You could say there’s been a butterfly effect, as in the marijuana seed planted in Afghanistan eventually winds up a botanic clone in Sacramento. You might also say there’s been a domino effect, as in Massachusetts became a medmar state, then New Jersey was the next domino to fall. I prefer noting there’s been a ripple effect, because it reflects something happening right here, right now, in a local pond.

But why should you care about what’s happening right here, right now, in my pond? Let me answer that in two words: jobs baby, jobs. And money baby, money. Because what’s happening in my pond can happen in your pond, if the powers-that-be are willing.

What’s happening in my pond is that the cannabis commerce phenomenon is seeping deeper and deeper into every nook and cranny of my community.

As someone who’s been in way more dispensaries than most people, I felt motivated to document the job creation and economic stimulation I constantly encounter. So I’ve put together a scenario — that could happen to you …

Action: I see a doctor for a medical marijuana recommendation. One question and $100 later I have one.
Beneficiaries: The doctor who may see over twenty patients a week, making around $2,000 a week.

Action: I hire a lawyer. Now that I have my medical marijuana license, I’m thinking about jumping into cannabis commerce. However, I’m aware there are many gray areas in my state’s medical marijuana laws. I also know that some of these haven’t been synchronized with federal laws. I hire an attorney and put him on retainer, just in case.
Beneficiaries:  The attorney, his law firm.

Action: I purchase some clones. I head over to Broadway Wellness Center, a dispensary with a selection of mothers and clones, to pick up some hearty strains recommended for the novice grower. I notice they’ve hired another receptionist for their expanded hours. The “budtenders” are new too.
Beneficiaries: The budtenders at the dispensary, the person who grew the clones, the dispensary owners, all their families.

Action: I rent an industrial space to grow my plants. I have a hunch that if my grow lights short-circuit and my house burns to the ground, my insurance company won’t be writing a check for replacement costs. They’d rightfully claim I was using my home for business purposes.
Beneficiaries:  The leasing agent, the clever property owner who converted his warehouse into individual grow spaces for lease and advertised them in Denver’s weekly Westword, the ad salesperson for Westword and the newspaper itself. Oh – and what about that security guard I saw on duty? He just happens to be a vet from Iraq, who had no idea where he could fit into the civilian world. . .

Action: To protect that grow space, I order a steel reinforced door.
Beneficiaries: The retail door salesperson, the retail company, the hardware company that made the door, the transportation company that shipped the door, the contractor who installs the door.

Action: On the advice of my attorney, I also order a surveillance camera from a surveillance supply company.
Beneficiaries: The salesperson from the surveillance supply store, the surveillance store, the company that made the surveillance camera with the sudden surge in sales since medical marijuana took hold.

Action: I order a complete hydroponic growing system.
Beneficiaries: The salesperson at the cultivation store, the other employees at the cultivation store, the owners of the cultivation store, the fertilizer company, the grow light company, the container company, the venting company, the seed or cuttings companies, the soil company, the soil nutrients company, the humidity control company, the temperature regulation company, the contractor who installs my system.

Action: I’m not sure how to use my hydroponic growing system, so I buy some instructional books and DVDs that take me from seed germination to the curing process.
Beneficiaries:  The authors, the illustrators, the publishers, perhaps Amazon, local and big box booksellers. UPS.

Action: I notice the 10,000 square foot grow warehouse is filling up rapidly. Not every warehouse is marijuana-friendly. A few weeks ago I had my choice of dozens of grow rooms. Now the building is almost full – and I hear new laws are coming that will make grow warehouse space even more precious.
Beneficiaries: All the growers like me who got in before the laws changed. The building owner and the leasing agent. Other warehouse owners who realize grow operations are a potential gold mine for their vacant buildings.

Action: I buy a bunch of ladybugs. Uh-oh, my plants developed spider mites. What foe is the natural enemy of spider mites? You guessed it.
Beneficiary: The guy in Oregon everyone thought was nuts who started a ladybug farm cause he knew many indoor growers are plagued by spider mites. UPS, which took care of the shipping. Ladybug guy went from $18,000 a year at Radio Shack to $81,000 selling cannabis-friendly insectivora.

