10,000s of cannabis entrepreneurs and stakeholders, nurturing $ billions in new GREEN, taxable economic opportunity for America

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 12/27/2010 - 01:36.

Fisheye view of KushCon2 Marijuana Industry Convention in Denver, Colorado, December 17-19, 2010
Fisheye view of KushCon2 Marijuana Industry Convention in Denver, Colorado, December 17-19, 2010

December 17 - 19, 2010, the Colorado Convention Center hosted the world's largest marijuana lifestyles convention TO-DATE - KushCon2 - offering those active in the legal global marijuana industries a place to meet, collaborate, learn and grow their new-economy enterprises, together. In one convention hall, in one weekend, mingled 10,000s of cannabis entrepreneurs and their stakeholders - nurturing $ billions in new GREEN, taxable economic opportunity for America - and their truly Green Revolution is just taking off.

Meet America's Greenest Revolutionaries ever... Mom and Pop Mainstreet, Small Town, Middle America!

Founders of Catnip cannabis mint company, at KushCon2
Founders of Catnip cannabis mint company, at KushCon2

Reefer Mad propagandists are clearly wrong about the risks of pot for society... there were no drug-crazed orgies in the aisles of KushCon2. There were lots of grandparents.

In fact, the event was family-friendly and probably the most white-bread large convention I've ever seen... even Elvis conventions are more diverse.

This is not the first time I have observed the homogeneity of the cannabis industries - I attended the recent Hemp Industries Association conference, in San Francisco, and found that industry as monotone - there do not seem to be minority entrepreneurs participating in the organized legal marijuana or hemp economies in America at all. If they are, they are not participating in the major industry conventions and associations.


Glass water pipes on display for sale at KushCon2

Making me wonder, where's the color in the newest Green Revolution, quickly growing into $ billions in business activity, where legal... how do we encourage diversity among cannabis entrepreneurs in America, and make the minority dope-boys taxpayers, rather than tax burdens?

It looks like America still locks up all the minority entrepreneurs who must work in the underground, illegal marijuana economy, in black communities, as white people profit from developing legal, mainstreet pot industries in white communities... and are making a killing. Is marijuana business as usual in America, where the white man gets all the breaks, and has all the fun?

Scene from Reefer Madness on wikipedia
Scene from anti-Marijuana propaganda film Reefer Madness

I have no doubt all races are welcome in the legal cannabis industries, but one must move where MMJ is legal to participate. The states that have legalized medical marijuana are some of the whitest in America.

I believe marijuana policy is the greatest demonstration of racism and classism in America today. States where there are the largest black concentrations today still lock-up minority cannabis entrepreneurs for medical marijuana commerce, instead of allowing them to prosper in the cannabis economy. Historically, all states - including MMJ-legal states - have certainly locked-up far larger percentages of minorities than whites for marijuana-related crimes.

I wonder how diverse the MMJ industry will become in Michigan, New Jersey and especially DC, where black populations are significant - a subject for future investigations. For now, in Colorado, the MMJ industry is as white as an industry may be.

Cannabis bakers at Taste My Yummees booth at KushCom2 - yummy brownies
Cannabis bakers at Taste My Yummees booth at KushCom2 - yummy brownies

No matter what your race... if you want to feel like a "hayseed" loser, go to a medical marijuana convention and tell people you live in Ohio or any of the 35 backwater states where it is illegal for citizens to use medical marijuana, and for entrepreneurs to prosper from that.

These are people who would never live where we do - never give up their rights they fought so hard to secure - never sacrifice the prosperity and peace MMJ brings to them.

BREATHE UNITED Booth at KushCon2
BREATHE UNITED Booth at KushCon2

Time for smart Ohio hillbilly entrepreneurs to find green-gold and move to Beverly... Hills, that is... swimming pools... movie stars... legal MMJ economy... and specialized lawyers, insurance agents and even realtors to help you find the way.

Cannabis Industry Specialists Vincente Law Firm and Green Point Insurance at KushCon2
Cannabis Industry Specialists Vincente Law Firm and Green Point Insurance at KushCon2

One area where there is clearly diversity in the marijuana industries is with sex, as there were lots of women at KushCon2, fighting to succeed as "reefer" entrepreneurs... and fighting for their own rights to smoke pot for medical reasons, and not have social services take their children away. 

