Compared with Colorado, state’s marijuana tax revenue nearly triple in first 6 months

Marijuana buds (KSNV file)

Tax revenue from Nevada recreational marijuana sales were nearly triple what Colorado brought in during its first six months when it introduced similar sales in 2014.

According to a report released Friday by the Nevada Department of Taxation, more than $30 million in tax revenue was produced from July 1 through the end of 2017.

Colorado received $11 million in taxes during the first six months of sales four years ago.

Nevada marijuana sales dipped slight in November, but were up in December with about $35.8 million in sales, a rise from $33.4 million in sales in November. October sales were the high mark at $38 million.

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Leaving Las Vegas? Dump your pot at the airport first

The sale of recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada since last summer, but pot is not legal at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.

So to keep travelers from getting in trouble in the airport security line, big green bins — dubbed amnesty boxes — were set up a week ago outside McCarran, allowing people to toss their pot before catching their flight. Twenty of the boxes were installed at McCarran and its car rental facility, Henderson Executive Airport and the North Las Vegas Airport.

The bins are about the size of a mailbox, bolted to the ground, monitored and designed to keep what’s tossed in them inside the box. In addition to pot, the bins can also be used to drop off prescription drugs.

“We’ve had a variety of other things disposed of in the bins,” Christine Crews, McCarran airport’s public information administrator, told CNN. “For example, I was sent a picture of one of the bins containing pills, vape pens, rolled tobacco-looking products, prescription bottles and marijuana-infused drinks.”

The boxes are periodically emptied by a contracted company that disposes of the contents.

Conflicting laws

The bins were necessary after Clark County, Nevada, which owns and operates the airport, banned marijuana possession and marijuana advertising on airport property last fall to stay in compliance with federal law.

Similar amnesty boxes were installed in airports in Colorado after that state legalized marijuana in 2012.

Nevada’s marijuana law lets adults 21 and older possess up to an ounce of marijuana. Voters approved the law in November 2016.

Nine states and the District of Columbia now allow for recreational marijuana use, and 30 allow for medical use, but weed remains illegal under federal law.

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Pazoo Inc (OTCMKTS:PZOO) Comes Off the Mat With a Bang

Pazoo Inc (OTCMKTS:PZOO) is a deep sub-penny name that went absolutely into orbit on Thursday, rallying over 1,000% on the day, scoring a new all-time record in trading volume. The catalyst was the company’s announcement that MA & Associates LLC, (DBA: MA Analytics), a cannabis testing laboratory located in Las Vegas, Nevada partially owned by Pazoo, has made reportedly “significant strides in completing operations and procedures” ahead of the laboratory’s final inspection by the State of Nevada.

According to the release, “MA Analytics is finalizing the policies and procedures as well as the operations ahead of the above mentioned final inspection and its much-anticipated opening for business to customers. The lab has completed some and is close to finishing the remaining standard operating procedures including methods and validations while ensuring everything is up to the rigorous testing and compliance policies set forth by the State of Nevada.”

Pazoo Inc (OTCMKTS:PZOO) bills itself as a company focused on health, wellness and safety. Our focus is to provide best-in-class laboratory testing of cannabis and cannabinoids to protect consumers from impurities, contaminants and other irregularities. Through our wholly-owned subsidiaries, Harris Lee and MA & Associates, Pazoo provides industry-leading laboratory testing of cannabis.

Pazoo is licensed to test cannabis in Nevada, with a focus on expansion into other states. Additionally, Pazoo delivers a comprehensive array of health and wellness information on its website, and features industry experts from both the health and wellness arena and the pet industry.

Lastly, our newly formed wholly owned subsidiary CK Distribution LLC, provides the marketing and sales agent for the distribution of non-controlled hemp products throughout the USA. Non-controlled hemp products are the items utilized by the industry that support grow facilities, infusion companies and dispensaries.

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As noted above, the stock exploded higher this week on the company’s claim that its partially-owned cannabis testing laboratory in Las Vegas is readying for a final inspection by the state ahead of the possible issuance of permits, and, so the company claims, has made significant progress toward heading into full operations.

Nevada has become a focus for cannabis-related speculation given the state’s status as one of the primary markets where both medical and recreational cannabis access has been made legal.

Pazoo’s acting CEO Steve Basloe said, “We are very pleased to announce that the lab is close to scheduling the State inspection, the last major step needed in order to finally be open and start generating revenue. We are excited to start the sales and marketing of the lab along with our general manager. We understand the frustration in delays in the lab opening but we are ensuring that as the State continues to tighten their testing limits and standards, we are not making the mistakes some other labs have made in the past. We look forward to getting the lab open and making this a profitable business moving forward.”

The chart shows a bit less than 270% during the past month in terms of shareholder gains in the company, a rally that has pushed up against longer standing distributive pressure in the stock. That said, PZOO has evidenced sudden upward volatility on many prior occasions. Furthermore, the name has seen a growing influx of trading interest, with the stock’s recent average trading volume running a bit less than 570% over the long run average.

