Gooey’s Coffee Shop Cannabis, Part 8: Opportunities

Welcome to Gooey’s Coffee Shop Cannabis, where I take exactly 420 words of your day to teach you about the business and science of the emerging cannabis industry. I promise to address any feedback in the comments.

To set the mood, listen to Cab Calloway tell you how it is in 1932, five years before marijuana became illegal in the United States.

Previous installments in this series:


So you wanna get into the cannabis industry, eh? Despite the prevailing panic among eager entrepreneurs who fear they’ll be left behind, there’s going to be plenty of opportunities….  

Replacing the Fallouts

Please don’t mistake me some a pessimist (I’m actually a realist with optimistic undertones), but there is going to be a huge fallout in the cannabis market now that California has opened its doors for legal adult use. Some of the smartest consultants and marketing experts I’ve worked with in California predict that 60-80% of existing and new “legal” marijuana businesses (assume those created in the next 3-6 months) will be out-of-business within one to two years.  

This will result mostly from mismanagement and a lack of compliance with regulatory oversight. Businesses with valid permits will be shut down by district attorneys and government authorities following inspections and audits (this will be especially true for processors using volatile solvents).

However, jurisdictions won’t want to lose the tax revenue collected from a well-managed cannabis business. Thus, new opportunities for entrepreneurs will emerge as cities re-open license application submission periods.  

Banning Bans

In addition to the demise of cannabis businesses that are mismanaged or fail to comply with regulations, other opportunities will open for entrepreneurs in the coming months and years.

Dozens of jurisdictions in California have banned cannabis businesses within their borders. However, after tax revenues are flowing into the coffers of city governments lacking bans, neighboring jurisdictions with bans in place will become envious of the cash flow.

Voters will pressure city and town councils to modify or even eliminate bans, necessarily obligating them to license new cannabis businesses. Those communities not wanting retail stores on every corner will pursue industrial zoning and court businesses like processing, manufacturing, distribution, and transportation.

Panic Understandable

The panic being experienced in the burgeoning cannabis industry, especially in epicenters like Los Angeles and San Francisco, is understandable; no entrepreneur wants to lose a seat at the table. For many, the goldrush is an opportunity to own or manage a progressive business serving a new age of informed consumers.

As I tell my clients, it is better to take the time to develop a robust business plan and detailed strategy than to rush into the industry half-baked. This is business 101: Even the best executed crappy strategy is a crappy strategy.

The cannabis industry is attracting so many intelligent, driven, and charismatic entrepreneurs and leaders that crappy strategy won’t cut it.

If your strategy isn’t really solid when you launch, you’re already dead.

Gooey Rabinski


All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003-2018 Gooey Rabinski. All Rights Reserved.

Gooey Rabinski is a technical writer, photographer, and compliance documentation specialist for cannabis businesses who has contributed feature articles to magazines and media outlets such as High Times, CannaBiz Journal, MERRY JANEEmerald Magazine, Grow Magazine, Herb.coThe KindSkunk, Cannabis Culture, WhaxyHeads, Weed World, Green Flower MediaCannabis HBK11RenderHealth Journal, Green Thumb, and Treating Yourself.

He is the author of Understanding Medical Marijuana, available on Amazon Kindle.

His cannabis-related freelance photos, spanning back more than a decade, are available on Instagram and Flickr. He tweets from @GooeyRabinski.

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Gooey’s Coffee Shop Cannabis, Part 7: Californication

Welcome to Gooey Rabinski’s Coffee Shop Cannabis, where I take exactly 420 words of your day to teach you about the business and science of the emerging cannabis industry. I promise to address any feedback in the comments.

To set the mood, listen to Cab Calloway tell you how it is in 1932, five years before marijuana became illegal in the United States.

Previous installments in this series:


The cannabis industry is emerging—and evolving—at an astounding rate. All industry segments, from cultivation and dispensing to the red headed stepchildren of transportation and distribution, are experiencing growth rates that make other industries envious.

Despite significant hurdles driven by federal prohibition, a gross lack of merchant banking, and hundreds of municipalities and counties in legal states that have decided to ban pot businesses, the struggling marijuana industry continues to attract investors and entrepreneurs.


Amid a literal swarm of red Santa suits comprised of semi-inebriated humans dressed as the proverbial jolly ol’ elf, I met with my client at an expensive hipster tavern in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.

“What about Florida?” she asked. “What if my business was located in Florida instead of Costa Mesa, California?”

“Well, that would be a totally different scenario. The jurisdiction is god; they make the rules,” I responded.

Thus unfolds the gross, complicated regulatory schema—including sometimes massive pushback from jurisdictions at all levels—amid the chaotic emergence of a new, promising market in the United States called “recreational cannabis.”

In late November 2017, three California regulatory bodies released a combined 278 pages of the latest draft regulations for the marijuana industry in the Golden State. These regulations are all derived from California’s Senate Bill No. 94 (SB 94), the “law of the land” (as interpreted from the state’s ballot passage of Proposition 64 [officially dubbed the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or AUMA] in November 2016).

“AUMA authorizes a person 21 years of age or older to possess and use up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis, and to possess up to 6 living marijuana plants and the marijuana produced by those plants, subject to certain restrictions, as specified.”  — California Senate Bill No. 94

Consultants like me are in a mad dash to integrate these complex regulations from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the Bureau of Cannabis Control, and the Department of Public Health into our workflows. Business plans, operations plans, and applications for cannabis permits and licenses for pot companies in California must all conform to these emerging standards of regulatory oversight.

As such, it’s a frenetic time in the cannabis industry, especially in California, where adult use cannabis becomes legal on January 1, 2018. With market leader Los Angeles having not even yet released applications—but the state having begun so in early December via a slick online portal—cannabis business owners and entrepreneurs in Southern California are understandably nervous.


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All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003-2017 Gooey Rabinski. All Rights Reserved.

Gooey Rabinski is a technical writer, photographer, and compliance documentation specialist for cannabis businesses who has contributed feature articles to magazines and media outlets such as High Times, CannaBiz Journal, MERRY JANEEmerald Magazine, Grow Magazine, Herb.coThe KindSkunk, Cannabis Culture, WhaxyHeads, Weed World, Green Flower MediaCannabis HBK11RenderHealth Journal, Green Thumb, and Treating Yourself.

He is the author of Understanding Medical Marijuana, available on Amazon Kindle.

His cannabis-related freelance photos, spanning back more than a decade, are available on Instagram and Flickr. He tweets from @GooeyRabinski.