NORML Women's Alliance at KushCon2 in Denver Colorado 2010
NORML Women's Alliance at KushCon2 in Denver Colorado 2010

The KushCon world is a very beautiful place for those who may legally benefit from the business developments happening there. And there are diverse resources and services being created to support those participating in the marijuana economy, for providers and customers, and they were out in force at KushCon2.

KushCon2 vendors in this one booth include a testing lab, MMJ dispensary, and producer of MMJ granola
KushCon2 vendors in this one booth include a testing lab, MMJ dispensary, and producer of MMJ granola

For those visitors to KushCon2 who did not have a medical certificate for MMJ, but have medical conditions for which MMJ is prescribed, a good place to start the KushCon experience was with the MMJ Nurse, who could explain Colorado MMJ laws and arrange a medical evaluation on the spot, or schedule a private medical consultation at your convenience. Note, laws in Colorado and all but two other MMJ-legal states require MMJ customers to prove local residency to qualify for MMJ certification.

MMJ Nurse booth at KushCon2, Denver, Colorado 2010
MMJ Nurse booth at KushCon2, Denver, Colorado 2010

For those with appropriate medical conditions, who met state of Colorado guidelines, there were numerous healthcare providers on site at KushCon2 to provide consultations and issue MMJ certification. The most interesting such MMJ clinic was in an Airstream trailer, by MMD Medical Doctors - even physicians must be creative to stand-out in this flashy industry!

MMD Medical Doctors Airstream MMJ clinic at KushCon2, Denver, Colorado
MMD Medical Doctors Airstream MMJ clinic at KushCon2, Denver, Colorado

For those who had or received MMJ certificates, there were scores of MMJ dispensaries from Colorado exhibiting at KushCon2, offering a wide range of promotions to attract new customers, from marijuana give-aways (coupons, to be redeemed at their stores) to raffles for significant prizes - many offered on-site health services like massages to attract visitors to their booths - MMJ is highly competitive, in Colorado.

MMJ Provider Hatch Wellness providing back massages at KushCon2, Denver, Colorado
MMJ center Hatch Wellness providing back massages at KushCon2, Denver, Colorado

Legally selling MMJ may be highly profitable. As Colorado dispensaries are required to grow 70% of the marijuana they sell - making very low their costs for inventory (that they retail at $300-400/ounce), making profits very high - they can afford to give away free samples. Denver-area KushCon2 attendees shouldn't need to buy MMJ for months, for all the free offers they received.

KushCon2 booth of Broadway Wellness Marijuana Dispensary of Denver
KushCon2 booth of Broadway Wellness Marijuana Dispensary of Denver

If one went to all the dispensary booths at KushCon2 and took advantage of every offering and promotion - really hustled - one could have walked away with coupons for many ounces of free MMJ, worth $1,000s. You could get a free massage, and grow lights and other marijuana industry paraphanilia for free or deep discount, as well.

Glass blowing demonstration by High On The Hill MMJ Dispensary, at KushCon 2
Glass blowing demonstration by High On The Hill MMJ Dispensary, at KushCon 2

This was an opportunity for industry vendors to showcase and even sell their latest no-THC wares - there was no actual marijuana allowed anywhere at KushCon2... but there were talented local glass blowers demonstrating their techniques, and selling the art they created on the spot.

And there were cannabis commerce entrepreneurs of the non-THC-type at KushCon2, as well, including a hemp soap vendor and Agua Das, a hemp industry inventor interested in energy... and the founder of Hemp I Scream, which Agua says is the only dessert that is good for you.

Agua Das, founder and inventor of Hemp I Scream, at KushCon2
Agua Das, founder and inventor of Hemp I Scream, at KushCon2

His hemp milk frozen dessert sandwiches are certainly delicious, and far more refreshing and healthful than ice cream... and legal nationwide, I hope his distribution someday reaches Northeast Ohio. I won't be surprised - Agua is a face of the future of this industry... and what a friendly face.

