Marijuana Gold Rush begins as investors hunt for opportunities

Apr 29, 2013

The first state-licensed marijuana stores are still almost a year away, but business-minded people are already chasing profits. Today, entrepreneurs are pitching their pot-related ideas to dozens of wealthy investors in Seattle. 

San Francisco-based ArcView Investor Network arranged the private forum akin to the TV show “Shark Tank.” Entrepreneurs will have a few minutes to pitch their idea—which includes everything from better grow lights to handheld vaporizers, to mobile apps for marijuana retailers—and explain why their idea is a worthy investment.

"Cannabis is like a house of cards, and the first two cards—Colorado and Washington—just got pulled out of the deck," said Troy Dayton, CEO of ArcView and longtime activist for marijuana legalization. "And this whole thing may fall faster than any of us ever thought. Investors are now banking on that."

This is the second marijuana industry investor forum ArcView has held in Seattle. Dayton says investors include billionaires, former Microsoft executives, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists.

Dayton says the forum is currently focusing on ancillary businesses, but will soon include businesses directly involved in growing and selling marijuana, as investors have shown interest.