Techies profit from the booming pot business

Telluride, Colorado, a former silver-mining town in the San Juan Mountains, is known these days for its ski resort and film and music festivals, though not as a high-tech incubator. Still, it's where a couple of techie entrepreneurs were living and working in 2009 when a controversial state law presented them with a unique business opportunity.



"She had a Web-development firm, and I had an IT company," said Jessica Billingsley, referring to her now-partner Amy Poinsett. They knew each other socially and had some clients in common-real estate agencies, restaurants and other local small businesses-though they didn't work together directly. That is, until an amendment to Colorado's medical marijuana legalization law, implemented in 2001 but with narrow distribution, OK'd the opening of retail dispensaries where patients could have their pot prescriptions filled.

"A client of mine opened one of the first...

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