The legal cannabis industry, currently worth about $8 billion, is predicted to triple in size to $22.6 billion in total annual sales by 2021, and it's catching the attention of powerful leaders around the world.
In 2015, Alan Gertner left his role as head of Google's Asia-Pacific sales team in Singapore to run a high-end cannabis brand, Tokyo Smoke. Former House Speaker John Boehner recently joined the board of directors of a cannabis-focused holdings company.
Stormy Simon, the former president of Overstock.com, is among those betting big on bud. When she decided to leave e-commerce in order to take on the cannabis industry, Simon's friends told her it was "career suicide." But she predicts the cannabis industry is going to be just as big.
"To come from the professional background that I have, to walk away from an amazing job at a company that I absolutely played a huge piece in building — you have to have a passion," she says. "My passion came from the research I have done, and from watching Colorado and their economic benefits. This just makes sense across the board."