aamericans for safe access
alabama medical marijuana coalition
Americans for Safe Access
A last-ditch effort to block restrictive regulations on medical cannabis businesses in San Jose, California, has come up short.Advocates failed to get the required number of signatures for a proposed ballot measure seeking to overturn the rules, which severely restrict where dispensaries can locate.The failure means that most of San Jose’s 80 or so dispensaries will have to close within a year.The initiative’s backers turned in signatures to the City Clerk’s office on Friday afternoon. But city officials announced this week that the group came up about 10,000 short of the required number of valid signatures needed to make the ballot.The new regulations, passed recently by the San Jose City Council, force dispensaries into industrial areas and set strict new rules on their operations. Industry advocates have called the regulations a “de facto” ban because only a handful of dispensaries will be able to find suitable locations.Once the council passed the rules, marijuana proponents knew they faced an uphill battle to overturn the regulations.Some advocates have moved forward with collecting signatures to place an initiative on the November ballot for looser regulations on the city’s medical marijuana businesses. However, Mayor Chuck Reed has announced he will actively oppose such initiatives.
Starting a medical marijuana business in Massachusetts is not for the faint of wallet. A company that received two of the 20 provisional dispensary licenses awarded by the state anticipates shelling out at least $9 million in startup expenses and initial operating costs. New England Treatment Access (NETA) will open storefronts in Brookline and Northampton as well as a cultivation facility in Franklin later this year. The company’s two principles – Kevin Fisher and Arnon Vered – said roughly $3.8 million will cover infrastructure costs all those locations, while $5.2 million will float the entire operation until its projected break-even point in the first quarter of next year. The funding comes via a loan from businessman Howard Kessler, who owns a financial services consulting company in Boston. Fisher and Vered have ambitious revenue projections. They estimate the business will bring in $9.8 million in 2015 under the assumption that each patient will purchase 1.6 ounces per month with average prices of $4,800 per pound. The two hope to grow revenues to $19 million by 2017 and reach a peak patient count of 3,200 in 2016. The numbers highlight the sizable financial risk of opening a dispensary in a restrictive market. NETA’s revenue projections could be impacted by unfriendly neighbors, price fluctuations, market size and patient purchasing habits, among other factors. The figures also underscore the enormous capital costs required to open a medical marijuana business in a restrictive market. First-generation medical marijuana entrepreneurs in less restrictive states such as Colorado, California...