As legal US cannabis sales soar, start-up reality sets in
The forecasts for legal U.S. cannabis sales are in the billions.
But entrepreneurs in the weed trade, despite landing in hot markets like Colorado, face a bit of a reality check. That’s due, in part, to a lack of traditional financing tools like banking, and still growing stream of venture capital into the industry.
“There’s this misconception that everyone is rolling in the money here,” said Jill Lamoureux, a Colorado-based cannabis business expert.
Lamoureux’s husband has a degenerative disease, and around eight years ago she obtained a license to be a medicinal marijuana caregiver. She established a dispensary, and eventually helped craft the framework for legalizing recreational marijuana sales in Colorado beginning in 2014.
For now, though, creating a scalable, legal cannabis business is not easy. The transportation of cannabis across states and related multistate transactions remain illegal if not tricky. And without traditional banking options, cannabis is a very capital-intensive business.
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