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“Grow Shops” and Taxes on Pot

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“Grow Shops” and Taxes on Pot

Still many questions surrounding marijuana legalization


One thing I did not expect to see on a recent stay in Barcelona was a marijuana grow shop. Yet there it was, lumped in with several other shops, on our way to Camp Nou, the Barcelona soccer club stadium. My son noticed the sign with the marijuana leaf announcing the store’s presence before I did.

In fact, I hadn’t even thought of grow shops as part of pot’s manufacturing process, but of course they are. marijuana greenhouse.jpgIf people want to grow marijuana as their job, then there’s probably special fertilizer, plant lights, and Lord knows what else.

The display inside the window on one side of the doorway sported a variety of bongs, and just inside the glass door, the tall racks indicated the store’s true purpose. There were shelves and shelves of large white containers holding what I assume was plant food. The sole employee was bent over a desk, but he looked up when he saw us, maybe hoping we might enter.  We had seen enough, however.

The Huffington Post website is stating the obvious when it says that recreational pot has come a long way in the year or so since it started becoming legalized. One of the most interesting of the 12 points noted in the article is that Uruguay became the world’s first country to legalize pot nationwide, with the president of that country citing his frustration over being unable stem the drug trade. (Canada has really geared up for legalization, too, by the way.)

There are so many angles on legalization, but one of the most interesting has to be the business angle. There’s so much food for thought there, from the taxes it will provide, to the jobs it will create, to the money that will be freed up from having law enforcement attempt to prohibit the sale. The Huffington Post article said that a majority of states are in favor of taxing marijuana sales, and from the available numbers emanating from Colorado, tax revenue is quite healthy.

In May, The New York Times magazine published an article on the problem of inconsistency in the manufacturing of pot products—always a problem for a new industry. “Thousands of people …are hard at work to make it as predictable and dependable as…a can of beer,” an economics reporter wrote. One reason for the inconsistency is that much of the pot in the U.S. is still being produced illegally or only partially legally, so strains are not studied or analyzed well. Even after the leaves are harvested, the process of bringing it to market is inconsistent among marketers. Companies don’t have to disclose the level of the drug’s active ingredients right now, so pot called AK-47 might be one thing from company, and something different from another. The consistency of edibles varies to even greater extent, especially because labeling isn’t always correct.

But those in the industry are feeling pressure to up their game, the writer says, and while some investors are wary, others are still attracted by the money to be made.

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