Today is 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.
(For more on the Cannabis Cup and the 4/20 holiday,read this excerpt from author Bruce Barcott’s new book,Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.)
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.
The 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.