Opportunity in the legal marijuana trade isn't just about growing and selling pot. Marijuana is, of course, the central figure in the industry. However, a host of startups are growing up around the pot-growing trade.
In Colorado, where recreational marijuana use is legal, the first co-working space in the U.S. dedicated to pot-related startups opened this month, news first reported by VentureBeat. Green Labs Denver will provide all the standards found in similar business accelerator-type organizations. The requisite desk space, coffee and Wi-Fi will be there as well as legal services, business strategy training, tech support and access to investors. It also promises a community of "like-minded cannabis companies."
As Green Labs describes it:
At Green Labs, we cater to the new and rapidly expanding cannabis industry precipitated by the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado. Our members work side-by-side with other entrepreneurs, attract venture capital and private funding through our investment arm, the Denver Angels, and learn best practices in digital marketing, programming and legal strategy.
The legal U.S. marijuana market is projected to grow 64 percent to $2.34 billion by 2014 and exceed $10 billion by 2018, making it one of the fastest growing industries in the country, according to a report released by ArcView Market Research last year.
The pace of growth is even expected to eclipse the expansion of the global smartphone market. The legalization of marijuana use by adults in Colorado and Washington is largely what's driving the market expansion. Adult use in Washington and Colorado is projected to add $359 million and $208 million to their respective markets in 2014.
Photo: Flickr user Brett Levin