MJ News for 08/25/2014


Jul 25, 2008
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7 things you need to know about marijuana tourism

When you think about green travel, it usually means an eco-friendly resort or destination.

That’s not the case anymore as “green” has taken on a new meaning with the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington-- and the corresponding increase in tourism to both states. For the purpose of this story, I’ll focus on Colorado, but many tips cover both states.

Travelers looking for a ski vacation later this year may want to skip Utah or Tahoe, and head to Colorado instead. We are already seeing a direct spike in visitors tied exclusively to the legalization of marijuana, but the lure of legal marijuana could end up increasing tourism to all areas of the state.

Entrepreneurs are actively going after this market by packaging tours around the idea of getting high, but you can just as easily do it on your own. Land in Denver and the information desk will direct you to any one of the numerous outlets where you can legally purchase marijuana and enjoy a hazy break from the ordinary without worry of arrest.

Here are the seven things you need to consider before you head out on that stoner trip:

Know there is a limit: If you come from out of state you must be 21 years of age and hold a valid form of identification, most often a driver’s license or passport. If you have that covered, the limit for your purchase is a quarter of an ounce. For in-state residents it is a full ounce.

Find a quiet spot to light up: You cannot smoke in public or in most hotels so finding a legal spot to light up may be your biggest challenge. Ask your hotel front desk or concierge for smoking clubs, lounges or a safe spot to smoke. If you are out in the mountains, find some open space and go about your business. It may be illegal and land you a fine, but there is a good chance you won’t have any issues. Never smoke in your rental car since any intent to drive would lead to a DUI arrest, even if the car is not turned on.

Don’t overdo it: You can smoke it, but you can also eat it in packages resembling protein bars they sell at many health food stores. Instead of giving you a nutritional lift, they’ll send you to a very different place. Look at the equivalent dose you might get from any pot bar to avoid getting yourself in trouble. Some bars have 10 times the average dose you might get from smoking a joint, sending you into an uncomfortable state or even the hospital.

Don’t drive, period: Driving under the influence of pot can lead to arrest, even if you exhibit no indications of impairment. The express consent law in Colorado details that drivers automatically give consent to have their blood or breath tested if an officer has any probable cause to believe he or she is impaired.

Don’t leave the state with any marijuana: Enjoy your legal marijuana experience in Colorado or Washington, but leave whatever you don’t use in those states. If you bring back excess pot, it could result in a steep fine or, depending on the amount and any previous convictions, actual jail time.

Don’t even think about selling your excess stash: Are you ready to head back home even though you are still sitting on some great weed? Give it away, but don’t try to sell it. Trade it for a Rockies jersey or anything else. Asking for money in exchange of the drug is illegal and could result in fines or worse.

Look up state rules before heading out on your marijuana tour. These laws are subject to change, so make sure you have the latest information to make a safe, and legal, trip.


Jul 25, 2008
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Marijuana amendment would cancel Florida 'bong ban,' advocate says

TALLAHASSEE — Marijuana legalization advocates might have another reason to rejoice if Florida voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment allowing pot for medical use.

The initiative's passage also will pre-empt Florida's “bong ban,” which forbids the sale of pipes used to smoke the plant, said the head of the drive behind the amendment.

Ben Pollara, campaign manager of United for Care, pointed out that the amendment's definition of marijuana's “medical use” includes “related supplies.”

Anything now outlawed as drug paraphernalia, including “metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes,” may be legally sold if used to smoke marijuana to treat a medical condition, Pollara told the Tribune/Scripps Capital Bureau.

That could even include a “2-liter-type soda bottle,” which state legislators have banned if used with a controlled substance.

Jon Mills, the former University of Florida Levin College of Law dean who drafted the amendment's language, didn't take issue with Pollara's interpretation.

“Pragmatically, though, I expect the Legislature will go back and further define what is and what is not (illegal) paraphernalia,” said Mills, who also served as speaker of the Florida House in 1987-88.

“But certainly, if you were arrested for having drug paraphernalia and were using marijuana medically, you'd make the argument your device was included” in the amendment's definition, he added.

