of prosecution? What happens to the price then?

It drops as supply increases. But how will the entire crop of outlaw farmers who have spent years getting thousands for their pounds do when that number becomes hundreds? Hopefully grow ten times as much.

There will be a lot of folks who will fail to evolve and who will get crushed by the market because of their failure to learn and understand the changes that we are all going to be facing.

If we can learn to learn again, we might just make it. If we do not see the writing on the wall and refuse to learn, we will become dinosaurs….extinct.

I personally have made a conscious effort to wake up in the morning, look myself in the mirror and tell myself, “You don’t know shit.”

When I start from there I can set myself up for more learning and understanding. I have no intention of letting my own education, and what I think I know, get the best of me….and you should not either.

When you back a wild animal into a corner…..

People should be more cautious and do their homework better….before someone gets hurt.

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There seem to be a lot of wannabe big wheels around the playground these days who have forgotten that this is a very real game with very real consequences we are all playing here. While it may seem that the smoke is lifting, and that it is safe to resume business as usual, the reality is that it is anything but. We are in the most dangerous time I can remember for a wannabe cannabis entrepreneur.

There are a lot of forces at play in this industry right now, and a lot of people who feel threatened.

The cannabis industry is full of wild animals who have lived for years in the shadows with sleepless nights worrying about their crops and businesses. Law enforcement still preys on the vulnerable and is indicting people quietly at the federal level. Local cities and governments continue to demand higher ransoms with little protections. Big business idiots wander around making moves without really doing their homework, and people’s feelings get hurt.

This is sure to get ugly for everyone before it is said and done.

We can all agree that when you back a wild animal into a corner that their first instinct is going to be to fight their way out. The question is, “Do you think you have the juice to fight a wild animal?”….or better yet, “Do you really want to fight a wild animal right now?”

There is a lot to lose for people in this industry still. The Feds are just looking for a reason to shut people down and hand them a stack of charges. The reality is that this thing is still far from over.

I am starkly reminded of the Matthew Davies case, where just last month Davies pled GUILTY to ten felony counts that will get him at least 5 years in Federal prison. Davies was a big business type who made a lot of money before coming into this industry, and who tried to use his business experience to take over several dispensing organizations in the Sacramento and Stockton areas.

On the surface it seemed like Davies ran good shops, paying taxes and living wages to his staff. But the US Attorney who handled his case had a different perspective on it a statement to the Huffington Post:

In a statement released by the Department of Justice on Friday, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said that the investigation had concluded that Davies’ work was “all about the money.”

So what can we all learn from this experience? That it is still not safe to try and be a cannabis mogul just yet. There are still some very serious consequences on the table.

The Feds are still taking properties, including those of Harborside Health Center and Berkeley Patients Group. Regardless of the standing in the community or the City of Oakland suing the feds to protect Harborside, the feds are pushing through, and will likely succeed, with seizing those properties. Here is what a judge said back in January:

“There is nothing in the record indicating that Harborside’s continued operation compromises the existence, value or title of either the Oakland or San Jose property,” wrote Judge James. “Any argument about the urgency of stopping Harborside’s activities rings hollow.”

There are all sorts of theories about why Harborside is being targeted in this case and having their properties seized; but the simple answer is “the pissed someone off pretty good.” Regardless of who that was, they backed somebody’s wild animal into a corner and got the shit scratched out of them. That is just a fact.

So if I were trying to navigate my way through this murky legal environment with some very real consequences, I would be cautious of the wild animals. I would certainly not go around trying to back them into corners. It is still a VERY dangerous landscape for people and you gotta make better decisions. The failure to recognize the dangers that lie in front of you can be a fatal blow.

Be careful out there.

If you have a wild animal backed into a corner you may want to think about walking away. Now is not the time for that battle. It is a lose-lose for everyone at this point.

If you are a wild animal backed into a corner right now, well…sharpen your claws and get ready to scratch the shit out of someone.

There will be some major battles happening before this is over, and you can be sure some dip-shits will get scratched up pretty good. That is certain.

It takes a lot of idiots to make a world. But I hope at least some of the idiots will read this and figure out a solution that does not involve a wild animal and a corner. Take a path of less resistance.

