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Quantum 9 featured on DNAinfo Chicago

By September 10, 2013Uncategorized

By Kyla Gardner

NEAR NORTH SIDE — Don’t store your cash and your marijuana in the same vault, a consultant warned medical marijuana entrepreneurs at a Near North Side conference Saturday.

Banks won’t take your money if it smells like weed.

It was a beginner’s mistake accountant Tom Marty saw clients learn the hard way in Colorado. Marty, along with other industry professionals from across the U.S., dispensed advice to 150 attendees of the Midwest CannaBusiness Symposium at the Embassy Suites Chicago, 600 N. State St.

“A lot of people think this is just: Throw a few plants in the ground, raise them, sell them and make a lot of money,” Marty said. “It’s actually quite difficult to turn a profit in this industry.”

Gov. Pat Quinn signed Illinois’ medical marijuana bill into law earlier this month. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulations will license 60 allotted dispensaries, and the bill goes into effect Jan. 1.

Lee Lockhart, a 34-year-old construction worker who wants to open a dispensary on the South Side, attended a panel that offered tips on on taxes, insurance, hiring and community outreach.

“The main challenge is the stigma associated with it,” the Roseland resident said, adding that he hopes to soon reach out to Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) and Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) about his “cannabusiness.”

Lockhart wants to open a dispensary to see those suffering get the kind of relief his aunt and uncle weren’t able to feel at the end of their lives.

“It’s a large opportunity to bring an alternative form of healthcare to those who need it,” Lockhart said. “My aunt, she had suffered from diabetes, she had nerve damage, she was always in pain. My uncle had cancer. This kind of [medicine] would have helped them.”

Patient need is the most common reason people enter the business, said Michael Mayes, CEO of a River North’s Quantum 9, a cannabis consulting and technology firm.

“It will more resemble a nonprofit model than a windfall [profit] from selling drugs,” Mayes said.

But it’s not only the patients who will benefit from Illinois’ soon-to-be-growing industry, Marty said.

“It creates a revenue stream to your local government that they’re going to get hooked on.”

Marty said medical marijuana generated $2.2 million in sales tax in Colorado from January to October in 2011. He said because the population in Illinois is so much bigger than Colorado, the state could expect to take in much more.

Cannabis Consulting 

About Michael Mayes

As Chief Executive Officer for Quantum 9, Inc., Michael has assisted in funding some of the largest commercial cannabis projects in the world. Michael has been a cannabis investor since 2009 in Colorado’s first legal for-profit cannabis market. As the co-founder and CEO of Quantum 9, Inc., Michael has spent years designing technology and collaborating with countless consultants on the forefront of the cannabis industry. Collaborating with the brightest minds and contributing to world-class organizations has been an incredibly enlightening and rewarding experience for him. Also, he has amassed a comprehensive and award-winning team engaged globally for public policy best practices through the prioritization of environmental sustainability and patient care. Michael is a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS), contributor to Marijuana Business Daily, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, Tampa Tribune, Yahoo Finance, Tampa Tribune, Sativa Magazine, CBC and the Daily Herald. His media appearances include several CBS and WGN appearances and international presence on BNN Commodities in Canada. On the public policy front, Michael and his team were instrumental in their work of drafting the Kentucky Medical Marijuana Bill for Senator Perry Clark. Most recently, Michael taught a class for the International Pharmaceutical Academy in Toronto, Canada. He spoke on Cannabis Pharmacology, and the effects cannabis has on the endocannabinoid system.

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