Cannabis.Pro, LLC™

January 19th, 2013 by link No comments »


Thank you for your interest in Cannabis.Pro, LLC™.

Our goal is to establish a free (as in freedom) open source cannabis industry beginning in America, and continuing worldwide.

Transparency is the key to removing stigma, fear, and breaking down stereotypes.  This plant has been in use for centuries but has missed a few generations thanks to prohibition.  Our goal is to reintegrate this plant into society as a substitute for petrochemicals and deadly pharmaceuticals with increased use in food, fiber, fuel (renewable & carbon negative), and a myriad of industrial uses.

We promote a community of individuals and businesses working together to support themselves on a local level.  As relegalization continues to apex, we advocate renewable energy sources to power greenhouses and full sun outdoor growing.  Always using land and locally soucred resources on a sustainable level for future generations benefit and use.

Cannabis.Pro, LLC™ consults with local and state governments on the implementation of taxation/regulation models as well as implementing/revising medical cannabis laws.  By advocating an Open Source model to the industry, it is our hope for consumers of the plant to have as much information as possible.  This way consumers can learn and determine what is best for them.

Cannabis.Pro, LLC™ also offer a variety of consulting services.  Click more below for Twitter feed. Please check Cannabis:  Open Source


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Testimony Presented to Vermont Senate Committee on Government Operations

November 19th, 2015 by link No comments »


Presented November 3rd 2015 in Montpelier

Testimony from Mark Linkhorst, Owner Cannabis.Pro LLC, Open Source Cannabis Consulting and Industry Development

Marijuana Legalization in Vermont:  A Green Way Forward

Cannabis Should be Taxed & Regulated as a Wellness Product

I.  Sin Taxes-  High tax rates will not reduce consumption, higher taxes will allow the black market to remain supported vs. legal markets that generate tax revenue.

II.  Denial of Service:  Banking and credit card payments must be in place to reduce cash burden by 50% or more.  Banks need to accept the business and allow accounts to be open and used without fear of being frozen.  Security services must be accessible to transport cash to financial institutions for those dispensing cannabis.

III.  Home Growing:  As was dropped from the 2013 decriminalization law, home growing must be part of a legalization law passed by the legislature. Proper rules should be in place to ensure electricity is up to code and safeguards are in place to prevent fire indoors.  Outdoor rules should be established to protect cultivators and their crops.

IV.  Limiting Patients:  Remove limits to state medical marijuana program on limitations of conditions.  This will allow patients under doctors supervision to utilize this program on a broader scale which should take into account economic needs and protect the medical program.  It is vital for research and information about cannabis therapy to be ongoing.  Sales tax should not be charged nor should the sin tax be in place for patients.  Patients should be able to visit any dispensary they wish.

V:  Limiting providers:  The state limited providers with its medical marijuana program.  This has led to shortages, long waits to access safe medicine, and a price structure that is higher than the black market.  This needs to be resolved under legalization.  The more providers, the more competition lowering prices to compete with black marketeers attempting to undercut legal  markets.

VI.  Criminalizing Profit:  Current medical marijuana guidelines impose non-profit status on dispensaries.   Businesses moving into this new legal marketplace should be allowed to make profits and compete with others doing the same.  A great happy medium would be for anyone operating in this space to be a B Corporation which is already part of Vermont statutes.

VII.  Land Use:  Cannabis farming outdoors should be treated as agriculture.  Safeguards and precautions should be implemented to protect farms and crops from rogue elements.  Indoor cultivation should be zoned as industrial/commercial for large scale grows outside of the limits on home grows.  Processing and production should also be done in industrial/commercial/agricultural zones as appropriate.

VIII Mandatory Indoor:   As under current medical marijuana law in Vermont, there have not been ample abilities for the production of marijuana outdoors.  The best marijuana possible is grown outside in full sun, while greenhouses and hybrid greenhouses can also replicate this quality when done properly.  Indoor production is not the only answer and should not be mandatory in the laws drafted in an open and legal marijuana market.

