A Hobart native has seen first-hand the economic potential of the marijuana industry and wants to kindle interest among Northwest Indiana business people.
The Kingery Group Chief Executive Officer Dawn Marie will prepare Region businesses for marijuana legalization and tell about opportunities at Northwest Indiana’s first Cannabis Business Workshop at 10 a.m., March 5, at Ambassador Banquets in Hobart.
Medical marijuana is now legal just across the border in Illinois and Michigan and states like Colorado, Oregon and Washington have approved its recreational use. A Gallup poll in October found 58 percent of American supported legalizing it nationally.
Some people believe it’s only a matter of time before it’s legal in Indiana too, although that would almost certainly be the result of a repeal of the national prohibition.
Speakers at the daylong March 5 conference include lawyer Patrick McEuen, Sandy McEuen from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, marijuana investment private retreat owner Khadijah Adam and hemp butter entrepreneur Kyla Hill. They’ll talk about how to invest in the cannabis industry and how to provide business services the budding sector will need.
“This area is an incredible crossroads and hub for transportation,” Marie said. “When this does become legal, why not start making money on it? Why should this money go elsewhere?”
Marie expects marijuana will be legal nationally by 2020, and says businesses should prepare for the inevitable, given the direction of public opinion polling. She is a Hobart native who moved to Colorado and lived there when marijuana was legalized.
“It impacted every business in the state,” she said. “They needed to get new insurance, new liability insurance. It was hard for these companies to find insurance that wouldn’t cost them an arm and a leg.”
The cannabis industry grew rapidly in Colorado and it creates many opportunities, but companies need to make sure they have adequate capital and revenue streams, Marie said. Entrepreneurs can start dispensaries or glassblowing companies, and such business will create new jobs like budtenders and growers, she said. The cannabis industry also will need ancillary support, such as from accountants, IT firms, packagers, and others.
The conference will cost $50, and limited seating is available. Marie hopes to stage similar workshops across the state every few months if there’s strong enough interest.
For more information or to sponsor the event, call (720) 486-4356 or find Indiana Cannabis Networking on Facebook.