Looking on the Bright Side of Marijuana Legalization

The legalization of marijuana has come a long way in the United States, so much so that it has become a promising source of investment. While 29 states have legalized medicinal marijuana, 9 states have attained legal recreational use with minimal regulations. Unfortunately, it continues to be illegal based on the federal law, which is why the emergence of Cronos Group, a Canadian cannabis company, on US Stock Exchange as a publicly traded commodity has received a considerable amount of attention from investors. Cronos Group has officially been placed on NASDAQ through the authorization provided by the Securities Exchange Commission as the one and only firm to welcome shareholders into the cannabis industry in the States.

Previously, American businessmen have shown apprehension towards the idea of purchasing shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange, though the only route to do so was through the Exchange-Traded Fund Industry. Even so, Mike Gorenstein, the CEO of Cronos Group, stated that the shares are largely dominated by American investors. Hence, the increased accessibility attributable to NASDAQ’s acceptance of the Cronos Group means that investors can now take part in a rapidly blooming industry that has the potential to reach a $50 billion benchmark in the United States by 2026 with ease, as declared by the investment bank Cowen & Co. Such a lucrative profit margin has led to a high demand from capitalists, nonetheless, Gorenstein has made a statement to deny any claims concerning the company’s plans to step into the states “from a production or sales standpoint until cannabis is federally legal.”

From an economic standpoint, more benefits can be expected following the impending legalization of marijuana at a federal level. For instance, the increased tax revenue will no doubt aid in the US economy, which will directly affect the global economy due to the dominance of the United States on global markets. This is evident by the figures presented by the legal sales of marijuana products in 2015, which summed up to a notable $996 million. Consequently, an equally impressive amount of $135 million returned as tax revenues. This fund could vastly improve things like the education system and militarism and so forth.

In addition, the legalization could function to demolish black market sales, since consumers no longer need to resort to illegal means in order to attain cannabis products. This, in turn, benefits the economy as there are fewer trades unaccounted for. With proper regulations, the safety of consumers can be further ensured as well as the monitoring of the circulation of capital in the market. All things considered, however, oppositions towards the matter often revolve around the health concerns of users. This is forthrightly justifiable by the medicinal benefits that marijuana have shown.

Debates regarding the status of marijuana as a form of drug due to its ability to alter one’s mind and perception for a short time period and may be dangerous when it involves activities such as driving or operating heavy machinery. Be that as it may, if a substance like alcohol, that equates to the same outcome, with more proven damage to a human’s body can be legally consumed, what is stopping marijuana from becoming the next available source of entertainment like alcohol? Similar regulations such as DUIs can also apply to users in the future for safety purposes. Much like tobacco, the demand for marijuana is price inelastic, which means that regardless of price changes, or presumably law changes, those who are determined to consume will continue to find a way to do so. As such, wouldn’t it be better for the government to set regulations to ensure safety while benefitting from the tax avenue?

Cannabis Company Purchases an Entire Town in Eastern CA

According to an Associated Press report published by Business Insider, cannabis company American Green, Inc. announced Thursday that it is in the process of purchasing the entire town of Nipton, CA, which spans 80 acres and is home to less than two dozen residents, with the intention of turning it into “an energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination.”

Nipton’s current owner, Roxanne Lang, said per the AP that the sale was still in escrow, but confirmed that American Green was the buyer. She did not disclose the price but did mention that the town was listed at $5 million when she and her husband, Gerald Freeman, put it on the market a year ago.

According to the AP, Nipton consists of an “Old West-style” hotel, a few houses, an RV park, and a coffee shop. Located just three miles west of the California-Nevada border, the town generates much of its revenue by selling California lottery tickets to Nevada residents, whose home state is one of six without a state-sponsored lottery.

American Green aims to turn Nipton into the epicenter of the cannabis tourism industry, creating an economy driven almost entirely by marijuana. The company will invite edibles manufacturers and other major players in the cannabis industry to relocate to Nipton, bringing jobs. American Green will also sell cannabis-infused water drawn from the town’s aquifer.

“We are excited to lead the charge for a true Green Rush,” David Gwyther, American Green’s president and CEO, said in a statement, per AP. “The cannabis revolution that’s going on here in the US has the power to completely revitalize communities in the same way gold did during the 19th century.”