Also in agreement is Sandy D'Alemberte, former Florida State University president and law school dean and past American Bar Association president.

“If devices that best administer medical marijuana are on the list” of drug paraphernalia, “then on the face of it, it sounds like you'd have a pretty good argument you weren't breaking the law,” he said.

“Ultimately, of course, a court would have to decide,” added D'Alemberte, who also chaired the Florida Constitution Revision Commission in 1977-78.

A look at state law suggests Florida lawmakers have schooled themselves on the ways people get high.

For instance, they didn't just ban “roach clips,” they crafted a definition for them: “Objects used to hold burning material, such as a cannabis cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand.”

They have added “miniature cocaine spoons” and “carburetor pipes” as banned items.

Over the years, lawmakers even made “balloons” and “duct tape” illegal if used as drug paraphernalia.

Last year, the Legislature cracked down on bongs, the common name for pipes used to inhale marijuana smoke. State law previously allowed certain retailers to sell bongs if at least 75 percent of their sales came from tobacco products or they had no more than 25 percent of “certain drug paraphernalia” sales.

A bill offered by state Rep. Darryl Rouson, a St. Petersburg Democrat, made the sale of all marijuana pipes a first-degree misdemeanor. Second and subsequent violations rise to a third-degree felony.

Rouson, who has been open about his past struggles with drug addiction, carved out an exception for what he called “grandpa's pipe” — anything made from “briar, meerschaum, clay, or corn cob.”

Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill (HB 49) into law and it took effect last July.

Rouson said that the amendment, if passed, would further water down his measure.

“If legitimate medical users choose to use a banned device as a delivery system, then, yes, the amendment allows it,” he said.

Even now, Pollara questions the law's effectiveness.

“Every little convenience store in my (Miami) neighborhood sells bongs,” he said.

Leo Calzadilla, owner of Purple Haze Tobacco and Accessories, said the bong ban “hasn't affected me at all.” His website shows an array of pipes, in different colors and materials, for sale at his shops in St. Petersburg and Madeira Beach. The ban “hasn't changed the way I do business,” Calzadilla said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that only 10 people were charged under the state's bong ban in the past year.

The type of bong sold — or other paraphernalia, if any — wasn't specified in those arrests, FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said.


Jul 25, 2008
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Testing of Colorado marijuana for contaminants to begin this year

Months after ordering tests to determine the potency of Colorado-grown pot, state regulators are zeroing in on another concern: How sick one can get from a bad batch?

Sometime in the coming months, recreational marijuana producers must begin testing for bacteria, fungus, heavy metals and solvents before their products reach store shelves. Four labs in Colorado will test for levels of E. coli, salmonella and aspergillus, a fungus that can cause allergic reactions and lung infections. They'll also look for butane and other solvents used to refine marijuana into concentrated oils, as well as heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.

Businesses that fail to meet purity benchmarks cannot sell anything from that batch.

But opinions differ on how prevalent, and how dangerous, such substances are in marijuana sold in Colorado's burgeoning pot industry. The new requirements do not apply to pesticides, which aren't subject to across-the-board testing. Nor is medical marijuana regulated for contaminants. And it's unclear when the testing mandate will take effect.

Regulators had planned to begin mandatory tests Oct. 1, but now it is more likely to be "by the end of the year," said Lewis Koski, director of the state's Marijuana Enforcement Division. He wants to conduct at least two months of beta testing - essentially, testing of select businesses to ensure the process works.

"What we're trying to do here is very unique," Koski said. "And there isn't a set of best practices that exist in other jurisdictions that we can follow."

Owners and lab directors for two of the state's certified labs expressed marginal, if any, concern that they would find high and widespread levels of contaminants once mandatory testing begins.

"My feeling is that really, this is not as big of an issue as you might think," said Peter Perrone, laboratory director at Gobi Analytical, a certified lab that, as of mid-August, was finalizing its testing process for contaminants. "It's just a standard practice. It's a good practice.

"The fact that they're requiring it doesn't mean that there's a problem. It's basically to kind of prevent problems."

