Investors of all varieties are starting to look at marijuana as less of a stoner’s fad and more of a serious business venture. The industry totaled $2.66 billion in U.S. sales in 2014, up 74 percent from $1.53 billion the year before, according to the ArcView Group, a cannabis industry investment network. Experts expect billions more in future growth from states where the drug remains illegal – for the time being. Business insiders said they expect the market to expand to many times its present size as more states legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use.
The cannabis trade has not only brought in millions for dispensary owners and cultivators, it’s also created a thriving ancillary market, driven job growth and boosted property values, marijuana advocates claim.
But the challenges are many for the kind of high-risk, high-reward investment that cannabis calls for. No industry since post-Prohibition alcohol has come close to having had a harder time getting off the ground, from strict regulation and heavy taxation to a lack of investors and banking services. “A lot of people look at the cannabis industry and say, ‘Oh my God, it’s so much harder. (There are) so many barriers … You’ve got endless problems,'” said Troy Dayton, CEO of the ArcView Group. “Well, some people see endless problems. Other people see endless problems disappearing fairly soon and see this as a great investment.”
Read the article by Michael Bodley and Clarissa Cooper: http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-business/article/Pot-The-new-big-business-6485349.php