Medical marijuana consultants are seeing business opportunities in Florida and Illinois, even though the industry has yet to establish dispensaries in either state.
In Illinois, no fewer than 12 medical marijuana seminars and conferences have been held throughout the state since Gov. Pat Quinn approved the medical marijuana law in August. The most recent meeting, which is being held in part by the Denver, Colorado-based company Cannabis University LLC, charges students $300 for a two-day classroom seminar.
According to its organizer, Charlie Washington, the seminar teaches students how to start and operate a cultivation center. Washington hosted a similar event in February.
Illinois’ restrictive rules for medical cultivation and sales require would-be owners to prove they have several hundred thousand dollars of liquid assets on hand. But the rules do not seem to scare away attendees from the medical marijuana conferences.
In Florida, entrepreneur Jeremy Bufford has launched Medical Marijuana Tampa, which also teaches the basics of growing medical marijuana. Bufford charges $499 for the month-long course in Tampa, and he said the business has been so successful that he plans to open branches in Jacksonville, Naples and Sarasota.
Since marijuana cultivation is still illegal in Florida, Bufford and his instructors use tomato and pepper plants to simulate marijuana cultivation in the classroom. The issue of medical marijuana is scheduled to appear on the Florida ballot this coming November.