News Yous Can Use

As this Folio Weed column speeds through its second year as a regular feature, new developments in and around Northeast Florida continue to roll in faster than any one person can keep up. Thankfully, one person doesn’t have to. The options available for your reefer-related reading pleasure are as diverse and compelling as the sundry strains of sensimilla itself. The list begins with Tom Angell, editor of Marijuana Moment. The irascible Angell’s 15-plus years on the beat easily qualify him as mainstream media’s dean of dinky-dow.

Much of Angell’s material finds its way into Forbes, via the business magazine’s website. And we reckon the publication’s namesake would’ve appreciated his company’s efforts to promote personal liberty in that manner. Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) was a fierce iconoclast and, in many ways, a model of the kind of celebrity CEO style later embodied by folks as diverse as Trumpollini, Dick Branson and Elon Musk. (The man famously flew 800 people to Morocco for his birthday party—no one will ever top that.) In addition to Angell, Forbes also features Sara Brittany Somerset, a veteran freelancer with international cachet. Between the two voices, Forbes covers just about the entire spectrum of marijuana-related issues from Austin, Texas to Tel Aviv.

I bring this up mainly because of an excellent article on Florida’s “Green Rush,” written by James Cannon and featured on the first page of the April 12 edition of the Jacksonville Business Journal. Coincidentally, I found myself subbing for Cannon a week later at the Volstead, where he was to judge the Bartenders Brawl: Tournament of Champions. The next morning I did a segment on WJCT with attorney Sally Kent Peebles, who was quoted in Cannon’s article. The story also featured stuff from with Sproutly CEO Keith Dolo and lawyer Daniel Russel, as well as some fine infographics illustrating the industry’s upward trajectory. “There’s a lot of room for growth,” Cannon noted. “For perspective, there are around 110 dispensaries in Florida today, while just the city of Denver has more than 200.”

With the top ten states sympathetic to the sassafras already kicking in upwards of a billion bucks in federal tax revenue alone, it’s not just about Florida. The entire country is moving in the same direction. Major states began the push a few years ago, and now key population centers like New York City and Washington DC have begun to follow suit. Even Georgia has made inroads on the more elevated levels of society. The mainstream press has embraced the subject, too, so look for the cadres of correspondents to expand in rough proportion to the product.