Cannabis: Marc Emery's Application to Help Grow Washington's Legal Pot
Marc Emery's Application to Help Grow Washington's Legal Pot
By Marc Emery - Tuesday, February 5 2013
Upon learning that the Washington State Liquor Control Board is seeking consultant applications for a legal marijuana production and distribution system, Marc wrote this tongue-in-cheek submission. Marc was extradited to and sentenced in Seattle, Washington despite operating his seed business in Vancouver, BC, Canada at all times.
Dear Sirs and Madams of the Washington State Liquor Control Board,
Please consider my bid, or rather, application for consideration, to be a consultant in one of the four fields of marijuana expertise required by the WSLCB:
1) Product and Industry Knowledge
2) Product Quality Standards & Testing
3) Product Usage and Consumption Validation
4) Product Regulation
I understand your need to meet the voter endorsed deadline of December 2013, whereby retail offering of cannabis products are expected to be found in the current WSLCB outlets. I offer strong skills in marketing, cultivation, genetics, breeding, retail, business, working with large groups of co-workers, but my only caveat is that I am currently a guest of the US federal prison system for my peaceful and successful involvement with servicing the needs of well over 3,000 citizens of Washington state in cultivating marijuana from 1995 to 2005 (as well as millions of others throughout the United States). I do expect to be released from this inconvenient situation and repatriated back to Canada in December of this year. Perhaps you can use my resume as back-up if one of the other applicants turns to be unsuitable when you can see their capabilities (or lack thereof) at close range.
My name is Marc Emery. I am one of the world's most recognized brand names in what I am proud to say is the worldwide cannabis culture. My name is a cachet of integrity and quality among the marijuana connoisseurs, enthusiasts, cognoscenti and consumers the world over – and certainly in Washington State, to which I supplied an extraordinary range of quality genetics to thousands of citizens, including medical, commercial, household gardens, from 1995 to 2005. The Washington state District Attorney's office in their prosecution contended I was responsible for the cultivation of three million cannabis plants across the United States, through my seed sales done via postal delivery from my home Vancouver, BC, Canada.
I have been given privileged and rare access to over 300 indoor marijuana gardening projects, and over 50 outdoor and greenhouse projects, in the years from 1990 to 2009, largely as publisher and editor of 75 issues of Cannabis Culture Magazine, which I was responsible for from 1994 to 2009. In that capacity I was given enough access to these horticultural enterprises to describe them in detail in my publication. I have an understanding of horticultural techniques of every kind, including esoteric methods like swamp growing, tree-top growing, underground growing, brewery conversions, off-shore barge growing, subterranean rail-car growing, bio-dynamic growing, among others, but certainly most of my experience is in commercial mass production operations using hydroponic, soil or soilless media. I am very familiar with large conventional grow theatres using 50 to 150 thousand-watt (HPS or Metal Halide) bulbs. In my experience, typical production is 1 to 1.2 pounds (dry weight) per 1,000-watt light bulb per 60 days.
I have supervised the breeding of 20 individual genetic varieties of cannabis as part of the largest cannabis seed distribution project the modern world has ever seen, having as many as 380 varietals of cannabis in my seed distribution catalog at the peak of my efforts.
As editor of Cannabis Culture magazine from 2004 to 2009, I edited manuscripts by horticulturalists, medical experts, scientists, historians, for the digestion of our reading audience. All 74 issues of my highly regarded magazine are online at cannabisculture.com/backissues for your review.
I have been a successful retailer since 1971, and have always employed between 20-45 people from 1996 to 2009 (when my spouse took over the reins of the business), so I am used to working harmoniously with numerous co-workers. From 1995 to July 29, 2005, when the untimely interruption by the Drug Enforcement Administration occurred, I was likely the world's largest seed distribution business, and uniquely, the only such cannabis seed distributor identified by having the proprietor's name (mine) clearly identified at all times and known to use the seed revenue to finance political activism and drug policy reform. While this no doubt contributed some incentive for my adversaries to arrest me, it also made my name a valuable brand attached to an outstanding performance record amongst the very people you will be appealing to in the Washington state marketplace. I assure you having the Emery brand integrated into your production and marketing and product development will ensure a credibility few other applicants can provide.
As I look at your situation, I understand that about 300,000 Washington state residents will be regular consumers of about one ounce a month, with up to one million tourists annually who will take advantage of Washington state's new cultural zeitgeist. This requires a retail distribution paradigm that favors variety and price breaks at all levels. I foresee demand levels of about 500,000 to 600,000 ounces (dry weight) per month required. At 16 ounces per pound this is a requirement of 37,500 pounds per month, and since a grow-cycle is about 60 days, 75,000 pounds dry weight every 60 days would need to be produced to meet the expected requirements of the marketplace. Once economy of scale, start-up cost inputs are calculated, I expect the cost of producing the cannabis will be $10-$20 an ounce, or less, but not more, and this would include all production and distribution as well as capital inputs pro-rated over three years, ultimately reducing the costs after three years. Of course, taxation would need to be applied as per your regulations.
This would mean 75,000 1,000-watt bulbs of production operating in the state of Washington under the aegis of the WSLCB to meet this demand. With the retail price at $20-$40 an ounce plus taxation, this will wipe out all aspects of the black market in Washington state, certainly the voters had this in mind when they passed Initiative I-502. This will also make impractical any need to for medical users to grow their medicine, as long as taxation is not so onerous as to re-ignite black market production.
