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I would like a job in the cannabis industry. Any tips? - Ivana Werkinweed

Good luck. The vape-cartridge crisis and slow sales have caused a recent spate of layoffs at more than a few companies including Flow Kana, Eaze and Jetty.

Why? Well, there are a few issues. The biggest one is most likely the fact that while cannabis is supposed to be legal all over California, only 20 percent of cities and counties even allow for cannabis businesses. Another factor is that high taxes make it difficult for cannabis dispensaries to compete. Mikey Steinmetz, CEO of Flow Kana, had this to say in a recent letter to the Sacramento Bee: “We ask elected officials to ease the heavy state tax burden which makes licensed retailers non-competitive with the illicit market. As a model, we ask the state to look to the craft beer industry and help us create a tax structure based on measured output and production so that smaller businesses labor under a lower rate.”

He is right. The regulatory scheme has had problems from the start. It’s not just the taxes. The cost to open a club is sky-high. Not to mention all of the behind-the-scenes chicanery that has allowed big money operators to push out smaller operators. I hope the state can get it together so we can have a thriving and well regulated industry in 2020.

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I have been a budtender for 10 years, and I’m still baffled why we still refer to medical marijuana as “pot,” “weed,” “grass,” etc. - Bud Tinder

A lot of people already say things like “medicating” instead of “getting high.” It’s not a “pot shop” or even a “cannabis club,” it’s a “medical marijuana dispensary.” It’s not a “joint,” it’s a “pre-rolled cannabis cigarette.” You refer to yourself as a “budtender” and not a “medical-cannabis-dispensing professional.”

I know it sounds awful when someone says something like, “Man, that doob of God’s Pussy really did wonders for my arthritis.” But the important thing is that it did wonders for her arthritis, not that the strain has a horrible name. Some words – “marijuana” among them – have a racist past and are best avoided. For the most part it’s fine to use the words you prefer, and listen to what people mean and not just which terms they use. Feel free to tell them your terminology of preference and why.

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