KushCon Conference Area during session on Cannabis Business Development
KushCon2 Conference Area during session on Cannabis Business Development

And KushCon2 was focused on bringing together the leaders of the cannabis industry to share their knowledge and vision for growing the marijuana industries into the future. KushCon2 featured a conference area where a full three-day slate of speakers presented on topics ranging from growing marijuana to aspects of marijuana law.

A session I attended on the MMJ industry started with the moderator pointing out that MMJ is the only industry booming in the American economy today!

Patients Choice Marijuana Dispensary booth at KushCOn2
Patients Choice Marijuana Dispensary booth at KushCon2

Behind every legal MMJ product are many legal MMJ entrepreneurs, who are licensed by the state of Colorado, and pay taxes. As the MOST LOCALIZED INDUSTRY I KNOW, all MMJ and MMJ products sold in Colorado must use Colorado-grown MMJ, and be produced in Colorado - no paraquat-laced Mexican dirt weed sold there, or included in any products sold there. This industry represents the ultimate in good old home-town American agricultural quality, love and ingenuity.

Grassroots Estate Grown Organic Medical Marijuana booth at KushCon2
Grassroots Estate Grown Organic Medical Marijuana booth at KushCon2

This means MMJ patients get safe, pure,organic, LOCAL medicine, from local sources who pride themselves on the quality of their products. And many labs exhibited at KushCon2, competing for the business of growers who make a point to showcase the purity, potency and perfection of their MMJ with real data.

FSL Testing Booth at KushCon2 - Full Crop Certification for Health, Safety and Potency
FSL Testing Booth at KushCon2 - Full Crop Certification for Health, Safety and Potency

Most of the attendees and vendors at KushCon2 were certainly legal for MMJ - this was definitely an Industry convention - meaning much of the convention was probably on MMJ during KushCon... you don't need to smoke MMJ to get the medicinal benefits. Just eat some granola... have a mint... lotion your hands... have some pot pop... have a three-day, 50,000 person convention. Everything went smooth as silk... seems pot makes people highly pleasant and productive... and no drunks disrupting things here.

Dazys edibles and Colorado Bubbles Booth at KushCon2
Dazys edibles and Colorado Bubble Company Booth at KushCon2

No need to "smoke" anything to get medication from MMJ. KushCon was the best demonstration ever of the range of consumer products now available to MMJ customers - from lotions and ointments to beverages, crackers, salsa... every imaginable sweet and treat... as near as your local dispensary... made possible by cannabis extraction entrepreneurs like at Colorado Bubble Company, working with edibles entrepreneurs like at Dazys (shown sharing a booth at KushCon2 above)... and entrepreneurs like at Cannabis Magic, below...

Entrepreneurs behind Cannabis Magic medical marijuana oils 
Entrepreneurs behind Cannabis Magic medical marijuana oils

Cannabis Magic medical marijuana product display at KushCon2
Cannabis Magic medical marijuana oil and lotion product display at KushCon2

There are so many Colorado cannabis edibles companies in business now they are forming trade groups - about a dozen shared one row of booths at KushCon2, and promised a wide range of exceptional delights as a cooperative.

MMJ Food Products Companies at KushCon2
MMJ Food Products Companies at KushCon2

Collaboration of MMJ Food Products companies sharing booth space at KushCon2, and cooperating in operations in Colorado
Collaboration of MMJ Food Products companies sharing booth space at KushCon2, and cooperating in operations in Colorado

Working together allows these local food entrepreneurs to operate as efficiently as possible, as they seek to thrive in uncharted waters... it is not like today's MMJ entrepreneurs have a roadmap to follow. And many cannabis entrepreneurs make significant investments in their technology and product development to bring it to market - consider the investment to bring local cannabis soda pop to market...

MarQaha booth at KushCon2
MarQaha booth at KushCon2

Considering the huge investments and profits to be made in the MMJ industries, it is not surprising to see develop in cannabis technologies many innovations for agriculture in America - for example, sophisticated computerized cannabis growing systems...

