The advent of legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington has brought with it rapid growth in demand for a broad range of products and services. Obviously weed growers have found markets for their heretofore illicit crops, but the ancillary products and services springing up around the industry are creating significant legitimate investment opportunity.
While conservative money largely waits on the sidelines, as tension between state legalization and continuing Federal prohibition creates a real risk to pot entrepreneurs, there are those stepping into the breach to stake out early positions in the kush rush.
According to Fast Company,
"The poster boy for the above-ground weed entrepreneur movement is Justin Hartfield, the CEO of marijuana review and discussion site WeedMaps. Hartfield makes big money from WeedMaps--the company generates over $25 million per year. He's continuing to expand his empire, co-founding marijuana technology venture capital firm Ghost Group in 2012 (brands include WeedMaps, MMJMenu.com, Marijuana.com, and marketing company Bonfire), and more recently, launching marijuana VC investment fund Emerald Ocean Capital."
Hartfield, in a nod to the risks mentioned above, doesn't invest directly in the production of marijuana. Rather, "He's more interested in software companies that dance around the edges of the marijuana economy, like WeedMaps."
Let's stop to think for a moment. There are Gheorghies involved in the investment and venture capital space. We know attorneys, tax experts, and marketing professionals. Allegedly, we also know people who are familiar with the weed market and its secondary financial opportunities. These three groups (who might overlap) go together like bong hits and Fritos.
I think you see where I'm going here.