Or don’t, and be prepared to suffer the consequence. These are the decisions we all make in the world of cannabis thunderdome.

Wu-Tang at the HT San Fran Cannabis Cup

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Members of the Wu-Tang clan killed last night at the High Times Cannabis Cup being held in Richmond, CA. This was a piece where they called up some kids from the audience to do the parts of Method Man and ODB. The white boy kills it…..We think he was a ringer. But regardless it was extremely entertaining and we appreciate the show. It was dope for sure….

Wu Classic…C.R.E.A.M. Get the money…..

First Day of the Summer of Nugs

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What a glorious day…Summer is here.

Why do I think this summer will be different? What will make this go down in history as the SUMMER OF NUGS?

The world has been rapidly evolving on the cannabis issue since November when Colorado and Washington voters sent a loud and clear message for cannabis freedom. The walls of weed prohibition have been crumbling, as calls for ending the madness have grown deeper and more pronounced with time. The reality is that Obama’s US Department of Justice is going to HAVE TO make a policy clarification in regards to these new cannabis realities.

My theory is that if their “announcement” were going to be the same as before then they would have made that announcement already. If you are working on a policy that allows for more cannabis freedom, that takes time and strategy. The status quo would have already been announced, so I believe the announcement will be to allow states to make their own laws for weed. What else could it be?

Colorado has already finalized its adult use cannabis program, and Washington State should not be too far behind. I believe after WA State finalizes their program we will see that policy declaration, and my gut feeling is that the policy will be a clear move to allow states to make their own weed laws.

“Why would I think that?,” many have asked. Most folks are extremely cynical, and with good cause. The US Government has been terrible where weed is concerned, refusing to look at science and continuing their unwinnable war on our own people. I can see why folks continue to be skeptical that we will see any meaningful move on the feds part.

But I am far more optimistic. Why? Because I think this is bigger than all of us, Obama and Holder included. I see the ultimate writing on the wall, and I am inspired by the overwhelming support we see for ending cannabis prohibition from community leaders, influential people, and a majority of the American people.

The time is now, and I think before the summer is out we will see that major policy announcement that shifts US drug policy forever. I think we can all agree that as Washington finalizes their program and the adult use market begins to take shape in Colorado and Washington, that the USDOJ will have to address the issue. They have already stated publicly that they will have an announcement “relatively soon.”

During a March 2013 Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Attorney General Holder, in response to Senator Patrick Leahy’s questions about the new state laws, promised to announce a formal policy toward state marijuana legalization “relatively soon.”

Source: Brookings Institute

Relatively soon….like maybe by the end of summer? I think so.

We can continue to be skeptical and hurt from the past…or we can look to the future with optimism and hope. That choice is ours. I will take the latter.

Some may call me naive and ignorant. Maybe I am. I would far rather be hopeful and optimistic for real change in a naive way than to be trapped in the pain and confusion of yesterday believing that the whole world is out to get me.

It is not….in fact, most stand with us. the world has changed.

Summer is here and I am dubbing it THE SUMMER OF NUGS out of the gate. This is the summer the world changes for the better and we begin a new path towards liberty and freedom. This does not mean that the battle will be over, or that there will be no more stupid prohibition bullshit to deal with.

On the contrary, it will be the beginning of a much larger, and likely much uglier, battle. The battle for the cannabis market and regulatory freedoms will begin. It will be a nasty battle because it will not be “us vs. them” anymore, yet it will be “us vs. us” and cooperation will go right out the window in the fight for the almighty dollar.

I am cool with that….that is how the world works. If the playing field is level and I do not have to worry about prison for growing and producing weed, I can compete with any clowns in the marketplace. If the opposition is other business people, and not a SWAT team, that is a battle I can always win.

So let the games begin. The #SUMMEROFNUGS is upon us. Keep being an active voice in ending this thing once and for all. Make the calls, write the letters, and talk to your neighbors about how awesome weed is.

We are almost there, and this will be a summer to remember.

FACT: Dads who smoke weed beat their children far less…

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Okay. Maybe it is more of a hypothesis than a fact, but I am pretty sure the data would back me up on this one.

