If you had asked experienced entrepreneurs and investors what would be on the forefront of entrepreneurship, and business in general, in 2015, the answers probably would have been the obvious wearable technology, more location-based apps, personal services, and the internet-of-things; few would have said that weed would be the place to put your money – getting high is now good for business.
Industry Growth is High
Why is this the business for making money? From 2013 to 2014 the legal marijuana industry saw an increase of 74%, growing into an industry worth of $2.7 billion. 74% is an astronomical spike in growth, and it just so happened to make the marijuana industry the fastest growing industry in the United States, according to the ArcView Group, a cannabis-focused investment and research firm. That $2.7 billion is predicted to hit or even eclipse the $3.5 billion mark in 2015, as it is expected that at least one other state will legalize the recreational use of marijuana and more will legalize the medical use of the drug.
Can the industry keep up the growth? It’ll go just as high as it can go, as it is expected that throughout the next five years 14 more states will legalize recreational marijuana and 2 more will legalize medical marijuana – per The ArcView Group. It is also known that 10 states are currently considering legalizing recreational marijuana through ballot measures or state legislatures.
Entrepreneurs are taking a step into where the money is…
Entrepreneurs are Getting into the Weed
- WeedWall is making current social media groups that deal with all things weed, an afterthought. Think of LinkedIn for marijuana users and advocates, networking together for a common cause. Their aim is to create unity and a community for the medical marijuana industry. WeedWall is currently in its beta version, however as the use of marijuana grows, this niche site will grow with it, and so will its value (currently sitting on a $30K investment).
- Meadow is our handy-delivery app for medical marijuana products. Currently available in only the bay area, the app enables anyone with a medical marijuana card to receive their quality product from a lawfully-operated company within an hour. It’s local UPS for drugs. Once they branch out to states with recreational use and other states that allow for medical use, this now small company, could be a force.
- Nestdrop, at least from first impression, is the hipster/anti-hero of the new wave of weed startups. Their mission is to send alcohol and medical marijuana right to your door:
Are you tired of being oppressed by “The Man”? By the “Wo-Man”? By your dog? We won’t stand for it and neither should you. We can’t help you lead the revolution, but we believe in you. And we want you to believe in us. The same way you believe in swamp thing or miracles. At this pivotal point in history we stand as pioneers ready to define tomorrow. Like when buzz lightyear walked on the moon, or Captain America defeated the Axis forces, we are the first to deliver medical marijuana or alcohol to your door all through your mobile device. Need we say more? Probably. Fine we will.
- MassRoots offers a semi-anonymous platform on their ios/android apps to help locals get together or just talk about the marijuana movement. Their goal is to be a marijuana user’s go-to app for interacting, talking, and scheduling gatherings related to marijuana – as they say, the Tinder for marijuana. With $1.1 million in the bank from 3 rounds and 2 investors, this could be a sweet combination of Secret, Tinder, and Facebook for the mainstream marijuana user – that appears to be one very attractive future valuation.
Politics and Values
Quite simply – the two evolve. Neither one stays static.
Today (or two years ago the Partnership at Drugfree.org surveyed parents): 35% of parents were pro-legalization of marijuana for recreational use, 46% were for decriminalization, and 70% were pro-legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. In 1969, Gallup found that just 12% of Americans favored legalization.
This has been and will continue to be a sensitive subject (at least as long as people try to ignore scientific results), but these quotes by conservative politicians should enlighten us all on how much times and views have changed – marijuana legalization for recreational use across the US is bound to happen in the majority of the states. The only question is when.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “That is not a drug. It’s a leaf”. He may see it that way, while other on the business end of things see this as an opportunity to make money – and lots of it. As Thomas Murphy (former CEO of General Motors) once said, “General Motors is not in the business of making cars. It is in the business of making money.”