Companies Hope to Profit From Marijuana Laws

As marijuana becomes legal in a growing number of states, for medical or recreational use, businesses are hoping to profit from the trend, the Los Angeles Times reports.

One company located in New Jersey, which produces herbs sold in grocery stores, wants to branch out into marijuana growing, the article notes. Ken VandeVrede, owner of Terra Tech, a hydroponic equipment maker, would like to double the five-acre greenhouse operation, the article notes. “We can scale this thing very, very quickly,” he told the newspaper. “When hemp and cannabis become legal, we’re ready to rock and roll.”

His company is looking to Wall Street to raise $2 million to expand. It is one of a number of small businesses looking for investors. Because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, many investors are avoiding marijuana farming and sales, instead focusing on companies that supply equipment or other marijuana-related services.

The Seattle private equity firm Privateer Holdings is raising $7 million to buy small companies that are marijuana-related, but do not grow or distribute it. Its first acquisition was Leafly, a website that rates Seattle dispensaries and strains of marijuana.

Denver-based Lazarus Investment Partners, a $60-million hedge fund, has invested in AeroGrow International Inc., which makes hydroponic kitchen appliances geared toward growing herbs, lettuce and tomatoes. Lazarus has suggested AeroGrow adjust its products so they accommodate taller plants, such as marijuana.

MedBox hopes to sell marijuana in vending machines in Colorado and Washington, which have legalized recreational use of the drug. Marijuana is already sold through vending machines in some states where medical marijuana is legal. The company, Medbox, says it wants to adapt the machines to comply with the new recreational marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington.

The company’s founder, Vincent Mehdizadeh, said the company is exploring raising $20 million in equity to increase staffing and fund research and development, acquisitions and marketing.

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    Bruce Silvera II

    April 6, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    I disagree, I believe that the marijuana prohibition days are almost over. I was born with Tourette Syndrom, which may not be as bad as cancer, glaucoma and HIV’s but it gives me a much better quality of life and this medicine has helped so many others. Times are changing and hopefully we can cheers over some good herbs rather than a beer recreationally. This movement has brought me a successful career selling shirts and more quality lifestyle. Vote for Prop. 215 & SB 420

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    Jan Beauregard, Ph.D.

    March 26, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    This push to legalize started with the medical marijuana propaganda. I have been researching this topic quite extensively for months and have found that where medical marijuana is legal marijuana use in general rises. Less than 5 % of the prescriptions written are for cancer, glaucoma, HIV or MS ..the common demographic for a prescription issue is a white caucasian make, mid 30’s who smoked part beginning in the teen years. Driving high doubles the rate of car accidents and in a teen who smokes regularly can reduce IQ by as much as 8 points. The list goes on but big money is in this – politicians are being bought and like the tobacco and alcohol industry increased use will steal the potential of our young people. In the quest for $$ we are stealing our future.

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    March 26, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    With cuts to health care looming in the future who is going to pay for the effects of marijuana use. Please, do not tell me that is is not harmful because I have seen the effects of addiction once to often in my life to know what they are. Some pot head with holes in their brains and addiction in their genes cannot convince me it is safe. Most addicts, and I don’t care what they use, justify their usage by blaming those who don’t.For example, you make me nervous, you are my nervous, anxiety producing trigger and I need to smoke pot,drink or do drugs because you make me do it. Yea sure and that’s why many addicts die of addiction related disease. Blame others, do multiple stints in rehab and create more problems for each new generation. This absolutely makes me ask where has common sense gone, up in smoke.

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    Meredith Currie

    March 26, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Again, I am so confused. Companies want to sell marijuana in vending machines, but tobacco companies cannot sell cigarettes in vending machines. Hello? Where is the logic in this? I am by no means a proponent of smoking cigarettes, but the tobacco companies need to stand up and say enough is enough. How can cigarettes be demonized and marijuana be put on a pedestal? Marijuana has cancer causing agents just like cigarettes, so why would it be okay to advertise marijuana to the masses, if you cannot do that with cigarettes? Also, when did it become okay in our society to put a mind altering drug right at the fingertips of anyone? I currently work with adolescents whose views have become skewed that marijuana has no ill effects, even though it is currently affecting their lives. I see adolescents who have to go to drug treatment for just using marijuana and regardless of the consequences cannot stop. As adults, we are doing our youth a disservice with our undying need to legalize marijuana. I have said that as humans we are no longer evolving, but are de-evolving. Common sense has left the building and I am afraid it is never coming back.

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