IX  Vertical Integration:  Should be an option for those wanting to cultivate, process, produce/package, and retail their products.  This should not be the standard or norm, as it has become in the medical marijuana laws of the state.  Separate licenses should be available for those only wanting to specialize in one part of the legal market equation.  Segmentation creates opportunities to check on compliance which is more difficult in a strict vertical system.

X.  Past  convictions:  Cannabis convictions alone should not be a right of refusal for the state to deny applicants.  Violence, dishonesty, and other offenses should be considered.

XI.  Public Use:  No public use policy has been visited in any established law in the US.  I’ve smoked and vaporized in dispensaries in California that were grandfathered from the state smoking ban as well as Measure Z clubs that were operating in Oakland.  We can’t setup a regulatory model without addressing a permitted setting for cannabis use in a coffee shop or private club environment.  Smoking cannabis in public is a nuisance however, vaporizer pens should be permitted anywhere e cigarettes or cigarette smoking is permitted.  Smoking cannabis should be allowed in “coffee shops” and private cannabis clubs, in designated sections with proper ventilation.  Tourists can purchase short term membership to private clubs.

XII.  Edibles:  Smart limits should be established » Read more: Testimony Presented to Vermont Senate Committee on Government Operations

A Letter to Vermont Agency of Administration and RAND Corp. on Taxing and Regulating Marijunana

August 11th, 2015 by link No comments »

Vermont:  Agency of Administration
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609


After last weeks statewide discussion on marijuana in Vermont, I wanted to offer my thoughts on reflecting over the meeting, and perhaps a middle ground and way for the state to move forward with marijuana reform that could be an example for the rest of the country.  I offer this as someone who has provided testimony to the state on Decriminalization in 2013.

To further highlight my credentials in this industry, I worked in Nevada and Alaska on tax & regulate initiatives in 2004.  It was great to see Alaska finally legalize marijuana in this past election.  I’ve been a medical marijuana patient in California since 2005.  As a veteran with PTSD, Chronic Pain, Tinnitus, and sleep disorders due this combination of ailments, I realized upon exiting the military in 1998 how marijuana helped me, so I’ve worked to advance any laws that reform prohibition.  In 2007, I was the inaugural class valedictorian of Oakland’s acclaimed cannabis college, Oaksterdam University.  Soon thereafter, I was working for the Berkeley Patients Group which became a model dispensary for many New England States, and my former human resources manager now runs 4 dispensaries in Maine.  With BPG I worked as a QA/QC manager and dispensary manager during my interim there.

While working in California, I found myself at the dispensary working 50-60 hour weeks.  On my days off, I would visit other dispensaries and eventually decided to work for myself rather than for a company to learn more about the industry.  After leaving Berkeley, I moved to Humboldt County and worked with over a dozen dispensaries in across Northern California, providing seeds from industry renowned breeders, providing affordable high quality concentrates in the form of dry sieve kif extractions and H2O hashish extractions, and sometimes oils and wax extractions.  In developing relationships with the various dispensaries, I also provided them with high grade pharmaceutical grade glass for storage of the medicine in its various forms, and filter bags for the extraction of H2O hashish that I sourced from Canada.

Since moving to Vermont, I was hoping for some of the things I was a part of in California.  However, the industry is a closed vertical integration model that doesn’t lend well to outside vendors, no matter how much experience or expertise they might have.  So after starting my consulting company Cannabis.Pro LLC early last year I realized that I needed to look toward the public sector to remain viable in the industry as a consultant.  Last September I was brought on board of mCig, Inc. (OTCQB:  MCIG) as the Chief Operating Officer, and since then we’ve brought 7 products to market, some of them even manufactured here in Vermont, other domestically, and some from China.  During this tenure, I’ve also become the CEO of VitaCig, Inc. a company that produces an e-cigarette type vaporizer aimed at harm reduction without addictive nicotine.  We’ve just been approved by the SEC to be publicly traded as well.

My intention as an industry developer is to advocate for the open source model for this industry, a free cannabis industry.  Not as in “free” like free beer, but free, as in an open market.  It is with this perspective that I present my ideas for reform in Vermont vs. a flat out legalization model in haste.