The unspoken reality is that if weed were legal, and even a small portion of our society used weed instead of booze, there would be a decrease in violence and careless crime. Why? Because booze makes people do retarded shit, and then they wake up feeling super depressed about the stupid things they did, so they drink some more to make themselves feel better……and then more stupid, and often violent, shit.

So I think it is pretty much a fact that if more dads smoked weed there would be less cases of child abuse. It is a no brainer to me. Whenever I hear a friend recall their painful stories of abuse, almost every time the phrase “drunk asshole” is used. Booze makes more dads lose their mind and do terrible shit. Weed just is not like that.

Sure. There are dads who probably smoke too much weed and neglect their children as a result. But rarely does a person smoke a fat joint and think, “I am going to kick my dog and beat up my kids real quick.”

Pot just does not bring that beast out of people. So I can confidently say that fathers who smoke weed beat their kids far less than fathers who do not smoke weed.

It is not just the boozeheads either. There are the gigantic stressball assholes who cannot take their life at work, so they come home and take it out on their poor kid.

I firmly believe that if these jackasses took a minute to smoke some weed and think about life, that they would be far less stressed and could manage their emotion better. Weed is good to take the edge off of a terrible day and make one worry less about the challenges they face. You cannot smoke your problems away, but you can find a deeper consciousness in which to find a better solution.

People who beat their kids deserve to die a special kind of death; but if weed could help even one parent not to beat their kid then weed has to be legalized, right?

I mean, that is the argument of the opposition, correct? “If we can even save one kid from going down the path of drugs our trillion dollar war on drugs that has ruined innumerable people’s lives is worth it.”

Yeah….Well let’s get real. Far more innocent kids get their ass kicked by some drunken maniac because booze are legal and readily avaqilable while weed is a crime. If we allowed people to substitute their desire for booze with some weed brownies and a bag of Doritos, and even if one (or a million) child ass kickings were avoided, it is all very much worth it.

I think a lot of the reform community is spooked by the booze industry. They fail to mention the real societal benefit of cannabis…less drunk people. I know that sounds dickish to say out loud, but it is true. Less drunk people means less drunk crime and violence. That is a net positive for anyone. I do not know one person related to an alcoholic who would not welcome that they be “addicted to marijuana” instead.

So ponder my loosely evidenced “fact” for a moment. Dads who smoke weed do beat their kids far less…..I think that is a solid argument for cannabis legalization for adult use.

Happy Father’s Day to all you weed smoking dads out there. Burn a fat one today and enjoy it.

People Are Weird Creatures with Strange Beliefs

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The biggest thing standing in the way of cannabis freedom is HUMANS.

People are weird creatures with strange beliefs. At some point conditioning and propaganda overcame common sense and compassion. It is difficult to grasp that anyone on earth would think it is still okay to take other humans to jail for decades over some weed. I will NEVER understand that logic…..ever.

I do not give a shit about what your Sunday school teacher, or some cop told you about weed. Numbers don’t lie. Weed is safe, and by all measures ENJOYABLE. It is also good for a variety of medical conditions, and has given people a path to their deeper conscious. What it has NOT done is kill anyone….ever.

As I continue my journey on this strange planet inhibited by bizarre creatures that refuse to consider logic and reason in their decision making process, I am often confused and conflicted. It is not just the subject of weed that makes people drink the crazy juice, but a lot of other basic issues that seem like common sense to me. How people can take something like religion (or law) and twist it into a belief system of oppression and bigotry is beyond me. You fucking humans are something else.

Let gays marry. Quit hating brown people. Leave women alone. Quit taking people to jail for weed. You know…the basics.

So how do we overcome knee jerk responses based on faith in some strange God and the interpretations of his holy book? Or the brainwashing of the drug warrior rehabilitation experts who continue to make people believe that the terrible things they did were because of the drugs and not because they are an asshole? Or the “holier than thou” losers who believe that they have some moral higher ground because they drink booze, while you smoke your “illegal” weed?

Here is how…..We ignore them and/or admonish them.

People gain power for their strange beliefs by us giving them that power. When we react in anger or frustration we give credence to their points. If we simply laugh at these idiots and paint them as the absolute fringe that they are, they will cease to have any power.

