Cannabusiness boom

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

Now that weed is legal, I want to open my own cannabusiness. What should I do?

—Ganj Trepanuer

There’s a lot you’ll need to consider before jumping in. Weed is legal, but the regulations have yet to be written. Also, you didn’t tell me what kind of business you want to start. Growing? Selling? Social club? Billboard company? Not for nothin’, but I low-key wish I was in the billboard industry. I see so many pot-themed billboards all over the West Coast, it’s almost ridiculous. Those guys must be making extra bank thanks to cannabis legalization.

As for the other stuff, now is a good time to talk to your local officials about how they plan to welcome the cannabis industry. Many cities and counties are still fundamentally opposed to cannabis in general, so now is the time to start getting your council members and supervisors on the right track. Remind them that under the new law, if they don’t allow any cannabusiness, they don’t get a cut of the tax money. And since weed is a billion dollar crop in California, your city official could be costing your town millions of dollars due to their intransigence.

Also: Get your business plan together. Weed isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Everybody and their stoner uncle wants to get into the marijuana market, so don’t just think you are gonna show up and smash the game. 2018 is when the new regulations go into effect, so now is the time to learn as much as you can about the new rules ( will keep you up to date) so that you will be ready to go once the gates are open.

Every time I smoke weed, I break out in a rash and my face swells up. This is a drag, because I like to get high sometimes, but I don’t like these effects. Are there any strains that won’t make me swell up? Also: Where can I get some vegan, gluten-free cannabis treats?

—Your cousin’s homie

Sorry, dawg. You may be allergic to weed. It’s a drag, but it happens to some folks. Cannabis is a plant, plants have pollen, people are often sensitive to plant pollen, yada yada. At this point, you have two choices: Stop smoking weed, or go see an allergist to make sure that you are in fact allergic to cannabis and not just having an allergic reaction to some random mold or other pathogen that may have sneaked into your bag o’ weed.

If it turns out that it’s not the weed but something in the weed, you can take steps to minimize your risk by only smoking cannabis that has been lab-tested and shown to be free of molds and other pathogens. You can find some more information here: . Good luck.

As to the vegan, gluten-free edibles thing, I know Korova Edibles makes some good ones. Also: Dark chocolate bars are often vegan and gluten-free. You can also make your own treats. All you need is some cannabis-infused olive oil and a good vegan cookbook. Have fun!