Medical marijuana industry grows mainstream

April 11th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

WASHINGTON — The medical marijuana industry is beginning to
show its age.

After humble California beginnings in 1996, 15 states and the
District of Columbia now have legalized marijuana use for ill
patients who have a doctor’s recommendation.

Medical marijuana has been found to help with chronic pain,
nausea and other symptoms of diseases including cancer, muscular
dystrophy and AIDS. Nearly 25 million Americans are medically
eligible to buy marijuana.

Sales are expected to hit $1.7 billion this year. Just last
week, a San Francisco-based outfit, the ArcView Group, formed the
industry’s first investment network to link cannabis entrepreneurs
to qualified investors with “seed” money.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this
industry is growing and that there are untold riches to be made
here,” said Troy Dayton, the chief executive of the ArcView

In coming months, Arizona, New Jersey, Rhode Island and the
District of Columbia will launch programs, joining eight states
where medical marijuana is sold legally. Those states are
California, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, Washington
and New Mexico.

But around the country, some law enforcement officials have
expressed concern that medical marijuana could be obtained by
relatively healthy people who could get a recommendation from a
physician by lying or overstating their pain and suffering.

They also worry that some dispensaries could grow more marijuana
than their patients could consume, leaving an excess that could
make its way to the illegal market.

While legal for medical purposes in many states, marijuana
remains an illegal controlled substance under federal law, althoughArticle source: