Why Many Marijuana Industry Investors Were Thwarted in Colorado, Despite Legalization

When U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department’s decision to allow legal marijuana markets to move forward without a fight on August 29, it was not just news for pot shops, pot users and pot growers. In the last month the legalization of cannabis in Colorado and Washington has attracted attention from investors from around the world looking to cash in on the new and expanding industry.

The ArcView Angel Investor Network, a cannabis industry investing organization, gathered a group of more than 60 accredited investors and 20 companies in Denver, Colorado on September 24 in a daylong event to discuss investing options.

The ArcView Investor Network’s investors include billionaires, tech entrepreneurs, venture capital firms and real estate moguls, who attended the conference to hear companies present their cannabis startup business pitches. Those companies included “licensed dispensaries and cultivations, a Hollywood film from a well-known director about the industry, a handheld vaporizer company, a company with a machine that creates hash oil and other cannabis concentrates, a security company for licensed cannabis businesses, a company with new advancements in lighting technology, and a popular online social network for cannabis consumers,” according to the press release.

Steve DeAngelo, cofounder of the ArcView Group and ArcView Investor Network, told the Atlantic that while 60 investors attended, all looking to buy into the “burgeoning industry,” 90 percent of those investors “won’t be able to invest.”

In addition to heading ArcView, DeAngelo is the executive director of the medical marijuana dispensary Harborside Health center in Oakland Calif., which has been called the world’s largest medical marijuana dispensary. He has been an activist in the cannabis legalization movement for more than three decades.

“The investors are here,” DeAngelo told the Atlantic. “They want to do the deal. But the deal can’t be done because Colorado law won’t allow it,” due to a residency requirement put into place by the Colorado legislature to discourage out of state residents from moving to Colorado for the marijuana business.

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.