Uncertainty Surrounds Marijuana ‘Green Rush’

WASHINGTON: As Sam Calvert prepares to open one of the state’s first legal marijuana stores next month, he sometimes thinks of a historic parallel from a previous century.

Washington may be about to experience a marijuana “Green Rush” similar to the Alaska Gold Rush at the end of the 19th century, when discovery of gold in the Klondike prompted thousands to seek their fortunes in unfamiliar territory. Only a small percentage of the miners who went into the frozen hills came out with enough gold to get rich, Calvert said. More people got rich by selling them picks, shovels and other supplies before they went in, and food and alcohol when they came out.

“There’s an endless array of people who want to provide me with supplies or services,” said Calvert, who formerly operated a commercial property company and plans to open Green Star Cannabis on North Division in mid-July.

Other prospective marijuana businesspeople – some call them “ganjapreneurs” – report similar appeals. Lawyers and accountants offer specialized service for the tightly regulated and heavily taxed businesses; software companies offer systems to track the plants from startup to sale; and security businesses offer advice on protecting against robbery or internal theft.

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