How to Get Rich in the Medical Marijuana Business (or Go Broke Trying)

Inside a conference room at a Sheraton Hotel in Miami, Bob Calkin paces in front of a small stage, holding a microphone. The 50-year-old Los Angeles cannabis hustler with '80s rock-band hair flies around the United States, charging folks $299 a head to learn how to make a fortune dealing po — sorry, "dispensing medicine." Before 9 o'clock on a Saturday morning, 150 wannabe marijuana barons have filed in for a ten-hour crash course put on by Calkin's company, Cannabis Career Institute. He's just raked in $45,000 for a day's work.

Making it big in the weed biz is going to take more than converting Junior's bedroom into a greenhouse.

"If I was going to get a business license for my marijuana delivery service," he tells the audience suggestively, "I would not put 'marijuana delivery service' on the form. That is incriminating myself unnecessarily on a public document. I would jot down 'delivery of home health care products.' It's innocuous but honest."

See also: Slideshow: How to Become a Medical Marijuana Millionaire in Ten Easy Steps

His talk hints at the weird world of the medical marijuana biz. Pot is still illegal at the federal level but legal as medicine in 21 states and as a recreational drug in two. Meanwhile county, city, and town governments are all struggling to regulate an industry that has suddenly transformed from outlaw venture to respectable business.

This November, Florida could become the 22nd state to legalize medical marijuana if more than 60 percent of voters approve an amendment to the state constitution. The ballot language removes state criminal penalties for patients who have a "debilitating medical condition," for their physicians and caregivers, and for any "medical marijuana treatment center" that registers with the state. The amendment specifies that the health department will have six months to set up regulations — including a definition of how much pot is an "adequate supply" of marijuana per patient — and nine months to start issuing patient identification cards.

A "debilitating medical condition" is defined in the amendment to include HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease, Parkinson's disease, and "other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient."

Assuming the amendment passes — and there's a good chance it will, as polls are clocking support between 64 and 78 percent of the vote — anyone who starts a medical marijuana business could make an astronomical amount of money. In Colorado, sales of medical marijuana were $328 million last year. In California, $1 billion. A study by Florida's Department of Revenue estimates that sales here would be $137 million to $5.6 billion a year.

Wannabe entrepreneurs are salivating. Calkin sold out three seminars and plans eight more from now until Election Day.

At the Miami event March 15, dolled-up women in business suits and designer handbags sat next to scraggly Rasta dudes with long dreadlocks. Lawyers, doctors, and bank officers shared space with general contractors, handymen, and guys like Dennis Vallardis, a sunburnt lobster fisherman from Key Largo.

"I'm here to find out how I can make money and create jobs," Vallardis states.

Commercial real estate investor Mark Santiago, 42, says he'll open a medical marijuana business near Midtown Miami and claims to have an advantage — "decades of experience in the cultivation of high-end cannabis." He's already inked a deal with Calkin to be the institute's point man in South Florida. "I have eight figures in the bank," Santiago brags. "I'm ready to ramp up and run with the big dogs."

Then again, the whole anticipated pot boom could, in fact, be a bust. Much depends on how rules and regulations get structured at various levels of government. As history has shown in other states, there might be huge opportunities but also hurdles and pitfalls.

One thing is certain: Making it big in the weed biz is going to take more than converting Junior's bedroom into a greenhouse.

Step 1: Know your medical marijuana history.

Floridians only now have the chance to vote on medical marijuana because of one simple reason: money. It takes at least three to four Brink's trucks stuffed with Benjamin Franklins to successfully gather signatures of legitimate voters, place the measure on the ballot, and then get out the vote. California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 thanks to six billionaires who bankrolled the $2 million campaign. Twenty more states have since joined the party.

People United for Medical Marijuana, Florida's largest pro-pot organization, was on its third try in early 2013. The group had collected only 31,193 signatures and needed 555,618 more. It would be impossible to meet the goal without a major cash infusion.

But People United had public opinion on its side. It commissioned a poll of 600 registered voters, and the results turned out to be mind-boggling. Seven out of ten Floridians — Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — supported legalization.

Ben Pollara, campaign manager for People United, flipped open his Rolodex. A Miami-based government consultant who'd advised Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Pollara landed on John Morgan, a prominent Orlando-based trial lawyer who had bundled $672,000 for Obama's reelection.

"Ben showed me the poll results," Morgan says, his syrupy Kentucky drawl oozing through the phone line. "Seven out of ten. I like those odds."

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51 comments
andrew.preshovus
andrew.preshovus

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kush.hooker101

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rafimarchant

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weed.man4real

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420vendorshop

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50grams White Widow: $330 USD

