Americans increasingly support marijuana legalization, according to the Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll. Still, the specter of federal enforcement makes it difficult for cannabis-related firms to get banking services.
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The influx of capital helps finance the paychecks of 150,000 workers in the legal U. pot industry, representing job growth of 20 percent from a year ago, according to an estimate from the cannabis website Leafly, a marketing firm for dispensaries and other cannabis firms.
Eric Eslao, founder of Defonce Chocolatier - which makes artisanal cannabis-infused chocolates costing $20 a bar - was a senior production manager at Apple just over a year ago.
The banks that work with cannabis-related firms are mostly community institutions in states where the industry is legalized, and their service is limited to accepting cash deposits.
Cannabis investment is still dominated by wealthy individuals, but that is changing as the industry grows, attracting venture capitalist and equity investors who until recently were reluctant to finance cannabis firms.
more Jermaine Wright, a 25-year-old Albany resident, was eliminated during the fourth week of the Food Network's "All-Star Academy." Read more in Table Hopping, and continue browsing the slideshow to see more Capital Region appearances on reality shows.
less Jermaine Wright, a 25-year-old Albany resident, was eliminated during the fourth week of the Food Network's "All-Star Academy." Read more in Table Hopping, and continue browsing the slideshow to see more ...
He feared the stigma of joining the weed industry, but it didn't stop him."The opportunity was too good not to make the jump," he said." data-reactid="23"(For a map detailing marijuana laws in U. states, see: Z)The administration of President Donald Trump has sent mixed signals on its enforcement policy.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed to crack down on the pot trade in states with legalization laws, but Trump has extended a ban on using federal funds to interfere with the industry through the end of this year.
"Investors get that."The long-term risk may be lower, however, as a growing number of Americans express support for marijuana legalization and the industry creates jobs and tax revenues.