Posts Tagged ‘cannabis’

How Cannabis Saves Medicare Millions of Dollars

marijuana-bankingA new study has found that states with access to cannabis have reduced costs to Medicare Part D, as well as reduced prescription drug use. The study was published in Health Affairs and looked at drugs like antidepressants, muscle relaxants, opioids, and sedatives for which cannabis is used as an alternative treatment.

Researchers examined Medicare Part D spending from 2010 to 2013 and found that cannabis saved Medicare about $165 million in 2013–if  cannabis was legal nationwide, it would save the program about $470 million per year. 25 states and the District of Columbia currently have cannabis laws, a number that’s expected to increase in November elections.

As well as saving taxpayer money, the study found that the annual number of daily doses prescribed by doctors for conditions like anxiety, depression, pain, nausea, and sleep disorders, was also greatly reduced. Cannabis use reduced the number of painkiller prescriptions, including opioids, by about 1,800 daily doses filled each year per doctor. Critics say that while cannabis may be saving Medicare money, patients still have to pay for it out-of-pocket. However, as Colorado and other states show, an ounce of cannabis is hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars less with far more effective results. Those costs could possibly even become lower with less regulation, less black market influences, and expanding supplies with market growth. In an interview with NPR, one of the authors of the study, W. David Bradford, said that should “marijuana become a regular part of patient care nationally, the cost curve would bend because marijuana is cheaper than other drugs.”

Cannabis is still a Schedule I drug. It is considered to have a high potential for abuse without medical benefits. However, since it is a natural wellness food product with no deaths and countless lives helped, it would seem the greater threat of abuse without medical benefit are pharmaceuticals which have both a long list of deaths and abuses.


A Daddy’s Advice on Cannabis

cannabis-parentingMy daughter started college this year. It’s a big time in everyone in the family’s life. She’s legally an adult and if you ask her mom, she’s more of an adult that I am, and I’m okay with this (long live Spiderman and the Avengers). I’ve been very open and candid with my daughter about my life and lessons I’ve learned. In my late teens and early 20’s I was a heavy cannabis user and drinker. I partied hard and of all things I regret doing, none of them were while I was high on pot. So when my only child and little girl began her college adventure, I said something to her that caught her by surprise: I told her I would rather she smoked pot, then drank.

I can just hear the mindless anti-cannabis robots now. “What a horrible father!” “You should be ashamed!”. Well I’m not. You see I love my daughter more than my own life. And while I would hope she would wait till she was 21 and legal before making a decision for herself about cannabis and alcohol use, I’m not so naive to believe that she is going to. I didn’t, most college and even high school kids don’t wait. I would have been remiss in my duties as a father not to talk to my daughter about using cannabis and alcohol and compare the dangers of the two.

She could get high and still retain her faculties enough to avoid being a victim of assault; she can get up the next day and still do her school work and go to work, and she’s far less likely to do things that she would later regret while smoking pot than drinking alcohol. And most importantly, she can avoid death from alcohol poisoning and becoming an alcoholic. No one has ever died from a cannabis overdose, but thousands of kids die every year in the United States from alcohol abuse and many of them go on to become alcoholics later in life.

So this Daddy’s advice is: if you’re not going to wait till you’re 21, smoke a joint and skip the keg.


– Joshua Furlong, Cheeky Monkey™ Secretary & COO

Joshua Furlong is a Colorado native and businessman. He is co-founder of Cheeky Monkey™. He currently lives in Denver and has worked most recently in the New Home Sales market. He has a Bachelor’s of Business from Colorado Technical University. He has worked as a contractor for the Department of Defense in Iraq and spent his early career as a professional driver in the trucking industry. His personal philosophy is Veritas in virtus per libertas (Truth in virtue through Liberty).

MassRoots Files to Join NASDAQ Exchange

MassRoots, the “Facebook” of cannabis, has submitted an application to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, hoping to earn approval to list on the NASDAQ exchange.

