Investors Smell Profit in Marijuana Ballot Measures

Article by Peter Henderson and Jilian Mincer, Reuters

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With marijuana legalization measures on the ballot in nine states Tuesday, investment opportunities are attracting money from Wall Street, Silicon Valley and publicly traded companies.

Much of the new money is avoiding direct investment in marijuana cultivation and sales, which remain illegal under federal law. Instead of getting their hands “green,” new investors are putting their money into ancillary products, such as fertilizer, grow lights, software and payroll services.

Investors new to the sector said they are eager for a piece of a market that, by some estimates, will reach $50 billion over the next decade and are looking for ways to claim profits while minimizing legal risks. (For a graphic on states voting on marijuana, see: tmsnrt.rs/2fBzYmV)

Philadelphia sports empire scion Lindy Snider said she invested in startup Kind Financial, a firm that makes software to keep growers and retailers in compliance with shifting regulations. Silicon Valley angel investor Fulton Connor said he put money into a web marketplace linking growers and stores.

Scotts Miracle-Gro, a publicly traded gardening product manufacturer, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire companies that sell soil, lighting, fertilizer and other products to marijuana growers. Scotts’ chairman and CEO Jim Hagedorn

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