When the legal pot industry began to boom in Washington, big-money investors predicted the cannabis trade in the Northwest would soon be the darling of corporate America.
Former Mexico President Vincente Fox appeared at a Seattle news conference in 2013 along with pot entrepreneur Jamen Shively, who laid out plans to create the first national brand of marijuana and promised Big Tobacco-like growth.
“Yes,” he said, “we are Big Marijuana.”
But it all went up in smoke and Shively’s national pot brand never materialized.
Now that may be about to change.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board this week introduced a rule that will allow investors from around the U.S. to help finance the state’s exploding legal marijuana industry. Oregon approved a similar practice last month, and Colorado is expected to follow suit, eliminating its two-year residency requirement for financiers.
Though the change comes with risks of Big Marijuana or criminal cartels entering the markets, the states are moving quickly to attract more investors in expectation that California, with a potentially vast recreational pot market, might enter the competition if voters legalize recreational marijuana sales this fall. [Read more at the Los Angeles Times]