Sicknesses because of contaminated marijuana are not among the state's list of illnesses that must be reported to public health officials. As a result, statistics are rare or nonexistent for admissions to Colorado hospitals for marijuana-related illnesses, especially due to contaminants. Neither Memorial Hospital nor Penrose-St. Francis Health Services track admissions for people suffering the effects of contaminated pot.

Several patients at Denver Health's facilities have, despite having used marijuana in the past, shown up pale and sweaty with dilated pupils and complaints of nausea. The symptoms suggest a reaction to pesticides, said Dr. Christopher Colwell, Denver Health's director of emergency medicine.

But he could speak only anecdotally, because patients often are treated with medication and released, he said.

"If you want to smoke marijuana - and my suggestion would be you don't - but if you want to do that, and it's legal now, then be very clear as to where it's coming from," Colwell said.

Once mandatory testing begins, packaging must say whether a product has been tested for contaminants, just as it must for potency.

Tim Cullen, co-owner of Colorado Harvest Company, plans to use the same lab testing his products for potency when contaminant testing is mandated.

His business produces about 125 pounds of dry cannabis a month, and he said he tries to ensure his product is clean of foreign substances.

Mostly, that means being meticulous about his indoor growing climate, while making sure employees do not bring pests into the building. He has only one outbreak - a sudden surge of gnats - in three years.

Cullen has a particular interest in testing because he also produces marijuana oils. For that, he often purchases additional pot from other growers and he wants clean plants.

"We're excited about these new rules," Cullen said. "Because I really think it will give us the ability to look at test results and work with people who are really doing it right, with the consumer in mind."

Colorado marijuana and agriculture regulators are drafting regulations for pesticide use on marijuana plants, because pesticides regulations are typically set at the federal level. With marijuana still a federal illegal schedule I drug, no such guidance exists.

Compounding matters: While a pesticide might be safe for some foods, little is known about igniting and inhaling some pesticides - as would often be the case with marijuana.

"It is difficult because typically (pesticide) products are tested on crops that they want to be used on," said Mitch Yergert, director of the Colorado Department of Agriculture's division of plant industry. "And so there is a gap of information there."

The state has banned some pesticides, but it has yet to release a more-defined list of chemicals that growers can use.

Koski did not give a time frame for all mandatory testing, though he said some producers may be tested if complaints or suspicions of misuse arise.

Regulators in Washington, which also legalized recreational marijuana sales, mandated testing for some solvents, bacterial contaminants and potency when sales began in July, but that program remains in early stages.

"The irony is that medical marijuana patients often are not buying things nearly as clean as what you'd get in a recreational system," said Brian Smith, spokesman for the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which regulates marijuana. "And the reason why is that medical system is unregulated."


Jul 25, 2008
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Cigarettes Proven to Be More Dangerous Than Marijuana

Cigarettes have been proven to be more dangerous than marijuana. Marijuana may also be an alleged safer substitute for cigarette smoking because effects of marijuana are slim in detrimental use versus smoking cigarettes states an influx of studies. Cigarettes contain 40,000 chemicals, 43 of the additive chemicals are proven to cause cancer, they are carcinogenics.

Formaldehyde, tar, the highly addictive nicotine and arsenic can be traced in one cigarette. Cigarettes are also inflammatory to the lungs, teeth, gums and heart. Gum disease anywhere from gingivitis to severe periodontal disease leading to tooth loss are correlated to prolonged cigarette use with or without moderation.

Marijuana, on the other hand, contains natural additives such as THC, assorted cannabanoids and 100 terpenoids found in other plants such as pine trees. Terpenoids are aromatic and flavinoids are also a natural ingredient in various types of marijuana. Flavinoids have been linked to being antioxidant and anti inflammatory. Adverse chemicals to the body in marijuana have not yet been discovered.

Medical marijuana helps suppress glaucoma, may boost the immune system, eases epileptic seizures, hinders cancer cells and causes many other beneficial effects. Certain concentrations of the flavinoids, cannabinoids and THC exclusively in the plant can be beneficial given the disease at hand.

