Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Cannabis Wins in 2020


Maybe you feel like you won this past Presidential election, maybe you feel like you lost this Presidential election.  One winner for us all is the overwhelming increase in states and local jurisdictions that voted and passed 'YES4LegalCannabis'.  You all obviously listened to the hashtag that has been circling for over a year; #VoteCannabisCandidates.

News Article: CBS Morning News: "Marijuana Legalization Is So Popular It's Defying The Partisan Divide"


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

74 Percent

It appears the White House will have a new resident on January 20.  This will likely turn out to be a major victory for the legal cannabis industry.  There are already mutterings from the Biden/Harris ticket that banking reform will happen in 2021 so that legal cannabis businesses have a safe place to deposit their money, no more all cash transactions, access to lending capital and the ability to track the money.

Here are the facts:

  • Five more states approved some form of legalized cannabis November 3, 2020
  • Gallup released poll findings on Monday that shows nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the adult use of cannabis
  • Since the early 1970's the acceptance of cannabis use has steadily increased as shown in the Gallup chart above.

Cannabis use in California was born out of compassionate use for those suffering the ravages of the fight among AIDS patients. Let me say this again, compassionate use.  If you walk into a legal cannabis dispensary today the customers inside will be tech workers and the elderly. People look for alternatives over prescription medication for pain management and sleep deprivation among the elderly population as well as arthritis and those suffering disease and illness such as cancer patients.

In the SF Bay Area landlords are raising their hands saying I want a cannabis tenant in my building more than ever because of the upcoming change in the US Presidency.  There is very little fear of federal consequence for the foreseeable future and with 74% of states allowing some form of legal cannabis policy, there is no turning back the tide. Alcohol has been with us for 87 years with the passage of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution and we all know the history lesson of Prohibition.  We recently learned under the Pandemic that if you outlaw haircuts and manicures, folks will secretly seek it out. Let's legalize, let's regulate and pay our way into economic recovery.


Friday, October 30, 2020

Cannabis Education Is Key

KCBS Radio 74.0 am/106.9 fm reports on Thursday new cannabis users are turning to cannabis for relief as per the research study conducted by BDS Analytics. Ordinary people, your neighbor, co-worker and friend are giving up alcohol and addictive opioids to cope with our current national and worldwide crisis. When visiting a legal retail cannabis dispensary they arrive armed with much curiosity and a lot of honest questions. They know their purchased product is clean and tested for pesticides, free of inorganic additives and bugs.

America has a long history with pills and self-medication.  Just look at all the TV ads today if you are in doubt. Remember Coca-Cola's history at the turn of the 20th century produced with a mild cocaine additive?  When you visit your doctor's office with a dull pain or bad cold, you ask your medical professional for a quick fix, a magic elixir, a pill. Our collective "gate-way" drug is aspirin. Your momma gave it to you when you were 5 years old with Johnson & Johnson's orange flavored chewables and it tasted good. We were indoctrinated very early into managing our own needs for sleep management for the elderly, pain management for the sick, the daily stresses of work, family, children and yes sometimes a desire for recreation. Under Covid-19 we learned if you ban it, they will come.  Haircuts were banned and folks were seeking out underground salon services.

Cannabis is a drug, no doubt about that.  We have 80 years of history with alcohol and the past angst is a mere fog in the rearview mirror. Alcohol and its uses are off everyone's radar, and you cannot have a brunch gathering today without a pitcher of Mimosa's at the ready.  Cannabis is legal, regulate, educate, and de-schedule. With proper education let adults be adults and move on.  2020 has shown us there are much larger problems that affect our future than a little plant.  And oh yes lest we forget, alcohol is derived from plant products.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Create Good Cannabis Policy


You have a massive budget shortfall, you have laid off staff in multiple departments, you have pulled back on city services and still there is a shortfall for years to come.

Do you attempt yet another tax of your residents who are out of work and already struggling, or do we get creative and think outside the box?

When creating your cannabis policy that is both an ongoing revenue source to your city and invite a new industry that will be a good business partner here is what you need to know when determining where and how many legal cannabis licenses to allow. It has been 40+ years since the birth of the last new and exciting industry. The Governor's office has also deemed the legal cannabis industry as essential and continued to operate as all other essential industries with proper pandemic protocols in place.

A cannabis retail business applicant has taken on the task of working in a highly regulated industry; more than tobacco, more than alcohol, more than casinos and more than drug stores.  A good cannabis business operator, has a large labor force, hires locally, always diverse, has challenges to banking and tax preparation, the strictest track and trace and inventory control of the product. There is nothing else like it in America today, and rightfully so.  A major hurdle is finding the appropriate property business location and the State already has guidelines set forth to provide for setbacks of sensitive receptors: schools, daycare centers, etc.

