Up until now marijuana stocks have been thought risky. But a tide change has occurred, evident in the 1,000 attendees at Marijuana Investor Summit in Denver last April.
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Startups used to have to beg for money and approach hundreds of investors to capitalize their operation. But entrepreneurs with the right background and a solid business plan say they were approached at the summit unsolicited with donors looking to get in on what is increasingly becoming a wise investment. Lots of ancillary businesses too made their presence known offering a variety of services such as security, consulting, accounting and recruiting.
The development of an entire new industry comes in three phases. First the product itself is developed. Then ancillary businesses rise up around the product and finally infrastructure offering other important services arrives on the scene. Industry insiders say marijuana is quickly growing up and is now moving on to the third and final stage.
Almost half the states in the nation have legalized medical marijuana. Four states and D.C. currently have recreational marijuana and about six more will consider legalization over the next election cycle. What’s more, there are bipartisan bills snaking their way through Congress that aim at restricting the federal government’s ability to intercede in states where medical marijuana is legal.
The ArchView Group is a cannabis-based data and investment firm out of San Francisco. According to their CEO Troy Dayton, legal marijuana spells a massive market that is only expected to grow bigger and more rapidly. ArchView claims 470 investors onboard and 54 companies in their portfolio. 300 cannabis-based publicly traded companies exist today. To be fair not all are legitimate. Four or five has been listed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as pump-and-dump operations. But tech guru and billionaire Peter Thiel legitimized marijuana investment earlier this year by launching Founder’s Fund, his own cannabis investment firm.
Since then institutional investors have started to warm up to pot stocks. Getting a company started isn’t easy. But it’s becoming more and more so. That and the maturing of the industry spell good news for investors.