Back when I sold weed out of the back of my car, competition was fierce.

I was one of 20 or 30 people locally who sold cannabis, and we all protected our client lists and our territory.

I actually carried a gun at the time, not because I thought my customers would rob me, but because I was fearful of the other dealers! It was a jungle back in those days, but legalization cleared everything out. Thanks to saving up money in my weed-dealing years, and finding a business partner, I am now the manager of a local, legal cannabis shop. I expected the competition to be just as fierce, but instead have found the other cannabis shop owners to be polite and respectful. This isn’t a criminal enterprise anymore, this is a legit business! Cannabis may be our inventory of choice, but it’s still just a commodity and we all get along very well. In fact, we have learned that by working together and not against each other, all of our cannabis shops are prospering. Over the summer we are collectively going to sponsor a Cannabis Fest in the downtown promenade. All of our cannabis dispensaries will be represented in booths and tents, but we are also going to have bands playing live music all weekend. There will be food trucks, prizes and giveaways, and even free samples of new cannabis products. None of the local cannabis dispensaries could have done this alone, but working together should be profitable for everyone. Join us at the Cannabis Fest later this summer.