However downsides to marijuana have not yet been proven solid. Most of the downsides are implying association versus a definitive cause and a concrete correlation. Marijuana studies have suggested that gray matter density in the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens of the brain maybe a chain reaction to avid smokers. This means that the sensory in those areas creates a dependency on marijuana.

This was a subset study with only 20 users, aged 18 to 25 years, at different levels of usage and then non smokers within the same age range. The study may prevail due to MRI scanning the physical properties of the brain. Given such a tiny group, it is purely anecdotal.

Main stipulations of recreational marijuana is the perceptive effects. Hallucinations depending on the amount taken vary from person to person. Body weight can also determine the individuals’ adverse hallucinations.

Conclusive studies to the overall positive and negative effects of marijuana have yet to become beyond anecdotal. However, cigarettes tell a different tale of objective harm to the body. Proving that marijuana if legal in the state can be a better, less dangerous alternative to cigarettes.

Chances of lung cancer and cigarette smoking are in the 80 to 90 percent range for both men and women. Non smokers have a 20 to30 percent chance of getting lung cancer in their lifetime solely due to being around secondhand smokers. Almost 160,000 people die from smoking in a year.

Cigarette smoking can also lessen the chances of gum and bone loss repair surgeries and even preventive periodontal gum disease treatment. The chemicals in cigarettes serve as an inflammatory on gum tissue. Also, heart disease and the weakness of the lungs hinders efficient physical exercise.

While cohesive studies on cigarettes draw how they manifest deplorable health situations, marijuana has not had any objective and cohesive side effects. Shockingly enough, the bad side effects are predominately anecdotal depending on weight, the type of marijuana used and already existing health problems within the individual. Most studies are not even peer reviewed.

Additionally, cigarettes low in nicotine can still lead to health problems while sustaining addiction. The compare and contrast of marijuana versus cigarettes is circumstantial to scientific peer reviewed study with a large group of people, that way bias is not involved. More peer reviewed studies for cigarettes exists than for marijuana. That means possibly proving that marijuana may be less dangerous than cigarettes regardless of nicotine volumes.


Jul 25, 2008
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Workplaces to deal with medical marijuana issues

New York has workplace rules about accommodating nursing mothers to express breast milk for their babies. State lawmakers are considering a bill banning any workplace rules against religious-related attire or grooming like a hijab or beard.

And New York state employers soon need to figure out how to accommodate their employees using medical marijuana.

New York state's medical marijuana program was signed into law in July, though the creation of specific regulations covering and contracts for the program are expected to not be in place until possibly January 2016. With it, the Empire State became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana in some form.

And at any mid-sized or large employer, "There's inevitably going to be an employee who at some point reports they are using medical marijuana," said Joseph A. Carello, an associate at Nixon Peabody LLP's Rochester office who specializes in labor and employment law issues. "An employer is going to have to think ahead how they are going to deal with that. Now's a good time, while the law is still being rolled out, for employers to look at their employee handbooks, to think about their drug-free workplace policies ... given the new law and the possibility there might be someone in my workforce using what's in essence an illegal substance under federal law."

Carello discussed how the state's medical marijuana rules likely will affect workers and workplaces in an interview.

So many employers require drug testing and there can be disciplinary actions if you fail that. How does that jibe with the notion this is now a legal thing?

It's definitely going to be a tough issue that's probably going to be worked out in the courts a little bit. The law says anybody prescribed medical marijuana will be considered disabled under the Human Rights Law. Even if the laws of the state provide for legalization of marijuana, if you're a federal contractor or a driver governed by (U.S. Department of Transportation) regulations, it's OK to test an screen people out based on those positive test results.

But if I'm a telemarketer, for example, the rules are such that if I'm considered disabled, my employer can't hold drug test results against me?

