Arizona Dispensary University Class Offers Expensive Education on the Medical Marijuana Business

Categories: Chronic Future
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Arizona Dispensary University is housed in this "prototype" dispensary.

We attended a class at Arizona Dispensary University, the new medical marijuana "college," on Friday. The foremost thing we learned is that people can make a lot of money selling public information and "expert" advice about our impending medical marijuana industry. People want to know how to get patient cards, how to open dispensaries, and how to operate grow sites. And they'll pay hundreds of dollars for a guide.

ADU is located in the Bell Canyon Pavilions strip mall just off the I-17, and bills itself as "the most comprehensive school of it's [sic] kind in America!" The class we took, "Initiative 101," began with a bad joke and a disclaimer from ADU founder and instructor Allan Sobol, operations manager of Marijuana Marketing Strategies, LLC.

 

First, Sobol, dressed in a white lab coat, pulled out what was obviously a big, fat fake joint and said he'd pass it around to relax everybody before we began. He asked for a lighter, which no one offered, then laughed and said we'd passed our first test. Then he said most of what we'd hear during the three-hour class was based on fact, but some of it was hearsay and speculation.

Sobol told us he was a marketing analyst and consultant, a paralegal, a private investigator, and has more than 40 years of experience in business management. We're not sure if that was based on fact or hearsay, but we will say the man knows how to make a buck.

There were more than 30 people in our class, all crammed together on metal folding chairs in a small room, and with one exception (we media), each person paid $100 to be there. That's $3000 for one class. ADU holds mostly sold-out classes twice per day, an average of four days a week. Cha-ching!

 

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ADU instructor Allan Sobol: Whispering secrets to success?

So, what were people getting for their money in this "Initiative 101" class? Well, for those who've read The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act  in its entirety or visited the AZ Department of Health website recently, not much. And for anybody who read our coverage of Prop 203 leading up to the election, even less.


For the first hour of class, Sobol discussed the history of Marijuana Marketing Strategies and explained that Arizona Dispensary University is focused on "the beauty and magic of marketing." He explained that he doesn't own the "prototype dispensary" (MMDAZ) in which ADU holds classes, and that "We are not in any way affiliated with the Department of Health," which we believe because he kept referring to AZDHS director Will Humble as "Bill Humble." He talked about upcoming classes at ADU, and made a quick plug for his Arizona Association of Dispensary Professionals.

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Allan Sobol did "the math" for his class.
The second hour, Sobol talked about the history of medical marijuana initiatives in Arizona (Google it for free), and referred to the Voter Protection Act of 1998 as the "Voter's Rights Act." He also discussed how potential patients and dispensary owners can get cards and licenses (again, the most current information from ADHS is public).

The third and final hour is when it got most informative, as Sobol talked about establishing and contracting with grow facilities, drawing up professional business plans for dispensaries, projected operational expenses, and marketing strategies. He recommended attorneys and accountants.

Finally, Sobol announced that future ADU classes would include lessons on the application process. Included in the $250 class fee is a financial plan, and a 20-page business plan people can modify and submit with their applications.

We should point out -- just as Sobol legally had to - that neither he nor ADU have any kind of insider access to getting a patient or dispensary application approved. They're simply providing information (along with heavy doses of speculation) and offering advice. Attending a class at ADU doesn't guarantee anything for anyone -- except a nice fat profit for Sobol and co.

But at least he's honest about it. Early in the class, Sobol came right out and said it:
"I'm not afraid to tell you this [ADU] is a for-profit business, and I hope to make a lot of money."

Something tells us his hopes won't be easily dashed.



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26 comments
Dulcinea
Dulcinea

I took the time to post some of the many complaints I have with the 2811 and how much of a crook the owner is. http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.c...

He claims if you are truely sick then his club is for you. I say, if you just want a bag of weed and don't mind getting ripped off, then the club is for you. If you have a true medical condition, 2811 club is not for you. What kind of medical atmosphere has strobe lights, is dark and has horrible singers strumming guitarsI can offer stats and quotes to back it up

PCPSC, LLC
PCPSC, LLC

Prescott Cannabis Patient Screening Center, LLC

PCPSC, LLC specializes in providing Doctor Recommendations for Medical Cannabis, Detailed Treatment Plans, Patient Verifications.

www.prescottmedcard.com

Info
Info

Consiglierillc is Sobol. Go to the Maricopa court webiste and see how many times Sobol has been in and out of a court room. Guy is a piece of work

Elino1001
Elino1001

I attended the same class that the reporter Dandrea attended. I am shocked how slanted her story was, she obviously has a hidden agenda. Sobol introduced her to the class and told everone that they did not have to speak or have thier pic taken by her, that told the class in front of her that he invited her to the class becuase he had nothing to be afraid of or ashamed of. Shame on Dandrea for her slanted misrepesentation of the class.

Dbl85029
Dbl85029

Nothing wrong with making money in America, fill the niche, offer a good and valuable service, build it and people will come.... Sobol is a marketing genius, just wish I thought of it first. I attended his class, this guy is honest and straight up. I got my monies worth and plan to attend all his other classes, you should too.

