Slides from #CannabisJournalism talk at Longmont Startup Week


I gave a short talk at Longmont Startup Week on Wednesday, July 27th. Thanks to Pinpoint Bookmarking for the photo above. Always nice to get a Tweet shoutout at a presentation.

Below are the slides and the text from the slides. I’d love to follow up with any who attended, or anyone who is interesting the normalization of cannabis. There are many threads to follow when it comes to this topic, and I am always game to talk shop.

Here is the plain text from my presentation.

Reporting on America’s New Normal
Andrew Matranga | @AndrewMatranga

About Me
Marketing Technologist at StickerGiant (@stickergiant)

Part-time Teaching Professor of Digital Journalism at the University of Denver (@mfjs_du)

Take aways
Things We’ll Talk About Today
Brief History of Cannabis in America
Normalization via the media
Opportunities and challenges here in Colorado (especially Longmont!)
Journalists & outlets to follow

Cannabis in America

USA: Legal Cannabis 2017

2016 Gallup Poll
The majority of Americans continue to say marijuana use should be legal in the United States
12% in
Highest percentage of support recorded in 47-year trend
Favoring legalization is up among all age groups in the past decade
Large majorities of Democrats, independents favor legalization
When Gallup first asked this question in 1969, 12% of Americans supported the legalization of marijuana use. In the late 1970s, support rose to 28% but began to retreat in the 1980s during the era of the “Just Say No” to drugs campaign. Support stayed in the 25% range through 1995, but increased to 31% in 2000 and has continued climbing since then.

How we got here
Road Map

US Cannabis Timeline
1906 US Congress passes Pure Food & Drug Act
1906-1938 The Poison Laws & Reefer Madness
1930 Federal Bureau of Narcotics Formed
1937 Marihuana Tax Act
1956 Narcotics Control Act
1970 Controlled Substances Act
1973 Drug Enforcement Agency
1984/1986 Mandatory minimum
sentencing and three strikes
1996 California legalizes medical
cannabis (Proposition 215)
2009 DOJ Ogden Memo
2012 Voters in Colorado (Amend. 64)
& Washington (I-502) approve
recreational cannabis
2016 Cannabis Wins Big on the Ballot –
Harry Anslinger.
2000: CO medical cannabis legal

Reefer Madness & Yellow Journalism

Hearst + Anslinger

From this…

To This.

$6. 7B
2016 revenue from U.S. legal cannabis industry.
Projected to grow to $20.2 billion in 2021.
30% Growth in 2016. Forecasting ~25% growth YOY.
“You will not find another multi-billion-dollar market growing at 25 percent anywhere in the world that is not already filled with multi-national companies and institutional investors. That’s part of what makes the cannabis industry such a unique opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs,” said Troy Dayton, CEO of Arcview Market Research.

People in North America spent $53.3 billion on legal, medical, and illicit marijuana in 2016. That’s more cash than Americans spend in a year at McDonald’s and Starbucks combined.

$1.4B in sales
CO 2016: Recreational $875,277,360 | Medical $437,879,186

$223M in taxes
Up from $669M in 2014 and $996M in 2015.

$506 million
Total taxes collected on CO’s $3.6b sales since 2014.

Entry Points
(Med vs. Recreational)
so called “adult use”

This is your language on cannabis.

“As marijuana goes legit, our words for it are changing, too.” Britt Peterson, Boston Globe
Only one of these in dangerous…
Quote is subhed from article

This is your language on cannabis, by Britt Peterson


Colorado Stories
Denver’s new urban map
Big cannabis & Venture Capital
Race and Gender
Language of cannabis
Tax refunds
Cannabis Genome Project
Banking Issues
Statewide Tourism
Medical Tourism & CBD Babies
Media bias

Indica. Sativa. Hybrid. Edibles. Tinctures. Topicals. Prerolls. Leaf. Flower. Concentrates. Extracts. Wax. Shatter. Dabs. Vapes. CBD. THC. Endocannabinoids.

And so on….


EDIBLES: The Early Years
Before 2010, not required to be in a commercial kitchen
• Wildly inconsistent dosing
• “Let’s infuse everything!” mentality
• Amateur packaging and labeling
Source: nancy whiteman, wana brand

EDIBLES: Today’s Landscape
Highly regulated
• Mandatory lab testing for potency, contaminants and
residual solvents
• Child resistant packaging
• Elaborate information on regulatory labels
• Stamping imprinting
Source: nancy whiteman, wana brand

Source: nancy whiteman, wana brand

EDIBLES: Where This Segment is Heading
• Premium versus Everyday Edibles
• Wide Range of Dosage Levels
• Cannabinoid Ratios and “Stacking”
• Healthier Alternatives
• Experiences vs. Class Specific
Source: nancy whiteman, wana brand

2017 Stories
California & Nevada. Oh, and Canada.
The rest are all smaller fisher, but great threads to follow.
Federal Business Bills to Watch


Section 280E prevents cannabis producers, processors and retailers from deducting expenses from their income, except for those considered a Cost of Goods Sold (COGS).
26 U.S. Code § 280E – Expenditures in connection with the illegal sale of drugs
U.S. Code § 280E

Effective tax rate for cannabis businesses.

Cannabis in Colorado

From Prohibition to Normalization
Prohibition started in 1917

1937 Marihuana Tax Act
Upon inception, on October 1, 1937, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Denver Police Department arrested Moses Baca for possession and Samuel Caldwell for dealing.

Decriminalization in 1975
Followed a near decade-long wave of decriminalization across the country

Medical marijuana in 2000
54% of Colorado voters approved Amendment 20.

Election 2012
Voters approve Amendment 64

55% to 45%

Issue 300
The nation’s first voter approved social use initiative passed on November 8, 2016.
Yes 53.7%
No 46.3%
Denver City Ordinance

Issue 300 Challenges
Amendment 64 did not expressly permit cannabis consumption establishments, nor did it prohibit the possibility. Ultimately it is up to cities and counties to develop their own policies, and unfortunately elected officials have drastically misinterpreted Amendment 64 by claiming it broadly prohibits consumption anywhere considered “public.”
The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act and many state indoor smoking bans prohibit both tobacco and cannabis smoking in most indoor areas. Some states also ban vaporization, and Colorado is likely following suit next year.
I-300 permitted locations cannot SELL cannabis, creating a “BYOC” model.
Determining appropriate consumption locations is the crux to most community concerns, particularly concerns about odor.

Cannabis in Longmont

Longmont Cannabis Map

Longmont Cannabis Zoning Map from City Council Proceedings 7/25/17

The New Normal

Trouble from the Feds?
Updates to Cole Memo?

DOJ coming in?

Uncertainty does reign, but we’re out at sea on this boat…

Journalists & Outlets to follow
Follow these folks
Chris | Luke | Kirsten | David | Bob | Ricardo | Alicia | Bruce | Tom

Read these sources
BDS Analytics
ArcView Data
New Frontier
MJ Biz Daily
Cannabis Business Times
LA Times
Washington Post
SF Chronicle
Marijuana Moment

What Did You Learn Today?

Thank you!