Starting a business without an investor is not an easy task. Unless someone is already sitting on a pile of money, they will likely need an infusion of money for their business idea if it's ever to reach its full potential. That's true of just about every business sector on the planet, and marijuana business ideas are no different. Starting an industrial garden or storefront can be particularly expensive. That's why it's so troubling to hear news out of Alaska that politicians up there are considering a ban on third party investors in the recreational marijuana industry. Per Mainstreet:
In a move that has been sharply criticized by legalization advocates and the business community alike, Alaska legislators are currently considering banning third party investors, and start-ups who rely on them for funding, from the newly legit recreational state pot business. In-state license applicants under this plan would have to be completely self-funded.
For all the grumbling about undue political influence, if not carpetbaggers in the state level advocacy community of late, this proposal swiftly garnered harsh criticism from a different quarter - the marijuana business community.
According to Troy Dayton, CEO of ArcView Group, a marijuana investor network that connects investors with startup-activity and entrepreneurial ganja juice across the country, Alaska's current effort is short-sighted.
"This is an effort by moneyed interests in the state to keep entrepreneurs of lesser means from raising the capital they need to compete," he said. "There is no way that protectionist policies like this would stand in almost any other business sector. It's a terrible trend that only serves the super-wealthy in a given state at the expense of everyone else, including consumers."
As Troy Dayton touches on, no other industry has a ban like this in Alaska. This is either an attempt to give a virtual monopoly on business opportunities to the already wealthy, or it's an attempt to minimize entry into the industry altogether. Either way, this proposal is ridiculous and unfair and I hope it fails. Alaska deserves a regulated, successful marijuana industry that will boost local economies, bring much needed jobs to the state, and generate tax revenue that will benefit all Alaskans.