The cannabis industry is a “modern-day Gold Rush.” Not only is it a booming new business with incredibly lucrative potential, but it’s also free of big business dominion. There’s never been a better time for aspiring green entrepreneurs than now.
via NY Times:
To many, today’s cannabis industry resemblesa modern-day Gold Rush. Troy Dayton, co-founder and chief executive of the ArcView Group in San Francisco, a network of 250 high-net-worth investors that backs cannabis start-ups, said more than 30 early-stage companies contact it every week. In the last year, he said, the group sent about $12 million in funding to 14 companies.
The size of the legal cannabis industry in the United States, measured by sales of the plant, was $1.5 billion in 2013, according to ArcView, which projects it will reach $2.6 billion in 2014 and $10 billion by 2018 — figures that do not include the growing numbers of ancillary businesses. The entire industry is dominated by small businesses, Mr. Dayton said, both because it is so new and because marijuana’s legality remains murky. Banks, for example, have been reluctant to take deposits or make loans to dispensaries because the drug is still illegal under federal law.
“You can’t have a national business,” Mr. Dayton said, because the laws vary by state. Opportunities for small businesses also exist because the stigma associated with the industry has discouraged bigger companies from getting involved. “You can’t find another industry growing at this clip that doesn’t have any major players,” he said. “That gives the little guy a chance to make a run at this.”
That potential has spawned a wide array of cannabis start-ups — many incorporating novel technologies. Potbotics in New York City has raised almost $3 million from friends and family and has three cannabis-related products in the works, including a “virtual budtender” known as Potbot that it expects to be available for sale next year. A budtender is a dispensary worker who is knowledgeable about and sells marijuana; Potbot is a robot with a tablet-size monitor that is meant to replace the budtender.
Few people are better prepared to give you an overview of new cannabis landscape than Mike “Zappy” Zapolin, and to explain the ins and outs of the business.
Join Mike “Zappy” Zapolin and leading pioneers in the emerging cannabis business in the live, interactive video course, “Cannabis 2.0: Making it in the Marijuana Industry.” This 5-part session begins tonight! Register now.