Mr. Green Brains Computerized Indoor Growing Control System, at KushCon2
Mr. Green Brains Computerized Indoor Growing Control System, at KushCon2

And, complete MMJ grow systems built into semi trailers, for the ultimate in self-contained portability...

Semi trailer converted to self contained indoor growing system, optimized for medical marijuana
Semi trailer converted to self contained indoor growing system, optimized for medical marijuana

 ...perfect for the cannabis entrepreneur who wants to make an extra $ million a year in her backyard, or be first to market in any new states that open up to MMJ in the future...


Semi trailer converted to self contained indoor growing system, optimized for medical marijuana (inside view)

At the end of the growing cycle, there are machines you may lease or buy to separate the bud from the stems and leaves, to clean your product. Being bright green is not a low tech, low intelligence process, and it creates many jobs in varied fields of work.

MMJ Bud Processing Machine at KushCon2
MMJ Bud Processing Machine at KushCon2

The 1,000s of workers who are currently benefiting from the medical marijuana industries in Colorado range from government employees, in licensing, taxation and enforcement, to computer programmers and mechanical engineers, to chemists, beverage formulators, bakers, lawyers, trade workers, retailers, wholesalers and distributors, architects, interior decorators, marketing and advertising workers, newspaper and web publishing employees, doctors and nurses, administrators, and real-estate brokers.... to name a few fields of specialization. Oh, and there are damn good farmers. And, there is even already a celebrity chef...

Cannabis Chef Cook With Herb at KushCon2
Cannabis Chef Cook With A Herb at KushCon2

As an information technology consultant, I was especially interested by the many vendors of software for MMJ grow operations and commerce that have sprouted up, and I am making arrangements to evaluate them - I believe the intersection of this Green Revolution and social computing offers an especially exciting opportunity for the open source information systems world.

MJFreeway Cannabis Industry Software booth at KushCon2
MJFreeway Cannabis Industry Software booth at KushCon2

Other MMJ-related systems of note, presented at KushCon2, addressed surveillance, security, lighting, fertilizing and even growing containers - every booth had something interesting to demonstrate, share or offer.

But the biggest winners of this green revolution, which staged its latest victory last week in Denver, are the millions of suffering Americans living in marijuana-sane states who now may grow their own medicine well, legally, for free... and have legal access to a wealth of healthy, organic, local marijuana-based products and MMJ professionals to ease their pains.

And most of the attendees at KushCon2 - and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industries - are clearly MMJ patients, interested to learn more about their preferred health industry, and be active with that, as so many patients have had to fight for the right to this access to healthcare for many years... and access represents securing a civil right still denied most Americans.

Irvin Rosenfeld - longest surviving US Federal Marijuana patient, at KushCon2
Irvin Rosenfeld - longest surviving US Federal Marijuana patient, at KushCon2

The civil rights and social justice side of the MMJ issue stood front and center for everyone presenting at KushCon2 - from Irvin Rosenfeld, the longest surviving US Federal Marijuana patient, who has written a book and speaks about his struggles - to former New Mexico Governor and announced 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, who is an MMJ patient and is campaigning in favor of legalizing and taxing the cannabis economy in America - and who attended KushCon.

Gary Johnson for President Revolution booth at HempFest2
Gary Johnson for President Revolution booth at HempFest2, with supporters (Johnson not shown)

This very real Green Revolution is personal-liberty and civil-rights oriented - free-market and small-business-driven - a very real "Pot Party" movement of entrepreneurial, Independent, white-bread, Middle-American, middle-of-the-road, middle-class, baby-boomers-BOOMING, along with their families. It's a family affair.

If you are locked out of this Green Revolution, because you live in a pot-dry state, complain to your Governor or Congresspeople, but don't bother complaining to the pot entrepreneurs. They are too busy getting rich where pot is legal, and planning to expand nationwide into your home town, as they may.

Those living where marijuana remains a criminal, underground economy may only wish for such legal economic opportunity in their home towns... as the industry matures elsewhere.

