Medical Marijuana Monopoly Wielded By The Wealthy

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Marijuana Legalization May Be Imminent In US States

Although debate rages on in the question of whether to regulate and openly sell a variety of strains of marijuana on the open market coast to coast, questions of negative and positive results persist, especially regarding marijuana allergy. Still, about half of US States have legalized marijuana sales at regulated storefronts.

That being true, then hemp should be legalized, because it is at least as valuable a product.

Some US States' leaders and voters have not yet decided the state-by-state matter of decriminalization. As of the end of October 2015, the undecided number of states was 27.

During the November 2015 General Election, Issues #2 and #3 in Ohio asked voters to:

  • Vote NO on Issue 2 to approve the formation of monopolies in Ohio, and
  • Vote YES on Issue 3 to legalize the regulated sale and use of marijuana via 10 specific growing facilities/companies only, licensed to commercially produce medical and recreational marijuana.

The rationale provided voters for passage of these two ballot issues was that

"It is permissible to form a monopoly if the voters approve it."

This statement might seem foolish, considering that trusts and many monopolies were outlawed nationally by the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, as well as others. Some of today's voters may not have heard of the act or realize what entails a monopoly. However, not all monopolies are illegal.

Would an Ohio marijuana monopoly be illegal? This is a good question. If Issue 2 did not pass, then the MJ monopoly would be illegal.

Will Ohioans and voters in subsequent states offering a medical-marijuana issue on their ballots pass a legal Monopoly operation?

“I don’t even know what they’re asking. It’s very confusing!”

— A voter in Dayton, Ohio; considering Issues 2 & 3

One issue on the Ohio Ballots in November 2015 was quickly decided. In a landslide loss, Issue #3 for Marijuana Monopoly growing, sales, and dispensing was defeated by two-thirds of voters.

At a time when too many families are being torn apart by drug abuse, Ohioans said no to easy access to drugs and instead chose a path that helps strengthen our families and communities

— Ohio Governor John Kasich; 11-3-2015
Will the Monopoly man go to jail?
Will the Monopoly man go to jail? | Source

Wealthy Investors and Marijuana Monopoly

Some constituents felt that a monopoly of 10 was sanctioned by Issues 2 & 3 and that it contained only 10 wealthy investors/businesses who lobbied to have Issue 3 placed on the Ohio ballot. That was probably a correct feeling.

These investors contributed approximately $3,400,000 to the pro-marijuana ResponsibleOhio PAC about 1/10 or 10% of the $36,000,000 contributed to the 10 businesses.

Monopolizing as much as he can.
Monopolizing as much as he can. | Source

Our 10 Marijuana Growth, Cultivation and Extraction (MGCE) Facilities.

The 10 businesses that would have ruled the marijuana realm in Ohio are listed below.

Their investors are very interesting people!

Investors In the 10-Company Monopoly

  1. Nick Lachey, legendary performer with 98 Degrees. Mr. Lachey is doing commercials that urge voters to pass Issue 3. he is part owner of one of the 10 proposed monopoly partners.
  2. Paul Heldman, former General Counsel for The Kroger Co. (based in Cincinnati).
  3. Woody Taft, descendant of President William Howard Taft of Ohio. The family is connected with Taft Broadcasting and King's Island Amusement Park (Cincinnati).
  4. Frank "Bo" Wood, founder and radio host for 102.7-FM WEBN Radio in Cincinnati. (Full owner of one MGCE entity.)
  5. Oscar Robertson, University of Cincinnati basketball player. (Part-owner of one of the entities.)
  6. Frostee Rucker, former Cincinnati Bengals football defensive end.(Part-owner of one of the entities.)
  7. Dayton pain specialist Suresh Gupta (Half-owner of one MGCE.) In 2008, Gupta was tried and acquitted (7/31/08) of assaulting four female patients in the context of pain management (Reference:www.whio.com//news/news/attorneys_complete_closing_arg/nF9Y/). Reviews of his pain management practice on HealthGrades.com give him an average of only 1.5 stars out of 5 as of October 29, 2015.
  8. Barbara Gould, a philanthropist based in Indian Hill (Cincinnati suburb).

Characteristics of Metro Areas Chosen for Marijuana Growing

In the table below, the metro areas of Akron, Canton, and Toledo have been economically depressed, but manufacturing has resurrected and economies are improving.

The Ohio Marijuana Control agency will operate out of northern Ohio and begin business incubators for marijuana sellers. Interestingly, Akron, Canton, and Toledo have been tagged as former Mafia towns and Toledo has had other legal problems.

