"Professor of Cannabis" Is Ready to Teach Medical Marijuana Entrepreneurs in Florida

bufford_2.jpg
Medical Marijuana Tampa
Jeremy Bufford of Medical Marijuana Tampa
On Tuesday, I wondered aloud who was ready to make some money if medical marijuana becomes legal in Florida after November's vote. There was only one corporation with "marijuana" in its name listed in the state so far.

Since, then I heard from a few others who said they're waiting to see what happens with the vote or that they are purposely registering under names that don't have "marijuana" in the title because in other states that have legalized weed, it's been hard for pot businesses to get bank accounts. (While "drowning in cash" sounds like a great problem to have, there are crazy security concerns.) Don't worry, though -- pot entrepreneurs are out there salivating.

One man, Jeremy Bufford, proprietor of Medical Marijuana Tampa, has already pounced. He is preparing to open a chain of 15 dispensaries with a quality-control lab and next week will launch his school for medical marijuana workers and entrepreneurs. He has already hired five people and expects to hire 350 more, plus trigger a mini-real estate boom assuming the initiative passes and he signs leases on the properties he's already scoped out. His website is already advertising for 15 positions from "lead botanist" to "delivery driver" to "executive chef" to "professor of cannabis."

I spoke to Bufford at length about his preparations and predictions for the medical marijuana industry in Florida:

See also: Florida Supreme Court Approves Medical Marijuana Initiative

New Times: I was surprised that there was only one corporation with the word "marijuana" in the name registered in Florida so far.
Jeremy Bufford: I'm equally surprised that there hasn't been more announcement, that there has not been any other company that is standing up and saying they're going to have competitive offerings in the medical marijuana space.

There's one company in Tampa -- they're in the neutraceutical space -- moving to produce some sort of pill or product that is derived from cannabinoids. They're going more towards the medicinal pharmacology route. We plan on opening the actual treatment centers -- we have 15 in Tampa Bay area from Bradenton to Lakeland to New Port Richey. We will also have a lab testing facility -- for quality control of the product -- in early 2015. We're already in operation with our classroom environment -- to educate caregivers, and the general public. Our first class is next Tuesday. It will cover the historical, legal, botanical aspects of medicinal marijuana, plus what's going to happen in the marketplace in Florida in 2015 based on our analysis of the ballot language. We can make educated guesses and prepare our students for careers or opportunity that's going to develop in that space.

Are you going to franchise?
That's a really good question. We feel comfortable with the opportunities in the Tampa Bay area, but we do have development partners [in other regions of the state] who are consulting with us on how they can roll this out.

Are you worried about chains from Colorado or California coming in and dominating the market?
You don't see that type of market consolidation -- some businesses have multiple locations in California and Colorado, but the landscape is dominated by the mom-and-pop model... Though I do anticipate that development in the future.

Like Home Depot wiping out small hardware stores...
Yeah, one day Marijuana Depot will own it all! [Differing state laws make it difficult for one national corporation to dominate in the U.S., but] look up Tweed in Canada -- they have aspirations to go with the Costco model -- they bought a former Hershey chocolate manufacturing facility.

Have you already signed leases and will you be ready to go the day after this passes, or are you holding back and waiting to see how the vote goes?
We are absolutely all in... [The classroom is ready and we've identified locations for dispensaries but] won't execute leases until November/December. [The ballot initiative specifies that the state Department of Health has six months to set up the regulatory framework.]


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20 comments
lmusher40
lmusher40

Why all the negativity? Maybe this entrepeneur is not the most experienced grower, but he is putting himself out there and is attempting to grow a business. One cannot fault him for that. I hear a bunch of haters. I have a strong feeling that this guy will succeed

swellninja
swellninja

its just getting started. i'm gonna go out on a line here and bet that these guys have never put a pack on the ground. I hear oaksterdam 

Elguapo83
Elguapo83

So then how can I get into this business? Will there be any opportunities for delivery drivers? When can floridians learn more about this business.

