GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Marijuana has become big business in the United States. Recreational use is legal in nine states, including California, Nevada and Colorado. Pot shops are generating millions of dollars in tax revenues for those states.
This fall, a measure that could appear on the November ballot would make recreational pot use legal in Michigan. That could bring similar business to our state. Add to that, Michigan’s new effort to license medical marijuana dispensaries and the revenue it could bring to the state.
Bruce Barcott is the Deputy Editor for Leafly.com, one of the largest cannabis information sources online. Canna Communication brought Barcott to Grand Rapids to speak about Everyday Wisdom form an Extraordinary Industry: Ten Hard-Learned Business Lessons from the First Year of Legal Marijuana.
“I hadn’t touched cannabis since college; it wasn’t my thing. I was a late 40s father of two teenagers. I had a lot of concerns,” Barcott said.
That all changed after speaking to a friend.
“She said, she told me ‘look, nobody cares what you think about pot, this measure is about social justice,'” Barcott said.
On Nov. 6, 2012, the green rush began in Washington.
“I wondered, ‘Oh my God what have we just done,'” Barcott said.
He was riddled with fear.
“I had a lot of anxiety about teenagers having increased access to cannabis, that hasn’t happened. In fact, we’ve seen teen use hold steady and now start to decline in Washington state. I was worried about drugged drivers on the road, [but] that hasn’t happened. I was worried about having to smell cannabis all over the place in the sidewalks of Seattle and that hasn’t happened,” Barcott said.
The world as he knew it was changing.
“What we saw in Seattle and in Denver is that those two cities