Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Master's of Business Administration in Medical Marijuana ..... MBA (MM)

Good Day Readers:

Imagine being able to write after your name, MBA (MM).

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Here's how to grow pot legally
Liam Casey/Staff Reporter
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Don Schultz founder of Greenline Academy, at the University of Toronto campus, where he'll offer a two-day course that teaches people how to get a medical marijuana license and how to grow their won pot. (Liam Casey/Toronto Star)

Nothing worked on Steve Lalonde’s 57-year-old arthritic back. Not Advil. Not Tylenol. Not Oxycontin. So he tried weed.

“With each puff the pain went away,” Lalonde said. “It was incredible.”

It was so good that Lalonde is now in the process of setting up a grow-op, pending approval from Health Canada.

Lalonde is one of hundreds who have taken a two-day course offered by Greenline Academy, a fledgling west-coast company that teaches people how to jump through the bureaucratic hoops for a license from the federal government to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes. The course, which also comes with a 423-page manual, offers legal and medical advice as well as how to grow pot, from seed to stem.

Don Schultz launched the business a year-and-a-half ago after a career as a pilot followed by a stint in real estate.

He went back to school to learn the business of pot and he found the perfect school in Colorado. He earned a medical marijuana Master’s of Business Administration from Greenway University.

He was one of the few students to get through the program before it was shut down by the state after two of its founders didn’t disclose their criminal records, one for embezzlement and the other for mail fraud.

Now he’s using what he learned for his own school.

“This is a real growth industry,” Schultz said. “There’s money to be made here.”

Schultz said his business is doing well. His last three conferences sold out, hundreds paying $330 a pop, which rolls through Toronto on September 8. He said he doesn’t make much on the conferences, but makes his real money as a pot consultant. And the young business is in the black.

Although he’s the founder of a weed company, Schultz says he is not a client.

“I don’t use marijuana. I like to keep a clear head, but if I ever got really sick, I would use it,” Schultz said.

People generally use medical marijuana for pain or to spur appetite in cancer and HIV patients, according to Steve Wiseman, the clinical director of St. Paul’s Hospital Pain Centre in Vancouver.

“It works for many people, but it’s not a magical drug,” Wiseman said. “Sitting around all day smoking pot and still telling people that you are in too much pain to do anything is not treatment success.”

Schultz said some students are just interested in growing weed to get high, but those are in the minority.

“There’s actually quite a few students who are already growing marijuana underground and want to come above ground,” Schultz said.

The road to the entire process is the prescription from a doctor. Schultz also has 52 doctors across the country who are “medical marijuana savvy” who will help patients, as the majority of physicians are leery of prescribing marijuana.

Once the prescription is in hand, people can then buy weed, for $5 a gram, plus tax, from the government.

Patients are allowed whatever amount the doctor prescribes. Or they can grow weed for themselves, or for someone else who has a prescription. It costs $20 for 30 seeds from Health Canada, significantly cheaper than the marijuana seeds sold in Kensington Market for $10 a seed.

And growers can sell their weed to their patients for any price, but Schultz advises on $5 to 8$ per gram, which usually sells for $10 per gram on the street.

It’s been difficult for Lalonde to find a place to grow his weed. He doesn’t own a house, so it has taken a while to find the right landlord. But he will move into a place somewhere in the bush near Newmarket.

“You gotta keep a lid on this,” Lalonde said. “You don’t really want people knowing you’re growing weed in your house, for obvious reasons.”

He hopes to begin growing by the fall as he waits for the paperwork to come through — his application has been delayed because “he screwed it up a bit.”

“I want to get off the grid, but I have to stay on to get power to grow weed,” Lalonde said.

Potential hazards

  Theft — Schultz advises growers to tell no one about their plants
  Proper ventilation to avoid mildew or mould growth
  Electrical components must be compliant and able to handle the strong bulbs used

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