A lay-person’s guide to the Cannabis corporate structure
This quick analysis is based upon Canada’s treatment of the deadly drug cannabis. However, the same general principles apply to operations in the USA.
Marijuana (cannabis) cultivation and distribution in Canada took a radical turn in the early 1970’s. Prior to that, the DRUG was always fully illegal. Marijuana quietly slid into a grey area in the law as a result of a Supreme Court Challenge regarding access to those suffering from AIDs. The argument was that it would be wrong and unconstitutional to deprive an AIDs sufferer from relief from nausea by way of marijuana.
A grey area in law opened when the Court determined that it would be “unfair” to deprive these sick people from access to the drug. Therein a grey area opened. The AIDs diagnosed patient was permitted to cultivate for his or her own use a restricted number of cannabis plants based on a formula. Let’s say that they were able to convince a medical doctor to recommend (or authorize) 10 grams of the drug per day. Health Canada then created a number based on its estimation of the number of plants required to produce 10 grams per day.
Anyone who has ever grown a geranium or African violet knows something that was missing from Health Canada’s formula: it depends on how big the plant is. The growers (users) began experimenting with systems and fertilizers that created yields beyond those contemplated by Health Canada. Quickly, those authorized to “grow” for their own use learned that surplus equaled profit. These AIDs victims became drug entrepreneurs turning out modest profits. Next came the collectives. Some people who had authorization to grow did not own a place to grow the DRUG. Collectively, they banded together and established grow-ops that produced amounts of pot that was way beyond the collective total of the individuals’ combined authorizations.
This presented a new problem. The various provincial Colleges of Physicians (the agencies that regulate doctors) has always warned/cautioned its member physicians that it is not ethical to recommend the use of a product that has never had the requisite lab and field tests. Our (now wealthy) group of growers did not allow a simple thing such a uncooperative doctors to get in the way of more profit. Why not convince the government that naturopaths and physiotherapists could also authorize additional people to cultivate their own pot for any number of maladies.
At the same time, the collectives opened their own retail outlets. How financially successful are those outlets? Great question. A recent article in the main stream media discussed how the banks are reluctant to have any dealings with these “grey area” drug pushers because of money laundering laws. With a virtual license to print money, the retail outlets (called Compassion or Friendship Centers) began an intensive period of propaganda (the dissemination of misinformation). A small number of “experts” were recruited who were more than willing to produce boundless testimonials attributing any number of miracle cures as a result of cannabis use. (It sure came a long way from a simple treatment for nausea in AIDs patients without any lab testing!
At the same time, by way of genetic engineering that would put corporate America to shame, these collectives quickly modified this plant (a fairly simple weed) to produce much more potent amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the drug in cannabis.
And that brings us to 2014 where we are faced with faced with the grim task of attempting to awaken the silent majority to the cold fact that this devious cartel of drug proponents knows more that health professionals, is wiser than mental health experts and is more interested in public good than any elected government.
My fear is that once the genie is out of the bottle on this one, we (as a society) are on an irrevocable path to a grave public harm. In the mean time, a few opportunistic drug pushers will have created fortunes for themselves – leaving you and I to pay the costs of cleaning up the carnage and broken lives.
It would be “nice” to see these advocates of full scale legalization as simply “good-old-boys” having some botanical fun. You may wish to reconsider that point of view and consider them for exactly what they are:: parasitic predators who’s collective target is to exploit the poorest and weakest in our society knowing that another addict created is good for business.