How Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Can Increase Home Values

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It’s no secret that medical and recreational marijuana have a striking amount consumer benefits, but here’s a surprising benefit you might not be aware of — increased home values! A recent study published in the academic journal Real Estate Economics concluded that homes within 0.1 miles of Denver’s 103 marijuana dispensaries saw increased home valuations by up to 8.4%. Based on average housing prices in those areas, the value was estimated to be $27,000 for a typical, single-family home.

Conducted by researchers from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Georgia, and California State University, these claims are based on real estate appreciation since January 1, 2014, when recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado.

What This Means For State Governments

Researchers and politicians from states that have enacted or are looking to pass marijuana legalization bills are now looking to factual, statistical evidence from cities like Denver on the benefits of having a local dispensary. For example, local San Francisco lawmakers have been making great strides to keep marijuana retailers in already zoned locations, despite the plea of the city’s Chamber of Commerce to do just the opposite.

Moussa Diop, a leading researcher of the study states, “The presence of retail marijuana establishments clearly had a short-term positive impact on nearby properties in Denver. This suggests that in addition to the sales and business taxes generated from the retail marijuana industry, municipalities may experience an increase in property taxes.”

Others suggest that it’s not only the prospect of growing and legally using marijuana that is causing the increased demand for housing but the job prospects associated in those legalized states.

“The legalization affects both the demand and the supply in the residential housing market,” says economics professor Cheng Cheng, an author on the study. “Areas where it’s legal are “going to attract more home buyers, including marijuana users as well as entrepreneurs and job seekers.”

What This Means for Politicians

Many of our current lawmakers (and some real estate investors with serious cash) have feigned concern over whether marijuana dispensaries will damage local property values. But, with these long-term, factual based statistics proving just the opposite, politicians and lobbyists alike have the opportunity to spin what constituents are already asking for into a positive for them — “I’m pushing for legalization because it’s good for my community.”

If you live close to a legal dispensary and have seen first hand the increase of your home valuation, we’d love to hear from you!

Originally posted at www.medicalmarijuana.com on October 25, 2017.
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The Top 3 Latest Online Smoking Shop Trends

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Online smoking shops started mushrooming in the past ten years on account of the growing smoking products and accessories demand in the market. This paved the way for the introduction of innovative smoking paraphernalia to the public that made smoking even more trendy, stylish, and interesting, just like the ones that can be seen at LuxeProductsUSA. Hence, despite discouragements from authorities the market just continued growing. Along with this growth and the stiff competition among different online smoking shops, various marketing strategies have emerged that have paved the way for some noticeable trends to surface. These trends are becoming prevalent among top online smoking shops for their effectiveness in driving sales up.

Here are some of the most interesting trends in today’s online smoking shops:

1. Online Visibility and Reach
Successful online smoking shops use the internet not only as a platform for selling but also as a tool for marketing. Like most online businesses, online smoking shops are starting to intensify cross- platform online promotions and visibility in various channels, with more focus on social media sites. While this is not actually surprising considering the nature of the shops being an online store, many out there do not maximize the potential due to either lack of technical online marketing knowledge, or the lack of people to handle the task.

2. Shops are Becoming Transparent
With the growing interest and demand for smoking products and accessories, as well as the increasing public acceptance of these shops as legitimate stores, they are now becoming open, honest, and transparent. Gone are the days of secrecy in fear of persecution. Today’s online smoking shops are a real business with the right certifications and permits to operate. That being said, shops also need to up the game by offering as many products available as possible and in greatly improving customer service.

3. Focus on Customer Service and Retention
With online shops offering somehow the same products and accessories, customer service and retention strategies serve as the tie breaker. Today’s online shops employ people that are technically adept when it comes to any product and accessories related to smoking. This is aside from common requirements in customer service like increased response time, the familiarity of product specifications, and providing customers with options that fit their needs and preferences. Aside from these, online smoking shops are also using various strategies to retain customers including the gathering of loyal customer’s online information, engaging with them in social media, and even the use of apps specifically created for that purpose.

As the online smoking market continues to grow and improved over time due to innovative products and significant changes in customer behavior, as well as the continuing popularity of online shopping, it is expected to see a more profound evolution on how online smoking shops conducts business sales and marketing. This professionalized shift also helps the industry gain a more desirable reputation while ensuring quality and excellence is maintained in products, accessories, and more importantly, customer service.

Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on October 19, 2017.

Where DOES the Money Go?: How to Deal with Money in the Marijuana Industry

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Imagine you’re running a small, local, grocery store. You have your customers, your employees, your suppliers, etc. Now, at the end of the day you balance your till, lock the doors behind you, and quite literally hide your earnings under your mattress. Sounds crazy right? This is the reality that marijuana dispensary owners face every day. Because banks are federally regulated and marijuana remains illegal under federal law, banks are weary of working with marijuana-related businesses. It’s estimated that 70% of dispensary owners do not have a bank account, leading all of them to run a completely cash business. So, exactly how do you run a business without a bank?

The Guidelines and the Worries
During 2014, the Obama administration issued guidelines allowing banks to serve legal, marijuana-related businesses. But, even with these guidelines in place, banks are choosing not to take the risk or front the money to be in compliance. Rob Rowe, Vice President and Associate Chief Counsel of Regulatory Compliance for the American Bankers Association says, “…banking a marijuana business is risky.”

Why Do Marijuana-Related Businesses Need Access To Banks?
Creating a brick-and-mortar startup has it’s roadblocks, even in the most favorable conditions. So, imagine starting a company with no business loans, no line of credit, no payroll system? That’s right, it’s all cash. And cash is not easy and, surprisingly, not cheap. On top of paying employees, vendors, and bills in cash, retaining highly-skilled bookkeepers and accountants, you still need a physical area to KEEP your cash.

With the having a cash-based business comes another problem — robberies. Dave Ross, Resident of MMJ America, runs eight successful stores that can sometimes bring in “hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash” a month. The risk of robbery with Dave and other marijuana business owners is a real issue. The Denver PD have logged over 200 burglaries at marijuana businesses. So, the question is, do you use your resources to hire security when that money can go toward improving your product?

Where Do The Taxes Go?
Though obtaining a bank account is a next to impossible task, states are more than willing to reap the tax benefits of legal marijuana sales. So, where does the money go? Then answer is, well, it’s complicated. For simplification purposes, let’s take a look at Colorado. In 2016, marijuana sales reached $1.3 Billion with $19.8 Million in tax revenue.

An easy breakdown for the most-talked about funds:

  • $40MIL goes to the BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today fund), going towards renovating and replacing public schools
  • Around $18 million went to the Department of Public Health and Environment to fund various programs, including $6.7 million to substance abuse prevention grants
  • $3MIL to the Department of Agriculture
  • $1MIL to the Attorney General’s office
  • $8.4MIL to the Department of Education for various programs, half of which going to Early Literacy Competitive Grant Program
  • $216,944 to the Governor’s Office, most of which funded the Office of Marijuana Coordination

Are you a legal marijuana business owner having banking issues. We’d love to get your take on the marijuana banking crisis.

Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on September 15, 2017.

Branding Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

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As more states are voting to legalize recreational marijuana, growers embarking on new businesses are looking into how to brand their products. Some are confused on where to being. If you’re lucky enough to be in one of the legalized states and are thinking of opening a dispensary yourself, we have some branding tips to get you started.

The Medical Side of Branding

For those that treat medical marijuana as part of their overall wellness, the branding and advertising of such strains are just as important as those who are using recreationally. Medical marijuana patients are looking for labeled, specific information. What symptoms does this strain help treat? What are the side effects? For many, this is as clinical as picking up any other prescription, so why not treat it as such.

Advertising and branding should focus more on the results and medicinal aspects of the strain. By law, medical dispensaries have a strict code regarding language. Staying away from terms like ‘bong’ and ‘pot’ help to destigmatize the drug, as well as make well-deserving patients feel less intimidated.

The Recreational Side of Branding

While the image of recreational marijuana is beginning to turn favorable, the imagery of marijuana can sometimes give way to the old stoner stereotype. The question is, in today’s world of advertising, how do you make a marijuana ad as appealing and modern as a liquor ad?

Think about what your consumer base might look like. For some, this will be their first experience with marijuana. Without the overhead of the medical community, language and imagery can be more lax and whimsical, but you should still focus on informing the consumer on how’s and why’s of your particular strains. Turn your knowledge and expertise into a learning experience. Customers new to marijuana, and even those with some experience will appreciate your forward thinking approach, turning new customers into returning customers.

