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Vermont cannabusiness will have to hold off

(BUSINESS NEWS) Vermont cannabusinesses have to wait a little bit longer as the Gov just pushed back on recreational use.

legal marijuana

Vermont said no

In a blow to marijuana entrepreneurs and legalization advocates, Vermont Governor Phil Scott vetoed a marijuana legalization bill Wednesday.

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Governor Scott provided local media with a thorough explanation of his reasoning to accompany his veto.

His reasons

Notably, he acknowledged the reality that his veto was likely a moot point, given the nationwide, cross-party shift in favor of marijuana legalization that has been clear in the last few election cycles.

The remainder is a detailed and well-reasoned objection, but more than that, a vital read for would-be marijuana entrepreneurs, responsible consumers and indeed pro-legalization commentators like your humble narrator.

Governor Scott’s veto reasoning is a veritable Cliffs Notes for the reasons smart people are still anti-legalization.

Which is awesome, because that means a very smart person who knows how the law works has just provided would-be entrepreneurs and legal consumers alike with a how-to for getting people on board with responsible, profitable cannabusiness.

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1. Think of the children!

Governor Scott leads with a cheap shot here, and yeah, it irritates me too. Anybody who’s spent any time dealing with this issue knows that at least as often as that argument constitutes a reasonable objection, it’s deployed to short-circuit a debate by forcing focus onto a single worst-case scenario. Anybody who’s spent any time being younger than 18 – so, everybody, minus American Genius’s much appreciated readership of vat-grown clones – also knows that a case of beer or a handle of vodka is both easier to get and far more likely to kill you than anything you can do with marijuana. Governor Scott is a smart guy who cares about this issue, so I assume he knows that.

He’s making that pitch because it works.

That’s why people use it – because it makes other people genuinely believe the subject is a threat to their children, which is, quite rightly, the end of the argument for any caring parent. That’s a problem entrepreneurs need to address. Marijuana marketing needs to become less about tie-dye and more about “18 and over, please smoke responsibly” before some people will feel safe having it around.

2. Who makes the rules?

This is – dare I say it – fair. Controlled substance regulation in this country is utterly nuts. Your humble narrator was born and raised in a state that has not only dry and wet, but, I swear to Insert Deity Here, moist counties. Kentucky does many things well. Law is not one of them. Responsible lawmakers like Governor Scott have a duty to make sure that kind of nonsense doesn’t happen again, and the legalization and regulation of marijuana is how they intend to discharge that duty.

It’s also a huge opportunity for businesspeople.

Where regulatory bodies exist, third-party input will be vital. Where third-party input is vital, there’s a door to stick your foot in. Nonprofit organizations already represent a major force in marijuana regulation, on both pro- and anti-legalization sides. The latter at least is sure to be represented in regulatory bodies, since to date regulatory bodies have said “ban it. All of it.” If you want a point of view at that table other than that, get yourself a seat. Being part of the regulatory process is cannabusiness’s best chance to cut through the “Reefer Madness” in the name of socially responsible – and profitable – enterprise.

3. What are the numbers

A number of Gov. Scott’s objections come down to a plain fact: the details aren’t done yet. Everything from testable impairment thresholds for automotive offenses to long-term monitoring and reporting protocols for the community impact of legal marijuana is still up in the air. Gov. Scott thinks that’s irresponsible.

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Know what? It is.

This is a space where non-government interests in the nonprofit and for-profit field can lead. Nonprofits in particular have decades of data on the impact – or lack thereof – of marijuana on public health. Entrepreneurs can set business standards for boring stuff like THC levels per item and daily sale limits in-house and present them to regulatory boards as a fait accompli.

Legal marijuana is happening

That’s a good thing. But it’s not the last thing. Legal marijuana doesn’t mean we all throw open our shutters on a clear spring morning and start doing profitable, socially responsible cannabusiness. If you’re expecting that, I suspect you’re breaking Biggie’s Rule Four. Never break Biggie’s Rule Four. It means we have to deal with a government that has, to date, had a very simple policy regarding the product in question, and now has to cobble together a very complicated one.

If you don’t do it, they’re gonna.

If you do, though – if non-government interests take responsibility for marijuana and its consequences from day one of legal sales – we may just manage this cannabusiness thing yet.

#marijuana

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Written By

Matt Salter is a writer and former fundraising and communications officer for nonprofit organizations, including Volunteers of America and PICO National Network. He’s excited to put his knowledge of fundraising, marketing, and all things digital to work for your reading enjoyment. When not writing about himself in the third person, Matt enjoys horror movies and tabletop gaming, and can usually be found somewhere in the DFW Metroplex with WiFi and a good all-day breakfast.

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  1. Pingback: Weederies are popping up. What're those!? #cannabusiness - The American Genius

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