Tag: Florida

The Shake: How Much Does Your State Suck?

Meet the first cannabis-sponsored pro athlete. Accessory brand Black Rock Originals has teamed with professional freeskier Tanner Hall to release the Tanner Hall Ski Boss collection, which includes a lighter, grinder, and rolling papers. While a lot of athletes have gotten involved in cannabis — including that poor Canadian snowboarder who lost his Olympic gold medal — Hall appears to be the first active athlete to land a sponsorship. Gnarly, bruh.

The industry is an accounting nightmare. That’s the conclusion of the New York Times in a piece that examines the convoluted financial rules surrounding cannabis (involving fun things like banking and taxes). The article might be a bit of a snooze if you’re not a money or policy wonk, but it’s nice to see the Grey Lady acknowledging the dysfunction caused by cannabis’s precarious legal standing. Now if only the editorial board would come out and oppose prohibition. Oh wait, that happened a while ago.

How does your state rank on cannabis? We’re really excited about this one. Canna Law Blog is ranking all 50 states, in reverse order, based on their cannabis policies. Not all states are ranked yet, but head over and check it out — and then steer clear of Wyoming, No. 44, where cannabis intoxication alone can land you a $750 fine and six months in jail. 

Idaho is no fun. Really. Zero fun at all. It might be surrounded by a bunch of groovy states, but as the AP points out, Idaho is rabidly anti-cannabis. State Sen. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatell, says the state tends to “lag behind” on cannabis. That’s an understatement. As Leafly has reported, it’s the kind of state where you could face a year in jail for carrying the plastic tube your joint came in. If you were wondering, Idaho is No. 48 on Canna Law Blog’s rankings, above only Nebraska (which filed a lawsuit trying to undo legalization in Colorado) and South Dakota (which is the butt of enough jokes already, thank you very much).

Doesn’t anyone understand what a tampon is? RYOT adds to the junk heap of articles about Foria Relief, a cannabis-infused vaginal suppository intended to ease menstrual discomfort. (Not to be confused with Foria’s stuff for sexytimes.) Let’s get one thing straight: Foria Relief is not a tampon, will not work as a tampon, and should not be described is a tampon. Instead, my coworker with a vagina tells me, it should be described as a godsend.

Do Cannabis-Infused Suppositories Actually Work? We Put One to the Test

Iowa State University can’t abide a T-shirt. Administrators have repeatedly blocked the school’s NORML chapter from making shirts that feature a cannabis leaf. Eventually the students sued on First Amendment grounds — and won. But the butthurt university has filed an appeal, because spending thousands of dollars in taxpayer money is totally worth it to prevent people from seeing a graphical representation of foliage on a college campus. (Go figure: The school didn’t have a problem greenlighting designs from various gun-related groups or CUFFS, a student club focused on sexual bondage.)

Legal cannabis is “crushing” the black market in Colorado. Officials there say the regulated market comprises about 70 percent of all sales in the state, the Economist reports. The remainder is mostly made up of people who grow cannabis legally at home but sell it illegally. In Washington state, however, legal sales account for only about 30 percent of the market, according to estimates. Why the difference? The magazine attributes it to Washington’s huge unregulated medical cannabis industry and steep taxes on the recreational side.

Florida is taking common sense for a test drive. Under a yearlong pilot program, juveniles caught with 20 grams of cannabis or less will no longer be arrested but instead will be cited and required to attend drug treatment. Apparently arrests weren’t solving the problem. Imagine! 

QUICK HITS: Is your cannabis organic? If so, Colorado wants to label it that way. * Want a free gram? Organizers in San Jose, Calif., handed out cannabis vouchers in an effort to raise awareness for the statewide legalization initiative on November’s ballot. * Cannabis commentator Russ Belville takes aim against “Stoners Against Legalization,” or people in the community who oppose a regulated market. Belville accuses them of trying to profit from prohibition. * A languishing California prison town is turning to cannabis to help save its future. Land prices in Adelanto have skyrocketed since the city became the second in Southern California to legalize cultivation. * Colorado named a new head of cannabis enforcement. Jim Burack, a former investigations chief and Marine Corps Reserve colonel, will lead the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. * These pets are stuck, but it ain’t no thing.

The Shake: How Much Did Stoner Sloth Cost Taxpayers?

Medical Cannabis Headed Back to Florida Ballot

After narrowly failing to legalize medical cannabis in 2014, advocates in Florida are headed back to the ballot. Organizers announced Wednesday they’ve secured more than enough signatures to qualify a measure for the November election.

The matter will appear on the ballot as Amendment 2. If approved, it would allow cannabis use by patients with the following conditions:

Cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.

Production and distribution and would be regulated by the state health department, which would also be responsible for issuing cards to patients and caretakers. The complete ballot language is available here.

“Every day, doctors prescribe dangerous, addictive, and potentially deadly narcotics to their patients but can’t even suggest the use of marijuana, which has never killed a person in thousands of years of human civilization,” campaign manager Ben Pollara said in a statement. “Very soon, Florida doctors will finally have that option.”

A similar effort won 57.6 percent of votes just two years ago, but as as a constitutional amendment it needed 60-percent approval to pass. This time around, however, proponents are convinced public opinion has shifted in their favor. On its website, the group claims that over 70 percent of voters support legalizing medical cannabis.

“We feel very good that 60 percent plus of Florida voters will finally approve a true medical marijuana law,” Pollara told the Associated Press.

The campaign has set up a contribution page to accept donations.

