Thursday, March 27, 2014

You think it's easy growing good weed?

To get anything worth smoking takes more than sticking some seeds into soil. And when you become a legitimate business, the job just becomes more difficult. McClatchy gives us a look at some of those difficulties.
Starting up any business is a challenge. Many fail. Now add the heavy regulations imposed on Colorado’s medical and recreational marijuana sellers and Washington’s new recreational industry.

“I think some of the people who initially had businesses, they didn’t (pass a background check) or they couldn’t put the money together or they couldn’t prove where the money was coming from,” said Michael Elliott, the executive director of a marijuana trade association in Colorado, the Marijuana Industry Group.

Take just one category of expense, video surveillance. It’s mandatory in both states. A typical Colorado grower and seller probably invested $20,000 to $30,000 in the startup costs of camera systems, Elliott said, with some spending 10 times that amount over the long term.

Add in secure entrances, occupational licensing, tracking the plants from birth to sale, he said. The point of all of it is to prevent the drug from leaking out to the illegal market. But all of it has costs, Elliott said. And then there’s the question of where to keep the money.

None of that has scared off hundreds of entrepreneurs from trying to strike gold...

In Colorado, workers in the industry must pass background checks to receive an occupational medical-marijuana license from the state, something Washington requires only for people running and financing the businesses. Colorado now has more than 6,500 active licenses.
In time the whole process will streamline and unify to reduce the burden and even the money problem will work itself out. And when all is said and done, it is still easier than prospecting in the hills with a pan and a mules worth of supplies.

I had thought the banks were working with these businesses but yesterday it was cash only.

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