The Business

  • Arguments for and against legalization of marijuana aside, how much money is at stake, if you compare it to alcohol and tobacco use?  The answer takes some  extrapolation and estimating, but it's still probably more than you think.

  • Mark Mallen, owner of Mile High Ice Cream, pictured with a 10-gallon ice cream maker at the commercial kitchen near downtown Denver where employees make cannabis-infused "edibles" for medical marijuana patients.
    By: Rob Reuteman, |Special to CNBC.com

    Mark Mallen was already a highly successful, ice-cream entrepreneur In Denver when he started making the product for the state's fast-growing medical marijuana market.

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    By: Rob Reuteman|Special to CNBC.com

    The legalization of  marijuana for medicinal use in 14 US states has stoked explosive growth the in manufacture, distribution and retail of hydroponics equipment for growing the plant.

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    The legalization of medical marijuana in several states has paved the way for a budding edible medical marijuana industry. Small businesses in states such as Colorado and California are making treats such as candy, cookies or soda.

  • A pharmaceutical pill bottle with marijuana cigarettes coming out of the top.
    By: Shelly K. Schwartz|Special to CNBC.com

    Pill vs. cigarette. They both have pros and cons as consumer products. But if there is a battle to bring recreational cannabis to market, most believe tobacco companies would have the upper hand over drug companies.

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    By: Trevor Curwin,|Special to CNBC.com

    If pot becomes legal, local, artisanal growers—perhaps along with farmers' collectives—are likely to dominate in the early stage, as big firms ramp up to enter the market years later. Think Starbuds vs. Maxwell House.

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    In an excerpt from a chapter in her forthcoming book, CNBC's Trish Regan visits the three-county area of Northern California known as the Emerald Triangle,  where more pot is grown than anywhere else in America.

  • By: Rob Reuteman|Special to CNBC.com

    It is legal in 14 states and under consideration in many others. It is certainly a growth business and states like California and Colorado are suffering growing pains trying to regulate the industry. So what does it take to become a patient or an owner?

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    Drug dealers these days are far from the stereotypes of blinged-out urban kids and long-haired dirtbags. Many are moms, teachers, construction workers,  and municipal employees, supplementing their regular income.

  • By: Rob Reuteman,|Special to CNBC.com

    David Nugent and Linda Lensing, who own and operate the Herban Wellness medical marijuana dispensary, moved to Denver a year ago. They have two employees and 500 patients.

  • From housewives to growers to Mexican drug cartels, everyone seems to have a hand in the Emerald Triangle’s marijuana till.  It's hard to get teens to take fast-food jobs when they can make better money working in the marijuana groves.