They will, in fact, retreat and begin to change their position. Why? Because they need the power. They need some recognition for their beliefs. If they understand that their position is no longer relevant, they will adopt and evolve their position so that they can again be relevant to the discussion.

We see this phenomena happening a lot right now in the gay marriage debate. People who used to spout off about their hatred of gays and why they should not be married, are now finding less harsh positions to take on the subject. Even the most staunch opponents have somehow found a way to approve civil unions and whatnot.

As a community, it is up to us to foster beliefs that are compassionate, understanding, and based in reality. We must begin to crush the status quo and continue to change the debate. It is happening. We see it every day.

It is no longer risky to support cannabis legalization for adults. In fact, it is very popular. This is why the tired moral and legal arguments continue to fall on deaf ears. We have changed the conversation. We are laughing at the crazies now instead of listening to them.

There will always be a very stupid human element to our society that forces us to challenge common sense to understand where our fellow man is coming from. Our cultures have evolved with some very weird cultural and religious norms. People believe things for no other reason than that they believe they should based on some teaching or belief they have latched onto in their development.

In a lot of ways these beliefs probably keep a lot of folks on track and from being terrible people. If that is what folks need to not just axe murder other humans then God bless them

But when these belief systems begin to interfere with other people’s freedoms, and result in mass incarceration of good people we MUST put an end to it all. It is no longer okay to let your beliefs interfere with logic and reason.

Weed will be legal soon, and some people need to come to terms with that and figure out how to wrap their beliefs around that. Evolve…or don’t. We are smoking our weed, goddamn-it.

Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum

This is going to be a great event….I promise.

www.CannabisKnowledgeForum.com

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KNOWLEDGE

Thanks for your interest in the Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum. We are excited to bring to you three exciting and unique days of cannabis knowledge with some of the industry’s leading experts. For those interested in opening a dispensary, working at a dispensary or production facility, or being an active part of the medical cannabis community and industry developing in Massachusetts, this is a must have cannabis knowledge experience.

Participants will enjoy interactive learning experiences with speakers who have dedicated their lives to developing the cannabis movement and industry. Come and ask the experts questions about how the industry works and how you can be a part of this exciting opportunity.

  • The Ganja of Guru and world-renowned author of the Marijuana Grower’s Handbook., Ed Rosenthal, brings you decades of firsthand experience in cannabis cultivation and breeding. He will present the basics on cultivation for hardship cultivators, as well as principles of commercial growing for those interested in dispensary production. Come and meet the legend himself and ask him about your garden, or future gardens. Ed has written about cannabis cultivation for forty years and has been a leader in the development of cannabis cultivation technology. He is also an expert witness for marijuana related court cases

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Guru of Ganja Ed Rosenthal

 

  • .Sociologist and host of the Boston Pot Report, Keith Saunders, Ph.D, will provide background on the Massachusetts cannabis community, economy, and social and legal norms of the local cannabis community. His work on the ground with Massachusetts cannabis activism, including ongoing support of the Boston Freedom Rally, gives him a unique perspective as to how the Massachusetts cannabis laws and regulations may be implemented, and how they will affect the Massachusetts community.

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Boston Pot Report Host Keith Saunders

 

  • Author of Medical Marijuana 101 and Director of T-Comp Consulting, Mickey Martin will present the basics of medical marijuana, understanding the Massachusetts medical cannabis regulations, preparing and dispensary application and industry best practices. He has worked on cannabis business development for over a decade, and has helped several clients succeed in the competitive application process. Mickey operated the nation’s first major brand of edibles, and has developed best practices for producers of cannabis medicines that have become industry standard.

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Medical Marijuana 101 Author Mickey Martin

 

  • Founder and Chief Operating Officer for Steep Hill Labs, Addison Demoura, founded the nation’s first cannabis analytical lab, He will be speaking on the importance of quality assurance and technological innovations in the cannabis testing industry. His work in bringing quality control and potency testing to the industry has revolutionized the way patients access and understand their medicine. Steep Hill’s innovative program has helped in creating better understanding of the industry by providing third party oversight and detailed information about the medicine patients consume.