Which States are Most Likely to Legalize Cannabis in 2016

The Leafly Marketwatch: What Percentage of Your Dispensary Visitors are Out-of-State?

We usher in 2016 with the hope that a few states will join Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. as newly minted members of the legal cannabis club. In the meantime, we took a closer look at the states that are currently operating legal retail cannabis dispensaries to see where exactly their visitors are coming from. What percentage of out-of-state folks is curious about what Colorado, Washington, and Oregon have to offer?


We took a look at the last six months of data and broke out visits to Colorado dispensary pages by their state of origin, excluding Colorado so we could focus on out-of-state visitors.

Out-of-state traffic to Colorado dispensary pages on Leafly
Click on the image for a larger version


As you can see from the bar graph, the top two states sending traffic to Colorado’s dispensary listings on Leafly are Texas at nearly 33% and Florida at close to 11%. Interestingly, neither state has a legal recreational or medical marijuana market in place, although they did recently pass low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil laws. Florida has selected growers for its program, but no cannabis oil has been dispensed yet. Texas, meanwhile, does not expect to be operational until 2017.

Why are two highly restrictive states so interested in Colorado? An obvious answer is tourism. Unlike Washington and Oregon, which are tucked away in the northwest corner of the United States, Colorado is ideally situated closer to the middle of the country, making it an ideal location to visit. And despite the Colorado tourism director insisting that cannabis is not a major tourism draw for the state, both a state survey and our data suggest there’s definitely growing interest in checking out Colorado’s legal cannabis market.

Colorado is also becoming a more attractive place to live for a myriad of reasons. A number of people from illegal states, dubbed “marijuana refugees,” have migrated to Colorado for legal access to cannabis that can help treat themselves or their family members suffering from diseases. Young college graduates are also flocking to Colorado, and the real estate market has increased by double-digits post-legalization thanks in some part to a population boom and the cannabis industry producing more jobs (which means more people can afford to buy homes). It’s possible that in addition to tourist interest, pro-cannabis or cannabis-curious people who are considering moving to Colorado may be checking out the state’s dispensary pages to see what the legal market has to offer.


As with Colorado’s data, we analyzed the last three months’ worth of visits to Washington dispensary pages.

Out-of-state traffic to Washington dispensary pages on Leafly
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Nearly 40% of out-of-state visits to Washington dispensary pages come from California, with Oregon taking 2nd place with just over 14%. Both states’ proximity to Washington makes the data largely unsurprising, as it’s a relatively easy road trip or flight away for a quick getaway.

Another possible explanation for California’s traffic numbers is that there’s been a recent influx of people relocating from California to Washington. Between 2004 and 2013, over 339,000 moved from the Golden State to the Evergreen State. Washington’s recent tech industry boom, comparatively cheaper cost of living, and yes, legal cannabis are certainly all perks to moving further north.


Oregon’s traffic data looks like a reversal of Washington’s, with over 39% of out-of-state traffic coming from its northern neighbor and 30% originating from California.

Out-of-state traffic to Oregon dispensary pages on Leafly
Click on the image for a larger version

Again, tourism is a likely factor here since Oregon is sandwiched between Washington and California, making it an appealing destination for a quick cannabis-friendly weekend getaway.

Business Takeaways

Why should dispensary owners and managers care about which out-of-state visitors are coming to their dispensaries? From a business perspective, it’s always an advantage to know your customers and their background so you can cater a personalized experience and convert their interest into a sale. Consider the following tips to help your business seem especially appealing to an out-of-towner:

Educate and Inform.

Out-of-state customers may need a little more education about cannabis, so offer more dedicated customer service and guidance to make your visitors feel at ease. Remember, they’re not experts and may even feel a little intimidated surrounded by a roomful of products that are still illegal in their state, so make them feel comfortable and be available to answer any questions they have. You may even want to put together a pamphlet or binder that contains some basic Cannabis 101 information that may benefit your out-of-state clientele.

Personalize the Experience.

Make your business seem appealing to a diverse pool of tourists or visitors. For example, if you have a retail dispensary in Colorado and know that a lot of people from Texas are likely to frequent your business, consider going the extra mile and work on your Texas charm – talk barbecue, Texas sports teams, local fashion, or anything that might put a smile on your visitor’s face. Or you could offer a few vanity strains, such as Cali Kush to a California native or Blue Bayou for someone hailing from Louisiana.

Offer Out-of-State-Friendly Products.

Pre-rolls are great for visitors since they might not have traveled with a vaporizer or bong, and lower-THC strains or edibles are a good idea as well for any tourists that are new to cannabis and don’t want to feel overwhelmed. (Just make sure you explain proper edibles dosing to your customers!)

Embrace Cannabis Tourism.

Colorado seems to be having an identity crisis with its cannabis tourism and doesn’t want to be cemented as the place to go for legal green. But honestly, what’s so bad about embracing the tourism angle? Sure, Washington, Colorado, and Oregon have a lot more to offer than just legal retail cannabis, but if the appeal of it brings visitors across state lines, it’s a win-win for the local economy. There’s a saying that goes “A rising tide lifts all ships,” meaning retail cannabis attracting visitors from different states brings in not just cannabis tax income, but benefits hotels, restaurants, local attractions, etc. So why not put a smile on your face and greet your out-of-state visitors with outstretched arms and an open mind? They’re bringing you business, after all!

Check out our previous Marketwatch analyses, and learn more about how Leafly can help grow your cannabis business.

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