Over this last year, BDS Analytics tracked how much the Cannabis Industry has been contributing the United States economy. The Cannabis Industry made 9 billion dollars in 2017 alone. Their predictions for 2018 rest around $11 billion and up to $21 billion in 2021, but it is important to note this study took place before California legalized recreational marijuana and those numbers could be significantly lower than the actual outcome. We like to reiterate that the Cannabis Industry is not all about making money, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t brought in a significant amount of capital over the past few years. This industry created over 100,000 jobs in 2017, and that number could reach over a quarter million by 2021. Many states allocate a significant portion of taxes earned through marijuana sales to go to public schools, opiate, and drug recovery programs, and drug education programs. States like Colorado now have some of the best schools and some of the lowest opiate drug overdoses in the nation. The Cannabis Industry is not only helping the economy but creating healthier and safer communities in legalized states.
Medical Marijuana Laws
Attorney David Kotler was our in-studio guest this week and had a long discussion on Cannabis Equity Programs around the United States as well as some of the ins and outs of owning and operating a marijuana business. David started the Medical Marijuana Business Law, LLC. in 2014. After medical marijuana did not pass the vote in Florida, he continued down his path of learning and working with those already licensed in the marijuana business. David took everything he learned from California and Colorado and other legalized states and brought it back to Florida. Now, he is the top attorney you want to go to if you are interested in starting your own marijuana business. Unfortunately, in the medical marijuana system put in place in the state of Florida makes it almost virtually impossible for an average person looking to break into the market a chance. Someone looking to grow and dispense marijuana in this has to have an extraordinary amount of capital to start the business. On top of that, there’s only an 8 percent chance of getting the license even if you have already put down the money to get everything in order in anticipation of applying.
The war on drugs has paid a heavy price at the expense of minorities. People of color have been forced to spend many years incarcerated for small possession of marijuana. Many in the Cannabis Industry would like to right this wrong and give people of color and women the opportunity to be players on the Cannabis field. Oakland, California has a Cannabis Equity Program that would allocate a certain number of marijuana licenses to either someone who was convicted of a marijuana charge or someone who has lived in a police beat that heavily profiled them. The conception sounds great, but the implementation of the program has given the already disadvantaged another opportunity to be taken advantage of again. In the state of Florida, not a single black man or woman owns a marijuana license. Cannabis is a booming business, and it is only fair and right that all people of race, ethnicity, and gender should be allowed a piece of the pie. David Kotler makes an excellent point that Florida needs to take a look at policies and legislation that has been put forth by other states and see what is working and what is not working, but some of Florida lawmakers don’t seem interested in looking at the bigger picture.
Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About the Benefits of Marijuana
Dr. Uma called in this episode to give us a foundation on how to bring up the topic of Cannabis with your doctor. The first step is the patient thinking about using Cannabis as medication. So we need to break the stigma surrounding Cannabis and allow patients to freely ask their doctors questions on the Endocannabinoid system without fear of being judged or labeled as a drug user. Many doctors are not educated on the Endocannabinoid system and aren’t able to provide much information or expertise when discussing Cannabis. Dr. Uma is adamant that Cannabis should be a first-time option for treating people with chronic pain and a variety of other ailments. She knows it is not for everyone, but she has seen first hand from recommending Cannabis to her patients and noticing their painkiller use decline as they have access to the benefits of marijuana. Education is the key here. More doctors need the training so they can then do what is best for the health of their patients. Most people without question trust their doctors to do right by them, and as we advocate for Cannabis legalization, we also support for Cannabis research and smart regulation so this plant can finally help the millions of people in pain and looking for some solace.
Thank you DR. Uma and David Kotler for coming on our show, and we hope you will be back soon!
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