Vermont’s medical marijuana law is broken and needs reform.  I had to spend months finding a doctor who would even sign the paperwork for me to become a patient in Vermont, even though I was a qualified patient in California since 2005, from one of the leading doctors in the industry.  My main issue here is that as a disabled veteran, I had to go outside the VA system in order to find a doctor because it is currently VA and federal policy to not allow any VA doctors to sign off on medical marijuana recommendations or paperwork.

Once I finally found a doctor, I then still had to wait 6 months for the state to recognize me as a patient.  This borders on the grounds of patient abandonment because the state will accept doctors of other states that border Vermont but not doctors who have 20-40 years of experience in the industry in California.  What other medicine is a patient forced to quit for 6 months legally when they move from one state to another?

Beyond the difficulty of finding a doctor, I also found it difficult to find good quality medicine at the dispensary I picked.  Luckily I knew to buy single grams of each medicine to find the right ones for me, but there was a lot of money I wasted on poor quality and poor potency medicine.  What I’ve found also was that I was being sold wet improperly dried and cured hashish that I was paying top dollar for.  It was mediocre hash at best, but with a monopoly that is state sanctioned, I was forced to buy it because I had no other alternative than the black market.  Luckily the dry herb and hashish did improve in quality over time, but it is still not anywhere near the quality of medicine I regularly found in Northern California, be it the Bay Area or the Emerald Triangle.

I’m now in my 2nd year as a legal patient in Vermont, and I switched my dispensary to try another.  I didn’t want to pay $25 and be unhappy with the decision, and then be forced to wait 90 days in order to go back to the dispensary that I was getting mediocre medicine from.  I didn’t want to go from C grade to D or E grade, and I had no way of determining that.  This part of the law in Vermont is broken.  Patients should have 90 days to determine which dispensary they like best and there should be a way for the state and dispensaries to communicate the meager 2 oz. per month limit, in my professional opinion, this should be lifted to 4 oz. per month, for the fact alone of the winter months.  The federal government provides 8-9oz/month to the patients that remain on the Federal Compassionate IND program.  Another reason people should have a larger access to plant quantity is if they want to cook their own medibles or make their own food oils or topicals, and 2 ounce per month may not be enough for some patients.

As a veteran who has been diagnosed with PTSD, I don’t see the difficulty in making PTSD a qualifying condition.  The Israeli military has thoroughly researched this medicine on its military with valued efficacy.  In fact, my proposal is for the state to open up qualifying conditions to any condition that a certified medical professional sees fit to recommend the plant for therapeutic purposes.  Under federal law, we all need to be enrolled in an insurance program, so technically we all need a doctor, even more-so will people in Vermont have this access as we move towards the single payer system.  This is one proposal I have for the state to fix its medical marijuana program and offer a middle ground on legalization without flat out over the counter sales to any adult in a “recreational” market.

There needs to be more than 4 dispensaries in the state, the state needs to allow patients to shop for the best dispensary for them.  This limited market in which there is a mini-monopoly with Shane Lynn’s operation is unacceptable.  I propose that each county have its own dispensary, and Chittenden county itself should have 4 dispensaries. I can tell you that Champlain Valley Dispensary has too many patients to handle and Vermont Patients Alliance doesn’t have enough, after just one visit to VPA.

Patients should be allowed to grow their own medicine, and between crops, be able to purchase from a dispensary the 2oz/month.  This would allow patients who farm to grow some of their own medicine outdoors if they choose to, as with the meager plant limits, a patient could potentially grow a year supply of medicine with one well maintained and cultivated outdoor harvest without any need for a dispensary.  Weather can turn an outdoor harvest into mold and mush in one poorly timed storm, so patients shouldn’t be stuck with having to supply their own medicine either if they choose to do so.  In fact, indoor harvests can also go wrong with an extended power outage often caused by Vermont’s hectic weather patterns, mold, mildew, bacteria, virus, pests, etc.

With Vermont’s tourism industry, it would also be wise to open up the dispensary system to patient’s traveling here from other states who already have medical marijuana as just in the eastern US we have Michigan, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Washington D.C., and perhaps even Pennsylvania in 2015.  As the microbrew industry is world recognized here, perhaps so can the state’s cannabis.

