Posted by Phoenix West Rotary Club "West Side Story"
John Angelo introduced speaker of the day, Quinn Goldsberry, in charge of Business Development for MEDMEN in Arizona and Nevada. He has owned and operated over 15 different restaurants in Arizona from 2007-2016 including The Lodge, Over Easy, Goodwood, Sol Y Sombra and 18 Degrees. His passion for the Cannabis industry began at an early age with his mother being diagnosed with MS in 1987 and passing in 2011. Cannabis was not an option during her fight. He entered the cannabis industry in 2015 helping with Prop 205, Arizona’s Adult Use initiative. From there he began working with one of the largest licensed growers in the US—Sunday Goods (The Pharm), a 300,000 sq. ft. facility in Willcox, successfully bringing the brand to market. He plays a key role in developing wholesale sales through his current work with MEDMEN in both Arizona and Nevada.
Although medical use of marijuana was legalized in Arizona by way of Proposition 203 in 2010, our state has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. Cannabis remains illegal for recreational use— a 2016 initiative to legalize recreational use failed with 48.7% of the vote; however, Arizona is now one of the states that could legalize adult-use (21 and older) cannabis through a 2020 ballot measure. 
In answer to a question about the marijuana business in California, Quinn indicated that the black-market business is huge there because it is difficult to be a legitimate business due to high taxation, difficulty and cost of securing permits—simply stated, it is tough to make money because of the taxes and permitting. The fact that the sale of marijuana is considered illegal at the federal level, the business is on a cash basis.
There are many glass greenhouses growing marijuana in the Willcox area and around the state including Tucson and Chino Valley but the majority of them are located around the Phoenix area along I-17 and I-10 in industrial parks.  Apparently there are over 130 licenses in the state which permit the licensee to have one off-site greenhouse and one dispensary. 
Quinn reported that while there are many different cannabinoids (chemical compounds) that can occur in cannabis, the two most well known are THC, and CBD. THC is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis which gives the effect of what recreational users call the “high.” CBD is considered to be non-psychoactive. Apparently cannabis has strong anti-inflammatory qualities which some consider helpful in treating some forms of Cancer, MS, sleep issues and spastic diseases. Unfortunately, because of the fact that cannabis is illegal under federal law, research is limited and/or prohibited.
Our thanks to Quinn for his interesting and informative presentation on this timely topic. As we know, marijuana it legal for medical use in Arizona; the question now will be should it be made legal for recreational use. Apparently voters will have an opportunity to weigh in on this matter sometime this year.