Oakland Goes Corporate on Stoners
pic credit: Michael A. Jones via the Sacramento Bee
The guy above brings in $2 million a year in state taxes.
True story, I have a friend who interviewed for a new cannabis venture that another friend of hers called "corporate cannabis". To my dear friend, who fancies herself quite the stoner, an administrative position at this joint seemed a perfect fit. Except she couldn't get through the interview as her interviewer kept printing the same 5 pieces of paper over and over. On top of that she failed the "are you a functional smoker?" test by declining her interviewer's offer to smoke up right there.
I keep trying to convince my enthusiastic stoner friends that this November could change more than tax rules - meaning marijuana is a dollar sign to broke governments and you don't fuck with these guys' money. The consequences are worse than having to cross Mexican gangs through the border, ask Wesley Snipes.
Oakland's City Council on Tuesday approved an ordinance that could make it the first city in the state to permit industrial marijuana production, a path-breaking decision that could spur the commercialization of a crop largely grown in hidden gardens.
The plan would authorize four potentially enormous pot factories, but makes no provision for the hundreds of growers who now supply Oakland's four dispensaries, which sold $28 million in marijuana last year. The council, however, promised it would develop a plan for these growers before permits are awarded next year for the four large-scale marijuana operations.
"This is a monumental step forward," said Dale Gieringer, an Oakland resident and the longtime head of California NORML, which backs the legalization of marijuana. "It really means moving into the era of industrial-scale operations and Oakland means to do it big."
Small-time growers pleaded to Oakland's council to shoot down this plan to save their operations (that's $28 million in marijuana that OAKLAND ALREADY TAXES). No go. Head home, smoke one, and figure out a Plan B. There's always Colorado I guess.
I initially came out in support of Prop 19 (in order to get these stupid ass pot dealing nobodies out of California prisons, for one, not to mention the revenue component - the more cash they have, the less likely they are to ticket my car) but the negatives are huge. Instead of thinking in the short term like our state legislators are (we need money), we have to analyze the greater economic impact like hundreds of former small-time pot farmers suddenly out of work (and therefore also out of money to pay their massive PG&E bills). Then again, most of the MSM stories covering this think an ounce costs $375. So it's hard to put a number on what this would mean for state revenues (surprise) and even harder to weigh the downsides.
Even funnier, the experts keep discussing this "Mexican connection" as if any of us here are actually familiar with the stuff. With boutique weed right there every four steps on Venice Beach (at least last time I was there), where is this invisible market for really awful Mexican skunk? Are they actually factoring that in when they're coming up with the numbers?