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Breaking: Forbes.com Just Launched a Marijuana Blog

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Her tagline – “I cover the legal marijuana industry and the entrepreneurs who build it”

Her name is Julie Weed, and she is the first contributor of the Forbes.com blog about “legal” marijuana.

She will be “exploring the world of the “Potrepreneur,” the “Canna-businessperson,” (for some reason the puns and wordplay are endless in this industry.) What services and products are they creating? Who are they hiring?

This is a very big indicator that big business in marijuana is just around the corner, however – the subject matter, “legal” marijuana industry is still a bit of an oxymoron. While marijuana laws have been talked about and teased every which way on a Federal level, the definition of what is LEGAL has not been clearly defined – and people in fully recreational states are breaking Federal Laws every day regarding marijuana. There is still so much grey area that exists between cannabis and actual legality, but the future looks very bright for marijuana legalization

This announcement from Forbes will be the first of many mainstream media outlets jumping on the marijuana business bandwagon.

Good Luck Julia – we look forward to your perspective on the marijuana Industry

Here is Julie Weed’s Initial Blog posting (text below)

When a bi-partisan bill comes to the floor of the US senate that would allow financial institutions to provide services to legal marijuana businesses, it’s a good time for Forbes to start covering the Cannabis Industry in earnest.

Twenty-three states already have laws legalizing marijuana in some form and the trend is fueling entrepreneurs’ ideas. The “Green Rush” includes marijuana growers, testers, and store owners. Others are creating pot delivery services, tourist activities, smokeless vaporizers, pot-infused edibles, and niche after niche of other marijuana–related paraphernalia and service. Creating this new industry from scratch, entrepreneurs hope to project a responsible image – more Napa Valley than back alley — so restrictive laws don’t make a comeback.

The opportunities accompanying legalized marijuana sales are especially attractive to entrepreneurs, according to Kevin Oliver, who is on the National Board of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and owns a cannabis farm north of Spokane Washington called Washington’s Finest Cannabis. Because laws vary by state, small local businesses can operate legally while large companies that operate in multiple states need to worry about running afoul of laws in non-legalized locations. Federal laws prohibiting banks from taking money associated with the sales of marijuana pose a roadblock locally, but even more so to multi-state companies. “Federal laws that prevent large companies like Philip Morris from getting into the industry are providing a place for small businesses to flourish,” he said.

Emerging industries favor creativity and nimbleness, and marijuana industry participants will need both of these attributes as laws and regulations continue to evolve. For example, while Washington State issued licenses to all growers who submitted a valid application in its initial process, there were so many applicants that the maximum acreage was reduced. Later on, the state increased its cap on total marijuana growing space from two million square feet for the state, to 8.5 million square feet. Advertising restrictions by companies like Apple AAPL +1.82{f1d755e3d686d84b3fba3fb9da3bc25d6eb08724c18385fd50146d58c836a6dd}Facebook and Google GOOGL +0.74{f1d755e3d686d84b3fba3fb9da3bc25d6eb08724c18385fd50146d58c836a6dd} make marketing online a game of cat-and-mouse with acceptable search terms.

While the direct growth and sales of marijuana are heavily regulated, associated businesses have very low barriers to entry or expansion. There are suddenly thousands of additional customers for legal products like rolling papers and pipes. Existing small businesses like t-shirt printers, agriculture suppliers, construction crews, and marketing firms have new businesses and customers to call on. Some of the new businesses can be segmented by neighborhood – another boon to hyper-local entrepreneurs like bakeries and spas. According to a new study by Public Health-Seattle & King County, 22 percent of adults in Seattle’s downtown neighborhood are taking advantage of legalization, while just one percent of residents of Mercer Island and East Renton reported getting high in the past 30 days. Others are segmented by age with high-end pot tours for baby-boomers who thought this day would never come.

Over the next weeks and months I will be exploring the world of the “Potrepreneur,” the “Canna-businessperson,” (for some reason the puns and wordplay are endless in this industry.) What services and products are they creating? Who are they hiring? What challenges and opportunities are they facing and how are their businesses different than other businesses? The legal marijuana industry is attracting executives with MBAs, technologists, stay-at-home parents and college students. Stoners are emerging from their basements, because it turns out they now have the expertise everybody is looking for.

You’ll hear from underage college entrepreneurs running a pot delivery service, a farmer watching prices rise and fall, and other case studies, many of which, like this industry, are in their infancy.  Read along and watch to see which of these businesses will blossom.

 

 

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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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