At this time, carrying a capital value in the market of $957K, PZOO has virtually no cash on the books, which compares with about $3.2M in total current liabilities. One should also note that debt has been growing over recent quarters. PZOO is pulling in negligible trailing 12-month revenues. However, the company is seeing declines on the top-line on a quarterly y/y basis, with revenues falling precipitously in recent periods. As more color becomes clear on the name, we will review the situation and update our take. Sign-up for continuing coverage on shares of $PZOO stock, as well as other hot stock picks, get our free newsletter today and get our next breakout pick!

Disclosure: we hold no position in $PZOO, either long or short, and we have not been compensated for this article.

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MedMen could be America’s first $1 billion ‘marijuana unicorn’

MedMen has been called an Apple store for pot products.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

  • Chain stores have arrived in the legal marijuana industry.
  • MedMen, a retail company that runs marijuana dispensaries nationwide, was valued at $1 billion in a new funding round.
  • Known as the Apple store for pot products, MedMen claims to elevate the marijuana retail experience with high design and excellent customer service.

Chain stores have arrived in the legal marijuana industry — and it could be a billion-dollar idea.

MedMen, a cannabis retail company that operates 11 marijuana dispensaries across California, New York, and Nevada, has sold a minority stake of the company to a Canadian investment firm at a $1 billion valuation, making it the first US cannabis startup to achieve elusive “unicorn” status.

On February 14, MedMen closed a $41 million round of funding, according to Daniel Yi, vice president of corporate communications at MedMen. The Toronto-based firm Captor Capital led the round, buying 2.5% of MedMen for $25 million, in its first marijuana-related investment.

MedMen previously raised $135 million between two private equity funds.

Founded in 2011, MedMen set out with a goal of mainstreaming marijuana in America. Customers shop for marijuana edibles, vaporizers, and flower (the green stuff you smoke) around sleek wooden tables lined with iPads. Sunlight streams through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Sales associates known as “budtenders” walk customers through the retail experience. They have an intimate knowledge of the products and make recommendations based on user preferences, like whether someone wants to get high at a concert or mellow out on the couch.

A customer browses screens displaying pot products for sale at the MedMen store in West Hollywood, California.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Yi compares what the company is trying to do for marijuana to what Nordstrom did for luxury brands and what Whole Foods did for organic grocery items.

“If you asked your average American, ‘What is your idea of a pot shop?’ they’re going to think of this dank place that’s not very well managed. Some kid with a tie dye t-shirt behind the counter looks very jaded as you walk into the store,” Yi said. “That’s the image that a lot of people have.”

“That stereotype still exists but is quickly changing,” he added.

MedMen is the marijuana industry’s original chain store

In seven years, MedMen has grown from one pot shop in West Hollywood to 11 dispensaries nationwide, with another four in the pipeline in Manhattan, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

The company employs about 700 people, with 100 workers based at the headquarters in Culver City, California. The rest work in cultivation, processing, operations, and retail nationwide.

MedMen doesn’t actually hold licenses to grow and sell marijuana at all of its 18 properties, which range from dispensaries to farms to processing facilities. Instead it raises capital through private equity and partners with licensed businesses to manage facilities on their behalf.

Typically, a lesser-known dispensary is made over with MedMen branding and the reputation that comes with it. MedMen takes a cut of the revenue. Yi wouldn’t reveal the management fee it charges license-holders.

This model allows MedMen to buy into markets, like New York, that issue a limited number of licenses for marijuana cultivation, distribution, and retail. In January 2017, MedMen acquired a financially troubled New York cannabis company — one of five licensed medical marijuana companies in the state at the time — so that it could grow and sell pot in the state.

Yi clarified that not all of MedMen’s properties are owned; some are just “managed.” Those dispensaries are run by MedMen employees, but the license stays with the original holder.

Investors are betting big on what MedMen is building

According to Captor Capital, the Canadian investment firm that just sunk $25 million into MedMen, the marijuana industry’s original chain store is an idea worth $1 billion.

Some observers in the industry have scoffed at MedMen’s new valuation.

The Marijuana Business Daily notes that determining the value of a cannabis company is highly subjective because of the newness of the industry, the wide range of regulatory structures from state-to-state, and the lack of major cannabis companies to use as benchmarks.

A customer shops for marijuana at the MedMen store in West Hollywood, California.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

MedMen now wants to grow faster than traditional methods of raising capital allow.

In late 2017, the company made the decision to go public. Yi said it plans to list on the Canadian Securities Exchange, an alternative stock exchange in Canada that allows US cannabis companies to list, in the second quarter of this year.

After it goes public, MadMen will reportedly use the new funding to increase its retail footprint in California, Nevada, and New York.

California began sales of recreational marijuana in January and is now the largest legal market in America. It’s expected to generate billions in revenue in 2018.

According to Mashable, a MedMen shop in West Hollywood served over 23,000 customers in January. The company said revenue was up 200% compared to December, and up 500% from the year before. MedMen’s Santa Ana shop also doubled its December revenue in January.

Yi said the company’s unicorn status is justified by reports that the legal marijuana industry will reach $24.5 billion in sales by 2021 — a 28% annual growth rate — as marijuana legalization continues, markets mature, and the stigma against cannabis dissipates.

“When it all goes legal, people are going to buy their pot from a legal shop,” Yi said.

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This Las Vegas Airport Is Letting People Dump Their Marijuana Before Flying

This Las Vegas Airport Is Letting People Dump Their Marijuana Before Flying

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