Pot Legalizations Push U.S. Closer To Weed Business Boom

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Voter legalization of recreational marijuana in two more states plus the District of Columbia this week mounts pressure on the federal government to decriminalize cannabis — nudging America closer to a weed business boom, pot advocates and opponents agree.

A federal law banning marijuana sales remains the biggest blockade to the dawn of a national cannabis industry. That law causes many banks to avoid dealing with legal pot retailers, forcing weed entrepreneurs in Colorado and Washington to run cash-only operations — a daily danger, the owners say.

“But the direction voters are moving in is obvious, and with additional states it’s now harder to call Colorado and Washington ‘experiments,’” said Derek Peterson, founder and CEO of Terra Tech Corp. The Irvine, California company focuses on local farming and medical cannabis — likely the first publicly traded company, Peterson said, to hold a medical marijuana license.

“These are the same voters who elect our federal lawmakers, which I think is the major reason you’re seeing such a quick and dramatic turnaround on these policies in Congress,” Peterson said.

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