By Richard Farrell
Whereas 21 U.S. States have legalized medical marijuana and customers are queuing up to buy it, the same is not true of financial institutions. They complain about the heavy fines they could incur if they so much as touch a banknote that smells of pot. This has caused Walgreen, CVS and Rite Aid to stay clear, but it has left the field wide open for new entrants.
One such potpreneur is Kayvan Khalatbari in Colorado, where more than 350 companies already hold medical marijuana licenses. Khalatbari is a former electrical engineer from Nebraska who loves how federal limitations have helped his $4,000 stake grow by holding back the competition.
On May 15, 2014, the Tribune-Democrat reported Khalatbari is expecting his 2014 business turnover to peak at close to $2 million on the back of the $500,000 he invested in production facilities, and the $150,000 he invested into a store. “We’re making money, we’re employing people, we’re being a beacon of light for this industry and showing it can be done professionally. That to me is a success,” he said.
The Tribune-Democrat confirmed big pharmaceuticals plan to stay clear of medical marijuana because this could violate their registration with the DEA. Brad Barker, an analyst with Bloomberg Industries, regards this as a stopgap arrangement. “The second this is legalized they will start rolling out the marijuana cigarettes the next day,” he explained. “Then you’ll have all the big boys jumping into this space.” This is certainly one to watch with interest because timing will be everything.
Established medical marijuana outlets should retain a distinct advantage over their corporate competition-in-the-wings because they are already trailblazing in this budding industry. Innovative developments have included consumption facilities on private premises, gourmet medibles and a wide range of paraphernalia. Some of these trailblazers may even find their innovations bought out for a sum impossible to refuse.
Medibles have maintained their position in the vanguard of the industry, but the consumable cannabis review continues unabated in Colorado according to CBS Denver. The goal is for authorities and vendors to agree how to make edible marijuana clearly identifiable, so there is little chance of it falling into the hands of children.
Medibles are increasingly popular as some public consumption laws prevent smoking pot outdoors, in restaurants and hotels, in a way similar to the anti-tobacco movement. The public and private forum is also investigating ways to label the strength of individual portions, following several recent cases of overindulgence. Investors should proceed with caution, but also pay attention to gaps in the market in need of groundbreakers.