50grams Hawaii-Skunk:$315 USD

50grams Hindu Kush: $355 USD

50grams Super Silver Haze:$365 USD

50grams OG Kush :$365 USD

50grams Super Skunk :$375 USD

50grams AK 47 :$325USD

50grams Blueberry :$345 USD

100grams White Widow: $540 USD

100grams Hawaii-Skunk:$515 USD

100grams Super Skunk:$525 USD

100grams Super Silver Haze:$565 USD

100grams OG Kush:$585 USD

100grams AK 47:$595 USD

1 pound ak47 is $1700

1 pound Hawaii skunk is $2150

1 pound Blueberry is $2200

1 pound super silver haze is $2100

1 pound white widow $2290

1 pound OG Kush $2300

420vendorshop
420vendorshop

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30grams OG Kush :$295 USD

30grams Super Skunk :$280 USD

30grams AK 47 :$285 USD

30grams Blueberry :$275 USD

50grams White Widow: $330 USD

50grams Hawaii-Skunk:$315 USD

50grams Hindu Kush: $355 USD

50grams Super Silver Haze:$365 USD

50grams OG Kush :$365 USD

50grams Super Skunk :$375 USD

50grams AK 47 :$325USD

50grams Blueberry :$345 USD

100grams White Widow: $540 USD

100grams Hawaii-Skunk:$515 USD

100grams Super Skunk:$525 USD

100grams Super Silver Haze:$565 USD

100grams OG Kush:$585 USD

100grams AK 47:$595 USD

1 pound ak47 is $1700

1 pound Hawaii skunk is $2150

1 pound Blueberry is $2200

1 pound super silver haze is $2100

1 pound white widow $2290

1 pound OG Kush $2300

all price included delivery charges

dlakatos
dlakatos

The NSA is a NAZI's WET DREAM. It has nothing to do with Democracy.

Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.There is no individual whose private calls, emails, postings, bank and credit card transactions, online activities, and even private conversations in the “privacy” of your home, cannot be edited to paint the portrait of an enemy of the state. 

dlakatos
dlakatos

Marijuana Cop's are nothing but Modern day Witch Hunters. You should see them dancing around burning pot,  Slapping each other on the azz, Congratulating each other like some kind of big hero's. The Drug Wars Is A racket. As everybody knows there's been a sharp increase of Heroin Use in America. The United Nations is using our soldiers to guard the Global 

Elites and to big to fail Banks Poppy Field in Afghan which supply 90% of Heroin to the world. They had a Bumper Crop this year. The CIA are the biggest pusher of drugs. They flown military plane loaded with Heroin back to America to sell. Asked any Vietnam vet they no the truth

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 -- DEA Raids on  Colorado Marijuana Dispensaries --


4-30-2014


Federal authorities raided multiple Denver medical marijuana businesses in dramatic fashion Wednesday — smashing doors, yanking out pot plants and cash, sawing safes open and driving the seized items away in U-Haul trucks.



###

Jay Udell
Jay Udell

REAL CREATIVE Miami New Times I SEEN THE SAME ARTICLE A GOOD 2-3 TIMES. YOU GUYS ARE KILLING THE INDUSTRY!!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Feds Indict Colorado Dispensary Owners and their Lawyer



Janice Poole
Janice Poole

God Bless Florida! First you have to vote yes :)

SedonaSherpa
SedonaSherpa

A grad student from UC Davis - who was working on a PHD in Agricultural Science - tested 17 samples of so-called medical marijuana in California and 100% of it was synthetic fakes.   It's like that Chilean Sea Bass you paid $40 dollars for at the Forge but actually, you had $9 Atlantic grouper.


The buds are grown to look like MJ and then it's dried and sprayed with the imitation THC - and sold to the sheep for $17 per gram.


The proof is there for all to see if you know the difference....The lab test proved it's a big scam right now.  That's why these Cats are selling books and going on the talk circuit.

sweetcookies3333
sweetcookies3333 topcommenter

the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13


you missed the $$$ train the last 20 years in cali.....sorry


"any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420

from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

Deaths by Alcohol and Tobacco: Millions
Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
Deaths by Guns: Millions
Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom
 
love and freedom forever

AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS! 33

Marti Paul
Marti Paul

Ralph Rk. Kinda a long read, but interesting.

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Unless you have something like Charlotte's Web that is a cure, the state already has someone else in mind. I don't doubt they steal everything that is remotely close to curing anything like Charlotte's Web is for themselves ?

Leo Con
Leo Con

Ramona Thomas weren't u just talking about this lol

Mark Santiago
Mark Santiago

Robert Calkin John Veit Doug Porter Joshua Gold ;)

mariomarchionni70
mariomarchionni70

@rafimarchant my name is Mario Marchionni , I want to talk to you about maybe partnering up in Flordia.....

you can email me mariomarchionni41@gmail.com


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Federal agents on Friday arrested individuals in connection with high-profile raids on Colorado medical marijuana businesses, and a lawyer for one of the raid targets confirmed his client has been indicted.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Jeff Dorschner said the arrests were carried out by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS Criminal Investigations and the Diplomatic Security Service.


"Who has been arrested and the nature of the charges are currently the subject of a sealed indictment, which won't be publicly available until Monday," Dorschner said




DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

On Nov. 21, agents executed search warrants on 14 businesses — including dispensaries and grow facilities — and two homes, carting away plants and seizing records. A search warrant identified 10 men as "target subjects" connected to the operation.


Sources told The Denver Post that the raids were chasing possible connections to Colombian drug cartels, which several of the targets have denied.


Prosecutors described Uribe's alleged role in the organization in a court filing in a weapons case of a Colombian national, Hector Diaz, arrested during the raids. Prosecutors called Uribe "head of a marijuana drug distribution organization" and among the targets of a long-term investigation into money laundering and other offenses.


...

...



SedonaSherpa
SedonaSherpa

@DonkeyHotay @SedonaSherpa In the fake bud biz?  You no trichome fraud!

 
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