Montana’s Legislature Now Famous, For Trying to Thwart Economic Boon!


Here’s a brief clip of a great article about Montana’s “Medical Marijuana” mayhem, published today by the New York Times:

In Montana, an Economic Boon Faces Repeal Effort

“For Gallatin Electric, a six-employee company founded by Mr. Schmidt’s father, Richard, as for other businesses in this corner of south-central Montana, medical marijuana has been central to surviving hard times as the construction industry and the second-home market collapsed. Not the smoking of it, the growing of it or even the selling of it, but the fully legal, taxable revenues being collected from the industry’s new, emerging class of entrepreneurs. Three of the four electricians on staff at Gallatin, Mr. Schmidt said, are there only because of the work building indoor marijuana factories.

Questions about who really benefits from medical marijuana are now gripping Montana. In the Legislature, a resurgent Republican majority elected last fall is leading a drive to repeal the six-year-old voter-approved statute permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes, which opponents argue is promoting recreational use and crime….”

 

“..And unlike the situation in sunny California or Colorado, where medical marijuana has similarly surged, growing marijuana indoors is all but mandatory here, a fact that has compounded the capital expenditures for startups and spread the economic benefits around further still. An industry group formed by marijuana growers estimates that they spend $12 million annually around the state, and that 1,400 jobs were created mostly in the last year in a state of only 975,000 people.

“Twenty-five thousand dollars a month,” one new grower and medical marijuana provider, Rob Dobrowski, said of his outlay for electricity alone, mainly for his light-intensive grow operation that supplies four stores around the state.

Mr. Dobrowski was a construction contractor until the recession hit, as were two of his brothers who have joined him in the business. He said he now employs 33 people, from a standing start of zero a year ago…”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/us/06marijuana.html

The full article, above, is a very welcome change from much of the reporting which has been coming out of Montana during this fiasco.  Now the whole world gets to see (and attempt to comprehend) why these fools would keep trying to play such counterproductive games.  Representative Milburn, I’m lookin’ at you.

Meanwhile, we are left wondering what to do with the various messes left behind throughout the state by unsustainable industries such as mining and timber extraction:

SMURFIT-STONE MILL TO BE SCRAPPED

“..Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss wondered what will happen to the rest of the mill property. In addition to the industrial production structures, Smurfit-Stone Container owns 3,200 acres along the Clark Fork River that has been leased for grazing and farming. It also owns water rights that were used to feed settling ponds and other water needs.

“We also have concerns about possible dioxin (a hazardous chemical) in some ponds,” Curtiss said. “We’ll just have to figure out what the future use will be out there.”

Neither officials of Smurfit nor Ralston Investments could be reached Friday to answer the commissioner’s concerns….”

http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_6bffcabe-416a-11e0-b20c-001cc4c002e0.html

 

But, luckily, market demand for industrial hemp is growing exponentially and industry leaders are now taking aim at the DEA:

Natural Foods Retailer Nutiva Challenges DEA, Embraces Hemp

“..Neither, it seems, do policymakers. In mid-February, California’s Mark Leno, a Democratic state senator, introduced a bill that would once again allow commercial hemp farming — a bill he plans to have on the governor’s desk by the end of August. “I have not yet spoken to the governor, but I am hopeful that he would understand the benefits California would experience allowing our farmers to grow industrial hemp,” Leno says. “It’s a safe, viable crop.” Roulac looks forward to when he can source hemp domestically and take advantage of lower production and transportation costs. Of course, that likely means more competition for Nutiva. “Bring it on,” he says with characteristic enthusiasm.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-03/natural-foods-retailer-nutiva-challenges-dea-embraces-hemp.html

 

The Kestrel: All Electric Hemp Car



 

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