It’s difficult to speculate on the dollars that exchange hands in the underground marijuana sales market. If Colorado is any indication, however, bringing those transactions above ground and making them legal can inject unprecedented revenue into the pockets of governments, businesses, and individuals.
The Colorado Department of Revenue reports that licensed and regulated marijuana stores in the state sold $996,184,788 worth of recreational and medical cannabis in 2015.
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The numbers are massive, but when you talk to would-be investors and entrepreneurs, they are more anxious than surprised.Â Many expected the ‘wild world of weed’ to be like the Wild, Wild West was back in the day, filled with opportunities for profits and growth.Â And like the Wild West, there is a great deal of uncertainty as to the best points of entry from an investment and business standpoint as we wait for the legal and financial communities to catch up with the public’s blessing.
According to Gallup, 58% of Americans believe the use of marijuana should be legalized, more than double the support the idea had in the mid-1990s.
In this series, Black Enterprise hopes to demystify the industry for investors and entrepreneurs.Â We begin with an overview of the opportunities and risks in the world of 420 with Viridian Capital Advisors President Scott Greiper.Â Viridian is a specialized boutique banking and strategic advisory firm that provides research, investment banking, investor relations, andÂ corporate development services to emerging growth companies in the cannabis sector.
BE caught up with Greiper at the Viridian Cannabis Investor Series at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
Viridian will host its next investor conference on March 24, 2016 at The James L. Knight Center in Miami.
Come back to BlackEnterprise.com for the next installment in the series, where we’ll lookÂ at cannabis cuisine company 99th Floor.