Selling Weed on Wall Street: Savvy Businessmen are Investing in the Burgeoning Legal Marijuana Industry

iStock_000010324123_ExtraSmall.jpgAs the early stages of marijuana legalization began in some U.S. states over the last several years, savvy businesspersons have quietly began the process of setting up industrial-level marijuana businesses. Their goal was to be ready to supply the exploding medical and legalized marijuana trade and be prepared in the event that recreational marijuana ever becomes legal nationwide. From growing operations to dispensaries–the uncharted territory of selling marijuana has produced a unique set of challenges for entrepreneurs, the most common being how to secure funding. That’s where Wall Street is now stepping in.
Small business owners in the burgeoning marijuana industry from throughout the U.S. are pitching their ventures to potential investors, often traveling to New York to meet with would-be financiers. Wall Street has good reason to smell a good investment–many entrepreneurs foresee marijuana following the same path as Prohibition in the U.S., when alcohol’s ban and subsequent re-legalization made millionaires of hundreds of progressive entrepreneurs in a short matter of years. “More and more people see the inevitability [of marijuana legalization],” states Brendan Kennedy, head of Seattle private equity firm Privateer Holdings which targets marijuana start-ups. “They see that the Berlin Wall of cannabis prohibition is going to come down.”
Privateer Holdings has raised $7 million in funding to acquire companies associated with the marijuana trade, but that do not directly grow or distribute the drug. Privateer’s first acquisition: Leafly, an online dispensary rating site in Seattle that is markedly similar to Yelp. Because of the fact that marijuana is still illegal under federal law, other investment firms are also choosing to fund similar businesses that supply equipment or related services while avoiding investing in businesses that directly grow or sell the drug.
Many feel that it is the economic argument that will lead most states to legalize or decriminalize marijuana rather than the growing social acceptance of its usage. With legal marijuana sales expected to top $1.5 billion in the U.S. this year alone, legislators and citizens in every state are waiting to view the massive tax benefits states that have legalized marijuana, like Colorado, will reap. Other proponents of legalization feel that an increasing number of citizens are realizing that the politics of incarceration, interdiction and confiscation have proven to be an abject failure, costing taxpayers millions of dollars in the war on marijuana. Regardless of the reasoning, when it comes to marijuana, the numbers don’t lie.

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Gilbert Garcia has been Passionately Pursuing Justice for over 30 years and founded The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm in 2008. The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm is a boutique law firm, specializing in Criminal Defense. Gilbert represents adults and juveniles accused of a crime and who have with a felony, misdemeanor or record cleaning case. Conveniently located on the courthouse square to serve Montgomery and Walker Counties. Gilbert became Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1989. The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm is located at 220 N. Thompson St., Suite 202, Conroe, TX 77301.  www.ggglawfirm.com.

Drug Related Charges may include: Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Dangerous Drug, Manufacturing a Dangerous Drug/Controlled Substance, Delivery or Intent to Deliver Marijuana/Dangerous Drug/Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and many other drug related charges.