The start-up world can expect to see a different kind of green in the next few years if the marijuana business grows as rapidly as some expect.
Legal marijuana sales grew to $5.4 billion in 2015, up from $4.6 billion in the prior year, and sales are expected to grow by 25 percent to about $6.7 billion this year, according to research firm Arcview's latest marijuana market report.
"We are going to see the legal cannabis industry create, tailor to and adapt technology for agriculture, plant compound extraction, security and finance," said Leslie Bocskor, a funds manager who focuses on marijuana businesses for Electrum Partners. "As the industry grows, it will rely on technology to facilitate the development of businesses from an innovation perspective, which will create a more fertile environment for investment."
"We at Electrum expect the legal cannabis industry to be the leading creator of new jobs, leading provider of new tax revenue, and the overall leading creator of wealth in the U.S. for the next 10 years," said Bocskor, who wouldn't disclose how much his firm has invested in marijuana-related businesses.
But Bocskor likens the marijuana industry now to the advent of antibiotics in the 1920s.