Action: While waiting for my seedlings to become pounds of “overgrow,” I buy a bunch of CDs, books and DVDs to help time go by.
Beneficiaries: My local bookstore, Best Buy, the musicians, the authors, the movie studios. FedEx.

Action: I stock up on edibles and absorbents. Smoking is hurting my lungpower, so I try out marijuana pizza, ice cream, elixir, cheesecake, candy, fruit squares, cookies, brownies, butters, and more imaginative edibles. Every one of these is made by new and enterprising companies doing what they love. I also buy a bunch of waxes, sprays, drops, tinctures, and more.
Beneficiaries: The people who dreamed these products up, the people who make them, the delivery people, the retail store.

Action: After many anxious months nurturing my plants, I sell the “medicine” to those I “caregive.” If everything goes well with my yield, my actually sick customers will be well-taken-care-of and I’ll have an extra. . . $5000 or so to play around with.
Beneficiaries: My customers, their families, me, my kids, my wife – and everyone we all do business with.

Action: I buy a computer based home recording studio. Now I have a lump sum of $5,000 that I had zero chance of ever accumulating by working at Home Depot for $10/hr. Instead of praying for a lottery win, I’ve taken specific action steps to increase my lot in life. Hmm. I’ve always wanted a computer based home recording studio. . . this includes a fast-as-hell desktop, microphones, speakers, headphones, cables, an audio interface, and some software to run it. If all goes well, in another three months I’ll add guitars, amps, keyboards, professional preamps, virtual instruments, a comfortable chair, a custom desk to contain it all, an oriental rug for ambiance, and some cool lights. Before you know it, I am buying all manner of useful and useless material goods – manna for our distressed GNP. . .
Beneficiaries: At least a dozen salespeople, at least a dozen companies the salespeople work for, at least a dozen pro audio companies, the shareholders of all those companies, the transportation people and the companies that ship the equipment, and so on. Stockbrokers and investors who follow the GDP.

Action: I buy another hydroponic growing system to double my yield. Everybody loved my product (I mean “medicine,” wink/wink), Paonia Paralyzer, and now I have become “caregiver” (not “dealer,” wink/wink) for several more “patients” (the medical marijuana phase has its hypocritical aspects, for sure) who are quite happy with my product and my superlative caregiving. It’s time to expand my growing operation.
Beneficiaries: The same folks as before, only now there are several more employees at the cultivation store. All the cultivation supply companies have also added salespeople and warehouse people to keep up with demand.

Action: I sell some “overgrow” to one of Denver’s newest dispensaries. While I’m there, I buy a couple of hemp shirts, a new pipe, and some lemon square edibles.
Beneficiaries: The new employees of the new dispensary, the new owners of the dispensary, the company that makes the hemp shirts (from imported hemp, since hemp is still illegal even in medmar states!), the craftsperson and the company who made and sold the pipe to the dispensary, the baker who made the lemon square edibles and her family. By the way, the baker is no longer commuting 80 miles daily to work the same cookie-cutter job someone else from 40 miles away is performing a few blocks from the baker’s home, a nice plus for the environment. . .

Action: I sell a song. Wow! Something great and unforeseen has happened. One of my “patients” (on the bright side, before medmar you had to spend $200,000 on med school to accumulate patients; this is a substantial savings) has a brother who compiles soundtracks in Hollywood. She played him a song I recorded with the money I made from my first crop entitled “From Buds To Bullion.” Wouldn’t you know it, they want to use it on Entourage!
Beneficiaries: On the surface just me, but really everyone I come into contact with for years.

What does  “the ripple effect” mean to Charles D., of Colorado Wellness?

“We must have used about 15 different types of contractors doing a full build out. Architects, mechanical engineers, HVAC, security systems, locksmiths, tilers – wait, it’s more like 20 different types of contractors, the snow plowers, the printing and graphics people. . . it goes on and on.”

Are you beginning to see how Cannabis Commerce provides an incredible boost for communities that allow it to freely flow?