pro marijuana rally in front of Denver courthouse

You want to uncover how much cannatax is possible in a legal, regulated landscape. Basic searches turn up a few sentences here, a few sentences there, and, maybe, if you’re lucky, a couple of sound bites on YouTube.

The detective work begins in earnest. You search for economists’ white papers, download them, and pore through them. They’re  written by academics for academics. The reports are missing the human touch. You start getting the wild idea you might be able to provide it — but you’ll have to match the relentlessness of doctoral candidates composing longish, fact-filled, heavily researched theses. It’s an insane thought. You commit to it anyway.

You think you’re being compulsive enough … but then, just when you’re starting to draw what seem like sensible conclusions, doubt creeps in. You begin asking yourself, “How is it that I, someone who bypassed Economics 101 for arcane liberal arts fare like Love And The Secular Spirit, have identified potential taxation streams unmentioned anywhere else?”

Doubt has crept in because there’s one important step you haven’t taken: you haven’t talked with the nation’s top poteconomists. You want to make sure you haven’t missed any points, or misinterpreted something they said or hadn’t said in their papers.

You take one economist, one poteconomist, and one phenom. After interviewing them, you find yourself with over three hours worth of nonstop talk. You personally transcribe their long interviews, word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence, page-by-page, over the course of about thirty hours, bitching every second. You thought it would be easy to hire a virtual assistant from “a third-world country” to do that for you. It wasn’t. There’s a reward: now you actually understand what the heck they were talking about!

You find that you’re able, within limits, to process the same data — and draw entirely different conclusions. Ones that you don’t doubt.

Then you get another crazy idea. You may be able to show other people how to predict cannatax, too — using the words of the economists themselves.

What do you have when you’re done? Cannabis Commerce in the USA, presented here for your consideration. Comments invited. —Lory Kohn, May 2010