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Steep Hill Lab Founder, Addison Demoura

 

All tickets include over $70 in books and materials. They will get a copy of Ed Rosenthal’s Marijuana Grower Handbook ($29.95)Mickey Martin’s Medical Marijuana 101 ($14.95), Aunt Sandy’s Medical Marijuana Cookbook ($18.95), as well as a course binder with documents on Understanding the Massachusetts Medical Cannabis RegulationsMedical Cannabis Best Practices, quality assurance and handouts for approaching cities and your community about the benefits of medical cannabis.

The event will be held on July 12th in Lowell, MA; on July 13th in Boston; and July 14th in Dartmouth. Sessions will begin at 9 a.m. with a 90 minute break for lunch at noon and end around 4 pm. the ticket price is $200 and will be made available through Brown Paper Tickets.

Buy tickets for Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum- LOWELL

Buy tickets for Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum- BOSTON

Buy tickets for Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum- DARTMOUTH

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT ONE, OR ALL, OF THESE GREAT EVENTS!

The Education of Cannabis Nation

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Knowledge is king. The biggest barrier standing in the way of weed freedom is that people are simply misinformed.

I am not just talking about folks outside of the cannabis bubble either. There are plenty within this “movement” that are severely misinformed and ignorant. In fact, it is the folks from within’s ignorance that makes this struggle much harder than it need be.

We have a duty to change the dialogue and to correct the decades of misinformation surrounding cannabis. We must have a more open and honest conversation about where we are as a society, how the hell we got here, and what we are going to do to make things better moving forward. But in order to effectively do that there is a lot of humble pie to be served on both sides of the table.

It will be necessary for us to admit some of our short comings as a community, and take corrective actions to make things better. That is hard work; but far from impossible. But it is also hard to take an authoritative educational position when your own house is not in order. People do not listen to those they believe are full of shit.

So where is the cannabis movement and industry full of shit? In a lot of areas unfortunately. We operate in a false reality that is nurtured by our need and desire for acceptance. We are willing to connect loose dots and make some wild claims in an effort to get people to buy into our cause. The community often will take loosely evidenced “facts” and broadcast them as truth, only to have bullshit called on them. This creates mistrust with the public, whose support we are working to gain.

Not a day goes by where we do not have to combat some idiot who claims “medical cannabis is a hoax” (I am looking at you, Gloomberg), or that the system is “a sham” (Looking at you Allen St. Pierre). But we also have not done a great job of proving these types of claims wrong, and thus we see more and more overburdensome regulations because we have failed to take care of our own housekeeping.

The weed industry has taken its course, and by all measures it is lacking in medical bona fides. Not that there is not real healing and medical applications happening; but that they are being overshadowed by a potent cannabis culture that will not be denied. We can continue to say that our dozen or so blunts a day are our medicine, and we have that right. But should we be surprised when people tell us that we might be full of shit?

So is it our education or their education that is lacking? Have we failed to educate our own on the cultural norms of what is considered medical in our society? Or have we failed to educate society that everything they consider to be medical is wrong because we have redefined medical to mean enjoyable and awesome?

The truth is that we have failed in both respects. We have made the medical cannabis system immanently more difficult for patients and providers by not putting a better foot forward, and at least trying to pretend that what we are up to is all medical. Every new state that comes on board makes the rules and barriers to entry more challenging to avoid the mistakes and abuses that are very public regarding medical cannabis. What we see is a lot of, “if you want medical we will give you medical.”

But instead of defending the fact that even the most abused system still provides a great deal of service with very little harm, and admitting that we must encourage adult use legalization to ensure patients are receiving quality care by removing the abuses in the system and allowing more healthcare professionals and researchers to embrace the developing industry, we generally deny there is an issue and demand that the world change their definition of what medical is to meet our needs.

Here is a little newsflash…..That is not gonna happen.

There is a hell of a lot of training that needs to be done both inside and outside of this movement. People must begin to open their minds to understanding and quit trying to fit the square peg in the round hole. We are better than this.

We can win this argument. We will win this argument. But at what cost if we do not educate and strategize more effectively?

From industry training for those who produce and provide cannabis, to public information and education, we must begin to develop a more sound infrastructure for developing and distributing positive and honest information about cannabis. Once people can understand the situation and what cannabis is and does, they generally are open to it being a part of our everyday landscape.

