Medical Marijuana Industry Hopefuls in Massachusetts Look For Advice

symposium recently held in downtown Boston sought to offer advice to those interested in getting into the medical cannabis industry in the state.

The event was organized by the National Cannabis Industry Association, and members of that group sought to educate future investors and operators in MA.

“It’s certainly not an easy business to be in,” said Aaron Smith, the executive director of the NCIA. “If somebody thinks they’re going to get into this and make a bunch of cash and get out without a lot of headaches, then they’re wrong and they need to get involved in something else potentially.

300px-Medical_THC“Regulation is good as long as it serves the intent of the voters, which is to ensure that patients have affordable, safe and legal access to medicine, through these licensed facilities,” Smith said of the draft regulations supposed to be released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health by the end of the month. “We welcome regulations, we welcome taxes, as long as it’s in line with similar industries. We obviously don’t want to be taxed out of existence, like any other business.”

And there are models to follow.

“I think that’s one of the ways where we can show and tell the community that we’re here to follow the rules 100 percent and be part of the community just like any other CVS or Walgreen’s or whatever,” said Imad Baggar, a real estate consultant who is considering opening a dispensary.

The stigma that surrounds cannabis is a very real part of doing business for dispensaries. For some, dispensaries are seen as “crime magnets” and deserved to be zoned like strip clubs with the same restrictions as sex offenders. But they should be seen as any other dispenser of medicine.

“You need to be fully aware of the possible repercussions that could happen as a result of you being involved in the industry,” Ean Seeb, who runs a dispensary in Denver and consults other dispensaries, cautioned. “On the other side, the number one reason to be involved is because, at least for us, we want to be on the right side of history.”

It’s a tough industry, but one with tremendous potential for growth as laws around the nation become more favorable to medical cannabis. And with cannabis having so many medical benefits and the ability to treat so many ailments, the main product itself will always be in great demand.

The U.S. economy has struggled for at least 5 years and is in desperate need of something to jump start job growth. Medical marijuana is poised to be that jump start industry.

– Joe Klare

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