As we realize that the sky isn’t falling with reformed medical marijuana laws.  I believe the state will have less DUI, less domestic abuse, less sexual assault, less of an opiate problem, less teen use of cannabis, less suicides, less violent crime, and more happy people in general with a more progressive medical marijuana program.  With a sunset on this type of law, then the state can consider a move to overall legalization without fear of the unknown as we can study statistics, police blotters, and other programs implemented throughout the country and world.  We can learn from others’ mistakes as we correct our own and truly make medical marijuana accessible to those who need it and are already using it to self medicate whether they realize it or not.

I look forward to your reply and am open to discuss this further with anyone with the State or with Rand Corp.


Mark J. Linkhorst

Hope & Change, Finally from Washington DC

August 30th, 2013 by link No comments »

There’s a certain amount of risk, guts, or craziness that goes into waking up, vaporizing some of the best cannabis in the world, and going to work.  Getting on a bicycle, throwing on earbuds, cranking up some WolfMother on an iPhone, and going to work.  Peddling down MLK to San Pablo, not just dodging traffic, dodging federal prosecution.

That all ended today.  Knowing that it was coming since this past June, lobbying in Washington DC.  Part of me knew it was going to happen when Barack Obama was elected in 2008.  It’s an understanding of reelection that it wasn’t going to happen in his first term.  Today things have changed.

Year 10:   Lobbying the FedsThe game is over.  Marijuana has won.  The cat fell out of the bag last November, and as time progressed, it has led up to the federal government respecting states’ rights not just on “recreational marijuana” but on medical cannabis.  Tax avoidance, interstate commerce, diversion to youth, and organized criminal elements are now the priority for the federal government in terms of marijuana, not state legal operations paying taxes, providing jobs, risking federal persecution until now.

Now is the time to have the conversation with politicians in states where cannabis hasn’t made any significant progress.   Now there are no limits beyond common sense and proper regulation.  In a society where alcohol is pushed at us from every angle, it is high time to discuss not just medical cannabis, but over the counter sales to anyone over 21.  Since we all need to have insurance and doctors by law, informing these professionals of marijuana consumption should no longer be verboten.  The drugs we are pushed every time we turn on cable television are much more harmful to the human body than cannabis.

Testimony on Decriminalization in Senate Judiciary Committee

May 3rd, 2013 by link No comments »

Testimony by Mark Linkhorst, Cannabis.Pro LLC, Consultant & Industry Developer
S.48 / H.200


I welcome the opportunity to offer testimony for the State of Vermont.  10 Years ago, I would not have imagined myself being able to have a conversation of this sort.  At that time, I was dealing with my own demons and protesting the War in Iraq as a disabled veteran yet to realize my own affliction with PTSD.

2004 – After a lucrative few months selling domain names for an industry leading registrar, I landed a position with the Marijuana Policy Project.  Let me add that I am here today as an activist and Vermonter, I am not affiliated with MPP or its lobbying in Vermont.  My introduction to the marijuana legalization industry started in Las Vegas, to an environment that was not friendly with any marijuana use.

Nobody told me that before I drove 3000 miles to work on legalizing marijuana for adults over 21 in the State of Nevada.  I don’t think anyone has told that to Willie Nelson either.    Later in 2004, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit and work on marijuana law reform in Alaska, a law that would have been a more advanced form of legalization than the Netherlands.  At that point, 4 ounces of marijuana was legal for personal use in the home along with cultivation of 25 plants or less, it still is.  I will add that this was some of the cheapest, highest quality cannabis I’ve ever found in the US outside of Northern California.

It was of the calibre you would find at a Dutch Coffeeshop or a medical dispensary in California.  Perhaps some of the greatest irony in Alaska was finding BC bud, all the way up there in Fairbanks.  For those here not familiar with Canadian export marijuana, you really don’t want to be.  It doesn’t burn well, barely gives you a high, some people call it Pretendica.  I illustrate this point to show that as a state with an international border, your concern shouldn’t be Mexico.  I’m sure the law enforcement here today, could discuss the contraband seized during border crossings and international smuggling operations.  I’m here to talk about decriminalization of marijuana for Vermonters.  Let me say that I hope this law moves forward, and thank you for considering it.

