“Whether it’s frozen yogurt or senior care, the more opportunity that presents itself in any given industry the more franchising becomes involved,” said Tom Portesy, CEO of MFV Expositions, producer of Franchise Expo West. “They seize a void and they come up with a great business model in an industry that’s growing. That’s where you find most of your success in franchised concepts.” Read More
Depending on where you live and your sociopolitical education, your view of the cannabis industry might be skewed. Many people still hold this antiquated view of a bunch of hemp wearing unkempt hippies sitting around in a circle stuffing marijuana into bags. Most of us know better. In states where marijuana is at least legal for medicinal use a strong technical infrastructure is being built around the cannabis business. From dispensary management software to mobile applications and cannabinoid research, the cannabis industry is getting a 2.0 upgrade.Read More
A new report finds that youth use rates and traffic fatalities have remained stable, marijuana arrests have dropped and revenue is flowing in.
When Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, opponents of the measures warned that ending the longstanding prohibition on weed would wreak havoc on society. The fiscal benefits associated with taxed and regulated marijuana wouldn’t be worthwhile, they said, because more children would end up using the drug and high drivers would terrorize the roadways.
Those dire predictions haven’t come true, according a new report by the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit that lobbies for progressive reform of drug laws. In fact, legalization has had a negligible effect on rates of youth marijuana use and traffic fatalities in Colorado and Washington ― and in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., which have all since approved marijuana for recreational use. At the same time, marijuana arrests have plummeted and total revenue from legal weed has surged past $500 million.
On TV and billboards, the fight against legalizing marijuana is about health, safe communities and our children’s future. But for Big Pharma and Big Tobacco – who fund these anti-marijuana efforts – it’s really about the bottom line. For years, large corporations and well-heeled lobbyists have blocked the legalization of marijuana for medical use or recreational use in order to protect their own profits.
Florida’s failed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for medical use illustrates how money, and not morals, motivates this issue.
This year, the anti-amendment group, Drug Free Florida, spent millions on ads to get Floridians to believe medical marijuana was harmful even if it has repeatedly been proven to have many health benefits. It is ironic that the group ran ads implying children would be unsafe if Florida’s initiative passed when the group’s founder set up a drug rehab program shuttered after several allegations of false imprisonment, abuse and torture of children.
America has a long and storied history with marijuana. Once grown by American colonists to make hemp rope, by 1970, it was classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic. Possession of it was — and is — a federal crime, despite the fact that in recent years 25 states have legalized medical marijuana and four states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use.
Author John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, traces the history of America’s laws and attitudes toward cannabis in his new book, Marijuana: A Short History. He tells Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies that the recent shift in public policy is, in part, a recognition of the drug’s medicinal value, which became apparent in San Francisco during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.