Tech wizzes and executives from companies like Amazon and Groupon are leaving their prominent careers — that many have worked hard for all their lives — to join the Green Rush. And they’re making good moves; getting into the cannabis marketplace early on is the best way to invest time, energy and money.
It is estimated that the cannabis industry will be pulling in $75 billion in sales by 2030, which is enormous growth from the current $10 billion dollar market and will be in a relatively short amount of time. Projections are likely to increase when cannabis is legalized federally, and with our neighbors to the north having legalized adult use and with a deflated and failed drug war on our hands, that may not be too far off.
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The cannabis startups that are attracting players from the likes of Microsoft, Lyft and Apple are the ones that have set themselves up to be major players in the unfolding landscape. Though cannabis may be entering a more corporate than hippie driven era, it’s still the Wild West in a lot of ways, and smart entrepreneurs are shooting from the hip.
Take Natasha Pecor for example. She spent much of her working life in high profile positions at Yelp and then Amazon; now she is the Vice President of the San Francisco startup Eaze and has been for two years. Eaze is a delivery service company for the cannabis sector and is the umbrella company of several different pot products. They also are always looking for ways to give back to the communities that they serve.
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Cannabis businesses have a reputation for philanthropy that extends to veterans, low income individuals and the very ill. It’s likely for that reason alone why many smart executives and techies are coming over to the business of cannabis. It could also be that this fresh, newly legitimized industry is appealing on a broad spectrum, from still being a little edgy and cool to cannabis being a medical miracle that’s spanned ages and is coming to fruition once again in the U.S. and across the planet.
Whatever it is, we have built it and they have come. The cannabis world has opened up from insiders, activists, lobbyists and politicians to the world at large: designers, coders, warehouse managers, CEOs and the talented minds of Silicon Valley.