The Green Rush – Investing in Marijuana Just got Real
I have yet to invest my hard earned money in anything…until NOW! With the recent ‘legalization’ or initiative to allow pot for recreational use in both Washington and Colorado as they like to call it, investing in bud just became a real thing.
Those changes have kickstarted a small but fast-growing medical-marijuana industry, estimated to be worth about $1.7 billion as of 2011, according to See Change Strategy, an independent financial-analysis firm that specializes in new markets. In Colorado alone, sales topped $181 million in 2010, and the business employed 4,200 state-licensed workers, says Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association.
If opening up a ‘medical marijuana’ shop isn’t your thing, consider this…Medbox (MDBX), a firm that makes and sells medical marijuana dispensing machines, says its stock “is getting way too high.” Shares spiked 3,000% this week (from about $4 Monday to $215 Thursday), “prompting executives to try and dampen investor enthusiasm.”
The machines, which dispense set doses of the drug, after verifying patients’ identities via fingerprint, could potentially be used in ordinary drugstores too, says Medbox founder Vincent Mehdizadeh. Based in Hollywood, Calif., the company already has 130 machines in the field, and it expects to install an additional 40 in the next quarter. “The smart money is trying to help with compliance and transparency,” Mehdizadeh says.
Aside from the profiting from growing and selling marijuana, the industry benefits a armada of other businesses, such as insurers, lawyers and agricultural-equipment shops.
Mark Twain is said to have remarked that a gold rush is a good time to be in the pick and shovel business. Investors may be able to apply that same bit of wisdom to the growing number of U.S. states that have legalized pot.
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