Unsolicited advice for the Westside’s booming medical marijuana trade from a guy who knows a thing or two about anything but

By Tony Peyser

cartoon_opinionThe Argonaut has recently run stories about a shooting at a pot clinic near LAX and about two Westchester pot businesses accused of not being properly licensed and taken to court by the city. (Regarding the latter — if true, that’s a boneheaded move, and you’d have to wonder if the owners are perhaps not just selling marijuana but also using it. However, I digress.) The point is it’s time to take that proverbial step back and examine this timely issue.

Are Pot Clinics A Good Investment?

When I see a segment on PBS’ “Nightly Business Report” about how execs from large companies are now getting involved with marijuana clinics, you realize a seismic shift has happened. Going into businesses like these now is like opening up a bar (or a distillery) after Prohibition ended: an excellent idea.

Are There Any Local Pot Clinics With Really Clever Names?

Alas, no. Unlike local food trucks called things like Juice On The Loose, Shrimp Pimp and Macho Nacho, most of these clinics didn’t even attempt to come up with a grin-inducing name. However, I do like Speed Weed. And Grateful Meds is pretty good, too, but I think they’re now out of business. No one asked me for suggestions. This was ill-advised since I’ve worked on and off in advertising for years. My ideas would have been Going To Pot, Reefer Gladness and Yes We Cannabis.

Why Do Pot Clinics Get Robbed?

Because they have such pantywaist names. Here are some examples from an official list compiled last June. Mary Jane’s Collective. (Sounds like a lesbian bakery/candle shop.) The Fountain of Well-Being. (I see a vegan restaurant where emaciated waiters smell like they just ran two marathons.) The Relief Collective. (I envision a grieving group where the guy running it was arrested for getting handsy with some of the mourners.) If I ever had a dire cash-flow situation, I could easily knock over one of these namby-pamby places. However, if they had muscular names like Black Belt Pot Association, Kick-Ass Marijuana Dispensary or Biker Wellness Center, these robberies would vanish in no time.

How Else Can Pot Clinics Be Safer?

Hire bodybuilders from Gold’s Gym to hang out near the front door. No one’s going to pull a fast one, let alone a gun, if they look around and see guys strong enough to bench press Quebec. A couple of unfriendly fellows loitering inside while wielding nunchucks would also do wonders.

How Can Pot Clinics Make More Money?

To hell with offering cannabis snacks and beverages: sell the food people will be craving after they go home and use the product, i.e. pizza, potato chips, pretzels, cookies, basically anything that Michelle Obama doesn’t want you to eat. This won’t help your waistline, but it will help their bottom line.

How Can Pot Clinics Improve Their Web Presence?

Hire. Professional. Designers. You don’t want a site that looks like it was done by a friend of a friend who still lives at home, understands everything about bongs and knows what city the Electric Daisy Carnival is currently touring in but is never certain what day it is.

Are These Clinics Really Necessary?

Of course, but not only to assist those people facing challenging medical issues. There is also another reason: to bring about world peace. The most bitter ongoing conflict now isn’t in the Middle East. It’s between people on Yelp and the various businesses they frequent. That site, as many of you well know, is the intergalactic ground zero for whining, where people who have nothing good to say about anything trash everything. You would assume that their pages would be lousy with potshots about pot shops. And yet you would be, I’m happy to report, colossally wrong. Amazingly, there is a decided lack of complaining on Yelp about medical marijuana clinics. This isn’t just good for this burgeoning business sector but the entire planet. Put that in your pipe and … you know the rest.

A virtual Los Angeles native, Tony Peyser has worked as a journalist, advertising copywriter, music columnist and editorial cartoonist, but he prefers poetry because that’s where the big bucks are. His poetry blog is the conveniently named PeyserPoem.blogspot.com. He’s also been a skip tracer, a stevedore and a carnival barker. (OK, he never really worked in any of those capacities but, c’mon, you have to admit they really spruce up a resume.)