For more images from HempCon 2011, visit "Medical Marijuana, Booth Babes and Glass Bongs."
HempCon 2011 came to the L.A. Convention Center this weekend, and with it Rasta hats, glass pipes, bong coasters, vintage posters and 420-friendly onlookers.
Experts took turns dispensing advice on the side stage, and we caught the "Marijuana Delivery 101" talk by Robert Calkin, a former teacher at Oaksterdam University who's the author of, appropriately enough, Starting Your Own Medical Marijuana Delivery Service.
Here are some tips for would-be entrepreneurs:
1. Become a patient so you can get the marijuana legally.
2. A doctor's recommendation is legal enough, but they don't always look the most official, so a plastic card from the California Department of Health Services will help persuade the cops you're allowed to carry weed.
3. Patients can carry up to 8 ounces, but you should never travel with more than you're willing to lose.
4. Form a mutual-benefit non-profit corporation for tax and legal purposes.
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5. You are not selling weed. You are managing transactions between members of your collective. Some of your members grow weed. Others bag it. All of them probably smoke it.
6. Everyone in your collective needs to sign a membership agreement. This protects you if someone tries to resell your marijuana to a kid or anyone else.
7. Set up a progressive system, where wealthier members pay more for weed and sick or dying members pay less. Not only is this the nice thing to do, it will also come in handy if you ever get into legal trouble. Nothing creates sympathy in the courtroom quite like having a dying person testify on your behalf.
8. Always answer your phone. Relationships are important, but people can always call someone else.