Cincinnati is the southern terminus of the Ohio Space Corridor that cuts a wide swath up to Wright Patterson AFB-Dayton-Fairborn-West Chester and on into Columbus, Ohio.

Source

In the table below, the metro areas of Akron, Canton, and Toledo have been economically depressed.

Top 10 and Only Ohio Marijuana Growing Companies Under Issue 3 Upon Passage

Company (All are LLC's)
County of Ohio
Abhang (Gupta)
Licking (Central Ohio)
Wf Green Investments (Rucker & Robertson)
Hamilton (Cincinnati Area)
Grow 2015
Lorain (on Lake Erie)
DGF (Wood)
Clermont (Cincinnati Area)
Bridge Property Group
Lucas (Toledo Area)
Ohioven
Delaware (Central Ohio)
Vendure GCE (Lachey)
Summit (Akron Area)
NG Green Investments (Gould, Heldman, Taft, and another Taft)
Butler (Cincinnati Area)
Prestoncox Industries
Franklin (Columbus Area, Central Ohio)
GTI Investors
Stark (Canton Area)
Ohio Voter's Information 2015

Many Marijuana Retail Stores Could Open

In Ohio, under Issue 3, the total marijuana retail stores would be limited to one for every 10,000 Ohioans. In November 2015, this number amounted to nearly 1,200 stores. The failure of Issue 3 prevented the opening of these numerous shops.

Collection of the non-profit organization in Venice Beach, Calif
Collection of the non-profit organization in Venice Beach, Calif | Source
Source

If Issue 3 Passed, Who Would Have Been Authorized To Use Marijuana In the Buckeye State?

If Issue 3 passed (YES) and Issue 2 failed (NO), then marijuana could have been purchased by

  • Scenario #1 - Individuals 21 years old or older, but only with a license purchased from the Ohio Marijuana Control Commission. This is like a hunting license. Any license holder may possess, grow, cultivate, and share no more than eight ounces (1/2 pound) of home grown marijuana, along with no more than four flowering marijuana plants. How much the license will cost is not yet determined.
  • Scenario #2 - Individuals 21 years old or older may purchase, possess, transport, use. and share up to one ounce of marijuana without a license.
  • Scenario #3 - Individuals of any age with a certified debilitating medical condition may use medical marijuana.

Marijuana For Toddlers and Young Children?

Viewers in Ohio were shocked by TV ads showing a 4-or-5-year-old girl and her parents lamenting that the family would need to move from Ohio to Colorado so that the child could use medical marijuana. The ads were removed. Medically speaking, since the neurological system of a 5-year-old is not yet fully developed and functional, great care must be used in the administration of any drug that can affect the central nervous system.

A former gas and service station in Denver, Colorado.
A former gas and service station in Denver, Colorado. | Source

The Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, along with 90 other organizations oppose Issue 3.

What Is Happening In Your State?

Has your US State voted on the legalization of marijuana? If so, were the related ballot issues clear? Did legalization occur?

© 2015 Patty Inglish

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Comments, please. -- Comments with disrespect or name-calling will be deleted. 13 comments

smcopywrite profile image

smcopywrite 11 months ago from all over the web

Thanks for a wonderfully detailed account of the issues faced by Ohio when considering the legalization of this plant-medical or otherwise. As a parent of a child with epilepsy i agree with the use of the extract for seizure disorders. I am appalled by the people requesting the ad for the five year old be removed. unless you have experienced a child in a grand mal seizure, the horrible side effects of the current medications or the miracle of what the medical side of the plant is able to do for these sufferers----please do not weigh in.

there are current monopolies all over the country at this time. there are monopolies in the energy field especially. for most americans there is not a choice of where to get power and lights. there is one company who supplies it. how did this happen? the same is true for cable companies and even cab services in several cities. monopolies are here and the Sherman Act did its best to stop it, but failed.

I believe all fifty states will eventually legalize it in some form or another. the biggest appeal is the amount of revenue generated by the merchandise. its like cigarettes. everyone complains about smokers, but the taxes paid on each pack of cigarettes is funding millions of dollars into the state coffers. they will not be made illegal. its coming and there is no way to stop it


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean

"Now, the use, possession and transfer of up to 1 ounce of the marijuana is legal for people 21 years or older on private property," according to Fritz Klug in Michigan Live (5/05/2015). Some Michigan cities voted for the decriminalization of medical marijuana since November 2013.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 11 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Patty, you covered a lot of ground here. I don't know that I followed the 'Yes' is good 'No' is good formula laid out by the law makers. I did follow that big money has taken a large interest in who grows and distributes and hence reaps the rewards.

