How to start a marijuana clinic

A bud tender displays medical marijuana at a dispensary in Los Angeles.

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: This is National Medical Marijuana Week. Ant to observe the week, federal officials observed the week by busting shady distributors in states that condone therapeutic use. Reporter Cash Peters says if you want to open a legal medical marijuana clinic, you had better know the rules of the game.


Cash Peters: Seriously, what could be a better than this? Stoners running their own marijuana clinic? But according to Bruce Perlowin -- he's the King of Pot, that's his nickname -- it's happening a lot.

Bruce Perlowin: It's the fastest growing entrepreneurial business in America today; $14 billion in sales in California alone, T-shirts -- one dispensary sells $6,000 in T-shirts with the marijuana leaf on it a month.

Six grand a month. That's why he organized this convention: to train people to "just say yes."

Woman: Yes, I'm thinking of opening a clinic myself.

Peters: You don't fear getting raided by the government?

Woman: Not really.

Well, maybe you should, because it's not paranoia, the Feds really are out to get you, if you don't follow the rules.

Bruce, though, thinks it's worth all the legal hassle because of what cannabis can do for sick people.

Perlowin: It does stop nausea, it does help MS. It expands your consciousness -- you know tune in, tune out, and drop out . . . what was Leary's phrase?

Peters: You see, if you didn't smoke pot, you'd remember that.

Perlowin: Exactly, there you go. Well, I don't smoke spot anymore. It just doesn't agree with me personally.

Ironically, the King of Pot is allergic to pot. Anyway, the convention is basically like a school for stoners: "Contact High." For an admission price of $420 -- I know -- they learn all they need to know about setting up a dispensary.

Nancy Dunlap is a life coach. She sees a real opportunity here:

Nancy Dunlap: Seventy-eight percent of the voting public would like to see cannabis legal.

Peters: So if I wanted to set up a pot clinic, say you've converted me now?

Dunlap: That's where all the red tape comes in, and that's why one of these expos is so important. Because you have to know what you're getting into.

Peters: We could call ourselves Rebels Inc. You could handle the drug stuff and I'd just meet and greet.

Dunlap: Well there you go, then, that's just perfect.

Or, if a pot clinic isn't for you -- I can't imagine that, but if it isn't -- you could even open a learning center to teach people about marijuana. That's lucrative, too.

Bill Carter used to be a cop:

Bill Carter: I have advised my 28-year-old son that this is a good investment that I think this is a good investment.

Peters" So you want him to open a pot clinic?

Carter: If that's what he wants to do.

Peters: But nobody grows up wanting to open a pot clinic.

Carter: Well actually, Daddy is saying that's not such a bad idea.

Wow. I wish I had a daddy like that.

In Los Angeles, I'm Cash Peters for Marketplace.

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