Not only are Colorado and Washington hiring cannabis-savvy men and women to help the government figure out the best ways to go about licensing and regulating marijuana sales by the end of the year, now the many different players in the cannabis industry are getting their chance to play a key role in, believe it or not, building and supporting their communities. In the open!
In the two states where marijuana has been legalized on a large scale, pot is quickly ascending the ranks from fringe activity to local business. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn addressed the National Cannabis Industry Association last week and explained to the up-and-coming businesspeople, “We like local, crafted, authentic. We want to know our products. We don’t want genetically modified organisms. We want fair trade,” reported The Oregonian.
The mayor is now considering such questions like, “Will it speak to local values, contribute to local causes, behave responsibly?”
The marijuana industry is finally one that is legitimate at least at the state level, and now questions change from should dispensary-owners be arrested to will cannabis clubs be positive additions to their local commercial communities or will they be valued much like strip clubs?
Important legal questions remain for many would-be cannabis business owners. For example, governments will of course want to tax marijuana, as that was one of the key selling points to the public before November. But some wonder if the newly taxed and legal product will be able to compete with potentially lower prices from the untaxed black market still dominating most of the United States.
Moreover, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) warns that “Federally supervised financial institutions don’t want to give marijuana distributors a bank account,” according to The Oregonian.
But the industry has had a political action committee since August, and one of the top goals is for it to be represented in Washington, D.C. Marijuana culture has been legalized, is ready to be accepted, and the gears are in place for us to look forward to a new mainstream.