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Marijuana Venture
Special adult
Greg James
Reviewed by: Christine Oka, Research & Instruction, Northeastern University Libraries, Boston, MA

Nonmedical marijuana is now legal is eight states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) and the District of Columbia. But under federal law, it is treated like other controlled substances, such as cocaine and heroin. So before states could begin legal marijuana sales, entrepreneurs and local governments needed to work out the guidelines and regulations for the first day of business. Marijuana Venture was founded in March 2014, as “the only B2B trade publication to provide a forum of best practices for the businesses growing and selling legal marijuana.” In fact, Greg James, founder and publisher of the magazine, notes, “The packaging, the accounting, the marketing, everything is a little different in cannabusiness.” The magazine’s mission is “to provide the best information possible to the legal, licensed, commercial marijuana business. Starting out as an eight-page newsletter, Marijuana Venture developed into a full-sized magazine of over 140 pages, with 12,000 print subscribers and being available “in every major bookstore chain in the United States.” The conflict between federal and state laws where marijuana has been legalized, combined with the rapid growth of this new market, and the need for reliable and legal information, has helped fuel the growth of Marijuana Venture. Expert contributors such as lawyers, accountants and professional business people, along with growers, healthcare professionals, and educators add to the authoritative content with feature articles about luxury retail, or high-end marijuana stores, the importance of trademarking the product, and such articles as, “Taking Steps Toward Sustainability,” which documents how cannabis companies are working to become more environmentally friendly. Growers interviewed for this article noted “The CFL lights were a game-changer, not just for the bill, but they’re also very nice to work under.”

The feature on OutCo, “one of California’s preeminent producers and retailers” describes their traditional agricultural approach to growing cannabis. The VP of Cultivation for the company has a Ph.D. in plant and environmental science from Clemson University, where her mentor is “one of the world’s leading experts on growing poinsettias -- a flower that is strikingly similar in cultivation to cannabis.” Makes one look at that traditional holiday plant in a new light!

Sections of the magazine include: Best Practices, covering packaging and marketing; the Legal Pages, where articles discuss “Focusing on security requirements before breaking ground can minimize construction costs”; and HR concerns, such as “Understanding and avoiding retaliation claims by employees.”  The unique challenges of cannabusiness are covered in the sections, Spotlights, Cultivation, Cybersecurity, Environmental Regs, and Profiles. There also is an Ad Directory to cover the over 80 pages of advertisements, ranging from high-powered growing lights, to marijuana packaging solutions, hybrid greenhouses, air cleaners, and marketing. All of this steers away from free-wheeling “bongs and thongs” culture; this is serious business! There’s even advertising for cannabis business expos in Arizona, Massachusetts, and DC. All of these markets, depending on the state, have different, and ever-changing regulations -- the goal of Marijuana Venture is to reduce the confusion for potential business owners. Highly recommended.
20 Aug 2017
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