Marijuana Policy Project MPP Booth at KushCon2 in Denver, Colorado 2010
Marijuana Policy Project MPP Booth at KushCon2 in Denver, Colorado 2010

Poor pot-injustice victims from "dry" states like Ohio are represented at places like KushCon by organizations like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), where pot professionals have been working for years to bring marijuana to medical patients, and have succeeded in 15 states and DC, to date. But they can't bring reform to states like Ohio unless citizens there demand reform. Until then, Ohioans may not benefit from the cannabis economy.

National Cannabis Industry Association booth at KushCon2, Denver, Colorado
National Cannabis Industry Association booth at KushCon2, Denver, Colorado

For entrepreneurs in LEGAL states, the businesses in the marijuana industries are maturing and coming together in trade groups, and they are lobbying in Washington and making appearances at industry conventions like KushCon - medical marijuana is truly evolving as big business before the participants' eyes... making it all the more exciting to be a participant, where legal.

Citizens in Colorado are legal to use and make money from cannabis, and the State of Colorado is very active - and was present at KushCon2 - to help entrepreneurs get into and succeed in the cannabis industries, which are now bringing significant economic benefit to the entire state, and viewed as important, rapidly emerging, competitive local-cum-global GREEN industries by those legally able to participate, citizens, and by Colorado leadership.

The more $-billions of "pro-reefer madness" in Colorado - and the more anti-reefer madness in backward places like Ohio - the better for the great state of Colorado!

State of Colorado Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division at KushCon2
State of Colorado Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division at KushCon2 

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wonder what EXTRA-TERRESTRIALs get high on - great job norm

realNEO Denver Bureau, at your service

realNEO Denver Bureau, at your service - the realNEO ET Bureau will check in as soon as they find a wifi connection to the internet

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Good related story - Juries are giving pot defendants a pass

Good related story in the Plain Dealer today - from the LA Times - Juries are giving pot defendants a pass - In cases involving small amounts of marijuana, some people aren't willing to uphold the law in court.

    By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times

    December 24, 2010, 4:39 p.m.
    Reporting from Seattle —
    It seemed a straightforward case: A man with a string of convictions and a reputation as a drug dealer was going on trial in Montana for distributing a small amount of marijuana found in his home — if only the court could find jurors willing to send someone to jail for selling a few marijuana buds.

    The problem began during jury selection last week in Missoula, when a potential juror said she would have a "real problem" convicting someone for selling such a small amount. But she would follow the law if she had to, she said.

    A woman behind her was adamant. "I can't do it," she said, prompting Judge Robert L. Deschamps III to excuse her. Another juror raised a hand, the judge recalled, "and said, 'I was convicted of marijuana possession a few years ago, and it ruined my life.' " Excused.

    "Then one of the people in the jury box said, 'Tell me, how much marijuana are we talking about? … If it was a pound or a truckload or something like that, OK, but I'm not going to convict someone of a sale with two or three buds,' " the judge said. "And at that point, four or five additional jurors spontaneously raised their hands and said, 'Me too.' "

    By that time, Deschamps knew he had a jury problem.

    "I was thinking, maybe I'll have to call a mistrial," he said. "We've got a lot of citizens obviously that are not willing to hold people accountable for sales in small amounts, or at least have some deep misgivings about it. And I think if I excuse a quarter or a third of a jury panel just to get people who are willing to convict, is that really a fair representation of the community? I mean, people are supposed to be tried by a jury of their peers."

Read the whole story at the LA Times - Juries are giving pot defendants a pass

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Potheads....

While I don't take very much interest in reading about marijuana....I think back to my grandfather being prescribed medical marijuana for his glaucoma in amazement to the contradictions of the "JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS" Campaign of the Reagan era that I grew up respecting...

I remember signing that pledge to just say no....

I remember the labels of "POTHEADS" and "DOPE HEADS" being used flagrantly regarding users of the "illegal" substances.

I remember taking regular, random, and very well "OBSERVED" pee tests with the military....and I recall those who waited hours to face the reality of getting put on lockdown with those "Random" tests because they knew that they were going to be hit with the condemning results that cost them their military careers, security clearances, and the respect of their peers.

