Tag Archives: America

Nevada’s 21st Century Cannabis Rush


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Ten days ago, Nevada opened up their recreational cannabis dispensaries.  More than 40 dispensaries are open for business, with a few operating within the Las Vegas Strip.  Sin city just got a lot more sinful now that cannabis is legal to purchase.  Gambling, alcohol, and even prostitution were some sinful pleasures that made Las Vegas so amazing.

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So what has actually happened 10 days after legal sales received the green light?  Was cannabis a big hit that Nevada thought it would?  What’s the progress on the legal cannabis market so far?

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Well folks…it’s even BETTER than I anticipated.  Not only did the recreational market become successful, but Nevada is now dealing with a supply shortage.  You can’t make this up, people…Nevada is LITERALLY running out of supply!

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Image result for nevada recreational weed 2017

Image result for nevada recreational weed 2017

Within less than two weeks of opening, most dispensaries are already running out of cannabis.  Lines formed out of the door since Sunday morning, filled with anticipated customers waiting to get their hands on legal cannabis.  Even Essence Dispensary, which is a few feet away from the Las Vegas Strip, had customers lining up for HOURS after legal sales begin.    Businesses can’t keep up with the supply because cannabis is selling like hot cakes!  Even with the limited amount of communications strategies utilized for the cannabis industry, the demand for legal cannabis skyrocketed instantly.

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But wait, it gets even more ridiculous.  Nevada governor Brian Sandoval helped endorse the call for a “state of emergency”, allowing for more licensed distributors.  The large demand for cannabis has become so outrageous that even the Nevada governor is fast-tracking the approval process just to keep business flowing!

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Before we start freaking out about cannabis shortages in Nevada, let’s remember one thing…what’s happening is AMAZING right now.  Think about this for a second: Las Vegas, a booming city where a majority of their economy relies on their 40 million tourists each year, has people flocking for the cannabis.  Cannabis is bringing in more audiences, more income, and generating more positive buzz around the state of Nevada.

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Image result for Supply and Demand

Quantity goes along with the supply of the commodity (how much is actually spread out) while quality works with what the consumers are demanding (what audiences want with their commodity).  Customers have already been more than pleased with the demands, so businesses just have to work harder on generating more of the supply.  The hard part is over (raising awareness of cannabis dispensaries so that customers take action) and now we simply must produce more of the popular cannabis commodities.

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Nevada dealt with a bad PR nightmare with their High Times Cup disaster (read more on that nightmare here) and now they are shining with this glorious PR miracle!  Keep in mind that what you’re seeing is NOT a mirage – Nevada is really striking rich with cannabis.  I can safely say that Nevada truly hit the jackpot with this industry.

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This was fantastic news to hear!  I knew that the cannabis industry would hit big in Nevada and I’m shocked to hear about the supply shortage.  The state of Nevada will have to keep up with their supplies soon before customers migrate to other legal states (like Colorado or Oregon!).

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It’s been less than two weeks and the demand for legal cannabis skyrocketed in Nevada.  California is set to conduct legal sales in less than 6 months, so the competition is going to be FIERCE within the western region.  Nevada is already competing with Colorado, Oregon, and even Washington state in terms of the cannabis industry.  Throw California into the mix and it’s an all-out business war (we ARE talking about the ‘Wild Wild West’ part of America btw!).

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Who knows what will go down in the western region now that a majority of states provide recreational dispensaries.  One thing’s for certain – whatever occurs in the western region will echo over to the eastern region as well.  Massachusetts will open their shops in July 2018 and they’ll have to compete with Maine in the meantime.

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Now is the time for the cannabis industry to truly shine all across the country.

Personal Thoughts on the Cannabis Industry


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Ever since Question 4 passed in Massachusetts, I have been so excited about the cannabis industry.  It’s been such pleasure to learn, research, and even write about cannabis every week.  The ‘4/20’ category has been so popular on MakeSandcastlesNotWar now that it’s becoming more of a regulated business.  What I’m most enthusiastic about is the marketing, advertising, and PR plans that are in stores for the future!

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Eight months have passed since the election and cannabis enthusiasts have already been mapping out their business strategies.  Growers, budtenders, trimmers, managers, and other employees are riding the giant wave that’s hitting Massachusetts.  While most people are praising the 4/20-friendly businesses, there are still people that are saying ‘NO!’ to pot.

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Image result for cannabis industry

This country has been divided on many issues lately and recreational cannabis use is one of them.  Surprisingly enough, some people still believe cannabis is a “drug” and that legalizing it would peddle in more drugs that would increase the opioid epidemic (which has been REALLY bad in MA, but we’ll get to that in another post).  Cannabis’s reputation is still damaged, so people still aren’t receiving the right information about the product.

