The times they are a-changin’ alright. As investors and businessmen alike filed in for a conference that would be a boring affair if it weren’t for the industry involved — the cannabis industry — it was very clear that the personnel involved are becoming a lot more varied than the hippies of yesteryear (though they were the pioneers). Even though “not a bong or a bud could be found on the expo floor,” this full-blown cannabis event was vital in terms of information and education exchanges. The tagline for this conference was “Where Commerce Meets a Revolution” which, according to Forbes, is an enticing buzzword for businessmen coming from the baby boomer generation.
“Hippies keep being right,” said Troy Dayton, CEO of Arcview Group, a marijuana investor network. “They were right about renewable energy. They were right about organic food. And they’re right about cannabis.” Hard to argue with that logic.
Barcelona’s cannabis scene doesn’t actually have any “businesses” per se. We’ll let the NYT explain:
Is Marijuana Uninsurable?
“You still have to have a certain tolerance for risk if you’re getting involved in the industry,” Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, explains to Businessweek. Even though Colorado and Washington have made marijuana legal for recreational use and many other states have or are adopting medical marijuana programs, the federal policy against cannabis prevents businesses from fully legitimizing themselves. For entrepreneurs willing to take the risk, there is a huge potential payoff, but that comes at a higher operating cost because of the legal environment.
For dispensaries that do indeed find a company willing to provide them with insurance, they usually have to pay at least two-and-a-half times more than the normal business because of the risks involved. Look for that to equalize as the business grows though.
NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) has been battling for nearly 50 years for the realization of marijuana legalization and the acceptable use of cannabis, and now they have announced a new addition to the cannabis industry that will move it one step closer to legitimacy: a “Better Business Bureau” of sorts to give a seal of approval to companies that are operating at the highest standards and follow a value system conducive to legalizing cannabis.
“We want to recognize the positive impact these marijuana businesses are having on their communities by highlighting those who go above and beyond the letter of the law in an effort to align their economic benefits alongside the interests of their customers and communities,” explained Sabrina Fendrick, NORML’s Director of Strategic Partnerships.