It's going to be a little more complicated than that. If an employer decides, "We're going to have drug testing" ... the employer is going to have to sit and think about this. A concern or argument could be made a person sitting at a sedentary job, it's not really an issue if they're testing positive. The law permits employers to discipline and terminate if an employee is under the influence or impaired on the job. That's going to be another sticky area — how do you figure that out in the context of marijuana? In an alcohol test, you can have a sliding scale that says you're legally drunk or not. But what does it mean to be impaired by marijuana in New York state? As far as I know, you can either test positive or negative and you may have done it a couple days ago or you may have done it five minutes ago in the bathroom. That may be part of what (the state Department of Health) fleshes out.

How have other states handled this?

Most of those states have not put anything into their laws about employment protection. There have been cases that have come down in other states where an employee tested positive for marijuana ... but those states don't have any specific protections so a lot of courts have said this person violated federal law and that's a basis to terminate them. New York is a little different because there's a carveout right in the law — if you're a patient who's prescribed the drug, you're considered disabled. It'll be interesting to see how courts interpret it. There are a few states very similar to New York but I don't think there have been cases that have worked through the court yet.

Since there's a distinction between taking on your own time vs. where it impairs work, employers won't have to accommodate this activity at the workplace? There won't have to be a lounge for medical marijuana use?

I don't think so. The impairment provision in the law makes it pretty clear, an employer can say you can't come to work under the influence. There won't be a vapor lounge, or a need to be.

In what other ways might an employer have to accommodate the needs of a disabled person?

I don't think the law intends anything new. Employers have a duty to accommodate a disability as long as it doesn't result in undue hardship. Accommodating the use of marijuana probably won't be as important as accommodating the underlying condition. If someone has a condition that keeps them out of work for this reason or that reason, an employer is going to have to look at, like a lot of employers do, can we accommodate that? Can we deal with this person being in and out of work? Can we deal with this person having a modified work station? Frankly, a lot of folks who have these types of conditions (for which they are prescribed medical marijuana) aren't going to be able to participate in the workforce. To the extent they do, employers have to deal with it.

Medical marijuana 101

Under New York's medical marijuana law, a patient will get certified by a health-care provider, such as a doctor, and then register with the state Health Department. Then certain organizations like hospitals or community health centers will be the dispensaries.

The ranks of those who qualify will be narrow by design. People only are eligible if they suffer from such serious conditions as cancer, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease or Huntington's disease. And the treatment won't be smokable pot, just oils, edibles, tinctures or extracts.


Jul 25, 2008
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Family faces DHS home inspection for using cannabis oil to treat ill son

THE government is demanding to inspect the home of a Victorian couple who have been treating their sick son with cannabis oil.

Child protection workers have told Rhett Wallace and Cassie Batten they will be knocking on their door in coming days so the parents can prove they are worthy of keeping their son.

It comes as State Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews today declared he would try to make medicinal marijuana legal if he is elected premier in November.

“They’ll see that we are a normal Australian family raising our children - we’re a loving family,” Mr Wallace said.

He said many families were in the same position and should not be treated “like criminals” for doing something they believed would help ease a child’s pain and keep them alive.

Ms Batten called on Premier Denis Napthine to join the fight to have medicinal marijuana legalised: “Stand up and start looking at law changes - be a part of the solution because this problem won’t go away”.

“It’s about time that he came to the party and listened to the people of Victoria if he wants to be re-elected,” she said.

Inspectors from the Department of Human Services are likely to ask to see where the children sleep, what they eat and whether Cooper, 3, is in danger because of the drug his parents have been adding to his milk to treat his illnesses, which include epilepsy and brain damage.

The parents will not reveal whether they have continued to give their son the cannabis treatment since police raided their home last month.

“A lot of people query that there’s no long-term research into what we’re doing. But without what we’re doing, there is no long-term for Cooper,” Mr Wallace said.

The couple and their lawyer were last week forced to defend their parenting abilities to a panel of four child protection workers.

Mr Wallace said the meeting had gone “better than expected” but there had been no guarantee Cooper would not be placed on a DHS protective order.

“They were pretty straightforward around what we were being investigated for,” he said.

“We put to them the other things we do for Cooper, rather than just simply focusing on the cannabis issue.

