On November 8th 2016, over 54% of voters in Nevada said yes to Question 2, a bill to legalize the recreational use, possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. Despite Las Vegas being synonymous with “Sin City”, the rest of the state is predominantly rural and conservative, so legalization was certainly not a guarantee.
So what does legalization in Nevada mean? As of January 1, 2018, while driving under the influence and selling to minors is still illegal, Nevada residents over 21 years of age will be allowed to legally possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 1/8 of an ounce of concentrate, and cultivate up to six plants for personal use. Similarly, the initiative has created a new 15% excise tax and will also regulate marijuana retail stores, distributors, and cultivation/manufacturing/testing facilities.
In this third MYVEGAS Magazine installment, we catch up with Joe Vargas, the self-made Las Vegas Cannapreneur and expert in the medical cannabis industry, with a truly inspirational “rags to riches” story, and find out how the legalization may affect his cannabis business, Space Monkey LLC.
According to Bloomberg, 80% of new businesses will fail within the first 18 months, yet Vargas managed to beat the odds and earn a profit from only 3 months after business inception back in 2015.
Vargas leveraged his business savvy and marketing acumen to create much more than top-shelf medical cannabis products, such as Cloud N9ne Syrup (a CBD syrup with 9 all-natural herbs), a brand that is recognized from afar. Space Monkey, LLC became a dominating force in the digital, social media and data space and is now not only the largest CBD syrup company, but also the largest social-media-driven cannabis company in the world!
All of this was accomplished with a product containing absolutely no THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, which meant it was legal and Vargas’s website www.BuyLegalMeds.com could ship product to all 50 States, Canada and the U.K. The CBD products help to cope with pain, reduce inflammation, and can even help with epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia, cancer, COPD (a respiratory disorder), MS, etc…
Many companies with less reach and data analytics have managed to raise millions and launch successful IPO’s, a clear indication of the sheer potential of the industry. In fact, many of these companies have even approached Vargas to purchase the company outright or invest in his brand. With legalization in the state of Nevada, THC can now be legally combined with CBD, and Vargas recognizes this as a tremendous opportunity to venture into the manufacturing and distribution of THC products with proper licensing. When asked for his thoughts on legalization, Vargas responds, "There has never been a better time to live in Nevada than now. The legalization of marijuana will boost our economy and pump money into areas that are much needed."
For the first time, Cannapreneur and Medical Cannabis Expert Joe Vargas is needing to make a decision as to taking on hard pressed investors wanting to enter into the space. This would include them into Space Monkey, LLC current scheduled release of innovative new products to remain at the top of the competitive cannabis space or go at this alone and continue to self-fund.
“We have some decisions to make. We are more than able to fund any future R&D and the astronomical cost to bringing new products to market, but the question Joe is battling with has to do with his vision to help others and that includes investors and entrepreneurs, and at this point, it’s about structure and finding those willing to work has hard as the Space Monkey Team that we currently have now.” Nick Pargaz – COO, Space Monkey, LLC.