Now for the difficult piece of the puzzle, the actual property.  Once you have your "green-zones" determined the applicant must find a property that is:
1. distant from sensitive receptors
2. the property owner will allow a retail cannabis dispensary as a tenant
3. the owner does not have a loan on the property that would likely get "called" should they allow tenancy
4. no access to traditional banking to purchase their own store 

Here is an example in San Mateo County.  Half Moon Bay used to be the ornamental flower capital of the western world, now decimated due to offshoring.  They chose to allow cannabis cultivation only, not retail, to backfill their agricultural history and to resurrect the greenhouses that lie fallow. Makes perfect sense only on paper.  The cannabis plant is very susceptible to mold and foggy climate. It has been over three years and no cultivator has applied for a license while their city continues to suffer budgetarily and this was all pre-pandemic. Half Moon Bay still struggles.

You may wish to tread shallow water and allow medical-only retail licensing but this is a non-starter.  In Santa Clara County with a current population of 1,940,000 residents holds roughly only 200 active medical license cards. The passage of adult-use in 2016 no longer makes a distinction between medical or recreational cannabis.

Be thoughtful with your approach but please also consider the largest swath of green-zone districts allowed.  The four items listed above are challenging and restrictive on its own.  No legal cannabis retail operator wants to be near your children, your schools, or your daycare centers. These are not their customer. Children and not able to enter the front door as a security person will scan your current identification before entering, no one is allowed to loiter on the business premises, the front of the store must be shielded from the operations inside the business.  These are already written into Proposition 64 passed by your residents in 2016.

Thank you for your time, I am always available, Sean Kali-rai, to answer your cannabis policy municipal questions as I have been integral with writing the City of San Jose cannabis policy in December of 2015 as it stands today.  The City of San Jose allows 16 legal cannabis retail businesses to operate before Proposition 64 and has the strictest guidelines in the state of California. These 16 operators are well run, they participate in community events, they promote from within, they are good neighbors to those who reside around them and with no issues of crime.

Friday, October 23, 2020



The biggest brick wall in the cannabis industry is the federal government. Upon its de-scheduling out of category 1 drug the doors would open for legal cannabis businesses their necessary access to banking thereby a greater ability to track the money. Our legal cannabis businesses want this.  It makes their financial world so much more efficient to run. Simpler record keeping and managing expenses, bill pay and payroll, access to real capital. What better way to help a very lucrative tax revenue stream for cities and stamp out the illegal cannabis marketplace, reduce crime and eliminate the ingestion of untested product into our bodies.

40 of 57 California county residents voted YES for Proposition 64, Adult Use of marijuana Act in 2016. 34 states in the US currently have some form of legal cannabis policy on their books and another handful of states with measures on the 2020 election ballot this November all in just a few short years.

It has been 40+ years since we have seen the birth of a new and exciting industry that the people want and voted for. In fact there are more cannabis industry employees working today in the US than there are computer programmers.  BTW, medical only cannabis licenses is a non-starter.  In Santa Clara County with a population of over 1,900,000 residents has on its books only 200 active medical cards issued.

Do a little homework, this November 3, #VoteCannabisCandidates. You can begin with the following candidates who have already shown their dedication, support and loyalty to the legal cannabis industry in California:  Ro Khanna for Congress, Ash Kalra for Assembly, and Rob Bonta for Assembly.


Thursday, October 22, 2020



Nushin Rashidian, co-founder of Cannabis Wire reported on October 21 that money spent on federal lobbying for cannabis is down for the third quarter in a row. Cannabis policy and legislation is fought on the ground at the local/regional level, especially in California where Proposition 64 disastrously allows for local control. 

Do you know your local cannabis regulations?
Does anyone represent your business needs?
Are you frustrated with local/state legislation?
Need a network of professionals who understand you and your cannabis business?
Who can you turn to for help?

Join Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance. We focus on greater Silicon Valley, Northern California and Central Coast.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020


 VOTE this November 3, and when you do:


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

SVCA Endorsements for 2020 Election


Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance endorses for November 3, 2020 election in the interest of 1. Safe Cannabis, 2. Legal Cannabis, 3. Vote Cannabis Candidates, 4. Responsible Adult Use the following candidates for their dedicated, open, honest commitment to the Adult Use of Cannabis in California:

California Congressional District 17 : Ro Khanna

California Assembly District 27 : Ash Kalra

California Assembly District 18 : Rob Bonta