“Hopefully they’ll come do the home visit and that will be it.”

Mr Wallace said the family had been given some “peace of mind” but was “still in limbo” while an investigation was under way.

“When you do have child protection involved you do have to assume the worst and never forget that potentially they could remove Cooper at any time,” he said.

The parents said Mr Andrews’ commitment was a “stepping stone” to legalising cannabis for medical use.

“I hope it starts the ball rolling with other politicians now, I’m open to them all coming on board,” Mr Wallace said.

“Hopefully it (cannabis oil) will be made legal so that families in our position don’t have to break the law.”


Jul 25, 2008
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Cannabis Science, Inc. (CBIS) In Final Negotiations To Acquire British Columbia Company That Has Submitted 'Marihuana For Medical Purposes' License Application To Health Canada

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cannabis Science, Inc. (OTC-QB: CBIS), a U.S. company specializing in cannabis formulation-based drug development and related consulting, is pleased to announce that it is in the final stages of negotiations for the acquisition of a company that has applied for a "Marihuana for Medical Purposes" (Canada) license with Health Canada. The application includes a site located in British Columbia, Canada with a highly experienced and professional team. The target company currently produces cannabis under the "Marihuana Medical Access Regulations" (Canada).

The target company's facility is approximately 10,000 square feet and is already providing medical cannabis to patients under Canada's "Marihuana Medical Access Regulations". Upon receiving the final license under the new Canadian regulations, the Company intends to utilize its team medical and industry experts both to begin research and development into medicine derived from cannabis and to commercially sell medical cannabis produced at the facility in British Columbia, Canada.

The Company is also in talks with medical doctors in Canada in order to collaborate on research and trials involving cannabinoids. Dorothy H. Bray, Ph.D., Director, President and CEO of Cannabis Science commented, "The new regulatory regime in Canada allows medical cannabis producers and clinical researchers to collaborate and undertake research for the benefit of patients in manner previously unavailable in Canada."

The subject of this news release are unrelated and in addition to the previously announced joint-venture in Canada for a medical cannabis at issue in a Company news release dated August 7, 2014.

About Cannabis Science, Inc.

Cannabis Science, Inc., takes advantage of its unique understanding of metabolic processes to provide novel treatment approaches to a number of illnesses for which current treatments and understanding remain unsatisfactory. The Company works with leading experts in drug development, medicinal characterization, and clinical research to develop, produce, and commercialize novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment for illnesses caused by infections as well as for age-related illness. Our initial focus is on skin cancers and neurological conditions.


Jul 25, 2008
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Q & A: Colorado Cannabis Commercial Real Estate with Avalon Realty Advisors

Jason Thomas of Avalon Realty Advisors is not your average real estate broker. He is a pioneer in the marijuana version of the Dotcom Boom in what’s commonly being referred to as ‘The Green Rush’. At the center of it all in Denver and surrounding areas, Jason and his partner Val Lundlie are locating properties for those interested in space for legal large scale grow operations due to the high demand for cannabis that the state is seeing in its first year of recreational sales. In addition to seeing great success with his business, Jason is also a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a nonprofit reform group that includes police officers, judges, prosecutors and other criminal justice professionals who offer expert commentary to further the cause of ending the current drug war. Avalon Realty Advisors is the perfect example of a solid business that weaves advocacy into its working days, offering the market what it demands and being conscientious about doing so.

What is your history with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)?

I became a member of LEAP in 2001 and have been very active in speaking out against our decades old drug policies. During the campaign for Amendment 64 (Colorado’s marijuana legalization initiative), I was an integral part of advocating for its passage through educating Colorado voters about marijuana legalization and the significant benefits to Colorado communities.

How did you become involved with commercial real estate and business consultants who specialize in the Medical and Recreational Marijuana industries?

I’ve been in commercial real estate since 1997, starting as a temporary secretary, then became a marketing director, leasing and sales broker, asset, property and construction manager, strategic advisor and personal investor. Since joining the cannabis industry in 2009, I’ve been able to understand and synthesize the laws, rules and regulations of the industry to successfully navigate its business challenges, especially as they relate to facilities. As a result, I’ve been able to bring my commercial real estate and industry experience together in ways than any other broker or real estate advisor working in the industry can.

