What it Takes to Navigate the Marijuana Industry

Colorado’s first cannabis business summit focused on helping companies learn how to run better and comply with the nascent industry’s many regulations.

The recreational marijuana business is in full bloom in Colorado. In just the first three months since marijuana was legalized, the state has raised $25 million from businesses for taxes, licenses, and fees, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Looking forward, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper predicts combined sales from recreational and medical cannabis (which has been legal for 14 years) will reach $1 billion by 2015, with $134 million going to the state. These numbers make clear that the nascent industry is not some Cheech and Chong joke; it’s a serious business with well-defined rules and laws.

To help startups and small businesses navigate regulatory issues, cannabis industry tech firm Surna held the first Colorado Cannabis Summit on Thursday in Denver, featuring panels on state and federal laws, taxes and banking, branding, and employee training and safety.

Meg Collins, the executive director of Colorado-based trade group Cannabis Business Alliance, says about 500 companies have launched around the recreational marijuana industry since the law changed in January, including growers, dispensaries, and tech firms providing seed-to-sale tracking software. Continue

SOURCE: Inc.