Interterm Day Two
This morning we had the pleasure of having another small discussion, this time with Josiah Hesse (@josiahmhesse). He is currently a freelance reporter focusing on politics, comedy, marijuana and pop culture. Obviously a lot has changed since marijuana was legalized in Colorado. Josiah shared how the legalization within Colorado had effected the black market in other states around America.
In the afternoon we were fortunate enough to have a second speaker, Susannah Grossman from @womengrow. She spoke with us about how she came to be where she is today, which is always an interesting story in this industry. She gave a lot of helpful feedback, that I would not have found readily online, when we pitched our final project topics. While browising their website, womengrow.com, I found multiple articles that caught my eye. Including this article linked here.
Trip to the Post
The trip to the Denver Post was a very unique experience. We were greeted in the lobby by Ricardo Baca @bruvs who brought us upstairs to the Post’s news room. Walking in and seeing the massive Truman Show-esque display of monitors and computers was quite a sight. We got the chance to stand behind the sound booth during the Cannabist show, which provided an inside look at the process of making the show. I watched the man on my left switch between cameras and adjust knobs on his sound board while Ricardo hosted the show. The show has a nice mix of humor with relevant topics and news stories occuring in the cannabis world.
After we were lucky enough to stay in the studio with Ricardo and his guest. They spoke about the industry and current events. It was amazing to be getting this information first hand from some of the biggest authorities on the subject.
For my final project I will be uncovering the banking issues in the cannabis industry. What progress has been made and what still needs to happen? The Oregon house of representatives recently approved a marijuana banking reform bill. This bill relieves banks of all state criminal liability from handling funds of state regulated marijuana businesses.
This bill is a step in the right direction towards the cannabis industry and banks. Banking legislature on the federal level is the next step that needs to be taken in cannabis legalization.
For now the people of Colorado will still have to find ways to store their money, even resorting to burying it in extreme cases. Handling these large amounts of cash make dispensary owners potential targets for violence. They are left in a difficult place. Between tax code 208e making it virtually impossible to write off any expenditures, and banks not accepting marijuana money out of fear, dispensary owners are put in a tricky financial situation. Hopefully this bill can set off a chain reaction in states with regulated marijuana businesses.
“The marijuana market must walk a tricky line between being regulated enough to keep amateurs from dabbling in large-scale drug production and not being so strictly controlled as to discourage entrepreneurship.”
— Kyle Chayka