The 49’ers gold rush in California saw fortunes made not necessarily by the miners themselves, but the merchants who sold the equipment. Today, businesses supporting the burgeoning marijuana industry in Colorado and Washington State are sitting on a similar boom. They actually seem to be riding an even bigger wave, as more and more states pass medical marijuana measures, in what is being called the “green rush.”
ArcView Market Research expects the marijuana industry to peek at $2.57 billion. Their second report entitled, “The State of Legal Marijuana Markets” predicts the overall industry could be valued at $10.2 billion by 2018. One of the biggest growing segments is the ancillary businesses, those who provide goods or services for those in the marijuana business along by providing the customer with the option to buy cannabis online Canada. Deputy director Taylor West, of the National Cannabis Industry Association, a trade group said, “One of the reasons that the ancillary sector of the industry has drawn a lot of attention is because some investors feel more comfortable investing in a business that isn’t directly tied to the products.” There are those in the business community who are calling Denver and the surrounding communities of Fort Collins and Boulder the “Silicon Valley of weed,” or rather an epicenter for the growth of a multibillion-dollar industry.
Chief executive officer Tom Bollich, of Boulder-based Surna Inc., a manufacturing company that makes climate control systems for indoor grow operations says, “As these new states or countries legalize (marijuana), they actually are coming here first. This is the model of what’s going to happen in the future.”
GrowBuddy is a website and mobile app that helps home growers monitor and manage their operations. Tom believes that as laws change around the world and country, more and more people will also be growing at home, paving the way to more business opportunities to operations such as his. He compares it to home brewing beer. As GrowBuddy’s CEO Rob Rusher says, “With beer being readily accessible everywhere you go … there are still people that brew their own. It’s in the couple million people in the U.S. who do that now. We take that and compare that to the cannabis industry. (Marijuana) is not available on every corner. We expect those numbers to ramp up much faster.”
Demand for the software mostly comes from Colorado, California, and Canada. On January 1st, lots of talking heads advised investors against the marijuana business. However, when that business showed a ten-fold return in a mere nine months, investors stood up and took notice. Much like the internet boom of the ’90s, lots of money is being excitedly invested in the marijuana industry. We will soon see if it follows the boom and bust of that model or becomes an industry with sustainable growth, but so far it seems to be going in the latter direction.