Consiglierillc
Consiglierillc

Lets get the facts straight, There will be 124 not-for-profit marijuana dispensaries in AZ, but at the end of the day, let us not loose sight of the fact that these dispensaries are businesses. All business operations must generate a revenue stream to stay in business. To operate a successful dispensary under Arizona's highly regulated program, you need to know how to operate a professional business. No hippie shops here in AZ! Sobol's dispensary and school is a model for the future of the Medical marijuana industry here in AZ. We should congradulate him and thank him for his efforts, he may have saved the election, and set the industry on the path to success.

Phoenix_chiefin
Phoenix_chiefin

This guy needs to go back to school himself. If you build it they will come is all this proves, and if you seek true information about the business do your own research and save yourself a couple hundred istead of putting it in this wacky dudes pocket that could care less about anything else but . .. .your money.

Guest
Guest

Sounds like a smart entrepreneur with some good info and a good idea. People have kept themselves in the dark all this time. Their fault! So I'm glad someone is spreading basic information. Plan on $225 per ounce with the average patient consuming about an ounce per month.

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

In the spirit of a fully aware consumer, per the strictures of the free market capitalistic system, what IS the price of an ounce of marijuana on the black market at the present time.

KevinM
KevinM

Does that chart say $400 per ounce and each patient will need 4-5 OZs a month? Where is the hell does that kind of math come from?

Mace711
Mace711

We like to pay for public info in one place as personal comfort instead of collect it at the right places. Convenience or stupidity? One thing is for sure, it's is a profit opportunity for those who know how to make a buck.

Pdfrontier4
Pdfrontier4

Info is correct. Consiglierillc is Sobol.

this wiz
this wiz

you sure you dont charge a 250 retainer fee

Consiglierillc
Consiglierillc

Some people like to pay for the convenience of packaged information, Something that was not available till Sobol put it all together. Just because Sobol was smart enought to fill that niche, does not make him bad, in fact it makes him very smart. Im sure you would have done the same thing if you only thought of it first, sucks to be you.

Consiglierillc
Consiglierillc

I think Mr. sobols numbers are on the mark, but the price will adjust downward once the production catches up to the demand.

MARISMOKA COUNTY
MARISMOKA COUNTY

ROUGHLY $300 FOR AN OUNCE OF HIGH GRADE (THAT'S ASSUMING YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO THREW 3 MIDDLE MEN TO GET YOU'RE SACK, IF YUO DO EXPECT THE PRICE TO BE PADDED FOR EACH "MIDDLE" MAN YOU HAVE TO GO THREW)

THIS GUYS Sobol IS A FREAKING RETARD (IMO) TALKING ALL THIS ISH HE DOESN'T EVEN REALLY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT......I HOPE AZ DHS DOESN'T EVEN VALIDATE HIS LICENSE....IT SHOULD BE EASY FOR THEM TO SEE HE'S NOT THE RIGHT GUY TO BE CARING FOR PATIENTS.......END OF STORY GET THIS GUY THE @#$% OUT OF AZ.........

Consiglierillc
Consiglierillc

Do your home work, the average price for mid-grade marijuana in California and colorado is approximately $300-350. Because of new start-up cost and regulation in AZ we estimate the cost of an ounce to be approximately $400.00. Please remember there are 1000s of pot shops in CA and CO. which brings the price down, there will only be 124 in AZ

Consiglierillc
Consiglierillc

You can go to any school in the country and pay for an education, the fact is the training you pay for can in most cases be found on the internet for free. People pay for the convenience of packaged information. Nothing wrong with that.

Dulcinea
Dulcinea

Absurd! The information given is self explainitory and unorganized.Why wouldnt you just find the information on the internet!You say he is the only one in the world to put together information?Your hand-outs are crap and your employees are mildly retarded.

This is not information anyone would pay forAllan sobol you are a bad bad man. I want my money back.an soble is

Consiglierillc
Consiglierillc

You are about as slanted as the reporter that wrote the story. Get your facts straight. If anyone needs a class on marijuana it's you. Mr. Sobol is a nice guy,perhaps he will give it to you for free.

Joe
Joe

I could have not said it any better...this guy is a scam artist and needs to be exposed.

MarijuanaMarketer
MarijuanaMarketer

But to estimate that each patient will buy 5 OUNCES per month is absurd. Beyond absurd.

MarijuanaMarketer
MarijuanaMarketer

Is anyone questioning whether he is "nice" or not? Being nice is not the same as having an actual skill and expertise. I think the point is that he has no background - no track record of knowing anything about medical marijuana, no history of ever doing anything in marketing (yet now he owns a marketing company...) or any of the other types of experience he claims to have.

We can't support illegitimate businesses or people in this industry if we want it to be nationally accepted. And people with pretend, glossed over backgrounds only lessen the industries credibility among mainstream businesses and media.

Consiglierillc
Consiglierillc

The process to obtain a license is very competitive. There is nothing sinister about teaching people how to write a better business and financial plan. The people with the best application will get one of the 124 licenses. Mr. Sobol is offering an very valuable service to those that understand the application process.

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