Colorado and Washington Legal Marijuana: Business and Investment Firms Are Hiring Ex-DEA Agents as Consultants
The legalization and commercialization of marijuana in the United States is an interesting story because there are so many parties who want to see the industry succeed. Those that do seem to have more political will now than those who don't. The lure of making money in an industry with momentum and upgrowth potential is tricky but possible.
The political situation regarding the legalization of marijuana is drawing stock market investors. Some investors who speculated on marijuana penny stocks made some of the biggest percentage gains in the market this year although some others have incurred major losses.
There are now paid services that connect people who want to invest in the marijuana businesses with companies seeking investors. Such investors include Republican New York State Assemblyman Steve Katz and Joby Pritzker, whose family started Hyatt Hotels.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued an alert in August saying investors should beware of potentially fraudulent purveyors of stocks connected to pot, a la The Wolf of Wall Street.
Companies involved in all aspects of the production and sale of the plant are positioning themselves to be profitable in a dynamic environment. Some have gone as far as to hire in some ex-DEA officers to work as consultants and licensers. One such agent, who now works for a private investment firm said "I saw this as an amazing opportunity to be a part of the team that's helping to create this industry" and that he doesn't feel like he's going to the "other side."
Lawyers say the value of having such people in your company will come from helping the company steer clear of activities that raise red flags with federal authorities.
Potential stumbling blocks for the success of the industry, according to economists, include the behavior of buyers and sellers, contradictory drug laws nationwide, and taxes. Colorado has imposed a fifteen percent wholesale and ten percent retail tax on marijuana transactions, making the market price of legal commercial-grade marijuana $400 an ounce compared to street prices of $156 to $250 an ounce, according to data compiled by Narcotic News.
For more on money issues regarding the legal marijuana industry, read here.
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