As we witness the roll out of pot legalization in various states, it’s important to keep our eye on the money. Twenty states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana and other are soon to follow. Colorado seems to be leading the way by becoming the first state to allow recreational use of marijuana.
So who will be the first new legal marijuana millionaires? Well currently the fledgling industry is being capitalized on by mostly small to medium size business run by entrepreneurs with pioneering spirits. These companies are in a race to for what they think will be nothing short of a billion dollar green rush.
According to a CNBC report, “In a new analysis on the marijuana marketplace, San Francisco-based angel investor network ArcView Group forecasts a 64 percent surge in the legal U.S. cannabis market to $2.34 billion by 2014. The five-year national market could grow to $10.2 billion amid rising demand and potentially new state markets, according to ArcView forecasts.”
Denver-based party planner Jane West, owner of Edible Events, is one of those pioneering entrepreneurs. West is working to take advantage of the new green rush by hosting cannabis-food parties. Although her food does not currently include cannabis due to state regulations, she advertises BYOC, bring your own cannabis. West has also partnered with a mobile app company so drivers can find her parties.
Other companies are focusing on cannabis laced products such as candy, pastries and even lotions. The strategies for most of these business includes becoming national brands and some even plan to go public.
States are also planning for the green rush, they are projecting a significant increase in tax revenue from the industry. According to a 2010 study from Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, legalizing marijuana would generate $8.7 billion in federal and state tax revenue annually.
As we watch this industry and those positioning themselves to win the green rush, we must keep in mind that there is still a long way to go before the end of cannabis prohibition on a federal level.
In the meantime, we will keep a watchful eye out for emerging companies as America goes green.