I remember sidelining the lifelong users who worked hard at regular jobs to support their "HABIT"... I remember the giggling people who didn't take life seriously to degrees of seeming like wastes of society and I also remember the shock of learning about cops, lawyers, doctors, and other highly respectable professionals being users of marijuana. I remember the people jailed for manufacturing it, selling it, and using it.... In retrospect, none of those people were the typical criminals you'd expect them to be. Truthfully, the vast majority of them were simply decent folks who lived in the underground created by our government when they illegalized marijuana.

I am not a fond supporter of "drugs" in general. I am addicted to cigarrettes that kill me slowly. The sensations of withdrawls and nicotine fits are extreme and the smoker's cough also is surreal while the odor of being a smoker is chronically cited by non smokers. The long term health affects of smoking in general is not worth the costs.

It's 2010 and almost 2011... I believe that there are uncountable liars created by our government's passion to build a big business of legalities and government control that forces the public at large to live underground. Adults will make choices to use or not to use substances of all forms. With all of the education and public stigmas associated with these typical government controlled crops-I feel as though too many folks are criminalized and treated without regard. The politicians lie to us daily an they broker deals subjectively and without much public participation...

Prayerfully, the use of the internet, folks uniting their voices, and public participation will continue to reform our government. As for NEO---well, it looks like they will need a new stimulus in economic development to include their fresh farmers markets and possibly Mary Jane will be included too! Who knows? As for me, I doubt I will ever try it. I am like 7UP: Never had it; never will! Smiles...To each their own! May God Bless All...

P.S. I'd rather see a corrupt politician or public servant fried by the hands of judges than those arrested for marijuana crimes. Drugs don't kill half as much as politicians kill! 

corporate MJ

If Ohio ever gets around to legalizing MJ, it will be because corporations are behind the move to get it done.  Ohio is not a progressive state, and if MJ is made legal, for medical use, or recreational use, I doubt that we would see the small business farmers/growing surviving in the long term.

My proposal includes MMJ and Hemp, and will be corporate

My proposal for legalizing cannabis commerce in Ohio includes MMJ and Hemp, and will be corporate. My primary objective right now is signing on as many NEO and Ohio CEOs of as big of companies as possible saying they want HUGE VOLUMES of HEMP and THC feedstock for huge industrial processes, like making paint, car parts, clothes, biofuel and biomass to replace coal... not to mention for food and medicine. So 10,000,000s of acres of hemp and 10,000,000s of square feet of marijuana will be industrial, and that will make cannabis commerce happen for everyone else. That alone will create 100,000s of jobs in Ohio alone, and pay $100,000,000s in taxes, or more.

How cannabis commerce is made legal will be up to the voters, neighborhoods (zoning), cities (ordinances), states (legislation and enforcement) and Obama or the next President, depending on how things progress. In the case of hemp, it may be made legal by a few acts of federal departments of government - more on that to come.

The exciting thing about cannabis commerce is WE the People may help decide how cannabis commerce is made legal, taxed, regulated and enforced, as the laws, legislation and regulations where marijuana is now legal are a hodge-podge of sloppy local and state laws that will all be replaced by better models, at the local and state levels, and then replaced by national laws and regulations - DC will get its hooks in this, and subsidize it shortly.

Anything worth $ trillions to industry will attract industry. But there has never been a situation where $ trillions is being created out of the grass roots from thin smoke, as is the case with cannabis commerce in the 21st Century, so we have the opportunity to do this differently and right.

That is why I am focusing such attention on this - it may be done very right.

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OMG - the fisheye lens

OMG - the fisheye lens shots! Awesome, trippy, effective. Everyone should remember this is the sort of industry that's being repressed as we speak - there was one missing item at the cannabis convention . . . THE CANNABIS!!! How crazy is that? Also remember cannabis is presently outlawed in half of Colorado, and it's a medical marijuana state! Talk about throttling the golden goose. Here the goose is displayed in all its glorious plummage. This is what could be in your town. This is what should be in your town. This is a god-given right that should be demanded - not begged for. Cannabis commerce. It's for you. It's for me. It's for everyone.

Thanks Lory - can you forward this to Kush Magazine

Thanks Lory - can you forward this to Kush Magazine with my thanks.

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