What kind of services does Avalon Realty Advisors provide its clients?

We provide commercial leasing and sale brokerage, construction management, brokering the purchase and sale of existing cannabis companies, sourcing investment capital and strategic advisory.

How is business going since you debuted?

Business has been incredible since launching Avalon in 2013. With the unprecedented leasing and sale activity for cannabis grow facilities, we’ve been able to achieve very early success and have completed numerous complex transactions.

You recently referred to the cannabis industry as being quite similar to the Dotcom Boom, can you explain what you mean by that?

During the Dotcom Boom, office space was absorbed at a velocity and price appreciation, we’re currently experiencing in the cannabis industry. Vacancy rates in “tech submarkets” dipped below 1% and vacancy rate for Class A office and office/flex properties neared 3% market wide. Currently, cannabis real estate vacancy rates are around 2%, with market-wide vacancy at 5% or less. Additionally, investment capital has been flowing into Colorado’s cannabis industry the past six months in amounts proportionate to the scale of the Dotcom Boom. It is also important to note that the Dotcom phenomena went through a compressed real estate cycle, eventually leading to a market correction. I believe that the marijuana real estate sector is poised for a similar correction later this year, albeit with less impact on the overall Colorado economy than the Dotcom Boom.

In what publications have you appeared recently?

I’ve been featured in articles in the Denver Post, Fast Company and Fortune and have been on numerous radio programs The Bill Good Show, The Pat Thurston Show and on Denmark National Broadcasting.

To which cannabis industry trade organizations do you have a membership? How has that been helpful to you?

We are members of the National Cannabis Industry Association, Marijuana Policy Project, the Denver Metro Association of Brokers and the Colorado Realtors Association. By being active members of these organizations, we are able to stay on top of the changing legal and business landscape of the cannabis movement, which allows us to quickly adapt to changing market conditions.

How much have prices inflated from when you started Avalon Realty Advisors since its inception?

Since January 2014, industrial real estate pricing for sale and lease have increased two to three fold or more. These properties were generally constructed from the 1940s to 1970s and typically lease for around $5.00 per square foot, triple-net and sell for $40.00 to $55.00 per square foot to mainstream companies. Due to the incredible demand and a lack of appropriately located properties, those same properties are now leasing for $12.00 to $14.00 per square foot, triple-net and are selling in the $80.00 per square foot range.

How has legalization benefited your business and personal life?

The legalization of marijuana for responsible adult use has opened the door for hundreds of new businesses and for the expansion of hundreds more, providing us with the ability to a vast array of clients, from local entrepreneurs to institutional investors. Without legalization, the marijuana industry would have continued to gestate, but at a much slower pace. As a result of the industry’s torrid expansion, our company has experienced great success in a short amount of time. Personally, legalization of marijuana has benefited me through knowing that marijuana is no longer looked down upon as just a “drug” and an illegal substance, but a plant with far reaching medicinal properties and applications. As someone who uses cannabis medically and recreationally, legalization has removed some of the stigma for me and many others who choose cannabis over other traditional medicines and other harmful substances like alcohol.

Do you have plans to expand beyond Colorado?

“As someone who uses cannabis medically and recreationally, legalization has removed some of the stigma for me and many others who choose cannabis over other traditional medicines and other harmful substances like alcohol.”

Yes, we are in discussions with several groups that are expanding throughout the country and expect to consult in geographic areas that are capitalizing on the “green rush.” We anticipate working in Florida, Illinois, New York and possibly Canada very soon. With the growth of the industry over the years to come, and possibly become the Nation’s first the cannabis industry real estate brand.

What kind of properties do you have available at the moment?

We don’t generally list properties to sell or lease, but rather, we use our real estate relationships and sources to locate properties that are both “on” and “off” market. Again, this is an area that sets us apart from our competition; that of having deeper relationships with the right market segments and the tools to be successful.