Drug money: The dosh in dope

The US's legal marijuana industry is creating an excitement among investors and start-ups not seen since the first dotcom boom. Could the UK be next?

by Oliver Bennett

A 'bartender' is talking to a customer - but he's not serving drinks. For this particular assistant is at Medicine Man, the biggest cannabis dispensary in Denver, Colorado, where an ordinary retail scene is made extraordinary by the wares - unmistakable packs of cannabis, both for medical and recreational use.

The booming dispensary is part of the US legal marijuana industry, now undergoing a vertiginous spike that is being called the 'green rush'.

'When we sold only medical cannabis, we were getting 100 people in a day,' says Elan Nelson, head of business development at Medicine Man. 'Since January, we've been able to sell recreational marijuana and it has shot up to 300 a day.' No wonder cannabis is the talk of America's business community and British cannabis advocates are looking closely at developments. There's hope in dope.

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