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3 Businesses That Are Booming in Colorado, Thanks to Legalized Marijuana

There's a new gold rush in Colorado, thanks to new laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. And just as the businesses that supplied the miners in the first gold rush often struck it rich, the businesses that support the marijuana industry are doing almost as well as the dispensaries themselves.

pot 

(Photo Credit: Matthew Kenwrick/Flickr)

Sam Kamin and Joel Warner in Slate touch on several of the industries that benefit from the state's relaxed laws, particularly the "ancillary businesses" that are more attractive to outside investors, who need at least two years of in-state residency to qualify for more direct involvement in the marijuana business. Plus:

"...let's not forget that selling, cultivating, and manufacturing marijuana remains prohibited by federal law. Thus, risk-averse businesspeople might prefer to invest in companies that are not directly involved in violating federal law."

So which businesses are making money in Colorado?

1. Real estate.

Kamin and Warner interview one realtor who has developed a specialty in selling houses with space (and privacy) for growing the 12 marijuana plants that are legal for recreational use. Previously, she carved out a niche in handicapped-accessible housing. This, she tells Slate, is more lucrative.

2. Point-of-sale systems.

Marijuana disappears over time: if it's not consumed, it literally disintegrates. Sellers need specialized POS systems that won't make it look like they're skimming off the top or losing product.

3. Security.

Before there were firms catering directly to the marijuana industry (and its 12 pages of rules outlining legally mandated security procedures) there were some funny stories about robberies. The best one, probably, is the couple who dressed up in ninja costumes and stole a jar of marijuana from a medical dispensary.

Now, companies like Canna Security America ensure that no other hilarious robberies threaten sellers' bottom lines.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think legalized marijuana has a positive or negative effect on the economy? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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