Jaja8Labor
Jaja8Labor

Looks like a narc, talks like a narc, out in the open like a narc, in the paper.... like a narc

Jaja8Labor
Jaja8Labor

Nothing but a dreamer this guy... and he claims its "trolls" making stuff up below. What a joke of a dreamer. "I won't reply to any comments in this thread, so don't bother." but he replied with a huge essay of a post with nonsense. Miami weed has 40% mold... yeah, right. Nice BS claim you cannot back up, yet again. You are another guy with cash who stepped into the ganja scene and thinks he is going to run the biz..... not going to happen dreamer boy. Just because you saw it on CNN in Denver doesn't mean you can do it, FL has been growing twice as much as Denver and is going to be huge like Southern California since those 2 spots are the only place in the US you can grow all year round, 365 days a year. Anything above south florida or south california is less quality growers, mark my words you are talking out of your ass if you think Tampa businesses will come anywhere close to Miami. Like said before, DEA busts in the entire nation, the ENTIRE nation, miami is the biggest grow bust location out of them all, even the legal states... that says a lot. Dude is a dreamer, ha ha ha

jeremybufford-mmt
jeremybufford-mmt

I normally don't feed the trolls, but this topic is gaining a lot of attention, and in the off chance that anyone reads through @DRlegalgrower 's and @aaron.kennedy65 's posts and finds legitimate concerns, I'd like to address them. Essentially, Aaron's argument is that our Professor has no grow experience, and is graduate of Oaksterdam University, an institution for which he has little regard. Professor Hermida's job is to communicate well with students. He is not, and does not want to be a professional grower. But that's OK - because he has a team of growers standing right behind him with a collective 40 years experience in mass cultivation (and we hire new talent regularly).  DR's concern is that I apparently do not know about weedmaps or thcfinder, etc. A cursory read of my website will show otherwise, as I link to quite a bit of their content, among others. In fact, I understand their model very well - and my "Yelp" comment is taken a bit out of context here in that I am not suggesting our web presence will become a destination to find dispensaries, etc, but rather is designed to help our patients evaluate the offerings from our various growers in a format they have come to understand, i.e. online rating engines such as Yelp. However, DR goes on to say that somehow the current black market dealers will "come into the light" and function as legitimate businesses and force companies like Medical Marijuana Tampa out of the market, and within the year no less! This is very unlikely to happen for several reasons. First, most current operators have backgrounds, and state reg's are almost guaranteed to have "bad boy" restrictions preventing those individuals from operating treatment centers. Additionally, costs for applying for and getting a license to operate a treatment center are expected to soar over 500,000 USD PER LOCATION. Try getting your drug money clean in the necessary quantities by the time the rules come into effect - not going to happen. Third, the markets are not complimentary. Providing medicine for patients is vastly different from selling on the local street corner. As for the product comparison, our lab techs have analyzed his Miami-based $250 offerings and were not impressed. The highest incidence of mold-infested product we found in the state came from Miami-Dade at just over 40%. And to address his final bit of advice, I think I'll stay in Tampa, thank you - Denver is just too cold. :)  But cheer up DR, when things go well - I'll expand to Miami and give you a job. I'll get you out of your mom's house and make you my hype man - you have to learn how to spell first, though, so work on that in the meantime.  

I won't reply to any comments in this thread, so don't bother. Anyone interested in speaking with me can do so at 213-537-4281 and I'll answer any questions you might have.

