5 Big Companies in the Marijuana Business

These were some of the companies with reason to celebrate on 4/20, the annual holiday for marijuana-lovers.

Yesterday was April 20, aka 4/20, the semi-official annual holiday for the marijuana industry and pot-enthusiasts around the world.

People flock to public celebrations across the country that, in some cases, attract crowds of thousands. Pot-related businesses also show off their products.

Over the weekend in Colorado, hordes of people got a head-start in what is a regulated market for both medical and recreational marijuana. In Denver, roughly 125,000 fans of Colorado?s progressive marijuana laws gathered on public property for an annual 4/20 rally ? the number has a murky history, but it?s a nod to the time of day when stoners often light up ? while thousands more in that city attended High Times? annual Cannabis Cup.

At both events, vendors pitching products ? from cannabis strains and marijuana edibles to vaporizers ? as they look to cash in on the so-called ?green rush? in a regulated pot industry that could generate more than $10 billion in annual legal sales by 2018, according to The ArcView Group, a cannabis-focused investment firm. Twenty-three states have legalized medical marijuana, while four states and Washington, D.C. have legal recreational pot.

POTThe marijuana industry still faces legal and political obstacles, including federal tax issues and a lack of available banking options, but the industry still manages to grow. Indeed, ArcView estimates the industry?s sales increased 74% last year, to $2.7 billion.

In honor of Monday?s marijuana holiday, here are five of cannabis companies with most reason to celebrate.

1. Privateer Holdings

The marijuana investment company recently closed a $75 million fundraising round that included the Founders Fund, an investment firm created by PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, taking a multi-million dollar stake. The investment was a big one for both Privateer and the cannabis industry on the whole because it represented the first major institutional funding in a marijuana company.

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