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Even though I’m feeling great now that I got this ever-expanding blog and job with the cannabis industry, I have gotten some…interesting comments, to say the least.  I’ve had people give me dirty looks, question my choices in life, and even walked away from me just to end the conversation.  Just last week, I had some friend’s parents give me dirty looks about where I work and stereotyped me as some lazy pothead (which is QUITE the opposite!). Quite frankly, I knew that this would happen ever since I dived deep into the cannabis industry.  There was no turning back now that I was riding that wave.  America is constantly changing and I was ready for the huge 4/20-friendly change hitting the streets of Boston.

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At this point, you’re probably asking me, “Jon, do you ever care about what people say or what they will be saying about you?”.  The answer to that question…ah HELL NAH!  Absolutely not!  As a matter of fact, I could honestly care LESS if people cut ties with me just because I’m working in the cannabis industry.

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Let me tell you something, folks – people are going to criticize you for ANY kind of work you do.  Whether you become a dancer at an exotic club or an accountant, someone will make some judging comment for some preposterous reason (either their ignorant or jealous!).  Those jackasses that start those judgement calls probably hate their jobs, so they waste their precious time belittling other people to make themselves better.

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If you absolutely LOVE what you…then KEEP DOING IT.  Don’t ever let some random judgement call throw you off of your game just because you want to satisfy someone.  One hard lesson I learned during my early 20s was that you can’t satisfy the whole goddamn world.  Someone is going to make judgement calls over choices such as your career path, colleges, your sexual orientation, where you choose to live, and other frivolous things that isn’t anyone’s business but yours.  People look over the other side of the fence to see if the grass is truly greener (SPOILER ALERT: It’s NOT that greener!).

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In the midst of the 21st century gold rush that is occurring in America, I wanted to provide you some insight on my thoughts about the cannabis industry.  I am SO excited about what’s to come in Boston and the lessons I learned in my PR classes will finally be paying off.  Speaking of college, I know that my PR professors would be so thrilled to hear about my plans for the future.  Life has been crazy since finishing school, but I’m really starting to see a clearer path as the days go one.

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America is constantly changing every year and many people are scared of those changes.  Some people are SO scared that they’ll become ignorant or clueless about what’s REALLY happening in this country.  We’ve accomplished so much in this beautiful world and there’s more surprises in store for us.

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To those people that make those judgement calls about the cannabis industry – WAKE UP.  Open your eyes and wake up soon because there’s a whole new world waiting for us in the future.  The cat has been out of the bag for YEARS and it’s not ever going back in.  We are about to see a unique commodity bring about sweeping changes around Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and other major cities.

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It’s time to accept what will be known as…MARIJUANAMERICA!

 

Cannabis Conflict Resolved!


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As you can tell from now, I’ve been keeping watch of the cannabis trends occurring within the legal states.  Since Colorado and Washington State voted for legal recreational use, monstrous changes have been sweeping the areas.  Less crime, increased profits for the states, decreased cannabis use, and a skyrocketing productivity rate were some of the major points for what would happen once the plant was legal.  The allies saw a brighter future ahead while the opponents questioned the very ideal world that could come.

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We’re at 2017 so…what’s the progress been so far?  Have we struck gold on the west coast again?  Is our supposed ‘billion-dollar crop’ helping out the states?  Are the people running mad in the streets of Denver?

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Well folks, I can only sum it up with one answer:  it’s NOT the end of the world.  As a matter of fact, cannabis has been BENEFICIAL to Colorado/Washington state for the past five years.  No one is running mad in Denver and all that tax money is used for many essential programs.

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Let’s get right to it – Colorado has been making BILLIONS off of cannabis since the start.  All that money has been fueled for education on cannabis, improving public/private schools, and even providing better care for the homeless (legal weed is ACTUALLY helping the homelessness crisis, OMG!).  It’s true that Colorado’s profits are increasing mostly from legal cannabis, but residents are smoking LESS cannabis.  Seriously guys, cannabis use is going down since it’s so convenient to get.  Purchasing cannabis is just the same as buying a Pepsi.

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But it’s not just the actual cannabis use decreasing – cigarette use has even been declining (e-cigarettes have become popular too, but it marks one of many factors for why people are smoking less cigarettes).  With cannabis use on the rise, it’s popularity is reshaping the market.  I, like many other citizens of America, prefer vaping because of the benefits it provides and its safer.  Vaping is what’s ‘in’ within the smoking community, but these communities are being toppled over by cannabis.  Cannabis is not only causing states to roll in the dough, but its shifting the trends.

