Why marijuana will be a 'shadow' business for a long time

Never mind Clinton vs. Trump: Millions of Americans can expect to wake up Wednesday and indulge in a soothing palliative to take the edge off the results of a contentious presidential election.

On Tuesday, five states will decide whether to join Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, DC, in legalizing marijuana for “adult recreational“ use.

Polling in California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts and Maine shows that, while legalization is slightly favored by voters, the margins are very close.

Taken together, a successful outcome for these ballot measures could add $4.2 billion to legal marijuana retail revenues by 2018, on top of the $6.5 billion projected for the current year, according to Matt Karnes of GreenWave Advisors.

Marijuana still being illegal throughout much of the US, these revenue figures are dwarfed by the money spent in the black market to purchase it. Although accurate figures are hard to come by, Karnes guesses...

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