-Jeremy

DRlegalgrower
DRlegalgrower

Ahahaha, this guy is CLUELESS. Especially at the end "yelp of pot" --- dude is clueless at the scene already going on under cover in FL. First off, there is thcfinder, weedmaps, etc, very very well known sites that will CRUSH this guy when it becomes legal here. Not to mention I have personally met DOZENS of growers in FL and left FL to go legal temporarily in another states, its the BIGGEST busted grow state out of all 50 states, miami is teh top DEA bust location! Look it up. And I know for a fact Miami will be flooded with wannabes like this guy but the people ALREADY GROWING will undercut him drastically with those laughable prices. $499 for a class? You can look up more stuff on youtube for free than this guy will be able to teach boasting as a professor but using Oaksterdam college as where he learned recently! hahah, newbie. The thing is I know there is HUNDREDS of outdoor and indoor crops going on in FL right as I type this, I have seen them on many sites the past month even! People need to wake up, this stuff is already solidly being done behind closed doors, just like the bars were doing before beer was legalized in the early 1900s! Wake up fools, you will not learn from Oaksterdam everything you need to know.... thats who is teaching you here on the 3rd page, a guy who learned herb from an overpriced joke of a college. Gimme a break hahahah. This guy will be run out of Tampa within 1 year, especially at the price points he said. mark my words. And top grade is below 250 in Miami, kid! There is BHO oil with high grade medical butane used, extractions, medibles, EVERYTHING Denver has was already in Miami 2 years ago to this day! And its all going up the state from there. hahahha, clueless wannabe ganjapreneur! Go to Denver, where all the other wannabes have flooded to! lolol

DRlegalgrower
DRlegalgrower

Ahahaha, this guy is CLUELESS. Especially at the end "yelp of pot" --- dude is clueless at the scene already going on under cover. First off, there is thcfinder, weedmaps, etc, very very well known sites that will CRUSH this guy when it becomes legal here. Not to mention I have personally met DOZENS of growers in FL, its the BIGGEST busted grow state out of all 50 states, miami is teh top DEA bust location! And I know for a fact Miami will be flooded with wannabes like this guy. The thing is I know there is HUNDREDS of outdoor and indoor crops going on in FL right as I type this, I have seen them on many sites the past month even! People need to wake up, this stuff is already solidly being done behind closed doors, just like the bars were doing before beer was legalized in the early 1900s! Wake up fools, you will not learn from Oaksterdam everything you need to know.... thats who is teaching you here on the 3rd page, a guy who learned herb from an overpriced joke of a college. Gimme a break hahahah. This guy will be run out of Tampa within 1 year, especially at the price points he said. mark my words. And top grade is below 250 in Miami, kid! hahahha, clueless wannabe ganjapreneur! Go to Denver, where all the other wannabes have flooded to! lolol

commenter8
commenter8 topcommenter

Jeremy Bufford seems well-informed and highly competent.

aaron.kennedy65
aaron.kennedy65

Being taught at Oaksterdam means One PROBABLY has never grown Cannabis first hand yet.. 


My research on this teacher bears that out. NO GROW EXPERIENCE.  


Putting the cart before the Horse at TOP dollar,, Way to start it out.. Gouge the students with NO real grow information.. This is silly,

loonachic
loonachic

I'm wondering why pharmacies aren't getting in to this game?

DRlegalgrower
DRlegalgrower

@commenter8 He is not... believe me, this guy even admits he is not a professional grower, just a wannabe "ganjapreneur". He is too late to the game, and needs more knowledge about what he talks about. All his knowledge is derived from googling, basically... not someone that deserves a page like this based on the novice way he answered most of these questions.

amazinjess305
amazinjess305

@loonachic The pharmacies are in place only to sell/distribute it to the patients, Jeremy simply wants to grow it and sell it in bulk to pharmacies.  The pharmacies are also in place to charge the patients' insurance companies.

DRlegalgrower
DRlegalgrower

@loonachic Because its a Sched 1 drug right now.... many people know this is not right at all and are trying to make Obama change it. He talked about it today and said he cannot reschedule it, and says Congress has the power to make it federally legal. Obama also said recently that its safer than alcohol, which is a fact also. Times are changing, old clueless people are dying off. Its about time

DRlegalgrower
DRlegalgrower

@funchey1 @aaron.kennedy65Because it is a joke. It is marketed toward clueless newbie people who cannot grow plants. Its a beginner only class, they don't teach you everything and charge you as much as this guy ($499?hhahah wow)

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