We have a lot to overcome. The prohibitionists and drug warriors have been extremely effective in spreading their lies and bullshit for the past few decades; so we have our work cut out for us.

But I can tell you for certain that if Joe Public thinks you are bullshitting them they will turn on you, and your credibility will cease to exist. This leaves the door open for those who oppose cannabis to continue to mislead.

When we come from a place of truth and honesty in our efforts to educate, we win

The truth is out there. Cannabis is an effective medicine. It is also an awesome and enjoyable experience. Marijuana can also provide spiritual awakening and raise a person’s awareness of themselves and the universe. Weed can enhance a situation or enable a person to have a better social experience. It is a lot of things. It is not one or the other, but all of them.

We have got to provide the education to cannabis nation so that we can realize our objectives of making weed legal for grown-ass people to use and produce as they please when they please.

Until every person understands the importance of cannabis freedom we will have work to do…So get at it already.

Educate yourself and then educate others. It is how the war is won….

Why you should not be scared of "Big Marijuana"

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Since the Prop. 19 debate was in high gear, there has been some conspiracy theorists who would have us believe that we must keep taking people to jail for weed to avoid the take over of big business in the industry. To me, just writing that makes me feel a little crazy.

If I have to explain to another seasoned cannabis activist why “decriminalization” is not enough because it still penalizes people for enjoying and producing weed, and still allows for law enforcement to violate the rights of people who smell like weed by searching their homes, vehicles, and persons, I am going to lose it. When did our own movement become the prohibitionists?

The reality is that we cannot limit freedom. Big business will have just as much freedom to come into this industry and compete for revenues and income as anyone else. That is the beauty of freedom. As soon as we begin to try and dictate who can, and who cannot, be involved in the industry we have become the prohibitionists we have spent so many years fighting. We cannot allow our fear and distrust to overcome our desire for freedom and justice….big business or not.

Last week former Microsoft executive Jamen Shively, along with Mexican President and Coca-Cola businessman Vincente Fox, held a press conference to announce the development of Diego Pellicer, his plans for a worldwide cannabis brand named after his hemp farming great grandfather.

Shively described grand visions for his pot brand – hundreds of millions of dollars in investments, tens of millions of customers, more than 1,000 jobs just at Diego Pellicer’s Seattle headquarters.

“Yes, we are Big Marijuana,” he announced.

Source: Huffington Post

Immediately the cannabis fringe began to circle the wagons with their “I told you so. Monsanto is coming to cannabis” hyperbole. The sky is always falling with some folks in this movement, so it was no big surprise to see the same old same old tired tin-foil hatters bring their fear mongering forth to try and scare the bejeezus out of people with their tales of terminator cannabis seeds, and the fear of losing everything they have worked so hard for.

Ugh. I hate this industry/movement/clusterfuck for a lot of reasons, but none more than the irrational and idiotic thinking, or lack there of, that manifests into rumors and lies being put forth as truth and reality. When can we move past the dumb shit and begin to understand that a “legal” cannabis market will include businesses of all sizes participating in supplying the global demand for cannabis? When can we learn that freedom is bigger than any individual or group of us?

The really funny part is the fact that a lot of people in this industry and movement cannot even begin to grasp the scope of what an international global cannabis market can, and will, look like. So let me try to paint you a picture.

Hypothetically, let’s just say that cannabis were 100% absolutely legalized tomorrow (or maybe by summer). Do you understand what that means?

Currently, it is estimated that maybe 10-15% of people in America use cannabis even though it is a crime (this number is even lower internationally). In comparison, 67% of people in America drink booze. The reason more people do not use cannabis is not because alcohol is better. It is because people are afraid of being criminals and being harassed by cops for their cannabis use.

So take that restriction away. Say people no longer have to worry about being arrested, or losing their standing in the community, because they use weed. What happens to that percentage of people who use cannabis? It dramatically increases, right?

Maybe it does not reach the 67% of people, like booze has going (at least not right away); but what if it jumps up to even 40% of people. What if the global demand for cannabis increases by 3 or 4 times overnight?

