Sunday, March 15, 2009

Can America's Pot Industry, if legalized at the federal level, help stimlulate the economy?


America's pot industry is thriving like never before and ranking in what is estimated to be billions of dollars nationwide. CNBC went "behind the scenes" to see how the industry works. The major focus was in the marijuana capital of the U.S., which is Northern California's "Emerald Triangle" or Mendocino County to be exact. In California, with 12 other states, marijuana is legal in most of its county for medical purposes, along with laws that state that it is not a crime to own small amounts of the drug. The website has a poll that asks whether marijuana should be decriminalized or not (97% yes, 3.3%no). It is not a scientific survey but it is interesting none the less.

This CNBC documentary reported by Trish Regan took us into a "one-stop-pot-shop." Here is where owner, Richard Lee, sells a wide menu of all sorts of marijuana products (things like brownies, plants, and a binder full of bagged budds). However, Lee pays about $500,000 in taxes to the federal government. If the government legalizes pot, they could make billions of dollars in tax revenues, which would ultimately effect the economy is a positive way, even if they only put one pot shop in every state.

Richard Lee's Coffeeshop Blue Sky pot shop is extraordinary. For example, as a "patient" walks in, they enter into a modern cool cafe with snacks and drinks for children or any one else would wait fo the patient. The patients proceed into hallway with numerous rooms (much like a regular doctor's office) to visit the shop's "bartender." LOL ... He will serve you as long as you have a doctor's note. After all, marijuana helps people with cancer, gluocoma, anerexia, nautiousness, the list goes on...

I did notice, however, their were moments, more often than not, that the documentary had a negative bias view on marijuana. Ms. Regan interviewed a couple that had moved into their "dreamhouse" nine years ago in Mendocino County and are getting ready to move out. They blame the marijuana business that surrounds them and their children.

The pot industry in Mendocino County accounts for 2/3 of their local economy, bringing in billions of dollars. Almost all the citizens in the county grow pot and sell it. This activity is legal at the state level, but not at the federal level.

The website offers slides, pictures, and more also has more videos.

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