Landscaping, an $80 billion industry nationwide, might be lacking in Californian customers as the drought in the southern half of the state continues on, but a new industry may be rising to take its place as a money maker.
In November, California will vote to legalize medical marijuana almost 20 years after medical marijuana was legalized.
Although the vote is certainly not guaranteed, the thriving medical marijuana trade leaves many with little doubt as to the success of the vote. Daniel Conway, the former chief of staff to Sacramento’s mayor, left his job to start the marijuana investment company Truth Enterprises.
Conway is just one of many people in the state who are plowing forward with plans to enter the recreational marijuana market, which experts claim will be worth $4 billion in 2020.
“I’m someone of an age and of a demographic that sees the legalization and normalization of marijuana as inevitable,” said Conway. “This was a chance not just to build companies but to build an industry.”
Already, California has the largest legal marijuana market, with 40 million people. It would join Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and the District of Columbia as the fifth state to legalize the drug for recreational use. The legalization of recreational cannabis would generate about $1 billion in additional taxes for every year.
Eight other states have recreational or medical marijuana proposals on the 2016 ballots and could usher in a great new age of industry for a previously legally untapped resource.
“I don’t believe there will be any precedent in the United States that can compare to it except for maybe the Gold Rush,” said Leslie Bocskor, who heads a Nevada based equity firm, Electrum Partners, which advises and invests in marijuana-related businesses.
Indeed, since January, 115 new California companies have joined the National Cannabis Industry Association, including cultivators, dispensaries, laboratories, law partnerships, and more.