Founded in 2013, the social networking company boasts 775,000 users along with 380,000 followers on Instagram. The mobile app connects cannabis consumers with cannabis businesses and acts as a resource for keeping up with legalization news, sharing experiences, trends, and reviews. The Denver-based social network doesn’t directly deal with marijuana–their NASDAQ application acknowledges that marijuana is still a schedule I drug and as such is illegal under federal law. However, MassRoots’ application could be turned down just because the company works with cannabis businesses for advertising, much like their denial from the finalists panel for best app at TechCrunch last year.

MassRoots had revenue of $213,963 for the year ending 2015, a net loss of approximately $8 million and about $386,316 in cash on hand. It began selling advertising in August of 2015.

MassRoots went public last April on the OTCQB Marketplace under the symbol MSRT. It’s trading at $1.28. It reached an all-time high of $7.01.

MassRoots plans to use the proceeds of the offering to repay bridge notes, develop new features for the company’s mobile app and meet certain Nasdaq expenses (roughly $150,000 a year).

Cannabis Legislation: Fighting Fire with Fire

ak-cannabisI recently listened to a podcast by our affiliate The Musing Monkey and the interview with Ryan Smith (you can find it here). I was touched by the stories of medical cannabis patients who have suffered at the hands of the bureaucrats in Alaska like Cynthia Franklin, who is the head of the Marijuana Control Board, that use their position and authority to push their own agenda regardless of the law and who it hurts. This isn’t something unique to Alaska though, it’s a huge problem across the United States from presidential hopefuls like Christie to small time pleebs like Cynthia Franklin. Well I have a warning for politicians and bureaucrats like them. The cannabis industry is a growing power and influence in this country.

We are all aware of the power that big money has in politics and the influence it plays in shaping laws and regulation in this country. While it may disgust us on many levels, it’s not something that’s going to go away. Well I say, let’s fight fire with fire. There will be a powerful cannabis lobby and we will have a say in the future of elections and government in states like Alaska as well as the rest of the country. People in power and authority who insist on abusing their powers, usurping powers (listen to the podcast) from others, and denying citizens their rights, will have a day of reckoning. Be assured that political donations, lobbying, ad campaigns, and grassroots movement support will sway future elections and remove those who would deny Americans their rights. The politicians today who stand in the way of legalized cannabis, a natural plant that’s a safe and healthy alternative to alcohol, opiates and other pharmaceuticals, will be out of job tomorrow.

I’m talking about using the system that, for decades, has been used against cannabis by the big pharma, paper, textiles and other companies, to change the conversation and the laws and set cannabis free. Let’s put our money and growing power to work and fight fire with fire and replace bureaucrats like Cynthia Franklin with representatives who serve the people and protect our rights, not stomp on them. It’s time to put moralist bureaucrats, whether religious, political, or otherwise who think their opinion and beliefs about cannabis are the only right ones out on the street and out of a job.


– Joshua Furlong, Cheeky Monkey™ Secretary & COO

Joshua Furlong is a Colorado native and businessman. He is co-founder of Cheeky Monkey™. He currently lives in Denver and has worked most recently in the New Home Sales market. He has a Bachelor’s of Business from Colorado Technical University. He has worked as a contractor for the Department of Defense in Iraq and spent his early career as a professional driver in the trucking industry. His personal philosophy is Veritas in virtus per libertas (Truth in virtue through Liberty).

Facebook Gives a Big Thumbs Down To Cannabis Pages

fb-weedIn a move that’s likely to hurt cannabis businesses, Facebook has shut down more than 20 medical and recreational marijuana dispensary pages across the country. Over the last week, dispensary owners received letters from Facebook indicating a violation of the social media company’s community standards, stating, “We remove any promotion or encouragement of drug use.” It’s not clear if Facebook is targeting dispensaries in particular, or if it’s part of a larger crackdown on marijuana-related businesses.

