Budgetary emergencies have become such a common occurrence in Baton Rouge, it is no longer exigent. It’s almost regular order.
Which raises the question, whether Louisiana might this upcoming year, consider the possibilities of legalizing marijuana for commercial use? Even should it not outright legalize it, would it be feasible to engage in a study to discuss the pros and the cons?
Let’s consider the past. Louisiana was outright totally against gambling other than "playing the ponies". The idea that one day, Louisiana would engage in the lottery, video poker, casinos, riverboats, were just impossible to consider until Edwin Edwards promoted it as the Big Fix. However, once New Jersey and particularly Mississippi passed gambling legislation, the state jumped into the market. After Hurricane Katrina, one of the candidates for governor that ran (and lost) against Bobby Jindal was none other than John Georges, who made a pretty penny with video poker machines and mini-casinos. Perhaps one of the major reasons that he lost that election is because of his connection to the industry. Yet, Donald Trump is in the gambling business and Louisiana voters are one of his most ardent backers.
So, is Louisiana ready to get loaded?
According to Governing Magazine:
Seven states and the District of Columbia have adopted the most expansive laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Most recently, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada all passed measures in November legalizing recreational marijuana. California’s Prop. 64 measure allows adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants in their homes. Other tax and licensing provisions of the law will not take effect until January 2018.
Several legislatures in states recently passing legalization measures are debating regulatory proposals around the use and sale of marijuana. Massachusetts lawmakers were weighing bills earlier this year that would lower the amount residents can legally possess and place restrictions on retail stores.
A number of states have also decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Some medical marijuana laws are broader than others, with types of medical conditions that allow for treatment varying from state to state.
Louisiana is one of the states which has legalized medicinal marijuana for certain medical purposes.
Interestingly, the pot industry is fast-becoming mainstream. Nevada, which has legalized hemp for recreational use is now hosting the industry’s convention. Below is a promo Bayoubuzz has received today:
Which really might make one wonder when will legalization of recreational marijuana become a thing of the past in Louisiana? Not that I advocate smoking pot or even its legalization for I don’t. But, I do recognize the smell of marijuana and the business of hemp is blowing in the wind throughout the nation. Whether, for better or for worse, whether it is the legislative session 2018 or 2028, Louisiana will one day decide to tax it and cultivate an industry.
Reality dictates that Louisiana whether it is this legislative session, or another in the near future, begin the discussion process to determine all of the benefits and the many disadvantages of creating the local industry. Now that more states have experimented with the open sale and use, there is empirical and statistical data that should be considered.
BELOW, THE CANNIBAS TRADE SHOW PROMO
The Marijuana Business Factbook 2017 projects overall marijuana sales at the retail level in the U.S. will reach between $5.1- $6.1 billion in 2017. And that by 2021 that number could top $17 billion (which would represent a 300% increase from 2016).
The largest, oldest and most trusted B2B cannabis trade show, MJBizCon, is NEXT WEEK – more than 15,000 cannabis professionals, VCs, entrepreneurs, CEOs, leaders, etc will be in attendance.
Marijuana Business Daily’s Marijuana Business Conference & Expo (MJBizCon) will be held November 15-17, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Pre-Conference workshops will be held Tuesday, Nov 14.
More than 650 exhibitors ready for serious business discussions; 110+ top-notch speakers with 9 tracks that make up 45 sessions in total. [This is strictly a B2B event, not for patients or consumers.]
Highlights from this year’s MJBizCon also include:
- First time in the Las Vegas Convention Center – allowing greater space for a bigger, better MJBizCon
- The Business of Hemp Forum:An Exclusive pre-show workshop (Tues. Nov 14, 8am-5 pm)
- Minorities in Cannabis Luncheon: Networking lunch Wed, Nov 15 at 12:45 pm(Advance registration is required)
- Keynote Speaker George Blankenship:Former Executive, Tesla Motors, Apple Computer & Gap (Wed, Nov 15)
- The #MJBizCon Mixer:Industry Celebration & Benefit Event (Weds. Nov 15, 5-7PM)
Since 2012, Marijuana Business Daily’s annual B2B conference has been the biggest networking opportunity of the year. Attendees include a dynamic mixture of industry veterans, top newer firms, and emerging launches. All seven key industry sectors will be fully represented: dispensaries and rec retailers, wholesale growers, professional and financial services, infused product makers, private equity investors, ancillary products and tech, and testing labs.
LABI's Free Enterprise Awards honors Louisiana business role models--LABI, Stephen Waguespack, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
Cassandra Farrington is the Co-Founder and CEO of Marijuana Business Daily. Cassandra was previously a VP at Citigroup. Her entrepreneurial spirit helped her transition to this new field where she oversees business strategy and a team of journalists, technology pros, customer service specialists and financial experts to publish the range of B2B premium and free content sites.
Chris Walsh, Editorial VP oversees the industry trade publications Marijuana Business Daily and Marijuana Business Magazine. He also programs and keynotes the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo and leads the research team behind the company’s reports, including the Marijuana Business Factbook. Chris has more than a decade of professional experience as a business reporter and is the first journalist in the U.S. to cover the marijuana industry full-time.