Bemidji Cannabis Cooperative Proposal.
Dear City of Bemidji,
I attempted to present these ideas during a listening session but missed the opportunity. However, I now have a more structured and concrete means of sharing my thoughts concerning a municipal dispensary. The significant challenges that municipalities face in the wake of legalization also presents tremendous opportunities to pioneer innovative ideas and establish sustainable systems.
Instead of approaching the concept of a municipal dispensary as it has traditionally been done, I encourage not only Bemidji but also any municipality or county government to contemplate the following model. With legalization in Minnesota, the door has opened to personal cultivation. However, many residents are unable to take advantage of this opportunity because they either rent or own properties unsuitable for farming due to structural limitations or restrictions imposed by property owners.
The idea of a cooperative dispensary, where residents can lease a micro-lot and pay a reasonable fee to cultivate and process their plants, bridges the gap for those who would otherwise be excluded from this opportunity. Additionally, there is a significant financial aspect to consider. Four flowering plants, each yielding a pound of buds, can have an approximate retail value of $9,600, based on an ounce costing $300. This represents a substantial value that could be lost to factors such as wildlife interference or theft during the night. A centralized facility offers a secure location where this value can be safeguarded and optimized.
I kindly request that you take the following proposal into consideration as you continue your vital work.
In the wake of cannabis legalization, our region recognizes the need for a structured and responsible approach to cannabis cultivation. To this end, we propose the establishment of a Municipal Cannabis Cooperative that not only offers a legal framework for cultivation but also incorporates a cooperative shareholding system for wealth distribution among our residents. This innovative approach aligns with our commitment to individual rights, public safety, economic development, and equitable wealth distribution.
The Municipal Cannabis Cooperative's objectives are as follows:
Promote Responsible Cannabis Cultivation: Create a legal and accountable framework for residents to cultivate cannabis plants, ensuring responsible practices, monitoring, and processing.
Generate Municipal Revenue: Collect cooperative member fees, taxes on cannabis sales, and encourage economic growth, all of which will contribute to the municipal treasury.
Enhance Public Safety: Reduce unregulated cannabis cultivation and associated risks to community safety and security.
Support Local Agriculture and Wealth Distribution: Foster a local cannabis industry while promoting equitable wealth distribution among cooperative members.
The Municipal Cannabis Cooperative will operate as follows:
Membership and Cooperative Shares: Residents who wish to legally cultivate cannabis must become cooperative members by paying an annual fee. In addition to membership, each member will be issued cooperative shares, which represent ownership and a stake in the cooperative's profits.
Home Cannabis Cultivation: Each cooperative member can cultivate up to eight cannabis plants, with a maximum of four flowering plants, on their property. Guidelines for cultivation will be provided to ensure responsible practices.
Centralized Cannabis Management: The cooperative will offer a centralized and secure cultivation facility for members who prefer not to cultivate on their property or require additional support. This facility will oversee plant growth, process mature plants, and store personal growing materials securely.
Revenue Sharing: The cooperative will distribute a portion of its profits among its members in proportion to the number of cooperative shares owned by each member.
Regulatory Compliance: The cooperative will uphold all municipal and state regulations related to cannabis cultivation, including security, health, and environmental standards.
The Municipal Cannabis Cooperative's unique structure offers numerous benefits:
Equitable Wealth Distribution: Through cooperative shares, residents have the opportunity to share in the cooperative's profits, promoting economic equity within the community.
Increased Revenue: Member fees, taxes on cannabis sales, and cooperative-generated revenue will contribute significantly to municipal funds.
Reduced Black Market: Legal and regulated cultivation options will reduce illegal cannabis production and sales.
Enhanced Safety: Centralized cultivation facilities minimize security risks associated with personal cultivation.
Job Creation: The cooperative will generate employment opportunities in agriculture, security, and administration, supporting the local economy.
To implement the Municipal Cannabis Cooperative with cooperative shareholding, we propose the following steps:
Legal Framework: Develop and enact municipal ordinances and regulations to establish the cooperative's legal structure and wealth distribution system.
Cooperative Formation: Establish the cooperative entity, define membership criteria, fees, and benefits, and issue cooperative shares to members.
Centralized Facility: Secure a suitable location for the centralized cultivation facility, equip it with the necessary infrastructure, and hire staff.
Outreach and Education: Conduct outreach campaigns to inform residents about the cooperative's benefits, regulations, membership options, and cooperative share system. Provide educational resources on responsible cultivation.
Enforcement and Wealth Distribution: Implement monitoring and enforcement systems to ensure compliance with regulations and security protocols. Develop a transparent process for wealth distribution among cooperative members.
The Bemidji Cannabis Cooperative offers a holistic approach to cannabis legalization, providing residents with a legal, regulated framework for cultivation while promoting equitable wealth distribution, generating revenue, enhancing public safety, and supporting the local economy. We request the municipality's support and funding to bring this innovative cooperative to fruition, benefiting both the community and its residents.