Medical reefer madness tokes up business for states that legalize

interns Contributor
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Colorado and Michigan are starting to see the business benefits of recently legalized medical marijuana, and the results show that pot is potent —  not only as a gateway to understanding Grateful Dead lyrics, but also as an economic stimulus.

The Detroit Free Press reports that less than two years after the state legalized the drug, over 8,000 commercial pot-growers have sprung up. Although they sell the drug for over $350 an ounce, pot dealers say strict regulation keeps them from raking money in by the bundle.

Growers, also called caregivers, say that at best, they can make $40,000 a year. And that’s after spending $1,000 or more on equipment and other supplies, and putting in countless hours every day tending to plants.

Under Michigan’s medical marijuana law, caregivers can supply only five patients. Each patient can have 12 plants. But growers who choose to ignore these rules can easily make $100,000, said Brook, an industry consultant, an annual rally to support reforming marijuana laws.

The real winners in the ganja gold rush, reports the Colorado Springs Business Journal, are those who support the marijuana industry — lawyers helping shield dispenseries from legal uncertainty, construction workers building temperature-controlled clean rooms for growing the cannabis, and horticulturalists selling hydroponics.

Think of it as pass-the-dutchie-down economics.

“You’re putting the painter, plumber, drywaller and Joe the plumber back to work,” said Steve Hammers, owner of Hammers Construction Inc.

Hammers said he receives five to 10 calls a day from growers, whereas one call in six months might be from other industries.

“It’s the only business going on,” he said. “The economy sucks. I’m a contractor and a developer. These are the only people who want to buy or lease space.”

No doubt fast food restaurants are making a killing too, off the many cases of law-sanctioned marijuana munchies.