Legal cannabis: The next great American industry

Mother Nature Network Article

More than 1,000 people recently traveled to Denver to network, invest, raise money and learn more about the legal cannabis market.

SHEA GUNTHER

July 2, 2014, 1:48 p.m.

“Three months in the cannabis industry is like five years in any other industry.”

With these words, Troy Dayton kicked off the June meeting of the Arcview Group, a network of investors that specializes in the nascent legal cannabis market. The Arcview Group brought together hundreds of investor members to the mile-high city of Denver to hear pitches from 11 companies looking for investments. It’s kind of like the TV show “Shark Tank,” but all on weed — or more accurately, about weed.

The explosive growth of the legal cannabis industry was most visibly on display in the venue chosen for the meeting by the Arcview Group. Held at the Denver Center for Performing Arts in a beautifully high-tech conference space, it was a huge step-up in class from the last meeting space just a few months ago in April, held in a faceless chain hotel 20 minutes outside of Boston.

The day-long meeting of the Arcview Group was followed by a two-day business summit put on by the National Cannabis Industry Association, headquartered in Denver, which makes sense given Colorado’s leadership in legalizing adult-use recreational marijuana. I flew out to Colorado’s capital city to attend both meetings and to get a better sense of how this new, quickly growing industry is handling its rapid entrance into the legal limelight.

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