About 200 miles east of Seattle, four young entrepreneurs are living the startup life in many of the same ways as Silicon Valley technologists. These guys aren’t writing code or creating the next 3d printing technology though. Instead they are wiring greenhouses, calculating nutrient formulas, and tweaking hash oil extraction methods.
The four twenty-something entrepreneurs have diverse backgrounds in politics, engineering, physics, and economics, but as so many students do, bonded smoking pot in college. After graduating from school and dabbling in the corporate life, the team converged in Washington on to use Miles and Connor Deife’s family farm for a large scale marijuana grow.
It took some convincing to get the family on board with the idea, as Miles and his brother Connor’s grandfather had once threatened their inheritance if they even smoked weed. As it turns out Grandpa Deife had a soft spot that you probably won’t find shocking; money. Miles and Connor’s mother was the one who pitched the idea to their grandpa, all but guaranteeing a return on his sizable investment.
The foursome got the ball rolling with $350,000 in capital and a 20 acre purchase of the family land. They submitted their paperwork to acquire three Tier 3 licenses (allowing for 21,000 feet of marijuana grows) back in December of 2013 and waited for their approval. Meanwhile they were each honing in on the task ahead, combing through every grow regulation, studying plant physiology, and fine tuning their leadership skills.
The team rolled up their sleeves and built out the grow facility by hand. It took the better part of a year to complete, working on things like constructing security fences, building the greenhouses, and wiring the facility by hand. As with any startup the guys wore many hats, worked through the night, and figured it out as they went.
Now that their grow facilities are built and operational, the young startup is moving full steam ahead. The team is processing marijuana into hash oil and say that they can make $40,000 a day doing so. Even with the high overhead of $10,000 monthly electricity bills, the team expects to pay off their $350,000 investment plus interest in early 2015.
The four guys are currently still sharing a small farm house (more like a frat house) and pulling all nighters. Miles spends most of his days making deliveries across the state and has secured a contract to turn 4 tons of marijuana into hash oil concentrate in the coming year.
It seems that the teams startup approach to the pot farm and entrepreneurial spirit will soon pay off. Big time. Similar to the Silicon Valley of the early 90s these guys got in at the ground level, and now the sky is the limit. As Washington and a slew of other states begin expanding their marijuana programs, this will be one of many more success stories of young entrepreneurs to come.
2014 marked one of the most historically significant years for cannabis legislation since Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The wheels of the legislative process are slowly turning, and laws are starting to reflect the views of the growing majority of marijuana supporters in the United States. This infographic takes a close look at the changing tides of legislation and the rapidly shifting social perceptions of marijuana in 2014.
Yes, last year was a good year for cannabis proponents. Although Federal prohibition on marijuana remains in tact for the foreseeable future, the attacks on medical marijuana growers and providers were officially put to a halt this year. Now, almost half of the country allows some form of medical marijuana and 2 more states (and the District of Colombia) have decided that the use of marijuana should be legal for adults. Cities like Philadelphia, Houston, and Cincinnati are lessening penalties for possession in an effort to quell the harsh and unjust racial disparity in marijuana related arrests.
The 2014 midterm elections went favorably for marijuana proponents. A strong showing of support in Oregon and Alaska changed marijuana laws and DC overwhelmingly passed their initiative to legalize marijuana. Florida voters showed up to polls with 58% supporting the legalization of medical marijuana, but Florida laws say that 60% of the vote is needed to pass constitutional amendments.
Meanwhile, Colorado and Washington underwent their first year of legalization without any major calamities. Money is now filtering into state treasuries and crime rates in Colorado were down at the 6 month mark. Colorado recreational shops opened in January and combined with medical sales, brought in $60 Million in tax revenue by October. Washington recreational sales opened up on July 8 and raked in about $15 million in the first 6 months of the program. While it may take a few years to get the kinks worked out, the sky has yet to fall from the so-called ‘social experiment’ with legalized marijuana.
Beyond tax dollars and new legislation, leading voices in our country are now becoming more friendly with marijuana. From President Obama’s straightforward talk on pot to the grandparents lighting up for the first time, it seems that American society is reconsidering how they think about marijuana. Even the New York Times boldly chimed in with a plea to change our National drug policy.
The future is undeniably bright for cannabis in the United states. One estimate projects that the cannabis industry could reach a whopping 10 Billion dollars by 2018. Money spent on marijuana is now being channeled into schools and research, rather than the pockets of Mexican cartels. As proponents for legalization march onward toward 2016, the next 2 years will set the stage for the future of cannabis in America.
Silver Princess is a 93 year old great grandmother and resident of Washington in the northwest corner of the United States. Silver Princess has been a law abiding citizen for 93 years, so she has never tried marijuana before. However, since voters legalized marijuana within the state by passing Initiative 502 in 2012, Silver Princess decided that she would like to try smoking it for the first time now that it is no longer against the law.
So, as any good son would do, Open Sky, procured a single cannabis joint for the two of them to share. In the spirit of experimentation, the pair decided to film their first experience with marijuana for the rest of the world to watch. Although neither Open Sky nor Silver Princess have ever smoke cannabis before, both of them have smoked cigarettes in the past, so they were hopeful in their abilities to inhale.
The first three minutes of the video, Open Sky, thoroughly explains how he was able to obtain the joint from the wife of a friend. The full video is 12 minutes long, so the videos below a broken out into entertaining segments.
The video below will start right before the joint is sparked, where OpenSky points out, “It smells kind of foul, but i’m sure its like potent and stuff.” It will end right after he explains to his mother how to inhale.
Now, they actually spark the joint. Silver Princess shares her thoughts, and has a case of the giggles.
About five minutes into smoking, Open Sky announces, “I wonder if I’m starting to feel a little differently. I think I might be kinda like a little tingly or something.”
Silver Princess shares her thoughts in the video below. OpenSky insists she is a natural.
Although parts of this 12 minute video make it difficult to believe these two have never smoked marijuana before, at the very end of the video, Open Sky summarizes the lack luster findings of this social experiment. Silver Princess went to sleep after her first sample of cannabis, and Open Sky did not really enjoy the over-all feelings he experienced.
Maybe the second time will be better for these two adventurous souls.
photo credit: wikimedia