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A Pot of Questions

Now that Pot is legal in Washington and Colorado, the situation brings up some interesting legal and operational challenges for governments, businesses, and Pot growers.

But the key complication with turning grass into big business is that though states may give it the thumbs-up, it remains illegal at the federal level, creating a legislative gray area. …. Sellers of marijuana have no place to put the money they make. Because the drug remains federally illegal, banks can’t accept the profits from its sale; that would compromise their federal deposit insurance (FDIC) protection. Thus, growers and retailers will have to manage their income, their payroll, their bills and their taxes in cash. That makes it extremely hard, and dangerous, to run any business, let alone mirror the economies of scale enjoyed by Big Tobacco.

The people Colorado and Washington who will be smoking the ganja won’t really be concerned with these issues, but the folks producing and distributing it will have to ponder some of these issues. Or, they can just continue to run their dealings as they did before Tuesday: as a predominantly cash driven business where stacks of cash can be hidden in air ducts a la Walter “Heisenberg” White. All of these items are really minor challenges relative to the benefits folks are projecting to their state revenue and cost savings (i.e. local towns won’t need as many cops trying to bust marijuana dealers and smokers).

If I was the marketing manager for Cheetos or Bugles (and other munchies), I would heavy up the local marketing budgets in Colorado and Washington stat and target Boulder, Colorado Springs and other college towns.

Via Quartz

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