In an effort to fix a huge mistake, Governor Jerry Brown signed emergency bill AB21 which strikes a paragraph from the marijuana regulations drawn up by the State Legislature in September. Local governments no longer need to have laws in effect by March 1 to protect their rights to license pot growers and either ban or allow cultivation. Too bad this was not done months ago as a lot of time and effort has gone into solving this problem in Santa Barbara County by the Planning Department and multiple commissions.
Coalinga Slows Down “Green Rush”
The Coalinga City Council took a bold step recently with plans to permit up to 10 dispensaries within their jurisdiction. Why would they do that? Well for starters they have a deep financial problem and will run out of money within three years. They see this as their opportunity to step in and create new business in their town. Instead of the NIMBY approach that will be followed by most towns, Coalinga might actually create a destination unique between Sacramento and LA on the I-5 corridor. At this time there seems to be no other solution for the city's financial issues.
Not so fast, said the longtime residents, who filled the council chambers a full hour before the recent City Council meeting to update these plans. The local pastors gave impassioned speeches on the evils of marijuana and the crime it will bring. The mayor and council reminded them that the community already has marijuana in plentiful supply on the black market with the supporting crime element. They feel that a legal marijuana industry will actually reduce crime and possibly make Coalinga a tourist destination unique along the heavily traveled I-5 corridor.
In the end the council kind of caved in and agreed to slow down and do more research. That’s too bad, because if Coalinga was going to cash in on the “Green Gold Rush,” the city needed to move fast. Do they really think they are the only city in this situation? Other more aggressive townships are sure to take the bite on this potential windfall.
Cannabis Industry in Bull Market
While the stock market enters a bear market, not so with the legal cannabis industry, which is growing rapidly, according to ArcView Market Research. On the strength of a 184 percent increase in adult sales, ArcView estimates 2015 total revenue to be $5.4 billion up from $4.6 billion in 2014. Clearly the industry is moving from the lower left to the upper right on the financial charts.
“Many in the business and financial sector have taken a ‘wait and see’ approach to the legal cannabis industry. The new data confirms what pioneer investors and entrepreneurs suspected. Legalization of cannabis is one of greatest business opportunities of our time and it’s still early enough to see huge growth,” said ArcView Group CEO Troy Dayton.
At a recent ArcView conference in downtown Los Angeles, I found a very upbeat mood from the investors gathered. Well-known luminaries addressed the crowd, including former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and Steve DeAngelo of Weed Wars fame. DeAngelo is the founder of the Harborside Health Center chain of dispensaries and is poised to be an industry titan. Founded in 2010, the ArcView Group is responsible for a number of groundbreaking ventures in the cannabis industry. The ArcView Investor Network includes more than 500 dues-paying, accredited investors who have put more than $64 million behind 103 companies.
A major issue for the legal cannabis industry is security. At the moment all transactions are in cash. Also you have very valuable product being transported from growers to dispensaries. Companies like Blue Line Protection Group have sprung up to handle the growing need for secure transport. Blue Line provides secured and licensed transportation services for high-value-asset industries, including the legal cannabis industry in Colorado. Blue Line transportation professionals are former military or law enforcement personnel, providing an extra measure of protection to marijuana businesses who need assurance that their products will make it safely to their destination in full compliance with state regulations.