Social media is vital for cannabis businesses looking to communicate with customers and as a place where they can advertise strains, prices, and promotions. Marijuana Business Daily spoke to Greta Carter, the owner of Inyo Fine Cannabis Dispensary in Las Vegas, whose Facebook page was recently removed: “What’s really frustrating to us in the industry is that we have such limited means to communicate and advertise, so the Internet is an incredible valuable resource.”

Indeed, Facebook itself seems unsure of its own guidelines and “community standards,” targeting some dispensaries and leaving others online. “Why us? There are all kinds of businesses in Vegas,” Carter said. “All of our competitors are still up and running.”

Several cannabis dispensaries are attempting to appeal Facebook’s decision, but so far the social media company has not responded. A strange move considering Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement that he is pro-cannabis legalization.


Cheeky Monkey™ Attends Cannabis Assembly

andrew-ktuuThis week, the Anchorage Cannabis Assembly met to discuss the roll out of upcoming marijuana business licenses and to discuss support for continued cannabis legalization. Cheeky Monkey™ attended and Chief Product Officer, Andrew Campbell spoke to need for legal, safe places for Alaska residents and tourists to consume cannabis. Many community members agreed to expanded allowance of cannabis and broad support was shown for Alaska marijuana business licences in general.

Another topic of discussion was zoning laws. While the federal government recommends any cannabis business keeps a distance of 1000 feet from any school zone, Anchorage cannabis community members worry that could hinder the growth of business due to the small sizes of Alaska’s cities. “I can tell you personally from downtown and different areas that that 1000 feet is really going to hinder a lot of businesses doing business in Anchorage,” says Teresa Collins with Pot Luck events. Of course, cannabis community members (and Cheeky Monkey™) don’t condone underage usage of cannabis, so a balance will have to be found.

An amendment to licensing laws could allow marijuana to be consumed where it’s purchased but separate from other customers and employees in a cafe style environment, which is Cheeky Monkey™’s end goal.



Stay tuned to Cheeky Monkey™ and KTUU for further cannabis legalization information!



Alaska’s Cannabis Market – From the Alaska Cannabis Institute

marijuana-growerBeyond the obvious reasons, Alaska’s marijuana market is unlike any other market in the marijuana industry. Although Alaskans legalized medical marijuana in 1998, for whatever reason, a medical marijuana dispensary system was never set up by the government or the people. In fact, Alaska is one of 23 states, plus D.C., to have medical marijuana, but, one of the only not to have a commercial marijuana marketplace.

Until now. Alaska joins Colorado, Washington, and Oregon as the only states in the country to have legal marijuana for anybody 21 years-old and above; and, in about seven (7) weeks, marijuana entrepreneurs can apply for a marijuana establishment license to grow, manufacture, and retail marijuana and marijuana products.

However, cannabis businesses around the country have gotten a jump start in the cannabis industry that most Alaskans have not gotten. For example, in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon; cannabis entrepreneurs were able to open medical marijuana establishments with low barriers to entry, no licensing fees, no regulations; little competition, and no taxes. Many other cannabis entrepreneurs still enjoy business climates similar to this, which allows them to gain critical experience and save money while preparing for their state to legalize recreational marijuana. Entrepreneurs in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine come to mind.

In Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, the marijuana industry is becoming professionalized. What I mean by that is, marijuana establishments are hiring professional design agencies to develop their branding; they are hiring professional PR agencies to develop media plans; hiring professional interior designers and architects to design their retail marijuana stores.

So, what can Alaskan cannabis entrepreneurs do to get caught up?

STEP 1: Get “hyper-local,” especially in Alaska. That means, know as much about what is going on in your local cannabis community as you possibly can. If there is an assembly meeting or a planning meeting coming up, you need to know about it. If there is a cannabis function happening, that needs to be on your calendar.

STEP 2: Get involved. Once you know about everything that is happening in your community, get involved. Participation is key. You want to get your face seen and your voice heard so people in the industry begin to recognize who you are. Make sure you bring business cards and hand them out. Sincerely listen to what people are doing in the community, and focus on ways you might be able to add-value to what they are working on. However you can, get involved and participate.

