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Cannabis Business As A Form Of Activism


marijuana businessA Successful Cannabis Business And Activism Go Hand In Hand

One of the most significant experiences in my life was sitting in on a panel at the Students for Sensible Drug Policy Conference in Denver earlier this year. The panel was led by two of my heros, Kris Kane and Troy Dayton. I have always admired these hardworking activists for being able to do good things in the world while at the same time carving out a career for themselves. It seems like all to often cannabis business owners fail to find this balance, and sellout for the money.

Cannabis business is very important to the movement. I know it’s hard to think that, with all of the greedy people that are hurting the movement, but it’s true. As Troy Dayton and Kris Kane pointed out, cannabis businesses reach demographics that activism by itself can’t. It’s not coincidence that support for marijuana reform has risen at the same time that the prevalence of cannabis businesses has also risen. People that otherwise wouldn’t support reform are now on board because they see that cannabis can be taxed and regulated under certain conditions. Of course, one of those conditions is that the feds stay out of the issue!

Campaign funding is very important to the marijuana movement. In theory, as cannabis businesses succeed, they give back to the movement. The more successful cannabis businesses there are, the more campaign dollars roll through. As I stated, this is ‘in theory.’ In reality there are a lot of greedy people trying to hid behind fake compassion in order to line their own pockets. These people are easy to spot. Simply ask them, ‘how much money have you donated to the cause, and where did you donate it?’ Anything short of a direct answer is a clear indicator that the person is not genuine.

A successful, responsible cannabis business is one of the best public relations tools that the marijuana reform movement can have. All members of society can look to them as examples of how things can work if reform is achieved. People don’t always drive by the same parts of town and see a rally everyday. People don’t always drive by a mall and see a signature gatherer. But they do drive past the local collective, which is likely in a space that would otherwise be vacant due to the economic crisis.

These people drive by and see that there are no problems, and that in some cases, the cannabis business owner gives back to the local community above and beyond marijuana reform. It’s a very powerful thing for an ‘on the fence voter’ to see a cannabis business owner volunteering in the community, or donating to the local non-profit. More powerful than if a marijuana activist asked for a signature. If you are a successful cannabis business owner and you aren’t doing those things, what is your justification?

The point of this article is to state that it’s OK to profit from the cannabis movement, so long as it’s done responsibly. If you are a cannabis business owner, give back to the movement, and to your local community. In doing so, you will help move reform forward in ways that non-business owners can’t. And after all, it helps your business anyways because cannabis business and reform go hand in hand; they cannot be separated. Anyone who thinks otherwise is no doubt a ‘profiteer’ and should be avoided at all costs!


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Johnny Green


  1. If you were talking about something like tobacco getting legalized, then yeah, business and commercialization would be the only route to successfully lead to cannabis law reform.

    As of now though, cannabis reform is all about compassion. We are in a cancer epidemic that has doubled in size and intensity in my lifetime: one out of every two men and one out of every three women are hit with cancer according to statistics. Add in all the ghost diseases out there including depression and we have worldwide epidemics that only cannabis can CURE.

    Cannabis is our best hope to beat cancer and all disease:  anybody CAN grow it for free, man!  Pharmaceutical companies and governments that can’t lead the fight for health for free, need to get out of the way for people who can. 

    Financial depression/oppression/digression/obsession and other government money failures mean you can grow your own green. And give it for free to those who have need. And EAZE the tension among people at odds with the process of life (which is all of us).

  2. In
    Arizona one will be able to distinguish true compassion from profiteering. If
    you the patients receive meds for exorbitant fees for your medicine no
    compassion there

  3. Business and commercialisation is the only route that will successfully lead to cannabis law reform.  Sticking to some delusional, hopeless hippy idea that “it grows for free man” is what has held back reform for so long.

    After the end of prohibition, a few people will continue to grow their own, just as a few people grow their own tomatoes.  However, most of us go to the supermarket to get our tomatoes and it will be no different with cannabis.  The greater variety, consistency, quality and better distribution that cannabis businesses will.provide will suit all of us very well.

    It really is about time that cannabis users stopped listening to the “crazy stoners”, who are just as much the enemy of reform as “reefer madness”.  Most of us aren’t stoners.  We’re just people who enjoy cannabis or need it as medicine.  We want business involved in it.  We’re happy for people to make money out of it.

    Cannabis is a mainstream issue.  Can we please just drop all the BS, tax and regulate it and get on with real life?

  4. If you business is not compassionate and not behind legalization of cannabis and “RE LEGALIZE HEMP”, don’t expect me to fight your fight. I will not support any of these clubs and neither should you. I believe they called this “White collar crime” profitting under the umbrella of prop 215 the sick and dying.    Educate someone today.  JACKHERER.COM

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