Decades-long activist and Cannabis business leader Steve DeAngelo doesn’t like the smell of the marijuana amendment that is burning its way through the Buckeye State. Speaking with The Cleveland Leader on the phone on Monday evening, DeAngelo said he was opposed to any type of monopoly in the marjiuana industry and said his business ventures will not endorse anything that that does not include legalized home growing of the plant.
“The plan appears to be Un-American, ” DeAngelo said. “This is what you would expect out of (Vladimir) Putin in Russia or something out of the old Soviet Union. This is a new industry in America that has paths for upward mobility. What we do not need is another plum for the one percent.”
DeAngelo seemed very informed on the goings-on in Ohio, which presently has three active amendment initiatives to legalize marijuana. The President of The ArcView Group, which is an investor network based in San Francisco, California whose members provide financing to marijuana-based ventures, declined to endorse any of the measures that are currently being proposed.
“I need to see viability,” he explained when asked what it would take to back a plan to legalize marijuana here.
Home growing would most likely be have to be included in any measure that he gets behind. ResponsibleOhio’s omission of home grow was described by DeAngelo as “almost sinful”.
DeAngelo gave a ballpark estimate of $1 billion dollars as to what the economic impact of legalization would bring to the state of Ohio. That number was a rough estimate, but he did say that he has seen studies that show nationwide legalized marijuana is estimated to bring $50 Billion in economic activity. In his home state of California, which has legalized marijuana for medicinal use, the industry brings in about $4.5 Billion a year. The businessman also declared the “Green Rush” phrase as outdated and says he now refers to money flowing from the industry as the “Green Tsunami”.
DeAngelo also expressed surprise at the attempt to try to get full recreational status in Ohio with poll numbers showing only 52% in support of allowing that. He said that in his experience, he has seen those numbers drop as the march to the election approaches. He said if a measure does pass in Ohio that it would have enormous impact nationwide for the marijuana movement.
Steve DeAngelo is the Director of Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, the nation’s largest dispensary of medical cannabis. He is also the financial backer of a Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensary operated by his brother and business partner Andrew DeAngelo. Some of his other entrepreneurial venture include:
- The ArcView Group, an organization that matches investors and companies in the hemp and cannabis industries. DeAngelo serves as the President of this company.
- SteepHill Laboratory, the U.S.’s and world’s first analytical laboratory dedicated exclusively to testing cannabis. Launched in 2000, DeAngelo is a co-founder, CEO, and major shareholder.
- CannBe, a cannabis marketing, lobbying, and consulting firm, of which DeAngelo serves as President.