STEP 3: If there isn’t any cannabis events happening in your community, plan an event. To help cover costs, reach out to other cannabis startups and co-sponsor an event. Again, when hosting an event, make sure to add-value for your attendees.

STEP 4: Continuing education. Learn as much as you can, especially about the marijuana industry. Meet as many people as you can, that’s a form of learning. Always continue to develop your skills and your network. People are the most important resource in any industry. The more you know, and the more people you know, the better off you’re going to be.

Follow these simple recommendations, and you will be on your way to success in the cannabis industry.

Check out the following links for more information:

Alaska Cannabis Institute –
Northwest Cannabis Classic (Alaska) –

Harvest Season: Colorado Cannabis Sales Dip

legal cannabis salesLegal cannabis sales in Colorado took a dip in October from months, according to new data from the state’s Department of Revenue. From September to October, recreational cannabis sales dipped 13 percent to $49.1 million and medical pot sales dropped 18 percent to $31.3 million, according to an article on the

Experts have given a couple of different takes on the lower sales during holiday season. One thought is during the dip in the cultivation in winter, many medical cannabis consumers will rely on their own legal indoor grow. Another is that cold weather reduces tourist travel during the winter months, also resulting in less cannabis consumers. Our third theory is that many of us let our medical cannabis licenses lapse at the end of the year, save up for one huge purchase in October, then fast until January.

Have your own theories? Contact us on Facebook!

Cannabis Clubs and Weed Bars in Alaska!

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Cheeky Monkey celebrates with other Alaska entrepreneurs today as one big step of Cannabis legalization plants a hardy foot forward!

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board (MCB) is made up of five citizens elected by Governor Walker. The MCB is to help clarify regulations ect, and pass it to the legislator.

In the Anchorage Daily News today, Laurel Andrews reported, “The change allows for people to buy marijuana at a retail store and consume it in a designated area on the premises. The board voted 3-2 in favor of the amendment, with Loren Jones, public health board member, and Peter Mlynarik, the public safety board member, dissenting.”

Allowing for a purchase and consumption environment demonstrates the collaboration of all involved. Thank you EVERYONE who helped show the MCB and the citizens of this state that we are here to see cannabis freedoms win an important position. Thank you to the MCB members who have taken their personal time to help consider this new old world of cannabis!

This is a BIG win. This is all part of the ‪#‎CheekyMonkey‬ vision. The legalization of ‪#‎Cannabis‬ is going to be beneficial as the truth about it being a food and not a drug, is proven through our industries example.‪#‎BeResponsible‬ entrepreneurs! celebrating the community by giving access to consumption!

Cheeky Monkey™’s Andrew Campbell on Cannabis Odor


Cheeky Monkey™’s Andrew Campbell (left – featured) and Johnny Furlong at the NW Cannabis Classic.

Today, Cheeky Monkey™’s own product developer and owner and operator of Skunkwerkz grow operations, Andrew Campbell was interviewed in Alaska Dispatch News regarding Alaska locals reactions to “stinky” pot gardens. The article, humorously entitled My neighbor’s pot garden smells like a Wookiee’s armpit. What can I do about it?, addresses what to do about a strong, skunky aroma emitted by a cannabis grow garden on one particular street in the neighborhood’s northern section of Roger’s Park. (Don’t look at us, we’re in Eagle River!).

While the strong aroma is typical of any sizable cannabis grow operation, Andrew employs a special odor filtration system on his grow operation. Andrew says “I do have a filtration set up, I just do that not because I have to, but because I respect that not everyone enjoys the smell like I do.” Andrews’s set-up features two main parts: One fan and carbon filter combo that scrubs air and dumps it right back into the same room, and another fan and filter that scrub air again and vent it outside the room. He vents the latter fan into the house rather than outside for energy efficiency reasons, but he said it could be safely vented outside if conserving energy weren’t a concern.

Great job Andrew!

At Cheeky Monkey™, our members always work to add a level of education and respect to the legal cannabis community.

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