COLORADO: Legal or not, the business of selling weed in the U.S. is as wacky as ever.
The tangle of rules and regulations that govern whether and how it can be grown, bought and sold cause major headaches for marijuana businesses — and enticing opportunities for those who want to exploit it.
At the heart of the complexity lies a basic disagreement. The federal government views marijuana as an illegal narcotic like heroin, with “no currently accepted medical use.” But 23 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized pot for medical purposes. In Colorado and Washington State, it can be bought for recreational use, just like alcohol and tobacco.
Laws differ from state to state and sometimes from county to county. A bumper crop of consultants and shady public companies have bloomed, promising to show entrepreneurs and investors how to navigate the twisted way to success and fat profits. Consumers have an array of high-quality, pot-related products to choose from — but they must also discern truth from hope in the many claims about the supposedly wonderful things pot can do.