I live in California, but I do travel all over. I know for a verifiable fact that even currently, there is not enough decent weed in America to feed even our own demand. This is why over 50% of the cannabis used by Americans is imported from Mexico. We do not have the growing and processing infrastructure to even meet the demand of our fellow countrymen….now think globally. Do you see how there might not be enough cannabis to go around if weed were legal tomorrow?

It is going to take some serious big business infrastructure to feed the global demand for weed, and if we want to really make cannabis a normalized and boring part of our society that is as non-controversial as coffee or wine, there WILL BE big businesses involved to meet that demand. It is just stupid to think otherwise.

But here is where people really fail to consider reality.

Look at the wine industry. There is undoubtedly some behemoths in the wine industry who mass produce low-grade swill for the market. The “two buck Chuck” is a mass produced bottle of wine that for all intents an purpose is a pretty good deal for people on a budget. Does this mean that people do not have the choice to buy a bottle from a small batch producer? Of course not. But it does mean that a person with less money can still get a decent bottle of wine because this “big business” has developed production methods that enable them to offer decent products at a reduced cost. That is cool from where I sit.

A lot of the outrage and fear comes from people who grow cannabis. There is always the talk and fear of “big business driving us out of the industry.” Fear not, small farmer. If you take a good close look at the wine, or coffee, or chocolate industries, the reality is that most mass producers do not grow all of their own ingredients. They contract small farmers like you to grow them a batch of grapes, or beans, or whatever, to use in their finished products.

Imagine small weed farmer, no longer having to hustle the streets and live in the shadows to sell your crop. Imagine that your crop was sold before you even planted it, and that you could openly and honestly develop your craft into a thriving small family owned farm, like we see in so many areas of agriculture these days. Imagine not having to worry about being robbed and killed for your crops, or worrying about “the man” coming and taking it all in the middle of trim season. Not a bad deal, right?

Sure….you will not get $1,500 a pound any more, but you can openly grow 10x as much weed and make up the difference in volume.

I know that there is a serious outlaw culture in the cannabis game who know nothing other than the wild world of the weed black market. As much fun as it is playing clandestine weed grower, the truth is that the world is changing and it is changing fast. You can either evolve and embrace the change and figure out where your outlaw ass fits into the equation; or you can try to deny what is happening and fight tooth and nail to preserve your black market unregulated off the grid status for a while longer until you have banked that million dollars that is never coming, or have ended up in prison for your efforts. That choice is yours to make.

But “Big Marijuana” is coming, and I for one could not be happier.

Why? Because Big Marijuana is a bold symbol of freedom to me. When there is a former Microsoft guy holding a press conference with the ex-President of Mexico to talk about how they are ready to drop $100 million bucks into the weed game, I do not see some brash take over of the industry…I see freedom. I see a willingness to put it on the table and take this thing to the next level, and I thank Shively and Fox for their courage to put it out there.

I might not buy their Diego Pellicer products, as my general inclination on any product, whether groceries or wine for my wife, is to buy from small batch producers. I try to hit small independent coffee shops, and my wife likes to buy as much of our food as she can from independent farmers at farmers markets. That is our choice, as it will be our choice in a globalized cannabis market also.

But that does not mean I do not see the value in the offerings of bis business and major corporations. Do you have a car? Chances are it was produced by a big business. Why? Because it is hard to make a car yourself…the same way it is hard to grow enough weed to feed the demand of an entire planet.

So before you go all nutso renegade to try and shut big business out of our industry, just think about the bigger picture and what freedom really means. Freedom means that businesses, large and small, will have the right to compete in the market. Freedom means choice, and consumers will decide if they want to accept, or reject, big business offerings for weed. We have the right to support or deny each of these companies individually as they come to be, and use our purchasing power to demand that they operate ethically and respect the cannabis culture. But we cannot reject freedom because we fear competition from big business. That is called prohibition.

So the next time you lace up your big business created shoes and get in your big business created car to drive to the big business grocery store to buy your big business created cereal, just remember that not all big business is evil….a lot of it is entirely necessary to meet the demands of goods and services that it takes to run a planet.

Take off the tin-foil hat….it is gonna be alright. I promise.

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