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Going back to the financial benefits for a minute, there’s an interesting strategy that would play out with the cannabis industry.  Cannabis was made legal and the profits created from the industry work to SOLVE the complex problems rather than cause them to snowball.  In short, issues like teen use and homeless are actually getting BETTER.  It’s basically the ‘I’ll scratch your back you scratch mine’ concept – We get cannabis legalized then we’ll use the profits for damage control of the situation.  Colorado has gotten legal cannabis for five years and now they’re combating against any setbacks (which is GREAT PR work right here!).

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So yeah, these were just some informative talking points I had to get across about the deep-rooted solution for legal cannabis.  I’ve heard of the Reefer Madness propaganda, but I knew the what the hidden answer was; all I had to do was look through the looking glass.  Legal cannabis use CAN be a reality here in America and it can be a beautiful one indeed.  We shouldn’t have to be screaming ‘CANNAPOCALYPSE!’, but rather ‘alas, CANNATOPIA!’.  There is a room for cannabis in the social world and it’s not going to be knocked off the shelf anytime soon.

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In the end, folks…legal cannabis WILL become a new social concept sweeping the nation!

The U.S. Pot Pipeline


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Wednesday nights have been great for one thing – new episodes of Weediquette and Bong Appetite.  These new episodes’ air on Viceland at 10 PM.  They aired the new seasons on April 19th and the episodes have been amazing so far.  Weediquette explores some of the complex dilemmas we face even with cannabis legal on the rise.  Last night’s episode dived into what is known as ‘The Pot Pipeline’.

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On episode 3, Weediquette host Krishna Andavolu follows a shipment of weed going across the country.  This pipeline of pot ships from California and drives right into New York.  There are three different routes to the destination and some of them can be much riskier than others.  This episode showcased how the legalization of cannabis ushered this golden age of weed smuggling.

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Watching this episode made me conjure up an interesting problem within the cannabis industry.  A majority of weed comes from California and is shipped all across the nation.  Since New England isn’t the best climate for growing cannabis, employers rely on shipments coming in from California (California-grown, bitches!).  States like Massachusetts and Maine are setting up their legal cannabis business that will be starting in 2018.

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Why would people choose to ship weed all the way to the New England region?  For more profits, of course!  Cannabis prices in California are DOUBLED in places like New York City or Boston.  A pound of cannabis costs roughly $1,000-$2,000 in California whereas that same pound will cost $3,000-$4,000 in Massachusetts.  Cannabis is being transported to the East Coast because it costs higher than what people get on the West Coast.

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The journey itself is a difficult one.  One trip from Los Angeles to New York City is 2,791.9 miles long, taking 41 hours total to reach your destination.  Daring travelers are driving across the country with pounds (that’s right, POUNDS) of cannabis in their vehicle.  Their task is to drive pounds of cannabis to New York and come back to California for another shipment.

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Sounds easy-peasy, right?  WRONG!  While California is a legal state, many other states have heavy fines for carrying pounds of cannabis in your vehicle.  Many states, especially in the southern region, have conservative laws where fines could lead to decades in prison.  In Oklahoma, anyone caught with 25-1000 lbs can be incarcerated from 4 years to LIFE in prison and a hefty fine of $100,00.  Life in prison, in Oklahoma, for transporting cannabis to a dispensary in New England.  Speeding tickets are one thing, but getting busted for carrying pounds of cannabis inside your vehicle is a WHOLE other ballgame!

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As you can see, transporting California-grown cannabis to legal states in New England is not an easy task.  Dispensaries depend on these cannabis strains because their customers need them for their personal use (whether it is medically or for recreational use).  Some customers have tried cannabis in California that they really enjoyed and want to see these strains in their local dispensaries.  Cannabis that is grown in California is in high demand because it’s grown so well and there’s much more strains to choose from.

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With legalization making waves around America, the pot pipeline is more essential now than ever.  We need to keep the supply flowing to satisfy the ever-growing demand around New England.  As risky as this idea is, this pipeline is the key to bringing more flavors into other states.  If legalization is becoming more of a reality in this country, why are other states not following through?  Why hasn’t states like Oklahoma or Georgia waken up this secret gold mine that is flowing across the nation?

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Whatever the other states decide on, one thing’s for certain – many states are missing out on a golden opportunity.  The pot pipeline will continue to flow as many businesses take advantage of the legal cannabis market.  As shady as this idea is, sometimes we have to jump through a few hoops to get the cannabis industry up and running.  Hopefully the noise will quiet down once legalization makes even more waves in the near future.

For now, Bostonians like me can thank adventurous Californians for shipping that luscious green into Grassachusetts.