SHOULD GRANDMA SMOKE POT?

 

Come see me “GRANDPA CLIFF” at “The HIGH TIMES CANNABIS CUP” in Denver, Colorado 4/20/2013 @ THE SILVER TOUR – BOOTH #E-45 next weekend and please bring your checkbook.

A small donation of $25 can get you started in this movement with your own “SILVER TOUR” commemorative pin to show your support! Your tax deductible contribution can be mailed to The Silver Tour 254 Lake Constance Dr West Palm Beach, Fl 33411 or you can show your support online at www.TheSilverTour.org

OUESTIONS OR COMMENTS??? 
CALL ME FOR FREE AT 877- 4 – 420 – 411 Cool

Maybe you have read his book Black Tuna Diaries, you know that the late great pitchman, Billy Mays, called him a “legend in the pitch business”. He was making infomercials, before they had a name. Millions have watched him tell his story in the hit movie, Square Grouper, on Show Time.

He’s the guy who spent thirty years in federal prison for marijuana and he’d like to see that it never happens to anyone else.

His name is ROBERT “BOBBY” PLATSHORN

Along with Walter J.Collins, one of America’s great award winning editor/producers, Bobby Platshorn has produced a half hour TV show titled, “Should Grandma Smoke Pot?”. It’s top entertainment, it’s shocking and it’s an education, with heavy emphasis on medical marijuana. Endorsements for medical cannabis from popular authorities like Dr Oz,Dr Sanjay GuptaCarl Sagan and Dr Andrew Weil sends a powerful message, especially to seniors. They are America’s most powerful voting block. When seniors talk, politicians listen.

Featured in the show are patients like Irv Rosenfeld who receives three hundred free marijuana cigarettes every month from the federal government to treat his tumors. The same government that says cannabis has no medical value.

Bobby is not producing some sort of documentary for film festivals, a few TV airings or a theater run that will be seen by only a few hundred people who are already supporters, That has been done ad nauseum without noticeable results. A dozen great award winning films about marijuana have been made and seen by almost no one. They end up languishing on YouTube for activists to watch over and over.

The Silver Tour will air this show hundreds of times on national and regional TV in thirty minute infomercial slots on major stations and networks. One network has cleared the show for airing and they love the concept. Two more networks have asked to see the finished show. It will be aired repeatedly in states that have legalization or medical marijuana bills on the ballot this year. Most important, viewers will actually learn from legal experts how the law can be changed and what to do to quickly end the madness of cannabis prohibition.

That’s where you come in. The show is finished and is all fully paid to date by contributors who are working for legalization. The Silver Tour needs your donations to buy time on cable networks in order to get the message out to the masses

With your support, this old pitchman will work his magic one more time to end marijuana prohibition in America. Even the Wall Street Journal, when they witnessed the magic of my live Silver Tour show, became believers and published a front page story. As did CNN. Click the link and see the magic for yourself.

As marijuana goes legit, investors rush in

 

Brendan Kennedy and Michael Blue are nice boys. Really. They’re bankers. Yale MBA classmates. Wearers of ties.

And, if luck and changing laws cooperate, they’ll be drug barons of a certain kind.

Kennedy, 40, and Blue, 34, are in the vanguard springing up to seize the market for legal marijuana, which is accelerating with last fall’s legalization of most personal pot consumption in Colorado and Washington state. They’re running a Seattle private-equity fund, Privateer Holdings, designed to buy up the smaller marijuana-related businesses to create one bigfat one.

After Washington and Colorado, the pot business is, if not mainstream, at least ready to push toward it. Advocates hope to legalize personal use in another 14 states by 2017, mostly among the 16 states besides Washington and Colorado where medical pot is legal (it’s also legal in Washington, D.C.). Industry estimates say today’s id=”mce_marker”.5 billion legal market could quadruple by 2018.

The public is trending toward legalization. In a Pew Research Center poll released Thursday, a majority of Americans (52%) favored legalization, the first time that threshold has been reached since polling on the issue began in 1969.

What’s striking is how conventional many of the business people’s backgrounds — and their plans — increasingly are. Instead of backing marijuana dispensaries, investors such as Privateer and San Francisco-based ArcView Group are rushing to find consulting firms, software companies and insurance agencies to serve the new market. Even Privateer’s strategy of merging small companies to form a big one is familiar: In traditional buyout shops, it’s called a “roll-up.”

Just don’t say that word to Kennedy, unless you want him to blush. Scratch the term “growing the business” — he catches that one in midsentence, correcting his wording to “expand.” And forget weed, ganja or pot. He uses the scientific term, cannabis. And the cannabis business is good, he says.

