3 ways to make money from the booming legal marijuana industry

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Marijuana Industry On Track To Be Raking In $44 Billion A Year By 2020


The growing legalization of marijuana in the United States – 25 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis in some form – has largely been an economic boon for both private and government interests.

According to ArcView Market Research, a cannabis investment and research firm, retail sales of marijuana should reach $6.7 billion in 2016. That's a 24 percent jump over last year's $5.4 billion in sales.

The emergence of any new industry, cannabis included, brings with it the opportunity for new businesses and job creation.

If you want to get a (money) piece of the pot pie, here are three ways you can earn some green from legalized weed:

  • Entrepreneur: Next to growing marijuana and selling it (or working in one of these 16 pot-related jobs), the most obvious way to make money in the cannabis industry is to start a pot-friendly business. For example, maybe you could create a line of cannabis-infused edibles or hemp products or find another niche, like Whoopi Goldberg's menstrual relief pot products. "On-demand delivery apps, payment processing technology, co-working platforms, and other types of startups associated with more traditional industries are now popping up in light of the marijuana industry's success," says Investopedia.
  • Business services: Cannabis-focused businesses are no different from any other legitimate business. They have the same business service needs – IT, public relations, accounting, financial services, etc. – as any other business. "Any service or product common in the business world at large can be applied to the cannabis industry — and almost everyone with a professional skill can find an opportunity," Chris Walsh, managing editor of Marijuana Business Daily, told Daily Worth. "Look at me: I have a background in business journalism. When I first accepted my current position, people thought I was crazy, but now I'm working for a growing company with 20 employees." Although many big, national companies steer clear of the marijuana market for fear of potential backlash from the federal government, since cannabis is not legal at the federal level, smaller companies who are willing to assume some risk can be a good fit for meeting the needs of marijuana businesses.
  • Invest: If you have some extra money that you'd like to make a profit on, you may want to look into investing in cannabis. According to Investopedia, venture capitalists pooled together $215.2 million for the legal marijuana industry in 2015. That money went to 98 cannabis projects. "MassRoots (OTCQB: MRST), a successful social platform for marijuana connoisseurs launched in 2013, will list on the Nasdaq, according to a recent filing with the SEC," says Investopedia. "Countless other ventures such as delivery platform, Eaze, and dispensary locator, Weedmaps, are receiving attention from VCs and gaining fast traction with an active community of users."
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RELATED: Marijuana laws by states

51 PHOTOS
Marijuana laws by state
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Marijuana laws by state

Alabama

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Dennis Macdonald via Getty Images)

Alaska

Marijuana legalized for medical and recreational use 

(Photo: Zoonar/N.Okhitin via Getty Images)

Arizona

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: TaylorB90/Flickr)

Arkansas

No legalization of any kind 

(photo: yorkfoto)

California

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(Photo: Dorling Kindersley via Getty Images)

Colorado

Marijuana legalized for medical and recreational use  

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Connecticut

Marijuana legalized for medical use 

(photo: Shutterstock)

Delaware

Marijuana legalized for medical use 

(photo: Shutterstock)

Florida

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Georgia

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Hawaii

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Idaho

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Illinois

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(Photo: VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm)

Indiana

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Iowa

No legalization of any kind

(photo: yorkfoto)

Kansas

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Kentucky

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Dorling Kindersley via Getty Images)

Louisiana

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Maine

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

Maryland

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Massachusetts

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

Michigan

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

Minnesota

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: anthonylibrarian/Flickr)

Mississippi

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Medioimages/Photodisc via Getty Images)

Missouri

No legalization of any kind 

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Montana

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: J.Stephen Conn/Flickr)

Nebraska

No legalization of any kind 

(photo: Shutterstock)

Nevada

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

New Hampshire

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

New Jersey

Marijuana legalized for medical use 

(Photo: Shutterstock)

New Mexico

Marijuana legalized for medical use 

(photo: Shutterstock)

New York

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

North Carolina

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Getty Images)

North Dakota

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Ohio

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Oklahoma

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Oregon

Marijuana legalized for medical and recreational use  

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Pennsylvania

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Henryk Sadura)

Rhode Island 

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(Photo: Shutterstock)

South Carolina

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Shutterstock)

South Dakota

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL/Flickr)

Tennessee

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Texas

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Utah

No legalization of any kind 

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Vermont

Marijuana legalized for medical use

(photo: Shutterstock)

Virginia

No legalization of any kind

(photo: Shutterstock)

Washington

Marijuana legalized for medical and recreational use 

(photo: Shutterstock)

West Virginia 

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: dk_photos via Getty Images )

Wisconsin

No legalization of any kind 

(photo: Kubrak78)

Wyoming

No legalization of any kind

(Photo: Space Images via Getty Images)

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Find out why the Approval Process for Marijuana Apps is Often Hazy.

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