Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cannabis Commerce in the USA: Parts 1–10 of 11 | Cannabis Commerce

Cannabis Commerce in the USA: Parts 1–10 of 11


420 in downtown Denver

You want to uncover how much MPMTR (maximum pot-ential marijuana taxation revenue) is possible in a legal, regulated society. Basic searches turn up a few sentences here and there, and maybe a couple of 10-second sound bites on youtube, if you’re lucky.

The detective work begins. You search for economists’ white papers, download them, and pore through them. You can tell they’re writing to an audience of their peers. You start getting the wild idea these reports are missing the human touch, and that you may actually be able to provide it – providing you’re willing to be as compulsive as academics, composing long, fact-filled reports. It’s an insane thought. You commit to it anyway.

You think you’re being compulsive enough . . . but then, just when you’re about to release your results, you begin wondering how you, someone who bypassed Economics 101 for obscure liberal arts courses like Love And The Secular Spirit, have identified potential taxation streams unmentioned anywhere. You’ll have to go the horse’s mouth, and actually talk with the nation’s top pot economists. You want to make sure you haven’t missed their points, or misinterpreted what they’re saying – or not saying.

You take one economist, one poteconomist, and one phenom. You interview them collectively for over three hours. You personally transcribe their long interviews, bitching every second of the ordeal, because you thought it would be easy to find a virtual assistant from “a third-world country” to perform this task for you. When it’s finally over, you realize that because you painstakingly transcribed economists’ statements, sentence by sentence, over the course of about thirty hours, you understand what the heck they were talking about.

You find you’re able, within limits, to process the same data – and come up with different conclusions.

Then you get another crazy idea. You may be able to show other people interested in marijuana taxation how to predict MPMTR, too — using the words of the economists themselves.

What do you have when you’re done? Cannabis Commerce in the USA, presented here for your consideration. Comments invited. –Lory Kohn, May 2010

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