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Colorado is the next Silicon Valley: Why the legalized marijuana industry is flourishing

The convention floor at Denver Airport’s Crowne Plaza on a recent afternoon could have been the trade show for any well-established industry — gray-haired execs in conservative suits mingling with office park dads in polos and fresh-out-of-college types in brand-emblazoned T-shirts. Only this is a new kind of business conference with a special Colorado theme: legal weed.

After Colorado voters legalized marijuana in 2012, more states and cities are considering a similar path for themselves. At the same time, the cannabis market is looking less like a music festival and more like a Silicon Valley confab — upscale, data-driven and focused on investors.

Vendors and potential financiers at last month’s Marijuana Investor Summit here in the Mile High City say the current market for legal cannabis is more than $3 billion in the 23 states that have already legalized the drug for medicinal or recreational use. Expanding that market, they...

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URL: 
http://www.salon.com/2015/05/15/colorado_is_the_next_silicon_valley_why_the_legalized_marijuana_industry_is_flourishing_partner/