“We’re building the first all-inclusive name brand in the cannabis business,” Kennedy declares earnestly. “And it doesn’t include Bob Marley, or the Grateful Dead, or …”

“Or puns,” Blue says drolly. “There are so many.”

Jokes aside, the striking thing about the new gold rush in pot is how familiar it sounds to people used to the technology business.

Just like Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, start-up pot investors such as Kennedy, Blue and ArcView CEO Troy Dayton — whose company runs an angel-investor network matching companies with rich activists — talk about how big and fragmented the market is, and how the relative handful of legal businesses out there lack the leadership and tools they need to (sorry, Mr. Kennedy) grow the industry. That leaves the field open for people who can bring capital and experience, they say.

That part is true. The best way to estimate the potential size of the legal market for cannabis begins with the illegal market — which is somewhere north of id=”mce_marker”8 billion a year in pot Americans consume already, said Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron. The trade journal Medical Marijuana Business Daily says the id=”mce_marker”.5 billion legal market could reach $6 billion by 2018.

The challenges are myriad. Some are specific to selling a product still illegal in most states. But others are very ordinary, thanks partly to the business’ Bohemian roots.

“It’s not an industry loaded with operating talent,” said Josh Rosen, a former Credit Suisse stock analyst who runs Phoenix-based MC Advisors, which backs renewable-energy companies and is, well, experimenting with pot. “But the economics are very similar to other businesses. You can run a Harvard Business School analysis.”

It’s hard to say exactly how many people are trying to make pot a business like any other. About 2,000 legal dispensaries are open around the United States, estimates Kris Krane, managing director of Phoenix-based consulting firm 4Front Advisors. Privateer and Dayton’s group are the biggest publicly announced clusters of investors. There are even a handful of public companies: The most valuable, San Diego-based Medical Marijuana, is worth about $200 million.

Increasingly, the cultural overlap between the pot business and just plain business is occurring because they’re attracting the same people.

Adam Wiggins, a member of Dayton’s investor network, sold software-as-a-service company Heroku to Salesforce.com for $250 million. Alan Valdes, chairman of Seattle-based Diego Pellicer — which plans 24 upscale marijuana shops as the anchor of what he hopes will become a Harley-Davidson-like lifestyle brand — is director of stock-exchange-floor operations for DME Securities. He appears sometimes on CNBC, talking about stocks. Kennedy, meanwhile, came from Silicon Valley Bank.

“The industry has grown up a lot since we launched in 2011,” said Chris Walsh, editor of Medical Marijuana Business Daily. “It was the activists and hippies. We’re seeing more grownups over the past two years, and accelerating in the last six months.”

Others involved still have an eye on the politics of the industry, as well as the economics. Dayton, for example, was chief fundraiser for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project until 2010. Wiggins, who’s on MPP’s board, said they’re not mutually exclusive.

“Almost any software you can think of is made by someone who enjoys a toke,” he said.

BUT STILL DIFFERENT

Even so, selling pot is a federal crime — something that seeps into business conversations like smoke wafting under bedroom doors.

Many investors, including Privateer, plan to cut their risk by not buying and selling marijuana itself, Kennedy and Dayton said. MJ Freeway Software Solutions helps pot-dispensary owners document supply chains once considered evidence of conspiracies, while Krane advises them on how to adapt best practices on prosaic issues such as store design and human resources policy from top retailers like Old Navy.

Privateer’s first buy was Leafly, a Yelp-like website and mobile app that reviews 500-plus strains of cannabis, luring 2.3 million monthly visitors. The heavy traffic has allowed Leafly to begin selling ads. Several help pot entrepreneurs who can’t otherwise buy insurance because most insurers think their businesses are too risky, said Patrick McManamon, managing director of Cleveland agency Cannassure.

The people at the most legal risk, Kennedy and Blue reason, are marijuana dispensary owners, because the federal government could raid the stores and confiscate the investment. That stance may represent an abundance of caution: President Obama, whose memoir paints him as a regular pot smoker in his high school days, said in December that prosecutors have “bigger fish to fry” than recreational pot users.

“We’ve never seen a consulting firm become a target,” said Krane.

Citing a 2009 Department of Justice memo that said federal prosecutors shouldn’t use resources to pursue marijuana businesses clearly complying with state law, he said he should be safe if he only serves clients licensed in their home states. But a different DOJ memo in 2011 said large-scale pot growing, even for medical marijuana shops, is still illegal, even when federal law allows it. Attorney General Eric Holder told a Senate committee last month that the department is still working on its response to Colorado’s and Washington’s new laws.

For Amy Poinsett and Jessica Billingsley, who run Denver-based MJ Freeway, helping store owners keep track of valuable product from field through the cash register is a valid software market: They sell to about 400 legal stores in the 16 medical-marijuana states, making their 2-year-old company profitable.