A gold rush put Nipton on the map in the early 1900s, but by the time Freeman came upon the town in the 1950s, Nipton was all but deserted. Freeman bought it in 1985 and set to work revitalizing the hotel and creating a solar farm.

As part of its energy-independence initiative, American Green plans to expand the solar farm Freeman built. In fact, Lang told the AP after a laugh, Freeman would likely have supported American Green’s purchase of Nipton. Freeman, a libertarian, defended people’s right to smoke pot and would have been all for American Green’s efforts toward energy independence.

Lang has an interesting tagline to describe her town’s location: “I like to say it’s conveniently located in the middle of nowhere,” Lang said, per the AP. The town sits 60 miles south of Las Vegas and about 10 miles east of I-15, which connects Vegas and LA.

The remoteness of Nipton is exactly what Carl Caveness, a handyman at the town’s hotel, likes about the town. “We [Caveness and his wife] like the quiet and solitude,” the 53-year-old told the AP.

American Green’s announcement surprised Caveness, who worries that the town’s new owners may push him out of Nipton.

Today, most of the guests at the Hotel Nipton are “desert aficionados” and Old West fanatics, according to the AP. If American Green’s vision takes off, the hotel could become an unparalleled tourist destination.

American Green revolutionized the market with its ZaZZZ vending machines, which use “military grade biometrics” to verify consumers’ ages, thereby allowing the legal sale of age-restricted products like beer, cigarettes, and marijuana.  With its purchase of Nipton, the company is poised to see the cannabis industry through another revolutionary leap.

With 50,000 individual shareholders, American Green possesses “the largest shareholder base of any cannabis-related public company in the US,” according to its website. Shares increased 131% to $.0037—that’s 37/10,000 of a dollar or 37/100 of a cent—apiece on news of the Nipton acquisition. If the venture takes off, that decimal point may move quite a few places to the right.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

Apple and Google Approve Marijuana User’s “Tinder” App

An new app for “chill people” created by Todd Mitchem called High There! is receiving Apple and Google’s approval.

The app is being accessed worldwide on both the Apple store and Google Play connecting fellow cannabis users with each other. Forbes describes it as the “Tinder for marijuana users.”

Despite the controversy Mitchem somehow convinced the most powerful industries tech companies that it does not promote marijuana sales rather “If you are someone interested in the movement and want to meet nice, chill people, that’s what it’s about,” as founder Mitchem said.

The app was not always allowed globally, in fact, Apple and Google possessed the rule that it could only be downloaded in areas where marijuana was legal. They were convinced to support a global release.

High There! connects people by asking them what kind of marijuana they use and prefer.

You can chat with who you are connected with and invite friends to join in. The users swipe left or right to suggest a friendly or romantic interest, very similar to the social app Tinder

The App Store describe the app by writing, “You can use High Tere! to date, go out with new friends, or simply connect with people who are like you. As we say, ‘You’ve got more friends than you think.”

The app caught popularity in states like New York, California and Colorado. It had 41,000 downloads by its first six weeks and 6,000 active users. And on the apps biggest promised holiday promotion 4/20 celebrated by pot lovers all over the world they expected to gain many followers from the tourists who travel to Colorado where the product is legally celebrated. Yet this seemed to pose a problem when tourist who went back home to where the app is banned.

Mitchmen was not inspired to create the app because of his own use of cannabis. Rather back in 2009 his mom was diagnosed with cancer and her nurse suggested marijuana intake to help her on her second term of the sickness. He felt the controversy and many people’s negative opinions on marijuana stopped people from sharing their view on how the product can be a medicine. In attempts to change this he created his app.

High There does not support the illegal use or selling of marijuana. It deletes accounts that have pictures of the product as their profile photo. It also tells it users to suspend any users who are promoting doing anything illegal with marijuana. So this reasoning could be how Mitchem convinced Apple and Google to at least allow the app’s chat feature in all states and countries.

Netherlands, Spain, England and Australia all have a high demand for the app and are expected to attribute to the tens of thousand downloads during 4/20.

Mitchem is especially excited for the release in his home state Ohio where his mom used it to help her while she went through her ordeal of cancer.

Mitchem announces the growth of the app by the expansion his team and gaining partnerships with cannabis businesses who might offer the High There! community with discounts or special promotions.