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Taming the wild beast: marijuana

Despite one’s viewpoint on the marijuana, most will agree that regulation and oversight is sorely needed
Despite one’s viewpoint on the marijuana, most will agree that regulation and oversight is sorely needed
Robin Wulffson, MD

During the past five years, the use of marijuana in the United States has increased significantly due to the changes in legislation, ease of access, as well as its increased medical use. Despite one’s viewpoint on the substance, most will agree that regulation and oversight is sorely needed. Vincent Mehdizadeh is the founder of Los Angeles-based Medbox, which is concerned with the regulation and the inventory tracking that can insure safe consumption. His company offers consulting services to cities throughout the US and around the globe. He believes that the proper use and regulation of marijuana has many positive benefits in addition to health benefits such as tax revenues.

Mehdizadeh told me that acceptance and regulation of marijuana varies widely among US cities. Despite, the popularity of the substance in areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco, the majority of California cities are opposed to its use. I queried him about the carcinogens present in marijuana; he told me that his company has developed a product similar to the e-cigarette, which dispenses nicotine. Medbox has developed the active ingredient of cannabis (delta-g-tetrahydrocannabinol; THC). The THC is encased in a glass container for vaporizing; thus, it prevents exposure to nanoparticles of metal that may be present in e-cigarettes. Information regarding the vaporizer is available at this link.

Another area of concern for Mehdizadeh is the growing popularity of edible marijuana products in the marketplace. Since the effect of the drug is not immediate, as in inhaling, the likelihood of an overdose is significant; thus, regulation would greatly enhance the safety of these products.

Medbox, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, has serviced over 400 marijuana consulting clients over the last four years. Mehdizadeh personally advises and consults directly with all of his clients and is considered an expert in the field of marijuana dispensary compliance, efficiency and transparency. With a vision for the future of the medical dispensing industry, Mehdizadeh played a major role in developing long-term solutions for dispensing prescription medications, including medical marijuana through the use of biometric technology. His innovative policies has led Mehdizadeh to become the first billionaire connected to the legal marijuana trade.

Mehdizadeh is also an active philanthropist donating more than $1 million to a number of organizations including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and many marijuana industry advocacy groups including the Drug Policy Alliance, Americans for Safe Access and Marijuana Policy Project. Mehdizadeh is also finishing an autobiography, due out January 2015, detailing his life journey in which he overcame many personal challenges and tragedies to achieve professional success. All proceeds from the book will be donated to selected charities.