January 9, 2013

Unconventional Wisdom: Cannabis Company Bypasses MMJ Hotspots for New Headquarters

medi3

Quick: If you could set up a medical marijuana business in any state, which one would you choose?

Many entrepreneurs would no doubt pick Colorado or Washington, which offer ample opportunities not only in the medical marijuana space but also in the emerging recreational cannabis industry. Others might select Arizona, where nearly 100 dispensaries are slated to open up this year, or newer MMJ states on the East Coast like Connecticut and Massachusetts.

But some industry professionals and companies are bucking the trend, bypassing the obvious choices and instead selecting states that are flying under the radar.

Case in point: MediSwipe, which defied conventional wisdom recently by moving its headquarters from Florida to Birmingham, Michigan, of all places.

The publicly traded company provides services and software that help medical marijuana dispensaries manage patient records, handle customer payments via cashless kiosks and offer coupons using mobile products. It’s the type of business that could transition easily into the recreational marijuana market or tap the large patient base out West by relocating to a state in the area.

MediSwipe executives did in fact consider moving to Colorado or Washington. But, in the end, they felt Michigan offered a better opportunity.

It’s an interesting choice, given that the state’s MMJ industry is in turmoil. Dozens of dispensaries have closed over the past two years, and only 50-75 remain. Lawmakers are trying to change and clarify Michigan’s vague MMJ regulations, but it’s unclear what shape the overhaul will take. The state Supreme Court has even taken up the issue, and its ruling could either destroy the remaining market or lead to its revival.

Despite the volatility, MediSwipe is optimistic for several reasons.

Residents in a handful of cities recently voted in favor of moves to decriminalize marijuana or make it a low police priority. Additionally, lawmakers passed several bills that help clear up parts of the state’s convoluted medical cannabis law. One deals with patient requirements for getting registration cards and could help speed up a backlog in applications, while the other focuses on the type of doctor-patient relationship needed to obtain a card.

Although some advocates decry the new laws, saying they are unfriendly to patients, MediSwipe believes they help stabilize the industry and create new business opportunities. The company also hopes its new location will help it penetrate some new markets in the region, including Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

“While the states out West…figure out total legalization, we would prefer to focus on and be the dominant player within the East Coast and Midwest markets like Michigan, New Jersey, Massachusetts and potential new emerging markets like Ohio and Vermont,” MediSwipe CEO B. Michael Friedman said in a release.

Friedman added that staying closer to New York will help the company maintain solid relationships with “our investment banking partners on Wall Street.

Investors seemed to welcome the move (though it’s often hard to tell with thinly traded penny stocks).

The company’s stock, which trades under the symbol MWIP on the over-the-counter market, is currently hovering around 3 cents a share vs. 2 cents before the announcement. Trading activity has been particularly large over the past few days, signaling stronger investor interest in the stock.


One Comment:

  1. Why is Maine never mentioned in any of your articles. Maine has 1 of the oldest MMJ programs in the country. It was passed in 1999.

Post Your Comment:


Please note:
Comments are moderated by our editors who do their best to approve comments ASAP. As Marijuana Business Daily is focused on business, we approve comments that are specifically relevant to industry professionals. General opinions and questions about cannabis may not be posted.

Nevada Dispensary Considers Lawsuit Over Delays

A dispensary in Nevada that has been hoping to open since February is considering filing [click to continue...]

WA Cannabis Shops Busted for Selling to Minors

Nineteen Washington State marijuana stores face suspensions and fines after they failed to properly check [click to continue...]

Dispensary Bill on Tap in Michigan

Michigan medical cannabis issues, pot dispensary updates, news about marijuana by state

Concerned with what might happen if voters legalize recreational marijuana at the ballot next year, [click to continue...]

CDC Calls for Strict Edibles Labeling, Public Education

After evaluating a fatal accident that took place last year in Denver, the Center for [click to continue...]

Israel to Sell Medical Marijuana in Pharmacies

Israel, one of the world’s leading countries on medical cannabis research, will soon be dispensing [click to continue...]

Third Minnesota Dispensary Opens Despite Low Patient Count

Photo of open sign

Minnesota’s third medical cannabis dispensary has opened despite the low number of patients registered to [click to continue...]

Police Raid Business Owned By CA Industry Association Exec

A business run by the president of the California Cannabis Industry Association was raided and [click to continue...]

Illinois Poised to Begin Seed-to-Sale Tracking

As Illinois’ medical marijuana industry ramps up, regulatory officials are preparing to start following medical [click to continue...]

Washington State Dispensaries to Benefit From PTSD Addition

marijuana conditions

A week after Colorado shot down an attempt to add post-traumatic stress disorder as a [click to continue...]

MMJ Patient Boom in Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s three medical cannabis dispensaries must be pleased: In the past two and a [click to continue...]

Canadian PM Candidate Wants Legal Dispensaries

Justin Trudeau, a candidate for prime minister of Canada, came to the defense of dispensaries [click to continue...]

Inspector Turnover Could Delay Nevada Dispensaries

dispensary delays

Hurry up and wait. That appears to be the situation for medical marijuana businesses in [click to continue...]

California Report Calls for Strong Regulations on Legal Marijuana

A working group overseen by California’s lieutenant governor has issued a report outlining 58 policy [click to continue...]

Florida Medical Cannabis Campaign Takes Step Forward

United for Care, which was behind the failed 2014 campaign to legalize medical cannabis in [click to continue...]

Marijuana Business Daily