As marijuana has become legalized, decriminalized, medical, and/or increasingly recreational across more than half the nation, the "neighborhood guy" is a role that's disappearing. So how can people with a passion and some knowledge of cannabis culture get in on the action? What are some ways you can be on the winning side of America's new money trees?

I reached out to my good friend Kamani Jefferson of Cannabis Cultural Association. Over the past year, I've watched him and his girlfriend, Harvard Alum Sonia Espinosa, carve out a unique lane for themselves in the game. I wanted to know more about the journey and where they found cash flow and income stream.



Eat.Me.Land is a company that specializes in gourmet edibles, and an interest in the fast changing laws and statutes regarding the plant grabbed his attention. Kamani combined his passion for the flower and his knack for hustle to become a founding member of Cannabis Cultural Association. Their non-profit goal was to bring more diversity into the legal marijuana business and educate people of color in particular about the laws and their rights in regard to marijuana in America. They put on events where they gathered dispensary owners, advocacy workers, and fellow enthusiasts. The events were wildly successful and more opportunity would follow.




Not satisfied resting on his laurels, Kamani turned his head to where he could make an even greater impact, the political sphere. Not afraid to start from the bottom, Kamani got his in as a field advisor and quickly rose to a paid position within the campaign. He would soon become an integral part of marijuana legalization in Massachusetts.

Since then, Cannabis Cultural Association has continued to grow and bud, doing more events, traveling and partnering with other groups, and spreading the good word and the legal breakdown on all things green. Our conversation was inspiring and enlightening and opened my mind to ways of making money from the plant legally. We spoke on businesses that touch the plant, to ancillary services that can be provided--ranging from marijuana photography, graphic design, marketing, events, and so on. Even how it can be wise to invest not just in the plant, but also in companies that specialize in grow equipment, rolling papers, and head shops.

The world is changing and there are always ways to use your skills to know how to carve a unique lane for yourself, like Kamani did. You can make a difference and make money doing the things you love. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it.


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The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

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