Deborah, a 38-year old African-American professional, has been following the work to legalize the use of medical cannabis in her state and others very closely. In addition to understanding and believing in the more holistic approaches to medicine and diet that cannabis supports, Deborah also realizes that the legalization of cannabis presents an enormous and unprecedented economic opportunity for women and people of color. Eager to find her piece of the pie, she scours the internet to see how she can get involved. However, to her disappointment, she only finds entry-level jobs paying slightly above minimum wage and regulations coupled with hefty fees that prevent her from owning a dispensary or grow situation.
Unfortunately, Deborah represents a lot of people. While the cannabis industry has been compared to The Gold Rush of the mid-1800’s, government regulations that come with a high price tag continue to keep people like Deborah on the outside looking in. In Ohio, it costs approximately $85K to apply and purchase the license to open a dispensary. This does not include the additional $70K required for the certificate of operation nor the time and miscellaneous costs it takes to get things going (i.e. hiring and training employees, leasing or building a facility, purchasing equipment, etc.). Add on another $10-15K if being a processor was on your radar.
Furthermore, as cannabis’ medicinal uses and popularity increase among more mainstream America, big business and big pharma are taking notice and looking for ways to get in on the action and lock up the market. Once this happens, not only are the Deborah’s of the country going to be completely excluded but the quality of the product will be greatly compromised. Prime example of this is our food and agricultural industry.
But there’s hope!
As dismal as all of this looks and sounds, there is still hope thanks to an organization call, Citizen Grown. Their mantra is “Cannabis by the people, For the people.” These individuals are making it possible for those often left out to be able to grow and provide high-quality, organic cannabis AND make money!
They have developed grow boxes, called nodes, that they can remotely control to provide the plant with the right amount of organic nutrients and fit into a 5ft X 5ft space anywhere (i.e. closet, basement, garage, etc.) The plants are harvested every 3 months and sold to their network of dispensaries. For providing the space, the citizen shares in the profits. That amount is roughly $1000/month, but is expected to increase as their product catches on.
Yes, please !
Ready to sign up? Hold your horses, there are some things you need to know.
Currently, Citizen Grown has deployed nodes in California (of course) and Oregon; however, they are projecting to have them available in Illinois, New York, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Michigan and Washington, D.C. in the coming months. In some states, you will need a cultivator license to be able to participate. Click on your state to get that information. As with any type of licensing, there is a fee attached. Therefore, find out what is required to be able to grow where you live or pay attention to the rules as they develop if your state is in the process of legalization and start saving those coins. You can also sign up to receive information and updates directly on the Citizen Grown site.
What would you do with an extra $1000/mo.? Would you be open to hosting a node in your home? Why or why not? Let me know what you think in the comments.