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Ysabel Jurado, center. Photo courtesy Ysabel Jurado.

NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS

High Noon at LA’s City Council

Where’s the Water?

The New White House Carbon Offsetting ‘Principles’ Lack Teeth

From Rags to Riches: Steps to Take After Winning a Life-Changing Online Jackpot

OFFSHORE ONLINE GAMING - Discoveries of massive new oil wells, lucky investments in hot new startups that later go public, unexpected inheritances from long-lost relatives―we all dream of the day when we suddenly come into a life-changing sum of money. But for most of us, that remains just that―a dream.

Yet now and then, someone beats the odds in spectacular fashion. Take the recent case of Jon Heywood, a 32-year-old British soldier who won a record-breaking £13.2 million (approximately $17 million) jackpot from an online slot machine at Lukki Casino. His once-in-a-lifetime lucky spin instantly catapulted him into the ranks of the mega-rich.

Here are 9 essential steps to responsibly manage your new mountain of money after winning a huge online jackpot or other windfall:

Assemble Your Team of Advisors

The first call you make should be to an experienced attorney who specializes in asset protection and tax planning for high-net-worth individuals. This step is crucial―your attorney will quarterback the rest of the planning process and refer you to financial planners, tax accountants, insurance brokers and other professionals to round out your advisory team.

Keep a Low Profile

It may be tempting to immediately quit your job, buy a mansion and luxury cars for your friends and family, and jet off to a tropical island. Fight the urge. Broadcasting your windfall will attract all sorts of unwanted attention from long-lost relatives, unscrupulous scammers, and predatory lawsuits.

Set Up Accounts to Manage the Money

Work with your financial advisor to set up the appropriate accounts―trusts, limited partnerships, IRAs, etc.―to protect your new assets and save on taxes.

Develop a Wealth Management Plan

Now it’s time to figure out your goals, risk tolerance and optimal asset allocation mix. Your financial planner will translate all this into a personalized wealth management plan with detailed financial projections.

Hire Security

Unfortunately, wealth also attracts security risks―kidnapping, blackmail, cyber attacks, etc. Hire security experts to keep your family and assets safe.

Make Lifestyle Upgrades Slowly

It’s wise to make big purchases gradually to avoid culture shock. Pay off debts, then rent a nicer house or upgrade vehicles. Delay buying real estate until the dust settles.

Set Up Your Legacy Plan

Meet with your attorney and financial planner to develop a comprehensive estate plan―wills, trusts, health directives and powers of attorney. This ensures your assets transfer smoothly to your heirs and favorite charities after your lifetime.

Give Back

Philanthropy is one of the great joys of wealth. Set up a donor-advised fund or private foundation to better the world and dovetail with your values.

Find a Support System

Seek out mentors―ideally, successful entrepreneurs or professionals that came from modest means―that can advise you on handling wealth wisely. Their guidance and support will prove invaluable.

 

Step

Action Item

1

Assemble team of professional advisors

2

Keep a low personal profile

3

Set up appropriate financial accounts

4

Develop comprehensive wealth management plan

5

Hire security to protect assets and family

6

Make lifestyle upgrades slowly

7

Establish legacy and estate plan

8

Give back via philanthropy

9

Find mentorship and support

 

Coming into a sudden windfall like winning the lottery or a big online jackpot can certainly be a blessed event. But without the right planning, the curse of newfound wealth can quickly turn that blessing into a catastrophe. By methodically following these 9 critical steps, you’ll be on the path to prudently managing your new fortune and living happily ever after.

 

 

 

 

From LA to the Nation: Local Cannabis Brands Expand Their Reach

420 FILE - The evolution of the cannabis industry in Los Angeles is a story of growth and innovation. Since the legalization of medical cannabis in 1996 and recreational cannabis in 2016, LA has not only cultivated a vibrant local market but has also set the stage for brands to expand nationally. With the city at the forefront, we delve deeper into the specifics, highlighting data, technological advancements, and the strategies employed by major and emerging industry players.

Detailed Expansion of LA's Cannabis Industry

Los Angeles's cannabis market has seen exponential growth, with sales figures climbing significantly each year since legalization. Technological advancements have played a crucial role, with LA-based companies pioneering automated harvesting techniques and advanced extraction methods. These innovations help streamline production and enhance product quality, setting industry benchmarks. True Blue, founded in 2016,  was one of the first companies in the nation to offer cannabis terpenes. While their competitors offered gimmicky new products like “live resin terpenes,” the company stuck to its core mission of providing high-quality products that help increase the taste of cannabis that is vaped or smoked.

Big Brands

Big brands like MedMen and Curaleaf illustrate the potential for growth in this sector. MedMen, in particular, has expanded to over 25 stores across six states, showcasing robust growth metrics.  Curaleaf operates in 17 states with 147 retail locations, reflecting its significant presence in the industry. However, these expansions come with challenges, including banking restrictions and rigorous regulatory frameworks. Companies have navigated these hurdles through innovative banking solutions and proactive regulatory engagement, setting precedents for the industry.

Spotlight on Small Brands

Small brands like Pure Beauty and Cann successfully carve niches with unique market strategies. Pure Beauty emphasizes sustainability, attracting a rapidly expanding segment interested in eco-friendly products.  

Cann has gained popularity. Its THC-infused sparkling beverages offer a discreet and convenient way to consume cannabis. 

Consumer Behavior and Market Trends

There has been a notable shift in consumer preferences towards edibles and topicals. This change is influenced by increased product variety and enhanced consumer awareness about dosage and ingredients. The rise of online retail has also transformed purchasing habits, providing consumers with discreet and convenient shopping options, thereby broadening the market base. 

The national expansion of cannabis brands involves navigating a complex regulatory landscape. Strategies to overcome these challenges include partnerships and acquisitions that align with compliant practices. Economically, the cannabis industry has contributed significantly to job creation and revenue, with potential forecasts showing continued growth. This economic impact is crucial for understanding the broader benefits of industry expansion.

Technological Advancements and Future Outlook

Technological innovations continue to drive the industry forward. From personalized cannabis products to DNA sequencing of strains, these advancements enhance product quality and consumer safety. Looking ahead, industry reports and expert analyses predict sustained growth, with potential expansion into international markets. The future of cannabis is likely to see increased technological integration, further transforming the landscape.

Conclusion with a Call for Further Research

This detailed exploration of LA’s cannabis industry highlights its significant impact on the national market. While LA-based brands are setting trends and expanding their reach, continuous research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of these expansions. The data presented offers a snapshot of current successes and challenges, paving the way for informed discussions and further studies. 

In sum, Los Angeles's influence on the cannabis industry is profound and far-reaching. With continuous innovation, strategic market adaptations, and an understanding of regulatory frameworks, LA's cannabis brands are not only reshaping their local market. Still, they are also setting the stage for national and potentially global expansion. As the industry continues to evolve, the insights gleaned from LA’s market dynamics will undoubtedly contribute to shaping the future of cannabis both in the US and worldwide.

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The ENABLERS Act:  Is the American Bar Association’s Opposition to Transparency in Financial Transactions Warranted?

IN THE SENATE - H.R. 5525 of the 117th Congress is the ENABLERS Act—an acronym for Establishing New Authorities for Businesses Laundering and Enabling Risks to Security.

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Clive Charles Hamilton, Professor, Australian author, and public intellectual

DC DISPATCH w/Sara Corcoran