Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Audacity of Dope: "Oakland ready to approve four marijuana factories"

I owe someone a Hat Tip on this, I don't read the Guardian all that often. If you had it first, drop us a line and we'll do an HT.

Yesterday we posted "Intellectual Property: Short-Lived Trademark Category for Marijuana Is Nipped in the Bud".
Should we find another story on the subject we will consider it a meme.
IN-Post UPDATE!! See below.

From the Grauniad (The paper was so noted for mis-spellings they decided to grab the domain name grauniad.co.uk. Go ahead, copy and paste, I'll wait ):
Mass production planned for cash-strapped Californian city as small growers complain about 'Mcdonalds-isation'

California could take another step towards confirming itself as a rival to Amsterdam today when Oakland city council votes on setting up and licensing four major marijuana factories.
Marijuana would be mass-produced, packaged and distributed for sale from the four centres. As well as cannabis for medical purposes, the factories would make items such as body oil and baked goods.
The cash-strapped council is keen to approve the plan in order to generate cash through permit fees and taxes. The plan was agreed in principle at a council meeting last week.

One of the council members backing the plan, Rebecca Kaplan, told National Public Radio: "Creating a regular, responsible, regulated permitting system to enable the creation and regulation of these industrial facilities is an important step in terms of public safety, providing jobs and revenue."

If Oakland goes ahead, it will be the first place in the US to license such premises....MORE
UPDATE: As I'm typing, this falls out of one of the feed-readers:

Cash Crop: A Serious Blog About a Serious Business

Over the past few months, whenever I've told people about my idea for a blog covering the business and political economy of marijuana, I've gotten one of two responses: They either said it was a great idea or they put on their best stoner accent and said something along the lines of "Ohhh, duuuuude. That sounds bitchin'."
I certainly don't blame the jokesters, since I like to make fun of stoners myself. But thankfully, every person I talked to—including those who made jokes—agreed that such a blog, presented professionally, would be interesting and highly useful.

But the different responses highlight what I think could be a major challenge—making people realize that neither this blog nor the subject it covers is a lark or a joke. Though I will always try to make it fun, Cash Crop is a serious blog about a serious business.

How serious? Marijuana is one of the top cash crops in the United States (by some measures it is the top cash crop). So why is there so little coverage of this business, as a business? Consider that California is veritably peppered with medical-marijuana facilities, as other states increasingly are. Or consider that marijuana sales generate about $15 billion of revenue a year in California alone—twice as much as the state's dairy industry.

Or anyway, that's one of the estimates. Which brings up another challenge for this blog—reliable statistics. There aren't many when it comes to marijuana. Indeed, facts in general tend to be elusive. For instance, pot proponents like to point out that there is a lack of reliable data on the health effects of pot smoking. And that's true, but many of them go on to conclude that, therefore, there are no bad health effects. What scant evidence there is indicates that pot might cause or contribute to any number of health problems—respiratory illness, psychiatric issues, maybe cancer....MORE
We got us a meme!