Hope all is well.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 11 months ago from North America Author

Thanks Ms. Dora. I've friends in Mid-Michigan that have stores called The Herbal Store. All kinds of products to smoke, eat, rub on, etc. I can;t wrap my mind around it.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 11 months ago from North America Author

Hi mckbirdbks - It's confusing, but the major investors are very eager to make money. I'm uneasy about it. And, I have to stay well away from marijuana stores, because I am allergic. I may have to wear a gas mask soon.


Kylyssa profile image

Kylyssa 10 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

I don't think anyone should be given a monopoly on cannabis, especially not medical cannabis. In several states where cannabis has been legalized for medical use the suicide rate has dropped a noticeable amount, likely in chronic pain patients who are finally able to get relief. That's not a gain we should give away by taking away patients' ability to get medicine cheaply by growing it themselves or by having a friend grow it for them.

It's too bad the people who tried to have the ad taken down didn't look up that marijuana extracts, very low in THC (the chemical that gets people high) and high in CDBs, have proven effective in treating seizures with fewer side effects than many other seizure medications. I went through the medication roulette of figuring out what seizure medication would work without having unbearable side-effects as an adult and anything that would ease that for a child sounds pretty awesome to me.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 10 months ago from North America Author

@Kylyssa - Thanks very much for your insights. I also do not like the idea of a monopoly on this product(s). Suddenly, "Big Marijuana" may join Big Pharma and Big Oil in power for a few in Ohio.


Lipnancy profile image

Lipnancy 10 months ago from Hamburg, New York

I think both Marijuana and hemp should be legalized and produced in every state free of government regulations. I am very interested in the continuing research on both parts of the plant. Let's face it, the only reason it is not legal is the government cannot figure out how to profit the most from it.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Patty

This one's got a mixed reaction from me, the whole medical issue here has been in the news here a lot because of folks with children (teenagers) with problems like episepsy where they've 'been through the ringer' and nothing's helped except Cannabis oil that's still illegal here.

Some went ahead and broke the law waiting for the government to give approval (they're doing it on a 'case by case' basis) but medicines like that are actually paid for by the government (if approved) so its a pretty hot topic here.

Hemp has been legal for a few years as there was a drive to make clothing from it, but the farmer who tried growing it commercially shut the idea down as it wasn't safe for him to visit his own fields (the gangs used it as a cover for growing their stuff!)

As I said, a mixed reaction!

Lawrence


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 10 months ago from North America Author

Hi Lawrence! - Wow, you have a lot of good information about this!

I feel bad for the kids with epilepsy and hope the Cannabis oil becomes available to all whom it can help. Unfortunately, it has the opposite effect on me. The first time I was exposed to marijuana, I was working food concessions during a concert where the law allowed the pot smoking to go on rather than try to arrest a bunch of college students. The clouds of smoke for 10 hours gave me my first migraine and other more serious problems and the doctors that night told me I'm allergic.

As for hemp, one Native American group in the Southern US lost their whole year's income when the federal marshals burned their crop 5 years ago. I'm seeing hemp products in grocery stores now, so the laws must be changing.

Thanks for your experiences!


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Patty

New Zealand's a small place so most folks know some of what's going on! I once to the Stonehenge rock festival and that was interesting! I've never touched the stuff myself but you only had to walk round the site to get 'high' as the Police didn't want to arrest 10,000 people!!!

Your comments about the 'monopoly' are interesting though as the USA is where the medical cannabis oil is sourced!

Lawrence


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 6 months ago from Alberta Canada

Hi Patty... well written and informative... we here in Canada are just in the throws of legalizing the stuff. I am no angel of my past by any means but no one can tell me you are not impaired once you have smoked the stuff.

Both of our countries are still playing around with DUI issues... my question is anyone doing anything about testing people behind the wheel. As I said I am no purest but I have seen far to much of the other side of the coin.

Hugs and Blessings from Canada


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 months ago from North America Author

Hi Rolly!

It is delightful to hear from you. No one has spoken about testing behind the wheel for marijuana in my state yet and there is likely to be another vote on legalization as soon as it can be placed on the ballot.

I'm impaired if I even SMELL the stuff, because I'm allergic. Few people are allergic to it, but it's the worst I've ever been sick.

Happy Spring in Canada soon!

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