A food truck selling marijuana edibles? Colorado law says any licensed cannabis sales must occur at a fixed premises. (magicalbutter.com)

Cannabist Q&A: Food trucks, pot-centric education; investing

Welcome to our Ask The Cannabist column. Clearly you have questions about marijuana, be it a legal concern, a health curiosity, a Colorado-centric inquiry or something more far-reaching. Check out our expansive, 64-question Colorado marijuana FAQ first, and if you’re still curious, email your question to Ask The Cannabist at askthecannabist@gmail.com.

Hey, Cannabist!
I read about the Seattle marijuana food truck.  Where are the marijuana food trucks in Denver? It’s a great idea! –Gobbling Ganja Gourmand

Hey, Ganja Gourmand!
The Samich Truck, a souped-up school bus converted into a mobile cannabis kitchen that debuted at the Denver Cannabis Cup over 4/20 weekend has returned to its home state of Washington, where sales of recreational marijuana edibles haven’t quite taken off, for various reasons.  Here in Denver, stoners’ dreams of Cheech & Chong’s “Nice Dreams” ice cream truck tooling around the city or the ‘burbs will not be coming true anytime soon. (I’m sad, I want to drive the truck!)

Anyhow, mobile dispensaries are not legally allowed in Colorado.  Attorney Josh Kappel says a marijuana license is based on fixed premises. Permission from the state is needed to move locations, which makes a mobile marijuana food truck practically impossible to legally operate within current law.

Attorney Sean McAllister points out a mobile marijuana food cart is not legal in Colorado because all marijuana dispensing must happen inside a licensed facility.  XO

Really, that’s a thing? Cannabis-infused coffee. A cannabis museum on wheels. Machine-rolled marijuana cigarettes. Joint-peddling vending machines. The massage of your life, via a marijuana-infused lotion. Yes, really, these are all real things.

Hey, Cannabist!
School me on something. I’ve seen online sites (Cannabis Hemp Academy and Cannabis Training Institute to name two) that offer “certifications” for training which supposedly will help you stand out from other applicants for jobs.  Are they worth it?  Do Colorado companies/dispensaries really want to see these education credits from these online sources on a résumé? Or is having a MED badge enough?
–Exploring Endo Education 

Hey, Endo!
Yes, getting a Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) badge covers the legal bases for working in the cannabis industry. All owners and employees working in state-regulated marijuana businesses must have a badge. The requirements include living in Colorado, being at least 21 years of age, undergoing a background check and not owing tax or child support money. Also, badge applicants may not have any felony convictions or specifically, controlled-substance felony convictions not fully discharged for five years before applying.

Additional education from a cannabis trade school is a way to stand out from a group of job applicants. I asked Jan Cole, CEO of Boulder marijuana retailer The Farm, about her opinion on cannabis trade schools. “Absolutely, going to college and getting an education is important,” Cole says. “If someone who wants to work in this industry voluntarily spends their time and money to learn more, that is a great attitude to have. It demonstrates they are passionate about this industry and have invested money and time in their success.”

Cole mentions California-based Oaksterdam University, a well-regarded cannabis school, and Denver-based Cloverleaf University as two examples of established cannabis schools. The school might not be the most important deciding factor in choosing courses. Cole recommends selecting classes based on the instructor. “Make sure the teacher really is an expert in the field they are teaching,” she says. A couple of other Colorado schools are Cannabis University and Cannabis Talks (previously Cannabusiness School and Consulting).

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Hey, Cannabist!
How do I invest in the cannabis industry without being accredited? –Fan Leaf Financier 

Hey, Financier!
Investing in cannabis business certainly is a hot topic. There have been three cannabis investment conferences or meetings in Denver this summer, including (wait for the pun) one called Weedstock.

To invest in the private market, one must be an accredited investor. As you may know, an accredited investor must have a minimum net worth, income or trust with assets. If someone is not accredited, they only have access to the public markets.

For advice in the public market, I spoke with Troy Dayton, CEO of The ArcView Group, an angel investor network for cannabis industry businesses, at the recent Cannabis Business Summit. Dayton clearly said, at this time, public investments are smoke and mirrors. Most public companies are overvalued and Dayton recommends people hold on to their money.

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With an increase in investor complaints regarding marijuana-related investments, the SEC issued “Investor Alerts” and has enforced temporary trading suspensions for the common stock in at least five different companies claiming operations related to the marijuana industry, including Growlife.

Dayton shared that for many cannabis businesses, family and friends are usually the sources of investment money for the marijuana industry with no access to traditional banking.  Possibly your cannabis industry investment will be one that is close to home. XO