skip to Main Content
Paranoia and the Pot Biz: They Will Be Forever Intertwined

By Allen St. Pierre

There is not a good word in English if you’re paranoid, but right to be so.

For the past 50 years or so, the hundreds of thousands of folks in the cannabis business have had the most logical and basic of paranoia: Get busted by the fuzz or get ripped off by fellow criminals.

Relatively, that’s it.

And, the calculus for the penalty is fairly binary: the more product you got popped with by law enforcement, the worse the penalties, including incarceration, possibly for decades.

However, as cannabis commerce morphs from illegal contraband to Main Street storefronts, arguably, those in the cannabusiness space today have many more sources for paranoia and bellyaches than their criminal forbearers.

The list here is long:

  • Formation of capital;
  • Investor relations;
  • Application for license;
  • Regulations adherence;
  • Banking services and finance;
  • Bar codes and smart tags;
  • Quality control (i.e., proper use of pesticides and fertilizers, etc. …);
  • Tax compliance;
  • Inventory control (what used to be called getting “ripped off’);
  • Community relations;
  • Government relations;
  • Payroll and benefits compliance;
  • Labeling and packaging;
  • Advertising;
  • Insurance;
  • Unionized workers;
  • Consumer complaints (i.e., the Better Business Bureau);
  • Product liability (i.e., tort lawsuits);
  • Social media (i.e., Yelp, WeedMaps, Leafly, etc …); and,
  • Media communications.

Without too much surprise to the forward-looking, these non-criminal sources of paranoia are similar in nature and scope to that of other purveyors of what can be fairly described as “problematic adult commerce” (along with, for example, the alcohol, tobacco, gun and gambling industries).

From NORML’s anti-prohibitionist and pro-consumer viewpoint, oh to have such problems, as compared to the violence and vicissitudes of Cannabis Prohibition.

There are some in the cannabusiness space today, and probably a few in the future, who will long for the day when their illegal and untaxed cannabis regularly fetched $6,000 per pound (back in the day, as well portrayed on an episode of Larry David’s HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm, where Larry was looking to buy some cannabis from a street dealer for his father’s glaucoma, and after failing to negotiate a lower price, the dealer turns to him and declared that “the weed sells itself.”

Yes, the primary source of their paranoia was getting busted by the “man.”

Allen St. Pierre is executive director of NORML in Washington, D.C.,

Allen St. PierreAllen St. Pierre

Allen St. Pierre

Allen St. Pierre is the vice president of communications for Freedom Leaf, a partner in the investment firm Sensible Alternative Investments and a NORML board member. In 1997, St. Pierre founded the NORML Foundation and was executive director for both NORML and NORML Foundation from 2006-2016.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. As a Wa state licensed Cannabis producer/processor since mid June 2014 I applaud your acute observations…..would you believe that in the legalized Cannabis circus there is even MORE reality checks, heightened awareness or paranoia concerns which could be added.
    My list:
    Why so much private plain traffic overhead in a rural area with county population of <19,000?
    Sudden unidentified low flying helicopters hovering over field
    Will those planes drop damaging chemicals ? Or take pot shots at livestock?
    How many hundreds of us have already gone out of business? (info hard to find but several hundred easily)
    Will it always be 60-80 hr work weeks w zero returns?
    Why not require pesticide testing?
    Lab tests shouldn't be for sale to gain higher THC%?
    Will public education ever prevail that there are over 100 cannabinoids besides just THC?
    Do we have to be $$ gouged for everything we use? Hear the word Cannabis and prices sky rocket
    As Naturopath I believe all disorders stem from Cannabinoid deficiencies (all organs have canna receptors)

    Look forward to the day when Cannabis reclaims it's historic significance in this country, with vertical integration and the normalcy of a glass of wine on a fine day. Until then smoke, eat or drink 'em if you got 'em!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Stories

MJ Unpacked Announces Upcoming NYC Event’s Speaker Lineup, Agenda, Venture Summit and More

PRESS RELEASE Taking place April 26-28, the biannual cannabis industry event will feature top thought leaders and interactive sessions for retailers, brand executives, and venture capitalists with a focus on driving…

The Power Couple of Oregon Cannabis Bankrolled Top Democrats Even as Their Companies’ Taxes and Bills Went Unpaid

A WW investigation finds trouble at La Mota, the second-largest cannabis dispensary chain in Oregon. On a crisp evening last May, Rosa Cazares threw a party. It was a fundraiser…

Kentucky governor to sign medical marijuana into law after legislature OKs legalization

Gov. Andy Beshear says he will sign a bill legalizing medical marijuana in Kentucky on Friday. The Kentucky House gave final passage to the measure Thursday — the 30th and…

Deliver Cannabis to Market Faster with Pre-Engineered Solutions

White Paper Timing and speed to market are crucial when starting a new cannabis project. The cannabis industry moves at a rapid pace. New cultivation businesses either keep up or…

More Categories

Back To Top
×Close search