An ideal production facility with 150 1,000-watt bulbs, with concrete foundations and all sophisticated equipment necessary for 165 pounds every 60 days, (functionally, it would be 35-40 pounds every 15 days), costs $1,000,000 to $1,200,000. To meet the 75,000 pounds every 2 months, you'll need 200-350 facilities to be built. You could make vast-sized facilities of 500 (or even 1,000) bulbs, but the cost savings are inversely proportional to increasing risks, as plant diseases, or pest infestations and other unforeseen disasters, in a closed environment, are difficult to extinguish once endemic in one facility. It is better to have 200-350 separate facilities than 10-20 staggeringly large facilities, so production problems in one unit do adversely affect the production volumes required. Sophisticated outdoor greenhouses are also a cost-efficient consideration but this would be something better suited to eastern Washington's more reliable sunny weather. There is also a market for sun-grown outdoor field marijuana that will have far smaller start-up input costs, but will require a modest level of security.
In all three of these kinds of horticultural endeavors, it is vitally important that all efforts be documented, and under regular review, and I am very familiar with this necessity.
I work well with government bureaucracy, scientists, medical researchers, legislators, policy makers, horticulturalists/farmers (and they can be an iconoclastic, dare I say, eccentric lot, believe you me), retailers, and marketing departments. I understand product promotion in this field very well, and I certainly know well the various client bases being served. I can provide endorsements and bona-fides for all these claims upon request should you be interested in considering me becoming a member of your team.
I do hope my Canadian citizenship and my current status as prohibited-from-entering-the-United States-for-life is not a too-extraordinary impediment to the successful execution of this job. I'd like to point out it wasn't particularly my involvement in cannabis cultivation that made me a US federal prisoner and felon, though the official conviction is one count of conspiracy to cultivate marijuana. It was in fact my political advocacy to legalize marijuana and the millions of dollars I contributed to US organizations and individuals to accomplish this objective via ballot initiatives and various court, legal and political actions that brought me to the attention of the DEA (see among my bona-fides, a press release from DEA chief Karen Tandy from July 29, 2005).
However, my grassroots reputation with the people who did, after all, vote in this now legal regime in Washington state, is at its all-time zenith. This can only be of considerable benefit to the WSLCB should I join your team and apply my skills and name to your efforts to supply the people of Washington with the finest cannabis possible. My original prosecutor, former Western Washington District attorney John McKay, had a considerable involvement with Initiative 502, and in view of his stark conversion-on-the-road-to-Damascus change of heart regarding marijuana prohibition, I do expect an excellent review from him should you consult him in this matter, and hope in this new enlightened post-502 era, my credentials will be weighed fairly viz. a viz. the other applicants.
Regrettably, at this time, being a guest of the US Bureau of Prisons in Mississippi, I cannot appear for an interview in person in Washington, but I think it would still be very profitable for the WSLCB to come to Yazoo City medium security federal prison on any Friday evening, Saturday or Sunday to conduct an interview with me here. Considering the likely investment of approximately $200,000,000 in facilities to produce the marijuana, and the more than one billion dollars in sales annually that are to be expected, the costs of having your representatives interview me here at Yazoo would be an extremely wise and prudent investment.
In anticipation of a successful meeting for one of your consulting positions,
I remain (until July 9, 2014)
Marc Emery 40252-086,
Yazoo City Federal Corrections Complex
Yazoo City, Mississippi, 39194
Washington state needs Prince of Pot Marc Emery
By Jon Ferry, The Province
Some Province readers, especially those who think Vision Vancouver is doing a positively heavenly job propelling us by push bike to the promised land, have suggested I find another line of work.
And I confess a lucrative new position as a high-flying consultant in an emerging industry with smoking hot growth prospects does have its attractions.
Which is why I was fascinated to learn Washington state is looking to hire people to provide its liquor control board with consulting services, only to discover the board didn't actually want those with experience with liquor, but with pot. It was, in fact, seeking those who could assist with "the implementation of the legalized recreational marijuana system enacted by the voters with Initiative 502."
Initiative 502, you may recall, was approved handily by Washington voters last November.
It legalized the adult possession of small amounts of heavily taxed weed under a state-licensed system of growers, processors and retailers. Sales are to begin this December.
My own pot experience is decidedly dated. So, on Wednesday, I contacted a man of both knowledge and conviction — Vancouver activist Marc Emery, the Prince of Pot currently in a Mississippi jail serving out the last third of a five-year term for the cross-border selling of marijuana seeds.
I suggested to Emery via prison email he might want to apply to serve as a consultant on everything from how marijuana is "grown, cultivated, harvested, cured and processed" to how it should be "packaged, labelled, transported and sold at a retail level."
The 54-year-old Emery seemed in good humour, replying that some of the best applicants for the job were behind bars. Indeed, he called himself one of the world's "pre-eminent experts in all aspects of marijuana cultivation and marketing," with an understanding of every kind of horticultural technique.
In true Super Bowl fashion, he boasted the Emery brand would lend Washington's new legal marijuana operations "a credibility few other applicants can provide." All the liquor board had to do was dispatch someone down to federal prison in Yazoo City, Miss., to interview him.
The liquor board said Thursday that wasn't likely to happen. Spokesman Mikhail Carpenter, though, confirmed the job was open to Canadians, including Emery: "Yes, it's a consulting position, we're looking for somebody who meets the qualification of the request for proposals."
Emery's wife Jodie, meanwhile, is running as the B.C. Green Party candidate for Vancouver-West End in the May election. But she says she continues to campaign for a legal pot-distribution system similar to the one being set up in Washington state.
Indeed, she agrees with a draft policy paper by the B.C. branch of the federal Liberal Party that marijuana legalization could mean scores of new Canadian jobs. The paper recommends the weed be sold "through specialty private stores and/or anywhere regulated liquor sales take place."
Pot, in other words, is the new plonk. But our neighbours to the south are ahead of us. And, come December, you'll just have to line up with other B.C. cross-border shoppers to smoke it ... legally, that is.
© Copyright (c) The Province