I was telling my friend Jim before church today about the idea of the MedicalMarijuanaMart, and he told me that Vancouver, British Columbia, had realized $7.8 billion from those sorts of sales last year. Checking quickly on line, I found this:
Until recently, I believed tales of drug busts and the legalization debate were news stories, and didn't belong in a business magazine. Then a few experts attached numbers to the illegal business. Forestry added $10 billion to B.C.'s GDP in 2005, the construction industry another $7.9 billion and according to police sources, the marijuana trade claims third spot, boasting annual sales of $7.5 billion. Big business indeed
Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun columnistPublished: Friday, November 14, 2008
DUNCAN - Eric Nash can barely contain his excitement waiting to hear from Health Canada whether he can start growing marijuana for 250 patients.
That would be just the start. There are tens of thousands more who are ailing across the country clamouring for his organic B.C. bud.
"There is a great opportunity here for the government to collect significant tax revenue currently being lost to the street market," Nash, one of the best-known legal cannabis producers, enthused.
"With the current global financial crisis, this court ruling is certainly a bright light in dark economic times. We're just waiting for clarification. I figure our production would increase significantly from several pounds to 150 pounds or more immediately."
Now that the Federal Court of Appeal has struck down the government's monopoly on supplying medical marijuana, Nash believes commercial agricultural production of pot is around the corner and the sky's the limit.
His local company, Island Harvest, has cleared the industrial security regulatory hurdles so the company meets the standards set by Ottawa to grow the much-demonized plant.
"Our vision is to have a sustainable commercial agriculture operation," he said. "There's no reason we can't achieve that. Look at the number of compassion clubs, look at the number of people using marijuana to relieve a headache or pre-menstrual cramps!"
More and more research is supporting previous anecdotal evidence that cannabis may have a wide range of therapeutic uses from the treatment of Alzheimer's, depression, glaucoma, epilepsy and cancer to HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and ADD/ADHD. Its most ardent promoters say cannabis may be an addition to the modern pharmacopeia that rivals Aspirin in the breadth of its applications.
It doesn't take a genius to realize the potential profits are staggering….
…Regardless, Nash said, based on the four-per-cent model, that puts sales at more than $400 million annually.
More optimistic projections say the medical market, including ancillary products such as vaporizers and paraphernalia, could be as high as $20 billion.
Add it up: The government sells maybe $1 million a year worth of the pot produced in a Manitoba mine, and compassion clubs across the country sell about $10 million worth of cannabis products.
I guess somebody already has thought up the idea of the MedicalMarijuanaMart, but Clevelanders should not give up so soon—they’re always looking for those copycat things, and this is way less tired an idea than casinos.
Since Cleveland has that thing called “home rule,” it would seem a logical next step to set up as a sovereign city-state and begin to deal. They could also work it so they wouldn’t have to share with those greedy devils Lee and Ted at the state, erstwhile brokers of all money flowing back from the Federal level. With home rule, we’d probably be something like an emerging third-world country or a banana republic, but, what the heck, we’ve been practicing being that way for years.
I guess the WeedWalk/PotParade on PublicSquare may have been one of those inflection points.