Marguerite Arnold is a German-American author, journalist and entrepreneur. She has been covering the cannabis industry from Europe since 2014.
Born in New York City, she grew up in the UK and has lived and worked in three countries (so far). These days she calls Germany home, after having just won her dual citizenship in a landmark Supreme Court case that addresses and overcomes systematic prejudice in the court systems since 1945 in implementing the historic Right of Return granted to all those who fled the Third Reich.
In the United States, her career spanned film and documentary production of the digital kind and she pioneered the use of digital technology in both brick and mortar and remote consumption. She has also worked in state and national politics, IT, banking, finance and cleantech as well as sustainability.
Since moving to Germany, she has learned passable German, obtained her Executive MBA, and founded several healthcare and digital health related startups. She has also written two books while covering the expansion of the cannabis industry in the U.S., Germany and across Europe but also increasingly globally.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a different world, on several continents.
I was born in New York City, grew up in London, spent my teenaged years in the American South and my adult life before I left the U.S. in Washington D.C. and New York. My childhood in particular was also spent in a literary world that I do not think exists anymore, certainly not as it used to, in New York and London.
I knew I would be a "writer" - I was trained and educated to be one. And I always have been. This is just my first book project that has gotten to this point and is now published and accessible. It is a great feeling.
Now that I live in Germany, I have also found that this has had a great influence on my writing. Maybe this is just a phase, just the light, just the food, just the beer, but I think it is a combination of things.
I do know that living in different places has also given me the confidence to write about not only locations, but new ideas and concepts in the language of a local if not with a familiarity that comes with having that experience. All artists and creative people are, to some extent, permanent tourists of the soul if not the unknown.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I do remember the first story I ever read although my childhood was filled with books (both my parents were writers including of children's books). But the first book I ever consciously sat down and read by myself that was not a "children's book" was "The Hobbit." It made a huge impact on me - not just the story itself, but also the story of how it came to be published and the impact of that paperback on the book business of the day.
A series of books on the momentous change created and caused by the cannabis revolution.
The first book is set in 2014 and the American state market as Colorado and Washington State began their own experiments with recreational reform. Everything from buying pot in public to banking reform was on the table in a way that has presaged the forward motion of this revolutionary industry. Interviews and profiles with and of some of the most intriguing entrepreneurs, companies and advocates are set against a momentous year of both political and regulatory change that has not stopped yet shaking the world.
The second book is set in 2019, and is focused on the international politics, drama and entrepreneurial derring do that occurred when Germany decided to issue the first federal tender bid for cannabis in the world.
Green: The First 12 Months of Modern American Marijuana Reform is a history of the dramatic events that took place during 2014 in the United States as the first recreational cannabis markets began to be established in two states - Colorado and Washington State. The book goes behind the headlines to the people and the passion as well as the entrepreneurial spirit that drove the revolution forwards.
Green II: Spreading Like Kudzu, is the inside story of the first federally issued tender bid for cannabis - issued by the German government in the spring of 2017.
The book covers cannabis reform history, particularly in North America as well as Europe within the context of the changing laws that created reform in the first place, as well as the pace of change likely from here.