Despite the fact that Texas appears in no way ready to legalize marijuana anytime in the near future, the cannabis industry gathered in the Lone Star State to educate local investors on the plethora of financial opportunities available in the legal marijuana trade.
Over the weekend, organizers with the Marijuana Investment Conference welcomed over 100 people to Houston for a two-day event, which focused on ways for investors to get involved with legal marijuana while residing in stench of prohibition. The event, according to organizers, was established to show the investment community the level of profit that stands to be gained from legal marijuana.
“We feel there is a very close parallel between the typical Houston high net worth oil and gas investor and the cannabis investor,” Doug Leighton, an organizer for the event, told KHOU-TV. “Very high risks, but very high reward.”
Leighton, who is also a managing partner for Duchess Capital Management, says there is a tremendous black hole that exists in between the legal cannabis industry and the black market trade, but even in the midst of its Schedule I federal status, the legal industry is still worth over a billion dollars.
“The illegal market for marijuana is $50 billion a year, the legal market is $1.4 billion, so that gap has to be narrowed,” he said.
Many investors in attendance said they are eager to get involved with the marijuana industry because they believe it has the potential to become one of the largest feats of American commerce. “An industry like this comes along once every generation,” said Dr. Elias Jackson, who operates a biotech firm in Houston. “US steel, alcohol, etc, and this particular industry can rival the pharmaceutical industry.”
Frank Marino, who has put together one of the nation’s first cannabis investment funds, says there is more to investing in marijuana industry than what most people envision. “There are loads of opportunities in software and online systems, and cash management systems, and regulatory systems that (are) helping to support and growing the industry,” he said.