Watch The Laws Carefully

The first thing to think about are your local laws. For example, the state of Colorado has banned all edibles resembling animals, or fun shapes. While those types of edibles may be less intimidating for new consumers, your business is not worth the risk. Consult local businesses and trusted local law enforcement for a review of the do’s and don’t of your area. As always, document everything!

Are you a legal supplier, medical or recreational? What have you found most helpful when it comes to marketing your product. We’d love to hear from you!

Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on August 30, 2017.

Can Medical Marijuana Kill Tumors?

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Yes, this title isn’t just a hypothetical. Earlier this week scientists discovered a link between medical marijuana and the elimination of cancerous tumors.

Reported at MensHealth.com ( in addition to many other outlets), these scientists found that using medical marijuana in conjunction with chemotherapy drugs actually INCREASED the effectiveness of those drugs.

According to research coming out of the University of London, THC and CBD both increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs. However, it turns out this only happens when the chemicals are ingested, not when they are smoked. Smoking, it seems, nullifies most of the benefits that these chemicals give you.

Why? Because ingesting these chemicals allows a much more concentrated dose to hit you, like swallowing a pill, rather than the slow diffusion of it through your lungs.

Now keep in mind, this is only one scientist’s research, and it will have to be backed up by further experiments in order to actually go forward and be useful. But still, it’s an exciting development for something that continues to surprise us with the sheer amount of uses it has for helping sick people in need.

We’ll be sure to keep following up on any more information that comes out of this.

 


Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on June 15, 2017.

Is Your Grandma Growing Pot?

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The New York Times ran one heck of a story this week covering the growing trend of grandparents getting into the medical marijuana industry.

How so? Well, it turns out (and likely to no surprise of people who work in the industry) medical marijuana tends to be very popular with seniors as a way of managing pain while cutting down on the amount of pills they have to take to manage their daily life. In fact, many of the elderly people interviewed for this story discussing how they had no idea how many people they knew were also using medical marijuana.

This can actually be a barrier for many senior citizens when it comes to adapting medical marijuana. If they’ve never used it before, they can still feel a great stigma attached to the drug that many younger people today simply don’t feel.

However, the article discusses that one of the main reasons older folks, particularly older women, are getting into actually growing pot is because it’s one of the few businesses without a bias against the elderly. If you grow great pot, people will buy it, regardless of the age of the person selling it, whereas most jobs tend to avoid hiring older workers to fill out their payrolls.

This shows a rarely talked about upside to the new industry. The fact is, when implemented properly, medical marijuana truly is an equal opportunity business across age, race, and gender. In letting the elderly take control of their own pain relief, as well as their own income and livelihoods, medical marijuana is benefitting them more than many pundits believed it would.

We highly recommend that you read the full article, as there’s no way we could do it justice in a short blog post. If you’ve been interested in getting deeper into the industry, hopefully this article convinces you to take the next step, no matter what your age is.

 


Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on May 29, 2017.

Medical Marijuana and Organ Transplants

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Could smoking medical marijuana take you off an organ transplant list? Yes.

Over the past few years, people who used medical marijuana and signed themselves up to be organ donors have found themselves removed from the lists. Even worse, people who were waiting on organs ALSO found themselves removed from the transplant list, due to the “added health risk” of medical marijuana. CNN has a larger article about it, and we wanted to discuss it here.

This has led to a bill in Maine that, if approved, would not allow hospitals to remove people of an organ transplant list solely based on medical marijuana use.

Obviously, we think this is a great initiative. Can you think of any other medical prescription that would REMOVE your ability to get an organ for taking? The fact that medical marijuana was singled out for this is insane, and the fact that people weren’t told that this would happen to them is almost worse.

Several other bills are going out in other states, such as Delaware, each aiming to combat this unfair categorization. They are raising issues around who gets to determine whether or not people are allowed transplants, and particularly, why different states have their own criteria for this. In several instances, if these patients opted to get surgery in a different state, they wouldn’t have been taken off the transplant list.

We don’t have a solution to this problem ( except for the obvious–supporting these bills) but we just wanted to bring to your attention some of the insidious ways people who use medical marijuana are still discriminated against.


Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on April 1, 2017.