Remember when they said money doesn’t grow on trees? They lied. Medical marijuana is now the fastest growing industry in the United States, and the potential of industrial hemp really hasn’t even been tapped into yet. The future is bright green.
Are you ready to start a cannabusiness and get into the booming market? Now is the time, and Reset’s latest book, The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry is the ultimate guide on how to do it.
Written by cannabis industry insiders — Chris Conrad, author of numerous books on medical marijuana and a professor at Oaksterdamn University, and Jeremy Daw, a legal expert and Editor in Chief of TheLeafOnline — the book gives you a complete overview of every possible way to get involved in the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry, from growing and processing the herb to innovative strategies to profit from ancillary markets.
Along the way, these cannabis crusaders fill in newcomers and veterans alike with all the legal and scientific facts and figures you are going to need to navigate the waters of the “Green Rush.” From a date by date breakdown of cannabis prohibition and a concise history of the drug war to an in-depth examination of the herb’s medical and industrial uses and applications, The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry is a crash course designed to bring the first timer up to par and to fill in important gaps for the seasoned cannabis entrepreneur.
Reset caught up with Chris Conrad, the book’s co-author, to get a little more information on it and to find out more about what is happening right now in the fast moving world of the cannabis community.
Reset: Hi Chris, good work on the book. It packs a lot of info into a small space and is very easy to read even though it covers a lot of ground. Can you tell me who exactly the book is for and what exactly a “newbie” is?
Chris Conrad: A newbie is anyone who is learning new things, in this case it’s about cannabis and its products. Jeremy Daw and I set out to introduce society’s mainstream to the cannabis hemp plant’s value as we introduce cannabis back into the commercial mainstream. Our book looks at cannabis and the industry in depth but we don’t assume the reader knows anything about it. So it is a very clear and fresh take on an ancient plant.
Reset: Cannabis is an ancient plant that we have been utilizing for food, medicine and more for thousands of years, but right now things are changing faster than ever before with regards to both its legal status and its use. Why is this book important right now?
CC: People need to get ready for a change that is already well underway. In the past two decades more than 23 states have legalized medical marijuana. Dozens more have authorized hemp farming in some form. Four states have already legalized marijuana for people age 21 and up. California and a number of other states will vote on legalizing marijuana for adults this November. Uruguay has legalized it and Canada’s new government has promised to legalize cannabis as well. This book will bring the reader up to speed to benefit from decades of research and experience.
Reset: For those that have been involved in the cannabis industry for some time, what new information or valuable insights does this book bring to the table?
CC: The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry is a great way to brush up on topics and take a look at what else is going on aside from the reader’s own immediate experience. It’s full of examples, cautionary notes, and good advice in the form of quotes from people who are already in the industry, so even the most experienced cannabis aficionado will find precious gems of insight tucked amid handy reminders of things they should already know about.
Reset: What do you think that fastest growing areas of the cannabis industry are going to be, and why?
CC: On the marijuana and medical side, it will be boutique cultivation, seedline development, budtending and ancillary industries. Those are all areas that will rise quickly to support the initial demand as the counter culture moves over-the-counter. On the industrial hemp side, it will be hempseed products and housing materials because those are the fastest to produce and require less infrastructural technology.
Reset: Can you tell me quickly about which industries cannabis can replace, and how that can make the world a better place?
CC: As far as its effects, marijuana can reduce or replace stress reduction drugs like Prozac, analgesics like acetaminophen, and even oxycodone. Reducing dependence on pharmaceutical drugs is one social benefit. If the trend continues toward separating cannabis outlets from serving alcohol, there could be big benefits in terms of reducing the harmful effects of alcohol toxicity. Industrial hemp production would add jobs and more eco-friendly consumer goods worldwide.
Reset: How long do you think it is going to be before legalization at a federal level happens? And what would that mean for the industry as a whole?
CC: It could come very quickly; the President, Attorney General or DEA Director could do it in a matter of minutes, literally. They have the authority delegated to them by Congress. If the legislature does it, that could take another decade or so. But the atmosphere on Capitol Hill is improving on the cannabis issue, so it’s possible that it will be sooner than we think. Of course, the November election could be pivotal and the changing U.S. Supreme Court factors into it as well. So it’s an exciting time and things keep looking better.
Reset: How can we make sure that the cannabis industry stays open and viable for small businesses and independent players and does not become completely corporately controlled now that legalization is sweeping the land?
CC: The proposed ballot measure for California, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, is a good example of how that is being approached. Its licenses require state citizenship, gives priority to businesses that are already in operation, scales licensing fees to size of the operation, offers microbusiness opportunities that are vertically integrative, and holds off on issuance of large scale licenses for at least five years in order to allow the existing patient to patient collective system transform into a more regulated cottage industry that has to adapt to economy of scale, like any other business. Remember that the large-scale marijuana market was, until recently, controlled by the Mexican drug lords, so having some corporate interests is at least a step forward.
Reset: Can you tell a bit about the future of hemp in the United States, as much of the cannabis industry growth has been related to medical marijuana and we still haven’t seen hemp become a part of the daily lives of most Americans?
CC: I think the future is already being written, as we say in The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry, by the growing appetite for hemp, particularly in food products. The federal definition of marijuana has been altered to allow for its cultivation. Soon we will have the results of trial crops being grown in Kentucky and Colorado. As farmers there and elsewhere begin to expand their output, it will be important to have a support infrastructure to produce and market products
Reset: In your most utopian vision of the future, how much of our economy and daily lifestyle could be dependent on cannabis?
CC: As much as possible; but realistically 20 or 30 percent of the economy could be cannabis based if optimized, with the vast majority of that as hemp, not marijuana.
Reset: You are obviously enthusiastic about cannabis and its role in the future of the planet, how does getting involved in the cannabis industry allow someone live a better life while contributing to society, which is what we all ultimately want to do?
CC: We advocate in The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry that the best enjoyment from marijuana comes from responsible use and the best value for the industry is when cannabusinesses operate with ethical principles that benefit the consumer, their employees, their shareholders, and the greater good of the planet. The relative safeties of cannabis, its capacity to provide medicinal, industrial, and nutritional resources in a sustainable way, its rich history with human civilization, and its vast potential for the future make it a unique opportunity to do just that.
The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry is available now from bookstores and dispensaries, or online at Whitman.com.