The buzz beyond the buzz

Don’t Pimp the Weed

Published 17/02/2018 in Cannabis - 0 Comments

Down in Oakland, the boys said, Come tax the weed. Tax it big. Here’s Prop 19, that’s right, a little piece of the action for government.

Taxes = money. But cannabis has the capacity to not only generate money, but also to generate wealth, lighten the burden carried by our natural resources, and help people find their way out of the maze and haze of the pharmacy.

Tax revenue is a perk, not the reason. It’s not a devil’s trade.

There’s a difference between creating a cannabis industry infrastructure that produces tax revenue and creating an infrastructure that creates wealth that creates tax revenue.

Taxes are part of life in the legitimate market, yes. But please, don’t pimp the weed.


Published 17/02/2018 in Cannabis - 0 Comments

The opposition to medical marijuana is less an objection to pot itself than it is an objection to a perceived lifestyle and value system. The threat is that the perceived value system will become legitimized along with pot, a value system of moral laxness, impertinence, and too much freedom.

But this fear is unwarranted. It blinds people to the fact that there’s a culture war going on within the cannabis industry. There are those who care about a clean product and local markets and energy efficiency. There are those with dollar signs in their eyes. There are turf dogs like pharmaceutical companies or vice industry moguls. There are those who know a healthy cannabis economy lies in a broad and diverse market and there are those who want a stranglehold on the action.

Some think cannabis is moving into the mainstream. Some fear it will change or destroy the culture. But they’re wrong. The cannabis industry isn’t a virus. A virus feeds on its host. There’s no host to feed on. In fact, the best and brightest of the vampires and leeches of the mainstream economy are headed in this direction. There are brilliant people building the cannabis industry. There are also brilliant rats leaping from the sinking ship of our economy to the emerging cannabis economy hoping to stake a claim before the other rats catch on. Brilliant rats always get their piece. If they get too big of a piece, or if the brilliant builders get too crowded out, no worries, oh cannaphobic ones, nothing in your controlled universe will change. Same shit, new industry.

Cannabis is only a culture changer if it’s transformative economically. It’s not pot that’s going to change the culture. It’s the economics of the industry that will be the game changer.

Or not.

The Two Doctor Rule

Published 17/02/2018 in Cannabis - 0 Comments

The interim committee on Children, Families, Health, and Human Services will be introducing legislation during the 2011 legislative session that aims to serve as a regulatory overhaul of Montana’s medical marijuana industry. One provision in this bill is to require those who are seeking a medical marijuana referral for chronic pain to have two doctors sign off on the recommendation, one being a pain specialist. When one committee member remarked on the hardship this would present, others on the committee said, good, it should be hard.

The provision will increase the expense and difficulty of getting a referral for chronic pain. It will make it harder for people in chronic pain and it will make it harder for the perceived crowd of fakers out there getting their referrals under this provision. But making it harder and more expensive for fakers isn’t going to stop them. If someone wants the legal weed and it’s going to cost $600 now instead of $200, they’re either going to pony up the cash or they won’t and they will simply return to the black market. They’re the fakers in this example, remember? A sick person may not have the option to turn to the black market. It would be too wrong, or scary, or uncomfortable. Or they may not know where to go. But for the faker? No big deal. And the black market has been losing customers. They’ll be happy to have the fakers back.

Meanwhile, those in chronic pain are laying out more cash or are being prohibited access because the legislature wants to “solve the problem” of unworthy medical marijuana seekers.

A quick review of the results of this solution to the problem:

  • Some fakers may choose not to access the legitimate market
  • Black market activity and profits are increased by shifting the faker market back to them
  • Due to cost and lack of specialist availability, sick people will be prevented from accessing the legitimate market
  • Sick people will be forced into the black market for medicine
  • Sick people will go without medication that could shift their quality of life from incapacitation to full function
  • None of the fakers are stopped from consuming cannabis
  • The provision creates the necessity for assembly line type referral clinics. Limited access to doctors was the fertile ground for the very medical marijuana referral clinics that the legislature found objectionable. Well, here we go again.

 You call this addressing a problem? I’d hate to see these guys change a tire.

Jason Christ II

Published 17/02/2018 in Cannabis - 0 Comments

I don’t know Jason. Yes, I’ve spoken to him. Once on the phone and in passing at legislative hearings. He seems intelligent. He seems whacked. He seems like a cocky prick. He seems unsure of himself.

I agree with a lot of what he says.

And yet, sometimes the true things he says come out smarmy, like he’s trying to manipulate the truth instead of tell it.

To objectify him, politically and economically, he’s served a purpose. His “antics” – for lack of a better word – and his clinics were high visibility. The scene brought the press and the press, in turn, brought the scene. It didn’t look very, uh, medical. At the beginning, other cannabis businesses participated and set up their booths. Then the bad press backed people off. Bad practices backed off others. The backed-off tsk-tsked from the sideline, sincerely so. They also took in Jason’s clinic’s new medical marijuana enrollees and with them, built their gardens.

Patients build gardens. More patients, more plants.

Has anyone looked at the balance of supply and demand under this model? Does it make sense, six plants per patient? Does it produce more pot, or less pot, than what the legal market consumes? If more, you’re risking the black market dump. If less, you’re creating a need for a black market in order to meet legitimate market demands. However, you probably need to produce in excess of predictable demand in order to be able to address crop failures or other unpredictable circumstances that can negatively impact the legal supply.