How Times Have Changed

Not sure if you saw Bob Romano’s comments on my last post about banking for the marijuana industry. My friend wrote: “I think this whole ‘legalized’ marijuana industry is a house of cards. If and when the Feds decide to enforce the law, a lot of people who invested will lose a lot of money. (But) If Marcus Lemonis invests, then you can say, “I told you so.”

I pondered Bob’s perspective, and given the Fed’s position on classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 narcotic, I agree the pot industry is risky. But if Marcus Lemonis invests in a cannabis business, then Bob believes that would lend credibility.

I wasn’t familiar with Marcus Lemonis and googled him. He’s a forty-four-year-old Lebanese entrepreneur who hosts CNBC’s show, “The Profit.”

Marcus Lemonis

Lemonis’ philosophy for success revolves around three P’s: People, Process, and Products. For an enterprise to be successful, two of the three P’s have to work in the businesses’ favor, with People being the most important.

In Friday’s morning edition of the Los Angeles Times, there was an article by Patrick McGreevy titled: Former top cop plans to distribute legal marijuana, which reminded me of Lemonis’ three P’s–specifically,  People.

Bill Lockyer, a previous California Attorney General, and Eric Spitz, chairman and president of the past parent company of the Orange County Register, co-founded a new company, C4 Distro. The business will distribute packaged marijuana concentrates and edibles to 700 stores that are projected to open in Los Angeles.

Bill Lockyer


Eric Spitz

So, Bill Lockyer, who used to enforce the laws against marijuana, will now legally be distributing it.

Oh, my: how times have changed.

Lockyer, 69, explained that he needs to pay for his kids’ college tuition, and believes that California’s regulated system has a chance to be a model for the rest of the country.

The ex-AG said, “For me, as somebody who was on the law enforcement side for so many years, I saw the inadequacies of the effort to regulate something just by calling it illegal. I think legalizing will help stabilize and help legitimize this industry and result in better consumer protection and other public benefits.”

While researching Busted, I encountered many law enforcement individuals who had come to this conclusion. Most notably, retired Superior Court Judge James Gray. His book, Why Our Drug Laws Have FAILED and What We Can Do About It had a profound influence on me. Before conducting my research, I supported the War on Drugs. Now I don’t. (Don’t get me wrong: I still hate drugs. I believe regulating the market will lead to fewer kids having access–like tobacco and alcohol.)

Before sellers can get a state license, they first must receive approval of the city or county where they intend to set up shop. The most notable cities that have approved the sale of recreational marijuana are Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Oakland, and San Jose. However, 300 of the state’s 482 cities haven’t approved sales, including Riverside, Fresno, Bakersfield, Pasadena, and Anaheim. I was surprised to read that 60% of Colorado cities have also banned pot stores.

You may recall last year that Proposition 64 was approved by 57% of California voters. The legislation allows individuals who are 21 and older to possess and transport up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes and to grow up to six plants for personal use.

Bureau of Cannabis Control

California is the largest state to approve sales of recreational marijuana and created a Bureau of Cannabis Control. Its purpose is to implement a regulation and licensing system for marijuana growers, sellers, and distributors. Annual licenses will require a background check, training, and a $1000 application fee. (If a new retailer cannot afford these costs, they can get a temporary permit that is good for four months; then they have to pay.) The state will also monitor all marijuana products from farm to counter through a track-and-trace system.

We live in interesting times.


My blogs tend to be serious, and to lighten the mood, thought I’d include a little humor.


Thanks for reading. (If there’s someone who you think might be interested in this blog, please feel free to share it.)

I wish you Happy Holidays!

Warmest Regards,                                                                                                                      Michele

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2 thoughts on “How Times Have Changed”

  1. Millie PaulMillie Paul

    Very interesting blog, Michele! My close friend’s oldest son (she is a Washington State Senator) is making a very comfortable living by managing the largest pot-selling store in Seattle. Rather than going into the already over-crowded field of computers, perhaps the hottest careers will be selling marijuana.

    December 25, 2017

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