Wiggins was impressed enough to agree to invest in MJ this year. Its software illustrates that pot markets will behave like other markets — they’ll get more capital-intensive, more concentrated and more professional, assuming legalization spreads, he said.

“I’m definitely a capitalist,” he says. “And the operations technology always tends to be where the biggest change comes.'”

STILL A GAMBLE

Nothing about the rapid growth of marijuana markets, or even the hands-off-the-pot business strategy, is an automatic winner.

Clearly, the feds could cripple the business. Even the strategy of profiting from marijuana without touching it could run afoul of money-laundering laws, if those services are bought with drug proceeds, said UCLA professor Mark A.R. Kleiman, who is advising Washington’s liquor board on regulating legal pot stores.

There’s also a good chance that a legal pot market won’t expand consumption as much as entrepreneurs think, Miron said. Colorado and California have already seen a sharp consolidation of medical-marijuana shops opened by people who thought the market would take off faster. A referendum on the ballot in Los Angeles in May would limit the number of medical-marijuana shops to 135 that opened by 2007. Careful regulation could also hurt a business that, like the alcohol industry, stands to make most of its profits from the few people who consume too much, Kleiman said.

“To the extent that there’s money to be made, a lot of it is already being made,” by illegal operations, Miron said. “The notion that there will be new wealth is exaggerated.”

That uncertainty doesn’t bother those lining up for a green rush.

The marijuana business is packed with people who aren’t much on conventional opinion, and pot smokers are used to legal risk, Rosen said.

Wiggins says the open-source software industry that made him rich “used to be a long-haired hippie business, too.” Risk means less competition, because the weak-kneed won’t jump in, Rosen said. “The extra layer of risk is where the opportunity comes from,” he notes.

And, yeah, for some entrepreneurs and investors, a joint’s lingering ability to shock is also part of the appeal.

Take Billingsley, MJ Freeway’s chief operating officer. The 35-year-old mom lives in red-state Georgia, works on one of the most boring pieces of the drug business imaginable and looks basically like any other small-business owner who has spent a dozen years doing information-technology consulting. Yet she gets her own little buzz from messing with neighbors’ heads, strategically doling out the news of what she does for a living.

“I used to be very circumspect about it,” she said, laughing. “Now when I get bored at a kids’ function, I just drop the bomb.”

Next up: Beginning reforms of federal marijuana laws

 

Five months of hand-wringing and worry over federal interference since Washington voters approved legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana now seems unwarranted. The federal Department of Justice appears willing – for the time being – to let our experiment in relaxed drug policy, and a similar measure in Colorado, go forward without legal or enforcement entanglements.

By restraining the drug hawks in the Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has given Congress time to reconsider federal laws that may no longer fit with modern social policies. This also has freed our state’s 12-member congressional delegation to focus on strategic issues, rather than get embroiled in political grandstanding.

Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, for example, who initially opposed Initiative 502 and later supported it, is working to change laws so that federally regulated banks and credit unions can provide services to state sanctioned growers, processors and retailers.

Without legitimate financial services, such as credit cards and business loans, the marijuana industry becomes a cash-only business, which only creates another set of serious problems.Heck sees his role on the exclusive House Financial Services Committee – a plum assignment for a first-year representative – as a more productive contribution to resolving the conflict between state and federal laws than lobbying the DOJ or inflaming public debate.

Heck has an ally in Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, who sits on the companion Senate Finance Committee. Together, they can remove conflicts for bankers and ensure banking access for the marijuana industry.

Flying under the radar of public controversy, the Washington delegation can work with colleagues to reclassify marijuana as something other than a Schedule 1 drug. Its current listing puts pot on par with heroin, and supposedly more dangerous than prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin, which is killing young and old at an alarming rate.

Moving forward slowly also gives state officials time to work out the regulatory system, including forming a realistic expectation of new revenue and shutting down those who get too far in front of public policy. That includes Frankies, the Olympia tavern trying to provide a public smoking venue contrary to the intent of the initiative.

Holder knows it will take time to alter the national course on marijuana policy, not the least of which is a complicated constitutional legal issue. The 10th Amendment gives states the right to prohibit or allow certain criminal activities. But the supremacy clause of Article VI of the Constitution allows federal law to trump state law.

But it’s unclear whether Initiative 502 preempts federal law. The Constitution does not require states to have a law – in this case, prohibiting marijuana – just because the federal government does.

Further, if American drug policy is inevitably headed toward change, the federal government would prefer states control the marijuana industry rather than removing all its prohibiting laws without any regulation whatsoever.

People on both extreme ends of the marijuana issue need to calm down and let the process set in motion by Initiative 502 run its course. We will know in due time whether we have chosen a fatally flawed path or one of insignificant consequence.