That’s not all I’m going to say.  Vermont needs to amend its medical cannabis laws.  I won’t sit here and advocate taxation and regulation, because I don’t want the think-tank academics from the likes of RAND Corporation rolling in here telling Vermonters what to do.  One of the things that attracted me to Vermont is the potential to be doing this right here right now, because I don’t have to be a career politician or lobbyist to have a real conversation about marijuana laws.  Now I get to tell you all my garments I’m wearing today are made out of industrial hemp, and I hope you embrace industrial hemp for your farmers, whether the federal government gives you permission or not, take the liberty upon yourselves to allow the plants growth and replenish your soils and lands.

The next thing I want to discuss is why Vermont’s medical cannabis laws need to be amended, revamped, and matured is the vertical integration model recommended to you isn’t going to work like planned.  I believe we’ll see this in the coming months as the dispensary opens in Burlington.  Last year I learned this while visiting with the BIG dispensary operator in Maine.  They couldn’t handle the demand from current patients and crop yields, and were effectively putting new patients on waiting lists to start receiving medicine.

Yesterday I paddled to New York with my whitewater kayak, a little over 6 feet long across Lake Champlain.  Nobody stopped me, I wasn’t breaking any laws, it was a risk I decided was OK to take.  I mention this because I saw 6 birds on the water, and it made me think of Vermont’s medical marijuana law.  4 dispensaries, the state government, and the federal government.

That model will not work, but the ice just thawed on the lake, and I can understand why the legislature has done what it had to with the progress thus far.  By only allowing 4 dispensaries is to make Vermont easy pray for the federal government when they decide to start enforcing patent  #6630507.  Interesting in the light of marijuana remaining a schedule I drug.  An easy scenario to imagine had November’s election wound up in the 47% guy’s pocket.

Doctors in the state of Vermont should be able to recommend marijuana for any condition they feel it can help.  They need to understand they are protected by the 1st Amendment.  Why these bodies of government are suddenly experts on cannabis therapy is beyond me. Everyone has an endocannabinoid system, everyone.   All those who use it are self medicating in some fashion, some give it up, some embrace it, some blame it, many more need it, some never use it.  Cannabis is considered the anti-drug as doctors find that those using cannabis with other pharmaceutikills use half the big-pharms compared to those not using cannabis.  The fact the state has the program being overseen by the Department of Public Safety instead of the the Department of Health would be a great place to start with medicinal progress.

Communities that have a patient base not near the proximity of the 4 dispensaries should be allowed to cultivate co-operatively.  Vermont farmers who are medical patients should be allowed to cultivate outdoors, bringing excess marijuana for their needs to one of the 4 dispensaries and paying taxes when relieving their burdens of too much marijuana, co-ops could do the same when that wonderful time of year comes.  I’m sure there are farmers out there not paying any tax under current black market prohibition but I bet they’d feel a whole lot better should that ability arise and their hempery could prosper in light of sensible regulations.

Individuals should be able to cultivate.  25 Plants in Alaska is the current law for in home personal use, under their decriminalized privacy rights.  Medical providers in California in Humboldt County & Santa Cruz county can have gardens with 99 plants for medical use.  I’m not advocating these kinds of numbers, but the numbers Vermont has implemented for medical use is not reasonable, and in turns creates a demand to be filled by black marketeers.  Those patients who are cultivating at home, should be able to get live plant cuttings or seeds from the dispensaries, buy medicine from the dispensaries as well, when needed between crops, for higher use ailments, ailments needing edibles, or concentrated extracts. Limiting patients to one dispensary is a regulation that needs to be dropped for many reasons, primarily finding the best medicine to alleviate symptoms.

What if said dispensary doesn’t have a strain to alleviate symptoms?  What if it isn’t prepared in a way that is easiest for the patient to consume?  What if the patient needs the medicine NOW for a condition but has to wait because of “regulations” on medicine amounts and production?  What if the dispensary gets a case of spider mites or white powdery mildew and ruins the entire garden?  What if the dispensary isn’t growing organically or doesn’t know how to dry/cure their products?  What if the nutrients, soils, and growing methods aren’t vegan?

