DC Entrepreneurs Find Profit Despite No MJ Sales

24Washington DC may have legalized recreational marijuana use and possession, but sale of the herb remain illegal in the state. Despite this, entrepreneurs in the area have come up with ways to profit from the market – legally.

Ancillary businesses catering to the adult-use marijuana market are coming alive in the capital. These businesses do not directly touch the cannabis plant or products, but instead provide supporting products and services.

An example is Capitol Hemp, offering artisan pipes and industrial hemp-related products in the DC metropolitan area. The shop’s co-owner, Adam Eidinger, is one of the leaders of the recreational cannabis legalization campaign in the state. He opened the store in 2008 selling products such as clothing and hemp food, but was forced by local officials to shut down in 2011. After recreational legalization took effect in February this year, the shop was able to reopen.

Whether reopening like Eidinger or recently sprouting new shops, entrepreneurs in the state are serving up a wide variety of products and services. There are home-growing equipment, bongs and rolling papers, and even marijuana-themed party organizing.

Considering that recreational cannabis sales are not permitted, these ancillary businesses are actually doing well. Some of them have previously catered to the medical cannabis sector and are now boosting sales with their new focus on recreational users.

In particular, the market for home-growing is particularly strong. According to Jacob Asbell, founder of Maryland-based hydroponic systems startup Hydro-City, growing marijuana “is an incredibly viable option.” What his business does is to make growing accessible to users.

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