A Michigan cannabis conference is happening tomorrow and it is all about business and education. The state began selling medical marijuana last week and entrepreneurs are trying to find out the best ways to cash-in compliant with state law.
Anqunette “Q” Jamison, a former Fox2 news anchor, is a volunteer advocate for medical marijuana and uses it to treat her MS. She is photographed in November 2016. (Photo: Jessica J. Trevino, Detroit Free Press)Buy Photo
Once shunned by business people and outlawed by public officials, the marijuana industry is fast gaining respectability — and investors.
At a gathering of marijuana supporters scheduled for Sunday in Detroit, there will be no rappers, no “medicating tent,” no vendors pitching ornate hash pipes at stoners in T-shirts, all standard features at most marijuana events.
Instead, more than 150 attendees will have shelled out $200 apiece to learn how they can break into what the state Senate Budget Office says is destined to be a $700-million industry in Michigan, conference organizer Rick Thompson of Flint said.
Looming dollar signs are changing attitudes toward cannabis, said Thompson, impresario of two similar conferences, in March in Traverse City and December in Lansing. Grabbing attention in state capitals nationwide, including Lansing, are the potential for a torrent of new tax revenue coupled with job growth.
“Take a look at some of the Republicans who are sponsoring legislation now” involving marijuana, “and these are people who were viciously opposed to us just a few years ago,” said Thompson, an online marijuana journalist turned business consultant. (For details on the conference or to register, see www.micbd.com.)
Sunday’s speakers are to include lawyers, consultants, lobbyists and former Fox2 morning anchor Anqunette (Q) Jamison, widely known for treating her multiple sclerosis with medical cannabis, as well as Detroit City Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry, a longtime advocate of legalizing marijuana to boost Michigan’s employment rolls and tax revenues.
The State of Nevada, which began allowing marijuana sales last week, collected an estimated $1 million in sales tax revenues on marijuana between Saturday and Tuesday, according to an industry estimated cited in USA TODAY.