Moving forward with medical marijuana, I would like to see cannabis therapeutics programs at UVM, especially studies on veterans who need the plant moreso than alcohol & big-pharma.  The state should consider allocating research funds for developing this program using cannabis legally produced under Vermont law and incorporate cannabis therapeutics into the new healthcare reform occurring.  Keeping money in the pockets of Vermonters is much better for the populace than the Monsontonization of the cannabis plant to GW-Pharmaceuticals who is colluding with the US government on a nationwide monopoly for Sativex.  Coming soon to a pharmacy near you, made from whole plant cannabis extracts.

The federal government doesn’t like large gardens, but the state has forced potentially 4  companies to fulfill the demand of the entire patient base who can’t grow for themselves or needs medicine to fill a void between crops.  In a state full of farmers, the state has setup a monopoly on the plant that will be the next DOT.COM revolution in this country.  I congratulate this body for considering decriminalization and not putting people behind bars for possessing plant matter.

I stand here telling you that come summer, there will be boats on the lake, people on the beaches, and more than 6 birds in the water.  The easiest way for everyone to be safe on the water is to consider my message today.  Consult with your doctor to see if cannabis is right for you, for euphoria lasting more than 4 hours, thank your local organic farmer.

Dear Statehouse Legislator

March 13th, 2013 by link No comments »
Dear Statehouse Legislator,
Just read some news about the good things happening in Montpelier.  Particularly H-499 & H-500 as this issue is something that comes very close to home for me.  I applaud all those who proposed this legislation.  To you, I offer my support, time, expertise, experience, & voice.
I’m a disabled veteran with PTSD (as well as tinnitus, chronic pain, & insomnia) who has been using cannabis therapeutically since the day I left active duty.  After my honorable discharge, I enrolled at the Penn State University.  During my first semester at University Park, I became a vocal in the public advocate and activist for cannabis users with the help of Dr. Julian Heicklen.  Another famous PSU cannabis activist is named Rob Kampia, Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project out of Washington DC.  I had the opportunity to work with Rob’s organization to tax & regulate cannabis in Nevada & Alaska (where it is was and is currently decriminalized) throughout 2004.
Since then, my career in the cannabis industry has escalated.  In November of 2007, I was the inagural valedictorian, from the acclaimed nation’s first cannabis college, Oaksterdam University.  Immediately after I began working at a dispensary that sold $1Million/month of medical cannabis for 15 months, often 50-60 work weeks.   Since going independent in 2009, I’ve worked  directly with a dozen dispensaries; creating legal avenues for providers on varying levels of production to the medical community throughout Northern California.   The irony is, about a year ago, Oaksterdam University and its associated dispensary/nursery were raided by the federal government.  I’m sure my test scores are on file with the DEA currently.
Fast forward to summer 2011, my girlfriend found work in Vermont as an Americorp VISTA in Winooski, and due to the unfriendly climate of the Obama administration at the time towards cannabis in California, I decided to move east with her.  I full heartedly believe the US Gov’t was colluding with GW Pharmaceuticals to establish its patent on this medicine by monopolizing profits.  In moving, part of my thought process was helping Vermont with this issue on expanded medical use then (H-500), and now it is highlighted with a tax & regulate model for cannabis over the counter (H-499) ((can’t forget to mention the benefits with industrial hemp = Fuel, Fiber, Food)).
Since then, I’ve become a Vermont business owner working in the emerging Open Source video game and software industry.  Recently, I’ve succeeded with two campaigns, raising almost $500K in 50 days of fundraising.  I welcome the opportunity to work in both industries to grow Vermont’s economy and commonwealth should this cannabis legislation become law.  This comes down to: Money, morality, and saving lives.  Together, we can save all of them, and stop putting people in cages for using the most beneficial and safest plant in the pharmacopia.
It is now time to free this seed in Vermont.
In Solidarity,
Mark Linkhorst

Open Source gaming for the masses